Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user MsMistry

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.

103 Comment

  • Rant: Stabbing in front of my house last night. Awesome.

    Rave: Headed to FL for a week today after work.

    Rant: Have to leave my cat alone for almost a week 🙁

    • I have been having an internal struggle about this for a few days now. No one will be in my apartment from 12/23-26. Then my roommate comes back for a few days, and no one will be there again from 12/30-1/1. That’s 7 days total, but with a break in between. I won’t be there the whole time. Should I feel bad about leaving my cat alone? Are you having someone come in and check on him/her? I’d love to get anyone’s opinion on this matter.

      • We watch the neighbor’s cat when they out of town for extended periods. Any chance a neighbor would be willing to just pop in once in a while?

      • claire

        I’m a big cat lover and I’m in the area but off work this Saturday (12/24) through the new year (Mon 01/02) so if anyone wants me to stop by and feed/play with your cat during that time, I’d be willing!

        • Oh my goodness, in the area? Not sure exactly where in Hill East you are (I’m there too, sort of) but if this is a serious offer, could you email me at egw06c (at) gmail (dot)com? I’d be more than happy to recompense. I’ve been stressing over my poor kitty being alone for weeks, and thought it would be more cruel to fly her twice in one week.

          • Metro Mutts also does cat sitting. If you go to their website under “Services” and scroll all the way to the bottom you’ll find more details.

        • Unfortunately, I live in the apartment building above Harris Teeter (Potomac Ave) and don’t have the friendliest of neighbors. It also costs something like $50 to buy a new fob, which I would need to do in order to get someone into the building to check on the cat. (Sidenote: are you my neighbor? If so, let’s chat!)

          My roommate WILL be home 12/26-30 or 12/31, and I will be back 1/1. So, I’m thinking/hoping/convincing myself that leaving her alone from 12/23-26 is not too big of a deal.

      • Is 3 days really an ‘extended period’ for a cat? As long as you can leave out sufficient food & water and a fresh litter box, this doesn’t seem like a problem. (At least this has been my experience with the cats I’ve known.)

        • claire

          It’s *really* dependent on the cat. My cat loves people so being left alone for more than 24 hours is practically torture to her. I also feed her only wet food (which doesn’t stay good when left out) and she’s really picky about her litter box being clean, so I’d probably come home to angry cat droppings everywhere… (Luckily, my parents live nearby and are willing to watch her when I go out of town.)

          • See, my cat actually enjoys being alone. She doesn’t crave human contact and I feel like that annoying mother who always wants to hug and kiss her and she gets annoyed and embarassed. That’s totally our relationship. So I think “emotionally” she’ll be okay; although she does tend to give me an attitude upon my return when I’m not around for a few days. Then she warms right up and shows me how much she missed me. I love cats. Such strong personalities.

      • I think it depends on the cat. Mine would definitely not be happy with this sort of arrangement but she really loves bring around people. Can you find someone to stop by every other day or something?

      • Mine will be alone 12/23-12/29, and yes I feel terrible, but no one I know/trust will be in town then to check on her. I left two clean litter boxes and more than enough food and water, and left the blinds to one of my windows raised about 4 inches for her to look out the window while sitting on her cat tree. I tried asking several people I know but they either didn’t respond (great friends!), won’t be in town, or wouldn’t be the type to play with a cat anyway.

        • If you’re around Hill East, Metro Mutts on H St. does cat sitting (the info is way at the bottom): http://www.metromuttsdc.com/index.cfm?action=services

        • ew, PLEASE do not leave a cat for 7 days without anyone checking on her! Call Tails of the City, speak with Flor. They will charge $16/day to check on her. Even having someone visit every 2 or 3 days is better than nothing.

          Do you have an automatic watering device for her? What about an automatic feeder? What if they don’t work properly for some reason? Or if you just leave a bunch of food and water out when you leave, the water may evaporate in dry, heated weather and leave her with nothing. The bottom line is that someone should check on her. Not trying to be pushy, just a little concerned.

          • Wow, I appreciate your concern, but damn doomsday situation much? Yes I have an automatic water dispenser and feeder that is more than stocked. They are simple devices, operated by gravity, so I think a malfunction is out of the question. Given that I rescued my cat from a backyard in Tallahassee, FL, I think she is more than well enough equipped to survive living in a comfortable apartment with more food and water than she can shake a stick at. Cats are ultimately wild animals, you know. However, the kindness of strangers/neighbors may ultimately prevail, but all in all a desperate plea for my cat’s safety is unnecessary. Again, more worried about her happiness for a few days.

          • It’s too close to Christmas (and a week off) for me to respond to your petty snark in kind. But Happy Holidays.

            BTW, cats are not wild animals. Just ask any vet.

    • Y’all are making me wish I had a cat. I love my dogs but they’re so dependent on us. Leaving them alone for more than 10 hours would be inhumane.

      • I think it is inhumane to leave a cat alone for days/weeks at a time.

        • So you would say leaving a cat alone for two days would be inhumane?

        • That’s a little ridiculous, given the type of animal cats are. They are typically quite independent, and if left with sufficient food, water, and hygeine, they are fine for a few days. I admit that 7 days is way on the high end of my discomfort scale, but that is mainly because my cat is very social and likes attention. I’m not particularly worried for her safety or health, as she is very comfortable and aware of her environment, but mostly for her happiness in this situation. “Inhumane” would be leaving a pet in an unsafe/unfamiliar environment or one that lacks necessities.

    • Emmaleigh504

      I find that when I leave my cat when I go out of town, I miss her more than she misses me. She’s got a brain the size of a walnut; she forgets I left her after a couple of hours.

      • Ah! I love kittygreetings. I can walk outside for a minute and come back in and it’s like I’m her long lost friend that has been gone for years. I would not leave my cat more than 3 days. I am flying with my kitty for the first time tomorrow. I hope she does okay! We have been practicing in the kitty carrier for a week or so.

        • Emmaleigh504

          I wish I could travel with my kitty, because I really do miss her when I leave. But she HATES traveling. I guess she had 1 too many hurricane evacuations.

          I guess it’s good I don’t get much vacation time, so it’s not really an issue.

        • saf

          “We have been practicing in the kitty carrier for a week or so.”

          This makes me laugh so hard. My cats can sense when I think about the carrier, and will hide until the carrier is back in its closet in the basement. I’m really impressed that you can get your cat to practice!

          • Yes! This freaks me out. I won’t go near the carrier but the cat ALWAYS knows when I’m about to take him to the vet. I must put off some type of anxiety-vibe about it that he can sense. SpooOOOoky!

          • I hate the cat carrier battle and my cats hate the battle too. Finally I just started leaving the carrier out for 24-48 hours before they actually need to get in it. After a few hours they come sniff at it and then are comfortable with it and it’s much less of a struggle getting them inside.

            I don’t know, cats need to warm up to things on their own time. Of course this won’t work if you have an emergency but it takes a lot of the anxiety out of the carrier…for us at least.

  • Rant: That plot of land in the photo (I think) used to be owned by my friend’s family before DC took it years ago. Odd, the family took the money and bought different land in DC, and DC then took that land too, for the ballpark (and didn’t even offer them lifetime season tickets).

    Revel: The old photos of what was on this site back in the 40s. Dump trucks used to build National Airport.

    • Ummm…you can’t “take” something if they paid you for it. If the city went through the condemnation process then there were lawyers, multiple appraisers etc, they received fair market value at a minimum.

      As far as the ballpark land goes, every landowner in SW got multiples of fair market value. Every strip club, empty car lot owning “Tom, Dick or Harry” got anywhere from 3 to 10 times the value of their land because the cities expedited construction process didn’t allow for typical condemnation which can take years. Land Acq was the entire reason the cost of the stadium ballooned from ~385 million to 611 million.

      So excuse me for not feeling bad for a bunch of people who freely sold their property to the city and did so for many, many times its actual value.

      • 1. Yes, the government takes your property when it exercises eminent domain. This is why that part of the Fifth Amendment is known as the “Takings Clause.”

        2. No, not everyone whose property is taken by the government receives fair market value. Under the Constitution, they receive “just compensation.” Though that may sometimes be fair market value, much more often the government is able to get by with much, much less.

        3. I hope no one ever tries to take your property to build a large new facility for a drug company and justifies it as “increasing the tax base.” See Kelo. But if they do, please call the Institute for Justice.

        • @gonefission,

          You sound like one fo those tin foil hatters. The “Gov” this, the “Gov”, that.

          First of all, every state (and DC) in the union has their own specific eminent domain laws so be specific.

          Two, I’ve personally been involved in 5 cases in the District in the past 20 years with properties that underwent condemnation. In every single casem it took anywhere from 3-7 years and involved multiple court processes, junctures for review and multiple appraisals and negotiations.

          Lastly, if the city wants to come along and give me ten times the value of the house I just bought 5 years previously, they are more than welcome.

          The DC baseball stadium debacle was a good old fashioned “landrush” where everyone got rich quick on the back of the taxpayers.

          • Isn’t it referred to as a “taking” in common law?

            Regardless of the price paid, it’s still an exchange and it may or may not be voluntary. But, I think taking is the right term, and if you get rich, good for you.

            Anyway, interesting piece of history in the original post, so thanks for sharing.

        • Indeed. Please refer to my family’s lovely friend the Endangered Species Act…

    • Federal, state, and local governments have every right to take your property from you as long as it’s for a public benefit. For many years, this was limited to public works projects – roads, bridges, tunnels, treatment plants, rail lines, etc. But the Supreme Court held that the public benefit can even be economic development – such as taking your beachfront property to develop a waterfront with pricey condos and shopping; or taking your property to build a sports stadium. The only requirement is that the government write you a check as “just compensation” for what it takes. Generally speaking, most landowners make out pretty well.

  • GiantSquid

    Rant: Woke up this morning with the beginning of a head cold: runny nose, headaches, hurting ears.

    Rave: Family starts arriving in a little over 24 hours

    Rant: Don’t want to be sick with family around.

    Rave: Office is pretty chill so I can take it easy.

  • Rant: So much work to do over the next three days I’m paralyzed with an inability to do anything.

    Rave: Regardless of what does/doesn’t get done over the next few days, I’m taking some much needed time off next week.

  • Rave: Everything

  • Rant: Still fighting off a sinus infection

    Rave: Antibiotics

    Rave: 2 more days of work until I have over a week off for the holidays!

    Rave: That photo – – beautiful!

  • Rant: Got too drunk and made a real ass of myself over the weekend. Still feeling a bit ashamed about it.

    Rave: Generally had a really fun time making an ass of myself so I guess things could be worse.

  • Rave: Benadryl was my savior after weeks of disrupted sleep.

    Rave2: Get to wear casual clothes to work from now until after the New Year.

    Rant: Have to clean the house and bake before Christmas, with nearly zero time or energy to do either.

  • Rave: started commuting on Capital Bikeshare. Loving it.
    Rant (minor): it could use one more gear.

  • Rave: Co-worker brought in an awesome office gift- homemade chocolate liquor- yum!
    Rant: No drinking in the office 😉
    Rave: Homemade white bean and kale soup and a yummy salad for lunch with all ingredients from the farmers market.

    • I also made white bean/kale soup last night – it’s one of my winter favorites.

      • Can you share the recipe?

        • Here’s the recipe I use for kale soup

          Heat olive oil in pot, add 4 carrots, 2 celery stalks and 1 onion, chopped
          Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft and golden brown

          Add 2 quarts chicken broth (homemade if you have it, low salt if you buy it) and bring to simmer then add 1 small bunch kale, ribs removed, leaves roughly chopped (about 6 cups).

          Cover pot and let kale wilt for a few minutes then add a few chopped tomatoes (or one 15 oz can) and can of cannellini beans (15 oz). Simmer until kale is tender. If you like, add some angel hair pasta at the end (cooks in just a few minutes).

          Off heat add 3 Tbs. fresh lime juice (or more to taste), 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, salt and pepper.

  • Rave: Mayor Gray’s proposal to overhaul DC cabs to bring them more in line with other major cities.

    Rant: PoP does not have a post about this and it happened almost 2 days ago. Thought it would be pretty big news on this site.

  • claire

    Rant: Boyfriend out of town until New Year’s Eve.
    Rant: Still need to finish xmas presents for my family.
    Rant: More and more getting put on my plate at work.
    Rave: Just keep telling myself to make it through this week… then I’ve got a nice long break.

  • Rave: 60 degree weather in December

    Rant: 60 degree weather in December

  • Revel: San Diego tonight! It has been a year and I am so ready to touch base with my west coast roots.

    Rant: This week brought even more despair to my already negative attitude on dating in DC

    Rave: New year and having a new attitude!

    • C’mon. You can’t throw out a negative comment on the DC dating scene without an explanation – specifically how the problem is unique to DC. I hear critiques about the dating scene in DC all the time but nothing that I hear strikes me as unique to DC. Dating is difficult period, wherever you are – unless you meet someone right and then it’s the greatest city in the world to date.

  • Rant: Managed to slice my finger pretty good last night while reaching into a drawer to get a cooking tool. At least the knife was super sharp so it cut cleanly and doesn’t hurt too much. Decided against going to the hospital so hopefully it will heal up on its own with a little TLC.

    Rant: Feeling really sluggish and out of it today. In a bad mood, but don’t really know why.

    Rave: Making double white chocolate and pretzel peanut butter cookies with sea salt when I get home!

    • SouthwestDC

      Oh my, do you have a recipe for those delicious-sounding cookies?

    • Go by Whole Foods and buy a tube of Rescue Cream. It’s pricey, but is the most amazing stuff ever. It’s something akin to natural Neosporin, but it makes cuts/scrapes/rashes/etc heal like you wouldn’t believe.

    • Sliced fingers can heal very quickly and well – but can also get infected very quickly. Wash it super clean, apply antibiotic cream and wrap it up like a little finger-puppet mummy & keep it dry. I don’t know where you can buy actual “finger condoms” but most restaurants have them, so if you’re a regular someplace, ask them.

    • I know you didn’t ask for advice for the cut finger, but I’m an artist and have frequent finger cuts so I’m full of helpful hints… use fake nail glue to clean and “suture” the cut. It’s miraculous how well it works. And the finger condoms are sold at cvs with the bandaids- they’re awesome.

      • Thanks for all the helpful suggestions. I superglued in closed this morning to try and protect it better as I am in and out of disposable gloves all day at work. I will look into the finger condoms this afternoon.

        • Reminds me of the time my ex-husband had to wait 4 hours in an emergency room while strapped to a back board & with a head wound. When he was finally seen, the doctor told us that he was tied up by a patient who had cut off his thumb and tried to re-attach it himself using superglue. Obviously, it was a big ‘ol mess.

        • They are also called ‘finger cots’ for the more discreet. Useful things!

  • talula

    Rave: I love walking in that labyrinth shown in the picture. It’s so calming and allows for peaceful reflection.

    Rant: Nothing! Just looking forward to heading home for the holidays on Friday.

    • I’ve tried dozens of labyrinths and just get dizzy and achy neck from looking down. For zone-out meditation i recommend the towpath along the C&O canal.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: Why can’t work figure out a way to get rid of theses damn fungus flies once and for all? They are making me crazy!

    Rave: Christmas shopping done with time to spare!

    Rant: That’s such a lie. I forgot about my sister and her husband. phooey!

    Rave: Not exchanging gifts with my sister’s family until after Christmas, so there’s plenty of time.

  • Rant: A sick dog is the worst! Especially right before the holidays. Fingers crossed he feels better ASAP

    Rave: He lets me know he has to go outside when I’m asleep by putting his nose on my hand repeatedly until I wake up, then he sits by the front door. He’s such a good dog!!!

    • GiantSquid

      If it’s tummy troubles (just went through this with one dog), switch their food to white rice, canned pumpkin, and plain yogurt. When their stool starts firming up, slowly phase their regular food in.

  • Rant/rave: Christmas travel plans canceled, so we get to enjoy the holiday in our own home for the first time ever. Decorations are up, holiday music queued and no days of driving, anxiety and exhaustion on the horizon this year! The rant-ish part is that it will be a little sad to not see far away family, although we’ll plan a trip for spring.

  • Rant: Middle kid had to get an MRI this morning.

    Rave: She did great.

    Rant: Have a work meeting this afternoon that I’m dreading.

    Rave: Tomorrow should be a low-stress day at work, then off to visit family.

  • Rant: Mother was right – I ate too much Christmas cookies/junk food and it did spoil my appetite for lunch!

  • pablo .raw

    Rant: Started to get spam text messages again

    Rave: I think I figured out the way to not get them never again!

  • rave: my friend just gave me a new infused alcohol recipe: marinate a banana in whisky for 48 hours. delish!

  • rant: my stupid, horrible, awful dog (who should be a mature adult at the ripe old age of 11) ate every single pair of my underwear and socks this week from the laundry basket. I left the laundry basket on the floor so I take some blame, but I am bitter that I have to keep making sure every article of clothing is out of reach with an old dog. I thought we’d be past this by now. And she has about 50 toys that she could chew on instead, but those aren’t interesting to her like laundry apparently is. Sigh.

    rant: had to clean up piles of chewed up clothing and vomit for the next 24 hours

    rave: at least she feels guilty and is trying to be extra sweet to make up for it. Kind of. probably not really.

    • sorry, didn’t mean to laugh (giggle), but we had a dog like this. I would get so mad. My partner would have to hide the left-over evidence so I wouldn’t know. Then I would find the other part in twisted little piles in the yard.

    • My dog sometimes takes undergarments out of my laundry basket. She doesn’t chew them, but strews them on the living room floor.

  • RANT: someone tried to break into my house yesterday. They broke off the front door knob.(!) Then tried to get in the back by removing and mangling the screen to the basement bathroom window. They also tried to pry open the kitchen door and basement door with a pair of scissors.

    REVEL: all the locks on my doors and windows held. The officer who responded was really nice.

    RANT: Having a hard time installing new door knob.

    REVEL: No one actually got into my house.

  • Rave: 1.5 days of work until I’m off for ELEVEN DAYS!

    Rant: INSURANCE!! While unemployed I was COBRA’ing through my former employer. At the end of October, when I started my new job, I told former employer to CANCEL my COBRA. Former employer submitted said request to insurance company but did NOT follow up so I was miraculously covered under TWO plans. Went to the Doctor in November, GAVE THEM MY NEW INSURANCE INFO, yet somehow the OLD plan was used. Now former employer says that because I used their insurance, I owe them $372 for the month of November. I’m sorry, but it was YOUR JOB to follow up and make sure it was canceled! The dr.’s office also SCREWED UP by using the wrong information when I had given them the CORRECT information! And if former employer had followed up on cancelation like they were supposed to, the dr. office shouldn’t even have been able to USE the old insurance. Someone owes $372 but it ain’t me!

    Rave: …at least I have insurance.

  • rant: husband and i want to buy a home, instead of renting, but can’t afford anything in this crazy city. Also, looking at current rental prices, when our lease ends this summer, our rent is going to skyrocket! What is the deal???

    rave: i love my husband. 🙂

    • I feel you. My boyfriend and I just went through the same dance. We looked to buy for about five months before we realized that we can’t afford to buy what we would want. We’re back to renting and found an apartment that’s a little less expensive than what we were paying in rent so we can hopefully save some more money over the next year or two and then try buying again. There are trade-offs for paying less in rent, though (i.e., smaller apartment, not in our first choice location, etc.).

    • pablo .raw

      I work for a non-profit specialized in Affordable Housing, maybe we have what you guys are looking for… http://www.mannadc.org/template/page.cfm?id=123

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