Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user James Jackson

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.

253 Comment

  • Rave: Friday! Friday!
    Rave: Saw Obama in his motorcade yesterday on my way home! Took me twice as long to get home, but it’s okay.
    Rant: People in my office are getting sick and we have a huge event next week. Blech.
    Rant: Too many errands to do after work. I can’t wait to go home and sit down later!
    Rave: Date tomorrow.
    Rave: Trader Joe’s pumpkin ice cream and Bell’s Best Brown Beer.

  • Rave: This weather!

  • There is a super friendly cat that has been hanging out at 4th and T NW the last few mornings. It lets me pet it, meows at me, rubs against me, and wears a collar. I’m not sure if its lost or if it’s owners let it out to play. It doesn’t have tags on the collar. Any thoughts on what I should do? I don’t want to take it away if that is its home and its owners let it out, but my emotions ascribing human attributes to a cat make me think its asking for help.

    • You could put a tag on the collar with a note that you plan to take her home if she doesn’t have an ID tag by date X. If your tag disappears, then you know she’s got people.

    • Having seen too many cats smashed by cars I would scoop it up and take it to the Wash Humane society. If someone does actually belong to it, they will know where to look. If not, sounds like it is friendly enough to find a good home.

      • I was thinking of doing this, because I cant’ take it to my house where I already have a cat. I will go out early this weekend and bring my cat carrier to see if it is out. It was so sweet, I’d hate for it to get hurt. But I’d also hate to take someone’s pet. I don’t agree with letting cats out in the city, but if it is someone’s pet, I’d hate to take it away.

    • Emmaleigh504

      My fear for cats on the loose that some asshole kid is going to torture it. Take it to a vet and see if it’s been chipped.

    • Is it a silver/gray cat? If so, I have seen that cat around that block for a couple of years and I believe the cat has a home. (Not saying having an outdoor cat is ok, just saying that I believe it has a home)

      • Yeah, I’m pretty sure having an outdoor cat in DC isn’t legal (I feel like we’ve had this discussion before?). I wonder if its owner realizes this…

      • yes! it was so strange to me because I’ve been running down that block in the mornings for over a year now, but hadn’t seen it until this week when I saw it multiple times.

    • If a cat is confident and friendly, it’s not lost. Lost cats are scared and furtive. This cat thinks it’s on home territory. Enjoy its company when it comes around, but don’t interfere with it. The owners know the risks, and have accepted them.

  • I Dont Get It

    Rave: I had not been to the dry cleaners all summer since I dress casually in hot weather but I had a few shirts to drop off this morning. The clerk greeted me with a huge hello which left me smiling. That’s it!

  • Rave: Clean bill of health for the babies yesterday after a loooong series of tests. The doctors had us very, very worried about some extremely serious potential problems after my last blood screen, but the babies passed every test with flying colors.
    Rave: And they’re damn cute. During yesterday’s sonogram, one kicked the other in the face and the other responded in kind a few minutes later. they’re totally protected by amniotic fluid so I could laugh at it instead of flip out. I still sort of can’t believe how they have such functional arms, legs and reflexes at less than 19 weeks.
    Rave, mostly: I got some medicine to help me feel better and am praying it works. Although the girls are doing fine, I definitely am not. In the last month I’ve lost 2 pounds when I should have gained about 5. Incubating two small humans is seriously hard work, especially when you add a cross-country move to the mix.

    • Bonus rave: Toasted sourdough bread with sweet butter and honey for first breakfast.

      • That sound delicious! And I like the implication that there’s going to be a second breakfast. πŸ™‚

        • Oh, there was. And since the meds seems to be working, I just might have a first and second lunch too. I’m thinking chicken sausage and heirloom tomato on sourdough for lunch #1. The fact that I can ever write those words without feeling nauseated is a huge improvement!

    • Keep hanging in there, hope you’re feeling better soon! Oh, and I’m jealous of your bonus rave, there’s nothing like SF sourdough bread!

    • Hang in there!! I was terribly sick through all my pregnancies, but was particularly sick when I was pregnant with my daughter. I lost weight for the first 6 months and didn’t gain until the 7th. Eventually I packed it on and was a net positive ten pounds for the pregnancy. Are you having issues with nausea or food aversions or both? I wish there was some magic I could tell you to try, but unfortunately the reality is that every pregnancy and every woman is so different. For me it really was just a matter of eating what I could when I could and dealing as best I could with the inevitable sickness. Best of luck to you Shawess, it’s not long now!

      • Thank you!
        “For me it really was just a matter of eating what I could when I could and dealing as best I could with the inevitable sickness.” That’s basically where I am right now. I have serious food aversions (which change constantly), nausea, and vomiting, as well as bad acid reflux, which is what the meds should treat. It’s funny how everyone’s responses to pregnancy are so different! I always thought mine would be fairly straightforward for some reason because I am generally pretty healthy. But no.

        • I really, really sympathize!!! That was me – the only things I could eat would cause me to vomit almost immediately and then the reflux, sweet jesus I should have bought stock in Tums! I pretty much survived on peppermint tea, gingerale, and ginger thins. Oh man, this walk down memory lane has me wanting to write the good folks at Mirena a thank you letter…

    • Emmaleigh504

      Yay for Letra and Netra passing tests!

    • “The girls” — I think this is the first mention I’ve seen of the sex. (Maybe it was mentioned before and I missed it?) Yay, daughters!

  • Rave: It’s finally Friday!
    Rant: busy busy busy
    Rave: Question of the Day is helping me add to my list of shows to check out (as if it wasn’t already huge!)
    Rant: Knowing you never have enough time in life to do everything you want. Meh.
    Rant: My eyes are killing me today. Combination of allergies and too much screen-staring, I think.
    Question: Has anyone ever used Rent the Runway? Pros/cons, good /bad experiences? Or can you think of any other similar service or a place to buy fancy clothes for cheap? Fancy event coming up and I have a runner-up outfit, but just wondering what other possibilities are out there….

    • LBP – do yourself a favor and get a small desk lamp. I had chronic headaches and eye issues that have magically now stopped at the new job thanks to adequate lighting!

    • I’ve been to the RTR showroom in Georgetown, but it hasn’t worked out for me to actually use them yet. My saleslady was very sweet and knowledgeable. She had some good ideas of what pieces might work for me. Unfortunately, they didn’t have much of my size in stock (and I didn’t love any of what they did have.) So I didn’t end up getting anything that day. But it was a good experience overall, and I would try them again in the future.

    • I’ve posted about RTR before so apologies for those of you who are reading this as a repeat. I’ve rented from them probably 10 times in total and have mostly had great experiences. I’ve almost always liked the dresses as much in person as in the photos and have been surprised by how well they tend to fit. I’ve had a few very bad experiences, though, and they’re worth noting so you can be aware of them. The main one is that if the person who rents the item before you damages it, RTR may cancel your order at the last minute or, worse, send the item damaged. They’re very good about trying to make it up to you, either by sending different items or giving refunds, but it can cause some last-minute stress. The best thing you can do is inspect every item thoroughly right when it arrives in the mail and let RTR know about problems right away so they can try to make it right.

    • I’ve used RTR for two galas and a wedding and have had great experiences every time. (I’ve done them all through the website – I’ve never been to the showroom in Georgetown.) The “real women” reviews are phenomenally helpful because most of the women include photos of themselves in the dress, so I can get a better idea of how different pieces might look on me.

    • I’ve used RTR a number of times. I joined pro because I think I had a coupon for it, but even if you just rent once and use your birthday credit it’s worth it.
      Keys to success- having some idea of what works for you style-wise. Cap sleeves make me look like a linebacker, so I avoid them no matter how cute the dress looks on the model. Read the reviews, they’re generally really good, especially the part that tells you the person’s normal size and the size they wore. Always take advantage of the backup size and choose it up or down according to the reviews. Use the favorites function to keep track of everything you like.
      I really like RTR. There are so many dresses you can rent for $50 or less and with Pro, that’s your total price. Their customer service is really good. I’ve probably been to about 15-18 weddings in the past 3 years and it’s been nice to be able to wear different dresses and choose trendy new things I don’t have to commit to. I’ve used it for work functions and family parties too and it’s kept me from buying more stuff and trying to stuff it in my closet.

      • Ok, I’m going to continue to check them out. The Pro option in interesting, but I’m wondering…..would it be highly unethical to say my birthday is this month (it was only about 3 weeks ago!) so I could get my free birthday dress this month instead?

    • hammers

      there is a brick and mortar RTR store in Georgetown that might be worth checking out

      • Yeah, I know, I’m just worried about selection issues there, and I’d hate to schlep all the way out there only to find out they had nothing in my size I like or available for that date or what have you. I may check it, nonetheless

    • Pablo Raw

      Are you drinking enough water? Maybe your eyes are dry.

    • I love RTR. i have Pro because as others have said, it pretty much pays for itself if you use it once. They are great for weddings, etc., and most importantly they have AMAZING customer service. For example: I ordered two dresses to wear at my sister’s wedding rehearsal dinner & bridesmaids luncheon. For some reason, they arrived in Richmond (location of the wedding) and UPS immediately shipped them back to NJ instead of where they were supposed to go. RTR overnighted me new dresses, threw in an extra one, refunded my entire purchase, and gave me a $100 credit to use on my next order. It was stressful, but I think they made up for it (and i highly recommend having your dresses delivered two days before the event, not one, in case something like that happens).

      Also, if you make an appointment at the Georgetown store and tell them in advance what size you are and what you like, they will order options for you to try on in your size. Fair warning, I think an appt at the GT store costs $25 (I went in July when they were having some free appt promo).

      I still dream about the dress I wore to my sister’s rehearsal dinner (for the record, it was this https://www.renttherunway.com/shop/designers/nha_khanh/camille_dress)

    • I’ve used RTR probably 5 times over the past 6ish years and have had almost all positive experiences. I’ve never been to the showroom, but my friends who have been have all left empty handed due to them only stocking smaller sizes for the most part. I always read the “real woman” reviews and check the reviews of people with my same measurements and size. I also usually get two dresses even if I only need one just to be on the safe side, but I also always make sure I have somewhere to wear the second if I don’t get any use out of it!

    • Alright guys, I did it! Thanks for all the advice/feedback! I went with the Pro (because yeah, it really pretty much pays for itself), so thanks for the tip! I was bummed because a lot of my top choices were already taken for the dates I wanted (and I bet you anything I end up spotting people wearing my dresses at this fancy event!), but I found something fun and am keeping my fingers crossed! I already own a back-up outfit, which helps!

  • Rant: People who complain about their jobs, etc but do nothing to improve the situation.
    Rave: Kale! Not 1 of my usual picks, but it’s pretty good just microwaved with some chicken jus on it.
    Rave: Retirement rebounding nicely.
    Rave: Best purchase of 2014 is still the printer, scanner. So. Much. Paperwork.

    • +1 to your first rant – that annoys me to no end. It’s one thing to have a bad day, week, or even month. But I have one friend who has been complaining about how little she makes at her job for the last 9 years, yet refuses to get look for another job. Of course, she is also the martyr type who loves to get attention on facebook about her various woes.

    • Re: Complaining but not doing:
      I heard a little motto a while back, which I’ve adopted:

      Don’t complain about things that you can’t, or won’t, change.

      Sometimes easier said than done – I am a venter – but I try.

      • Accountering

        I call this complaining for complaining sakes. It is totally useless, and I am not a fan in the least! If you are complaining about something you can change, and you haven’t worked to change it, then fix that!

      • I find venting is helpful in the thinking-it-though/working-it-out process, but you are right that no one wants to hear it… so I remind myself of my little motto and spare them.
        And I talk to myself a lot, at home, where no one can hear me. I really should get a dog, so I don’t seem quite so kooky. (Though, which is kookier – talking to yourself, or having a conversation with a dog?)

        • We all vent but after the first few years of no progress for example applying to no jobs in that time period you have to let it go. After 9 yrs, that ship has sailed and sunk.

        • Dogs are great listeners! Totally get one and don’t feel weird about making them your best pal and confidant!

        • anonymouse_dianne

          One of the Vick dog survivors, Johnny Justice, is a therapy dog for kids. He sits and listens while they read to him. So not kookie at all!

        • Omg I talk to myself and now I talk to my dog, but I do it on walks too. I heard someone else make a comment to their dog this morning and I felt so much better!
          I also call my dog “babe” way more than I call him by his name. Which I also think might be weird.

        • Emmaleigh504

          I talk to my cat all the time. Donna doesn’t talk back, just listens and headbutts me. But Ashlee would talk back. She had a pretty impressive vocabulary. We had convos all the time. Too bad I only sometimes knew what she was saying.

        • I think it would be crazy to have a fairly sentient pet like a dog or cat and NOT talk to it. Sure, they don’t understand the details of what we say, only the gist (approving, disapproving, etc.)… but they make eye contact and watch us so intently.

  • Rave: Friday!
    Rave: My condo event was a HUGE success last night. We had about double the attendees from the last time we held a wine & cheese happy hour, the event lasted over an hour longer than scheduled (and would have kept going if we had not run out of wine/let them stay) — we had big band/Sinatra type music playing, and at the end, there was a lot of dancing. First time ever that a dance party broke out at an event.
    Rant: I need a weekday off where I am not required to do anything/be somewhere specific. I don’t know when I’ll get that, but I need to take one, soon.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rave: Saw a bat on my way home from work yesterday.
    Rave: Think I found the artist I want to do my next tattoo!

  • Rave: So glad it’s the end of the week. I am exhausted.
    Rant: Disappointed in one of my kiddo’s behavior. I was told yesterday that she and a few other kids were making fun of another child in her class. I don’t get it. She has been made fun of before because of her skin issues, and she knows how badly it hurts, yet here she goes making fun of a kid. Apparently it was provoked, but still, completely and totally unacceptable. Definitely makes you feel like a failure as a parent.

    • Allison

      You’re definitely not a failure as a parent! The fact that you heard a complaint about your child’s behavior, registered it, and presumably plan to address it with her has you light-years ahead of other parents. I was picked on a lot as a kid, and whenever my parents talked to the other kids’ parents, their response was usually “my kid’s perfect, so either he didn’t do that, or your kid deserved it. FU.”

      • Oh, it was definitely addressed. The teacher had her and the others involved write an apology letter in class, and then she and I discussed it at home. I reminded her what it felt like to be teased herself, and she got very upset. When she is hurt, she will use her words against people, and I think that’s what happened here. I’m just trying to get her to understand how much words can hurt, especially since she knows first hand. What makes me feel like a failure is that it’s only the third or fourth week of school and I have gotten MUCH shade from this particular teacher, literally since day one. She has a way of looking at you like you are a piece of shit on her shoe, and I definitely get the impression that she is skeptical of single parents like myself. So it’s hard not to internalize these things.

        • Allison

          Hmmm, you say it was she “and a few other kids,” and it keeps happening, despite the fact that she appears contrite and upset when she’s alone with you. It sounds like she might be being peer pressured into acting this way. So she may understand that words hurt, etc., but is balancing that against the fact that not being accepted into her friend group hurts too. How are her friends’ parents handling it?

          • I should clarify – she has done this before at home with her siblings, this is the first time anything has ever happened like this at school. Actually, this year has been the first year that we have had any issues at all with her in school. But I agree, it could have some root in peer pressure. I have no clue what the other parents are doing, or even who the other children involved are, or even if those parents were told.

        • My daughter, when upset or (in her mind) slighted by another kid, goes nuclear with words – not meanspirited, but “I hate ________, I never want to see her again, she’s not my friend, etc. This was bad enough at her old school, but I’m always afraid that she’ll do it to a new kid/friend who will (not without some justification) just write her off. It’s nerve-wracking, but not a referendum on you as a parent.

        • Accountering

          As a non-parent, and someone who doesn’t deal with kids regularly at all, it makes me smile to see things like “she will use her words against people” in the context of an adult explaining to other adults what their kid did. Just enjoy how POPville exposes me to all kinds of things I don’t regularly see πŸ™‚ (Totally understand how this explanation works on a kid, because it is simplifying the situation and dialogue and bringing it down to their level of course.)
          Also, verdict from this adult is that you are a rockstar parent based on the above. Don’t let this teachers potentially condescending ‘tude bring you down. It is what it is, and you are doing the best with what you got, and in this case, seems like you are owning this parent thing!

      • +1000. If you’re actually addressing the issue and not pooh-poohing the complaint with a “but my child would never do that, it must be your child that is overreacting,” you are way, way ahead of the game.

    • Accountering

      My parents were wonderful parents, but I was a real jerk as a kid. Got in fights, got suspended, talked back, just a real clown. I wound up fine. Don’t take it personally – kids are kids, and they grow out of it πŸ™‚

      • Though you’re still quick to call someone a jerk, dumb and other names on a regular basis.

        • Accountering

          With that said, I think there is a difference between being a jerk, and calling it like I see it. Yes, I am passionate about many things, and I often choose not to let people get away with ignorant comments. Perhaps I am not particularly PC – I will cop to that. Also, for the record, I do not call people dumb, I say they are the “dummy of the day” πŸ™‚

    • Thanks for the support guys πŸ™‚

  • Rant (hopefully) transitioning to Rave: Very close friend undergoing a C-section as we speak. This is their third child, and an unexpected one. She has some serious, chronic health issues that are further complicated by pregnancy, so this has been a stressful 9 months. Delivery won’t eliminate the issues, but if all goes well in a few weeks she’ll be out of the woods. Anxiously waiting by the phone!

    • Hope all goes well! And especially that the delivery brings some relief to her health issues.

      • Thanks – it was delayed (some emergent cases came in), they just started now. I spent 30 minutes on the phone with Dad while he was waiting for them to come get him.

  • Rave: It is Friday!
    Rave: Some HR issues seem to be resolving. It has been a very long work week.
    Rave: I slept nearly 11 hours last night. I still think I could hibernate for the rest of the weekend.

  • Rave: The weekend is almost here! My brother is coming down to help me move the last of my furniture. I can finally unpack fully once I have my desk and bookcase. H Street Fest tomorrow, my show and parties. Come on 5pm!

    Rant: I think I need a tv for my room. Or a laptop. Its too quiet. I’ve been doing ok with just my phone, but I can’t keep streaming apps like Netflix open if I want to multitask. Still not quite budgeted for a either though.

    Question: The powerline in the back of the house is really low. Like low enough that someone could plausibly walk into if they weren’t paying attention. What channel would I go through to remedy this? It’s dangerous.

    • Allison

      Have you considered a chromebook for a laptop? Super cheap and a great option if all you really want it for is streaming while interneting.

    • If it’s a power line then call Pepco. But are you sure it’s a power line?

      • skj84

        I think it is. I haven’t really investigated, but I can’t figure out what else it would be.

        • jim_ed

          There’s a good rule of th

          • jim_ed

            There’s a good rule of thumb with street lines to determine what it is. If there are multiple lines running to a pole, the highest line at the very top of the pole will be your electric. The lines a little further down from the top will be telecom.

          • HaileUnlikely

            Other rule of thumb is if you can look at where the wire connects to your house and you can follow it to a satellite dish or a cable box or a power meter, that is also a clue.

        • Cable. Phone. Internet. Even if you don’t have those things they could still be leftover from previous residents – those utilities don’t come around and remove the lines every time someone cancels service.
          Also as jim-ed says, the power lines are usually the highest. And they’ll be on the same side of the house as the power meter.
          Having said that, if you think it’s a potential danger you really ought to report it to someone or try to get it sorted out sooner rather than later.

          • By “side” I mean front/back – specifically if your power meter is in *front* of your house then the dropping line in the *back* is not power.

          • Thanks for all your suggestions! I’ll take a look tomorrow. Hopefully it’s just a cable line.

  • jim_ed

    Rave: Really enjoyed experiencing the Diamond Clubt tickets at the Nats game last night for the first time.
    Rave: As we were leaving the game, the bros who had sat down the row from us were discussing amongst themselves how our daughter was a “chill ass baby” because she made it all 9 innings and didn’t throw any fits. Looks like someone’s got a new nickname!
    Rant: On a site for the next week with terrible internet connection and worse cell phone reception. I’m barely 5 miles outside the beltway, how is his even possible?
    Rave: Working on site >>>>>>>>>>>>>> working in the office.

    • HaileUnlikely

      There are places in DC proper that have horrible internet and cell reception, at least there were as recently as early 2013 anyway. My friends used to live in Lamond-Riggs (near the Eastern Ave NE Giant) and service was very weak there. They no longer live there, so I don’t go there much any more, so don’t know whether that is still the case.

    • palisades

      what section were you in? We were in 120

      • jim_ed

        123, the first row right above the tunnel to the presidents club.

        • Were the Nats offering a promo on Diamond Club tickets last night? I’d love to do Diamond Club next weekend, but am not sure how to get cheap tickets. Will stubhub or seatgeek sell them, and if so, do you just buy seats in the Diamond Club section, or are they called a different name? Sorry for the questions, complete newb here!

          • jim_ed’s wife here. Our friend won tickets through his company and invited us to attend with him, so that is how we got to go. I know that palisades (who commented above) got seats for pretty cheap on seatgeek. With stubhub, the seats won’t necessarily say Diamond Club, but you just select the sections that are the Diamond Club from the seat map and see what tickets are available.

          • I buy DC tix on Stubhub all the time. They are sections 119-126. But make sure you don’t get Home Plate Reserved, which is the upper portions of 119, 120, and 126 – those don’t get you access to the club (or the free food/beer).

  • Rant: Best friend from high school recently passed away due to early hear failure at age 42, leaving behind a 12 and 10 year old. She was also 320 lbs and overweight most her life. I’m so sick of this “fat shaming” term everything you try to discuss weight with someone. You know what’s shameful? Dying and leaving your kids to fend for themselves.

  • That One Guy

    Rant: Tired of a boss who say we when he really should say me. Please don’t include me in things you need to do/take care of.
    Rave: Took care of few errands this morning and was able to find a parking garage that only charges $10 for the day. I’ll take these small victories.
    Rantish: Not entirely jazzed at the idea of driving up to NJ tomorrow to visit aunts on what would have been my dad’s birthday. It’s selfish of me, I know.

  • Kid: ms iindsay, you look so fancy today
    Me: why is that?
    Kid: because you’re wearing your hair down
    Kid 2: and you’re wearing clothes!
    Rant: I’ve been doing a lot of 12 hour days lately and then still bringing work home. Anybody who says we have it so easy because we only work 7 hours a day for 9 months a year (we had a 7 week summer break) can go f themselves.
    Revel: surrounded by people who don’t think that.
    Rant: people like Chris Christie who want to punch unions in the face and John kasich who want to ban teachers lounges.

    • hammers

      what possible benefit could come from banning teachers lounges?

      • Accountering

        When the teachers go to teachers lounges – they talk to each other, and that’s when they are able to realize just how badly they are getting hosed, and they decide to fight back. At least that’s the argument Kasich was making.

      • Kasich thinks if they’re banned, we can’t bitch about our jobs…

    • Accountering

      You live in DC, which means you likely are preaching to the choir here! I so appreciate everything that our teachers do! For some reason, a minority party thinks that you all are a huge part of the problem, and that is one of the reasons why we will be welcoming Madam President (not you Fiorini and your MASSIVE expansion of our armed forces) to D.C.!

    • anonymouse_dianne

      I am a proud member of AFGE. Go Union!

  • Rave: Newly added foster kitten Sally is playing well with the other two – Rory & Raisin.
    Rant: They insist on playing/wrestling/ patty-cake all over my desk & keyboard.

    Check them out. http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/doc/pet/5210127804.html

  • rant: Can anyone recommendation a counselor or therapist who specializes in helping people navigate difficult workplace issues? (or have tips on how to locate one?) I’m at such a level of stress/frustration with my boss that I know I either need to (1) ask to be transferred to a different supervisor, or (2) be ready to quit, but I am dreading having these conversations with higher management and I feel like I could use some coaching on the best way to handle it.

    • Emmaleigh504

      See if you work has an ERA(?) program that has counselors you can see. Usually you can get 5-8 free sessions.

    • I think a professional coach might be what you’re looking for. Perhaps management coaching, with emphasis on the concept of “managing up.”

    • Allison

      In addition to Employee Assistance Programs (work therapists), your employer may also have a conflict mediation program that can help you and your boss work through it with a neutral mediator.

    • Thanks for the suggestions – I looked up our EAP program and I plan to contact them next week (at the very least if it turns out that they are not what I need, it sounds like they can refer me to outside resources). wdc, in a nutshell my boss has an undiagnosed and/or unregulated mental health issue and while I think that most of us do a pretty good job at managing her anxious/paranoid behavior, it’s a really unhealthy environment to be in every day because she’s very anxious, aggressive, and controlling. Since our upper management hasn’t taken any steps to deal with her (after 2 years, and multiple formal and informal complaints – including one real threat of a lawsuit), I really need to just get out from under her, for my own well-being. I think that all of my coworkers have one eye on the door because of her, and we’re about to lose our intern who started in July and was supposed to be here for an entire year (I’m not kidding, she’s so paranoid that she saw the INTERN as a threat). Anyway, thanks again – TGIF everyone!

  • Accountering

    Rave: Refinancing today! Finally got everything done. This has been a lot of work to get to this stage, but we are finally here! Getting into a 30 year conventional with no PMI, and a 4.25% interest rate. Payment dropping by about $1100. Going to make a huge difference in our lives!
    Rave2: Flights to Paris booked! Leaving on Monday evening from JFK! Spending the weekend in NYC with the family. Running a Tough Mudder in Liberty State Park on Saturday morning with older and younger brothers, then spending the weekend with parents, Andie and I, and older brothers and their significant others at an AWESOME AirBNB in the financial district!
    Rave3: Flying direct to Copenhagen! We will arrive at noon on Tuesday, and then spend the night there and leave in the evening on Wednesday for Paris! AirBNB Open starts Thursday morning and will be a lot of fun/learning, with a ton of activities and options for the evenings. Thursday evening will be a dinner with an AirBNB host from Paris, and a bunch of other hosts from around the world at the Paris host’s home. Flying home Sunday via Iceland. All of the flights wound up costing about $540 each, which seems insanely cheap.

    • Accountering

      Rant: I wonder, if we had started this process a month earlier if we would have been hosed by the Republicans shutting down the government. During a shutdown, would there even be someone in HR to give an employment verification needed to get the loan? Would a missed paycheck lead to our loan falling apart? The fact these questions even have to be asked is so pathetic. The Republicans are willing to completely screw with peoples lives, so they can ensure that poor women don’t get healthcare.
      On a related Rave: The debate caused me, as a man, to add Planned Parenthood as a monthly, recurring donation from my credit card.

      • Jumping on your rant: I just read this morning that most PP federal funding is mandatory, so even if there is a shut down, PP still gets the bulk of its fed funding. What idiot thought up this political tactic?

        And regardless, how many Americans support cutting federal funding for PP anyway?

        • Accountering

          It will do nothing. They will accomplish nothing. Much like when they shut down the government over Obamacare.
          Also, don’t look now, but Obamacare’s approval rating is sneaking back to almost being even (-5 spread right now) up from closer to -15 or -20 during the 2014 election and when the website was having all sorts of issues.

        • A frightening amount. It boggles me how many women are willing to vote against their own interests. Both my sister and a very good friend needed Planned Parenthood during health emergencies. I stand with them proudly.

          • If you think you’ll never need it, you can easily vote against the “others” interests. Couple that with some ppl really believing pp sells fetuses, and you have quite the perfect storm.

      • Share your rant, but totally love your related rave. Thank you!

      • Thanks for the PP donation, Accountering! It is an organization that does so much necessary work for women’s health.

      • Emmaleigh504

        Thank you for your donations to PP.

    • “AirBnB Open”? Is this like an AirBnB convention or something?

    • Congrats on your refi. $1100/month *is* huge!

  • Bear

    Rant: Travel bug. Haven’t had it this bad in a long time, and man it sucks.
    Silver lining: I’m looking at honeymoon options since I’m stuck in my hotel room. We’re doing southern Spain and Morocco, will have about a week in each place. For Spain we’re looking at Seville and Granada, but we haven’t made many decisions on Morocco. I know I want to do Marrakech, and we don’t want to plan too much and be exhausted by the end. Has anyone here spent time in Tangiers? I’ve heard mixed things. We’ll arrive there on the ferry – is it worth it to stay a couple days there before heading south? Any other suggestions?

    • palisades

      paging Justin…

    • I was there 15 years ago, but Tangier was all right. I’d only recommend a day or so there. Out of all there is to see in Morocco, Tangier doesn’t really stand out. Fez is a must-see and Meknes is underrated IMO. Fez will require a guide though since you’ll get lost otherwise. I say that as someone who rarely gets lost… Are you flying from Morocco? Or taking the ferry back to Spain?

      • Bear

        Our flights back to the States are from Paris, so we’ll spend the last 2-3 days there. Looks like there are cheap direct flights from Marrakech, so the plan is to end up there for the last 3 days. We’ll be relying on the train system, so wherever we decide to stop in addition to Marrakech needs to be train accessible.

        • Morocco has a pretty good train system. Both the places I mentioned are accessible by train. Rabat is also pleasant, but isn’t especially interesting. The one city I’d skip is Casablanca.

          • Fez is amazing (We didn’t have a guide in Fez and were fine, but you definitely need to keep track of where you’re going), but +1 to Meknes being underrated. It was my favorite city in Morocco – there’s a lot in the city and vicinity (hot springs, Volubilis roman ruins). Tangier is okay, I enjoyed some of the smaller coastal towns like Asilah and El Jadida. Chefchaouen is also beautiful, but I can’t remember if it’s train-accessible.

    • Pablo Raw

      Disappointing thing at Granada was that there are some touristy restaurants with really bad food (and that they all open after 4:00 if I remember correctly); it was great to see the original Sierra Nevada and of course the highlight of the visit is The Alhambra, absolutely outstanding (the Moors architecture part). My life was saved by a vendor selling coffee really early on a cold dark morning while waiting in line to get in…

    • Fez, Meknes, day trip to Volubilis. Amazing.

    • Emmaleigh504

      Justin was in Morocco a few months ago, he should have some great ideas. His Twitter is @justinbc if you want to contact him directly.

  • Rant: Groggy. Got a bad start to the day with job-related crankiness.
    Rave: It’s Friday!
    Query: Has anyone here had paint _removed_ from the exterior of a brick house? If so, how much does paint removal cost vs. repainting?
    The brickwork on the back of my house is being repointed, which means that 1) there’s no longer any paint covering the mortar and 2) the paint that’s left on the bricks is now somewhat uneven and wonky-looking, rather than perfectly shaped rectangles of paint. For the time being, I’m probably going to leave it alone… but I figure if I _do_ ever want to get the paint removed, it would make sense to do it while the mortar is exposed and only the bricks are painted.

    • I had another homeowner-type question I wanted to crowdsource, and now I can’t remember what it was. Ughh, I hate feeling so groggy!

      • Emmaleigh504

        I had a crowd source question that I forgot, too. My brain can be so stupid.

      • I remembered my other question for crowdsourcing! I noticed that there’s a wasps’/hornets’ nest all of a sudden in the corner of my front porch’s ceiling. At first I thought about knocking it down with a broom handle… but then realized that that was probably a little risky. (I’ve never been stung by anything, but I suppose my luck could always run out.) I have wasp/hornet spray (given to me by a guy who was working on the mansard roof and encountered them there) — should I use that first and then employ a broom handle? How long do I have to wait for the spray to be effective?

        • SouthwestDC

          Last summer we were having a party and someone spotted a hornets’ nest in the doorway. She dispatched me to find some hairspray, which she sprayed on the nest and then lit it on fire. It burned up nicely and was a fun drunken diversion.

          • Emmaleigh504

            One of those gian flying roachs flew into my dormroom once. My pal sprayed it with lysol and set it on fire. worst. smell. ever. and it didn’t even die. never burn roaches.

        • I’ll try reposting this query on Monday. I also need a recommendation for an exterminator who’s good in dealing with wasps and hornets — if they’re not only nesting adjacent to my house’s main roof but are now moving down and trying to colonize the porch roof, I think I need to stop them before they get any further. (I have a strong fear of heights, so no way do I want to be taking care of the wasps on the mansard roof.)

    • HaileUnlikely

      Can’t help. Question though: are you doing the repointing yourself or did you hire a contractor? If contractor, were you pleased with their work? If so, who were they and how did you find them?

      • houseintherear

        I repointed a couple years ago and used Precision Renovation- was very pleased (they didn’t take any shortcuts, and we were able to negotiate repainting into the price which made things super easy). The price was VERY very good- $3500 for a 20ftx2story wall plus painting. Got three other quotes for over $5000 without painting.

        • HaileUnlikely

          Good to know, thanks. Just to make life as complicated as possible, there are multiple home improvement contractors called “Precision” in DC. You mean “Precision Renovation & Construction,” with Brandywine MD address, correct?
          I got an estimate from a “Precision Contracting Solutions” (different company) a couple years ago – it was goofy expensive, they tried unsuccessfully to pressure me into signing a contract immediately to get a price of $2X rather than $3X or $4X, where $X = average of other bids, and I was not terribly impressed with how they proposed to do stuff either.

      • HaileUnlikely — I’m using a contractor for the repointing. I think repointing on this scale would be unfeasible for all but the most hardcore DIYer — it requires scaffolding and specialty tools, generates lots of dust and debris, and takes a sh*tload of time. And I am not remotely hardcore when it comes to DIYing.
        I’m using Edgar’s Masonry, based on recommendations from PoPville (supported by reviews from Angie’s List). The contractors that PoPvillagers most recommended for repointing (and that also got good reviews from Angie’s List) were Edgar’s Masonry and Renaissance. Renaissance’s estimate was a good deal more than Edgar’s, so I went with Edgar’s.
        Seems good so far, though it’s hard to judge since I don’t have much basis for comparison. The repointed areas are “messier”-looking than they were before, because the paint is now in rectangular blotches rather than in neat rectangles, but I’m assuming that’s the case with repointing in general.
        Edgar and the guys who seem to work most closely with him are on point, but I’m not sure if that can be said about all the people who are doing the work. I was noticing today that one of my security doors has a lot of powdered debris on the inside of the bars that I’m going to need them to clean off at some point. And on the “not related to the work being done, but still annoying” front, I’ve had to put notes on my trashcans because I kept finding loose banana peels and other gooey things in them. (Fortunately, I was able to clean them with the workers’ power-washer.)

        • HaileUnlikely

          Thanks! I got estimates from both Edgar’s and Renaissance a couple years ago for a small-ish job that I ended up doing myself instead. They both seemed very thorough, professional, knowledgeable, and expensive. (The other one I named in a comment above was much less professional, less knowledgeable, and even more expensive.) I’ll need some more work done in the foreseeable future on a larger and higher-up part of my house that I’m not well equipped to tackle on my own, so am doing some research on contractors for that now.

        • Accountering

          Repointing is not for even a hardcore DIYer. If you are to the point (no pun intended!) of being able to repoint your front wall, you are a contractor πŸ™‚

          • HaileUnlikely

            Mostly agreed. I think a small area at ground level (wall of exterior stairwell leading down to basement) is totally doable for a DIYer – I did a bit on the wall of the exterior stairwell that goes down to my basement. And I wasn’t too fussy about the result because the exterior of my house is hideously ugly in lots of ways and the previous owner actively damaged lots of things when it was foreclosed. I’m certain that a good pro like Renaissance or Edgar’s would have made it look nicer than I did, but I’ve seen contractors take money from homeowners and do worse. That said, if it’s larger than about 15-20 square feet and/or requires a ladder or scaffolding, no thanks. Whole house? No way.

      • Also, HaileUnlikely — can you remind me of the name of that ratings place you’ve used that is sort of like Angie’s List but doesn’t accept advertising from listed companies?

        • HaileUnlikely

          ConsumerCheckbook. Checkbook dot org
          I used to rely on Angie’s List, but too many wildly discrepant experiences where provider was pushing 100 glowing reviews yet really really sucked. Angie’s List and ConsumerCheckbook have similar ratings for lots of companies, but in cases of large discrepancies, I trust Checkbook.

  • palisades

    Rave: DC9 for HH tonight.

  • Emmaleigh504

    PSA: Unofficial HH at Southern Comfort Oct 15.

  • Rant: Dapper Old Gentleman does not understand working from home. The whining is sad πŸ™
    Rave: I about fell over at Costco last night, they have my favorite cheese, Humboldt Fog, for $17 a pound, that’s almost half off. That also means I ate about 1/4 lb of cheese for dinner last night.
    Rave: I got all of the packages I had been waiting on last night. The stationary company sent me a 25% off coupon code as an apology for the shipping delay. I already bought the pricey thing I want and I don’t really need anything else, but that was nice of them I guess.
    Rant/rave: temporarily took the dating profile down, I’m starting to feel less jaded and blah, but I’m not optimistic enough to put any effort in.
    Question: I haven’t been worrying too much about the Pope visit, but now I’m wondering, if I drive from Petworth to Rockville up 16th or Georgia to Viers Mill is it going to suck extra? I feel like I’m going to get hosed on the way home no matter what, but my reverse commute should keep me safe-ish during the mornings, right? Please? Metroing can’t possibly be better.

    • I had a third of a pound of delicious Point Reyes Toma for second breakfast! Yay for cheese as a meal! And incidentally, Gary was very, very POed that I wasn’t sharing.

    • Emmaleigh504

      get fancy calling cards!

      • In lieu of having a dating profile?
        That’s an intriguing suggestion.

        • Oh, you mean with the discount. Duh.
          It’s amazing how we interpret things sometimes.
          That’s actually not a bad idea, though I honestly have so few opportunities to hand out cards. It still might be nice though. I don’t think I’d put my occupation or my title (it means zero outside of my office). I would either leave it blank with just my name and contact info or put something like “eclectic badass.”
          Too much?
          It’s Rifle Paper Co if you’re interested in checking it out. Love her SO much.

          • Emmaleigh504

            I would make them social calling cards, then you can use them as gift tags, give them to ppl in bars with dirty words scribbled on the back, give them to other dog owners for meet ups. So many uses!

      • That One Guy

        I always fancied calling cards. That’s a great idea.

  • RAVE: Hirschhorn afterhours tonight. Will be a great show, hopefully they do some awesome projections on the building. Anyone know if the concert is outdoors?

  • Rant: Every time I see the OB’s number pop up on my cell phone, it translates into nothing good. Seriously, could things just be simple for once?
    Rave: At least my medical team is pretty kick butt
    Rave: Pumpkin chocolate chip muffins are on the agenda for this weekend
    Rant: Could we just fast forward through the rest of the month and get to October already?

  • Rave: Beer, bourbon and bbq tomorrow!
    Rave: Busy in a good way.
    Rant: More expensive destination weddings. One of them is a dear friend so I really really want to go but I just don’t know if I can afford it. Sigh.
    ??: NYC on Sunday to work out of the office there for a few days. It’ll be my first time meeting all the people I’ve been working with for the past couple of weeks and I’m sort of nervous!

  • End of the first full week of new job (last week was short because of the holiday; I started Tuesday) so I now feel fully qualified to say:
    The other good thing is, the fog is lifting and I am starting to feel like I have a decent idea of what’s going on and what I am doing, or will be doing. Nothing like a new job to make you feel a little dumb, but that’s getting better. (And I can find the rest rooms AND the internal coffee shop in the basement!)

  • justinbc

    Rant: I can’t get rid of this damn dryer on CL. We got it new for about $1,500 a year ago but decided not to use it when we remodeled because it’s gas and we switched to electric for the new laundry room. If anyone is in the market I’m selling it for only $300, and it works wonderfully.

    • Accountering

      Damn. Wish I would have known about this a month ago.
      It took me three months to sell a 30 year old dryer on CL. I was selling it for $40! My reasoning was, it has lived for 30 years, you will at least get a few more years out of it!

    • Accountering

      Why did you switch to electric for the new laundry room? Presumably, if the gas was already there? Unless you moved the laundry room and were not able to run a new gas line?

      • justinbc

        We moved it up a flight and the other end of the house, so it was actually cheaper to just buy a new electric one than run the gas line.

        • Accountering

          Even taking into account how much more efficient gas is then electric for dryers?
          Either way, sounds like that ship has sailed. Frustrating you can’t sell it for a IMO very fair price.
          I was very unhappy to find out that my contractor had not installed a gas line to our clothes dryer in the basement. The first two stackable machines I installed had a gas line… Why did he think I wouldn’t want it on the third?

    • Craigslist is the worst for trying to get any sort of return on your investment. I think I price the things I’m selling there pretty reasonably, but it never fails that most of the responses I get are offering half of what I’m asking.

      • justinbc

        I don’t even care about a decent ROI, I think 1/5 the price is pretty substantial depreciation in just a year! I just want the damn thing out of the living room before my recliner arrives…

        • Hmm… my guess is that people looking to buy used appliances are probably looking at lower-end appliances in general, rather than higher-end appliances.
          Would the warranty convey to the new owner? I think that’s what I’d be most worried about if I were a potential buyer. I’d rather spend, say, $500-$700 on a brand-new dryer that’s under warranty than spend $300 for a $1500 dryer and risk something going wrong with it and me being out $300.
          Does your listing mention in the subject line that this is a 1-year-old $1500 dryer?

          • HaileUnlikely

            Ditto. I have no use for Justin’s dryer because my house does not have gas, but I’d buy a new dryer for $700 from a store over a $300 dryer on Craigslist even if I had knowledge that the latter was in good working order and would be $1500 new.

          • justinbc

            I hadn’t really thought about that, but it’s definitely a valid point. I know lots of people buy electronics though just looking for a deal, and this is definitely a deal. There are just 1000 other dryers out there, although they’re almost entirely low end.

        • HaileUnlikely

          I realize this is not what you’re going for, but if you decide that being rid of it is worth more to you than what you can likely sell it for, you could try putting it up on Freecycle. If it doesn’t go in a couple days, you could also donate it to Community Forklift – they’ll even pick it up.

        • I think your price is a really good deal! But in my experience on Craigslist, it is tough to find a taker unless you are practically giving your stuff away. I think Textdoc’s suggestions might help.

        • Why don’t you list it for $600 “or best offer,” then accept $300? Psychology!

  • Rant: Post vacation blues.
    Rave: Menorca and Mallorca are fantastic. We even ran into 2 americans there, don’t know why it’s not more popular, it seems to be very affordable as far as European vacations go.
    Rave #2: made really good chili last night to counteract the crappy weather

  • Rave/Question: Is anyone else heading to Baltimore for The Shindig tomorrow? I’m so excited!

  • rant: depending which station i am at, the farecards wont read my smart trip. it tells me to see the station manager. the station manager is never there. FUCKING ANNOYING
    rave: it’s friday!

  • RANT: Shot fired (and possibly more) yesterday afternoon on 1100 block of Lamont St NW around 4PM followed by huge police presence. Does anyone know what happened? I haven’t seen anything on MPD twitter acct.

    • I saw some discussions of this on my old neighborhood listserv (which I’m too lazy to un-join) and the MPD is sharing very little other than that “no victims or property damage were located in the area.” Lanier also weighed in to say that “Commander Carroll will ensure that the latest is shared.”

  • Rave: Friday!
    Rant: Keep getting super close to finding a tenant and them something random comes up! How long does it usually take to find a good tenant? We’ve only had it listed for about 2 weeks and we’ve had about 15 showings and I have three more in the next 5 days. With that said, anyone looking for a 3 bedroom/2 bath rowhome with parking!? $2850/month

    • That’s a pretty good deal for a home! What neighborhood is it in? I can’t imagine it will be available for too long considering it’s an entire home.

      • Yes, we’ve had a lot of interest, but only one that wanted to sign a lease on the spot (for way more people than I am comfortable renting it to). It’s in Park View, off Georgia, which hasn’t had the best summer crime rise. We’ve had a lot of women come by to check it out and some of them aren’t comfortable in the neighborhood. We’ll see, have a guy coming by tonight.

        • Good luck!
          BTW, if you’re not already familiar with the various services for running credit checks/background checks on potential renters, I recommend SmartMove, which is run by TransUnion.
          See also:

        • Something to consider: even if you use a property manager, you’ll only have so much control over what happens while you’re gone. You could rent to 3 but they constantly have friends coming into town and staying there. I went for tenants who had bad credit which scares a lot of landlords, and they’ve been great. Keep an open mind (unless it’s far above 7 ppl, then hell no πŸ™‚ )

          • Thanks textdoc. A coworker recommended one, but I’ll check out SmartMove too.

            Anon Spock, it’s one thing to have friends in and out or even a bf/gf who is there 90% of the time. This person wanted someone to live in the english basement, which isn’t a legal rental, has no heat, or a/c. It makes me uncomfortable even though someone could technically setup a room down there. However, I will be back fairly often and plan to stop by the house so I’ll notice if there’s a room down there!

          • The tenant can object to random inspections like that. Just something to keep in mind.
            Have you posted on any Howard university housing forums?
            If that 2850 is inclusive, I don’t think it’ll linger, but if not, you may have a bit more trouble.

          • ParkViewRes, I think trusting your gut feeling is important when it comes to vetting potential tenants. And you were right to be uncomfortable with the person’s proposal of having someone live in a basement with no heat or A/C — that sounds like something that could get you in trouble as a landlord. Bad enough if the tenants did it without your knowledge (although if they did, I don’t think you could be held legally responsible), but for them to tell you this up front? You were right to decline.

          • No I haven’t, but that is a good idea. It’s $2850 including parking and alarm fee, but they pay utilities which are about $150-$180 a month. I am willing to go lower on the rent if we don’t find anyone by mid-Oct.

          • For a house, I wouldn’t include utilities in the rent. Including utilities makes sense only when you _can’t_ figure out what a renter’s share would be (e.g., an apartment that’s not separately metered), or when it’s (say) a condo building where heat and air are included in the condo fee.

          • The reason I am not including them is because then people will be more likely to blast the ac and heat because they’re not paying it! IMO, the utilities for the house are very reasonable if you’re responsible about usage. It’s even more affordable because they’d be splitting them three ways.

          • And +1 to what ParKViewRes said — people will be more likely to blast the heat and A/C and not bother turning off lights, etc. if they’re not the ones paying the utility bills.

  • That One Guy

    Was talking to a co-worker about lunch and we ended up discussing hot dogs. DC-3 looks promising, but I was a little saddened to read that Manoush shut down his stand at GW. His were some of the best hot dogs I had in DC.

  • Rant: Didn’t ride my bike this morning, 16th St was at a crawl and it took twice as long (as usual) to get downtown.
    Rave: New pair of shoes! What is rave-able? A visiting dog chewed on one of my favorite shoes – minimal damage, shoe was still wearable but I stopped wearing them. I just found the exact same pair in the right size (and color) for one sixth the price.

  • Anonynon

    Rave: Things seem to be going my way at the moment, I’m not not happy about it!

  • Shoot–sorry guys, forgot the cookie recipe. Will try to remember next week!

Comments are closed.