Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user k-willow

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.

212 Comment

  • mtpgal

    Rant? Rave? I’ve been called for federal jury duty that, if chosen, they predict will last for 5-6 months. How do I prepare my job for this given that it likely won’t but suddenly could happen?

    • All you can do is tell them the situation and communicate with them each step of the way.

    • Yeah, it sucks. At least there is a federal law preventing you from being fired for serving on a federal jury.

    • Wow, 5-6 months? Next week I have US District Court jury duty and my letter says if I am chosen I’ll be on the panel for 5-6 weeks.
      Do you get any jury duty at all or will you be using all of leave and or unpaid leave?

      • Additionally, I agree to let your boss know that it’s a possibility asap. Make copies of everything they sent you so you have it ready to send to HR or your pay check person. Is this one of the ones that you call the night before to see if you even have to report?

    • Is it a grand jury thing, where it’s 1-2 days a week for several months?

      • mtpgal

        Nope, it’s a special jury so it’s just one trial that they think will be everyday for 5-6 months. On top of that, they said the jury selection could take several weeks. So all together I could be out until February? Luckily, I work for the federal government so I will still get paid. I really don’t know how someone who doesn’t would be able to cope with this (especially if they only get the $40/day jury fee). Also, I assume the odds of actually getting chosen are pretty low.

        • I’ve wondered how this would work for the self employed – if I don’t work, I don’t get paid. I’ll cross that bridge if I ever come to it…

    • I was going to rant about just being selected for jury duty but since it is only a 2 day trial I guess it is a rave now.

  • epric002

    rave: rain barrel assessment this afternoon.
    rave: dinner w/bro & his gf last night before they leave on another trip.
    rant: they only stayed last night, and beagle buddy is going back to my parents’ house for now. corgi is going to miss her beagle.

  • Yesterday I posted about a PoPville dinner at the Rose’s Luxury private rooftop. I made a Google survey for anyone to fill out if they’re interested: goo.gl/CcR2J6
    (Any organizer-types out there, let me know if I’m missing any pertinent information and I’ll add it)
    Our next chance to reserve a table is June 9. Hope to hear from you soon!

  • msmaryedith

    Rant: I told my boss last Friday that I would not be signing the contract that she had given me to become an independent consultant doing my exact same full-time job (but without benefits). I told her that I had had legal experts, accountants familiar with IRS rules, and someone at the Department of Labor all tell me that it was not a legitimate independent consulting contract. I said again and again that I would like to remain an EMPLOYEE of the company, but would not consider becoming an independent consultant. She seemed totally blindsided. I almost wish she had fired me on the spot, because now it feels like a waiting game.
    Anyone know of a good place to start in job-hunting when I want to totally start over? Basically, some place that will help me identify transferable skills, strengths, etc. to help me re-focus my job hunt.

    • justinbc

      LinkedIn has actually improved the site significantly over the last couple years to make it a viable resource for that.

      • msmaryedith

        Is it worth actually subscribing to it? Do you know if there’s enough offered to paying members that it’s worth the fee?

        • justinbc

          I’ve never used the premium service, or know anyone who does.

          • Maybe don’t present it like you know it is actually a viable resource (it’s not).

          • justinbc

            The website itself is, the premium service is something altogether different. I never once mentioned that aspect of the site. Maybe don’t comment on subjects you’re unfamiliar with the specifics about.

          • I agree with Justin, just get regular unpaid linked in, and join groups by interest and/or industry. I see a lot of forums and articles and question/answer posts in my group. As well as a lot of job postings.

    • Jeez that really blows. What kind of field are you in? Benefits are a huge part of your compensation, so that is a major cut.

      • msmaryedith

        It’s in the museum field–a nonprofit. And yes, losing benefits is a huge part of why I’m unwilling to consider it. I travel a lot and I’m not comfortable working without worker’s comp insurance. I also think this sort of ply makes the job seem like a sinking ship, so I don’t want to be without unemployment insurance. The contract also required 4 months notice if I wanted to terminate it! And although she said she would continue to contribute what she currently does towards our health insurance,
        a) I wouldn’t be able to keep my policy or obtain something close to its benefits
        b) it would be much more more expensive since it isn’t a group policy

        • So glad to hear you’ve been sticking to your guns on this one. When you posted the terms of the contract a few months ago, the whole thing sounded like a shady nightmare. Always trust your gut (and your lawyer!)

    • I recently had a meeting with my company’s tax department to review IRS rules for hiring someone on as a contractor. They told us they often reject claims for contract work right after someone’s employment as ended because then the work is just a continuation of the job and should be classified as such. Glad you stood up for yourself, I hope everything works out.

      • msmaryedith

        I think she only met with the attorney who is on our Board of Trustees (who doesn’t do employment law). We are too small to have a tax department, but I don’t think she even talked to an accountant. When I explained that the contract was describing an employment relationship rather than a consulting one, she protested at first, then admitted she “wasn’t a specialist in employment law.” I said she should have hired one before drawing up that contract. She asked for a list of my comments and concerns about the contract, and rather than get into any specifics detailing why it was awful, I replied telling her that I’m certain that if she consulted with an attorney familiar with employment law and IRS guidelines, they could better explain why this constitutes employment rather than a consulting position.

    • Good for you for defending your rights. Regarding the search, how many years have you worked? If it’s more than ten consider a hybrid resume format:


      Also, network, network, network. Follow areas that interest you on twitter, go to conferences, join groups, etc. Good luck!

    • If you do want to stay, then you need to participate in creating a solution. Ask whether there is other work, another role or project, that you could take on. Often in DC the contracting push is a result of funding streams changing, so if you demonstrate flexibility and eagerness, you may be able to create a happier resolution.

      • msmaryedith

        No, I really don’t want to stay. It’s a pretty toxic work atmosphere and I do not want to continue on here since that doesn’t seem to suggest that the company is healthy. We are a tiny staff–only 4 full-time employees, so there are no other projects/roles to take on, really. She attached a two-page job description to the contract that pretty much spells out in detail everything I currently do as a salaried 9-5 employee. I’ve done things to suggest flexibility and eagerness in the past, and all she does is steamroll you and take advantage and then do things like try to force you into an illegal independent contracting situation!

    • indeed.com is a good starting point imo

    • An aptitude test could help. Here is the one I took when I was at a major career crossroads: http://www.jocrf.org/ It didn’t tell me anything out of left field, but the process of affirming my strengths and getting career ideas at a time when everything seemed so confusing and overwhelming was very helpful.

    • Good luck with the job search. I agree that LinkedIn has improved its job section significantly.
      When I got let go in a round of layoffs a few years ago, I asked about doing contract work and my HR department confirmed that could not hire me on as a contractor within a certain time frame due to IRS regulations. Stand strong and good luck.

      • msmaryedith

        See, I think she is willing to just blatantly ignore that. I don’t think she had even LOOKED at the IRS checklist for employee vs. consultant.

    • FYI Independent Consultant/Contractor usually means you have to pay your own taxes. Sucks come April 15. Get out of there if you can. However, the irs has a form that you can fill out that will have you list your actual job duties. If they find that you are in fact an employee and not an independent, your job will have to cough up some major fees and pay any back taxes for you. Speaking from experience.

      • msmaryedith

        Right. She was trying to claim “you get a 9% raise!” when in reality, most (~7.35%) of that would get eaten up by Social Security and Medicare taxes since they would no longer be matched by my employer. Not to mention that I’d be responsible for business expenses and costs I currently don’t have to shoulder.
        My friend had sent me that info about the IRS form–saying I could just sign the contract, then file as an employee. I just don’t want to go down that road. I don’t want to deal with lawsuits and stuff. Just want to be treated fairly, or leave!

        • There are also a couple of museum/exhibit design firms in town, have you thought about looking for a project coordinator position there?

  • justinbc

    Rave: Yardwork for the season temporarily finished, at least with respect to new plantings.
    Rant: Can’t do anything else until the house gets painted, which won’t be until the new doors arrive, which will be another 6-8 weeks according to the manufacturer.
    Rave: Measured out the space for our forthcoming rose bush collection and we’ve got room for 14 different varieties along our side fence. Anyone have any particular favorite specimen? I’m partial to the more fragrant ones, rather than the ones with trippy color combinations. We found about 9 or so that we liked on our last nursery visit, so there’s still plenty of room to experiment.

    • GiantSquid

      I have a climbing rose in the backyard, I think it’s called Camayeux / Camaieux (http://smallbluegreenflowers.wordpress.com/2013/07/13/camayeux-camaieux/). It has roses with bright pink and white stripes and is very fragrant. It’s also survived three years of my “care” and my dogs occasionally peeing on it, so I’d say it’s hardy.

      • justinbc

        Nice! We have one in a large pot that looks almost exactly like that, and smells wonderful. It’s not a climber though, but they must be related because the coloration is almost identical. Hardy bushes are key, roses are so finicky with all their diseases.

      • GiantSquid

        However, it’s definitely a climbing rose. If you’re looking for bushes, Knockout Roses come in some vibrant reds and pinks, are fast-growing, and hardy.

        • I just got a double knockout rose — it’s small, but it’s thriving.
          Now that I know what knockout roses are, I’m seeing them all over the place. Apparently they’re much tougher than traditional finicky roses.

        • I second the knockout rose suggestion, though, they aren’t very fragrant (they have a bit of a rose smell, but not like some of the older heirloom types). That being said, I have two single and two double magenta knockouts and I get large amounts of blooms 3 out of 4 seasons.

    • Not a rose, but my absolute favorite smelling flowering bush is Vibernum. It’s an early spring flower, so it might be gone now, but they have some in the butterfly garden next to the natural history museum.

      • justinbc

        Very cool, I wasn’t familiar with this type of bush. It sounds like the “Koreanspice” specimen is a real winner. I might have to see if I can find a spot for it 🙂

      • saf

        It is gone now. They bloom very early.

        I have a large viburnum in my front yard – it is an antique variety, called a snowball bush. It was propagated from one in my grandmother’s yard.

        • Next spring I will drive around until I find you house! I’m addicted to the stuff, it can stop me in my tacks from half a block away.

          • saf

            Email me (PoP has my email address and can give to you).

            This variety does not have a strong scent.

    • David Austin Roses is a wonderful place to get roses. They are delivered, inexpensive and they have so much variety you can get a line of roses that will work best to your space. I have about 9 roses plants total and about 7 are from David Austin Roses. They are doing amazing these days.

  • Rave: Got on one of the S-2 busses that starts in CoHI, love that bus – got a seat in the back.
    Rant: Some idiot biking down 16th street (not going fast at all) slowed the buss down, but at least i had a seat! But seriously, bikers need to stay off 16th there is no reason you cant go over to the bike lanes in 15th, we got enough issues on 16th (and yes i do bike around the area frequently).
    Random: Anyone else going to the jack johnson concert thursday?

    • Had two cyclists going down the sidewalk of 16th on Saturday – who were ringing their dinky bells to get me (holding 4 bags of groceries) and a mother with her stroller to move aside. Let the guy know that he could be riding on the street to which he gave me a middle finger and an “F You”. Thanks, buddy.

      • He is allowed on the sidewalk. Is it annoying? Yes. But he’s only barred in the downtown business district.

      • Lots of people like to tell people on bikes that they should ride somewhere else. It’s no excuse for him to be rude, but do you realize why it’s rude on your part? Unless he’s on the sidewalk in the central business district, it’s not your business that he’s riding on the sidewalk.
        And that “dinky bell” is a way of letting you know that he’s coming up behind you so that he doesn’t surprise you or run into you if you were to move to the side.

        • I bike every day to work. Bikes ringing their bells on the sidewalk is really annoying. You want to go faster, go on the street. You want to be on the sidewalk? Go the walkers’ pace. If you are riding responsibly on the sidewalk at the pace of pedestrians, there is no need for a bell.

          • justinbc

            This is like saying there is no need for a horn on a car. Sometimes it’s beneficial to give people a warning that you’re approaching. Mothers with children should be grateful they get an advance notice that a bike may be coming quickly their way, not angry that it’s dinging at them vengefully. It’s equivalent to yelling “Fore!” on a golf course.

          • “You want to go faster, go on the street. You want to be on the sidewalk? Go the walkers’ pace. If you are riding responsibly on the sidewalk at the pace of pedestrians, there is no need for a bell.”
            This bears repeating.
            Justin’s analogy is only valid if the horn is used to bully other drivers out of your way while on the road. Can you imagine? I’m driving 40, and instead of slowing down the speed of traffic, I just lean on my horn and expect the drivers doing 30 in front of me to scatter?? Seriously, people.

          • What about the case where peds are weaving back and forth or taking up the entire width of the sidewalk? Walkers and cyclists going walking speed may want to pass them, and in this case a bell is useful (and appropriate).

          • “Notice that a bike may be coming quickly…”

            That is the point. Bikes should not be coming quickly on the sidewalk. You want to be on the sidewalk, great! But go at the walkers’ pace. You don’t want to deal with bunched up pedestrians walking four abreast? Go to the street. You don’t have a right to pass on the sidewalk. And you certainly don’t have a right to “ding” people out of the way.

          • ^This. I walk everywhere and I really hate the drivers in this area, but shitty bikers have a special place in my hate-heart. It’s like, please pick one set of rules! Why do they get to have it both ways? If you’re on the road, follow road rules. If you’re on the sidewalk, follow pedestrian rules. Stop plowing through lights and shit and weaving around us when we’re trying to cross the street (or walking on the sidewalk)!
            Sorry for being a grouch but I just wish I didn’t have to worry about this stuff on a daily basis. I would say shitty pedestrians suck too (I’m talking to you jaywalkers, people who walk 3 or more across in a horizontal line and those that stop in the middle of the sidewalk to chat)!

          • justinbc

            It’s not dinging you out of the way. It’s a courtesy so that you can grab your wandering tottler who skitters about up into your arms so he doesn’t jump in front of the bike. Or so if you’re carrying a bunch of groceries and lugging them along slowly you can step aside for a moment rather than flustering about whether or not you’ll get hit trying to run for it. If you view everything bikers do in a self-serving negative light then of course you will see no value in a bell, and there’s nothing I can really do to help you. I personally don’t ride on the sidewalk, but since it’s legal, I can see total value in those who do using their bells appropriately. If a bell offends you so much though, I’m not sure it’s the biggest of your problems.

          • To Anon 1:01: A bell is not appropriate “where peds are weaving back and forth or taking up the entire width of the sidewalk.” They have the right of way on the sidewalk. They can jitterbug or somersault or recreate Riverdance there–and do not have to scatter like waterbugs whenever a bike encroaches.
            And while we are ranting: What is it with the bikers on the sidewalk on 14th Street, just feet away from the dedicated bike lane (and blowing pass all the new signs posted by the city re: why bikes should be on the street)?

          • Fair enough Justin. To be more specific, I am thinking of situations where there isn’t much room to pass, where the walker is required to stop or alter their movements in order to get out of the way. In this situation, the bell isn’t “heads up.” The bell is “move it.”

            In these situations, I disagree that I should have to step aside if I’m going too slow with my groceries. I think the biker should either make a decision to go with the flow of pedestrian traffic, dismount or find another route. And if a biker sees my child wandering away on the sidewalk, I’d hope they would slow or dismount, as opposed to ding their bell.

            As to whether or not this is my biggest problem, that seems beside the point. But because you asked, it might be. I have been blessed beyond belief in life.

          • I think justin explains this well. As a pedestrian, I often pass other people walking on the sidewalk. And to be honest, I wish I had a frigging bell most of the time, because people are not aware of what’s going on around them. They don’t move over to allow faster pedestrians to get past them, they continue to walk 3 abreast on a sidewalk wide enough for 2.5 people, they weave back and forth so it’s impossible to anticipate which side of them you should pass on. I’m not a huge fan of bikes on the sidewalk, but even bikes going at a pedestrian pace will at times need to pass people, and the bell helps. Cyclists plowing through sidewalks at top speed are another story, and they should move to the road.
            Also, regardless of what you think of bells, bikes in DC are required to have them.

          • justinbc

            @Anon 2:08, in that instance I would completely agree with you that it’s just being rude. I’m not discounting that there are asshole bikers out there, rather just indicating one of the (good natured) intended use of bells.
            @Anon 2:33, echo that sentiment completely. Can’t tell you how many times when I used to go running around Logan Circle that I would run into families walking 4 wide with arms locked hogging the whole sidewalk, oblivious to any other types of traffic around them, motorized or on foot. Thankfully the streets around Capitol Hill are much less crowded.

          • Bikes no longer need bells, FYI. The council updated a bunch of bike laws this year and removed that provision.

      • two rude people interacting. ok.

    • Southbound on 15th street in the morning is unbearable unless you blow through the red lights. I don’t, and I’d probablyg get down town faster walking…

      • On friday mornings it actually flows decently (i got from chapin to the white house is under 15 min), agreed that the light times need to be adjusted to better flow downtown.

        • I’ve never had a good (fast) experience going down 15th. In fact, I prefer to stay on 14th even though there’s a gap in the bike lanes going down the hill south of columbia heights.

          • once you get the lights timed right you know where you need to speed up and when you need to slow down, i guess its a trade off between saftey (seperated lane) versus 14th where its choas but you might be able to ride quicker

        • Those first few blocks you ride from Chapin down to V, you’re riding into oncoming traffic. I don’t have any accident statistics to prove to you that this is dangerous, but I can remember at least two accidents being brought up in the Popville rant/revel. It might be convenient for you, but it’s not safe. Not for you, and certainly not for people like me who ride that bike lane North bound. We have just a few feet between parked cars with doors that like to swing open and motor vehicle traffic. I’d rather not have to share that space with somebody bombing down that steep hill at me. You’re better off taking 14th to V and hopping on the 15th street bike lane from there.

      • justinbc

        I used to go from Corcoran to the White House every morning on the 15th St bike path. It took about 5 minutes, 10 if I got stopped at all the lights. There’s no way you could walk it that quickly.

        • agreed, a slow bike is still infinitely faster than walking (the bike lanes use pedestrian signals) and you can blow through a few (if you stop, look both ways and its safe) i have done this and never been honked at…

  • Rant: Weeding. It is never ending, and I have been negligent in doing it every week. I have a lot of catching up to do this weekend.
    Rave: I grew things! I had a salad with greens from my garden last night. I am not a naturally gifted gardener, and my old gardening partner moved to the ‘burbs. I’m excited that I managed to grow something on my own.
    Rave: I have been really anxious/preoccupied this week, thinking about big “life” questions, and it is seriously affecting my sleep. I’m hoping that yoga tonight and sheer exhaustion will help me fall sleep this evening.

  • GiantSquid

    Revel: Iced coffee.
    Rant: Super painful cramps
    Rant: Boys are dumb. If you’ve hurt yourself, and you’re in pain, for over a week, you go to a medical professional. Why is that so hard?
    Revel: Retail therapy

    • justinbc

      I’m definitely guilty of #3, so is my dad. I dunno why guys avoid doctors so much, I guess we’re just used to “powering through it”.

      • Well in DC you have to search for years just to find a doctor that’s taking new patients, and when you find one they’re like an hour away, and when you call to make an appointment you have to schedule it for the middle of a workday two months in advance. Then when you get there the actual visit with the doctor is so rushed and rarely helpful. I’m a woman and avoid seeing doctors too because it’s such an ordeal.

        • GiantSquid

          There’s an urgent care less a half-mile walk from our house. You can just walk in.

          • justinbc

            Yeah, I use Kaiser, so there’s never a wait for doctors. I just don’t go lol..

          • Kaiser Permanente has a nice call-in nurse service, which is great for those “do you think I need to go to the doctor or can I wait this out?” type questions.

        • epric002

          you must have really bad luck with doctors and appts. i can almost always get an appt within a week, and when urgent usually within 24-48 hours. have you tried zocdoc? online appt booking- i love it!

          • skj84

            2nd the ZocDoc love! It’s how I found my currant doctor. You can search by specialty and insurance. Very convenient.

    • Emmaleigh504

      This is one reason why guys live longer when they are married or in long term relationships, their partner makes them go to the doctor! Sadly, it doesn’t work the same way for chicks, marriage shortens their life spans.

      • That sucks. I spend my life nagging some dude to take care of himself, and get shortchanged myself for my efforts. (Though in fairness to my spouse, he does ok at the self-maintenance. I just wish his colds weren’t QUITE so dramatic.)

        • Maybe don’t nag then? If it’s having no effect on him and a bad effect on you then surely it is a bad strategy. You can’t change him but you can change you; try that first.

  • Halftime Sports Bar on H Street should be open now. I went by last night around 7pm for a drink and it was closed and dark inside. Does anyone know why? I find it hard to believe a sports bar would be closed on Mondays.

  • In principle I agree, but if I were bagelboy’s date I wouldn’t want him to broadcast intimate details of our dates, like the fact that we slept together, clothes on so no touching!, etc.

    • i didnt broadcast any of those details, if giving a good night kiss is too intimate of a detail then you need to go under a rock. I thought people would be happy that I have found someone but it turns out no one wants to hear about it. Bagelboy is dead

      • I am personally bummed. You do you Bagle Boy…and good luck with the lady!

      • Awwww, I liked bagelboy and his interest in bargirl, and was happy to read that things seemed to be progressing in a positive direction. There was nothing inappropriate in what was shared here re your recent date.

      • Emmaleigh504

        I enjoyed hearing about it too. I didn’t think anything said was inappropriate, it’s the same sort of stuff you would say with coworkers or friends over a drink.
        BagelBoy is just a hopeless romantic looking for love. I hope he finds it!

        • thanks everyone encouraging words! ill still be around but will not need to provide as frequent updates (on the love life) and im going to have a different name, you will probably be able to figure it out quickly if you look close enough!

  • skj84

    Rant: My date stood me up yesterday. Why would this guy go through all the trouble to contact me, make arrangements to go out, then not even bother to show up?! Call and cancel, its not that hard! I’m way too old for this crap. Disappointed and my pride is a bit hurt too. Oh well there are other fish in this seemingly polluted sea.

    Rave/Question: We are taking my mom out to celebrate her 65th birthday in Baltimore on Sunday, since it’s a good half way point for the family to meet. Anyone know of a fun waterfront restaurant? I asked this question last year for my bday and some on mentioned Captain James Landing. Just looking for a nice chill spot that is not super expensive.

    • justinbc

      Still no explanation from him, a day later? That’s pretty cowardly if so…

      • skj84

        Nope! Nothing. I do wonder if he had an emergency, but I feel he would followup if that’s the case. I might text him, but at this point I think he’s a lost cause.

        • NOOOOOO….don’t text him…..he doesn’t respect you…even if he had an emergency–I’m sure the emergency would be over by now and he would text to let you know such….

        • Accountering

          I agree with dcreal. Don’t text him. Emergencies happen, but with cellphones, the only excuse at this point (a day later) is if he is in a hospital bed tbh. I really can’t think of anything else that isn’t him just being horrible. Don’t text him.

        • One more for ‘don’t text’. I understand the impulse but really, what is to be gained? You will either hear nothing, be offered an excuse or provide him with another opportunity to see you when he really doesn’t deserve that. And don’t have wounded pride. Being stood up sucks, for sure, but doesn’t it say more about him than it does about you?

          To all the folks who have ever been stood up: WOOHOO! You dodged a bullet by finding out that the person was selfish and inconsiderate without having to invest any time or effort into a relationship just to come to the same conclusion.

          • “You dodged a bullet by finding out that the person was selfish and inconsiderate without having to invest any time or effort into a relationship just to come to the same conclusion.”

            Amen to that. And to add on, there’s no reason to take this kind of thing personally. My dating life got so much better when I stopped taking men’s shitty behavior as a barometer of my worth, and realized that it was about who they were, not who I am.

            “When someone shows you who they are believe them; the first time.” – the late great Maya Angelou.

    • It’s about a mile from the waterfront – for some people that’s far and for some it’s not, so sorry if this is irrelevant for you – but: I had pretty much the best brunch of my life at Water for Chocolate in Baltimore. It’s really small and cozy. Nice, but definitely not “fancy.” Slightly innovative menu, amazingly friendly chef who will talk to you about the food if he’s there, and just all-around fantastic.

      Otherwise, there’s really good Italian food in Little Italy near the harbor.

      • skj84

        Water for Chocolate looks cute, but were doing dinner. Will keep it in mind for the next time I daytrip to Baltimore.

    • standing up someone is mind boggling.

    • houseintherear

      A few years ago I had my weirdest standing-up experience ever. I met the guy for a 1st date at the zoo and then had coffee, and it was very pleasant and there was a short kiss. The next weekend we made plans to go to dinner, and he was going to pick me up in front of my apartment building, in Silver Spring at the time. He texted that he was leaving Wheaton, would be there in 20 mins. He texted a few minutes later and said he was crossing the beltway, almost there. So at this point I went downstairs and waited outside. He texted a few mins later that he was a few blocks away. Annnnnnnd that was the last I ever heard of him. But don’t worry, he was still active on eHarmony after that! o_O

      • That is so bizarre, talk about last minute cold feet! Maybe there are just some freaky dudes out there that get their kicks knowing a woman is waiting for them.

      • I was supposed to meet a guy I met on match.com for drinks. He seemed excited and positive about our date in our emails/texts. I got to the meeting place a couple minutes early and texted him to let him know that I was there and where I was sitting. He texted back (15 minutes after he was supposed to meet me) that he wasn’t coming. I asked why and he said that he had a hard day and wouldn’t be good company. I said that I was disappointed and that next time he should give a head’s up. He apologized and asked if I wanted to go out another time. I said no. It turns out some friends of mine know him professionally and were surprised by his behavior. It made them think twice about hiring him again (he works freelance).

      • Without the “active on eharmony” clarification, I might have suggested he was in a terrible accident from all of that texting while driving.

    • I was once supposed to go out with a guy that I had been in the army with years before. He texted that he was out of the shower, and then again that he was on the way. He never showed up. I was complaining about it to a co-worker the next morning and she asked “what if he got in an accident?” Almost simultaneously, I got a text from him with a picture of a car accident and he said had just checked out of the hospital and gotten his phone back, and that’s what happened to his car. Don’t ask me why I thought to do this, but a google image searched turned up that the crash photo was from a news article a year earlier. The guy was a lying about the whole thing. Two weeks later his girlfriend (that I didn’t know existed) called grilling me about when I had seen him (I hadn’t, thankfully he bailed on our first meeting) and was crazy!

    • For your Mom’s 65th, I would recommend Little Havana near Federal Hill, it’s right on the harbor on Key Highway. It’s tex-mex/pan-latin. Reasonably priced. Great for crowds.

      I had a similar situation a few years back. Had a guy set up a date. We were about 3-4 dates deep. He went as far as confirming the day before, and went completely dark the day of. He reached out a week later, with no apology or explanation. Suffice to say, it was the end of that and I vowed to go on a dating moratorium.

      Two weeks later, I wound up meeting my husband.

      So I truly hope someone awesome comes out of the woodwork for you soon. I really do.

  • Rave: skipping the work softball game to go see Maleficent
    Rant: I’m over my job. over. it.

  • Becks

    Rave: It’s a Tuesday and I am working from home!
    Rave: Lady Carlotta is being very friendly and sitting near me chirping.
    Rave: Bluebonnets!!! More sprouts when I came home last night! Perhaps I was overwatering. They seem to do better when dry. I was so excited about the sprouts that I showed my neighbor who was outside in his garden. Turns out, he is from Texas too!
    Rant: Not a single one!

  • Rave: New job is awesome. Love the people, love the work.
    Rant: Metro this AM. The train offloadaed at Woodley Park and it reeked like smoke. People were coughing it was so bad. Of course, no announcement to evacuate the station, no information, nothing from Metro. I was going to bail out, but with a very full rush hour trainful of people trying to get up that one little staircase from the platform, I figured I’d get on another train before I could get out. What a mess. Thank goodness it wasn’t anything really serious.

  • Accountering

    Rave: Miami Beach was amazing. Had a such a great time with the two guys I traveled with. Think the three of us are heading to Spain/Portugal this fall. Think we also decided we are going to coordinate the trip around “El Clásico” and catch a Real Madrid vs. Barcelona game in Barcelona.

    Rant: Back at work
    Rave2: Next couple of trips already planned, and going to come up with some more stuff this summer. Perhaps a long weekend or three.
    Rave3: Have an awesome week planned.

    • You should definitely consider an extended layover in Turkey on the way there…Turkish Airlines is the cheapest to fly to Europe of late and Istanbul is an amazing world city.

      • Accountering

        We were looking at this tbh. Turkish is definitely cheapest, and a few days in Istanbul could be very cool. I think we are probably only going to take 10 days, so don’t want to stretch it TOO thin though. Have heard another couple of recommendations for Turkey as well.

  • Rave: Spent an awesome week in Oakland and San Francisco last week. The weather was PERFECT and there’s so many fun outdoor activities to do. I just love the vibes there and could see myself being happy in the long term there. Time to leave DC?
    Rant: Being in the Bay Area reminded me that DC is an overpriced, mediocre food desert. The food in SF and the produce in grocery stores was so good and really affordable. Drinks were cheap at local bars. Public transportation is reliable and affordable. Traffic was better than LA, NYC or DC (though, I never drove between SF and Silicon Valley – that’s where traffic is a parking lot).
    Rave: I liked Oakland a lot and had some nice times visiting friends there. If reminds me a lot of Brooklyn or DC 10 to 15 years ago. Still scary to most white people, but the real estate gains will be massive in the next 10 years when all the young tech workers start having kids and many people get priced out of the peninsula/SF. I really liked Oakland, it reminds me a lot of inner DC. Similar in density and the weather is always nice there, regardless of weather in SF. You can get to downtown SF from Oakland in 10-15 minutes. It was super fast and easy. You can still get a Victorian in West Oakland for under $350K.
    Rant: Massive jet lag. Couldn’t fall asleep until 3am last night. Lagging today 🙁

    • justinbc

      Oakland is already blowing up in the real estate world. If you’re just now getting on board it’s a bit late, but there are still some good values. I love the Bay Area though, probably my second favorite city in the country. Our traffic experience was pretty morose there this past January, but no worse or better than DC really.

      • Current prices in Oakland are still pretty affordable and comparable to DC, if not slightly cheaper. Just look to SF to see how much Oakland could appreciate in the next 10 years.
        The irony is that the Bart stops closer to SF are the cheapest (it gets more expensive the further you go out on Bart toward the Oakland hills and Berkeley). This is due to proximity to the port and low income housing, but Oakland has been cleaning these up over the past few years. Crime is down and the port is trying to “go green.” I could get from West Oakland to my agency’s office in the heart of the financial district in SF in 10 minutes on the Bart. That’s absurdly fast and much quicker than your commute would be from almost any neighborhood in SF at a much higher price (most of the city relies on buses and trams to commute, which is frequently clogged by street traffic).

        • Accountering

          I noticed this as well. I took BART from Embarcadero to Berkeley this past fall, and noticed that right as you came into Oakland, the area was just not very nice. The fact these places are still selling for 300K is shocking to me.

          Comparing SF to DC, incomes are rising in SF faster, housing values are going up at similar paces, but there isn’t NEARLY the new construction happening in SF as there is in DC. There are going to be some people who will be very pleased with their investments in Oakland over the next 5-10 years imo.

    • Well if you wanna talk about overpriced…San Fran has definitely got DC beat. I don’t think I could hope to have the same quality of life in San Francisco unless I was making double what I make here (own my home, in a very walkable neighborhood, close to Metro with lots of bars, restaurants and grocery options). Of course, San Fran will always have DC beat weather-wise- can’t argue that!

      • Real estate is what’s overpriced. I found everything else related to cost of living (food, entertainment, transportation, booze, etc.) to be the same or cheaper than DC. If I transferred my job to SF and lived in Oakland, I’d actually get a pay raise and a lower cost of living. Win-win, in my book.

        • going out to eat in sf is just as expensive in dc, if not more at comparable places.

          • Perhaps, but keyword: comparable. And only for upscale places. Tacos, sandwiches, etc are generally cheaper (as is alcohol). There are SO many cheap eat options in SF, Oakland, etc compared to DC too.

          • white dude,
            agreed. though we have cheap pupusa and arepa places. and wings. good lord we have cheap wings.

      • For the love of god, please don’t call it San Fran.

        Love and kisses,
        A native of San Francisco

        • Purely out of curiousity, why do people from SF hate the city being called san fran? I saw this distinction posted on something else I read today, and honestly never knew it was a thing until now.

          • justinbc

            If I had to guess (and this is pure speculation) it would be because it sounds like Valleyspeak (aka LA), and NorCal and SoCal are always feuding. My girlfriend is from San Francisco and says she couldn’t care less. I think it’s akin to some people hating the DMV moniker when referring to the DC area.

    • Oakland has had incredible price increases in the last 2/3 years. And, a lot of white folks live there. FOH!

      Otherwise, I agree. SF is littered with cheap and good food markets. We loved living in Berkeley and Palo Alto. Miss Cali a lot, may be moving to LA sometime soon. Hopefully!

    • While DC certainly has its culinary flaws, the Bay Area is one of the top 2 food cities in the country. Not meeting that standard =/= “food desert.”

      • Yeah. I think the DC food scene is somewhat overhyped. But it’s definitely not a food desert.

    • 1. Traffic is about as bad in the Bay Area as DC. No place is as bad as LA though. You might have just traveled at the right times.
      2. Yes, DC is a joke compared to the Bay in terms of food and drink.
      3. Please, for the love of god, don’t compare Oakland to Brookyln or any other place. We are tired of hearing that line. Oakland’s diversty blows DC’s away. Until the last few years, its demographics were more akin to Queens than Brooklyn. Alas, it has become the hipster hub of the Bay.
      4. The only white people scared of Oakland are those who have never been there (or haven’t been there in 10+ years).
      5. Oakland is already too expensive for many. There is already a Google bus that goes to Oakland.
      6. (for poster below): Crime is down? Uh what? This year compared to last year? Maybe. Compared to when Jerry Brown was mayor? No way. Mayor Quan is awful and the city makes DC look super efficient and effective.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: Still feel like ass, but I’m at work like a good worker bee. It sucks.
    Rant: Dreamed I was Pippa’s date to Catherine and William’s wedding and she wouldn’t let me talk to her sister. Not cool, Pippa.
    Piss: I already forgot what my rave was.

  • Rant: This is sort of general but been very aware lately that people can be so self-centered, selfish, self-absorbed, etc., etc. Some days it feels so hard to talk to other people without them chiming in (i.e. interrupting) about their problems and so on, never even acknowledging what I was talking about. Worst part is, it makes me wonder if I am the same…I try not to be, but sometimes I question what is normal or not. These are supposed to be ‘friends’, but sometimes I feel like I not getting much out of the arrangement.

    • houseintherear

      Ugh I hear ya. I was recently talking to my mom about this… in at least 80% of my friendships now, I’m just “the one who listens.” It didn’t used to be like this, but somewhere along the way I stopped even trying to talk and now I just listen. It makes me more apt to hang out with the friends who treat me like an equal, that’s for sure! One particular friend will call me, talk for 1-1.5 hours solid (how she does it is a mystery), then state that she needs to go get to bed, etc, but how am I doing? Seriously, dude?! All that said, I have never once told her that her behavior bugs or hurts me, so I need to take some blame for it as well at this point. Hope it gets better for you!

      • Thanks – that’s exactly how I feel: always “the one who listens.” Bf said that’s a good thing cause people trust me, I’m a good listener, etc. It’s a good thing to a point, but then at some level it just feels like I’m an unpaid shrink. Good advice about focusing energies on other friends. I’m definitely trying to do this more.
        Re: how your friend can talk AT you for 1-1.5 hours straight — so happens! You’re right I have to take some of the blame…I wish I could be more direct about it and tell them it bothers me but I haven’t figured out a tactful way.

    • Sounds like you are friends with a lot of only childs. It is a stark different between people with brothers and sisters and those who dont. Sometimes you just want to be like…”you are not as special as your parents said” thats mean but its true!!

      • hey now! I am an only child and often end up in the “listener” position of friend-relationships. I’ve found that only children go one of two ways – either they ARE used to being the center of attention and act accordingly (youngests do this too), or they’re used to being just an accessory to adults, so learn to amuse/take care of/soothe themselves, and end up in the people-pleaser role.

      • Basic personality diffs far outweigh any personality traits linked to birth order. There are plenty of empathetic people with many siblings and self-centered people with none.

        • What I meant to say was plenty of empathetic people with no siblings and self-centered people with many, but what I did write is true, too! The birth order pop psychology thing is based on pretty weak evidence.

      • Eh I’ve met a lot of oldest and youngest children who were clearly treated like special snowflakes by their parents when they were growing up too. Or, people who grew up with lots of siblings and had to shout over everyone else to be heard. At work we have several people from pretty large families (6+ kids) and some of them are very reserved and quiet but some of them talk over everything anyone else says and it’s super annoying.

      • houseintherear

        Not that one example makes a pattern, but one of my newest friends is a wonderful listener, and one who I make a point to hang out with more these days, and she’s an only child! 🙂

    • A friend once made the same complaint to me, about a third person– that the other person was so self-centered, always talking about herself, etc, without realizing that other people are going through shit too. I gently told my friend that she is guilty of the exact same thing. (I figured she’d want to know, since she was so offended by this other person’s behavior.) She replied “I just can’t take criticism right now. I’m going through so much.”

  • shaybee

    Rant: Job hunting. Especially when applying to jobs outside of the area in which you live.
    Rave: Currently employed, so there’s always that, even if it’s not perfect or ideal.
    Rave: Loved how cool it was yesterday evening. If only it stayed that way all summer! I can take the heat during the day, but not at night too!

  • leftcoastsouthpaw

    Rant: It’s only Tuesday
    Rave: 4 trips in the next two months. Any recommendations for things to do in Cartagena, Columbia?

    • Pro-tip: Uber works really well in Colombia and is cheap (compared to DC prices). Much safer than hailing a regular cab on the street. My friend was there for work and really loved it (he hates Uber in DC). The drivers are vetted and you won’t be scammed or robbed.

    • justinbc

      The best part about Cartagena is the beaches 🙂 Aside from that, there’s a lot of really cool architectural history, especially with the old “castles” and churches. It’s really a beautiful old city. I recommend eating ceviche there just about every chance you can, as well.

      • Accountering

        Our cab driver to MIA was selling us on visiting Columbia. Seems like a solid choice, and looks like flights are very cheap as well. The fact you can get to South America for $400 is pretty crazy. We may do this later this year as well!

        • justinbc

          Colombia is an awesome place to visit. I highly recommend Medellin and Cali for younger travelers, Bogota and Cartegena if you want a slower pace.

      • Best part of Cartagena are the beaches? Beaches are definitely not the highlight in Cartagena – the old walled city is definitely the main attraction there. Cartagena is a great place – it has a very laid back Caribbean vibe to it. If you want a good beach in the Cartagena area definitely worth the trip out to Isla del Rosario. It’s a nice day-trip.

    • epric002

      per my bro & his gf and their travel blog, the “mud volcano” was really weird/cool. here’s their blog post on cartagena http://greetingsfromblank.wordpress.com/2013/09/04/greetings-from-cartagena/

    • LOVE Cartagena. I highly recommend staying at Alfiz Hotel. Shopping in the former jail was fun although the boutique shops more in town had nicer souvenirs. The restaurant “Crepes and Waffles” was really good, as was Gelateria Paradaiso (both recommended by locals). If you have time for a few days, take a trip to one of the islands off the coast of Cartagena. We did Punta Faro which was a two hour boat ride. It was lovely but keep in mind that they don’t have hot showers (which is ok since its 100+ outside) and frequently turn off the air during the day. We were there on a very slow week and had mediocre service, but they clearly had the B team working that week.

      • +1 to crepes and waffles! cartegena is one of my favorite cities in the world. also, co sign the notion of going out to an island, very relaxing and secenic

    • leftcoastsouthpaw

      Thanks for all the advice. There are five of us going(all guys) and we’ve rented a house within the old city. That is the extent of our planning so far. Our trip coincides with the first two World Cup games for Columbia, so that should add some buzz to the city.

      • justinbc

        Just a minor point, but since you’ve done it twice now, and will be presumably telling other people about your upcoming trip, to save you some minor embarrassment there is no “u” in Colombia.

  • Rave: absurdly hot younger women have recently come into my life. When it rains, it pours. I love my life.

  • Rant: I was at Petworth Citizen Saturday evening and I swear I saw someone who I met at PoPville HH at Acre 121, but I chickened out and didn’t say anything. So, dude at the bar who I probably started at too much trying to remember where I recognized you from, my apologies for being awkward!
    Rave: two good workouts so far this week. Good workouts always make me feel better.
    Rave: there is a lot of change at work under our new leadership and some of the possibilities are scary, but we just got good news about a change in our reporting structure. This could be culture and work life changing for my group!
    Rant: in addition to someone keying cars in our garage at work, someone left small caliber unused bullets on the floor of our shipping and receiving area. Is that a threat? Wtf? Apparently we need _way_ more cameras in this place.

    • Haha, I thought that was you, Jeslett, but it didn’t strike me until the 2nd or 3rd time I passed by you and then it felt too late and weird and I chickened out as well. If there’s a next time I’ll say hi!

  • Rant: Game of Thrones…not because it’s not awesome, but because I really thought I was going to have a nightmare replaying one of the scenes. Yuck! (I know I’m late on this, but caught the latest last night…and trying not to say anything to spoil it for anyone that hasn’t seen it yet.)
    Rave: Important conversation with my boss coming up today with major changes to come
    Rave: The more I think about the conversation the more excited I get…so I’m guessing that means I’m heading in the right direction.
    Rave: Jack Johnson this Thursday with good friends that I don’t see often enough
    Rave: Another long weekend coming – real estate closing Thursday and alumni weekend starting Friday…full week of fun plans!

    • justinbc

      Of all the scenes from a routinely gruesome show, this week’s ending might have been the worst. The whole Inigo Montoya-esque speech certainly made the outcome predictable.

      • Not predictable enough for me to look away – ugh!

      • That, and the fact that the outcome was set in 2000, when A Storm of Swords was published.

        • justinbc

          I’ve not read any of the books, but from what I’ve heard from friends who have the writers in the show have taken liberties with other elements of the books. I have no idea how strict they have to adhere to things, but I guess with that being a pivotal moment there could only be slight deviations allowed.

          • There definitely have been liberties, but you’re right, that wasn’t one they could change. And it’s a damn shame, too, because the Red Viper was one of the best characters in the whole series. Even better in the books than in the show. I have not seen that anyone’s asked Martin if he is a Princess Bride fan, but someone should.

          • justinbc

            Yeah he was a great character, far too short lived in the series.

    • I stopped watching Game of Thrones after last season because the gore was just too much for me. But last night my BF was watching Sunday’s episode while I was working on my computer. When that scene came on he was like “oh god don’t look” and of course I looked because I curious and instantly regretted it! I had to leave the room until that scene was over. Ugh!

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rave: Found a cool birthday present for Quotia Zelda! (Let’s hope I remember to order for August.)
    Rave: I get to tease Quotia Zelda all over the internet about this cool birthday present!

  • Rave: great dinner at Kushi last night despite a terrible bartender.
    Rant/Rave: getting caught in today’s rainstorm without an umbrella.

  • Extra-ordinary Revel – I just spent an hour watching 2 Pileated Woodpecker chicks/fledglings poking their heads out of the nest-cavity, considering first flight. Mom and Dad were hanging out nearby, chattered lots of encouragement and swooped in with some regurgitated snacks, but the kids still hadn’t quite made the leap by the time I had to go. I’ll go back and check tomorrow – stay tuned.

    • justinbc

      I used to have those at my house in McLean. Beautiful birds, but damn can they be obnoxious if your house has wood on it and you want to sleep (or even worse a metal chimney top, dodos).

      • I don’t know if this works for all woodpeckers, but we stapled a rubber snake to the wood molding on our house when I was a kid, and that kept our woodpecker away permanently.

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