Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

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Photo by PoPville flickr user Joe Flood

You can talk about whatever is on your mind – quality of life issues, a beautiful tree you spotted, scuttlebutt, or any random questions/thoughts you may have. But please no personal attacks and no need to correct people’s grammar. This is a place to vent and/or celebrate things about daily life in DC.

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126 Comment

  • Revel: Teacher work from home day
    Rant: Last one ever because Larry Hogan decided to put the profits for Ocean City businesses above the needs of educating children when he decided local school boards can’t create their own calendars and must have a more compact school year.
    Revel: Rode my bike to work yesterday morning as a trial run. 6.7 miles took me just under an hour. Wow, I’m slow.
    Rant: Everything is so sore. I ended up metroing home.

    • A more compact school year? Doesn’t that go against every bit of research?

      • Wait, is this about the thing that school doesn’t start until after labor day? I’d be curious to hear your opinion on this. I remember when I was in grade school and I always felt like those first few days between starting school and the long weekend were a waste anyway.

        • He’s signed an executive order that school has to start after Labor Day and must end by June 15. The more compacted school year means fewer days off during the year.. we will have shorter holidays and lose our teacher grading days. The extended summer means there is more time for the students to forget what they have learned, and less time to prepare students for the tests.

          • Ick, I didn’t realize there was still a firm end date. I guess I assumed (with the little I heard) that the days would just be tacked on in June. I’m sorry about that!!!

          • Nope, and we still have the same 180 days in the year.

          • I know this may not be a popular position, but I firmly believe the school year should be increased to 200 days, and spread out more evenly. Sticking to a schedule based on an agrarian calendar is an anachronism. (I’m fine with a pay bump to compensate for the additional time working.)

          • With whom would that be unpopular, apart from the kids themselves? All the parents and teachers I talk to think more instructional days (coupled with more and shorter breaks) is a good idea.

          • Some teachers I know, while recognizing that more instructional days would provide a better education, aren’t in favor because of the extra x weeks of work (though I think many assume there wouldn’t be extra pay, which would be absurd).

      • Don’t even get me started. It’s infuriating, for multiple reasons. First and foremost, as you mention, every bit of research suggests that longer breaks lead to much less retention, year over year, and more time spent relearning, or at a minimum refreshing, last year’s subjects. But Ocean city businesses need the high school kids to work, and all kids families to vacation, through Labor Day. So starting in 2017-18, all of Maryland can’t start school before Labor Day, and has to end by June 15. In addition to the preferring business over education, if there are more than three snow days (and in Montgomery County, notwithstanding this year, there’s a decent chance of that), they ostensibly start making up days over spring break. In other words, the 10% of kids that actually go to school will be screwing around while everyone else is on break. And this is something that the next Democratic governor will be hard pressed to reverse, so we’re likely stuck with this for a while.
        .
        Aren’t you glad you didn’t get me started?

        • It’s all about local control until it affects somebody’s money.

        • Quotia Zelda

          I’m so mad about this.

          • I am boycotting the MD beaches because if this. If we go to a local beach, it’ll be Delaware. At least until this is reversed.
            .
            To add on to my prior rant, short breaks during the year are important for learning. A quick break really refreshed a lot of kids, my daughter included. Her prior school was (sort of, but not really) a year-round program. Start early August, end in mid to late June, with a fall break in October, a 2-week spring break, and some extra days thrown in. Really helped on the retention front, and made the year into much less of a grind. But those t-shirts at the beach won’t sell themselves!

          • Quotia Zelda

            It also screws over older kids who are taking AP tests. Those dates are fixed nationwide, and the later the school year starts, the less time kids have to get through the curriculum.

          • dcd: your daughter’s schedule is exactly the schedule that is standard in Germany, where I went to school. And guess how Germany performs relative to the U.S. on the PISA studies? Yup, better.

          • I know! It’s infuriating – that’s her *old* school (which DC parents will recognize as EL Haynes, in Petworth). We’re in Montgomery County now, and have to live with the beach schedule.

        • I am really unhappy as well. In addition to all of the issues addressed here, it significantly impacts less well-off parents who now have to come up with an additional 2 weeks of child care during the summer. In Baltimore County, there was a lot of support since we have so many schools without air conditioning; the thought process being that if kids went to school later, then they wouldn’t miss as many days due to heat. I would have been fine with the after Labor Day start if the school year was extended on the back side, but compressing the schedule is just ridiculous to me.

          • Absolutely. It’s much easier for everyone, but especially low-income families, to arrange for a day her and a day there of childcare coverage throughout the year – an extra week or two in a chunk is really difficult.
            .
            To make matters more infuriating, Montgomery County started the week before Labor day this year, and was contemplating starting a week earlier than that. The state is going in the wrong direction.

    • houseintherear

      The new calendar, and Hogan in general, are infuriating. Such a Republican move.

  • Rave: I subscribed to Hungry Harvest! Thanks to everyone who mentioned it the other day.
    .
    Unknown: Ordering vegetables is the most exciting part of my life right now.
    .
    Rant: Had weird dreams last night — one that I magically ended up with a boyfriend who wanted to move in together in my same apartment building that I wish I could stay in forever, and the other that I wore a bikini for the first time in like 6 years and someone immediately commented on my IBS bloat. Neither of which will happen in reality anytime soon (phew). Clearly I’m having issues today.

    • maxwell smart

      Weird dreams are in the air I think – I had one this weekend where the only thing I remember is watching a music video for a Duran Duran song, except this song doesn’t exist. My brain just invented a Duran Duran song and the music video for it. Then I spent the rest of the day singing it to myself and was annoyed that now I had an imaginary song stuck in my head.

    • I signed up for Hungry Harvest as well! A+ on the recommendation.

    • Andie302

      ha! Last night I dreamt that I put a dress on inside out because I was trying to get dressed quickly with a door open (for who knows what reason) and then when I pulled the dress off I had a hairy man chest. I didn’t even get upset – I just started trying to tuck hair into my dress once it was on the right way. So weird!

  • Ruminating: My contract is up summer of 2018. Contemplating Peace Corp for when that happens if I don’t find federal work between now and then.

    Rant: The hiring freeze is really cramping my job search

  • Rant: I was unfairly targeted by a speed camera yesterday. Yes, I was speeding, but I had a good excuse. (Didn’t want to be late to a birthday party; the line for face-painting gets really long.) Who can I contact to get the ticket thrown out?

  • rant: trying to switch to VRE (since metro sucks) and when i asked about getting the transit benefits, our transit person simply tells me “just go online to the VRE website….” and gives me the link. uhhh….not helpful
    rant: trying to find a portable charger. so many optionnnsssss
    rave: coffee. 🙂

    • I have the zilu 13k mAh, and it gives close to 3 full charges and can fit in a pants pocket. You can also charge the box and a device simultaneously. The pink option was about 2/3 the price of black, btw.

  • maxwell smart

    RAVE: Scooby Doo Mansion! Thanks to a friend of a friend, I found out about the concert on Saturday. It was a lot of fun and made me feel like I was in Stars Hollow or something. It’s always fun to have a small town experience in DC and to discover something seemingly under the radar.
    RANT: It was a much needed venture out of the house after waking Saturday AM and tracing the lingering funny smell in my apartment to find 3 zombified mice on the glue traps in the boiler room that I mostly use to catch the cave crickets. Gross.
    RAVE: That lead to a full day of spring cleaning, so the apartment is now thoroughly deep-cleaned. Like I bleach cleaned the grout deep-cleaned.

    • Ewww at your rant. Sorry that happened. But YAY about the cleaning rave! That’s amazing!

      • maxwell smart

        It’s the first time I’ve had mice in 6 years of living in this apartment, so I guess I can’t be too upset. I think the combination of a very mild winter, having to travel a lot lately for work, and some construction a couple of blocks away made conditions favorable.

  • Rave: Good weekend. Took friends to Great Falls for the first time and they loved it. Felt smart for dragging them in the morning when we saw the very, very, very long line of cars when we left in the afternoon. How much would it suck to live around there and have that traffic every weekend?
    Rant: Worked late and couldn’t get my bike out of the garage Friday night. Tried to take buses this weekend, and gave up each time. Hadn’t realized how spoiled I was by biking.

  • Rave: Fantastic date night last Friday. Thank you to whoever suggested Beefsteak. So delicious–it was perfect. And “Sophisticated Ladies” was amazing. Truly amazing.
    Rave: Saw lots of friends over the weekend. Also made more hamentaschen.
    Rant: I’m exhausted.
    Rant: Both kids having sleep difficulties of late. Mtpkiddo with nightmares/night fears, and who knows what with mtpbaby.
    Rave: I still got up and did yoga this morning!
    Rant: Basement water heater started leaking Saturday afternoon.
    Rave: Sounds like HVAC/plumber folks can come replace it this afternoon. And my parents can help with pickup in case I can’t leave the house early enough to make it work. So grateful to have the extra support.

  • Any suggestions on must see/do/shop places in Marrakech?

    • If you have the money, splurge a bit for a private hammam. The spa Rosa Bonheur is amazing – it’s located in a riad in the medina. Make the time to get lost too, since it’ll be bound to happen in the medina. Google maps is actually pretty decent in it’s mapping of the medina. We ate a ton in Marrakech, I think our favorites were Earth Cafe and Naranj (both in the medina). The Jardin Majorelle gardens were beautiful too but there is an entrance fee I think.

      • +1 to the Jardin Majorelle (if that’s the Yves Saint Laurent garden). Frankly, I didn’t enjoy Marrakesh very much, but I did like those gardens.

    • I just got back from an amazing trip. We had a private tour guide to get us around the medina which was super helpful. They WILL take you to particular stores that they get a commission from, but every where sales the same thing and it was much better than getting hassled every few seconds. I would also recommend a day trip to Essaouira or the desert. We worked with Maroc Excursions .net and they arranged a lot of local things we would have never discovered otherwise.

  • Rave – If Gonzaga beats UNC in the championship game, I will win my bracket pool. Apparently, that saying about a blind squirrel and an acorn is really true. I picked them because I haven’t followed college hoops at all this year, and if I picked UNC I wouldn’t win the pool even if the Heels won because so many other people would have picked them. I needed a silver bullet – 2 games to go.
    Rant: First prize is 3 Shawn Mendes tickets.
    Rave: We’ll be out of town during the concert.
    Rant: My daughter is not nearly as happy about that as I am.
    Rave: Great cooking weekend. Made onion soup for friends who just had a baby (and baby has been sick and not sleeping), mussels for dinner last night, and a double batch of salted chocolate caramel slices.

  • skj84

    Rave: Good relaxing weekend hanging with my best friend. She’s been going through a bit of a rough patch so it was nice to have some one on one time with her. We did brunch, drinks and movies.
    Rant: I forgot to bring a coat with me this morning and greatly regret it. I know it will warm up later, but it was too chilly for just a sweatshirt.

  • Rant: Baby Artie was a moody monster this weekend. I’m so exhausted.
    Rave: At least we manage to laugh at his epic meltdowns.
    Rave: I was able to spend some much needed time with friends this weekend.

  • Quotia Zelda

    Rave: After a rocky start where Winston tried to put the 9-month-old pup in his place, corgi playdate was a success.
    Rant: High-school-senior fouling-the-nest syndrome has kicked into high gear.

  • Additional Rant: Does anyone know what happened to the Donburi truck? I’ve been looking for it for a couple weeks and they haven’t seemed to be out…. is it still a thing that exists?

    • That One Guy

      Funny, I was at Donburi yesterday and I asked them about their food truck. The food truck is supposedly still running (but for whatever reason, IMO, they don’t seem to EVER advertise their location).

      • Thank you! That’s very weird. The last advertised location I saw was in February, they’re not listed on the MRV lottery on DC’s website, and I even tried asking them on Facebook and they didn’t respond. They’re going to start getting calls from me every day until I track them down again. I owe a colleague lunch there.

    • topscallop

      My favorite food truck, Lemongrass, disappeared months ago! They update their website weekly to say they’re on vacation. We should get some investigative journalists on this phenomenon. I want those banh mi tacos back!

  • Rant: Gin & Gardening failure – missed the signup for a class on tasting botanical flavors in gin
    Rave: But I’m going to a workshop on making bitters (at the Botanical Gardens this Friday)!
    .
    Rave: Moving on to the next stage in mushroom farming – I have mushroom mycelium (hopefully) growing in a mix of sawdust and birdseed. My house smells like a lumberyard after pressure cooking sawdust and seed!

  • Rant: Going to miss the Cherry Blossom blooms.
    Rave: Tons of work trips coming up – spent all day yesterday sorting out dates and opportunities to also link up with husband.
    Rant: Not really home for the next three months…
    Rave: Serengeti in April!!

  • Rant: Woke up exhausted, didn’t think I could make it out of bed for the gym
    Rant: The sound of a mouse running into my room was enough to JOLT me awake. I saw his fat butt running through my kitchen. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? First mouse in nearly 4 years. Winter is over!
    Rave: it got my butt to the gym where I fumed over a 2 mile run over having to deal with this CRAP!
    Rant: Buying mouse traps over my lunch break.

    WHY!?!?

  • binntp

    Rant: Sweet Jesus, my allergies hit me with a vengeance this weekend. Sneezed pretty much all day Saturday.
    Rave: Got in a 14 mile run – my longest to date. And didn’t feel exhausted or sore afterward. Hoping to build slowly toward a fall marathon.

  • Rave: Nice time celebrating friend’s b-day on Friday, and it was so wonderful to go to bed knowing that Trump”care” was so DOA he didn’t even bother to submit it for a vote! I know there are many other battles to be fought in the coming weeks and months (please, maybe not years?!), but winning this battle, at least for now, just made my whole weekend.
    Rave: Fairly productive and relaxing weekend
    Rant-ish: the biggest, fattest groundhog I have ever, ever seen wandered into my yard yesterday, I thought my grey cat was going to go berserk – she puffed herself up as much as I’ve ever seen her do and bolted for the glass door. Thankfully she stopped short of smashing into/going through the glass, but yikes! She’s an enormous cat, but I’m pretty sure that groundhog would have turned her into mincemeat!
    Rant: Soooooo much to do at work, I feel like I’m drowning….

    • Andie302

      I saw your question from Friday. I’ve had a wonderful experience with Dr. Rusk at Rusk and Thorton. Just figured I’d add it to your list of places to look into if it’s conveniently located for you!

      • Just fyi–my wife got a lot of hard selling for additional exams with Dr. Rusk, even though her periodontist said that it wasn’t necessary. They’re fine for regular cleanings if you don’t have anything unusual, but I finally switched over to my wife’s dentist (Dr. Pukatch) when I had part of a tooth chip off, because I didn’t trust them to be conservative in their recommendations for whether I needed to fix it.

        • Andie302

          This is good to know! I haven’t had that experience.They did mention invisalign early on, but never again once I declined. (I could probably use it for my bottom teeth since they’ve shifted since braces, but I don’t see that in my future without some sort of lottery win where I just have more money than I know what to do with.)

        • While Dr Spiegelman (same office as Dr Pukatch) is my regular dentist, I saw Dr Pukatch once when my dentist was away. They’re both good dentists.

      • Thanks all for your recommendations! Just reading this reminded me “unclench!” and yeppers, now that it’s been pointed out to me, my jaw does indeed click every time I open it! Eeesshk! Better get to finding a dentist asap!!

  • HaileUnlikely

    Question for dcd – on Friday you mentioned getting a quote for a fence recently. Was that from your regular go-to contractor (who you’ve named on here before) or a fence company? Asking for selfish reasons (will be installing fence this summer one way or another; presently leaning toward DIY but planning to get a couple of quotes from pros to see how much I’d end up effectively paying for labor after subtracting off what my costs would be for materials if I were to go the DIY route)

    • It was a fence company – Frederick Fence (who was recommended by my general contractor). I also got a quote from Long Fence which was about 20% more than Frederick (and had much more a used car salesman feel to it – handwritten, not as professional, not a very subtle invitation to haggle).
      .
      FWIW, we contemplated (briefly) doing it ourselves, but decided against it because of several reasons (actually, I thought about DIY, my wife never seriously considered it):
      – Removal and disposal of the existing fence would have been very difficult.
      – Fence is on a edge of a hill that is pretty steep in spots, and would have been difficult to install.
      – Lots and lots of large rocks on the property, some of which may require jackhammering. (There’s a $50 per post rock clause if they have to jackhammer, which I am assuming will be invoked for at least 50% of the posts).
      – I would have to buy or rent a lot of the equipment needed – posthole digger, wheelbarrow, etc.
      .
      Based on past posts, you’re quite a bit handier than I am, so these obstacles might not be as daunting for you as they were for me. If you like, have Dan send you my email and I’ll send the contact info for the salesman I dealt with, who I liked.

      • HaileUnlikely

        Thanks for the info. I just took a look at their website. They don’t appear to work in DC. They do work in Silver Spring, though, and I live about a quarter mile from the Silver Spring border, so I might inquire anyway. I love that they also sell materials for DIY installation. I doubt many other fence installation companies do that.
        .
        I’m reasonably handy but I probably hire a pro in your situation too. I’ve never used a jackhammer before. I don’t have to deal with any big rocks in my yard, don’t have another fence to remove, and already have all of the other equipment I’d need.

  • That One Guy

    Rant: Apparently you need to be in line at 6:20 am to make sure you get passed for the Infinity Mirror at the Hirshhorn. I too tried and failed.
    Rant: Didn’t put on a real jacket yesterday so I was cold. So cold that it felt like it seeped into my bones.
    Rave: Took the day off from work today.

    • Oh no! Did you try today or yesterday? What time? That’s ridiculous.
      I’m sorry!

      • That One Guy

        I went yesterday and stood in line for about 1.5 hours so from about 8:30 ish.

        • Ugh. Geez. Not worth it.

          • You can try for the noon release of passes today. Get on the site a few minutes early and keep refreshing. Pick a weekday. Pick an actual time later in the day, not “first available.” If you do get lucky, be ready to set up an account within 6 minutes.

            http://hirshhorn.si.edu/kusama/passes/

          • saf

            I went the first week it was open. I want to go again. I think the line sounds like a pain in the ass, but worth it. It is an amazing show.

          • I tried to get passes two weeks in a row, was on the site 5 minutes early, continually hit refresh. Watched my computer clock and hit the button to get passes at exactly 12:00:02 for 3pm on a weekend and had no luck, tried again during a weekday with “anytime” still no luck. Gave up.

          • Tried one more time, failed again. Oh well.

          • That One Guy

            Thwarted again. How can so many people want to see the perceived reality of a person with self-proclaimed mental health issues?

          • maxwell smart

            Yep – tickets were gone in 90 seconds. Sigh. I guess the only way I am going to be able to go is to call in sick one day, mid-week, and stand outside hours before the museum opens.

      • Could one of those who tried give me a brief primer on how the process works? Does your entire party have to stand in line? When you get passes, are they for immediate access, or for a time later in the day? Any other tips? I wake up early, usually whether I want to or not, so I might as well put it to good use.

        • You can get four tickets, only one of you has to be there. They are still the timed passes. Here’s the thing I don’t get- it takes like an hour to hand out the passes. I waited in line Friday from 9 am until 11:00am and left empty handed. Had I known I should have been there earlier I would have been, oh well.
          There are bathrooms and Dolcezza has a coffee stand. Get there EARLY. Wear a coat and warm socks.

          • topscallop

            When I went, the person managing the line said you had to be in line to get a ticket – so you can’t get tickets for other people. We got there around 8:30 or 9 am and were able to get tickets by about 10:30 on a Tuesday about a month ago, but it sounds like the lines have gotten worse since then. Definitely eat breakfast or bring a snack (just not into the museum, they don’t allow food or drinks) – I didn’t think to and was really hungry and cranky throughout. Wear comfy shoes, you’ll be in line a lot after you get in, too. Ditto jeslett’s comment, wear layers if you’re waiting outside. They ask you to leave bags outside each little pod for the 20-30 seconds you’re in there but if you have a small enough purse they’ll allow it. I’d also recommend bringing an external battery charger if your phone doesn’t have the lasting power to keep you entertained in line and then also support all your instagrams inside 🙂

          • Hmm, some disagreement on this. It’s an important consideration – while it’s no big deal for me to get there by 6:00 on a weekend day, there’ no way my wife and daughter are going to be on board with that. What time do they start handing tickets out?

          • That One Guy

            They hand out tickets at around 10:00 a.m.

          • So if I get there at 6, and my family gets there at 9:30, will we be able to get three tickets at 10:00? I realize I may incur the ire of fellow line standers, but I’m not sure of any way around that. Every line I’ve seen in DC like this operates this way (Rose’s Luxury, Bad Saint, Little Serow).

          • topscallop

            the website says “visitors can claim up to four (4) passes per person” but that was not my experience. I would call and ask. It might be worth it to get the membership and bypass the line, but I don’t know how much that costs.

          • maxwell smart

            They are sold out of memberships, so there is no pay-to-play option, FYI.

          • On a side note, I can’t believe people are selling tickets for like, $75-$100 on Craigslist. If they’re even real. I feel like they should get in trouble. Jerks.

  • Rant: My Uber commute this morning was absolute hell.

    Rave: After complaining to Uber about it, they gave me a $10 credit.

    Rave: Found amazing counter tops for my kitchen remodel at a really great price!

    Rant: The waiting for approval at next Tuesday’s board meeting (fingers crossed I’ll be approved!)

    Rave: Cat’s vet checkup went very well!

    Rant: Still no word on how things are going to be handled at work with all of the issues happening here. It’s been pretty silent. Additionally, my partner(law firm, who I’m assigned to work with) who has mental issues and who has improved after going on Zoloft, recently told me that he’s now going to go off Zoloft because he doesn’t like it (even though everyone here has notice a marked improvement in his behavior). I don’t want to have to leave this job, but I don’t know if it is worth it for my own mental health for me to stay unless things are resolved soon.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: Yesterday saw an ad that was just David Lynch eating a donut with the Twin Peaks music. Now I see a donut sign in the RRR picture. donuts donuts donuts
    Rave: Decluttered one little area of my apartment. The Great Decluttering has begun!

  • Rave: had a good weekend complete with cake and good friends
    Rant: DOG and his digestive system
    Weird: the vet prescribed 3/4 of a tablet. It’s hard to cut a tablet into 3/4. I was left with half, one quarter, and a pile of dust.
    Still Anon: if you’re reading, I saw your post and I would love to go Monday April 10th in the late afternoon!!!

    • Ask you vet if the pill tastes terrible. If it doesn’t, try crushing it in a pill crusher, then razor out 3/4 of the powder (a la lines of coke) then mix this in with a bit of peanut butter, or whatever else the dog loves.

  • Of interest: Post is running a scary story on the conditions at Howard University Hospital. Kind of makes me think I should wear a bracelet that says something like, “If unresponsive, do NOT take me to Howard University Hospital.” Ha- kidding, but not really…

  • Rave: I was successful getting tickets to Infinity Mirrors for tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Rant: Finally got sick – was waiting for it! Thankfully NOT the flu that most of my office has, just a congested nose (one day only!) and totally lost my voice. Weird.
    Rave: Got sick over the weekend, as I don’t have any leave days (yes, they’re all rolled into one and it sucks) to spare.
    Rave: Saving my leave for a vacation in Mexico in November!
    Rave: After reading above posts, I also signed up for Hungry Harvest! Can’t wait!

  • RANT: one of my colleague’s sons was shot and killed this weekend. I’ve had three colleagues lose children/grandchildren to gun violence. And guess what they all have in common – they were all young black men. Good kids (not that if they weren’t they’d deserve to be murdered). I am angry and feel helpless to combat all the societal shit that causes this.

  • Rant: A good friend of mine died on Friday. She’d been chronically ill for years, but this was unexpected. She missed a doctor’s appointment so her sister went to check on her and found her. They think she may have had a stroke or seizure. I hope it was quick, and I hope she wasn’t scared.

  • Rave: Week 2 of Spring Cleaning-pocalypse was a smash hit. Closet successfully reorg’d with tie racks, shoe racks, some extra shelves and all the efficiencies that living in a tiny apartment rapidly incentivizes.

    Rant: I am at the age where this is the fun takeaway of my weekend to share with you, my internet friends.