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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198 Comment

  • justinbc

    Rave: Ran into Ben Feldman (from SuperStore, Silicon Valley, etc) while at RPM for dinner. He told us about their secret off-menu bomboloni, which were superb.
    Rant: Chef’s Table for the Pineapple & Pearls week we wanted was sold out instantly before I could even refresh the page. Will try again next week…

  • What the hell is going on in this picture?!

  • Rave: So September is proving to be quite a month. In addition to breaking my foot, I’ve been offered one job that I then turned down because of the commute, been offered another that’s a serious contender, am a finalist for two other jobs that I’m excited about as well, and will meet my boyfriend’s parents for the first time this weekend.
    Rave: I’m in the middle of change and it’s exciting. Exhausting and a little overwhelming, but exciting.

  • Rant: F’ing cancer. My mom is going through too much already to deal with this crap.
    Rave: Family-like friends who I know will be there for me no matter what, even if they’re 2,500 miles away.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: My commute is taking longer than usual, so now I need to budget more time to get to work, which means getting up earlier, which I suck at.
    Rant: fell down the front steps of my building and landed hard on my knee.
    Rave: I don’t think anyone saw me.

    • Oof, I hope your knee is okay. Someone in my office this morning came in and said they almost wiped out on their way to work, too. It’s Wednesday and it’s raining, so you’re not alone!

    • I fell up the metro escalator last week and hit my knee hard – it only started bruising 4-5 days later but I cannot kneel on it at all still. Hope yours starts feeling better soon! Ice and heat!

  • Rant: No dice on my initial plan for getting us to/from the airport next weekend. I think we’re going to drive ourselves–we should be able to schlep car seats, stroller, plus luggage on the parking shuttle, right???
    Rant: My email has devolved into a mess again. It’s amazing how quickly that can happen if I’m not on top of filing & deleting for even just a few days. Ugh.
    Rant: Cat rampaging around the room and waking us up 45 minutes before the alarm. Ugh.
    Rave: Morning routing seems to be going a little more smoothly, but
    Rant: Still not leaving early enough. I’m barely at the office for 8 hours. Ugh.
    Rave: I’m not really feeling as ranty as I seem to be?

    • We have done it plenty of times with our 2 kids

      “we should be able to schlep car seats, stroller, plus luggage on the parking shuttle, right???”

      • Oh good. I figured this must be the case, but the idea just feels daunting…

        • It is–but just let yourself take the time to get everything out of the car and everything on to the shuttle. You may take longer than everyone else, but don’t stress over it. It’s a pain, and my least favorite part of traveling these days, but it’s totally doable, especially if with another adult.

        • Also not sure if it’s worth the money to you, but we’re resigned ourselves to paying more to park in the lots adjacent to the airport, not the hourly, but the daily. I can’t remember exactly how much it is per day, but we concluded that whatever it was, it was worth more than the hassle. You can park right by the door to the airport and walk in. It’s super easy. If I recall correctly, it’s much cheaper to do this at BWI than Dulles.

          • Clearly I need to refresh my memory on parking options. Thanks!

          • Just looked it up. It’s technically the hourly garage, but maxes out at $22 per day. Depending on how long you’re gone, it might be worth it.

          • Brilliant. That’s cheaper than the transportation I had been planning on using. Now I just need to convince my somewhat spendthrift wife πŸ™‚

          • I can’t express enough how worth it it is. I also had to convince my thrifty husband, but once we did it once, we haven’t turned back (and we only have one kiddo).

    • Quotia Zelda

      If you don’t want to drag all of the stuff on the shuttle (which we’ve certainly done plenty of times), sometimes we would have one parent drop everything/everybody off, then park the car and take the shuttle back to the terminal.
      The other parent would curb check everything (do they still do that? I haven’t checked a bag in forever) and then just hang out with the kids for the 10 minutes or so that it took parent 1 to come back.

      • We thought about that option as well, but I think it would be a lot closer to 30 minutes given the (reasonably priced) parking options at BWI.

        • Quotia Zelda

          Oh yeah, BWI would take a while.

        • Lot B at BWI is a good mix of value pricing and short shuttle ride that isnt too packed. Duffels bags and umbrella strollers are your friend. I usually have my herschel backpack on my back, a duffel slung over my shoulder and anything else I can carry in my hand while the wife pushes the stroller.

          • In our case, we’d be using the stroller to transport mtpkiddo’s car seat (perhaps popping the bucket seat that mtpbaby hasn’t quite outgrown on top?) so if we bring the stroller at all, it will be the larger citi mini. We will, however, be using a duffel bag for our checked baggage. I’ll check out lot B.

          • Actually I think its the express lot just outside the garage

          • I have the Britax, which is compatible with the City Mini. Just a lesson from my traveling with Baby Artie this past summer, if the City Mini has the removable clips that allow you to put the infant car seat on top, remove them before gate checking your stroller. I didn’t do that, and one of them broke off in transport.

          • We’re actually using the citi mini to transport the convertible car seat because it is too heavy to carry terribly far (though I’m contemplating doing so because we don’t really need the stroller for this trip). The infant seat would just ride on top of that if so, but is otherwise pretty easy to just carry.

  • skj84

    Rave: Experienced Roses Luxury for the first time yesterday! A friend and I were able to snag bar seats. Transcendent food, especially the Catfish, and the dessert which was the walnut pie thingy. Only quibble is the bartender forgot to put one of our food orders in! Other than that it was a fantastic night of dining.

    Rave/Rant: I got my hair colored red again. And its really red. Like kool aid red. I love me funky colors, but I’m not sure if I love the brightness. Especially if I wear it curly, my fear is its going to look too Bozo the clown. I may have met my limit on what colors I’ll do with my hair.

    • I was a red head for a while, but learned it was too hard to get a decent color. My limit was when I realized my hair as the same color as my Strawberry Shortcake doll. That being said, I really enjoyed being a red head!

  • Rant: I hate that I am too shy/full of anxiety to speak for myself. I had a moment yesterday at CVS where I was too scared to ask some folks if they were in line to get a prescription. They didn’t say anything so I just stood there like a nut until they left a few moments later. It cause a flashback to when I was sexually harassed by this dude on my job who would just come into my office to say that he was just staring at me, stand over my desk and stare at me and then later persistently ask me out. It took weeks before I had the guts to report him.
    Rave: Worked out yesterday.
    Rave: Started back to working on my short story.
    Rant: The weather today.

    • ‘It cause a flashback to when I was sexually harassed by this dude on my job who would just come into my office to say that he was just staring at me, stand over my desk and stare at me and then later persistently ask me out.’

      ^ UGGGH how terrible!! hope he got fired or got help at least. what a creep

      I too struggle with anxiety and shyness, and was told during a performance review ‘you’re too quiet, you don’t make eye contact, you dont ask questions…. let’s work on that…’ and thankfully, I am getting better. at work anyway. LOL. outside of work though? sigh.

      • Dude didn’t get fired but was warned to stay away from me which he did. What you said about the performance review was told to me by my boss a few years ago. He thought I was so bad that he actually sent me to a training called “Speaking with Confidence” It just reminded me of my public speaking class that I dreaded taking in college.

  • Rave: Last night was a beautiful and perfect night for the Nats game! Loved every minute of it.
    Rant: Had wedding dress alteration appt last weekend and they have to let it out. That being said, I’m fairly sure it was too tight when I bought…but damn, is that expensive!
    Rave/Rant: I’m a bad friend. My friend’s b/f is proposing this weekend, and while I should be super excited for her, all I can think is, “Why couldn’t you wait 40’some days until after MY wedding? Why must you steal my thunder?” She’s done a lot in the past few years – new jobs, moving, etc – while I haven’t done much, and it’s nice to be celebrated for once. (Again…bad friend)
    Random: Apparently she “knows to expect the proposal during the month of October”. Is this a thing? Are you supposed to know when it’s coming? I was TOTALLY & COMPLETELY surprised…and I think I prefer it that way!

    • palisades

      Last night’s game was fantastic. Weather was perfect. Rendon’s home run hopefully took us out of that depressed rut of losing Ramos. Loved that he got a curtain call.

    • topscallop

      You’re only a bad friend if you share those thoughts with her or others in your friend group…in your own head or with strangers on the internet, I think you’re allowed to feel the way you feel.
      Re: expecting a proposal, it’s a matter of preference – I personally hate surprises. Especially public ones!

      • “I think you’re allowed to feel the way you feel.”
        Really? I think it’s pretty ‘effing neurotic and self centered if one feels this way about a friend. Are all friends supposed to halt life events when someone else in the extended circle gets married? Also, what about the boyfriend and his schedule….life is supposed to be suspended for a tangential person’s wedding? Hrmmm, OK.

        • Hang on. There’s a difference between feeling a certain way (and recognizing that it’s uncharitable) and *acting* on those feelings in some way, such as you are describing. Hiphopanonymous doesn’t seem to plan on expressing these feelings outside a relatively anonymous outlet, so acknowledging her response and getting them out in a pretty harmless fashion is fine.

          • +1. Feelings are feelings. We can’t really help that we have them but we can choose whether we indulge them and how we act on or express them. That is the measure of whether we are “good” or “bad” people, not that we sometimes have uncharitable thoughts. If people knew all of the things I think and feel each day, I am sure I wouldn’t have any friends left.

        • You can’t control the thoughts/feelings that pop into your brain, but you can control what you do with them. Hiphopanonymous is trying to figure out what to do with that thought/feeling, which is the mature response to feeling something you know makes you uncomfortable, which she notes that it makes her feel like a bad friend.
          I think it only becomes self centered and neurotic if she runs with the thought and acts on it towards her friend.
          Have you never had a thought or feeling come into your head that you didn’t agree with? Humans are multi-faceted beings that can think and feel a lot of conflicting stuff at once, they can even feel something and realize that now that they’ve felt it they’re done with it and can move on.

          • Well said. Examine the difference between legit “fear” – (you’re in a leaky lifeboat in a tsunami – or a Grizzly bear is charging you;) and a “fear response” – (something that just triggers terror, for a variety of reasons.) Also important – “Just triggers terror” is not dismissive. There are a hundred things that can trigger terror. They don’t have to be logical, and they don’t really have to be understood. They just have to be recognized and acknowledged so you can figure out ways to deal with them.

    • Meh, you’re only a bad friend if you let those feelings color your outward reaction or treatment of your friend. It’s ok to have uncharitable feelings so long as you recognize them as such (as you appear to), and then try to let go of them.

    • Farragut

      I think SOME surprise is optimal, but no relationship is the same–some couples are pretty blase about proposals. Whatever works for them! Allison had a pretty good idea I was going to propose to her, but not when.

    • Quotia Zelda

      I prefer no-proposal engagements (I say this like I’ve had so many), but it’s a very personal thing.

    • I have a hot seething hatred for the concept of the surprise proposal. It’s as dark-ages and patriarchal as a burqa. The idea that the man should be The Decider about a two-person commitment is abhorrent. “She knows he’s going to propose”? What if he changes his mind, and doesn’t see the point in telling her? He has that power, you know.
      Now everyone is going to say “but we talked about it together first…” So, why the surprise? Why do women want men to have that power over them, and why do men WANT to have it??
      And don’t get me started on the bride being “given away” by her father. As long as women accept “surprise” proposals and let their fathers GIVE them to other men, they’re hanging on to their status as chattel.

      • justinbc

        I think the percentage of women who want that fantasy surprise proposal probably heavily outnumbers the number of men who desire to plan such a thing. It’s an absolute PITA, and I think men would happily stop that tradition of media would stop selling little girls on it.

        • You aren’t wrong! Someone gave one of my daughters a book of Princess Stories. Every damn one of them was about the Prince courting and proposing to some white gal with no personality. Each story ended with a picture of the wasp-waisted Princess looking dementedly happy in a white dress.
          My kids learned some new words that day.

      • here’s my engagement story: my grandpa gave me my (deceased) grandmother’s wedding band and engagement ring last year at Christmas. At that point I had been with my partner for almost 2 years, living together for almost 1 year. This summer I took the rings to a jeweler to get sized, and around the same time, my partner and I talked about whether or not we wanted to get married (we decided we did want to). The engagement ring came back from the jeweler in July and I said to my partner “we’re engaged now!” and I started wearing it. the end.

        • Quotia Zelda

          Our is similar. We were talking about getting married and decided that if we were going to talk about it, we might as well set a date. Hey presto! Engaged!

          (He did get me a ring several months later, for my birthday. I was surprised, but I shouldn’t have been because he asked me my ring size about a month before my birthday. Sometimes, I’m a little dense.)

      • Meh, I think the “surprise” engagement is fun. Mtpwife & I were on the same page, she had me help pick out the ring (she said that since I made the first move way back when, she got to propose–which I thought was sweet), and then she decided when/where/how to propose. I have fond memories from the evening, including the flowers (clearly from someone’s garden–roots still attached) that someone on a bike “sold” to us to help him get money to pay for a place to stay that night. My parents both walked me down the aisle at our wedding (Jewish tradition–which also includes the groom being walked down by both parents), and I’d view that as less chattel and more leaving one family unit for another. (My wife was walked down the aisle by her dad alone, only because her mom passed away when we were in college)
        But hey, everyone gets to have their own preferences on this, like many other things. So long as the couple is on a similar page with one another, does it really matter?

        • I’m not proposing legislation that would ban these traditional (patriarchal) practices. So yes, everyone gets to have their own preference. I’d just encourage people to give some thought to how shoring up the patriarchy with these “fun” traditions seeps into other areas of sexual and gender equality.
          We need to raise our kids without the assumption that the woman will work the second shift, she will earn less, she will need to work harder for the same recognition. And we have to attack a problem that systemically ingrained from every angle you can.

      • I completely understand where you’re coming from on this. That being said, my female fiancee proposed to me (a female) with a surprise proposal. She proposed to me in that way because that was my preference. We, as two empowerd women, made that choice together.

        • Awesome. Glad you made the choice that makes you happy. (Though, while sexual and gender equality is everybody’s business, I sort of feel as if same-sex couples don’t have AS much of a stake here.)
          I’ll just point out that many, many Muslim women choose the burqa/ hijab/ niqab, and continue to wear it even when it’s not actively mandated. And that should be their right! But would anyone argue that it is not basically an imposition on women, by men?

      • houseintherear


      • Not to mention the whole asking the father for his permission or “blessing” first… I doubt that happens much anymore, but of any of the traditions that one would be a deal-breaker for me.

        • Most of my 20-something friends have still done this (and I have a lot of engaged friends). My fiance went and informed my parents ahead of time over dinner. My dad told him to wait (until I finished my first year of law school) but he didn’t. Apparently history repeats itself because my mom’s mom told my dad to wait as well and he didn’t!

          • I had a very nice conversation with my wife’s parents before I formally* proposed. Not permission, but “hey, this is happening.” I had a good relationship with them, and knew they’d be thrilled. They greatly appreciated the respect that I, as someone who would be joining their family, showed.
            *I say formal because at this point, we had already booked the venue for our wedding and reception. My wife knew it was coming, but I still wanted to surprise her. (She was terrified that I would propose at the finish line after she completed the Marine Corps Marathon – and I had a friend suggest just that – which, I understand, would have been a terrible idea.)

        • Quotia Zelda

          That one is so gross to me.
          On the other hand, I can’t actually remember if I kept “obey” in the wedding service or not. I remember discussing it with the priest, who was fine either way, but I can’t remember what the outcome was. Surely I took it out? But I’ll be damned if I can remember.

    • yes, you should be excited for your friend. if you care about her. careful…self-absorbed thoughts have a way of creeping in to actions.

  • Andie302

    Rant: Someone walked by at 6am with a boom box.
    Rave: They were playing Notorious BIG.
    Rant: This morning I had to explain who Notorious BIG is to my boyfriend, and then attempt to help him identify a song by singing.
    Rave: He recognized it right away. (uh duhhh hehe)
    Rant: I wasn’t able to really get back to sleep after that
    Rave: but I got some serious snuggle time in with the pooch πŸ™‚

    • I dont know how old your boyfriend is, but it reminds me of something……I am amazed at the younger generation and what they do not know. I am in my early 30’s and my teenager nieces and nephews have never seen an episode of ‘the brady bunch’ whereas i feel like ‘who hasn’t seen at least one??” but I guess that is just me getting old. and TV is always changing. heh πŸ˜›

  • Bear

    Rant: Crappy sleep this week. I really would like to go home and go to bed early, but…
    Rave: Surprise visit from an old friend who is in town for work, so I’ll be meeting up with her this evening to catch up.
    Rave: Good things happening at work, and getting recognition from other parts of the company. Feels pretty nice.
    Rant: Clients who send messy contracts and then expect us to sign them right away. Um, no…

  • Rant: Not sure if I’m sick but I feel awful! Terrible headache and a sore throat. But it may just be allergy / weather related. Either way, I’m seriously considering going home early….
    Rant: Spent 5 hours yesterday redoing my scientific poster because I had the wrong dimensions. Now it looks ok but no where near as pretty as I had before. Grrrrrr.
    Rave: good workout last night. I need to be better at making myself leave work on time so I can do this on a more regular basis, like I had been a few months ago.
    Rant: For the past few days, I’ve been feeling like I somehow aggravated the plantar fasciitis in my left foot….ugh. It may be time to suck it up and buy a brace to sleep in again….

    • That One Guy

      Had a professor once who said that getting a cold was the body’s way of telling you to slow down. I like to believe it’s true. Take care of yourself and make time to recuperate.

  • pcat

    Rant – My lover is retiring and moving to Florida. I will miss him so very much.

  • Rant: New left turn only lane on w/b Penn Ave into the driveway for the Trump Hotel. This is totally unnecessary.

  • HaileUnlikely

    Rant: groups of 6-10 teens have robbed people just south of the Takoma metro 3 days in a row, at roughly the same time and location each time. Not sure about Sunday and Monday, but last night they beat their victim. Unlikely they will ever be caught, and even if caught, nothing will face any consequences that might plausibly deter them from their seemingly-lucrative profession of robbing and beating people. The temptation to instead give my tax dollars to a jurisdiction that both 1) can and 2) doesn’t need to protect its citizens is strong sometimes.

    • I wish I could just put up warning signs that said ‘See a group of teens? turn the hell around….’

      it’s so absurd what they get away with. :-/

    • Is that why the police helicopter was circling around the area yesterday evening, around 7:30-8ish? Damn.

      • HaileUnlikely

        I don’t know, but it seems quite plausible. In any event, 3 days in a row now, robberies by large groups of teens and/or young adults, Sunday night 300 block of Van Buren, Monday and Tuesday nights 6800 blocks of 4th.

  • Quotia Zelda

    Rant: Not feeling super great today.
    Rave: It’s Mountain Day!
    Rant: No Mountain Day in the working world.

  • Rant: Rain in my walking boot makes for a smelly, squishy boot.
    Rave: Husband is on the plane and he has INTERNET!! So we’re skype messaging at various intervals and oh my, it feels so good.
    Rant: Have to wait close to 12 hours until I get to see him.
    Rave: Sense and Sensibility at the Folger was so much fun last night – definitely one to check out!

  • Rant: feeling really bitchy this morning.
    Rave: reconnected with old friend I had a massive crush on in college, who has just moved to dc. he said hed has a massive crush on me too, but we never hooked up (too young, too nervous around one another? who knows) Nice guy – hoping to reconnect with him, even though I think we’re pretty different as adults. Still, would be nice to roll around in the hay with him just ONCE to please my sweet, innocent 21 year old self πŸ˜‰

  • Rant: This has been a doozy of a morning, all before ten o’clock.
    Rave: Even though he is a germy, snotty mess, Baby Artie was so happy and gave the best smiles and snuggles this morning.

  • Rave: Krieky Bones at Smoke & Barrel last night. Thanks for the rec, justinbc!
    Rant: Almost getting killed on my bike ride to Adams Morgan. Riding up the 15th St Cycletrack and saw a car 40 feet ahead of me turn left across the cycletrack despite a red left arrow. Then, as I entered the intersection, the next car in line DID THE SAME THING. Thankfully I kind of expected it because I’d seen the other one and was able to make an evasive maneuver, then turned and yelled “THAT’S A RED LIGHT”, pointed to the red light, then flicked off the oblivious driver before moving along.
    Related Rant: I hate biking in the 15th St Cycletrack. It’s incredibly crowded because there is too little good bike infrastructure in DC, and I’ve had far too many close calls with idiot drivers making left turns. I’ll be sticking with 11th from now on.

    • justinbc

      Glad you got to try it, and that it didn’t disappoint!

    • Agreed on the 15th St cycletrack, it’s too poorly designed and enforced to feel safe riding northbound. I often take 15th southbound since its contraflow with better sight lines and 11th northbound. 11th also gives me room to pass the cyclists that jump every light in front of me and then go so so slow. Stay safe.

      • But then the problem going southbound is that due to the lights being timed for northbound traffic, you have to stop. at. every. single. block. Although I admit it’s better to be safe and slow than unsafe and fast.

  • hammers

    Rave: feeling a little better
    Rave: 2 year (dating) anniversary tonight, celebrating with dinner at Kyirisan
    Rant: Haven’t picked up a present yet. I’m bad at gifts–hoping a heartfelt card and box of chocolates will cut it.
    Interesting: yesterday I gave a presentation, and felt great before it, but had to take a Xanax after because all the negative thoughts about how I did came flooding in. I try not to take them, and I’m glad I dont need them to “prep” for things, but man I’m not out of the woods yet.

    • justinbc

      Best meal I’ve had all year in DC was there, excellent choice, and congrats!

    • So happy to hear your raves, they are great! πŸ™‚ You guys are so cute together! Glad your presentation went well, and I think it’s ok to need a Xanax afterwards (and you’re right, it’s great you don’t need it to prep!), hopefully it’ll just take the edge off of your self-doubt and allow you to process how your presentation went without negative self-talk. Rooting for you!

    • Great raves!
      Is there someone you trust who saw your presentation and can provide feedback? A lot of times we’re hardest on ourselves and hearing good and useful critical feedback can help us get better and feel better.

      • hammers

        They just said “good job,” I’m trying very hard to just accept that at face value, but for someone like me, I always always always am hard on myself and second guess. I’d rather have real criticism than someone telling me “good job.” Oh well!

        • It’s challenging to give good feedback.
          If you’re looking for some specifics I suggest giving a list of those things to someone before the meeting so they can have some objective to consider when giving you feedback. Potential things to include- pacing, having a strong conclusion, using a crutch phrase, anything you worry you do and want to work on.

        • If you want real criticism then ask for it. Don’t assume they know you want it or that they have so much free time that they’ll do it voluntarily. Otherwise you’ll just sit around as you are now, wondering if they really meant it when they said “good job”, and what that even means. (Caveat: only ask for real criticism if you truly want it.)

    • I’m terrible at gifts, too. I feel your pain.
      I’ve started keeping a list of gift ideas for my S/O on my iPhone. Everytime she says “I wish I had…[xxxx]” I quickly grab my phone and write it down. Otherwise I will NEVER remember. Unfortunately, most of the stuff she wants is kitchen stuff and frankly those gifts don’t send the best signals haha
      I also keep a list of gift ideas for myself too, otherwise when my mom asks “What do you want for Xmas?” I’ll inevitably say “I don’t know.”

      • hammers

        I usually do that too- but then here I am, day-of, empty handed. I wasn’t really expecting to do gifts for this, but it’s something to celebrate so I’ll at least do something small. Feel you on the kitchen gifts!

      • I use Pinterest for both of these things. I keep a secret board of things I want to buy people and I keep a board for myself of things I want so when my mother comes calling I can just send her the link. I make comments in the description about any size or color options.

        • My mom requests Google doc Christmas/birthday lists for me and my fiance. It works out pretty nicely. Now, if I could just get my parents to do the same since they are so hard to shop for.

    • Emmaleigh504

      Happy anniversary!

  • That One Guy

    Rant: It didn’t register until now. Yesterday marks the four year anniversary of my dad’s passing. Damn cancer. I’ll make it a point to go light another candle for him.

  • Rant: not all sushi places have alternative entrees.
    Rave: I lived and went to Sweet Lobby after.
    Rant: I’m so sick of putting together these big external meetings and all the last minute junk that comes with them. I like the meetings and I champion their value, but I hate being the person taking care of the tiny moving parts.
    Rave: thanks for the dog sitting offers yesterday! Apparently working the other way, saying I have a cool dog who needs a buddy, works better than going through half of Dog Vacay. The best was when someone who couldn’t do it referred me to someone who doesn’t take Rottweilers. That’s not gonna work.

  • Rave: My delightful evening with an out-of-town friend last night: Cocktails at sunset on the rooftop deck at Takoda, followed by spicy lamb tibs and the veggie combo at Queen of Sheba.

    Rant: Two break-ins on my block in Park View in the last week, including one in which the bad guys simply kicked in the basement door.

    While we’re at it, can anyone recommend a service that can install an iron security gate or door on my basement door?

    • Perfect timing- I’m renovating a home now and trying to decide on what kind of doors to put in my basement front/back. I was thinking about a full glass to allow maximum light from both sides. Is that a risky choice in regards to safety? I figure someone can easily break through the windows etc.

      • Andie302

        There are full glass security doors that are shatter proof. I believe they have them at Lowes.

      • I can’t imagine having a basement without a secure door and windows. My neighbors were fine without the door for years until someone kicked it in.
        If you’re not securing the windows, then the door doesn’t much matter, but I’d strongly suggest both.

        • Get a glass door and an exterior security screen door. To comply with DCRA, it has to be able to be opened without a key from the inside, so you need an ugly grid/screen around the lock, but it is still good to have as much light as possible.

    • Where in Park View? As far as the iron security gates: Federal City Iron

    • houseintherear

      I had a good experience with Northeast Ironworks, over on Bladensburg Rd near S Dakota Ave. Nice family-run business.

      • HaileUnlikely

        If you had a simple security door and/or window guards installed, would you mind sharing roughly how much they charged? The reason I ask is that I have found these things to vary wildly, like by a multiple of 4 or 5, from one company to the next, for basically the same thing.

        • houseintherear

          It was 8 years ago so not sure the price will stand up, but I paid somewhere around $1500.00 for a very large iron window guard (I’m guessing it’s 6’X4′). They had the option of picking pre-fabricated panels or creating an original design, and I picked pre-fab panels… there was a big price difference. They came to install it and it turned out great.

        • houseintherear

          I got security doors from Lowe’s a few years after the window guard and it was a horrible experience from start to finish. Don’t remember the price because I’ve put the whole thing out of my mind. DO NOT use Lowe’s contractors, people!!

          • HaileUnlikely

            Ditto Home Depot install service. I reluctantly accepted their installation service because they were running a promo where delivery + installation cost less than home delivery alone usually costs, and I went for it because I do not have a car and was not comfortable driving a larger vehicle (large enough to haul a door) in the city since I hardly ever drive and usually just drive small cars. The “installer” installed it so poorly that after he left I simply took it down and re-installed it myself.
            For the window guard from Northeast IronWorks – sounds like a decent price for a solid iron window guard of that size.

    • HaileUnlikely

      You can buy a simple tubular steel security door at Home Depot for ~$300 and install it yourself if you are comfortable using a level and a screwdriver, and can likely save well over $1000 that way. A solid iron security door is admittedly somewhat stronger than the tubular steel ones of the gauge you’ll get for $3000 at Home Depot, but the main advantage of any such thing is that it opens outward rather than inward and thus is very difficult to break by kicking in. Somebody who is unusually determined to target you personally or your specific house, as opposed to an easier-looking target, would have slightly less of a hard time getting past a Home Depot steel security door than a custom iron one, but it would still require either the strength of an Olympic weightlifter and/or power tools, and the average opportunistic burglar would just move along.

    • Thanks everyone for the thoughts. I am relatively comfortable with a level and power screwdriver, so I may see about installing a pre-fab door from one of the big box stores myself, with a neighbor’s assistance. In the meantime, I’ve taken also to locking the rather flimsy patio door in front of the metal exterior door, on the thinking that a bit of deterrence goes a long way.

  • Rave: Fiance and I went for an impromptu ice cream date last night at our favorite local place before closing. The two guys working there decided to have a scoop off with our two [size small] cups… we left with about 10 inches of ice cream each. Hard to transport but at least we have leftovers!
    Rave: Starting to like my journal note topic. I was not excited about ungraded, unpaid research but it is turning out to be interesting.
    Rant: Standing in my kitchen, watching squirrels enter the roof, and then hearing them running around over my head. Hope the landlord gets it together soon. Though it does keep Tiny Dog amused.
    Rave: Tiny Dog is off getting groomed and he needs it.

    • “Starting to like my journal note topic. I was not excited about ungraded, unpaid research but it is turning out to be interesting.”
      That’s the price you pay for that one line on your resume. And depending on the jobs for which you are applying, it’s an important line. Interesting is just a bonus.

      • It does seem to have had a positive impact on recruiting for me so I’m glad I did it, though it is a lot of hours per week.

  • houseintherear

    Rant: I am so sick of my job. And it has been this way for many many years.

    Small Rave: Old dog Pablo has started snapping at his cat brothers, but they are quite resilient. And best of all, when he’s not in a bad mood the cats nuzzle and cuddle him, as if to say, “We’re here for ya, old buddy.” Last night Pablo growled at one cat, who took a few mins to shake it off and then joined Pablo on the couch and groomed him. And my heart exploded.

  • Rant: a super vibrant/amazing friend committed suicide last week. Words can’t express just how devastating this is. I can’t stop thinking about her 7 year old.

    It came as a shock to many that knew her, but as anyone who has suffered from depression knows – you get really good at hiding how you really feel so as not to burden those around you. We’ve got to figure out a way to talk about suicide/depression and actively listen when loved ones, friends, acquaintances need an ear and perhaps also probe further when folks don’t seem quite themselves. And for the folks that suffer – find the appropriate avenues to dig deep and find a way out. It may not be through conversation with friends/family, but with health professionals. ARGH! πŸ™

    • In my experience, it’s almost NEVER the friend/relative you expected. My most recent friend to commit suicide – about 4 years ago – was a vibrant, witty, creative, hard working, and successful woman. Had tons of close friends, very outgoing, had her shit together like you wouldn’t believe. Yet none of us knew that she was suffering from depression until it was too late. She masked it better than anyone I’ve ever met, most likely due to her high degree of intelligence and EQ.

      • Your statement above describes her to a T. And while I certainly didn’t expect it – her act serves as a reminder that you just don’t know what anyone is going through. Another friend of mine had a bit of a breakdown years ago, that I didn’t know about until he recently shared. It got me talking about some of my issues and made me realize there are alot more of us out there and depression is probably alot more common than people realize and that you should be talking about it. I just wish I felt more at ease talking about my ish without worrying about possible judgement or being labeled as the friend who isn’t fun anymore/person people don’t want to hang out, but it really is hard to raise your hand and say my life isn’t as awesome as I make it out to be when I’m smiling at work/home/at HH, etc and I need your support.

      • And very sorry to hear about your friend too.

    • anonymouse_dianne

      Oh No. A friend of mine took his life this past May. He was a friend in my professional circles. A bunch of us on Facebook took over his FB page and shared memories. He actually mailed some folks a “farewell” letter, which luckily I did not receive. You have my condolences. My uncle took his life in his 70’s and I still miss him from time to time. He wanted his (living) dog buried with him and we as a family said No Way. My cousin took her.

    • This terrifies me.
      One of “my” kids (I don’t know what to call the kids who aren’t really mine, but for whom I have some responsibility and to whom I am very attached) suffers terribly from depression and anxiety. But to most people who know her, she’s very successful. It probably wouldn’t occur to most of her teachers to keep an eye on her.
      I agree with you that we need to find a way to talk, to listen, to de-stigmatize, to treat.

      • Perhaps a check-in with her directly? Just a casual reminder you’re available to chat about anything whenever. I think it’s easier for people to open up when they have something in common. So if you have a personal experience with anxiety/depression – perhaps you talk about how helpful it is to talk to a confidante. I’m no expert obviously, but just a thought. I also had an adult friend years ago who made some statements that were alarming to me. When I couldn’t get a hold of him, I scoured his facebook for names of people I knew had daily contact with him (I wasn’t living in the same state at the time) and I reached out to them. “I don’t know you – but we both know “Sam”” and then I shared my concerns. I didn’t want them to be like “so and so thinks you’re suicidal”, but they agreed to check-in with him and be on the look out. He was definitely going through some hard times and mentioned later that when friends came out of the wood work to check-in he realized he didn’t have to go it alone. I think sometimes we all need that reminder that we are hear for each other.

    • I’m so sorry for your loss. Sending hugs.

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