Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user fromcaliw/love

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. I’ll open this thread every Monday and Friday. So anything good happen to you this week?

51 Comment

  • The Dismemberment Plan reforming for shows. Only the best band to come out of D.C. in the last 15 years. Thoughts, kids? I’m psyched.

  • Rave: Stewart/Colbert rallies.
    Rave: Remy’s Metro Rap.
    Rave: Booked 5 long weekend trips over the next few months instead of a long vacation, thus eliminating the usual deep depression that inevitably follows returning from a trip with nothing on the calendar to look forward to!

  • Rant: so many residents in DC elect politicians just to make them feel good about themselves. I just don’t get it. I want smart, responsive etc and don’t care if the guy is a jerk or not, he isn’t coming to my house for dinner. I am clearly in the minority. I guess the Unions got what they wanted. I predict a loss of kids in the elementary schools over the next three years as middle/upperclass parents pull them back out after committing to them only under Rhee.

    • I am disappointed that Fenty lost as well. But it really was his own fault. He could have acted sooner to turn the tide but he felt he did need to.
      In any event, as I’ve said here before, I don’t think much is going to change with respect to the schools. Fenty and Rhee did all the “dirty” work. Gray is promising a new path forward but he’s not going to rehire teachers, renegotiate the teachers’ union contract, or reopen any schools. I think the folks who voted for him thinking he is going to turn the clock back will be very disappointed.

    • +1 That kind of thinking is also what got us eight years of George W. Bush.

  • Rant: Angry commenters who can do no more than insult other commenters.

    Rave: Baiting angry commenters and making them angrier.

  • revel: I had a really big crush on a friend all summer long and didn’t know if she was interested and didn’t want to lose her as a friend. But I finally asked her out this week and she said yes (to my very happy surprise). First date tomorrow night.

  • Tickets to Aziz Ansari tonight at the Warner Theater. Second row, center!

  • Rant: Awful night’s sleep last night due to this broken ankle. I’m sooo over wearing this air cast–I look like a robot.

    Rave: I’m not letting this air cast keep me from the Virginia Wine Festival tomorrow!

    Rant-ish: Lots of homework to catch up on.

  • Rave: Happy Birthday, Elvira!

  • Rant: Girl I was supposed to see tonight broke our (first) date.

    Rave: She still wants to see me, something came up and we’re going top reschedule for some time next week.

  • rant: should I actually be worried about education reform for my young child who does not yet go to DCPS? Was all this election-related stuff just an illusion? Will progress continue no matter who’s in charge?

    • Vince Gray has been a leading proponent of education reform in DC during his time on the council. I don’t think you have anything to worry about. The fact that he disagrees with how Fenty went about improving DC schools simply means he wants the same outcome with a different approach. In fact, I think you will find that he is an avid champion of improving schools but will probably take a more open and involved approach.

      • His approach differs in that he wants to keep the existing teachers in place and believes they can deliver change when properly motivated.

        Is that a fair assessment? (Even if I don’t believe a word of it)

        • That sounds about right. I guess his (supposed) philosophy is that you don’t cure a sick heart by yanking out all the arteries and veins. But then, I just don’t know enough about what the root causes were of our poor school system. Seems clear that Rhee thought it was the teachers, a lot of the teachers. This seems like a “let’s wait and see” situation. Perhaps Gray will shine.

        • I was in favor of Rhee’s reforms — most anyway, she did do some stone stupid things just to prove she was in charge — but I really don’t think Gray’s election is going to instantly make the schools suck. Just like Rhee’s reforms did not instantly make them good. My kids have just started school, and what I notice at our local public and at our charter (both of which are mostly poor minority kids, but both of which decent reviews marks and have a non-negligible population of middle class parents of various races) is that middle class parents with the time and resources to be significant volunteers at the school are critical to school success. You only get those dozen or so mom’s who organize, fund raise, and generally move a school from ok to good if you have middle class families at the school. You only get middle class families if there are other middle class families. I think the reform matters a whole lot less than the perception of reform. If middle class (including white) families feel comfortable putting their kids in the school then the school will start to get the support it needs to be a great school.

          So, don’t despair. Meet your neighbors, visit your school, volunteer, convince your neighbors to send their pre-schooler to the PK program. See what you can build. And, while you are there, don’t treat the poor minority families who are already at the school like they are a bunch of idiots who need you to swoop in a save them.

          • + 1. Great post and excellent advice. Seriously the most thoughtful, positive, and un-cynical response to this election that I’ve heard. Sure, who’s Mayor matters but I would argue that our actions and choices have easily as much to do with shaping the future of this city.

          • “You only get those dozen or so mom’s who organize, fund raise, and generally move a school from ok to good if you have middle class families at the school.”
            Although I don’t disagree with your comment, mom’s aren’t the only ones who can make a difference in improving a school. There are tutoring programs that allow people who may not have a young one in the school to nevertheless be involved and help out the students.

      • Every single candidate says that. They are never going to say that they
        want schools & teachers to be deficient. It just happens or just stays the same, without someone making hard changes.

  • Bear

    Rant: My boss sucks.

    Rave: Figuring out that everyone in the office knows that my boss sucks.

    Rant: They all think I’m his secretary.

    Rant: My mother, trying to make me feel better, telling me that she sacrificed her career aspirations for her family, and that she had been paying for it ever since. Not helpful.

  • Not sure if this is a rant or not, but I’ve been wanting to share that I’ve been really disheartened by the news/stories about dogs in our area of late. It’s really made me very sad. Regardless of the circumstances it really hurts my heart when animals are killed. Between the dog at AdMo Day and the dog that was tied to a tree for a week, I’ve really been scared and saddened for the dogs in DC. Just needed to share.

    • +1 But I think this happens everywhere, and there are also many more positive stories about dogs in DC that don’t make the news. You can check out all the great work that WARL and WHS are doing with dogs and related programs. And although that poor dog that was tied up died, there are many many many more success stories due to the work of Humane Law Enforcement, and many dogs rescued and then adopted to loving homes.

  • Rave: Awesome weather forecast for the next week or so.
    Rant: Undone chores from last weekend piled to the sky.

  • rant – WTF is it with people on Craigslist? You want to come by at 6:00 to see the item,fine;it’s 8:00 now,where are you? You have my number,you can’t call and say you can’t make it/changed your mind? I can’t count how many times I’ve had people flake on me. That or rediculously low ball me. No,I won’t take 50% of my asking price. Jeebus people.

    • +1 I’ve had 10 people ask when they can pick up our oil tank and after I reply I never hear from them again.

      Rave: SE fish market. Just walked there on my lunch and can’t wait to go back Monday.

  • Rant: Dog has Fleas!!! Despite regular use of Frontline Plus.

    Rave: A whole weekend with my 6 year old goddaughter!
    Mini rant: On our last outing I had to explain DNA, evolution and the reason exoskeletons limit size (why there are no giant bugs) I’m worried about god and nuclear fusion coming up in conversation. . .

    • Yeah, that’s tricky. My three-year-old has a cold, and asked me last night *why* she her nose was stuffy. I was distracted and said “don’t worry, it’s just a bug.” Her eyes got all wide and she asked “in my NOSE??”

  • Rant: Have come down with a cold and my wonderful SO is out of town – it’s going to be a loooong weekend.

    Rave: It’s Friday, and I don’t have to drag my sniffly ass to work tomorrow. Contemplating hitting the H St. festival if I’m feeling up to it.

  • Rant: longest work week EVER!!!! I’ve had it with people asking me to track one more thing in the database…no no I won’t track one more thing, b/c that means I’m tracking only 100 things that you are not looking at anyway!!!

    Rave/Rant: I was the top scorer at work on the Bedbug quiz!! Yeah…oh S*&T did I mention we have bedbugs at work. And now I have to be careful that I don’t bring them home!!!!!!!!!!

    Rave: Getting all girlie this weekend…haircut, pedicure, facial…I deserve it!

  • Rant: DC Dept of Health officials who promote the idea that kids can just “grow out of” a mental illness. Um… last time I checked mental illness is actually a disease with no cure, not something that you just need to try hard to get over. Who put you people in charge of anything?

    • Who assessed your child? DC Dept of Health or DC Dept of Mental Health? they are different and separate.

      I was not privee to your conversation w/ the child psychiatrist but you know some mental health issues are personality issues (e.g., anti social, narcassistic) that can be treated behaviorally with counseling; as opposed to schizophrenia, bipolar, manic depression, etc. that are treated w/ psychopharmaceuticals.

      Also why are you so ready to label your child as mentally ill? The stigma and label are very hard to live with, and would not wish it on a child (or adult).

      Seek out other professionals for an exact diagnosis; and advocate against the label until you know 100% that it is a mental illness (psychiatrically diagnosed).

      Good luck to you, your child, and your family

    • rhee needs to work her mojo on the health careworkers unions …

  • Rant: I just answered “yes” when asked the following during a job interview: “Have you ever worked in an SQL environment?” I hardly know what SQL is, much less have experience working with it (on it?). Ridiculous me.

  • Rant: The city just elected its 4th Barry administration … boy some of the people in this town are just plain stupid … 12 years of moving ahead with this city and now we turn backwards and stop

    Rave: Thank God I own a condo in Columbia Heights … hopefully now with the reforms of this city coming to an end its value will not decrease

  • Rave: working at the polls was not as boring as I expected
    Rant: working at the polls was exhausting

    Rave: all of the people who cared enough about their city to wait in line and vote (or wait in line to change their party registration in order to vote in the next primary)
    Rave: the wonderful pollworker next to me who said she cast her first vote for Roosevelt (since she was a woman, I deduced she wasn’t talking about Teddy), and the fact she’s still willing to commit to the long hours of pollworking.

  • I don’t think anyone who voted for Teddy Roosevelt is still alive; he died in 1919.

    • You’re right. For someone alive today to have voted for Teddy Roosevelt, they would have had to be 119 years old (he last ran for President in 1912), and according to Wikipedia, the oldest living American is (only) 114 years old.

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