Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user guy_incognito

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.

76 Comment

  • Rave: Quiet office, and get to take off early to enjoy the long weekend.

    Rave: Baby is healthy, big(ish) and has lots of hair.

    Rant: Baby is not in the right position, so we had to schedule a csection.

    Rave: It’s finally going to get cold next week! Maybe we’ll get some snow for snowboarding season!

    • Best of luck Meg.
      Here’s to hoping snow comes soon so we can get in some snowboarding!! Fingers crossed.

    • When is the baby coming? Best of luck!

    • Our baby is transverse at 35 weeks and we have a c section scheduled for the end of January. We’re hoping he’ll head down, but really we just want a healthy baby and I hope yours is too. Best of luck- and make sure you get a pass from your ob before you do any snow boarding!

      • Hey our babies are due around the same time. That’s cool! Yeah I’m not too bummed about the csection (healthy baby is the best baby), and we scheduled it for the Chinese New Year (dragon baby!). Maybe he’ll decide to turn, but if not, that’s ok too.

        And no boarding for me, at least not this season! Hoping my SO can get out there on the slopes though.

  • Rave: “Missy on the Metro” experiment went well! She rode like a champ and no one seemed very concerned about us.
    Rant: My parents want their dog (Missy) back on Monday!
    Rant/Rave: I want a dog- but cannot realistically get one when travelling so much for work. At least I have friends with cute dogs and a family dog to dog-nap.

    • You can always foster! Most rescue groups are super welcoming to fosters, even those with time-constraints. I know the rescue group I foster through would gladly give you a fsoter dog for the times you are in town, and when you leave town either someone else would take the pup or it would go to the kennel. Smaller dogs also tend to be adopted pretty quickly around here. Just an idea if you ever want to try it out.

      • Thanks, Blazing Sun, through which group do you foster?

        • I’ve had good luck with Homeward Trails- they have foster programs for both dogs and cats. Check them out online if you’re interested!

        • We foster through HART (Homeless Animals Rescue Team) out in Chantilly. The drive is far, but the crwod is young (many 20’s-30’s) and super friendly. We go for dinner after the event and talk dog-stuff all evening. A friend of mine got me caught up in that group. I like them because they are really understanding with the fosters, and work with you to get you the foster that will fit in your household/pack. If you want small and young you got it. We take large and energetic, or ones with behavioral issues (dog-training is a hobby). HART is always willing to give someone a foster for a short period of time. It’s not ideal, but remember the alternative for those dogs is death, literally. HART pulls from high-kill shelters (like most rescues in this area). Though I really love fostering through HART and love the people, fostering through any group is fantastic! I hate when rescue ppl get all political- all that matters is that a dog is getting saved.

      • I never thought I could foster and give the dog to someone else when I travel- is this really an option? Is this good for the dog though? It definitely would be tough on my heart strings!!
        Really my husband and I desperately want a dog but with both of us working jobs that require fairly frequent international travel, it just wouldn’t be fair to the dog. So I’ve resorted to dog-napping and dogsitting for friends…

        • It is hard to give the dog up, and I’d be lying if I said we did so without tears, but you find so much joy again with the new foster! The dogs would be dead without the fosters, so the turn-around of fosters is a positive thing. You have to keep telling yourself that. I just tell myself, “this is what we do-foster” when I’m tempted to keep a pup. And even an imperfect foster-home is better than the alternative.

      • anonymouse_dianne

        Fostering is very rewarding. Lucky Dog and Homeward Trails are always open to new fosters.

        RANT: the 102 dogs WARL took in from Arkansas puppy mills are starting to be available for adoption


        RAVE: Most of the puppies are ON HOLD because they have an adoption pending.

        RAVE: Michael Vick dog Georgia has an adoption pending through Best Friends.

  • Revel: The trash collection showed up.
    Rant: This F!#$cking flu.

  • RAVE: I am “working” from home today
    RANT: So many rants I can’t even go there (mostly heath issues)
    RAVE: When there is life, there is hope, right?

  • Rant: So now the District thinks my property is vacant. WTF! I get this notice stating that, because my property is vacant, I owe them a fee and penalties for not reporting the fact to them. This despite the fact that I have lived in my home continuously since 15 days after I closed on it.

    And it’s not like the District’s left hand couldn’t figure out what it’s right hand is doing. The DC Office of Tax and Revenue obviously knows I’m living there since the property tax rate I’m charged is Class 1 (for owner-occupiers) rather than Class 3 or Class 4 (vacant or blighted, respectively), and I’m getting the Homestead deduction, something which isn’t available to owners of vacant properties.

    I swear they’re just trying to get back at me for having the temerity to demand a refund of overpaid property taxes that was their fault in the first place.

    • That happened to me too. There should be a number to contact. They were surprisingly helpful and pleasant, and they cleared it up right away.

      • Jersey, Horseshoe:

        I called the number and the conversation went something like this:

        Me: Why was this notice sent out?
        DC: Your property is vacant.
        Me: My property is not vacant, I’ve lived in it continuously since Dec 2010.
        DC: Our inspector says it’s vacant, therefore…
        Me: Did your inspector try to contact me?
        DC: They’re not required to do that.
        Me: Which of the 7 criteria that you list on your website, did the inspector
        use to make his/her determination.
        DC: We don’t have access to that information.
        Me: The Office of Tax and Revenue knows that the property is not vacant.
        Why not contact them and save everyone a lot of trouble.
        DC: That’s not our job.
        Me: So what am I supposed to do?
        DC: Prove your property is not vacant by sending in our form with copies
        of your utility bills and a copy of your deed.
        Me: [$%*!!!#]


        • As odd as it sounds, these “vacancy” issues usually have their genesis with your neighbors rather than the city. Neighbors who have “beefs” with other neighbors simply report it as a “f you” to their neighbor.

          Reporting “vacant” properties takes one phone call and as you’ve experienced, and weeks/months to remedy. The city doesn’t bother actually researching the issue. They send someone out to drive by your house in the middle of the day and if they can’t see someone through the window, they claim it vacant.

          Happened down the street from me a couple years ago. Two neigbors got into a spat and one called the city on them.

          • Joker… Could be, but we have very nice neighbors and good relations with the occupants of the houses on each side of us and most of the other houses on the block.

        • Although I expect you’d still need to fill out the paperwork, I’d recommend complaining to your DC Council member. This is ridiculous.

          • MP… Good advice. As I mentioned, I think somebody in District gov is taking it out on us because we insisted on a refund of overpaid property taxes. The rep at the DCRA told me that not only would I have to prove that the property is not vacant, but I will have to do it every year.

          • no need for all that. just go down with a pepco bill. that’s all. choose your battles, people

        • so annoying. I hope you keep a record of all these (useless) conversations since they might be useful one day. This reminds me of nonsensical conversation I had with Washington Gas one time, which went something like this:

          Me: Hi, I need to get the gas bill put in my name.
          Gas bill ‘expert’: There is no record of a gas line in-use at your condo building.
          Me: Well the gas is on and I just need the bill in my name.
          Gas bill ‘expert’: No it’s not. We will need to send someone out to turn it on for you in the next (insert ridiculous time far away in the future, here).
          Me: Um, I’m cooking on ignited flames on my gas range burners as we speak. (Considers putting the phone near the pan so she can hear the sound of onions and garlic being sauteed)
          Gas bill ‘expert’: (Not a direct quote but she might as well have said…) You have no idea what you’re talking about. We’ll send someone out.

          Weeks later, I take a day off from work. The gas guy shows up. He proceeds to *actually turn on one of the burners and say, ‘Yep, it’s working.’

          I felt like I was watching myself in a Larry David sitcom.

          I’m not saying it won’t suck but you’ll get it take care of, good luck.

    • Ugh!!!! So sorry you have to deal with this. I hope Jersey’s right and you can get this taken care of soon. Here’s to not having to deal with this crap in 2012. Good luck!

    • this happened to me too and it was super easy to fix. just go down to their office with a few utility bills as proof you live there and you won’t owe a thing. try to take it easy, this is the first of many annoyances as a homeowner…. good luck.

  • Rave: The Botanic Garden exhibit is un-freaking-believable. If plants and/or giants structures made out of bits of nature are your thing then go see it before Monday. You won’t regret it. Saf, if you’re out there, thanks for the reinforcement!

    Rave 2: Early release today from work, which will put an end to the nauseatingly-slow week.

    Rave 3: Happy New Year, everyone!! Have a great weekend and be safe.

  • Rave: I’m off!

    Rant: Storing all these Christmas ornaments I no longer use

    Rave? Would people be interested in buying Christmas ornaments next week or has the mood passed? Any others want to setup an orphan ornament exchange/sale on PoP classifieds next week?

  • Rave: The dog I found in Meridian Hill Park (featured in a Afternoon Animal Fix a few weeks ago) is doing well at the Humane Society. He’s been vaccinated and neutered and is getting lots of attention from potential adopters. So much so that the rescue that I had lined up to take him won’t need to! Good news for the little pup and for the rescue who can now take in another dog!

  • Rave: Leaving in a couple hours to go camping in Death Valley with fantastic friends.
    Rant: Fantastic friends don’t include my fantastic husband, who’s staying home
    Rant: I’m nervous about the whole camping/backpacking thing, as I’m 16 weeks pregnant. I think it will be fine and I cleared it with the midwife, but my mind is really good at going to the “what ifs”
    Rave: it’ll still be great!

  • Rave: Last day of the year and leaving early
    Rant: I’m feeling a little sick and have been for a week. Just wish it would go away.

    Reminder: http://www.wrap.org/soberride/

    Happy New Year!

  • Rant: I find it hard to believe our city’s leaders are actually proud of the fact that we had something like 108 murders this year. That is like a murder every 3 days! 400 it is not, but 2-3 a week is not something to be proud of, especially since so so many involve our city’s children and people of color.

    • Really?

      DC’s murder rate has been falling double digits for a decade. Its fallen 18% YoY and 78% from its peak, which is also when DC reigned supreme as the multiyear murder capital of the US. As a DC resident, there is a lot to be happy about. This stuff doesn’t happen overnight.

      • I agree we should be happy that DC murder rates are down since the 1960s. But then again, the same can be said across the country. Hopefully in time DC can be a comparatively safer city.

    • Emmaleigh504

      As long as the murder rate keeps going down, I think that’s something to be proud of.

  • Rave: I got nothing…see rant (below).
    Rant: getting separated/divorced over the holidays is brutal. And I got these cute glittery shoes I wanted to wear but instead I just want to crawl under the covers for 36,000 years.

    • Ugh! That sucks!

      I felt exactly the same way when I went through mine. Not only that but I unfortunately took out some of my anger on some really good friends (thankfully they are such good friends that they didn’t kick my ass to the curb too). Anyway, I found the only thing that helped me was seeing a therapist. The guy we were seeing for our relationship problems was really good at helping me get through my separation and eventual divorce.

      Good Luck and hang in there. It gets much easier day-by-day.

    • Hang in there. You can wear the glittery shoes in June if you feel like it!

    • The holidays are brutal even if you got separated/divorced at another time of year. I find that I am spending too much time with the ex out of desperation and loneliness instead of moving on. Hang in there. They say it gets better. I look forward to 2012.

    • Peace, sister. Keep you chin up for a better year. You’ll get through this.

  • Rant: Too many turnovers last night!
    Revel: Looking forward to the pig roast at Jack Rose tomorrow!

  • Rant: Why can’t we all just get along regardless of skin color or imcome level?

    • Unequal education + unequal opportunity = unequal productivity

      Unequal productivity = unequal prosperity

      Unequal prosperity = unequal happiness.

      I read the referenced article, and the question that comes to mind is, what possibly could cause an uneducated, unemployed, unhappy DC resident to share in the success of a gentrifier who is moving up from renting to buying a house in their neighborhood?

      I guess the benefit is that the neighborhood looks nice if the gentrifiers fix up the houses and improved services can come if the gentrifiers demand them? Not a great argument to try on your neighbors.

      Can the gentrifiers get them jobs? Can they help them pay increased rent as property values rise?

      These are tough things to think about, and just a few reasons why people might not get along. Though I hope that people will be able to get along and better the City.

      • I would argue that if you were to look at Columbia Heights circa 1995 as opposed to today, that the gentrifiers have done a lot to improve the safety of the neighborhoods and overall quality of life. I also think it is true that educational opportunity improves as a neighborhood’s wealth improves, parents become more involved etc. I think if I were a long time resident of an area plagued with violence and drug trade that I would generally celebrate change for the better. Keep in mind, that not all gentrification = displacing the former residents. There are a lot of long time home owners in DC that enjoy the benefit of the property tax cap (a good and progressive policy). While affordable housing is a problem in the city, affordable housing set asides in new developments are a plus and the concentration of section 8 housing is generally a failed idea whose time has come to be abolished.

        • that’s a very incomplete analysis. a HUGE component of the relative safety in Columbia Heights and DC in general from 1995 to now is the amount of crack on the streets. drugs busts and the lower rate of crack use probably did more for DC than gentrification.

          gentrification has improved many things, but be careful in underestimating the complexity of the issue.

  • Rant: Ongoing issues with a supervisee who repeatedly does things the way she wants rather than the way I ask for them to be done (and how our agency requires them to be done.

    Rave: The long weekend that begins for me at 3pm.

  • Rant: Winter. I hate the cold. On grey days I want to stay on the couch all day under a blanket. Zero energy. Not clinically SAD but I want to hibernate

    Possible rave: Got a light box yesterday, hoping it will help.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: Don’t get to leave early even though the people I’m here to support do. So what am I going to do for 2 hours when I have no one to support? Makes no damn sense.

    Rant: Out of stamps.

    Rave: 3 day weekend!

    Rave: Duck gumbo!

  • Rant: My friend is sick and I can’t do a thing to help him. Hopefully he will start chemo soon, but I am terribly scared for him.

    Rave: No raves I’m just too sick with worry for my friend to have any raves.

    • Good luck to your friend! I hope he gets better.

    • Been through cancer treatments with my mom twice, and lost a 26 year old friend 3 years ago to colon cancer. Not much you can do for them, but signing up with Team in Training could help you feel like you are making a difference. Also, the friend that had colon cancer now has a foundation in her memory that helps young people with cancer – check out the Susan Mortenson Turley foundation. Her family is really reaching out to help other families in memory of their daughter/sister.

      I hope your friend does well. My mom is on year six of remission!

  • Rant: Got a water bill for a house that is not occupied saying we had used 780 gallons of water. Are you people showering at my house without my knowledge?

    Rave: Good health and a good family, looking forward to 2012.

    • Uh oh, hope it a mistake or just a leaky toilet and not something that will require drywall work or disaster remediation when you check on it.

      • My wife was there yesterday and no issues so it has to be a mistake.

        • Glad to hear that! My friend had some tenants that let a leaky pipe in the wall behind their tub go for months because they were mad at her and behind on their rent. Caused all kinds of problems behind the walls, ugh.

  • Rant: My Mom. She makes the case for estrangement.
    Rave: Last work day of ’11
    Rave 2: Yoga tonight
    Rave 3 and beyond: Wonderful FI, friends, and other family.

    • I used to say that on occasion too. Then my mom went to bed one night and just didn’t wake up. Go easy on your mom.

  • Bear

    Rave: I don’t remember who it was on here that recommended Mamba Point in Kampala, but I believe I owe you a big thank you, kind sir (ma’am?). Delicious pizza.

    Rant: I now need to roll myself into bed, as I am full of delicious pizza.

  • RAVE: Kids visiting their bio-family over the weekend, so I’m FREE!
    RAVE: No plans for new year’s.
    RANT: No plans for new year’s.

  • Rave: Friends coming over for a potluck dinner tonight.

    Rant: Have to go to grocery shopping and no desire to leave my apartment.

    Rant: Women’s health issue. I hate being a woman sometimes. We seem to be plagued with everything. Bah.

  • Rant: Went to see a movie with a friend and not only did she get a phone call during the film but she proceeded to have a conversation until I punched her in the arm. She said she was locking down plans for the next day but couldn’t she wait? So f-ing rude.

    Anxious: Out taking a walk late in the evening when I saw a car slowly driving down the street following a little very light brown or white terrier obviously lost. I tried to catch him but couldn’t. Another couple tried and couldn’t. It was freezing outside and he looked so pitiful. I went home and got in my car and searched but saw no sign of him. If anyone picked up a dog around the Aspen Street, Sandy Spring Road and Blair Road area please let me know.

    Happy New Year everyone!

    • Ooh, uncool. I once went to a movie with a friend who turned out to be a movie-talker. Not the occasional whispered comment. No, she attempted to carry on a full-volume conversation with me throughout the movie. As if we were sitting on a park bench or something.

      I never went to another movie with her, despite our shared taste in films.

    • Went to the movies on a date and the guy was also a talker. And he had the nerve to get angry when I kept telling him to shush. That and other things added up to put him on my no-fly list. Needless to say, we haven’t been out again.

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