Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user Beau Finley

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.

163 Comment

  • Rave: Made it to the cert for a government job in my hometown last week!
    Rant-ish?: The auto-generated email I got said that the office would be contacting me directly for an interview and I haven’t heard from them yet. The anticipation is killing me.
    Rant: I’m banking on not getting the job because most GS positions like this are posted with someone already in mind. That doesn’t mean I’m not going to be absolutely crushed if I don’t get it.

    • Congratulations on making the cert!
      And don’t assume that they already have someone in mind for the position — that’s certainly true for some job listings, but not all.

    • anonymouse_dianne

      Good luck and congrats. And even if they have someone in mind, by law they have to consider you if you made the cert. Ironically, I was the “someone” and did not make the cert! But made the cert in another division, so they were able to hire me from there.

    • I’ve been doing USAJobs for a while, and I’ve only just started hearing “making the cert” everywhere, which confuses me. I got an e-mail saying “you made the cert” and I was like “I made the certiorari? What does that mean?” Dang HR lingo!

    • What agency/dept is it with? I know in my agency we just decided to hire for 20 positions in our district offices, all for “outsiders”.

  • Rave: Adorable little boy directing traffic at the corner on his walk to school this morning and the car with the Star Wars stick figure family on the back windshield. Small things that make the day easier.
    Rave: Starting a SciFi book club via craigslist to get around to reading some of the canons and to meet others that like stuff like that 🙂

  • Rant: I still don’t know if there will be karaoke this Saturday night at (the former) Hanoi House/(the former) Maketto pop-up.

  • RAVE: The Second Annual Absinthe Day is Saturday!

  • Rave: PoPville happy hour on Jan 31st (posted under the T-shirt travel thread) : )

  • Rave: I woke up this morning


    Rant: The sad, sad “post-racial” country we live in.


    Rant: I know this is a few days old and you all may have discussed this already but…This whole O Street Market (Giant) ad debacle. Listen, I have been an advertising account executive for the past 16 years and have worked for some of the nation’s top papers and this was a huge screw up by the agency. As a Howard alum and a D.C. resident that has lived here off and on starting in 95 for 10.5 years, I can FULLY understand why there is a contingency of people (HU alum, DC residents and folks with plain common sense both black, white and brown) that find the ad inappropriate. Nobody is claiming that that it is the end of the world or that there needs to be a sit in. What most are saying is that in an attempt to be inclusive you do not alienate your target audience, especially when said audience is well known as the nation’s top HBCU. If you want to be inclusive, use a group photo of black, white and brown students and nobody would have said a thing. But to have a white girl as the standard for the typical Howard student is just plain wrong. I understand that it was likely clip art and all that and with said, someone screwed up or did not do their research in the marketing/advertising department of the agency. More specifically, they didn’t do their research on Howard U, the history of the “O street market” or the controversy in the Shaw neighborhood around the recent developments. If they did any research at all, (which I doubt they did) they likely just looked at the new stats of DC and figured that the all-encompassing, nonthreatening white woman/girl would be ok with everyone. I mean, who doesn’t like/want a white woman? I kid, I kid but you get my point.


    Rant: People that are saying that the people complaining (which they are blindly grouping as blacks) are throwing out the race card, using reverse racism, wanting to have it both ways (double standards), whining, throwing temper tantrums and saying that skin color isn’t supposed to matter. To you all I say, you truly don’t get it. This isn’t the cause to go all uber liberal well actually pseudo liberal. With that said, I can’t believe some of the comments that I have read on sites like WTOP and WAPO. I am sure many of you on here likely feel the same way and will make your argument about there being nothing wrong with Giant reaching out to the minority student or we as a people should not see race, that MLK died so that we can all be one…Listen, this is about marketing and advertising and nothing else. I also think many of you fail to understand that whites are a small minority in the world yet the vast, overwhelming majority of advertising is towards white people. So yes, when you trying to reach a certain audience you should speak to that audience. Do you think you would find an ad featuring a dark skinned black woman with natural hair in an ad for any major company at a NASCAR even? I doubt it. They (Giant) admitted it was a mistake, so why can’t you? At the end of the day, it was an admitted mistake but those of you who are trying to justify it are only making matters worse. Or actually, you are inadvertently showing us how much work is truly left to do for a full, true understanding of race relations.


    Rant: Those same people that are making, liking and ^ing all the comments about how we should all get along and that blacks are complaining and whining…are likely the same ones that are heavily liking (28 likes to one dislike) the comment made by “Trixiefire” in the comments section of the article on WTOP about the topic. Just sad, a damn shame in fact.

    • a day ago
    • −

    If they want to target their audience in that area, they should have shown a young man wearing a SeanJohn hoodie, smoking Newport cigs and sipping on Hennesy
    • • 28 1
    • •
    • Reply
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    • Honestly, I’d take internet commenting with a grain of salt. On any news website, you’re bound to get some seriously ignorant comments on any matter. Just don’t think that that means a few nuts hiding behind a computer represents the majority’s thinking.

    • gotryit

      WTOP commenters are about the worst of the worst – why even read that cesspool?

      • Democratic Underground and Daily Kos are worse.

        • The commenters on WTOP barely have a middle school-level grasp of the English language. Aside from the logical fallacies and ad hominem attacks that are main features of WTOP comments, attempting to read them is equivalent to taking a dagger to your eyes.

    • Agreed with Meg and gotryit. Even the reader comments on the Washington Post website are enough to make one lose one’s faith in humanity, and when it comes to local news stations, the comments are even worse.

    • “are likely the same ones that are heavily liking (28 likes to one dislike) the comment made by “Trixiefire” in the comments section of the article on WTOP about the topic”
      A tip: get off the internet or at least stop reading crap like the comments section on WTOP. It’s not informative or helpful to any discussion. It would be foolish to draw conclusion based on how many likes vs. dislikes you see on the internet. It’s not worth anything.

    • +1. Just letting you know that there is at least one internet commenter out there that agrees with you.

    • is it really the nation’s top hbcu? that’s a pretty depressing indication of the state of hbcu. far more concerning than any ad, really.

      • Not that it matters, since that obviously wasn’t the point of Kam’s original comment, but I think Spelman and Morehouse are technically ranked higher.

      • What is it that is concerning about that? Just asking, because I have no idea.

      • Sorry, I should have said “one of…” or “among the top”. But yeah, is that all you took from what I wrote?

    • The only comments I bother reading are those on hyperlocal blogs (like this one), otherwise I’m wasting my time getting worked up over a bunch of useless toolbags. I’d like to echo others’ suggestions that you don’t waste your time reading their pablum.

    • FWIW, I agree with you. I get that they likely used a stock photo to cut down on costs, but if they didn’t have a stock photo of a black student available (which is a problem in and of itself), they should have just shown a picture of the store or the loyalty card with the message welcoming Howard students.

      • I’m sure they would’ve had no problem finding a more appropriate photo. It’s likely a matter of complete oversight by the ad agency (which is no excuse).

        • Well, I think it’s possible that they didn’t have a photograph of a black person who appears to be college-aged, with a backpack, holding a loyalty card. Regardless, whether such a photo was available obviously wasn’t the point of my original comment. The whole point of my comment was the same as yours-that someone at the agency could have more carefully considered which photograph they used.

          • Why don’t you think they had a photo of a black male or female? That right there is the issue, not with you but with their mindset. The fact that if what you are saying is true is that the white woman is the fit all solution.


            They would have been much better served as said above, don’t use a model, simply use a pic of the card since it has to be one fits all solution.

          • Sorry, Anonymous at 11:43 was me. I got the posting too quickly message and didn’t realize that, when I went to repost, my name didn’t show up. I think that it’s a possibility because, having done some work in advertising/PR, I know that, often, white people are the “standard” for stock photos, which is obviously a huge problem! Granted, this was a little over ten years ago, so a while ago, but not ages ago.

    • Kam, I nodded in solidarity through your entire message. Thank you .

    • Kam, I wouldn’t get too worked up about a comment from someone who thinks that black people still wear SeanJean. That alone confirms how out of touch he or she is.
      Agreed that in advertising you need to know your market. I suspect Giant regularly does “Welcome Back [insert name of college or university here] Students” ads in every market they serve and probably uses the same photo in each. Someone should have considered how that photo would come off in this market.

    • Thanks everyone! My faith in humanity has slightly been restored again. Well, that is, until I go home and turn on the news 🙁


      Oh and for the record, I don’t read WTOP, that I think was actually the first time I have ever read it or the comments. I also know that some of the commentary on WAPO comes from absolute assclowns. But to be honest and a bit off topic, I read and watch things contrary to what I might believe so that I can be fully informed when making an opinion or so that I can have a stronger argument.


      Anyway, I am glad to see that this group has common sense and did not turn this into a racial blowout which it was never really about.


      I stand a proud Popville member on this day. Let’s keep the theme of common sense going. But given we still have another half of the day to go, I am sure someone will come in and screw up the flow.

      • gotryit

        ” I read and watch things contrary to what I might believe so that I can be fully informed when making an opinion or so that I can have a stronger argument.”
        I completely agree with this, but reading things from nincompoops who disagree with you is not helpful (or really fair to the opposing argument). I find much more common ground (and new ideas that change my mind) from intelligent disagreement.

        • Maybe I would have been better served by not posting what the person said. I now fear that is going to be the focus of the comment and it surely was not meant to be. I realize that person and people like him/her are hopefully a small portion of society. The bigger issue and what I would like the conversation to center around is the ad itself and those that think that in this so called “Post Racial” society, one does not see color or can’t comment on stupid decisions when it comes to marketing to certain groups. I also don’t understand how the AE from the paper let this run and as I understand it, it was in last weeks WAPO. I have to assume the person handling the Giant account is no rookie and should have questioned the client/agency. That is what a good AE would have done. Someone among the many people who saw this ad should have caught it and stopped it in it’s tracks.


          And for the record, those that know me well, know full well I could care less about your physical attributes, so this isn’t about that.

          • gotryit

            Got it – that was a side point. I don’t understand the uproar over a thoughtless marketing move. Out of curiosity, what was your opinion of the advertising / executive of some company saying they’d never advertise their cereal (pasta maybe?) with a same sex or mixed race couple on it? How does that compare to this situation?

          • Forget about the “post-racial society”, it doesn’t exist. If it did, no one would care that a white woman featured in an ad targeted toward HU students (which I gather is the problem here; I hadn’t heard anything about it until today). You say you want to focus on “the ad itself” – what about it? You already agreed that it was a bad choice, a mistake, so what more about it? Why are you dragging this conversation out if it’s not anything more than an advertising mistake? If it is more, what exactly is it? I’m not totally following where you’re going with any of this.

          • Anonymous 1:15

            My post racial commentary was my attempt at being facetious. I am not trying to drag it out but but with so many comments about the particular poster from WTOP, I wanted to make sure people knew what my actual point of the conversation was. Does that clear anything up?



            I don’t think there is an uproar. It is funny that you asked that because that came up in a conversation with a friend of mine just yesterday. She (a black woman) was working on a Marriott campaign and wasn’t allowed to use an interracial couple because “It was not the Marriott image” she was told by her black boss. It was about not alienating their base.


            While the Marriott situation is a bit different than what you asked me (based on Marriott’s religious associations) my answer to both is somewhat the same, I think it is stupid and narrow-minded (especially for an edible goods company) but that is their call should they not want to reach out to that particular market. However, that market eats said good so you are possibly leaving a lot of money on the table and statements like that do nothing but kill your brand. I must have missed that story but I can’t imagine that person will be around much longer, especially if he is not hitting the number for the shareholders.

          • gotryit

            I’m still not getting your point.
            For the Marriott case, you think they’re wrong to target the majority (single race couples) and leave out the minority (interracial couples), but in the Howard case, you think they should have targeted the majority (black) and it was a mistake to have the minority (white) on the advertisement?

          • They are two different set of issues.


            Howard IS predominantly black, I would say that less than 1 percent of undergrads are white. So if you are going to advertise to that market you should feature them and not less than 1 percent of the audience. Remember, you are advertising to students that are already there. To feature a white girl in an ad welcoming Howard students is way off base. It is a small finite audience. Granular, vertical advertising is an effective way reach that market.


            Marriott is a huge international company that needs to reach to mass amounts to fill their hotel rooms. They want an audience that is traveling which is millions of people everyday around the world that might or might not be their customer. Akin to your pasta/cereal scenario, it is a mass good that is being consumed/used by potentially millions of people so you need to reach as many people as you can from all walks of life. It is my contention by not doing that in this scenario is not giving yourself an opportunity to reach the achieve optimal results and earn maximum revenue.


            So yes, I have two different answers but the scenarios you are giving me are two totally different situations, macro vs. micro. When it comes to advertising and marketing it isn’t one solution fits all, that is why certain advertising vehicles get on certain buys and others don’t. I hope you are following me because I really am trying to be clear. Would you advertise snowmobiles to a national audience? Not the best idea right? But you would likely place an advertisement in say the Star Tribune in MPLS or a vertical publication. However, if you are say, Nike, I bet you are using whatever you can to reach a mass audience (international/nationwide audience) and won’t give the time of day to smaller local, smaller newspapers.

  • Rant: People using alleys as parking spaces… Traffic enforcement never goes back there to give them tickets… Today both ends of my alley were blocked by ignoramuses. Double parkers as well, it seems like I’ll get a ticket even when my meter is broken, yet double parking in some areas has immunity. It’s disgraceful in DC and it creates traffic nightmares and accidents.

    Rant: Non technical managers dictating technical rules… Non technical employees that need hand holding… Testers that need writeups for everything because they don’t understand… Where the heck are the people that actually earn their paychecks, understand technology, and get work done?

    Rave: Bad weather, but anything beats the extreme cold from last week.

    Rave: Inching closer to Friday and a 3 day weekend.

    • I agree with your rant! After flashing lights and repeatedly honking for a moron to move his car forward from in front of my garage in the alley, he finally moves forward. BUT – while I was backing into my garage, he decided to give me a dissertation on how the alleys are public property and I had no right to force him to move. I asked if he wanted me to come block his driveway in MD (sorry, the car had MD tags) which is what he was essentially doing to me. Jerk.

  • Rant: it is proving to be a bear to find a 1br apartment in my price range (1800 or less) that meets my requirements:

    must haves: full size refrigerator, stove/oven, and dishwasher (i cook a lot). in an area between 16th Street and NOMA (and no farther North than Columbia Heights).

    wants: a building with a gym

    suggestions are welcomed!

    • Post a wanted ad on craigslist. Maybe you’ll find someone either trying to get out of a lease early or that doesn’t want to deal with advertising. It can’t hurt!

    • Consider a studio instead of a full 1 bedroom? Consider a basement apartment of a row home instead of a large apartment building? Consider a roommate and share a 1 bedroom w/ den (using the den as a bedroom)? Rent is really expensive in DC proper, good luck.

    • Complain about overpriced housing, then lower your standards.

      • thanks Dave. you know, call me crazy but i think having normal sized appliances is a reasonable standard when someone is paying nearly 2k a month (even in DC!). it’s also a standard that can be met, it will just take some patience and diligence. but thanks for your help!

        • I don’t think anyone disagrees with you – it’s just that DC rent/housing is incredibly expensive, and there’s really not much you can do about it. As unfortunate as it is, Dave’s advice is probably the best that you’re going to get. (ps. I don’t think what you’re asking for exists in that price range, but good luck!)

        • But you don’t just demand normal sized appliances (which is not unreasonable in my book). You also “must have” a specific area (in which the recently constructed rentals are really expensive) and you “want” a gym. Maybe the suggestion to lower your standards can be applied to one of those criteria.

        • You can find that in an older building. Do you want full size appliance or brand new shiny stainless steel appliances? I pay <1800 for a decent sized one bedroom, full size appliances (no dishwasher though) but no gym. But there's a gym less than 2 blocks away so my rent + gym membership is sill <1800.

          Don't want to seem too obvious here, but how's your luck been with Craigslist? I realize it can be a cluster, but I managed to get lucky. Good luck with your search!

    • NEEDING a dishwasher is a bit extreme. They can be hard to find around here. Plenty of us cook a lot and do just fine without one. And think—no dishwasher means more cupboard space under the counter.

      • I’d agree with that. A dishwasher is definitely nice to have, but when we redid our basement rental apartment it would have been a very tight squeeze to add one. We opted for more cabinet space instead. We also thought it was more important to have a full size fridge and stove and a full size washer and dryer. Of the dozen or so tenants we interviewed, only one couple mentioned really “needing” a dishwasher, so there is very little incentive for me to try to add one at this point (I figured if it became a problem I could get one of those very small ones and take out one of the cabinets).

    • I’d check basement apartments in Bloomingdale. They’re still pretty reasonable (~$1500) and most I’ve seen have large appliances. No gym in the area though. But like others have said, concessions, concessions.

    • I unfortunately don’t think you’re going to find much unless you compromise on location, amenities or budget. If you’re not willing to go north, what about south of downtown? When I was apartment-hunting last year, one place that I was seeing 1BRs with the amenities you mention was in Southwest near the Waterfront Metro.

      • Yes! I have a fantastic 1BR with all those amenities in Waterfront for less than $1,800. People be cray if they aren’t looking for apartments here. (Of course, my neighborhood isn’t for people who absolutely must have nightlife right outside their front door.)

        • Same! I love the SW and I feel like we’re stealing our apartment. It’s not huge, but it’s quiet with a gorgeous kitchen, balcony, and at $1600 with a metro so close, I just love it.

    • If you’re having a hard time finding an apartment that meets your requirements and is still in your price range, odds are that you’re going to have to modify your requirements, your price range, or both.

    • I live in a 1 BR in Quebec House in Cleveland Park (yeah, not the right neighborhood) with a stove, oven, dishwasher, full size fridge, in-building gym, and utilities included for $1580 a month. I’ve only been in this particular apartment about a year.

      I’ve been in Quebec House 9 years now and have almost nothing but positive things to say about the place.

      • Just an FYI that on QH’s website, 1 bedrooms start at $1,950.

        • It’s a rent-controlled (might not be the precise term) building, so rent is partially dependent on how frequently new tenants have moved in/out of each apartment. The woman who lived in my apartment before me was paying $1415 – she gave it up for a job in Colorado.

    • binpetworth

      Why not look north of Columbia Heights? The Griffin across from Petworth metro is advertising a 1BD at $1660 and they also have junior 1BDs for slightly less.

      • this is all very helpful! i do think it’s possible, if need be i will adjust my expectations but not after being completely positive that what i want doesn’t exist. the gym isn’t a must (i fortunately have one at work) but it would be nice to have one at home too.

        Petworth is actually my dream neighborhood, i love its vibe and it’s close to where i live now (Columbia Heights) so the adjustment would be very easy. I’m on the waiting list for The Griffin and Park Place although the latter would be over budget unless i luck out with a special.

        does anyone have thoughts on the Navy Yard area? the apartments out there are well priced, but the neighborhood seems a little desolate. but it is on the green/yellow line so that’s a plus.

        i will definitely look into Quebec House, that sounds like an amazing deal! Cleveland Park is a lovely area and very close to Columbia Heights.

    • Columbia Uptown apartments on 14th and Fairmont meets all your requirements. Current resident. Highly recommend

      • Sorry, can’t echo the recommendation for Columbia Uptown. I moved out of there after they jacked up my rent by several hundred dollars between leases. Also, the people who live across the street are really freaking loud and annoying at night. I practically didn’t sleep a whole night for two years unless it rained.

    • Your post makes me so glad I bought a condo four years ago. Three bedrooms in Eckington and I pay $1850. Rents are getting ridiculous when you have trouble finding a one bedroom for $1800.

    • I’d recommend trying to find a rental from a condo owner those are usually cheaper than large buildings. Also, maybe consider a Jr 1 bedroom. I have a Jr 1 bedroom in Kalorama roughly 550 sq ft and pay $1550. The dishwasher is smaller, but the fridge and oven are regular sized.

      • Eh, in my view owners tend to overvalue the market rent for their condos and raise the rent much higher as a percentage than larger management companies. I’m with a larger management company and they’ve only raised the rent 1.5% for each of the last two years. Most of my friends with basement apartments in Shaw, H Street, and Dupont typically face increases of 5-10% per year.

        • Only 1.5% for each of the last two years? WOW. That’s amazing. I was in a building over on H St. NE and they raised my rent by 8% each year and I finally said “eff this”. Got lucky and found a rent controlled apartment on Craigslist! Here’s to hoping for only 1.5% increases (I know it’s probably based on CPI and all that good stuff) for the foreseeable future!

          • Management companies with older or small “boutique” buildings only care about predictable cash flows, keeping warm bodies in the apartment that pay rent every month, and keeping expenses low. The last thing they want is an empty apartment that needs to be marketed and not generating income.
            Yes, they will raise the rent when they need to, but they’re not looking to gouge people. The building often has a vintage underlying mortgage (if it has one at all) so even if surrounding property values are hot, they aren’t too concerned about keeping up with that. Stable cash flows are more important.

    • 1600 block of Monroe st nw has sign posted for 1br for 1750. May be basement

    • At that price point, you’re going to leave the District to get all of that.

  • justinbc

    Rave: The crazy fog this morning.
    Rant: Had to come into the office rather than being out taking photos of aforementioned fog.

  • Rant: Boss neglected to invite me to a meeting concerning new software for my responsibilities. Annoying because she has never used the current/previous software. Lolmanagement.

    Rave: Second interview for another job tonight. Fingers crossed!

    • Ha!

      I have a fed management rant, myself. Old boss forwarded a pretty simple phone call to me as it’s my area of expertise. I answered the question and called my old manager back and told her the issue was resolved. Total time spent? 5 minutes maybe. Old boss tells new boss how lucky he is to have me and that I just solved an issue for them. New boss calls me in to tell me it was inappropriate for old boss to contact me with any work.

      The question? The date of a certain application deadline – public information, but within my wheelhouse.

      • Ugh I feel ya! I came from the campaign world to the bureaucracy. While I obviously expected it would be different the amount of petty, CYA BS that goes on around here about who can talk to who is ludlludacris. Most issues can be solved in minutes but instead it usually turns into multiple calls, a meeting and then a memo. Oh yes sir, the bathroom is just down the hall….wait, let me confer with my manager and have them schedule a meeting and call in the VP and then someone will get back to you on the location of the bathroom.

  • RAVE 1: much to my complete shock, I randomly asked a woman to marry me the other day via *online messaging.* We’ve never dated, but I’ve had a nascent crush on this woman all the years I’ve known her (very very casually). This I know is utterly insane, but my most recent social interaction with her moved me so profoundly that I just didn’t see any reason why I should hesitate to ask when it made sense to me.

    She suggested we move on from this notion. Awkward. Weird position to put her in, I know, but what if she’d said ‘yes?’

    RAVE 2: I’ve finally figured out how to make my electric guitar sound like sad wailing banshees or demons who enjoy imitating the Islamic call to prayer. Thanks to a great reverb pedal and the Ebow.

    • Let’s jam. I tend to make whale song type noises with my ebow and delay pedals.

    • Yeah, it’s more than a little weird to ask someone you’ve never met to marry you.
      Online connection often does not translate into in-person connection.
      Unless, of course, you’re in love with Siri.

    • base a decision of marriage on many conversations that deeply move you. not just a handful. or god forbid, just one recent one.

      feel lucky she didn’t say yes. yet, anyway.

    • justinbc

      If you interact with her in a normal setting then why did you choose that outlet to propose? Was it something that literally could not wait any longer til your next interaction? Aside from the awkwardness, the delivery method could have just felt disingenuous.

    • This happened to me once, in college. A study buddy proposed to me, saying he didn’t need to look any further because I ticked all his boxes. Not because he was deeply in love, or because he admired me… just that I was the kind of companion he thought he could live with forever. (He was a non-traditional student, and in his late 20s.) When I turned him down (is that what you call it when you tell someone he’s crazy?) he got all offended and never spoke to me again. Nutjob.

    • If you do get married this will make a great story! But never kick yourself for doing something impetuous and slightly, or even “utterly” insane in the pursuit of love. Call her up, tell her your brain/heart battle was disrupted by the full moon, convince her you are not a crazy stalker and ask her out in real life.

    • If she’d have said ‘yes’ you’d likely be posting soon about the travails of being married to someone you don’t know very well, who doesn’t know you very well, when neither of you seemed to think that things like familiarity, commitment, trust and compatibility were important prerequisites for marriage.

  • Rant: After a little over a year of very convoluted dealings with DCRA – speaking to 11 different people & inspectors – three trips downtown to sit many hours in their offices – I finally got the C of O & BBL for my basement apt. August 6. (This was the C of O I had applied for 6 years ago originally – the one that DCRA lost in the system!)

    On Jan. 8 I received a notice of infraction from the original inspector with a citation for $4000.00 in fines for not having the C of O & BBL that I received August 6. When I called her to inquire, she said she was still fining me because she thought I took too long and was “sarcastic” with her.

    Rave: I’m not living in Soviet Russia where petty officials could screw with you at whim – umm right? (Oops – was that sarcastic?)

    • I don’t think that means she deserved a $4000 fine. After all you have every right to express your opinion as long as you aren’t being threatening or physically harming anyone. Sounds like the inspector is a typical power-hungry jerk who has nothing else in life but to make everyone as miserable as they are.

    • And based on Victoria’s comment history on this blog I’m inclined to believe that she might have brought some unnecessary attitude to the conversation. People aren’t always as competent as you want them to be but nobody likes to be treated as incompetent.

      • Yup. Put on a smile, say “thank you!,” and usually they’ll move mountains or bend the rules a bit to help you out. They’ve worked magic at the DMV and ABRA for me.

      • Since Anonymous (or Anonymous, or Anonymous) has no comment history (because, well, they’re anonymous) we can’t really tell how “necessary” your attitude is, but I’m sorry that you find my comments not always as dainty as you like.

        And for Anonymous #1 – how do you figure an action can be “not right” but that the person penalized “deserved” it?

        • OK George Orwell (Anonymous 2:15) “Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously and accepting both of them.”

        • Wow, you sure seem dense. Deserving a fine in the eyes of the law may or may not neatly align with public morality. As such, you may have broken a law that the majority of the public doesn’t agree with (hence “not right”), but you may have nevertheless deserved (in the eyes of the public) getting a fine due to your seemingly unsympathetic affect.

        • I’ll try to explain it one more time – Anonymous 4:05 –

          1) “Deserving a fine in the eyes of the law may or may not neatly align with public morality. . . . you may may have broken a law that the majority of the public doesn’t agree with (hence “not right”), but you may have nevertheless deserved (in the eyes of the public) getting a fine due to your seemingly unsympathetic affect.”

          Do you honestly not see how this is flawed logic? Public morality has nothing to do with a law. – A law is a law – OK – there are bad laws i.e. slavery and killing Jews etc. but let’s not bring Hitler in to this. If I break a law I accept responsibility. Public morality can, fortunately, change laws. But daily life operates under existing law.

          This is not about breaking a law but about an officer of the law making a personal judgement about her interpretation of the law, motivated by her own personal feelings. The purpose of laws in a civil society is that any citizen can be a complete obnoxious a**hole, subversive, contrarian or just general pain in the ass and not have to worry about being fined or jailed for spite. Yes, idealistic, but I won’t surrender my ideals. And honestly, I wasn’t even slightly an a**hole with her.

          “But you may have nevertheless deserved (in the eyes of the public) getting a fine due to your seemingly unsympathetic affect.”

          Do you seriously not see that this sentiment – objectively – beyond my own or any individual’s personal situation – is an absolutely insane and capricious way to structure a society?

        • So I was totally going to reply, but I think you capped this off rather well with a “hitler”. Well done!

    • justinbc

      6 years, and still incurring fines on top of that? Terrible. That’s a definite precautionary tale for those looking to buy an own+rent property that’s not already billeted. (and who want to do it legally)

    • I know nothing about getting a C of O & BBL, it seems like the government would have to have a legitimate and legally supported basis for hitting you with $4,000 in fines. “Taking too long” and being “sarcastic” are probably not in the law/regs for citable offenses. (Although, there could be a fine of $X for every month you operated without a C of O & BBL, or something like that.) You may want to review your options and challenge the citation/fine.

    • I can see why she’s being a hard ass to you. You’re a verbose bull in a china shop.

  • Rant: I hate FiOS. They have the nerve to set up their stupid little tent down the street from me, then tell me service is not available in my building, and from what little research I’ve done, it likely never will be.

    • It sounds like you hate that you can’t have FIOS.

      • I have FiOS and customer service has been excellent, but rates do go up up quite a bit once your promotional deal ends.

      • I’ll take FIOS over Comcast and their customer service any day of the week.

        It is stupid they have a marketing tent up in an area that they can’t offer FIOS tho.

        • If your building gets a “bulk account” with Comcast, the customer service becomes like talking to magical unicorns prancing in rainbow-soaked fields of daisies. Once I started talking to the bulk account department I was like “oh, so THIS is where they put all the competent people!!”

  • Rant: people who think their opinion is all high and mighty. It’s like did you really just say that?!?!? It’s their opinion or none (note not a supervisor). It’s like act more humble and not such a kiss a$$.

    Also creepy dude (same person) who sneaks up on people because you clearly don’t have enough work and more concerned with chatting with everyone all day everyday PLEASE do Your work! I know I may be your bad up but I have my own duties. It’s tiresome to do yours and mind. (I’m not the type of person to throw someone under the bus. He was supposed to find someone to be backup on escorting cleaning staff. Hey did you find someone….oh $hit no. Next day or next week. Hey did you find someone…. Oh $hit no. This has been going on for at least 2 months. So sick of it and it might be the thing to kick me in the pants to look for a new job. Grrrrrr

  • Rant: Fight off a cold. Again.
    Rant: The father of a childhood friend passed away yesterday. I just feel for a family that already has had more than its fair share of loss.

  • Rant: Accidentally pulled a lady’s hair when I put my hand down on the seat railing this morning on the Metro. Could have been a very awkward moment, but…
    Rave: She handled it like a champ.
    Rave: The weather.

  • Rant: A husband and father is dead because a self-appointed enforcer of movie theater etiquette can’t get over someone texting during the previews of a movie. He reportedly has played this role before. Tell me the fact that this guy carried a gun on him didn’t embolden him to confront people. Glad to see the state has rejected – at least for now – the “stand your ground” defense. Since this incident does not have any racial component, maybe there can finally be a level-headed discussion about how that defense emboldens people to shoot first and ask questions later. Guns may not kill people, but they certainly make it way easier for people to kill people.

    • justinbc

      I saw this story yesterday and couldn’t believe it was real, until I read it happened in Florida. That state is just all sorts of messed up.

    • People who feel the need to carry guns are wimpy little losers. That’s how gun control advocates should talk about this issue.
      Fight like a man with your fists. No need to shoot someone when a swift kick to the ass is all that was needed.
      Old man was running his mouth only because he had a weapon. I bet he wouldn’t have had the balls to do this without his sidepiece.

      • gotryit

        Are you advocating beating people up for texting in the theater?
        It’s arguments like yours that keep me from agreeing with gun control. Just because gun rights advocates run on stupid slogans doesn’t mean gun control has to also.
        How about we all push for responsible gun ownership / use with reasonable laws / controls?

        • No, I’m not advocating that we beat people up for texting. There’s no need to resort to violence at all in any of these situations that have happened (Zimmerman, this incident, the kids killed in Jacksonville for playing their music too loud at a 7-11, etc.)
          But if it gets to the stage where two guys are going to fight (or throw popcorn FFS), keep your gun out of it. Fight like a man and fight fair. Only a colossal, scared wimp would pull out a gun and shoot a guy like that in cold blood.
          Concealed carry owners don’t need to be protected from others. They need to be protected from their own stupidity and showboating tendencies.

          • gotryit

            You said “People who feel the need to carry guns are wimpy little losers.”
            Which is a lot different than “People who use guns to overpower unarmed people are wimpy little losers.” Because there are a lot of responsible gun owners who don’t bully / overpower unarmed (or armed) people. But you lump in all people who carry guns with those who misuse them. Lame.

          • Can you show me some stats about how often concealed carry permit owners are involved in stupid, showboating incidents? I find that this is rarely the case, with most such permit holders — such as both my parents — pretty responsible. But perhaps you have evidence to the contrary?

          • Sorry, but if you’re carrying a gun on the streets for “protection” just for the hell of it, you’re a paranoid wimpy loser. I could understand carrying it if you’re transporting large amounts of cash (small biz owner) or are an off-duty cop. But the mere existence of the gun simply escalates the situation and turns individuals more confrontational, as numerous recent stories have shown. Factor in the SYG laws and now people have an incentive to needlessly use deadly force.

  • Anyone have a recommendation for a good endocrinologist in DC?

  • Rant: traffic turning East on to Porter Street from Conn. Ave during the No Turn on Red hours and then running the light at Quebec and Porter.

    Rant: upstairs neighbor needs some carpeting given her penchant for walking around in heels very early in the morning.
    Rave: I knocked on her door and she seemed totally cool about not wearing her heels at 7 am. Hope it lasts.

    Rave: The picture on this post 🙂

    Rave: booked a trip to Puerto Rico. I’ve never been there; non-beach recommendations are welcome.

    • extra rave: I entered the Exposed DC photo contest and had a picture accepted!

    • You know you are going to an island right? Anyway, I would DEFINITELY check out the El Yunque rain forest (schedule your tour in time in advance. Vieques has Mosquito Bay, which I believe is the world’s largest bioluminescent bay but that is another flight from the main island but I do believe there is another one that is on the main island, check out Castillo de San Cristobal and Castillo San Felipe del Morro, hang out in Old San Jaun, there are all kinds of cultural museums that you can check out. I wanted to take a rode trip to Heladeria Lares in Lares for some exotic ice creams (they are said to have over 1,000 flavors) that at well worth the trip. I also wanted to go to Guavate for Lechonera del Pintos (Lechon) for their legendary pig roast but unfortunately did not make it out there. I enjoyed my time in PR and would definitely go back. I hope that helps a bit.

    • Do a food tour in San Juan! We did two and they were both excellent – they did a terrific job of weaving in the history of the city/island into its food culture. And, because San Juan is undergoing a bit of a movement towards local farm-to-table produce, locals there take a great deal of pride in their culinary cuisine. I mean, come on – you walk around and learn a lot but you also get to eat (tastings, really) for three hours. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

  • Rant: Working in an area that has nothing around it and I forgot to bring lunch.

    Rant: People that pour their coffee out in sinks, especially bathroom sinks and just walk away. No rinsing, no nothing, just leaving the sink all brown and smelly. Bad form and no regard for others.


    Rant: The first person that replies and says “Kam, is it that big of a deal? I mean seriously, just rinse it out an move on with life”. SMH

    • I work down by the FCC. Talk about few food options. We have a CVS, a Potbelly’s, a cafeteria (the trough), and… a Starbucks. At least it’s something, but still. Gross.

      • Umm be thankful at least you can jump on the metro. I now work in an industrial area in Springfield that from which I have a 1.5 hour commute each way (I used to work downtown). There is absolutely nothing out here except for industrial stuff and office buildings. By the time, I walked somewhere I would have time to order and make it back by the end of lunch. With that said, I would love for a Potbelly to be here but no dice (probably for the best though because I need to be losing weight).

  • Rave: I took the day off for a furniture delivery, what a nice break. I drank my coffee out of a mug. It’s so much better that way.
    Rave: before my delivery window I went to zoo to see Bao Bao! She was playing with a ball and it was adorable.
    Rave: my credenza is even more beautiful in person. Someone had asked about it before I think, it’s from Radius Style.

  • Rant: Coworker on my job keeps trying to attach herself to me. When I started here, she kept running into my office hanging around me acting like she was so close to me (which she wasn’t) . She actually said it was meant for me to work here cause she and I were from the same state (she found that out from her friend in HR). This really creeped me out. A while back, this woman actually got mad at me when I didn’t tell her right away that I had to go into the hospital for a procedure. I just told my supervisor and he waited until the next day to tell the rest of my coworkers that I was gonna be out (The horror!).Now she states that I needed to tell her all of my personal business. This woman really creeps me out and I’ve tried being professional with her but she doesn’t seem to take the hint. I don’t want to be close to her. Any suggestions?

    • Are you the same person who was complaining the other day about the friend who had become boring?

    • Wow, that is kind of creepy, or at least very clueless. You really just need to lay it out plain for her, since she can’t take hints: “Mary, I like to keep relationships with my coworkers strictly professional. While I’d love to catch up with you at lunch [optional], I don’t like to discuss personal business at the office.” She may still keep bothering you, but every time she asks you a personal question, just stick to your guns: “That’s personal,” etc. Lay down boundaries and enforce them. Hopefully she’ll get it then. If she really doesn’t stop, you may need to go to your superior or HR and tell them she’s interfering with your productivity.

  • End of day rant: I had a really bad cold last week, and I coughed so hard I strained a muscle in my ribs (apparently, “intercostal muscle strain”). Now it hurts to breathe deep, cough, sneeze, walk, sit, hug my hubby or just be. I can’t sleep at night except in one very specific position on my right side, and if I make the mistake of rolling over in my sleep I wake up in sharp pain. Anyone have any suggestions for helping this heal other than ibuprofen and ice packs?

    • Ugh, I’ve had this before and it sucks. There’s nothing I can recommend other than finding a comfortable position to sit/sleep and waiting it out. It will take a few weeks to heal. Keep strenuous physical activity to a minimum.

    • Ouch! Have you tried propping yourself up with pillows or blankets so you can’t roll over?

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