Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user Bonnie Culpepper

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.

105 Comment

  • Rave: Lovely dinner at Tortino. I was starting to despair that every restaurant in DC was a ridiculously overpriced tapas place. Had dinner here with friends and was pleased to discover what felt like an actual neighborhood joint, with good food, good service and reasonable prices.

    Rant: The four day weeks always somehow feel longer to me. Is it Friday yet?

  • em

    Revel: Arugala coming up great – already harvested twice from the garden, and the seeds I planted a couple of weeks later in a big pot also came up great.

    Rant: The seeds in the pot did so well that I had to thin them this weekend – I hate thinning, I always feel like I am cutting short the life of tiny plants. So I stuck the ones I’d pulled in a strip of garden that didn’t have anything growing and hoped for the best.

    Revel: Yesterday’s rain came at just the right time – the seedlings I’d replanted perked right up!

    • em

      Bonus rant/revel…

      Rant: DMV vehicle inspection line was 3 blocks long when I joined at 6:45 this morning.

      Revel: Car inspected and back home by 8 am, in time to eat breakfast and still get to the office on time.

      • I’m surprised. Did you have an appointment? I’ve never had to wait in line and I’m always in and out in 15-20 minutes.

    • Emmaleigh504

      I feel the same way about thinning seedlings! And I always fear I pulled out the better plant and I’ll be left with a gimpy plant.

      • bfinpetworth

        That’s why its good to wait as long as you can so that you can differentiate the strong growers from the less so!

    • Rant: My dog ruined my first attempt at a garden.

  • Rant: Car got broken into yesterday. Took my mom’s cds, including ones I made her (she passed away last month) and a jacket but nothing else really of value.

    Revel: I guess I left the door unlocked because they didnt break a window to get in, which is happy.

    Rave: DC cop who came to write the report was really nice even though I sort of felt silly reporting it since there was no property damage. He said to always report it. And I added theft insurance to the car.

    Cost of living in DC I guess.

    • Sorry to hear about losing your mom’s cd’s 🙁

    • I’m so sorry to hear this! Sending you good vibes, sorry for your loss. Hoping that you have a million memories to replace the belongings that were stolen. Hope they get caught 🙁

    • That’s wonderful that the cop was cool about it!

    • You may want to see if your renter’s or homeowner’s insurance covers this loss. If your vehicle was parked at your residence you should be covered.

  • bfinpetworth

    Rave: Last day of work before moving to Florida. My partner is calling this Liberation Day – lol!

    Rave: The Prince of Petworth. This blog has been like a bible to me for 3 years as I’ve adjusted to city life and living in Petworth after 7 years in Vermont. Although DC ultimately turned out to be not for me, the journey to this decision to relocate was much more enjoyable thanks to PoPville. Much thanks to Dan Silverman and the rest of Popville! Arrivederci!

    • Happy trails you two! Take me with you? I’m not that messy and I could cook!

    • Prince Of Petworth

      That’s very kind of you. Wishing you and your partner the best of luck on your next adventure. You will be missed!

  • Rave: House by the metro sold for 714k!! I don’t know where people get that kind of money, but I like that it’s coming to the neighborhood 🙂

    • Two people with moderate incomes, and low interest rates. I make $75k and my half of our $775k mortgage is quite affordable.

      • You make only $75K, yet you’re paying half of a $775K mortgage? How is that sustainable?

        I make $100K and half of your mortgage+PMI+taxes would eat up nearly half of my monthly take-home. For you, it’s closer to 55-60% of your take-home. That’s scary, IMHO. What if I got sick? Had an accident? Lost my job? Are you not saving for retirement?

        Either your husband is making $$$$ or you bought a house for $775K and had a massive downpayment. But something in your story doesn’t add up.

        This market is unsustainable. The psychological shock from the first rise in interest rates is going to be huge.

        • The person might have meant half of the mortgage associated with a purchase price of 775k. Regardless, the monthly payments could easily be handled by 2 people each making 75k, even with PMI. It’s easier to handle than a single person renting a small 1bd in a more hip neighborhood, especially with the tax benefit.

        • Mortgage is $1700 a month, 45% of my take home pay. I put 10% of my salary in a 401k and put an additional $1000 a month into savings. My wife is, in fact, on unpaid medical leave right now, but has enough in savings to help with expenses ( she was making a little bit more than I do). We’ve had to cut back on some luxuries since she got sick, but we still own a car and two dogs and have a mini vacation planned next month. Hope that answers your questions!

          • Yeah, the vast majority of young couples don’t have a $575K+ down payment. Jesus.

          • Rent a cheap place in the suburbs for 3 years. That’s how we saved up for it. Or keep doing what you’re doing and never buy a place. Your choice. No one ever said buying a home didn’t involve some sacrifice.

          • What I wrote wasn’t meant to trivialize your efforts. However, your example of saying “Two people with moderate incomes, and low interest rates. I make $75k and my half of our $775k mortgage is quite affordable” is not appropriate or realistic for 99% of the people out there looking to buy a house (including the vast majority of those who complain on PoP’ville about difficulties buying in this market), considering that you left out a lot of very important information about your finances. Most people in DC are also dealing with student loans and don’t have external sources of funding to come up with a huge down-payment like that.

            All I’m saying is be a bit more realistic about what is possible for most people. You’re the exception, not the rule.

          • novadancer

            your numbers don’t add up. $1700 pmt on a 775k mortgage is all but impossible unless you have negative interest or it is more than 30 years.

          • Although the responder who said they were dual income probably didn’t intend it as such, but they basically said single people are screwed unless they make a crazy salary.

            But yeah, dual income couples could def afford a 700k place under more reasonable conditions. Especially if they can take loans from each of their 401k accounts to pay a 10% downpayment.

          • It likely does add up. She or he was saying their half of the mortgage was $1700, meaning full mortgage was $3400.

          • What do you mean by external sources of funding? Also, I don’t think single people are screwed necessarily; they’re just looking at a $350k condo vs a $750k house. But you asked who’s buying $700k houses and I told you. It’s couples with decent jobs and savings, mostly. I don’t think we’re such an anomaly– our next door neighbors are also youngish professionals with a similarly priced house.

      • This is do-able. My wife and I bought in Petworth in 2010 for $255,000, and absent cash-out refinance to pay off student loans would have equity of about $140,000. We could have bought the $700,000 house with $140,000 down, for a mortgage of $2600. That takes into account that interest rates have risen .5% over the last month.

        $2600/month is very doable, if you make even reasonable salaries. My wife and I are at about $130,000 combined, and do this payment on a 15 year with no problem. Granted my car is 10 years old, and hers is 7, but you make sacrifices to do what you do.

        • Sheesh, you guys are making bank! Where are all these 65-70K jobs that everyone so casually mentions like its 30K?

          • Well, I’m an engineer with a BS and MS in electrical engineering and 8 years of experience. I think I’m actually underpaid (I know a few kids straight of college making this much!). But I’m happy with my salary and I know people in other fields don’t make nearly as much so I didn’t mean to be so cavalier about it.

          • Plenty in government. Assuming you aren’t a totall f-up and been in government for a few years, you’ll probably be making at least that much.

    • Why don’t you introduce yourself to the new neighbors to find out where they got their money from?

  • Rant: I woke up with a black tongue this morning, which kind of freaked me out!

    Rave: Google quickly told me it’s likely the result of the two chewable Pepto tablets I took in the middle of the night, so nothing to be concerned about! I’ve been taking Pepto tablets for years and never had that problem before (and I took them after waking up during the night, so I’d kind of forgotten I’d taken them), so I never would have connected it!

    • That happened to me once. Never took Pepto again!

    • That happened to me when I was in Central America. I thought I had some crazy fungus tongue and totally freaked out. I also thought I had been poisoned by the local beer. Anyway, totally normal reaction to Pepto.

      • Happened to me in Central America too… strange!

      • I can see why you would have much more reason to worry than I did! I haven’t travelled anywhere (except Ohio) in months, but I still worried that it was an odd fungus or something.

    • The first time that happened it scared the HELL out of me!

      • I’m glad I’m not the only one who was freaked out by it at first! Now that I know it’s a normal reaction, I’m annoyed, but I don’t know that it will be enough for me to stop taking it completely. (Maybe I’ll switch to the caplets that are swallowed, though.)

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: Tired of training because no one freaking listens. If you don’t like doing it the way I say, tough toenails! And if 1 more person says, “But X said to do it this way, ” I will blow my top! X is not your supervisor!! I am!

    Rave: The training period is almost over then the big boss can tell them to quit messing up their work.

  • Rant: Blood clots. Lovenox. Damn it’s expensive and a pain to administer. At least it’s not coumadin.

    Rave: Only need it at the moment for long haul trips and risk situations (like immobilization).

    Rant: Four super long haul flights in my future and only three injections left.

    Rave: Jakarta. Next week for work but also meeting up with the husband :-D. Cannot wait.

    • So sorry you have to deal with that. Those lovenox shots sting and coumadin is no fun either.

    • You might want to inquire about Pradaxa. I developed a blood clot over the winter and that’s what my doctor prescribed me (versus lovonox). Just take 1 or 2 pills a day (the normal dose is a pill, but I took 2 since I apparently had a huge clot). Much easier than lovonox.

      The catch is the cost. My insurance is the Fed Employee standard Blue Cross PPO. Cost me $76/bottle. I think the retail price is around $300.

  • Rave: Our ceiling fan arrives Friday!!

    Rant: Need to find an electrician to install the ceiling fan and do some other small work around the house. Does POPville have any suggestions for electricians?

  • Rant: Really need a vacation, the 3 day weekend got me thinking about more time off…

    Rave: Memorial Day Cookouts and meeting new people.

    Rant: People trying to get away with doing shoddy/minimally completed work.

    Rave: Contractor installed dual zone A/C during a renovation completed last year, HVAC guy didn’t charge the system (with freon gas). Luckily I kept all my receipts and followed up with the HVAC company. Didn’t find this out until last week. now it’s charged, pure bliss of A/C at home, last summer I only had window units!

    • Curious as to why you bought an HVAC system with R-22 (freon) instead of the newly mandated R-410A (Puron) refrigerant? In a few years if you get a leak on the system or compressor failure there won’t be any R-22 to re-charge it / no parts for out of production units and you may be looking at total system replacement again….

      • It may have well been Puron, I didn’t ask the tech what he used… It’s 2 new Trane systems with a 5yr (extended) warranty, so if it breaks with normal maintenance the HVAC company is responsible. I feel cool and confident now that it’s working. 🙂

        • Good, as long as you’re happy with it! Trane is a good product. One of the “big three” with Carrier and Lennox , all three head and shoulders above the other brands. Feel free to ask if ya ever need any HVAC advice!

  • Rave: That picture looks very 1980s-ish. haha

    Rant: Smithfield is being bought by a huge Chinese food company that has had a bad record in food safety and probably humane practices. This merger is all subject to U.S. government approval. I gave up red meat years ago, but this has me re-thinking about pork. Does anyone have recommendations on where to buy *truly* humane and ethical meats (short of joining a CSA)??? I still would like to include ham in my menus every once in a while if possible!

    • I boycotted Smithfield for their anti-labor stuff for a long time so I feel your pain. There are a number of meat vendors at local farmer’s markets that sell pork. The one at the Columbia Heights market is great.

    • I think that’s a photo of Richard Marx.

    • Harvey’s Meats in Union Market

    • “probably” a bad record in humane practices? Seems like a bit of a jump without knowing for sure.

      Anyway – I’d check out red apron and three little pigs for your meats. pricey, but worth it in my opinion.

      • Well, actually, it is an educated guess. If you’ve been following the Chinese and their treatment of dogs and other animals, children’s toys, vitamins, pigs, fur industry, dog food, baby girls… Oh, never mind.

      • Smithfield already has a bad record on animal treatment. Do some research.

        • I’m not trying to say they do or don’t. I’m just suggesting that people not jump to conclusions by extending a food safety record to humane treatment. Or, for that matter, saying “Chinese companies” having certain records and applying those statistics to this individual company.

    • anonymouse_dianne

      Polyface farms at the Dupont Circle farmer’s market Sunday mornings. Very good meats, eggs, chicken grown on a sustainable farm – check it out!

    • saf

      Farm markets. You can talk to the farmers and get to know about their practices. It’s the only way I buy meat any more, as I am a bit paranoid about factory farms.

    • Truck Patch Farms at the 14th and U, Mt. P, and Bloomingdale markets has really great pastured pork, and it’s cheaper than Polyface.

      Smithfield was an environmental and humane mess before they were sold. They still use gestation crates, and they still pollute rivers with waste.

  • Rant: I can’t stand the housing market right now. I keep reading about how “healthy” it is, but there is zero inventory and what is available is subject to absurd over-bidding. For buyers, it’s frustrating.

    Rave: It’s summer! (putyourhousesonthemarket)

  • Rave: Bike disappeared from secure storage room in my building and was returned yesterday!
    Rave: Buying new locks is so much better than a new bike!

  • Rant: Last night around 9-9:30pm I heard a loud “Pop- Pop” coming from what sounded as if it were around 7th and Ingraham. About 3-4minutes later police cars came rushing in from a few directions ( killing their sirens but keeping their lights on when they got close). They drove around the neighborhood a bit and then about 15 minutes later an ambulance came speeding past our street (Hamilton) from the direction I thought I heard the “pops”. After the shooting down on hamilton monday, just 4 blocks away, I’m getting a little nervous.

    Revel: Almost the weekend again already.

    • Rant: Too many crew members with guns in DC, that’s for sure!

    • I live a block from the shooting on Hamilton and have heard quite a few gunshot recently as well (maybe 2 or 3 separate occasions). I thought I heard the one Monday night, but sometimes it’s hard to tell because I never lived in a neighborhood where they were frequent – now I’ll never second guess again.

      • jim_ed

        I thought I heard 4-5 fairly loud and close gunshots monday around 7pm near us at 9th and Hamilton. However, I stuck my head outside and everything seemed normal, kids still at the park, no police response, etc, so I assumed it must have been something else.

  • Michelle Bachman is not seeking re-election. Instead she is going to devote her time to finding a husband that is heterosexual. Bon Chance.

  • Rant: I know that Lou’s is a sponsor, but there new Bocce league in the courtyard of Highland Park is completely annoying to us residents who have to put up with the noise. Also is it legal for a bar to set up a outdoor bar in the courtyard of the building and sell beer and also sell food from the apartment complexes bbq grills that are rarely cleaned?

    • DC Bocce has a liquor license to sell beer and wine on any private property in DC.

      • In that case, I guess it’s legal (unless it runs afoul of some zoning regulation) as long as its sanctioned by building management, but that sounds kind of annoying. I think I’d be frustrated if common space in my residential building was being used by an outside commercial enterprise, especially if it affects tenants’ quality of life (and with no concession to the tenants)

  • Rant-ish: Got my furlough notice. WTF is wrong with this country? I wish people would wake up and realize what congress is actually doing to our country.

    • Ha, I hear you, but isn’t this rant more related to what congress is doing to *you* as opposed to our country?

      • furloughs–>less cash for jindc (and others) to spend–>weaker economy–>impacting the whole country.

        • Recent economic indicators were actually quite good from what I was reading yesterday. So much for sequestration will throw us into recession.

          • The real impact of sequestration won’t be seen until down the road, when the contracts that are currently in progress run out.

      • No, congress is f’in up our country. Their inability to do ANYTHING is screwing over a lot of people. While I can take the hit,e ven though it will be hard and it will suck – especially with a baby on the way – there are people FAR worse off than me who don’t live in DC being f’d over because Congress can’t do their job.

        It’s messing with me because of the way it’s been implemented. The Department has done a terrible job, in my opinion, of making employees feel secure at all through this whole process.

        • I understand your frustration but the country does not owe these jobs to people. Not to pile on but you are sounding a bit entitled. In my private sector life, people get layed off all the time when business levels are down. It sucks but it is a fact of life. Most of us in the private sector have zero job security. We are at will and if we cease to be useful we are gone.

          • Sounds like you and your coworkers need to organize. Except I’ll bet you’re a union-hater, too.

            And while the country doesn’t owe anyone a job, it’s in our best interest to have as many people employed as possible. Unemployment is a huge drag on our economy.

          • I’m entited to the pay for the job that I do, and do well.

            And if my office fired me for a legitimate reason, I wouldn’t be saying “ohhh Congress!”. However, an outside entity is screwing with a lot of lives because they can’t do the jobs THEY were hired to do. Yet we have to do ours. I’m sorry that you can’t see the difference. I’m not crying over the loss of income, there’s nothing I can do about that. However, when the mission suffers, and ultimately morale suffers and good people leave, your left with the worst of both worlds.

            Private sector can’t compare. I hate when people do that.

          • What is it that you want Congress to do? Fund the government at the levels you deem appropriate? And who establishes the mission? Wouldn’t that also be Congress’ job? This thing was mismanaged but spending has to be cut (probably in conjunction with raising taxes) in order to get our fiscal house in order. I am not attacking you personally but it seems like everyone is in favor of cutting spending until it actually impacts a program that they support.

          • technically, the President outlines the mission for my agency, being the Commander in Chief and all. But regardless, I believe Congress should do something. If they passed a bill saying “feds to be furloughed”, at least that’s something. Their inaction is what causes this.

            There is one party that believes all federal employees are leeches on society, while at the same time ensuring their friends get nice fat contracts, or the military gets a larger pay raise than the services ask for, or certain Senators demanding we start another war in this country or that country.

            Their job is only partly to “get the fiscal house in order”. I don’t particularly thing spending is the issue – I believe revenue and war are our problem. We had two 12 year long unfunded wars. That will certainly hurt an economy, wouldn’t you think?

            And Congress certainly acts like they work for the middle class…because a maintenance worker at a Navy Yard isn’t middle class? They try to balance the budget on the backs of workers, which isn’t doing to do anything in the long run for our budget “problem”

      • Jindc is doing a valuable and necessary service to our country. Furloughs don’t reduce workload or urgency. So yes, thank you Congress for messing things up and failing to address our budget/fiscal situation appropriately.

  • Rave: I can log into PoPville again!

    Rant: Having feelings that my job isn’t the right fit for me 3 months in.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rave: Have some flowers fixin to bloom in my window pots!

  • Rave: Cuba! Happy I had the chance to visit when the country is in the process of opening up for Americans to visit. Great music, beautiful architecture, decent food balanced by plenty of rum and cerveza. And surprisingly excellent ice cream 🙂

    Small rant: Came back with a cold – ugh.

  • KSB

    Rave: 4pm date with the sono tech to meet this little nugget growing in my belly for the first time.
    Double Rave: Excluding complications this afternoon, finally get to tell the nugget’s big sisters that there’s a baby a-coming!

  • Rave: I got into grad school.
    Rant: Grad school is Drexel, so I am leaving DC for Philadelphia. I am originally from Philly so it’s nice to go back, but I’m also really sad to leave DC. I’ve come to love living here these past three years – all the free attractions and festivals, smart people, green space, community feeling (thanks, PoP), job market, etc.

    Anyone have suggestions for Philly neighborhood blogs or best neigborhood to live in Philly? I lived in Society Hill in 2009 but feel out of touch with the city now.

    • Fishtown is pretty cool, if still a little edgy. If Fishtown is Petworth, Northern Liberties is U Street. Except (in both cases) that rents are dramatically cheaper. West Philly would be convenient and seems to be coming up, but not as much as one would like. I actually had a chat with the Prez of Drexel and one of his senior couriers — they’re committed to revitalizing the ‘hood, but it’s a long way off.

      My son lived in Kensington (“Kenzo”). Do not live there.

  • Rant: Got caught in the rain last night while Razoring on the Mall.
    Mega Rant: No cabs would pick me up since I was so wet. :0

    Rave: Made it home and turned on the first episode of The Bachelorette. I am IN LOVE with Des. I have a good feeling that her husband is among the guys. Go Drew!

  • My mother is moving back in with us in T minus 9 days. I’m not sure I’m up for this again, but there are really no other options.

    So, we need storage space. I have never rented one of those storage places before. Are they safe? Are they really worth the $80 a month (seems high to me)? How do you know your stuff isn’t going to get stolen?

    • novadancer

      we used one in Arlington when my hubby moved into my small townhouse when we got married. Totally safe as long as you go with a reputable one and make sure you have disc locks and not combination.

  • Rave: Russian visa finally approved and not a moment too soon as I leave next week.
    Rant: My office is still an icebox. I have two blankets now and a space heater. whinewhinewhine

  • Rant: I need a break from myopic friends. Realizing that my eternal frustration with one particular friend’s self-centeredness is not going to go away. Need to take a step back and decide if it’s something I can learn to accept or if I need to make some relationship changes.

    Rave: Lots of things to celebrate this week, and no one’s attempt to steal the spotlight is going to bring me down!

    • I had to make some difficult decisions along similar lines recently. It sounds like your thinking was along the same lines as mine. While it’s painful, it really isn’t worth putting so much emotional energy in a relationship that is no longer bringing much positivity or happiness to your life.

  • Rant: Woke up this morning at my usual time, only to find my roommate in the shower (for the next 15 minutes). The one day I needed to be early!

    Rant: Same roommate is kind of a sex-obsessed pig. Last night I was watching So You Think You Can Dance, when they showed a beautiful contestant. Me: “Wow, she is GORGEOUS!” Him: “Yeah, I’d stick it in her.” REALLY? Ugh, who says that?

    Rave: Someone actually complimented my outfit and called me trendy!

    Rave: Thai iced tea fro-yo!

Comments are closed.