Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

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Photo by PoPville flickr user Paul Sirajuddin

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.

178 Comment

  • Snow day! I believe we’ll be in school until July this year… Again.
    Rant: all my roommates were gone this weekend… Again. I hate when everybody is away
    Rant: really bummed about the one roommate moving away… The one responsible for this username. I don’t have many close friends in the area who aren’t married so I’m taking this hard
    Revel: free Starbucks drink because of an online ordering glitch

  • Rave: After all these years of never having skiied, a good friend convinced me to come to Liberty with him on Sunday and I had a blast. Having grown up playing hockey my whole life, I think that the skills translated well.
    Rant: Actually feeling sorer today than I did yesterday.
    Query: What are the benefits to getting Elite status on Yelp? Anybody on here an avid Yelper?

  • RANT: Slipped and fell HARD on my bum just as I walked into the building today. Marble lobby floors = danger zone. I don’t think anything is broken… except my integrity.

    • oh man! sorry to hear that! It really is crazy slippery out – I feel like I put my back out this morning trying to quick stop myself from falling as I was coming out of the Metro. Everyone was walking around like penguins!

    • integrity… haha. there is a comedy sketch in there somewhere. I think you mean something like dignity or pride.

    • binpetworth

      Oh man, I can relate. This happened to me last year, and I ended up with a massive bruise on one cheek. Then a few days later I had my annual physical, and embarrassingly explained that I was not involved in some S&M sub-culture, but merely was a klutz.

    • dcgator

      Ya, same here. Was so cool, leaving the gym in my tee shirt. Got just about home, when I made a sharp-ish turn and ate it. Scraped up my arm pretty nicely and had a good laugh. Was slightly disappointed no one was around to laugh at me with me, but I did anyway. Pretty amazed it took me 4 winters to finally eat it.

  • Rave: Had a lovely long weekend – got almost nothing accomplished, but I did get to relax, tour a possibly apt, get some things in order, go on a hot cocoa mission with Jeslet and D.O.G..
    Rant: Living situation is still uncertain. Feeling like I’m constantly suppressing a panic attack. I couldn’t get my heart rate to go below 85 for nearly all of Saturday.
    Rant: Today is the funeral for my friend’s dad. Wish I could be there for her, but with the weather and work craziness, there was no way to arrange it without taking a few days off.
    Rave: Working on taking things one step at a time. Getting a little better at harnessing my thoughts and not letting my mind get too far ahead of itself. Still have a long ways to go (See: constantly feeling like I’m suppressing a panic attack), but better than before.

    • Taking one step at a time is a great goal. One thing that I struggle with is feeling like I “should” be 100% OK all the time. But sometimes, things are just really stressful — and a living situation issue like you have is one of those times. It helps me to acknowledge that only a superhuman would be 100% OK, which enables me to not throw self-blame lighter fluid onto the anxiety fire.

  • Rave: Had a great (but not relaxing!) weekend with a wonderful party for my birthday and a nice Christening for my godson. Spent yesterday with my husband and my best buddy.
    Rant: Mom and Dad went out of their way to make the weekend difficult and awkward, despite throwing this really nice party for me. I won’t get into details but it’s to the point where I need to more determinedly commit to boundaries and express them. And perhaps talk to someone on how best to do this.
    Rave: Husband by my side, supporting me throughout.
    Rant: He leaves on Thursday for another two weeks away.
    Rave: But not before we celebrate my birthday tomorrow!

  • rave: new frye boots
    rant: new frye boots have blooded my ankles (like the bony side part) …I have mostly myself to blame for not understanding how to break in boots. I’m probably going to take them across the street to the shoe guy to see if they can soften the crease at the ankle that’s killing me. If that doesn’t help, I’ll probably cry and throw them into the potomac (kidding…)

    • Yeah the pair I bought last fall killed me. I ended up having to return them anyway when the zipper literally fell apart on me…I wasn’t pleased but at least they took them back no questions asked. Way too much $$ for that to happen after 5 wears IMO. Hopefully you have better mileage than me and they stop hurting soon!

      • thanks! I paid almost half price for these on amazon during their last sale so I don’t feel AS hard up as I would if I paid full price, lmao

        • emvee

          I bought some Frye boots in 2009 that are the most comfortable pairs of shoes I own today. I bought another pair last fall, and they’re killing me. I forgot about the pain and anguish I went through with the 2009 boots to get them to where they are. If you find someone who does a good job softening the leather, let me know!

    • I’m a horse back rider and so have many many blisters from breaking in tall, leather boots. Some of my best tricks are: wear them around the house, go up and down stairs, etc., dunk them in warm water/spray the inside with water, or wear wet socks and then wear them as they dry (this is terrifying with good leather but works miracles. Just make sure to condition them after you’ve done this), get good boot trees, apply conditioner around the ankles, . Make sure to wrap your hot spots with vetwrap or duct tape, or bandaids as you break them in. Good luck!

  • Rant: Spent most of the weekend sick. That’s what I get for going out in the cold. I could feel the beginnings of a chest cold Saturday night and spent all of Sunday hopped up on cold meds. No single and fabulous Valentine’s day for me.

    Rave/Rant: LOVED the Grammys last night. Hamilton, Kendrick Lamar and Alabama Shakes were the standouts to me. All three of those performances had my rapt attention. I was actually shaking after the Hamilton/Kendrick segment. Not too thrilled about Taylor Swift winning Album of the Year. I don’t like her. I really don’t like her. Kendrick or Alabama Shakes should’ve taken it over her.

    • palisades

      I read a great criticism of Taylor Swift somewhere online – her and her team of people could make 10 more 1989s. Kendrick couldn’t make another To Pimp a Butterfly. It’s all about generic pop appeal at the grammys.
      .
      The Grammys are a complete joke of an award show – it blows my mind how respected they still are.

  • Rave: Lovely, lovely weekend with the boy. I know I’m in love with him, but can’t bring myself to say it. I’ll show it with words instead. All the feelings.
    Rave: Bigger-than-expected tax refund. Hello, boost to my savings account.
    Rant: Need a new job. Onward to the life I want and not getting stuck where I don’t want to be.

  • Rave: WeRock DC band camp this weekend – learned a bit of our chosen musical instrument (for me, drums), formed a band, wrote a song, practiced for a showcase public performance
    Rant: DC debut of Mighty Mazie’s Outside Voice cancelled due to weather, new date tbd
    .
    Rave: KonMarie’d a big pile of papers (resulting in four smaller stacks of paper and a big stack of papers in recycling). None of the papers bring me any particular joy, but at least the recycling pile is bigger than the keeping pile

  • Rant: All I want to do this morning is sleep, and sleep, and sleep.
    Rave: I now have a really nice place to sleep because I moved this weekend.
    Rave: Moving is done!!
    Rave: Thanks so much to everyone on here who recommended Bookstore Movers. I had such a fantastic experience with them… I am a very anxious mover, but they put me at ease as soon as they arrived. They oozed professionalism, and I didn’t have to direct them/monitor them/etc. What a stand-up bunch of folks.

    • How big of a move was it? I too am an anxious mover and may be needing moving help. What were costs like, if you don’t mind me asking?

      • 1 BR apartment, pretty short distance between places. I don’t have tons of stuff, but they sent 3 guys anyway. $160/hour, 3 hour minimum — which is exactly how long it took for a total of $480.

      • I’ve used Bookstore Movers three times and cannot recommend them enough. Never took more than 3 hours for any of the moves. The last time I used them they moved all of our stuff from one apartment, stopped by my old place to pick up two heavy items I couldn’t move to then-gf’s place, and then went onto our new place!

    • Clueless

      Feel you on the last rave, 100%. Bookstore Movers helped with my move last year, on a super snowy day. They were communicative, prepared, and efficient. I ended up tipping them twice, because I was that impressed.

  • I Dont Get It

    Rant: The dogs are having trouble adjusting to the Neater Feeder especially the water side. Can anyone think of anything that will float on water that might entice them?
    Rant: The Valentine flowers I bought for myself look lonely on the coffee table without, oh never mind!
    Rave: Lady Gaga on the Grammys last night!
    Rant: I thought my motto was “You can never be too rich, too thin or have too many Swiffer® products” but after a long overdue reorganization of my kitchen drawers last night it apparently is “You can never be too rich, too thin or have too many cheese spreaders.”
    Rave: Lots of extra room now that I put all entertainment-type kitchen items in the bottom drawer since the only entertaining I do these days is for pocket otters on scaffolding.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: good day to stay in bed and cuddle with the kitty, but I’m at work and it’s hectic.
    Rave: decluttered my vanity, now I’m motivated to declutter the coffee table (this may not be possible).
    Thanks: Everyone talking about decluttering gave me motivation.

  • Rant: Boyfriend bungled Valentine’s Day. I guess it’s a stupid holiday anyway.
    Rant: The zipper on my good coat broke this morning.
    Rant: Never-ending homework accompanied by having to be at work-work with not-enough-work to keep me occupied. I need to get my butt in gear and just do whatever work whenever I can fit it.
    Rave: We’re one day closer to the weekend! And one day closer to nice weather and summer! HOORAY!

    • How? We guys deserve a chance to learn from his mistakes.

      • He decided to take me to a movie I told him I didn’t want to see a couple weeks ago for our Valentine’s date 🙁 Which proceeded to (despite my efforts to think positive thoughts) ruin the rest of the day, including dinner. He had a good day. I wish I had stayed home and done my homework.

        • Did he forget that you’d said you didn’t want to see the movie?? That’s the only good excuse I can think of.
          .
          I don’t know, FridayGirl — I know you want things to work out with this guy, but the more I hear about him, the more I feel like he’s not doing right by you.

        • Did you mention it again at the ticket booth or did you just chug along?

          • I mentioned it in the car then just chugged along. I should have been firmer but I wasn’t in the mood to argue about it either.

          • You said you don’t want to see this movie? And he didn’t acknowledge/respond?
            Not good

          • “I mentioned it in the car then just chugged along. I should have been firmer but I wasn’t in the mood to argue about it either.”
            The thing is, this was not (imo) even an argument starter; he wanted to see a movie you didn’t want to see on a special day (hallmark holiday or not – it’s a special day even if nothing more than for social conditioning sake). It could have been so easily rectified on his part without an argument or without you having to get to the point of making it an argument.
            Idk, FridayGirl. This guy sounds like he’s a lot of trouble. Is he worth it?

        • Whoa. That’s not great. What part of you not wanting to see that movie was unclear to him? Did he just think you didn’t want to see it a couple weeks ago, and that it was more of a timing thing? Or did he just think you’d change your mind and like it? I think I have to agree with textdoc, here. From what you’ve described lately, you guys don’t sound particularly compatible.

          • I have to say I agree with textdoc and LBP here. Did he realize that you weren’t happy with the Valentine’s Day plans? If so, was he apologetic?

          • Yeah. I was really pissed and he apologized a few times (even yesterday without me bringing it up). He said he likes doing things with me — and that’s why he wanted to go with me and not with his friends or by himself. But that’s really selfish. I don’t think he had another plan because the weather sucked so bad (the original plan was to go to the zoo…) so Irving Streete might be half right on this. Still, it was a huge jerk move.

          • At least he apologized and I agree with the below points that he may just be pretty dense. But I think you should seriously think through if a partner dense in this way is something you can be happy with… knowing myself and my needs, it wouldn’t work for me.

      • Not to defend him, but sounds like one of those boy things where you get what you think is a good idea at a pressure moment and then, unable to come up with a plan B, you convince yourself that it’s really a great idea and “she’ll love it.” We can be stupid that way.
        .
        Or he just forgot. Also not one of our best traits.

        • She did mention that she didn’t want to see this movIe in the way to the theater. An easy alternative is picking something else. Most theaters have several movies around the same time. Easiest plan b ever.

          • +1 this is true.

          • +1. Even if he’d already bought the tickets, the theater will usually let you trade for a different movie, as long as they’re the same dollar value.
            .
            Or you could just walk into a different movie than the one that’s on the ticket.

          • I could have just left, but I didn’t. Although I did learn that my best friend’s friend’s boyfriend also took her to go see the revenant… and she did leave half way through. power to her.

          • Was this the last weekend it was showing in theaters? Maybe all the dudes who hadn’t seen it collectively panicked and dragged their girlfriends to it.

    • HaileUnlikely

      A question for you. Do you feel that he is willfully disregarding what you want, or do you feel that he is just kind of dense?
      .
      The reason I ask is that lots of things you’ve described make him sound a lot like a good friend of mine, who is very sweet and kind and intelligent in the academic sense but dumb as a pile of bricks in a general life skills and interpersonal sense.
      .
      I am absolutely not saying that you should give him a free pass if he’s just dense. My point is more that I might be willing to forgive and continue to work with somebody who is just kind of dense, but would absolutely not put up with somebody willfully disregarding my wishes for selfish reasons.

      • what does it mean to mention something about the movie? Were you direct, or did you say something indirectly or hint

      • HaileUnlikely,
        The verdict from my close friends (and myself) is that he’s just kind of dense. A friend’s boyfriend described him as “Clearly military, but kindhearted” (he’s a vet). I know he hasn’t had a lot of relationship experience. I think that’s why things like this are frustrating — because he is clearly not doing it out of mean-spiritedness.
        .
        BUT that being said, I completely agree with your last paragraph. Just because someone isn’t intentionally being mean or disappointing or disregarding doesn’t make it okay.

      • HaileUnlikely

        Just wondered. My mother and my wife both married guys who were kind of dense.

      • If it is him being dense… well, I unfortunately know from experience that there’s a fine line between dense and willful disregard. Dense is doing some things right, some things wrong, but then learning from your mistakes. Willful disregard is doing the same thing wrong again and again because you’re “dense” — but you don’t care to learn from your mistakes. To me, this is the difference between dense you can work with and dense that will keep eroding away at your relationship until it ends. It can be hard to figure out which one it is in a timely fashion.

        • That One Guy

          On the topic of dense, I offered a girl a pickle one day after she said cucumbers make her throw up. I felt guilty the following day when it dawned on me.

          • Hahaha That One Guy. That’s really sad but also really funny.
            .
            And whatchamahoosit, I agree. He does *some* things right. His plan was to take me to dinner where we went on our first date. Which was a cute thought that I normally would have loved. But the movie ruined it. -_- We’ve had talks in the past about working on certain parts of our relationship and for the most part he *has* been more mindful. I just don’t want to have to keep giving him feedback every couple of weeks on one thing or another. It’s annoying.

          • See, that’s a third category — “adoradense”

    • So what was the movie?

      • The Revenant.

        • The Revenant? Hasn’t that been out a while? Yeesh. My guess was Deadpool. Somehow the Revenant seems to make it worse!

          • It has been out awhile. And I said I didn’t want to see it back around Christmas! Maybe he did forget. But I was hoping he’d go with someone else!
            (And Deadpool might have been fine!)

          • Honestly, it sounds like you’re partially to blame here. Sure, he shouldn’t have forgotten you wanted to see the movie a month and a half ago. But you should’ve also stressed that you’d prefer to see (anything) else instead on your way over to the theater. “You can go ahead and watch that with the guys, I’m good on that one.”

          • Or waited for it to come out on DVR or DVD! (Agreed with Deadpool – though I would have supported your reasoning regardless)

    • Are we going to get a new user named “Theater Boy” in a couple of months to give us another side to the story? 🙂

  • Rave: Delay! I slept in an hour and was still the first one in the office.
    Rave: Had a great long weekend. Had a Galentine’s with some girl friends, saw Deadpool (so much fun!), saw the guy twice and had a really nice time. Apparently he only got out of a relationship in January, though he said it mostly ended a couple months before that… so we’re taking things slow. Bit wary about that, we’ll see how it goes.
    Rant: No hot water in my apartment building this morning. Noooooo.
    Rant: Made several mistakes last week at work right after my good review. Frustrated with myself. Hoping this week goes better.

  • Rave: I managed to do some purging this weekend.
    Rant: But I still have a ways to go in making room for all the baby stuff.
    Rant: Slushy, wet, rainy day.
    Rave: Earl Grey tea and cinnamon toast as second breakfast.

  • jim_ed

    PoPville Question: Thinking about going to Compass Rose for dinner tonight. Should I expect a wait for a table around 6:30 or so?
    Rave: Seeing a show at the Black Cat for the first time in forever tonight.
    Rant: Hoping the club hasn’t been washed out to sea by the time we get down there.

  • Rave: Found out last night I’m pregnant!
    Rant: Won’t feel real until doc confirms it in a couple of weeks.
    Rant: Sooooo hard not to tell friends and family.
    Rave: Glad I can share it anonymously on here!

  • HaileUnlikely

    Question for those highly knowledgeable about income taxes: for the purpose of determining whether a charitable donation of goods is tax-deductable, would a receipt from Amazon/Google Express/similar showing that the goods were delivered to a qualifying charitable donation constitute a receipt? (Since I don’t have a car, I find it convenient to order certain goods and simply have them delivered to an organization that I support, rather than bringing stuff there myself).
    .
    I’m assuming that the answer is presently “no,” but hope and expect that may evolve in the future as this becomes more common. The answer has no bearing on what or whether I would donate, and I would not deduct such unless I could actually ascertain that it is definitely allowed. If I could confirm that this was allowed, it would save me a very small amount on my taxes, and if I could confirm that this was not allowed, I could stop wasting time wondering.

    • I thought you don’t need to provide a receipt (other than keeping one for your own records, in case you get audited) as long as the donation is under a certain level — I think $250? I can’t remember whether it’s $250 total to the same organization, or whether it’s a per-donation thing.
      .
      I’d think the Amazon receipt would be sufficient, but I’m sure Accountering or someone can provide more solid information.

      • HaileUnlikely

        That is definitely correct for cash donations. I have read the requirements for non-cash donations and I believe that the donor is required to receive and retain a written statement from the donee confirming receipt of the goods and confirming that the goods will be used for certain purposes that are exempt (as opposed to non-exempt purposes) and to the best of my ability to tell, this is not dependent upon the dollar amount.
        .
        The reason for my question is that the internet searches I have done so far have yielded pages of a few charitable organizations (not ones to which I donate) which have something like an Amazon wish list and tell people to use their Amazon receipt for tax purposes. However, my reading of IRS publication 526 suggests that is not sufficient. Thus, I can’t help but wonder whether those other organizations misunderstand something, or whether I misunderstand something.

        • HaileUnlikely

          p.s. My hunch is that my reading of the IRS publication is probably right, even though in this specific case the written statement from the donee would border on the nonsensical (I’m talking about ordering a large quantity of canned food from Costco and using Google Express to deliver it to a food bank.)

          • The irs is very responsive. Give them a call if you don’t end up getting the question answered here.

          • HaileUnlikely

            That hadn’t been my experience in the past (IRS being responsive), but it has been years since I’ve attempted to contact them directly, so I’ll give it another try. Thanks.

          • The IRS also has customer service offices. I’ve never used them, but a co-worker had only good things to say about them.

          • HaileUnlikely

            Thanks. I honestly had absolutely no idea that IRS customer service offices existed.

        • The good news is it’s you who misunderstands something.

          Pub 526: “You aren’t required to have a receipt where it is impractical to get one (for example, if you leave property at a charity’s unattended drop site).”
          Treas Reg 1.170A-13(b)(1) “A receipt is not required if the contribution is made in circumstances where it is impractical to obtain a receipt (e.g., by depositing property at a charity’s unattended drop site). In such cases, however, the taxpayer shall maintain reliable written records with respect to each item of donated property that include the information required by paragraph (b)(2)(ii) of this section.”
          Prop Treas Reg 1.170A-16(a)(2) (Substitution of reliable written records).

          The regs explicitly allow taxpayers some discretion. A receipt from Amazon showing the address of a charity as the delivery address sounds extremely reliable to me. I have seen far shakier records pass muster at Tax Court.

    • Accountering

      I would argue this is without a doubt allowed. Charitable donations are a very difficult area to audit (how do you prove someone didn’t drop in $20 in offering plate every week at church) so in my experience the IRS doesn’t even really look at them. The only time they will is if your charitable donations are way out of the ordinary for your income level (50k income and 15k charitable donation deduction)
      .
      If you were contacted by an examiner, you would send in your reciept to substantiate, and I would say it is highly likely it would be accepted. This is not tax advice, but I know if I were in your situation, I would take this deduction.

      The IRS guidance you are using is correct, but the IRS simply doesn’t have time to deal with tiny things like this. They are looking for 10,000 adjustments, not discerning whether the $100 item you donated to charity met all of the documentation requirements. After reading a bit more about what you did (canned food to a food bank) my opinion is that this receipt would undoubtedly be accepted by an IRS examiner (in the extremely unlikely event you were even contacted about it)

    • Contact the organization you sent the items to and have them issue a receipt of donation.

      • HaileUnlikely

        Will do going forward, and would do for a previously unacknowledged cash donation. However, asking a non-profit food pantry for a letter confirming that they received a bunch of canned food that I had a Google Express guy deliver to them several months ago strikes me as an unreasonable ask. If it came down to that, I’d rather not bother to deduct it than ask them to do that.

  • Rave: Had a really nice relaxing weekend which was not interrupted by a more than manageable amount of school work…yay!
    Rave x2: Even though it was super annoying to wait around partner’s flight got cancelled which in turn canceled the work trip he was supposed to go on this week (he really didn’t want to go).
    Rave x3: Recently taken a couple of pilates classes…it is a bit more money than I would like to spend but it makes me feel really good! Being taught how to stand up straight (apparently not what I was doing before) makes such a difference.
    Rave x4: Due to a couple of recent sales in my immediate area it looks like we can renovate and still come out ahead equity wise. I was worried our neighborhood wouldn’t appreciate fast enough to make it worthwhile.
    Rant: Financially we are not in a place to be able to renovate yet. Will be taking a hard look at our budget and set some savings goals in the near future.
    Rant: My arthritis (yep…everyone looks at me like I am insane when I say that because I am so young – thank you lyme disease!) came out of nowhere yesterday and my knee is killing me. Jacked up knee is not fun to walk with when the sidewalks are so yucky. Also can’t take pilates class until I can bend my knee again =(

    • You should look into refinancing into a fha 203k. Allows you to roll renovation costs into the loan. After the work is done, refinance again to save money on pmi if you can.

  • Rant: Found out last night that I had bungled Mom’s ticket to Spain in the rush to get everything locked in and get out of the house in time for Wilco last Sunday. $300 change fee, plus a not entirely bright Amex travel agent who took an hour to get everything straightened out.
    .
    Rave: Amex points. The ticket is still “free.”

    • Bah, I’m sorry for the hassle! It’s always a bummer when things like that happen. I’m glad you got it sorted out.

  • Rave: Leak problem identified and fixed.
    Rave: Wasn’t the brand new furnace.
    Rant: Was a crack in the 50+ year old cast iron drain line.
    Rave: Identified it before it worsened and created a real problem.
    Rave: It wasn’t below the floor, which would have required jackhammering away the cement.
    Rave: Not due to shoddy work by the contractor, which mean . . .
    Rant: I have to pay for repairs. I mean this was literally one of about 8 things that remained from the original house. Come on.

    • HaileUnlikely

      Dumb question: do you have a home warranty, and if so, would it cover this sort of thing. (Personally I wouldn’t buy a home warranty myself, but I know sellers often include 1-year home warranty (mine did) and they often state that they include “plumbing” (mine did), but I do not know whether this would be covered or if it would fall into one of their about 10,000 exclusions.

      • No, no home warranty (and I agree they are generally a bad idea because of the 10,000 exclusions). We bought this place “as is” with the intention of gutting it, it never was an issue. Quirks and annoyances aside, I love the finished product, and would recommend our contractor (if anyone is interested) for this or a less ambitious project.

        • HaileUnlikely

          That’s what I thought, and why I did not renew my seller-provided home warranty after it expired.
          .
          If you think your contractor would do much smaller projects (I’m envisioning a much smaller scale renovation, <$30K total, in the next few years), I'd love to know who it was. I maintain a list of those that others here (mainly justinbc so far) have recommended.

          • HaileUnlikely, I might have to hit you up for that contractor list!

          • HaileUnlikely

            It’s not particularly extensive so far, and knowing your search skills, you could probably reproduce it faster than I could find it.

          • They do smaller projects all the time – additions, non-gutting renovations – I think ours was on the larger side for them. It is Leveille HIC (leveillehic dot com) – don’t let the Maryland references scare you, they work in DC all the time.

          • HaileUnlikely

            Thanks!

  • Quotia Zelda

    Rave: Five boxes of stuff sorted and packed up for donation.
    Rave: Eldest Zelda made it home from work last night safely, despite all the ice.
    Rave: Delayed arrival for feds let me wait out the melting so getting to work was easy peasy.

  • Rave: long weekend in Vegas
    Rant: coming home from long weekend in Vegas

  • Any wisdom from the PoPville world on renter’s insurance? I’m honestly not sure where to start… I’m in my mid-20s, live with a roommate, have pretty standard things of value: computer, some other electronics, a few pieces of jewelry, decent furniture.
    .
    Thanks in advance for any advice!

    • I think I have progressive, but I imagine most companies are comparable. If you have car insurance, I’d go with that company to save on both with multi policy.
      Insurance will cover your stuff, so the roomie should get their own. If I remember correctly, there are levels similar to homeowners or car insurance where you pick how much coverage you need based on value of your things. Pretty straight forward though.

      • Emmaleigh504

        I agree with all this. When I first got renters insurance the agent gave suggestions for how much coverage to get. She was really helpful, so talk to your agent if you have car insurance.

      • I did some research about this a couple of months ago. I was surprised that Progressive had the lowest renter’s insurance rates (by a lot). But Progressive just uses another insurance company called Homesite for its renters’ policies. Homesite has absolutely awful reviews from lots of Progressive customers who had no idea their policies were actually with Homesite. So be careful and definitely do some Googling.

        I wound up going with State Farm. I believe that a year was about $140. If I remember correctly, the range was between $80 (Progressive/Homesite) to $220 (Allstate) for the year.

    • We had USAA for renter’s insurance and now have them for homeowner’s. We did have to make a homeowner’s claim, and they were pretty good to deal with. When comparing policies, I would recommend that you get a policy that covers the “replacement value” instead of the “cash value” of your property. Replacement value means they will pay for you to buy a new couch (for instance). Cash value means they will give you the value of your old couch, which would probably be a fraction of the cost of actually buying a comparable new one. If you google around, there are some pretty good articles on how to select renter’s insurance.

    • Just get a bunch of quotes from companies. As Anon Spock said, if you have car insurance, start with that company first, you might get a discount. Ke also has some good advice. Just try to estimate how much it would cost to replace your possessions with new stuff.

    • I had Erie when my rented apartment burned down in 2007ish. They were beyond awesome and made a terrible situation as easy as it could possibly be on me. I had a total loss…like I didn’t even grab my wallet on the way out the door. Dealing with this I would recommend two things: 1) take pictures of what is in your apartment it will help you remember everything as you list it one by one on your claim sheet, and 2) take a realistic view of how much your stuff is worth/how much it would cost to replace it. At the time I was insured up to 13k…which when you think about starting from nothing and rebuying everything like clothes, work clothes, furniture, etc seemed like a lot of money but it actually wasn’t.

  • Rave: Snuggly kittycat,
    Rant: Feeling tired and cranky.
    Rave: Rain and warmer temperatures should wash a lot of this snow/ice away.
    Rant: Yesterday I shoveled my sidewalk, steps, etc. after the snow had stopped and before the freezing rain started. I was irked when I went out in the evening and discovered that the steps and walkway (and patches of the sidewalk) had iced over and were slippery, making them more hazardous than if I had just left them alone for a while longer.

  • Rant: online dating. I’m so over talking to someone I like then poof she disappears. I don’t think I’m turning women off by asking about their grad program and if they have any trips on the horizon. Very benign stuff.
    Rant: Driving in that downpour last night.
    Rave: Short week.
    Rave: Starting weight training this week. Finally!
    Rant: I think my friend has body dysphoria.

    • your last rant – body dysphoria or gender dysphoria?
      .
      either way, it’s hard to see a friend deal with something like that…and it’s hard, as a friend, to learn how to help and support him/her.

      • Always saying they’re fat, look bad, etc with 6 pack abs and cuts for days. Getting very little sleep because they’re in the gym so much. Barely eating.
        Body.

        • ah, i understand now. that’s too bad. i hope they are able to realize the problem exists and get the help they need.

    • re: your first rant, totally feel you. In my experience, folks have some pretty rigid deal breakers, even during the initial conversation/getting to know you phase. For example, I hear a lot of folks say that they’re so sick of the typical DC conversations revolving around where you work, where you went to school, how well traveled you are, etc. I’ve had what I thought were great initial conversations, only to never hear from someone again after they find out where I live. Guess my neighborhood isn’t cool enough, or maybe it’s “tool cool” so they’ve already put me in some sort of undateable box. When there are seemingly so many options, it’s easy to dismiss people for (at least what I think are) silly reasons. Oh well, their loss!

      • I can understand that, and I’ve never actually asked those things. My questions are more like this: you say you’re in grad school, I’ll ask what for; you ask where I’d like to travel next, I’ll ask the same. Rarely do I broach a topic where you haven’t opened the door.
        Alternatively, it’ll just be chatter. I tried to look at a woman’s profile, and she changed her orientation to straight. Why were we talking then?
        On the neighborhood point, many dc folk like everything being close by, so if you’re more them a few stops away (or not near metro) I could totally see that being problematic. I drive so not an issue for me.

        • I think that’s just dating these days. I attribute it to flakiness and that the other person might be dating other people and then it gets serious with one and they disappear. I remember on OKC having conversations with women and then nothing. More annoying was going on dates and everything seemed great then radio silence. In one case it was that she was dating someone else as well as me and she apparently became serious with the other one. That’s fine, but rather than drop off the face of the earth I appreciate a heads up.

        • Accountering

          A deal breaker for me would have been someone in Virginia. I do not want to go to Virginia. Luckily, Andie lived in DC. Unluckily, many of her friends live (and her favorite bands play) in Virginia, so I get sucked out there more than I like haha.

          • I’m guessing I would probably have a problem with ash’s neighborhood, not because it’s uncool but because I live in SE and work in Crystal City. I have nothing against Georgetown, Woodley Park, Chevy Chase, etc. but it takes so freaking long to get to those places from where I live and work.

          • I thought Ash hadn’t even said here what his/her neighborhood was.

          • He/she said it was “tool cool” so that means it’s probably on the far west side of town. 🙂

          • Textdoc- correct; I’m guessing Anon was just using those far flung places as examples same as Acctering said he’d reject someone in Va.

            Other than random women in Cali or NY, distance has rarely been much of an issue for me.

        • Oh I totally get not wanting to date someone that’s not convenient. I don’t have a car either, and I live in DC proper, so VA/MD burbs are out of the question (I may make exceptions if it’s easily accessible by metro). Far west? Ha. I would totally understand radio silence if that were the case 😉 I’d give more details, but too many may give me away. Was just making the point that sometimes the smallest of things can trigger a big “no no” in these situations. Maybe he assumed that I chose to live where I live because I’m a small plate loving hipster. The reality is I came across a steal, and it’s super convenient to work, so I’m not going anywhere anytime soon.

  • emvee

    Rave: Went climbing for the first time in about eight months on Sunday. It felt so good to be back on the wall. Here’s hoping I can start another Earth Treks membership once the Crystal City location opens up. I’m in pain, but it’s the good kind.
    Rave: Spent yesterday’s day off reading on the sofa with a hound snuggled up next to me. It was simply the best.
    Rant: Feeling impatient about life’s next steps. I’m trying to focus on the here and now, which is going quite well, but I notice myself playing the comparison game and I don’t like it.

  • Rave: I think I have an idea for the wedding invitation debacle. Probably will do something simple from David’s Bridal or Shine and then have my fiance’s mom (who is an artist) do a sketch of the venue with a quote for an enclosure. I wanted something a little different and she wants to be involved in the planning in a way she is comfortable with, so I think this is a good solution.
    Rant: No I can move back to focusing on the music. I had no idea I would care so much about the music but it’s been a huge thing for me.
    Rave: Wedding planning > contracts reading.
    Rave: Carhartt hats.

  • Rave: Not really a Valentine’s Day person, but I’ve been having a rough time up here lately and my wife planned an amazing long weekend (Monday was a holiday up here too) for the two of us. It was so thoughtful and sweet.
    Rave: Finally pulling the trigger and getting my nose pierced this weekend!! Hope it doesn’t hurt too bad haha. For people that have their nose pierced–can I ever take it out? I mean temporarily for a few hours?

    • Keep it in for several months (I don’t remember exactly how long, but the shop should be able to tell you), and then once the hole fully heals you can remove it temporarily. Just don’t do this too soon or replace with a smaller gauge stud/ring too soon. I put a smaller one in only a couple of weeks after getting mine (to appeal to my parents, they weren’t happy). The hole got smaller, and then when I accidentally ripped the stud out (be careful with washcloths) I couldn’t get it back in.
      .
      Enjoy it! I still regret not getting mine re-pierced. For what it’s worth, I’m absolutely terrified of needles and don’t have a great pain tolerance but thought that it really didn’t hurt that badly at all.

  • Rant: I’ve been bad at keeping up with PoPville and miss you all.
    Rave: So much quality time with the babies, who continue to amaze and delight me.
    Rant: Only taking two months of maternity leave.
    Rave: I got two months of paid maternity leave, and also got paid while I was in the hospital. And working from home when I go back. Thank you, nice company, for being so accommodating!
    Rant: Federal and DC parental leave laws. I’ve heard stories of new mothers of twins who have to return to work two WEEKS after giving birth because they wouldn’t get paid otherwise. It’s disgraceful that this can happen.

  • Rave: Major life changes on the horizon, including one dream I never thought would be possible becoming a reality.
    Rant: My inner-Negative Nancy is holding me back. I can’t stop worrying it won’t happen, and I won’t let myself get my hopes up.

  • Rave: Got 1st row 1st tier tickets for Phantom of the Opera this summer. I have such a soft spot for this show.
    Rant: Ticket service fees. I get it if you’re buying from a 3rd party, but I bought them from the Kennedy Center directly. Do they consider themselves a 3rd party, with I guess the show company being the actual provider? I hate it. I wish they would just wrap their fees into the price, if there’s no option to buy direct.

  • Rant: Super chaotic weekend.
    Rant: Furnace can’t keep up with frigid temps & one of our windows won’t close all the way. Draft is enough to blow off the plastic covering.
    Rave: Baking is great for warming things up a tiny bit.
    Rant: Can’t eat most of the baked goods because
    RANT: baby might have a dairy sensitivity
    Rave: At least the home-made bagels are ok, even if I can’t eat them with cream cheese….

    • Sorry to hear your last rant! I was lactose intolerant when I was younger and remember the non-dairy cream cheese substitutes were not TOO terrible. :-/

      • Thanks! I’ll have to check them out. It’s all a little new/uncertain but if he does have a food sensitivity & I can identify it/limit my intake, then it might alleviate a few other symptoms that have been bugging me for weeks in addition to the red flag that appeared yesterday.
        I’m partly bummed about nixing cheese and associated foods from my diet and partly feeling guilty that it took this long to identify the issue (assuming that’s the cause).

  • Rant: I sometimes feel that the list of home maintenance tasks will never get shorter.

    Rave: We are taking action. So… any recommendations for someone to replace some crumbling bathroom grout and a ceramic floor tile?

    • I am a huge, huge fan of Thumbtack now. It allows you to put out jobs for bidding by home contractors, jobs both big and small. It has greatly simplified my life. All of the contractors communicate electronically and every one I’ve used has just been superb.

  • Rave: sleeping in today! Even DOG was on board. He didn’t whine, he just hung out until I got out of bed, embarrassingly late.
    Rave: Hotella (hot chocolate made with Nutella) and the Pretzel Bakery! Omg, that stuff is great. And I had such great company with LBP and DOG. Though DOG was so hopped up about the ride, the food, and the other dogs he was just non-specifically barking at random times. Oh, and pretzel bun breakfast sliders? Brilliant.
    Rave: I KonMari-ed almost all of my clothes this weekend, just workout clothes are left. I feel so much more organized already. I won’t say my closet looks empty-ish, but it does have a lot of breathing room. I even colorized my shoes. But the book does not address how to fold an adult size fleece onesie.
    Rant: I still have bags of clothes and tons of left over hangers to deal with. I feel a little like I’m in flux with the collateral damage due to the organizing.
    Rave: the boy is back.

    • And amidst the KonMari insanity I filed my taxes. I can’t wait for my refund.

    • I did a little bit of clothes-organizing (maybe quasi-KonMari-ing) at lunchtime with a plastic bin of clothes that I hadn’t looked at in a looooong time. Thanks for the inspiration!
      .
      I now have a shirt to give to Goodwill, a shirt to add to the gardening-clothes rotation, a couple of cardigans I can wear to work, a spring jacket I had forgotten I even had…

    • You inspired me to organize and purge today, too! It’s such a huge relief to get rid of so much stuff I won’t use again!

  • Rant: Umbrella barely helped this morning – got to work half wet
    Rave: Didn’t slip on lingering ice!

    Question:
    I want to up my fitness game, and am thinking of investing in a treadmill. Anyone here have any recommendations on a light, reliable system for home use? Is NordicTrak still the way to go?

    • I encourage you to get a used one, at least for starters. IF you actually use the thing, then you can upgrade later and get the features that you find lacking in your cheap-off-craigslist one. There’s a reason you can always find cheap fitness equipment second hand: because so many people buy it and never use it. /voiceofexperience

      • 🙂 Fair enough! I guess Id have to find a few friends to help me move it though!

      • Hmm… I had been thinking about buying a treadmill, but it never occurred to me to look for a used one. Thanks for the idea, wdc!

        • Accountering

          This is a great idea – spend $250 on a used one, if you are using it and like it, sell it for $250, and then spend $1000 on a new one.

    • HaileUnlikely

      1. Agreed with wdc regarding used.
      .
      2. Unless you are willing to spend at least $1000, I’d encourage you to restrict your search to manual (i.e., non-motorized) treadmills. A motorized treadmill that costs significantly less than $1000 new is overwhelmingly likely garbage.
      .
      3. If you want the best treadmill on the market and don’t care how much it costs, look into a company called Woodway.
      .
      4. A decent quality stationary bike will be much much less expensive than a decent quality treadmill.

      • Had never thought about a manual treadmill – any companies you might recommend?

        A quick scan of craigslist suggests there aren’t many used one’s available in DC. I wonder if theres some sort of online clearinghouse for used or refurbished treadmills. Hmm. Will look into it and report back…

        • HaileUnlikely

          Unfortunately I can’t. The last one I bought was literally two decades ago and was made by VitaMaster, which went out of business well over a decade ago. They were basically a very good low-budget competitor of NordicTrac.

  • rant: bad sinuses. they are debilitating. can hardly function 🙁
    rave: modern medicine
    rant: wish i had stayed home today

  • Rant: Bought a home and the pipes keep freezing overnight. I’ve been advised to keep the water running at night when the temps dip below freezing. I hate wasting all that water and I lose sleep thinking the pipes will burst anyway! Any solutions would be appreciated. I’ve been told to heat wrap the water pipes but they are located below the floors in a crawl space too small for a human to crawl in!

    • HaileUnlikely

      I’m sure a contractor could figure out how to access the crawl space and insulate the pipes. They also make some special electrical wire that is used to keep pipes above freezing. I have no experience with this and can’t vouch for effectiveness, energy efficiency, fire safety, etc., but it exists and might be worth looking into.
      .
      Regarding leaving the faucet running: a very slow drip will do, it doesn’t have to be what one would typically call “running.” You can have it dripping into a container that you use to water plants, clean something, or hell, even use to drink or cook with, so that you don’t feel like you’re wasting it.

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