Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user arjunkathuria

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.

80 Comment

  • Anyone have an idea about what happened in Penn Quarter last evening? Beyond that it was a suspicious package?

  • Secret service spotted a man with a gun headed towards GWU. Maybe they searched down Pennsylvania in both directions?

  • Down: I’m doing a refinance and the broker and banks are giving me the run around. Just jerking us around with multiple appraisals and not locking in rates.
    Up: We have a place to live, and we’re not underwater. Trying to be grateful.

    • Rant: I paid 8,000$ in taxes to DC (alone) last year. What did I get in return? Police pulling me over for stupid reasons, speed camera tickets, parking tickets, and very poor trash collection… What the heck is DC doing with my tax money?

      Rant: My Building Contractor said I need at least $150,000 to renovate my house. I am petrified in how much my mortgage will increase, and even more terrified of asking a bank for the loan in this economy, a job layoff would be catastrophic.

      • I paid that much in taxes to DC too, and I didn’t get *any* of the things that you got. So what am I paying for?

        • If you want the cops to pull you over more often, parking and speed camera tickets, I’m sure I can help you with that?!? LOL.

      • I paid 21k and better than half the people on my street don’t work at all and never have in the 7 plus years I have lived there.

    • Your refinance rant makes me worry – I was just about to rave that we finally started the process! Any particular lenders that you’d recommend either working with or avoiding based on your experience?

      • I’d also love this info!

      • OP here. From personal experience, I can recommend SunTrust as a bank holding the paper and avoiding brokers you find on QuickenLoans or Lending Tree.

        • 8,000$ tax payer here — I have heard good things about Sun Trust though I haven’t started my process yet. Based on prior experience, its best to go to Maryland banks to apply for a re-fi. DC banks are too used to saying “no” to locals. Have paperwork ready from the start – Last years tax returns, 2 most recent paystubs, tax assessment paperwork, insurance information, and details about the house (lot & square) with any renovation plan paperwork… This prevents needing to make a return visit to the bank, which will hold up the process. Also have money for the appraisal (usually 250-300$) and some money in your bank account ($5,000+) and a good credit rating helps a lot. Cheers.

          • Good list. In addition to all you mentioned, I also had to supply last 2 years of tax returns, W-2s from the last 2 years, last 2 months of statements from all bank accounts, brokerage accounts and retirement accounts,and have a survey plat of your house too. The rates are good, but it seems like no one can get them.

      • I refinanced my Wells Fargo mortgage with Wells Fargo last year. There was no appraisal required and the process moved pretty quickly.

        • I would not recommend Wells Fargo at all, they lost one of my mortgage payments and I had to sue them to get my account straight 2 years ago. They had no records of payments I made by phone after the one they lost. I expected much more from such a large company. Once I re-fi, I’m never going to them again.

      • AVOID Bank of America. Truly.

        If you can become a member of a credit union, I’d vote for that 100%.

      • We used a broker—Apex Home Loans. They are the best.

      • Had a great experience with Apex Home Loans. Very quick, responsive, and thorough.
        I tried Lending Tree but all I got was repeated attempts to put me into a loan that required me to buy points, notwithstanding the fact that I specifically and repeatedly said I did not want to buy any points.

    • Piece of advice. This is a competitive business. If someone is jerking you around, tell them you are not interested in doing business with them. If you are credit worthy and have enough equity then you are in charge. My worst experience was with Bank of America. I will never do business with them. I have done 3 loans with Metlife Home Loans. If you want the contact info send an email to [email protected] .

    • Good luck with it! My wife and I Refinanced into a 15-year mortgage at 3.375% this past September. We are saving about $400 a month in interest/mortgage insurance (though paying a bit more because of the 15-year amortization) but it is truly nice to feel like we are making progress on paying down our debt. When we are ready to move on in 4-6 years, we will (knock on wood) have some serious equity.

  • Just signed up for the 5K Fridays in Crystal City. Hoping there are some beginners there like me! It’s my first time ever.

  • Rave: Woke up feeling like I could conquer the world this morning. I should go to sleep at 10:15 every night.

    Huge Rave: My first choice for a reference at my current position agreed and was very complimentary of my work here. I was very nervous about asking someone at my current work to refer me, especially since I am interviewing within the industry (though not a competitor).

    Rant: Trying to cook dinner last night on the one burner available to me (thanks, Roommates of the Year!) caused me to miss the first 25 minutes of Alcatraz last night.

  • rant: ho hum tuesday

    rant: so scared of change. but so scared of things staying the same forever. only way to find out is to do, right?

    rave: not letting fear get in the way of passion

    rave: one more day till vacation

    rave: getting to see mom in 2 days

  • Rant: The idiot biker shooting the gap between cars stopped at the red light on H and 5th NW (Eastbound) and flying out into the intersection about a second before the light changed to green.

    Rant: Idiot driver running what had to be a red light on 5th crossing H NW.

    Rave: Luckily the stupid driver slammed on their brakes and barely avoided plowing the idot biker. Both parties were dead wrong.

    • The bike rider is probably the bigger idiot, because he would have suffered more injury if an accident did occur…

      • Btu, even if the cyclist was in the wrong, the driver always, always looks like the bad guy. I’ve had it up to *here* with cyclists in the city!!

        • *But. I’m so upset with cyclists that my anger is literally generating energy. Hardy har har.

        • The driver clearly does not look like the bad guy to you, so your statement disproves itself. Bottom line is that there were two idiots here, but only one was at real risk of harming another human being. The person in the car should always exercise the most caution. I drive, bike, and walk in this city, and that is how I look at it no matter how I am getting around.

          • I can’t fully agree with this. As I stated, both parties were definitely wrong, no doubt about it. I think they BOTH should take equal caution. Just because someone chooses to bike or walk instead of drive does not lessen how much caution one should take. When it comes down to the law, bikes are considered vehicles and are not granted any special priviledges by law so basically bike at your own risk.

            To me common sense says that if I am more apt to be harmed (not protected) by a car, I will take that much more caution and not act like nobody would dare hit me and they should be looking out for me moreso. I think that a lot of bikers take that “higher than thou” attitude because biking but fail to realize they should have more responsibility for their safety than others should, not saying others should’t…

          • I disagree with “The person driving should exercise the most caution”… The bike rider has the most to lose, therefore they should be the most cautious. I think the city should allow bike riders back onto sidewalks and instead of these silly bike lanes (that don’t work with Metro Bus Stops) they should expand sidewalks to allow bike lanes on them. Bike riders should ALWAYS obey traffic signals and wear protective gear. Otherwise its always a losing game of chicken with 5,000lb steel cars. Common sense.

          • Yeah, your statement kind of defies logic. The person not in a 4000 pound metal thing is taking the bigger risk by far, and therefore should exercise more caution. Believe me, I wish drivers in DC would really settle the hell down, but this notion that pedestrians and cyclists shouldn’t be ultra-cautious just is crazy.

          • I’m sorry Kam and Anon, but you two seem a little misguided. When one is behind the wheel of a car, one needs to understand that your car has the power to end lives, and not enough drivers take that seriously.

            I’m not saying that gives a free pass to pedestrians and cyclists, because they need to be quite careful as well. The cyclist probably shouldn’t have jumped the green, but the driver certainly shouldn’t have been gunning it through a red light to save what, 30 seconds on his way to work?

            Drivers need to slow down and understand that when they drive aggressively, the run the risk of maiming or killing people.

          • Anton,

            We are not misguided we are just using common sense. 200lbs vs. 2+ tons. I would tread lightly if I was 200lb person.

            Also your statment shows how skewed and biased your logic is – “The cyclist PROBABLY shouldn’t have jumped the green, but the driver CERTAINLY shouldn’t have been gunning it through a red light to save what, 30 seconds on his way to work?”

            Why is it only a probable thing when the cyclist does it and a certain/definite thing when the driver does it. I don’t think you and/or bikers are taking enough responsiblity. Because you are on a bike, it does not lessen your responsibility. Also what was the big rush for the biker that he had to shoot the gap and take the intersection early? Driving 101 tells you to always look before you enter the intersection because of drivers running a red. Obviously, the biker did not do this simple thing because he was too busy trying to get in front of the other cars and almost lost his life for it.

            Let me ask you this, if a driver dips to avoid a biker and hits another car, is that OK since they hit another metal vehicle and nobody was hurt physically?

  • Rave: my 5-year- old got into a school for next year, so we don’t have to leave Columbia Heights.

    Rant: sitting on a flight to LA.

    Rave: in-flight wifi on the expense account.

    • Do you mean through the lotter for DC schools or private school? We are in a similar situation.

  • Anyone know the exact spot of this photo? It’s beautiful!

  • Rant: Husband out of the country for a while. And he has been working so much leading up to the trip that I barely got to have quality time with him!!

    Rant: Funeral of family friend tomorrow. Driving to Central PA and taking the day off of work.

    Rave: Being able to take the day, rent the car, and go support my family. They’re hurting so much now and I feel good that I can be with them at least for tomorrow and hopefully support them in the future.

  • Rave: I’m knocking on wood as I type, but I’m so excited to have started to refinance our mortgage. It looks like there are some good options out there for us that would reduce our monthly payment enough to make the trouble worthwhile.

    Rant: I don’t think I’ll get out from under looming work deadlines until May. Trying to remember exactly how worth it all this stress is at the end of the day.

  • Rave: That photo. I wish I were in it. Makes me excited for spring.
    Rant: Long day ahead, tired, headache, blegh.
    Rave/Rant: Lots of exciting things going on but I feel like I won’t have a day to relax until the first weekend in May.
    Rave: Taxes are finished! Here’s to hoping I don’t owe anything.

  • Rant: Young men of color that constantly refer to their friends as the N word. I guess it does make them sound tough and cool at the same time. Almost like being part of a posh club I guess.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: Called into a meeting to discuss my asking someone not to ask me to do their work while I’m on my lunch break.

    Rave: That someone now won’t speak to me; uninterrupted lunches 2 days in a row!

    Rant: I work with babies.

  • Bus to Hades aka, Route 64 to Federal Triangle,

    if anyone was on this bus this morning within the 8 o’clock hour then they are well aware of the very aggressive nature of this bus driver.

    Please report him, as I have done.

    Info: Bus# 2225
    Route: 64

    Customer Assistance
    Suggestions, commendations, comments
    Weekdays: 8:00 a.m. to 5 p.m.

    Skip the prompts and go directly to operator…remember there were 3 babies on board, two people flew through the aisle when he came to a skreeching halt, he intentionally cut off 3 bikers and almost cause one to fall off her bike.

    Report, report, report.

    • Oh wow…and I was just looking into taking this bus to work every morning….

      • generally speaking the drivers on this route are friendly and professional. This is only the 2nd time I’ve had this driver in about 2 years and both times have been an adventure…that’s why I’m hoping more riders will speak out to have him fired.

      • The 64 is normally a great line! I wouldn’t hesitate for a second taking it to work. I have only had a bad experience with 1 driver (and it might very well be the same person that Victor is referring to).

        Victor- that sucks. I wonder if it is the same driver that I had issues with in the past. Does he also have a very gruff personality?

        • I love love love the 64 and take it every day. Wasn’t on with the driver you’re referencing today, but I’ll bet I know who you’re talking about. He can be aggressive with some HS-age guys, but is very nice to young kids, people with kids, and older folks. Haven’t seen any problem driving from him, but there is definitely some jawing sometimes.

  • Rant: I am about to go crazy and snap. Our office assistant is so freaking loud (and a few other choice words that I will omit). Her and another co-worker of mine talk and laugh non-stop throughout the day. But the thing is it isn’t really talking, to me it is like yelling and cackling. It is so bad that I close my office door but I can still hear them and so can people that I am on the phone with. So tired of her laughing, snapping, stomping and all the other theatrics every single day. I mean who snaps their fingers while they talk. And now she has made friends with our buildings maintenece people, fed ex guy, janitors, mail lady…this is not the F’N CLUB OR THE BLOCK!! On top of all of that, she is one of those people that get a menial task and make the world out of it and makes sure you know but these task have been being done before her arrival with no big hoopla about it.

    I so want to say what I really feel but I know this isn’t the place for it and it won’t come out right. Let’s just say that I am not impressed nor have I never been impressed in the quality of people that we have received from the temp agency. As mean as it sounds, if she never showed up for work one day, that would be fine by me (not that I want anything bad to happen to her). Hopefully with our new move, she won’t be coming along.

    • Everytime I hear them being loud like they are, I want to slam the hell out of my office door. So damn irritated with the mess.

      • Would you like me to come and ask them to be quiet….I called out our support staff one good time and now they limit their ‘chatter to email and iming’.

    • Emmaleigh504

      I totally feel your pain.

    • My 2 cents.

      I had a similar problem with some support staff and just politely asked them to be quiet. Believe it or not, they actually did.

      I figured it wasn’t worth my time to say anything, but in my mind I had to confront them before approaching HR. It seemed like the right thing to do.

    • Yep, been there. I used to share an office with three people and our new guy was SOOOOOO LOUD! I couldn’t concentrate or even hear myself when I was on the phone. Eventually my officemate told him he needed to be quieter and it helped a little…I’m no longer there but she has resorted wearing earphones. (I think the worst part of it is that he was taking over my position and was incredibly enthusiastic about it.)

    • Definitely, definitely ask them to quiet down. It’s easy for the noise to escalate and escalate without the noisemakers taking much notice, so try not to stew about it and instead call ’em out politely: “Hey [office assistant and other coworker], do you mind [saving your conversation until later/taking the noise level down a little]? I’m [about to make a phone call/trying to concentrate on a project I’m wrapping up/etc.] and it can get pretty hard to hear in here. Thanks!”

    • All, thanks for your replies but the appropriate parties are all aware but have yet to take action. I don’t know if they are just waiting it out until we move to see what happens. We move to Ft. Meade (you definitely won’t be loud over there) in September and her yell/laughing buddy is retiring in August so those two things may prompt her to leave and then HR/my manager won’t have to deal with it. I think that may be the case or possibly they are just taking note and waiting until they have enough ammo, if you catch my drift. Either way, I have to still deal with this every damn day.

      I know you all say that you empathize and I can’t believe anyone has dealth with this mess, not like this. I truly think she is bipolar. Nobody else deserves this/nobyd but me can be that unlucky. In fact, the reason I am in the office where I am now is because I wanted to get away from another loud talking, nosey coworker (this dude would just walk in my office and stand there and then I would ask him what he needs and he would say “I’m just thinking”, MFer, go think in your office). Anyway, I move to a new office and then dude retires a month or two after that. I am thinking all is well and good but we are short an assistant so we hired the loudest most obnoxious assistant ever that just so happens to sit right outside my office. Now unfortunately my office is in between her cube and the other coworker office.

      Just to sum it up, we had an IT guy named James, everyday he would walk by she would burst out and say/sing “Hey Jimmey, Jimmey cocoa pop” and then start squealing like Jacque of 227 fame. Yeah, that is what I deal with daily.

      • Your company was able to accommodate you before when you moved offices to avoid a noisy coworker. Can you move again? While I certainly wouldn’t want to mark myself as unable to work in the midst of distraction, if you’ve asked Talky to please be more quiet repeatedly with no change in behavior and you’ve alerted HR/the correct manager that Talky is creating a distracting work environment with no response, it could be a solution for you.

        Otherwise, headphones. Or a new job, but as you’ve found, annoying folks are pretty much inescapable.

        • Well actually, the office that I am in now became available because someone; I didn’t ask to move because of the nosey coworker, it just worked out that way.

          I can’t move again, nowhere to move plus we are about to relocate to Ft. Meade (sigh). I have speakers and play music at time but I don’t want to turn it up too loud for obvious reasons (even though I have my own office). As for finding a new job, I wish it were that easy but given the economy, that is a no no.

          Well long of the short is that I just have to put up with it 5 or so more months and then I have a feeling it will work itself out.

      • how you do not drink on the job is a mystery to me…

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: I have to cover my beverages at work because of all the fungus flies breeding in everyone’s office plants.

    Rave: Listening to music I haven’t heard in ages. It’s so fantastic to be able to buy music whenever I want, something I couldn’t afford to do as a teen.

  • Rave: That photo. I can’t wait for warm weather and green all around!

    Rant(ish): My office mate is telecommuting, so it’s awfully quiet in my office today.

    Rave: That means I can have the heat up as high as I’d like since I don’t have to worry about stifling my office mate.

    Rant: The kids have hit their annual late-winter slacking-off period. I’m ready to throttle them all.

  • Rant: Mid-day Metro track work on the Orange line. A quick trip to Federal Triangle for a meeting shouldn’t take 45 minutes each way. Grrrr

    Rave: Sunshine.

  • Rave: Had an AWESOME weekend! Dancing, party (at which I was a mustachioed pirate) and last minute trip to NYC!

    Rant: Boyfriend and I got along great while out of town but coming back to find that nothing has changed…….

    Rant: Had dinner with a good friend while up there, only to find out that his marriage is in serious trouble only 7 months in. Bummer.

    Rant: The new housing situation I was working on for June may have fallen through…..and I really need to get away from my housemate.

    Rant: Coming back to work and realizing, yet again, that I have a menial job that will get me nowhere. It’s depressing.

    Rave: I have a job………..

    • “Rant: Had dinner with a good friend while up there, only to find out that his marriage is in serious trouble only 7 months in. Bummer.”

      Bummer indeed. I always wonder how that happens. I mean, 7 months? It’s not that hard to get along with someone you love for 7 months…

      • Sometimes, I think, you spend so much effort planning a wedding that 1) you don’t want to cancel it and 2) you forget why you’re getting married.

  • After spending way too much money to renovate my basement, I now have a very nice tenant. Had to come down on the rent, but figure it was worth it cause she is very nice, no hassels.
    RAVE RAVE RAVE: Love the extra income

  • RAVE: As of about an hour ago, my husband safely landed in Cherry Point, North Carolina, from more than 7 months in Afghanistan.

    RAVE: One of our Marines will see new new son for the first time. I can’t WAIT to see the pictures.

    RAVE: He returned before my birthday and just before our 1 year anniverary.

    RANT: I won’t get to see him until he gets back to DC.

    • This really makes me smile 🙂 I’m so happy for you! I can only imagine how tough it must have been to spend 7 of your first 12 married months a world apart.

    • That is so awesome! Thank you for your husband’s service and your sacrifice as well. I’m the daughter and sister of Marines, who have both served in the Middle East, so I can appreciate what you’ve gone through. It is not easy. Glad you’ll have him back soon!

    • What a great RAVE! Glad to hear your husband is safe and sound. Please thank him for his service for me. Very happy for you!

    • Sorry you couldn’t see him return. Seeing my ex step off the bus after 15 months in Iraq was one of the most powerful things I’ve ever experienced.

    • aw, this made my day. i was having a lousy one, but reading this made me smile. thank you for his service. i hope your reunion is fantastic!

  • I’m adding a rant: Co-worker and I walked to FedEx Office to pick up two print jobs, then carried back two relatively heavy boxes. My arms are now jello! I can hardly type, much less grip a pen or, as I should be doing, stuffing or addressing envelopes. Time to go home, perhaps?

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