Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user bajidc

You can talk about whatever is on your mind โ€“ 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 peopleโ€™s grammar. This is a place to vent and/or celebrate things about daily life in DC.

117 Comment

  • Rave: looks like it will be warm enough around 6 to start my brick training today
    Rant: shortly after it will get so cold lol

    • Are you training for a GoRuck challenge? What date are you shooting for, if so?

      • No, not for anything in paticular

        but i am an avid cyclist (both train as well as use my bike to get around town…)
        while on a fishing trip down in the OBX a friend of mine had all of us running on the beach as he is an avid runner.
        i had always been afraid of going back to distance running because i tore my ACL some years and though the pounding would medd with me, it didnt at all

        so since nov i have been doing a bit of running asi enjoy it but didnt like less seat time
        read a bit about brick training and im all for it

        maybe after consistant training i will get into comps

    • What is brick training? Are you training bricks to do something, being trained by bricks to do something, or being trained to do something with bricks? Or training someone else to do something with bricks? I’m sure you were hoping someone would ask.

    • I think he’s referring to the bike then run training for a tri.

      • Ah, yeah, I think you’re right. I broke my own rule of checking google before asking what something is on a blog. Hopefully my hilarious permutations involving actual bricks somewhat made up for it, though I doubt it. Anyway, at this point I will just say that I dislike jargon.

  • It’s going to be cold, it’s Monday, and if anyone was out of the office, they will be back and bothering you today. Maybe its the caffeine talking, but I have a positive outlook today and we will all get through it.. Lets do this!

  • Rave: Polar Vortex – A couple cold days here in the US obviously means that the whole “Global Warming” thing was a hoax.

    • A feature of “global warming” is extreme weather conditions – extreme heat, extreme cold, abnormal amounts of rain over a short period of time, more powerful hurricanes and tornadoes, etc. “Global warming” as a term is a bit of a misnomer, as higher AVERAGE temperatures over the course of a year are only one facet of climate change.

      • I think Anon was being sarcastic

      • Not good with sarcasm, are ya?!

        • I know Anon was being sarcastic. I was just providing the normal retort I give to climate change skeptics ๐Ÿ˜€

          • Oh they are giving each other high fives on Drudge and other sites since a few days of cold weather and that ship stuck in the ice in the Antarctic during its SUMMER prove that global warming is a myth!

      • I was thinking that this morning. I wonder if global warming wouldn’t be as controversial a topic if it was called something else.

        • That’s why we’ve seen the increase in the use of the word “climate change.” It encompasses more deleterious effects occurring year-round that stem from rising average temperatures.

        • Climate change has been the preferred term in the scientific community since at least the late 1990s, when I was an environmental studies major, precisely for that reason. Media and anti-science types don’t seem to want to adopt it.

          • Yeah, I was wondering who the first person to use the term Global Warming was, and if we should go back in time and shut them up before it is uttered aloud.

  • Rant: Doldrums of winter begin today.
    Revel: I’m working at a place I love and believe in!
    Rant: Moved into the “friend zone” by the third guy in a row I’ve dated.
    Revel: All of the good friends I’ve made and kept since moving to DC nearly a decade ago!

  • Rave: Booked tickets for four days skiiing in Colorado with the kids.

    • Wish I was your kid. My parents seem to expect me to pay for my own vacations now that I’m closer to 40 than to 30. >:(

      • My kids are close to 20 than 30, so I don’t feel as though I’m spoiling them TOO bad. Besides, there’s no one I’d rather go skiing with, so it’s pay for them or end up having to ski with nobody but some girlfriend or something.
        I was disappointed a few years back when they started making me pay for my own trips home on holidays. I mean, what’s the point of having a decent career if you just have to spend all that extra money you’re making on your own responsibilities and stuff?

        • You, sir, are a true heathen. Give em some bread and a decent leather belt for when the bread runs out. That’ll teach em!

      • If you’re single, female (I feel like I know this but can’t remember) and attractive (and aren’t all of us PoP Tarts simply smashing?), we could discuss adoption. ๐Ÿ˜‰

        • Female and smokin’ hot. Only single when he leaves his stupid giant shoes in front of the door, though. ๐Ÿ˜‰
          But seriously, my parents paid for me to do fun stuff with them for way longer than they had to. They thought I should be doing things like, I dunno, getting an education, and then raising their grandkids all warm and fed. If there was nothing left over for family trips, they were all over that, bless ’em.

  • Prince Of Petworth

    @emilyjmo tweets us:

    “FYI: Congress dropped the max from $245 to $130 on pretax benefits for public transit. Happy 2014.”

  • Rave: New bike coming soon! I hadn’t heard about Public Bikes until a few people here posted about it. The timing was good because my bike needs expensive repairs (not worth it) and because Public Bike is (still) having a sale.
    Minor rant: Waiting for my bike to be shipped.

    • I have a Public C7 and I love it! I’m not a serious biker and it was actually my first bike since I was a kid, but it’s been perfect for what I use it for-commuting to work and getting other places in the city. I hope you’re as happy with yours as I’ve been with mine!

      • I’ll give an update once the bike arrives! It’s my 5th bike as an adult -the first (Raleigh) was stolen, then a Trek, Jamis, another Jamis when the first one was stolen. My sister discouraged me from getting this bike — she thinks it will be stolen (I wonder why she would think that!)

        • I look forward to the update and I have my fingers crossed that this one doesn’t get stolen.

        • How have you been locking your bikes? I do a U-lock through the rear tire via Sheldon Brown method and also have a wire chain through the front tire and then through the U-lock.

          • The first bike was stolen when our apartment was broken into. Second was stolen by cutting the cable lock (should’a had a U lock). Since then I’ve been using a U lock to lock the frame to (whatever); I was planning to add a cable for the wheels.

          • Don’t lock just the frame to the emplacement… do the rear wheel but in the section of the rear diamond of the frame. Makes it impossible to remove the rear wheel from teh frame with it locked that way. Then slip the cable around the front tire and hooked it into the U-Lock:


            Still need to have everything else on the bike secured… I remove anything that can be removed when I lock it up because I have had everything stolen of my bikes before: front light, rear light, storage bag, etc….

          • Thanks for the link – it makes sense to have the U lock secure the wheel and the frame. The photo on Shelton Brown’s page looks like the U lock is just going around the tire however.

          • Right, the lock is only going around the tire. But if it’s within that back triangle of the frame, you cannot remove the rear tire from the frame even if you take off the chain/derailleur and take the wheel off the hub because the U-lock will prevent the wheel from separating from the frame. So you don’t need to have the frame itself go through the U-lock at all. It is kinda weird to get your brain wrapped around the concept but once you actually do it, it makes total sense.

            Which color M8i did you get?

          • Thanks KKen! I’ve ordered the blue M8i – I saw both the orange & blue at the Bike Shop. The orange is VERY orange.

      • I got an M8i – I really like the mixte frame.

    • Awesome! My Public bike is set to be delivered on Weds. I plan on riding all through the weekend on it!

  • binntp

    Rant: Came home Friday to find the postal carrier had left the building key in the front door, and the little box next to the door where it’s normally locked up wide open.
    Rave: The building sits far enough back from the street so no one actually saw it and broke into/stole anything…or so I hope!

  • Rant: The woman at MumMum who loudly talked about having to “stoop down beneath herself and apply to work in food service”. Then went on to say how difficult it was to take her wealthy parents money….UHK
    Rave: I’ve miraculously managed to avoid the incredible influx of silver spoon brats

    • With you on the rant. Was at a party this week where people spent actual conversation time complaining about how lazy their maids/nannies were. Ugh.

      • Ha. That reminds me of a holiday dinner I went to last month. An old friend was ranting about how expensive her nanny was and turned to another friend and said, “Yeah, nannies make more money than you!” Uh, how do you know what that other friend makes? And who says that kind of thing??

        It got so bad that I decided I have no more interest in ever being around that person again.

      • If the nannies are legitimately lazy I can understand wanting to bring it up in the company of other parents to see if they have any advice. The parents are paying them a lot of money so they least they can do is uphold the terms of their contract, right?

  • Rant: I’m 32, I make decent money but decided to go back and get my MBA from GWU while working. I am half done, which is great and I am able to pay the tuition out of pocket, which makes me lucky, but what a pain in the butt money wise. Before I started, I could afford to do whatever I wanted, lots of vacations, buying what I wanted when I wanted it. This is costing me 2500 a month, every month for 30 months. I don’t make enough to be able to absorb another monthly cost like that and still live a life.

    It should be fine when I am done, and hopefully there is a big raise with another employer for me when it’s done.

    • I think a lot of higher education degrees obtained at DC universities are subsidized by employers, which inflates the price. My classes at GMU were $3000 apiece, and there’s no way I would have or could have paid that much, but since my company reimbursed me I figured I might as well.

    • At least you won’t have student debt like most of us here. Sure, it sucks in the short term, but it’s 30 months. Pretty short in the grand scheme of things. Better than years of student loan payments :).

      • No, in this case, it’s not. As someone who got an MBA at 32, I think you need to have some money for recruiting trips, a new suit/shoes, and to network with your peers. I think subsidized student debt, in a modest amount, would make sense for an MBA. You’d be expected to secure a substantial bump in salary, so do the NPV calculation and see if taking a loan gives you more working capital for this temporary phase.

        • Then the OP can take out a small loan for those expenses.
          I guarantee you that paying for the MBA while still working is a much cheaper option than taking loans for the whole amount. An MBA at GWU costs $100K for tuition alone. Then add in living expenses in DC. Paying that via loans will end up costing the OP over $200K once you factor in the interest expenses. Deferring payment always costs more in the long run.
          Carrying $100K in loans will run you about $700/month on a 20 year consolidation. I should know – that’s what I pay!

  • Rant: Finally decided that enough is enough, and will quit my job in 2014 whether I have a new one lined up or not. I recognize that is insanely risky in this job climate, but do not wish to spend another 12 months complaining and dreading coming in here every day just to have a paycheck.
    Rave: Supportive husband and friends who understand why I need to do this, and are willing to hang in there with me while I figure out what to do with my life.
    Rant: Scared to death!!

    • my husband is in this exact same position. he wants to leave his job so badly, but not sure what is next. watching how miserable this place has made him, i can say that the only thing scarier than him leaving his job is him STAYING at his job.
      Good luck to you. I hope you find tremendous relief in getting out.

      • Thanks so much etcetera. I guess at some point you have to decide to make a change rather than digging deeper in misery. Best of luck to your husband as well.

    • Good luck! My sister did this a few years ago and we were all really skeptical. She ended up with an amazing job at a fancy PR firm that she never would have otherwise gotten. Good things can happen; Happy 2014!

      • How would she have not gotten the job if she was still at her old one at the time?

        • I think the old job was sapping all her energy so she wouldn’t have put the effort into chasing after this new one. I know what it’s like to be exhausted at the end of an overtime work week and then thinking “gee, I have to apply for jobs now.”

          • Agreed–it’s definitely a risk to quit before you’ve got something lined up (I think I would be too terrified, personally) but I’ve known a few people whose jobs got so bad that they were in this bitter, demoralized funk that seeped out into the rest of their non-work life and impacted their ability to search for a new job. Specifically, they were not great at identifying job postings that might be a good fit for them, because their demoralizing experience at the current job had given them a skewed, dimmer view of their own skills and capabilities; and unfortunately some of their bitterness and negativity came out in interviews and networking conversations.

  • Rant: Worried about the homeless once this cold snap hits. Is the city doing anything special to keep those people warm?

    • The DC Hypothermia Hotline provides transportation to shelters and distributes items like blankets and gloves. If you see someone who might need to go to a shelter, you can call 1 (800) 535-7252.

  • Rave: finally getting it together for 2014. House cleaned, laundry done, cooked, worked out, and now ready for the work week. (after reading RRRR of course)
    Rant: one of my roommates gave her bf a key to our house, without asking our permission. I find this terribly offensive, but not sure if I’m being unreasonable bc I don’t really like the guy or if it’s a reasonable beef.

    • That’s a reasonable beef, and totally inappropriate behavior on your roommate’s part. You definitely should have a say in who gets a key to your house. Assuming you’re renting, is there anything in your lease about duplicating keys? And if he has a key to your house, is he going to start contributing to utilities and rent?

    • I don’t think you’re being unreasonable at all! It would be one thing if she gave him her to key to use one time to say, let her dog out when she couldn’t stop home that day. But, to give him his own key without asking you is really inconsiderate.

    • I lost a long-time friend from college who gave an apartment key to her b/f without asking me or my other roommate first and we never said anything. It festered and I unreasonably ended up taking it out on him. I regret being childish about it, and I should have said something to her about how much it bothered me that he was always coming and going as he pleased (he ended up staying 5 nights out of 7 and never contributed a dime or hour to household duties). Other things contributed to our friendship ending, but it was absolutely the worst year of my 20’s. It is absolutely reasonable to have a beef, so I’d suggest a friendly approach.

  • Rant: I almost fell down half a flight of tile and metal stairs at work.
    Rave: I somehow caught the handrail and help on with that and my back foot. I’m pretty unscathed.
    Rant: I am so impatient about decorating my new place. I’ve done a lot and it’s pretty put together, but things like paint colors are occupying most of my waking hours. I’ve somehow become even more addicted to Pinterest.

    • RANT: The hexagon tiles at the U Street metro station are uber-slippery whenever it’s been raining or snowing. It’s practically like walking on ice. I’m a young, fit person and I have trouble walking on them. How would a young child, elderly, or disable person fare with them? DESIGN FAIL.

      • I’ve eaten it at Metro Center before. It really hurt, and I’m relatively young and healthy. God forbid an older person or pregnant lady go down.

  • Raves: My workplace-bought space heater is making my office very toasty! While I was gone, my coworkers watered my plants : ) I had a really fun weekend!
    Rant: It is cold. Not as cold as other places, but still cold.

  • epric002

    rave: NYE wedding was awesome. why don’t more people get married on NYE?
    rant: tonight/tomorrow’s weather.
    rant: welcomed back to the office after 2ish weeks away with the same old BS. oy.

    • I always hear such mixed feeling about NYE weddings. I know some people hate them because they want to be free to be able to spend their holidays as they choose (not as if you can’t choose whether or not to go to a wedding, but you know what I mean). I personally think they’re a lot of fun! I didn’t go to one this year, but have gone to two in past years.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: Had to put my cat, Ashlee, to sleep today.
    Rave: I have a wonderful portrait of her thanks to Pabloraw. Thank you Pablo!

  • RANT: My coworker had to take her lovely dachshund into the ER for back issues. The dog couldn’t even standup or walk. ๐Ÿ™ The dog underwent emergency surgery to the tune of $8K! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ
    RANT: I want a dog, but there’s no way I could afford to deal with these issues. Gonna stay dog-less for the time being.

    • epric002

      while i’d certainly never encourage someone to own an animal if they can’t afford it, pet health insurance can be a wonderful thing. but as with people health insurance, you’ve got to do your research on what is covered.

      • I wouldn’t recommend it. Just have some money saved up.

      • I make $100K a year and $8K for an emergency surgery is still way too much for me and outside my budget. I asked her about pet insurance and she said policies won’t cover breed-specific congenital issues, such as this back issue (e.g. dachshunds are notorious for having bad backs and many have this surgery when they hit the 8-10 year mark; but her dog is only 5!). Between my rent, student loan payments, retirement savings, and my general expenses, $8K would be a massive cost outlay for me and decimate my savings account.
        I love dogs, but I don’t love them that much. They pretty much need to be your main hobby, if you’re going to get one.

        • That’s good advice. According to my Mint account I spend more on dog expenses than on anything else besides food and mortgage. And I’ve been lucky– my dog has not needed any major procedures yet, aside from $2500 eye surgery (had VPI at the time and they didn’t cover it). Pets are not cheap. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Rant: I applied for an internal transfer to a new position at my organization. They want to give me an offer but HR won’t let them until I’ve notified my boss that I’m exploring other opportunities. I talked to him today and he is laying a massive guilt trip on me, and asked what it would take to get me to stay. I’m just not sure there’s much he can do to fix the things that I’m unhappy with, but I am feeling really bad about leaving my projects. And even if he can pull a rabbit out of the hat and magically fix issues, I would feel really bad turning down the other opportunity. I realize that I am in a good position to be deciding between two jobs, but I hate feeling like I’m going to disappoint people no matter what I choose.

    • This is going to sound incredibly selfish, but you’ve got to do what’s best for YOU. Not your current boss. No one else. I say this because I was in a similar position, passed on a wonderful opportunity out of guilt, then things that were promised would be fixed/addressed never were, and I was the one that lost out.

      • Money talks, bullsh#t (aka promises) walks.
        Your boss will say anything right now to keep you. And then when it comes time to address these issues, s/he will hedge and pass the buck. You have all the power right now, but once you pass on the new job you’ll be powerless. Change is hard and your boss is going to take the path of least resistance.
        I’d take the new gig – your boss is probably already feeling butthurt about you interviewing elsewhere. If you decide to stay, your boss could undermine you and “punish” you for looking. Not a good situation, IMO.

        • Amen to all that. I’ve had many friends in similar situations–massive guilt trip, promises about all the grand plans the boss had for their position and was supposedly poised to implement, if ONLY they could wait just a little longer…blah blah blah. I had that situation myself, although much more benign, as it was without the guilt trip and I don’t think my boss was necessarily being insincere about his future plans for me–but what if, a few months down the line, he couldn’t make those plans happen because of roadblocks in HR, our department budget, or higher management? What if *he* ended up leaving the company and was replaced by someone who didn’t have the same loyalty to me, or didn’t know my work well enough to be motivated to move me ahead? (I did end up taking the new job, and it turned out my ex-boss did in fact leave the company a few months later.) As for the guilt trips–they suck, but be firm. Stay calm, rational, and professional but stick to your guns. If it helps, compose some “talking points” or a 1-3 sentence “mantra” that emphasizes that, after putting a lot of thought into the situation, you’ve come to the conclusion that this new position is the right direction for your career for X reason (or you don’t have to specify a reason); and that you’re committed to putting 110% into making it a smooth transition for your replacement. Repeat to boss as often as necessary. Good luck!

    • That sucks. Ultimately though, it’s your life, not theirs. Do what’s best for you.

    • I agree that you need to do what’s best for you. I was in that position as well. I had given it almost 4 years of effort with no pay off and I finally decided that I couldn’t wait for things to get fixed, for my coworkers to stop acting like they were all my boss, and to keep getting paid less than the admins who didn’t have college degrees no matter how much of a case I made for myself.
      Now it’s two years later and I have more autonomy, a better environment, and I make 25% more money. You’re in a unique position that you have insight into what your new position would be like. You know so much more about the people and the work than you would applying to a new organization. You should have most of the info you need to make the best decision for you. Bosses who wait until it’s too late will make a last ditch effort and if they keep you the effort won’t be sustained. If you take the new job just be prepared to take some crap in your department for the next two weeks, then start the job that’s better for you!

    • I am going to take the transfer unless he can make one thing happen – give me my own program area. It would be a massive promotion and he’ll probably laugh at me, but hey…won’t know if I don’t try, right?

  • RANT – had a hankerin’ for a visit to Wegman’s yesterday. Schlepped from DC out to Fairfax on that dreary day. Nice enough drive until the ride home (and spending $85 on stuff I probably didn’t desparately need). The car in front of me on I-66 was sorta weaving in and out of its lane. When I finally felt safe enough to pass, the driver was a woman who was hard at work TEXTING on her cell phone, going almost 60 mph. That pissed me off. I have a hands-free connection in my car and am now wondering if I should have called 911 for someone to get her off the road. Would I have had to follow the car to indicate where it was going and where it would be? I did have a passenger in the car. Maybe he should have snapped a picture of her texting away.

    • gotryit

      in my opinion: the passenger calls it in (911) while you keep a safe distance, and follow police instructions. It’s reckless driving, and puts people in danger – the texting is just part of the cause.

    • In these types of situations, I’ve actually pulled up next to the person, honked at them, and mouthed the words “STOP TEXTING” when they look at me. That usually gets their attention.

      • I actually did that but she didn’t even look up. I think having my passenger take a picture with a flash would have been kinda cool. Not that the picture would ever come out, but the driver wouldn’t know that.

    • That’s alarmingly normal for Fairfax County. Explains why the roads are clogged with accidents all the time.

  • Rant: Getting over a horrible cold that involved a bad cough, which caused me to lose my voice one day before a second job interview. I’m going to sound like a mouse with pneumonia!
    Rave: I have a second interview.
    Rant: I don’t know how to prepare for this, or if I’m supposed to do anything different than my first interview. What does one do at a second interview? Didn’t we already hash everything out the first time around? Confused…

    • Usually it’s the same interview but with a different group of people.

    • In my experience, secound interviews go into more depth about neefits/compensation. Be ready to talk salary requirements. Good Luck!

      • Gov’t job, salary is set for me, thank gosh! Don’t have to worry about all that hazy negotiation stuff.

        • Yeah, government 2nd round usually means higher management interview. 1st round you interviewed with your likely boss, this time it will be your boss’s boss (or higher).

          And yes, similar questions to the 1st round probably.

          • Good to know! I’ll just be my bubbly self and hope for the best, I suppose. Also that my lungs don’t freeze on my way there…

  • Rant: Food delivery. Why can’t more restaurants offer it? I’m willing to pay.

  • janie4

    Rant – My coworker’s mother died, and I have no idea what to say and what to do.
    Rave – have decided this is the year to turn my basement into a studio.
    Rant – worried about the debt and how to pick an architect – design build, or a separate contractor? I know nothing about construction, so not sure which way to go.
    Rave – have decided this is the year I start a twice a week exercise habit.

    • I always let them know I’m there if there’s anything I can help with work-wise. Easing the work burden seems to me like the kindest and most appropriate thing to do for a coworker.

  • Rant: Have to head out of the house and to the airport around 6:30am tomorrow, basically the coldest part of the day.
    Rave: It’s for a flight to FLORIDA…so, in your face, Coldmageddon!
    Middle-of-the-spectrum: Only for two days, and it’s a work trip…but it’s still a million degrees warmer, so no complaints about that!

    • Good luck getting on your flight. Thousands of cancellations today. I have two friends who are stuck in Miami until Wednesday and another friend who slept on a cot at O’Hare last night – he has been told he will be there until Wednesday. You’re lucky if your flight leaves tomorrow – the whole system is backed up.

      • I know someone who’s going to Chicago tomorrow, think he’s screwed?

        • Who knows? JetBlue announced that they are suspending all new flights out of NYC, Philly, and Boston until tomorrow afternoon in order to have time to move the people who are stranded. My friend’s flight 10am tomorrow morning JFK-Cancun is already canceled and JetBlue’s phone line is not even picking up. She can’t rebook.

      • To be clear, many of the cancellations this weekend were the result of winter storms this weekend in Chicago and elsewhere, not the cold. Planes fly in extreme cold every day at high altitudes. I boarded a flight this AM in the -11 Midwest and landed safely in 40 degree DC.

      • Yeah, so far it sounds like the flight will be ok. Since we don’t have snowy weather here, the main problem would be if too many planes were stuck at other airports impacted by the winter storms–but it’s Southwest and BWI, so they have a ton of planes there at the hub. I’m actually more worried about my Chicago-based colleague and her flight–she’s the lead on our work presentation and I’m just second-chairing, so if she gets stuck, I might have to take on 100%, and I am not nearly as well-versed in the material. Gak. But oh well, gotta make it work somehow!

  • Rant: Someone has been using the small park at 10th and L NW, near my apartment, as their own personal self-storage. A large pile of heavy duty garbage bags filled with things has been hanging out there for around six _months_, despite my multiple recent calls to DC government agencies asking for their removal. The pile has been growing and now stands at at least ten over-sized bags. It’s clear that the bags have personal belongings in them, not garbage.
    The upside? The owner of these things should have plenty to use for warmth tonight.
    Questions: Does anyone know the right agencies/organizations to call for this? And by “this” I don’t just mean removal of the bags, but also some help for the person who should really have a better place for his or her things than a public park.

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