Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user kenudigit

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.

118 Comment

  • Rant: Getting pretty fed up with the impact Monroe Street Market construction is having on traffic. This morning they had Michigan ave eastbound down to one lane to accommodate construction vehicles. Does anyone know how much longer this is supposed to go on? I’m sympathetic to the needs of the work, but going from three lanes to ONE at the peak of rush hour is un-neighborly.
    Also, I heard a rumor that Monroe Street between the bridge and Michigan Ave will not re-open to traffic, but be a pedestrian-only area. Any truth to that? Because if true, OMG clusterfuck.

    • KSB

      Thankfully I don’t think there’s any truth to the pedestrian-only rumor. I’ve heard that stretch will re-open in December (fingers crossed!) I’m also taking this construction cluster with a huge grain of salt and looking forward to the finished product (Mich Ave was a parking lot even after rush hour this morning…)

    • I’m getting royally fed up with the southbound traffic on New Hampshire Ave coming into DC from Maryland. Construction + School + Maryland drivers = worst thing ever.

    • Agree. The construction has made the last year of walking to work quite the adventure.

    • I’ve been frustrated with this bs too, and wanted to write a “dear popville” letter for someone (I don’t know who) to make it right, they need to turn that traffic light to a blinking yellow, and it would solve a lot of that traffic. The dang street is closed and cars still have to stop, right at the point where they merge 3 lanes into two. Between the traffic turning onto Michigan from Irving and the merge, the road can’t handle all the traffic and that light. Jesus take the wheel! Dysfunction Junction!
      Who do I call with my easy solution?

  • Rant: its cold for real now

  • Rant: standard time. I hate getting off work when it is dark. I would much prefer having daylight savings time all year.
    Rave: fall foliage. DC is so beautiful right now.

  • Rave: No more Virginia political commercials after today. It’s bad enough DC residents don’t get congressional representation, but do we really have to suffer through Terry McAuliffe and Ken Cuccinelli ads?

  • Rant: My french press cracked last night! Thankfully I noticed it before adding the coffee.
    Rave: I McGyvered a substitute using an old coffeepot and a fine mesh strainer. The result is a little sediment-heavy, but will do until I can get a replacement.
    Rave: planning a European trip for next year. I’ve wanted to go forever, but the cost was overwhelming. My new friend announced that she wanted to go and wanted me to come with, so the plan has been slowly coming together.

    • Yeah, that whole cost thing is why I have hardly traveled in Europe. 2 weeks in India this year? Minus air fare, I spent 150 bucks, woo hoo (and no, I wasn’t completely roughing it).

      • I’m calling BS on your India rant. Yeah, the exchange rate is tremendously in our favor right now, but you’re still going to spend more than $150 for two weeks unless you’re completely roughing it or staying with people. Hotels there are outrageously expensive for some reason. Even if you’re staying with friends/relatives it’s culturally expected that you bring lots of gifts and leave them several hundred dollars as a token of appreciation.

        • SE Asia, on the other hand, has insanely cheap good hotels!

        • 500 rupees per night, private room and bath (but no AC). That’s 8 bucks. Very clean room. Slept in much worse places before in India. Average meal was 50-100 rupees (less than 2 bucks). My most expensive bus ride was less than 2 dollars. Call BS all you want, but those are the facts.

          Honestly, I was shocked. My first visit in India, in 2007, I spent more per day. The exchange rate has made it a lot cheaper. Also, maybe southern India might be more affordable? I don’t know. I also went in the low season (October) this time.

          • Hmm, maybe. I was in the Northern part, also during low season, but it was in 2010 when their economy was doing a bit better. The relatives I stayed with, who own a bunch of hotels, said all the hotels were super-luxurious ones that cost hundreds of dollars a night. Apparently normal people just arrange to stay with someone when traveling. Next time I’m hoping to ditch the relatives and explore the south! Glad to hear it’s so much cheaper (and I probably won’t be freezing all the time there).

          • I agree with this – granted I was there in 2007, but there are tons of hotels for $8-10 per night that are clean. We also stayed at places for $1.50, which were not so great. Anyway, hotels are definitely not expensive there, unless you are only staying in luxury hotels or western hotels (Sheraton, etc.). Just because you don’t stay there doesn’t mean you are roughing it.

        • It’s been a few years since I was on the subcontinent, but to echo others here, there are decent, no-frills hotels that can be booked for under $10/night. Essentially it’s the Indian equivalent of a US Red Roof Inn or Motel 6. It’s not that hard to visit India on a very low (by western standards) budget. I once spent a month in Kerala and Tamil Nadu for about $100, including hotels, veg meals, and train travel. That was 10 years ago, tho….

      • Plus if you can’t pass as Indian you have to pay the special non-resident admission rates to cultural sites like the Taj Mahal and Red Fort. So if you see 4 of these that’s already $100 right there.

        • (Not that I’d recommend the Taj Mahal, but there are other sites in India that are well worth visiting)

          • are you saying the Taj Mahal is not worth visiting?

          • I would disagree with Anonymous who implied it’s not worth visiting. There are some places that are worth putting up with some crowds and touristy-ness to see in person at least once. I found the Taj Mahal more impressive than I’d expected at a really fine scale (level of detail in inlays, etc.) and a broader scale (layout of the buildings and grounds) more than the middle scale that you see pictures of.

          • I agree with Anonymous, -a, -um. I went preparing to be underwhelmed, assuming that it had been over hyped. I was stunned. It’s magnificent, truly one of the wonders of the world.

          • The taj is worth that $25, or whatever it is these days. Two places I’ve been that matched the hype they’re given are the Taj and the Pyramids (which were scandalously cheap when I was there 10 years ago).

          • I guess it’s worth visiting just to say you visited it. Recall the most crowded event you’ve ever been to in DC (Obama inauguration, Rally to Restore Sanity) and you’ll have a sense of what a cluster the Taj Mahal is. To add to the excitement the mob is crawling with pickpockets and people relentlessly trying to sell you stuff. While that’s typical of anywhere in India, it’s especially bad there. You can’t even stop to take a picture without someone bugging you. On top of paying the higher admission non-residents are required to pay for a guide, but it’s impossible to hear the guy over all the noise. When I went we couldn’t get inside because the site closed in 5 hours and the line was so long that we wouldn’t have gotten in by then. The outside is breathtaking, of course, but it’s hard to see much over all the heads if you’re short.
            If you do go– go the night before, shell out for a hotel, and prepare to get in as soon as it opens. Hotels are crazy expensive in Agra but I really don’t think it’s worth the long grueling drive from Delhi to see the Taj mid-day. Especially since the country is full of other amazing Mughal architecture that is not crowded at all.

    • There are ways to make Europe cheaper though – go in the off season. I went to Dublin end of April and it was chilly and damp (but Ireland is always chilly and damp) but the hotel was radically cheaper and we were the only Americans in most of the pubs. Go where the locals go – in a non-English country, don’t go anywhere with menus in English, take public transportation, etc. If it makes you feel better, I was amazed at how cheap we ate (and ate extraordinarly well) in Italy just by going local places. The wine was only about 2 or 3 Euro a glass -even with the exchange rate, still so much cheaper than here!

      • +1 I’m pretty sure it’s impossible to get a bad meal in Italy!

        • Oh believe me you can! There are just as many bad restaurants there as here. Where shall we start, perhaps the airport. Get off the plane at Milan airport and try one of the lovely restaurants in the terminal. You’ll instantly be reminded of crap meals you’ve had right here in the US of A.

          • Hmm, I guess I’ve never tried the airport food, but everywhere I’ve been to (even at rest stops in the middle of nowhere) has had amazing amazing food.

          • On the subject of airport food and India, DO NOT eat food at an Indian airport. I’ve never been so sick in my life from a few bites of a paneer-filled pastry I had there. People always say to avoid street food, but I guess the airport vendors would be just as bad.

          • I had plenty of mediocre food in Italy. I had one great meal there and I was there for a week. Everyone says “I’m pretty sure it’s impossible to get a bad meal in Italy!” and this honestly baffles me. I’m sure it was my fault, which is why I’m baffled that everyone else seems to have eaten at or gone to entirely different places in Italy than I did.

      • We did Dublin for a long weekend in February a few years ago, and it was damp and rainy and so much fun! No tourists, so we had the museums to ourselves, and everyone we met was so friendly.

    • I can’t rave about Airbnb enough for Europe. I have done 2 trips over the past 2 years and stayed at airbnb places. They were lower cost and because most of them are apartments, you can save money on meals. I have found that you can do Europe for much less than it seems with good planning.

      • I will second that! I love AirBnB in Europe and the states. I stayed in central Paris, a 10 min walk due north of Notre Dame for $60/night US. Unfortunately that apartment isn’t on AirBnB anymore. Renting a room in a house/apartment is also a good way to meet locals and save money while traveling.

      • There is also couchsurfing (couchsurfing.org). Pretty easy to do in some parts of Europe.

    • Thanks guys, this is good info! We’re still hammering out the details, so your tips will really help. Thanks!

  • Rant: This cold has knocked me on my tuchus.
    Revel: Mucinex, The Price is Right and cuddling with the smitten kittens.

  • Rave: saying good morning to the kids and parents as they walk to school on our block (and I walk the dogs). i especially love it when the kids are shy but the parents insist “say good morning!” so cute and neighborhoody.
    Rave part 2: i just love our neighborhood. and our neighbors. swoon!

  • KSB

    Rave: Good day care. It’s so basic, but I’m reminded every now and again of how amazing it is to have great people care for my little ones in a safe, encouraging environment. Loving my village right now…

  • Rant: Cold weather. It came on so suddenly, and I have not adjusted.
    Rave: Wearing cozy cords and a sweater so I am comfortable and toasty in the office.
    Rave: Leaving work early today
    Rant: Leaving work early to visit the dentist.

  • Rant: DC is so stabby this past week

  • Revel: Weather was perfect for a fast run
    Revel: Lots of fellow runners returning waves and good mornings
    Revel: Clean apartment

  • Rave: Christmas decorations! They go up Nov. 1 at our house because 25 short days of decorations is just not enough.

    • Rant: Your decision

      • +1. I feel like 2+ months of holiday decorations and carols makes them a lot less special and meaningful and just turns it into background noise. In public spaces, I think there should be a moratorium on anything before December 1. But if holly and creches and green and red are your style, knock yourself out on your interior decorating.

        • Ok, I am very much against starting Christmas before Halloween even arrives, but it has been a family tradition ever since I can remember to decorate for Christmas the day after Thanksgiving. I typically don’t put the outdoor lights up till the following weekend though.

          • We have the same Black Friday Christmas decorating tradition!

          • +1 The Friday after Thanksgiving is the time to put up the tree and decorations. Putting up Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving is unacceptable. There are all kind of ‘Fall’ decorations you can put up if you just have to have decorations between Halloween and Thanksgiving.

          • I’ll give you the couple of days in November after Thanksgiving. But the day after Halloween? Too much! That’s almost 20% of the year if you leave them up until after New Years!!

      • epric002

        agree. xmas decorations before thanksgiving is way too soon. why not leave them up after the 25th if you want more time with them? i don’t usually take mine down til after new years.

      • Yeah, I was taking down my Halloween decorations and there were holiday commercials on TV in the background. That’s just not right.

    • I usually hate people like you, but then my heart warmed at the sight of the pho place near me all decked out with Christmas trees and lighting last night. I guess the cooler weather has me craving the holidays.

    • Bah! Humbug! on all the Scrooges.
      As long as you don’t pipe Christmas music onto the street or try to sell presents to passers-by, I say deck the motherfucking halls. Heck, leave the lights up all year — and not like I do, because you’re too lazy take them down.
      It will add a little odd zing to the block and cabbies will actually be able to find your house without driving one mile an hour for three blocks trying to make out your house number despite the fact that you’ve been repeating “at the end of the block, near the streetlight on your left and the fireplug” over again.

    • Rave: Being Jewish means no decorations, not having to buy a tree or any of that stuff. And Hanukkah is early this year!

      • I wish I was Jewish. The holidays and traditions are way cooler. No wasting money during “peak travel” times. The food is my favorite. Peking Duck on Christmas Eve kicks ham’s ass. Le sigh.

        • I’m with you on the food, but the holidays…?
          1. Our oil lasted longer than we thought it should!!
          2. Sure, you beat us in battle and dominated us, but, um, we like weren’t completely wiped of the earth – so yeah!
          3. Don’t eat for 25 hours – woooo!

          • LOL. Ok, so the history behind your holidays leave a bit to be desired. But I find the traditions and message behind them to be more interesting, thoughtful, and meaningful to our current lives than those explored by Easter and Christmas (some dude was miraculously born of a virgin woman, did some magic tricks, got ratted out by a snitch, was tortured for my sins, managed to roll away a big rock, and then flew into the sky to be with his absentee “Father” – um, thanks?!?!)

    • My favorite part of Christmas is the decorations so that sounds like an awesome tradition!

    • Four legs good…two legs bad…

    • Put your Christmas decorations whenever you want to. Do you! I wait until until Thanksgiving or Black Friday and I still don’t feel like it’s enough time. Unfortunately, I also get a live tree, so I don’t want it to be completely dead before Christmas.

  • Rave: Pretty new sweater dress
    Rave: Pretty new sweater dress now fits right. What do you know, this whole eat better, exercise more thing actually works.
    Rant: People who phone it in at work and expect me to be grateful for their bare minimum when I have to clean up after them.
    Rave: Working from home.

  • Rave: Huge meeting that starts this weekend for work and Mr. S is driving me there early bird Saturday, helping me with big material boxes, and picking me up when it’s over next week. What a gem.
    Revel: Finally got the heat adjusted in my office and it’s really nice and toasty. Just in time.

  • skj84

    Rant: Booked a hair modeling gig for cut and color. Had to rearrange my schedule for work for it. Then found out at he last minute they decided to cancel. So not only am I losing hours from work, but i’m going to have to find another way to get my hair done. I needed that cut and color! Really peeved.

    • Ugggh – Life can be so difficult at times! On a more serious note, try the Aveda institute. You can get a student to do your hair for $12. I guess you’re taking a little bit of a risk (hence the ridiculously low price), but the students genuinely care about how well of a cut they give.

      • I’ve never been to this Aveda, but the times I’ve gotten student cuts they’ve been really good because the student has to clear everything with the instructor and then the instructor kept an eye on them to make sure they didn’t do something irreversible and then at the end quickly stepped in to make sure it was cleaned up. But it was the slooooooooowest haircut I’d ever had. You might need to take 2 days off of work to fit it in. 🙂

        • Yeah, I wouldn’t recommend them if you’ve got thick or curly hair. (I’ve got both – yay) The instructor checks everything after the student does it, so it can take FOREVER.

          On another note – is there a cosmetology school around here where students do mani-pedis? I’d get really good dirt cheap ones at the adult learing complex in my hometown.

          • skj84

            I have used Aveda Institute in the past. They usually do a good job. My only problem with them is the services take longer than usual since it’s a student doing the job. Plus the last few times i’ve gone they have been way late on taking me. Once they even lost my reservation. But I’m super broke right now and need touch up so I may just go that option.

            Aveda offers Mani Pedis. Paul Mitchell’s Hair Expressions in Rockville does as well.

  • Rave: Important presentation at work went really well.
    Rant: Cold. I wish there was more of a transition. Oh well if this is my biggest rant life is pretty good!

  • Rant: The blind-with-rage girl on the 63 this morning that was raising such a ruckus that the driver kicked EVERY ONE ELSE off the bus because she wouldn’t stop screaming at him or get off the bus. Not sure what her problem was, but she sure didn’t have a problem sitting on the bus by herself when 50 people stood on the sidealk glaring at her.
    Rave: Fall colors make that kind of nuts easier to handle.

    • epric002

      she’s lucky all anyone did was glare at her. wtf, man!?

      • epric002

        also- so what happened? police? a new bus? BWR lady calmed down??? inquiring minds what to know!

        • She seemed to think the bus driver was racist – I have no idea what precipitated the screaming. After a few minutes the driver let everyone back on because it was going to take too long to resolve any other way. She continued to sit on the bus and refused to get off. I think he did the best he could under the circumstances – he was just trying to diffuse the situation.

    • Whoaa. Did you see what set her off? That really stinks!

    • Maybe the bus driver was trying to protect you from a crazy person?

    • Wow, that makes my morning sitting in front of the singing lady on the bus seem pleasant by comparison. This lady doesn’t seem crazy though, she’s just one of those people that SINGS. ALL. THE TIME. I don’t understand how people in their right mind don’t see that as rude.

      • There’s a woman at my office who hums in the bathroom. It’s very strange.

        • There’s another lady in my neighborhood who sings gospel loudly while grocery shopping. If she’s in the Safeway, I just leave. What is in the water down here?

          • Maybe not as crazy but still annoying are the people that sing along to the music during spin classes or jazzercise.

          • I actually like the people who belt out tunes while walking down my street (there are a surprising number of them!) and the guy that whistles while walking a pack of dogs around the neighborhood. Singing is a much better form of crazy than anger and aggression IMO!

      • I was listening to Howard Stern this morning and he said that Heidi Klum sings CONSTANTLY and it annoyed the shit out of him while he was a judge on X Factor with her. Apparently, she sings badly off-key every time they cut off the camera. Or if someone said a certain word, it would remind her of a song with that word in the lyrics and she would begin singing. Despite her hotness, she drove him crazy.
        One of the main reasons I broke up with an ex-girlfriend with whom I shared an apartment was that she was sing CONSTANTLY. I’d be trying to do work at home, read a book, napping on the couch, or watch a movie and she’d be singing all the time. It was friggin’ annoying! I knew I couldn’t stand it for the rest of my life had we gotten married. The singing had to stop!

      • houseintherear

        There’s a guy who lives somewhere around 1st and V who rides his bike to/from work and sings the really loudly the whole time. It’s quite cute, actually, IMHO. But he rides by my house in an alley, so he is about 2 feet from my windows/doors, and when the windows are open it’s shocking. It’s just a sudden “AAAAA” that lasts the two seconds it takes him to pass my house. It makes my dog so mad.

    • Not even close, but there was a girl on my 63 bus this morning that flipped off the bus driver for no apparent reason.

    • there used to be a rage-filled young woman who rode the 63 bus with her two kids. She would rant and rave at the bus driver – f bombs away at 8 AM. I always felt bad for her kids. I haven’t seen her in a while – I wonder if it’s the same person.

  • Rant/Whine: It’s SOOOO Cold!!!!! How old is TOO old to wear one of those Peruvian knitted hats with the pom poms — when you’re not Peruvian? I don’t want to become one of those ladies-of-a-certain-age that no one wants to sit next to on the bus because their clothing choices are just a little “off”.

    Rant/Rave: The first 20 – 30 minutes of exercising…. and realizing that people were NOT lying to me about getting an exercise rush if I hang in there long enough.

    • I think you should wear whatever you want, within reason. Also, mainstream adult stores are selling hats with pom poms, so you’re safe.

      Most importantly, it is my opinion that a winter hat is not a winter hat until it has a pom pom. Peruvian or otherwise.

    • Depends on the rest your outfit. If you can pull off the gracefully aging hippie girl look, you can wear it as long as you can keep from drooling on yourself in public. If you’re a standard DC preppie/yuppie casual (bulku sweaters, goose down. cords etc.), you can wear it until you look like you’re old enough to have kids who would choose to wear one (ie, old enough to dress themselves). If you’re in office garb, you can wear it until you look too old to be an intern.
      Or, just wear it anyway and enjoy the extra room on the S2. 😉

    • At least you have the option of wearing hats! My hair is too curly so it puffs out from under the hat and I really look like a crazy person. Fortunately it’s so insanely thick that my head is never cold.

    • If you have to ask, you know the answer.

    • In Chicago, you wore whatever kept you warm, fashion be damned. I’m just sayin’…

    • skj84

      As someone who owns and wears a Mowhat and fuzzy hat with koala ears at the age of 29 you are never too old for a fuzzy peruvian hat. Work it!

  • Rave: enjoyed my evening run on Monday with this perfect running weather.
    Rant: remind me again why we go back to standard time? I can’t leave work at 3pm just to get my run in before dark and it was especially creepy last night because of a new moon and the fact that so many street lights are not working or timed for daylight saving time.

    • +1000

      During my run, I almost got mugged by two teens hiding behind a tree, almost got hit by a wild Virginia driver who blew through a stop sign and tripped on an elevated part of the sidewalk. Last night was rough!

  • Rant: Bones 🙁 I’m now at home for a week with my foot elevated.
    Rave: Husband and I agree 2014 will be the Year of the Car. I can’t keep walking so much. Though I love walking, I’m happy we are working at an alternative.

  • Rave: Fall weather!
    Rave: Some progress with job interviews/possible offers . . . one last interview tomorrow.
    Rant: On edge waiting for final offers to come in!
    Rant: Senioritis at work while interviewing, and because my boss is crazy town as usual (today he threw away the pear I had in the office fridge, for no reason! I’d left it in the office fridge just overnight, and it was perfectly fresh. Grumble.)

    • I too am anxiously awaiting an offer. They schedule my interview as fast as possible because they are “eager to make a decision extremely quickly” then call all my references the very same day… and then sit on it. WTF mate, I’m dying here!

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