Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user dcjabbour

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.

102 Comment

  • RANT: Some type of road work at 16th and U St. Anyone know what they are doing there?

    • The road work has been working its way down 16th St from at least Belmont St. for a while. I have no idea what’s going on – but you can bet that when you have a brand new street in place, someone is gonna rip it up to do something. Never fails.

      • Heard they were redoing some kind of underground piping. The work has now moved all the way to U St from at least Spring Road. I will be very happy when it stops delaying my commute.

  • Rant: Amtrak! I came back from NY last night and the electricity on the train kept going out. We spent extra time at stations while they ‘fixed’ it, only to go out 5 minutes later. Then we would stop in the middle of nowhere to ‘recycle’ the engine, and again the power would only work for a few minutes. I usually like Amtrak but last night just got on my nerves. We were all nice and sweaty by the time we got to DC an hour late. Amtrak is great when everything is running smoothly but it is awful when something goes wrong.

    Rave: Hoping to have good news soon!! Crossing my fingers…

    • Were you on the Acela or the NE Regional? I suggest that you submit an email complaint online. I have always received some sort of compensation from Amtrak for these types of incidents while on Acela.

    • Ditto to what anonymous @ 11:02 said. I was once on the NE Regional and was stopped for over an hour outside of Trenton with no power and no explanation (other than “electrical difficulties, we’re not sure when this will be fixed, etc.”) and emailed a detailed complaint to their customer service office. They gave me a $75 voucher to compensate for the inconvenience.

      • Also, if you ever purchase a fare and then find it has gone down prior to departure, you can call and they adjust to the lower fare. I was amazed (and have done this several times). Booking early is always the cheapest.

  • Rant: Just a generally frustrated sort of day.

    Double Rant: MPD crime digest this morning included a sex abuse entry associated with the church at Sherman and Lamont. Anyone have any insight into what happened?

  • claire

    Rave: Delicious dinner at Thai X-ing last Friday that I’m still thinking about.

    Rave: Ordered a new laptop, and it shipped out yesterday! So excited to replace my current clunker (weighs about 7 lbs, I have to run a command line for it to finish booting up, the fan runs at top speed constantly, the screen has dulled considerably, etc).

    Rave: Great music on NPR First Listen this week.

    Super-rave: Yesterday, my boss brought up the possibility of me working a few hours here and there as an “off-site consultant” after I move to Argentina (in September). I didn’t even think that would be possible which is why I hadn’t asked about it myself (and it still may very well not pan out), but it would be amazing if it works out!

  • RANT: after years and years of joining 10-25 friends (depending on who’s in town or didn’t party too hard the night before) for breakfast at La Madeleine in Georgetown every Saturday morning, we showed up this past weekend at 0800 and it was CLOSED. Just some signs saying that they’re closed until further notice.

    Apparently there is structural damage under the restaurant, in the hotel underground parking facility. The hotel has known about it for a while, but the city just recently forced them to close on Thursday to make structural corrections, thus forcing la Madeleine to close. Time frame for closure – 5-6 months. The Latham Hotel is also closed for that time frame.

    RAVE: I sent a notice on La Madeleine’s web site to their corporate office in Dallas and lo and behold, I got a call from a District Manager who was most gracious in telling me what was going on. He is working feverishly to relocate their Georgetown staff to other La Madeleine locations. After all these years we have made friends with and feel close to quite a few of them.

    • Rant: I wish I had 10-25 friends to do weekend breakfast with.

      • Thinking the same thing.

      • I don’t think I even know 10-25 people outside of work. That’s depressing.

        • Tell me about it. My girlfriend and I need a dogsitter for this weekend, and we couldn’t come up with a single person who is local and who we’re on close enough terms with to consider asking.

        • I don’t know if you’re in this category, but I thought this NYTimes article was an interesting read! http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/15/fashion/the-challenge-of-making-friends-as-an-adult.html?pagewanted=1&_r=2&ref=general&src=me

          • The related article to the left (Women Can Connect, Click by Click) is interesting too. It’s sad but I might actually sign up for one of those friendmaking sites. I actually thought the people in the article had it good– I’m a woman in my late 20’s who works entirely with men in their 40-60s (that have wives and kids and live deep in the suburbs), so I never make friends with people at work.

          • talula

            Whoa Anon@ 10:52 – I am in your exact same position. Relatively new to DC, I’m in my late 20s, work with older men with families in the burbs. It’s hard making friends here, or even just finding a fun group of people to go out for happy hour every once and a while.

          • This is just screaming for another PoP happy hour. I haven’t been able to make one since becoming a regular poster and I think it would be really fun!

          • Prince Of Petworth

            I’m trying to schedule the next PoP happy hour for early August. Where and when would you guys like it?

          • talula

            Also Anon, if you want to send me an email to go on a “friend date” you can reach me at talula.popville [at] gmail.com. Sorry if it’s weird/creepy but I always complain about not meeting people and I have to put myself out there more often! As I said, I’m also late 20s woman, work with all guys, lived in DC for almost 1 year. Just looking to make some friends here.

          • Cait, thanks for posting this article. Yeah, it definitely seems to be harder to make friends once you’re out of college or grad school.

          • @talula: Awesome. I’ll shoot you an email. πŸ™‚

        • That IS depressing.

          Seriously? You don’t know 10 people outside of work? Or just in DC? Luckily, that can be rectified easily in DC – join a running club, book group, etc. People here tend to be pretty crazed, but I’ve found it pretty easy to make friends with other people. I moved here 2 years ago and have about 20 people I see semi-regularly outside of work.

          You can do it! If nothing else, get a dog or have a baby, and then you’ll meet tons of people.

          • can’t speak for the original poster re: depressing, but i have issues with social situations where i don’t know anyone – they paralyze me – which is weird seeing as how my job requires me to interact with people i don’t really know (yet i somehow i’m really good at my job).

            people have different personalities – for some it’s easy to immerse themselves into situations where they don’t know anyone and join clubs and do all that stuff – and be really good at it/make friends easily. for me, it’s overwhelming and anxiety-inducing. i’m working on it (baby steps!), but it’s taking awhile and until then, i just hang out with my small group of friends and my dog.

          • I have a dog and I’m in various groups, and they’re a good way to casually meet people. But I think it’s unusual for real friendships to grow out of those connections. Or maybe I’m doing something wrong.

          • I presume you are joking. Dogs and babies are living beings and big responsibilities, not accessories or means of building your social circle.

          • I’m pretty sure yo was joking. She was still somewhat callous ([insert valley girl accent] seriously, like seriously you don’t KNOW 10 people???]), but joking about the dog/baby thing.

      • Seriously. We’ve been here 8.5 years and have no real friends to speak of. I think it would be easier to date than it is to find people to hang out with and form true friendships.

    • Trust me having that many folks in one place for an early breakfast before heading out to get your day started is a great Saturday morning event

      • If you’re a morning person, maybe. Trust me, the last thing I want to do in the morning is anything that involves a group of 10 or more people.

        • have to agree with you there!

        • I am not a morning person, but I will drag my hind end out of bed for this, even with a massive hangover. It’s not like it is a party, it’s more like a family gathering for breakfast. Many of us are not so pleasant before we have had coffee, and I sometimes go home and crash again for a little bit, then pick up where I left off.

    • I am part of that group that goes almost every Saturday. Mostly a military crowd…we either join in or skip
      a week. I’ve been going since 2007..,already miss this place. Mark

      • It IS mostly military – active and retired, reserves and regulars. You’re right Mark, but we have others too. Government wonks, attorneys, cops, FBI friends when they’re available, pilots and of course our retired spy. We’re working to find another location to meet while this one is closed. I’d hate for this to go on hiatus for a long time. I’d miss the conversation(s).

    • Lovign the honesty of people in this post; it’s refreshing….

      • Yeah, I’m glad I’m not the only one. I have a hard time making female friends because I’m a lesbian and I have a (probably irrational) fear that other women will feel uncomfortable around me. And I can’t seem to relate to other lesbians at all. And I used to have a lot of male friends in college but the guys here always seem to be interested in me sexually.

    • I am a participant of the Saturday morning breakfast group, have been for the past seven years when I moved here in Aug 2005. It is a wide range of eclectic personalities ranging in age from 24-79. The thing is that we are friends for the sake of friendship and we have a good time. We come, we hug, we meet, we eat, we hug (again, you can’t have too many!) and then we leave…promptly at 0930. So, I am vouching for ob2ncdg, they are my extended family (and a FABULOUS cook).

    • This was a great meeting – I didn’t join often but always had fun when I did go…great group!

  • pablo .raw

    Rave: Is not carpal tunnel syndrome!!! Apparently I hurt the right arm’s nerve probably by carrying a too heavy bag with photo equipment… :/ Resting and a bit of medicine and I’ll be fine again.
    Rant: apparently due to my exercise routine and change of diet I’ve been losing a lot of weight, I know, this would be a rave for other’s but if I lose more weight, I’ll disappear. I need to eat more…

    • My frustration is the clothes! I work in a business attire office, and my suits are starting to looks like I don’t know how to dress myself. YAY for reining in my eating habits and yay for becoming a bit more fit, but boo for having to buy new work clothes. Perhaps I should take some over to the Dress for Success thing…

      • If you’ve only gone down a size or possibly two, it might be worth it to get your existing suits tailored. It’s cheaper than buying a whole new suit or pair of dress pants, and one size down shouldn’t be a problem.

  • Rant: In a funk that I can’t seem to break out of. Work is compounding said funk. Gym/sleep/days off/fun-distracting activities aren’t helping. Sigh.

  • Rant: Grumpy. Tired. More unsettling dreams last night.

    Rant: Really don’t want to be at work today.

    Rant: It’s too damn hot.

    Rave: ……….have to think about this.

  • Rant: Feeling like I’m professionally floating. I want to make a drastic career change, but am somewhat terrified how I’m going to afford to live in DC between quitting my job and starting up a new plan. Have some savings but I don’t know if it’s enough.

    Rant: Beginning a relationship where one person is moving and while we have determined we still want to see each other while we’re both in town, I’m having trouble taking it a day at a time without worrying about the future.

    • I am in a similar place. Applying for jobs that I can do to pay the bills but that won’t necessarily stretch me. Also toying with the idea of starting my own business, but it is daunting at best. I hope time brings you some clarity.

  • Rant: So, I see, that’s what they call it in Chicago. What do they call this game in DC? “The trio β€” 16-year-old Malik Jones, 17-year-old Nicholas Ayala and 18-year-old Anthony Malcolm β€” decided “to play the pick ’em out and knock em’ out game” when they saw Mora in the alley during the early morning hours of July 10, Cook County prosecutors allege in court documents.”

  • Rave: After a week and a couple days of feeling abysmal after my boyfriend and I broke up (yes, we got back together temporarily to rekindle the passion and go with the flow, but after a few mishaps and me realizing we just had different wants and needs at the present, we ended it). I still wake up and have it hurt knowing he’s not on his side of the bed or we won’t call each other immediately after work to find out how our days were… oh right, this is a rave. All in all, I am in a better place now. I just signed up for a rather bizarre fitness class to boost my confidence and I am staying busy as much as possible!

    Rave: Here’s to a kickass rest-of-2012 and especially — summer!

  • Rave: Refinancing is going to work out! On my Petworth rowhouse, I got into a 15 year loan at 2.875% with enough cash out to consolidate all of our student loans at that low interest rate. We will be student loan free shortly after closing!

    Rave: My rowhouse in Petworth is worth 80K more than I paid for it according to the appraser. Granted we have added a new composite deck, new windows, new walls in the back, new siding, new ceiling, and some other cosmetic things, total cost for all of the above was only about $10k!

    Rant: Tuesday.

    • Prince Of Petworth

      Holy cow, congrats! Who’d you use for “15 year loan at 2.875%”?

      • I am using Mortgage Capital in LA. Basically just took the best quote I could find. Took a bit of work to find them, but it is working out. Find the remote people are often the best, with best rates and low closing costs. Our closing is only going to cost about $2,200 or so.

    • Nice! We are in the process of refinancing too. The best we could do is a 30-year loan at 4.125%, but the seller’s paying $6000 towards closing and our monthly payments will decrease by about $600, so I’m happy.

    • That’s awesome! But…how does a mortgage rate allow you to consolidate student loans at the same rate? If I could figure out how to do that, I would be a much less poor person!

    • After your last post, about doing a refinance I decided to look into it and we are getting a 15 year at 2.875 too! Haven’t got the appraisal back yet… so still a bit nervous!

      • Our original appraisal came in low. We needed it to be 20k higher. Luckily our appraiser cut off a 120 sq foot section of our basement, so we were able to get him to fix that. In addition, he used some bad comparables, so we got new comparables, and it added enough to the appraisal to get the amount we needed. Congrats on the loan, glad I was able to provide the inspiration!

  • I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again….I’ve lived all over the country and in a few cities internationally in my several decades on this planet, and nowhere….absolutely nowhere….has worse weather than D.C. in the summer.

    Rant two…fix the comments posting to fast thing already.

    • I agree… I grew up here and have spent most of my life here. Over the years I’ve developed summer-coping srtategies, which mostly involve doing as little as possible in the summer – – definitely nothing important or even mentally strenuous.
      I am ALL about fall – that’s when I come to life again!

      • +10000. DC Fall almost gives New England a run for its money…almost.

        • Uh no, it doesn’t. Unless you like your Fall to be hot through October before plunging into dreary November weather. I only grew up three hours north of here but I miss the crisp, clear fall days and the foliage that lasts more than a week.

          • … that said, I do love Spring here. THAT is the season where DC really shines.

          • Just a look at recent Fall temps day to day proves you wrong there. Even November was nice the past few years. And hell, it was in the 60’s most of the Winter (which was an admitted anomaly).

          • Well, I’ve been here 7 years and the autumns have seemed pretty damn hot to me. I used to look forward to wearing tights and boots and light jackets by early October, and now I find myself going to the beach during that time instead. The boots don’t make an appearance until around Christmastime. DC’s autumn weather is a lot more pleasant than its summer weather, but it’s still not what I’m used to autumn being like.

        • I’ve been through tennessee in autumn and I definitely think it gives new england a run for its money. this area is beautiful and because dc has so many trees, it’s one of the best cities to spend autumn.

          • We do have a lot of gorgeous trees here. If only their leaves turned brilliant colors like they do up north!

        • Both are superb. New England has the crisp weather and fall colors, but in DC you can go out sailing up until Thanksgiving even. NE is just too cool too much of the time to live in all year.

          • That’s what I was saying. Sure, it’s nice to be able to wear shorts on Halloween, but New England has a classic Fall atmosphere that DC really can’t compete with. But our Winters are milder and our Springs are abosolutely gorgeous, so it’s a fair trade-off.

      • The only thing I had any interest in comparing with a Washington fall, is a Washington summer, and after even an easy summer, fall is better. Much much better. No you can’t wear your Bean Norwegian sweaters in Spetember, or your Uggs, well ever, but it does get coooler and eventually it gets actually cool, and the poor trees which by the end of August just look tired, do turn brilliant orange and red – it may not be brilliant compared to — somewhere else – but it’s brilliant compared to the faded and heat-burned green of late summer. The hazy white-blue sky turns sky blue again, and the liquid humid air dries out, and you can breathe again and walk down the block without melting. And, as I suggested, my brain, which usually turns off around – NOW – and goes on auto-pilot, turns back on sometime in late September or beautiful October.

        No, it’s not Stowe or Malibu or Nome, or anywhere else you may want to compare it to, it’s here and it’s home, and (as much as I hate the phrase) it is what it is and it has its ups and downs, and fall is much more an up than summer. That is all.

    • Heck yeah. I’m from Florida and we never ever had summers like this.

  • mtpgal

    Rave: Fancy, DC roofer came and took a look at our leak and told us it would be $8,000! to fix including rebuilding part of the roof. Had aneurysm. Then we called a roofer recommended by my boss and he said it would be around $500 and even told us how we could do part of it ourselves/what products to buy at Home Depot. It really is true, finding a good [roofer, mechanic, etc.] is worth its weight in gold.

    • +1 Mechanics, dentists, a/c repairmen,etc….I’m basically always on edge at the prospect of having to need one of these individuals….it’s sad when we know we’re being conned but need something fixed and accept it.

      Rave: Good referrals – Is Angie’s List actually legit?

      • I’ve never used Angie’s List but I can say that my membership in Consumer’s Checkbook has paid off in spades. Used it to get a second opinion on an AC repair and it ended up being half what the first contractor estimated. And the first contractor was highly rated. Maybe the best advice is to always get a second opinion on a big job, whatever source you use for the second opinion.

    • Fancy Roofer sounds familiar. Does Fancy Roofer have lots of signs up in yards in MtP?

      • mtpgal

        Not sure, we found them on Angie’s List. I’ve noticed, however, that operations with a focus on DC/inside the beltway tend to charge at least twice what companies from farther out MD or VA will quote you. We had a similar experience two weeks ago with an A/C company that wanted to charge us $3,000 for a part that costs less than $1,000 if we bought it ourselves. It’s madness, I tell yah.

  • Rant: Blah yesterday and today.
    Rave: I know this isnt the norm for me and I’ll cheer up. I’m thinking a good workout tonight will do the trick

    Rant: Realized my mood was in part due to people letting me down and have been told in the past I need to tailor my expectations
    Rant: Tailor my expectations of people? If you think the things I think are normal are not normal to expect, maybe we shouldnt be close.
    Rave: I know I have enough people in my life who do not let me down…and for that I am grateful.

    Last rant: freaking summer. I always run out of money so fast!

    • I feel you on the ‘tailor your expectations’ situation. I don’t think I expect a lot out of people – just be considerate and communicate – and don’t lie! Other than that, I’m pretty chill about things. So when someone lies or deliberately does something that they know is completely inconsiderate, it really pisses me off.

      And then I hear the – well maybe you expect too much from people. Really?

  • Rant: My co-worker lying to about why he hadn’t sent me his report. He said the internet was down, but he was able to post on facebook and twitter.

  • Last night I saw a rat dash out into the street just as a bus was coming. I had a moment of (admittedly non-buddha-like) joy anticipating it getting squashed, but the damn thing BOUNCED OFF the wheel – flew backwards about 10 feet, got right back up and scampered away.

    • I saw a similar thing in Adams Morgan a while back. The rat ran into a doorway on 18th, and appeared to have bounced off it and then ran right out under the back wheels of a bus. It was actually pretty disgusting. Just flat.

    • Your post made me laugh. Thanks.

  • Rant: Literally now have .90 in my savings because we made our last payment on our wedding in 12 days.
    Rant: Weddings are so expensive!!! Even tiny destination weddings that were supposed to be inexpensive.
    Rave: Getting married in 12 days!
    Rave: My fiance and I are great with money and will rebuild our savings in no time.
    Rave: In 9 days I will be on the beach on a beautiful island with 30 of my closest friends and family and sipping a fruity drink.
    Rave: Marrying my best friend in the entire world.

    • Do you mind me asking– where are you getting married? Was it easy getting everything arranged? I’m thinking of doing a destination wedding as well.

  • Rant: I think PoP’s birth certificate is a forgery! πŸ˜‰

  • RANT: I hate my coworker. He makes more money than me and does less work (I know because before he was hired, I did all of the work and since he’s been here he only does a small portion). He also takes long lunches and leaves early. Not sure how I get recognized for all of the work that I do, how to get him to quit or how to get him fired. He makes a job that I really enjoyed into something I really hate.

    • I hear you. I work with some slackers. one woman has decided she’s only in the office for <7 hours on days our boss isn't in… though never mind she has to bill 8 hours/day in order to get paid. I'm also told she's not very productive. she is apparently clueless and thinks we don't notice her laziness, and I'm sure she's wondering why she hasn't had a promotion.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: Mother Nature didn’t take me seriously when I asked her very nicely to stop with the 95+ temperatures.

    Rant: I still can’t spell temperature without spell check.

    Rave: Technology! hurray for air conditioning and hurray for spell check!

  • Rant: I just don’t like DC. After 12 years of giving it everything I have, I just don’t like it. I hate the fakakta weather, I hate the crime, the disfunction, Metro, the smarmy attitude of hipster d-bags, the inordinate number of people standing around staring at their smartphones in front of entrances, the super-mommies running around town with their double-wide strollers like they’re the only people in the world, the drivers who have repeatedly tried to kill me every day now since the Clinton Administration, the cupcakes, the macarons, the overpriced condos, the disenfranchisement. Everything. I’m so sick of it I just want to hurl until the streets of DC run pink and chunky with my own vomit.

    Rant: I don’t have a clue where to move instead, or where I might be able to find employment that allows me to live comfortably.

    Rave: I like my apartment, and there are many worse places to live, I realize. And I like WETA-UK.

    • +1,000 for WETA-UK πŸ™‚ and your rant for making me laugh!

    • Sounds like it’s soul-searching time. I am a big proponent of liking where you live and always urge people to figure it out and go there – life is too short to be unhappy about such a fundamental thing. I’ve lived other places that lots of people like (NYC, Seattle) and I liked them too, for a while, but always ended up wanting to be back here. The last time I moved back to DC (from small-town coastal Maine) it was with a vow to just stay, and so far it’s worked for almost ten years…

      • agreed. No snark here….after 12 years, you gave it your all. Life is too short to be miserable, so I’d start looking elsewhere, if your industry is the kind that’s transferable to another city (assuming you’re not in something that’s really tied to D.C.).

        Although those double wide stroller mommies are everywhere. Hipsters are too. Can’t avoid ’em.

    • Yes yes yes!!!! To all of the above…im looking to move out of DC myself…im over it. Tired of paying so much in rent with zero amenities…ugh

    • Amen to every word of this. I know how you feel and would love to move back to New England soon. It sucks to live somewhere you don’t feel at “home,” even after so long.

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