Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user jennverr

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 and no need to correct people’s grammar. This is a place to vent and/or rejoice about daily life in DC. I’ll open this thread every morning at 10am.

118 Comment

  • Rave: Happy Gay Pride Week!! I’m looking forward to going to the Pride Parade Saturday!!!

    • WOO HOO +2! lol

      It is a fun time of year, such energy in the community. I like that we start it out early when other cities do it later in the year, we kick off the party then we can go visit other prides. I like the one in Atlanta too. Happy Pride to you!

    • em

      Hooray for Pride!

      My new bride and I are planning to stop by the festival after our wedding, weather and time permitting.

    • Allison

      Yay! I had so much fun at the parade last year, which happened to fall on my birthday. Got slapped in the face hard by a string of mardi gra beads, but it was totally worth it!

  • Why have so many Prince of Petworth commenters chosen not to select avatars or create individual names? It’s so much easier to follow a conversation when you can easily identify writers with the visual cue of a little icon and a name. Just curious.

    • I choose not to sign in because it leaves a public record of my comments – even with a pseudo name. Though I think PoP can still ‘follow’ anonymous commenters.

    • houseintherear

      I was being lazy, but now I’m not. πŸ™‚

    • I don’t have an avatar simply because I never got around to picking one.

    • IMO, anonymity (not creating a sing in) is a major reason of this blog’s success.

      • I, for one, thoroughly enjoy a good sing in.

      • In my opinion, complete anonymity (not creating a sign in) brings out the worst in people and contributes to the occasional bad manners and nastiness on this blog. I’m sure you are always thoroughly charming though.

        As for the avatar, I just haven’t gotten around to it.

        • This is true. However, for me, I choose not to have a sign in because I am often commenting from work and I sometimes say things that are controversial, although I would say not mean spirited. I try to follow the rule that you should not post anything that you don’t want attributed to you but I sometimes fail at that. Also, I sometimes post personal things that I would prefer not to have people know it is me.

          • For those who go the avatar/unique account name route, I’m pretty stunned by the number of people who are most likely commenting from work throughout day but who don’t seem to understand how vulnerable they are making themselves to termination. It would be all too easy for an employer to go to the comment history of that unique user and not only scrutinize the content of their commenting history but the amount of time they spend on PoP throughout the work day. The new features are nice indeed but I choose not to self-identify in any possible way for all of the aforementioned reasons.

          • The truth is, your place of employment (no matter what your designation is) can monitor anonymous or not anonymous activities. They probably are doing so right this minute.

          • To me, the issue is not so much creating a sign in but using a consistent identifier (ew, Kam, em, etc.). If I am posting as kenyondweller, I know that if I say something really crappy, then next week when I post, someone might recall that kenyondweller is a jerk. It’s a check on my worst instincts. We humans are social animals, and bad things tend to happen when we become completely unconstrained by our peers.

          • @anon on purpose: I don’t think you’re protecting yourself the way you think you are. Everything that comes and goes from your screen passes through your company’s IT system – and if you’re using their computer then they are probably legally entitled to monitor it. If your employer wants to monitor your internet usage they can know exactly what you are posting and how long you are spending on which sites whether you sign in to the website or not.

          • Also, if you are using your own or personal computer for work, your place of employment also has the right to review that one as well.

          • That is not correct. Your office is not allowed to monitor your personal computer if you happen to do some work on it.

          • CDL, Monitoring is a little different from reviewing. “I work at home, so I can do whatever I please. Don’t be so sure. It all depends on whose equipment and Internet connection you’re using. If your employer supplied the machine, your company can do anything it pleases with the computer, including examining your personal files on the hard drive. If you use your own PC but log in using your employer’s Net connection, or have company software on your personal computer than enables you to do work offsite, the company can legally track any of your activity online, unless you have an agreement that states otherwise.” I think if cases were to get as far as a courtroom, it’s still a case-by-case basis but important questions would be who owns the computer, the network that is used for the computer, software on the computer and any contractual agreements.

          • For several years I used my first name, until someone at work pointed out that you could see all my posts on my profile. So I joind the anon group.

    • I don’t sign-in because I’m terrible at remembering passwords but the name I use? I can remember that πŸ™‚

    • Interesting to see people’s reasons for staying anonymous. Even Dan (the blog owner) chooses not to use an avatar. I wondered if others were simply following that cue.

    • 1. the last thing any of us need is yet another username and password.
      2. if I post something online under a traceable name, that could either be bad for me or it would make my posts incredibly boring and tame. I don’t even like to rant about the weather under my name.
      3. there is simply no reason to since you can comment without.

  • Rave: Finally got off my butt and set my bike up for the summer. I forgot how much I love it! The weather after work yesterday was perfect for a ride.

  • Rave: My super-awesometastic wife’s birthday today!
    Rave: Going to try to snag a couple seats at Little Serow to celebrate!
    Rant: She won’t be able to split a bottle of wine with me πŸ™
    Rave: Because she’s pregnant! (Not a new development, just continuing the narrative.)

  • Can anyone speak to this: Since up-and-coming neighborhoods seems to be a perennial subject, I wanted to ask about Brookland. I think about 10 years ago, people projected that Brookland was going to become an up-and-coming neighborhood and some bars opened up in anticipation. It was near a metro, near Catholic U., etc. It never took off in the way that some people imagined I would guess. Does anyone know what happened? Unfortunately, the economy took a dive, so that might in part explain things. Thanks for any insightful feedback.

    • it was the economy. things are moving again.

    • I suppose it was the combination of the market, the availablility of other “up and coming” neighborhoods closer to more established areas, and efforts of some residents to fight development. Brookland is becoming more popular as formerly “up and coming” areas become more epensive, and it already has quite a few new developments (Menomale pizza, the zoning change was approved for the 901 Monroe development at the Brookland Metro, CUA sponsored a development just west of the Brookland station that is in the initial stages of construction, and the RIA station developments are nearing completion).

    • My guess: Brookland was already in somewhat better shape than places like Columbia Heights or “NoMa”, which means a lack of blocks to be bull dozed and replaced with mixed use apartment/retail buildings. With out a block to sacrifice to development there was no where to build a major chain grocery store. While some people are fine with the Yes organic market and small corner grocers I think a lot of people look for a nearby major grocer when picking a walkable neighborhood. The closest major chain seems to be a Giant in Brentwood, which is right next to a lot of new development at the Rhode Island Ave metro stop.

    • I live in Brookland / Edgewood. Check out Monroe Street Market and Chancellor’s Row (EYA) website. Also http://www.901monroe.com/News/ B Cafe, Menomale Pizza. Also the McMillan is a short walk from Brookland (Envision McMillan). As a resident there was little development for a while now it seems to be coming all at once. I am obviously biased but I am bullish on Brookland.

  • Rant: I’m in pregnancy-test limbo-land. Inconclusive blood test late last week, followed by another test yesterday that (shockingly) showed pregnancy hormone levels have doubled appropriately but are still super low. Blood test number 3 tomorrow. I feel like my body doesn’t know what to do with itself after the miscarriage a couple of months ago.

    Rant: feeling like I every time I go on facebook, I hear news of another pregnancy or birth. Happy for my friends, of course, but it’s a little tough.

    Rant: I SO need to stop trolling around the internet and freaking myself out about the possibilities of ectopic pregnancies, etc

    Rave: had an excellent yoga class this morning, it’s a beautiful day out, and I had excellent metro karma this morning. I’m going to try to use that as a springboard into optimism for the day.

    • lol – ‘intentionally anonymous’ posted while i was posting – congrats to you & happy birthday on your wife. the irony made me giggle. πŸ™‚

      • Sorry to hear about the difficulties you’ve been dealt, and I hope you get great news on tomorrow’s test. FWLIW, our path to get here hasn’t been easy, and because it’s early we’re not out of the woods yet. Best of luck to you!

    • Try to focus on the positives, which might help you to feel a little more relaxed during this process. Yoga, beautiful weather, etc. are all good things to be grateful for. Try to stay off of facebook, especially if it’s a downer for you right now. I don’t know what your specs are, but people do miscarry (not totally uncommon) and then go on to have healthy pregnancies following. Wishing you success in this.

      • Certainly true. I just wish the first conception attempt post-miscarriage were a little more cut & dry on the outcome front. But hey, it keeps life interesting, right?

        • Good luck – I’ve known several people with low levels at first, and everything turned out just fine πŸ™‚ Some people just take time to start producing the right amounts of hormones. And, if conception didn’t occur when the doctors think it did (which was the case for me – I was a full week off), the levels could be low because you’re just earlier along than they thought. Finally, I really wish people would think twice about announcing via facebook, for the reason you noted. It’s like you log on and it just blindsides you.

    • sorry to hear it. I can sort of relate. hopefully you can try to relax and hold out until tomorrow when you should have a more concrete answer as to what’s going on. I suggest unplugging from facebook. I did even before I was trying to make a family and it has made my life immeasurably better.

  • Rant: Grad school. Second week of class and I already have a paper due. This professor is requiring us to use turnitin before submitting our assignments. That means I have to finish it and check it before the weekend. And she’s requiring a table of contents, headings and sub-headings (something I’ll have to learn to do and use this week.)

    mini-Rave: An article I read for class cites an author named Bullwinkel.

  • Rave – Construction has begun on Wonder Bread factory.

    For me the Wonder Bread Factory, McMillan and the brick façade at O Street Market were the dormant sites that annoyed me the most because the potential at each site is so obvious. Neighbors North, South and East of McMillan time to compromise and make the site an asset for the people of DC.

  • jim_ed

    Rave: The banner thief thread from yesterday was undoubtedly my favorite PoP discussion of all time. Also happy to see more PoPvillers than I would have guessed root for the home town team.

    Rant: It made me REALLY wish football season was here. We have the chance for the Nationals in the playoffs and RG3 returning the Redskins to relevancy. September cannot come quickly enough.

  • Rant: Bank of America really screwed up when it closed Premier Banking and Investments. I miss calling my personal banker! Going into the branch is like horrible. πŸ™

  • All raves today.
    Rave: Had a wonderful night last night at the barn! And it’s a beautiful day today. Hoping to get outside and enjoy parts of it.
    Rave: Found an awesome place to stay in Paris- now working on our next step of our trip, Avignon and Luberon region.
    Question- has anyone rented their own personal apartment out with AirBnB or VRBO? We’re thinking about it and not sure about how it would work out.

    • We are using AirBnB for our apartment stay in Paris. It’s been great and the woman who owns it has sent us very useful information prior to our departure (tonight!). Just look at the reviews and ratings for each. Also check that the photos are ‘verified’ by AirBnB. Our rental had great reviews and continues to get glowing reviews. The process has been great so far- we’ll see how ‘check-in’ goes tomorrow!

      • Have a wonderful stay – enjoy the heck out of Paris!
        I’ve used AirBnB a bunch to rent a place but I was actually inquiring about people who have rented out their own place, for instance, while they are on vacation, through AirBnB. My husband thinks it’s a great idea to make money while we’re travelling and I’m a little wary in that it’s our main residence, not a rental property we have.

        • Britt, i haven’t rented out my place, but you can always not post a calendar of available dates up and just have the setting “contact for availability”. This way when people contact you, you can decide whether to say it’s open or not based on how other hosts reviewed those guests.

  • rant: jerk cars who refuse to stop fully when you’re crossing in a crosswalk. I’m sick of cars inching up on me so that they pass me within an in when I’m barely past them. don’t they realize how stupid, dangerous, and mean they’re being? ugh, I try to tell myself they don’t know any better, but it really makes my blood boil.

  • Rant – neighbor’s car window was smashed. This has happened to me so many times, along with hit and run’s on parked cars. I will never understand the mindset of the thief/low life piece of crap.

  • Rave: After 15 months of working out/counting calories and being frustrated, I finally broke 115lbs last night!! True it may have been because I ate a very light dinner but seeing that on the scale was such motivation. Maybe p90x was the answer all along?? Still about 6lbs from my desired weight (I’m 4’10”) but considering it took every day of those 15 months (including two triathlons, a few 10Ks and a half-marathon) to lose the first 7lbs I’m hoping that I finally broke the threshold and will now see regular weight loss.

    Rave: Finally set up an appointment with a nutritionist to make sure I am doing things the right way!

    Rave: Wedding planning is going so well. Paying for my dress on Saturday, checked out our likely band on Friday. Loving how in sync my fiance and I are with all the planning and how he is not one of those “I couldn’t care less men!”

    Rave: Met with my mentor last night and she gave a little silver lining to my job frustration cloud. Semper ad meliora.

    Rant: At the moment nothing…except the current clouds are making me nervous for the surprise date I have planned for my fiance later…

    • Great job on your weight loss! I know from experience that it’s a slow and difficult process when you’re short and don’t have much to lose in the first place.

      • Thank you!! Seeing that drop on the scale (okay even if it was only by .4lbs) gave me an awesome boost last night. Hoping my body has finally gotten on board with the whole weight loss thing!

        • Hitting goals (whether they be “the number” or clothes size or increasing time/distance on a run) is so rewarding! Great job!

    • congrats!

      can you share the name of your nutritionist? i need to get one, but have been procrastinating on the research probably because i don’t want to be told that my ice cream habit is bad. πŸ™‚

      • Yes! She is actually a physicians assistant at Premier Primary Care in Arlington (off North Glebe), but she is a licensed nutrionist and dietician. Her name is Dr. Sibley.

  • Neither rant nor rave: Does anyone know where to get solar glasses to view Venus tracking tonight?

    • The NASA shop at their HQ MAY have some but not sure. I’m trying to find some last minute as well, if you find any please let me know!

      I may also try an alternate method of looking through a CD (read about it on the NASA site)…however, I really can’t wrap my mind around how that will work…

    • I read somewhere that it’s safe to look directly at the sun during sunset, is that true?

  • Anyone have a surefire way to fight roaches? Moved into a nice basement studio in Adams Morgan and see at least one every other day. Exterminator already came once and Im a neat freak.


      • Wish I could still reply to the poor soul who was living in the suburbs and was worried that everything in the city was roach-infested. The ONLY place I’ve lived in the DC area that had a roach problem was in the suburbs. I thought my current place might have problems because it shares an alley with restaurants, but I’ve never even seen one in that alley.

        • Really?! I lived in Houston for a year and I’ve seen SO many more roaches in the streets/in my house here in DC than ever before πŸ™

          • Houston vs DC is different than Northern Virginia vs DC though. I was assuming the commenter in the old thread was living in a suburb of DC and not somewhere else in the country. I had a horrible roach experience in Annandale, but I’ve lived in several DC apartments without ever seeing one.

    • The exterminator needs to come once every week or two– it sounds like you don’t have a lot of roaches but it’s still an iterative process getting them all out. It took me all summer to get rid of mine, but that was because they were coming from the neighbor’s house and they weren’t doing anything about it. Hopefully you have a simpler situation to deal with. Make sure you have the AC running, if you have it. Roaches love heat and humidity. Contrary to popular belief it doesn’t have anything to do with how neat you are.

      • I recommend those black Raid roach traps they sell at Target. My gross neighbors appear not to care that their apartment is infested and therefore even though I take every precaution not to get roaches they still used to come every once in awhile. I’ve seen 2, yes 2 roaches in my apartment over the last year since I started using the black traps and I’m pretty sure my neighbors have done nothing to change their own situation.

  • Rave: About to go on COBRA, quit my job, take the summer off, figure out what to do with my life next, live more simply in GA.
    Rant: No one is getting back to me about my COBRA related questions.

    • I love your rave!

    • One bit of COBRA advice, not that you asked for it, but I got burned so I pass it along whenever the topic comes up. You will have a certain amount of time (6 weeks?) after your last day of regular coverage, during which you can decide to take COBRA. If you know you want it, do not wait to take it. WHY: your employer will immediately notify your insurance that you are no longer employed; when you take COBRA they will reinstate you for the entire time effective from your end date. However, if you wait, the insurance may show your coverage as terminated before you claim COBRA and the paperwork catches up – if anything happens to you at this point or you need Rxes etc, you will have to pay cash and get reimbursed when the COBRA coverage is set up. So – all in all – if you know you want COBRA, send in the paperwork as soon after your last day of work as possible. It can save you some headaches later.

  • Rant: Still on pins and needles about my prospective job opportunity at the development firm.

    Rave: $2 Tuesdays at the Ballpark tonight with a friend (who’s a Mets fan, boo!)

    Rave: Got inspiration for my boyfriend’s birthday present- does anyone have any recommendations for buying a quality wok? Preferably something reasonably priced ($50 or under) although I’m not sure on how much woks run, I’d like to get something good quality that will last.

    • GiantSquid

      You’ll find the best woks at Asian markets. You want one that’s totally curved (no flat bottoms) and if you can get wooden handles, try to. My Mom bought me a wonderful wok but it has metal handles and it’s a pain (literally) when you’re cooking and they get hot.

    • You can have my wok for free. I rarely use it and I’m moving. Bought it at Marshall’s a couple mos back.

    • Nevermind – just saw that it’s a bday gift.

    • As a male who cooks a lot, I still would recommend when shopping for a quality wok for your boyfriend that you not buy your boyfriend a wok for his birthday. Think power tool or liquor or gadget. (If it entails you cooking a stirfry for him in lingerie, then, wok it is!)

      • I think it makes up for the generations of women who received vacuum cleaners, baking accessories, or other domestic household items for their birthdays πŸ˜‰

        He doesn’t need power tools, has every gadget known to man, and liquor seems crass. He has been wanting a wok for ages, and it’s relatively affordable. However that last part isn’t a bad idea πŸ˜‰

      • I am guessing she knows her boyfriend better than you do. Congrats on being really masculine or whatever, though.

    • Allison

      I recently got a nice “eco friendly” (i.e., no teflon coating) one at Target. I don’t know how they made it non-stick, but it’s a dream. It’s the one with the light gray-ish blue inside. Heats up SUPER fast for good stir frying.

  • alxindc

    Revel: A nice morning run today.
    Revel2: It is 11:11 already!

  • Rant/Rave: got the What’s Happening! theme stuck in my head.

  • Only one Rave: She said yes.

    • Congrats!

      Was there any chance that she would not have said Yes?

      • Not really. We did “the new order” where we lived together, then bought a house, picked up a stray cat. Ya know, the usual. We are very excited and had our engagement dinner at Chez Billy. Staff was wonderful, food was great and all we could think about was how lucky we are to have found this neighborhood together.

    • thats a big rave πŸ™‚

    • Congratulations!

    • Still super thrilled for you guys!! Another bonus – we’ve gotten good planning tips and vendor recs from PoP, including our FABULOUS photographers, so use this forum! Can’t wait to celebrate with you both.

  • Anything know much about urban planning? I am currently a demographer/project manager but am really interested in making a career transition to urban planning. What’s a typical day like? Do I need an advanced degree (already have one in a social science)? Thanks to anyone out there!

    • Just lost my comment due to “posting too quickly” – ugh!
      Planning is tough right now – lots of degrees (M in City/Urban/Regional Planning) and not a ton of positions. Cities aren’t hiring much or laying off planners and private firms (like consulting) are very competitive and project based so previous experience is a must (and hard to get).
      Do you have a niche like transport, engineering background, or sustainability/emissions, etc? That is helpful in getting a planning-esque job with the advanced degree.
      My hubbie has city planning/transport planning masters and I plan on getting my someday soon (no great schools in the area though) and until I have my masters, I’m working in Intl Dev. doing less physical planning and more governance and capacity building.

    • From what I’ve researched about an urban planning career seems to line up with what Britt is saying: Lots of masters programs, but very few jobs right now. I’ve even heard that the few jobs that are out there aren’t that great (low-paying, low status in some local govts, etc.). So I’m not thinking straight up urban planning, but I’m interested in urban geography with emphasis on Geographic Information Systems (GIS). GIS is really booming right now and applicable to almost any industry and discipline. I’d encourage you to check it out if you’re looking for a career move.

      • Thanks for the advice, both of you. This is sort of the impression that I was getting. I’m pretty familiar with GIS, as that’s what my boyfriend does. Urban planning is really appealing to me because it combines so many of my interests, especially now that sustainability is really coming into its own. I’ll keep exploring for now πŸ™‚

    • I am a planner and can echo what has been written already. Even though many planners are public employees, the job market is very much tied to the real estate market – if real estate is down, like now, there is less call for planning services in local governments, and of course much less call in the private sector. Even in good times, there is a limited number of positions – more than once I have found myself roadblocked in a position with no chance for advancement unless someone senior to me left the agency, so that can be hard, and can lead you to need to be somewhat mobile. You will want an advanced degree, so that may buy you some time as the economy recovers. You should seriously consider studying in the region you think you want to live in – it can help to learn the pertinent laws and general issues of the area, not to mention making contacts; many grad planning programs make good use of working professionals as teaching staff, in addition to academics. I am sure you are aware, but look at the American Planning Association website (planning-dot-org). All that being said – I love planning and am very happy I found my way to it (after some misguided attempts at architecture and landscape architecture.) Good luck.

  • Raves: Good life, great friends and health. Other peoples’ raves! In spite of its many problems, DC is a great city.

    Rant/Rave: My best friend left today. I wish him well on this new journey.

  • RANT

    Ugh, I hate dishonest cabbies!

    Most DC cabbies I encounter are fine (though I could do without the cell phone conversations held by 99% of them), but today’s took the cake!

    I got into a cab with a medium sized box under my arm. The cabbie pulled out and immediately hit me with a $1 surcharge (bs gas surcharge) plus $0.50 for my “luggage.” En route, he proceeded to weave through traffic in an unsafe manner, take several phone calls, and eat his breakfast.

    When we arrived I paid the exact fare and asked him why I got the $0.50 surcharge. No tip. He told me the box is luggage, and then offered to give me back $0.70 of my $10.70 fare. I told him to treat people honestly and slammed the door.

    Jerks like this guy ruin the image of the whole taxi industry.

    • I got a $1 surcharge in my cab ride last night too, and yes, it was set to the new meter scheme. I didn’t say anything because I wasn’t positive it had been removed, but I think after reading your comment I should have.

      • I think the $1 gas surcharge runs through June 18 or thereabouts. It’s total crap given the new rates are in effect, but I think the spineless DC taxi comission wimped out in the face of beligerant drivers.

        So, the $1 surcharge should be going away soon. I was complaining about the gratutitous $0.50 surcharge for a 5 pound box. The new fare sticker says the surcharge is for “luggage put in the trunk by the driver”. I carried my own box and it was not big enough for the trunk.

  • Oops just saw thati it’s a birthday gift. Nevermind.

  • Rant: My knee is killing me. I slightly hyper-extended my knee playing futsal last night and now it is really sore. And it is the same knee that had a torm MCL years ago. I am getting old.

    Rave: It was only slight so hopefully I will be good as new in a week or so.

  • houseintherear

    Rave: Last week of teaching for the school year. Got to spend the morning making origami airplanes with the kids, then doing wind tests and trying to fly them outside. So fun.

    Rant: I won’t have a vacation until August, and that’ll be a short one. Shouldn’t have committed to working this summer. This will be the last summer I work for at least a few years. I’m burning out fast. On the plus side, I’ll be fairly rich by the time August rolls around, so I can travel and not feel guilty.

    HAPPY PRIDE, dc!

  • rant: all my girl pals have moved away from dc

    rave: it’s not scorching out!

  • Rave: Lost 9 pounds!

  • Anonymous 2:22, that seems mean and uncalled for.

    I have to say that Me’s initial response re. “like” seemed overly snarky (sorry, Me — usually I like your posts!), but Anonymous, was it really necessary to up the ante in your responses??

    • Never mind… was replying to an exchange that (fortunately!) is now deleted.

    • Anonymous 2:22 here. I would like to claim the last and ante-upped deleted comment so that it won’t be attributed to the original anonymous. Mea culpa. But taken as an aggregate of all the comments I’ve read by “me”, snark has repercussions.

  • Your 9 pounds found me—would happily give them back πŸ™‚

  • Rant: I haven’t been sleeping well the past few nights, so I’m sooo tired.

    Rave: I thought I’d screwed something up at work, but it turns out that I didn’t.

    Rave: My 12-year-old cracks me up.

  • Rave: It’s my friggin birthday!
    Rant: I’m alone in Northern f-ing Arizona by myself for work. Recent break-up makes it even harder.
    Rave: Trying to be positive about how to spend this day…and have visions of doing something life changing or at least memorable. Trying to remember all the good in my life.

  • Rave: I wore a jacket today! And it’s June!
    Rant: Birthday dinner on the rooftop at Mellow Mushroom last night. Service wasn’t the best but the pizza sure was! And free birthday dessert!
    Rant: Two of my roommates are moving out, which means a whole new round of interviews starts. I hate this process.

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