Random Reader Rant and/or Revel


Photo by PoPville flickr member jacquesofalltrades

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.

96 Comment

  • Rave: Snow
    Rant: Not enough!

  • Rave: Beautiful white snow! :)
    Rant: Still have to work. :(

  • PREEMPTIVE RANT: The jerks who won’t shovel & salt the sidewalks in front of their buildings. The commute home is going to be a slippery, frozen mess and will probably remain that way for a few days. I wish the police would go out and ticket buildings that don’t shovel. It’s dangerous for everyone, especially senior citizens!

    • people have 24 hours after the snow ends to clear their sidewalks of snow by regulation. After the 24 hours expires, the city can start ticketing (or however they do it). I doubt that the half-inch of snow we got overnight will lead to ticketing because it’s so little snow.

      Wear a decent pair of shoes/boots and watch where you step.

      The inability of people to deal with snow in this city still shocks me after being here a decade.

      • The inability to “deal with snow” stems from morons and the city not clearing the sidewalks and roads in a timely manner. Either due to lack of resources or pure laziness.

        I’m all for giving people the legally allotted amount of time to clean up, but I hope the city starts ticketing once the 24 hours are up. I can deal with the snow & ice just fine; I’m more concerned about my elderly and disabled neighbors who can’t navigate sidewalks when they go to catch the bus or buy groceries.

        • Angry much? Sheesh.

        • This is one of my pet peeves too. I shovel my walk from edge to edge, and I do it as soon as the snow stops. In addition to being the law, it’s basic neighborly courtesy. The worst offenders seem to be small condo conversions. Big buildings hire people. Single-family home owners by and large shovel. But in the small condo buildings it seems that often no one takes responsibility.

          • THIS. I’m in the U Street area and there’s lots of small building condo conversions. These are always the worst offenders. I’d say 80% of townhouse owners clear the path (20% seem to not care), as do large buildings with maintenance staff on duty.

            I will probably wait until tomorrow to see who hasn’t cleared out and then call 311. It’s a bad problem and there’s actually quite a few elderly residents in the neighborhood who have problems with the icy sidewalks (they are in the Garfield Houses and Casa Iris).

          • Emilie504

            Fucking Starbucks in my neighborhood never shovels. One would think they would like to make it easy for their customers to give them money without falling and suing.

      • I come from an area with lots of snow and I don’t think it’s an either/or issue. A good pair of boots is not going to save you from a random patch of ice (especially black ice) because someone didn’t bother to put salt down.

      • Tell that to seniors and people with disabilities.

        • They should move to Florida or Arizona.

          • Arizona or Florida might be nice, climate-wise, but the flip side is that the DC area is probably better for certain elderly and disabled individuals in some ways–chiefly, in public transportation. There are far fewer options for getting around in Sunbelt cities for those who don’t drive, either for fixed income/financial reasons or because their age or disability makes it difficult to operate a car (physical limitations, a drop-off in comfort level, decreased reaction time, eyesight issues, etc.)

    • I had this problem too! It was quite slippery around the portrait gallery this morning. I’m definitely walking a different way when I go home. I love the snow, but be careful out there, folks!

    • I feel your pain so hard. I work in a very residential area in Bethesda, and it’s a half mile trek from the nearest bus stop up a side walk with tons of sloping driveways and no traffic lights and a high volume of traffic. On a normal day, it’s not a fun walk.

    • There’s hardly any to clear! I find that it’s easier to walk on the fresh snow than on the partially scraped/shovelled snow on the sidewalk. It’s less slippery.

      • Exactly. You don’t need to shovel, and certainly not to salt. You need to sweep this kind of dusting. Get sweeping, people.

      • Talk to us after the walk home. Sure, it’s nice to be the first person to walk through an inch of fresh snow. But after a day of traffic when it’s all packed down and icy? Treacherous. Clear it and salt it early. It’s the only decent way to be.

        • +1. That’s why I said in my original posting that tonight will suck. The temps won’t get above the freezing point until another 36 hours from now. All that snow will be sheets of ice by tonight, if they were not shoveled/swept this morning. And once it becomes ice, people are even less likely to clear the sidewalk because it requires a lot more effort and tools (you need the long pole ice pick).

  • Rant: Something has to give – either people need to start high-stepping it on and off trains during rush hour or the conductors need to keep the doors open 10 seconds longer. Every single stop on both trains this a.m. the “ding-dong” signaling the closing of the doors came before all those wanting to get off had done so and/or those wanting to get on had done so.

    • Did you send a note to metro about it? It’s worth a try. I’ve written letters of complaint to them about buses before and they have been responsive.

      • I have not done so but may. Frankly I don’t know that it would do much good because the Metro seems to prize keeping to a schedule above all else. They think that if you get caught in the doors after the warning bell rings, it’s your fault. I have noticed that some conductors hit the bell early to get people moving quicker. They will trigger the bell a couple of times before closing the doors.

  • MsNesbitt

    Rant: Really over working at a job where all I do are tasks that others feel they are “too important” to do. Feeling very demeaned at work this week.

    Rave: Interview next week could lead me to a way out!

    • I’m an admin assistant–I feel your pain. Sometimes I really have to bite my tongue and force a smile.

      • I feel the pain even though I’m not in admin – I’m simply a civilian working for a bunch of officers and they really, really think tasks like refilling paper in the printer or answering the phones are below them. I was on a work related call and the other lines were ringing off the hook because no one would answer. It’s ridiculous. Yet when I worked for a Member of Congress, he’d answer the phone if we were all busy. His theory was “no one is too important to answer a phone”.

    • But heaven forbid you ever get sick or go on vacation. The whole place grinds to a halt while the important people try to figure out how to re-set the wireless router or change the toner.

      • MsNesbitt

        Yep! My favorite are emails that say things like, “could you tell me the phone number to X restaurant?” In the time it took you to email me that request, you could have gone to Google and gotten the answer. And then, if I dare not respond to the email immediately because I’m working on another task and didn’t see the message.. watch out!

        Thanks for commiserating with me today, y’all :)

        • YES! When I had a more admin-focused job, I didn’t mind so much the tasks like “can you find these 50 e-mail addresses for me”–ie, stuff that would clearly take up a lot of my boss’ time to do herself and that was precisely the point of having a program assistant. I did, however, develop a pet peeve about nonsense requests like “please e-mail such-and-such co-worker to tell him I’ll be 10 minutes late for our call”…ummm, in the time it took you to send me that e-mail request, you could have e-mailed him yourself!

  • Rave: Snow!
    Rave: Yesterday, I made one step towards “making a break for it” and was wholeheartedly supported and encouraged. It was confirming and freeing and now I need to put in the work! Thanks Popville for the encouragement and ass kicking :-D.

  • Rant: woke up sick. Throat hurts.
    Rave: I stayed home. Working from bed.

  • Rave: It snowed and life remained normal in the DC area.

    Rave: Got to do donuts in the parking lot at work before anyone else showed up!

  • Rant: landlord is jacking my rent up next year, we don’t renew til July. Now I have to think about moving for the next 6 months, which will make it the third move in 3 years. The moves were more about trying to find a neighborhood / house I like (went clarendon to U st to current place in dupont).

    Are there any affordable (i.e. 1200$ or below for a room in a nice house) neighborhoods in the city still? Is H still feasible for finding a good deal? I’m one of the few idiots in the city who pays DC rent and works way out in MD; parking is the real caveat that makes the search more difficult.

  • Rave: Snow
    Rant: I’m not home enjoying it with a cup of Kelly’s Cocoa
    Rave: commute was easy
    Rant: People are getting worse and worse at moving to the middle of cars on Metro and are clustering around doors. There are open seats but I can’t get from the door to the open seats due to the massive crowds. I suppose this is motivation to get up earlier and take the bus.

    • Just push your way through as nicely as possible, I do it all the time. I’m not trying to knock anyone down but there are more people behind me trying to get on the train and we can’t all stand right there by the door. So if folks insist on stopping just inside the train, I’m not wasting anyone’s time by politely waiting for them to get settled so I can scooch by without bothering them.

    • As a fellow move-quickly-to-the-center rider, I empathize!

  • So my wife went to the Mt. Pleasant library yesterday afternoon but said it was closed due to a fire, which I haven’t heard anything about in the news.

    • My friend is a librarian there… it was a sprinkler malfunction, so I guess maybe it registered with emergency services as a fire until they figured out what it actually was. I think it’s back open today.

  • Rant: Seeing on the Post’s home page that your boss is being replaced

    Rave: Job leads in New York, Singapore and a high-profile federal agency

  • Rant:I’ve always been a happy person but I’m currently dealing with depression.
    Rave: It will get better.

    • I feel your pain. I too am suffering from serious depression and I don’t understand it since up until a few years ago, I was always the happiest person in the room. My therapist doesn’t even have an answer for me other than go on meds, which I’m reluctant to do. I know I need to find a new therapist, but I don’t have the time or energy to do that since it took me so long to find her (so few therapists accept my insurance and work evenings or weekends…the only time I can meet).

      • Do you like her other than her recommending that you go on meds? Might you be willing to share her name?

        • I’m not comfortable sharing her name. 1 out of every 5 sessions, I think she’s great…it’s the other 4 that I question.

    • msmaryedith

      This article made me feel a little better recently: http://www.cnn.com/2012/04/01/health/gallman-depression/index.html I definitely related!

    • I have a lot of sympathy for all of you who suffer from depression. If you are depressed, I would recommend that you see a physciatrist for evaluation in addition to a therapist. Psychiatrists are much better than a general practioner in prescribing and managing medication, especially if you have treatment resistant depression.

      It’s amazing the difference that the right medication can have on your life whether you have situational depression or major depression. And you are absolutelu right, it does get better. Best wishes.

      • msmaryedith

        I do really appreciate where you are coming from carbonita, but it is SO HARD to find a decent psychologist/therapist OR psychiatrist here in DC, though–speaking from experience. I tried everything–Washingtonian’s “best” list, recommendations from friends of friends, etc, etc. So many don’t take insurance, or don’t accept new patients. Especially when you are trying to get insurance to cover it, it is almost more than a depressed person can handle.

        And honestly, even the “best” psychiatrist I went to seemed less in tune with my body, etc than my nurse practitioner. It is an extraordinarily energy-zapping and frustrating process, and when you already are at your wit’s end, it’s almost impossible. Mental health services/coverage in this country are abysmal. I have decent insurance, and it barely made a dent in the exorbitant costs, and when you have to keep looking and looking to find the right medication, dosage, etc, it can quickly escalate beyond what is doable from a financial standpoint, and otherwise. My nurse practitioner honestly ended up being my greatest asset in dealing with all this.

        Depression is no joke. I hope things get better soon, DClady.

        • I agree with you 100% (I’m the second poster in this series). It’s too difficult while you’re depressed to find a new, decent psychologist who is even somewhat in tune with you AND accepts your insurance AND will take new patients AND doesn’t just have appointments in the middle of the work day, let alone a psychiatrist with all of the same requirements who isn’t about to push meds (I’m trying to get pregnant, so meds are not an option).

  • Rant: Waiting for the bus in the snow.

    Rave: Waiting for the bus in the snow!

    Rant: Was stupid and didn’t wear proper footwear. By the time I got off the bus, I could barely walk into the building because I couldn’t feel my toes!

    Rave: Lots of creative outlets at work today!

    Rave: Last night’s episode of Top Chef! We were literally CHEERING at the elimination!

    Random: I was having a conversation with someone from upstate New York this week (and I’m from the midwest), and we agree that the cold in DC is different from the cold elsewhere. Are we crazy?

    • Grew up in NY and went to school in the midwest. The only thing I find different about the cold here is that so many people can’t deal with it.

      Here is a pro-tip for those of you finding it hard to deal with freezing temperatures: If you put your winter coat on went the temperatures get below 60 your body will not adjust and you will have nothing to upgrade to as it gets colder.

    • A little bit. The winter here isn’t really that bad. You want to feel really “different” cold – try Chicago. I moved back to Denver after one winter there.

      • Try Copenhagen, where’s it’s wet and cold most of the winter, and you get about 4 hours of sunlight.

        • binpetworth

          Amen. Lived there 3 years. Only time in my life I had Seasonal Affective Disorder. And in summer could never sleep because of the light.

        • I lived in Copenhagen and while the lack of sun gets to you, it never thought it was really that cold. It was worth it to have 19 hours of day light the other half of the year

    • Not crazy. I lived in a small western mountain town most of my formative years, where it got very cold no doubt, but something about DC feels, mmmm, moister to me? Hard to put into word. But we’re not crazy (at least for thinking that there are different types of “cold”)

      • Completely true. In Salt Lake, it’s 25 degrees, I wear jeans, sweater, coats mittens and I am fine. Here, it’s 25 and I can’t get enough layers on. And no matter what I do, my feet are always so damn cold.

  • Rant – still in refi hell. Despite having had a totally legal totally separate basement apt. in my home, with separate Pepco meters, mechanical etc. collecting rent and declaring it as such on my taxes for 6 years – the lender is now saying that if the apt. is “below grade” they still classify this as a single family dwelling and won’t count the rental income as part of my income!

    Also, they can’t actually decide what “below grade” means! Back door is pretty much street level, front door is 5 steps down.

    Yet other lenders had already refused me from the get-go because it was classified as a “multi-family” dwelling and they only refi for single family dwellings.

    Rave: a lapfull of kittens who have almost learned not to walk on my keyboard.

    • a lap-full of kittens totally makes up for any rant.

    • This is helpful info. I’m in the refi process and couldn’t figure out why the lender was asking if our basement unit was above or below grade… even though i had earlier sent a link to an online tour of our house.

    • OMG I so feel your pain. After 3months, my refinance was approved yesterday. Was to happen 2 weeks ago and day before closing they asked for proof of my basement unit- kitchen being legal. Well I bought the home already converted to 2-Units, which is seperately metered as well yet DC couldn’t find could couldn’t find any permits before my purchased date. Yet my property is zoned and have been taxed at 2-Unit since owning it. Anyways they took my tax records as proof. Hang in there!!

  • Rave: New Deli
    Rant: New Delhi

  • Emilie504

    Rant: At noon it’s 23 degrees.

    Rave: My apartment is warm and toasty.

    Rant: I’m at work and my office is freezing.

    Rave: Office fur.

  • omgourd

    RANT: Power outage while interviewing over the phone. Walking the halls of current job to sell myself is stressful. If they liked me after that they must like me when I am in good conditions, right?
    RAVEXinfinity: Planning a trip out of DC for a day long in person interview.. *HAPPY DANCE*

  • novadancer

    rave: finally got to wear my cute artic weather boots I got in Germany last Feb! Serious traction can make all the difference…. at 5’3 I was overtaking everyone on my walk to work :)

  • Rant: Our dogs (or one of them most likely) tore up our house yesterday. They ripped magazines, played w/ our GPS and cameras, bit/ate a pair of flip-flops, and most disturbingly, took a whole bunch of garlic off our kitchen counter.
    The younger one then paced from living room to kitchen several times while I wondered what the heck he was doing. Turns out, he really needed to poop. So, he projectile shat all over the living room floor and splattered the walls with it. He pooped all over our Swifter mop as well so I had to clean that before I could clean the walls/floor. I puked 4 times cleaning it up and gagged the rest of the night when I caught a whiff.

    Rant II: Had to open all the windows to air out the house while it was 15 degrees out.

    Rant III: Up at 3:30 AM to take the wife to the airport and I. Can. Not. Think. Straight right now.

    • Oh my. That sounds like an absolute nightmare. As I was reading the list of things, I thought it couldn’t get any worse, and it did. Hope you have a better day!

    • anon. gardener

      Sorry, this made me chuckle – memories! The same kind of thing happened with our dog, but luckily for us he was confined to his crate when all the projectiling went on. He stole and ate an entire rotisserie chicken, bones and all. (I don’t know how he survived it. Lysol cleaner in a carpet steam machine does wonders.) 4 years later, we laugh about it, but at the time it was no laughing matter. I’m sure your dog feels sorry. Hope you get a good night’s sleep!

    • So sorry!! You just gave me so much perspective. My boyfriend and I came home the other night and my three year old pup had taken my palmetto basket from Charleston that contained Ferraro Rocher chocolates (dark/white/milk) and ripped the basket to shreds and ate at least 6 chocolates, wrappers and all. I never leave things on our coffee table but had just put it out the night before because we had guests and we were gone for maybe 2 1/2 hours. She couldn’t help herself and took the opportunity. We read to burn some bread (I did over the stove), mix it with water, and it acts like a natural bind to help prevent stomach issues. Success – she was completely fine. Dogs are durable. Unfortunately – our stuff isn’t as tough :(

      • anon. gardener

        Ouch! Those baskets aren’t cheap! Good excuse to visit again I guess…

        Once my sister’s dog ate an entire dish of foil covered Dove chocolates – foil and all. she got him to barf some of it up, but he raced around like a dog on speed for the rest of the day, looking at us like “please, make it stop.” Another friend’s dog ate her mattress…

  • Three weeks in on my working with a nutritionist and I’ve lost eight pounds! And I haven’t even felt hungry or deprived. Now to get my butt exercising more regularly…

  • Rave: The person across the street this morning who was clearing snow off of his sidewalk.

    Rant: He was doing it with a leaf blower. At 5:30. WTF.

    • LOL. I know that this must have annoyed the hell out of you, but it’s pretty funny to imagine the scene. Maybe talk to him or leave a note asking him to buy a shovel or wait until 7am to clear the walk with his leaf blower?

      • Reminds me of one of my favorite jokes.

        Why was the snowman so happy?

        Because he saw that the snowblower was coming.

    • squish

      Honestly, it has snowed and stuck once in approximately 3 years in DC. The odds of him doing that again are low. You also didn’t have to hear the World’s Worst Sound: scraping metal against concrete. You should thank him for thinking outside the box!

  • Rant: It’s too cold out.
    Revel: You picked my photo for the post!

  • Rave: Had a 1st and 2nd interview for a Gov Job!
    Question: Anyone with Gov Job experience know how long it may take from 2nd interview to hearing something back?

    • anon. gardener

      Hiring officials are supposed to aim for an 80 day timeline – 80 days from submitting paperwork for an announcement to EOD. Go to OPM’s website and search “hiring reform” – you’ll find the timeline all spelled out. From 2nd interview to offer should be pretty quick.

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