Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user Rich Renomeron

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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103 Comment

  • [I can’t believe I am going to type this, and obviously it’s preliminary, and a lot can change, but . . . ]
    RAVE: Jason Chaffetz [dodges lightening strike], for being the first GOP committee chair to seriously threaten to subpoena something from POTUS. The world is indeed upside down.

  • Rave: Excited to see everyone at Barcelona (14th St) tonight! I hope y’all can come even if you don’t have any online dating issues to complain about.
    Rant: Apartment hunting has turned into the stereotypical bad-date situation. One apartment stood me up, many more have available units but haven’t responded to any of my inquiries (including one which I’m on the IZ lottery list for). Wtf? At some point I’m literally going to march my butt to each leasing office. They could at least acknowledge my emails and say they’ll get back to me…….

  • Rant: So fucking tired of my loud ass coworker who keeps shouting out personal questions to me at work. I’ve told him to stop asking me about my personal business, that my personal life is none of his business, and to just leave me alone but the fact that I was angry just makes him laugh and just want to smack him.
    Rave: It’s sunny out.
    Rave: Season finale of Designated Survivor tonight. Hope they find Hannah.
    Rant: Sinus headache.

    • I meant to say that I just wanted to smack him. It’s so infuriating and I feel so violated. I don’t want my personal business spread all over the office.

    • I’m sorry you are experiencing this. I have a co-worker who used to do the same thing, and he did not stop until HR got involved. I strongly suggest this – you should not be made to feel uncomfortable at work.

      • I was thinking that I might have to get HR involved but I hate making waves anywhere. I’m a real introvert and at work, I like to just do my work, and keep to myself.

        • And this is probably why this bully is targeting you. Stand up for yourself and be assertive. HR is probably a good idea if this bully won’t take the hint. Good luck.

        • Andie302

          I had an issue with several people when I was on a deployment. I spoke to each one of them privately and said 1) what you’re doing is making me uncomfortable 2) I do not appreciate it and 3) if you do not stop then I am going to have to get someone else involved. I did this privately, was not threatening, but also stood my ground and never had another issue. Even with a serial sexual harasser sociopath. Sorry you’re having to deal with this!

          • I like this idea. I know it isn’t universal, but every place I’ve ever worked (corporate sector), getting HR involved was never to your benefit. It may be different in places like federal jobs where you have some protection from retaliation.

    • Try a puzzled look and responding “Why ever would you ask such a thing?”

  • binntp

    Rave: I caught a Yellow Line train this morning…far north of Mt Vernon Square! I thought they were doing away with Yellow Lines to/from Ft Totten during rush hour, but I’ll take it.
    Rant: Family visiting soon, and one member does not want another (her own daughter) to know she voted for Trump. I’m sorry, but if you vote for someone, you need to own it. I’m not going to tiptoe around this if it comes up.

    • Re the yellow line, it was during Surge #14 and then they’ll go away again after June 25. For the moment we still have them! (Thank goodness!)

    • with my mom being a socially liberal dem and my dad a fiscally conservative republican- we were brought up not talking about politics and taught that who you vote for is a personal decision and that the decision to keep it private is up to the individual. now we get into it but all the children are well into adulthood.

      • binntp

        I think the challenge in this case is both individuals are adults, and the Trump supporter has basically lied to her daughter/misled her to believe she voted HRC.

        • oh dear, sounds like your situation has very little to do with my situation! 🙂
          good luck- hope a blow up is avoidable!

    • Emmaleigh504

      I’m going to miss yellow line Rush Plus, it’s nice not to have to change trains

    • Is it possible to enjoy one anothers company without talking politics? I assume this is out of town family, politics should be a bit further down the list when catching up unless someone really has an axe to grind.

      • binntp

        I’m hoping so! (There’s a whole other backstory of gender/sexual identity politics in this relationship, so it would really only come up in the context of that…hopefully everyone will be on their best behavior.)

    • “I’m not going to tiptoe around this if it comes up.”
      Glad to hear this. If adults want to agree not to discuss politics (as I do with certain family members) then I have no problem with that, but if it does come up and people don’t opt out of the conversation then they should be honest about where they stand. I’d rather disagree with family than lie to them.

    • I seriously forgot how great it was to have the Yellow Rush+ running.

  • skj84

    Rave: Officially going to Vegas! Plane ticket purchased, just need to book a hotel.
    Rant: Did not sleep well last night. Had another battle over the AC with roommate, woke up feeling like my nose and throat were on fire at one point, then woke up again sick to my stomach.
    Rant: Running way behind on everything today, so of course I’m messing around on the internet. I need to focus.

    • I suggest The Flamingo if you’re staying on the strip. The rooms are fine, but the pool is amazing! We had friends at Venetian and we ended up at the Flamingo pool most days 🙂

    • I really enjoy staying at the MGM Signature. You can walk through the MGM Grand to get out to the strip and you get access to the Grand pool(s) (in addition to the Signature pools!) but it’s much quieter, no smoking, no casino (right on site, I mean the Grand is a 5 min inside walk away), and the rooms are very nice.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: not motivation to do work
    Rave: waiting for a phone call before I really need to start my work, so I get a little goof-off time
    Rave: Warm weather is here at last!

  • Rant: Just got back from work trip to Europe and have another work trip to Seattle next week. Would really like to be home so I can get my apt organized since I just moved.
    Rave: Seeing mom and my favorite 6 year old this weekend. Also am going to take a travel day on Friday.
    Query: Any suggestions for what would be fun for a 6 year old to do in DC this weekend? We are already planning on American Girl doll store and zoo.

  • I Dont Get It

    Rave/Rant: When it’s 4:10 pm and it’s 93 degrees out and you’ve just returned in the golf cart from taking the dogs for a walk and the neighbor across the street brings over plates overflowing with homemade sausages, peppers and onions and pasta and then sits down to watch you eat it. #FloridaProblems

  • Rant: I am so forgetful/not on top of my game these days.
    Rave: Thanks to Amazon prime I will have a birthday gift for Baby Artie’s cousin’s party this weekend.
    Rave: Beautiful walk to the metro this morning.
    Rave: I’m wearing a fun, floral skirt today and actually feel rather put together and pretty.

  • Rant: The puppy bit my hand last night (while playing – total accident), and got me on the tendons and pad of my palm. She has quite the jaw, and even though she didn’t break the skin, my hand hurts like hell today.
    Query: In my quest to balance work and home, I thought it might make me feel better to not have my kids eating take-out three nights a week. I was thinking one of those meal service things might be a good option since I feel like I don’t have time to shop/cook like I used to. Does any one have any experience with these? Any thoughts of Blue Apron versus Hello Fresh? And are there any other options?

    • Just my experience but I think Blue Apron meals actually take more time to prepare than my own recipes. On average, they take me about 20-30 minutes longer to get dinner on the table. And you do want to cook them earlier in the week when you get them. I would find that if I got delivery on Sunday and waited until Friday to cook, the vegetables would be wilted. And I think it is just a bit too pricey for a larger family. I have zero experience with Hello Fresh. Can you do Instacart or Peapod where you live? It might be more worthwhile to have a service deliver your groceries to you.

    • Oh god, we cook a lot and only eat out once or twice a week. With that said, I hated Blue Apron. My back hurt by the time I was done with a meal because it usually took an hour from start to finish. It just felt like a lot of work compared to our normal recipes.

      What about crock pot meals? We did a pork shoulder in the crockpot yesterday and now have a ton of pulled pork. I also made potato salad. My wife boiled and peeled the potatoes the night before so it was easy to throw that together.

      • I have the same feeling about Blue Apron as FPVR and artemis. I used them one week and said “This is totally not worth it” and canceled.

    • Emmaleigh504

      Blue Apron meals are delicious. We gave my parents a couple of months of the meals when my dad was in cancer treatment. They seemed to really like them and saved several of the recipes. The only draw backs I can think of is that some of the meals are calorie heavy and I would think it would be pretty spendy for such a large family. The meals are a delicious splurge.

    • Try doing the bulk of your cooking on Sundays. Cook a variety of things and reheat during the week. I second the crock pot idea as well. A crock pot meal, a big pan of pasta (i dont eat it but the kids do), a whole chicken/ham/etc, a big pot of vegetables, spaghetti, etc… Stuff that actually taste good once reheated the next day

      • This is what I try to do and then I only cook other meals 2-3 times a week. That’s usually all I have in me after work and commuting. I also get my partner to grill at least once a week so I am not in charge of dinner every week night.

    • anonymouse_dianne

      I went from Scratch DC to Sun Basket. The meals come in a separate bag for each meal with the meat in a vacuum sealed package which you can pop in the freezer. They generally take less than 30 minutes. I tried Blue Apron but it was way too much food. My sister is doing Blue Apron but she uses it for lunch and dinner.

    • Thanks for the suggestions, everyone!!
      I should mention, I have to deal with a pretty picky eater, and end up making two meals frequently, so the Blue Apron or whatever would be for just me and the kids. However, if it takes an hour to prep and cook a meal, I will just do that myself!

    • I’ve used both Blue Apron and Hello Fresh. I vastly prefer Hello Fresh. I found the estimated prep times for Hello Fresh were much closer to actual than with Blue Apron. The meals are a bit simpler than Blue Apron, but my primary goal was like yours – cook dinner at home without having to menu plan or do the shopping. In general, it takes me anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes to cook one of their meals. If it’s going to be on the longer side and I want to make it on a weeknight, I’ll try to see if there’s any prep that can be done the night before.

    • Take a look at Rachel Ray’s book “30 minute meals.” A lot of the work of cooking is prepping and clean up, so maybe take a couple of hours on a weekend, with the kids. Chop onions, carrots, celery – store in plastic bags with damp paper towels, wash & spin dry lettuce so it is ready (or just buy the bags.) Cook a chicken, take all the meat off and store that. (Freeze bones for eventual soup. ) Cook steak and slice it thin. You’d be surprised how much you can get done in a two-hour weekend blitz that will carry you through the week.

    • I agree with people who said that Blue Apron recipes take longer than Hello Fresh, however, I find the meals I make with BA are much better than the ones I have made with HF.

    • Andie302

      We love Blue Apron but agree that it can take a little while. If you have another person to help you chop and you’re willing to dirty and extra pot, that can usually cut the time by a third (depending on the recipe, obviously). I try to game it to get the food done as quickly as possible without undercooking. I fail sometimes and have to put the chicken (in particular) back in the pan.

    • I’ve tried it all (the meal prep service, the takeout, the feeding my kids mostly pasta…) and I’m sorry to say that the best solution is meal-planning and prep on weekends. I hate it. I have to have my shit together all the damn time and sometimes I just don’t wanna. But then we pay for it during the week when my kids are taking cream cheese sandwiches and a wrinkly apple for lunch, and I spent three weeks’ food budget on a week’s worth of take-out.
      I usually plan four meals– a big pleasing feast for Saturday or Sunday, and three weeknight meals for which I prep in advance (Stirfry and/or couscous– cut up the vegetables and the meat and store separately. Lasagna– make it in advance, cook it day of. Hearty soup with excellent bread– make the soup on Sunday, store in separate containers; make the bread dough on a weeknight, let it rise overnight, throw it in the oven the minute I get home from work. Big salads are a big hit– a few different greens, washed and torn on Sunday, vegetables cut up in advance, eggs boiled in advance, croutons made from leftover bread.) Most of these are good for two nights at home and a couple of office lunches.
      But yeah, I wish there were an easier way. The solution is probably three-day weekends. Who can I talk to about that??

      • This is pretty much it for me… I really, really don’t want to do meal-prep on weekends. I’m working 11 hour days right now during the week and still logging on to work on weekends, and since Saturdays are packed with sports, Sunday is really the only day I have ‘off’ and the thought of spending that cooking makes me want to cry. However, I think I may just have to swallow this and live with it.

        • 11 hour days? Plus five kids and a puppy?? You are a better person than I. Go ahead and let the kids eat cereal for dinner. They’ll be fine.
          That said, I’ve come to enjoy my Sunday afternoons in the kitchen, or at least, not totally resent them. I put on music, have an early glass of wine, and feel accomplished.

          • Yep… when I end up in the loony bin, you’ll know why!

          • Lol–we have a tv in the kitchen, so cooking is my junk tv time. Of course, now that mtpkiddo is no longer napping, I have to be more choosy about what I watch (sports rather than dramas) or just put music on. It’s not nearly as much of a treat, but oh well.

    • I say, teach those kids to cook. They can get a lot of stuff chopped and prepared and started cooking, so you just have to do the finishing. My siblings and I did that growing up, from young ages, and as a result, my cooking skills are natural (don’t need to measure stuff; can make up a tasty meal from what I have on hand), which many of my friends find remarkable, as they didn’t grow up cooking at home.
      If the kids are busy ’til dinner time (with sports and extra-currucular activities we didn’t have the option of participating in when I was growing up), have them do the chopping and preparation and some advance cooking on the weekend, as suggested above. It would be a great way for you to be there to teach them, and maybe even have some fun with them at a time when you aren’t in a hurry to get dinner on the table after a day at work.
      For me, I find buying really good and fresh food from the farmers’ markets around town every week makes me want to cook to use it up and eat it. (Organic foods are also tastier, which tempts me to cook them even when I’m tired.) It is so delicious (and not cheap) that I don’t want to waste any. I also find, perhaps paradoxically, that I’m more likely to cook when I have just what I need for the next two to five days on hand – both in my refrigerator and in non-refrigerated foods in my cupboard – this inspires me to cook more, using what I have, that is all incredibly fresh, rather than having the typical american refrigerator stuffed with foodstuffs in varying stages of decay, or a cupboard full of grains like rice and flours going rancid (even though you can’t see it). (Sometimes having less choice in front of us works better – what’s for dinner is what’s on hand.)

      • Agreed, if the kids have any time at all (and I know how kids’ schedules are) put them to work.
        “You, fill this large container with washed and torn greens. You, scrub and cube these potatoes. You’re on clean-up: wash the tools everyone else uses, and gather up all the peels and packages, and take the trash out when it’s all done.”

        • (I’m also sympathetic to wanting to avoid the complaints and whining and resistance and the need to manage. I make my kids help sometimes, but sometimes, I just want quiet time.)

        • I’ve only got three who are really of age to be able to really help (dear god, I do not want to see Littlest Anonachild with anything resembling a knife in his hand!), and the oldest of them goes to his mom’s house on weekends. I will say that SO and I have really pushed them to do more around the house (they are all helping with their laundry to varying degrees; they are responsible for cleaning their bathrooms every week; I’ve stopped doing the dishes after work; they are helping with the puppy), so I don’t mind them not helping with the cooking. SO’s daughter LOVES to cook and frequently helps when she is home, but there’s helping and “helping.”

      • Kids and our spouse/mate. It really sounds like their is no domestic support in the household. Unfair to her

        • I don’t mean to make it sound uneven. He does help around the house, in particular with the kids. He’s the one who gets them to and from school every day, and he is also running his own business so his work day really never ends. Things are completely equal, but a lot of that is on me. We are both just stressed out to the max right now – I’m just the only one posting about it 😉

          • Also – remember that a whole generation of us – people who invented the Space Shuttle and the Internet – grew up eating Hamburger Helper and Frosted Flakes. And our parents lived through the wars on tinned sardines and Digestive Biscuits. It’s hard to go lacking nutrition in modern America. And organic produce – while probably better for the environment – is no more nutritious.

    • We just started using Home Chef, and like it so far. My parents have been raving about it. I like to cook, so for me it was mostly not having the time/inspiration to plan out our meals rather than not having time to cook. I think each one has taken about an hour from pulling it out of the fridge to clearing away our empty plates, which isn’t bad. You do have to do prep yourself, but for some reason doesn’t seem to take as long as when I cook my own recipes, maybe because it’s already measured out?
      They always have $30 off deals, or someone with an account can email you a code, so might be worth just trying for a week or two to see how it works. You can always cancel.

    • With the caveat that I haven’t tried this yet, I am intrigued by Terra’s Kitchen which delivers in reusable refrigerated bins and comes pre-chopped and washed. Supposedly meals can be prepared in 30 min or less. We’ve had luck with Blue Apron (I hated meal planning) but I am very tempted to try this. Another good option for something a little more upscale than takeout is Galley Kitchen which come prepared and you just need to throw in the oven. They also freeze well. They also have kid meal options.

    • We just signed up for No More to Go on the recommendation of a friend. It’s essentially meal planning, so you do still have to shop. You pick the meals and the days and they produce a shopping list organized by section of the grocery store. We’re only in the second week, but it made shopping and cooking more efficient. Can use a grocery delivery service like Peapod or something to help with the shopping?

  • Rant: Tired, headache and just UGH today…….
    Rant: The Congressman from North Carolina who complained about the duck ramp at the Capitol. SERIOUSLY? Your President is sharing intel with the Russians and you’re complaining about a ramp for cute ducklings??
    Rave: Really interesting and engaging workshop yesterday morning on different styles of communication. Moreover, how to identify who is what style, a self-assessment, and how to work with people who communicate differently. Normally I don’t particpate in situations like this but found myself being called on quite a bit and enjoying the chance to actually speak up. There’s another workshop in June on Challenging Conversations, but my boss is signed up and I really don’t want to take it with him.
    Rave: Lovely dinner with friends last night!
    Rant: Trying to sell our loveseat on Craigslist. I th ink CL is harder than it used to be.

    • I think people often overestimate how much they can get for their used furniture, especially upholstered items. Keep lowering the price by increments, and eventually you’ll find a buyer. Good luck!

      • That said, I’m currently trying to sell a couple of items on Craigslist too, and I seem to be getting fewer responses and more flakes than before. So maybe there’s something in the air.

    • I’m looking for a loveseat if you want to include the link here!

    • People generally expect a real deal on craigslist – its best to sell at fire-sale, moving-sale prices. I’ve had luck selling stuff there, but only at moving-sale prices (and I usually write moving sale, even if I’m not moving soon, so people won’t have the idea they can watch the listing for weeks.)
      That said, you aren’t likely to sell an upholstered with fabric piece there – people are wary of bedbugs and having to clean stained fabric. If it is leather, you’ve got a better chance, but it still needs to be cheap, really cheap.
      It is also harder to sell stuff that needs a truck or anything larger than a medium sized car to move, as the people buying old stuff aren’t likely to want to spend a bunch for moving. So if you can organize moving locally, if you have free access to a large vehicle, your chances will improve.
      Given the low price you can get, and difficulty with moving, you may get the best financial bump from donating it to a charity that will pick it up and take the tax deduction.

  • Rave: Wine & Bitch tonight at Barcelona Wine Bar! Hope to see many of your faces there!

    Rant/Rave: construction anxiety. Minor changes (wall) that needed to be made to my design plan turned out to be not as awful as I had anticipated them being. There is wall paint on my ceiling now, which will require me to get my ceiling painted which is unfortunate, and I mentioned it…however, I mentioned to my lead contractor on Day 1 that I would need to go get a spray can of the popcorn stuff to put on my ceiling where the closet used to be in order to match the rest of my ceiling and yesterday, he told me that he went and found some and just did it for me, no extra charge at all. (He said that I’d probably need to get the ceiling painted because the spray stuff doesn’t match the rest of the ceiling – which makes sense, but they’re doing great work (despite the other parts of the kitchen ceiling that have wall paint on them) and this is the second thing they’ve done improvements-wise for no charge and made things look even more awesome. Still, now I have to hire someone to paint my ceiling (in the kitchen, living room, dining room, and hallways which are all connected/open. I figure i can leave the bedrooms and bathroom as they are (I had every ceiling painted when I moved in 7 years ago).

    Rave: My cat seems to be much better yesterday/today with all the noise and randomness around the house.

    Rave: I found a new floor lamp to replace my broken one that’s been kind of balanced against the living room wall for the last few months, when I wasn’t even looking for one.

    Rave: Friends who help me out with last minute errands to buy more paint for my kitchen remodel (that’s my part of the contract)

    Rant: Even though I told the paint people at Lowe’s that I wanted a specific brand, color and style of paint (which I *think* they gave me), when I got home, I realized it was a different can than the one I had originally purchased (from a different Lowe’s). So, I told them that if the paint is not the same color or style to please let me know and I will have to go and take care of that.

  • Rave: Ridiculously attractive woman I’ve seen twice in less than 24 hrs. If I see her again, I gotta ask her out.
    Rant: Unlikely I’ll get lucky thrice.
    Rave: New phone this week.
    Rave: Working with a friend. We’re the dream team.
    Rant: Contractor life.
    Rave: Getting a new bed!

  • Blithe

    I share your rave — even as I wonder if there’s a catch somewhere….

  • Blithe

    Rant: Early cicadas. I’m still somewhat traumatized by their last creepy emergence.
    Rave: Packing away my winter coats. Finally!
    Rave: Upcoming HS reunion. I’m really looking forward to this. Gosh the decades just fly by!
    Rant: One of my neighbors will be moving out of state soon. I’ll miss her, and I’ll miss having such a good neighbor right down the hall.
    Rant: Finally accepting that the type of neighborliness that I grew up with and try to cultivate is no longer a thing. Or at least is no longer the common culture in the places where I’ve lived recently.
    Rant-ish: Still looking for the perfect summer sandals. Very glad that Zappos has free returns.

    • Blithe

      Forgot a Rant: I made a rare trip by bus, and was startled to see pigeons gathering while I waited at the Silver Spring station. I fled. Only then did I notice a guy sprinkling food for the pigeons UNDER the bench where I had been sitting. I think feeding/encouraging vermin is gross. For someone to seek out one of the few benches to use as a feeding station — when he’s not even the one sitting on the bench — boggles my mind. It also boggles my mind to think that people are probably way outnumbered by both pigeons and cicadas, but I’ll try not to think about it.

    • binntp

      Do you rent/own? I’ve found that owning a place really does change the dynamic of neighborliness; maybe because people feel invested in knowing their community members since they plan to be there awhile.

      On a separate note, I share your sentiment about the cicadas.

      • Blithe

        Own, but it’s a large building and there are also some renters. I wonder if the size of the building is also a factor? I’ve lived in several all-rental apartment buildings, in multiple Mid-Atlantic cities, and this is the only place I’ve lived where people don’t routinely greet each other in passing and in common areas — and seem startled (usually pleasantly) when I do. It feels like I’m living in an office building.

        • I used to have a neighbor who would just stare at me when I said hello. I made it a point to be extra friendly to that person. 🙂

        • binntp

          I’m sorry to hear that. I own in a modest size building (maybe 60 units?); some of them are rentals, but one of the reasons I loved my building when I first visited was that everyone said hello to me when I passed them. I also have a lot of elderly residents in my building, so perhaps that influences the level of friendliness.

  • Quotia Zelda

    Rave: Had the chance to visit the Diplomatic Reception Rooms at the State Dept last night. Beautiful! All the Chinese export porcelain – swoon!
    Rant: Someday, I will wake up feeling well rested. I’m not certain when that day will come, however.

  • Rave: I graduated from Wharton with an MBA this past weekend and am happy and exhausted. No more bi-weekly Amtrak trips for me! More time in DC!
    Rant: Not so much a rant, but I’d love any suggestions on how to get more involved in DC, particularly as a resident trying to influence DC policies and government. All ideas welcome! I now have a lot more free time, and as a homeowner in DC I’d like to be more proactive.

  • Populace: Can anyone recommend a housecleaner who will do a one time job on a weekend in Silver Spring? I just need a basic cleaning for an apartment move out. Or should I try Taskrabbit?

    • I use Handy and they’ve been pretty great!

      • A couple of people on PoPville have mentioned bad experiences with Handy.com — I think one even mentioned suspected theft.
        IDGI, if you’re reading this, can you recommend the Taskrabbit person who cleaned for you the other week?

    • Its probably too late, but I used IQ cleaning for a move out and a move in clean on weekends. On the move out, they even made my air bed for me before they left. I was pretty happy with their service.

  • Rant, rant, rant: Why is so hard to get a service/home repair person to answer, come when scheduled, and actually follow-up with a quote? I feel like some bizarre home repair knock off of he’s just not into you.
    Rave: Planning weekend away, starting to read a new book, and have been sticking with my quasi-diet for two weeks now.

    • Your repair person rant and my apartment rant sound surprisingly similar! What is up with people?! Haha….

      • There’s a non-zero chance that they’re both from my property management company, which is all like ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ about returning phone calls…