Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user philliefan99

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.

132 Comment

  • Rant: Frager’s fire.

    Disturbing Rant: Found out that the broken window from the apartment building next to Pete’s Diner was due to a suicide. Apparently, a woman hanged herself in front of her apartment building on Friday during the daytime. If you know where Pete’s Diner is and the LOC building across the street, you know that this would have been a very public hanging. This was upsetting to me because this person obviously had a lot of problems, and it’s a shame she didn’t or couldn’t get the help she needed. But it also made me angry that someone would do this in such a public way and traumatize the many people who saw it, including the neighbor who was home when her body hit his window. There are tourists, children, and all kinds of people who walk that block. Needless to say, it has been on my mind since I was told of it yesterday.

    Rave: the people helping Frager’s employees

    • Oh. I work in the LOC building and we were getting alerts about the police activity on the street but I had no idea what it was. How sad and awful.

    • valentina

      Please don’t be angry with this poor woman. People who are depressed don’t think rationally, they just want the pain to end. Also, she may have been trying to seek help, but maybe people would brush her off and tell her “everyone has problems” or “it could be worse.” I hate how society minimizes depression.

      • Emmaleigh504

        +1 Things have to be pretty awful to commit suicide. I am sorry for the people who saw her. Maybe she was thinking better be found early than after a lot of time had passed.

      • My girlfriend has been deeply depressed for years and I can’t tell you how many people have lectured her about how she needs to snap out of it, or how she has nothing to be depressed about because her life is so wonderful. Even I, during moments of frustration, would tell her she needed to meditate, or exercise more, or force herself to think more positively. As we are learning more about her depression and anxiety we’re seeing that it’s absolutely real (it shows up on brain scans), and severe and uncontrollable (as seen on biofeedback graphs), and is probably caused by a combination of infectious disease, parasites, PTSD, and a genetic mutation, all of which it’s been proven she has. People like to think that everyone is in control of their moods and cognitive functions, but we’re really not and there are a host of biological factors that can screw with them. The worst thing you can do for a depressed person if make them feel like they somehow chose to be that way.

      • My girlfriend has been deeply depressed for years and I can’t tell you how many people (close family especially) have lectured her about how she needs to snap out of it, or how she has nothing to be depressed about because her life is so wonderful. Even I, during moments of frustration, would tell her she needed to meditate, or exercise more, or force herself to think more positively. As we are learning more about her depression and anxiety we’re seeing that it’s absolutely real (it shows up on brain scans), and severe and uncontrollable (as seen on biofeedback graphs), and is probably caused by a combination of infectious disease, parasites, PTSD, and a genetic mutation, all of which it’s been proven she has. People like to think that everyone is in control of their moods and cognitive functions, but we’re really not and there are a host of biological factors that can screw with them. The worst thing you can do for a depressed person is make them feel like they somehow chose to be that way.

        • i’m sorry for you and your girlfriend have to deal with. thank you for reminding us to treat people with patience and understanding. it’s something we must constantly remember.

        • Yeah, I’ve been going through all this with my current GF. Telling them to just “snap out of it” only makes them feel more depressed. It’s akin to telling a gay person that their sexuality was a “choice” they made. It doesn’t work like that.

          My GF’s depression was brought on by high doses of steroids over a prolonged period of time. She got a really bad case of shingles in college which was treated with near-toxic levels of steroids. The steroids totally changed her personality and her brain underwent neuro-biological changes in reaction to the steroids. After her treatment was done, the steroids left her horribly depressed and she had to drop out of college after the first year. It’s something she’s struggled with ever since. Fortunately, she’s in therapy and on anti-depressants, however she still has “bad days”. She’s also been experiencing a lot of professional success over the last year, so that’s also helped a lot in terms of keeping busy and feeling positive.

          Depression is scary and it’s definitely something they can’t control. Their brains are simply different from a non-depressed person. It’s something I can’t even begin to comprehend.

          • I read something recently about how scientists were able to detect depression in teens via a blood scan. I desperately hope this practice becomes accepted and commonplace– it would remove the stigma and help people get diagnosed and get the treatment they need.

      • +1 It’s particularly awesome when people tell you to “just take a pill.”

    • Yeah I work at the LOC and I saw her dangling from the window and watched the police cut her down. The exact same day someone overdosed in the bathroom of the Jefferson building. We did not get any alert about it though. It was a sad day.

      • Do you have any more information about the OD in the Jefferson building? This seems extremely strange…

    • Suicide has only victims no perpetrators.
      Sympathy not anger is the appropriate emotion.

    • OP here: I am unfortunately all too familiar with what depression is, and I certainly sympathize with the woman. However, the utter violence and the very public way she chose to end her life is something I do not understand. Maybe I should be glad I don’t understand that. It was a pretty unorthodox way to go, and most suicides are not like this. I think there was an “f%$# you” to society mixed in there somewhere with that public display, and that’s why it upsets me.

      • valentina

        People jump in from of metro trains a lot, and on this very site I see people complain that they were delayed for work because someone went out that way and they should have found another way to end it to minimize the impact on others. I’m sorry but it sounds quite selfish to me. Someone was in enough pain that they decided to end their life and all people can think about is how it effected THEM.

        • Or you could look at it as someone being so selfish that they don’t care if the last thing they do not only inconveniences literally thousands of people but is permanently scaring to anyone who witnesses it. All of the metro trains are operated manually, so there is a driver who has to deal the horror of not being able to stop the train in time. But your right, I’m the selfish asshole for complaining about it.
          And if your in the mood for some dark comedy involving train assisted suicides, may I suggest: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1130980/

        • Valentina,
          You are right that complaining about being inconvenienced by someone else’s decision to commit suicide is selfish. But complaining about being traumatized by someone else’s decision to commit suicide is not selfish. And using someone else’s actions (without their consent) to take your life – i.e., jumping in front of a train, a bus, a car – is selfish. Whether it’s a selfishness brought on by mental illness, drug use, whatever, is a separate question. It’s still undeniably selfish.
          This American Life did a segment on a young man who was driving his car on a highway when he hit and killed a young woman on a bike. She swerved into his car while he was traveling at an appropriate speed. By all accounts there was nothing he could do – no way he could avoid hitting her. No alcohol or drugs were involved; no speeding or bad driving. He still felt incredibly tortured by what happened. And the girl’s parents blamed him, even though they tried not to. He lived with this guilt for years until he discovered by chance that the investigation of the girl’s death had uncovered writings in which she said she was going to kill herself. No one thought to tell him about this. So he spent years living with the guilt of having killed someone by accident, and it turns out that the girl apparently used him as a vehicle to kill herself. Sorry, but that was selfish on her part. Maybe understandably so, but selfish nonetheless.

  • Rant: This http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/05/politics/nsa-verizon-records/index.html?c=homepage-t

    Rave: Apparently we are no longer at war with Eurasia. We were never at war with Eurasia.

  • anon. gardener

    Revel: The scent of linden trees in bloom. Guaranteed to lift your spirits.

    • Linden – the BEST!

    • Ooh, maybe you can identify a shrub for me. It’s everywhere, totally nondescript, currently in bloom. Leaves are oblong and glossy, flowers are feathery and offwhite. And it has a strong, sweet scent that I’m sure some people hate and others love. I love it– reminds me of paperwhite narcissus, which I know is not everyone’s favorite scent.

      • anon. gardener

        Hmm. Virginia Sweetspire? Google Itea virginica.

      • anon. gardener

        Or privet? i think those are blooming now.

        • I have Privet in my front yard and never knew the name. It is very fragrant! – Thanks- anongardner.

          • anon. gardener

            I love privet! Privet, azaleas, magnolias, marigolds and salt – the scents of childhood. Now there’s a good Friday question – what smells evoke a happy memory? Or what smell is your “comfort food” so to speak.

  • Rant: There’s no peace and quiet in front of my house, and now no peace behind my house… Apparently neighbors and totally random strangers seem to have taken a liking to hanging out in the back alley behind my house. This includes children riding bikes. Is taking your family to the park not safer than having them playing in the middle of a city alley?! Sheesh.

    Rant: Muggy weather making a comeback. Not looking forward to that.

    Rave: I have been practicing the art of remaining mostly silent in social settings. I am usually an assertive and opinionated person who speaks freely, but it’s been amazing to see the difference that waiting before speaking (especially when I’m around socially difficult people) makes.

  • Rant: Have a horrible headache and burning eyes, probably from the Frager’s fire (I live and work nearby). My girlfriend and I were going to take advantage of the Anancostia Watershed’s free kayak rentals tonight, but maybe it’s not a good idea to be out breathing that air.

  • Rant: Frager’s might not rebuild because they’ll have to build it up to code, which means fewer shelves, which means fewer sales, which means it can no longer be a sustainable business.

    • But maybe fewer devastating fires due to being up to code? The neighborhood is better off with the store, but it’s not as if building codes are arbitrary.

    • pablo .raw

      Maybe the problem was that they were not up to code and that’s why the building got on fire. I’m just guessing, I never visited the store.

    • Maybe if they’re rebuilding anyway they can create another floor.

    • I’ll admit, the claustrophobic chaos of an old hardware store is part of its charm! The new Fragers, if there is one, won’t quite be the same.

    • is that speculation or did someone from fragers tell you that?

  • Rave: New listing on a house that I am kind of in love with. The BF loves it too. It’s in our price range.

    Rant: We’re about 6 months away from being able to buy said house.

    • Good luck. Sometimes things just work out. My wife and I were just lamenting the other day how lucky we were able to buy our first home and that our offers on several others were not the high bid. I am so happy we did not end up living in one of the other locations/places.

  • Rave: Going surfing this weekend.

    • where are you going surfing? i just moved to town and am looking for places to go. i hear ocean city is the closest?

      • Ocean City is the closest beach.

        But my GF lives in Williamsburg, VA. So I take the Amtrak after work on Fridays and keep my gear at her apartment. Then we hit up Virginia Beach on the weekend, take Amtrak back to DC on Sunday night.

        I’ll be camping & surfing in Assateague in a few weeks.

        • thanks for the info! i have friends who live in w’burg, maybe time for a visit! 🙂

          • VA Beach is still a 30 minute drive south of Williamsburg. You’ll definitely need a car to get there.

            Do you have your board and wetsuit with you in DC? What do you ride? Where are you coming from? I rode Seal, Sunset, and Huntington beaches in SoCal when I was a kid.

            I ride an 8 foot longboard. It’s pretty good for VA Beach, which tends to be mushy most of the time. The only decent sized, properly shaped waves you’ll get in the mid-Atlantic is prior to storms.

    • New rant: I wish I lived near the beach (again). It would be awesome to grab a surf session before heading into the office a few days a week 🙁

  • Rant: My freaking air conditioner keeps konking out on my renter. I’ve been through way too many compressors to buy another one. Facing up to the fact that I have to replace it. Ouch. 🙁

  • Rant about Qualia Coffee in Petworth: I live about 3 blocks away and some mornings I just need a cup of coffee before arriving to work. Having worked in the service industry since I was 16 I would say that I am overly understanding to workers in the industry. I know what its like to be in the weeds or to have annoying customers. I’m sympathetic to all of the variables that can attribute to slow service or a less than cheery hello, which is why Ive turned a blind eye to the less than stellar service numerous times. I’m not giving complicated orders. I’m not asking for jokes or magic tricks upon arrival either. But what I do ask for (at minimum) is a pleasant attitude from the staff as I patronize your business. This means that you should greet me with a hello/good morning when I walk in and thank me for my business upon departure. (This my friends is how you garner repeat customers.) The problem with this establishment is that they have this “hipster attitude”. They come off as though since they’ve graced the neighborhood with its only coffee shop they have a right to have this pretentious, “Im too cool” attitude and its VERY off putting. I could care less about how “trendy” or “cool” you THINK you are. We are here spending our money to keep YOU employed and your business open. If you act like you don’t care about whether I spend my money with you I’ll see to it that I don’t.

    • Used to feel the same way when I went to Sticky Fingers Bakery for lunch – which is why I quit going.

    • It really depends who you get. Some of the people who work there are totally sweet. Others are complete jerks. But their product is so good I don’t particularly care about the few instances of less-than-stellar service.

    • Another reason I’m glad I have a moka pot and french press and enjoy making coffee at home.

    • Oh, get over yourself. I’ll take great coffee, prepared correctly and quickly at a decent price; that’s what I’m paying for. Save your good mornings until after I’ve had my espresso.

    • Ive experienced the same thing! It starts with the owner. He is totally unpleasant and greets you like he’s doing you the favor.

      • I totally disagree. Although he’s not the most social person in the world, I find him to be very nice and pleasant. He’s served this neighborhood well for the past few years, and I hope he’ll be around for many more to come!

    • What you’ve described is an especially narrow set of standards that are not the only way to “good customer service”. I personally love their brand of it, and would find a seeming artificial cheeriness and gratuitous greetings off-putting.

      • My standards are my standards. I don’t require a lot . I dont want a phony greeting either. When running a business it is your job to provide the customer with whatever they are there to purchase in addition to being pleasant. Being pleasant should not be something that you should have to force or muster up. Its the basics for running a business and ensuring that your customers not only love the product that you are selling but that they also experienced great hospitality.

    • Don’t tell me you asked for your coffee to be served over ice?

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: I do not have enough $ or space for all the shoes I want.

    Rave: That’s my only complaint this morning.

    Rave: People who post adorable pics of their pets on social media. I love you Walter!

  • Rant: So sad about Frager’s.

    Selfish rant: Was going to go there this weekend so I could do some projects. Now I am going to have to spend travel to another hardware store and lug everything back on public transportation rather than being able to walk to Frager’s and back.

    Revel: There are other local hardware stores I can support while Frager’s rebuilds.

    • I was going to go because I needed a new garden hose, but I also needed to exchange propane tanks (which they don’t do there) so I was lazy and decided to combine those tasks into a Home Depot trip. Not that it would have made a difference, but I wish I’d gone now.

      • Fragers absolutely does (did, sad) exchange propane tanks. I’d been exchanging my propane tanks there for 5 years.

  • RANT: people who use speaker phone becasue they are too lazy to pick up the headset.

  • Rant: New boss is taking a “fatherly” approach with me. I’m not your daughter, I’m your employee.

    Rant: Thus far in my position, I’ve been more of an admin assistant to the entire department, not a personal assistant to the boss. New boss is changing that, and wants me in charge of his schedule. This makes me want to shoot myself in the foot and get the hell out of here.

    Rave: Aside from this new development, I have a job working with people I adore.

    Rave: Wearing my cute new dress and feeling pretty snazzy!

  • skj84

    Rant: Received a rejection email about a job I really wanted. Haven’t heard back about 2 others I interviewed for. Very frustrating.

    Rave: Going to Phillips after 5 tonight for the first time!

    Rave: Epic Saturday planned. Plus I get Sunday to all myself.

    Rant: Potential drama in my personal life. Navigating dating is so hard, its even harder when you have a friend into the same guys as you.

  • Rant: Frager’s and watching the smoke billow up from NoMa last night
    Rave: Flying to Russia shortly – feeling good about this work trip
    Rave: Everything about the Princess Bride ever, never gets old to me

    • They’ll be showing Princess Bride outside in Bethesda on july 23. I have that date circled and underlined in my calendar!

    • +100 for Princess Bride references. always. have you guys ever read it? am reading it now, can’t believe it’s taken me this long!

      • I read it when I was a kid. As I recall, the movie (which I had memorized at that time) stayed very true to the book, so reading it was a breeze.

      • I have not! Is it different/ better than the movie?

        I used to think that The Neverending Story was a good movie (for a kid), til I read the book. Now I recognize that the makers of the movie totally half-assed it and did a serious disservice to an amazing book.

      • Yes, I still my my childhood copy of the book somewhere at my dad’s house! I may have to go see it again in July in Bethesda 🙂

      • I remember my friends were CRAZY about it. I could never swoon for a hero who slaps the heroine across the face.

        • I don’t think of it as the kind of movie where you swoon over the hero. Yeah, it’s a love story, but that’s not really what it’s all about.

    • I didn’t know it was a book….(hiding in shame under my desk now……….)

      • they showed it last night at NoMa summer screen 🙂 i think the book is even better than the movie, but when isn’t that true?!

        • Jurassic Park

        • often times kids books make better movies than books.
          charlie in the chocolate factory. james and the giant peach. city of ember. hunger games.
          ( maybe i need to read adult books.. )

  • Rant: I fought the law, but the law won!!!

    I got a parking ticket downtown a few months back. Totally not legitimate, because I paid using the ParkMobile app. I had 30 minutes left on my e-meter when I got the ticket. I fought the ticket, but the adjudicator ruled that the ticket was valid and that I have to pay it. LYING BASTARD!!! I had all of the proper documentation from ParkMobile, but he just ignored it. This is the 2nd ticket I’ve gotten with time left on my meter. Eff DC parking cops and the whole damn system – they are the worst!

    • can you appeal?

    • Perhaps contact ParkMobile people. It’s not in their interest for this to happen, b/c people will stop using their service, so maybe they can add some weight to your case.

    • Two reasons I don’t use parkmobile.

      1. I pay and still get a ticket like you. I then spend my personal time fighting the ticket, only to have to pay it. This has happened twice.

      2. The paranoid in my thinks that parkmobile has some shared technology agreement with Parking enforcement that feeds them real time data of when peoples meters are going to be running out. 3 times…count..THREE in the first month I used the app I got a parking ticket less than 2 minutes after it had expired. I was walking back to thecar so wasn’t going to put more time on it.

      I’ve lived here a long time and I know DC has more ticket enforcers per capita than any city in the US but I’ve never gotten such quick tickets after the time was up.

      • OP: I did appeal and the traffic judge ruled in favor of the ticket. I totally think that there is some collusion going on. Once I had one (1) minute in between the time that my ParkMobile meter expired and when I recharged. When I got back to my car there was a ticket for that single minute on my windshield. Seems shady to me. I think I’ve had enough of this technology and am going to start employing my grandma’s method of paying for things – carrying around pill bottles filled with coins for the meters. Booo to you ParkMobile!

        • saf

          Contact your councilmember. That is unacceptable.

        • Wait, so the ticket was in fact written during a short period of time when you technically had not paid for parking? That sucks, but I’d have to agree with the judge if that’s the case.

  • RAVE: Please watch this video. It made me feel for fortunate for what I have and made me think about how I don’t spend enough time or money giving back to others. Ronald Davis has more humanity and insight into the human condition than most of us. I hope he gets the opportunity he so desperately needs.

  • I dont get how a $6 an hour barista is in any postion to be snotty with anyone, much less the very people patronizing the store at which they work. Lovely. Sounds like a top down managment thing. know where NOT to go get coffee now.

    • i’d be a little snotty too if my job put me in the poverty level. i mean, if he was a $35/hr barista, would you be better with the snot?

      • If you dont like your job as a barista find a new job! The end.

        • lame response.

        • because it’s always that easy?!?! maybe being a barista is this person’s third job – ya know, because making minimum wage at one job doesn’t exactly pay ALL of the bills. you sound like a horrible person that needs a bigtime reality check. i hope i never run into you in life. but if i do, i’ll be glad that i make a 6-figure salary, maybe it’ll get me a little respect.

          • Not my problem how many jobs you have. I make far from 6 figures and I’m certainly not a snob. Ive worked in restaurants on and off for over 15 years and I STILL work in the service industry which is why I am justified in requiring a pleasant experience in ANY business I patronize. If you cant give good customer service, find.another.field.

    • valentina

      So because they may minimum wage(which is NOT $6 btw), they should grovel at your feet? They shouldn’t be rude, but they don’t have to kiss your butt either.

      I work pt in retail and there are so many people that come in and talk to you like you are an uneducated baffon. Little do they know, i probably have more education than they do.

    • And with that condescending attitude, I’m sure I’d be pissy too if I had to serve such a self-important snob.

    • shut up!

    • Response to Anonymous at 1:16 (chain too long -couldn’t reply)

      You should learn to phrase things in a less condescending way. It’ll get you further in life. I worked in service/hospitality for 10 years, don’t degrade a person’s station in life and define it by how much they make per hour.

  • I dont get how a $6 an hour barista is in any postion to be snotty with anyone, much less the very people patronizing the store at which they work. Lovely. Sounds like a top down management thing. Now I know where NOT to go get coffee.

    • As a former barista, I treated condescending jerks with disdain. I treated everyone else well, but making next to nothing doesn’t make people more friendly. Maybe remember that the job might just suck for them.

  • Ally

    Rant: Someone tried to mug me Tuesday night.

    Rave: Despite me being an idiot and refusing to give up my purse (I know), it worked out okay and I didn’t get shot.

    Rant: Frager’s is gone. 🙁

    Rave: Matchbox offering to hire Frager’s employees on a temporary basis!

  • Rant: This observation: “It was hard for people to ignore the racial optics of the exchange earlier this week between Michelle Obama and a heckler: a white woman yelling at the country’s most visible black woman and that same black woman offering a pointed response.” NPR, I love you, but everything is not always about race.

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