Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user Lorie Shaull

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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148 Comment

  • Pablo Raw

    Rave: I get to photograph an important historic document tomorrow
    Rave: I’m almost convinced that I have found a style of photography I like. Almost.
    Rave: Going home. The food!
    Rave: Hoping the Volcano near home is still active so I can take photos of the lava.

  • Rave: I got dismissed from Jury Duty yesterday around 1 pm and am free and clear for another 2 years
    Pondering: I got hit on in the waiting room…. seems odd. Is this a thing?
    Rant: I haven’t been sleeping well for the last 2 weeks and have been extra tired. It may be time to bring back the iron pills and melatonin.

    • I haven’t been sleeping well either. They say we’re supposed to adjust to daylight savings within 7 days but I think that’s a bunch of hooey.

    • People on here keep talking about how they prefer to meet people in person, so yes, it seems that approaching people you see in the wild is a thing.
      Jury duty romance is probably a low percentage thing, but it seems like a reasonable gamble as long as it was executed respectfully.

      • I think it was mainly stacksp (and possibly one other person) who advocated approaching people “in the wild.”

        • I have to start using this term “In the wild”.

        • I wish someone who was relatively normal would approach me “in the wild.” Hahahaha…..

        • I’m more hung up on “is this a thing?” Yes, it happened so it obviously exists. Is it a regular jury duty thing? Who knows, every jury pool is new every day or two so it’s doubtfully a jury culture thing since that is continually renewing.
          The foreperson from my jury ended up going out with one of the detectives well after the trial was over, but that was more of a ‘they lived in the same apartment building but never knew it until after, then ran into each other’ thing.

          • A male friend of mine who’s very gregarious chatted up a woman at jury duty (in Alexandria) and they ended up going out and even living together for a while.
            The relationship ultimately crashed and burned, but I don’t think that was any reflection on the manner in which they met.
            I think the kind of person who normally makes conversation with strangers — of either sex — can pull it off. Less gregarious people, probably not so much.

          • That One Guy

            Let’s not forget that people got together before the advent of the internet, right? My view is that in the post-modern landscape of perfectly manicured/filtered social presence getting to meet a person in the wild is refreshing because setting up a dating-in very simplified terms- shouldn’t just be about swiping this way or that.

          • That is my whole premise @ That One Guy. I am 36 years old now and was married at 27. All of my dating experience was/has been offline and “in the wild”.

    • My sleep has been awful too. Insomnia. I tried melatonin for the first time in probably 5 years last night and it seemed to make it worse?! So I already had crappy sleep and then the fire alarm woke me at 650am. I was NOT in a good mood this morning.

  • Rave: Baby Bunny is about to turn 4 weeks old. I can’t believe she’s been with us this long already.
    Rave: She’s currently laughing in her sleep.
    Rave/Rant: The Other Mrs. Rabbit’s maternity leave is almost over. I’m so grateful she was able to take the time off to bond with our kid and I’m really going to miss having her around during the day.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: I think I gained all the weight a lost. I’m scared to step on the scale. I need to figure out something more productive than stress eating.
    Rave: really difficult thing at work got cancelled.

    • I’m with you on the weight gain! After the wedding I just kind of let go (it was also the holiday), then couldn’t exercise due to surgery. Need to look good (and fit a dress) for a wedding in June. Want to be accountability partners??

      • Emmaleigh504

        Accountability partner? Is that like when I text you b/c I really want that donut later today and some asshole opened a dunkin donuts across the street from my building and I need to be talked down? You may get tired of all the texts lol

    • Same Rant for me! In fact, I made a Dr. appointment for a general physical because while I haven’t been exercising as much because I’ve been battling the flu and then cold symptoms for over a month, I have been eating (mostly) well and tracking everything on My Fitness Pal. According to it, I should be losing weight and I am not – like at all. I know weight loss is more difficult after 30 but this is nuts. I’m so discouraged but going to keep moving forward because while the scale/image isn’t what I want, I know I’m treating my body better and that counts for something…right?!

      • I’ve never trusted those apps on nutrition. I’m thinking you need to tweak those numbers a bit (you could be eating too little even), cut down carbs, etc. Also in case you didn’t, make sure the numbers reflect the reduced exercise.

      • houseintherear

        Do you have a smart watch? I realized recently that my apple watch somehow became bff with MyFitnessPal without my consent and they were conspiring behind my back. The watch would tell the app how much I was walking/standing/exercising and the app would add calories to my daily allotment. Btw I find that eating about 150-200 cals less than that app recommends is about right (hate to tell ya).

        • No smart watch – and have been on the weightless journey for awhile (down about 50lbs with about 30 left to go, which I know, also slows down the process). Def not eating too little – usually between 1500-2000, though I really should hit 1500 – 1700 but i’m a snacker! 🙁 On my “non-active days” i still walk/bike everywhere (no car). When I exercise it’s usually crossfit or HIIT. I also try to be aware of what I’m eating, and not specifically the numbers (i.e.: not cutting out CARBS because, um fruit and veggies – but not eating all the bread and pasta to my hearts content). Overall I just have felt off though, thus the Dr. appointment to just make sure everything’s OK and accept it’s a plataue or if i need a swift kick in the ass.

  • Rave: finally got some good news this morning.
    Rant: fire alarm at 6:50am and it was accidental!
    mtpresident: I have a few questions to ask you–can I ask PoP for your email?

    • Absolutely! Or feel free to contact me at mtpresident.popville at gmail–and then I’ll probably respond from my regular email address. Just to save PoP some work 🙂

  • Rave: Three days in a row of pre-work yoga! I was tempted to skip today, but persevered.
    Rant: Tempted to skip because mtpkiddo woke up at 4:30-ish to go to the bathroom, and then didn’t go back to sleep. She actually stayed upstairs, but I still heard her and only slept fitfully/dozed between then and 6.
    Rave: At least she went right to sleep at 8:40ish last night, rather than waking up that early after being up until 10 like she often is on school days!
    Query: so behind on this, but mtpwife and I are going to a show at the Kennedy Center on Friday. Any suggestions for where to go for dinner ahead of time? For what it’s worth, I’ll be coming from between L’enfant Plaza and she’ll be coming from Crystal City…. thanks!

    • Congrats on the morning yoga! Do you use online classes or have your own practice?

      • Thanks! I wish I felt comfortable enough to set up my own practice. Alas, I don’t. But a friend recommended Leslie Fightmaster, and I’ve been enjoying her videos on youtube. She’s got a number of videos that are in the 20-30 minute range, which is perfect. She also has some in the 45-60 minute range in case you’re looking for more. And my back and shoulders already feel better from just a few days of it–I’ve noticed a couple of videos that focus on shoulder opening or low-back strengthening, both of which are useful for parents who are picking up young kids regularly, as well as a wide variety of other focuses.

    • There’s that new place in the Watergate that’s been getting good reviews – I think it’s called Kingfisher?

    • dcgator

      I like notti bianche. I’m pretty sure they have a pre-theatre menu as well.

  • Rave: Went to the Caps game with my best buddy last night, just like old times. Also was Holtby bobble head night, which I might try to sell on e-Bay!
    Rant: Boss officially has the flu – this makes 5 of the 7 people in my immediate office. Still holding out!
    Rant: Took 45 minutes to get home from the game last night – and all I had to do was go from Gallery Place to Union Station! Apparently Trump was speaking at the Building Museum, so they were single tracking through there. PAIN IN THE BUTT!
    Rave: Getting a lot accomplished today.

  • That One Guy

    Rant: Feeling grumpy and in need of a break.

  • I think my post disappeared. Who knows what I did because I am so tired…
    Rave: Thanks to everyone for the good thoughts and excellent tips for my mom’s thyroid removal surgery on Monday! It went very well, she is home and doing better than expected.

  • Rave: Great time visiting with my nephews and almost all my immediate family this weekend!
    Rave: Lovely jaunt to Longwood Gardens on Monday – textdoc, if you haven’t gone, you really need to visit, you would LOVE it!
    Rave: My kitties weren’t too mischievous / didn’t eat each other / didn’t make a mess while they were home alone for 3 days and were super snuggly and warm last night when I got back home!
    Rave: Great appointment with my specialist, she’s even going to let me switch to annual appointments instead of semi-annual!
    Rant-ish: She’d like me to meet with a hepatologist at least once to just make sure everything with that organ is ok. But at least we don’t have to biopsy!
    Not sure: Tomorrow I have an appointment with a headache specialist, something I set up 9 MONTHS AGO and am now FINALLY going to have….I’m trying not to get my hopes up too much but I am still clinging to a desperate hope that she can help me and migraines!

    • I missed my opportunity to go to Longwood when some friends of mine got married nearby a few years ago. 🙁 I didn’t have a smartphone and neglected to figure out the logistics while I was still at the hotel and had wi-fi access.
      I guess I could always go back up just to see the gardens… but it’s kind of a long way just for that. Hmm….
      Great raves, BTW!

      • Go when they do the Fountains and Fireworks – spend all day in the gardens, have some dinner, and then you have the amazing nighttime event! Seriously, their special events are totally worth the trip if you’re worried that just seeing the gardens is too little return on your time investment!

      • anonymouse_dianne

        There are some really nice lodgings up in that area. We did a day at Longwood and then stayed in an inn and had some really good food. Name was something like Burlington valley.

    • Hi! I’m about to do a weekend away from my kitty (she’s just under a year old). I’ll likely be gone less than 48 hours but I haven’t left her by herself for anything longer than a workday yet. Any advice? Think I should have someone check in on her?

      • I would think if it’s going to be less than 48 hours, she’d be fine if you just left her with a clean litter box, plenty of clean water, and a bowl or two of kibble. If you have a neighbor you trust to leave keys with or something, you could have them bring the mail in, pet / play with kitty, feed her, etc. If she’s typically destructive or something when left to her own devices, then maybe having someone come in and play with her would be good, but I would imagine she’d be fine, just happy when you get home!

    • I’m an eat-the-rich liberal, but if I HAD to be super rich, I’d have gardens and greenhouses galore, just like Longwood.
      And nearby Winterthur, another duPont estate, has a decent museum and more gardens, on a smaller scale.

      • Yeah, it seems like from everything I know about that part of the du Pont family, they were pretty amazing, and for their time, kind and generous folks. Pierre S. du Pont stipulated in his will that his estate be his “living legacy” turned over to the people to try to ensure he passed down his love of lands, plants, research, and the arts.

      • If you’re in the neighborhood, check out Chanticleer Garden – it’s also a lovely spot!

  • What’s a good place for a graduation dinner in DC? Need someplace with reasonable pricing, but preferably with some American-fare food options.

  • Rave/humblebrag: I have been quite poor for most of my adult life, but I made some very difficult life choices a few years ago that have paid off emotionally and financially. It blows my mind how much money I have now – I’m certainly not rich and I have 5 more years of huge student loan payments, but I’m comfortable and have built up a modest savings.
    Rave: I paid more in taxes this year than I made most years in my 20s.
    Rave: I don’t mind paying taxes because I’m proud to support government services. (and I contribute a modest 4% AGI to charity).
    Question: any recommendations for financial planners? I want to make sure I’m making smart investment goals and decisions, now that I actually have money to invest (squee! I honestly never thought I’d have more than $500 in savings in my life).

    • Prince Of Petworth

      That’s great – congrats!!

    • Care to share any of your tips (the “very difficult life choices” you alluded to)?

      • I got divorced, went to grad school, and was willing to be open to different career paths.

        • How did you switch career paths? Grad school? I ask because I am having a bit of a career crisis and I am open to different career paths, but I’m not having much luck.

          • Grad school subject matter took me on a slightly different career path (though not much), and then while in grad school my current job (as a fed) literally fell in my lap, and that was more of a departure (I had planned on staying in academia). While it kind of helped to have a personal crisis to motivate the career switch, I saw that my current job/career path was a dead-end and just took the best leap I could figure out at the time. But more than that, taking advantage of all the opportunities grad school has to offer is what got me here today. If I hadn’t reached out to various professors to talk about my career interests, I never would have found out about my current job.

    • Congratulations! I’m in a similar boat after my entire adult life living under the poverty line. I don’t have a recommendation for a financial planner because we used our best friend, and he moved out of the city but one book that helped me get my grounding was “I Can Teach You To Be Rich” and it made money a lot less intimidating for me. I’ve been so scared of money/planning and it broke it down to a really digestible way. It’s very *millennial* in style of writing but if you can look past that (or embrace it if it’s your thing), it really is helpful!

    • That is wonderful. I hope to be where you are at some point!

    • I know opinions vary on this, and many people don’t want to do it themselves, but I’d recommend opening a Vanguard account (or accounts, depending on your needs – Roth IRA, traditional IRA, and traditional investment account), employing a low-cost three-fund strategy (see the Bogleheads website, wiki and forum for more details) and employing a set it and forget it strategy. If you really want to see someone, see a fee-only advisor that is not affiliated with any financial institution. Under no circumstances sign up with an advisor that takes a percentage of your assets as a fee, or get sucked into a financial product that pays the sales person a commission. Those have their places in some circumstances, but it’s almost certainly not right for a beginning investor. Good luck, and congratulations.

      • Agreed with a lot of this. You can also do some research and read a few books and put together a slightly more complex investment strategy and plan on rebalancing each year, adjusting as you get closer to retirement. I think you also want to make sure you’ve got an emergency fund in a low-risk (or risk-free) place as well as perhaps a life-happens fund for unexpected repairs and the like. But index funds largely outperform managed funds on net, once you account for fees in the latter. So it doesn’t hurt to get some help thinking about allocating savings for different purposes and a general investment strategy, but you’re likely best off investing in various index funds. Good for you on hitting and exceeding your savings goals!

      • Meant to add two things: (i) You can use other outfits (Schwab, Fidelity, and others) for this same strategy. Vanguard is just the one which focuses on lower cost funds and other fees; and (ii) If you do go on the Bogleheads forum, do not be intimidated or discouraged. Ignore the “if you don’t have $3 million saved by 35 years old, you’re behind” extremists, and the “you shouldn’t pay more than 8% of your monthly income for housing” nutbags who live 4 5minutes outside of Des Moines and don’t understand that costs in HCOL areas differ. There’s some really good advice on there, but you have to weed out the chaff.

      • I agree with this.High fees for actively managed funds can destroy the potential power of compound interest working in one’s favor for long-term investments.

      • Yes, I have some money invested in a vanguard index. I also have some money in a CD, and some in savings. I’ve done research on my own, and I have a general knowledge on this stuff, but I’m at the point where some targeted advice would be helpful. At this point I’m mostly interested in building a house down payment and making sure my retirement planning is sound.

        • It sounds like an independent, fee only financial advisor would be good for a one-time consultation. Sorry I don’t have one to recommend.
          Not that you seem like you need it, but I will share an embarrassing cautionary tale. About 13 years ago, newly married, we decided we needed a financial plan and life insurance. Met with the husband of a friend, who convinced me to purchase, in addition to the standard term policy, a permanent policy at 10% of the face value and 2x the premium. I knew it was a bad idea, and that knowledge was reinforced time and time again in the ensuing 13 years, but I never surrendered it – always something better to do, I’ll do it next week when things slow down, blah, blah, blah. When I finally surrendered it this past year, my taxable “income” was just around 6% of the total surrender value. Now, I haven’t have the stomach to look and see what my annual rate of return was, but let’s just say it was low. Moral of the story – anything that pays a commission likely is a bad investment, and inertia is a powerful force that these companies rely upon.

        • If you’re looking to get money for the housing down payment, make sure you look into first-time buyer and down payment assistance programs in your jurisdiction of choice. If I would have known about some of the programs that were out there, I might have bought a lot earlier than I did (and oh, the rent money that could have gone into equity)…

      • Vanguard (and T Rowe Price, etc.) also have target retirement date funds that can be a great choice for the investor who doesn’t want to make a major hobby out of their investment decisions. They automatically adjust the balance of stocks/bonds over time, you can use them as you would any mutual fund (i.e. they aren’t just for “retirement” money such as an IRA), and they tend to be no load and low-fee (not as low as an index fund, but still low).
        As you accumulate more money at any one firm (e.g. Vanguard) or sometimes within one fund, you get bumped up into higher categories of service that also come with lower fees for the exact same funds. So consider keeping your investments within one firm rather than scattering your investments into a fund here and another one there.

    • I think Vanguard is great for financial investments (advice, if you’re going to invest with them). They’ll talk to you about retirement too. I believe they have lower fees than many investment companies.

    • binntp

      Congratulations! I’ll echo the folks above who recommend Vanguard. I did a Roth IRA with a Target Retirement date, set an auto-pay each month, and it’s been a great “set it and forget it” asset builder. Another good tip is that whenever you have a sudden windfall, like a tax refund or bonus, have a strategy to invest a portion, put a portion toward mortgage/emergency fund/debt repayment, and spend a portion on something fun.

    • Great story, kanon.
      I’m a fee-based advisor who works with Gen X&Y clients in the DMV who are are interested in making smart decisions and putting together a plan to achieve a variety of personal and financial goals.
      Reach out to PoP for my contact information if you’re interested in having a no-frills conversation to get a better idea of what you’re trying to achieve.

    • You might start with an hourly financial planner. They are a bit harder to find as some don’t want to do this, but when I was researching planners I came across a few. I ultimately didn’t go in that direction and chose a financial planner that would more actively manage my stuff, but I think an hourly person is a good first step. They can give you a financial plan and lay out groundwork for you. Regardless of what you go with interview several people, ask lots of questions, make sure you understand how they are paid, and that their investment strategy aligns with your goals.

    • In addition to the recommendations that you look at the Vanguard and other low fee offerings, you might want to check out treasurydirect.gov for fixed income investments. There are regular Treasury notes (2-10 years) and bills (up to 52 weeks) as well as Treasury Inflation Protected Securities (5-30 years). Once you set up an account and link to your checking account, it is fairly simple to buy new securities at upcoming auctions. It is all done on-line.

  • Rave: We had a really positive experience at Baby Artie’s recent check up. His doctor is pleased with his progress, acknowedging that while he’s behind other babies his age, he is definitely moving along his own curve. That’s my little man, blazing his own trail. Regardless, recent sessions with his doctor and his PT and his increased crawling have all helped to alleviate some of my own anxiety. He’s getting there.
    Rant: I just learned that Richard Spencer’s family owned cotton plantations in the south. How apt.
    Rant: I have not been a healthy eater lately. I’m trying to get back on track with my diet and exercise. At least I have been sleeping!

    • So glad to hear about Baby Artie’s progress! That’s great news. Just like growth curves, continual progress matters more than the direct comparison to the norm. Just wait until he’s active enough to run away and climb onto things you’d rather he didn’t : )

  • topscallop

    Rant: posted a rant on a different forum and got flamed
    Rave? It’s eye-opening to get the perspectives of a lot of people telling you you’re wrong
    Rave: the situation I was ranting about is nearly resolved, regardless of my bitter feelings about it

  • Rant: came out to a broken car window this morning. I made it 7.5 years.
    Any advice on whether to file with insurance? Or good glass places in NW/near NE?

    • That One Guy

      Which window? Also, check your insurance policy because the deductible may be more than the out of pocket cost. Lastly, if you’re up to it replacing the window yourself it isn’t too difficult just somewhat time consuming.

    • If you have a separate glass deductible or a very low one overall, file. Otherwise, you will not get coverage since the amount will be too low. It’s considered not at fault.
      I used safelite. They came to my work. The door glass is pricey though. I believe I paid 350.

    • Thanks both of you. It’s the front passenger window. I’m going to get a quote before I even think about calling insurance. I’ll look into my regular and glass deductibles. I also had a claim about a year ago for someone hitting my parked car, so I don’t want this to pile on top of that.

    • 3x here! Insurance deductible is likely more or the exact same price as getting a replacement. (Which is suspicious to me but we can save that convo for another day!)

      I used Force Auto Glass (Forceautoglass.com) last time it happened. They were great. Came to my house, done in 30 minutes i think. Highly recommended.

  • Rant: Awful wind made today’s bike ride painful.
    Rave: Calls with partners that are enthusiastic and good at their work.
    Rave: Homemade meatballs and pasta from my wonderful friend and a night with ponies riding outside in the wonderful weather.
    Rave: Exhausted.

  • Help in finding lost keys!! I lost my keys on my walk to work yesterday. I walk only 7 blocks from 17th and P along 17th street to 17th and I (cutting through the square). Throwing it out there if by chance anyone who reads Popville picked them up! : )

    • Double back if you haven’t.
      Check in with businesses along the route.
      Check craigslist lost and found.

  • Andie302

    Rave: Finished A Man Called Ove on the bus this morning
    Rant: and had to hide a few tears
    Rant: I couldn’t get out of bed this morning to get to the work gym and run and I am tied up tonight – which means I need to run tomorrow instead of doing yoga with a friend, doh.
    Rave; Who am I? For a solid 8+ months I could not get motivated to exercise…so this is a positive development!
    Rant: that has resulted in not much weight loss at all – oh well I guess – I know it’s good for me!

  • Rant: The downside to having a customer service-oriented job is that sometimes mentally ill people call you, and you try to nicely tell them you can’t help, and then they still call you and expect something from you. I’m screening my calls for now, but I might just answer next time and tell her very firmly that there is nothing I can do and hang up. I wish there was a better way.
    Rave: If this is my biggest rant today then I’m doing pretty darn good.

    • Emmaleigh504

      I once had to deal with a mentally ill guy who wanted the FBI to get him out of his situation in Florida. He was having a hard time calling them or finding info online (“they” shut down the computer every time he sat at one). Finally after days of this I gave him the number of a library in NoVa. And that satisfied him. He spent the day at the payphone. I still feel a little guilty that I pawned him off on another library. Never fear, he cameback with other questions/requests on a semi regular basis. The best part was that he would flash his 700 Club card like it was his FBI badge.

      • Apparently our office phone numbers used to belong to the FBI because we get calls for them all. the. time! I had a few drunk rambling voicemails during the campaign season from random folks babbling on about Secretary Clinton’s investigation and how much they supported it because the aliens from the next life told them it was the right thing to do.

    • That One Guy

      When I used to work at TWP, there used to be a guy, Al, who would call in periodically. We found out that he was a germaphobe so when we got tired of hearing him rant we would cough or sneeze and he’d hang up. Maybe you just need to find this caller’s quirk.
      Also, maybe try to put the person on hold for a minute or two and then when you get on you reiterate basically why they are calling and say that while you wish you could help you don’t have the resources. Sometimes people want to be understood and empathized with.

      • That’s fantastic. I hear Trump is a germophobe too. Do you think if we surround the WH with sick people maybe he’ll leave??

  • Any recs where to eat after getting drinks at Southern Efficiency? within walking distance ideally, any kind of food goes (but a sit down)

  • Rave ( I hope) – closed on my new house yesterday.

    Question – Anyone have good recs for general needs in Edgewood/Brookland? Things like dry cleaners, grocery, etc? thanks!

    • Save’a’lot and biglots are the only real options. I saw there is a deli up on 12th st in edgewood…might check out what they have soon. Otherwise, the giant in brentwood has the most complete options for food. I haven’t found a good cleaner yet….oh and there is a great Peruvian chicken place on 4th street near Rhode Island.

      • Have you tried the cleaners at rhode and first nw? Not in the hood but closeby.
        Giant, yes, and Costco if you drive or can figure out the buses.

    • Congrats!!! That’s so exciting!

  • Rant: In Seattle for work and their Nordstroms is so nice! It has a bar and is so organized. Did I mention it’s IN the city? I want a real Nordstroms (not Nordstroms rack) in DC.
    Rave: Have been checking out cool places. The Starbucks tasting room is awesome! Had an amazing whiskey flavored cold brew there and some good clam chowder last night.

    • That’s Nordstrom store 1, so it’s extra special.
      As a former employee I made sure to check it out while I was there a few years ago, it was lovely. The bar must be a new addition.

    • There is a crumpet place in the market – not the main building (or the Starbucks building) but the one across from the fish throwing guys. It is amazing. That is all.

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