Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user yostinator

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.

103 Comment

  • Rave – I think I saw a UFO last night! Around 11:30pm we saw a large, bright orange light streak across the sky. We saw an Unidentified Flying Object, not necessarily alien, but we have no idea what it was …. did anyone else see this???

  • Rave: Went to deposit a check today, and I was able to deposit it using the ATM with no envelope or deposit slip! Sometimes little things like that make me happy.

    • just wait until you take a picture of it with your phone and don’t even have to make a trip to the bank. now that, my friend, is life changing!

    • beware of putting cash or checks into the atm without a deposit slip, telling you it can’t process it and will return it, but never spitting it back out. Happened to me with cash on a weekend and taking several days to get it worked out. So write your acct number on your check.

  • Rant: Waited this morning for the CVS pharmacy at 14th Street to open. A line had already formed and I was at the front of it. The pharmacist lets an old lady cut the line the very second the gate opens. The old lady first complains about the price and tries to negotiate it down, asks the pharmacist for her opinion about some rashes on her leg, and has the pharmacist open and explain each of her four medicines. I was standing for there 30 minutes before someone else was able to help me. I should have just left.

    • Going to the CVS pharmacy is worse than going to the post office. The lines are long and barely move and the pharmacists appear to have gotten their degrees from fly by night internet colleges.

      • you’re on P street aren’t you? i’ve NEVER had a decent experience there.. it’s ALMOST laughable… but not really

    • Use the pharmacy at Target, way faster.

      • I’ve never tried the pharmacy at CVS, but I like the pharmacies at Target. (Well, the ones in their suburban locations — about 3/4 of the time when I call the Columbia Heights Target pharmacy, they put me on hold and never come back.)

        In my experience, the pharmacy at Target is MUCH faster than the pharmacy at Safeway.

        • Support local small businesses—Mt. Pleasant Pharmacy on Mt. P St at Kilbourne is THE best. Never more than one or two in line, and Tony is most helpful. Very easy to deal with over the phone and with my doctor.

  • me

    Rave: Started my new job yesterday.

    Rant: There is a woman who sits in the cubicle next to me that types like she has a grudge against that keyboard. She’s gonna break that thing.

    • That is an annoying keyboard-breaking habit!!

      Rave: 69 degrees on my way to work – and it’s AUGUST

      Rant: It’s “only” Tuesday (not “already Thursday”)

    • The women next to me has ridiculous long nails so it sounds like lobster cock fighting!

  • Rant: People who snap their gum make me question my opposition to the death penalty.

  • rave: beautiful weather this morning! super excited for fall!

    rant: looked at the crappiest apt last night. it’s appalling what landlords think is acceptable. I’m starting to accept the fact that it’s ok for me to move into a group house, that it’s the smart thing to do to save money, and that it’s not a step backward in where i think i should be doing with my life. I feel too old and tired to live with more than one more person…

    • In retrospect I wish I’d done more group houses. After college I felt I was “too old” for them (mainly I didn’t want to share a kitchen with six people), but the tradeoffs were living in dangerous neighborhoods, inconvenient neighborhoods, and crappy apartments. And spending more money on things like rent and utilities.

      • I loved living in a group house. Lived in one for three years in Mt. P in the early 90s. A great experience and nice to have someone to eat meals with.

      • thanks for these replies. i’m coming around to the idea. if i were just out of college, i wouldn’t feel so bad, but being almost 32, single, and having to go back to group houses just makes me sad….

        it doesn’t have to be long term..

        • If I were you I’d try to find a house with people who are also in their 30’s so it feels less weird.

    • I wouldn’t feel too bad about it – living with roommates is so common here. If you want to avoid group houses, you could look for someone who’s looking for 1 person to split a 2BR, and still be able to come out paying a lot less than if you rented a crappy basement or studio.

  • rant: people who ask me things that could easily be found via google.

    related rant: i can’t send them ‘let me google that for you’ unless i want to get fired.

    rave: my mini vacation starts tomorrow.

    • ah, but you can send them “a google search told me that…” and hope for the best. though if they’re too lazy/daft to search for it in the first place, they may be too dense to get the hint.

      • 🙂 they are definitely dense and lazy, but claim they are technologically-challenged because they are over the age of 45. because, you know, google is SO hard to navigate…

        • The other side of that coin are people who refuse to give you answers readily available in their head because ‘why don’t I just google it?’

          Gee, I thought I’d try a little face to face human interaction and conversation for a change. And believe it or not, it’s much easier to just ask “does anyone know how many _______ there are in a _____?” (Assuming someone *does* know.)

          To quote George Castanza: “We live in a society, here!”

  • Rant: Late nights and early mornings in the office, trying to meet deadlines.

    Rave: Discovering new bands through Spotify to keep my energy level high.

  • Rant: Dropped my car off for an oil change and tire rotation last night and they called this morning recommending $800 worth of additional repairs. Wish I knew more about cars and hoping they’re not trying to screw me.

    Revel: This weather is making for a most delightful August.

    • Question, are you male or female? It makes a difference. Even in the year 2011, and even at the large national car repair chains, women are viewed as easy marks when it comes to car repair.

      This is their whole business model and has been that way for about 15 years. Jiffy Lube has it to a science.

      You: I just want a regular oil change
      Jiffy Lube: Please sit in our waiting room.

      5 minutes later

      Jiffy Lube guy comes to waiting room with serious worried look on his face: Sir/Madam, I need to have a word with you about your car, please follow me.

      Then they take you out to the car, explain in hushed but insistant tones that your car is in dire need of 1500 dollars worth of work.

      Tell the person to change your oil and just write up an estimate for you for the work they think needs to be done and you will think about it. Take it somewhere else and have it assesed. I can guarantee you that 90% of the stuff they are giving you is complete BS and the other 10% isn’t critcal.

      • Great advice. I think it’s also smart to have the guy explain the work that needs to be done. Ask lots of quetions and have him show you the problem. Even if you know nothing about cars you can usually get a sense of whether the work is necessary or not. My guy will ask me if I want something done, but if I press him for more info he’ll admit I don’t truly need it.

      • couldn’t agree more. Don’t get the crazy repairs! They are screwing you…especially if you’re a woman!

        • Thanks, all. I am, in fact, a female (lady may be pushing it). I authorized them to only do the “most critical” repairs and asked for a detailed estimate for the other recommended repairs.

      • Don’t take your car to Jiffy Lube to begin with! Horrible, Horrible place, they left screws out of my skid plate, they’ve forgotten a whole quart of oil once, and they try to get you to do repairs you don’t need. Always a bad idea. I avoid the chain shops as a habit now, I buy parts/supplies I need from Auto Zone or my dealer, then take them to independent shops to install. I save money and also know quality stuff is being used.

        • Lee’s Auto Service on 8th St. NE. Been going to Tony (gee, all the local business people I go to are named Tony, and none are Italian)for 20 years. He even found me a used transmission for my old dumpy car to save me a few bucks because he didn’t think a new one would be worth it.

          • Thanks for the recommendation! I have a guy in Annandale who’s great, but I recently moved to 8th Street SE and would like to have someone who’s a bit closer.

          • Shhh. You have to kep this one a secret. I have been going there for 15 years.

        • saf

          Also good:
          Mount Pleasant Auto
          GTS (in far NE,used to be at 14th and Florida. I love them so much.)

  • GiantSquid

    Rave: The weather.

    Rant: Boss’s last day was Friday.

    Rave: Beach on Friday.

    Rant: Hurricane path projections.

  • Rant: DC politics and corrupt politicians. Quote from news story today — “It does not draw any conclusions about whether Gray was aware of the illegal nepotism, the payments to Brown and other instances of cronyism and excessive salaries. But it faults the mayor for allowing the misdeeds to occur under his watch and for damaging the public’s trust in district government.”

    Revel: Gray and Gandhi subpoenaed for firing a whistle blower who identified yet another DC official (Gray)steering a contract to personal connections.

    • can we please get rid of Gray early?

      • I hope so, and I hope people will turn out and vote, and register in the city they live in – this includes registering as a democrat so you can have a meaningful say in the primary.

  • Rave: one more month until my trip to Europe. My first time overseas!

    • That sounds awesome. I did not make my first trip overseas until I was 29 and now have been 8 times in 7 years. The world is a wondrous place.

      • I just turned 30, so figured it’s time to get out there!

      • Still trying to figure our how to travel on the 55K I make a year. you people must be rich!

        • I make way less than that, and I travel! International travel does not have to be super expensive.

        • It’s hard. I did it on $20K/year pre-9/11, when tickets were $300 roundtrip tops, and stayed with friends. It is much easier and luxurious when you have $90K/year. My best friend currently does it on $18K, again staying with friends. I don’t know how she afford tickets though since I can’t find anything under $600, even off-season. But she keeps her other expenses down by living in Baltimore and going to free events.

        • I do it on less than that by staying with relatives who live overseas. 🙂

        • OP here, I make less than you, and somehow manage to make it work?

          • Airfare has been out of sight expensive over the past year or so but has dropped a lot recently. I hear what you are saying though, it is not cheap to go to Europe with the exchange rates. Still you can find deals, especially if you are flexible as to where you are willing to stay. I’m not rich per se but I can usually afford/save 2-3k for an annual trip (that is with 2 people).

          • Yes, I have an account with my bank that basically puts in $1 every time I use my check card, then I add to it every paycheck as well. That’s basically where the money for this trip is coming from.

          • Also, yes the airfare is insane these days. I don’t know how airlines can do it. Not to mention fees for everything under the sun. Coworker was recently charged $100 to walk her 11 year old nephew to the gate at the airport.

            ummm seriously?

          • That’s why you should go to a place like India where the exchange rates still work in our favor.

          • Not every country in Europe is on the euro. In fact, some of the best ones aren’t.

            I just went to Poland where the dollar goes far and everything is cheap to begin with. I spent less than $1000 for everything over 9 days.

        • Priorities. Some people have nice apartments. Some go out to eat every night. Others have kids. those who travel on meager salaries simply spend less on other things.

        • in my youth I always got abroad at least once a year. my salary was in the 30s but was able to come up with 600-800 for the plane ticket and another 1k for accommodations. and to give you more perspective, my rent was $800 so it’s not like I was living at home or slumming it. if you’re trying to stay in a nice hotel and eat every meal at a nice restaurant it’s hard, but it’s pretty easy to make travel a priority if you really want to.

        • austindc

          Just look for deals! We flew to Peru two years ago for about $400 RT when they had big sales down there. Once there, everything was cheap and you can stay in nice hostels for very cheap.

          • Where would I look for deals? Hostels are like dorm rooms correct? How do you find good ones? I would be traveling alone. I don’t have any friends.


    • I could be leaving for Vienna in a week. If I had known a few months ago that I’ll be pretty much enemployed next week I would have planned the trip. But then I would have missed some important gigs in September and the blues festivals I always go to during Labor Day weekend.

      • No kidding- I am actually going to Vienna next Thurs., and planned it while employed but am now unemployed. Small world.

  • Rant: Two ladies (grown women) walking past me and two kids on the street last night casually and loudly saying the F-bomb about 15 times. I am not a prude but have some respect.

    Rave: On balance, I have a wonderful life.

  • rave: today’s weather is beautiful. and its my birthday!!!

    rant: i’m stuck inside at a desk.

  • Rave: HALF-DAY TODAY to meet with a music producer. I look good and am ready to show him my compositions from the last few years. Finally a step in the right direction!

    Rave: The weather this morning – gorgeous. I could feel the cool air slightly tingle my throat and felt glorious.

    Rant: Leaving work yesterday to find that two maintenance men entered my apartment without permission and locked me out because I was never given the dead bolt key. Worked in my stairwell for an hour before the landlord minion showed up.

    Rant: Working from home after a 10-hour day at the office sucks. Completely unhealthy and thwarts efficiency.

    • hey there, just a tip from someone who has watched 2 colleagues get fired for this: I wouldn’t recommend linking to your blog from here if you complain about your job (which I notice you do pretty much every post). it’s pretty easy to identify you from it so I’d either watch your words here or make a new, more anonymous blog. cheers.

  • Rant: Was expecting to have absolutely no work all day, just got about 8 works of work.

    Rave: Just got my appraisal back on my home in Petworth for my 15 year refinance. Came in 50k more than I paid for it this past September. Good bye PMI, and hello interest rate that is 1.125% lower!

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: Have to return something I purchased & the company expressly says it has to be returned via USPS. With my schedule it is near impossible to get to the post office while they are open.

    Rant: The USPS website is annoying and hard to navigate.

    Rant: I used to love the post office, but now I know why Fedex and UPS are taking over.

    Rave: Haven’t thought of any yet.

  • Rave: Last week on this job, until the contract is renewed. Hopefully I’ll be (f)unemployed next week.

    Rant: The powers that be decided that cataloging (which I hate working on) is a top priority to finish this week.

  • rant: The protestors outside the Madison Hotel. Go Away!

  • Rant: Thanks to the drunk jerk who punched me in the face on H St Saturday night for hailing a cab before he did. Completely justified, especially considering that I was on the street before you and the drunk girl with you. I hope you broke your hand punching the window after I closed it.

    • i just hate people sometimes. i want to go live on a farm with cats and dogs.

    • holy cow. did you call the cops?

      • I did not, the cab driver pulled away after the guy hit the window around 7 times. I had no information on the kid, and didn’t feel like dealing with the hassle of the police. I hope the broken hand teaches him enough of a lesson.

  • claire

    Rant: I’m starting to get pretty jealous of my boyfriend telecommuting on a regular basis. He gets to exercise, work on his blog, get his actual work done, and run errands all in the time while I’m actually at work.

    Rave: Boyfriend getting in really good shape, running errands for me, and being in a great mood when I get home.

    Rave: I’m getting better at time management so hopefully soon I’ll be fitting in exercise, my blog, actual work, and errands.

    • it’s crazy how much MORE productive I would be telecommuting since there tends to be a lot of down time here…

  • Rant: my good friends next door had their cat escape last night and can’t find him anywhere!! He’s a black and white tuxedo cat named Romulus, very tame but probably scared since he never goes out. He escaped in the alley bordered by the 4100 block of 7th St NW and the 700 blocks of Taylor and Upshur. I am going to try to post a link to a photo soon.

  • Rave: Fat Tire beer available at Whole Foods today

    Rant: Can’t have more than a few sips because I’m pregnant

    Rave: We get to meet our little boy any day now!

  • Rant: Feeling under the weather for second day in a row. Just want to go home and curl up under the covers.

  • Rant: I am having a lot of trouble finding my zen these days. I am still waiting for a job decision for the federal job and feel as though I cannot move forward until I get the decision as I would have to relocate. This is things as simple as wanting to buy concert tickets for some concerts at the end of sept and as major as looking for a different job. I’d like to sign up for some fun classes like sewing or knitting or something or for a kickball league but I don’t know where I’ll be come fall. At this point I don’t care if the DoD turns me down (though it would be my dream job) I just want to get out of purgatory. Its making me VERY agitated/depressed/otherwise FUNKY.

    Rave: One of the volunteers from the agency I used to run owns his own business and has me temping on some projects for him for good cash. Which takes some of the financial pressure off of this limbo.

    Rave2: It is a GORGEOUS day outside and enjoyed eating my lunch outside reading and getting my Vitamin D in.

    • I learned how to knit from the book Stitch ‘n Bitch (the library has copies) and the videos on knittinghelp.com. You don’t need classes for it. Just get yourself some plastic straight needles in an average size (like 6 or 8) and a worsted acrylic yarn to practice on. If you decide you like it, I’d sign up for Ravelry, which is an online interactive knit/crochet community. From there you can find a neighborhood knitting circle– there are tons in DC– where you can get additional help from real people. I got a ton of knitting done when I was unemployed.

      Also, I would definitely apply for more jobs. In my experience, maybe 5% of all job applications led to interviews, and only 2% of those led to a job offer. Furthermore, the Feds are required to advertise new positions even if they plan on hiring internally, so who knows if you’ll even be considered. At the very least, applying for other jobs will allow you to practice your interviewing skills in the meantime.

      • well i’ve been interviewed and was told selections (of 40 people for a cohort) would be made in 1-2 weeks (which was 4 weeks ago). When I checked in with my contact who set up the interview (and with a friend who works in HR in the same area) they have not made selections yet because of some sort of HR SNAFU. But nobody can say when this SNAFU will be cleared up just to “be patient”. In the meantime I apply for lots of jobs and have actually had 5 offers for jobs (out of 15 interviews) that were just not quite right (I need a specific job so I can get my license).

  • in the civilian world I would be but this the federal government (and the DoD at that). I’d be more wary if it wasn’t slow full of red tape and a pain in the behind. haha

    I know this is how things go with them. I just wish I could find some Zen in the process.

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