Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user ep_jhu

You can talk about whatever is on your mind โ€“ 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 peopleโ€™s grammar. This is a place to vent and/or celebrate things about daily life in DC.

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  • Revel: Posing for pics with Pablo — even the unedited shots look pretty darn good, even though they’re pictures of me (which tends to drag the quality down). Finally, something professional, that makes me look professional, for LinkedIn and other job-hunt-type purposes.

    Rant: No matter how big the knife or obvious the tattoo, I’m far more convincing as a vaguely affluent yuppie in a suit than a bad-ass chef in the kitchen. I’m just going to have to come to grips with bourgeois respectability, even in my pictures.

    Revel: First meal on the front porch this year — a ritual start to summer that seemed particularly important to me and to my old friends this year.

    Rant: there were still 20 dirty wine glasses in my kitchen this morning. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Rave: it looks like I might be able to work towards a joint degree after all!

    Rant: last months in DC (at least for a couple of years).

    Question: does anyone know a good blog about life in Philadelphia?

  • I’m sick again, all from stress.

    I need a new job.

  • Rave: Going to Cuba this week. It’s for work, but still – Cuba!

    Not really a rant: Long list of things to do before I leave.

  • Rave: spent my 2nd weekend in a row hanging out in Brookland. My new favorite neighborhood! The girlfriend loves the area, too. Had a fun time checking out all the yard sales.

    • In my desire to continue exploring neighborhoods, does anyone know much about Anacostia? Is there a commercial area to check out? Any particular area that’s cute and fun to hang out in? I’ve never ventured to that side of DC. Thx!

  • rant: non-stop headaches, with some turning into migraines for 3 days.
    rave: going to florida for a long weekend! can’t wait to relax.

  • gotryit

    Rant: Bike was stolen a few weeks ago.
    Rave: Got it back! Saw it locked to a rack in chinatown when out for mothers’ day dinner with my wife. Police handled it great when the guy showed up wondering what we were doing to “his bike”. Props to the cops and props to my wife!

    • Great news on your bike!
      I think the forum might benefit from an explanation of how you handled this, particularly how one proves to police that a bike belongs to him or her. If it’s locked up, the police would have to break the lock to give it back to you and I imagine they would want some proof that it is yours. I know that back when police would help a driver gain access to their car if the keys were locked inside, they would ask to see the license and registration.

      • gotryit

        Sure – that’s a good point. Be rigorous about your documentation. I had pictures of the bike, serial numbers written down from when I purchased the bike, and a scan of the receipt. When the bike was stolen, I filed a police report with the make / model / serial number. I also made sure to register it as stolen with the National Bike Registry (I think that cost all of a dollar).
        Fast forward to recovery – the police asked for the police report number (“CCN #”) as well as serial number, etc. I was also able to show them video on my phone of a guy stealing the bike off my front porch (love the security cameras).
        They did take down my info / verified ID and I signed a card stating that they gave me the bike. So if it wasn’t really mine, they’d be able to come back to me to set it right.

        • So what about the guy who claimed the bike was his? Was he the thief, or had he bought it unknowing? Was he arrested?

          • gotryit

            The guy with the bike was definitely not the theif – I could tell by the video. He says he bought it from someone walking down 14th street. $40 for a bike that cost me $400+.
            I didn’t stick around to see if the cops arrested him for receipt of stolen property, but I’m guessing they didn’t / won’t if he cooperated. So he just ends up out some $$ for a questionable purchase.

  • Rave: The VA: treating my guy with respect and dignity over at 50 Irving St.

  • Rave: Boss apologized (sort of) for a poor performance review. Acknowledged he has no clue of what I do yet he now knows that stuff would go bad if I resigned… เฒ _เฒ 

    Rant: Still thinking about a new job with less drama.

    Rave: Chez Billys is pretty amazing to hang out at, the decor is very well done, wish they had a better sound system and more people dancing, but the music there on Saturday night (90’s Hip-Hop) was a rare find in DC.

    Rant: Always better to leave the past in the past… No more trying again for me, at least until I forget that it never works again… ๐Ÿ˜›

  • Rant: My friend is making a huge mistake but it’s not my place to say so, which is really hard because I’m a “fixer” type.

    Rave: A great weekend with my family, some of whom I haven’t seen in months!

  • RANT: Construction crew at the CSIS building site on RI Avenue b/w 17th and 16th decided to shut down the road for 10 minutes this morning at the height of rush hour (830am). They had this big fork lift thing in the middle of the road, removing materials off the back of a pick-up truck. They’ve basically turned RI Avenue into a staging area. This caused cars to back up all around Scott Circle and it was basically a total shitshow.

    I get that they might need to occasionally stop traffic, but can’t they avoid this at rush hour? It’s totally ridiculous.

    • I was stuck on 16th street on Friday at 4:30 p.m. because of construction. We were at basically a standstill for 20-30 minutes – that is complete unacceptable. Construction should be cleared at 3 p.m. before the rush hour starts, and doubly so on a Friday.

  • Rant: It’s after midnight; maybe you could take your cocktails and your drunk friends off your porch and INSIDE your own damn rowhouse. And, in addition to concluding you’re an inconsiderate jerk, having to listen to your facile opinions until 3 am has made me realize you’re a moron as well.

    • It depends on the night.

      If it’s a weeknight or a Sunday night, then I can see your point. If it’s a Friday or Saturday, then you just have to deal with it as one of the drawbacks of urban living.

      • I fail to see how living in a city is an exemption from treating one’s neighbors with common courtesy. If anything, the closer quarters require greater respect.

        • To be fair, that’s not really what Annonymous said. They just said that having to deal with your neighbors having some friends over on the patio (not like we’re talking about a rager here) and making noise on a Friday or Saturday night kind of comes with the territory. That seems reasonable to me.

        • Well said, Kenyon. There are many people who work on the weekends. Children (and adults, too!) need sleep regardless of the day.

          People like this aren’t unaware that they’re greatly inconveniencing their neighbors, they simply don’t care. When this happens, you are perfectly justified in calling the cops.

          • Or how about this: maybe they DON’T KNOW you’re being inconvenienced. We’re all neighbors; why don’t you just treat them like – and act like yourself – adults, and just simply ask them to quiet down? You’d be amazed what kind of apologetic response that can get.

        • Eh, if it’s a nice weekend night, people are going to want to make use of their backyard or stoop and have some drinks. Sometimes that means staying out late. If they were yelling loudly or causing some sort of ruckus, then it’s more than acceptable to get pissed off or call the cops. But if it’s normal conversations, you just need to learn to live with it.

          Someone is always going to be inconvenienced in a dense urban environment, regardless of the time of day. That’s why suburbs were invented.

          • Well I guess we just disagree. In my opinion, basic courtesy says you don’t keep your neighbors up until 3:00 am, no matter how nice the night or how smooth the liquor. It’s a selfish act, whereas there is nothing selfish about wanting to sleep at 3:00 am.

            And that’s not why suburbs were created.

          • gotryit

            I agree with Kenyon, and thankfully the law does too for the hours of 10pm – 7am. Talking to them directly can sometimes be a better first try, but there’s always a visit from the police to quiet that down.

          • Agreed, as long as they are not causing a loud ruckus, then sitting outside your home is ok with me. After all, if bars can keep their patios open past 10pm, why can’t human beings be sitting outside past 10pm?

            But I also agree with KD – respecting your neighbors is the adult thing to do. So staying outside until 3am, you should be having no more than quiet conversation.

          • +1.

            It’s a city. It’s gonna be noisy. It’s gonna be noisy later than usual on a weekend. Them’s the breaks.

    • I would also add “don’t let groups of loud, drunk/high teenagers gather on your front porch and scream at the top of their lungs outside your neighbor’s bedroom window till 3am on any given night.”

    • Did you lean out your window and ask them nicely to please keep it down or take it inside? Most people having a great late-night gorgeous weather outside party don’t immediately think of how loud they are and can be absolutely considerate.

      Although my rat-poison neighbor (in no way a normal person or considerate neighbor) was her usual vulgar horror when I asked politely at 2:15 a.m.

  • bfinpetworth

    Rave: I’m down to a few more weeks at my biglaw job. After 4 years, I’ve come to realize that this lifestyle is killing me and I’m too old for this ####. Stress and lack of autonomy are not worth the $$. Sooo…

    Rave: My partner and I are heading south. Moving to Ft. Myers Beach, FL into a cute little house on a canal with a pool and across the street from the Gulf of Mexico. Renovations are taking place now, and we’ll be driving down with our three dogs the first week of June.

    Rant and Rave: We have to figure out how to earn a living down there. I have to take the Florida bar exam, and hopefully can get my own little practice started there. We are also considering some other business startup ideas. We are taking an entrepreneurial leap of faith with this move in order to have daily access to the things we love: water, sun, walking the dogs on the beach, wildlife, fishing… I can’t wait and I’m so scared.

  • Any recommendations on a realtor for someone who would be a first-time homebuyer, looking for a 1BR condo in NW DC or close-in burb for under $275K?
    Also, would a 10% down payment qualify me for a loan, or is the requirement these days still 20%? Basically, I have 15% saved but I don’t want to completely empty my savings.

    • There have been many arguments on here about that. You should have 20% ready to go if you want a conventional loan and your credit is good or excellent. Some blowhard is going to burst into the conversation and say we’re all wrong because they just did it with 5 or 10% down, but they’re like one of those mythical creatures who pays $900 a month for an apartment on U Street. Prepare yourself for the norm, not the exception.

      • Why would you dismiss those who say you don’t need 20% down when you don’t even take the opposite view? Maybe most people won’t find a <20% down option but that doesn't mean they don't exist. I don't think there's any argument about that.

    • 10% is more than enough for an FHA or CHIP loan. I highly suggest the CHIP from BB&T. It’s a low down payment loan but does not have a PMI requirement, which means more money in your pocket every month.

      • Yeah, the amount you would pay towards PMI + condo fees on a $300k condo would pretty much pay for another apartment. It would drive me crazy to lose that much money every month.

    • You’ll definitely be able to get an FHA loan with 3.5% minimum, but you might want to look into BB&T’s CHIP program as well: dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/sponsored_bbts_chip_loan_the_fha_alternative/3461

      I worked with BB&T on my first mortgage. I put 10% down and was working directly with the condo builder (no competition, special mortgage financing offered, basically the mecca of condo buying)

    • If you have a 740+ credit, you shouldn’t worry about putting down 10% as you’ll qualify easily, especially in the price range you’re looking for. You will have to pay PMI, which can be a few hundred dollars, until your LTV gets down to 80%.

    • Redfin is great if you don’t mind doing some of the work. They give you a rebate that you can apply towards closing.
      Also, if you have great credit you can get a conventional loan with 10% down and no PMI.

    • Keep in mind that if there are other people bidding for the same unit and one of them is putting 20% down and you’re putting 10% down, the seller is likely to pick the person with the larger down payment (all other things being equal).

  • Rant: pedestrians who jaywalk listening to ipods and then get pissy when i almost run them over. crossing against a signal when i have a green light is an excellent way of getting hit. for some reason i they just don’t register cyclists, although i doubt they would cross against a red if a car were barreling down the street.

    Rave: great weather yesterday.

    Rant: fair weather cyclists who don’t understand/know/care about the rules of the road and make the rest of us look bad.

    • I’m sure this will turn into an awesome cars vs. cyclists vs. pedestrians thread but the next time I see a cyclist obey traffic signals will be the first time.

      • I had to yell at a cyclist yesterday, as she almost crashed into my Vespa in the middle of a 4-way stop signed intersection. I stopped and starting driving my Vespa across the intersection, then she cruised right through her stop sign and almost hit my Vespa at a 90 degree angle (I was almost across the intersection). I yelled and honked at her, she nearly wiped out. Ugh cyclists, stop at the stop signs! Especially if there’s already vehicles crossing the intersection before you!

      • I hear what you are saying, but i am scrupulous about following the traffic laws. I stop at every stop sign — full stop, put a foot down, not just a rolling slowdown, and stop at all red lights. there are a few of us who do actually follow the rules, and expect others (cars, peds, etc) to do the same. it’s frustrating when no one else follows the rules of the road — particularly cars who never, ever seem to use their turn signals.

        yesterday i nearly crashed into a fellow cyclist who was obliviously running a red light. it really annoys me when other cyclists pull crap like this because it makes us all look bad, and then makes other people assume/think that we’re all going to flaunt the rules.

        sometimes, you might think that a cyclist is acting irrationally, but many times if you are in a car or a ped you might not understand why a cyclist is behaving a certain way. for the past few weeks the bike lane on 7th was covered in broken glass, gravel and other tire eating debris. I got 2 flats on my way to work in less than a week. So i stopped using the bike lane — as is allowed by law (the law says that you can deviate from the right hand side of the road or bike lane when a hazard exists). You have no idea how many drivers honked and yelled at me for entering the lane of traffic. i got nearly sideswiped at least 3 or 4 times by drivers who purposely drove close to me to “teach me a lesson” about riding in traffic. So i called 311 to get the debris cleaned up and started biking down 6th instead. Drivers can’t always see road conditions in a bike lane, or might not realize that something that they can roll right over is a hazard to a bike and we are allowed to detour around.

    • Rant: all drivers. You’re operating a two-ton steel deathbox. We’re all bags of meat. We’re not the ones endangering anything.

      (Also, get out of the damn car. I’m sick of breathing in your exhaust and having my bus delayed by you)

      • This post is hilarious. Thanks for the laugh.

        “death box” “bags of meat”… good ones

  • Rant/Rave: One work trip to San Diego and then Siberia. Packing for heat and then also 20 degree temps is proving to be problematic/bizarre but sort of awesome at the same time.
    Rave: Amazing Josh Ritter show this weekend at 9:30 – spectacular.

    • San Diego’s not that warm this time of year. I was there for three weeks on work travel in June and had to go out and buy a coat because my sweatshirts and jeans weren’t providing enough warmth. It’s definitely cooler than here.

  • Rave: Had an awesome, relaxing weekend!

    Rave: Got all dressed up for a friend’s birthday–funny how I look like an adult.

    Rant: Gearing up for lots of transition at work in the next few weeks.

    Rant: While writing my self-eval last week, it was all I could do to not add “Find new job” under goals for next year.

  • Rant: This bitch of a cold just will not go away. I have to delay my trip to South Sudan for work–may even have to cancel, depending what my doctor says today.

    Rave: I may have to cancel my trip to South Sudan. The timing for this trip was awful anyway with everything else that’s going on.

  • Rave: Relaxing weekend; hardly left the couch yesterday; FINALLY ready to submit my app to waive into the DC bar.

    Rant: My job just Doesn’t. Pay. Enough.

    Rave2: I have a job. I like my job.

    Revel: This weather is the best of the entire year. Spent this morning chilling outside with coffee from The Coffee Bar at 12/S NW–that’s the third Rave, that place is awesome!

  • Rant: Definitely want to just throw my hands up, scream, and never come back. One of those days you just wanna say F it.

    Rant: my Memorial Day weekend plans are f’d now – MIL visiting (didn’t ask, just is) so our reservations at Rasika are a bust, and wanting to go strawberry picking won’t happen. Nor will having a nice time out together for my husband’s birthday. Oh well.

    Rave: trying to get together with some other moms-to-be due around the same time, so I’ll be able to escape. Good timing ๐Ÿ™‚

    rave: yesterday’s weather. Went to Eastern Market and got pickles. The best!

    Why aren’t images loading on POP for me these days…?

  • I was out of town last week and unable to keep up with the site. Can anyone fill me in on what I missed here? Did Jack have another date?

    • Here’s your Jack update:
      -He fell asleep at the desk and we all agreed it was best not to wake him.
      -He was thinking of canceling his date on Friday night due to his aforementioned fatigue.
      -The date was with someone from his past and not the woman we’ve been accustomed to hearing about. Sounds like Jack is cutting that one loose.
      -We don’t know if he went on the date on Friday night or not but I agree, an update on that is owing.
      ***END BRIEFING***

  • Thank you. I feel like one of those people who watch soap operas, missed a week and now am behind in all the storylines…

  • Rant: Mouse in the house.
    Rave: Cat in the house.
    Rant: Dead mouse in the house, on my nice Turkish carpet, undiscovered for a day or so.
    Revel: Having someone around to remove said mouse from nice carpet.

    • Tis the season for mice to make baby mice and go house hunting and generally act all uppity. My cat caught TWO yesterday. One of which he brought to me, in bed, still alive. Thanks, buddy.

    • I had that problem yesterday – kitty brought in a chipmunk, which escaped through a crack beneath the heating element in my room. SO, she went out and got another – found the body in the mudroom on the way outside. I too, am thankful for a live-in ‘coroner.’

  • Rave: Police found my stolen Jeep
    Rant: I was hoping that they wouldn’t find it, now I either have to pay the deductible (for the third time) to replace the ignition and exterior locks or see what I can get for it as a salvage. I hope the joy ride back to the hood was worth it for whoever stole it.

  • Anonymous @4:21 –
    Are you serious? If you are not abiding by the rules of the road you are indeed a danger. I don’t know whether you drive or have ever driven a car, but they do not stop on a dime. Since this whole bike revolution has started I can count on one hand how many times I’ve seen a cyclist stop for the light or use hand signals. It works both ways.

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