Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user evegophotos

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.

131 Comment

  • Rant: Government shutdown. The more I think about it, the angrier I become that one group of Congresspeople can hold our entire government and economy hostage
    Rave: Jon Stewart. How do you always manage to make me laugh? How?
    Rave: Amazing weather.
    Rave: It is Friday! I’m looking forward to sleeping in this weekend, picking up the farm share, and enjoying the fist Porchfest in AdMo this weekend.

    • gotryit

      +1 on Jon Stewart. He somehow can bring out the humor in a really sad situation without making me feel bad when I laugh about it.

  • justinbc

    Random: Today is fire drill day, so don’t freak out if you see a mass exodus to Pershing Park.

  • Rave: (e)merge art fair this weekend.
    Rave: Last night’s first date was one of the better one’s I’ve experienced lately. Let’s see if it goes anywhere.
    Rave: Looks like one last gasp of great weather this weekend!

    • I was looking at the (e)merge site. Is the art there actually affordable? Or is this primarily for collectors?

      • I would say it varies but mostly, yeah, it’s usually expensive to buy art there. It’s still a great show however, my friend will be doing a performance piece as Jack Torrance from The Shining at the show.

        • The main part of the show is all gallery represented artists, so yes, can be pricey. But in the basement they open it up as a more of an Art “o Matic venue.

  • epric002

    rant: tea partiers continuing to keep he gov’t shut.
    rave: the idiotic things that flow from their mouths whenever they open them. hopefully more people will realize what fools they are.
    rave: the yes! organic market by my house started carrying siggi’s 🙂

  • Rant: 90°! Are you kidding me? I thought we were done with this awfulness.

  • Bad: lack of enforcement and poor surface maintenance makes riding in DCs bike lanes less safe than riding in the center of the right-most lane for the routes i take.
    Good: decided to commute in today without using bike lanes. felt safer, albeit more despised by muppet-drivers, than usual.

  • RAVE: As of yesterday, I had no place to stay in NYC for this weekend and I was freaking out. Reached out to my old college roommate, assuming I could stay on his couch (he offered it to me a few weeks ago). Little did I know that he now lives in a penthouse apartment in Manhattan and he is going to let me house-sit while he’s on Fire Island this weekend with his BF (unexpected Indian summer weather!). AWESOME.

  • Rant: Friends who were supposed to visit this weekend cancelled because of the shutdown. Hoping we get to see them before they leave the East Coast in a few months.
    Rave: Now have a wide open weekend for the first time in…ever. What to do?

    • Me too! It’s my first weekend at home in 2 or 3 months and I thought I wanted to just catch up on stuff. But now that’s it’s here and I have no plans that doesn’t seem so appealing….

  • rave : the GOP hates cars on beach drive so biking to work was slightly less death-defying.
    rant : NIH-funding – we live in a nation where research that leads to improved quality of life and economic growth can be halted by the whims of the ignorant.

  • Rave: Surprise visit from one of my best friends tonight!
    Rant/Rave: First date tonight. Fingers crossed that it goes well.
    Rave: Summery weather all weekend, wall to wall plans with friends to take advantage of it.
    Rave: Capitol shooting situation brought under control so quickly.
    Rant: By cops who aren’t even getting paid right now. I can’t even with the shutdown anymore. Get it together, people.

    • Did you read any of the news articles today re: “Capitol shooting”? The only shooting done was by the police. The “perpetrator” in this case was a woman from CT who was unarmed and most likely lost and scared and reacted very badly to the situation she had gotten herself in. It really seems this was a very tragic misunderstanding.

      • Can we stop calling her “unarmed”? She was driving a 3000 pound car at police, hit a Secret Service agent near the White House, nearly hit several Capitol Police officers in front of the Capitol building, and was a clear threat to the safety of anyone in the vicinity. The chase ended about 100 feet from my office – I watched all the police running by with assault rifles, the child carried away, etc. They did what they had to do – based on her actions, they have to assume the absolute worst (e.g. bomb in the trunk). They responded as they had to, and I’m sure they aren’t happy about having to use deadly force. Maybe she had some mental illness issues, but I don’t think she was simply “lost and scared.”

        • Agreed, I think the situation is very strange and sad for the woman and her family (especially the child), but “lost and scared” is just not plausible. No one in their right frame of mind who is lost and panicked would think it appropriate to plow through security barricades and lead police on a chase through the city reaching speeds of up to 70mph, instead of stopping the car immediately upon seeing the Secret Service and the police converging. I do think it’s always worth examining whether there are better ways that law enforcement can non-lethally deal with emotionally disturbed people–although there are no easy answers, and I realize that it can be extremely difficult (in the moment, not in hindsight) for law enforcement to judge who’s dangerous vs. who’s having a mental illness episode but is not a real threat, and making the wrong call can have deadly consequences either way.

          • I could see it happening. Perhaps she was using a GPS (which often doesn’t account for those barricades near the Capitol) and was too busy paying attention it to notice there was a barricade in the route it was suggesting. Then she panicked and fled. You can’t really say how you’d react in a terrifying situation like that!

          • I could see that kind of GPS snafu happening once. Maybe at first. I’m sure I would be really shaken up if I took a wrong turn and all of a sudden a Secret Service officer was yelling at me and banging on the hood of my car. I can say without a doubt that I would NOT react by then attempting to drive around the barricade that the officers were trying to pull in front of my car, drive into an officer with my car, then speed away from, and continue for several miles to speed away from and maneuver around the growing phalanx of law enforcement vehicles and personnel surrounding me. There is just no believable way that a person would do all that unless they had a) bad/criminal intent (we don’t know for sure yet, but doesn’t seem likely); or b) a serious psychological impairment (seems more likely). (And I would argue that any person who’d fly off the handle that severely as a result of taking a wrong turn has serious psychiatric issues, anyway.)

          • I agree with anon 12:10. We all SAY we would never react that way, but you don’t know for certain until you’re in the heat of the moment. Honestly, I’d be scared sh*tless they’d shoot me then and there (and that probably wouldn’t be far from the truth), so I could see why someone might react by fleeing.

        • Anonymous at 12:10 pm: I can say with full certainty that if any GPS-related bumbling led me to a White House barricade facing officers with guns drawn, I would not drive at high speeds to the other highly sensitive site in the city and run down barricades. C’mon now.

          • Motherly protective instincts work in weird ways…

          • Motherly instincts aren’t *that* weird. No doubt I would crash through barricades and tear through the streets like a bat out of hell, if I thought I had to do that to protect my daughter from bad people who were about to do her harm. But there is no way that I would think that a Secret Service agent telling me not to come through a security barricade was a threat to my kid, or that a better course of action would be to flee from and outmaneuver police cars for a good couple of miles–not unless I harbored some serious delusions. No judgment–it’s not someone’s fault if they have a mental illness and her situation is extremely tragic–but it’s a fantasy to think this woman was simply a lost, naïve tourist. (Besides, the lady grew up in East New York in the 1980s and went to college in the Bronx. I highly doubt that, in a sound mental state, she’d have been fazed by some dude yelling at her after she took a wrong turn.)

        • +1 Given that she drove from the White House to the Capitol, I’m not sure I buy that she was lost. It’s not like they’re next door to each other. And her driving was extremely aggressive. The footage I saw had her surrounded by police and driving at them at high speeds. It’s lucky that she didn’t kill anyone. I don’t know what her motive was, but none of her actions made her look innocent to me.

      • Lost and scared? Really? What would you expect to happen if you ram your car into barricades near the White House and Capitol office buildings and mow down a Secret Service agent?

        • I think “mow down” is pretty strong wording. She backed into him as he walked behind her car and he had minor injuries. She did not plow head-first into him…
          We’re all speculating, and really we’ll never know for certain because now this woman is dead. I still think police could have stood her down without fatally shooting her. They have a very “react first, think later” mentality and I just don’t think it’s right.

          • “They have a very “react first, think later” mentality and I just don’t think it’s right.”
            It’s not “react first, think later.” For every incident like this, there are many others you don’t hear about where the police addressed a problem without it ending in a shooting. The one person who had the power to end this without a shooting was the woman. The police are protecting the White House and the U.S. Capitol complex. We’re targets of terrorists, and that’s how they have to react. Imagine if everything happened exactly as it did, but after shooting her they opened the trunk and found a large bomb that could have done extensive damage and killed many people. They don’t have the luxury of taking the most humane action and hoping for the best. They have to assume the worst and take action to end the threat.

          • Emmaleigh504

            They surrounded her with guns drawn, she used her car to away and not stop to explain her “mistake” in ramming into the gate. Of course when she heads to the Capitol they are going to shoot her. She was a threat.

    • all accounts are pointing to the fact she had mental issues, obviously

  • Rant – government shutdown and no trash pick up on my street continue.
    Rave – escaping DC and visiting my family in NYC this weekend. Definitely need some family time. Can’t wait to chill out and play with my nieces and nephews.

  • Rant: Petty rave, but it bugs me. People who use the term “price point” Why not just say price?
    Rave: About to begin a new, interesting and somewhat high profile project. It’s just about half time work for the next six months which gives me time to continue to work on other on-going projects.

    • I agree that it is overused and not usually used accurately, but when used appropriately “price point” captures that consumers behave differently if the price is above or below that point. The word “price” just describes the amount. So for those who use them correctly they do mean different things.

      • Agreed on all points. “Price point” is more about what the general level of prices is trying to convey and represent. For example, the “price point” of Room & Board versus Ikea are very different; the price point is used to attract different clientele and signify differences in quality. “Price point” as a concept is very much wrapped into market research and consumer theory, whereas “price” is more related to factual accounting.

        • Nope. Agreeing with OP and Anonymous and I think Signifier is one of the perpetrators of this misuse. Price point is a consumer’s line above which they will not purchase. It’s the same concept as willingness to pay. Ikea and Room and Board have different prices, not different price points.

      • Agree – I most often hear/read “price point” used incorrectly and as a member of the Professional Organization of English Majors, it also bugs me.

  • Rave: Summer weather continues.
    Rant: I sweated through my clothes on my walk to work.

    I know there was a post about the shutdown of Meridian Hill Park earlier in the week; however, I was curious if PoPville has had any experiences over the last few days with Rock Creek Park or the C&O Trail being closed and actively patrolled due to the government shutdown. I have a long training run this week (and I imagine with the number of upcoming marathons coming up in the region, I’m not alone) and would like to run in one of these parks. I don’t mind walking around a vehicle barricade or ignoring a sign, but don’t feel like getting hassled by park rangers/police or having my run cut short due to fences blocking paths/bridges, etc.

    • I’ve been riding in rock creek park every day this week and have seen lots of runners on the trails too. As an added bonus, Beach Drive is closed north of Blagden so you ride/run without traffic. There are gates to prevent cars but if you’re on a bike or on foot they are easy to get around.

    • No Park Service employees have ever patrolled the hiking trails (according to one I asked, they don’t have the time or resources) and haven’t started now. Currently they have barricaded the entrances to the parking lots near the popular entry points, but if you park on the street, hike or bike in you’ll be fine.

      • They do patrol (or at least wander around) sometimes. One time I got quite lost in northern Rock Creek and eventually stumbled across a Park Service lady riding on a horse in the middle of the woods. She told me to get a map and directed me to the nearest exit. I want her job.

      • If anony is doing a long training run for an upcoming race it’s very unlikely he or she will be using the hiking trails.

    • I too have a marathon coming up this month. I’m not scheduled to do a long run this weekend but will do a final long run the following weekend. Haven’t decided where I’ll do it if the shutdown is still going but you might consider just heading out to the Montgomery County portions of RCP, Georgetown Branch trail and Capitol Crescent trail (including the “future” segment east of Bethesda). Might be a little unfamiliar but there are many miles of nice paved trails out there. Check out montgomeryparks-dot-org for information.

      • The Capital Crescent Trail goes through NPS so is closed.

        • The part in Montgomery Co is open, though.

        • I did specify the Montgomery County portion of CCT which, as Anonymous 1:41 stated, is not closed.

          • True, you did specify that. But I had to reread it to understand that “Montgomery Co portions of” applied to all of the trails mentioned, not just RCP. Not your fault or mine, it’s the inherent weakness of the English language.

    • Have you checked out activelifedc.com (local fitness-related blog)? Not sure it answers all your questions, but they’ve put up at least a few posts related to parks and working out in light of the shutdown (maybe http://www.activelifedc.com/hiking-running/fiscally-fit-friday-6-awesome-local-parks-not-closed-due-to-the-shutdown/112058; or http://activelifedc.com/government-shutdown-updates-and-shutdown-related-fitness-deals-updated-300-pm/112040). Good questions, though.

    • I’ve run on the rock creek roads for the last two days with a jogging stroller- both times passing right in front of the park police hqs when some officers were outside. No one even looked at me twice. You will be fine for your run. In response to the person below about not running on trails for marathon training, I almost exclusively ran on trails for my last race. I love taking the western ridge trail up to md and looping back on the valley trail.

      • Re: trail training, fair enough but that makes you the exception not the rule. I did say “very unlikely”, not “completely out of the question”.

  • Rant: Beloved roommate left this week. Wish US visas were easier to come by.

  • Rave: laser hair removal. I have my fifth appointment this Saturday for underarms and those unsightly chin hairs. My underarms are pretty much done – maybe one or two stray hairs. Chin should be done by the sixth. LOVE the difference this makes in my self esteem and the time it saves from plucking.

    • Where have you been getting laser hair removal done? I’d be interested in getting my underarms done. How long did it take for you to see real results?

      • I’ve been using Hulya from a Living Social deal – they just moved from Georgetown to Bethesda. They have a really great laser that doesn’t get too hot or hurt. It apparently has cold water cycling through it.

        On my underarms, I saw results after the first two visits, and now after four it seems like it’s done. I got the package of six, and am thinking now about buying the whole leg option.

  • Rant: Govt contractor – worked from home tuesday and wednesday which was great but have had to trek out to tysons via metro thursday and friday.
    Rave: My normal commute is really great because i live in columbia heights and work down town – this gives me a new appriciation for that/I feel bad for people with 1+ hr commutes…
    Rave2: Its friday!
    Random: I have gone on two dates with this girl (gave a good night kiss after the 2nd date), stayed at her place once (but just to sleep no extra-curriculars) its her bday today and she is out of town visiting friends and family in new york….i dont know how to say happy birthday and that i want to see her again when she is back (without comming on too strong)! any tips???

    • Text her something along the lines of: Happy Birthday! Would love to see you when you get back.

      That’s not creepy, it’s really sweet and nice and gets the message across without being aggressive.

      • What the other anonymous said. That’s a nice thoughtful and not too pushy message. As a sort of shy person about expressing what I’m thinking if the other person hasn’t made a clear expression first (e.g. I would like to see you again) I think it would probably be received very well.

      • +1. a nice message saying hope you have a great birthday, and i’d love to see you when you get back would make me smile.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: Stress
    Rant: Eye doctor gave me some daily wear contacts to try and they are terribly uncomfortable.
    Rave: Tomorrow is my follow up appointment with the eye doctor and I can get my old brand of contacts instead of the crap daily wear.

  • Rant: People who want to turn anything and EVERYTHING into a political/partisan issue. I’m sure it happens on both sides of the political spectrum, but in my case it’s the Tea Partiers in my life griping about how they can’t WAIT [sarcasm] to see how “Washington” and “Obama” are going to “spin” yesterday’s shooting. It is tragic and unfortunate that a woman is dead, but it was a bizarre and chaotic situation, and the fact is, law enforcement officers across the country are generally trained NOT to hold back in using deadly force when they perceive someone is an iminent threat to safety. You can argue whether this is the best approach–and I do find it troubling and sad, and like many people, my instinct is to wonder “why couldn’t police have just shot the tires and withheld further fire until they saw whether the person was armed?”–but I think this scene would have played out much the same way in any number of cities across the country. The only “Washington” angle is that the chase was touched off by a person attempting to breach a security barricade near the White House–something that wouldn’t be tolerated in ANY presidential administration in the post-9/11 era. But the chase and the shooting was a result of police protocol in an emergent and seemingly-threatening situation; neither Obama, nor John Boehner, nor anyone in Congress are in control of that.

    • The tea partiers are so used to spinning everything into being Obama’s fault that they just assume that everyone else does that for their own ends. Sort of a preemptive justification for their own douchebaggery.

  • Rave: Apple picking tomorrow – though it feels strange going in 90 degree weather. I feel like I should be at the pool, but that’s closed.
    Rave: Building turned the air conditioning on again yesterday for the weekend. First great (unsweaty) sleep all week.
    Rave: House of Cards. I have so much free time now to track Kevin Spacey’s whereabouts.
    Rave: Union Market drive-in. Oh Caddyshack, you still slay me.
    Rant: Still in a state of sheer disbelief about this shutdown. The audacity of elected officials, gambling with people’s livelihoods is just shocking.

    • You need a car to get to it, but isn’t the East Potomac pool still open? I plan on going kayaking myself!

      • You can’t use your car to get to it. The roads are blocked off because it’s NPS. You might be able to bike, walk, or run though. I can’t imagine the golf course is doing very good business right now, strapping your clubs to your back and biking sounds pretty terrible.

  • Rant: Furlough.
    Rave: Figured out my issues with applying for DC unemployment. I was using Safari. After switching to Chrome it worked like a charm! It was so easy.

  • Rave: More and more people are realizing that there are enough votes in the House to pass a clean CR but Boehner refuses to do it our of fear of Tea Party rebellion.

  • Question: I love Halloween and try to be a good neighbor by stocking up on candy to accommodate at least half the trick-or-treaters we get. But all that candy ends up costing me around $100 (I don’t believe in buying the super-cheap stuff that no one wants that just gets thrown away). Anyone know of a place (local or online) where I can buy Halloween candy in bulk inexpensively? No Costco membership so that’s out. Thanks!

    • Huh? How do you spend $100? Just get the big bags from Giant or whatever. Snickers is no super cheap stuff that just gets thrown away.

      two $7 bags of good candy from Giant should get it done.

      Also, you will have many trick-or-treaters. Wife and I were SHOCKED by how many we got our first year in Petworth. Its lots of fun!

      • That’s what I do (get the big bags from Giant or whatever). But I need waaaay more than two! We get around 800-1000 trick-or-treaters. I don’t want to be one of those people that turns off the lights and pretends I’m not home when I run out in 10 minutes.

        • I always feel sorry for the kids whose parents work late and can’t take them out on the earlier side. After 7 most of the houses have closed up shop.

        • 800-1000? Where do you live? Even if that is true, they can’t possibly all live in your neighborhood. So if you choose to give candy to all of them that is certainly your prerogative but it’s above and beyond “being a good neighbor”.

        • You get 800-1000 trick-or-treaters?! I think I’ve gotten 8-10 in the last 5 years…

      • I agree that it’s not necessary to spend $100, but we go through way more than 2 bags. More like 8-10. I buy at Target or Giant right before Halloween when everything’s on super reduced sales, and it costs me $40-$50.

        • Wow, in my neighborhood the bags of candy are all sold out right before Halloween. I assumed it was the same everywhere in DC. My first year I went out to a Giant in VA (I made the mistake of waiting until the week before) but nothing seemed to be marked down.

    • One more thing. Adults tend to buy chocolate, but kids are often not as crazy about it as adults are. Put some lolly pops in the mix. They are extra cheap, and little kids love them.

      • Back when I was a kid everyone hated the lollipops and other hard candies so I assumed they were unwanted (though I usually buy a few of those assortment bags that have some mixed in with the snickers and such).

  • Pedestrians who are jaywalking and look pissed when a cyclist is on the road. Seriously folks, I am one cold glance away from yelling obscenities at you.

  • Did I mention jaywalkers who decide to cross the street with kids and pets and then look upset at oncoming traffic?

  • Rant: Super-obnoxious Verizon rep who came to my door just now (in Park View). I probably wouldn’t even have responded, except I was expecting a UPS package this afternoon.

    • When I came to the door, I opened the fabric curtain thing that covers the glass. He waved at me. I said something like, “Hi. What do you want?” and he had the temerity to say, “I’m not going to talk through you through the door. Open the door.”
      I should have just ended things right there, but I rolled my eyes and opened the door, figuring that he didn’t know that the security door in front of it happened to be unlocked. (Had it been locked, I would’ve peeked through the curtain and then opened the door.) I really shouldn’t even have opened the door.
      He was beating around the bush with introductory remarks and then said something like, “Have you been enjoying the warm weather we’ve been happening?” I’m usually very polite with people, but he was really testing my patience, so I snapped: “Actually, it’s too warm for my liking. Get to the point.”

      • Ha, that is so annoying. When someone starts out with small talk like that, the chances that I’m going to listen to whatever comes next drops by about 1000%. Tell me what you’re here for and if I’m interested then we can chat, if not, you’re wasting both of our time.

  • Rave: Thanks, fellow in Foggy Bottom who tried to get the attention of the guy driving an suv while talking on his phone who almost turned into me on my bike. I circled around to try to find you but I missed you, so I’ll say here, thank you for giving that guy a small chiding. I appreciate it. 🙂

    Rant: The shutdown — what else — and what can a peon like me do about it aside from writing letters and making calls. At work a few of us have changed the mind of one Republican; I guess that’s an iota of something.

Comments are closed.