Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user Joe Newman

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.

128 Comment

  • janie4

    Rant: Brussels.
    Rave: feels silly now, but was very happy with the fact that on Friday, I managed to not only get all of the seven letter words on the Express’s scrabble thing, but made a seven letter word out of the one that was supposed to be six letters.
    Rave: Family, friends, and pets.

  • Rant: the attack in Brussels. So much senseless violence in the world.
    Rant: I feel so disconnected from anything going on in the news because
    RAVE: I gave birth to my little parasite last week. Nothing could prepare me for all the fluids, the diaper changes, the sleep deprivation, and the overwhelming love I feel for this demanding little tyrant. I am so head over heels.
    Rave: Coffee! Sweet nectar of the gods which I can consume again without miserable heartburn. I need to know more than ever.

  • Rant: There is an epidemic in DC of people terrified of the ends of escalators. They’ll walk up the left side at a good pace, then freeze in horror as they get close to the end. It’s the only explanation I can figure.

    • phl2dc

      I’ve noticed that as well. Very annoying, especially when the train I’m trying to catch is at the platform.

    • NH Ave Hiker

      maybe they’re terrified of tripping and falling?

    • Hilarious. I’m glad I read this with a mouth full of coffee. You just gave me my morning laugh. Haha.

    • That One Guy

      This! How do people not catch their stride when walking on escalators?

    • Emmaleigh504

      I watched this couple who walked up the escalator just fine, then stopped and sort of slid over the end, almost falling each time. How do people not know how escalators work?

    • HaileUnlikely

      I’m sure this is not the case for most of the people that you’re describing, but a small minority of them may have issues with balance for legitimate neurological reasons and have difficulty stepping from something that is moving onto something that is not moving.

    • Even worse, just stopping completely at the bottom of the escalator as soon as you’re off the moving belt. The number of times I’ve wanted to just run smack into people to get the point across that you have to *keep moving* is astonishing.

    • If you’ve ever had your shoe laces caught in the end of an escalator, you’ll never step from one again without thinking of it (and slowing down).

      • I was once behind a kid on the up escalator when his shoelace got caught. Mom didn’t know what to do and froze. I yanked him up leaving the shoe behind and all was fine. As a kid, my friend had her foot caught in an escalator while I was stood next to her. You don’t unsee that shit, let me tell you.

        • oh my god that must have been absolutely horrifying! Hope your friend was ok! jeebus!

          • IIRC, two broken toes (the ones that got caught) and one helluva gash, but she was ok. Montgomery Ward let her pick out whatever pair of shoes she wanted while they were waiting on the ambulance. Apparently she was very lucky not to be in sandals that day!

      • Andie302

        At downtown countdown one year just as it was about to turn midnight a girl got her long dress stuck at the end of the escalator. Several staff were trying to help her and someone managed to hit the emergency stop pretty quickly, but it was still scary. I felt for her – I’m pretty sure her whole party rang in the new year at the base of the escalator.

      • This happened to a kid in front of my family at Air and Space. My dad jumped over the rail and hit the emergency stop button, my mom took out her scissors and cut his shoe lace, and my very arthritic grandfather just kept walking up the down escalator, one sideways step at a time to keep out of the pile up of kids.
        Luckily the kid was probably more hurt by the overzealous teacher’s pat down after the incident than anything else. But it is scary.

    • My 67-year old mother is sort of scared of escalators, but her fear is mild enough that I am allowed to laugh at her. She sort of crouches as she gets close to the end of the ride, like she’s preparing to take a death-defying leap, then kind of jumps off the last step to the landing. I giggle every time I ride one with her, and then try to explain that it’s just not that hard. But it never changes! It definitely made our last vacation to Madrid and Barcelona endlessly entertaining because we took a lot of metro rides. I think if she actually lived in a city that has more escalators, she would get used to them (which would be a shame).

  • Rant: touristssss. everywhere! make it stop! LOl
    Rave: listening to ‘summer nights’ from Grease. cheering me up
    Rant: attack in brussels. i just feel like the war on terror will never end. weapons and access to weapons and how to’s make it too damn easy.
    Rave: kate spade office supplies. Cute!!

    • Kate Spade office supplies are the best, I wish I could justify more of them.

    • justinbc

      Those tourists pump huge sums of money into the DC economy. Please do not make them stop, I like increased tax base.

      • Accountering

        Super happy we are back to Tourist Season, and my AirBNB is back to Tourist Season occupancy rates, and per night rates! Agree on the tax base – I like to think that perhaps some of the tourists from bumble-dumble return home with somewhat more of an appreciation that there is more here than just government, and more of an appreciation for urbanism, biking, exercising etc. Hey, one can dream right?

    • I love tourists. I have been one, on many, many occasions. I’m glad I’ve only rarely encountered curmudgeonly locals.

    • I am far more often annoyed by locals when wandering around the city than tourists.

  • Quotia Zelda

    Rant: Brussels.
    Rave: My friends who live in Brussels are safe.
    Rant: Really, really disturbing dream. The kind that lingers with you.

  • justinbc

    Rave: That’s a surreal photo, well done.
    Rave: All friends in Brussels are accounted for and safe.
    Rave: Just found out (due to the recent controversy) that Louis C.K. has a new show.
    Rant: Current property management company is getting so much worse the past few months, especially with paying bills on time.
    Rave: Switching to a new company in April, which we should have done last year but we were out of the country so it was too difficult to coordinate.

  • Rant: Brussels. Hating these senseless attacks.
    Rave: My family came to see me this weekend. My 12 year old nephew is almost as tall as I am. My family got to see the MLK Memorial. We went shopping too. The best thing was that they showed me that they actually had faith in me after years of my being unsure of what they thought of me. Made me feel really good.
    Rant: Noisy folks at my office. Had to email a complaint to the assistant director when I couldn’t get through a day of work without stopping at least 10 times due to loud and boisterous talking and laughing from coworkers. I need to get my work done folks!
    Rant: They are still loud even after the assistant director sent an office wide email about the noise. I think they think they can get away with it cause they are all buddy buddy with the higher ups.
    Rave: Wearing new black boots at work today.

  • Rant: Grandmother passed away this weekend. Not unexpected, she was 96 and we knew it was coming and she went peacefully, but still really sad. She was lovely, and I wish I had been able to see her more. The hard part of having family overseas.
    Rant: She was in England, trying to figure out whether to go to the funeral. I probably won’t, with the cost and work – parents aren’t either, they said they want to plan a trip later since they flew out to see her a few months ago – but I feel guilty.
    Rant: Family drama. At least it makes me a bit less inclined to go over, since the main reason to go would be to spend time with the family there, and if some of them are being difficult…
    Rant: Brussels. So many bombings… Makes me nervous to be in DC sometimes. 🙁
    Not a very rave-y week, unfortunately.

  • Rant: DC residents and visitors (that includes you kids). Seriously throw away your trash in a trash can. Not on the street and not in your lawn. That includes your partially eaten food waste (pizza, chicken bones, vile Subway sandwiches).

    • This bothers me. DC isn’t one of those cities where public trash cans are hard to find. Not that that makes it excusable for other cities; it just makes it completely senseless when people do it in a downtown area with trash cans on every corner.

    • Raahhhh

      About a week ago, I was walking by the 7-11 across from the zoo. Three white women in their late 30s to mid 40s came out, looking rather well to do. One opened her newly purchased bottle of water and dropped the cap. They were about three feet from a trash can. The lady who dropped it paused, looked down, and another in their trio said “don’t worry!” and they walked on.

      • At least the bottle-cap incident sounds like it happened accidentally (although obviously the woman should have picked it up afterward). I think most litter in D.C. is deliberate, from people who don’t give a f***.

  • Rant: Brussels – I hate waking up to BBC news alerts telling me of death and destruction and terror. Trying to focus on all the good things in life, and the extraordinarily low statistical likelihood of ever being caught up in anything similar, but it still plucks my anxious strings. Fighting the occasional urge to cry over the sheer senselessness of it all.
    Rant: Getting an average of 5 hours of sleep a night for the past week is not helping matters.
    Rave: Got a lot done yesterday, both at work and at home, so that’s something.
    Rave: Kitty doing better, and Rx food on its way just to be on the safe side.
    Rave: 4 days til California!

    • maxwell smart

      I’m with you on Rant 1 (and 2) – I had been considering taking a late summer / early fall trip to Belgium and the Netherlands as I have not taken vacation in 2+ years and am approaching the point of maxing my vacation accrual, but now I am reconsidering.

  • Rave: Aero press. God I love my aero press coffee.
    Rave: I’m buying a mountain bike for my birthday. I’m headed to REI tonight with my 20% off coupon and last year’s dividend. VERY EXCITED for single track!!
    Rave: You people here. Community rocks, whatever shape it takes.
    Rant: Brussels. In my prayers. I wish we could all love each other more.

  • Rant: Waking up to yet another terrorist attack…. it makes my heart hurt.
    Rant: A shipping mistake has a package being sent to an address I haven’t lived at in almost 4 years. And since it’s being sent FedEx Smart Post, they’re telling me there is nothing that can be done. Crossing my fingers that the last minute USPS change of address form I just submitted will have it redirected to my current place.
    Rave: My incredibly sweet nephew. When I told my sister to give him a great big birthday hug from us, she gave him one. He looked at her and asked where his other hug was “since I have two aunties, I should get two big hugs.” What a sweetie!

  • Waiting to hear back from a job interview. I’m about to jump out of my skin. Maybe I over-caffienated, because I’m so high strung I’m about to have a throw myself on the ground and flail about meltdown, toddler style.

    • Emmaleigh504

      lol and good luck!

    • I totally feel your pain here! I’ve been waiting over a week and it’s radio silence so far. I plan to follow up in a few more days if I don’t hear anything, maybe you can too?

  • Andie302

    Rant: Brussels
    Rave: New tenant moved in last night and the ladies signed a new one year lease. I’m hoping she’s a good fit, and glad to have the other two tenants for another year.
    Rave: Frame gallery is officially up after living in the house for 6+ months.
    Rant: Need a few more images to fill the last of the small frames, and I haven’t exactly been using my camera a lot lately!
    Rave: Tax return coming – I thought I might owe…so any return is a welcome relief!

  • Rave: first day of supervising went well…because supervisee was out sick.
    Rave: visited a dear friend I rarely get to see this weekend. It was great to spend time with her, catch up, and get covered in glitter for a photo project she’s doing.
    Rant: I agreed to baby sit the nieces this Sunday, which will be fun, but it’s 8 hours of baby sitting and after 3 weekends in a row out of town I was looking forward to actually getting some stuff done at home.

  • Rant: Obviously, Brussels. It’s very odd to not be in DC when there are terrorist attacks after so many years in a national security job, it feels like I’m useless in the grand scheme of things whereas before I felt like I had a piece of the larger puzzle.
    Rant: It’s also a relief.
    Rant: Son had Scarlet Fever. Because apparently it’s 1890 up in here.
    Rave: Had a good 5th anniversary brunch at Talulah’s Garden – worth a trip if you’re in the area. But I feel like spending time alone is useless. We don’t have much to talk about anymore aside from kiddo because we have very different work lives now. But at least brunch was good!
    Rave: My visit to DC last week was great fun – I love that my job brings be back so often!

    • I had to laugh at the Scarlet Fever thing… I remember the first time one of my kids had it, i was like, did I get transported to the Oregon Trail or something? On the plus side, at least it’s not fatal anymore!

      • Exactly – how is that still a thing? He’s on antibiotics, which he hates. But I’m glad I noticed the rash because generally he was in perfectly great spirits (for a 2.5 year old, anyway).

        • I think we can anticipate much more strep and other bacterial troubles we thought we had a handle on, as antibiotic resistance increases.
          PSA: Please, please don’t take antibiotics unless you need them. Your cold is almost certainly viral. Quick google says 90+% of sinus infections are viral. Please don’t ask your doctor for them “just in case”. Give it a couple days and take them as a last resort. And then, take the whole course.

    • Isn’t scarlet fever just strep?

      • a type of strep, apparently very rare.

        • hammers

          interesting. I had Scarlet Fever as a kid– I didn’t know it was a type of strep. I get strep all the time.

      • Pretty much; it’s the same bacteria, and only some people get the rash. It’s fairly benign, though back in the day with no antibiotics, the infection would spread to the blood system and cause death. As a side note, my ex-husband got a strep rash/Scarlet Fever once and it actually activated his Psoriasis. He has a weird type and it will often times show no signs until the patient gets strep. The world of infections is fascinating!

      • Huh. I didn’t realize that. My mom told me I had scarlet fever and strep throat at the same time as a kid – I guess this is what she meant/she misunderstood the doctor…

        • lol, that sounds like my mom’s style of embellishment… “oh, you think X child’s illness is bad? When you were a kid, you had strep AND scarlet fever at the same time!” You know, kinda like all the times she walked 3 miles to school, uphill, in the snow?

  • Rave: Perspective and Mindfulness. I spent half the day at a doctor’s appointment for my daughter, an appointment which started way late and led me to missing half a day of work and her an entire day. But it was a day spent with her one-on-one, and she has access to some of the best doctors and nurses to treat her chronic condition, a condition which is getting better. Her clinic shares a waiting area with the Hematology/Oncology clinic, and seeing those poor kids really hurts my heart. So while I could have been that mom who threw a fit over having to wait, I chose not to. This made my day much better.
    Rant: I wish I had continued with this same perspective and mindfulness when the youngest kicked off last night about having to go to bed instead of staying up and watching tv. I swear, that child is too much like his mother.

    • I just feel like childhood cancer is proof that there is no god. It is my greatest fear for my own child. I’m glad your daughter is doing better

      • And your compassion and concern for those children and your own kiddo proves there is a God. Otherwise, why give a sht? And if a response is that we are conditioned to care by some force of evolution that causes us to care, why give a sht about that either?

        • Accountering

          Yikes, I care because I don’t want other people to suffer, not because some god convinced me too.

          • Kind of depends of how one understands God. If God is love, as it say in the Gospel of John, caring is the essence of God. Taking this as a premise leads to amazing things.

  • Rave: Homeaway.com – where I rent out my vacation apt. – is advertising on PoP! A banner ad just came up when I clicked on RoR, actually featuring my place. Did anyone else get this ad? I know it would partly be because I had gone to the site and entered search dates this morning, but I’m just curious who else is seeing it.

    And since I had a sudden cancellation, I now have 4 nights of prime Cherry Blossom time available – March 23-26, if anyone has family or friends ready for a last-minute visit. 1/2 block to Columbia Heights Metro, $140/night, sleeps 4-5.

    • I’m curious about HomeAway. How did you choose to do that over Airbnb, or do you do both? Thinking about putting a Columbia Heights condo on there. Have you been happy with the service and the money? Do you have a recommendation for a cleaning service or do you do it yourself? Any insight is appreciated!

    • Andie302

      If you are tempted to try out airbnb to fill your last minute reservation please let me know and I’ll refer you – I think we’d each get $100 for future travel. (You may already be listed, I can’t remember if you use both or just stick to homeaway.) When we listed we had reservation requests coming in within 45 minutes – I would think for cherry blossoms you might be get some immediate bites on your available timing.

    • My apt. is on Airb and I did get six requests for these dates, but they were all for 2 nights, with groups of 4-5 twenty-somethings who all wanted discounts. I rarely book through Airb for a variety of reasons – 1. They don’t let you communicate with the guests before booking. 2. The requests are usually for only 2 nights and the “quality” of the guests tends to not be what I’m looking for. 3. I don’t like that Airb charges the guest 9-12% booking fee.

      I’ve been on VRBO for 9 years with great success, usually 95% year-round occupancy, but everything is in great upheaval now. Homeaway bought VRBO, then Expedia bought Homeaway and is now trying to force owners into online booking (more like Airb) and has also started charging the guests a booking fee. So no one really knows what’s going to happen.

      The market is also flooded with vacation rentals. Homeaway has over 600, and Airb over 1,600, so if you’re thinking about renting out a place as a vacation rental, take some time and really examine the websites, look at your “competition, and really crunch the numbers. Airb has driven prices down dramatically, and guests are starting to realize the additional 9-12% fees (plus DC hotel tax) makes it much less of a good deal.

      • Andie302

        Just a clarification – you can definitely communicate with people before booking as long as you don’t have the instant book feature activated. We never book anyone without touching base with them first regarding their stay. You can also set a 3 night minimum if you don’t want 2-night bookings. I understand everyone has their preference…we’ve had enough luck booking our basement with airbnb that we’re not putting it on homeaway/vrbo, but accountering uses both sites for his Petworth rental and ends up booking about 50/50. Agree that there is quite a bit of competition in the market these days, and I anticipate more to come.

      • SilverSpringGal

        Prices are down dramatically? I was just on AirBnB looking in the 16th Street area – the best I could find was $200/night not including fees for 2 guests. Most of the rentals wanted $300/night. I understand that hotels cost even more (the Comfort Inn wanted $400 for instance) but that’s a lot of money for a 7-day rental. Probably the owner’s mortgage and there’s cleaning fee/hotel tax/AirBnB fee tacked on.

        What kind of pricing did you have before?

        • Was that during peak blossoms? Overall prices seem to be down, but summer, blossoms, etc definitely bump up the prices. Maybe that area also has less rentals.

          • SilverSpringGal

            April. So perhaps that’s it? But I’d expect the prices to be higher during tourist and intern season over the summer, so I was surprised to have to pay what I did for spring.

        • What dates are you looking for? $200.00 a night is super high, especially in the 16th St. area (though I don’t really know what that means since 16th St is miles long!) Since Airb doesn’t charge owners to list, many people just throw their apt. up during high seasons, Cherry Blossom, 4th of July, Inauguration etc. and see what they might get.

      • thanks, this is helpful! We’re still a ways away from listing it, so I’ll need to do more research.

      • Ugh. This. I’ve been advertising on VRBO since 2004 and am so fed up with them, I’ve canceled my subscription. Other than the things you mentioned (4-9% guest fee, requiring us to use BIN), they rolled out a “best match” algorithm last year that results in your property not even showing up in travelers’ search results half the time. And they spam your guests constantly (don’t put your guests email in the calendar if they book outside the system).

        A good sign is a class action lawsuit has been filed against them in Texas over the guest fees.

        • So what are you doing instead of VRBO? I’m definitely looking at other listing options. So far I’ve avoided BIN, but I know that’s going to change. I never put my guests emails in the calendar. I don’t even put their full names. I take payment by personal check, Paypal or cash, so avoid the Homeaway payment system completely.

          • Accountering

            Interesting – I ONLY book within the Homeaway payment system. I did take payment via Venmo from someone who wanted to pay that way once. Worked out fine.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: bad work dreams. I kept waking up thinking I was behind on a project. This means I’m sleepy today.
    Rant: all the death and destruction in the world.
    Rave: team building thing wasn’t as horrible as it could have been.

    • Emmaleigh504

      Rave: all the cherry blossom decals that pop up this time of year. I love the ones on the trash cans.

  • Revel: Spring break is sooooo close.
    Rant: No plans
    Rant: A ridiculous amount of grading to due by Thursday evening.

  • msmaryedith

    Rave: Waking up to see the Facebook alert that a family member was marked safe in the Brussels Explosions.
    Rant: The explosions. Another friend was actually in the airport but is safely evacuated; I hope she can get home soon. So sad for Belgium.

  • Rant: Taxes. God damn is it complicated when you lived most of the year in the US, now live in a different country, and you’re American, but spouse is not! Oh plus add marriage to the mix at the end of last year. I mean we have a professional doing it, but it was still complicated and time consuming. So many questions!
    Rave: Getting both my parents birthday presents while living up here and the presents arrived early! I feel a little guilty though because usually buy my dad Nats tickets, but can’t do that this year! 🙁 Hopefully I can get down there and take him to a game one weekend.

  • Ah, the springtime scent of bark mulch. I suppose we can be glad that it fades before the gingko fruit ripens…

    • Andie302

      I am with you on this. I have a super sensitive nose and man that stuff is terrible. I cannot imagine what pregnancy nose could be like for me, because I can already smell stuff really intensely. Although I appreciate it when there’s at least some new flowers along with the mulch!

  • hammers

    Rave: Wonderful date and concert last night
    Rant: Someone tried to steal S.O.’s bike from in front of my apt.
    Rave: Operative word- tried
    Rant: Must do taxes soon

    • Glad the thieves were unsuccessful! Also, yes, I got to get my butt in gear and do my taxes – eeek!

  • Rant: Sadness for Europe and the world.
    Revel: My grandmother is finally thrilled about her new apartment.
    Question: She’s asked me to help consign a few of her older, fancy clothes…including some furs…does anyone know any consignment stores/places that would be good to check out for this kind of thing?

    • I’d try ingas’s in the palisades. I’ve never actually been but I was told they take high end designer and cater to a slightly older crowd. Good luck!

    • That One Guy

      There’s the consignment shop right above Starbucks in DuPont circle (next to Teaism).

        • secondi could be good, but I’d read through their consignment policy multiple times. as a shopper (and someone who used to work in a consignment store) I find that a lot of their stuff is priced too high for the market, and often goes for a discounted price. Just know that your items may sell for XX% lower than the price agreed to because of their sale policy. I’ve had luck selling things on The Real Real–similar to Secondi in terms of pricing/discounts (they’re pretty much always having a sale), but because they’re online they don’t have to buy seasonally.

  • Bear

    Rant: I woke up at 5:15 this morning. It’s the third time that’s happened in the past week or so. I need more sleep!
    Rave: I am at least falling asleep and staying asleep for most of the night, unmedicated, which is a welcome change.

  • Huh. Rob Ford died. Why does Canada have all the luck??

    • Yeah – I’m not one to rejoice at anyone’s death, but I will admit to entertaining some fantasies of Donald Trump having a sudden fatal heart attack.

      • +1! I honestly don’t care if my hopes for Trump’s sudden demise make me a monster or not.

    • All the luck?? He was 46 and leaves behind a family–it’s sad.

      • Sad for his family, sure. Lucky for a city/ country that risked his re-election in spite of his lies, cronyism, ignorance of fiscal policy, campaign shenanigans, hate speech, and of course, his belief that laws are for other people.

        • He withdrew from the race to be re-elected as mayor. No need to rejoice over his death; Rob Ford the politician was already off the scene.

      • Seems that many of the names I see on this blog who get outraged when people even suggest positions that counter their thinking then turn around and wish for acts of violence on people they find fault with (punch Ted Cruz hard in the face) and take delight in their death, like today. Seriously hypocritical.

  • Rave: Mom is visiting this weekend.
    Rant: She’s coming into town for my sister’s birthday. Last year this happened, the birthday celebration was an unnecessary, dramatic, commotion-causing event, and straight-up embarrassing for everyone. Ugh..
    Rant: My sister is a damn adult.. start acting like it. You don’t need a month-long birthday celebration, and you can’t hold it over someone if they can’t come to one of the multitude of events… I need a break from the circus.
    Rant: Fighting off a migraine… could be related to above rants.
    RAVE: Starting interviewing for a new colleague soon–we’ve got a seriously awesome list of pre-screened candidates 🙂

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