Random Reader Rant and/or Revel


Photo by PoPville flickr user randomduck

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.

87 Comment

  • Rant: Missed a morning workout this morning because we were both too tired to get up…
    Rave: Got into work early – hoping to leave early to work out in the daylight.
    Rave: Picked up some great books from the library yesterday – looking forward to tucking into one of them later this evening…

  • Rave: Made ham and cheese quinoa cups for my daughter for breakfast but they’re so tasty I’m bringing them to work for my breakfast.

    Rave: The boss leaves for an international trip today. Who wants drinks at lunch?!

    Rave: My mom underwent a new treatment for her chronic back pain and while it won’t cure the problem, it should let her cut back on the pain meds and give her some relief.

  • rave- i’m a healthy 34 year old female

    rant- applying for single plan health insurance (rave- quit my stressful job!) and not only is it CRAZY expensive, I got denied? Any suggestions for health insurance plans?

    • I recently quit my job too and had to find health insurance. what. a. pain. I am surprised you were denied? Did they give a reason why? Anyway, I applied for a couple plans, but went with BlueChoice HMO. You don’t need to give them your medical history or anything, all you have to do is be a DC resident and provide proof (driver license, etc). Assuming you are a DC res… I am a 31/F and it’s about $178/month, and although it’s a HMO which kind of sucks, but I am hoping this is just temporary until I find work again.

      But if not a DC res, you can always make an appeal to the denial I think within a certain amt of time. I have heard of people doing this, and were granted the insurance after making the appeal. The problem with being a woman in your 30s is that insurance companies see “baby making age” whether or not you actually plan to have children (I don’t, at least not any time soon)…. so it is usually harder or more expensive at this age. Pretty lame.

      Good luck!

    • Look at ehealthinsurance.com as that will show you many options depending on what you want to pay, what kind of coverage you want etc. I’ve had several individual plans while in grad school, unemployed. I think I paid between $80-120/month.

      Did they say why you were denied? Do you have a preexisting condition?

    • I too am a mid 30s healthy female and I’ve been on the Kaiser Permanente individual plan for many years. I’m probably paying more than I need to but they have a variety of plans to pick from. Don’t recall how difficult it was to get approved.

  • This is super helpful, thanks! A friend had mentioned this too as a good (enough!) option. I really appreciate the link!

  • Rave: Moving out of DC in a little over a month. The time has come.

    Rave/Rant: After walking around the city solo this past weekend, like many of my weekends, I realized that I am going to miss it more than I thought. The free museums, the decent architecture, and the familiarity of my neighborhood and the boutiques and restaurants (although I feel like more and more chains are coming in by the boatload) have all become ‘my places.’

    Rant: I also have developed a crush on someone which is most inconvenient. I blame this on the approaching holidays and the yearning for a cuddle and kiss. Should I go for it or no?

  • pablo .raw

    I am the kind of person that can’t specialize in only one thing, I have to be doing different kinds of activities all the time so that I don’t get bored. Having said that:
    Rave: Looks like I’m starting a new project related to music this week.
    Rave: I have the opportunity to learn a new exciting skill, but some things need to line up.

  • Emilie504

    Rant: Not feeling very creative today which kind of sucks in a myriad of ways.

    Rave: Heather never would have used myriad, she misspelled it on last week’s spelling test.

  • jim_ed

    Rave: Pat Mara is running in the At-Large Council Special Election.

    Rant: Way too many people in this city will dismiss him because of the (R) next to his name becuase of how awful the national GOP is. And because of that, we’ll end up with another party hack like Anita Bonds or Michael Brown elected, continuing the status quo of lousy governance.

    • He should pull a David Cantania then.

      • Exactly. Switch the (R) to (I), and I’ll consider him. Lord knows I would like some alternatives to the dreck that the DC Democratic party foists on us, but my stomach won’t let me draw the line to an (R) without heaving my lunch all over the ballot.

    • If he doesn’t want to be associated with awful national GOP he should leave the party. As long as he has an R next to his name he is associating himself with “legitimate rape”, the 47%, bigotry, voter suppression, obstructionist governing, climate change denial, evolution denial, young earth creationism, and all sorts of anti-intellectualism. I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way.

      • jim_ed

        Thats one way of looking at it.

        However, the flip side is that if he does win, and the DC GOP does become relevant in local elections, with their progressive charter and goals, it perhaps helps people in the national GOP realize that they can win elections if they jump off the anti-intellectualism, bigoted bandwagon and get back to the principled reasonable republicanism of Rockefeller Republicans from before the time of Reagan.

        I loathe the national GOP just as much as the next urban liberal, but associating Pat Mara with it would be like associating Obama with Harry Thomas Jr. Same party, sure, but thats where the smiliarities end.

        • I doubt the GOP is interested in winning elections for people who don’t support their wretched agenda (as succinctly listed by anon) and don’t give a toss about DC council politics either. Mara seems like a good guy – and I’d love to see smart new blood on the council – but not going to the big R.

    • Article I found via Google – I had to look because I had no idea who he was – said that Mara lost his last at large bid in April 2011, falling 2500 votes short of Vincent Orange. He got about 25% of the 47,000 votes cast. Doesn’t sound to me that he’s being written off because he’s a republican.
      Personally, I have been voting and will continue to vote for someone other than the incumbent in council races every chance I get. Party has nothing to do with it. I just think it’s time for new blood.

  • Rave: I love making ice cream to the point of thinking of doing it for a business. DC lacks great ice cream. A store front would cost an insane amount of money to start up (though, I’ve found what I think is a good spot – it has a side yard that would be great for a kids play area), so I’ve thought about an ice cream food truck. Ice cream, brownies (or sundaes) and coffee stuffs.
    Is this a stupid idea?
    Is a store front a better idea?

    Rant: If this is something I pursue, this is a terrible time financially for us to consider, but might be a long term goal.

    Rant: Still sad Shae left Bliss at the W – I need a new spa.

    • saf

      Go for the store front.

      DC does have a great ice cream shop – Max’s. But it’s in Glover Park, and someday, probably sooner rather than later, Max will retire.

      So open a good ice cream place on this side of town!

      • What would you look for in terms of offerings, hours, and location?

        Do I think this will happen any time soon? No. But I’m starting to wish more and more that this is something I could do. I was thinking a truck would cause a following (assuming people like the product) to propel a store front (like Big Gay Ice Cream Truck in NY)

        • I’ve been thinking about it too jindc. Maybe we should combine talents? I used to run Josh & Johns in Colorado Springs. My old boss opened his own store, Sweet Cow, in Louisville, CO last year, and did an ice cream truck after that. Both have been very successful, mostly b/c he has a GREAT product. That is the key, and I’m with you thinking there isn’t great ice cream here. An ice cream shop is the only way I’d get back into food service. It’s so rare to have a customer who is angry or mean. They might come in that way, but ice cream fixes all.

          • hm, perhaps we should chat? I have only made small batch at home, but have been asked by people I’ve made it for if they can pay me to make it for them.
            It’s one of those things people don’t make for themselves, but once you have great ice cream, the stuff at the market won’t do.
            After living on Save and Andys and then the stuff in Western Mass (Herrells and Steves among others), I have seen people wait in lines for the stuff if it’s good! They even wait at Pitango which, in my opinion, isn’t great gelato.

          • if you want to chat about it, feel free to email me: jeserf@yahoo.com

        • saf

          Offerings: ice cream. While I would like a real old-time ice cream parlor/soda fountain, I don’t know how feasible that is.

          Hours: I work M-F, days. So evenings and weekends.

          Location: I live near the Georgia Ave-Petworth metro stop, so walkable from there would be nice. Upshur Street, just east of Georgia in that little commercial strip would work. So would 14th around La Caprice or north.

          General comments: I was serious about Max’s being great. Take a look at what they do.
          http://maxsbesticecream.com/
          http://www.washingtonpost.com/gog/restaurants/maxs-best-ice-cream,805646.html

          • Thanks for the input! In my head, the dream looks like I would probably do something like Tuesday-Saturday, offer good quality sodas (no soda jerk, but good drinks), coffee/tea and try to find a local bakery to partner with to offer their stuff. Create fresh ice cream sandwiches. Eventually I’d like to have a space where stuff can be made in-house, but that is expensive to start up. I don’t think Columbia Heights along 14th St works – maybe the 11th St area, but that’s the question – where is the foot traffic AND day time people home to patronize?

            I’d also like to be able to offer kids birthday parties – a space in the shop to rent out and offer “make your own ice cream/sundae” parties. My overall idea is to encourage young families and ice cream lovers of all ages a place to go for a treat – without the alcohol license – and gather that is a bright and comfortable space.

          • saf

            Sunday too. Sunday afternoon in the summer is a great time for ice cream.

            11th Street appears to be swarming with families with kids, if that’s the market you want.

        • Check out Salt and Straw ice cream in Portland, OR’s menu. There’s nothing like that here and it would be a great addition!

          • Yes, Sundays too – I actually think I means Wednesday-Sunday (closed Monday and Tuesday).

            I have no idea how to begin other than this grain of an idea – never went to biz school and know it would take probably $100k to open something from start to finish. Ouch.

      • Jindc – you should go meet Max and ensure that my supply of pumpkin ice cream continues into the future!
        Also Thomas Sweet is pretty good too.
        I think for locations you need neighboring restaurants and a kid friendly neighborhood. This is why Max is in Glover Park and not H-Street.

        • yea, I wouldn’t do H Street.
          There are a lot of young families in my neighborhood (between logan and shaw), just don’t know how many local businesses they patronize.

          • replying here because I can’t above: OMG Herrells!!! Best ice cream. Nothing in DC compares. Please, please open an ice cream shop that makes Herrells-quality ice cream. Dolcezza is good, but I don’t always want to pay $5 for a tiny cup and I don’t always want gelato. Pitango is okay but not fantastic. I haven’t been totally impressed with Max.

            One of the things I miss most about Mass is the good ice cream. Herrells is my favorite but Christina’s & Toscanini’s in Cambridge are really good too.

          • yeah, Tosca’s is deeelicious!

          • binpetworth

            Another former Western Mass resident here echoing the sentiment of replicating Herrell’s ice cream. I would go there EVERY DAY if you opened something that awesome!

          • Oh man, Herrells! We go there every time we visit the in-laws. I would definitely love a place like that in DC.

        • anon. gardener

          Why I will never go to Thomas Sweet again: they don’t take credit cards. Just something to consider while you are formulating your business plan.

          • i don’t think max’s takes credit cards either

          • saf

            I’ve seen other people say similar things, and it just baffles me.

            Perhaps it is just that I am old. Perhaps it is something else. But why would you want to pay with a card for something under $20 or so?

            And from the business’s point of view, why would you want to take cards and pay the outrageous fees they impose? That actually should matter to the customer too – do you want those costs built in to the product cost? Do you want your price for little items to rise that much?

          • anon. gardener

            I’m not a kid – in my 4th decade – and I never carry cash. Who carries cash anymore? Nowadays you can even get a card swipe thing for your phone, for gods sakes. If I were a small business, I wouldn’t want to have lots of cash on hand for safety reasons. And the credit card fee is a cost of doing business. I can understand not taking Amex. But if i can’t use plastic, I’m not coming back.

          • Well I’m no kid either and I always try to have some cash on my person. If I’m spending $5 at a small business, then the fee for swiping a card is a pretty large percent of the total purchase. Either I’m paying it or the business is paying it – and I’d prefer neither.

            Also at small businesses it is often a faster transaction with cash so that’s a bonus.

    • pablo .raw

      I wish you success with your project! I’m not sure I know what a good ice cream is, so I would like to taste it!. If you go for the ice cream/kids food truck, and if you decide to have music playing on it, please have some music that doesn’t make you feel like this guy http://www.flickr.com/photos/benavente/8143396542/ is about to appear suddenly and eat you!

      • I don’t necessarily want to market to kids (maybe a little play area), but a store with outside space for kids with grass and space for a bench or two for outside enjoyment of said ice cream would be ideal – to encourage people with kids to come, or have play dates there, to keep day time business up.

    • My friend loves Anita at Ibiza

    • alissaaa

      I second your Rant on Shae leaving Bliss! She was the best!

    • Along the Upshur street corridor would be great! If you could do coffee and maybe crepes (something smallish for food) for lunch during the week along with ice cream it would be fantastic! There are tons of kids in Petworth and actually more people working in the neighborhood during the week than most people realize. There are few places to get a light, healthy lunch.

  • Rant: Got into some major upset with my bestie. I know exactly why she’s hurt and I feel awful about it, but she also needs to realize that her past experiences are not necessarily an indication of my future ones.
    Rant: Didn’t sleep well due to upset, late for work and had to cab it in.
    Rave: Hump Day meaning it’s almost the weekend again.
    Rave: New facial care products are awesome and my skin is very happy.

  • RAVE: Have decided that this time next year I will be in a position to buy. Need to start planning my finances accordingly. I also want to see how the budget cuts will affect the DC region and the housing market, in general. I need to act while we are still in a low interest rate environment.

    RANT: Will need to cut my living expenses and probably cancel my 2013 trip to Burning Man. Will also need to discuss my plans with Dad over the Christmas holiday and see if he wants to invest in my plan; a bigger down-payment would really help. C’est la vie.

    • jim_ed

      Good luck. My wife and I left our cushy one bedroom near the ballpark to spend a year in a rodent infested, shoebox basement apartment for a year to save up for our down payment. It was tough, but was totally worth it in the end.

    • My advice, if you are looking to get money from parents – have them give you the money way in advance. I waited and thought that a gift letter with copies of the check would be enough to appease my lender, but no. I also had to provide screen shots of my bank account showing the money went into my account and screen shots of my dad’s account showing the money left his account. He’d also pulled the money in from his other accounts to write the check and the lender was close to asking for screen shots of those accounts as well! I asked if all of this would have mattered if the money had been in my account already and they said no. I think they only look at your bank statements up to 3 months when you apply, so do it before then.

      Good luck though, getting a loan can be crazy these days.

    • janie4

      Not sure how much investment your Dad could give, but there are IRS limits on gifts. No more than $13,000 in one calendar year, otherwise your dad is supposed to pay gift tax on it. However, a check in December and one in January counts as two separate years for IRS purposes.

      • Thanks for the tips guys.

        Anyone have experience taking advantage of FHA loans for first time buyers? Any things I should be aware of that aren’t disclosed on the HUD and FHA website?

        • My FHA loan was great. Not sure how it works now, but watch for language about refinancing… soon enough, you’ll want to refi to get rid of that pesky PMI, and you’d hate to be stuck if they don’t allow it before a certain amount of time.

      • Also, if Dad shares a checking account with a mom-like figure, then each can separately make a gift of $13k (just make sure that different people sign the checks!).

  • Allison

    Rave: Finally done with final exams. Finished my last take-home a day earlier than expected. LET THE CHRISTMAS BEGIN.

  • Hoping the vulnerable senior, Mr. Matthews is found!

    Rave: The work week is almost done and six more work days until I shut it down til the New Year.

    Rave: Dating options.

    Rant: Bestie and I are on the outs and not sure why. I started it, but it’s taken on new life; not sure how to remedy. An apology would help, but really isn’t appropriate for the situation, though may help.

    Rave: We love each other so we’ll figure it out!

    • Are you and Anonymous above the best friends in question? Work it out! Friends are too important.

      • No, we aren’t the friends, but we are in the same boat, I see. Thanks for the kick in the pants, Campbell. I know what I need to do. The Capricorn in me (lame excuse-I know) keeps me from making a move. Reconciliation already in progress…

        • Ha ha. My BF is a Capricorn and I never paid that stuff much attention, but when I read the description of Capricorns, it is him to a tee and explains so much. You people are difficult! My sign says I’m the most accepting of people and their difficultness so maybe that’s why we are remotely possible.

  • RAVE: Great hair day. Seriously, I have Kate Middleton-esque hair today.
    RANT: I’m not a princess.
    (serious) RANT: Performance review was postponed until tomorrow. I know I’ll be fine, but good grief, do these things make me anxious.

    • I will join you in your rant. I just want my own castle!

      • Emilie504

        I don’t need the castle or title, but damn I want a tiara (or 3)! And some other princess bling. The Duchess is really letting me down by not wearing more jewelry. I would do such a better job on that score.

        • There’s actually a lot of political strife going on right now regarding the monarchy. There are those proposing to stop taxpayer support of the monarchy (esp. in these times of economic doldrums) and Scotland is considering full secession with a referendum vote in Oct 2014. Anything the monarchy can do to live frugally and appear like down-to-earth commoners is good. For instance, Kate recently “recycled” one of her outfits by wearing it a second time. The UK media made a big stink about it. But it was good PR for Monarchy Inc. and their efforts to remain on the public dole while keeping their empire intact.

          • Emilie504

            She recycles her outfits all the time. I am completely on board with that. I also don’t care that she wears the same shoes all the time (it comes up on fashion blogs). I do mind that there is a metric shit ton of diamonds she can borrow from her Granny in law and she does not. Hell, her parents are loaded, she can buy her own stuff. I don’t expect a tiara every day just because I would wear one every day, but a bracelet or a broach won’t kill her.

          • Emilie504

            And if Kate et al don’t want to wear the tiaras and other bling because of the way it would make them look, I volunteer to wear the bling for them. I think jewelry should be seen gosh darn it!

          • I am one million percent with Emmaleigh on this issue.

  • Rant: My neck feels full. Like, how your arm/hand feels when you have a tourniquet for when the doctor is drawing blood. And it’s kind of scary. I’m hoping it’s just because my ears are a bit plugged up from allergies.

    Rave: The week is almost over- I get to see a friend I haven’t seen in a long time on Friday!

    • Allison

      Re: neck swelling rant, GO TO THE DOCTOR RIGHT NOW.

      • Depends on how long it has been swollen. A day or two? Might just be an infection. If more than a few days, yes, most definitely go to the doctor. If you have other symptoms such as a fever, night sweats, etc, you definitely should get it checked out. And has it gotten bigger or just popped up and stayed the same size?

  • Rant: Pretty sure I’m going to have to go back to school.

    Rave: Pretty sure I’m going to have to go back to school.

    Rave: At least it’s never too late.

    Rant: Trying not to get too caught up in the “could’ve, should’ve, would’ve” of my life.

    Rave: I’m not going to be stuck in this rut forever.

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