Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user clif_burns

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.

130 Comment

  • Nervousness: They say a deal is getting done in the Senate, but I have no faith the House will actually agree to that deal without attaching some unacceptable amendments.

    • here’s hoping – I’m starting to actually worry about the conditions in DC. I wasn’t here in the 90s, but the whole idea of DC shuttering services because of Congress makes me really angry. Hopefully it all gets resolved…for everyone…sigh

    • I keep hearing that there is an option for Obama to end the debt ceiling issue unilaterally, so hopefully they can at least avert that mess. I have no idea what it will take to get them to cave about the shutdown, though. And agreed re: the upcoming DC municipal service suspension. I can’t believe it’s gone on this long.

      • The ways to get around the debt ceiling are questionable at best. The treasury could mint a trillion dollar platinum coin or we could sell 10 year treasury bonds at 275 cents on the dollar with a 23% interest rate. Neither is even close to ideal and using either would probably make reaching any real deal harder.

      • I’ve heard that too — that the president has the option, in a state of emergency — to raise the debt ceiling. Does anybody know for sure? I’ve also heard that if he does this, the door will be open to start impeachment proceedings…. This is such a multi-layered mess.

        • Probably referring to section 4 of the 14th amendment and debate over whether the president has the authority to raise debt ceiling unilaterally.

        • If we hit the debt ceiling, and Obama chooses not to use either of the extraordinary means listed above, he is faced with 2 illegal choices.
          1- He can decide to keep borrowing beyond the authority to do so in order to pay our debts
          2- He can decide to not pay some of the expenses to his legally obligated to meet
          I have seen some on the right saying that if he took either of those actions he would be impeached, but the same people think he should be impeached for being a kenyan muslim socialist dictator who is going to replace the constitution with sharia law, so, I’m not sure we need to take that too seriously.

          • From what I read from these kooks, Sharia law is already in effect.

          • Excellent. Let’s line up the members of Congress who personally benefit from ag subsidies and voted to keep said subsidies intact at the expense of the poor (food stamp recipients), and lop of their hands.

  • rave: the weather now. A few days of rain was worth it for this – I love me some fall. A little cooler would be better, but I’ll take it.
    rave: Pumpkin whoopie pies are back at the U St Farmers Market. I guess I’ll have to stock up this coming weekend for my freezer. Yes, they’re even good right out of the freezer. If you haven’t had them before, GO!
    rant: antsy in the pantsy for this wee one to come. If not now, maybe he’ll wait until after we see 12 Years a Slave. That would be considerate.
    Rave: VERY much enjoying the final days of our family of 3 – our dog is probably being too spoiled right now. But when she walks well with the stroller for practice, she deserves a frozen yogurt, no? I can’t believe I got so lucky to have such an amazing rescue dog – bad knees and all, she’s the sweetest and will always be my first baby!

    • I am intrigued by these pumpkin woopie pies. Enlighten me.

      • do yourself a favor and go to the U St Market and get them from Pecan Meadow. They sell lots of meat and eggs, but they also make fresh whoopie pies. They are so incredible. The woman, Lois, also sells pumpkin rolls right before thanksgiving – and they’re fantastic, too. But it’s much harder to eat a whole roll vs a whoppie pie or two 🙂 They use their own pumpkins and their own dairy for the cream in the middle. Last year they also had quark-based cream in the middle as an option. SO good.

      • I had a pumpkin whoopie pie at Baked and Wired over the weekend and it was the best thing I ever ate. Whoopie pies are sort of like Hostess Devil Dogs, but one thousand times better: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whoopie_pie

    • The wee one is refusing to appear out of embarassment because Momma is walking the dog with an empty stroller!


      • a lot better than having a dog scared of a stroller WITH a baby in it when your dog is very large. Preparing to have a well behaved dog when the child is around is somewhat important…but I could be crazy! I mean, 100lb dog vs. 8lb baby. Obviously the baby would win?

  • RANT: Still hating that the comments are at the top of the PoP posts. PoP, you said you were working on this?!?!

  • gotryit

    Rave: bought a new car for the first time
    Rant: it’s a minivan
    Rave: other than being the male equivalent of a soccer mom, minivans are awesome

    • Agreed that minivans are awesome! My dad caved and bought one when my youngest brother was born. 25 years later, he still chooses to drive minivans even though he longer has to chauffeur us kids around. Rock that minivan, gotryit!

      • Agree! Congrats on the new car! I drove a minivan all through high school and college. It was pretty fantastic.

      • My dad still drives minivans, too! Even though his youngest child is 37. He likes that if you remove the middle and rear seats, you can fit a 4×8 sheet of plywood in it. Nevermind that he hasn’t had a use for 4×8 sheets of plywood in years; he just likes to know that he could if he needed to.

    • KSB

      We were in the market for a minivan recently and ended up with a Honda Pilot ( no complaints – VERY happy with it so far.) But the idea of automatic open/close doors and nice plush bucket seats still gets me… would have been happy with a minivan too!

      • gotryit

        We looked at the pilot and highlander, but the carrying space and seat arrangement flexibility in those is so much less than the minivans. And the minivan had all the things we wanted plus more. For less money.

        • KSB

          Now you’re just rubbing it in! 🙂
          I think my husband was still harboring slight misgivings about going the minivan route, and I didn’t feel strongly enough about it to force the issue, but after baby #3 arrives this winter and he truly has to look at function vs. form, I suspect our next vehicle will be of the minivan variety…

    • gotryit

      Rave2 – my friends reminding me that I wasn’t cool to start with, so I’m not losing anything

  • Rave: Since confronting my depression this summer and started biking in late July, I’ve lost 40 lbs as of today.
    Rave: This weather, absolutely loving it.
    Rave: It’s pumpkin pie season.
    Rave: I’m alive.

    • congrats on the success of confronting depression with the added bonus of weight loss! Enjoy it!

    • That’s awesome! Especially confronting depression, but also the weight loss. I hope the pumpkin pie tastes a little sweeter for knowing that you’re doing such good things for yourself!

    • Congratulations! Not an easy feat by an means!

    • houseintherear

      Wow, that’s amazing! Congrats. Any advice for where to ride? Do you map out a route beforehand?

      • i live in Silver Spring now but moving to Navy Yard next month. Currently after work I ride into DC via the MBT trail. I’ll then hit Capitol Hill and take in the sunset. Then bike to the Washington Monument and then on to the Lincoln Memorial with maybe a stop at the WW2 Memorial which is gorgeous at night. From there, I have been biking over to the Jefferson Memorial, which has been nice because the road is closed to cars due to the shutdown. I’ll complete the circle and go back into DC. From there, it depends what I want to do next… sometimes I’ll bike over to Barracks Row or visit friends in Dupont or NoMa. I usually end the night by biking to NoMa, doing a little light shopping at Harris Teeter and taking the metro back because it’s safer at that time of night. Overall I manage about 15+ miles a night. I’ll do longer treks on the weekend.

        But essentially, I only use my car to go to work and back. I use my bike for everything else.

    • Congrats! What a wonderful first Rave!

    • Congrats 🙂

  • Rave: Had Monday off to work on my Breaking Bad marathon, down side was being off work due to an ear-ache, but just got past season 4 last night. It’s a good thin that I don’t have good wireless coverage at work because I’d be watching it right now.

    Rave: Got to see old friends last weekend, they invited me to their church and I went, despite me being a Buddhist. It was a bit awkward telling them after service that I’m still dedicated to my own religion and not willing to “accept nor deny Jesus” when all they wanted to do was to pretty much baptize me on the spot. I have a feeling that me being myself might contribute to a rift with those friends, though I hope not.

    Rant: Redskins. Sure, someone has to lose, but the past years have been devastating. RG3 is one of the most talented QBs in the league yet he still can’t show results because of something else wrong with the team. They’ve changed everyone else but the owner. I fear that nothing will change until Snyder sells the team to someone who can make things happen.

    Rave: Ate Pho at Eden Center in VA yesterday, any restaurant there is hands down the best in the entire area. I can no longer go to other restaurants. Authenticity is key.

  • Rant: Someone pooped – again! – on our steps. I get that there are limited bathroom options, but couldn’t he at least have put down newspaper (as in previous times – that at least made cleaning human shit slightly more convenient) or gone ONE HOUSE OVER to poop in the yard of the abandoned house? At least there’s no one there to step in it afterwards.

    This weekend was comically awful. Here’s hoping that the week improves. Because it’s got to, right?

    • Wow, that is terrible! I hope your week gets better.

    • pablo .raw

      Hopefully is not related to this but I’ve heard that some times when someone breaks into somebody’s house, they do that. So, it wouldn’t hurt if you take precautions since it’s the 2nd time this happens to you.

    • Put better lighting out there… Actually motion activated lighting will put an end to the issue if it makes the yard bright. No one wants to poop under a floodlight. 🙂

    • omg that’s terrible.
      I’m so, so sorry!

    • Your front steps? What the heck! You’d think someone would go do that in an alley where there is more privacy. I agree a floodlight might be in order here. Also, previous “times”- plural? How many times has this happened?!

    • Did U see this occur? If not, how do U know it’s from a human?

    • Yuck! That’s beyond disgusting! If ya gotta go, use an alley for privacy — and don’t disrespect someone else’s home! Gross. Here’s one more voice hoping that your week gets much much better!

    • gotryit

      wow. this is what surveillance cameras are for…

    • I will third the motion light. It ain’t pretty, but neither is a hot steaming pile of feces. Especially after you step in it.

      • In the (not so long ago) bad old days in CH, you never walked behind your car without checking for poop – (They balance their a** on the bumper) and NEVER put laundry in the building machine without checking. Seriously – people would sneak in our building and sh** in the washing machines. Also, if you lived in a basement apt. with a window well – well – once a week at least you’ve a window onto a toilet.

  • hey y’all, where’s a good place to get a late breakfast in petworth/ columbia heights?

  • Rant: the shutdown. my garbage didn’t get picked up this morning. Did DC run out of contingency funds?
    Rave: weather.
    Rant: my rants and raves are boring.

  • Rave: I had a great three day weekend (I took Monday off and it was worth it!) with the family. I finally spent quality time with my five month old niece when she was actually awake and my 2.5 yo niece was her usual entertaining self, but with a few melt downs. They are both such happy kids and they love their grandparents so much, it’s wonderful to see.
    Rave: I got to show my parents and my sister my new condo, which is under contract but with no closing date.
    Rant: I really want to close on my new place! There are 7 contracts in, but we need 12 to start closing. This is becoming stressful and I am not a patient person.
    Rant: I have to finalize my choice of lender, I’ve been talking to 2 and now I feel like I have to break up with one of them.

    • FWIW we’ve had amazing success with Tom O’Keefe at Prosperity Mortgage – one purchase and two refinances. They are really fantastic and their rates couldn’t be beat when we were shopping around. Good luck!

      • Thanks for the recommendation, but I am already pre-approved with two that I like and that is taxing enough. I’m not looking forward to telling one I won’t be using them. Though it looks like my hand is being forced because one of them already did the appraisal without telling me it was scheduled. So, if I don’t go with him that’s $400 down the drain.

        • if you didn’t agree to the appraisal, you can probably get out of paying for it. Everything should be documented when dealing with lenders – most are a shady bunch. I have a lot of experience with shady ass lenders, so just keep a record of everything – and tell a manager. Especially if the other lender offers better customer service.

          • Yeah, I figure I can pitch a fit if need be and get out of paying for it. I think I like the other lender more in terms of friendliness and service, but my realtor really likes this one that did the appraisal. Not that my realtor’s opinions are going to drive the final decision.

          • em

            Definitely don’t let your realtor drive your decision. Our realtor had a lot of opinions on who we should go with for financing, inspections, etc. – and while some of the recommendations were good, the financing recommendation would have cost us a lot more (higher rate, etc. – presumably the realtor pushed that one hard b/c they would provide kickbacks). I am sure that there are some realtors out there who are smart, honest, in it to make their customers happy, etc. – but the ones that we’ve dealt with here aren’t the brightest bulbs.

          • Kickbacks are illegal. Your realtor may have recommended the financing person because they are responsive and reliable. I have seen deals go down the drain because of inattentiveness on the lenders part.

          • Eff your realtor. They work for you, not the other way around. And they get kickbacks to steer you into higher priced products.
            The last three friends who bought their first places were totally trampled upon by their realtors. Bad advice, crappy and expensive recommendations for inspectors/lenders/appraisers, pressuring them to just accept the findings of the inspections and eat the cost of fixing it themselves (rather than the sellers!), etc.
            Your real estate agent only cares about getting their fee(s) as quickly as possible. It’s a scummy business.

          • Eff realtors in general. I can’t believe they haven’t gone the way of travel agents. You can do all of the searching and work yourself and if it’s a really sticky situation, hire a lawyer. The US realty system is not set up to help you (the buyer).

          • So far my realtor team has been fine, I picked and scheduled the home inspector and we got almost everything addressed by the seller. I am happy with the outcome of that part of the process.
            I don’t even have a closing date yet, so I have no idea why the lender went ahead and got an appraisal. I assumed it would be the same process as the home inspector, I mean I need to write the check for the appraisal, right? And there’s no point in calling the lender today because all of my notes and documents are at home. Ugh.

  • Rant: I accidentally fell a little bit in love with a kitten yesterday. Big bright eyes, monster purr, tufty ears, adorable little bobble-head used for clumsy head-butting… But if I get a kitten, I’ll have to replace my husband.

    • Is your husband allergic? If so, maybe he can go in for regular allergy shots?

      • Nah, he’s getting crotchety in his old age. I still find everything any cat does adorable. He’s annoyed by it all. We’ve always had at least one (sometimes two), from the first apartment we got together all those years ago. He has put his foot down, though– no additional cats. I expect that when the current one goes to the happy hunting grounds, we won’t be catless for long.

        • Emmaleigh504

          lol for my parents entire marriage they were going to go pet free for a little while when the last pet died. They’ve been married 40 some odd years and it hasn’t happened yet! When I was little my mom would come home with a stray and make me or my sister ask my dad if we could keep it b/c he wouldn’t tell us “no”. Now they seem to just appear. If he were living alone he would be pet free, but it seems he can’t tell my mom “no” either!

  • Question: Where’s a good place to get married in Annapolis that’s outdoors and affordable? Thanks in advance for the suggestions!

  • Rave: Ran a PR for my marathon on Saturday despite the brutally long and steep hills (4) on the alternate course we ran.
    Rave: I was totally surprised by two great friends that made the early drive to WVa to cheer me on – who does that?
    Rave: Runners high is winning over shutdown gripping!
    Rants: NADA!

  • Rant: I’m feeling blah and anxious, and a lot of it is connected to my sense of uncertainty regarding this government mess.
    Rant: A good friend let me down yesterday by flaking on something that I thought was a firm plan, so I changed my schedule to accommodate his. I ended up missing out on doing some fun things because of it. It makes me want to be less reliable, too — which is not a recipe for making things better.
    Rave: Wearing dresses again. After years of mostly wearing pants, I’ve re-discovered the joys of wearing dresses. It wasn’t the dresses that I disliked — it was pantyhose. Major raves for tights and leggings!
    Rave: I appreciate my many blessings.

    • Not being willing to reorganize your whole schedule and pass up other plans because someone else screwed up is not being unreliable. When someone blows you off and you have other plans, go do those other things and don’t feel bad about it.

      • I think what Blithe means is that she would like to be oblivious/flaky/unreliable like the person who flaked out on her. And I totally get this because I’m always the over observant, on time, keep a schedule person. I just think it must be such a carefree life to not realize how much you’re annoying other people when you flake out or leave the container of alcohol based cleaning wipes open (not that I’ve ever gotten irrationally upset about that).

        • Not sure that’s really what Blithe meant — I guess I hope she’s not really wishing to be flaky!
          I too get really annoyed with flaky people, and I can definitely relate to Blithe’s frustration.

          • Well, maybe not be a flaky person. And I am totally projecting my experiences with flaky/oblivious people here, but I have always wondered what it must feel like to have no earthly idea that your actions are adversely affecting others. It might be the case that (some of) these people know that they’re annoying others, but then it would still be interesting to know what it feel like to not care at all. I would not want to actually be this way, but it’s just something I can’t wrap my mind around, but want to understand.

          • Yup, sadly, that IS what I meant. I want my flake time too! LOL

        • – jeslett , it IS more fun when you can be carefree and oblivious. Um, not that I would know from personal experience or anything. As I grew out of the ability to be oblivious, my sense of responsibility and empathy also increased. Overall, I’m pretty happy about that, but I do miss the fun and freedom of getting to flake. Grin. Try it!
          Seriously, my flaky friend is genuinely oblivious and is usually very hard on himself when he realizes that his behavior has had an impact on my well-being. My rant is/was that I want my share of flake time too! I’m just too into personal responsibility to go that route.

      • Thanks for your supportive comment – and for not assuming that I wanted to be a flake! 🙂

    • Emmaleigh504

      How are tights different from pantyhose; are you talking about the look? I hate wearing pantyhose and tights for extended periods of time equally, they dry my skin.

      • epric002

        i hate hose and love tights too. hose suck b/c: they don’t keep you warm and i run them every time i wear them which makes them really expensive. if i *have* to wear hose i prefer thigh highs, i dunno why. tights don’t bother me at all- i kind of love them.

        • Emmaleigh504

          I forgot about running, that does make tights better. Clearly I don’t wear stockings often (I prefer stockings to pantyhose).

      • No, it’s more the way they feel. For some reason, it’s easy for me to find tights that are comfortable, while the pantyhose are not. The waistbands roll, the ankles are too loose, and they inevitably run. I once bought three pairs of pantyhose for one event. I put my finger through the first pair when I was putting them on, and the second pair sprouted runs before I made it to the event. So they’re fragile and often uncomfortable. Tights rule!

        • Emmaleigh504

          I must be buying crap tights! Actually, the cheapo tights I got from sockdreams.com were amazingly comfortable for tights, so I may be jumping on your bandwagon soon. I really want to like tights so I can wear dresses year round.

          • Or maybe I’ve been buying crap pantyhose! I love the look of sheers, but usually can’t make it through the day without holes in the toes and at least one run somewhere. A long time ago I had hose from Sears that were pretty indestructible — and actually guaranteed. I wore those for years — but then couldn’t find them anymore. 🙁
            I’ll have to check out sockdreams.

          • Emmaleigh504

            I’ve been thinking about it and I did buy some spendy stockings (not pantyhose) from secrets in lace a while back and they are comfortable and durable. At secrets in lace you can buy stockings to fit your leg size (tall/wide), but you’ll pay. Not sure if they have pantyhose…can’t look at the site at work b/c the images are semi racy.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: Arthritis acting up.
    Rave: Apple cake I made to celebrate my mother’s birthday tastes great even if it didn’t come out quite right b/c I’m out of practice.
    Rave: Need to practice making apple cake more!

  • RANT: government STILL shut down. and currently working for “free”
    RAVE: running on the mall is awesome when there are no tourists!

  • Rant: I’m back from a 2 week trip to Asia with nothing to do.
    Rave: It’s nice having this time to recover from jet lag, plus the weather is fantastic.
    Rave: I only used 2 days of leave (if no shutdown, would have been 11 days), so can go on another 2-week trip in the Spring.
    Rant: WTF is congress doing?? Kinda crazy that the US government might default on some bonds because of the idiocy that is the debt ceiling (plus our incompetent congress).

  • Rave: Getting excited about an upcoming wedding that I’m in. This one feels like a joyous occassion instead of another obligation.
    Rant: Long runs are making me hungryyyyy
    Rave: Still working and getting paid
    Rant: but only for another day or two based on what I’m hearing

    • Emmaleigh504

      Your first rave is awesome! It’s so nice when weddings or other celebrations truly feel like joyous occasions.

  • Rant/rave: $37 later, can check “buy Halloween candy” off my to-do list!

  • RANT: Good lord, if these GOP cowards run out of town there will be hell to pay.
    “Drastic tactics are being considered in House Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy’s world: there’s discussion of voting on their bill and, if it passes, leaving town — a bid to try to force the Senate’s hand.”

  • Rant: Feeling sad and helpless. It’s hard enough having a partner with depression, and even harder when the partner’s medical problems are contributing largely to it. What do you tell someone who is crying every day over eye issues that prevent her from seeing as well as normal people? Who has trouble working, is afraid to try new things, meet new people, or go to unfamiliar places? I simply don’t know how to help her. I’ve managed to keep us afloat for the past 5 years, but I’m tired and can’t imagine keeping this up the rest of our lives. And I have no one to talk to (don’t want to share her problems with people we know, and can’t find an appropriate support group) so I’m bearing this burden alone.

    • They are not just her problems, but yours as well. If you have a friend or relative (or more than one!) who you think would be discrete and provide you with support and an outlet, then you are not betraying too much to turn to them (honestly, they probably have figured most of it out already). Trying to bear too much alone is not going to get either of you to a better, healthier place.
      Good luck, and take care of yourself.

    • Wow- tough situation. Is her behavior different now than it was 5 years ago? Is her vision getting worse? Is she seeing a counselor/are you? You may have seen this resource already – healthfinder.gov has listings of different types of support groups. Hang in there – see if you can find other sources of support as you figure out what to do.

      • Vision and mental health are both getting worse. She also has cognitive issues that we think are related to the vision and/or anxiety that are also getting worse.

    • This is a tough one going way beyond the support group etc. options. You sound like you are having to decide if there is a future together. We clearly don’t know anything about you – but as you describe his or her multitude of issues – I want to shout – run away! Yes, depression is real, but so is self-pity & dependency. I have seen this happen several times in people close to me. In every instance, the strong person kept keeping them “afloat” for way too long, ruining his/her own life as well as crippling the other. I know it would have been better for both parties to split.

      Vision impairment sucks, but lots of people deal with it. Anxiety, fearfulness etc. are real issues, but again, people deal with it. Five years is a long time – but a lifetime is a much longer time.

      • Wow, interesting perspective. I wasn’t contemplating leaving her at all, just unhappy with the cards we’ve been dealt.

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