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.

Ed. Note: I apologize for anyone experiencing slowness issues – we’re working on fixing it asap!

92 Comment

  • RAVE: Went to Matchbox at 14th and t last night. All I can say is awsome, stunning, amazing, and delicious.

  • Rant: Still dealing with being out of breath at odd moments (cooking dinner last night, sitting in my office) – Doc says I might have ashtma but I’ve never had any issues before five weeks ago and I’m healthy and athletic…

    Rave: Wonderful weekend – Family christmas party was a success, good friends married, great food and beautiful weather.

    Rave: Spending time in the neighborhood and at home. Excited to just be present for the next couple of weeks (no crazy travel schedule, no big plans) and relax and enjoy our city.

    • Earlier this year I was having problems with mystery chest pain and shortness of breath. After many tests, the doctor determined that the pain was from gastritis (although I never had stomach pain) and esophagitis and the “shortness of breath” was actually a result of esophageal spams making my chest feel too tight to take a deep breath. This could be completely unrelated to what’s going on with you, but I thought I’d throw it out there and maybe you can ask your doctor.

      • Thanks for the info – I’ll bring it up to the docs if this ashtma thing doesn’t help out.
        How are you doing? Feel any better?

  • talula

    Rave: had a fun weekend of ice skating and holiday shopping.

    Rant: For the first time in my 29 years, I won’t be spending Christmas with my family. I’m at the point where me and the BF have to take turns on spending the holidays with his family or mine, and this year it is his family’s turn. I know I’m not a kid anymore, but I’m kinda sad about missing out on my family traditions this year. Growing up is weird sometimes.

    • Maybe you can bring some of your family traditions with you. My sisters-in-law have each added some aspects to our celebrations and they have been well-received. They might have more and deeper meaning for you, but that doesn’t mean your bf’s family won’t also enjoy them.

    • Same raves! On Saturday I went to the ice rink at Canal Park and taught my girlfriend, who had never ice skated, skied, roller skated, or roller bladed in her life (what the heck do kids in Fairfax County do for fun?). She fell a few times but learned quickly. Sunday I went to Sapore and Hill’s Kitchen and knocked a few Christmas presents off my list.

  • Rave: Good weekend with friends and family

    Rant: Boss told me that the work I was giving her to review was bogging her down and keeping her from her more substantive work. Well, micromanaging shrew, perhaps if you didn’t require your competent staff to run EVERY SINGLE DECISION by you, you’d be able to get your work done.

  • RANT: Where are the NIMBY’s near Nellies? Yesterday around 5:00 PM I was walking by there and the music coming from the roof was blasting. I could still hear the music from 11th and U Street (2 blocks away). I saw two guys that said they had been there and had left because the music was so loud they could not hear each other talk.

    • I agree that Nellie’s is incredibly loud, and at all hours of the day or night that one could conceivably want to drink. I don’t live nearby so it’s not really my concern, but I can’t believe the owners can get away with the racket. Like the guys you saw, I can’t tolerate being in Nellie’s because of the noise (and because it’s not very lesbian-friendly, but that’s another rant). They don’t seem to have any trouble retaining customers, though.

  • Rant/Rave: REI! I spent over $100 there this weekend, only intending to buy a couple of things I thought I needed. Since I spent that much, I got a $20 gift card from them. And now I’m more prepared for cold weather biking.

  • This is neither rant nor revel but I do want to tell you all what happened the other day with hopes that I can maybe get through to the appropriate person as well as some of you on PoPville… I was walking back to my car on the Mass Ave. near 17th at 1:35a and see a guy jump out of a new or well taken care of 530i. I see him put what at first I thought were flyers on three cars with mine being in the middle. By the time he got to my car I realized it was some kind of flower as I continued to watch from across the street. Anyway, he gets back in the car and is sitting there still by the time I get across the street to my car. I look to see exactly what it was and it turns out it was actually a beautiful snipped pink rose. I really did think it was beautiful (looked manicured or of high quality) and even took a pic (which I would share if PoP wants it). I also thought it was a very nice gesture in the city (much prefer this over yarn bombing) and notice that their car was still there. I walked over to them to thank them and get more info to maybe share with you all. Anyway, as I get to their car they seemed a bit shook (scared) and wouldn’t speak to me. I can tell they were trying to decide what to do by the way they took off, I think one of them may have wanted to interact with me but the other might not of. Anyway, I hate to say it but it really seemed a certain way and I will leave it at that. And before you all jump on me, I know this reaction well and am very familiar to it as I live this life and deal with all kinds of bs I should not have to. So I say all that to say this, it is all good to do nice things and whatnot but the simple things like respect and not fearing others is what makes the city better (not yarn bombing or roses on cars). This just reminded me of a lot of comments I see on here of people that think they are doing great things (and likely are) but are truly not comfortable with everyone. I could go on but I will leave it at that.

    Rant: Had to call the cops the next morning because someone was shot on my block.

    Rant: He was next to my car (not shot there but that is where he was contacted by the police) so my car was a part of the crime scene so I couldn’t go anywhere for awhile.

    Rant: Triple shooting in front of Indulj at 12a this morning.

    Rave: The chicken pesto pizza I had last night from Vapianos.

    Rave: Congrats to Tony Chen’s daughter on her wedding. The had it locked down yesterday as I was getting my food next door.

    Rave: Looking forward to the beautiful weather today.

    • The irony of it all.

    • I am sorry, it is Tony Cheng, not Chen. No disrespect. I am really big on getting people’s name correct. I have always been told when people mispronounce your name (esp after truly learning it) it is the first sign of disrespect.

    • “Anyway, I hate to say it but it really seemed a certain way and I will leave it at that.”

      Maybe I am being dense here, but what “certain way” did it seem? Pimp and prostitute??

      • Just what I said. You tell me, why do you think they were reticent and then peeled off and didn’t speak to me question is why do you think they did not speak to me? Wouldn’t even roll down the window an inch. I just wonder if that would have been there reaction to others especially since they are running around at 1:30a putting roses on peoples cars. But yet, you can’t even roll down your window for a fellow human.

        • maybe they wanted to remain mysterious or were embarrassed they got the wrong car. or whatever.

          why make negative assumptions and only insinuate what those assumptions are?

          • +1.

            I had to read the original post 2-3 times (and know something about your background) before I was clear on the scenario — who was approaching whom and when — and realized that you were implying that the people in the car were uncomfortable because you’re black.

          • Let’s not be simple folks and make excuses. Well it wasn’t the wrong car because it was three cars, not just mine. Also, far as they could have known, I might have just wanted directions.

            Remain mysterious? Really? Is that you are going with? I guess that is what I expect from people who post anon. Hey but if that is what you want to go with to make you cheery and happy about the world, then go right ahead.

            And to the above, yes, I am black and am bigger than a lot of people but I left all of that out because none of that should matter. I should not have to write that or how I was dressed, beard or freshly shaved or that I was threatening or begging for money. But to me, I felt fear from them, I know this feeling, do you? Have you had people react to you a certain way because of the way you look? Have you had cabs not pick you up because of the way you look? You can be naive all you want but I deal in reality, I could be wrong but I doubt it. I also doubt that had I been a young white dude or woman that they would have had the same reaction. But my bad, I am a black male trying to thank some young white dudes for their gesture in a BMW at 1:30a, my bad.

            You wanna know what is real? Last time I had a conversation with young white dudes early in the morning I ended up in maced and in jail overnight accused of trying to sell them drugs (which of course I was’t). I was simply inviting them to my invite only party (I used to throw a lot of events). Oh yeah, the prosecutors didn’t even try the case because there wasn’t one. So let’s see, the officer (and I use that term loosely) gets the arrest, I spend the night in jail with a face full of mace and the prosecutor has one less case on his plate. Everyone wins but me, nice. I will say the only good thing that happened is that the two white dudes saw racial profiling at its ugliest right in front of them, I hope they never forget that night. This happened in Mpls about 10 years ago or so btw.

            You know, I really hope that I am wrong about what happened, I really do. But after reading comments on here for the last 5 years, it doesn’t give me hope that I was wrong.

          • yeah, because no one would be afraid of some big stranger in the middle of the city coming up to your car at 1:30 in the morning. Totally just a racist thing because NO ONE HAS EVER BEEN MUGGED IN THIS CITY

        • Your description is incredibly cryptic so I am not sure how you expect POPville to respond. But I will say that if a guy approached my car at 1 am with half of the attitude you’re expressing here, I’d keep my window rolled up, too.

          • +1!

            I was thinking exactly the same thing. It’s 1AM and you want me to roll down my window? Not a chance.

            Also, your (Kam’s) comment about “truly not [being] comfortable with” others in the city…maybe there’s good reason for that! How many times have we heard about (or experienced) people being taken advantage of/hurt/killed because they trusted someone they shouldn’t have or didn’t follow their gut instinct? I’m sorry that it hurts your feelings, but i’ll take my safety over your emotions any day.

          • Cryptic about description? What needs to be described? I saw guys putting roses on cars, one happened to be mine, I walked over to them to say thank you but they seemed scared to roll down the window. What else do you need to know? What else matters?

            OK, you wouldn’t roll down your windows at one in the morning and that is fine (safety first) but you are also not running around at 1 in the morning and putting roses on people’s cars, you see the difference there?

            And would those safety concerns had kicked in if it was a young white male or female?

            All I am saying if it is kumbayah, keep it kumbayah all the way.

            It isn’t what we do in public or the things we do to say or know we did something nice but what we do in private and how we treat fellow humans.

            And for those of you saying I had an attitude and this and that, I say you are part of the problem. I don’t see how you could think I had any attitude at the time based on the story but whatever makes you feel better.

            And I don’t have high expectations for most of you to understand this because many of you live in a bubble of mirrors.

        • Maybe they thought you were angry at them for putting something on your car and didn’t want to confront you.

          • ABM, yeah that’s me Angry Black Male (and don’t forget the attitude). No way I could have been smiling and cheery right?

            SMH. Each one of your comments prove my EXACT point.

            I wish someone would answer my question, would this had happened had I been white? I wasn’t trying to make this into a race thing but I guess it is what it is though to me it should be a human thing.

            And so we are very clear, I am a 35 year old married man, not an 18 year old kid wondering the streets with my crew.

          • Exactly. I’ve done similar silly nice things for random people (leaving small amounts of cash with a note) but I don’t want to to be confronted about it in any way.

            Probably those roses are the ones people are selling in the clubs. Either it was the rose vendor who had some leftover or maybe the guy just ended up with some that someone had purchased. I’m sure a lot of them get left behind in the club.

          • Reread the whole thread. The *ONLY* person making this about race is you. And you have been making it all about race since your original post (now that “it seemed a certain way” has been clarified). All of the other possible explanations people offered may be about being male, but none of them required you to be black to elicit the response you saw.

          • It should be noted that I was not the one to bring up race. But once it was brought up I asked a question that has still gone unanswered, that is what I find fascinating. Still waiting for that answer from someone.

            Also, this was no club rose. I buy my wife roses and flowers all of the time; I know a nice rose. Not that any of that matters a bit.

            America – The place where we won’t admit it. My bad, I forgot after President Obama was elected all the race issues disappeared.

            I really don’t see why what I am saying bothers many of you but if I was to assume why, maybe it hits close to home in a way, the truth hurts all of us in ways.

            Like I said, I want to be wrong, I really do but I don’t pretend that every thing is sugar-coated.

            But whatever, I’m the crazy one, it is all on me so pile on folks.

        • I find it fascinating that you are so quick to make assumptions about what others might or might not be thinking, when it seems your biggest grievance is other people making assumptions.

          • I will go down this road with you, an assumption yes but all assumptions aren’t wrong. I will say I am pretty good at judging situations so I am confident enough to share this on this blog (I expect you all to take up for them and say I am wrong, doesn’t mean it is right though). But humor me, what should I have assumed? You are right though, maybe they were late for something pressing and I was going to hold them up, literally, lol. I tried to get their attention for a few to five seconds, they clearly saw me. If they weren’t trying to decide what to do in regards to me, the car would have pulled out of the park in a normal fashion and not herky jerky like trying to decide yes or no about whether to go or to stay and then peel off like they were in danger. For the record when I say they I’m referring to the car, I think the one who got out and put the roses on the cars may have had the conversation.

            I also guess it is an assumption that I am reading comments wrong on here daily right?

          • sorry, Kam, but I think you’re alone on this one. I’ve noticed in a lot of your posts that you seem to have a chip on your shoulder. I don’t think anybody here is denying that racism is a real problem here, but you’re reading into things.

          • And so we are clear again, this happened on Friday night/Saturday morning so I have had time to think about it and talk about it with others prior to this and the consensus was that I was unfortunately right.

            Also, when cabs pass by me and other black males, I am assuming the wrong thing about that too right?

        • Kam, I’ll answer your question: I wouldn’t have rolled down my window at 1:30am for anyone I didn’t know, white, black, or purple.

          Maybe it’s an unfortunate side effect of growing up in DC, but even if the person approached smiling and waving, the window would stay closed.

          There are just too many seemingly innocent interactions that go wrong – open your door for the kid that’s crying on your porch and you get robbed; talk to the group of 12 year olds on the metro and get assaulted; stop to help a driver in distress and your car is stolen.

          At a certain point, experience and news coverage of these things trump any friendly signals someone may be trying to send. Sad, but true.

          • Same here. I’m the one who said I leave little notes and cash for people, and one time a person (who happened to be a white woman) caught me doing it and wanted to say something, but I got shy and darted away. Race doesn’t matter– if I don’t want to interact with someone for whatever reason I don’t discriminate about it. I can understand why you felt shunned, but I wouldn’t take it personally. I would have held up the rose, mouthed “thank you” so they got the message, and got on with my life.

            P.S. – You probably are right about the cabs though.

          • Lexic,

            Thank you. I feel you and totally understand that, truly I do. I would not want my wife talking to anyone regardless of color at that time in the morning. But here is where the argument falls lame to me and maybe it is just how I see things. They were out at 1:30a putting roses on people’s cars (which is fine, cool) I would think they would be apt or comfortable speaking to someone even if slightly cracking the window especially in that area when people are out and about still.

          • Lexic,

            Thank you. I feel you and totally understand that, truly I do. I would not want my wife talking to anyone regardless of color at that time in the morning. But here is where the argument falls lame to me and maybe it is just how I see things. They were out at 1:30a putting roses on people’s cars (which is fine, cool) I would think they would be apt or comfortable speaking to someone even if slightly cracking the window especially in that area when people are out and about still.

          • The second anon was me btw.

            Above anon, I can understand that as well.

            None of us will ever know what their thoughts were, but I do know how I felt, take that for what it is worth (esp if you read the thread).

            To those that have replied, thank you for taking the time, you all didn’t agree with me and that is fine (I firmly stand behind my position). Differences make the world go round. I hope you all have a great rest of the day.

      • “Is it ‘cos I is Black?”

        -Ali G

  • RAVE: Went to the new Costco Saturday. When I drove in the parking lot I had the whole “What have I gotten myself into” moment because the parking lot was packed. Once inside I could not believe how big the store was. The aisles were wide and the only time it felt crowded to me was in the meat section. It took me less than 10 minutes in the checkout line. This store sure beats the heck out of going to Pentagon City!!

  • RANT:

    My partner and I have been living in the same rental unit in the U St area for about 5 years now (FYI we pay $1500 a month for a 1-bedroom basement apt) . While we like our place and our landlords, they decided to jack up our rent starting next month. Now they haven’t increased our rent every year, but they usually have increased our rent every other year. Normally they increased our rent by 5%, but this year, they decided to increase our rent by 10%. Is this legal? Like I said, we like our place and we rather not leave since it is very convenient to everything. Does anyone have any advice on how we can broach this subject without our landlords trying to kick us out?

    Thanks!

    • You could contact the DC Office of the Tenant Advocate, I think thats the name. They should be able to help you figure out your options.

      I had a friend in similar situation, and OTA helped them find out that the rental wasn’t legal and because the landlord owned other properties was subject to rent control. That meant that every rent increase since they started the lease had been illegal, and OTA helped file a claim against the landlord. The tenants wound up getting back all the rent they had paid over the original price, which was a pretty big check as they had been there for a few years. DC has strong tenant protection laws, so the landlord couldn’t just kick them out.

      It did result in the landlord eventually going through the process of making the rental legal, at which time they were able to raise the rent by about 50%. Some of the tenants had to move because they couldn’t afford the increase. Its something to keep in mind.

    • Yes, it is legal to raise your rent.

      DC’s rent control law only applies to landlords who rent out at least 4 units. If your landlord falls into that class the maximum rate at which they can raise your rent is 10% a year. Which is exactly what they are doing.

      It sucks to see such a big increase, but you are paying below market rates for a 1 bedroom–especially in the U street area where rental prices are extremely high. Even with a 10% increase you will still be under market rates. Your landlords would actually be better off if you left because then they could re-list the place at a higher price.

      • Rent increases for rent controlled units are tagged to CPI — CPI +2%, with 10% being the max (but the max in any given year with a low CPI might be <10%).

        Be careful about being too legalistic (as above posted have said) as your first step. Try talking with your landlord first, knowing they have a reliable tenant might be worth something to them (or might not, but you won't know if you jump to legal approaches that will make them much less understanding of your POV).

        • I totally agree with you about getting too legalistic, especially if you’re not a real estate attorney.

          Story time: one of the roommates in my grad school group house decided to get legalistic this last summer during the renewal process (I no longer live there). The landlord – who owns a number of properties in DC – told the group that they had to get rid of the agitator roommate, otherwise he would not renew the lease to the group. From what I understand, it was a totally legal request and this roommate had less than a week to find new living arrangement. The place was on U Street and already a great deal, even with the increase that the landlord was proposing.

          So yeah, don’t be hostile to the landlord. Discuss the previous history of rent increases and ask WHY they have deviated from tradition. Explain how a 10% increase would strain your finances and try to negotiate to 5%.

          My lease also just came up for renewal in a 14-unit rental building in the U Street area. Our increase was only 1.5%. What kinds of increases are other people experiencing across the District?

          • Do you know how he was legally able to require that the one roommate leave? I have a condo in DC I rent out, making me a DC landlord, and I’ve always heard it’s next to impossible to get rid of tenants so long as they’re paying the rent. If you refuse to renew a lease, the old lease just goes month to month. The only exceptions are if you want to live in the property, in which case you can’t re-rent it for a certain period of time or if you want to renovate, in which case you have to offer it back to the old tenants at similar rent when it’s finished. I’m very surprised the landlord was able to get away with this and curious about how he did it.

    • It’s legal but you should definitely negotiate with them. They’d probably rather raise the rent a little less than have to look for new tenants.

  • RAVE: We found the location of our wedding! It’s more than my fiance and I were expecting to spend, but sometimes you should splurge. Yes? :-)

    RANT: Even if you try to do a wedding on the cheap, it’s still a ridiculous amount of money.

    RANT: Dec. 25 will be the one year anniversary of the passing of my father. He won’t be at the wedding. :-(

    • It sounds like you’re set, but just in case you or anyone else needs a suggestion, I got married at the Press Club (14th and F Streets) – you don’t need to be a member, and our ceremony & reception were absolutely lovely. Our guests had a lot of fun looking at photos of all the famous people who had spoken there, and the food was really fabulous. Their event coordinator was also really on top of things and easy to work with.

      I’m so sorry about your father – I hope you can enjoy some nice memories of previous holidays spent together, and that the memories help you feel he’s still with you. Take care.

  • Rave: Problem employee quit. I no longer have to spend hours of my day cleaning up the mess.

    Rant: It’s clear to me that he chooses to believe that this place is horrible, his boss is horrible, and the world is against him despite everyone else here being happy and productive. He seems entirely ignorant of the fact that he’s an entitled child who wasn’t smart enough or willing to work hard enough to hack it. I sincerely hope he learns the truth about himself someday. You can’t watch TV at work, not show up on time (after you’ve been told your performance is lacking), be at work for less than 8 hours, work 5x slower than everyone else, make continual mistakes, lack common problem-solving sense, and give your boss attitude at every turn and expect to get a pat on the back everyday. This person’s sense of entitlement is ASTOUNDING.

  • One last Rave I forgot to mention: We had a very tasty dinner at Chez Billy Friday night everything was wonderful. I had the mussels and frites (possibly the best in the city IMO), wife had the squash ravioli and our friends had the quail and mussels, so good. Also enjoyed listening to DJ Lance Reynolds upstairs. Good stuff all around, we will be back.

  • RAVE: Just got my reimbursement check from DC Water for my backflow preventer. This was a relatively painless and timely process–thanks a lot to DC Water and Councilmember Graham.

    • novadancer

      just curious… what % of total cost did the rebate cover? We have been dragging our feet as estimates (with the required MP) are coming in around $10k which is no incentive for the less than $3k rebate considering all the other $$ we’ve shelled out for mold remediation, new carpet, etc. And if you costs were low, would you share who you used?

      • The rebate covers 90% of costs, up to $3,000. My job was around $3700–it involved breaking through the floor and excavating a few feet down in the basement, installing the backflow preventer, a clean-out, and a back-up, fail-safe, ball valve backup preventer that you have to engage and disengage manually.

        Worth every penny.

        I used Thomas E. Clark–they had the best price and did a great job. That included permits and inspections.

  • pablo .raw

    Rant: Way to start my week, fighting with verizon over surcharges
    Rave: Having good feelings about starting a new business project

  • Rant: Friday night – almost all of it! Went to friend’s b-day party where A) at dinner, one guy decided that we would split the bill evenly among 17 of us. Sorry to be THAT person, but I didn’t have a drink and don’t want to pay for your TWO Maker’s Marks! Also completely insensitive to those of us who work in the non-profit field and don’t make as much as you do, d-bag. B) Party moved to Penn Social–3 people and I went downstairs to play pool and when we came back up, the entire party had left without telling us. Someone (probably said d-bag from before) told my friend that I had left without saying goodbye, therefore it was okay to leave. C) Different friend was nice enough to give me a lift home after shitty night. However, he proceeds to tell me that I could “probably stand to lose 40 pounds.” First off, NO, I don’t have 40 lbs to lose! And second, you NEVER say that to a woman! In what world does one think that is OKAY?

    Rave: Went to my first Christmas party last night! It was a pretty swanky affair and a great reason to get dressed up.

    Rave: FINALLY getting our Christmas tree tonight!

    • novadancer

      that sucks! And I heard that exact story (part A) on Sunday. I believe we have mutual friends ;)

      • That’s why when faced with huge bday dinners I:
        A. Skip the dinner and just meet up afterwards, or
        B. Bring cash.

    • Emilie504

      Your rant about splitting the bill reminds me of a mortifying time with a smaller party where the bill was split. At our dinner I had indulged in an appetizer and dessert as well as drinks thinking we would all pay our own way. The 2 people that ordered the least amount of food/drink decided we should split the check evenly and wouldn’t even let me pay the tip. It was very kind of them, but I feel like I cheated them. This happened about a 100 years ago, but I’m still embarrassed.

      It was a damn fine meal, though.

      • I can’t stand it when I’m with a group of more than 2-3 people and people DON’T want to split the bill. Then there’s some big deliberation over it where someone is going through all 100 line items one by one and scrawling calculations on slips of paper and figuring out who’s paying with cash and who has to use their card and who has change for the six people that only have $20 bills with them. And then the whole mess gets handed over to the server who I’m sure is thrilled to have to deal with it. Nope, I’d rather just split the bill evenly. Sometimes you end up paying more, sometimes less, but it’ll all work out in the end.

        • As the person in the room who always has the lowest salary (by a lot!) and who drinks less than anyone else, even I’m on board with splitting when it’s a big group. Though I do appreciate those couple of friends who often say, “Throw in an extra $X if you had more than 2 drinks and less if you didn’t” when they end up doing the math on the bill.

          • This is exactly the way to go. Nothing is worse than taking 35 minutes to calculate what each person owes. It absolutely ruins a dinner and the night. Also, people have a tendency to ignore things such as tax, so one or two people end up taking far more than their share just to get the ridiculousness over with (usually me).

          • Another recommendation to those planning the dinner – if you know if members of your large party are cost-sensitive, go to somewhere like Vapiano where the bills are automatically split in a convenient way. Saves everyone the effort – no need to spend a ridiculous amount of time annoyingly splitting the bill and those who are cost-sensitive don’t have to pay for anyone else.

        • Totally agree. My rule is that if the party is 4 people or less, everyone pays for what they consume (especially if someone consumes drastically more/less than others).

          But if the party is 5 or larger, just split the damn check! It’s not worth the annoyance and anyone who insists on splitting with 17 people deserves a whack upside the head (or they need to be the person who spends 30 minutes doing the math).

          If I’m invited to a big birthday dinner, I go into it with the mindset that we’re splitting it evenly (and I also bring the necessary cash). If I don’t want to deal with the issues or my budget for that month is constrained, I skip the dinner and meet everyone for drinks afterward.

        • Not to mention that several people will inevitably miscalculate their share, usually under-calculating, and someone will get screwed by having to make up the difference.

        • “it’ll all work out in the end.” No, it doesn’t. That is a great line, but it is just a line. No data could back that up.

          And to those who say “skip the meal if you can’t afford it”.. that is just rude. If a person is budgeting, and they budget to come to their friends birthday dinner, then they can afford it.

          No one has any business telling anyone else they have to pay more than what they owe or they should stay home. Budgeting extra to pay for the birthday person is fine. Paying for other guests? Not even.

          But don’t worry about it – just figure your own bill, and put in that amount with a nice “Sorry, I cannot afford to pay more.” and be done with it.

          I will never make what my friends make, and I am fine with that. But I have to live within my means, not yours.

          We should rewaard people who properly run their finances, not berate them. And people who make less money should not be cast-aside from the fun times. If the borthday person invited them, no one else gets to say they are unwelcome.

          • +1.

            When I was in grad school, and for the next several years, I didn’t have much money and really didn’t want to subsidize anyone other than the birthday person. People with comfortable incomes don’t realize that not everyone has the money to subsidize their appetizer, drink, etc.

            Nowadays in these situations, I tend to go with an “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” mentality and get a drink anyway, on the assumption that I’ll probably be paying for a drink whether I get one or not.

    • Hope you offered to do the math and collect the cash.

    • 17 people and you want to itemize the bill? That’s ridiculous. Skip the party if you can’t bear to share the cost. As a fellow nonprofiteer, I’d say you have to get used to the lower income, as their are rewards that our brethren the private sector don’t share.

      But, I don’t know you or what you look like, and I think your weight is just fine. So fine. Especially when you shoot pool.

      • And two Maker’s Marks split between 17 people is like $1-2 a person. If that hurts your wallet too much you probably shouldn’t have a social life, or should ask for a pay raise.

        • There is always that self obsessed person in situations like that who either does it on purpose to benefit from the fact that they won’t have to cover the full cost of their meal, or they are just completely blind to the fact that not everyone makes as much money as they do.

          Considering food and drink prices in this town, it happens. It used to happen to me a lot in my 20’s, when I had no money. A group of us 7-8 would get together and all have one beer and a regular entree for an all in price of ~ 30 bucks. But, there would be that one guy who gets the most expensive appetizer, the most expensive entree, the most expensive dessert and is about 5 or 6 $11 dollar cocktails deep before the end of the night.

          His bill would come out to $120 bucks, and he wanted to split the bill, whcih came out to ~45 a person ($15 more than anyones meal indivdually), and $75 less than he would have had to pay if he paid his share.

          • In these situations I have no problem saying, “Hey, I only got $10 worth of food so I’m going to put in less.” At that point the guy with the $100 bill should reluctantly throw some more money into the pool, unless he’s completely insensitive.

          • colheights67

            The only time I’ve fought the “split the bill” thing was in a group of 10 or so, and two guys both got multiple drinks, expensive red meat entrees, etc, while most of the women got salads and one glass of wine each. The guys’ meals were easily — easily — $60 or more each and the women’s meals couldn’t have been more than $20-22. Splitting the bill equally meant the women would be paying $45 or so, and the guys would get off having their bourbon-and-steaks subsidized by people who 1) ate and drank a lot less than them and 2) make significantly smaller salaries than they do. If the meals only vary within $5-10, fine, split the tab evenly, but with such a gap? Hell no I’m not paying for your scotch and sodas.

    • Splitting it evenly is fine if it isn’t too much work but when everyone wants a separate check I usually know what I owe well before the bill comes. I keep track of what I/we are ordering, how much it cost and round it up. I add 10% for the tax and if just average service or experience I try to double the tax for tip. After that, I still add on an extra $5 or so…I can’t be part of that whole owes 3 more dollars. Very tacky and totally embarrassing. And then there is always the folks that are trying to get over which make it much worse.

      Math isn’t that hard people, if it is, round up to bigger numbers you can work with, it makes everyone’s life easier. Also, as I said, it helps if everyone pays a few more dollars than they actually owe after tax and tip.

  • Rave: PoP was mentioned in a New York Times Magazine article over the weekend:

    Who Do Online Advertisers Think You Are?
    By JEFFREY ROSEN
    Published: November 30, 2012
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/02/magazine/who-do-online-advertisers-think-you-are.html

    “Having created my new digital identities as heavy-handedly as possible, I returned to my usual Web sites. At first, the ads on my favorite Washington neighborhood blog, the Prince of Petworth, were the same on both browsers. But less than two days later, an ad for Mitt Romney suddenly appeared next to a story I was reading on Firefox about Gore Vidal’s burial. When I opened that page on Safari, the ad in the exact same spot was for Catholic University’s master’s program in human resources management.”

  • Rant/WTF: Yesterday at about 2:00 pm, a friend and I were driving westbound on Kenyon Street and as we crossed Georgia Ave, I looked up and saw two massive dogs (looked to be Rottweilers) standing on the top of a dilapidated storefront – yes standing on the roof. The building was on Kenyon, on the north side of the street, right next to Morgan’s Seafood. My immediate reaction was that the dogs were looking for a way down, as they were pacing near the front edge of the roof; however, my friend remarked that “maybe they were guarding something.” Either way, it was really odd and somewhat frightening – there was no barrier to keep them from jumping/falling on the sidewalk and possibly injuring themselves or someone. Anyone else see this or know what’s up?

    Also posted to the forum, but thought more POPville users might see it here. Apologies for cross-posting.

    • If you haven’t already, I would urge you to call the Washington Humane Society’s cruelty/neglect/emergency reporting hotline at 202-234-8626.

  • RANT/Constructive Feedback: PoP, your servers are insanely slow today. It’s taking upwards of 45-60 seconds to open the static page for a blog post. It takes even longer for the PoP website to process a comment submission. Not sure if it’s the comment system that is sucking up resources or your hosting company, but yeah, it’s bad. I’ve noticed a significant lag time in server processing for the last month or so. Maybe you’ve seen an uptick in traffic but haven’t increased your bandwidth? I’m on a ridiculously fast government connection, so no, it’s not my system.

    • Prince Of Petworth

      Sorry about this. My own connection is slow as hell and it’s driving me insane so I feel your frustration. Apparently some people have no problem and some have slowness. My host is trying to identify the problem and will fix as soon we can! I’m seconds away from punching a wall :(

      • Don’t do it, don’t punch the wall. LOL! Trust, you will end up paying for it one way or another. It is nice outside, go take a walk and take some pics. Go live the beautiful life my friend. ; )

        Hope you get a fix soon though. Oh and here is an idea for a post “Where will you be watching tonight’s MNF Redskins vs. Giants game? This is a very important game for the Skins. I am watching from home but I am sure all of the usual suspect places will be PACKED!!!

      • Not sure if this helps or not but sometimes I get an Error 503 code. It says to check the wpengine for updates.

  • Emilie504

    Rant: Just sent a jokey response to a friend’s email that on second thought is super creepy. It never pays to hit the send button without rereading the emails at least once.

    Rave: Kate is knocked up!

    • I am so excited for them – you’d think I knew them personally. Here’s hoping she’s feeling better and everything goes okay.

      • Emilie504

        I’ve already picked out future spouses for the little bun in the oven. I am way to invested in their marriage/family.

        • I agree. I love Kate and Will as well, but I feel really bad for them that the pregnancy was announced so soon. The news keeps saying that it is really early in the pregnancy, which I take to mean less than three months. I bet they wanted to hold off telling people, but had to because she is in the hospital. Just hope Kate and the baby are ok.

          • The palace released the news, it’s not like it was some indiscreet nurse talking to the paparazzi. Not to mention that they’re a public commodity and cannot expect the same level of privacy as the average citizen.

          • Yeah, but I’d imagine the palace was releasing the news so as to pre-empt the speculation that would occur if the paparazzi spotted Prince William leaving the hospital, if tabloids noticed that Kate had had to cancel all public engagements for a period of days, etc., etc.

    • It wouldn’t be the first time you sent creepy or ill-considered email responses – i.e. Hurricane Sandy. . .

  • Rant: I’m having a terrible day. Nothing is working out and I have a headache. Almost want to cry!

    Rant/Rave: Moving this weekend, which will be expensive and stressful. On the bright side, I will finally have my own place!

    Rave: Had a wonderful Saturday at the Alexandria Scottish Walk with my boyfriend and his family! Got unofficially inducted to their family clan, yay :D

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