Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user afagen

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.

88 Comment

  • alxindc

    RANT: Been talking to myself forever, and how I wish I knew me better…

  • Rave: The two Marines this morning who stopped me to tell me how good I look. I feel like I look like crap today (thanks, humidity) so the comment was appreciated.

  • Rant: Annoyed that I’ve applied to several jobs, been on several interviews, had even a couple call backs but nothing has come through!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • That’s life. I had around 50 interviews before I got an offer, and this was back in 2005 when the economy was a lot better. Hope it doesn’t take you quite as long.

    • Such is life. Two months ago I had in-person interviews with 4 potential employers. I was shown around offices, met staff, and told about how great it was to work at these places. Some of them I went in to interview multiple times. And you know what? Only 2 of them had the balls enough to tell me I didn’t get the job. The other 2 left me hanging. I’ve learned to not get excited about anything until there is an agreed upon salary and start date.

      • This is exactly what happened to me, and you are right, I won’t get excited until I have the letter in hand. It is just annoying that I waste time and effort and they won’t even shoot me an e-mail to say THANKS BUT NO THANKS!

      • This is my all-time favorite rant – I hate when companies who have interviewed me can’t be bothered to tell me ‘no’. There is so much advice about job-hunting etiquette Do’s & Don’ts for the job seeker; I think companies should make this small gesture a priority “Do”. I have become very proactive about it – if I haven’t heard anything within a week or so after the day they said they’d have a decision, I am on the phone following up.

  • Rant: Still thinking about the garbage issue from yesterday. Is it silly of me to think that the city should do some kind of a campaign to educate people about the fact that the shit they throw on the ground ends up in the potomac river? Do you think most people even know that? Come on down to Hayne’s point and take a peek. It is shameful and goes way beyond sullying a bus stop.

    • I was just reading the bus stop/litter thread and getting really discouraged — about the litter, about people on PoP being snarky and uncourteous to each other, etc., etc.

      I routinely pick up litter on my block, but it’s immensely frustrating because there’s always new litter within HOURS.

      Thank God for the bag tax. Though I personally find it annoying (as I reuse/recycle my plastic bags), I suppose the litter problem on my block (and in D.C. in general) would be even worse without it.

      • Ever been to Tokyo? In a city of 13 million the place is spotless. They also have a lot less paper products. No paper towels in the bathrooms (hand dryers) most restaurants are not fast food and therefore don’t have disposable items. The real culprit here is paper and plastic products from fast food places and convenient stores (including coffee shops). Not sure how you can combat that other than appealing to the common decency of folks. Also, fining the businesses along 14th street that don’t have dumpsters and are clearly using the public trash cans on the street would help.

        • I lived in Japan for a year, and the lack of litter in Tokyo and other Japanese cities has little to do with fewer paper products and just about everything to do with community values.

          You don’t litter in Japan. It’s just not done. If you drop something on the sidewalk by mistake, you immediately pick it up; not doing so would disrupt the “wa” (harmony).

    • You’re assumign that people who litter care where the trash ends up. I think that’s wildly optimistic. Perhaps even incredibly naive. Of course, I’m a cynical bastard.

      • Optimistic and naive. I think some people just don’t realize it but most probably just don’t care.

    • Have you seen the plaza/fountain in Columbia Heights after a night of FroZenYo and 7/11 parties? Seriously, there is 6 garbage cans surrounding you and yet that still is too much effort.

  • Rave: Ukraine!!!!!!!!!!!! (2:1 against Sweden yesterday)
    Rave #2: made the ukrainian gazpacho – cold beet soup – for dinner last night. delish.

    Rant: work. urgh. clients. urgh. too many meetings. urgh.
    Rant #2: those pesky green flies on my herbs. Hoping that soap bath they got last night worked.

    • I freaking love beets. Any chance you’d share your recipe??

      • Sure, it’s called “svekolnik”, lots of different versions on the internet but here’s mine.

        Night before peel and grate a few large beets and boil with 1.5 liters (half a gallon?) of water and 2 teaspoons of plain white vinegar (extremely important step if you want bright pink color) for 20 min or until beets are cooked/soft to bite. If it’s too sweet after cooking, add red or white vinegar to balance acidity, a tablespoon will usually do. Season with salt and pepper. Cool and store in fridge overnight.

        Next day arrange some of the cooked grated beets from the broth, diced cooked potatoes, diced cucumbers, diced hard boiled eggs, and finely chopped scallions in a little mount on a soup plate. Pour beet broth around. Serve with sour cream and finally chopped dill if you like it.

        And now that i think about it, a tiny touch of fresh garlic would not have hurt. 🙂

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: Work is stressing me out. I do not like to be stressed over work.

    Rant: Terrible night’s sleep last night because of allergies.

    Rave: Benadryl and tea.

  • Rant: People who make nasty/snide comments about me moving to the suburbs. You’re rude and that is the main reason we’ll probably lose touch once I move, not because of location.

    Rave: I’m in love with the house we’re buying.

    • They’re probably just upset that you’re leaving them. Or they’ve lived in the suburbs previously and know what a soul-draining environment it can be! It has its perks, but be prepared for a lot of traffic/time spent in the car, and a lot of people who aren’t very nice.

      • You really do lose touch with people in the city when you move out to the suburbs. It happened to me despite my best intentions– it was just so draining commuting to the city every day, or even doing basic things locally like going to the grocery store, that I didn’t feel like leaving the house once I finally made it back there.

      • “and a lot of people who aren’t very nice.”

        Yeah, thank goodness we don’t get that in the city.

        • I actually think the majority of people I encounter here in DC are genuinely nice.

          • Although I agree with you on that point, I’m not sure if everyone would. But you seem to be implying that people in the suburbs are somehow nastier than in the city, and I don’t think that’s a reasonable statement.

          • I don’t think people in the suburbs are innately nastier, but it’s an environment where people are less connected to one another and that breeds impersonality. Also, the traffic is so terrible that it puts nearly everyone in a bad mood.

          • really a reply to former NoVa resident @11:24

            I don’t agree about the suburbs being filled with people who lack connections. My brother lives in the near suburbs of VA and knows all of his neighbors, they all watch each others cats when they go out of town, share veggies from their gardens, stop and chat when walking the dogs, etc. I live in the district and with the exception of one neighbor who I call The Mayor (b.c I don’t even know his name) never really talk with anyone in my building and certainly not others on my block. I love living in the city for a thousand other reasons, but I feel it’s a much more anonymous experience than any of the smaller towns/suburbs I’ve lived in.

          • I think qst makes a valid point. I am always humored when people say that people in the suburbs are less friendly. While I’m sure there are the exceptions, living in a city is far more lonely, difficult to meet people and make friends/relationships and isolating. All the thousands or millions of people that live in a city help to make the illusion that cities are friendly and not lonely since there are so many people always around. In terms of making a real connection with someone it is a lot more challenging. People always complain about how hard it is to meet new people, make friends, find relationships (not talking about the random hook ups here) and people are surprised by the loneliness that they encounter when they move to cities, unless they already have connections or are super outgoing and make a definite and concerted effort to be otherwise.

          • I think there’s a difference between the idyllic suburbs of the 1950’s, or the quiet ones many of us grew up in, and today’s suburbs of DC. The latter is just as transient as the cities themselves, and overcrowded, and teeming with different groups of people who can’t connect because they speak different languages and have vastly different cultures. Generally in these suburban environments the Koreans only hang out with other Koreans, the Salvadorians with other Salvadorians, and so forth. Housewives don’t exist anymore, so everyone who gets home after an arduous commute still has a pile of chores to do and can’t go bake a pie to take to the neighbors’ house. It’s just different now, just as city has changed so much for the better.

    • I don’t get this, either, and I think it’s mean.

      • I lived in the suburbs for years and worked downtown, and now live in the city and work downtown. It has been a life altering change, and all for the better. Unless you’re also working out there (which would also kind of suck) the suburbs are good for only one thing, and that’s raising children.

        Sorry. It’s the truth.

        • Or when you are comprimising on commutes because one person works out in the far-far suburbs. I think I get really annoyed because yes, of course I’d love to live in the city. But for what we can afford and for the sanity of my partner we need to be in the suburbs. I don’t need people to be rude to me about the decision that was best for us.

          • That’s a really good reason, and I hope your commute doesn’t become exponentially worse as a result. When I lived 12 miles outside of the city it would take me, on average, an hour and a half to get to work!

          • We’re doing the same thing! My boyfriend works up near Baltimore, but I work in Arlington, so we’re looking to buy a place in Silver Spring/Takoma Park–our first house tours are this Saturday! I am getting a little tired of the trash, fear of someone beating the hell out of me because I might have an iPhone, and being treated like the white devil–it is just too draining, and I certainly don’t want to raise kids where I live now (re: Anon 11:06 am). So, we’re moving because it is best for our future. You’re not alone, SB/SMB.

          • How much money are you going to spend on transportation now? For a lot of people, especially renters, I think they don’t think about transportation costs, so yes maybe they are saving a couple hundred on rent by moving out there, but it’s a wash due to the costs of gas, smart trip, etc. (I know you said you’re buying).

          • Commuting 20 days per month, I currently spend $128 a month using the Metro. With my new commute, I’ll be spending $174 a month using the Metro–a $46 difference. My boyfriend will also save a bit on gas money since we’ll be moving further north towards his job. Collectively, I think it’ll be a wash on the increase vs. decrease on commuting costs. I think the benefits of owning your own place far exceeds the slight increase in commuting costs (equity, not throwing money away each month, having better security, etc). Good thought though!

          • I don’t understand why it’s anyone’s business where you live – it’s your choice, and if it is better for your family, who cares? If people are your friends, they’ll be pleased that you are buying a house you love and all that.

            Unless it’s in Virginia.

        • This is a pretty arrogant point of view. And instead of “Sorry. It’s the truth” you actually should have said “That’s my opinion.” You know, because what you wrote was an opinion, not a statement of fact.

          • Anon 11:06 here. That’s the beauty of an anonymous blog. I can be blunt and direct and say what I really think without caring about coming off as arrogant.

            I lived in a close in suburb for a long time. We did it for the kids. The public schools were fantastic and the streets were a lot safer. It was a no-brainer kind of choice.

            But if you don’t have kids, or once your kids are gone, the suburbs plain suck. They’re boring, kid-centered (which is great when you have them but blows when you don’t) and the commute is a nightmare. Since moving into town I’m in a car maybe a few minutes a month instead of an hour and a half a day. There’s been nothing more liberating.

          • Anon 11:06, good for you, I’m glad you’re in a good place. But everything that you write is based on you, and therefore an opinion. There are many people who do not share your point of view, such as all the folks I know (with and without children) who live in the suburbs, like it there, and do not want to move into the city.

    • Rant: Vincent Orange. The man is planning on running for Council Chair in November. This will be a HUGE test to see how far DC has really come. If we can send him packing, it will be a huge sign that the city is finally moving forward. Hopefully we can get some real candidates to run against him, and not someone like Sekou Biddle.

      • Here here. We really need to rally against this guy. He is dirty too. All the consecutively numbered money order campaign contributions are enough for me. Biddle is a good guy and an honest guy and I would support him. My hesitation is that he already lost once to Orange, who if nothing else, has name recognition. Still the election was close.

    • I’ve been a suburban dweller for the last 7 months, after living 14 years in cities. Yes, you don’t get the culture in the suburbs as you do in the city. And I would never recommend a single person live in the suburbs. But really, there are things you can’t beat:

      *You don’t have to pay for parking, as parking is abundant.
      *You don’t have to schedule trips to stores in order to make use of good parking or transportation.
      *Neighbors are more friendly – yes, more friendly…the first time I’ve ever had a neighbor speak to me, much less do something nice like make fresh strawberry shortcake for us or give us a baby present without us even speaking to them directly, was when I moved out to the suburbs.
      *The food in the suburbs may not be as fancy as the city but there are some diamonds out there, especially with the high rent prices in DC in particular.
      *You may not be able to “walk everywhere” but where you do walk, the chances of you getting jumped by a bunch of rogue teens is pretty minimal.
      *You can get packages delivered right to your doorstep, and have them left on your doorstep without fear of them getting stolen.
      *With a fuel efficient car, you actually end up not spending that much more on transportation costs, with the average convenience of taking another route if your regular route is blocked (which cannot be said about buses or trains).
      *You get more living space for less money.

      But, as I said, I wouldn’t recommend a single person live in the suburbs.

      • Ha ha – packages delivered to your door with no fear. So true. I have been having mine delivered to my office for years for just that reason.

      • The only point I’d argue with is about planning trips to stores. I have more than one of every store I’d ever need within a 5 block walk of my house. No planning for transportation necessary. Even if I need to haul big things, I just rent a hand truck.

        • You, my friend, are a lucky, well positioned person. Kudos!

          • Yes, I am, but not really for that reason. I made a choice to live the way I do and to move out of the suburbs once I landed a low-paying job. I have been car-free for 12 years so that I can afford rent in dc. I am good with my money because my quality of life is very important to me. I was much more prone to depression and crippling boredom when I lived in Fairfax. That’s no joke.

          • “I was much more prone to depression and crippling boredom when I lived in Fairfax. That’s no joke.”

            Me too. Not so much boredom, since the commute ate up a lot of my fre time, but certainly depression. My wife and I noticed, since we moved to the city, that we’re unintentionally saving the same amount of money every month even though we’re paying so much more in housing expenses. It’s because we don’t need as much here to be happy. When you live in the suburbs you feel a need to spend more on things like cars, electronics, entertainment, and so forth.

      • Curious Meg, where did you move from in DC and where do you live now? I ask because I don’t have to pay for parking now (living in Capitol Hill) or schedule trips to stores, but when in lived in Annandale I was constantly scheduling my life around the traffic flow. The people I work with who live in the suburbs are constantly checking the traffic maps to find the optimal times to come and go.

        My former neighbors in Annandale weither ignored us or were downright un-neighborly, whereas in DC even people I don’t know say hello to me on the street. That’s awesome that you had a good experience wherever you live, but I think that’s an exception. When you live in the city you simply see your neighbors more and everyone is more relaxed in general.

        I will agree about the food, particularly if you like Asian, Middle Eastern, or Latin cusine. The new immigrant populations keep expanding out in the suburbs so the ethnic food is more authentic there. But it’s nice being able to walk to a restaurant instead of sitting in traffic trying to get to it.

        I always felt like my chances of getting jumped by someone in Annandale was high because there were fewer witnesses around, and the few people that were on foot were very low-income. And of course the chance of getting hit by a car when crossing those busy roads was much much higher than in DC. The infrastructure just isn’t pedestrian-friendly. Besides, CVS was the only thing I could reasonably walk to. I realize this point varies a lot depending on what suburb and what DC neighborhood you’re comparing, but I don’t think you can definitively say the suburbs are less sketchy and safer for pedestrians.

        I actually had more stuff stolen from my yard in Annandale than in DC (actually, nothing’s been stolen in DC yet). Again, this depends on location.

        My transportation costs were much higher in the suburbs. My car insurance alone dropped from by 75% when I moved to DC. How can you argue that it costs around the same living in the suburbs, assuming one works in DC? I’m just not buying it.

        More living space for less money I’ll agree with, but I personally think more space does not correlate to better quality of life. That’s probably not true if you have kids, though.

    • ef ’em. Congrats on your new home!!!! 🙂

    • My biggest complaint about Montgomery County is that if you go to the grocery store you can’t also buy your beer and wine. What’s up with that? God damn puritans. Congrats though. I looked hard at the suburbs and settled on essentially the DC suburbs.

  • Rave: it took me a few glances to notice, but the bow tie on the parking meter in the photo made me smile.

    Rant: Boss has refused to speak to me ever since I put in my notice last week. Real mature guy.
    Rave: I’ll never have to deal with my boss again after next week. Yippee!

    • Do we have the same (ex)boss? When I put in my two-weeks notice at my previous job, the arse basically ignored me until the day I left.

    • That boss sounds like someone to leave and forget. At least you won’t ever have any nagging doubts about whether or not you should have left that job. Good luck on the new thing.

  • Rave: My chiropractor. I don’t know how he does it, but he fixes me every time. Several weeks ago sitting at my desk for too long was excruciating, but over the course of several visits he has cracked and massaged me back to good health – pain free.

  • Rave: Rainy day – love rainy days. Last full week in the office! Woot
    Semi-amused Rant: A woman seriously called 911 because she saw SHOES on a power line. Gentrifiers…black, white and brown need to get a grip.

  • Rant: Everything has been done before.

  • RANT: I really am craving a home grown ‘mater (that southern for tomato for you northerners) sammich!

  • rant: I haven’t had any work to do in weeks…. I am so bored

    rave: I have a lot of vacation time, so perusing the web for vacation destinations. Any recommendations? I love off the beaten path/backpacker type places

    • there is a great deal to Turkey right now…$700 round trip. I’m still trying to get someone to come with me, but you might as well take advantage of it!

  • Rave: Still in the game for that int’l development job. They called yesterday and asked for some additional paperwork.

    Rave: It’s my wonderful boyfriend’s birthday. The wok set arrived on time and in one piece.

    Rant: Feeling very, very tired today, probably as a result of having to find a 24 hr CVS last night at midnight after I realized the bandages on my bike accident “wounds” were not doing their job.

  • Rave: Work to hardscape/landscape our ugly scrap of backyard begins in a few days–looking forward to a new patio!

    Rant: Put down a big deposit, but the start date keeps getting pushed out.

    • Hope you’ll keep PoPville updated on your project! I’d love to hear how it goes and whether you’d recommend the company. We’re slowly, but surely working ourselves towards a full-blown backyard renovation.

  • I would disagree. Even if 911 is for non-emergencies, for something as routine/stupid as calling in a gang sign then you should call your local police department NOT 911.

    • And they will promptly tell you that the cannot send out anyone to even look without the call going thorough 911.

  • Rave: Yesterday was my birthday. I took a half day and went shopping for a bunch of camping/hiking gear. Can you say telescoping forks?!?

    Rave: Belly dancing class tonight and then going on a date.

    Rant: ? The weather? I don’t really have one, to be honest.

  • houseintherear

    Rave: Adios, students!

    Rave2: Rainy day. At some point I need to actually move to the northern west coast, and not just dream about it…

  • RANT: What’s the deal with Ovaltine? The can is round, the mug is round… they should call it ROUNDtine!

  • Had a dream last night that I was 5 months pregnant…and at a wine festival….Oh, the judgemental scorn!

    Revel–It was just a dream!

  • Rave: Have tickets to a concert at the black cat tonight.
    Rant: I’m already pissed at how tired it’ll make me. Because I’m old.

    Rave: Ordered an ice cream maker.
    Rant: Ordered an ice cream maker. Helloooo calories.

    • All things in moderation as they say. I’m currently making recipes out of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home and so far the results have been fantastic!

      • Jeni’s is so delicious. I don’t make my own since I don’t have an ice cream maker…and it’s probably a good thing I don’t or I’d look like Jabba the Hut within a month.

        Whole Foods used to carry Jeni’s, but I haven’t seen it in awhile. Now I just need to talk myself out of ordering it. The candied fennel and sweet potato/marshmallow ice creams are my favorite.

  • Rave: Tonight is the Meridian Pint Homebrew Showdown finals. I’m competing and really excited. The winner gets to brew his beer at DC Brau for a limited release.

  • Rave: My wife and I closed on a great house in Brightwood/Takoma yesterday! We can’t wait to move in and get to know the neighbors!

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