Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user Victoria Pickering

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.

Photo by PoPville flickr user Katherine Judd

149 Comment

  • Rave: The eagle parents are all wet and it makes them look comically pissed off.
    Rave: The babies are fluffy and cute and I think the less dominant one has been eating.
    Rant: The rotting fish around their nest are putting me off my breakfast.

    • Andie302

      This is mesmerizing! I’ve only checked in once in awhile and this is by far the most action I’ve seen! So cool

  • Rave: Rooftop table at Rose’s on Saturday night. Great food, and a wonderful time with friends. I didn’t eat until Sunday at about 5:00.
    Rant: Foolishly agreed to fill in giving a presentation during what was supposed to be an easy, catch-up week. Aargh.

    • JEALOUS!!! Was it worth it?

      • To the extent you believe a meal is ever worth that kind of price tag, absolutely. (I am firmly in that camp, BTW.) Lots of old favorites that aren’t currently on the menu, and new dish they’re tweaking for spring, and fantastic service. (John and Seth, if you’re reading this, you were great.) Plus, none of our dining companions had eaten there before, so it was fun to see and hear their reactions as the food came out. My only regret (and this is on me, not the restaurant) is that I’d gorged myself so much by the time dessert came out (ANOTHER platter of fried chicken? Yes, please!) that I couldn’t fully enjoy it.

  • Revel: impulsively bought a plane ticket to Ecuador the day school gets out
    Rant: may have bought it too early in the day. I’m thankful there’s the 24 hour refund law. I need to check with someone at my school. If it doesn’t work out, I’ll go somewhere else
    Revel: was good to my body yesterday… Made it to the gym and made smart food choices and got back on the my fitness pal wagon.

  • Rave: Opening Day is now officially next week
    Rave: I’ve drunk the Hamilton kool-aid.
    Rant: This weather makes me want to stay in bed. Alas, duty calls…

    • I am OBSESSED. It’s all I listen to, and I’m listening to the audiobook that inspired the play and it is amazing. I may have spent my entire tax refund on tickets in September. Can’t wait!

    • Yesssss. Join us in the cult of Lin-Manuel Miranda.

      • I have joined his cult! He makes me smile, just to look at him/listen to him. I love this guy—he’s an original. Also bought Ron Chernow’s book to read while I’m travelling next month.

    • Ah, such sweet kool-aid.
      I convinced my husband that it’s fantastic as well. So loving that I can blast it without any qualms. Now, to see the actual show…

    • Yay on your first rave! My daughter keeps asking to go to a baseball game, which is super awesome. Can’t wait to go to a few games as a family this year 🙂

    • Welcome to Team Hamilton! The Cast Recording is like an onion, you keep unraveling different layers the more you listen. I’m jealous of everyone who has seen it, or already has tickets. My goal is to try my hand at the lottery the next time I’m in NYC. I started following “Hamilton” last February after New York Magazine published an interview with Lin. I thought the concept sounded so fascinating, but never could’ve predicted what a success the show would be. I wish I got tickets back then, way before the show has become the powerhouse it is today!

  • Revel: Awesome Easter – beautiful and meaningful church service, amaaaazing brunch cooked by a friend, followed by a discussion that made me laugh so hard I cried, plus playing “Clue” then watching “Clue”
    Rant: One of my favorite older church ladies’ sister died Saturday.
    Revel: She (the church lady) is doing her best to see the good in it (her sister was in hospice and was in a good deal of pain, and also her niece who was a primary caregiver now has time to have her own life), and it was also great to see how many people want to come support her.
    Revel: Got to see the orangutans at the Zoo actually use the “O-Line” to go between the Ape House and the other building! I’d never seen that before.

  • Quotia Zelda

    Rant: Anxiety-induced insomnia, complemented by stressful, anxiety-induced dreams.
    Rave: Eastern Shore Tea.

  • Rant: I had a fun time watching my nieces for a lot of the day yesterday, but I am exhausted. They were well behaved and I’m still tired, I can’t imagine having my own.
    Rave: I went to the doctor about an issue last Monday, I’m going in for a quick outpatient procedure tomorrow. Everything done in eight days seems like lightening speed.
    Rant: I have to be there at 5:30 am tomorrow.
    Rave: I should be feeling okay after, so I think I’ll go see the cherry blossoms.
    Rant: dating/lack of dating

    • That One Guy

      I could have sworn I saw you at Philz Coffee with a bearded guy. Must have been your doppelgänger.

      • Apparently my sister and I have a doppelgänger somewhere in the city, so it must have been her. I mean, this one is good enough that an ex texted me to ask if I walked past him without saying hello, so that’s probably who you saw.
        I really want to glimpse this woman!

        • Quotia Zelda

          Doppelgangers are freaky. I used to have one in New Orleans. Even my family thought she was me.

          • Emmaleigh504

            She even had shorts in the same green as shorts you had. It was indeed weird.

          • I had one in my class in grad school. Years younger than me, but still looked like me. Even her boyfriend would sometimes think I was her, which was really odd.

            I did once live in the same large city as two of my actual sisters, and that led to many, many cases of mistaken identity.

    • Good luck with the procedure!!!

    • Good luck with the procedure, sending lots of positive thoughts your way!

    • Emmaleigh504

      wishing you a speedy recovery!

  • Rave: Love the cherry blossoms and the fact that thousands and thousands of people come to our city for the blooming of some trees
    Rant: The dumb-dumbs are out in full force. During a one hour run yesterday saw a guy stop and put on his hazards (I guess waiting for someone?) right behind the Lincoln where cars are turning off of Memorial Bridge, another car blatantly run a red light, trash everywhere, and a couple stopped me mid-run to ask where the Tidal Basin was (there are a bajillion people around and you stop the one person with headphones, huffing and puffing mid-workout?)

    • Unless I’m on foot or in a train, I’m just avoiding downtown by car altogether. Had to drive from Dupont to DCA Saturday evening–took Florida all the way to 4th St NE/SE to the Southeast Freeway and it preserved my sanity.

      • Seriously. I don’t understand why so many people thinks it’s a good idea to drive down there. And then they’re suprised/stressed out when they can’t find parking.

    • Oh, man, do I feel you on the idiots. I went into work late after a morning appointment one day last week and that was quite the adventure. I finally blew up at the couple who shoved in front of me to get on the train as I was transferring (ofc I waited for people to get off the train, and they were behind me, and after loudly announcing that they didn’t understand what the holdup is, shoved past me, knocking me pretty solidly against the side of the train and barreling right into the crowd getting off the train). They didn’t think they had done anything wrong, of course, and were ticked off at the “angry big-city tightass” for calling them out on their bad behavior. I seriously wish their were “locals only” cars on Metro from Mid-March through the end of September (and around Christmas, and…you know what, let’s just go year-round). “LOCALS ONLY” on the side and put an RFID reader at the door, and blowgun anyone who attempts to enter without a smart trip registered within 50 miles of the District. 🙂

      • And you think it was inaccurate to call you an angry big-city tightass with that attitude? They may have been wrong, but you certainly aren’t right.

        • Apparently the prince thought my previous reply was too abrupt, so let’s try again…
          If you *physically shove* someone (particularly someone much smaller than you) patiently waiting to get on a train out of your way to get on said train while people are still getting off of it, forcefully pushing them into the side of the train and shoving those getting off aside in the process, you deserve to be called out for that. That’s not a misunderstanding of the DC “rules of behavior,” that’s entitlement bordering on assault. I used “blew up” a bit loosely…I didn’t even curse at them, just made a loud, snarky comment. I embarrassed them, and they acted like the overgrown brats they are, making it out to be *my* problem rather than theirs.
          Thing is, there are a lot of these people/groups roaming around. I can tell tons of stories (from almost being knocked into oncoming traffic by large groups taking up the whole sidewalk to people causing offloads because they held the Metro doors), and I’d wager you can, too. My comment about locals-only cars was in jest (everyone knows those are the first car and last two cars on those rare 8-car trains), but my overall theme of *some* (maybe even many) tourists having no respect for those around them stands. Would it ever cross your mind to *physically shove* someone out of your way because you thought they were taking too long to try to board the train (not try to walk around them, not tap them on the shoulder and ask why they aren’t boarding…*shove* them out of your way)? I didn’t think so.

          • And to clarify, my rules about taking public transit when I’m on vacation in other cities are:

            (1) (Almost) NEVER at rush hour (for my purposes, defined as in the city center, between 8:00 and 9:30 AM and 5:00-7:00 PM). I’m on vacation, whatever I’m doing is nowhere near as important as what the people who live there are doing.

            (2) If I have to catch some longer-distance transportation (flights, inter-city trains) or am doing an activity which requires using public transit to get to the transportation hub or event center around rush hour, I should minimize my impact as much as possible (if possible, go earlier (airports, train stations, and sports complexes have bars in/nearby); in all cases, be as compact as possible and tuck luggage as much as possible, never commandeering more than one seat and often standing where that is the option that makes me take up less space).

            (3) STUDY THE TRANSIT AND LOCAL STREET MAP BEFOREHAND. Maybe I can take a low-frequency local bus that is likely to be less crowded than high-frequency bus/rail transit, so I’m not interrupting so many people’s day by crowding their travel to and from work. Perhaps I just know where I’m going without bothering staff members and locals for help. In any case, *I’m* more relaxed because I have a sense of where I am, where I’m going, and three different ways to get there.

            (4) Buy the most efficient passes that work for you and promote the efficiency of the system. In Chicago, that was a 7-day CTA pass (on a card similar to smarttrip) which we were able to buy at the station (researched beforehand) and register on our phones on our way into the city from ORD on the L, and then just tap for all buses and trains for our 6 days there (none of us were upset about paying for a day we “didn’t get,” since THE 7-DAY ALL-ACCESS PASS WAS $28!). In Portland that’s daily Tri-Met passes (which you can buy at any light rail station) if you’re taking a lot of trips to all parts of town (*$5*/day, all buses and rail included!). In NYC it’s having a metrocard with enough to board the train. ETC. And in every case, know how the fare machines/processes work. Today I stood behind a half-dozen tourists entering the Metro fare gates who waited for them to close before tapping their smarttrip, and then gave me the side-eye when I swiped quickly and walked through even though the gates didn’t close and then open again (I didn’t say anything to their waiting, since you all think I’m a HUGE jerk, but it would have been nice if they realized they didn’t *have* to wait for the excessively long gate lag).

            (5) “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” I didn’t know that people walked on escalators until I came here. Once someone asked me to stand to the right (and they weren’t rude about it…”can you stand to the right so that I can walk by” is NOT rude), I made a mental note of that. People don’t walk on escalators everywhere, so I just follow the crowd when I’m not at home. If I see a lot of people with even small suitcases using the elevator, I go wait with them if I have a suitcase. If people aren’t walking on the escalator, I don’t ask them to move over. The only exception to this is Midwest friendliness where able-bodied men will offer me their seat on public transit. We’re equally capable of standing, so I refuse that offer in full buses/trains, with a little joking about how I live in DC and “I’ve done this before.” But, seriously, those guys compete about who is going to give their seat to the tourist woman, and I’ve even gotten it here, when my mom comes and *does* need a seat, and the Midwestern man in his 50’s in the seat next to the last open tries to jump up and give it to me and I’m all “sit down…I’ve got this. She needs to sit, standing won’t hurt me, I do it 5 to 7 days a week!” SEE? NOT ALL TOURISTS ARE JERKS!

  • Homeowner query:
    This morning I had to turn the shower handle to “maximum hot” — a good bit further than I usually turn it. And it still wasn’t hot enough.
    I think my water heater tank is either 60 or 80 gallons, so the supply of hot water ought to be adequate. Could the temperature issue be a sign of a failing water heater? (What _are_ the signs of a failing water heater?) It’s only about 10 years old, and I thought they were supposed to last 15-20 years.

    • Could be that, but could also be a sign of a failing shower handle. If it’s the type that is cold water at first (e.g. to the right), and then hotter the more you turn it (e.g., to the left), it could be that the valve inside the handle that controls the hot/cold mix is not turning completely with the handle. Check the water temperature from all the other fixtures in your house – if the shower is the only one that isn’t as hot, then it’s your shower handle that’s the problem.

      • This happened in our new place – we thought it was a hot water heater issue but had a guy come out to look and he just unscrewed the front of the handle and uped the heat mix for us. It was really simple – hope you can get by with that fix!

      • HaileUnlikely

        Yes, good call. This exactly.

    • Andie302

      We had an issue where our (I think Delta) faucet was installed incorrectly. There were some internal settings that had to be adjusted. Maybe something slipped inside the faucet? Matt Smith is the one that fixed it for us. I THINK when hot water heaters fail, they normally fail completely – as in zero hot water. I’ve also had issues in the past with hot water heaters that only lasted a day or so and then self-corrected. Fingers crossed that maybe it’s that!

    • +1 if your heater had issues all the water will experience similar issues
      If that happens, plumber should check all the heating elements and thermostats. Those are easy fixes.
      It depends on the model. If you look it up on the company’s site, it’ll tell you how long that model should last. It varies wildly. The old one in my apt Kate’s 17yrs when it’s supposed to be 8-12.

      • HaileUnlikely

        Yes, they do vary wildly. According to the label, mine was manufactured in 1997 and came with a 6-year warranty. The previous owners of my house were very obviously not really into staying on top of maintenance, yet that hot water heater is still going strong.

    • Thanks, all!

    • If you have a single lever handle shower, then it is possible that the anti-scald feature/ setting inside the handle is deliberately preventing water from getting hot enough. separate temp levers dont have anti-scald technology. Life expectancy of a water heater however is 8-12 years however so your unit is toward the end of the life expectancy. They can last longer but it depends on maintenance/water quality etc…, but can also have failed components that need replacement. If it is electric water heater, one of the electric heating elements could require replacement. Check the temp at your kitchen sink and see if the water gets as hot there as it does in the shower. that should narrow down if its a water heater issue and see if you need to make a service call.

  • Rant: Morning Amtrak commute. With a 45 minute hold due to police activity…
    Rave: At least I have my hot vanilla black tea.
    Rave: Awesome maiden voyages on my new bike this weekend – hit up four boroughs with my husband, saw an incredible Africa Now show at the Apollo in Harlem, ate Albanian food in Bronx’s Little Italy, had Easter brunch with buddies in Astoria, Queens, and had some inspiring work meetings in downtown Brooklyn.
    Massive Rant: My anxious friend has decided to up and move to middle of f’in nowhere to be a bartender. She’s leaving behind her only support network and where she is moving to has no psych support and no hospital. And she’s suicidal and bipolar. No idea what to do. Freaking out that this is the last I’ll hear from her.

    • Bronx’s Little Italy: do you mean Arthur Avenue? THE real deal.

      • Yup – Arthur Avenue. Such a cool place. We’re trying to hit up restaurants from each country in the world and Albania was next on our list. But we’ll have to return cause so many places looked so so good!

  • Waking up at 5am most days due to a blinding headache, caused by clenching my jaw in my sleep. No idea what’s to be done about this. Has anyone dealt with this?

    • Andie302

      I had TMJ (a lot of jaw popping and some minor pain from teeth grinding) and went to the dentist to get a fancy mouth guard. It did resolve my issue, but I’m convinced that I could’ve done the same thing with a $5 sports mouth guard, because that was exactly what I was wearing, just slightly more streamlined and custom to my teeth. So maybe try the sports guard as a quick remedy, and make an appointment with your dentist? I’ve been grinding lately more than I used to, and I may take my own advice.

      • Note: There are soft and hard mouth guards for clenching/grinding. I first got a soft one, which protected my teeth, at least until I wore through it, but didn’t keep me from clenching, and actually induced me to sort of chew. Needless to say it didn’t help alleviate my jaw pain and headaches. I subsequently got a mouth guard made out of the plastic material used in retainers, which doesn’t have any give, and has helped a lot and lasted years. A bonus is that it keeps my bottom teeth from shifting over time.

    • binntp

      Yep, this is what persuaded me to get over my dental phobia, go and get fitted for a night guard. I used to wake up with terrible headaches, and haven’t in over a year since I started wearing the guard.

    • Massage helped me with my TMJ and clenching. A massage therapist that knows how to treat it will work on the outside and inside of your cheeks (kinda gross but it helped me a lot!).

    • All useful and interesting, thanks!

  • Rant: My husband’s step dad was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. They live on the Eastern Shore and are an hour away from the nearest hospital, which probably isn’t really that great of a hospital. We told them they should at least go for a second opinion at Johns Hopkins and they can stay with us whenever they need, but they don’t want to. They’re mostly just depressed about the situation (which I get) and want to just “get the whole thing over with” even though the treatment elsewhere is most likely better.
    Rant: 3 coworkers (in a department of 8) called out today.
    Rave: I’m going to a conference in San Francisco on Saturday. I haven’t been since high school and I’m so excited to meet other people in my field and explore the city!

    • my dad was diagnosed with esophageal cancer a couple years ago. if caught early (as was his), it is very treatable. happy to report he is doing just fine now after chemo, radiation, and surgery. please encourage him to go to Johns Hopkins, that’s where my dad had his surgery and they took excellent care of him. it was very scary for us at the time, i know how you feel. hang in there.

      • That is awesome that they caught it early enough to treat it! And I’m glad to hear that you’ve had successes with Johns Hopkins. It was very anxiety inducing to read on their site something like “17,000 people are diagnosed with it each year and 15,000 of them die.” We are really pushing for it, so I hope they will listen.

        • Allison

          I also had a relative who had esophageal cancer, and it was treated very successfully. If you want to know (it may be a bit too early to start thinking about this) they took out his esophagus and made him a new one out of some other bit of his intestine. And now he’s good as new.

    • Suggest they look into Angel Flight. It’s private pilots who give free rides to people living far away from the caliber of treatment they need.
      Perhaps the novelty of getting a ride in a little prop plane will encourage them to seek better treatment.

      • Whoa what a cool organization! Thanks!

        • It’s pretty cool. A friend of mine is a Lady of Leisure with a small plane, and whenever she brings people up WHS or Johns Hopkins she takes us out for some fine dining; the high-end restaurant in her small remote town is a Golden Corral.
          And I think there are lots of private pilots on the Eastern Shore, so probably a good chance of finding a ride!

          • As an aside, I find it unfathomable that someone who can afford to be a Lady of Leisure (and have her own plane!) would live somewhere where the best restaurant is a Golden Corral. I know not everyone cares as much about food as I do, but that’s over the top.

          • I also wonder about that choice. (I may have exaggerated re: GC, but the actual high-end restaurant (singular) isn’t much better. Iceberg lettuce salads and $8 Mondavi on the wine list.)
            But the houses are big and the scenery is nice and she HATES city life (except for the restaurants). To each her own!

          • Yeah, I’ve discovered that I’m not a country boy, so that choice is completely foreign to me. I understand – intellectually – why some would make it, though.

  • REVEL: My 4 month trip around the world is planned. Or as planned as it is going to get until I get to each country.

    Rave: Sent my passport back a week ago Friday. They received it last Monday, and I got my brand new passport yesterday. Woo hoo!

    Rant: organizing visas. Seriously, several of the countries I’m visiting want me to send off my passport to get a visa, some you can only get X days/weeks/months before you get to the country. Some countries (I’m looking at you India) only use some visa service which totally feels fake to me, but since I got it off the Embassy website, I guess I’ll give them my life information. Figuring out how I’m going to get them all in the right order and get my passport back before I leave feels like a demented LSAT question.

    Revel – so what, I’m going on vacation!!!!

    • Oh, and some countries have different instructions about visas on their Embassy website vs. their immigration website vs. the US state dept site (also looking at you India). So, I’m not actually sure what the requirements are!

    • Hello. You are wise to do your due diligence when it comes to visas. I visited Delhi last year. Here is the site that I used for my visa: https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/
      It was legitimate and I received my visa quickly via email. Happy Traveling!

    • I’ve had the best luck going to Embassies in person, but you can also give them a call and they’re usually more helpful than their websites.
      Related question: does anyone know if I can get a replacement for a lost Yellow Fever vaccination card? Do doctors keep records of that (i.e. could I go to the doctor who gave the vaccination in the first place)? Or do I just have to get another Yellow Fever vaccination?

      • Your doctor should have a copy of your yellow fever vaccination form. I’d call them and see. If you got it done at a travel clinic, I’d also see if they can forward the information to your GP so that they have it in your permanent medical file.

    • Just keep that last point in my mind! No matter how confusing and tedious all this stuff is, this is an incredible opportunity, so just focus on the good stuff.

    • It’s more money, but this may be a case where using a visa service is worthwhile. It’s really nice for multiple countries because you send the company your passport and what visas you need and they take care of getting them from the various embassies. We use this at work. With that said it does add up.

  • Rant: Holy hell, last night sucked. Finally trying to ditch the swaddle and boy howdy was sleep a wreck. Poor little guy seemed uncomfortable for some reason as well–I haven’t needed to give him gas drops that frequently since before we diagnosed the milk allergy!
    Rant: Sucks that he can be so affected by my diet. And it’s hard to know what caused it since I’m pretty sure I didn’t consume any dairy accidentally.
    However, BIG RAVE: lovely weekend. Had an impromptu playground + dinner date with friends–it was SO much fun to watch our kids play together and actually start to have conversations. Also loving that my daughter is old enough to help with things so that chores around the house (think cooking & gardening) can be activities to share rather than tasks that need to be handled while kids are sleeping. Also got in a nice, long family walk to pick up bagels on Sunday.
    Rave: found a dress my daughter is happy to wear (at least she was in the store…). Hoping that she’s still up for wearing in on Friday for her brother’s naming ceremony at synagogue!

  • Rant: Feeling kind of shaky and not great today. I felt fine when I got up, not sure what’s up. Hoping it goes away.
    Rant: I’ve noticed that almost all of us here fall into the “everyone on PoPville is a middle-class, Caucasian professional that likes to follow trends” trap sometimes and it’s definitely a pet peeve of mine. I’ll blame it on the inability of people to understand other people’s interests/personal experiences/etc. through an anonymous online forum, because I’m sure all of you are actually great people in person. (Serious. Not being sarcastic.)
    Rave: Making some work friends, and only one more month of classes. Thank goodness.

  • Revel: Wonderful, wonderful weekend. I feel happy and whole.
    Rave: Good talk with my best friend while doing Easter lunch dishes. Somehow she seems to know me better than I know myself.
    Rant: My brother and sister-in-law can’t catch a break. It’s not even that her mother has stage 4 colon cancer, now her step-grandmother has a massive stroke over the weekend. I want to do more than just send good thoughts their way, but don’t know what to do besides send them gas money since they’re driving so far to the hospital so often.

    • Possibly gift cards to food places for when they don’t want to cook or don’t have time to cook with traveling? Places they like that deliver or something?

    • I would send gas gift cards and healthy snacks. Maybe a gift card to a restaurant that also has takeout (so they can choose if they want to eat out or grab something to take to the hospital/home) or a delivery place.

  • Question for popville – anyone out there listing a private suite or basement apartment on Airbnb in the shaw/bloomingdale/ledroit area? How many nights per month are you able to book your space? I know every space and price point is different, I just have no sense of what is reasonable to expect in terms of volume. And it seems like there are SO many listings in the neighborhood! Would love some data points if anyone here lists on airbnb in those neighborhoods!

    • Andie302

      We’re in Shaw, are one of the most reasonably priced for a private basement studio, and are booked almost every night. We have one night available right now in April. I’m happy to talk offline – just email Dan and he can provide my email address!

  • That One Guy

    Rant: minor freak out moment after watching a YouTube video where the words exploding water heater were said. (I noticed the pressure relief valve was hissing like a pressure cooker and shut off the water heater as a result.)
    Rant: now waiting at doctors office for the doctor to show up and also waiting to hear when the repair person can come out.

    • There is nothing more terrifying in my house than the hot water heater. I live in fear that it will either flood my entire basement or blow up or something. I just have to ignore it.

      • You can get something called a “Leak Puppy” that will sound an alarm when it detects moisture–then you’d know if a slow leak were starting and deal with the issue before it becomes a larger problem.

      • I replaced my water heater with a tankless model for this very reason.

      • ahhh the one thing as a paranoid home owner I haven’t been freaked out by, but now I’m going to start!

    • HaileUnlikely

      F*. Good catch.
      To others who are freaking out about this. Don’t freak out about it. Just test the pressure relief valve once in a while (various states, professional associations, etc recommend testing at frequencies anywhere between every 2 months and every 2 years. I test mine about twice a year). It isn’t difficult. There are lots of resources and videos about how to do this. Just make sure you connect a hose that can handle hot water to the drain pipe and direct it to a drain before you start, so you don’t have hot water dump out on your feet. If you can’t open the valve, or if moving the handle to the open position does not result in hot water running out of the drain pipe, or if you can’t get the valve to close and stop leaking water when you’re done, it’s time to call a plumber and get the valve replaced.

      • That One Guy

        One thing I’ll say about plumbers is I don’t know when you can really trust them. The guy who came out just turned an already precarious network of PVC pipes into a jigsaw puzzle of different pieces. An does it matter what direction the water shut off valve faces? He installed the cold water valve upside down. -_-#

        • I had a plumber who added a hose bib behind the access panel for where the water enters my house. He installed the shutoff valve for the hose bib in such a way that if you closed the valve, you couldn’t put the plastic door thing back onto the panel. *facepalm*
          (I was able to get the same plumbing company to fix it a while later, when I had them out to my house to fix three other things.)

  • Hey PoPville: Are there any ESOL teachers or expats who can recommend a reputable recruiter/agency for getting an English teach job abroad? Thanks!

    • The JET (Japanese Exchange and Teaching) program is the big one for Japan – it’s sponsored by the Japanese government. Applications are only accepted once a year though – the next cycle will open in the fall for 2017 placement.

      • Also wanted to add – the pay is pretty decent, from what I’ve heard. At least compared to some other programs people have mentioned here, it sounds like!

    • If you’re willing to make a two year commitment and not make any money, Peace Corps is always looking for people with teaching experience. And you can now sort of choose your country. Plus if you come back and work for the feds, those years count toward retirement.

    • If you know some French and don’t mind getting paid peanuts (but have access to France’s health care and other benefits): http://www.ciep.fr/en/foreign-language-assistants-in-france

      It was a great experience full of wonderful people and living in the south of France. But I was so broke.

    • Does anyone know anything about the Spanish government’s language assistant program? Also pays barely a living wage, but you do get healthcare and a student visa for a year. You have little say over where you’re placed, so I’ve heard it’s really hit or miss.


    • Also, out of curiosity — how do people feel about doing one of these teach abroad programs after a few years of professional work experience? Do you think it hurts you when you want to return to the professional DC scene? In other words, does a break to go abroad look bad on your resume?

      • Honestly, it’s not great. If you’re making a career change, you can get away with it, especially if you’re moving toward something in education. But I might look at your resume and say “relevant experience is out of date”. You have to have a really solid, desirable background to jump back in anywhere near where you used to be. (I don’t know if this applies to gov’t work. But NGO openings are always swamped with highly qualified applicants with no flags like that.)

        • Thanks for the feedback! I was thinking the same. Seems like language skills would be the only professional plus, but at the expense of a “relevant experience” gap.

  • Rave: 8-mile hike on Saturday through Catoctin and Cunningham Falls. Beautiful views, nice to be in nature and away from the city.
    Rave: Mass was awesome yesterday. Full on mini orchestra with beautiful singing, including an ethereal sequence.
    Rave: Got the house in tip top shape yesterday and cooked some beautiful short ribs with brown butter Brussels sprouts and sweet potato parsnip puree. Adulting.
    Rave: Working from home today and so far I’ve been incredibly productive!

  • topscallop

    Rant: super crowded Tidal Basin outing on Saturday
    Rave: my friend who wanted to go seemed to enjoy herself
    Rave: I got a couple of good pictures of a beautiful tree I spotted 🙂
    Rave: I also walked over 8 miles!
    Rant: stomach acting up
    Rant: rain
    Rave: I think I will have enough miles to take my boyfriend and myself on a multi-country Scandinavian vacation in late fall/early winter this year (we are timing it to have the best chance of seeing the northern lights)
    Rant: BF thinks a compromise between a cat and a dog is that super expensive cat that I think justinBC has – a savannah cat I think it’s called. I’m sure it’s a great pet (having dog-like personalities but being self-sufficient like cats are is the draw, apparently), but there’s no way I’m spending that much on any pet. If a dog isn’t in the picture I’m fine being pet-less.

    • anonymouse_dianne

      Not all Savannahs are expensive. But I wouldn’t say they are dog like either. Mine is a total lap cat and very affectionate. Sitting by my keyboard as I type.

    • So you want a dog but the BF wants a cat?
      You don’t have to buy a Savannah cat to get a dog-like cat. If you talk to a rescue group, they should be able to point you toward the cats they have who have the most dog-like personalities.

      • This is a good point. My orange tiger-stripe cat is super dog-like. He likes to play fetch and is super affectionate.

      • ditto this; also, maine coons tend to have dog-like qualities too and there are a number of rescue groups that specialize in MCs.

        • +1 for cats with some Maine Coon in them.
          -100 for the idea of buying specially bred cats. We don’t want them to end up like pure-bred dogs, with all the health and behavior problems that come with over- and in-breeding.

          • FtLincolnLove

            Another +1 for Maine Coons. Two of our three cats are Maine Coons (third is a Persian) and have dog-like qualities. Both of them are super chill, friendly, affectionate cats who love people (and pizza).

      • Emmaleigh504

        +1 My last cat, a mutt, was very dog-like. She played fetch, greeted me at the door, knew her name, etc.

        • hammers

          +another. My cat greets me at the door, begs for food, knows his name, and loves loves loves to play. He isn’t quite smart enough for fetch, though my cat before him played when young. What qualities are you looking for in a pet? If you want a dog, a cat will not fit the bill, but if you want a playful loving affectionate companion, check your cat steryotypes at the door.

      • topscallop

        He would like a dog too, but he doesn’t want to be so tied to a schedule as one is with a dog. A cat would let us do more social things without having to be home to walk it, etc. I have had cats when I was growing up, but I really prefer dogs. His idea of getting a cat with a dog-like personality was an attempt to find middle ground but I think a lazy older dog could also be an option.

        • As far as you wanting a specific cat-like/low-energy personality, taking older dogs from shelters is a really wonderful thing to do (many people don’t adopt dogs that are older). As far as you wanting to not be tied down to a schedule, while older dogs are generally able to “hold it” longer (my 3 and 6 year old dogs can go for 10-12 hours with no problems and actually refuse to go outside sometimes if they don’t need to) you will also be tied down to a schedule more and more as they get older, especially if health issues come up that require feeding/medications/walks at specific times of day. Sounds like you guys need to decide what the deal breakers are and go from there. I’ll also second textdoc’s suggestion of talking to rescue groups – they are often happy to help pair you with a pet that’s right for you! Good luck!

        • Or have a dog walker who can also do evening walks when needed

  • Rant: Back to the infertility drawing board.
    Rave: Being able to offer the support our friends desperately needed yesterday while going through a medical emergency.
    Rave: That carrot cake was ridiculous.

  • Rave: Reading about all these rants to realize I don’t have it that bad.

  • Rave: hungout with my oldest friends on Sunday and visit the cherry blossoms.
    Rave: low match & I are grabbing dinner tonight together as friends for the first time in 6 months. we’ve ran into each other at parties recently & I’ve seen him with his new gf (though he wasn’t introduce me to her). he suggested we hangout together so why not, right? let’s hope it all goes well. 6 months, that’s a lot to catch up on! giving the friendship one more go around. wish me luck!

  • Rant – Changed my outfit 5 times this morning because apparently I”m unable to dress myself. Plus the forecast kept promising a warm and sunny afternoon, even though this morning it as cold and rainy, creating a wardrobe dilemma.
    Rant – When did Cafe Phillips on G Street close down?! They had the best breakfast sandwiches.
    Rave – Signed up for my first 5K! Really need to start running more often now.

  • Rave: My cute nephews and niece. First time all three came to visit at once and we ran around to memorials, cherry trees, the zoo, and the Renwick. Probably the most memorable will be their first Easter experiences so thank you to the organizers in Adams Morgan, and despite the rain they had fun on the south lawn this morning.
    Rant: I’m exhausted.

  • Rave: small neighborhood restaurants that have outstanding friendly staff / owners.
    Rant: Bike thieves! Had my <2 week old high end road bike stolen from in front of building on semi busy side street with u lock and 5-10pm timeframe.
    Rant: no bike lock is safe against easily attainable and portable angle grinders. NONE.

  • Rant?

    The 20 for 2 10s guy just tried to hit me up in Shaw at 7th and P while I was was walking my dog. He’s wearing a red camo looking jacket and red pants and was using some sort of a walker. He walked away real quick though when I said I didn’t have a wallet on me (which I don’t while walking my dog). I asked him what he needed it for and he got out of there quickly. People in Shaw watch out for this, especially by the Metro, I saw him walking that way as I was going into my building.

  • Rave: Bought some awesome plants at Gingko Gardens in SE this weekend.
    Rant: Strong winds are expected this afternoon, and the double doors to a patio I have upstairs keep on opening with strong winds. I bought a door jammer (a ‘Security Bar’ I guess theyre called) to support the door from the inside, but its unclear to me whether I will come home to a open doors again. Am crossing my fingers not – otherwise, I think Ill have to replace the doors, and I don’t want to spend the money at the moment…

    • Could you get a locksmith to install a deadbolt? Maybe that would be enough to stop the doors from opening, and probably cheaper than replacing the doors.

      • You are always very helpful – thank you! Unfortunately, these double doors already have a deadbolt (both doors just swing in together, so the deadbolt doesn’t help). I actually never use the patio, so will probably just drill some metal pieces to keep the doors permanently shut and see if that helps. Am hoping the door security bar does the trick for today, though.

    • Sounds like you need surface bolts. Something along the lines of this? http://www.chiclittlehouse.com/blog/iclittlehouse.com/2014/08/installing-surface-bolts-on-french-doors.html
      I’ve also seen it where only one of the two doors is secured with service bolts, and the second door has a deadbolt which locks into the door with the bolts.

      • That is an excellent idea! (And way cheaper/less complicated than my idea of getting a locksmith in!)

      • YES!!!! THANK YOU!!!!

      • I have a balcony door that started blowing open in strong winds after a not-very-competent handyman added weatherstripping. (There was a terrific draft.)
        I removed the weatherstripping, but the door has still had occasional problems and I try to keep something propped up against it. A surface bolt would obviate that need!

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: being told to focus on pages 9-12 when the report only goes to page 7.
    Rave: feeling good.

  • Andie302

    Query: Anyone have suggestions on where to stay in Key Largo for a long weekend (Thursday to Sunday)? Thanks!

    • I absolutely loved Tarpon Flats Inn. I haven’t been there in a number of years but it’s in a great location for the various Key Largo activities (near John Pennenkamp Park and the beaches). Darn it… now I really want to be back down in the Keys.

  • I Dont Get It

    Rant: Really struggling with issues home and work. No fun!

  • Rave: My pink-and-white daffodils are blooming.
    Rant: The part that was supposed to be pink isn’t pink. It’s kind of tangerine-colored. It’s OK-looking, but if I’d known I was going to get tangerine-and-pink, I wouldn’t have ordered them and would have planted some other kind of daffodil instead. (IDGI, did your pink-and-white daffodils turn out to be tangerine-and-white too?)
    Rave: Sunny and warm day!
    Rave: Yellow daffodils and red tulips blooming in my front yard. (And the tangerine-and-white daffodils.) More colors of both presumably coming soon.

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