Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user ekelly80

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.

140 Comment

  • Rant: I know its cold outside, but I really don’t need my office heated to 75°.

  • Rant: Can someone please explain to me why people think its okay to just not respond? I seriously have trouble understanding why it is impossible for some humans to just stay “Oh, I’m sorry I’m not interested” OR lie to me and say “I’m really busy right now, maybe some other time.” That’s clearly rejection, everybody knows that. I could see how being on the phone with someone or in person could make this exchange much harder (though not impossible) but there is no excuse for not responding if the conversation happens over text. I mean, come on.

    Rave: In 10 days I go on vacation for a week to spend a few days with my best friend who’s going through a hard time and then to see my sister and celebrate her engagement with our family. Even though I love this city, I’m really excited to escape it and it’s responsibilities (and perhaps even the dating) for a little bit.

    • Re: Rant – I don’t respond to some people because I know that won’t be the end of it. If I say I’m not interested, I mean it and I don’t want a follow-up conversation where you try to convince me I should be interested and I re-iterate that I’m actually not and I won’t change my mind no matter how long this conversation goes on. With some people I know I’m basically just going to have to stop responding at some point, and that point may as well be at the very start to save us all some time. I don’t know if this applies to your situation.

    • I’m guilty of this in large group emails/texts when my attendance doesn’t matter (e.g., getting together for a movie). One-on-one or if numbers matter, I’m better at responding. But your friends aren’t going to change so I think you have a couple options–learn to let it roll off your back (easier said than done, I know) or let go of this friendship.

    • I was once dating someone for a couple of weeks who stopped returning phone calls or emails completely with no explanation. I took the hint but about 2 months later, as a joke, I sent her an email saying that I had been doing a lot of thinking lately and that it was not her, it was me, but that I thought we should see other people. She did not respond but the best part was that I later heard from one of her friends that she thought my email was serious.

      • Classic! If she didn’t get the joke she must have thought you were a total nutjob.

      • She probably got back together with an ex. That’s usually the reason for “drop off the face of the earth without explanation”.

        • Or they are cheating on you with a 20 year old…just sayin’. Some people are awful.

          Relationship-wise Im fully in the camp if you are mature enough to “know” someone in the biblical sense than you should be mature enough to break up.

          Friendship-wise I can get a bit flakey and I am geniunely working on being better. So from someone who doesn’t respond…sorry! Im working on being better!

          • How are you “cheating” on someone when you’ve been seeing them for only a few weeks? The OP makes it sound like they were casually dating, not BF-GF.
            I’m the exact opposite of you. I always treat my friends waaaaaaaaaaay better than I treat a random lay. If we got Biblical once, I don’t owe you much of anything. Random hookups come and go, but friends are there for you all the time.

          • @ Anon 1:04 – Well I wasn’t specifically referring to dating someone for just a few weeks. I was refering to a personal anecdote of someone that “dropped of the face of the earth” without any explanation.

            I was also not refering to a “random lay”…I said relationship-wise as in you are in a relationship with someone. I just was offering an opinion of mine (clearly not yours, which is fine) that if you are mature enough to sleep with someone you should be mature enough to tell them you don’t want to continue dating/sleeping/or whatever with them.

            I also was not equating a “random lay” with how I treat my friends either…I was again offering a personal example that sometimes I am a little flakey when it comes to big outings with a lot of people…I may or may not respond to invitations like that. My friends are my family…they know the way I work and know that sometimes I get more introverted than others. Its something that I want to work on…something to make me a better friend.

  • Rave: Public bike showed up a day early and it’s out for delivery right now!
    Rant: Again with the pancake photos…. so want some now.
    Rave: At least we’re not in Chiberia!

  • Rant: I entered Columbia Heights station just before 8:45 this morning. After I went through the fare gate, a woman a few steps ahead of me dropped a tablet (out of her bag, I think). I picked it up and tried to run after her and yell out for her. A train had just arrived and between the noise and the crowd at the station, I could not catch her before she darted down the platform and got on to the departing train. I went back upstairs and turned in the tablet to the station manager. It has a really unique, handmade, personalized cover so it should be readily identifiable to its owner. I know it is a longshot but I hope the owner reads Popville. If so, check with the station manager at Columbia Heights. Hopefully, the owner will be reunited with her tablet and I can turn this into a rave!

    • Kudos to you. I’d like to have more faith in humanity but I don’t see that tablet going back to the owner.

      • I’ve heard enough (first- and second-hand) success stories about Metro Lost&Found that I would say there’s a pretty good chance it does.

        • Metro Lost & Found is awesome and incredibly efficient. Both my sister and I got our cameras — DSLRs — back… And no need to discuss our propensity to abandon gadgets on public transport. We can’t help it. It’s genetic.

  • Rant: Frozen pipes. Trying to wait patiently for a thaw, but I’m worried and helpless.

    • Ain’t gonna thaw today – probably need to take action to fix.

    • If you have a blowdryer, use that on the pipes. Use low heat if that is an option.

    • gotryit

      There are things that you can do, if it’s still early. Just because it froze does not mean that the pipe is burst yet. If you can get access to the frozen part and thaw it (like with a hairdrier), you may avoid the worst of it.
      But you should also be prepared when it does thaw that you may have a burst pipe that starts gushing – then you need to cap off. Know where your shutoff valves are. If you’re somewhat handy, a sharkbite fitting can be a lifesaver.

    • How does one know if one’s pipes are frozen? As long as the faucets, etc. are still working, does that mean everything’s OK?

      • Yeah, by “frozen pipe” we really mean “frozen water in the frozen pipe”. If the water is running then you’re OK; but note that if the pipe itself is below freezing then the water in the pipe may not be far behind.

        • If you are worried about a pipe freezing you can leave the faucet furthest down the line open just a little so it is dripping. As long as there is water moving through the pipe it won’t freeze solid. Most people will only have an issue with outside spigots, though, and it isn’t always practical to leave them dripping depending on how they will drain outside. We just had to shut off water to a downstairs bathroom completely because the pipe leading to our garden spigot on the same line froze INSIDE of where we have the shut off valve. Yikes. Project for next week: install a shut off valve even further up the line!

    • Mine too. I pondered leaving a little drip in the bathroom just off the kitchen, but instead left a portable heater by the wall. So I’ve shut off the valve from the main to the sink and left the faucet on in hopes the sun warms it. If the pipe bursts, it will probably damage my wall, but will ultimately drip outside.

      RAVE: GO FSU! What a game. too bad I left Lou’s with only a minute or so left and missed the actual win.

  • Ok this is cold snap is clearly overhyped. Feel for the homeless, but really it’s not that bad.

    • Especially not if you’re dressed right for it. I thought the cold air was kind of refreshing this morning.

    • So I took it you went out for a morning jog? Had a nice brisk morning walk?

      Or are from an area that is used to this?

      I was fine for the first 10 minutes. After that I was definitely ready to get back inside.

      • I’m looking forward to my jog this evening. This cold weather is refreshing, and if you dress appropriately, you’re not in any danger.

        • Quite right. Plus when you’re running you’re generating a lot more heat than when you’re walking or standing.

          • I’d rather have to get warm in weather like this, than try and cool off during a run in 95+ temps in the summer…

      • @ anonymous 1037a : yes, walked about 2 miles to work. And no, I’m not from a place that is used to this. Actually I remember when I came here for school back in the day, January and February being bone chilling cold in DC…

    • My tankless water heater froze and I couldn’t take a shower this morning. This cold snap sucks.

    • it was definitely -10 this morning at 7am. I wore ski pants over my regular pants in addition to 2 scarves and hats. it was well worth it. when I got into the office I wasnt overly hot.

  • binntp

    Rave: Mmm…pancakes!
    Rant: I’m not eating them
    Rave: I would have a serious bellyache if I ate that many pancakes!

  • I’m very susceptible to outside influence – an earlier pancake photo made me crave pancakes so I made them, and the few that were leftover went into the freezer. This mornings photo reminded me that I had pancakes in the freezer.

    So rave: Blueberry pancakes for breakfast : )

  • While miserable, the cold was not nearly as bad as I expected this morning. Of course, I’ve got to walk up a pretty steep hill to the Metro, so that may have helped.

    Rant: Metro. I suppose it’s been awhile since we had issues, so we were overdue. I appreciate that it’s literally freezing out, but cranking the heat on the trains when everyone is packed in like sardines in their parkas was not pleasant. And dude with the giant backpack smacking people while oblivously slurping your coffee, karma is coming for you.

    Rave: someone else taking a major project that I hate and that stresses me out to no end so I don’t have to do it. I owe her drinks.

    • Sucks. Were you the only one?

    • That wasn’t for you but I guess it still applies.

    • Anyone with a giant backpack on the metro is awful. I dont understand why folks who have packs that are basically taking up the same amount of space as another rider dont just take them off and place them near their feet or hold them in their hands. Instead these are the people who are spinning around and around in search for a perfect seat. Meanwhile everyone around them want to choke them with their unnecessary chest strap.

      While they are bad they not not as bad as people who read WHILE walking in the station…..WTF the book is not that good, the light in here sucks and its fucking 8 am.

  • Observation – Looked like there was a burst pipe in an office building this morning on 17th St NW btw G and H. Anyone here see it? There was water gushing from all around the front doors.
    Rave – I”m OK with this cold weather after spending a few years living in Michigan.
    Rant – It is freezing in my office and I’m not OK with it

    • I saw that on my way to work. Right next to the glasses place, which is next to the McDonald’s right? It looked like the front entrance was frozen too, and the water was freezing on the ground.

  • Rave: Six degrees and sunny would have been positively balmy for Shackleton’s crew. This day in 1916 they had been 15 months camping on the Antarctic ice after abandoning the Endurance which had been crushed by iced. Now in “Patience Camp” waiting for the ice to break enough to chance an escape in the lifeboats, they were about to shoot the dogs.

    Antarctic adventure reading is always good on a frigid day. Check out “Shackleton’s Stowaway” -“The Worst Journey in The World” – “The Last Place on Earth” – “Endurance” (Alfred Lansing) “The Endurance” (Caroline Alexander)

    Rant: I was a little disapointed with the extreme cold. I had expected daggers, but the dog didn’t even shiver this morning.

    • LOVE that book. I swear, sometimes the only books I read for months are survival and post-apocalyptic genres.

    • Wasn’t it Shackleton’s crew that was using a new fangled technology called “canned food” on their trip? But the “canned food” was sealed with mercury that seeped into the food so not only were they barely surviving under extreme conditions, they were are all going slowy insane? fun times!

      • It was an earlier expedition to the Arctic (Franklin’s 1845), and it was lead poisoning that did them in.
        I also love books about these historic expeditions. In hot weather, I recommend reading “White Waters and Black” for some good laughs.

      • You might be thinking of Franklin’s Arctic expedition, which took place in the 1840s. High levels of lead from the canned goods were found in the bodies which were exhumed in the 1980s.

        • Lead seals weren’t a problem by Shackleton’s time, but earlier polar expeditions did have issues with botulism. Cans were sometimes made too big and the food in the center didn’t reach proper temperatures.

        • “The Voyage of the Narwhal” by Andrea Barrett is a great novel about the Franklin expedition.

          Also, as a counter-example of Shackleton’s successful leadership, check out the voyage of the Karluk in 1913 (Arctic) “The Ice Master” by Jennifer Niven.

    • Which of those books would you recommend the most?

    • Prince Of Petworth

      I’d also like to recommend the book Shackleton’s Stowaway.

  • RANT: Metro was totally fubar’d this morning. Holy cow. My 20 minute commute from U Street to Farragut North took nearly 60 minutes, with Metro reporting significant delays on 5 of 6 lines this morning. It was nuts and I was 15 minutes late to a meeting, despite leaving early with plenty of time. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

    • Sucks. Were you the only one?

    • why would u metro from U st to farragut north? Why not take a bus? Busses break down but less frequently then the metro and there is always another bus less than 5 minutes behind it

      • WMATA’s Trip Planner shows that most of the possible bus-only options from U Street to Farragut North involve having to transfer from one bus to another. There’s only one direct option, the 52 bus.
        Two of the transfer options involve the S4 bus. I seem to remember people complaining that the S-series buses tended to get full early enough in the route that people in the Dupont area would watch one full bus after another go by without stopping. I wouldn’t be surprised if the 52 bus had similar problems.

      • Normally, taking the Metro is MUCH quicker than busing it. I live, literally, one block from the U Street metro entrance (I’m on 11th) and my office is one block from Farragut North. I can go door-to-door in 20 minutes, if I time it right.
        Going by bus would require me to take the bus down 11th and then transfer to the bus on K Street (gridlock traffic). Otherwise, I spend 15 minutes walking to 16th and getting the S4, which is a clusterf#ck of people from points further north and doesn’t come as frequently.
        I normally drive a Vespa to work, which is an 8 minute commute. But the winter is rough on my skin and my scoots 🙂

      • Ditto. I used to walk from 15th and U to Conn & K every morning for 3 years. Took me 30 mins and I am a slow walker. Save some $ and many commuting headaches!

  • Rant: In the three blocks it takes to walk to the Columbia Heights WSC this am, I dropped my house keys.
    Rant: I hate cold weather. I was so hoping for no work, or a delay. Some of you may be okay with these temperatures, but my southern disposition most certainly is not. However, I do actually have tons of cold weather gear so I didn’t get too cold on my commute (x2 since I then backtracked looking for my keys).
    Rave: Cancun in 10 days!

  • houseintherear

    Rant: About half of our students aren’t in school today. What a waste. Should have just closed!!

    Rave: Legwarmers. They warm my legs, and it’s good.

  • Rant: Everyone crying and continuous complaining about the weather. Yeah it is cold but it truly isn’t that bad when you think about it. Seriously, get over yourselves and be thankful for a second (not just at Thanksgiving). So how was that warm shower and warm clothes you put on before you had that warm meal and left your warm house to get to your warming transportation? If you work in have shelter and work inside, you truly have nothing to complain about. Think about those that don’t have anything previously mentioned and even those that make a living working outside.

    Rave: The understanding of just how lucky many of us are. All of our lives could be much worse by virtue of being born into different circumstances so I am truly thankful for what I do have.

    Rave: Great game last night FSU and congratulations to Jamis Winston on that “Triple Crown” (undefeated season, Heisman winner and National Championship). What a birthday present.

    • Rant: I keep forgetting the spacing issues on this blog.


      Rave: Will remember next time.

    • Prince Of Petworth

      This weather is brutal ugh. Although thankfully I wasn’t born in the year 840 in northern Gaul. I feel much better now realizing that.

      • Umm ok. LOL! Well if you were you would have set the record for oldest man alive at roughly 1,174 years old.

        BTW, the weather isn’t that bad. Try living in Mpls over the last week, I bet you would take this any day (I did it for 7 years). Dress warm, be smart and keep it moving and I promise you will be ok.

      • 840 in Northern Gaul was the worst!

    • He also got away with rape. So is that a Quadruple Crown?
      Star athletes only get off the hook once (e.g. Ray Lewis, OJ, Rothlesberger, Kobe, etc.), so he better clean up his act and stay out of trouble once he gets in the NFL. The next prosecutor will throw the book at him.

      • Um, Roethlisberger has been (publicly) accused of two rapes…

      • I knew someone was going to come with that. How is it that he got away with rape again? It wasn’t because she wasn’t credible right? Or that she lied and wouldn’t fully cooperate? Or that she kept going back on her story? Or any of what was written in any of the documents? Can’t wait to hear your explanation of how he was guilty. I would say he was guilty of stupidity at the most but I wasn’t there so what do I know. I can only go on official documents and that the prosecutor didn’t fully believe her story. How about you?

        • ‘Cuz the woman has NOTHING to gain by filing a rape charge. There is no incentive for this woman to falsely file a charge against him. Like most rape apologists, you’ll probably do some mental gymnastics and think of a few far-fetched reasons, but none of them actually hash out in real life when a woman is considering filing rape charges.
          It’s obvious that the woman was drunk and Jameis was part of a group of guys who took advantage of her. That’s pretty much the case in most gang rapes in the U.S. But consent can’t be given when a person is inebriated. That’s pretty much the law everywhere.
          The fact of the matter is that the American justice system is not adequately designed to prosecute rape cases. Unlike nearly all other crimes, the burden is placed almost entirely upon the victim. Just one of the many shortfalls of our legal framework.

          • +1, thank you.

          • I’m sorry, but but that is not the case. I’m not commenting at all on the FSU quarterback situation, because I don’t anything that wasn’t on ESPN, but false accusations regarding sexual assault, while certainly not the vast majority of cases, are disturbingly common. When I was a public defender early in my career the prosecutors I knew would tell me some pretty outlandish stories about the most obvious fabrications that came through their offices. Certain segments of the population use the criminal justice system to exact revenge, others because they know of no other way to deal with conflict, and others because they are mentally unwell. Simply assuming that a rape accusation is true because a victim has nothing to gain from a false accusation discounts all of these issues. Like I said, I know nothing of this particular case, but the “In sexual assault cases an accusation is as good as proof mentality” ignores the truth.

          • That guardian article isn’t evidence, just based on what the victim and her family said. Not saying Winston is innocent or what they’re claiming is false, but that is pretty weak.

          • Hypothetical: If both parties are drunk and the woman accuses the man of rape because she wasn’t capable of giving consent, does his drunkenness excuse his actions?

          • @ Anon 1:20 — no

          • @ Anonymous 1:30: So, when a man is drunk he is responsible for his actions but when a woman is drunk she is not? Or is it that if a person, regardless of gender, regrets their drunken actions so much they go to the police they are released from responsibility and all other parties, for not running to the cops, are not? Or maybe the are both responsible for their actions and therefore both guilty of rape? Could it be that when you decide to get drunk you are responsible for the consequences of your drunkenness and therefore neither of them is guilty of rape? Wait, it couldn’t possibly be the last one. Please explain it to me.

          • Did the woman force herself on the man? If so, then yes, it would likely pass as rape.

          • If you did any research you would know that she had no drugs in her system per the toxicology report.

        • Also read this article by the Guardian. The Tallahassee police went out of their way to intimidate the victim and stonewalled her. And then after a few months, they then went on to claim that “the victim stopped cooperating with us.” Meanwhile, she was waiting that entire time for the charges to be files.
          It’s a bunch of garbage lies that you’ve been spoonfed and are repeating, ad nauseum.

          • LOL, you think the Guardian is a reputable news source. Isn’t he/she cute, folks?

          • The Guardian is a highly respected left-leaning British newspaper — sort of like the New York Times of the UK, except more liberal (and with more spelling errors, hence its nickname of “The Grauniad”).

    • Yeah, I don’t mind days like this because I only have to be outside about 80 minutes a day, and those 80 minutes are broken up into 10 and 20 minute segments. I was MUCH colder living in New Delhi this time of year– although the temps are in the 45-65 degree range, buildings are usually not heated, and the constant chill seeps into your bones. We are fortunate to have climate-controlled systems that keep us comfortable 90% of the day.

    • people are crying?

    • I will save this “Rant” and re-post it in July and August when you’re whining about the heat. Can’t we all just accept that people are different?

    • It’s too bad you can’t be insightful enough to see that the worst thing you have to complain about is people who complain about the weather.

    • Wasn’t able to take a warm shower, so the griping will continue.

    • Rant: people who rant about other people’s rants.

  • gotryit

    Rave: cold weather gear worked great. Got some funny looks, but was not cold.

  • Rant: got a cold from colleague
    Rave: get to telework (and not pass it on)
    Rave 2: Cooper’s hawk outside my window this morning. Wouldn’t have seen it had I gone to the office!

  • rave: GO NOLES!

  • Rave: Merry Christmas to all my Ethiopian friends.

  • msmaryedith

    Revel: So, so happy about my new relationship. Things are going so well that it almost seems surreal. In reality, I think we’ve both got plenty of quirks, but we’re both mature enough to either look past them, or just embrace them. After years of disappointing dating attempts in the District, it feels pretty amazing to finally meet someone who is awesome and thinks I am, too!

    • msmaryedith

      (Apparently I’m too blissed out to spell check–that would be Anonymous, not Anonynous!)

    • Good for you! Im in the same boat now too! Great gal who seems to be genuine about her feelings. She is a knock out, really really smart and a very kind empathetic and kind person! I have not dated a lot and I hate doing it but with her I can’t get enough. instead of nervous on dates Im excited!

  • Rave: Kitchen renovations! I got to pull the pressboard faux brick layer off of our kitchen walls to finally see the state of the original plaster wall underneath. I’d been itching for four years to take a pry bar to that stuff!

    Rant: Old plaster was covered by some mid-century vinyl wall paper that caused the plaster to degrade even further in some places. Lots of plaster buttons, some oil based primer, drywalls patches and loads of skim coating are in my future!

    Neither rant nor rave, but if you were buying a house in Parkview, would wood countertops turn you off?

    We’re updating the kitchen and may be selling in the next six months. We love the look of wood, it would go great with the rest of the kitchen re-design, and would further break the black granite-cherry cabinets- stainless appliances trend (that I hate with a passion). If you were houseshopping, would nice butcher block counters be a pro or con for a historically intact house?

    • gotryit

      I personally like some butcher block mixed with quartz (a less gaudy one than some of the typical granites). But I wouldn’t want it by a sink or range.

      • gotryit

        one other tip on the butcher block – IKEA sells solid wood sections for pretty cheap – like a few hundred dollars for a ~5-6′ section. I bought two and had them joined at a place on ~13th and Taylor NW for a few hundred more to make a large butcher block island.
        Even the guys at the woodworking shop were impressed with the cost / quality of the ikea piece. They’re not the super high-end fancy stuff, but nice enough and good value.

      • I agree on the mixed counter surfaces. We just put in a quartz that looks like marble in our antique style kitchen remodel. If we had the space, an island with a wood top would have been great. I definitely wouldn’t want only wood counters though. Too much upkeep.

    • Personally I like the wood counter look especially for a home that has its original character. However, I probably would not want the hassle of maintaining wood and would consider that something I’d need to replace. Wood counters aren’t cheap so if you can find a comparably priced solid surface I’d probably go for that since you say you may be selling soon.
      Honed granite is a great alternative that has a more “old” feel. If you go with black it looks almost like soapstone, but is more durable.

    • I, too, hate the black granite-cherry cabinets- stainless appliances trend (Blah!) I love wood counters and find them to be unique, charming, and practical (when done right). But I’m nowhere near in a position to even think about buying a house in DC, so take my opinion with grain of salt.

    • I hate speckled dark countertops, it looks dirty and depressing to me. But i would probably like a lighter solid color option. Not sure about wood – seems like would be hard to mantain, but i know nothing about it!

    • I’m not a fan of wood countertops, but if that was the only thing I didn’t like about a house, I’d just replace them. I find them hard to maintain – if they get stained it seems that they’re always a different shade than the rest of the top, even if you’ve gotten the stain up. Just not my thing. But if you like them, get them. There are enough people out there who like them and as long as everything else in the kitchen is good, a countertop is easy enough to change out for a new owner.

    • Thanks, All! We were looking at the Ikea butcher block specifically, and thinking about customizing it a bit with a nice routed edge. I appreciate all the feedback!

      • Not a fan of butcher block at all. As mentioned, they stain, mark & burn easily. And though I’ve read about natural antibiotic properties in wooden cutting boards, the fact that they are porus (i.e. germy) just skeeves me out.

        I’d rather have cheap home depot laminate. Which I have actually had in my last two kitchens for 25 years and is still in great shape.

  • It’s not that cold, people. Really.

  • Revel: Ellen DeGeneres is looking for a DC military family who needs a house makeover. Pass it along! http://www.ellentv.com/be-on-the-show/830/

    • I hope she selects a place in the Barracks Row/Navy Yard neighborhood. Maybe she’ll stop by Phase One for a drink afterward. 🙂

  • Merry Christmas to those of christian orthodox persuasion!

    Rant: it is not cold enough in Ukraine to feel like Christmas! Almost jealous of you DC people right now.

  • Rant: My alley is on a Tuesday/Friday pickup schedule for trash. Friday’s pickup should have “slid” to Saturday because of the holiday, but there was no pickup on either Friday or Saturday, presumably because of the snow.
    The recycling pickup occurred earlier today, but it doesn’t look like there’s going to be a trash pickup. Many of my neighbors have overflowing trash cans even when the pickup occurs on schedule, and now we’re going to be behind not one but two pickups. :*

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