Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

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Photo by PoPville flickr user Erin

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.

168 Comment

  • Rant/revel: I’m on my fifth snow day in a row. It’s nice to have the forced time off in the middle of a hectic time of year, but goodbye summer vacation.
    Rant: Normally I love having a bunch of roommates but being cooped up in the house with them for several days has driven me even more nutty than a week of being home by myself would be.
    Revel: They’re back to work today.
    Question: Does anybody have a good suggestion for a salon that does unnatural colors? I’m thinking of doing the underlayer of my hair purple.

    • Thomas Shelton in Dupont Circle does unnatural color. Salon Gerald in Cleveland Park does as well.

    • Whoa, yesterday I was thinking about doing the same thing to my hair! I’ve been going to Parlour on U Street for cut and single process color for several years, and I’ve seen photos of work they’ve done with funky colors. They have many talented people there. I would highly recommend them.

    • I had the under layer of my hair purple for a few months, I’ll be doing a mix of purple/blue/aquamarine next. I personally buy my own colors (Arctic Fox) and take them in to my stylist (Lisa at the Bubbles on K Street, who is a magician with color AND is priced well below anyone else you’ll find around here). I’ve found the Arctic Fox brand to last much longer and be much healthier for my hair than anything else (and it smells good! no harsh chemicals).

  • binntp

    Rant: Got to Georgia Ave/Petworth this morning right as a yellow line to Huntington train was departing. So I wait…and wait…and wait…and apparently WMATA decided to take the yellow trains out of service between Mt Vernon Sq and Ft Totten without informing anybody, so 30 minutes later I finally figured it out and took a Branch Ave train to switch at Mt Vernon. Really WMATA?! The least you can do is tell people.
    Rave: Got to work otherwise fine and am excited to eat something else for lunch besides the enchiladas/pasta/soup I’ve been living off of for 5 days.

    • This was super obnoxious. Nowhere at all in Metro’s service advisories or service information for the 27th does it state that the Yellow line was only running to Mt Vernon. The only clue at all was looking at the arrivals information and seeing nothing but Green trains.

      • Isn’t that normal for rush hour on the yellow?

        • No. During rush service on yellow, some trains stop at Mt. Vernon Square and others continue on to Greenbelt.

        • No. Fares aside, there’s technically no rush service today, just normal all-day routes. Moreover, even during “Rush Plus,” at least every third Yellow train should come from/to Greenbelt.

  • Rant: Aggressive, stupid commuters this morning – both drivers and pedestrians. Running across a major road against the light is probably a bad idea, pedestrian. And stop tail gating and driving so fast when the roads aren’t completely plowed, motorists.
    Rave: I made it to work safely if not quite on time.
    Rave: I get to see my bestie this weekend. Very excited for her visit.
    Rant: I did NOT sleep well last night. Can’t you tell? I need to check my grumpiness.

    • I didn’t have any issues with pedestrians, but man were drivers annoying. The worst was people just ignoring stop signs and directly following whatever vehicle is in front of them. I mean, I get it, kind of, if there’s no one else at a four way stop. But we were there waiting our turn!

    • I witnessed a pedestrian RUN in front of an ambulance with its lights and siren on this morning at 21st and L. Sir, that is just plain stupid.

      • And all the people looking at their phones instead of where they are walking – I definitely saw someone slip on the sidewalk because of that.

    • maxwell smart

      While I see your concern, at least in my area, the only place for pedestrians is the road. When they plowed the street, they blocked and covered almost all the sidewalks, and at street corners there are slow plow piles 15′ high.

  • Rant: Without thinking much about it yesterday evening, got in a cab because it was right there and I figured it was easier than waiting for an Uber. Totally forgot the $15 surcharge was still in effect. Annoying, and of course the cabbie didn’t say a thing, but that’s ultimately on me. Worse, the cab itself was a decrepit pig sty that smelled so strongly of gasoline I had a headache for the rest of the night. At least the credit card reader worked and it wasn’t too many extra button presses to zero out the suggested tip. Can DC taxi drivers try any harder to make themselves extinct?
    Rave: The auto show was so much more fun to visit with hardly anyone there.

  • maxwell smart

    RANT: WMATA proved yet again that they are completely inept and literally the worst transit agency in the US. I totally understood my bus route was on detour and that the bus tracker might be a little inaccurate. I even get that due to traffic and road conditions there might be some delays. That said, I stood waiting for my bus, that should run every 10-15 minutes, for over an hour this morning before I finally gave up and went home. In the time I stood there, I saw 2 busses going the opposite direction, never to return. I called WMATA and all they could say was “there are 45 minute delays system wide.” If you can’t operate remotely close to route or schedule, don’t over-promise and commit to it. WMATA clearly is still running on “severe” status, at best. I am NOT impressed with this new GM and honestly can’t wait until it’s warm/dry enough to bike again.

    • Or hate Metro enough that it is never too cold to bike, been working well for me.

      • maxwell smart

        Almost to that point, however in these conditions, I would feel very unsafe biking to work.

        • I feel more unsafe taking Metro home from work than I did riding a scooter under these conditions… I probably wouldn’t ride a bicycle unless you didn’t mind taking the whole lane–the lanes themselves were 99.9% free of slippery stuff but the lanes are too narrowed by ice to share today.

          • maxwell smart

            When I say Metro, I mean the bus. I flat refuse to use the metro rail system anymore. If I can’t bus, bike or drive and park then I don’t go, plain and simple. But yes, my concern was that with so few lanes plowed, drivers would already be aggressive. Adding a lane blocking cyclist to the mix didn’t seem prudent.

    • Last night I called me MIL to tell her the OPM status, and she asked me to check her bus schedule. Turns out none of the bus routes near her were running at all. She doesn’t drive much and started fretting about how she wasn’t going to be able to get to work. I kind of think public transit should be fully operational before they decide to switch the federal government back on, since lots of people rely on it.

      • maxwell smart

        I also think WMATA over-promised on what service they were actually going to offer today. Also sounds like there is no coordination between WMATA and the city – heard many reports of traffic back-ups on major routes because DC decided it would be a good time to plow that road.

  • Rave: Back in the office after snow days and a whirlwind trip to Boston. I was able to do standby for an earlier flight last night.

    Rant: Still terrified of flying. I spent the entire take off with my head between my knees muttering “I hate flying” over and over. I may be traveling more this upcoming year, I need to find a way past this fear. At least there was booze on the flight.

    • I have a friend with this fear who manages flying by taking a beta-blocker.

    • Xanax has saved me. Had debilitating fear of flying (panic attacks) before that. I only take them on planes.

    • Quotia Zelda

      I took Xanax for about 5 years, which helped tremendously. This year, I discovered (when I had to go on a last minute trip and forgot my Xanax) that I don’t need it anymore. I think those years of not feeling the panic retrained my brain.

  • Rave: Finally got a call from the rescue group for my phone interview. Looks like they have accepted my application for a lab.
    Rant: Wanted to wait till after holidays but I didn’t realize that the process may take up to 2 months more. Onto my home visit. I so miss not having a pup/dog in the house.
    Rave: house is cleaner: NO dog fur.

    • On the subject of rescue groups…I applied to be a foster/adopter for a particular dog that is in need at an area rescue. I already have a dog adopted from WHS and this particular rescue group was upset that I said I was going to crate train…since when is crate training bad? Our trainer even recommended crate training as it makes house training easier. So confused…

      • Some dogs need to be confined when people aren’t home. As long as you’re not doing it for too long, who cares? Some of these groups make it very hard to adopt from them.

  • Rant: People who take Uber in extreme situations, don’t pay attention, and then are SHOCKED about the price. The Post article today about the woman who took an Uber from Sterling or some other exurb to Reagan, knew about the 4x surge, but just had no idea that Uber SUV’s base rate is significantly higher than Uber X’s, and is not irritated at her bill. No sympathy at all.
    Rave: Dana Milbank’s column in the Post today. Spot on. I urge all of you who Feel the Bern to read it. Carefully.
    Rant: That such a column needs to be written at all. We’re supposed to be smarter than the Republicans, people!

    • I pretty much hate everyone in this election except Bernie. That said yeah I don’t think Bernie truly stands a chance. However, it’s interesting living up here in Canada now…so many people said to me “Oh you’re moving to Canada? That’s cool, but the taxes!!” My wife’s take home pay is not that different than it would be in the US. But there’s nothing taken out in the way of a healthcare premium whereas my healthcare premium at my company was becoming insane and was basically just a catastrophic insurance plan.

    • Milbank’s column doesn’t add anything new to the conversation. “Sanders can’t win” is the best argument? This line of argument is the exact reason Sanders and Trump are doing well. People are sick of holding their nose and getting candidates that don’t actually represent their views. Maybe both would be terrible in office, but there is another conversation the major parties should have in light of these candidates.

      • It’s an interesting conversation among Dems. For the most part, my views align more with Sanders, but I will vote for Clinton because I just don’t think Sanders is electable. I worry that if the choice is between a Socialist (yay! Socialism!!) and the effing nut job that is Donald Trump, people in the middle will go for Trump because they will remember what he was like on TV and think he’s not so bad.

      • When the next president is sworn in, three Supreme Court justices will be at least 80 years old and another will be 78. Please think about President Cruz or Trump selecting two or more justices for the Court. This has nothing to do with being “terrible in office” (although I think Bernie is better suited to be a back bencher) – this has to do with getting the office. I think Clinton is a dreadful candidate and would be an OK to good President, and she should win handily against either Trump or Cruz. I am less certain that an unrepentant socialist from Vermont who doesn’t have strong support from minorities and vows to increase taxes significantly would win – in fact, I’m almost certain he wouldn’t. Sanders can win IS the best argument – people may be sick of holding their noses and voting for imperfect candidates, but it’s still the smart thing to do.

        • Nominations to SCOTUS is a great point, but I disagree with the premise that Sanders would lose to Trump in a general. Albeit, it’s easily debatable (as you noted, and there are counters) and nobody can know for sure. In the end, I’m less convinced Sanders will beat Clinton than I am that Trump will be the Republican nominee.

          • I’d love to hear the counters you find persuasive – I can’t see any. But I think you have to admit that Trump has a better chance against Sanders (ignoring the potential for another Clinton scandal, which does give me heartburn). If that’s true, why take the chance? It’s really too important to mess with.

        • Sanders vs. Trump ticket guarantees that Bloomberg is entering the race. And he will win it with a coalition of corporate/technocratic Democrats and Rockefeller Republicans who feel betrayed by the last decade.

        • Cruz is the 2016 version of Goldwater. Sanders is not a 2016 version of McGovern. At worst, he’s Mondale in 1984. Mondale version 2016>Goldwater version 2016. Cruz would not win. As for Trump, I am less fearful of what he could due to the SCOTUS than what HRC could do foreign policy wise.

          Your fear should be Rubio or Kasich, and either of them would have a shot at beating Hillary. I realize those two aren’t doing so hot in the polls right now, but if either manages to get the nomination…

          No way I’d vote for Hillary over Sanders. NO WAY. Sorry. But don’t worry, I don’t live in IA, NH, or a Super Tuesday state, so it really doesn’t matter how I’d like to vote.

          • I am curious how you can be so certain that Cruz could never beat Sanders. I think you misjudge the direction most of the county has gone in the last 15 years. I also am terrified of Rubio or Kasich (Christie, too, though he’s polling worse) but on balance, I’d prefer one of them to get the nomination. I’d much prefer someone I disagree with who has a larger chance of winning than either Trump or Cruz, either of whom would be horrific. And the fact that combined they have 60+% of the GOP primary voters is appalling.

          • Cruz is hated by everyone who knows him. The more the USA gets to know him, the fewer people will vote for him. He’s already peaked.

    • I shook my head when I read that Uber article yesterday. For someone who claims to use Uber regularly and then chooses the most expensive base service, takes it lots of miles to the airport during extreme surge pricing, comments about how her street hadn’t even been plowed, and then is shocked at how much it costs. Yes I agree it was outrageously expensive but you are paying a huge premium for such a service when hardly anyone else is on the road. Also as much as people are really hating on cabs, I find that their fares are much more predictable than Uber in times like these even with the snow charge fee. You pay a price for convenience.

      • I’ll admit, I’ve been shocked by the price the few times I had to take an Uber to Arlington or something. For trips outside of DC it gets expensive very fast, I guess because of the mileage. But someone who lives in Sterling should know better.

        • figby

          Agree. Inside of DC, UberX even with surge pricing is cheaper than cabs. I used to take cabs every weekday, but finally gave up on the filthy, stinking, slow-moving and not-inexpensive dc cabs. Tourists will still use them, I guess. Yellow Cab went out of biz in SF, but I couldn’t see that happening here.

    • Tripe. The Washington Post has been schilling for Clinton since Obama won re-election. The Post (and the NYT, and the New Yorker) have basically eliminated journalism with respect to political coverage and maintain a near 100% editorial coverage of the race. Feeling the Bern? Vote for him! What’s at stake is not a potential Trump presidency, what is a at stake is the elimination of electoral democracy in this country. This piece is pure speculation and only seeks to reinforce the position of the DNC that Clinton has to be the nominee no matter what.

      • No, what’s at stake is a potential reshaping of the Supreme Court for a generation. Electoral democracy will be fine; I’m not sure a host of rights and other issues – privacy, abortion, gun control, to name a few – will be. And you think electoral democracy is in trouble now, just see what happens when a further right-wing Court obliterates the few remaining restrictions on money in politics.

      • +1. It’s amazing how all the Dem pundits are pushing Hillary. It’s kinda sad actually. Starting to reek of desperation IMO, even though I don’t think that desperation is warranted yet. There hasn’t even been one primary yet!

  • Rant: No delay for me.
    Rant: Super hungover this morning. I met up with a former coworker last night because we were stir crazy and had a couple margaritas, then had a date after that… Holy cow those margaritas knocked me for six, they were crazy strong. I was pretty tipsy during the date and was really not feeling well this morning. That was not a good idea.
    Rave: Day is starting slowly so at least I’m having some time to recover!

  • justinbc

    Rave: Hotel accommodations for national park tour in May all booked! Anyone stayed in Albuquerque, Sedona, Salt Lake City, Big Sky, or Jackson have must see / eat recommendations? (obviously already planning to see Painted Desert, Grand Canyon, Bryce, Yellowstone)

    • That sounds like an amazing trip!

    • Sounds like an amazing trip!! DH and I were talking about planning a getaway soon and once I started reading up on Sedona, I got pretty excited at the concept. I’ve actually never seen a place like that, having lived only in New England, the midwest, and here. I would love to see what people suggest… might give me some good ideas as well.

    • binntp

      In Albuquerque, you gotta grab breakfast one day at Frontier Restaurant across from UNM. You can also grab bulk items to-go.

      • maxwell smart

        Second! ABQ native here.. Frontier is a landmark of ABQ. Old Town is worth a visit, even though it’s also a little touristy. If you have time, Santa Fe is a good day trip – interesting historical architecture around the plaza, galeries, etc. Recently went to the International Folk Art museum there are it was really interesting.

        • justinbc

          I’m staying in Old Town in ABQ, looks like lots of neat museums and stuff all around there. Frontier looks great, I plan to consume as much green chile related items as possible since it’s so hard to find anywhere else!

    • Super jealous of your trip. I went to Bryce in May two years ago, and it snowed! So I’d recommend to pack lots of layers.

    • If you’re planning to see those parks, add in Monument Valley!

    • You’ll probably enjoy Santa Fe much more than Albuquerque.

    • If you can, the Copper Onion in SLC is great.

  • Rant/Rave: Three days straight of shoveling snow but we finally managed to free the other Mrs. Rabbit’s car
    Rant: After we finished that, a group of high school boys offered their snow shoveling services. It was too late.
    Rave: The weather is looking great for our trip to TN next week.
    Rave: I finally feel decent enough to work out again.

  • Rave: I took 2 of the three hours we were delayed. Metro got me to work just fine, it only took 15 minutes extra.
    Rave: I had so much fun with my dog in the snow. He loves to catch snowballs and when he doesn’t he tries to find them in the snow and digs like a maniac. He’s a weirdo.
    Rave: My street got plowed overnight.
    Rant: even before it got plowed someone put up emergency no parking signs for a move. I feel for them, I really do because moving is a chore and maybe they have no overlap with their old place, but there is no way we’re all getting our cars out and into new spots by tomorrow morning. I’m pretty sure it was only 48 hours notice too.

    • Is 2 nights (assuming everyone worked) not enough time to dig out? If the cars parked there banded together to get everyone out and into a new spot, you could probably do it in one night.

      • If I know who owns the other cars.
        If there are enough spots to shovel out to fit us in.
        If I can move the three snow boulders that are now around my car.
        When I went to bed last night my street was still impassable. I didn’t shovel anything out because there was no where to go. So yeah, I can try tonight in the 3-4 hours I have after I get home, that means shoveling out my car and a brand new spot and getting my little car from one to the other.
        It is the neighborly thing to do, for sure, but it’s not a small task. And honestly, if they want to move in on time the new people can also offer to help or start by shoveling out between cars.

        • If the street is that bad, how are they even going to get the truck down it? I was working under the impression that your street was clear but cars were plowed in.
          Seems like poor planning on the moving folks part and likely a disaster waiting to happen. Good luck!

        • Snowboulders. I like that!

    • Did you see PoP’s post from earlier? Emergency no parking signs for moves are suspended until January 31.
      So you are in the clear 🙂

    • Both of my dogs do the same thing! Guess they are all weirdos 🙂

    • I love your rave about your dog: “He loves to catch snowballs and when he doesn’t he tries to find them in the snow and digs like a maniac.” Hahaha!

    • Emmaleigh504

      Otis sounds like such a fun dog!

  • Rave/rant: Cali ski trip/NY job interview/NY in the snow/wake/hospital visits/cancelled trains/freelance writing on the fly/telecommuting/home.
    .
    Rave: Home again.
    .
    Rant: House looks no better than you’d expect if a gang of 20-soemthings rode out a snowstorm in it, sloppy shoveling job.
    .

  • Rant: I feel really bad for the DCPS teachers who had to go into work today without a place to park their car. While parents were told by DCPS to “use their best judgment” regarding school attendance today, teachers had to go in. Please, spare me the “take alternate methods of transport” spiel too. Many of my school’s teachers already walk, bus, and bike, but there are teachers who live in the far out burbs (like the ones with kids) because that’s what they can afford. DCPS made a bad call with this one. The streets are not clear, the school grounds are not clear. I get that we are all going stir crazy, I get that many of us really do need to get back to work, but come on. Safety first?
    Rave: Kids are home enjoying another day off, while I am in the office, blissfully working without hearing “Moooooom!!!!” every five minutes. My boyfriend (who is watching them) is a saint.

  • Rave: Ran over 4.5 miles yesterday at a pretty good click for me and felt great! I could’ve kept going to 5 but didn’t want to push it. I feel like I’m starting to get into really great running shape.
    Rave: My spouse and I decided to take an impromptu day off yesterday and spent the day snuggling, going to the gym, snuggling, and then decided to head to Rose’s Luxury for dinner. There was no line, the service was excellent, everything we had was delicious. I love that place.
    Small violin Rant: This is seriously a first world problem but we are having the hardest time coming up with an idea for a long weekend (4 days), sorely-needed getaway. I’m having a hard time making a decision and coming to terms with spending the money even though we have plenty.

    • How about Skyline or somewhere not too far out in VA? Rent a cabin or stay at a B&B. Or the Outerbanks, Cape May or Rehoboth? Long walks on the beach in the winter can be very peaceful, plus Rehoboth is not too far from Lewis (for a dogfish tour) and they have the outlets. Or a ski lodge up north (MD or Poconos)? Or even Annapolis can be fun for a long weekend, but four days may be a bit too long.

    • Great job on the run!!!

    • We did Nassau last January and it was great. The bus is like $1.50 to go all over the island, we stayed in a centrally located airbnb, and there was just enough for a few days of exploring. Plus we were on the ground with our toes in the sand 3 hours after takeoff. Is it amazing, maybe not, but good enough for a quick trip to get some warmth and sun, absolutely! Some friends of ours took it a step further and stayed at a surrounding island accessible via boat – so they were more remote/removed. Whatever you do, enjoy!!!

  • Rave: Finally getting back to work! Homebound and stir crazy is not my favorite mode of existence.
    Q: Has anyone here been to the Noma restaurant in Copenhagen? I’m going to try to make a reservation when they open up next month for a trip in the spring, and mainly looking to see whether anyone has been successful at getting in the door.

    • binntp

      If you’re planning on hitting up Noma, know that they usually are booked up to 3 months in advance…good luck! Never managed to eat there despite living in CPH for several years.

      • Thanks! I know the date and time reservations open for the month I’ll be visiting, so I’ll be up at 4am to try to get through. The team is doing a pop-up in Australia, but will be back at Noma when I’m visiting. Crossing fingers!

        If it doesn’t work out, is there a single restaurant experience that you would recommend in place of Noma?

    • If you cant get into Noma, try the Studio at Standard. It’s out of this world.
      http://thestandardcph.dk/en/studio

      • Looks like a great option! I had no idea there are multiple amazing tasting menus in Copenhagen. How to choose??

    • Accountering

      If you can’t get into NOMA, go to AMASS. Andie and I checked it out when we were there, and it was incredible. You can get there via the watertaxi. SUPER cool restaurant in an old industrial space.

      • We’re planning just one splurge meal on the trip, and I am really hoping that I get a reservation at Noma just so I don’t have to choose between everyone’s recommendations. I opened up Pandora’s Box!

    • Det lille apotek is the oldest restaurant in copenhagen. In a basement, super hygge. But I’d just go to Riz Raz and Thai Box nonstop. And hot dog carts.

    • i wouldn’t worry about Noma. Last I checked, it’s only the third best restaurant in the world. You may as well get room service. 🙂

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: Metro. After waiting 50 minutes for a train I could get on with no luck, I gave up and took unscheduled telework. Wish I had just taken it to begin with so I could have slept later.
    Rave: being able to take unscheduled telework, it’s still a new thing for my contract.

    • Clueless

      Rant: Had a similar encounter while waiting for the bus this morning, except the situation ended up with me hailing a cab – I immediately regretted the decision because I totally forgot about the initial $15 taxi snow fee. I really should get reimbursed…but going to bite the bullet this one time.

  • Rant: sidewalks of shame nominee — the funeral home at the corner of 5th & H NE. And they have a corner sidewalk!
    Rant: all crosswalks in general right now.

  • Rant: Sidewalks of shame. They really bug me.
    Rave: Watching my 1-year-old acclimate to the snow and walk down the sidewalk in his little red Chuck Taylors without being scared of all that cold white stuff.
    Rant: Being back in the office.
    Rave: Being back in the office.
    Rave: Going to Sarasota next week.

    • Ooh I love Sarasota, my grandparents live there. Such a pretty area!

    • I’ll be in Sarasota in two weeks! Hopefully the weather gets a bit warmer than it is now. Any recs on dining or activities (other than the beach/pool) ?

  • Rant: The proliferation of deck-chair savsies in Mt. Pleasant. I don’t remember it ever being this bad, but it seems like a quarter to half of the spots vacated by people going to work today were filled with random objects and chairs. The worst offenders I’ve seen are actually reserving multiple adjacent spots so they have an easier time squeezing in.

  • I Dont Get It

    Rave: Before I left for Florida, Mrs. IDGI SR II quizzed me on what I like to eat for breakfast. After being told I eat simple oatmeal with fruit or scrambled eggs and little wheat products she went out and
    Rant: Bought a dozen zucchini muffins.
    Rave: This is still better than the year she bought a dozen Sam’s Club croissants in lieu of oatmeal or no wheat.
    Rant: Have I become high maintenance?
    Rave: Watching “The Intern” with two seniors. They loved it!

    • Actual LOL on your first Rave/Rant pairing.
      .
      Hahaha, now I remember that previous visit and your getting croissants when you’d asked for gluten-free!

      • I Dont Get It

        Oh no, don’t put me on the gluten-free bandwagon! I just said after being on a soft food diet for several months that didn’t include wheat, I felt better eating little or no wheat.

  • Q: What’s an average electric bill for a one-bedroom apt? (For context, our heat, stove, and dryer are all gas; water heater is electric.) Our first month was $60, which seemed high to me, and last month was $40 (but it covered the holidays, during which we were out of town). Just curious about what’s normal!

    • The 1 BRs I live and have lived in have been anywhere from $40 – $180. Then again my heating/ac has always been electric, and I get very cold in the winter so usually turn up the heat a lot.

    • How big? Our rowhouse is usually $30-$60 in the winter. Our one bedroom/den apartment was $40-$50 most of the time I think.

      • Was your heat electric or gas? I always felt that having $150 bills in the winter was super high but people are telling me it’s normal (1 BR / den – very old home). Not having insulation might have something to do with it though :/

        • If you’re the anon from above who likes it very warm, then you should expect those high bills. I’ve mostly used space heaters, and I’m in a similar situation with not good insulation. I found those to be much more efficient.

        • Gas heat in rowhome. I believe the heat was electric in the apartment and it was a newer building. Our rowhome is between two houses so I feel like that helped because I doubt we have insulation either. Heating bill in rowhome was $100-$180 at the highest. We kept our heat between 67 and 70–radiator heat and it was toasty.

    • Our electric bill is usually around $40-45 in the winter, but we rarely turn on the heat (big building and lots of insolation from other apartments). In the summer, the highest we have ever had is around $75-$80. We have electric heating and air conditioning.

    • HaileUnlikely

      Sounds slightly high to me, but I have a very low fixed rate on my electric that I locked in years ago with a third-party supplier.
      .
      Two important considerations: 1.) the length of the billing cycle varies by plus or minus several days. You can expect your bill to be much higher on a 38 day billing cycle than on a 27 day billing cycle, for obvious reasons. 2.) Most of us don’t know our electric rate (cost per kW-h used). Some of us are on fixed-rate plans, some on variable-rate plans, and some on fixed rate plans may be much higher or lower than others depending on what supplier we have and when we locked in our rate.
      .
      Thus, a useful reframing: how many kilowatts does your bill say you used, and how many days was your billing cycle?
      .
      Assuming 30-day billing cycle, no space heaters, and normal hot water usage, that sounds a wee bit high to me. If you take long hot showers or do lots of loads of laundry in hot water or use space heaters, or if the billing cycle was closer to 40 days than 30, then your electric costs sound fair to me.

    • You might try adjusting the temperature on your water heater to be slightly lower than its current setting. Other than that, it doesn’t seem like you have much wiggle room, given that your heat is gas.
      .
      I remember reading a while ago that DVRs burn through a surprising amount of electricity — do you have one?

    • The most I paid for electric in winter for a 1 bedroom apartment was $25 tops (when my heating wasn’t electric), but I didn’t pay for the water heater. When I had electric heating, I think my winter electric bills ranged from $60 to $90/month.

  • Pablo Raw

    Rant: First death in the Oregon tragic comedy.
    Rave: Finally, the leaders of the occupation are in prison
    Rant: Traffic really slow, fortunately I have no time constraints
    Rave: Excited about future opportunities

  • REVEL: Someone commented to me that during snowstorms (and other events that force us to stay within a few blocks of our home) even metropolitan cities like DC become small villages. People have been so friendly–we went to two neighborhood block parties during the storm. Also wanted to shoutout to POPVILLE because it’s time like these when everything having to do with your life is SO LOCAL that Popville becomes even more fun and useful. All weekend we kept taking pictures and everyone kept saying “Please send that to Popville!” It’s fun to have such a local culture.

    • Totally AGREE! Loved the fact that this weekend forced my husband and I to meet our neighbors and check out some places within walking distance. We moved back to Arl a few months ago, but have been so busy we really haven’t met anyone or checked out any of the retail/restaurants. Everyone was so nice and even pitched in to help us get our cars out!

  • Rant – Back in the office. I hate work.
    Rave – Really enjoyed my snow days. I think I achieved a good balance of loafing around watching Netflix, getting outside to explore, and being productive around the house (cooking, cleaning, baking).
    Rant – I’m a little sad that the snow is melting so fast. A historic blizzard followed by 50 degree temperatures is crazy.
    Super rant – Homeowners who shovel their front steps and driveway but not their sidewalks: you are the worst.

    • +1000 to that super rant.

      • With you on the super rant: I have neighbors who paid guys to shovel their driveways, but not the sidewalk. Where did they put the snow? On the sidewalk. These are the same people who were complaining that the city still hadn’t plowed our street — the day after the snow stopped.

        • PDleftMtP

          Better than the guys my neighbor paid to shovel out his garage – who then piled the snow in front of mine so they didn’t have to carry it too far. (I’m positive my neighbor didn’t know; he’s a good guy.)

      • maxwell smart

        Yes. Lots of those people in my neighborhood.

  • Rant: I don’t think I enjoyed and took advantage of the snow and days off as much as I could have. I love the way snow looks and somehow I didn’t even take in the view for a few minutes over the weekend.
    Rant: Missing out on something at work because I didn’t want to commute.
    Rave: Telework.
    Rave/Rant: Stabilicers order is supposed to arrive today. I think I found out about them via RRR the last time it snowed.

  • Rant:

    We have frequent issues with the Brentwood post office, and in trying to remedy one, they created another.

    Before the snow started Friday, we were leaving town and needed to pick up some mail that had been idle at the office for days that we needed for the weekend. We stopped at the post office on the way and dropped off 12 packages that were paid for online and used prepaid 2-day labels. Most were around $15 insured, however, one was more than $200. The line was long, as always, and we were told, if we were only dropping them off, we could put them in the box for outgoing packages. I waited at the blue door to pick up some packages and was told to wait until next week, but that’s a different story.

    We left town and came back Sunday, after the snow. On Monday, I had messages from people asking where their packages were, as it looked like they weren’t sent at all. I checked all the tracking that night, and 11 packages were scanned for the first time at around 5:45pm. Snow-related delay, I assume.

    However, the one package that didn’t get even an initial “it’s here at the post office” scan was the higher-value one. Tuesday, I called customer service and filed a claim. The other packages were on their way to their recipients, except that one. Wednesday morning, I got up early to call the post office, as it’s the only time you can catch a supervisor. No one has seen the package. One person indicated that it was misscanned and somehow sent with or attached to a smaller package, but that was not supported by any other employee.

    The issue is, if it is never scanned, it looks like something that a label was printed for and never taken to the mailbox or post office, so USPS will not honor the insurance on a package that isn’t scanned at the origin. I have talked to a dozen people, and haven’t had any answers. I find it convenient that it’s the only item of real value that was misplaced and that, if there is no initial scan, there is both no way to track it and no recourse. This post office has frequent issues, including what we suspect to be several thefts between the office and our door.

    • Is that the one on Bladensburg Road? They are a mess.

      • Brentwood. It’s the distribution center for all DC, as well as the office of consumer affairs and every region’s supervisor, and none of the different areas talk to eachother. It can take weeks to get people in the same office to talk.

        • Oops… Sorry, forgot about that one (now I remember it is across from MGM). If and only if I had to use the PO, I would go over to the Brookland one on 12th. Customer service there was a bit better.

      • No it’s on brentwood near galludet.

    • Just out of curiosity — and not to place blame because you are clearly going to the Post Office and not asking for home pickup (which might be the best you can do) but are you the person who runs the small business from home who had the Brentwood Post Office complaint before? If you are, with so many problems, have you tried using a different mail service? Clearly there are major issues with this post office but something tells me it’s going to cost you a lot more (in time and frustration) to try to fix a post office than to try using FedEx or UPS and seeing what the results are there….

      • I am. I don’t get to choose how most of my mail comes to me, and even if I did, USPS does the last mile for most carriers in the city.

        I am always surprised by the new ways they find to screw up. I couldn’t have imagined they would somehow misplace a package for almost a week that hasn’t been scanned that is in the office.

        • Yeah, that is pretty ridiculous. I will cross my fingers for you that it somehow just never got scanned and magically shows up where it’s supposed to be today… That has happened to packages coming to me before.

        • Were you aware of the must be scanned to be “lost” issue before you dropped the packages in the bin?

          • I was not. I didn’t know that, when an employee told me that putting something in the box was the same as handing it across the counter, I needed to worry about unscrupulous employees or pirates or something. I’ve genuinely never heard of items vanishing while in the post office.

          • I had it happen with them. Letter was out for delivery but never made it to a bldg with front desk. They said they had no idea where it was then magically it appeared the next day. I’ve also had certified mail not even get a delivery attempt.
            I guess it is the same once it’s scanned. That just happens a lot faster at the counter.

          • It’s been 5 days, and the other packages I brought in and put in the same box were all scanned. I am assuming it was stolen.

      • I’m not the poster, but I agree which switching services. I had similar issues as the above poster when I lived near that neighborhood (assuming we had the same post office). They are just a complete mess (the five years I lived there). Packages would say they were out for delivery and never come. When they would come, they were opened a good amount of times. Stickers would be left saying I had to go pick them up, then get to the PO and no one knew where they were or would say they were out for delivery. And as for the mail, I’m glad I had good neighbors, because we were constantly getting each other’s mail or it was left tossed on the walkway because the mail lady was too lazy to walk up the staircase. After about a year, we switched anything important to online delivery and started using Fed Ex/Ups to mail or deliver packages.

        • I’ve had the same issues, items saying out for delivery and never arriving, leaving stickers without knocking and then going to pick them up and being told it is out for delivery, items being held at the post office without my knowledge. I also have been struggling for three months to get my insurance claim for a $200 item that was never delivered. I was recently told that the item was left a block away and assumed lost but they still won’t pay the claim. For most of my purchases, however, I don’t get to choose how they get to me, in particular because most carriers have USPS deliver the last mile in DC.

      • I was about to ask the same question as FridayGirl. I agree with what she says — better to switch to another service for your outgoing items.

        • As I told her, I don’t get to choose how most of my mail comes to me, and even if I did, USPS does the last mile for most carriers in the city.

          • True, but you could ship it differently. Shipping is the issue you’re dealing with right now.

          • That’s why I specified “outgoing” — you have little to no control over how your incoming items get to you.

          • Right — the whole point is, just because you PICK UP mail at USPS doesn’t mean you need to DROP OFF mail with them. Plus, UPS and FedEx have reliable outgoing mail drop-offs and boxes all over the city.

    • You’re still dealing with this? You’re a glutton for punishment.
      Just get a business account with FedEx already and be done with it. It’s a business expense that will lower your tax burden. Jeez.

  • Rave: great extended weekend filled with cross country skiing, communal dinners with friends, visit with grad school friends who made it in for a conference despite the weather.
    Rant: didn’t pick up my book club book once, a sure sign I am just not going to finish it.

  • maxwell smart

    Anyone know if the L bus was running today? The E bus was a total no-show this morning. I’d rather not walk 5 miles to work, but if that’s the only option tomorrow, so be it.

    • I took the L2, there were a few on next bus.

    • They have a list of what buses are running and the snow routes in the wmata site. Maybe the e bus was rerouted?

      • maxwell smart

        Yes, it was on detour, which I was 100% aware of. I waited at a stop that I know from experience is on the regular AND detour routes. After an hour, I gave up and went home. I get that there were delays, but there should have been at least one bus within an hour.

  • Quotia Zelda

    Rave: Back in the office!
    Rave: Watching the pup play in the snow this weekend. The snowbanks are taller than he is, so he would just throw himself in.
    Rant: Okay, we’ve had our winter. I’m ready for spring now!

  • Rave: Hallelujah, kids are back at school & I’m back at work.
    Rant: Internet connectivity issues at the office. WTF?
    Rant: Wife has been sick for over a week, it got worse over the weekend. Finally got sinus infection diagnosed yesterday, only to come down with pink eye overnight. Ugh.
    Rant: Wife also needed to work Monday & Tuesday. Guess who got to entertain the kids on days 4 & 5 of being home.
    Rant: One of our furnaces gave up the ghost Friday night.
    Rave: Daughter got to go sledding for the first time over the extended weekend. While it took awhile for her to get into it, she eventually had lots of fun playing in the snow.
    Rave: Between a space heater & a couple of baking projects, the temp didn’t get below 55 on our first floor.
    Rant: It will probably be at least a week before we can get the furnace replaced and it will be a 2-3 day project to complete. Oof.

    • Do you have a very large, hard to get too furnace? Mine was replaced in a half day, so I’m curious how designs may vary.

      • The existing gas furnace is on it’s side in the ceiling, and it’s being replaced with a heat pump in a different location. Between getting the old one out of a tight space and reworking the ductwork and a few other things, it’s going to take a lot longer than normal. I think the heat should work after day 1, and the remaining work will be in connecting the new unit to a new compressor/AC set-up, etc.

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