Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

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Photo by PoPville flickr user Joseph Gruber

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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75 Comment

  • Rave: My latte is so delicious. And it was free because of filled my little punch card.
    Rant: I’m so sad it’s almost gone.
    Rave: I’ve been doing these ridiculous power pumping sessions to boost supply and it’s working.
    Rant: It’s making me soooo hungry and takes a huge chunk of my day. Give me all the food.
    Rave: Found a great family to share a nanny with until we finally get off daycare wait list–maybe in a year if we’re lucky 🙁
    Rant: Share is MORE expensive by a few hundred dollars than daycare. Goodbye saving for a house. And we still haven’t found a nanny.

    • Ugh on the power pumping, but so glad it’s working. I keep lots of snacks on hand–especially things like mixes of nuts & dried fruit to try to snack on the healthy side. Oatmeal can also be good for supply–and I also like to use it as an excuse to have a beer every night. Though I’ve had to cut back on the snacking and the nightly drink for my waistline now that I’m no longer pumping/nursing full time….
      .
      Good luck with the childcare stuff. One way or another, we all figure it out. But man is it a pain in the ass in the process!

  • Rant: We got about a quarter inch of water in parts of our unfinished basement thanks to the rain. There are some huge puddles in the backyard that I think are likely culprits, but we may need to consider some other drainage solutions. Any tips, advice, ideas, horror stories?

    Rave: Engaged someone who actually knows what he’s doing with home repair and maintenance.

    Rave: Actually learning useful things in my certificate program. Thanks, edX.

    • We went through this with our finished basement. We had the flower beds around the house sloped away from the house. We also had French drains put in the yard to move the water out. That took care of the ponds that formed in the yard, but not the flooding in the basement. Ultimately, we had a sump pump put in the basement, and that took care of the problem. Depending on where you live in DC, the topography and soil composition make it virtually impossible to keep water away from the basement. The only real solution is to control it and pump it out with a sump pump. Our basement is finished, and so the pumping takes place below the slab and the water never enters the house.

    • We spent a lot of time doing stuff around the foundation of the house to deal with a wet basement and it turned out to be fixed by new gutters. Don’t forget to check them as well.

  • maxwell smart

    RAVE: It’s Friday! I’m so looking forward to getting home at a reasonable time and crashing in front of the TV. 2 nights of working until 11pm really took it out of me. Hoping I don’t end up having to work tomorrow.
    RAVE: Looks like it’s going to be a beautiful weekend. Time to dust off my bike!

    • You and I had similar weeks, my friend. Stay strong and enjoy the well-deserved tv/couch horizontal time.

  • Rant: I saw a little bird this morning with a scrap of plastic around its neck, like a tiny Elizabethan collar.
    Rave: It was not encumbered enough by its accessory that I could catch it to help, so maybe it’ll be ok.
    Rave: Meridian Hill Park fountain is on!
    Rant: It’s overflowing like crazy and pouring water down the steps toward 16th Street.

    • Ugh I saw all the overflow again this morning. They really just need to turn it off until they can fix it. It’s making really huge puddles alllll the way down W St and 16th St.

  • Bear

    Rant: Sick baby.
    Rave: Baby cuddles all day.
    Rave: Passed all our inspections, so now our renovation can finally wrap up. SO relieved.

    • Boo on the sick baby, but yay for cuddles. I hope you don’t get infected too! Dare I ask the type of ailment?

  • Rave: Almost finished with the end of year ‘self-assessment’, which was much less painful than the old format!
    Rave: Open communication with the husband – we’re both feeling much better! I have a bad habit of bottling things up.
    Rave: Plans for Easter brunch from a restaurant/view point somewhere on Skyline Drive!
    Rant: Really tired of just barely scraping by in this city. I love it here, but am having an incredibly hard time saving anything for the future.

    • Yay on your raves, and TOTALLY feel ya on your rant!

    • Re: your rant. I hear more and more people saying this and actually picking up and moving to another city. I love DC, but yeah it is expensive and we are able to save so much more here even on one income.

  • Rave: My movers are giving me a third mover for free!
    Rave: Move is tomorrow and it should be good weather. Ready to be done!
    Rant: I lost a running shoe somehow while packing so couldn’t workout. Hope I find it when I unpack!
    Rant: Former landlord is being kind of a PITA and taking forever to draft new lease for person taking over my apt.

  • Rave: Spring Break starts tomorrow!
    Rant: Last day before vacation always sucks.
    Rave: Weather looks like it will cooperate next week.

  • Rave: Had one of the best dinners in my life out with my little brother! He made reservations at Masseria and we did the Chef’s tasting menu – holy moly, 3.5 hours of course after course, and those little bites really add up so that you leave positively stuffed and deliciously happy.
    Rant: Now my breakfast and coffee at work taste so plebian!
    Rave: Almost the weekend, and was able to sign up for a yoga workshop! Planning on doing some good exercising and relaxing!

    • I went there for my birthday this year! It was a splurge, but SO delicious!! We sat at the bar overlooking the kitchen. It was SUCH a great experience.

    • We went this past weekend for my wife’s 30th, and did the chef’s tasting menu at the chef’s counter. She did wine pairing, I DD’d. Wowser, great meal, big-time splurge for the special occasion.
      .
      We can’t wait to go back for cool summer drinks on the cool patio space.

  • Rave: Wearing my new glasses, new (to me) dress, and a beautiful scarf a former roommate gave me. Feeling cute this Friday.

    Rave: This weekend looks like excellent biking weather. Am I going to see any of you on the trails?

  • The absolute inhumanity of the Trump administration continues to astound. First they ban refugees to prevent people from fleeing a situation that has a high probability of killing them. Then they drop bombs on them. ISIS must be cackling with glee over the recruitment boom that is going to result from the US action last night.

    • I would trust my four year old niece with making more deliberative foreign policy decisions, but do we not have a moral imperative to respond to the commitment of such atrocities? Honest question: if the prior administration had followed its own red line after the previous chemical weapon attack, would you call them inhumane?

      • My guess is that the refugee ban plays a large role in the assertion. That said, please do educate me because my understanding is that military targets were chosen, and hopefully civilian casualties were thus minimized? I know very little in this arena, though, so I am hesitant to make many assertions.

        • Last I heard there were seven casualties and four of those were children. Not to mention apparently Syria moved personnel and equipment prior to the attack. Doesn’t sound too successful…

      • What is interesting is that HRC actually said yesterday at a Women in the World event in NYC that she still believed that the U.S. should bomb Syrian air fields (which is what happened). Presumably her remarks came before notification that the current administration had done exactly that.
        .
        Not that I agree with the bombing, but I believe we may be arguing partisan politics when theoretically the outcome may have been the same.

      • Right, the lack of deliberation and adherence to international convention is appalling. 45 saw some pictures that upset him, so he lashed out with missiles. And as mtpresident says, combined with the refugee ban, it’s as shocking to me as any ISIS murder video.
        Israeli news reports that 9 civilians were killed in last night’s attack, 4 of them children. And that’s just early reports from last night in Syria. Coalition in Iraq has killed hundreds, and Trump’s first attempt at incendiary foreign policy in Yemen was straight-up indiscriminate.
        Given the Russian givens, I don’t see how we can involve ourselves militarily in Syria without triggering WWIII. The only solution for the Syrian people is a humanitarian one. Ramp up the refugee program. Follow the Canadian model of private sponsorship. People who are welcomed and included do not become terrorists. There’s been a ton of research on the drivers of violent extremism– exposure to state sponsored violence is one of the biggest factors. Add in lack of basic human/ civil rights, and lack of a forum in which to address it… people get angry and desperate fast. This action pushes people further down the road that Assad started them on.

        • That all sounds reasonable. Though how did the attack violate international convention? (I honestly do not know–this is not an area of strength for me) Thanks.

          • There will be arguments that the UN charter was violated (acts of aggression against fellow member states are prohibited), and we’ll probably also hear about the 4th Geneva convention, which protects non-combatants.

        • I’d agree that it is absolutely a package solution, and wholeheartedly share your view about ramping up both the existing program and incorporating the Canadian model of private sponsorship. But that is a two year solution and what is the humanitarian response in between? There is no way for the refugee program to support those numbers. I don’t know the answer, as there seem to be no good solutions. The setting (and ignoring) of red lines, and the haphazard interventions in Yemen and Iraq (and I’d argue Libya) have seriously constrained the U.S’s policy options for now going on the 3rd administration in a row. There have been no global world leaders really focused on responsibility to protect in years.

          • I’d probably start by providing/ increasing aid, both financial and material, to the neighboring countries who are housing Syrian refugees right now. Jordan and Lebanon for example have huge numbers, and US assistance with that population could alleviate a lot of suffering, both individual and institutional. It might increase the number of refugees these countries can house while the vetting process (ours and in other countries) takes place. It would strengthen US relations in the region as well.
            You’re completely right in your use of the word “haphazard”. US foreign policy is all over the damn place. WE’RE the “loose cannon” on the world stage. Of course despots are going to try their luck, as chances are very good that they’ll get away with whatever atrocity they think will further their goals.

        • There’s no good side in Syria. Assad is bad- fact. The people Assad is fighting (the Islamists) are really bad (I.e., the sort who capture a fallen pilot, place him in a cage, and set it on fire bad)- fact. But where have we seen this before where we quickly enter a Middle Eastern country with the best of intentions and makes things worse every time? We rid them of a bad dictator only to unleash even more sinister forces. No, no, no! People clamoring for missile strikes likely have no family serving in the military- it’s easy to agitate for military violence when you have no skin in the game. We cannot, nor are we obligated to, intervene everywhere on this planet. Trigger-happy people make me nervous.
          .
          Re: refugees- much better to house them in safe zones closer to home, so they can easily return. I know people want to help, but unintended consequences have made mass relocations untenable.

          • It doesn’t matter where on the planet they are. All refugees have an internal compass that points to HOME. If they can be safe and raise their families while their home country burns, they will return to the ashes and rebuild as soon as it’s safe.
            We can’t shirk our human responsibility just because we’re farther away from the horror.
            Completely agree with you, though, that hasty military action (and possibly any military action) never makes anything better, for anyone.

          • It’s not like they don’t want to be close to home, but let’s be real–it’s going to be a long, long time before they can return home. So for now the focus should be helping them rebuild their lives in a safe place. I’ll never forget listening to a Syrian refugee speak at a charity event. She described life at home in Syria and how good it was until it wasn’t and they had to get out. She cried as she talked about how she would give anything to be home, but for now Canada was home and she was going to do everything she could to make the best of this opportunity.

          • The challenge is that neighboring countries are reaching absorptive capacity (financing gap aside). UNHCR reports for example that Arsal, a Lebanese town on the eastern border with Syria, hosts over 40,000 Syrian refugees and that access to watsan, etc has become a trigger of tension between the host community and refugees and is facing a looming health crisis. I am not sure what I support but am just discouraged, and outraged, and scared about the apparent lack of any foreign policy experience by those making the decisions.

  • Accountering

    Rant: Job growth down, hate crimes up, two potential new foreign military entanglements on the horizon, entire domestic agenda: going nowhere. Is this making america great again?

  • Revel: halfway through Friday and so close to spring break
    Rant: way behind in this class I need for recertification
    Rant: spent way too much money on mediocre food for dinner last night
    Revel: taking a class with waba tomorrow on city biking

  • Accountering

    Rave: Awesome weekend planned! Going to the first Arena Football League game at Verizon (will likely be the dumbest thing I do all year, but should be fun) and then day drinking tomorrow afternoon and brunch Sunday. Going to fit in some time to finish taxes, and it’s going to be a good one!
    .
    Rave2: The house we are purchasing in Hill East is going to be great! This is my investment group putting this together, and we are meeting architects today. Going to do a dig out, pop-back, and pop-up (tastefully) to turn it into two 3/2.5 condos. I am very excited about the project, and we will work hard to make it fit into the neighborhood as best we can.

    • When you sell property in DC, how hard are you hit with capital gains? I knew the federal rate, but just realized DC has one too and it’s rather high.

      • Andie302

        I don’t know if he’s coming back here today to answer, but he’s never sold in DC (yet).

      • There are some complications, based upon whether this is used as a personal residence or as rental property.
        .
        In general, DC (unlike the Feds) does not have a separate capital gains rate; instead, capital gains are taxed at the DC tax rates for regular income.
        .
        However, if this is rental property, then the tax is assessed not to you personally, but to your rental business (through the franchise tax return) at corporate tax rates (which are even a bit higher).
        .
        Last time I looked into this, though (which was about 3 years ago), there was an exception that, if the sale results in the complete cessation of the business, AND the owner of the business is not a DC resident, then the sale (unlike the rental income) is not subject to DC taxes. As I understand that you are a happy resident of wonderful Toronto now, this might apply to you. Be aware that no tax preparer in Canada is likely going to know about this; instead, you should probably consult a DC tax preparer for your DC franchise tax return when the time comes.

        • Right. We are just starting to think about when we should sell. Whether sooner (2019) so we can maybe get credited for the time we did live in the property before we moved, or just hold onto it and bite the capital gains bullet.

          The sale would result in the complete cessation of the business. Oh we know, we plan to consult tax attorneys and accountants in both countries because walking into this without all the information would not be good. It’s also interesting because capital gains are way less up here in Canada. Thanks for the info though!

        • I don’t know if the “Starker Exchange” is still in effect, but it allowed you to sell a rental property and defer the capital gains if you invested the profit into another rental property. After one year of renting out the new property, you could convert it into your primary residence and still not have to pay the capital gains. How I bought my house.

          • I’m pretty sure it is, but not sure we want to continue to have an investment property once we sell this one.

  • Rave: Friday! And all the bosses are out.
    Question: Has anyone done the chef’s counter at minibar? Is it worth it?

  • skj84

    Rave: My sister is coming to visit Mothers Day weekend! We are going to hang out on Friday, then head up to PA to spend mothers day with our parents. Hoping my brother and sis in law can come down from NJ so we can have the whole family together. Though it would be a tight squeeze getting everyone in one house.
    Rant: I think grief is finally taking its toll on my best friend. She experienced the loss of both her parents last year, and her cat a few weeks ago. She is one of those resilient people who doesn’t always let on how much they are hurting.
    Rave/Rant: About to run myself ragged with work and side gigs in the next few weeks. I know it will be great for my wallet, but i’m worried how my body will take it.

  • Rave: I get to try Rasika for the 1st time with my best friend and her Mom tonight for dinner (how I have lived in DC almost 10 years and not gone is beyond me)
    Rave: YEA Friday!
    Rave: Roommate is out of town, PANTS OFF DANCE OFF all weekend

  • Rant: Tour bus that turned across an intersection into a driveway that was clearly blocked by another bus, halting traffic for five light cycles on 14th St during rush hour.
    Rave: Infinity Mirror exhibit! We skipped one of the rooms because the line was 30-45 min wait but all the other lines moved quickly. Loved the pumpkin room! And there is a lot to see besides the rooms.
    Rave: Friday, farm time and fruit tree planting, going to make something delicious from Melissa Clark’s new cookbook.

    • Is this her new Dinner cookbook? [I’ve posted before about my love for Cook This Now and have been mulling buying this one too.] Please report back on your dinner!

    • Yup, her new Dinner: Changing the Game cookbook!
      I gave my sister Cook this Now for her birthday, not only because I love Melissa Clark’s recipe but also upon the recommendation of a PoPvillager (you?). And then I gave myself the Dinner cookbook. And I recommend you also give yourself the Dinner cookbook!

      • Ah, I think that might have been me. That makes me happy…I am always trying to share my love of cooking with friends who are mostly uninterested. If she eats meat, the coconut milk short ribs recipe is my favorite in Cook This Now. I will use your post as welcome enabling to buy myself the Dinner cookbook (it, and a few others, have been hanging out in my Amazon shopping cart for a while).

  • Rant: Patience. I don’t have it. I’m not sure how much longer I’m willing to wait for things to come together at work.
    Rave: super duper awesome weekend ahead
    Rant: some day I will clean my house. I swear
    Rave: I realize I’m in my mid-thirties, but I really don’t care, I love that you can now order from Forever 21 online and return in store for an actual refund. And they’ve extended the return time to 30 days.

  • Rave: Thanks to all the good tips from the PoPulace, the Air BnB thing picked up a spate of rentals.
    .
    Rant: Four nights into five nights with the girlfriend travelling. Kind of missing her and being WAY too social. What the hell am I doing at Wonderland at closing time on a Tuesday?
    .
    Rave: Oh yeah, hanging out with the crew buddies who I don’t see often enough. Same thing Wednesday night, but with a calmer subset and a reasonable bedtime.
    .
    Rave: People picking up the tab for me at Himitsu and Kyirisan. If I ever get work again, Asian-based fusion food is on me!
    .
    Rant: Girfriend wands to do 2-months of low carb (no baguettes, ice cream or booze!) as lead up to the son;s destination wedding in Belize starting Monday.
    .
    Rave: Oh well, a good chance to realize my goal of being “hottest Dad on the beach,” especially as the back is behaving and workouts are proceeding. One thing about being unemployed — plenty of time to work out.

    • Re your Himitsu and Kyirisan rave. How was Himitsu? I haven’t been but I keep thinking I should go.

      • I thought Himitsu was great — marginally better than Kyirisan, but I really love that funky room and the whole grunge-gourmet feel. We went there by accident, we were supposed to just have a few drinks in the neighborhood but Himitsu was totally empty and we figured “what the heck?” Got to talk the the bartender and chef/owner and hostess/owner. The team at Kyirisan was also very friendly, but a little reserved.

        • That’s awesome to hear. I’ll have to try it soon. I really love Kyirisan, but also my experiences have been during Restaurant Week. So perhaps they were a little different than a normal night.

    • Glad to hear Airbnb is working out for you. Since you now have time on your hands, you could help work on defeating councilmember McDuffie’s bill 22-92 that seeks to severely restrict short term rentals in DC. Both Airbnb and VRBO/Homeaway have held happy hours to discuss the bill, but basically just suggested we show up to the April 26 hearing and tell anecdotes. They don’t really seem to know what they are doing. http://lims.dccouncil.us/Download/37319/B22-0092-Introduction.pdf

  • That One Guy

    Rave: Saw an email come in advertising cheap round trip tickets to Singapore (from JFK) so I booked them for like $330 for late September.
    Rant: What did I just do?

    • Andie302

      Someone in my office saw this same deal and booked for $400 over Thanksgiving. Jealous of both of you! That is awesome!!!!

    • What?! THAT’S AMAZING! Where do you find these kind of deals? (Also is it like a 4-layover, 28 hour kind of thing or is it reasonable?)

      • Wait, nevermind, I found it!

      • I follow SecretFlying on Twitter and they tweet a lot of amazing deals. A lot of them are last minute though, but some have a good 2 months out. I also follow a Toronto specific one.

    • Whoa! That’s amazing! And, now you have plenty of time to plan out all kinds of adventures while you’re there!

    • Just curious: what airline?

    • Depending on the length of stay, you can easily and quickly travel to Malaysia as well. Air Asia has cheap flights (especially if you book early to other Asian destinations)

  • Rant: Reading the paper yesterday and was shocked to see the photo of a friend in the Obituaries. On reading the notice it turns out that it was my friend’s mother (an old photo) – the resemblance between the two was incredible. In any case, relieved and happy that my friend is still with us, but sad for her loss.
    (The friend is someone I only see occasionally, and as it turns out, I’d been thinking about her recently. Then this. Strange.)

    Rave: Friday. Not usually a slow day in the office, but at least today my manager has been out – and away from email – all morning, which helps. I am also happily anticipating the drinks that will be had this weekend.

    And Rant 2: The damage to St Aloysius Church yesterday. It’s a grand place and I am sure will be repaired but I don’t like seeing it roughed up. Full of memories for me, and many others.

  • Rant: Witnessed a single vehicle bike crash on my way home. Got out of my car and ran to help the guy who said he was fine. But, I know that adrenaline was running high and the poor guy was likely in pain later.
    Rave: Friday

  • Rave: fancy cocktail evening with some friends tonight.
    Rant: those friends are moving away.
    Rave: Hit my lowest weight in about five months.
    Rant: Still need to lose 6 more pounds.
    Rave: Fifth date with a promising candidate.
    Rant: Dating is expensive.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: Stupid pharmacy won’t fill Rx that’ I’ve been taking for years before they speak to my doctor about it. It’ generic and there’s nothing special about it. Why can’t they just fill the Rx.
    Rave: Slow day at work means I can goof off on Popville.

  • Has anyone made an estimated tax payment through myTax.dc using an eCheck (checking debit)? I’m about to do it, but the site interface does not give me confidence that it will be tracked correctly. It used to be done thru OfficialPayments.com – I miss those days.

  • northeazy

    Rave: I feel proud knowing Trump ordered bombings of Syrian airfields used to gas innocent civilians.
    Rant: Wish Obama took decisive action sooner. Maybe those beautiful Syrian children would be alive today

    • Were you also concerned about the thousands of “beautiful” children who were killed over the past few years from simple, “conventional” bombs?” Or the thousands who died on the desperate journey to escape the killing? (Who Trump condemed to death by refusing to give them refugee status?)

      Why do you think that it is worse to have a child die from Sarin gas then from being crushed in rubble from conventional bombs?

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