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.

77 Comment

  • Rant: Spring is my favorite time of year, but this one feels like winter.

    Rant: I gave up complaining but I’m doing it again.

    Rave: I worked out hard all winter and am sort of ready for beachware.

    • This spring only feels like winter because our last 2 winters have felt like spring.

      • Actually no, last night was one of the coldest April nights on record, this is unusual.

        • If an overnight low in the 30s is “like winter” than I think we have vastly different definitions of what winter should feel like.

        • For DC, that is pretty average for winter (low in the 30s), and 50 degree highs are pretty common as well. The average Feb. temp here is in the mid-40s, only slightly colder than the last couple days here.

          • The average February high is in the mid 40s, not the average February temp, big difference.
            The average high since the start of spring (March 20th for those of you who don’t know when seasons start and end) has been about 52.5°. That is a very pleasant first 2 weeks of spring.

  • Rant/Rave: Nervous about talking to boss man about just compensation for a huge jump in work related responsibilites. Rave because I’ll feel good once it’s done… Rant because I’m anxious as hell.

    Rant: Terrible night of sleep plus sleep walking. Anyone ever try hypnosis? I’ve had all studies done and they just want to medicate me to sleep and I refuse…

    Rave: T-2 days to vacay! So needed…

    • special_k

      Have you tried acupuncture? I’ve had friends–some skeptical–who’ve tried it for a variety of issues including insomnia and all have been pleased with the results.

      • I really dont think Britt should try acupuncture on her boss while asking for a raise.

      • Does Accupuncture help with sleep walking? I sleep fine unless I’m sleepwalking… a lot of medical literature talks about hypnosis as helpful for sleepwalkers but I haven’t found mention of accupuncture…

    • anon. gardener

      +1 for acupuncture. I can recommend Mr Shu Fan – office is near Farragut West metro station. he’s in china this week, and my sleep has been totally screwed up for the last couple of days. cannot wait till my next appt.

  • Rant: Has anyone else noticed that flyers put up by the Shaw Dupont Citizens Alliance for the March 21 meeting are still up? One would think these paragons of civic virtue would be quick to remove them!

    Rave: I actually like cool sunny weather!

  • rant: back and knee pain much more present lately. i’m only 31 and worried if it’s this bad now, how much worse will it get? woke up flailing about last night from a muscle spasm in my lower back. oof.

    rave: job interview coming up. sounds somewhat promising, but after my last couple work experiences, i’m not getting my hopes up too high.

    rant: feeling a bit uninspired lately, and need to seriously get to work on a personal project as it involves other people who are counting on me to produce something for them. sigh.

    rave: sunshine and springtime.

    • Have you seen a doctor? Take it from an old guy–if you’re having chronic pain now, it won’t get any better if you just leave it alone. PT, stretching, and targeted exercise can do wonders for the back and knee, depending on the problem of course.

      • no i probably should though. i’m stubborn of course and hate going to the doc! will try some stretching and/or yoga too and see if it helps at all.

        • Oh, I’ve so been there. I struggled through chronic knee pain, thinking it was just tight muscles, misalignment, etc. But take it from me, please see a sports medicine doctor or orthopedist (Just go to a specialist, your GP won’t be able to do much for you besides give you a referral).

          I finally went to a doctor who gave me an MRI, and found out that my knee pain is because I’ve lost a lot of the cartilage in my left knee. If I had found out about this earlier, there might have been something more that I could have done to save the cartilage- and I miss it now that it’s gone!

          It’s such a pain in the ass to get it taken care of, but you’re young, and you’ll want use of that knee for a long time- most of us who aren’t professional athletes aren’t going to be approved for knee replacements until we’re in our 60s, so we gotta make do with what we got till then!

      • Any recommendation for a PT? My back could use some attention.

        • GiantSquid

          I’ve done PT at Physiotherapy Associates’ office on Capitol Hill. Really liked my therapist and her approach: listened to my issues, started easy and slowly ramped up exercises. Made a huge difference. Had to stop because of job loss but want to go back soon.

        • Elite Physical Therapy in Glover Park – Terry Sneed is a wonderwoman!

  • Rant: Want to live by myself but incredibly discouraged with this rental market!
    Am I a total fool for considering an apartment just over 50% of my monthly take-home (bi-weekly… so twice a year I’ll be paid 3x/month and it’s not) that includes ALL utilities, cable and internet and is within walking distance of work??

    • How far is “walking distance?” Six blocks? One mile? Three miles? How much total do you want to pay?

      • ~1 mile max. I am also not opposed to riding my bike as well. I do not have a car.
        I was hoping to pay no more than 45% of my monthly take home all-inclusive (when paid just 2x/month… the 30% guideline would never work for me even if I was living in a group house) but I don’t think that’s possible unless I look on the outskirts of town or outside the city.

    • Yes, that’s too expensive.

    • You’re not a fool…but you will quickly resent the place bc it will OWN you. Don’t do it, sorry 🙁

    • The first year I lived in DC, my rent was slightly more than 50% of my take home pay and that excluded utilities (which averaged about $60 a month). My commute expenses were covered by my employer (fed. government). I didn’t have a car but had a student loan payment. Didn’t run up any debt during that year, but wasn’t able to save up either, basically lived paycheck to paycheck.

      So it is do-able (I really didn’t have to budget too much either), but I wouldnt’ advise it if a) you don’t have a super stable job like I did b) aren’t expecting a nice pay bump in the next year or so (I did, which is why I was willing to pay such a high % of my income for my rent for one year).

      And now? Thanks to rent control and that pay bump, I actually have a pretty good deal now. One of the better moves I’ve made.

      • I’m a fed, not at risk for furlough, and should be up for a step increase in the fall. Still thinking (and generally confirmed by the PoPville experts!) that I’ll be biting off more than I can chew but also afraid that prices are going to keep going up and up and up…

        • A step increase? Yeah, I probably wouldn’t do it in that case. If it were a grade bump, then it might be worth doing.

          • Agreed with 15thstnw that a step increase is nothing to really count on. When I was a renter a few years ago, yearly step increases hardly covered the rent bump, and with the feds pay freeze you might not get any inflation adjustment next year to cover all the other costs that go up year to year.

            I regret spending so much of my income on rent when I was in my 20ies and even early 30ies, and I admire the choices of the people whom I now rent out rooms to in my house. They get to live in a nice place with interesting people, a great kitchen, all the cable they want, and they don’t have to worry about bills other than their cell phone and rent check, or furnishing anything outside of their room. And they pay half in rent than they would if they had their own place, so they can save up for a down-payment on their own place, or for a grand trip to some faraway place.

        • off topic (sorry), but I’m trying to figure out how the step increase system works. Seems like ages and ages since I’ve received one, my level’s not listed on my pay stub and I don’t know where to begin to find out where I’m at and when’s the next one. Any tips?

          • janie4

            Florista – Check your last SF-50. It should have your series grade and step on it. Then check OPM to tell you the time between step increases.

          • I think you get step increases every year for the first few steps, but after that, it’s two years (or maybe more?) between step increases.

    • I don’t think that’s too expensive, considering it includes all utilities and internet and you wouldn’t have to pay for commuting. A few things to consider, do you have debt (credit card or student loans)? If yes, then be careful to allocate enough of your income to cover those expenses. Also consider getting rid of cable and just paying for internet.

      When I lived by myself I was paying about 40% of my take home income for rent + utilities, and that didn’t include internet, hefty student loan payments, and commuting expenses (but I took the metro bus, which was relatively cheap). It’s tight but do-able if you really want to live alone. I used Mint.com to track all my expenses which was really helpful. You really have to pay attention to your spending when you’re living alone on such a tight budget. You learn to be very frugal!

    • anon. gardener

      Exactly like Anon 10:43 and others have said: add up all of your current expenses for rent, utilities, etc, and see what percentage of your take- home pay that is. if it is less than 50% then yes, the move you are contemplating will squeeze you financially. while you’re at it, look at all of your spending for the last three months and sort into categories to see exactly where your money is going. It’s a really unpleasant exercise, but will help you make decisions like this.

    • If you’re a Fed then you can get transit benefits, so you can pay less rent by living farther away, but still not have to pay out of pocket for commuting costs.

    • Blithe

      How “expensive” this is for you will depend on your priorities, your other expenses and your actual take home pay. If living alone is truly a priority for you, then you can decide that things like expensive vacations, eating out frequently, impulse shopping, etc. Are luxuries — and that such luxuries are not worth it — because your priority is living alone.
      With utilities, cable and Internet included, you will know exactly what those fixed expenses will be. If you have enough left over to cover school loans, food and basic clothing expenses, emergencies, and essential travel, then it’s do-able. But only you can decide if the value of living alone is worth it if it means giving up regular luxuries until your income or your needs change.
      As an ex- NYC resident, I spent more than 50% of my income on rent and utilities. But NYC was a great fit for me, My friends and I did lots of “starving student” budget activities, and it was worth it – because I was able to support my personal priorities and pay essential bills.

  • It is supposed to be nice this weekend, and I am looking for some action….some TAG SALE action. Where can i find these listings?

    • not sure about tag sales but if you are interested in estate sales, they are listed on estatesales.net

    • washingtonpost used to list them in their classifieds. i guess they still do.

      though i suppose it has mostly been replaced by freecycle, craigslist, etc …
      i haven’t seen a yard sale(thats the same as “tag sale”, right?) in quite a few years….

  • special_k

    Rave: Four hour essay exam is done! And I don’t think I embarrassed myself.

    Rant: Waiting is the hardest part.

  • Rant/Revel: Someone left a koi outside of my apartment yesterday evening. Being the softie I am, I ended up taking care of the fish. However, I have no intention of keeping the koi and am looking for assistance with relocating the koi to a permanent home/pond. Any information on where or who I can take the koi to would be helpful!

  • Revel: That’s a stunning photo from wolfkann. Well done.

  • homerule

    Revel: At Starbucks, the person going in ahead of me (still a few steps ahead of the should-hold-door-open), stopped, waited and held the door open for me. It’s the little things : )

    Rant: Cherry Blossoms, where are you? Fiance and I are supposed to have engagement photos this weekend (third postponement)…

    do you think the tidal basin will be surrounded by pink blossoms?

    • Captial Weather Gang says peak blossoms will be April 6-10 so I think you will be okay!
      Also if you want to avoid crowds don’t forget about Dumbarton Oaks – less crowded and the Cherry trees are gorgeous, or Kensington, MD.

      • The Dumbarton Oaks cherry trees were in bloom when I visited over the weekend. They were gorgeous!

  • Revel: Brown dropped out of the at-large race!!!

  • Rave: My hair is looking pretty damn good today. I could be a spokes model for Trader Joes Tea Tree Tingle Conditioner
    Rant: My stomach hurts really badly 🙁 (I really should go to a doctor this has been going on for months now)
    Rant: My old doctor (who I vetted extensively) does not take my new insurance. So I have to start the process all over again 🙁

  • Rant: Didn’t sleep well last night.
    Rave: Getting pretty pumped for V-Day DC and the Vagina Monologues this weekend! (little tiny plug: http://www.vdaydc.org/ )

  • Rant: Messed up stomach and should probably just see a doctor and get it over with……..but I hate doctors.

    Rave/Rant: Friend in the Navy, stationed in Pearl Harbor, wants to pay for half of my plane ticket to come visit! As tempting as HAWAII is right now, and the invitation to the Submarine Ball, I don’t think I can accept. That’s too much money.

    Rave: FINALLY talked to the guy I ride the bus with/wind up in Starbucks with at LEAST 3 days a week. Now we can say ‘good morning’ as opposed to awkwardly acknowledging each other.

    Rant: My eyes are already blurry from staring at the computer and it’s only 11:30…I’ll be blind by 5 p.m.

    Rave: Made a pretty decent roasted cauliflower pasta last night! Now have tons of leftovers.

  • pablo .raw

    Revel: Life is looking good!

  • Rave: nice person on metro asking me if I was OK when I looked sick last night

    rant: I looked sick because I was trying to discretely hold cover my nose and mouth because said nice person was drenched in cologne which was making me sick to my stomach. I did try to look out toward the window so he wouldn’t notice (and to keep my nose/mouth away from the smell). Luckily I only had one stop to go. Even the fish smell of the brakes on the metro was better than the cologne.

  • Revel- There were some commenters a few weeks ago who were interested in a treatment for knee arthritis I was getting (hyaluronic acid injections), and I’m happy to report back that the treatments have really made a huge difference in my quality of life! I can climb up and down stairs now! Not totally pain free, but it’s a big improvement.

    Rant(ish): I naively asked the Doc when I could resume my former level of activity and the sport I love (rowing), and he kind of looked at me with pity and said maybe never. Boo. Apparently once cartilage is gone, the joint is compromised, and I might never run or row again. And even with biking and spinning, I’m supposed to keep it at a low gear and not strain too much. I’m just hoping that this isn’t necessarily the end of the plans I had of training up to a metric century for this fall. 🙁

  • Rant/Revel: For about the past five months, I’ve been walking through about four blocks worth of sawdust, gravel, sand, dirt hills, mud, and construction noise to get to work. Every day is a surprise as to how rough the path to work will be. It feels like urban hiking.
    Rave: This construction will bring food and restaurants to CU/Brookland, thanks Dan.
    Super Rave: I got a raise. And will run by Cherry Blossoms on Sunday.

  • North Korea just said they are going to nuke us. At what point do we get tired of this and just end them?

  • Rave: I spent an unnecessary amount of time researching new sheets, because I finished my Master’s thesis and wanted to treat myself. Got them yesterday, put them on after a good wash, and I feel totally luxurious lying in them!

Comments are closed.