Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user Clif Burns

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.

162 Comment

  • Quotia Zelda

    Rant: Do I even need to mention the weather?
    Rave: Planning my order for the garden club’s spring plant sale.

  • Rant: RIP Admiral Ackbar.
    Rant: Guy who (i) when pulling out of parking garage through the sidewalk is focused only on other cars, creeps into the sidewalk without ever actually stopping, and ignores possible pedestrians, (ii) is ignoring pedestrians because he’s alternating looking at traffic and texting, and (iii) gets huffy when I touch his car to let alert him to the fact that he almost hit me. Look, mistakes happen, I get it (and ignoring the texting thing). But when informed you made a mistake, the proper reaction is to apologize, not get pissy about it.) (OK, OK, maybe it was more than a tough. But he almost hit me – a smack to the hood is perfectly warranted.)

    • HaileUnlikely

      I agree with you regarding a smack on the hood being warranted. However, I’ll never forget the time when I tapped with my fingertips on the fender of an SUV that was rolling through a stop sign doing one of those look left while rolling right maneuvers in front of me, and the driver, who was built like Mike Tyson and appeared to have likely been angry about something else already or perhaps was under the influence of something like PCP, got out and immediately started a full-on sprint at me. I’m pretty sure he would have actually killed me if I wasn’t fast enough to get away. [This was when I was about 23 or 24 and was still very fast. If we had a redo today, he might have actually caught me.] When he realized he wasn’t going to catch me, he literally looked up at the sky, screamed wildly, and pounded his chest a few times, like a gorilla or something. It was truly terrifying. So anyway, I don’t tap/slap/bang on people’s cars any more.

      • Amen — it’s just not worth taking the chance.
        More discussion of how touching someone’s car can be perceived as a sign of disrespect and prompt a volatile person to threaten (or engage in) physical violence:

      • HaileUnlikely

        p.s. needless to say, I don’t think that guy gave a f* whether you or I or textdoc or anybody else thought the tap was warranted.

      • I don’t understand the smack on the hood thing. Can’t one just understand that he didn’t see you and/or made a mistake and move on.

        • I think the original idea is to make people aware — nothing like a shocking sound to get you to pay attention.

          • Yeah, but it can easily have the effect of making somebody really angry, rather than the desired effect of making the person aware/feel chastened.

          • That’s right – it isn’t retaliation, it’s “Hy, dumb*ss, and pay attention, there’s someone right in front of your car, and if you don’t stop and look you’ll hit them.”

          • But that’s treating the person like they are your child or something. Is the smack on the hood a form of discipline or something? I don’t get how one feels that they have the right to do this.

          • If somebody actively risks the well-being of others because they are too self-absorbed to notice them, then yea, that person more than deserves to be treated like a child.

          • If I am walking on the sidewalk, and a car is rolling toward me, and I see the driver is not paying attention to where he’s going (in this case, alternating between looking at his phone and looking for a break in oncoming traffic), I have every right to make sure he becomes aware that I am there so that he doesn’t hit me. I’m not sure how to do that other than smack the car. How would you suggest I get his attention? Or are you suggesting I just scamper out of the way, and hope he doesn’t see a break in traffic and accelerate, running me over?

          • HaileUnlikely

            You just said you were on the sidewalk, which implies that you have not yet entered the driver’s projected path. While I completely agree that you have the right to do so, this strikes me as a concrete circumstance in which exercising that right might be unwise.

          • Oops, I posted the below in the wrong place:
            The car was pulling out of a garage, looking to make a right turn on a one-way street, looking left up the street. I was walking on the sidewalk, against traffic, so he was looking away from me. I was both on the sidewalk (that he had to cross to get out to the street) and in his direct path.

          • HaileUnlikely

            Ok, that makes more sense now. All possible courses of action kind of suck. I’m not sure which one sucks the least. I’ll admit that yours does not clearly suck more than any other in this specific situation.

          • In this example, couldn’t you walk behind the car since he obviously didnt see you?

            “The car was pulling out of a garage, looking to make a right turn on a one-way street, looking left up the street. I was walking on the sidewalk, against traffic, so he was looking away from me. I was both on the sidewalk (that he had to cross to get out to the street) and in his direct path.”

          • I will say, I saw that he wasn’t looking, and I suppose I could waited until he had proceeded through the sidewalk to go. I didn’t, because I wanted to get home, I don’t feel like I should have to, and it irked me that he was on his phone and not paying attention. Plus, there was a lot of traffic on this street, so who knows how long I’d have been standing there. Short version, I could have avoided it, and probably should have. However, I am opposed to letting people get away with anti-social behavior. I get what you (and textdoc) are saying, but I’m not going to live my life refraining to call out people who act like jackasses because they may be crazy. I’m not stupid, however, and I’m a lot less likely to do this in Columbia Heights, for example, than in Georgetown (where I was). No guarantees, of course – crazy people are everywhere – but the odds are better.

        • Everyone should be required to carry clown-horns when walking!
          Just kidding. A good rap to the hood is needed in order to get attention, especially when the alternative is getting plowed over. Back when I was 19 and living in NYC, we’d kick in the rear quarter panel of cars when they almost hit us in the crosswalk. Not cool and often terrifying as we sprinted through Manhattan, but it was a good lesson for the drivers.

          • To agree with all of the above (stacksp, dcd, OP anon) — I really try to avoid touching anyone’s car but that one time I got yelled at, it was crossing 14th street with at least 20 more seconds on the crosswalk, and I was already in the second lane when the guy was about a foot from hitting me, so scampering out of the way wasn’t a great option. That being said, clown-horns are actually a hysterical idea! Hahahaha!

        • I smacked on the hood of car because the driver was about to hit me in the middle of a crosswalk (she was looking left for cars while driving through a stop sign). I did it to get her attention she was about to hit me, not as a form of discipline. I tried yelling out something first but she didn’t hear me, she just kept driving right towards me so I kinda panicked and hit the hood of her car.

        • The car was pulling out of a garage, looking to make a right turn on a one-way street, looking left up the street. I was walking on the sidewalk, against traffic, so he was looking away from me. I was both on the sidewalk (that he had to cross to get out to the street) and in his direct path.

      • Agreed. I was almost hit in the middle of a crosswalk once (I had the right of way — by a lot of time, but you know those people who think they can left-turn into pedestrians…) and reached out and tapped the side of the guy’s car and the guy proceeded to scream at me and hold up traffic for about 2 blocks down the street. I literally thought I was going to get shot. Not worth it.

    • I do the tap/bang/touch car hoods and am willing to run the risk. Mind you I tend to do this while I’m on my bike and someone nearly kills me. It’s one of the only ways to get someone to pay attention and realize they are driving a vehicle that can kill people. People have all responded differently but I feel like it’s the one way I get a voice/can be heard in the commuting rat race. Also fond of the loud “HEY”s and pointing at someone and wagging my finger 🙂

        • Thanks for your concern. Though, the risk of having a distracted drive do me harm is higher, in my opinion, than the risk of someone getting pissed off and attacking me because I remind them of my right to be on the road and to be respected.

          • But aren’t you tapping the car hood only after the near-collision has already occurred — not beforehand?
            I think HaileUnlikely’s cautionary tale is well heeded. It doesn’t matter how right/justified you are if it lands you in the hospital.
            In 2007, when smartphones and people whipping out in movie theaters were both relatively new phenomena, I was at a theater and was speechless/outraged when a woman in front of me took out her iPhone and started checking e-mail or something. I kicked her seat. She kept using the phone. I leaned forward and said, “Could you turn that thing off?”
            A minute or two later, her boyfriend left his seat, came back to my row, and told me that if I kicked his girlfriend’s seat again or ______ (I don’t remember what the ____) was, he’d “beat the sh1t” out of me.
            That incident scared the bejeezus out of me. These days I either don’t say anything to people who take their phones out (even though it enrages me), or I ask them super-politely to turn them off.

          • HaileUnlikely

            I get the sentiment here, however, if the circumstances are such that you are able to avoid harm by your own action irrespective of the driver’s action, I would recommend taking that route 100% of the time. The probability that your piping up and demanding respect of the driver resulting in that driver respecting you or other pedestrians or other cyclists in the future in infinitesimally small.

          • Learn something new everyday, so checking email in the movies is a violation? I cant send a text, or check to see if an email came through. Does the light from the phone bother people that much…

            Kicking someone’s chair is rather bold by the way.

          • Stacksp, why do you think that theaters have announcements before the movie telling you to turn off your phone? It’s not just because of the ringing (or vibrating, which is audible to people nearby).
            “Does the light from the phone bother people that much…” YES. It is immensely distracting. It’s amazing to me that the phone-users don’t realize this.
            Seeing a movie in an actual theater — with the big screen and with the lights off — allows you to immerse yourself in the story. When you see someone’s phone in your peripheral vision, it completely interrupts that.

          • HaileUnlikely and TextDoc – I have seen it work though. I commute down a heavily trafficked street. And I avoid the dangerous situation, remind the driver that I’m there and deserve respect, and then, as we commute down the Avenue together, I’ve received greater distance for passing and respect from the drivers. Some even get off their godd**n phones! And with taxis, I’ve gone so far as to take pictures of their license plate while stopped at the light if they’ve driven erratically and nearly hit me. They tend to respect me more once they see I’m a human being that is empowered to take action and hold them to account.

          • HaileUnlikely

            I totally get what you’re saying, and I can tell that I am not about to persuade you to do anything differently. And I’d be lying if I claimed that I hadn’t done similarly at least a few dozen times. However, when I’m sitting in a chair thinking about it as opposed to in the midst of the situation, I figure that in the unlikely event that I earn the respect of 99 drivers by smacking their cars, it does not matter if the 100th one makes my wife a widow.

          • Wait —
            StackSP: You just said above “I don’t get how one feels that they have the right to do this.” But you don’t understand why one shouldn’t be on their phone in the movie theater? BOTH actions are rude. I don’t understand why one feels they have the right to send texts during a movie! You can simply step out of the theater for a few minutes if it’s that urgent…

          • And I am not touching a person or a persons property just responding to my wife, babysitter etc…

          • Unless you’re a doctor, you can go two hours without being reachable by phone. People used to do this ALL THE TIME.
            I believe in the case where one moviegoer shot another for using a phone in a theater, the guy who got shot didn’t think he was doing anything wrong because he was checking on his kids. News flash: It doesn’t matter what the reason is — it’s still rude to use your phone in a theater.

          • The beauty of seeing a movie at E Street Cinema – it’s so deep down in a bunker that there is absolutely no cell phone reception down there.

  • The eagle nest at the arboretum is swaying in the wind like a carnival ride. I’m worried the babies are going to fall out.

  • Rant – Semi-final games sucked
    REVEL – That championship game tho’ (How did Hoyas or Terps not get those players from MD / DC?)

  • Rant: NCAA bracket is totally messed up.
    Rant: Some idiot near me in the Metro car I was riding in this morning farted. Had to smell that crap from Union Station to Gallery Place. A short time but still.
    Rant: Intrusive thoughts are bothering me again.
    Rave: Hopeful new meds will work.
    Rave: Found the perfect spring bag and some sneakers I liked.
    Rant: NetZero charging me 6.95 for an email address that I do not use. This is after I told them to cancel my Internet service (it s took forever) after their DSL service area didn’t include my apartment.

    • Your second rant happened to me last week on plane. Every so often on a 90 minute flight. So gross.

  • Rant: Seeing breast milk referred to as “tit spit.” WTF kind of immature jackoff douche bag actually thinks its funny and/or ok?
    Rave: I am in love with Corner Bakery’s Berry Almond Swiss Oats and found the recipe online today. For some reason up until now, I have been very much anti-overnight oats, but now I can’t wait to try them!
    Rant: Parents want to get together this weekend. I’m already compiling a list of things in my head that my mom is sure to pass judgment on. I’m hoping to combine the get together with the oldest’s baseball game so at least their attention will be focused elsewhere.

    • 1st Rant: What the hell? Who says stuff like that?
      2nd rant: I got my mom to the monuments when she was here. Good distraction for several hours.

    • Yes, the “tit spit” comment may have won the race to the bottom that was that entire thread.
      Also feeling a little ranty about how easily swayed people are. The bar owner comes out hours later with a long statement that his lawyers/ PR people obviously spent all afternoon reviewing, and says basically “Nuh-uh!!” and “aw, they’re good guys,” and everyone changes their tune. Who’s got the most motive to lie in this story?
      Another win for mindless rule following. When the revolution comes, we’ll line up voluntarily to be shot, and we’ll take our shoes off while we’re waiting our turn.

      • Emmaleigh504

        Come the revolution there will be no more limousines.

      • Actually there was just a study that shows exactly that. A robot lead people in a fire drill and they followed him, even into rooms without exits.
        Good luck when the world ends everyone!!!

      • The Yelp reviews were over the top for me. I can’t stand when people use Yelp for those reasons. And they don’t really have any reviews so they literally just got on yelp to further bash LMW. However, I don’t think either party comes out winning. I also read LMW’s tweets, which seemed to be just digging themselves a deeper hole.

        • Regarding “I can’t stand when people use Yelp for those reasons.”

          I completely disagree. I find reviews like these to be much more helpful and reliable than someone’s personal opinions on other aspects, which I only really trust in aggregate. As a woman, I’d like to avoid experiencing sexist microaggressions. Additionally, there are very few ways for people who experience oppression, particularly microaggresions, to hold the perpetrators (people and establishments alike) of such acts accountable.

          • Whenever I read reviews like those — especially when they are so out of step with the others — I assume that the writers are jerks who just got their knickers in a twist. Rants are rarely persuasive and stuff like ” I think women everywhere should stop boycott this sexist establishment!!!” coming out of the blue always strike me as overstatement.

          • Right, but one of them has two reviews and one of those is LMW. The other is also a one star review. If they had a mix of reviews, good, bad, etc. then I might take them more seriously. You know what they say about customer service…you hear more about the bad experiences than the good.

          • +1 to Irving Street
            Whenever I see a group of commenters complaining in a row about the same incident on Yelp, I immediately think “entitled, possibly unhinged, and/or high maintenance.” Especially if they are taking those complaints over multiple social media platforms.

      • “Another win for mindless rule following”
        Easy to say when none of your money is on the line. You can thank the Baby Boomers for their creation of the Borg-like Regulatory State. The rest of us learned it from watching them sue each other into oblivion and take advantage of every loophole available, moral or not.
        I get why breastfeeding mothers would be upset, but the bar is already under a strict settlement agreement with ABRA.

      • How easily swayed people are? Are you at all disappointed about easily and quickly the majority of commenters jumped on the “new mom” bandwagon with nothing to go on but a short ranty letter from new mom’s friend? All you need to know is one (short) side of the story? That, to me, is FAR more dangerous than mindless rule following. I’d much rather get turned away from a bar because of a stupid rule than get publicly trashed because I was doing my job the way I’m supposed to.

        • Look at the final result. No one disputes it. Yes, everyone behaved badly, but they agree that a woman was excluded from the bar because of breastmilk. It was a stupid, stupid result that could have been avoided, if anyone had cared, with a smidgen of common sense.

          • I’m not talking about the final result. Someone not getting into a bar because of a stupid reason has happened a billion times (including to me!) and it will happen a billion more. Shouldn’t happen, but the world still turns. What bothers me is that the majority of commenters heard one small version of one side of the story and agreed that a good public shaming was in order. It happens all the time on this site and elsewhere so it doesn’t surprise me, but it bothers me far more than someone not getting into a bar.

      • Honestly, I did not weigh in at all because I found the whole thing to be too much he said/she said. Little Miss Whiskey’s is not a place I would go anyway, their reputation already says to me that it is not a place I would enjoy, so I’m not swayed at all by the release, nor by the initial post – I wasn’t going there anyway.
        However, I found the devolution into comments about “tit spit” along with the sanctimommy “you shouldn’t be out anyway” comments just revolting. You really are damned as a parent in this town no matter what.

        • “You really are damned as a parent in this town no matter what.” Agreed, and it’s not unique to DC.

  • maxwell smart

    RANT: BusETA. I guess I should have expected WMATA to take the 1 thing that was working and shit on it. Standing on the corner for 20 minutes when it’s 30° outside was an awesome way to start my morning.
    RANT2: Work. Coworkers. Staffing. Office Politics.

    • Clueless

      Are you my PoPville twin? 🙂 Have the same exact rants.

      • maxwell smart

        kindred spirits! I’ve reached the point where the combination of transit woes and work ennui makes me question how many “sick” days I can take before it’s a problem.

    • Ugh, yes on your first rant. I miss NextBus!

      • There’s an app that’s labeled “Transit” on my phone – the icon is a green field with a metro line on it in the shape of a sine curve with two stops (it should be obvious by now that I don’; know the actual name of the app). Anyway, I’m pretty sure it was free, and it is a customizable transit app – you can include all buses (or specific lines), metrorail, 2G, uber, bikeshare – and it gives realtime updates. Has always worked well in the past for me.

        • All that said, I don’t know if the bus tracking (which has been very good) in this app will be affected by the switch away from Nextbus.

        • That looks promising! Thanks.

        • maxwell smart

          I’ll give that a try! I’ve been using DC Next Bus (blue icon with a bus), which I really liked because it showed the stops and the routes on a map – very handy when you are in an unfamiliar area of town and want to see what bus routes are near you and where they go. Also useful if your usually route has a problem and you need to make a back-up plan. I think they were sourcing from the now dead Next Bus though, so now the bus predictions are non-existent (my experience this morning).

          • I just looked, and if you search (on an ancient iphone, at least) for Transit App it is the first result that pops up. Cleverly named “Transit App” designed by a company named “Transit App, Inc.”

        • I recently compared the Transit app to WMATA’s MyETA, and MyETA completely missed the bus that picked me up as promised by the Transit app. My guess is that MyETA isn’t quite ready for prime time, as WMATA’s bus tracking data seems to be properly propagating to 3rd party apps.

      • I use the “DC Metro Transit” app, it’s reliable for me when it comes to bus schedules

    • HaileUnlikely

      I like the *idea* of BusETA, especially that they [attempt to] show where the buses approaching your stop presently are, without having to load a bandwidth-hog map to see it. That is a great idea. However, the ghost buses are still present. I was waiting for an S2/S4 bus at 16th & Irving on Sunday afternoon, BusETA indicated that there was one “<1 block away," yet I looked down the street and there was not one in sight, and the electronic bus arrival time display board at the stop said the next one was in 12 minutes, which appeared to be about right. I am thoroughly confused by that experience. I would have assumed that BusETA and the electronic display board were getting their information from the same place. I still assume they are, and thus suspect that the ghost bus "<1 stop away" was due to a simple software programming error.

      • I had a similar experience — a bus that said it was at the stop yesterday (I’m the first stop) and was definitely not there. The next bus ended up being one that was about 2 miles away when I first checked. Boooo.

    • Emmaleigh504

      I was going to ask if there was a good option to replace NextBus, but I guess not. grrr

    • Granted I only ride 1 bus route (and only 4 times since NextBus stopped), but so far BusETA has been spot on.
      Do you really have no alternatives to WMATA? It does not seem to work well for you at all.

      • “Do you really have no alternatives to WMATA? It does not seem to work well for you at all.”
        Depending on where you’re located, where you need to go, and what your budget is, it’s entirely possible that someone has no good alternatives to WMATA.

      • maxwell smart

        I live about 5 miles from work. I typically bike (when it’s warmer) and then use the bus (which used to be more reliable) for the other times. Not only is the metro too far (about 1.25 miles) I refuse to use it or acknowledge it’s existence.

        • Got it. Why only bike when it’s warmer though? Very easy to add a layer or two of clothing. If it means less bus-waiting…
          Also it may not work for you depending on where you live and work, but I would recommend checking out Bridj. Not as cheap as the bus but it’s reasonable, and given your experience with buses I would think the extra cost would be well worth it.
          Any chance of catching a ride with someone who lives in your ‘hood or a colleague who drives?
          I’m just spitballing here. Even though I regularly use WMATA bus and rail (with few problems) I always have a Plan B and C which I use if there’s a hint of trouble with WMATA.

          • maxwell smart

            BIKING – Honestly. Laziness. And I keep forgetting to purchase winter cycling clothing. And then trying to pack all the additional clothing PLUS lunch boxes into my backpack when I bike home (when it is usually much warmer).
            I don’t think Bridj covers my area of DC and my coworkers are all far too hip in Upper NW. I’m probably an embarrassment to their coolness. At any rate, being late to work on a daily basis and complaining about DC transit has become a part of my daily routine and expectation. I equate living in DC with terrible transit and worse traffic.

    • I agree about BusETA and plan to send my feedback to WMATA (who actually appears to be reading it these days).
      The thing I was irritated about was that the actual MAP of where the buses were was always correct. It still appears on my computer but I can’t seem to find the map anymore on the mobile site. And the times are STILL off. So now I’m looking at times and no map. Bring back the map, WMATA!

    • I think there was something wrong with the bus data feed this morning. My girlfriend’s bus app wasn’t working when she was about to leave the house. She asked me to look on my phone and BusTrackDC wasn’t refreshing either. Something was amiss with the system today.

  • Rant: another twist on manspreading: the men who stroll through the hallways of my building in packs, but refuse to be in any way, shape, or form, close to each other, so take up the entire hallway, requiring those who are walking at a normal clip to at first walk slowly behind them, waiting for an opening, to then weave in and out of their pack awkwardly. These man packs may also be spotted on sidewalks around the district.
    Rave: working from home, so I get to avoid the man-packs, the cold, and my coworkers, all while wearing no pants and hanging with my puppy.

    • Have you tried loudly saying excuse me, and darting past them? Sounds like tourists crowding the sidewalks, and I’m doing the same thing to them.

    • This is not “man” behavior, I can assure you. More likely that it only bugs you when men do it.

    • While I agree that men are clueless and idiots about a great many things, this phenomenon knows no gender. My office is in Georgetown, and it’s infuriating the number of people (men and women alike) who feel like it’s appropriate to walk two or three abreast on the (very narrow) sidewalks. I should not have to weave in an out of oncoming foot traffic, darting around light posts, newspaper boxes, signs, and into the street just so you can chat. So, I don’t. I don’t run into people, but if someone’s coming at me and they’re on the wrong side of the sidewalk, I will keep going in my line, and when they get close, I’ll simply stop, without trying to avoid them (and brace myself). Then, they are in the position of running me over, which rarely happens.
      The underlying psychology has always intrigued me, though. What does it say about a person that they feel like others should have to alter their route to avoid them? And what does it say about people (and I am in this category) whose first instinct is to move to accommodate others, even though they are in the “wrong” (although that’s too strong a term)?

      • Have you heard about “manslamming” (joining the ranks of manspreading and mansplaining”?) – some women have been out on the streets trying to show that women shouldn’t have to move out of the way on sidewalks for men, women shouldn’t have to feel invisible, etc.. Anecdotally, I’ve found that men are more likely to maintain their line on the sidewalk, regardless if they’re in the wrong, and when I refuse to deviate they get huffy, or slam right into me. There’s not science behind it (that I’ve found) but it’s an interesting case of social psychology.

        • That is interesting. To me, it’s very simple – keep to the right. If there’s enough room for you to chat, without impeding people coming the other way, then go for it. If there isn’t, it’s incumbent on the people straying into oncoming foot traffic to do the dodging, whether they are in the middle of a conversation or not. If I’m walking on the right, I generally keep my line, and if I bump into someone, it’s their problem. But, I have to consciously decide to do this – my instinct is to move to avoid brushing people, whether they’re in the wrong or not, because it’s rude.

        • Yes, manslamming is a thing! My friend and I were just talking about this the other day. I’ve also found that men are more likely to maintain their line on the sidewalk. I usually yield to them, but when I chose to also maintain my line they get all huffy at me.

        • I rarely move anymore. This came out of being sick of jumping out of the way of tourists who are taking up LITERALLY the entire sidewalk, and I’ve noticed a lot of others not moving lately, but it’s *kind* of equally men and women. Though women are more likely to do it when distracted, which doesn’t make it okay (and, lady who walked into me because your head was so far up your phone (in this case, I actually had NO WHERE *to* go as I was between a fence and a crowd of people going the other way), I’m not even sorry that caused you to drop and, it sounded like break, your iPhone).
          A few weeks ago, an incident took the cake, though. I was walking down a nearly-vacant Metro platform (keeping as far right as possible), when two dudebros *changed their course to walk directly towards me* (this did not appear to be intentional, although they made eye contact with me, so they knew I was there) and, well, one of them learned the hard way that I was not giving up my path. He seemed pretty butthurt about it, but I just kept on walking.

      • “While I agree that men are clueless and idiots about a great many things, this phenomenon knows no gender.” Although I haven’t observed a gender difference, it wouldn’t surprise me if some men were extra self-conscious about not being too physically close to other men (lest they be perceived as gay).
        Probably more of an issue with older men than younger men.

        • I must say, I love the way men have become freer with their affections and less insistent about being Not Gay. When I was in my teens/ 20s, a guy would never hug another guy. The men in my life now are openly affectionate with their male friends.
          Maybe it’s just here, or just my people. But it’s not what I used to see. Positive change!

    • 1. This is not a man thing. It’s a clueless thing.
      2. If you haven’t made your presence known by saying “excuse me”, then I don’t fault them. Should they walk single-file when they have the hall/ sidewalk to themselves?
      3. If they know you’re there and they don’t make room, they’re jerks, and I’m mad on your behalf.

  • Rant: Got up at 4:30 and got dressed to row on a frigid morning and, while randomly looking over my e-mail, discovered that practice had been cancelled the night before. Crawled back into bed and had finally got back to a light doze when the 5:40 alarm for the girlfriend’s gym appointment went off, at which point I threw in the towel and got up.
    Rant: Discovered that goyish us planned a big dinner party for Passover — since when is Passover four weeks from Easter? What was the over/under on that? — after invites had been sent out and and all key guests, including one of the Jewish invitees — had accepted. Usually it wouldn’t matter since we’d just invite the Jews to the next dinner and serve pork belly in cream sauce to the Gentility, but this is one dinner where everyone is kind of a “must” and the potentially absent Semites helped originate the idea. If this doesn’t come off, it’s not just the herbs that will be bitter!

    • Perhaps use potatoes as a starch in the meal rather than bread/rice/pasta? Brisket & potatoes with a salad and then fruit & chocolate for dessert? Then again, Seders are Friday & Saturday nights, so the schedule might be difficult to work around…

    • they usually are not that far apart – Easter was about as early as it can possibly be this year. I’m always surprised when people are surprised by this holiday. It’s on every major calendar. If folks can’t come, so be it. There’s a major food truck event near me during passover. I’m like WTF who plans that in an area full of jews?

    • Just do a goy’ish take on Passover! That would actually be really fun. 🙂
      Might as well go all out and make the brisket, serve matzo, potato pancakes, pickled stuff, etc.

    • I got to sleep early last night, because I’m fighting something off. But I inadvertently hit the on button to the never-used second alarm, which, because it’s never sued, defaults to midnight. So, alarm goes off, I get up, get dressed for a workout, go downstairs, think that I’m still really tired, and only then do I realize that I’ve been asleep for about 2 hours. Aargh. Took me almost 2 hours, to get back to sleep, and I wasted a rare opportunity to get to bed early.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: back still hurts
    Rant: this weather
    Rant: I’m grumpy

  • Rave: Loved the book club book and looking forward to seeing everyone at the get together tonight (it is tonight, right…?)
    Rant: Roommate breaking the lease. Can’t fault roommate since work has been awful for them but ugh. I really don’t want to have to go through the craigslist hustle again.
    Rave: Biked in the “polite” rain last night up to New Mexico Ave – loved the warmth, loved the colors brought out by the rain, and loved the beautiful neighborhoods I biked through.
    Rave: Best buddies from grad school are visiting this summer (from Chile!). Cannot wait to see them and show them around our cities!!

  • Holy moly–the LMW post continued to go crazy after I stopped checking it yesterday afternoon!
    Rave: Baby slept much better last night. Thank goodness.
    Rave: Nats win last night. Sadly I went to bed before watching all of it (didn’t start watching until after kids went to bed), but it sounds like it was a hell of a game!
    Rant: The yoga at home book I got from the library is a little lame. But perhaps I can still get some good tips from it.

  • Rave: Just one more day until we’re on vacation
    Rant: While we have chosen where we would like to go, we’re still waiting to hear from the doctor as to whether we can actually leave town this coming weekend or not… and that answer won’t come until mid-day tomorrow.
    Rave: Turning leftover roast turkey into a curried turkey salad was one of my better ideas recently.

  • phl2dc

    Rant: CVS employee grabbed items I was holding and scanned them herself at the SELF-CHECKOUT. I was so annoyed.

  • Rave: current landlord gave us a glowing recommendation to prospective landlord! And came by this morning to check the apartment out and said it looked good and he anticipates giving us all of our deposit back.
    Rant: Still no word from prospective landlord on whether we got the house.
    Rant/rave: The 8mo climbed 3 stairs on his own this morning. I’m impressed and terrified.
    Big huge rant: Just found out my company didn’t win our rebid and I now have no idea whether I’ll have a job come July.
    Potential rave: Husband has preliminary interview for a GS position on Friday. He’s been doing the consultant hustle for almost 3yrs now and it would be amazing to have him bring in a steady income with benefits, esp if my job ends.

  • Rave: Haven’t skipped a workout in a month. I have never taken my training so seriously and I’m pretty happy with my results already.
    Rave: Back in to strength training for the first time consistently in three years. I really love it.
    Rant: Bros in the gym. a) Its like they have never seen a woman lift (and to be fair, I’ve never seen another woman in the free weight section) b) they sit on the benches texting and chatting when there are only four benches c) walk right into me regularly, never seen this happen between two bros. I guess this is what I get for going to a gym shared with business school undergrads.
    Rant: Trying to figure out the eating part of this workout plan. Hard to know where to start.

    • Ugh I feel you on your rant. This happens at my gym too. They sit on the bench between reps and stare at their phones. They also monopolize the 15 and 20 lb weights for way too long and the weights are too light for them…they’re practically throwing them in the air!

      • I’ve seen the throwing weights in the air thing a couple of times but more often than not these guys use weights way too heavy for them and do like two reps in poor form. Ugh.

    • Lean Protein, Vegetables and a lot of water….

      • Working on this. I quickly get bored with most protein sources but I’m trying out different salads. I’ve been chronically dehydrated my entire life so working hard to drink water, especially during classes and in the morning.

    • I’ve never understood people who spend more time sitting than lifting. That’s not working out.

  • Rant: Tried to install my Honeywell Econoswitch the other day, but got freaked out and decided to stop when I felt a buzzing from the switch I was hoping to remove. Also, at some point the light controlled by the neighboring switch turned on briefly, just from the switch being slightly jostled.
    Question for HaileUnlikely and other DIY types: I’d turned off the circuit breaker controlling that switch (and a bunch of other things), but apparently that wasn’t enough. This means I need to turn off the master circuit breaker for the entire house, right?
    Rant: Wishing I had purchased the switch via Home Depot rather than Amazon, so I’d have the option of returning it.

    • Why can’t you return it to Amazon? Their returns are painless.

    • Are you sure you turned off the right circuit breaker? Sounds like maybe you didn’t. Don’t trust the labels on the breakers. Verify that you are turning off the right circuit breaker by leaving the light(s) on, turning off the breaker, and check to see that the lights are off.
      To answer another question, yes you can just turn off the master breaker, but I would use the same method to verify that the lights aren’t getting power. Also be aware that by doing this, everything in your house will go off so you’ll have to reset clocks, timers, etc. and your fridge will turn off, etc.

      • Also, I would invest in a very inexpensive voltmeter. Any time you’re working with electricity it’s a good idea to verify that there isn’t live voltage in the wires you’re touching, no matter how sure you are that you’ve cut power at the breakers.

      • I can’t remember whether I checked that that specific light (a porch light) was turned off by that circuit breaker, or whether I assumed that it was since the light controlled by the neighboring switch (a hall light) was.
        Is it possible that it was the correct circuit breaker, but that the wiring was done backwards or something? (So that some other line was switched off, but not the line with the current?)
        Yeah, I’ve definitely found that the labeling on my circuit breakers is unreliable — I’ve already re-labeled a bunch of them.

        • HaileUnlikely

          It is very common (dumb, but common) for there to be wires from multiple circuits in the same box, *even if the box only has one switch in it.* In my house, there are a couple of switch boxes that, in addition to the wire supplying the switch and the wire from there to the light, have wires from other circuits unrelated to the switch connected to each other. Thus, even if you turn off the circuit that controls the light, there are a bunch of other live wires in the box. Similarly, I have boxes that have two switches (e.g., one in a living room and another in a hallway), and they are on different circuits than each other. It’s dumb, and invites dangerous mistakes by future homeowners and even experienced electricians who failed to imagine how dumb the guy who originally wired the thing was, but it’s pretty common.

        • “Is it possible that it was the correct circuit breaker…”
          I think I understand what you’re asking and I’m not sure but I don’t think so. But, it’s a good reason to double check with a voltmeter before you start taking apart switches, etc.
          I would never assume that lights/switches/outlets are controlled by the same circuit just because they are adjacent – I would always verify. There are codes for how wiring should be done but who knows when or how the wiring was actually done.

          • HaileUnlikely

            And the codes allow for multiple circuits to feed different devices in the same box. I wish they didn’t, but they do.

    • I just installed the same switch last week. You should cut the breaker to anything that’s in the same box. You can use a non-contact voltage tester to verify that nothing in the box is hot. You can buy one for $10 or $15, and you ought to have one if you’re going to work on anything electrical. You shouldn’t have to turn off the main breaker for the house.
      The switch is really great if you choose to see it through.

    • HaileUnlikely

      It sounds like you have wires feeding at least two circuits, and possibly more than two circuits, in the same box. I hate encountering things that are wired that way, but it’s very common. I use a non-contact voltage tester to determine whether any of the wires in a box are live and keep flipping switches in the circuit breaker box until none of them are, before proceeding to do anything with the wires. That said, if you don’t have experience doing this stuff, I’m not sure I’d recommend trying to learn on something that it sounds to me like it might already be wired in a complicated/confusing/possibly incorrect manner. Just turning the whole thing off would probably be safer.
      What you said about the other light coming on just from being jostled also makes me nervous. Although I honestly do not know, it sounds to me like there is some exposed wire that should be covered by insulation but isn’t, and that when you moved/jostled stuff in there, a wire that is only supposed to receive current via the switch when the switch is on was instead receiving current from touching something that it wasn’t supposed to be touching. I’m OCD about sh!t like this, so I’d want to get to the bottom of it and fix it.
      If you want to call a pro to take a look, I recommend Meyer Electrical. It’s a small family business run by licensed master electrician Walt Meyer. Their fee for a service call is something like $158 and covers 30 minutes, but for somebody who knows what they’re doing, this should be very simple and take less than 30 minutes. Walt is not exactly a warm friendly guy–he comes across as kind of brusque–but he knows what he is doing, has trained his technicians well, and I find his rates more reasonable than the very popular but much more expensive Wilcox Electric that many here recommend (I’ve used them before and have been mostly satisfied with their work but I felt like they took inordinately long to do the work, and when you multiply too much time by a really high rate, you know where that ends up).

      • Thanks, HaileUnlikely!
        I’ve actually used Meyer Electrical before, but I don’t think I can justify spending $158 just to install this switch.
        If I can’t return it to Amazon, I might hold on to the switch for a while and wait until I have some other tasks that require an electrician.

        • HaileUnlikely

          Sounds sensible enough. I’m sure you could install it yourself quite easily if you turn off all relevant circuits (or simply turn off everything) first. I’d mainly want to consult with the electrician regarding the odd behavior of the other light when the switch was merely jostled. If you attempt to do anything with the switch yourself, I’d want to make absolutely certain that all circuits with wires in that box are turned off at the breaker, and while I had the box open, tighten up all of the wire nuts in there, tighten the wires to the screw terminals on the other switch, maybe just replace the other switch if its old (new regular switch costs <$2), and see if any of the wires going to that other switch appear to have nicks in their insulation, and if so, correct that somehow.

  • hammers

    Rant: My mood. I’ve been looking job postings and really freaking out about imposter syndrome/ not having achievements to sell my skills, then questioning if I even have skills, and its all down from there.
    Rave: I was so neurotic and high strung yesterday I was actually able to do my taxes. If I’ve done them properly (always a question), and everything goes smoothly, I should be getting a big return. Which is just about the right amount to get myself back on track financially, pay off my debt, save a little, and share a little. And maybe buy a little.

    • Ugh, I’m having this same rant. That downward spiral from “I don’t have the qualifications for this job” to “I have no skills at all” is rough.

    • Unless you are unable to save during the year, you should probably adjust your withholding to use that money during the year rather than giving the Fed an interest free loan.

      • hammers

        *eye roll*

        • I’m just going to echo your eye roll. To be perfectly honest, there are those of us who prefer to get a lump sum at some point in the year to do exactly what Hammers is doing, or use it for other things. For the record, we pretty much all know that we are giving Uncle Sam an interest free loan and in general, we don’t GAF.

          • And then there’s people who get extra credits (for school, etc.) like me. I love when that money comes through.

          • Also eye rolling. Maybe it mattered when interest was a thing. But what are you going to get on your $800 a month? Half a percent? At that rate, you’re better off with the certainty of having the gov’t hang on to it for you.

          • Plus can you really adjust your withholding to make it perfect? We’re getting a lot back, but we had a lot of life changes/unplanned things. And all I know is I’d MUCH rather give the govt an interest free loan than owe them money.

          • Anonamom- I can’t speak to the populace here, but I’ve seen enough returns that let me know people don’t know as much as they should. If someone is “off track financially” & has debt, it makes sense to me to avoid interest payments and get a bigger check every pay period, but hey, what do I know?

            Friday- those credits are just that credits, so you should absolutely have as big a check as possible coming every 2 weeks. Same thing with ppl who have children, high medical, etc.

            Wdc- money now is better than money later no matter the interest rate unless someone lacks self control to such an extent that they can’t handle having extra every pay period. But if that is the case, how is getting a huge check solving that issue?

            Fpvr- it depends on your situation, but I’ve been able to get close to zero once or twice. Your situation changed unexpectedly, so no, probably not, but if things remain the same year to year, someone should be able to get pretty close. It is better to owe a little than get a refund since you aren’t penalized under $1k federally.

          • hammers

            “If someone is “off track financially” & has debt, it makes sense to me to avoid interest payments and get a bigger check every pay period, but hey, what do I know?”
            Not much. I happen to have very lofty goals for myself (fwiw, debt is paid at the end of every month, regardless- I’ll just be able to save and invest with more rigor this month). I don’t need this return, but it is, as mentioned, an unexpected RAVE.

  • Rant: I’m so over working in a shared office space. My co-workers are nice people, but I can’t take working with 12 people around a 20 foot long table day in, day out. NPR only takes you so far for distraction.
    Rave: Looking forward to hiking with the fella this weekend. Old rag, here we come!

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