Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user pablo.raw

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.

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94 Comment

  • Rant: Amy Pond is being written out of Dr. Who next season

    Rave: So is Rory!

  • That guy was in A Mighty Wind!

    • Interesting; I didn’t know that!

      I gotta say… although I’m not really a fan of the banjo, that guy is one of the better performers I’ve seen performing near Metro station entrances.

    • Allison

      Should have tapped him for the Abe Lincoln movie!

  • Rave: I LOVE Christmas. I love buying the perfect gifts for people, I love the music, I love our tree filled with ornaments that bring happy memories, and I love that I am going to see my family in 9 days. SO HAPPY!!! 🙂

  • Rave: Flew into Columbus yesterday morning, and client gave me two free tickets to the Blue Jackets vs Kings hockey game.

    Rave: Seats were in the 2nd row directly behind the Kings bench!

    Rave: Heading back to DC tonight.

    Rant: Congress…

  • Rave: Today is the first day in awhile that I haven’t woken up with a sinus headache/congestion/dizziness, etc. I’m optimistic that I’ll be able to enjoy Christmas with the fam next week.
    Rant: I got sucked into the office cubicle decorating contest…

  • Rant: Totally, completely and utterly 150% not in the holiday spirit.

    Among other things that I don’t like about this season, I’m completely frustrated by this question –

    What one earth do you get for two spoiled little boys (age 3 and 6) who have every toy known to mankind (and probably would just carelessly fling the gift onto their gigantic toy pile within 30 seconds of opening it anyways)?

    I like the idea of a donation in their name to a charity (maybe sponsoring a boy around their age through Save the Children or a goat through Heifer), but the parents would probably turn up their noses.


    • Kalorini

      Something messy, like that new Crayola Make-your-own-color-crayons 🙂 Then the parents will *really* appreciate a donation next year!

      • Oh gosh, got that for my niece last year. Worst idea ever.

      • I agree with this! Something obnoxious, annoying, messy…perhaps a toy that makes a lot of repetitive noises. T’is the season to be naughty…I mean jolly…

        I also agree with books!

        • My sister’s mother-in-law spoils my nephews with every toy imaginable and my mom buys them all the clothing the could possibly need. So my other sister and I chip in each year for birthday’s and Christmas to put money into a college fund we started or to pay for them to participate in a new activty (soccer, swimming, etc). I am really enjoying knowing that I am helping to pay for their future education (and alleviating some of that burden from my sister and brother in law) and giving them fun things to do and meet new friends.

    • Savings bonds… They will love you for it when they are 20 and in college… Plus, by not buying toys, you won’t be sending even more money to China, which they then use to buy US Govt Debt. You will be buying US Govt Debt, and cutting out the middle man… Win win! 🙂

      Related Rant/Rave

      Rant: My future nieces and nephews are going to hate me when they are young.

      Rave: They will love me when they are in college! 🙂

    • If they have parents that would turn up their noses at that in lieu of another anonymous toy, the parents need a lesson in manners. Don’t waste your money.

    • austindc

      scuba gear.

    • Cripes, the disdain is obvious. Don’t get them anything. I doubt you’re hiding it, frankly, especially if these are relatives kids b/c the relatives know how to read you.

      OTOH, you could do a special outing with them to the movies, or make cookies, or take them to pizza and the park for a few hours. Spending time might be good for your relationship, and with kids that age myself, they’ll appreciate the attention more than a gift.

      I’d also say that you can’t predict which presents will be a hit, and when. Some times lame gifts turn out to be the most cherished, while other presents might become the favorite months later.

      • Yes, they’re relatives and, yes, we’re frustrated with the parents.

        Do you have any ideas for an outing that both a 3 and 6 year old would enjoy?

        We thought about arranging something, but can’t come up with anything. Older one would be psyched about going to a baseball game, youngest would be antsy after we sat down. Youngest would love crafts, oldest would be bored to tears within 15 minutes. The one thing we know they both like is the zoo, but went recently and it wouldn’t be special. We’re stumped and any ideas are appreciated.

        • saf

          So plan two events – one for each kid.

        • Gaylord ice exhibit?

        • This might require a trip out to the burbs, but my nephews love to go to a bouncy house place near where they live – it’s basically a large room full of blow-up boucy castles, usually with different shapes and sizes appealing to different age groups. I find it to be the third circle of hell, but I take them, because they love it.

          If they have any interest in trains, you could take them to the botanic garden – it’s got a great train display. And then you could walk over to see the Capitol Christmas tree.

          I also take them to the pool and the playground, followed by lunch at McDonalds. Yet another circle of hell, but they love it, and I can deal with it once in a great while.

        • Blithe

          Would you be willing to go to Baltimore? Port Discovery, the Acquarium, the Science Center and/or the B and O Railroad museum might suit both kids.

      • Is this cut and paste from Carolyn Hax?

        Someone asked her a similar question and she said almost the same thing.

  • Can we PLEASE do something about those horrible “backgammon loiterers” who are ruining bars for the rest of us? It’s difficult enough dealing with the “Magic the Gathering hobos” leaving the bathroom in Starbucks uninhabitable.

  • Rant: Getting 3 credit cards stolen out of wallet, which was in my purse, while I ate lunch. By the time I got back to my desk had an email receipt from Apple (linked to my credit card) for almost $3000 in purchases, not to mention many other transactions.

    Rave: MPD actually responding, coming to my office, taking a report, and being helpful. Credit card company expediting all 3 cards overnight as replacements and asking no questions of covering everything. Quite painless.

    Rant: I’m sure the POS who did it will see no ramifications.

    • what is with people? seriously?

    • I am a little confused? Where was your purse while you were eating lunch?

      Rant: Having my card number stolen (card was in my possession). No clue when they actually stole (swiped) the number.

      Rave: Bank called me right away and cancelled my card. They only purchased gas for a total of $175 in Jersey City and in Brooklyn (I was always in DC). Still not sure how the bank figured it out but glad they did and got me my money back on the same day.

      • Purse was hanging on my chair while I ate with a friend. I KNOW not to hang a purse on the back of a chair while at a deli/bar/wherever, so I take full responsibility. A woman came over and said “please check your purse, the man behind you was acting suspiciously”. Checked my purse, saw wallet and cell phone, so didn’t realize the actual credit cards had been removed from the wallet until I got back to my office.

        • Damn, that sucks. So you are telling me this guy was standing directly behind you while you ate, went through you purse, found your wallet, went through your wallet, took out your credit cards, closed and replaced your wallet in your purse and simply walked away and you never noticed?

          That dude must have been amazingly fast and quick handed. I am glad that you take full responsibility and saw your error, also glad your CC company took care of you.

          Not jumping on you always have to be aware, not just in the streets (running with headphones at night, biking on trails, on the metro, walking down the street becoming one with your phone…) with all of the bs going on but even in spots where you think you can just relax and enjoy a meal or whatever. People are hungry/shady (regardless of ethnicity) out there and if they see an easy come up they are going to take it. And I know that lady meant well but why did she wait until dude was gone? I guess she didn’t want to get “that involved”.

          • he was sitting behind me (back to back at tables). Yes, grabbed my wallet, took cards, and put it back. I also don’t know why she didn’t say anything before, or more than it was just “suspicious”, but at least she said something or I would be completely confused as to when this had happened. Believe me, I am a preacher of the don’t leave your purse on bar stools, don’t play with ipad/iphone on metro/walking, etc. etc. Once again, I take full responsibility.

    • christanel

      Did the Apple email come with a shipping address? Maybe you can give that to the police.

      • they stole the credit card in downtown DC, and took it to the Apple store in Bethesda and purchased the two computers in-person. (no shipping address) Luckily, i have shopped at the Apple store before and my credit card was linked to my email address. Annoying part was all my credit cards say “see photo ID” on the back.

        • ugh–do they have a record of which computers the person bought? can they then track them when someone connects them to the internet?

          • yes, i have the exact description of the two products, down to the serial number. Sadly, I think i’m the only one that would keep a watch on Craigslist or Ebay, not the cops, and I’m not looking to get anything “back” which was “stolen”….

        • If they did it in person, I am sure they were caught on camera at some point. Maybe at the register? Walking in?

    • the worst thing is that these stolen items are mailed to a place where a human will pick them up…i have heard of people in this situation trying to get the cops to wait for the delivery (with the assistance of the company shipping the goods) to no avail. so you’re right — the POS will get the goods even if the costs are charged to you.

    • So do retailers think that a customer who buys $3000 worth of goods is going to be insulted if asked to show ID? It’s ridiculous how random the requirements are. I don’t understand why the clerks at the bargain “department” store iask me for ID when I use a credit card to buy a $25 ironing board but I can buy hundreds or thousands of dollars in consumer electronics with a credit card but not be asked for ID.
      You should send a complaint to that Apple Store about the clerks’ failure to check for ID, as specifically instructed on your card.

      • Actually if the card isn’t signed then the user has not agreed to the terms and conditions of the user agreement and the card is not valid. Check your cards, they explicitly state the card is not valid unless signed.


        • this is true, and I do know that. however, i have never been turned down for writing “see photo ID” on there. I thank store employees when they do ask for ID, and I doubt anyone would be upset if asked for ID when spending 3000 at Apple. I called the store and complained. “its the holidays, we are so busy. i will say something, sometimes people just need to be reminded to slow down”. Lame.

  • Rave: Purchased my Galaxy Nexus for half off.

    Rant: Said phone is on backorder and I may have to wait a week to two weeks to get it, hopefully the former.

  • claire

    Rave: Holiday bonus!
    Rave: Friday!
    Rave: Actually got enough sleep last night!

    Rant: Busy weekend coming up and I just want to relax.

  • Rant: gland in the right side of my neck is so swollen that it hurts to turn my head.
    Rave: it’s Friday! And I get to leave work at 4 today.
    Rant: not in the holiday spirit at all. This will be our first Christmas without my mom, who died in July, and I’m just not looking forward to it much.
    Rave: my dad, sister, and are I hosting an open house for our family and neighbors as a thank you for all their support over the past few months….plus I have dinner plans with some awesome friends from HS over break.

    • I’m so sorry about your mom. Holidays will probably be somewhat lonely (or that’s what I found when my father died four years ago), but try to spend some time thinking about the great memories that you have of her from past holidays.

      • My father died Christmas morning 3 years ago. The best advice I got was to heal on my own schedule. There is no right or wrong way. Some holidays you get through with no trouble. Some morning you can’t help but cry in the shower.

    • I’m so sorry about your mom. I lost my mom three years ago, and I really miss her at this time of year. That first Christmas was really hard. Take lots of walks and spend quiet time with those close to you who understand what you’re going through.

  • Rant: Can’t put my socks on anymore.

    Rave: Short work day due to office Christmas party!

    • Rave #2: The other day I was at Whole Foods on P and accidentally dropped my credit card on the floor without realizing when I was paying. A gentleman came up to me and let me know. I was so touched by this nice gesture I almost cried.

      • I dropped my card the other day in front of Roti without knowing it. A super nice gentleman let me know and picked it up for me. Some people would have taken advantage of that whole situation (seeing as how my cards have been stolen before – both physically and electronically). Made me happy that there are still some really good, honest people around (and that’s depressing that I even have to say something like that…)

  • GiantSquid

    Rave: It’s Friday!

    Rant: Tweaked/threw out/did something to my lower back last night. Incredibly painful. Taking copious amounts of Advil and using the heating pad but it’s making me very slow-moving and cranky.

    Rave: Finally have some money to do Christmas shopping.

    Rave: Show at work is a hit and selling itself.

    Rant: No one wanted our comfy chair and matching ottoman, no one picked it up off the curb, so we have to take it to the transfer station tomorrow but I’m pretty sure I will be of no help with the back effed up.

    • Be careful if it doesn’t get better. Happened to me once and it actually ended up being a kidney infection. Felt like lower pain back for 2 days.

      • GiantSquid

        Thanks maria, but it’s definitely a muscle issue. I could feel it happening as I was bending over to put detergent in the dishwasher and I have injured that area before so it’s always going to be weak. It just means that when it heals, I need to do more lower abdominal exercises to strengthen it. Until then, I’ll be cranky and walk like Igor.

      • er, I think you know whether it’s a bladder infection turned kidney infection as opposed to back pain.

        • Note necessarily. I mean, GiantSquid knows because he has experienced this pain before, but kidney infections often feel like plain old lower back bain.

  • rave — CaBi got me to work again, safe and sound.

    rant — on the way i counted ten Metro buses on 14th street alone. All but one were out of service…

    why does WMATA start running ‘out of service’ buses up and down congested streets at 9am? Do they not understand that, in the nation’s MOST congested city, they slow traffic AND annoy people waiting for a functioning bus?

    WMATA — RUSH HOUR GOES ‘TIL 10am! work it!

    • austindc

      They are moving the buses back to the start of the route as quickly as possible to pick up more people heading in the rush hour direction.

      • Some people just want to always look at Metro and see a display of gross incompetence and negligence. It’s pretty much impossible to convince them that there might be plausible and reasonable explanations for what they are seeing.

        • +1 I don’t want to pile on but yeah, a lot of people only look superficially at situations and don’t pause to reflect. Perhaps somebody with more experience in running a post office, or a metro service, or whatever governmental activity have you has actually rubbed some brain cells together and come up w/ a better way to do something. Lessons Learned people, even the government does it.

          Now if they can just do something about all the potholes…:)

  • Rant: Strip club flyers under the windshields of cars. I’ve got no problem with strip clubs but why are you putting “booty” party flyers on cars in the middle of a residential district? Is this really the target audience? And it’s not even advertising for The House – which is two blocks away. It’s advertising for some clubs in Maryland.

  • RANT: Why do we have to register to post in the forums? I am not allowed to create/use usernames and passwords at my place of employment, so I really appreciated the lax posting rules. I wanna help that dude who is asking about “Removing Your Basement Brick Columns?” with some sage advice, but I cannot!

    • pablo .raw

      You could e-mail your answer to PoP and he will post it for you; I’ve seen it done before

    • I’m registered but I’m having issues logging in. It keeps saying my username/password don’t match, even when I do the password reset. Could someone please post this response to the question “When is my landlord responsible for replacing my oven”? Thanks!

      “When do the electric coils EVER sit flat? It’s one of the things I hate most about them. I grew up with coils so I understand your frustration, but it doesn’t sound like there’s anything inherently wrong with them. And the non-functioning burner and hot center area is probably not a major concern either. I don’t think it would hurt to ask, though. If you want to appear helpful, you could offer to browse the used appliances section of Craigslist to help him find a good deal. “

  • Rant: After being unemployed for 10 months I finally have a well-paying job…but somehow have LESS money than before! This is frustrating.

    Rave: This time next week I will be boarding a plane heading towards the Midwest!
    Rave1: While in said Midwest, will save money and thus have a little more in my account when I get back.

    Rave: Had Date Night last night – went to see the White House Christmas tree and had dinner at Floriana on 17th & Q. Our meal was sooooo good!! Ravioli filled w/butternut squash and soaked in brown butter? Mmmm, still drooling.

    • Hiphopanonymous, seems like yet again, we can identify. After I was unemployed for 3 months, and collecting unemployment (which basically covered my rent and nothing else) I had to pull from savings to eat, etc. Basically that meant that for 3 months I didn’t shop, go out, eat out, so on. Once I got my current job, I got overexcited that I would have the money to do said things again, so my first month in, I went shopping, ate out with friends, went to happy hour, that sort of thing, and found myself in another month scraping by toward the end, with $0 toward savings like I intended. This month, I have been way more frugal (Aldi opening by my house helped!) and I have been able to budget more effectively. Of course, the extra money saved went toward holidays gifts, but hey, if I didn’t have this job and hadn’t been more thrifty, I wouldn’t have been able to shop for friends and family at all. Unemployment was a good life lesson in prioritizing, finding fun and free stuff to do with friends, and valuing every dollar I have spent. I think come January, I’ll be able to finally start putting some away!

  • Rant: The Park View Grinch who keeps stealing packages (so far, only UPS) from my neighbors’ and my front porches. What an @$$hole.

    • Allison

      Time for a sting operation! Put a bunch of fake packages all on your porches filled with dog poo and a note saying “Smile, you’ve been on numerous cameras! Enjoyyyyyyy!” Bet he won’t return.

  • RAVE: Fusion’s anniversary party last night was fun. I met some new neighbors at what may become my new neighborhood bar!

    RAVE: took today off. Lots of things to get done.

    RANT: need to find job/projects for teenage sons for the holidays to keep them busy.

  • RANT, a family friend who wanted to talk to me came yesterday and casually asked me for my eggs for his wife! I am freaking 33 y o and would like to have my own family, and I don’t even like his wife (and he know that!), why they heck would I risk my heath and sanity for that!
    RANT hate when people are so inconsiderate and ask for favor they cant even do their self
    RANT this friend has 2 kids from a previous marriage, it is not like the end of the word…The not so funny thing is that 5 years ago when he got married to his current wife and he wanted a kid she didn’t have her act together and now she is older and don’t produce eggs. what a waste!!
    RAVE: I was courageous to tell him no to his face without thinking twice! I told him to get a donor the way other people do! and this morning I sent him link with all risk involved with giving egg. It is not a easy as donating sperm, not counting the emotional implications!
    RANT: I am still disturbed by the conversation and sorry for typos

    • I don’t like to criticize people who come here to rant, but I’ll make an exception and say I think you’re being a little harsh. It may have seemed like he was casually asking, but my guess is this is actually something he’s put a lot of thought into. It sounds like he scheduled time specifically to talk to you, so it’s not like this is something that came up out of the blue. I also don’t think it’s inconsiderate to ask a good friend for a favor. It’s not as if he demanded you give him your eggs; he simply asked. And I’m sure he and his wife have their reasons for choosing to ask you, out of all of the people they know. It also sounds like you are much closer to your friend than to his wife, so I’m sure that’s why he asked you. He was doing it himself. It’s not as if the eggs are just for his wife; they are for the two of them as a couple. And saying “it’s not the end of the world” is an extremely insensitive thing to/regarding couples struggling with infetility. Of course it’s not. That doesn’t mean it’s not upseting to not be able to have a child when you really want one. And how do you know she would have been able to easily have a baby five years ago? Infertility can affect women of any age. Additionally, I think it’s good that if her life was so horribly messed up five years ago, she didn’t choose to have a baby when she wasn’t ready. And of course many people choose to use an anonymous egg donor, but it seems like, for whatever reason, this couple decided they would rather use eggs from someone they know. I’m not sure why you seem to automatically assume this is something they didn’t think through or that they didn’t know anything about the process when he asked you. I’ll also add, that, if this couple has been struggling with infertility for some time now, they have likely spent thousands of dollars on treatments already and part of their reasonsing for asking a friend may be that it is marginally cheaper than going with an anonymous donor.

      Sorry if this comes off as harsh, I’m just tired of people who can (or who think they can) become pregnant with relative ease criticizing the choices of those who have difficulty getting pregnany. “It’s not the end of the world,” “you already have one kid,” “why don’t you just adopt-” all common mantras that display such a lack of empathy.

      • This response may come late but I needed to respond.
        I am ranting because this friend knows me pretty well and know what I have been going through, so for him to come and ask me something like that is selfish! I know they just started the process and I know he asked me also because that would be cheaper for him. I want kids sometimes soon.
        People should adopt if they want to or get donors if they want to, I am pretty with it, but dont put your interest first and make me take risks that can destroy my life.
        When you get a chance go and read all risks involved and you will understand that it not something to take it easily.
        Plus giving eggs is like giving a part of yourself and if you are not doing that for the profit you should be doing that for someone you really care about who could do the same for you. My friend is a good friend, but his wife doesn’t even talk to me, thus i find his request very inappropriate!
        I am actually sorry that he has to go through that but I believe he doesn’t have to get me involved.

        • I know all of the risks involved as I’ve seriously looked in to donating anonymously (I was turned down due to some red flags in my family history, but I got pretty far in the process, so I did a lot of research). Why would you assume I don’t know the risks? Because I disagree with your outrage over being asked?

          Obviously it is well within your rights not to donate, I just don’t understand why you got so upset. I guess I just think a little more compassion is in order when a good friend is going through a difficult time. Since you chose to call your friend the next day to basically reprimand him, it seems you don’t feel the same way.

    • What a strange reaction. Any person with empathy, much less a friend, would be sad that they’re going through this, and perhaps flattered at the compliment to her genes. To be angry about it is weird. People who make this request have worked up a lot of courage (lots more than it takes to refuse the request).

    • saf

      OK, that does come across a bit harsh, but I think it’s because it needs paragraph breaks.

      The two comments above – I disagree with you. It is a huge, dangerous, thing to ask. It seems that you are letting your pronatal viewpoints cloud that fact.

      • Nope, no pronatal viewpoints. Of course I’m open to the possibility that my desires may change, but I’m in my late 20’s, don’t want children, and have never wanted children.

        And I don’t see the need for formal writing, with paragraph breaks in a blog comment. A post, yes. A comment, no.

        • Paragraph breaks make writing easier to read.

          Having a loooong paragraph that goes on forever tends to result in people not even reading it.

          • Yeah, I’m aware, textdoc-thanks for being condescending, though! The paragraph isn’t even that loooong. It just looks longer due to the fact that so few words are on each line because, yeah, it’s a blog comment. Which I really don’t care if everyone reads, though saf obviously did.

  • rant: Christopher Hitchens is gone. Not that I (or anyone) agrees with all of his politics, but it sucks because he had a good few decades left of thought-provoking and valuable work.

    double rant: nut jobs who think he’s in heaven or hell now. ha!

  • em

    Revel: Lunch date with my fiancee!

    Revel: We discovered Panas Gourmet Empanadas in Dupont – their new menu was being installed as we walked into the shop. Roasted Eggplant, Popeye, and Brie Art empanadas and accompanying “dripping” sauces and plaintain chips really hit the spot.

    Revel: Our apple-cranberry-gingersnap aeblekage took third place in fiancee’s office’s bake off last night. Gas and Groupon gift cards!

  • Rant: With traffic in both directions already at a complete stop to allow two young kids to cross at a crosswalk, a cyclist thought it was his right to not stop and make the two young kids wait for him. This was after he crossed two lanes of traffic to ride against traffic for a block and then cross back just in time to blow through the cross walk. Maybe he was intoxicated. Maybe he’s just clueless. Either way, he was doing it wrong.

  • When I registered, it forced me into a screen name with all lowercase letters. Any chance I can get that changed?

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