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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98 Comment

  • Rant: Came home last night, went to the alley to bring my trash and recycling bins back inside my fence… and found that _after_ the recycling pickup, someone had filled my recycling bin to the brim (actually, somewhat beyond) with _their_ shoeboxes.
    I suspect the recyclables came from the house next door. It’s a group house that somehow doesn’t have a recycling bin any more, despite having had one before the free bin distribution in 2014 and receiving a new one in 2014. I think I’m going to have to talk to the landlord — he needs to get his tenants their own damn recycling bin.

    • We have this problem occasionally. It’s so damn annoying, especially when the neighbors don’t even have the decency to break down the boxes so they take up less room. Good luck!

  • Rant: went to take my old car to the shop to get a light checked and the fcking battery is dead. I canceled roadside assistance for this car because I never drive it anymore. I’ll have the roommate help me jump start it when he gets up
    Rant: nobody on Craigslist is as in love with this car as I am. I guess I need to lower the price.
    ? Forgot to pause my graze boxes while I was in Ecuador. Now my kitchen is overflowing with 1oz plastic containers of snacks!
    Rebel: getting my new car checked out so I can drive for lyft. I’m not 100% in love with the gig but if I can make $150 a week when I’d otherwise be sitting on the couch this summer,it could be good?

    • Curious as I rarely use taxis/Uber/Lyft….since Metro is closing at midnight on weekends, is there usually surge pricing at night? (Or was there already?). Obviously things like rain can alter that, but just typically……I’m curious. While Uber/Lyft doesn’t really pay much more than a generic retail job, the ability to set your own hours is obviously a huge perk. And obviously surge pricing actually makes it even better (I feel like in NYC it’s always surge).

      • I don’t know…I normally take public transit when I go out late. I’m just looking into Lyft as I have the summer off (teacher), could stand to earn a few extra dollars (even though I’m still getting summer paychecks), and don’t want to commit to any schedule.

        • I don’t know about late-night but the after-work/happy hour surge is real, both on Lyft and Uber. (Although I normally bus or walk home at this time.) Plus, since you’re not out super-duper late you don’t have to worry about really trashed people barfing in your car.

        • I don’t know this for sure, but I expect that with the Safe Track debacle, you’d be able to get some decent surge fares during the morning commute. It would require you to get up early and out to the burbs, though.

          • I could do that, I just need to get my car inspected in VA so I can do pickups in the ‘burbs,

          • Problem is – if you spend all your time on one trip, I’m not sure if that payout is better than having multiple trips or not (plus paying for gas to get out to the burbs).

  • Rant: Such strong support for 2nd amendment rights in this country… if the person exercising that right is white.
    Rant: Reading some pretty misogynistic comments on WMATA’s “contest” for ideas to improve the metro system. Someone suggested a women-only car and the trolls came out from there.
    Rave: Feeling incredibly privileged to have grown up around people who are very tolerant and value social justice and equality.
    (Minor) Rant: Scrolling through photos of someone on Tinder and wanting to like them, but instead of the photos swiping left, the whole PERSON swiping left and off the screen, lost forever. Oh well, probably wouldn’t have gone anywhere anyway.

    • in regards to your minor rant, I think Tinder has a way to restore swipes if you use the paid service.

    • Some of the WMATA comments weren’t great, I grant you, but the idea was both illegal and unworkable.

      • That is true, and I acknowledge that. I just think it’s telling that there was only one person who mentioned the legal aspect in a… well, non-misogynistic way. (And who was the suggester to know? It is a thing many other places in the world, and I think there could have been a great discussion about our laws if anyone had bothered.)

        • “Great discussions” do not happen in comments sections on the internet. I know many of us hope and want that they do, but they don’t.

      • Illegal possibly, it might pass intermediate scrutiny: furthers an important government interest by substantially related means. Having 1 car of 6 or 8 as women only given the harassment and rapes we’ve seen recently; you might just get there.
        Unworkable, certainly.

  • Rant: Physically drained and sick. I’m pretty sure I have sinus infection that has migrated to my chest. I took some Nyquil and tried to sleep it out yesterday, but I still feel pretty crappy today. On to mucinex, I want to nip this shit in the bud.

    Rant: Mentally drained from yet two more reports of police shootings. I worry about my brothers so much, what if they end up in the wrong place at the wrong time? One is more urban in his dress and manner, the other is as yuppie as they come, but lives in a rural conservative area. They are both intelligent, brilliant men, and yet it doesn’t matter in this world. We should be past this as a country.

    • I would be so terrified for my son if he were Black. Those shootings are terrifying.

      • Me too. The thing is, the shootings aren’t new. Only the cameras are new.

        • Yep, it’s been happening forever.

          • This is perhaps the worst part — it’s been happening forever, but only now with smartphone video are we as a nation becoming aware of it.

        • Yeah. On the one hand, at least more people are aware of the these shootings, but they aren’t new at all. I remember when I told a friend about Emmitt Till and she had never heard his story before. This is why history is important. Growing up my mother made sure we knew about Black History and was a driving force in having it taught in our suburban NJ school system. As a kid I was a bit embarrassed by her making waves, as an adult I am so proud of her for going to bat.

      • Bear

        My son will be mixed race and I’m already terrified for him.

        • Its messed up that children coming into this world have to deal with the same dangers my brothers, father, grandfathers, and great uncles had to deal with.

    • maxwell smart

      I think I have the same cold/sinus infection. Being sick during swamp week is the worst.

  • Rant: Another police killing. Sometimes I get really depressed and overwhelmed by racism and violence in our society.
    Rant: I have such tunnel vision about just getting through my days that I didn’t even know about it until a friend mentioned it this morning.
    Rave: I managed to finish a project that a friend asked for input on a week ago. At least I am slowing crossing things off the to do list.
    Rave: The morning prep checklist that I posted in the kitchen seems to be working. I didn’t forget anything this morning, including the baby. Small victories! Who though that the best parenting aids would be lists, sharpie markers, and painters tape?

    • Just curious… what’s the painter’s tape for?

      • We use painter’s tape to label bottles 🙂

      • Ha! What isn’t it for? Hanging reminders in the kitchen (packing checklist for the mornings, baby Artie’s pediatrician’s contact info) without destroying the paint on the walls. Labeling bottles for daycare (no yucky residue when you pull it off), labeling other items for daycare, and labeling food for the freezer.

        • oh! Smart, I like the freezer label tip!

        • Coming to this late, but I am SO in agreement with this. We used sharpies and masking tape a lot in our house before the babies, mostly to label food, but now we use it every single day, many times a day. I find it really soothing, actually, to label everything. It’s like my tiny bit of rationality and control in a chaotic world.

  • Bear

    Rant: I think the bear cub is having a growth spurt. I am SO wiped out this week, and hungry all the time.
    Rave: Feeling him kick and move around is pretty awesome. And I’m almost halfway there!
    Rant: Holy shit, I’m almost halfway there. So much to do…

    • I love that you’re referring to him as “the bear cub.”
      I also enjoy how Artemis is referring to her baby as “Baby Artie.”

  • Rant: Living without AC during this heat wave. Trying to sleep well at night is absolutely miserable to say the very least. My standing fan by the bed just isn’t cutting it!
    Rave: I get to eat lots of popsicles and ice cream under the guise of staying cool!
    Rave: My boss agreed to pay for my workout pass, so I’m now saving an extra $230+ a month.
    Rave: Petsitting for friends next month. Not only do I get to spend a week with their adorable dog, but I get to use their killer rooftop deck!

  • RANT: mtpkiddo might have hand/foot/mouth disease. Crap. If so, it’s a mild case, but not sure what that will do to our trip to NC for the family reunion. Especially if she passes it on to her brother, too.
    Rant: Last time this happened, my wife came down with a WICKED case of it in the middle of the night when we went for our first post-kid overnight to celebrate our anniversary. Fingers crossed we can avoid a repeat.
    Rave: Two nights in a row of mtpbaby not waking up until after 4am and then sleeping for another couple of hours. Yay for that! I guess the dairy is finally largely out of his system.
    Rave: Am I acclimated to summer already? This morning didn’t feel too bad to me….

    • Hoof and Mouth seems to be running through daycares on the east coast. My nephews had it two weeks ago and friends had it a few weeks before that. I hope mtpkiddo heals quickly and that it doesn’t spread to the rest of you!

      And yay for mtpbaby sleeping better!

  • That One Guy

    Being the youngest person in a crowd never felt weirder. It’s like I’m the balder yet younger version of Mr. Miyagi sitting here Bob Evans. Oh wait a mom and her son just walked in…
    Rave: Mom is actually functional. She’s typically in druggie/zombie mode anytime she receives anesthesia.
    Rant: As someone who doesn’t use an alarm clock, being woken up by one is disturbing.

  • Rave: in the planning stages for a DIY-ish kitchen renovation for our 1920s rowhouse (last updated in the 70s…). Does anyone have suggestions for a structural engineer to help us assess load bearing walls/the possibility of opening up our galley kitchen to the dining room? Thanks!

  • Rave: A dear, dear friend is coming to town this weekend! It’ll be her first visit since I moved to DC, and her first time in the district. I have great plans for Fringe Festival, rooftop bars, some swimming holes in the Shenandoah, and maybe the zoo. I want to make her a welcome bag full of DC-related fun, but am in need of ideas!

    • Rave and Rant: I have friends that all the time, well not all the time, but more often than not, always ask if they could spend the weekend at my place. I want to say ‘yes’ but inevitably think of some excuse to avoid the after they leave massive clean up and the cost of wining and dining and entertaining them or am I being selfish? As this is the only two days (Saturday and Sunday) where I am totally free and can get some peace of mind time..Any thoughts? -Just how do you handle ‘guests’?

      • “Sorry, this isn’t a good weekend for me”?
        Re. “the cost of wining and dining and entertaining them” — are you picking up their tab at bars/restaurants?? Or is the problem more that they’re paying for themselves, but you’re going out and spending more than you normally would?
        These friends don’t sound very considerate, especially if you always have to do a “massive cleanup” after they leave.

        • Yup. I’d really just tell them, “Not this weekend.” I don’t even see why you should have to apologize. It’s your place.
          Re emvee’s question: DC related beer? A DC mug from Starbucks? I’m trying to think of what might be useful during her stay that is also DC-related. I’ll keep thinking!

        • the problem is more that they’re paying for themselves, but you’re going out and spending more than you normally would is usually what ends up happening. The other end of it is they (the sweet friends or family that they are) spend way more time showering and bathing than I would and probably would not leave spaces as clean as I would but I don’t realistically expect that, again, its just me needing more space and time but at the same time miss them staying over from time to time…it’s a tough call.

          • “I really like having you here but I also need weekends to myself periodically where I can relax at home and spend less money.” ???
            I get where you’re coming from, sort of, but I’m also not sure why this would be an issue if you can just be transparent with them. I’m sure a happy medium exists.

      • Andie302

        A few thoughts on this: If you say yes, also schedule an adjacent weekend where you get time to yourself. If an adjacent weekend isn’t available, don’t feel obligated to say yes.

        Try not to analyze things so hard. If your friends aren’t being outright bad house guests, it’s okay if they take a longer shower or you have towels to wash when they head home.

        Don’t be afraid to ask them for help before they go – “Do you mind dropping this bag of trash in the garbage on your way out?” Could you please round up the empty beer/wine bottles and put them in the recycle?” “Do you mind stripping your bed before you take off?”

        You can also plan to treat yourself to a house cleaner during the Monday after their visit so that you come home that evening to a quiet, clean home and get to get back to your weekly routine.

        These are all suggestions if you really do want to keep hosting them, but if not, that’s okay too!

  • Rant: my dog threw a tantrum this morning because he wanted to go to the dog park.
    Rave: I’m on staycation, so we went.
    Rave: off to the folklife festival!
    Rave: I didn’t cancel the dog walker today so I can stay out as long as I want.

    • That One Guy

      DOG must have thought you being home meant it was Saturday/Sunday.

    • The visual in my head of DOG throwing a tantrum is pretty adorable.

      • Well, it’s pretty understated. He silently sits, looking in the direction he wants to go, and won’t budge. After I freak out, thinking his hips hurt and I’ll have to carry him home, I usually cave in and then he happily trots in the direction he wanted to go.

  • Rant: Heartbroken and outraged over the extrajudicial murders of so many black citizens. This is unacceptable. And people trying to excuse this madness are just making it worse.
    Rave: Finally got a solid 8 hours of sleep. Sleep makes such a pleasant difference!

    • I’m outraged by the judicial ones, too – aren’t you?

      • well, yes, but I’m currently distracted by the horror of watching those who are hired to protect and serve the community instead acting as judge, jury and executioner before a person is able to get two words out. And I’m sick of the blue wall that goes up around these murderers, protecting them from the consequences of their actions.

        • Based on the video, these shootings appear to be unjustified and the cops should be held accountable. And it also appears that both of the men who were killed by the police to be victims. But that does not mean the cops acted as “judge, jury and executioner” – more likely they tragically acted on incorrectly fearing for their safety. There is no evidence that they went on patrol that day after years on the force intending to take anyone’s life. It’s awful and your self-important statements are not helpful.

          • “more likely they tragically acted on incorrectly fearing for their safety.”

            that basically removes any responsibility from the cops (and from the system that was supposed to train them). I think the “judge, jury and executioner” thing is a bit hyperbolic, and no of course they didn’t wake up and think, as they got dressed, “I’m going to kill someone today!” and yes, it is tragic, but they – the cops themselves and law enforcement as a whole – needs to take responsibility, and “incorrectly fearing for their safety” cannot be the rote excuse.

          • My statement was not to suggest an “excuse” for what happened. Note my words — “held accountable” and “incorrectly fearing”. But everything has to be understood in context. The amount of gun violence on the streets is clear to anyone who reads this blog or follows the news and unlike the self aggrandizing cubicle jockeys on this blog, cops run to the gun-toters, not away from them. So, I get a bit vexed when I hear when people use out-sized language about these events like, “racist cops”, “extra-judicial killers”, etc.

          • HaileUnlikely

            I agree with both BRP and Objectivity Please. Inserting hyperbole that demonizes one of the parties involved in a gravely important and emotionally charged matter never leads anywhere good.
            I think we can probably agree that some [unknown] proportion of these tragic events involve tragic errors by police officers who were good humans who made tragic mistakes, and some proportion involved police officers who murdered their victim on purpose. We know that both of these happen. In both cases, it is necessary to hold the individual officer and the police department accountable, but the manner in which it makes sense to hold them accountable is very different. If we treat all of these as first degree murder, including the ones that really weren’t, we’ll end up with some officers in prison, which will feel good, but we won’t solve or even put a dent in the problem, because the kinds of systems that invite the kinds of mistakes that lead to the killings that are honest-to-God mistakes will remain unchanged, and the mechanism by which fear of imprisonment prevents honest-to-God mistakes does not exist.
            Having said all of that, having seen the Baton Rouge video, I’m hard pressed to believe that the police officer did not choose to commit murder on purpose in that specific case. Either that, or the officer was not fit for duty (at least on the day that it happened and quite possibly more generally). It is obvious that something very wrong happened there. (Something very wrong happened in Minnesota too, but we have a lot less information about what precisely it was)

          • Actually, we have a lot of information on what happened in Minnesota – there were two witnesses in the car. Yes, it wasn’t on video (police should be videoing their own traffic stops.) But it is only true that we have no information if you discount the statement of the woman in the car – and I, for one, find her credible. I’m sure the child has a memory of what occurred as well that she can articulate, based on hearing her speak on the video/audio.
            Yes, the cop, like many, likely acted out of being scared – it sure sounded that way from what he had to say in the rest of the video/audio. But that amounts, in the end, to being the same thing as judge, jury and executioner – because in the end, the man is dead. If you have the responsibility of being a police officer, you have the responsibility to not have a hair trigger reaction based on your fear. If you don’t, you have no business being a police officer. I’m sorry, that’s just true. If I were to carry a gun, I might fear for my safety all the time, but that doesn’t mean I can shoot every time I am scared. There would be a lot of dead people out there if we call could do that on such flimsy basis for being scared.
            And to say the cops’ fears and actions aren’t motivated by how we think about race in this country is just ludicrous. I very much doubt the cop would have shot me, a white woman, as I was explaining to him that I had a firearm.
            We can’t let cops off on their fear. But it is essentially a problem of policing in this country and training, rather than sole that of scared individuals. Who we chose to be police, how much we educate and train them, how much we pay them, and how much violating the law we let them get away with, matters.
            Being that the federal policy for the past 15 years has been to arm local police forces with military gear and train them as if they were military forces in war zones, seeing everyone they encounter as a possible enemy (they excuse shooting/killing innocent people when they are scared in war, so they excuse it in policing at home, too), it is not a surprise that more innocent people will be killed by police at home. Video cameras will not stop the killing.
            This is only going to get much worse in our current climate, not better. It will only change when we stop being such a militarized country – abroad and at home – and I don’t see that happening any time soon. We have to change how policing is done. And that won’t happen when everybody is militarizing the police at home.

          • HaileUnlikely

            Anon – I completely agree with all of that.
            Regarding Minnesota, I didn’t say “none,” I said “less,” and I stand by that. I too find the witnesses credible, but courts often find officers credible as well. If in one case you have witnesses and video, and in another case you have witnesses but no video, I think we can agree that as a simple matter of fact, without implying anything about anybody’s credibility, we have less information in the case without the video than we have in a case where video shows a guy on the ground under the physical control of the officer when the officer shoots him multiple times. Video is f*cking powerful.

  • Rant: The power brick on my 10+ year old computer has died. It’s the second one in the last 2 years. I know this is probably the ultimate sign that I need to buy a new computer but I really don’t want one.
    Rave: My parents have left for their dream trip to Alaska. Last time they attempted this, my grandmother died once they landed in Anchorage and they never even got to leave the airport. Fingers crossed that everything goes smoothly this time.
    Rant: The food aversions have begun. Food planning is now the worst chore.

    • The cheapest laptop available at Best Buy is probably 100 times better than your 10+ year old computer. Heck, your smartphone is probably 100 times better than your 10+ year old computer. Not sure why you “don’t want one” but if you actually use the computer then you should do yourself a favor and replace it.

      • Agreed. If you can’t financially afford a new computer for whatever reason I can understand the frustration. But really, back your stuff up and get the new computer. You’ll save yourself a lot of frustration over the next few years.

      • Actually my computer is faster than most of the ones that can be bought off the shelf even at it’s age. It’s been upgraded over the years with a large SSD and a bunch of other additions that I don’t fully understand (it’s one of the huge perks of being married to an IT genius type). The bigger issue will be rebuying/installing all of the statistical data analysis packages that I require on my machine. Most of them were older versions that cannot be transferred to a new system due to compatability issues. Luckily, I can use my phone with Continuum for right now until I decide what to do (even though that doesn’t help with the data analysis software for the moment – luckily my current project doesn’t require it).

        • Ooooh. That changes things and is annoying. I don’t know your employment situation but any way your employer/client could foot the bill for updated versions of software when it comes time?

    • I know all about not wanting new technology. I hold on to things– cars, phones, computers– until I’ve squeezed the last ounce of utility out of them, because I can’t be bothered to research and buy and figure out and set up new things.
      That said, I’m usually happy once I do. I realize how much time I’d been wasting with the old thing.
      Food aversions: try lemonade. It really calmed my nausea and made it easier to eat. Of course, then the heartburn set in…

      • also–Haribo has lemon ginger gummies that are delicious. I loved those when I was pregnant!

      • +1 to the lemonade. I craved it so much during the early stages of my pregnancy. It helped.

      • Yes to the lemonade. Wendy’s had just come out with their new all-natural lemonade in the early stages of my pregnancy, and I drank it like it was going out of style for the first few months.

  • binntp

    Rave: Jayson Werth has made 2 Legit 2 Quit one of his walk-up songs this season. From the deep recesses of my brain, I’ve managed to pull out the early 90s hand movement that accompanies this song. Hammer time!
    Rant: Damn, it’s hot. I was really hoping last weekend’s unseasonal temps would continue a while longer.

    • Ha! I went to the game on 4th of July and one of my friends did the hand movements to 2 Legit! Hysterical.

  • It’s 2016 and cops are still killing innocent Black people? We can do better; police reform needed badly.

  • Rant: The rage I feel, waking up to another minority being killed for no reason. I know it’s not fair, but hearing people talk about anything else but another black man being killed, just makes me feel like they could care less.

    Where are the presidential candidates, white celebrities who have profited off of black culture, etc….

    Really wanted to call out day

  • Andie302

    Rant: I assumed (incorrectly) that everyone was talking about Baton Rouge until I saw the news about Minnesota.
    Rant: More killings. I cannot watch the videos…I already know how they end. So sad. I keep thinking after each event (shooting, terrorist attack, etc.) that something has to give, but if Newtown didn’t do it, I don’t know what will.
    Rant: It feels like we’re all walking around thinking “that couldn’t happen to me” with events like this and many others. It’s happening to people, and maybe it’s not more frequently than in the past, but holy crap.
    Rave: Forced to have a productive morning at work
    Rave: It’s my Friday
    Rave: Heading to the beach with my mom tomorrow – I am going to be like a fish. It’s all I could think about when walking outside.

    • I have nothing to add to your rants other than to say that I agree. I am so deeply heartsick this morning watching all of this news. And it just keeps piling on.

  • Completely dejected by the horrific police shootings in the past days – amped-up cops who incorrectly overreact with lethality out of perceived fear for their own lives. Based on the videos, both shootings appear to be unjustified and I expect the cops are going to prison. Now we’ll have greater mistrust between cops and the community and down the spiral we go.

    • Unfortunately history tells us that these cops AREN’T going to prison, and that’s where the mistrust comes from in the first place. I’m wondering if that’s what you meant to type…?

      • HaileUnlikely

        In Minnesota, given that the actual shooting was not captured on video, only the aftermath was, I suspect and fear that you are probably right. In the Baton Rouge shooting, I cannot imagine how the officer who fired could possibly escape a conviction for something that would carry a prison sentence – the officers actions, shown on video, showed him shooting Mr. Sterling at close range multiple times while Mr. Sterling was on the ground, under the physical control of the officer and not reaching for his or the officer’s weapon. In my opinion this would be the most egregious of all of the high profile cases to date if this officer doesn’t do time.

        • I hope you are right, but sadly, we’ve seen cases where it seems like a slam dunk that an officer would be convicted of at least something, and yet….

      • You are right. A news article I read said a Minnesota newspaper did a review last year of the 143 people police have killed in Minnesota since 2000 – and not one officer, not one, was charged, much less convicted. Murder by police appears to be unprosecutable in Minnesota.

  • Rave: Friend had her baby. He is 8 weeks early, but seems to be doing okay even if he’s a bit small (3lbs).
    Rave: Had a wonderful trip to Montreal and Quebec City. Highly recommend. Had lots of great food.
    Rant: Came back to these shootings and massive humidity. Ugh.

    • One of my babies was just over 3 lbs when she was born and is now chunky, strong and smart as can be at 6 months. There are all kinds of reasons to worry about preemies, but many turn out just perfect 🙂

  • I Dont Get It

    Midwestern Nice Rave: Relatives who meet you at the airport even though they know you’ve rented a car.
    Midwestern Nice Rave: Eating at “Indiana’s Oldest” restaurant. Dinner is served family style and 5 of the vegetable choices were versions of potatoes. Homemade milk gravy was also listed as a vegetable choice. Carb heaven!
    Midwestern Nice Rant: People who don’t understand why you rented a car since you could have used the decedent’s truck.

  • Rant: I live up in noma and as I was down the sidewalk and another guy was walking towards. As he got closer he got in my face and said something like bitch do you hate me. I said whoa what and walked away. I was very shaken. I called the cops who put me through to 911 even though I didn’t think it was an emergency. She operator asked if I wanted to file a report I said no cause I wasn’t sure how long it would take the police to get there. I probably should have filed but is there really anything to file? Just wondering if anyone else has been in this situation

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