Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user jacquesofalltrades

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.

Ed. Note: Please vote today, you can find your polling station here.

201 Comment

  • Rave: I can’t wait for the Taylor Gourmet and &Pizza to open at Regan National Airport. As a frequent flyer, this will be epic!
    Rant: How I Met Your Mother. SMH.

    • Don’t even get met started about HIMYM!!! 9 years, all for that…

      • I kind of loved it. We all knew that Ted and Robin should have been together all along. I wasn’t buying the whole Barney/Robin thing. They filmed the scene with the kids 9 years ago…I thought it was really funny!

        • The ending made more sense 9 years ago, at the end of season 2.

        • That is the amazing thing to me – they must have filmed those scenes at the begining, right – those kids would be well into their 20s now and look totally different. So, those two actors who played the kids and everyone who shot the scene knew what happens for 9 years and it didn’t get leaked.

          • Maybe they shot a bunch of alternate endings, and nobody involved knew which one would actually get used.

        • Thanks for the “spoiler alert” 🙁

    • houseintherear

      I loved the HIMYM ending! But I think I’m in the minority…

  • Rave: No lines at my polling place this morning! I like the new single-stream line for checking in. Keep this, DC.

    Rant: No lines at my polling place this morning! C’mon, DC! Go vote!

  • Rave: Voted to oust Jim Graham and Vince Gray. I pray my fellow citizens have some common sense.
    Rant: Worried that the DC electorate will be too stupid and just vote for more of the same.

    • Unfortunately, if Gray is out then Bowser is in, and that’s worse.

      • Not if you vote for Catania!

        • Good point. I voted for Gray this morning because Bowser is such a moron, I mean her answers to questions are like that SNL parody of the Palin Katie Couric interview, that even Gray under indictment, heck even convicted, would be better. But I am going to vote in the General for Cantina.

          • Curious why didn’t you vote for one of the other candidates? Why is this just a Gray / Bowser thing?

          • To 10:58. Strategic voting. A vote for any of the other candidates was a vote for Bowser, no one else has a chance. So I swallowed hard and voted for the option that I believed would be the least terrible.

        • saf

          That’s far far worse

      • +1000 “If Gray is out Bowser is in” I despise Gray but will be voting for him today b/c I think Catania has a better chance of beating Gray than Bowser.

        I’m a life long Democrat and have never voted for an independent candidate, until this election

        Bowser couldn’t name three legislative accomplishments she achieved as a Council member. How pathetic. She can’t ride the coat tails of the Council as Mayor.

        Vote: Anybody but Bowser!!!!

      • Vote for Andy Shallal, the only one who makes any sense.

        • gotryit

          Good point – that’s very convincing.

        • Hardly. He has no experience in government and little ability to work with people who have from different viewpoints. He gave essentially no platform in all of interviews – any article on him was a long puff piece about how great a businessperson he is. I can’t imagine a worse candidate actually.

          • If by “little ability to work with people who have different viewpoints” you mean he’s not part of the cesspool of DC corruption, then he’s probably a pretty good choice. Our political system in this city is so sleazy that an outsider couldn’t be any worse than what we’ve got now.

    • It’s sad that you can’t understand that other people have different perspectives and ideas about the city. I don’t know who you voted for but I assume you have your reasons. Calling anyone who doesn’t agree with you stupid is pretty pathetic.

      • I don’t know. I think some voters are pretty stupid. I am not saying voting for Gray is stupid, just that stupidity exists in our electorate, some candidates even bank on it.

      • Oh please. If you are not bothered by the corruption by both Gray and Graham, something is wrong. Not to mention the DISGUSTING race baiting by the Gray campaign. “One of our own”…please. It’s time for change.

        • Wow! I’m totally convinced. Please, Bowser, who had the option to actually change the ethics laws and didn’t? Who took money from all of the same people as Gray? Also, if you don’t know who Sinclair Skinner is and how he’s helping Bowser, i suggest you look it up. The article in the Post about how she cancelled the fundraiser once people found out about it. Talk about homophobia and race-bating. Maybe we all know what we know.

        • Have they been convicted of anything? Sure, the accusations are bothersome, but accusations abound in politics. I tend to believe that very few (if any) politicians have clean hands and will keep those hands clean for their entire careers. And with that belief, I’d rather judge a candidate based on what s/he has accomplished and what I think s/he can get done. I’m not saying that I’ll vote for both of them, but voters who select candidates based on different criteria are not inherently “stupid.”

      • Colhi: Thanks for stating this clearly and in a much kinder way than what I was going to spew out when I read the “stupid” comment. +1

    • i think grey has done a fine job as mayor.

    • I just voted – but having been so drowned in flyers & calls from the main candidates, I had no idea there were other races – DC council at-large for one. And a bunch of weird offices I had never heard of on the back of the ballot. So maybe do a quick search before you head to the polls.

    • Rant: worried that the DC electorate will be to lazy to bother to vote at all.

  • Rant: MPD pulling cars over on Connecticut Ave during morning evening commutes when an open side street is 15 feet ahead. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve seen this. Couldn’t an officer tell the driver to pull onto the side street in order to alleviate the funnel they have now created on an already stressful commute? I’ve also seen this with minor fender benders. Get out the way!

    • How about being ticketed for “blocking the box” when the reason for a traffic backup was the officer just past the intersection handing out the tickets?!? True story, thanks MPD…..

      • Did the officer make you enter the intersection before you had room to move all the way through?

      • How about not blocking the box? The reason for the congestion is irrelevant.

        • I paid the ticket since I was in the box and legally had no excuse. However, I drive the route every day, am used to the traffic patterns, and can generally predict whether I’ll clear the intersection. I’d say a cop parking in a travel lane during rush hour to hand out “block the box” tickets is pretty much the definition of lazy, ticket-quota-filling, junk policing. And btw, I was behind a large bus so couldn’t see the cop….yet the bus wasn’t ticketed for box blocking. DC police should work to make rush hour more efficient, not less.

  • Rant: got married a few months ago. Getting tired of random colleagues asking me when I am having babies. Seriously? it is rude and none of your business!
    Rant: Hurt even more because we are trying
    Rave: had this conversation with another random colleague yesterday:
    Her: how is married life treating you?
    Me: pretty good thanks
    Her: have your family started harassing you about having babies?
    Me: My family has actually been pretty cool, however I am getting harassed by random people and colleague.
    I Hope she got my message. I felt pretty good after that.

    • pablo .raw

      I’m sad to report that once you have a baby, the question and harrasment will be: “so…. when are you having the other one? you don’t want this one to grow alone right?” and if you have a boy “so when are you going to try to have a girl?” and so on. Facebook will start placing ads about babies on the right side of your screen also as soon as you change your status to “married” and if you don’t, then you’ll get the “singles in your area…” stuff. Oh well.

      • If you are a woman all the ads are all for weightloss – how to loose that baby belly. It’s the worst!
        You’re right leavemealone, it’s noone’s business, especially work folks. We got prego before we were married, so had the opposite quesiton (and pressure!) – ‘so when are you getting married’. It takes the fun and spontaneity out of it. Like it wasn’t our decision anymore. People aren’t going to stop asking, so come up with a snarky response that is funny but let’s them know you are annoyed at the probing!

      • I’m amazed by how frequently I am asked – by all sorts of people who have no qualms about asking. We’ve been married 3 years, so everyone wants to know where the baby is. Little do they know that WE would like to know too, as we’ve been trying for a while! Folks have no idea how personal and potentially hurtful it is. and in the workplace it also feels threatening… like they want to know when i’ll be checking out.

        I’ve been asked by friends, inlaws, the electrician, cab drivers, colleagues. Everyone except my own parents, thank goodness.

    • And then the breastfeeding cult will start to swarm you. I get that breast feeding is the best thing for your baby but some women can’t do it so please give it a rest. Plus, I know breastfeeding is a pain and takes a lot of time and effort but women have been doing it for a thousands of years, stop acting like you just spliced the atom because you breast feed. I fear I just kicked a hornets nest but I feel better now.

    • Serious question: is it rude to ask married friends if they are thinking about having kids? We’re all in our 30s and it’s a salient topic as more and more of our friends are getting knocked up.
      I see certain people – especially friends in NYC – only once or twice a year (they are not “close friends” but I’ve known them for 8-10+ years), so it’s a topic that comes up naturally in conversation as we are discussing other friends’ new kids.
      I just want to make sure I’m not overstepping any lines or prying too much. And when I ask, I’m in no way insinuating that they should be having kids.

      • epric002

        IMO, there’s a difference b/n “do you want to have kids?” and “when are you having kids?”.

      • GiantSquid

        Asking “are you thinking about having kids?” is in my opinion WAY better than “when are you having kids?”

        • +1. Yes. or “have you guys thought/talked about kids?” I think when the relationships are close enough, and conversations gravitate towards that, it can be ok. but open-ended questions are much better than “are you trying?” “when are you going to try?” “what’s your plan for kids?” etc. I’ve been asked several times “WHY DON”T YOU have kids?” that just feels terrible.

          • Right. It’s like the “Why are you single” question. What kind of answer are people really looking for!?

        • I completely agree! BTW, I have noticed that TTC Anon and Giant Squid are always on here posting about TTC…we should start a support group 🙂

          • GiantSquid

            I appreciate the sentiment, but while I don’t mind chatting about it here “anonymously” and with one or two very good friends, that’s really the extent to which I want to discuss it.

      • It depends. If the conversation naturally leads there and you are all having a frank discussion about it, I don’t think it’s rude or overstepping, especially when it’s amongst friends. But when you are in the elevator with someone at work and their opening line is “so when are you going to start having kids”, that’s worthy of a punch to the throat 😉

      • The are you thinking about it is way different than when. That one I think is ok from friends and it’s a pretty natural question from say old college friends who live in a different city and they would know if you were having beers every two weeks.

        The when question is the one I find offensive. I find that it’s a passive way of asking: so how long have you guys been having unprotected sex? In some cases that question also implies a third: How come you’ve not been successful despite the unprotected sex? And this set, well, it’s no one business. Though the third is something to discus with an OB/GYN.

      • The issue there is what if they have just been told they can’t have kids? I think if you’re super close to them, they would be ok, but I know I have had people with good intentions ask me that question in all innocence and I totally started crying on them. Better to not poke potential wounds.

    • gotryit

      Best response I’ve heard is: “Why do you ask?” and let their response (usually dumb) linger. (Hopefully) they realize that it’s a jerk question.

    • It will stop…when you announce your 50th birthday party and still don’t have kids. Trust me on this one.

    • Honestly, it is annoying when people ask when your having kids, but it sounds like you took out your frustration on the wrong person. Your colleague sounds like she was trying to commiserate about people being stupid and asking questions, not actually asking herself. Weird and socially awkward, but I don’t actually think she did what you think she did (based just on what you posted here, sorry if I missed some other context).

      • I think it was a way to indirectly ask that question herself. At least that is the way I took it. And my response was the true to her question. Yeap it wasn’t ill intended but was ironic to me when i thought about it after all.

  • I tried to find out where I vote and the site said “no data available.” Anyone know where the 3800 block of Kansas Av NW votes?

  • Rave: Voting. The inner social studies nerd in me still has some faith in the democratic process. I’m crossing my fingers that we see some real change in DC government, which (to me) means the ousting of Grey and Graham.
    Rave: Sunshine! It feels like spring. I was bouncing up and down while walking to work this morning.
    Rave: I’m having a rescheduled monthly lunch with a dear friend. Work schedules and growing families make a standing lunch date essential to staying close and in touch.
    Rave: My gardening partner and I finally started seeds last night. We are late in the game every year, but still manage to get some good pepper and tomato plants. I’m hoping that my bay window provides enough sunlight and looking forward to tomato salads in a few months.

  • Rave: Voted!
    Rant: No one else was there. C’mon DC, this really matters.
    Rant: I really hate to say it, but the Republicans are right on the need to require some form of ID to vote. The poll workers didn’t know me from Adam, but all I needed was an address and I got a ballot. I didn’t even have to show a voter card. It’s not like people are so intent on committing a felony that they’d game the system, but some form of verification would give me consolation that we care enough to safeguard the integrity of our democracy. Yeah, yeah, I’m sure that dissuades some people from voting, but who doesn’t carry an ID these days? It seems like a no-brainer.
    Rant: Still caught up in the voting my conscience vs voting strategically debate.
    Rave: Spring! My plum blossoms are alllllmost there, the forsythia is in full bloom, bulbs are coming in nicely, and the veggies are poking out.
    Rant/Rave: Expecting a new job offer, but haven’t seen it quite yet. Trying to stay patient and cool about it all.

    • I guess the question is how many people you want to disenfranchise to make yourself feel better, in the face of literally no evidence of significant or systematic fraudulent voting. Oh, yeah — keep in mind that the people most likely to be turned away are older, poorer and less white (which is why the Republicans favor this sort of thing).

      • Emmaleigh504


      • pablo .raw

        Just yesterday I witnessed it; the 2 african american young men trying to get into a public building were not allowed because they didn’t have an Id.

      • I hear you. There’s no evidence that anyone’s exploiting this loophole. But still. Everywhere else in the world requires ID to vote. Maybe we just need to make it easier to get an ID. A real, secure, national ID card.

        • epric002

          that’s the only good way to do voter ID. it has to be free and accessible. and that’s really hard, especially in poor, rural areas.

        • Yes, other countries might require an ID to vote, but I think a lot of places also have a better infrastructure in place to facilitate voting. Things like automatically adding people to the voter rolls when they come of age, making voting mandatory, investing in modern systems to maintain accurate voter rolls, etc. The U.S. does none of those things; this country has a long history of doing just the opposite (see: poll taxes, literacy taxes, black people, etc). In light of our broken system and our history, I think people not having to show their id at the polls is the least of our problems.

      • +1

    • The name still has to match the address. You can’t just give a random name to a random address, you’ll get flagged if it doesn’t match with the voter rolls. So there are some checks and balances in place to prevent fraud.
      That said, as Irving Streete said, there is virtually nil fraudulent voting. You’ll end up disenfranchising more people than preventing the very, very few fraudulent votes that do occur.
      Like anything tough in life, you need to choose between the lesser of two evils.

      • Also, they make you sign your name and they check your signature against the one you gave when you first registered to vote. If you ever go to BOEE, they have computers where you can look at voter registration information–it’s for candidates challenging each others’ nominating petitions and they have your signature on file. I believe those same records are available when you sign in at your polling place.

    • If I wanted to game the system – it would be much easier for me to simply pay people – legal voters – to vote legally – for my candidate than it would be to recruit a whole bunch of people to just show up at the polls and pretend to be someone else. For one thing, all you would need is 2-3 legitimate voters to show up and find out they had already allegedly voted to raise a red flag.

    • Rather than be suspicious of unknowable “boogey men” in the form of purported fraudulent voters, I appreciate that some of our most basic rights of citizenry are still kept as a public trust. I may sound naive, but find it very refreshing to do something without having to “prove” who I am, and that access to my rights is not blocked by petty bureaucracy.

  • What’s up with the 9am Revel/Rant?

  • Rant: Flip flops are not shoes. They should not be worn to work.
    Rant: I hate commuting. Two days in a row a 35-minute commute took over an hour.

    • epric002

      they should not be worn AT work (unless maybe you’re a lifeguard). i see no problem wearing them to and from work.

      • Word. Where them to/from work, not AT work.

        • No, keep em at the beach/by the pool.

          • When it’s 100 degrees out with 100% humidity this summer, you can bet I’ll be wearing flip flips to and from work. Get over it.

          • epric002

            and what do you suggest that people (primarily women) commute in during warm weather?

          • I have no objection to women wearing flip flops but it’s better for your feet/legs to wear sandals that have some support

        • A word of caution about wearing flip-flops for too long of a walking commute – they are very bad for your knees/legs. I used to wear them to walk to work, but last summer my shin started to hurt and I asked my PT about it. He said because of the way your foot works in flip flops (toes clench a bit to hold them on your feet) it can do serious damage to your tendons/ligaments. I stopped wearing them near the end of last summer, and my shin is still tender in that area.

    • Flip Flops are shoes and they should be worn everywhere!

  • pablo .raw

    Rave: I’m an american citizen, I vote.
    Rant: I don’t have time to follow local politics, I still don’t know who I’m going to vote for!

  • Voted. I was overwhelmed by the number of candidates from the “Rent is too darn high party” and didn’t choose anyone in those sections.

    • Yes! I kind of chuckled when I saw the first one, and then I flipped my ballot over and like half the candidates were from there. The rent is indeed too high, but damn!

    • I hate to say this, but most of those folks are a bunch of clowns…organizers that are looking to pad their resumes and opportunities to display their own self importance. It’s a little frustrating to see people like that who aren’t all that serious about making a positive difference. Le sigh.

      • “It’s a little frustrating to see people like that who aren’t all that serious about making a positive difference.”
        I think that’s bit presumptuous. I do sincerely believe that those people want to make a positive difference. Now, will they actually gain enough support outside the two party system? Unlikely.
        That said, how else do you expect to build support and awareness of a nascent political movement? By running for grassroots positions at the hyper-local level. That’s where every political movement has started.

        • I happen to know a few of them, personally. So, to some degree, I may be unfairly lumping the folks I don’t know in with those that I do, but I typically tend to roll with the “birds of a feather fly together” theory. What I’ve gathered from the folks on the slate and the friends who are supporting them, they’re not presenting any new or innovative ideas, they just want the older folks to leave, and are a little salty that they haven’t gotten up from “the table”, if you will.

          While I typically like to see old-heads get their asses handed to them in elections with younger candidates, I feel like you really need to come with your A-game. A lot of these people are just weak-sauce, and probably b/c the better candidates aren’t DC residents and are planning to run in races back in their home states at some point (or aren’t willing to forego actually having real representation)

          The question is, if they lose (which many probably will), are they going to hang around and continue to champion for the various issues that’s on their platform…and/or support the winners to ensure that those issues become a part of the broader conversation?

        • DC has a two party system?

  • Rant: Had a panic attack this mornging going into work when i saw my bosses needed a bunch of files (that my co-worker on vacation gave me) and i thought i had lost the thumb drive which contained them!
    Rave: Crisis averted, it waws in my bag the whole time.
    Rave: I had to make a poster about the college i went to (University of Maryland – CP), it really made me nostalgic like i have not been in a long time for school and learning. Just looking at the pictures around campus was really relaxing. I am excited to try to convince my high achievement students to become a terp!

  • I’m falling in love with a complete asshole. Why do I do this to myself? Why can’t I like the nice guy that’s pursuing me instead? I would love some feedback on this. I know better, but also want to follow what my heart wants. What gives?!?!

    • Is this real? How can finding someone to be an “asshole” and having positive feelings about him not be mutually exclusive?

    • epric002

      why does your heart want an asshole?

      • I think I want to help/fix him. He (obviously) has some really great qualities…but he can be a jerk.

        • epric002

          you can’t fix someone else. promise. therapy?

        • “Fix” yourself first. Seriously.
          When women are trying to “fix” asshole dudes, it’s usually because they are trying to avoid “fixing” other issues in their own lives. Same ol’ story.

        • “I think I want to help/fix him”
          Okay, first off, you can’t help/fix people like that – it’s actually kind of a condescending attitude. Which leads me to my second point, if you see him as someone who needs helping/fixing and not as someone who you can love as-is, then you need to forget about relationships while you help/fix yourself. I don’t mean to be harsh but it sounds like you are not viewing this guy as your equal, and that is almost certainly going to end in tears at some point.

    • are you falling in love with him or are you just physically attracted to him? When girls say a-hole i figure it means hes good looking douche bag who knows he can get away with anything

    • “Why do I always fall in love with assholes instead of nice guys?!?!?”

      No way this is real. Sorry you got rejected dude, but if a girl’s not into you, you should stop pursuing her.

      • I assure you it’s real. I’m a girl…and the guy is into me…he can just be a jerk. This mostly relates to drinking, which I should probably be doing less of.

        • No, it doesn’t stop at drinking less. I dated an asshole who I was over the moon about, but he was fun, good looking, really social, all sorts of things I thought were redeeming qualities. It went down in flames. It wasn’t a bullet dodged, it was an ICBM dodged.

          But, I will say I also dated a guy who was a “nice guy” and it turns out he just wanted a pretty thing to be nice to and do all the taking care of. So, maybe the nice guy chasing you isn’t the nice guy for you. There are lots of assholes and there lots of nice guys, they all contain multitudes. Be honest with yourself about why you like/don’t like each of them.

    • As a nice guy, I have no sympathy for you.

      • gotryit

        No sympathy – take control of your life and find a nice guy.

      • + Gazzilion.

      • some people hate all men.

      • jim_ed

        This. Most self proclaimed “nice guys” are nice solely because they think it will obligate women to sleep with them for their niceness. I’m sure there are plenty of nice dudes out there, but the ones who use the term as to why they can’t get women are usually insincere.

        • Emmaleigh504

          +1 There’s a difference between “nice guys” and guys who are nice.

        • I thought everyone knew that women never sleep with nice guys. I mean, you don’t need to be a jerk but being more than a little disreputable always worked for me.

      • I have found that some of the self-proclaimed “nice guys” can turn out to be the biggest assholes.

        • No truly nice guy goes around touting himself as one. It’s like when a bar claims it is “the hippest in town” — just saying that is evidence it’s not true.
          There are a ton of nice guys out there. Just look for guys who are actually decent, not the ones telling you they are.

          • Exactly my point. There are nice guys, but they aren’t the ones claiming to be them.

          • I’m a nice guy through my actions and behaviors, not because I constantly proclaim I am a nice guy. In this case, someone is crying about her self-inflicted wound about falling in love with a jerk and avoiding the nice guy. I am speaking, for the nice guys out there, to go suck it up.

        • And I’ve found that women who like/love assholes far outnumber then amount of “nice guys” that turn out to be the biggest assholes.

      • You seem like more of a Nice Guy(TM) than a nice guy.

        Anonymous gal in love with an asshole, I get it. Figures your post would bring outraged men out of the woodwork to scold you. Meanwhile men go for hot bitchy women all the time and nobody bats an eye. I will tell you, though, that there’s no use trying to fix someone. You’ll lose yourself in the process and get no reward in the end.

    • You the same person who wrote about the weird break-up text last week?

      • What if the asshole she’s discussing is actually R Kelly? It all makes so much sense.

      • I’m not the same person as the break up text. I feel for her though. We should probably have a drink together and boost one another self esteem!

    • nightborn

      If he is an asshole, you already know how this is going to play out for you (hint: not well). As they say, when people show you who they are, believe them. If he is behaving like an asshole, he is probably going to treat you badly at some point, as assholes tend to do. People can change – but only if they want to, not because hopeful girlfriends want them to.

    • you should probably seek therapy for it.

      it’s more than likely a deep seated issue.

    • Please, please, please turn tail and RUN far and fast from this guy. Trust me from years of personal experience and therapy: nothing good ever comes from trying to “fix” someone, help them see/achieve their potential, or staunch their emotional wounds.

    • From a song:

      He’s thoughtful, devoted, considerate and kind.
      He respects my body, appreciates my mind.
      He can cook a ragout of zucchini he grew in his organic garden out back,
      He saves the rainforest, he can find my clitoris,
      So why do I feel such a lack?

      I want a man, a little suspect
      I want a man, politically incorrect,
      Don’t want no Safeway, don’t want no A & P
      I want a man who’s gonna come and Stop and Shop me!

  • Rant: Trying to avoid HIMYM spoilers. Some of us haven’t seen it yet, people!!!

  • Rave: giant new planter box
    Question: do people/gardeners have recommendations for filling my giant new planter box with dirt? I know nothing about this. I imagine nurseries offer this service, or work with people who do. I need about 51 cubic feet of dirt, so I’d like to see whether one truckful is more economical than many, many, individual bags of dirt (and trips to the store). Thanks!

    • related, FYI – I bought my first big planters last year and I was advised to fill the bottom half with empty plastic containers – like empty milk cartons, waterbottles, etc – to take up space and not add to the weight of all that dirt. There would still be at least 12 inches of dirt on top for the plants to take root. Seemed like a good solution and cut down on the volume of dirt required. After months of winter neglect, I was looking at the big planter last night and noticed the dirt appeared to be spilling out of the top. (plants are long since dead.) I pressed my foot down on top of the spilling dirt, thinking i would pack it back down, and instead big sloshes of water came out over the sides.
      I wonder if more experienced gardeners can tell me if using those empty bottles at the bottom prevented the water absorption and hence the overflowing dirt? I had a tomato plant and some herbs in there that only did ok – what’s the right ratio from filler/plastic material to dirt needed in a planter?

      • How big is your planter? Does it have good drainage? The drainage might be blocked by ice – see what happens when the weather stays warm.
        Re plants growing – the quality of the soil is really important and I’d want more than 12″ of good soil for things like tomatoes. Using lightweight potting soil (ProMix is great and comes in 3 cubic ft compressed bags) and leafgrow/mulch should give you a good starting point.

    • I’d recommend starting with lots of Leafgro – there are MD retailers that deliver (leafgro.com), places in DC sell leafgro but I don’t think they deliver
      Takoma Park will deliver mulch for a fee, you can also pick up mulch for free in DC near Navy Yard
      Depending on what you want to grow, you’d want to add amendments like vermiculite, pearlite, coir (a greener substitute for peat moss).

      • You can get mulch at the Ft Totten transfer station, too. I’d call for the latest info on when they will have it available, the website is often wrong (I learned after getting a Zipcar pickup and finding no mulch when I arrived …)

        • I got mulch from Ft. Totten last year for a new raised bed. Just got the soil test report showing it has VERY high levels of Phosphorus (140 instead of 4-14) Potassium (240 vs. 100-160)
          Calcium (6455 vs. 1000-1500) Magnesium(557 vs. 50-120)

          I did grow some decent tomatoes in it last year, and some spinach, but the zucchini had weird failures and a few other things just didn’t grow.

      • I’d add, as noted above, incorporating lightweight potting soil like ProMix with Mycorrhizae into the planters.

      • Be careful about using municipal mulch and compost for food crops. It tends to have more contaminants in it. Probably better for landscaping. You can buy things like Milorganite, which is highly treated sewage sludge that is a great soil amendment.

    • I filled my planter box with square foot gardening mix from Veterans Compost. They brought it to a pick up site in DC, so I just rented a car to bring it home. It produced wonderful veggies for me last year.

  • epric002

    rant: missing package was stolen.
    rave: neighbor found it opened in the alley and put it on our front porch.
    rave: idiot thieves didn’t realize that water filters are really expensive. thanks for not keeping them!
    rant: team leave bailed mid-day yesterday w/o telling anyone and left us with 2 minutes notice to cover a brief that he was supposed to handle. so unprofessional.
    rave: this weather!
    rave: started the process for fostering a dog!

  • Question #1: Anyone opinions — informed or otherwise — about the accuracy of Zillow? I just stumbled across it and was pleasantly surprised by their valuation of my house, not that it’s immediately relevant to my life.
    Question #2: How did it go for the woman who wore the knee-highs on her date last night?

    • Zillow is not very accurate.

      This is the girl who wore the thigh highs last night. it ended in an argument (see comment above about falling in love with an asshole). Not only did I not get to have any fun in an inappropriate place…I got to have no fun at all. Boo!

    • Zillow still thinks our house has 1 bath – it was updated several years ago and now has 2 full baths. I can imagine it is missing more signicant updates on plenty of houses – which seriously impacts the value they suggest.

    • epric002

      out of curiosity i just went and looked our house up on zillow. could not be more inaccurate. thinks it was sold last november for $97k. it’s only about a year late, and ~$420k off 🙂 oh, and it also thinks that our house is a condo. i am pleased with their “zestimate” though. funny!

    • binpetworth

      Zillow is a complete crapshoot. Sometimes I see semi-accurate Zestimates, but other times it’s just out there. As an example, my condo building has several units that are identical (even on the same floor, same amenities, etc.), but Zillow seems to think one of the properties is worth $50K more than the other.

    • Dang. I guess the dream of taking a second mortgage and drifting aimlessly and happily around the Mediterranean for a couple of years is right out the window.
      Bummer, thigh highs. It seems that jerk guys should at least be good for inappropriate sex. Good luck on a better adventure — and guy — in the near future.

  • Question for PoPville: Is stopping by the police station to get a parking permit for a visitor as easy as their website claims? Does it make sense to grab one of these for a visitor in just for the weekend? I’m in Ward 1/3rd District but don’t have a car, so I’m pretty clueless about parking-related matters in my area.

    • GiantSquid

      I’ve done it multiple times for MPD-1D. Walk over to station, show driver’s license, give plate number, get pass, walk home. It’s no hassle and worth your visitor not getting a parking ticket (provided they’re in a legal spot).

    • Yes, it has only ever taken me 2 minutes.

    • Emmaleigh504

      It is so easy! It took about 30 seconds when I went to get mine. I was super nervous about it (my [minority] friends laughed at me for having a “minority fear of police” even tho I’m not a minority), I took way more information than I needed, and the officer who helped me was really nice.

    • pablo .raw

      Agree with all of the above

    • Super easy. I did it for a while when I first moved to DC and was dealing with switching registration. Walk in, show proof of residency (DC license or lease), give them the license plate number of the car (and maybe the make and color… I forget), and a phone number.

      I found the people in the police stations to always be nice and cheery, which was a surprise. No questions asked, a little bit of banter, in and out.

    • Thanks all! Glad to hear it’s so simple. I remembered reading about all kinds of confusion, but maybe that was just about the yearlong passes that get mailed out to some residents.

  • I have two extra tickets for the early Kraftwerk show at the 9:30 Club this Friday. I’m also putting them on Craig’s List but would prefer to sell them to a PoPvillian. They are $65 each, which is what I paid for them, including service charges.

    • Good luck, the market is flooded with them right now. I sold one of my tickets two weeks ago for $65, but I’m departing with the second one for $55 today because it wasn’t moving.

  • Revel: While I was standing in line to vote in Columbia Heights today, a mother and her two 18 year old kids came in for the first time to vote. They took a picture in front of the voting sign and I thought it was awesome that they celebrated this civic duty.
    Rant: A guy behind the mother and two kids took their picture, and afterwards asked them who they were going to vote for, and then said oh well you don’t have to tell me (or something like that). Even though he tried to pull back after asking who they were going to vote for, I didn’t think it was polite or proper to ask that question to strangers while waiting in line to vote. Thoughts?

    • Very much inappropriate to ask a stranger who they voted for (unless you’re a poll-taker/researcher). WTF.
      Perhaps the photographer was a journalist and doing a Q&A with lots of different voters?

    • It was probably just a question he asked as an adult trying to make conversation with the kids. (I.e. “so what are you planning on majoring in.”) He then realized that it was an inappropriately intrusive question, and tried to correct it. The guy realized, belatedly, that being old enough to vote means old enough to switch to the standards of adult-adult conversations rather than adult-kid conversations which are usually overly intrusive by adult-adult standards.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: New GIANT monitors at work. I can’t see all of 1 monitor at a time and I have 2! Who decided we need these giant things? They barely fit on some people’s desks.
    Rave: Feeling generally good, nothing specific, just feel good 🙂

    • How funny how individual work preferences are- we have dual monitors at work, and I think I’ve been spoiled for any other monitor configuration at this point!

      It makes editing and comparing documents SO much easier, and I like how I can organize different programs on different parts of the screens. In fact, the only downside of teleworking is that I have to go back to one tiny little screen!

      • Emmaleigh504

        I love dual monitors! I hate the new GIANT monitors. The old ones were perfect for me, but I had no choice in the matter. And I agree about working from home being a hassle b/c I’m used to dual monitors.

  • RANT: the death of Frankie Knuckles. He’s an American music icon and influenced every piece of pop music you hear today, in addition to creating an entirely new genre of music. His early productions defined a genre while his most recent releases showed that he had completely mastered the game. So sad.

    • Big up, Anon @ 10:58

      The loss of Frankie Knuckles is huge for anyone who ever set foot in a dance music nightclub in the last 30 years. A true pioneer.

    • The Whistle Song. Ahh…my youth.

  • GiantSquid

    Rant: Mr. Squid is depressed and really needs to see someone about it.
    Rant: short fuse at work today and while I know it’s not deliberate, some co-workers are being especially dense today
    Revel: awesome co-workers that run interference
    Revel: being able to vote

  • Rave?: I only worked a full-time, 9-5 for 4 months last year, and had a part-time job plus unemployment insurance from DC for the other 8 months. I just found out that I’m getting a $2,500 tax refund…….can that be right when I hardly made any money!?!? I am being cautiously optimistic that it’s correct (I had a trusted CPA do my taxes), but am thinking “wtf” at the same time……

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