Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user caroline.angelo

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.

To those who I may have offended this past year, I’d like to sincerely apologize. Everyday I do my best to run this site in a positive way but I recognize that I am human and of course make mistakes. If you were offended by anything I did or didn’t do, moderated or didn’t moderate, covered or didn’t cover, I really am sorry and will try to do better in the new year.

81 Comment

  • mtpgal

    Rave: I know everyone is saying it, but the weather! It’s so perfect today! Unfortunately, desire to be sitting in my cube: zero.

  • I am almos finished renovating my house in the District, have this yen to do the same in Balto, can I make some money? Beatuiful homes, stained glass for days, I could really find a bargin.

  • RANT: I just found out my sister, who I have not spoken to in 5 years, inherited over $13 million from her inlaws. 🙁

    • I don’t know the situation but even if she is a terrible person, don’t get envious or spiteful. Life is too short for that type of emotion. I survived cancer at a young age so even if my mortal enemy inherited $100 million I would still wake up and thank god for another beautiful day of life.

    • RAVE: I inherited $13 million from my in-laws.
      RAVE: My sister, whom I no longer speak with, didn’t.

    • Ah, but you get to join the legion of long lost relatives who get to pop out of the woodwork when a relative inherits a fortune. It’s your duty! But, don’t despair — there may be a pre-nup! That’s how rich people do, you know.

    • I remember that movie!

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: My cunting cow of a boss’s pants are on fire! The lies!

    Rave: My new boss is motivating me to look for a job a like better.

    Rave: My cosmos flowers are still blooming!

    • Can you give an example of one of the lies? It kind of boggles my mind when I find out people flat out lie in their professional life. Organizations should have no tolerance for that type of behavior.

      • Emmaleigh504

        They are mostly what she considers white lies. She claims the higher ups haven’t gotten back to her about requests when she hasn’t sent the request yet. Yesterday she told some one I was excited about a new project when I told her I hated that project. That one really got to me b/c the excitement part was so unnecessary, all she had to do was say I’m doing it.

        It’s all little quality of life issues now, but what else is she willing to lie about?

  • binpetworth

    Rave: PoP. I for one have never been offended by anything PoP has written, published, etc. on this site. I can’t say quite the same for some of the comments, but all in all I love this site for providing useful neighborhood news and an opportunity to vent and ask legitimate questions. And it’s the best cure for the mid-morning blahs at the office!

    Can’t think of anything to rant about today.

  • Rave: the weather!

    Rant: in my 4th week of constant dizziness. Starting to have to miss work because reading and writing make me sick. No good.

    Rant: Had to drive out to VA for tests this morning. Had to drive back to DC in morning traffic.

    Rave: Living in DC means I no longer have to drive into DC from VA every morning. Seriously, I hated it every day and still am SO glad I was finally able to move to DC!

    Random: Um, did I miss something? What’s up with the new PoP disclaimer/apology?

    • It’s Yom Kippur – the Jewish day of atonement.

    • Sorry to hear about the dizziness – if you suspect that it could be an inner ear problem, I should warn you that alot of doctors (even ENTs) are not well-trained in how to diagnose this problem (at least that’s what I encountered when this happened to me). I was fortunate to live near the Mass Eye & Ear Infirmary in Boston at the time so I can’t recommend a doc in DC, but good luck with everything and if you want to be in touch, I think you can ask PoP for my contact info b/c I’m registered on the site. Dizziness sucks (and is really scary when you don’t know the cause! I waited months for a diagnosis from a specialist, which turned out to be the same diagnosis as my primary doc’s hunch when I first went to her with the problem.)

      • There was a good RadioLab podcast on this. The woman thought she was going crazy– for years!– because no one was able to diagnose what she eventually learned was vertigo. I know someone who went through a similar thing; the doctors were certain she had some serious problem like cancer and the whole family got worked up unnecessarily over it.

      • Thanks! Right now it looks like an inner ear issue – lots of fluid build up and no draining. Now we just need to figure out how to fix it! 🙂

  • The new phone book’s here! The new phone book’s here! I’m somebody now!

  • Rant: I am still upset that the young kid got all up in my face in Petworth yesterday, acting all confrontational, tough, and violent for no apparent reason that makes sense to me. I was just minding my own business walking home, does he not want me walking through his neighborhood or something.

  • happy Yom Kippur, POP! (assuming that’s what your post is referring to?)

    Rave – Going to Antietam Battlefield this weekend. Never been, but I’m excited to get outta dodge for a bit and see the pretty scenery in Western MD.

    Rant – None to speak of today.

  • Mazel Tov to our great leader, POP! Thank you for creating such a positive space.

  • National Gallery of Art – the George Bellows exhibit was excellent, (as expected.) It closes Oct. 8 – so go see it now! Unexpectedly also great is Willem van Aelst where I learned a great new word – “Pronk” which was basically the 17th century Dutch term for “bling.”

    Also great overheard tourist conversation – (there are lots of dead game birds in the paintings.)

    Wife – “I can’t look at all these dead birds.”
    Husband – “You look at packages of chicken from the store all the time.”
    Wife – “Those aren’t real birds.”


  • Rave: Happy Yom Kippur to PoP and my Jewish friends.
    Interesting: The Wall Street Journal has a very interesting article on how people are altering their budgets to keep up with their ever more expensive smart phones. Call me a luddite, but I still haven’t bought into the craze. People are apparently willing to spend fewer nights out at dinner with their families/friends or buy clothes in order to maintain their little gadgets. Meanwhile, the telecom folks like Verizon are figuring out that they can probably continue to increase prices because people continue to clamor for these things and pay literally thousands of dollars a year to have instant access to videos and useless trivia. I worry about the young, who have grown up in front of screens and lack good communication skills, and I worry about the adults who are spending money they could be spending on education, retirement, or charity (not to mention time wasted). Our addiction to these things has a cost and it is more than financial.

    • pablo .raw

      I was going in that direction; 2 or 3 years ago I went to my phone company and asked them for upgrading to a blackberry. They said it was not time yet for an upgrade, but I could get one for $500-$600…. My next “upgrade” was a “downgrade”, I got the cheapest free phone and I bought an ipod touch. Living in a city like DC, with restaurants and coffee shops everywhere, there’s free wi-fi everywhere almost everytime I need it. I’ve also used the device as a phone while traveling to other countries. I’ve been saving $30 every month! since I got it! 😀

    • haha, I actually think the opposite. Can’t understand how people live w/o smart phones. Just the thought of having so much information at my fingertips is mind blowing. Thinking of my childhood in the 80’s, they really seem like the dark ages. I used to inhale encyclopedia Britannica back then now I just have all the volumes and then some at my fingertips. I love it. I’m just fortunate that I’m in a position I can afford these “little gadgets”.

      • I’m not so sure these devices are being used to gain Encyclopedia Brittanica-like knowledge, not when “Angry Birds” is the most downloaded game/app for smart phones. It’s great that you can afford your smart phone (and also great for investors- including myself- who want you to continue spending your money on that thing). But there are a lot of people spending a bundle that they really can’t justify all in the name of downloading another Netflix distraction or trying to figure out the weight of Snooki’s new baby. I’ll admit that smart phones offer some pretty cool apps, but their high price tag is leading some middle and lower income people to make unwise choices in order to keep up with the Joneses. There’s one story in particular where I read a family couldn’t afford to send their son to college, but they were easily spending $3 K on their phones each year. We really need to get our priorities straight when it comes to the Iphone craze. It’s become the new opium for the masses.

        • 3K a year would not have sent their son to college.

          • Yeah, that’s actually not my point. My point is that if you can’t even afford a junior college (they couldn’t), then why are you blowing $3 K a year on optional smart phones? And $3 K would be a nice start to anyone who is trying to go to college and can’t afford it. Again, priorities.

          • My state college tuition was significantly less than $3k a year. Yeah, this was seven years ago, but I don’t think college tuition has doubled in the past decade. If the kid can’t get a scholarship, like I did, a part-time job plus the savings from reduced cell phone expenses should cover it.

          • state tuition in Ohio is now $12K, up from $4K 12 years ago.

          • Damn. Ok, I stand corrected.

        • I agree that people need to get their priorities straight and prices are pretty high. That being said, I think it’s not fair to generalize all smart phone users and say they’re primarily being used for frivolous activities such as gaming or entertainment gossip. Phones and internet have become more than a luxury but a utility. First and foremost they are communications devices. Keep in mind in many parts of the world, smart phones are the sole source of internet access that many people have. Do you honestly think the “arab spring” would not have gained so much traction if it wasn’t for social media and people accessing it from their smart phone? Technology has both it’s good and bad, but to be dismissive of it, no disrespect, is being short sided.

          • pablo .raw

            I love technology, and my ipod touch it’s an incredibly useful device. But I would never wait in line to get the latest version. I respect people who chooses to do that, but I would never do it.

          • Yes, and what people spend their disposable income on is something that is constantly changing. 50 years ago, for example, dining out was an annual or biannual activity for most families. Now people think nothing of doing it once a week or even every day.

          • Anon, I’m not trying to be dismissive of the wonders of the Internet. In a previous life, I worked on technology issues for academia, so I know the importance of technology when it is properly used. I’m simply questioning why so many people are running out for the latest and greatest iPhone and sacrificing so much to get it. And having read quite a bit on millennials, there is a downside to technology when it comes to writing ability and their ability to function and communicate effectively in the workplace. Achieving a good balance is the ultimate challenge, I think. These are real issues that should not be ignored with a flippant, “get with the future” kind of attitude. Especially when this economy continues to be awful for many of us, it is amazing that you have lower-wage people clamoring for the same devices that are delivering huge dividends and profit margins for investors and companies. Yeah, people are free to spend their own money, but I would hope they’ve done a thorough and personal cost-benefit analysis to weigh whether this is worth it all.

    • Emmaleigh504

      I think it’s possible to balance screen time and face time, one just has to make sure to do it. I love my iphone but it’s not my only source of entertainment or information. I also don’t always have the newest because I want to spend my money on other more expensive things (hello Dior!) and I like having food, clothes, and a place to live.

      Moderation is key to life, or something.

    • I know what you mean. Smart phones are amazing devices, but I don’t need a computer in my pocket. My dumb phone is fine for my communication needs.

    • Hmm, I’ll have to read that article. I like my smartphone but I’m somewhat annoyed that my girlfriend just upgraded to the latest Samsung Galaxy on a whim. She works hard for her money and she can spend it on whatever she wants, but I just gave her an iPhone 4S for her birthday because she simply HAD to have one when it came out. Now less than a year later she wants the newest thing just because it’s newer. I could have inherited her iPhone but I don’t have any problems with mine (another one of her abandoned smartphones from a few years ago) so why bother? She’s offered to upgrade me on several occasions but I’d rather have a new pair of shoes or a couple of dinners out. I’m an engineer and a geeky person in general, but the gadget fetish just isn’t my thing.

    • I feel the same way about cable. Of course, I question the wisdom of not having it on Monday night when i can’t watch the football game on ESPN.

    • wow. really?
      Do you pay $80 a month for cable? I don’t. But I do pay for an unlimited data plan. And I’m pretty sure that, since I worked for it, I can spend my money however I please: on burberry scarves or ferrets or glitter t-shirts that say “princess” or whatever crap tickles my fancy. Now, you may look at me in my “princess” tee & burberry scarf and my pet ferret and I think I have bad taste but you don’t really have any proof that I’m not managing my money well, i.e. for education, retirement, etc.
      BTW if you had a smart phone, you wouldn’t be wasting your time passing judgement on other people. You could be learning Japanese (there’s an app that has all the characters as flashcards. it is awesome), or reading a book or playing a logic game to keep your mind fresh and nimble, or reading wikipedia or…(infinity)

  • Rave: Swiss Chard in my garden! Acres of it!

    Rant: Should have looked at what one can actually make with Swiss Chard before I planted this much…

    • I just tried swiss chard for the first time in my life on monday. Used a recipe from real simple, but basically saute 1 yellow onion, add cut up swiss chard stems, saute until soft, add a can of cannelini beans and 5 cups of swiss chard leaves ripped into bite size pieces. Saute for 2-3 min until wilted, season with salt and pepper and 2 tbs of red wine vinegar. It was delicious!!!

    • Emmaleigh504

      saute mushrooms & garlic, when it’s just about done had the swiss chard until it’s wilted. yum yum yum!

  • Rant: PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE….. People with cats please don’t let them roam outside. On my walk to work this morning a beautiful black kitty (with a collar) had been hit by a car and was lying dead in the middle of the street. Thankfully a passer by was nice enough to pull the kitty onto the sidewalk so it didn’t get run over more (most cars were giving it a wide berth but it was only a matter of time) while I called 311 to have them come remove it.

    (He looked so much like mine I had to resist going back home and giving mine a strangling hug)

    • Cats that go outdoors have a very short lifespan (3-5 years) compared to cats that don’t (12-20). Nobody who loves their cat should let it outside.

      I’m sorry you had to see that, and sorry for the owners who lost their cat.

      • How sad! That’s definitely a tough way to start the day.

        And adding another voice in agreement with indoor kitties. And it’s also possible to transition a formerly outdoor kitty into an indoor one, it just takes some time. In our case, all it took was banning her from the basement- after that, she became obsessed with trying to get into the forbidden basement, and totally forgot that she had previously been obsesssed with the forbidden outside. And the basement’s not really all that dangerous for her, it’s just where we hang up our clean laundry to dry, and we don’t want her rolling around in it.

  • Rant: Still no hockey.

  • Rant: Woke up at 4am to loud music. At first I thought it was someone driving down the street with a really powerful car stereo. When the noise lingered and turned into dialogue I realized… it was coming from inside my house. I stayed in bed a few moments, wondering if it was possible that someone could have bypassed the locks, window bars, and the security system to break into my house and watch TV. I wondered how the TV could have possibly turned itself on otherwise. I finally summoned up the courage to go downstairs and check… and found out a Netflix movie I’d had on pause on my laptop had somehow started itself up again. Weird. It took me forever to fall back asleep, and once I did I had nightmares about my wildly bipolar and violent ex appearing in my house.

  • Rave: New music from awesome artists! New books from awesome authors! I want them all 😀
    Rant: Where does one buy cds now-a-days? I hate ordering online and I prefer to have a cd over digital music – B&N I guess still sells DC but anywhere else in downtown?

    • CDepot in College Park.

    • Why do you hate buying online? I also prefer CDs to mp3s and get mine from Amazon–great prices, free shipping, and no tax.

      • I buy EVERYTHING (excluding groceries) from Amazon unless there is a small local seller for it.

        • Oh, and most clothing and shoes I buy at brick-and-mortar stores because I’m very particular about fit. That is probably the only instance where I buy things from a big national chain.

      • I don’t buy new things very often and while I hate shopping for clothes or whatever, I LOVE shopping, in a physical store, for books, cds, etc. It’s part of the experience for me- remembering where I bought my favorite book or cd becomes connected to the experience (as odd as that may sound). Downloading or getting something delivered to your door just doesn’t do it for me!

        • Yeah, I get that. I do miss the old fashioned CD store. The combination of the mp3 and Amazon contributed much to its demise. I’ve never found a CD store in DC that I loved, but whenever I’m in Baltimore, I make sure to hit Soundgarden in Fells Point. They have a great selection of new and old CDs. If a store like that were in DC, I would shop there over Amazon.

    • Just a little bit north of DC, CDepot in College Park.

  • Rant: I am totally, utterly, and completely not chipper enough to be at work today. In the wake of bad news and feeling totally responsible for at least one person being laid off, I just want to wallow.

    Why isn’t wallowing allowed?!

    Rave(ish): DC Water. Despite the jackhammers and the construction guys traipsing dirt all over the house, our lead service line replacement went well!

    Even more impressive was the DC Water rep who showed up with a new water filter pitcher, refills, and instructions on how to flush our systems. I’m happy to have eliminated at least a little toxicity from our lives.

  • I read in the New York Daily News, Madonna referred to a black Muslim in the White House at her D.C. concert. Madonna is beginning to look like an aging hag. She use to see about Betty Davis eyes. Now she’s beginning to look like Betty Davis in her last days. hehe

  • Madonna was kidding, it was ironic. She also spent 15 minutes telling the crowd to vote for him. It was a joke, much like the reporting in the NY Daily News.

  • RAVE: Red’s Burritos!

  • Rant: Some kids goofing off on a very crowded sidewalk (near Chinatown/Gallery Place) totally tripped me yesterday.

    Rave: I managed not to face plant on the sidewalk.

    Double rave: They were really sweet, aware of what they’d done and immediately apologized.

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