Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user quemac

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.

114 Comment

  • To piggyback on the poll from a couple weeks ago regarding income. I am curious to know how others are doing (and how I rank) in preparing for retirement. If interested, please participate. Here is my info:
    Age: 37
    Retirement Funds Balance: $63,000

    • Don’t worry about how you “rank”. Just worry about whether you have the right goal set and how your personal progress compares to that goal.

    • Mine’s about $50k and I’m 29. I think you’re in good shape though.

      • mine is like 15K and i’m 28. But i’m planning on cashing it out and running away depending on the outcome of this election.

    • alxindc

      RANT: Love is gone.

      RAVE: Learnt about a crazy coincidence, which makes me wonder if such things exist in the first place, or everything is predetermined.

      RAVE: Thursday is my favorite day of the week.

    • Age 35. $85K between my IRAs and 401ks.

    • My age: 26
      Husband’s age: 37
      Retirement between the two of us: around 250K between IRA, and both our 403b
      Caveat: My dad is a retirement financial planner so I’ve been putting away money since I started working (seriously at age 15 I had a savings account for retirement). Husband grew up below poverty line and so has put saved his money ever since.

      • mtpgal

        In my house growing up money was tight too, and as a result I save a lot and I am much more financially secure than most of my friends. As a new parent I wonder how to instill this respect for money and desire to spend it cautiously.

    • Can someone link to this poll? I missed it and I’m curious…

      • Rave: My birthday is next week and I get to take a day off work for it! Looking to head to a vineyard for some wine and a picnic.

        Does anyone have any suggestions for a good vineyard within a twoish hour drive from DC?

        • Well you shouldn’t drive anywhere within 5 hours of the DC area in the summer unless you want to be sitting in gridlocked traffic the whole way.

        • Several vineyards down in Charlottesville, VA area. Donald Trump recently purchased one there.

        • Reston Limousine can hook you & friends up with a winery tour and you won’t have to drive yourself home!

    • 26, married. Just hit $20K this month. I put 6% of my income in every month.

    • mtpgal

      Age: 32
      Retirement Funds Balance: $230,000 (combined)

      We don’t make huge salaries but I’m really crazy about saving for retirement because to me money is security. To that end, we don’t buy a lot of new stuff, don’t go out as much, etc. so we can save.

    • binpetworth

      I think there are other variables you’ll need to consider. It’s hard to make a comparison with others without the full picture. Do you have an emergency fund to survive a layoff and so you wouldn’t have to draw down your retirement funds? Do you own property that will be paid off by the time you retire? Do you have existing debt?

    • Age: 24
      Single. Unable to find full-time work with benefits.
      Retirement/entire life savings: $1000

      • mtpgal

        That is really rough. I was unemployed for a year and I know how hard it can be. If anything, I think it’s impressive that you have the savings you do given your age and situation. Hang in there.

        • Thanks! I was very blessed to be the first of my parents four kids to go to college so my father (the only contributing income) had saved up a lot so I was able to graduate college with zero debt. I know how lucky I am so I’m trying to find work and not go into debt with grad school until I’m 100% sure I know what I want to study.

    • I’m 30 and I have around $25,000 in my retirement accounts. Wish it were more.

  • RAVE: Well, actually it’s more like crave. I really wanna go to a Japanese Steakhouse—the kind where the chef cooks at your table and tosses shrimp on your plate and does other tricks. Does anypone know where I can find one of these in DC or close by?

  • sunsquashed

    Wow, that is a good way to get your bike stolen…..

  • Rave: Visiting friends in Virginia Beach tomorrow!
    Rant: My girlfriend bailed out because she thinks the traffic will be bad getting there. We’ve never done a beach weekend in the 4+ years we’ve been dating, so I’m a little bummed.

    • Allison

      Warning, big warning on the traffic. I drove to Virginia Beach on a Friday afternoon last year. We left D.C. around 2:30 pm, expecting to be out of the city before southbound rush hour traffic began. WE WERE SO WRONG. Estimated driving time was 4 hours. Actual driving time was closer to 6 or 7 hours.

      • She wanted to leave at 1pm, but I probably can’t get out much earlier than 3 since I’m a contractor and we have core hours we’re supposed to meet. I should have taken the day off, in retrospect, but it’s a little late for that now so I’ll just go in early and do the best I can. She got mad that I can’t just waltz out of work in the middle of the day, and now she doesn’t want to go at all.

        Anyway… I work right off 395 so I figured I could shoot down the HOV lane before it closes and get ahead of rush hour traffic. And if the 95/64 corridor really looks bad then 301 and 17 S are always options. Where did you hit the worst of the traffic?

        • I am from Hampton and have been going home a lot lately. Trust me when I say if you leave at 3 be prepared to stab yourself in the eye with a rusty spoon. You are leaving at 3 with tons of other people, you will not get to VA beach before 10 I would guess unless you are super lucky. Yeah, you might catch the HOV before the shut off but you are risking still being on it at 3:30 and I can promise you at that time, the boys will be out there giving tickets to people that are still on it that should not be. You will also catch it trying to merge back onto the highway from HOV and all of the clogging up thereafter. Once you get to 64 prior to Williamsburg you will be in stand still traffic for another hour or more because it is down to two lanes and then once you get through all that you still have to deal with the HRBB tunnel traffic and there is no telling how long that could take.

          Here is my two cents, unless you have to be there that night, I would leave very early the next morning, maybe 5 or so, that way you will get to VA Beach around 8 or so. If you must leave that night, take 664 and go around all that mess with the HRBB tunnel. It is a circuitous route but it will not stress you nearly as much. You could also take the James River Bridge off of Mercury Blvd in Hampton as well to get to VA Beach.

          Good luck.

          • I don’t think there’s any risk of not getting off HOV by 3:30. I took that route for years when I lived in VA, and last semester when I had to go out to Fairfax for classes. It doesn’t take more than half an hour to get down to 95.

            So does leaving two hours earlier make any difference? It would be totally irresponsible of me to leave work that early, but I suppose I could do it. Otherwise I think I might join my girlfriend and just cancel the trip. I miss my childhood growing up in NJ, when beach trips weren’t such a hassle!

          • Well I have not gotten that ticket because I am usually off by that time but I have seen them at the merge and my guess I should say is that they were looking for people to give tickets to. I don’t know about, it only takes 30 minutes to get through the HOV because I have been on it when it takes about 30 minutes just to get off of it, people often take that illegal right over the dirt because it is so bad.

            It is your call on whether you want to leave work early or not, obviously, if you are going to get in trouble then I would say don’t do it. But if you can get out with no hassle then leaving at 1 will put you ahead a lot of the traffic but you are still going to catch it when you get down 64 towards Williamsburg/Yorktown when the lanes go down to two lanes (you might think of taking the business route and driving through to Jefferson (NN) to Mercury (Hampton) and taking the James River or 664 to 264. If I were you I would keep checking 1680 am when you can get it and it usually will let you know where the traffic is.

            The summer is so unpredictable.

          • Traffic in this area in general is unpredictable. People driving out of the city act like they’re going into battle with all the discussions of traffic avoidance tactics and the obsessive checking of traffic maps. I’ve resigned myself to the fact that there’s not an optimal time to be driving in Virginia unless you’re willing to sacrifice sleep and do it in the middle of the night. That said, if you budget for the extra time spent stuck in traffic you won’t find it as frustrating. When I was job-hunting and going on a lot of interviews in Northern VA I multiplied the expected driving time by 3 to ensure I was never late.

          • Actually I’m not sure middle of the night is a good time to avoid traffic jams either, since that’s when road work is being done!

    • Allison is correct about the getting out of DC traffic in the summer esp. on 395. You also have to take into account the tunnel traffic on 1-64 crossing the James from Hampton into Norfolk (I lived in Va Beach for a couple years and grew quickly to despise the tunnel traffic). You might want to think about taking the 664 loop to 264, and deal with the Monitor-Merrimac tunnel instead of the HRBT. It adds a few miles distance wise, but I found it more times than not was quicker time wise on a weekend afternoon.

      • Especially on 395? I commuted from Northern Virginia for years so I’m pretty familiar with the traffic there. And yes, it can be terrible at times, but if that’s the worst part I can’t see the trip being that bad.

    • binpetworth

      Here’s a tip: Take Route 17 instead of 95. It’s much more scenic, you get to avoid Richmond traffic, and there’s a lot fewer cars until you get down to Newport News.

    • Rave: Left folks’ house in Lynnhaven Tues 0445hrs. Got to the King Street exit on 395 at 0750hrs.

      Rant: Traffic stopped for 30mins on Fri heading down due to POTUS motorcade. It’s like he’s following me.

      • Allison

        Hah I swear POTUS follows me to. Made a trip back to Texas a few months ago to visit the family. Guess who gets stuck on a freeway exit ramp in Houston for over an hour waiting for Obama to go by? Me. Thought I left yo’ ass behind in D.C.! Kidding POTUS you know I love you. Now stop calling me for more donations.

  • Rant: Stupid storm yesterday flooded my basement apartment for the second time in a week.

  • Rave: I’m opening a retirement fund! (So, at age 24 I have exactly $0 in my retirement…)

    Rant: This is the first job I’ve had to have that benefit

    • Congrats! You gotta start somewhere…and in essence you’re ahead of me since I didn’t start saving for retirement until I was about 30.

  • Rant: Damn dogs chewed apart one of my favorite cd box sets! (The Complete Hank Williams)

    Rave: The cds are probably still playable, and the book from the set is mostly intact. But those little bitches are on double secret probation for a couple of days!

  • Rave: Shout out to the beautiful girls of Petworth. Wow!

  • Saw someone get hit last night at 14th and P. Anyone know if the person was okay? Window on cab was shattered. They were moving, but looked in a lot of pain.

  • Rant: After asking boss and other supervisor repeatedly yesterday if they were *sure* they want xyz done a certain way so it wouldn’t have to be redone over and over, I completed it, and then today they tell me they want it done differently. *stabs fork in eyes* I really can’t wait until I am done here.

    Rave: It’s thursday.

    Rant/ Rave: No leaks in the windows from rain yesterday, but shoes were essentially ruined.

    Rave: Iced coffee.

  • Rant: Torrential downpours. I’m thankful for the rain (especially after looking at recent maps of droughts across the country), but I’m officially done with thunderstorm season. Bailing out our basement is getting old!

    Rave/silver lining: At least I got a work out with all those bucket reps?

  • Rant: In the past 4 months I have done 21 job interviews for 10 different positions. I got another rejection yesterday (at least they told me). Clearly I am good at getting my resume noticed but the constant rejection after 2 and 3 interviews at a company is becoming a huge drag on morale. I’m starting to think the problem is me. Why am I good enough to make it to advanced stages of the hiring process but I’m not good enough for an offer? Everyone keeps telling me that “it only takes one offer!” but I am so sick of that BS. I have a couple more places to hear from but I am not at all hopeful at this point.

    • The advice I have received in the past is to find a friend, professional mentor, or other trusted person, and have them perform an “interview” with you. Hopefully, they can point out things you might never have noticed (i.e. slumping shoulders, which might portray a lack of confidence; fast speech pattern; tendency to avoid eye contact, etc…) I think this advice is also in What Color is Your Parachute?- an excellent book for these kinds of things.

    • I hear ya, I was in the same boat last year, searching and getting rejected numerous times. It was definitely a morale killer. I started seeing a job counselor to help me deal with rejection, build my morale, and help market myself. Although I still didn’t get the ‘dream job,’ I did find a job that is significantly better and a step in the right direction. Not to mention she helped me manage my stress and make me see the success in taking this position.

  • pablo .raw

    Rave: I’m getting in touch with older sisters that I’ve never met… it’s very interesting and strange at the same time, but a big rave over all.
    Rave: 2 days in a row gigs with the band
    Rant: very sleepy
    Ra(nt)(ve): After my band’s gig last night, we drove by the entrance of the National Zoo in Mt. Pleasant and I saw the chupacabra! Or the fox that was mentioned yesterday here. Looks in really bad shape, doesn’t have any hair 🙁 http://www.princeofpetworth.com/2012/07/dear-popville-possible-rabid-fox-in-rock-creek-park-runners-beware/

  • Rant: So when did it become cool or OK to bike with your kid in traffic? What is the deal with people having their kids on the back of their bike or attached in some kind of trailer tent to the back of their bike? I get being green and that you should be able to do it safely and all the bs a lot of people may come up with but seriously, that is not cool, get a grip.

    Yesterday, my wife told be about an accident she almost saw moments after it happened. She didn’t see it happen so I don’t know who was at fault but it involved a cab, a dad on bike and a kid on back of the bike. She said the kid was ok but the man was shaking very hard (as one might imagine) and just gripping the handle bars because he was so scared/upset….My thing is why would you ever put your child in that situation? Come on people, use common sense, if you want to bike, that is fine but don’t put your child in that kind of danger.

    Rave: The kid was ok as far as we know.

    • It seems to me (and there’s bound to be some sort of study on this) that if you want to play the number games, you and your kid are more likely to get killed in a car crash. Road fatalities are atrociously high!

      • I hear you but that isn’t the point. Also I am not sure if that number is relative to the number of cars on the road or is it just the number of accidents.

        • Was your point that to keep a child safe you must chauffeur him/her around in a giant SUV?

          For what it’s worse, I do not think riding with your kid on roads is inherently more dangerous as long as you avoid high speed roads like 16 st downhill.

          • +1. c’mon. do you not walk with your kids on the street? do you drive with your kids in the car? do you let your children out of the house? they are more likely to be hurt in a car accident than anything else in life. people shouldn’t live their lives in fear. it’s not like this kid was standing on the pegs on the back of his bike, he was probably doing everything right… bad stuff just happens sometimes.

          • I am just saying, I don’t think that it is the safest thing to have your child in the street like that. No, you don’t have to have an SUV or anything like that but I just think it is a bit reckless to have your kid in major taffic on back of your bike or attached to your bike.

          • austindc

            There are probably just people out there who want to use bikes to move their family around, and they don’t feel like they have to compromise on that just because other people can’t drive. It’s not appropriate to suggest that the parent is being reckless. The drivers creating dangerous conditions are being reckless.

          • Some of my earliest (very fond) memories are of going to/from preschool in a seat on the back of my dad’s bike. It’s pretty awesome when you’re that little.

        • Kam,

          You’re absolutely right. For some people, ideology trumps common sense.

    • Fair enough, maybe it is just me. I am not one that lives in fear in any way but I just can’t see putting a kid in that situation.

    • It’s absolutely ridiculous for people to want to commute with their family in a sustainable, non-polluting, enjoyable manner. Get off the road people. I want to be able to drive my Ford F-350 extended cab with a dually to my office job while texting without having to worry that I may crush a kid. Is that too much to ask? Who cares that wars are being fought over this incredibly vital natural resource that just about every sector of every industry depends on. I want to waste this fossil fuel like it’s used toilet water. Global warming? Please…Nobody even lives in the Maldives. Who cares if it vanishes. And I don’t even get how cycling works. Commuting without exhausting toxic fumes. Ridiculous.

      Ok. I’m done. Anyways, clearly there are many reasons to keep the car at home.

      • Build a way to go so the bikers don’t get squished and they will come.

      • What an idiotic post, urbanengineer. Your useless rant has nothing to do with Kam’s post, which clearly was focusing on the safety of the child, not the smug yuppie-goodness of feeling superior to the overweight, suburban car drivers.

        Fact is that children are exposed in bicycles in a way that they are not in cars. But that doesn’t fit within your self satisfied construct, so by all means, ignore the reality. And put your kid on that bike, because the sheer power of your environmentally conscious personal fitness will protect her from a car. Atleast knowing that you were morally right will help her heal faster.

        • Yes, because none of the issues I brought up in my rant are relevant, where as ensuring your comfy commute even if it endangers children is. Cyclists are fine until cars run them over.

          • I commute via metro and my two feet. Your pontificating points were irrelevant with respect to the very simple issue of what is a safer vehicle for a child. But these realities don’t fit into your myopic mindset, and you therefore ignore them or make sweeping generalizations – like every accident is the fault of a driver , and never the cyclist.

      • Urbanengineer, your post hit the nail on the head. Well done.

    • I live in MtP and I love to see the parents in a bikepool (?) taking their kids to school at Bancroft. There’s usually 5-8 kids and some of them have their own bikes while others are in seats. It’s adorable! And, I think it’s awesome to teach your kids about biking & its benefits at a young age.

      Rant: That “commenting too often” error. I have not commented once today.

      • I’ve seen a bike carpool on the Connecticut bridge once with a few elementary school kids, so cute and awesome!

      • I see this “bikepool” too – for some reason it makes me happy to see this in the morning.

    • Totally agree with you! Going green and saving money and enjoying the outdoors = great. Putting your kid in danger on these crazy streets on a regular basis = dumb.

  • Rave: I’m an aunt!

    Rant: I’m having fertility issues and this is the 4th baby born to family/friends this week.

    • I hear ya. I also have fertility issues, and one of my good friends just sent me her ultrasound pictures. I’m super excited for her, but seeing those pictures was pretty hard.

    • congrats!

      and you should know you’re not alone. it’s hard, especially as you get older, but you’ll make your family eventually, one way or another. best of luck. <3

  • RANT: MARYLAND DRIVERS. On Clarendon Blvd this morning, a black SUV thing is in a parking spot on the right side of the one-way street, pulls out into the street, and very slowly but surely cuts me off. Do you guys even KNOW how to use your side mirrors?! I blare my horn because I can see he/she’s about to hit me, and once this person gets in front of me, SLAMS on their brakes about 40 feet from the car in front of it. Did you want me to rear-end you? I HATE YOU GUYS, SERIOUSLY. I think after the eye exam, the Maryland DMV must brainwash you people because you can’t drive worth SHIT.

    Rave: Our CSA this week is incredible. Corn, green peppers, cantaloupe, onions, tomatoes, eggplant. Yum!

  • Rant: So much to do at work and therefore paralyzed into doing nothing.
    Rave: Dinner at friends with my husband tonight and some friends might be moving into the neighborhood!
    Rant: Too anxious with all the work to drink caffeine but too tired to function well without caffeine…

  • talula

    Rant: A condescending coworker who excludes me from projects that we’re supposed to be working on together, and doesn’t think that I have anything to offer because I’m the new girl and he’s been here forever.

    Rant: My job is bringing me down.

    Rant: Feels like it whenever it rains, it does so during the evening rush.

    Rave: New shirt today

  • claire

    Rave: PoP guest post today! Very honored to be featured on one of my favorite sites.

    • Congrats on the guest post! And thanks for explaining the agua fresca formula. I’m giving it a try this weekend!

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: being semi middle management

    Rave: just a couple of more days until I can get more farmer’s market tomatoes!

  • Rant: Metro employees and WMATA in general – They have zero customer service skills (even their twitter handle is abrasive, sending condescending direct tweets) – I see crime after crime at Chinatown and witnessed what could have been a pretty bad one last night with some people trying to do the right thing and screaming for police. No transit police to be found. There was a baseball game – lots of people – this is a hot youth crime spot, seems like a no-brainer to have visible transit police in transfer point stations. Metro employees were condescending and insulting. I want to feel safe in my neighborhood. I am starting to feel really scared. This isn’t the first reactive response I’ve gotten. (Part of this one included “Don’t you point your finger in my face. Don’t you EVER point your finger in my face. You will NEVER point your finger in my face again.” As the six foot tall man towered over me. I’m 5’4 and a female….if that isn’t intimidation…) Why are they so awful? I’m actually nervous in stations now but rely on metro to get to and from work.

    Rave: The Nationals won again!!!
    Rave: I am grateful I haven’t lost power yet from any storms (and feel for all those who have or have suffered damage) and that I was able to provide a place for my family when they didn’t have any

    • If you were shaking your finger in his face, it sounds like you were equally rude.

      • I had both hands moving – I’m an expressive speaker – but I agree I should have probably taken a step back at that point. It was a very tense situation.

  • Rave: I just found $20 laying on the floor in front of the ATM with nobody around.

  • Rant: First day of work after week long vacation. Ugh.
    Rave: Had a nice, RELAXING vacation at home with my mom! Got to see my best friend for a spell, and my family was under the same roof for an entire day!
    Rant: Got stuck in Memphis for three hours due to the weather here.
    Rave: Co-workers telling me how much they missed me! It’s nice to be missed.

  • just got back from picking up a Soba Noodle Salad at Mandu. had some leftover money ($5.90) on a birthday gift certificate and paid the difference ($5.10) with six dollars cash. they bring my salad out and i ask for my change. server looks at me like i’m crazy and says they don’t “do change.” proceeds to tell me “every restaurant i’ve worked in doesn’t handle change.” am i clueless or is that really stupid?

    • If they don’t “do change” then you should have demanded the dollar back. A-holes are going to keep getting away with this shit until someone actually calls them on it.

    • Usually servers don’t carry enough coins with them to make change for a dollar and don’t have enough time to go get coins from the bartender. When I was a server, any time a bill called for coins as change I just gave back a dollar – even if all they needed was a penny back. It avoided situations like yours and I found it generally evened out when I received my tip.

  • Rant: Got out $60 from the ATM this morning and just realized it only gave me $40. 🙁

  • Rant: The myopic twit on my condo board. This is not your college fraternity beer fund you’re messing with dude– this is all our investments!

    Rave: First visit to Nordstrom Rack in Friendship Heights. Was missing Filene’s, but NR is not a bad replacement if you have the patience.

Comments are closed.