Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user ekelly80

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.

89 Comment

  • I am officially embarrassed for D.C.’s reaction to the latest non-snow event. Shouldn’t we wait to see if it snows before we cancel everything? This is how it used to be done where I grew up.

    • I think the issue is that the storm was scheduled to hit in the middle of the day, after people would already be at work. They can’t have everyone come in and then decide to close the government at 11am, if it got bad. They would end up having tens of thousands of commuters stranded (in addition to stranding their kids at school). Their nightmare situation is a fast accumulating storm stranding tens of thousands of cars on the Beltway.

      Better safe than sorry, I suppose.

      • Agreed. The district didn’t get much accumulation, bit the snow did come down around 8:30am in NW and near downtown.

        • DC itself didn’t, but our area did. Anyone else read the article n mega-commuters? And the more our city gentrifies the sprawlier and far reaching our region will become, and so more and more area will have to be taken into considerations for weather related closings

      • Remember 2011? It took me 7 hours to get from Tenleytown to Gaithersburg.

        • Yup. And with the emergence of “super storms” due to global warming, it’s becoming more difficult to predict how these things will turn out. They are very volatile and conditions can become deadly without warning.

          Unfortunately, one of the major effects of global warming will be loss of productivity due to us needing to be overly cautious. Increasing stress on the transportation and road systems is also forcing this. We don’t have the means to evacuate people back to theirs homes quickly.

        • saf

          3 hours, Metro Center to Petworth. (Trains were over-full and delayed. Bus got stuck on the 11th Street hill. Ended up walking from Florida Avenue in the horrid snow.)

        • It took me 8 hours to get from my job in SE DC to Annandale (a 12 mile trip). I was two weeks away from closing on my house in DC and getting out of VA for good, but VA had to screw me over royally just one last time. 🙂

    • Are you from a place where most people live in far flung suburbs but work in a relatively small centralized place and they, by and large, arrive there via a train? Is your hometown area one where parts will get a foot of snow or more while other areas get none at all?
      Is your hometown also one that is very cosmopolitan and full of people from areas that never get snow so they have absolutely no experience driving in a snow covered urban and suburban sprawly area? Is your hometown area already considered one of the most congested areas in the country, even on nice days?

      • Game, set, match. LOL.

        I love it when people from the Midwest and upstate NY complain about DC & snow. If the DC metro area were as lightly populated as those places and all cars here had snow tires, we’d have much fewer issues. But we don’t and therefore it’s chaos, so we need to be more careful here.

      • Yes. Unless you grew up in the metro DC area in 2013, what life was like back then and someplace else isn’t relevant.

      • What is wrong with liberal leave? There are lots of us that live in the City proper whose kids and offices would have been happy to go about their lives and prefer not to over react to a speculative threat that consistently fails to materialize, at least lately.

  • Beautiful photo above. I wish my day looked like that yesterday :-D.
    Rant/Rave: Disappointed no snow in the District but more than happy to work from home. Office drama seems so insignificant when you’re at home in sweats working.
    Rant: Lots of random little meetings breaking up my day in odd ways that makes it hard to get a good chunk of work done.
    Rave: Had an awesome spin workout with the husband last night and siged up for the 8k Pacers run for Sunday. Feeling good!
    How’d the sweet potato and black bean chili turn out for you guys?

  • Rant: No snow. WTF?
    Rave: I’ll take a free day off, I’m not proud.
    Rant: I can’t just relax and enjoy a free day off any more.

    Also – I’m looking for a house keeper…I really have no interest in exposing myself to cleaning fumes and I’m exhausted by the time I realize I need to clean. Can anyone recommend a trustworthy and pet-friendly person/people for this? I have a woman who sends people, but she wants $80 biweekly. Our place isn’t huge and we’re already tidy…and they don’t do laundry. I’d be willing to pay that if they did laundry! Anyone?

    • I’ve used housekeeping services at multiple houses in multiple cities, and $80/biweekly is a pretty common, fair price. Go any lower than that, and I’m not sure the quality will be worth what you get.

      Depending on how picky you are about sorting/laundry, though, you could probably get it included in that price. Stuff like that is negotiable.

      • Very true – but the women that get sent to me from the woman I use don’t speak english, and it’s difficult to teach them how to use the machine (it’s Swedish…came with the condo, tust me I wouldn’t pick that!). I’m willing to do the $80 with some laundry and the ability to communicate, probably.

    • I’ve used multiple cleaning services for bi-weekly cleaning and $80 is a a fair price. Most services won’t do laundry because they’re not at your house long enough to wash, dry, fold, and put away the clothes. A team of 2 or 3 cleaners can clean my 1600 sq ft house in 1.5 hrs. I pay $100 for bi-weekly service.

      • ok, thanks – do you have anyone you can recommend? We have 850 square feet.

        • I’m also looking for someone to clean a small (450 sq.ft.) apt. on a flexible basis, 2-3 times a month. It’s a vacation stay apartment, so it never gets very dirty, but needs to have attention to detail. I currently pay someone $40.00 each time, and it takes less than one hour. I think it would be a good extra $80-100 cash a month for someone who works at home. I’ll post this under classifieds too.

          • Blanca Alvarez is a sweet woman who helps us out with cleaning regularly. I think she does a great job and charges us fairly. casajen -at- live -dot- com

  • BEST.SNOW.DAY.EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    *Twirls flowy skirt and skips away*

  • Question:
    How long does it take for the smell of natural gas to go away after a leak has been repaired?

    The back story:
    We just moved into an apartment in a small 2-story apartment building, and after complaining to the landlord about the smell of gas and having complaints dismissed (he didn’t smell it), we called Washington Gas. They sent out a technician who found a leak and called the fire dept to break down the door to the meters. At this point, the landlord was happy to come over immediately to deal with the leak. It turned out there was a leak at the meter (so not actually the landlord’s property), which Wash Gas fixed.

    The problem is that we’re still smelling gas, though much more faintly, and we’re not sure how long it will take for the smell to dissipate. The gas was fixed Monday night and it still smells today (Thursday). It had been leaking for months (the neighbor across the hall said she’d been smelling it for quite a while but just opening the windows), and coming up through the walls where the plumbing is, not through the stove gas lines.

    Before we call the landlord (who will probably say it takes a while to dissipate) or the gas company (we don’t need the fire dept again), we’d like to try to air it out. But how long does it take for the gas to work its way out of a wall that it’s been leaking into for months? Anybody have experience or tips?


    • I’m no expert on any of this, but my gut feeling is that if you’re still smelling gas, you should call Washington Gas. Don’t bother with the landlord; he’s not the gas expert.

      • Agree – you shouldn’t still be smelling gas (my non-expert opinion). Call Washington Gas sooner rather than later. And in the meantime don’t use a gas stove or light candles.

      • This. Had a gas leak in December. Called Washington Gas, they came out immediately and turned my gas off (it was my problem to fix. They don’t fix it). I stopped smelling gas maybe 10 minutes later. The repairs could have knocked something new loose. Call em back, ASAP.

  • Rave: Bought a Roku yesterday and had no problem installing and configuring it.

    Rant: I’m at work, instead of home streaming all kinds of stuff with my new Roku.

    • valentina

      Stupid question, but do you still need to purchase internet? Is this the same as streaming Netflix through your Blu Ray DVD?

      • Hi Valentina! you do need internet, but once you have that, you can stream over 700 channels of programming, much of it free, including Netflix, Amazon instant video, Hulu Plus, and Pandora. To answer your question, it is like streaming Netflix through your BluRay player, but the Roku has far more programming options than a BluRay player (including your own media from your computer if you have the right configuration).

  • Hey PoP folk, what’s your favorite book? I’m just finishing up a biography and I’m in the mood for a novel. Ideally something I could enjoy reading by the beach. Any thoughts or favorite books to recommend? Maybe something with a “beachy” feel. 🙂

    • It’s not what one would call a beach read (at all) but my favorite novel is The Secret History, which I actually did read for the first time during a weekend at the beach. Gone Girl’s a good one too, if you haven’t read it yet.

    • I just finished reading a Thousand Spendid Suns. Its the same author as the kite runner. Its a book about two women who live in afghanistan, so you learn a lot about the culture/history there. I wouldnt say a beach read, but definitely a great book you cant put down!

    • Two recent easy reads – the Tender Bar and Look Again.

    • “All We Need of Hell” by Harry Crews.

    • I know it’s been out for a while, but I just finished The Paris Wife and I loved it. It would make a great beach read.

    • I just finished “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn – it’s a mystery/thriller and I enjoyed it immensely. Looking forward to reading Flynn’s other novels.

    • Emmaleigh504

      Not beachy, but I recommend anything by Tana French. Actually her last book, Broken Harbor was set near a beach, so that one may count as beachy.

      • probably my favorite new writer discovery in the past 3 years. havent read the latest yet!
        another one that is great, but not a light beach read, is the Quincunx by Charles Palliser. like 800 pgs of a plot full of surprises that keeps you up too late reading for weeks on end!

    • If you’re looking for something beachy, I highly recommend Sag Harbor by Colson Whitehead! Funny and likeable narrator, summery setting, stunning writing. I read it last month and by the end of the book, I would have killed to be eating a melty ice cream cone on the beach.

    • OP here. Thank you all for your advice! This looks like a great list that should keep me quite busy for a while 🙂 !

  • Rant: No snow!

    Rant: This weekend we will “spring forward” with Daylight Savings time. I hate this time change!

    Rave: Face Palming Founding Fathers

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: Ended my snow day with a migraine AND I don’t feel awesome today like I normally do the day after a migraine. Not fair and against the rules!

    Rave: About a month away from PH90! A trip to see my awesome grandpa for his 90th birthday. My parents, aunts, uncle, and many of my cousins will be there too, plus Bentley Village which is the best place on earth.

    Rant: My sister and her family won’t be able to make it.

    Rave: Sister and husband got to go to cousin’s wedding in Mexico, so I think they will survive.

    • I’m heading west in a few weeks for my wonderful grandpa’s 94th birthday. Enjoy PH90.

    • How wonderful -enjoy the celebration!
      My 93 year old grandfather is visiting again this year for the Cherry Blossom festival and I cannot wait 😀

      • Emmaleigh504

        I feel very fortunate to have had all my grandparents into adulthood and to still have 1 left (thanks parents for having kids young!). Now that my not very mobile grandmother is dead my Grandpa has been traveling more. He plans to come up here soonish. I should tell him to come for the Cherry Blossom Festival next year; he would enjoy that.

  • novadancer

    rant/rave: Had a fabulous dinner at Komi for hubby’s bday. However, the bill used up 1/2 of our food budget for the month 🙁

  • Any self employed folks in Popville have disability insurance that is not through a spouse? I have been trying ad nauseum to apply for the disability insurance through Freelancers Union and their website just will not let me. Their customer service just told me that I must not know how to use the internet and that’s why it’s not working. I’ve called Aflac and they said they don’t have any plans for the self employed.

  • Does anybody know of good place to take tennis lessons in DC? Preferably with a group.

    • I think ther’es a Capitol Hill tennis club you might want to look into.

    • Rock Creek Park has a good series of lessons at the 16th/Kennedy NW courts. And I think at Haines Point, but I haven’t taken any there.

  • Rant: I hold the department credit card so I’ve been registering multiple staff for upcoming conferences in far away places. I want to go, too!

    Bigger Rant: If I *did* find a conference related to my job, it would be along the lines of “administrative professionals”. Gag me.

  • skj84

    Rave: I had a very productive snow day yesterday

    Rant: Back to work today.

    Rave: The March birthday celebrations continue this weeked. Going out for a mass bday event on Saturday.

    Rant: I mentioned my weekend plans to a co worker and she basically invited herself along! Co worker does not know my friends, I do not feel like hosting her and babysitting if needed. I’ll see her in the evening on Saturday and I feel like I’m going to have to find a way to ditch her before I go the birthday event. There is no way of getting out of this without sounding like a jerk.

    • Can you tell her you’re going there to meet a date? That will, hopefully, get her off your back. No one wants to be the 3rd wheel.

      • skj84

        I would except she knows its supposed to be a group thing. Which is probably why she invited herself along. What I should do is tell her the truth, I don’t feel comfortable with her inviting herself to the party, especially since its people she doesn’t know. Which is really difficult to say to someones face.

        So I’ll probably just tell her I decided not to go, we’re not Facebook friends or anything so she won’t be able to see that I did go. Which is a horrible thing to do. Or sneak out before she she sees me leave. Also horrible, and we sit next to each other so it may be difficult. No easy answer.

        • This sounds like something a coworker of mine would have done when we were friends. She got really out of control with trying to hang with my friends and I had to pull back. So my advice is RUNNNNNN!

        • Weird. Tell her someone else is “hosting” (organizing, coordinating, whatever) or that the bday person is issuing the invites and you’re in no position to bring extras.

          • Co-sign. That seems like a fairly straight forward way of handling it. You can even say that you talked with the birthday person about it and they requested to keep it a small/manageable group of friends.

            I think it would be bad to sneak out without saying goodbye to her in your attempt to ditch her. She will resent you for it and can cause some weird friction in the office.

  • I was woken up before 4am from the boyfriend’s snoring and couldn’t go on the couch since his nephew was visiting. Getting ready and coming to work way early seemed like the best plan. Hours ago I emailed the boyfriend complaining of my morning — still waiting on a response. Am I wrong to want an apology?

    • Yes, unless he was snoring intentionally. Not to say he shouldn’t feel bad about it but fishing for an apology is kind of amateurish.

      • I left out a few details — he snores pretty regularly and knows it keeps me awake, he says he could do things about it, but never does.

        We also don’t live together and early yesterday evening he invited himself and his nephew over to spend the night. I felt cornered.

        • Well that sounds like a completely different story then. The details you left out are more important that the ones you didn’t. I think the snoring is the least of your problems here. Sounds like you guys need to have a frank talk – don’t sit around angry waiting for him to figure it out on his own.

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