Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user Columbia Heights Climber

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 celebrate things about daily life in DC.

124 Comment

  • RANT: I went to Alero on U Street Thursday night planning to have a nice dinner with a friend. Upon getting to the restaurant at 7:00 we walked inside to find the loudest music ever. I told the hostess we would sit outside. The music outside was just as loud (thump, thump, thump!!). I asked the waitress was this a restaurant or a club. She said “both.” We got up and left. What is going on with this place? How did it get this much out of control? I could maybe understand their club “theme” if it had been 10PM on a Friday or Saturday night, but 7:00 on a Thursday?!?!?! I will never go back there again.

  • I pray that this goes well.

  • Rave: Glad I gave up my ticket to last night’s Madonna concert. With a start time of 10:30 pm, I would have been stressing too much about when I’d get home to relieve the babysitter.

    Rave: Husband comes home from work trip.

    Rant: Boss who can’t give things up and feels like she has to micromanage everything, down to whether I should email or call someone. I need to start making connections with these people if I want to be good at my job – let me do that, please.

    • It was a good show though. I had a cold and a migraine and didn’t feel like going, but I’m glad I did. I didn’t leave the house until after 10, so I got there just as she was starting. πŸ™‚

      • You were smart to leave at 10 – I was checking Twitter to see when she’d go on and sure enough, stuff seemed to start around 10:30. I’m usually asleep by then. πŸ™‚

        • Me too, and I was up at 5:30 yesterday morning, but it was worth sacrificing a few hours of sleep for. From what I’d read the 2.5 hour delay was standard for her and not just a fluke on Sunday night, so I knew better than to show up before 10. I do think it’s ridiculous that the Verizon Center spent all that money to keep the metro running late when she could have just started earlier and avoided the need for it.

          • Trust me….the Verizon Center may have written the check, but the people that spent the $$ to keep the trains open that late were the ones that paid the steep prices for the Madonna tickets. That was all figured in the ticket price from the beginning.

          • I mean they could have charged the same prices and made more profit if the show had started earlier… and the response to the show would have been more favorable.

    • She sounds just like my boss! Yes, my developing relationships with colleagues may chip at your power a teensy bit, but it will help me do my job better which will make you look better.

      I used to think people were being dramatic/sexist when they talked about how horrible female bosses could be, but my boss fits the stereotype to a tee. And I say this as a woman.

  • Rave: Thank you to “bfinpetworth” for temporarily taking those two dogs in to your home (see forum post). I’m really glad that they found a safe place finally, and I hope you can find them forever homes soon.

  • Rave: Getting to work early. 7:00 yesterday and 6:30 this morning. I love getting in when it’s quiet and empty. And riding my bike to Metro in the dark is kind of a new experience to me – it’s exciting and just slightly scary.

    Rant: Eventually it’s going to be too damn cold to ride to Metro and I’ll have to go back to paying $4.50 a day to park my car there.

    • Get some gloves, a hat, and a fleece. Layer up..you’ll be good to go. You might have to spend a little money on cold weather clothes, but if you think about saving $4.50/day (plus wear and tear and gas for your vehicle), they’ll pay for themselves. You should also probably get a front and rear light for your bike as it’s getting darker. “Be seen” lights aren’t very expensive.

      • I don’t think you have to spend any more on cold-weather clothes. Just wear what you normally would outside in the winter. But definitely get front and back bike lights if you don’t have them already. I got some really cheap ones from Amazon that work great.

      • I already have a front light and a red LED light that attaches to the back of my backpack. Plus, lots of reflective tape on my bike frame and helmet. I can definitely be seen.

        I’ve been wearing bike gloves on cold mornings and that has helped. My helmet keeps my head pretty warm, but my face gets pretty cold. Maybe I’ll start wearing my hoodie over my helmet. I’ll have to see if REI or my local bike shops can recommend any cold weather gear.

        Thanks for the advice.

    • My general and very arbitrary rule of thumb for bike commuting in the winter is that I don’t go if it’s below 25 degrees. A scarf, gloves, lined wind pants, and you’re good to go. The first five minutes may be a little brutal, but you get toasty in no time.

  • Rant: The Romney “dear daughter” ad.
    Revel: My foster cat, Pat (the Cat), who was featured on Animal Fix, found a terrific home!

  • Rant: people who call my dogs, “children” or worse, “babies”. No. I have kids, and they’re not the same, obviously. Also, I love my dogs dearly, but part of what I enjoy is that beneath that city-dog blase attitude is a hint of the wolf. It’s there in the stalking of rats, the howling at firetrucks and the sizing up of the other dogs on the street. I just prefer thinking of them as dogs and me as an honorary member of the pack.

  • Rant: Just paid almost $4,000 for a grad school thesis course in which I will meet with a professor approximately twice this semester.

    Rave: Graduating in December and I’ll never have to deal with this school again.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: The water at work smells badly today. It smells musty.

    Rave: Smelly water is the worst thing about today.

  • mtpgal

    Rant: Just drank the nasty sugar water for my glucose test. Bleh. Sweet baby jesus let me pass and not have to do the four hour/multiple needle version.

  • anon. gardener

    Rant: Rude, abusive bus driver on the 63 this morning.

    Rave: great weather again today, wearing new fall clothes, looking forward to a crepe at lunch.

  • RANT:The only local furniture refinisher acts as if he is doing me a favor to come over and look at my fireplace mantels, why do I have to suck up to someone to take my money?

    • Is it possible that he is in fact doing you a favor?

    • there are more than one furniture refinishers in the area. is this a special case that only one person can handle?

      • Please share! Nothing special about my mantals, I need them refinished. Can’t find anyone to call me back, if they do they string me along, drama, drama, drama.

        • Any chance you can have the mantle removed? Refinishing in place will be fairly expensive depending on how many coats and what is on there, but if you know somebody that can remove/disassemble the component pieces and remount it you could have it dipped. Much faster and more thorough than hand stripping with less chance of damage (aside from the whole taking apart and putting back together thing). Just another option.

          • i agree. that would be easier, and preferable all around. they are usually fairly easy to remove, often cleated to the wall, and maybe a set screw/nail you have to remove. a razor blade around the edges to break any paint seal will help.

        • try this guy:
          Rob Turner

          The Stripping workshop on NY ave, just behind Maurice Electric.
          Virginia Stripper

          and really, many handymen will be able to do this, just get references.
          i’d bet anything someone on the eckington listserv will know someone.

  • Rave: Packed days with good friends and good weather and good activities.

    Rant: No real time to relax, take a deep breath, and connect… Must. Slow. Down.

    Rant: Feeling helpless in face of a really difficult time for a colleague/friend. Not close enough to really know what to do but not detached enough to just send a card…

  • Can anyone recommend a company to install a gas fireplace? I have a 100-year-old rowhouse that originally had a gas fireplace, though it has not worked in the 10 years I have owned it. I want to keep my existing mantel, an amazing American chestnut thing with carved lion’s heads and a coat of arms. The fireplace has access to the chimney for venting and is above the furnace, so running the gas line shouldn’t be an issue. Any help will be welcome!

    • anon. gardener

      We used Cyprus Air for a similar situation. We capped the flue and went with a ventless log – it heats the whole house, and we have actually lowered our winter gas bill. They were kind of a PITA to deal with – many visits, run around about the permits, etc – so i’m not sure i would use them again. Nice people, not very good follow through, but they got the job done. However, we started the process in November, which is high season for gas log installation, so they were busy.

  • one month to figure out whether life should be 1) a miserable 90-hr-week job that pays 160k + dc + date model-gorgeous friend of mine who’d be the worst gf ever; or 2) a good 40-hr-week job that pays 60k + not-dc + date the best gf ever who i’m only sorta attracted to.

    i know i’ll go w/ #2, but $ and gorgeousness messes w/ a guy’s brain. watching this the rest of the day http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1DSEYzsvLE

    • MsNesbitt

      well don’t you just sound like a catch.

    • Life’s so hard for you, huh?

    • How old are you?

      At this point in my life, I’d probably go for the money, the hottie, and the decent locale. This is the time in your life to build assets and get a hot piece of ass. You have your whole life to live in an awful suburb, be married to someone you don’t find attractive, and have your miserable daily routine dictated by others (kids, bosses).

      • Well, we know PoP isn’t blocked from the high school library computers.

      • I agree, except I don’t think he should bother with the girl. He already acknowledges that she’ll be the worst girlfriend ever, and he shouldn’t be dealing with that emotional stress while taking on a very demanding job. Take the demanding job and focus on that, and maybe a girl who’s great AND attractive will make her way into your life.

        • Good points.

          Also, it’s a lot easier to move from a time-consuming, well paid job to one that pays less and requires less hours. The same is NOT true when trying to move from a lower-paid job to one that is well-paid. In fact, you’ll have a great negotiating position if you ever want to “downgrade” into government; you’ll start at a higher salary than your peers since they will feel obligated to get as close to your current salary as possible.

          • Yep. Also, it might not be wise to take the lower-paying job that’s not in DC. If it’s in a place where the job market is not as strong it will be harder to find another job if that one doesn’t work out. Plus there’s the hassle of moving to a place that he doesn’t seem to like nearly as much.

        • He won’t have the model-looks girl for long with those hours. Plus he’ll bald prematurely and get a nice gut. I guess the BMW 3-series he’ll get out of it will be worth it.

      • no, that actually sounds terrible πŸ™‚ miserableness is being at work all the time and coming home to someone who someone’s who’s not right for you. no amount of $$ is worth that world.

        still tough to resist that temptation though.

        • To clarify, this is what I completely agree with:

          go for the money, the hottie, and the decent locale. This is the time in your life to build assets and get a hot piece of ass. You have your whole life to live in an awful suburb, be married to someone you don’t find attractive, and have your miserable daily routine dictated by others (kids, bosses).

          • i disagree. gorgeousgirl wouldn’t stay around long. she’s got commitment issues (i might be too if i was gorgeous and the opposite sex were throwing themselves at me 24/7). if she blurted out her feelings, it might be different … but that won’t happen.

            the rest of my life is now, and i think that’s what’s freaking me out. time’s run out for chasing crazy jobs and crazy ladies, especially when they both seem like they’d be disasters in the long-term. the time for that sorta-fun, sorta-destructive stuff was like 10 yrs ago (which makes me made i didn’t move to dc sooner! this city is amazing for that sort of thing :)).

    • I’ll resist the temptation to call BS on this post and just state the obvious: Perhaps you should first decide where you want to live and what you want to do for a living, and then once that is settled work on finding a better gf option. There is no reason – at least none that is apparent from your post – as to why working in DC has to come with “model-gorgeous” gal and working outside of DC has to come with plain jane. Moreover, both of these women deserve better than dating someone who is with them either only because of physical attraction or despite the lack of physical attraction.

      • it sounds like bs because there’s details left out for anonymity (why each place has only one person) and to get at the heart of the issue — trying to resist bad things that might feel good temporarily.

        i don’t know where i want to live because each place is great. jobs are similar (but obviously differ in stress/salary/hrs). and i get that pointing out that temptation for $/beauty exists sounds really douchey and shallow (those first two comments), but that doesn’t mean it’s not there.

    • Last year, I regularly worked 70 hour work weeks and became an angry b*tch. This year, normal work schedule = much happier me.

      • Were you pulling $160K? It probably would make those 70 hour days a lot more tolerable to see a comma with 3 figures in front of it.

        I could do 90 hour weeks for 2 years @ $160K. That would wipe out my student loans and give me a nice downpayment on a house or condo. Totally worth two years of miserableness for that kind of financial security. You have the rest of your life to work a normal schedule.

        • It depends on the nature of the work too. If it’s something you love doing, and the environment isn’t terribly stressful, it’s not as bad. Especially if you don’t have along commute on top of it.

        • saf

          You never know how long that actually is though. The rest of your life could be 2 hours, or another 70 years.

  • RANT: The Shaw Dupont Citizen’s Alliance. PoP readers really need to check out their website and the minutes of their meetings. They are a radically self-interested NIMBY group who are intent on stopping all growth in, and imposing a liquor license moratorium on, the entire U Street Corridor. What’s most frustrating is that they present themselves as speaking for their neighborhood when, in fact, their neighbors oppose their efforts. Isn’t there some minimum number of members that a group has to have before it can call itself a neighborhood association?

    • I’m all about progress, but one visit to Alero on U Street may change the way you feel about these groups. Someone needs to stand up to these businesses that say they are a reataurant but operate as a night club!!!

      • Sorry, but I like Alero, but even if I didn’t I’d just vote with your feet and go elsewhere. No need to shut down the entire neighborhood because you don’t like Alero.

        U Street has been all about music and clubs for, what, 70 years? You don’t like it? Don’t move there.

        • I love living in Capitol Hill, where the restaurants are just restaurants and don’t turn into nightclubs at night. And if I want the nightlife experience I can pick up a bus in front of my house that will take me directly to U Street or Adams Morgan.

        • Alero is a terrible representation of the “history” of U Street. I hope they are put out of business soon.

          • I don’t understand all the hating on Alero. If you live next door — and moved there before Alero did — and the noise bothers you, fine. Otherwise, why not just not go there? There are plenty of other choices on U Street. And Alero gets enough of a crowd that somebody obviously likes it.

          • Maybe I have lived close by long before they came along. The Alero that opened there was nice….a restaurant. Now it is a club with loud music and louder patrons…..THAT is my complaint.

          • Close enough that you can hear the noise from your house? Otherwise, I call NIMBY.

        • What license does Alero have?

          If they have a restaurant or tavern license.. and they are operating a nightclub… get Jim Graham and his minions on it.

          Then go laugh… because nothing wil change.

  • Where/how does a 40-something child-free non-church-going couple make friends in this town? And please don’t say “work.”

    • when you find out please lets us know!

    • I’m about a decade younger (though my girlfriend is approaching 40) and would like to know this too.

    • Add non-heavy drinkers.

      I’m thinking of starting a supper club. That might be a good way to meet new people…

    • Drop the “couple” part from that and it gets even harder.

      • Agreed. I’m of the belief that once you leave school and start working, friendships are difficult to maintain – and even more difficult once you get married but don’t have children. I’m not sure I really want to put forth the effort for CLOSE friendships, but I do wish my spouse and I had some friends with similar interests – we met a great couple thru PoP that we’ve met for board games (and will do again!)…but it definitely takes effort. Agree with volunteering.

        Seasonal supper club might happen – I’ll post on here I develop my idea more πŸ™‚

    • Join an organization that does volunteer. I recently started volunteering for an animal rescue group, and there are lots of people my around my age with similar interests in it.

      • I meant “volunteer work.” It’s a good way to meet people and give some to your community.

        • Thirded. I met a lot of new people through volunteering when I first moved here six years ago. You’ll get a kick out of doing something good for the community, and it’s a great way to meet like-minded people. From there you can branch off and turn these acquaintances into friendships.

          hang in there! I know the feeling….it’s frustrating, but it can be done πŸ™‚

    • Dog park. Get involved with your neighborhood association, especially if you’re a home owner. Volunteer. Get invited to embassy parties, philanthropic events, etc – those tend to attract an older crowd of couples.

      When all else fails – swingers club.

    • It can’t be done unfortunately. That’s why my partner and I are on the “five year plan” to get out of DC, and find someplace where people are friendly.

    • We have this conversation periodically on PoP, and we all say ‘let’s have a happy hour or a game night or book group,” but then we don’t, even though many of us on here are looking to expand our social life. Why don’t we just create a weekly–say, Thursday night—get together for drinks at one of the of newish places, like DC Reynolds or Chez Billy? Just a thought.

      • It takes one person to put (and keep) themselves out there to make things like this happen. Someone just needs to say “I’ll be at such-and-such bar from 6-9, come have a drink and say hi.” Maybe no one shows up the first time but the second or third maybe you get a small crowd.

        Same concept: someone recently posted to the Petworth listserv about starting a running group and it sounded like there was a lot of interest. You just have to have someone making it happen.

    • saf

      We’re a late 40s, church-going, childfree couple. We’ve met people at local bars/restaurants, the pool, local events (like Walkingtown DC tours, Smithsonian events, stuff like that), and parties at other friends’ places.

    • Seems to me that you have your answer in this post. Why don’t all of you just get together and go from there?

    • binpetworth

      Join the PoP Article Club! (We read articles, not books.) We got a lot of initial interest but only about 4 regulars, so would be happy to have more members.

  • Join a biking group, join Smithsonian Associates go to some of the outings and classes?

  • Rant: ANTS in my kitchen. Tips anyone? I don’t know where they’re coming from!

    Rave: Working in my pajamas today.

    • anon. gardener

      Vinegar. Borax also works, but can be a problem if you have pets. Find the source of the ants – look outside your house, we had them coming out of cracks in the front steps – and douse the area with vinegar.

    • one thing that seemed to help me last spring was to spray where their trail with vinegar – it supposedly masks the scent trail they use to follow paths they’ve found – and also to shake ground cinnamon where they hang out/walk – and if you can tell where they’re coming in from, especially put some there. apparently they don’t like the strong smell/it’s associated with danger or something along those lines? either way, the combination seemed to help.

    • One word: Terro.

      It’s cheap, relatively non-toxic and works like a charm. You can find it at most any hardware store and even grocery stores. One caveat is that it does not instantly work – takes 2-3 days but it kills the entire nest, not just a few ants. Have patience and you’ll be ant-free in a week or less.

  • Rave: This weather. I love it – and looking forward to the evenings being cool. My dog LOVES it, she never wants to come inside.

    Rant: My tomatoes outside are still green – we planted them too late because we moved during prime planting time. There are many of them, and they’re just green – anyone know if they’ll turn eventually, or is it a loss? I’m sad at the idea of NO homegrown tomatoes! The peppers are growing well, though – tiny hot ones from an Indian coworker – BAM!

    Off Topic: If anyone WOULD be interested in joining a PoPville supper club, post general interest below and if there’s enough, I’ll go with it. There’s enough foodies here. And no, I won’t ONLY make ice cream – sorry πŸ™‚

  • Rave: Appointment went very well.

    Rave: Bill Maher’s take on “swing voters”. It is a must see if you haven’t seen it.

  • Rave – Beautiful weather! we’ve been having a string of good days, weatherwise, lately. Hope it keeps up!

    Rave – Little bro is coming home from Africa this week….for one month, until he goes back for another year. Excited to see him and hear about what he’s been up to!

    Rant – Just got treated like crap in my new-ish doc’s office by the incredibly rude staff, who acted like they couldn’t be bothered with the various billing questions I had. I miss my old doc, but he’s not covered under my new insurance. I don’t want to go back to doctor shopping AGAIN, but neither do I want to deal with these rude people.

  • jim_ed

    Rave: Finally had pizza from Moroni & Brothers last night. Finally a place that lived up to the hype. Also, huge bonus for the fact that eating it wasn’t followed by the queasy self loathing of eating from the chain pizza places.

    Rave: The end of the football game last night. As someone who had no rooting interest in it, I’m hoping that last night’s utter debacle will be the tipping point to get rid of the scab refs that have screwed the Skins two weeks in a row. I never knew I could miss a complete stranger as much as I miss Ed Hochuli right now.

    • While I share in your lament over the scab refs, the Skins’ defensive backfield (and Haslett’s inability to not run cover zero blitzes 40% of the game) have screwed them the past two weeks.

      • jim_ed

        You’re absolutely right on both accounts regarding Haslett’s obsession with the Cover 0 and our awful secondary being the primary factors for the losses. That being said, they still were denied legitimate chances to tie both games due to the officials’ incompetence. To give Lil Shanny an unsportmanlike conduct for arguing with the refs to make a right call while not flagging the entire Bengals team for being on the field is just horrible. Same with the approximately 37 missed personal foul calls on the Rams the week before.

        The Skins are bad enough as is, we don’t need the officials piling on.

      • While he didn’t lose the game per se, don’t forget the antics of Josh Morgan.

    • Interesting. Moroni’s is about the worst pizza we’ve ever had in DC. I’d eat Manny & Olga’s before going there again.

    • Ed Hochuli is my absolute fav! Did you see the little piece on him in the NY Times last Sunday? Love that guy!

  • Rave: Pretzel M&Ms!

    Rant: I can’t stop eating them!

  • RAVE: Bulgogi & kimchi bibimbop from Rice Bar, just off K Street for lunch

    RANT: I’ve been working in this location for 1.5 years and I only just discovered it. Also, $11 is a bit steep for bibimbop.

  • Rant: Continuing drama with my crap-tastic management company trying to squeeze even a portion of this month’s rent from me when my apartment was practically uninhabitable while they dicked around not doing the appropriate repairs all month.

    Rant: Trying to find a decent place in this city for a reasonable price that’s not in the ghetto. Anyone want to move to the Hill with me?

  • Rant: The adirondack chairs my father made for me were stolen on Thursday. It’s about the only thing he ever did for me, so I was more upset than I imagined I would be.

    Rave: Neighbors noticed kids going in and out of an abandoned house on the street, called the police, and our chairs were found!

    • Oh wow, I was really bummed about your chairs (I’m especially sentimental about handcrafted items) and was happy to read further that they’ve been recovered. I guess you didn’t have them chained to something? Unfortunately you have to do that with patio furniture.

    • Lock it down. Idiot kids will take anything off your front porch that isn’t bolted. Hell, people steal potted flowers and plants ALL THE TIME. Or they will simply dig them up out of your yard. A chair or BBQ just sitting there is a prime target.

  • rave: 2.5 months of being busy, busy, busy, at work are over!
    rant: I’m behind in my grad school classes and I’m having a hard time doing math without numbers. I’m hopeful that I’ll get the hang of it quickly, because otherwise I may have chosen the wrong degree…

  • Rant: Super annoyed rude e-mails. If you don’t have the balls to say it to my face, don’t write it in an e-mail.

  • Rave: Just had a great five-day weekend with my Mom! We managed to get out and do a LOT in the beautiful weather, including a drive to Assateague for the day.

    Rant: Feeling really bummed now that she’s gone. Is this the opposite of postpartum depression?

    Rave: The fact that she can and will come visit every year!

    Rant’ish: After being with her for 24/7 for the past 5 days (she stays at my house, in my bed), I’ve realized how used to being alone I have become. I share a house but have my own bedroom. I travel to and from work alone. I go to movies alone. I grocery shop alone. That being said, spending that much time with someone is OVERWHELMING! Good thing marriage isn’t in my immediate future.

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