Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

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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.

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126 Comment

  • Does anyone know what the deal is with DCPS school buses? It’s never been offered for the schools my kids have attended. I was behind one this morning that put out its stop sign, then the driver got out, ran up and rang the doorbell, and walked a kid back out to the bus. My first assumption was that it was an accommodation for special needs kids, but now I’m questioning that.

    • I think it’s a combination of special needs (maybe private placements?) and kids at failing schools who have the right to attend different schools because their local schools have been deemed failing (as opposed to kids who, through the lottery, have the right to attend OOB schools). But that may be completely (or partially) wrong.
      I should probably have just said I don’t know.

    • It’s my understanding that DCPS only offers transportation to children with special needs. The idea being that all children have the ability to walk to their in-bounds school, and if parents elect for an OOB school or Charter, then it’s their responsibility to transport. Some charters have buses though.

    • I think most of them are for special needs, and the drivers getting out and escorting the kids is standard procedure (there is a kid on our block who gets the same). It’s usually only a minute or two on a residential street, and for a kid’s safety not a big deal. But try telling that to the commuters cutting through our neighborhood! There is some other situation where kids can get it without special needs (something about OOB placement and some other combination of at-risk factors), but there is no “normal” DCPS bus service.

      • Oh, I’m definitely not complaining! Just curious.
        There used to be a kid on my block who got bus service too, and he appeared neurotypical. As did the kid who was picked up in front of me today. But of course I understand that not all special needs are visible from 30 feet away.

    • binntp

      That’s exactly what it is. Special needs students get bus accommodations, but non-special needs students get the free WMATA passes. I used to get mistaken voicemails from the bus system when they wouldn’t be able to pick up “my child” that day, and always wondered whether the actual parent of that child ever got word about the bus never coming.

    • I’ll never forget the day I saw a bus driver get out of the bus and start walking up to an apartment building. She stopped below the balcony though. Then the mother (?) lifted her kid off the first floor balcony and down to the bus driver who was waiting with open arms!

    • Check out the bottom of page 20 to top of page 21 in link below. I don’t know if you personally knew the child being picked up, so I don’t want to unfairly accuse you of anything. But as a general note, it’s not fair to assume the student being picked up was not an Individualized Educational Program (“special ed”) student based on his or her appearance. There is a very wide spectrum of issues/needs that can result in a student having an IEP.


      I have heard of references to some accommodations (through perhaps they were metrobus routes?) for out of bounds students. Perhaps someone else better versed could clarify on that.

  • Rant: My mom is currently in the hospital. For a face lift. Seriously. It’s so ridiculous. Such a waste of money, needlessly going in to major surgery when you’re not in the best of health. It’s so stupid.
    Rant: Her constant criticism of looks. In general. She comments on everyone’s. “What is that lady wearing?!” “that doesn’t fit that woman”. WHO CARES!
    Rave: Luckily I haven’t inherited that. I just comment on everyone else’s driving.
    Rant: But it did a number on me, being exposed to it for so long.

    • If you’re going to do elective surgery, now is the time. Hospital-related bacterial infections are on the rise as antibiotic effectiveness declines. Pretty soon, surgery is going to be an absolute last resort. We’ll all just live with our saggy jowls and aching shoulders.

      • Many hospital-acquired infections are declining. Medicare now penalizes hospitals for this. And, the infection rate varies widely from hospital to hospital.

        • Our hospitals here are actually fantastic. My husband just had (much needed) nose surgery for a deviated septum and other breathing problems and the care, cleanliness, etc were wonderful.

          • That may or may not be correlated with hospital-acquired infections. Looking clean isn’t necessarily the same thing as clean from a sterilization/hygiene perspective. That said, you can look up HAC-related information online if you’re interested.

          • true, but I’m not concerned to be honest….because around here, the shit would hit the fan if something like that were at a Main Line Health hospital. YAY rich people!

          • My point was not to predict doom for your mother; apologies if it came across that way. Just a comment on the future of elective surgery.

          • Wanted to add – I wasn’t commenting about the elective surgery either (I mean, her body, right?); just hospitals. Also, I wanted to add, that inspite of how it may have come across, I have full confidence in (most) area hospitals. In fact, as much as I hate their billing, I would go back to WHC in a heart beat if I needed to. We have some really, really great hospitals in DC, and I think they get shit on unfairly sometimes.

          • Not offended, I’m not worried about hospitals, it’s more than I think surgery should be a last resort not a self esteem thing. It’s sad that at almost 70, she still can’t be OK with who she is. It’s ridiculous. She’s not in DC (neither are we anymore), but I have a lot of confidence in the hospitals here. I just think CHOOSING to go under the knife for vanity is something to avoid. For the cost of her surgery, she could have gotten a lot of therapy. she’s lost a lot of weight – from medication, not actually doing anything – so she could have hired a trainer to help avoid loose skin. It’s just ridiculous to me. Definitely her body, I’m just so glad sometimes that I don’t have a daughter.

          • A surgeon friend of mine refers to cosmetic surgery as “psychiatry with a scalpel”.

        • That may well be true for now–but it’s also true that antibiotic-resistant infections are on the rise. Wdc may be exaggerating about “pretty soon”, but a bacteria that is resistant to all of our antibiotic options has been found in a Chinese hospital, and I’m pretty sure that something similar has been found in the U.S. That’s pretty terrifying.

          • Already here – there was a case reported last week in I believe Pennsylvania.

          • yes she’s being treated at a military clinic.

          • Hold on – military clinics do face lifts? Seriously? WTF?

          • Re: “pretty soon”: I think I saw some prediction about 2040 being the year the life expectancy will begin to decrease (after a century+ of increases) as a result of untreatable infection. But I’m afraid I can’t remember where I read it, so take it with all the salt.
            That’s just about when I’ll be wanting a face lift of my own. 🙁

          • @dcd I personally know two different women who had their breast augmentation surgeries done and paid for by the Air Force due to them convincing their psychiatrists that it was necessary for positive mental health.

          • The woman with the bacterial infection is at a military hospital. Not my mom. My mom is at a swanky hospital. Where I was born, actually, but it was less swanky then.

          • I am by no means some anti-government spending zealot – far from it, in fact. But elective cosmetic surgery? Come on. And “necessary for positive mental health?” Gimme a break. And people wonder why insurance costs are so high – there’s a lot of blame to go around, but nonsense like this sure doesn’t help.

          • Oops, just saw J’s comment. Sorry to bring us all down this rabbit hole.

        • This is exactly true. Want to get hospitals to improve quality and patient safety? Monetize it. Sad, but true. Patient Saftey programs need money to succeed (for training, education, purchasing of safer materials, etc), and having been up close and personal with data, there is a direct correlation between the increase in penalties and patient safety rates.

        • +1 to mtpresident, KenyonDweller, and Anonamom.
          J, regarding your theory that “sh1t would hit the fan” — People can make a fuss about something only if they know that it’s happening, and (IIRC) until recently, information on hospital-acquired infections wasn’t publicly available.

          • Perhaps. But, I’m not the one having elective surgery so if my mom contracts a flesh eating bacteria in the name of vanity, it’s her fault.

          • This. Also, keep in mind, it’s not just hospitals. It’s a well-known fact among parents that the most likely place for a kid to acquire an infection is a pediatricians office, but I think adults sometimes fail to recognize that he same is true for us at urgent cares and walk-in clinics. Where ever sick people congregate, there will be infections.

          • …wherever kids go, and whatever kids touch, there will be infections. That’s what I go by.

      • That One Guy

        Frontline had a pretty scary/informative episode on this general topic. When the NIH has issues with combating/containing bacterial infections it’s a little worrisome.
        My mom contracted C. Diff. after she had back surgery. It was not a fun time for her and I believe made her already wonky digestive system that much more difficult to deal with.

    • Andie302

      This sounds exactly like my grandmother – who also happened to be literally the worst mother to my mom that you can imagine (essentially abandoning her to move across the country with yet another man). I think I associate people that care about that stuff with the her extreme crappiness as a person, so I end up avoiding them at all costs. Luckily my mother a) DGAF about what other people think b) rarely comments on my appearance and c) has turned out to be the only normal one of all of her siblings. I don’t know how she managed it!

      • I think my mom means well, but it’s like she just can’t help herself. It’s mean. I constantly tell her it’s unnecessary. Luckily it’s never at me, but hearing it my whole life definitely f’d me up

  • Rave: The amount of juvenile glee I got when I realized that, in the Nick’s poop thread yesterday, the non-Yelp-posting Emma, the one who the first Emma alleges was the actual culprit, could accurately be referred to as “Emma No. 2.” Heehee
    Rant: I am a grownup with a job, and should have grown out of my 13 yo sense of humor by now.

  • Anyone know what is up with Meridian Hill Park upkeep? It looks like trash right now. It hasn’t been mowed in awhile and the fountains are still not running. I’ve heard that there was a water pump issue, but that shouldn’t prevent a lawn mower from going out there, right? It is a federal park, so I thought it would be better maintained.

  • Rave: In a much better mood today. Still struggling with some of the anxiety stuff, but my appointment with the therapist yesterday went well and we talked through some new strategies of shutting up negative self-talk, etc. Now I just have to start putting these strategies into practice, the hardest part!
    Rant: feet issues -toe injury over the weekend is better but now as a result of walking a smidge funny for three days, my calf, knee, and lower back are killing me!
    Rant: Domestic disputes in my apartment building and other nonsense have resulted in the arrest of two people this past week! WTF , people?!
    Rave: Raspberry Early Grey tea.
    Rave: getting sh!t done.

    • That One Guy

      Trying to compesate for the toe probably threw your whole lower half out of alignment and you added stress to the joints. Maybe stretch the leg muscles to relieve some tension.
      What does raspberry earl grey tea taste like? Is it a balanced drink or more raspberry than earl grey?

      • I think it’s pretty balanced – look for Zhena’s Gypsy Tea Raspberry Early Grey, it’s delicious!

  • Rant: I accidentally left the refrigerator door partly open last night, and didn’t discover my mistake until this morning. Thankfully most of the stuff in the fridge are left overs, but I’m still going to have to toss my milk, eggs, and some cheese.

    Rant: I’ve come to realize I don’t own any flat shoes that aren’t sneakers, boots or flip flops. It is so hard to find flats that are flattering and comfortable. I really don’t like ballet flats, they hurt my feet. I need to work on finding flat shoes for the summer.

    Rant: I am in massive cranky mode. Everyone and everything is annoying me. Dudes who don’t respond to messages, my inability to pick out an outfit for work today, dealing with getting my roommates set up. I want to build a pillow fort under my desk and check out today.

    • SKJ – your eggs and cheese are probably fine as long as your house wasn’t too hot. In many countries, these items, especially eggs, are not refrigerated. I guess do a cursory internet search to make sure, but I doubt that a couple of hours in slightly-warmer temps would do much harm to your eggs and cheese. Your milk is probably ok, too, but I’m not sure, that might turn faster, especially if it’s a lower fat content.

    • Re: shoes. Have you tried Toms? They’re all I wear in the summer, along with sneakers if it’s rainy because the bottom of the classic toms get kind of slippery…. (but they have waterproof versions as well!)

      • I tried on Tom’s my last DSW trip and didn’t love them. I may have to revisit. I think its my feet that’t the issue. I wear a size 9 1/2 to 10 shoe and I have a high arch. Its really hard for me to find shoes that look good on my foot and are comfortable as well.

        • agree on the high arch problem – it’s hard to find flats that are at all supportive. Birkenstock slides are my go-to in terms of comfort, and some of them are pretty cute, but for work-appropriate, the cutest and most comfortable shoes I’ve found are Cole Haan ballet flats.

    • J Crew’s Cece ballet flats are the only flats I can wear without pain. Toms also has some cute styles, but the classic canvas ones make my feet sweat like crazy in the heat. For sandals I just go to DSW and try on all the flat sandals until I find a pair that’s comfy.

    • what about oxfords?

      • I do love oxfords. I had two pairs that I got from Target that I wore to the ground a few years ago. The key is finding a pair that can balance with dresses.

        • How do you find a pair that doesn’t rub in the back? That’s always been my problem with oxfords.

    • Try short wedges? A couple of years ago I got some Aerosoles “pumps” from DSW that were essentially flats (the heel wasn’t even an inch), and they were incredibly comfortable since the thicker sole gave my foot more support. I had some ankle/foot issues a couple of years ago and the podiatrist also recommended wedges over heels or flats.

      • Probably the best course. I wear wedge heels most of the time. My favorite pair is about 3 inches and shockingly comfortable. I tried to run for my bus in flip flops today which was like running barefoot. It occurred to me if I had my wedges on it probably would’ve been easier.

    • anonymouse_dianne

      I buy shoes from Zappo’s – you can read the ratings to tell how they fit, you get them delivered in 24 and returns are free for a year! You can search by heel and other features.

  • Rant: dog walkers who leave their bags of shit in my trash can. Thanks a lot for making me fish it out and dispose of it properly! Nice of you to share that responsibility with people who don’t even own pets….

  • Rant: watching some woman putting on her makeup on the metro. Call me old or olf fashioned but honestly I just don’t understand why she couldn’t do it before she left home and wouldn’t wait to do it once she got where she was going.

    • Presumably she figured she’d missed her chance to look “put together” on the Metro, but still had a chance to look “put together” when she walked in the door at work.

    • I used to do my make up on the train all the time when I worked in a restaurant. I had to be in at 7am and generally choose to sleep as late as I could. My make up routine is pretty simple, Eye shadow, Eyeliner, Mascara, lipstick and blush. As long as she wasn’t taking up too much space, or getting make up on the seats why is it a problem?

    • Yeah, I don’t get this either. I don’t really want to see you grooming yourself on the metro.

    • In an ideal world, I’d put on my makeup (usually only lipstick) before leaving the house. But I am not a morning person, and I’m always running late.

    • You probably saw me. Why spend 2 minutes doing it at home then sit on the Metro being totally unproductive? Just being efficient.

    • binntp

      My morning yellow line driver is absolutely terrible with braking; grooming etiquette aside, I don’t know how people successfully apply makeup under such jerky circumstances!

      • I had to do my makeup on the bus during marching band season in high school. I quickly mastered the skill of steady hands and waiting to do eye stuff at stops.

      • I’ve occasionally seen women using eyelash curlers on Metro, which struck me as rather daring — seems like those contraptions could do serious damage if there were any major bumps in the ride.

  • Rant: Having to use Max.gov when I know of a few different sites/apps that would do the job better. But we have to use the official government thing.
    Rave: One more day until Awesome Con! So excited.

    • AwesomeCon! Can’t wait. My kids have been going over their costumes for days.

    • I’m debating going tomorrow with my sister. We won’t have time on Sat or Sun so tomorrow is our only chance. Are you cosplaying? We will probably go as Sarah and Helena from Orphan Black.

      • Not cosplaying, although I might do an eleventh Doctor inspired outfit on Saturday. An Orphan Black cosplay sounds amazing!

  • Rant: My current basement tenant is moving out this summer. I can’t decide whether I should fill the unit immediately or use the vacancy to get my (upstairs) kitchen redone and move into the basement temporarily myself. I am a little worried that by the time the kitchen is finished, it will be October and it will be harder to find a basement tenant.
    Rave: This is a total #firstworldproblem — I am very privileged to have this as a dilemma.

    • I would get bids on the work before deciding.

    • What about a short-term basement tenant then renovate in the spring? That way you’ll fall back into a better time frame for finding someone long-term.

      • I thought the easiest time to find tenants was between May and September — more so than in the spring.
        Maybe I should get a new tenant now and worry about the kitchen next summer (assuming the tenant wants to move out then). I’ve had only one contractor come out to do a bid so far, and he said he’s booked until the end of the summer.

        • Yup. I thought the renovation would take a while, so I was thinking a “school year” tenant (Sept-may ish) then finding someone in the summer.
          My idea being you know the person is leaving, so you can plan the renovation in a more definite timeframe v hoping someone leaves after a year.

    • HaileUnlikely

      Are you worried about construction noise bothering the tenant, or about having a kitchen to use. If the former, you’re a thoughtful landlord. If the latter, I can’t imagine the kitchen reno taking so long that this isn’t solvable by, say, eating most of your meals out and making the rest things that you can do without a kitchen.

      • Both. (And I thought it would be only a noise issue, but the one kitchen contractor I’ve talked to so far says that they might need access to the basement ceiling — not just the kitchen floor — if they’re shifting the locations of water pipes, etc.)
        I really should have started getting kitchen bids and gotten my ducks in a row in April, when I found out my tenant’s planned departure date. I think I dragged my feet because the kitchen renovation was such an overwhelming/intimidating project that I wasn’t sure if I wanted to take it on yet.

      • Also, the basement unit (which is basically an in-law suite) is where the electrical panel for the whole house is located.

        • HaileUnlikely

          Oh, ok. If the basement work would take like 1-2 days, going ahead and renting it and telling the tenant before they sign the lease that this is coming and offering to put them up at a nice hotel for a couple of days, you could probably get somebody to go for that, and it would certainly cost you less than having the basement sit vacant for several months before you get the kitchen taken care of. On the other hand, if the cash flow situation is such that there is no particular urgency to getting a rent check coming in, it would surely be less hassle for all involved to do the kitchen in between tenants.

          • I don’t really want to have the unit unoccupied for two months before kitchen work (which would probably take place in September and last 4 weeks)… but maybe it makes more sense to do that now than to sign a 12-month lease with someone this summer and tell them that they have to move out when the 12 months are up, with no option to renew or go month to month.

    • It is creepy how close your question is to my real life right now.

  • Rant: Yucky experience on the bus yesterday afternoon. Mom gets on the bus with two kids and a stroller, one of whom is throwing a fit. I smile at her because goodness knows I’ve been there! But then she shoves the stroller at the older child, saying “can’t you f***ing help!” Followed by smacking her younger child on the bottom or leg repeatedly for kicking her. It was pretty awful. I was relieved to be getting off the bus two stops later. Told my daughter once we were off the bus that sometimes people have a hard day and we should never hit, but sometimes mommies do things they feel bad about later. Wasn’t sure what I could have done in the moment. Yuck.

  • Does anyone have an recommendations for things to do in the Playa del Carmen/Tulum region? Anyone have a specific tour group they have used for tours of Tulum? Going in July and any advice would be appreciated!

    • Just went to Tulum recently. Dinner at hartwood was amazing (drinks not so much), we did alltournative for a ziplining/cenote trip, which was super fun and we enjoyed it (but you are not allowed to bring in cameras other than a gopro with head or chest harness, and buying photos from them was super expensive).
      Beach is beautiful (we went to playa paradiso resort, which was not too crowded with cheap drinks and a beautiful beach) , get some ceviche at el carmello jr (cheap local spot).
      Have fun! Its super nice!

  • Rave: Baby at his second day of daycare. I am getting a pedicure and running errands so next week isn’t insane for us.
    Rant: Not looking forward to going back to work next week. It is going to take awhile to learn to balance work and home.
    Rave: Time to myself. Leaving the house with a purse instead of a diaper bag is bliss.
    Rant: I still worry that the little man transitions ok, continues to take bottles, etc. Parenting is never ending worry and anxiety management for someone like me.

    • My dad says they insert the worry gene when your child is born. I used to laugh it off but I get it now.
      It’s okay if it takes time to learn to balance home and work. It’s not linear, just like sleep isn’t linear – sometimes it’ll be great and other times not so much. Hopefully you find the right balance most of the time.
      Also – enjoy your last few days off!

  • I Dont Get It

    Rave: Pimento cheese toast for breakfast! Sometimes you just have to skip the green smoothie!
    Rave: Dental surgery at 2:30 pm today!
    Rave: Lying about one of the above being a rave!

    • dental surgery at 2:30? how appropriate. (say the time out loud. I blame this on the many punny jokes bandied about my office)

  • Rave: got James Blake presale tickets. 3rd time seeing him and cant wait.
    Rave: friends back and friends visiting.
    Rant: none.

    • he’s so amazing. I liked him better at 930 club though – the last time I saw him was at Lincoln and they were sticklers about letting people dance in the aisles.

  • That One Guy

    Saw an article on the Post’s site about brain cancer and was reminded of someone else. Went to his blog and started to tear up a little reading his last post: http://www.loganlo.com

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