Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user JRoseC

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.

83 Comment

  • rant: the heat (as in miami…grrrrrrrr)
    rant: people at the gym who don’t wipe down mats/machines/equipment. gross.

    rave: soccer
    rave: friday
    rave: low-key weekend coming up

  • rave: got a new job yesterday and only three days left at my old one!
    rave/rant: have been on so many metro hot cars the past few days BUT I have called them in on the emergency button and they actually send people to fix them!
    rave: a busy weekend
    no real rants today.

  • claire

    Rant: Laptop fan stopped working. Can’t have it on for more than fifteen minutes or so without it overheating.
    Rave: Computer at work and smartphone means I can look up possible solutions.

    Rant: Went to go grocery shopping yesterday but the power was out at the grocery store! It’s my favorite place to get groceries (they have obscure Asian ingredients! And their produce is so cheap!) so I hope they had backup generators for their refrigerators/freezers and are back in full swing today…

    Rant: Don’t know how much more I can take of living with my roommate. He’s a great guy and we’re friends (which makes it a sticky situation), but damn, it’s like living with a teenage boy with a drinking problem.
    Rave: He’s going out of town today until Monday! Time to clean!
    Rave: Moving out in September!

    • So where is this mystery grocery store?

      • Yes, please share!

      • claire

        It’s kind of out there (but on my way home from work so convenient for me) – H&A in Langley Park http://www.yelp.com/biz/h-and-a-supermarket-langley-park . It’s also right next to my favorite banh mi shop (Ba Le) – anyone who makes it out there should grab a grilled pork banh mi there too (the grilled pork is clearly the best variety and they know it so it’s 50 cents more than the others but worth it).

        • I’ve been meaning to check out that banh mi place. I need to one of these days. And I love the Asian/Latino supermarkets. There’s one near me tha has great meat for barbecuing (ribs andpork shoulder), plus all kinds of produce and spices, and live crabs and fish!

    • Hey Claire, if you are willing to venture out to Arlington, this guy is a computer genius! http://www.yelp.com/biz/arlington-virginia-computer-repair-arlington-2

      I had the same issue with my fan and he fixed it very quickly. Make sure you don’t turn your computer on anymore, though. Overheating can totally fry it. Much better to get it fixed.

      • claire

        Thanks for the recommendation, but it’s a bit more complicated than I let on… I run Ubuntu Linux on my computer and I’m about 90% sure it’s a software issue, not a hardware one. Actually had a similar issue back when I first got the laptop about 5 (can it really be??) years ago but don’t remember how I fixed it, d’oh. Hoping I can get it fixed on my own, or at least fixed enough to get my files off of there (although that’s easy enough even if I can’t manage to fix this as I don’t think the hard drive is damaged). Luckily was already contemplating buying a new computer because there are many other issues (hardware and software) with the laptop currently…

  • No real rant or rave, just love the goat using the walking bridge as a hammock!! Happy Friday!

  • Rave: love the picture of the goat today.
    Question for Bikers: Yesterday, after keeping my bike parked out in the hot sun all day long, I discovered I had a flat tire. The bike guys at my local bike shop speculated that it was the heat that did it. Does anyone know if 100 degree weather is associated with tires blowing under pressure? I think I had them blown up to just short of their maximum PSI, so the added heat may have done it, but I’m curious if people have had experience with this.
    Rave: The bike dudes fixed it in five minutes- yay!

    • Yes, blowing a tube up to close to the maximum rated pressure for your tire and leaving it in the sun can cause the tube to burst. This actually happens all the time in triathlons where people will pump their tires up to high pressure in the relative cool of pre-dawn hours; after the sun comes out they come out of the swim to a flat.

      • Follow up: there is zero need to inflate your tires anywhere near the max, especially for riding on crappy city streets! Your joints and butt will thank you for the more forgiving ride. On road tires rated for 130 psi I rarely pump above 100 for commuting, more often closer to 90.

  • anon. gardener

    Rave: ice cold water.

    rain garden went in yesterday, and it is awesome. but now the rest of the back yard looks like crap. i predict back-breaking labor in the near future.

  • Rant: When I move aside on a really crowded metro to let you pass but then you just stand there in the small space I made to let you pass and I am pressed up against some old lady.

    Rave: Pressing up against an old lady.

  • Rave: Little bear starts swim lessons this weekend!

    Double rave: Wife is taking a pie making class this weekend. Yay for pie!

    Triple rave: I will be finally seeing a dear old friend this weekend!

    Rant: Nothing today and it is FRIDAY!!!!!

  • rave: going to vegas tonight for vacation!
    possible-rant: nervous about the possibility of thunderstorms later.
    rave: have lost a nice bit of weight and am really proud of myself for accomplishing something that seemed so difficult to do.

  • Rave: Biked to Metro four times this week. Probably doesn’t mean much to those who bike to work, but for me it means not paying $4.24 a day to park my car. And it’s a nice little ride to get there and back. In the past few weeks I’ve only biked to Metro a couple of days a week. I’m trying to ride there every day.

    Rant: Still not quite used to using a U lock. Sometimes at first I can’t figure out how to get it through the back tire and frame, and what should take seconds can take minutes. I guess in time I’ll get used to it and it will be second nature.

    Rave: Two good gigs this weekend, including a concert at a park in Frederick. Hope the weather is nice for that one.

    • austindc

      That’s awesome that you are biking to the metro! I agree: U locks are a pain in the ass, but they’re still good to have. Safe riding!

    • If you can ride to Metro every day in this heat, you’ll have no problem when the weather is more forgiving!

      A major quality of life improvement is to get an extra long u-lock (apologies if you already have one). It can still sometimes be a struggle, but it’s more forgiving of not being thread through the only gap in the spokes that will fit.

      • I’ve been leaving pretty early (around 6 AM) to avoid the heat. It’s nice to ride that early, and to get to work early (also riding on Metro on nearly empty cars.) The last stretch home (up a fairly steep hill) can be tough in the heat, but that’s mainly because I wear work clothes and have a backpack. It would be nice to be able to wear shorts and a t-shirt to work.

        I’m actually looking forward to this ride when it gets darker and colder out, mainly to see if I’ll be able to handle it.

        • I have a 10-minute bike ride to work, slightly downhill on the way there and slightly uphill on the way back, in work clothes. I find it to be comfortable in all weather. When it’s really hot like this it’s SO MUCH better than walking! I did take a break from biking in the middle of winter because I procrastinated getting a light.

    • Yes, as previously mentioned, a longer U-lock that lets you lock the front wheel and frame is easier. That said, after having mine for 2 years it’s still like a puzzle to me every time i lock up my bike.

  • alxindc

    Rant: Knowing too much can be such a kill-joy. Ignorance in the right amounts is such a bliss!

    Rave: swimming and biking later today! first run in 8 days tomorrow morning. my quasi-triathlon 🙂

    Rave: Planning for a camping trip, and I love planning.

    Rave: New podcast is out

    Rave: Mangoes and pineapple for breakfast! Forward.

    Rant: Have a client call at the time of Germany vs. Greece…Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: Just remembered that my sister is on vacation and I’m not.

    Rave: Parents coming up here for vacation later in the summer.

    Rave: Already making plans to see Grandpa for Thanksgiving. I hope I win the Lodge Lottery (the Lodge is the super duper nice hotel for guests of the residents of his place. The hotel rooms are about 3 times as big as my apartment. Sadly, there are only 10 rooms, thus the lottery).

    Rave: Spicy, Indian “cheetos” that my boss shares.

  • Rant: Refinancing (AGAIN!)

    Rave: Because I bought in such a wonderful area that is changing so quickly (Petworth) I will have enough equity in my home to refinance at 15 years, and to consolidate all (hopefully) of my wife and I’s student loans into a 15-year mortgage at something slightly under 3%.

    Rave2: Being finished with student loans!

    Rave3: Seriously… Mortgage at under 3%. That is less than inflation.

    • Congrats!!! That is a major accomplishment. How did you find out about consolidating student loan debt into a refinance?

      • Just was thinking about it last night. We have some equity due partly due to appreciation, and partly due to our 15 year refinance last summer paying down so much principal, so just going to take out extra cash to get back to 80% loan to home value. It is super exciting, otherwise we were looking at several more years, so it will be nice to see them done.

        Our mortgage will only go up by about $100 a month due to lower interest rates too. Overall just perfect timing with rates being so ridiculously low.

        • That is incredible, Very inspiring! Thank you for sharing.

        • Who are you doing the refi with? We went with a 15 last year too so have paid down the mortgage a lot in the last year… if I could get lower than 3% though it would be worth it do it again.

        • I’m also interested in refinancing. How much were your closing costs? This is my main concern at the moment.

          • I’m just starting the process and closing costs are estimated to be $4000-4500. But it’s a large loan.

          • I paid right about $1500 in closing costs last year. That was with a company in NC, and we did everything remotely, except for closing, where they hired a local title person to come to my house.

            Just got one quote at 3.375%, not really helpful at all. Average rate is 2.95% right now, which means half are getting rates lower. Just need to find those companies 🙂

        • You may know more about this than me, but I’ve always been told when you take cash out (which I have not done) that you are NOT eligible for the lowest rates. For obvious reasons.

    • As a recent graduate dreading my own loans, I’m intrigued! What a great idea!

  • Rant: Computer problems that are messing with my ability to read PoP.

    Rant: Not able to tell my work IT department to fix them…because really, I shouldn’t be on PoP while at work.

    Rave: Life is good.

  • Rave: Ball is rolling on another international development job. It’s quite different than the one I am still waiting on, but still relevant and interesting nonetheless.

    Rant: Am I seriously not going to hear anything from the first one after a 6 week long interview process?

    Rave: No news is still good news.

  • Rant: parents getting older and sicker.

    Rave: kohlrabi slaw that someone (Claire?) recommended yesterday. I accidentally grated too many carrots for a carrot cake, so it was a doubly perfect solution!

  • Rave: After thinking it was Friday for the last two days, I’m thrilled that today is *actually* Friday!

    Rant: My roommate’s bounced rent check and having to clean up the mess with the building manager until she gets back from vacation. Also, the resulting anger-sleep I had last night about it–I feel just-plain-awful today.

    Rave: The building manager is awesome, totally relaxed about it when we talked on the phone, and is waiving a late fee.

    Rave: Can’t wait to buy a house and not have to worry about this crap anymore!!!

  • Rave: great honeymoon, with lots of good food, cheese and wine.
    Rave: enjoying having a good book to read (Water for Elephants) once back.
    Rant: none!

  • Rave: Leaving for Budapest today & hoping thunderstorms don’t affect travel. Although I’m going for work, I’ll have time over the weekend to be a tourist.

    Any recommendations for sightseeing in/around Budapest?

    • The Terror House Museum:


      A Danube cruise can be really nice. The last time I was in Europe, I took one from Vienna to Budapest, then stayed in Budapest a couple of days. It’s a beautiful city.

    • binpetworth

      Go to the Jewish Quarter and do a walking/self-guided tour. It’s really powerful; especially the man-made willow tree engraved with the names of the hundreds of thousands of Hungarians killed in the Holocaust.

      • The Synagogue in Budapest is truly breathtaking. It’s amazing. I thought budapest was pretty gross otherwise (but I had been living in Scandinavia, so I was probably spoiled). The food wasn’t as good as prague and it was dirty.

        I do wish I had gone to a bath, though – I missed out.

    • wine cellars! I stayed with a friend in the Jewish Quarter and enjoyed that, but the quality of the wine in Budapest was such a pleasant surprise 🙂

  • Rant: My 91 year old grandfather is going down hill, and quick. It’s amazing how a simple cough can really bring someone that age down. I wish that his doctor was being more aggressive with trying to get him better but unfortunately he has the attitude that he is old and unfixable. My Greatdaddy also remembers EVERYTHING but has forgotten my sister’s 30th birthday today. Just really dreading his inevitable passing.

    • I’m sorry to hear that. I work in a hospital and there are seemingly lots of people who come in for something small, which turns into something critical and they never recover. It’s hard to lose a grandparent but he’s had a long life!

    • I am so sorry to hear you are going through this. My great-grandmother went through something very similar in the spring. She went into the hospital for something minor and then decided it was her time. It is not easy to deal with, but I hope you can take comfort that he will be in a better place. I know that it comforts me to know that my great-grandmother is not in pain anymore and is where she truly wanted to be.

    • If the doctor is not being aggressive enough then you (and other family) need to be hard on him. It’s for his own good! My aunts and dad made sure my grandfather did his physical therapy, even when he said he couldn’t, and it greatly improved the quality of his life for his last few years. Doctors tend to want to give up too easily. Best wishes!

    • Emmaleigh504

      I’m sorry he’s not doing well. It really is astonishing how something seemingly minor can effect the elderly so much.

  • Rave: The picture of the goat!
    Rave: Going to see “Abraham Lincoln, Vamper Hunter” tonight. I’ve been waiting forever for this moving to come out!
    Rave: I have a new project to keep my idle hands busy–little bowls crocheted out of old t-shirts!
    Rant: Hmm…nothing right now!

  • Allison

    Rave: Move to Southwest complete. LOVE my new place. Slept soundly through the night for the first time in a long time, although part of that might have been moving exhaustion.

    Rave: Moving gave me an excuse to eat out three times yesterday– had ‘Dunks for breakfast, Z-burger for lunch, and chinese takeout for dinner. Probably worked off all those calories moving… *shrug*

    Rant: Uh, still gotta clean old apartment at some point.

  • mtpgal

    Rant: Do you ever have one of those days when the other kids at work are being mean to you? I totally want to go home.

    Rave: It’s Friday and I won’t have to see these jokers for 2 1/2 days! Woo hoo!

  • Rant: my one year old nephew has pertussis. He’s too young for all the vaccinations, and they think he got it from someone who didn’t vaccinate their child.
    Rave: weekend, finally

    • Emmaleigh504

      Poor little guy! I hope he recovers soon!

      I’m talking to my Dr about getting a pertussis booster at my upcoming Rx refill visit. I do not want to be part of the problem!

  • Rave: Just killed some yummy fish tacos from District Taco!

    Rave: It is FRIDAYYYYYYY!

  • Rave: I close on my new condo today! Got a great deal & interest rate and it appraised for $15K over the purchase price.

    Rant: nothing worth mentioning. Should be a good day.

  • Rave: on vacation at a great house on the Piankatank River in the Northern Neck of Virginia with friends I’ve known since high school
    Rant: still pretty danged hot.
    Rave: happiness anyway.

  • rave: Got Morrissey tickets for the MD show!
    rant: Had to sell my Pitchfork Tickets because airfare to Chicago is WAY too expensive this summer.

  • Rant: forced to change my work scheudle. I’ve been on it for a year without a problem but new manager “thinks” our office can’t handle having a person out every Monday

    Rant: co-worker thinks I’m “on edge” at work. Who says something llike that?!

    Rave: Job interview on Monday! and should hear back about another job next week/early July.

  • Rant: New LG window A/C unit I bought last year just died. No power, no nothing. I tried it in a different plug – still nothing.

    I bought it on ebay and the seller is no longer in business. Maybe because he sells crappy appliances.

    I’ll see what it would cost to fix, also see if I can freecycle it. But sadly, I think it would be too expense to try and fix and no one will want an A/C that doesn’t work so it will likely end up in the landfill.

  • valentina

    Rant: tax credit housing. I understand that they build these buildings so that low income people have access to decent housing, but the income max(45,182) is only a few thousand less than what I earn, so I make to much to get into those building and not enough to afford all of this “luxury” apartments that are being built(i’m looking at you Rhode Island Row) I mean seriously, who are all those people paying $2000 in rent for a 1br apt?

    Rant#2: Woke up this morning on the temp was 85 degrees in my apt.

    Rant#3: My landlord will not install ac so I’ll probably end up dying from a heatstroke this summer. Wonderful!

    • claire

      I believe that DC has a law that all rentals must be “livable” and AC falls under that (given the often intense DC summers). Sorry I can’t give more info, but I would try to look into that because your landlord is legally obligated to provide AC for you…

  • Extra rave: The giftshop has a deal on OPI nail polish–buy one, get one free!

  • Rave: I’ve trying to put my finger on what was different about today, and finally realized – I feel completely fine, for the first time in a long time. No aches and pains, and therefore no stressing about the aches and pains (though more tests next week.) No drama at work, so no stressing about work. It’s a nice calm Friday, which is just about over for me, and everything is just fine.
    (Here’s hoping I am not jinxing myself. I still have to get home via Metro, after all!)

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