Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

by Prince Of Petworth April 23, 2013 at 10:00 am 194 Comments

Photo by PoPville flickr user philliefan99

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.

  • L

    Rant – I just received my tax refund from DC this morning – and it’s significantly lower than my return indicated. I’m on hold with the office now – but has this happened to anyone else?

    Rave – I got a (albeit very small) tax refund at all!

    • I’ve only had the reverse happen, and only with the feds. I suck at math or something.

    • Anonymous

      DC tried to withhold part of my federal return and all of my DC return without any explanation. When I pressed them on it (several times), I eventually received the full amount of both returns. It took 6 weeks.

      • L

        Ooof. This is going to be fun – I’ve also heard it could be due to an unpaid parking ticket?! Didn’t know I had one of those…

        • Anonymous

          Yeah, Virginia stole $100 from my tax return for a parking ticket that I never knew existed. I’m pretty sure it was a mistake (it was dated from before I even lived there) but it was impossible to get my money back from them.

    • Did you do your taxes by hand or did you use software(turbotax,ext).

  • Anonymous

    PoP, has there been a discussion thread on the candidates in today’s election? Can we have a link? Thanks!

  • Rant: I found out what “maximum lot occupancy” means yesterday, and it’s potentially not very good for our planned construction on the house we are purchasing.

    Our home was built in 1917, well before the regulations were written in 1958, and our zone only allows for an occupancy of 60% of the lot. We’re currently at 79%. Even though we don’t intend to use up anymore of the actual lot (we are building up, and yes, it would be brick and maintain the current building’s design), one builder has informed us that DCRA likely wouldn’t approve it because we’re in “violation” of the rules that were written after the home was built, and that we would have to file for a zoning variance, which he thinks we probably won’t get. Speaking with a few other builders today to get their thoughts…

    • ah

      Aren’t lot occupancy and floor-area ratio (FAR) two separate issues (although of course somewhat related)? Why would increasing the FAR be limited by your lot occupancy?

      • KenyonDweller

        Yes, lot occupancy and FAR are related but different. I agree that talking to DCRA and possibly an attorney would be wise.

      • I thought the exact same thing! Especially since we will be within the height guidelines, not going anywhere near 40 feet. He seemed to think that doing any new construction would put us under scrutiny for the other regulations. Will update after I hear from a few other builders…

        • ah

          If the construction predates the zoning code then there is nothing wrong with being in violation of the current zoning code.

    • Zoning Rules

      Talking to builders is all well and good, but you should probably talk to DCRA too since they are key to the process you face. Builders’ interpretation isn’t always the same as DCRA’s.

      • And always talk to at least 3 different people at DCRA because you will get various answers.

        • Oh I’ve definitely got inquiries in with DCRA as well, but they’re obviously less quick to get back to you as someone who has an opportunity to make money from you would be.

        • ah

          I’d put it differently — talk to however many people you need to to get the answer you want. And then stop.

    • Your builder eiher doesn’t know his business or is preparing to extract extra money from you. 5 minutes with the DC Code and i found this: http://www.dcregs.dc.gov/Gateway/FinalAdoptionHome.aspx?RuleVersionID=559319

      If the link doesn’t appear, it’s Title 11, Chapter 20, Non-conforming Uses and Structures. As long as you are not tearing it all down, and are staying within the existing footprint, I don’t see a problem. Your building was legal when it was built.

  • Anonymous

    Rant: Okay, wasn’t there a mandate passed recently that all DC cabs had to accept credit cards. I was waiting at Union Station last night after a trip and in the cue. Cab after cab said that they do not accept credit cards. WTF? This is a major metropolitan city.

    • There’s a mandate in the works (I’ve lost track of how far along it is) but bottom line is no, cabs in DC don’t have to take credit cards right now.

    • JB

      The deadline has been pushed back a couple of times. The first time was because the city messed up the process for choosing a vendor for the credit card machines. Not sure what the hold up is now.

      If you have a smartphone, try using TaxiMagic. It lets you use your phone to pay with your credit card.

    • The few times i’ve been in a cab that takes cards, they’ve told me there’d be a $2 or $3 fee.

      So I’ve paid cash (which I”d like to avoid so I have cash at my destination) and forgotten the tip. Woops.

      Cabs are choosing not to modernize, so F ’em. sorry.

    • Annonny

      I believe Yellow Cab, a larger taxi company in DC, has all of their fleet equipped to take credit cards. Despite the name, the cabs are painted with an orange-and-black color scheme.

      There’s a small surcharge, but seems worth it for the convenience.

      • Anonymous

        They shouldn’t be able to charge a fee for debit card usage. That violates their contract with payment providers.

        If they are charging a fee for debit card usage, report the company to Visa, Amex, or MC. The company is big enough to warrant the CC companies contacting them. They are only allowed to charge a fee for the credit card usage.

        • Annonny

          I have bigger problems to worry about than bugging credit card companies about a taxicab that charges a surcharge for using a credit card. In fact, if I am remembering correctly, the regulation requiring credit card readers actually allows the taxis to charge extra for them. Except, it’s a surcharge that gets applied to everybody, so that actually makes me more mad since I often prefer to pay for my cab in cash.

          All that being said, if you have time to call the CC companies, be my guest. Like I said, the convenience of using a credit card outweighs the cost of the surcharge for me.

  • Anonymous

    Currently undecided on who to vote for in today’s At-Large Council election so I’m wondering what candidate will be getting the Popville support and why. Please reply with your thoughts. Thanks…

    • I like Matt Fruman but he doesn’t have much of a chance so I’m voting for Elissa Silverman. They have the same stance on issues & policies so I don’t feel that I am losing anything but voting for SIlverman. I see it as a Nader/Gore scenario. I really don’t want Bonds to win and Silverman has a fighting chance. Frumin unfortunately does not.

      • ZetteZelle

        This was basically my thinking as well, except I started looking at the race late enough that it was clear Frumin wasn’t going to win, so I never did a serious analysis of him vs. Silverman–I just saw the similarities and went with the one who had better poll numbers.

        (My 6-year-old, however, carefully read an Anita Bonds flyer that came to our house, and supports her because the flyer said she was going to help schools. I tried explaining that there’s a difference between saying you’ll do something and having a workable plan to do it–but he remains unconvinced.)

        • Anonymous

          This is why we don’t let six year-olds vote. They don’t listen to their parents!

      • saf

        I like Frumin better than Silverman, and will be voting Frumin. Why? Because I think that it is important to vote what I believe, rather than what I kinda believe.

        I feel that this is the only way we can eventually break the logjam that is the 2 party domination of our system.

        • Annonny

          2 party domination? Not sure where you live, but in DC it’s a one-party city.

          Statehood Green and Republican candidates don’t stand a chance, which is why we have so many “independents”.

          • saf


            And yes, in DC, it is one party these days. I was generalizing to the national level.

            Statehood used to be a viable party, for some races, until they merged with the Green party.

        • Sterling

          Thanks for voting for Anita!

      • I’ve got to say that Fruman pissed us off – his campaigners stuck stickers to our door! No knocking, no literature, just sticking hard-to-remove crap all over our property.

        I get that he probably hired kids, but seriously? I need to go out with a putty knife to get the rest of the stupid thing off. Did other houses in the neighborhood get the same treatment?

        • Farnsworth

          Just vote for him then or you’ll look silly now

        • Did you try Goof-off? WD40 might work too.

        • Anonymous

          Too late now, but you should have called his campaign and made THEM come clean it off. They love doing that sort of thing.

    • Their responses to these questions helped me to make up my mind:


    • Check out their responses on http://letschoosedc.com/. It helped me to make up my mind.

    • JB

      I’m voting Silverman. I think she has a great understanding of DC government and I liked her education answer the best. I’m concerned that she and Fruman are going to split the vote and that Bonds will win.

    • Anonymous

      Silverman because:
      1. She is smart and understands budgeting, and can help us all get our say;
      2. She will be able to focus on workforce development, a key to giving DC’s have-nots a chance, with her policy background;
      3. She can be trusted to work on development without getting into bed with developers or self-dealing, which seems to be a perennial problem, e.g., Graham;
      4. She can come at development with a mindset friendly to DC’s families, who want it well-planned with their needs in mind, e.g., transit;
      5. She is not part of the cadre of leadership that ran DC into the ground, despite good intentions, due to poor grasp on programs and spending and improper connections to those who deal with the District. To make it clearer, she is not Bonds (or Bonds’ former boss).
      6. She’s committed to transparency, a la Grosso.
      7. She is not seeking to be a voice on education that she will not get a chance to be. To make it clearer, she is not Mara or Frumin.
      8. She’s not running on race or anything else that divides the city.

    • D

      Vote Frumin. The poll conducted by the marijuana folks was hugely flawed. Huff Post explained why, so google that if you want more info. I think if everyone voted their first choice Frumin would come out ahead of Silverman. I’m afraid Silverman will want to provide endless support for affordable housing and other social services per her current employer. Also, Frumin is the only one that’s squeaky clean at this point in the campaign.

      • pru

        I can’t find the HuffPost explanation with google. Any more hints as to how to find it?

  • bb

    Rant: I was only the third person to vote in my precinct at 7:45 this morning. Only three? C’mon, DC, we can do better than this.

    Rave: My vote counts for a hell of a lot more this way. Also, the whole process took about 30 seconds. So that was nice.

    • DC20009

      I vote absentee – so you wont’ see me at the polls today. This is exactly the type of election absentee is great for – special and off-cycle. The ballot arrives in the mail and I was done with it in a few minutes and mailed it back week ago.

      • Yeah, absentee voting is so incredibly convenient I don’t know why almost everyone in D.C. doesn’t do it for every election. Never once have I had to stand in line at a poll. Lick envelope, sign, stamp, DONE!

    • brodies

      I was at work at 6 this morning, so no voting until after I get out. But then, oh yes, there will be voting.

  • flieswithhoney

    Rant: My hometown is flooded including my mom’s basement.

    Rave: It could have been much worse. I remember people canoeing down my street in the late 80s.

  • Moon

    Rant: In my office you are allowed to telework if your child is sick but you arn’t allowed to telework if your babysitter craps out on you. I don’t get it.

    • Anonymous

      I’m not allowed to telework ever, even if my agency is shut down (if that happens, I have to take paid time off.)

      • same here. It’s ridiculous.

    • Anonymous

      It doesn’t make any sense, so they are forcing you to just lie about it. The next time the babysitter flakes out, just tell work that your kid “is sick”. There’s no way they can confirm anything.

      It sucks to be forced into lying, but life isn’t always fair.

    • Anonymous

      Just wondering….are you allowed to telework if you are sick? For example, you have bronchitis and should not be around others for the first few days but you can function to do work from home.

      Are you allowed to telework then? Or do you need to take sick time?

    • annonny

      I’d guess the reason is because when you’re doing telework you’re still supposed to, you know, *work*? The only scenario that seems plausibly unfair is if people in your office can bring their kids to the office when babysitter/daycare/whatever falls through.

      I appreciate that having a kid is a lot of work. But when your child care falls through, it should not be up to your co-workers to pick up the slack while you do both your job and care for your child simultaneously.

  • Rant – I knew this freak for a year in school

    Rave – he’s going to jail for a long time

    • ah

      Hope it wasn’t when you were in third grade.

      • Freshman year of college. I think that put me outside of his sicko target. Still feels gross.

  • B

    Some asshat on his Cap Bikeshare bike this morning decided to clip my car while I was stopped at a stoplight, breaking my side-veiw mirror. And kept on riding. Not a good way to start the morning.

    • Anonymous

      Um, why didn’t you chase them down and take their contact information? Those things are like $300-600, depending on your car model!

      • B

        I was behind two other cars at the light and by the time the light changed and I could catch up it was too late and he was gone.

      • Anonymous

        Or $30, if you know how to use the internet.

      • Matt

        Pay ME 300 to replace your mirror!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Recommend you spend some time doing research on the internet next time you need to take your car to a shop…

        • B

          I was quoted $70, so $30 if I were to do it myself seems about right. Still a pain in the ass and I hope this guy gets hit by a bus.

          • Anonymous

            Ah, I assumed the asshat took out the entire side view housing + mirror. The mirror alone is a cheap fix.

            Carry on.

          • Anonymous

            Really? Getting hit by a bus, potential death, is equivalent to your side view mirror? Let’s get some perspective!

          • Anonymous

            To anon above re perspective, this town has enough assholes as it is. I don’t care so much about the mirror. It’s the fact that he just rode away to avoid any responsibility in the matter. Today it’s my mirror, but maybe tomorrow he’s dumping a body in rock creek park. Who knows? My biggest pet peeve is a lack of fundamental common courtesy. If that is something that a person lacks, then I don’t have time do deal with that crap and I couldn’t care less what happens to them.

          • Anonymous

            “I hope this guy gets hit by a bus . . . this town has enough assholes as it is . . . My biggest pet peeve is a lack of fundamental common courtesy. . . I don’t have time do deal with that crap and I couldn’t care less what happens to them. ”

            It seems to me that if you spend all day wishing you get hit by a bus?

      • I have lost four side mirrors in the 5 years I’ve owned my car. Only one was my fault. I was dumb and went to the dealer and paid $281 total. Then I realized that I can buy one on Amazon for $30 and paint at Autozone for $10. Go on Youtube and find a video showing how to change it for your make and model. If it’s a Toyota it’s super easy. I can now change my mirror in 20 minutes and look super badass taking apart my door’s interior while parked on the street.

        • Anonymous

          My old car, sure. My newer car has defrosted side view mirrors, are nonstandard aero shape, and a signal built in. It cost me $500 even.

          • Anonymous

            But did you buy the mirror yourself and pay someone $450 to install? Or pay $450 for the mirror and $50 for labor?
            Guarantee that you can buy the mirror you need online for a fraction of what your mechanic or dealer charged you. Then just pay them for their labor. Huge savings, from someone who has paid a TOTAL of $250 for four mirror replacements over the last six years. (I can’t always find the mirror I need for $20… sometimes I have to pay closer to $40. Grrr.)

  • I wish DC would adopt a preferential voting system already. I feel like I can’t vote for the candidate I want for fear of the worst candidate winning.

  • Rave: My daughter turns two today. It feels like she just turned one but here we are at two. Holy crap.

  • Anon

    Rant – Offer on a house not accepted for the third time. Each time was told we were finalists only to have the contract go to another offer. I know the market is super competitive but I would rather be told our offer wasn’t considered rather than being in the top of the offers. Kicker, offers for less money were accepted over ours. Dejected, Deflated, Discouraged are just a few of the feelings this morning.

    Nothing to revel about.

    • Anonymous

      Lost out to an all-cash offer?

      My parents took an offer that was $10K less than the highest bid on their $575K sale because it was all-cash. The buyers were a newlywed couple (late 20s, public school teachers); grandpa bought them the house and is giving them $100K to renovate.

      Some people have way too much money.

      • IRS

        Hope grandpa is paying gift tax on that.

        • ah

          Perhaps using $1m exemption.

    • What type of financing are you using, and how much up front? Those factors can definitely way in a seller’s mind just as much as the total price offered.

      • Anon

        First offer rejected because we wanted an inspection. F! me for wanting a piece of mind. Second offer rejected because of appraisal contingency, almost understandable. Still waiting to hear back from the listing agent as to why we were passed over. I do know they contacted my lender and he reports that the conversation went well.

        I understand all cash offers trumping financing but if they called our lender then it leads me to believe that there was not a cash offer. For the record all we can put forward is 5% for a 95-5 conventional. The price range isn’t great but I certainly don’t have between 80-100k to put down on a house. Wish I did but that isn’t the case today.

        • Anonymous

          Are you a zombie – wanting a piece of mind? We had three (long story) inspections and all of them turned out to be completely useless. They only report on what can be seen and most of the really bad stuff is well hidden behind walls.

          • Anon

            Who was your inspector? An good inspector should be able to evaluate things like the electrical system, the insulation, the foundation, the roof. Are you telling me that your three inspections couldn’t tell you anything about those sorts of things? You probably should have hired someone else to conduct the inspection.

          • Agreed, you had a terrible inspector. Please don’t go around spreading this. For the vast majority of people, making the biggest investment of their life to forgo a .1% cost ($500) and try and save on the inspection is a huge mistake. You need to know what you are getting into.

          • Anonymous

            That is part of the long story and why we hired three separate inspectors; for various reasons we were not satisfied with the reports. But none of the inspectors could tell us that there was about a six inch ball of electical tape around the wiring holding the fan in place over the ceiling, none saw that the sump pump was too small and installed upside down, none saw that the basement plumbing was almost completely blocked with shop towels. We weren’t told that a support beam had been removed in the basement which cause the dining room slowly to start bowing down making it necessary for us to install a support column. We were told the roof needed to be replaced, which we did negotiate a credit for, and replace before moving in. Without removing walls, ceilings, etc., there is only so much that you can be told beyond obvious, glaring issues. What I would recommend as more useful is that if work has been done on the house by the seller, request to see copies of the permits and inspection sign-offs on that.

          • You definitely had a poor inspection. My inspector more than paid for his fee with the credits we received back from the seller.

          • Anonymous

            And I’m not saying you should not have an inspection; what I am saying is that you shouldn’t take too much peace of mind from it. Do it but don’t put absolute faith in it. There will be problems with any house you buy. Period. It’s always a gamble. Yes, it’s better to hedge as best you can in your favor, but, again, it’s not absolute.

        • L

          Can you rent somewhere cheap for a year or two and save up an extra 5%? The 5% down is likely what is making them nervous.

        • Anonymous

          Totally get your frustration, but put yourself in the seller’s shoes. A few years ago the sale of my condo went south when the buyer got cold feet. He used a $200-$300 fix (which I offered to pay for and have done before closing) as an excuse. So I might consider a lower offer if it didn’t have an inspection contingency.

          • Anon

            Of course the seller can’t predict if a buyer will freakout. In our case I can say there would be no freakout at all. Oh well, I guess the search continues.

            Thanks to PoP for giving me a spot to vent. It is much needed.

          • anon

            On my first house, I put in an inspection contingency that said I’d pay the first (something like) $2000 of expenses the inspector found. That gave the seller comfort that I wasn’t just screwing around and wouldn’t walk away over something trivial, but allowed me the comfort to know that nothing major was going to go horribly wrong as soon as I moved in. My offer was accepted on the first house I wanted.

          • L

            I also wonder if there is something you could say in the cover letter that addresses the issues they are perceiving head on. Something along the lines of “We are very excited to own a home in DC and have been trying to purchase for X months. We are aware that our down payment is low, but we assure you that we are very serious about purchasing, and we love this home in particular.”

        • I would always advise on getting an inspection, so don’t drop that qualification.

          My most important advice is to be resilient. Our first two offers on homes were not accepted either, and on the third one we were finally successful. There is so much being sold right now (despite people saying inventory is down) that more houses meeting your needs will eventually come along.

          And if you’re not familiar with them yet, make sure to ask your agent about escalation clauses. They can be the key to getting places that you would have otherwise lost.

          • Anonymous

            Escalation clause won’t do anything if they already have the highest offer…

        • ah

          Here’s what to do next time: Get the inspection done before you make the offer. They may not do a full inspection (or they may), but either way you don’t make the offer contingent on the inspection and you have a sense if there are major problems.

  • Rave: The My Morning Jacket/Wilco/Dylan summer tour, which is making a stop at Merriweather in mid-July

    Small Rant: Wife will be 8 months pregnants and a six hour outdoor concert in the middle of July may be a bit too much.

    • can you go with a friend?

      Maybe she can do something with a friend (mani / pedi and some food?)

      I personally love alone time…so I’d push my husband to go, as long as he was reachable by phone and I had a friend nearby in case something happened.

      • Of course I can and probably will. Just that my wife and I love MMJ and Wilco…heck, our first dance as husband and wife was to MMJ!

        • awww well, maybe there’s still a way. It’s close enough to civilization, you could get home quickly….bring a cool water spray bottle, those “stay cool” neck wraps, loose clothing…plenty of water and maybe she can swing it?

    • Anonymous

      Can you get tickets for both of you and let her decide closer to the date whether she is up for it? The last trimester can be really uncomfortable for some women, but it really wasn’t bad for me and I totally would have gone to the concert.

  • Rave: It only took me less than five minutes to vote this morning. Waltzed in, got the ballot, made my choices, fed it into the machine, waltzed out.

    Rant: It only took me five minutes to vote this morning. Only one other voter was there.

  • Anonymous

    RANT: Severely chapped lips and I have a date tonight! I think it’s an allergic reaction to a crappy mojito I drank on Saturday night. WTF. Chap stick is NOT working. Any last minute fixes?

    • Unfortunately no solutions for chapped lips, but just curious what you would be allergic to in a mojito?

      • OP

        I think it was the acidity of the lime juice in the mojito combined with crappy rum. It’s more akin to a chemical burn than normal dry lips from wind or exposure. The skin around my mouth is red and inflamed, leading me to believe it was something I drank on Saturday night (my lips felt terrible when I woke up on Sunday).

        Thanks for the advice peeps! Will head to CVS on my lunch break :)

        • Oh dear… I think you owe it to everyone to tell us where you got this awful concoction!

          • ah

            Brass Monkey on Saturday night?

        • Is it sun burn? My lips get dry, brittle, and itchy when they’re burned. If so, waiting it out and using lots of moisturizing lip balm is about the only option.

        • People don’t always wash limes that wind up in drinks so who knows what chemicals might still be on the peel. I’ve had this lip-tingling reaction a few times. Also as we get to slushy drink season, mangos really need to be washed well before peeling. Some people are sensitive (as in face swelling 3xs size!) to the sap that drips onto the peel. For that you need Benadryl.

          • OP

            This was at a house party and the limes definitely were not washed (I watched my friend cut them up). This might be the leading culprit, as multiple lime wedges were muddled into my drink.

            FYI – the rum was store-bought Cruzon (similar in price and quality as Bacardi)

            Good detective work!


          • Anonymous

            How do you know they weren’t washed? I always wash my lemons and limes right after buying so they’re ready to go when I want a wedge in my drink.

        • Ally

          I think I’d just start the date off by saying: “I don’t normally look like this. I had a bad run-in with a dirty lime. And no, that’s not a metaphor.” Good luck :)

    • Hand lotion works really well for me and not as addictive as chapstick.

    • Use a soft bristle toothbrush to gently exfoliate your lips and then slather on a heavy moisturizer (vaseline or aquafore work wonders — just be sure not to go out in direct sunlight after you apply or you’ll end up with burnt as well as chapped lips. I, unfortunately, learned that lesson the hard way).

    • PG

      Blistex or Carmex. I play the harmonica (which can really tear up your lips), and both work for me.

    • Eucerin Aquaphor. Works like a charm.

    • blithe

      Blistex! The original kind in the tube.

    • Got a date tonight? Lucky you!

      • Valentina, you will appreciate this. I got the following text from an OkC date: “Sorry… I just wasn’t into you. That being said if you want to fuck/blow me I’m down.”

        Ah, dating in this town is so delightful. I have a hard time not believing that all dudes here are total dicks.

        • nice

          • Anonymous

            Sounds like a guy my friend dated. We discovered the creep had a blog where he wrote about his strategies for getting women into bed with him. Years later she learned he was writing a series of books about how to sleep with random women around the world.

          • Anonymous

            Haha, I read about this guy on DC’s Reddit. He’s pretty infamous for his thread about “Why DC Has the Worst Women in the World”.

            He’s a total misogynist. I wish I could find his postings – they are batshit crazy.

          • Anonymous

            Yeah, he seems to hate self-made independent women.

        • Anonymous

          Ewww. Was that an attempt at a joke, or did he honestly think you might be interested?

          • I think he was somewhat serious, but also trying to make me feel like shit. What a tool. I wish I could publicly shame him for it.

          • Anonymous

            I hope he didn’t succeed in making you feel like shit. Maybe one of his buddies misinformed him that “women like assholes” and he’s trying to win your heart. :) Or myabe he’s just a sociopath (no shortage of those in DC).

        • Anonymous

          Omg!!!!!!!!!!!! Appalling. I hate dating.

        • What an douchlord!

        • Ally

          Wow. And I thought my dates were bad. Actually had one where I returned from the restroom to find my date kissing another guy. That was fun.

    • Irving Streete

      Chapped lips are the way to go — a little exotic texture at just the right time. ;)

  • Computer acting weird. Hope this is not an indicator of how the day is going to go. Triple latte barely made a dent in my morning haze. How can it be only Tuesday??

  • Rave: Voted this morning. Praying that somehow enough people who would have voted for Bonds instead vote for the (already withdrawn) Michael Brown, and that Silverman (or Mara for that matter) can sneak through!

    Rant: Anita Bonds is likely going to win. Am hoping this is the last city-wide election that “old DC” ever has a chance in.

    • Colhi

      I guess, unlike you, I hope that all DC gets a chance to have their voice heard. Old or new DC, everyone that lives in the city deserves their vote. If you don’t llike corruption or don’t like certain candidates, that’s fine. But statements like this feed into a pretty ugly dynamic between newer residents and folks whose families have lived here for generations and probably lead to more folks voting for Bonds or Barry.

      • Meh,

        I am quite uninterested in a candidate who made absolutely zero effort to win my vote. Literally, her poll workers didn’t even try and give me a pamphlet when I said good morning to them today.

        She panders to elderly residents and thinks she deserves peoples votes because she looks like them. I think everyone should certainly be allowed to vote, but I am very hopeful that people who would vote for someone on that platform are outvoted by people who are voting for a candidate who is running to improve the city as a whole, and not just keep the racial make-up of the council more to their liking.

        • Colhi

          I am assuming there are plenty of people in SE or SW who feel the same way you do, in that they don’t want to vote for candidates who don’t care about them or try to get their vote. They are just voting for different candidates.

          As for your other statements, it reminds me of an older African American guy I work with who made this statement to a Republican: Hey, how about I don’t assume you didn’t vote for Obama just because he’s black if you don’t assume I voted for him only because he’s black.

          • JB

            I think you make an important point, Colhi. Bonds is the one playing the divisive political game. When we then make the leap to assuming that EVERYONE voting for her is doing so because of her pandering, and write them off because of it, we are only playing into her hands.

          • Frumin has made all kinds of outreach to EOTR. A huge portion of his and Silverman’s agenda relates to affordable housing. The only argument that Bonds cares about black people is that she is also black. She is the only one running who isn’t in favor of decriminalization, for which 91% of arrests are black people in DC for one thing. How is that helping people by giving them a rap sheet for life for a half ounce of weed?

            Didn’t make any of the assumptions you are accusing me of. I simply said that I hope people who would vote for a panderer and a race-baiter would lose. Seems like a fair statement to me.

            If what I said is “devisive” than such is life. She is a very poor at-large candidate, as she doesn’t even come remotely close to attempting to represent well over 50% of the city, lets forget the conflicts of interest and her remarkably inept time on the DC Democratic Committee.

          • saf

            “Am hoping this is the last city-wide election that “old DC” ever has a chance in.”

            Right here is the sentence I was calling divisive.

          • Farnsworth

            “If what I said was stupid, dismissive, irresponsible, and poorly reasoned then ah..er…such is life.”

          • It was none of those things. Perhaps it was combative, perhaps it was too blunt, but it was none of the things you mentioned. It certainly wasn’t poorly reasoned or “stupid.” If you choose to be offended, that is your perogative. I think it is a fair statement to say that I hope the entrenched interests that elect people like Jim Graham, Marion Barry, HTJ, Kwame Brown etc are no longer able to elect crappy candidates.

            HTJ getting moved out for a fresh candidate like McDuffie was a terrific win for the city, as was Grosso wiping the floor with Michael Brown.

            I will admit, perhaps my word choice of “old DC” was inappropriate. I would have preferred to use the term “entrenched interests.” That is simply semantics though, and doesn’t change my opinion or original statement in the least.

          • Farnsworth

            Poor reasoning: “entrenched” politicians, elected by clueless and malicious residents, were especially influential in the decadence of “old dc”; rather than the complete economic disenfranchisement during the sudden, dramatic depopulation that started in the late 1960s due to government programs to increase the significance of home ownership in the suburbs.

            Stupid, Dismissive: Therefore, the electorate of “old dc” deserve to be disfranchised themselves just as the curative re-population revitalizes the city.

          • So now there are specific examples. Lets turn the tables then.
            Lack of critical thinking: Your seeming ability to blame our cities downfall solely on white flight, and not put any of the blame on a lack of recovery on the fact that we elected Marion Barry shortly after his FBI investigation into his crack usage, and continued to parade a group of morons into the Wilson Building in subsequent years.
            Democracy: A hope that the entrenched interests who are becoming less and less influential and have no interest in seeing DC continue making progress that benefits all residents, would see their preferred candidates lose.
            Inability to grasp big words: Confusing disenfranchisement, which is what the republicans are doing/attempting to do in many places across the country, with a simple hope that a group of people whos voting interests I strongly disagree with are outweighed by people whos interests are more strongly aligned with my own.

          • Colhi

            Here’s the thing though, not everyone in “Old” DC voted for or liked Barry. Not every new person votes against him. The problem is that you are setting up a dynamic that means Kenyon McDuffie is “new” DC. Well, I worked on his campaign and trust me, there are plenty of people that would consider him “old” DC as he grew up here and his family is from here. Also, he worked for Vince Gray. But you like him so you consider him “New.” Like who you like. Define your political beliefs by policies or interests. But when folks use shorthand like “old” vs “new” there is all sorts of implications and frankly it sound just like Anita Bonds.

          • Colhi,

            I realized I could have been more clear, so I tried to clarify by saying “entrenched interests” instead of “Old DC”

            Your other points are fair. I certainly consider McDuffie to be a fresh DC politician, not flawed by too many years in the dysfunctional system.

            The only implication I was making is that I don’t want to see bad candidates win, and much prefer solid candidates who are interested in working with the entire city, to improve our city for everyone, and not simply pander to the 50% of the city to get elected.

      • saf

        So agreed.

        I don’t want Bonds. I want change.

        But I don’t want people who use that kind of divisive rhetoric either. I want people who truly believe that we all have a place in this wonderful city that we SHARE.

    • Anonymous

      Undecided was still the biggest category in polling.

      You can change the results!

      And remember – this is a seat for a year. If you show up, you can help show that people you like should run, even if they don’t win.

  • Rave: became a charter member of the new Anthony Bowen YMCA last night. Now I just have to wait for it to open!

    • Anonymous

      What did you pay?

      • $75 one-time fee + $73 for the first month. They told me the monthly rate will be going up once they have filled all their charter memberships. They were making it sound like this would happen in the next week or so.

        • dcladi

          I live between the YMCA & VIDA. About $141 difference annually, I’m wondering what the new YMCA will offer/compare. So curious

  • RAVE: Voted this morning. I’m cheesy and idealistic enough to still love the democratic process in this country.

    RAVE: Partner out of town so I got to sleep in the middle of the bed last night.

    RANT: Can’t seem to focus on work this morning. Has anyone seen my motivation?

  • Rant: Forgot to wear a belt so my too-big-but-favorite pants keep falling down.

    Rave: No pants Tuesday at work!

    • Anonymous

      what kind of strange job do you have?

      • The kind where I temporarily have my own office :)

  • Rave: Getting back into fitness is going well; a couple of weeks in and already I can do more push-ups. Some clothes are fitting better, too. Still a long way to go on cardiorespiratory capacity, but it’ll happen. Boxing is the best!

    Addendum rave: I think this time I won’t get obsessed with exercise and/or develop disordered eating. Been there, done that; it’s not fun.

    • Can I ask where you box? That’s something I’ve always wanted to try.

      • The Downtown Boxing Club. It’s pretty much just a grimy garage in Blagden Alley, with heavy bags and a ring. The trainer, Dave, is a crusty fellow, but he’s like that with everyone. There are a number of sessions each day, Monday through Saturday, and you can go to as many or few as you want.

        A session has a few rounds of shadow boxing to start, any number of rounds on the heavy bags, a round in the ring with the trainer, a few rounds of jumping rope, and push-ups and crunches to finish. It’s ass-kicking stuff, but easily adaptable to various fitness levels. In the sessions I’ve been to, there’s a mix of abilities and also men and women.

  • Anonymous

    Rant: Totally forgot about voting this morning. Going to be tough to squeeze it in tonight.

    • JB

      Polls are open till 8 if that helps!

      • Anonymous

        Oh nice! I thought it was 7. That makes things a lot easier.

        • Anonymous

          Yes, it’s 8pm. The DC BOEE website kind of unclearly states that you can vote at 441 4th Street, NW, until 7pm. I hope no one takes that – as I did at first – that voting is only open until 7pm, everywhere.

  • Trying to figure out best way to approach boss in the coming months about turning part time once baby is here. I don’t foresee this being permanent, but is something that’s important to me (to be home for my kid). Anyone – ESPECIALLY feds – have experience with this? I can deal with a cut in salary, but not a complete loss in salary. I figured this would be a good compromise for our situation. Plus, I could easily do my job in fewer hours and remain connected via blackberry (since we don’t allow telecommuting). I’d just worry about too much blackberry work with no one compensating me for it.

    • Marymay

      One of my co-workers is part-time. It’s a “big secret” as they don’t want others to ask to do the same. Perhaps ask to do a 3-4 month pilot to see how it works for your office.

  • blithe

    Rave: A wonderful guitar-buying experience yesterday at Chuck Levin’s in Wheaton. I’ve found a new playground!

    Rant: Construction noise. The incessant drilling noise is stressful.

    Rave: It’s almost time for lunch-break: almost an hour of relative quite.

    • zrc

      Chuck’s is an awesome DC area institution, and the folks and the stock there are always top-notch. I call it “The Unofficial Headquarters of the DC Musician’s Union,” because you always run into fellow musicians hanging out when you’re there!

      It does boggle my mind that DC, a historically live music town, does not have a single music store inside its boundaries (except for Middle C, the shittiest, most overpriced music store ever). If a Guitar Center (ugh) moved into DCUSA, it would make a killing.

      I miss Barbara’s Guitars on 18th street. Barbara was the coolest (she used to come out to shows, even), and I love that the stooge who ran The Guitar Shop was her ex-husband. That’s true revenge!

      • anon

        There’s Guitar Gallery on Connecticut. I got my gig bag and a stand there. But never bought an actual guitar there, so not sure how it is as an actual music store.

      • PG

        Atomic is my favorite local music store, and they’re moving next door to one of the best liquor stores in the area (Old Line) that also has a bar/restaurant. If I played guitar I would probably go broke from shopping at Atomic.

      • saf

        Chuck Levin’s was on H Street NE for years. They left after the riots in 68.

  • Anonymous

    Voted this morning. Should have only taken 3 minutes (I was the only person there at 8:00), but the check in was delayed by entering my name on the computer. In getting that sorted, I should have opted for paper ballot. The 1 electronic machine was a major delay with the 2 folks ahead of me. But I voted and was to work on time!! Feels good to get to vote!

    • ah

      Yeah, electronic voting in DC sucks. Not enough machines and they go slowly.

      I think it’s an effort to discourage the iPhone generation.

  • Rave: the event that I work hard on all year went great this weekend. If you saw swing dancing at U St Saturday or Dupont Sunday, or came out to Glen Echo Friday or Saturday nights you saw some of it.

    Rant: I am sooo exhausted. I had to cover an extra late night shift running a dance (11pm-6am) and got about 4 hours of sleep a night. Even taking yesterday off and sleeping ’til noon, I am still wiped.

    • BeverlyS

      I did see it! I contra at Glen Echo and am considering trying out swing for a change of pace – the energy is contagious!

      • Awesome!!! I highly recommend http://www.thejamcellar.com/ They have a beginner lesson included in the super cheap $6 price every week. They also have class series that will help you become a lindy hopper.

        It’s a very beginner friendly and social place, plus it’s right in Columbia Heights at the Josephine Butler Parks Center.

      • Same here! Contra is one of my favorite activities!

  • Rant: Still in a lot of pain from surgery two weeks ago.
    Rant: Not having any help has really sucked.
    Rant: Really really really want to move away from DC, I hate it here, but don’t see how I can do it unless I take out the money in an old 403b.

    • Farnsworth

      It’s can’t not be economically viable to escape one of the most expensive areas in the country. Just deal with the metaphorical “tug” that comes with uprooting, being miserable longer isn’t going to put you in a better situation financially.

    • My opinion is that my mental health is important, so I had no problem cashing in an old 401k to move away from a horrible place to come here. I’m much happier and it’s wasn’t that much money. I’d rather be currently happy than have a slightly more money at a retirement I may or may not ever have.

    • Thank you both!

  • Rant: Laptop died. Need a new one, stat.
    Rant: No idea where to even begin the computer buying process. I don’t want to break the bank on this one, but i want something that will last (non-mac).

    Rave: Tax refund was higher than expected so it softens the blow of above rant.

    • Anonymous


    • Re: needing new laptop, I can’t recommend the Samsung S-5 Ultrabook enough. I’ve had mine coming up on a year now and it is the best laptop I have ever had. Needed something fast and thin, but had to have all the accessories like a CD/DVD drive, multiple USB ports, HDMI cable, and non-glare screen. The only drawback is the speakers are pretty low quality so if you rely on your laptop to listen to music, it may not be the best choice unless you are okay with using external speakers or rely on headphones. I ordered mine on Amazon because the shipping was free.

  • HoneyBlondes

    I’ll skip the ranting for now, as it’s only Tuesday and I foresee the week continuing on it’s path of destruction.
    Rave: The love of my life made me a delicious turkey sandwich for lunch.

  • lh

    What’s the best place to buy a washer and dryer? Anyone had any bad experience with refurbished units?

    • Anonymous


    • Do your research online, then compare prices online. Check Lowes & Best Buy. I’ve never had a positive experience at Sears. Lowes tends to have people who actually know things.

    • Anonymous

      I bought mine from M&M Appliances on Blair Road. Good deal and free delivery/hook up.

    • RJS

      From what I’ve learned (from experience), refurbished dryers are fine, but I wouldn’t go with a refurbished washer. Do some research and get an new one.

      • Anonymous


  • So now there are specific examples. Lets turn the tables then.

    Lack of critical thinking: Your seeming ability to blame our cities downfall solely on white flight, and not put any of the blame on a lack of recovery on the fact that we elected Marion Barry shortly after his FBI investigation into his crack usage, and continued to parade a group of morons into the Wilson Building in subsequent years.

    Democracy: A hope that the entrenched interests who are becoming less and less influential and have no interest in seeing DC continue making progress that benefits all residents, would see their preferred candidates lose.

    Inability to grasp big words: Confusing disenfranchisement, which is what the republicans are doing/attempting to do in many places across the country, with a simple hope that a group of people whos voting interests I strongly disagree with are outweighed by people whos interests are more strongly aligned with my own.

    • Farnsworth

      I tried to imply it before, but bringing Marion Barry as some sort of embarrassing symbol is a huge red flag for a “certain type of person” who I can’t really take seriously.

      • Anonymous

        Interesting! And for me, defense of Marion Barry is a red flag for a certain type of person I can’t take seriously!

      • I have talked to a couple of my neighbors who liked Marion Barry for the way he removed the prejudice against blacks from the DC Government. He created a middle class in DC for a ton of black people, of which there are still a lot of people who are thankful for.

        They both also have independently said that it is long past his time, and that he should have been gone long ago.

        I can agree with the guy above. This is a red flag on your part, and I can safely ignore you moving forward.

      • Farnsworth

        “Marion Barry” is used as a dog whistle to conjure the image “those stupid black people who voted for a crackhead”. Being “for” or “against” him is completely irrelevant; that’s not the point. Well, I guess “defense of Marion Barry” is relevant if you imagine you’re in a battle with “those stupid black people who voted for a crackhead”.


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