Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user Nikoo’s Photos

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.

69 Comment

  • Rave: Mumford & Sons was incredible last night – warmed my Jersey girl heart when they closed with Atlantic City by the Boss (with the Bruce’s saxophonist!).
    Rave: Seriously on a high from last night – had an awesome time with the husband and now it’s my last work day before birthday brunch with fam and friends and then we head out to London!!! Cannot wait…

  • Rant: I wish my girlfriend wasn’t afraid to try and learn how to ride a bike 🙁

    • I am an adult who doesn’t know how to ride a bike. Falling seems scarier now than it would as a child. Bike Arlington has classes geared to adults who never learned to ride while young.

      • I learned to ride a bike when I was about 19 and yeah, it sucks learning as an adult. Luckily I had great friends around. We would basically go to the beach every day (this was in Los Angeles), rent bikes, at try to ride them. This lasted for about 2-3 weeks with me constantly failing. When I finally got it the homeless guys who hung out nearby and had witnessed all this broke out in applause. Learning as an adult is definitely scary but totally worth it. Though I have to admit, I’m still not great. Using a bike as a means of transportation (instead of just occasional recreation) is still out of the question for me.

      • WABA also has adult learning classes pretty regularly held within DC…so that might be an option as well.

    • Mine wants to learn, but I’m sure if she did she would ride maybe two or three times before giving it up. Kind of like her guitar lessons. I think she took one or two before quitting. I’m glad I lent her my old acoustic instead of buying her a new one!

    • Did she grow up in Fairfax County? My gf did and she never learned to do a lot of that normal kid stuff that I just took for granted. I guess they spend their childhoods prepping for the SATs or something.

  • Rave: Three day weekend! Counting down the hours until I can get home. Additionally, a three day week next week because of a wedding in Austin 🙂

    Rave: Homecoming at my alma mater this weekend. Excited for tailgating!

    Rant: Our basketball team is really tanking this year, so the homecoming game may be slightly upsetting. Also, I’m not able to perform with the other alumni of my team because of stupid medical issues.

  • Rave: Leaving for at noon to deal with (rant) broken rear window of car…nothing like spending $350 before the weekend even starts. But a rave anyway to leave work on a beautiful day and rave for a fixed car.

    Rave/Rant: I live near Birch and Barley, which is the preview of GBD today (chicken and donuts). Sounds amazing but I do NOT need that. So alas, must stay away…someone post how it was though!

  • My run in with Metro Police. Yesterday at the Huntington Metro station, I walked into the station to find they were performing “random” tests on bags. Since this is the second time I was randomly selected, I just decided to opt out, turned around went down the street to get on a bus. A man in uniform came up to me and informed me that he “could not” let me get on the bus. I could not opt out of having my bag tested for bomb making materials. I am still angry and disgusted by the experience.

    • Are you upset that they are doing these tests at all or because you feel that you are being unfairly targeted/profiled? I’m genuinely curious. What is involved? They don’t look in your bag, do they?

      • Good question, this was the second time I was randomly selected. I had a long day, I wanted to go home, I just wasn’t interested in being bothered. I do think I was specially selected.

    • Wow. I somehow thought you could opt out if you did not want to get on train? Maybe because you were still getting on a metro vehicle I suppose. Still that is too much. The whole process is ineffective in my opinion.

      • Even though it makes the whole exercise completely pointless and an enormous waste of time and resources, you most certainly can opt out.

      • It’s not just ineffective. It’s a huge waste of resources when metro has actual crime to fight–electronic device theft and assaults by gangs of DC teenagers.

        This is security theater. It’s designed to make tourists feel better and to make consultants money, but doesn’t make a single person a single bit safer. And remember, Metro police officer is one step up from food court security guard in the evolutionary chain of law enforcement.

        • Of course you have no evidence to back up any of your assertions.

        • Talk about a waste of resources, I think I saw approximately 8 to 10 people standing around the Huntington Station watching me. All the ipads and cell phones stolen while they were watching over a tired black federal employee who walk with a limp. I mean really!

      • Perhaps the thinking is that someone who is carrying a bomb would choose to opt out. Don’t get me wrong, I have concerns about the privacy and civil liberties implications of these checks. On the other hand, I have long thought that Metro is a prime terrorist target. If the choice is between everyone going through a security screening and random bag swabs, that may be the less intrusive and more practical way to go, particularly if the stop doesn’t involve searching the contents of the bag.

        • All a terrorist or bomb carrier has to do is opt out and walk to another station down the line. I have opted out at Eastern Market and just walked to Capitol South and hopped the train there. That is why the entire process is ineffective.
          Oh yeah I am not a terrorist. 🙂

        • If they don’t look in your bag, what’s the point? Do it thoroughly, or not at all.

          • My impression was that maybe just swabbing the bag was sufficient to pick up any traces of explosives.

            (Although when my carry-on luggage and I get searched before I board a London-to-Dulles flight, they go through EVERYTHING. So maybe an exterior bag swab is a compromise method that’s less time-consuming and intrusive than a full bag search.)

    • I hate this. They get around the whole 4th amendment argument by saying you can opt out but then if you do you are denied the right to use public transportation. Now the question posed is do you in fact have a constitutional right to use public transportation. The answer is probably not and so basically your choice is voluntarily subject to what would be an illegal search if you were just walking down the street or pay for a taxi to go home. Or walk if you don’ t have enough money. I’d still like to see this challenged in court, if it has not been. I don’t personally agree that security is preferable to liberty.

      • It’s not clear to me that this is a 4th Amendment violation, but then I don’t know the particulars of these searches, and I don’t claim to be a 4th Amendment scholar. I will say, though, that the first time a bomb goes off in Metro Center, killing hundreds and crippling the region’s transportation system (no Metro=gridlocked streets), there are going to be a whole lot of people bitching that the authorities didn’t do more.

        • “the first time a bomb goes off in Metro Center,”
          Are you serious? How many times are you expecting Metro Center to get blown up?
          Lets say I’m a terrorist with a bomb. I walk into Metro Center and see that the police are there checking bags. Do I say, “well, the police are here, time to go home.”? No. I walk the 3 blocks to China Town and board the metro there. If this was at one of the end of the line suburban stations instead I would just get back in my car and drive to the next stop.
          These random bag searches do absolutely nothing to protect anyone. They fall somewhere in between making stupid people feel safe and covering asses in the event that something did happen. Even if you don’t agree that its a breach of your rights you have to recognize that it a waste of time and money.

        • What I am saying is they get past the 4th amendment by the fallacy that it is voluntary. But it really is only voluntary if you have an alternative transportation method. I want to be safe, sure I do. But (a) I don’t think this stuff makes us safe, and (b) I am not willing to be searched any time my government f’ing feels like it even if it makes me safer. This is all sort of academic, however, considering all the warrantless searches of electronic information that is going on already. Our country has just sort of willingly given up its right to privacy. I am guility of it too, and it is a tragedy.

    • Rant: You know what makes me sick – all the big SUVs outside the metro entrance that say – “Anti-Terrorism Unit” If you ask me, having to see a bunch of SUVs in front of my metro station with such WORDS makes me feel the sensation of terror, so they are failing in their job! We have way overdone this Homeland Security thing and it’s taking away part of the liberty that makes America great.

  • rave: big things happening at work this week
    rave: seeing my valentine tonight
    rave: 3 day weekend
    rant: waiting to hear back from the doctor about some test results

  • What’s going on Popville?

    It has been quite some time since I’ve posted on here but I have a GREAT RAVE/REVEL, if not my best Rave/Revel to share with you all. My wife and I are expecting our first baby on May 1st, a baby girl!!!!!

    Now I need some help from you parents out there on many levels with daycare options being the most pressing. We have been looking at different day care options in and around the city and we are blown away by the cost (not to mention the year(s) long waiting list), we are totally in the wrong business. Do any of you know of any solid, quality day care options that include early learning and possibly second language (Spanish…) immersion for under $2K a month? I work for the DoD but my HR department has been NO help on my research on federal day care options which is totally unacceptable.

    Secondly, I know there have to be some great blogs out there so if you know of any would you please be kind enough to share?

    • Mazel tov! Great news – good luck with day care. This city is completely insane in that regard. I’m not help, don’t have a kid, but most in my ‘hood seem to do a nanny share because it’s easier to get and more flexible.

    • Congratulations! I’m not aware of any secondary language immersion daycares but I will say the wait list issue often isn’t as bad as it seems. Some daycares allow people to put their name on the list even if they aren’t expecting so when a spot comes up, they get contacted, say they don’t want it but want to stay on the list, and on to the next person.

      Persistence is key. That and if you know someone whose kids go to that same daycare – have them put in a good word for you. We didn’t bug our current director too much – just kept on her radar and our friends wrote her to say we’d be a great addition to the community.

      We live right across the street from our daycare and it was the only one we got into. We lucked out.

      • Thank you so much. My wife does have a coworker and a friend that have/had kids in daycare and they said they would work on them and put in the good word for us.

    • There is a brand new daycare center that I believe is Spanish speaking at the church at 2100 New Hampshire Ave-I don’t know much about it but I walk by often and it doesn’t seem full.

    • David’s Stars in Adams Morgan. Spanish immersion.

    • Congrats! Is this your first? I wish I could help with the day care. We opted for a nanny, which has its own challenges (in addition to the cost). The upside is that she was very experienced and came with excellent references, so we felt comfortable leaving our baby with her.

      • Yes, she is our first. How did your nanny work out for you? I guess we never really gave a nanny a thought,it is all kind of scary but at least with a daycare there will be two people there most times. I also just assumed they would be more expensive than the day care.

        • Leaving your baby with anyone is a bit scary. A reputable day care will be fine. I have known many people who have done that, though I can’t recall the names of any of the day cares. The nanny worked great, in general. The only problems we ran into were occasional personality conflicts with this particular nanny, but nothing too serious. A nanny is very expensive, particularly if you do it on the up and up. We deducted (and paid) all taxes, paid workers comp. insurance, paid time-and-a-half for overtime, and gave her paid vacation/sick leave too. Our particular circumstances made a nanny the most feasible option, though the financial strain was huge. The cost of preschool was a relief. A lot of people do nanny shares, which cuts the cost in half. We tried that for awhile, but it didn’t work out.

    • Thank you all very much, much appreciated. I should clarify, it does not have to have second language immersion but it would help if it did. We just want a great, quality day care that has early learning.

    • Congrats! Aren’t you the dude with the Jag? Time to swap it for a minivan, brother.

    • Where do you live? There are a bunch of daycares with spanish immersion in Petworth, but I don’t think it’s worth going up there if it’s not convenient.

      I was able to get my son in the the daycare in my building and it is fantastic. I get to spend extra time with him on the commute and I go downstairs to nurse him instead of pumping. If your wife is interested in this and it is a possibility, I can’t recommend it highly enough!

    • em

      We just saw an ad for a new daycare when we were in Tynan in Columbia Heights the other day. Sorry that I can’t remember the name, but they had English & Spanish flyers and cards at the community message board in the back with info about their open house. It looked pretty good.

    • Kam, you should also look into an au pair. It’s cheaper than a nanny, but you need an extra room for the au pair. It’s a live-in situation.

  • pablo .raw

    Rave: Valentine’s/Birthday the way I like it: Very quiet. Went to bed at 8:00, tired from working late this week. Feels peaceful and rested 🙂
    Rant: I can see a beautiful day outside from my tiny office window.

  • Rant: The seafood discussion is making me hungry!

  • Rave: Valentine candy 50% off!

    Rant: My borderline Type 2 diabetes

  • rave: free coffee
    rant: intern at 25

  • Rant: It seems to be getting warmer… that means i will have to hang the snowboard up soon, probably a monht (if that) of riding left… unless i chase winter up north or out west

    Rave: It seems to be getting warmer… that means i can break out the bicycle and motorcycle sooner than later

    • I highly encourage breaking out the bicycle now. This native Californian and recent DC transplant has learned this winter that with the right gear (ear covering, good gloves, windbreaker, and socks), biking in the cold is not bad. My goal was to commute by bike until it hit 40 degrees, but I’ve made it to 18 and only stayed off the bike when there’s precipitation. People say I’m tough, which is frankly the last adjective I would have picked to describe me, but now I do feel a little tougher. Biking in the height of summer, though, not going to happen…

      • Agree – year round biking in DC is certainly do-able. I don’t bike when it’s raining & that’s because I don’t have rain pants. Biking in cold weather is much better than standing waiting for the bus in cold weather. And for me it’s by far the fastest way to get around.

  • Yup- Clarence’s nephew. Pretty awesome.

  • Rave: Boyfriend sent flowers, which I was NOT expecting. And he didn’t send cheesy red ones, either, but pretty orange, pink and yellow.

    Rave: THREE DAY WEEKEND! No major plans, which makes it even better.

    Rave: Got a completely new computer at work yesterday–this monitor is HUGE!

    Rant: I am in charge of keeping the somewhat complicated schedule for our office. This morning it was realized that someone was down to work when he was not supposed to. I can admit that yes, it was my mistake, I accidentally put you there, BUT that’s why I send out the schedule ahead of time and tell everyone LOOK IT OVER AND LET ME KNOW OF ANY CHANGES!! Look for your own damn name! //end rant//

  • skj84

    Rant: Sick. Wasn’t feeling so hot yesterday but powered through. Woke up this morning and felt like my throat was on fire and my sinuses were pounding. Called out and went back to sleep.

    Rave: After sleeping all day and taking two doses of Tylenol cold i’m feeling a lot better. Sometimes its just best to sleep it off before you get worse.

    Rant: Going to have to use a sick day, plus it looks like I got sick on the nicest day of the week.

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