Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user Wayan Vota

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.

90 Comment

  • rant: unmotivated at work since i’m leaving in two months.
    rant: not knowing where i’ll be in 2 months because the job i interviewed for STILL hasn’t gotten back to me
    revel: it’s FRIDAY!
    revel: party at my house tomorrow!

  • Rant: Neighbors, for the ten billionth time, putting trash in my bin *after* it has already been picked up for the day.

    Revel: It’s a beautiful friday.

  • I wonder what this city would look like without defense contractors and lobbyists? Hmmm.

  • rave: just accepted an offer for new job!!
    rave: savor tomorrow night!
    rant: guy with a scooter that sounds like a dying lawnmower, revving it up every hour of the night, directly outside my bedroom window.

  • alxindc

    Rave: Brought breakfast for the office and now everybody is thanking me at least 3 times per minute.
    Rave: Euro 2012 starts…
    Rave: This > http://youtu.be/AOwwihJpAVg

  • claire

    Rant: Feeling emotionally drained after a couple especially stressful months, capped off by my grandfather’s death & funeral.
    Rant: With the amount of work missed plus the vacation hours I had to use for the funeral, looks like that’s the end of my plans to visit Kansas City and Austin later in the summer.
    Rave: Supportive boyfriend.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: Badly translated Japanese documents.

    Rave: Tomorrow Comcast is out of my apartment (hopefully) for good! RCN is being invited in with open arms.

    Rant/Rave: Work wants me to work extra hours. Yay more cash, boo more work.

  • Rave: Getting everything together.
    Rant: Malaria pills are so expensive.
    Rave: This email chain btwn the WSJ Journalist & Ambassador candidate is hilarious. http://cryptome.org/2012/06/mcgurk-chon/mcgurk-chon.htm

    • I use daily doxicyclin for malaria prophylaxis. It is cheap and effective. Many think it prevents traveller’s diarhhea, as well.

      • Thanks. I looked at doxycycline but was worried about the side effects – sunburns & yeast infections mainly.

        • True, but if you use it, try to see if you can test it out before you go. I’ve spent time in West Africa with friends who took it and had side effects such as vivid nightmares, etc. It’s a good drug but just affects some people differently than others..

          • I much prefer malarone. No side effects and you take it for a shorter amount of time. That’s probably the one you already got that’s expensive though. I think it’s Lariam, not doxy, that causes the vivid dreams.

          • Yeah Lariam is the worst for the dreams but it was the doxy that messed with my friends when we were abroad. I was on malarone, which still actually caused some weird dreams/reactions. Ah body chemistry, something I will never understand…just grateful to be protected from nasty diseases 🙂

  • Rant: Comcast.

    I wasted 34 minutes of my life on the phone only to be told that they couldn’t do anything to reduce my bill (which jumped to $80 – internet only!) because 90 days hadn’t passed since our last “deal” expired. But, she said, I could go online because discounts might be available there.

    Then I wasted an additional 22 minutes of life online, mostly in a chat with a customer service rep who – after I had already filled out the order form for internet advertised at a non-astronomical price – told me that I couldn’t complete the order unless I also bought TV service.

    I really didn’t need the reminder, but I hate Comcast with a burning passion.

    Rave: Helpful PoPville commenters – pretty sure that munstead lavender will be happy in my yard, so I’m heading to grab a few plants after work!

    • anon. gardener

      I looked at my lavender plants this morning. munstead, hidcote and fat spike are all doing well. silver edge not doing well at all. there is a sickly looking munstead one foot away from a healthy, thriving one. so location appears to be key. Happy plant shopping!

      • after yesterday’s discussion, i was thinking of planting some lavender. then after a little googling, i found out they attract bees (allergic) and praying mantis (creepy), so i think lavender is a no-go for me. 🙂

        • They also attract butterflies. Actually, attracting bees is a good thing (of course, unless you are allergic to them). Then you probably will have to be careful of planting a number of different types of flowers, which attract bees as well.

        • anon. gardener

          Praying mantises are awesome, bug eating machines. I always feel like I must be doing something right if i see one in my garden. Sorry you’re allergic to bees. That must really put a damper on gardening.

          I found swallowtail butterfly caterpillars in my parsley this year. I had no idea parsley was a host plant. Def planting lots of parsley from now on.

          • Since there seems to be really wise gardeners on here, anyone dealing with strange pests or visitors (new to them this year) in their gardens? I’m asking because of the early/rainy summer plus the really mild winter we had, I’m hearing that people are dealing with pests somewhat new this year because of the weather pattern. For example, though the roses were in beautiful bloom around DC, many got decimated by sawflies. Curious if anyone has experienced new critters (good or bad) and can share?

          • Yeah, the only flowers I have are tulips, which come and go so quickly that it’s not a nuisance.

            But I am *terrified* of insects aside from ladybugs and butterflies. So yeah, my front yard is pretty boring and minimalist, but it doesn’t look like an eyesore, so I’m happy. 🙂

          • True. Oh gardeners of PoP, what should one do if one’s potted basil plant’s stems are turning dark brown/hard and the plant is flowering? Replant it? Fertilizer? More/less water??? Guidance appreciated 😉

          • anon. gardener

            Re: basil, pinch the flowers off. as for the rest – is the pot big enough? pull it out of the pot to see if it is too damp and/or root bound. And let us know, gardeners are curious!

            I have noticed that the aphids on my roses are less bad this year. Weird! but no other unusual bug activity.

          • Isn’t that because you have a preying mantis? I think that might take care of your aphids!

            For basil, it likes hot, sunny and apparently humidity, grows like madfire. Don’t overwater but don’t neglect it in terms of watering either. Don’t let the roots sit in water because your basil will go the way of death. If you keep it outside, you might have to protect it from critters. Heaven only knows what has been chowing on my basil leaves. Somebody is enjoying the basil and it hasn’t been me.

          • Re basil – cut it back hard (by 1/2 or so) and make pesto/etc. The basil will thank you. You can also take cuttings and put in water as they root easily thus giving you a few more basil plants.

    • If you can tolerate it, call back. When I had Comcast (thankfully I’ve moved on) I went through the exact same thing. When I called back and talked to a different rep I was able to get a deal. Keep trying until you get it. It will be a time suck, but it’s worth it.

      • Emmaleigh504

        True words. Just call back until you get someone who will give you what you want. I got most of my last bill credited back to me because I called and complained about their crap service enough. I was supposed to have a supervisor call me back to discuss it, but instead of a call back they just put the credit on my account.

        • also, try calling during non standard hours.. often times you’ll get someone from overseas who doesn’t seem to be such a hardass

          • but you might get someone who doesn’t know what they are doing. Not with comcast, but it happened to me. I was on the effing phone for 3 hrs because the dude couldn’t admit he had no idea how to fix the problem. I hung up on him or it would have been longer.

    • msmaryedith

      My friend wrote a book about the customer service industry called “Your Call Is (Not That) Important to Us” and highlighted Comcast (because they are so notoriously awful). They created @ComcastCares, and according to her, you get better service if you Tweet your problem than if you call. Worth a shot! And it least it takes less time than another call. Also, you can visit comcastmustdie.com to feel less alone.

  • Rant: DCRA making it very expensive/difficult for small businesses to get started.

    • +1,000,000

      dcra is horrible! no one seems to have the answers to your questions, or they must make up the answers because everyone tells you something different. and then there are the ones who tell you to stop asking questions and just do what you want to do ‘under the table.’ what a shit show! even went to the board meeting and they didn’t have answers. occupy dcra!!!!!

  • Rant: Fighting my body’s defense mechanisms for stress. Fell asleep before 10 pm two nights in a row, and am feeling very jumpy and grouchy.

    Rave: The weekend.

    Rant: Having to spend another weekend in doubt.

  • rant: the two group houses (with generally nice tenants) on my block who refuse to cut the grass along the street – even when they finally get around to cutting their own yard. Seriously, it is now three feet high!

    • I get it, but how does that actively hurt you? Maybe they don’t have a weedwacker, etc?

      • It actively hurts neighbors because it makes the block look poorly maintained, provides space for rats to hang out, allows litter to accumulate, etc.

        I totally get what EH is saying. I don’t think we live on the same block, but one of the group houses on my block has a lawn that’s poorly maintained — in early May there were weeds that had grown about 18 inches high, well over the District’s 10-inch limit.

        I’m assuming that with that house, it’s probably something that the landlord is responsible for, not the tenants, and so I don’t hold it against the tenants. But it IS annoying when — as in the situation EH describes — a landlord (or tenants) gets someone out to mow the lawn, but can’t be bothered to have that person mow the strip of grass/weeds next to the sidewalk.

        • i didn’t know about the 10″ limit on weeds. i have a neighbor who has enormous weeds in his backyard that are creeping all over the place. do you know if the limit is only on public property or is private property included, too?

          • The owners of a house on my street got cited for having a yard full of high weeds. Not sure who did the citing – DCRA? Someone likely complained via 311 thus the inspection/ticket.

          • GiantSquid

            You can contact DCRA and report the address. If the weeds are visible from the street or alley (public space), they can cite the owner and go in and cut the weeds, charging the owner. I’ve tried for our neighbor because her weeds are higher than the fence (7′). I would have snuck into the yard to cut them down, but they’re so bad, they’re blocking the gate out of my yard into hers.

          • It’s 10 inches for anything (theoretically grass, but several houses on my block have thriving lawns of clover and other weeds, and no grass to speak of).

            The 10-inch limit is actually for private property. In theory, the D.C. government is supposed to take care of mowing for public property.

            On the D.C. government website, there’s some text about the 10-inch limit and I think a PDF flyer as well, but I can’t find either at the moment because the website’s search function is down.

          • thanks, guys. i’ll check this out.

        • So what about something like Sunflowers, which are big and tall flowers?

      • Having to get a kid out of a car seat while standing in knee-high weeds, hiding who-knows-what filth, actively hurts me. Dog owners thinking that they get a pass on poop-scooping because they “can’t find it” in the grass actively hurts me.

      • Come on. So people can do (or not do) whatever they want as long as they’re not actively hurting anyone? That’s not a good standard.

        Also, weedwackers (or clippers of some sort) are readily available for purchase at many stores, and probably easily borrowed from a neighbor. This is a problem of laziness, not of access to the proper tools.

      • In this case they have a weed eater. They cut their yard, but ignore the street. If I ask them to cut it I am usually met first with “oh no, that’s not my job – it belongs to the City.”

        I know there has been some debate over who’s responsibility it is – but seriously, don’t you think you would notice your strip of grass growing to three feet while everyone else’s is cut? Do you think they are just skipping you? Sigh.

    • Just call 311 and report it. The city will come out and cut it and charge the owner a hefty fee. The owner will likely not let that happen again.

    • While I am not your neighbor, I do live in a group house and we have had this problem. There are a few reasons why our grass sometimes grows beyond a resonable height. A) Our landlord has never provided us with a mower. Mowers have come and gone with different roommates, and when the person moves out and takes their mower, no one wants to put in money to actually buy one for the house. B) We now have a mower (thank to a roommate (who unfortuantely is moving out and will be taking it…see the problem?)) but our garage door, which at one time functioned at the push of a button, now has to be lifted manually. This door is WAY too heavy for me and takes at least two people to open. So if I’m home on a Saturday but no one else is, I cannot get to it. C) Last summer we ended up paying a guy to mow every two weeks but this was an expense that none of us could really afford.

      Not that I’m making excuses for us, or them, but there are some difficulties that come with living in a group house.

      • buy a weed-eater – the dont’ cost more than $40 at Ace and then knock down the weeds/grass every other week.
        Or dig up the grass and put down gravel and you won’t have to mow it again.

        • Won’t work for us–we live in Bethesda and have a full front and back yard. On that note, is it up to the landlord to provide a mower?

          • It is up to your lease whether or not the landlord is going to provide you with a lawnmower. Usually it is not their responsibility. You rent the house with some expectation that you will do day-to-day maintenance like put out the trash, shovel the snow, and cut the grass.

      • I don’t understand Item C. Hiring a neighborhood kid to mow the lawn should cost $15, at most. Even with the crazy rate at which things have been growing this Spring that’s not a huge cost when split between people. I’ve been in that situation before and paying someone to do it is a lot better than trying to borrow a mower, or buying an appliance you might not need when you move, or having a horrible-looking yard. If I were the landlord I would hire someone myself because this is a common problem with tenants, but since you agreed to maintenance in the lease it’s your responsiblity now.

        • I have no idea how much lawn we’re talking about, but $15 sounds low to me. I’d guess you can’t get anyone to show up for less than $25. But I’ve been out of the suburban lawn care market for a long time, so I am just guessing.

          • Ha, well, I’ve been out of the suburban lawn care market for a year an a half now and maybe there’s been some inflation. Also everyone’s more expensive in Bethesda so who knows.

      • I don’t mean to be harsh, but everything you mentioned is an inconvenience, fairly easily solved, and not a reason to not maintain your lawn. My first- and second-hand experience with group houses is that the landlord might provide tools for maintaining the yard, but generally if you’re living in the house then it’s your job to do the regular upkeep like yardwork.

        • Is this true? I always thought the landlord was responsible for the upkeep, including for group houses. It’s up to the tenants? I’ve assumed the group houses tend to look like dumps because the landlord lives offsite so isn’t especially aware of general upkeep needs unless a major snowfall hits and s/he is listening to the news.

          • It’s true that it’s my experience, and I would be surprised if my experience has been contrary to what is stipulated by all of the relevant leases. In the groups houses I’ve lived in, we were always responsible for keeping the outside in a reasonable state (weeding, mowing, shoveling snow etc.)

            Of course the real problem with group houses is that it is hard to do their fair share of yardwork, so I think the tendency is to do as little as you can get away.

          • oops. I meant “hard to get each person to do their fair share of yardwork”.

            Point being, group houses look like dumps because usually no one person steps up to make sure it gets done, and it’s nearly impossible to get everyone to contribute equally, so very little gets done in the end. Plus I think group houses tend to be young, single people who, generally, aren’t all that interested in doing yardwork.

  • rave: Euro Cup
    rave: Friday
    rave: weather
    rave: no rants today

    • Word!
      Rave: Euros
      Rant: I hope I don’t get killed on my brackets and get made fun of endlessly.

  • Rave: Woke up in a good mood singing to Red Hot Chili Peppers “Road Trippin'” (my wake up song) and my wife told me I sounded good.

    Rave: Traffic wasn’t bad at all today, got to work with a smile on my face which is kind of unusual.

    Rave: Enjoyed good music while prospecting for new accounts.

    Rave: Wife called and said that my good spirits this moring must have rubbed off on her because she got a free parking spot at work today which rarely happens

    Mega Rave: The IO had been waiting to get the final word on came through with no cuts to my proposal which made an already good June month exponentially better.

    Rave: About to walk across the street and get some fish tacos from District Taco!

    Rave: Life is great right now!

    No rants from me today, nothing is going to steal my joy today.

    • Oh and I am going to eat said tacos while watching Euro 2012!

    • grrrrrrrrrrrr jealous of your district taco run.

    • Thank you, oh wise Kam, for resolving my “what should I get for lunch” quandry. District Taco it is! Mmmm.

    • LOL @ Megan. Well if I was that wise I would have stopped messing around and would have gotten there at 11:30, instead I got there at 12:30 and the line was to M&S. I am not really a waiting in line kind of guy, esp. when I can have it anytime so I bounced. You might be better off waiting another hour if you can.

      I was going to make that a rant but not today, today is a happy day. I am going to the gym instead and maybe when I get out there will be no line. Actually it is probably better this way so that my body metabolism destroys the tacos. Win/Win.

      • I’m not a line person either. My plan is to wait until around 1:30 to walk over. Hopefully the crown will have thinned by then! I will have District Taco today, come hell or high water 🙂

  • Emmaleigh504

    Bonus rant: My favorite person at work just accepted a new job.

  • Rave: Started the morning off with a work-related flash mob! It was a beautiful day to be standing outside as opposed to being stuck in our usual morning report.

    Rant: No one to go to Jazz in the Garden with tonight!

    Rave: Tomorrow night is my b-day shindig! Here’s to breaking in my cowboy boots with a little line dancing! 🙂

    Rave: Started a new ‘small group’ through my church last night–it’s dealing with life transitions and the obstacles that go along with them. EXACTLY what I need!

  • houseintherear

    Called 311 five days ago to report illegal dumping in my alley/street, and it was cleaned up by a friendly truck of men this morning!

  • Rave: Getting married in less than a month.
    Rant: It’s giving me A.D.D. during the hours of 8am-6pm.

    POPville, any suggestions on how to improve focus and concentration? I want to kibosh this rant.

    • “POPville, any suggestions on how to improve focus and concentration?”

      Completely avoiding sites like this (unfortunately!)

  • Rave: It’s my birthday! Overwhelmed and touched by friends and colleagues’ birthday wishes! I’m usually a grouch when it comes to FB birthday posts, but there’s something nice about seeing faces I haven’t seen in awhile.

    No rants today — weather is great, seeing family this weekend, and my health is great — 35 is looking pretty damned good so far.

  • Revel: Boyfriend came home from Afghanistan on Tuesday. He is on close to a local time sleep schedule again and we have some fun plans for the weekend.
    Rant: Nope. Not a one!

  • Good article on Dr. Gridlock…

    So I am nine months pregnant. Four days past my due date and have gained XX pounds (Not everything requires full disclosure).

    I write about Metro for The Washington Post so riding trains and buses is a huge part of my job and it’s how I generally get around town.

    But being pregnant has given me a different perspective, especially when it comes to who gives up their seat when they see a rather large, obviously pregnant lady lumbering into a train car.

  • What is up with the Guardian UK…update update please!

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