Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user randomduck

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.

71 Comment

  • RANT: People that will not do the simplest of required tasks unless someone sits with them and watches them do their work.

  • RAVE: I made it through the weekend without drinking myself to death at all. Left work early on Friday and took a long walk outside while listening to non-sad bastard music. Spent most of Saturday outdoors working on my car and giving it a lot of TLC. Then went for a short jog around town. Sunday was a road trip up to PA for some nerd stuff with some friends that took all day. Still woke up a bit depressed this morning but I’ll chalk it up to Monday morning blues and I have a morning appointment with a psychologist tomorrow.

  • Rant/Rave: Back in the US after a work trip to Indonesia – loved the people, the food, the project, the work. Hated the traffic and the ridiculous flights there and back.

    Rant: Loooooong to-do list at work and lots of jet lag.

    Rave: Melons – watermelon, cantalope, honeydew. Yum. Also – It’s almost corn time!! I cannot wait for summer dinners of corn and peaches (yes – sometimes I just eat produce for dinner).

    Rant/Rave: Husband in Istanbul for work. It’s all ok now but there’s potential for some dangerous stuff. The rave is that it’s an incredible city that he loves plus he’s home on Saturday!!

  • Rave: The good people on the bus this morning who helped a woman who didn’t speak English get to where she needed to go. The driver was patient and helpful, a kid came up from the back to translate for her, the woman sitting next to her wrote out her destination on a piece of paper she could show the next driver, and another woman walked her over to the next bus stop where she could catch a second bus. Thanks, kind people of DC!

    • LOVE this. Thank you for posting!

      • A few months into my first stint here in DC I had absolutely had it. Too noisy, too many people, WAY TOO MANY me-first, type-A assholes. I went to catch my bus home after work one night and witnessed a cyclist get hit by a truck. Dude was messed up, with his tib-fib literally coming out of his leg near his ankle. It was quite horrible and I can still see it in my head (and hear his screaming). The good thing was that everyone around stopped what they were doing to help out however they could. Me and a few others rushed to the man to comfort him and give him whatever medical care we could. A couple walking by offered him their water. Others started calling 911 and 5 or 6 guys grabbed some construction equipment and moved it in front of him (and us) and started directing traffic on S-B 16th St. It was a cross-section of DC…service industry workers to lobbyists to tourists and it reaffirmed my belief in humanity and in DC.

    • pablo .raw

      I helped a poor man once; he didn’t speak any English and spent the whole night in his car in DC because he didn’t know how to go back to Virginia. He was completely lost near the Washington Monument, he used my phone to call his son. He said that God sent me!

  • Rant: had very serious discussion with the GF about moving out of DC next year for her PhD. She is getting serious consideration from very good programs on the West Coast and other cities on the East Coast. She’s not considering anything in DC because the programs here simply are not very good. I’d be making the vast majority of the HH income and I’d need to leave my very secure, well paying job with lots of room for growth. I love her, but I’m also older than her and scared of leaving something so secure. I have a great career here and the prospect of starting over again is just daunting. Sigh.

    • Any possibility you can try doing things long-distance (at least at first)? How long is her PhD program expected to last? For the East Coast programs she’s looking at, are any close-ish to D.C.?

    • This won’t make it easier, but I’m glad that it sounds like having her be a “commuter” student somewhere else isn’t really being considered. I would definitely caution anyone entering a PhD program against trying to be a “part-time” resident wherever she is in school. For some programs this might work fine, everyone just goes off and does their own thing and you check in with your advisor twice a year. But for most programs being there and surrounded by other grad students, profs, etc. is the point of the experience, and classes and even the thesis are secondary and exist mainly to facilitate that immersion. The connections that you build are invaluable further along in your career. I watched too many colleagues in grad school try to do it from afar, and without exception they didn’t really get much out of the program and most of them are struggling much more to find good jobs than those who were there full-time. They weren’t there for the department seminars (which can really broaden your understanding of a field), they weren’t hearing about grant or other opportunities in hall-way conversations, they don’t pop into someone’s mind when an opportunity comes up, etc.

      • We are doing the commuting thing right now. She’s in grad school 125 miles from DC, so we spend weekends together. Obviously, we’d move in together if we went to another city.

        My job in DC is pretty unique and can only be done here (policy & international negotiations for federal gov’t). I can go more into the “industry” side of things and focus on making money, but that basically means giving up all policy work. I’m also scared sh*tless of this job market. I like my job security, decent pay, and great benefits. I’d make more money in the private sector, but I don’t have any networks developed outside of here and I’m risk adverse. I have a lot of friends with grad degrees who are seriously floundering in their ability to find meaningful jobs that can translate into careers. Too many temp contracts with no benefits and always under the threat of layoffs. Ugh.

        • Keep in mind, too, that where she is in grad school is not necessarily where she will end up for her career so you might have to go on the job market and even reinvent yourself more than once. Maybe it’s better to commute on weekends/breaks while she’s in school (I’ve done it, it stinks, but you can make it work when you know it’s not forever), and then when she finishes you can both go on the job market (simultaneously or sequentially).

          Or maybe life is too short for that and it’s worth the hit to your career to be together.

        • Sounds like lining up a new job before quitting the old one is the way to go. Use a local phone number and address, though, even for 125 miles away, to increase your chance of getting interviews.

          • To be clear, we are 120 miles now (she is finishing her masters). She will then need to move somewhere even further (maybe west coast, maybe stay here on the east coast) for her PhD, which is a separate program. She should be able to knock out her PhD in 3-4 years.

            She has no desire to stay in academia and will go straight into industry. She can’t stand teaching!

          • Does the quality of the PhD program make a difference as to what kind of future job she can get in industry? (I know it’s hugely important if she wanted to stay in academia, but not sure if it’s equally important in industry.) It doesn’t sound like you want to leave D.C. (and in the current job climate, I don’t blame you).

        • You talked about the benefits of your current job – do you love the work itself? And the work environment? Do you see yourself staying with this organization for awhile?
          Does your GF know where she would want to end up after her PhD?

          If you decide to move, it would need to be “for you” and your relationship as much as it is “for her” and your relationship. Else the “I gave up a great job etc for you” can come into play if things aren’t working out, if you get into arguments, etc.

          Tough decision!

        • dude, don’t do it. your lil voice is right.

    • I don’t know what field you’re in but where your GF is considering a program but… do it. It won’t be easy, but if you start putting the feelers out now, you’ll land on your feet. I think moving to a new region with someone you love is awesome. As the old DC addage goes, “If you don’t leave your friends, they will leave out.” I say go for it.

      • Don’t do it. What are you getting out of the deal? Nada. After you move and are in a job that isn’t as great as your current one, you’ll start to resent her. Maybe not at first, but deep down inside you will…

        Ah well, onto the next one. You should get pablo to take photos for your profile pics on match.com and e-harmony.

    • If you were a friend of mine, I’d urge you to think very carefully about making major career sacrifices for a significant other you’re not married to. When you’re married, you think about everything as a team / partnership, but until then it’s much riskier. Think about how you’d feel if you gave up your job, moved out to the West Coast with her, and then you guys break up?

      • That’s why I’m so hesitant. We’re not married, but we have been dating (very seriously) for 1.5 years. I’m from the west coast and she’s looking in areas very close to my family, so it’s not like I’d be alone. But yeah, I think I’d want us to be engaged before making the move. She is looking at stuff in Chicago too and I can transfer my job there (and probably get a promotion, too boot), while taking advantage of much lower cost of living.

  • pablo .raw

    Rant: Basically spent my weekend working.
    Rave: Fantastic engagement photo session yesterday; can’t wait to work on those photos!
    Rant: still have a lot of work to do 🙁
    Rave: looking forward to a mini-vacation

    • pablo .raw

      I forgot:
      rant or rave: maybe more rave than rant. I’m starting to watch Star Trek on amazonvideo.

  • Rant: Our department is going through a reorg and we ‘ll report to a new VP.

    Rave: It makes no sense that for us to report to this VP so maybe he wil leave us alone.

  • Rave: Great father’s day and chance to reflect on how blessed I am to have two wonderful children. I love them with all of my heart and soul.

    Rant: Both my parents lost their fathers at young ages and the pain is still there for them.

    Rave: My kids have gottent to know and have a relationship with all of their grandparents. Here is to many more years of that.

  • Rant: People that invite you to a party at their house then ask you to bring a 140$ bushel of crabs. I’d rather hold a party at my house if I’m expected to bring the main course. If you want to throw a party and look like a millionaire, don’t ask everyone attending to bring main-courses.

    Rave: Closing o my re-fi this week. Could use the money, it will allow me to get rid of over 500 a month in PMI fees, and hopefully allow me to take a decent beach vacation.

    Rant: Half a$$ed friends who only come out when they have something to gain, and treating me like I’m supposed to develop an entertainment plan and be their chauffeur when they come into DC. I’d rather stay home and watch movies, I’m not the DC welcoming committee. No.

    Rave: I’m still learning to be more adventurous and exercising my freedom to do whatever I want after over 17 years of living on my own, I still have to remind myself that I can do whatever I want whenever I want as an unmarried and single dude… Not really sure that anyone can give me a few good reasons to give that up.

    • “I still have to remind myself that I can do whatever I want whenever I want as an unmarried and single dude… Not really sure that anyone can give me a few good reasons to give that up…”

      1) great sex

      2) see #1

      • I really don’t think you meant to suggest that being an unmarried single dude means living without great sex. If it does (or did) for you, you are doing (or did) the unmarried single thing wrong – unless you are someone who only believes in sex inside of a marriage.

        • I’m a single chick and have been living without sex for the past four years. What am I doing wrong?

          • What can I tell you? Some guys find a woman with three fire-breathing dragons attractive; some don’t.

          • We live in a repressed society – on one hand people expect classic courtship, yet still want immediate gratification at other times… Hook-Ups have been reduced to ads on dating sites and craigslist, because due to the Internet and mobile phones, people no longer know how to communicate in person.

            In a city that’s beginning to get crowded so many people have so many different values, and the likelihood of getting to know someone by seeing them regularly at a place is reduced…

            While I’m not a fan of hook-ups, I used to get a lot more offers to come up for a drink prior to 2005… Maybe it’s me who’s changed.

        • Yep, you’ve changed — you’ve gotten older. People who are currently the age you were in 2005 are still doing those things, they’re just not inviting you along anymore.

      • The price on #1 is way too high in DC these days… Besides that, I’m a Buddhist monk sworn to a life of celibacy at them moment. 😛

        • You Buddhists are everywhere! Seems like every time I go into a bar, every woman I talk to is sworn to celibacy.

          Marcus — Just suggesting that it might be a reason, say, change your brunch schedule. 😉

    • Ugh, my sister in law does that. She offered to host Thanksgiving and then asked my parents to bring the turkey. And she asked other relatives (staying in a hotel) to bring dessert. A side dish or wine is fine, but don’t host if you don’t want to do the work.

      • “Great sex” ? 😉

      • I think you have that backwards. The main dish requires less work. In the case of the crabs, all you have to do is buy them, and a turkey is a pretty easy roast. It may also give your mother the sense that she is presiding over the family gathering.

        • Nope, getting crabs was major work… Luckily the weather was good yesterday…

          There are long lines – you have to negotiate price – you have to pay out of your own pocket for them – You have to wait in line to get them steamed or cook them yourself which takes at least an hour under the sun – I also had to drive them from DC to Gaithersburg and hope they don’t cool down while making my car car smell like a buffet at Phillips.

          Much easier to just invite people over to my place for crabs.

        • Plus, you know, expensive and a touch midleading.

  • skj84

    Rant: Was a complete jerk and made a nasty comment to a good friend this weekend because I was in a bad mood. it wasn’t complety unprovoked, but I still fill horrible about what I said. Friend took the whole thing in stride though.
    Rave: Ordered buisness cards through Fedex Kinkos and they were on sale! 250 for $17.99 rather than $29.99. I just hope they look good when they come in. And they ship them in a timly manner.

  • GiantSquid

    Revel: Love Annapolis Subaru. Service is fast and affordable and they have great breakfast recommendations.
    Rant: Back/sciatica still hurts
    Revel: really intense massage from Tim at Lunar made me feel almost normal
    Rant: Washer decided to stop agitating last week. But it still spins. Dad thinks the belt is stretched. Does anyone have recommendations for a washer (Frigidaire) repair service in DC? It’s a combo unit in an upstairs closet so it’s a real PITA to get to. Many thanks in advance!

    • Unless the washing machine is really new, I’d recommend replacing it rather than repairing it. Repair costs are so high that (depending on how much the machine costs) you could easily spend a third to half of the machine’s value on repairs.

      • GiantSquid

        Here’s the thing: it was just replaced last year. It was a whole saga involving Sears and a mis-installed new unit. This unit is not brand new but was working fine until last week. I think, at this point, my landlords would rather have it repaired than tempt fate with complete replacement again. We’ll pay for the repair and then take it out of rent.

        • It”s very likely that it is a belt issue if the washer is a top loader. Top loaders usually have one motor that runs the pump, spin and agitation through a series of belts. If it’s spinning and draining, then the motor Is working (replacing a motor isn’t really worth it). Repair is probably worth it, but getting it out is a huge issue, as you probably know if you’ve replaced it twice recently. Dryers can often be fixed without removing them at all, but to do pretty much anything to a washer you have to have full access to the rear of the unit. Now, front loaders are much more complex, but I’ve never seen a front loading washer in a combo unit, only separate units that can be stacked.

        • Ahh, I didn’t realize that your landlord would (ultimately) be paying for the repair. In that case, it might be worth a shot.

      • GiantSquid

        Addendum: if we had our way (if we owned the place), we’d get separate stacked units so when one went, we would just be replacing one rather than both. Our guess is that its more expensive up front, which is why landlords went with the combo unit, but I think this is a prime example where you get what you pay for. We’re willing to make the investment up front to get longer lifetimes.

        • Combo units totally suck. Ugh, such a PITA to deal with and they never do a very good job of drying your clothes. At least that’s my experience with the combo units that I’ve used over the years.

          • GiantSquid

            The dryer is what went out on the first unit. Sorry if its not clear, by combo I mean a “laundry center” where the washer is on the top and the dryer is attached on the top, not one of the appliances that both washes and dries.

  • RAVE: Working from home, or rather the Coupe, today.
    RANT: Deadlines looming and no motivation to work.

  • epric002

    rant: muggy, muggy monday.
    rave: last week of work before VACATION!

  • Rant: People who deliberately hurt the ones you love.

  • Rant: Litter and people who litter.

    Anyone have any good ideas on how to get one’s neighbors to start picking up the litter in front of their houses?

    For a while now, I’ve been picking up the litter on my street — both sides, entire block, once a week. But I don’t think I can keep it up any more; my hand still hurts from Saturday’s litter-picking session. (I use a “grabber” — a long-handled thing with claws at the end.)

    I was hoping that my example might inspire (or guilt) people into picking up litter in front of their own houses, and maybe even in front of a couple of neighboring houses. (I don’t expect anyone to do the whole block.) But I don’t think it has.

    Any ideas? (And to forestall remarks like “Yet another stupid PoPville question from people too afraid to actually talk to their neighbors”… I know some of my neighbors, but not all of them. (My being shy and living alone doesn’t help.) But it’s a bit tricky to finesse how to ask people to do something that — both legally and ethically — they’re supposed to be already.)

    • My block had a terrible litter issue in our alley. One of our neighbors started an email list just for the folks living on the alley and went door to door asking people to a block party and to sign up for the email list. But the alley was too gross for a block party, so if we could all just do a quick alley clean up the day before, that would be great. It worked pretty well. Lots of folks showed up on Saturday to pick up trash in the alley and more showed up with food and drinks ( some towing extra grills) to the BBQ the next day. And now we know a lot more of our neighbors. Since then a lot of good info gets posted on the email list, and we’ve had a couple more block parties and clean-ups. It has its good and bad points,but mostly good.

  • Rant: Champagne hangover.

    Rave: Puppy slept in my bed with me last night for the first time. It went so well, I’m going to have trouble putting him in his crate at nights again!

  • *Pokes head in*
    Dang the neighborhood has changed.
    How is everyone?
    Rant: I really want to tell this woman at work that I dont care about her misadventures in home buying. But I really dont care.
    Rave: My tomatoes and thriving! and my peppers too…Cant wait for my Sweet 100s to start ripening…it’s gonna be on like donkey kong.

  • Community Query: I want to go to Mr. Larry’s on 11th to get some pet stuff (always prefer to walk instead of drive, always prefer to shop local), but there’s no website and the facebook page hasn’t been updated in ages.
    1. Still open?
    2. Any idea of hours?
    3. Carries rodent supplies?

  • Rant: Still can’t sign in (have reset password) but Rave: no more huge orange banner!

    Rave: Man of Steel! Usually not my type of movie but it was REALLY good! Aside from the idiots that brought their 2 year-old to the movie. I mean, *really*??

    Rant: Giant roach crawling on the shower curtain this morning. What a way to wake up! ::shudders::

    Random: I’ve really got a craving for some country dancing! (two-steppin’ and line dancin’) It’s time to hit up NIck’s, who’s with me??

    • Rave: My boss just used the phrase: “I would rather French kiss a light socket than…”

  • Rave: Finally got my last box unpacked!!! Yay.

    Rave: Thanks again for all your comments to my query earlier about what a newbie needs to know. And thanks to the Prince for elevating it to the front page.

    Rant: I think one of my new coworkers hates me. I’m getting a lot of bitch face from her.

    • I think one of my new coworkers hates me. I’m getting a lot of bitch face from her.”

      Welcome to DC! It only goes downhill from here.

      • Naw, not gonna let one hater affect things. Things can only get better in a city this amazing!

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