Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

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Photo by PoPville flickr user Nathan Castellanos

You can talk about whatever is on your mind โ€“ 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 peopleโ€™s grammar. This is a place to vent and/or celebrate things about daily life in DC.

227 Comment

  • Rant: Both of my kids have decided that sleep isn’t important.
    Rant: The baby not sleeping well might be my fault; I probably shouldn’t have eaten take-out last night.
    Rant: Getting kind of sick of policing my diet this heavily.
    Rant: Despite getting up a bit earlier, barely made it out the door any earlier. I give up.
    Rant: Feeling a little worn down by parenting this morning. Argh. Being tired doesn’t help.
    Lone rave: Had a great time seeing my former roommate who moved to Seattle a couple of months ago! So glad her work brings her back to town regularly ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Rant: no hot water – no shower. morningz.
    Rave: all decorations, plans, etc are made for a bachelorette trip in tulum next weekend. need some beach and sun after this awful spring.
    Rant: espresso machine at work doesn’t work today.

    • Clueless

      Regarding your first rant: My building also had no hot water (last night through this morning). Ugh, totally sucks.

  • Quotia Zelda

    Rave: Feeling better today than I was yesterday.
    Quandry: I want a new pair of hoop earrings, but I can’t decide if I want Victorian-style and ornate or tiny and plain.

  • Rave: Bike to Work Day on Friday! I’m hoping to get up early so I can hit the Eastern Market Corral and the one by my office. Gonna Bikeshare in since my bike is still stuck to my back porch.

    Rant: So cranky the past few days! Everyone and everything is getting on my nerves. I blame the weather.

    Rave: At least tomorrow and Friday will be pleasant. I had planned to do Tour De Fat on Saturday, but the weather looks gross. Friday will be perfect for Tour De Fat and Yard Park Concert Series.

  • Bear

    Rant: So tired. I don’t know if it’s the weather, or first trimester fatigue, or what…but man, I just want to be in bed.This should get better once I’m in the second trimester, right?
    Rant: Pants aren’t fitting anymore but I’m not big enough for maternity clothes. For now my buttons are being held by rubber bands…so classy.
    Rave: Moving forward on some work on the house – hoping that moisture problems and draftiness will be greatly improved after this week!

    • Probably a bit of both–I was absolutely exhausted in the 10-16 week period with both kids. Give yourself permission to rest! As for your pants, have you checked into bella/belly bands? You can get them at Target–they can also help.

      • Bear

        I have checked them out but haven’t pulled the trigger yet. Are certain brands better than others or are they all basically the same?

        • I just bought the ones from Target and they worked well enough that I didn’t look elsewhere. I imagine there is some quality variation, but I don’t know how much. I think they are largely the same, but don’t know for sure.

    • Check out Wiggle Room in Bethesda; it’s a second-hand store for maternity and baby stuff. I got a lot of my maternity clothes from there. You’re only going to wear it for a few months, so don’t spend top dollar!
      And yes. First tri fatigue is not messing around. I remember lying on the couch thinking it was amazing that older children survived the gestation of their younger siblings; the way I felt, I could have a toddler drinking bleach and not be able to do a damn thing about it.

    • I feel you on the exhaustion. I’ve been passing out on the couch at around 7-8 the past two nights and DH extricates himself at some point and does some chores and reads until he wakes me up around 11 to actually go to bed. It must be boring for him, but I do enjoy realizing the next day the kitchen got clean and laundry is done!

  • Rave: Just finished Serial Season 2 last night
    Rant: No one to talk about it with!
    Rave: An idea for how to correct this?
    Question: Does anyone in PoPville want to talk about the new season? Maybe if there are multiple people we could start an email chain, or meet up if there’s interest. Email me at syllablesarebest directed to gmail.

    • palisades

      haha wow I completely forgot about that show. The first season was all the rage and everyone listened to it. Then they decided to get political and everyone noped out of it. I listened to the first episode and couldn’t find myself interested.

      • It was definitely different than the first season. I found it to be very worthwhile, though. I would say it picks up after episode 4, when they stop talking about the capture itself and get more into why it happened and the consequences of his release.

      • The 2nd season was terrible. We made it through four episodes and just couldn’t handle it anymore. Sarah Koenig eventually became quite insufferable.

  • Rave: drinks with my sister last night. She’s awesome and I’m so happy we’re close.
    Rant: general malaise. Rain.
    Rant: having a hard time making plans with someone I thought was interested. I can’t tell if they’re busy, indifferent, both, or what.
    Rant: I was so looking forward to Tour de Fat, but the rain looks like it’ll be pretty bad then.

    • Emmaleigh504

      Sister’s are the best.

    • Also rant: I’m a slow reader and I’m sick of it. But I have so much on my reading list I don’t want to make time to investigate how to read faster. Am I shooting myself in the foot? Does those things actually work?

      • Have you tried audiobooks? You can download them for free from DC Library and listen while commuting, dog-walking, doing chores etc.

        • I get a lot more reading done if I have audiobooks– I have a hard time sitting down with a regular book without feeling guilty that I’m not doing something productive. Audiobooks allow me to be productive and read at the same time.

        • I read mostly non-fiction and I have a harder time absorbing it with an audio book. I also feel a little lost because I can’t flip back to that thing a few pages ago and highlight it or write notes about it.
          I think if there’s some fiction I want to read I’ll go that route. Right now I have a stack of non-fiction books and I want to suck the information out of all of them immediately, but it just takes me a while.

          • Farragut

            I’ve come to accept that I will never get to read everything I want to read (I’ve got over 4000 books on my to-read list), so I tried to “train” myself to not beat myself up too much about not reading any faster. I do tend to read more fiction than nonfiction, but one of my goals this year was to read at least one nonfiction book per month. So far so good but I just realized that I haven’t read one for this month yet.
            .
            Also, something else to consider–are you someone who needs to have a set time and place and mood to read? I’m an “anywhere at any time” reader, so I get in a lot of reading regardless of how slow I may be at actually reading. I find myself getting distracted sometimes, but I usually make reading a high priority. ๐Ÿ™‚

          • Oh, that’s a good point. I do think non-fiction is more challenging to listen to, although it works well with some genres of non-fiction.

      • That One Guy

        If you use Kindle, I’ve found that changing the font is really helpful.

        • Making it bigger or smaller?
          Also, I have an old Kindle and I didn’t do the update thing I was supposed to do it time, so I now I figure out how to fix that. Ugh.

          • Farragut

            Here you go! http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=200529680
            .
            You’ll just need to physically download any update via the USB cord and your computer.

          • me too! Whoops! Following this thread in case anyone can provide instructions on how to fix this!

          • That One Guy

            The kindle app lets you change the font so I’m currently using opendyslexic. I don’t know if the actual kindle lets you do the same. If so, try different fonts, more so than the size. If you find your eyes tiring or straining then you should adjust the size to something bigger.

          • Thanks Farragut!
            I’m weird, I have a Kindle, but I also like to buy some books in paper so I can turn pages down, highlight, etc. I know I can do this with my Kindle and I sometimes do, but I still feel the pull of paper.

          • Farragut

            I like both formats! 95% of what I read on the Kindle are library books, which I download from the area libraries (plus the very very nice New York & Brooklyn libraries, thanks, sister-living-in-NYC!). My Kindle is also great for traveling (trains, planes, buses)–not every physical book is good for reading outside of the home (I’m reading an omnibus of NK Jemisin’s Inheritance trilogy–good stuff, but it’s a 1440-page paperback–that’s not Metro-friendly.)
            .
            I’d have to research this to be true, but I *feel* like the ebook % of the market has stabilized somewhat, and I see articles about the younger generations preferring print books. There’s still definitely something lovely about the smell and feel of books, whether they’re old beat-up paperbacks or freshly printed hardcovers or whatever. ๐Ÿ™‚

          • If I’m actually going to read a book and not listen to it I prefer print books (unless I’m traveling and need to save space). It’s just a lot easier to navigate through them. Also, when the 20 days are up you automatically lose the library copy of a Kindle book. It’s nice to be able to hold onto it just a little bit longer so you can wrap it up.

          • Farragut

            Jill, I think the usual way to get around the 21-day limit is to not turn on the wireless on one’s Kindle (I always have it turned off anyway, unless I’m specifically downloading some more books).

          • So I’ve heard, but that never seems to work for me. However, it does seem like you can keep the book indefinitely if you don’t close out of it. That only works if you aren’t switching between books though.

          • Farragut

            Talk about forcing you to finish what you started! ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Rant – My packages keep getting stolen in Bloomingdale!
    Rave – Memorial day weekend is soon!!!

  • Rave: Buyer got clear to close on property I’m selling.
    Rant: I put an offer on a place and the owner did NOT accept. The RE said that the owner also didn’t reject it. She has sentimental attachment to the place though she has not lived in it for ages. He said that since she didn’t reject it- that he will hold on to it and we can revisit. He mentioned that she did give him permission to reject any other that was not the asking price. I think it’s a ploy for them see if they get any other offers.

    • I’d give her a 24 hr deadline to accept now – then you’ll see if she means to sell. You shouldn’t leave your offer on the table for her to use it to troll for better offers.

    • houseintherear

      ugh that is manipulative b.s.!! hope it works out well for you in the long run

    • Was your offer also below the asking price?
      .
      Isn’t there a 72-hour deadline or something in which the seller has to accept, reject, or make a counteroffer? Get your realtor to come down hard on the other realtor to get the seller to do something. I could be wrong, but I don’t think they can hold your offer (or hold you to it) indefinitely.
      .
      Have you already put down your “earnest money”? (I think this is at the same time as the offer, but I’m having trouble remembering.) Have they deposited the check? (IIRC, they’re supposed to do so only if they’re going under contract with you.)

      • Yes- offer was below asking-I’m not using a RE- so that’s why I offered below full asking. The place is a full gut job. Well I did not put down earnest deposit because offer was not accepted. I’ve showed proof of funds, earnest deposit etc. It’s a great opportunity- but not at full asking.

        • Earnest money goes down with the offer. I’ve never heard of someone not putting it down at least. The title company is supposed to hold the check until the offer is accepted and send it back if not or a contingency is triggered.

          • The contract states the earnest deposit must be turned over within 3 days of ratified contract.

          • Awww ok
            Maybe that is because of her trepidation with the process.
            Hopefully they’ll come around quickly. GL

  • hammers

    Rant: Psych doesn’t take insurance, so I’m about to pay mucho bucks for a consult. By the end of the week, I’ll probably be on drugs.
    Rave: Was pre-approved for a mortgage. Credit score was actually 40 pts higher than I thought it was.
    Rant: Nothing I want in my price range/preferred neighborhoods. Also can’t tell if I’m looking to buy in kind of a manic state. SO not super thrilled I changed up the plan from renting to me buying in one day, but we talked about it and I think we’re ok.

    • Congrats on your rave! Thats really exciting!

    • I think I had to be in a slightly manic state (not diagnosed or drugged, mind you, just colloquially speaking) in order to make offers when I was buying. It’s such an enormous thing – the money, the risk, the commitment. Of course, I do the same whenever I spend a few thousand on anything at once – furniture, rugs, artwork. It helps me to get to the purchasing state to drink first.

    • Andie302

      Just wait until tomorrow and Friday for listings! Generally new listings go up at the end of the week, have one open house that Sunday (get it before that with an agent if you’re truly interested), and if they are competitively priced they get multiple offers early that next week, review them, and go under contract. It’s a bit slower with condos versus single family homes, but not if it’s priced well.

    • What are you looking for? I just moved into a 1 bedroom condo in Eckington and a unit in my building hit the market today. If you don’t need more than 600-some sf and one bedroom, it’s one of the only decent places to buy under $300k.

      • hammers

        I’ll take a peek at that! I like Eckington, but my SO and I want to live in Petworth/Park View/Col Hts so primarily looking for somewhere around there. I shoulda bought six years ago when I moved here (says everyone)

        • Good luck, hammers! I’m excited to hear about how all this progresses, though I would certainly prefer if you’re able to stay around the ‘hood! Also, all this home-buying talk is making me super depressed and stressed and jittery, I feel like I’m totally going to miss the boat on ever owning a home, but then I think, I’m not sure that that’s what I want? Or is it? Ugh! (see: my first rant!). Keep me posted on all this!

          • hammers

            I can identify with how you are feeling; really this is just a whim I’m exploring; I’m not sure what I really want. We should meet up soon to chat!

          • Yes indeed! Let’s catch up soon!

          • LBP – Have these same feelings! Why is it so hard to figure out what I want?

          • LBP – try not to feel the pressure. One thing is for sure, owning a home is really a huge responsibility. Honestly, I am perfectly happy being responsible for three human beings, yet the prospect of home ownership scares the crap out of me.

          • We bought a house in Petworth in 2008, moving from a small condo in Adams Morgan. We used the same realtor and bank as before – Jim Norris at Sotheby’s, & Wells Fargo. He said a lot of “the boys” bought houses in Petworth to renovate before the crash and got stranded, now they are probably loving all the equity. We did not think we could afford to buy our first place, but we had such a sucky housemate situation (we were subsidizing a studio and basement unit he rented out and paying their utilities!) we finally bit the bullet. It turned out to be great, a good investment, and now we pass the savings on to our tenant. Trick is finding a nice unit with everything you need, and low fees. I recommend holding out for a fireplace, W/D in unit, outdoor patio and a parking spot. Good luck! Check out Brightwood.

        • What’s your max price? Are you willing to take on a place with a basement rental apt. and/or live with a roomate or two?

          • hammers

            max ceiling likewise 350 depending on hoa fees; will already have 1 roommate so not looking to have more than a 1 or 2 br. Do not want to live in a basement, nor take on tenants. If I can’t find something that fits the bill, will just continue to rent.

        • Eh–won’t happen in those areas for 350K. Not today at least.

          • +1 no basements @ 350k for a 1 bed seems like a tough find in those areas.

          • hammers

            there’s actually a few on the market. and as I said if it happens it happens if it doesnt it doesnt.

          • Disagree. There’s inventory at $350K (and even less) in Adams Morgan and Kalorama for a 1BR. Park View should be easy peasy, so long as it’s not new construction. Be patient.

          • I’m with OP Anon on this. $350K should be enough to get you a one-bedroom in a lot of areas.

          • Accountering

            I agree, 350K is plenty to get a sweet 1BR, assuming you aren’t looking for brand new, staffed front desk building etc.

          • You can even get the staffed front desk if you’re willing to live in a neighborhood that’s not currently hot (think west of the park). My friend just bought a very nice condo for under $250k in a building with 24 hour security in Georgetown. Hers is a studio, but a large one and it had been sitting on the market forever.

    • Hammers, it took us almost six months to buy our first place from the time we decided to do it to closing. Even though that was trying for everyone involved, it ended up being the right pace for us — we came super close to buying two other places before the one we bought, and thank goodness we didn’t get the other ones! Is there any reason you need to move forward quickly? f not, it might be good to just plan for a bunch of weekends spent at open houses, getting to know agents and mortgage brokers.

      • hammers

        nope just looking- not even looking for something quick. just eager to see what’s out there.

      • Six months is nothing. We spent three years. So did our next door neighbors.

      • Wait – 6 months from starting to look through closing? or 6 months from finding the place you bought and closing? My current house took me 2 years from when I decided I wanted to move to actually closing on a new place (I think about 2 months under contract), and I’ve been looking for a year already for my next new place. I’m actually selling my current place and renting for awhile because I’m finding that not having my full down payment in hand is killing my chances of getting anything.

  • Rant: So very tired.
    Rant: In my living room, I keep seeing (mainly on my computer screen) these tiny little bugs. Their bodies are about the size of fruit flies, but they have a long clear tailwing thing at the end. Blech!
    Rant: I have a bad feeling these bugs came from summer-blooming bulbs that I haven’t yet planted. I guess I need to plant them, return them, or store them in a covered area outdoors.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: stress induced insomnia
    Rave? I’m going to be productive today to make up for the past week and 1/2 of slacking.

    • Emmaleigh504

      Rave: talked to Dad yesterday. He’s in good spirits b/c he’s high as a kite! It was funny to listen to him ramble.

      • yay! Glad he’s in good spirits, hope he continues to get better!

        • hammers

          likewise…. to a speedy recovery

        • Emmaleigh504

          he still has tests he needs to get done before possible surgery (mom made it seem definite, dad didn’t–do I trust my mom who has mind like a sieve or my drug addled dad with a good memory?). Tonight I will call my mom and see how she’s holding up.

  • Rave: Feeling a bit cheerier today.
    Rave: Getting excited to find out if I’m having a niece or a nephew
    Rant: Trying to sort through my priorities in life / do some big-picture thinking. It’s hard and uncomfortable.
    Rant: So annoyed at some of the ridiculous articles making the rounds on “friends” Facebook / Twitter feeds promoting anti-vaccine “science”! I wish I could shake some sense/critical thinking into people.

    • Yeah, but did you see the National Academies of Sciences report that finally puts to rest the notion that genetically modified crops are unsafe to eat? That’s a win for science today.

  • Rave: Yesterday’s coffee shop thread reminded me of a favorite expression: Never wrestle with a pig. You both get dirty, and the pig likes it.

    • Prince Of Petworth

      That advice is the best and is what finally got me to stop engaging with jackasses on twitter ๐Ÿ™‚

    • That may be my second favorite aphorism (George Bernard Shaw is the best), behind only, “Everything ends badly, otherwise it wouldn’t end.”

      • That’s a good one.

      • Another favorite is “Not my circus, not my monkeys.” Not because it’s particularly profound, just ’cause it’s funny.

        • Farragut

          I feel like I could swear that I never heard that phrase before this year, yet I’ve seen it used in 4 separate short stories and here. Baader-Meinhof, I guess.

          • It’s Polish! I heard it first from my grandmother’s cleaning lady. She was about 4’10”, with a thick accent, a face like last year’s apple, and a DGAF attitude that managed to come off as sweet and insouciant.

        • binpetworth

          Ooh, I like that one! Hadn’t heard that before. My personal favorite expression, when dealing with someone who’s not very bright, is to say s/he is “a few tacos short of a combination platter.”

        • That One Guy

          There’s also the saying that you lay with dogs and you end up with fleas.

  • Farragut

    RAVE/RANT: Allison and I move to our new house tomorrow… So many boxes.
    .
    RAVE: With all that’s going on, my attention span has been almost nil–luckily I’ve been reading a lot of short stories lately, perfect length for my scatterbrain.

    • Andie302

      Congrats to you both! That’s so exciting! Don’t beat yourself up if takes you a few weeks (or in my case for a few remaining boxes, over a year) to get fully unpacked!

      • +1, and best of luck with the move!

        • Farragut

          Thanks! In our previous apartments, we’ve been pretty good about full unpacking within a few days, but I know we wanted to paint a few rooms, so who knows! Haha.

          • We have guests coming in 2 weeks, so this weekend is devoted to hanging pictures and unpacking some stubborn boxes. We moved in January.

    • That One Guy

      Good luck with the movers.

    • Emmaleigh504

      So exciting that you are moving into your new house!

  • Rant: BF occasionally elbows me in the face in his sleep. Last night was particularly bad and my nose/eyes/cheeks are so sore.
    Rave: First wedding of the season this weekend. Really hope the weather improves…
    Rave: Seeing all my best friends in Hawaii in 6 weeks. Can’t wait!!

  • Rant: DC housing market is insane. Every place where I am looking is going for 50k+ over list prices and I’ve lost 3 bids coming in second place to someone who is willing to pay way over appraised value.
    Rant: Chronic pain is the worst. I only last about 8 hours per day which is all at work before it flares up to the point where I can’t do anything except lay in bed. Drugs don’t work, they just make things worse.
    Rave: Wow, it’s not raining right now.

    • Ahh! We found out last night we were behind an offer with no inspection, financing, or appraisal contingency!!! We cannot compete with that!

      • It’s so hard for me to find a place that I like with a few of my caveats and then it gets swept off the market at 60k over list price and appraisal! I guess others are having the same issue just are more frustrated and more flush with cash. I’m afraid I am going to get to move back to my parents out in VA and gain a 1.5 hour commute.

        • I’d suggest being more open-minded. You probably won’t get everything you’d prefer, but you could get something nice.
          If you have a lease ending soon, consider a sublet in the meantime. Plenty of those in the summer.

          • Andie302

            +1 – Focus on properties that have been on the market a little longer but are overpriced (you may waste some time, but you may also end up with something at a reasonable price without having to bid against 10 other parties), don’t get hung up on things that can be changed later if you can live with them now, and prioritize the things that are most important – because the odds are that you won’t end up with everything on your list

        • There is always PG County. That’s the default for those unable to find suitable housing in the city

        • PDleftMtP

          Where were all these bidders when we were selling?!?

          Ah well, at least it sold.

      • No inspection is just insane. I mean I guess if you’re a millionaire who can afford to take a ton of risk.

        • HaileUnlikely

          A lot of prospective buyers do what they call “pre-inspections,” where they just bring an inspector over to the property before they decide whether to submit their offer, and basically walk around with the inspector and discuss it with the inspector on the spot, and then decide whether to submit an offer without having yet received (or possibly without ever receiving) the actual inspection report. Worst case scenario – you decide not to submit an offer, or you decide to submit an offer without an inspection contingency but it is rejected, and you’re out the cost of the inspection. I actually did this with two different properties leading up to the purchase of my house. I did basically “throw away” about $300 for the inspection on the property I didn’t get, but it allowed me to submit an offer without an inspection contingency on the second one, and I did get it.
          .
          On another note, if the buyer did not need a financing contingency, that is a clue that they probably are quite wealthy or at least have access to some source of cash. If this wasn’t a recently-renovated property, the buyer may well have been an investor who was buying in cash and of course didn’t care about an inspection.

          • Pre-inspections are common in my neighborhood, where houses go on contract with multiple offers over list within a week of going on the market. We did one on a property we didn’t get (because the successful bidders wrote a check for the house, and could have written several more in the same amount!). We didn’t do an inspection on the house we bought because it was a gut-job renovation, though we did get someone to look at the foundation.

        • So much serious stuff can be wrong that an inspector will never find, so I don’t see it taking on a ton of risk by having no contingency. I did a no inspection on a condo from a family with a child. I reasoned a family w/ a child isn’t going to live in a horribly unsafe place. I ended up not getting it, but I felt comfortable even without a pre-inspection which is as Haile said always an option pre-offer.

          • I was going to say the same thing. If you know what to look for, or bring along someone who does, you can basically walk around and do what the inspector does when you view the home.

          • If they are planning to do a gut job- inspection is a waste of time. All the walls are coming down any way. Pretty easy to tell when something has major structural issues.

          • PDleftMtP

            Agree with this. The things an inspection can find usually aren’t that much money anyway compared to the price of the house. Even replacing a furnace or a roof isn’t going to hit 25k, so better no contingency than a 25k higher purchase price. It’s really just serious structural problems, and a lot of agents have contractors they work with who will eyeball the house for you.

        • Didn’t know about the pre-inspection…that makes sense. But with all the problems people have with flips and the 100+ year old houses in DC, it’s still scary. Of course, things are always missed (can’t see inside the walls obviously).

        • On my first house, I had an inspection clause, but included that I wouldn’t ask the homeowner to pay anything under $2000. So they knew I wasn’t going to be persnickety, but that if some serious crap was wrong, we’d have to talk. I got the house over a couple other bidders.

      • HaileUnlikely

        Just out of curiosity, if you’re willing to say, about what price point was this at, and was this basically a move-in ready property or something that would require some significant work? Nevermind the inspection contingency; no appraisal contingency and no financing contingency strongly implies that it’s an all-cash offer or that the buyer is able to buy in cash in the event that appraisal or financing doesn’t work out, which implies that the buyer is either an investor or just a very wealthy person.

        • Andie302

          I had a client do a pre-inspection last Sunday on a move-in ready place in Bloomingdale under $750k. They ended up not submitting an offer because of some of the things the inspector discovered – but had we offered it would’ve been without an inspection contingency.

        • Looking at 250-400k listings for 1br/1ba along green line that are pet friendly and easy to let the dog in and out of. I adopted an extremely active dog and apartment style living with a long maze in and out is not working with the trips in and out. I know I can give up and find something that will sell to me for that price point, just frustrated with the either unpredictable pricing/bidding wars.

        • Our offer was $545k, flipped 4 years ago in NE. The couple needed to move to the West Coast for work.

      • That’s what I had to do to “win” my place in Mt P. In hindsight, I would NOT waive inspection ever again.

    • I was finally closing on a place this time last year. It was utterly insane then and I’m sure it’s even crazier now, but keep at it. I’d recommend taking a closer look at places that have been sitting for a few weeks. We ended up buying a great place that was originally listed too high and was poorly marketed–no price drops after a month on the market, tacky staging, etc. Our lower-than-list offer with all contingencies still ended up being the best one they got.
      .
      Also, get familiar with where sites like Redfin and Zillow mark neighborhood boundaries. If they show a popular neighborhood as being between 10th and 14th street, look for places on 9th and 15th that are probably getting half the foot traffic. Because everything moves so fast here, plenty of people are just typing “Petworth” or “Hill East” or “Bloomingdale” into an app and not looking outside the boundaries it returns.

      • And to your original point– at least occasionally do searches outside of your price range. Our next door neighbors bought their house for the same price as ours, the same month we bought ours, but their house is an end unit and it’s a lot bigger. We didn’t even see their house because it was listed for over a million and our budget was capped at $800k. But they saw it had been sitting for a while so they made a much lower offer which was accepted.

  • Rant: The weather.
    Rant: I sleep so much last night and I’m still sleepy this morning even after my iced mocha.
    Rave: ran across a trailer for a new show that speaks to the hopeless romantic in me.
    Rave: Getting my hair done on Saturday.
    Rant: The space bar and a few on my keyboard on my work computer are sticking I think. They feel harder than normal when I press on them. I hate asking for a new keyboard (this is my 2nd one in 11 years) but I think that’s what I need to do.
    Rant: Loudass coworkers. Just shut up already!

  • Rave: Working to take more responsibility for my own happiness, and not be up/down based on others and what’s happening to me. Hard, but worthwhile.
    Rave: Reading a great book! Sometimes it’s fun to literally chose a library book based on its cover and discover something you wouldn’t find otherwise.
    Rant: Concerned about some emerging food issues and remember that I need three square meals, not one large one and two minuscule ones.
    Rant: Waiting to hear back from job interview last week. At this point, don’t think I got it…
    Rave: Looking forward to Memorial Day weekend travels!

  • Rant: The reality of finally blending our families and managing a calendar for five kids is really starting to hit me. I just caught myself browsing those god-awful “Mom Planners” on Amazon. What has happened to me?!
    Double Rant: Why do they all seem to have some sort of “prayer/praise/inspiration” thing? Oh, right, that’s because usually people with five kids are religious types. Maybe I need to start a product line for blended families with a section for keeping the various custody orders straight and a section for dealing with exes.
    Rant: Not looking forward to moving phase one in the rain this weekend.

    • Sorry, that is hard. Is there a way to do a google calendar to organize? Each kid has a separate color and coparents can share one calendar? I’d also bet there is an app for this – it has to be a common issue (or maybe this is your get rich opportunity – make an app for it!)

      • Google calendar is a great idea! I’m going to look into this. I tend to run an electronic calendar and a paper calendar/planner at the same time because for whatever reason it’s easier for me to schedule appointments on paper. Its funny, when I was an EA, I did everything electronically, but in my personal life, I prefer the old fashioned way!

        • Farragut

          My wife and I use 4 calendars on Google: One for me, one for her, one for both of us, and one for me again for the stuff I want to keep track of but Allison doesn’t want to see (normally book/movie/game release dates).
          .
          We’ve been doing this method since before we married, and it’s been great–easy to see when we’re busy, etc. I hadn’t even thought about for a Future Kid(TM), but that’s something we’ll probably add once we expand the family!

  • Looks like I’m going to be the one teaching 7 and 8 year-olds about consent
    Rant: was super hungry after work and picked up grease fast food. I felt so so so sick. Never again.

    • That One Guy

      Oh that’s going to be an interesting conversation. Don’t 7 or 8 year olds. I remember boys pushing/hitting/being annoying to girls when I was a kid because that’s how they showed interest/affection. Has that changed?

      • houseintherear

        In my 14 year teaching career, incidences of inappropriate touching and actions have increased dramatically. I’m talking police intervention- and I teach in an elementary school. My personal belief is that the kids are seeing “things” at way too early an age. Especially when their parents sit them in front of a tv or internet-connected device for hours on end with no supervision.

    • I hammer home to my kids from a very young age about controlling their own bodies and being respectful of others’ rights to control their own body. I suppose we cover “consent” in this manner. This has been great in some ways (like when my then 6yo defended herself to her nana that no, she did not have to sit on Santa’s lap if she didn’t want to), but we had to have a good long conversation about unwanted tickling a few weeks ago. It’s something I’m very conscious of, yet as with a lot of things in parenting, its lather rinse repeat. Hopefully it won’t be such a foreign concept to all the kids!

      • Yes to all this. Respecting your body, respecting other people’s. I feel like we didn’t hear this as kids.
        I recently had to bite my tongue: my daughter was telling me about a boy who was picking on her and in a distracted moment I *almost* said “That means he likes you”. Why did our parents think it was ok to link affection with mistreatment? And why did I almost perpetuate that??
        Spite Cupcakes, glad you’re having this conversation. It needs to happen over and over, early and often. Google “tea consent” if you haven’t already seen the video. It might give you some useful ideas.

        • Agreed! Recently, my daughter was hit by a boy at school. The school took it VERY seriously and in full credit to the boy’s family, they did as well. I can recall the same thing happening as a girl many times and getting the “oh, he just likes you.” This is the exact attitude that led the same boys to escalate from hitting to groping in adolescence, at which point I was already conditioned to say nothing. I am so, so glad that as a culture we are moving away from this mentality and hopeful that it will lead to less sexual violence. Small steps now equal big strides later.

    • Kids should know about consent already.
      I had some boy try to kiss and touch me sexually in pre-k…way before crazy tv and youtube, and I knocked him clean out.
      I saw an article about it where someone was able to explain it to a 2-3yo. This girl didn’t want a hug, and he was trying to force the issue. Dad said hey that’s her choice because it’s her space or something like that, and that he had to ask first. He immediately went home and asked the cat before hugging. He got it that quickly. I think we do kids a disservice not teaching these things sooner.

      • Unfortunately, that child was probably abused (sexually). A local neighbor girl tried do something similar to my brother when they were both 6 years old. My mom discovered it, the police got involved, and the step-father of the girl was arrested. He had been molesting her for years. It’s really sad, disgusting, and horrifying.
        Abuse is most likely to happen at the hands of another child, rather than an adult.

        • HaileUnlikely

          Agreed. At *best*, the kid likely not only was not taught about consent but had disregard for consent modeled to him by older siblings, parents, or others. That’s probably the best case scenario. I fear your hypothesis is a lot more likely.

  • That One Guy

    Rant: (Asian specific) I’m getting tired of having one eye with the fold and one without. It would be nice if they decided to be consistent instead of having me look like: O.o. If I force the other eye to have the fold I look weird like 0.0. Do I need to tape the one eye until it develops a fold?
    Rave: Bought lunch and snacks on my way into work so I’m actually going to be eating more healthfully today.

  • Rave: After much trepidation for my first ultrasound after our missed miscarriage, we saw our amorphous blob measuring right on time at 9 weeks with a strong heartbeat. What relief.
    Rave: Can’t rant today. I’m still worried and anxious because I know things can go wrong, but I’m just going to try to take it day by day, and today I’m happy.

  • Probably stupid question: We are looking to renovate our house in the next couple of years. However I have no idea where to start. Do we need to get quotes from contractors first or secure the loan first…not quite sure exactly how to kick this process off – any suggestions?

  • Rave: I’m loving all the reading I’ve been doing lately. According to Goodreads, 15 books so far this year! Loving Goodreads for it’s recommendations – it’s a great way to find new books and keep track of them. Plus I get to see what my friends are reading.
    I’m always open to good YA/fantasy recommendations!
    Rave: Ate at The Soveriegn the other night and really loved it. Awesome huge Belgian beer list. Worth checking out! I wish I lived closer to Gtown, I would stop in for a few beers every once and awhile. Good prices too.
    Rave: Can’t even think of a Rant today!

    • palisades

      Sovereign is great, and so is Stachowski’s – but that’s about it for great normal people food in Georgetown. Obviously Fiola Mare is amazing, but it’s not somewhere you can just go to some random day. Trust me you aren’t missing much.

    • Farragut

      There is SOOO much YA fantasy out there it’s hard to know where to start. There’s quite a large number of book review sites, including those that focus on YA fantasy/SF, so that might be a good option to at least get some titles.
      .
      I haven’t read any YA fantasy *recently* but I did really enjoy the original Percy Jackson series–there’s several other pseudo-follow-on series dealing with more Olympics gods or Egyptian or Norse gods. I’ve been wanting to read those.
      .
      I think Rachel Neumeier might have some good YA fantasy, her “Keeper of the Mist” just came out, and Maggie Stiefvater might have some good stuff. Patrick Ness or MEgan Wahlen Turner? Just thoughts. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Two series to recommend:
      The Sharing Knife series by Lois McMaster Bujold (first one is Beguilement). Fantasy, well-written, strong character development, four books that you will read in 2-3 days each because they have great flow.
      The Elemental Trilogy by Sherry Thomas (first one is The Burning Sky). She’s best known for her really excellent feminist romance, but this is YA magic stuff.
      Oh wait, one more: The Chalion series, also by Bujold (first one is The Curse of Chalion– her titles are often a little cheesy). As always with her, great characters. But my favorite thing about this series is how she invents a complex, coherent religion for her world.

      • Farragut

        Wait, are the Bujold fantasies actually YA? I’ve only read her Vorkosigan books, but I’ve been wanting to read the others.

        • The Sherry Thomas series above is most definitely YA, but the Bujold series, not so much. I guess I don’t know what qualifies something as YA. There’s some sex in both, but it’s mostly pretty vague and inoffensive (monogamous and consensual).

      • Thanks for the recommendations!! I’ll have to check these out.

    • hammers

      I enjoyed the Throne of Glass series (in progress) by Sarah J. Maas; the first book was slow but I got really into it by the second.
      I also just read the Legends of Muirwood series (starting with the Wretched of Muirwood) by Jeff Wheeler, and again, a slow first book, but a pretty enjoyable read. I have a whole list of books to try next that I could share, but cannot vouch for. going to add WDCs suggestions to it ๐Ÿ˜€

      • I finished Throne of Glass recently and loved it! Just bought the first book in her other series, Crown of Thorns and Roses – excited to start it this afternoon! It has even better Goodreads ratings thatn ToG!

  • Rant: The stolen Boston Terrier story (why are comments closed on it?) is heartbreaking. That has always been my biggest fear when I have to leave my dogs in the car, and it’s chilling to see that people do actually break into cars to take dogs.

    • yeah, I thought that was heartbreaking too, and odd that comments are closed – maybe people were unnecessarily nasty and blaming the owner for leaving the dog in the car? That was my only guess as to why comments would be closed. I hope that puppy is returned safely!

      • Probably, but it was odd because I saw comments were closed last night, not long after it was posted and during a time of day when not many people comment. I guess the trolls are always active.

      • It may also have to do something with whose dog it was. If you read the Washington Post’s politics section closely today, you may figure it out.

        • Yeah, noticed that from his Twitter account…

        • Can you be less cryptic and just tell us?

          • Former top aide to Boehner.

          • OK – couldn’t find it on the Post site, but an easy Google. Though I don’t know who Michael & Kathryn Steel are – guess I’ll have to Google on. . . BUT – offering a $10,000 reward is just nuts! If anything that is going to encourage dog-napping, if not from cars, then from yards or snatched on walks.

            That was actually my first thought with the recent string of “missing” dogs posted here – the Yorkie and the Terrier. Bad guys see a pure-bred dog and snatch it, knowing they can get a reward for “returning” it.

        • I am not sure what to say to someone who believes that because someone is a Republican, they deserve to have their window smashed and their dog stolen. Well, I do know what to say, but PoP doesn’t allow that kind of language.

          • I really didn’t get that vibe from logandude’s comment, I thought it was more implied that this was some sort of possible dog-napping because the owner might have the means to pay a huge ransom, I don’t see anyone here saying the owner “deserved” what happened because they are a Republican?

          • Where did you gather that? I didn’t see anyone say that.

          • “It may also have to do something with whose dog it was.”
            .
            Not sure what else this comment could mean. I didn’t read anything in particular, though.

          • Someone who is perceived as wealthy being targeted because the criminal thinks they’ll pay a hefty sum.
            Not sure why’d you assume the comment was geared toward party affiliation instead of wealth.

          • logandude suggested that the comments were unnecessarily nasty because “It may also have to do something with whose dog it was. If you read the Washington Postโ€™s ***politics*** section closely today, you may figure it out.” That suggests party affiliation, not wealth, to me. I didn’t see any reference to wealth in his comments.

          • Well, the guy worked for a politician, so why wouldn’t you search for him in the “politics” section? Everyone is entitled to their opinion.

    • Some jerk probably rudely told the OP that they shouldn’t have left the dog in the car and that’s probably why comments are closed. But I’m just speculating based on past posts. Sometimes leaving something in a car for a few minutes just cannot be helped, despite us all being like “don’t leave things it cars” all the time. It happens, and it’s not like it was very hot or cold out. I was heartbroken, too.

      • To be fair, the article says it was 40 mins to get a hair cut and run errands. That is a long time to leave any dog in a car let alone one who has been sick. He absolutely shouldn’t have left his dog in the car for that long esp. if he’s carrying her in a bag that looks like a gym bag (could have been accidently taken when they just wanted the bag).

        • Oh, I didn’t see that article — I guess that was my bad for not reading. (I just saw the stolen between x time and x time and figured that it was a rough estimate.)

          • This came out later last night. He said he walked the dog, and gave her some water then went to run errands. The dog is from a puppy mill and has giardia so she needs her meds.

        • Ohhh I didn’t know that. 40 minutes is pushing it. But usually when I leave my dogs in the car it’s because I was being better than usual to them (taking them for a long walk in the woods, or on a trip, or to visit doggie friends across town) and just had to make a quick stop along the way.

          • Yup exactly the scenario where I’ve left my dog for a few minutes. I doubt anyone would get nasty if that was the scenario in this case. Comments may have been closed preemptively.

          • original article had it close to an hour

        • Oh. yeah, didn’t see the article, that does put it in a different light, but I still feel bad for the puppy!

          • I absolutely feel bad for the dog…poor sick thing, but an owner who does such things cannot get my sympathy.

          • The haircut part is weird. I’ve recently left my dog in the car to do quick or unavoidable errands– using the bathroom, getting coffee or fast food, picking up some item I needed from the hardware store or CVS– but not a scheduled thing that I knew would take a while.
            Also, in my experience many salons are totally fine with a small well-behaved dog sitting in your lap while you’re there. Perhaps the owner thought the puppy would be allowed and had to leave it in the car unexpectedly when he got there and found out it wasn’t.

          • Article suggests leaving her was the plan as he walked her then put her back in the car then went about his errands. I cannot imagine he’d leave out the fact that he had to unexpectedly leave her in the car after being denied at the salon.

        • 40 mins in the car is definitely pushing it. If the puppy was sick especially. I seriously wonder if someone just broke in to take the dog thinking it was being mistreated/abused. Wonder if it’ll show up at a rescue or shelter.

    • Victim blaming/shaming and whether it was warranted in this case

      • Victim blaming gets thrown around a lot here. Asking someone what they wore during an assault is one thing, but I don’t see it being the same thing as questioning why someone left a sick dog in a car for close to an hour to get a hair cut, etc.
        But that is just me.

        • Yeah so my opinion on this particular matter aside, I totally agree. I should’ve put victim blaming in quotes or something.

        • How is that worse than leaving a sick dog in the house though? With some houses it’s not THAT much harder to break in than with a car.

          • Or a yard. Very easy to steal a dog from a yard.

          • I think leaving a dog in a yard unattended for long periods is also problematic. My neighbor’s dog was small enough to slip out, and she was warned of this fact but still put the dog in the yard unattended. Eventually it was stolen or ran off. While some homes are swiss cheese, I’d argue being in a home is at least more comfy for the dog than being in the gym bag and likely more secure.

          • I was thinking more of non-city environments, I guess. Like when I was a kid we kept the dog in a kennel in the backyard during the day. It had a doghouse and a bowl of water so all his needs were met, and he couldn’t escape, but someone who wanted to steal him could have done so easily.
            When I’m at work all day my dog is gated off in a small area that isn’t much bigger than the inside of a car, and about the same temperature that a car would be on a cool overcast spring day. I feel reasonably confident that no one would steal him because of all the burglary deterrents I have installed as the result of being a paranoid city dweller, but most home don’t have window bars and alarms.

          • I don’t know about that…really depends on the neighborhood. An awful lot of houses have bars on doors and windows depending on where you are in the city. In the country, it’s the honor system.

          • Again, I was thinking more of non-city environments. Like my office is near a neighborhood where not a single house has any kind of visible protection, but you can bet there are a lot of expensive designer dogs inside. Why is that ok but a dog in a locked car is so very wrong?

        • I posted and it was deleted by pop. Honestly wasn’t trying to victim blame but my impression was that the dog was left for AN HOUR in the car and I just don’t think that is right! Surely tragic for the owners, and hopefully when they are reunited (fingers crossed) there is a lesson learned. I also can see someone’s point above that the thieves mistook the dog carrier for a gym back or something and panicked when the little guy was in there.

          • Your post at least had some balance to it, but several of the ones that followed were very harsh.

    • The moral of the story for me is to minimize the amount of time my dog isn’t in a secure place. Case in point: I found a dog tied up around a tree last night, called the owner and found out the dog had been there for over an hour because the owner forgot him after running an errand. So many things could have happened to the dog in the meantime. So many things are stolen from cars. It’s very easy to forget that pets rely on us for everything, including common sense.

      • Yeah– my dogs are the most valuable thing I own, so I have so much anxiety when they’re left unattended out in public (I don’t do the tying up thing at all).

      • OMG they FORGOT him? That’s unacceptable.
        .
        It’s one thing if you need to run in to get a prescription or something, for example. I could understand that (although I wouldn’t do it myself) but that’s like saying you took your kid to the grocery store and forgot them and left them there. THAT is ridiculous.
        .
        Animals are basically small children and should be treated as such.

        • Well, sometimes people forgot their baby is in the back of the car when they go to work. It’s fascinating how things that are very important to us can sometimes slip our minds. Good thing flieswithhoney was there to make sure the dog got reunited with its owner.

        • “Animals are basically small children and should be treated as such.”
          .
          Snort. OK.

          • In the care for, watch out for, and take responsibility for senses…absolutely!

            I don’t give me dog bottled water and $100 dog sweaters, but I’m certainly not going to leave him at a store or in my car for an hour. Kids, dog, gerbils…you need to take care of them and not mistreat them.

          • Thank you, Anon Spock, that was my point.

      • What made you call? I’m curious

        • I was wondering that too.
          Also people: please don’t tie your dogs around trees! It can damage the bark which is important to the tree’s survival. Find something nonliving to wrap the leash around, if you must.

        • The dog was crying and the nearby stores were all closed as it was 10:30pm. We all make mistakes so I think this is a reminder to be more mindful

  • Rave: Doozy Dogs just opened up on 14th & FL, I toured it & it’s awesome! Can’t wait to take my doggie there.

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