Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user Peter Hershey

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.

Follow PoPville on Facebook here on Twitter here, and on Instagram here.  You can also sign up for daily email summaries here.  Please email tips and questions to [email protected]

75 Comment

  • Rant: Couldn’t fall asleep until after 4 a.m…. and then woke up at 8 a.m.
    Rave: Had a good roadtrip yesterday.
    Rave: Thanks to PoPvillagers for answering my anxious questions yesterday about whether I needed to get an (overdue) oil change before heading out on the road. Special thanks to Anon Spock for info on how to check my dipstick. I did it, and it was so easy that I don’t know why I had such a mental block about it before. (Maybe it was less obvious with the car I had in college?!) Anyway, I checked it twice (just to be sure) and the oil level was above the top/second mark (for “full”). So I went on my way without getting delayed even further by having to get an oil change.
    Rave: Seized the opportunity to try a Wawa hoagie yesterday while n the road.
    Rant: It did not live up to the hype. I was very disappointed.
    Rant: My mom keeps the hot water temperature in her house waaaaay too cold — when I got in last night, the “hot” water was cold, and the cold water was colder. Will have to get her to change the temperature on the hot water heater (or YouTube how to do it myself) so I can take a shower.

    • Once my VW Jetta started getting older the oil would get low so I’d have to check it in between oil changes. My dad did it for me at first, but then once he showed me how to do it I was the same–wow this is so easy! Haha.

      Re: Wawa. I do NOT understand the hype around that place?? To me it’s a place I fill up my car when I am back in Virginia!

      • I know my dad showed me how to check the dipstick when I got my first car at age 19. But somehow it didn’t strike me as easy — maybe the markers were less obvious on that car’s dipstick or something.
        However, my dad has a gift for making simple things unnecessarily complicated, so that might have been a factor too.

      • So I’m wondering if the Wawa thing is more of a nostalgia/want it ’cause you can’t have it thing. Sort of like your first… you reminisce about how wonderful it was, but forget the sex actually kinda sucked.

    • There should be a dial on the hotwater heater that should be pretty easy to figure it out. if you take a look at it you should be able to figure it out without youtube.

    • I don’t eat hoagies, but wawa has great sandwiches and wraps. Maybe I’m just really impressed. LOL
      The temp increase may be behind a little metal panel on the side of the heater. Turn off the electricity to it before you start messing with it. Usually just need a screwdriver to get the plate off and turn it up.
      Glad oil was good to go. I’m sure you’ll be fine until whenever you feel like getting it done next.

    • Missed the earlier discussion. My first car (Honda Civic) had a dipstick it was easy to check the oil on, and I did and added oil – especially as it burned oil (a lot) when it got to have over 100,000 miles on it, and it always needed an extra quart (or often two) between scheduled oil changes. My current car has a dipstick that I can never tell what the reading is, no matter how much I dip it and wipe it and look at it – it’s like trying to read tea leaves or something. So I rely on the experts. Now that it has over 100,000 miles on it, it is also burning oil and needs oil added between oil changes. I just had my dealership, where I service it, check it and add an extra quart of oil that it was down, only 3,000 miles since my last oil change – and I’ve got 2,000 more to to before it’ll need an oil change.
      Interestingly, I’ve found that I shouldn’t rely on the place I have my oil changed to tell me that my car has been burning oil and needs to be checked and topped off between oil changes – I had all my oil changes until last year done at the dealership where I purchased the car, and they never, ever mentioned that it was low on oil when I brought it in for an oil change. (Seems like something a good mechanic should tell you.) Last summer, I was on a road trip, and I was late for an oil change (it had been over 7,000 miles, and headed for 8,000 – stupid, I know, I know) when the check enging light came on. Knowing this could be serious, I stopped and had it checked – there are large auto supply stores that will do the computer diagnosis of what code caused the check engine light to go on, and so what the cause was – it only takes a minute. Do this to diagnose engine check lights first – I did, because I read online that the dealership servicing for my car brand charges you something like $90 to do this simple diagnostic task (plug computer cable into car, basically – print readout slip.) It said I needed oil, so the store directed me to the nearest quick oil change place. (I can’t remember the auto supply store name, but it was a national chain, an it was easy to find online that they did a free check engine diagnostic when I popped in the question.)
      I drove to the oil change place, which was a Mobil 1 Express, and they told me that my car had basically no oil in left in the engine at all. So they did an oil “change” – basically putting in oil. (Thankfully, my car seems no worse for my procrastinating on the oil change, thanks to the engine check light warning.) They also told me that the screws on the cover to get to the oil filter were so rusted that they couldn’t believe the oil filter had been changed in years, given the condition of the screws. That did not make me happy, as I had been paying for an oil filter change along with my oil changes, and made me wonder about my dealership’s servicing. (I don’t think the Mobil Express place was lying to try to get my business in the future, as they knew I was on a road trip and 3 states from DC.) They said changing the oil filter on this car was a bit of a pain, so maybe my dealership’s mechanics had skipped it. It is hard for me to know what to believe.
      So, I decided to go to a local Mobil 1 for my next oil change – at 5,000 miles as required for my car, and I asked them if my oil was low to start with, and they told me that the oil was low – so I confirmed that my car is now burning significant enough amounts of oil between oil changes, so that I need to keep an eye on it and top if off. I did wonder if it had been burning oil between oil changes for tens of thousands of miles, and if my dealership never told me that when I had it serviced there. I find it easier to maintain my car if I can talk to the mechanic who worked on it and ask a lot of questions. The problem with the dealership is that you talk to the service rep, and you never see the mechanic who is out in another building across the parking lot. I ask questions, but the answers I get in this game of telephone tag we play between the service rep and the mechanic aren’t as full or detailed as I would like.
      I would prefer to have a good independent mechanic service my car. There was a neighborhood one in the city I lived in when I bought my first car (used) who was highly recommended by everyone around – “really good, but not cheap” – and they were really good (and also not cheap, but definitely worth it.) Then I moved to a NYC, where no one had a good mechanic to recommend, only horror stories, and I added a few stories of my own incompetent servicing woes, breakdowns, and expenses for redoing shoddy work (luckily, none causing accidents as others I had heard of)
      Here in DC, same problem – no one has a good mechanic to recommend. Given that so many things in DC can only be found in the suburbs, I’m willing to go to the suburbs – the dealership is suburban. I was happy to go there at first, as I purchased this car new, and it came with a warranty that covered the first few years. Now I have no reason to continue going there, and would be happy to find a good, honest, independent mechanic. The prices the dealership charges are really high, but I was willing to pay as long as I thought my car was being maintained well, given that I haven’t been able to find a recommended independent mechanic. Now I want a good, independent mechanic again.
      If you don’t feel like checking your oil regularly yourself to see if it needs topping off, there are plenty of places that will do it for you – they’ll be happy to check your oil and add oil for you and charge you for the oil you buy. I only had the dealership top it off this week because I was there for a replacement part I needed to order (body related, not engine related) – I still have yet to decide if I’ll trust them to do another oil change, since I can’t ever talk to the mechanic, nor can I watch (as I have in the past watched my car being serviced at smaller independent shops), to see if they actually change the oil filter.

  • topscallop

    Rave: last day at my job!
    Rant: scrambling to finish a few things
    Rave: weather supposed to calm down this weekend, when we have guests in town
    Rant: losing a week of vacation time because I accrued so much over the cap
    Rave: last big piece of wedding planning almost finalized, the rest should be small details (which will probably be more annoying and difficult, actually)

  • Rant: The initial “Education” budget of the Trump administration, which guts numerous worthy/essential programs in favor of giveaways to private/religious schools all in the name of the tertiary GOP god, Choice. (In case you’re wondering, the primary god, Tax Cuts, and the secondary god, No Government Interference will receive their burnt sacrifices soon.)

  • Andie302

    Rant: My heart is heavy.
    Rave: Making a half-hearted attempt to focus my attention anywhere else for now.
    Query: In that vein, does anyone have a recommendation for wedding makeup that doesn’t include foundation? I have sensitive skin and never ever wear foundation, but I would like something more than my normal weekend routine when we get married. I have the benefit of it being a weekday, so hoping I can find someone available on fairly short notice (for June 22nd). Maybe someone that does Bare Minerals or some equivalent?

    • I would go with a BB or CC cream. It is lightweight and really does help smooth out blemishes.

      • Andie302

        Ooohhh – I just realized I did not phrase my question correctly AT ALL! I’m looking for a person to do my make up that morning that’s used to working with something other than traditional foundation. Thanks for those recommendations too! As my skin ages, I’ve been considering adding something lightweight to my routine.

        • I don’t have a makeup artist recommendation but for products to consider, I have sensitive skin and can break out and do very well with Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer with SPF. It’s lightweight but just evens out skin tone a bit.

        • I hate foundation, and I just use a BB cream for “spot treating.” I think it blends a lot better than traditional concealers. The person who did my makeup isn’t located in DC, so I don’t have a recommendation on that front. But I do a agree with the advice below about doing a trial run. I looked like a clown during my makeup trial. She toned it down for the day of my wedding. I looked good in photos, but still felt like myself. Finding that sweet spot is the key, I think. Good luck. And sending hugs to you, I know you aren’t having an easy time of it.

        • Browbeat Beauty! Mostly does eyebrows (amazing) but also makeup.

    • I’m sorry, Andie. You have had a tough couple of weeks. I hope you are able to take time for grieving and self-care. My thoughts are with you.

    • dr.jart bb cream. I have very sensitive skin prone all kinds of issues (dry spots, acne, redness, etc.) and this stuff never irritates it and provides light coverage and SPF. It’s not the cheapest but lasts awhile. All my other make up comes from CVS but splurge on this one.

    • Sephora does free makeovers with $50 purchase. Make an appointment on the website.

      • this is actually what I did for our wedding. Highly recommend doing a trial run before your wedding…my first time around the makeup was VERY heavy handed and definitely not my style. Thankfully I learned exactly what I did and did not want…and the $50 was kinda loose.

        • Andie302

          Yes – the heavy handed nature of the employees is the only thing that gives me pause! They look very fancy when I go in, that’s just not my style. I buy my Philosophy face wash in bulk, so that’d nearly take care of the purchase requirement part!

          • I would suggest not telling them it’s for a wedding, and ask specifically for light make-up if you decide to go that route. If they hear ‘wedding’ they will automatically think lacquer it on so it looks good in pictures. That may get around the heavy-ness

          • Agreed. Every time I’ve had “wedding” makeup done, I’ve looked like a drag queen.

          • Emmaleigh504

            You can also go to a department store and get your make-up done for free, though it’s nice to make a purchase.

          • Blithe

            I agree with suggestions re: doing a trial run, since each employee has different skills, and the trial run, and possibly bringing pictures, might help you to be more specific about what you want. i.e. Such as knowing that you like the “finished” look of loose powder, but don’t want foundation. Also, if there’s a makeup line that you like — such as Bobbi Brown or Clinique make sure that the store you plan to go to actually carries the line. (That last bit I file under:Things I’ve learned the hard way!)

  • RANT: I am tired of people ignoring “No Standing or Parking” signs and blocking lanes while waiting to pick someone up. This is a recurring problem at rush hour on Western Avenue in the strip adjacent to the Mazza Gallerie and Shops at Wisconsin Place.

    Yesterday, traffic was backed up for a couple of blocks at Military Road where it turns onto Western Avenue. I noticed cars having to exit the right lane, and then spotted a car with its emergency blinkers on. A mechanical failure? Nope. Just someone waiting to pick up a friend, oblivious to the congestion and inconvenience she was causing dozens of drivers. I watched the friend get in the car, and the two women sped off while laughing.

    The selfishness and sense of entitlement displayed by these inconsiderate drivers is mind boggling.

    • This annoys me so much as well! The amount of times that someone causes a long backup just by doing this amazes me! I take a crosstown bus to work and if I’m late its usually because the bus got stuck in a traffic backup like this!

    • so true. And the biggest perps are Uber X drivers.

  • I Dont Get It

    Rave: Before I left Florida, I stopped by to honor Lucy and Ethel’s grave which is next to the house behind a bush and marked with a white PVC cross. They are still, apparently, forever defrosted.
    Rant: I think it’s time to replace my home a/c system since I am guessing it is around 21 years old. I try not to run it much lately since I installed a couple of window air conditioner units but the one in my bedroom no longer works and I can’t get the window open to replace it and I think sometimes my house hates me. Anyway, A/C company recommendations? Any guess on the cost for a replacement cooling system for a 3 story 3 bedroom house?

    • Arctic HVAC Services is terrific. They’ve always come the same day we’ve called, and never failed to get our old system up and running again. Plus, it’s a dad who’s training up his son to take over, and I just like that dynamic. www. arctichvacservices. com

      • I Dont Get It

        I’d love to keep mine running for the season but that means that I’d have to get the stuck window on the second floor open. Even the “other” window in my bedroom seems to be permanently stuck from the outside–not that I’d be so tacky* as to have a non-working a/c in one window next to another window with a working a/c.

        *Hell yeah I would do it! I’m from Indiana!

    • LOL! Your tales about the saga of Lucy and Ethel were a hoot!
      How big is the white PVC cross?

    • Polar Bear Air Conditioning & Heating. Hmm, if you want to replace it during the summer you’ll prob pay more. We got a discount for installing in February. However, since it’s just replacement maybe 7-8k?

    • jim_ed

      I’m about to have CroppMetcalfe do mine. There are cheaper companies, but they do excellent work with no shortcuts. Assuming you have one system for the entire house and you’re going to do furnace and ac, you’re looking roughly 7k on the low end up to 12k for high end, more energy efficient equipment.

    • I posted a rant the other idea about home repair not getting back to me and it was for HVAC service so this is timely for me too. No recommendation other than I have been waiting on a quote for a new system from Cropp Metcalfe for 3 months so I don’t recommend them. I will eagerly follow this thread. [I am coaxing my system to get through the summer, fingers crossed.]

    • saf

      We use Comfort Solutions.

      Our house had the ductwork when we bought it, but the a/c never worked. So they installed new mechanical stuff, cleaned the ducts, and got us up and running. They are always polite, professional, and efficient.

  • skj84

    Rave: On my doctors recommendation I started Zytec-D last night. Feeling so much better than I have this whole week. I plan on resting tomorrow in hopes I can flush this sinus infection out of my system.
    Rave: Seeing Ragtime at Fords tonight. One of my favorite musicals, look forward to seeing it live.
    Rant: My unholy ability to jump to worst case scenarios.

    • I was reading a study last night regarding efficacy of OTC allergy meds since Middle Anonachild has been on heavy duty stuff since she was quite young and it all seems to lose potency overtime. This particular study seemed to show that steroidal nasal sprays (Nasonex, Flonase, etc) have greater efficacy for long-term allergy sufferers because of the reduction in inflammation. Apparently, for long-term allergy sufferers, the inflammation is worse than the actual histamine reaction and compounds the histamine reaction. Also, it’s important to note that each brand is actually a different type of steroid, so if one has not worked before, trying another is a good idea (just like with the pills). Not sure if this an option for you, or any of the other people who have been having a lot of issues this year, but I thought I would share in case people are skeptical of nasal sprays!

  • Rave: Only one more day of actual work in the office before a team-building thing and then heading home. Yay! I really need the vacation. Between short-staffing and a lot of weird work this week I need to reset.
    Rave: I have no rants today!

  • Rave: Damn good time at the Haitian Embassy last night
    Rant: Slightly hungover
    Rave: Weekend BBQ planned
    Rave: One week until long holiday weekend

  • Rant: I have 12 mosquito bites on my legs just from the knees down – where my skirt stopped – and oh my god I’m soooooo itchy! It is taking everything in my power to stop from scratching my legs to bits
    Rave: Facetimed with my youngest nephew and my brother last night – he (my nephew) is just the cutest little thing ever, I can’t believe he’s six months old already!
    Rant: Dodging cicadas (alive and dead) on my walk to the metro this morning – ew ew ew ew ew! I saw some article about how they’ve come out about 4 years too early. I’m going to chalk this up to a very real Trump plague.

    • LOL at the Trump Plague. Was the guy pictured ridiing his horse through DC one of the Four Horseman?? Oh, man, that rapture is gonna suck because all of us liberal heathens will be stuck with the hypocritical “Christian” heathens.

      • ha! no, the article was just about how scientists don’t really understand why the cicadas are out early, maybe to do with global warming and/or weird weather patterns, or who knows. But yeah, I keep picturing Trump riding a giant cicada down the deserted streets of Washington leading hordes of those wretched bugs behind him.

    • Blithe

      Cringing at your first Rant (I”m a mosquito magnet too), and laughing at your last one. My second thought — after getting over my initial cicada shock, was that one of the few places in DC that has relatively undisturbed grounds and trees is probably the White House — making it a good place for a plague of cicadas. And yes, I imagine them tangled up in that hair. And I’m hoping for a widely distributed photo if this actually happens.
      -LBP, you should probably consider copyrighting “Trump plague” and “Very Real Trump Plague”. I’d definitely buy a t-shirt with a Trump-ish cicada picture and that caption on it. You could make millions! 😉

      • haha! Ok, everybody, you hear?! “Trump Plague©” “TrumPlague©” and “Very Real Trump Plague©” are mine now! I’m gonna go start working on the tee-shirt design….(ps -you won’t want to buy one, I have no art skills!)

    • Dabbing ammonia on there will stop the itching.

  • Rant: Entenmann’s has released a ‘limited edition’ black and white donut. Since black and white cookies are hands down the most awesome cookie/cake hybrid since Jaffa Cakes, I foolishly thought it would be a good idea to try them. 3 donuts later and I am regretting my life choices. Damn you, delicious calories!
    Rave: My mom and I are going to a make-up master class this weekend as part of her Mother’s Day gift. My mom has never been too into make-up and is a drug store queen, but is now super excited. Apparently she has been wanting to try more, but didn’t know where to start. It should be a lot of fun!! And I got her cheap ass a giftcard too, so she will actually have to buy nice make-up 😉

  • Blithe

    Rant: A plan that I had that would have been good for me — and definitely a favor for someone else — fell through. I’m peeved at myself for procrastinating, but also hoping that things unfold as they’re supposed to.
    Rant: I’m tired of adulting, and wondering just how much of it I can contract out!
    Rave: Heard Warren Wolf at Take 5 yesterday. The free and low cost options for listening to great music in DC are pretty awesome! More music planned for tonight.
    Rave: Blackberries. Yum. Peaches — should be yum soon.

  • Rant: Legs so sore I can barely go upstairs, blisters so bad I’m tempted to wear my bicycling gloves when I grip the steering wheel, back so stiff I feel as old as I am, sleep deficit so great I feel like an extra on Walking Dead.
    Rave: Back rowing again. Don’t know why I love it, but i do.
    Real Rave: Picking up SCUBA mask and custom linen shirt and drafting a toast for next week’s jaunt to Belize and son’s wedding. His bride will wear my late wife’s ring, my girlfriend will be in all the “official” pictures. families change, but with luck and love they stay strong and bring real joy.

  • Rant: Bike-to-Work Day. As a regular bicyclist, I dislike that the swag station at the Georgetown Waterfront Park is set up every year so that the bike path there is completely blocked. Should have remembered that this is the day to take Metro instead.

  • Rave: First PT appointment today! Let’s get this party started, I’m ready to feel better. Also allowing me to leave at 3 p.m. Woot.
    Rave: Appointment for highlights tomorrow morning. Last time was late October, so my roots (and all my white hairs!) are definitely a’showin’. Also, thinking about adding a little pink…!
    Rant/Rave: Got into an argument with my husband last night because I was frustrated about something. It was a little baffling, as we almost *never* argue so we didn’t quite know what to do with each other! I guess that’s the Rave part…
    Rant/Rave: Going to a friend’s b-day party tonight–she has chosen a group work-out session. Not entirely enthused by this and wanting to use PT as an excuse to skip it. Oh well, I could use a good work-out. Also afraid that I’m going to get sucked in to this particular gym, which is too expensive and too far away!

    • A group work-out session as a birthday party?! And what is also possibly a recruiting scheme for the gym? Yeah, um, I think that’s when I would stop being friends with this person!

    • topscallop

      I know it takes all kinds, but this birthday party sounds really sad to me. Hopefully there are drinks and cake after?

    • Emmaleigh504

      I’ve never heard of a group work out for a party. I hope y’all are the only ones doing the work our so you can goof off a little and have some fun with it.

  • Quotia Zelda

    Rant: I’m basically doing 2 jobs right now, and it’s sort of killing me.
    Rave: Should have a little breathing space by the middle of next week.
    Rave: African American museum tomorrow!
    Rave: God, I love this weather.

  • Rave: Barbados was beautiful as always
    Rant: Traveling out of the country with our one year old and four year old
    Rave: Being able to travel out of the country with our one year old and four year old
    Rant: Coming back home and the AC is out
    Rave: AC guy is coming tomorrow
    Rant: Cable is out as well
    Rant: I freaking hate Comcast/Xfinity
    Rave: Cable tech is able to come out today
    Rave: Daughter is slowly moving up the waitlist and is very, very close to getting in DC Bilingual

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: Work has really gotten me down. I just don’t feel like I’m very good at my job. I guess it’s time to look for something else.
    Rave: after today, 2 weeks til vacation!

  • Weird tech-y question for those inclined: find that my wifi extender interacts poorly with my Ring doorbell and my sonos speakers (I sound fancy but those are the only fancy tech items I have, promise). Does anyone have recommendations for a wifi extender that would interact well with those devices?

    • I recently upgraded my old Airport Extreme + Airport Express setup to the Amplifi HD. Its the consumer version of Ubiquiti Networks which makes some pretty well regarded corporate level systems. I have about 8 Sonos zones in my house and a Ring doorbell with no issues. The Amplifi has a base unit that is in my office and 2 extenders that just plug into outlets. Have one in my living room and one in the vestibule going out to my roofdeck. Excellent coverage.

  • RANT. That entrance to 395 south from Chinatown is probably the single worst expample of traffic design in America. How many people are trying to 395 South versus go east on HST or mass ave? I’d appreciate any engineers explain this to me like I’m five.

  • Revel: <— Sort of. Does anyone know where to get peonies downtown, excluding farmer's markets? Shanks!