Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user mosley.brian

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.

115 Comment

  • Rave: I like the rants and rave section of PoP because it always causes me to reflect on what is good in my life.

    Rave: Ever have a day where you feel like you have good news or something exciting to tell someone, even though you really don’t? I think that just means you are feeling really positive and happy about life. In one of those moments today.

  • rave: FRIDAY

    rant: i know this is going to be a slow ass day.

    rant: i owe money on taxes this year! sh!t!

  • Rant: Not feeling so hot – pretty sure I got “mild” food poisoning from the place I ate at last name. Husband wasn’t feeling so hot last night either… UGH.

    Rave: Pepto

    Rave: Hanging with a good buddy who I haven’t in forever this evening before she heads home and then dinner and hanging with good friends tonight.

    Rant: Not sure how I’ll make it through work and social events this evening while feeling like crap.

  • Rave: Applied for my kids’ passports on Jan. 28th. As of today, they’re in the mail. Good job, State Dept. passport people. I’m glad the clerk at the post office talked me out of rush service ($60 per + overnight mail).

    Rant: CPAC meeting across the street from my office. If that weren’t bad enough, supposedly the Occupiers are on their way over to protest. Wonderful. A plague on both houses. If this winds up just being a head fake from the Occupiers, it worked wonderfully. The law enforcement mobilization around Woodley Park right now is probably costing the taxpayers more than a week of monitoring McPherson Square.

    • Holy moly. You just saved the day for me. I have to do this for my daughter asap for a trip we are going on.

      • Glad to help. You should make your appointment ASAP, especially if you need to do it on a Saturday. There are only a few post offices that do Saturday passport applications (Cleveland Park and Georgetown are two), and the lead time for an appointment at Cleveland Park was almost a month. For Georgetown it was about two weeks. After that, things definitely moved faster than the stated 4-6 week time the State Dept. has on its web site.

      • ah

        Rant: The fact that with kids a passport renewal application is exactly the same as a new passport application, including requirements for original birth certificate, etc. and no option for mail-in renewal

        • No kidding. And try telling your kids not to smile for the passport photo when they’ve been told their whole lives to say cheese…

        • I think it is kind of funny that my daughter -aged 5 mos – needs a passport at all. I understand the rationale for keeping kids safe and not getting kidnapped to other countries, etc. However, I recently traveled with my minor niece out of the country who has a different name from me and my wife (who have different last names). We had a notarized letter with us giving permission for her parents permission for her to travel with us. But guess what, nobody ever said a single thing to us and we never had occasion to explain why two people with different last names were taking a minor child out of the country.

  • DC has moved upwards and onwards, and I feel like it’s passed me by. I’ve been priced out of Cap Hill, Logan Circle, Shaw, and now H St. Granted, I should have bought earlier, but still. Everything now is luxury this or granite that. I’m just a guy with a regular job, a wife, and a kid. I get the evil eye from most of my new neighbors (those that moved in after I had been there for a while). Sure, i’m a bit of a redneck – pulling the grill onto the front stoop on nice summer nights, rebuilding motorcycles on the front porch, et.al, but that doesn’t really hurt anyone. There seems to be a pretty big cultural divide these days between the folks who buy new gutted places and those that have been there for only 2-3 years prior. New folks may as well live into the suburbs – it’s straight from their car into the house without even a nod – then call the police to complain about putting the trash cans out a few hours early or something equally silly. I’m just not the all work no play person that these places are turning into. Thinking of decamping and heading up to Baltimore. Would have done it a while ago – think the neighborhoods are just as nice as the ones here, but there seems to be more of an individualistic spirit that is slowly fading from DC. Anyone have experience with the MARC system?

    • Why do you need a house?

      • are there many condos or apartments that have space for a person to work on motorcycles?

        • probably in the parking lot or on the street, sure. I know a couple of people with bikes in dc and they just work on them right off the curb.

          If working on bikes is your #1 priority, then go for it, sacrificing all the good things about living in a city. But personally, I have a dozen friends who have sacrificed their mental health, free time, and financial comfort all for this “dream” of homeownership. unbelievably overrated if you ask me…

          • I’ve done so for a while – but now working on them usually entails welding, custom work, etc. Would really like something with enough space for a lathe/welding/lift setup.

        • I live in a row house that was converted to condos. 2 of the 3 units have a parking spot in the back. If on the weekends one of those units wanted to park their car on the street and work on the motorcycle in their parking spot they could. I don’t think this would be too uncommon. Each parking spot is actually big enough for a car and a motorcycle.

          Couldn’t hurt to look into it before you go moving all the way to Baltimore (at least if you work in DC). Doesn’t seem far but when you are spending an hour and a 1/2 each way commuting it could start to grate on you pretty quick.

    • i so hear you. i was lucky in that i bought about 10 years ago. but seeing my neighborhood become so conservative is depressing. yeah, it’s cleaner, quieter, and there are more stores, blah blah blah. it’s becoming more boring and the only excitement seems to be centered around bars. i also build and work on stuff in my yard. kids used to come around, ask question, hang out. some of the bums too. less and less. it’s gotten a lot more, suburban, like you said. Baltimore is a great choice. but you could try anacostia too. but give that 10-15 more years and forget it.

    • There’s a neighborhood for everyone in DC, or at least a suburb. I think a “regular” guy like you would find kindred spirits in Mount Ranier, haven of the diy’ers, though some of those fellas are pretty irregular.

      • mount rainier is definitely worth a look. inexpensive. lots of cool people.
        still feels a bit isolated with nothing to do except dance, volunteer at glut and take some art classes.

    • I’ve spent about half of my life in the suburbs and half in various cities, and it seems like our experiences couldn’t be more different regarding the differences in cities and suburbs. When I was out in the suburbs (granted, this was in the Midwest, so that could be the difference), people were extremely friendly, knew their neighbors well, held block parties, etc. I’ve always found city dwellers to be the less friendly of the two (with exceptions on both sides, of course).

      I agree with the rest of what you said.

      • SouthwestDC

        Depends on what suburbs you’re talking about, I think. People in the DC suburbs (especially Northern Virginia) are incredibly unneighborly and self-absorbed. I actually think the people are very outgoing and nice where I live, in Capitol Hill.

        • I lived with my cousin, who has a house in Arlington, for several months. She and her husband were friendly with a number of their neighbors. Ditto with another cousin who is in another area of Arlington. Meanwhile, i’ve heard Capitol Hill is full of the people you described the suburbs having. Gotta love generalizations!

          • SouthwestDC

            Sure, there are exceptions. Arlington’s a little different because a lot of it is walkable (which makes people more relaxed and open), and the residents tend to be young, unburdened by kids and long commutes and financial worries. But go out beyond Arlington and the people are, by and large, simply horrible. I used to live out there and regularly experienced people pushing me out of the way in the supermarket, driving me off the road in a furious rage, stealing my trashcan, being careless about their homes and yards to the point where they were breeding grounds for rats and roaches, reporting us to the HOA for every little presumed infraction, sneaking around taking pictures of us, not picking up after their dogs, shoveling their snow into our parking space and laughing at us when we had to shovel it out… the list goes on and on and on.

            I had to deal with similar nonsense when I lived in Old Town. Someone complained to my building management because I gave my girlfriend a goodnight kiss on my way in. Another time six different people complained that I had music on past 10pm on a Saturday… but not a single one tried knocking on the door to let me know if was bothering them (I didn’t know about this until the next morning). That kind of stuff.

            Maybe I just got lucky with the neighbors now. But it’s not just my immediate neighbors– it’s pretty much everyone I encounter in the neighborhood. People actually do things like smile, and say hi, and make small talk even if they don’t know you. They take pride in their neighborhood and keep it neat and clean. If they have a problem they talk to you directly instead of reporting it to some authority figure. It’s nice.

        • I’m sure it does depend on the specific suburbs/area. I live on the Hill, as well, and, with a few exceptions, have not found people to be very friendly.

          • To clarify, I love living on the Hill and have found people to be more friendly than in other areas/other cities I’ve lived in, but it doesn’t live up to the neighborliness I experienced in the suburbs. There’s a good chance that’s because the suburbs I’ve lived were in a different area of the country, though. I love everything else about city living and don’t mean to complain about it. (If I hated it that much, I would probably just move!) The lack of neighborliness is just my one/biggest complaint.

          • SouthwestDC

            I guess you don’t have a dog (or a baby), do you? That does help. 🙂 But even when I’m dogless I get such a great vibe from people here. Aside North Dakota I’ve never lived in such a friendly place .

          • You’re guessing incorrectly! I walk my dog frequently; there is one man who sits out in his front lawn a lot when the weather is nice and he’s always very friendly, but, for the most part, whether or not I have the dog with me makes no difference.

          • i live near the convention center and the people in building won’t even look you in the eye, smile, say hi, nothing. the residents who actually live in houses in the neighborhood are sometimes more friendly. but other than that, dc depresses me in the friendly factor.

        • I actually found the opposite when I was living in Alexandria.

    • Baltimore is great, and the MARC is getting better. As a native Baltimorean, I did the commute to College Park iin the early 00s, but the Camden line was so unreliable that I just drove.

      A few years after moving down here, I’m really ready to leave DC and move back home, and I would say that the Penn line is much more reliable these days, and while I’m searching for Baltimore jobs, I’ll probably just move back anyway over the summer, because it is def possible. A friend of mine lives in South Baltimore (Locust Point- a *really* great neighborhood!), and drives to the BWI Marc station, which takes her about 15 minutes. They also give you free parking at the BWI station if you have a monthly MARC pass.

      Baltimore has some really great neighborhoods, and very friendly people. I miss it while I’m away, and am sad to leave when I have to go back to DC, so I guess it’s time to go back home!

    • Ha! Me too. Bought my house six years ago, and now I’M the questionable long-term resident at whom the new yuppies are looking askance, with my beat up porch furniture, my weedy garden, and my first-name relationship with the corner boys.

      • stinkypesto, o, and wdc I have been thinking about your posts all day. A three year cultural divide. And what ‘urban life’ means to this new crop of residents. Fascinating and troubling.

    • I did MARC from Baltimore for a year. It was soul crushing.

      To me, it sounds like you need a suburban home on the Orange line with a garage. Cities are great, but there is nothing wrong with the suburbs if that’s what you really want. It doesn’t have to be DC or Baltimore.

      • Don’t get me wrong, I still love cities. Only thing i’ve ever lived in, and I am used to walking everywhere. Don’t think I could swing a suburban deal, and i’ve never ridden the metro (train) since i’ve been in DC. Don’t like being underground. On first name basis with any variety of buses, though. I enjoy being put in a pressure cooker with a ton of people around me – just feel like DC lost the feeling that I really enjoyed when first moving here.

    • If you want to feel ‘at home’ as a redneck, you might consider Charles County, or Gaithersburg/Frederick, or the Ellicoot City/Catonsville area if the commute isn’t too hard to bear. With kids you have to think about schools. My friend in Catonsville says her friends in Baltimore tell her she is well-located, she has a 4 year old and was thinking of moving to downtown Baltimore but her friends said stay where you are, if we weren’t all underwater we would move to Catonsville for the schools. I hear the area north of Annapolis (Arnold) has really great schools too, and who doesn’t like weekends in Annapolis?

    • Check out the hoods with in DC with bungalows/duplexes, we are in the GA Side of16th St Heights or and they also exist in droves lots of parts of NE. The houses in these areas pretty much all have either parking pads where the gargage used to be or still have garages where you can work on cars, room in our back yards for other redneck pursuits like giant grills and frying turkeys, and big front porches for sitting with a cooler and some cold ones (and a playpen for your kid).

  • Rave/Rant: Friday with a very busy albeit exciting weekend ahead.
    Rave/Rant: First date after being off the scene for awhile – this should be interesting.
    Have a great weekend, PoPville!

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: Drunk guys yelling “woo” for what seemed like hours last night.

    Rant: Why do drunk guys think it’s so awesome to yell “woo” when they are drunk?

    Rave: Laughing at the lame clothes on the CPAC guys this morning. They need a conservative stylist up in there.

  • anon. gardener

    Rant: My damn dog ran right out the front door last night, saw my neighbor walking her tiny little dog, and ran right up to it to play. Probably scared the bejeezus out of my neighbor and her dog. I couldn’t believe it, our dog never does things like this – I guess there’s a first time for everything. I hate being THAT dog owner. Sigh.

    Rant: Sleepless night as I imagined all the bad things that could have happened.

    Rant: Migraine due to insomnia and stress.

    Rave: it’s Friday?

  • WOOO!

    Sorry, had to be done…:-)

  • Rant: people who paper the neighborhood with lost dog flyers and then don’t take them down. I’ve called more than once, having spotted a dog that matched a poster description, and been told, “oh, he came home”. That, and my kid points at every single one, even if it’s been up for MONTHS, pulls a long sad face and says “Oh no! There’s a lost doggie!”

  • pablo .raw

    Rave: Made some Japanese tourists very happy last night. I was taking photos of the full moon rising and they were passing by, I asked them to turn around and see what was happening; they were really impresed and screaming who knows what (I don’t speak japanese). This is what they saw http://www.flickr.com/photos/benavente/6851075679/in/photostream/

  • Rant: so overwhelmed at work. Don’t even know where to start.

    Rave: it’s friday!

    Rant: every time I say “it’s friday”, that stupid Rebecca Black song pops into my mind.

    Rave: just had a fantastic client meeting – very excited to start working on the new project.

    Related Rave: we are looking to hire more help. If anyone knows a designer, the ad is up on SEGD dot org.

  • Rant: 22 year old car is finally becoming too unreliable to depend on as family car.
    Rave: Shopping for a new car online is kind of fun, like planning a vacation.
    Rant: No money to actually get said replacement car, or vacation for that matter.
    Rave: Living in the city it is not the end of the world if we had to go carless for a while.

  • Looking to move into a 2br in logan, dupont, admo, lanier heights, mt pleasant, woodley park, cleveland park, u st, van ness, georgetown, west end, penn quarter, foggy bottom, kalorama, or places on the border of those hoods. Yes, I know they are all well established and will likely be expensive, but can anyone give me an idea of how much a 1br + den or 2br should cost in these areas? I haven’t house hunted in 8 years and am in a bit of shock that I won’t be able to find a place to start a family for under $3k/mo.

    • there was a 2br posted on here just recently for $2900 i think. what is your price range? would you consider shaw? ledroit park? columbia heights?

      • oops the 2br i was referring to was in gtown by the way.

      • I would possibly consider shaw. ledroit park seems a little isolated for me and I really dislike columbia heights, unfortunately. I’d probably rather make the move up 16th street heights or all the way to takoma park. I’d love to find a place for 2200-2300, but not even sure it’s possible. I’m not even looking for too much: just a clean, relatively quiet place that is livable for a couple with a kid. problem is, if my wife’s salary is 60% going to daycare, then it’d be a tough payment to make, but if she stays home, I’m going to need to make 30k more to be comfortable with anything over 2500/mo. we don’t even have a car or other crazy expenses, I’m just trying to be financially conservative.

        • When are you looking to rent? Want to rent my place? I’m probably gonna be moving soon and if you want to rent it we could work something out.

          If you are interested, repost and we’ll try to get PoP to get us in touch with each other.

        • Rethink you’re math on the childcare costs. It’s your kid, too. The correct math is X% of your joint income. Trust me, you’ll drive yourself bonkers if you put it just on your wife’s income b/c most mom’s are torn about working anyway and that math just exacerbates it.

          But, kids get older and childcare $ gets replaced by braces and teen fashion.

      • My old place just rented for $2300 in november a few blocks north of U st metro. So I say it’s definitely possible, just prepare to look for a few months.

    • I live in the USt area. About 3 blocks from the metro. I have a 1br + den, renovated condo in a small condo building. My big thing when I bought was that I *had* to be above ground, I refused to even look at any place that was not ground level or above. With 20% down (which can be the issue for most people) my mortgage + condo fees are under 2K. Pretty much the only thing I don’t have where I live is a parking spot. But that too is solved easily by renting a gated spot very close by.

      Hang in there and I am sure you can find something for much less than 3K a month, provided you have the down payment.

      • thanks for the advice. we’re not actually looking to buy, however, just rent.

        • My husband and I rented a really nice one bedroom + den in a converted row home/condo building at 17th and P street for $2300 a month. It’s definitely doable!!

  • Rave: It’s Friday!

    Rave: Had the most incredible night last night with fabulous friends. Good food, good drink, good vibe, GREAT friends!!!

    Rant: Winter is still here! Boo to snow and wintry mix.

  • Rant: Got two $125 each speeding tickets in the mail yesterday for the same day on Florida Ave, through the speed cameras. This is a route I take regularly and never got a ticket before, so now I’m expecting to get another several in the mail over the next couple of weeks, adding up to at least a grand. Lovely.

    I drove the 25 mph speed limit on the route last night and everyone was beeping at me for going so damn slow. Sure, I’d rather get beeped at than spend several hundred on speeding tickets, but perhaps that should indicate that the speed limit is too freaking low.

    • how fast were you going? i am curious – do they send tickets for going 5 miles over? 10? 1?

      • 11 miles over. Not sure what the cut off point is for sending tickets but I’m not sure I want to test it out either.

        • I thought that the cutoff in DC was 12 mph over the limit (same as in Montgomery County) but I read an article a few days ago in the Post and if I recall correctly it said the DC does not have an expressed policy regarding how far beyond the limit you must be to get a speed camera ticket.

          I’ll post the link if I can find it.

    • I am assuming you mean the new speed trap on Florida as you approach 1st St. going East, right? I live right by there and that thing goes off two or three times every couple of minutes….actually keeps me up at night. The camera is well hidden in one of those gray utility boxes (it has already been tagged so it looks like it has been there for a while).

      • According to the tix, there’s one going east at the 100 block and one going west at the 600 block. Also noticed one last night on H St near N. Capitol.

    • I think it means that there are lots of drivers on the road who need to get over themselves and start acting like adults. I don’t think it says anything about the speed limit being too high or too low.

      • You could suggest some empirical basis on how speed limits should be determined. Just because the speed limit is X, doesn’t mean that that’s the appropriate speed limit for a given street (balancing safety with transportation goals).

        Every couple days on here, someone comes on here talking about how the city is hitting them up for hundreds and hundreds of dollars for non-reckless moving violations. I’m not saying there shouldn’t be fines, but they should be calibrated to the severity of the infraction. Let’s be reasonable about this.

  • me

    Rave: Working from home. I have something due by COB today, and figured I’d get more working time in if I didn’t have to deal with my commute.

    Rant (but kind of a rave, too): My cat won’t leave me alone. So, we’ve been playing fetch just about all morning.

    Rave: My mom got her flowers that I sent her for Valentine’s Day, and gave me a really sweet call.

    • i love how our cat plays fetch. never knew cats did that until this one. of course, it’s not so fun when he brings back his foam ball after he’s dunked it in his water bowl…

      crazy cat man out.

  • Rave: My amazingly sweet boyfriend who said he had a romantic surprise for me on Sunday. He’s the best. Surprises all the time. Thank you online dating 🙂

    • Out of curiosity, what site(s) did you use and how aggressive were you (did you typically intiate contact, did you wait for others to contact you, did you use a mix, how much time did you devote to it, etc.) with online dating? I’ve been using Match for about a month now and have not had much luck. Perhaps I’m just being impatient?

      • four of my friends used Match and they were on there for four to six months. Married and happy with children.

        • See, my friend’ experiences with Match have been much less positive (or, at the very least, more mixed). One married the first man she met on there, one hated it and cancelled after her initial three month membership, one tried it out for a year with minimal luck, but nothing serious came out of it, one tried it out for two years with absolutely no luck, one has been on for six months so far and hasn’t had any luck, and one was on there was two years before eventually finding the man she married. I guess it’s a mixed bag like dating in the real world. (I’ve actually had more luck just meeting people out at bars/events, but had trouble meeting someone really ready for a serious relationship, which is why I wanted to give Match a try. Maybe I just come off better in person than online!) Anyway, I just like hearing from people who have had luck with online dating because, in my experience, good online dating experiences seem to be rare.

      • Give Okcupid.com a try. I’ve had better luck with them than I did with Match. AAAAND its FREE!!

        • +1 to OKcupid. I never had much luck with match (particularly getting a guy to email me back), and I tried Eharmony once for 6 months, I think and it wasn’t much better (and it was alot of work). I’ve been on OKcupid for a month and I’m alreadier happier with it than either of the other two.

        • Thanks for the suggestion! I don’t know anyone personally who has tried OK Cupid, and I’ve heard/read mixed things about it. You’re right, though, it’s free, so why not try it out?

  • rave: god bless the internet. that is all.

  • Rant: Finding out that the guy I’ve been seeing for more than a year still has dating profiles up on multiple sites. And he’s checking them regularly. And that several weeks after our “we’re dating exclusively” conversation he was emailing back and forth with at least 2 women to try to meet them.

    Rave: Single friends who are still on dating sites who have my back.

    • msmaryedith

      Ugh, I’ve been there. Dump his ass! You’re too good for that.

      • Just trying to decide when. Should I should make him pay for a massive V-Day extravaganza first? And should I take custody of our vacation for next month and go by myself or make him reimburse me for not going?

        • msmaryedith

          Hmm, I say wait till he has gone all out for V-day (and don’t lift a finger for him), but I suspect a vacation solo would not be that gratifying and would make you likely to feel sad about what happened. But sure, no harm in trying to get him to fork over for it when he has been leading you on this whole time. But if he won’t, just walk away knowing you are much better off without him.

          • Thanks for the support – it really helps!
            Taking custody of the trip would be more about making sure he doesn’t get to go, which would bother him more than the money. But trying to be the bigger person here (but so hard!).

          • msmaryedith

            Can you take someone else with you if you “take custody” of it? If you could turn it into a fun trip–that you can afford–then maybe it is worth a shot. But I know that if I were in your shoes I might spend the time reminiscing and feeling sad/angry, which is the exact opposite of what you want to do. Again, so sorry. Dating in DC can be so damn frustrating.

          • Let him go all-out for Valentine’s day. Get one of your friends who discovered him online to print out his ad, then you can put it in a card and give it to him.

    • Wait for V-day, make him get you a nice present and go solo on the vacation and have a BLAST. Invite him for a V-day meeting, get these girls emails and send them a message from his account inviting them to this dinner. He will end up alone, and humiliated, you will have a nice present and will look back while you are on vacation and laugh about how much you got out of this. Never look back and don’t be sad because you don’t deserve all this.

    • Rave: Supportive PoPvillagers!!

  • Rant: I’m renting a parking spot for half what my friend is renting a house for. DC real estate sucks.

    Revel: Going for a 5 mile run through the mall reminds me why I still love DC.

  • I am going to translate that sign as “all roads lead to hell” (especially near the convention center).

  • RAVE – I was only in junior high school at the time, and in New Orleans, and I’m a guy, but I’m pretty sure that I had an affair with JFK too. Seems like everyone else did. I don’t want to be left out.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Forgot the best RAVE evar!

    There will be KING CAKE waiting for me when I get home today!!!!!

  • Rave: That picture is great. It’s how I assume all drivers from MD and VA see signs normally when they’re driving in the district.

    Rant: no snow, want to go skiing

  • RAVE – on this, my 63rd birthday, my partner of 32 years and spouse for almost 2 years, presented me with a card from him, one from the dog, and the promise for a wonderful meal at a non-chain restaurant tonight. An absolutely perfect birthday – except, damn, I’m old.

  • Rant: I have done approximately 20 minutes of work all day. Seriously. I am SO BORED!!!

    Rant: So bored I was going through old e-mails and was reminded of the last time I was an admin assistant, a good five years ago, and I was just as bored then. Also read lots of e-mail conversations with my boyfriend and was reminded of much, much happier times.

    Rant: No plans for tonight.

    Rant: Feeling rant-y.

    Rave: The roommate I can’t stand is in California for the weekend!

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