Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user VJ Kapur

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.

259 Comment

  • Emmaleigh504

    Unofficial HH at Southern Hospitality Oct 15. Theme: hats!

    • Quotia Zelda

      Grr, posting from my phone is not easy. Let’s try that again.
      Rave: Taking Eldest Zelda to NY for the weekend.
      Rant: She needs to be completely packed before she leaves for class because we’re heading to the train station straight after class. Packing in a timely manner is not her strong suit. It’s pretty much impossible to overstate my anxiety level right now.
      Rave: I have nerve pills.

  • A few months ago, my car was subject to a “relocation tow” in Adams Morgan/Dupont. Apparently, they needed to do some urgent gas line work and had to tow all the cars parked on a stretch of Vernon St. According to the photographs accompanying the lovely $150 ticket I received, the sign prohibiting parking was created on 4/21 (or maybe 4/20, as the writing is a little messy). The ticket was issued on 4/22. Since this was a residential street, the statute says it has to be posted 72 hours in advance. I obviously didn’t get 72 hours notice, according the very sign that they used against me.

    I contested the parking ticket and lost. The “opinion” (if you want to call it that) doesn’t even address my contention, and just says I failed to present sufficient evidence to refute the ticket.

    WTF? Anyone else have experience with this?

    • Accountering

      This drives me absolutely nuts. I support our parking ticket writers 100%, but when they screw up, the appeals process needs to work.

    • I successfully appealed some unjustified tickets in the mid-2000s and was thus very surprised a few years when I appealed an unjustified ticket (with photo evidence) and my appeal was rejected. I don’t know what’s changed, but something is not right.

    • You mention “some urgent gas line work” — I wonder if there’s an exception to the 72-hour rule for emergency-type work, like the kind of thing that could endanger people if not addressed immediately. (Although in that case I think it would be fairer for them to do a courtesy tow and not ticket you.)

      • OP here. Yes, there is waiver in case of extraordinary circumstances, but they don’t invoke it here. I think it should be their basic burden to show proper notice was given, or that a waiver is being claimed.

        And your second point, EXACTLY. I have no problem with them towing my car if they must — just don’t make me pay $150 for it.

        • I _think_ you can appeal a second time if your first appeal isn’t granted — you might try that.
          With my most recent unjustified ticket, there was no ticket on my car and nothing in the mail initially. So the first I learned of it was when I got something in the mail saying that the $30 ticket had doubled to $60 because I hadn’t paid or protested it within the initial 30-day period.
          I appealed and my appeal was rejected. At that point, the only way to appeal any further involved an additional $10 fee. I was so incredulous that my initial appeal (with photo evidence) had been rejected that I figured I would just be sacrificing another $10 if I tried again, so I went ahead and paid it. 🙁

          • I think how it works is that you (1) contest the ticket. If that’s denied (as was the case with me), you get to (2) file a motion for reconsideration, which is examined by the same person who presided over your initial contest. #2 is free. If #2 fails, then you can appeal, which I believe costs money and does not involve a hearing.

          • Right, but because I missed the first opportunity to contest the ticket (within the initial 30-day period), I started at step #2.

          • justinbc

            Yes, you can appeal to the adjudication board. You do have to pay the ticket amount to appeal (which they say only gets cash if you lose, but they cash it immediately then refund you whenever your appeal hearing finally occurs). Mine took 2.5 years to finally get through, so don’t expect a quick decision.

    • Speaking of $150, I just got a ticket in the mail for running a light while turning right on a red light, and I don’t think that I did it. Does anyone have any experience appealing/contesting a red light ticket?

      • Is there a photo accompanying the ticket? That’s generally the case.

        • There is two photos of my car that I received in the mail, but I clearly have my brakes on in the first picture behind the crosswalk, then 2 seconds later I am turning, but both pictures say that my speed was 11 mph. That just doesn’t make sense. Wondered if anyone else may have had luck contesting that type of thing.

          • It does make sense if you were slowing down (through 11mph) when the first pic was taken and then accelerating (through 11mph) when the second was taken. If you went (I assume) only a short distance in the 2 seconds between photos, that would be consistent with a deceleration followed by an acceleration without a complete stop in between – i.e. running a red light while turning right on red. Obviously I don’t know what you actually did, but it’s not an impossible scenario at all. In fact, this is what lots of people do when they are turning right on red, and I would bet that many of them think they actually came to a complete stop.

          • LOL, no way in heck you came to a complete stop at the red light if the camera shows you turning 2 seconds later. A “complete stop” would at least be 5 seconds, IMHO. Look up the DC driving rules, it should define the amount of time required to meet the definition of “complete stop.”
            Basically, you ran a red light.

          • Keep in mind if you are considering contesting this ticket that the photos you received are screenshots from a video. As soon as you start questioning how they can know you didn’t stop from the two photos, they’ll show you the video.

  • rant+rave: I want that pizza please.

  • Rant: Quoted $300 to get a bridesmaids dress altered. What the what.
    Rave: Andie coming through with a much cheaper option if I can’t find a place to do it for less. Awesome friends are awesome.
    Question (maybe for jeslett): How do you keep a chalkboard wall clean?! Ours has this faint white chalky residue on it and it’s driving me nuts!

    • I read that you’re supposed to clean it with a damp cloth, not with an eraser.
      Mine does have a faint chalk haze though. I let the chalkboard paint dry for three days, then I “conditioned” it by rubbing chalk the long way on the whole thing, then wiping that off with a damp cloth. I have no idea what that really does, but the people of Pinterest are pretty adamant about it.

      • Yeah, that’s basically what we did too. Even with the damp cloth there’s a streaky haze. I did read somewhere that you can dip a sponge in cola and it takes the haze away but I’m nervous about having a gross sticky wall.

    • $300 just for alterations?? How much was the dress itself?
      (And is this the infamous “jellyfish”/ladyparts dress?)

      • Ugh yes, the infamous dress that’s been sitting in my closet for almost a year now! The wedding is finally upon us. The dress itself was “only” $250!

        • hammers

          I probably just wouldnt have it altered. it sounds like a hideous dress you’ll never wear again. If it’s too long, I’d just figure out a way to hem it or even cut it myself. If it’s saggy I’d just pin it tighter. I’d also secretly be spiting my friend for making me wear a stupid and expensive dress. but that is probably why no one wants me in their wedding…….

          • I would definitely just pin it/cut it myself if I could but the *entire* thing is too big. I wish it was cause I had lost weight but the dress just has no shape to it so I had to go up two sizes for it to fit my boobs/hips, but then everything is just huge on me. Sigh.

          • hammers

            it doesnt have to look good, just cover the bits! maybe there are some fashion model tips you could look up, I bet they do all kinds of creative things for runway shows to keep clothes on people. In stores, they always use binder clips. Maybe you could make some sort of long tuck with velcro? I just don’t think you should have to sink hundreds of dollars into something for a few photos that arent even yours.

          • Emmaleigh504

            Take a stapler to it!

          • I absolutely agree, hammers! I’m going to Pinterest/google this ish right now. 🙂

        • I Dont Get It

          were you planning on wearing it to the reception or were you going to dump it as soon as the ceremony and pictures were complete? #TeamDuctTape

      • Wait, what the what? I am trying to picture this, and I’m a little scared for SparklyKittyTacos!

  • Rave: Took Victoria’s idea for the fish, tweaked it a bit and cooked something that was received with general acclaim. Thanks Victotria and also artemis, FKA shawess and TOG whose suggestion have been committed to the mental recipe file for the next time around — or when I stumble across a good piece of black cod.
    Chuckle: That some thought that I was seriously suggesting that the disgruntled condo person deploy the homeless, start rumors of stabbings and cook durian stew to disrupt the (maybe not so) Nasty Neighbor’s open house. I guess it’s a generational thing, but for some of us (if nothing else) the phrase “that would be wrong” is a sure tip-off.
    Signage: Yes, Blithe, I once had the Whitelaw Hotel sign, from back when it was a gas station. I lived directly across the street from it and and during the renovation — probably because it was added on and not part of the original building– it was pulled down and thrown into a dumpster. In retrospect, I have no idea how I circumvented the barbed-wire-topped fencing around the construction site and hauled the thing out of the dumpster and back to my house, but it must have been a heroic and/or deranged effort because the thing is pretty big. After hauling it to two homes in Denver and back to DC, I finally decided that I was never going to have a place to put it, and so reluctantly turned it over Pablo, who was working with the Whitelaw people at the time, on the condition that they give it a good home and feed it only vegan sign food.

  • Rant: Only 4 hours of sleep last night first due to insomnia, then a 4:30 am wake up from the toddler. I can barely keep my eyes open.
    Rave: I should be able to get out early today to go take a nap before daycare pickup.
    Rave: Short girls trip to NY this weekend. Only there for a day an a half, but in that time, we’re going to see 2 shows! I could never live there, but I do love going to visit for short periods of time.

  • I keep forgetting to ask: How was Brookland around the Pope’s visit? Was it as visigoth-like as feared? Were the gutters clogged with broken rosaries and virgin Mary candles after?

    • I Dont Get It

      I went to the very hidden Comcast store the day he spoke to Congress and Brookland was empty and very clean!

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: I’m behind on so many emails and such. It’s not intentional, my brain is fogging up.
    Rave: Dates are in place for my apartment to get rewired and a dishwasher put in. week after next!

  • Rave: Had a really nice evening hanging out with friends in my building and celebrating Oktoberfest! Great food, beer, friends, what more can you ask for?
    Rant: Drank more than I should have for a weekday! Oy my head this morning!
    Rant: Still waking up in the middle of the night and having trouble going back to sleep.
    Rave: Friday! The weekend is almost here!
    Rant: will be taking a bunch of work home this weekend in an attempt to keep my head above water
    Rave: Oh well, at least I can work in my jammies!
    Rave? Date lined up for Sunday brunch? Still need to flesh out the details, but I’m intrigued by this guy…We’ll see what happens, I guess

  • Rave: Soup week continues! Yesterday I made chicken noodle. Rice noodles, celery and carrots. Its my lunch today. I have maybe 3 cups of broth left. I think I’m going to attempt Chicken and dumplings.

    Rant: Disclaimer: I acknowledge this is probably going to come off as a bit whiny, but it was a frustrating situation. I had a hankering for oysters after work yesterday and decided to stop by a well known spot near my office. They offer half price oysters and beer for happy hour. I wanted to sit outdoors since the weather was gorgeous. I walk in and ask if I can grab happy hour outdoors and receive an affirmative. I order my oysters and one is bad. I immediately spat it out and the server took it away. When I receive my check I am shocked to find out I’ve been charged non happy hour price and for the bad oyster. I didn’t want a conflict so I paid and left. Afterwards I called the manager who told me that happy hour was not available on the patio and that he “was sure the oysters were fresh, they came in that morning.”

    I’m miffed that I received false info on the happy hour space. I specifically asked if it was available outdoors, had I been told otherwise, I would’ve dined at the bar. And he was a bit too dismissive of my concern about the bad oyster. He did make a vague offer to comp a round of drinks and apps the next time I come in, but didn’t take my info or give me his. So I’m not exactly holding him to it. I want to go to corporate for a refund. Am I being unreasonable here? It was not a good experience at all.

    • Oh yeah, always address food and service issues on the spot. There’s no need to be confrontational. Bad oysters, bad bottles of wine, and service mixups can happen anywhere.
      This used to be a source of friction with my husband; he never wanted to send anything back. Thought it was rude. My take is, “We’re not guests in someone’s home here. The restaurant has no emotional interest in this sour bottle of wine. They DO have a commercial interest in our good experience, so let’s let them make it right.”

    • I don’t think you’re being unreasonable. They definitely shouldn’t have charged you for the bad oyster, happy hour or not. And if you asked them whether the happy hour was in effect outdoors and they said yes, then they misled you. (Do you remember what your exact wording was?)
      I’d probably go back to the manager before going to corporate. All you really want is a credit for the bad oyster and for the price difference between happy hour and non-happy hour, right?

      • Exactly. I don’t need a full comp. Just the oyster and difference. I wouldn’t expect a comp on my drink, it wasn’t on happy hour. My exact words were, “can I grab Happy Hour outside?”

        • After thinking about it some more, now I think you could also go straight to corporate, given that the manager was defensive about the oysters and should have offered you to credit your credit card. What’s the point of future freebies at a restaurant that has already (literally and figuratively) left a bad taste in your mouth?

          • Accountering

            It sounds like you wanted a refund of about $5, which is totally legit. Its not the money, its the principle, and I agree with you on this principle.

    • Yummy on soup week! Another suggestion: Ina Garten’s Italian Wedding Soup is amazingly delicious. That’s what I’ve been eating this week 🙂

    • Blithe

      Nope, you’re not being unreasonable at all. You had two very legitimate concerns — the pricing and the bad oyster. While I would recommend addressing such problems immediately and face to face with the manager, you did give the manager a chance to address the problems. That he dismissed the problem with the oyster — which could have made you ill — is not a great sign, but I also think that dealing with your complaint by phone isn’t ideal either. If I were you, I would stop by the restaurant with your receipt and your complaints — and give the manager an opportunity to make it right. Only then would I go to corporate — but that’s just me.

  • Rant: My fingers smell like garlic – man is that stuff elusive
    Rave: Dinner in the crockpot for the first time this season
    Rave: Fun date night last night
    Rave: I know it’s going to get too cold to bike to work soon, but for now…it’s glorious
    Rant: Best friends dad is possibly getting married to his girlfriend because of an ultimatum…just yuck.

    • No, no, no!! Why do people do this? Both provide the ultimatum and the person caving?! Ugh, I cannot imagine getting married under that pretense.

    • For the garlic smell, try rubbing a cut lemon all over you fingers, including under your fingernails, then scrubbing with a bit of salt or a salt or sugar scrub, then regular soap. Should help.

  • Rave: Dear friends are getting married this weekend, and I am officiating. I’m so excited for them.
    Rant: Dear friends getting married + generally being sentimental about people I love + pregnancy hormones = the need for waterproof mascara tomorrow
    Rave: Long weekend ahead! Yes, I get all the ethical quandaries of celebrating Columbus, but I am jet lagged and in need of a day to sleep in.

  • RAVE: Last minute decision to hit up St. Arnold’s in Cleveland Park last night for dinner. Gorgeous evening to sit outside and eat mussels!
    RAVE: friend’s wedding in VA this evening at a vineyard.
    RANT: storms and rain potential moving in around 6pm. Outdoor ceremony should be done by then, thankfully!
    RAVE: hiring a private driver so we don’t have to worry about driving and can enjoy the evening! 😀

    • Accountering

      Do you mean Uber? 🙂

      • Nah, had to arrange with an actual private driving company that is taking a group of us in an SUV and picking us back up at 11pm. The vineyard is 35 minutes past Dulles and they specifically told the bride that guests often have a difficult time getting an Uber home at night. They’ve had guests stranded!
        We don’t want to take any chances, so we just sucked it up. It’s not cheap :-/

    • When we got married at a winery in VA, we hired a limo company to offer shuttle buses to and from the hotel. I realize not everyone stays at a hotel for weddings, but it was a must-have for our boozy guests 🙂

  • New Rant: Starting to get annoyed at how incredibly unprofessional and rude one of my office mates is. Actually, “starting to” is inaccurate, I’ve been annoyed for months now, but I’m reaching the point where I’m going to stop hiding my annoyance soon. There is no call to speak so rudely to me when I ask for something.

  • Guilty Rave: In a rare driving day, I needed to get from Alexandria to North Bethesda and back yesterday for a serious of meetings. The beltway HOT lanes are addictively fast and efficient, but absurdly expensive. The whole “private road” thing while everyone else sits in traffic is just weird.
    Rave: Legitimacy of the holiday aside, Columbus Day weekend always seems to sneak up on me, right at a time when I could really use it.
    Rave: Looking like a gorgeous day for the Army Ten Miler.
    Question: Is Taste of DC remotely worth it? So much I’d like to try, but I’m thinking spending $20 just to get in the gate, then spend 30min+ in a sardine-like line just to spend even more money for a little bit of food again and again just isn’t worth it. Any different experiences?

    • topscallop

      I hope it will be good, since I bought tickets! But I got mine through living social so they were only $12 each. I agree it’s not so fun to buy a ticket and then have to pay more inside for things. But the weather should be beautiful.

      • palisades

        the ticket comes with one beer and a bowl from ShopHouse so that pays for the ticket I suppose. Samples are $1-$3 so that isn’t TOO bad. The only awful thing will be the lines.

        • Accountering

          Bargain. Shophouse is probably my new favorite restaurant. To overtake Chipotle was not an easy task, let me just say.

    • justinbc

      Wow, $20 admission now? It’s only been a few years since it was FREE. We went the first two years when it was free and then $5, and I found most of the sample items pretty crappy to be honest. It’s so hard to encapsulate your restaurant in a bite, and have it sit out there for hours. The fact you have to pay admission plus $3-5 per sample if I recall leads me to say no deal, primarily due to the quality of the sampled items.

      • i had similar feelings, but a friend wants to go and they got a deal like topscallop did up above. and it appears they’re lowering the “bites” to $1-$3 this year, so i think that’s reasonable (along with the ticket price including a drink).

  • Two of my 5 foster kittens got adopted and now Sally & Robin get access to my lap. They are overjoyed, but my legs are going numb. Come meet them tomorrow at an adoption event at PetMAC 12-2:00.

  • Accountering

    Rave: Had a blast at the Caps season ticket holder party yesterday. It was at Six Flags, and included free entry, most of the rides, free parking, and free dinner! Rode Superman Ride of Steel twice, Jokers Jinx twice, and Apocalypse. All with no lines! Normally I am not a fan of amusement parks (too many kids, long lines, $60 to get in, $20 for parking and $10 sodas, always feels like it is 100*) but this checked all the boxes, just a few hours, free, and no lines! Go Caps!
    Rave2: Tenants checked in last night. Left work early to mount the tv on the wall and then hooked up to our FIOS after Amazon delivered a coax cable with same day delivery. Busy week getting the place ready, and so happy to be past the finish line!
    Rave3: Friday! Heading down to the parents river house for the weekend. Love the fall down there, lots of time by the fire, s’mores, wine, and nothing to do!
    Rant: Childhood cat is likely going to pass today or maybe did last night. She is like 12, but got some sort of tumor and went downhill yesterday. Feeling for my dad who has to go through this solo – mom is out of the country for a three week work trip in Africa and returns Saturday.

    • palisades

      I was lucky enough to tag along with my friend to the season ticket holder party 2 years ago. Loved having no lines! Unfortunately, the food was godawful. Cold hot dogs and burgers. That was kind of a bummer.

      • We had mediocre chicken sandwiches, but they did give out the cafeteria style ice cream…so that was cool 🙂 Also very weird to see a bar there and NO ONE patronizing it. I don’t think they were charging for drinks!

    • I’m sorry about your family cat, but good to hear Six Flags was fun. I keep meaning to go, but never do, also because of many of the same reasons you listed.
      I have a quick question for you…I joined Ally a while ago based in part on your glowing recommendations here. Did you see the email about the rates changing, and being based in part on the size of your balance? What are your thoughts?

      • Accountering

        I think interest on checking accounts is nonsense. Unless you carry a huge balance (20k) it isn’t even worth worrying about. Even a 20k balance at .5% is only $100/year. If you are in a position to have 20K in the bank, there are more important things to worry about financially then whether you are getting $100 or $60 in interest.
        What I really like about them is the good customer service, the fact they pick up the phone when I call, and that they aren’t just generally horrible (IE BOA/WF/Citi)

      • Accountering

        The one I was annoyed by is the change in ATM fee reimbursement. To cap it at $10/month was a bit annoying.

    • Emmaleigh504

      I’m so sorry about your cat.

    • special_k

      I’m so sorry about your cat. I hope your dad has some support–it’s so difficult to go through a loss like this alone.

    • Accountering

      Turns out she is getting put down today at 4:30pm. My little brother who is job searching is going up to the vet with my dad. Feel for him most of all. He liked her a lot. Sucks..

    • So sorry to hear about your family’s cat. It’s good that she’ll have two people who love her there with her, though, hard as it will be for them.

  • Rant: We had to fire someone here yesterday who was very well-liked by everyone (it’s unfortunate, but it had to happen). Sigh.

    Rave: It’s Friday!

    Rave: I’m trying out Campono for dinner tonight before “Beautiful” and looking forward to both things very much!

    Rave: I have two dates this weekend — one was rescheduled, and he seems like a good guy and the other one is someone I am incredibly intrigued by (so far great email and we’re talking tonight), but he lives in Baltimore. Trying to do the whole “in the moment” thing instead of future-projecting about potential issues, though. We’re meeting in Friendship Heights. I’ve never really been to that area before, but fingers crossed it will be great. Then I’m going to Strathmore that evening for a concert.

  • Rant: Law school can you really make you feel stupid sometimes
    Rave: But I’ve never felt so sure that I’m exactly where I belong. Even on the days of rough cold calls and late nights, it’s fulfilling.
    Rant: Sleep. Haven’t slept well in about eight weeks. Combination of missing the fiance and suite mate that wakes up super early is a struggle.
    Rave: Went a little crazy online shopping at Sephora, Bluemercury, and Nordstrom. Yay for samples and new bras!

  • I Dont Get It

    Rave: My new Alpine Swiss wallet! It even has a little ID case that you can pop out to take only your ID and some bills when you go to ‘Da Club.
    Rant: People who say ‘Da club.
    Rave: Playing “Where in the World” last night on the long gone and much lamented Nasty Neighbor thread.
    Rave: The easy answer was found. But what other PoPville’er once briefly had possession? I see now it has been revealed dag nab it!.

    • I’m now curious–where is the “Nasty Neighbor” thread so I can go check it out?

      • It looks like PoP deleted the whole thing 🙁 Having read much of it before it was deleted, I can see why, but I think Emily Post’s Rules of Blogging Etiquette (should such a thing ever be written) would require that when a blogger deletes a whole post, they at least leave the headline and a brief note afterwards explaining that it has been taken down, and hopefully adding it was taken down for x, y, and z reasons, so that the readers know what happened and also so that the readers don’t think they’re crazy when they can’t find it. Just seems polite…

        • I Dont Get It

          I like this idea!

        • Blithe

          I like your suggestion. Looking — repeatedly — for a post that wasn’t there, so that I could respond to a tangent, was a bit bewildering. At the same time, I have a problem with one-sided posts where people pile on about other people referenced in the post, who have no opportunity for corrections and rebuttal. I enjoyed the soap opera-ness of it, I’m glad that the neighbor was able to provide another side to balance out the OP’s complaints, and I’m glad that the post was taken down. My bewilderment was a little comical though: “I’m SURE I just wrote that SOMEWHERE…..but WHERE”? lol

        • justinbc

          I only got like halfway through the overly tangential OP and couldn’t ever make time to finish it. Now I’m bummed I missed the comment section, must have been lively.

        • Synopsis? Screen shot? Cliff Notes?
          I missed this whole episode

          • PoP posted a “Dear PoPville” that was someone’s rambling missive about her neighbor, whom she didn’t like. It included a lot of extraneous information. A bunch of people commented.
            About an hour later, the neighbor in question later showed up on the thread. Although the neighbor seemed to be the more reasonable/sympathetic of the two, she provided some extraneous information about the OP, so neither party was really occupying the moral high ground.

          • This was what I had posted before the neighbor showed up in the thread:
            “TLDR summary: OP dislikes Neighbor. However, Neighbor is moving out, rendering the whole story moot.
            “Slightly more detailed summary: OP dropped her (?) car key. Neighbor found it. Neighbor e-mailed everyone else in the co-op except OP asking if this was anyone’s key. No response, so a few days later Neighbor threw the key out. OP is outraged and thinks Neighbor owes her an apology and perhaps some money.”

          • Thanks – Read first few comments and thought it would be a boring post with people mostly saying “move on”

      • I Dont Get It

        It was deleted.

      • It’s been deleted.

      • Prince Of Petworth

        It was taken down at the request of one of the subjects. This site has never been about “gotcha” this or that. In most cases, unless it’s a public figure, if some requests a post or comment be deleted I do so. I don’t like to but I also don’t intend to make folks miserable either. Hope everyone understands. But of course, apologies for the confusion.

    • Blithe

      Thanks for playing “red herrings” with me last night! Very fun!!!! 🙂

  • Rant: When the Washington Post and others use shortened URLs (wapo.st, bit.ly, etc.) in a non-Twitter context. Come on — if it’s in the context of a regular article, posting, etc., and there’s no need to economize on the number of characters, what’s the point?? It obscures what the link is actually pointing to, which is irritating enough, AND my work’s IT (and probably others’ too) blocks those domains.
    Rave: Upcoming three-day weekend!

  • Rant (And A Question for You Popvillians): I work in an open plan office, and the colleague who sits next to me is always on non-work websites. Every time I turn to talk to him – or just turn around to do anything – I catch a glimpse of his screen and get distracted by Facebook/Buzzfeed/the website for his dog’s daycare/whatever. It’s actually really screwing with my productivity. I’ve tried to just keep my eyes to myself, but… we’re in an open plan office and this colleague and I have to communicate regularly throughout the day, so seeing his screen is unavoidable. Any suggestions?

    • does the colleague have enough work? is there any way, if you work with him, you could delegate some more work to him? people in my office like to hog work, and being low on the totem pole, i often end up with very little, if any — and half the time it doesn’t even get to me so i can grab it. perhaps it’s a boredom issue rather than a productivity issue on his part?

      • I’m not his manager, so I can’t do anything about what he does with his day as long as it doesn’t negatively impact the work we collaborate on (which I don’t think it does). It’s my own problem, and I don’t know how to fix it! Was wondering if other people had the same issue and how they addressed it successfully.

        • yeah, in that case i think you need to learn to ignore. how you do that, i’m not sure, since it’s never been something that bothered me… sorry i don’t have useful advice there!

    • I think if the websites aren’t inappropriate, you have to just work on not becoming distracted. This seems like more of a “you having problems staying focused” issue than a “my co-worker is doing something he shouldn’t and it’s messing with my productivity; how do I get him to stop?” issue.
      Though – video feed into Doggie Daycare? Seriously? I think people who watch their KIDS on daycare video feeds are over the top; I’ll refrain from further comment on those who do the same for their pets.

    • My only suggestion, and I mean this kindly, is mind your own business. The surveillance method of management is the worst– doesn’t improve productivity, bad for morale. And sounds like you’re not even his manager.
      I don’t understand how a glimpse of someone else’s activity can distract you from your work.

      • I take it kindly – and you’re right, I am super easily distracted and that’s my problem! I just don’t know how to work on that. HELP.

        • Are you on good terms with him? Perhaps you could ask him to use a privacy filter on his screen. You’d probably have to buy it yourself, and you’d have to own up to your issue, and you’d have to have the kind of environment where no one would take it amiss. It would probably mean explaining to everyone around sooner or later. I used to work in an open office, and people always did a double-take when they realized they couldn’t see my screen. Made me realize how many people are trying to see what you’re looking at! (I never do, so it hadn’t occurred to me.)

        • hammers

          what about rewarding yourself with a little break every hour or half hour of concentration? a walk around the office, or a visit to those sites yourself?

        • hammers

          maybe you can just ask him what hes looking at all the time and go look at the interesting stuff over his shoulder. this could 1) quench your interest in what he’s looking at, 2) clue him in to the fact that he is looking at a lot of non work related stuff at work, and maybe he should stop//or annoy him enough that he doesnt want to look at anything juicy anymore! (kind of a joke suggestion)

        • hammers

          also possibly consider shifting your work hours to be earlier/later than others? I get the most done in a quiet office. Most people I work with are gone by 4, so my golden hours are 5-7 or so.

      • +1
        Not sure how this is even an issue for your colleague, as he can’t control where you place your eyes. Sounds like you get distracted way too easily. Perhaps listening to some music on headphones will keep you more focused? Good luck!

      • Having been in this situation, I think the best thing is to ignore. I know it’s difficult, I know it’s frustrating, but there’s not much you can do if management doesn’t do anything.

    • Blithe

      Um, I don’t mean to diminish your concern, but don’t you think it’s a little funny that you’re posting on a non-work website to voice your concern about a colleague posting on a non-work website? If you’re distracted, perhaps you could change something about your desk set-up that would make it easier for you to focus. You could also suggest something like that to him — i.e. moving his computer screen, because of your own difficulty with focusing.

    • Can you create “blinders” – stack folders upright to block his screen – or something?

    • hammers

      said, while presumably at work, on popville. I get that it’s frustrating, and seemingly unfair (I have a colleague who is usually watching tennis or crossfit when I walk by) but I don’t see why it would affect YOUR productivity. Do you mean you are distracted by trying to figure out what he is looking at? Does the person manage to get his or her work done? Or do you feel the rest of the team is shouldering the weight of a slacker? Some people can finish in 2 hours what would take others a few days. If it isn’t affecting your workload, I suggest just training yourself not to look at his screen.

    • I should have phrased my question better: I’m the one who needs to do something differently, not my colleague! But thank you for your suggestions 🙂 I like the idea of “rewarding” myself with a little stretch every 30 minutes. (And by the way – I was working from home on Friday morning, not Popvilling at the office!)

  • Now I want pizza…

  • palisades

    Rant: Kendrick Lamar at Lincoln Theater sold out within 10-15 seconds of going on sale. I had the page to buy tickets open on 3 browsers and my phone and I couldn’t get through. By 10:01, it was already saying sold out.

  • Pablo Raw

    Rant: Took the metro after a photo gig a couple nights ago, as I was getting in the metro car a guy coming out shook my hand “nice mustache”!! I was surprised by the compliment but also thought the handshake was unnecessary, I looked at him and didn’t recognize him. Hmmm…
    Rant: Then a guy sat next to me and I notice he was looking at what I was doing on my iPad.. “You are taking photos of yourself huh?” I looked at him and said “NO”. “You are clearly taking photos of yourself!!” and then I didn’t pay attention to him. It was really awkward for several metro stations until he got off the train. Another introvert-extrovert encounter.
    Rave: Camping plans.

    • What?! that is so creepy, Pablo! If someone randomly shook my hand and complimented me, I would immediately be scanning the area for tiny street urchins who may have just pickpocketed me! I’d also have been nervous that the guy was eyeing up my iPad with plans to grab it and run off at the next stop. But basically, my first inclination is to assume the worst about people. I’m working on trying to change that.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Bonus Rave: Got my flu shot. I hope everyone who is able get’s their shot, too.

  • Rant: Cramping. Supposedly it’ll help in the long-run, but damn it’s uncomfortable. And seems to last longer if it sets in at bedtime and then I can’t fall asleep. Argh.
    Rave: Still pregnant. I have grand baking plans for the weekend that I want to implement!
    Rant: One-track mind these days. Sorry folks.
    RAVE: Hockey season starting back up again! Looking forward to some CAPS hockey!!!!

  • Funny: I always give ample notice yet roomie still asks if someone is coming constantly. Same person who gave me 30 mins notice that her friend was spending the night for an indeterminate period of time. Mind you, I’m not showing her room anymore, so no worse than having a quick guest. Chill out!
    Rave: Person seems very interested in the place. Fingers crossed. And signed lease for the other room.
    Rant: Long hours ahead, but I hope new job coincides perfectly with end of the current.
    Rant: Demolished pint of gelato far too fast last night.
    Rant: Bump on my head from an aggressive acorn.

  • Rant: Just logged into facebook to a big congrats to my ex-husband on his wedding this weekend. I’m still friends with his sisters. I’m happy for him, I hope he’s happy, but I still don’t really want to SEE it. Ugh. It just sort of creeps me out that that was my life for so long…all the same people, etc. Almost like I was body-snatched out of it and someone else subbed in. I hope they have a better go of it! The worst part is that I know she’s so petty that if I liked this post (which I won’t, even if I am happy for them) she would freak out on him. Andddd end rant.

    • “I hope they have a better go of it! The worst part is that I know she’s so petty that if I liked this post (which I won’t, even if I am happy for them) she would freak out on him. Andddd end rant.”
      I’d say she’s more insecure than petty. But yeah, that sucks for him to deal with a lifetime of BS and second guessing! Since she knows you from when you two were still married, she probably is dealing with tons of doubt.

    • 86 her from your Facebook feed. I have done that with so many people, and it really has helped my mental health.

      I completely not wanting to “see” it. No one wants or need unexpected flashbacks from past chapters in life.

      • It’s not a matter of whether the ex-husband’s new wife is in Andie’s Facebook feed — she very well might not be. The issue is that the _ex-husband_ is in Andie’s Facebook feed, and Andie feels that she can’t “like” the post congratulating him because if she does, the new wife will freak out.

    • I would absolutely, 100% like the post. But, I’m not very nice.

    • hammers

      It doesn’t help when the damage is done, but you can hide individual posts without unfriending the person. Also depending on the nature of the original post, you can say “I don’t want to see this” and it might give you an option to hide all about “ex husband”.

    • That One Guy

      Isn’t this a classic example where a private message would work?

      • You mean to say congrats? I don’t care to reach out – and she monitors his every move. I just didn’t want it in my face this morning. Great to know about the option to hide certain things – because otherwise I still consider his sisters friends and they post about all kinds of interesting things that we share in common. Thanks all!

  • Rant: I’ve been having stomach pain (acid reflux, maybe?) for 3 days and I’m sick of it. I also really don’t want to go to have to go to the doctor about it but Dr. Google is making me fear for my life.

  • mini Rant: I see that someone got busted -i.e. got a ticket- for flying a drone over the Mall and it landed in the Ellipse. If they guy is who I suspect he is, between his job and living in the area HE SHOULD KNOW BETTER. Seriously anyone who lives in this area should know better.

  • Rave: Thanks for all of your input on rentals yesterday!
    Rant: Broken space bar – need to slam it to make it work.
    Rave: At the end of an awesome book (The Beekeeper’s Apprentice) and all I want to do is finish it!
    Rant: But need to work…

    • Blithe

      Some of the other books in that series are beyond awesome. As in, can’t go to sleep until you finish one more, no, two more chapters awesome. Enjoy!

      • I just discovered them. And I LOVE mystery novels. How had I missed them? I’m so excited. I have one chapter left and I’m desperate to read it but forcing myself to finish some long-standing to-dos before diving in.
        Cannot wait for the rest of the series!

      • Finished. And ecstatic to find out there are 11 more books waiting for me 🙂 Now the question is do I get them from the library or buy them all at once

  • Speaking of pizza,
    Rant: Bad pizza leading to middle of the night then early morning vomiting
    Rave: Felt marginally better afterwards but still ended up leaving work early and sleeping all afternoon
    Rantrave: Expecting sleep to be elusive this evening therefore ambien at the ready

  • RAVE – I got married on Saturday and it was so much fun!! And there was no hurricane. Everything went way better than expected.
    No Rants today! Happy Friday PoPville.

  • Query: Can any of the parents on here share where they have found reliable babysitters in the area? We have a 3.5 month old and the grandparents currently provide babysitting services, but as he gets older we may want or need a non-family sitter. Are sites like care.com any good?

    • If you’re going to be using day care, one or more of the day care teachers might be up for babysitting–that’s how we’ve gotten all of our babysitting needs taken care of. Otherwise, I’d probably ask friends with kids of similar ages for recommendations.

      • Thanks – I’ll think about the daycare option (he’s in daycare now). My friends with similarly aged kids use family babysitters, which is why I posed the question to the PoPulace. 🙂

        • We got lucky–one of my daughter’s teachers offered when she was somewhere in the 5-6 month range. I think plenty of people use care.com, we just haven’t needed to. The DCJCC also has “speed dating” type programs for meeting babysitters sometimes, if that’s at all convenient for you.

    • use urban sitter. It costs money, but is worth it. Or ask a local list serve. i wouldn’t use sitter city or care.com. Urban sitter has great reviews. Tip: do a paid working interview. Have them spend time with your baby while you’re home, go run a local errand, and then come back. You’ll be able to trust your gut.

  • Anyone know what happened at the Starbucks at CT and R St? Outside surrounded with police crime scene tape.

    Rant: Former foster cat is back while my friend takes a much needed vacation. Lucy is not happy. Apparently she’d really rather be a solo cat. Much hissing and growling last night, had to close the bedroom door with Lucy inside and Charlie outside. I did not separate them for the day, so I’m a little anxious about it. Hoping things improve over the next few days!

    Rave: Puppy shower tomorrow! Totally silly but a nice chance to see friends, play with and admire the cutest puppy ever, and gifts are all being directed to two rescue groups. I can totally get behind this.

    • Prince Of Petworth

      There was a fire at Mimosa Salon – from DC Alerts: “DC Fire has cleared the scene of 1706 Connecticut Ave. NW. Southbound Connecticut Ave. between R and S streets has reopened to traffic.”

      • skj84

        Oh no! I love Mimosa salon. How bad was it?

        • I walked by there and they have a tarp up over the windows, and Dolcezza next door is closed (although the staff were milling around inside and seem fine.)

          There’s a sign on the outside of Mimosa saying they’re still open at their other location–meaning the one in the basement below The Studio DC yoga a few doors down, and I’m sure they’re still open at 17th and R.

    • A good friend of mine who has been going through a lot (terrible break up, home issues, cancer, chemo, surgery) is finally getting a puppy and she is beyond excited (she’s been using this as motivation to power through all of her treatments). I say she should have a puppy shower and be showered with gifts for the new pup. She thinks it’s too much to ask for. I feel like she deserves it… what do you guys think?

      • I think that’s adorable!

      • Emmaleigh504

        I love it!

      • This sounds like a “you’re kicking cancer’s ass, moving onward and upward, AND got a puppy party”…I love it!

      • Generally I’m not in favor of giving people things they say they don’t want. But you know your friend and we don’t, so only you can really have a good idea of whether she means it when she says it’s too much – sounds like she’s been through a lot, and despite her excitement about the puppy she may actually not want a party.

        • I appreciate your input. However she seems to be all in on the party idea but thinks it’s too much to make it a shower (I was suggesting we could do a registry). She’s the type of person who doesn’t want people to go out of their way for her…
          Now, I don’t want to do something behind her back (my mom did that – I said no wedding registry and she registered for me as a “surprise”) but I do think a lot of our friends would be head over heels excited to contribute to the puppy’s welcome!

          • How about throwing a party for her to celebrate the puppy, but asking people NOT to bring gifts?

          • Yeah, that’s fair enough. Maybe you just need to tone it down then. No reason you can’t have a perfectly fun get-together without it having to be a “puppy party!! complete with head-over-heels excitement and gift-showered puppy.”

          • “…but I do think a lot of our friends would be head over heels excited to contribute to the puppy’s welcome!”
            But this is about your friend with the puppy and her wishes, not about your other friends. I like textdoc’s idea.

          • Either that or have folks bring fun things that are generically useful if they are so inclined? Dog treats, dog bed, etc? (preferably with gift receipts to allow for exchanges as needed) I love the idea, though.

      • Yes, definitely celebrate the new pup, and hope for the future

  • That One Guy

    That jumbo slice pizza brings back memories. This one time I ended up going to hell and stepping in what eventually smelled like puke or poo and had to throw the shoes away. Lesson: you don’t have to pay to get into hell but you do when you want to go to heaven. Always pay to get to heaven. Haven’t had drunken pizza in over a decade. Can’t say I miss it.

    • My buddy has a Tumblr and Instagram account called “Puke or Spill?”
      He gets lots of pics submitted of leftover jumbo slice on Saturday mornings.

  • Rants, I have them all!

    Dropped my phone, shattered my screen. All the feels associated with this.

    Went into anaphylaxis last night resulting in ER trip for me, some crazy drugs that made my body feel like it was on fire, but all is well after. Posted about it on FB this morning really just to praise the folks at MWHC who took great care of me, and mom has decided that this is all about her and how terrible I am for posting shit on social media. I deleted her first comment, sent her a PM saying it wasn’t cool, and her response was to post response to that message in my wall. I’m so done with her crap and have no energy to deal.

    In dealing with the ER visit, I called my insurance for the new job. Turns out I’m not in their system even though my insurance broker says I am effective September 1. I call back to let the broker know, only to find out that due to them recieving my kids’ info late (which is my fault but I was getting copies of their stuff), they do not have health insurance. So appealing that but not hopeful.

    Oh, and the reaction is from an unknown source. Though the doc suspects that it is coming from antibiotics in meat. I am highly allergic to certain antibiotics and have been having ongoing issues when I go out to eat where my esophagus swells. I thought it was from taking too big of bites, but apparently that is typical food allergy stuff, and it’s typical that it’s been building and resulted in what I had last night. Next stop of course is full on deadly anaphylaxis (only had two organ system issues which technically makes it anaphalxtic but not the deadly kind). So I’ll be the proud carrier of epipens now, that is, if I can get the prescription filled today since I technically don’t have insurance right now. Ugh!!!!!

    On the plus side, my ER visit couldn’t have gone smoother, the nurses, docs, and residents were all wonderful. Also on the plus side, I already buy organic, antibiotic free meat, eggs and milk at home, so really I just can’t eat out. However, I am now terrified to eat anything, and reading a study about a young girl who ended up on full on anaphalxsis after eating blueberry pie made from blueberries that had been treated with antibiotic-pesticides, I am scared even more.

    • Ugh, I hate medical/insurance issues…especially waiting for the $bill$. I am glad to hear you had a good experience at Medstar WHC because we had a TERRIBLE one last month. I’ll never go back to that hospital ever again. The fact that your reaction could be coming from antibiotics in meat is just so disturbing.

      • Honestly it terrifying, to think that there are so many in the food chain that it could cause a reaction. Now I’m left trying to figure out how to eat, especially when out.

    • You know you have my sympathies! Glad you’re ok! Also, I’m sorry about your mom, I wish I could loan you my mom!

    • Emmaleigh504

      I am so sorry! I hope you are feeling better! That is pretty scary stuff.

    • That One Guy

      Glad you have your health. Food allergies suck.

    • I Dont Get It

      I’ve had great experiences with WHC staff and medical care–billing systems not so much.

    • Yikes, so glad you’re ok. How scary. And super frustrating on the insurance issue–can someone in your new HR help get things sorted?

      • There is an appeals process, which I will try. Also, I just entered my COBRA eligibility period with the other job, so there is that in case anything major happens. I still have my FSA to fall back on too. Just not an ideal circumstance.

  • topscallop

    Rant-ish: I’ve been doing too much online shopping. I’m a sucker for deals, what can I say? And I did need the tote bag that also can be worn as a backpack for my upcoming back-to-back-to-back work trips…
    Rave: I can’t wait for the long weekend, even though I’ll probably have to do some work. I’m packing it with fun things since I have a friend visiting me.
    Rave: this weather! Fall is just the best.
    Thinker: Can I drop enough hints about how I enjoy the lumberjack look to the new BF to get him to invest in some plaid for fall? He already knows how much I like his beard, so I think this shouldn’t be too difficult.

    • topscallop

      Also, thank you to whoever recommended Tana French on here- maybe it was Emmaleigh? I really liked In the Woods, except I was frustrated by the ending. I’ll have to try some of her other books. Right now I’m racing through Girl on the Train, which I finally got from the library as an e-book.

    • hammers

      I think you should just get him an impromptu gift of the exact shirt you’d like to see him in!

  • Are there any stay at home parents out there? If so, how did you decide this was the right move for you, rather than staying with full time or part time work? Would you do it again if you could?

  • Rave: the epic nasty neighbor post/thread yesterday
    Rant: deletion of said post and comments – I thought about buying popcorn and sitting down to read it last night, aloud.
    Rave: the exposed dc happy hour this week was great and I got to catch up and re-meet Pablo.
    Rave: still on a high from releasing an album last week.
    Rave: WWII plane flyover over the Pentagon at 12:30 today.
    Rave: three day weekend soon to arrive
    Rave: going to Freeport next week – any recommendations?

    • Lol, much as I understand the rationale for taking the post down, I wish I could have seen it–sounds epic!

  • Accountering

    Rave: Andy Harris has two primary challengers! I am going to wait a bit more to see how this shakes out, but if one of them looks competitive, daresay this may be my first (and likely only!) donation to a republican candidate?
    These are the times when DC SHOULD be spending its statehood lobbying dollars. We SHOULD be paying to put up billboards letting in Denton, Easton, and Salisbury, letting his constituents know that instead of worrying about them, he is too busy proposing riders about DC.

    • “We SHOULD be paying to put up billboards letting in Denton, Easton, and Salisbury, letting his constituents know that instead of worrying about them, he is too busy proposing riders about DC.”
      I honestly think it would backfire. There’s a HUGE contingent of his conservative constituency that I call the “troll vote” – they just live to stick it to those “dumb, PC, homo, socialist liberals living in the city.” They’d love Harris more for his dumb DC riders.
      Sad, but true.

  • Question: babysitting my GF’s nieces for most of Sunday. Ages 9 months and 2.5 years old. What the heck should we do with these kids? We will have a car, so we are mobile. Spending most of the day in Bethesda at their house for naps and feeding, but can go anywhere for a field trip. Zoo? Any particular park? We’d like to do something out of the ordinary for them, as the 2.5 year old is quite energetic and a bit rambunctious.

  • Rant: rethinking spending time with low match as friends. he flaked on our planned hangout last night. instead he hungout with another friend and went on a Tinder date that he says will probably only lead to “friends.” cool. priorities, i guess. whatever. bye, felipe.
    Rant: i should have cut off contact from low match when we ended things and just not tried to be friends. clearly doesn’t give af about my life and my schedule. PoP, once again, you’re right.

    • Emmaleigh504

      That sucks, I’m sorry.

      • Yep. He’s been a pretty crappy friend lately. His friends, however, are great. I like them, so I’ll be nice to him because of them.

    • Accountering

      Live and learn. Good for you for recognizing his crappiness, and not putting up with it.

    • Possible your definition of friends is just different. I might dump the sort of barely know you friend to hang out with a good friend and go on a date.

      • You really know how to cheer a girl up.

        • For the record, I did see him very briefly for food and drinks (think an hour max) since he tried to squeeze me in his busy schedule but still canceled on going to the thing we planned. I ended up just going alone, which was awkward being alone so I left early.

        • Simply having different expectations isn’t that big a deal to me. Certainly not saying it’s right or fair, but that’s life.

          • It’s not unreasonable for NotABot to expect that if she made plans with Low Match — at his suggestion, and a week in advance — that he’s going to stick with those plans.
            (Unless he’s a habitual bailer/flaker, in which case “plans” from him aren’t to be trusted. But I don’t think that’s the case here.)

          • Thanks, textdoc. He isn’t a habitual bailer. It’s just telling when he didn’t even have a good excuse for bailing he just chose to do other things. He invited me to hangout next week and I agreed to go but will make alternate plans in case he bails for another Tinder date that he isn’t excited about.

          • Thanks for clarifying that one for me textdoc.

            Yes, I.agreed that it was unfair (unreasonable if you prefer), but it obviously didn’t affect her enough to move on, so be it.

          • I don’t plan on ditching him completely but def lowering expectations of what “friendship” means. Happy long weekend all! I

      • True. We’re hardly good friends. I would like to think if you’re the one to suggest to hangout and agree to do something almost a week in advance you stick to it and try not to find “better” plans. Maybe I’m just more considerate than him.

        • Yeah, that’s lame of him. People who make plans should stick to them — it’s rude to cancel already-made plans because something “better” came up.

  • Rant: When I was walking the dogs this morning I saw something on the ground that looked like stewed tomatoes, until I saw a rat tail sticking out of it. Fortunately my dogs had absolutely no interest in finishing the job some other animal must have started.
    Rave: That day during a cold where you’ve crossed the threshold between sick and not sick, and you feel full of energy.

  • That One Guy

    Late day self indulgent link of dog eating pizza:

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