Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr member caroline.angelo

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.

37 Comment

  • pablo .raw

    rant: at work
    rave: I have a job

  • Rant: ditto
    Rave: ditto

    • Likewise! Co-worker on maternity leave so… work x2 for me! Plus, it probably takes me twice as long to do her tasks since it’s not my area of expertise and I’m still getting up to speed. (Trying not to feel aggrieved about it, though…it is what it is, and she’s a great, hardworking colleague who would do the same for me or anyone else in our program, if it came to that. The downside of my being the only childless employee on the team, I guess!)

  • Rave: snow
    Rant: salt

  • Rant: Memo from property manager confirms my apartment building has a serial package thief. I was hoping this crap would let up post-holidays, but one package of mine went missing earlier this week, and last night my Amazon.com box looked like someone cut the tape on the ends and rummaged around inside. (This is after many months of living there with no such problems.)

    Small rave: Semi-hilariously, the scoundrel must have been highly disappointed to find a bunch of books about the personal finance industry, greens, green smoothies, and vegan cooking…because nothing from the Amazon box was missing. (Small rave #2: I think I can probably get away with having packages shipped to work from now on.)

      • Thanks, I’ll have to look into that! Hopefully their line about partnering with certain other shippers includes UPS, since that’s who ships a majority of the things I tend order online. This could be a great alternative to shipping to work…we don’t have an explicit policy against doing so, but I want to be judicious about it so the office manager doesn’t think I’m using the place as my own personal mailroom.

  • Anyone have any suggestions about retrieving a wallet left in a cab? Lost it last night, not sure what cab company (gray minivan taken from 14th street), DC Taxi Commission lost and found isn’t open until Monday morning.


    • Oh, man. Shot in the dark, but…maybe look up the numbers for as many local cab companies you can find, and just start cold-calling to inquire if anyone’s turned in a wallet? (Unless there are too many. I almost never take cabs, so I have no idea.) You might want to cancel all your cards ASAP (if you haven’t already)…even if you find the wallet fully intact, there’s no telling if someone might have used the cards or copied down the numbers and expiration dates to use at a later time. Good luck to you!

    • It’s possible whoever got into the cab after you found it and turned it in– I’ve returned phones that I found left behind in cabs. Otherwise I’d assume it’s gone. Definitely cancel your cards right away.

  • Rant: I hate we live in a political correct society. People should be able to say how truly they feel in their hearts on issues. I live in an apartment building where everytime there’s a vacancy, it’s always a Central American couple with a lot of children moving into a 1 bedroom or a studio apartment. I don’t understand why my management company can’t attract some single/couple that’s college educated and professional?

    • P.S. My comment was meant to be racist. However, where is the diversity in the Ward 4 apartment building where I live? Central Americans and their kids have overcrowded most apartment buildings and the D.C. Government looks the other way. Overcrowd building will not be tolerated in the U Street, NW area or any other gentrified D.C. neighborhoods with new apartment buildings.

      Faints at computer……

      • wasn’t meant to be racist.

        Can you imagine being single and living in an apartment for 20 or 30 years and families start moving into the building overcrowding with lots of people and children running, stomping, and playing above your head or next door disturbing your quality of life?

        • Allison

          I kind of had the opposite experience. I moved into an apartment building a couple of years ago full of nice Central American families. They all moved out when management cracked down on the occupancy rules, and it was filled with fresh-out-of-college grads instead. My quality of life plummeted immediately. If I had to hear one more freaking Kesha song pounding through my walls from their lame ass party…… I moved out and found a nice building full of geriatrics instead. Ahhh 80+. My kind of people.

          • LOL; Don’t get me wrong, I have one wonderful Central American family on my floor and they don’t allow their kids to run wild. They are great neighbors and I would prefer them over other blacks and Central Americans living in the building. Yes some young wild college graduates can be wild with drinking and loud music. I prefer the late 30 something or 40ish college educate professionals moving into the building or some senior citizens like me. LOL

        • I had that problem in Annandale when I had a lot of immigrant neighbors. In the summer the male children would be outside screaming from 7am until 11pm, every single day. I couldn’t have a phone conversation inside the house without the person on the other end hearing it. The men of the families were nasty to us because we were women. The women and daughters we simply never saw. And we had to deal with roaches constantly trickling into our house from theirs (our exterminator was sure they had a big nest in there, and there was only so much he could do for us). I like diversity, but not when it infringes on my quality of life so much.

          • Anonymous, amen to your comment. I agree, I take pride in my environment and I keep my apartment immaculate. I don’t want to live around people that live like animals and have no disregard for their neighbors. However, we will be called a racist. I too support diversity, however, my quality of life should be destroyed. When people come to this country, they should learn to adapt to the laws here. They are no longer living in rural huts in their countries in the third world.

    • Umm….we kind of are able to say how we truly feel in our hearts about issues. You just did. And now I will: I truly feel in my heart that when people don’t mean for a comment to have racial (or racist) implications, they don’t gratuitously bring race into it. You don’t like having noisy neighbors; why is it so important to go beyond a complaint about specific behavior to point out that they’re “Central American”? Would it make any difference if all the families with kids were white, or black, or a racially mixed group?

      I sympathize with the desire for a quiet living environment, but hardly think lax enforcement of overcrowding is the government being “politically correct” (I’ve seen plenty of examples of white college kids or recent grads packing into apartments.) I’d speculate it’s more that the government lacks the resources to make crowding a high priority (relative to other landlord-tenant-housing issues); and the more expensive the building (ie, gentrified U St), the more likely it is to have a hands-on property management company that imposes stricter screening as far as occupancy.

  • Allison

    Rant: Making hotel reservations. Main pipe that services the entire building burst in my condo building and flooded the entire elevator shaft. No hot water, no cold water. Pipe is behind three feet of concrete and they haven’t even reached it to assess the damage. And this is after two weeks of not having water on and off due to actually *scheduled* maintenance. MAMA NEEDS A HOT SHOWER!!!!!!!! >:(

  • RANT: I am so incredibly bored with my significant other right now. He lost his job back in November. I put a hold on our plans for a wedding this May since as it is I already wasn’t sure about him, and then I refuse to go into debt to pay for a wedding. He’s upset about that. He’s cranky because he’s not working. I care about him a lot but right now I feel like I am stuck. We live together so I can’t leave and I can’t kick him out.

    • I was in a similar situation a couple years back. My partner went back to school instead of us getting married. Now he is in job that he loves & we are scheduled to get married this year. He doesn’t make great money, but he is happy & that’s what matters to me. It was tough though. He was cranky, because he felt like he could contribute to the house, but it got better. Part of marriage is about supporting each other in tough times. Take a deep breath. I know it can be hard… you also don’t need to get married right away. We have been together for 7 years & just now getting married. Once you make the decision to live together, you have practically made the decision to be committed to each other for a long time. I have also heard of some people who commit themselves to each other, but don’t get married, because they would be penalized on their taxes.

    • Commitment is hard and a rare thing to find anymore.

    • Not to go all Carolyn Hax on you, but you do have control. Only you can say if this is a blip because you’re going through a hard time or if the “already wasn’t sure about him” feeling was a deeper issue in the relationship worth heeding on a more permanent basis. But don’t feel trapped living with someone or especially making a more permanent commitment such as marriage just because you were living with him when he lost his job. Really think about it – maybe this is just a blip that some relationships go through, they happen in the best of relationships (like the first anon describes), but the fact that you seem to have already been not sure about him before this started seems like some further inquiry might be needed.

      Best of luck to you.

    • Maybe it’s time to try something different.

  • Rant: Some punk UDC students keep pulling the fire alarm at 4am in my 11-floor apartment building, the residents of which are mostly working adults. Second night in a row. Sometimes I wish rental age restrictions were legal…

    Rave: warmer weather and sunshine today!

    • Sarah, I understand how you feel. Unfortunately, we live in a political correct world. I wish there were adult buildings only with no children. However, HUD and the Carter Administration changed this back in the 70’s by saying adult buildings are discriminatory against families with children. I would think UDC students live at home because it’s a local school without dorms.? In my building, there’s overcrowding with lots of children running, screaming, and jumping in apartments and hallways.

      • After reading similar comments from you earlier in this thread, I have a RANT.

        Pretty cool that you summarize all of your annoyances with laments about how “we live in a politically correct world.” So, basically you hate it if anyone around you isn’t exactly like you, living your same schedule, with your same habits. Ever think that it’s not “the world” so much as it is YOUR intolerance against anything that you don’t like at that particular moment? You’re whiny. Maybe consider living somewhere more predictable, i.e. not a fast-paced ever-changing city with lots of different kinds of people and lifestyles.

        • DCtweedle, what are you talking about? I was born and raised in Washington, D.C. I have a right to live in a nice clean environment and my quality of life shouldn’t be disturbed. Some people need to raise their unruly children by teaching them not to run, play, throw trash in the hallway, and stomp over their neighbors head. Your asinine comment is typical of a liberal. I am over 50 years old and I shouldn’t have to move out of the District. You talk about diversity, where’s the diversity in many of the Ward 4 apartment buildings? Many properties are occupied by Central Americans. Where are the black and white individuals looking for an apartment? I am a black man, however, with gentrification taking place in the District, I don’t know why single professionals haven’t moved into this building. Bed bugs, roaches, and mice have plagued the property where I live. I don’t understand why the new owners want screen applicants carefully and enforce law and order. When the building was Coop., we never had these problems for 18 years. The majority of people that lived at this property back in the 80’s and 90’s were college educated single professionals. No one should have to tolerate loud noise, bed bugs, roaches, and mice due to overcrowding in apartment buildings. You have to be 62 years old to be able to move into a senior citizen building. I about 8 years to go before I qualify to move in a quiet building with all senior adults.

          • Despite being a liberal, I agree with you. Codes need to be enforced. Quality of life issues are vital. And people need to have respect for their neighbors.

            I’m sorry for your situation.

          • I sympathize with your frustrations over your living environment (although not the constant calling out of Central Americans and immigrants as the problem group)–of course, no one wants to live in an extremely noisy environment with lots of trash and vermin. But I think situations like this have very little to do with political correctness and much more to do with other phenomena like market forces (and I AM a liberal, so believe me, I don’t invoke market forces lightly! ;)), slumlording, and under-resourced local government agencies. I doubt any landlord is saying “ooh, let me rent to a bunch of noisy large families instead of charging higher rent to young, single professionals because I want to be politically correct!” I think you partially answered your own question about why the building doesn’t attract young professionals when you mentioned the problems with roaches, mice, and bedbugs; and I don’t know if there are other building quality or safety issues keeping newer tenants away. And unfortunately, it sounds like your landlord doesn’t care about putting much energy into keeping up the building. In fact, I’m sure your neighbors, even if they are noisy and inconsiderate sometimes, don’t love living among roaches, bedbugs, and mice either.

            While harping on the immigrant angle is unnecessary, it does sound like you have some valid quality of life grievances, and maybe there’s a constructive way to start working on them. Can you organize a tenants’ association to start addressing some of these issues–in a non-judgmental, “let’s all come together and work on improving the building” type of way? (For instance, starting by pressing the landlord, as an organized group, for better extermination services?) I’m a realist, so I’m not suggesting everyone will magically want to get involved right away (or ever) and that it will be some big cross-cultural love-fest. But sometimes when a couple of people kick things off, it motivates others to take some action and pride in their surroundings as well.

    • Even if age restrictions were legal (or, as the other commenter wants, adult-only buildings), it would always be something else. One guy in my building is in his late 20s but routinely has parties that are loud enough to rattle the dishes in the cupboards 2 floors above him and knock stuff off of his neighbor’s bookshelves. Age restrictions wouldn’t fix that. In the end, this the is price for living in the city. I’d rather deal with that than move out the the ‘burbs and live in a sterile single family home with no neighbors, no walkable neighborhoods, and have to commute an hour and a half each way every day.

      • Definitely agree to that—I’ll take fire alarms to the burbs any day! I think my comment this morning MAY have been written out of some sleep-deprived crankyness 🙂

      • Anon, it’s the same in the suburbs. You have overcrowded apartments in Hyattsville, Takoma Park, Silver Spring, Gathiersburg, etc. I was speaking with a Social Worker 2 weeks ago and she was complaining about Central Americans with lot’s of children living in her building playing loud music at all times of the night and letting their children run wild in the apartments and hallways. She stated, she asked them to turned down their music and their response to her, we are in America. For the record, I am not talking about only non-citizens. There are some black and white individuals I don’t want to live around. I will say this, Caucasians living across the park in Ward 3 will demand law and order in their communities and you will not see overcrowded apartments on Connecticut and Wisconsin Avenues, NW. Middle class or colleged educated blacks are suppose to shut up and be tolerate of this bad behavior in their neighborhoods or where they live.

        • I think it’s time for your nap.

        • I posted the comment above about a tenants’ association, and while I don’t necessarily condone this, it sounds as though some of the racially-tinged lashing out is coming from you being at the end of your rope over the way the conditions of your building have deteriorated over time. You mentioned that you have a “wonderful” Central American family living on your floor–could you perhaps enlist them as an ally in organizing other tenants? They may have more of a rapport with some of the other immigrant tenants because of language issues or peoples’ cultural comfort zones. Are there things that a small group of tenants could begin to press the landlord on–whether it’s a vermin problem, increased security, or whatnot–that are related to the conditions of the building as opposed to individual peoples’ behaviors? (I’m not suggesting that individual behavior is never a problem, just that it’s easier first to get some support for addressing general issues that affect everyone, since many people’s gut reaction is to get defensive when they feel someone’s criticizing their lifestyle or telling them how to act.) It’s also possible that if you make inroads on friendly relationships with other tenants through working with them on building problems, they’ll be more responsive if you ask gently if they mind keeping their music down late at night or whatnot. (As far as kids running around overhead, you might be out of luck on that one, other than finding a top-floor place.)

      • The price for living in the city? Bullshit. I live in the city and don’t have to deal with this.
        Also, these problems exist in the suburbs too.

  • wow. just, wow. @16th Street Heights, I love how you think that repeatedly saying “wasn’t mean to be racist” somehow makes it not racist. you are a racist. and an ageist. I’m sorry if central americans bother you, but that is your problem. try making friends with your neighbors and talking to them about your issues to come to a compromise. or better yet, move somewhere else if you’re just going to sit and stew about how miserable “those people” are making you. because guess what, “those people” are making DC better every day. you also don’t mention having proof that there is overcrowding in your building. if that is the case, stop whining and go through the appropriate avenues to address it.

    where is this rule that black people have to shut up and take overcrowding? I think you really need to reevaluate your world view. stop deluding yourself that other people are the cause of your misery.

    And just so you know, you should never walk around saying things like “They are no longer living in rural huts in their countries in the third world.” This outs you as the ignorant bigot you are.

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