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.

123 Comment

  • Great weekend sitting around doing nothing! Enjoyed being inside while it was cold and wet outside. Made a perfectly spicy bowl of chili yesterday. Life is good.

  • Rant: Temperature dropped (feels like) 50 degrees in the past week.

    Rave: Now I can go out and buy pumpkins, gourds, mums, etc to decorate my front lawn for halloween!

  • Rant: DC Water, sorry its so long winded.

    I have seriously had it with this 3rd rate utility. I’ve owned my house in DC for a year now and have literally had a half a dozen issues with them.

    For those of you who don’t know, you can check your water usage on a daily basis online as your water meters are electronically connected to their database. I am hyper sensitive and check mine every few days because when I bought the house, little did I know the water line to the house was swiss cheese and leaking about 400 hundred gallons of water a day into the sewer system. First billings are for a two month period so by the time I got my first bill (which should have been zero because the water was shut off in the basement as I was gutting the house) it was astronomical (almost 25,000 gallons of water which I of course paid), which also entailed me having to pay thousands to replace the line from the street to the house, which I fully admit wasn’t DC waters fault, but explains my checking it.

    Fast forward a few months, now I am living in the house. Despite no one being in the house for days at a time (I travel a lot for work) the water meter strangely continued to read exactly 35 gallons a day, every day. To prove it wasn’t leaking toilets or faucets, I closed off the main in the basement once when I went away and golly gee, it continued to register 35 gallons a day the entire time I was gone.

    After calling them, they insisted I had a leaking water line (which I just had replaced remember), and that if I wanted a new meter, I would have to pay for it. I am not exactly one of those moon-landing deniers, but frankly I think that they simply rig the system to charge you a little each day knowing most people don’t watch their water usage so closely to notice ~30 gallons a day. 700-800 gallons a month in overbilling multiplied by the hundreds of thousands of homes in the District is quite the tidy sum of free money every month. Not wanting to shell out thousands for a new water meter, I simply decide to ignore it.

    Since then, I have had a sewer line collapse (which they took nearly two weeks to fix) which meant I couldn’t flush a toilet in the house for nearly two weeks, AND had to go buy additional sump pumps because the rain gutters and yard drains on DC row homes are tied to the same sewer line, which meant every time it rained, sewer water backed up into my basement which necessiated many cleanups and sleepless nights spent in the basement manning my rigged sewage pumping system.

    Finally, after promising them my first borne, and standing me up twice, (no calls, no nothing) they came out to fix it. In doing so, their backhoe cut my brand new waterline in half spewing a couple thousand gallons of water into the street before they could get it shut off. I reasonably asked for a billing adjustment when they tried charging me for that water, strangely thinking I shouldn’t be billed for their mistake.

    After 6 weeks and 20 phone calls, I gave up. The people they have staffing their phone center are the slowest, most non-responsive mono-syllabic people to ever walk the earth. Oh, and just so you know I am now on my second new water line in 7 months and the meter STILL registers water when no one is in the house. Yeah, call me crazy but I don’t think my second new water line is leaking.

    Now here we are a few months later. Despite the water meter reading online a value of 5 CCF for the month of September, the bill they sent me was for 7 CCF, or 1,500 gallons more than I used. I mean really…how hard is this? Your own system registers online one value, its there on your webpage clear as day, and yet my bill has 40% more? I have already called once and emailed once. They said they would “check into” it which I’ve learned with my considerable experience with them can be translated roughly into English as (just like before, we are going to ignore and stonewall you, never calling you back like we say we will until you get so fed up with us, you will just drop it”.

    I think it is time for a little “News 4 Investigates”. Their entire operation is beyond ridiculous, and as I said before I am convinced they have it rigged to charge miniscule amts of water daily to pad their bottom line.

    My friends in Arlington don’t have to deal with this crap.

  • Rave: After spending the day looking at some really strange, smelly places in Columbia, I think we found a house we really like.

    Rave2: Packers win, making a full Wisconsin sweep for the weekend!

    Rant: It’s going to be back up to the 70s this week. I really want the cool weather to stay!

    • Wisco fan here too. Hands down the greatest Wisconsin sports weekend ever. My only complaint was being so far away from the action.

  • Rave: Had a good day yesterday with my boyfriend.
    Semi-Rant: The movie “Drive” is very odd and gruesome. I’m not sure that I would recommend it to anyone.

  • claire

    Rant: Can’t stand this weather – why’d it have to get cold so suddenly??

    Rave: Productive weekend and lots to keep me busy back at work today.

  • Rave: It’s below 50 degrees, so the mosquitos are dying!!

    • +100000000000000000000000000000000 infinity

      now i can enjoy my backyard… going to invest in a firebowl and let the festivities begin!!

      • If you live in rural West Virginia, enjoy your firebowl. If you live in a DC row house, no. Ground level smoke gets sucked into the neighbors homes.

        • Only if you have negative pressure…in which case you probably have gas, car fumes, etc all coming in too. Meaning the home is already hazardous. Different story if the neighbors windows are open. But if they are closed..the smoke would only seep in if you have a leaky house (more than reccomended and negative pressure, which is dangerous anyways)

    • Really? Are you being serious? Please don’t raise my hopes on this if it’s not true. I really miss porch-sitting…

  • Rant: Applying for jobs on Friday, waiting to hear back.

    How long does it take for jobs in DC to get back to you usually? 1-2 weeks?

  • Revel (a few days late): I am now officially a homeowner in Petworth. The new house is awesome but kind of boring without all my stuff in it.

    Rant: Still have to move all my stuff.

    • Congratulations, neighbor!

    • Congratulations and welcome to the neighborhood! My wife and I just celebrated our 1 year anniversary in our Petworth rowhouse, and conveniently enough (not so convenient a year ago!) our 1 year wedding anniversary!

  • Rave: Weekend festivals.

    Rant: Weekend festivals in cold, drizzly weather.

  • Revel: I LOVE this weather. It makes me feel alive and productive. I’m always happiest during transitions between seasons!

    Rant: I have been spending too much money. I need to stop living as if I make 5-10K more per year than I actually do…

    Revel: I still think I live extremely frugally and responsibly compared to most of my peers. I’ve become a great minimalist.

  • Rave: this weather means I get to wear all my cute fall clothes and boots that have been in hiding for so long!

    Rant: my fantasy football team is terrible.

    Rave: made some new friends this weekend AND there is a new puppy in the family!!

  • me

    Rant: Hoteling at work. WHY are all the cubes marked as “reserved” when they have been empty for a month and a half?? Leaving me with nowhere to sit.

    Rave: I can make a case to work from home for the rest of the week.

    Rave: Colder weather = kitties being even more cuddly than normal. It’s hard to sleep and move around with kitties laying on my legs and stomach, but it’s worth the snuggles. 🙂

  • Rave: Spent last week in Iceland forgetting about the world

    Rant: weather was the same when I landed in Dulles as it was when I took off in Iceland!

  • Rave: Weather – please fall last through November!
    Rave: Huskies won on Saturday
    Rave: Fantastic weekend
    Rave: Italy on Thursday
    Rave: No rants!

  • rant: terrible sore throat

    rant: my sister left this morning. i miss her already and i wish we lived closer to each other.

    rave: had a really great weekend with her.

  • Revel: weekend was productive and fun.

    Revel: colder weather is great for animal cuddles

    Rant: I am just not into work today.

  • Rave: My new dog and one of my brother’s dogs became instant good friends yesterday. They’re about the same age and size and are both full of energy. They ran around together in his back yard for hours.

    Rant: Every time I leave her alone for a few minutes she finds a shoe to play with or chew on. Gotta keep the shoes away from her and start obedience training soon. My girlfriend has forgiven her for destroying a flip flop but I can’t let that keep happening.

    • Our dog had a serious fetish for shoes when we first got her–we had to be REALLY careful about putting them away if she was left alone for more than a few minutes! The one thing that helped a lot was chewies. I buy bully sticks online from Sitstay.com–they’re much cheaper there than anywhere local. A Kong is also guaranteed to keep her entertained/distracted for a while. There are a zillion different ways to use them, but peanut butter is my dog’s favorite. You also can fill it with PB then freeze it, which’ll take your pup a whole lot longer to go through.

      • Try bestbullysticks.com. I think they’re even cheaper there. And if I recall correctly, they’re located in Richmond so orders get here really quickly. In addition to the bully sticks and kongs, some dogs really love deer or elk antlers. My dog will gnaw on those for an hour!

    • You might also consider using a crate for when you’re away.

      • Yeah, I barricade my dog in the kitchen, away from the shoes. She doesn’t chew them much anymore, but she will inevitably distribute them throughout the house if left alone. It sounds gross, but our shoes smell very strongly of us and that’s why our dogs like them so much!

  • Rave: I love the fall season and the upcoming holidays. It’s something about Thanksgiving and Christmas that makes most people feel good inside.

    Rant: I wished Comcast had the Chiller network in it’s programming lineup.

    • I read yesterday they are launching a new horron on demand channel. In conjunction with Sony and MGM. I am not sure how good it will be but hopefully at least as good as Fearnet.

  • Rave: The weather. Had the nicest bike commute this morning.
    Rave: Feeling great after a long swim yesterday. The lifeguard even gave me free lessons!
    Rave: Did some major housecleaning/rearranging last weekend and the house looks great.
    Rave: Got an armoire so I finally have a place to store coats.
    Rave: Finished half of a homework assignment that’s not due for another week and a half (I usually procrastinate).
    Rave: Sister visits this weekend!

    • em

      +1 on the lovely weather for bike commuting this morning!

      Rant: I nearly got creamed by a car while riding in the 4th St. bike lane just north of M – it decided to pull over (i.e., into the bike lane) while I was riding alongside to pass. Luckily, it did the pull-over in slo-mo, and I was paying attention, so I was able to stop and go around.

      Rant: People who treat the bikes lanes like a parking / drop-off lane. Especially DC government cars. And cabs. And people from Maryland eating brunch at B. Smith’s. Not to be specific or anything…

      Revel: Most pedestrians are actually paying attention to the “Do not walk in bike lane” signs posted at either end of the fenced-off sidewalk along 15th St. between G and Pennsylvania. (Mini-rant: Not all of them are, though.)

      • where should cabs pull over if they happen to be letting someone out? that bike lane used to be part of the street and there really is nowhere else to go…

        • Key words: USED to be.

          Now, it should stop in the right-most available car lane.

          A bike lane is not a car lane. Cars should never be in a bike lanes just like cars should never be on a sidewalk.

          • although cars DO have to be in the bike lane to make a right turn or to park.

          • Sorry, I should have been more clear – and you are quite correct.

            Cars should never be stopped in a bike lane for pickup/drop off of passengers.

            Cars should be in a bike lane to make a right turn or to parallel park.

          • em

            Cabs or other cars that pull over to let folks in or out should pull to the curb parking lane (so on 4th St. they’d pull through the bike lane to reach the parking lane – but they need to be aware of their surroundings and not sideswipe or cut off bikers who are riding in the bike lane). The somewhat related problem is that cars are double parking and blocking the bike lanes (4th St. SW) or actually parking in the bike lane instead of on the other side of the lane dividers (15th St. NW near McPherson Sq.).

  • Rant: Went to see a movie on Saturday at the AMC in Alexandira and a rude family of three was talking the whole movie and on their cell phones. When the mother’s phone loudly rang with just a few minutes left in the movie a elderly gentleman in his 80’s politely asked her to silence her phone. With that, the entire family went off on this man talking about “minding his own business, respect” etc and making threats to do bodily harm against him. Family decides to leave the movie before it ends.

    Rant: Family waited outside the theater to continue to harrass and intimidate this gentleman who had the courage to say something.

    Rant: Family then verbal assaults me and my husband after we say something.

    Rant: Son of the family then assaults my husband.

    Rave: My husband is a federal agent and identified himself as one so the little jerkoff is now locked up 🙂

    Rant: Movie experience was still ruined and theater management did little to compensate for it. I leave DC and go to VA to watch a movie in peace. Why does trash from MD need to drive over to ruin it for everyone?

    • Would it have been better if it were trash from VA?

      • I was simply pointing out that it is a bit of drive out from MD to VA.

        I realize I left DC to see a movie in VA, but after too many bad experiences in Chinatown and Georgetown being a further drive that Alexandria for us, we always end up in VA to see a movie.

        • Kudos to you and your husband for standing up to defend the gentleman.

          I have lost my ability to keep quiet and try to focus on the movie. I can no longer accept the fact that I have to allow other people to ruin the movie for me that I am paying a pretty penny to go and see. I’ve tried everything from trying to tune it out to even bringining ear plugs! The silent death stare doesn’t do any good so now I tell them to shut up, sometimes nicely, sometimes not. Succesfully got a group of 18 year old jerks to leave the theatre after enduring 15 minutes of them yelling and screaming after the movie started, go me!

        • I don’t watch movies, but I’m pretty sure people like this are at all of the movie theaters in the area. You might have better luck at an independent theater.

        • I always go to the movies in Silver Spring, MD. The Chinatown theater is actually closer to my apartment.

    • How satisfying!

    • Alexandria’s really not that far from MD. I can see how it could be the closest movie theater for some MD residents.

      • Fair enough. Their behavior was unacceptable no matter what state they were from, but 9 times out of 10 when I have had a problem in this region the offending party is from MD. That was all I was saying.

    • You and your husband should plan go to “You Got Served 3” and ask the patrons to keep it down, and then arrest half the theatre when they object to your request.

    • Hmmm…’trash from MD’. Who exactly qualifies as trash from Maryland?

      • I am not trying to generalize that all people from MD are trash. These people were trash, as evidenced by their actions, and they resided in MD.

      • @MC; you know what the person was trying to say. He or she wasn’t talking about all the people in the State of Maryland. You have DC, NYC, Philly, Jersey City, trash.

        This applies to people that’s ignorant, surly, and lacking good manners.

        • @MC I also did not know what she meant to say, because “trash from Maryland” was not exactly relevant to the story. These people may or may not have been trash but stating that they reside in Maryland adds nothing to the story. Trash is trash, if in case thats what they were; however you should stay above them and maintain your civility. Well unless you are trash as well.

    • Wow, that sounds just like my neighbors. It’s funny how the demands to “mind your own business” and have some “respect” only come in after someone has asked them to knock off their own seriously anti-social, sometimes violent and dangerous, behavior.

      Good for you for saying something.

    • Way to go – manners are a learned behavior – way to teach ’em!

  • Rave: Love that the Wall Street protests are going viral across the country. Hope real influence comes from them but I’m not naive. We’ll see…

    Rave2: Super-fab Fall festivals this weekend.

    Rave3: Haven’t had an honest to God real crush in a while and I feel one brewing.

    Rant: Why is it so hard to find someone to have a genuine crush on in your 30’s? Is it maturity, the thrill is gone or something else? You meet, they’re nice enough but my reaction is ‘meh’ most of the time. Can’t really figure this one out…

    • I think life experiences in general get in the way. I guess you could call this maturity. By the time you’re in your 30’s, you probably have a good idea of what you want and don’t want, and it’s easy to filter out potential mates using the “don’t want” list. Many people also have preconceived notions of when certain events in a person’s life (marriage, kids, etc) should happen. If you believe that “married with kids” should happen before the age of, say, 40, you’re probably looking for Mr(s). Right instead of Mr(s). Right Now. Ironically, this prevents us from taking risks and potentially meeting somebody great.

  • Rant: Cold weather reminds me that the holidays are coming up, which is depressing because this year I will be spending them alone.

    Rave: Really thinking hard about how I can quit my job and move overseas. I’m thinking of joining the military.

    • @Jonesy; the holidays can be depressing for a lot of people. I always spend New Year’s alone watching the ‘Twilight Zone’ marathon on the ScFy channel. Being alone isn’t all that bad. I enjoy being alone. A lot of being living with others are alone and empty inside. I make the best of it and try not to get depressed. People think, they must be in a relationship during the holidays. Many married people or people in realationships are not happy.

    • why not try that PoP dating situation? c’mon Jonesy! I want to see you bunned up for the winter

  • Rave: Great weekend with our out-of-town guests seeing the solar decathlon (though the rain and cold dissuaded us from waiting in the long line to see the University of Maryland’s winning house).

    Rant: trying to get roofing companies to return my calls. You’d think they would be eager to get some business, but it seems not to be the case.

  • Rant: I consider myself to be a little on the “fluffy” side. My best friend recently chose her bridesmaids dresses and the biggest size offered is three sizes smaller than I am currently. Yes, of course I need to lose weight but now I will practically have to starve myself to fit in the dress by her December wedding. All of the other girls in the wedding are probably size 2-4 so it wasn’t a concern to them. I would like to think it was rude of her but it is HER wedding. So I will keep my mouth shut and keep smiling 🙂

    • That’s pretty risky on her part. There is no way in hell I could drop three sizes in less than 3 months, so how can she realistically expect you to? Especially during the holiday season.

      • I don’t believe it has even occurred to her that I will have to diet to fit in her dress. Kind of like how she is having a wedding at a lake in the middle of December 🙂

        • Oh boy, a lake in Dec sounds great. However, we were out in Loudoun County this Saturday wine tasting – 3 straight wineries had weddings! Outdoor weddings without floors in tents! In 46 degree rain!

    • If the biggest size offered is three sizes smaller than your size, then maybe your dress needs to be custom-made or something? Or maybe there’s a dress in a similar color (even if not the exact same style) that IS available somewhere in your size?

      Does the bride not realize that the dress is not available in your size?? It just doesn’t seem realistic for anyone to expect you to lose three dress sizes in three months.

      • “Does the bride not realize that the dress is not available in your size??”

        That was my question as well. It would be a honest mistake to assume that the dress is available in all sizes, or mistakenly think that your size is a lot smaller than it actually is. Let her know right away!

        • When she sent me the link I immediately told her that I was three sizes larger than the largest size it was offered in. She did not try to adapt her plans or change dresses or anything.

          • good luck to you. the lake in december and lack of compassion on the bridesmaids dress situation leads me to believe you’re going to need it…

      • We took it to a great alterations lady and she can only let it out one inch. We bought another dress just in case and she said she could custom make the top of the dress to fit me using the additional dress. We are going to hold on to it and see how much progress I make and then see if the custom made top is necessary.

        I’m glad to hear that I wasn’t just crazy in feeling that it was a bit rude!

        • Um, that sounds ridiculously expensive, particularly to be in a wedding for a bride who is clearly inconsiderate. You are totally in the right and being really nice about it; I would have dropped out of the bridal party (although I also hate being a bridesmaid…)

          • me too…. it’s kind of insensitive to make you diet for all this time just so you can fit into her vision on her wedding day… you’re a good friend

        • You’re not crazy – the bride is! This is just nuts, rude, inconsiderate and plain stupid. The whole idea of identical bridesmaid dresses is pretty stupid in the first place. And just curious – what is the largest size the dress comes in?

    • Sorry, but I think this is just plain rude on the part of the bride. I’m sure you’re going out of your way already as a bridesmaid and she should be delighted by that without imposing body-image anxieties on the bridal party. You sound like a truly decent and lovely person but I think you should speak up on this. Simply tell her that the dress size will not work for you and explore the possibilities of alteration.

      Starving yourself to accommodate a problem that might be easier remedied than you think should not be an acceptable option to you or the bride.

      • I agree 100% with this… although I imagine it might be impossible to alter a dress to make it 3 sizes bigger. If it were me I would just tell the bride, sorry, they don’t have my size in that dress. Let her decide if she wants to have you get a different but similar dress or have everyone get a different dress.

      • Agreed with the “back out” choir – you should never starve yourself to fit into clothing.

        She chose dresses that not all of her party can be accomodated by, and she knows this? Then back out. She is not your friend.

    • saf

      Right here, I would back out.

      That’s just not a realistic expectation.

    • yet another reason why it’s totally idiotic to dress grown women alike. end this trend, women! if you care at all about your friends and sisters you won’t play matchy-matchy dress up like it’s still 4th grade. instead of looking coherent or whatever you are expecting it to be, it just looks cookie cutter stupid to have people wearing the same outfit. durr.r….

      • Trying to find bridesmaid dresses that look coherent together is harder than you’d think. We tried doing this for my sister’s wedding but ended up throwing in the towel and all getting the same thing.

        • I had a friend who had her bridesmaids dress in the same fabric, but they had dresses/outfits (one was pants, not a dress) made in the style/size of their choosing. It looked great and the bridesmaids really appreciated it.

  • Rant: Went to the new Arthur Treachers and there was a drunk/crazy person in there threatening the customers.

    Rave: The customer who called the cops.

    Rant: The staff that just stood there. Instead of refunding his money and telling him to leave they let him continue to wait for his food and harrass people. They should also invest in a baseball bat.

    Rant: I’m hardly a picky eater and love fried greasey food but I couldn’t finish my shrimp/fish combo. Gross!

  • Rave: My garden was featured in PoP this morning!

    Another rave: Kojo Nnamdi just read on-air an email I sent during today’s show (Development Assistance and the Deaf Community).

    Rant: The weather- I love summer. And I had to turn down a 2 week work trip in November to Miami.

    Ironically, I can’t go because of my ASL class.

  • Rant: Someone stole my earbuds off my desk (why?) and I keep forgetting to replace them, so I can’t listen to anything at work.

  • On a side note: what is mayor Gray’s ethnicity/race?

  • Not knowing his ethnicity could be considered a rant.

  • @Annoymous, 12:48

    +1m on your bride being inconsiderate about how the bridesmaid’s dress.

    In fact, I am appalled that after you brought it to her attention that the dress was not available in your size, that she didn’t try to find a design and style that worked for the entire party. It boggles my mind how some brides can be so self-absorbed. A winter wedding on the lake is even more testament to it.

    Let me guess, this lake is three hours from an airport of a third tier city. Airfare and travel time are probably the equivalent to a round trip flight to a European capital. The nearest hotels around are La Quintanas and B&Bs that are cost as much as the W.

    Yeah, I’d bail, buy a dress that you really like, and go some place that’s warmer than Lake Wobegeon.

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