Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user ep_jhu

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.

108 Comment

  • Rant: Shutdown City. And now it sounds like our public works are going to be going by the wayside once the DC Emergency Fund runs out.
    Rant: It’s rainy again, and my boots are not as waterproof as advertised.

    Revel: Three day weekend!

  • Somebody needs to give Dick Cheney an umbrella!

  • RAVE: The Orb is playing the Howard Theater on October 30. HOW DID I NOT KNOW ABOUT THIS?!?!

    RAVE: I’m also seeing Disclosure on that Monday night at 930 Club and it’s a sold out show. Busy week!

  • Rant: Debit card # stolen, don’t know from where, will never know from where.

    Rave: Debit card protection, over 600$ was charged.

    Rave: Friday, but I don’t have Monday off. Poor me.

    Rant: The shutdown would be much more bearable if the weather during it didn’t 100% suck every day.

    • I’m curious, is the debit card protection something extra that you have to pay for or opt into? Or are some banks really stingy or difficult about reversing fraudulent debit card charges otherwise? I’ve always heard experts say that it’s better to use credit card vs. debit card because you have better protections in the case of fraud, but my debit card number was stolen twice in the past two years (no idea how; the card never left my possession) and my bank was great about crediting me back the charges, no questions asked. (Granted, it was not $600, but about $120 the first time and a miniscule charge the second time. It’s definitely made me obsessive about checking my account activity online, though.)

      • I don’t know about differences in fraud, but credit cards are usually better for consumer protection. Doesn’t matter for groceries or restaurant meals, but does for airline tickets, electronics, car rentals, etc.

      • (that was my post above, i forgot to sign in)

        I dunno the rules, but my card is with Bank of America, and they call the policy “Total Protection”

        I have a grandfathered account, BOA bought out my account from my prior banks years ago. I don’t pay monthly fees, but I don’t make crap for interest as well.

        To be honest with you, there was just a class action suit from BOA settled that showed they moved transactions around to maximize their income from overdraft fees, and there’s supposed to be checks in the mail for it. BOA has stolen a lot more money from me in fees than this latest scam artist did. At least they’re giving the money form the scam artist back.

      • I have USAA, and I have never had any problems getting fraudulent debit charges reversed. In fact, they voluntarily notified me of charges I didn’t know about! Can’t speak for any other bank, but Me + USAA = Forevah.

        • +100000 for USAA. Best inheritance I got from my Grandpa (he was in the Navy)

        • gotryit

          I’ve had the same great experiences with USAA when there was a fraudulent charge on my credit card. I didn’t pay a dime and USAA was quick about flagging it, reversing the charge, and getting me a new card.

      • Under federal law, credit card companies are required to reimburse you for fraudulent activity over $50.

  • rant: a lovely drizzle when I walk the dog first thing turning into significantly heavier rain when I start the much longer walk to the metro. Not having a jacket that covers much of my giant body and getting to work wet. I refuse to invest in any more pregnancy clothing but I MUST buy a better umbrella

    rave: Dan Savage tomorrow! wheee!

    rave: three day weekend.

    rant: husband is essential and not getting paid, currently at all…but also not for the holiday which is just adding insult to injury. I don’t think I’m getting a pay check in 2 weeks either. Mortgage payment schmorgage payment!

    • The FDIC has advised banks to work with fed employees on payments during the shutdown. Contact your mortgage company and negotiate a later payment or a forbearance if you need to. It makes sense to hang onto savings until it’s clear when all of this drama will end.

      • thanks – we’ll be ok, we’ll just use our emergency fund for now. It’s the worst possible time, and both of us are working but not getting paid. So it’s like a double punch to the gut – if I’m not getting paid I’d rather at least be sleeping!

        • You make it sound like you’ll never get paid and are volunteering your time.

          • +1 I get being envious of the people that are doing nothing and will be getting paid, but having your emergency funds replenished later isn’t the worst thing in the world.

          • I don’t know, I think working while not collecting a pay check stinks largely because you never know when you’ll start getting paid. If there was an end point, it would be a bit easier to swallow.

            I’m not really jealous of the people home because it does get boring, though the timing for me personally would have been pretty fortunate.

          • It’s tempting to feel disgruntled about people getting a “free paid vacation,” when you’re sitting at your desk working as usual, but if I were a federal employee, I would MUCH rather have the certainty and stability of coming to work, tackling my projects as scheduled/planned, and getting a regular paycheck vs. the uncertainty of not knowing when I’ll get paid, not knowing (if I were furloughed) when I’d be called back to work, etc. Not to mention, from what I’ve heard, the legislation about furloughed workers getting back pay simply gives federal agencies the option to do so, but they can chose NOT to if they don’t have the budget or if they need the money for other things. Personally, that uncertainty and anxiety wouldn’t be an attractive trade-off for a few days’ worth of staying home with crappy daytime TV.

          • This is not likely to extend past next week. All kinds of people get paid monthly, stop turning that into a big deal.

          • C’mon people, this is a rant/rave section… We shouldn’t criticize people for giving complaints here, otherwise the thread would be empty.

        • I don’t see where in the actual text of the legislation it gives agencies flexibility – I read it when someone mentioned it before (in case my husband gets Columbus Day back pay, though it’s not a big deal in the grand scheme of things). The legislation isn’t even one page. Did you read it, or was there a news story on it? I’d be interested in how they can treat employees differently in that regard, but it wouldn’t surprise me.

    • I do consider myself fortunate, I guess, but no one knows when we’ll get paid – that’s the issue at hand. “you’ll get it eventually” doesn’t make prioritizing finances easy. It’s actually almost easier to assume you’re NOT getting it if that makes sense.
      If you’re excepted or recalled, you understand the conflicting/lack of coherent information on the leave/pay/benefits policies because you get bombarded with emails that say completely different things 20 minutes apart. I feel bad for our HR having to send around all the info. And not looking for sympathy, just venting that balancing all of this is not easy for anyone. At least send correct information to employees.

      • Ignore ’em, jindc. This slamming of a totally understandable RANT (working, not getting paid right away) is just ridiculous. Bringing up your comment from the other day about your upstairs neighbors is petty.

  • RANT: This rain sucks. It’s been raining for nearly 48 hours straight, with no end in sight. If I wanted to live in Brussels, Amsterdam, or Seattle weather, I would move to those places. At least I’d get the lower costs of those places.

    • Great rant! I was thinking the same thing, except to say “Well, if I wanted to be in London I’d buy a plane ticket to go there!”

  • Rave: I’m shocked, shocked that so many people are at work today! Just think how brave they were to make their way into downtown DC despite the thousands of truckers ringing the city exercising their constitutional right to drive on an interstate highway built by the government they hate so much.

    Rant: All this rain.

    • I just went to their nutty Facebook page. They are positive that you don’t see thousands of truckers in the traffic cams because the government contriols them and doesn’t want you to see the truth.

  • Rant: Rain. Gray. Cold. Fall. The summer baby in me is not about this life!
    Rant: The shutdown continues.
    Rave: 3-day weekend
    Rave: Janelle Monae on Monday night!

    • Emmaleigh504

      When the weather starts to get cold it makes me super homesick. I want summer forever.

      • Same here – I love summer’s heat and don’t mind the humidity. I belong in the tropics.

        • +2

          SUMMER FOREVER. Still want to live of my dream of being in Australia October to March and in the U.S. from April to September. Gotta make it happen.

          • Scrillin

            I had the opportunity to do that back in college, in Perth, but I ended up transferring to a different school instead… still wonder if I made the right decision.

          • I once missed most of 3 consecutive winters by being in the southern hemisphere. I have to say it was really, really great, but what I really, really missed (especially the third year) was the seasons.

          • To clarify, I was in the southern hemisphere during our winter but in the northern hemisphere for our summer.

  • Rave: I like this weather because I love the cool, subdued, diffuse light it produces.
    Rant: Early sunsets and being in a fluorescent-lit office during the day means few opportunities to enjoy it.

  • Any advice out there for pet insurance? I have two dogs, one is six years old, the other is two. They are both pretty healthy, so I don’t know, but I want to be prepared. Anybody have ASPCA?

    • I don’t know about ASPCA (and don’t think pet insurance is worthwhile for most people) but would definitely advise against VPI.

      • Thanks for the link PoP! I hate putting money into it but I don’t want to regret not having it when the time comes. I hear such terrible stories about VPI, was wondering if other organizations are better or worse.

    • An endorsement for Healthy Paws Pet Insurance from OldTownHome.com and their experience with it:

    • I have VPI and LOVE it. It’s been worth every penny for us

      • Whoa, did they actually reimburse you for something??

        • yes, we’ve definitely gotten back more than we’ve paid in. My dog is a rescue who eats random crap off the ground before we can stop her, so it was pretty essential to have it. VPI covered all but $300 of her ACL repair. They’ve covered tons of stomach issues. She had an eye infection (WTF?!) and I just paid the copay for it. I’ve had a great experience with them.

          • Wow, you’ve gotten lucky. My dog needed some very expensive unavoidable surgery that I thought was covered, but VPI found a loophole to deny the claim and the associated appointments/test/etc. So then I started wondering why I’d been paying for such useless insurance for so long. I ran the numbers and figured it would only save me money if my dogs were accident prone (they do seem good about covering dogs that eat random crap off the ground) but mine aren’t like that.

          • Do you have a pure bred dog? I’ve read that insurance is harder for pure bred dogs because they can say “it’s genetic” and avoid covering it.

            I know they get mixed reviews, but I’d had a great experience with them. The formulary is online and very transparent. And before the surgery, I called about what I could anticipate for coverage. So this is just my experience which is worth all that much, but it’s been great for us!

            (we decided to keep the insurance as long as we live in the city as it involves a lot of random street snacks/other dogs that can do her damage/cars if she ever got motivated to “get out” of her leash and run (not likely, that would involve moving)

          • He’s a purebred but that’s not the reason the claim was denied. Essentially he had an “old dog” ailment as a 4-year-old so he didn’t meet the age requirement for the surgery (not that it could have been delayed six years!).

    • I got ASPCA specifically because it covers one foreign object ingestion a year, which is what my cat was averaging at the time I got it. Of course, I’ve thankfully never had to use it because the cat apparently caught on that he couldn’t cost me thousands of dollars anymore, but it’s nice peace of mind.

    • I have Embrace. Thankfully I’ve never had to use it, but they have very flexible plan option and it’s very affordable. I pay $37 per month total for two dogs ages 4 and 5. I have the emergency illness/accident plan, not wellness and my deductible is $1K. I figure if one of them ends up needing $10K worth of surgery it’ll be so worth it to only have to spend a fraction of that out of pocket.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: My kitty is starting to act like an old lady. She’s in bed by 8:30 and yells at me for disturbing her.
    Rave: Going to Fredrick tomorrow with my Schwesti to find a birthday present for my mom.
    Rave: Already got my mom a joke present, some rooster socks.

  • Rant: Lost yet another house, as the seller chose another offer without even asking me for a counter. Feeling really down about my housing search. Atleast this time it was only between me and one other offer, whereas last time it was me against 11 others. So I suppose that is progress? This ultra competitive market is really getting to me.

    Rave: 3 day weekend.

    Rave: I actually got paid as normal because I was an “excepted” employee, however I really feel for my non DoD and contractor peers for the stress Im sure they are under.

    • two excepted person household here, neither got paid normally. And we’ve landed on the issue – so much differing information and experiences. We’ve actually been told by our chain of command BOTH that we WILL get a normal pay check next pay day and that we WONT get a normal pay check. That conflicting info is helpful!

      BUT I’m glad someone is getting a normal pay check!

      • Weird…we were told that “excepted” personnel should have worked their regular schedules after Oct 1st (no leave or sick time as it would be furlough time). When everyone was recalled due to POMA we were told the non-excepted personnel would get paid for the time they worked before being furloughed this check. I think we are back to regular schedules as of Monday the 7th…so from Monday out everyone should be getting paid as normal…now when and if those who were furloughed are getting paid back that is up to Congress. As for Contractors who work on contracts that follow the fiscal year…Im not sure how that works.

        • I think depending on where you work within DoD the information is different. Where I am, we were told that only some of the staff who were excepted during the first four days of the furlough would be paid. They weren’t sure about the rest. Those of us who came back after being considered excepted over the weekend were told that they’re awaiting guidance on how or when we’ll be paid.

    • Thanks MAR.

    • also, sorry about the house – supply is low, but maybe demand will slow with the uncertainty and that will benefit you?

    • I’m feeling exactly the same way about my job search (just got turned down but something promising). Gotta keep reminding myself that at least I have a job I don’t hate. Maybe keep reminding yourself that you have a decent place to live in the meantime?

      • True true…its just hard to not get your hopes up when you like a place. I am overall lucky that I like in a nice (to me) apartment on a flexible lease…so when someone does decide to take my offer I will be ready.

        I gotta say job searching is right up there with writing about yourself (year appraisals yuck!) on the top 2 things I hate most. I feel your pain!

  • Rant: Metro telling me I should use all the doors when boarding the train. How is that even possible?

    • Always bugs me when they say to “move to the center of the car” instead of “away from the doors”. There are doors at the center of the car!

      • em

        +1 I am glad to know that I am not the only one annoyed by this.

        Another annoying Metro-ism: “Buses will replace trains between stop X and stop Y. As a result, stations A, B, and C will be closed.” No, the stations are closed and as a result, shuttle buses will be used.

      • Excuse me, is that your bag? Such small words can mean sooo muchhhh. That line haunts me!

    • I wish they would call us “passengers” instead of “customers”.

  • Rant: That staccato background music in the PNC Bank radio ads is stuck in my head. Doot DOOT doot doot doo-doo-doo-doot! Doo-doo-doo-doot! Doo-doo-DOOO-doot!
    Revel: Dismemberment Plan next weekend!
    Rant: Seeing the Dismemberment Plan as well as the bands at the recent Black Cat 20th anniversary shows and remembering seeing them all the time 20 years ago is making me feel old as the hills.

    • easy fix – listen to “what the fox say” and it’ll be in your head for, like, ever. Damn Norwegians!

    • Emmaleigh504

      I hate when they say the train is holding because there is a train directly ahead. It’s a train on a track of course there’s a train directly ahead! There’s a train directly behind too! grumble grumble grumble

  • Rant – cold, rainy weather makes me feel lazy. I get come home from work, immediately change into sweatpants, eat dinner, and binge watch Scandal on Netflix for the remainder of the night.

    Rave – 3 day weekend!

  • houseintherear

    Rave: I picked up a new cat last week from a shelter (some of you helped me with some advice about that one day a couple of weeks ago- thanks!) He is the most amazing animal… totally adjusted to the new environment, so cuddly and sweet, and my dog (after a breaking-in period) loves him. Got lucky!

  • Rant: I decided to compound my pain by going to the dentist the same week bedbug treatments start.
    Rant: I need 5 fillings, we did 3 today. But it seems that one of the ones we did isn’t fixing the problem of hypersensitivity in the tooth.
    Rave: my super sweet boyfriend is coming with me to the laundromat tonight.
    Rant: I baked all of my shoes and boots in my car when it as super hot last weekend and took them to my sister’s garage for storage. I forgot to leave out anything warm or waterproof, so I’ve been wandering around in sopping wet ballet flats for 2 days.
    Rave: Cardozo is offering tours of the renovated building tonight. Having lived through 18 months of construction and being right next to it, I’ve been genuinely curious about the outcome. I’m happy they’re opening it up to the community to see.

    • Don’t want to compound your misery but did your dentist mention the possibility of your supersensitive tooth needing a root canal? Sensodyne toothpaste and a gentle toothbrush are helpful when it’s gum sensitivity.

      • Hah, it’s okay. I think my misery is about as compounded as it gets this week. I feel like the sensitivity is coming from inside the tooth whenever I have something cold. He drilled and gave it a filling, but I still feel the same way. I have to go back, so I’ll ask him about it at the next appointment.

        • I’ll join you in your misery (at least dental misery). I think I’m in the same boat – I saw my dentist recently and he said to wait a bit and see if it gets better (sensitivity). If not, I’ll be headed to an endodontic’s office : (

    • Jeslett – where can one sign up for the Cardozo tours? I live there too and am interested in seeing the building!!


      • I don’t think you have to sign up. There are signs on the lamp posts in the neighborhood that say that from 4:30-6:30 today there is a dedication and ribbon cutting, followed by tours. I can’t get there until at least 5:30, so I am hoping I can just get a tour.

  • rant: may have to move away from dc. i love it here but i don’t think i can afford it any longer.
    it’s really depressing me.

  • Rant: Second job leaves little time for a life
    Revel: Second job money enabling me to pursue a new career eventually

  • Rant: Made the idiotic decision to NOT wear my boots this morning. Feet are FREEZING!
    Rave: Made a double batch of dark chocolate and raspberry banana bread last night and it turned out AWESOME!
    Rant: Went to a concert by myself on Wednesday night. Not sure if this is A) Pathetic, because I could find no one to go with me or B) Pretty awesome that I’m willing to go to a concert by myself. I’m leaning toward A.
    Rave: Tonight I’m headed to Meskerem, followed by the Black Squirrel. Pretty chill plans for a rainy night!

    • I go to concerts by myself all the time ( none of my friends share my music taste). I usually have more fun.

    • Yeah…nothing pathetic about having a certain taste in music that you don’t share with your friends. Going to shows alone is a great way to force yourself to meet people who share, at least musically, similar interests.

    • I had a similar situation where everyone bailed on a concert recently. I almost decided to not go but then forced myself to suck it up and go. I realized that it would be way more pathetic to miss out on things that I like to do because I was afraid to be alone. So, not pathetic, instead awesome and self assured!

    • Can you share the recipe for the dark chocolate and raspberry banana bread? I’ve never heard of that combination before and it sounds so good!

  • Rave: Finally tried Mi Cuba Cafe – it was really good!
    Rant: Days like this I wish my dog were litter box trained.

  • Rave: I’ve been on vacation in Asia for the entire shutdown. Best timing ever.
    Rant: one more day before I head back to DC and (likely) will be bored at home next week wishing I was still here and cursing congress for not properly doing its job.
    Rave: if that’s all I have to rant about, I have a very fortunate life right now.

  • Rave: Good rain pants, jacket & boots + a nice hour of light rain between 2-3 = great long dog-walk up Beach Drive.
    Rant: Lost $1,100.00 so far this month in cancelled bookings for my vacation apt. due to the Tea Party shutdown!

    • We also found a lopped-off black chicken head and a black pig’s foot (not a farm girl but I’m pretty sure that’s what it was) by the side of the road. I’ve found Santeria chickens often enough, but never a pig’s foot!

      Rave: The dogs were so surprised and confused they didn’t immediately scarf them down and obeyed my command to “leave it!”

  • Rant: Having to type a report on a document template created by someone who doesn’t know how to use Word. It’s impossible to type anything without it screwing up tables, every line is in a different font and size, every paragraph has different indenting and tab positions, there are invisible and unnecessary tables everywhere that get in the way. And here I was thinking I’d get out before 5:30 today…..
    Rave: Fixing formatting is the kind of mindless task I needed on a rainy Friday afternoon.

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