Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user mixedeyes

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: Woman mauled and killed by pack of pitbulls.

    Rant: 3-year old shot in SE DC.

    Rant: Jobs jobs jobs won’t solve it!

  • Rave: Meridian Hill fountains are on!
    Rant: They already smell scummy and are sporting sodden cig packs and other detritus.

  • Rant: DC Drivers
    Rant: DC Bicyclists
    Rant: DC Pedestrians

    If everyone would just obey the rules of the road and quit being asshole drivers, riders, and walkers this would be such a better place to move about. Everyone is turning into Massholes!

    Rave: It’s a beautiful day!

  • Rant: Completely and utterly heartbroken.

    Rave: Fun and busy weekends ahead.

  • Rant: This morning’s Story Corps messed up my makeup

  • Rave: The weather! Finally some sunshine and warmth! I know it will probably get a big muggy and hot by midday but my walk to work was so lovely!

    Rant: Saturday weather! I have friends coming in from out of town and I wanted to take them canoeing and to Eastern Market. Rain kinda ruins all of that! Stupid evil cold front!

    1. What’s the older bridge in the pic above and is it still operational? The few times I’ve passed it (usually on a boat) I’ve though “that looks way too old and rusty to be safe” but I’m hardly an expert so, what’s with that old bridge?

    2. Canoeing: I’ve been kayaking a few times but never canoeing. If I’ve got three people in a canoe, two of whom have 0 experience (plus me with little experience) any advice? Should I, as the one with a bit of experience on the water go in back? Is it the same basic principle as a tandem kayak to turn (i.e. everyone paddle on the “outside of the turn” side)? Basically, any tips for beginners?

    • I’d say you go in back to do more steering. If they have no experience, make sure you are “captain” and tell them when to paddle. For the most part, have 1 friend paddle one side, one on the other, and you switch off sides depending which way you want to turn. That minimizes novices rocking back and forth in the boat.

    • You should be in the back of the canoe because that is where most of the control is.

    • In college I worked at a camp for kids with disabilities. It was my group’s turn for boating, so I decided I would take two of the relatively high-functioning kids canoeing. For some *stupid* reason I decided to let THEM paddle while I sat in the middle. I ended up doing windmills with my arms like a maniac to show them which way to paddle on which side and it took a good 20 minutes to get back to shore, the lifeguards laughing at me the entire time. #whatwasithinking

    • Yes, you should sit in the stern and the person with the better ability should be the bowman while the person with the least experience of the 3 sits in the middle of the canoe – unless that would significantly throw off the trim (weight balance) of the canoe – a canoe that is balanced will be easier to paddle and steer.

      The middle person shouldn’t need to paddle – but if you are 3 paddling, the first and middle should be on opposite sides and you should Minnesota switch (rotate which side you paddle on) to keep the canoe straight. You as the stern will affect the movement of the canoe more than the others (unless the others are significantly stronger).

      Turning, canoes never go straight – it just doesn’t happen, so you are always adjusting to move straight (either by stroke or by switching sides). But turning is affected by how the canoe is being paddled – so this is really more of a “how do we paddle together” and make the best turn decision. Yes, if everyone paddles on the same side, the canoe turns the opposite way, or you could do a drag hold, where you as the stern hold your paddle against the canoe, while the bowman paddles on the opposite side you wish to turn – which creates a hard turn, but also has drag affect, so you slow down, as you are in effect being the rudder of the boat and providing no momentum.

      But really, turning is not too difficult, as the canoe turns while in motion. It will take you all of 15 minutes to figure out the easiest way for you to control turns when you see how your bowman and you work together.

      Have an awesome day!

    • That bridge is the railway Long Bridge. It certainly is still in use by dozens of freight and passenger trains every day. Some of the old stone piers date from 1903, the steel portions date from 1943, and look like they haven’t been maintained in all that time. The bridge will need to be replaced soon, probably by two new bridges, doubling capacity. Most people think that the new bridges will have a large pedestrian/biker path. There are no concrete plans right now, but this will probably happen in the next decade.

  • Rant: This morning’s Story Corps messed up my makeup.

    Revel: Moms.

  • Pet Peeve: People who use the microwave and don’t reset it when they’re done! I hate seeing what I think is the time of day, only to realize it’s the time left on the timer!

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: Want to shop for new small clothes, but fear if I do it at work it will be considered porn.

    Rave: Fun day with the girls tomorrow in Baltimore.

    Happy Mother’s Day Popville moms and soon to be moms!

  • Rave: I saw a metro employee (looked like he was off duty) stopping to help a couple who looked like they were lost in the metro yesterday.

    Rant: chronic pain and chronic migraines. Usually I just roll with it because I have no other choice. But it is really, really pissing me off lately.

    • I’m a chronic migrain sufferer as well and I’ve, literally, felt your pain. You might have already tried this, but if not, botox injections have done an incredible job of controlling them for me, along with a daily dose of a betablocker and amitryptalline. I now go for a couple of weeks without a migraine.

      Also, a daily magnesium supplement may help.

      That being said, figuring out how to get the migraines to stop is different for everyone. Have you been able to go to a migraine neurologist?

      • Emmaleigh504

        My cure was gabapentin. I used to take it daily for something unrelated and I never got a migraine while I was on it (or other headaches!). Now I don’t take it any more and almost never get migraines. Best side effect ever.

        • I get migraines, too. The trick for me is to cut out red wine absolutely and to avoid chocolate, citrus, and coffee when I’ve got other risk factors going on, such as glare, stress, or a big time between meals.

      • Thanks for the advice. I’ve been seeing a neurologist for about a year. I tried the botox about a month ago, and they’ve actually gotten worse. I think that is why I’m just starting to get pissed about it all. That was pitched as my last option, and it not only didn’t work, but things are worse now (no idea if that was the cause, or if it was coincidental).

        The supplements did help (magnesium, CoQ10 and something else), as have preventative meds. At least now I’m not taking 2 days off of work every week anymore. So, there is that to be thankful for. But I still have terrible headaches every. single. @#$#@. day. And a full on, crying in a dark room migraine at least once every two weeks, if not more often.

        I haven’t tried gabapentin, so maybe I should look into that.

        It’ll all be fine. I’m just having a pity party, and it’ll pass. I’m not dying. Usually I’m not this irritated about it. Maybe it is the fact that I haven’t had caffeine in 8 months.

        • “Not dying” shouldn’t have to be the acceptable norm! Have you tried Propranolol for prevention? And then if you do get one anyway, ask your doc about Butalbital (fiorinal). It doesn’t kill it, but makes it bearable. And probably small relief, but they really do decline dramatically after menopause.

          The Diane Rehm show had a really good segment. http://thedianerehmshow.org/shows/2012-08-16/living-migraine-and-search-new-treatments

          • Emmaleigh504

            ‘“Not dying” shouldn’t have to be the acceptable norm!’ Exactly this! It may take time, but you can find something that helps you live a pain free life. And it’s ok to be frustrated that you haven’t found it yet. Migraines f*cking blow!

        • That’s the problem with migraines – they are so unique and finding a regiment that works can sometimes be incredibly difficult. I’m sorry that you have to go through the pain and I hope you are able to find something that works for you soon.

    • Not to scare you, but have you had CAT scans of your brain?

      I’m asking only because two people I know who suffered from chronic migraines for years were diagnosed with brain tumors (one friend was diagnosed two years ago at the age of 31, my friend’s father was diagnosed last week). In both cases, the the doctors discovered that the tumors had probably been growing for 5+ years. In the latter case (my friend’s father), it had spread to other parts of his body.

      Definitely something to consider checking out, if you’ve been experiencing migraines for a long time. It might involve getting opinions from multiple doctors. My friend had to fire her doctor because he had missed the tumors for many years. She ended up seeing lots of specialists in NYC and getting the tumor removed. She’s fine now, but it was definitely disconcerting that her doctor had missed such a glaring condition for so long.

      • Thanks. yep, the migraines were so bad last year they were worried about a tumor, so they did two different types of brain scans. As my neurologist said – I now have proof that I have a brain and that there is nothing in it that shouldn’t be (although they couldn’t scan my thoughts – so she cant really, know that, can she??? ;-] )

        • My girlfriend underwent some brain scans that came back normal (not for migraines but other issues). She got a similar diagnoses from a neurologist at GW, who seemed convinced that her problems were all imagined. She wasn’t convinced, and has been seeing different doctors, and is finally getting closer to figuring out what’s causing her problems. So I wouldn’t stop investigating the issue if your migraines are really bad. Just because you don’t have a tumor or other structural damage in your brain doesn’t mean there isn’t something else going on (especially if you have other strange symptoms, even seemingly unrelated ones). See if you can find a holistic doctor who is trained to consider how the other the other systems of the body could play a role in your migraines.

    • Treating my allergies & asthma meant no more migraines for me. Good luck.

  • Revel: I don’t have a stress fracture, only a stress injury and it hasn’t caused me pain in over a week!

    Rant: not much, I’m puppy sitting this weekend- which is awesome- but the dog is scared to death of everything, including me. I take him on nice long wants, cook him eggs because he is too stressed to eat his own food and I can’t watch a dog go unfed, and give him his space, but he still cowers when I take the leash off and runs away when I come near.

    • GiantSquid

      regarding the puppy, try sitting or laying on the floor and hanging out on his level. I find whenever I sit or lay on the floors, it makes my dogs happy because I’m closer to their size and eye level. Grab a book or something, chill on the floor, and let him come to you. It helps if you have some treats to entice him.

    • No idea if you will see this or not, but I adopted an abused dog, and on the advice of a trainer I hand fed her for the first few weeks she lived with me. Just let him eat – resist the urge to try to pet him or anything while he’s near to you … hopefully he will be interested in the food enough to approach you, and might relax a bit once he realizes you have nothing but good stuff to offer (although admittedly hard to make real progress in just a few days….) Thanks for providing a non-kennel option for the shy guy!

  • Rant: I have NO lipgloss/chap stick/lip balm products with me today. I switched purses this morning and forgot to repack them. Need to make an emergency run to CVS! And start keeping an emergency stash at my desk.

    Rave: Mom visiting this weekend! Hoping the weather doesn’t suck too badly tomorrow so we can visit Dumbarton Oaks garden.

  • Mini-rave: When I rode my bike to Metro yesterday, a car who had right of way at the parking garage entrance waved me through when I was stopped at the red light. I insisted that he went first. Hopefully he’ll understand that not all cyclists run red lights.

  • Revel: and I got the AirBnB place I wanted in Montreal. Someone else had inquired for the dates first, but didn’t respond back in the allotted time. It’s beautiful and it has a terrace. Can’t wait to be relaxing in Montreal during the height of DC summer.

    • saf

      Oh, Montreal is such a nice city. Have a great time!

      • I haven’t been since I was a teenager, so I can’t wait to see the city again and in a new context. The boyfriend has never been and he is super excited. He also *might* be able to hook us up with a tour of the organ builder that built the new Kennedy Center organ.

        • Be sure to check out the Canadian Ballet. Best dancers in the world at a great price. Definitely a good value!

      • andy

        We’re going in July. Anybody have any great Montreal/Quebec ideas?

        • saf

          We went last August: Montreal, Quebec City, and then out and around the end of the Gaspe Peninsula.

          I like city walking tours so we did that everywhere we went. We also both really enjoy public markets. There are good public markets in both cities that are a lot of fun to walk through. You will come back with much maple stuff.

          There is also a lot of good beer, much of which does not come to the states. And cider too.

          In Montreal, eat bagels. Also eat smoked meat. And see good jazz.

          In Quebec, see the sound and light show, see the Cirque De Soleil summer show. Consider a day trip to the Isle De Orleans. And they have baseball. We randomly ended up there during a lovely beer festival.

          If you go further out the peninsula, look for good Gaspesiene music and enjoy the national parks.

          Quebec is a beautiful place.

        • Anthony Bourdain just did an episode of Parts Unknown in Quebec. It was filmed in the winter, so some of the activities won’t be going on, but he went to some amazing looking restaurants.

  • Rave: gorgeous weather today.
    Related Rant: weather appears to be not-as-nice this weekend.

    Rant: I’m not supposed to be in the office today. *grumble*
    Related Rave: tons of great new music in my Soundcloud and Facebook streams to keep today moving quickly.

    Rave: amazing workout last night at the Downtown Boxing Club. I just signed up this week and have never felt better. Can’t wait to get as jacked as the other people in my class!
    Related rant: I couldn’t keep up with the jump rope or push-up circuits. I’m way out of shape and need to step it up.

  • Rave: Beautiful sunrise over the Anacostia illuminating the first really good row of the season. I’m finally getting into fighting trim, and the crew is coming together.

    Rant: Good friend is sick, so the collaborative pan-Asian feast for tomorrow is cancelled.

    Rave: Now I can turn it into a “pot luck” and make my guests do all the work.

  • Rave: Visiting a friend in Seattle next month.
    Rant: My strategy always sucks when I try to get the best deal on airfare. Should I just buy the flight now because prices are probably going to go up, or wait until after the weekend, or something else?

    • Tuesday is usually the best day to get cheaper fares.

      • So they say… seems like whenever I wait until Tuesday the prices have gone up and I end up paying more.

    • Specifically, Tuesday afternoon, around 2PM. I try to aim for 6 weeks before the flight, but I just got one 4 weeks before the flight and the price has only risen since.

    • I may be paranoid, but I’m pretty sure the booking sites increase the price for itineraries that you have searched for previously. The psychology is sound– once you decide you want to go somewhere and start to get excited about it, you will likely pay an extra hundred bucks instead of scrapping the plan because the price went up.
      So, do you search from one computer, and if you can’t book immediately, make the booking from another computer, or at least clear your cache before running the search a second time.

      • That’s an interesting theory and I wouldn’t be surprised! I might as well try the cache-clearing. Usually once I find a flight I like I double-check it against the airline’s website to make sure it’s not less there.

        • Yes, you must clear the cache. The NYTs did an article about this and how they track your searches.

          Also, they are now charging Apple users more for fares. They know Apple users are in a higher income bracket and will pay more for the same flight. PC users tend to be poorer.

          I always book flights at work (PC) on the “secure” browser that doesn’t save any cookies, passwords, etc.

          • I have both a Mac and PC. My wife and I have searched for flights simultaneously and gotten the same prices.

      • Reply Rave: Google Chrome Incognito!
        I am not really convinced that it will save you money on airfare, but it will allow you to use the internet without saving cookies.
        Reply Rant: We booked our honeymoon trip after weeks of furious comparison without any true conclusion as to whether or not browsing incognito saves money, but that could be because flights are extremely limited to our destination. I always feel like I lose out on flight prices.
        Rave: We are fortunate enough to be able to afford a Honeymoon!!!

    • Check out Alaska Airlines. They fly nonstop from National to Seattle, and they will treat you better than most airlines. Probably won’t be the cheapest though if cost is the primary driver.

      • Alaska is actually coming up at the cheapest option– $550 round trip from DCA to SEA if I leave on a Wednesday and return on a Monday.

    • buy now it’s only going to get more expensive the closer you get to the day of departure.

  • Rave: My kitchen renovation is complete! And it came in ahead of schedule (by one day) and on budget! yeyeyeyeyeyeye!

    Rant: I have to read all these new appliance manuals…

    • Who did you use?

      My bathroom remodel is a month behind schedule and over budget!!!!!

      I think I need a new contractor.

      • We used Jim Morris – jamest.morrisjr [at] gmail.com – He’s awesome. I think we’re going to submit a Before/After Remodel post for PoP!

  • Rant: A fellow cyclist blew past me at 3 red lights on my morning commute. I then passed him 3 times since he was slow. Frustrating.

    Rave: I love biking to work on nice days!

  • Rant: Job hunting.

    Rave: Friday.

    Rant: May need to cancel date tonight… Too much stress from this week and I’m falling asleep at my desk.

    • Emmaleigh504

      Same chick or new chick? (sorry everyone who is bored by this subject, i’m a nosy person.)

    • yeah, jack. who’s the date with (or not with) tonight?

    • andy

      jack can’t reply, he’s asleep at his desk! he put it right in his comment!

      • shhh…quiet. jack is asleep, dreaming of his jill.

      • Haha, Sorry for the late response. Things got busy at work this evening… This is not the same one… It’s a date with a new one that I’ve known for a long time, bad habits die hard. The new girl is on hold right now, it’s a long story :/

        • Emmaleigh504

          I like long stories 🙂

        • It’s been a long story 🙂

          • we all expect a post mortem (or post coitus) on your ‘maybe’ date tonight! good luck, jack!

        • New girl (formerly gorgeous girl) was acting a bit cagey after our first date despite showing interest… She said her finals were ending this week though I gave up about 2 weeks ago, when she said she couldn’t make that (second) date. We chat every now & then on Facebook, but my interest in her kind of faded with all the complication (and advice form POP people), but in the mean time I came across a girl I was dating a while back and she was a lot easier to communicate with yet I’m not sure that my attraction to her is good enough…

          All of this comes about when my work life is way too complex and I’m suddenly the one who’s too busy to meet with anyone myself… *The story of my romantic life: Everyone’s too busy* sounds like an episode of Sex in the city… Sorry about that/// LOL.

  • Rant: I got fired yesterday due to bruising another nurses ego by alerting mgmt that she made a couple potentially deadly mistakes. Reflecting on this now, I have no regrets – patient safety is #1.

    Rave! I get to garden a lot more now and I have enough cash saved so I won’t starve.

    Anyone know of a great place to work as a nurse? Somewhere that collaboration and evidenced based practice results in the best patient outcomes and happy staff?

    • jim_ed

      I have friends that nurse at INOVA Fairfax in the NICU and seem relatively happy.

    • Georgetown University Hospital (unless that’s where you were fired from, of course). The atmostphere is really great and the nurses seem happy.

    • Kaiser? Definitely into evidence-based medicine and coordinated, preventive care.

      And maybe talk to a lawyer about wrongful termination/whistleblower suit?

      • hooray for another KP lover! They are the ONLY org that collaborates – all is shared with patients and between providers.

        Do you know anything more about wrongful termination? I was under the impression that anyone can get fired at any time unless there is discrimination. I’d appreciate your input if you have any experience with that – not that I’d want to work there again but I’ve never even dreamed of being fired. What does one do afterwards? Do you delete that experience from your resume? “reason for leaving?” on an application is ________? This is new territory. My bigger problem is that I will have to pay for COBRA which is way out of my budget.

        • You are taking chances if you delete something from your resume. Most employers are likely to ask about apparent gaps in your work history, which will put you in the position of either actively lying about having held a particular position or getting caught trying to conceal it.
          I would think the medical community is small enough that word would get to your new employer one way or another.
          It’s easy for me to say but I would be honest about the past job up front.
          As far as wrongful termination, you should consult with an employment attorney to find out if you have any options. If nothing else, the threat of legal action might make your previous employer agree to give you a favorable or at least neutral recommendation for your next position.

      • From a patient perspective, Kaiser gave me an infection during surgery and sent me home, infected, without notifying my parents (I was 12). They also sent me home with tonsillitis because they refused to look at my throat when the strep test was negative. 2 days later I needed iv antibiotics I was so ill.

        Maybe they’re a great employer, but, UGH.

    • Terribly sorry to hear you lost your job, but right on for not being afraid to speak up, and double so that you have no regrets about doing it, despite the job loss. Shows what a great asset that lost in you.

      Is it possible that you can take this higher up the chain? Maybe you won’t get your job back, but the senior management might want to know that you were fired for caring about saving patients’ lives.

  • RAVE: Saw my FAVORITE band at Hill Country last night!
    Rant: Thanks to a late show and single tracking on the red line, didn’t get home until after midnight.
    Rant: I lost my SmartTrip card this morning, between entering and exiting the metro. I was going to make a plea to the station managers at Dupont (North) but realized that I had to actually EXIT to talk to anyone! So I walked out of the gate, looked around, and kept going.
    Rant: Still have to do self-eval, which is due today.

  • RAVE: “don’t call it a hen night” hen night tomorrow night
    REVEL: all of the women in my circle are totally chill and there will be no bachelorette bollocksy. Just wine and stories.

  • thanks for stating the obvious. a little shocked and amused that this had to be pointed out. wow.

  • Rave: Finally finished all 9 of my budgets for ’14/’15 at work. It was so painful, but thrilled beyond belief it’s been submitted!
    Rave: Great weather for the Nats game tonight.
    Rave/Rant: Camping in Shenandoah next weekend but tent smells like mothballs…

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