Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

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Photo by PoPville flickr user Rich Renomeron

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.

129 Comment

  • Question: Does anyone know of a person or service that does board meeting transcription? So like a court reporter but not for court? We need transcripts of our board meetings and I think it would be easier to have one just on site vs. sending a recording (because they can mark who is saying what unlike a voice recorder).
    Rant: My son woke up on Saturday asking for pancakes. Banana pancakes. Chocolate chip banana pancakes. Made them ate nothing. Set the tone for the whole weekend.
    Rave: Living near parents and having them over for superbowl taco dinner.
    Rant: How hard it is to meet people when your office is very small and your live involves work, parenting, and trying to sleep. My husband is very lucky that he spends all day with people who share interests. He’s not lonely.

    • Heritage Reporting Corporation, (202) 628-4888. Verbatim transcripts are not cheap, but I’ve used them several times and they do excellent work.

    • I have had good success with Oleander Reporting for arbitration hearings: http://olenderreporting.com/
      I’m not sure if they do board meetings, but it’s definitely worth giving them a call.

    • I used to be a recording secretary for a Board, though I did minutes vs. a transcript. The skill of taking minutes is a dying one, so be prepared to pay well for this. I should think that needing a verbatim-transcriber would cost even more, and I’m not sure how you would find someone to do this. Do they have to be transcribed?
      Also, just a heads up, one downside to recording a Board meeting is that recordings can be discoverable, so depending on the matters up for discussion, this should be avoided.

      • We know it’s expensive – the transcription for our recording is like $3 a minute. We use the transcript to make official minutes. And we don’t really need to worry about discovery, we’re a tiny academic organization, there’s nothing to discover nor hide.

        • Just wanted to throw it out there. Glad it’s nothing your organization should worry about. Just one thing though, being concerned about discoverability has nothing to do with having anything to hide, but for various reasons many organizations do take this into consideration.

        • As someone who represents organizational defendants, I cringed when I read this. There’s never anything sensitive – until there is.

        • we don’t have any stakeholders. And it’s not my decision to make, I’ve been told to find a transcription service and I thought that for our DC meeting, a stenographer would be more efficient

          • Accountering

            If you are such a tiny organization, perhaps this is a time when you should step up and at least voice this concern. Seems like they are spending a lot of money on something that ultimately, could theoretically come back to bite you, unnecessarily.

      • I too used to do this, but as an admin assistant for the organization. So glad I never have to do that again.

  • callmeB

    Rant: Petworth is touted as so cool but it feels super uncool when a man loiters on my street at midnight.
    Revel: I approached a stranger who was walking with purpose. He agreed to be my walking buddy, and I got home safely last night, successfully avoiding said loiterer. Props to helpful neighbors.

  • Rant: I felt tired all weekend. I did not sleep last night. I somehow managed to drag myself to the office.
    Rave: At least I have a door, which hopefully I can close to get a nap in during lunch.
    Rave: Long weekend coming up.

  • Rave: Really good restaurant week meal last night.
    Rant: Paying for it today with my borderline lactose-intolerant stomach.
    Rant: Almost called in sick, decided not to, now at work and it’s not busy at all so being here is pointless anyway.
    Rave?: I hope we get a delay tomorrow to make up for this.

  • Rave: Husband is back and we got to spend two glorious days together.
    Rant: Back to the Amtrak commute and living life out of a suitcase along the northeast corridor.
    Rant: Office in transition again. So no stability anywhere.
    Rave: Good events planned for this week. With friends and cool co-workers. And yoga.
    Rant: Need more horses in my life. But hard to arrange around shitty weather and crazy commute.

  • Rant: Observed a woman driving north on 395 yesterday with her bare left foot casually propped up on the dash. That’s safe, right?
    Rave: New running shoes feel great!

  • Rant: One of the worst weekends I’ve had in a long time. Battling a sinus infection, a gall bladder attack, temporarily having no hot water, and trying to pack up my entire kitchen and bathroom for an indeterminate amount of time sucks monkey cajones.
    Rave: Kind and helpful neighbors who sympathize with me and let me use their washer/dryer and help me pack.
    Rave/Rant: Antibiotics – hoping this helps me power through this sinus thing, and hoping it doesn’t jack up my stomach too bad!
    Rave: I have the most wonderful parents – they opted to buy me a ticket to visit my BFF in CA instead of sending me a Valentines day card this year!
    Rant: Valentines Day. It usually doesn’t annoy me, but today everything is annoying me and all the V-day stuff is f#&$ing annoying.
    Question: I’ve never used Air B&B, but I’m contemplating trying to find a temporary, pet-friendly spot, depending on how much work has to be done in my apartment, because with the dust from demo and the dehumidifiers running 24/7, I feel like it’s going to kill me.

    • Just pay attention to reviews and go with your gut – We’ve had both wonderful and somewhat mixed experiences staying as guests – but when you go back and look at the reviews they are normally pretty accurate. Sorry you’re going through all that!!!!

      • Thanks Andie, I really hope the repairs are going to be quick, because honestly I don’t know how long I could afford to stay anywhere, the building management was like “Oh, that’s what your renter’s insurance is for.” but, uh, I have to pay for that upfront, and then wait who knows how long to be reimbursed, so not a super great option. Also, it would be so disruptive for my cats, especially the youngest one who HATES to travel! I’m just really disappointed in management’s response to my situation – I understand they want to get in fast and prevent mold/further damage, and that’s great, but they’ve made absolutely no offers of assistance, no offer to move me into another unit temporarily, when I brought up the fact that I want them to at the VERY MINIMUM pay my electric bill for me this month, because they’re running massive fans and humidifiers 24/7, they were like “oh, we’ll discuss it and come to an agreement.” and this is the SECOND MAJOR FLOOD in less than 3 months in a building that is barely a year old. You’d think they’d want to do everything possible to keep good tenants. Not acceptable.

        • Oh man – it sounds like the management company is dropping the ball. I’ve had some bad experiences, but have lucked out that they normally had to do with money, not an inconvenience like you’re dealing with. That’s a tough one with disrupting pets. Definitely talk to the people doing the work if you can, to find out a realistic timeframe. And put correspondence to the management company in writing, that may get them to react more quickly/appropriately. Sorry again, what a mess!

        • I’m not sure if they have to pay for another place if the unit is still habitable (working water, etc), but it would probably be worth a call to the tenant advocate or dcra to see.

          • The unit is still technically habitable in that we have running water, but I don’t know how long I won’t be able to use my kitchen for. The other thing is that I have a chronic health condition, and I’m worried that demo/reconstruction/painting will wreak havoc on my lungs, which is super not cool. I just wish they weren’t being such dicks about this!

          • I believe having access to a kitchen setup is required.
            Your health condition would likely not play into what they’re required to do however.
            If the other unit caused the damage, you corks file against their renters insurance, but I’m sure the process will be just as arduous.
            Definitely give someone a call just so you know if they’re doing the legal thing here.

          • Thanks, Anon Spock – I know my health condition wouldn’t change what they’re required to do, it’s more just trying to figure out what I can personally handle as far as living through/dealing with reno vs. trying to find somewhere else to live in the meanwhile. I’ll look into the tenant advocate / DCRA and see if I can talk to someone. This is just such a pain to deal with all around.

        • Also remember that airbnb charges the guest a 9-12% fee based on the total rent, so if you are looking longer term you might want to book only a few days through airbnb, then arrange the rest of the days and payment directly with the owner.

    • Will the complex pay for you to stay elsewhere? Don’t they have to? I hope it gets sorted out soon!!
      About V-day, to be perfectly honest, I am happily coupled up and I really dislike Valentine’s Day, so I sympathize. I feel like it’s a stupid, manufactured holiday that just sets people up to be disappointed. Or perhaps I am still smarting a little from last year’s gift of hand towels.

      • Thanks Anonamom! See response to Andie above re: staying elsewhere. But ouch! Hand towels?! That’s…possibly very thoughtful, in some odd way, and possibly very thoughtless! You would know which one, and I’m assuming since you’re still with him, it was just a bump in the road!

        • Yikes! Hand towels do seem like a pretty inept Valentine’s Day gift. If one were determined to go the linens route, wouldn’t a luxurious bath sheet or superhigh thread-count sheet set be the way to go?

          • Oddly, one thing I love about Valentine’s Day is the pink hand towels. I always go to Target and get a new set every year.
            This is not to say they’re okay as a gift. That’s a terrible gift, unless you’re exactly like me and your bf knows that, which is unlikely.

    • Regular monkey cajones, or puppy monkey baby cajones?

    • Ugh sorry to hear about your crappy weekend. Hope you feel better soon. Regarding Airbnb, I used it for the first time this weekend and had a great experience. It was a little weird showing up at a random apartment with all my luggage in a strange city instead of going to a hotel, but once I got settled I really enjoyed it. Read all the reviews before you book!

    • I hope you feel better soon! Especially with everything else going on. Here’s to hoping the antibiotics work their magic.

    • I had to move out of my house for 5 months while work was being done after a water issue a few winters ago. Yes 5 months. Not to scare you, but to prepare you that it may take longer than you think. I still curse that contractor to this day. Anyway I have a cat and I did Airbnb which I’m so so happy it worked out. Was better to stay in the city. Not out in Maryland where they wanted to put me. The one and only thing I’ll say, and it’s annoying, but just like with health you are your only advocate. I felt like the entire time they were trying to screw me (which they were), so keep calling, try to make your own plans (don’t rely on them) and good luck! It sucks, I know, I was not a happy camper for those months, but you’ll get through.

      • 🙁 Dear god if it takes five months I’m breaking my lease and moving.

        • Maybe something to consider either way? It’s a good time of year to find deals because there are a lot less people looking. Or may be they could get you into a different unit within the same building so that you don’t have to move and then move back? Things that don’t cost them money but help you might be good to ask for, if they’re available.

          • Seconded — unless they’re at full capacity, it seems like it would be easier for them to offer you another unit while yours is under repair.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: totally addicted to nasacort.
    Rave: because it stops nasal congestion.

  • Clueless

    Rave: yesterday’s Super Bowl halftime show
    Rant: regretting all the homemade spinach dip and chili I consumed last night…
    Rave/Revel: …but everything was delicious AF

  • Rant: Have a mild case of the Mondays.
    .
    Rant: Tired of people hating on each other just to hate. I try not to look at the comments sections of news websites, articles on facebook, etc. But it’s hard to avoid. In my opinion, the you’re-a-sexist debate between Hillary and Bernie supporters is completely uncalled for and immature, and all the hate on Beyonce (much of it seemingly because she’s a black woman) is just astounding.
    .
    Rant: Managers/Supervisors in both work and school settings not realizing how much time projects take because they completely fail to acknowledge all the small intermediate work/logistics that have to happen before a final product. Things don’t just magically appear.
    .
    Rave: Fingers crossed for a delay tomorrow so I can get some extra sleep tonight.

    • Agreed that the Bernie v. Hillary wars have sprinted past annoying and into stupid. Though I have to confess that — despite the fact that I’m a Hillary boy — her people seem the most eager wallow in idiocy (see Gloria Steinem’s comments over the weekend), and they play the sexism card way too often. Maureen Dowd’s column on Sunday was depressingly accurate. On the other hand, Bernie peeps can get a little smug. Can’t we all just get along?

      • Ditto to all that. Also, who was hating on Beyoncé? Everything I’ve read says she stole the show. I don’t necessarily agree wit that, but I did think she was great.

        • There are some people who are reading her new video and song as militant. Cause she’s celebrating her blackness and people can’t handle it. I for one loved both her video and halftime show. I almost jumped out of my seat when she and Bruno Mars had the dance off. It was a great performance.

          • I agree with you all! But I accidentally read some comments on facebook on a superbowl halftime show-related article that a friend had liked, and it was FULL of anti-Beyonce comments about her performance, her outfit, her backup dancers, her song, her new video, people saying they wish she had fallen on her “fat ass,” people asking if she was pregnant, etc. It was just really awful.
            .
            I, personally, think Queen Bey has always slayed and still slays.

          • While her performance was okay, I personally felt that Beyonce’s participation was a bit of overkill as she was the main halftime performer just a few years back. Let someone have a turn.

          • TX2DC – I somewhat agree, but that’s also the Super Bowl’s planning problem, not Beyonce’s.

      • Right? For 2 people who have voted together 90% of the time, it seems like maybe we can all just chill a little on both sides.

      • While we’re on the subject(s), I just want to throw out my theory that GaGa’s Star Spangled Pants Suit was a subliminal Hillary endorsement.

    • Additional Rant (3b): Spending aforementioned time on project and then people deciding that project should be done differently. Which is fine, but like, when I came in and announced to an entire office that I’d take care of it, it would have been nice for someone to verbalize what was envisioned instead of waiting for 2 more hours. We need Standard Operating Procedures here.

  • Quotia Zelda

    Rave: Fun weekend with Mr. Zelda’s best friend and his wife.
    Rant: Magnolia peed on my bed WHILE I WAS IN IT. Off to the vet for her.
    Rave: White noise app on my phone mostly drowns out Mr. Zelda’s snoring when he doesn’t use his CPAP.
    Rant: White noise app will not fix Mr. Zelda’s long-term health consequences if he doesn’t use his CPAP.

  • Rave – Had a great weekend in Nashville! What a fun city. Wish I had more time to explore the area.
    Rant – Very turbulent flight home, plus being in a tiny plane = no fun.
    Rant – The Superbowl ads were not that great this year.
    Rave – The Puppybowl was adorable as always.

    • I went on a trip over the weekend and both the flight home and the flight back were super turbulent. I supposed it’s just forcing me to accept it. Still not my favorite.

  • Rave: Fun weekend that wasn’t planned to the hilt every second – some time to relax, get things done around the house, see friends, and have an impromptu drink on 14th after checking out some bikes.
    Rave: New prescriptions seem to be helping both my mental and spinal health.
    Rave: Great yoga class Friday morning with Tricia at Yoga District in Bloomingdale. I’ll be seeking out her classes moving forward. She has a great voice, she does great multi-level instruction and variations, and she doesn’t feel judgy when you take a modification. Really lovely class!
    Rant: I didn’t know I had those muscles, let alone that they could hurt when you sneeze! Yikes!!!

  • Rave: Booked flights for mom and me to spend a week in Spain as an 80th birthday present.
    .
    Rave: Having a mom that can still get around at 80.
    .
    (Relatively minor) Rant: American Express points sure don’t get you what they used to.
    .
    Rave: Worked a long weekend in Paris with the girlfriend in to kick off the trip. After my family, my girlfriend and my stereo, I love Paris most of all.

  • Rave: I had a pretty great weekend, including a nice bachelorette brunch, relaxing nights, spin class, doggie meet-up, baking while watching the Caps game, and a fun Superbowl party.
    Rant: I liked the spin class for the most part, but the bikes were laughably close together and there was a song with hand weights. Does not compute.
    Rave: I painted my nails ombre and I kind of love it.
    Rant: Ugh, when my dog doesn’t get along with another dog he holds a grudge. There are now two dogs on the adjoining street he gets annoyed at and I just don’t understand why.

    • Accountering

      Woohoo! Go Caps! Excellent game, and always happy to beat the Flyers!

    • I’m impressed you have the skill to paint your nails ombre! Jealous. I have problems putting a clear coat on my right hand!

      • I guess I should specify, each nail is a different color, lightest to darkest. I didn’t paint ombre on each nail.
        I do a good job painting them, but I do an awful job not messing them up before they set.

  • I Dont Get It

    Rave: I moved my car several times over the past few days and still returned to get the prime parking spot in front of my house without reserving it with an inanimate object like an orange cone or Lucy.
    Rave: The red tulips on my table look great next to the Valentine’s Day tree!

  • Rave: Front yard is showing signs of early spring – snowdrops and crocus in bloom
    Rant: Bus this morning was just crawling along – cars parked in rush hour lane, construction taking up lanes, all the traffic on the road. Got out and walked faster than the bus was moving
    Rave: Brisk early morning walk

  • Rave: 5 mile run yesterday felt awesome! And fast for me!
    Rant: I think it damaged my immune system enough that the borderline cold I’ve been fighting for a few days has decided to become worse today.
    Rave: Tea.
    Rave: Met the HS junior I’ll be mentoring through Capital Partners for Education. She seems great and we have a lot of things in common, I can totally understand why they matched us. I’m looking forward to getting to know her more.

  • justinbc

    Rave: Mardi Gras party at Black Jack on Saturday was ridiculously fun. I wish I could make the other nights, but…
    Rave: Columbia Room and The Sovereign both opening this week is going to be the death of me, or at least feel like it by the time the week is done.
    Rant: Can’t find the ideal fabric I want for my wedding suit pretty much anywhere after visiting half a dozen different tailors in DC. I hate settling for something that I just really like rather than love, but it’s getting too close to the date to do anymore looking, I’ve got to order something now.

  • Question: Oldest Anonachild got a refurbished Xbox 360… he is unable to connect to the internet (?) because it needs a wireless adapter? I thought these things came with those things? Any clue if I need to go back and complain about it not coming with one, or just accept that I should have known and pony up for one? I know nothing of these things. He gets his gaming from his father’s side.

    • The first generation Xbox 360s required an adapter. You may be able to find one on eBay

    • There are several aftermarket adapters that are much cheaper than the Microsoft version and should work just fine as well. Amazon sells several.

      • Can I get just any wireless adapter? or does it have to be a certain kind of compatibility?

        • It while many kinds might work, for your sanity I would only buy something that explicitly says it’s designed to work with Xbox 360. Other than that, you just need to ensure it will work on your network based on the types of signals your router supports (a/b/g/n/ac) and the type of encryption (if it supports WPA2–which you *should* be using–it’ll support older types as well). I would browse the Amazon reviews, though, to make sure it’s not a total piece of junk.

    • You could just plug it in to your router and forget about the wireless issue altogether?

      • The router and where I want the Xbox to live are on different floors, unfortunately. But, all is solved! Th BF went to Gamestop, complained we weren’t informed it was a first generation when we got it (it was ordered at the store to be shipped to us), and they gave him an Xbox Wireless Adapter. All is solved!

  • Rave: Great weekend hanging with my little brother. He was in the city for a job interview. I really hope he gets something down here. I don’t get to see him much and it would be nice to show him the ropes.

    Rant: I worry about him. Not because he’s into anything bad, just more of a parental worry. It sounds silly, but I do worry how he will be perceived by society, he’s a young black man who dresses in a urban manner. And one of the smartest people I know. We were walking around Georgetown on Saturday and I almost wanted him not to keep his hoodie up. Which is stupid, he should be able to dress however he wants without being judged.

  • Nothing brings out the predator in New Baby Kitty like watching the birds through the window. His whole body changes shape, and he makes that little chirp/grunt noise that cats only make while bird-watching. He doesn’t take the goldfish in the open bowl nearly as seriously, which is ironic, because he actually has a chance, there.

  • Rant: Sleep issues for both kids
    Rave: parental babysitting went better than anticipated
    Rant: the play was kind of dumb.
    Rave: At least we got out?
    Rant: Baby is getting fussy about eating, so I have to stand & hold him & rock/sway/bounce to get him to eat half the time. WTF?
    Rave? Holding him w/o support while feeding may be good for my arm strength?

    • Oh right, and ugh: forgot to re-program the start time for my coffee and the default was midnight. So I had re-heated coffee this morning because it was already cold when I got up. I was wondering why I smelled coffee when I got up with the baby several times last night. Thought I was imagining things. nope.

  • Prepare for delayed school openings tomorrow, if not closures. Snow starts overnight, and royally screws AM rush hour.

  • Bear

    Question for Popville: Where can I get a king cake tomorrow?

  • I need a new line of work. How does someone who gets arrested for armed robbery as a “juvenile” at 18 and 21 years old keep getting a completely suspended sentence? Fails all supervision requirements and doesn’t show up for the free education, job, mental health and counseling services. Then goes to jail for a new offense and, surprise, is arrested for another crime involving a gun 11 days after being released.

    D.C., some people don’t deserve multiple chances, they just need to stay in jail.

  • RANT: people not showing up to our Super Bowl party after already RSVP’ing. Got a bunch of last minute cancellations (24 hours or less). Of course, we had already dumped a ton of money and time cooking for everyone by the time they canceled. Now we have tons of wasted food and we can’t possibly eat it all before our….
    RAVE: relaxing vacation next week in a warm weather climate. We need a break from DC. The winter days are a bit depressing when you’re not in nature.

    • Your rant drives me nuts! It’s so inconsiderate to cancel last minute and preparing for parties is not cheap!
      Is there anything you can freeze? Pawn off on your coworkers?

      • Does a gigantic tray of 7 layer dip freeze and stay good? Ugh.
        A lot of it is junk food that we really just don’t want to eat for the next 5 days, though we will probably do our best to eat what’s here. We’re taking a break from hosting events for a while.
        Someone even asked me last week if we would host their going-away party at our place. That’s a big fat NOPE.

  • Rant: Walking in on the cat drinking out of the toilet. He had his back legs perched on the seat with behind up in the air, his two front paws in the toilet bowl, and he looked up at me all guilty-like with toilet water dripping down his little chin. Ew Foreman just ewwww……
    Rant: Mike Tyson singing Michael & Sons got stuck in my head last night. Must get out.

  • Rant: Pushy, socially inept friends. She invited me to a superbowl party. I said no thanks, I’m not into football. She listed off all the things that would be happening other than football. I thanked her again for the invite, and said again that I was going to have a quiet night at home. She texted me an hour before the party asking if I’d changed my mind. (I hadn’t.) She tagged me on facebook this morning in a post about how great the party was and how [all these people including me] really should have been there.
    Next time, I’ll just lie to her.

  • Rant: Having to stop multiple people from running into me while out. Why are people stop oblivious to their surroundings?
    Rant: Old man dog sleeps in bursts.
    Rave/rant: Busy week ahead.
    Rant: People with let’s wait and see attitudes.

  • Question: anyone had vegan wings at smoke and barrel? Good bad?

  • Chipotle appears to be doing some PR by giving away a free burrito if you text 888222 with “RAINCHECK”. I tried it and it only requires your first and last name and zip code. It seems like the code may be a day or two arriving, but I’ll wait for a free (hopefully non illness-inducing) burrito. I figured I’d share!

  • Rant: While I tried to be civil and put in perspective the whole treehouse on the hill brouhaha, now it gets even more ridiculous and and can’t resist. The owners have set up an account to ask people to help them pay to change the structure. Seriously. They have enough money to have more than one property and hope others will give them money in order pay to fix it. The DCist post on this even features a photo that shows a new angle and makes it clear to my uneducated eye, that none of this treehouse is actually on their property. At all. I was somewhat sympathetic to their plight with DDOT/DCRA before, but these people just showed their true colors.

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