Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user ekelly80

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.

73 Comment

  • Rant: You guys. What if Romney wins the election?

    Rant: This is just hitting me today.

    • go out to virginia to volunteer and make sure that doesn’t happen!

    • Emmaleigh504

      Canada! If you are fluent in French, Quebec wants you!

      • I thought seriously about this when Bush was elected, but unfortunately it still won’t save the world from the US with a horrible right wing president. I am in complete denial that people exist who are halfway intelligent and are planning on voting for Romney.

        • Really? Are you American? You honestly thought of leaving your country just because you don’t agree with the way the country voted? Ugh comments like this make me sad.

          • Yep, I’m American. And no, I wasn’t thinking of leaving because of how people voted, I was thinking of leaving because I didn’t want to live in a country where women’s rights were being taken away, where it would become increasingly difficult for me to work for myself, and numerous other horrible things that happened to this nation in the last 8 years. This “stay and fix it if you really care” stuff doesn’t get anywhere with me. I’m a simple person who wants to live a simple life and I don’t have it in me to dedicate my life to fighting the powers that be when I’m trying to simply feed, clothe, and house myself and my family.

        • Emmaleigh504

          When I think Canada it is purely self preservation, f*ck the rest of the world. I’m in denial too about intelligent Republicans, mostly because Bush turned my Republican grandparents Democrat. Why isn’t everyone as smart as my grandparents?! aka Why don’t people think the same way I do?!

        • That sort of denial is sad. While I agree with your assessment of Romney as a candidate, it’s foolish to assume that everyone who votes for him is a moron. They simply have different values than we do.

          To state the obvious, this sort of divisive thinking won’t unify this country, and won’t do anything but make us feel superior. It benefits no one.

      • Yep, that’s right: ditch American when the people with whom you disagree take power. Way to confirm the stereotype of a Leftist. Also, you might reconsider Canada. I hear the conservative turnabout in that country recently has been responsible for their improving economy (while our inches along at sub-2 percent growth).

        • Emmaleigh504

          I’m not serious! There is no way in Hell anyone could get me to move to Canada; it SNOWS there!

          • Go west young woman – Vancouver, BC is a great city with minimal snow. There’s the rain of course….. I have no desire to leave the US (for politics or otherwise) but Vancouver would be high on my list if I were to.

        • Or it could be that they have a slew of natural resources from diamonds to oil that they can now access and sell on the global market.

        • If only the GOP resembled Canadian conservatives! That would certainly make my voting options better.

          And as someone else noted, natural resources and Chinese demand are a big reason for Canada’s strong economic performance in recent years.

    • Do you really think things will be that dramatically different? I don’t think my life will be much different no matter who wins. To me, things have not been very different under Obama than Bush. Don’t ask don’t tell was an achievement and shelving DOMA (still the law of the land) was an achievement but I don’t think they have much impact on marriage equality as principally a state issue. Also, abortion rights are still limited by Roe v. Wade and there would have to be a Sea shift on the court to impact that.

      • If things would not be much different for you, then congratulations, you probably enjoy many privileges (perhaps economic, sex, sexual identity, race, health status, some combo of the above). I do, as well. I can assure you the results of the election will have a big impact on some people’s lives.

        • Well, I was asking for examples. It was a serious question. What will change, on a day to day basis, for life in the District of Columbia, if Romney gets elected. Did Obama support us becoming a state? Did Obama veto bills that trampled our sovereignty (remember the whole don’t tread on DC business). Nope. Has Obama done anything to address the 18% unemployment rate among African American males in DC? He doesn’t give a sh*t about us. The only areas of progress are those that I previously identified but I don’t really see anything changing in DC on those two major social issues.

          • bfinpetworth

            Marriage rights. Abortion. Birth control. Health care. Taxes.

          • The fact that Romney would prefer extending 66 directly through downtown should be plenty of incentive.

            Sure he hasn’t said this, but the Republican party has taken a highways and nothing else approach. That just wont work in DC. See Houston and the cluster F that it is. Regarding Roe V Wade, the next president WILL be able to appoint a supreme court justice. If Romney wins, Roe V Wade is history.

            More importantly, for the most part, consensus says the economy will continue improving over the next four years. If that happens, and if he is able to cut the deficit down to 700 billion or so, and the unemployment rate to 6.5, Romney is a shoe-in in 2016, so we would be stuck with him for 8 years. In the next 8 years, he would likely appoint at least three supreme court justices. THAT WILL change your life on a day to day basis.

          • Yeah, cause all that matters is how it affects you at the local level. That whole Iraq War thing when Buish was President? Who cares since it didn’t impact you directly.

            Regardless, there is a big difference between Romney and Obama that will definitely could impact you directly: health care. If the former wins, and the GOP controls both houses at any point in the next 4 years, you can be assured they’re going to do all they can to gut Obamacare (which is far from ideal, but a step in the right direction IMO).

            Also, if Romeny wins and the GOP takes control of Congress, there will be big government cuts (sans DoD), and THAT will definitely change day-to-day life here in DC. Big cuts will affect the real estate market and lead to less spending in the District, which will reduce revenue for the District. Obviously that means cutbacks to DC government services.

            So sure, Obama might not do to support anything you care about, but things here will most definitely be different if Romney wins.

          • Well, I can promise you that DC sovereignty issues will not get any better under Romney. At least with Obama we maybe have a prayer. As for general living, Romney would increase the tax burden on the middle class by taking away the mortgage interest deduction, state and local tax deductions, charitable contributions, and others. Your paychecks will go down because your tax liability will be greater under Romney. Ryan’s proposed budget would significantly decrease Medicaid, food stamps, and financial aid Pell grants.

            Roe v. Wade may still be the law of the land, but they are trying really hard to chip away at it. Look at the new restrictions on abortion clinics in VA.

            All of this to say, there are significant and stark differences between the candidates, especially on economic issues.

    • You just gave me heart palpitations.

    • I’ll be celebrating!

  • Rave: Howard Homecoming!! Looking forward to seeing fellow alum that I haven’t seen in awhile.

    Rave: The good times to be had and the memories that will be made this weekend.


  • Emmaleigh504

    Rave: This picture reminds me of college b/c I was friends with a guy who’s nickname was Warm-it-up (said with a Cajun accent, it’s an adorable nickname).

    Rant/Rave: Working late today and working tomorrow.

    Rave: Extra $$$ for extra work.

  • talula

    Rant – No hot water this morning. Couldn’t bring myself to shower in the cold water. Now I feel gross.

    Rave – Friday.

  • Rant: No relaxing at home time until next week. Busy busy busy…

    Rave: Awesome weekend planned – heading up to Fair Hill for a horse show and some hiking, hitting up the Dupont Circle House Tour with my parents and husband, yummy dinners out tomorrow night and sunday night for our second anniversary!

    Rave: Saw Argo last night – it was really good!

  • Rant: I know it’s part of adult life that the people you were once close to move on sometimes, but it still sucks. I don’t expect my friends to have made the same decisions that I did, but I feel like the courtesy isn’t extended in my direction.

    Rave: Rain made me stress about my commute, but still made it in on time.

    Rave: Finally taking the time to take care of myself.

  • RANT: Anyone know what happened at the bus shelter at on sounthwest corner of 14th and U last night? I was walking by around 10pm or so and police officers were all over the corner. The bus shelter had yellow police tape all over and investigators were carefully examining the sidewalk and gutter for bits of evidence (they were looking at trash, receipts on the ground, cigarette butts, etc.)

    I thought that there might have been a shooting, but I saw no blood on the ground. It was a weird situation.

    • I don’t know, but that bus stop pisses me off. It’s the dirtiest one I’ve ever seen and I usually get harassed when I walk by it. 14th and U is a disaster.

    • I walked by at the same time, bizarre situation. So many cops, but I don’t see anything on DC alerts. If anyone has any info, PLS share.

  • Rant: So Much to Do!!! Moving, no matter how much you prep you can’t escape some stress.
    Rant: My boss asking for unpaid overtime. Not cool.
    Rave: It’s Friday!

    • If you’re a non-exempt employee, unpaid overtime is illegal. As is comp time, unless you’re a government employee.

      • And it’s phrased as “if you can put in any extra time it would be really appreciated…” And of course we have newbies in our other office who are of course showing their dedication by working the (unpaid) extra hours. Thanks guys.

  • rant: heading to the bowels of virginia this weekend. ugh, i really do not like virginia. at least i will have some lush cousins meeting me there to make our trip tolerable.

  • Rant: Sooo tired, but it’s my own fault for not getting to bed at a reasonable hour.

    Rave: Feeling pretty good about myself despite a recent (amicable) breakup and a history of not feeling good about myself. There’s still a lot of work to do, but it’s getting better!

  • RANT: I think I broke my pinky toe stubbing it on my suitcase this morning.
    RAVE: It’s the suitcase I’m taking to Miami for the weekend. 80 degress and sunshine, suckers!

  • Rave: It’s Friiiiday! Excited for a really wonderful weekend with my really wonderful friends.

    Rant: One of my friends just started seeing someone new, and she talks about him nonstop. I’m happy she’s happy, but I really do not care about his favorite color or what he does on alternate Tuesdays or his opinions on my favorite TV shows.

  • Rant/question: Is anyone else’s water out right now, or is it just my building?

    Rave/question: Staying home from work sick…but I’m still healthy enough to spend all day making chicken broth for chicken noodle soup. Any POPers have an opinion on roasting the chicken parts before making broth?

  • Rant: Rest in Peace Big Tex

  • Rant: Dinner at The Coupe last night/The Diner’s new menu. I know it’s not entirely fair to lump the two together, but what is wrong with good, simple, tasty food for a decent price? The Diner has been a fixture in my dining schedule since it opened (I live a block away…), and I always bragged that I had never had something on their menu that wasn’t solidly tasty. Then they changed the menu, and everything was like some rejected dish from Top Chef, but with half the quality of what they served before….and inflated prices..

    So when The Coupe opened, I was excited to see if they took the mantle. The space is amazing, but the menu is so confused. I had the “boiled peanut hummus” last night….which was basically some peanut butter and a few small slices of vegetables for $8. Crazy.

    I hope they both embrace simplicity and change their menus. Comfort food can be high quality without being pretentiously fancy or including surprising ingredients. At this point I don’t think I would return to either (which means a lot; I went to the Diner almost weekly).

    • Agreed. I used to go to the Diner often before they changed the menu. The food was good and for a good price. Now, they got rid of almost everything I liked and raised the prices on the few things I might have gotten. And everyone i know in the hood (i live in Col Hts near 11th St) is complaining loudly about The Coupe and its prices. Note to the owner: When I can make this stuff at home for about $4-5, all ingredients included, why would i come to your place? And $8 for a well drink, no happy hour, when I can go down the street to Wonderland or elsewhere and drink stronger drinks for less, why would I hang in a brightly lit bar at top dollar?

      • You aren’t serious right? When you make that food at home, do you count in the cost of your mortgage/rent and the cost of the gas you use to heat up your stove? Do you also factor in your hourly pay rate for the work? Because if you own a business, all of those things get factored in.

        You don’t get the lovely space without paying a price. Also, if you don’t like it, go to Wonderland. That’s why there are multiple places in the city for multiple different types of people.

        It’s so weird how much people complain about prices as if they just realized they lived in a city. Also, every time I have walked by there are tons of people there so clearly they are what some people want.

        • you sound like the grumpy owner of filter.

        • Yeah, I’m serious Colhi. I’m paying a mortgage whether I eat there or not, so that argument is for shit. Operating an electric stove for 10 minutes doesn’t add up to much.
          My point was that I’m not paying that much for something so simple that I can make myself in no time, like grilled salmon with rice. Will I pay $20 for something like coq au vin or some other nice stew that takes hours of prep time and maybe some imagination (think: Bistro la Bonne), sure. Gladly. Oh, as for your stupid comment that I may not know I live in a city, I’ve been here over 20 years, during most of which we were all able to eat out at much more affordable prices…until a certain demographic group showed up saying yes to pretty much any price asked of them.

          • Wow! Angry much? I’m just saying that going to restaurant and talking about how much it costs for ingredients is a little silly–when clearly a lot of other costs go into producing the food. I am happy that local owners are opening businesses. I hope they succeed. I am willing to pay money to have someone cook for me because some days I am too tired to cook for myself. And guess what, I’ve lived here over 20 years too! Awesome.

            It just seems that so many people on PoP come and complain EVERY time a new restaurant opens about how expensive it is. There are cheaper places and more expensive places. Pick one of your choosing and Enjoy!

          • Nice racial dig there. It really classed up your argument.

        • What does a city have to do with anything? I have a hunch prices anywhere in Detroit are pretty affordable! Hell, nearby Baltimore is a bargin compared to DC too. I’m assuming you mean a metro area with an average high income.

          And it is popular due to the rep of the Diner, Tryst, and Open City. I have a hunch that if it continues to have 2.5 stars on yelp, you won’t be seeing it as packed as it is now.


    • I totally agree with you RE: The Diner. We used to go there up to 3x a week and stopped going with the menu and staff changes. Our usual safe-haven from the AdMo craziness became a forgettable and tasteless place, fast. Ah well, maybe they’ll get the hint when the brunch crowd thins out.

    • Yeah, bad move by the Diner changing the menu. Used to go once every week or two. Since the change, I’ve only been there once and have no burning desire to go back.

  • Rave: Feeling human again from jaw surgery. Peanut butter on squashed bread never tasted so good…and neither did wine.
    Rave: I had the most incredible caretaker and support provider. It doesn’t hurt to be married to a man who thinks you’re beautiful, but it takes someone special to make you feel beautiful again. With that said, thanks to one of PoP’s most avid readers Kyle-W

    • Rave: Free pizza getting delivered shortly courtesy of management today!
      Rave: Friday
      Rave: Heading to the riverhouse in Tappahannock tonight
      Rant: Everyone down there loves Romney/Allen.. Sigh.
      Rant: I think the reason they love him is because the newspaper down there, the front page story was how they redefined the term night club, for the one theoretical bar that wanted to have live music one night a week.

      Rave: Wife is getting better! Thanks for all your support a month ago. She did great!!!

  • Rant: Holy moly…was already buried in proposals at work, and my workload for the next couple weeks just doubled.

    Rave: It’s because we were shortlisted on a major proposal that I’m leading!

    • Congrats!! We just found out a lost a big one – probably the one you won 😉 Good luck – I hope it includes some pretty sweet travel!

      • Thanks Britt! If it is the same, I’m surprised you guys aren’t in BAFO. We haven’t won yet…I know of at least one more firm in there with us. Going to be a busy couple of weeks!

  • Rant: Trying to help my niece sort out $120,000 of student loans! 11 different loans with interest rates between 2.39 and 9.25, some sallie mae, some not. How does anyone do this? Just spent an hour on various websites with very little help. She’s got the living cheap and extra jobs part – we’re looking nuts and bolts – consolidate, lower the high interest ones etc. Any advice?

    Rave: Get to spend the afternoon with my super 8 year old god-daughter. She is still at the age where you can ask what she learned in school today and she’ll reply “the six simple machines” and actually remember 4 of them. (Which was all I could come up with off the top of my head anyway.)

    • I think consolidation is the best way to go. I don’t think you can consolidate private and federal loans together, but I can’t remember.

      I strongly recommend that if you do automatic withdrawal (it usually gets you a quarter percent off the interest rate), don’t pay more than the minimum monthly payment. I was paying about $300/month more toward the principal than I owed, but then I got laid off. And although my minimum monthly payment went down, it wasn’t easy to remove that extra $300. It took six months of lots of back-and-forth to reduce the extra payments and stop the automatic withdrawals, which cleared out my savings.

    • talula

      For the government loans, she may be able to get on an income based repayment plan. So if she’s not making a lot of money right now, her payments will be relatively small. As years go on and presumably she’ll start making more money, the payments will increase. I don’t think Sallie Mae or the other private loan companies do this.

      You can’t consolidate federal and private loans. She should be careful when consolidating loans with wide ranging interest rates, because they take the weighted average of all your interest rates and make that the interest rate for your new consolidated loan. For example, if most of her loans have a 3% interest rate but one has a 9% interest rate, I would not consolidate those. But if they have around the same rate, it makes sense to consolidate.

      Also this is GREAT website to visualize repayment and consolidation strategies: http://unbury.me/

      • I don’t think you got the concept of weighted average correct in your example. If the rates are weighted by the amount outstanding, it shouldn’t matter.

        If the loans have different repayment schedules, though, that would affect monthly payment amounts.

        • talula

          Oops, I think you’re right. I had this all explained to me a few years back when I was trying to get a handle on my all loans so I may have used the wrong example.

    • Speaking from almost 3 years of experience repaying as much of my 93k in student loan debt I can highly recommend consolidating the private ones with a credit union. http://www.custudentloans.org/ You don’t have to belong to a credit union to use this consolidation service, they will take you on and offer you additional services but you do not have to open any other accounts (I did not) and they really are straightforward. My loans were between 7-11% interest rates and right now I am at 5.75%.

      Yeah it’s variable interest rate based on LIBOR but they are SO much easier than Sallie Mae and don’t penalize pre-payment, offer direct debit, and with a cosigner she may have an even lower interest rate than mine. Did I mention cosigner release?

      also, please tell her to just keep trucking! I know the feeling of being in over your heard all too well

    • Consolidate federal loans through the federal government: http://www.loanconsolidation.ed.gov/. She should then have Federal Direct loans which are eligible for things like income-based repayment and the 10 year forgiveness program. IBR is the only way I’ve been able to make my payments. (I have about $285k in federal loans and another $15k in private.)

      Also, if she has any Federal Perkins loans, those may be eligible for reduction depending on her job. I think teachers, etc qualify for forgiveness of some of their Perkins loans based on their job alone.

      It’s daunting to sort out but it’s do-able!

Comments are closed.