Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user number7cloud

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.

170 Comment

  • Rant: The “you are posting too quickly” page on this site when I go to submit my first post of the day.
    Rave: It is Friday.

    • I have found it helpful to hit the back button, copy what I wrote in the comment box, then hit F5 to refresh, and post. You won’t get the error message the second time.

    • I always assumed it was the plural “you” as in: yinz are posting too quickly (for my pittsburghers) or ya’ll for all the rest of yinz.

  • Rant/Rave: Sloppy Joe “soup” for lunch. Don’t judge!

  • Rave: Sunny, payday Friday! Doesn’t get much better than that.
    Rant: This is the pettiest rant ever, but I’ve had “November Rain” stuck in my head for several days now. It’s getting harder and harder not to start humming it at random moments.

  • Anyone try Mandalay yet? I’ve tried to go a couple times, but it was either closed, or they were all booked up. Seems like they’re doing a prix fixe upstairs for $70, which seems steep…but maybe it’s worth it?

    • The one in Silver Spring is great, but is definitely not that expensive, wonder what’s up.

    • Agreed, the one in Silver Spring is amazing, but it does not have a prix fixe menu. It might be worth going to Silver Spring to try their delicious food at lower prices before trying the more expensive option.

    • I’ve been several times to the new location. The upstairs is prix fixe and very expensive. Honestly, it was so much food, I really felt ill afterwards (I wasn’t sure how many courses it was going to be so kept thinking “this must be the last dish” so kept eating and eating and eating). But the food is really good. It’s more refined than the Silver Spring location but still really good. They also have a small menu downstairs and at the bar (there’s probably 10 tables downstairs and an 8 seat bar). The bar has never been crowded when I’ve gone, and they change up what’s available, and often bring you free soup. They are closed on Mondays but should be open all other days.

      • Also, it’s the son of the main owner doing the new Mandalay, so he’s trying to his own thing a little bit. So don’t expect specific dishes from the SS location but the food is still great.

      • Great – thanks! Maybe I’ll give the downstairs a shot.

  • Rave: Great show by Lord Huron at 9:30 last night
    Rant: They played a new song that I can’t find anywhere on the internet. I thought the internet had everything…

  • Happy Friday!
    Rave: knowing yourself, what you want, what you expect, and being open about it
    Rant: seems like a lot of people are afraid to express themselves. myself included a lot of the time
    Revel: Friday night plans with a good friend, but we are going out to arlington…but its kind of a random party (friend of a friend) so it will be interesting!

  • Rave: Friday!
    Rant: I have a packed weekend (starting with a concert tonight), but all I really want to do is go home and sit on the couch. I have been feeling so lazy this week. I have been so unmotivated lately: at work, in the gym, at home. I blame the winter weather. Can I just hibernate until mid-March?
    Revel: (Yes, this is a sentimental, sappy one.) My partner and I were getting ready this morning (something that usually doesn’t happen at the same time because of varying work schedules), and I couldn’t help but think that I still enjoy the simple, small things with him. I never thought doing dishes while discussing my upcoming day with someone would make me so happy.

    • thats a nice story πŸ™‚ i wish me and my roomate went to work at the same time every once in a while….but i also like to sleep in while he is in the shower.

  • pablo .raw

    Rave: Krispy K. donuts are evil. I know because I just had two.
    Rant: I think a tooth filling or part of it fell out. Closest appointment is Tuesday.
    Rave: So far it hasn’t been terrible, I’ll survive.
    Rave: I can still eat Krispy K. donuts.

  • rant: been dating a guy for over a year, and he just did the fade out on me. really? i feel like after a year, i at least deserve to be dumped in person.
    rave: i like making new friends (if you look up extravert in the dictionary, there SHOULD be a picture of me) so I guess this is an opportunity to meet new, interesting people. and maybe ones with more social skills!
    rant: missed breakfast and am so hungry

    • a year and he did the fade out? what the hell is wrong with people?

      • i just had an in talk person with a girl i had only been seeing two months. Honestly, thats terrible that he did that to you, but i cant help but think you allowed it to happen? Did you care that much? Not to pry but it doesnt sound like you do

        • “i cant help but think you allowed it to happen” — huh?? She (or he) had no control over how the guy chose to dump her (or him).

          • I agree maybe it was out of her control. But i feel like if you doing address it immedaitely then its over. I think its a two way street. But maybe she did try endlessly to contact/hang out with him and he just sat silently? Either way its obviously a douche bag move on the guys part. But i cant help but think girls play into letting this happen ALL THE TIME. I know because i have a lot of girl friends and this happends way more frequently then one might think…but after 1 year thats pretty wild.

          • Men’s bad behavior can ALWAYS be blamed on women somehow! /s

        • are you serious right now? you don’t allow that shit to happen… trust me

        • wow, just because i’m trying to make lemonade out of lemons, doesn’t mean i don’t care. it sucks and it hurts, but WTF am i supposed to do? Sit at home and feel sorry for myself? apparently it’s easy for him to move on and not call/text/email me back so i have to move on as well. sometimes life sucks and then you deal with it.

          • Im sorry…i didnt mean to be harsh, i sympathize with you dating blows and even when you think you found someone nice who cares about you things can go south for no reason (literally got dumped and the girl could not come up with one reason why). Its hard. But life will go on and someone new and better will come along (iv seen many great people since then, but am still ‘single’).

          • Well, he’s a jerk. We all have our different ideas of what’s appropriate, but I think most would agree that fading out after a year is a jerk move. May I ask if you all were “exclusive”, or were you just dating/hanging out/randomly hooking up for a year? Just wondering. Not that it makes a huge difference.

          • we were exclusive. i had met his parents and family on numerous occasions, and we had gone on a couple of trips together. the last time we talked, we were making plans to go to SF in the spring. we hadn’t talked about making any big future plans (like moving in together or anything like that) but i was led to believe it was pretty serious. i mean, who introduces you to the parents and then fades out?

          • Wow that is messed up. I wouldn’t even think he was doing that fade in that situation; I would have been knocking on his door making sure he was still alive.

          • ^ Yeah that would be my concern as well. Have you seen any facebook updates from him/his friends? I mean is there any chance he could have gotten seriously injured or ill and you just don’t know about it?

      • +1. That is completely lame; he sounds like a coward.

    • Wow that is shitty. Who does that?
      I kind of want you to show up someplace where you know he’ll be and act like everything is normal, just to see him freak out.

      • Haha yeah, just walk up to him, kiss him and be like “oh hey, so yeah it’s been a while right? Are we still on for that thing this weekend?” BECAUSE YOU NEVER BROKE UP WITH ME.

        • just to poke fun at the situation. I am just curious (as a guy) why wouldnt the girl take control of the situation and just tell the guy its over after he sits silent for more than a week? I dont get why girls dont take action and hold men accountable. Its the only way to change the current trends

          • I would totally do that. Once you’re completely sure you’ve been faded-out, the following email: “I’m so sorry, but I’ve met someone else. Please don’t take it personally, but… he’s just so perfect for me. He’s everything I’ve ever dreamed of, but feared I would never find. Intelligent, funny, and an amazing lover. (Again, so sorry.) Be good to yourself, ok? I’m sure your perfect person is out there somewhere, and I hope you find her.”

          • there’s only so much you can do. this same thing happened to me and i confronted him, but some might not choose to go that route. it’s ridiculous to put the blame on the girlfriend. the fault lies squarely with the person who fades away.

          • You don’t know that she didn’t do that. And what makes you think that some guy who does the fade-out is going to learn his lesson? He stops contacting her, then she tells him it’s over. It sounds like he got exactly what he wanted since he didn’t have to confront her himself. He just treated her poorly, and then waited for her to break up with him. I don’t see that changing “current trends” at all, whatever you mean by that. Sometimes a man treats a woman poorly and it’s not the woman’s fault.

          • well it’s hard to have a one-sided conversation when the other person just drops off the face of the planet. what am i supposed to do? send him an email telling him he’s a shitty person?

          • she’s saying she called/texted/emailed and he didn’t respond. Is she supposed to stalk him and show up at his house or workplace unannounced?

          • Yes, but then you would be the crazy stalker ex who is too bitter and needs to get over it! Sigh. With some people you just can’t win.

          • Ok i get what you are saying. Guy is a POS. But, i just had to talk to a girl i had been dating for two months…it was really hard and really stressful (as someone who has only done it once or twice). I am glad i did because if i never said anything i think this girl would never have even brougt up the subject of “what are we doing – will this work – ect”. Girls cant just sit on the sidelines looking pretty, you have to be agressive and talk to your guy and tell them how you feel if you want them to stick around.

          • you think talking to a girl after two months is hard? try swallowing your pride and talking to a guy who you’ve been dating for a year who just stops returning your phone calls. it was pretty clear to me that i had gotten dumped, and that he didn’t want to see/talk to me anymore. i emailed him to try to close the loop and get some closure and just see if he would at least meet me in person and i got crickets. so it’s time to move on.
            i don’t need to be crazy stalker girl! one voicemail, one text, and one email over 2 weeks and now i’m done.

          • “Girls cant just sit on the sidelines looking pretty” – Yeah, you should probably stop assuming that all women are like that.

          • Ok fine, guys are terrible terrible people and girls never do anything wrong to make guys terrible people. But seriously, it looks like you tried and it didnt work out. not the end of the world…i am right there with you starting at square one today so….cheers!

          • “Yeah, you should probably stop assuming that all women are like that.”
            $10 says this clown is a “nice guy” who wears a fedora while carousing the bars on H Street and 14th Street.

          • Hahah actually no…i dont own any fedoras….ugh this is a waste of time hahah #girlproblems

          • What do you expect us to do? I was in a similar situation. Dated a guy for 3 months strong. He’d constantly plan fun things for us to do, then all of the sudden, silence. Wouldn’t answer or return my call, wouldn’t respond to texts. So I texted him and said something to the effect of “I notice you haven’t been returning my calls/texts. Wondering if you’re just swamped with work, or if you’re losing/have lost interest. If so that’s cool, you could have just said so. I don’t want to bother someone that doesn’t want to be bothered with me.” So after that he finally responded and basically said that he’d been dating someone on and off, and the 3 months we hung out they were “off” but now there back on and he didn’t feel comfortable dating two girls at once so he distanced himself from me. I said that was cool, but I would have appreciated the heads up. And that was that.

            In your opinion, do you think I took control of that situation, or did you have something else in mind? Interested to hear a guy’s opinion. Thanks!

          • To Anon @ 11:42 : why are you attributing the ability to “make guys terrible people” to “girls”? How does one “make” someone else into any type of person? Sounds like a good way of evading responsibility and projecting blame rather than taking responsibility for your own choices.

        • I actually did a very similar thing to this guy I went on multiple dates with who faded with no explanation, but we still had plans. I knew it was over, but it was hilarious and kinda gratifying to call him out on it.

        • I actually did a very similar thing to this guy I went on multiple dates with who faded with no explanation, but we still had plans. I knew it was over, but it was hilarious and kinda gratifying to call him out on it.

          • @Ash – thats as good as you can do, you cant confront the problem till it happends, i would suggest doing it as soon as possible if saving the relationship is what you want. Sometimes its too late though. I think to avoid being ‘faded out’ just jumping on it right away is key – maybe if you open up and tell the guy you are seeing that you really like him, and that you like the way things are going will inspire some confidence in him and make him see a ‘greener pasture’ ahead. I confront a girl i had been seeing and i felt alot closer to her afterwards. She wasnt going to broach the subject (she said because in past relationships she had smothered guys so she was shy about it). I still dont think things will work out between us because of other factors (her work schedule, distance from me, ect) but i still feel a lot better about being open and honest to her instead of ‘fading away’ which i have sadly done in the past (but only after a few dates, and it has happened visa versa where the girl faded from me).

          • Anonymous @ 2:53 — I’m sorry I missed the discussion earlier, because I really would like your take on this.
            – Guy decides to “fade”, for whatever reason.
            – Instead of addressing the fact that the guy is doing something totally rude and immature, you focus on what the “girl” should do. My response to a fade is going to be the opposite of wanting to convince the fader that I “really like him and like the way things are going”. Why not focus on the guy’s need to “open up” and talk about things instead of fading? It’s throwing it on the “girl” to be the adult in the relationship — and if there’s only one adult in the relationship, then it’s probably not worth the effort of saving it.

    • So sorry he did that to you. I’m sure if you look up spineless coward in the dictionary you will see his picture πŸ™‚

    • Really sorry that this happened to you.
      This may be a stupid question but are you confident that nothing bad has happened to this guy that would make him unable to communicate with you anymore? He’s alive, breathing, has all of his faculties?
      I guess I am asking because I can’t imagine disappearing on someone I had been seeing for a year without an explanation – unless the Witness Protection Program moves me again πŸ™‚

      • +1- was also thinking that. Especially since you’ve met family etc. Also, could he have been arrested for any reason? Just some thoughts.

        • or does he suffer from depression?

          • yes, he has mild depression, but it is well controlled with drugs. and he’s been active on facebook — no status updates, but has commented/liked other mutual friends’ posts so i know he’s alive and has a way to communicate with the outside world.
            if he’s in witness protection, that would be awesome, and I totally forgive him!
            since i have ranted for so long, here’s an unrelated rave: just disovered postmodern jukebox after that puddles the clown video went viral. genius!

  • Rave: Roy Orbison. For some reason I’m on a Roy and Traveling Willburys kick this morning.
    Rant: Can’t see inside with my black ray-ban sunglasses on.

  • Raveish? Job interview yesterday went pretty OK. I thought most of my answers were pretty on point, but when I get excited I can’t stop my words from tumbling out like a pack of golden retriever puppies going down stairs for the first time. I just hope they take the impression that I really really want the job and not the impression that I am completely orally incompetent. Why does hope make your heart hurt so bad?

  • Question: How good is your council member at responding to constituent services requests? I’ve heard great things about Jim Graham in this category, but my council member is completely unresponsive. I’ve made a handful of pretty basic requests, mostly transportation-related, and I’ve never received even the most generic of responses. Is it pretty typical to be completely ignored if you’re not on the campaign donor list?

    • gotryit

      I used to live in ward 1, and Graham at least paid lip service to constituent services. Some of the people working for him did make things happen, so I have to give him credit for that.
      Now I’m in ward 4, and I don’t think Bowser knows that she has constituents that she needs to vote for her. Or she already has enough votes and just doesn’t need mine. I see zero from her.

    • Tommy Wells’s office is very quick in getting back to us, and they make things happen almost immediately.

    • So you’re saying Muriel Bowswer is your council member?

    • This sounds like you live in W4. She is horrible. I have gotten nothing at all from her. Not even a response that pretends like she cares.

    • I don’t think it’s typical to be completely ignored.
      Maybe you should try your ANC Rep as well.
      When I have contacted Jim Graham’s office, it has been very responsive.
      I know a number of people in Ward 4 and I’ve heard literally one good story about Muriel Bowser’s responsiveness for the 5 bad stories I’ve heard about her. Maybe it’s just that she pales in comparison to her predecessor Adrian Fenty, who was Johnny on the Spot with respect to responding to people.

  • A few weeks ago someone mentioned a mouse trap that they had good luck with- do you mind sharing again? Saw a little furry friend last night and need to put a plan into action. Humane methods preferred but I know those may not be as effective and honestly I just want them gone. Other ideas from the crowd? Thanks!

  • Rant: Instituted a “no gifts” policy for my son’s second birthday party. His birthday is so close to Christmas, and he really doesn’t need any more toys. But I feel like a big birthday-grinch doing that. Perhaps it sets a bad precedent.

    Rave: Off work for the next few days on a snowy vacation!

    • Your son is little, right? You should absolutely do no-gift birthdays now, while you can. Because by the 4th birthday (might be able to stretch it to 5th), it’s over. He’ll be in on the secret, and you really WILL be a meanie for nixing presents. For babies, though, no-gifts is completely appropriate.

      • Thanks for not making me feel insane. He got presents from us and from his grandparents. I really didn’t think he needed anymore. But I know (as you pointed out) that this can’t go on forever and that there will come a day when there will be a great big wave of presents that we’ll need to find room for.

        • Also you can ask for donations for his 529 College Savings Program πŸ˜‰ I heard good advice that should I ever be curs—lucky enough to have children, I will follow RE: gifts–“Something you want, something you need, something to wear, and something to read” πŸ™‚

          • No, you really can’t. You can never ask for money. The only possible exception is grandparents, and then only once, in a “Oh, FYI, we set up a 529 for Hadley” kind of way. To request money in any other circumstance is The Height of tacky.

    • I know people even with older kids who still have no-gift birthdays. My old roommate found this hard to enforce (people would still bring gifts even when she asked them not to), so to deflect that a little now her kids pick a charity they want to get gifts for – her daughter asks her friends to bring a gift for animals at the shelter, for example. Honestly, those kids (first graders) were beside themselves with excitement about bringing chew toys and kibble, it was way more fun for everyone than if they’d brought toys or craft supplies or whatever for their friend.

      • That actually is a great idea. Perhaps we can institute that at his next birthday party, as he loves animals.

        • anonymouse_dianne

          You can even have your party at the Washington Animal Rescue League. They have a great community room where you can serve refreshments. We’ve had kids stuff kongs for the dogs (PB or Cream Cheese). Volunteers will bring out some puppies to pet and pass around. I’ve done several as a volunteer and the best one was when the kids brought “presents” for the dogs and cats … the kids loved it!

  • rant: feeling a little stuck in my everyday routine. need to get out there and make some new friends and do new things, but it’s so much easier to stay at home and watch netflix.
    rave: had a great time at happy hour last night! somehow a fun night makes the work day more enjoyable

  • My son has been a late developer for pretty much everything–rolling over, sitting up, walking, talking, waving, etc. I am starting to freak myself out about autism. Getting very worked up all of a sudden.

    • gotryit

      Deep breaths. Every child has their own pace. If, after enough deep breaths, you still are concerned, then bring it up with your pediatrician. Also, you may want to avoid the internets – they don’t help.

      • Thanks, gotryit, I’ve been on the internets this morning. You’re right, it was bad. Deep breaths. Thanks for the reminder.

        • gotryit

          You’re welcome. Please return the favor when its me next week. Sometimes it feels like what I do doesn’t really matter much beyond providing the basic needs. But then there’s all this info about “good parenting” that I’m probably only get about 10% of the time.

    • Don’t freak out! There is a huge difference between being a late developer and having a disorder somewhere on the autism spectrum that negatively impacts his long-term function. Some kids just walk late. Some develop language centers later. And even if he does land somewhere on the autism spectrum, it doesn’t mean that his life will be negatively impacted in the long run — especially not with parents who obviously care so much about his development!

      If it makes you feel better, you should try to find a way to get an evaluation done — at least you will know what the next step is!

      • Thanks, we will talk to our pediatrician at our upcoming appointment. He’s really not very vocal (but does understand so much and points to parts of the body when we ask, etc.), but I think what started freaking me out is, in addition to the later development, he has an attachment to seemingly odd things–he gathers up toothbrushes and spoons and his hairbrush and carries them all over the house even when he can’t seem to hold onto all 5 of them at once in his hand. Do other kids do that? That seems odd to me versus say, carrying around a stuffed animal. We have no family here or friends at a similar stage in their lives so it’s hard to know what’s normal development.

        • One of my friend’s kids refused to put down a DVD case for MONTHS. Took it to school, slept with it, etc.

        • this was me when i was little (according to my parents). didn’t start talking until i was almost 4, and had the oddest behavior. they were especially worried because my older brother hit all his milestones when he was supposed to, and i missed every single one. and i LOVED spoons. i guess i was just taking my sweet old time, since i think i turned out OK (graduated from an ivy league school, have a job, have friends… live a pretty normal life). plus, once i started talking i don’t think i stopped for the next 20 years. now my parents are always like STFU!! πŸ™‚
          of course i’m not a parent, so only you know your kid better than anyone else and can truly judge if things are going well or not.

          • LOL, thank you, late bloomer-normal person πŸ™‚ maybe he’ll be as talkative as his dad some day (he’s a much better chatter/story teller than I am)!

        • As a parent of a two year old, being attached to stuff that your average adult finds odd, seems totally normal to me. My kid used to get real upset if I took away her toothbrush too.

          • thank you. you guys are so awesome. of course we’ll still talk to our pediatrician, but these anecdotes are so helpful at putting my mind at ease right now. i guess there are a lot worse things he could be obsessed with than a toothbrush πŸ˜‰

          • Oh yeah, try and think about it from a kid’s perspective. Toothbrushes are a DREAM. They’ve got lots of different textures, they tend to be bright colors, and they’re stick-like so they’re kind of neat to poke stuff with.

          • I carried and slept with a rabbit fur hat for at least a year, there are so many photos of me with it! Maybe that’s why i like to hug my cat so much now…

        • My parents said I never crawled. Squirmed, then walked. And they thought I was retarded because I didn’t talk – until I said a complete sentence with correct grammar. Ok, it was two words, but still. And then I read when I was four. Give the kid a few years.

    • You don’t say how old your child is — which is definitely a factor. (I.e. a toothbrush loving toddler is very different from a toothbrush loving teen). I just want to reiterate what others have said: consult your pediatrician; see a second, or more specialized professional opinion and assessment if it seems warranted, and avoid the internet for a bit, at least as an assessment tool for your son. There is a HUGE range in normal development, and not all kids develop evenly.

  • RAVE: The Shepherd Fairey print I bought for $25 while out in LA two weeks age is now selling for $750 on eBay. My girlfriend is going to sh#t her pants when I give it to her for V-Day.

  • Rave: Lord Huron rocked it out last night at 9:30. Incredible performance.
    Rave: Rock n’ Roll Marathon will end with a show by the Head and the Heart. So very excited to run my heart out and then end with them in my head :).
    Rave: SW dog park is happening, and my dog who loves all other dogs is very excited.
    Rave: I love Fridays.

    • I think you and I are twins. Huron was awesome, do you know what that song they played was with the line “stars above” in it in the middle of the set? +1 to Rock n’ Roll and +1 to dogs and +1000000 to Friday!

  • Rave: It’s Friday and I’m going to food trucks for lunch. Loving life!
    Rant: Looking for a new mattress with fewer of the flame-retardant chemicals going on AND in a moderate price-range has been tough. Any recommendations and tips for brands, stores, etc.?

  • Rave: I have heat. Life is good.

  • Rave: Back home after a couple of crazy weeks of travel.
    Rant: Still getting over food poisoning. I so don’t want to be at work right now. So here’s a questions for the crowd – how long does it take food poisoning to pop up? I know it varies, but I got sick Tuesday night while in North Carolina. I had been in Guatemala the week before. Is it possible that something was lurking from the Guatemala trip for several days before I got symptoms? Or more likely that it was something I ate in Guatemala? Nothing I ate tasted off in either place.

    • My brain isn’t working…second to last sentence should be “more likely something I ate in North Carolina?”

    • A lot of “food poisoning” is actually caused by viruses (like norovirus, but there are others) and not contaminated food (where it’s usually the bacteria that make you sick). The timeline might depend a lot on what actually made you sick.

    • I had what I think was food poisoning recently. I think that you can display symptoms up to 72 hours after eating the food.

    • From my (horrible, horrible) experience, it’s rare for food poisoning to develop more than 8 to 10 hours after the offending food is eaten. Might be a stomach flu type virus, but not actual food poisoning itself, which is rapid onset. Also, the way the food tastes often has no bearing on whether you get food poisoning.

    • If it’s food poisoning it depends on the organism. There are different types of bacteria that cause food poisoning and they have different ranges for symptom onset. To make it even less easy to pin down, how much you eat of the tainted food can matter, and people who eat the same thing in roughly the same amount can have different onsets as well. Some people don’t have a reaction.
      To know you would need to have information from more people who ate similar food, when their symptoms started, then you can calculate the “attack rate” and pin down what the food and organism likely were. (Finally putting that epidemiology class to good use ftw!)
      But it might also be a virus, like Anonymous pointed out.

  • Rave: Finally heard back about a job I really want, round two interview coming up. Praise God!
    Rant: My dog is an escape artist. She has gotten out of her crate three times over the past few weeks and caused major destruction. I know this is because she needs more stimulation and I’m feeling like a bad doggie mommy. Ugh. Off to the dog park after work.
    Rave: My dog is very, very smart.

    • Have you tried using zip ties to keep the crate doors shut? That worked for me when I was crating my dog. Twine or string should also work.

      • Second zip ties and try frozen stuffed kongs or frozen marrow bones to keep her busy. There are lots of recipes for homemade kong stuffing online and it’s pretty easy if you buy a couple and rotate them every day. If she likes them, antlers are another great, long-lasting option.

  • Rant – People who leave their bags on the seats on crowded buses/trains. I was taking an Amtrak train home from New York yesterday and people just spread their stuff out taking up two seats, even while people were still boarding the train looking for seats. I don’t know why this pisses me off so much but it does. I paid for a seat, your bag did not. And don’t act all pissed off when I ask you politely to move so I can sit down.
    Rave – The Olympics!

    • Hahaha, that was probably me (6am Acela, as well?)
      Sorry! :-/

      • Haha, no it was the NE Regional, not the Acela. When the train isn’t crowded it’s fine for people to spread their laptop, ipad, briefcase, papers, books, whatever onto the empty seat, but I just hate when people do this on a crowded train when others are looking for seats.

        • Yeah, it’s rude. Which is why I never hesitate to ask someone to move their bag so I can sit there.

        • Only fine if you are diligently monitoring the “fullness” of the train at every stop and adjusting your spread accordingly.

  • Rant: autoCAD. All I want to do it get my drawing into the correct format for a patent application (B&W line drawing with some of the lines dashed) and it’s not cooperating. Been at it all day and my patience is wearing thin.

  • Not really a rant, but, does anyone know a good gift to give to a 3 year old Moroccan boy? It was suggested that instead of giving a gift to the host, I get something for his son, who likes anything “American” instead. I’m at a loss since the only kid I get gifts for is my girly niece. Usually something made in the US works, but what is made in the US anymore? Is there a nice clothing brand for boys? A good toy?
    Rave: This time next month I’ll be in Morocco!

  • Rant: Hopping mad to have received a ticket (if that’s the right word) from DPW for “Solid Waste Not Properly Stored/Contained For Collection And Providing Food Or Breeding Ground For Rodents Or Causing a Potential Fire Hazard.”
    Query: Anyone have advice on how best to appeal/fight this kind of ticket?
    The photo was dated Mon. 1/27 — the day before DPW picked up trash in my alley for the first time since Fri. 1/17.
    I am especially upset because not only was this ticket given at the tail end of an 10-day stretch with no trash pickup, but also because the main reason there was any loose trash on the ground to begin with was that my NEIGHBORS had 1) put their trash cans in front of my fence and 2) left a HUGE amount of loose trash strewn in front of my fence, adjacent to their trash cans.
    Their pile of loose trash was so egregious that on Sat. 1/25 — still naively thinking that there would be a trash pickup that morning, since the regular Friday pickup should have “slid” to Saturday because of the holiday — I actually knocked on their door and asked them to properly bag it, because I knew there was no way DPW was going to pick up a million individual pieces of trash. The neighbors did bag it, but no trash pickup ever happened that day.
    On Monday night when I brought out my recycling bin for Tuesday pickup, I moved my neighbors’ trash cans in front of THEIR fence where they belonged, along with the big bag of formerly loose trash. I tidied up my own trash bags and shoveled the mix of snow and neighbors’ loose trash in front of the neighbors’ fence. But by that point, unbeknownst to me, the DPW guy had already been through the alley and taken photos.

    • Oops, that was me above. I guess I was so outraged that I wasn’t paying attention to the “Name” box. πŸ˜‰

      • Definitely appeal. When this happened to me, (even though at the time I was guilty… construction debris) I called, and they transferred me directly to the person who ticketed me.

        The guy was very reasonable, and said he would support my appeal. He also said he knew my backyard now, and if I had further issues, he wouldn’t hesitate to write me up. Seemed very reasonable.

    • I know that you can contest this kind of thing. Did you submit a request to 311 to report the missed trash collection or illegal dumping? If not, look on the SeeClickFix website to see if any of your neighbors did. Even if you didn’t submit anything to 311 I think you can still explain the situation, particularly since DPW acknowledged problems with missed trash collection during that period. This happened to my neighbor once and he was able to get the ticket dismissed by explaining that trash is regularly dumped illegally in our alley. Since then I send illegal dumping reports via 311 on average once every two weeks just to cover my ass since it’s a constant problem where I live.

      • Thanks, Anon! I didn’t submit any 311 requests, as I figured that DPW was well aware that there was a problem with missed trash collection. (And I didn’t report the illegal dumping — my understanding from past PoPville posts was that homeowners who report illegal dumping on/adjacent to their own properties end up getting hit with the dumping fine _themselves_, which of course makes no sense.)
        I have submitted a number of alley cleanup requests via 311 in the past — I hadn’t thought to cite those, so thanks for mentioning it. Some of my neighbors seem to be sloppy in bagging their trash properly, and sometimes the trash collectors seem to be sloppy in collecting it properly, so between the two, my alley tends to have far more random debris that it ought to have.
        I think I also once met the inspector who issued the ticket, when I was picking up litter from the sidewalk — maybe I’ll mention that. The irony of my receiving a ticket for solid waste when I’m routinely picking up _other_ people’s solid waste is a bit much!

        • “my understanding from past PoPville posts was that homeowners who report illegal dumping on/adjacent to their own properties end up getting hit with the dumping fine _themselves_”

          Really? When my neighbor went to contest his ticket, the DPW inspector told him that we all need to submit illegal dumping reports when it happens on our property so that we *don’t* get tickets!

          • Yes, this happened to me. As I posted below, I reported illegal dumping behind my house and received citations for the illegal dumping. The inspector didn’t try very hard to piece it together and I had to explain it (several times) to them after the fact. My advice is to file the 311 report and be very clear about who/what/where.

          • saf

            It happened to me. Eventually, with a great deal of help, we got it straightened out.

    • Where do you live that you actually get DPW ticketing your alley? I’m on T street NW and would LOVE for some of my neighbors to start cleaning up their act.

      • Northern Park View.
        The funny thing is, when I attended the Ward 1 Rat Summit the other month, Director Howland (of DPW) was asked about DPW issuing tickets for people leaving trash cans in alleys outside of the allowed times… and he said that they issue tickets for that only when neighbors complain. (I had complained many a time about this issue, but gave up after a while because I saw no discernible change.)
        So I’m wondering if another neighbor complained… but most of the people along my alley seem to be total slackers regarding the trash rules, so that seems unlikely. The folks across the alley are really good with their trash as well, so maybe it was them… but I would think that they would’ve observed that they and I are practically the only people sticking to the rules, and realized that the pile of loose trash was an aberration resulting from clueless neighbors.

        • It’s possible that the “good” neighbors did report it but the identity of the offender was lost in translation so to speak. I once reported (someone else’s) illegal dumping in the alley behind my house to 311, and within weeks received three citations for illegally dumping trash behind my house. I got them cancelled, but let’s just say the inspector didn’t really piece together the “evidence” very well.
          Still, I would be vigilant about filing 311 complaints and recommend being very clear about who/what/where so hopefully there’s no confusion.

  • I think a falcon did a fly-by of my bird feeders this afternoon. That would explain the big pile of feathers I found the other day , too.

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