Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user Tim Brown

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.

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175 Comment

  • I’m going to buy a car soon. Dumb question, but, how do I pay for it? It seems like the usual ways of paying for things– check, credit card– won’t be accepted. But I can’t go with a cashier’s check because I don’t know exactly how much I’ll need.

    • I don’t know where you are buying your car but the last two cars I bought (new) were a mixture of both regular old check and credit card.

      I wanted as many miles as I could get on the card but both times limited me to ~$15K. I wrote a personal check for the other $25K.

      Where are you buying that they won’t let you pay with a check?

      • I don’t know where I’m buying yet. But I thought that dealers didn’t take checks. It’s been yeeeeaars since I’ve bought a car! I have a faint memory of having to go across the street to the bank for a cashiers check.
        I’d also like to charge as much as I can to a credit card for the points, and then write a personal check for the balance.

        • SouthwestDC

          Rave: Four other people and I just booked a 12-night Europe vacation, and I put the whole thing on my card. Hellllllo points!

        • Dealers definitely take checks and credit cards for the amount you put down. They have finance representatives on site to obtain credit for the rest.

          • Get preapproved for financing through your bank same as a mortgage. Better deals outside of the dealership.

          • When I was looking (but didn’t buy) last year it seemed like most companies were still offering 0% financing in a lot of cases. Is that still true? But yes if you’re not going to get 0% financing from the dealer then check your credit union or bank.

          • I think the question implies that wdc doesn’t want to finance it. Car dealers make it very easy to finance a car, but less easy to just pay for it (because they want you to finance it). That said, the last place I bought a car (Ourisman Honda) allowed me to pay for a certain amount on a credit card, and write a personal check for the rest. They did confirm with the bank that the funds were available, though.

          • anonymouse_dianne

            Any number of dealers advertising 0% financing. I’m paying 1% to BMW on my mini.

          • Right, I hadn’t planned on financing.
            But if I can get a better deal with financing, and then pay it off immediately as suggested below, I might suck it up and spend the extra hour (two hours?) at the dealership. I wonder how much can be done in advance over the phone or email? I just dread the whole process, which is why I thought I’d stroll in with the purchase price in hand, and drive away as quickly as possible. This is why I currently have a 17 year old car. Not because I love it or because it’s problem-free, but because I can’t stomach the process of replacing it!

          • We too are in the process of searching for a new car, and have put it off as long as possible for the same reasons! I have a 16 year old car, love to see you have an even older one!! 😀 good luck to us getting new ones!

          • I get it! We finally broke down because we’re outgrowing my 15-year-old golf. We did some test driving, figured out exactly what we wanted, and then ended up ordering the car over the phone (hard to find stick shifts in the area, and we were a bit picky on color). Still awaiting the car’s arrival, but the process has been reasonably easy as far as these things go so far!

        • wdc, for what you describe, would Carmax be more ideal?

          • I’ve got the car I want pretty well bracketed, and carmax doesn’t have one within 100 miles of here. Several other dealers do.

    • We bought a car a few years ago and paid partially with a personal check and financed the rest. I think the dealership called our bank to verify that the funds were available. If you know what dealership(s) you’ll be visiting, you can call them and ask what kinds of payment they will accept. Assuming your credit card limit is high enough, you can also probably pay by credit card. I think my parents did that with an AmEx card and also got a ton of points.

    • I bank with Navy Federal, and when I bought my car last summer, they simply emailed the per-approval letter to the dealer. That’s all I had to do. The dealer said that with certain lender they won’t accept the pre-approval, but with Navy Federal they do. I also had the option of picking up a blank check the same day to write in the dealer and loan amount, but I didn’t have time to go to a branch. A few years prior to that car, we bought a car with a sizeable down payment and the remainder financed; the dealer required cashier’s check or cash. It was too late in the day for a cashier’s check, so my ex took out $9,900 in cash. The bank was right across the street but I have never been more terrified in my life that something would go wrong!

    • “no need to correct people’s grammar.”

      Flag for Dan: Nit-picky grammar snark comment – delete!

    • Accountering

      Bring a cashiers for some amount (perhaps like 2/3 of the car) and when negotiating, mention you are paying in cash. At that point, when you are through with everything, pull out your cashiers check, and your CC. They will not submarine the whole deal (or let you leave without the car) over 1/3 of the car on a CC. You will get a pile of points for it. #winning

      • Strategy! Love it.
        Let’s say the car I want is listed online for $10,000. How much less can I get away with offering and have them accept, generally? Any idea what the usual markup is on used cars? If the markup is $1000, can I go in with a cashiers check for $9500 and expect to leave with the car?
        I knew someone once whose method was to walk into a dealership a half hour before closing time, with the amount she wanted to pay, in cash. And it apparently worked.
        But then I thought that there was some patriot act rule against paying cash for cars and plane tickets.

        • That One Guy

          I believe that dealerships are “motivated” to move used cars before the end of the month so that’s a good time to go in and make a deal.

        • Accountering

          Check out True Car and KBB before you buy. You should be able to determine the price it is worth.

        • You’ll actually get a better price if you agree to finance the car. The sales agents get bigger commissions if you finance. Using cash just means the agent has to sell at a higher price to get the same commission. I’ve heard the new trick is to agree to finance and then pay off the entire loan on the first (or second) monthly payment. Check the fine print and make sure there’s no pre-payment penalty or computed up-front interest….you’ll want a simple interest loan.

          • Andie302

            If I recall from my last purchase (2012 or 2013) there were finance charges involved with dealer financing. This could’ve changed, but I’d be shocked if there isn’t some fee for financing outside of just the simple interest. I would hope that you can find a salesman that would rather have some sale than no sale. Ugh! I also despise this process.

      • I like Accountering’s strategy better than the one I laid out above. The key is being willing to walk.

    • That One Guy

      Recommend you first figure out what car you want whether new or used (make, model, color, options, etc.). Once you know you, can shop around for the best deals for the car, and when you find a dealer with the car you want hunker down and negotiate whether via email or in person, if necessary. That should get you to a point where you know how much the car will cost and you can act accordingly.

    • I was going to pay for a car with my savings ie no financing so I tried to put the whole car on my credit card (and then I would transfer the money from my savings account to my credit card) so I could get the travel miles. The dealer I went to would not let me do that. I was able to put about 4,000 on a credit card and had to pay the rest with a personal check.

      • That One Guy

        They probably didn’t want to eat the 3%, or however much they’re charged, on the entirety of the cars transaction.

    • I have always put a small deposit when I reserved the car on a credit card, and when I came back to pick it up, had no problem writing a personal check for the balance. I suspect since they are processing the tags and registration, they were comfortable with a personal check. They overestimated the cost associated with transferring the tags, and then sent me a check in the mail for the overcharge a week later.

  • Quotia Zelda

    Rant: Mild vertigo. So annoying.
    Rave: Sweden in one week!

    • oh wow! You’re going to get to experience crazy amounts of daylight, going at this time of year! Can’t wait to hear all about it!

  • Rave – Spent the week at a great conference. Learned a lot, met a lot of people, saw some friends I haven’t seen in years.
    Rant – After four days of nonstop socializing and networking, I am so flipping tired. I want to sleep for days.
    Rant – I never understand the people that come to a workshop and spend the entire session on their phones not paying attention.

  • SouthwestDC

    Rant: I decided to drive today, since I had to move my car for street sweeping. It took 50 minutes to go 6 miles. Ugh.
    Rave: Hopefully the way home will have normal traffic and only take 15 minutes!

  • If Metro had bench-seating, there would be so much more standing room, and people wouldn’t clog the entrances. Well they probably still would, but it’d be easier to push past them. They tried this experiment a few years ago and failed. Hope they try it again someday.

    • I think about this every time I take Metro! Totally agreed.

    • I think people would still stand near the doors. And there would be fewer seats (and in particular, empty seats with empty adjacent seats) so you’d end up with more people standing near the doors (because who wants to stand in the middle of the car?). For me the bigger problem with standers is that they tend to board and plant – so once they’ve picked a place to stand, they won’t change position as conditions around them change (if they even notice that conditions have changed.)
      Curious what you mean by “They tried this experiment a few years ago and failed.” Who are they, what did they try, and how did it fail? I don’t remember metro running any test cars with bench seating or anything, but maybe I missed it.

    • That One Guy

      So you want metro to use the NYC subway car seating? I could get behind that push.

  • Question: I’m in the market for a cocktail dress. One that would be flattering on a petite pear-shaped body, that looks good with flats, that isn’t twee or va-va-voom. What stores do you ladies shop at for something like that?

    • Andie302

      I’d check Macy’s, they normally have plenty of selection! If you’re up for a trip to Pentagon City then you could also check out Nordstrom while you’re there. They also appear to be having a half year event online.

      • I work near Pentagon City, but prefer to shop online because the stuff in stores is usually too big. I have been perusing Nordstrom and Rack website though!

      • I’ve used the personal shoppers at the Nordstrom at Montgomery Mall. Called and gave them a price range, sizing, and description of what I was looking for, made an appointment, and they had a range of dresses available to try on in the personal shopping dressing area. In and out in about an hour. Pretty sure that the service is free too.

    • binntp

      I’ve found quite a few at Nordstrom Rack on L St downtown, and reasonably priced (the last dress I got there to wear to a wedding I think I only paid about $40 for).

    • It’s a terrible name, but I’ve had great luck with Dress Barn.

    • Allison

      TJ Maxx usually has a lot of dresses around this time of year

    • Depends on what your style is and what the event is- JCrew has decent petite cocktail dresses, but sometimes you run the risk of looking like a bridesmaid in their stuff. I also like Kate Spade, Trina Turk, Lilly Pulitzer (they do have nicer cocktail dresses in solid colors rather than their crazy prints), Tracy Reese, Aritzia… most of those brands can be found at Nordstrom Rack. Also check online discount retailers like Rue Lala, 6pm, and Gilt. If you’re not looking for something overly expensive, Forever21 can be a good place to look, or Banana Republic (they have a petites store at Tysons and are almost always running 40% off sales). If you don’t want to own but want to look expensive, Rent the Runway is the way to go- they have a storefront in Georgetown. The suggestion for a personal shopper at Nordstrom is a good one- they’re not pushy about buying things and are pretty good at matching your style.

    • I’m a small size and have a lot of luck at Bloomingdales, Lord and Taylor, and Ann Taylor when looking for cocktail dresses. I have also found some very flattering ones at Talbots.

      • I second Lord & Taylor. I don’t shop there for anything else, but I always have really good luck at Lord & Taylor for cocktail dresses.

        • Thanks! Yeah, my usual go-tos for clothing don’t carry the sort of dress I have in mind (as much as I love a versatile sheath I’d like to get something that actually looks dressy for once). So I’m looking for stores like Lord & Taylor that I never would have considered.

      • I was also going to suggest Lord & Taylor.

    • In addition to Macy’s and Norstrom, try White House Black Market. It’s quickly become my go-to.

    • I’m terrible at shopping so I use StitchFix and Trunk Club. You fill out a questionnaire about your style and what you are looking for and someone else shops for you. StitchFix is a lower price point, but Trunk Club has the advantage of having a warehouse location in DC (next to the Spy Museum in Chinatown). You can have the stylist order you clothes and either try them on at home or at the warehouse. If you go into the warehouse they do free alterations. They also give you free beer/wine/champagne while you are “shopping.” It’s actually pretty fun.

    • I’m petite and slightly pear-shaped, and I just bought this extremely flattering dress (it doesn’t look like anything special online, but as the reviews say, in person it is very very cute) — http://bananarepublic.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=1005911&vid=1&pid=170615002

      There are a bunch of other cute ones at Banana and everything’s 40% off right now.

      • I don’t suppose the print looks different in person? I like the cut of the dress a lot but hate the print.

      • And unfortunately not everything is 40% off… I’ve had my eye on this dress but the promotion can’t be applied to it! http://bananarepublic.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=1056331&vid=1&pid=176822002

        • Darn!! Stupid exclusions. The print of the dress I bought is soo much nicer in person, though it’s hard to convey exactly how…if you leave an email address I can send you some pics I took when trying it on which I think shows it much more clearly than on the website (I bought it for engagement pictures, I don’t normally have a photo shoot in the dressing room haha)

  • Rave: Lovely walk from Bethesda to Silver Spring on the trail last night. I love this weather.
    Revel: Off to Asheville after work today. There’s something so nice about doing things you love to do alongside someone you’re in love with.
    Rant: Nada!

  • Rant: setting my alarm is becoming an aspirational endeavor.
    Rave: planning on taking the kids strawberry picking tomorrow. Will be biggest solo endeavor with the two of them by myself thus far. Wish me luck!

    • where are you taking them? would love to do this with my kids this summer!

      • We’ve always gone to Butler’s Orchard–we’ve picked blueberries there for several years, and this will be our second year for strawberry picking.

  • Rant? I went to dinner with a friend and we tried out Maketto. I have to say I was unimpressed. Nothing we had (Bao, Squid, Korean Fried Chicken, Custard Tarts) was anything to write home about. I don’t understand the hype
    Rant: There are no PHO places on H Street NE
    Rave, SO glad for warm weather again, MAYBE I can finally put the jackets away

    • There used to be a pho place on H but it closed a couple years ago.
      If you’re willing to head down to Capitol Hill, there’s a new place called Let’s Mix that has great pho.

  • Rant: I’ve gotten very little sleep this week, and I had the worst night’s sleep I’ve had in a long time last night, under four hours. Continuously interrupted sleep yielded about 4 hours total, maybe? I feel like I’m going to throw up. I don’t know how new parents do it. I would die. I would literally die. Coffee is actually making it worse at this point, as each sip seems to set off a new run of arrhythmia.
    Rave: It’s almost Friday, and a three-day-weekend to boot
    Rave: I love my yoga studio, even when I wake up aching from head to toe.
    Rant: Struggling with anxiety again. Next week is my last free (thanks to my EAP) session with my counselor, and I’ve got to find out if I can keep seeing her with my insurance and how much it would cost, etc. That in and of itself is giving me anxiety.
    Rant: Feel like I can’t keep my head on straight. Trying to keep track of so many things at work and at home. Blerg.

    • That One Guy

      Maybe a massage will help ease any tension and help with sleep. Is that an option?

    • maxwell smart

      I am right there with you! I’ve been an anxiety riddled mess trying to make a fairly significant work/relocation decision, constantly weighing out the pros and cons. I finally had a moment of clarity this weekend and started some initial conversations/plans to relocate, but now I have an equal amount of anxiety about moving, giving up my fantastic apartment I have lived in for 5 years and starting a new-ish life elsewhere. Plus delivering the bad news to friends, who will be sad, and family, who will surely think I am crazy. I think all the stress is catching up with me… I feel that faint tickle in the back of my throat.

    • I have no idea if this will help you, but the Kaiser website has several free Podcasts of meditations to listen to for different issues, including sleep, anxiety, and stress (google “Kaiser meditations”). I decided to try it because it was free and wouldn’t hurt, and was surprised the sleep one helped me.

  • I asked too late yesterday, and cant find the discussion when I search through the site, but I remember folks had helpful suggestions when someone else asked about which front door lock brands to install. Does anyone have any suggestions?

  • Rant: Thermostat Wars at home have begun.
    Rave: Headed down to SW VA for the long weekend. Not looking forward to sitting in traffic, but can’t wait to hike and bbq and get out of the city for a bit!
    Rant: Was told I’m overqualified for a job that sounded interesting. I can’t win!

    • Your rant! It’s horrible with roommates, but I win because the thermostat is in my room, so HA!

      • Maybe it’s harder if you have a lot of roommates, but I’ve always found this to be easily worked out with a little discussion and negotiation. I always discuss temps upfront to avoid someone who likes it either desert or arctic.
        Thermostat in a bedroom?? Never heard of such a thing.

    • OMG thermostat wars are the worst!

      • My worst thermostat war experience was in college. I shared a suite-style dorm room with five other girls, two of whom would sneak the thermostat up as high as it would go in the middle of the night. I’d wake up overheated in a stuffy 85 degree room and feel so nauseous I’d start throwing up. They didn’t care and kept on doing it.
        My body got so used to morning vomiting that it continued to do it when I was home on spring break, and my mom made me take a pregnancy test!

        • Ugh! That sounds terrible, on all counts!

        • Wow. I have never had thermostat wars THAT bad – I can’t even imagine!!

        • Oh wow. That sounds awful! My Thermostat Wars aren’t nearly as bad. My SO starts sweating if it’s set to anything above 70 which is too cold for me but I would never keep it at 85!!

  • Rave: It looks like the transfer of retirement wealth to my serpent-toothed son in exchange for a minority equity stake in a small house in a bad neighborhood and a possible grandchild to be named later has been arranged in a slightly complex but ultimately satisfactory manner. Side benefits of this deal include the opportunity to pay down guilt over my many shortcomings as a father and the idea that if I die slowly and expensively I will at least have left my son a legacy before America’s (Ayn) Randian health care system sucks the last dollar out of my pocket and Medicaid exiles me to a geriatric slum.
    Question: I was reading an advice column today and a woman who is exasperated with her extremely “troubled” sister-in-law wrote, among other things: “My husband and I are pretty much done with her…I don’t think she should be at the hospital when my son is born.” Is this a thing, now? Do people have guest lists for childbirth? Does anyone besides the father (or other mother) feel entitled to be at the event? I tried to read this as “I don’t think she should visit us in the hospital after the kid is born,” but I don’t think that’s what she’s saying.
    Rave: He’s not really serpent-toothed. And I really like the girl.

    • First off, great – and smart! – rave! Secondly, and I mean this seriously, do you write for a living? Or for kicks at all? Because I want to read whatever book you someday write. And you need to write one if you haven’t done so already. 🙂

    • Regarding your question: Yes, people do indeed feel entitled to be at births these days. I banned my mother from births #2 and #3 because of her incredibly unsupportive behavior during birth #1, and will never hear the end of it. During birth #1, my boss actually showed up to visit while I was pushing. Thankfully, the nurse kept her away; but she was allowed on the L&D floor (a locked unit) with no trouble at all.

    • Yes, some people (see yesterday’s discussion on narcissistic mothers) think that being present for baby’s grand entrance is a desirable thing, and their right as grandparent/ aunt/ friend. Super fun times telling mom that she could meet the baby after we’d all cleaned up and had a little sleep.
      “I suppose I’ll just wait at home for my engraved invitation, whenever you feel like introducing me. I hope it’s before she starts teething, but of course, that’s up to you… like everything else.”

      • LOL…. if we don’t actually have the same mothers, perhaps we should at least get a copy of the playbook they are both clearly using!!!

      • Ugh, people are awful. This is why people move across the country.

      • Ew, ick. Not that it’s not a beautiful thing on many levels, but anything that messy and personal makes me a little uncomfortable unless I’m more intimately involved in the whole process than I expect ever to be again.

      • ““I suppose I’ll just wait at home for my engraved invitation, whenever you feel like introducing me. I hope it’s before she starts teething, but of course, that’s up to you… like everything else.”
        This is a joke, yes? I mean, it’s hilarious, but she didn’t really say that.

        • Sure she did! In her most martyred tone. She’s a trip.
          To her credit, when she did arrive on day 4 or so, she was fantastic. Helpful, non-judgmental, very tolerant of my hormone-addled sleep-deprived bitchiness.

    • Maybe you could make it a condition of the house money, that you get to watch said future grandchild emerge. Just to see the look on the nice girl’s face. 😉

    • Thank you, I’m genuinely flattered. I was — and perhaps will be again — a speechwriter and do a reasonable amount of writing in my current job. I do like to write for kicks — ridiculously long and unfocused Facebook posts (1400 words on the inherent conflict between the rowing lifestyle and the Parisian lifestyle), rambling mash notes to my girlfriend and the occasional PoP post. No novels planned yet (though I am in the early stages of a cookbook with a local chef). I will let you know.
      PoP: Sadly, I’m not good with deadlines. Also, how can we have a trusting writer/editor relationship when all of my posts are being moderated? 🙂

  • Rant: Just tested my kids to death. They spent two hours on yet another standardized test. We will be taking it easy this afternoon.
    Revel: Came out of yesterday’s workshop with lots of good tools and strategies for keeping my cuckoo class in line.
    Rant: Proselytizing. One of my good friends is a huuuuuge Jesus fan. She knows I’m Jewish and that I’m pretty firm in that but it didn’t stop her from telling me she wishes I’d let Jesus into my life. I told her she already knows where I stand and she didn’t argue it anymore but it’s still kind of annoying.

    • you are WAY more tolerant than I’d be. If someone were trying to get me to convert to anything, Id just start avoiding them.

    • anonymouse_dianne

      You and your friend might like reading AN Wilson’s Jesus: A Life. He is an ex-Christian and writes of Jesus as a radical Jew, fulfilling the Hebrew prophecy.

      Ask your friend if she knows what a bad little boy Jesus was, turning his friend into a goat!


    • anonymouse_dianne

      My comment without the link:
      You and your friend might like reading AN Wilson’s Jesus: A Life. He is an ex-Christian and writes of Jesus as a radical Jew, fulfilling the Hebrew prophecy.

      Ask your friend if she knows what a bad little boy Jesus was, turning his friend into a goat!

    • Oy! Proselytizing is no fun. This morning a very cute little lady wearing a flowered scarf over her hair like a babushka went walking along the sidewalk outside the Columbia Heights metro, sweetly telling us that Jesus was returning to earth soon and we will all face God’s judgement on us sinners. For a second I thought about yelling out to her “bring it on!” but opted to just watch passively from the sidelines, because crazy.

  • NH Ave Hiker

    Rave: I’ll be home to my girlfriend and dog (and own bed) by Sunday night!
    Rant: that means still two more days in the heat of Kuwait:(

  • janie4

    Question – does anyone have a good appliance repair firm? My tenant’s dryer has conked out.

    • Andie302

      I’ve used Alco several times with success each time! 301-937-6996

    • Stay away from A&E Factory Repair.
      Janie, is this your basement tenant? Is the dryer no longer under warranty?

      • janie4

        Yes, it’s the basement dryer, so no longer under warranty. It’s been there since before I had the house, so it’s at least 10 years old. Depending on how much the repair is, it may be time to upgrade the dryer.

        Those articles are scary – I will stay away from A&E. Thanks!

        • If it’s 10 years old, my guess is that it’s probably not worth bothering with repair — probably cheaper to just get a new dryer.

          • janie4

            yeah probably. I’ll probably hedge my bets and go dryer shopping this weekend, just in case.

          • Andie302

            Usually there are good sales for holidays! If you find a make and model you like JustinBC recently had luck with AJMadison and saved a bunch of money buying the exact same appliance through them.

    • I used wooten appliance. They have some deals on yelp too.

    • Wooten Appliance is fantastic–we’ve always been very happy with them for both our house and our tenant’s apartment.

    • HaileUnlikely

      Although I am not in the market for a dryer and thus have not been looking, I imagine some places are running Memorial Day specials right now and that you can probably get a good price for a new one. I honestly doubt that the repair is likely to be worth it. It’s not out of the question that it could be, but I doubt it.

      • janie4

        Thanks for the advice. I’ll go dryer shopping this weekend.

        • HaileUnlikely

          Also, whatever you find at Home Depot / Lowes / Sears / whatever, take a quick look online at AJ Madison dot com. JustinBC mentioned a few months ago that they usually have lower prices than any of the other usual suspects for major appliances – not always, but usually.

          • Andie302

            ha! You beat me to this (and I didn’t realize it)

          • We used them, and saves a ton son several appliances. Important tip: Do not forget the J when you search for them. Googling “A Madison” leads you to sites you do NOT want in your browser history.

        • I usually like to replace in sets. Probably save time and money in long run to just replace both washer and dryer.

          • I don’t see that there’s any advantage to replacing in sets unless you need to have the two appliances stacked vertically and the new dryer wouldn’t stack on top of the current washing machine.

  • Rant: getting laid off a few weeks ago.
    Rave: Spent yesterday at a career day for an elementary school in SE. I haven’t been that excited and energized about what I was doing in…. years, maybe. And afterward one of the deans said that they’re hiring, and might be able to work something out to get my teaching license fast-tracked. I’ve had a smile on my face since then. I think this might be the universe telling me this is a better direction than the project management jobs I was looking at before that weren’t really doing anything for me.
    Rave: My sister is doing really well after taking some time off college and is loving her internship.

  • Rave: Industry conference today! Learning lots of valuble info.
    Rant: Bestie has been trying to message me about her upcoming trip. At risk of sounding like a jerk, but I don’t care. I’m still sore about her ditching me last minute. I really don’t feel like pretending to be happy about her having “such a relaxing time” when I had to scramble to buy a last minute ticket to the beach and find another travel buddy.

  • Andie302

    Rave: Still so excited about the Cambridge place
    Rant: That hasn’t resulted in even the first step getting done towards work starting. I’m trying to stay patient!
    Rave: Summer is finally coming – I’m giddy over it!

    • I’ve ruled out buying at the MD and Delaware beaches and have actually been looking for a second home in Cambridge (MD), so wondering about your experience there. You like it?

  • I Dont Get It

    Rant: The Nurse’s Ball. Why is this a thing?
    Rant: Discovering that with the early summer sun, my “home office” (a table in my bedroom) is too bright and I need to purchase black-out drapes.
    Rant: How is it possible that it is Memorial Day this weekend?
    Rant: I’m very ranty today!

  • Rave: I was excited to live in NY this summer but I didn’t expect to be this happy. I just love it here and feel incredibly energized. Leaving in 9 weeks will be tough!
    Rave: Dressing up for work again. This has been one of the things I really missed when I went back to school this year.
    Rant: Still waiting on grades. Giving professors six weeks to grades is ridiculous.

  • That One Guy

    Think I saw Chris Christie in the back of a livery car this morning on K street. The thought of giving him the finger crossed my mind. Didn’t know I subconsciously disliked him so much.

    • In my Catholic days, I would frequently run into Newt Gingrich in the basement of the Basilica. I was always tempted to shout some sort of abuse at him, but the near constant presence of nuns and priests deterred me.

  • RANT: Forgot to shop around and order a new backpack from one of my many bookmarked outdoor gear websites.
    Collective PoPville hivemind: Any ideas as to where I can get a good backpack for day hiking? I need it today and need to buy in-person. I ask because…
    RAVE: Flying to Switzerland tomorrow for a business trip with the lady. Will be drinking wine on the terraced vineyards of Vaud Canton by Saturday afternoon. Lots of fun activities and road trips planned.
    RANT: Working on Memorial Day because it’s not a holiday in Switzerland.

    • HaileUnlikely

      I’d go to REI. Would have said Hudson Trail Outfitters but they went out of business. There’s an REI walkable from the Greenbelt Metro. If you have wheels and arent on the green line or up north, there might be a closer REI somewhere else. There’s also one across Rockville Pike from the Twinbrook Metro if you live out that way.

      • There are also REIs in Bailey’s Crossroads (need a car) and Tysons (might be able to walk from metro?)

      • Ugh, I’m downtown. Anything in the city or in Bethesda? I need to go to Bethesda after work to park my Vespa in storage for the 10 days I’m gone.

        • I think there is one in Rockville. Can you go up there to shop, then back down to Bethesda to store the Vespa?

          • Perhaps….I’ll look into it! I’m pretty sure I’ve never driven my Vespa that far outside the city limits haha
            There’s also North Face in Georgetown but their stuff is insanely overpriced and I generally like REI quality better.

          • HaileUnlikely

            There’s also a Patagonia in Georgetown. Between Patagonia & North Face, I’m sure you can find something that will work, though I’m also sure you’ll overpay. If leaving tomorrow, though, might rather overpay by a small amount than spend an extra couple hours going up to Twinbrook, and Rockville Pike is insanely busy and fast-moving up there – I don’t imagine it being a pleasant Vespa ride.

          • I think the one in Rockville is metro-accessible.

    • REI. They’re great. I had pretty specific needs for a travel pack and they really helped.

    • REI is having a sale right now, but of course your ability to make it there today depends on where you are. Mine is from LL Bean, which is in Tysons, but I’m testing it out for the first time tomorrow and can’t vouch for it yet.

    • Has anyone been to Casual Adventure Outfitters in Arlington (near Court House)? Have an idea of their stock and selection? That’s actually much closer than any of the REIs.

    • If you value your time and have some $$ to spend, there’s Arc’teryx in City Center.

    • You could try Modell’s or Orvis, both on Wisconsin in Bethesda. I agree that a trip to REI up Rockville Pike during rush hour on a scooter might not be much fun.

    • Have an amazing time in Switzerland! I lived in a tiny village in Canton de Vaud for a few months and would love to go back – enjoy!

    • As an update to this, I actually drove my Vespa to Casual Adventures in Arlington on my lunch break. It’s an incredible store! It’s only a block or so from the Virginia Square metro stop, but I drove because of single tracking (15-19 minute headways on Orange/Silver lines). They gave me a 20% discount on an awesome North Face Litus 32 – the North Face store in Georgetown didn’t even have this in stock. Lots of selection (Osprey, Tulle, Mountain Hardware, Patagonia), I’m very happy with my purchase and happy to support locally owned retail 🙂

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: Dad’s health problems.
    Rave: Sweden in a week! Then a friend’s wedding. I don’t work a full week in all of June!

  • Rave: when you reach into your pocket for chapstick and pull out two!
    Rave: appt at the lady doc is getting me out of work early, which is great because I am exhausted and it’s nice out.
    Rant: it might rain tonight and I want to go kayaking.
    Rave: I was tired and headachey last night, but I didn’t cancel on my sister, and we had a good time.
    Rave: DOG and I ran into Hammers this morning. Always nice to see a neighbor on our walk!

  • RANT: Md driver (go figure) was so impatient while I was biking on P street between 12th and 11th yesterday afternoon, that he had to cross the double yellow and go around me as I approached the intersection and was SIGNALING that I was making a left turn. I.e. He actively tried to hit me as I was making my turn.

    • Not that this excuses his behavior, but he probably didn’t understand your hand signal.

      • I don’t use the hand signals when biking because they’re not obvious to someone (most people) who doesn’t know them.

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