Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user naritai

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. But please no personal attacks. I’ll open this thread every morning at 10am.

94 Comment

  • claire

    Rave: Found a gorgeous angora sweater for $7 at a thrift store yesterday!
    Rant: Wearing it today and it’s a little bit itchy.

    Rant: Work today.
    Rave: Six days off starting tomorrow!

    • What thrift stores do you go to? It’s been a while since I’ve been to one.

      • I like Goodwill, personally. If you go to one in a yuppie area like North Arlington you’ll find a lot of high-quality stuff that’s barely been worn.

      • claire

        Unfortunately, I’ve yet to find anything *in* the district that’s not super expensive. But I’ve had lots of success with Value Village. There are two locations that I know of in the DC suburbs – one on University Blvd in Langley Park and one a bit further out on New Hampshire Ave (this is where I found the sweater – it’s close to where I work). Neither are metro accessible unfortunately (though you could take a bus or, more likely, a series of buses out there if you’re without a car).

      • A bunch of vintage stores and boutiques in the city, but I’m a thrift store fan. Goodwill, Salvation Army, Value Village, Unique… Unfortunately, as mentioned, they’re not very Metro accessible.

        I do like “Frugalista” in Mt. Pleasant, though. (At 3069 Mt. Pleasant Street.) Their prices are reasonable (usually range anywhere from $7 on up) and they often have sales.

      • I like Martha’s Table Outfitters on 14th St just north of U. As well as clothes, they have dishes and glasses and some small appliances.

  • Trash men in my neighborhood are out of control. I put a bag out on trash day morning with frozen milk in it, in a very obvious place. They skipped it and picked up everyone else’s trash. Now I have a puddle of melted old milk in the alley behind my house. I’ve been seeing people complaining on here regularly. I think something should be done by Vincent Gray about this to improve quality of service. Our alleys are lined with trash from sloppy pick up and trash cans get relocated and ditched by people who don’t care.

    • anon. gardener

      Sometimes they just take the top bag out of the can and leave everything else. They did this to us for more than a month during the summer – peeyew!!

      • I used to get the “top bag only” treatment. Now I try to ensure that there is loose trash on top or something undesirable to be touched to prevent that. Their job is to EMPTY the can not pick a single bag form he can.

      • Is it possible that the stuff on the top of the can is loose and the bottom stuff is more packed in? So that when they dump the can the bottom stuff simply doesn’t budge? Just a question, not a snark.

    • Have you requested an alley cleaning? I have had to do that twice in the last five years, when all the dropped bits started getting deep. It’s an online 311 request. Very simple.

      As for taking the trash collectors to task… I dunno. They cover a LOT of territory, and really, they get 99% of it. I think I’d be a little upset if my regular pickup didn’t happen because the guys got behind schedule cleaning up each little scrap from a rat-torn bag two neighborhoods over. The alley cleaning accomplishes that much more effectively.

      To sum up: They’re generally super-nice guys, and if you follow the guidelines (all trash should be in cans, for one thing) they do a decent job with the resources they have.

    • My friend’s grandma used to leave two cans of bud light on top of her cans every week. She joked that she could put a canoe for pick-up and they’d take it.

    • For the first few months I lived here the trash/recycling people would routinely pass over my cans. I don’t know what the deal was with that, but eventually they started getting mine regularly.

  • Working tomorrow. YEAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!

  • Rave: Came into work singing and smiling expecting a great day of relaxed, stress-free interesting work.

    Rant: 9:10AM e-mail from CO in Africa asking for a budget by 8AM (their time) on Monday… um, what?!? Not gonna happen…

    Rave: It’s Thanksgiving tomorrow and I got good news on a potential soon-to-be promotion. I can bang this budget out (once I get off of POP!) and still enjoy my day.

  • Rave: Small Business Saturday! Shop local!

    Rant: That annoying Target woman commercial where she is losing her sh*t over the Target Black Friday ad.

    • andy

      i like that commercial! the actress is so infectiously manic.

    • I know it’s wrong, but I LOVE that commercial. Has anyone else noticed that the music is the music from the training scenes in Rocky IV? And when she is standing in front of the mirror talking to herself, she’s repeating Ivan Drago’s line from the fight where he killed Apollo? “You will lose.”

    • I’m with you on that commercial. I can’t stand it. It is rivaled only by the Subway commercials in which the adults talk in baby voices. Every time I think those commercials are gone for good, Subway comes out with a new one!

  • Rave: Super short work day today. Leaving in about a half hour.
    Rave2: Small Business Saturday! Through AMEX, they refund $25 of local purchases!

    Rant: Stock Market/world economy. So depressing.

  • Revel: DC during the holidays, so peaceful and quiet.

    Rant: My entire family has the consumption, so sick of this sinus, cough, raspy voice, yuck thing for 3 weeks! Trying everything, netipot, vinegar, garlic, peroxide, maybe I need some more Russian Vodka!

  • rant: ridiculous deadlines, ridiculous clients, ridiculous requests. why do graphic designers get s*** on all the time?

    • Are you freelance? If so, you need to set realistic limits with your clients. Believe it or not, they will respect you for it (after some grumbling, of course).

      If they insist on you working on weekends, holidays, late at night, etc, adjust your prices accordingly. If your rate bumped up significantly for weekend work, I guarantee you they would suddenly “realize” that they really don’t need that trifold until sometime midweek!

      That’s been my experience, at least. If you’re in-house, then disregard all above, unfortunately. Good luck.

    • It happens to everyone with clients, I think.

      • I need a gov’t job. stat. I’ve had enough of busting my ass for people who don’t understand we don’t “whip things up” or “make it look pretty”. waste o’ my time!!!

        • that is not to say gov’t clients will understand, but it is to say that I will only have to work 40hrs/week and I’ll get paid out the whizwang.

          • But then you’ll have “design by committee” where they invite 10 people to review your design and every person feels obligated to put their 2 cents in to sounds important even though none of them have degrees or any understanding of design. It will ruin your design and subsequently – your portfolio and chances of ever getting another job. RUN AWAY!!!!

          • this is already my life. I’ve work in ad agencies, small boutique firms, and in-house. they are all the same, basically.

          • maria is right. I’m not a designer but I’ve been on plenty of those infuriating 10-people design committees where everybody has to nitpick something. Insane.

          • I used to believe that democracy does not work in design. Now I just think it doesn’t work anywhere.

        • I have a govt job and people want you to “whip things up” here too.

    • I second this, and will add “ridiculous managers who say Yes! to ridiculous deadlines for projects they have no clue how to complete, how much time is involved, or if requested project is even physically possible to accomplish.”

      • My favorite line from a client was “can you make this PDF make more metallic?”. uhm…no……..

      • I third this, second the ridiculous managers, and top it off with ridiculous VP’s who request huge data reports (not just queried data, but a full on report thwey can “jsut click a button to get to it”). Those lovely VP’s who make their request at teh end of the day aon Friday for a monday mornign meeting, who have no clue about what they want you to report on, and when you bust your hump all weekend to get it done for their 9 am on Monday.. they pop by your office to say the report “looked pretty, but we didn’t really have time to cover it.”

        I am quite thankful to have a job. I am quite thankful to have a door to my office.

  • Rant: Can’t decide if it is worthwhile for my husband and I to refinance our two mortgages into one. It looks like the savings on a monthly basis would be significant, but it would take 3 years to recoup the costs. We will have the house for at least that long, but it is hard to stay past that point. I wish there was an easy refinance calculator for our situation to look at the hard numbers.

    Rant: Day is going by super slow for me.

    Rave: Less than 2 hours left at work.

    • Not stay past that point, say is what I meant.

      • If the costs are going to be that much, find a cheaper option? We just refinanced our FHA 30-year into a conventional fixed 15-year with closing costs of ~1,500.

        Check out google advisors. Find a good rate, and low closing costs, and voila!

    • anon. gardener

      we just went through this with our (single) mortgage. we could have lowered the payments, but in the end would have paid about a grand more in interest. plus it would have added 3 or 4 more years of payments. needless to say, we decided not to refinance. I think it generally doesn’t pay unless you’re dropping your interest rate by 2 points. you really have to crunch the numbers yourself. the bankers won’t do it – they just want to sell you a new mortgage and collect the fees.

  • Rave: Stuffing, Mashed potatoes, Gravy!
    Rave: I’m doggie-sitting until Sunday!
    Rant: The cat is not happy about this one bit.
    Rant: Doggie pulls on his leash something terrible. I’m going to try to train him not to do that by Sunday. We’ll see….

    • Uh, good luck with that one. I’ve been working on my dog’s leash agression for years and it’s not gotten much better.

    • I got my dog to stop being aggressive with the leash through a simple smack with a fly swatter each time she pulled/bit the leash. She stopped doing it after about 3 walks, although I’m sure my neighbors thought I was crazy to be walking around with a fly swatter and a dog.

      Giving a spritz with a water bottle might also work.

    • My dog used to have a big pulling problem and I solved it by 1) getting her a front clip harness and 2) by turning and walking in the opposite direction every time she pulled. It took a lot of patience but eventually she got the point and realized that if she pulled she didn’t get to go where she wanted.

      It also helped to carry treats in my pocket and reward her whenever she walked nicely by my side.

      • Those are all great techniques. I took a Humane Soceity class on leash aggression, and what you’re doing is along the lines of what they taught. Above all you need to do things that will build the dog’s confidence and make them feel that you will protect them, so they don’t feel the need to lunge after everyone they see. WHS also recommend that, when approaching another dog or person, you pull over to the side, get between your dog and the “intruder”, and do the “watch” command with a high-value treat. I’ll admit it’s not the easiest thing in the world when you live in a densely populated area with a lot of dogs.

    • buy a gentle leader head collar. worked instantly on my sled-dog of a hound mutt. best $20 i’ve spent on her.

      • It helped for one of my dogs, but the other was constantly trying to paw it off. I tried for months, hoping she’d get used o it, but she never did. Also, the buckles on those things are flimsy as hell, which meant the collar was often popping off and then she’d be loose. Not totally a fan.

  • Rant: Got sand fly bites all over me. Itching like crazy!!!

    Rave: Just came back from 5 days in Negril, Jamaica. Sand fly bites were worth it. With all the cold rainy weather I wish I could have stayed another two weeks.

  • Rave: Thanksgiving! I get to cook all the wonderful things I want!

    Rant: Full day of work today – none of this leaving at 12:30 like the people above. And full day Friday.

    Rave: I have decided I am taking Friday off.

  • Rave: Early dismissal today!! Happy Thanksgiving!!

  • rave: days off, seeing grandma!
    rant: psyching myself up for going to see the family even though my parents are out of the country. feeling a bit down these days, and angry that most of this feeling down is about a stupid guy.

  • Rant: feeling a bit sad today – was supposed to spend Thanksgiving with my long term boyfriend and his family but we broke up a month ago. Holidays are tough.

    Rave: heading to NJ to visit my family this afternoon. My dad finally got a job after almost 5 months of unemployment…we have a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving!

  • Today’s schedule:
    Work: 8-12
    Lunch: 12-1
    Work: 1-2
    Early Dismissal: 2 YAY!
    Working Friday, but I always do – it’s the quietest day of the year and a great time to actually get stuff done. (And – I just got a promotion, so still trying to show my appreciation.)

  • Rave: I never travel home for Thanksgiving, instead preferring to travel home for Christmas. That said, I am truly thankful to all of my lovely friends who have included me in their Thanksgiving festivities over the years. This year will be no different and I am truly grateful!

    Rant-free! Wishing everyone out there in PoPville a wonderful and uber-tasty holiday!

  • Rave: PERFECT fitting jeans

    Rave: Family in town, including my brother who never comes, for thanksgiving!

    Rave: 4 DAY WEEKEND

    Rant: SOOOO sleepy and bored here today. No one at the office. Why must I be here?

  • Rant: I had a Burger King craving. My bill was $8.68. I had exactly $.67 in change in my pocket. Argh!

    Revel: The woman who helped me at BK was very nice and very efficient.

    Rant: I have $.99 in coinage in my pocket.

    Revel: My Rat Zapper should arrive in the mail today.

    Revel: Off tomorrow. Thanks!

  • Rant: Only 3 people in the office today, no calls coming in, no boss to give me things to do…and three hours left! Ugh!

    Rave: The boyfriend cleaned my kitchen this morning while I was at work! Plus he’s cooking most of our T-day dinner tomorrow!

    Rave.1: Going country dancing at Nick’s this weekend! Can’t wait!!! :o)

  • Prince Of Petworth

    If anyone is interested in helping with Koi rescue at Meridian Hill Park:

    “We have been actively working to rescue all of the koi fish in the Meridian Hill Park pond, but we are seeking volunteers to assist with rescuing the remaining fish. We continue to find large piles of algae that need to be sifted through quickly and thoroughly for fish who range in size from ½” to 6” and can be hard to locate. We are also seeking tarps, buckets and kiddie pools. Anyone who is interested in assisting with these efforts can contact Humane Law Enforcement Officer Triebwasser at [email protected].”

  • Rave – My co-worker who brings us feasts brought Thanksgiving (and chinese food) for lunch today!!

    Rant – I ate the turkey, and am now so very sleepy.

  • Rave: Good God, I have a trashcan with no top and the sanitation workers turned the can upside down to prevent rain from collecting in the bottom plus both of my cans were in front of my fence instead of somewhere down the alley! Of course the reason it has no top is because the sanitation crew threw it into their truck as trash but that’s another story. I’m grateful for small favors.

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