Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user Pablo Raw

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.

260 Comment

  • Rave: Appraisal report should be done today.
    Rave: Closing is so close I can taste it.
    Rave: Talking to a very fetching lady who moves here next month. Not sure where it’ll go, but I’m game to find out.
    Rave: Applying for promotion & pm recommended me.
    Pretty good week, I’d say.

    • Word of advice- When people move to new cities- they are rarely ever trying to get serious with anyone quickly and will probably be to busy trying to adjust to the city- and enjoying all of the perks of being a new face in a new city. So if anything please try to be a friend first- vs a person on interest. Or be prepared when to be put on the back burner.

      • I guess fetching had a deeper meaning than I realized because we went from I like talking to a woman to wanting to get serious quickly. Um no!
        Fyi, my statement was based on her desire to move abroad permanently somewhere I’d never live.

    • fetching! πŸ™‚ I like it..

    • I’m glad this week is going so much better for you than last week!

  • I know no one loves parking enforcement but this is extra absurd — my kid is attending day camp at the YMCA on 17th and Rhode Island. It’s one of the few reliable, affordable options for child care for school age kids in the summer. Parking is always a bitch around there, but they used to have a couple of 15 minute spots in front of the building that you could use to drop you kid off. A couple weeks ago, the city took them away, with no explanation, and now the only option is a garage that costs $10 or parking a million miles away — not exactly ideal when you’re trying to get to work.

    THEN, yesterday MPD made the YMCA staff remove a little tent they had set up near their doors to provide shade during registration. Said they needed a permit (one they’ve never needed before, for years and years.)

    It’s this kind of low-level harassment of people just trying to live here that makes life in the city hard sometimes. It’s death by a thousand papercuts. God help me for saying this, because I do think quality of life issues matter, but aren’t there some ACTUAL CRIMES to solve somewhere that are more important than tent infringement and making parking even more miserable?

  • I’m going to avoid rants today because there have been a lot of awful stories on this site and others- that’s enough of a rant.
    Rave: tried one of those painting and wine events (ArtJamz) where they give you a canvas and let you paint with water-based acrylic paints. It was a really good time- definitely recommend! I am going to make a small investment in paints and some canvas in order to make a few things for relatives. Does anyone know how to properly clean acrylic paint brushes after you have used them? I have heard that you run the risk of clogging your drains if you try to run the paint down the drain. I wouldn’t do that, but I’m afraid that the residue on the brushes might be enough to cause a clog…
    Interesting: retiring colleague suggested that maybe with my skills (Masters degree), I should consider moving beyond my current position. I’m a well-compensated person (money is not an issue, thankfully!), who likes having a 10 minute bike commute, but maybe I do need to get more serious about aiming higher. I’ve been applying to others jobs, but these things take time. Hmm….

  • I Dont Get It

    Rave: Logan is SAFE!!! After briefing Wiccan Dog Sitter on some recent nearby crimes, WDS made Black Salt (4 years old sage ashes mixed with kosher salt) which absorbs negativity and keeps away evil forces. At around 11:00 pm he left the house to sprinkle it around Logan.
    Rant: He said it only works for a week.
    Rant: Unfortunately this means the miscreants are driven into nearby neighborhoods. Sorry, Black Magic has its unintended consequences.
    Rave: Very impressed with the health services tenant has been receiving at Whitman-Walker. I think he is covered under some Medicaid program and he’s been receiving psychiatric care, individual, a physical and group therapy and dental services. Having said that, he has β€œArt Therapy” today which sounds a little bogus.

  • rant: bought a new home. which is fine, but the top floor is horribly hot and humid. the previous owners used something called ‘nest’ and i guess that’s all fine and dandy, except the first 2 floors are the coolest and well…the floor with my bedroom is not. it’s very miserable. I dont know anything about how Nest works, but can you install it in different parts of the home?

    • Our hot top floor got a LOT better when we insulated the attic crawlspace.

      • HaileUnlikely

        Ditto this. If you are able to access your attic, take a look at how much insulation there is. If it is not at least a foot thick, you’d probably benefit from more. (You’d probably benefit from more no matter what, but if you only have a couple inches of insulation, then you definitely need more.)

        • Good reminder — I’ve been meaning to add insulation to my attic and now would be a great time to make this happen!
          Any recommendations for companies that do insulation?

          • HaileUnlikely

            I did mine through the DC Sustainable Energy Utility program, which allows the homeowner to get a rebate of 50% up to $800 for insulation and an additional 50% up to $800 for air sealing work. To do that, you have to work with an approved contractor, and their list of approved contractors only has about 7 or 8. I went with Edge Energy, and am reasonably satisfied with them. Just for the heck of it, I solicited some estimates from contractors who do not participate in the DC SEU program, and their estimates were a whole lot lower, to the degree that at the end of the day going through the DC SEU program vs. not probably didn’t save me much of any actual money. Edge seemed more professional and knowledgeable than the others I spoke with, though, so I went with Edge anyway. So, basically, what the rebate did was offset the premium associated with going with a contractor that I otherwise would have wanted to go with but wouldn’t have due to cost. (Note: work must be completed by Sept 30 to be eligible for the rebate. Hopefully DC will offer the rebate program next fiscal year too, but no guarantee on that)

          • Thanks for this – I’d forgotten about DC SEU program. I had an energy audit done a few years back and I just re-read it to see what insulation recommendations were (add more!)

    • I think you have two different issues. The nest is the thermostat. They are connected to wifi, can be controlled remotely, and are supposed to have some great features. I haven’t used the one we installed a couple months ago enough to give an endorsement yet – but I’m optimistic.

      The upper floors being hot may have to do with 1) the location the temperature sensor 2) your level of insulation or 3) possibly inadequate configuration/capacity of your AC.

      You could call for a service appointment and get someone to check it out and make recommendations for you. On the Hill everyone always recommends Clyde McGowan. I don’t have his number handy, but I imagine you can google it. I haven’t used him personally. Good luck!

    • we close vents downstairs to try to drive more up to our bedroom which is the hottest room in our house. Nest is a thermostat to help with energy savings, it can go wherever you have a thermostat. I’m sure someone here far more handy can tell you about installing one.

      • HaileUnlikely

        Ditto this. My ducts are configured as a “central stack” – one duct runs straight up from the blower in the basement and branches off to feed ceiling registers in the basement and floor registers on the first floor directly above them, and also continues straight up to feed floor registers on the second floor. It is an astronomically dumb design, but reconfiguring the ducts is extraordinarily expensive and would require ripping up walls and floors, so for now, I live with it and do the same thing as shadesofpale describes. When my HVAC craps out and needs to be replaced, I am strongly considering a ductless mini-split system.

        • I do this too, but my HVAC guy told me this was a bad idea as it puts strain on the system. It doesn’t really make sense to me. I did spend a lot, when replacing the furnace, to reconfigure some ducts which supposedly have dampers inside to shut off and force the air further up, but this has had no real effect. 3rd floor is always hotter. I’m definitely going for split system when it needs replacing.

          Meanwhile, you can often buy a portable AC unit on Craigslist. You have to insulate the exhaust pipe and the whole window area around the exhaust, but it’s good when you have people up there and you don’t want to freeze down below.

          • HaileUnlikely

            Yeah, mine told me the same. I suspect that the end result in terms of temperature in the house is similar using dampers vs. closing registers, but that using the dampers allows the air to flow more smoothly and efficiently vs. having long runs of duct terminating nowhere and thus providing more resistance to flow, and thus is ostensibly better for the system to close dampers if you have them than to close registers.

        • I had the same problem, but they installed the blower in the 2nd floor laundry room, so in winter the upstairs got ungodly hot because the heat never settled downstairs. Just dumb. Closing the vents in the rooms you don’t want the air in (upstairs in winter, down in summer), helped a bit.

    • A Nest is a just a thermostat you can adjust from your phone and that knows when you’re home or away. You can indeed have multiple Nests, just as you can have multiple thermostats.
      You should really download the Nest app and connect your Nest to it. It’s easier to set a schedule from there and you can adjust settings remotely. Otherwise, press the face of the Nest to access the settings and see what away temperature settings are. If it’s getting too hot during the day, then coming on when you enter it’s going to be more challenging to cool the top floor. It’ll cost you more, but you might consider lower the max away temp. There’s also a minimum away temp for the winter.

    • Ally

      We have the same issue in our town home but have found a few things that have helped immensely: Thermal drapes for the upstairs windows; leaving off lights upstairs when possible; shutting some of the vents downstairs to force more air upstairs.

  • Rant: Morning sickness. The struggle is real.
    Rave: Suddenly v. busy at work. At least it makes the days go quickly.
    Rave: I cleared my schedule this week. Having extra time to sleep and chill on the couch makes me very happy.
    Rant: Definitely not motivated to work out lately. Trying to balance the need for rest with the need to stay active and physically fit.

    • Ally

      Hopefully the morning sickness will subside soon. I didn’t get it often, but when it did, I’d have to run out of restaurants.

    • How far along are you? I’m 7.5 weeks and have only felt sick a few random times. It makes me worry.

      • Don’t worry. That’s how I was with my first – only queasy a handful of times in the first trimester. With my second, though, I was sick the entire first 14 weeks, though things really kicked into gear around week 8-9. Both babies ended up being girls, incidentally! πŸ™‚

        • Thanks for the response! I’m a first time mom and went through IVF so everything has me really freaked out.

      • Anon, I’m 8 weeks tomorrow, so we’re pretty much on the same schedule. And please try not to worry. From all of my friends and family members who have had kids, it really does seem that every pregnancy is different. I have had some weeks where I haven’t felt sick at all and other days where I feel like I’m recovering from a really awful hangover. It comes and goes.

  • Rant: Is it allergy season again already? I can’t seem to stop sneezing, head and nose all stuffy, watery eyes, what give?! I thought we had a least a few more weeks until we moved into fall allergy / ragweed time πŸ™
    Rave: Had a great, really relaxing yoga class yesterday and was able to go to sleep at a better time and felt like I got some quality sleep. Sleep helps a lot!
    Rant: Feeling overwhelmed by work, by life, by all the horrible things that seem to go on. Trying to keep making the choice to see / find the bright side of life.
    Rave: Looking forward to seeing folks tomorrow at the unofficial HH! Trying to come up with my “red”….

    • sleep helps so much! As someone who doesn’t get it often, when I do get quality sleep I finally understand why everyone wants to nap and sleep so much – it feels glorious. I’m having issues with the red as well…

    • hmm… my cat also has gotten a mysterious case of the sneezes. Maybe you guys have the same august allergies

    • Blithe

      I’ve had some mild allergy symptoms the past few days as well. I’m pretty bummed since I’m just getting over a cold that came with a hacking cough, and, after about 5 years, finally resigning myself to the fact that I really do have spring allergies. I’ve yet to try the neti pot…..

      • I tried my Netipot again last week (took a few weeks off because I mixed up a WAAAAY too salty solution last time and burned the sh*% out of my nostrils!), and it’s like I couldn’t get it all back out. Only when I was doing a down dog in yoga class did the last of it leave my sinuses – whoosh! that was embarrassing! and painful!

        • Emmaleigh504

          I only neti pot in the evening when I have no intentions of leaving the apartment b/c of the latent drainage.

  • Rant – three guys in the alley this morning, casing cars. At 645, looking into the windows, going into open garages and parking areas. I yelled good morning so that they knew we were out watching. They suck. I called the police. Watch out, Mt P.
    Rave? -they didn’t actually take anything when I was watching.

  • Ally

    Rave/Rant: Newborn: No sleep for anyone in the household. Still recovering from emergency c-section and near death experience for us both. Cute beyond words, though. Can’t wait to introduce little Henry to PopVille πŸ™‚
    Rave: Stevie Wonder playing a free concert in Hill East. I didn’t get to go, but it’s great that he came!

    • Aw! Congrats, and glad to hear you and baby are ok! Henry is the name of my best friend’s youngest son, it’s a good name making a steady comeback!

      • Ally

        Thank you! I developed eclampsia and had to induce 5 weeks early. He wasn’t so keen on that and his vitals tanked mid-delivery necessitating the c-section. But, boy, 8 weeks in and after a little time in the NICU, he’s a sturdy little 10-pounder and all is well. Now I just need to win him one of those popville onesies πŸ˜‰

        • Oh gosh, that is exactly what happened to me and my little guy. Now he’s in the 99% for his weight/height, I have no idea what happened! So happy for you both, congratulations!

    • Congratulations, Ally. I hope you see some sleep (and a smooth recovery) some time soon!

    • Congratulations and so happy to hear you and Henry are doing well!

    • Congrats! I hope you’re recovering well!

    • congratulations!

    • Eek! Sounds like a scary experience, but glad everything worked out okay and that you’re both doing well! And congratulations. πŸ™‚

    • That does indeed sound frightening. Glad you are both doing well and wishing you a speedy recovery and hopefully some more sleep soon.

    • Congrats!! Glad to hear you and Henry are doing well. My nephew’s name is Henry, it’s a great name πŸ™‚

  • skj84

    Rave: first day went well. Still looking for a place to rent.

    Rant: soon to be former coworker at the coffee shop engaging in some petty shit. She pulled a stunt yesterday that was jaw dropping. Super entitled micro manager.

  • Rave: Lovely dinner with one of my favorite people last night. I do not get to catch up with them often enough.
    Rave: My dining companion does not have a sweet tooth, so they sent their dessert home with me!
    Rant: Yes, Jerk from Work, I realize we don’t have the best relationship. But if you could answer the freaking question and leave off the snark, that would be much appreciated. Because I have other things to do today besides being lectured for not knowing your department’s procedures.
    Rave: one of the big problems with my new apartment will be fixed today!

  • Ally

    Rave: Finally trying Harold Black tonight, then speakeasy in Eastern Market. Anyone ever been?

  • Rant/rave: My boss is on vacation (which is GREATLY deserved) and I’m acting. So much for a slow August. The good news is that I’m confident in my decision making and I’ll have his support when he returns.
    Rave: Final inspection tomorrow, appraiser coming through for the refinance next week. Holy sweet end in sight!
    Rant: So much sadness is right…yikes
    Rave: Cautiously optimistic (based only on my personality, not anything in the news) that maybe SOMETHING will start happening in the right direction.

  • Rant: I need to sell the coolest lamp in the world before the rampaging foster kittens wreck it. It is a mid-century modern/atomic that I love, but it just didn’t fit anywhere in my house, and the shade it just too tempting to kittens. http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/doc/fuo/5149867085.html

    Revel: Rampaging foster kittens are adorable. And two of my previous batch just got adopted!

  • Rave: My road trip all the way down to New Orleans (with pit stops each way) went really well and I had a great time catching up with friends & family. Trips home are always a whirlwind & too short but I’m glad there were no major snafus.
    Rant: My SO and I are splitting up after 5 years of being together, 4 1/2 of which we have lived together. I have no idea where I want to live and trying to find something affordable, safe, convenient to work, etc. is stressing me out. On top of that I’m generally sad about the relationship (it’s just not going anywhere, but there is a lot of love/respect there) and losing my cat (technically adopted by SO). It’s been an extremely stressful summer (unexpected death in family, ensuing family drama) and starting a brand new chapter will be best for me long-term but I’m also very much ready for some stability in my life.
    Rave: Putting that into words was therapeutic and I need every bit of relief I can get.

    • I am so sorry to hear about your rant! Talk about all the most stressful aspects of life happening at once (moving, splitting up, etc.) I don’t know where you work, but I would strongly recommend a place in Glover Park as affordable and safe. The one drawback is there is no metro (but there are a TON of busses that go downtown, to SE, to Dupont and Chinatown, etc.) Plus people in the neighborhood are really nice.

    • So so sorry to hear this! If you want some crowd-sourced help give us some details about what you’re looking for and we may have good ideas for where to start. And if you’re feeling REALLY adventurous you could come to HH tomorrow! Thinking of you!

    • Oh no. That’s quite a summer. I’m really sorry to hear it. Where in the area do you want to live?

    • Oh no, I’m so sorry about your rant. πŸ™ Best of luck to you – hope you find a great place to live soon. Hang in there, and if there’s anything popville folks can help with let us know.

    • I’ve been where you are right now…its not fun. My advice (unsolicited of course) is just take it one step at a time.

    • Transitions certainly can be some of the most trying times, but you sound like you’re taking things in stride. Hang in there and keep looking at the brighter side especially for the long term. Shameless plug for moving to Columbia Heights/Mt. Pleasant! And when you’re ready for your next furry feline companion, it sounds like a lot of us here foster cats and kittens so we’ll be here for you with four-legged houseguests in tow.

  • Rave: My date last night was really good! He was kind, charming, funny, and he paid for my wine. (And I got a kiss goodnight). I’d see him again, but even if it winds up not happening, I am happy that I had a good, successful first date.

    Rant: When I got home, my sister called me – they are taking my dad off chemo until October because he’s had such side effects and he’s lost even more weight (and is not so interested in food). He couldn’t even get his most recent treatment because of dehydration, and even after all day IV fluids wasn’t feeling much better. His memory sucks now (no brain cancer, thankfully) and he’s sleeping a lot more – I worry that he won’t be going back on chemo at all and I won’t get back to see him until the beginning of October. I told my sister I will change my plane ticket to whenever is necessary, if I need to come back sooner. It’s not like I didn’t know that this was coming. But I don’t want it.

    Rave: I was covering our front desk briefly this morning and I have a view of the office kitchen. In the span of 5 minutes there was a Soul Train dance line, and then 2 separate conga lines down the hallway. All in all, I work in a very fun office and I am grateful for that.

    Rave: Looking forward to HH tomorrow. Hoping it doesn’t rain like they say it’s going to do…

    • Oh SinSa, I am so, so sorry about your father.

    • I’m so sorry to hear about your father, too. I will keep your family in my thoughts.

      • Thank you so much. I wish I had more answers. It would make things a lot easier if they were more straightforward with the rest of the family.

    • I’m so sorry. Chemo is such a double edged sword. It can do amazing things, but it takes so much out of you.

    • Emmaleigh504

      I’m so sorry about your dad.
      on the other hand, I want to work where you work. spontaneous dance parties?!

    • So sorry to hear this

    • Very sorry to hear about your dad, SinSA.

    • phl2dc

      I’m so sorry about the situation with your dad. I’m glad that there are other things in your life that are positive and can put a smile on your face, though!

      • Thanks, everyone.
        I’m trying to compartmentalize the situation, because it’s not like worrying and being sad can magically cure cancer. Distraction is a GOOD thing.

        • Blithe

          I’m sorry to hear about your dad and what he — and your family — are going through. Your last Rave is awesome! I think every office should morning and afternoon recess — and Soul Train and conga dance lines! πŸ™‚

    • Sorry to hear about the setback with your dad’s treatment.
      Glad to hear that the date went well, and I love the image of the dance line and conga lines. Hope to see you at the HH!

      • I’ll definitely be there. I need a beer now. (…too early?)

        • Never too early! There’s always beereal….

          I’m so sorry to hear that the chemo is not going well and I’m keeping your father in my thoughts. I hope that his health will improve off the treatments and that you get to spend some quality time with him. If you can manage a trip earlier, it might be good to try to see him sooner. I hate that as we get older, our time with our loved ones seems to be operating on a finite clock. It seems so crucial to try to maximize what limited time we have. All the hugs to you.

          • …beereal…

            I don’t know that his health will improve off-treatments, it hasn’t as of yet, anyway. He’s still not eating much/losing weight.
            I’d love to visit him sooner than October, and I may do that depending on what my sister says when she goes there — his wife is the one who told everyone to stay away in September (when I’d planned to visit). He and I had a great visit at the end of June, even then, I knew we were starting to turn That Corner That I Don’t Like, but he’s going downhill significantly now.

  • Rant: Our nanny-share nanny is unreliable. She has taken multiple weeks of unpaid leave for non-childcare related studies, and we’ve only employed her for 5 months. She comes back from said weeks of leave, and promptly has a medical appointment that is requiring me to take a half day off of work with no advance notice. She made the appointment weeks ago. She doesn’t understand the inconvenience to us when we need to scramble with our own bosses – this is not the first time she’s done this. I desperately want to fire her. There are other nannies out there, right? How do you find a good one? Why is daycare so hard to get in to?

  • Rave: Finished the WPost Sunday crossword on Monday
    Rave: The Pie Academy and all the savory/sweet pie recipes I want to try
    Rave: Compressed watermelon salad (WPost recipe) for an early lunch
    Rant-ish: The creative “red” I wanted to wear to Wednesday’s HH won’t arrive in time

  • Rave: Great vacation.
    Rant: First day back – so much to catch up on.
    Rave: Second floor is up on the house – now for the roof!
    Befuddlement: People who drive in the I-95 corridor without EZ Pass. Why?
    Rant: Those same people who can’t read the enormous signs denoting EZ Pass Only lanes.

    • I’ve lived in DC for 12 years and have only driven where I’d need a EZ pass something like 4 times. I just don’t see the point in getting one. The few times I need to go on a toll lane, I’ll get in the cash only lane (but I can read the signs, I promise). Plus, I don’t want to have to sort through all the various state rules to get an EZ pass to see which one is the best, especially when I live in DC and can’t get one from DC. Particularly when I’d use it once every 2-3 years. But I bet there are a fair number of people out on the 95 corridor at any given time that aren’t there all that much, so it looks like a lot of people who should have an EZ pass.

    • I don’t get it either! You only get charged when you use it and while I rarely use it I’m always glad I don’t have to stop in the lines when I do.

    • I used to drive up to New York without an EZ pass and finally got one and it was a life-changing experience! Except now I don’t go very often any my account is being drained as we speak. Not sure if this is true but someone here told me that if you get one in Massachusetts they don’t charge that maintenance fee if it’s not used.

  • Rant: Trying to find a weekend getaway and just coming up empty. I feel like we have done every possible thing out there and there is nothing left. Other than the usual cast of characters – Harpers Ferry, NYC, Philadelphia, Annapolis, Charlottesville, Richmond, Chincoteague, Assateague, Shenandoah – what’s the most unusual/relaxing weekend getaway you can think of??

  • Bear

    Rave(ish): 7.5 weeks to the wedding! Dear god, there is so much still left to do.
    Rant: Not sleeping well at all lately. I really, really need a full night’s sleep.

    • Ha, same here! I’m still trying to find a headpiece that I don’t hate. Having short hair limits me to headbands but every headband I find is just covered in rhinestones and seems so gaudy. I’m running out of time! I found a comb that I LOVED but it would not stay in my hair and I had to return it. I was so bummed. πŸ™

      • I am under 30 days and didn’t feel any stress or anything until the past week or so! It was smooth sailing. Then all these little things that I didn’t even think about came up, but most of them are resolved, I think…I hope!

      • Not sure what your look is that you’re going for, but maybe look at flowers or barrettes to go in your hair instead of a headband? I have shorter hair also and went with a fake orchid on a clip for in my hair that matched my bouquet.

        • Agreed! I found my perfect flower-on-a-clip on Etsy. Lots of different styles, if you haven’t already looked there.

      • Bear

        My headache du jour is flower girl dresses. I have two nieces, different ages, very different body types. It’s near impossible to find anything that’s not princess-y. And why are they so expensive???

        • Have you checked Amazon? My friend found a flower girl dress for her daughter on there for around $35.

        • There’s no need to by dresses for the flower girls from a bridal shop — unless that’s the only place that has the styles that you want. The dresses also don’t have to be identical. Why not get nice white dresses, or dresses that match or complement the colors that your using from a kids store or a department store? I was in a wedding where all of us — including the flower girl — picked out dresses from Laura Ashley. All of them were comfortable, some of them got re-used, and many of them were even on sale.

          • I like this idea.

          • Emmaleigh504

            My sister did this for her wedding about 100 years ago. The flower girl wore a white dress that she either already had or had to get for something else. They gave her a sash in the same (awful) color as the bride’s maids dresses. It looked great. Every one looked great except pale and pasty amazon over here. Yes I’m still bitter. πŸ™‚

          • Too many people get wedding crazy matchy matchy nuts. Little girls are always cute. No one is going to even notice what they wear. Same actually with bridesmaids. And everything else. If you are stressing about your wedding – bridesmaids, flower arrangements, photographers, makeup, whatever – you are just doing it wrong.

            It should be a day to celebrate your commitment with your family and friends. Have a comfortable space, good food and drink and forget the rest.

    • I’m probably the last person to give advice on this as I skipped the wedding part of my marriage, so I’m sure you know way more than me. But have you checked BHLDN for head pieces? True to anthropologie some will probably be really expensive and some covered in ugly stuff, but maybe one will work?

  • PermaRant: chicken bones. For serious, they’re multiplying like bunnies.
    Rave: my sweetheart dog melted my sister’s heart last night.
    Rant: online dating. I’m sure there are people who can’t use their actual picture because of their job, but dude, maybe try to somehow make it look something like yourself and not a stock photo model. The problem is not that I don’t find him attractive, though I don’t, it’s that it feels like a bait and switch tactic because it’s dramatically different.
    Not surprising: walking a 70lb rottweiler mix is not a magical shield against cat calls. And no, I won’t tell you “where my husband at.”

    • Re: Dating site photos. My opinion is that people who can’t use a super-obvious photo of them for job purposes should at least use SOME photo of them from a distance/etc. and explain up front that they can’t use a super-identifying photo for whatever reason (or not — some people don’t mind distance-photos!). Using something totally fake makes me think the guys a scam artist.

    • Wait, people use stock photos in their online dating profiles because of “their jobs”?! I have not come across this. I’m also into more alt people so that might explain it, but still, that’s not cool. I agree use a picture that shows you even if it’s not really close up. Don’t use some stock photo!

      • I have generally encountered the ‘chopped off head’ photo or the ‘profile of mostly my ear’ photo. This is the first, as he says, “notional” photo.
        I’ll admit, I had to look up notional.

        • I have seen that “headless photo”, but I usually assume that it’s for people looking for some kinky things and don’t want to put their face out there just yet. Maybe I’ll put a “notional” photo of Chrissy Teigen as my picture. See how you like that, dudes! Surprise, you’re not going on a date with a model!

    • SO with you on that first rant. Do people really walk down the street eating fried chicken and just throwing the bones on the ground as they go? They’re like drunk Hansel and Gretel trails. My dog and I walk a lot in Adams Morgan / Columbia Heights and it’s so dangerous for dogs to eat chicken bones and I have to constantly be watching for them! Every time he stops to sniff, it’s like “pee or bone? PEE OR BONE?”

      • LOL @ the “pee or bone” dilemma! So true, sadly. Sometimes I think, “she’s definitely just sniffing” then I hear that crunch, ugh.

        • It’s early yet, but he has so much more excitement when it’s a bone that I can tell this is not a pee situation. The question is who is going to react faster.
          I just picture him thinking “mommy, I really wanted that $3000 chicken bone. Meanie.”

      • yes sadly, that’s my neighborhood too, and people just litter stuff all over. Like oh I’m done with my sandwich great I’ll throw the wrapper on the ground. Oh my twelve piece wings are gone, I’ll dump the bones – that cross street looks nice.

      • Blithe

        :-0 I was skimming the posts quickly. I read: “Dating sites….PEE or BONE”. I decided that I’m WAY too vanilla for dating sites these days. Then I went re-read a bit more carefully and realized that I’d very mistakenly conflated two quite different dilemmas.

    • I’m not sure what job wouldn’t let people post photos for online dating purposes, so I always think that it’s more likely the person is married/in a relationship (or it’s a scam) and uses that as an excuse to not post a photo…

      • Yeah, that seems odd to me too. The only job I can think of is if someone were deep undercover, with a whole separate cover name, persona, etc. But if someone were that deep undercover, I suspect his job wouldn’t let him do online dating at all, with or without a photo.

      • Yeah, I agree this seems sketchy. As textdoc said, if “your job” prevents you from posting a photo online then you probably shouldn’t be dating online at all. I would assume anyone who won’t post a photo of themselves is up to no good.

  • Rant: Deciding exactly what to do about returning my summer subletter’s security deposit. They left the place a mess — moved all my furniture around into different rooms, left moldy food in the fridge and food splotches on the kitchen floor and appliances, and tossed a lot of my stuff haphazardly into closets even though I set it well out of the way. Lukily, only one thing is missing and it’s an easily replacable kitchen utensil. I asked for $200 security deposit, and was thinking of keeping $100 because I had to hire a friend to help me clean when I got back (about 5 hours of labor between the two of us, plus cleaning supplies). Is this reasonable?

    • Accountering

      Totally reasonable. To protect yourself, have your friend write up an invoice for 5 hours of cleaning. It can be very rudimentary, but when you send the $100 back, send the invoice showing why you kept the other $100.

      • Add in another 50.00 as interest and another 50.00 as a surcharge and it’s a wrap or you could round out the hundred as a recovery charge in order to restore and readjust your living space to its original state of General Habitation. Call it unforseen damages left by an uncaring, irresponsible tenant. List them line by line and keep the document as backup to what you, the original landlord, had to go through in order to get things back to normal.

        • Thank you both for your advice. I appreciate it. Another friend of mine semi-jokingly said I should keep the other $100 after cleaning for emotional damage. Heh. (And for the record, I do have dated before and after photos as well so there should be no dispute. Also because who would want to lawyer up for $100-$200? Probably no one.)

    • Seriously, keep 100% of it. You earned it. Who leaves moldy food behind?! I agree with Accountering–writing an invoice is a solid defense as to why you kept it.

    • I’m moving out of my apartment, and paying a cleaning service for a post-move out clean is $200 (plus tips). Keep it.

  • Emmaleigh504

    PSA Unofficial Popville HH tomorrow at Southern Hospitality in Adams Morgan. Theme Red.
    I plan to be there at 5pm. We have a section of the bar to the left when you enter.

  • Hi everyone, first time actually posting but you all seem so helpful with everything I wanted to reach out for advice. (should probably pick a real name, but I’m awful at that sort of thing)
    Question: My mother will be going into the hospital next week for surgery (cardiac). I know this was asked a couple of weeks ago (can’t find it), but do you have any recommendations for things I can bring help her be more comfortable? She’ll be there a week, and I’ll be nearby the whole time. She already has my Netflix/Hulu/Prime accounts set up on her laptop/tablet and some large books she’s reading.
    Thank you!

    • Emmaleigh504

      warm socks or slippers and a bed jacket.

      • Co-signed re: the slippers and robe. Or maybe a throw blanket as well. Basically anything to keep them warm and comfortable, because hospital blankets aren’t exactly snuggly or thick. I would not bring any food or drink, though. They want cardiac patients on a really strict diet.

      • Thank you both! I mentioned the slippers to her, but can find a nice robe as well.
        Oddly enough, her doctors want her to eat. I’ve already Googled foods that help post-surgery, but will ask her doctors once I’m up there before I bring anything.

        • Emmaleigh504

          A bed jacket is different than a robe. It’s jacket length so you don’t have all that extra fabirc to bunch up under the covers and around your legs. they keep your arms warm when you are sitting in bed. They can be quit nice. My grandmother had a lovely quilted silk bed jacket when she was sick.
          A robe would also be good for walking around.

    • In addition to the accounts, make sure you have some actual videos on the laptop/tablet in case of wifi issues. Also, maybe add some books on tape. If she’s having cardiac surgery, she may not want to sit up to read a book or watch a movie, but laying down and listing to something might work better.

      See if she can wear her own jammies. If so, get her something that is REALLY easy to get on/off. Button up the front is likely best, but her doctor may know what would work with the monitors she’ll need.

      Also agree with warm socks, but see if you can get them with rubber stickies on the bottom – hospitals like those because they add traction and promote safety.

      If she has other people at home (husband, other children, etc), think about making them food for when they’re not at the hospital that they can just take out of the freezer and reheat.

      • Thank you! Maybe I’ll cart up some of my DVDs that she can play on the computer.
        She can wear her own, they advised a nightgown (I’ll mention the button thing, though)
        I’ll be the only one home with my dad, so I’ll make sure he eats. When I’m nervous I go into a flurry of activity, so I might be pre-making some meals this weekend to cart up.

      • This is spot on! We loaded a music playlist of my dad’s favorite jams ahead of time (so it didn’t rely on wifi) because sometimes the pain or the effects of the pain meds meant that he didn’t want to try to keep his eyes open. Next time I’d also probably take a white noise machine or app – it’s hard to get good sleep in hospitals! A deck of cards for when she’s feeling more active – and Uno is a good one that’s not too complicated if she’s groggy. Good lotion to go along with the socks, especially for cold feet that aren’t getting full-strength circulation! Treats for the nurses – they’re pretty amazing people πŸ™‚ Good luck to your mom!

    • Crafts, if she’s into that – maybe knitting or crocheting or even an adult coloring book? Sometimes watching/reading for hours and days at a time can get boring, so bringing something to *do* can be a nice change of pace.

    • The family photo album. Or simply any original photos of past big day events, like birthdays, thanksgivings -happy times. Photos of the cars in your family, pets. Momentos. Old but tried and true warmsmilehuggers, that are sure to make getting back on the mend a fast doable.

    • Blithe

      I’m co-signing a lot of the excellent ideas that have already been posted. I’m not sure what it’s called, but someone gave my Mom a thing like a poncho with snaps in the front — no sleeves — that was made out of fleece. It was very warm, you could unsnap it and use it as a throw, or snap it and use it like a poncho. Because it had no sleeves, it easily accommodated wires from monitors, etc.
      – Crossword puzzles, coloring books, maybe a temporary cell phone loaded with phone numbers of people that she’d like to talk to (temporary pay as you go — in case it gets “lost”) Maybe some family pictures, an mp3 player and headphones (again, inexpensive — so if it gets lost, it’s not a tragedy).
      – I don’t know if your mother is local, but if she needs an aftercare program, the cardiac rehab program at NRH is absolutely wonderful. I cannot say enough good things about this program!!!!!!!!

  • Rave: body pump after weeks of not working out. i feel alive…and sore. next up, yoga!
    Rave/Rant: two first dates this week. i am anxious and can’t explain why. won’t cancel but just not too jazzed about them right now.
    Q: can two people who are admittedly attracted to each other, like spending time together, and genuinely like (like like) each other just be friends? sigh.

    • Re the Q – God I hope so. I think I’m slipping into a nice, comfortable friendship with such a person. We work together and one of us is in the other’s chain of command, so it is a no-go. But it has its weird moments.

      • Anon: tricky because you work together. Mine is tricky for other reasons but more than friends just wouldn’t be good for both parties. We can do this.

        • absolutely – we can do it! I did it once before, when dating was just ill advised for both people. We stayed friends for years, until we each moved to different cities and just lost touch from a day to day perspective.

    • As a guy I don’t think I could, defin if we had already had fun in the bedroom. It would be hard not want to want do it again (especially after a few drinks).

      • Emmaleigh504

        +1 And it seems like on person wants to rekindle and other just wants to bang. Then it’s break up city all over again.

  • What do you do when your consultants turn in a lousy product? I have a project that’s over budget because we’ve had to hire extra consultants to re-do bad work by previous consultants. In some cases we can withhold final payment, like where they just didn’t complete the work. But if they turned in a bad product on schedule, it might be too subjective to justify not paying. Thoughts from program managers, lawyers, etc would be appreciated!

  • Rant: It’s only Tuesday?? This is going to be a long week.
    Rant: Lifted something too heavy over the weekend. Oww, back pain.
    Rave: Thanks for people’s nice words from yesterday — much appreciated.

    • Blithe

      I’m sorry for your loss textdoc. And I commiserate with you on your first rant. Can you take a mid-week mental health day and do something enjoyable? I’m planning to go to a Millennium Stage performance on Thursday to brighten up my week.

  • Additional rants and raves (all gardening-related):
    Rave: The creeping phlox I planted earlier this summer (or maybe in late spring?) are flowering again! This is a pleasant surprise; I thought they flowered once per season and that was it.
    Rant: Azaleas continue to look ailing, even though I’ve sprayed them for bugs (they were infested with something) and am trying to make sure they’re well watered.
    Rave: Boxwoods are thriving.
    Rant: If you want to gross yourself out, image-Google “elegant stinkhorn mushroom.” (“Elegant” is part of its name, not some kind of description on my part.)

  • Rant: Still so sick. Congestion + cough + morning sickness is not a fun combo. I just want to sleep all day long (and sometimes do).
    Rave: Chicken soup. And having a good grocery store across the street with all the provisions I really need.
    Rant: I am super behind in all of my correspondence. If you’ve reached out to me and I haven’t gotten back to you, I promise it’s not personal. I’m just having a really hard time finishing even the most high-priority tasks every day and somehow emailing seems like a luxury right now.
    Rave: Babes are still healthy, I have a wonderful husband, Gary is a sweetheart and even though I don’t feel well, I know it’s temporary.
    For those who are curious: the bunnies are now the size of large lemons.

    • Oh, and: How the hell can I possibly eat 100 grams of protein a day? I keep getting advised that I need to do that but can’t even imagine how that’s possible unless I, like, eat steak every day. For reference, a cup of chicken meat has 38 grams of protein. I don’t think I like protein very much,

      • Protein shakes. All kinds of flavors out there and each scoop is usually about 25g.

      • Yogurt? Spinach? Nuts?

        • These have been some of my go-tos. But it takes a LOT of yogurt, spinach and nuts to get me where I need to be. Siggi’s 0% is one of my favorite pregnancy foods though, for sure.

      • Could you eat steak every day? πŸ˜‰ (Or does it make you nauseous?)

        • It’s really tempting! From an environmental standpoint, I hate the idea and I can’t imagine it would be good for my health otherwise. But it’s very tasty!

          • Emmaleigh504

            You could start exploring other meats like rabbit, kangaroo, ostrich, frogs legs, venison, bison, alligator, etc. There’s a whole world of animals to eat and most are pretty tasty!

      • Happy to hear your bunnies are doing well!
        You’ve tried quinoa and other grains/beans in soups and other easy-to-digest forms?
        I thought of you when I saw Meyer lemons at Giant for some ridiculous (high) price πŸ™‚

        • I’m trying to pack it in any way I can. But really, 100g is a LOT of quinoa and beans.

          • Yeah, and beans are one of the hardest foods in the world to digest. You definitely don’t want to be loading up on them.

      • SouthwestDC

        Why are you trying to eat 100 grams of protein a day? I average about 30 grams a day and I think that’s just fine. My Fitness Pal has set a goal for me of 60 grams, but I don’t see how I could possibly consume that much without increasing my intake of fat and calories.

        • 100 grams is what’s recommended for twin pregnancies and especially the kind of identical twin pregnancy I have. Before trying to get pregnant, I was probably averaging around 30g and was surprised to learn that higher protein intake was associated with greater chances of conceiving, so I boosted my intake to 50 or so. But even that wasn’t easy. I would really love to eat nothing but plants.

          • SouthwestDC

            Ah, well, I’m no expert on that. Although my girlfriend, who is a twin, turned out fine… and I highly doubt her vegetarian Indian mother was consuming 100 grams of protein a day. πŸ˜‰

          • chickpeas? I love them in almost every form, but the dried / crunchy ones now on the shelves are completely addictive. A bag a day is probably doable.

            If not, then hummus?

          • YES! Chickpeas! I had the same thought!

          • A bag a day of chickpeas sounds like it would be incredibly bloating.

          • I -do- love chickpeas. Going to give those a whirl today for some variety!

        • How are you managing to eat so little protein? 120 cal from protein leaves a lot going to nothing (like lettuce), carbs and fat. If weight loss is a goal, you need to eat more esp. protein which keeps you full longer than say a bowl of pasta.

          • SouthwestDC

            Are you one of those crossfit people? I’ve been managing my weight just fine on my current diet. I just don’t care to eat meat with every meal.

          • Haha nope. I think you really meant paleo, but the answer is still nope. I eat meat 1-2 meals a day out of about 6. I mentioned a protein increase not a meat increase if you recall. I thought you might be mostly vegetarian actually.
            I’m guessing you’re on something fairly low cal based on what you said above. If you can do that, kudos. I like eating and having muscles way too much.

          • SouthwestDC

            A lot of the crossfit folks seem to think you’ll die if you don’t eat your body weight in protein. And as Shawess noted, it’s hard to get a huge amount of protein unless you’re eating steak every day (or drinking vile protein shakes I guess).

      • Have you tried seitan? A cup is about 60 grams of protein, and it has good stats for fat and calories. You can buy the prepackaged stuff near the tofu in the refrigerated section. You can use it like you would chicken – we regularly use it for tacos, bbq seitan, seitan piccata, etc. I’m not a fan of tempeh, but it is also high protein/low fat. You could also try mixing your protein powder into your greek yogurt for more of a “pudding” experience, since protein shakes are a no-go.

        • Good suggestions! I actually have some seitan in my fridge right now but am hesitating to make it because I’ve had a bit of a wheat sensitivity lately. But I really need to try it because I agree it’s a really good meat alternative with just the right nutritional profile.
          Weirdly, I can’t seem to stomach protein powder at all, and I’ve tried two different kinds. I’m hoping this changes soon because it would be amazing to be able to put it in everything. I would try other varieties but it’s getting too expensive to keep dumping it out when I can’t drink/eat it.

          • Check out bodybuilding.com or a gnc. They may offer a powder sampler. Even Groupon/livingsocial sometimes had it on a deal.

          • There is a new “enhanced” milk with extra protein called Fairlife. I don’t like milk so haven’t tried it, just heard about it on NPR.

          • Shawess, have you tried a vegan protein powder? I have one made from peas. I cannot eat most protein powders (I have a majorly bad digestive reaction), but the vegetarians one seem a bit better for me. I’m still not a huge fan of the flavor, but they don’t make me ill. (I’m really selling this, aren’t I?)

          • Also, my favorite easy peasy protein salad is canned chickpeas tossed with lots of chopped arugula, olive oil & vinegar of choice (I like sherry) If you like, add chopped red onion and a couple of cloves of smashed garlic (not chopped, just bruise and let it sit. You could probably boost it with some quinoa, but that would make it texturally too weird for me.

          • Artemis, I actually only buy vegan protein powder and loved the two kinds I have at the house before I got pregnant. One is pea-based and the other is hemp based. Both *used to be* delicious πŸ™‚

          • Do you guys have tips for eating something like a chickpea salad and not having, um, repercussions? I can sometimes get away with a handful of beans in something, but any more than that and you don’t want to be anywhere near me for the next week.

          • I Dont Get It

            I hate flavored protein powders but when I was on a liquid diet I was able to sneak the unflavored into all sorts of sweet or savory dishes.

          • hammers

            congrats on the updates, and regarding the protein; you said shakes make you sick, but not sure if that’s just the powdery gross variety, which is totally justified. some of the premade protein shakes (EAS Advantedge Carb Control shakes come to mind) are very smooth and, in rich dark chocolate flavors, are quite tasty. If the soy protein would work, they have about 17 g each, which could help you get to your lofty 100g goal.

      • It’s probably too late in the day for you to see this, but just in case…

        My suggestion: seafood, tofu, nuts, and eggs. Easy way to get more than 100 grams a day. I didn’t intend to have that much protein in my diet, but my wife loves cooking fish, and making dishes with tofu and eggs, so I often pass the 100g mark in protein consumption.

        • I wouldn’t say it’s easy. I eat all those things (2 or 3 of them on a typical day) and never get above 40g of protein. I mean, I guess if you’re eating half a dozen eggs or an entire block of tofu in one sitting you could do it…

    • Blithe

      Thank you for the Large Lemon update!!! πŸ™‚ I’m glad that the babies are doing well, and I hope you’re feeling much better soon! As for the protein, would it help to change the texture so you can sneak it into things? I make baked oatmeal which includes eggs, and for more protein I would add some almond butter and maybe some yogurt. Tomato sauce could include pureed or ground or another type of meat. Apple slices could be smeared with almond butter. Green beans could be stir fried with walnuts as well as bits of meat for flavoring. I guess what I’m thinking is that like you often sneak pureed veggies into things for kids, maybe you could do the same thing with protein throughout the day.

      • Blithe

        Forgot about skyr — which I think has a lot more protein than regular yogurt. If skyr is one of your snacks, and you cook with it as well (oatmeal, biscuits, etc) that’s sneaking in quite a bit.

        • LOVING skyr right now. I’ve been sneaking protein in just the ways you’ve recommended. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t πŸ™‚

          • This thread is making me oddly happy – kinda the internet equivalent of a bunch of neighbors and old aunties sitting around on the stoop of our tenement just chatting out advice and recipes.

    • I Dont Get It

      Meyer lemons?

  • RAVE: leftover short ribs make the best lunch πŸ™‚
    Rant: Not sure I’ll be able to make it to tomorrow’s HH (thank you Emilie for posting about it so often!)
    Rave: Compressed day on Friday!
    Rant: Most of the plants in my office are dying/spawning little fruit gnats. I miss having a window πŸ™
    Rant: Agree with textdoc–this week is dragging on like crazy. I thought it was Tuesday yesterday afternoon.
    Rant: our bedroom blinds broke so my husband keeps getting up around 3 am and sleeping in the guest room because the light coming in. Irksome.
    Better end on a rave:.. Did I mention my lunch? Mmmmmmm

  • Yesterday I got a call yesterday about a possible interview for a job I applied for last week. The HR person said she’d let me know… but haven’t heard back yet. She was going to be talking with the hiring manager; I thought that was just about date & time, but since I’ve heard nothing, now I am wondering if the hiring manager wasn’t already on board about seeing me…. so now I am wondering if it will happen at all.
    Very antsy.
    Will call her at 3pm.

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