Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user ep_jhu

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.

109 Comment

  • Rant: What kind of city do we live in? A guy gets out of jail, has a gun, gets out of a car, shoots and kills someone, and will be walking free by his early 40s! Only 18 years for murdering someone, it’s a travesty!! Not to mention he is a member of a known violent street gang. Come on DC, this guy should be locked up for life! http://homicidewatch.org/2012/08/10/18-year-sentence-in-revenge-killing/

    • I bet he will be out before the 18th year. Expect him to be out and ab out in 5 years.

      • I don’t think you have to worry as long as you don’t kill one of his family members. This happens all the time. People are released on their own recognizance and based on the facts of the case. I don’t know the facts of this case, but it was gang-on-gang violence. Not innocent victims. That calls for a completely different way of looking at the case.

        A man not long ago killed a guy in Texas who was molesting his daughter. He didn’t even make it to a Grand Jury: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/19/father-kills-molester-texas-no-charges_n_1610465.html

        This kind of thing works in strange ways, it’s horribly imbalanced, and the system is flawed, but if you’re ever in the same situation, you’d be very thankful your life wasn’t over for a moment of temporary insanity as well.

      • Federal sentencing guidelines for second degree murder are what – 38 years. So in DC, especially if you’re a repeat offender and are caught killing someone with a gun for revenge for a street gang related issue, you get to knock off 20 years, for what – good behavior? I really want to stop paying taxes to this city until they sort out their violent gang problem. Putting killers in jail for 38 years instead of 18 sounds like a good start!

        • I think even 38 years is being too easy on them. I am a pro-gay, pro-choice liberal, but I also am a supporter of the death penalty. No one that has EVER committed a murder should be allowed back on the streets again.

    • But that can’t be right- the MPD keep telling us that we don’t have gangs in DC, just harmless “crews”. Also, crime is down.

  • I have a question that can only be answered by the smart folks of POP World, I am a new landlord, how much can I increase the rent after the first year?

      • The answer is, as much as you want (that the market bears ofcourse).

        DC’s onerous rent rule increases only pertain to individuals/companies that are collectively renting out more than 4 individual rentals. I am assuming you don’t own a 5 unit apt building, so you are free to ask for as much as you feel you can get.

    • You should consider how much you like your current tenants. If you want to keep them, a smaller increase might be a good idea. If you are indifferent or dislike them figure out the market price and charge that.

      • Second this…having a good tenant is actually a better deal for you in the long run than jacking up the rent and then having to spend 6 months and $5k trying to evict crappy new tenants. I am a landlord and I could probably have raised the rent on my unit this year but my tenants are excellent and I don’t want to lose them over a hundred bucks a month. As long as you are covering your expenses, stay focused on keeping reliable tenants.

        • Having decent tenants and getting the maximum value out ones rentals isn’t mutually exclusive. You can have both, and in fact I’ve found that generally the higher priced the unit, the better tenants I get.

          You obviously have to price it in a way that the area can sustain (i.e..you aren’t getting 4K a month for a 2 bed in Trinidad) but the folks that can afford higher rents aren’t the ones you generally have to worry about not paying their rent.

          I don’t know what shape or where your rental is located, but if it is in decent shape and not in a horrible neighborhood, then you are going to have 30 people from CL beating down your door to rent it. Why should you subsidize someone elses rent and not get the full value from your investment?

          • What this person said…

          • I agree with most of what Anon is saying, but I think the advice is better for a new tenant search. The economy still isn’t great, so a big rent increase could easily price out your current tenants. Just consider that possibility along with your costs as a land lord before increasing the rent.

    • There is no limit unless you’re the owner of a rent controlled building. Generally increases should be based on a reasonable justification of increased costs of operation, building upgrades, or tax increases. There is also no limits in how a tenant can sue you for “undue eviction”, so being reasonable is the best 🙂

      • Rents have increased as much as 10% in certain DC neighborhoods over the past year. I’d find out the stats on your particular neighborhood and use it as justification for the tenant. Of course, if there have been other expenses (increases in condo fees, upgrades to the unit, increased utility bills if you pay them) that is also a good argument beyond the standard increase.

        I personally think landlords should increase the rent every year. My girlfriend is only getting $1500/month for her huge 2 bed/2 bath condo because she didn’t raise the rent incrementally, and now her tenant who has been there forever isn’t expecting it. Meanwhile, my girlfriend’s bills associated with the condo have been increasing. She can still raise the rent, of course, but not by enough to make up for the previous years or else it wouldn’t be kind to the tenant. A $100 increase every year is a lot easier for someone to handle than a $500 increase every 5 years.

    • It’s also worth noting that in the next 6 months 6000 new units are set to come on the market in the DC area. Prices could become stagnant if not go down soon. Get a good tenant at a decent rate and stick with them for now.


  • alxindc

    Rave: 45 bpm resting heart rate! Oh, yeah 🙂

    Rave: Will cook me some pulled chicken tacos tonight. Digest it better with a bottle of Race 5 IPA.

    Rave: The new Dead Can Dance album is awesome. Especially the song “Amnesia”

    Rave: Reading the book that is all the recent rave: “Why does the world exist?”. 6/10 so far, 18th %.

    Rave: A new Woody Allen movie finally in theaters!

    • Regarding the 45 bpm heart rate: what sort of exercising are you doing to achieve that? Very impressive.

      • Some people have to exercise a lot to get there. Some folks just naturally have low resting heartrates. My overweight slob of a brother is probably 40 lbs overweight and hasn’t done anything that would be considered conscious exercise in more than a decade, yet his resting heart rate is 52 (I thought he was lying so I timed it myself)


        • Interesting. Even during my cross country days when I was in tip top shape, the lowest rate for me was 57 or 56. I thought 45 bpm was reserved for only the most elite of athletes!

    • how old are you with that hr?

  • RAVE: Loving the “GO NATS” sign atop the crane that was put up Saturday at 14th and U Street.

  • Rave: HOME!!
    Rant: Back to work… still jet lagged.
    Rave: West Africa was awesome.
    Rant: Hillary Clinton came to Cotonou the morning after I left!

  • Rant: Stung by a saddleback caterpillar yesterday – the spines are filled with venom! Hours with an icepack before the the sting didn’t sting so much.

    Rave: My garden is finally getting around to producing and so far stinkbugs have stayed away.

    • pablo .raw

      The story is long, but at some point in my life I spend some time picking coffee beans from the trees and the caterpillars where a problem. They hide under the leaves or camouflage on the branches and I got sting a couple times because I couldn’t see them. Arm gets numb and in pain and I could even see the mark of the spines on my arm! not fun!

  • Rant: So there were obvious hand prints all over my car windows and door handles yesterday, indicating that people were trying to look into it to see if anything of value was inside (through my tinted windows). Can’t believe people are stupid enough to leave blatant hand/finger prints on the car, but this is why I hate moving to new neighborhoods…

    Rave: Got all my construction permits validated, Framing is almost done on the house, the project is taking shape… Can’t wait to get the renovation project finished and to move back in!

    Rant: Gave up on a female I was dating last weekend because she is not good at communication/taking initiative. I feel kind of like a douchebag for doing so, but I don’t want to feel like I’m the only one who’s putting in work, and it would probably get worse over time… Back on the meat market.

    • valentina

      I’m available; if your interested in black women!

    • A tip for you as you get back out into the dating world: some women get turned off by the use of the word “female” as a noun. Seems like a minor thing, but it sometimes betrays a dismissive attitude towards women, as if they’re a different species whose thoughts and feelings are impossible for men to understand (so why even try). Not saying that’s how you think, but first impressions are everything out there. Good luck finding someone who’s right for you!

      • Good point….”female” just sounds a little too much like you’re referring to livestock or a lab rat, rather than a human being.

    • Haha,

      I was thinking about saying Woman, but that would indicate she is “older” in age, she is 24. She is a female, reading too much into the context is doing an injustice when there was no ulterior motive to me using the term. 😛

      Valentina: Nothing against black women at all! Send me pictures 🙂

      • “Woman” would indicate she is an adult female person. I also cringed when I read you refer to her as a “female” in your original post. Language matters!

        • Jeez people, are Women not females? If I said Girl that would also connote age… I consider her a female because she has the corresponding chromosomes. Please don’t crucify me over semantics… There was no motive in using that term.

          • Well, do you ever hear people talking about so-and-so going on a date with a male? Didn’t think so.

          • Then why not say, “I didn’t realize; pardon my ignorance?” It’s not something we’re pulling out of thin air, here.

          • +1. Jack5 might have meant nothing by it, but for his dating purposes, it would probably be better to recognize that some women don’t like the use of “female” as a noun and to avoid it.

            The use of “female” as a noun reminds me of Ugly Duckling’s “A Little Samba,” which mocks braggadocio: “I got an e-mail / It’s a female / Girls pressin’ on me like a Lee Nail!”

          • +10000 for the Ugly Duckling reference! They were an awesome group with really hysterical lyrics.

            Agreed it’s always good to take a woman’s advice – however unreasonable it might seem – on how women might respond to things a man does. But to play devil’s advocate, the term “female” has a different weight when used by the hip-hop generation, just as “girlie” as a noun did as well. But perhaps not the best frame of reference for non-mysoginistic lingo….

  • Rave: Actually enjoyed the closing ceremony last night, all it was missing was Adele

    Rave: The butterfly exhibit at the Museum of Natural History

    Rant: Monday….seriously??

  • pablo .raw

    rant: post wedding shooting pain! but photos look great
    rave: reinventing myself, I want to do so many things…
    rant: I need to be patient
    rave: learning to use the mouse with the left hand! click! click!

  • Rant: Quitting smoking, again.
    Rave: Maybe don’t have to work this weekend, for once.

  • Rant: Crossing U Street by the 10th street exit on Saturday night and almost mowed down by a driver making left who did not see us at all. I was screaming as he came barreling towards us and barely was able to jump out of the way before he ran the red light at Vermont.

    Rave: Short week and off to the beach.

  • Not really a rant or rave, but a question. How much is your gym membership? I want to join a gym in DC since I live here now but not if it’s going to cost me a lot of money. I don’t know many people in DC to ask. All my VA friends are paying $20 to $30 a month but that’s all the way in the burbs of Falls Church and Fairfax

    • I’m pretty sure those prices your friends quoted are wrong. I lived in Northern Virginia for year and could not find a gym that cheap– even the crappy Sport & Health up the street from my most recent apartment was very expensive. I could use the gym at George Mason, where I was a part-time student, for $30 a semester, but not everyone can do that obviously.

    • If you work for the feds or DC gove, Washington Sport Club gives you a nice discount. It is like $52 or so for the month for fed employees and like $40 or so for DC gov. You can go to other regional locations as well.

      • If you don’t need anything fancy I think DC’s recreation centers charge something like $25 a month, and the aquatic centers are free if you need a pool.

        • Totally forgot about that. I think it is like $125 a year and it may include the pools.

          • The pools are free no matter what. I think the way I worded that it sounds like you need the membership.

          • I didn’t realize the pools were free, I know you must pay the membership fee (or you are supposed to I should say) to use the weight room.

    • I go to the Gold’s Gym near my work (at Federal Center SW). I think the sticker price is about $40/month.

      Ask the HR department at your office if they have membership deals with any nearby gyms. My Gold’s membership only costs $15/month because I got it through my employer.

  • Rave: Went fishing pretty much all weekend.

    Rant: Had a chartered boat on Saturday out of Soloman’s Island but the weather got really, really bad on Saturday half way through and had to come back. At least they only charged us half (didn’t have to do that).

    Rant: The asshole with the big ass speed boat who decided that the best place to pick up his late friend and son was from the damn pier, yes the pier (And when I say speed boat, I mean speed boat)!! The fucker snapped my line with his boat about 35-40 yards out, then came and hung around within 15-20 yards of the pier for like 10 minutes and then eventually came right next to the pier and had his friend and his son jump over the pier into the boat. If you know anything about water and fishing you will know how messed up this is, totally inconsiderate especially when there is a launch spot not far (especially in a speed boat). The noise, the oil, the wake that it caused stopped anything that was biting for a good hour or so. Somebody definitely should have hit/hooked and set the hook hard him on a cast (as long as you have bait on your hook, you are all good).

    Rant: Same idiot made a joke about the boat being packed when his friend go there saying “We look like so chinamen on this boat”.

    Rant: People that don’t get it. I might be wound tight and intense but I am respectful to all and I think of others. This guy and the guy with the dog from last week (sans the derogartory comment) are the same guy and I can’t stand these types of people at all. Also the clowns on this blog that think any of that is ok and I should get over it. Trust and believe I am over it but this is my rant/rave.

    Rant: The guy fishing on the pier who was acting like he was doing this great thing by taking his son fishing and talking about how kids in DC are’t exposed to outdoors…yada, yada, yada. Same dude basically had his son taking and hiding nonregulation fish (and when I say non reg I mean any and everything ex. baby flounder). Dude, you are doing a major disservice to everyone but you are especially doing a disservice to your son. That shit is not cool especially because we/I told you it was mad illegal and you could catch a $500 fine per nonreg fish but you still had your son come and do it all so you didn’t touch them and then blame him saying that “he didn’t want to let anything go”. WTF is wrong with people nowadays?

    Rave: Had friends over last night to eat all of the fish I caught over the weekend.

    • I really hope you’re on some kind of blood pressure medication.

    • Is anyone still reading this today?

      I’m the same way, kam. I try so hard to be respectful and considerate of the people around me, that I find it infuriating when others just plod through life with no consideration for their fellow earthlings. Maybe if I didn’t try so hard it wouldn’t outrage me so much. And maybe I should chill out, but that’s a hard habit to unlearn at any age.

  • Rant: Too many robberies at gun point are happening daily in the Fourth District. On August 3, 2012, a D.C. Superior Court Judge was robbed in the 1700 block of Crittenden Street, NW in Crestwood after attending the Citi Open tennis event. Last night there was a robbery in the 1300 block of Somerset Place, NW. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier and Mayor Gray seem to be silent on these street robberies at gun point. What is MPD doing to address this problem and do we have enough police officers patrolling the streets?

    • Would it make you feel better if the robberies were at knife point? ALL roberies are senseless.

      • I get your point. Robberies at gun or knife point is senseless. However, there seem to be robberies at gun point daily in 4D and we have one of the strictest gun laws in the United States. Where are these hoodlums getting guns? If I wanted a gun, I wouldn’t know where to go to purchase one as a law abiding citizen.

        • Even if guns are outlawed, hoodlums will be able to get their hands on them no matter what—just as they do illegal drugs. I saw a bumper stcker many years ago that read “When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.”

        • 16th Street, you do know there are illegal rackets all over the city. These are where people buy and sell drugs, guns, electronics or whatever they can to make a profit.

      • is that a rhetorical question? of course it would make me feel better if they were at knifepoint instead of gunpoint.

        • So….should we also outlaw knives? Remember, we need to blame the crime on the weapon insreat of the criminal.

          • Actually, we can have a conversation about BOTH the criminal and the weapon. When do you ever see a bystander get stabbed while across the block? Do you ever hear of a child getting stabbed through a wall in a house by accident? Or a stray knife hitting someone 1 block away?

            The majority of people I know who are hunters and/or have a gun for protection don’t have an issue with talking about reasonable restrictions for things like assault weapons or other dangerous types of ammunition because they aren’t knee jerk crazy and recognize that guns are extremely powerful–and uniquely different from other types of weapons.

          • Never heard of a bystander accross street being hit by a stry knife. However, I have heard about people being stabbed to death…..so knives should be outlawed.

          • We should also outlaw streets, since so much crime seems to happen there.

  • Bear

    Rant: Have two big reports due at work. Haven’t done much writing lately and I’m having a hard time getting back into that mindset.

    Rant/rave: After having a wee bit too much to drink on Friday I decided to show my boyfriend my awesome karate kid moves (note: I do not actually have awesome karate kid moves). The rant is that, not surprisingly, I fell and hit my head. The rave is that I am with someone that I can be completely ridiculous with, and he finds it endearing.

  • Rant: I bought 2 iced coffees this morning from 2 different places, and they both tasted like crap. I had to dump the first one, and the second one, I am just barely getting through.

    Rant: Night sweats. Sometimes it amazes me how much I can sweat in a night! (/tmi) I know it is due to certain medications I am taking, but wonder if there is some correlation to other factors such as stress. Or maybe I just need to go to bed cold, and leave a fan running, less blankets. I just don’t know.

    Rant/Rave: Big life changes coming. While I am terrified of change and the unknown, I am feeling some sense of serenity right now with having faith that things will work out okay. Hope is a wonderful thing to have.

    • not to alarm you, but I would get those night sweats checked out.

      • Thanks. Can you tell me more? Because I have been to the doctor. Have had hormones checked, blood tests, etc… but not sure if there is something else I could get “checked”.

        I am pretty sure it’s largely due to an anti depressant I am on, because I had them before on others, and they went away when I was off of them. But I am wondering if there could be more to it too.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: All the Charity Beggars I have to dodge on a daily basis. They circled me like a pack of wolves the other day, then made fun of me when I declined to listen to their spiel. They all needed a good smack upside the head.

    Rave: It was not my turn with the difficult client today.

    • The last time a Greenpeace drone tried to approach me by asking, “Do you care about the environment?” I replied, “No, and I drive an SUV.”

      • Emmaleigh504

        One winter a newer member of the Greenpeace beggar brigade attempted to talk to me while I was wearing a fur coat. Her buddy pulled her back and schooled her. It was hilarious.

        • Witnessed a Greenpeace shift change, wish I could have snapped a picture and posted around town. One of those gigantic F-550 trucks, sparkling of course despite it’s clearly intended farming/construction vehicular purpose, pulls up with the new shift, picks up the old shift, and drives away. Now, I’m the farthest thing from a Smug-inhaling Hybrid driver, but it seems to me if you’re talking about saving the environment you shouldn’t simultaneously take a huge sh*t on it.

        • I wish I could give a copy of Patrick Moore’s book “Confessions of a Greenpeace Dropout” to every one of the cancassers I encounter. Even if I could afford to, I doubt any of them would read it.

      • The Children International folks are out in packs at Foggy Bottom (work) and Eastern Market (home). A particularly aggressive CI wouldn’t not leave me alone after a polite “No Thank you.” He then tried to guilt me with “Don’t you like children?” I gave him my honest response. I said “Quite frankly, no, I don’t.” Definitely the wrong person to ask that question.

        • Speaking of Eastern Market, has anyone gotten harassed by members of a new church around there? I’ve been approached on several occasions by women who look to be around my age (late 20’s), very cute and stylish and always walking in pairs. There is absolutely no indication of their affiliation with a religious organization. Rather than stand around waiting for victims they are usually walking down the sidewalk in the opposite direction, with some decoy prop like a CVS bag. They start innocuously, “Hey, can I ask you a question…?” which makes me think they’re asking for directions or something. Then they’ll launch into a pitch about their church, which always begins with a feminist angle because they must think I’d find it intriguing. I’ve been late to things because it’s hard to get away once they get going– the two of them sort of corner me and they speak very quickly so I can’t interrupt. Really annoying. At least the Greenpeace folks are obvious and easy to avoid.

    • I work on Connecticut Ave, in one of the buildings where these folks get their daily assignments. They are right outside my building every day. One guy in particular is the most annoying: “Hey, let’s be friends – you have a pretty smile” or “You have a ponytail, you must support the environment” to a coworker of mine. I usually respond with a “Thanks, I don’t give money or information on the street” and keep walking. All else fails, I pull out my phone and fake a call. Our charity dance card is full at the moment.

      • Emmaleigh504

        I’m sure they all use a similar script but I think I know that lets be friends guy. He is the most annoying one of all. He’s so slimy.

        • I don’t know who the guy is but if I ever encounter the “let’s be friends” guy I am gonna respond “Sure, find me on Facebook!” 🙂

    • I’m really considering saying something like, “Take off your top and I’ll talk to you.” (if the canvasser is a girl) But I’m too polite to do that, and I don’t want to be charged with verbal sexual assault.

    • Regardless of who/what it is for, I always say “I’m already on the list and I just renewed. Have a good day!”, and they smile, I smile and we’re all happy.

      Little lies go along way to a happy day.

      • They have comebacks for that now. I try the “Love you guys, already a member” spiel and they still keep going re updates, new email list, extra donation, blah blah blah.

        I find it hard to believe these tactics work in DC, where I’d imagine most people already support the causes they’re going to support.

        • Well of course they do – they are supposed to have comebacks – that’s part of the job they were hired to do.

          But if you never break stride, it doesn’t matter.

    • I try to have some compassion for these guys (if they are respectful, that is), because I had several friends who right out of college got what they thought were promising jobs with organizations that do good work (PIRG, Greenpeace, Planned Parenthood). Of course, as new college graduates, they were immediately assigned to being canvassers, and had all their idealism and positivity crushed within weeks. Most of them quit immediately and went to work on the hill or for lobbyists.

      I can’t imagine that the expense to pay these young people (and subsequently lose the employee due to disallusionment) is worth any donation income they get. Does anyone ever really sign up for these things? I just feel bad for these young people who think they are changing the world, but they are just pissing the rest of us off on our way to work…

      • Emmaleigh504

        I try to be nice because when I was in high school I had a job where I had to recruit folks in a mall to do market research. At least I was smart/mature enough not to make fun of people loudly when they didn’t want to answer my questions (and we usually paid people instead of trying to get their money).

        These 3 people were straight up assholes and I hope all their idealistic dreams are destroyed.

      • If they walked around the neighborhood picking up trash all day I’d be happy to toss them a buck.

    • My retort is usually is “Couldn”t get a PIRG job huh? Summer work must be tough to get.” I know, good one ?

  • Rave: I feel funny classifying this as a rave since it deals with a tough/sensitive subject but a huge thank you to the kind volunteers at Planned Parenthood on 16th St. who escorted me and my husband up the path to the front door this weekend, past the people handing out flyers etc. They made a difficult day slightly less awful.

  • Rave: Spent the weekend at Virginia Beach! I don’t care how chilly and rainy it was, I LOVE THE OCEAN. Good friends, good times AND we saw dolphins!

    Rant: About to kill my co-worker. I’m in a bad mood today and just can’t deal with her demanding and blunt personality. I can hardly handle it when I’m in a good mood.

    Rant: Stomach acting up and not sure why. Can’t really eat much of anything except Pepto Bismol chewables. And those are gross and turn your tongue black.

    Rant: Saw a former good friend/guy I dated on Saturday. Even though he was there with his wonderful wife and adorable baby (and I really am happy for him), it gave me the “Why not me’s?”. And even though he was standing there with wife and child, I’m still attracted to him. I think he’s the first guy that made me realize what I really want in a future husband. Then there was the awkward, “What’s new with you?” question. NOTHING is new with me!

    Eesh, I need some sort of happy pills.

  • Rave: Paul Ryan! AHAHAHAHAHAHAA! Wow. Mittens has to just be trolling us at this point.

  • valentina

    Rant: I live my living in SW so far, but people are not as friendly in SW as they are in my old neighborhood in NE. *Kanye shrug* Go figure.

    Rave: The view of the lights from the airport from my floor to ceiling windows at night is awesome!

  • Rant: Got a Big Breakfast from the McDonald’s near Howard University yesterday and found hairs in the scrambled eggs.

    Rant: When I went back to explain what had happened and politely ask for a refund, I received a refund only for the value of the scrambled eggs ($1.40ish), not the $2.99 I had paid for the Big Breakfast. (The regular price is $3.99; I had a coupon.)

    It was only a $1.60 difference, and yes, I did eat the rest of the Big Breakfast. (Only because I ate everything else first and was going to eat the eggs last.) But honestly, seeing those hairs in the eggs was so disgusting; I guess I felt like the monetary value of my disgust was more than $1.40ish.

    I can’t quite explain it, but the principle of the thing bothered me. Poorly handled, McDonald’s near Howard University; poorly handled.

    • It occurs to me that this might sound a bit like that thread a while back where the person who got the cake and cookies from Heller’s was upset with getting a refund only for the (moldy) cake… but in that case, I don’t think the cookies were freely mixing with the cake.

      In the offending Big Breakfast, the eggs were in the same container as everything else (except the hash browns patty, which comes in a separate paper sleeve).

  • Rave: Filter coffee shop on I and 20th NW, monday morning Ethiopia pour overs are the best.

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