Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user wolfkann

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.

116 Comment

  • Revel: I had a terrific weekend with my best friend and his friend from NY here in DC. We did the crime and punishment museum, dupont, movie etc. The funniest thing was how they always commented how everything was cheaper here- movie tickets, shake shack, metro, rent etc.

    Anxiety: Interview today, in a couple hours at a downtown firm. My first ‘career’ interview, I’m worried that I’ll flub it up. I really don’t know whether or not I’m a good interviewee

    • justinbc

      Having been on the other side of the desk a lot I can tell you that most people are terrible at interviews. So, if it’s any consolation, at least if you’re bad you’re in good company.

      • What are the most common mistakes, if you don’t mind me asking?

        • justinbc

          Oversharing is by far the biggest mistake. Lots of interviewers like to just sit back quietly and let you keep talking to see how far of a grave you’ll dig. Many candidates feel like if it’s quiet then surely they must keep talking to impress. Do not do this. Unless it’s immediately pertinent to the question asked then it’s likely only going to hurt you.

          • I agree. I’ve had some strange answers to questions over the years. I asked one guy where he saw himself in 5 years – he said, “I don’t know, I just want to go up and up and up!”. And then asked a woman if there was anything that would preclude her from receiving a security clearance. A simple yes or no would have sufficed, but she went on and on about how she hasn’t smoked weed in about 5 years, except for this one time, yada yada yada, so she should be fine. And the best of all, I asked a man to tell me about his experience working in the Asia region, and he said “while i have no specific work experience in the Asia region, I did marry a Chinese woman and have made some Asian babies. I also make a mean moo shu pork”. As much as I wanted to hire that last guy, I just couldn’t!

          • As someone who has also interviewed a lot of people and interviewed a lot of places, the interviewers who just sit back and let you “dig your grave” and then hold it against you will probably make terrible supervisors. Interviews arent traps… the interviewer knows that its a nerve wracking experience, especially at the entry level. While the interview is a great (and possibly only) chance you’ll have to highlight many aspects of your experience and personality, the interviewer should also have an agenda for what they want to share with you and what they want to find out. If you’re there, they obviously think you’re qualified… but if they just sit back and act uninterested or they dont say anything as a gimmick to let you “dig your own grave” its a huge red flag.

            So, just relax and be natural and strive for a free flowing conversation.

          • Anon X is spot on. Would you really want to work for someone who would sit and watch you dig your own grave?

          • justinbc

            “If you’re there, they obviously think you’re qualified”
            Not necessarily, especially for someone who’s on their first ever “career” type interview. For entry level positions the threshold for pre-qualification is pretty low, and can have just as much to do with where you went to school / program as who you actually are. Oh, and you shouldn’t assume that the person doing the interview is the one you would be working under / for, that’s often not the case.

          • Are you a professional corrector? Since pretty much everything is not 100% true EVER, you almost always can find an opportunity to interject with a “not necessarily”.

            The sky is blue.

            Not necessarily, its gray before a thunderstorm.


          • justinbc

            You’re the one who said “obviously”, not me.

          • Ok. So they bring you into the interview… there is a small chance that they have no idea what they’re looking for and cant read your resume… so… just know, it might be a waste of your time and there’s.

            So much better. And totally worth saying.

          • justinbc

            No, the point is that getting an interview based on what’s on your resume doesn’t mean you’re obviously qualified. And when someone is asking for advice on interviewing it’s a good idea not to inflate their head with the fact they’ve basically got the job already as long as they don’t screw it up.

          • Ok… this and your other comments are pretty revealing that you have little experience in this area.

            Every time I’ve interviewed people – each and every one of them has been qualified for the opening. But only one person could be hired. I wouldnt waste my time or theirs bringing someone in who wasnt clearly qualified. I also haven’t ever been brought in for a job interview for a position that I wasnt qualified for. I really didnt know this had to be explained.

            The interview is way more about a good fit, demeanor, professionalism, communicating, etc.

            SO, to reiterate… dont worry about your qualifications at an interview (but of course be able to talk about them)… those things are ALMOST CERTAINLY the reason you were brought in to interview. Focus on presenting yourself well, being articulate and comfortable. If the interviewer allows you to “dig your own grave”, you dont want to work there anyway.

          • justinbc

            More presumptive ignorance. Are you assuming that all work environments follow the same hiring practices? I’ve worked in professional, government, and sales organizations, and been involved in the hiring process for all 3, and they’re all drastically different. Maybe accept the fact that you should stop using absolutes based on your own personal experience and your advice would be more beneficial.

        • I’ve conducted quite a few interviews and my advice is to relax. The interviewer WANTS to hire you. They want you to be the LAST PERSON they have to speak to so they can get back to doing their job. They’re actually rooting for you! You’re there because they already think you’re qualified.
          Do not be unprofessionally friendly but do show some personality. They’re making a decision as to whether or not they want to spend 8 hours of their day with you as well.
          The rest of my advice is the tried and true stuff you’ve heard for years: know a little something about the company, look your best, etc.
          I always have good questions to ask the interviewer because bottom line–I’m making a decision, too. I’m interviewing you to see whether or not I event WANT to work for your company.

          • Gumball gives great advice, and that’s how I see it too. I brought you in because you’re qualified. Of course, I’m talking to a minimum of six other qualified people. So don’t be boring. Don’t recite your resume at me. I already read it. I like the ones who know enough about my organization to make connections between their previous work (or even their personal interests) and what they’ll be doing if they’re hired.
            But as Gumball says, do I I want to spend 8 hours a day with you? Don’t be a blowhard. Be warm, have a sense of humor, come prepared with some questions that let me know you’ve done your research. I can see through your nervousness, but I need there to be something TO SEE through it. So don’t skimp on the prep. It shows.

    • It’s also about showing the interviewer you are the right person/best fit for the job. Be prepared with examples to go along with your qualifications.
      Bring an extra copy of your resume, think about the questions you want to ask them and type them up in advance.
      Good luck!

    • I’d also suggest being prepared when you get asked “Do you have any questions for us?” Because EVERY interviewer is going to ask you that. I find it impressive when someone’s done enough research to ask an informed question or two about our agency or about specifics of the job. Not the time to discuss schedule or pay, though.

      • Emmaleigh504

        And if they don’t ask if you have questions, make sure you tell them you have questions and ask them. This impresses interviewers, too. I guess not a lot of people have questions, because this has happened to me several times and they always seem so surprised.

      • Yes! The questions that impressed me most as an interviewer were the substantive ones about what we do that made it clear the person had done some research, as well as the “will I have the opportunity to do x…” ones that made it clear that person had some ambition beyond an admin (which is important).

  • Rave: I had such a relaxing weekend: bonded with members of my in law’s family while drinking wine and learning new recipes and had a great acupuncture session on Sunday that helped me sleep really well last night.
    Rave: Technology that allows me to have long catch up FT sessions with my best friend.
    Rave: Pineapple cucumber spinach smoothies

    • Emmaleigh504

      Mmm I have a pineapple peach spinach smoothie today 🙂 I made one with water kefir yesterday that was too sweet. I’ll have to try it with cucumber instead of peach to cut the sweetness.

    • Whoa, I would NOT let my in-laws give me acupuncture. That’s bold. Maybe I read that wrong…

  • Revel: Got surprised on a date this weekend and tried something I normally wouldn’t (ziplining!). It was so much fun and the weather was surprisingly perfect, albeit a little foggy.
    Question: Mid-week activities in DC at night outside of restaurants (my default is always food)? I’m thinking of taking her to see the monuments lit up at night (she’s never seen them at night) but am open to suggestions. I’m trying to get my woo’ing on here, PoPville!

    • justinbc

      Tidal basin kayaking / paddle boating, Botanic Gardens, Arboretum, water gardens, baseball game, outdoor movies (lots of venues)

      • Thanks, Justin!

        • I believe the Phillips and Corcoran have ‘late nights’ during the week, that sometimes have live entertainment, cash bar, etc, in addition to full access to their collections.

      • I second paddle boating on the tidal basin. I went with husband a couple of weeks ago and it was fun! $14 for a boat-for-two for one hour. You get great exercise and if you’re lucky, you’ll see some neat wildlife. For example, we saw a hawk hunting for fish. The paddle boats are also far enough off the water (unlike kayaks) that you probably won’t get your clothes wet, so you don’t feel too icky to go somewhere else afterward.

    • One of my favorite dates early on in my current relationship, was a surprise outdoor picnic with a huge range of bite-sized desserts from a local bakery. This doesn’t get you away from the food default but you could pick a pretty spot.

    • Becks

      H street Country club has a great indoor mini golf course and a decent bar downstairs. There is also a Dangerously Delicious pies next door. ummmm, pie!

    • Have you ever been to Gravelly Point? If you’re going the picnic route, it’s a great place to lounge- bring a blanket and just watch the planes take off and land. It’s pretty effing cool, especially at night. And only slightly terrifying because they’re so damn low!

  • justinbc

    Rant: Had my first ever package stolen in DC a few weeks ago, it unfortunately came right after we left for a 4 day weekend in Philly. It was a one of a kind purchase too, so no chance of getting a replacement.
    Rave: eBay is fortunately refunding the purchase since I never actually signed for it. UPS guys always drop packages off over our fence, USPS doesn’t give a damn apparently and just leaves them on the doorstep.
    Rave: Painting is all done on the house, and all the new doors are installed. They look awesome!
    Rant: Already managed to lock myself out of the house yesterday due to unfamiliarity with the new lock system.
    Rave: Multiple people telling me how much they loved the house while I was outside waiting on a locksmith.

  • thatnewplaceon14th

    Revel: Dear God, I just spent the entire weekend watching The Simpsons. Makes me miss when I used to watch it with my sister at 6PMs during the week when we were in middle school.

  • Rant: Kitten on the road at 10th St NW near W St NW
    I was driving northbound on 10th St NW around 11:15 am on Saturday, and around 2121 10th St NW, according to Google Maps Street View, I saw an orange kitten, probably about 3 months old, just sitting on the road about 3 feet out from a van on the east side of the street. I slowed down and made sure to give it some room, but it tore me up inside to just pass by, especially since my wife and I used to foster kittens in the Bay Area. We have two cats of our own now and feel we can’t really risk taking in strays and possibly bringing in diseases, but I really hate to see an innocent kitten that looked very friendly in danger.

    My wife said that she usually sees people on here talking about taking in strays, asking permission to keep kittens, and things like that. I hope the good people of PoPVille will be able to do more than I did for this kitten if they see it.

    (Unrelated Rave: The Kenilworth Gardens are really worth seeing. I had no idea they had lotus gardens and that there were so many great egrets. What a wonderful spot!)

    • If you see the kitten again (or if anyone else on PoPville does), you can call D.C. Animal Care and Control at 202-576-6664.
      You can help strays like this one in other ways than fostering.

  • janie4

    Revel – spent a good portion of the weekend goofing off.
    Rant – trying to rebalance my budget. It really blows. Worried I need a new crown.
    Revel – possibility of a work promotion. Will eliminate the need for further belt tightening, and allow me to put money back in savings.

  • Rave: Just got my Pepco bill and it was only for around $100. Usually this time of year it is around $250. YAY cool weather!

    Rant: I need to get back on the fitness bandwagon.

  • skj84

    Rave: I did two brunches yesterday. First up was PoPville brunch at Dino’s Grotto. They offer one of the best brunch deals in the city. App, Entree and bottomless drinks for $27.00. This was one of the smaller Popville bruch but I was in good company! I then hit up the end of a friend’s birthday brunch. I probably was a total basic, but I don’t care. Brunch really is one of my favorite meals of the week.

    Rant: My allergies have kicked into high drive this week. I think the weather is screwing with me.

  • Rant: My car battery was dead again over the weekend. This is battery number 3 that has died in the last month, despite the mechanic replacing the alternator & checking the electrical system last time. We’re all convinced that it’s suspicious that the problems started after best buy replaced the radio 4-6 weeks ago, but he hasn’t found anything with the radio yet. Ugh.
    Rave: Still had a phenomenal weekend, including seeing several friends we haven’t seen in ages. We also found a super cute toddler-sized water park on 14th St, a few block south of the metro station. The splash park at 14th & Park is a little much my 14mo, but she really enjoyed the tiny fountains at this park. We’ll have to go back next weekend before the splash parks are all shut off!
    Rant: splash pad at 15th & Girard was not running yesterday. We were hoping to play in it but we are 0 for 2 on the water being turned on there. At least we found the other splash park on 14th street on our way home!
    Rave: beautiful weather! can’t wait to go for a run tomorrrow morning 🙂

    • Have you been to the one on V off of 14th (I think it’s V!)? It’s new and has a playground too. It’s all musical-themed. Very cute and good size for toddlers.

      • We haven’t been there. Musical themed? My daughter loves music! (or musical-themed as in the decor/set-up but not actual music?) Either way, it sounds like fun to check out. Maybe we’ll try to head down there this weekend as well.

        • i think one of the spouts is a big trumpet? i know the older kids’ part of the playground has a rubber-type climbing structure in the shape of a curvy musical staff, notes everywhere, things like that. the toddler park has a few things too. i also like it because the three sections (spray park, toddler park, and older kid park) are sectioned apart so you don’t have to worry about chasing after escapees since each has its own gate. the sprayground on 14th and Park causes me too much anxiety being so close to traffic.

          13th and V, next to the baseball field.

          • Oh I see. Cool. I’ve seen a few parks that have separate areas that are cordoned off for different areas – Kalorama & 15th and Girard both do. I hadn’t thought about that issue with the 14th & Park spray park, but my daughter isn’t yet in the running away stage – she’s also afraid of the larger fountains so she keeps pretty close. But something to keep in mind for later on!

  • Rant: seeing a woman who had just been hit by a car being loaded onto a stretcher on 14th Street near Streets Cafe/Market. Her capital bikeshare bike was nearby, and there there were lots of people around her.
    I hope she’s OK.
    Another reason I am scared you-know-what-less to ride in the street.
    Rave: the crazy lady at my bus stop never fails to bring a smile to my face.

  • Rave: Spring/fall-like weather!
    Rant: Finally checked out Park View Patio over the weekend, and was disappointed. I ordered a drink from their cocktail list that was supposed to be made with sparkling wine… and the bartender made it with regular non-sparkling white wine. I probably should have said something, but somehow it just seemed like a lost cause.
    We were sitting on the patio, and at some point I saw a rat scurrying about 10 feet away, diving under the fence between the patio and D.C. Reynolds’ patio. Ugh.

  • Rant: Rented a car and drove all the way to Beltsville to adopt a cat whose owner had died, only to find that it’s basically feral and wouldn’t come out of the wall (yes, wall!) where it was hiding; we’ll try again next weekend.
    Rave: Took advantage of the rental car and found a good hole-in-the-wall Salvadorian joint in Laurel. Happiness is cheese/veggie enchiladas and a glass of wine.
    Rave: A small, domestic rabbit suddenly appeared in my mom’s backyard last week. She checked and no one is missing a pet rabbit. She couldn’t get close enough to catch it and worried the owls would get it (she lives in the woods in FL). Until yesterday when my brother managed to catch the little guy. Now we have a new long-eared member of the family. I’m pushing for “Donny Darko” for a name.

  • Becks

    Rave: Had a great weekend with Tea and board games with friends on Saturday, and a performance of The Winter’s Tale at the National Shakespeare Theater on Sunday followed by Sushi!
    Rave: My strawberries , jalapenos, and tomatoes all have baby fruit/ veggies! I can’t wait for a home grown jalapeno!
    Rant: People who pee all of public/ office restroom toilet seats. Come on people! Is it so hard to wipe the seat down once you are finished!
    Rant: Found a huge smokebomb at my backdoor. It was already dead, but I have a feeling the bad neighbors just tossed their garbage over the fence and it landed next to my back door. You would have to have a good arm and know what you were aiming at if you threw the baseball shaped smokebomb from the alley. However, if it wasn’t them, then it is worrisome! I did smell smoke earlier and now I wonder if it was tossed lit.

    • skj84

      Your first rant is one of my greatest pet peeves. I.Just.Don’t.Get.It. Look if you don’t want to sit on the seat, thats ok, just clean up after! That’s what those toilet seat covers exist for! There is a special place in hell for hoverers.

      • Emmaleigh504

        I don’t understand how hovers don’t have enough practice not to pee on the seat. It is possible.
        My pet peeve with the seat covers are people who leave them on the damn seat! They are flushable!

      • Last week I went to use the bathroom at work and out of 5 stalls – 2 had urine on the seat, 1 had feces – yes, feces – on the seat, and another still had the seat cover on the seat. I was THIS CLOSE to putting up a nasty sign. Just no sense of human dignity.

    • I keep wet wipes in my desk and take them with on visits to the restroom…makes cleaning off the seat much easier.

  • binpetworth

    Rant: Snotty nose. Which I guess is better than it was 4 days ago, when it was snotty throat, but still.
    Rave: Lion cubs! They were out frolicking at the zoo yesterday, and it was perfect weather to enjoy their antics.

  • Rave – Beautiful morning.
    Rant – Moving is stressful.
    Moving rant – I have analysis paralysis regarding my move. I found a really nice, big place in Takoma (DC side) one block from the Metro. I’ve been in DC for just over three years and always lived in apartments centrally located to downtown (Dupont and surrounding areas). I’ve enjoyed being able to walk to work and being close to everything, but they lacked a sense of community, for example I don’t really know my neighbors, very transient vibe, always people moving in and out, tourists everywhere. Maybe it’s time to give up that walkable commute for a larger place further away? I hear that Takoma has a great sense of community with friendly neighbors and that really appeals to me. Being so close to the Metro would give me easy access to the rest of the city and my job, but I would not longer be able to walk to those things. I spent some time in Takoma over the weekend and liked the MD side, but then walked over to Georgia Ave, which seemed a run down with not much going on. So I won’t able to walk to lot of things like I do now, besides the commercial strip in Takoma Park MD. But maybe I should I just go for it and try something new? I’m only renting so if I really hate it I can always move out. Sigh. Analysis paralysis.

  • Rant: waiting to hear about the outcome of my husband’s out of town job interview is KILLING me!!!!

    Rant: I’m more exhausted on Sunday nights than I am Friday evenings after a week of work. This is not good.

    Rave: interviewed a babysitter, another one to interview next week, in the hopes that soon my husband and I can see a movie once in a while. Pipedreams!

  • Schadenfreude-ish rave: I just read on the Washington Post website that “The Chaplin” is being sued by Charlie Chaplin’s estate and is changing its name to “Chaplin’s” as a result. (Though I don’t really understand how that would be sufficient, if they’re still using Charlie Chaplin references/imagery.)
    “The Chaplin is changing its name less than two months after opening due to the threat of a lawsuit from the estate of silent-film legend Charlie Chaplin. To avoid litigation, the Chaplin-themed Asian restaurant will now be called Chaplin’s Restaurant & Bar.”

    • I saw a tweet a awhile back that suggested that there was another Chaplin lawsuit between the restaurant’s investors and the Wilder brothers, but couldn’t verify it then and can’t find it now. I would say that this place is doomed except for the fact that it always seems moderately full when I walk by, and I walk by there often.

  • msmaryedith

    Rant: My boyfriend and I wanted to go to Chadwick’s one last time before it closes, so we met some friends there Saturday afternoon. We had 7 in our core group and then a few more dropped in for a drink towards the end. We were there for several hours, and getting close to being ready to go anyway, when the bartender announced that she had to cut us off. We were completely baffled–we had ordered a fair bit over the course of many hours, but that included food and mostly a bunch of light beer, alcohol-wise. No one was acting like they had been over served. We weren’t loud. My friend (who lives around the corner and is often in there multiple times a week) asked the bartender if she minded telling us why we had been cut off, and she was vague and rather surly. Maybe she just had a chip on her shoulder since they’re closing/she’s losing her job, but it was such a weird/crappy way to end things!

  • Rant: Pleated pants on men. Just say no!

  • Did anyone else hear gunshots in Sheridan Kalorama last night around midnight? I heard two in quick succession, but I haven’t seen anything about it, nor did I hear any police sirens.

    • I live near 17th & U and I thought I heard the same thing, but the lack of sirens made me wonder if I was mistaken. Plus, it didn’t sound exactly like most gunshots I’ve heard. Something was a little off about the sound.

  • Question: I am looking for a shower filter that softens DC tap water and is less drying and damaging to my hair and skin. Any recommendations for which shower filter works best with DC water?

    • I haven’t tried their shower filter, but I am a big fan of Aquasana’s water filter systems.

      • I second Aquasana. Easy to install, quick shipping, great customer service, and best of all, the water just feels good!

    • GiantSquid

      I have a Culligan filter that screws onto your shower and you replace the cartridge every 6 months. Has definitely made a difference. I bought it at Frager’s

  • Major rave: They found Georgia (the missing coonhound)! I get so worried about things like this even though I don’t know the owners. Apparently she was at a cemetery in NE. Hooray for happy outcomes.

  • Additional rants/raves I forgot to mention earlier:
    Rant: Had a couple of ambiguous responses for the open house I was doing for my Adams Morgan rental unit on Saturday, but neither person showed up.
    Rave: Getting close to finishing (I think) the outdoor plantings for my house. I removed a knockout rose that had been floundering and replaced it with an azalea. I also planted some daylilies and transferred a monarda (bee balm) from the yard to a container — I realized it didn’t look right where I’d planted it, so I’m going to see if it’ll work as a container plant on the kitchen porch.
    I’ll be happy when I’ve got all of the planting/potting finished and all I have to do is water and weed.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: Shoulder pain is back and I’m afraid to go to the doctor b/c I don’t want it to be a real problem (Shut up Quotia Zelda!).
    Rant: this weather (the up and down humidity). My hair looks like crap and my rheumatism is acting up.
    Rave/rant: quiet day at work means i’m goofing off more than normal.
    Rave: Liberte yogurt is indeed yogurt perfection (and it’s on sale at Yes!).

    • Emmaleigh504

      ugh I sound like a cranky, old lady

    • LOVE Liberte yogurt. Have you tried Noosa? It’s my latest yogurt obsession, which is unfortunate because it’s very expensive.

    • skj84

      I hear you on the weather. It’s messing with my allergies. And I’m having issues with my hair. I spent a good party of Saturday fixing my hair for a party, and ended up pulling it into a ponytail when I got there. From the time I left my house to arriving at the party my hair decided to frizz and puff. That’s why I love hats so much. Quick cover for unruly hair!

      • Emmaleigh504

        My allergies are awful too! Usually they get bad closer to Sept. This weird summer has me all messed up! My hair has really, really tight curls in some places and these random straight chunks, plus frizz. And it’s going up in a pony tail now.
        But my violets keep randomly blooming because they think it’s Spring, so it’s not all bad.

    • Liberte yogurt is my life.

  • anonymouse_dianne

    I know there are some fans of the Big Easy on here. Check out these then and now photos of post-Katrina reconstruction. (Click on the photo and slide left to right).


    • Emmaleigh504

      Pretty neat. Those kids in the bucket are tragically adorable. If only they were in that tub for fun.
      Brad Pitt is forever one of my favorite celebrities b/c of the work he did to help New Orleans rebuild.
      It’s a shame that one Lakeview house was rebuilt to be exactly the same boring suburban house.

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