Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user Kevin Wolf

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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104 Comment

  • Quotia Zelda

    Rave: Filling replacement wasn’t so bad.
    Rave: Taking Eldest Zelda to a dr appointment, then I’m taking the day off. I need a little time out of the office.
    Rant: Because we’re all really stressed, and morale is low. Thanks, Trump and Heritage Foundation assholes!

  • ok resourceful PoPverse! I have a mission in mind to revamp my backyard space, so two questions: 1) i have a chain link fence on one side that is just plain ugly. I’ve had quotes to replace it with a wood fence but they’re coming in around $4000, which is just too much for that expense. Has anyone replaced a chain link fence at a lower cost? Or done something cool to cover it up? 2) I need plants, but I’d prefer they be more mature/low cost than buying them all at the big box stores. where do you get your plants? Craigslist is pretty slim pickings right now. What websites do you use? Any tricks of the trade?

    • Community Forklift is having their annual Garden Party on April 1-2, they usually have plants from local sources and should have a bunch of materials for yard projects.

    • I would repost what your posted here into the Freecycle.org site. There they have recyclers and other diYers that might just do your yard project for free.

      • I doubt Freecyclers would actually do anon_bdale’s yard project for him/her, but anon_bdale could definitely try making a “WANTED: Mature plants” posting and seeing what happens.
        In my experience, shrubs (at least boxwoods, azaleas, and hollies) at big-box stores tend to be pretty low-cost, at least in the smaller sizes. Hydrangeas and trees are pricier.
        I haven’t calculated a dollar value for my labor, but I tend to feel like the real “expense” is usually more the effort of planting the shrub and getting it to establish itself, not so much the $11.99 to purchase the shrub.

        • Or even just a “WANTED: outdoor plants” posting. Honestly, the less mature the plants are, the easier they’ll be to dig up, transport, and plant.
          It’s amazing how quickly the roots of shrubs and trees can spread — I ran into shrub roots last fall when planting some new bulbs between shrubs that were only about two years old.

      • (cont’d) Freecycle and the Craigslist free section can be very good for acquiring the kind of plants that normally reproduce and have to be divided every few years. I’ve successfully acquired daylilies and irises (rhizome-based irises, not bulb-based (Dutch) irises) via those sources.
        I occasionally see mature shrubs/trees listed on the Craigslist free section… but usually they’re so mature that the effort of digging them up and transporting them would outweigh the cost savings. (Usually, the homeowner has decided to redo the landscaping, and is hoping to get someone else to do the hard work of digging up large, established plants — often with a request for the digger to supply topsoil to fill in the hole, too!)

    • It’s a do-able DIY project although you may need to rent or borrow some tools (jackhammer if the chain link is embedded in concrete).
      Or buy buy the materials (posts and fence sections from Lowes or Home Depot) and look at Thumbtack or Task Rabbit for a handyperson to install
      You could also use reed fencing (also from Lowes/Home Depot) that is not so permanent but a good cover up for the chain link

    • wolfpackwx

      Funny you should ask about the fence idea. We living in Arlington and had a similar situation. Crappy chain link fence that neighbor did not want to take down/replace (technically on their property), but said we could use/build against.
      You can buy collars that attach to the existing aluminum poles and then you screw the 2x4s into these brackets to form the links to screw in wooden planks – I just completed this project yesterday and it took me 3 “after work days” to do about 75 feet of fence. We spaced the planks about every 2 inches, so it basically covers up the crappy chain link behind it. It looks amazing and we did it for way cheaper than digging for posts and doing a “proper” wood fence – probably $300-$400 all said and done.
      Google for “Chain link to wood fence conversion” – a lot of youtube videos about it.

    • That seems high, for the size lot I expect you have in Bloomingdale. I am currently replacing a fence (looking at the contract now) and I was quoted $2800 for 85 linear feet of spruce stockade fence. $3475 for board on board fence. These numbers include removal of the old fence, and new posts set in concrete.

      • HaileUnlikely

        This is good info for me too. Just out of curiosity, is this your regular go-to contractor, who you have named on here before, or is this a fence-specific company? We want to put in a fence this summer, and are on the fence (pun intended) between professional installation vs. DIY (If DIY we’d probably do the high-priority side, which would need 7 posts, soon, and the lower-priority side later. More manageable that way than all at once.)

      • Dcd, could you name your go-to contractor again? HaileUnlikely has evidently taken note of this name, but I haven’t.

  • Rant: Really need to lose 10 pounds. Things aren’t fitting as comfortably and what used to just be bloat is turning into flub. Ugh ugh ugh.
    Rave: It’s Friday. I’m hopeful about going back overseas for at least a few weeks sometime in the next year, and the weather tomorrow is going to be perfect for taking a late afternoon nap on my rooftop.

    • skj84

      your rant is my current situation. I’m ok at the working out part, its diet that’s the issue. I’m getting better at planning my meals, but its been hard finding the balance between really healthy stuff, and the foods I love. I know I need to eat in moderation, but haven’t figured out how that works for me.

      • If you can afford it, have you tried one of the meal prep services like Hello Fresh? It really does limit portion size and the nutrition is easily findable. The menus are pretty diverse and I find pretty easy and good. I have also done a vegan one (not that I am suggesting vegan) and I found that I lost weight without trying. Just a thought.

        • skj84

          I’ve tried both Hello Fresh and Blue Apron. I like the concept, but they don’t really work with my schedule. I found I was wasting food because I didn’t have time to make the meals. Also I’m not really a recipe person,if that makes sense. Obviously if there are explicit instructions that make or break a recipe I’m going to follow them, but I like to play around when I cook. I didn’t really find that freedom with the prep services.

          • I had the same problem with wasting food. I did one week of Blue Apron and said “Nope.” I’ve been pretty good this week about eating more fruits and veggies, and lean meats for dinners, but I need to work on eating less potatoes and pasta generally and getting more exercise. Womp womp.

      • Find a salad that you really like and use it as a default for whenever you are hungry or need a snack. My default forgot my lunch, dont know what to eat today is the uptown salad from Potbelly since I am surrounded by them when at the job and it doesnt require cracking a $20 bill. Its like 7 bucks and I pair with green tea or water.

        • That One Guy

          One the salad front, Corner Bakery is probably the best bang for the dollar. Their half potions are huge so you can order from their pick two menu for like $10 and make two meals out of it.

          • Ill have to try that. Right now I alternate between Potbelly and Cosi. There is a Corner Bakery in my area as well.

          • I’ve been doing Eatsa when I want lunch out since their bowls are great for protein and veggies, but it’s a little high on the calories, and frankly all takeout food is super sodium-rich which I’m sure doesn’t help.

          • That One Guy

            Thanks for the sodium reminder. I was out trying to grab lunch and that was lingering in the back of my mind. I do need to watch my salt intake.

      • Would it help to meal plan for the week each weekend?

  • Rant: the CSA is no longer delivering to my work. Anyone know of a good CSA in Brookland/Edgewood?

    • We’ve been very happy with Hungry Harvest. It’s not a traditional CSA, but it’s cheaper and I find that the produce I get is a bit more common and more likely to get eaten.

      • ooh, that looks interesting. Thanks!

      • Hungry Harvest is the best! They take produce that will get thrown away (from farms and stores) because it looks a bit odd and buy it at a cheap price. They also donate a portion each week to those in need. Only downside is last time I checked they don’t deliver to office buildings, only residential.

      • +1 I live in Brookland/Edgewood, and I get my Hungry Harvest delivered every Sunday A.M. 🙂

        • Thank you guys for all mentioning Hungry Harvest. I normally avoid CSAs because they were always too expensive and too much produce for me but I see they have a mini-box!!! This is great!!!

          • My Box this week! 🙂
            Product Qty
            Mini Harvest 1
            Avocado 2
            Bi-color Corn 2
            Broccoli 1
            Golden Delicious Apples 2
            Kale (bunch) 1
            Red Onions 1
            Variety Bell Peppers 2
            Yellow Squash 3

    • From the Farmer is phenomenal. Also not a traditional CSA though.

  • Rant: Feeling shlubby today. Old jeans are too big now, and new jeans are still too tight, so old, too big jeans it is. Good thing too because I feel full of water.
    Rave: I’m wearing jeans to work.
    Rant: Stayed up late on the phone with a friend. Didn’t get to bed until almost 1am. Needless to say, I missed the gym this morning.
    Rave: WEEKEND!

  • skj84

    Rant: didn’t get the promotion at work. Someone who had been with the company for a longer time got it, so I’m not as torn up on that end. I know I was considered to the end.
    Rave: They are going to rework my position so I can take on the responsibilities that will make me more visible. And give me more bonus earning potential.
    Rave: booked two side hustles, though I was hoping a raise would eradicate the need for side hustles. Anyway this should give me the bump I need for the summer.

    • I’m sorry you didn’t get the promotion, but I hope this means you’ll be next on the list! And I applaud you for having the motivation for a side-hustle. I could really use one, but frankly I’m too lazy.

      • skj84

        thank you. I’m bummed, but ok with it. The person they are going with has been with the company for 12 years compared to my 1 1/2. I didn’t even work my industry going in. I’m honored that I got that far into consideration. Definitely going to work towards building up my skill set for the next chance. I go back and forth on side hustles, I like the extra money, but don’t always love working extra hours. But then I get really ansty when I don’t have anything to do in the evenings! Hopefully I find a balance, both should be a once a week type thing.

        • I think you have an amazing, grounded attitude about this. And I hope that the changes to your position help advance your career in the long run.

  • Rave: it’s FRIDAY!
    Rave: it’s a friend’s BDAY today! Excited to see her and celebrate her tonight 🙂
    Rave: appointment yesterday went really well, and I’m really encouraged in thinking my headaches are not totally hopeless. Doc was great, listened to my concerns, asked really good questions I’d never thought of, and gave me some great pointers. She’s pretty sure I have TMJ and that could be causing, or at least contributing to, some of my migraines, and she wants me to go get a mouth guard / night guard made. I’ll follow up with her team in 6 weeks to see how things are going
    Rant: Ok so now I really need to find a dentist. I was going to just go to the one I saw up in Philly, because he’s way cheaper than what I’ve seen around here, but I don’t know if you can just go and get a mouth guard made or if you have to keep coming back for fittings, etc. Any insight? Dental recommendations? Can I just go to my guy in Philly? or do I have to have someone here?

    • Emmaleigh504

      It took 2 visits to get my mouth guard, one to take the mold, one to pick up the mouth guard. There are no fitting b/c they just take a mold of your teeth.

      • do you remember about how long the whole process took?

      • Same here – 2 visits over a couple of weeks. My insurance didn’t cover much of the guard’s cost, as I recall. I think it cost something like 150-200 bones. It was money well spent. I was grinding and clinching my teeth while sleeping, and it was starting to jack up my teeth.

    • I got a mouth guard for grinding in May. My dentist took molds and in about 2 weeks I had my mouth guard. I haven’t needed it refitted or adjusted because it’s a really hard plastic. I feel so much relief in my jaw and head overall. I went to a dentist on 13th st in Columbia Heights called Columbia Heights Dental. My insurance didn’t cover the mouth guard so the dentist gave me a small discount. It was about $300 but well worth it. I’ve been putting it off for years.

    • When I moved to DC, I asked my (awesome) dentist in Pittsburgh if he knew anyone here and had any recommendations. He didn’t know anyone specific, but he gave me the general recommendation to look for dentists who invest in advanced dental education from the Pankey Institute. After using their online directory, I started seeing Brian Gray up in Tenleytown and he’s been great. He may not be the cheapest dentist, but after a bad experience with budget dentistry that turned one routine procedure into several years worth of issues, I’ve found that paying a little extra up front can sometimes prevent you from paying even more down the road…

      • Oh, I didn’t know anything about this institute, I’ll look into it….

      • anonymouse_dianne

        I see Gene Giannini at the same practice – I’ve been going to him over 30 years. He always makes the Washingtonian list of best dentists. Plus he has a pug.

    • That One Guy

      Can’t you get a mouth guard from a sporting good store-one that you can mold-as a stop gap measure?

      • I’d warn against using these, especially if you’re addressing a headache issue. If you’re grinding (as opposed to just preventing knocking out a tooth) it’s really important that the top and bottom teeth meet correctly. Every time I’ve gotten a new mouthguard this has taken quite a bit of shaving and adjusting by the dentist.

      • already tried that, I had bought a generic mouth guard several years ago. The headache specialist laughed at me (not in a mean way, just in an “oh, yeah, that’s not going to do the trick here!” way)

        • Yeah, the drug store mouth guards are flexible, which made me sort of chew in my sleep, exacerbating the problem. I’ve had a hard night guard from the dentist that still works great after 10+ years.

    • I love my dentist, but she’s in Arlington. Is that an issue? I never thought I’d type the sentence “I love my dentist” but she really is that good.

    • I don’t have anyone to offer, but I would go to someone who does a lot of mouth guards and really understands TMJ. I had a good dentist, so I had him do my mouth guard and it was a mistake. It just never fit and made me grind more and have more tension in my mouth. Lots of money gone to waste (and making things worse)

    • Las Americas Dental in Mt P is very good. We’ve been going there for about 10 years and I recommend them.

    • I really like my dentist, Dennis Milliron. He’s at 2440 Virginia Ave, near the Kennedy Center. (Not the most convenient location but not too far from Foggy Bottom). I was just there yesterday and was reminded how much I like him and his staff. (A huge improvement from my previous.)

    • Just got this done on Wednesday. My dentist for the past few years was recommended by a friend. Dr. Pierre Palian up in Cathedral Heights. I like them b/c they have 7a.m. appts a few days a week, and the parking isn’t hard there. Got the mold taken, back in two weeks to pick it up. Total cost for me after insurance was $219.

      • WOW! Thanks for the recommendation! I was quoted something like $500-$800 for a custom-made night guard when I was seeing a different dentist in Philly (who i really liked and thought had good prices), and was mentally preparing myself to pay at least that much, but maybe it won’t even be as awful as that! STTH, did/do you have issues with TMJ/migraines?

  • Rant: No casual Fridays in this workplace.
    Rave: Warm weather this weekend! Participating in the National Walk for Epilepsy tomorrow morning and it won’t be freezing!
    Rave: Made sauteed shredded Brussels sprouts with mushrooms last night. So TASTY and our new food processor is amazing! I need to process more foods.
    Rave: Mom is coming to visit Memorial Day weekend!
    Rant: Still waiting to be hit by this flu. My throat is feeling scratchier today but otherwise, feeling good. Keeping up on Vitamin C and have a hot ginger drink for later.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: It’s only 10am and I’m already hungry. And there’s a Dunkin Donuts just a few steps away. I may need to get a new job away from Dunkin Donuts.
    Rave: my biggest rant involves the siren song of donuts not something more serious.

    • Bring some healthy snacks to work.

      • Emmaleigh504

        I have healthy snacks, they just don’t have the delicious fat and sugar. sigh…

        • When I’m having a craving for donuts I just put either peanut butter, or dark chocolate on a piece of whole-grain bread. It does wonders!

        • Fat (good fat anyway) really isn’t the enemy, so maybe add some more fat into the mix: guac, almonds, etc to try and satiate yourself. I’m on a high fat plan, and I’ve walked past lots of free donuts with no problem.

          • Emmaleigh504

            That’s a good idea. My snacks are mostly fruit and veggies. I’ll throw some nuts into the mix and see what happens.

          • Many fruits are high sugar, I’d taper off or swap out if you’re trying to kick a sugar habit. Veggies are low calorie typically, so eat a ton, get good dressings, all that good stuff. A snack can be a “meal” too.

  • Rant: currently in line for infinity mirrors.
    Rant: 9:10 was not nearly early enough.
    Rant: I’m pretty over thinking I’m ever seeing this

    • topscallop

      Oh no! Maybe with the extended hours you’ll be able to get a ticket for later in the day. Fingers crossed!

      • Nope, just missed it and I’m frozen. If you go and wait, just know that they don’t quicky hand out pass like at the WH garden tour, it takes over an hour to distribute the day’s passes.

  • Rant: Or maybe this is just a weird coincidence. You know the woman’s voice who makes the station announcements on the new Metro cars, 7000 series? The same voice makes announcements at the Dallas-Fort Worth airport.

    • lol, why would that be a rant? Definitely would be a funny thing to have noticed though.

    • Related rant: The way the woman’s voice on the 7000-series cars pronounces “Georgia,” like in “Georgia Avenue-Petworth.” She pronounces it “Zheorgia” — a “zh” sound like the French name Georges.

  • That One Guy

    Rant: I look like a hot mess today. I feel like I could paint my face white and I’d pass off as a clown, a miserable looking clown, but still a clown…complete with red shoes.
    Rant: Neck and shoulder muscles are super stiff, but I dislike when strangers try to touch my shoulder or neck so debating whether to get a massage.

    • Oh man, I have the same problem re: neck/shoulder muscles. Def get a massage. Mine were so tight for awhile I saw a physio for a bit. Another option is to use a lacrosse ball. Roll it against the wall and the shoulder.

    • Epsom salt soak while resting your head on the back edge.

  • Rave: Friday! So thankful that it is the end of this work week.
    Rant: Baby Artie is teething. He was up at four and didn’t really settle back down until after five. I am tired.
    Rave: Coffee date with a good friend tomorrow

  • Rant: Is it just expensive to fly to New Orleans? I’m planning to accompany my wife on a business trip in June and damn I could fly to Europe for less!
    Rave: This week started off really bad, but improved substantially. I’m excited about the future.

    • I’m guessing it’s because you’re in Canada. That sucks.

    • I go down to New Orleans about once a year for music and general merriment. Flights are not cheap. Even with SW doing flights out of Reagan, it’s not cheap for most of the year. It’s been this way for 5-6 years.

  • Rave: Taking a friend out to dinner that I have to work on getting the guts to say that I’m interested in being more than friends
    Rant: This person may have already friendzoned me, and I have no idea how they feel about me. I think if I get rejected, this one may hurt for a really long time, I don’t know what to do… 🙁

    • If you are interested, I think you should say something. In most cases, the risk of rejection (while painful) is better than always wondering, “what if?” At least you will know one way or another. Good luck!

    • yes, please tell him. I have been in that situation too many times, and even if the response was not in my favor, I have always found it better to know than to drag it out.

    • You can guess but never know for sure, or you can just ask. In my experience the latter is almost always better. As far as rejection, if it happens sure it hurts, but you can’t get through life without it so there’s nothing wrong with gaining a bit more experience.

  • Rave(ish): Went to the dentist yesterday to have crown re-cemented. Went smoothly.

    Rant: I mentioned some sensitivity I was experiencing and of course Xrays suggest something that requires a visit to the endodontist… root canal maybe.

    RANT: My office mate eats like a child, loudly and messy. CLOSE YOUR MOUTH. And eats constantly – he’s a “must eat every two hours” person… drives me nuts. (Oh – and he crunches on nuts in between his meals.)
    I must leave the room.

  • Rant: I’m 3 weeks from running my first Boston Marathon and I pulled a calf muscle.

    • Oof. Sorry to hear that. I got injured only weeks before I was to run my first ever marathon, and I was pissed.

  • Rave: My soccer team made it to the play offs, after being at the bottom for literally years.

    Rant: Paying $1,300 to register my car in Maryland, which apparently just wants to take all my money in taxes. While I love having a house I could afford, paying all this money and then having to read all about rampant corruption just kills my soul a little.

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