Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user nevermindtheend

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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130 Comment

  • Your photo attribution/link are for a different photo than the one you posted.

  • Rant: roof is leaking. I wonder if my landlord will try to blame that on me too.
    Revel: so proud to say that the first election I ever voted in was for Jennifer Granholm for governor.
    Revel: Clinton did everything she needed to do in her speech last night.
    Revel: replacing some of my ugly hand-me-down furniture with newer items this weekend.

    • Overall, impressive DNC – but it’s still July. I’m getting tired of Facebook people already though. Have a friend who works in the military post something about “Can someone tell me one thing other than Tim Kaine’s son that they’ve done to promote veterans/military” in the DNC and then says they know Trump will be so much more supportive of the military. The DNC had plenty of support of the military and if someone can tell me one thing Trump has done in his life to support the military, I would love to know. Ugh, people use your brains. You don’t have to like one candidate or the other, but at least have a cohesive reason, not just make it up.

      • Andie302

        I too am tired of the election posts already. Unfortunately, I don’t think your last statement is true. You can vote for whatever reason or lack of reason you want – and based on some of the posts I’m seeing, that’s exactly what some will do.

        • Blatantly making things up (like the DNC has only had Tim Kaine as someone from the military speak) does not qualify as “reason”, at least in my world. Just say you don’t like the person or don’t like Democrats. But don’t make stuff up to make it sound like you can put cohesive thoughts together. Ugh.

    • 500k!!! Both police officers and the kids withdrew from the schools.

    • Good! I hope there’s more of this.
      But I also hope that there will be more proactive/preventive work to ensure that kids from outside D.C. don’t get admitted into D.C. schools in the first place.

    • Committing fraud while serving on our police force, glad they got caught and are facing consequences.

      • I guess some other slots may open up at other DC schools. There is hope if you are on a wait list.

        I have to admit my wife and I thought about, keeping house in Ward 5, renting / living in Ward 3 until kids were enrolled then moving back to our house. I would never move out of DC and keep kids in DC schools. I don’t condone but I understand how parents can feel desperate. I wonder who told on them? I wonder if one of the kids let it slip?

        • This says a lot about the state of public education. It’s not the great equalizer some people claim it to be. While there can be great and terrible teachers in both wealthy and poor neighborhoods, the access to resources is like night and day. I empathize with parents who do this, but I can’t condone it either.

        • I’m not clear from the story that there’s been any increase in investigations of suspected nonresident parents, though. The article says DCPS told the parents in September 2013 that they had to either withdraw their kids from the schools or pay the accrued nonresident tuition. The city filed a lawsuit against the parents in June 2015.
          The Attorney General made a statement about the case yesterday, which is why it’s in the news. Perhaps the D.C. government finally heard about the recent Daily Caller exposé and wanted to counter it with some good press.

    • Blithe

      Yes, this sucks. It also sucks that every American citizen doesn’t have access to an excellent, free public education. And it sucks that many teachers, police officers, fire fighters, etc, can’t afford to live in the communities in which they work. I don’t know that these are issues for this family, but whether it’s because of childcare issues or issues about specific schools, this highlights a lot of my concerns about the inequities in public education in this country.

      • A lot of those inequalities can be laid at the feet of the parents. Not all of them, of course, but many of them. In addition to the obvious and long-reported deficiencies in parents, having parents (who are LEOs) encourage and actively require their children to participate in unlawful behavior isn’t setting them up well for life.

        • Yeah, all the families at my Title One school should just be less poor.

          • Are you suggesting that poor people are incapable of prioritizing education and modeling behavior for their kids that will serve them well in life? Poverty does not mean someone is a bad parent, and it’s pretty irresponsible (for a teacher, no less) to imply otherwise.

          • HaileUnlikely

            dcd – Read in the context of her previous comments, I don’t think she implied that at all (see, for example, her comment above regarding access to resources). Also, as I know you well know because you have written about it here before, even if an individual child in a predominantly lower-income school has excellent examples at home of parents who value learning, sometimes the classroom environment is not exactly what one would call conducive to learning, for reasons largely outside of the control of that individual child and that individual child’s parents. People with the ability to do so often address that unfortunate issue by paying for their child to go to school somewhere else or by moving, which I don’t fault any individual family for doing, but which results in many schools really really sucking.
            I agree with you that these police officers’ kids did some unethical stuff and set a very bad example for their kids (one can rent a nice apartment in-bounds for Eaton/Deal/Wilson on the combined salary of 2 police officers. One? That might be difficult? But two? Come on.). However, I have a fair amount of difficulty imagining how one could argue with Blithe’s assertion that it sucks that not every American citizen has access to an excellent, free public education, or reading into spite cupcakes’ comment (which admittedly was not a meaningful contribution to the conversation) the implication that poor people were incapable of valuing education or setting a good example.

        • Blithe

          Yes, it’s really horrible of all those parents who, because of little controllable things like segregation and racist government policies couldn’t get access to the GI bill and really good neighborhoods so that they could use the property taxes to support their schools better! The nerve!
          – That schools are supported by property taxes, of course has absolutely no link at all to segregation, and the resulting inequalities, right?
          – I love it when people talk about the obvious and long-reported deficiencies in parents without bothering to talk about the obvious and long-reported deficiencies in the country as a whole.
          – Wouldn’t it be neat if, as Americans, we thought about what kind of educational experiences ALL American citizens should have, and made it happen….

          • The things you point to are part of the inequalities that CAN’T be laid at the feet of the parents, which I recognized in my post. Obviously. But, as Americans, we can’t make parents, as I said above, prioritize education and model appropriate behavior for their kids. As for talking about the “the obvious and long-reported deficiencies in the country as a whole,” you covered that in your post – I was merely adding some additional points to the discussion. I didn’t feel the need to reiterate what you already said.

        • Blithe

          Just for context, my grandparents and my parents paid lots of property taxes to support schools that their children couldn’t legally attend. So if you want to talk about the power of parents to make good choices for their children, I’d very much appreciate it if you’d also throw in a little bit of context about some of the historic and current barriers to doing so.

        • It took me a while here to figure out that LEO was Law Enforcement Officer in this context — I thought dcd was talking about parents in general, not these specific police-officer parents.

          • Blithe

            1) “A lot of those inequalities can be laid at the feet of the parents. Not all of them, of course, but many of them. In addition to the obvious and long-reported deficiencies in parents, “… 2) “having parents (who are LEOs) encourage and actively require their children to participate in unlawful behavior isn’t setting them up well for life.”

            Textdoc, as I read it, I understood the first part of dcd’s comments as being more general, while the second part was specific to these police-officer parents.

            -Most of my comments were in response to the way that I’ve read the first part, with some sense that it’s horribly ironic and problematic on multiple levels that the parents — possibly seeking educational experiences that would, they perhaps hoped, help to “set…(their children)” up well for life” — made and modeled illegal behavior, something that is even more reprehensible, to my mind, in that these parents are law enforcement officers. At the same time, I have a great deal of concern for the environment that we’ve created as a society that regards getting a quality education almost as a winner-take-all competition rather than as a right that all of us should want all citizens to have. If all children were able to receive a high quality public school education as US citizens, rather than as residents of a particular neighborhood, special tax district, or county, it might be easier to have the types of flexibility that could accommodate working parents with childcare issues or other special circumstances.

  • Rave – This brown sugar latte from Filter. Happy Friday to me!
    Rave – I stayed up past my bedtime to watch Clinton’s speech. It was worth it.
    Rant – Metro, obviously.

  • Bonus rant: sitting at Starbucks and this woman sitting a foot away from me asked if I minded if she changed her kids diaper right there. If only there were a place with a chamging table nearby. I just made a face.

    • skj84

      Ew. Why didn’t she want to go to the bathroom?

      • She did after my face-making, and apologized for bothering me, but in a tone that suggested I was being unreasonable.

        • skj84

          sigh. Did she not want to give up her table? can understand asking you to watch her stuff while she ran to the restroom, but changing a diaper on a table is unreasonable.

          • I’m sorry, but changing diapers in public is disgusting. There’s no excuse, and no, I don’t even excuse parents who go places and there are no changing tables in the restrooms. That’s the sort of thing that you should know ahead of time and also have a back up plan for (looking at you parent who changed their kid’s diaper on a table at Slash Run). Being a parent is hard enough, why make it harder for yourself by being a self-centered jerk?

          • I agree with all the above. Someone is going to eat on that table!

    • Even if YOU didn’t mind, I bet the Starbucks management would!!

    • Ewwww, and no, don’t do that next to me. Especially in a coffee shop/restaurant.

    • Ewww that is gross. I could understand if she had asked you to watch her table/stuff while she took her kid to the restroom but to ask to change the diaper at the table is disgusting.

    • For reasonable parents, I apologize for her. Who does that?

  • skj84

    Rave: DNC. Even better getting the inside scoop from a friend who was there. Loved Hillary’s speech, wish my roommate didn’t talk through it. I missed a couple key moments.
    Rant: Had two panic attacks while I tried to sleep last night. This hasn’t happaned in a while. I took a zytec and my cough meds before bed, I wonder if they didn’t interact well. Once again groggy this morning.

    Question: What is the best site to find flight deals? I’ve been using Google flights, is there anything else out there that is comparable? I’m trying to fly to Anaheim for a conference in September. I would prefer not to fly into LAX if possible.

    • I never have luck with cheap flights, but the last time I went to Anaheim for work I was able to get a connecting flight to John Wayne airport from Dallas, which wasn’t awful.

    • Google flights is the best, in my opinion. Kayak is right there too, but doesn’t find all of the “hacked” flights that Google does. But if you’re traveling on the company’s dime, it gives you more options. Flying non-stop to LAX (hello Virgin) and getting to Anaheim will still be shorter than having a connecting flight to John Wayne. And while traffic can be a pain/unpredictable, you aren’t driving yourself. Better than having a chance of a major delay on a connecting flight.

    • i typically use the ITA matrix: http://matrix.itasoftware.com/

    • I’ve always used Orbitz for my work travel. For example, I just checked on flights for a trip Mr. Eggs and I are planning to go on in October – everywhere else has this same flight from $265 but Orbitz has it at $188.

      • Be careful with flights through Orbitz, Expedia, etc. I don’t know if this is still the case, but those tickets used to be non-refundable and non-transferable, which means that if you miss your flight, the ticket doesn’t get you a seat on another one. I found this out when I missed my flight home from Paris and was at the counter being told I was going to have to buy a last-minute one-way ticket from Paris to DC.

        • Huh, I have definitely missed flights after booking with Orbitz and been put on the next, and also requested to change to an earlier flight, with no issues. Usually it’s all about who you’re dealing with and how accommodating they want to be, from my experience. That said, if the price is the same, I always book directly through the airlines themselves.

  • Rave: Mtpbaby finally seems to be feeling more like himself. And he even wasn’t congested this morning! I have my happy baby back!
    Rant: One of the cats went on a rampage just after bedtime. Argh. I’m getting little enough sleep as it is!
    Rant: Mtpkiddo had a 6am nightmare or something. Poor kid crept downstairs and wanted to be cuddled in bed for a bit.
    Rave: She went back up to her room to doze for a little while longer.
    Rant: I’ve decided three-year-olds are somewhat bipolar. And mine makes me feel somewhat bipolar, too.
    Rave: My dearest cousin is coming for a too-short visit this weekend! Can’t wait to catch up with her!

    • Additional rant: my wife has had two migraines in two days. Ugh. Usually she only has two per year!

  • dcgator

    Rave/Rant: First day busking (yes, as part of that MetroPerforms program everyone was so unenthused about in an earlier PoPville post) ever! If you’re around Foggy Bottom Metro after 4:30 pm, hope you enjoy the tuneage!

  • topscallop

    Rant: boss seems irritated today, and I’m not sure if it’s with me or in general, but it feels pointed. If we hadn’t just had a meeting this week to go over my positive performance review I’d be nervous
    Rave: finally Friday! this week has felt very slow
    Rant: rain predicted all weekend long
    Rave: at least maybe it’ll cool things down?
    Rant: metro
    Rant: my office is frigid.
    Rant: more rants than raves today

    • Maybe your boss’ own performance review didn’t go as well as yours? Or at least in my office we are going through new budget projections and everyone seems to be in a mood (i.e. budgets slashed or reprimands for being over budget)…

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rave: Rx finally approved!
    Rant: now the pharmacy is saying they have to order it again. I hope that’s a mistake and the call me back to say it’s ready.
    Rave: My doctor’s office has been so good about arguing with my insurance company to get me the drug my doctor thinks is best.

    • Ugh. Sorry to hear that the prescription has become such a saga.

      • Emmaleigh504

        Just got the call that it’s ready! Drama over!

        • Yay!

        • I Dont Get It

          Is this the one with the coupon? I’ve had trouble before with prescriptions that have coupons available. Insurance companies seem to hate them.

          • Emmaleigh504

            I haven’t even brought the coupon into the mix. We’ll see if I can use it later today.

          • They hate them because coupons often encourage people to choose more expensive brand drugs over their less expensive (and similarly effective–or exactly as effective in the case of same-chemical-entity generics) generic options. Those coupons, while great when there aren’t alternatives, increase overall health spending at little (if any) gain in health.

          • That’s because usually, the ones with the coupons cost upwards of $10K or often more!

          • Emmaleigh504

            It is a an expensive drug, but my doctor is very good about choosing generics or cheap drugs if they are available. So if he’s prescribing a name brand drug, it’s what he thinks is best.

          • Sorry–I should have included the caveat that I don’t mean to imply that Emmaleigh is inappropriately taking a more expensive drug when a cheaper one will do. There are absolutely times when more-expensive alternatives are advisable (and why plans will sometimes cover a more expensive drug only after the cheaper drug has been tried). Drug manufacturers, however, are largely offering coupons to increase market share (often at the expense of cheaper generic alternatives) in a way that unnecessarily increases spending on health care.

          • Emmaleigh504

            I was just giving more info in the story. I didn’t think you were saying anything about me.

          • Oh good 🙂
            PS–I may be making a field trip to one of your favorite places to buy an anniversary present this afternoon 🙂 Thank you again for introducing me to that dangerous place!

          • Emmaleigh504

            Ooh la la! Have fun!

  • Rant: Feeling completely drained. Partner has been sick this week and I really hope I’m not getting whatever he had.
    Revel: Kids come back tomorrow!! Bestest friends visiting Sunday!! Yay!!

  • I Dont Get It

    Rant: Miserable evening. Two new leaks appeared during the rain in the TV room. Around 5:00 am I noticed water was dripping from an air conditioning duct directly into the toilet. It will be fun looking for the source(s) today.
    Rant: Miserable evening. Received a msg from my sister that they finally have determined that IDGI Sr’s wife has lung cancer. She’s been in and out of hospitals for a couple of months so the only good news is that she finally has a diagnosis. Tests on Monday to determine if it has spread. Her son from NC has been there for three weeks helping out, thank goodness.
    The Only Rave: Lucy hasn’t been eating much lately and recently lost a tooth, so on a whim, I put her fancy dog food in the blender along with some beef stock and yes, ground flax seeds. She really enjoyed her treat and lapped all of it up so I guess I’m back to whipping up meals in the blender!

    • Re: your rave – if you don’t have Lucy on specialty food for a condition (I have no clue if you do, if so, ignore me!) we feed our dogs Honest Kitchen dehydrated food and they love it. It’s soft, so you wouldn’t have to bother with the blender. It’s expensive, though, but figured I’d pass it along!

      • I Dont Get It

        Thanks I’ll look into that. She’s almost 18 years old so I kinda give her whatever I think she will enjoy. I know people here would lose their minds if I posted about the pork chop I gave her a couple of weeks ago but she loved it and dragged it around for an hour before I finally took it away.

        • Aw. I think old dogs deserve to live a little. You’ve always seemed like a great dog dad so if anyone criticized you I’d tell them to shove it.

        • I don’t see anything wrong with that at all! If the issue is the bone possibly breaking, I mean as long as you’re keeping an eye on her, you’re good. If the issue is “people food” come on, stuff like that is perfectly fine. That’s what I like about Honest Kitchen, it’s all ingredients like that. We give our dogs bits of (whole) food while cooking all the time, as long they’re ok for dogs to ingest – broccoli, lettuce, carrots, etc.

    • Andie302

      My parents had a schnauzer that they thought was on deaths doorstep. They took him to the vet and it turned out that nearly half his teeth were bad and the reason he wasn’t eating was that it was painful. When they pulled all the bad teeth he was like a new pooch. I think he lived another 3 or so years after that, well into old dog age! Wouldn’t it be easier if they could just tell us what’s going on?

      • I Dont Get It

        Yeah that would be helpful if dogs could talk, not so much the cat whom I know would sound like a cranky Frasier Crane. I feel like I’ve announced Lucy’s imminent demise almost weekly here but the ole gal always rallies. I’m sure people are tired of it but it’s MY Rant/Rave!

        • Blithe

          Not tired of it at all! I hope that all of the members of your family get the care and support and even the spoiling that they need to enjoy their lives comfortably and happily.
          – But about that smoothie party you were planning….. 😉

    • Glad to hear that your smoothie concoction gave Lucy an appetite!

  • Rant: Having trouble getting my data to display nicely for a report – stupid charts and graphs!
    Rant: some sort of huge fire response at GA Ave Petworth metro station this morning just as I was about to head out.
    Rave: Decided not to chance it and took the bus, which was surprising not awful
    Rant: minus the guy waiting for bus mumbling to himself who got up and peed in the corner of the bus shelter while we were waiting for the connecting bus.
    Rave: FRIDAY!
    Rant: too much to do!
    Rave: Thanks all for your help and encouragement yesterday in terms of helping me feel better – and giving me some solid leads – on finding a new place in Silver Spring.

    • According to DCist there was an evacuation and reports of smoke at GA/Petworth station this morning. I’m guessing it was probably faulty brakes or something. If it was something serious we probably would have heard more about it by now (plus the station was open and operating normally when I got there, so…).

  • Rant: Letting go of the food allergy testing idea. I’ve called my insurance twice, GWU allergy department three times, primary care physician — not one person can tell me whether blood food allergy testing is covered (the skin pricks are not). Primary care physician insisted that elimination diet is the best (which I know but is hard for me) and told me to keep a food journal. The problem is that I’ve done that and I have symptoms so consistently that it really doesn’t tell me much except that it’s clearly something I’m eating regularly. Which is a lot of things. So fail.
    Rave: It’s almost the weekend. Thank goodness. Organizing the get-together with friends didn’t work out and I haven’t succeeded in lining up any dates but I’m looking forward to spending some quality time with myself.

    • Your insurance really can’t help you? That is infuriating and unacceptable. As for the elimination diet thing–can you give it a week or two and see if you can pull it off? Even with one or two potentially problematic foods? It’s a huge pain, for sure (I’m so looking forward to re-introducing dairy into my diet), but may be worth it in the long run.

      • Thank you. Yeah, I spoke with three different people and they all said that they can’t give me info because they’re not doctors so they can’t answer questions about terminology (the skin prick allergy tests are not covered — but nothing about the blood tests anywhere in the brochure). I might try to hop back on the gluten-free bandwagon but we’ll see. I was on it last weekend but it was making me feel just as crappy but in a different way. Maybe I can try cutting something else first, like dairy.

        • I’m not an expert, but if dropping gluten made you feel worse, then perhaps it does make sense to try dropping something else instead.

        • As much as this may not be what you want to hear…
          1. Trying something for one weekend is not enough time to determine anything.
          2. I’ve had a couple friends go through diet adjustments based on their doctors. To determine the problems, they eliminated all possible culprits for a time being, saw if they had less problems, then started working certain things one by one back into their diet.
          But again, this isn’t a weekend, week, 2 week or even a month process. They eliminated everything (gluten, dairy, etc) for 6 months before they started trying certain types of food again. Overall, it was a 1 year+ process.

          • JohnH — I know that dropping something for a weekend isn’t enough to determine anything. I was originally going to try for 21 days and take it from there, but I decided to stop and wait because it was making me feel kind of sick, which is also not good (especially when I live alone and need to go to work).
            The other problem is that I weigh ~100lbs and I really can’t afford to take a lot of foods out of my diet at once. I can’t afford to lose weight. And while I appreciate your feedback, this is a loop I’ve been stuck in for 6+ years so I’m pretty sure I might actually know more than you about it……

          • I Dont Get It

            Wow! If you think that was snippy you might want to spend 5 minutes in the WaPo comment section. 😉

          • Anon, I thanked him for trying to help me but I think I’m allowed to be a little snippy. I wasn’t attacking him in any way. Someone doesn’t read PoPville very much if they think that was snippy….

          • It was indeed more than snippy, and unnecessarily so.

          • skj84

            There was nothing snippy about Fridaygirl’s response. She rationally explained why his suggestion would not work, thanked him for his reply. She probably does know more about how her current situation works then a stranger on the internet would.

          • Prince Of Petworth

            Snippy comment has been snipped 🙂

      • This is a really tricky one. Generally speaking, you need a medical reason for any sort of testing. So, even if it was covered (in general), there’s a pretty good chance that the claim would be denied without a letter from the doctor saying why FridayGirl needed the testing. Anecdotally, Eldest Anonachild’s allergy testing (skin and blood – blood was first) was covered both times; but he had a serious reaction to a food. Middle Anonachild’s allergy testing was not covered my insurance and I paid about $300 out of pocket for it; hers was for her skin condition. My allergy testing (skin and blood, including some pretty uncommon ones that were expensive and had to be sent to a special lab) was completely covered, but again, I have a severe reaction and ended up in the ER. In my case and the oldest’s case, it was really obvious that there was an allergy at play. In the Middle one’s case, it wasn’t. Her case is the most similar to FridayGirl, in that her skin condition is often dismissed as “not a big deal” on paper, and honestly, migraines are too until you are dealing with frequent trips to the doctor/urgent care/ER and heavy duty meds. For the middle one, identifying the cause of her skin condition was vitally important. Treating it as an allergy/immunology case versus dermatological case is what has allowed her to get her condition under control. But it took SO much effort on my part to advocate for her. Lots of doctors appointments, lots of hours on the phone with insurance, and lots of money out of pocket.
        My advice is, go with the elimination diet and document the hell out of it. This will really help in the long run in getting testing approved down the road. However, I will also caution you that allergy testing may not give you all the answers you are looking for. It is not an exact science, and there is still much to be learned. I, for example, am only allergic to pork at levels that should not cause anaphylaxis according to the trends they have created. But, we know that in my case it causes anaphylaxis. On paper it doesn’t make sense, but that is my reality. Eliminating foods SUCKS. Especially foods you love. But if you really are sensitive or allergic, it will be worth it. Good luck!!

        • Thank you, Anonamom.

        • What?!?! I’m sorry, I blacked out for a second when you said, “I, for example, am only allergic to pork at levels that should not cause anaphylaxis according to the trends they have created. But, we know that in my case it causes anaphylaxis.” Allergic to pork? Any amount of pork? So a little pork belly in Beef Bourguignon would render it inedible for you? Aargh. I am so, so, sorry. Was this a later in life development? Is this something I have to worry about? On my personal scale of horrors, taking into account the consequences of the event and the likelihood of it occurring, this ranks ahead of total nuclear annihilation, and behind a Trump administration (though I haven’t fully thought about the correlation/causation between those two . . . ). Anyway, you have my deepest sympathies.

          • It’s HORRIBLE. One night we had pepperoni pizza for dinner, two hours later I was in the ER at Washington Hospital Center. Tragically, my last pork meal was a Domino’s Pizza. No pork belly. No ham. No prosciutto. Nothing. I can’t even having a crappy Italian BMT from Subway. No bacon at brunch. Nada. The reaction I have is varied from just my throat swelling closed to having really nasty acid reflux, to hives, to any combination of the three. The scary thing, and the reason I avoid all together now, is that with these types of allergies one time its just hives, pop some benadryl and your fine, and the next time it’s a trip to the ER. I know when I’ve eaten something that has pork in it but I wasn’t aware, even once reacting to beef brisket that had been cooked in the same smoker as delicious pork (juices probably dripped), so I just have to avoid all together. I have seriously considered binging on some prosciutto if I happen to have enough in Flex Spending to cover the ER visit by the end of the year! Rest assured though, it is incredibly rare, and I am only the second case my allergist knows of. So, a Trump presidency is much more likely.

          • HaileUnlikely

            I have an aunt who is so severely allergic to pork that she will need to go to the ER if utensils that had been used to eat pork hours ago had not been adequately cleaned before she used them, or if a prep surface used for her food had been used for pork hours ago and not adequately cleaned. She has been like that since childhood, and has nearly died after eating non-pork food contaminated with pork on numerous occasions.

          • “Tragically, my last pork meal was a Domino’s Pizza.” I can’t even.
            ” I have seriously considered binging on some prosciutto if I happen to have enough in Flex Spending to cover the ER visit by the end of the year!” I’ve tried hard, and I really can’t find any flaw with this plan. And to make it worse, pork’s a sneaky ingredient, like corn (though not as omnipresent) – it’s in a lot of things and not specifically identified. It’s be a lot easier (and less restrictive) to be allergic to chicken or beef.
            Again, you have my deepest sympathies.

          • @Halie – I imagine that your aunt can’t eat out, ever, right?

          • HaileUnlikely

            My aunt only eats out at places that do not serve any pork products at all or at places that she has (somehow) come to trust to take her response to the “does anybody here have any food allergies?” seriously and act on it professionally. Definitely no fast food. She used to have to go to the ER a few times a year when she was younger, but now has perhaps one incident every 5-10 years, invariably at a restaurant when somebody screws up.

        • @Haile – yeesh, I can’t imagine! I am very thankful that mine is not that severe!

    • I had success with eliminating one food at a time, each for a few weeks, and seeing what the effects were. You can just start with the “big eight” — Peanut, Tree nuts, Milk, Egg, Wheat, Soy, Fish, Shellfish and eliminate each in sequence, rather than eliminating everything and reintroducing.

    • Bear

      The Whole30 is a very good elimination diet to try if you want to diagnose food allergies. It’s not easy, but I’ve found it to be very helpful in identifying which foods cause certain reactions for me. Gluten can be a biggie for a lot of people, dairy too, but there are a lot of other potential culprits (soy, FODMAPS, legumes, other non-gluten grains, sugar, certain food additives, etc). I’d encourage you to read It Starts With Food and ignore the people who talk about how the Whole30 is a low carb diet designed to help you lose weight – it’s not low carb if you do it correctly, and the point of it is absolutely NOT to lose weight. Again, it’s not easy, and it’s not for everyone, but I found it to be helpful.

      • Bear

        Also, it can help you identify sensitivities that may not show up on an allergy test, since sensitivities are different from histamine responses.

      • Bear

        And sorry, one last comment after reading your above post – if you are already underweight it probably would not make you lose more weight. It seems to me the only people who do lose weight on the Whole30 are people who have extra weight to lose. Summary is here: http://whole30.com/whole30-program-rules/ but I’d really recommend reading the book so you understand the science behind the recommendations of what to exclude/include.

  • Rave: Finally, a break in the heat! It was nice to show up at work and not be drenched.
    Rant: No fun plans for the weekend, just errands and hanging around the house.
    Rave: One of the errands is looking at wedding tuxes! This might be our first wedding disagreement…I’m envisioning dark gray and he wants black with tails. Ugh…
    Rave: It’s Friday and I feel like dancing!

    • Enjoy the wedding tux shopping! Go in with an open mind. Both my fiance and I thought he would wear a navy blazer with tan pants, but he ended up finding a tan linen suit that is just absolutely perfect.

  • Rave: my dog is hilarious when he howls at fire trucks. For such a large, loud barking dog, he has a weak howl.
    Rave: my bff is the best.
    Rant: she lives in CT, but at least we keep up by text and calls.

    • Aw! Bet he was howling this morning! Glad he was amenable to his evening walk on Wednesday, not sure if he was digging the downpour yesterday but hopefully he’s feeling more confident as we get further away from fireworks season!

      • Well, it’s only funny because he only does it when they drive right past him. I’m lucky that he doesn’t howl at them when he’s inside.
        Yeah, the dusk walk is working out if I’m home. Last night he balked at the after work walk because of the rain and thunder. He also tried to refuse the dusk walk, but that’s nonsense, so I dragged him outside. Once there he realized everything was fine and smiled a lot and jumped around like he wanted to run. So cute.

      • Thanks for the well wishes too, I appreciate it!

    • My dog used to howl at fire trucks. I loved it. She looked like a little coyote (she was a Norwegian Elkhound). You had to catch her doing it through a window though, because if she saw you looking at her she would get embarrassed and stop. I miss her.

  • Andie302

    Neither rant nor rave: 99% sure accounterings ex wife was at the same place as I was for HH last night.
    Rave: Glad this isn’t a rant – I really don’t care all that much, but would’ve preferred to avoid it
    Rave: They are tearing out all the things in Cambridge and the contractor is kind enough to send me cell phone pictures. Yay for progress finally!
    Rave: Friday, and a fun weekend planned of mostly staying around here
    Rant: Giant didn’t have the grapefruit rattler I was hoping for, so now I have to go to Whole Foods…oh a Friday evening

    • lol… My partner’s ex and I were at the same place last night too – my driveway. Seriously though, I don’t care how little drama there is, how much time has passed, it always sucks running into the ex. It’s always awkward.

  • Rant: Summer’s ending. This week we started putting lights back on the shells because it’s now dark when we get in the water at 5:30, and when the clouds broke up after this morning’s pre-dawn toad-strangler and the breeze came over the river, it looked and smelled and felt exactly like an October sunrise for a few minutes. I know we have days of heat and humidity ahead still, but I felt like I was getting last call on summer and I hadn’t yet had a chance to drink my fill.
    Rave: Who doesn’t love fall?

    • Uh August is typically plenty hot…

    • saf

      Ugh. I have been recovering from surgery since early June, and have a few more weeks. I have missed the entire summer and am so sad about that. So, I agree with you – not enough summer!

  • Rave: Asserted myself at McDonald’s this morning.
    Rant: Did not get desired result.
    There was a single line feeding into two active cash registers. I was in line, and there was one customer in front of me in line. A big white guy in his 50s or 60s comes in and places himself behind the customer at one of the two cash registers. I call over, “Excuse me, there’s one line.” He responds, “There’s three lines.” (There was not a third active cash register, but there was a customer hovering there to ask for more creamer or something.) I responded somewhat sarcastically, “NOW there are.”
    I hate line-butting. This McDonald’s needs to put out those expandable ribbon guide things in such a way that there’s a single line winding back and forth through the standing-in-line area. That way it would be clear that there’s only one line, and no one would have to worry that they’d chosen the slower line.

    • Good for you for asserting yourself! I’m sorry it didn’t have the desired result, thought that guy sounds like a jerk so I don’t think it’s your fault at all! I also hate line butting, but rarely say anything. My children, however, are clearly more assertive than me. Last week, we were standing in line for a self-checkout at Target (not in CoHi) when a couple casually strolled over from between the lanes to use the one we were walking towards. Middle Anonachild asks me, mommy, did they just cut in line? I reply (shushingly) yes, but don’t worry about it. Youngest Anonachild pipes up “Hey! You need to wait in line! That’s rude!” There were red faces all around, except for him!

    • I Dont Get It

      You never want to get in the way of a senior in need of his senior discount coffee.

  • Blithe

    Evil Happy Rave: Pictures of Congresswoman Joyce Beatty: Whose husband supposedly just happened to get her the same dress that Melania Trump wore to the convention. You go girl! FWIW, it’s a nice dress, and I think they both looked great in it at their respective conventions.
    Very Happy Re-structuring Rave: I’m using some money that I had tucked away for a rainy day that I inherited from my father. It’s a good feeling to imagine that something that I need to do now is being taken care of — because of decisions that my father planned a long, long time ago.
    Rant/Rave: Friend’s parents with significant health problems — daily reminders to actively cherish while we still can.
    Rave/Rant: Frozen Brazilian cheese bread. So yummy!

  • Bear

    Rave: The biggest eyesore in our house – the stairwell and upstairs hallway – will be all painted and new looking by the time I get home. Think patchwork wallpaper, random pieces of trim hiding cracks in the wall (due to structural problems that have since been fixed), peeling paint, crappy patch jobs, you name it. I am SO excited to see the final result.
    Rant: Tomato plants are dying. One has totally bit the dust and I’m seeing signs of impending doom on the others. I’ll trim back the affected stems but I’m kind of resigned to the fact that our tomato bounty will not materialize this summer.

  • Question: I’m about a year out from trying to have kids. Early/mid-thirties. I have some concerns (but nothing concrete) related to age and past medical history about my ability to conceive. Can I ask my doctor to run fertility tests on me and have my partner do the same even though we’re not yet trying? Given my age, I’d like to know up front if there are any known barriers and try to address those asap instead of trying for a year, then testing, then addressing them. Any thoughts from the POP community?

    • My gut feeling is that you can probably get the tests done, but your insurance might not pay for them unless you already have a medical record of trying unsuccessfully to conceive. (I could be completely wrong… but health insurance companies are always looking for ways not to cover things.)

  • Half-Price adoption day tomorrow – please – if you’ve been thinking about making your life joyful and fun by adopting a cat or kitten, tomorrow is the day. The shelters are full, and adoptions are down over the summer because of vacations. 4 locations in DC, Arlington & Reston VA. (Or for the very best ones – contact me about my 3 foster kittens!)


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