Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

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Photo by PoPville flickr user Chris Williams

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.

163 Comment

  • Rant: I put my contacts in the wrong eyes this morning and didn’t realize it until I got to work and tried to read things.
    Rant: My phone got condensation inside it (think just from putting it down on a wet surface) so it’s spending today in a bag of rice.
    Rant: my dog needs his toenails clipped, which he HATES.
    Rant: it’s raining.

    IT ONLY TUESDAY, GUYS. ugh. http://www.theonion.com/article/it-only-tuesday-2304

  • RAVE: My due date is tomorrow!
    RANT: Baby seems quite cozy and there are NO signs of labor.
    RANT: Terrified of labor even though I know millions upon millions of women have done this before me.
    RAVE: Three months of leave once the little critter arrives.

    • Late babies are good. A little fatter, able to sleep a little longer at a stretch. My 42-weeker was smiling by 2 weeks of age.
      And yes, I feel you on the dread of labor. There are SO many ways it could go. But all of them end in a new little person. Yay!

    • Good luck! The anticipation can be hard, but you’ll get there. Both times, when labor got more intense, I got into a zone of focusing on breathing and working through the contractions and that helped. I think that often happens naturally. Agreed with wdc–even if it doesn’t go the way you’d like, your little person will still be there at the end.

  • Rant: a family friend’s nephew was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. He’s ten. This afternoon, they are pulling the plug on his life support. If you pray, the family has asked for prayers (or good thoughts if you don’t).
    Rave: no raves today.

  • Unknown: I feel bad ranting given everyone else’s rants.
    Rant: DC Taxes fillable forms keeps telling me things are invalid when they are not. Thinking of just printing the damn form and mailing it.
    Rant: S1 bus flew right by my stop without stopping today. Again. 75% EMPTY double bus. This happened the other week, too. So I’ve complained. Again. If I manage to catch the same one tomorrow I am going to have a chat with the driver, because WMATA clearly is not.

    • HaileUnlikely

      I did mine with H&R Block software. After completing the federal, it took a grand total of about 90 seconds to complete the DC and get it filed. (Import Federal. Enter DC additions if you have any. Enter DC subtractions if you have any. Click submit. Done.) It wasn’t free, but for me it was worth it bigtime.

      • Accountering

        Bingo – did the same with Turbotax. I think it was $25. Worth it to move on with my life. Swallowed up the $28 that DC is refunding me, with money left over for a coffee!

        • The version of TT I used filled my state forms for free, which I then printed and mailed because I’m cheap. Took two stamps though, which irritated me.

          • Accountering

            I think I probably could have done that. I don’t own envelopes, stamps, or the patience to do that though haha. It was 1:30am, and I was ready to be done! Good for you though, in hindsight yours is definitely the better move.

      • Accountering

        Ahh, I think I remember this, was this the tax evasion and not wanting to file as a DC resident? Or was that someone else?

        • Completely different issue. And for Christ’s sake, asking tax hotline people in multiple states what to do, getting their name and ID number and then doing what they say is not ‘tax evasion.’
          .
          PoP, can we just delete my entire post here?

        • Accountering

          Nope, I found it, it is. You are a DC resident, who doesn’t want to file DC taxes because you “may” be moving. Your address issue is entirely of your own creation.

        • BUT I AM FILING IN DC. THAT’S WHAT I HAVE SAID THIS WHOLE TIME.

          PoP…. where are you? 🙁

        • Accountering

          Oh, so whats the issue then?! I apologize for misinterpreting. What is the deal with the current/permanent address?

        • HaileUnlikely

          No need to belabor this. Between the other time and now here, you’ve made this point about a dozen times. [FWIW I do think you are correct on the substance, but have no reason to doubt that she is acting in good faith on advise that I somewhat doubt is correct. That’s not the point, though. ]

      • I miss Turbo Tax. For some reason it can’t handle both profit and loss on a single K-1, so it kept messing up my taxes. Now I have an accountant do them.

        • Accountering

          It works now, I have exactly the situation you mentioned. You just have to enter it as two separate K-1s, if the profit/loss is any combination of boxes 1-3.

      • Stupid question – what would the DC additions (or subtractions) be?

      • HaileUnlikely

        I’ve never had any DC additions or subtractions, so I just glance at the list and then click through to the next page, but anyway, it’s on DC Schedule I if you want to see what the specific items are.

    • I did both Fed and DC fillable forms and I had the same problem with the Federal fillable forms and finally figured out that I hadn’t done the stupid withholding worksheet they put on the final page. Once I filled it out, I was able to e-file. Have you filled in everything on the DC final page? Like even your driver’s license number and all they ask for now on that page? It might be something really simple and stupid like that.

      • Hm.I think I did. I’ll double check to make sure I’ve filled in all the required documents on the final page (W-2, etc.). Thanks.

        • I’m not sure my last comment was totally clear. It’s not on the D-40 form itself, it’s on the e-file page. So when you go to e-file (I think there are two tabs and this is the tab on the right) they make you fill in a bunch of stuff. Driver’s license number is now on that second tab/e-file page. Make sure you’ve filled out everything on that e-file page and then try. Sorry if I am still being confusing.

  • I Dont Get It

    Rave: After a couple of years of exclusively grocery shopping at Target, Whole Foods, Harris Teeter and TJs, I went to the Giant at 9th and O early Saturday morning and really enjoyed the experience. Yes, GIANT! The store is oddly laid out but it was nice shopping at a more traditional grocery store.
    Rant: The fishmongers at Giant, like at Whole Foods and Harris Teeter, open on some later schedule. Why can’t early morning shoppers buy fish?
    Rave: Fishmongers!
    Rave: I’ve lost 5 pounds in two weeks due to giving up the nightly in-home Happy Hour. Now if I could just get my tired *ss back to the gym!

    • Congrats on the weight loss! And good luck getting out to the gym/court/running trail/yoga mat or wherever it is you do your working out.

      • +1 on the congratulations!
        .
        You have to get back to the gym — who will police the bros in your absence?

    • Your first rave happens to me. Sometimes it is just very exciting to see all of the “normal” things and brands, plus a significantly lower total at check out than some of those stores.

  • Rave: The eagles. Just now, both parents were on the nest, and I think a helicopter must have gone over, because they both looked up and followed something in the sky, with those profoundly pissed-off expressions. I imagine that’s what my face looks like when helicopters fly too low.
    And those babies. So ugly! Squee!
    We went to the arboretum over the weekend and got to see the nest, from a distance, through some nice man’s binoculars. It’s huge. I could live there, if it weren’t for the fish stench.

    • OH! I love this! I haven’t been tracking the eagles’ progresses very closely this year, so this whole update makes me happy!

      • They were eating something this morning that didn’t look like fish, almost like some kind of bird, but hard to tell from the angle. I love the way they just faceplant into stupefying sleep when they’re stuffed.

  • Rant – Does anyone know a good repair shop for a 10 year old Acura that’ll do regular maintenance? The person handling the service on my car is a jerk and very unhelpful. He emailed me a bunch of stuff that needs to be done. Under the heading “vital” there was one called “transmission service” with no explanation. So I wrote back asking a few questions, including why the vital services were vital and asking him what service was being done on my transmission. He just wrote back “Vital means important.” and “Conceptually the same as oil change.” Um, I know what vital means and that still doesn’t tell me what service you want to do to my car. Long story less long, we had a very unfruitful conversation where he just said I needed to do over $3K of service to “keep my car safe,” but wouldn’t describe the service. Finally talked to a manager and he said that the “vital” stuff wasn’t even really needed. So frustrating.

    • Accountering

      Japanese auto care in Ballston. They have 5 stars on Yelp, which is pretty incredible as the majority of people seem to hate their mechanic. They are awesome, do good work, and prices seem incredibly fair, relative to other repair shops.

      • Not sure if we’re talking about the same place (I get them mixed up quite often) but Japanese Auto Services between Virginia Square and Clarendon on Wilson Blvd has been wonderful for us.

        • Accountering

          I think they are totally separate (maybe?) but both are close by, and score well on Yelp. I went to Japanese Auto Care on Glebe.

    • jim_ed

      I’ve been consistently impressed with the service at TT&D Auto Repair at the Shell Station at Georgia and Upshur. Reasonable labor rates, never given me crap about providing my own parts, and have always called to consult me if they find any issues beyond the original scope of work and have even recommended against putting big work into an older vehicle if we planned on replacing it

    • I’ve been going to DP Auto Service on Connecticut and Fessenden (at the Shell Station) and have had really good service (I have a 15 year old Nissan). David is the main mechanic and has been extremely fair with pricing and honest with what work actually needs to be done. I went there once after Jiffy Lube insisted I needed to replace all my belts (but were out of the parts – bad up-sell JLube) and David said my belts were in great shape and didn’t need to be touched. Depending on the work, he might recommend you purchase the parts yourself (as it will be cheaper).

      • FtLincolnLove

        +1 to DP- we take my husband’s 10 year old Civic there and have had nothing but stellar experiences!

      • Came here to recommend DP, he works on my older Mazda. I’ve had a fantastic experience with Dave, basically he is a nice, honest guy. He’s fixed my brakes (rotors and pads) and suspension. The cost was always lower than I expected. Cannot recommend highly enough.

    • Thanks everyone, I’ll check these out!

    • That One Guy

      All I can say is make sure you don’t neglect the transmission fluid change. Maybe the mechanic meant that it was as vital as regular oil changes. One a tranny goes bad it’s gone for ever.

    • I have found the guys at Auto Tech in Adams Morgan to be honest, capable and easy to work with.

      • Seconded.
        Once my car had a weird burning smell, they removed shards of plastic bag from my engine and didn’t charge me.

      • Thirded.
        .
        I also liked Embassy Service Center on P Street. They did a good job with my brakes, and gave me a lot of explanation into the problem, the different options, and solution without any judgement or condescension. I like it when things get explained, it makes me feel like I’m making an educated decision and that they’re honest.

  • Rant: H&R Block screwed up my tax filing. They did the state and federal income taxes ok, but because of my employer, I need to do a self employment tax form for FICA. I told my guy this repeatedly. He spoke very poor English and instead told me that I should get married and have children and buy a house so I can pay less taxes. He told me he took care of it. I didn’t trust him, so i take it to my HR lady and she said, where’s your Schedule SE? UGH I have to go back tonight and will raise hell to get them to fix it gratis.

    • Accountering

      Moving forward – you should just do these yourself. The guys at Block are for the most part morons who took a 4 hour class, and know basically as much about taxes as any random American (in this case, he knew less than you)
      .
      Just do Turbotax next year.

      • it was my first year dealing with Schedule SE because I work for a foreign employer (embassy) and my HR people made it sound like it was brain surgery so I just figured I’d pay someone to do it but I really should have just done it myself. I feel like a moron now.

    • H&R Block screwed up our taxes a couple years ago and I’m never hiring them again. Yes, they will do audit defense, but only if you have the original credit card receipt from payment, as it turns out. And I did not. Nor did I trust them to do it right. I ended up dealing with the IRS myself. Total waste of money.

  • Rant: Massive migraine yesterday that took an enormous amount of an assortment of drugs + 9 hours of sleep to kill.
    Rave: got a decent night’s sleep, thanks to aforementioned large assortment of drugs (migraine pills, mucinex, Afrin, ibuprofen pm)
    Rant: This is not good for my liver, surely. I think I may need to see either an ENT specialist or an allergist, or both. But I hate shelling out $40 for a copay to just be told things I already know and have them suggest things I’ve tried and/or can’t use/do. Is there any chance that going to either one or both of those specialists would be worthwhile?
    Rant: Crazy busy day that means I probably won’t get a chance to pop my head back here until the end of the day

    • If you have migraines, I’d see a neurologist. I have chronic migraines and my neuro has helped a lot. Several years ago, I had headaches every day, moderate migraines at least 2-3 times a week, and major migraines 2-3 times a month. Now I just have moderate/major migraines every couple of weeks. Not perfect, but SO much better. I also saw an allergist and ENT, but they just said that I didn’t have allergies and that I had a mildly deviated septum, but that surgery wouldn’t help much. Neither had anything to say about my migraines.

      • I’ve seen three neurologists – hence the migraine medication – but it’s more that what seems to trigger them, nowadays, is pollen/allergies and sinus irritation. I’ve done sleep studies, MRIs, CT scans, it’s not my brain, for the most part anyway, as far as most of my migraines go.

        • So frustrating. I hope you’re able to find relief. I had to try several medications before I found something that worked. It is an incredibly frustrating process, because meds work differently (or not at all) on different people. I’d say it is worth continuing to try. I like Dr. Rothrock at GW.

          It may be worth trying to figure out if you have specific triggers. I had several food triggers. At one point, my old doctor (not Dr. Rothrock) had me do an elimination diet, then add foods back in – it became very clear what was triggering or making my migraines worse. My list was very similar to this one and gave me some valuable information on the 2-3 things I really needed to steer clear of, and the few things I just couldn’t eat when I already had a headache (note, they say staff off of all the foods 3 months, but I don’t recall mine being that long – more like a month or so?). http://www.fammed.wisc.edu/files/webfm-uploads/documents/outreach/im/handout_ha_elim_diet_patient.pdf

          If you think it is sinus-related, it may be worth trying a neti-pot to clear out your sinuses. Just make sure to boil the water and let it cool or use distilled water.

        • I’ve suffered migraines over half my life due to sinus polyps. I had a surgery to remove said polyps as a teenager, but I am still constantly fighting them back 20 years later with Nasonex. Even tho these headaches are sinus related, they are the real deal: light sensitivity, nausea, sweating, looking pale/green. ENT is a good idea!

          • My dad, a brother, and an aunt have all had sinus surgery to correct various things, but it really only helped for a few years, and then stopped providing any relief. The majority of my family has chronic sinus issues, but have not had much success in treating them. Surgery is a no-go for me (pre-existing issues that make other doctors and surgeons say “no thanks!”), and nasal steroid sprays like nasonex give me crazy palpitations and nosebleeds, and ultimately provide no relief. If they worked, I would consider just sucking it up with the side effects, but they just don’t work for me. That’s why I wonder if seeing an allergist and working on preventing all that inflammation from starting would be useful…

  • Rant: partner works for government agency (non-DOD) and is considering a 120-day TDY in Afghanistan beginning in January. Anyone have any relevant or similar experience with this, positive or negative? I’m inclined to support her going but I’m having a hard time with the idea of 1) her being gone and not being able to see her for 4 months, and 2) some fear about her safety (though given her role she would not really be off “base,” so to speak–no patrolling or anything like that)

    • Andie302

      I think JustinBC’s now wife served in Afghanistan, but they are on their honeymoon right now. It may be worth asking him when you see him back on this forum.

    • A coworker of mine (actually, probably several) have done short-term non-DOD tours there. I have not heard anything either particularly positive or particularly negative.

    • My best friend’s husband is doing and has done long TDYs in Afghanistan. It is sometimes hard on their family (two little kids), but he hasn’t done any really long TDYs since the kids were born and is now considering a year-long one. They have yet to decide. Money is good, but safety is….debatable.

      • Thanks, LBP. It’s the debatable safety part that terrifies me. I made the mistake of reading Dept. of State travel warning (I know, I know) and now I just keep thinking that she won’t even make it to where she’s staying! I know this is all nervous fretting and that lots of people have done this quite safely, especially since her role is internal and will basically never require she leaves whatever compound she’s staying at, but still.

        • A friend of mine who has spent years in Afghanistan says he was safer in Afghanistan than he is here in DC, given that he spent all of his time in a very protected compound, or being driven in armored vehicles with people protecting him with plenty of guns.

        • Yeah, I think a lot of it boils down to where you are, where you go, and your perception of how capable the people tasked with protecting you are. Her husband, back 6 or so years ago when he was doing a TDY, had some experiences where his life was very much in danger, but I think things have changed quite a bit, as has his perception of his own safety. No solid data I can offer, so good luck to you and your partner as you make these decisions!

    • My partner is currently in Afghanistan for a non-DOD trip (not government, but practically) for a month and a half. We still talk every day, and the only real fear is the Kabul Crazies from being stuck on a compound for the whole time. It’s not fun, but good professionally (and brings a lot of extra money!)

    • I did a TDY in Afghanistan, but it was quite a few years ago. The security situation has changed a lot. When I was there, we were free to wander around the city, visit people in their homes, go to restaurants, take a picnic to the countryside. I don’t think there’s much of a public life available to foreigners now, due to the attacks on establishments catering to a western clientele.
      I loved my time there. Loved it. And I would go again, if I could go in 2009. But I wouldn’t go now, unless it meant some major career benefit. It’s not worth the risk to spend four months on a base and not see the beautiful country or interact with the lovely locals.

    • I have several friends/former coworkers who did non-DOD 120-day TDY in Afghanistan or Iraq. No one had anything negative to say. They mostly said they worked 12-16 hour days because there wasn’t much else to do. And they made a boatload of money.

    • I was there for a few weeks last October – this was my fifth trip (first was in 2005) and I’d go back again if asked.
      She would be on the embassy compound? Would she get R&R during those 4 months?

      • She isn’t sure; she said at the very least she’d be in a “very secure military base” if not the embassy compound. At this point she’s at the application stage, though she’s under the impression that at her agency long as you’re functionally qualified you’ll be accepted.

    • binpetworth

      Hey SBinDC, feel free to email me separately…spent 3 years in Kabul, and happy to weigh in.

  • Rave: Great 5k in 20 degree weather and snow on Sunday. Pretty proud of my cold-induced asthma and slew of other lung problems for not completely imploding. Would have gotten a post-competitive career PR if it weren’t for the wind at the very end of mile 3.
    Rant: Tendon pain in my foot.
    Rave: Reached the point in the semester where I can’t handle other people.
    Rant: Finding wedding hair/makeup people on Long Island who won’t make me look like a Kardashian.
    Rant: Miss my pup.

    • Err, that last rave is supposed to be a rant. Kind of.

    • “Rave: Reached the point in the semester where I can’t handle other people.”
      .
      Is this supposed to be a rave? I hit this point about 2 weeks ago. Hahaha…. laughing or I might cry.

      • Supposed to be a rant but also kind of a rave because I don’t really feel bad about totally, 100% prioritizing myself, haha.

    • LOL@ at your wedding hair/makeup rant. My mom’s family is from LI, I understand what you’re going through. I wish I had some recommendations for you, but I got married in DC.

      • emvee

        I’d be all ears for wedding hair and make up recommendations, as I’m presently researching for my sister’s September nuptials.

        • FtLincolnLove

          I used Behind the Veil for my wedding hair and makeup last March, and then for my best friend’s wedding last September I used Real Doll Makeup and Styled by Anna Fazio for my hair. Had I not already booked BTV for my own wedding, I would’ve used Anna for my wedding hair and Real Doll Makeup for my wedding makeup! All were phenomenal, and I’d recommend any of them in a heartbeat!

        • For hair I just went to my usual salon, but Christin from Conceptual Beauty did make up and she was awesome!

  • Slightly baffled rant: On Saturday I informed the couple of bus passengers in front of me that I had just had a long day at work, and for that and other reasons (like manners and decency) they ought to use their inside voices. Why are some people so loud? It happens so frequently.

    • Whoa. That seems brave, I wish I had the guts to say something when I’m surrounded by people I want to smash into pulp because they’re freaking shouting!

    • HaileUnlikely

      Maybe they were using their inside voices. I know a few people who talk insanely loudly all the time, including at work and at home. I presently have a tenant/guest at my house (a friend who had serious problems with their landlord and had to GTFO immediately) who talks insanely loud all the time.

    • I honestly think some of it has to do with increased use of headphones and how loud people listen to music right in their ears. That affects our hearing, so we need everything to be louder, which leads to louder speaking voices. Plus, before texting became the primary use of cell phones, many people mainly communicated by phone, where they had to speak loudly for anyone to hear them, leading to overall louder voices. I have no actual data to back any of this up.

      and, yes, get off my lawn (shakes cane….)

      • I read somewhere that the kind of phones we grew up with had a repeater speaker in them, so you heard your own voice amplified in the ear piece. This led people to speak at a normal volume. Cell phones don’t have those, so people talk louder to get the same effect. A hundred years of telephones, and folks still think they have to shout across the distance.

    • I am a loud person. I have birthed loud people. This natural loudness is not helped by the fact that my ex, their father, is partially deaf and we have all adjusted by speaking louder than normal. Many people who are loud are loud because they themselves can’t hear well. If you can’t hear yourself, you will have a hard time adjusting your volume naturally. I do not always know when I am being “too loud.” I have great manners and a lot of decency. Just because I don’t speak at the volume you prefer does not mean I don’t have those characteristics. In fact, most of the loud talkers I know (I currently work with someone louder than me), don’t realize the volume of their own voices, and are pretty damn embarrassed when someone points it out. But hey, go ahead and just assume the worst about people in every situation possible.

      • +1. I don’t usually say anything to people talking loud because a lot of people do just talk loud, and I don’t expect people to yield to every single request to make *me* comfortable.
        .
        I will, however, say something to shrieking or singing school aged kids. Screaming and belting pop songs is where I draw the line.

      • I have a friend who has a naturally very loud talking voice and does not have any hearing problems. I also have a father who is deaf in one ear so I totally understand needing to talk louder to accommodate a hearing concern. However, while I love my friend, being in public with her is sometimes quite embarrassing. She is completely oblivious to the looks and stares she gets from people on buses and in movie theaters, etc. There is a range of reasonableness, and some environments lend themselves to loud talking/noise, others do not. I think it’s usually a matter of a lack of self awareness rather than anything else. I tend not to say anything, because public is public – but if someone’s volume is excessive, I think it’s reasonable to politely ask to keep it down.

    • hammers

      I’d have ignored you completely if you were as condescending as I’m picturing from this rant.

      • jim_ed

        Seriously. When did it become OK to try to police the courtesies of complete strangers in public? You require solitude on your commute? Take an Uber.

        • Why is it not ok to ask someone to lower their voice? It is a request, not a command
          Same with asking someone to turn down their music

          • AE, I agree that it’s okay to request someone to lower their volume but if OP is saying what he actually said, it seems pretty rude. One can make a polite request… or they can make a condescending, everyone-must-follow-my-rules-because-I-am-most-important kind of comment. In this case OP doesn’t sound much better to me than the loud talkers.

          • hammers

            big difference between “excuse me, would you mind keeping it down a bit” vs. an unsolicited lecture on manners, decency, “inside voices”, and a rant about your hard day.

          • Ask? Sure, go for it.
            .
            Tell them “that I had just had a long day at work, and for that and other reasons (like manners and decency) they ought to use their inside voices.”? Don’t expect a courteous response.

          • jim_ed

            Well, to begin with the OP says they “informed” people what they “ought to do” which doesn’t come across as making a request, rather publicly scolding someone like a child. But furthermore, taking public transportation involves spending time with the public, and understanding that what may be annoying to you isn’t to other people. If you want to be insulated from having your delicate sensibilities offended, then pony up the cash for private transportation. Sometimes you just have to let these microaggressions against decorum go.

        • HaileUnlikely

          It might have been one of those “you’d have to be there” things. I know a couple of people, who, if in conversation with each other on the bus, would likely have most of the people around them wincing and covering their ears. I would recommend just asking them if they could talk more quietly. Asking them to “use their inside voice” is how you talk to a second grader, and implies that you have knowledge that they have an “inside voice” whose volume is significantly lower than what they are using in the moment (my friends do not).

          • Good point on the “inside voice” wording being very patronizing. It would be different if the OP had said, “Hey guys, I’ve had a really long day at work — could you keep it down a bit?”
            .
            Frankly, I’d be hesitant to ask (let alone _tell_) someone loud on a bus or Metro to be quiet, for fear that the person would get angry and threaten violence.

        • Agreed. My personal reaction would have honestly depended on my mood, ranging from eye rolling to telling him/her to fuck off.

        • Absolutely. I’d not have reacted well to this.

      • HaileUnlikely

        I’d like to think I would have evaluated the merit of the request more or less independently of how I evaluated whether I wanted to be the OP’s friend, and if upon stopping to think for a minute, it was evident to me that actually, yeah, I was being really freaking loud, I might have abided by his request, even if I also thought he was a little twit. I honestly don’t know how I would have responded, though – haven’t had it happen before.

      • Here’s the scene: The bus wasn’t packed, but there were a fair number of passengers on it. Seated in front of me were a couple of people who, despite being right next to one another, were PRACTICALLY SHOUTING LIKE THIS ALL THE TIME, the way people so often do on the bus. I hesitated for a bit, before realizing that I couldn’t hear myself think. It was one of *those* situations. I don’t require solitude, and I’m not about to police everyone’s courtesies, but their rudeness was affecting everyone else on the bus.

        I can’t imagine this hasn’t happened to everyone here.

        So, here’s what I said: “Excuse me, I just had a long day at work, and would you mind using your inside voices on the bus? Thanks.”

        They quieted down, and talked to one another like civilized humans seated centimeters from one another. I’ve seen and heard other people make similar requests, with the same results. It’s perfectly reasonable. In the initial post, I added the words about manners and such because it struck me that my workday need not have anything to do with it.

  • Rant/Question: Have a Saturday 6:20am flight out of BWI. Is Super Shuttle pretty much my only option? I’m walking distance to Union Station, but Super Shuttle’s pickup time is the same as the Amtrak time, and I don’t think I wanna be out walking at 2:30am or risk there not being an Uber. The ticket was pricey as is. Really wishing I didn’t have to add another $40 on top. Any other suggestions?

    • Andie302

      You could book a cab the night before so that you know someone is coming. Just have cash and send it for a few minutes before you actually need to leave.

      • I would say passenger beware on this one. I have had this fail miserably on me almost every time I’ve tried. The cab doesn’t show up, I call the company, which says the cab is on their way, but the cab never comes. Then it is 20-30 minutes later and I’m at a loss as to how to get to the airport.

        • That’s what I was going to say–scheduling a cab in advance doesn’t seem particularly reliable around here.

        • I had one of those really early flgihts (6am) and I scheduled an uber as I parked using the “ParkMe” website — a GREAT tool for finding cheaper parking than the highway robberty that is parking at the airport.

          I called and scheduled the uber, 10 min later he was there. Yes, I had to wait a bit longer – but it worked for me.

      • Will a taxi be any cheaper, though? (Honest question. I know an Uber is cheaper than Supershuttle to DCA, for example, but found that a normal taxi was actually more expensive for me.)

        • Andie302

          Oh I meant a taxi to Union Station to avoid the solo walk. It would be more expensive to take it to BWI!

    • I’ve had good luck calling the night before and booking early hour taxi’s with Diamond Cab. 202-387-6200

    • jim_ed

      Depending on how long you’re going out of town and if you have a car, but long term parking at BWI is absurdly cheap at $8/day, and you can likely find cheaper in a third party lot nearby.

    • Amtrak train from Union Station. Best deal I could fine, and pretty easy!

    • hammers

      don’t have a magical cheaper way to get there, unfortunately. I usually add the price of transpo to and from BWI if I’m considering flying from there and sometimes it’s cheaper to do DCA, or change the flight to a more public transit friendly time.

    • I took the middle of the night amtrak. Not ideal, but cheaper than a shuttle or taxi and not much different time wise.

  • Question: Does anyone know of some good trivia options in DC that include drink specials? Love trivia but don’t want to pay $8+ for a beer!

    • I know in the past both DCist and Thrillist have done trivia lists.

    • That One Guy

      Tombs in Georgetown has trivia, no?

    • Now that Duffy’s has reopened, IIRC they are doing trivia on Tuesday nights with decent specials and as-always awesome wings. I would check their FB page to see if they still have it on schedule.

      EDIT – just checked their twitter machine, and it is on for tonight / every Tuesday https://twitter.com/Duffysirishpub/status/719880096203595777

      Rant – got my partner a new bike over the weekend, rode it to spin class this morning on 14th street, locked up the bike, cane out and the bike was there, but the seat was stolen! Are we really back in the 1990s where you have to lock your bike as well as locking/removing every not-difficult-to-remove-part? Sheesh, and to think that while it was a nice seat, someone probably just took it as a prank and its in the bushes somewhere within a one-block radius of 14th and P almost makes it worse.
      Rave – since I’ll be on amazon buying a new seat, I get to / may as well do some shopping for myself.

      • That’s frustrating – but so awesome you got your partner a new bike. I hope they’re loving it! I’d definitely recommend asking your bike shop to install a bike chain “lock” on the saddle. For a couple bucks, they take an old chain, encase it in rubber and put it through your seat and your frame. So simple and cheap and the seat is still adjustable and yet makes it really tough to steal the chain. Also, Kryptonite came up with these gravity wheel locks that are awesome – they convert your quick release wheels to locked wheels but instead of needing a key, you just have to turn your bike upside down (which a thief won’t be able to do if your bike is locked). For 50 bucks, I’d say they’re worth it

    • solly’s on Wednesday nights at 8:30 pm! I don’t think anything is on special per se but you can get a natty boh tall boy or a PBR for like $4. and a lot of times it’s charity trivia so a percentage of sales is donated – drinking for a good cause!

    • I’ve been a semi-regular at the trivia night (Tuesday from 6:30 – 8) at The Coupe. It can get kind of loud, but both food and drink specials and pretty decent prizes (first place is a $30 bar tab and two random 9:30 Club tickets).

  • Rant – Skipped my run this morning due to rain/threat of rain. Also I just didn’t want to get out bed because…
    Rave – New mattress!! I cannot even describe how comfortable it is, especially compared to my old crappy mattress. This is not good news for my whole ‘getting up early to run’ 5K training.

    • HaileUnlikely

      What mattress did you end up getting?

      • Andie302

        I’m curious too! I may be in the market for yet another mattress very soon and while I’m 99% sure I want to use saatva, I’d love to know if you decided on something else for one reason or another.

        • +1. I’m in the market, too, but thinking of just going with Ikea again -_-

          • HaileUnlikely

            If you’re thinking of going Ikea I would Haile recommend one of the inexpensive online ones like Tuft & Needle, Casper, or Leesa. I have one from a no-name predecessors of those that I bought on Amazon in 2012, which I am extremely happy with. The three mentioned above all have free delivery, a trial period of between 30 and 100 days, and if you want to return, they arrange for pickup from your house, which beats the heck out of trying to wrestle it back into its original packaging and into a vehicle to bring back to Ikea.

      • I didn’t think a mattress decision could be this suspenseful.
        Please let us know!

      • Sorry to keep you all in such suspense, haha! We ended up with an Aireloom mattress. It was the only one we both found comfortable. More expensive than the Saatva I wanted, less expensive than the Tempurpedic my husband wanted. It’s like sleeping on soft supportive clouds. Worth every penny.

    • I always dread running in the rain but once I’m out there, I love it. Plus you get to feel like a badass for the rest of day! If you don’t have one, you may want to look into running rain jackets. I’ve had one by Brooks for eight years.

  • Rave: I have my health, I have a roof over my head, a good job, health insurance, a loving partner, great kids who are also happy and healthy.
    Rant: There are lots, but trying to focus on the positive.

  • Rant: kiddo has woken up the last two nights. At least last night it was before her brother’s first wake-up so it didn’t interrupt my longest potential stretch of sleep.
    Rave: Baby’s sleep seems to be inching better again. Though damn, he does not want to go to sleep at night!
    QUERY: Anyone receive their 2016 Residential Parking Permit? We haven’t and I can’t figure out if I need to re-register or if we’re still waiting for it. I keep trying to register on the website and have gotten an error message each time.

    • I requested one maybe a month or two ago and got it quickly. I had had one previously, but I didn’t get a new one automatically.

    • Is that the free visitor’s permit? If we so, we got ours in early January. I must have requested it in December although I don’t actually remember. I think someone actually posted a reminder on popville which is what spurred me to do it.

    • Thanks jeslett & rachel. Perhaps we forgot to register again. Unfortunately, DOT’s website keeps giving me an error message when I try to register. Argh.

      • Try calling them – (202) 671-2700.
        .
        I keep meaning to call them about a VPP I requested for my condo (in case I need it for a contractor there) but that my tenants never received.

  • Rave: my dog has been barking so much less lately. Many of the things that used to annoy him, people in the courtyard, people in the hallway, just don’t seem to any more. It’s a relief and it’s also nice to see him happy and attention seeking rather than protecting.
    Rant: So tired.

  • Rant: I think the glasses I’ve been wearing (when not wearing contacts) for the past few years have a problem that I should have been more insistent about when I first got them.
    .
    I was googling my symptoms (always a little risky with anything remotely medical-related, but…) and found something describing them: “While a refraction may reveal the presence of astigmatism, it may not mean that a person should be prescribed the full amount or even any of it. This and other conditions may produce a ‘pulling sensation’ of one or both eyes while you attempt to wear the glasses.”
    .
    Eventually I stopped getting the “pulling sensation”… but I noticed it again when I was wearing an older pair of glasses for a few hours and then switched back to the current pair. Hence the googling.
    .
    This makes me wonder if my current glasses have been training my eyes to converge incorrectly for YEARS.

    • This is a far flung suggestion but — could they be adjusted to fit on your face slightly wrong? Mine were a little loose and slightly crooked when I put them on after they put new lenses in and I thought the lenses were wrong. I couldn’t adjust for the life of me and it was giving me a headache and really achy eyes. And then after going back to tell the doctor, they were like “they’re crooked and loose” and so they fixed it and now they’re fine.

    • That One Guy

      Cab you elaborate on this pulling sensation and describe what it feels like?

      • When I switched last night from my previous glasses back to my current glasses, I was getting some double vision — as though my eyes were having trouble converging correctly for proper vision.

        • Did I tell you about the migraine / panic attack I had at your house while cat-sitting where I couldn’t get my eyes to focus together? If I had both eyes open, it was like they were each seeing two totally different depths / distances, it was terrifying!

  • Additional Rant: I just can’t seem to deal with people today, even though I wish I could. It’d be great if I could not feel like the Big Anxiety Monster was going to sneak out from under my desk and throw me into a nauseating panic attack sometime in the next couple of hours.

    • That One Guy

      Eat a piece of good chocolate and take a short walk outside. See if that helps center you a little.

  • I Dont Get It

    The Jefferson Lecture tickets are now available on the NEH dot gov site.

  • Rave: Got my ticket to the Ken Burns Jefferson Lecture! Registration is open now!

  • Late to the RoR game today.
    Rave: Was stressing about a meeting with my manager this morning but it ended up going well. I asserted a few things and feel like I kept it positive and hopeful but realistic and practical.
    Rave: Hit up the barn last night. And I am in such a better mood then I have been in weeks. Horses are incredible and just arriving at the barn made me sigh a big sigh of relief and made a lot of tension dissipate.
    Rave: Book club tonight and Teaism yummy dinner.
    Rant: Rainy bike ride.
    Rave: I was well prepared and just had my bike serviced so it ended up being a nice ride anyway.

  • Rant: I’ve been trying to do the Whole30 diet as a reset to work-related stress eating/drinking, but work has responded by being even more stressful. I’ve spent the last hour dreaming about pizza.
    Rant: Diets are hard when you completely lack willpower.
    Rave: The sun is supposed to come out, so I’m hoping to get a run in after work.

    • I so hear you on that. I am logging my food which isn’t helping me eat healthier to manage stress, just to “accidentally” skip logging days I have the extra glass of wine and don’t eat any vegetables.

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