Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user Kevin Wolf

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.

114 Comment

  • Andie302

    Rave: I took bikeshare to work and beat the bus that was pulling out at the same time as I was. It felt like a win!

    • Don’t you just love flying past your bus? I was debating biking in today. I decided to catch up on some reading on the bus instead. I will probably try to bike in tomorrow.

      • Andie302

        That’s the conundrum – I always read on the bus, and now that it’s getting nicer it means less time to read, slower progress on my book, less books…but so nice to bike!

        • Or if you get to work faster with the bike, take the extra time to read a little bit before settling into work. That’s what I do! πŸ™‚

    • haha! I used to race my bus (G2) down P street all the time when I lived in DC. Always felt like a win when I made it to dupont first πŸ™‚

    • I do the same thing! Easy to win going south; I feel victorious when I win going uphill πŸ™‚

      • maxwell smart

        Yes! I will sometimes catch the L2 bus sometime in Adams Morgan and feel pretty awesome when I not only beat that one up Connecticut but pass the one that was in front of it. And on a single speed!

    • HaileUnlikely

      I used to love to race the bus on foot, S2/S4 to downtown from 16th & Military or 52/54 to downtown from 14th & Military. I virtually always beat the one that left closest to me and usually passed a few in front of it going downtown. Going back, it was competitive. Now that I am older and pudgier and slower and live farther away – on the rare occasion that I attempt to hobble it, I am much less competitive with the bus.

      • I once beat a 14th Street bus from U Street to CH metro. The bus driver was totally into it, looking dramatically disappointed every time he caught a red light, and shaking his fist (jokingly) at me each time I passed his door, grinning.
        But man, was I worn out by the time I got to the top of the hill.

        • HaileUnlikely

          I did this almost every single day from 2004 through about 2010; all of the drivers recognized me back then. When I started getting old and lazy and boarding the bus instead of running alongside it, the drivers would all ask me, “Why aren’t you running?” or “What, don’t you run anymore?”

  • Rave?: Is it just me, or are the Metro tunnels lit better, recently? Part of a rat abatement (i.e., stopping them chewing the wires) plan? Or am I just imagining it?

    • Rats generally don’t inhabit the tunnels. They live where food can found, usually at the stations.

      • Can’t a rat take a walk? jk
        I thought I’d heard or read commentary that some of the recent wire/fire/spark/mess was chalked up to rats chewing cables; maybe that was just an excuse.
        Either way, I’m curious if they’ve been lit better (for whatever purpose that may serve) or if it’s just my imagination.

  • Rave: Finished group capstone class yesterday.
    Rant: Went out with classmates after, didn’t stay out late but I’m exhausted and have a migraine today, so I kind of regret.
    Rant: Both a nasty cold and a stomach bug have been circulating around DC. And I really just want to hide in my apartment and lysol everything until I get through finals next week.
    Rant: Not feeling very rave-y today even though I feel like I should be.

  • Rant: At the point where the really wonderful people I work with can’t outweigh the depths of dysfunction around this place.
    Rant: Tears of frustration nearly came out in front of the boss yesterday when I went to him to discuss (he’s not the source). Sniffles and angry face definitely came out. So berated myself for showing emotion at the office.
    Rave: Bikes rides and books.
    Rant/Rave: Dad wasn’t feeling well so went to the ER (had a stroke in the past) and got checked out. All tests came back negative.

    • Bear

      I hear you on the first rant, and finally made a change. The new gig certainly isn’t perfect, but I am VERY happy to be in a functional environment.

    • Emotions at the office suck. I try really really really hard to avoid showing much emotion, but I cracked one time when my boss was literally yelling and I wasn’t able to leave the office. It’s hard not to berate yourself after, even though I don’t think anyone else thinks about it for long after πŸ™

  • Quotia Zelda

    Rant: Trying to figure out when we can go visit the in-laws this summer. Between various kid things and my summer work schedule, it’s hard.
    Rave: The pup is feeling much better after his – ahem – procedure on Monday.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: so many distractions this morning: person on loud conference call, person singing very badly, “water cooler” talk just outside the library door.
    Rant: it’s so dry, my skin is itchy all over.
    Rave: Donna didn’t wake me up early today!

  • Bear

    Rant: My office is so cold. I keep asking building services to adjust it, and they do, and it’s better for all of a day before it goes back to ice box mode. It’s really hard to focus when I can’t feel my fingers!
    Rave-ish: Experimenting with going off my NSAID to see if I can manage arthritis without it. It’s been two weeks…and I’m pretty okay. Some increased pain but it’s not terrible. Gardening is harder, though…will have to make sure I’m not overdoing it.

    • Today I am in a hoodie (hood up) with my office blanket wrapped aorund me. Yesterday was pretty temperate, but I came in this morning and the AC was blasting. This is going to be a long, cold summer.

      • maxwell smart

        I will trade!! Yesterday, I was down to my undershirt, rolled the lightest weight pants I own up to my calves and was still sweating. I turn on the AC and someone goes behind me and turns up the heat. Like I don’t get how people in my office are wearing jackets when the thermostat says it’s 82 degrees? Did they all grow up in Azerbaijan or something? I don’t understand!?!?!

    • I highly recommend getting a small space heater! I love mine and I would be miserable without it.

    • Clueless

      I have my space heater on 365 days a year. πŸ™

  • Rave: Lovely and delicious birthday dinner with my roomie last night.
    Rant: I am so tired this morning, which is annoying because I went to bed last night earlier than I have the past couple of nights. What gives?
    Rant: While I feel like I’m slowly getting a handle on anxiety issues, and trying to develop skills to deal with those feelings, I’m now getting hit with the blues at random. Like, strange little glimpses of the world will momentarily make me feel like I want to curl up in a ball and weep. Bah. Oh well.
    Rave: Gonna meet my mom in Philly for lunch in a couple weeks – I have to trek up for my semi-annual specialists appointments (ugh), and I’m just going up and back in one day, but my mom said she’d come and meet me for lunch, so that’ll be at lease one nice to look forward to about that trip.
    Rave/Rant: This weather is beautiful! But I feel like it brings all the crazy out in people, as well as all the happy feelings.

  • Rant: Dropped optical mouse and it came apart into four pieces.
    Rave: Successfully put it back together again.
    Rant: Stupid Chromebook doesn’t have right-click capability on its trackpad (only left-click), which is why I’m carrying an external mouse around with it in the first place. Half the idea with a Chromebook is portability — it shouldn’t need an external mouse!
    Rave: It’s not _my_ Chromebook.

    • hammers

      Looks like on chromebook you right click by using two fingers, or click while holding alt. Not sure if telling you something you already know, but the two finger click isnt bad enough (in my opinion) to carry around an extra mouse. Not sure if your model is different though.

    • Hold down two fingers on track pad and click or alt and click with one finger

    • Google says you can right-click thusly: “Press or tap the touchpad with two fingers. You can also press Alt, then click with one finger.”
      I’ve never used a Chromebook so I can’t corroborate.

    • Thanks for the tips. (The person from whom I’m borrowing the Chromebook apparently didn’t know them.)

  • maxwell smart

    I don’t know why this bothers me so much, but this new thing where the bus yells at you EVERY STOP “THE BASE FARE FOR THIS BUS IS ONE DOLLAR AND SEVENTY FIVE CENTS” drives me crazy. Was there some mass confusion how much the bus costs?

    • Ugh, this annoys me too. Seems so bizarre.

    • It started at the beginning of peak cherry blossom season. Considering how many times I’ve had to listen to bus drivers tell tourists how much the fare was, and then the tourists don’t have the correct bills, etc. I’m glad they started saying it.

    • It’s b/c of a common scam that’s run in certain parts of the city that goes like this: 1) rider gets on bus and deposits maybe a quarter; 2) bus driver pulls outta the stop b/c he’s got a schedule to keep, but tells said rider to pay the additional amount; 3) rider then either complains that he didn’t know the fare was $1.75 or claims that he deposited $1.75 and that the machine is broken; 4) argument b/t rider and bus driver continues several stops; 5) rider finally gets off bus complaining about the bus driver and many other things related or unrelated, but presumably happy b/c he got to where he was going at only a fraction of the posted fare.

      • maxwell smart

        Hmmm… I have never witnessed this one before. Every bus I have been on has a very large sign, right next to the driver, with all the fare information clearly spelled out. And if you don’t know (tourist, etc.) you could, I don’t know, politely ask someone else waiting at the stop? Maybe they could add that info onto the somewhat useless next bus marquee. At the end day, it’s not like the worst thing that’s every happened, it’s just more annoying urban noise. They could lower the volume… I can hear it inside my apartment from the bus stop at the end of the block!

    • Allison

      This announcement from the bus cracked me up the other day when the bus speaker was clearly broken and it came out sounding exactly like how the adults talk in Peanuts/Snoopy. “BUWHA BUAHBHAH BOW BIS BUS IS BUAHH DOLLABRUAAAAHHHS”

  • Rave: the weather.
    Rant: I could’ve done the task in the time that it took me to describe and arrange a task rabbit task. Lesson learned.

  • jim_ed

    Rant: There was a shooting in the alley between Jefferson and Ingraham yesterday with apparently 11 shots fired and maybe someone hit, but absolute silence from MPD about what happened.
    Rave?: It didn’t make the news so no breathless calls from my mother-in-law about how dangerous our neighborhood is, that’s a positive I guess?

  • Rave: Caps game 4 tonight! I’m pumped!
    whispered rave: two nights in a row of one wake-up for the baby. I’m loving it!
    Rave: gorgeous weather!
    Rave: walking halfway home with a fellow daycare mom yesterday–so nice to catch up.

  • Rant: Health insurance. Self employed, and I downgraded my insurance this year. However by doing so I realize now I have to pay a deductible when seeing any specialist before I just have to pay a copay. Oops.
    Rave: So far, I’m still saving money by paying the deductible rather than the extra $100/mo from the old plan.
    Rant: Worried this health insurance shit is just going to get worse and worse.
    SUPER RAVE: The PopVille ObGYN thread from months ago where someone posted about a particular doc who diagnosed and treated them. I am not seeing him, and being treated. Thank you thank you thank you to that thread and to that poster.

    • I am *now* seeing him. Typo

    • That reminds me, I need to make an appointment with this doctor.

    • If you have a “high deductible plan” (which is actually a defined type of plan) you can set up a health savings account which lets you put pre-tax money into the account to help pay medical costs. There are other tax and non-tax advantages as well. Publication 969 (which you can get on the irs website) has some good information. You can also google “health savings account.”

  • Rave: We put in an application on a house over the weekend. The realtor say we are the only ones the owners are looking at right now. We had a chance to meet them at the open house because the realtor was late, and apparently that worked very much in our favor. The house is perfect for us, and I’m really hoping we get it.
    Rant: Waiting. I am the most impatient person I know. This is torture. The waiting also feeds into my anxiety. I become more and more anxious about it every hour it seems, and now I’m manufacturing reasons in my head that they will turn us down.
    Rant: Office woes continue. Someone else resigned. Ever feel like you’re on a sinking ship and just trying to figure out when the best time is to jump? You don’t want to jump too soon because you might have to tread water for longer, but jump too late and you’re sunk too. Decisions, decisions.

    • Ugh! Sorry to hear about the office woes πŸ™ Miss you, we should catch up before you abandon DC totally! And good luck with the house. Sometimes the only thing I can do in similar situations, where I’m waiting and feeling like I’m going to crawl out of my skin, is tell myself what my grandmother would always say: “Whatever happens, happens. Que sera, sera.” I realize that’s not the most helpful thing, but it is at least factual, and can, at least for me, sometimes stop my mind from going too far down the “What if” road….

  • Rave: we got a spin bike in my office gym! I’m so happy I want to write a thank you note, but I don’t know who’s responsible for this wondrous advancement in my life.
    Rant: I suddenly don’t like my job. I liked it not that long ago, but now it’s taking everything I have to convince myself not to totally tune out.
    Meh: went on a date, wasn’t super excited, existential crisis over whether to gather more info or cut him loose. Aziz Ansari’s Flo Rida hypothesis and all.

    • What is Aziz’s Flo Rida hypothesis?? Is this in his book?

      • I think it’s in the book, I heard him talk about it in a Freakonomics podcast. It’s basically that you hear a new Flo Rida song and you’re like, “no FLo Rida, I’ve heard this before and I’m not interested,” but then you keep hearing the song and it grows on you and then you’re like, “damn you Flo Rida, you got me again, I love this!”
        Tl;dr: exposure grows a relationship

    • I am firmly not a believer in the Flo Rida theory. My sense is that agonizing over whether to give someone a chance = you’re just not that into it and you feel kinda bad about that bc with that comes feelings of, “I’m so picky I’m never going to find someone” but in reality, you’re simply just not that into it! And that’s okay. And you deserve to date someone you ARE into. It will happen but only if you trust your gut and bid adieu to those that don’t excite you. Sorry Aziz, I still love you!

  • Rant: Woke up to another depressive wave this morning. I really hope this doesn’t last long.
    Rave: Being married to someone who understands that this happens to me on occasion and knows how to deal with me.
    Rave: While we have lots to do this weekend, I think I’m going to venture out for a hike. I need some outdoor time.

  • Rant: Is it a bad sign that I am craving a second cup of coffee already? I usually have it after lunch.
    Rave: This weather has been so amazing. I love soaking up the sunshine.
    Rave: cucumber, spinach, mint, pineapple smoothie for second breakfast

  • Rant: My husband is a pathological liar and has made grave errors leaving me with no other option than to end the marriage. We have done it all – counseling, separation, books, etc. and I am at a loss that after nearly a decade together it’s left with no where else to go and damage beyond repair. He is my best friend and my heart is utterly broken. And I’m obviously so mentally distracted I had to come to popville and post it so I can hopefully get some work done today.

    • Oh man, that’s hard. I don’t have any experience, but you have to do what’s best for yourself. Go in power and strength!

    • So sorry to hear this.

    • When I went through this, the hardest part was having no one to talk to. I wanted to talk to my husband about my hurt, because I spent 15 years sharing every hurt with him, and thus lightening my emotional load. But that’s not an option at this point, is it? And for a long time, I didn’t tell any of my friends, because he had behaved shockingly badly, and I didn’t want to tarnish his reputation. Because he was my best, oldest friend, and I felt like I had to protect him from his own actions.
      I sympathize with you. This is so very hard. But now that you’ve seen what he’s capable of, and made your decision, you can begin to extricate yourself, practically and emotionally. It’ll take time. Be kind to yourself.

    • I’m sorry. I have been through the pathologically lying husband thing before, and it’s very tough. Things are hard now, but I promise they will get better. I promise you, you deserve better.

    • I’m so sorry, that sounds so hard. I think it’s brave to admit it’s over and decide to move on.
      I’m wishing you the best, whatever that looks like for you.

  • justinbc

    Random Q: Has anyone had solar panels installed on their home recently? (within the last 2 years) I know the tech is rapidly changing and getting much more affordable, but the overwhelming number of vendors in DC all promising various things comes across a bit intimidating. I just got an offer from one offering appx $1 / watt, which seems really cheap. If you’ve had positive experiences with specific vendors I would love to hear about them.

    • I looked into it. Had a couple companies give me their spiel. Numbers just didn’t do it for me. The companies were noncommittal about whether DC grant money was going to be disbursed for solar at the time, and, if memory serves, you still gotta pay the exorbitant connection and othe fees that Pepco charges every month to all of its customers. I think I may have broken even in 20 years . . .

  • Additional rants/raves:
    Rave: Warmer weather!
    Rave: I love the color when my azaleas are blooming (bright magenta), as they are now…
    Rant: … but the green foliage turns kind of a purple-brown in the fall/winter and isn’t very attractive.
    I’m thinking about digging them up this year after they’re done blooming and replacing them with boxwoods… but when I see them now, looking so pretty and colorful, I feel a little guilty/conflicted.

    • The azaleas are also higher-maintenance than I anticipated — they kept falling victim to some bug that was sucking the green out of their leaves, so I kept having to spray them. I also pruned them down heavily to encourage them to start new growth, because the bug-affected leaves on the interior were turning yellow and falling off. So the plants are slightly smaller now than when I bought them two years ago.

      • I like boxwoods because they provide year round lush and green landscaping. We have boxwoods and hydrangeas.


        • Stacksp — Yeah, I’ve got several boxwoods already that I’ve been happy with. No pest issues, and they’re true evergreens (unlike azaleas) that are just as green in the winter as in the summer.
          Thanks for the link on the boxwoods-and-hydrangeas idea. In the photos, it looks like people are using the hydrangeas (taller) on the interior of the landscaping area and using boxwoods (shorter) on the exterior. But does the interior end up looking bare/branch-y in winter when the hydrangeas lose their leaves?
          I planted one hydrangea last summer. It’s regrown its leaves, but it looked pretty skeletal and unattractive during the winter. And unfortunately the soil pH in my area means that the flowers come out violet rather than blue. (I prefer the blue.)

          • They are indeed a bit skeletal in the winter which is why I assume they plant them on the interior to hide them in the winter as they appear to shrink a bit when not in full bloom

          • Yeah, that makes sense. I was just having trouble picturing what that arrangement would look like in winter — like, if it would look like something was missing on the interior.

          • Any halfway decent garden store (or hardware store that has a garden section) should have something to change the pH of your soil basically entirely for this reason. Can’t remember any of the brands, but basically most of them are either sprays or pellets that can dissolve in rain/watering. They stay pretty localized so they generally won’t change the pH of your other plants.

    • How about barberries? They make pretty red berries that the birds love (and which feature in lovely tangy middle eastern dishes sometimes), and they turn bright red in the fall. Downside is the thorns.

      • I don’t know much about barberries, but will look into them.
        I was given some kind of native barberry

      • Oops, posted prematurely.
        I was given some kind of native barberry when I took a D.C. Department of the Environment class on native plants… but it didn’t survive.
        On the other hand, that was before I had a hose attachment on the front of my house, so I could water plants only with a watering can. Maybe the barberry would have done better with more water.

      • I Dont Get It

        Hmm…is this the same barberry you find at HD or Lowes? I’m looking for golden or yellow barberry but they only have red. I also appreciate that they offer the red in small pots so I am hoping to find the same with the golden/yellow.

    • justinbc

      Consider hydrangea or smoke bushes. There’s also a dogwood bush that has red stems and is pretty cool imo.

  • I Dont Get It

    Rant: 4/20 is not a holiday here.
    Rave: Loving the weather although I want to be outside playing in the dirt instead of working.
    Rant: Lizzy’s doggie dementia is getting worse and she now paces around rooms hugging the wall which means she gets trapped next to/or behind anything against the wall since reverse doesn’t always engage with her. I finally had to take a vintage sleigh that was leaning against a wall down to the basement after she knocked it over twice and got trapped between the runners. She just yelped (she no longer can bark) and I found her trapped between the stretchers of a stool. Poor Lizzy!

    • Emmaleigh504

      Poor Lizzie. Do you think her eye sight has going? We had an old blind dog who hugged the wall when walking through the house, unless the younger dog was there. The younger dog acted as a seeing eye dog for the blind dog. It was kind of cute.

      • I Dont Get It

        Last time the vet checked her eyesight was OK. She’s just losing it mentally. Lucy is totally blind and deaf but after a few months of stumbling around and getting trapped, she is doing well getting around although she doesn’t do steps.

    • Poor Lizzy. πŸ™

  • Happy 4/20, playing hookie this afternoon to go to a 4/20 party.

    Seemed like traffic was light this morning as well.

    • Traffic was definitely lighter today than the past two days on metro. I as well am dipping out after lunch for 4/20 festivities.

  • That One Guy

    Anyone have recommendations for a refreshing morning drink? I generally forgo drinking sodas until after noon and the weather is just warm enough, for me, to forgo a cup of coffee, even if it’s iced.

  • Rave: Could be in the last round of a job I really want. Crossing all fingers and toes.
    Rant: Tree pollen. I’m a mess.

  • Rave: My therapist session yesterday went well. Made since of some of the bad thoughts I’ve been having lately.
    Rant: The homeless “shelter” that has now sprung up at the intersection of 7th and H NW (a bunch of folks standing in the sidewalk begging for cash including a dude with a dog that he shows off ) in front of the Starbucks erupted with a person who was mentally ill/high acting so erratic and trying to fight people that the police and ambulance were called. That was last week. The other 5 folks that hang out there are still around.
    Rant: I’m a point of contact for a report involving 3 federal agencies including mine. This report was gonna take forever anyway cause of the amount of info involved. But now with 2 other agencies attached to the project, I don’t think this report will ever get published.
    Rave: Finally attempting to get out of my depressive episode and planning a road trip to the outlets in Williamsburg for this weekend.

  • Rant: Working on balance and not making others (and where I might be with others) responsible for my own happiness. I can control how I feel, and I will do that.
    Rave: Fun weekend plans, beginning with a homemade dinner on Friday and a barbeque at a farm on Saturday.
    Revel: Just got asked for an interview next week. Let’s see what happens…I need to work with professionals.

  • Rave: Third orchid in bloom, another one sending out a bud stalk
    Rave: All my tomato seedlings that are coming up
    Rant: I’m a red neck – forgot to apply sunscreen to the back of my neck this weekend. Ouch
    Rant: Posting the G&G reminder later than I intended…
    Reminder: Gin and Gardening gathering this Sunday at 6:00 pm, Acre 121. You don’t have to be a gardener or like gin to join πŸ™‚

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