Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user DCbmyers

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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207 Comment

  • Rave: Game 7 of the World Series is the single greatest sporting event on the planet.
    Rant: Being played in an AL park. NL baseball is chess; AL baseball is checkers.
    Rant: On business travel, so I have to thread the needle of finding a fun place to watch the game, and making sure I am prepared and well-rested for Thursday morning obligations.

    • You can blame this very crappy rule……WTF MLB? The craptastic All-Star game?!?! Why wouldn’t they use regular season record?
      “After the 2002 Major League Baseball All-Star Game ended in a tie, MLB decided to award home-field advantage in the World Series to the winner of the All-Star Game. Originally implemented as a two-year trial from 2003 to 2004, the practice has been extended indefinitely.”

      • Manfred is supposedly considering changing the rule for next season. Long overdue, it’s the dumbest rule in sports. Thanks, Bud.

        • “it’s the dumbest rule in sports”
          Absolutely, followed closely by the DH rule itself.

          • OMG YES! I’ve been saying this all week. The All star game is a terrible way to decide who gets advantage. UGH.

            DH is also the worst as is instant replay which is slowing an already slow effing game.

          • I personally like the instant replay. It’s been used judiciously in the World Series and has clarified some otherwise very close calls. They don’t use it willy-nilly. Fans can’t argue with the video and it helps negate fans who would otherwise feel “robbed” by a bad call.
            The best team deserves to win, IMHO.

          • Although, to be fair, in this case it also gave the Cubs an advantage because Schwarber got to play 4 games instead of three.

          • I respectfully disagree. Having a 95% chance for an out for the first 6 innings when your pitcher is up is pretty boring, in my opinion. It’s a much harder game on the AL side for pitchers since they are pitching to 9 people who actually get paid to hit.

            Chicks dig the long ball. (am I still allowed to say this in 2016?)

          • You’re thinking long bats brah

  • A question for folks who have early voted in DC: how are the lines early in the morning? Late in the day? I want to go tomorrow, as I likely will be in PA ‘getting out the vote’ on election day. I wonder if one location has consistently lower lines…

    Also, google last night informed me that early voting ends on November 4th in DC, though the board of elections website doesn’t say that. Just a friendly reminder not to always trust our google overlords….

    • We voted early at One Judiciary Square around 5:30 PM Friday evening with no issues.

    • I went on Saturday in Columbia Heights, mid-afternoon, so I’m not sure if lines are comparable, but I was impressed. I had to get registered and then vote, and when I looked at the lines I thought it was going to be quite a while, but it probably only took about 20 minutes to go through the line to vote….

    • I went on Friday around 6pm to the Takoma Park Rec Center, it was busy but no lines. I was in and out in less than 5 minutes.

    • I think google may be right on the end of early voting, unless the BOE site says otherwise. I thought I heard the same info on the news this past weekend.

    • I voted Sunday afternoon at the Takoma Rec Center. I waited less than a minute. A friend voted in Columbia Heights yesterday around lunchtime – no lines.
      Also, yay for going to PA for GOTV on election day!

    • I went to Judiciary Square on Saturday at about 4pm and was in and out in 5 minutes. Although the staff were terribly unpleasant, the entire process didn’t take long at all.

    • The DCBOEE website does in fact say that early voting ends Fri. 11/4. (Or it did when I was looking at it about a week ago.)

      • ahhh – ok. totally missed that, then. Will definitely go tomorrow or Friday then!

      • +1. RIF.
        Also you can see current wait times at early voting location on the DCBOEE website – click on “the Queue” on the right side.

    • I voted Sunday at Judiciary Square and was in and out in under 5 minutes…and 2.5 of that was waiting for them to get my ballot from the back.

      • do you need to have your voters card? Or just a DL? Thanks

        • https://www.vote4dc.com/Home/IDRequirements

          You shouldn’t need to show anything if you are a registered voter and have voted in DC before. But whatever the case a driver’s license should be sufficient.

        • You don’t need either — D.C. does not require voter ID.
          Usually they just ask you to verify the address you’re registered under, and to sign either a printout or an electronic screen.

          • ID not required to vote but in certain circumstances you need to show proof of residency. I read something on the DCBOEE website that suggests some polling locations might require ID to enter the building (but not to vote). If you have a DC driver’s license then that should cover anything.

          • Ahh, good point re. possibly needing ID to enter a building, even if not to vote per se.
            My recollection is that the One Judiciary Square location is a little confusing, because the voting area isn’t through the main entrance (where there are security guards, metal detectors, etc.), but around the side of the building instead.

          • Textdoc, when I went to Judiciary Square a week ago they had completely plastered the building with signs for voters pointing to the side entrance – I guess they got the message that it was confusing.

    • Just voted at the Girard St center and there were zero lines. And the polling place staff were incredibly helpful.

  • Anyone else notice an increase in the number of homeless sleeping in tents? Anyone else notice that these tents are all rather new and nice? Who’s handing out tents to the homeless? Who paid for those tents? Wouldn’t it be better to use that money to help homeless people no longer be homeless rather than make it easier?

      • Thanks for the link! This wasn’t on my radar at all. (The tent-giving-out part, that is — not the presence of homeless people in tents.)

    • “Wouldn’t it be better to use that money to help homeless people no longer be homeless rather than make it easier?”
      Well, yes, it would. But if it was possible I think we would have done it already. Also, I’m pretty sure tents are not *enabling* anyone to be homeless, nor making it any “easier.” Being homeless is really difficult, and very few people would chose it if they had other reasonable options.

      • Per the WaPo article link above, making homelessness easier is exactly what tents do, and why they’re given out:
        “They get better sleep and are better functioning the next day. Their belongings don’t get destroyed in the weather.”

        • Um, so you’re saying that you think homeless people shouldn’t be allowed to keep their few belongings dry — like clothes and blankets — because it’s too *easy*? You think they deserve to be deprived of sleep and experience all the medical conditions that accompany that sleep deprivation? What exactly are you implying?

        • HaileUnlikely

          To clarify, is it your position that being homeless should be as crushingly difficult and painful as possible, and thus that doing anything to make it suck a fraction of a percentage point less is a bad thing?

          • Not at all. I think that giving them tents makes it a lot less likely that they’ll use other services available to them that help take them off the streets. It makes life on the streets a little bit easier. And shouldn’t society do everything it can to end rather than enable homelessness? I understand this comes off as an uncaring a-hole viewpoint. I agree that whoever is giving out tents is doing so because they care and want to help. I think their heart is in the right place. But I just think all it does is perpetuate the problem.

          • HaileUnlikely

            Interesting empirical question to which I admittedly don’t know the answer and suspect might be altogether unknown at this point. It is worth noting that the recipients of these tents were out there before they got the tents, in some cases waaaay before they got the tents. A professional colleague who studies social psychology (I don’t know anything about that stuff, I’m an engineer) once told me “Changing human behavior isn’t rocket science. It’s a lot harder than rocket science.”

          • Rocket science is relatively easy – that’s all rational, largely binary problem solving (to simplify). Humans are hardly rational, and far from binary.

          • Additionally, even though there are resources, they don’t always work for everyone. As someone who has a family member who has been very, very close to being homeless, there are actually incredibly few resources available compared to the number of people who need them. (Just take the thousands-of-people-long waitlist for low-income housing as one example. Average wait times are 7+ years.)
            So it does bother me that you use the terms “enable” and “easier” so freely, because homelessness is something that many people who experience it have fought tooth and nail — sometimes decades — to avoid. Many have simply given up because the system has failed them. At least in a tent, you know where you stand, and aren’t waiting in a line hoping for a cot in a shelter that will make you leave at 6am the next morning.

        • I always love the argument- we want homeless to get jobs, but we don’t want anything that they need to get and stay in those jobs- paperwork, SS card, clothes, shoes, badges- to be dry, secure, or clean.

          • But that presumes that things like a tent help people get jobs and therefore get off the street. I suppose that might be true for some. But human nature being what it is (and maybe I’m just being cynical here), my view is that it makes it easier to stay on the street. I respect the difference in worldviews here. Perhaps I’m taking more of the “tough love” approach – where small things that “help” in the short run actually hurt in the long run because they simply enable the status quo. Give a drug addict a free hit when he needs it and he’ll feel a lot better, and maybe function better for a little while. But all you’re doing is helping to continue his pain and suffering.

          • +1 to jeslett. Jobs are a two way street.
            Also, what about the disabled? What about senior or elderly homeless who people may not hire because they’ve been out of the workforce and they’re not young and spry? Would you hire a homeless senior, KStreet? I think your hypocrisy is showing.

          • KStreet- yeah, give him a hit and you’re hurting him, give him free needle exchange that also serves as a gateway to other health services and you’re helping him and saving your community boatloads of money (much evidence proves this). Harm reduction is a middle ground between tough love and enabling, it is predicated on the idea that people will do things that hurt them or end up in situations that hurt them, so work with that truth and work to reduce it.

    • “Who paid for those tents? Wouldn’t it be better to use that money to help homeless people no longer be homeless rather than make it easier?”
      Doesn’t a tent cost (depending on its size) something like $30-$70?
      Something tells me that finding permanent housing for homeless individuals costs a good bit more than that. At least a tent affords an individual a less uncomfortable life in the meantime.

  • Rave: Beautiful picture!
    Rave: Had a really good talk with my roommate yesterday, and while we’ve still got a ways to go, I’m at least not feeling like my stomach is in knots
    Rave: went to bed at 8:45 p.m. and had a glorious night’s sleep! (minus me bursting out of my bed at 1 am because of some weird nightmare – probably because i was way too hot with a down comforter on in this stupid weather!)
    Rave-ish? Handed in our notice of non-renewal…..gulp! Now we’ve gotta get down to brass tacks and actually find somewhere else to live! Soooooo nervous and overwhelmed about the miserable process that is known as moving!
    Question: I may have already asked this here, and if so, I’m sorry, but does anyone know if you can get a real estate agent of some sort to find you a rental? Do they charge a flat fee, or is it a percentage? How would I find someone reliable?

    • We used a real estate agent to find our rental up here in Toronto. We didn’t pay anything, but it’s a little different here. To find someone reliable I’d go with a recommendation from a friend.

    • We used an agent to find our rental. We paid her $100, and she and the agent for the house we ended up renting split the first month’s rent. It was all in our contract with her. I will say that at first I didn’t think I needed an agent and would just contact people myself and use the various internet listings, but it was hard getting people to respond. For example, I contacted the agent for the house we ended up renting several time and by several different methods and never got a call back. We get an agent involved and everything moved quickly and smoothly. It was really nice having an intermediary too, especially when a few issues came up with my application (there’s someone else in MD with my exact first and last name and middle initial with several evictions, and apparently the eviction database search is usually very broad). All in all, it worked out well for us.

      • How did you find her?

        • We applied for a house we found on our own, and that agent was sure we would get it; when the owner went with a couple that went to their church instead, the agent (who was a little pissed she put that much work into them going with someone they knew) offered to help us find a place.

          • oh, so it’s up to the agent to decide if they want to take you on?

          • Oh no, it’s always up to the owner if they accept the renter or not. The agent was just pissed because she put a lot of effort in (open houses, processing applications,etc) for them to go with someone they knew; in essence, they wasted a lot of people’s time and money (you have to pay to put an application in).

          • No, sorry, I meant it’s up to the agent to decide if they want to work with you to find a rental property? ( I know it’s up to the owner to make the final decision as to whether or not you’d get the place, I’m just trying to figure out if/how to engage an agent to do some of the legwork for us, since we’re all pretty swamped and have different schedules)

          • Of course. You can’t force an agent to work with you.

          • Ah! Sorry, I misunderstood. Yes, they decide who they want to take on as clients. Some agents do not take on rental clients at all.

    • Look at mrishomes.com – and click the box for rentals instead of sales. You will see the rentals listed on the multiple listing service in the area by real estate agents. You can contact any you want to see. The owner pays the real estate agent(s)s fees. You can see the place with the owner’s agent. Or you can also have another agent for you, the renter, if you want someone to supposedly represent you in the transaction – some say that they can be helpful in negotiating stuff for you. But don’t contact the owner’s agent to see the place if you want to find an agent to represent you – find that agent first, and then have them set up showings to take you to. It may be difficult to see some places with your own agent, as then the owner’s agent has to share the fee they get (usually only a month’s rent) with your agent, so they may not cooperate with other agents like they are supposed to. Most agents don’t bother working with rentals because the fees they can earn are so low. Though some new agents will do so to make a little money, and some make a specialization of doing rentals as buyers agents at first – some take these ads and advertise them – most real estate offices have a bunch of new agents, you can call the office and ask. Some agents will do rentals of properties as favors for their clients who have bought or sold places with them. Some will expect you to sign a form saying you will pay them a fee in any event – don’t do that – many won’t expect it, as they know you may find a place through some other means than them.

      The listings will likely be condos and houses – don’t know what you are looking for. Also, they will have a application process that expects you to have lots of income (40 times the monthly rent in gross salary) to have the application come back with you marked as a qualified renter – but the owner is free to rent to you anyway – not all require that much income, but some (many?) will. It’s a market – it all depends on who else they have applying and how long it has been on the market. Good luck.

      • Wow. Thanks, that’s a lot of good information, although kinda a bummer as well, doesn’t sound like we stand a good chance of finding a rental this way….ugggghh!

  • Bear

    Rant: Woke up at 4:30 again. I feel okay now but I have a feeling I’m going to be dragging this afternoon.
    Rant: Work has been kind of insane, my team is drowning in work, and I’m due in four weeks. It’s awful timing for me to be going on maternity leave.
    Big Rant: My nephew is having some pretty alarming symptoms/episodes and my sister can’t get in with a specialist who can hopefully diagnose him. If anyone in PoPville has connections with Dr. Beth Latimer, a pediatric neurologist based in Bethesda, please let me know. Her wait list is extremely long and the way things have been deteriorating over the last few weeks I hate to think what will happen before they can get an appointment.

    • I’m so sorry to hear about your nephew. I’d also try Johns Hopkins (main location in Baltimore). My mother had a serious neurological disease. We switched her from Georgetown (TERRIBLE) to Johns Hopkins and the difference was night and day in every aspect. We were also able to get an appointment there very quickly. It’s absolutely worth the drive.

    • Some suggestions. Has nephew been to his regular pediatrician about the symptoms? And does the doctor agree with the potential diagnosis? A call from that doctor to the specialist’s office requesting an urgent appointment would probably be the fastest way to get in. Alternatively, I would suggest calling Children’s and getting an appointment with one of their Neurologists who can then refer you more quickly if they do not handle the particular disease/disorder; doctors talking to doctors really is the fastest way to get seen no matter what. It’s frustrating, I know, but the most highly sought after specialists, particularly those who also sub-specialize, are very hard to get into. It’s incredibly frustrating, I know.

      • Bear

        Yes and yes, and they’re trying that route through the pediatrician. The challenge is that there are only a handful of specialists in the country who understand and regularly treat this particular condition, and treatment is not one size fits all for all kids. They’re seeing an immunologist in their home town today who can hopefully do more to treat the underlying infection, but he is having neurological symptoms as well that are fairly alarming. My heart is just breaking for them.

        • So, I know someone whose kid had it and someone whose kid has it. The difficulty with PANDAS is that a lot of insurance doesn’t cover care for it and/or the specialists don’t take insurance (which is f’ing ignorant). I know there’s a big deal guy who specializes in PANDAS in Wilmington (DE). And pediatricians often don’t believe it’s a real disorder or don’t know about it. Wishing you luck – it’s awful, apparently. (as a side, those I know whose kids have had it are on the spectrum and then get worse…so I wonder what the relationship is…)

          • Bear

            Thanks. They were able to get an appointment for January and the immunologist they saw today is trying to get them in with someone in their hometown who is a specialist, just not as well known. Their pediatrician is supportive, just not knowledgeable.

          • Recent HuffPost article about PANDA & struggle to get it diagnosed/treated

          • Bear

            Yep – saw that. Hit close to home.

          • Oh man I just looked that up and read it. Holy crap, how scary. Sending ALL the positive thoughts for your family and nephew!

    • I don’t have anything more to contribute than what’s already been said but I just wanted to say I’ll be thinking about you all! Sending lots of positive thoughts that this will work out.

    • No real connections, but I’m sending you and the family love (and hopes for getting in to an earlier doc appointment).

    • Quotia Zelda

      If they haven’t already, go ahead and take any appointment offered, no matter how far in the future. Then ask to be called if they have any cancellations. We got Eldest Zelda into a specialist fairly quickly this way. Her original appointment was something like 3 months out, but they called with a cancellation spot that was much, much sooner.

  • Rave: Fuzzy ponies, beautiful weather, and a wonderful night riding!
    Rant: So so sore – first ride back from broken foot. Foot feels ok, the rest of my body, ouch!
    Rant: Had to sleep with my contacts in last night. Ugh- felt almost as uncomfortable as falling asleep with a bra on.
    Rave: Enjoying A Winter’s Tale – trying hard not to watch the movie yet or look for pictures. It’s such a visual book and I want to keep my mind’s eye working.
    Rave: Jane the Virgin and My Crazy Ex-Girlfriend back!

    • Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin?? That may be one of my favorite books of all time. It’s a masterpiece. I never watched the movie. From what I read, it basically only had the title in common with the book. Very sad.

    • I’m so happy Crazy Ex Girlfriend is back but I miss the theme song!

    • Does your foot still hurt? Mine hurts quite a bit, especially on the side of the foot, and I don’t know what’s normal. I’m out of pocket enough for this that I don’t want to go to the doctor again unless there’s a pressing need.

      • Yes – it still hurts, unfortunately. The doc told me that as long as the pain is not increasing, it’s normal. So I’ve been trying a wait and see approach but it’s hard to tell. He says as long as I can see a logical connection to the pain (like increased activity increases pain) then it’s ok. Good luck!

  • maxwell smart

    RAVE?: Experimenting with salad for breakfast in an effort to avoid the ‘sugar for breakfast’ empire and eat more greens. (Also preemptive holiday season “there will be sweets in the office everyday until January 1”). Kale, Asparagus, Walnut and Poached Egg with Lemon and Garlic. Yum!

    • Youre awesome! I make a smoothie for myself in the morning with a bunch of spinach, blueberries, protein powder, almond milk, chia, probiotics, and a banana, and feel like it also starts me on the right foot (and has just the right amount of sweetness from the banana). I had major sugar headaches after overindulging on Halloween, so feel like that was my body’s way of telling me to cool it on the artificial sugar crap.

      • I make a very similar smoothie when I’m feeling a veggie filled breakfast. One trick I learned was to use a little less banana and add frozen zucchini. It keeps the smooth, creamy texture banana offers but cuts down on the sugar even more.

        • Oooooh – that is a fascinating addition! Im a little worried about my poor little oster blender’s ability to deal with zucchini, but will try it out with a fresh zucchini to try it out!!

    • skj84

      You’re breakfast salad sounds amazing. I also admire your commitment, I can barely manage cereal in the morning let alone making a salad.

      • maxwell smart

        I prepped everything last night and had it ready to go in a container so that all I had to do was poach the egg this morning. Otherwise I would be right there with you. I find I do a lot better in the morning if I have everything ready – ironed shirt, lunch made, etc.

    • I love savory breakfasts!

    • I want to start hopping on the savory breakfast wagon some days, too. I saw a recipe for miso oatmeal the other day, which sounds interesting. But I’m a huge fan of being able to make breakfast the night before though (overnight oats for the win), because honestly, I start work early and don’t even have time to cook an egg in the morning without getting up at an unreasonable hour.

  • skj84

    Rant: Talked things out a bit with my dude yesterday and came to no real resolution. I think he’s depressed. He’s going through some major stuff in his life right now, and I realize I’m going to have to let him move at his own pace. I didn’t want to push to some ultimatum, but I was hoping for more structure from that convo.
    Rave: Sister and best friend who willingly listen to me vent.
    Rant: Woke up in the middle of the night with a scratchy throat and some congestion. Stupid weather.

    • sorry to hear this. have you guys been dating for awhile?

    • Situational depression is a real thing, and I totally agree with your approach of letting him move at his own pace. I’m sorry that it’s been difficult for you, and I hope things improve and he’s able to pull out of it quickly.

      • skj84

        Same. I’m kicking myself for not catching his depression sooner. I know the signs pretty well, and really want to help him. I’m also worried he may not seek help. Or even want to talk about it. I’m big on being proactive with anxiety and depression, and I forgot for a lot of people there still is that stigma. I want him to get help, but don’t want him to push me away.

        • Keep encouraging him. I struggle with seasonal depression and while my bf and I have been dating a bit longer than you two, this is our first winter together. Encourage him to be open about it with you – being able to tell my bf when I’m having a Bad Day or when I feel it all caving in (the Worst Days) really truly helps. But I also see a professional and take other action so that he’s not my only source to work through my issues – I would be wary of that too.

        • dcgator

          A lot of times, that stigma is much stronger in men. Hell, I don’t even see my PCP for bigger issues that come up, hoping they’ll go away. Depression is such a foreign concept to men (see: internalized socialized expectations of masculinity).

    • My SO goes through spates of depression and anxiety. He absolutely will not seek help for these issues. He has in the past and had bad experiences and has a very negative view of mental health professionals, to the point that when I tried to discuss going back to school to do Social Work with the express desire to eventually be a counselor, he was very much against it. When he goes through these periods, there is absolutely nothing I can do but continue to be supportive of him and try my best to hold everything else together. I’ve also been with him long enough to know when the cycle will begin (for him it’s January/February – a mixture of the holidays being over, the anniversary of his father’s death, work being slow, and the season), so I can prepare myself mentally. All I can do is allow him to move at his pace and keep the world moving around him. There is no forcing when it comes to depression, and I don’t think ultimatums work with someone who is depressed.
      Good luck – it’s not an easy situation to be in. Remember, take care of yourself too.

  • Rant: We really need to have bike riding licenses in DC. This morning on 11th Street NW a girl rode around the other bike riders to completely blow through stop signs. She cut someone off but didn’t even know it because she couldn’t hear the car honks over her headphones. It’s nice to see more people biking but many of them are people that have never biked before and certainly don’t know how to bike in a city.
    Rant: Charles Schwab is the worst bank ever. They almost cost me thousands of dollars and a condo because they couldn’t provide a signature in over two weeks, something Citibank did in 10 minutes.
    Rave: Speaking of Comcast, tired of Comcast giving you 8 hour service windows and not showing up? File a complaint with the FCC on their webpage and Comcast will put you into their VIP service, which means that you get a much more competent serviceman who will come at specific times on nights and weekends. S/he’ll even give you his personal cell number for follow up issues. (Note: If you were wondering why Comcast internet is so bad in DC, my serviceman admitted that Comcast never anticipated the growth in DC so there is limited bandwidth (way lower than what they are charging everyone for) but they don’t want to upgrade because they know eventually everyone is going to switch to fiber optic eventually so Comcast is just fighting the expansion of Verizon).

    • I had a similar biker situation today, except as a pedestrian where two bikers blew through a stop light in that newly redesigned W St/15th St triangle. And they weren’t in the 15th Street bike lane, so I’m glad I noticed them before I stepped into the crosswalk.
      A lot of bikers are great and curtious bikers, but for goodness sake, folks – please at least slow down or stop before continuing to proceed through a stop sign or light, or you’re going to hurt someone or hurt yourself!

    • We need pedestrian training, too. I watched a guy get out of a cab and walk, head down, straight into the bike lane. Nearly caused a wreck among the several cyclists who had the right-of-way. Then he got all defensive when they yelled at him.
      Guess he’d never heard “look both ways”.

      • This is true. The number of people who step into the bike lane while waiting for their crosswalk signal drives me nuts. I just want to yell at them, “you know you’re stepping into the ROAD right?” It makes it difficult for bikers and it doesn’t get the pedestrians any further ahead.

        • Yep, I sometimes tell people, in a friendly tone, that they’re in the bike lane. Leading off the curb is stupid in general… you’re not going to steal the opposite curb and set your team up for a street-crossing grand slam. But leading off INTO the bike lane is extra stupid.

          • maxwell smart

            It’s part of this mentality that “my time is more valuable then everyone else” so why should I have to wait _behind_ people?

    • I would love a bike license! I want to bike more, but am intimated and don’t know the rules. It would be really helpful when I’m driving too.

      Comcast- I swore them off after I moved out of an apartment and couldn’t get my name off the account. We had it installed in our new place Oct 1st and everything went smoothly. Tech was on time, if not early. He was friendly and knowledgeable. I was shocked, to say the least.

      • The rules for cyclists are the same as the rules for drivers. Obey all traffic laws, signal when turning, use lights at night, and give audible warning when passing.

      • WABA has some great city cycling classes to help people feel more confident with city riding. Its website also has a lot great info, too.

    • That’s strange re your Charles schwab rant. Ive loved banking with them. Why was there such a delay in your case, you think?

      • They are great on ATM and checking stuff, but I needed slightly more regular banking (medallion guarantee to transfer funds) and no one in the customer service or “resolution” teams had any clue how to do this (even though regular banks do it on a daily basis) and they were frankly very rude. They gave me the wrong information on multiple occasions leading to multiple delays. On several occasions they fought having to do it and told me to just get the other company to change their policies (which are industry standards). My impression is that Charles Schwab remains an investment company and they do a little banking on the side to drum up investment business. The result being that they don’t know how to do the regular banking stuff and you get a very cocky “Wall Street” attitude.

    • There are some cyclists that just effing suck. They ruin my bike commute just as much as poor drivers. Sometimes I get so fed up I start audibly counting the number of times I’ve passed the same line/light jumpers. I know it’s petty.

  • Rant: DOG- sometimes when my feet get hot I stick them out the side of the bed. This is not a signal that we are preparing to go outside, especially not at what I imagine is 5 something in the morning!
    Rant: DOG reacted to a small dog this morning. Wtf DOG? Wtf?
    Rave: finally tried Timber Pizza last night with my sister. It was great, but it was not inexpensive.
    Rave: it’s fall, so naturally I want all the plaid things.

    • Aw! Silly DOG! Sorry he’s being a bit of a pest re: walks! And yes, Timber Pizza is delicious but pricey enough that I’d consider it more of an occasional treat than a place to stop and grab a pie all the time.

      • Apparently some dogs are lazy and don’t get out of a bed in the morning. I do not understand this.
        If I have the gall to change between getting home and going outside with him, he will come to the bedroom, making noises, run back to the door, and repeat, just to make sure I remember it’s time to go outside. Like the three extra minutes is crushing his soul.

        • topscallop

          Haha oh DOG. That’s annoying but also kind of cute – which is a good description of a number of dogs I know.

    • That One Guy

      Is DOG drinking water during the night or is he just excited to go for his morning walks?

  • Rant: Not so happy this morning. Woke up to my alarm in the middle of a very violent dream that has cast a shadow over my day.
    Rant: Couldn’t even get through meditation this morning b/c I was so stressed about random crap going on right now at work.
    Rave: Last night’s run. I swear this is the only thing keeping me sane right now. Feeling accomplished.
    Rave: drinks with old coworkers tonight
    Rave: wore a dress to work today due to an recognition event later which feels weird since I work on a construction site – but it’s my first time feeling a little fancy at work in over 3 years. Yay!
    Rave: hoping their is light at the end of my tunnel on Friday if not before. Fingers crossed.

    • Love your dress rave! I work in construction too and at first was nervous about wearing dresses and skirts on site but you know what, you only live once!!

  • Rave: Just came here to say the 11th and Mass crossing guard is BACK! He came back at the beginning of the school year but then vanished for a bit, and now he’s here again! It really made my day. I’m so sad that I’m moving in a month and will walk a different route to work, but I’m so glad I get to enjoy his presence while I can.

    No rants today 🙂

  • Question-
    I am a single working professional in need of legal advice regarding setting up a living trust or living will. In my case, the beneficiaries will not be a U.S. citizen. Anyone know of a good lawyer or any advice? Thanks so much!

  • Rant: Having to ask neighbor again to stop smoking pot near my open windows. I know I’m a rare bird, but if you don’t want you place to smell like smoke neither do I.
    Rant: I love my male friends, but some of them haven’t gotten the memo that posting sarcasm when I’m complaining of harassment is not the appropriate response.
    Rave: Getting ahead of the game with my meal prep.
    Rave: Chill job, awesome co-workers.

    • Where is “near your open windows”? Their own porch, balcony, or backyard?

      • In our communal backyard which covers the bulk of windows in my apt. I’ve requested a switch to the front or smoking in their apt. An easy fix.

        • I think that sounds reasonable. I thought the whole jist of the legalization legislation was that it’s acceptable in a private place where you’re not bothering other people with it. But I suppose one could also argue that a shared outdoor space is still a “private” space.
          Sorry you’re dealing with this, Anon Spock!

          • Yes, I’m sure an argument could be made our backyard is “private”, but it is bothering me including waking me up from a dead sleep at dawn. The shared front is just as “private” or staying in your apt or maybe switching to a vaporizer or making edibles. Lots of options that let us both enjoy ourselves.

            Thanks for the thought!

          • While technically legal (it is private wrt Prop 71), many apartments/condo associations have outlawed smoking on the grounds. Perhaps that’s something you want to look into? (Though you’re right in that the smoker should be able to figure out different methods so as to not bother his neighbors.)

          • I’m trying the friendly route before looking into other options.

    • Close your windows.

      • I have a right to enjoy a breeze in my apt. They can get high in numerous places or using smokeless or low smoke methods that aren’t disturbing me.

        • And they have a right to smoke in the yard. You’re placing a higher value on the thing you want than on the thing they want. Understandable, but not really logically defensible. Close your windows for the 5 minutes it takes them to smoke, then open them again. It’s no more inconvenient for you than expecting them to buy special gear or go elsewhere.

          • Since they are smoking at such an early hour that I’m being awaken by it, yes, it is in fact more inconvenient for me than for them to go out front or simply smoke indoors. Maybe you feel it is reasonable for me to never sleep with the window open for fear that my schedule will be out of sync with their smoke schedule. I know you’re not my biggest fan, but that is ludicrous. Yes, I am saying the right that came first has a higher value than their relatively new right to smoke weed. I’m sure it will all work itself out.

          • HaileUnlikely

            The implementation of legalization has been handled very poorly. I’m not sure it’s a settled matter that they do in fact have a *right* to smoke marijuana outdoors generally, and if so, whether that extends to smoking it on property that is shared as opposed to theirs alone. I’m not asserting that they do not in fact have that right, I’m questioning whether the answer to whether they have that right even exists yet or whether it remains to be settled in the future.

          • Haile, good points all around. It ultimately seems to hinge on the meaning of “private”. Is it private if shared with these people but not those people?

          • But aren’t you making the argument that their right to smoke pot wherever they want is tantamount to Anon Spock’s right to enjoy the home she pays for? I’m not sure that is logically defensible either. Both parties have their rights, neither is higher than the other. I see Anon Spock’s suggestion that they go to the front of the building a win-win. They get to smoke pot outside, she gets to enjoy her home.

          • Out front of the building would clearly be “in public” and not allowed by the law. The private courtyard is clearly private space and allowable.
            The real question: is this a rental or condo building? What do the building management or HOA rules say?

          • Anonymous @ 1:06 – it’s only considered “in public” if the city owns the front yard (as it does in many parts of DC).

          • HaileUnlikely

            It takes a while for apartment/HOA rules and such to catch up to the evolving legal status of something that used to be clearly illegal but now is in some sort of weird gray area where it is both legal and illegal. Property managers and HOAs didn’t used to have to worry about this, because it would have been covered under blanket language about illegal drugs. Many that didn’t exactly desire to permit smoking marijuana on the premises simply didn’t think to modify their rules or bylaws after legalization took effect.

          • I’m not sure what the rules say but they didn’t send an update when marijuana became quasi-legal. Even if smoking on the premises was against the rules, l don’t care in the big scheme as long as it’s not affecting me. As anon @ 110 mentioned, it’s about smoke. I’d feel the same way about cigs or incense.
            I was not aware that the city owns most front yards, but ultimately it’s a non-issue for me. I’ve been polite and reasonable in my request, so hopefully it’ll be nipped in the bud soon.

        • I have a gaggle of teenagers who regularly smoke weed on the front porch of the rowhouse next door, effectively hotboxing my place.

          • Yea, I’d rather not walk through a cloud, but I’m taking a lesser of 2 evils approach. At least the front isn’t my only entry option. That sucks.

    • It’s about smoke, not what’s being smoked. My old building had a communal backyard, and the rule was that smokers couldn’t smoke anywhere near the windows at all for this very reason.

  • For those who read my post last week about a friend with a Gambling addiction.

    Rant: He asked me for money yesterday after I told him under no certain terms that I wouldn’t ever give him money.
    Rave: that led to the conversation about him not seeking help for his issue and him admitting he was in denial.
    Rave: He took the quiz on the GA website with me and admitted he has a problem that cannot be fixed by himself and agreed to go to GA.

    I just hope he sticks to it. Don’t worry, I’m still not giving him any money and he knows that. I told him he has my support without judgement, but any other assistance I would consider enabling. He said he understood.

    Rant: Addiction still sucks

    • oh man, I am dealing with this right now with a loved one (alcohol, not gambling, but addiction nonetheless) – good for you for standing firm and having a tough conversation. I’m rooting for you and your friend.

      • Stay strong, LBP. My family is full of addiction counselors and it was still hard for me to say no to him. The shame and stigma of addiction to an addict is a huge reason why they tend not to seek help. I told him repeatedly, this is a disease, and a chronic one at that. It needs treatment or it will eventually leave you penniless and homeless and possibly dead.

        Alcohol is so awful because it is EVERYWHERE. And what it does to the mind and body sometimes makes me wonder about how we allow it to be so available while marijuana is still illegal in many places. I am really not a proponent of any drug use because of how I grew up, but the side effects of coming off a physical alcohol addiction can be LETHAL. Really boggles the mind sometimes.

        Good luck with your loved one.

        • Thanks – I am unfortunately no stranger to this by now, my family is full of addicts – active, in recovery, and some somewhere in between – and it’s been a tough at times. But I’m currently feeling hopeful…

    • Good for you for helping your friend see the underlying issues! I hope that realizing he has a problem will help him.

    • Good luck, you’re being a great friend!

  • Rave: Finally reading someone I’ve been meaning to read for ages, loving him, and then realizing he’s written over a dozen books. Looks like I have my winter reading set up.
    Rave: Day of the Dead celebrations at the Portrait Gallery last night. I love the cultural offerings of this city, especially when they’re free, open to all, and everyone there is really into it. So nourishing.

  • Rant: Election anxiety making it hard to function

  • Rant: my former boss who I also considered to be a mentor and a dear friend is dying. She recently began hospice care. Damn cancer. I cycle between grief, rage, and acceptance, all of which then spillover into the rest of my life.
    Rant: chose the wrong-weight sleep sack for mtpbaby and he woke up cold in the middle of the night. So hard to predict overnight internal temperatures when the external temperatures fluctuate this much.
    Rave: At least he slept until I went up to get him at 7:30–maybe the time change won’t be as brutal as I’ve been fearing? Fingers tightly crossed this continues
    Rave: His transition to the next classroom continues to go smoothly. He’s been so happy this week! So much fun 🙂
    Rant: Still feeling grumpy, testy, and having trouble focusing and keeping straight everything that needs doing. Ugh.

  • Quotia Zelda

    Rave: My hair looks great today.
    Rant: Mr. Zelda got rear-ended this morning. And if you recall, Eldest Zelda got rear-ended in August. I don’t want to be next!

    • Did Mr. Zelda get rear-ended in his midlife-crisis car?

      • Quotia Zelda

        Yes. He’s surprisingly calm considering how he lavishes time and attention on that car. It happened on Rockville Pike at rush hour, though, so it was a very low-speed accident.

        He once got rear-ended by someone going 50+ mph, and that was really horrible.

  • Quotia Zelda

    Rave: My hair looks amazing today.
    Rant: Mr. Zelda got rear-ended this morning. And if you recall, Eldest Zelda got rear-ended in August. I don’t want to be next!

  • Has anyone tried the red line from Union Station to Silver Spring during rush hour? I know it’s against the crowds, but wondering how bad the train/bus wait was?

    • HaileUnlikely

      Do you mean in general, or right now, during the current phase of SafeTrack that closes much of that route? Right now? Haven’t tried and can’t say. In general, it’s about a 12-minute ride on a half-empty train and goes pretty smoothly when nothing is on fire.

    • During which rush hour — morning or evening?

      • HaileUnlikely

        Right, I assumed morning was intended given the reference to “against the crowds.” In the evening that is distinctly not against the crowds.

        • Sorry—I meant for this SafeTrack surge–I normally take the red line from Union Station to Silver Spring (I work in Silver Spring and live in NE)–I’ve been driving the past few days but curious how bad the safe track bus shuttles/time etc has been.

  • DC tax and revenue misapplied my 2015 unincorporated business tax payment. I have proof that I paid it, but they keep sending me a bill, and now about a million dollars in late fees. Finally got on the phone with them and got it corrected but they kept sending me the freaking bill. Called again and got something in writing confirming I owe them nothing. Yesterday, get another bill and THOUSANDS of dollars in fees. WTF. Has this happened to anyone else?

    • When caught in a circular fine/fee issue with DMV, DPW, ABRA, or DC Tax Office, your best bet is to show up in person. No way in hell I’d rely on someone over the phone to deal with potentially thousands in late fees. You need to be in the office of senior management. Bring EVERYTHING.

      • I think that’s where we’re heading. I originally thought the written “You owe us no more money” letter would be enough. I’m really blown away by the incompetence….and these kinds of notices are very unsettling, even if I know I’m ultimately in the right (and have proof of such).

        • The inner person portion has always gone quickly for me and been painless compared to the phone run around. Hopefully it works out for you soon.

  • Rant: baseball is boring and I hate the cubs generally. this couldn’t get worse for me.
    Rant: while riding a CaBi in the left lane of M street to turn on 17th, a Maryland driver in a huge SUV honked at me repeatedly and told me to “use the fucking bike lane”

    • Uh, use the cycle track? If you need to take a left, wait and use the crosswalk from the right side of M Street. It’s there to get you across the road safely. There’s nothing worse than cyclists taking up, literally, 3 lanes of traffic in the middle of rush hour. I saw that happen today on 19th Street in the CBD. It’s was absurd.

      • -A is totally within their right to use that lane to make that turn. The Maryland driver, in a massive vehicle that can easily kill people, has no right to intimidate and be aggressive.
        Sorry that happened to you -A. Take the space you need, it’s our right as cyclist and usually is the safer option!

      • 1) A bike is not legally obligated to use the cycletrack. A bike has every right to ride down the middle of a regular traffic lane, even on a street with cycle infrastructure.
        2) Even though I see cars do it all the time, it is stupid and dangerous to turn across several lanes of traffic instead of legally shifting to the leftmost turn lane before turning left.
        3) Think long and hard about what adds the most time to your travel: The cyclist who is in front of you for 15-30 seconds, or the 30,000 other cars driving around at rush hour?
        4) Here are some things I thought of that are worse than “cyclists taking up, literally, 3 lanes of traffic in the middle of rush hour”: Drivers blocking the box because they’re too self-important to wait, drivers running red lights because they’re too self-important to wait, drivers not yielding to pedestrians in crosswalks because they’re too self-important to wait, drivers honking their horns and swearing at cyclists because they’re too self-important to wait. Do you sense a theme here?
        Traffic is awful at rush hour because there are TOO MANY CARS. Everyone riding a bike is NOT DRIVING A CAR. They’re helping you! Cut them some slack.
        (Socially-obligated throw-in about how many cyclists don’t obey the law and they’re bad people and as a fellow cyclist I don’t like them either)

      • I was going down M Street from 15 to 17th St. Before that, I was in the bike lane. I use the leftmost lane from 15 to 16, and then the part of the left lane not blocked by parkers from 16 to 17. I’m not going to cut from the bike lane on the far right of the street over to the left turn lane to get to 17, I am not going to stop in the bike lane if the 17 light is green for M street traffic, and it’s actually illegal to ride my bike up onto the sidewalk to wait for the 17 light to turn green for 17 traffic.

        The MD driver in question whizzed around me for five seconds and got stopped by traffic. I passed her again anyway. During rush hour, cyclists shouldn’t be slowing you down that much, because the speed of traffic is already so slow.

    • maxwell smart

      If you don’t enjoy baseball, then why watch? Is someone forcing you to pay attention to the World Series?

  • Question: Does anyone have some suggestions as to how I can get my per-pubescent and very stinky son to actually wear deodorant? I know he thinks it’s funny to smell like the Georgia Avenue Subway, but it is disgusting.
    Funny: Thanks to the combination of seasonal allergies and being as loud as his mother, Littlest Anonachild has partially lost his voice. Cue rather interesting attempts at Sign Language yesterday evening.
    Rave: Looking at pie recipes for Thanksgiving has my creative juices flowing, especially in terms of decorating. I had never considered braiding the pie crust dough before, but have seen some beautiful options that I look forward to trying.

    • A comedian I saw once said he played to the love interests. Girls won’t like you if you smell like a swamp. Also deodorant checks before he leaves.

      • anonymouse_dianne

        I was going for appealing to a girl crush to make comments. Also, when I was a kid there were certain fragrances that were considered cool. I think Axe was one. Maybe do some research on that and buy him some.

    • Remind him that unicorns do not like smelly boys?

    • You just make him do it. We make our kids brush their teeth and their hair, even if they don’t wanna, right? Some things aren’t for negotiating.

      • I’m not there in the mornings to make him do it since I go to work before they are awake. My SO gets up with the kids and usually has to give more attention to the youngest while also answering business calls, and isn’t quite as efficient with 4 kids as I am. I have forcibly sprayed him myself on weekends, but I am trying to figure out how, other than forcing this, I can get him to actively take care of his hygiene since being in a family of 4 children full-time with an extra thrown in on weekends means that you have to be more independent than if you were a singleton or one of two.

        • Ooh, yeah, that’s different.
          I watched in awe as my cousin taught her son to stop picking his nose. Every time she saw him with a finger in his nose, she made him go wash his hands, with soap. Every. Damned. Time. And it worked.
          Maybe you could do that? Make the kid shower/ change clothes EVERY TIME you get a whiff of BO, with a reminder that if he’d just use deodorant, he wouldn’t have to go through all the bother. It’s more work for you up front, but shouldn’t take long for him to catch on.

  • Rave – Accepted the new job, gave notice at my old job, and moving to Vermont!
    Rant – So many mixed emotions. Feeling all the feels right now.

  • jim_ed

    Rave: Had old lead water service line replaced to the house through DC Water. Was easier and cheaper than I would have thought, and they did shockingly good work.
    Rant: My water heater exploded a week later, and I’m thinking it likely was caused by the increased pressure from the installed backflow preventer with the service line.
    Rave: I know a great plumber who does side work, and since I bought the new water heater myself, I saved about $1000 over calling a residential service company to replace it.

    • HaileUnlikely

      Holy cow. I have read about some horrific water heater explosions. What degree of explosion are you talking about? I trust that your house is still standing there, given that you reported having replaced the water heater…

      • jim_ed

        Luckily it wasn’t a gas explosion, and thank god it happened while we were home and awake. But around 7:30 one night, we heard a loud “BOOM” that shook the floor, so I ran into the basement and could hear water just gushing onto the floor. So I turned off the water and gas to the unit. It basically blew out the bottom of the water heater, but luckily didn’t do more than that.

        • HaileUnlikely

          Wow, as you said, lucky you were home. Just out of curiosity, was it within its rated lifespan or was it well past the end? (Mine is more than a decade past the end but still works fine – stuff like this does make me wonder if I should just bite the bullet and replace though.) I wonder why the pressure relief valve didn’t just open and dump water on the floor but without exploding anything?

          • For what it’s worth, the newest generation of water heaters are much much more efficient than those of 20+ years ago – you might be able to save quite a bit of money every year through a replacement. I’d recommend checking the efficiency of your existing unit and compare it to potential replacements. You could save hundreds of dollars a year, and not have to worry about unexpected sudden failure.

          • HaileUnlikely

            Good point. You are right. The time horizon for recouping the purchase and installation cost in the form of savings on my electric bill is long enough that it’s not super duper motivating, but I acknowledge that you are right nonetheless.

  • Question: I’ve seen a crew working on the sidewalks on West Virginia Ave between 7th and 9th NE(Just north of Kst) and they have seemed to replaced everyone’s parking pad plus sidewalks. I’m wondering if this was a city funded project? Anyone have any ideas?

  • Rave: Lunch from Shouk for the first time today. Really delicious. I love sweet potato fries.
    Rant/Rave??: Baby Artie had his early intervention evaluation today. He qualifies for services for language, which was NOT at all what I expected. The physical therapist also stated he could benefit from some PT for gross motor skills (this I predicted). Follow up is next week to develop an intervention plan.
    Rant: It is hard not to worry even though the results didn’t raise any major red flags. All any of us want is the very very best for our kids. Parenthood is challenging for my already anxious self, but I’m trying to keep it all in perspective.
    Rave: Very grateful to live in a place that funds these kind of services. This is why we pay taxes, Mr. Trump.

    • Yay on getting help and services! What is triggering your anxiety? I think (hope) that the services will help him catch up over time such that it won’t be visible that he had delays in the first place. Ditto on being grateful to live in a place that funds these kinds of services; it really is a blessing to have that sort of help available as needed.

  • Rave: Loving this sunshine!

    Rant: So I had a pretty awkward shared pool ride (Uber/Lyft) this morning. I was the 2nd pickup and when I got in the car, there were 2 women already in the car. When I got in, the women made some loud, unpleasant comments about the neighborhood (where I got in) and how it had lost all culture and was now gentrified, etc. (Btw the women were AA and I am non-white) The driver wanted to make sure he had the destinations correct and mentioned I was going to X neighborhood. The 2 women then said something similar about my destination (X neighborhood) about how that was also so gentrified, lost all it’s flavor, how they don’t go there anymore because they get profiled, how people don’t want them to go there, etc. At first I didn’t think they were directing this language toward me, but it seemed like it would be an odd coincidence they would randomly talk about 2 neighborhoods pertaining to me, especially so loudly and aggressively. At this point the driver (who is also AA), might have sensed this was a little unpleasant and started to make small talk with me. The women continued to complain loudly about how they were being mistreated earlier in the day because of their race, how things have changed and nothing caters to their taste anymore, basically gentrification, etc. Luckily we dropped them off about 10 minutes later and I had a very nice ride after. However I can’t help feeling like some of it was specifically toward me, or as if I was contributing to the problem. Or am I just projecting?
    I know I should just let it go, but I still feel a bit bothered by it. In a lot of ways I agree with what they said, but am I wrong to feel like I shouldn’t be subjected to that sort of hateful, strong language when we are in a shared ride? Especially in the morning, when I am pretty cranky (not a morning person).
    Anyway, just felt like I needed to get it off my chest.

    • I’m sorry you experienced this, yeah I’d guess it was likely very much directed at you and they would have liked you to have said something to stoke their anger. Good move on staying quiet, if nothing else it just kept it from getting more awkward for you.

      • Thanks, eggs. Felt a little better hearing this ^

        I have social anxiety, so I can’t always tell if I’m just being paranoid. But then again, it sort of helps that I am awkward and don’t speak up that often. It made me feel a little powerless, but you’re right that it would have just escalated things.

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