Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user Rukasu1

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.

95 Comment

  • Rant: Felt like I had gone swimming by the time I got to work.
    Perspective: Humidity isn’t too bad in the grand scheme of things.

    • I’m enjoying the humidity. This morning I put on a pair of pants that were very badly wrinkled, figuring the steamy conditions would cause the wrinkles to come out on my walk to work, and they did!

    • I’m thinking about developing a line of wicking work wear. This morning was a small taste of things to come for the summer and I’m dreading it.

      I walk 25 minutes to the metro and I feel disgusting by the time I get there. Most other people in my office drive, so I’m one of the few frizzy haired, sweating, gross people.

      • If somebody made wrap dresses out of Under Armour material, I would buy 3 or 4.

        • If sarongs were business casual, I’d wear one every day.

          • The great thing about my office (int’l humanitarian development)– we all wear flowy linen things we picked up in the field. There are even a few dudes who wear those Indian suits with the long tunic tops and the loose pants.

          • That reminds me of a discussion I had with an older woman recently. She thought a long patterned broomstick skirt was appropriate office wear, and I disagreed (she’s a Fed and I’m a contractor). Those skirts just don’t strike me as very professional (obviously there are workplaces like the one above that are exceptions). What do others think?

          • I think they can be appropriate. Although I don’t know if telling something they’re inappropriate is itself appropriate.

          • I should clarify– we don’t work together. She started the discussion and was quite insistent that looking like an old hippie at the office is totally fine.

          • Oh. Then I take back my own judginess 🙂

      • Yep, it’s the sweating that makes me so uncomfortable. Just miserable. And wet. And gross.

      • I wear a ‘shirt-before-the-shirt’ on my commute for this reason. Usually my work blouse I change into is a wrinkled mess, but it’s dry. Dry fit work clothes would be ideal.

        • I dress normally and then get to work and have to put on my work sweatshirt and work socks (if not wearing socks already), as it is freezing in my office.

          humidity makes my skin feel so nice, not dry and crackly

        • I often do this too (packing a clean top to change into once I get to the office).

    • Biking in compounds the problem. You feel great and dry the entire ride while there is wind in your face. Then as soon as you sit down at your desk, you are a mess of sweat. Maybe I need a desk fan…

      • I have a fan at my desk for that reason. I walk about 10 minutes to metro and then have a 10 minute metro commute, assuming things are running on time. Not a terribly long commute but when I’m packed on a train like a sardine or there’s no air in the car, I get sweaty fast. I always have tissues in my bag to blot of face but the desk fan helps cool me off right away.

        • +1. I have a little clip-on desk fan and it is amazing; absolutely essential in the long, hot summer months.

      • My ten minute ride to Metro this morning was very nice. Not humid at all, in fact it was a little chilly. The keep the AC in my office cranked all the time. When I get in I cool down very quickly.

  • My bedroom overlooks an alleyway in Mt. Pleasant. Every morning and night (and afternoon on the weekends) when I am home, I hear dogs barking every few hours for 20-minute intervals. It drives me crazy and there is really no way to avoid hearing them. Also, it isn’t just one neighbor; it seems like there are 4 or 5 dog owners who just throw their pets out in the yard to make noise. I’ve only lived in the apartment for about a year, so I don’t want to be jerk if this is considered acceptable behavior. Does anyone else have this issue? What is the best way to deal with it?

    • Best way to deal with it? I suggest that you grab some wine and/or a doobie and find a way to relax. There’s next to nothing you can do to prevent dogs from barking.

    • I used to live in Mt. Pleasant (1700 block of Kilbourne) and had the same problem. One dog in particular barked all the time and the owners just didn’t care. I tried sending them a polite letter asking them to do something about the barking, but got no help. Finally I hung a big sign on their back fence overlooking the alley that said something like, “F*ck our neighbors, you should all enjoy listening to our dog bark all the time.” The couple came home drunk late at night, saw the sign, and the wife started screaming in the middle of the alley, basically at the backs of every house, going off on a crazy rant. But the dog stopped barking after that.

      You can also call the police, or try hanging an ultrasonic bark control device in the back.

    • Do you have a listserv? That’s probably the best way to reach out to a wide audience of neighbors. You’ll have to be careful how you compose the message– don’t be whiny or threatening or judgmental but note that this is a quality of life issue that can easily be controlled.

  • Rant: Was going to use the restroom at the Columbia Heights Panera and the entire toilet seat and front of the toilet was smeared with poo. You should have seen the exclamation points appear above my head, comic strip style.

    Revel: I like the elevated back area of the bus that’s up a couple of steps from the rest of the bus so I get a nice view. I refer to going to the back area as “goin’ uptown”, and I encourage all of you to start calling it “goin’ uptown” because it amuses me.

  • Rant: New boss started yesterday. Normally it would be the boss that would get the new employee orientated (oriented?). Turns out that when the boss is new, it’s up to ME, as Admin Assistant. Stressful stuff.

    Rave: Really cute outfit yesterday, including consignment dress and thrift store belt. Lots of compliments but no time to PoP b/c too busy with new boss!

    Rant: My de-stressor is baking…this turns out to be a problem because there’s not always someone else to EAT said baking, which in turn causes stress because I end up eating it.

    Rave: Grilled sweet potatoes! Sliced, covered in mix of oil, maple syrup and brown sugar, grilled till soft. MMMMmmmmm…

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rave: Heat and humidity will be here soon!

    Rant: It’s never quite as humid as I would like.

    Rave: Have a pal at work who feels the same way, so we can commiserate together about how dry DC is and how it makes are skin and hair crap.

  • GiantSquid

    Rant: Going on a week of dealing with symptoms of muscle spasm in my back. Tried acupuncture, massage, stretching. Bummed that I’ll probably have to call doctor for prescription renewal which will probably mean going into the doctor’s office.

    Revel: Brother is getting married this weekend!

    Rant: Lots of sitting in the car, driving, which aggravates the back.

    Revel: heated seats

  • Rave: Going to the movies tonight with a friend. With a two year old, I don’t get to the movies as much as I used to but I try to make time for the ones I really want to see.

    Rave: Summer hours at my office (an extra 50 minutes a day means every other Friday off) means I’ll get to see ALL the summer movies.

    Rant: Travel out of town in July means I’ll be missing my brother’s in-laws, who will be in DC for a wedding. They are awesome people and I LOVE spending time with them.

    Rave: I love my brother’s wife and his in-laws. My husband and I joke that he won the in-law contest. He and I both… did not.

    • With a 2-year old I don’t do movies anymore either, but how do you manage the extra 50 minutes work a day?

      • My normal office hours are 8:30 – 4:30 with a daycare pickup at 6. I live and work in the city and daycare is right across the street from my home, which cuts down on commuting time. I usually spend the time between work and pickup running errands or starting to cook dinner. Leaving work at 5:20 cuts down on that time but I can still get home and pick up my daughter by 6.

  • Rave: 4 day weekend coming up
    Rave: A Prairie Home Companion Saturday evening. Anniversary of my first date with my now wife 9 years ago. Thankfully we’ve stepped up from the Carlo Rossi I picked up for the first year….
    Rave: Weekend weather (fingers crossed).
    Rave: Breaking out the smoker on Monday.

  • Rant: I never used to think DC was a transient city. I was always the person standing up for DC and saying that people do come here to stay. Now in the last year all of my close friends have moved. I have a lot of acquaintances, but no real friends left here. I made all my friends when we were all new 20-somethings in the city. I have no idea how to make friends now that I’m in my 30s. Basically, I’m on the periphery of a few groups, but have not really achieved friend status.

    • I don’t think DC is any more transient than any other city. Didn’t the New York Times have an article on how hard it is to have friends in your 30’s? Usually the best you can do is have a lot of specialized acquaintance groups. Like work friends, neighbor friends, going-out friends, photography friends, knitting friends, volunteer group friends, Italian language friends, yoga friends… this system works fine for me, although I’m also in a relationship and I’m close with my family.

    • Have a kid. Just one– more than that will cramp your style. One is perfect for meeting other parents of one, some of whom are totally cool and fun.

      • This made me laugh. I have two. We love the second one of course but your comment was spot on. Much easier to manage with one.

    • Agreed; making friends at this age is tough. Just be patient, and be willing to endure awkward “friend-dates” as you work to establish those relationships. I’ve been to DC just about a year, and am just now starting to feel like I have a social network of friends. Meetups are a pretty good place to start.

      • Have you found Meetups to be fairly successful? I’m in a similar situation where all my friends have recently departed, and I’m going on about 6 months with no real social life to speak of. I’m fairly shy so the idea of going to a random event to put myself out there is terrifying, but I’m willing to try if people have had good luck with them…

        • Yeah, I’ve had some success. It’s scary and intimidating, but almost everyone is really nice and they are also there to meet people! It helps if you pick a meetup that is based on one of your interests, although some of the more social happy hour ones bring in large crowds. I’ve gotten a date or two out of them, and made a few friends.

          Not gonna lie, though. It can be all sorts of awkward.

    • Welcome to the club. All my friends left. Now I have 2 friends in DC (not really, they live in the suburbs). I see each one maybe once a month. Breaking into new social groups is tough. All my co-workers are old and/or weird. People in DC in any capacity look at me like I have a cat growing outta my head when I make comments like “hey, how’s it going?” or “how was your day?”

      I’m just waiting for the day I find the new job that removes me from this area. If I’m not gonna have any friends, might as well be in a new place I can explore.

      • I am going through my second bout of friend diaspora. My first wave ended when I met my now hubby. I felt like we met a bunch of new people during our first couple of years together. Then over the past year, a bunch have left the area/leaving the area.

  • MsNesbitt

    Rant: It took me a bagillion tries to log in to comment.

    Rave: Got an A in a class that I was really worried about! Mathematically, it doesn’t seem a logical grade, but I’ll take it!

    Rave: Trying out my new crockpot tonight! (Mini-rant: Since it’s the first time I’m using it, I am worried about my apartment catching on fire while I’m away at work.)

    Rave: My final final is due today! But um, I’ve barely even started on it. Whoops!

  • Rave: Started the foster-to-adopt-a-dog process! I’m so excited!

    Rant: Also really nervous. What if the agency doesn’t like us? What if our cats hate us? What if… what if… what if…

    Extra rant: Feeling pulled in a billion different directions at work. Seriously thinking about putting some applications out there to new opportunities.

  • Sad rant: None of my friends want to go see the new Star Trek movie with me. And I hate going to the movies alone.

    • Not wanting to see Star Trek is actually a criteria to be my friend…

      • Was that meant to be funny? or were you actively going for “personal and hurtful”?

        • I thought it was funny. I don’t understand the appeal of Star Trek either but it’s such a big deal for people who like it (as evidenced by your reaction).

          • It’s actually not about Star Trek. I liked the last movie, so I want to see this one. No big deal, nothing personal. It’s more about seeing “I like X” and thinking that a reply of “people who like X are unworthy of my friendship” is appropriate. Seems unnecessarily personal, especially where a “I dislike X for the following reasons” would have been more interesting/ useful.

  • Rave: So much green and bright colors around the city.
    Rave: Learning German – tough, but am succeeding slowly but surely.
    Rant: I like to make plans and have a hard time when I reach out to someone to make plans for a certain day and they never respond. I mean, just say if specified day works for you or it doesn’t or you just don’t know yet. End rant.

    • Emmaleigh504

      My answer to every question in high school German class was, “Ich schlafe.” I only got away with it because there was a kid who answered every question with, “Wie sagt Mann [what ever the answer was in English] auf Deutsch?”

  • PoPville, where do you donate your books? I have about a dozen books that I was going to bring by Carpe Librum, but that sale ended last week.

    • I think all the public library branches have donation boxes outside. Then once a month they have a sale where people like me will buy them for $1 apiece. 🙂

    • My classroom books went to Better World Books – there’s a drop box location near Takoma Park (I think it’s still there). Books for America was another one, with a call-ahead arranged drop-off to their D.C. locale; or if you have a lot, they come pick up your books.

    • Miriam’s Kitchen always needs novels for their homeless patrons. they are located in the basement of the church at: 2401 Virginia Ave NW, Washington, DC 20037


  • Rave: “invented” an awesome salad over the weekend, had it twice already – cut up tomatoes or halved grape tomatoes, chopped up shallot, crumbled feta cheese, olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt/pepper/oregano. Let it sit for 20 min to come to room temperature. So good!

    Rant: am surrounded by idiots.

    • My salad’s pretty awesome too: avocado, corn, black beans, red onion, jalapeno, and lime juice. A classic that never gets old!

      • Emmaleigh504

        Mmm they both sound good! But nothing beats Quotia Zelda’s “Good Salad”. I don’t know all the ingredients, but it has hearts of palm, tomatoes, black olives, almonds, and red wine vinaigrette dressing (I think). Maybe she will appear and share the rest of the ingredients.

        She also has a “Good Chicken” recipe. I need to get that…

      • ooooh, that sounds delicious! must try.

    • novadancer

      I do a similar one too. however, I subsitute gorgonzola for feta and throw in craisons and toasted pine nuts also.

  • Rant: Motorcyclist (yellow Honda CBR from Maryland) weaving in and out of the bike lane. Grrr! Fifth time I’ve seen this same guy doing that.

    • Definitely not cool of him to do that. I did the same as him when I first got my Vespa and then realized how utterly stupid it is, considering it’s so easy to not see a cyclist and take them out. I’d be sued for everything. It’s not worth saving a few extra minutes in my commute.

      The only time I cross into the bike lane is when I’m taking a right turn and cars/bicycles/motorcycles are forced to merge. Still, it’s not ideal.

      -DC Vespa commuter

    • Which bike lane? I’ve seen a few moped/vespa users in the L St. cycletrack and it ticks me off. I can tell it pisses off motorists too.

      • Motorists are just pissed that they can’t do the same thing. If there’s a long line of cars waiting at the red light, I’ll split the lanes and without fail some asshat from MD will angrily honk at me ‘cuz I’m getting to work more quickly than them.

        Misery loves company.

  • Rant: Our car was hit and likely will be totaled. Last night around 9:45 I heard sirens, cars speeding, a loud crash and then the unmistakable sound of our car alarm. The cops were chasing kids in a stolen car but they bailed a few blocks up and got away. The police told me that this was no joy ride because they found ski mask and ammunition in the car. If your white dodge intrepid (MD tags)was recently stolen, hit up 5D, they now have your vehicle.

    • Sorry about that. A stolen car crashed into our stonewall a few years back. Kids on a joy ride being chased by the police. The guy whose car was stolen was U.S. Army active. His car was totaled. I thought man, the contrast between this guy and these kids that don’t seem to give a sh*t about anything.

    • That really sucks. Unfortunately, the valuation of your car from the insurance company has not kept pace with the price they are actually selling for on the dealership lots (at least for certain models). Negotiate hard with your insurance company, you can probably get them to tack on an extra $1000-1500 above their initial offer.

      Me and my GF just went through this with her Prius, which was declared a “total loss” on Monday. They offered her $8600, but it will cost at least $12.5K to get a “certified pre-owned” from a Toyota dealership since her car is from 2004. Yesterday, she was able to get them to agree to give her $9600 after an hour of haggling on the phone (be prepared to argue your case with solid reasoning, have data to back you up, etc.)

      There’s a bunch of stuff online about how to negotiate with your insurer in the case of a “total loss”. Definitely read up on it.

  • Rave: Read in Wa Po yesterday that we might miss the cicadas. Apparently this brood is mainly south of the city. Was so not looking forward to these nasty little things buzzing about.

  • Rave: 3 day weekend, 3 day weekend

    Rave2: boss is off on Friday so it’s really like a 4 day weekend, 4 day weekend!!!

  • Rant: accidentally replied all on a snarky work email. So embarrassing.

  • Revel: Working two blocks from a Trader Joes. Didnt bring lunch so I got some bread, a huge tomato, red pepper hummus, turkey and spinach and made the most kick ass sandwich for lunch.
    Rave: It’s not raining…yet
    Rave: I may have some peppers in the next three weeks. Wish I could post pics of my pepper plants
    Rant: I need it to be Friday right now. Long weekends FTW!

  • Rave: Five-year old Macbook got a check-up at the Genius Bar – perfectly healthy but a little slow due to age!

    Rant: 5 years in tech world is considered “vintage”, 7 years is “obsolete” – well, at least my vintage Macbook is running just fine!

    Rave: Settling in to an afternoon of reading and writing a report with good music – should be a good afternoon if I stay focused and motivated…

    Rant: Probably of me staying motivated is pretty low with no windows, no natural lighting, and stuffy air in my office.

  • This is a weird request, but I’m willing to try anything…

    I am looking for a person to do a home visit on behalf of a local rescue group. I have applied to adopt a dog that is being held in Pennsylvania with a rescue group, and they have asked that a local person do the home visit (it’s in Scranton, PA, about 4.5 hrs away, too far their group to do the visit).

    If you work with a rescue group and could do this quick home visit, please let me know! I live in Bloomingdale/LeDroit.

    • Give Homeward Trails a call–they have a big network of home visitors who might be able to help you out.

  • Rant: Difficulty working with certain people today. I hate when people are like the seagulls in Finding Nemo (mine, mine, mine) and don’t want to cooperate.

    Rave: Loving this sun and looking forward to HH at the end of this working day.

  • Rant: it stinks when you lose your cell phone.

    But it’s nice when someone finds it. If you lost a black Samsung (galaxy?) with a black ballistic phone cover in or around Lincoln Park/Capitol Hill, call it. We found it on a bench last night in the park. It’s charged, but locked, so we can’t figure out who the owner is.

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