Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user ekelly80

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.

87 Comment

  • Rave: Went on the White House Garden Tour on Saturday. Fantastic!

  • Rave: Finally got the interior of our rowhome painted this weekend! It is sooo nice to finally have color in the place after staring at white walls for 3 years. All we have left to do is refinish the hardwood floors and we can start looking for tenants to rent it out.

    Rant: Overheard a coworker this morning say to another coworker that she intentionally lied about her income on an application to get her daughter into the summer camp at Sidwell Friends. This woman was pround of the fact her lied about her situation despite the fact she pulls in over $80,000 a year and receives child support. She justifies her behavior by telling her daughter ‘Senator’s kids go there. We aren’t that kind of rich’. Oh, and she holds a position of public trust. How absoulutely disgusting.

    Rave: My Mom is coming for a visit on Wednesday.

    Rant: Trying to get the house in order.

    • Congrats on painting the rowhouse! My wife and I have bought the paint/drop cloths/rollers etc, just need to actually do it! We are in a similar situation, 1.5 years, white walls.

      Regarding the situation, if it is bothering you so much, drop the dime on them. Perhaps an unnamed letter to the camp will make you feel better. I agree, scamming the system is not appropriate. Lets let someone who is actually needy/can’t afford it, get the chance to go to camp.

      • Thanks, but I must confess we had to hire someone to do the painting for us. We simply didn’t have the time and we are moving overseas in September and it was never going to get done if we didn’t. Hurt writing the check, but the amount we paid is was more than reasonable and they did a great job.

        I am thinking about contacting the school for the reasons you mentioned. This woman has a history of scamming the system and teaching your kid to do the same irks me. Though the school should catch on when she shows up in her Infiniti to drop the kid off.

        • To slgdc1433,

          I don’t understand why the school wouldn’t verify that that information on said application was actually correct (it would be easy for the school to call the employer to find out what said salary actually is (isn’t this one of the points to an application?)…before you decide to whistleblow)? It’s possible that they may have this covered and will deny the application. I get that it’s upsetting and frustrating to see this behavior but I thought that this was the point of an application.

        • She made it clear that they did not ask for verification of her income and that she indicated that her income is less than half of what she actually earns. Her daughter is bright and would have been accepted to the program regardless, but she will be receiving financial assistance and only be paying $100 a week instead of $1000. That $900 should go to a kid whose parents cannot afford such an expense. I know her base salary and she is consistently working overtime to bring in more money.

          This woman is the epitome of why some people have a distaste for government workers. She also admitted that next year she is applying to some other program for her daughter that actually requires you to submit financial records and she doesn’t know how she is going to get around that. It is a track record with this woman.

          • Oh, I see. I am still on the fence as to whether or not you should whistleblow, though. Believe me, I do get how disgraceful it is to see someone getting away with terrible behavior – and I definitely do no condone it in any way. I just think it will catch up to her, you said she’s applying for programs where they will actually check financial records and she will have to “find” a way to beat the system. She may not, she may simply be found out, finally, and lose. As for setting the example for her daughter – well if being exposed to the “fine and mighty” at Sidwell Friends, then perhaps the daughter will learn something about honesty and morals, ideally, if she is lucky.

            By the way, congratulations on getting the inside of your house painted. That’s a big win.

          • All I’d be doing is contacting the school and letting them know they may want to verify the information they were given. Then the ball is in their court and they can ask for records if they want to. I wouldn’t give them all the details and let them make the call.

          • Wait, what? The camp costs $1,000 a week? That’s insane! I would say that she is deserving of some financial aid if she’s making $80k per year, if those are the costs…

          • Not that I think it’s acceptable for her to lie on her application, I’m just appalled at the cost…

          • thebear

            I would bust her. As as parent I consider it appalling, if not abusive, to teach children that it’s OK to lie, cheat, misappropriate, or outright steal to get ahead. That child needs to see first hand that the Universe does administer correction for misdeeds and lying. Even if that woman tries to turn it around into the world being against her, kids are pretty perceptive and hers is likely to figure out that mommy is in the wrong.

            $1K a week for camp? Madon! I sent my boys to sleepaway for a month for that for both of them! (Yeah, so it was the 1980s…but they actually went away to the country and had personal, hands-on experience with actual Nature.) 🙂

          • If the program at Sidwell Friends is like a similar 3-week summer program for gifted kids that I went to in junior high and high school, it could well be $1,000 a week.

            Totally different than an “outdoorsy” summer camp experience, but very rewarding.

    • I think you should call the school and anonymously let them know that they should verify her information. The bottom line is that her dishonesty is taking away the opportunity for a truly needy kid to go to that camp and that is messed up.

  • claire

    Rave: Really fun but busy weekend. Boyfriend & I were hosting friends of his (who I’d never met before), and I think we showed them a really good time, visited some of our favorite spots in the city, ate some delicious food, etc.
    Rant: Hosting people is so exhausting, especially when it’s new people you’re trying to make a good impression on!

    Rave: Looks like the Turkish embassy will be giving me my visa even though I don’t have my flights, accommodations, etc squared away yet.
    Rant: Don’t have my flights, accommodations, etc squared away yet! Waiting on some chain of approval for funding for the travel, and it’s less than a month away…

    Rant: Woke up today with aches all over though I can’t think of a specific reason why (slept funny?).

    Rave: Rain washed a lot of the pollen out of the air.
    Rant: Brrrrrr!

  • Revel: Really good weekend capped off by a glorious two hours in the rain watching DC United thrash the team from New Jersey.

  • thebear

    Rant: Dupont Farmer’s Market has gone from being a delightful neighborhood treasure to a shameful wasteland of yuppies trying to boost their “green cred” by seeing who can pay the most for things that even Whole Paycheck sells for less. Anyone who thinks $9 for a f*ing pound of “organic, free-range, cage-free, cruelty-free, free-trade spinach” proves they are “responsible and socially concerned” needs to get diagnosed or have their dosage upped. I am not surprised, just disappointed. Eastern Market since the reopening looks like it’s doomed to go that way as well.

    • Certainly there are certain ridiculous prices but actually, in doing research, I’ve found that the produce prices there rival the produce prices in local grocery stores for similar quality. For example- local apples at 2.29/pound- Whole Foods and Safeway sell them at a similar price. Same goes for cage-free “happy” eggs- similar prices.
      Don’t get my started on the mushroom costs at that market though…ridiculous!!

      • I disagree. I’ve done price comparisons on most produce from the Dupont farmers market versus Whole Foods and Whole Foods is cheaper every time. Safeway is certainly the cheapest, but their produce is TERRIBLE!

        • Interesting- Most of my comparisons have come out equal in terms of cost and quality (apples, greens, corn, cage-free eggs, etc.). Must be looking at different things.

          • thebear

            Granted, it isn’t organic, but I can get a 3lb sack of fresh spinach at Costco for $4. Exactly *how* is the $9/lb stuff at the Dupont farmer’s market worth 7x more? Especially since it is NOT fresh spinach growing season around here? Ditto for just about all the other produce, even dairy. I can get a pound of fresh mozzarella from the cheese stall at Eastern Market, or The Italian Market in Arlington, for about $10. Why on Earth should I pay $22 for it at Dupont?

          • The farmers are probably growing the spinach in a greenhouse or other apparatus that allows for four season harvest. I doubt they are shipping it in.

          • thebear

            @equidistance: $6.50/lb for hothouse heirloom tomatoes? Really? They looked nice but tasted worse than what Safeway has left at closing time on a Sunday night. Not all indoor-grown stuff is bad, but it absolutely *DOES NOT* merit a premium price. Most people can tell the difference between stuff grown outdoors and in a greenhouse. If anything, it should be cheaper because of the difference in quality.

          • We’ve always been able to grow spinach around here in early Spring. Granted, it’s been a hair warm this year, but it doesn’t surprise me that people are having a successful harvest. $9 a pound is a little surprising, though!

          • @the bear: I was only replying to the spinach comment in your previous comment. I avoid the Dupont farmer’s market, due to location, crowds, and cost (in that order).

      • thebear

        Paying a little more than what you pay at a supermarket for exceptional quality and supporting small/local farmers is one thing. Dupont market has completely lost sight of those 2 objectives…it’s now all about being obnoxiously “high end” and charging whatever they can because most of the people are concerned with image, not the actual products. A 20-something yupette neighbor in my building tried to lecture me in the elevator yesterday afternoon that my shopping at Harris Teeter was not “socially acceptable” because “the farmer’s market sells only sustainable, organic produce” and “as the tenant association leader [I] need to be setting a good example of social responsibility for everyone in the building.” I told her that she is more than welcome to give me the $50-$75 it would cost every week to buy the same amount of goods I would be pleased to do so.

        And, really! Are they high on magic mushrooms when they come up with the prices for their mushrooms?

        • Definitely high on mushrooms! 😉
          Your neighbor’s response is terrible!! To be taken to task because you bought your produce at a supermarket instead of a farmers market- ugh! I’d be pissed too.

        • wow. that would just make me want to punch someone.

        • To thebear,

          I’ve observed the prices climbing at the Farmers Markets in DC as well – and have pretty much lost my appetite for them. I think a couple of years ago, they were about neck-and-neck with Whole Foods, now they are in their own special place. The quality definitely does not add up to the high prices. I also have wondered exactly how they are grown and where they are grown as well, just a suspicion, though. Knowing what just-picked produce actually looks like and what I see at the farmers market do not equate, either. I also do not like that even “local” suppliers (Va, Pa) for me don’t really constitute local. That’s still time in transit and I’m skeptical of the refrigeration that they have for transporting and sitting out all morning in those super hot and humid DC summer weekends. At least with produce, for example, at bigger grocers, they are being transported in refrigerated trucks. I’d really love to be a supporter of farmers markets here again, but…the silliness has to stop.

    • The “organic” food movement is one of the biggest scams in history. And the people who insist on only buying and eating organic deserve to be scammed.

      • yeah, let’s just go back to using lead paint and asbestos.

        I’m not saying that certain vendors’ marketing isn’t out of control, but there’s nothing unreasonable about not wanting to consume pesticides.

        It’s not hard to find reliable science to back this up:



        • thebear

          Pesticides, hormones, antibiotics aren’t good for you but organic does not automatically guarantee being safer or healthier. In case you missed some of the big headlines over the last few years, organic stuff gets recalled just like non-organic. Nasties like e-coli and salmonella don’t discriminate; if anything, organic is more likely to carry contamination since there is nothing to prevent or even retard propagation. Not that organic is bad, but it is is being misrepresented to consumers. Take the political correctness out of the marketing and prices will drop because more people will buy it.

          • Okay, but doesn’t virtually all non organic produce contain pesticides while only a very small portion of organic produce is going to have e.coli… right? I think it’s a pretty easy choice. I’m not willing to do a ton of research before I go to the store, but overall it’s been determined by NIH that certain pesticides are bad so I’ll opt for the produce that was grown without those. No brainer.

          • So true! There are some very nasty natural toxins out there.

            There are some products that organic is definitely preferable, but there are others where it doesn’t make as big a difference. I think its important to not use “organic” to equal “automatically always better in all ways” and to look at the production and environmental impact of individual crops and products.

          • e.coli is not about to pesticide or not to pesticide…it is a result of poorly maintained and unsanitary conditions. Pesticides are to help prevent crops from being invaded, infested and diseased by well, pests. As far as produce goes, there are certain fruits and/or vegetables that are especially dirty, when it comes to pesticides and it is harder to remove the pesticides, even with a good washing. All fruits/vegetables, however, do not fall into this category.

    • I started out rolling my eyes at this post, but actually, I agree with it. Ever since I paid $4 for an onion at the Vermont Ave. farmer’s market last summer, I’ve been skeptical of the goals and pricing of some of these markets. Especially since there now seem to be “brands” of farmer’s markets in DC that supply products on a pretty large scale. I often wonder how local some of the stuff is. Same with CSAs–some are more food delivery services rather than actually locally produced. Hint: if they give you bananas, they are probably not local. 😉

      That said, I think the overall lesson is just to be reasonable and non-dogmatic about food. I love my CSA because I know that I get REAL local produce (they state were everything is sourced from) and for price reasons, try to buy things in season when I can. But that doesn’t mean don’t pick up some things at the grocery story when that is what I can afford. Some things I try to buy organic (especially meat and dairy products), but I don’t stress over non-organic fruits and veggies most of the time.

  • Rave: Husband home!!

    Rave #2: Dogsitting for 5 days starting on Wednesday for seriously the best dog in the whole world. I cannot wait to have a puppy in my house!

    Rant: Losing motivation to train and workout. I’ll be active and all but I was gungho training for a competition in June (like I do every year) and it’s been cancelled… so now I find it hard to justify getting up early and working out hard. I need to find another motivator!

  • Rant: Capitals lose in OT.

    Rave: Still have one more shot on Wednesday.

    Rave2: Umpiring on Sunday morning got rained out. Would have been a rough doubleheader after late Saturday night on H St with friends.

    • Although I wish the Caps had won yesterday, the silver lining is that they can win it all – in Boston.

  • Rave: BEST weekend. The afterglow even made my 6:30am arrival at the office seem not-unpleasant.

    Rave: The project that required me to be at the office by 6:30am is so close to being finished.

    Rave: Rain!

  • Rant: Witnessed two people race out the back of my apartment on stolen bikes Saturday night. Somehow they got into our community bike room and took the bikes. In the process, they also switched off our lights on at least two floors of the building. This is why my bike stays with me in my apartment.
    Rave: A rainy Sunday made for a perfect day to complete a school project and relax with good food and drink.

  • Rant: Woke up on the wrong side of the bed today: hit my head, my bus made me late to work, and I left my access badge in my office.

    Rave: Packing up to move.

    Rant: Whiny, needy people at work who constantly need to needle every little thing.

    Rave: Fingers crossed for new opportunities on the horizon.

  • Rant: We have this new neighbor on our block that moved in a month ago and she likes to sit on her porch and harass dog owners. Yes, I have bags. Yes, I clean up after my dog. This morning she walked out of her house and asked if I have poop bags. I asked her if it was for the shit coming out of her mouth and she just said “oh” and walked back into her house. I hope this stops her from harassing me.

  • rave: the wombats tonight!
    rave: the new diet is working and i have been discovering a lot of great, healthy recipes because of it.
    rant: i have a sore throat this morning after battling to get better after being really sick a couple weeks ago.

  • Shocking Surprise: The Cleveland Park Metro elevator “upgrade” that was scheduled to be finished in April 2012 (back in December) now has that date scratched out in marker and “May” written in. 5 months to repair one elevator wasn’t enough? Come on now.

    • I hope you don’t have any plans that depend upon it being done in May, either. If it’s anything like the Woodley Park Metro elevator rehab project, it will be delayed many, many more times, and then will break down frequently for a while after the project is allegedly done.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rave: Supper at 701 tonight.

    Rant: Where is my trust fund?

    Weird: Just found Twisted Sister on my iPod.

  • Rave: Amazing weather Saturday. Got a nice bike ride in, took my dog to a local park for a long walk and had a picnic lunch with the gf. Had a great dinner at a Kent Island crab house.

    Rant: Crappy weather yesterday and today.

    • Revels: Oh, I almost forgot how amazingly beautiful it was to be outside on Saturday. Even with all the rain yesterday, we really needed it, so I’ll put that in the revel category, too. I think we might dodge more rain today.

  • Rant: The asshole neighbor (or asshole friend of a neighbor) who stole our wreath from our door Saturday night. It wasn’t worth much but irritated that even though we live in a nice building someone else lives there that still thinks they are in college and does this. OR they don’t take responsbility of their guests when they are wandering our halls.

    Rave: The chuckle I got out of the signs we posted in the elevators regarding the incident. They didn’t stay up for long, but at least (for us) it added some humor to the situation.

    Rant: Just added carrots to my list of food allergies…seriously?

    Rave: booked our wedding venue over the weekend!

  • rave: checking out the mcmillan sand filtration site on saturday. had a lot of fun exploring and photographing the site.

    rant: non stop rain yesterday.

    rant: feel sick to my stomach today, and i don’t think it’s because i’m actually sick. i’m just sick of this job.

    rant: supposedly tracking number on something i ordered was “delivered”, yet i don’t have it! where is it? 🙁

    • heaven forbid they ticket cabs who run over cyclists while doing illegal U-turns across PA ave though.

  • pablo .raw

    Rant: No love for USPS today; they delivered a framed photo to a client with the glass shattered and ruined the frame and the photo.

  • Additonal rave: Leftover slow braised salsa verde pork for lunch. Yum!

  • Rave: IVF egg transfer yesterday…five of the six are still looking good so we transferred two. C’mon Twins!!
    Rant-ish: waiting two weeks on a pregnancy test. Unless you have been through IVF you have no idea how hard, complicated and distressing it is. Trying to celebrate each milestone we get through no matter how small they seem to other people.
    Rave: my husband continues to amaze me including trekking across neighbhorhoods to find me a piece of carrot cake yesterday while on bed rest.

  • rant: Just received an angry and very rude email from a customer (with my boss cc’ed) complaining about things I have absolutely no control over. UGH put me in such a bad mood. He expects us to overhaul our entire system to benefit him. Not gonna happen buddy, but no need to shoot the messenger.

  • Rant: Saw Needtobreathe at the 9:30 Club on Saturday night–they were AWESOME!! With the lights and set and overall show, hands down best concert I’ve been to. Plus Ben Rector was the opener. Phenomenal overall!
    Rant: Waited in line for an hour, in the rain, just to get in.

    Rave: Saw an awesome 90’s coverband on Friday night!

    Rave: Enjoyed the rain yesterday–did some laundry, huddled on the couch in the living room and watched crap TV. It was nice.

    Rant: Needed to get groceries but b/c I have no car, that couldn’t happen. Now I’m busy every night this week so no time to shop!

  • Rant: Why is it so cold??? I hate this. It’s like we’re being punished for our lovely warm winter.

    Rant: I feel like I might be coming down with a cold. Bah.

    Rave: Supper at 701 and then the Jefferson Lecture tonight! Can’t wait!

  • Rant: The dude at target that decided to curse at me and my kids because we weren’t walking fast enough for him. Guess he was late for his briefing at the Whitehouse.

    Double Rant: Me taking humbrage and chasing after him with a baby bjorn strapped to my chest. Was I gonna fight him with a seven month old leading the charge?

    Rave: Dude was a big wimp and went scurrying away.

  • Rant: Trying to schedule an event for work, and I’ve exhausted just about every possibility. So frustrating!!

    Rave: Boss and colleagues are totally supportive in my quest.

  • Rave: A beautiful morning,
    Rant: I’m so not feeling today. I’m overworked, underpaid and in the wrong field. So ready to move on.

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