Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user  Istvan Kerekes

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.

285 Comment

  • It’s Thursday, which means SERIAL day! What did you all think of today’s episode? Are any of you now more firmly on Team Adnan? Did you donate? And how do you plan to get through the next two weeks?

    • I’ve already listened to it twice. Today I realized that while I like the acts in This American Life that are tangential to the theme of that episode and I appreciate how they work them in, I DO NOT LIKE IT is Serial. I’m sure that’s because each TAL episode is meant to stand alone and each act can even stand alone, but Serial is an arcing story and I don’t have time for omelets!
      Now that that’s out of the way. I think we’ve turned a corner. SK has become more shrewd about her opinions. She is now telling us what or who she thinks is wrong or right. I like that. It feel like we’re circling the drain, we’re getting closer to the end and the “conclusion” which I still think will be unsatisfying.
      I agree with SK that the state’s timeline is completely wrong. But what is the alternative? I’m still trying to square Adnan not doing it with the story of the body in the trunk. Unless Jay just started planting seeds immediately after the murder, but is he smart enough for that?
      After today I am back to leaning towards Adnan had no idea. But that might just be wishful thinking.

      • I’ve thought all along that the 2:36 time was suspect!
        Personally, they’re pretty close to losing my attention so I hope they’ll start wrapping it up sooner rather than later.

        • Wait, I forgot. When did Jay tell his friend Chris that Adnan came to the pool hall with the body in the trunk? Was that months later at a party or was is just after the murder? I forgot my headphones and I’m guessing reddit is blocked at work :-/

      • I think we’re getting close to a conclusion, too, and agree with Anonymous 10:12 that I’d rather it tie up very soon. I’d be fine with just one more episode, as long as it’s a good one.

        Jeslett, I wonder what kind of ending you would find satisfying? I might just be easier to please! I am almost always happy with endings to This American Life stories and expect something similar here.

        One ending I would consider very satisfying is to learn that Maryland will consider a second appeal of this case, with the Innocence Project acting in his defense. I think that with a solid legal team like that one, the state would be very hard-pressed not to let Adnan free, given all of the new information we have already learned.

        • Also, when the Serial team said they would take next week off, I wondered if it was to bide time until they could confirm the appeal request had moved forward. This story from October mentions that Syed had already requested a second appeal: http:// www. baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/crime/blog/bs-md-syed-murder-case-20141010-story.html

          • Well hang on a second. I assumed that all the episodes were basically researched, recorded and edited before they started airing. Is that not the case?
            Also if they said they would take next week off I would assume it’s because next Thursday is Thanksgiving.

          • Not a Fed, I think the episodes have a mix of old and brand-new audio and this week’s episode is a good example of that. Of course it’s possible that the team just wants week off after a year of very hard work. But even if they did release an episode next week, they would be finished with their work before the holiday actually starts.

        • Well, I mean if this were fiction and not real life, which it is not and I respect that very much, finding out what actually happened and knowing that the ball is rolling on judicial processes to rectify the situation, if that is the case, would be the most ideal ending.
          But, there’s no way that is happening. The next ideal would be to get enough evidence to show that Adnan didn’t do it, but that would not necessarily point the finger at anyone else directly. I think that would be extremely difficult for Hae’s family.
          I did see the Baltimore Sun article. I agree with you, that might the ending. I wonder if they would do an epilogue if/when that trial ends to cover its outcome.

          • Emmaleigh504

            I”ve been wondering how Hae’s family is dealing with this. Are they listening? Are people asking them questions? It’s got to be very hard on them to reopen this case.

          • I liked that this episode brought us back to Hae for a brief minute – we heard a little bit more about her personality to remind us that this is NOT all about Adnan and Jay. I can’t imagine what it would be like to be in her family’s shoes right now. Just knowing that this painful part of their lives is receiving so much attention must be so hard…even if they are out of the country, as Sarah said, they know about the show. If, as many are hoping/suggesting, Adnan is able to be released at some point in the future, that’s only “righting” half of the story if the true killer is not brought to justice. It would be a win for Adnan and his family, but at the same time devastating to Hae’s family. A win for injustice…but a loss for justice?

          • You all raise very good points here. On the one hand, it would be somewhat satisfying if Adnan were freed, but that’s not the whole story and it certainly isn’t the whole story for Hae’s family. I really hope Sarah and team find out who actually committed the crime.

            BTW, I tried looking up information on the appeal on the Maryland Courts website but couldn’t find filings for either the first or apparent second appeal. Does anyone out there have Westlaw or another way to check on where this process might stand?

          • Actually, I just found it! The appeal was filed in January. I wonder how long it takes for the court to decide whether they’ll hear the appeal and from then, how long it would take for it to get on the calendar. I don’t see his name on the schedule for either November or December.

    • I’m listening now and I do plan to donate. Work computer blocks the sites I need access to, but I do plan to donate!

    • Emmaleigh504

      Totally donating (I also donate to TAL when they ask), still think Adnan didn’t do it and that Jay did.

    • Aglets

      Is anyone listening to Onion’s AV club serial serial which is (albeit they only have one episode right now) people talking about serial?
      It lands on friday so it gives you a day to listen to serial and then their podcast….about a podcast…

  • Rant: Stepped in my own dog’s poop today.
    Rave: The different flavored Kit Kats my coworker brings back every time he goes on a business trip to Japan. So good.
    Rant: I have to wait until Dec. 4 for the next Serial episode! Parts of today’s episode made me weepy.

  • Rant: Kiddo had trouble sleeping last night. And then I had trouble sleeping. And after I finally fell asleep after lying awake for 90 minutes, kiddo woke up again. Fortunately I fell asleep soundly after that.
    Rant: Because of the night wakings, I didn’t get up to run this morning. Ugh. I was really looking forward to that, but the extra hour of sleep was needed when I didn’t really fall asleep for good until 2:30.
    Rant: Kiddo was super cranky this morning. Nothing discernable that would suggest illness, but I briefly considered keeping her home & checking in with the doctor. Since I didn’t, hoping she makes it through the day.
    Rave? She stopped whining long enough to happily wave & say “bye bye!” only to start whining again when I said I wasn’t leaving yet, and then was chipper about saying “bye bye” when I was ready to leave. Well, that’s an unusual turn of events in our household….

    • Additional Rave (for now, at least): Kiddo started doing the cutest thing last night: wagging her finger one of the cats and saying “no, no, no!” I’m sure it’ll get annoying at some point, but right now it’s adorable! Apparently she did the same this morning to one of her school buddies who was trying to take her toy.

      • Emmaleigh504

        Your cute kiddo stories are so much fun. They remind me of all the cute things my nieces and nephew did when they were wee. Now 1 is fixin to go to college! Fewer cute stories with teens, but they are still fun kids.

        • Awww, thanks! They amuse me too – so I hope the constant kid-focused stories don’t annoy others. I’m glad you’re enjoying them 🙂

          • SFT

            More raves for you… the overnight diapers are helping. He slept through the night 2 nights in a row. He did wake up last night wanting to be changed, but in his defense, I’m not sure many diapers could have held what he was putting out 🙂

          • I’m so glad to hear that! Fabulous!

  • Rant: Not surprisingly, people often complain that they want better services (grocery stores, restaurants etc) in their neighborhood. But then when those services do arrive some of the same people complain that they are now priced out of their neighborhood by higher rents and gentrification. I guess I don’t understand why people can’t see the cause and effect.

  • I Dont Get It

    Rave: A two hour meeting today with my boss and rest of the team! We are diagramming something that must be very critical to the future delivery of humanitarian services! I’m giddy!
    Rant: The above attempt at being positive isn’t working!
    Rave: Enjoying this weather!

  • Rant: My poor dog has developed a fear of my initially touching him to pet him due to the frequent electric shocks I keep giving him because it’s so dry.

    • I think my dog thinks I’m trying to hurt her on purpose. It’s so sad.

    • Haha, I know this all too well. I once used one of those stupid shock collars years ago on my poor dog, and the button stuck once, he didn’t trust me for a whole month after that incident.

    • I just moved here from the Pacific Northwest, where the winters are so humid and rainy, that my poor cat learned about static electricity for the first time!!! Poor baby! He had no idea why the petting was shocking him!

  • Rave: Looking forward to visiting New York, not looking forward to the tolls. I think it’s ridiculous to pay tolls AND income tax at the same time. I think it would be better to just pay extra income tax so we could travel the US without having to buy opportunistic account draining EZ passes.

    Rant: Thinking of using a dog sitter for my first time in 15 years, a little worried about giving out my house keys to a stranger.

    • I don’t exactly love tolls, but they go toward the upkeep of the highways, bridges, etc. that have them.
      Is there any particular reason you have to drive, rather than taking the bus/train?

      • I love driving because I can go at my own pace and rock out to my favorite music with the volume up, I’m also a smoker, so I have the ability to puff any time I want… I’m also going to Brooklyn, where parking isn’t too tuff, that area looks a lot like DC these days. Besides that, my car is awesome, I can bring up all my stuff without dragging a suit case everywhere. It’s a tiny 4 cylinder, so I’m being eco-conscious. 😛

        • Ok, then tolls are your payment for that privilege. You do know that (1.) the pollution caused by your car and (2.) the wear and tear on the road caused by your car can easily be modeled into dollars and cents to produce an actual cost that YOU are imposing on society.
          Pay the toll and be quiet.

    • If you’re seriously considering hiring one, I would be happy to chat. I have many references who can attest to the fact that both your dog and keys will be very safe with me. 🙂

      • I would consider it, but I already have someone on reserve for the job this time, What do you think a good rate for each walk should be? 🙂

      • Anonymous, are you located anywhere near Shaw? We don’t need a dog sitter yet — our puppy is a week and a half old! — but I’d love to be in touch so we could keep you in mind for future trips.

        • A week and a half? Oh my god so cute! Shaw is fine. Location doesn’t really matter for dog-sitting. Dog-walking, on the other hand, isn’t something I do often because of my day job (nights and weekends I can do walks). I’m happy to talk more about it if the need arises!

          • -SO- cute. Every new photo I get makes me squeal like a little girl! Can you send me an email at shawessdc at gmail dot com to tell me more about your experience and rates? Thanks!

          • I’d be interested in your dogsitting rates! sharonwdc with yahoo

    • I’ll bet you can get where you’re going without paying any tolls.

      • Yeah, I am considering other routes, but I dunno if there’s any good way to avoid the NJ Turnpike… Anyone who is sane should always be careful about getting lost in Jersey! 😛

        • Take 295 from the Delaware Memorial bridge up through half of NJ – I do this to avoid horrible turnpike traffic sometimes. Look at a map and figure out where to cut back over to the turnpike. Saves on the toll. Just don’t go more than 9 miles over the speed limit, as they do ticket on 295. Missing out on the traffic roughly from exits 6 to about 8 helps a lot.

          It is not a route you can avoid tolls completely on – if you go via car that is. You need to take a common carrier (bus, train, plane) to avoid tolls. You save some more if you take exit 10 for the Outerbridge Crossing and cross Staten Island to Brooklyn, rather than taken the Goethals at exit 13, or crossing through Manhattan.

          • Thanks, sounds complex, but I was thinking probably about taking 295, getting lost for a while, and then letting Google maps on my phone bail me out! Hah.

          • That’s a pretty awesome route, especially on a Friday. If you leave out of Manhattan on a Sunday, you can totally avoid paying tolls.

    • Accountering

      I think it is insane that you think that income taxes should go up, as opposed to user fees like tolls. You are driving a SOV from DC to NY, through the most congested areas of the country. You should be paying more (in tolls) for that opportunity, as opposed to someone who pays to take the train/Megabus.

      • Accountering

        The insane part is that you think MY taxes should go up, so you can drive for “free” from here to NYC. If I had my way, gas tax would go up to $1/gallon tomorrow, with a corresponding DROP in income taxes. There is literally no other government function (roads) where it is so easy to tax people who use more of it.

        • + 1 to all. I was mentally drafting a similar response when I read this.

        • Meh, we probably need both the income tax and the gas tax, since our roads and infrastructure is in such general disrepair. But, I definitely agree with the spirit of your comment. I do wish, however, that states would get their act together and just act like New Jersey (I never thought I’d type that). Just get a card when you enter the state and pay once when you exit.

          • I think the US would be a very grim and desolate place where people don’t travel if every state had a toll system… States already take financial advantage of out-of-town visitors with hidden speed cameras and opportunistic tweaks to their traffic laws. They’ve been using law enforcement to supplement their local revenue for years, the fed gov should have a better process of policing states for that, in the process of protecting US citizens.

          • I suppose you could replace ticket revenue with toll revenue… but I rather like having bad drivers pay a premium for road use.

          • I’ve never been “taxed” for driving in a new place b/c of hidden cameras. You know why? BECAUSE I DRIVE THE SPEED LIMIT. If you follow traffic laws, then the hidden cameras become irrelevant and you can stop viewing them as some personal vendetta to empty your wallet.

        • The Beltway here was built with tax payer dollars without any tolls being implemented there… I believe it’s important for information about where money goes to be more transparent and literally applied to related items that need funding. People who pay taxes on cigarettes end up finding schools these days. So much is lost these days in the way our taxes are spent. I’m pretty sure that the money we pay in regular income tax is more than enough to fund infrastructure if we didn’t dump money into foreign economies and in war efforts concerning them to begin with. It’s too easy to peg me as someone radical for thinking this way, but I’m not the president, so don’t worry about my opinions.

          We all pay fees for tolls and the like even when we buy bus tickets, actually if things were fair, you bus ticket prices would go down as a result of the income tax increase… The goods we buy are all shipped in using roads. We can’t simply be expected to be excluded from paying for these items because we think we don’t benefit from them. Instead of toll booths, maybe the gov should crack down on evading companies like Apple and Wal-Mart instead?

          Gas taxes are already ridiculously high, so are current car and income taxes, but I think it’s quite insane to think that riding on a bus means that we shouldn’t contribute to road building and maintenance, because the buses still use the same roads, technically, as it is, car related tolls and taxes probably pay for your daily commutes.

          • “People who pay taxes on cigarettes end up finding schools these days.”
            I can bear that grave injustice with a great deal of equanimity.

          • Accountering

            Gas taxes are ridiculously high? They are less than .01c/mile. That is ridiculously high in your mind? Seriously?

          • Accountering

            Also, technically, car related tolls and taxes do not pay for your daily commutte. They haven’t since 2008, when general fund transfers have filled the gap. Even with those transfers, we do not spend nearly enough on our roads/bridges/public transit. See our failing infrastructure, bridges collapsing in MN, and the aformentioned potholes in NJ. The gas taxes and tolls you pay do not come close to covering your portion of the roads, and that is why your income taxes have to get transferred to fill in the gap.

      • Even if you don’t drive, you benefit from roads. How do you think all your food and goods get to the city? A national infrastructure is important to all of us, not just drivers. I’m not going either way on the tolls vs income tax thing but the idea that only drivers benefit from the roads is kind of silly. You can’t put 200 pounds of potatoes on a Megabus or grow them in the city.

        • Accountering

          No offense, but this is a stupid argument. I agree that I benefit from national infrastructure. Where did I say I didn’t?!? I also said that I would happily pay the costs of increased gas tax, in the form of increased lettuce costs at the supermarket. Read much?

          • But if they raised income taxes by that same amount instead you have a problem with it? That’s what I don’t get about your furious posts..

          • Didn’t mean your comment, just meant generally. Sorry if the reply went to the wrong place. In general, many conversation on Popville about road (construction, congestion, etc.) always heads into the conversation of take the bus or public transportation which doesn’t take into account the full number of services provided roads.

            And yes, I do know how to read. Dial it down a bit, your comment on the lettuce is below here and wasn’t posted when I posted my original comment.

          • Accountering

            Fair enough – my apologies if it was a bit over the top. It is just such a useless comment in a lot of cases, and only relevant to people who say we shouldn’t have a federal highway system. I love highways, I love that I can get where I need to go. I don’t like in the least that my taxes subsidize people who use more of this good than I do. The federal government should not be in the business of subsidizing people who choose to live in Stafford and work in Tysons.

    • While I think it’s fair that the people who are using the toll roads are contributing to their upkeep. I’m sure that I benefit from them as well, but I’m also sure that the fees for the serve is that I indirectly benefit from are built into the prices of the goods that I buy.
      Jack5 , many of your rants seem related to car ownership. Since you seem committed to owning a car and the relative freedom that this affords you, you might lead a more relaxed life if you just accepted that parking and tolls and insurance are part of the package of car ownership.

      • Accountering

        Bingo to the above. People often say that if you raise gas tax, it makes goods more expensive at grocery stores and the like. GOOD! Why the heck are we subsidizing delivery trucks? The full cost of a head of lettuce should be built into the cost of a head of lettuce. The idea we subsidize the delivery truck and get cheaper lettuce, and then pay more in income taxes (to subsidize roads) is quite ridiculous.

        • Emmaleigh504

          But that full price of a head of lettuce is going to impact people who make less money a whole lot more than people who make more money. I’m for higher income tax.

          • So externalities shodul be paid for through income tax, rather than baked into the cost of goods and services? This is basically an argument that goods and services shoudl be priced on a sliding scale, based on income. I disagree.

          • Accountering

            This can easily be mitigated by increasing the EITC, and raising the minimum wage, or even increased food stamps (all three of which I am in favor of.) Poor people basically pay no income tax anyways, and you can easily mitigate the effects on same. I am for making people like Jack, and other people who use a disproportionate amount of a limited good (roads) pay their fair share.

          • @Accountering

            “People like Jack”?

            You sound mighty angry online today by the tone of your posts… Don’t put me in a box man… I’m not a rich guy… I work hard for my money and I pay a lot in income tax. I have a right to feel disenfranchised without being judged just because you have an incomplete perception about me being a wealthy complainer. Just because someone owns a car does not automatically make them part of the bourgeois that is oppressing others rights in the city. We all deserve what we work for, and more if we can earn it, within reasonable limits that don’t make us selfish money hoarders. If owning a car makes me selfish, then what does that makes Jay Leno, who owns 130 cars and 93 motorcycles? Or even someone who owns more than one?

          • Jack5, I don’t think Accountering’s use of “people like Jack” has an angry tone. I think he just means “people who strongly prefer to drive” and/or “people who do a lot of driving.”
            I don’t think anyone would say that owning a car is automatically selfish. But the viewpoint of Accountering (and others) is that it makes sense for the costs of roads to be borne by those who use them the most, and that it’s not reasonable for you to expect that the only cost to you should be gasoline/maintenance/insurance.

          • Accountering

            I am not attacking you in the least. I own a car, I drive to work every day as well. I think I should be paying more as well.

      • Where is the info on annual cost for upkeep of these roads? And is that book accurate? It cost me (just an individual driver) about 35$ in tolls to make it up to NY each way. With the sheer amount of people that travel that same route daily i don’t want to think about how much they make daily. I’m willing to bet that about 25% of the costs go to salaries for people who maintain the toll system, and probably about 10% or less actually goes to road/infrastructure upkeep. The rest is pure profit for people who illegitimately create toll booths on roads built long ago by tax dollars.

        • You’re welcome to go off the toll roads, but the trade-off is that the trip will take you longer. And if they lifted the tolls on the turnpike, more people would drive and your times would slow down. So choose your currency, time or money.

          • Well, I like casual scenic drives, and since it’s Thanksgiving, i’m in no rush to get up there, I just don’t get why there are other (better) roads that don’t require tolls somehow, but how the glorious NJ turnpike, riddled with debris from crashed cars and lacking pavement in many areas requires me to pay so much every 20 miles for what they represent as “road upkeep” while they don’t offer me free roadside assistance if I end up having trouble on their toll roads. 😛

          • Accountering

            Meh, I agree, the tolls on this stretch may be a bit ridiculous. Tolls through DE come to mind for sure. The drive to NYC should not be $35, but it should also not be $6, (.50c/gallon, 240 miles at 20 miles/gallon) which is a generous estimate of your (state and federal) gas taxes to make that drive, absent all tolls. Make the federal gas tax $1, states are a quarter, and eliminate all tolls, and then you pay $15 total in taxes to drive each way to NYC. Sound good?

      • @Anonymous
        November 20, 2014 at 11:17 am – Who says I don’t have a relaxed life? Even though I am very fortunate to have the freedom a car offers, it doesn’t prohibit me from wanting to make the experience fair and affordable. I think about people who have less income than me frequently, and how these kinds of issues affect them too. During Hurricane Katrina, many people were too poor to buy gas at ridiculous prices they were at then so they couldn’t even evacuate the city after public transportation shut down. This is the type of scenario I think of when i see tolls being implemented… We already pay way too much in current income taxes alone to be used by opportunistic private companies that want to fool us that they have the authority to set up toll booths on roads already funded by government tax revenues..

        • “During Hurricane Katrina, many people were too poor to buy gas at ridiculous prices they were at then so they couldn’t even evacuate the city after public transportation shut down.”
          I don’t think that’s correct — my recollection was that it was _people who didn’t have cars_ who got stuck in the city, not people who had cars but couldn’t afford gas.

  • pablo .raw

    Rant: I have talked to Comcast many, many times to let them know that I just need internet and I don’t have (they ask every time) a TV, I have no plans to get one in the future, never; no I don’t need the whatever cable package. Yesterday I got a box from them with the splitter, remote control, etc. sigh
    Rant: Due to rental car daily rates almost twice as high, I’m not going to photograph bald eagles on Thanksgiving weekend leaving me with the question:
    Rant: What am I going to do then?
    Rave: Photographing a wedding later today 🙂

  • Rave: Delicious French dip and fried calamari from Annie’s.
    Rant: Feeling a bit unwell, so I’ve slacked on the gym this week.
    Revel: Thanks to whoever mentioned 1 medical group. I’m planning to join this week! I haven’t seen a PCP in a while.
    Revel: Black Friday specials at my masseuse. 45/hr cannot be beat!
    Rant: Helping the ladyfriend with her grad school homework. Lots of tests, and we’re only 25% of the way through after 1-2 hrs of doing it. Ugh!

    • $45/hr you say? Where is that?!

      • Willow Massage at 6301 Richmond Hwy Alexandria
        Inside of Capital MMA & Fitness
        She really puts the work in, and it has been great for my shoulders and hips which had bothered for quite awhile.

    • You’re welcome! I hope your experience at One Medical is as good as mine has been. 🙂

      • I don’t need much, but not having to wait and blow through my whole lunch break on a check-up sounds lovely.

      • epric002

        i just signed up too AND got an appt for this afternoon, so now y’all won’t have to hear my complaints about getting my RX refilled anymore 😀

        • You’ve inspired me to do it tonight in hopes of getting an appt tomorrow. I’m not really sick, but I know I’m due for some sort of shot.

      • I’d love to find a good PCP. I switched jobs and changed health insurance to a random California group which very few people take. Love the job though.

        • I have hella random insurance so it might be worth it to give one medical a call to see if they take yours!

    • skj84

      How long is that deal going on? I need a massage like crazy.

      • Just Black Friday as far as I can tell, but she also has Sat after 3pm 50/hr for women only. I think you’re a woman anyway. She has deals on gift cards 3 for $150 and 5 for $220 as well, so you could easily get a similar deal if you’re willing to commit a bit.

  • skj84

    Rant: crappy week at work. I’ve been pretty consistent about closing sales, but this week I just can’t get any done. It’s incredibly frustrating, I’m using the same tactics as before and have nothing to show for it.

    Rave: I’m enjoying my free time now that my show is over. I loved being a part of that production, but it wasn’t leaving much time for anything else.

  • Rant: Major insomnia night last night. So frustrating. I probably got to sleep around 3.
    Rave: But I somehow woke up feeling like a human being today. Not sure why, but I’ll take it.
    Rant/Rave: The weather has been miserable, but the stocking up on cold weather gear finally seems to be paying off. Parka+tights+fleece leggings+insulated boots=the ability to keep wearing skirts all year and not freeze.

    • any recommendations on fleece leggings? i’ve never bought any before but i think i need to. this weather is insane!

      • I got a pair at Willow on Upshur – I really like them and they are super warm.

      • I jusr bought a few pairs for cheap at Marshalls or TJ Maxx. They are kind of thin, and worn alone beyond 40 degrees or so, they are not quite the game changer I had hoped for. (WTHBS, they did keep me nice and warm worn under jeans last night.) Hopefully I can find some heavier/thicker ones. But every little bit helps when it’s this cold.

      • skj84

        Nordstrom Rack usually has a good selection.

  • epric002

    rant: metro yesterday. a 10 minute wait for a yellow line train going north at 5:30 at the pentagon. the morning commute north was also a total cluster. wtf.
    rant: people who enter a crowded, but not packed train and decide to just stop 2 steps inside the door. MOVE TO THE CENTER OF THE CAR. and if you don’t, don’t get all huffy when i have to say excuse me 15 times so that i can move to the center of the car.
    rant: changed puppy’s bandage last night. never doing that again. appt scheduled w/vet techs for the next one.
    rant: either fedex/usps majorly screwed some stuff up, or 5 packages were stolen yesterday. one of the merchants seems to think that fedex is experiencing some delays b/c of the snow, so i guess i have to wait and see whether anything is delivered today before i submit a police report.
    rant: very ranty.

    • I was waiting for that same train. Every time I start to get frustrated, though, I think about how much better Yellow line service is in general since they hosed the Blue line, and direct my anger towards that shiny new escalator at Pentagon that been broken for well over a month.
      Rant: Metro also needs more turnstiles at U St. Totally inadequate for the exit volume during rush hour.

      • epric002

        i haven’t noticed an improvement, honestly. i’m just so annoyed at the infrequency of rush+ trains going north in the evenings. and i don’t care why they turn trains around at mt. vernon, they just need to stop doing that and have all trains go to greenbelt. people no longer flee the city at 5:00pm and WMATA apparently hasn’t figured out how to accommodate that.

        • Emmaleigh504

          +1 Rush plus would be such a great commute for me, but I never see those trains, so I just switch to the red line unless I happen upon a Greenbelt train or red is fubar.

        • They don’t have sufficient infrastructure to run all the trains to greenbelt (or ft. totten for that matter). That’s why they turn the trains around at Mt. Vernon.

        • Sorry, thought you meant Yellow line in general (which definitely has improved), not just rush plus. While I love the one-seat rides, stepping off at Archives or Mt Vernon (quieter platforms) there’s usually a Green train right behind you. Also, I almost always used to switch to Red at Gallery, but having the Trader Joe’s on 14th really made a difference my patterns.

          • epric002

            i actually haven’t had luck with that. the few times that i accidentally or have no choice and have to get on a mt vernon train, i usually end up waiting a long time for a green line train, while more and more yellow lines dump their passengers and the platform gets more and more crowded, so then we all to get squeeze/shove on to an already crowded green line train once it finally shows up. i get that there’s an infrastructure issue, but ridership patterns have changed and there are clearly enough riders who are going north/back in to the city in the evenings and there aren’t enough yellow or green trains to accommodate.

      • Emmaleigh504

        Yellow has always been the best part of my commute, once they screwed over the blue line it’s gotten even better. Some how I missed all the mess yesterday. Hurray for the yellow line!

    • “rant: people who enter a crowded, but not packed train and decide to just stop 2 steps inside the door. MOVE TO THE CENTER OF THE CAR. and if you don’t, don’t get all huffy when i have to say excuse me 15 times so that i can move to the center of the car.”
      It isn’t all about that bass, it’s all about the elbows. Don’t be shy.

      • epric002

        i will have to start using my bass and my elbows, apparently. like they didn’t notice the 15 people trying to get on the train behind them. so annoying!

      • I so can’t stand this. People think of no one but themselves. Seriously, if you are standing in the door and I am about to miss the train because you won’t move don’t get mad if me if you “GET MOVED”!

    • I agree on your metro rant. Every day, I get on at a busy station. Every day, everyone is crowding towards the door and it is always a frustration. I see through the windows, I see past the crowded people at the door and there is SO MUCH room in the center – empty seats and space. Yesterday, I waited 18 minutes (three trains) until I could finally squeeze on. One time I asked folks to move in (very politely!) and I nearly got punched in the face (won’t do that again). I put in a request yesterday to adjust my work hours (to come in earlier) because I just can’t deal anymore.

  • Rave: Slept in this morning. So glorious.
    Rant: Didn’t work out this am.
    Rave/Rant?: I think I’m adjusting to the cold weather. I walked outside this morning with my lighter wool coat, and it actually felt almost balmy to me. I don’t like the idea of acclimating to winter.
    Rave: I finalized my menu for Saturday’s party. I can’t wait to spend the greater part of the next 48 hours cooking and prepping. I love the holidays that involve feeding people I love.

  • Rave: Softball playoffs tonight (and no rain in the forecast)
    Rant: Work is slowly grinding to a halt with the holiday coming next week can already hear the crickets…
    Rave: Things could be worse I’m sitting at home (in sweatpants) listening to chance the rappers ‘acid rap cd’….I heard it when I went to Donburi a few weeks back and the chef’s were singing every word…made me happy. Not a ton of work being done today.

  • Rave: The Internet. In the space of maybe 10 minutes, I was able to find a high-res image of an etching of a painting by Fragonard, seven other etchings in the series by the same printmaker, two 18th-century Parisian newspaper articles about the series of prints, and a rough but understandable translation of the newspaper entry. Weeks worth of research! In 10 goddam minutes!

  • Rave: I feel so much better than I did two days ago.
    Rant: I think I’m returning the iPhone. It’s slick and gorgeous and wow that thumb print thing is convenient, but I miss the back button, widgets, being able to reach things I need to on the screen with one hand, using Swype without crashing apps, and my comfort zone. I feel like I gave it a fair shake and I acknowledge the things I think are superior to Andriod, but it’s not for me. It’s close, but not quite.
    Rant: I have to give an anecdote about a voluntary group project in front of the whole company Monday. I’ve been told to be honest, but I still feel pressured to make it all roses and unicorn kisses.
    Rave: Plaid. I’m wearing black watch pants.

    • Dan, I don’t know what I’m doing to get every one of my comments moderated recently, but I’m sorry to be making more work for you!

    • Yeah, that is the impression I’m getting, too. The 6 and 6+ are pretty, and I’m sure I’d enjoy them. But the bending thing is a problem and I’m just not seeing enough pluses to justify the asking price this time. Switching to Android would be a hassle, but their phones are looking better than the Iphone these days.

      • I don’t actually think the bending issue is a thing, but then again I’m a woman so I won’t be keeping it in my nonexistent pockets.
        For me this was a switch from Android and I get that it’s different and takes getting used to, but serious why no back button? Every app has their own and they’re all in different places on each one, so now I have to memorize the location in each. And even on the 6, not the 6 plus, me with my giant lady hands (size 8 gloves, aka XL) can’t reach the Facebook back botton with one hand.
        If you do switch to Android get Swype. It’s maybe the greatest thing about Android.

        • Great time to switch back as the S5 is free or very cheap at a number of places. I have larger lady hands, but maybe not as large as yours, and I am easily able to manage the S5 with 1 hand with a case on it.
          There are other phones out there. LG or windows phones which could be the best of both worlds you seek, but I have the S5, and I love it if you decide to take that route.

          • If there is one thing I will not be getting, it is another Samsung. There is too much interference in the actual Android experience. I am thinking about going Moto X. I would have gone for the Nexus 6, but that thing might even be bigger than the 6 plus.

        • yeah the bending thing is a non-issue. Just internet hype. Touch ID and the camera is why I stay with the iPhone. Love the ability to pay for my cab just by tapping the phone and verifying with my fingerprint.
          I recently tried out the new versions of Android (“lollipop”) and while it is a big improvement, it’s still not as smooth as iOS IMO. Apps are not as polished and for some reason scrolling on android is always an issue.

        • The bending thing may be a nonissue (bring a klutz, my phone is always in a hard case.) But on principle I don’t want to drop that kind of money on something so flimsy. And agreed, I feel like Mac products as a whole are needlessly finicky and not intuitive. I have similar issues with my Imac. Great product, but those annoying little quirks really bug sometimes.

          I definitely want Swype and am thinking about the Note. I think the stylus and potential to add memory would be nice changes.

        • The screen shrinks down for things you can’t reach. You just tap (don’t push) the home button twice. It’s quite handy.

          • Yeah, I’ve tried that and I do like it as an option. But for causal browsing on my phone it would get annoying to click three times to return to something rather than once.

          • Both the Moto X and the Nexus (5 and 6) have bigger screens and are larger overall than the iphone 6. I assume they have a similar feature for the screen, but I have no clue. I feel your frustration because I went through pretty much the exact same thought process (in the reverse) last month. Had an iphone, got a Nexus (the samsung one), absolutely hated it, and ended up with the iphone 6. I quite like it. The android os had a couple of features I liked that aren’t on the ios, but I prefer ios. I think it’s because it’s the one I started with so I’m used to it. No phone is going to be perfect; I’m curious to see which one you end up with. After all my back and forth, I won’t be getting a new one anytime soon!

          • Ugh. I thought I had compared all of the sizes weeks ago an found the Moto X to be the same size as my old galaxy, but you’re right, it’s bigger. I could get the Nexus 5. I’m still going to give the iPhone a few more days to impress me.

          • Yeah, I don’t understand why phones keep getting bigger! The current iphone is the most I can manage. I have long fingers and I still have to use the shrink tool sometimes. Why can’t they make “mini” versions of some of these popular lines? I’d been considering the Nexus, but when they announced that the Nexus 6 would have a gigantic screen, that sealed the deal for me.

          • justinbc

            They’re all getting bigger for 2 reasons, 1) that’s what’s having the biggest increases in sales over the last couple of years, and 2) you can fit more tech in there, and people want higher specs.

        • justinbc

          No back button is indeed a pain in the ass. I’ve used Android phones since their beginning, and when I finally got an iPad to mess around on a few years ago it was probably the thing that took the longest to get used to.

    • What kind of Android do you have and why do you prefer it? A friend has a phone that goes into camera mode when shook. I love the idea of that feature!

      • Well, I don’t like my (obviously now outdated) Samsung Galaxy S3. There is a lot of bloatware and updating of some Samsung account that I never opted into.
        But, I like the Android OS. It excels with widgets, no need to open an app to google something, just type it in the google search field on your home screen. Or ask google, not Siri. Yes, you can ask google in the google app on the iPhone, but I don’t find it as convenient. I also love the back and settings buttons on all (almost all?) Android phones. Maybe I just couldn’t figure it out, but I couldn’t get rid of the key board in my Bank of America app on the iPhone to actually hit the submit button. On an Android you would just hit back and get rid of the keyboard. It also means that the back function is always in the same place and the settings for that app are always in the same place in every app.
        I can’t completely put my finger on this one, but I just miss the integrated google experience. Google cards, updating contacts in gmail on my laptop and knowing they are also now updated in my phone.
        I fully submit that some of my troubles with the iPhone are user inexperience/incompetence. But I’m the one that has to use it, so it does come down to preference. Also, Android L is going to solve a few things I was looking for, primarily accessing the camera from the lock screen and seeing larger chunks of texts and emails in the notifications on the lock screen. And improved battery life due to greater efficiency.

        • I really like my Nexus 5; I think the 6 is too big to comfortably use.

        • I get the feeling that all your Samsung problems can be solved by rooting your phone.

        • I’ve had both an android (personal) and iphone (work) for the past 2 years, and by far prefer the android for the same reasons! if i could replace my work iphone with an android, i would.
          the lack of back button and menu/setting option within apps is a killer for me. when i want to change the settings of an app, i hate that i have to exit completely out of the app, go to the home screen, open up the global settings, scroll to the appropriate setting section, select the app (that i was already in) and change the settings from there. what a PITA! so many extra steps using the iphone that could be solved if apple wasn’t so slavishly dedicated to form over function. yeah, my droid looks less slick because it has a few extra buttons, but boy do they come in handy.

          • I have no plan to give up on my iphone, but I agree that this is totally stupid. Worse is that there are often some settings made from within the app and others from the general settings app.

  • justinbc

    Rant: Finally got all of my accommodations booked yesterday for 3 weeks across Morocco, except for the last one, and now I’m terribly torn between two very different kasbahs (Toubkal and Tamadot) in the Atlas Mountains.
    Rave: Nothing but first world problems to stress over this week.

    • I hope it’s really Morocco you want to go, not Monaco. (anyone here old enough to get this 80’s sitcom reference?) 🙂

  • Rave: I’m not eating the thanksgiving lunch. http://tinypic.com/r/14bsxlt/8
    Rant: yesterday’s data meeting made many of us feel like crap
    Rant: long boring workshop on Chromebooks in the classroom after school today.

  • Accountering

    Rant: House is empty tonight. Next people don’t check in until 11/25. Very annoyed about that, especially as I turned down a couple two day bookings in hopes of getting a 3 or 4 day booking to fill the whole gap.
    Rave: This is my longest gap by far, longest prior to this was 2 nights. I still think I will find someone to take at least a couple of nights as well.
    Rant2: Got another quote on the Shaw house. Not nearly what I was hoping for, so definitely a tough decision to make.
    Rave2: Confident the project can go forward either way, and know that whatever Andie and I decide, will work out well!

    • justinbc

      If you want another reference / quote, Optima Designs is who we’ve used lately. Their prices have been pretty reasonable on everything so far and they’re a full service shop.

  • Rave: Silk underwear for wintertime dog walks and bike rides (plus silk glove liners).
    Rant: The NY Times article that listed Garam Masala Pumpkin Tart as the representative Thanksgiving recipe for DC. Looks like a great recipe but where’s the Half-Smoke Pumpkin Tart?

    • I think you were part of the which-type-of-gloves-to-use-while-cycling conversation yesterday. Forgive me if I missed it… which silk glove liners do you use/where did you get them?

    • I was irked when I saw the graphic on the NYT front page yesterday (or maybe it was the day before?) and there were little icons for the 50 states but nothing for D.C.
      When I clicked through on the article, I was slightly mollified by the headline (“recipes that evoke each of the 50 states (and D.C. and Puerto Rico)”… but still a little miffed. Where’s our cute icon, huh?

      • justinbc

        I found it odd that they used that recipe to represent DC, considering that like a dozen people ever got to experience it. It’s cute, sure, but hardly representative of the city.

        • epric002

          +1 i thought a lot of the meals that were “representative” of a state were bizarre. except georgia, which is totally pecan pie.

          • Maryland’s dish (which is really Baltimore’s dish) made more sense – sauerkraut with apples.
            Still, if it is Maryland’s dish then it should have crab and Old Bay.

      • I Dont Get It

        Persimmon pudding was a good choice for Indiana. Never heard of Kentucky ‘ s pocket dressing.

    • DC can hardly complain about that recipe. Check out the grape salad recipe for MN, which is both disgusting and something nobody in MN has ever eaten. They had wild rice to go with and they made up a vile warm grapes and sour cream salad?

    • Half those recipes were phoned in, IMHO. That said, I am totally making a Garam Masala pumpkin tart soon, if not for Thanksgiving.

    • Oddly, I had book marked a recipe for chai spice pumpkin pie two days before this article came out, and gave myself a teeny tiny pat of the back for doing some version of “calling” this one. That said, I think the choices aren’t “representative” of the states/territories, but rather “evocative,” to use the Times’ own word choice. Like, they may not be dishes that people in that place have on their tables every year, but they speak to preferences in that place and maybe give them a new recipes to consider this Thanksgiving.

  • this is such a privileged rant: I have to take the first two weeks off in December but still have not determined where I am going for vacation, if anywhere. Getting to Dominica is just too pricey, so I am skipping that. I’m considering Costa Rica, but that seems so bland. Colombia and Mexico are out because the gf wants to go to both places with me, as is Puerto Rico because I was already there this year. I’m trying to keep the flight under $600, but the longer I wait, the more likely I’ll end up just staying in the US.
    ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣
    rave: enjoying a final day with the bosses away
    ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣
    rave: I’m pretty much over my cold
    ♣ ♣ ♣
    rant: can’t make the KCDC class tonight on self-criticism in photography, which is too bad because it looks awesome.
    ♣ ♣
    rave: made a manchego and golden delicious apple salad last night that was fantastic.

    rave: gf made amazing swedish meatballs for dinner last night and THERE ARE LEFTOVERS!!!!

    • How about Guatemala?

    • Costa Rica is bland? I agree that the resort rich north western peninsula would be bland, but I went a few years ago and had a great time. I went to Monteverde, zip lined through a cloud forest, went to La Fortuna and hiked to the waterfall, rode a horse as transportation, went to the hot springs in La Fortuna and ate one of the best means of my life there, saw an active volcano, went to Dominca, took a snorkel trip past where the intro to Jurassic Park was filmed, did yoga on the ocean, met some awesome people, and ate amazing ceviche from a roadside stand.
      If you want more info I can send you the itinerary. I will say that it is fast and easy to get to and at the time was cheaper than flying cross country.

      • The choice of Costa Rica seems bland. I’m sure the country is gorgeous and wonderful, but it seems to be the go-to place for American tourists in Central America.
        That being said, please shoot me your itinerary! beau finley at google’s mailing system.

      • Seconded on “how is Costa Rica bland”? Yes, the Marriott resort at the beach probably is. But La Fortuna/Arenal is AMAZING and gorgeous and so much to do – hiking, rafting, hot springs, zip lining, waterfalls. I would go back in a second.

        • Costa Rica is where my bosses go. They are bland people. As I said above, “I’m sure the country is gorgeous and wonderful.” But the choice seems bland when there are so many other beautiful, wonderful, amazing and less tourist-y places.

  • Rant: Sewer backup flooding my basement apt. (At midnight of course, just after my dinner party guests had departed. )

    Revel: DCWASA showed up pretty quickly and snaked out the sewer line. Nothing too stinky came up.

    Rant: Need to pull up & replace one section of laminate flooring. Now must research eventual replacement material – has anyone found the miracle basement flooring? I know ceramic tile is best but expensive. Vinyl tile?

    Question – what is up with sewer lines backing up? I happened once before about 4 years ago. Nothing noticible came up in the snaking, and the guys really had no explanation as to why this happens.

    • For what it’s worth… when I was adding a kitchen to my basement, I went with ceramic tile. I’m sure there are expensive ceramic tiles out there, but the ones I chose were something like $1.10 per tile.
      It wasn’t really the tiles themselves that were expensive; it was the cost of having them professionally installed.

    • SFT

      You can also stain and seal the concrete if it’s in good condition (i.e. no cracks or lumps). Our basement flooded 3 times and we begged the landlord each time to stop putting carpet down. But it was the cheapest option for him, so we kept going through the process of pulling up carpet, putting in big fans to dry the new carpet. It was the worst! My uncle does granicrete floors in Florida – they are beautiful and generally cheaper than tile or wood. Not sure who does granicrete up here, but may be worth looking into!

    • You’d just had a dinner party? So, lots of flushing and handwashing and dishwashing? You probably just exceeded the line’s capacity. The pipe may have lost capacity over time, due to buildup or roots. But it’s not a problem with daily use, only with exceptional use. This happened to us, a few weeks after we moved in to our house. But it happened in the MIDDLE of the party. *shudder* The plumber found the pipe stuffed with construction debris. It wasn’t a total blockage; we hadn’t encountered a problem with just the two of us. But with 20+ people at a housewarming party….

      • I once moved into a new apartment, threw a party for the friends who helped me move, which is when we learned that the previous tenant routinely flushed her clumping kitty litter down the toilet. Oy.

      • I thought of that, but often have much larger parties here (the basement apt. is a rental – I live upstairs) and I have 12-15 family staying here every Thanksgiving, so that would be 100xs the stress on the sewer.

  • skj84

    Rant: now a coworker is offering my unsolicited advice, which on top not being helpful was incredibly patronizing. Just because I’m having a difficult week doesn’t mean my wee lady brain has forgotten all my training.

  • SFT

    RAVE: Peppermint flavored everything – I love the flavors of Christmas!!!!!!!!
    RANT: Tipping. I hate it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no miser, I tip at least 20% to just about everyone. But I really hate the process. I wish places would just tack on a service charge and pay their employees more money, so that I don’t have to think about carrying cash to give to every Tom, Dick, and Jane that needs a tip! Hair and nail places are the worst, you can’t even write in a tip on your card, you have to carry cash.

  • Rave: Trade Joe’s Indian food for lunch today, What up!
    Rant: I was not selected as a finalist for PMF but the pothead/druggie girl from my graduate program was. Karma, where are you?!

    • Those selections are totally whack (and I say this as someone who was a PMF). Sometimes potheads are really good at standardized tests, maybe?

      • SFT

        Or sometimes people who smoke pot are smart and capable human beings who are deserving of jobs and opportunities.

        • +1

          (and I say that as a non-user).

        • This. I don’t see what pot smoking (or not smoking, for that matter) has to do with this.

        • Allison

          Yeah, but to pass the background test necessary to be a PMF she will either have to lie on her application or tell the truth about how recently and how much she’s done drugs and pray they don’t disqualify her. Pot isn’t legal at the federal level. You want a federal job, you gotta abide by that. Them’s the breaks.

          • SFT

            Yes-ish. The adjudicative guidelines say that any drug use can result in a dq, but in real practice as long as there are mitigate measures in place (ie can show that you are curbing your use and plan not to use in the future) they will give you the clearance. It’s a fairly simple process and they don’t check on you at a future date. I have 2 friends who were honest about their marijuana use and were able to obtain TS clearances. I think, for marijuana at least, it’s becoming more and more tolerable.

          • Sorry, to clarify my statement above, I assumed that the person was high while taking the test. I also said the test was terrible because it has no real application to what your job would be. The only reason I was selected was because I am actually really good at standardized tests. But there were plenty of people from my grad school that could have done equally well in my position, or gotten a better PMF position.

          • SFT

            I get it. Most federal hiring decisions make no sense (IMO) and their selection practices need to be updated or made more transparent.

      • there is no bad karma for smoking pot….sorry you probably are ‘one of those’ typical dc Type A’s maybe they wanted someone a little more down to earth…or not. Enough with the stereotyping of someone who smokes pot as a ‘Druggie’, it has little to no adverse affect. I do everything baked. 99% of the time no one can tell the difference. Plus its legal now so you really should just move somewhere else if you don’t like it.

        • Well, technically not yet legal for another ~2 months. 😉

        • Allison

          Not on the topic of the broader discussion, but rather the fact that you think 99% of the time no one can tell you’re doing everything baked… consider whether that’s actually true. I used to have a law school classmate who was high all the time and swore no one could tell. Dude, we could totally tell, we just kept our mouths shut about it.

          • Yep, there’s a difference between indulging on the weekends or being responsible about it. It’s a whole another ballgame when this is what you’re known for. Just like drinking. Everyone knows someone who can throw it back but is still reliable and responsible. And everyone knows the “drunk” or the “party girl” or the girl you have to babysit and that affects how people think of them outside a party environment.

            And pot absolutely has some effect on you. Why do you do it otherwise? Alcohol has some effect on you, coffee has some effect on you, sugar has some effect on you. If nothing else, you are breathing smoke into your lungs. I couldn’t care less what people do — so long as they’re considerate of others and act like adults about it- but stop acting like pot doesn’t do something to you.

        • If you do “everything baked” then the reason 99% of the time no one can tell the difference is that in your case, there IS no difference.

    • I say pothead/druggie because there was lots of other hard drug use too. And drunk driving. General irresponsibility all around.

      • Oh yea? Remember that time in ’04 when Bush got elected president?

        • I mean…its none of anyones business if someone wants to smoke or take drugs (IMO). They won’t be able to get a high level security clearance, thats the only downside really. But some of us are okay with that. But its not karma that someone who smokes or does drugs got an opportunity….that doesn’t make sense. Not smoking doesn’t make you ‘a good person’ just as smoking doesn’t make you ‘a bad person.’ It sounds like you know this person personally and you are just jealous that they got an opportunity and are using smoking as a reason to justify it. What about based on credentials only not silly personal things?

          • I read this as the person that is a finalist for the PMF program uses hard drugs as well as pot and acts irresponsibly (drunk driving). And that the OP is reacting not to the drug use per se but to what the person does while under the influence.
            If s/he is using hard drugs, she will likely not get a security clearance. Or s/he lies about using hard drugs which also poses risks.

      • I think the irritation stems, also, from the idea that someone who very well may not be able to get clearance took a spot away from a person who may not have had any issues to mitigate. If the person thinks she can adequately mitigate, that’s great and power to her, but I understand how that can be an irritating situation for other applicants….

        • Agree with this – and lying on the security forms = perjury which could result in not only losing the job but also the possibility of being charged with a crime.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: Thinking I need to stop a medication b/c of bad side effects, but the Dr who prescribed it is no longer with the practice, so now I have to see the new Dr and talk about he pros and cons again. It’s exhausting just thinking about it.
    Rave: made it to my dentist appointment b/c they finally started sending reminders.
    Rave: got to see a different dentist in the practice. New dentists are always fun, because I have hill billy teeth.
    Rave: no cavities and baby tooth is a-ok!

  • I decided to see what all of the fuss about “Gone Girl” was about and got it from the library the other day.
    Rant: It started off awfully clunkily — so much so that I started another book instead.
    Rave: I picked it up last night and somehow the story took off and I became really absorbed in it. So absorbed that…
    Rant: I kept reading it until I finished, at 2 a.m. Oops.
    Rant: Began my workday by somehow knocking over a large water-filled vase in which I was growing some plant cuttings, getting water all over me and the floor.
    Rave: Prospect of an unofficial PoPville Thanksgiving get-together at the Black Squirrel.

  • Topic: DC Health Link Site Issues

    Hi. I’m writing in to ask other readers about their experience has been using DC Health Link to sign up for a new health insurance plan since Open Enrollment began this past Saturday (11/15)?

    The site has been incredibly slow, buggy, and error ridden. At this time, I have not been able to complete enrollment in the plan I’ve identified that best serves my needs.

    The reps at their customer service center are actually very nice, patient and helpful people, but are not tech people and the issues seem to exist outside of what they can actually do for me. Additionally, at their recommendation, I’ve ceded control of my account to them to complete the registration for me, but they’re still unable to.

    Are these issues other people signing up for new healthcare are facing? I’ve submitted Help tickets, attempted again each day since Saturday and also called each day to try to get further assistance, but no one is ever able to actually assist me.

    Likewise, does anyone have any suggestions about ways to get additional support, other contact numbers, email addresses, etc?

    I actually thought this would maybe be a ~news story by now given that we’re approaching a week into Open Enrollment, but haven’t noticed any local headlines, but admittedly, I haven’t been looking very hard.

    Btw, below is the copy/pasted text of the error message displayed when I click “Enroll”.


    “Error 404–Not Found

    From RFC 2068 Hypertext Transfer Protocol — HTTP/1.1:

    10.4.5 404 Not Found

    The server has not found anything matching the Request-URI. No indication is given of whether the condition is temporary or permanent.

    If the server does not wish to make this information available to the client, the status code 403 (Forbidden) can be used instead. The 410 (Gone) status code SHOULD be used if the server knows, through some internally configurable mechanism, that an old resource is permanently unavailable and has no forwarding address.”

  • Rant: DC cop riding his bike on the sidewalk this morning in front of the Hay-Adams, part of the no-bicycles-on-sidewalk zone.
    Rave: Am on a streak of really good books. For you peeps who liked Seabiscuit, check out The Boys in the Boat.
    Revel: I do not live in Buffalo, NY.

    • Additional rant: Chocolate chip cookies in the kitchen are, in fact, raisin. Vile bits.

      • The horror! And I am not kidding. Raisins ruin perfectly good baked goods and like to masquerade as delicious chocolate.
        Coconut is in on the game too. I almost spit out a cookie in the middle of a large meeting because I thought it was a sugar cookie, but it was actually a coconut cookie. Disgusting.

        • I’m with you on the raisins and coconut! I’m going to throw peanuts in there, too. Not because they masquerade as anything but I just don’t like them in my brownies and other delicious baked goods.

        • Ugh. I HATE coconut, and have occasionally encountered a coconut cookie that did not appear to be one.

      • Emmaleigh504

        I like raisins in cookies if I know they are raisins, but the disappointment when what you thought were chocolate chips are actually raisins is enough to make one give up on life.

      • I’m down with raisins. I think oatmeal and raisin were made to go together. With brown sugar, of course. It’s walnuts that need to die. What in the name of god is the purpose of the walnut?? They aren’t good roasted and salted. They don’t add crunch like almonds do. They taste like dirt. And worst of all, they hide. They have that weird beige translucence thing going on, and it acts as camouflage.
        Walnuts are the greasy sneaky assholes of the baking world.

  • Rant: Finally found out yesterday I didn’t get the job I was waiting to hear about after the interview, which went really well.
    Rave: Had a phone interview yesterday for another job, which probably pays about 1/3 of what the one I didn’t get does, but hey, it’s a job (possibly).

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: super short staffed at work and tomorrow I have to do a bunch of stuff I hate to do because everyone left works from home on Friday. Work is about to get a whole lot crappier.

  • Rant: potluck dinners where you’re told what to bring. I have a lot of food intolerance issues because of health problems. Pot lucks are usually great because I can bring something I can eat and if I can’t eat anything anyone else brings that’s OK b/c I won’t starve. Well, I’m headed to a T-day potluck and offered to bring a side and dessert (most other people will bring one thing). The host emailed back and told me what to bring. Both are things I don’t know how to cook. The side isn’t something that will be filling if I have to eat it on its own (once I figure out a good way to cook it) and the dessert is something I have never made and don’t like. Just ugh. I’m going to bring something else for me to eat as my main dish just in case without telling the host. I kind of knew when I said I’d go that this would happen, but it isn’t worth rocking the boat. I just need to remember next year that I LIKE spending the holidays alone.

    • I think you should tell the host that you don’t know how to cook the items you’ve been asked …told… to bring and remind him/her of your intolerances. Tell the host what you plan to bring instead. I think it’s one thing to have a list that shows what people are bringing so that you don’t end up with 10 gallons of potato salad, but it’s a completely different thing to TELL someone to bring items that they’ve never made before. I read an article on Yahoo yesterday that was called something like “the top 10 things not to do for a potluck.” The article itself was crappy, per Yahoo standards, but the comments were golden. Many people chimed in on what others perceived as appropriate and acceptable human behavior….frightening, but an entertaining read!

    • epric002

      that’s annoying. would the host really be that upset if you explained the situation/why you’d like to bring something else?

    • A reasonable host would usually not want people bringing things that they’ve never made before to a potluck. A reasonable host would also not want a guest to go hungry because they can’t eat what’s being served. Have you talked with the host to suggest bringing similar dishes that you know how to make and know that you can eat? Perhaps you can suggest several alternative desserts and sides — and the host can choose from your suggestions.

    • skj84

      Wow. The host sounds unreasonable. Most of host I know set up a spreadsheet for the guests to add what they are bringing. If the host has a request they’ll put it out for the general public.

    • I think you could tell the host you don’t know how to make x but would be happy to bring y or z.

  • Rave: Tate’s chocolate chip cookies. I tried them for the first time yesterday and they are the best cookies I’ve ever had, bar none, including homemade.
    Rant: the thought of hibernating until the spring thaw, holed up with books and Tate’s cookies is starting to seem sane. NOT a good sign.

    • i tried them from world market…they were good but i much prefer a soft warm cookie.

    • They used to be better…
      about 3-5 months ago they changed up the packaging & size of the cookies(i want to say recepie as well because i swear they taste just a smidge different) and they werent as good at all
      i think the have since changed back to the clear plastic package but the cookies stayed smaller and arent as good as they once were
      with all of that said… they are still pretty good though

      • Wow! I just discovered the best cookie in the world yesterday, only to learn that if I had discovered it 6 months ago, it would have been even better! Bummer! I guess in this case, ignorance will have to be bliss. 🙂

  • Rave: The Goldfinch being turned into a movie.
    Rant: Still no Secret History movie.

    • Reading the Goldfinch now (more than half-way through), and would love to hear folks’ take on it. So far, I’ve been a bit disappointed comparing it to A Secret History. Maybe more than a bit.

      • Reading The Goldfinch now. I liked the first part and now I’m a bit bored. I don’t like his friend at all. Trying to see if he will get away from Dad.

  • Rave: Someone wonderful and kind found and turned in my Nana’s gold bracelet that I lost – it was at Starbucks!

    RANT: Starbucks confirmed they had it and then couldn’t find it. Three visits later – they still don’t know where it is. So now I get to file a police report and they get to go through video.

    Rave: Spent the morning outdoors and in the sunshine.

  • Rant: There is a rustling noise coming from somewhere behind my desk/credenza setup at the office. Not constant, just intermittent. I can’t think of any good explanation that doesn’t involve mice. 🙁

  • Rant: bicyclists. I know that the majority of your issues is because of idiot drivers, and I commiserate with you on the risks associated with riding in this town, but you know what? You do, actually, have to stop from time to time. Not just at stop lights, but also sometimes at stop signs and *sometimes* just because traffic is bad. Don’t pound on the side of a bus or car because your right to fly down the street at any time of day has been compromised. You’re part of traffic. Every once in a while, you do get stuck in it along with us pedestrians and every other moving being on the streets.
    Rave: Americanah is a great book.

  • Rant: I need new, nice, knee high leather boots, and would also like a pair of waterproof boots (other than my big ol’ rainboots). Thought I’d found a pair of shoes that fit the bill for both (yay saving money!) on Amazon, but they came yesterday and were disappointing at best. Now I’m running around trying to find boots that my pronating, arch-support-needing feet can deal with and that won’t set me back too much, and…argh.

    Rave: Going home for Thanksgiving on Tuesday!!

    • epric002

      i’m with you on the boots. ordered 5 pairs from zappos and didn’t really like any of them 🙁 whaa.

    • Check out Abeo. They come with orthotics and now have boots.

    • I also went through a long boot search. I have high arches and wide feet. Ended up spending a lot of money on La Cannadienne boots, some of which come in wide on Zappos. They’re waterproof and should last a long time.

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