Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user Roots in the Sky

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.

84 Comment

  • rave: first

    rant: humidity

    • speaking of humidity, has anyone ever tried one of these? http://www.eva-dry.com/products/eva-dry-500-mini-dehumidifier/

      wondering if it will help me sleep better without AC…?

      • It could. I don’t know about that product that you mention but a good a/c regulates temperature (to the point at which you set it) and should also draw moisture from the air (dehumidifies). When I’ve lived in hot apartments in hot, humid summers, the part that gave me the most relief was drawing the moisture out of the air. It was amazing that it made my apartment so much better.

        • pablo .raw

          …and that happens when the AC is properly sized.

          • Window units are a real doozy, for sure, but the OP was asking for I assume 1 room (bedroom) so I was guessing they would close the door off to the bedroom (assuming again that it’s not an open floor plan studio). The humidity is what makes summer weather uncomfortable. At night (again, assuming that’s when the person will be sleeping), the sun won’t be out beating and raising temperatures. I also don’t know which floor the OP would be sleeping on either. I thought they were asking as an alternative to using an a/c, don’t know if it’s cheaper to run a dehumidifier. If the home/apartment is not too hot (like 90) then their idea might be okay for OP to sleep in. Lot of factors, which aren’t described here to answer the question better.

        • op here. i’m just looking for something small, non-electronic, and cheap to put in my bedroom (can’t afford a real AC at the minute; that’s the dream someday!). my room’s pretty small but it also gets all the heat from the sun, but i have wicked bad asthma, too, which is why i’m looking for alternatives to dehumidify the room.

          • I think it could help, especially if you’re looking for a cheaper alternative to a/c. If your room is small, drawing the moisture out of the room (a good dehumidifier) should make it more comfortable. If you had a fan going as well, that could also be helpful. Not sure if running either or both would be cheaper than an a/c. I lived in a hot apartment for a summer (not in DC) and drawing out the moisture (plus fan) helped me to sleep through the night. Before that, I woke up, took a cold shower (no joke) and ate frozen popsicles to get through the night. My apartment was 100 at midnight. It was pretty bad, except for eating frozen popsicles!

          • Don’t waste your money on that then. It’s made to control humidity inside a safe, closet, ie a tiny space. It will not work for an entire room. I have one of their models that’s rated at 2,200 ft^3 and it can’t keep up in a single room even with the door closed. Don’t bother. A real dehumidifier that actually works is gonna be $200-300 or so. A window A/C unit would probably be cheaper and cool the room at the same time.

      • No. That’s way too small to do anything for a room let alone an entire apartment.

  • Rave: To the guy who shared his umbrella with me during yesterday’s downpour and walked me to the metro – thank you. You are an great person.

    Rant: saw an GIANT waterbug in the hallway of my building this morning, really close to my apartment. Blech. What are they doing on the 4th floor?? I hope it has made its way back down to the basement and not into my apartment 🙁

    • anon. gardener

      Down south, waterbugs often end up indoors after a heavy rain. if it is unusual to see them in your bldg, the rain might be the cause. It was probably as freaked out as you were, and looking for the exit. 🙂

      • Is there really a difference between water bugs and cockroaches? We’ve had three huge cockroachy things invade the house in the last week–for the first time ever. One strolled through the living room while we had guests. Guess I’d rather have water bugs than cockroaches.

        • Emmaleigh504

          I’d rather have the huge flying roaches than the little roaches. The flying ones tend (not always) to come as individuals, while the different little bastards ALWAYS come in large quantities that want to colonize.

          • When I studied in China 20 years ago, our dorm building was full of the big ones, flying down the hallways, running around the shower stalls. One even ran up my leg one time when I was showering. I don’t have words to express how disgusting that was.

          • yeah, they are terrifying. I went to school down south and they were everywhere. they call them palmetto bugs, but they are basically giant flying cockroaches. one crawled up my leg when I was standing on my porch and I almost peed myself.

          • Emmaleigh504

            Down south where I come from, we call them roaches.

          • In the South where I came from, we had roaches AND palmetto bugs, but I’m not sure there is really a difference. I think I thought palmetto bugs are gigantic and can fly but I might have just made that up.

          • anon. gardener

            Toally agree – the flying ones are more like small animals than roaches.

            In my part of the south, we have roaches – the little ones – and palmetto bugs, aka water bugs, which are the huge ones and which sometimes fly. Little ones live mostly indoors, big ones live mostly out.

      • talula

        Oops, forgot to log in, I am the anonymous 10:10 poster.

        Anongardener – I sometimes see them in the basement around the boiler areas, but never on the upper floors. I’m hoping this is one time occurrence due to the rains. Thanks for the info/reassurance!

        • I would rather see roaches in my apartment than bedbugs. Bedbugs are very hard to get rid of and D.C. ranks 10th U.S. city with bed bugs. Many 4 star hotels have bed bugs now.

      • I had one in my apartment this morning, but it’s ok, because I get to move today and my old apartment sucked, while the new one is fantastic! Nothing could put me in a bad mood.

    • Thank you for reminding me of something hilarious I saw yesterday at Farragut Square. An older tourist-looking guy with his 14 year old son were walking and it was raining. At the crosswalk to cross Eye St., the man ducks under some other man’s umbrella. Umbrella man noticed, and moved his umbrella up away from the man a fraction of an inch. The tourist stuck his head under AGAIN (all of this without asking, mind you) and umbrella man, clearly uncomfortable, took two steps toward the curb. Tourist man looked sad. Even if this is a “you had to be there” moment, I giggled all the way home, and that is a rave.

  • Rant: Missed the season finale of Modern Family last night. Once baseball season starts, I really lose track of the shows I watch.

    Rave: Down to my lowest weight in probably 4 years- found last night that I was down another couple pounds! -12 since New Years!

    Rave: Going into my interview tomorrow with a lot of confidence. Hoping South Sudan’s good fortune rubs off on me

  • rave: trying something new with someone I love
    rant: not gettng any feedback.

  • RAVE: Leaving for Rehoboth early afternoon
    RANT: Have to go back home since I left my phone on the kitchen island
    RAVE: Weekend beach forecast
    RANT: My helicopter is in the shop and I have to drive to Rehoboth :*/

  • rant: waiting to hear if i got the job

    rant: all my friends leaving dc for the weekend

    rant: having no $$ to leave dc for the weekend

    rave: new yoga instructor at the gym was AMAZING!

    rave: at least i get some alone time, i guess?

  • anon. gardener

    What is up with all the AM surliness on the Metro this week? Twice this week I’ve sat down, and the woman in the seat next to me has refused to budge an inch. both times they were sprawled in the seat, reading a book/kindle. Believe it or not, woman, it is possible to read while sitting up straight. I think the first woman was drunk, but still not an excuse. Sheesh.

  • Rave: All smiles today. Good stuff in the works.

    Rave: Inherited a plot in the community garden from my neighbors who will be out of town for the summer. I’m thoroughly enjoying planning what I’ll put in. Is it too late to plant tomatoes? Anyone have suggestions on which kinds do well in our climate?

    • It’s definitely not too late to plant tomatoes & other vegetables. Although I love heirloom tomatoes, they are less resistant to fungus/blight/etc – if you have the space you might plant something like Better Boy or Big Beef along with an heirloom like Brandywine or Black Krim. & don’t buy your plants from Home Depot/Lowes.

      If you’re planting cucumbers, Marketmore 76 are said to be the most wilt-resistant.

    • One of the vendors at the CH farmers market has a huge variety of good tomato plants (I’m not sure of the name of the farm – perhaps Wisteria? – they are the biggest there ) and will steer you toward what you like (tart, sweet, meaty etc.) I had great luck last year with Sweet 100s (cherry) and Brandymaster. Also Chocolate Cherokee were good – (slightly larger cherry)

      Cucumbers you can still start from seed – I had an insane crop last year with Japanese Soyu burpless (Botanical Interests brand – might even have bought them at Target) From 3-4 plants growing up a fence I got at least 80 cucumbers.

      • I LOVE cucumbers. Good stuff, I will look for some seeds this weekend! And I’m glad to hear that the CH farmers market has tomato plants–I was hoping they would.

    • I also try to do a yellow tomato plant. Yellow tomatoes are so expensive at the store, but I like them because they’re less acidic.

    • anon. gardener

      We had great success with heirloom tomatoes last year. It almost got to be a chore, picking tomatoes. Italia Giant did well, though it takes longer to set fruit. The plum and cherry types get huge and are very prolific. they reseeded themselves, so we don’t have to buy plants this year.

    • anon. gardener

      If you have a car – Community Forklift is selling vegetable and herb plants. This is the last weekend. They have a plant list on their website.

  • Rave: Summer dresses.

  • Rant: Applying for positions, no nibbles yet. Hoping the good fortune of others here eventually rubs off on me.

    Rave: The weekend. Staying in DC and hoping it’s quiet and peaceful

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rave: After 3 days and 6 phone calls the Comcast person I spoke with seemed to know why my internet is broken. My router is apparently ancient and probably no longer recognizing the signal. Thanks Mike for being nice & knowledgeable.

    Rant: Have to wait until Saturday to get new router.

    Rave: Enjoyed a cool presentation about the Tenement Museum last night at NEH.

    Rave: Two teens on metro this am had a very amusing conversation that I enjoyed overhearing.

  • em

    Revel: It was the perfect summertime temperature when I walked out of my building this morning!

    Rant: That was at 8:30 am – so it will probably not be the perfect summertime temperature later today.

    Revel: Just plain happy.

  • Rant: So angry with Verizon. Closed an account with them back in November, but they kept sending me bills (which I continued to pay) through January. After the last bill, I refused to pay anymore, and called them 5 or 6 times to get the balance waived. Nobody could tell me why I was still getting billed on a closed account. We even went into a store to get them to close the account. They assured me it was cleared, and then they sent the bill to collections. Ugh. Guess I’ll be writing a letter.

    Rave: Almost the end of the week.

    • Your rant, emmaleigh’s about Comcast, and mine from last week really boil my blood. All these telecom supercorporations really piss me off with their horrendous customer service and complete inability to have any cohesion between their departments. Last night I found that I have a credit of $44.20 owed to me from a closed comcast account from a couple years ago, and of course no one could help me.

      • pablo .raw

        I am fighting verizon because I keep getting spam text messages from strangers (computer generated) after cancelling that myself online and asking them to do it 2 times.
        Around 3 years ago, I ask them for a phone upgrade (I wanted a blackberry) and they said I was “not ready” but I could get one for $500. To that I said “no thanks” and when I was actually ready for the “upgrade”, I “downgraded” to a very cheap free phone and then I bought an iPod Touch. Since then, I have internet almost everywhere (advantage of living in a city) and I don’t have to pay any data to them (lots of $avings for me!) And now I keep getting messages from vz asking me to get a “smartphone”…….. no thanks!!!

      • Yet another reason I refuse to carry a cell phone.

    • I’m convinced they make it this difficult to get out so you’ll never leave (that, or they’re too busy cutting corners to save a buck). I had a horrendous experience trying to figure out how to pay a bill for Verizon. Because I have their Internet and not their phone service, it took five or six representatives and hours of waiting over two or three days for them to figure out that I was actually a customer. I dread the day I move and need to cancel my service.

    • yep, same sort of horrible thing happened me years ago. I mistakenly thought everything was fine because I had moved out of the apt w/ the account… it was only 2 years later I found out verizon had ruined my credit.

    • thebear

      I had pretty much the same experience with AT&T and Comcast. Way back in 2002 I canceled AT&T for long distance when Verizon started offering it for considerably less. Got a confirmation number, yadda yadda. Still kept getting bills…called them every month and they kept saying they had no idea why because it said I had canceled. Finally they sent it to their collections dept, who insisted “that cancellation is not effective until their systems actually close it out and that [I was] required to keep paying until that…even though I no longer was using their service.” It dragged on for years until I took them and the collection agency they dumped the bill on to court and they got slapped upside the head.

      I called Comcast in the fall of 2009 to try getting a better price or cutting back my service because I was in serious financial trouble from the economy and some hefty medical bills that just had to happen and make things even worse. They gave me all sorts of BS about why I couldn’t like “we can’t make changes of any kind to accounts that were opened when it was District Cablevision” or “Your account is locked because it’s so old” or “You can’t drop HBO and Showtime unless you upgrade to HD service” and then when I told them enough I want to just cancel service “Because of your account type, we can only cancel if you provide proof that you no longer reside at a Comcast-serviceable address.” (Their supposed uber-supervisor told me that.) I wrote them a letter (copied to the District’s Office of Cable Television and Telecommunications) recounting the experience trying to cancel and telling them that in no uncertain terms I want my service canceled. No response. Finally stopped paying the bill in the hopes that would get someone there to listen…no, they didn’t care that I was disputing the bills or had been trying for months to cancel. DCOCTT did absolutely nothing. Writing to Comcast again did nothing. Finally told them to just f* off. Being in the situation I was in at the time, I couldn’t take them to court. Of course, that only screwed me.

      I’m stuck with Verizon for local phone and DSL, and Verizon Wireless for cell for now. Other than having to call them several times last year when they jacked-up my phone+DSL bundle when the old agreement ran out and the code for that pricing plan no longer existed, I haven’t had much in the way of complaints about them. My cell contract goes for another year and I just don’t know at this point whether to stick with them (been with them since the BA-NYNEX Mobile days in the ’90s), or maybe dump them and try getting by with some other solution like a prepaid service or one of the discount ones.

  • Rave: Finally printed family fun pics and mailing them as post cards (one/day) to my mom (who is super stressed right now) and my grandfather. I’m psyched to hear their reactions.

    Rant: It reminds me of when I mailed pictures to my Nana every day with the names of the people on the back and a story about the day. She was sick with Alzheimer’s and didn’t remember us…

    Rave: Grandfather is 94, just got a pacemaker, and feels super healthy! He’s sharper than I’ll ever be.

    Rave: Heading to see family this weekend- I’ll be packing my parents’ house all weekend but at least I’ll be with them!

  • austindc

    Rave: Thanks PoPville for recommending 1905 as a romaaaantic restaurant! Went there for our anniversary dinner, and we loved it!

  • novadancer

    Rave: Husband found money in the travel budget, so now confirmed to hike the Inca trail in October!

    Rave: long weekend which includes hiking the Shenandoahs & 80’s Mayhem at the Blackcat

    Rant: must get rid of the extra 10 lbs before October. Perhaps EW can share their secret!

    • Wow- Inca Trail!! I hiked it two years ago and still look at the pictures all the time, wanting to do it all over again!! Enjoy it and have fun planning 😀

    • It’s no secret 😉 I wasn’t interested in dieting, but rather a lifestyle-change. So even though I’ve always been active to some degree, I switch up my dull old workout routine and switched from cardio classes (which are great, but I had stagnated) and started running. I don’t run particularly fast or far, but doing 2-3 miles at ~6 mph 3x per week and cutting back on red meat and carbs in favor of fresh vegetables did the trick! It’s pretty amazing not only the amount of weight I lost, but moreso, how my body trimmed up and gained endurance that I never had before. Good luck to you, however you decide to pursue it!

      • novadancer

        ugh, I “hate” to run. But you are about the 5th person who has said it is the one thing that works. I recently quit Vida due to boredom during cardio classes so perhaps I will start run/walk in June 🙂

        • I started off with the couch-to-5k regimen which begins at an easy walking-running mix, so even if you are terrible at running like i was, it gives you time to build up, plus it helps establish a routine, because you need to do it 3x per week. Believe me I hated running too, and I still sort of do, but it has really become cathartic and really sheds the excess fat quickly. I like instant gratification 😉

          • Hey, I’m doing Couch to 5k, too. When I started a month ago, I could barely do the first 60-second “run” even though I was barely moving. Yesterday I jogged half a mile! And I no longer puff when walking up stairs. I highly recommend it!

        • I also hate running. For small amounts of weight loss, people who “fidget” burn more calories than those who sit and stand still. This is small-scale weight loss.

          For bigger weight loss, a series of short but top-speed sprints are amazing for toning and losing weight. You sprint 100 yards at top speed and rest and then do it again, for a series of 5 times or so. Sounds easy but it’s harder than you think. As with any serious exercise program, check with a professional. These sprints are done within small classes/boot camp/trainers, so you’re not doing it alone.

    • not EW (obviously), but i shed 20 pounds a few years ago by sticking to a 1,500 calorie diet, exercising five times a week, and not drinking during the week (that part was the hardest!). i allowed myself one cheat day a week so i didn’t deprive myself and kept my expectations managable (e.g., i expected to lose 1-2 pounds a week, not all 20 in a month). also, don’t forget to alter your caloric intake or up your workouts as you start to lose weight. oh and weightlifting is key. you have to do cardio, but the weights will get you in smaller clothes faster since 1lb. of muscle takes up less room than 1lb. of fat.

  • Rave: Chick-fil-A PSA!: According to @darcyspencer, NBC4 Reporter, the Chick-fil-a Food Truck will be at SW Waterfront metro at 11:30am.

  • Rant: William Levy was robbed of 1st place on ABC’s ‘Dancing With The Stars’. The guy is a great dancer and he was the best. Donald Driver should have been in 3rd place. However, he’s an NFL player and he was popular with the sports fans and they voted for him.

    • anon. gardener

      Blame the pro – their routines were too predictable. His last cha cha was the best he’s been all season, really well done. but the freestyle was disappointing. I’m a Donald fan, so glad he won, but i wish William had gotten second.

  • I was walking home through Columbia Heights on Monday, May 21 around 7/7:30 p.m. and noticed that there was a commotion–an ambulance and two cop cars–at the 11th street/Park Road dog park. I haven’t heard any news surface, but does anyone know what happened?

  • Rave: the new Sweetgreen on L Street NW looks Sweet. The wooden sign adds some character to the sea of eyesores and boring buildings in the area.

  • RAVE: I was able to pick up a Bike-to-Work Day shirt at WABA today since I didn’t get to the pitstop early enough on Friday.

    RANT: I may be officially tired of having curly hair. The humidity makes me look like I stuck my finger in an electrical outlet.

  • Rave: Just rediscovered Hoobastank, which takes me back to when I was a senior in college. Have spent morning reminiscing…sort of.

    Rave: Spent my lunch laying in a patch of sun. It felt sooooo good and I only look like a raccoon a *little* bit.

    Rave: Saw a free movie (For Greater Glory) last night and might see Chernobyl Diaries for free tonight!

    Rant: Can’t go anywhere this weekend b/c the Boyfriend has to work Saturay and Sunday.

  • Afternoon rave: I got the part time job I interviewed for yesterday afternoon. Tutoring=extra cash!

    Hoping tomorrow’s “real job” interview goes as well 🙂

  • Rave: going down to the Northern Neck for a little R&R.
    To all the military service members and families who’ve lost loved ones, we appreciate you and your sacrifice. All the best this Memorial weekend.

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