Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

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Photo by PoPville flickr user oscarpetefan

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.

102 Comment

  • Rant: Still feel sad and anxious on 9/11

    • Me, too.

      • Me three. I’m leaving the news off today, so much exploitation of the past going on. I remember it all way to much to need reminders.

    • In all honesty, this is the first year where the events of 9/11 haven’t played on a loop through my mind. I actually have not thought much about it today.

    • I keep thinking “when will the other shoe drop?”
      I worry constantly that my husband will deploy again in support of another useless war (not talking about Syria, just in general).
      It’s a shame what these 12 years have done to us, huh?

    • Same here. Did anyone catch the 60 minutes bit on the new ground zero museum? I couldn’t even watch it without crying. Something about 9/11 still really gets to me, and I’m generally not a sensitive person.

    • Rant: The alleged “Two Million Biker” march into DC today to protest the “Million Muslim March.”

      Rave: I see some bikers around the Mall but certainly not more than a few hundred.

      Rant: Reading comments on Fox and Washington Times about how the main stream media (including Fox) is somehow hiding these two million bikers.

      • Quite a few rolled by L’Enfant Plaza while I was there for meetings. I think their presence is overblown by the hot air-filled meatheads who support their opaquely disingenuous cause (“git dem uppity Muslims, huuuur duurrrrr!!!!”)

      • I work near the White House: there was a lot of noise around lunch time, but it appeared to be the same group of 40 or so bikers circling in little packs between 17th St, Penn Ave, I St, and somewhere to the west. Like the Memorial Day and now Independence day rides, these bikers showing up and making a lot of noise really ruins the observance/solemnity of the holiday for me. They seem to have no coherent purpose or message other than being a nuisance. One of these guys was even wearing some sort of skull facemask while he blasted his pipes at all the pedestrians crossing in front of him. Intimidation/anti-social behavior as patriotic expression?!? Pretty lame.

    • saf

      Lately I haven’t – the first few years, yeah. Now, more annoyed at the constant reminders.

      So, there are 21,000+ songs on my ipod. And it is on complete random.

      What does it decide to play today? 3 songs from “The Rising.”

  • Rave: Summer is back for one last push!

    Rant: It’s the end of summer – my favorite season :(

    • Same. I get so bummed out when summer is over.

      • If I could follow the summer year ’round, I totally would. Head to Australia or South America for Oct – March and then come back to the U.S. April to September. That would be my ideal life.

        Summer is just the best. Outdoor fun, cold brews, skimpy clothing, sexy people, beach time, dancing outside. I can’t get enough of it.

  • question: has anyone applied to a govt job recently and completed the new shortened KSAs? I am probably overthinking it, but I don’t understand what they want. They all say the same thing:

    Identify the specific employment/volunteer work in your resume in which you describe your experience to support your answer to the previous question; i.e. company name, position title, and dates. “Refer to Resume” will not be acceptable.

    There is a 250 character limit (which is less than 2 tweets!), so am I really supposed to include my company name, position, etc AND say a little something something about that awesome thing I did?

    • You must identify the specific thing in your resume that supports your answer so the HR reviewer scores you high. Think of the the KSA questions as geared toward HR – a hiring manager is going to look at your resume. You may need to completely rework your resume, so that the description of your awesomeness is in the resume. Look at the questions first, then re-tool your resume to work with the questions.

      • Big + 1 to “Think of the the KSA questions as geared toward HR – a hiring manager is going to look at your resume. You may need to completely rework your resume, so that the description of your awesomeness is in the resume.”

        When my office was going to be hiring someone (before we got hit with a hiring freeze), there was only a questionnaire (multiple choice — no textbox answers) and a resume. I ended up ignoring the questionnaire responses, some of which were impossibly high, and looking at people’s resumes to try to determine their qualifications.

        From the directions you got, it sounds like maybe you don’t have to identify the awesome thing within the 250-character limit, just the position. But make sure to list the relevant example in your resume — don’t worry if your resume for applying for federal jobs ends up running 5-7 pages. Also try to “stock” your resume with keywords from the vacancy announcement, KSA description, etc., the way one might stock a pond with fish. The HR people aren’t looking to extrapolate at all; you need to give them exactly the same words as the job announcement or they won’t make the connection.

        • Ha ha, loving the fish pond imagery. +1 to everything textdoc said. When I review cert lists, I only scrutinize the KSA questions when the candidate is an obvious poor fit for the position and I want to know why in the world HR passed them through to the cert. Your biggest hurdle is getting to that cert list. HR reviewers often aren’t SMEs for the positions they are screening. Really throw out everything you’ve been told about resume writing – the bullet points, the one-page-only, blah blah blah.

  • what is going on at 201 upshur st. n.w ?

  • Revel: USA is going to Brazil 2014! First to qualify from North America.
    Revel: Mexico might not make it.

  • RAVE: spending time in my neglected garden plot last night reminded me how much I love gardening and how therapeutic it is. There’s something about pulling weeds that just helps my anxiety melt away.
    RAVE: Feeling really awake and good this morning.
    RANT: The heat, the oppressive heat. It always makes me feel like I’m walking around with an elephant on my chest.

  • Rant: Annoyed with people dropping last minute work into my lap after they’ve wasted half the year not working on it.

    Rant: I hate email and text. Really, I do. I can’t wait for a new era to emerge when people learn how to hold productive meetings where people actually communicate in a verbal manner, while focusing on speaking clearly, again.

    Rant: Called my ex (whom I haven’t spoke to in over 4 years) and left a message because she hasn’t posted on Facebook in over 3 years, just to see if she is OK… No response, it’s week 3 since the call. I know I’m being way too passive, but maybe she’s forgotten or not forgiven me. Sometimes you never get closure.

    Rave: Only 2 more days of DC heat before fall stays (optimistically). Good riddens, die mosquitoes!!

  • Rant: credit card fraud. Someone stole my number, and since i haven’t made many online purchases lately, I am looking with suspicion at the friendly ABP cvashier, the receptionist at the hair salon, the nice people in Starbucks…
    Rave: American Express customer service.

    • Sometimes there is a long lag in when your data was stolen and when fraud appears. Usually if it is stolen by someone who processed a payment the first charge will be at a gas station to see if the card number actually works.

    • It could also have been an outsider hacking into the systems of any of those places that you mentioned, or a security breach on your bank’s end. I’ve had my credit or debit card number stolen three times over the past 12 years, and only once were they able to pinpoint the source (because the genius ordered $100 worth of flowers and had them delivered to herself). In that case, it was indeed a disgruntled employee who was also stealing other things from the store before getting fired.

    • There was a fraudulent transaction on my credit card recently too! It was on Saturday at a Walmart in Tennessee (what??). Don’t know how they got my number. I know you said you haven’t made any online purchases recently, but have you used Amazon, the Hailo App, or PayPal recently?

      • Mine all came from Seattle businesses, online transactions for gaming and music. The first one was on a Saturday, the next on Monday. I’ve used Paypal in the last couple of weeks. I don’t know what Hailo is, so obviously don’t use it. :) I buy stuff from Amazon, but nothing recently that I can think of. Anyway, the card is dead, so at least it’s stopped now. Small amounts, so I was lucky.

  • Rant: I got more mosquito bites this morning. I’m definitely one of the people they’re attracted to.
    Neither rant nor revel: I need recommendations for two things: a dentist who does good cosmetic work and offers financing (I need to get some chipped teeth fixed) and a hairstylist who is good at cutting long (chest length) hair into short (not as a short as a pixie, but shorter than a bob) hair. I’ve been contemplating this change in my hair for a while and I’m completely ready. Thanks in advance for your recommendations!

    • Melissa at TRIM is amazing. I highly recommend her.

    • Cherelle at Tracy & Company did a fantastic job with my long-to-short cut, though that was about 2 years ago & I’m not sure if she’s still there. I go to Meg at Eastern Confederate these days to maintain my pixie– EC specializes in shorter cuts that don’t need a ton of styling to look great, and their prices are reasonable.

      Make sure you take before and after photos!

    • Dr. Patrick Flynn has been my dentist for years! He fixed my chipped front teeth and they look fantastic! Highly recommend him. Don’t know about financing but it’s worth finding out!

    • GiantSquid

      I highly suggest Jenn Martinez-Moore at the Bang in the Verizon Center. She tends my hair whenever it’s short and I always left feeling like a million bucks. She even suggested an asymmetrical bob last fall when I was looking for a funky change and I have never received so many compliments on my hair as then. The nice thing too, is that it’s a reasonable charge $42 w/shampoo and style. I’d have you tell her who sent you but then my cover would be blown!

  • Rant: OTR and/or DCRA wrongly classified my house as vacant (without giving me notice) and sent me a bill last week for about $21,000 for a half year’s worth of taxes. I’m caught in a bureaucratic nightmare trying to get someone to do their job and fix their mistake before my mortgage company pays the bill. Anyone have any good ideas for getting DCRA and OTR to act?

    Rave: My leaking English basement was (hopefully!) finally fixed yesterday, thanks to all the great commenters here on POPville.

    • Contact your council member

    • Call your Councilmember immediately. DC bureaucracy chews up and spits out residents like a rabid T. Rex. The only way to get them to pay attention is to have a higher power intervene.

    • Find out the contact info for your assessor. Send a (nice!) email explaining that there is an error on your tax bill, provide the relevant details to support that it is in fact not vacant and that you would like it rectified immediately to reflect the proper amount. CC the head of OTR property division, your ANC rep and your council member. Follow up with a phone call to the general number explaining what happened. It’ll be 50/50 that you will get somebody on the phone who gives a shit and will help you out, but maybe with the WaPo bad press this week you’ll get quick action.

      • Thanks all, appreciate the replies. I’m calling Tommy Wells STAT. Re: the tax assessor, his assessment classified the house as occupied. Someone then changed it at DCRA or OTR. The assessor was Mitchell Hamburger, but I can’t for the life of me find his contact info. Do I just call OTR for that? Or am I missing something?

        • “Mitchell Hamburger”

          That’s the fakest name I’ve ever seen. That CAN’T be a real person.
          Art Vandelay is probably his side kick.

          • “You have reached Mitchell Hamburger. I am currently out of the office. Please call my associates Tony Baloney or Shelia Spaghetti who can help you in my absence.”

          • Haha, I have the Hamburger as my assessor too and have thought the same thing!

    • Did you make an insurance claim for the basement incident? Permits should have been secured for the work if there were repairs. If you made an insurance claim, the insurance company may cover that bill, but the documentation will also be proof that you had to temporarily vacate. These are of course guesses because I don’t know the details of what exactly happened.

  • Rant: I just made the appointment to put my 18 year old dog down. It has been a long hard couple years. He has dementia, but he’s seemed pretty happy up until now. The last few months he has been going downhill and I’ve finally realized it is time. He’s no longer happy. His quality of live isn’t good. I can’t make him live like this anymore, it would be selfish. This is going to be hard.

    Rave: I love the people at my vet’s office. I just called them and said it was time. They knew exactly what I meant and scheduled it for tomorrow. They are wonderful people who love my dog. Even when I moved into DC I still drive out to VA because they really are the best.

    Rant: My dog also had a really great dogwalker. It was really hard to call and tell him about my decision. I feel really lucky to have found a good group of folks to help me care for my little man while I had him.

    • saf

      I”m sorry – it is hard. Hug him lots and remember that this really is kind to him no matter how horrid it is for you.

    • hugs to you…

    • Oh, I am so sorry about your little man. Know that you’re doing the right thing, as much as it sucks. Sending you good thoughts.

      And if anyone tells you that “it’s just a dog”, you have my permission to clobber them.

      • shit, I hate that. And when people say, “it’s not like it’s a child”. To most of us, they are. They are the constant in our lives. I look at my girl and think about all we’ve been though together and how I’d ever have made it without her. She’s more than a child, she’s a best friend.
        so screw those people who say anything like that!

        • Very well said. And I’m very sure losing an elderly pet is not equal to losing a child tragically, but I find it extremely insensitive to even equate the two. It’s like comparing apples and goats. When someone’s grandma dies do you say “well it’s not like it’s losing a child!”

    • Take comfort in the fact that you provided him with a life that no one else could have… My dog is aging fast also, I am thinking of adopting again as well to ease the loss, but I am extremely proud of how I raised him and took care of him through some of the most difficult times ever and how I hung onto him as a best friend. We all eventually get to the same place, what matters is the quality of life in between. Deepest Condolences, he’ll be OK. :)

    • This is an act of love for your beloved pet. Big hug to both of you.

    • There’s never a good time, but it sounds like now is the right time. How amazing that you were able to give each other 18 (!) good years.
      Do what is right for you, but I was surprised how much comfort I got from being in the room with my dog. It was very peaceful for her and knowing that made a very, very hard thing a little less hard. I’m so glad you have a supportive vet and staff, that also made a big difference for me.

    • oh no, I’m so sorry.
      I hope you find peace in your painful decision and reflect fondly on the gift of such a long life with your companion.

      I dread this time, and wonder why we ever get dogs when this is how it ends.

      Sending you and the dog hugs

    • PS: this string made a rather large pregnant lady cry at her desk.

      Thanks :)

    • so sorry. the hardest part about having a pet is that we usually outlive them.
      try to focus on all the happy times you two had over the last 18 years.

    • Thanks all. This helps. I do think I am doing the right thing. My vet and I have talked about it a fair amount over the last year and a half or so – when to know it was the right time. Hard to know, and I’ll probably second guess myself. But in the end I wouldn’t want to live the way he’s living and would want someone (if it were legal) to be able to do me this kindness. So it is time.

      And sorry for making you cry, jindc

      • You’re making this decision with love and with the desire to end his pain. As best you can, try not to second guess yourself. You’re doing what’s best for your dog.

    • There’s a great poem called “just a dog”. My best friend’s dog was just diagnosed with a pretty advanced stage of cancer. I am working on posting this poem over a picture of her dog and framing it for her. Our animals are such huge and important parts of our lives that bring us such joy and wonderful aggrevation – I feel sorry for people who don’t understand that!

      Look up the poem…I think it fits for you here as well. “just a dog’ by an unknown author :)

    • So very sorry. I have dealt with this myself. It’s the most difficult, but most loving, choice you’ll be forced to make.

    • I’m so sorry. Don’t second guess yourself you know it’s time. Write back tomorrow and let us know how it goes. 18 is ancient for a dog — he may even go on his own once you let go. Again so sorry. I had to put down my 16 year old Abyssinian cat in February due to kidney failure on top of diabetes. Drove all the way to Richmond in July to get a cat-tin (8 mo old kitten) from a distinguished Aby breeder. She is a monkey. When you are ready get another pup, the only cure to the heartbreak is to risk your heart again. I’ve heard the reasons dogs live shorter lives then we do is to teach us that we can love again.

  • pablo .raw

    Rave: DIY PoPville happy hour today!
    Rant: I can only be there from 5:30 to 6:00 :(

  • Rave: Finally got rid of my land line. Don’t know why I waited so long. It was only around $5/month with my cable/phone/computer plan, but most of calls I was getting were from telemarketers and would be scammers. Maybe I’ll eventually get a smart phone and an ipod and truly join the 21st century.

  • Emilie504

    Rave: I’m only going to think about the Beautiful Life today. I have decided.

  • Rant: From the WaPo series on tax lien foreclosures – District’s Chief Financial Officer commenting on the foreclosure of an elderly woman’s home over a $44.79 shortfall in property tax payments:”They were $40 short. It was properly foreclosed on.” Really dude? In what universe should someone lose their home of five decades over a $40 deficit, particularly when the family paid exactly what the Tax Office said was owed and was never told of any deficit? I guess it’s better to cling to an idiotic and indefensible position than to admit that a mistake was made.

  • Rave: Ran into an old college friend at Kramerbooks last night. I thought she looked familiar but couldn’t place her until she spoke. Haven’t seen her in 9 years, so it was great to catch up.
    Rant: Hopefully this is the last gasp of summer. My fall clothes are ready for their turn!

  • Rant: the guy in the cube nearby that is constantly burping, farting, chewing ice, and rattling ice around in a cup. All those little noises drive me nuts.

  • Rant: The property tax lien scandal. I find the whole thing unconscionably appalling. What hit me this morning though, is that many of the elderly people who had paid off their homes — and lost them, often due to mistakes on the part of the city, will end up in group homes or nursing homes supported by Medicaid. So, the city gets the taxes paid; private “investors” make huge profits; vulnerable people get displaced; and now public funds will have to be used for their housing and support. Not only is this inhumane, it doesn’t even make financial sense — except for the scummy investors. What a world this is! :-(

  • Rant: just generally feeling anxious. Not able to sleep much/comfortably (thanks, pregnancy). It’s probably a combination of things.
    Rant: now I know why non-Jews have baby showers. This shit is expensive. And I’m not a fancy person.
    Rave: holding out hope that this is the last of the heat. Could fall be actually starting on Friday?? Oh please oh please!

    • Wait…is that a thing? Only non-Jews have baby showers? I’ve never heard of this.

      Rave: I get to leave work in an hour!

      Rant: I get to leave work in an hour because I was here for 16 hours yesterday :(

      Rantx2: I feel bad for saying this but I can’t believe the wedding I am a part of that will be happening in October! I love my friend to death and I am elated to be a bridesmaid…but the dress + hair and makeup + bridal shower + bachelorette weekend activities + a $200 a night hotel for two nights for wedding weekend. At the end of the day it will be close to a grand just to participate…geez! I didn’t know I would need to save up for this.

  • Rant: Boyfriend refuses to even THINK about working in an office because, according to him, all office jobs are meaningless and he needs a job with a mission. Thank you, dear, for that vote of confidence in MY office job.

    Rant: Candy Crush won’t work! I click on Level 81 and it gives me the stupid loading screen and nothing more! However will I progress?! However will I kill time?!

    Rave: Schedule filling up again! Dance on Tuesdays, church on Wednesdays, Pilates on Thursdays.

    Rant: My roommate! He will talk about NOTHING except his ex-girlfriend. Every. Single. Conversation. is about her and her new boyfriend. He cornered my other roommate yesterday at *7:15* IN THE MORNING! It’s to the point that we are all avoiding him. I’m actually going to make a jar–like a swear jar–so every time he says her name, he has to put in money. It will probably be enough to fund our next party!

    Rave: Cheers to good friends!

    • Take this with a grain of salt, I used to date a guy like that too. He was always underemployed, getting loans from his parents, in debt etc..You do NOT want to marry a guy who thinks any job is beneath him Trust me on this one.

    • Just out of curiosity, what sort of non-office work does he do?
      That’s quite a sweeping generalization. And one that isn’t even close to being accurate. It’s true that office work is not for everyone, but I’m with anonymous above: think hard about whether you want to be with someone who is so quick to denigrate the perfectly fine choices others (especially you!) make.
      .
      Right now this office worker has a mission: locate some cookies to counter the mid-afternoon blood sugar drop!

    • Ugh, no offense, but that sounds like a red flag with the BF. Plenty of office jobs have a “mission” (like, hello, thousands and thousands of nonprofit jobs, for starters?) and either way, whatever type of job speaks to you, it’s not cool to put down someone else’s choice of what works for them (least of all a friend’s/partner’s job). As for the roommate situation, that ex-jar is a great idea! When I had that situation with a good friend, one of our other friends took one for the team, sat her down, and basically said “This is becoming a nonstop therapy session, not a friendship. It’s time to start talking about other things besides your ex-boyfriend. No more hijacking all of our group gatherings with tales of woe about your ex. You have one more month of free rein to use me, and only me, as an audience for your rants, and then even I’m cutting you off.”

    • My girlfriend has a similar attitude about office jobs, even though she has one. I think she is just projecting her frustrations– she has trouble keeping up with email, following what’s going on in meetings, etc. I do think it’s unfortunate that educated people who struggle in an office environment are pretty much forced to be there unless they want to abandon their degree and do something that probably doesn’t pay we’ll.

  • Rant: Having house broken into around 2pm Monday.
    Rave: Great neighbors that ID’d the dirtbags and scared them off.

  • Empathetic Rant: What is with all the booted cars in Petworth today? I drove through the neighborhood and saw so many cars booted and/or being towed. As far as I can tell the cars have valid registration stickers and there isn’t a build-up of tickets (like the cars were abandoned or something). There was a booted car on my un-zoned street this morning – parked only since yesterday, DC plates, valid registration. Anyone know what is going on?

    • Maybe they had an accumulation of unpaid tickets, even if it wasn’t from the same time/same parking space?
      I think if you have unpaid tickets exceeding a certain dollar value and/or time limit, you’re subject to being booted.

    • From the DPW website: “District law states that a vehicle is boot-eligible if it has two or more unsatisfied parking and/or photo enforcement tickets that are 60 days old. DPW boot crews search for scofflaws’ vehicles using License Plate Recognition System (LPRS) technology.”
      The location and time of the booting/towing is not necessarily related to the location and time of the violations.

      • Ouch. That’s got to be a nasty surprise. What’s the cost for getting a boot removed?

        My girlfriend got booted in her university’s campus parking lot for not having her parking tag on the rear view mirror. The private contractor tried to demand $500 on the spot, but finally got talked down to $200. It’s a total f#cking shakedown.

        • My ex (who was a shitty person in many ways) would go to the DMV and ask for new license plates whenever she had a few tickets racked up. She’d claim hers had been stolen or something. With the new plate number she could avoid getting booted. so she’d rack up some more tickets and repeat the process. You’d think the DMV would get suspicious at some point. Once she didn’t do this in time and did get booted, but the unpaid tickets and fees were more than the vehicle was worth so she just left it there and got a new one.

      • Wednesday afternoon challenge: Drop the word “scofflaw” into at least three conversations.

    • Rave (Potential): Maybe they’re going to bring that reality show “Parking Wars” to DC. It is hilarious!

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