Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user NCinDC

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.

98 Comment

  • Rant: got stung by 6 yellow insects (not sure if bees, wasps, hornets, or yellow jackets, but I guess I don’t really care) while babysitting yesterday

    Rave: I’m not allergic, the kids escaped unharmed, and they’re old enough to have not needed my constant attention while I took care of myself.

  • Rant: dealing with the car dealership to get our vehicle registration and excise tax refund straightened out. It’s ridiculous. First they didn’t have our parking permit included in our registration (despite us telling them 4 or 5 times to include it) and once they fixed that and overnighted us a new registration, it was all sent to the wrong address because they registered our car to the wrong address. They said, “did you use that address on your paperwork?” NO! We talked with the finance guy about all the changes where we live since he grew up in logan circle/shaw. So we obviously used that address. For the hybrid tax exemption, they said, “the District wouldn’t have accepted the tax if there was an abatement program for it!” Seriously? I even SENT the dealership the web site from the DMV about the hybrid fee reduction. We paid excise tax and the full cost for registration.

    Rave: DMV! I called them after thinking the dealership might figure it out. The DMV workers got me forms for a refund, told me what I needed to do and were very helpful and nice. So I’ll fill out the forms and pay the registration address change fee just to avoid dealing with the car dealership. But seriously, WTF?

  • Rave: Going to have dinner with an old high school friend that’s in town and has helped me get through some rough times.
    Rave: Also going to do my first night ride tonight down the CCT!

  • Rant: Closed door day in the office – only a few of us here and they happen to not be my favorite colleagues (*understatement*)

    Rave: T-4 days! Last day on Friday!!

    Rave: Awesome ride last night – loved riding as the gorgeous sun set and the sky turned pink. Loved driving home with the insects and whatever else making noise and the wind blowing by.

    Rant/Rave: Long long to-do list at home but at least I have the best dog in the world to help make it a little more pleasant!

    • Britt, if your handle is remotely close to your real name, you might want to tone down the talk about your colleagues. Just some friendly advice. 🙂

      • Thanks for the input – I don’t say anything here that couldn’t be repeated to those involved. My favorite colleagues are on vacation – so my door is closed. That’s all!

  • jack5

    Rave: Switching work location/assignment for a month! Free parking, new responsibility, same paycheck… Hope it works out well.

    Rant: After coming back from Brooklyn NY and seeing how things operate sans speed cameras for the most part, and sans red light cameras (no turn on red is mandatory) I really prefer the way they do it there. Not sure on their traffic accident statistics but I saw a lot less frustrated drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists there than here. DC is running their traffic campaigns as if they’re a small town (stop for pedestrians in crosswalks at all times, even on green lights) while population is increasing, it’s a recipe for disaster in the long run. As I drove back into town here I was amazed at all the new and re positioned speed cameras everywhere in DC and MD.

    Rant: 508 compliance testing people who don’t know anything about compliance beyond producing a paper report with vague wording in it. I end up having to translate their work to normal terms. Why do we even pay them?

    Rave: 3 day weekend coming soon!

    • andy

      Yeah isn’t it like 35 mph speed limit like everywhere within NYC? I definitely have seen some ticketworthy driving up there.

      • jack5

        Sure there was a little bit of aggressiveness in the way people drive up there but it was actually relaxing because people were aware of their boundaries and they made fairly obvious movements. Here people are more unpredictable as drivers because they notice cameras and over-assertive bicyclists and peds at the last minute…

        I’m thankful I remember DC back before all of the cameras and crosswalk rules coming in… It was perfectly safe back then and we had a lot less pedestrian deaths than now.

        • I bike commuted in NYC for 5 years and the animosity between cyclists and drivers is WAY worse in NYC than DC. the drivers are crazier, almost every single one of my friends in NYC has been hit by a taxi at least once while walking (i’ve been hit twice as a pedestrian, never as a cyclist), and NOBODY respects the lanes (half of the streets have so much construction that the lanes aren’t even visible anymore).

          I think if you spend more than just a few days in NYC, you might appreciate the traffic calming measures that we have in DC. I’ve found drivers in NYC to be much less predictable than here in DC, and pedestrians jaywalk like crazy, because there are so many of them that half the time an entire herd will just cross against the like because they assume no one will plow down 30 people. it makes commuting a nightmare. which is why everyone takes the subway (now, if you want to talk about something NYC does right compared to DC, the mass transit would be one of them!!)

          • Jack-you bought a car, not the road. Every time I read about how it’s “so tough to park/drive” in DC all I want to call the wwwwhhaaammmbulance so you can cry it out around them. You’re in the city, in a 20 x 8′ metal and glass box taking up WAY the F more than your fair share of space..deal with it. 70+ years of bending over backwards to accommodate automobiles and you whine b/c the balance is starting to tip towards moving people instead of pollution belching boxes of death (30K+++/year in US alone. That’s only direct deaths..not including health issues like diabetes, heart disease, asthma, etc. caused by sedentary lifestyles and pollution…we could up it another few hundred thousand for those.).

            Also, NYC just got approval for speed and red light cameras.
            One more thing. You know why you think cyclists are “over-assertive”, it’s b/c we have to be b/c jack(asses) like you think they should be allowed to speed, putting the safety and lives of others at risk.

            For the record, I own two cars and love to drive.

          • I’ve seen 20’x8′ tossed around as a car’s dimensions – where the F did that come from? Other than a hummer limo?

            Try 6×10?

          • +1 to @squaredeal

          • jack5

            @squaredeal I never said all cyclists are over assertive, I’m one myself… And I ride motorcycles, so I do understand safety on two wheels.

            You’re angry because of your own personal experiences, I’m angry because of mine, it should be mediated, not one-sided. Your tone is totally overboard.

            Not allowing turns on red lights would actually frustrate drivers like me more than anything, but it’s a better sacrifice for safety overall if you ask me in clearly preventing most accidents, which do occur during turns.

            The tone you use (calling people asses and whatnot) highly diminishes the value of your stance. This is a place for people to rant or rave and the minute you try to stop people from having a personal opinion, you become part of the problem. Thanks.

        • Well said, Jack.

    • NYC had 1,242 ped. deaths from 2009-2011. Brooklyn had the most of the bouroughs with 132.


      In 2010, DC had 24 traffic deaths, 13 ped. deaths


      • Does that stat take population into account?

        • jack5

          Agreed, those stats are invalid when population isn’t considered…

          NYC population: 8,336,697

          DC Population: 632,323

          Source: Wikipedia.Org

          • jack5

            Brooklyn NY population: 2,565,635

            NYC (Calculated Percentage of Ped Deaths) population 8,336,697/ped deaths (cited above) 1,242 —- 0.014897986576698182%

            DC (Calculated Percentage of Ped Deaths) population 632,323/ped deaths (cited above) 37 —- 0.005851439849570552%

            Brooklyn NY (Calculated Percentage of Ped Deaths) population 2,565,635/ped deaths (cited above) 132 —- 0.005144925135492772%

        • She’s giving raw numbers Meg.

          Anonymous 12:26. You’re right that I’m exaggerating a bit…but only a bit. There might be something closer to 10′, but the only thing I could think of was a smart car at 8’8″ long. A mini is over 11′. a Fiat 500 is 12′

          I’ll do the numbers on a couple of small, medium and large vehicles:
          Mazda mx-5-5’6″ wide, just over 13′ long
          Toyota Camry-Just shy of 6′ wide, 15′ long.
          Toyota Sienna mini van-6’6″ wide, 16’7″ long
          Ford Explorer-7’5″ wide, just shy of 16 1/2′ long.
          Lincoln Navigator-7’7″ wide, 18’7″ long
          Ford F-150-8’8″ wide, 19’4″ wide
          That’s a pretty decent spectrum of passenger vehicles. I didn’t include vans or large trucks/18-wheelers.

  • Blithe

    Rant: No solid food for over 36 hours due to a digestive complaint.
    Revel: Using this as an opportunity to get back into healthier eating habits.
    Revel: Listening to music from back-in-the-day: Mandrill, War, Rufus, Shuggie Otis. Sweet!
    Rave: getting LOTS of rest. I needed a reboot….

  • Rant: RIP Elmore Leonard

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: I really hate Microsoft Office products. Not sure if there’s a better option but Microsoft suck ass.
    Rave: Tried a really delicious eggplant and cheese recipe from Cabot Creamery. I’ve never really had egg plant, but found a beautiful one I just had to buy at the farmer’s market. Now I know it’s tasty and I will buy more!

    • Completely in agreement with your rant. And why is each successive version of Office designed to increase inefficiency?!?! Boo, MS Office designers/product line managers!

      • Emmaleigh504

        Exactly! I would love to talk to one of the people who is in charge of this stuff and tell them why it’s so annoying that they change everything every time there’s a new release. They don’t seem to know that when things aren’t broken they don’t need to break them. I think the person who came up with the damn ribbon should be sent to Gitmo.

      • +1000. Rant: In XP, I knew where everything was. Now I have 7 and this nested menu system is the WORST. Every little task requires scrolling through most of the options to find what I want.

    • Rave: Homemade eggplant parm for lunch today! But I’m relieved that this is the last of it, since it’s so high in fat and calories. Not ideal when you also have a homemade pie that needs to be eaten. 🙂

    • jack5

      Hey buddy, if it wasn’t for microsoft, 70% of the Internet would be down… It’s part of the food chain! If you get rid of sharks, then you have an overpopulation of fish! That doesn’t mean that Microsoft doesn’t still suck though. 😛

    • David Lebovitz has two great eggplant recipes on his blog – eggplant caviar and baba ganoush.

  • Rant-ish: the beautiful courtyard at the Portrait Gallery (see photo) used to have an awesome water feature on the floor. Having just been in Chicago, there is a similar water feature in Millennium Park that, frankly, is magnificent and also a wonderful play area for kids. The Millennium Park design appears very similar to what used to be in the museum courtyard, so I’m assuming it’s the same architect/designer. Anybody know why the water space in the courtyard has been shut off, seemingly permanently? Please don’t tell me it’s because DC/Smithsonian is too uptight and liability-paranoid to allow children to play in water.

    • pablo .raw

      Really? I was there a couple of days ago and the water was still there.

    • I was there last week. Kids were walking through it without any problems.

    • I can’t imagine it’s anything except maintenance/ repair. That water feature has been up and running for a long time, as recently as a couple weeks ago.

      • Okay, great! I haven’t been to the gallery in at least 3 months, but last time I was there it was high and dry. The Chicago fountain reminded me how much I missed it. Glad to hear it’s back and operational.

  • special_k

    RAVE: Dunking biscuits in my tea!
    RANT: Those floaty bits that happen when you dunk biscuits in your tea.
    RAVE: Still loving the weather.

  • pablo .raw

    Rave: Win. Got an apology from the organization that employs the person that treated me disrespectfully and the situation is going to be investigated.
    Rant: Even though I won, I feel sad. Maybe is the energy that I had to put into writing the e-mails or the confrontation.

    • GiantSquid

      Just because you got an apology doesn’t change the fact that someone treated you disrespectfully. It doesn’t make the hurt feelings go away, it just means they know it wasn’t right. It takes time to process and recover, honor that and give yourself time.

  • After following the scandals of elected officials in DC over the past 3 years, I am beginning to wonder if there are any elected officials in DC who aren’t corrupt?

  • Rave: I had my performance review and I exceed expectations!
    Rave #2: My salary increase is more than I thought it would be!
    Rant: I have paint in my hair from my furniture painting project and I didn’t notice it until too late this morning. So, here I am at work with dark, dark hair and semi-glass white paint in some of the ends.
    Rave #3: I have the sweetest boyfriend who remembered my performance review was today and texted me good luck.
    Rave #4: I am at the point in the furniture painting process that I am done with anything oil based. Brain cells rejoice!
    Rant #2: At least 2 more coats of paint and probably 2 of a sealer. Painting takes forever.

  • Rant: the admin asst. telling me to book a hotel for 4 day assignment from DC to B’more. Lady! That’s less than 50 miles thus local travel. It’s not going to get approved so why are you telling me to do something that is a complete waste of time?!

    Rave: day off tomorrow to hang with a good friend from college.

    Rave: getting tix to see Disclosure today.

    Rave: Oprah checking Lindsay about going to Europe 4 days out of rehab. Can Oprah be my life coach too? I don’t think O liked Lindsay much based on the interview.

  • Rave: Love the Portrait Gallery courtyard, it is one of my favorite spaces in DC.
    Rave: boss is out for a week and a half, and the peace and quiet has been so nice.
    Rave: Restaurant Week!
    Rant: too many fare sales, too little money and vacation time to take advantage of them all.

  • Rant: My new (to me; he’s 7 years old) pup seems especially anxious and jumpy today. He has barked at people in the office, which a. he hasn’t done before; and b. is unprofessional. I don’t know what to do!

    • Scrillin

      …don’t bring a dog to the office?

    • You’re surprised that a dog is being unprofessional?

    • epric002

      how long have you had him? we adopted our dog at 5 and it took months before her real personality was revealed. next training objective: quiet. (we’re working on that one too) good luck!

      • What are you doing to train him? One of my dogs barks at everyone. It makes walks unbearable because we live in an area with a ton of pedestrians. She also can’t sit outside with us while we’re on our front porch. I feel like I’ve tried everything and she still won’t stop.

        • epric002

          i don’t mind her barking briefly to alert us to something (someone at the door, in the alley, etc.), but i’m working on curtailing the excessive barking (prolonged barking at most people who walk by the house, ALL dogs that walk down our street, etc.) we’re using the ASL sign for no and i tell her “quiet” when i make the sign. we praise her/give treats if she quiets down after we tell her “quiet”, and are just continuing to reinforce what it means. i get that it’s hard to do this while on a walk, but we’ve had good luck bringing treats with us on walks and making her sit and focus on us while the distraction (usually another dog) passes by, after which she gets the treat. it doesn’t work every time, but we’ve had a huge improvement on her walk behavior since we started always carrying treats with us. if your dog is motivated by something other than food (toy, affection, etc.) you could modify the reward. good luck!

          • I’ve tried taking treats on walks, but it turns a 10-minute walk into a 50-minute one. Even with a treat it’s hard to get her attention when she’s in a bark frenzy.

          • epric002

            i feel your pain. it does drag them out, but the key to our success has been bringing the treats out before she gets herself worked up into a frenzy. i have to see the dog before she does, and distract her before she has a fit. and walks are not as enjoyable when you’re watching like a hawk for the next dog, and peering around corners so you don’t walk face-first into another dog. but this has *really* worked for us. she used to have barking/snarling/lunging tantrums at almost every dog that walked by, even on the other side of the street. now it is incredibly rare for her to do that, and only if we have no option but to have a face to face/share the sidewalk encounter. the training premise is that if you can distract her/reward her before she has a fit, she comes to associate other dogs with treats, and not as a threat.

        • I guess my problem is that it’s not just dogs but people too. And the people are everywhere unless we take our walks at 4am or drive out to the suburbs to do it.

    • The “professional” comment was a joke.

      We’re just starting obedience school, so I’m hoping that will help me help my dog. He’s very good and quiet the rest of the time, just gets nervous when new people (especially loud people and men) are around.

      It’s a journey, I guess. Good luck to all of my fellow dog folks and their pups!

      • epric002

        treats, treats, treats! especially if you have loud/men who would be willing to assist by giving treats when they encounter your dog (though let the dog approach the loud/men with treats on her own- don’t force her to). this too may change. ours was very nervous around new people for the first month or two, but once she settled in she is generally quite friendly with everyone she meets now.

  • Rant: That stupid Portrait Gallery/American Art Museum courtyard. They took a very pleasant and hidden green space and turned it into an industrial carpet-colored food court. Sterile, boring, inorganic, climate controlled — there’s not enough of that downtown.

    • Try the Freer courtyard as an alternative. Smaller than NPG, but super hidden and very beautiful. Just wish they still had the live peacocks who used to live there.

    • Yeah, but they can rent it out for events year-round. These free museums need to make money however they can. I also really, really love the courtyard during the cooler and darker months.

      • I’ve also enjoyed the Courtyard when it’s hot outside but (if memory serves me) freezing in the museum and Just Right in the courtyard.

      • skj84

        Yeah. I work downtown and sometimes sit in the courtyard to decompress after a busy day. Plus there’s Wifi available if you want to catch up on emails.

  • skj84

    Rant: Still sick. Sinus infection.

    Rave: Boss was better about me taking another day off.

    Rant: I’m worried that taking time off this week will affect my vacation time next week.

  • Rave: The extremely helpful Metro Station Manager at Petworth, who left his station and followed me to the end of the platform, to give me a one-way free ride “sticker” since my card split in half at the gate. It’s nice to see outstanding customer service from Metro, once in a while.

    • austindc

      You should let Metro know–it helps them to know when their staff are doing things well, and that station manager might like it if his manager knew he was doing a good job.

  • Puzzled Observation: Coordinating cooking dinner around my son’s and my girlfriend’s work schedules; cooking it at my house, rather than hers, so I can get some housekeeping done. I’ve become a housewife.

  • Rant: So much traffic on the bike lanes on 15th street today! A little annoying having traffic in a bike lane…but oh well haha its better than the bus.

    Rave: Restaurant week tomorrow with my best group of friends. Its been a ‘rough’ (i quote this because i know my life is not that bad at all in reality) two months for me but realizing whats important…family and my friends.

    Revel: Might go fishin’ saturday

    • Anecdotal observations seem to suggest that there are often more bikes in the cycletrack on 15th than there are cars in the 3 GP lanes. Bikes still get 1/5th the space. If you want more, pound sand.

      • gotryit

        Having a wider bike lane in each direction would allow faster bikers to pass slower bikers more safely. That would be awesome.

        • yeah i agree, that probably will not happen…but once the track is repaved that might speed up bikers…i know i have to constantly look at the street for holes and bumps. Also i feel kinda bad passing people sometimes and then u get stuck at the next light…i guess as long as you do it the correct way its not a big deal?

          • gotryit

            Well congrats on actually stopping at the lights – sometimes I feel like we’re in the minority.
            I’ve never had a problem passing people (with a “passing” / “on your left” and enough space), and I haven’t had a problem with people passing me.

          • austindc

            We are the minority, but that’s what makes us cool.

    • I honestly don’t know how people have the patience for the contraflow portion of the 15th street bike lane. The one or two times I’ve rode it, I hit every single light. I just don’t have the patience for that and now avoid the contraflow portion altogether. I take 17th, 14th, New Hampshire, 13th, etc…. over south bound 15th street.

      • 17th SB is WAY better. I take a GP lane b/c there’s often trucks unloading or cabbies picking up passengers in the bike lane. Also, I tend to ride a bit faster than most commuters.
        I guarantee if DDOT had the stones to take another lane away from MV’s on 15th, and use one normal sized lane each for NB/SB cyclists, that it would fill up again pretty quickly.

        @gotryit-I think as more infra is put in place, more cyclists are stopping when they should. The system isn’t really set up for our safety at the moment, and while I agree w/ the majority of lights/stop signs, there are some where it simply doesn’t make sense to stop. I’m looking at YOU R and 10th, NW!!!

  • Rant: Why can I not move on from someone who constantly disappoints me?
    Rant: Burger for lunch is undercooked. Ex-vegetarian and I like my burgers just this side of well done.
    Rave: Restaurant week dinner later. Mmmm.

    • what did they do to disappoint you? Did you tell them that they made you unhappy and they were unwilling to change?

    • Because you’re comfortable. You may not be happy, overjoyed, overly-loved, made to feel special … but you’re comfortable. Been there. Say “Hi” next time you see that girl/guy you eye from a distance.

      • The OP might be comfortable… but that’s not necessarily the case.
        Another reason for having trouble moving on from someone who disappoints you is that maybe the person initially seemed really promising — like, you keep focusing on someone’s good qualities or the potential that the relationship seems to have, and ignoring the reality/”here and now”/status quo. It can be tough to accept that the status quo is the status quo, and the other person is unlikely to change.

  • msmaryedith

    It was on the past two Sundays when I was there. And every visit before that in recent memory (was there in July and June at some point). Maybe just was turned off for repairs.

  • RANT: Why are there so many screaming sirens in DC? I’ve lived in several big cities over the years and none of them come close to DC in terms of the near certainty that anytime you leave the house you will hear or see an ambulance or fire engine fly past you with sirens screaming. It happens basically every single time I step outside, whether that is at home, at the office, in Adams Morgan, downtown, Tenleytown — anywhere, it doesn’t matter.

    How is this possible? Is there really an emergency occurring at every minute of every day here, or are the emergency responders especially cautious? Are they perhaps practicing their response speed in case of a terrorist attack? It’s especially puzzling because I have regularly seen fire trucks, in particular, racing to the scene of an emergency — with sirens screaming, leading all traffic and pedestrians to stop — only to see the responders casually milling about once they get to where they’re going. I don’t mean to be critical of first responders, but what is the deal?

    • One of my friends was just talking about that recently! I live down the street from a fire station, and while I don’t mind the sirens I’ve had many visitors ask why there are so many fires in DC!

    • If only the traffic did stop. Almost every week I see cars actively blocking an ambulance (I live near the Children’s/NRH complex). There is a special place in hell for people who block ambulances, especially one going to Children’s.

    • austindc

      Agreed. There was a neighborhood meeting about this recently in Columbia Heights, but unfortunately I couldn’t make it. The noise of the sirens does concern me though. I worry what it is doing to my son’s hearing when a fire truck passes us on the street. I always try to cover his ears with my hands.

  • RANT: I thought DC was tenant friendly? Rent control exempt landlord is raising the rent and forcing me to sign a new lease and “won’t allow” me to go month to month. Which I can’t fight, because under month to month she can raise the rent as often as she wants (w/ 30 days) and as much as she wants.

    • She can’t do that. Look up the DC tenant laws. Yes, that’s a lazy answer but there have been a million postings about resources in DC for this.

      • I’ve read all the resources (Tenant Survival Guide, DC Code, etc) and called the DC OTA. They’ve all told me she can. She can’t legally force me out, except by rent.

    • According to your post, you *can* go month-to-month but you simply don’t want to pay the escalating rent. Sorry, but part of the deal in renting is that the place doesn’t belong to you and you generally have to play by the landlord’s rules. Tenant rights are strong in DC, but rent control was phased out awhile back and the landlord generally has the upper hand. If you need price stability, sign the one-year lease or look to buy something with a fixed rate mortgage.

      • Buying is one solution, but it’s not right for everyone. DC rent control does still exist; I’m a tenant in a rent-controlled unit currently (and I’ve lived there less than two years). No, it won’t give you any fabulous deals on artificially-low rent the way old-school rent control in New York once did, but you do still get some basic protections, like a cap on the amount your rent can increase, and the guarantee that it will only increase every 12 months. If buying isn’t an option for the OP but moving to a new rental is, I’d suggest looking at some of the older (pre-1975), larger buildings managed by major property management companies. Downside is, they’re, well, older (if you prefer super-modern amenities and new construction) and not dirt-cheap. But they’ll likely have the benefit of less volatility in rent.

        • This is another good option. Thanks for clarifying that buying is not right for everyone – agree entirely, but it’s worth remembering that a fixed rate mortgage makes the cost of housing very stable for most people.

    • Yeah, this is what Park Place did to me, even though my original lease stipulated month to month after one year. Gave me great motivation to buy a place and found the best at Union Row Warehouses. Now’s the time to buy.

      • Thanks for the responses. I would like to buy, but am not ready to do that yet (need job stability first). I understand that rent goes up, but SOME protection would be nice, like the ones bmoredc mentions. I do hope the City Council someday updates rent controlled buildings to include ones built more recently than 1975 since they don’t need to attract builders like they did 20+ years ago.

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