Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user Lauren Parnell Marino

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.

218 Comment

  • Q: Do people still tie their dogs outside when they go into a store?

    I have to take my dog to the Petworth Vet and I have to go into to Safeway. I’m planning to take him first, then walk back home (15 min) and then go to Safeway.

    • I see it occasionally. As long as the pooch is friendly, I say go for it.

    • For me, it’s not worth the risk of having someone walk off with my dog.

    • The HT in AdMo has a sign that says it is unlawful to leave your pet (dog) unattended. I’ve seen it a few times at other places, but I would advice against it. I don’t trust people NOT to steal my dog or mistreat it. That may be just me though.

    • phl2dc

      I definitely see it, but I always worry about someone else taking the pooch.

    • I wouldn’t use “what people do” as a guide for what you do, if that’s where you’re going with this.

      • Originally I thought Zandunga was asking for advice on whether she(?) should tie up her dog outside the Safeway… but then when I re-read the posting, I got the impression that she was saying: “I’m planning to take my dog home before I go to the Safeway. I’m just curious, though… is tying one’s dog up outside the grocery store still something that people do?”

    • I do it with my two dogs. I take care to tie them in a shady spot and only when I plan to be quick in the store.

    • Yesterday evening in front of the 17th & Corcoran McDonalds, there was an large, very aggressive dog tied off to a street sign, growling and barking loudly at everyone passing. It was pretty scary, even on the leash. Legality aside, please at least make sure you know your dog will behave somewhat reasonably around strangers while you’re out of sight.

      • EckingtonDoodle

        I do with my pup on occasion, like when I’m picking up a 6-pack From Bloomingdale Wines or cupcakes from Grassroots. But, food shopping would be a bit too long for me to leave her. I worry more about what people will do to her or take her.

    • That One Guy

      I used to leave my dog in front of Baked and Wired all the time. Generally, I only left him outside if I had a direct line of sight on him.

    • That One Guy

      Personally, I think it’s more dangerous to leave your dog unattended at the dog park.

      • No one should ever leave their dog unattended at a dog park. First, its dangerous to the other dogs and that is not how dog parks work. I would be really mad if I saw someone drop their dog at a dog park and leave. Fights break out a lot and you need to pull your dog off.

        • That One Guy

          Not drop off and leave per se, but I used to take my dog to the Shirlington, VA dog park and it’s large enough where if an owner doesn’t actively pay attention to their dog they would poop and the owner wouldn’t be around to pick it up, get into altercations with other dogs, bolt out of the gated area when others were entering/leaving, etc. All behavior that wouldn’t occur if an owner was paying attention to their dog.

    • I do for short periods like grabbing a to-go order or a coffee. Once when I went into the grocery but it depends on the area. If there are too many people or its too busy then no. I would love to leave him home but he has massive separation issues. We are working on those but in the meantime I cart him almost everywhere. he is very friendly and my concern about tying him up is more about making sure he does not regress on the progress he has made. Overall its ok but I am very cautious of where I tie him up.

    • SouthwestDC

      If I were you I’d ask if they could hold him at the vet while I did the Safeway run. I’m pretty sure my vet would do that.
      I wouldn’t leave my dogs attended anywhere because I know it would make them nervous and uncomfortable. It does keep me from taking them more places, though. I like combining my outdoor excursions with errands, so some part of the trip ends up being off-limits to them.

    • I’m always more nervous about what other people will potentially do. I don’t want my dog picking up a chicken wing bone that someone throws down near him, or being fed something that would make him sick.

    • NO! The Petworth vet is SO sketchy and scary. Please go to Adams Morgan Veterinarian hospital. They are great and don’t charge a lot. You can also make an appointment :)?

    • NO! The Petworth vet is SO sketchy and scary. Please go to Adams Morgan Veterinarian hospital. They are great and don’t charge a lot. You can also make an appointment 🙂

      • saf

        I don’t like Adams Morgan vet – they missed a really easy diagnosis on my cat once and were not a bit apologetic.

        She died far too young because of that.

  • Rant: Relatively new upstairs neighbors who think it is neighborly to play piano and stomp in time to the music. House concerts really shouldn’t start at eleven in the evening and go to the wee hours of the morning, most especially on a week night. Time to write a politely worded note reminding them of this fact.
    Rave: I got to visit with dear friends last night, snuggled with their new baby, and played with their older son who is becoming such a little man.
    Rave: Friday! An unscheduled weekend ahead. I plan to sleep a LOT, especially if the upstairs neighbors refrain from band practice.
    Rant: Many hours before the weekend starts. I need to find some motivation and plow through some work.

    • phl2dc

      Musical neighbors can be so hit-or-miss… I lived next door to a man who played the saxophone (badly), once. It was the most horrendous thing.

      • Emmaleigh504

        I live near a practice studio so I get to hear all sorts of music. Most of it sucks, but there’s been 1 or 2 I liked. And there’s one that has played there enough that I’ve learned to like. They wore me down #broken

        • phl2dc

          Hahahaha! I’m laughing at the hashtag, not your pain. I guess variety is good at least? I felt like the dude next to me was in constant “1st lesson” mode. To make things worse, I was too broke to have furniture in the living room (which was adjacent to his apartment) so it just echoed in the empty space…

    • Oh no! Sorry about the pianist. I am another pianist living in an apartment (ground floor, thank goodness) who takes a LOT of pains to respect my neighbors, never playing until after 12 pm and never after 8 pm (and only for 60 minutes a session). I have a digital piano with headphones for the times I want to deviate from that timeline and play at 9 pm or for longer than 1 hour). Hoping you can get them to cooperate with some politeness. They may not realize how the sound is going straight from the legs into the floor. If this is a professional, they need to bite the bullet and get a digital for excessive practice!!

      • I think your time restrictions are more than considerate and generous towards your neighbors. I’d be happy with a 10am -10 pm rule.

      • Is there a compelling reason not to use the digital piano (rather than the non-digital one) all the time, given the close quarters?

        • Hi textdoc, this issue is a frequent debate topic among pianists. I grew up with acoustic and with teachers who believed digital was absolutely NOT an instrument (as in, don’t even speak of it). As an apartment dweller, however, I thought I was making a concession by getting a digital. It turns out the technology is pretty good, and my current digital is better than the old upright acoustic I used growing up… HOWEVER, as a musician and as a pianist, an acoustic will do things a digital could never do. I use my digital for practice (scales, drilling stuff, hard practice) and music, but I use my grand piano for good reason, as well. I have those self-imposed strict times (12 pm-8 pm) because I never want to lose the right to play my acoustic and I get that it might irritate neighbors from time to time. So far, no complaints- only compliments. It helps that I don’t slam Rachmaninoff- I gently play Chopin and other good music. I think it also helps that I’m an advanced player- far less annoying and tedious to listen to (I think, I hope??)….

    • Ugh. We have a bunch of musical neighbors. The girls across from us play piano and clarinet or something, although at least the hours aren’t too crazy – usually Saturdays from around 9-2. Our upstairs neighbors drive us nuts though. Before I moved in, it was apparently drums – often after 10/11 at night on weekdays, or drum circles on Sunday evenings. Afterwards for some reason it became the saxophone (badly), also after 10/11 pm on weekdays. It stopped for a few months (apparently they had so many complaints the building forced them to keep their instruments in an unoccupied apartment) but they just started up again this week. I’m baffled that they still think it’s fine for them to do. We call the front desk when it happens, but my roommate just started a new job that she has to be up at 5:30 am for so she is really annoyed.

      • Blithe

        Are you saying that the apartment building donated an empty apartment for them to use as practice space?!!! This is an amenity that I would love! As, perhaps, would my nearby neighbors.

        • I’m not really sure! I think they usually have one or two empty apartments to show people who are interested in leasing, so it might have been one of those.

    • I’ve thought of taking violin lessons, but I am not sure I want to subject my neighbors to the beginning period, even at a reasonable hour. Maybe someday, though.

  • northeazy

    Rant: Been hearing a lot about the new wave of “affordable” housing in DC. In essence, for a tax break, developers will set aside 10% or so of their inventory for “low-income” tenants. Intrigued, I looked into it. Basically, a studio apt in a brand new building near a metro will cost you around $1400 and you need to earn at least $49,000. Who is this for, exactly? It certainly isn’t for a native Washingtonian who works at Starbucks or Chipotle and goes to school part time. It is not for anyone who has a ton of student loan debt and their first job on the Hill or at an NGO pays $40,000, if they’re lucky. This “affordable” housing is for mid-career, DC transplants who once they get their next promotion and eclipse the income max of $60,000 can still stay in the unit at below market rate.

    This is a major rip off. Bozzuto, Douglas, and other developers are getting a windfall in tax credits, the Mayors office can run around and lie saying they have expanded affordable housing, and the only people who are benefiting are by-in-large middle income, educated DC transplants. Arguably those least in need of help.

    Rave: I applied anyway being a middle-income educated DC transplant and I hope I win the lottery to get a room.

    • Low-income at what percentage of AMI? This makes a big, big difference.
      This might also be the first I’ve heard of low-income units in D.C. that have a minimum income requirement.

      • DC gives you the acceptable salary ranges for these units so technically there are min and max incomes.

      • northeazy

        AMI isn’t really relevant in a city with such large income inequality. AMI is grossly skewed by all the fat cat government workers pulling in $80-90K for basic office jobs, not to mention all the lawyers, lobbyists, and politicians earning in the millions. The fact is, there is a sizable percentage of this city, probably near 50% living paycheck to paycheck. And $1400 studios in luxury high rises ain’t gonna cut it. I am no Liberal, far from it, but the corporate handouts to developers for token set asides which then get funneled back into the political system via campaign donations Rotten to the core.

    • I had the same rant. I got notices that I was selected to apply for “low-income” apartments at the new apartments near DC9 in Shaw, and it was 1400 (plus utilities) for studios or jr 1 bedrooms. That’s a lot of money, and I don’t care if it’s a “luxury building” unless it comes with a free dog walker then maybe. These income restricted affordable units in luxury buildings are barely affordable for people making < 60k (esp if you have debt) let alone people who really need affordable housing who work min wage jobs.

      • I agree that there should be more truly affordable housing units for those working minimum wage jobs — DC really does need to work on this.

        • The problem with this whole concept (subsidized “affordable housing” that is NOT to be confused with Section 8 or completely public housing) is that it does indeed distort the market. When you set aside valuable real estate and charge a lower price than what it would be worth on the market, that means prices of actual market-based apartments have to go up (the supply has decreased, price goes up OR… the developer is recouping his losses on those set-aside “affordable” units, and along with tax sweetheart deals, charges more to the “market rate” renters).
          But more importantly, since there are finite resources and we’re not going to give everyone an “affordable” apartment, that means we have a lot of losers in this equation. Who decides that Betty the Barista is more entitled to that apartment over Teddy the Waiter? If Betty gets the apartment, and Teddy has to move to Reston- how is that more equitable or fair than the status quo of having a free market? Lots of unintended consequences with this kind of policy- along with an economist’s dream come true in terms of fodder for debate/conversation, I would think!!

    • I am currently living in one of these units, but you are making it a LOT simplier than it actually is. Yes, the “Inclusionary Zoning” program units I don’t really understand — you usually need to earn 80% AMI to live at these apartments, where you are paying roughly $1500/month. There is also the ADU program, which fluctuates from apartment to apartment and is often found at a lower AMI (50% or 60%) — this is where I am. These apartments usually range from $800-$1200 for a studio. I am a student working in an entry-level paid fellowship, so this break in the rent DOES help me IMMENSELY. I do not have family support and would not be able to live where I work and go to school otherwise. Additionally, there are other programs for truely low-income individuals (below 50% AMI) — I’m assuming this program could use some work, because I think there’s a massive waitlist.
      Also, you cannot stay at these apartments once your income increases. At least at my apartment, if I get a raise during the year that takes me above the 60% AMI range, I’m out when my lease ends.

      • northeazy

        According to DHCD, ADU and inclusionary zoning is basically the same thing http://dhcd.dc.gov/service/affordable-dwelling-units

        • Perhaps the main problem with these programs is the lack of information about how one goes about 1) finding these units and 2) the range of prices for units in both programs. From my experience, the IZ program has always been at a higher price than some of the ADU units. For example, the Harper on 14th St. is one of these $1500 IZ studio apartment buildings. But Cathederal Commons was offering $800 studios for 50% AMI individuals at one point last year. Additionally, the IZ program requires one to participate in training courses while the ADU program requires you to independently find an apartment complex that offers these apartments at your income level. I’m not sure why these two programs exist separately — it’s really a trial and error situation, with lots of luck necessary to get one of these apartments.

    • EckingtonDoodle

      I think your rant is a bit misplaced, DC has a range of affordable units that go for all income levels. In this city, the middle class needs help…with all the $900k plus houses and 500k plus condos rent ain’t gonna be cheap because their mortgage needs to be paid. Glad you applied and hope you get a room Northeazy… 🙂

      • northeazy

        Yes, DC does. You can go east of the river and find very large places for a good price. But you know, it is east of the river, and all that comes along with that. Another strategy is to get into a rent controlled building. All bldgs built before 1975 are automatically rent controlled. The problem is that because DC is so transitory, when a tenant moves out the LL can raise the price up to 20% so you end up with basically market rate apartments in rent controlled buildings. DC is not your typical city. A creative solution needs to be had and frankly unless and until we have publicly funded campaigns or start voting for people who refuse to take corporate contributions, none of this will ever be feasible.

    • You can’t squat in the adu units due to the fact you have to recertify your income every year. That’s why I have to leave my current place, my roommate and I both had income shifts in the last year. I found that the most effective way to utilize the ADU system in DC is to have a roommate, fall under the 68k combined max with entry level work, (this varies from neighborhood to neighborhood as well) and split a 2/2 for something like 1700-1900 total. It feels harder to work out trying to get a studio or 1bd as those are still quite pricey (1600-1800 is the affordable price? what?). That said, the thing is that every building has its own covenant with the city, so the rules are a bit ymmv. I’ve lived in 2 so far, and the best strategy is to camp out buildings that are still in progress or just about to open, almost every new building in DC participates in this program because of the tax benefits.

    • That One Guy

      DC needs to have its artificial building height limit removed. It’s outdated and I feel it’s a contributing factor to this problem.

      • I love that DC doesn’t have super tall buildings.

      • Blithe

        “Outdated”? Based on what standards? Are you just advocating for taller buildings so that everyone who wants to squeeze into a particular block in a particular neighborhood at a particular time in DC’s history can fit — or do you mean something else by this?

        • Blithe

          I realize that this is late in the day and late in the week for a question like this, but does anybody have a rough idea of what percentage of units in DC are either mostly vacant investment /seasonal properties or used for something like Aribnb — and not available for long term year-round tenants and owners?

        • That One Guy

          Outdated because quiet literally this was initially implemented more that a century ago by Congress.

          • Just because something is old doesn’t necessarily mean it’s out of date.

          • Blithe

            Um, I’m guessing that many laws were quite literally initially implemented more than a century ago — including a few that you’d probably like to keep around. There are a lot of factors that contribute to the lack of affordable housing in DC. I’d guess that the building height limit is a relatively small part of this — compared to, say, people wanting to receive the highest possible returns on their investments.

          • That One Guy

            In this case I would argue that the building height cap is part of planned obsolescence.

        • Actually, the original motivation for the Height Act in 1899 IS, in fact, outdated. There’s a good explanation of its history here: http://www.welovedc.com/2009/05/19/dc-mythbusting-the-height-limit/

          Short version, the 1899 Act (the first height restrictions in DC) was designed two address two main concerns by Congress: structural integrity/safety of tall buildings and whether fire-fighters would be able to access fires on higher floors and prevent a fire from spreading to nearby buildings.

          • Obviously this is not in reference to the subsequent act in 1910, which restricted heights based on the width of the streets. The 1910 act was definitely more about preserving the “light and airy” aspects of the District, so it wasn’t based on the outdated reasoning/concerns that Congress did originally have in 1899.

          • Blithe

            Thanks for posting this!

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rave: finally got around to having some of my blueberry butter and raspberrry & rasperry honey jam. The blueberrry is a little sweeter than normal, but totes delish.
    Rant: The raspberry jam is just ok. It needs another layer of flabvor.
    Rave: raspberry jam is going to folks in New Orleans who will gobble it up!
    Rave: this weekend I’m attempting blueberry jam.
    Black berries: what to do with them…?

  • Rant: Began the day in a FOUL mood. Visiting family member is getting on my LAST NERVE.
    Rant: Saw a dead little bird on the sidewalk on my way to work. Usually I’m not so affected by dead birds, but somehow this one made me really sad. (Maybe because it looked bright-eyed and alive… except that it was completely still and lying sideways.) A little life snuffed out.
    Rave: My mood has actually improved since I arrived at the office.

    • topscallop

      Sorry you had such a rough morning! I hope your day continues to improve. For me a walk in the sunshine around lunchtime usually helps. So do tacos 🙂

    • That is no good., How long is your family member visiting?

      • Family Member has been at my house for two months and is currently slated to stay for another month. Family Member has good intentions and was ostensibly going to “help” me with house-related projects by researching contractors, making appointments, and getting estimates… but has been accomplishing so little on that front that I now think I would have been better off doing it myself.
        The only reason for FM to stay beyond right now is to let workmen into the house every day for a project that begins September 8. I am trying to figure out a way to send FM elsewhere between now and September 8, because I am going nuts.

        • It may be hard, but maybe work with them to set a schedule for the projects? Or let them know that you need some space.

          I hope it gets better! love my family but I also love getting my place back after a visit.

          • I’ve given up on any of the other projects happening — I think I just need to send Family Member somewhere else for the next three weeks.
            So far Family Member has become very angry at even the slightest hint that FM has been anything less than completely efficient. FM also doesn’t seem to understand why there’s anything problematic on my end about a visit that lasts multiple months.

        • Does FM have another residence? Seems like you need to have a breather, and your own space, for a while

          • MPinDC — FM lives overseas… a LONG way overseas.
            ParkViewRes — Yes, retired.

          • Could FM go home sooner than planned? Or is there a reason s/he needs to be in the US the full 3 mos?

          • MPinDC — At this point the main reason for FM to stay would be to let workmen into the house every day for the project that starts Sept. 8. But I’m beginning to think about sending FM home and trying to figure something else out instead.

        • HOLY CRAP…two months, let alone THREE MONTHS is way too long for any family member to be staying with you! (It’s too long for anyone really) I’d seriously flip after one month. Is FM retired?

        • Two months? I thought you were going to say a week or so. Even for a perfect houseguest, that is way too long to have visitors. I would be spending a LOT of time away from home if I were in your shoes.

    • Treat yourself to a nice lunch, or cupcake, or something!

    • Aw! I’m so sorry, textdoc, that sounds like a crummy way to start the morning – I was watching a couple of sparrows this morning taking a dirt bath, and found it oddly affecting, as well, to watch those tiny little creatures just living life while a crazy city rushes past them. Hope your day gets better and better, and hopefully annoying family member will either be out of your hair soon or does something nice for you as a thank-you for hosting them 🙂

    • I’m sorry to hear about your lousy morning, too! I hope you can do something nice for yourself this afternoon.
      (Also, I responded really late to your comment yesterday about the guy, but he stopped talking to me about a week after I left. Whatever!)

      • Yep, I saw your comment about the guy, but thanks for the heads-up! (Normally I probably would’ve missed it.) Sorry to hear it ended up going nowhere, but glad to hear that the whole thing was forgettable rather than a cause of lingering angst. 🙂

    • Oh many sometimes I don’t even do well with visiting FMs after a week, hang in there. and agreed, do something nice for yourself. try to set up a calendar with deadlines “to help you with your stress about it” but really to kick FM”s butt into gear

  • Revel: take-out from Thip Khao last night
    Rant: still kind of in a funk. I know it’s unhealthy to compare where I am to my peers but I’m having trouble getting over it. I hate feeling like the pathetic loser friend
    Rant: my grad program for teaching wasn’t so great and the school I was in last year was a mess so there are a lot of gaps in my knowledge. Yesterday someone asked me if I am certified, and I am, but it just made me feel really self-conscious and wonder if getting hired was a fluke.
    Revel: yesterday in training I leaned how to do quite a few things I should have learned at some point last year

    • Emmaleigh504

      I hear you about comparing yourself to others. I try to remember that people’s situations are always changing. And sometimes things aren’t as great as they seem. I have a pal who was in a seemingly wonderful relatioship, good job, and they were looking into buying a house. It turns out her boyfriend is an alcoholic and was not so nice. My friend just put on a good show, by talking about buying a house etc. She did get out of that relationship, but it still took her a long time to tell the truth about it. Not that she needed to, she wanted to.

      • This.
        It always helps me to remember that people’s lives are never quite what they seem from the outside (and how well curated they may appear on Facebook). We all struggle with things, no matter what external milestones we may appear to have crossed. When I have felt that way in the past, it has helped me to look internally, rather than compare myself to others. What am I missing in my life that makes me jealous or sad (rather than celebratory) of where my friends are in their lives? That kind of internal assessment has helped guide me towards making changes that in the end make *me* happier.
        And please be gentle with yourself: we are all just doing the best we can.

        • +1 to this and what Emily said.

        • Truth.

        • +1 to this and to Emily’s post. For example, out of all the local weddings I’ve attended over the past few years, all of the marriages currently in a state of separation or divorce. Not many people even know that there’s anything wrong, and I’ve in fact heard mutual friends saying things like “I just want a relationship like X and Y’s!” while in reality X and Y haven’t lived together for half a year and have cheated on each other and blah blah blah. It’s not always as perfect as it seems…is what I’m trying to say.

      • Absolutely this. I’m always amazed that people think my life is wonderful and compare themselves to me when, if I was a comparing person, I’d want to be them. But all they see is that I have a good job and a nice condo – they don’t see all the personal/health upheaval I have or the fact that I think my “great” job is soul crushing. You really never know what is going on in someone else’s world.

    • I also struggle with comparing myself to others. I know rationally that things may not be as great as they may seem, but when you feel crappy about yourself, it’s too easy to fall into that trap. Staying away from Facebook and social media helps.

    • That One Guy

      In the end you only have to reckon yourself against the person looking back at you in the mirror.

  • Rave: FINALLY get the keys to my new apartment in NoMa after work this evening. So excited! I’ve been commuting from Baltimore since May when I started my new job. So glad this is the last day I have to take the MARC to and from work! 🙂

    • Hooray! Congrats on the new apartment!

    • Oh, that is rough. I had a Baltimore to Silver Spring commute via MARC when I first moved back to DC and it was miserable. Congratulations on the new place and the much more pleasant commute!

    • Oh man, that must be a huge relief! One of my coworkers was commuting from Baltimore to where we work for her first three months. She said it was a 2 1/2 hour commute each way, I would’ve gone crazy. Enjoy the extra sleep and decreased stress!

      • Thanks all! Yeah, on a good day each way it’s been about 1 1/2 hours from my apartment, to the train station, to Union Station, so I’m not factoring in time on the Metro once I get to D.C. I’m SO ready to have it behind me.

        • Accountering

          One of my moms good friends was driving from Massanutten (the ski resort) to Alexandria for work… 5 days a week. 5 hours of driving a day, combined with a full time job.
          She moved to an apartment in Alexandria, and literally called my mom the second week to ask her what she was supposed to do with all of her free time. She had literally lost the ability to come up with ways to occupy herself that didn’t involve being in the car or at work. Congrats on the move!

          • Thanks! Haha, although it hasn’t been quite five hours each day, I’m definitely a little dumb-founded as to what I’m going to do now when I manage to get home within 15 minutes. Not a bad problem to have though, considering the alternative!

  • Rave: Wife came home with a box of bean pasta last night after I mentioned that pasta with marinara sounded good. Quite tasty and actually had a decent amount of protein in it.
    Rave: Tons of tomatoes from the garden. Thinking of making a tomato pie this weekend… or maybe more marinara sauce.
    Rave: Also trying to decide what to do with a huge box of blueberries.

    • Emmaleigh504

      blueberry butter! the blog Food in Jars has a great recipe. That blog will give you all sorts of ideas!

    • Emmaleigh504

      or if you aren’t into canning, pour some cream over them and enjoy!

      • I’m definitely into canning. My pantry is currently lined with jars of homemade pickles from homegrown cucumbers to last me through the winter. I need to make this blueberry butter. It sounds amazing.

  • Rave: a whole bunch of old school dance friends from home are staying at an AirBnB in my neighborhood this weekend (not Accountering’s, I asked) on their way to the Outter Banks. They have good taste in coffee and dropped by my Friday work from home spot.
    Rant: I really thought I brought an important piece of work with my notes scrawled all over it, but apparently I left it on my desk and there’s like no one there today who can scan it and email it to me.
    Rave: It’s Friday, it’s beautiful out, Seth Walker was awesome at Hill Country last night, and I have awesome girls night plans tonight.

  • Revel: Appraisal today, and my recent comps are awesome. 2 more weeks!
    Rave: Hitting restaurant week twice next week.
    Rant: Friend still having housing woes. I blame her kids. No reason she should be in this mess.

    • We’ve had good comps lately too (thanks fka Shawess for one!) The appraiser should come through in the next week ten days. WOOHOO no more ($700+/month from closing six days before the FHA dropped their rates) PMI!

      • I sacrificed a much lower payment for the cash out option, but it still went down, and no pmi. That gives me the opportunity to move on to place #2 without need for a partner. 🙂

      • andie302, are you sure you don’t want to wait a few more weeks for another good sets of comps? 🙂

  • Rave: Fun night out with friends last night
    Rave: Today is my one year job-averrsary!
    Rave: Going out with a friend to SEI tonight. I love that place and haven’t been in a while.
    Rave: No plans tomorrow night means I get to conquer Laundry Mountain
    Rave/Rant: Joined my firm’s fitness/eating well challenge that starts next week — hoping that I do well, but have to be mindful of what I eat and also need to exercise. (But I’ll still have fun at the Happy Hour and when I am in NYC next weekend). I probably have to stop eating all the nachos for a while. Which is a good thing. Probably.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: waiting for phone calls. Dude, you know the rules, I can’t start until I talk to you.

    • I Dont Get It

      Rave: I was early for my shuttle from Farragut Park and instead of burying my nose in my phone I wandered around enjoying the flowers and the weather. Great way to start the day!

      Rant: More auditors moved in on the other side of the fishbowl. Damn are they noisy and seem technically challenged; for instance around 8:30 am they practiced making and answering phone calls. They had the same phone system in the other building so I’m not sure what the issue is.

      Rant: When I got home yesterday Lucy was barking and appeared to be “stuck” halfway down the stairs. She had the same problem this morning; she made it up to almost the top and then started barking for assistance. I was in the shower so it wasn’t a pretty picture when I rescued her.

      Question: Has anyone seen in DC Heavy Seas Beer’s “Fielder’s Choice” lager, the commemorative brew with Cal Ripken-themed packaging? It’s in commemoration of Ripken’s record-breaking 2,131st consecutive game played on Sept. 6, 1995 and my nephew asked me to send him some.

      • skj84

        I actually just had some yesterday! I bought a single tallboy at Bradley Food and Beverage in Bethesda. Dunno if they had it by the pack. Also MoCo pricing. But worth giving them a call.

      • awww the Lucy stories make me sad, but happy to know she’s got such a loving owner!

        • I Dont Get It

          Thanks, in general she is very content; she sleeps almost all day and night which has also been her favorite activity!
          Mtpresident had urged me several weeks ago to get carpet tiles for the stairs to help the dogs get more traction. I did that and installed them but they lasted for about 4 days before coming up due to someone having a heavy foot—not the dogs or me. I bought a new staple gun that can hold longer staples so that is on my list of things to do this weekend.

          • Speaking of a certain heavy-footed someone… any chance you can get the tenant’s mom to take him? Maybe set a deadline like “You have X days to collect tenant and his stuff. On Xth day I will be changing the locks”?

          • Glad to hear the carpet tiles help! Bummer that they haven’t stayed put… Hope tenant’s mom can take him in soon.

      • saf

        Yes – Harris Teeter has it. At least, the one by the ballpark does.

  • Rant: (encounter on 13th and Lamont this AM)

    Me: “Can you grab your dogs leash?”

    Woman casually strolling with dog following several feet behind adorably carrying his leash in his mouth not in the hands of his owner: “Are you going to pass us?”

    The point isn’t whether or not I was going to pass you (which I was, as I was doing a brisk walk vs your stroll). The point also wasn’t that your dog is very well-behaved and you had no need for concern for his ability to stay near you (albeit several feet behind you). The POINT is that you are required to leash (and hold that leash) your dog when out and about unless in areas marked otherwise which the sidewalk of 13th and Lamont to my understanding is not one of those areas out of respect for all the other unknowns you will encounter like other people and in my case pets. My dog is not as well behaved as yours and gets very excited when encountering other dogs and my ability to control him especially while wearing my 9 month old daughter is sometimes challenging. By holding your dogs leash you enable us both to control our dogs and walk away from the situation if needed. And who knows how that group of three little girls you passed shortly after were going to react to your dog? Do you know them personally and can attest to their comfort level around large dogs? I’m guessing no you don’t as you didn’t greet them.

    I’d like to think that our encounter this morning would get you to rethink your actions but given that at no point during our reaction or for the several blocks following when we were on the same route (though different sides of the street) you still never bothered to hold your dogs leash. And to be clear I admire how well-behaved your dog is and wish my dog was nearly that well-behaved, we are working on it but he isn’t there yet, but what can I say, I’m a new mom and suddenly a curmudgeon for rule

    Rave: Vacation…

    • Agreed. Why do people insist on having their dogs off leash in public streets? Same thing happened near 14th and Euclid. Walking my dog on leash and I feel her jerk on the leash then see two dogs off leash come running towards us. They were friendly but OMG I was so close to having a heart attack.

    • I do not understand those people. Even if you discount the threat posed by some other dogs, are they not concerned that their dog might run out into the street and get hit? I would be way to nervous too walk a dog off-leash in the city.

    • I wish they’d had those “caution” leashes when I was dog sitting. I once ended up holding the dog so she wouldn’t lunge at his dog. His comment “You look really silly right now.” I was speechless.

    • I was walking my (very friendly) pit and my boyfriend was walking our (very unfriendly but luckily fat and hard of hearing) English bulldog on Holmead next to the Giant a few weeks ago A couple walking towards us had their dog off leash, and were so far behind I wasn’t even sure the dog belonged to them. I called out “Is that your dog?” and they said yes but didn’t make a move to get closer to their dog. I said “okay, well our dog isn’t friendly” and their response was “oh, she’ll jump out of the way if something happens.”
      WHAT THE ACTUAL F. I was too stunned to say anything else. luckily I haven’t seen them since, but if porkchop ever takes a bite out of their dogs leg they will only have themselves to blame.

  • justinbc

    Rave: Back to 100% occupancy, and got a couple units pre-approved for veterans by DCHA, so that they get insta-filled next time they’re vacant.
    Rant: When installing the skylight in the bathroom remodel we found out the joists are not aligned between the roof and the ceiling, so they’ve got to cut one and build a new box to frame it.
    Rave: Contractor is giving me the alteration at cost to build good relationship for when it’s kitchen remodel time.

    • I’d love to learn more that veteran situation. I’m looking into a similar set up as you have in ivy city.

    • Our contractor found out the joists for our two skylights (one bathroom, one hallway) didn’t align, so he just installed them where the joists are. He never called to ask, and they are in random spots. I’m glad you’re not dealing with the same outcome! (We’re leaving one because of lack of options, and having them move one to a more logical location along the same joist without having to cut another hole in the roof.)

      • justinbc

        Yeah fortunately I’ve been able to telework through the entire process so I’m here every time they have a question. I guess that’s another rave for job flexibility.

        • Accountering

          They just refuse to ask us questions. Couldn’t fine the nice Kohler Shower fixture we ordered and had sitting in the basement? Just purchase the crappiest Glacier Bay one from Lowes and install that. Then we find it that evening and have them fix it. Just a comedy of errors with these fools.
          The most recent one is they didn’t run gas to the downstairs range, and to re-do it at this point would mean essentially starting from scratch with the whole kitchen. So as a result I get to spend my Friday night getting the range out of my basement, into the Element, out to Lowes, return, and repurchase a new electric one. All because he couldn’t be bothered to check if we wanted gas down there (the other range upstairs I made VERY clear we wanted gas, so the default should have been gas)

          I CANNOT wait to hold these guys to the late penalty that we put in our contract. We get to till our contractor on the final day of the project that per our contract, we are withholding ~$7,000, and I am quite excited for it. He seems to think that based on all the difficulties he has had and stuff he has had to re-do, that “we’re square.”
          We are not “square” friend…

          • justinbc

            Wow, that is terrible, wtf. I can’t recommend these guys highly enough, Creative Concepts Design Center, if you’re in the market for some more work down the road. They’re currently remodeling the Saudi Princess’ home out in Great Falls, if that gives you any indication of the work quality (prices are 1/2 to 1/3 that of big companies like Case though).

          • HaileUnlikely

            Justin – What would you guesstimate is the low end, dollar-wise, for a project that they would be willing to bother with? My wife and I will probably be redoing our kitchen in a year or two; not high-end, though.

          • HOLY.FREAKING.CRAP. That sounds like a TV show: Renovation Nightmare.

          • Accountering

            Oh, it would be a good 60 minute show. It’s not as bad as some other examples where the contractor just walks off the job and such (as the payments were structured such that he was forced to finish… Even now when the basement is 90% and the upstair 99%, he is still owed probably 25% of the total contract value)

          • justinbc

            Haile, I’m sure they would consider just about anything honestly, they’ve got a pretty solid crew and operation. Just ask for Yahaira and tell them I referred you and they’ll definitely at least come out and take a look. She’s got a great design eye. I like to think I’m pretty creative in the architectural arena but she thinks of stuff I’ve never even considered (which is why she gets paid for it and I don’t lol).

          • justinbc

            @Accountering did you structure it that way because you expected the guy to be shitty, or you were just being extra precautious?

          • HaileUnlikely

            Justin – awesome, thanks!

          • Accountering

            The 203K is structured like that in general thankfully enough. There are progress payments based on work completed, and then of that (say they are 30% done) there is a 10% hold back that is paid with the final payment. It has worked out really well.
            The only part that we controlled was all of the fixtures and such that we purchased ourselves (EVERYTHING that we had a choice on, cabinets, appliances, flooring, tile etc) the total allowances for that was $42,000. That was all built into the contract, so we were able to hold effectively payment #3 and payment #4 to cover all of that. Essentially it is the 10% hold back, and the fact we got paid back for our allowances very early on that led to the payments being as they are.

          • That’s the way it works with my bathroom contractor and I definitely prefer it. 1/3 was due when the work started, 1/3 when the new walls were closed in, and final 1/3 when they complete it.

          • Accountering

            That makes sense. A good contractor should not balk at a payment schedule like this.
            If I were to ever do any work with this contractor again, I would insist on him putting down a $500,000 bond on his performance. The late fee would be $5,000/day, and I would pay him in full (and return his bond) upon the completion of the work.

          • Even with this deal you’ll be on your own with him on that hypothetical future project 🙂 BOOM

  • Rave: After 7 phone calls to Comcast and 2 hours of the tech trying to get my internet installed, I finally have internet.
    Rant: Office issues continue from before I left. They changed what I’m working on, and now I’m kind of out-of-the-loop. My response? I applied to a new job yesterday. We’ll see what happens.

  • Rave: Movie and nails night with some girl friends last night. We all tried doing some fancy design stuff and watched How to Train Your Dragon. Just a really nice feel-good night, needed that. 🙂
    Rant: While fun, nail polish can also be so frustrating. Smudges so easily, then chips so quickly, etc. etc. Oh well!
    Rave: Appointment with a new therapist today, we’ll see how that goes. A friend recommended her to me and said she’s pretty good (takes my health insurance and she’s near enough I can pop over during lunch break, whew) so I’m hopeful.
    Jealous: My sister just moved to Texas to start a PhD program. She’s living alone in a 2 BR house with a nice backyard, paying $700/month, and just got a kitten. Sigh. I want a cat… Current life goal is just to find a new job that makes enough to rent a studio so I don’t have to deal with allergic roommates and can adopt a cat! (I have very lofty life goals, I know.)

    • Accountering

      Buttttt she has to live in Texas, so there’s that.

    • cats are the best roommates, as much as everyone loves to be a cat hater, it’s nice to have a cat to greet you after the day. That is a great goal! And I hear you on the nail polish, whenever I paint my nails it looks like I asked my 8 year old niece to do it. I can’t believe you accomplished design work!

      • I always get a little sad when I see on okcupid profiles that guys say they don’t like cats/are allergic. There are quite a lot of them. I grew up with cats so I’ve always loved them.
        Hah, they don’t look great close up but they’re funky from a distance! Pinterest makes fancy nail designs look so easy.

        • “allergic to” or “doesn’t like” animals is an immediate deal breaker for me. I mean, hey, I’m sad for you if you are allergic, that would suck. But I’m not giving up my animals for you. And I’ve said this before, but I don’t trust people who don’t like animals. I can understand not wanting to have the responsibility of a pet, or if you’re just kind of oblivious when it comes to animals and you’re not invested in whether the pandas have more cubs. That’s ok. But when someone espouses a dislike of animals, nope. Neeeexxt!

          • +1. I grew up with cats, dogs, anything my mother rescued (birds, rabbits, deer, sheep, seriously). My husband had never had a cat before me. he was a little allergic when we got our first cat. I just gave him some allergy meds and told him I hope he gets used to it. 5 years later and two cats he’s fine.

        • Pinterest makes everything look easy, LIES!

  • Rave: Weekend, finally. So looking forward to some downtime.
    Rant: Clueless, entitled lady on the Metro last night. Yes, it is tough to not be in the way when you have a giant suitcase on public transit during rush hour. But how do you not feel hopelessly rude when sitting diagonally over two seats when there are people standing all around you?
    Rave: Called into a last minute meeting that sounded like it was going to be a finger-pointing session actually turn out to give me credit for tasks that usually go unnoticed and be pretty productive. I’ll take it.

    • skj84

      Ugh on your rant. I’ve traveled with massive luggage on metro before. Sit on the outside seat and keep your suitcase to the side of the bench.

      • Blithe

        It would be nice, too, if other people would try to accommodate the people with luggage, etc a bit. I’ve often tried to maneuver so that I can get one of the seats by the doors with extra space — that way my guitar case and I only take up one seat. When someone else snags it, even my sitting in an aisle seat is likely to inconvenience people. Somehow though, I don’t mind the people with luggage, or strollers, or bikes, or shopping carts nearly as much as I do those oblivious folks with lethal backpacks who whack people with every turn.

        • Emmaleigh504

          Those f*cking backpacks with nasty, dirty hiking books hanging off them are the worst! And the wearers never even pretend to not hit people with them. They fill me with rage. #goingpostal

          • Or — bringing together today’s RRRR and the thread about removing one’s shoes (or not) at home — the people who have backpacks WITH DIRTY SHOES CLIPPED TO THEM and hit other people with their dirty shoes!!

  • rant: someone egged my car! on wednesday evening i parked on Columbia between 14th and 15th. when i got to my car this morning there were three eggs cracked on the front windshield, the back windshield and over the drivers door. so i got to spend all morning taking care of getting that cleaned off and was late to work.
    rave: in the process of getting the yolk cleaned off, i went to a car wash on the way to work. they cleaned the inside and outside of my car AND found housekeys (including with an expensive to replace key fob) that i thought i had lost ages ago. so that was exciting and maybe even worth the hassle of going to the car wash.

  • I saw the most spectacular meteor last night.

  • Rave: spending time with my all my new friends I’ve meet through Meetup this week. I honestly think I’ve made lifelong friends. We talk like we’ve known each other forever.
    Rant: low match cancelled on our plan to hangout as friends last weekend and has not offered to make it up. not sure if at this point i should follow up and see if he’s free to hangout this weekend. oh well.
    Rave: i got a date next week and working on scheduling another one. guess i’m really back out there. made sure nothing conflicts with the unofficial HH. I finally get to meet some of you IRL. Might be more excited to meet you PoP than my dates tbh.
    Rave: weather. splendid. absolutely marvelous.

  • Rant: I forgot to have someone water my plants while I was on vacation and all of my vegetables died. I cut all of the dead stuff away and threw it in the trash.

    rave: my rosemary lived. hearty little thing

    Rave: The next morning, my two basil plants were spouting new life. YAY! I may have lost all of my veggies, but at least I’ll have basil and rosemary!

  • Rant: date blew me off last night because he forgot about his regularly scheduled class last night
    Revel: I was in too shitty of a mood to go out last night anyway
    Rant: no plans this weekend so I guess I’ll finally lesson plan and put together my dresser

    • SMH. How does a person forget they have a regularly scheduled class and plan a date at the same time? Hope he at least gave you notice way ahead of time so you weren’t already ready to go out when he cancelled.

      • Of course not but didn’t make concrete plans either. So I texted to see what was up and just didn’t get a reply until hours later. At least I never had to leave my couch except to get froyo.

    • ^ This is why I always text the day before or morning of.

  • Egad

    RANT: All of the illegal drug use and sales that goes on at the Columbia Heights Metro Station. There are big brown signs there with the Metro’s street address on them and people stand behind them to make drug deals/do drugs. You can see them from the side, otherwise from the front they are hidden in plain site. It’s like their own little metro accessible office. I really wish there was some sort of “Occupy” group that would set up camp on drug corners where the dealers/users congregate and let them know that the community is aware of their activities and that it is not acceptable. At times I feel that something really horrific is going to have to happen at that corner before things improve. I have lived in the neighborhood (which I love dearly…there is so much more to the neighborhood than the area around the metro…) for along time now and I have seen a lot of changes take place but it makes me sad when there is so much destructive behavior happening right in front of everybody and we are expected to just turn our heads and accept it as the norm.

    • +1. I hate the feeling of seeing it and not being able to do anything (the cops clearly know this happens too so calling doesn’t help), I don’t want CH down with that behavior.

      • Keep calling so there’s a record of it. And if you live in the area, you might want to start contacting the commander for 3D (Jacob Kishter) directly — he seems to be responsive and unconcerned, unlike some of the 3D rank-and-file.

  • PoP, did anyone ever send you the code for the annoying video ad that keeps scrolling the site up to the top? It’s back today and it’s driving me nuts.

  • anonymouse_dianne

    Question: Anyone using an induction cooktop? I hate my electric range because I worry the cats will get on it while it is still warm – so I have to put them in the bedroom when I use it. Hence I am doing a lot of microwaving. I saw a reference to induction cooktop on Sietsma’s chat and looked it up and it sounds like I would love it and it is quite affordable. Most of my cookware is cast iron or steel anyway. Thoughts?

    • I’m interested to hear people’s responses. It sounded amazing to me, and a chef friend was excited to hear that I might incorporate it in my last place. My current place has gas, so I just went with that. For me, I already love my cookware and didn’t want to have to switch it (plus that added cost to what it would be compared to electric).

    • All I know about induction cooktops is that if you have a pacemaker or other implantable device you cannot use it or be too close to it. I believe it has something to do with the magnetic field it uses / creates….

    • My parents had one installed in their kitchen and love it. The few times I’ve had a chance to use it, it was amazing to see how quickly a pot of water boiled. If my house didn’t have gas, I would probably have switched to an induction one already.

      • anonymouse_dianne

        My electric range really can’t boil a pot of water for pasta. I would set the induction on top of the range. And I am not so old to have a pacemaker 🙂

        • Not everyone who has a pacemaker is old, my friend – I’ve had one since I was 22 🙂

          • anonymouse_dianne

            The smiley face 😉 denotes sarcasm. I am pretty old.

          • oh! My smiley did not denote sarcasm! I hope I didn’t come across that way! I was simply making the point that age doesn’t always matter when it comes to medical devices! Since I’ve never met you IRL (I don’t think!), I did not know what age you are. (and p.s., some days I feel verrrrry old)

  • Rave: Friday! Weekend is almost here! No big plans, just lots of hanging out, some yoga, some work, some cooking, maybe a long luxurious bath, who knows!
    Rant: Asshat teen on a bike who thought it would be funny to play chicken and speed right towards me yesterday, swerving only at the very last second. I hope someone sticks a pole through your spokes and sends you flying over your handlebars into traffic.
    Rave: Very busy, so the day is flying by
    Rant: Very busy – yikes!

  • Rave: Saw Arena’s Dear Evan Hansen this week, highly recommend! Now I need to rent Pitch Perfect since the lead is in it.
    Rant: the guilt of having too many after work plans and leaving my newly solo cat alone for long days. I can’t tell if she misses the old cat or is just being her needy self. I will take another one in soon, I just need a little more time. But I’ll put the word out there, in case anyone knows of a cat who is already declawed that needs a home please let me know. Looking at petfinder makes me sad.

  • That One Guy

    Rant: Sitting at my desk too long. Leg and butt fell asleep.

  • Blithe

    Rave: My faith in humanity is — at least temporarily — restored! I was standing in line at the FH Whole Foods — which has three lines and a sign with three colored squares (one for each line) which post the number of the register that a customer should go to when they get their turn. During the lunch rush, someone from another line sprinted in front of me out of turn. I shook my head, and planned to let it go. Two nearby customers indicated their polite willingness to raise a ruckus, and the customer who sprinted returned back in line after speaking with the cashier. The customer apologized to me. The cashier said that she had sent the customer back. The customer actually apologized a second time when she ended up at a register across from me. Very very cool when people go out of their way to make an effort to do the right thing.
    Rave: Meeting up with friends for live jazz and maybe dinner. A very nice start to my weekend.
    Rave: I miss working in schools. Time to get more serious as I research alternate career options.
    Rave: Still a few more weeks to rock summer dresses. Wondering how long I can get away with wearing maxi dresses and flipflops.

    • I Dont Get It

      I’ve used those queue lanes at the Whole Foods at GW and they are a cluster. I think there are five lanes there and someone always screw it up—not on purpose– it’s just confusing and a bit stressful!

    • I Dont Get It

      Oh and I’m glad your faith in humanity is — at least temporarily — restored!

    • Good on the cashier for sending the person back! That happens to me frequently at that location but I’ve never heard of a cashier doing that before. Usually the next person in line offers to let me go ahead of them to make up for it.

  • phl2dc


    At long, long last. Well, in an hour and fifteen minutes, I guess…

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