Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user A. Drauglis

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.

234 Comment

  • Rant: The inconsistencies in OPM decision making on closing offices/delaying arrives/telework option during inclement weather days.
    Rave: Got my deadlifts over 300lbs this morning. Progress!

  • Rave: Inspired by suggestions here, I am trying to get back into the routine of doing a bit of housework every day. So last night, I swept and mopped the bathroom and kitchen floors during commercial breaks while watching The Voice (don’t judge ;)). I also cleaned the stove and the toilet. Progress through baby steps.
    Observation: For some reason, I am more motivated to clean when my partner is away. Why is this? I’m sure he’d appreciate it if I was equally motivated all the time.
    Rant: This winter is wearing me down. I’m getting a ton of sleep, but it is so hard to mentally wake up. I’m on my second cup of coffee already.
    Rave: Planning my spring garden, attempting to bake bread this weekend, cooking for new parent friends, baking cakes — those domestic activities feel so right during this grey, damp weather and make me happy. If I could have been a professional granny, I would so do it. Alas, age and the need to pay the rent keep that from happening.

  • Rant: New SO is showing some of the same characteristics I found upsetting in my ex. Not sure if this means I should jump ship, because I know eventually it will get to the point where it will no longer be just a minor annoyance.
    Rant: My go-to friends for this kinda stuff are too busy to help me talk this out, and I’m getting mixed advice from others.
    Rave/Rant: The other problems we’ve encountered thus far are much more fixable with good communication and a willingness to admit one (or both) of us was wrong. Too bad we haven’t figured out how to do that effectively yet.

    • what ‘characteristics’ are you specifically talking about?

      • A tendency to be lazy in terms of romance and treat me more like a friend he has sex with (with my ex this turned into taking me for granted). Isn’t really into complimenting me or taking the initiative in showing me affection even when we’re alone (I do these things). Doesn’t really suggest we go on dates, or really make decisions about anything we do which leaves me feeling like I’m his mom and he only does these things with me because I tell him to. I know we’re on the same page regarding how we feel about each other but this seems like more of a personality thing than a communication issue (certainly was with my ex).

        • This same issue caused my marriage to end. At first it wasn’t bad – but after 7 years of being in a relationship it’s pretty easy to feel unappreciated. Gentleman take note! For me it wasn’t that I needed a lot…just a small amount of effort would’ve been nice. I hope you’re able to work this out be communicating what you need. Best wishes!

        • Many of these issues sound very solvable. For example, if you are a planner and want to know what you’re doing in advance but he isn’t, then he may not even be aware that you feel like you’re carrying the entire burden of planning dates, because he would have been just fine with “doing whatever” and didn’t see a need to make arrangements. Or maybe he isn’t naturally into giving compliments, but if he finds out it’s important to you then he can be more aware of the importance of being affectionate. Talk to him about it, if the problem was that these things were just not on his radar, he can make some improvements. If he doesn’t even after being told these things trouble you, then it is time to move on.

        • Anonynon

          sounds like you should have a “talk” with him. Good luck πŸ™‚

    • “is showing some of the same characteristics I found upsetting in my ex.”
      Long-term pattern or just coincidentally two people in a row with the same annoying habits?
      Major irritants that need to be and can be fixed, mostly (i.e. drinking with the boys/girls four nights a week), deal breakers that may never be fixed (control or mother issues), or annoyances that will never really be fixed that you probably just need to get over (leaves underwear in the middle of the floor when not wearing it)?
      Inquiring minds….

      • Ehhhh…both? A long term pattern if guys I’ve dated but since my last ex lasted four years and I don’t count any relationships before college and this one is my first once since could also be coincidence?
        Could be a major irritant or could be a deal-breaker. With my ex these issues definitely became a deal breaker…

        • Remember, the “fixability” of these issues matters only if your SO wants to change those behaviors and can actually do so. If that seems unlikely, you might as well jump ship.

          • Agreed, good advice. If they guy doesn’t see these as big problems, then he isn’t going to change his behavior for you. If he doesn’t want to change, then he won’t. At that point it’s time to jump ship. You’ll be able to figure it out pretty quickly.

  • Rant: the guy who sat on the weight machines this morning checking his email. Less work, more working out!

  • Rant: Was set to get to work a half hour early, instead stood outside in the snow for a half hour and watched two G8 buses sail right by 25 minutes apart, ended up getting to work a half hour late. It was hardly a dusting wmata, seriously?
    Rant: Can’t get myself back into regular exercise, this weather is throwing me off, all I want to do is go home and do house-things.

    Rave: Roommates and I moved around some furniture and our place looks AMAZING now. Cannot wait to invite people over and see them react to the change!
    Revel: Trying really hard to still make this a good day, despite having an upsetting night

  • Rant: I slept poorly last night and was really hoping for a 2 hour delay this morning.
    Rave: Love that blue heron picture. And I love the snow!

  • This is neither rant nor revel, just me being a busybody, but I figured if anyone knew it would be this crowd… Walking home last night at around 6:00, there were a ton of emergency vehicles at intersections in Columbia Heights. A couple of fire engines and emergency SUVs were blocking off 10th and Monroe and pulling a firehose south. But there were also a LOT of vehicles at 11th and Park, 11th and Monroe, and 11th and Otis. Was there a big fire last night? Gas leak? Unsurprisingly, I can find no mention on WashingtonPost.com.
    Well then, maybe my rant is about the dearth of local interest reporting in the Post.

    • I saw some emergency vehicles in that area around 11pm last night. Don’t know if it was for the same thing that you saw, but they were definitely there.

    • Check DC Police and DC EMS twitter feed & see if they report anything

    • Did you *ask* somebody standing nearby if he or she knew what was going on? Maybe one of your neighbors knew. I wouldn’t expect WaPo to be investing in resources to report on routine emergencies.

      • There wasn’t anyone standing nearby who wasn’t working on the problem, and I didn’t think my curiosity was a good enough reason to interrupt them. I don’t expect the Post to report on every 911 call, but this included literally 20 emergency vehicles so it wasn’t your everyday incident. Or maybe it was and DC is just really stepping up its game.

        • Don’t assume you can judge what is or isn’t an “everyday incident” based on what you see. Responses are generally based on limited information and a worst-case-scenario assumption. Just because there were 20 vehicles there doesn’t mean there was an emergency that actually required that many. Even still, this is a case of your curiosity not being satisfied rather than Washington Post falling down on the job.

    • epric002

      there was a fire last night on kennedy b/n ga ave and 13th (according to DC alert).

    • Unsurprisingly is right. As kook47797 pointed out, one shouldn’t expect the Washington Post to investigate and report every single emergency that requires a police/fire/ambulance response.

      • Seriously, I think it’s a bit unreasonable to expect The Post to report on every single 911 call/emergency. Especially since they are already spread so thin seeing nobody is actually buying the paper these days. Actually, that’s where I expect neighborhood blogs and list serves to pick up the slack for these type of stories.
        Related question, does anyone know of a good site that profiles each Mayoral candidate? Any plans for POPville to do this?

  • Rant: Snow. Again.

    Rave: I went to the gym last night even though I really didn’t want to. Happy with myself.

    Rant: What should have been a simple light fixture switch in our house ended up costing $200+ because we had to call an electrician out, because it turns out the dangling light bulb that was in the house when we bought it was a) not grounded, b) not connected to any outlet box in the ceiling and c) the ceiling was plastered over so the plaster and lathe had to be cut away. I swear, you hear it a million times but you never think it will really be you… old houses are money pits.

    • justinbc

      +1 on old houses. Ours has its centennial birthday next year and it’s pretty apparent. (although to be fair most of the issues we’ve had were because of a shitty renovation the previous owners did 15 years ago)

      • Yeah, that’s the majority of our issues as well. Every plumber, electrician, painter, etc. we’ve had come to the house has said some variation of “who the hell did this crack job?” when they look at our wiring/plumbing/etc. I honestly wish the man who had owned the house before us had just never touched a thing. The whole thing is held together with duct tape.

      • Not always the case. Ours is 135 years old and in excellent shape, thanks to previous owners who clearly cared for it well.

        • justinbc

          Our house was originally one large unit, then in the 50s converted into two separate units for renting purposes, then in the 90s converted back to one unit and it’s that conversion that the people really screwed up and we’ve been paying for since we bought it last year. It’s had quite the life over 99 years!

      • Same with ours. Whoever buys it from us will have a well-maintained and completely restored 100+ year old house with new kitchen &bathrooms. I’m jealous of them.

  • Rant: Between work, waiting to hear back from an interview, and other stuff, I’m so stressed this week. My shoulders are living at ear level.
    Rave (I guess): I can bear it, and none of this is life-threatening. That’s how I’m going to look at it.
    Rave: Seeing Richard III tonight!

  • Rant: Potbelly cookies are too delicious! I bought a bag of mini’s to take to a meeting, but they never even stood a chance. Sorry coworkers, I’m sure you would have enjoyed them!!!

  • Rant: Coworker’s Axe-like cologne. What are you, a 13-year old boy??

  • Rave: New parrot is doing fine, still needs to be potty trained though, he did a massive boo boo on my favorite shirt last night. The ones you love always poop on you…

    Rant: Restaurants that get rid of your favorite dish… Tara Thai is now dead to me. I’ve spent tons of money there now but they killed my favorite dish, so there’s no reason to go any more. Why is it that business decisions (specifically for chain establishments) always seem to go in the wrong direction in this area?

    Rant: Chain stores like CVS and Target constantly running out of popular items… If it’s a popular item, you should increase the amount of it that you order each week, right?!?

    Rant: Comcast is charging me 66$ for internet service (not even with cable TV or phone) that cost me just 27$ when I signed up. How does pricing accelerate that much in just 2 years? This current price will likely still go up again without notice. Internet providers have no fixed price plans for fair rates, they can charge whatever they want after your promotional period expires, and raise rates any time as well. Pricing for internet service should go DOWN over time, not up, especially when infrastructure for Comcast hasn’t really changed much in the past 8 years… Verizon pricing starts at 70$ (not including installation fees… You can’t tell me these companies don’t segment their pricing and plans in conjunction with each other to fix prices. It’s gone on way too long, there should be some regulation for this madness, yet Gov is so focused on taxing us to claim the remaining money we have in our pockets.

    • It’s insane. I always liken buying cable to trying to buy a souvenir in a third world country. The negotiation involved is like a freaking barter economy, I’m always tempted to offer them a goat or my daughter’s hand in marriage or something just to see if it would work.

    • Did you ask if they can still make the dish? There was a pizza that I loved at Matchbox and they took it off the menu but when I asked a server about it then said they could certainly still make it with only minor changes. It might be worth asking…especially if you love it! I never thought of that before…but since I had that happen there have been a couple other times that restaurants have accomodated my requests for stuff that’s not on the menu!

      • It’s a rare dish called Goong Phuket – Ground chicken in a chili sauce with Crab Meat and tiger prawns… Sooo good! I doubt they’d have the ingredients if they took it off the menu πŸ™ Oh well, I’ll just have to experiment and make it myself! πŸ˜›

        • Still, you might try asking. My favorite Thai dish is goong pad woon sen — and every restaurant I’ve ever asked has been willing to make it when it’s not on the menu. There are other restaurants that have been willing to make things for me when they’re “not too busy” or if I call ahead. If it’s really that good it could be worth asking.

    • Is RCN an option for you? Our service has been locked in for 2 years at $38/month for just internet.

      • RCN is satellite Internet service right? I’m quite concerned about using satellite service because I rely heavily on a reliable high speed + uninterrupted service) line… I don’t need cable TV at all. How has RCN service worked for you? Thanks for the info!

        • gotryit

          RCN is cable just like comcast – not satellite. My 1 year experience with them has been orders of magnitude better than the awful customer service and theft-like experience with comcast. Did I mention that I don’t like comcast?

        • (Previous Anon) We had them since September, and they’ve been great–no complaints. Granted, RCN isn’t available everywhere in DC, but if you need just internet and they’re in your area then it’s a good deal. When we were on the Hill they were not available.

    • binpetworth

      I hear ya on the rant about restaurants getting rid of your favorite dish. A few months ago Corner Bakery eliminated the only sandwich I loved on their menu–the Poblano Fresco–and I haven’t set foot in there since. And my (and others’) Twitter complaints have been for naught.

      • I haven’t been back to Au Bon Pain since they took smoked turkey off the menu. I used to always get smoked turkey with brie on a baguette. Regular turkey just doesn’t do it for me.

        • I never got sandwiches from Au Bon Pain, I do love their soups though with a Jalapeno-Cheese bagel, but my goodness they’re expensive πŸ™‚

      • OMG That was my favorite sandwich too! I always got the Poblano Fresca veggie! ANd I loved that Jicama slaw. Now they don’t have anything really vegetarian for me to eat. Haven’t been back since.

      • Im the same with panera-they took the turkey artichoke panini off the menu and the other turkey sandwiches just arent the same.

        • epric002

          when panera added fruit and nuts (BLECH!) to their chicken salad and then when they stopped carrying their sweet summer corn chowder (i know it’s seasonal, but i couldn’t even find it IN season!) i stopped eating at panera.

          • I hate it when people puts their nuts and berries in my salad! >:(

          • Epric002, couldn’t you ask for the chicken salad, but without the fruit/nuts?
            I agree that it’s disturbing when a place changes or eliminates something that had been one’s go-to — I really liked Panera’s Asiago roast beef sandwich with horseradish sauce, and I think they’re now making it with a no-horseradish or less-horseradishy sauce. I fear it might actually be mayonnaise, which I can’t stand.

          • epric002

            textdoc- i *think* i asked about that when they made the switch, but this was about 2 years ago, and it was all premixed πŸ™ this double whammy really got me b/c i always had the chicken salad together with the corn chowder for the pick 2. firstworldproblems.

          • Don’t get the chicken salad at the Coupe if you dont like that! it has nuts, berries, and mandarin oranges!

          • Epric002 — Oh, that sucks if it’s premixed!

    • When I signed up for Comcast high speed internet recently, the person on the phone told me I could add TV for the same price. This particular deal was nowhere on their website. I think they just wanted to rope me in after I turned down every other offer they threw at me. Jack5, I’m paying the same as you–you should call them and offer a goat or something in exchange for free TV.

    • The cable companies are only slightly less evil than Monsanto and arms dealers. The really effed up aspect of their price-fixing is that the internet is main medium of information today. It would be like one or two companies having a monopoly on printing presses in the 19th century. Don’t make me quote De Tocqueville!

    • Yes- Comcast is full of it. I really don’t see why they can’t notify you that you contract is expiring and your bill is going to increase. I had mine on auto pay and didn’t notice that I was paying almost $100 buck more than I was paying 3 months earlier.

    • Verizon’s just as bad. I can’t watch new episodes of It’s Always Sunny or Legit because FXX costs extra and I’m not willing to pay more for basic cable.

      • You can watch any show you want! On the Internets!!! Screw cable TV! Hah!… Thanks for the feedback yall!!

      • Yeah, Verizon’s evil — but I already ranted about that once this week. Some of the customer service reps are really nice and really patient, but the corporation as a whole: blech. When they know that there’s not much competition they can — and do — take advantage of that.

    • houseintherear

      What’s your parrot’s name? Where did you buy/adopt it? I want to add a new pet to my household SOOOO badly… but with a terrier, I fear a parrot wouldn’t live long.

      • … With a parrot I fear the terrier wouldn’t live long.

      • His name is Gojira (Japanese for Godzilla) and he’s a huge umbrella cockatoo… After having a great dog for 14 years now (he is still alive but quite old) I wanted less poop-scooper responsibility. Birds are great, Gojira is going to live a lot longer than a dog (up to 100 yrs) so I hopefully won’t have to deal with losing him in my lifetime. My kids (if I manage to have any) will inherit him for safe keeping. πŸ™‚

        I got him at The American Bird Company in Falls Church VA, most of the parrot stores (with good big birds) are in Virginia, ABC is the best I’ve been to because they personally hand feed all of their birds and prices are fair. Cheers!

        • Still think parrot captivity is bad – especially reading this from the American Bird Company website: “We have eliminated the parrots we found to be nervous or poor pet quality through our experience.”

    • Have you tried talking to the customer retention department? I’ve heard you can negotiate an extension of any promotions you have when they’re due to expire, usually every two years, particularly if you pay all your bills on time. You may have to call customer service and tell them you’re considering cancelling your service for a better rate through another provider before they transfer you to the retention department.

  • justinbc

    Random question: Anyone out there live in DC and work in Tysons Corner area, and if so what’s your daily commute in/out like? I’ve got a call today with a firm interested in my services out there, but will definitely be leveraging that factor in when it comes to negotiating compensation, if I like the rest of their offer.

    • Not I personally but have friends who do. One of them said this about his commute “Upon my command, unleash hell.”

      At least Silver Line will be open this summer? Maybe?

      • justinbc

        Yeah that would be nice but I’m not counting on it either. I don’t currently own a car, so I would have to purchase one to take the job (which is why I would have to negotiate for a good bit more money).

    • I work in reston, and take 395S–>GW parkway–>495S–>267(toll road.) in the mornings it takes me about 30mins from Trinidad. I leave my home anywhere between 5:30-6:30am….On my way home I take toll road to 66. I leave work at 3pm and it takes me about 40mins. 66east bound becomes nightmareish after 430pm. As an alternate route- you can take 123–>GW–>395N.

      • justinbc

        Good to know. I would be able to mostly set my own schedule there so I could feasibly come in earlier than I do now, and a good percentage of the work wouldn’t actually be done at the HQ office, but rather client sites in DC. I’ve just heard nightmare stories before, but half an hour isn’t bad at all. Some mornings in DC I sit on the bus that long!

    • I used to like 2 years ago
      drove from H st ne (9th & I specifically) and it wasnt that bad
      only traffic i hit was on 66 like a mile out from the exit i took and even then it moved well so it wasnt too bad (you can also skip a lot of it if need be by riding the right lane and jumping over last min)

    • I’m about to start making this commute and would love to hear what people have to say too.

    • I am interested in this as well. My boyfriend will soon have to commute from our house in the southern part of brookland out to Chantilly and has to keep hours of 8 – 5. I despise commuting and Im worried he will hate life to do this every day.

      • Depedning where in Chantilly- his commute will be miserable at the hours you posted. If he has to get on 28- I feel sorry for him. The evening commute is simply Hell. I did that for four 4 years before switching over to Reston.

      • Seriously. My commute is Centreville (next to Chantilly) to Chinatown. I drive to Burke Centre, VRE to L’Enfant, Metro to Chinatown. 90 minutes. Could probably knock it down to 1 hr 15 minutes if I could time it perfectly and never wait for a train/metro but…never gonna happen. Your husband would be opposite traffic but EB Rt 50 and SB28 (to 66) are nightmares from about 3-7 pm. If taking the toll road would be an option it might be somewhat better.

        Chantilly is the WORST in the evening. I used to go to a gym there. 4 miles from house and it took an hour to get home.

    • anonymouse_dianne

      Hi I worked at Freddie Mac for a year, just short of Tyson’s. I used the Orange line and Ride On bus, which wasn’t too bad. Driving in is a breeze, especially if you get EZ-Pass for the toll road. You have the advantage of the Reverse Commute. What’s really scary is The Commute. If you ever have to go back to DC during the day, or back to Tysons in the PM rush it is a nightmare.

      • justinbc

        I used to live in McLean off Georgetown Pike, so I do know the dreaded commute in that way pretty well. Luckily my partner at the time had the same work schedule for the most part, so we would always drive in together on the 66 HOV, and if I needed to work later she could just pick me up at WFC Metro. Even with the HOV there were lots of days where it would be mind-numbingly bad, especially once we got close to Arlington.

    • saf

      My husband did that commute, on public transportation, for years. It was long, but he sleeps on the train, so it worked for him.

    • jim_ed

      I used to commute from the hill to Merrifield, which is just down Gallows from Tysons. The interstate sucks totally because so many people go Arlington–>Dulles area for tech and defense jobs. I’d take 395-Rt 50 in the mornings, and then 29 to 66 just past the falls church metro in the evenings. For whatever reason, this was always consistently the fastest way.

  • albany

    Rant: Putting in our 5th above asking price offer for a house- still probably won’t get it.
    Rave: March trips to Montreal, Chicago, and Fort Lauderdale.

    • I feel your pain. I’m an agent and I just had a client who has been searching and came up 2nd out of 11 offers. That was almost more painful than being at the bottom of the pile. This is a sellers market. You’ll find something…keep with it!

    • I totally feel your pain. I’ve been out bidded numerous times in past year but I am finally under contract. I saw a dumpster parked out side a home under renovation and I got the owner information off the posted permits. I called them up directly and asked if they are renovating for themselves or to flip. Turned out they are investors and I was able to workout a deal with them and go under contract a week later. Great thing is that i was able to make some design changes, and I get to pick all of the finishes, floorings, cabinets etc. Plus I get to monitor the renovations and make sure corners aren’t being cut..
      Maybe you can do the same. Good Luck!

    • Albany, I am so with you. This process has been awful. We couldn’t even SEE two properties that we liked within a few days of the listing because they went under contract. Plus, when you actually get a chance, you need to offer way above asking price, regardless of the value. Small supply + high demand = sad panda.

      • Hang in there! It took us a year to finally land a house – I think we bid on 10 or 11 houses in the end? I lost track. We weren’t even that picky about location or condition! It was unbelievably demoralizing to be continually beat out by all-cash offers and people who could afford to bid way over the asking price. We ended up buying a short-sale fixer-upper for above our original price point, but now we have a house. Thank god. Our poor realtor was probably sick of the sight of us.

    • justinbc

      We wound up with the third house we put an offer in on, keep being resilient! The first house that we actually tried to get closed for $30K less than we offered too, which was even more frustrating.

    • It’s rough out there. I have a friend who put in an all-cash offer up to $45K above asking and still didn’t get it. That just blows my mind. Makes me feel super lucky we only had to pay $3K above asking even though I was miffed at the time.

    • albany

      Thanks Pop Commenters – it does make me feel a little bit better to hear others’ experiences were equally frustrating.

  • Rave: Season 2 of The Americans starts tonight. And Hannibal starts Friday night.

    Rant: The Americans is on the same time as Nashville. And I haven’t watched some of the shows I dvr’d last night.

    Rave: First world problems, like having too much good tv to watch.

  • Rave: love that picture!

    Question: can anyone recommend a place to buy a futon? I’m looking for a nice futon, hardwood, a real piece of furniture. Any advice on where to look?

    • houseintherear

      World Market sells one that has a nice black wood base and changable covers… I had it for a while and loved it. Slept there often. It’s called the Studio Day Sofa.

  • skj84

    Rant: A good friend on mines birthday party is the same day as concert I want to see and I promised her I’d attend her party. Plus the bday is at a place I hate. I don’t think I can overlap the events. I need to stop feeling selfish, but I really wanted to see this show.

    • If you already told her you would go then you might be stuck, but in my opinion birthday parties for adults can be skipped for any reason (or for no reason) with no questions asked. I know it doesn’t really work that way but it should.

      • IMO, if you already told her you’d go, you need to suck it up and stick to that commitment. Is the timing such that you can’t go to both?
        I “broke up” with a friend who did something similar to this — not on the basis of just one incident (and it was a later straw that actually broke the camel’s back, not her reneging on my birthday), but because she’d bruised my feelings repeatedly.

        • Oh, I don’t flake out on commitments unless it’s an emergency or I’m sick. And she’s gone to plenty events for me that I’m sure were not her cup of tea.

          Still we are both fans of the band and initially I thought she wanted to see them that night. She ultimately decided to do dinner at a place I don’t care for. I’m not a fan of group dinners to begin with and trying not to spend much money. The concert would’ve been less than the dinner.

          • Ah — so the birthday dinner plans didn’t come together until after you’d floated the concert idea with her? That makes it less clear-cut than I’d thought.
            Good one on you for sticking with commitments, though.

          • I say that you’re an adult and that you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to. Tell her you’re having a couple of tight months budget-wise and offer to take her out to happy hour for coffee. If it’s a big dinner with lots of people she’ll probably appreciate the offer for one on one time.

          • “I say that you’re an adult and that you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to.” Maybe, but if you make a commitment to do something, you should follow through, not bail.

          • (Though I do think counter-proposing a one-on-one birthday celebration for another day might be acceptable.)

          • Anon 4:03: You say they don’t have to do anything they don’t want to do but they should lie about why they don’t want to do it? That doesn’t sound very mature. If you’re going to take such a defiant stand then at least have the courage to not lie about your reasons.

      • Is this concert really worth your friend being hurt? It’s a pretty lame excuse to bail on a “good friend” on their birthday for a concert, so I say suck it up.
        It seems to be the going trend these days – nobody to stick to their word anymore – and it’s all about “me” these days.

        • I agree with you 100% about sticking to your word, but on the other hand nothing says “all about me” more than an adult who insists that everybody come to their birthday party. That’s my opinion anyway.

    • Tell your friend that you already have tickets to the concert and that you’ll make it up to her by taking her out for drinks?

    • sounds like you’d be bitter if you went to the dinner. normally, i’d put friends above shows, especially on their birthday, but since you’re rationalizing pretty hard trying to justify not going to dinner, just go to the concert.

      hit her up later for a belated birthday drink. if she gives you a hard time later, just joke about how you were a dick and buy her another drink.

      • Good advice. If you do something that I find annoying, I can easily be bribed with a few drinks.
        Hatchet? Buried.

  • Rant: This week might kill me. High-pressure meetings every day mean no time to get actual work done, and the stress is making it impossible to sleep. I have to get on a plane immediately after a client meeting this afternoon to be in North Carolina for an important meeting with upper-level management first thing tomorrow morning. Then back to DC for another partner meeting Friday.
    Rave: I’m doing all this because I landed a significant contract and got a big fat promotion. Woohoo!

    Not a rant or rave, but seeking some advice from POPville on owning a rental property. I am debating between selling my condo now and using the profit for a down payment on the next place, or hanging on to it as a long-term investment. If i keep it, I would need to rent it out for 2 years to establish rental income and to save for an adequate down payment for the next place. I know nothing about reporting rental income on my taxes, and how much of a profit margin makes it worthwhile. I’m estimating that I can probably pull in about $300-400 a month in profit after my mortgage, insurance, taxes, and HOA fees are accounted for. Worth it? It’s in an area where I won’t have any trouble finding renters. Thanks for any advice!

    • Keep in mind that if you convert the condo to a rental and then want to sell it you pay higher capital gains tax. Unless you do a Starker exchange – where you sell a rental and invest the profit into another rental – which actually only defers the capital gains, but you can then convert the new rental into your primary residence after a year.

    • It’s definitely case by case basis. You are almost close to the threshold I’ve set for myself which is $500 profit after all upfront costs. But you need to factor in potential equity gains- eventhough it is not guarunteed(market may crash etc).
      Also – like vicotoria mentioned- when time comes to sell there are tax implications- unless you can some how move back into your condo couple years before selling time and then rent out the other home.

    • It really depends on your motivation. If you want to keep it for the very long term as an income stream in retirement versus just wanting to know if you should hold it for awhile then the answer would be different. You’ll pay taxes on the rent but it’ll be offset by deductions for the mortgage interest and other expenses. You’ll likely have some minor headaches with the property. If you sell after not having lived there two of the last five years then you’ll have to consider capital gains. Obviously you’ve thought about having to save up for the next place (which sounds like a pain…and will you be able to afford something after saving for two years.) Could you get a co-signer so you could buy something else right away? Then it might make more sense. I agree with the other commenter that it’s a case by case decision.

  • Rant: The woman who insisted her hired dog walker – who takes up to 16 dogs at a time on un-leashed and un-controled walks on the Melvin Hazen trail in RC park – is competent, while I’m on the phone with her after rescuing her lost dog. The dog-walker didn’t even seem to notice it was missing!

    Rave: The posts on travel yesterday reminded me I need to renew my passport.

    • epric002

      do you know who the dog walker is/what company she works for?

      • There is a similar walker (same walker perhasp?) in Glover Park that walks with a herd of dogs. It’s sad that people pay good money for that “service” because it looks like abuse the way she drags the little dogs and how some of the dogs are super stressed.

      • This dog walker’s name is Hermes Janez, and he is very upfront that he takes a bunch of dogs and lets them run free in Rock Creek Park. He says only after he “trains” them to come, or lets them run for a while dragging a leash (dangerous!) and that they stay in the “pack” (which I also have seen at 10-12 dogs or more.) He has several other men who work for him.

        Whenever I’ve seen this pack, several of the dogs – like 5 or 6 – have come running wildly up to mine. Like running from 100 yards away across from another trail. It is very scary. Him, or his hired hands, I don’t know what he looks like, have also been rude and intimidating when I questioned them.

        • Can you call the Park Police on him? (Dogs are required to be on-leash in Rock Creek Park, right?)

          • I’ve talked with Park Police several times about it, and called them when I’ve seen him, but they don’t have the manpower- (or even the knowledge of the trails!) to respond.

        • This sounds like him or them. The dog (Scarlett) owner told me the guy’s name when I called her, but I was trying to hold onto 3 dogs and hear on the phone, so I missed it. But this was the third dog of his I’ve found over the past few years that escaped his care.

          Actually, when I found this dog I thought it might be one of his, but didn’t see the usual pack or any people within view. I shouted and whistled, but no one responded. As I took her back down the trail (my phone was in the car) a runner passed from behind us and I asked her if she had seen anyone looking or calling for a dog and she said no.

          So I’m just suggesting to people to think about their dog care.

  • Rant: Was starting to feel the grip of depression again this morning wrap around my throat.
    Rave: I read this on Humans of New York and chilled the fuck out:

    “Facebook is telling me that everyone has a house, a kid, and a dog. So I’m just trying to calm the fuck down.”

    Rave: Things with a girl are going along quite nicely. It kinda feels too perfect so I keep thinking something’s wrong.

    • Anonynon

      I can totally relate to that ‘wait theres nothing wrong (with this girl/guy), wait let me dig deeper because there HAS to be a reason this person is still single, right?! I have this curse also.

      • Surely someone might wonder what’s wrong with YOU for you to still be single, no?

      • And Corey, it’s not as though “being single” = “something wrong with this person” and “not single” = “nothing wrong with this person.”
        A relationship not working out doesn’t necessarily mean there was something “wrong” with one or both of the parties — just that they weren’t a good fit for each other.

      • I’m OP, to clarify, I do not think anything is wrong with the girl at all. In fact it’s the opposite. Things just seem too perfect… we have the same interests, we get along with each other’s friends. It’s more an indictment on me and my screwed up sensibilities that I have to question a good thing because I’m so used to not being happy.

        • Can you see someone to talk out what makes you so weary on that? I’ve had friends back out of things just because they were scared of how good things were and were hooked on drama…and others just take longer to get over the honeymoon phase before pinpointing what wasn’t right…and others (like me) happily paired up years later with the person that everything just seemed so easy with from the first time we kissed:) Good luck.

          • I’m really hoping it’s the just that I’m insecure and I’m really trying to just go with it. I did talk to a really good friend, she said the same… if things are good, it’s because they are.

    • anonymouse_dianne

      I love Humans of New York. Check out Dogs of New York run by Kim Wolf.

  • epric002

    rave: 2.5 mile run/walk with the doggies after work yesterday. they were so well behaved!
    rantish: my new running shoes are making my feet hurt. my POS old running shoes didn’t. how long does it take to break in new running shoes?
    rantish: could have totally used a 2 hr delay this morning…

    • You shouldn’t have to break in running shoes. Sorry, but you may have bought the wrong pair for your feet.

      • epric002

        blarg. this is especially annoying since i went to pacers and did the whole running on the treadmill for the camera thing so they could recommend shoes based on my gait.

        • epric002

          called pacers and i can return/exchange them since i’m w/in the 14 day window. also googled reviews of the shoes and apparently about 50% of people are having the same problems i am- foot numbness and arch pain. le sigh.

          • They’ll let you return them? Running store usually don’t take them back if you’ve worn them outside.
            Out of curiosity, what brand and model shoe are they?

          • epric002

            brooks purecadence 3 (i just realized all the bad reviews were for the purecadence 2, but i’m having those same issues). i told the guy on the phone i’ve worn them for 2 runs and told him my issues and he said i could return/exchange them.

          • Cool. Glad to know they’re willing to be flexible about their return policy. Gold star for Pacers.

        • I have bought all my running shoes at Fleet Feet in Adams Morgan for the past 10 years. They have never sold me a bad pair.

  • Advice needed:
    I received a fine in the mail from DPW for littering. However the “proof” of accompanying pictures depicts a pile of discarded construction materials (old carpet, carpet padding, etc) with an amazon delivery box with my name and address (which was originally in my recycle bin) perched on top. I am a)not doing any renovations, b) never had carpet when I bought my house, and c) the pile wasn’t even behind my house (this is in a shared alley that is a block long).

    I understand that the city inspector needed someone to blame or whatever, but it just seems so backhanded to me. I denied the fine and requested a hearing, because obviously the pile of materials is not mine, and my amazon box was in my recycle bin. The fine isnt astronomical or anything but it is the PRINCIPLE behind it.

    Has anyone ever had a hearing like this? How do I prove the negative?

    • Never heard that this was a thing. Here’s the opinion of a disinterested party. 1) You probably will have success persuading that the renovation material is yours just based on your testimony since no one will be there to refute you. 2) you may be out of luck on the amazon box. I see your point, but I could also see someone saying that if the box got blown out of your bin (as it is unlikely a 3rd party took it out and set it on the ground), that it was your responsibility to secure it in a way it doesn’t get blown out or jostled out.

    • You should be like Arlo Guthrie in this situation:

      Next morning, when we got a phone call from officer Obie. He said, “Kid, We found your name on an envelope at the bottom of a half a ton of garbage, and just wanted to know if you had any information about it.” And I said, “Yes, sir, Officer Obie, I cannot tell a lie, I put that envelope under that garbage.”

    • I have never had a hearing like this, but I have dealt with a sort of similar situation. And it’s not backhanded, more like lazy – if they find trash lying around and there is identifying information on or near it then they’ll assume it’s yours. This is one reason why it’s important to make sure that your trash/recycling is properly stored and secured in bins when it’s outside. (any idea how that box got out of your bin and onto the pile of trash?)
      Also, this is a reason why you should be vigilant about keeping the area around your house free of junk, and you should report piles of crap that appear ASAP. Someone dumped a pile of construction materials behind my house and the only reason I didn’t get fined for it (though they tried) was because I reported it to 311 immediately.
      Anyway, if you can spare the time to go to a hearing I’m guessing you have a good chance. Seems far more plausible that your cardboard box blew onto the pile than you dumping a pile of trash in your own alley but behind someone else’s house.

    • I successfully got a fine for alley trash dismissed after explaining that it was my neighbor’s trash (though it was in front of my fence) and that it had occurred at the tail end of a 10-day period with no trash pickup (thanks to the holiday/snowstorm). I realized that the inspector who issued the ticket was someone I had met last summer when I was out picking up litter on the sidewalk; I e-mailed him directly to make a case for my not being a sloppy trash-disposer and to ask for the ticket to be dismissed.
      It sounds like you’ve already submitted the paperwork to the Office of Administrative Hearings, but you can still try contacting DPW to see if they will dismiss the ticket. (The OAH is a totally separate body.)
      You said the cardboard box was originally in your recycling bin — so it must’ve fallen out when DPW was doing recycling pickup? I’d try explaining to DPW what must’ve happened with the box, telling them that the renovation stuff isn’t yours, and seeing if they’re willing to dismiss the ticket before OAH adjudicates it.
      If they don’t, you can try making that same argument with OAH.

      • Also, the fact is that DPW has long targeted condos in “gentrified” neighborhoods for trash tickets (one malt liquor bottle in your trash instead of recycling is enough!) because they know they will be likely to collect. So it is not beyond possibility that they are ticketing houses that look like they belong to – well, you know.

      • I remember you posting about this a few weeks ago. Glad to hear you were able to get the ticket dismissed!

  • Anonynon

    Rant: Snow snow go away, actually…it made my commute very nice this morning since a lot of people teleworked.
    Rave: Unexpected date tonight with a girl (found using coffee meets bagel, kinda like tinder but more respectable?). Anyways we both liked each other and are meeting for drinks after work tonight. Oddly enough its the same place i had my first date with my last serious girl friend (lasted 6 months) and we ended up having a “one night stand” but that eventually turned into us dating. I highly doubt that will happen again but going in with an open mind. Any advice (i am 25)?

    • Keep it to drinks, don’t do dinner on the first one.

      • justinbc

        Normally I would agree with this, but there are exceptions. Really depends on your interest level in the person (and for me my interest level in trying some new restaurant, heh). The nice thing about proposing just drinks is that you can springboard from there if it’s going well.

        • if you already knew each other through social circles, then i can see dinner for a first date. but with online dating, you keep it to drinks only… that’s pretty resolute.

      • +1. Drinks only.

      • +2
        Drinks only. Dinner is a long commitment if you find the person to be obnoxious/not compatible/have nothing to talk about.

        • I say when in doubt, talk about food. You’re eating it, everyone eats it, and everyone has opinions on it.

          • I would rather call the date off early than talk about food.

          • Agreed with Anonymous. Talking about food the is a great way to put me to sleep. I’d rather curl up in bed early than continue that date. If the conversation gets to that awkward point, it’s pretty obvious we’re not compatible.

      • Drinks then whatever! If it’s going well, go on and have dinner and etc. I once had drinks with a guy in Newport Airport (stranded both) then one “date” then a cross-country drive.

    • More importantly, are you the coffee or the bagel? My advice is don’t tell the girl that’s the same place you had your first date with your ex! Ex discussions are a no-no on a first date.

      • Anonynon

        hahah i’m not sure if i am the coffee or the bagel? The app is a little confusing. I guess i am the coffee since i drink more than i eat of bagels. And yeah definitely was not going to mention that to her, just kind of ironic that she preposed the place

  • I found a nice wooden futon at Ellen’s Futons. I originally purchased it from their now-closed location in Van Ness, but it looks like they still have a location open in Clarendon. Also, if you/anyone are/is interested in a loveseat wooden futon, I’m looking to sell mine (no real space for it anymore)–a pine color of this futon in a two-seater as opposed to a three (www.ellensfuton.com/futonframes.php?img=289). The frame is in great condition, but the cushion is about 6 years old, so I’d buy a new one rather than taking mine!

    • Sorry, meant for anongardener above.

      • As a two seater, is it still capable of being a sleeper? If so, I may be interested in taking the frame off your hands!

        • Yes, its a two seater that can become a full-sized bed. There’s an extra cushion that I keep in a closet–you put a full sized fitted sheet over it to connect the two cushions. Have PoP put us in touch!

    • Thanks! Sadly we need one that turns into a full-sized bed. Did you buy the cushion from Ellen’s too? Anything about it you didn’t like?

    • I tell my boyfriend all the time that the best thing he moved into my place with was his futon from Ellen’s. It’s rock solid even after about 8 years of serious abuse (out of town visitors, a 60 pound dog who has claimed it as his own, and the battleground for epic dog vs. cat rumbles), and it actually looks nice. I think the Clarenden store would be worth a shot.

      • It was so long ago that I’m not sure, but I _think_ I bought my futon from Ellen’s when they had a Rockville location.
        When I moved from a one-bedroom place to a house, I was a little sad that I felt obligated to get a proper sofa for my living room and relegate the futon to a guest bedroom — I really liked that futon! (And everyone who slept on it said it was great.)

      • Thanks everyone for the feedback! I will check out’s Ellen’s.

  • Rant: Really can’t get motivated at work this week. Even the simplest tasks seem daunting
    Rave: Gainful employment
    Rant: The weather is making me discouraged about everything: dating, life, jobs. If one more boy tells me that they are just looking for “something casual,” I just give up. I am clearly dating the wrong guys.
    Rave: It will be Spring soon! (hopefully)

    • Guys say that? dam I’m a pretty confident guy but I would expect a punch in the face if I ever told a date I was looking for some casual? Causal things happen sure but it has to be natural not forced or even asked. From a man’s POV this town is full of woman who love their careers and hate anyone who is not all about what they do from 9 to 5pm. I lived here for 3 years and I am overall all the power trippers living in this bubble.

      • Yep, of the last four guys I have been out with on more than one date, three of the four have either flat out said that or implied it. Needless to say those dates did not go on much longer. A few of my girlfriends have also had similar things said to them, so it definitely happens. Dating is the worst in DC.

      • I should also add that it often happens in a text conversation after going out a few times, so no risk of punching (haha).

      • Plenty of guys and gals in DC are very upfront about wanting to keep things casual.
        Some people don’t have the time or emotional capacity for a full on relationship. And that’s OK, so long as they are honest about it and don’t lead people on.
        It’s a by product of living in a city with lots of smart, successful, and ambitious people.

        • Anonynon

          Theres definitely many different categories of relationships. I think for young people just moving to the city, we are not use to dating in the “Real World” where you arent on the same school schedule as your SO (just an example). Theres a lot of girls i would love to have ‘casual’ relationships with but tend to find that these things can only last so long before someone tips the scale and becomes needy (emotions eventually come to the surface) and probably a lot of anger. Anyways, I am looking for a seriously relationship (eventually) but until then the only thing you can do is keep it casual until you find the right match for a long term one

  • Rant: Car repairs $$$
    Rave: Going to work early means a more empty bus.

    Does anyone have a recommendation for a good tire place? I’m in Dupont, but can travel somewhat.

    • Radial Tire Company in Silver Spring.

    • Al’s Action Tire in NE.

    • jim_ed

      If you just need tires, then I recommend ordering them off tirerack.com if you have somewhere you can take delivery of them, or Sears. Beware of the mom & pop places selling off-brand tires. Despite what you’re told they are not comparable to major brands, they’re chinese made junk that won’t last and risk blow outs. Tires are one of those things that you really get what you pay for.

      If you need actual service work done to your car, I like the Shell station at Georgia and Upshur. They don’t gouge and stand by their work.

    • saf

      I get tires through my mechanics.

      GTS Auto
      2310 18th Pl NE
      202) 462-0486

  • Rave: teleworking in my pj’s
    Rave: stocks are up! Target’s finally making a turnaround and justifying my purchase… 7% today πŸ™‚
    Rave: great yoga class last night. I hurt in delicious ways, which means the muscles I turned to concrete from 20 years of running are finally stretching out

  • Rant: micromanaging boss lost a document i sent her and now not only wants me to resend it to her, wants me to go through my entire sent box of thousands of emails to prove to her that i actually did send it.
    Rave: i know my boss is a vindictive micromanager so i started logging every.single.thing that i did, and have notes explicitly showing that i did in fact send said document to her. Take that crazy, boss!

    • Ugh I feel your pain. I did that for two and a half years at my last job. My motto was to document everything because you never knew what could come back to bite you. It stinks always being on the defensive with your boss. Hang in there! You’re learning valuable organizational skills that will come in handy at whatever job you pursue next! (And free management lessons… on how not to treat people.)

  • Rave: Walked a mile of my afternoon commute yesterday to get some exercise. From Chinatown to union Station. All this thanks to an idea from folks here at Popville!
    Rant: Having to wait 4 weeks on my sofa from Haverty’s.

    • Good for you. My dad quit smoking, put on weight, but started just walking a mile or so to work every day (this was before “exercise” was invented) lost the weight and stayed very healthy for a long time.

  • gotryit

    Rant: More used condoms on the sidewalk near my house.

    • What hood/area?

    • Me too. I think I might get a battery operated motion sensing floodlight and put it up on the top of my fence facing the alley. Hopefully whatever douchebag thinks it’s cool to do that in my alley and then leave behind their trash won’t find it as appealing with 150 watts in their face.

      • justinbc

        Yeah if this is a continual problem you should definitely invest in either a motion operated camera system or bright light.

      • Should go after the cause rather than effect. Why are there used condoms there? Prostitution in the area?

        • gotryit

          Nothing overt that I’ve seen, like street walkers. But when I’ve been able to pinpoint the act, it’s always been different cars. They pull up, do their business, and take off. So I’m wondering if there is a prostitute that brings their johns there, but I don’t have any way to tell.

        • Not that I’ve seen, but who knows. People could be coming in from other areas because it’s quiet, relatively safe and dark back there. I’m guessing it must happen late at night because I’m home during the day often enough and have never seen anything suspicious.

          • My best guess is it’s local teenagers who have little privacy at home so they resort to using an alley. I’m hoping a bright light will be enough to deter them.

      • gotryit

        I was daydreaming about catapulting the prior month’s haul right at the car while they’re at it. But I’ll stick to working with the police.

    • gotryit

      Sixteenth street heights. I have a motion light on the back of my house, and also a camera. But it’s ~50′ from the action, so you can’t really see much. Oh, and this one was in broad daylight ~4:15PM.
      I’m bringing it up with the police, but I don’t know what they would do with it. I have been thinking of running a camera closer to the street as a deterrent, but unfortunately some people just don’t get the message.

  • Does anyone know where I can buy a murphy bed, or even better have one made to fit my existing mattress (in DC)?

  • I saw that a cyclist had been hit this morning (around 10 am?) at the bottom of the hill in Columbia hgts (exact corner 11th St, NW and Florida Ave, NW). It looked bad as the bicycle was broken in half! I found this tweet on the DC EMS feed:
    Cyclist Struck – 11th St. NW and Florida Ave. NW – Units on scene. #dctraffic
    How can we find out more news? Is the cyclist ok. This whole incident has really bothered me!

    • daaaamn. that can be an aggressive intersection.

    • It will be interesting to see who is at fault here. Cyclists like to bomb down that hill and carry their momentum down into the flat part of 11th Street. Lots of them blow through the red light so they don’t have to stop. Meanwhile, cars tend to drive pretty quickly across Florida and are moving faster than the cyclists who are running the red light can anticipate.
      It’s a recipe for very messy, high speed crashes.

  • Rant: Can I complain about my soon to be former friend who happens to be my landlady? Besides being a terrible landlord (seriously – basic fixes languish for over 2 years), she recently called to “invoice me” for sending her repair guy to fix a burst pipe “caused because I kept the apartment too cold”. Here’s what’s up: the apartment is a meat-locker in the wintertime, regardless of how high you turn up the heat – leaky windows, zero insulation, abandoned building next door etc etc. In fact, I’ve had to start crashing at my boyfriend’s place because I risk hypothermia. Adding insult to injury, she raised the rent, claiming she had texted me that she was raising the rent months ago (whaaaaaat?????) and would like me to pay her the difference. Seriously, what?
    Rave: I had the balls to tell her where to put her invoice (in a very nice way). And we agreed on raising the rent next month just to get her off the phone.
    Rave/Rant: This was the final push I needed to get my shit together and buy myself a place. Hooray!
    Lesson learnt: business and friendship don’t mix – I doubt my friend would be doing any of this lax “land lording” with a random tenant.

    • “Lesson learnt: business and friendship don’t mix – I doubt my friend would be doing any of this lax ‘land lording’ with a random tenant.”
      Unfortunately, it works in the other direction too — I had a tenant who began as a friend, and who I think was extra demanding and passive-aggressive as a result. I think it’s better for both parties when the relationship is strictly a business one.

  • Rant: Drove all the way to the train station this morning before getting the email alert that VRE struck a person and trains were delayed.
    Rave: I was not the person hit (it was apparently a suicide) and I was not the poor train engineer or clean up crew. Or stuck on the train.
    Rant: Coworkers that disrespect me, my time, what little authority I have, contradict me to my team, etcetcetc. I teleworked today due to aforementioned train issue and spent a good portion of it yelling at no one in particular about this dude.
    Rave: Knob Creek Smoked Maple.

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