Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user Vileinist

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 morning at 10am.

72 Comment

  • Rant: Need more money.

    How much money do you think you need to make a year to have a decent standard of living in DC and have your own place and go out every week without feeling tight?

    • i ask myself this almost everyday. i don’t know…at least 50k?

      • would anyone here recommend to someone to get a studio if they make under 50k?

        • I make about 50k and just moved to a studio. It’s a bit tight, but doable. It really depends on what’s important to you.

          • I was making $65k my secnd year out of college and was able to comfortably rent a studio and own a car on that salary. However, I did have to settle for an older building in Arlington that was not really metro accessible. I’d say you could be in the $50-70k range in DC and pull it off depending on what you’re willing to sacrifice… just don’t expect to be able to afford a luxury 1-bedroom in the heart of the city.

            Truth be told, the rental game was like a never-ending series of tradeoffs. Unless you’re able and willing to spend a lot on rent you can’t live by yourself in a nice place in a convenient location.

          • We need to “eat our peas”.

    • I think somewhere in between. 60k, maybe for me. depends on where you want to live and where you want to go out.

    • After typing a longer comment twice and getting blocked for posting too quickly (???), I’ll shorten my answer: 50K and up.

      • You’ll realize as you age that the amt you need will increase as you age.

        Every 24 year old thinks 50K is a lot of money, and in many respects it is. But peoples standard of living tends to track with income. The more money you make, the more you spend. I don’t know how many times in life I’ve had the discussion with people who said “I make 45K a year now, man…if I could only double that I would be living like a prince and saving lots of bucks”, only to see them 4 or 5 years later making 90K and still wondering where that “decent” standard of living is.

        Make a little money, you upgrade from a group house to a 1br apt, then to a condo, then a house.

        Make a little money you buy a car, make a little more and you buy a nicer one.

        Then you start taking vacations where once you didn’t. First you start out going to the eastern shore, or Vermont for skiing, 5-6 years later you are heading to Vail and the carribean

        Where you once only went out to bars onces a week to drink PBR, then you start eating out 2,3,4 times a week downing $10 cocktails and glasses of wine.

        Then you have kids and sane bugeting goes all to hell.

        • +1 Dead on. You really have to upgrade your life judiciously. Consider a better suit, but keep the old car. Don’t buy a home expecting to upgrade in 5 years — think 10 years or more. Buy second hand wherever feasible.

        • But those are choices. Dumb choices many would say. What does anyone actually get out of a “nicer car?” And pretty much no one just out of college or working in a peon-type job has ever been able to live alone in an apartment in a desirable area of a nice city ever! Don’t you watch old movies?

    • I live by myself in a studio in Adams Morgan, make between 30 and 40k, and go out frequently.

      • There ya go. That’s a fine lifestyle until your liver tells you otherwise. I don’t know why more people don’t just settle for studio rentals. They’re great. You can save money for going out or a down payment. In my mind, a one bedroom rental is really couples’ housing.

        • And it’s a pretty big studio. My liver tells me nothing.

        • There’s a school of thought (which I belong to) that a bedroom is private space that guests shouldn’t see unless invited to do so.

          • I’m not saying it’s for EVERYONE but if I have someone staying over (and not in my bed) I like that wall of separation for privacy.

          • I guess it all comes down to whether you entertain a lot. I never would have paid an extra $400/month to have a dining room that I’d use a couple times a year. I’d much rather save the money, or put it towards my going out budget. Other option is a decent $5k murphy bed you could keep for many years.

        • Studios suck. Nothing like smelling dinner as you are trying to go to sleep. Or having to listen to your brother’s deafening snoring when he visits. Group houses are the way to go when you are young and single and looking to save money and meet new people.

    • I make six figures annually but I’m single. After paying my mortgage (financed around 300k), giving money to my parents, student loans, buying home supplies, utilities, phone bill,(no cable tv), and gas its pretty much all gone. I live far from lavish, and pay all of my taxes. Maybe paying taxes is where I’m going wrong. Perhaps I need to be more like General Electric. People at 65k/yr, rich people, and married couples have it a bit easier because they are in better tax brackets. Poor “rich” me.

    • I think it depends how much you spend when you go out.

      When I moved into D.C. in 2002 (small one-bedroom condo in Adams Morgan), I was making about $37K.

      I certainly didn’t feel like I was rolling in cash, but I didn’t feel especially constrained either.

  • How hard is it to find creative marketing jobs in this town? Why is DC still so conservative? When is the creativity ward going to bubble over, froth and make so many of us young professionals that much happier?

    I am slowly perishing at my current profession.

    • where do you work? this attitude is the only thing holding you back. there are many creative places to work in this town. what’s your job specifically? have you tried commarts’ site?

      • Sure, you could argue that there are many. But DC’s not known as a creative town and I think the ratio of creative to non-creative jobs is higher in most major cities. Even in technical fields like mine you see more jobs that are service rather than product based so there are fewer opportunities in design. I’ve known many DC artists and writers, and most of them don’t stick around long due to the lack of opportunities and high cost of living. The ones who do stay end up with a day job that doesn’t require creativity, like reviewing design patents, and pursue their art on the side.

    • start your own business.

    • Yeah, almost all the people I know in DC have nothing to do with politics or government (aside from the odd contract). They’re all designers/creative class.

    • DC is conservative? That’s the funniest thing I’ve probably ever read on this blog!

    • Try AOL…they hire creatives in Baltimore…might be able to find something with them in DC.

  • RAVE: I will be visiting my mom and siblings in ITALY this summer
    RANT: I forgot my phone at home cant share the good news with any one
    RAVE: first time I can RAVE/RANT from work

  • me

    Rant: For the 4th day in a row, my allergies have made me a) feel like I’ve gotten punched square in the nose, with the pain radiating outward through my cheeks and forehead, and b) sound more and more like Fran Drescher. This is intolerable.

    Rant: Hate my job more than anything.

    Rave: At least that job pays my bills.

    Rant: My parents just left to go back to the Midwest this morning after visiting since Saturday. How come the older I get, the harder it is to have them leave? I feel like more and more of a baby each time.

  • Rant: K. Brown.
    Rave: T. Wells

  • Rant: Someone close to me owes me a LOT of money and has for awhile and isn’t getting any closer to paying me back. I understand that he doesn’t make that much, but I don’t either and I get by.

    Rave: I don’t work until 3 and I’m taking the kid I work with to the pool today so that means it’s going to be an easy day

    Rave: I’m going to the beach this weekend!

    • me

      @Anon, I’ll get it back for you for 10%. I need to get some aggression out. 😉

    • I’m sorry about your rant; that sucks. But it made me learn the hard way that you don’t lend money that you need back. Especially to family. My brother owes me about $2k and I’m never going to see a penny of it, despite the fact that he has spent a lot of money in the last couple of years on unnecessary things: a massive engagement ring for his wife, a destination wedding, a house, a new car, and a vacation in the DR, just to list a few. It’s infuriating if I think about it too long, so I try to pretend like it was a gift. And vow never to lend him a cent again.

    • I NEVER lend money to anyone I am close with, intorducing money into a relationship is a horrible idea because it can only lead to resentments. I’ve seen it several times.

      Its always better to gift if you can, or to say no if you can’t.

  • Rant: Random guy jumped in front of our dog in Col. Heights and started barking/screaming at it and then tried to get confrontational at my boyfriend who told him to back off.

    Rant: Drivers in this city are the absolute worst. Aggressive and stupid is a dangerous combination.

    Rant: Have loved living in Columbia Heights until recently, lots of violence going on around us and both of our cars were broken into within 4 weeks…

    Rave: Planning a big trip for the spring which is VERY exciting!!!

    • I hate when people do that to my dog and then get angry when she barks at them. Wouldn’t you want to appear threatening if some giant, crazy animal lunged at you and you were stuck on a leash?

  • Rant: Getting really tired and ticked off waking up and reading about all the violence in my hood

    Rant: Summer business investment isn’t going as well as I needed and I am loosing money

    Rant: Being asked the same questions over and over again about things I have no control over at work

    Rave: Free lunch

  • This has been the longest 48 hours of my life. Home looking for pictures and planning a funeral. I can’t eat or sleep, and I’ve spontaneously burst into tears about 100 times. I miss my mom so much.

  • Rant: Netflix.
    Rave: Today is my Thursday.

  • rant: the youngin that snuck up behind me, and stole my phone out of my bookbag while I was In the park
    rave: the father and son who saw it and told the youngin to give it back, rave: me being able to communicate in spainish as to understand the father and son. rave: the phone was broken, hence why it was in the outter part of my bookbag

  • RANT: Employee I spent the last month training just told us he’s leaving at the end of the month.
    RANT: Knee was doing awesome 7 months post-surgery and now it’s creaking, clicking, and blown up like a balloon.
    RAVE: Hubby’s b-day tomorrow and a long weekend in NYC 😀

  • Rave: Sister in town and we are having dinner with friends tonight.
    Rant: Sister is in town so we can go to family party – the disfunctional part of the family.
    Rave: it is in Florida.
    Rant: it is in Florida.

  • Rant: Two asswipes tried to steal my car.
    Rave: My neighbors stopped them and woke us up around 3:45 to let us know.
    Rant: They damaged the locks on both doors, did something to the seats, and jacked up my ignition–leaving it undrivable.
    Rave: The cops were there pretty quickly and found that one of the geniuses dropped his cell phone right by the passenger door.
    Rant: The tow truck didn’t show for 4.5 hours. Saw him drive by with my car in tow while I was standing at the bus stop. She looked so sad, so powerless, so unMustang-like.
    Rant: ANOTHER $500 down the drain.

    • SEVENTEEN HUNDRED DOLLARS worth of damage. And the car won’t be ready until late next week.

      I hope I find out who one of these jerks is, because I’m going to his house at 3:45 in the morning and bang on the door and demand my $500.

  • Rave: I did well on my final exam, did well in the class, and one class closer to finishing this part-time graduate degree.

    Rant: The professor kind of blew through some really important material and wasn’t able to cover all the topics listed during Class #1.

    Rant: People on the Metro who think that their Starbucks cup doesn’t fall under the “No Food or Drink on the Metro” rule. There’s got to be a coffee shop by your office, right? Get your coffee there so the rest of us don’t have to worry about getting spilled on during our morning commute.

  • RANT: every time a 90 comes barreling by the corner of columbia and connecticut i have to wave my arms frantically while running out infront of oncoming traffic to get the attention of the driver. when are these drivers going to get it in their heads that this is now ONE OF THEIR STOPS!!!! stop the f’ing bus, goddamnit!

    • Saw a spirited discussion about that this morning on the westbound 96. Guy wanted to get off at the stop near Wyoming and Columbia and the driver told him that they were only allowed to stop at the temp stops (FL past 18th and in front of the Hilton) and that the established stops on Columbia are only for the established routes that travel on Columbia already (42?). The passenger wound up having to get off at Adams Mill, far beyond where he wanted to go.

      I have no idea if the bus driver was right, but clearly there’s a communication problem at WMATA (like we didn’t know that already).

  • GiantSquid

    Rant: Disheartened by all the hatred towards cyclists.

    Rave: Had a lovely ride to work this morning.

    Rant: Didn’t get to talk to Mr. Squid last night.

    Rave: Get to see Mr. Squid this weekend.

  • Rant: I’m tired of seeing kids trade drugs across the street…With so much crime, no one cares, but really? In the middle of the day on your bike…I guess they are smart…they know the cops aren’t coming

    Rave: Happy to see things changing on Georgia Ave..maybe one day it will be a great street!

    Rant: When are we bringing back trade schools so these kids can start to build a future for themselves? Jeez I can’t even find a kid to mow my lawn…maybe that’s what I should start…Kid’s for Hire Website! Hey Mr. Creative can’t find a job…there is something for you to do!

  • Rant: still unemployed and losing the positive thinking.
    Rave: watching the rain.

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