Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user ep_jhu

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.

110 Comment

  • Rant/Rave: Looking ahead at the calendar and it looks like this weekend is my last weekend home for quite some time! Time to get shit done around the house to prep.

    Rave: The line-up looks pretty awesome – Kentucky, Hawaii, Benin, maybe Bhutan, maybe Indonesia – most of those for work but still damn sweet.

    • I want your job.

    • All sound great except Kentucky. No offense to Kentucky – just not as exotic as the others. πŸ™‚

      • Kentucky was a surprise trip from my husband – It’s the most prestigious three day eventing competition (horse back riding) in the US – and I’ve been riding since I was 6 so I’m really psyched πŸ˜€

        • justinbc

          Well, that and all the amazing bourbon access.

        • And you might have a chance to hook up with Deputy US Marshal Raylan Givins.

        • anon. gardener

          I love Lexington, and this is the best time of year – Rolex, the spring race meet at Keeneland, the steeplechase in May… The crowds at Rolex can be rude, but the vendor scene is amazing. I’m so jealous!! πŸ™‚ If you haven’t done it before, get up at the crack and have breakfast at the track kitchen at keeneland. Good and cheap, and you can walk over to the track with your coffee and watch the morning works. Maybe you’ll see some of the Derby horses work. Horse heaven!

          • Kentucky in beautiful in the spring. Enjoy!

          • anon. gardener

            Also, there’s a lilac tree in the arboretum I would like to steal. the scent is pure heaven.

          • Thanks for the tips!! (Any more?!) We have tickets to all three days of Rolex (missing first day of dressage though) and a short time frame but I will certainly force the husband up at the butt crack of dawn to watch the sunrise at Keeneland πŸ˜€

          • anon. gardener

            When I lived there, Ramsey’s had great pie, and the food was also good. Alfalfa is another good place to eat. Probably the thing I miss the most – besides 5 AM breakfast at Keeneland and seeing horses everywhere – is the arboretum. if you are a runner, there is a 3 mile loop through the arboretum that is so nice, and parking is easy. So many great things about Lexington, I really miss it.

      • Emmaleigh504

        Anonymous, I’m disappointed you didn’t catch the obvious horse connection Kentucky has and why Britt would want to go there. Go stand in the corner and think about what you’ve done. πŸ˜‰ But seriously, horses duh!

    • I would love to go to Bhutan! What type of work do you do?

      • international development – it’s not glamorous and the trips are full of work, discomforts, and sleepless nights but I’m not complaining!

  • Anyone know of a good piano tuner?

  • Prayers for my fellow Texans.

  • superficial rant: had a conversation with a coworker about hamburgers…I mentioned shake shack. Then I made the mistake of looking at their custard calendar. They have red velvet. MUST AVOID. But it’s SO GOOD!

    Rant: Glucose test made me feel awful all day – went home, had some protein, and a long sleep. Hope that doesn’t mean I’ll have to take the 3hr…sigh…

    Rave: can’t wait to go home this weekend, even if only for a night.

    • This is anecdotal, but I don’t think feeling awful after the glucose test means anything, particularly if you have been cutting back on sugar. I was super jittery and felt awful after mine as well and passed. Then I started having a milk shake every week. The last weeks of pregnancy were awesome.

      • that’s good to know – I ate REALLY well 3 days prior (and, in general since my last appointment – hadn’t gained any weight, so that’s good!). I started to feel sort of icky towards the end of the hour wait….then as the day progressed, I was very sleepy and my headache got progressively worse. I broke down and made tuna salad for dinner (I know, tuna is bad) with some whole grain crackers and lots of water. I did prenatal yoga the night before, so I’m not sure if that matters. If I have to do the 3 hour one, I’ll be super sad.

  • novadancer

    rave: picked up orchestra seats for the New Order show in Philly. Can NOT wait! Even if it’s without Hooky…
    rant: work conference scheduled in Kentucky (ugh!) the last week of July which screwed up seeing them at Merriweather or Lollapalooza πŸ™

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: so sleepy, thanks insomnia!

    Rave: Learned something new today: Monte Carlo Method.

    Rave: Craving mac and cheese thanks to Valenina (sp?) and will have it for supper tonight!

  • homerule

    Rave: Coffee tastes extra delish this morning.

    Rant: Accidentally took mine and my beau’s keys this morning, and made him late for work. Oopsie!

    Query: Anyone know what was up with the circling helicopter and spotlight in Scott/Thomas/Logan Circle last night?

  • Rant/Rave: I realized last night that my work/life balance is severely skewed towards work. Then I realized that I was actually pretty okay with that, because I kinda really love my job and I enjoy doing it. But then I started to worry that maybe I’m hiding behind work…so really the only thing I do know for sure is that I overanalyze too much.

    Revel: baby leaves make me so very happy.

    • Be careful, my partner’s work/life balanced was heavily skewed towards work and she developed a lot of medical issues as a result of that lifestyle. Now she’s seeing multiple doctors a day and can’t work at all. Unlike you, though, she hated her work and was very stressed out by it.

  • Rant: Being a manager is highly overrated until the paycheck comes in.

    Rave: Almost the weekend.

    Rant: Screw dating. I’m just going to buy a boat and go Sonny Crockett (Miami Vice) style (Being a single old guy stealing criminal’s wives with a smooth mustache).

  • Blithe

    Rave: Tried Allegra for the first time today — and, so far, no side-effects and it seems to be working nicely. Many Thanks to Anonymous — who kindly suggested OTC options yesterday!!!!

    Rave: I (mis)read a Pop classified ad, and thought to myself: “Beautiful Black Rebel….that kind of sounds like me! :-)” I read it again, and realized that it was an ad for a Honda motorcycle. So, while I may need reading glasses, my self-esteem seems to be improving! LOL

    Rave: Yesterday I spent a lovely afternoon with a friend. It was a “normal” thing to do — but a reminder to me to treasure and nurture relationships that matter a lot to me.

    Rant: I’m still obsessing re: the picture of that hyper-icky squrat.

    Rave: If that’s my rant, I’m doing pretty good!

  • Rant: Senate
    Rant: Went to a focus group with external consultants evaluating our agency and they never showed up.

  • Rant: I feel unattractive today. Wearing my glasses (thanks to the pollen) and pants (thanks to the cooler temps), bloated (thanks to PMS), with heavy frizzy hair (thanks to the humidity).

  • Rant: Boston, ricin letters and the explosion in Texas. Can this week just be over already?

  • Rant: Feeling super anxious lately. Getting tired of fighting off panic attacks.
    Rave: Forced myself to ride Metro to work even though I felt panicky.

  • Rave: Today is my Friday!

    Rant: …because I’m going to Philly for a memorial service for the B/f’s grandparents tomorrow. Not the best reason for a weekend away.

    Rave: Tomorrow is my first real train ride.

    Rant (more of a gripe): Sharing a house with people who are (newly) dating (or sharing a house in general). No, I don’t want to hide in my room tonight because you are bringing your new girlfriend over for dinner. No, I cannot put off doing laundry tonight because your new girlfriend is coming over (and I have to walk through your room to get to the laundry room). I’m sorry, but that’s how your room is. Ugh, I am so tired of communal living!

    • That’s one big reason why I’m happy to live alone: I can invite a woman over for dinner. If I lived in a group house, there is no way I’d do that early in a relationship.

  • Rant: cramps
    Revel: aleve. seriously, I want to hug all the folks who invented it.

    • I have the same rant/rave. If it weren’t for pain relief pills I would have to miss a week of work every month.

    • Emmaleigh504

      Rave: Birth control pills, I never get cramps any more or periods, they don’t mess up my mood, cause me to gain weight, make my hair fall out, or let parasites grow inside me πŸ™‚

      Thank you scientists!

      • oooh, I have the opposite view on bc pills. they make me crazy and completely kill my sex drive. I’m convinced that 90% of the sex drive disparity between young men and women is because entire generations of women are on hormonal birth control. sure, unwanted pregnancies are terrible and there are therapeutic uses for the pill, but I just think we should make women aware of how powerful these drugs are. (not that you’re not!)

        • Yeah, I have dated a couple women who refused to use the pill because it made them even more hormonal while decreasing their sex drive. Not the best combo.

        • Emmaleigh504

          I don’t have that problem either πŸ™‚ The particular kind I use (the Seasonale family) have been the best thing to ever happen to me. The first kind I used orthotri whatever was horrible though, so I know HBC aren’t for everyone and one has to find the right one.

          • I’m on a generic for Seasonale, and I skip the placebo pills at the end of Month 3 and go straight to the next pack. NO. PERIODS. EVER. Except for this week, because my generic had been recalled and I had to get a different one. Amazing that I used to have to put up with the pain and hassle of it all every single month. I’m hoping all of that ibuprofen hasn’t taken too much of a toll on my body.

            I’m annoyed that none of my doctors suggested this before Seasonale came on the market — apparently many female doctors have been taking the pill “off-label” in this manner (i.e., skipping the placebos) for a while.

          • Would you recommend it solely for getting rid of periods (I don’t need birth control)? I’m normally not keep on taking unnecessary pills everyday, but that sounds amazing.

          • Emmaleigh504

            YES! Yes I would recommend it to get rid of periods. I take the placebos and still don’t get a period (it took about a year for this miracle to happen). It is amazing!

          • To Anonymous 1:49 pm: Yes, I would definitely recommend it. I don’t really use it as birth control, but am on it to suppress periods. It’s definitely improved my quality of life.

          • I agree as well. Haven’t had one in two years. I do it to prevent pregnancy, migraines, and horrrrrible periods.

  • Rant: In the process of breaking up with someone. We’ve been together for over a year, but I’m simply not happy with her neediness and the accompanying drama that fills our relationship every time she is stressed or “having a bad day”. I feel like I’m always walking on eggshells and apologizing to her for perceived slights.

    I feel bad about doing this, as this is a particularly tough time of year for her, but I feel like her emotional punching bag. I need to put my own happiness first.


    • My ex was just exactly this way, and it got so old. She was cute and good in bed, so I tolerated it for longer than I should have, but breaking up was definitely for the best.

      • I hope your ex doesn’t read this blog. That would be pretty crushing to find out that your partner stayed with you primarily because you were “cute and good in bed.”

    • I knew a (former) couple like that. The girl is nice and she is still my friend, but she was undiagnosed bipolar and her mood swings were too hard on him. Nothing he could do was good enough. He could be taking her out to dinner at a French restaurant with friends on a beautiful Saturday and she’d still be ripping him a new one.

      • Yep, I dated someone with bipolar disorder and it was an exhausting roller coaster ride the whole time. Her good moods were absolutely delightful, but also terrifying because they could turn into a fiery rage in an instant.

      • She has diagnosed depression and has been transitioning to new medication. It’s been rough the past few months. I’m a very patient person, but I don’t think can handle a lifetime of this.

        It’s also why I feel bad about doing this. People suffering depression deserve good relationships and happy lives. But, I think after this experience and dating another woman with depression a few years ago, I will be avoid dating people who suffer from it. I simply don’t understand what they are experiencing and they develop a strong sense of dependency on me (my patience, emotional support, etc.) that I don’t want. I need someone who is more independent.

        • It’s nice to feel needed, and perhaps you may consider that sentiment if this is a recurring situation. It’s important to set limits, whatever your partner’s mental health is.

        • I hear you. It took a very bad, broken off engagement for this Jane to get her head on straight. It was painful, and I hated him for awhile, but ultimately, it was a gift and I eventually wrote him to essentially say “thank you for breaking up with me.” I was controlling, manipulative, and in my early 20’s I thought he was the worst boyfriend/fiance ever (he wasn’t). Taking several years (a decade?) to myself was the best thing ever. Good luck – I do not envy you πŸ™‚

    • You just slip out the back, Jack
      Make a new plan, Stan
      You don’t need to be coy, Roy
      Just get yourself free
      Hop on the bus, Gus
      You don’t need to discuss much
      Just drop off the key, Lee
      And get yourself free

  • rant: mucho hungover
    rave: im allowing myself to get a sandwich from downstairs to cure hangover. no salad for me today
    rave: family member gets out of the hospital today. he seemed a little too complacent being there, but thats a story for another time.

  • Can anyone recommend a nice place to get a pedicure within walking distance of dupont? Haven’t had one in 3 years and I need to get my feet sandal ready. thx!

  • rant: people who talk about tv shows.

    now, the occasional discussion about something that happened on a show isn’t a problem, but I have an acquaintance with whom literally 75% of the conversations he starts are about something on tv. how tediously boring.

    • Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.

      -Eleanor Roosevelt

  • a question for you all.
    i keep reading that many urbanists are advocating getting rid of minimun parking requirements for developments. this seems to be moving forward and in areas designated as “transit zones” they may be done away with altogether.

    what are the advantages of removing these minimums?

    • The increase in density will make parking so incredibly expensive in those areas (think NYC prices for a monthly spot – $400/month), that it encourages people to get rid of their cars altogether.

      Unlike NYC, many DC homeowners in prime areas tend to still own cars, despite the abundance of transportation options a block away. They are looking to change that mindset.

      • I think the problem is that a lot of DC homeowners have jobs, family, friends and/or other important things in the suburbs, which has weak public transit infrastructure. If my wife wants to visit her mom in Burke, for example, she would have to metro to the Pentagon to catch a bus that only runs once every hour, and then walk a mile after a very long bus ride. If I’d relied on public transit to get to my 4:30 graduate classes at George Mason I would have had to have left work at 2:00. Being carless is great as long as you have no ties to VA or MD.

        • justinbc

          That applies a lot more for those who grew up here for sure, but for those of us who’ve moved recently (myself 5 years ago) it’s really a nonfactor. I sold my car 2 years ago and have not regretted it once since. Sure, there might be a random thing I could possibly want out in the suburbs on some rare instance, but if I really needed it that bad I would either 1) rent transportation that one time, or 2) go with a friend who owns a car. It’s such a relief to be free of having to drive.

          • I agree (as long as you’re not one of those moochers that is always trying to get rides out of friends). Unfortunately, even if you didn’t grow up here you develop connections to the suburbs if you’ve been here long enough. I also use my car to visit my family back home; it would be such a hassle for them to go out to a train station to pick me up. I suspect a lot of newcomers hold onto their cars for that reason too.

          • justinbc

            ^ I did that for a while too, for long distance trips. Then I realized the cost of a plane ticket plus a rental car for the trip was still less than a car payment + gas + insurance.

          • Yeah, I’ve crunched those numbers and it’s still cheaper for me to keep my car (especially since two of us have a need for it).

          • so, as a carless person, what advantage is there to you in getting rid of parking minimums?

          • justinbc

            @manimal, it doesn’t really have any benefit or impact whatsoever for me. It might apply much more to suburban residents, but you don’t see nearly as many of those type of developed communities being built within the District.

        • I can see why that’s an issue for some people (like yourself), but many folks who do live in DC proper don’t have any ties to the suburbs.

          It seems that urban planners for the region are splitting citizens into two groups – 1.) if you have significant ties to the suburbs, you need to live in the suburbs and 2.) DC itself will be a city all about a car-free lifestyle.

          If you want the privilege of living in DC and owning a car, you will need to pay for it. And that will now factor in all the external, intangible costs that have typically been subsidized for car owners (pollution, congestion, underpriced parking, etc.)

          • I guess. We would love to be car-free (I hate driving and she has medical conditions that make it difficult) but there’s not a good alternative and we were miserable living in the suburbs. I just wish Northern VA would get its act together and invest in more public transit, but the government in Richmond doesn’t see the value.

          • “I can see why that’s an issue for some people (like yourself), but many hipsters don’t have any ties to the suburbs.”
            Fixed it!

          • I’m from out West, but came to DC for work. I’m out in the suburbs a few times a year, at most, to see some friends from work or attend a BBQ. More and more of DC’s population is made up of people like me: not from the region and car-less. DC’s infrastructure is rapidly reflecting the changing demographics of the city.

            These changes are making it more expensive and more of hassle to go between the suburbs and DC, which tends to be longtime residents. Hence, why there is a lot of outcry from the suburb population about these changes. They want to still be able to come into DC for dinner, have light traffic, and have easy/free parking (like 10-15 years ago). But that’s no longer the reality.

          • The region’s getting more divided, it seems. On one hand you have the young, childless, well-off, carless people that live in DC and hardly ever venture outside of it. Then you have the suburban dwellers, who are either older, have kids, or are poor. Those folks are usually car dependent and don’t go into DC unless they work there. It’s definitely challenging if you end up in a situation where you have to straddle both worlds.

      • is that something that you see as an advantage?

        • Well, urban planners see it as an advantage. They want to eliminate the number of cars in urban areas since buses, trains, and bikes are more efficient means of moving people rapidly in & out of urban areas. Cars take up a lot of space in order to transport one or two people.

          Also, I think parking in DC is under-priced in prime areas compared to the value you pay for real estate (this is a personal, not scientific, opinion). In places like NYC, parking in prime areas runs for $15-20 per hour or $400-500 per month. DC is much cheaper for parking, so it encourages people to drive instead of using mass transit.

          • But another thing NYC has going for it is that it’s better connected to the suburbs via public transit (my sister, for example, just bought a $300k single family house in NJ that is within walking distance from the train station. In VA you’d be paying close to a million for that privilege).

    • The minimums are from the 50s, the last time DC Zoning was updated. Seriously. A lot of people think the minimums are very high, as in some spaces may go unused. This has been documented in some buildings.

      But, there is also the cost. A lot of developers put the parking underground because they are required to build so much of it, that is the only place it will fit. Some estimated of how much it costs per space to build underground are in the tens of thousands. So, then the developer has to charge more for something, the overall price of the condo/apartment rent or for the spaces themselves. That might be why there are unused spaces in underground lots, no one wants to buy it for $25,000 or rent it for $250/mo.

      Basically it’s antiquated and there is no flexibility.

      • is your belief that housing prices will actually go down and become more affordable if we get rid of parking minimums?

        • I doubt housing prices will go down, but I think eliminating/reducing the parking minimums for places within the District that are well-served by public transit is still a good idea.

          • my instinct is to say the same, but i don’t have any actual advantages i can think of, which is why i’m asking.

            to me i think, hell, build the parking, then use the spot for storage, or a ping pong table, remote control helicopters, or whatever.

          • You also have to consider that taking away parking minimums near transit hubs (where the required number of spots can be overkill) give developers more flexibility in design too. For instance, in my neighborhood a new condo building was designed to have ground floor retail (a benefit to the community), but had to take the retail out in a redesign because they needed to add more parking spaces on the ground floor (sad trombone sound).

          • i’m more than happy to say to a developer, “you don’t have to add parking if you provide community serving retail”. otherwise, i really don’t care if they have to build it or not. but i like the bargaining option.
            but i’ve got offstreet parking. and my friends can cab if they have to when they visit.

Comments are closed.