Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user philliefan99

You can talk about whatever is on your mind โ€“ quality of life issues, a beautiful tree you spotted, scuttlebutt, or any random questions/thoughts you may have. But please no personal attacks and no need to correct peopleโ€™s grammar. This is a place to vent and/or celebrate things about daily life in DC.

128 Comment

  • Rant: Are there even guys out there in their early to mid twenties who are somewhat competent in dating women? All of the ones I’ve been seeing have no idea what they’re doing. Is it really that hard to ask me out on an actual date every once in a while?
    Rave: St. Paddy’s Day was a drunken success

    • I’m guessing you’re under 25 since you’re going out with guys in their early 20s, but if you aren’t, I definitely recommend going for guys 30+. I know I was pretty bad at the dating game until about 29-30. I think most guys in their early to mid 20s are either a) just interested in hooking up b) or still a bit clueless about women or c) both. This is especially the case in big metro areas such as DC.

    • There certainly are, but I presume they exit the “market” fairly quickly for obvious reasons.

      • Or… they play the market, and then you just get played. But they know what they’re doing.

        • LOL @anonymous 10:16. Exit the market fairly quickly.

          @original poster – you need to make it crystal clear you want a guy to ask you out, especially if you are friends before. In terms of dating…try going online, whenever i get matched up with a mutual girl (coffee meets bagel dating app) we always end up chatting and i am always interested to meet up and see where things go. You are going for the wrong guys clearly if they arent asking you out

    • I doubt it. Early to mid-twenties is a mess. I do think 25/26 is when a lot of guys *start* to mature. I am 26, and certainly don’t think I would be clueless in the least when dating. It sounds like to get what you are looking for, you may need to stop messing with the early-mid twenties, and instead go with mid-late twenties.

      Agree on your rave. St. Paddy’s Day was a good time.

    • austindc

      I think you get about a three week window between when we get good at dating but before we start packing on weight. Sorry.

    • How would you define the difference between a guy you’re seeing and a guy you’re dating?

      • dating is before its official. I would say it usually takes about 5 dates but there has to be some serious talk before you are ‘dating’. Its just symantics

        • I agree that its mostly semantics. In this case, we were seeing each other for three months without having the talk to transition to dating. So that its own set of issues haha

          • yeah that is on you then lol if you dont have the talk things will probably fizzle out. i actually find that i need to get in a least a disagreement with a girl (just to see how she reacts) before i take things to seriously

    • “Are there even guys out there in their early to mid twenties who are somewhat competent in dating women? ”

      Sorry, no. I was a total dating disaster at that age. Looking back I think I only figured it out around 28-30, and didn’t gain full control until well into my 30s.

      FWIW I think it’s largely the same for women.

      • it definitely is both sides playing the same game.

      • Me too, plus I was very shy. It wasn’t until my mid-30s that I got better at meeting women. Now, at 43, I’m very confident, but I’m in a long term relationship and can’t use my charm and winning personality on women anymore. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Same boat. I think girls have to realize, just cause a guy stinks at dating doesn’t mean they are not worth pursuing. Most of the guys at that age, that do know what they’re doing, use to their advantage and end up treating girls like crap.

    • Sadly this is a bad market for women who want to date normal, nice guys. All the men in that age group in DC are either creepers or so into their careers that they’re practically asexual.

      • And don’t forget the largest gay population per capita of any metro area in the U.S. I think it’s also more common to see younger women with older guys here. 5 to 10 year age gap appears to be much more common here due to the reasons you stated.
        Demographics are STACKED against single straight women in DC. You ladies need to import some men from southern California or Denver.

      • Dang , Does that make me a creep?

  • epric002

    rant: 5 weeks of pre-tax transit deduction issues and the “solution” is to give me the money i needed THIS month NEXT month. WTF people.
    rant: the weather
    rave: watching my dog catch and kill snowballs. so entertaining.

  • Rave: Hooray for open lines of communication!! Thanks to everyone for their input yesterday. It helped. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Rant: the Thin Mints are gone
    Rave: I regret nothing re: the Thin Mints

  • Rave: Skied some fresh snow yesterday!

  • Rave: After going a couple weeks having problems visiting popville while at work (the page wouldn’t load 90% of the time), there are no issues today, knock on wood.

  • Rant: How difficult it is to find housing suitable to a young family in my area. I have to stay relatively close by because of our nanny share situation.
    Rant: How difficult it is to find pet friendly housing that doesn’t cost you a fortune more than rent every month. $70 plus a $750 fee? That’s ridiculous. We saw a place we really liked…20lb weight limit. Even though smaller dogs tend to (not always!) be louder than lazy ass big dogs – especially ones as old and lazy as ours.
    Rave: commited to never charging fees and non-refundable deposits for renters of our properties who have dogs. Refundable deposit and no breed/size restrictions. We will always have tenants with that ‘rule’
    rave: finally got a pediatrician who agrees that the baby not gaining weight isn’t normal. Though, it means more appointments and all that, we need to figure out what’s up with the little guy

  • Rave: I had an awesome St. Patty’s Day dinner with dear friends last night. So good that i ended up staying over in the guest bedroom. I blame the cocktails and the cold weather.
    Rave: Getting up at six am (much earlier than I usually do) means that I was “mentally” awake by the time I went to work. I need to give this getting up early thing a try for real. I hate leaving my bed, but I always feel like I have accomplished more when I get an earlier start to the day.
    Rant/Rave: Incredibly busy week re: social outings with friends. It is nice to be out and about, but I’m spending way too much money on booze and food. This isn’t helping me stick to the budget, pay down debt, and contribute to the down payment fund. Need to reel it in a bit.
    Guilty Observation: The partner has been much better than I at contributing to the weekly efforts to keep chaos at bay in our apartment this week. I need to pick up a mop and help out too.

    • St. Pattyโ€™s Day = St. Patricia’s Day
      St. Paddy’s Day = St. Patrick’s Day
      sorry, but this is fingernails on the chalkboard for me. There is no St. Patty’s Day.

      • No need to apologize. You’re correct, and the editor in me cringes. I blame the lack of sleep and whiskey during dinner for my typo.

  • Rant: under-valued at work and wishing I was allowed to do more
    Rave: twenty-something with a full time job

  • Rave: Great vacation last week. Portugal is a beautiful country and people there were very nice and friendly.

    Rant: Weather, and having to use paid time off for yesterday’s snow day. And my car’s Check Engine light is coming on again and I haven’t had a chance to take it in for service yet.

  • Rant: We never seem to judge restaurants on PoP anymore. I was thinking yesterday that there are all these new restaurants on U, 14th, Shaw, adn elsewhere, but we haven’t judged any of them. How am I to know what’s good and what isn’t? I can’t be everywhere at once. Let’s re-start this, huh PoP?
    Rave: Job interview Thursday.
    Rave: Getting somewhere near completion of a long-term personal project. Very satisfying.
    Rant: Snow is messing with my yard’s mojo. I need this to melt fast – there are seeds under there!

    • Prince Of Petworth

      That is a good call – I’ve been meaning to add some new judging restaurants. Promise to do so soon! And if anyone has a request please email me at princeofpetworth(at)gmail or tweet me @PoPville

  • binpetworth

    Rave: Safeway rep at ANC meeting last week said the new Petworth Safeway will likely open in 60-90 days (early summer)!

  • Rant: Met an awesome girl a month ago. Went on some fantastic dates, and after a great Friday/Sat… receive a blindside text saying it’s not the right time. Understandable, but still a sting when you just start to open yourself up to someone you enjoy being around.

    Rave: Days are getting longer, weather’s getting warmer, and District Flea is coming back soon!

    • i wouldnt sweat it, i dont mind a girl who does that as long as they are up front and dont pull the ‘fade’. Just get back out there

    • That sucks, and I hope that you meet a girl that’s even more awesome. But on the bright side, at least she sent you a text and didn’t just leave you hanging/result to the tried and true (but a**hole move) “fade-away”.

  • Rant: In putting together my bike I let the seat post slip down into the frame and now it wonโ€™t come out.

    Rave: According to Mr. Google Iโ€™m not the first person to have this problem.

    Rant: Holding the bike upside down, using a coat hanger or WD40 hasnโ€™t worked.

    Rave: Getting unexpected exercise holding my bike upside down and shaking it.

    • Do you have something you can pop down in and expand? I’m thinking pliers or something.

      • I’m sure such long pliers exist but I don’t have them. I wasn’t clear that the post is at the bottom of the frame with the top of the post about 10 inches below the opening. On the plus side I think there is room to just put another post in on top of it after I call the dealer, beg for another one and reveal what a klutz I am.

    • Your posts are always so funny/awesome/make me smile.

    • These are metal parts? Is there a way to get them cold & see if the metal contracts just enough to separate them? Also seems like you could use another pair of hands – one set to hold bike upside down and the other set to try and (gently) twist the seat post out.

    • you’re going to want to get a dowel rod that is just slightly oversized from the interior of your bike post. then sand it down so you can fit it into the bike post and remove it.

    • What Would MacGyver Do? I think you need explosives. Or duct tape. Or both.

    • You can try Bike Rack. I had a bolt that I couldn’t loosen on my bike. They put it on a rack to get leverage and got it loose.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: Crazy/surreal start to my day.
    Rave: I’m still in a good mood.
    Rave: Pretty sure the good mood will last the day ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Rant: Missed the letter from my insurance co saying the cost was going up $80/month. Sigh.
    Second rant: How long does it take for mail (a check) to travel about 20 blocks in DC? Answer: More than two weeks (so far). Over two months to get paid for a project – that’s really my rant.
    Rave: Snow is melting, spring is coming ~

    • I’ve had checks go missing in the DC mail. If they really did mail it two weeks ago, and they can confirm with your bank that you have not cashed it, I would request that they issue you a new check. If they are in DC, I’m sure they’ve had problems with the post office before.

  • gotryit

    Rave: I made good progress on the fireplace renovation. Pouring concrete went really smooth (pun intended!), I laid a short brick wall, and put up some framing for the mantle columns.
    Rave: Sledding with the kids yesterday was awesome, and there were no injuries!

  • Rant/rave: Life is so busy these days. Lots of changes – good ones – but damn, I need a minute to catch my breath. And I don’t think I’m going to get one any time soon!
    Definite rant: Getting my place ready to list. My little condo has great closet space, and I’m discovering that I’ve used it to its maximum potential over the last few years. Clearing out the clutter is taking way longer than I expected. Hope I’ll be ready for the photographer that’s coming on Friday!

  • Rant: Still figuring out being newly married and finances. Just hit a huge bump.

    Rave: The snow day was really nice.

    • RANT/RAVE: Myself and my girlfriend chatted about finances this weekend and I quickly realized I could greatly reduce my tax liability and take advantage of a LOT more deductions if we were married (she’s in grad school & has income of $20K, I make $100K). We had a nice laugh about that.
      RANT: She’s moving for her PhD (TBD – already accepted into 3 programs), I need to put in another 2 years to fully vest my Thrift Plan and qualify for guaranteed defined benefit pension. Can’t leave that free money on the table.

    • newly married + finances = tricky and important. you could probably say the same for any stage of marriage, actually.
      A couple of things I found helpful for us:
      1. talking to other couples to see how they do it, asking lots of questions, seeing lots of options, whether it’s how many bank accounts or who pays what or paying off one person’s student debt versus saving, etc etc.
      2. Some really good posts on Apracticalwedding.com on marriage and money – comments section also really good. http://apracticalwedding.com/category/marriage-and-more/money/
      3. Mint.com. you can see it all in one place.
      4. You can handle your finances differently at different stages of your relationship. you don’t have to decide on a path now that you are stuck with forever. so if 2 bank accounts works now but 1 bank account works better later, so be it. same with saving, investing, etc etc.

      We have had a LOT of conversations about money over the years, and I’m sure we will have many more. Ultimately, I believe that our total transparency about our money (and for us, sharing of our money) helps foster really good shared decision-making. We are one unit and we’re in it together.

      • Thank you both for your encouragement ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m working, and he’s in school (with a part-time job) and we do a side gig together, so it’s a bit in flux and I’m beginning to realize that communication is important, but so is sitting down with the spreadsheet frequently– so we can catch if one of us is off track ASAP.

        Etcetera, I really appreciate the comment about talking to other couples. I always thought that I shouldn’t ask about this, but just this morning, I confided in a newly married friend and it was a productive conversation.

        We’ve agreed to start using YNAB, after reading some great reviews, so fingers crossed we can really be on the same page.

        • I definitely attacked all the couples I knew to ask how they handle it. For our first year we opened a bank account together and split 70/30 – big chunk into common, small chunk into personal for clothes, makeup, shoes, gadgets. But i can see how later we might just put everything into one.

        • so glad it was helpful!! I still think talking about salaries can be tacky, but talking about how young couples handle finances – how they balance saving and debt, how they use different bank accounts, what they pool and what they keep separate, etc. I think those are fair game among good friends, colleagues, mentors, etc.

          For some reason when i read your post I thought you guys were newlyweds. sorry for my mistake. But good stuff to dive in to no matter what.

          Good luck!

  • Rave: Just discovered the new Beck cd…Wow! Reminds me a little of city and colour, which is fantastic. Another short week since the snow day, woohoo. No plans this week but am open to finding a date for thursday or friday!
    Rant: none yet

    • Agreed re: new Beck album. Dreamy, reminiscent, and glorious.

    • I guess I must be the only longtime Beck fan to find this latest album to be really dreary and boring. Like most people, I discovered Beck when Mellow Gold came out, but really fell in love with his older, folky/weird stuff once I heard it. Since Midnite Vultures or so, it seems like his music has devolved into unoriginal, melancholy goop that just doesn’t appeal to me anymore. Maybe I’m just old.

  • Question: Anyone ever heard of a paid Federal government internship that would allow someone to keep on coming back to the same agency and position during summer and spring breaks throughout their college career? In the private sector, you need to apply for competitive internships, and they typically last for a season (the employer typically not allowing the intern to keep coming back)…. Curious to hear if there is such a program in the government or if something else is going on.

    • i worked at the FDA over 3 summers during college, but my dad worked there and thats how i got it. Know someone.

    • The internships where you get to return are because of nepotism. It makes it easier when you know someone.

      • Ah, but that kind of nepotism is illegal, correct? I thought Federal hiring practices prevented things like that (I know reality doesn’t always match up)… A never-ending paid internship sounds like a plum deal that would be neither legal, nor appropriate. Plus, it sounds more like a job than an internship. Internships are appropriate for a season, but anything longer and I don’t get it (I say this as someone who had MANY internships throughout college).

      • Wrong. At least two of my co-workers in my current office started here on internships as the OP described. We have a current intern who comes on her school breaks now. No connection to the agency prior to them coming on board.

        I believe they were in the program Steve Higgins mentioned below.

      • This may be true in your experience but I disagree with the sweeping generalization. At my agency, we hired several student employees who return for the summer and Christmas and it is perfectly legal. Additionally, they did not know anyone to get hired.

    • Yes. Go to usajobs.gov and search for pathways program internships. They allow you to come back all through school as well as sometimes transition to a permanent position.

      • This is correct; however, under the new Pathways Program (as opposed to the SCEP/STEP programs) Veterans receive preference which unfortunately will make it difficult for any non Vets to get hired.

    • During law school I had a few friends who would stay on through paid internships at federal jobsfrom semester to semester, but never with a gap. I also had that experience at a small agency where I worked for one summer and the two following semesters because they asked me to stay on with them. My internship was for credit and not paid though. This probably doesn’t help your situation, but I feel that it would be a lot harder to leave and come back for summers.

    • The pathways intern prorgam. I believe the application period is open now. I’m unsure if this progam will allow you to come back year after year tho.

    • I think it’s called the Student Career Experience Program (SCEP). Not all agencies have them. Also, see https://www.usajobs.gov/StudentsAndGrads

    • The NPS has many seasonal rangers who work like this, but they are not exactly “interns”.

    • At the Federal Reserve, we have a number of interns who come back every summer. Many of them eventually get jobs here after they graduate. From what I understand, it’s pretty competitive to get the internship the first time around, but then the manager decides to keep them on for subsequent summers and breaks so long as they are competent (my guess is because the managers don’t want to deal with the hassle of finding new interns). I don’t think it’s the same SCEP/STEP process that others have mentioned, but I could be wrong The internship hiring guidelines here are pretty hazy and managers definitely specifically target their alma maters (for instance, one group in my department ALWAYS has their intern from University of Chicago because the guy who hires the interns did his MBA there).
      However, they do need to go through the public competitive process to land a full time job. So they need to network in lots of different departments, see who’s hiring, and beat out the other candidates. Of course, it’s a lot easier to land that first interview when you see the manager everyday in hallways and already know the HR reps.

    • At the USITC a number of our paid interns come back year after year.

  • Rave: Getting back into fighting (not actually, just a saying) shape , and feel really good about it. Runs always clear my head, and I was flying for the 2.5 miles last night about 10:30pm. Heading to gym after work today, and feel good about that.

    Rant: Fairfax afterwards.

    Rave2: Eyes feeling much better today. Think the Restasis is working. Excited for Lasik in the next couple of weeks, and what the future holds.

  • Rant: As a 25 year old single guy I keep hearing that the DC dating pool should be great for me, but I’m having a hard time getting myself out there. All my close friends are married or in long term relationships, so it’s hard going at it alone.
    Rave: Lazy snow day yesterday.
    Rave 2: Hopefully will be back in the gym this week after taking about a month off with an injury.

    • are your close friends your age?

      • We’re within a year. I met them in school where I was young for my grade so they’re approximately 6 or so months older than me.

    • how often do you go on dates?

      • I haven’t really been on a date since my last relationship ended. Like I said, I’m having a hard time getting out and meeting new people.

        • Go onto okc or some other dating website. Assuming you aren’t socially inept and/average looking or better, you shouldn’t have a problem finding dates. Finding GOOD dates is another story… ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Are you from the South? I’m a yankee/west coaster and I knew exactly ZERO married couples my age when I was 25. My married friends were significantly older (early/mid 30s). Might need to adjust your expectations of what “normal” constitutes. So don’t put much pressure on yourself about that.
      My best advice is to meet the friends of your female co-workers. Instant access to a large pool of single ladies and you’ve already been “verified”. Much easier than hitting on random girls while out on the town. You should also be online on the mid 20s age appropriate sites (Tinder, OKCupid, Coffee Meets Bagel, etc)

      • From northern Virginia which I don’t really consider the south, but your opinion may differ. I’m not woeful that I’m unmarried, I just feel lonely being single with no prospects while it seems that my friends appear happily coupled-up.
        I unfortunately work in a small office and am the youngest here by about 5 years. There’s not really much of a pool to draw from (or I’m being pessimistic). I suppose I should get myself into some sort of online dating.

    • Maybe try heading out for a group activity like a trivia night or softball or something? Easy way to meet new people and you have fun even if you don’t meet anyone.

    • Seconding kickball as a good way to meet people. I just did it for a season, but made some great friends. Trivia I haven’t found to be super social, but maybe it differs depending on the place. I used OKCupid for quite a while, no shame in that – plenty of people are doing it now.

      Meetup is another good option – they have all kinds of groups for different interests and age groups (The 20s and 30s Meetup is quite active) and a good way to meet people for both dating and friendships.

      Rock climbing is also a great social activity if that might be something you’re interested in, although it’s rather pricey. There’s a gym near Van Dorn Street (Sport Rock) and another in Rockville (Earth Treks).

      • Volunteering is also very good. I volunteer for a dog rescue group and help run adoption shows about once a month. There are always single young women volunteering at these shows, and I assume some are single. If I didn’t have a gf, I would be getting phone numbers every time I went to one!

  • The photo above gives me the creeps. I love gardening and all but I am afraid of worms. I know they are good for the earth but they give me the willies.
    Rave: Spring will come, gardening will begin. Soon, I hope.

  • Rant: Trying to buy a new tank-top sports bra and every single one I find is padded, and they’re not just removable pads! Seriously?? Why do athletic wear designers think all women want/need bust enhancement for working out?!?
    Rave: If this is the worst thing I have to rant about life is good ๐Ÿ™‚

    • epric002

      do they make tank tops with legit sports bras (actual bra sizes/cups/adjustable backs) or are they just those stretchy thin shelf “bra” things?

      • everything I see is just the stretchy shelf thing, which is ok for me

        • epric002

          yeah those are ok for low-impact stuff. i wish they made tanks with the legit sports bras too though.

          • Try Athleta. In their catalog they tell you the level of suport the shelf bra will provide. I think there is a range of levels for the tank tops.

          • epric002

            @anon 12:14. thanks for the suggestion, but unfortunately athleta, like most american stores, doesn’t sell anything smaller than a 32 band size, even in brands like panache and anita that make smaller sizes. and none of their tanks have bra sizing, only XS/S/M/L/XL. grumble grumble.

    • Boobs are seriously the worst. Mine shrank a bunch last year (due to lifting weights and/or a change in birth control) and it was like Christmas.

      What’s a tank top sports bra? Is it better than wearing a sports bra under a t-shirt? I’m in the market for some new workout clothes…

      • epric002

        a tank top with a built in bra, though none of us can seem to find one with more support than a fabric “shelf”. the concept is appealing b/c it’s only 1 item of clothing, and straps aren’t hanging out, it’s cooler, etc.

    • Maybe all the athletic wear designers are men ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Have you looked at Bounce, Title 9, and Athleta catalogs and websites?

      • These places have nice things, but are pretty pricey; I’m a Marshall’s shopper, where they have lots of tops by Nike, etc., but, yes, they all seem to be padded.

    • I always find that those things ride up, but that’s just me. I can also never figure out the advantage over wearing a sports bra and tank top, why do you like it more? I like to find one good sports bra, buy a bunch of them, then wear whatever running/workout shirt I want that day.

      • I generally do the same. But the one advantage of the single unit is that there can be less rubbing or bunching up, it’s hard to get a shirt that goes over something else to fit as closely as the tank with built-in bra. I especially like them for yoga for this reason (my shirt doesn’t get stuck to the mat while I move in another direction, etc.).

        • Okay, that makes a lot of sense to me now. I do more running than yoga, so that aspect has never been valuable to me.

          I am so not a fan of this company, but I have a lululemon bra top (thrifted only, I will never set foot in that store after they were outrageously rude to me) and it is super snug and appears to run a bit small. That my be helpful to you, though I don’t know what the small end of their sizing looks like.

          • I am always in the market for a good sports bra. I have fairly big boobs and not matter what brand I buy (usually underwire) my boobs still bounce and its uncomfortable. I am opent to suggestions. should i go the 2 bra root or is there a better brand than champion etc?

          • I don’t require a specialty sports bra, I generally wear the Champion for Target seamless one, but with the wide straps because the skinny straps shrink. But, I have heard good things about Moving Comfort sports bras. Fleet Feet carries them and occasionally they have in store fittings I think.
            I’ve also heard of plenty of women who are happy with the double sports bra route as well.

          • epric002

            @anon 2:12- if you’re having to wear 2, they’re not working! there are definitely better brands than champion. my personal faves are: shock absorber (30-40/B-HH), anita extreme control (30-46/B-H), panache (28-40/B-H), and even underarmour (32-38/B-DD). highly recommend getting professionally fitted at a shop like trousseau, who carry/will order high quality sports bras. the only underwired sports bra i own is the panache, which i like, but haven’t tested as much as the anita and shock absorber.

  • GiantSquid

    Revel: Another amazing meal at Rose’s Luxury last night. Glad I could introduce a good friend to it and catch up.
    Rant: Feeling lonely and unappreciated.
    Revel: I think the dogs appreciated me being home yesterday so that negates part of the previous rant.
    Rant: People need to clean off the roofs of their vehicles.

  • Rave: Crossing the finish line at the half-marathon on Saturday. Weather was perfect and I made it 9 miles before even needing to slow down. Though I might choose a different race next time ’round.
    Rave: I am breaking up with Winter today. Getting serious with Spring instead.

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