Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user wolfkann

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.

103 Comment

  • gotryit

    Rave: first radiator installed fairly smoothly.
    Rant: that probably jinxed me for the next eight.

    • demand pics when they’re all in. really interested in seeing how your rads turn out.

      • gotryit

        Sure – but I will rant about flickr, LOLing, and kids on my lawn while trying to figure out how to post them here.

        • Just use http://imgur.com/
          No need to register or anything like that. If you’re tech savvy enough to post on PoP’ville, you can figure out how to upload an album to Imgur and share the link here.

      • How much are these radiators worth? We got rid of ours during the current Reno, but told our contractor (and included in our contract) that we would hold onto them to re-gift to people on POPVille as needed. I think he tossed them though.

        Congrats on the successful install, and good luck with the rest!

        • gotryit

          It’s been a while since I’ve looked at reusing, but I think that in poor surface condition they’re worth about $50-$100 for a basic one up to a few hundred refinished / good condition.

          I think that community forklift takes them also as donations – that’s a great place to buy one.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: Insomnia
    Rave: My sister is awesome and hilarious.

  • PSA: Cyclists, PLEASE get some lights (front and back) for your bike, especially now that the days are so short. Even though you may not need a light to see where you are going, the drivers and pedestrians need you to have one so they can see you.
    Ride safe!

    • Agreed, I’m a cyclist and it amazes me the number of people that run without lights after dark. They’re all of $8 off of ebay.

    • gotryit

      Agreed – also as a cyclist. While the car headlights / reflectors cover many situations, consider when a driver passes you and wants to merge. Looking in the rearview / side mirrors shows nothing unless you have front (white) lights too.

      • Exactly! I am a cyclist and so perhaps more aware than many drivers, and yet last night I very nearly doored a cyclist *even after* checking my mirror and looking over my shoulder before opening the door. Earlier I was walking and cut off a cyclist in a crosswalk, she had the right of way but I had no way to know she was coming. In both cases it would have been my fault if anything had happened, but in truth, it would have been the cyclist’s fault, too. But I don’t want to assign blame, I want to prevent anything from happening in the first place!
        I’d also suggest cyclists and runners wear a reflective vest and some bright colors. Even during the day.

        • You would not be at fault as it’s required to have front and rear lights in DC.

          That’s one thing I have to do is upgrade my riding attire to be more visible. That I’m guilty of but to be fair, this is my first winter I’m riding through… I’m correcting that this weekend.

          • in dc, you do have to have a front light, but having only a rear reflector and no light is legal (which strikes me as crazy — i have lights on front and back).

        • Yes please to cyclists and runners wearing reflective gear! I drive to the gym around 5:15 each morning and it’s always an unpleasant surprise when a cyclist or runner wearing the darkest clothing imaginable crosses my path. I try to stay extra alert, given how dark it is, but there are times when you don’t see people until you’re right there with them.

    • +19238723947823

      I am also a biker, so I understand why bikers feel like they have enough light in this city that they don’t need a headlight. That said, those lights aren’t for the cyclist!!! I mean, they are, in the sense that they will help to keep you alive, but the point is to make you visible to cars, not illuminate your path. Bikes without lights are nearly invisible in side/rear view mirrors. I would strongly support DC law requiring bikes to have front and rear lights.

      • No need to support a law because one’s already in the books. If you ride after dark, you must have front and rear lights.

    • Don’t be afraid to let these people know how invisible they are. I almost always yell out at a cyclist when I see them riding at night with no lights on.

  • pablo .raw

    Rave: Elections
    Rant: Co-workers talking about the elections, in a VERY LOUD WAY!!
    Rave: Inherited a blog. An awesome blog. It takes some work to maintain, but it will make me take more photos.

  • Rant: 7AM meetings are the worst. 7AM meetings that I have to set up for are the worst of the worst
    Rave: going home at 2 to make up for it
    Rant/Rave: Of course this happens on a day when I have happy hour plans and a friend crashing. I’m hoping I’ll still be up for it, but I’m not sure I’m going to be able to rally.

    • What about doing something fun in the downtime? Museum, movie, etc? It’s not work, but you’ll be off your couch and won’t have to force yourself to rally.

      • Maybe. I could use a gym visit, but it will depend on how I feel. I’m only running on a few hours of sleep, so I may need a nap to be any good tonight. I don’t want to make my guest uncomfortable by passing out the second we get home!

  • Rant / Rave – Average sales price for a home in DC
    Rave – Walter Reed development moving forward

    Question – Is the new Walter Reed development already priced into the homes surrounding the site? I have always liked that area.

    • Is there info online somewhere about what the development will entail? My child will be going to DCI in a few years, so I’m interested to know what else will be near his school.

    • I would say yes. These houses are already expensive, and people selling/buying here are aware that WR is one of the next parcels that will be seeing serious work.

      With that said, I am not convinced that the Streetcar is priced in yet, so there is likely still some room to grow in the non-metro accessible areas of Brightwood Park and Brightwood.

  • Rant: I’m about to be laid off.
    Rave: The trees are lovely.

  • msmaryedith

    Rant: My landlord has been entering my apartment repeatedly without permission or warning, and even did demolition/construction without alerting us! He is planning to put the house on the market, but only informed us of this after said alteration to our living space. He moved our things, damaged things, locked us out of part of our space temporarily, terrified my cats (and shut their litter box in a half bath so they couldn’t access it). Then his realtor asked us if he could take photographs today and have an open house Saturday. Um, NO. I really don’t understand how first right of refusal/TOPA work. I had left a voicemail at the Office of the Tenant Advocate last week, and then again yesterday. Apparently they did not receive them, but I emailed yesterday and got a reply saying an attorney skilled in TOPA would be following up with me. I am starting to stress out so much about this whole thing and feel uncomfortable in my living space, but also have not seen much on Craigslist or here that is anywhere near my price range. Ugh.

    • That’s horrible. Are you able to change your locks while you get this sorted out?

      • msmaryedith

        I don’t know. I’m trying to get some answers from the OTA before I do anything since I don’t want to be accused of obstructing the sale or something. But it has been horrible enough that I think both of us just want OUT. We are month to month now, but given that he didn’t even tell us about the sale until last Friday (after he had ripped out our closet/moved everything we had stored in there), this is all really new and we are scrambling to figure out what to do next/what our rights are.

        • Perhaps call MPD and report a break-in?

        • These are all major violations of landlord/tenant laws in DC. You should NOT be nervous about “obstructing the sale.” Really you could probably walk away from this with a good chunk of money (as pabloraw pointed out below). You DO NOT have to vacate the property and your landlord has no right to tell you to unless he gives you sufficient notice (which in DC is 90 days). Clearly that did not happen.
          That said, has this landlord been difficult in the past? Did he tell you why he was all of a sudden rushing to list his property? Perhaps he is in some sort of trouble. If that’s the case, there’s nothing you can do, but he has to respect your rights. As of now he is behaving ludicrously.

          • msmaryedith

            He has been… shady. We have a pretty cheap rent, and it’s a relatively nice place in a good location, so we overlooked a lot of that since it didn’t really affect us all that much. He did things like claim that his “email was down” when we wrote to him repeatedly asking for things to be fixed. Took more than a week to fix our AC when it went out this summer. Would give us phone numbers that didn’t work. The only phone number that did work was the house phone (when he was living in the unit below us). but he moved out with out notifying us sometime over the last few weeks (I’ve been traveling a lot), and we had no way to contact him since he didn’t give us a forwarding address, a working email address, and the phone was a residential one for a unit he no longer occupied. I suspect that he has some financial difficulty, but he had talked about putting it on the market about a year and a half ago, then decided to put it off until the market was better. So he had mentioned it in passing a couple of times since then, but we had not been given a timeline or notified that there would be any construction or anything like that. He is behaving ludicrously, indeed. It’s just so uncomfortable at this point that I’m not sure I want to be there for 90 days, even though there is not much available on the rental market right now.

          • Yeah, it sounds like this is really a no-win situation. Even though you have the right to stay there, it can get very uncomfortable. If your landlord is indeed having financial difficulties, and you go after him it will most likely prove fruitless unless the bank that holds the mortgage is willing to write it off (ie the house is about to default and they just want to get their money as quickly as possible to prevent that).
            I definitely advise paying a visit to the OTA, not waiting for them to call you. They can advise you on what is the best course to follow. In the meantime, start really searching because either way you will need to find a new place to live whether it’s now or in 3 months.

        • There’s a bunch of major violations he committed. He also must offer you first refusal on buying the property and you’re given many months to make up your mind. Get your butt to the Tenant Advocate’s Office ASAP. Don’t wait for them to “get back to you”, as their resources are stretched thin.
          Additionally, a housing inspector should be sent to your place. I’m doubting that your landlord even has permits for the work that he’s done.

          • msmaryedith

            Thanks, Anonymous at 11:58. I actually just called the Illegal Construction Unit office and he confirmed that the landlord would have needed permits for the work he was doing (which I am sure he did not), and said he would send an inspector out.

      • I’m pretty sure the tenant is not allowed to change the locks — I know when I was adapting a lease to use for a rental, there was language already in there saying that the tenant can’t change the locks.
        I realize that the landlord probably (depending on the wording that’s in your lease) isn’t abiding by the terms of the lease as far as entering the premises, but I don’t think it’s a good idea to up the ante by deliberately violating the lease.
        If at this point you just want to get out, I’d focus on searching for a new place. It’s also a good idea to check with OTA as to your rights, but I’d make that a secondary priority.

    • pablo .raw

      My former (group house) house mates negotiated on a similar situation, they were basically treated intimidated in the same way you are; they wanted to ask for around $2000 for giving up their rights and I asked them to not do it but negotiate. It was 6 of them, and they left with around $8000 each.

    • Doesn’t your lease have a “reasonable prior notice” stipulation? If so, send the landlord a letter on letterhead requesting that he comply with the lease when accessing your property. At least you can be home while workers are there, if you know it’s happening.
      If it doesn’t have it… make sure it’s on your next lease.

      • msmaryedith

        It is in the lease, and we reminded him of that. He wrote an apology letter and put it in our mailbox, but then he did it again. He acknowledged in the letter that he had violated the terms of our lease and apologized. Then entered my roommate’s bedroom on a day when he had said that he was going to only be in what WAS the basement apartment (but is now connected to our own).

      • Whether it’s in the lease or not, it violates DC law. You have the right to “quiet enjoyment” of the premises, which doesn’t refer to sound levels, but refers to your right to full use of the property for as long as you’re a tenant. That means no excessive visits from the landlord, and definitely no unannounced ones unless there’s an emergency.

  • Rant: the puppy is back! and pooping/peeing everywhere and being stubborn. He’s usually good with the bathroom stuff. My friend isn’t using the pads anymore but…well…time to go get some b/c the pup is not ready for prime time just yet.
    Rave: HQ Gaga and M.I.A. leaks this weekend (will def. by the album when they drop). Also James Blake is x10 better in concert.

  • Rant – Spent an absurd amount of money to travel home for Thanksgiving. It’s my fault for waiting until last minute to buy the tickets, but dang, holiday travel on Amtrak is ridiculously expensive.

    Rave – Not having to drive through holiday traffic this year.

    • RAVE: I’m skipping going home to California to see my family for Xmas. Instead, I’m taking off the week of MLK day in January, as I have the Monday holiday and then AWS for Friday. I’m getting 9 days in California and using only 3 annual leave days. Plus, my flight ticket is only $275 (half the price of Christmas flights). I’m over the holidays – they are a massive money suck.

      • Yeah, I’m totally over holiday travel. It blows. I’m very tempted to do something like this next year. Or tell the family to come to DC and visit me instead!

        • My sister is moving back in with my Mom, so she’ll be there to keep her company. If my sister wasn’t there, I’d feel more pressed to be in California. That said, my mom is busy with work for most of Xmas week and through NYE (she works in the hospitality industry). Dad is at his condo with his new wife (and my grandma lives 0.5 mile away from him), so he could care less if I’m there or not.
          I’m also really busy with a few deadlines for big projects in December and early January, so this makes more sense. No one will be in the office to bother me, no meetings scheduled, and my bosses are actually really happy that I’m around to “provide cover” in case things go crazy. Everyone is winning!

        • If we’re flying, we generally fly on Christmas Day since the airports are empty, air fares are cheap and sitting around someone’s house all day — even my own — gets pretty darn boring given that it’s such a pain to build consensus around decent TV programming and even I can’t drink for 14 hours straight.

      • This is actually a really good idea. I didn’t visit my relatives in New York last year for either Thanksgiving or Christmas, and I’m not this year either (last year was the first time in 11 years I hadn’t traveled and I loved it so much I’m doing it again this year). At this point I haven’t seen them in two years so I’m starting to feel guilty and need to plan a non-holiday trip.

        • If you don’t have kids (and thus don’t have to worry about school schedules), then it’s worth it to be flexible and travel a few weeks later. Between day visits to all my relatives and then seeing my friends in the evening, I can definitely keep myself busy for a week.
          I’m bringing my wetsuit with me so hopefully I can get in some surf time, as well πŸ˜€

  • Rant: Desperately need a career counselor recommendation for a total career change. I hate my job so much and it’s been making my life miserable for far too long. The shutdown was the longest amount of time off I’ve had off since before I started it. and I still don’t know how I’m going to cope with being back.

  • Rave: Planning a fun event for work next week. Really enjoying myself here.
    Rant: Got yelled at during my co-op’s board elections last night by one of the candidates for a procedural item he disagreed with. The man was being ridiculous and it was embarrassing. Glad he lost.
    Rave: Beautiful foliage right outside my kitchen window. Makes washing dishes a pleasant experience.

  • Rave: We picked up our new rescue puppy last night! Well, not really a puppy – she’s about a year old.
    Rant: Her foster said she is pretty well house trained, but she had an accident inside yesterday right after we returned from a long walk outside. She seemed too nervous and/or distracted to go outside, but clearly had to go as she went as soon as we came in. Any tips on how to make her more comfortable going outside?

    • This happened when I brought my 1-year-old rescue home from the shelter. I brought lots of tasty treats with me and kept walking and praising her every time she stopped to sniff/seemed like she might go. I didn’t go back in till she went, and then she got lots of praise, treats and pets. I think it took me around a week to have her fully house-trained, but of course this will vary with the individual dog. Just be patient, and remember it’s a huge transition for a pup- they are learning boundaries as are you!

    • Happened to our young rescue on her first night, too! Be extra alert of her water intake (note the time when she drinks a lot and be sure to take her out within the hour) and take her outside whenever you think she might possibly, even a little bit have to go. With one exception (also due to stress – not first night jitters, but contractors banging around in another part of the house), so accidents since then. She now understands that that the house is not a bathroom and we know what her body language is when she has to pee.

    • I was looking at fosters all day yesterday and my heart melted. Congrats on your new dog. I’m making the leap as soon as I have a place that has a little more room for a dog to romp.

    • homerule

      Congrats! I just replied up thread– try some poochie bells : )

    • houseintherear

      Have a bag of treats near the door that are for outside-pottying only. Something extra special like hot dog pieces, ground meat, cheese stick pieces, or cooked bacon. Don’t use those treats for any other training or anywhere else except for rewarding outside pottying. And make a big stinking deal out of doing business outside- happy voice (not loud, if they’re timid), smiling, lots of petting. Good luck πŸ™‚

      • houseintherear

        And remember that it takes a lot of time, as in waiting time on your part, especially the first few days. You have to wait for the desired behavior, and as soon as it happen reward the hell out of it.

      • A super-special toy – like an old towel for tugging – that is only for going outside can also be a motivator. Especially if the dog came from a rural shelter, like many that come here with the private rescue groups, may also be simply overwhelmed by the city noises, cars, trucks etc. It took mine a good year and she still doesn’t really like walking around in the city.

    • Thanks everyone!

    • epric002

      congrats! what kind of dog? and like everyone else said- treats! give a high-value treat/tons of praise *every* time she does her business outside. and give her copious opportunities to go outside. perhaps find a quiet block/park to take her too if she seems overwhelmed/distracted. and carrying treats on walks will be very valuable if you decide you want/need to teach her to stop/sit at intersections, distract her from other dogs/people/bicycles/baby carriages/whatever, to not pull, etc. good luck!

  • Rave: That photo. That is all.

  • Question: Anyone know what’s happening at Capital City Subs at 751 8th Street SE? Last time I didn’t bring my lunch (about a month ago) I wanted to try their bibimbap but it was closed at 12:30pm. Yesterday I noticed the windows are all covered in paper. Is it closed for good?

    • More SE questions: What’s going on with that horrible Today’s Pizza storefront (looks like it’s finally being fixed up) and the former Art Village on North Carolina Ave around the corner from Port City Java (after sitting on the market forever it’s being fixed up with some new paint, but the colors are peculiar enough (pinks and mauves) that I don’t think it’s being done to attract buyers).

  • Rant: My new boss. I spend my day creating different views of the same status report over and over instead of doing something helpful like fixing issues.

    • I had a boss like that. I would spend literally hours going back and forth. “Please put a line under the “total” column”. “Please add a column to show percentages.” “Please add a tab to show last year’s numbers.” Nevermind that we’d been using the same template for years. That’s fine– I don’t need everything to stay the same. Just maybe make all your changes in ONE email?? Pretty please?
      I have a better boss now. πŸ˜€

  • Rave: Lovely catch up phone call with my best friend last night
    Rave: Excited to go hiking in Virginia during my upcoming long weekend
    Rave: Work is busy.

  • Rave: Nasty cold is clearing up and feeling SO much better
    Rave: It’s a gorgeous day outside and I have my health (see above) and wonderful people around me
    Rant: Another date and another guy from whom I never hear again
    All things considered I should feel pretty grateful I think…

  • Rant: Around 7:20 last night I was talking by the dog park on S and 17th and witnessed just an awful dog attack. It looked like two little beagles or the like–hounds, maybe, of some sort. One of them just brutally went after the other. it didn’t let up, and it was so awful hearing the screams and crying, from the dogs and the humans. I am just wondering if anyone else saw how this ended up? It totally shook me up.

    • Ugh awful. That is one of many reasons I am very anti-dog park. Many owners are clueless and bring dogs that just shouldn’t be there. That’s when incidents like that happen. I hope The pups are ok…

  • Rave: 3 day weekend.
    Rave: Taking a short trip to hike and hang out in VA.

    Question: I’m staying in downtown Roanoke. It looks like on Google that there are couple of cute restaurants in that area. Does anyone have any recommendations?

    Rant: None today

  • justinbc

    Rave: Washington Post reports that Whole Foods confirmed signed lease on the 600 block of H St NE (this is the Apollo project I believe). Hell yes for more grocery options (in 2016, but I’ll take it) and a soon to explode property value.

    • The gentrification of H Street is at last complete!

    • Ah yes, I will second that rave. The new Whole Foods will be one block from my house and I couldn’t be more excited!

    • We will now see flocks of gentrifiers actually shop at Murray’s just to say they did before it gets razed LOL.

      • Well if they are in the market for moldy bread, rotting produce and Tasty Cakes, then they’re in luck!
        Frankly I’m surprised Giant hasn’t killed Murray’s off sooner. Granted, the Giant is still less than a year old, but c’mon!

      • justinbc

        I doubt it, but I have a feeling those people doing the pop-up across the street are feeling rather vindicated right about now.

        • Are you talking about the one on 6th and K? Those people have owned the house for years and it has just sat there, empty. I think they’re renovating it with the plans to move in and use it as their primary residence. But yes, I’m sure they’re very happy, as am I since we’re just about to gut our kitchen!

  • Rant: Burglar is hitting our alley in Petworth. Broke into same house twice in last week. During the morning/daytime. Wish we could catch these thieves red handed! Time for some alley video or a rent-a-cop!

    • gotryit

      Yes – video is great! Especially if a few people have them at different angles to get a good overall view of their actions as well as close-in pictures.

  • Question:
    My cat walked across my laptop keyboard yesterday while I was on Gmail, and somehow changed the settings so that the messages are now in a teeny-tiny font size. How do I fix this?
    (I know I posted about this once before — maybe anonymously — several months ago and someone provided the answer, but I can’t remember what the magic fix was. My Google-fu is failing me and I can’t find the original post.)

  • Rant: My intern is the worst! He doesn’t meet deadlines, he can’t even keep appointments straight on a calendar and this guy is 30+ years old! Seriously, how did he even get into grad school?!

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