Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user Hopadidl

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.

135 Comment

  • Rave: Down 1.8 lbs this week for a total of 16.8. It feels really good to take care of myself.

    Rave: Fun time at the University of Michigan Men’s Glee Club concert last night at Grace Church. Delicious dinner with a co-worker ahead of time at Woodward Table.

  • Rave: My rose bush must have 200 blooms on it, too. Hurrah, spring!
    Revel: Have joined the Mutually Smitten Club.
    Rant: Cannot focus. (See revel.)

    • +1 Thank you, rose gardeners! You make our city so beautiful this time of year.

      • That, and lilacs. I love walking by a yard with lilacs – they smell so amazing. There’s one on 10th st on my way to the metro that I stop at every day. Love it!

        • saf

          Huh, you must be talking about my block. Now I have to go look for lilacs tonight.

        • Ooh, ooh, 10th and where? I’ve been searching all around for good lilacs! Spent some time in Norway last year, and the smell of lilacs permeates through the whole city of Oslo.

    • justinbc

      All 5 of mine are blooming right now, 2 in total full crazy bloom. The smell is almost intoxicating in the garden right now.

  • Rant: Got a $50 parking ticket at 6:29PM when restriction is lifted at 6:30PM (honestly, i got out of my car when the car clock read 6:29 and my iPhone read 6:27).

    Parking Nazi P Jones has it out for me in Adams Morgan. This same guy got me last monthfor being within 10 ft of a fire hydrant at Belmont & 20th.

    • So are you saying you’re above the rules that everyone else has to follow? Or that you deserve some sort of special exemption? These are conpletely avoidable rants.

      • Or he could drive one of the police cars from out of state that are here for a convention this week and can park at meters or in rush hour lanes without penallty

      • Ouch (a bit harsh like… P Jones?). I’m not looking for some special entitlement just a sense of the how this infraction is policed. Should I be waiting until 6:40 now just in case my clock is not in line with these ticket givers?

        In my defense, I was not in a major rush hour traffic thoroughfare and watched the woman behind me leave at 6:22 (I didn’t see a ticket on her car as well. Mr. Jones probably couldn’t scramble quickly enough to get two easy victims of over aggressive law enforcement).

        I’m going to contest it.

    • ah

      Rave: Those of us who get stuck behind people waiting to park in rush hour lanes starting at 6:15 applaud P. Jones.

      Rant: DC really ought to have some rush hour lanes stay open until 7 or 7:30, at least on major roads (Conn Ave., Wisc. Ave., and I’m sure many others that I don’t commute on).

      • OP said 6:29 didn’t they? Not 6:15. Lurking to ticket locals for a one minute infraction is simply rapacious. Did the cop have his or her time piece perfectly calibrated to the atomic clock? It does nothing but fill a quota.

    • My friend got a parking ticket at 6:29 — she challenged it and won. The judge said it violated the spirit of the law, that it was excessive.

      • That judge was a tool, imho.

        You can’t park until 6:30. If the parking enforcement has given a ticket at 6:29, then the car was obviously parked prior to 6:30.

        Yes, it is a pain, as is most things having to do with regulations. But that is the regs.

        • If my watch says 6:32, shouldnt I be able to park there? What if the ticket writer’s watch says 6:29? Are their devices synchronized with NIST?

          There needs to be flexibility to account for the natural variation in time. Which is what the judge did.

          • Sure, there should be. But there isn’t. Your car odometer could say you were going 35, but the radar said 42.

            When it comes to the law, discretion is almost always given to the police.

          • that odometer must be seriously messed up if its telling you how fast youre going….

          • It’s the new intergrated version! Woops, yea, meant speedometer. +1 to you guy.

    • Not much sympathy here.

      Surely you’re taking a risk — even if it’s a small risk — if you’re parking around 6:27-6:29 in a space that’s supposed to be “no parking” until 6:30?

      I can understand being frustrated… but sometimes when you take a risk like that, things don’t work out in your favor.

  • Rant: Rude people… In it’s quest to become more like New York, DC is growing more rude people every day. This is observed especially when walking down a downtown sidewalk.

    Rant: Riding metro for the past 2 weeks has disrupted my chi.

    Rant: Adhering to your principles and morals in life and creating expectations/trust hinged on others – Often necessary, yet there is always a very high price to pay when it fails.

    Rave: My dog.

    • Yay for unfounded stereotypes! Those aren’t “rude” at all!!!!

    • What “New York” behavior are you finding so rude?

      • Train station and sidewalk etiquette… People will do anything to beat you in lines, they’ll cross your path suddenly without warning, walk 3 people wide blocking an entire sidewalk, or talking loudly to someone else, and bump into you without apologizing. Of course it’s not all people, and I don’t expect things to get better, but add people walking mindlessly staring into their cell phones and it all gets on my nerves. I’m a beach bum. Seriously beginning to think of selling my house and moving to Cabo.

        • Wait, talking loudly on the street is “rude”?

        • What an absurd answer. Oh, people in other cities NEVER exhibit the behavior you described. Nope, totally unique to NYC (and DC according to your rant). So silly.

          • I was raised during summers in Staten Island… I think I have a right to complain. I’t a rant for crying out loud!! Quit bustin’ my balls!! 😛

        • You’d move just because the people who walk on sidewalks downtown are in a hurry to get to work? Remember, most of them just had a grueling Metro commute in from the suburbs and are probably a little haggard.

        • In other words:
          Some people are trying to get places quicker than I am and others are going too slow and preventing me from getting where I want to go as quickly as I would like – they are all assholes.

    • “Rant: Adhering to your principles and morals in life and creating expectations/trust hinged on others – Often necessary, yet there is always a very high price to pay when it fails.”

      Surrounded by unworthies, are we? Oh, the trials of this mortal coil!

      “Those are my principles. And if you don’t like ’em….well, I have others.”

      -Grouch Marx

      • Thanks to Irving Streete for his on-going yet noble quest to prove to me that i’m no better than anyone else… This I already know brah/

        • You just have a gift for melodramatic statements that draw attention.

          At any rate, you are probably no worse than anybody else a quite likely a better man than my own bitter, snarky self — many are.

          As the Bard of Reading Gaol once said:

          “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”

    • anon. gardener

      Former New Yorker here. One of the few things I like about New York is how people keep the flow moving on sidewalks and in the subway. it’s like a beautiful dance. if someone is stopped on the sidewalk or otherwise impeding the flow, that person is likely a tourist. The “New Yorkers are rude” thing is a myth. I WISH mass transit in this city was more like NYC – we should be so lucky.

    • To your larger point – yes, there does indeed seem to be of late a noticeable uptick in jackass behavior.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: Arrived home from work to no doves and no dove eggs, not even shells. I don’t want to think about what got them.

    Rant: People who cannot follow instructions even when examples are provided.

    Rave: Working on it.

  • Rave: Man who casually went up the escalator in the opposite direction at my crowded metro station this morning.

    Rant: I really miss the “Good Morning, Sunshine” express lady. She really made my mornings.

  • Rant: I picked the wrong line of work. I should have been a professional photographer.. these folks rake in a lot of dough for the work they do (well-deserved for the amount of time, but still!). Approximately 2-3 times my monthly take-home salary, wow. Grumble grumble grumble.

    Rant: I miss going to boot camp, but can’t afford $185/month to do that either!

    Rave: Fiance comes home from a work trip tonight (side rant: his plane doesn’t land until after midnight, won’t get home until 1 am, and still has to get up at 6 am to get to work on Thursday).

    When is the sun suppose to come out again today? I need some Vitamin-D-style cheering up…

    • That’s the first I’ve heard of professional photographers making a lot of money (excluding the really famous ones). Where did you get that information from?

      • Depends the type of photography. Wedding photography is a big money maker, but if you are good, commercial, advertising, and even real estate can bring in some $$

      • Agreed, the spread of digital cameras continues to undermine the salaries of photographers. Most make a modest living, especially considering expensive equipment needs.

    • Check with DPR ( dpr.dc.gov) or your local recreation center. Many of them have free boot camps for adults. The Park View Recreation Center (693 Otis Pl NW) has bootcamp sessions Tuesday and Thursday 6:00am-6:45am, free.

    • If your passion is photography – do it. Absolutely no reason not to these days when it is all so easy!

      But do not expect to make a living. A good friend has been a professional photographer for over 25 years – National Geographic & other major magazines, tons of corporate work (his bread and butter really) 8 well-received published books. He owns a modest condo in Alexandria and lives a modest life, plowing most of his profit back into the business and now loosing business to the general recession and the ease of amateurs with digital cameras.

    • i know a lot of professional photographers. i think your sense of the economics is a bit off.

      most have no benefits. no job security. no sick days. self employment tax on top of income tax. insurance, equipment, advertising, etc …

  • Rave: Rode my bike to work today for the first time! It was awesome. Hopefully it doesn’t rain this afternoon and I have the energy to ride it back home. I’m not sure if it will become a regular thing for me, but I’m glad I did it!

    Rave: I just discovered that hitting Shift + F3 in MS Word changes text that is in all caps to all lowercase. My life just became so much easier!

    Rant: People who type in all caps.

    • I miss biking to work. The construction near my office has gotten so bad that it’s simply too dangerous (although the rest of the ride is fine).

      • Couldn’t you just walk the bit near your office and ride the rest of it?

        • Yeah, I’ve thought of that. I just hate walking my bike. And the intersection right by my office is insane and you have to be really fast even as a pedestrian.

          • I’m glad your ride in was great…mine was horrible. I was assaulted once, and harassed another (VERY close pass). Stuff like that seems to happen to me when I don’t wear my helmet camera or I leave the lens cap on or something.

            Keep at it…you’ll like it even more as time goes on..even when it rains (maybe). I started last year the week after bike to work day and caught the bug pretty quick. The thought of having to take Metro now makes me ill and I feel like I’m asleep all day if I don’t get exercise on the way in/out. As a side benefit, I’ve lost a bunch of weight and saved a ton of money.

    • You must have to change case constantly to have this be a life saver versus clicking on the change case button.

  • mtpgal

    Rave: The beautiful weather has me dreaming about finally working on our backyard, which is pretty embarrassing. Does anyone else have a mud lawn?

    • Yes and it’s horrible. We’re trying to coax some ground cover to grow, but with two dogs it hasn’t been easy. I don’t know what else to try!

      • Astroturf!

        • Knew that one was coming! Couldn’t afford it even if I wanted to!

          But seriously- has anyone had luck with any type of ground cover/grass substitute with dogs? We’re trying blue star creeper but it’s already getting singed in some places.

          • I’ve added cedar mulch regularly to my yard for my dog. It works great to allow me to pick up dog poops and put them into a mulch bin, then I just keep adding more. It can get expensive if you buy mulch in the city, I buy my mulch at Home Depot in the burbs for 3-4$ a bag.

          • If your yard is big enough, you tried fencing off portions of your yard at a time to allow whatever you are planting to take root and avoid dog traffic? You can do this pretty easily with wooden stake posts and either chicken wire or orange plastic fencing (like they use at ski areas and to block off sidewalks). It takes patience, but it works pretty well in the end.

      • Creeping Jenny/moneywort – spreads like crazy, looks pretty and is hardy. Do not do ornamental grass – rats LOVE to burrow in it.

    • We have a couple dogs and our backyard is bricked over with some raised beds to keep it from looking too barren. It works well with the dogs. Sometimes they hop into the raised beds but those have hardy shrubs that they haven’t killed yet.

  • Anyone know why the flags are at half mast? I am beginning to wonder if it is realted to the Captain America filming going on at the Willard since I can’t come up with any other reasons.

  • justinbc

    Rant: Apparently the next Captain America is filming right next to my main office today, except I decided to work at my other office instead today (not knowing that fact).
    Rave: It will probably be really loud and distracting over there because of it, so at least I’ll get more accomplished by being here.

  • Rant: Back to work after vacation

    Rave: Incredible family vacation – relaxed and enjoyed the beauty around us.

    Rant: Every time I’m out of the office, someone quits!

    Rave: Psyched for my colleague – she deserves this awesome next step!

  • Ally

    Rant: My AC unit decided to retire this week to the tune of $5,000 to replace.
    Rave: It’s not 95 degrees outside.
    Rave: Florida (my home state) has somehow avoided ended up being on fark.com today!

    • If you haven’t already done so, you should get a second opinion on your AC. When mine conked out a year ago, I was told that because my unit was out of warranty I should get a brand new unit because it wasn’t worth it financially to just get a new compressor. Got a second opinion from a repair guy who got me a new compressor for a much better price. Difference between a big company more focused on selling new systems and a one man shop more focused on repairs to existing systems was the difference between several thousand dollars and $1000.

      • Mind sharing who you worked with? I’m having the same issue right now and I’m at my wits end replacing compressors. I was just told to buy a whole new system and I’m praying there’s another way.

        • saf

          We just had central a/c installed. We used:
          Comfort Solutions

          We also got pricing from SILA, and they were ok, but pretty pushy. We also had Argent out to do an estimate, but they never sent the estimate, and never returned a call after the first one.

  • Crowd source: We have an ugly electrical box in our dining room (future room for baby). How do we best cover this up? It’s long, so art work over it would be difficult. What about building a thin cabinet to hide it? Would that be useless and take up floor space? Or is art the best way to avoid doing anything permanent that future buyers might not like?

    • If you’re craftsy, get a cheap white bed sheet and paint a kid friendly mural, and hang. Or, if not quite that level, my mom would take Cartoon sheets to make curtains — you could do that mural pre-done.

    • Emmaleigh504

      My grandmother had her artist sister paint a picture of shelves with stuff on it to cover her ugly electrical box. The buyers of the house kept it.

    • You’re in luck – this weekend is Mic City Artists Spring Open studios. Lots of great local artists. I would look at Lucinda Murphy – Chuck Baxter – Dave Peterson for very good & affordable

      . http://www.midcityartists.com/home.asp

    • I saw on one of those HGTV shows someone mounted a large framed-out board and made a family tree with pictures as well as names so the baby would become familiar with faces and relationships.

      • sounds like a fantastic idea!

        our electrical box is in a very, very odd spot – like, not center to anything, just on the edge of a wall. It’s unfortunate.

    • anon. gardener

      get a wooden art canvas frame – you can get them at Michael’s, the crate & barrel outlet in alexandria, PlaZa. put it together, then staple on the fabric of your choice. buy a magnetic hook, stick to electrical box, hang frame, voila.

    • I’ve seen someone take a pretty window shutter and install it on hinges in front of the electric panel. Then it is still easily accessible when needed but covered when not. I thought it was a great idea.

    • take a picture and note the dimensions. then commission an artist to make something to cover it.

  • Rave: Great long weekend with Mom
    Rant: Trip went by so quick
    Rave: Getting together with her and my brother in NYC in a few weeks.

  • Rant: People complaining about cops here this week. Maybe you should try to do their job!

    • Maybe they should try treating victims as if they weren’t criminals.

      • Agree. Golden rules applies. And if the cops I’ve encountered all treat me like I’m gum on the bottom of their shoe (at best), well…

        • The most traumatic part of being burglarized wasn’t the crime itself by the way the police treated us. If I had to do it again I think I would have forgone the insurance reimbursement and not reported the burglary at all. The experience was really demoralizing, the threats from the police were terrifying, and their unprofessional behavior did not give me faith that my reporting of the crime would do anything to deter future crime.

          • *but the way

          • the police threatened you?

          • Yes, they threatened me and my roommate with jail time because “there must have been drugs in the house otherwise it wouldn’t have been broken into.” I knew they didn’t have any proof, but when people twice your size with the power to do whatever they want to you are looming over you saying those things it’s really scary. When tears started rolling down my face one of them said “That’s what happens when you do drugs, they mess up yo brain” and went back to harassing our cats.

          • thats horrible. i’m sorry you had to deal with that. was there a way to file a complaint about that? we shouldn’t have our police acting that way.

        • A few years ago my cousin was the victim of domestic violence. Not only did the police let the abuser off the hook, but they said some horrible things to my cousin. Things that are too awful to repeat, but they were sexist and pro-rape in nature. It wasn’t even her fault that the cops’ time had supposedly been wasted; it was a neighbor who called them when they heard her screaming. She weights less than 100 pounds and had bruises all over her, and the guy was very drunk. What a shameful response. I’ve had stuff stolen from my property but after hearing her story (and similar ones) I’m not comfortable reporting it to the police.

    • saf

      So the fact that they have a tough, dangerous job, means that we have to allow them to abuse us?


  • Rant: Feeling oddly jealous that my best guy friend is going to propose to his lady…I’m not into the fella’s so my jealousy is confusing even me. Uhk.

    Rave: He’s awesome sauce and I’m so happy for him!!!

  • Rave/Rant: Wash gas found a slow gas leak at my neighbor’s house. Rant that it was leaking, rave that they found it.

    Rant: Neighbor’s gas had to be shut of to repair the leak. Wash Gas put cones out with emergency no parking signs in front of our houses. (Rave:) Last night when the Wash Gas guy was putting out the cones, he chose a spot where there were no cars, and when I went to bed there were still no cars in front of the cones. (Rant:) This morning, somebody had moved the cones so that they could park there. Seriously? And on the other end, someone had about 3 feet in front of his car, but parked two feet into the coned area. I hope you both get ticketed.

  • Rant: I really can’t stand one of my coworkers, she is awful….but I just found out that she is getting fired soon…AND she doesn’t know!!!

    Rave: My friend is taking me to a play and dinner for a late bday celebration….yeah!

    • Ohhh tell us more.

      Why is she awful?
      What industry? (not asking where you work obvs., intrigued if it is govt. – as that is hard to get booted from).

      • Just found it…tomorrow is F day for her!!!! I don’t want to be here, I don’t want to be here.

        She has messed up our billing/budget (so much so that it is the billing office that told me boss at first to fire her); she is a bully, she can’t finish any of her work; when the boss asks her to do something there is always 100 excuses or a long diatribe of why she can’t do it immediately; projects have been taken away from her b/c she has no initiative to start/finish; and the BIG ONE on Monday she taunted me…yes she taunted me!

        • supposed to say “Just found out…”

          Job is government…it took a long time to get it done.

        • Dayum. At my office, she’d get “help” for most of that.

          You gotta show up for work – and have a celebratory happy hour! Enjoy the schadenfreude.

  • Rant: High blood pressure. Why oh why is it 170 over 110!!! Yikes!

  • Rant: Dog at the vet – tests inconclusive. Car stolen – recovered but we didn’t want it back to pay the deductible after being stolen for 3rd time. Crazy busy at work.

    Revel: Husband may be at the breaking point but he’s taking care of his 8 months pregnant wife and everything else wonderfully.

  • RAVE: My friend gave me the keys to her BMW Z4 convertible for the weekend while she’s out of town (Thurs – Sun night). Holy mother of god. Clara Barton Parkway here I come!

    Related RAVE: Perfect weather this weekend.

    Question: can anyway recommend any other good drives? I like country roads, good roadside food (BBQ? Crabs?), and lack of traffic.

  • Go to Davidsonville or Harwood MD. We drive and then bike through the countryside (Maryland Horse country) and then hit Chesapeake Beach area. It’s lovely and only 30-35 min away from DC on 50 to 424 and then 2 or other routes to get to shore.

  • RANT. My friend/colleague is 5 months pregnant, and all she does *all day long, every day* is rub her belly. Rub it in circles, rub the sides of it… it’s obnoxious and it’s driving me crazy. Not to mention that there are people in our lives that are not able to get pregnant or have had miscarriages recently, and she does it while standing right in front of them. silly rant, I know… but GRR!

  • Blithe

    Cheap & Easy : I’ve bought inexpensive table – runners that are just the right width to cover the door to the fuse switch box. I put it up as a temporary solution, but ended up liking it. It’s very easy to change — and allows easy access to the fuse box in the dark: something I’ve needed on a few occasions.

  • Rant: Slow afternoon leads to nodding off at my desk.

    Rave: New copier today! At long last we have a scanner!

    Rant: Above rave has been the highlight of my day.

    Random: Recently started reading a new book only to realize, “Wait a tic, I’ve read this before!”

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