Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user schmiddi

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.

133 Comment

  • Rant: I can’t take this F#CK!NG heat. It is way too early for this.
    Revel: If I just kill myself now I’ll never have to suffer through a DC summer again.

    • It’s funny how different people are! I was literally about to post the following revel:

      Revel: It’s finally warm, it’s finally warm! Hoorah for Spring!

      It’s obviously a very personal preference and since I grew up in Los Angeles, I take heat MUCH better than cold.

    • I hate the heat too, but you will not fare well in the 100 degree swampy mosquito filled days of August if you are already spazzing out like this. On a bright note, temperatures are supposed to fall again to seasonal averages. πŸ™‚

      • I think this temperature is perfect. Warm enough to throw on a dress and not worry about jackets and tights, but cool enough that I’m not sweating and I can have the windows open with the AC off.

        • Not so nice for the 50% of us who have to wear slacks and a long sleeve shirt to work (at least it’s not a full suit I guess…)

          • I have to wear slacks and long sleeves, and I love this weather. 80s with low humidity doesn’t get any better. Really, I just don’t get all the complaints. Anyone who can’t tolerate this weather should really think hard about relocating. Today is such a joy compared to what’s to come, and if this weather causes grief, then DC clearly isn’t for you. Life’s too short, and a job isn’t worth misery. (Personally, I also love the hot and sticky, so DC clearly is for me.)

          • Yeah I just heard a coworker whining that “DC has the worst weather on the face of the Earth.” Even if that were true… why is he here then?

    • Yep, F the heat. People are all “yeah its spring”…except spring lasts one firggin minute in this hellhole, and then we get to suffer through hellish unbreathable air for 4 months. I wish it would stay winter in this town all year long, which is bascially spring anywhere north of here.

      • I’m with you, this thread has made me feel better, I thought I was the only one who felt like this.

        • saf

          Huh. I love the heat. All I ever hear is people bitching and moaning about the heat in Washington and how anyone who loves it is stupid.

          Maybe we should trade peer groups?

    • Rave: I love all seasons and all kinds of weather.

    • It’s the worst at night– I have bad allergies so I can’t open the windows and the building doesn’t turn on the AC until mid-May. I wake up drenched in sweat every AM. So gross.

    • After bundling up in late March and early April, I say bring it on! I sat outside in shorts and sandals last night. First time I was able to do that this year. FU winter!

  • Rant: Trying to buy our first home in DC right now. Highest home prices on record + lowest inventory= probably the worst time to be a buyer. Wah.
    Revel: First iced coffee of the season today. I don’t mind the heat (yet).

    • Do you really need to buy right now? Most people don’t, they just get caught up with anxiety in a bubble market. FOMO-based buying is dangerous.

      If you don’t absolutely need to buy, keep saving money for the next few years and wait it out. You’ll have a bigger downpayment, which will save you money in the long run. Interest rates are going up, more inventory is in the pipeline, and DC wages will be hit hard by the spending cuts. The writing is on the wall, in plain view.

      • Ugh, not anon, but I’m just tired of having to leave apartments bc landlord wants to sell or raises rent an exhorbitant amount. The fact that the timing coincides with a bad market is unfortunate but I guess predictable, because if rents were more reasonable, I’d be more apt to want to skip it and keep renting.

        • You frustration is understandable, but your situation is due to the tough market. If it wasn’t a tough market for buyers, you wouldn’t be facing rent increases or landlords constantly flipping.

          Buying when market conditions are expensive is a BAD idea. Look here, Feb to March in the District showed a month-to-month price increase of 13.6%. That’s the sign of a HUGE bubble. I know the homeowners will pile in here to disparage my remarks, but I think any first time home owner would be insane to buy right now.


          • I’m sure you’re right. F this crap. I’ll just go live in tent in my parents backyard.

          • Emmaleigh504

            Aim high, buy one of those little sheds from home depot to put up in their backyard. You’ll have more space and you can get them with windows!

          • I am still bullish about close-in DC. The investment dollars are still flowing into the City. I also think there are more factors than just a short term bubble. The people that got in trouble in the last bubble were by and large those that could not ultimatey afford their mortgage and were underwater and had to sell. If you have a longer term horizon, relatively stable income and a manageable monthly cash flow situation I think it is less risky. So if you find a place that you could stay in for 10 years and it is not a stretch financially I say go for it.

          • I agree with both anon 11:02 and TG. Interest rates are low, which means you can afford more house (driving up prices up course, because everyone else can). At the same time, not everyone buying a house is looking to make a quick buck. If you stay in a place 10 years, it would be fairly hard to lose money, at worst you would break even after transaction costs plus get all your equity back in your pocket.

            If you’re trying to “time the market”, well yeah, you missed the time to jump in big time. I don’t even see what the next Bloomingdale success stoy where prices could double over 5 years could possibly be in the city – even fringe neighborhoods on the outskirts of town are jumping up to high 300s/low 400s, which is double what they were a few years ago.

          • Not trying to time the market or make a buck, just trying to not have to move every couple of years.

          • FYI – the Post has published a correction that the 13.6% figure was a year-over-year increase, not month-over-month. Still a lot, but decidedly less bubblicious.

        • I hear you, L. Everyone wants their house to be a good investment, but at the end of the day its your HOME. I think you need to be smart about which home you purchase because it is a long term financial investment. But sometimes, I think everyone only calculates the money going into it, but the calculation should also include the emotional/physicial/spiritual comfort of having a place of your own. As a recent homebuyer I think we got the best deal and will probably just break even or make a little money in about five years when we sell. However, when you include how much we love our place, I think we already won out.

          • Exactly. Plus unlike a rent check, part of that mortgage check is principal that will ultimately go back into your pocket. There are also tax calculators that can help you figure out what your interest deduction translates to in terms of tax avoidance. As long as you can avoid taking a bath on a place I am still pro ownership, even if this does turn out to be a bubble.

    • You have low interest rates, though.

  • Fearful Rant: Cicadas. I dont like them…at all. They fly and land on everything…
    Rant: Sometimes I hate trying new things. I normally get breakfast tacos from the District Taco truck that parks in front of my office. I tried their burritos and it was sooooo bad. Now i dont even want their breakfast tacos anymore πŸ™
    Query: Since I am planning my big 30th birthday europe trip I cant afford to take my annual overseas trip this year. So I am thinking about the Outer Banks…anyone ever been? What is it like? Any good hotels/places to stay and eateries?
    Rave: I made it through half of Gillian Michaels’ yoga DVD…baby steps

    • Outer Banks (OBX) are awesome. I’ve been to Carolla and really enjoyed it. My advice is to rent a house or condo with a group of friends. We got a huge 16 person house for the week of Memorial Day and it’s around $180/person for the entire week. So cheap.

      • Awesome! Thanks! πŸ™‚

      • Rant: IRS is deducting $2400 from my bank account today for taxes due. Dangit.

        Rave: Caps! Absolutely killing it right now!!!

        • Rant: Clicked add comment on bottom, and somehow it posted here.

          Also, how did you get $180 for 16 people? We rented beach front for 20 people the week of labor day (first week of school) and paid $7,000 for all of us. Granted the house was super nice, but still.

          • This was in 2011, so the economy was definitely crappier. We also were in Carolla (which is cheaper than other parts of OBX) and we were across the street from the ocean-facing properties.

            Still, we were basically 150 feet from the sand – that’s close enough for me. And we had a nice pool and a big hot tub. Our friends who rented ocean-front houses were paying about $300/person for that privilege.

          • I rent a house with friends all the time in OBX. Never comes out to more than 250 (for a large group, around 20 ppl) and that includes food/alcohol (which we provide). There are a ton of larger houses that are very nice for around these prices.

    • How was the yoga DVD–boring, tough? Also, where are you going in Europe?

      • Oh Maymay it wasnt boring it was HARD and I dont really like yoga πŸ™ (but i can see how it will tone me up as i continue losing weight).
        I am planning a sort of backpacking trip except I wont be doing hostels. I want to go to Venice, Nice, Amsterdam and London.

      • And I am not that flexible :(. I cant plank or do downward facing dog:( im a yoga failure

        • haha! When I first started the teacher would just shake her head but 4 months later I could kinda do some of the poses correctly. I agree it’s tough but stick with it (if you want)– it’s a great workout esp. if you don’t want to do intense cardio.

        • have you tried using yoga blocks or a strap? the props help until you develop flexibility. also, if you’re new to yoga, it’s worth it to shell out for a few classes at a studio so the instructor can show you modifications, and then work on the dvd yourself once you learn the basics.

        • saf

          Are you in Petworth? Come check out a class at Golden Heart (Georgia and Decatur). Made me like yoga!

  • skj84

    Rave/Rant: this weather. I’m glad its sunny and not freezing, but no quite ready for full on summer. Can spring come back?

    Rant: Not enough time in the day! Or more accurately I keep running out of time. I got up early today to get some work done before a rehearsal and I’m still running behind.

    Rave: Going to New York in a few weeks with my best friend and sister! I haven’t been since July, counting down the days.

  • Laughing about the Washington Post article that if the Panda gets pregnant they won’t know who the father is. China’s fears that western values willl corrupt its culture have been confirmed.

  • My grad school organizes a big trip to the Outer Bank for the graduating class every year (or more accurately, just encourages us to organize it ourselves). I loved it! I’m from the West Coast and used to vacation in Hawaii so I was a bit snobby about East Coast beaches but I was really pleasantly surprised. I mean, it’s not Hawaii, but the water was clean, the beach didn’t feel crowded and there was lovely local wildlife (pelicans, crabs, horses if you pay extra to see them). We went in late May/early June and we JUST caught that point when the water warmed up. The first few days it was too cold for me to go swimming but then a warmer tide came in and it was great.

    As far as logistics, if you can get a big group together and rent a group house, that’s by far the cheapest scenario. We PACKED a house (we were students so we had no problem sleeping on bunk-beds and pull-out couches) and I ended up paying something like $400 for A FULL WEEK AT THE BEACH INCLUDING FOOD, TRANSPORTATION, AND LODGING! Judging based on bang for your buck, it was probably the best vacation I’ve ever taken.

    There wasn’t really much entertainment from what I could tell, just rows of houses and a lovely beach. There are a few restaurants a short drive away and a few touristy attraction but mostly it’s you and beach. It was definitely fun for a group since we through BBQs and played volleyball during the days.

  • Rant: Too old for a big group house vacation.

    • I think big group house getaways would be great for a group of young families and their single friends. Especially in the OBX where the houses are huge, plenty of privacy for everyone, and affordable. The only issue is scheduling, so just plan it over a long holiday weekend.

    • I found that young families and single people who are trying to party at the beach is not a great combo. You need 2 houses – one for people who need naps and early bedtimes, and one where you can drink and play foosball until 2 am.

  • Rave: Weather!

    Rant: More car repairs. I Spent over $200 last month on repairs, over $1000 a couple or months ago and now I’m told the latest will be at least $250. Maybe it’s time to start shopping for a new car.

  • Rave: Have a long bike ride and an evening at the barn planned plus work that can be done outside. Making the most of this weather.

    Rant: Gained weight while watching my calorie intake (no increase) and working out… definitely doesn’t look like muscle. Wondering if it’s water retention due to hydrating a bunch for the tri this past weekend…

    Rave: Fun, semi-inappropriate e-mail chains with friends. Some mornings you just need a little crazy.

    • If you’re a woman and if you’re about to get your period (week prior), your weight will shift up (not sure why… maybe water retention due to hormonal change???). Anyway, just a theory for you…

  • Rave: Back at work after stomach flu!

    Rant: Nearly got rear-ended by a school bus today! I was giving my turn signal and waiting for on-coming traffic to clear, and the school bus slammed to a stop about 3 inches from my bumper, and the driver laid on the horn (the driver had also laid on the horn when the 5 cars in front of him didn’t go through a red light fast enough).

    Rant: Was too busy paying attention to what I was doing to get any identifying info on the driver to report him.

    Rave: The on-coming car saw what was happening, slowed down, and waved me into the daycare parking lot. Thanks, stranger, for letting me drop my kid off safely.

    Rave: Gorgeous blooms on the trees around my office! It is good, indeed, to be out of the house.

  • Rave: Got up this morning for a swim. Always happy when I can motivate myself to workout in the morning — such a great start to the day.

    Rave: Sunshine.

    Rant: the chafing that happens when you combine skirts and warm weather. Oh, my poor thighs.

  • gotryit

    Or you know, you could move to a cooler climate. Suicide might be a little melodramatic or not funny to people who have lost people close to them to suicide for reasons beyond summer.

  • Rant: Gave my dog his first flea treatment of the year on Sunday afternoon….in the back of my mind I have always thought it messed with his system and now I’m sure! I came home to a $hitshow yesterday. And he’s so unhappy (I am not being facetious). According to the “interweb” it is possible so off to the store for Cottage Cheese and yogurt… “sigh”

    • Do you use Frontline? My dog has never had any problems with that (although it doesn’t seem to completely prevent her from getting ticks.)

      • It’s the Costco version of Frontline but they say it’s essentially the same thing (but after this episode, back to name brand I go!)….he has had milder reactions to Frontline in the past – enough so that I started to make the connection…

        Poor guy. He’s really too old to be this uncomfortable. And I am not looking forward to what awaits me when I get home tonight.

        • the one good thing about getting the brand name frontline is that merial (or whatever big company makes it, i forget) will actually pay your vet bills for you if your pet has a bad reaction or it doesn’t work. my little pup ended up with a skin rash, and needed a few vet appointments and my vet charged them all directly to the manufacturer!

        • The Costco stuff sucks!!! We went back to Frontline after 2 treatments of the cheap Costco stuff.

    • GiantSquid

      Canned pumpkin, yogurt, and white rice will help calm the stomach and, um, dry things up. I speak from unhappy dog tummy experience.

    • GiantSquid

      Also, regarding flea and tick treatments: make sure you’re using the right dosage for your dog’s size. If its making him sick, you may consider dropping down a size range. In addition, I was told that you don’t have to do it exactly every month, you can space it out a little more, to six weeks or so, so it’s less harsh to your dog and still effective.

      • Yes, when I give my dog frontline, I don’t even use the whole tube because she is kind of in the middle of the recommended weight range for that dose.

      • Also, putting it on just before a big walk will help. My vet says it feels to the dog like cracking a raw egg on your head and letting it ooze down.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: Didn’t sleep well, woke up with an eyeball ache that has now spread to my entire head.

    Rave: Cosmos seedlings appearing in my pots! Lavender clippings rooted over the winter. Hoping to turn the new lavender into topiaries.

  • Rave: Had my first coke slurpee of the year! The first of m.a.n.y. (New office is across the street from a 7-11, yay!)

  • I should really do my taxes. I’ll get a few thousand back, I’ve just been super lazy.

    • Don’t worry, I haven’t done mine yet. And I need to get them done before I leave for vacation on Friday. Tonight. Definitely. Unless I find another reason to put it off again. πŸ™‚

  • Rant: It makes me sick that in DC an adult can brutally murder someone, dismember them, throw them in a dumpster, plead guilty to first degree murder, and have a sentence that gets them out of jail in their 50s! We seriously need new sentencing guidelines here if we are ever going to reverse the gun/homicide/violence issue here. Life in prison for murderers please! None of this out in 15 when you plead guilty to second, or out in time to enjoy your golden years when you plead guilty to dismembering the body and throwing it in the dumpster! It’s an embarassment, and a total insult to the victims.

  • Rave: WEATHER. So Perfect. I hope it sticks around for a few weeks!

    Rant: Apartment search. Didn’t anticipate having any issues since I’m just looking for a room in a group house, but every open house I go to is PACKED and super competitive. Don’t need to move until late May so I figured I’d start looking now… Not even possible when all the apartments are looking for April 15th move in! GAH! I hate not being able to plan!

    Does anyone know of another website to look for rooms/apartments other than Craigslist? I tired pad mapper but it just pulls from craigslist, anyways.

    • Friends of friends are best. Put the word out on through your social networks.

      It’s only going to get more competitive for late May move-ins. All the new graduates are moving to town and summer interns will want cheap housing, too. Take the mid April move-in, even if it means paying extra rent for a month, if the place is a good deal. This makes even more sense if you plan on being there for a year or more – you’ll make your money back.

  • Rant: Banged my knee yesterday and it’s probably going to stop me from all the biking I want to do in this gorgeous weather. It’s even worse when you’re injured because of your own clumsiness.

    Rave: They found out what was wrong with my mom’s health, and it’s fairly easy to treat!

  • special_k

    Rave: Enjoyed a fantastic stroll by the Tidal Basin last night and somehow became the go to photographer for several tourists. I love this city.

    Rave: Ended the night with black tea and cardamom gelato. So delicious.

  • Rant: Yesterday someone mentioned that a man was at the corner of 16th and Arkansas with his pants down “enjoying himself.” Yesterday I saw someone right beside the trails along Piney Branch “enjoying himself” in full view of everyone walking by.

  • This Rand Paul thing at Howard is hilarious lol

  • GiantSquid

    Revel: Half-price bottle of wine with friend last night

    Rant: Half-price bottle of wine’s after effects this morning. No longer am I 23.

    Revel: Landlords finally fixed dripping leak in our bathroom ceiling.

    Rant: It only took them 20 months (Hurricane Irene).

    Revel?: maybe new windows are next…?

    Rant: Feet are still swollen from a lot of walking/standing this weekend and the heat. Made my new shoes chew up my feet.

    Revel: Band-aids

  • Revel: Its so beautiful outside and we are all lucky enough to get to sit inside for 8 hours and make someone else money!

    • Hahahaha +1000

      Although yesterday I went to get lunch, a rarity for me, and even though I’m on daily allergy meds I was overwhelmed and could barely get anything done for 2 or 3 hours after. It’s sad to suddenly have these allergies and be thankful for getting to stay in a climate controlled building all day πŸ™

  • Rave: Beautiful spring day!
    Rant: My daffodils are getting zapped by the heat
    Rave: Neighbor out picking up trash at Buchanan and Illinois.
    Rant: Shooting at 5th and Buchanan yesterday.

  • I’m one of those “can’t stand the heat” people …I’d take the 30’s temps we had earlier over today. Moving to a cooler climate is very appealing to me…

    Time to look for jobs in NYC, Boston, Philly, Pittsburgh … or maybe Buffalo or Syracuse?

    Unfortunately the job market is SO much better in DC.

  • Rant: Since it’s warm out, my office has cranked up the A/C. Lost power twice today already, but it’s still up high and it’s freezing. I’m in a blanket, hoodie, long sleeve, pants, and a scarf I found in my desk. Anyone else ever have this issue? I can’t feel my fingers.
    Rave: Saisons and picnic this evening.

  • rave: the weather. i know it will only get worse, but i will take it any day over the cold

    rant: first visit to the eye doctor with my new health insurance and the only thing covered was the eye exam.

    rave: one more reason to seriously start looking into lasik options

  • Rave: Grew up near Death Valley so 80/90 degree weather doesn’t bother me. Not braggin’, just sayin’. Feels like Spring!

    Rant: After years of being heavy, I have finally achieved my ideal weight, look great and am receiving positive attention from the opposite sex. But still…I struggle to maintain self-esteem. Would love to have effortless confidence but I don’t. I think I’m beginning to understand that I never will and it’s very discouraging. Just wish I could lighten up on myself.

    • It is possible to change your thoughts about yourself. As someone who has struggled with low self esteem for most of my life, I have experienced some of that change, although I do have a bit of lingering insecurity to battle yet. It takes a LOT of work, positive reinforcement (on yourself) and may even require therapy. Good luck. There is no sense in living like that!

    • saf

      You CAN achieve it! I am far far better now than I used to be. So many of us are trained to expect ourselves to be perfect and never to take credit for anything (especially women). It’s a sin.

      Therapy works. Recognizing the problem is a BIG step. Good luck. Don’t give up!

      (I still struggle with the weight part. Guess everyone has their issue, huh?)

    • Blithe

      Congrats on your accomplishment! I think that most of us would love to experience “effortless confidence’! For me, at least, I ‘ve found that my confidence grows out of the efforts . You might want to check out a book called “Fit from Within” — by Victoria Moran. I’ve found it very helpful and inspiring in maintaining long-term weight loss, and adjusting to the changes that weight loss does — and doesn’t — bring into your life. It’s a tiny book — and you can flip through it, or do it in short chunks each day.

    • Death Valley is one of my favorite places on earth. So beautiful and star-trek-like.

      • Thanks for all the words of encouragement! I really appreciate the thoughtful comments and it helps to hear how others have dealt with the same issues. Peace and happy Spring to all of you!

        Re: Death Valley a la Star Trek…I love that description! The desert is very other-worldly at night. One of the things I miss most about it.

  • Rave: Just got a text that the latest issue of Living Blues has an article about my bandleader (we’ve been expecting this, and waiting for it to be published) and my picture is in it!

    Rant: Can’t get tp the magazine’s website from work.

  • Rant: Was chatting with my new morning coffee buddy today only to find out that he graduated from college in 2011. I graduated in ’04. Damn, that made me feel old!

    Rave: CHERRY BLOSSOMS! I’ve been 3 times already and *might* go again tonight!

    Rave: The staff meeting I was afraid might turn into a sh*t show did NOT.

    Random: I need a good book to read! Any suggestions?

    • I graduated in 1992, so I feel even older.

      Books – try some Frederick Forsyth if you like thrillers. I’m rereading The Odessa File and loving it.

      • anon. gardener

        1992, represent.

        I recently read Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl and all I can say is wow. So inspiring. Also read The Good Soldier (Ford Madox Ford) over the weekend – another wow, but for very different reasons.

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