Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

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.

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99 Comment

  • What is this a photo of?

  • Quotia Zelda

    Rave: Finally feeling like this cold is on its way out.
    Rave: Volunteering at the National Book Festival tomorrow, then lunch with Emmaleigh.
    Rave: Billy the Kid. Always Billy the Kid.

  • rave: friday
    rave: cleaning out our supply closet at work. it’s amazing. so many things we dont ever use. there is a whole bunch of typewriter correction tape or something. wtf. i have never seen a typewriter here. LOL. so yeah, i have decided today is cleaning out the closet day. 🙂
    rant: saw a dead rat today. blech

  • Loved seeing and hearing the jets flying over the city yesterday. The sound of freedom!

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: So tired.
    Rave: Saw my first open air drug deal the other day. I was beginning to think they didn’t really exist. It sort of reminded me of the 4th Street field-trip.

  • Rave: Decisions and change. Have an offer in hand that I’m going to see if I can negotiate for substantially pay to compensate for the commute, and meanwhile have three other final interviews early next week. Things are rolling.
    Rant: My brother’s mother-in-law continues to be in such pain from her colon cancer chemo. I think she’s almost ready to give up, and that’s so hard for everyone, especially her. All we can do is love and care for her.
    Rave: Totally pulled the “I have a broken foot, can I sit in the priority seat?” card on the metro today. It was awesome. You don’t get if you don’t ask.
    Rave: Feeling really loved and cared for these days. It’s lovely.

  • Bear

    Rave: More potentially good news at work. Should know by the end of next week!
    Rant: People who push past me while boarding the train to take up all the remaining seats, then pretend not to notice my obviously pregnant self standing. And yes, it is very obvious at this point that I am growing another human being and didn’t just overindulge on pizza and beer. And yes, I can see you sneaking a peek at my belly, so I know you realize it and are just choosing to be a jerk. The one person who offered me their seat? The other pregnant lady on the train, who looked like she was probably further along than I am. Come on, people.

    • Bear

      I keep forgetting to add this – I finally finished the newest season of Orange is the New Black. It was rough.

    • UGH. Wait until you have the little bear. Then they will just shove past you when you are carrying a baby. Just stand with your belly shoved up in someone’s face. That’s what I used to do.

      I will confess that being pregnant made me much more aware of keeping an eye out on the metro and bus for differently able peopl. I make it a point to scan the train and offer my seat as needed. I didn’t always do that.

      • I’ve actually experienced the opposite while carrying a baby, though that is mostly on the bus (and didn’t often have trouble while pregnant on the train, either). That said, is it really necessary to be passive aggressive rather than just asking for a seat if you need one?

        • In my experience, people are definitely more friendly and accommodating on the bus than metro.

          And you are right – it definitely isn’t necessary to be passive aggressive. Bizzinger’s toddler motto above is a reminder to just ask. I will admit that it is something I still struggle to do.

    • I get that it’s annoying, I really do. But if you need to sit, please just ask. Someone will get up. If not, that’s a bigger problem.

      • Bear

        If it’s a morning where I’m having a hard time, I will ask. I was okay standing today – just really annoyed that I even should have to ask.

      • I have on more than one occasion offered a seat to someone it turned out was not pregnant, and the aftermath was not fun. So now I never do. But ask and I’ll jump up.

    • While I usually do offer my seat to obviously pregnant women, I had my leg amputated below the knee but you can’t tell because I always wear long pants, and I”m young and athletic looking. I’ve been yelled at and shamed into giving my seat up because I look so young and healthy, but sometimes I just want to sit because my leg hurts. Losing my leg in my 20s is still something that I struggle with, and is a source of embarrassment and frustration. I don’t feel like I have to show someone my stump to justify sitting on the metro.

      Please remember that you can’t always tell what someone may be struggling with just by looking at them. Maybe I’m not being a jerk when I eye your belly because I know that other people are silently (or not so silently) judging me.

      • +1, and I say this having been pregnant myself. I myself have a severe chronic pain condition, but I look perfectly healthy from the outside. Normally I would jump right up for a pregnant woman, but a lot of times I can’t give up my seat because I am having a bad day with pain. When I was pregnant I would get annoyed when I couldn’t get a seat, but I tried to remember the dirty looks I would get from people who assumed I was completely healthy, and therefore give others the benefit of the doubt I hoped to get in return.

        • Bear

          I get it that people often have conditions that are not obvious – I myself have one, I’ve had arthritis in my spine since my mid-20s and some days it really effing hurts. That said, I am talking about multiple people – not just a couple people who happen to look able bodied. It’s the whole dang car.

        • HaileUnlikely

          I agree with this, to a point. I don’t like to assume that any individual person who sits in a priority seat and does not get up for an elderly person or a pregnant woman is the pinnacle of health and is just being selfish***, however, when *all* of the priority seats are occupied by able-bodied-looking young people who aren’t getting up, it is exceedingly improbable that *all* of them have non-obvious-but-perfectly-good reasons not to get up and give up their seat.

          • HaileUnlikely

            Posted too soon, the asterisks were for the note: If I personally witness an able-bodied-looking person push past others in a vigorous-looking manner in order to beat said others to the seat, I am comfortable in assuming that the individual in question doesn’t really need the seat. Apologies to you in the one-in-a-zillion event that I am wrong in that specific scenario.

          • Bear

            Thanks for the backup here. Also, I don’t care if it’s a priority seat, any seat is fine with me!

          • Yes, I do understand that it is improbable for all of the people in that situation to actually have an issue, and in an ideal world, at least one would notice and offer a seat. I actually see it happen far more often than I used to. However, having experienced some of the same issues that 1.5 legs mentioned (including a woman yelling at me at a CVS while I was waiting for a pain med prescription immediately after I had a procedure done), my point was more along the lines of it being better if we approached this with empathy before rushing to judgement.

          • HaileUnlikely

            I agree with you amandal. I am just beyond fed up with seeing young healthy people, en masse, take all of the seats not limited to but definitely including the priority seats, and not budge for an old guy with a can or a pregnant woman until somebody freaking asks them to. Not judging any individual person, but the situation on the whole is bullsh!t.

          • it’s not really a one-in-zillion event, though. I run, I bike, but sometimes I have bad days, too. I look really healthy. I get dirty looks and questioned at Shanendoah when I used my lifetime handicapped parks permit to enter the park. All I’m saying is that you never know what someone might be struggling with and just because we look young and able bodied doesn’t mean we are. I don’t feel like I need to justify my sitting down to some stranger, and when I’ve been yelled at for taking a seat, I put my headphones in and turn up the volume.

            There are a lot of vets in the DC area, who have also lost limbs…

          • Well, you kind of do need to justify using a reserved space. That’s why you have handicap placards for cars.
            You know that there are plenty of jerks who will take whatever seat they like, regardless of who might need it more. So why do you, who needs it more, object to being clear about the fact? (Honest question, not snark) I’d so much rather speak up for myself than having people assume whatever people assume.
            My neighbor wears prosthetics on both legs. When he comes home with groceries, he snags any old passerby and says “Can you help me with these bags so I can hold the handrail?” And he gets what he needs. There’s no shame in mobility impairment or pregnancy or whatever. Just ask. Most people want you to have what you need, but they can’t read your mind.

          • HaileUnlikely

            I acknowledge and respect that healthy-looking people with non-obvious physical conditions that require them to sit exist, and deserve to be able to sit on the metro just as much as my 87-year-old grandmother deserves to be able to sit on the metro. I’m not saying a healthy-looking person needing a seat is a one-in-a-zillion event, I’m saying a healthy person pushing others around to beat them to a seat is probably about a one-in-a-zillion event. From the very civil tone of your responses so far on the topic (I mean that, I am being kind of a jerk and you have not responded in kind), you don’t strike me as one who would be likely push past pregnant women and elderly people to get to your seat.

          • honest response: while it’s all well and good to say that there is no shame in mobility impairments, that’s just not my experience. Imagine being a young, single woman in her early 30s who meets someone at a bar and goes home with them. And then the look of recoil and disgust when they see my stump. Or the look of pity that I get if I tell someone about my disability when I first meet them. No matter how often people can say in theory that there is no shame to having lost my leg in an accident, there are unending looks of disgust and pity when people find out. It’s trained me to feel ashamed of my disability. Is this right? probably not. Is this reality? DEFINITELY.

            Sure, you can say that I should be proud that I am able to get around and still live a pretty full life, but there is a lot of shame involved in being so different. That shame and embarrassment is reinforced by the looks I get. Somedays you just want to not spend all your time thinking about the worst day in your life and sharing that with total strangers. Like I said, I usually am pretty active, but sometimes I have bad days. On those days I just want to be left alone because I’m already feeling pretty down.

      • Very sorry people are being such jerks. Stand (sit) your ground and keep your seat if you’re in pain. There is nothing stopping bear or anyone from asking a swath of ppl for a seat. Yelling at someone is insane though.

  • Rant/Rave/Nerves? Expecting a call from the company I have been interviewing with today………. just sitting here waiting….

  • Revel: Sweet, beautiful Friday. You have arrived.
    Rave: The forecast for this weekend! I bought marshmallows on my morning WF run in anticipation of christening the Fire Pit tomorrow…. although I can’t believe I just bought organic marshmallows the kids will certainly just inhale.
    Rant: Parenting is hard. Especially when you have children who are just like you and you are all philosophical about the whole ‘school’ and ‘homework’ thing. I am very quickly reaching the point where I have to say to my kid, I don’t care if it’s not graded, screw time with your family and playing, do your homework. It’s all well and good being anti homework when they are young, but that comes back to bite you when they suddenly need that homework and hammering home of concepts and skills in order to continue to do well.

    • I’m curious about the anti-homework philosophy? I just haven’t really heard much about this and am interested to learn more. I was that kid who was really excited to get homework in elementary school haha.

      • There’s a new-ish movement among parents to get rid of homework under the idea that kids are over-worked and under-played. However, having a fifth grader in a far more academically rigorous environment has shown me that homework is needed and that maybe it would have been good for me to reinforce this more at an earlier stage.

        • I imagine homework might be started too early in some cases, though. Do you have a sense/opinion for when it starts being useful? No homework in PK, but I imagine it could start as early as K/1st grade….

          • I agree that it can be started too early. Middle Anonachild had quite the homework zealous Pre-k teacher, and I really thought that was too much. She has had homework since then, although to varying degrees. Now, in second grade, her homework consists of a math work sheet, some sort of spelling homework, and nightly reading for a quarterly project. The teacher was very clear that homework should take no more than 30 minutes, and if it does, to contact her so she can work with the kid. I have found this amount of homework for her age to be absolutely perfect. She enjoys doing it, it’s completely relevant to what she is doing in class, and it’s relatively short in duration and not taxing. I also prefer this method to the “weekly homework packet” that they used to do. Littlest Anonachild has never had homework (they stopped Pre-K homework after Middle’s class at their old school, new school is pretty clear kindergarten is for happy, shiny learny time and not academics).
            Eldest never made very good habits for homework; since it really started in 2nd grade for him, and was all the weekly format, he’s used to being able to procrastinate and will happily do so. I also haven’t been as hard on him as I should have been.
            I think the real key is to see what homework is being used for; if it’s for reinforcement – great! If it’s for busy work and just the sake of having it, then no, I think it’s just dumb.

          • That sounds reasonable–thanks for the insight!

          • This makes sense. Homework in pre-K sounds ridiculous.

  • Even only I knew a B2 was coming I would have got a longer lens!!

  • Rant: I dealt with cat vomit, a leaking fridge, and a baby with a runny nose before seven o’clock. I need more coffee and the weekend.
    Rave: I just bought a fancy new backpack. I think this will make commuting with Baby Artie easier.
    Rant: I woke up with a sore throat. I fear that I’m just going to be dealing with back to back colds all fall and winter. Kids are so germy.

  • That One Guy

    Rant: Good old insomnia came around for a visit. I finally fell asleep sometime after 3:00 a.m.
    Rave: I’m functional…for now. Let see how badly I screw up revising these documents when the coffee wears off.

  • Rant: Losing my great cleaning person because she can find no affordable rental in DC and is moving to Florida. Anyone have someone to recommend? (I searched this blog but only find entries from years ago.)

    I prefer an independent person over a company. And they need to be flexible since It is for a small vacation rental apt. with stays of 4-6 days. It takes about 40 min. to clean.

    • I use Citana Pringle from Supreme Cleaners. She used to be with another company, but we liked her so much we followed her to new one, which she owns. Super responsive, detail-oriented, and good with instructions. They have a web site and good yelp reviews.

  • Rave: Decided to stay home today. Was tired and cranky all week but after a fairly solid 11 hours of sleep I feel SO MUCH BETTER and ready to tackle a bunch of chores I haven’t had the energy for and enjoy my weekend.
    Rant: None today.

  • Rant: Mtpbaby’s daycare is having a hell of a time finding a new director. And apparently, our re-licensing could be in jeopardy if we can’t get a new director in place by mid-December. Argh.

  • Does anyone have suggestions on a good running route from Noma to Petworth? With all the traffic issues, I am thinking of picking back up a running commute. I don’t love all of North Capital from NY Ave up towards Petworth so I’m looking for some other options. Anyone else run this route?

    • You could do New Jersey Avenue and then head up 4th/5th through Howard past the reservoir, and then head up Warder or Park into Petworth. I rarely run this route during the week though so not sure how well lit it is or whether you’ll be stopping every block to wait to cross the street.

      • This is basically the route that I take for commuting! I usually run up 1st street and then get over to 4th/5th somewhere north of Rhode Island. The lights aren’t too bad, except you may have to wait at New York and Rhode Island. The Howard campus can be crowded in the evenings (so the sidewalks are often busy, and they are relatively narrow on that stretch), but it’s usually pretty quiet in the mornings. Petworth to Noma is an easier run than Noma to Petworth because the former is basically all down hill. One other thing I’ve noticed is that if there is any snow on the ground the section of sidewalk by the reservoir tends to be pretty terrible; it’s shady and doesn’t get shoveled.

  • I Dont Get It

    Rave: Of to Disney Springs soon.
    Rant: Which means lunch at the dreaded Rainforest Café.

  • Rave: This week has been very calm and quiet at the office since most of the staff – including the big bosses – were out of town at a conference.

    Rant: Sadly, the conference ended yesterday and many of the people are back in the office

    Rave: But a lot of them are off today, or working at home, because it’s Friday.

  • Rave: I’ve always thought I would work harder at work if I just loved it more, but apparently I work a lot harder and feel more dedicated when I have two jobs at work, know I’m good at one, and am excited about the new one.
    Rant: DOG and his tummy. I feel like he goes on a grass eating spree every week these days.
    Rave: rather than try to digest it and cost me thousands, he threw up the piece of mulch he ate. He has never eaten something inedible before (okay, there was that one napkin, but it was covered in meat juice), so this was weird and hopefully a one off.
    Rave: I’ve had flashes of whatever it is that’s the opposite of impostor syndrome and I like it.

    • That One Guy

      Maybe microwave some sweet potatoes for DOG. I used to hate picking up after a grass bing because…well you probably know.

  • Rant: Work is so incredibly busy and I have so many projects that I’m managing that I’m trying to wrap up before I go on leave sometime in December… sometime, anytime? That makes it even more difficult to plan.
    Rave: It’s Friday! And I’ve already been super productive and may actually leave early if I stay on task.
    Rant: I have that cold that’s been going around and not being able to take anything for it other than benadryl to help with sleep is difficult.
    Rave: Birthday tomorrow. I’m not huge into birthdays but DH has a whole secret day planned and was totally itching to tell me about it this morning. And then one of my dear friends sent me a beautiful bouquet of succulents to my office and it was a total surprise!

  • Rant: Heartburn recurring this week. I thought I had fixed it by cutting out coke, but I guess heartburn will find a way. And it’s screwing with my normal bodily signals. Sometimes I can’t tell if I need to eat, or if it’s just esophageal nonsense. Given that I’d like to lose a little weight, this is bugging me more than it should.

  • Experienced food-preservers: My windowsill garden is starting to bury me in super hot tiny peppers. In the past I’ve strung them and dried them, but they don’t actually retain much flavor that way. So I’m thinking… what if I just pureed them with a bunch of oil, and bottled the result? Then I could add a little dab of it to anything that needs heat. Would that work? Is there another ingredient I would need to extend the life? Is there a particular oil with a longer shelf life than others? Any other ideas would be welcome!

    • You can also dice and freeze peppers, anything from bell peppers to hot peppers, and then cook with them as you normally would.

      • i actually freeze hot peppers whole if you’re too lazy to dice now 🙂 when frozen you can dice or chop off half as needed with less burning to the fingers.

    • In my experience, the best way to deal with excess food is to share them. I have also heard that there is good karma to be had sharing hot peppers with compatriots on an online forum whose pseudonym has a 2/3 overlap with the gardener’s. Snopes hasn’t fact-checked this yet, so I assume it’s true . . .

    • you can pickle them too…. google is full of quick pickling recipes and then you can put them on your grilled cheese sandwiches through the winter.

    • Bear

      Hot sauce is pretty easy to make as well.

  • Rant: Co-workers who talk in novels when a paragraph will do.

  • Rant: Received a parking ticket when I had paid with the phone app – i paid for the zone number on the meter; the ticket writer checked the wrong zone number.
    Further rant: I think they do this on purpose to meet a ticket quota. This is the second time this has happened to me in the same area (just south of Dupont Circle.) First time, I found the ticket writer still on the block and he voided my ticket. This time he was not around.
    Question: Anybody know how best to fight this? The evidence i have that I paid for the correct zone are the text messages I has on my cell phone. Do I have to show up in person to show these to contest the ticket? If I do contest online or by mail, and thus aren’t able to include my text messages, does the adjudicator have access to the phone payment system to see that I was paid up for that zone when the ticket was written? Does the adjudicator even have a map that says the 1800 block of X street is Y zone? Any info or advice?

    • You can challenge the ticket online. I have done it and won. When you do so, you are allowed to submit evidence on your behalf. Submit screen shots of the text messages that show the exact time you paid, and submit anything else you can obtain showing that you had paid. Do independent research and fined a document that says the 1800 block of X Street is Y zone. Make your challenge as idiot-proof and thorough as possible, so that the hearing examiner literally has every piece of information necessary to make the decision. And even then, be prepared for the possibility that they may deny your challenge with a one sentence opinion that ignores everything you presented. If that happens, you can appeal and eventually prevail, but the entire process is a pain in the a__.

  • Rant: I am feeling sad. Every day. Too much focus on work and getting things done, not enough focus on what I love in life and what makes me happy. I guess realizing the problem is half the battle but I am stuck in this rut and not sure how to get myself out of it.

    • I’m not sure there is a way out of the life of a working wage slave. The more money you make, the more time the job seems to take up in one’s mind and life, due to more responsibilities, more hours, and/or more stresses. Being able to do something you love and feel is worthwhile for work may help. Or finding some challenge and enjoyment in mastering what you do, even if it isn’t what you love. But those are really all short-term distractions from the reality. Ultimately, you work and work and life goes by and you never get enough time to do the things that make you happy – that’s life.

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