Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user Lorie Shaull

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.

151 Comment

  • justinbc

    Rant/Rave(?): I used to basically never drink coffee, except to have a drink as a treat after dinner, or at a fancy latte hipster coffeeshop type place. Now I drink the regular stuff pretty much daily. Haven’t yet decided if this is a good or bad thing.

    • It’s a good thing. There’s lots of medical literature out there on the benefits of coffee (straight up, not the frou-frou high calorie stuff) – Embrace it!

    • Coffee is a great thing! It’s wonderful morning ritual for me.

    • Good thing. Welcome to the dark side! 😉 Seriously I actually drink coffee for the taste. It brings me joy.

    • It’s good! I started drinking it when I was 19 because I had a long commute from the ‘burbs to DC for my internship. My dad would wake up to brew coffee for me every morning! 🙂 There are so many different blends and it’s fun trying different kinds.

    • It’s a good thing if done in moderation (i.e., no more than two cups per day).
      Cons: more likely to discolor your teeth. If you already have stomach or GI issues, it could exacerbate them.
      Pros: keeps you “regular.” Assists with digestion. Caffeine is helpful if you’re not a Morning Person.

      • justinbc

        Yeah I’m definitely not a morning person, and our office move has me waking up at least half an hour earlier most days, which is what prompted me starting the habit.

    • Ah, coffee. I felt late to the coffee game, I didn’t regularly drink it until I was a parent.Now, I really could not (nor do I want to) live without it.

    • to slightly bastardize ol’ Ben: Coffee is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.

  • binpetworth

    Rant: I got bit by a mosquito yesterday. IN DECEMBER! Climate change is real, peeps.
    Rave: Many people out of office today at a conference makes it super quiet and speeds my productivity (until I get distracted by Popville)

  • Rave: I really love that picture, it just makes me think of being a kid on a rainy day and how you had to make a rainy day fun.
    Rant: I find rainy days harder to enjoy as an adult, when you have to go slogging out in them. And I miss the sun, I feel like we haven’t seen it in days.
    Rave: Feel like I’m finally getting the upper hand on this sinus/migraine thing. Netipot helped, and I think plugging in my humidifier helped a lot, too.
    Question: This might be silly, but can anyone recommend a small-ish humidifier that packs a punch and that doesn’t take up a ton of space? I currently have my Vicks model precariously balanced on my bedside table, but I get nervous that the cats will knock it over and get water absolutely everywhere….

  • Rave: Couch to 10k week 2. I feel great and love the incremental approach.
    Rave: Been trying to be a bit more responsible in my eating – limiting processed stuff, too much sugar, too much dairy. It takes a bit more forethought but so far so good. I’m tired of feeling poorly about myself and making excuses.

  • Bonus rave: I forgot to include – made a pot pie out of my Thanksgiving leftovers and it was AMAZING and nourishing and I wish I could eat it forever!

    • Mmmm potpie…that’s a great idea! Do you have a favorite recipe you could share? I’ve had trouble finding one with a good potpie crust

      • I used a refrigerated crust (the kind you unroll) because I was being lazy and that’s what I had on hand, but you don’t use a top crust – instead, you use stuffing as a “crumble’ type top crust and it’s amazing. I got the recipe from Teeny Lamothe, she’s makes these “Teeny Pies” and sells them at various farmer’s markets in the area – I don’t have the recipe on me but you may be able to tweet her and see if she can help (@teenypies) – basically though, brown up some onions, carrots in butter, add flour and brown for a minute or so, add chicken broth and simmer, add chunks of sweet potato, simmer until thickened, throw in any leftover veggies from Thanksgiving (I had corn on hand), add some cranberries (fresh or frozen), add chopped up turkey, put into pre-baked pie dishes (I used 5″ ramekins), fill with filling, top with stuffing, and bake for 15 minutes!

        • If you have the Teeny Pie Cookbook, the Chicken Curry Potpie that she sells at the farmers markets is fantastic (she also has a vegetarian version). Our cookbook is in storage and inaccessible right now, but if we had it I’d be making some this weekend.

        • I love Teeny’s Pies! I didn’t know she had a cookbook so now this is going to be one excellent holiday season.

    • Oh! Pot pie is a great idea! May I ask what recipe you used? I’m going to have to freeze the turkey I’m not using for soup, but this could be a great project for next week.

    • That’s brilliant. I want that for lunch.
      RANT: pot pies are a caloric BOMB. Ugh.

      • seriously, try the skinny taste version. I make a root vegetable pot pie with the skinny taste biscuits on top. Amazing and not terrible for you. Or make cut outs of the pie crust so you have a little bit. Use 2% milk for the stew base.

  • Quotia Zelda

    Rant: Will the sun ever shine again?
    Rave: Tonight, going to pick up my awesome dress for Emily’s #fawncyparty.
    Rave: Have figured out fawncy hair for the #fawncyparty.

    • topscallop

      What kind of fawncy hair are you going to do? I’m going to attempt curls via curling wand for my own fawncy party this weekend. Here’s hoping they hold in my fine hair, don’t come out lopsided, and that I don’t burn myself! I need to start watching some YouTube tutorials, stat.

      • Quotia Zelda

        I have hair that is just barely long enough for an updo, so I’m going to do a twisted updo with some sort of gold accessory (laurel, if I can find it).
        I really want to do BIG hair with big 70s-style curls, but I fear it will get caught in the grabby chain that’s holding the neckline up.

      • Report back on how this goes! I have pin-straight, fine hair but a lot of it so it never holds a curl. It’s also down to my lower back so that might be part of it… I really want to try big, loose curls for the holidays but haven’t found a method that will work.

  • Rave: The Gist. Mike Pesca is the man.
    Rant: Days like today, I miss the amazing coffee in DC.
    Rave/Rant: Car tags turned in, condo sold…no more DC responsibilities. Miss it, but glad the paperwork aspect is over. And hope the buyer loves her new home.
    Rave: Celebrating with yummy chinese take out that means leftovers for lunch, which for some reason are always more delicious.
    Question: Anyone know why Mormons, who can’t consume caffeine can consume a drink like hot chocolate which has caffeine? I am curious about the restrictions and how that plays out….if anyone knows

    • Trace amount or didn’t realize it had caffeine (I didn’t).

    • YES re: Mike Pesca and The Gist!!

    • The Word of Wisdom only says to abstain from “hot drinks” — “hot drinks are not for the body or belly” — which the LDS church clarified to mean only coffee and tea. So a lot of Mormons drink sodas and stuff now too.

      • I worked with a mormon lay leader (not sure what they’re called…elder?) and he didn’t drink sofa or coffee but he consumes a ton of chocolate and drank hot chocolate. It was confusing.

    • A friend explained to me that it has to do with a part of the Book of Mormon that mentions “hot drinks.” The leadership has determined that it applies specifically to coffee and tea, but most other caffeinated beverages are OK (at least from a faith standpoint).

      • Accountering

        As a former resident of the state of Utah, and certainly a non-mormon, if this is true, this is utter nonsense. In the words of our venerable VP, “That’s a bunch of malarkey.”

        • Well, hold on now: Kashrut and halal are vastly more complex and derived from similar unclear origins, but I would never criticize somebody for following them. As far as religious tenets go, both aren’t hurting anyone.

          • Yeah, but if you kept kosher EXCEPT for the occasional delicious bacon cheeseburger, I would have the same bones to pick – it seems like that’s more a matter of choosing which parts you want to follow, and makes absolutely no sense to me.

          • and how is “hot chocolate’ not a “hot drink” Mental gymnastics I’m not gonna do. Happy to be agnostic!

          • We had a family friend who would keep kosher but whenever they’d go out with my folks, he’d order a big steak but also take a bite of his wife’s fish order. When his kids asked what he had for dinner at the restaurant, he’d always say, “a little bit of fish”.

          • My old roommate kept “white box kosher” – he didn’t eat pork (unless it came in a white box). So, roast pork fried rice and sausage pizza were OK.

          • If neither the steak nor the fish were prepared with any dairy (unlikely) then I don’t see the issue with the friend’s meal.
            And let’s remember that the other religious dietary restrictions were likely based in two things: food-safety reality, and the contemporary understanding of the natural world. Would you eat shellfish in the absence of refrigeration? And would you eat something as unnatural as a pig, which has a cloven hoof like a cow, but doesn’t chew cud like a cow? And cooking the calf in its mother’s milk is just evil. And so on…

    • Also because people don’t always strictly follow the rules of their religion.

  • Rave: Heading to Paris this evening. Psyched to be there.
    Rant: Friend might get out of institution tomorrow without any plans in place for her support. Frantic conference calls and fact finding missions abound.
    Rave: Books – loving Laurie King’s books and enjoying Zeroes (thanks Emmaleigh!). And the Mindy Project.
    Rave: Unexpected huge pay bump yesterday due to company realigning itself with the market. Wow – what a day!

  • Rave/Rant: The wedding I’ve been complaining about for a year is finally this weekend. Looking at the schedule and excited for it to be over.
    Rave/Rant: If my fantasy team wins this week I make it to the playoffs! But I’m playing my bf who is the only undefeated team in our league so it’s not looking great. Grrr.
    Big Rave: I get to see one of my best friends this weekend! She’s unrelated to the wedding but lives in the same city so we’ll at least get to do lunch.

  • Rant: My landline phone. I moved Saturday one block away from my old place. On Monday, my landline phone service was supposed to be moved from my old place to my new place. On Monday and Tuesday, I had no dial tone. Called ATT on my cell phone and was told that the order to move my phone was cancelled because my new address was not in ATT’s coverage area. I went berserk on the phone for a few seconds because they did not tell me in advance. I closed out that ATT account and had to give up my old number of 10 years. I went online on my laptop thanks to the wifi in the lobby of my new place and signed up for a new phone number via Verizon. Now I have a new number but still no dial tone. I am losing my mind going through these changes. I’m going to Target today to buy a new telephone to see if that helps. I’m at my wit’s end with this.
    Rave: My movers. They were really nice, professional.
    Rave: My new place is bigger than my old place with its own washer and dryer.

    • Accountering

      Get rid of your landline. There, I just saved you a lot of trouble, and $30/month!

      • It’s not $30. We had one in the US because you could call Canada for free so my wife used it to talk to her parents and grandparents. We had a triple package and it basically cost us nothing. We now have one in Canada so I can call the US.

        • Accountering

          Fair enough – I am sure there are circumstances where this could work. I actually have two landlines (same cost with FIOS to go Double Play or Triple Play) but I got a $300 gift card each time, so I guess I can’t really talk. Neither of them is hooked up to anything though.

    • Your old landline was via AT&T? I thought Verizon did all D.C.-area landlines, but maybe not.

    • People still have landlines?

  • Rave – I know I’m supposed to be shopping for other people but, I got some great deals on new clothes for myself thanks to cyber Monday. And the Frye boots that I wanted were 15% off at Nordstrom!
    Rave – Tickets book for a weekend in Nashville with my BFF to see Jenny Lewis in February. Can’t wait.
    Rant – Dog goes in for her first heartworm injection tomorrow. My baby will be in a lot of pain the next few days 🙁

    • I’m just gonna throw this out there – the pair of Fryes I bought through Nordstrom recently were crap. Made in Mexico, not the US, and the zipper broke clean off after 4 wears. If yours happen to break too you can take them back even after wearing them (I did). Be gentle with the zipper, I guess. Good luck!

  • rant: RAIN. GO AWAY. I hate it
    rant: walking my dog. There could be fireballs coming down from the sky and he is perfectly content to take his time outside. when it’s raining….man, i think he likes torturing me.
    rave: I am done christmas shopping. 🙂

  • RANT: Trying to find daycare in DC makes me want to cry and drink a large bourbon.
    Rant: I can’t have a large bourbon right now.
    Rave: I know that it will all work out in the end. I am just trying to be patient, rational, and keep working my way down the list.
    Rave: I slept through the night until 6:00 am! I think yoga before bed really is the key to healing my aching back and sleeping better.
    Rave: Lovely visits with people I love this week and weekend.

    • Any recommendations for low back exercises? Or should I just Google fu?

    • Skip day care. Find a spot in a nanny share with a VERY GOOD nanny. We tried one with a bad nanny, fired her…and then had the most amazing nanny that I still love (she moved to NYC…). Check your local list serves for openings and interview/have a trial. It’s worth it. DC has a severe lack of childcare options that are in any way convenient or worth their cost. Don’t pay the fees for wait lists. If you’re set on day care, visit them often if possible so you can see the facility at other times than scheduled tour time.

      *a huge motivator to moving was access to quality preschools at a reasonable price where the teachers are compensated well and enjoy their jobs. Many day care workers can’t even afford the day care for their own kids, especially Bright Horizons. That said, I know someone who got in to the NY Ave one relatively quickly. We got on wait lists when I was 5 weeks pregnant and the only place I got a spot was CCLC @ 2200 Penn. But it was the same price as our nanny share so why not have individualized care?

      • I agree with you re: wait list fees. Our decision was to only put ourselves on a maximum of two lists. If not, it is just such a money suck. It seriously reminds me of paying for college.

        The nanny option isn’t really something we’ve thought about, but we may need to expand our thinking and cast a wider net.

        • We were on 15 wait lists and I paid for all but Bright Horizons let you pay one fee for up to three centers. That you’ll never get in to. Seriously. Consider a nanny or nanny share. Our nanny was the greatest ever (but she was NOT a housekeeper, and some want their nanny to do both, which we didn’t because she’s a childcare professional, not a housekeeper that babysits). What neighborhood are you in?

          • Depending on where you are in the city, you could also consider doing a daycare just over the line in Maryland. We got off a waiting list for a place in DC, but when I went to visit after the baby was born, I just could not fathom the 4:1 baby to teacher ratio that is the standard in DC. We ended up getting into a Maryland daycare, right over the DC line, that had a 3:1 ratio (as is the law there) and was nearly half the cost as all of the DC daycares. Win win all around.

          • @Kory and really any one else that might have some advice…we are considering adoption but I am kind of at a loss on where to start. Ideally we would like an infant/toddler and race would not be important (in fact a non Caucasian child would be better I think because I’ve heard other races are at a disadvantage when it comes to adoption due to people wanting children that look like them (not a value judgment – just what I’ve heard)). Any suggestions on where to start?

        • I would also rec commend the nanny share route for an infant. It is much more cost-effective than daycare for an infant in DC, and it allows you way more control as a parent. I’m not sure what area you live in, but I constantly seeing posts about nanny shares on the Petworth Parents Listserv.

        • Nanny share is a good option, but I do want to put a plug in that there are some daycare centers that are relatively affordable and are fantastic. You just have to really do your research, and it is kind of dependent on the neighborhood. I’m not sure which area of the city you live in, so that could contribute to your frustration. If you are only looking at daycares downtown, then you will be paying through the nose and likely won’t get it. But somewhere like Petworth tends to be more affordable and there are some really good options. My daughter is at a center on the northern border of Petworth, and it is absolutely fantastic (and comparatively cheap!).

          • We have an adopted 3 1/2 month old and were able to place her in a daycare immediately. It is a bit out of the way for us (it is in Petworth…we live in Woodly Park and I work in Anacostia) but our daughter seems happy there and the teachers and administrator are wonderful to her.
            Relatively cheep for $325/week.
            I found it listed on the urban mom’s message boards.

          • Yes I think the area is a big factor. For us personally, nothing worth the money or wait opened up on our commute. If it were out of the way, it would mean more hours of our child in the care of another….and neither of us drove to work, so it would have been an even additional expense to cover parking at one of our jobs to make the drop off easier. definitely depends on where you work and live, going out of the way makes it more difficult for many people, unfortunately.

          • J, I totally get that, and I know you lived closer in when you were here. I just wanted artemis to know that there are affordable, quality centers within the city limits as a number of the comments here made it seem otherwise. I actually found that within my neighborhood at the time I was looking, the cost of nanny share was running more than a substantial number of neighborhood daycares.

          • Amandal – I agree, there are some good, relatively inexpensive daycares. I was very happy with the one that littlest anonachild went to when we moved to DC, and, for the city, it was cheap and cheaper than a nannyshare (he was 2). It’s in Brightwood and I would happily recommend to anyone.

  • Rave: New roommate moved in. The transition couldn’t have been smoother.

    Rant: For the first time in ten years I have to share a bathroom. It’s not the space issue, but the realization that I will probably have to change my morning routine of leisure shower/getting ready in my bathroom.

    Rave/Rant: I need to start organizing my bedroom. I still have boxes everywhere. Its a small space, but I’m sure if I get creative I can figure out some fun storage ideas. I think I need another dresser, and bigger bookcase. I also want to fit a chair/loveseat.

  • Rave: Banff film fest tickets purchased.
    Rant: Glitch in their website means I bought too many. If there are popville folks who want tickets for Jan 29 I have 4 to sell at face value.
    Rave 2: Going to see the new Steve Martin/Edie Brickell musical tonight.

    • In case anyone else was confused about why D.C. people might want tickets for a Canadian film festival: The film festival (“the world’s top films on mountain sports and cultures”) is on tour and is coming to National Geographic in D.C. in January.

    • bluemagnolia

      I would LOVE 2 tickets on the 29th!! How can I reach out to you?

    • And I’d be interested in the other 2 tix if still available!

      • Bluemagnolia and kanon, perhaps Dan can send you my email? I’d rather not post it here. Definitely the first two are good to go but offered one to a friend so not sure yet if I can sell the other two.

  • Rant: New job leaves no time for PoPville!
    Rave: Enjoying it, and people are really nice, although it is much more intense and stressful than my previous job. But it’s really stimulating and I’m learning a lot!
    Rant: Manager mentioned that my predecessor never made a mistake in her 2 years here. Insert panic here. I am not naturally the most detail-oriented/organized person, although it’s something I’m working hard at, so occasionally things slip by. @____@
    Rave: Lovely and super relaxing time at home for Thanksgiving!

  • Rave: Baby registry stuff is starting to arrive. There’s nothing like having two car seats to make it clear
    That sh*t’s getting real!
    Rant: Belly is so huge. So huge. I can’t go anywhere without getting (the same) questions about it.
    Raviest rave: In that belly I can feel two fist-sized heads, bodies, arms, legs and the sweetest little hands and feet. And I can cuddle then all day long without them fussing or crying!

  • RAVE: Fantasy domination continues, in spite of the fact that I was auto-drafted for my first 4 picks. One more win and I have a bye for the first week of the playoffs :p
    RANT: Probably just jinxed myself.
    RAVE: holiday/housewarming party on Saturday is shaping up to be great. Charlie Brown Xmas tree, menorah, and specialty cocktails are a-go!

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: I feel like a broken record: work sucks.
    Rave: just 3ish weeks until vacation

  • I Dont Get It

    Rave: The charming, chatty cab driver I had yesterday afternoon.

    Rant: As I was attempting to exit the cab with my giant golf umbrella and world’s heaviest laptop I accidentally hit the driver on the back of his head with the umbrella. Whoops!

    Rave: The cat totally ignores the dogs most of the year but when it gets cold he will sleep back to back with Lucy. When you wake him he jumps with that expression on his face you had when you found yourself naked in bed with your frat bro and you had to try to pretend you didn’t recall what happened either.

    Rant: Why was I not told that the new season of “The Mindy Project” had started?

  • Additional Rant: When Ted Cruz twists the research done in your organizations non-partisan journal. And because he’s Ted Cruz, he’ll never admit he’s not actually read (or comprehended) the journal contribution.

  • Question: Can you recommend a a good tailor who can repair small holes in a cashmere sweater? I don’t want to attempt darning myself and mess up.

  • Rant: Littering, manspreading, and other antisocial behaviors.
    Rant: Still having trouble deciding which daffodil bulbs to plant where.
    Rave: I suppose Rant #2 is a good problem to have.

  • SouthwestDC

    Rant: My dog has a bladder stone that I’m hoping will break up so she can avoid surgery. But in the meantime I’m being woken up every two hours in the middle of the night because she needs to go out.
    Rave: The recent post about package thefts inspired me to try Amazon locker, and my first delivery arrives today. I’ve never had a package stolen, but the locker looks like an easy way to prevent it from happening.

  • Rave: Took on a 2nd Angel tree kid after all, and it’s a newborn baby boy. Cute toys, warm clothing, and a walker to help the mom have already been ordered.
    Rave: Thanks to those that alerted me to the Saturday drop-off…done and done!
    Rave: Slept until 6:10 this morning. This is the longest I’ve slept without waking up in pain in probably 4 months. I feel so.much.better.
    Rave: Thanks Aleve PM.
    Rant: This doesn’t bode well for future kid sleep deprivation worries. I will just have to cross that bridge when I come to it. (Hint: not for some time!)
    Today is day 1 of 100. My plan is to do some physical activity, however minimal, each day for the next 100 days. My most basic will be the 7 minute workout. Today I’m jogging. I want to feel better and exercise appears to be helping.

    • HaileUnlikely

      “The most basic will be the 7-minute workout.” Daaamn, you must be a badass. I ran competitively for over a decade yet can barely complete the 7-minute workout without resorting to giving up and just lying there for 10-15 of the 30 seconds on a couple of the exercises toward the end.

      • If you focused more on cardio, endurance over strength, that makes perfect sense. I certainly can’t run a marathon any time soon, but I can hit a hard weightlifting session no problem.

        • HaileUnlikely

          Yeah, agreed. This sh!t is humbling. Especially some of the core stuff. I can do lots of regular pushups, but after about 2 of the pushups with rotation I commence lying face down and waiting for the timer to mercifully tell me to move on to the next thing.

  • Sometimes it’s difficult to accept how corrupt or inept this city is. A city contract cannot be given out without a CBE contract, even if the contractor is a local business with all employees in the city, working out of a city office, except for the CEO, so a CBE subcontract of 35% of the job cost must be given to some dude who says his home condo is his headquarters, can’t do the work, doesn’t know how to do the work, and all his employees work out of state, just because he’s a minority living in DC and is registered as CBE… A 35% cut to some random ass that is gaming the system to get any work done. How is this helpful?

    Vince O, DC CFO, and others just don’t care, just play the game and grab the cash. Diving deeper I see this is the expected way to do business in DC, actually the guidance from the city. The CBE program is not enforced and is constantly gamed, it needs to be dumped because DC can’t police it and it just increases the cost of city projects all around. I’m not directly involved in any of it but I hear the details and this is waste and greed and corruption done knowingly with my tax dollars and yours and it irks me to no end. Do you want to know where your school money is going, your social services budget, your transportation improvements? Crap like this, graft that is pervasive and unchecked. We need to bring back the financial control board if the city can’t keep itself in check.

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