Random Reader Rant and/or Revel


Photo by PoPville flickr user jsmjr

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.

88 Comment

  • RANT: Flight costs are out of control! $650 to fly to Huntsville Alabama (used to be less than $100 each way)?? wtf.

    RAVE: managed to lose 5lbs so far this Holiday season!!

    • Agree rant: Flying to Chicago is several hundred dollars more expensive now than what it used to be.

      Rave: Abundance of flights from DC to Chicago

    • Agreed- I’m flying to H’ville too and paid almost $400 for my tix. Sucks that Air Tran is no longer an option.

  • Rant/Rave: After a falling out with my mother, I’ve decided to not go home for Christmas. Maybe I’ll go to New York City instead.

    • Don’t leave us hanging! What was the fallout over?

    • Please think about this. I lost my mother and would give my right arm to have another holiday with her. You just never know when it will be the last.

      Sorry about being Johnny Raincloud.

      • I agree with this. You might be wrong, she might wrong. Let it go- it is the holidays. Listen to that song from Mike and the Mechanics, “The Living Years.”

  • Rave: Woke up in a great mood, ready to start the round of holiday parties

    Rant: I think my bike is hurting my back. In the last few weeks, my lower back is really sore after I bike more than a mile (especially when I climb the 14th street hill). I have an appointment for a bike fitting, but I’d love suggestion from other bicyclists about this.

    Revel: Feels like fall again!

    • I am not suggesting this has anything at all to do with your problem, but it reminded me of something I’ve been wondering about.

      Why do so many people ride around with their bicycle seats so low? I see all of these people with their knees hitting their chins, struggling on shallow inclines because they have no leverage. WABA should stage interventions at intersections to help people adjust their bike seats.

      • I ride really low because I feel really unsafe and uncomfortable if my feet don’t sit flat on the ground when I stop. I know it’s weird and probably wrong, but that’s why I do it.

        • I’m the same way, i need to be able to put my feet, at least my toes down on the ground. i don’t like jumping off and on, that’s how i lose balance. yes, i know it’s not efficient.

          • As long as one set of toes can reach the ground when the bike is tilted slightly to one side you shouldn’t have to jump off. I’m a short-legged female who rides random hand-me-down bikes and I’ve found this works for me.

          • For all you folks complaining about how you can’t reach the ground, this means that you need a smaller framed bike. You’re riding a bike that’s too big for you, which is dangerous and can eventually cause repetitive stress injuries to your knees or back. With a proper sized frame, there’s no need to have your seat so low.

    • Bike fit could be one reason but also – are you carrying anything on your back? If so, that will definitely impact your lower back. Also, what kind of bike are you using? Some people just are not comfortable in the road bike position and need to sit more upright.
      And sometime the cold messes with me – if it’s chilly out and I’m tense, my back ends up hurting…
      Good luck!

      • I ride pretty low too because I like to be able to touch the ground without completely dismounting. I’m pretty short, so that means a low seat.

        I have a hybrid Bianchi. I have a side pannier and don’t carry anything on my back. Though that’s a good point about the cold – it has started happening just in the last few weeks.

        • You should work on your biking technique. The seat being too low hurts your knees over the long term more than your back, but it also means you can’t really accelerate which I think is a bit of a risk. Inch up the seat, and practice starting and stopping from a lean. One firm foot is a more solid stop than two teetering toes with your butt on the seat.

  • RANT: Yesterday afternoon at about 3:30 I saw a guy on 16th Street between S and T attempting to steal the wheels and seat off a bike. I was walking down the sidewalk and just stopped and stared at him….literally 10 feet away. Once he realized I was watching he hopped on his (I use this term loosley….it was probably stolen) and left. Fortunately, for the owner of the bike the seat and wheels were on too tight for him to get off. Be careful folks…..this was broad daylight on 16th Street. If you leave your bike outside you need to make sure it and all its parts are tied, bolted, or chained to something.

  • RANT: The movers broke the large wood frame around my dresser mirror. Anyone have any recommendations for a good and reasonably priced furniture restorer? A couple pieces around the frame need to be cut, stained to match, and replaced.

    RAVE: The rent is less and I like the apartment more than my last one.

  • MPinDC

    Rave: Guatemala! Staying in Antigua & visiting Lake Atitlan – so beautiful and restful.
    Related rave: Using frequent flyer miles and staying with a friend so it is costing very little.

    No rants this week, just raves :)

    • Guatemala is one of my favorite countries. I spend a few weeks in Xela and then trekked up to Tikal. If you are able to move around, I’d strongly suggest both of those places. I met some of the nicest people there!

  • RANT: Crime on U Street is getting worse day after day. There was another robbery last night. This makes at least 2 robberies and 3 people shot on U Street in the last 4 days. MPD needs to take action now!!!

  • Rant: One of my brothers is so easy to buy for and the other one is so impossibly hard to buy gifts for… Racking my brain for gift ideas and he won’t give me any suggestions!

    Rave: Husband agreed to do a triathlon with me in April – we started training last night. It’s so nice to spend time together working out!

    Rant: Once he gets started and more fit – he’s going to start kicking my butt at everything ;-)

    • Emilie504

      I told my difficult to buy for (close) family that unless I get a list, they don’t get a present. It’s not true, I would at least give them money, but now I get a list every year for Christmas and birthdays.

      • Good call! My brother says… oh I don’t know. Not really much help.

      • Our families find my wife and me difficult to buy for, so now we create gift registries at several stores. That way, people get to choose from a variety of items, and we are assured of getting something we want.

    • I have relatives who are impossible to shop for too! What are your brother’s interests? Can you collaborate with the other brother on a gift? When all else fails, there are always gift cards.

      • He’s a runner (but my mom always buy him his running stuff) and he loves just chilling, watching sports games and drinking good beers… and good books. But every year I do some assortment of beer, running, and book gifts that I feel like I need to branch out.

        • This may be no help, but… Sounds like I have similar interests and I never tire of getting gifts related to those interests.

          Also, the book is a couple years old but if he likes running and reading then Born to Run by Christopher McDougall is a slam dunk (if he hasn’t already read it.)

          If he doesn’t have a GPS running watch (e.g. Garmin Forerunner) then you could team up with some other family members and get him one.

          • It does sound like you guys have similar interests – great idea on the gifts but we’ve already gifted him the book and a garmin/heart rate monitor! What are you asking for for Christmas? Maybe I should get him what you want!

          • Well I think I’m also similarly difficult to shop for – I don’t ask for or expect gifts. I have a running wishlist on Amazon with specific books, music, or other items for the two people who “have” to get me something.

          • and by “running wishlist” I mean I try to make sure it’s always current, not that it’s all stuff about running.

    • Allison

      When I have impossible to shop for people I always get them either a really nice scarf, or a nice pair of winter gloves. Because every human gets cold.

      • See, I wouldn’t want scarves or gloves because I have nowhere to store that stuff and already have a lot of it.

        I’m a big fan of consumable gifts. Food, condiments, nice bath products.

        • I like when people give me edible gifts. One year my boyfriend got me a bunch of fancy cheeses from Cow Girl’s creamery – best present ever! I like getting wine and spices. :)))

          And for people who like to bake i give nice ingredients – vanilla beans, sugar, cake decorations, etc.

          • Allison

            Agree on the edible gifts front too! This year I got one friend a set of Monin coffee syrups, and another a set of flavored gormet olive oils for bread dipping.

        • Along the lines of consumable gifts, what about tickets to something?

          • Great idea only if you know it’s something they’ll want to go to (and might not buy the tickets for themselves, for whatever reason.)

          • I’m a fan of that idea too, but it has to be thoughtfully done. Make sure it’s something they’d enjoy doing, that has a lot of flexibility in dates, and isn’t inconvenient to get to.

    • My brother is also difficult to shop for. When I asked for ideas he said “nunchucks, saber tooth tiger and mounted sail fish.”

  • Rave?: Trying to plan a honeymoon. Anyone have suggestions for good places in the Bahamas (away from the Sandals/Atlantis fray?)

    • It’s not the Bahamas, but my wife and I went to Isla Holbox in Mexico (NW of Cancun). It’s wasn’t a “typical” honeymoon in that we weren’t after luxury, just an awesome beach and a great experience. We found the people wonderful, the food was amazing (you can’t get fresher fish!), our accommodations were spartan, but comfortable and the beach….OH the beach, had the finest white sand I’ve ever been on and you could walk a half mile into the ocean and still not have to swim. We spent the vast majority of our days hanging out in hammocks, reading and drinking mojitos, At night went into town to hang out with locals at the square, watch futbol (and basketball…it’s HUGE there..no really), and drink mojitos
      It’s a little tough to get there, plane to a shuttle, to a ferry, and then a golf-cart or walk to your hotel, but it was super cheap when we went.

    • Harbor Island! No cars allowed, pink sand beaches!

    • What do you want to do on your honeymoon ? (besides the obvious!)
      Snorkel & scuba dive? Hang out on an isolated island? Sail? How much do you want to spend? The best diving in the Bahamas is on Crooked Island – but it’s pretty remote – I think only 3 hotels.

  • Rant: Ex boyfriend’s new girlfriend is an over-active picture-posting social media tagger. Ugh.

    Rave: Just registered for Climate Ride – 5 day bike ride from NYC to DC this fall. Can’t wait.

  • Rant: On my way to work this morning saw a homeless (I assume so because of his state/attire) passed out in front of the Alero on U Street. He looked like he had just fallen down mid-walk or was sleeping in an awkward position. Everyone was just walking by staring at him/side-stepping around him (admittedly including myself). While waiting for the metro I decided he may not be just “sleeping” and asked my fiance to call 911. By the time he did so apparently there was already an ambulance on its way (heard sirens). I really regret not stopping sooner when I first saw him and thought that something wasn’t right and hope that he is okay. Disappointed in my own initial reaction and the reaction of so many others but thankful that someone else decided to do the right thing. Hoping he is okay…

  • Rave: DupontBrass playing last night outside the CH metro. Those guys have some serious stamina! They must have played for over an hour (and raked in a ton of cash– good for them). I hope they come back soon.

    • I heard them play “Killing me softly” and it was beautiful! Such a nice end to my metro ride home.

    • +1 it was a good mix of holiday songs

    • I saw them once last week, too, so I’m hoping this is a weekly thing during the holidays! They were playing the Charlie Brown Christmas song as I came out of the Metro yesterday, and the arrangement was fantastic.

    • em

      DuPont Brass is great. Every once in a while I catch them outside of the Farragut West metro in the mornings.

  • Did anyone see the man unconscious outside of the Alero on U Street this morning? Has anybody heard if he’s okay? When I walked by at 9am he was in the ambulance but don’t know what happened to him.

  • Rave: Bake sale at the office today. Mmm, pumpkin spice cake and peanut butter fudge!

    No rants at present, thanks to the above-described baked goods.

  • Revel: Today’s picture! That is the biggest and coolest Santa Claus ever!

  • Rant: People at work bringing in pastries their kids made and catching feelings when I politely decline the baked goods.
    Rave: I used the eliptical this morning (I normally struggle on that machine) but I “walked” 2 miles on it.
    Revel: Laundry night!!! No more wearing my business suits to a business casual job.

    • Rant reminds me of a vacation with a girlfriend and her young nieces. The girls baked a cake, put icing on it, and proceeded to decorate it with M&M’s – which the girls would first put in their mouths before putting on the icing. Just to make sure they stuck.
      I was like . . . “That’s so cute. Oh, no thanks. I’m full from dinner.” :-)

      • Allison

        Hehe, when I was growing up there was definitely a family on our block who would deliver hygenically questionable child-baked goods every Christmas. It’s the thought that counts, I suppose, and the kids had fun making them and delivering them to each house so it didn’t really matter that no one actually ate them.

      • OMG!!!!
        See!
        Im equally shocked and amused. hahahhahaha

  • Emilie504

    Rave: Fabulous supper last night with college pal who just moved to town.

    Rave: Almost done with Christmas shopping! Three things left to buy, and I know what they are so it’s easy. (I have a very small list of people to buy Christmas presents for, so I shouldn’t brag too much.)

    Rant: Still can’t decide if I will roast a duck or have turducken for Christmas dinner. Advice?

    • Emilie504

      (Christmas stresses me out which is why I keep talking about it.)

      • Allison

        Christmas shopping usually stresses me out too, especially since it always occurs right during finals time. But this year I’m going all online. I know I’m contributing to the death of brick-and-mortar, but Amazon both wraps and ships my presents for me… ALL IN MY PAJAMAS! So much less stress.

        The exception? Labryinth Games! I will haul ass to Eastern Market to buy board games and puzzles galore, because they deserve it.

        • Labyrinth, Sapore, Hill’s Kitchen, the flea market at Eastern Market, and Metro Mutts provide nearly all of my gift needs. If I need something specific that can’t be obtained at these places I make use of my Amazon Prime membership.

    • Do the duck. Turducken is one of those things that sounds better than it really is.

  • rave: nats got a 5th starter!
    rant: stupid drama with friends. i know how this is going to sound, but im right in both situations. why other people choose to make issues out of things that a) dont concern them or b) dont matter is beyond me. Not all of us have the time to deal with such trivial things, but I am then forced to because I have to stand up for myself.
    rave: cheez its. i love them

  • Rave – Wizards beat Heat (sellout!)
    Rant – No NHL games at Verizon. I don’t like hockey but I know the servers / bartenders in and around Verizon center have to be taking a financial hit with the hockey lockout and ‘lightly attended’ Wizards games.

  • Rant: RIP Dave Brubeck.

  • Rant: The intersection of Florida and New York and Wendy’s is a god damn cluster f. It makes me want to kill.

  • Rant/Rave? I think I’m going to sign up to do a Tough Mudder in April. Workouts to train begin tonight, but I’m still afraid of huddling in a corner mid-way through the race, crying like a little girl!

  • RANT: Yet another (potentially?) promising beginning to a relationship down the drain. I truly believe I am warm, genuine, caring, fun, and grounded, but this pattern is truly making me question whether it’s me that’s the problem.

    RANT (cont.): I have no idea where single, eligible men in their late 20s/early 30s hang out. I don’t know any of them. My friends don’t know any of them. They are out there, right? I’ve done/am doing the internet dating thing, but I’m looking to try other approaches. Volunteering? Overwhelmingly women. Jewish events? Overwhelmingly women. Any hints as to where you hang, gents?

    • Watch football at a bar on Sundays.

      I know these guys exist. I think by the time you get into your 30s, you have your routine and your friends, so you just do whatever you would be doing if you did have an S.O. Not that that helps, but I think they are just doing their own thing. Hence, what would that thing be? Probably football.

    • I was going to suggest church but it sounds like that won’t exactly work…

    • Also, what about business networking events? I am mid-30s (but female) and go to some networking events in my field and it’s generally 50/50 m/f and not many early 20-somethings. Not that the people are all single or that it’s a dating environment, but the happy hour style networking events are more casual and friendly.

    • As L said, probably we’re watching football, especially this time of year. Either at a bar or at home. Do you run? Maybe get involved in a running group. In a similar vein, social sports leagues are another option. What type of volunteering do you do?

      That being said, my friends and I tend to meet women through two ways: mutual friends or online.

      • I do run, but at my pace (~10 min/mile for a long run), I’m back to my usual problem: it’s mostly the ladies.

    • I don’t know if this applies to you but I thought I’d throw it out there. You highlighted that you are a nice, warm and gentle person. All wonderful qualities! However, those of us who bear those stripes tend to be pushed away a lot. If you are a people-pleaser by nature, you have to balance this trait with making sure that dating prospects know that they have to please you, too. I’ve had to learn not to make it too easy for the other person to size me up that way.

      This is tricky advice but you have to act like you are something to catch and something to lose. I’m not suggesting that you pretend to be something that you are not but carrying yourself with an air that the ball is just as much in your court as it is in theirs helps a lot. In short, make sure you are sending signals that say ‘you have to earn my continued time and attention, too’. All too often, the nice ones give of themselves and their time to freely and it’s not appreciated by some.

      Again, if this advice doesn’t apply to you, it’s all good and I hope you find your perfect match very soon!

      • Of course, we know nothing about you, but “Warm, genuine, caring, fun, and grounded,” is generally code to women meaning – “kind of dull and not hot.” If you are indeed interesting and (at least kind of) hot – maybe re-think the way you present yourself.

        • Ooops – sorry – I just re-read that 3 times and realized you are a girl looking for a guy. Same advice basically – though I know it is much more difficult for an average woman in that age range in this town. I’m much older, but one thing I do notice when I go out is that most of the women in your age range look pretty much identical and – so, sadly – interchangeable.

          Find your own true self and figure out how to let it shine.

  • Rave: Walked home from the library last night at 8 p.m. in my shirt sleeves!

    Rant: My appetite is messed up. I eat because I probably should but am not hungry and, as expected, eating just makes me feel worse.

    Rant: I keep procrastinating on two upcoming events. One is next week but relatively easy, the other in February but takes much more planning and coordination with other departments. One reason I was hired is that I had “event planning skills”. This is a fluke as I actually *strongly dislike* event planning!

    Rave: Our Christmas tree is perfect!

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