Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user clif_burns

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.

205 Comment

  • Rant: Ego-bruising loss of status with new position within the agency.
    Rave: Telework, flexible schedule. Learning to embrace my inner Fed.

    • There’s a lot to be said for teleworking and having a flexible schedule – perhaps that will compensate in some way for the change in status.

    • Put out to pasture? That sucks.

      • More complicated than that and, in fact, they did me a favor as my temporary appointment had expired and the Big Boss was not as heavy a user of the of the unique mad skillz I bring to public service as their predecessor was, so coming up with a new job for me was actually something of a mitzvah on the part of some pretty senior people. So, really this is a good thing in that I’m paying the mortgage and have less pressure. But it does feel a lot like being sent down to Hagerstown from the bigs. Just need to rant a bit until I find my big boy pants.

        • What happened with that job prospect you had in California — is that still on the horizon?

          • As that process moves into its fourth month, I have no idea what’s going on, though I had a mediocre interview with them via satellite last week. At this point, with a (pretty much) guaranteed income for a couple of years, a girlfriend I like quite a bit and a pretty significant home renovation underway, I’m tempted to tell them to go stuff it, except I don’t want to impress the headhunters who I’ll be turning to eventually (this new job comes with an expiration date) as a prima donna.

  • epric002

    rant: the guy at l’enfant plaza who stepped on my foot as he pushed his way through a line of people moving in the opposite direction. our apologies for impeding you, on your way to do such important things, asshole.
    rant: put the sticker on our old trashcan and requested a pickup through 311. can is still there, like every other one in our alley. has anyone gotten them to pick up the old cans?
    rant: 8:30 meeting this morning was optional until 8:08 when it was suddenly mandatory. you might want to give people more notice than that if you’d like anyone to show up.
    rant: am having random, weird rash/hive outbreaks. baffled as to cause. benadryl is not working. waiting for derm appt to be available.
    rave: in a relatively good mood despite aforementioned rants.

    • Sorry about the hives. I had something similar a few years ago and it was maddening! Hadn’t changed soaps or bought new clothes or moved or gotten a pet or houseplant, nothing I could figure out (and I was mostly breaking out at home). Then one day it stopped. Dermatologist told me that the trigger for many cases of rashes/hives are never identified – I hope your derm can be more helpful! I suspect mine were caused by stress (that I wouldn’t even have identified at the time, but could see with a few months hindsight).

      • epric002

        thanks- how long did yours last? it was hives on my lower back first, which have mostly gone away, but now i have a splotchy rash thing on my abdomen. and i’m starting to wonder if these are related to an itchy scalp i’ve had for a few weeks that i was blaming on the cold/dry weather/hair product residue. arg, pretty mild but so frustrating! and yes, no new soaps, detergents, lotions, etc.

        • Do you have pets or are you been exposed to any new animals recently? I suffered something similar a few years ago. Started as a rash on my back then spread to abdomen. I had been bit by a flee or something a couple of weeks ago (forget the actual medical condition for the bite and the subsequent rash/hives that spread in somewhat of a pattern from the site of the bite to your lower back/abdomen) and that’s how it manifested itself. It was the last thing that I thought it could be. I had pet a dog a couple weeks prior but thought nothing of it. Doc gave me some cream and it cleared right up.

          • epric002

            i have 2 dogs, but neither are new, both are on flea/tick meds, and they don’t sleep in our bed. haven’t found a bite mark anywhere but it’s hard to see your own lower back. i’ll have the spouse take a closer look.

        • Mine probably lasted a few weeks (though at the time it seemed like eternity!). I mostly broke out on my torso and/or lowers parts of arms or legs. I would be fine all day, then would get home in the evening and within 10-20 minutes be an itchy mess, would suffer trough the evening and then it would go away and by the time I woke up there would be no trace. This was happening 3-5 days/week, so not even every day.

        • Had the same thing and did go see the dermatologist, who told me it was just dry winter skin and to use some over-the-counter lotion (Eucerin). It’s mostly cleared up since I started moisturizing daily

        • I’m not a doctor, but I play one on POP.

          Itchy scalp and abdomen could also mean you have shingles. http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/shingles/shingles-symptoms

          • epric002

            thanks popdoc, but absolutely no pain, only mild itchiness. and @anon 2:28, have been very good about moisturizing every day and i don’t have dry skin… thanks for all the suggestions popvillers!

          • This is why I’m not a doctor. Glad there’s no pain!

      • I’ve had hives twice, and have identified the cause of mine at least. The first time, I had gotten a new couch, and it was delivered in a truck wrapped in clear plastic packaging material. The chemicals in the packaging material eventually wore off, and then I was fine with the couch. The second time, I had gotten a new yoga mat, which had that “fresh out of the box” smell, which was likely similar chemical-laden packaging materials as the couch. That eventually wore off too. Good luck!

        • epric002

          i get short lived hives pretty regularly, mostly from dogs and cats, and occasionally from food, but have never had a case of them lasting multiple days and switching locations/presentation. there is nothing new in my life right now, food wise, furniture/homegoods wise, produts, etc. i’m stumped, and wish i could get a GD derm appt!

  • rant: it wasn’t easy
    rave: found a beautiful 1 br apartment in my price range with hardwoods, stainless steel appliances, and an amazing view in NOMA! the search is over.

    • Im in the market for a 1 bedroom in Noma–can I ask where and around what price?

      • sure! i went with Flats 130 for about 1900/mo. but it was the most expensive unit we saw. they have 1brs for as low as 1750. also their studios essentially have separate bedrooms. wouldn’t recommend for a couple but worth looking at if it’s just you.

        additionally, we were very close to renting at Trilogy (it’s across a busy intersection) but also some good deals to be had in the ~1650-1700 range.

        • Trilogy’s nicer if you want to be a bit closer to the Bloomingdale cafes, bars, and restaurants. Bit more of a “neighborhood” vibe on that side as opposed to the NoMa “city feel”

    • Not to sound like a jerk (really–thankfully I haven’t had to look for housing in a few years), but couldn’t you find a place mostly anywhere with that budget?

      • sadly Ann, no. but in general, the cheapest 1brs i saw were at least $1600 and that’s for something pretty bare bones.

        to put in perspective, if you’ve ever heard of the Woodner, it’s a not terribly nice but conveniently located building in Mount Pleasant. my studio is $1300/mo.

  • Rave: Spent the evening equipping my folding shopping cart with Ben-Hur style blades on the hubs in preparation for what will be no doubt, an ugly scene at Trader Joe’s Saturday morning in front of the TJ’s Speculoos Cookie Butter display.

  • Rant: Haven’t been hearing too much buzz around American and GW getting to the Tournament. Just because Georgetown didn’t make it to the Big Dance doesn’t mean we can’t support local teams!!!

  • justinbc

    Rant (long, sorry): So about 6-12 months ago (I forget how long it’s been now) I received a parking ticket in the mail. The kicker is I don’t own a car and haven’t since December 2011. I called 311 to speak to someone about it and she pulled up the ticket online which clearly showed the officer had written the wrong license plate number on the ticket versus what was shown in the photo of the car. I guess that incorrect plate # linked to me somehow? Not really sure, but somehow it found its way to my address. She said there’s no way I should be responsible because of the obvious photographic error, and transferred me over to someone in charge of ticketing (DPW maybe?), but I just got the voicemail of that woman, and naturally she never returned my message. So I mailed in my appeal stating my pretty simple to resolve case, and a few months later received a notice that my appeal was rejected due to a “preponderance of evidence against me”. Ummm, OK, if anything there’s a “preponderance” the other way, so I sent in my second appeal to “The Board” along with a check which is required to further appeal any ticket, just in case they still disagree with you. At this point I was considering just saying F-this and have them come after me if they really care to, but I wanted to fight this one just on principle alone. Well I noticed today they actually cashed the check a while back and never even sent a followup letter explaining why, after reviewing 2 obvious pieces of information 1) I don’t own a car and 2) wrong license plate number.
    So, my question is, does anyone know who to take this to further? It’s only $30, an insignificant amount, but the fact that 1) an officer got it wrong, 2) the person who reviewed my appeal ignored obvious facts, and 3) the entire appeals board ignored obvious facts, really has me quite pissed off. I know if it’s happening to me it’s happening to others too, on much higher ticket fines. This kind of blatant disregard for the citizenry who pays their salaries shouldn’t be tolerated.

    • Contact your Council member

    • This is what constituent services is made for. Contact your DC council member and explain the issue. If that doesn’t work pick an at-large councilmember. Whatever you do, especially pick someone running for election. They’re likely to be SUPER helpful, for obvious reasons.

      • justinbc

        Awesome, Wells is mine. Just fired off an email to his office and constituent services staff.

        • msmaryedith

          I’ve contacted them about Adjudiction services stuff before (a ticket I had contested that “went missing” and they doubled). Wells’s staff replied almost instantly and had the ticket dismissed within 24 hours.

    • austindc

      I got one of those once. I contested it by mail, and I included a letter from the DMV from when I got rid of my car two years prior which helped proved the case. Three months later, I got a letter saying it was dismissed. Maybe check with the DMV to see if they can get you something to show that there is no car registered to you?

    • you can appeal a decision of the adjudications board at DC Superior Court. And I would because I’m stubborn and screw the DC Gov’t and it’s incompetence.

    • Tweet that you were erroneously issued a ticket and don’t own a car to @DCDPW– thats the only way i was able to fix an incorrect parking ticket and actually speak to a human!

    • My GF had a similar issue. Got a ticket that was clearly a mistake, she filed an appeal, but because she hadn’t heard back in a year, she panicked and sent a check to pay it. Then she gets two pieces of mail. One saying she lost her appeal and one more recent letter saying she won her appeal. When she calls to ask whether she will be refunded her payment based on the more recent decision, they say sorry we don’t do that.

      • justinbc

        Of course not, what a racket! I wonder if there are stats somewhere on # of erroneous tickets, or # of appeals denied / accepted.

        • Totally a racket. And it’s even better now that I remember more clearly. The reason she sent the check to pay was because she received the first letter denying her appeal with no explanation. Then months later when she got the letter granting her appeal (which had a detailed explanation of why the original ticket was clearly a mistake), she called DMV to ask for a refund because she never would have paid had they not sent the obviously mistaken initial denial letter.

    • I know this isn’t exactly helpful, but I’m surprised you sent them money if you don’t even own a car. I know you were going through the official channel, but this isn’t a misunderstanding or matter of interpretation, this is a “I don’t even have a vehicle to park improperly.” I had an incident where I was fined by DPW for illegal dumping *that I reported* – it took some phone calls for sure, but I got the citations cancelled without going through the official process.

      • justinbc

        It really has to do more with following official protocols. Given what I do I can’t exactly have outstanding liens or judgments against me (it would take a long time for it to get to that level, but still possible).

        • I hear you. I’m all about following official protocols (not for professional reasons though), but when you’re asked to refute something that almost literally could not have happened I make exceptions. Good luck. I still might make some more phone calls, it’s never too late or too early to find someone who can make it go away.

    • You’re right, this post is long. I think you need a cat! 🙂

    • You rock. Keep fighting the good fight.

      Honestly, people should get fired for this crap. The appeals people just aren’t doing their jobs.

  • justinbc

    Rave: The NCAA tournament starts (for real) today! Obama has UNC going farther in his bracket than I do, yikes. I have a somewhat unconventional Final Four selection, so I’ll either win big or finish in last.

  • austindc

    Rave: Pizza D’Oro. Thank you for deftly filling that delivery gap between the pizza from Manny and Olgas which I can’t keep down and the the pizza from Pete’s which I can’t afford. You even called me later in the evening to make sure the food was okay. It was.
    Rave: Everything is pretty rockin’ right now. Love my family, dig my job, and I’m learning a lot at school. All the other bad stuff melts into the background when I look at the big picture.
    Rave: Homebrew turned out great.
    Rant: Homebrew almost gone.

    • I love Pizza D’Oro for takeout. Bacio is my go-to, but when I’m at All Souls, D’Oro is like striking gold. Great customer service too!

  • Rave: Got 99 problems but a rant ain’t one. Happy Spring in a few hours!

  • Rave: It finally feels like spring!!

  • Ethics question: Is it right to leave an anonymous (but very polite) note on a neighbor’s door about how his smoking is affecting their two cats? (I’d probably also include info from ASPCA about how bad smoking is for animals.) Usually, I deplore anonymous notes, but I know this neighbor somewhat and would rather not jeopardize our currently friendly interactions. That said, this guy smokes like a chimney in a very small apartment with two cats. I wouldn’t bother to mention how this is affecting his health- I think that angle is lost on someone like this. But I want him to know how it impacts cats (cats in smoking homes die sooner, have more complications, and the poor things have a very sensitive sense of smell). I don’t live close to the guy, but I live on the same floor. His immediate neighbors suffer the greatest, and even people four stories up in the same column have complained about smoking- that’s how intense it is. I’m hoping that appealing to his love of animals might 1) drive him to e-cigarettes, 2) help protect his immediate neighbors and the two cats, and 3) give us back our hallway so that we neighbors can once again talk in the halls without having to run into each other’s apartments to avoid the smoke!

    • it will just piss him off, most certainly won’t change his mind, and won’t fix the problem. i’d address it with your building or HOA/neighbor council.

    • If you feel that strongly about it, man up and have a conversation with him.

      FYI, if you leave the letter you are describing about smoking impacting cats, I would be checking the passive aggressive notes website constantly over the next few weeks. That kind of note is just made for that website.

    • You gotta be kidding me. Grow a set of balls and talk to him yourself.
      That said, be prepared for him to laugh in your face.
      And yes, your anonymous note will end up on the internet.

    • This sounds like a very crazy idea to me. I can’t imagine that an anonymous note about how his smoking is harming his cats will do anything but annoy and/or confuse him, unless he is also crazy. If you want to get him to stop smoking, I would recommend a more direct route – i.e. deal with him directly (not anonymously) and raise concerns regarding humans (not cats). In particular, it sounds like you are not actually concerned about the cats at all, but about your and your neighbors’ comfort, and I think he will figure this out fairly quickly and be less inclined to deal favorably with you.

      • I see your point, but I’m of the mind that smokers typically don’t care about their own health and certainly don’t care about how their habit affects other people. It’s not even worth it to make that argument with them. But this guy does love his cats! That’s what I don’t get. If you love your cats, why would you subject to them to this. There’s no argument that smoke is bad for animals. If he stopped smoking, the side benefit would be for the neighbors- I agree. But I’m an animal person, and I truly am concerned about those cats who are bearing the direct impact.I don’t want to be “passive aggressive” (I’d take great pains to be polite and NOT snarky, nasty, etc..), but I also don’t want a fallout with a neighbor with whom I am on good terms. I have to live in this building. Short of a note, I’ll be asking for weather stripping for his door. They did this for another compulsive smoker who was affecting people in our building. Weather stripping, however, isn’t going to help his animals one bit.

        • Being married to a former smoker, he was always concerned about how his smoking affected others. Sometimes he didn’t realize that the smoke was wafting inside when he was outside, or he didn’t realize that he smelled like smoke in the winters when he would bundle up to go outside and smoke. Smokers are people too and they do care (atleast some do!). If he smokes as much as you say he does, it’s not going to be a quick “oh, i didn’t realize that i was hurting my cats, i should probably quit this habit that I’ve had for years” and then bam he’s done. Quitting smoking is a very personal thing and really effing hard! I would appeal to his good sense (assuming he has some) and ask him to go outside or open a window, etc.

    • I know you’re not trying to be funny, but I can’t help but think of a new series of anti-smoking commercials featuring the pets of smokers. Instead of the commercials with the guy wasting away in a wheelchair or the one singing through the artificial voice box, you could have a cat hacking and choking. Another cat could say “your hairballs are really bad today.” The choking cat could respond, in a raspy smoker’s voice, “they ain’t hairballs, my owners a chain smoker.”

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: Computer finally dying. Pieces are falling off and the power cord won’t charge anymore.
    Rant: Work out studio next door keeps waking me up with loud yelling at 6:30am. I called and complained, so today they woke me up with loud shouting and loud music. I swear they made the music louder just to be spiteful.

    • Emmaleigh504

      Forgot my Raves: New computer is a good excuse to upgrade my phone at the same time.
      Rave: Working from home so I have a kitty snuggling with me. Life is good.

    • Related: my macbook from 2008 is finally dying too. Now that I’m out of school, I essentially use it for internet browsing, so I can’t justify shelling out over $1,000 for uses I could do on my phone. I can’t commit to just a tablet, since I mostly use it when I need a keyboard for faster typing over my phone. Does anyone have any suggestions for a cheaper(ish) laptop?

      • You can get PC laptops as low as ~$350 at Best Buy or any other places that sells laptops. If you want a mac, well, good luck; maybe try Ebay?

      • Still could be worth getting the cheapest MacBook Air. Your Mac lasted EIGHT years – which means that the price per year/day/use is quite small. It could be worth it to you to pay more up front for long term reliability and satisfaction. At least that’s how I justify MY investment-type purchases.

        • Addendum : sorry SIX YEARS. I can’t count, but point still stands!

        • I look at it that way too. I got my MacBook in about 2009 and we have had a nice long run together. The Mac I had before that lasted a good long time too. I’m also an Apple fangirl, so I’ll bet getting another Mac, just have to decide if I’m going to upgrade.

      • Tablet plus a cover that doubles as a keyboard? There’s plenty of those out there.

      • My Mac (Summer 2009) is also dying. I upgraded it and increased the power and also upgraded operating systems (which helped a lot in terms of running some programs) but the newest operating system has made it super slow. I use my work laptop mostly and have a tablet… so I’m thinking about just letting have a slow death.

        • PS: all photos, music, and important files have been backed up recently.
          Don’t forget to back-up!

  • Rant: Is it just me or when a guy tells me “tell me what I should know about you” I’m not wrong to feel like he’s being lazy and an idiot? That’s not exactly a good conversation starter.
    Rave: Best to know this right off the bat, I’ve got better things to do!
    Rave 2: Good friend since 3rd grade is coming to town and we are going to go to Little Serow and Kapnos.

    • Ugh. That comes across as patronizing. Bad question.
      How did you respond?

      • Unfortunately i didn’t have a snappy comeback. First I said I wasn’t ready for that interview question then I came up with I’m taking swimming lessons and recently learned the flip turn.

        • I think that if I was tacky enough to ask that question and lucky enough to ask it of you, that answer — delivered with a certain panache, which I’m sure it was — might make me fall in love.

      • I agree that it’s a boring ice breaker, but how the hell is it patronizing?
        How is it any different than “Tell me about yourself.” when you meet a new person for the first time at a party/networking event/etc?

        • To me there is a difference between “tell me about yourself” and “tell me what I should know about you.” Not a great interview question but an even worse conversation starter (or ender).

        • “Tell me about yourself” is more open-ended. It implies that the person asking the question wants to get to know you as a whole person. I think that “Tell me what I should know about you” is more judgmental. It implies that the person asking the question thinks that there are things they “should” know about you and things that they “shouldn’t”. It implies that this person is going to be judging the response to the question based on their perceived usefulness towards whatever goal they have. Appropriate for a job interview or elevator-speech, perhaps, but if you’re trying to get to know someone why not let them show you who you are instead of demanding that they list off things that you think you “should” know right off the bat?

        • It’s kind of like demanding that you tailor your answer to their unknown specifications instead of letting you represent yourself in a way that is most authentic to you.

          • You’re thinking way too deeply/neurotically about this. The guy just wanted to know something interesting about the OP. No more, no less.

        • I should amend the rant by saying he already knew a little about my hobbies and had ample time to google me in advance.

          While I hate the question “what do you do?” as is so common here, I usually ask what they do for fun or if they’ve traveled anywhere lately.

          • Not patronizing. Small talk is hard for some people. Not for me, but I get it. So he didn’t phrase it in a witty manner, at least he can put together a sentence. LOL

            But hey, your “(he) had ample time to google me in advance” comment raises an interesting (potential Friday QOD) discussion:

            Is it cool to google dates in advance?

            I get the safety concerns for us women, but doesn’t pre-googling lead to a lot of pre-judgement? Doesn’t it take the excitement and mystery out of a first date? If you thought that “tell me about yourself” line was boring, imagine the uncomfortable silence of two people with nothing to talk about because they came to the date knowing everything they *think* they need to know about each other.


    • It’s not the greatest opener in the world but honestly your reaction is a little over the top. If that line is a dealbreaker for you then I’m inclined to think that he dodged a bullet.

    • justinbc

      I love Little Serow, excellent choice for an out of towner!

      • Agreed. I left work early to stand in line to get a table for my good friend and her two coworkers who were in town from NYC. In exchange, they put my meal on the company credit card.
        That was definitely a fair trade!!!!! 😀

    • As others have said, it depends on the delivery, but to my ears, ” Tell me what I should know about you” is more flirtatious. It’s a set-up for you to give a snappy come-back: “I’m hard to get — but easy to please.”, ” I like skeet shooting.” “I don’t believe in ‘should’s”, whatever. Saying something like: “Tell me more about yourself” is what I would expect to hear in a job interview. In a social setting, unless it was from somebody’s older relatives, I’d take that as a pretty boring opener.

    • For what it’s worth, “Tell me what I should know about you” seems lazy to me — not only would it make the date feel like a job interview, it would make it feel like an interview where the person interviewing you hasn’t even bothered to read your resume.
      A good delivery could maybe save it, but I think you’re right to feel somewhat piqued.

  • Rant: I need a Nest Protect. The location of my smoke detector is a major design flaw, so much so that preheating my oven to 500F causes it to go off. It went off like 6 times last night, leaving me with a splitting headache.
    Question: I am going to Community Forklift this weekend and I love all of the excess stone they have. I was thinking about buying a smallish scrap and having in cut into two shelves, about 5″x18″. I’m having a hard time finding stone cutters. Does anyone know of one or the approximate price of cutting stone, likely marble or granite?

    • We got the nest smoke alarm because when we cooked it would often go off. Now, when the alarm goes off we just wave our hand in front of it and it stops. It will also say, and text you, when the smoke has cleared. pretty cool device.

    • Um, I just tried to post this but was erroneously told I was posting too quickly, so sorry if it’s a double post. Community Forklift has contact information for stone cutters that they recommend. I’d ask them.

      • That is fantastic info, thanks!
        I figured it was a kind of niche market if you’re not buying counter tops from the stone cutters, and my hunch was confirmed when I tried yelp and google and found almost nothing useful. Just another reason to love CF.

    • justinbc

      I’m definitely going to be picking up some of their products once the Google takeover has finalized and they release the new models. Cool stuff, and friends say they’ve saved a good bit of $ with the thermostats.

      • I bought the Nest thermostat before the take over. I LOVE it. I get that I live in a condo building and my temperature isn’t going to drop much if I turn off my heat anyway, but I still think it’s great. I can see how many hours of the day and when exactly my heat has come on. The best part is turning it back on on the way home from a trip. I’m like a distressed animal in the cold, keeping me from that in my own home after a trip is worth the money in my book.

    • You probably just have the wrong type of smoke detector. They make ones specifically for mounting near kitchens (photoelectric) that will cost you far less than a Nest Protect. Or consider moving the location of the detector.

      • It’s hard wired, so moving it would be too much of a pain. I didn’t realize there were specialty ones for kitchen areas, I’ll check that out too.

    • Can I ask why you were pre-heating your oven to 500? I’ve never in my life gone over 450 — so I’m curious about what culinary tasks I might be missing. I’m also hoping that maybe there’s an easier way than using a blowtorch to make creme brule, so……

  • Rant: nothing…?
    Rave: a super busy week at work, coupled with good times with friends and lots of sports has helped me move past the “out of left field” blow earlier this week from someone I was falling for, and into a good spot.

  • Rant: Struggling with a bad back the past several weeks. What makes it worse is that I turn 40 this year. Feeling old.

    Rave: Full head of mostly non-gray hair.

    • Have you tried sleeping on the floor for a few days? That seems to make my back feel better when I get creaky. Also, Maybe YOU’RE not old — but your mattress might be.

  • Rave: 16 lbs total gone this morning! It’s probably a weight fluctuation fluke, but I’ll take it. Looks like all I had to do was bitch about my weight in yesterday’s Rant or Revel! 🙂

    Rave: BEAUTIFUL weather this morning on my walk to work. Had Sia’s “Chandelier” on repeat and was in the best mood.

    Rave: Friday’s so close I can taste it!

  • Fucking comcast. A solid week of mostly no internet, despite multiple calls. Tips for getting a) my service fixed and b) tons of money back? We pay a LOT for internet, and we work from home. This has seriously fucked us up professionally.

    • I documented the starting and ending dates of partial service interuptions that happened all the time (saved the emails i sent them every time it happened). when they were finally able to fix the issue, it turned out to be seven months. i got the entire seven months worth of payment back by showing the emails (of course i had to elevate a few levels into management, but im sure you know to do that). even with the refund, i still consider them to be terrible

    • I’ve had success getting money back from Comcast before. In a building that I used to live in, they’d send someone out about once/twice a month to make sure no one was stealing cable/internet. So they guy would go in the room, and verify that any apartment hooked up was a paying customer. I was apartment 2206, but I guess the guy was reading it upside down or something so every time he came, he’d disconnect my service. I was traveling for work at the time, so I wouldn’t find out until Thursday evening. Long story short, I called and complained to Comcast and said that I wouldn’t pay for service that i wasn’t actually receiving, so they reimbursed me for about a months worth of service. If the person you speak to doesn’t budge, just ask to speak to someone higher, hang up and keep calling back, or tell them that you want to disconnect your service ASAP. That usually gets them moving in the right direction.

    • Call again and ask to speak to the cancellation person. Tell them they suck, they’re inconsistent and another provider is offering reliable service for less money…that got me a tech, a fix and a discount…

  • Rant! Is there is certain amount of time train doors need to stay open? Today while heading to work the Red Line to Shady grove opened it’s doors for such a short period of time that people trying to get off got closed inside. This is with everyone patiently waiting their turn and no one pushing to get in while people tried to get out. Is this a common occurance? Don’t they at minmum have to let everyone out?

    • I haven’t experienced it on my commute in the morning, but I definitely experience it about once every other week when trying to get off the red at Chinatown (around 5:15 p.m.). I’ve had to ride to metro center and turn around twice this year so far because the doors closed right quick or on other people in front of me. I’m not sure what the deal is but I feel especially bad for folks who are not from here and look incredibly panicked when they can’t get off.

    • If the train is running behind schedule, the operators will often try to make up time by keeping the doors open only for a short period. It’s annoying as hell.

  • Rant: The home buying process was going smoothly until the appraisal came in 60 freaking thousand dollars low. The guy didn’t use a single home that is anywhere near the quality of ours and picked comps miles away and/or on major roads. The value premium he gave to the house we want to buy was only at $45/sqft (~10% of the market value of square footage in this area) and he just assumed all the comps were C3. It is frustrating because we looked at 2 of the 5 “comps” he used and didn’t make an offer. They sat on the market for weeks while the home we want to buy had multiple offers within 2 days. UGH.

    • Will your lender let you appeal the appraisal?

      • You have a right to challenge the comps selected. Or at least that is what our appraiser told us.

      • That’s what we’re trying to do now. I believe we are officially “contesting” the appraisal and sending him the comps we would use and making some other comments. It’s just a very frustrating process since we’ve been working so hard to stay organized and make sure that we were doing everything we could to keep the process smooth. Ok. Rant over.

        • Do you mind if I ask what neighborhood this is in?

        • houseintherear

          I will try to remember to respond to this again when I get home and have his business card in front of me… there’s an appraiser who is *awesome* and apparently is free lance and you can request him through most major banks. He grew up in DC and lives in Ledroit somewhere and really knows his stuff. He saved me when I was getting a home equity loan set up- really nailed the appraisal value. I’m sorry I can’t remember his name right now! Again, will try to remember and respond later-

  • pablo .raw

    Rave: Exposed DC was fun last night, saw lots of friends, great photography. Inspired to do better next year.

  • Rant: People who honk their horns the minute the light turns green can suck it. Sorry it took almost 2 whole seconds for me to take my foot off the brake and start to accelerate. Didn’t realize it was a drag race down Constitution Ave!

    • Constitution is a main drag into downtown and often queued up for blocks with cars.
      You’ll survive a quick honk, I promise.

      • epric002

        and they’ll survive the 2 seconds, i promise. you missed the point, methinks.

      • I know, I drive it every day. But people need to simmer down with the honking. It’s totally needless. Honking is only going to make my foot move slower and my finger move faster!

      • Sadly, honking at me during the few seconds it takes me to move my foot from brake to gas will only make me move SLOWER because I’ll pause to see what “emergency” the honker noticed – i.e. small child toddling into the street — that I didn’t.

    • Maybe not a drag race, but when traffic volume is high, slow reactions to a green light really keeps things congested. Of course it’s not a huge deal, but it’s also an unnecessarily slow reaction.
      But I would also say that if you are sure you are driving in an appropriate manner, then you should ignore those honks. In fact, unless you were the only other person in the area, you don’t even know what they were honking about or if it was directed at you.

      • Agreed. Also, so many people are looking at their phones while waiting at lights. I have to use my horn way too frequently nowadays because some folks will sit for more than a few seconds before driving. If you had a line of 10 cars ahead of you and they each had a two second delay before they started moving, it would quickly add up.
        So while I understand the OPs gripe, he/she needs to see the bigger picture. It’s not just about him – it’s about all the other delays that are causing congestion.

    • I’m a honker. If the light turns green and within a couple of seconds I don’t see the brake lights of the front car go off, I assume they aren’t paying attention. A quick toot of the horn is hardly menacing, and it is done for myself and the countless other cars in line waiting to get through the light.

  • Rant/Rave: Pretty sure that MSU is going to man handle Udel today, but as an alum, I have to watch.
    Rant: I slept terribly last night. What’s up with all the tossing and turning?
    Rave: Spring! I’m so ready to plant a garden and soak up some sun.
    Rant: The partner and I have been like ships passing in the night for the past few weeks. This weekend, I refuse to schedule anything other than quality time at home.

  • justinbc

    Random: If anyone is looking for a very nice, inexpensive housing option that’s professionally managed, I’ve got an open unit in one our properties for only $1,050 a month (1BR / 1BA):

  • I’m moving to 3rd and T NE and I work along the green/yellow line, but can transfer to/from the red at Chinatown. For those of you that live in the area, do you use the the Rhode Island or Noma stations? If so, what’s your walk like? In the alternative, do you take the G8 to Shaw? Thanks!

  • Rant: Got dumped last night. We had had a fight and I said I was willing to work through it because I cared about him. He essentially told me he thought of me more as a friend and he wasn’t where I was at. He apologized for ending it, saying it hurt him to do so BUT that was because he thought I was sweet and wanted me to be happy. I appreciate the honesty (I guess?) but we’d been hanging out three months and had gotten to the point where he had said I love you accidentally and we were spending four nights a week together. …Seriously?
    Rave: Songza’s Shake it off: R&B Kiss-Offs is the only thing getting me through work right now

    • sorry to hear. don’t try to analyze it though. just move on.

      • 2nd. Be thankful that he actually came out and did it instead of stringing you along which seems to be most men’s SOP. It sucks, but ultimately it’s for the best.

    • I’ve been that dude. I’ve also been the one dumped in that situation. It happens. Sorry. Better it happened after 3 months instead of 3 years right?

      Good luck!

    • Sucks, but the “more as a friend” sounds like he’s dumping you in the nicest way that he can manage. Appreciate the effort, and let go. The other options: the fade; the starting a fake fight and using that as an excuse to bolt; and having an intense heart to heart talk about “What’s Not Working”, are, in my experience, much more painful than the “It’s not you, it’s me” approach. I think three months in is a good point to decide to commit deeper, or step back — if only because of the other person’s expectations. It sucks, but it would probably suck much more if he came to the same conclusion much later down the road.

      • Agreed with all your points. 3 months is usually the good point to break it off, if you don’t see the long term potential. You were patient and gave it plenty of time, but it won’t work out. Too much longer than that and it becomes utterly wrenching for both parties. Just be happy that this guy was decisive and honest in his assessment.

  • Rave: I was so excited to learn about the Washington Humane Society’s PACK group. I love running and dogs, but don’t have the heart to own a dog right now knowing I’m not yet at a place where I can give it the quality of life it deserves.

    Rant: The next open date for orientation is in July when I’m out of town for a business trip.

  • Rave: just want to say thanks to those of you – men and women – who chimed in on yesterday’s rant/revel about trying to conceive. Someone else started the thread, then I piled on, and a lot of you came back with some encouragement and kindness. I never expected trying to concieve to feel like such a lonely and secretive process when you dont want everyone in your business and you dont want to raise expectations among family/friends. So i just really appreciated the community yesterday. thanks, Popville.

    • I actually started the thread, and agree with the thanks to the community. It is a secretive process – you don’t want others to know when you are starting to try because you don’t want them “judging” you or giving you sad looks when you still aren’t pregnant, but then you don’t have people to confide in about the difficulties. Its a very emotionally trying process. While people say it can take a while, the statistics say otherwise (I’m looking at you Gnoth study), and who wants to possibly have problems on something so central to one’s life. I hate looking at random web postings (baby center, etc), but I have found dcurbanmom a great place to vent about these issues in an anonymous way but to people who you know exist and aren’t just somewhere else in the random web universe.

      • Most first children born in this country are born to unmarried women no older than 26. So of course they get pregnant pretty easily and the studies back that up. The baby/fertility forums tend to be filled with older, professional women who went down a VERY different path in life. Don’t compare yourself to a young woman in the rural Midwest who got knocked up before she had a chance to even establish herself. Put it all in its right context.

  • Rant: Article in WaPo yesterday about new residents being the least likely to vote in city elections.

    Rave: Good article in the WaPo about challenger Brianne Nadeau and the ethically challenged Jim Graham.

    Rave #2: After some additional emails with my bike vendor on how to dislodge the seat post from the frame including one that involved an anvil (apparently confusing me with Wile E. Coyote) he agreed to send me a new seat post free of charge even though I was at fault! Hooray for good vendors with amazing customer service!

    • You probably forgot to take the bolt out. Easy mistake, people do it all the time. DOH!

    • Man it would drive me crazy riding on it knowing the original bike post was still in there. There has GOT to be a way to remove it.

      • Why? It’s in there — but you don’t need it, and it’s not bothering anything. After a week or so I’m sure I’d forget that it was even there.

  • Some of you may remember last week’s rant about my neurotic friend who was facevaguing.
    Well it appears her husband was cheating on her (one of her friends said “You’ve been horribly betrayed – I’m praying for you”) and now she took her 2 year old kid and went to her mom’s place in another state. She hasn’t worked in a few years, so I’m worried about her next steps.
    RANT: It sounds like a terrible situation, so I shouldn’t have been so judgmental last week. Yet, she basically having social media diarrhea right now. Gah. I’m way too invested in this drama – it’s like a train wreck where you can’t look away.

    • You can be sympathetic to her situation and annoyed at her FB posting at the same time.

    • what is facevaguing??

      • Status updates like “Life is so hard right now” that seem to be begging for folks to respond. I’ve also seen this as vaguebooking

      • what’s it called when someone is really bragging, but puts herself down in order to get people to disagree with her and say how great she is? I had a FB friend who would do this all the time. For example, she would be invited to be a guest on a cable news show, and her FB post would be something like “going on X show to get interviewed about Y, I’m not prepared and I’m sure it will be a disaster.” And then there would be a flood of comments like “you’ll be great,” “you are amazing and will be awesome.” blah, blah. Or after an appearance she would post about how badly her television appearance went (and usually include a link to it) and then the comments would all be about how great she did. I couldn’t take it anymore and had to unfriend.

  • Rant: One of my favorite colleagues has left. I’ll get used to it, but for now it is bumming me out.
    Rave: My friend introduced me to a company that does deliveries from Costco, even if you don’t belong to Costco (and Harris Teeter and Whole Foods.) I may never set foot in a grocery store besides TJ’s again.

    • what company?

    • FYI – you can buy alcohol and pharmaceuticals from CostCo without being a member. Go to the membership desk and you can ask for an “alcohol pass”. It’s illegal for them to discriminate between members and non-members when selling those tightly-regulated items. My friend goes to the DC CostCo from her place in MD to get alcohol without a membership. CostCo, of course, doesn’t advertise this.

  • Anyone here know Norfolk, VA? I’m thinking of going there for a weekend trip next month. Any must see places or things to do downown? Any decent hotels near Chrysler Hall?

    • Old Town Portsmouth is really cool and quaint (similar to Richmond). Good old school bakeries, family-owned restaurants, etc. Fairly walkable. You’ll need to drive there from Norfolk.
      I had a very good meal at Still last month. Really great cocktail list, too.

    • epric002

      went to ODU, lived in the area for 7 years. why are you going?

        • epric002

          so, chrysler hall is downtown norfolk. the norva is not that far away, and it’s a pretty cool music venue. you could also go down by the water to see the USS wisconsin and the nauticus museum, there might be something going on in town point park too. there are some decent restaurants in norfolk, like omar’s carriage house, todd jurich’s bistro, no frill bar and grill, and empire little bar bistro. i personally prefer the ghent area of norfolk, and highly recommend luna maya. there is a marriott, a courtyard, and a sheraton all nearby the chrysler. there is no public transportation to speak of. depending on what you’re interested in, you could do williamsburg/yorktown on your drive up/down. there’s also the chrysler museum of art and the norfolk botanical gardens. personally, i don’t think there’s a whole lot of stuff worth going for, but if you’re going for the movie i’m sure you could find enough other things to do while you’re there.

    • The Nauticus, big science and maritime museum down by the waterfront.
      Boat taxis if they are running n season are cheap, will take you over to Portsmouth (for waterfront dining) or just ride around
      Only 22 minute drive to Virginia Beach, one and a half to Kitty Hawk (OBX.) One hour to Williamsburg & Busch Gardens which will be open for spring break

    • janie4

      If you’re into drive-in restaurants, try Doumar’s – http://www.doumars.com/ – it’s one of the oldest in the country.

  • epric002

    whoops, let me fix that for you. rant: duke. rave: go heels!

  • Can anyone tell me about park view? I’m looking to move down georgia a few blocks from morton st and I’m worried about safety. I think I’m panicking myself.

    • Where specifically — on Georgia directly?

      • georgia and kenyon, on kenyon.

        • That must be near the Mothership, right?
          I feel pretty safe where I am (northern end of Park View). I would imagine the southern portion is similar, except right around Park Morton, but I’d recommend joining the “Park View Beautification Crew” group on Facebook and asking folks about Georgia/Kenyon. Most of the group membership seems to be in southern Park View, so they’ll know that area better than I do.

          • Thank you! I’ve never felt unsafe and previously lived on rock creek church, but then I started reading and got a little concerned. People on the internet can be dramatic, and one carjacking in the area doesn’t a pattern at all.

        • gotryit

          I liked that area when I lived a few blocks south of Kenyon. In fact, I found it a little bit safer than around Morton St. But the problems with the area are not all that different.

          • cool thanks, morton st was my biggest concern which was why I mentioned it. I think I’ll be perfectly fine and really enjoy the neighborhood.

  • houseintherear

    If PEPCO was a person, I would punch it in the face every day for the next 47 days.

  • Rant: I thought we found a new roommate for the bedroom we have for rent, but then she backed out (so the ad has been reposted with more pictures per advice on an earlier rant: http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/doc/roo/4384277525.html.)
    Rave: The weather today!
    Rave: and the forecast for this weekend 🙂

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