Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user District Shots

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.

107 Comment

  • Rant: Hate this job.

    Rave: My last day is on Wednesday! Time for a change!

  • rant: no matter how hard I try, I can never seem to get ahead financially. There is always some unexpected expense draining what little savings I have managed to sock away. Sigh. At this point in their lives my parents were so much further ahead!

    • I hear you. If it’s not unexpected medical appointments, credit card bills, utility bills (thanks, PEPCO!), etc., it’s something else for me. I used to have my sh*t together, but not sure what’s happened recently that my expenses have semi-exploded. It’s time to re-read Robert Reich’s “Aftershock.”

    • I just had a talk with my parents about the same thing. I have savings, but it’s not nearly what they’d like me to have… but when you compare my existence with theirs, it’s not even comparable. My mom earned $6500/yr in her first job, and my dad earned a little more, and their first home cost around $15k. Yet my home cost me over four times my salary. And basically every other thing is markedly more expensive, all things considered, for us now. It’s tough!! Good luck-

    • You’re not alone! I try so hard to be frugal and I make decent money, but I can never get much saved up. I don’t want others to be in the same boat as me, but it is comforting to hear that I’m not the only one.

  • novadancer

    rant: had my longer than shoulder length hair chopped to ear level. Clearly my stylist (who I won’t be returning to – PoP recommended) doesn’t understand chin length!!!

    Rave: my hair grows super fast so hopefully it will be chin length before long.

    • Sorry about your hair! I had the same thing happen (asked for shoulder-length, got ear-length) at a haircut early in my freshman year of college- what a time to feel insecure about my hair. I hope your hair grows out quickly and you find a better stylist.

  • Rave: Taking care of shit on my to-do list. That feels good.
    Rant: Taking care of the little things while leaving the harder/more complicated things… ugh.
    Rant: Eyeglass lenses – damn they’re expensive! It’s going to cost me anywhere from $200 to $600 for my lenses… that’s just the lenses.
    Rave: One day, maybe, I can get lasik…

    • Do you have some super high prescription? if not, there’s warby parker.

      • AND they have a pop-up try on shop in a school bus in DC until November 25th. I just went this weekend and now debating between two pairs. $100 for lenses and frames, or $145 for fancy pants titanium ones.

      • Yeah I was pretty disappointed after I put in my Rx and they told me they could not manufacture my lenses. My boyfriend, however, has a pair and they are great. I think they actual pairs feel much nicer than the samples you get too.

        • Yeah, same thing happened to my bf, they sold him frames at a discount without lenses though, and then he went somewhere in DC to get lenses put in.

        • The Warby Parkers are a little on the cheap side, construction-wise, but for around $100, you can just get a new pair once they wear out.

      • Yea- I tried Warby Parker but they only go to -10 and my prescription is higher than that 🙁 No super cool, super cheap glasses for me.

    • Look here:


      No reason to pay more than $50. Seriously.

    • I had lasik a few years ago to correct my terrible, horrible (as in, about 20/800) eyesight, and it was great. (Some after-effects that aren’t so great, due to the severity of my eyesight and a strong astigmatism, but I was well-warned about those risks going into the surgery, and on balance it’s still better than my glasses and contacts, which had become seriously uncomfortable as my eyes got more dry and sensitive over the years.) I financed my procedure through Capital One, but I’m sure other banks have agreements with a number of different surgeons/eye centers. Granted, this is not the most financially prudent/responsible thing to do, given the interest rates–but if you are super-desperate to ditch the glasses or contacts (as I was), and don’t have several thousand dollars up front, that could be an option.

      • Thanks for the info! I’m glad it worked out for you.
        I’ve been dependent on glasses/contacts (as in cannot see anything without them -10.25 for glasses, -9.5 for contacts) since I was in 1st grade. So to be able to not be dependent would be a world changer.

        • One thing to watch out for on lasik with high prescriptions is terrible night vision. My prescription is -13 for glasses and when I got a consultation, they said that they wouldn’t recommend it for me, although I do already have bad night vision…

          • I had PRK about 6 years ago and haven’t looked back… I was a -10 in one and around -9 in the other eye. They couldn’t quite get my -10 eye completely corrected and they over corrected my -9 eye so basically they work for each other now. In theory, I won’t have to wear bifocals and I have 20/20 vision. I would definitely do it again even though the recovery/healing process is a bit more of an issue with PRK than traditional Lasik.

            I don’t have great night vision but I didn’t have very good night vision before… so that wasn’t really a problem for me.

          • That’s true, and I didn’t go into detail about it, but night vision issues are one of the after-effects of my lasik. I get some halos and just general difficulty driving at night, although I can generally handle decently-streetlit urban driving (it’s more difficult on more remote roads where it’s pitch dark and I have oncoming headlights). For me, it has minimal impact, since I don’t own a car, and the few times when I have to rent a car, I’ve managed to work around it. Plus, my night vision was never 100% perfect pre-lasik, anyway. For me, I could live with the trade-off, but anyone who needs to do a ton of remote night driving might want to consider the side effects. (I believe I was also more likely to end up with diminished night vision because of the severity of my astigmatism and the level of correction my eyes needed.)

      • novadancer

        I second lasik (and my vision was similar to above). While it’s a huge cash outlay, it basically pays for itself within 7 -8 years (between glasses and contacts) and can be less painful on the pocketbook if you do it via FSA… granted, I did it before it was capped to $2,500 a year.

    • Try Firmoo.com – they go beyond -10 and i had a good experience with them.

  • Rave: The escalator at the columbia heights metro is actually working!

    Rant: I just broke up with my boyfriend, and finding another nice and normal single man in DC is next to impossible.

    • As a nice, normal man who’s lived here all his 30 years, I take umbrage!

      • Sorry, I realized as soon as I hit post that some might find that statement insulting. No offense intended!

      • Don’t take offense. This is a common complaint that I hear from my single female friends in DC. If you are that normal single guy in his 30’s you should be happy that you are in demand.

        • You also forgot to add “straight” and “tall than 5′ 6” to that statement.

          Women – always “wanting it all”!

          • Ahh, cuts both ways, though. From my perusal of match.com, et al, I can’t even tell you how many men are looking only for petite women (even if the men are quite tall) and women well under X years old (when the men are X years old themselves). This is why, even if it takes longer, I’m still kind of partial to meeting people (semi) randomly. I understand that setting parameters is necessary with online dating, but if I were making a match.com checklist, I’d probably have set the criteria at taller and same age/few years older–and would have completely missed out on my current guy, who is a couple of inches shorter and a couple of years younger, but compatible in many other ways that matter more.

          • I was (half) joking in my reply. I definitely understand having some sort of hard parameters (personality? chemistry?) while still being flexible with thing don’t matter in the long run (age, height, etc.)

            That was more a dig at some of my single female friends who absolutely won’t consider a guy under 6′ and then they wonder why they don’t have a date on Saturday night. I’m a single guy with a good job who is 5’11”, so I have no issues in this town. Being flexible with your requirements is key in DC.

          • “I’m a single guy with a good job who is 5’11.” Slightly intrigued… how old are you, zero_sum?

          • anon 1:37,

            I think zero_sum is a male, in case you were thinking otherwise.

          • Anonymous 11:33,

            I’ve never heard that men prefer petite women. Are you sure? Maybe this is just in your circle of friends?

          • Zero_sum, I’m probably about 5-6 years older than you (don’t know if you’d consider dating someone older?), but I have to say I like your postings on PoP. 🙂

            By the way, I am not usually anonymous on here.

          • Anon @ 5:14pm
            I’m pretty open minded. Email at zero.sum.dc AT gmail

            And now I’m wondering who the heck you are on here!!! 😀

        • I’m an often-times single guy in DC. Despite the quantity, it’s not really that great.

    • You broke up with your bf or he broke up with you?

      • It was mutual. We just weren’t right for each other, and I didn’t want to stay just for the sake of having someone, you know?

        • Hard to make that decision, lots of people stay in meh or bad relationships because they don’t want to be alone. Congrats on that part. Wishing you success in finding a relationship that suits you.

    • I just broke up with my GF! what are you doing this weekend?

      • Ha, it hadn’t even occurred to me when I posted my rant to try to get a date through PoP, but clearly they need a personals section.

        As for this weekend, my plans include not letting myself mope too much by keeping as busy as possible. Rierindc, if you have a junk email you want to post, I am happy to commiserate with you!

      • I’m a single lady in my early 30s with an awesome job (but do guys care about this?) and I’m 5′ 1″ is that considered too short for many men?

        • I could be wrong, but I get the feeling that men rarely rule out women for being “too short,” only for being “too tall.”

    • My takeaway from this sub-thread is all that you want is a straight, nice and normal guy who is tall. Now, how hard can that really be? Is that a tall order here in DC?

      • How are we defining “normal”?

      • Original poster here. I actually didn’t even say tall. I’ve never considered myself to have a type or to be picky because for me, it really just depends on personality. I’ve dated lots of different types of men. You wouldn’t think that would be hard to find, but at least in my (and many of my single friends’) experiences, it really is difficult.

        • OP, I’m the Anonymous 2:56 poster. I know you didn’t list “tall” as one of your requistes. I was pulling together the general list from what some of the posters replied. It’s a short checklist and it seems a little sorry that finding someone *nice* and *normal* is such a challenge/chore. I hear the same issue from my single female friends.

      • How are we defining “tall”? It wasn’t until I went back to NYC last month to visit friends that I realized that everyone in DC is SHORT. At 5’11”, I feel taller than average in DC. Once I hit NYC, I felt pretty short compared to everyone else in bars, restaurants, and on the subway.

        • shaybee

          I notice that, too, every time I go to New York! I’m 5’8 (and female, so I guess I’m on the sort-of-taller side for a girl), and I feel SO tall in DC, but go to New York and I feel like a midget!

          So “tall” for me is pretty much anyone taller than myself. I’d prefer to wear heels and still be shorter but eh, I really don’t wear heels that much anyway ;).

          • Yeah, don’t get too hung up on that. I once dated a girl who was 5’11” and she ALWAYS wore heels. It was actually really hot! If dudes have an issue with a pretty, leggy woman hanging off their arm who just happens to be taller than them, that’s their own lame insecurities at work.

  • Rave: Rode my bike to metro for the first time in almost a month. This was the first time I’ve been on my bike since I wrecked (on the way to metro.) I almost drove instead, but just decided to brave the cold and ride. It was pretty damn cold, but I was dressed warm enough and it’s a pretty short ride. My new headlight is much better and brighter than the one I lost in the crash. It’s nice to get back on my feet (or wheels) after a setback.

  • Rave: Chez Billy – went for the happy hour last night with a few friends. It was good, and super cute, and their appetizer meats were delicious! Definitely going back.

    Rant: it was sad how empty it was the whole night. Hope more people give it a try. It’s only a block away from the metro. Go people! Go! 🙂

    • Agreed! Very good food, very nice atmosphere, but hoping it can survive a slow start. I’ve been on a Tuesday and on a Friday night and they definitely could use more butts in the seats. Go have a drink and some oysters!

    • saf

      We went once, and the food was ok, the service was indifferent, and the prices were high. Hence, we have not returned, despite living a block away.

      Has it improved?

      • Service was very good, for a table of 5 just doing drinks, oysters and appetizers. The food menu did look expensive, but appetizers were reasonably priced for the amount of food we got.

        • saf

          We are generally a 2, and generally prefer to sit at the bar.

          If we went in on a weekend, we would be more people though, and might sit at a table.

    • I ate there once and the food was good, service was pleasant, but it was too loud and too expensive for it to be a regular dinner spot for me. I have enjoyed stopping in for a drink on several occasions but for various reasons it’s just not a go-to place for me.

      • binpetworth

        “Loud” is one of the major reasons I dislike a lot of the trendy spots in DC, despite the quality of their food. I don’t have great hearing anyway, and I resent having to shout in order to communicate with those at my table. I wish restaurants would invest in a little more soundproofing to reduce the decibel levels in some of these places…

        • saf

          My hearing is fine, but I agree with you – loud is often why I avoid places. It’s not fun eating when you can’t hear yourself think, let alone hear what your dining companions are saying.

          And I think they make it loud on purpose.

    • Rant: A french restaurant without escargot? Please!

  • Rave: Finally have a reprieve from all the proposal-related stress at work. Now I can focus on the actual substantive work that made me want to get into this field in the first place.

    Rant: My boyfriend’s crazy ex is stalking us on facebook and pulling some ridiculous shit to try and ruin our relationship.

    Rave: We are happy, and not even her BS can ruin that. The only person she’s hurting is herself…it’s kind of sad to watch, actually.

  • Rant: Airfare is ridiculous these days. To our season PoP travelers, if I am looking at something 4 months out with available flights about half full, are prices just going to keep going up?

    • I’ve never tried it for an actual trip, so I have no idea how accurate it is, but farecast.com gives you an airfare predictor that tells you whether flights are likely to go up or down.

    • It won’t give you info about future cost of the fare, but the “fare charts” link on Kayak will show you trends in the cost of the itinerary you choose so you can get a sense of what prices are doing. I think google’s flight searcher might also have some sort of forecasting feature.

    • To answer your question, yes – it is much more expensive to fly now than it was a few years back. Bankruptcies and mergers have led to less available seats, thus driving up average cost per ticket. Taxes (9/11 fees, security fees, landing fees, etc) are also up, and airlines by and large have tenuous relations with their labor unions. Couple all this with fluctuations in the price of fuel and you have our high fares! All this to say flights home that cost me $250-300 a few years back now cost $450-600 – and this is with advance purchase. This article touches on a lot of the reasons why prices are high:


    • Somewhat tangential, but if you’re going back to the same airline/aggregator websites, make sure to clear your cookies. Many of them will start increasing the prices if you’ve visited before, in an effort to induce a panic reaction of “OMG, the fare has already gone up x amount! I’d better buy right now and not wait any longer!”

      • On that note- I read an article recently about how Orbitz shows higher prices to people on Apple computers! (Sneaky… but they know their market…)

        • Actually, Orbitz is not the only company that does that. There are a couple of reasons why online sites will show people different prices. The prices are not of huge consequence but they are different, alas.

  • Rave: I’ve only been on facebook once in the past week, and I only logged on for a few minutes. I don’t miss it, and I certainly appreciate all the time I’m not wasting on it!

  • bfinpetworth

    Rave: Amidst work chaos and such, I’m planning a nearly 2-week getaway/pre-honeymoon to a beach house on the Gulf in southern Florida. We’re doing it the old fashioned way since we have the extra time – driving down and taking our two dogs with us! I can’t wait to get out of this crazy town!

    Rave: When we return, we are getting married – again, sort of! We were civil unioned in Vermont but apparently DC’s new same-sex marriage law only recognizes MARRIAGES from other states, so we have to do it again. So anytime someone argues that civil unions are equivalent to marriage, I am evidence that’s not true. But regardless, we’re gettin’ married!

    Rant: This crazy effed up town is making me a stressed out loon.

  • Rant: Those hateful posters in the Petworth metro are really starting to get to me. Why should Muslim individuals be forced to stare at posters blaming them for 911 everyday!? Why should anyone have to stare at those for that matter. I know the creators of those signs won on the grounds of free speech but is there any way to fight this?

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rave: in a really good mood for no good reason!

  • Rant: dead mouse in my cube at work this AM.
    Rave: cranberry bliss bar from Starbucks.

  • Rant: The P Street Whole Foods and it’s lousy hot foods selections — who eats that slop? Not many, considering the gobs of it just sitting there. Perhaps some less ethnic choices?

    And while I’m bitching, they need to lose those damn jugs of dressing. All they do is sit there and separate. At least figure a way to stir them or shake them up a little every once in a while. Gross.

    • I concurr. Their salad bar is fine (aside from the greasy, dirty dressing containers) but the hot bar almost never has anything that looks remotely edible… and if one dish looks decent, it’s ruined by proximity to the vat of oily beef next to it. I have been shopping at this WF for over 7 years and I love those guys, but the hot bar is TERRIBLE.

  • Rant: Neighbors who can’t figure out that if there is a Monday holiday, trash pickup-up day slides a day. I’m tired of looking at your trash cans!

    Rave: Paula Broadwell hiding at her brother’s house in Petworth.

  • …with all the postings about food on h st ne, i think there is a new french or french-style restaurant on h st ne, can’t think of name now. anyone been? how is it? thanks

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