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.

94 Comment

  • I am having trouble concentrating today!!!

  • Rant: I was sitting at a bar during happy hour yesterday, and the guy standing next to me was having a little trouble paying his bill. And I mean only a little trouble. The bartenders got slammed and couldn’t ring his credit card up for maybe 3 or 4 minutes. Apparently this was too much for the guy, ’cause he left his receipt right in front of me with $0 tip and “Fuck you” written on the bottom. Some people just shouldn’t be out in public.

    Rave: This particular bar has security cameras all over the place, so I’m pretty sure staff there knows this idiot’s face. I don’t think he’s welcome back.

    • Where did this happen?

    • skj84

      UGH! I hate people like that. I work in a restaurant and am stunned by the nasty boorish things people think they can get away with. I honestly think everyone needs to work in retail or hospitality once in their life.

      • andy

        All that said – can we not just get past the artificiality of tipping? Why not do something like add two lines on your credit card receipt that says “Hospitality: 15%” and “Hospitality: 20%” and whichever you sign next to, you pay? If not paying a tip gets you banned, let’s just get past the courtesies and add it to the bill directly.

        • It’s not the lack of the tip. If that guy gets banned it’s because of the love note he added to the bottom of the receipt — and a banning would certainly be justified here.

  • mini-Rave: On the way home yesterday, a German family (at least I think they were German – they were blonde and were speaking German to each other) were sitting near me. They got off at the same stop as I did and reached the escalator before I did. I was prepared to have to stand behing them (on the left.) They all stood to the right except one, and she moved over when she saw that there were people walking down behind her. As I walked by them, I said “Danke!” The kids giggled at that, and I think they were surprised to hear someone speak German to them. That kind of made my day.

    • Hey, if you’re going to stereotype the tourists at least do it correctly with all the available information! The German-speaking peoples are known for discipline and efficiency. I would always assume them to be less annoying on the metro than almost any other tourists, including Americans.

      • Stereotypes exist for a reason. Most tourists stand on the left. I was happy that they recognized the local custom and moved over. I even thanked them for it using their native tongue!

        • Um, please do not stereotype against us stereotypes. Some of us exist for no reason, and some of us do not exist for a reason. I think that if you got to know some stereotypes, you would find that we are really a diverse group of groundless assumptions.

      • I host couch surfers and my favorite nationality has been German. They are fantastic at keeping me informed about their plans and yes, very efficient and easy to get along with.

        Eastern europeans on the other hand….

        Not to stereotype or anything 🙂

        • Hey now! just keeding.

        • epric002

          +1 i loved visiting germany. everything was clean and orderly, and everyone was incredibly polite. when we got off the train, there were polite young germans offering assistance in english for buying train/bus tickets, getting around, etc. it was wunderbar!!! can’t wait to go back.

        • andy

          I believe the German term is “Köüchßurfën.”

      • Emmaleigh504

        The worst group of tourists I encountered on metro were a group of Italians. I wanted to throw them all onto the 3rd rail. Americans are the worst I see on a daily basis.

        • Italians is the example I was going to use in contrast to Germans. They as a people do not value order and efficiency in the same way that Germans do.

          • So true. I don’t think that the concept of a line even exists in Italy. I’m Italian (at least by heritage) so I can say that. 🙂 Seriously, though, nonna will knock you over to get somewhere.

            The most fun and easy to get along with people I’ve encountered while traveling? Tie between the Germans and the Dutch.

          • In the UK and Denmark, Germans have a reputation for cutting in line (or breaking queues, as they say “across the river”)

          • Anon 12:08, that’s interesting, I’ve never heard that. I will counter that with two points though: the Brits have a reputation for not liking anything about the Germans, and the Danes have a reputation for loving efficiency and order even more than the Germans. (Disclaimer: these stereotypes based mainly on my own experiences.)

          • Anon 10:57: Something about bombing the shit out your country 70 years ago may have stuck with the Brits

          • I’m half Italian and half German- I wonder what that says about me!

      • And the land of Chocolate.

    • Question: Would you get upset with a British family if thy were standing on the left? Do they have an understanding of escalator etiquette based on driving on he opposite side of the road?

      • OP here. I get upset with ANYBODY standing on the left!

      • UK customs for escalators are the same as they are here. The Underground in London has little signs on the escalators every three meters or so saying “Please stand to the right.”
        Although I find it annoying when tourists clog the escalators in Metro stations in D.C., I try to cut them some slack — if Metro bothered to provide any signage, maybe it wouldn’t be such an issue.

    • Years ago I was on the Frankfurt subway and each escalator had a little sign: “rechts stehen, links gehen” — stand right, walk left. All discussions of national character aside, it may be that they’re simply used to the same traffic pattern we are.

  • USA! USA! USA!

    • andy

      Yeah, man! 6-0, 6-1, Cuba next? On a roll now.

      • We looked like crap in the first half. Sorry, but we did. Service was mostly terrible from the wings and OH! that goal…great marking D. Went to sleep at half so no comment on 2nd half. We won b/c Belize.

        • We may have won because of Belize but that strategy didn’t work out too well for Mexico or Canada. This Gold Cup has been fun to watch. I am also excited about the direction of the USMNT. We are blowing out the teams we should blow out and seem to be building momentum.

  • Love the pelicans. Reminds me of home.

    Ranty – who knew finding someone to renovate the house would be so hard? Or finding an endocrinologist? And the people holding their impromptu meeting right outside my office door should GET A ROOM.

    Maybe I need another vacation.

    • saf

      You’re looking for a endo?

      I used to go to WHC, but my 2 favorite endos left. I didn’t like the new one I got passed off to. I hear there are good endos there still – I just really didn’t like Oonamah.

      I go here now: http://www.washingtonendocrineclinic.com/

      Dr West is nice, although I do get a bit of a Doogie Howser vibe from him. Perhaps I am just not used to docs being so much younger than me.

      My big problem with most of the endos I have seen is that they all want to work on diabetes. Sorry, my major problem is my thyroid (or, at this point, lack of thyroid.)

      • Yaahhh! tell me about it! So hard to find a thyroid doc. So Dr West is okay? Some of the yelp reviews were pretty bad.

        • saf

          Wow. I don’t usually use Yelp, so I just went over there and looked. Brutal indeed.

          I dislike the office manager. A LOT, actually. He’s a pretentious twit. But I like the nurse, and West has been fine to work with. He, like most endos these days, is more focused on diabetes, but he will cope with thyroid stuff. (I had thyroid cancer in 2006.)

          Yes, the having to have an appointment to review your labs is annoying. But he has you come in for labs (or have them done and sent over) before you see him, so you don’t need to go twice to see him.

          The best endo ever in the history of the world is Kathleen Prendergrast. But she moved to Baltimore. Sometimes I regret staying at WHC after she left, although Yasser Ousman, who I saw after she left, was also quite good. I liked him too. Both of them treated me like a person, and a participant in my own health care. When he left (moved to Fredericksburg, VA), I did not like the endo they handed me off to. She saw me as a number and a problem, not as a person or a patient. Very cold, and not willing to talk to me as a person. I have been told that Ken Burman, also at WHC, is good, but by that point I was annoyed enough that I wanted to go elsewhere. Some days I think I should have followed Prendergrast to Baltimore. Seriously, she was that good.

          I have also been told that the endos at GW MFA are good. I have not been there. In general, my experiences at GW have been that the docs are good and the staff are infuriating.

  • Rave: Really nice vacation last week. The BF came home with me to meet the family, and things went really well….even if my mother started to drive me nuts by the end of the week.

    Rave/Rant: Kitchen and bathroom renovations are moving along. Rave because the bathroom is looking awesome! Rant because the kitchen is taking longer than expected and I don’t like living in a construction zone. F@#$ing dust everywhere! Also, tiling a floor is way harder than it looks on the DIY network.

    Rave: Got shortlisted on a major proposal that is a long shot for my organization to win. The higher-ups are surprised we made the cut, and it’s even better because I managed the proposal and essentially re-wrote the whole thing right before it was due (the writer assigned to it was not good). It will be a major coup if I can bring it home. Very very significant career boost.

    Rant: I’m fairly certain I am about to get assigned to lead another massive proposal. Horrible timing with renovations and other work obligations, but everyone else is also very overloaded. Sigh.

  • skj84

    Rave: Day off! I had to take a sick day for a doctors appointment and have plenty of free time to get stuff done that I haven’t had time for.

    Rant: I either have to use some of my already dwindiling pto or just let the day go on my paycheck.

    Rave: Good customer serivice! I had two bad situations yesterday that were saved by great employees. I spent most of yesterday calling my doctor for film and never heard from them. I took a chance and went to the office in person and they were very helpful in burning a cd for me. As I was leaving i get a call from the office I’m visiting today canceling the appointment because my physician couldn’t make it in. I told them I had made the appointment a month ago and taken the day off it. The admin assistant went out of his way to find my a new appointment for today and followed up with me to confirm everything.

    Rant: My friend who complains endlessly about her dating life. She just got out of a long term relationship and enthusiastically jumped back into the dating scene which is great. What is not great is listening to her go on and on about the guys she’s dating. Like the rebound guy she fell hard for and he broke things off. Or the men she is causally dating, yet she expects some sort of commitment from. I feel like every conversation we have is how these guys have wronged her when clearly she’s part of the problem and I just.don’t.care. I need to figure out a polite way to tell her this.

    • I used to have a friend like that, too. It was always that every guy “screwed her over” even when they specifically told her they didn’t want anything serious. Eventually I did say something to her about it. She got mad at me and said I was the only one who felt that way (in reality, everyone did, they just talked about her behind her back instead of saying something to her). I’m so glad she’s not my friend any more. Her constant insistence that she was never in the wrong was indicative of how immaturly she handled so many situations.

      • skj84

        Yeah I tried to subtlety hint to her the guy who had a problem with her calling for a commitment even though he was leaving town had a good point. I don’t really think she got it.

  • Why are the escalators at the Georgia Ave/Petworth station ALWAYS broken?

    • Hah — I too have been wondering that! I remember that when Metro released its list of most frequently non-working escalators a year or two ago, something like 5 of the top 20 were at Georgia Ave.-Petworth. (They ranked each escalator, as opposed to doing a ranking of, say, exits where one or more escalators in a given direcftion isn’t working.)

      I feel like they “fixed” one or both of the escalators at the eastern exit not long ago… but now they seem to be fixing it again, so one escalator is stationary and the other one is blocked off. And there’s no indication of when we can expect to have at least one moving escalator again.

    • Lived there for a little over 4 months and I’d realistically guess the east escalators are functioning at about a 65% rate, which might be generous. I think it’s been nearly two weeks since it last worked. Is there a petition for just turning it into a water slide for the summer we can sign?

      • I don’t mind so much when one escalator is stationary and the other is operating going up. But I DO mind having to walk up a non-moving escalator. (No, I am not lazy. I rarely stand when I’m on a moving escalator.)

  • Rant/Rave: Have a date with bureaucracy this afternoon – hoping it goes smoothly. I think I have all my documents together and that I’m giving myself enough time to be sure I arrive on time and not run into any hiccups but with official government things I get nervous I’m forgetting some simple thing. Anyways, here’s to hoping it’s a breeze as a lot hinges on this first little step.

    Rave: New officemate (across the hall) is kind and cheery – a nice addition!

    Rave: Beasted that Ikea furniture last night! No lost pieces, it seems secure, and it’s good looking. Rearranging stuff in the house throws me for a loop but it’s great organizing/purging time motivation.

  • Rave: brought in donuts for an office birthday from GBD. They were really fantastic and were a huge hit. I could have easily gone home, consumed all 18, then enjoyed a coma. Way better than the usual Costco cake.

    Rant: gestational diabetes. I’m just going under the assumption I have it (based on my doctor’s attitute), and those things were a one way ticket to GD town.

    Rant: our rental property. Giving me heartburn. It’s July, no one is really looking to move, yet our tenants decided to break their 2 year (discounted!) lease during the slow time. It’s very helpful.

    • Where is your property and what is it like?

    • Yeah, can you provide some details? Location, size, rent amount, etc?
      I’m month-to-month and always looking out for the right deal.

      • Maybe if you’re interested, you can ask POP to get us in touch? (the post below was meant to be a reply…but I failed, I guess!)
        In short, great, renovated apartment between Dupont/U St. Pet friendly, great local/responsive landlords. I can give a little deal for POPville. we’re asking $2400 on CL all inclusive (no move in fees, no utilities, etc) but can discount it a bit for POPvillers. Ask Dan to connect us if you’d like to see it – we’ll be there tomorrow showing it. We’re also hoping to put new floors in between tenants.

  • Between Dupont and U Street. It’s a great apartment in an amazing location (we walked everywhere, lived there for 4 years). Tenants were offered a deal to sign a 2 year lease, then decided to not even give us 30 days notice saying they were breaking their lease. They are going to do what we’ve asked (termination fees, etc), but it bothers me that I trust someone to stick to the legal document. This was about stability for us (we don’t make much money off it, but I didn’t want to have to deal with finding a new tenant every year, hence the discount). So it’s frustrating that I trusted people. We’ve been fantastic landlords, so I guess that makes it sting even more. If they had told us in May or June, we would have thought about selling it. But now, it’s the sloooow season.

    • Huh? Are you not keeping up with the news? The market has tons of buyers right now, who are panicking about the prospect of interest rates rising. If you don’t sell now, you won’t be selling for 4 or 5 years.

      Just my two cents.

      • I’ve heard the opposite from our agent. That it’s July/August, and people are out of town so it’s a pretty slow market. I think a month ago, we would have made out like bandits on it. However, I can just tell it’s slower these days. Maybe we should try it? But it’s supposd to be a long term investment (which is why we don’t make much money off it every month)….so I’m not sure what we’ll do.

        • JInDC the anon was talking about selling the home , not putting in tenants, if you don’t want to be a landlord, which sounds like you don’t, then sell the whole property. Any financial advisor worth their salt would tell you the same.

        • novadancer

          I agree it is slower. But was still able to get an offer on my south arlington condo within 30 days which is not exactly as appealing as metro walkable 🙂 I think some realtor are doom/gloom.

      • Where are you getting this 4-5 years info? You’re making me nervous…

        • It’s just the cyclical nature of the housing market. Rates are still low compared to historical standards but have been rising the last two months. They will continue to rise for the next few years, which will mean buyers need bigger downpayments and therefore price gains will – best case scenario – plateau at the current levels. We might even see prices soften by 5-10% in a few years’ time.

          Yes yes, it’s impossible to “time the market”. But I think anyone who’s been a student of history knows that interest rates have no where to go but up and the pressure to raise rates is increasingly weekly. Which also means that price gains have reached their max. If you’re looking to sell and will be in the black, then sell now. I wouldn’t sit on it, unless you’re planning on being a long term landlord (10+ years).

    • epric002

      sounds like you’re taking this personally. it’s business. i’m sure this was not a reflection of you as a landlord, but what was best for them and their lives. isn’t the whole point of termination fees to cover these sorts of situations?

      • Is a lease not a legally binding obligation? We COULD be dicks and say “no, you have to pay rent until your lease is up” but it’s not worth it.
        I’m taking it personally because we treated them very well and they took advantage. You don’t decide in less than 30 days that you’re moving. I’ve moved before. If they had known earlier, during the bigger turn over time in DC, it would have been less of a pain in the ass to deal with.
        I’d like to sell it, but I’m 50% of a couple and try not to argue about keeping it. I do trust our real estate agent when she says that the market has slowed tremendously for the summer for condo sales. But we’ll see – if we get no bites on tenants, we’ll probably do that.

        • epric002

          i’m confused- what does the lease require? if the lease requires that they pay rent through the end of the term, i don’t know why you wouldn’t enforce that (that’s not being a dick). if the lease only requires an early termination fee, then it is what it is (not taking advantage). it shouldn’t be about being a dick/taking advantage – if you hold to the terms and penalties of the lease, it’s just business.

          • it says they are responsible for rent through the end of the lease terms, no subletting, etc. But we’re trying to work with them because we aren’t dicks. If they can’t find replacement tenants, then they will be paying.

      • Also, that said…it could have been worse – they could have destroyed our apartment and other horror stories. It’s just unfortunate that people don’t have the courtesy to be honest. They clearly were looking to move, and if they had been open with us, we could have worked something out on a better time frame for all of us and then they could have avoided the costs we are ultimately going to charge them for the violation.

        It’ll all work out eventually!

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: Boss expects me to know how to do all the things a person in another department does. That person is out today and he’s running around like a chicken with his head cut off. I do not know why they hired him.

    Rave: Watching him flounder. He’s a terrible manager and I hope his superiors find out how terrible he is.

    Rave: I forgot my lunch again, so I’m going to get sushi.

    • lets us know if anything happens to your manager. It always seems to trickle back down over the managers, as far as I’ve ever been able to tell…which is why there are still so many bad ones!

      • Emmaleigh504

        I doubt anything will happen to him. The big big bossman would rather have an incompetent man than a competent woman.

  • Rave: Not sure if it’s a product of everyone being on vacation or the sequestration furloughs, but my commute to work (H Street NE to Penn Quarter) has been a breeze this week. Anyone else notice that?

  • Rave: Great photo!

  • Rave: 127 comments on Dogs and Curbside/Treebox gardens! Yet another reason why PoPville is the best blog in DC.
    My favorite:
    “I’d love to feel pity for you and your poo problem. I really would. But your obvious attitude and your persistent name-calling kinda dulls my interest in your poo-issue. So, lock your cans. Or bring them inside. Or just deal with it. But I’m done with your attitude.”
    Break out the silverware because you just got served! 🙂

  • Rant: One of my most valuable staffers is on unexpected leave. I should have listened to his updates more because now I am pretty lost on where to pick up a lot of his projects and I’m pretty clueless as how to get some of his important work done. Feel like a dope, because as his director, I should know how to do these things. Lesson learned. This is the most stress I’ve felt in awhile.
    Rave: ^Staffer is okay, thank goodness. His raise is imminent the more I try to figure out these complexities and processes.
    Rant: Apartment hunting on a pretty tight budget. $2000 for a basement in Eckington? Man, it’s been awhile.
    Rave: Mr S has been been a conqueror of Craigslist, so I’m appreciative of some good finds.

  • Not a rant or a rave – but a cry for help. Where’s the best bakery for a homemade loaf of bread? I bought some meat and cheese for a picnic (whenever it stops raining) but I’d like a good olive oil and a loaf of rosemary bread to pair with it…

    • The lack of a great bakery is a common thread on Popville, so I am going to leave that to others and suggest that for your olive oil you try oliviersandco.com. Ran across one of their stores in Boston a few years ago and never looked back. You should also try their premium balsamic – great on bread too. Lived in Greece for a while, so I am a little picky about my olive oil.

    • “homemade” means you make it yourself at home.

    • The Panarama bakery that sells at the Bloomingdale (sunday) and 14th Street (saturday) farmers markets has awesome bread. I think they are located in Alexandria regularly.

    • saf

      Go down to the hill for the oil: http://www.saporeoilandvinegar.com/

      Rosemary bread – the bakery at the Dupont Farm market, or at the Columbia Heights farm market.

      I like La Caprice DC, but I don’t know if they make rosemary bread.

    • GiantSquid

      The Spring Mill bakeries are quite nice. They have a store on 8th SE, across from the Marine Barracks. Then you can walk up to Penn and get some quality olive oil from the store next to District Taco.

    • I always answer this question with Lyon Bakery. They have a stand outside of Union Station with excellent, cheap bread.

  • homerule

    Rave: Wedding is now officially less than a month away!

    Rant: Some of our favorite people, who swore to us they would be there, aren’t coming. It’s sad, but it’s a long way to travel and we understand. Though we’ll miss them!

  • Rant: Tweaked my neck in gym and now can’t really move it
    Rave: Aleve
    Rave: I work with a great team of people
    Rant: Humidity last night during run
    Rave: Bill Moyers!

  • Rant: That church by 16th/Park where all the drunkards hang around. Once when I was jogging after work, one of those jackasses tried to grab me (Monday evening around 6:30). The next morning, another guy tried to block me from walking up the street by lunging at me. He was taken aback when I yelled at him. Does that church provide any services, or do people just squat there and the adjoining park to drink or sleep off their drink.

  • GiantSquid

    Rant: Mr. Squid’s birthday is the same day as his godson’s birthday party, so I need to schedule dinner out the night before or after. I welcome suggestions for a nice dinner out for two adults, preferably a quieter place so we can have a conversation. I don’t mind spending money but don’t want to pay $300 for two people. Aaaand I’d need a snowball’s chance in hell of making a Friday night reservation in two weeks. Anyone? Anyone?

    Revel: Mr. Squid gets home tonight from a business trip!

    • saf

      Corduroy. If you are really working on a budget, go early and sit at the bar. The bar menu is one of the best deals in town.

      Also, the bar deal at CityZen is pretty amazing.

      Can’t make reservations for either of the bars though.

  • Rave: Everyone on my team got a spot cash award today at work for finishing a HUGE regulatory package. This will pay for most of my vacation in August.

    Rave: A professor from CalTech emailed my GF out of the blue this morning to discuss bringing her on as PhD candidate in 2014. She is ecstatic. The professor wants to review her transcripts, scores, and publications and then setup a meeting to discuss in August when we are in California for vacation. Wowzers! Very cool opportunity for my GF, who is a very smart woman. Maybe I’ll move back to Cali next year?!? 🙂

    • Envious. My organization is no longer giving cash awards — if I remember correctly, they decided it would violate the hiring/salary/budget freeze. I think there was even some debate as to whether time-off awards were going to be allowed.

      • We are an independent agency and profit center for the gov’t. We don’t rely on taxpayer dollars for funding. Congressional budget appropriations totally suck.

  • Rave: Been in a really good mood for like a month straight! This happening after being sort down for about a year.
    Rave: I think random people can tell. 3 people stopped and spoke to me on the street while I was eating lunch and reading. I must be sending out good energy or something. Trying to let this ride as long as possible!

  • I love Priya Kundra at WHC. I wasn’t a complex case, but she has a great bedside manner, and never rushes me.

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