Random Reader Rant and/or Revel


Photo by PoPville flickr user ARealSidler

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.

86 Comment

  • anon. gardener

    Nice fire!

    Rave: almost ready to blow this joint for christmas vacay.

  • Question: Can someone explain the reasoning behind fundraising for Newtown residents? I’m not understanding the connection between the funding and the shooting. Is it to help with funeral costs?

    I really hope this doesn’t come across as crass- it’s an honest question.

    • I would guess there are a couple of different things going on: 1. we have been habituated to give after a tragedy; and 2. the giving is an attempt to exercise a modicum of control over the incomprehensibility of it all. It is as therapeutic for the giver as the recipient.

    • I was confused as well, but after looking into it, it seems the money is going towards funerals and grief counseling for the children and family members.

    • I had the same question. I suppose I understand helping with funeral expenses, but reports today are that they’ve raised well over $1 million. I know people feel better about something after giving money, but that seems silly when there are so many other needs in the world.

      • It might be tough for these K – 4th kids to ever attend class in that building again. Maybe they will use funds to do a major reno of school or tear it down and build a new building. They may use funds to bus the kids to other schools for the remainder of the year. Raising funds gives residents additional options to do what’s best for the kids, things that may not be in the town budget.

    • Were you the same person who asked this yesterday? I don’t understand why it matters? If you don’t see a reason to donate, then don’t.

      • Nope, different person. I was wondering if I was missing something. As I said in my OP, I wasn’t trying to be argumentative or crass- it was an honest question. But thanks for the unhelpful comment.

  • Rant: Missing my best bud – I need to call him and just talk (and maybe vent). Too bad I have to get through the work day first.

    Rave: Figuring out vacation plans for next year and we have mega miles
    we can use!

    Rave: Making family photo albums for Christmas – it’s so much fun to go back through all the years and remember all the fun little times.

    • Emilie504

      Love your photo album idea! I asked for photos of my family for my birthday this year because I don’t have enough pictures of them. I think they seriously thought about committing me. But I got my photos! Except from Quotia Zelda. Where is my photo young lady?!

    • talula

      My great aunt made me a family photo album for Christmas a few years ago, and it is the best gift I’ve ever received. It is something I will treasure for years to come.

  • Rave – the Express guy at the Petworth metro. Always brings a smile to my face.

  • Rant x1000000: the heartless, repugnant cult Westboro Baptist Church just showed up in Newtown to harass the mourning families/community.

    Rave: Anonymous declaring war on Westboro and all the peaceful activists travelling to CT to form a peaceful and silent human chain to shield the mourners and funerals from these subhumans.

    • I also can’t stand WBC. There’s a great little Derek Webb (singer/songwriter) song called “Freddie Please” (about Fred Phelps) that I listen to whenever I come across (frankly, much undeserved) coverage of their activities.

    • Yesterday there was a petition on the White House website to make WBC an official hate group. Which they are.

      • Yep, and one to end their tax-exempt status.

        @cosmothegod hacked Shirley Phelp’s account and sent it out to all the WBC followers. :)

      • Allison

        Sometimes I’m scared of Anonymous (the group) and sometimes I’m just like “YES!”

      • saf

        I saw that – and it’s been linked all over – and I am baffled. Who do the petitioners think can declare a group “an official hate group?” What do they think that will accomplish?

    • I think if I were the chief of police in that town I would throw them all in jail until the funerals were over and just deal with the consequences later. Disturbing the peace, trespassing, inciting a riot, … something like that. I love free speech but f*ck it, they are violating the laws of humanity here.

      • Just an FYI, the way this disgusting group funds itself, one of the family members is a lawyer. When they do their protests, and their first amendment rights are infringed on, they sue the city/state. They sue for a nominal amount ($1,000) and win, but the kicker is they get attorneys fees. So $500/hour for the 200 hours or whatever bogus number the family attorney “spent” on the lawsuit. At that point, they put that money back into hate, and the cycle continues. Cities have realized the best thing to do is to ignore them.

        The line of citizens forming a human chain is quite effective though. If they attempted to break through a human chain, that is assault, and once you have committed a crime, as you know, your rights go out the window, so the local PD will be well in their rights to haul in the whole hate group at that point.

        Not to mention if one was hand in hand and one of these idiots tried to shove by them, they would likely be quite willing to defend themself.

        • I’m sorry you have made numerous misstatements of the law. Someone breaking through a human chain does not create a situation where the “local PD will be well in their rights to haul in the whole hate group at that point.”

          As you said they make their money from lawsuits; a police department doing what you suggest would cost the city even more money in legal fees and possible judgements.

          Second, when you have been accused of a crime, your rights do not “go out the window.” Whether or not the the police respect those rights, or you must vindicate them later through legal action is another question. If this group were to do the later, the city would have to spend even more money.

    • Who or what are the WBC? Why would they show up to harrass the families/community?

      • They call themselves a church, but are more accurately a inbred (literally) brainwashed family that founded a hate group called Westboro Baptist Church. They picket funerals of fallen soldiers and murdered children to preach that their deaths were punishment from God for homophobia/the existence of Jews/people with AIDS/Catholics/etc.

        They announced they would picket the Newtown funerals with the following announcement: “Westboro will picket Sandy Hook Elementary School to sing praise to God for the glory of his work in executing his judgment”.

  • Emilie504

    Rant: Cat getting sick again.

    Rant: Did not sleep well last night, so not finding the bright side of anything.

    • Emilie504

      Found my Rave!

      Rave: Twitter sing along with high school friend & my sister joined in for the filthy song fun.

      Rave: Remembering my nephew singing along to Master and Servant when he was 3 or 4. hahahaha

  • Rant: Dealing with iliotibial band issues, again. It’s becoming chronic at this point, no matter how much I use my foam roller, am in and out of physical therapy, etc.

    Has anybody out there dealt with IT band problems successfully, to the point of being able to return to your previous level of athletic activity? I’ve made an appointment with a sports medicine doc, and am considering anything and everything, including acupuncture to help combat this, but I’m just so afraid that this is either going to force me to be sedentary, or condemn me to a lifetime of elliptical workouts (which I just can’t stand).

    • I had a huge IT band issue about 5 years ago. I couldn’t walk and up down stairs and definitely couldn’t run. I went to a lot of PT, which used Graston tools to rub out a lot of the inflammation. Basically I gave up on running for about 2 years because the PT helped, but not enough. For me it’s a structure issue, my knees point in a lot and I’m a woman, so the strain on my IT band is intense.

      I got back into running slowly, having learned a lot since my initial IT issue was caused by over use. Within a year and a half of restarting running I ran my first marathon.

      It’s slow. And it’s painful. And the hardest part is that it is beyond humbling to have to become basically sedentary and then start over, but keep working with PTs and see about changing if you don’t like the results (after giving it enough time). I really like my orthopedist- Louis Levitt in Faragut. Good luck!

      • Thanks, it sounds like you’ve really done a lot of hard work to come back from this! The having to take months or even years off is what really scares me. I’m not a runner, I’m a rower, so while I do put a lot of strain on my knees, I’m hoping that the lack of impact may help facilitate an active recovery. I’m laying off training for the time being, but I need to be able to go out on the water again in the Spring, if only for my sanity.

        I know it sounds completely insane, but I really feel let down by this one little piece of connective tissue or whatever-it-is. Every other part of me is ready to go, and I’m so mad that my one IT band can shut the entire show down!

        • I’m no expert, but I did do a lot of research when I had my IT band problems. It’s not just about the impact, it’s about the rubbing of the IT band against other things around the knee. I can easily see how rowing would cause that rubbing each and every time. I think most IT band problems are overuse related, and of course over use varies for everyone in terms of current fitness, form, and structure. But, elliptical is better since your knees are going up and down too much.

          Foam rollers are great for this. Fleet Feet has them. It’ll hurt a ton at first, but over time it’ll feel better. Graston tools do sort of the same thing, ask your PT if anyone in their office is trained to use them.

    • I’ve dealt with IT band problems and two things worked for me:

      First, you basically have to stop your activities until the IT soreness and inflammation heals. When I had it bad years ago I stopped running for several months; when I had a little flare-up in October I took a month off.

      Second, there are stretches that you can do. I did them religiously twice a day while I wasn’t running and then continued once I started running again. I don’t do it as much any more but it’s one of the regular stretches I do when I do stretch. I’ll see if I can find a link to the stretches but you can find it if you google it.

      Additionally, I’ve never heard of a foam roller being a good treatment for IT band problems. Did someone advise you to use that?

      • Thanks! I was diagnosed with IT band issues by an orthopedist an a physical therapist about a year and a half ago. The foam roller is a type of myofascial release therapy, and it’s been said to have a really great influence on these kinds of things- if you search for “foam roller” on the Runner’s World website, you’ll get lots of good examples of how to use it.

      • Yes, I’ve been advised by a couple of PTs over the years to use a foam roller for the IT band (I didn’t have a specific IT band injury, but I was told the foam roller can help keep IT issues at bay.) But grrrrrrrrr, do I hate using it! So painful. Which, of course, means it’s even more important that I use it, but…. ;)

    • I can’t answer your question, but how did you know you had an IT band issue specifically? Did a doctor diagnose it as such? I’ve had a nagging issue in one hip after a few runs this fall, and I’m probably going to be heading to a sports medicine doc because the thing isn’t going away. I was wondering if the IT band might have been a cause. I had big problems with my SI joint years ago after a cross country race, so I’m not eager to go back for bone scans, x-rays, and the whole nine yards to have something diagnosed again.

      • Yeah, I went to a doctor about a year and a half ago, and got it diagnosed. And now that I know what it feels like, I can tell when it’s my IT band flaring up- I can feel the pain and tightness in a straight line traveling from my hip all the way down to the outside corner of my knee.

        Getting to a doctor is crucial, rather than internet diagnosing (which is why I’m getting myself back to one, just to make sure it really is the IT band, and not another issue cropping up!). Then if you can get into physical therapy, that’s probably the best thing. While I was in physical therapy, I really want to focus on sustainable rehab this time- to give me the tools to continue to keep this at bay long term, rather than just dealing with the acute flare ups.

    • IT band issues are a real pain. I am a cross-country and track coach and see this injury pretty frequently with my runners. I have found a few things help this. 1. Your foam roller. Keep at it. IT bands hurt because they are tight. The roller will continue to loosen up if you keep at it. Try rolling your quads and hamstrings as well if you haven’t already. 2. Do more fast running with minimal shoes. The Nike Free was developed by the former coach at Stanford because he noticed that his runners could run relatively pain free when they had IT band issues and did intervals barefoot. Go figure. 3. Strengthen the surrounding muscles. Traditional squats, lunges, etc. will help with this. You most likely have weak hips which is allowing too much movement and therefore causing this overuse injury. 4. Stretch aggressively. I am a big proponent of active recovery. We get hurt because of weaknesses. As a result, the same thing is going to happen if we don’t change our habit or address the issue, then this will continue to happen. Hang in there! It will go away!

      • Thanks! I’m not a runner (my issues come from rowing), but a lot of this is super helpful. And I would love to be able to get a long-term plan for getting stronger, as weakness and a lack of balance seem to really contribute to this, from what I’ve read.

        Good to know it is surmountable, even though it will probably take a LOT of work. *sigh*

    • I don’t think we’ve got the same issue, but I’ve been dealing with a tight IT band for 20 years as part of patellafemoral syndrome and kneecap dislocations (when the IT band is too tight, kneecap tracks wrong and knee swells up). I’m in a “down” cycle now, but have generally managed while being pretty active. Although I do do a lot of elliptical. :/

      Advice: 1. Foam roller is definitely fine; my therapist encouraged me to use and, and it helps massage it. But (2) knowing the right stretches and doing them every day is even more helpful. I did mediocre-ly effective stretching for years …

      For PT, I’d recommend Michael Stidham at Professional SportsCare & Rehab (18th St. near Farragut West).

    • Look into getting a running coach and seriously take a look at your form. I struggled with IT issues for a couple years, and knowing that my running style we, um, less than optimum I sucked it up and started from scratch. Literally. No running to allow the inflammation to die down, then started a more-than-basic approach to regaining run fitness (a lot of 20 minute, slow runs with a conscious focus on form, acclimating calves and hamstrings that weren’t used to carrying the load). Finding the right shoes helped; see the above advice on minimalist shoes (for SOME runs; I used them as a training tool, not an everyday shoe). It took a year+, but I’ve run mostly issue free on more mileage that I was able to tolerate in the 5 years I struggled. Treat the cause, not the symptoms.

  • Rant that’s not really a big rant: Bought my geriatric cat some steps so that he can get to his food without any big jumps, but he won’t use them. He actually seems to hate them- whenever he walks by he hits them with a paw. But his hips are giving out slowly, and I know he’ll need them soon. CATS ARE SO DIFFICULT.

    • talula

      Pets are weird. We bought my old dog a ramp to make it easier for him to get in and out of our car (an SUV) since he couldn’t jump into the car anymore. He was terrified of the ramp and refused to use it. We couldn’t even bribe him with treats. We ended up having to carry him into the car when we took him somewhere. He weighed over 100 pounds so it was not easy!

    • saf

      Cats do not want change. Change is bad. Steps are new. Hence, they are bad.

      I had to laugh at this, because it reminds me so much of my parents:
      Kids: Don’t you think a ramp on the outside stairs would be a good idea?
      Parents: No. Ramps are for wheelchairs. We can walk.
      Kids: It would make walking easier.
      Parents: No. Ramps are for wheelchairs. We can walk.
      Kids: It would help you a lot.
      Parents: No. Ramps are for wheelchairs. We can walk.
      Kids: ?

    • Allison

      When I was a kid we bought our corgi carpeted steps leading up to my parent’s bed because she couldn’t make the big jump without hurting her back. It took her a long time to use them, but eventually she did. Cats might be harder to train than dogs, but with a little time and effort they can be taught that the stairs are not out to kill them.

  • Rave: Got some time to just chill in our living room and catch up on MY shows last night, in peace. Living with 3 other (relatively loud) people is tiring.

    Rant: Westboro Baptist Church just INFURIATES ME.

    Rave: Going to Les Miserables at the Kennedy Center tonight!

    Rant: Left my phone at home and feeling lost without it. How will I commute without Pandora?

    Rave: Left my phone at home and also feeling slightly liberated!

  • I wish I could go back into time into my twenties, being young and attractive again. Being old or a senior citizen can be depressing because you lose your looks and you gain weight in your gut. We live in a youthful society and after 45, you are considered over the hill by most. LOL

    • anon. gardener

      I feel the opposite – i am so glad to be where I’m at right now. I would not want to relive the BS of my 20s. I look at kids today, and think of myself when I was young – i was so clueless! I am very happy that all that foolishness is behind me. Do I wish I was 20 lbs lighter? Sure. But over all, being 40-ish is fine with me. And still considered young by lots of people.

  • Anyone have anything on this tweet from DCAlerts yesterday evening:

    Police Alert-Burglary I While Armed 4083 CONFIRMED A 3800 blk of 8th St NW LOF- 4-5 masked subjects kicked in rear door, tied up compl…

    I can’t find the full alert, but as a Petworth resident I was hoping to hear more details…

    • 4083 CONFIRMED A 3800 blk of 8th St NW LOF- 4-5 masked subjects kicked in rear door and tied up compl’s. 2 subj’s were armed with guns and another with a brick. Lookout for a possible blk in color small SUV. Around an hour ago, we had a B2 with a blk Toyota Rav- tag BR3255 stolen DO NOT TAKE ACTION CALL 911 W/EVENT #I20120631726

      • Prince Of Petworth

        MPD tells me:

        “The burglary on 8th St does not appear to be random. The Toyota Rav was recovered. Detectives are still investigating. No arrests as of yet. “

  • Anyone else notice that the water in Columbia Heights has been tasting extra chlorine-y of late?

    • No, but then again I don’t drink it. While on the topic of water, anyone know what to do to filter out the red bacteria that stains my shower area, esp. the curtain?

      • Pretty sure the red stuff is a form of mold. Tilex Mold and Mildew Remover does a great job, but makes your bathroom smell like a swimming pool for a bit.

      • Emilie504

        I find that the cities I’ve lived where that weird red/rust colored stuff grows has better tasting water than cities where that stuff does not grow. It’s probably going to kill me some day, but I prefer the water that stains.

      • saf

        It’s not necessarily bacteria. It may well be iron in the water.

      • It’s probably the minerals that haven’t been cleaned in a while that turn to mildew but is orange-red based on the mineral content or whatever. Anyway, the best way to get rid of is the old-fashioned way: elbow grease, a green scrubby pad (whatever that is called) and ajax cleanser or whatever that stuff is called. Good as new, good to go. The longer you go between cleanings, the more elbow grease you will need to use.

      • anon. gardener

        Re: red film on shower curtain and tub drain, google “Serratia marcescens” – that’s what it is. Bleach appears to be the answer.

    • It’s all over the city. The water supply is shocked once (twice?) a year as maintenance.

  • Rave: Finally starting to feel the Christmas spirit. Excited about going to see my family, buying presents, holiday cookie baking, vacay.
    Rave: I think I may be falling in the big “L”. Maybe. Just maybe.

  • Rant: Sister-in-law’s FIL/MIL arriving in two days, SIL/BIL arriving in three, my family arriving in four days. And we ain’t nearly prepared to entertain all these folks.

    Rave: Lucky to have everyone in town for Christmas. (And my loving wife surprised me with an early Xmas present of Odell beers to help me get into the holiday spirit, hehehe).

  • Rant: In response to the CT shooting, my inlaws are buying more guns.
    Rant: Already tense political conversations will be awful.
    Rave: I get to come home to a DC that will be quiet and stress free. I love being in the city when everyone else leaves and I will have time off to enjoy it.

  • Rant: Someone stole my bike out of the bike room at my apartment building. Granted, it wasn’t locked up, but c’mon!

    If you see a black Globe men’s bike with a black and white NJ sticker on the frame, call or text me – 713-487-5381.

    Thank you PoPville!

  • Rant: Constantly brining up “mental illness” as a likely explanation for the shooting in Connecticut when the only issue the shooter may have had (according to unconfirmed reports) is Asperger Syndrome. Based on what I have read, Asperger is on the autism spectrum and is not considered to be a “mental illness.” Obviously, someone who murders 26 people, including 20 kids, is crazy. But not all crazy is capable of being quantified by a medical diagnosis.

    Rant: God bless Senator Inouye, but why was an 88-year old 3rd in line to be President? Yeah, I know the constitutional reason – I think it needs to be changed.

    • The way I understand Aspergers is is that it is a mild form of Autism. Don’t get on my case if you have a better understanding, this is what I heard on the news. Take it up with media instead. Anyway, I think it would be a shame to blame Aspergers as the culprit here because apparently there are plenty of Aspergers who would not behave this way. As for mental illness comments whenever some awful tragedy takes place, people need to understand why someone would do this. I guess if you look at people who have committed similarly horrible acts, you could find that they suffer from delusions or visions or what not. You could also say that, to some degree, everyone has some form of “mental illness” depending upon how you want to define mental illness. I think the larger part of the discussion of mental illness that needs to take place is how we as a larger society look at mental illness. If it weren’t seen as such a “shameful” thing, maybe people wouldn’t be “secretive” about it and we could help people by not casting aspersions on them because they are “different.”

      • Of course, it will probably be a while (if ever) before we know the whole story, but I’ve actually wondered if the Asperger’s theory was either an assumption that acquaintences/observers made (and the mother didn’t correct) or a cover that the mother used to explain her son’s odd behavior, out of embarrassment at the stigma of a serious mental illness like schitzophrenia. (Or a lack of awareness that something more serious was going on. I’ve also wondered if the Asperger’s diagnosis was indeed correct, but if severe mental iillness began to manifest in the teenage years, on top of the Asperger’s.) Not that autism and Asperger’s aren’t still misunderstood and stigmatized, but at least in my opinion, autism disorders garner much more public sympathy–and have a much more vocal and visible parent-advocate community–compared to most mental illnesses.)

    • Agreed. Asperger’s is not a mental illness. Anyone who would murder 27 people is plainly crazy, in my opinion, but it wasn’t his Asperger’s that made him a homicidal maniac. Here is good opinion piece on the subject: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/18/opinion/dont-blame-autism-for-newtown.html.

  • Rant/Concern: I don’t know how things are going to pan out the cliffqestration, but I think I am not feeling optimistic about it, and feel that a lot of people are going to suffer for it. Win, loose, or draw, a number of people are going to see diminishing take home pay due to the tax policies they decide (or not decide) on, reduced working hours, and the rising cost of food and other commodities is going to further drive down the standard of living for a number of folks. While many people will be able to adjust to these changes, there are many people who will be put over the edge. It just breaks my heart.

    Rant: No one seems to care.

    Rant: On days like this, I don’t know who sounds more cavalier: The pampered housewife from McLean going on a diatribe about ‘takers’ while stroking her Birkin bag, or her counterpart in Takoma Park who declares that she does not pay enough taxes.

    • I think people care, I just think people aren’t reacting until they know how and where things will be going. The lack of reaction probably is more like people holding their breath until there is something specific and definite to which to react.

  • skj84

    Rant: It is a week till Christmas and I still don’t know if I’m off from work. No one will give me a straight answer and its really frustrating. I need to be able to plan my trip!

    Rant: Super stressed out from work BS, Relationship BS and home BS.

    Rant: There is no way it was 60 degrees out today! I left work excited for semi warmish weather and was unpleasantly shocked at how cold it was. Maybe I needed a warmer coat.

    Rave: Making dinner at home today! Steak and potato and green beans. Yum!

    • How can you possibly not know if you don’t have Christmas off yet? Are you working on the fiscal cliff negotiations? Heh.

  • I have 30 + years in the restaurant business -so I understand the variables – but there is no way any legitimate restaurant can’t tell you by now if you have Christmas off.

    And if you are any good – you can just quit – walk away – and easily get work elsewhere. Just reading this blog you wlll see how much people value good service.

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