Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user Nikoo’s Photos

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.

51 Comment

  • Rave: Really relaxing weekend with my friends and my boyfriend.

    Rave: Hookah and the pan-friend almond brie at Soussi.

    Rant: Boss showed up today when he wasn’t supposed to be back from his travel until midweek. Sigh.

    Rant: Did not hear back from the founder of the music/media company. 🙁

    Rant: One word: PEPCO.

    • Don’t sweat that one company and its founder 🙂 There are a million others, and no doubt one will recognize your passion. Also, as I’m sure you know as a fellow job hunter, sometimes HR takes forever, or in the case of small companies, the one person you wrote to, will take forever. I’ve gotten calls for interviews for jobs I forgot I had applied to.

      Rave: Weight of the world from my old job is off my shoulders. No longer a permanent grouch.
      Rave: Had a great anniversary with my boyfriend at Bistro Cacao last night.
      Rant: Trekking through the ups and downs of unemployed life.

  • Rave: I canned for the first time yesterday and made homemade peach jam. Every single lid sealed! Success!

    Rant: I have to manually add up a million numbers for our 2nd Qtr sales report. NOT FUN.

    • Nice! I never have the patience for that, though maybe I would if I liked jam. I did make a yummy fruit crisp (mostly peaches) that I’m eating right now with Greek yogurt. And a zucchini and basil soup that I’ll have for lunch with grated Parmesean.

      • Me too! I’ve been itching to try it for over 6 months now, so I’m glad I made the jump.

        Since you’re such a foodie, take advantage of the late season fruits and vegetables and start canning now (so you can enjoy your creations this winter..!).

        I think I might make pickles next. Or maybe Apple Butter since apple season is right around the corner 🙂

        • To be honest I don’t really get the canning craze. I made peach jam a few years ago and didn’t think it was worth the effort. Pickles are fun to make though. And don’t stop at cucumbers– lots of other vegetables and fruits are great pickled!

  • Rave — found a great house we want to buy
    Rant — not sure about the neighborhood

    • Same here!!!!!

      • maybe it’s the same place Anony

        • Maybe, it seems all of the affordable yet awesome houses are in so-so hoods.

          I keep going back and forth. Two bedroom condo where I can walk to work, bars, restaurants, etc. Or full rowhome in relatively metro inaccessible area where I start relying on the bus and my bike (and shudder. . . . my car).

          Same price, way different lifestyles.

          • i’ll venture that the so-so neighborhood will be a bit more desirable 5 years down the line… go for the full rowhouse!

          • Metro inaccessible in DC isn’t that bad. As you noted, you have the option of biking or taking the bus, and driving around DC is a lot less painful than driving in the suburbs. We bought two block from the metro but I never use it and my partner only occaionally does.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: forgot to bring more tea to work

    Rant: metro

    Rave: Sister loved her birthday present (pie/cake server in her silver pattern)

    Rave: She gave me my birthday present early (candlewick goblets)

    Rave: awesome weekend!

  • Rave: As a life long progressive and promoter of entitlement programs on ethical grounds, it finally clicked on a personal level – things like unemployment benefits are such a huge deal when you need them! We didn’t plan to have it as a cushion, but I’m so glad that we do. It makes it slightly easier to sleep at night.

    Rant: My boyfriend is still furiously job hunting after the lay off earlier this month. His last interview went well, they liked him, but ultimately didn’t think he was a fit.

    Question: Do people who rally against entitlement programs have similar epiphanies when their personal situations change? For better or worse, I was happily validated, but how do conservatives deal with the cognitive dissonance? I’m honestly really curious on an intellectual level, for both the psychology and the politics of it.

    • It’s not an all or nothing scenario. No one is advocating for a complete disbanding of all unemployment benefits.

      Ignoring the mad jibber jibber of extremists at both ends of the argument for a second, the balanced among us are advocating for a reasonble “safety net”, not a “safety way of life”, which more frequently than not becomes the problem.

      Anyone can lose their job. No one is immune and for that we have unemployment. But how much unemployment should we get? 2 months, 6 months, forever. Where does it stop?

      I’ve personally known a handful of people who’ve gotten laid off in my life. My anecdotal experience was that ~half were people who used the net responsibly as a support mechanism while they searched for other jobs and got their lives back in order. The other half looked at it as a paid vacation, and didn’t bother even looking for employment until they were confronted with it ending. Then spent all their time looking for backdoors, extensions and other safety nets, rather than looking for a job.

    • The irony is that many who rallied against health care reform were the same people who are up in arms when someone looks askance at their social security or medicare.

      But in the scenario you offer, I imagine they revise their points of view in much the same way that a liberal does when becoming a victim of violent crime, or moving into a neighborhood and finding quality of life and personal safety greatly diminished when a homeless shelter subsequently opens.

      People, regardless of politicial affiliation, tend to reconsider their opinions when they are suddenly on the other end of the rope.

      • I’m not so sure that conservatives and liberals are so malleable. At least in my personal experience.

        I’m radical in U.S. standards, and I moved to an area with a homeless shelter and a few group homes for the mentally disabled, and while there are occasionally issues, the corresponding staff responds far more readily than my neighbors with barking dogs. Also for the most part, our neighborhood also works with them to improve services.

        I have also be attacked by a driver with his car, and I don’t want him to be put to death or imprisoned for life with no attempt at rehabilitation.

        Though I do know some liberals who lost a family member/dear friend to violent crime, and they have gone crazy with the desire to kill him. Part of that is because the family members have to keep going to the murderer’s parole hearings, so they have to keep re-living it. Whereas with my attack, I often forget it happened.

        And of course I hear of liberal people who make a lot of money who then say, “Now I understand why conservatives don’t want taxes.” But then there’s my boyfriend and father who make upper middle class salaries and both wish everyone paid more taxes so we could have better services and infrastructure. Even with my middle middle class salary, I’d pay more taxes if everyone else had to too.

    • I think what people complain about is chronic unemployment for people who really can’t be bothered to show up to a job full time every day, even if the job is “beneath them”. Everyone gets “layoffs”. Everyone gets that being a single parent means that you may not have enough money for rent, clothes and food. No one gets the men standing around in the liquor store parking lot getting drunk all day every day.

      We have 17k people in DC who have been on assistance for more than 5 years –the same people, not different people in and out. Yet, we have so many basic infrastructure problems in DC (school painting, grounds upkeep, water infrastructure upgrade) that could be addressed by people who aren’t working. Most of the time, this is done by volunteers who contribute their time after they put in 40 hours.

      The 30 years after WWII created a lifestyle in the US that really sunk in, but was a direct result of being the only major economic power that wasn’t thoroughly trashed by the war. Now that that economic advantage is gone, I’m not sure we can all afford the same lifestyle -nor do many of us want the same lifestyle.

      I expect people to continually reevaluate and rejigger programs that aren’t working. Recently the Sec. of Defense cancelled a number of programs, not because they weren’t valuable, but because they weren’t working right. They’ll go back to the drawing board and try to achieve the same goals (if the goals are merited) another way.

      I expect that we need to do the same thing with our entitlement programs. Not that they need to be eliminated, but they need to be updated. Unfortunately, every attempt to update them (including the very successful welfare reform under clinton) are met with howls of protest as if the world will come crashing down. It won’t.

      You kind of have to believe in people though and not treat them like children.

    • They don’t think about it. Great article in the Post Outlook yesterday about the New Deal and how the South receives more federal money than it pays in taxes, yet has the most Tea Party nutcases, I mean conservatives, who rant about too much guv-ment. The South would not have evolved without new deal programs that brought them roads and electricity.

  • Rave: We finally got rain and some fun storms to boot!

    Rant: All the rain is making my front cylinder not fire correctly! Time for new wires on the bike perhaps!

  • Rave: While I was playing with the kids in the small playground north of Grant Circle, I noted to my mother the famous tree in Grant Circle that PoP sometimes uses as a recurrent image of The Beautiful Life.

    Out of nowhere, my mom asked “Is the Prince of Petworth a hobo?” 😀

  • claire

    Rave: At the last minute, I was pulled in to work the DC beer week cruise last night – got to taste some amazing beers and get paid doing it!
    Rant: Waking up this morning to go to work. Slowly recovering. Wish I had a big bowl of pho in front of me . . .

  • Revel: great weekend celebrating friends.

    Neither rant nor revel but question: When applying for jobs & sending a cover letter & resume via email, do you find it better to send the cover letter in the body of the email with resume attached, or send both the cover letter & resume as an attachment with a brief note in the body?

    Asking because I almost always send the cover letter in the body of the email and a friend was horrified by this yesterday.

    • I recommend putting a shortened version of the letter into the email – not quite the whole thing (for example, maybe just the summary closing paragraph), but enough to make people open the attachments.

      My biggest pet peeve when looking at applicants are the people who just say “see attached.” Don’t waste an opportunity to make a good first impression and definitely don’t make a bad impression by seeming too lazy to copy and paste.

      • Definitely agree.
        It’s much easier to download and save off the attachments than to have to copy and paste your cover letter from the email and create a new file, name and save it that way. May seem like a small thing, but anything you can do to make their process easier – or more to the point: avoid anything that complicates things or is a PITA.

        And, as Eastern Market says, not formal enough.

    • I’ve wondered this as well. Like you, I send mine in the body of the email, but I can see how that might not be considered “formal” enough.

  • Rave: Seeing the Ramayana tonight and Thievery Corporation on Saturday.

    Rant: Having trouble focusing and getting back into work mode for the week.

  • I am so glad that summer is almost over so that I can stop paying tons of money to PEPCO and shift that cash to Washington Gas!

    It seems like some people get to double park, and close entire lanes on Georgia Avenue whenever they feel like it, but I can park (out of the way) on the end of a block on U street to wait for a parking space. SMH.

    The trash collection experts and neighbors are out to make our alley miserable. They throw stuff everywhere, and even block my driveway with cans for no reason.

    2 years ago I got a 500$ ticket for 3 overgrown weeds on a concrete patio, now it seems that people with entire yards full of weeds, broken bottles, 20 full trash cans, fences that swing into the alley with the wind, broken down cars that junkies hide in, and even tall weeds growing out of cracks in our newly bricked alley is OK. The city needs to cut the street sweeping program, it costs lots and does no good, go back to the guys with brooms & trash cans, create jobs.

  • Rave: My nephew’s wife is being induced today to deliver a boy.

    Rave: Today is the anniversary of Woodstock.

    Rant: Nephew and wife not being amused when I suggested they name the baby Woodstock.

    Rave: Family nicknames!

    • Emmaleigh504

      +1 to family nicknames! I think Woodstock will be an awesome nickname and I have no love for the event, Woodstock.

  • revels: went to the Boat Home tour at the marina in SW this weekend–so cool to see how people live on boats and barges! There’s one for sale there now that is very tempting.

    rants: moving in the next year or two doesn’t make a lot of sense for me. also, I get seasick.

    • I wish I’d known about that! Is it an annual thing?

      • this was the first one, but it was really popular so I hope they do it again next year. I didn’t get to see all the boats!

        It seems like a 1br housebarge (has to be tugged if you want to move it) is $30-40k less than a 1br condo in the area would be (and SW is cheaper than many metro-accessible areas), once utilities and condo/mortgage fee are factored in. You don’t have to pay property taxes though, so that saves ~3k a year. On the other hand, you might spend a bunch of that on maintenance, if you can’t do it yourself.

        • Yeah, I can to the same conclusion a while back when I was casually looking at condos in the area and came across a Craigslist ad for a very nice houseboat. I do wonder how safe it would be, but I guess there’s someone out there who makes window bars and security systems for these things.

    • Two contrasting arguments:

      1) You can’t get shit for $150k for housing in this city, but $150k will get you a damn fine boat.

      2) 95% of boats don’t appreciate, whereas property (historically at least maintains it’s value) does.

      If you’re not handy enough to replumb and rewire your house, don’t buy a boat.

  • Rant: Continuing to wait on the Feds to make a decision that they were supposed to have made 2 weeks ago. Last contact with my contact there (last week) just told me to be patient. My patience ran out 3 months ago when the process hit the one month point. I know this takes awhile and its worth the wait but I am also going nuts at the same time. I would just like a decision either way.

    Rave: A friend is taking pity on me and is going to let me temp for him for a bit on a few projects. Its a win win I an get some cash and an excuse to put pants on a few days a week until the Feds make a decision and I can either move forward with another career or with them.

  • Rant: Dead tired
    Rant: The office is freezing cold
    Rave: At least I have a door on my office that I can close in order to sneak in a tiny nap.
    Rave: Space heater

  • Rant: The hordes of college students who have descended upon my apartment building in recent weeks. One thing’s for sure, these kids haven’t changed since I was in college. They’re still mostly immature, aloof, irresponsible, and wholly incapable of cleaning up after themselves.

  • Rant: PoP is not loading right today. It’s incredibly slow if it loads at all. Am I the only one having this problem?

    • Prince Of Petworth

      Very sorry about that. My host is working on the server. Also I have big upgrades planned in a few weeks so hopefully this will all be a thing of the past very soon. Thanks for your patience!

      • And just after I posted that, it seems to be working fine. Thanks for the response. Looking forward to the upgrade and hopefully the end of the “posting too soon” messages.

    • saf

      I had that problem too, but it’s working again now.

  • Rant. Someone needs to learn how to better handle commenters he doesn’t agree with. They might very well be paying advertisers.

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