Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user wolfkann

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.

124 Comment

  • Rant: Drivers making left turns. Really? Do you really have to gun it trying to turn in front of me just to screech to a halt in front of me because of pedestrians in the cross walk? UGH! It’s made worse when I’m biking because then they really don’t respect me in oncoming traffic.

    Rave: Made it to the office safely despite all the terrible construction on New Hampshire.

    Rave: Saw Perks of Being a Wallflower (finally!) – what a great movie. Brought back some middle school/high school memories that I’d rather forget though!

  • Rant: After a year and a half, I’ve realized that the job of my dreams isn’t so great after all. Poor leadership, not really doing what I’m trained to do, there’s a lot of buck passing and finger pointed, and everyone just seems unhappy. There are some jobs in my industry but I don’t want to look until my husband gets his job situation settled.

    Rave: Husband has a third interview today at a place that recruited him. It would be a big change to our life for a lot of reasons but it’s time for him to leave where he is currently.

    Rant: Heading to Florida to visit the in-laws for Passover tomorrow through Tuesday. I really don’t enjoy spending time with them and I find myself needing time off after a vacation with them.

    Rave: Taking next Wednesday off to “recover” from the family vacation.

  • This isn’t a rant or rave, but I need help picking something apart.

    Still kinda reeling from an experience last night. An acquaintance was driving me home and we were going down 15th near P, and she didn’t slow down for someone crossing the street (something I only realized after he thumped the car when she drove past). When I asked what had happened (yes, I was looking down at my phone), she said she didn’t think he was crossing or had the right of way because he wasn’t carrying a red flag. (Apparently they do this where she lives in Chevy Chase – wtf?) When we’re at the light, he then runs up the car, bangs on the window and asks if we’re trying to kill him. She starts yelling at him, and I can tell this isn’t going to end well, so I tell her to drive on. And then tell her people in DC don’t have to carry flags to cross the damn street.

    So I guess my questions are – can you really not realize people don’t have to carry flags to cross the street? Should I have done something different (like maybe paying attention to her driving?) instead of trying to defuse and educate?

    Sorry for the long-windedness. I’ve never had something like this happen, so I wanted others’ thoughts (and criticisms, if warranted).

    • That is the strangest thing I have ever heard. I have never heardabout the red flag thing before. I have friends that wear a red hankie in their back pocket, but that has nothing to do with traffic.

    • Who made up that people in Chevy Chase need to carry a flag whenever they want to cross the street? I’ve been there many times and I have never seen this. That’s got to be one of the most asinine things I’ve ever heard.

    • The pittfalls of the nanny state. If you do everybody’s thinking for them they stop being able to think for themselves. Seriously though, your friend is either (a) a moron, or (b) just being defensive and coming up with a silly excuse for making a mistake.

    • Two things:
      1. I haven’t even heard of this flag thing I just stay super vigilant when driving at night. Its easy to miss someone trying to cross the street especially if they have dark clothes on.
      2. I thought you were going to tell us that your friend hit that woman who died while trying to cross the street last night.

    • No, your friend is absolutely insane for thinking that every person who lives in DC must have a red flag in their pocket to cross the streets they live on! I’ve never heard a more ridiculous thing in my life!!! It’s time to take the streets back from car dominance. Every person – be they on a bike, foot or car should have equal right to be there.

      Re: your reaction. I would have lost my shit on that friend, but that’s just me after having way too many close encounters with people in cars trying to mow me down.

      • I agree everyone should have equal rights and more importantly equal respect for each other on the road. Drivers should respect pedestrians crossing the road and pedestrians should also respect the laws of physics. Pedestrians really can’t expect to just bolt out in the crosswalk and expect drivers to easily stop a 2500lb car on a dime. It’s much easier to brake a bike or for a pedestrian to stop quickly than a car. Just something to think about next time you’re trying to cross the street.

    • Did your friend actually hit this person with their car? If so, that’s a hit & run. At the very least, your friend should have stopped to make sure that this person was not injured.

      Your friend is a moron, though you’re not responsible for paying attention to her driving. In the future, I’d be hesitant to take a ride with her. She doesn’t sound like the brightest bulb in the chandelier.

    • I would have just reminded your friend that 1) there is never a reason to drive so fast as to risk someone’s (passenger, driver, pedestrian…) life and 2) pedestrians ALWAYS have the right of way.

      Just the other day an elderly woman was killed crossing the street in DC. Major thoroughfares in DC should not have un-signaled crosswalks. There are a few by me – and it is sometimes risking life and limb to use them – as cars don’t slow down/stop.

    • I saw this!!! It was bizarre, the level of rage, and the fact that the young man doing it did not appear otherwise disturbed (adult male, late 20’s, reasonably dressed, not obviously wasted). After you drove off, he was then walking in the middle of the road.

      I think it had nothing to do with you, so don’t reflect on the ethics of it or take it to heart. Sure, you could have been more aware of the pedestrian, but that’s always true. Otherwise, let it go.

      • Thank you.

      • If I was almost hit by an inattentive driver I might’ve gone a little ballistic on them. Adrenaline does that.

        • As the witness, I’d say if your adrenaline rush carried over that you continued to walk into the road, then you may well have been killed by a second driver. It wasn’t about self-preservation.

          These hothead types, they love to rage on women or smaller guys, but they’d never think to pull that crap on someone their own size.

      • Speaking of bizarre levels of rage, I was driving in rock creek one time and a pedestrian just stepped into the cross walk as I was nearly there (could have waited). I never came within 15 feet of him as he was on the other side of the street and he proceeds to go balistic because well you know it is actually the law that you must stop if they are anywhere in the cross walk. He was cursing and yelling like he wanted to fight. Even though, as stated, my actions didn’t make him unsafe in the least.

    • While some people in Chevy Chase carry flags when they cross the street, it’s hardly required.

      If this pedestrian was in a zebra crossing, he definitely had the right of way (there are signs in that area to reinforce that).

      The fact that she was oblivious to this and gave a lame excuse about what people sometimes do in Chevy Chase would give me pause. Is she inconsiderate in other aspects of her life?

      • The pedestrian doesn’t need to be in a zebra crossing to have right-of-way. They just need to be in a marked (with or without zebra stripes) or unmarked crosswalk. And at a signaled light, they need to have entered the crosswalk during a “walk” signal. They’re actually allowed to continue through a solid “don’t walk” signal as long as they entered during the “walk.”

    • She’s never driven anywhere except Chevy Chase? Did you have to provide directions to 15th and P?

    • Your friend is the dumbest person in DC… today

    • bfinpetworth

      Go to Salt Lake City and the red flags are everywhere. The roads there are very wide (to accomodate horse-drawn wagons making u-turns) and they have flags at every intersection that you are supposed to hold as you cross the street. It feels weird at first but then it just becomes natural. I’ve seen them in Chevy Chase over by the Apple store.

    • But it;s not EVERY intersection, even in Chevy Chase, your friend was rationalizing.

      • +1.

        And I’m pretty sure that at the 15th/P NW intersection (not sure if that was exactly where the incident occurred, or if it was just nearby), and elsewhere as you go north along 15th Street, there are signs saying “Stop for Pedestrian in Crosswalk,” or something to that effect.

    • I think your friend misunderstood how the orange flags are used in Chevy Chase (let alone anywhere else).

      I frequently go to the Avalon in the Chevy Chase portion of D.C., and I usually park on one of the side streets across the street.

      The crosswalk closest to the theater has a bank of orange flags on each side. They’re there to give pedestrians an option to make themselves more visible to oncoming traffic. (Maybe there was an accident in the past at that crosswalk?)

      However, pedestrians have the right of way at a crosswalk WHETHER THEY’RE CARRYING AN ORANGE FLAG OR NOT. The orange flag is just to make it easier for all parties concerned, as it’s easier — especially at night — for a driver to see.

      And I don’t know the precise boundaries of Chevy Chase, but I haven’t seen a bank of orange flags at other crosswalks. So I seriously doubt they’re present at every single crosswalk in Chevy Chase.

    • Doesn’t this block only have crosswalks at lights, meaning a pedestrian getting nearly hit by a moving car would have had to be jaywalking or crossing against a light to get that close to a moving car? (Unless this was during a right turn on red, I guess…)

    • I know this may be controversial, but waiting until no cars are close to the crossing zone and looking both ways may be a good idea? I do it all the time and my chances of getting hit have gone down significantly. Red flags don’t have pedestrian air bags or force fields on them last time I checked.

      • No s***, but cars ARE supposed to yield to pedestrians at crosswalks.

        Obviously, you shouldn’t stroll into a crosswalk looking at your phone and nothing else… but if you stand meekly on the sidewalk waiting until there are no cars coming at all, you could be waiting a long time.

        Your right of way isn’t worth dying over, but you do have to assert yourself a bit in this city or the cars will just keep on drivin’.

  • RAVE: FRIDAY!!!!

  • Rave: Was asked to join the leadership of a non-profit organization that I truly admire. Very flattered and honored.

    Tongue in cheek rant – learned that I can’t claim my cell phone is breaking up when having a face to face conversation with my wife.

  • Looking for a new happy hour spot tonight (too early to think about at 10:24am??). Does anyone have any fun suggestions for Logan Circle/Shaw? We have exhausted our Petworth options and want to try to try something new. Good cocktails, beer selection… you know, the norm… Thanks!

    • Black Jack/ Pearl Dive
      Vinoteca (just wine HH options for drinks I think, but also good HH food choices)
      Tortino (but if more than a couple people, skip)
      El Centro DF (I don’t like the place but it does have a good HH)
      DC9 (just HH drinks, no HH food)

      • Second BJ/Pearl Dive. BlackJack doesn’t open until 5:30 though. Half priced good drafts, half priced pizza, $1 oysters, pound of mussels for $9. Can’t be beat. I’ll be there. 15thstnw’s other suggestions are also good.

  • Rant: Just realized that the tomato seeds I ordered from Baker Creek are for giant plants that I cant possible grow on my balcony. I wonder what their return policy is? hmmm
    Rave: Got my lettuce and pepper seeds! I shall be planting the lettuce tonight. I need to find a small grow light for the pepper seeds though. Anyone have any suggestions? I dont want to spend hundreds on a fluorescent lamp.
    Revel: Yall its FRIDAAAAAAY!!!!

    • I start plants from seed & use a shop light with one cool and one warm light. You can use a florescent bulb in a regular lamp and put it on a timer (or just turn on in the am, off in the pm).

      • I dont know what a shop light is. Do i have to rig it to something? Im not good with stuff like that. Will the fluorescent bulbs in regular lamps kill the plants? Help meh!

        • A shop light is what you might see in garages – four or six feet long with two long tubes. They aren’t expensive and good if you’re growing lots of seedlings.

          You can also use regular lamps with florescent bulbs – something like a gooseneck lamp would be good so you can adjust the lamp as the plants grow. The light should be an inch or two above the plant.

  • Rave: Finally made it over to Simon Vintage (1911 9th St NW). Great stuff and at awesome prices!

    Rant: That lying rat, Punxsutawney Phil

  • 42/43 bus commuters and all other Mount Pleasant residents — Have you all noticed in recent weeks that the traffic light at the interesection of Mount Pleasant St. and 16th st. has shortened it’s green light span to a mere 10 seconds? This has dramatically increased the traffic and wait time of exiting Mount Pleasant St. southwards onto either 16th st. or Columbia Rd.

    In the mornings, as early as 7:30am, when there is little traffic, it still takes the bus over 5 minutes to pass through the interesection. Is there anything that can be done to reverse the traffic light’s scheduling? 10 seconds is far too short!

    • call 311, contact DDOT, local councilmember, etc.

    • Call 311. I have called before about a pedestrian signal directing people to walk when the light for traffic was green (on the Mall, no less!) , and it was resolved quickly.

    • I noticed this last week–sometimes only a few cars make it through the intersection before it changes to red…very frustrating. That bus stop is something else…I’ve encountered the rudest people at the stop. A number of people will appear out of no where running to the stop and push/shove their way on the bus with no regard to the people who are waiting in line.

    • One change that would improve things is to remove the zipcar parking spaces. There used to be a right turn lane there, and it provided an exit valve for traffic turning right. When zipcar parking was added, it created a longer back up. The reserved parking spaces should be removed, and the new metered spaces could be no parking during rush hours.

    • I don’t ride the 42/43 that often but I have noticed the backed up traffic when I cross Mt. Pleasant at Irving on my way to the metro.

  • Question – if you had to buy stuff for Passover (ingredients, etc), where would you go? We were thinking Shalom in Silver Spring – is there a better place? I don’t have time to drive out to Pikesville, which if I did…I’d do. Prefer a place with some prepared food…

    Rave: Hitting Range (Bryan Voltaggio) on Sat night for a birthday-versary meal. Hopefully it’s good!

    Rave: So happy it’s the weekend. I hope you all have a great one.

    • Just kosher supermarkets are pretty limited, but honestly, the regular grocery stores in upper northwest (Giant, etc.) do a pretty good job just because of the demand in the area. Rodman’s also carry’s a good selection of kosher wines.

      • don’t need wine, just matzo stuff. Maybe I’ll try a combo? Shalom for the prepared stuff, then a safeway/giant in Silver Spring (is there a specific one that’s good?) for the other stuff? I never go up there, so don’t know if there’s a better supermarket (safeway or giant is fine)

        I grew up with supermarkets that have huge kosher sections (and prepare it for passover), so the crappy whole foods “end cap” near me is a joke.

        • Prince Of Petworth

          I think Brookville in Cleveland Park has a section too.

        • Being in Kemp Mill, Shalom should have everything you need. That’s a very orthodox neighborhood. If they are missing anything, someone who works there could easily point you in the right direction.

    • Try Snider’s in Silver Spring.

    • Kosher Mart in Rockville is good, but frankly, if you just need the basics I would just go to the local Safeway or Giant.

    • Were you able to get the gift certificate switched from Volt (in Frederick) to Range (in D.C.), then? That’s great!

      • sadly, no – we’re just going to be paying customers. We have friends in Frederick we’re trying to make plans with, but even brunch for 4 won’t cost that much because two of us don’t drink. We’ll figure it out. It doesn’t expire. Maybe we’ll bring our baby to Table21 next year!

        • Dang — I’m going to Volt tonight — if you’re somewhere in the Union Station/Capitol Hill sector during the day or Mt. Pleasant/A-M metropolitan region between 6-7 (ish) I’ll take it off your hands for, oh, 30 cents on the dollar, assuming it’s transferable.

          Kidding. I’ll give you face value up to what my friend and I would spend otherwise. Post back here if there can be a meet-up.

          • my husband won’t let me sell the gift card, even though we could use the money. Sorry! Thanks, though.
            Good timing on going to Volt – they have changed back to an a la carte menu (with what looks like more options for those of us who don’t eat meat/fish). So, it’s more likely that we’ll go in 2013!
            Report back on how you liked it?

  • Rant: Lazy, condescending, and difficult co-workers who made this week miserable.

    Rave: Awesome, hardworking, and fun co-workers who got me through this week!!

  • RAVE: Petworth Neighborhood clean up tomorrow at 9:00AM!
    *Citizens Living and Acting for Spotless Streets y’all (CLASSy)* will be
    holding a *CLASSy Action*, aka community clean-up, this *Saturday,March 23rd at 9am at Georgia Avenue Metro Station on the eastern side (Park Place apartments)*. From there, we can radiate out into the neighboring community. Supplies will be provided. Come give the neighborhood a great new look for spring, which has to arrive at some point…

  • Rant: Washington Sports Club in Columbia Heights and the poor quality of the group exercise classes.

    Rave: Anthony Bowen YMCA opening “soon.”

    • did they change the schedule again?
      I was a regular, but had to stop for a little bit because of project baby.
      However, in a couple weeks I’m allowed to go back – has the schedule changed?

      I LOVE step/kickboxing with Bill.

      But generally, I agree that WSC sucks at group fitness because they’re cheap. I’ve considered going to Vida because it’s a few blocks from my apartment, but the cost is ridiculous and I have a hard time justifying it.

      • They’re…cheap? When I tried to sign up they were going to charge me $80/month! Is that considered cheap here?

      • I know some people love Bill’s class – I’m not one of them. It’s great that he’s getting a workout but I’m more interested in him actually teaching the class (ie paying attention to what the class is doing, not watching himself in the mirror).

        • Not sure what that means (‘glad he works out’), but I challenged myself in his classes – his classes are definitely for all abilities (which I like, and I think one of the reasons they are so crowded). He knows his students and I’ve seen him correct students who risk injury on many occasions (especially new students in step). I think if you want a more hardcore (i.e not welcoming to new people) glass, Vida is better for that. I think they’re way more “business” than fun in their classes from what I experienced there when I tried it. It might have changed in the few years since I tried it, though.

    • I’ve only taken the spin classes, and they are definitely sub-par. In my experience, the best spin instructors are cycling enthusiasts, and not necessarily fitness instructors. Anyways, I often do my own thing in class-much to the chagrin of the insecure control freak instructors-to make sure I get my sweat on. It seems like all the instructors know how to do is intervals and think that standing = hard, when standing is actually a bit easier since you have body weight to help your momentum.

      • I also modify exercises when the instructor does things I don’t consider safe.

        WSC is cheap in that they don’t pay instructors much so they get instructors that aren’t qualified to teach.

        • There is this one zumba instructor who thinks that she is Debbie Allen from Fame and she comes in there and does NOTHING related to zumba and gets pissy when we cant keep up. Listen I am from the Caribbean so I know how my move my waist but what she does is more than the most and I didnt come to WSC for all that.

          • Yeah I had one of the instructors get pissy with the class when she called out some move and people didn’t immediately start doing it. She called it out again and we waited for her to, you know, show us the move. I didn’t know what she was talking about, and I’ve been taking group exercise classes for 20 some years.

            Don’t get mad at the class when you’re the one who isn’t doing their job.

  • Rave: Had dinner at the Atlas Room last night. Really Really good. It was a great dining experience and the staff was “ON POINT”.

    Rant: Had to walk by the hit and run scene of FL ave to get home. To have had a feeling of enjoying life, to then see life just ended for someone.

  • Rave: Got my MD, Dc and federal tax refunds all within 5 business days of submitting my return.

    Rant: Put all that extra money towards my credit card and still only managed to pay off 1/3 of it. How did I let that get away from me so quickly?

    Rant/Rave: Have a massive amount of schoolwork to do in the next week that will keep me pretty much library-bound, so I won’t be spending any money anyway.

    • You should be glad you got a refund. I haven’t gotten one in years!

      • If you really want to get a tax refund, it’s easy. Just ask your employer to take out more tax from every paycheck (or if you’re self-employed, just make bigger estimated tax payments to the IRS every quarter).

      • Yay! For no interest loans to the government!

        People do realize this, right? It’s not a gift from the feds to get a refund, you pay the same amount of tax either way.

        • I agree! When people are excited about getting a big refund I can’t help but think that it’s YOUR money you’re getting back. Money the government has held without giving you any interest.

          My goal is to come out even – owe nothing, get no refund. I usually end up owing (self-employed) but I don’t mind paying extra in April since I’ve had use of the money in the meantime.

          • I realize that money anywhere isn’t earning much interest these days, but it’s always struck me as a strange savings plan to WANT a big refund each year.

          • While you should definitely not plan to get a refund, it is a nice surprise. You’ve already gotten your take home pay from last year, and it’s spent, invested, whatever. Getting a refund means last year’s take-home was higher than you thought. It also means you can adjust your withholdings for the current year.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rave: Break through with the person I’m training! Something I’ve been repeating for months finally took hold! Yay!

    Rant: Between the neighbors loud late night get together and my cats loud talking to me, I didn’t get much sleep.

    Rave: My cat is talking to me again. She definitely on the way to well.

  • Rant: candy crush app. Can’t.Stop.Playing.

    Rant/Rave: thanks to some lucky scheduling and impromptu snow days, this has been my first 5 day work week of 2013.

    Rave: It’s friday. I’ve got a lot to do at work today, but when it’s all said and done, this has been an amazingly productive week. /nailed it.

    • From Thanksgiving until until the week after President’s Day, every weekend was at least a three-day weekend. It was crazy. Yay, AWS.

      Though, the next two months are going to be brutal. Won’t have another 3 day weekend until Memorial Day.


      • Damn, I need your jobs. I considered myself lucky because we had President’s Day off this year. Every other week since New Year’s has been 5 days for me.

  • Rave: It’s Friday and I’m going to Artini tonight!

    Rant: Why must it still be so cold?

  • Rant: I was in a crosswalk crossing the street this morning when a guy who was double parked starts backing his car into the crowsswalk and almost hits me. Actually, the only reason he didn’t hit me is because I jumped out of the way and tapped on his car (lightly). Serioulsy people, look behind you before you start backing up.

    Rant: at work on my day off.

    • This morning I was almost hit by a BikeShare rider who was riding on the sidewalk.

    • I’d say as a general rule, if you’re about to move in a particular direction you should first look in that direction to make sure it’s clear. Drivers obviously, but also pedestrians too please.

      • I did look – I’m not about to take my life in my hands in a cross walk if a car is coming even if I do have the right of way. It was a stopped car in the lane of traffic double parked and he just started backing up quickly. Nothing I could have done except jump out the the way and tap on his trunk to let him know I was there.

        • Oh, I wasn’t actually referring to you with my “pedestrians” comment, sorry if it sounded like I was. It was a general comment about people in cars and on foot who are moving in one direction while looking in another. Drive me nuts.

  • Rant: Sometimes I hate my job. I have such a desire to work one-on-one with individuals (disabled, Deaf, elderly) yet here I sit, behind a desk, making sure the copier has enough paper. Biblically speaking, I’m “tent making”.

    Rant: I don’t want to be a social worker. I don’t want to be a case manager. I don’t want to be a manager of any sort. I just want to work with and support people, which is something that people–especially in this city–don’t seem to understand.

    Rave: Mom inherited some money when my grandmother passed away and just sent me a check so I can purchase a new laptop. She said since it was my father’s mother–and my dad passed away in ’05–she felt it should be passed on to my brothers and I (me and my brothers?).

    Rave: BuzzFeed will help pass the time!

    • My boyfriend always explained that if you take the other party out of the sentence, you still would use the same word. So since it would be “passed on to me” it would be “passed on to my brothers and me.”

      I never correct people’s grammer, but seems like you were wondering and I found that explanation pretty usefull.

  • Rave: I had a great vacation, 2 weeks of overseas adventures and eating lots of yummy food.

    Rant: I’m an over 40 yr old woman, and 2 weeks of no running/exercise and eating yummy food has made me grossly fat! How did that happen? My belly is huge, luckily my butt and thighs didn’t grow, just ma belly. I’m so depressed. Next time I swear I will travel to a place where I can get a stomach parasite or tapeworm!

    • That’s a good strategy. Or, eat safe for your whole vacation, and then switch to street food on the last day. You might get lucky and pick up something that will keep you barfing for the next five days. Plus, more time off work after the vacation!

      • That’s basically what happened to me in India. After 3 weeks of eating very heavy food I got food poisoning and ended up breaking even.

  • Rant: I am so sick of the blind adherence to style over substance that has permeated my workplace! I prepared background information for an upcoming meeting and synthesized it for you. But you want me to retract it and instead just PDF 25 pages of general BS and send it to you in a pretty document. Sure, be my guest and read 25 pages of crap instead of 3 pages of pertinent info.

    Rave: going to Philly for the weekend and taking Monday off!

    Rant: I’m already scared of the shitshow that will occur when I return to this mess on Tuesday.

  • Rant / Rave Colonel Brooks Tavern has been completely demolished.

  • Rant! The cicadas are coming back this year. (http://www.businessinsider.com/17-year-brood-2-cicadas-2013-3) I know their just ugly and harmless, but they give me the heebiejeebies and they’re hell to get off of your car. And they’re loud. Really, REALLY loud…

  • Might be an outlier here but I love cicadas. Their sound reminds me of summer evenings…I also love the humidity of VA/DC summers so I guess I’m just weird.

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