Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user hcwoodward

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.

79 Comment

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: I haven’t had a key to my office (which gets locked every night) because the supervisor didn’t want to deal with the hassle. Fast forward 2 years and I have a new supervisor, so I request a key to my office. It turns out my contract people have had the key the whole time and didn’t feel the need to give it to me or ask if I needed it. I hate my job today.

    Rave: I have a key to my office.

  • Rave: I’m off today!
    Double Rave: Easter candy is on sale!

  • Rave: Horace and Dickies coming to Takoma DC!

  • Rant: My parents just left after visiting, and they live way too far away. It makes me so sad to say goodbye.

    Rave: I’m so lucky to have had such great parents that it makes me sad to say goodbye to them.

    • Same here – family just left after being here for the holiday weekend. It’s a bit of a bummer. :-/

  • Revel: Chocolate cake for breakfast!

    Revel: Just signed up for a writing workshop at the Writer’s Center in Bethesda. I can’t believe I’ve been in DC this long and only just learned of its existence! I am super terrified but also so nerdily excited about getting back into writing again and connecting with other writers.

    Rant: I may or may not have slept through church on Easter Sunday because I was hung over (thanks for nothing, Red Derby combo(s)). How embarrassing and depraved-sounding is that? I feel like some sort of amoral delinquent. Ugh. LUTHERAN GUILT.

  • Rave: All the cute kids in their Easter best anxiously dragging harried moms down to the White House Easter Egg Roll.

  • MsNesbitt

    Rave: Woke up feeling refreshed and ready to tackle Monday!

    Rant: That feeling only lasted three hours, and now I am already wanting to take a nap.

  • Bear

    Rant: Starting my week off with an 8:30 AM dentist appointment.

  • bfinpetworth

    Rave: My stepdaughter who is 5 months pregnant is visiting for a long weekend. Having never had children of my own, I am so excited to be a grandparent!

    Rant: This isn’t a rant really, more of a lament. We fostered a dog temporarily this past week, and he was such a little charmer that I’m a bit heartbroken now that he went back to his full-time foster home and hopefully his full-time adoptive home. I don’t think I’m cut out for fostering dogs.

  • rave: such a beautiful weekend.

    rant/rave: hearing things i don’t really want to hear but probably need to. but now i just don’t know what to do anymore.

    rant: wish i could just escape to some quiet isolated place outside the city for a while. i need like a 6 month vacation.

  • Rave: After two years of having plumbing run for a 3rd bathroom it is finally done! Well all the plumbing fixtures were hooked up yesterday, but now we have to do all the annoying touch-up work and have a shower curtain made for the clawfoot tub.

    Rant: 19 year-old neighbor and his buddies apparently didn’t like my husband and I polietly asking them to turn their music down that we could hear every word of throughout our house so they decided throwing some sort of oil/fat substance on our composite deck was the appropriate adult response.

    Rave: It felt good contronting him though he of course denied it and walked away.

    Rant: Deck is most likely stained beyond repair. Waiting for another oil cleaner or two to show up. The planks are double sided so I’m hoping maybe we can flip them.

    • Your rant makes me so mad. Most people work really hard for what they have, and then some self entitled little pr*ck goes and does something like that.

      • I feel the same way. Considering I had to send my husband to Yemen during a very violent time there to pay for the deck, it pisses me off knowing I sacrificed for so long and they destroyed it in seconds.

        • Not sure if this would work or not, but could you get an artistic friend in to paint something fun on that part of the deck? Just a random design would look better than the stain.

  • Rant: Was standing @ the Woodley Park stop on Saturday, saw a guy get beat up and had his cell stolen. Another guy and I shouted at the mugger, but he got in our faces … and his (very large) friends showed up too. Got the cops there in a couple minutes (!), but the guys took off on a train. The victim’s friends showed up after that and started blaming the wrong people (you can guess how they made such expert judgments …). Gave the cops a description. but still — was a really depressing experience. I’m sorta new to DC — anyone have something similar happen? I’m a bigger guy — feel like I could’ve done more ……………….

    Rave: The Rock Creek trails. Didn’t know that there were also unpaved trails up in the woods. Took one up to Georgetown on Sunday — it was really, really gorgeous.

    • C_ – that sucks, man. Without more details, it sounds like you did the best you could, intervening to make sure the mugger stopped beating the guy up. It’s a very fine line between stopping the mugging and turning yourself into a target. The latter of which can be pretty dangerous.

      What time was this on Saturday? That station is usually pretty crowded.

      • Like 10ish? The actual robbery happened towards the end of the platform, but more beatings happened as the victim followed the mugger, demanding his cell back. Pretty messed up …

        • Well, the “good” news is that Metro stations, including the platforms, have lots of camera coverage so there is footage of these people somewhere in the system.

  • Rant: Vender at Eastern Market snapped at me because I asked him if the produce was organic. I got “Or what? Our products are as good as anyone elses”! Then at the jewelery stand next to him, the lady snapped at me because I asked her how much the necklace was (there was no tag on it) but according her “The price is on the tag” and then gives me annoyed face. Damn never mind

    Rave: Went to the other stands and bought awesome produce and a necklace for my mother

    • +1 Don’t patronize business owners who are rude or–patronizing

      • I agree. I try to give a passive-aggressive (?) response too, like – in my happy face – “Oh I didn’t see a price on the tag. But thanks so much, I’ll just look at a different shop.”

  • Rave: I’m terribly allergic to lots of fruits including apples, peaches, and pears. All of which I miss eating so very much! Well, after a 10 year hiatus, STRAWBERRIES are back in my life! I’ve eaten so many without one moment of sickness, hives or other little bouts of reaction. I’m so happy, I’m eating a strawberry now! DELICIOUS!


    • me

      I am so jealous. The only fruits I can eat are citrus fruits- everything else is off the table. How I miss strawberries (and pineapple)…

    • Emmaleigh504

      I’m allergic to shrimp, which I adore. I quit eating it for a long time, but now I say screw it! I take my benedryl to combat the hives and if it kills me, eh whatever. At least I die after a good meal.

      (It helps that I don’t always get hives after eating shrimp.)

  • Rant/rave: anxious waiting!! eeeeeeeeeeeeee!

  • Rave: Went wedding dress shopping with mom while she was in town this weekend. Definitely accomplished my mission of getting her to share in the excitement of my engagement with me, and finally feel like things are back to “normal” with us. Yay!!

    Rave: Fell in love with three dresses

    Rant: Fell in love with three very expensive dresses

    Rave: Mom offered to pay for the cost of the dress since she was equally in love with the final three (sorta Rant: feel guilty having her pay the cost of a dress when that money could go towards the overall cost of the wedding), stoked at the possibility of being able to get a dress that makes me feel every way I want to feel when I marry the man of my dreams!

    • Emmaleigh504

      But aren’t dress/tux costs part of the cost of the wedding?

      I say get the dress you love, but then I’m not very practical, particularly when it comes to clothes.

      • I just feel guilty to accept that money for the dress when I could find a less expensive dress and use that money to pay for several other things other than JUST the dress. I still have plenty of time to look/decide but I am so torn because I put those dresses on and felt just like a bride. I too am not very practical when it comes to clothing, haha, so we will see how this pans out. Decisions!!

        • Emmaleigh504

          ah, I see. Maybe you will find a similarly wonderful dress at a lesser price. good luck!

        • in hindsight, I would’ve spent less money on lots of things except the DJ and photographer. photographers’ rates are a total joke, but it’s worth it to have a good one there the whole day. flowers/decorations: nobody pays attention and unless you have a totally bare venue, go with the absolute minimum. it starts to look cheesy when you overdo it or do too much DIY’ing. invites: you can do something simple and elegant for a few hundred. booze: people will be fine with rail or just beer & wine. makeup: I have yet to see a bride who had it professionally done and wasn’t overdone.

          I didn’t overspend on my dress because I didn’t go with a white gown. you can get a gorgeous dress that may look better on you than a “bridal” gown (especially if you’re white, that’s not really our color). plus, if I ever get invited to a ball I have the perfect thing to wear. 🙂


          • to clarify the photographers’ rates comment: regular photographers in DC tend to have a day rate around $1000. that photographers who are part of the wedding industrial complex have day rates that start at $3500-5000 is insane. try to bargain if you can, maybe cutting down on the deliverables and/or on a second shooter (trust me, your fond memories will not be of the dress on the hanger in front of the window or of your shoes with the rings. yuck.) find a photographer who is journalistic or understands that you want them to capture the people and moments, not the “wedding”.

          • pablo .raw

            To clarify a little bit more from the photographer’s point of view: The photographer’s work is not just take the photos and put them on a cd. Once the party is over and the couple goes on their honeymoon, there are long, long hours taking a look at thousands of photos and editing. Cameras are designed to produce an unfinished product that can be finished in different ways according to the photographer’s view. Equipment is expensive and needs to be replaced and maintained; my camera which is not the most expensive one (I use Pentax) was $ 1500, other brands are much more expensive. You can’t use just a regular 18-55 lens that comes with the camera, you need at least 2 professional lenses for a wedding each one costs around $ 1000 each, flash, etc. Of course one wedding doesn’t have to pay for that, but I’m trying to give you a little perspective on what is involved, is hard work and a lot of responsibility.

          • To pablowraw,

            I almost hate to say this because I think photographers can be wonderful and maybe some would argue that photographs are not really essential, but I am not one of those people. That said, though, while I understand that photography is not a cheap passion (be it hobby or professional) and I understand that a photographer can shoot hundreds or thousands of frames to get the “exact one or two, let alone a book,” which happens regularly, the problem is that anything that has a whiff of wedding, the mark-up is so outrageously absurd. The wedding industry is a billion dollar industry because no matter how the economy is (globally, locally or personally) people want to mark that occasion in the greatest way possible. While I think having a terrific photographer to shoot one’s wedding day is really something to aim for, if possible, the discrepancy between $1,000.00/day for a photographer for a regular photo shoot versus up to $5,000.00/day for a photographer for a wedding day shoot – well, it’s hard to rationalize the $4,000.00 profit in this example, other than to chalk it up to wedding industry overcharge, I think.

          • I’m in a related industry and work with photographers quite a bit. I also minored in it in college. we all understand that photographers don’t just dump photos on a CD and that there’s post production involved. I am, however, old school in that I believe if you take good photos from the beginning, you shouldn’t need to spend more than 2 days on post production. (albums are another story.) there are also obviously things beyond your control that might add to that time. so, $5k for an hour consult, 8 hours of shooting, and 2 days work? wow. people are paying it, so clearly they think it’s worth it, but I don’t understand why it should cost more than regular photography — maybe a charge for the possibility there’s a bride- or groom-zilla? my question is: are wedding photographers worth a quarter of a million dollars a year if they do ONE wedding per week????

          • pablo .raw

            To classic_six (I’m reposting this to see if this time it lands in the right thread 😀 )
            I understand your point about the 1,000 vs. 5,000 and I guess each photographer knows why he/she charges that and the same happens in every industry. I attended a wedding where the photographer basically charged $100 (yes, one hundred!). My comment is more about not thinking that the work of the photographer is only for a day, there’s a lot to do after the wedding is over. There is a reason why the photos are not delivered the next day. Thanks!

    • Congratulations on your wedding AND finding gowns that you love! You deserve only the best on your special day!

      I know how you feel re: kid guilt. It took years of my mother telling me that it brings her so much joy to her to buy me something that brings so much joy to me. Everyone’s different and I’m not a mother but, from what I gather, being able to do that for your child is pretty damn fulfilling. Enjoy this special time in your life! 🙂

      • em

        My parents and my fiancees’ parents have very different theories on how their contributions to the wedding should be spent – one set gave a lump sum and basically said “happy wedding planning – use the money however you see fit” while the other set said “we want to pay for particular items – e.g., nice dress, fancy decor, etc.” If your mom is coming from the second school of thought, pondering what else the money could go toward for the wedding is somewhat pointless – either it will go toward the dress or it won’t, but “saving” money on a cheaper dress doesn’t ultimately mean the money can help with other expenses.

        • Valid point. My mom said that she would pay for the cost of the dress but it “may impact how much she is able to contribute to other parts of the wedding,” and later clarified to say she will contribute an set (yet to be determined) amount and for my fiance and I to spend as we see fit. OR she woudl pay flat out for the dress/alterations/accessories, and will give a smaller amount to be spent on other wedding costs. Either way, I know how lucky I am to even have her contribute to any portion, so I am happy.

        • bfinpetworth

          As someone who recently paid for a kid’s wedding (see pregnant stepdaughter rave above) I highly recommend the lump sum approach, unless you are a person with relatively unlimited means. We gave our daughter an amount we thought was appropriate to spend on a wedding (10k) and told them to have a fun party or keep it for a house downpayment. They chose the party…. Anyway, it was a great wedding and we enjoyed it thoroughly without having to engage in dickering about the number of guests, etc.. And the kids did a lot of creative diy and bartering for various services at the reception to keep the cost down. I’ve been told by many people in attendance that it was the best wedding they’d ever attended, both fun and beautiful, so we all left feeling really good about our individual choices.

    • On a side note, can anyone provide insight as to what a “reasonable” expense would be for entertainment for a wedding? We are interested in having our favorite Philly cover band provide the music at our wedding, they also include a DJ (which is awesome, because I would honestly prefer both) and a Master of Ceremonies. The quoted price is $6k. Is this reasonable for (1) this area (2) for all the services they will provide? Thank you!

      • I think you’re going to pay an arm and a leg if you want live music + dj from another state. good djs in dc should cost between 1500-2500, depending on what you need. I guess everyone has to decide what is most important to them.

        • Thank you for the input. Surprisingly that is the flat fee for them, regardless of geographic location. They frequently play at bars down here as this is part of their touring “area.” If a decent or good DJ in this area costs 1500-2500K, then what should one deem as appropriate for a live band? I woudl prefer both, but if I had to choose one over the other it would be a live band in lieu of a DJ…

      • Just FYI, we used Kirk from Kirkabee DJ’s in December. It was about $900 and he was great. He also did some MC functions, helped keep things running on time while being completely inobtrusive. Can’t recommend him enough.

    • pablo .raw

      To classic_six
      I understand your point about the 1,000 vs. 5,000 and I guess each photographer knows why he/she charges that and the same happens in every industry. I attended a wedding where the photographer basically charged $100 (yes, one hundred!). My comment is more about not thinking that the work of the photographer is only for a day, there’s a lot to do after the wedding is over. There is a reason why the photos are not delivered the next day. Thanks!

      • To pabloraw,

        I see that I had a typo in your moniker, so I apologize for that.

        As I said previously, I really did hate to talk about this point because I have so much respect and appreciation for photographers and their art that they create, memories and moments that they capture. You’re right to remind people that it’s not a point-and-shoot exercise but there is follow-up to the taking of pictures.

        I think it’s been a wonderful thing that taking pictures (with digital and disposable cameras) has allowed more people to do this and I think it does so while not taking away that there are photographers who set themselves apart from the rest because they were blessed with a gifted eye.

  • pablo .raw

    Rave: Had a wonderful 3 day weekend in NY; lots of walking and photos. Great weather, no traffic, 2 seats for me each way, internet on Greyhound. When I arrived back in DC, they had free cupcakes and Fruit Punch at the bus station! So I felt like I should take a photo with my ipod and post it to let people know about this upgrades in the company and then…
    Rant: the lady serving the cupcakes said: “You are not allowed to take photos in here”. Only because I was tired after the long trip, I didn’t reply to her, but I will write a note to somebody on Greyhound. I did take a photo of the cupcakes and I’ll send it along with the note.

  • Rave: weekend’s weather.
    Rave: only one day in the office this week, three days of off-site training and day off on Friday!
    Rant: people who smack their gum, esp co-workers who sit right next to you.

    • RAVE: Taking lunch hour to go to Howard Theatre’s open-to-the-public event today!! I saw it all lit up the other night and it was so beautiful! Can’t wait to see the inside.

    • me

      I’ll trade you your gum-snapper for my office mate, who is a loud mouth breather and constant sigher. I can shame a guy out of snapping his gum, but I can’t do it for someone who is just breathing!

  • Rant: Just listened to an hour of discussion on the Diane Rehm show about whether the “controversy” of evolution and climate change should be taught in schools. Makes my head want to explode. Why are we not discussing teaching the “controversy” of a heliocentric model of the solar system? Or the “controversy” of the germ theory of illness? Or even the real controversies of evolution and climate change (not that they occur, but some of the details about how fast, etc.)?

  • Rave: I’m planning on taking my SO to NYC for his first Father’s Day (specifically to see Coney Island, which he’s always wanted to do).

    Rant: Have no idea about hotels.

    I know this is a DC blog, but I also know a lot of people visit NYC and since I’ve never, I’ll lean on them for assistance.

    Where would be a good place to stay? We want something that’s nice but not TOO spendy…definitely not a roach motel, since we’ll travel with a baby. Something maybe in Brooklyn, doesn’t necessarily have to be in Manhattan.

    Thanks in advance!

    • I would recommend getting an apartment on AirBnB. You usually have to reserve for at least 2 days. When I went in las May, we got a 1 bdr in Park Slope (brooklyn) for around $125 per day and the host left us breakfast items!

    • talula

      Most hotels in Brooklyn are in the downtown Brooklyn/Brooklyn Heights area, right across the bridge from Manhattan, but sort of far from Coney Island. You could also cab it to Coney Island or take the subway. The neighborhoods around Coney Island are very residential and I don’t think there are any hotels around there.

      There are hotels around 4th Ave south of Park Slope, but they may not be ideal if you’re traveling with a kid. I’d look up reviews before you book.

  • Rant: Meter maids out with a vengeance this past Saturday!!

  • Rant: Moving west of the park to a quiet little street with ample parking and my new neighbor leaves a note on my guest’s car saying “please park in front of the house you are visiting.” 1. It is a public street, 2. there are always ample spots in front of everyone’s house, 3. It is a guest of mine that was caused embarrassment and 4. If you had politely and directly told me this was the custom of the street I would have happily complied.

    [disclaimer: I actually hope they don’t read this site because then I would feel like I had been equally passive agressive.]

    • Their note was pretty polite and it makes sense. I wouldn’t want someone parking in front of my house in our parking spot.

      • Sorry, if it’s a public street, it’s not “your” spot. Sure, if this is the custom for the neighborhood, it’s good you now know, but I wouldn’t get too worked up about it.

        • Exactly – if it’s a public street, it isn’t “your” spot even if it’s in front of your house. That’s why private parking is at a premium.

      • Also, you can park 3 cars in front of each house easily so there really is not competition for scarce resources here. My point was, come knock on my door, tell me this is how you like to do things in the neighborhood and hope I will follow that practice. Don’t embarrass my guest and make them feel like they have done something wrong where, as pointed out, you have no real claim to that spot other than one of preference. The note was impolite because it was directed to a guest at my home that would have know way of knowing the supposed custom of the block when they drove down a street that is 3/4 empty in terms of available parking. I am moving from a place where resources are scarce and we park wherever we can find an available spot. I also did not know the custom and given the abundance of parking do not think it warranted a note on the car.

        • I think the best thing to do in this situation is to laugh at the grumpy/anal note-writing person (not to their face, of course), respect their wishes to the extent possible, and be prepared for more passive-aggressive notes from your micro-managing neighbor! If someone parking temporarily in front of their house bothers them, it could be entertaining to see what other crazy stuff they can find to complain about.

        • me

          @TG- now I have the Three’s Company theme song going through my head….

          “Come and knock on our door…..
          We’ve been waiting for you…..”

    • PUHLEEZE! Street parking spots are PUBLIC spaces. I would’ve told the note writer to piss off. They have ZERO right to tell you not to park in front of their house – eff them. I HATE people like that….

    • Emmaleigh504

      If it’s a public street, tough toenails on the neighbors. What are they going to do? Stand on their balcony and yell at people who park in front of their house? I had that neighbor, the people legally parking on the street did not move their cars.

    • Lord I hate this attitude. Even as a local custom, I think that people who ‘break’ the custom deserve nothing more severe than a roll of the eyes. Where I live, parking is so tight I consider myself lucky it I can park within a couple of blocks of my place; the thought that someone would get agitated about nor being able to park precisely in front of thier place is ludicrous.

    • Back in the day, our house rule was that the first person home took the spot in front of our house. That way if we had visitors stop by, they could park in the driveway and not have to go searching for a spot.

      Not that this helps in any way……..

  • Rave: Pregnant 🙂 Found out this weekend. It’s our first. We’re giddy with excitement but can’t tell anyone yet (big family events coming up, don’t want to overshadow) which is KILLING us. But at least I can tell cyberspace!

  • Rave: Saw two cyclists being ticketed this morning by the cops. Brought a smile to my face.

    Rant: Asshole in a car threw a cigarette butt out the window.

    /smug pedestrian who never does anything wron

  • Rave: Actually HAD to walk an important form up to Payroll today, which happens to be located a good 20 minutes away. What a beautiful day for a walk! :o) Plus a stop at CVS on the way home for 50% off candy!

    Rave: Pretty great weekend overall! The Easter Eggstravanganza in Lincoln Park was AWESOME…I spent 2.5 hours handing out cotton candy to kids in Easter dresses and parents who were just excited about it as their 7 y/o. Such a beautiful day and so many kids served!

    Rave: Last night the Boyfriend and I spent a good 45 minutes on the couch, playing Draw Something back and forth. Good times.

    Rave: Easter = deviled eggs and banana pudding!

    Rave: I had my first real crack at interpreting on Saturday afternoon (ASL). I was less nervous doing that, even though my skills aren’t that good, than if I were actually speaking in front of the same crowd. A good sign? Perhaps.

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