Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user Jeffrey Morris

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.

112 Comment

  • Quotia Zelda

    Rave: Thank you to whomever mentioned the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival a few weeks ago. Eldest Zelda loves sheep, so we went and had a great time.
    Rave: Jefferson Lecture tonight!

    • That was me! I was too sick to go, unfortunately, but I’m happy to know someone enjoyed it on my behalf. One of these years I’ll make it there!

    • That One Guy

      Absent mindedness on my part had the lecture pegged for the wrong day. I released my ticket. 🙁

    • I’m sure I’ll see you at the lecture 🙂

  • Rant: Just read that Cashion’s is closing May 12th, but let us make a reservation for a grad school graduation brunch 2 weeks ago for the 14th. They never called to update our reservation, I am just reading about the closing online.

    Any recommendations for a last minute 7 person brunch this weekend….

    • Did you want to stay in AdMo? Roofers Union is good. Not sure about availability.

    • That One Guy

      Try Old Ebbitt to see if you can get a reservation.

    • nightborn

      Alba Osteria in Mt Vernon Square (4th and I) does a very solid brunch and we’ve always been able to make reservations for a bigger group at short notice.

      • I too was going to recommend Alba Osteria. They were able to accommodate a large, last-minute group for me. The food is decent and you can opt for the all-you-can-eat/drink special for one set price so splitting checks is not a hassle.

  • Rave: That photo brought a much needed smile to my face!
    Rant: Getting out the door this morning felt like a win….. until metro hit.
    Rant: Got off of a train to walk after the third notice that the train would be moving momentarily, only to have it actually leave 30 seconds later.
    Rant: cold/fever thing sequentially hitting the kids. was home with mtpkiddo last week, and now mtpbaby has it. my mom is home with the baby today because I’ve already missed the better part of two days. fingers crossed all goes well & I don’t get any lectures about the state of my house today.
    Rant/Rave: mtpkiddo is SO SNEAKY! She suddenly realized (?) she can exit her room herself–so she came downstairs to play Saturday night. My wife went into the living room to set up drying racks from the laundry and found her playing with her toys. It was TEN PM! Seriously, child, you need sleep! Needless to say she was a bit of a disaster the next day since she didn’t sleep late to make up for it–but it’s still hard to not laugh about it. Ugh. 😛

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: didn’t sleep well last night and now I am cranky
    Rave: Jefferson Lecture

  • Rave: Deciding to be happy and not ask for permission. It’s hard, but it feels so good. Time to move toward wholeness.
    Rant: Focusing on this and not getting bogged down. Unhelpful thoughts, stay away!

  • Rant: I am so. freaking. tired this morning. I am too old to be staying out past midnight on a school night!
    Rave: But, I was out at the Kennedy Center having a great time watching my friend’s performance in Carmina Burana. So I’ll take the tiredness without much complaint.
    Rant: Still absolutely no information on the whereabouts of my Federal refund. The website gives me no help. Is it even worth trying to find a number and waiting potentially forever on hold to find something out?
    Rave: Pleasant weekend, and enjoyed seeing the sun.
    Neither: Using “metro-ed” as a substitute for “f**ked” seems absolutely correct to me.

    • Definitely call. If you can call from work and just allow yourself to be on hold for a while (put it on speaker or headphones), you’ll more than likely get more information by speaking to someone over the phone. This has happened to us twice (this year and last) and things were quickly (relatively) resolved by talking to someone on the phone. Call early in the morning (when they first open) if possible.

      • ok, thanks! Guess I’ll see if I can get anywhere!

        • UPDATE: ugh! I finally figured out how to get through to a line where you can (eventually) talk to an agent, spent 50 minutes holding, finally spoke to a guy only to have him tell me that my return was yanked out of the system for some sort of Followup, indicating there is something wrong or missing from my return and that I will receive a LETTER from them in TWO TO THREE WEEKS detailing what is wrong/missing and what I need to do to fix it! He can’t tell me what is missing/wrong, why, he has no idea why it was pulled, I just have to sit on my hands and wait – this is absurd, I’m trying to be proactive! So freaking annoyed.

    • Was it the ballet set to Carmina Burana? I saw that a few weeks ago and it was astounding!

      • No, but that looked like it was awesome, I would have loved to have seen that too! This was a performance by the Washington Gay Men’s Chorus, with special guests from the New York City Master Chorale – it was really great!

    • I would definitely call. Even if your return was being intercepted, you would have known by now. Good luck!

      • arggggh! I can’t get a hold of a person – I can’t even get in line to talk to a human!!! Gah! I can’t find a phone number that doesn’t go to a completely automatic system!!!!

  • rave: I have decided I want to be more active and one fun way to do that would to get a bike. So…where would be a good store to find one? 🙂
    rant: cramps.
    rave: Peaky Blinders is back! (though i am not thrilled about tommy’s new wife. ugh)

    • I’m a big fan of Bicycle Space, both the staff and the products they sell, if you want to buy a new bike. There’s also something to be said for buying a cheap used bike to get a better idea of what you want before investing more.

    • I loved The Old Bike Shop in Arlington not far from the Clarendon Metro. I bought a great refurbished hybrid there a couple of years ago for a great price. I rode it daily after that. =)

    • I just bought a bike a few months ago! I hit up Bicycle Space, the Bike Rack, and two City Bikes locations. I did a little online research to figure out what kind of bike (like hybrid, road, mountain, etc.) and I wanted, and then went in, talked to the sales people, and tried out a bunch of bikes.

  • Rave: walked 8 miles last week. It’s a triumph for me even though some folks on here run that in a day.
    Rave/Rant: Starting on ab work today. I’m trying to get rid of my flabby tummy. I hope I don’t kill myself.
    Rant: packed Red Line train this morning.
    Rant: Weird guy on train talking to himself and poking his face.
    Rave: on Saturday, I bought some great smelling shower gel, bubble bath and lotion from Bath and Body Works. I know it’s a chain but the smell really lifts my spirits.
    Rave: Cooking my sour cream cornbread muffins today. They were so good the last time I cooked them that I had to give them another shot.

    • Abs are made in the kitchen; don’t neglect your diet.

      • Yeah, in my experience ab-specific exercises don’t accomplish anything.

        • Well, you can get nice strong abs. I have killer abs, all stealthy under a layer of maternal flab.

          • HaileUnlikely

            Exactly – it’s not that ab-specific exercises don’t do anything, but rather that building muscle and reducing fat are two different and virtually independent processes.

          • I don’t even get muscle from ab exercises (then again, I don’t get muscle from weight lifting either so maybe it’s just my body type).

          • Lift heavier weight, lift longer, do supersets…
            Then eat more calories

            I’ve never heard of someone doing meaningful weightlifting for a decent amount of time and seeing no muscle.

          • I guess I’m not consuming enough calories. I don’t care enough about being muscular to eat more though.

          • Agree on the lifting heavier weights. I see lots of people in the gym lifting 10 lb weights and they might as well be throwing them in the air. I am pretty petite and I regularly lift 20 lb dumbbells and sometimes heavier. Push ups are good too.

          • Some people have an irrational fear of getting “bulky” like that somehow happens overnight by just looking at a 20lb. Then they wonder why they look the same months into working out.

          • HaileUnlikely

            It is probably true that some changes in exercise routine and diet would produce some results as opposed to literally zero result; however, there are lots of studies demonstrating clearly that individual differences in response to identical training are astronomical. Most of those studies investigate endurance training and effects of endurance training on maximal oxygen consumption (finding improvements in response to the same training ranging from about 1-3% [virtually no improvement] to more than 50% [huge improvement]). There are relatively fewer studies investigating individual variability to strength training, but the few I’ve seen tend to point in the same direction (i.e., individual differences in response to training = huge).

          • Or they lift the 20 lbs and are in so much pain that they can’t work out the next week…

          • Some of those people lifting less weight than you think they should are recovering from injuries or surgery, have joint pain, or other bodily conditions that have them carefully lifting less than they used to.

          • So you take a week off and get back on the horse the week after. I had the same experience my first day lifting this year. I couldn’t fully uncurl my arms for days. When I did the same exercise after a week off, the pain was minimal, but if it wasn’t, I’d have lowered the weight a bit.
            I’m pretty sure the people we’re discussing didn’t get traumatized by 20s.

        • Having a strong core is good for lots of reasons, but no, you aren’t getting a visible 6 pack simply from crunches.

          • I don’t want a visible 6 pack. Just to not look so puffy around the middle.

          • Swap out 6 pack for flat tummy, less flub, etc.
            That’s all diet no matter which words you’re using.

          • Not just consuming fewer calories, but avoiding things that cause bloating.
            I know my stomach can go from puffy to flat if I just avoid beans, onions, and large quantities of fruit and vegetables for a few days.

          • I just wanted to echo this; every body type is different, but I have found over my getting-fit/weight loss journey that the last thing to come along in the process was my middle. Core Strengthening exercises were key in increasing my ability to do other things though. I also found that cutting my alcohol consumption was key too. At any rate, it is awesome that you are making strides to be healthier. More and more studies are showing that waist circumference is a bigger indicator of overall health for women than previously thought, so it’s not just about looking cute, it’s about health. Good luck 🙂

          • This whole conversation has me frustrated because I think I’m going for the same thing as Chinatown (then again, I really don’t need to loose much *weight*, maybe 5 pounds) but I have IBS and the 5 pounds + the bloat makes me so self-conscious even though other people say they don’t notice it.
            I was hoping more exercise would help with that, assuming that exercise would help digestion and working my core muscles would firm up my stomach. Are we implying this is not true? Diet changes aren’t really easy for me because of aforementioned stomach issues.

          • Anon for this – It is possible to see progress without major dietary changes. Yes, you likely won’t get a six pack without making some changes but a lot of it varies person to person. I have stomach issues too so I don’t change up my diet TOO much but making sure I’m not over-eating or over-drinking aligns well with my fitness goals. My one change is that I very rarely drink. I’ll maybe have a drink each week instead of a drink or two at happy hour a couple times per week.

          • Also, I recommend checking out Jessica Smith TV on YouTube. I love her workouts and she has quite a few that target the abs. She is particularly not annoying. A lot of youtube fitness people drive me nuts.

          • AliceinDC – thank you for the Jessica Smith TV recommendation. I’ll look her up. I definitely need to snack slightly less (working on it) but a lot of people say to cut back on drinking first especially with stomach issues (including doctors), but I’m not a big drinker as it is (1-2 beers a week max.) I kind of wish I was a bigger drinker just so I’d have something to cut back on. Haha.

          • Anon for this: Abs aren’t like some other body posts where you can expect to see results with targeted exercise.
            Things like getting muscles which improves metabolism will help, for example. Diet changes don’t need to be dramatic to see results. When you’re eating can be just as important as what you’re eating also portion control matters.
            Also does exercise help digestion? That’s good to hear.

    • Sour cream cornbread? Sounds amazing. Do you have a recipe?

      • Not really. I’m from the Deep South and I’ve been making cornbread different ways ever since I was little. I use a Jiffy cornbread mix and add an 8oz container of sour cream along with an egg and some milk. I put it into a greased muffin pan and cook it until it gets brown on top at over 400 degrees.

    • 8 miles is a significant walk! I sometimes walk the 6 miles home from work and it takes 2 hours. That’s a lot of time to be exercising.

  • Andie302

    Rave: Great trip with my mom last week! We traveled just over 1000 miles and saw quick glimpses of Albuquerque, Four Corners, Durango, Moab, and Grand Junction.
    Rant: So so tired today – it sounds like I’m not the only one!

  • Revel: Fabulous Mother’s Day weekend. The sun finally came out, the kids all acted like they loved each other for the day, and my BF went completely and totally out of his way to make sure all the moms in his life had a great day. One funny from the day and a piece of advice: Word to the wise. If you are going to give a woman a ring for something other than engagement purposes, it is best to choose something that could not be confused; so, while that white sapphire solitaire with a halo setting might SEEM like a great right hand ring, maybe a colored stone would be better….
    Rant: Awkward lunch with my family on Saturday, complete with my mother insisting mid-meal that we be moved inside off the patio. Because tables for 11 are just so easy to come by on the day before Mother’s Day at Cheesecake Factory.
    Rave: The cocktails were strong and I wasn’t driving, so I was properly anesthetized.

    • Additional Rant: My dachshund, who is known to be quite the adept mouse hunter, has added squirrels to her repertoire. Nothing says “Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!” like a dead squirrel 😐

    • Actual lol at the ring advice. I bet its beautiful!

      • lol, it is gorgeous, and I love it! Plus it made for quite the laugh. The funny thing was, I opened it in front of his mom while he was out of the room, and we both just stared at eachother. I didn’t know what to say, so I just said “Honey, was I supposed to open this with you in the room?!?” He honestly never put two and two together when he chose it.

  • Rave: Home and finished with 1L!
    Rant: Sitting here trying to make my brain work again for the Law Review application process.
    Rant: Not much luck yet.
    Rave: Great Mothers Day 4 mile race with my mom and fiance. Perfect weather.
    Rant: Fiance always wins in his age group even with zero training while I train and train but can never place.
    Rave: My dad made all of my favorite foods and wouldn’t let anyone else it them so I can have leftovers all week. So funny/sweet.

  • Popquery: Need help from the community. We are trying to plan a 4th of July getaway for family coming from NoVa, Atlanta, Raleigh and Indiana (6 adults and 5 kids 2-13 yrs). Our Indiana family would prefer not to travel more than 8-10 hours driving. Can anyone think of good central locations where there would be fun for adults and kids? We are looking at renting a house in Asheville NC, Charlotte and Chattanooga, TN, of course things are filling up fast because of the holiday. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

    • i LOVE western NC (think blowing rock / boone area; even Johnson City, TN). it’s a low-key area to do some cool stuff on the blue ridge parkway and in the mountains or go rafting, hiking, etc. you can also probably get that when in Asheville, it just depends on how “city” you want the getaway to be.

    • To go off what womp said, SWVA (Abingdon/Bristol/Damascus, VA with the VA Creeper trail/Appalachian trail that you can hike or ride bikes down, Barter Theater (historic theater with live performances), Martha Washington Inn, there’s a lake nearby, community pool, an active mill, lots of walking in the historic district, great bakeries (Blackbird in Bristol), VA/TN state line for pics, a brewery, live music on Thursday nights, restaurants, etc. http://www.virginia.org/cities/abingdon/?adref=blog214smalltowns

  • Rant: Food poisoning struck me down Saturday morning. Missed out on an awesome day out with friends.
    Rave: Silver lining: I was up early enough to watch the Badminton Horse Trials, loved the live stream and it kept me company while I was feeling terrible. A thoroughly horsey weekend with the Derby and Badminton!
    Rant: Major familial issues having to do with my family’s business, new employees (who are also family members), and potentially post partum depression…
    Rave: My parents fled to DC to get away from it all and we ended up having a fabulous Mother’s Day which included yummy brunch at Ghibelina, awesome yoga at Tranquil Space, gelato at Dolcezza, drinks on the terrace at the Kennedy Center and an incredible dinner at Bistro Bis. Probably the best day I’ve had with my parents in years.
    Happy Mother’s Day to all of you out there!

  • Well, that last week was a series of kicks in the teeth. But it’s over, and it’s good.
    I saw something curious this morning: a man driving a street sweeper (I think a Golden Triangle employee) hopped out of his sweeper and touched something to a sort of electric eye embedded in a tree trunk. Some kind of IR emitter? To prove that he was on his route and on schedule? Just guesses, but now I’ll be looking for the dime-sized eyes in trees!

    • I’ve seen those but with QR codes for security guards making rounds. Without accountability there would surely be some bad apples

  • I Dont Get It

    Rave: I can mark the Funk Parade off my bucket list although
    Rant: Despite making direct eye contact, Muriel Bowser refused to throw me beads. One more reason to vote her out of office!
    Rant: While standing there and later walking home, I had sharp, shooting pains in my left upper thigh. The top of the thigh was oddly numb. Dr. Google has all sorts of explanation from the horrifying to perhaps my belt was cinched too tightly.
    Rave: Made my Meatless Monday meal a day early with “Mexican” Quinoa Stuffed Peppers. Yum!
    Rant: Enjoyed torturing my sister via text message Sunday reminding her how she cut off the tip of my big toe on Mother’s Day when I was 5 years old.

    • houseintherear

      May or may not be helpful- I get nerve pain and numbness in my right thigh due to a nerve pinch in my lower back. It comes on only when I’ve been standing still for a while.

      • I Dont Get It

        That is one of Dr Gogle’s theories although to my knwoledge, I don’t have a pinched nerve in my back.

  • Revel: busy,fun weekend. My cousin plays in a backup band for a bunch of oldies groups and I got sweet, free tickets to see him perform with the Shirelles, Drifters, and some other bands I hadn’t heard of (Buckingham, classics, Jay and the Americans). Great show… I was the only one unset 60 in the place.
    Rant: missed embassy day due to catching up on work
    Revel: cleared all the dead stuff and weeds from my garden.what should I plant?

  • Rave: Had an awesome weekend even though it was emotionally draining. It’s great to know that my friends are pretty amazing people who I can rely on.
    Rave: Hosted our first party at our new(ish) place. We’ve lived here for over a year and had never hosted a large gathering. Lessons have been learned for future parties but it was very successful. And the food was freaking awesome.
    Rant: I am ridiculously cold today. I totally regret wearing a dress.

  • Rave: Bike Party on Friday night was great. I’m specifically referring to the detour through the DCUSA parking garage, which was a stroke of genius.

    • Great idea on their part! I’ve seen one of those parties cruising through my neighborhood at 10:30pm, which I thought was a bit late for a weeknight considering how noisy they are. The garage was probably very empty and able to muffle the sound.

  • Rave – The sunshine was glorious yesterday. My dog sunbathed on the balcony for most of the afternoon and was not interested in walks or playtime.
    Rant – Red line this morning! A nice preview of all the single track work that is to come.
    Rave – I’m all about meatballs lately. Bought pre-made bison balls from the meat guy at the farmers market and made my own lamb balls last night. I never liked hamburgers or meatloaf, but it turns out I really love meatballs.
    Rant – No strawberries yet at the market. I had such high hopes. 🙁

  • maxwell smart

    RANT: I sometimes wish life was an actual choose-your-own adventure book where I could see how one option plays out and if I don’t like the result, go back to page 48 and take the other passageway out of the secret cave. I think I’m building up a lot of stress debating making a major life decision / relocation by over-evaluating every aspect and possibility.

    • Allison

      I try to remind myself that it’s not always an “either/or” choice — by selecting one, you’re not choosing to be “happy” or “not happy.” You might end up happy no matter which one you choose. Or you might end up not happy no matter which one you choose.

  • Rave: busy, fun, beautiful weekend.
    Rant: so tired.
    Rave: went stand up paddle boarding and had a blast. Now I see what the hype is about.
    Rant: didn’t bring lunch today because I didn’t have time to go to grocery store.

  • anonymouse_dianne

    Stumbled on “Eat Pray Love” yesterday. Seeing Julia Roberts eat spaghetti like a real person was totally worth it. Who the heck can take a year off work and go to Italy India and BALI?? Missed the Funk Parade to get my hair done (accidentally) but got to soak in the music.

    • I thought her work was paying for her to travel for a year (which is even more implausible IMO).

      • IIRC, Elizabeth Gilbert was an established writer prior to going on her Eat, Pray, Love adventure, which is why the publisher gave her an advance (so, sort of paying for her travel).

      • There are actually employers that will let you take a year to work abroad. You’re still working–just remotely while traveling.

        • Yep, one of my researchers is spending three months abroad later this year, to work on her language skills. She’ll still be putting in the usual work (on eastern time, which I expect will be challenging for her being 7 hours ahead) but living the rest of her life in another language. It’s worth it to us to have her polish that skill.

      • If I didn’t have dogs I would consider doing it. My work has slow periods so I could probably get on Leave Without Pay during one of them. The money I’d get from renting out my house in DC would cover my living expenses abroad (I’d mostly go to places where cost of living is low).
        But yeah, I realize my situation is unique. Most people have kids, and don’t live in a place where they can rent out their home, and don’t have a job that will let them take a break from it.

  • Rant: Had a bunch of different events I was thinking about going to on Saturday, but slept really poorly on Friday night and was too zombie-like to go anywhere.
    Rave: Got some planting done over the weekend.
    Query for wdc and other tulip-growing folks: Can I count on my Home Depot tulips to come back for one more year? (They’re the ones I planted this past fall.) Or is even that kind of iffy? (I’m trying to decide whether to dig them up and maybe plant some iris bulbs in their place.)

    • I’d say odds are good you’ll get 2-3 years out of them. Big stores have high turnover, so even if they’re not the best quality bulbs, they probably weren’t hanging around for a year before you bought them. I’d replant next fall. Unless you prefer irises to tulips for next spring, in which case, tear ’em out now. You can always change your mind before November and replant.

      • Good to know that I can probably get at least one more blooming season out of the tulips — thanks!
        The irises I was thinking about planting in their place are actually summer-blooming irises. I was excited when I found the multicolor package (blue, light blue, white) that was out of stock last year… but then I remembered that of the 40 iris bulbs (all for purple flowers) I planted last May, only 5 even sprouted and none bloomed. So I’m somewhat on the fence about whether to invest the time/energy in planting summer-blooming bulbs again.

        • Were they bearded iris? Those do best once they’ve established a good root/ rhizome system. I wouldn’t expect much out of them the first year. Of course, if they didn’t come up at all, then they were duds. For plants that put out foliage but no flowers, ignore them and wait til next year. Irises thrive on neglect.

          • Nah, they were Iris hollandica. I’ve been pretty successful with my bearded/rhizome-based irises. (All of which came from either Freecycle or the Craigslist free section!)

        • did you plant the Dutch irises in May for summer bloom? They’re usually fall planted/spring blooming.

          • MPinDC — Yeah, the Dutch irises were being sold for spring planting/summer blooming, along with gladioli, dahlias, etc.
            IIRC, the packaging for the irises says to plant them after the risk of frost is over… and not much else. The packaging for the daffodil bulbs and tulip bulbs I planted last fall (and I think maybe for the Dutch irises I planted last May) was much clearer — it had a map showing which months to plant for a given geographic area.

  • special_k

    Ideas? I want to send my teenage CASA kid an inspirational quote, something not too cheesy, but that let’s her know her past doesn’t define her, she has the power to be who she chooses to be, etc. Anyone here have a quote that has really resonates with them? Thanks in advance!

    • anonymouse_dianne

      The arc of history bends towards justice – Walt Whitman and MLK Jr.

    • I pinned this on Pinterest so I’m not sure who said it but I’m a fan: She could never go back and make some of the details pretty. All she could do was move forward and make the whole beautiful.

      “I myself am made entirely of flaws, stitched together with good intentions.” – Augusten Burroughs

      “I can’t go back to yesterday – because I was a different person then.” – Lewis Carroll

    • “I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.”

      ― Maya Angelou

    • What is a CASA kid?

    • special_k

      Ooh, I like these a lot! Thanks!
      I’m a Court-Appointed Special Advocate (CASA). I call the child I work with my CASA kid to protect her confidentiality.

  • Made it through 1st Mother’s Day without Mom. I tried to treat it as any other Sunday. Decided to buy a new plant to mark the day since the two plants I have are associated with funerals. Beautiful new hard-to-kill plant in a bright, happy yellow pot. Mom would say “that’s SO you!” and would be pleased.

    • It gets easier, but never easy. 5 years after my mom died and I was cranky and sad all day yesterday and flinch when seeing all the ads. I’m sorry for your loss.

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