Random Reader Rant and/or Revel


Photo by PoPville flickr user Eric Spiegel

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.

95 Comment

  • General Query – Tax advisor in downtown DC? Anyone have any recommendations?

    Rant: Frustrating dealing with daft people in very influential/important positions whose jobs involve paying attention to minute details but cannot figure out anything for themselves….even when it’s staring them in their face.

    Rave: Incredible gift from the coolest man alive, my grandfather.

    Rave: Planning out PTO for the first half of the year – I have a lot of awesomeness to look forward to!

    • Unless you have a complicated tax situation, my guess is you could handle it yourself through turbo tax and save some money. I have always used it and have found it suitable even when dealing with business income, depreciation of business assets and the like. It is a pretty good program and I have never “knock on wood” been audited.

      • novadancer

        I do taxes on the side (no I am NOT soliciting!). I have had clients leave to do it on their own only to come back when they realize when they do it they somehow owe! The tax programs are only as good as the operators (I used turbo tax the first year after I left public accounting) and found you had to really hunt thru some of the screens to get all the deductions.

        • You are probably right about the only good as the operator comment. I just remember going into H&R block the first time I ever had to file taxes and realizing that I was likely smarter than the person that was in there. I did them manually that year with the worksheets. I happen to believe that most people with a college education can do them themselves if they take the time to learn how to do it right. I am not denigrating your profession mind you, but public accounting is a bit more involved than your average 1040.

          • I know exactly what you mean. I’m not an accountant (not by a long shot!) but I’ve done my own taxes for 10+ years and I work at a volunteer tax prep program. While some of the low-income filers that we see do truly need some assistance (for example, they don’t have computer access to e-file, or they have literacy or math challenges), I think people get a HUGE mental block when it comes to taxes–and I’m referring not only to some of the volunteer-program clients, but to many friends and acquaintances, who I know are well-educated, savvy, hold down jobs that require critical thinking and dealing with complex issues, and are certainly no less capable of comprehending taxes than I am. Granted, some tax situations are indeed complicated (and it sounds like the original commenter falls into this category), but I know so many people who have one W-2, are dependent-less, don’t own a home, and at most maybe have a student loan interest deduction to claim or savings interest to report–yet have been conditioned to believe that taxes are so overwhelming and scary that it’s necessary to pay a provider upwards of $200.

      • Yea that’s what we’ve been doing (TurboTax/Quicken) and it’s getting pretty complicated now…so we’d love expert guidance.

  • Rant: Missed American Horror Story last night. I didn’t even realize it was back on! Hopefully I can dvr a rerun this week.

    Rave: Justified returns next week.

    • I too didn’t realize, ‘American Horror Story’ returned last night. Thank goodness for On Demand. I am a ‘Justified’ and Timothy Olyphant fan.

      I am glad a new episode of CBS ‘Person of Interest’ is coming on tonight. I enjoy watching this show every week.

  • RAVE: Hoping that I can afford to take a vacation this year……something I have not been able to do in 11 years.

  • Rave: Discovered who was eating all of the fruit at home.

    Rant: Cats have been tossing them down to my Shih Tzus to eat.

  • Another General Query – Anyone recommend a good moving company in the DC area?

    • Bookstore Movers. Having seen the size of the elevator in my building and looking at my furniture around me has convinced me these guys are magicians.

    • Great Scott Movers is awesome. They have moved me both when I had a little bit of stuff and a LOT of stuff. They were awesome in both circumstances. Highly Recommend.

      • Another vote for Great Scott–on budget, faster than expected, and not a scratch–and they are REALLY nice.

    • talula

      I had a great experience with My Truck Buddy. Nice people, they were on time, worked quickly, and not too expensive.

      • Ditto on My Truck Buddy! They were awesome – on time, friendly, easy to work with, and affordable.

      • I would also ditto My Truck Buddy. They were so helpful when I needed to reschedule and the guys who came to help were so friendly!

      • I used “My Truck Buddy” as well and don’t have enough good things to say. They were faster than the estimate, right on time, very helpful and friendly, and very upbeat about all the stairs they had to climb with my furniture. Thought they were great!

    • Haul Zing did a fantastic job for me. Definitely recommend.

    • Mitch the Mover. I had them pack and move all my stuff and it only took 3.5 hours. The guys were all super friendly and helpful. They were able to squeeze my treadmill through a doorway I never thought it’d get through and made sure it was working before they left. Really professional, cheaper than I thought, and wonderful!

  • Rave: It’s official, the “I love you’s” were said on New Years.
    Rave: Smiling all week since, best way ever to start 2013.
    Rave: So this is what all the fuss is about…

  • Rave: waiting for a start date for my new job!

    Rant: poor fiancé– problems at work and a bad car wreck. Hope his 2013 is better than the end of 2012.

    Rave: work comedy– I told someone off yesterday and she blamed it on my coworker. Even told the wrong manager. Bahahaha. So starting 2013 over again today….

  • rant turned into a rave: i do not sit anywhere near a window at work and since i get the SAD every winter, i decided this is not a good thing. so i took action, and got myself a sun lamp for my desk.
    rave: didn’t gain much weight over the holidays and still fitting into my skinny, “i’ve lost weight” clothes.

    • The window’s a mixed blessing. I sit by one and the natural light is great, but it can get chilly on these cold overcast days.

    • Humans were not meant to be deprived of natural light. The cubicle/internal office concept is the worst. Plus, as you probably already know, the SAD in winter can be entirely related to a lack of sunlight.

  • Rant: Moved the dog food (in plastic container, like ALL other food in our house) and three mice scurried away.

    Rave: Four mouse traps we ordered on Amazon arrived yesterday afternoon.

    Rave2: By the end of the night, the count was up to 8 mice down. Curious to see how many more we get today.

    Rant2: Mice are disgusting, but glad to get them out of the house.

    • Yuck. Mice are the worst.

      Have you figured out where they are coming from? Have you had this problem before?

    • I saw one running across my kitchen and started setting traps. I caught nine & think there is still at least one more. A Darwin mouse as s/he has been able to eat the bait (peanut butter) without springing the trap.

    • I just ordered mousetraps on Amazon too and should be getting them today. I have no experience with trapping mice, but the Kness SNAP-E Mouse traps had great reviews so I went with them. Fingers crossed that we’re both able to rid our houses of them quickly!

    • kyle-w, my next door neighbor is having a severe rodent problem. He’s capatured about 9 mice since moving into his apartment last April. The tenants living there before had bed bugs, mice, and roaches. I told him, I never had a rodent problem, however, I had a bed bug problem last summer.

      I don’t know what’s worst, mice or bed bugs. Both are disgusting to have.

      • Bed bugs are way worse. This is coming from someone who has had mice in a couple apartments but never bed bugs (knocking on wood furiously).

        • I think bed bugs would be a million times worse. They’re harder to get rid of, and they bite you. I can also say from experience that roaches are much worse than mice.

          • Interesting… I would’ve thought that mice would be even worse, but I’d never had them.

            When I was in graduate student housing, the guy upstairs from me had such a severe roach issue that the trickle-down was a huge problem in my apartment. At times, I was killing 5-10 roaches AN HOUR.

            I sprayed the baseboards every few weeks, kept all food in the fridge, and even had to keep my toothbrush in the fridge to keep roaches from molesting it. I couldn’t leave food unattended even for a minute, and once a roach walked up to my plate while I was eating a peanut butter sandwich.

            It was pretty traumatic.

          • I had a similar problem when I lived in Fairfax County; the house next door had an untreated roach problem that eventually trickled into my house. It took all summer to get rid of them because nothing was being done to address the source of the problem.

      • Bed bugs are certainly worse, we had those this summer. Cost $575 to get rid of them. This makes us sound like awful nasty people, but we aren’t. We keep a clean house, and have just been super unlucky!

        As far as mice, no clue where they are coming from, I assume the alley? I am 02 on our block, and 04, 06, 08, and 10 all had mice this fall. We were laughing about it one day on the porch. Just now thinking I probably should have tried to get the petition done to have the alley sprayed!

        As far as traps, I like these ones: Ortho 0321110 Home Defense Max Press ‘N Set Mouse Trap, 2-Pack

        Search Amazon. They are $5.28 for a two pack, and work like a charm. The mouse has to get way on there to get the bait, and there are three edges that hit him, causing death instantly, easy to re-set and re-use.

        • I think mice like to move in this time of year because A) it’s cold and B) a lot of us were on vacation so they weren’t scared away by the presence of humans and pets.

          • Try and figure out how they are coming in, and patch the holes with plain old steel wool–we found a small hole under the sink around the pipe, plugged it with steel wool, and never saw them again. Good luck!!!

  • Rave: Engaged! Planning for a super speedy wedding so I don’t have time to turn into bridezilla.

    I already perused all the wedding related advice on PoP, but have 2 questions for PoP readers: is the interior room where you get married in DC courthouse super depressing?

    And does anyone have any ideas for a nice party place – thinking like a second floor of a bar – just for a small 30-50 people – cocktail reception with some dancing. Ok, who am I kidding, with lots of dancing.

    • Try Darlington House in Dupont. They have a cute upstairs that can be used for weddings and it’s not too expensive for 30 – 40. I got married at the Heurich House – it was gorgeous and relatively affordable.

    • I got married in the DC Courthouse. I wouldn’t say it’s super depressing, but it doesn’t have much character. It’s a small-ish room with a trellis with plastic flowers in the front that you stand in front of. I personally really liked the officiant we got, but that’s just luck of the draw. You might be able to see the room if you stop by sometime when there isn’t a wedding going on (you could call to find out if there’s a time).

    • Congratulations Maria! What a great way to start the new year :)

    • Thanks for the advice!

    • My friends had a small reception on the second floor of Vinoteca and it was great.

    • Congratulations, Maria!

      People are always recommending the second floor of Science Club as an affordable option for a private party. Maybe look into that?

  • Rant: I had to call the police on my neighbors for making too much noise stomping, walking hard, and constantly dropping objects on the floor and they have carpet. I hope the property management company make them move out in 2013. Tenants should be considerate of their neighbors living in an apartment building by not making too much noise and stomping and walking like elephants over others heads.

    • Did the police actually show up for a noise complaint? They have a hard enough time responding to actual crime scenes.

      • LOL@zero_sum; Police Officers from the 4th District did respond and we upstairs to speak with them. I also sent an email to the Property Manager and Landlord. Management sent out a Memo right before Christmas about safety in the building and not putting sticks and rocks into the front door to get into the building. The Memo also mentioned to tenants be nice to their neighbors duing the holidays and not letting their unruly children run and play in the hallways and inside apartments.

    • Tenants should be considerate, but when I saw “I had to call the police on my neighbors for making too much noise,” I assumed it was going to be followed by a description of a loud/late party, loud music, etc. — not a description of everyday people-living-upstairs noise.

    • You should come meet the guy that lives above me. Old building, hard wood floors – noice is unavoidable and understandable..

      But my walls shake when he walks around his apartment – I rarely need an alarm clock, as the minute he is awake and moving, I know about it. He stomps louder than a herd of elephants. He sits on his bed and drops his boots from 3 feet up, he is constantly thumping around (until 4 am on weekends), he will put on boots and pace back and forth while he talks on the phone, he has some sort of rolling workout tool that he uses back and forth and back and forth… and now he seems to have aquired a girlfriend who never takes of her high heels unless they are sexing it up (she ain’t quiet.. and he’s a moaner).

      I tried talking to him – (I was very polite – apologetic like, not in ANY way harassing) and he basically told me to fuck off. So now, when I know he is hungover/out late… I sometimes throw a tennis ball at the ceiling on the weekends. I figure if he wakes me up at 4 am, I can wake him up at 10.

  • Rant: 2013 is already looking shit tastic financially for me. Take home pay has decreased because this year I’ll need more comprehensive benefits and flex spending coverage, and entering the 3rd year of a pay freeze, it is starting to become more difficult to try to be comfortable in planning a future (kids?). Condo assessment, dog needs surgery in both knees (ACL/miniscus damage), we sold a lot of assets to pay for the down payment for our condo so we owe capital gains on those assets. It’s not even the first week of January and we’re looking at $11000 in bills.

    I don’t “feel greatful to have a job/benefits”. These are things I’ve worked hard to achieve in life, and I’ve been working since I was 16 years old with almost no stopping. I choose where I work, sure, but if I had known 8 years ago that it would mean stagnent pay and an inability to feel comfortable with bill paying when I was almost 32 years old, I might have chosen a different path. And after two combat deployments, my husband feels lucky to have any job with so many unemployed vets.

    However, I don’t appreciate this talk of how important the middle class is while there are people like my husband and me who have been living well within our means but still find it difficult to save money for our future, let alone do the things we want like maybe take a honeymoon (2 years after a wedding and nothing). It’s all bullshit. I’m not a fan of 2013.

    • Sorry…I don’t want to sound too horribly bitchy. I mean, I am happy to have a job and health care, but when you find out how expensive health care is even with insurance when you’re facing a health issue, it’s all depressing. Add to that my dog – my baby, since we don’t have one – needing surgeries, and the other expenses…it’s all very depressing and defeating.

      I know we’re better off than many people (no real student loans to speak of), but I hate that when it rains, it pours, and makes it difficult to enjoy life.
      rant over!

      • Perhaps try and rent your condo for inauguration? We got $1350 for three nights. Will help put a dent in those bills. Sucks, because we found out a week after our rowhouse rented that our dog/baby needed surgery as well. $1800-$2000. Dangit.

        • My husband is (as of now) in the parade (military), so I couldn’t do that. He invited his mother to stay with us, so…I’d love to go somewhere to not be home that weekend. But doesn’t seem like a good idea if I have to get back for work on that tuesday. When it was a 4-day weekend…now THAT was lovely!

    • Not to put down your rant at all (seriously, sucks!) but at least at almost 32 you own a condo and can afford a dog. I’m in my late 20′s and won’t be owning any property until who knows when, still have to live with roommates in order to put any money into savings, and still have never had a pet because I feel I can’t justify the expense. Grumble.

      let’s all whine together, woooo.

      • Oh, very true – but I’ve been saving since I was 16 for said condo, and as horrible as the deployments were, my husband going to war has definitely helped us afford stuff like that. But all that money is gone to the down payment. And without a dog, I would have gone mad while he was gone. There is a lot of alone time when you’re a military spouse in the DC area. Which is fine because most military wives aren’t my cup of tea!
        But yes, it’s true – I am glad my only roommates are one I’m married to and one with 4 legs!

    • Sorry you don’t feel grateful for what you have, but it really does sound like you’re doing better than most.

    • I’m sorry. The only good thing about “when it rains it pours” situations is that there is a non-rainy time around the corner somewhere… which does nothing to help you now of course. :/

  • Revel: I sort of love days that I decide “I’m grumpy and I’m just going to overeat all day long and be happy about it rarrrr!” Can’t wait for lunch #2 later this afternoon…

    Rant: Coming back to work after a long holiday break is really, really hard.

  • Rant: Moving.

    Rave: Moving on.

    Rant: Trying to move and sign up for courses, waiting until the last minute for everything like usual. Put on wait list for one of the more important classes I need. Feeling like tearing all my hair out right now.

    Rant: Does anyone know where to dump an old couch (I live in an apt building, and there is no “trash” room or anything like that.) It’s old and covered in dog hair, I don’t think anyone would take this thing.

    • Please don’t leave it on the curb, which is apparently a DC custom – “stuff you don’t want? leave it on the curb! It’ll go away eventually”

      But I don’t know who takes that stuff away around here…

    • Call your building management company. Depending on their policy, you might be on the hook for disposing of it yourself (through a junk removal company or something).

    • Try Freecycle DC first to get rid of it (use Google to find the Yahoo group). If I were you, I’d take a vacuum and a lint roller to clean it up and make it a bit more presentable. Also post it on CL. Someone else with a dog might actually want it!

      If that fails, then you need to call the DC Department of Sanitation to schedule a pick-up. They will collect it for free, so long as you leave it in the proper spot on the scheduled day. They’re pretty strict about how early to put it out, where it needs to be, etc.

    • GiantSquid

      We had to dispose of a chair and ottoman no one wanted. Rent a Ziptruck for three hours, dump the sofa in the back, drive up to the transfer station near CUA, and dispose of it. The caveat is you must be a DC resident.

  • RAVE: Just paid my last tuition payment for my masters degree. I will be graduating debt-free, which I consider a major accomplishment (no help from the parental units). Hooray!

    Rant/Rave: I’ve spent almost a decade in DC, and I’m beginning to plan my eventual exit from the city. Flying has become too much of a hassle, and the metro has been crumbling for years, leaving us with unreliable service and long waits (especially on the weekends). Maybe it is because I’m a decade older, but transportation is just annoying in this area.

  • rant: not feeling well
    rave: going home early to avoid feeling worse!
    rant: still have to work once i get home. in reality, i just want to watch old episodes of the OC/Greys Anatomy on tv
    rave: I was told that I seem content recently, that was nice that others noticed. Still lots to do though!

  • Rant/Rave-not sure at this point. Just got back from 39 week OB apt and was told I have to be induced starting this afternoon. Was NOT expecting that all. Worried this is all leading to a c-section.
    Rave-enjoying a great piece of lasagna right now. Who knows when I will get another decent meal.
    Rave 2- good medical care (even if it does feel invasive at times) for my baby

    • Prince Of Petworth

      Wishing you the best!!!

    • PDMtP

      39 is a nice, healthy run – we’re at 34 and just starting to relax a little. Sounds like you have really good care, and I’m sure everything will be fine. Enjoy the lasagna, and best to you and the little-one-to-be!

    • Good luck soon to be mom!

    • Good luck and congratulations on your new family member!

    • Congratulations!

    • I had to have a c-section after my induction. It’s not the end of the world – just make sure they take the foley out ASAP after you and get up and moving as soon as the epidural wears off (if you can). Moving helps the healing process. Also, ask for a stool softener (embarrassing, I know).

      I didn’t eat for about 48 hours after I delivered, but in all honesty I wasn’t all that hungry. After they start the induction they give you lots of fluids, and I think I was so pumped full of that and adrenaline that I didn’t feel the need to eat. Thirsty – yes. Very thirsty.

      • well i know this is TMI, but i loved my foley. they had to fight to take it out. called the attachment my “golden purse.” nothing like drinking all the fluids you want and never ever having to get up and pee.

  • Rant/rave/psa:

    While walking the dogs yesterday, I saw 2 guys out of the corner of my eye stealing a package from my neighbor’s porch. I called them out, and they actually walked back and returned it (rave?).

    Anyhow, may have just been a crime of opportunity, but this incident was near eastern market and involved two black males between 17 and 20 years old, one in a brown hooded cost and the other in a black hooded coat, carrying plastic Safeway bags. I didn’t see any other packages in their possession.

    • Anonymous, you are awesome. Thanks for looking out for your neighbor. :) I live near Eastern Market and order stuff online all the time, and miraculously have not had a single package stolen yet.

  • Rant: Ex from 3 months ago is engaged
    Rave: I didn’t have my flack jacket on – but still dodged that bullet
    Rant: Feel like a bitter/jealous idiot despite above Rave.

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