Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user Jim Havard

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]

79 Comment

  • Interesting: Post ran a story (dated 3/2/17) about millennials being willing to walk away from DC for the right job: “Two-thirds of Washington’s 20- and 30-somethings said they would consider moving out of the area for the right job. Arlington residents were most likely to leave town, with 78 percent saying they weren’t particularly wedded to the area.” This kind of confirms what I’ve been thinking. With job uncertainty growing and other factors at play, it will be interesting to see if DC really has reached its acme. Only 9 percent said they are “definitely” here for the next five years.

    • topscallop

      I identify with this. I thought I’d stay here indefinitely (been here since 2004 if you count college, except for 2 years when I left to get my master’s degree) but now, at 30 and engaged, I am planning on leaving DC in the next couple years. We love DC but can’t afford to buy here and don’t want to live in MD or VA, the political situation of being in DC with no representation is infuriating, and we want to start a family in a place where day care doesn’t suck up our paychecks (and we can have a yard). Given the current political climate as well, I don’t feel secure in my international development job, which could be cut any minute if Trump does to USAID what EPA is facing.

      • This is me, as well! I’ve been here for 12 years now, but now that I’m married and looking to start a family there is NO way we could afford to buy here…and also, yes, we want a yard!

      • I loved living in DC, even with the kids. But, I will be honest, I live in a 5 bedroom, 3 bath house for what I would pay for a 2 bedroom condo in DC. We have a huge yard, a driveway where they can play basketball, and live on a cul-de-sac where they can ride their bikes. They are in a school district where I don’t have to be nervous about Middle School and High School. I may have a longer commute now, but their quality of life is just so, so much better.

      • HaileUnlikely

        Same here. I am married and we own our house. If family circumstances don’t change (i.e., no kids yet), we’ll probably for the foreseeable future. However, in the event that we do have kids, there is a strong probability that we’d move away, to another part of the country (not DC suburbs). Costs (across the board, for everything), unreliability of travel times, and school quality are real killers here (acknowledged that relevance of middle- and high-school quality are matters that would become relevant in or about the year 2030 for us, and at this point that’s anybody’s guess). If schools are clearly improving by then and my spouse or I were to have sufficient flexibility at work, we might be willing to give it a try, but those are a couple of mad huge IFs. We certainly wouldn’t be moving away for “for the right job,” though. If were to move out of the area, it is haile unlikely that I could continue in my present field (major opportunities are here and in places we wouldn’t move to); I’d probably get a trade license and become an electrician.

        • I should say, I didn’t move for the right job, and still wouldn’t. I get head hunted on a regular basis for my particular set of skills, including an email yesterday from a system in Texas and Louisiana offering moving expenses and to fly me in for an interview. No thanks. I’m good. I do love this area, and even though I’ve moved to the ‘burbs (and really the exurbs for DC), I wouldn’t not move any farther away.
          I love your idea of becoming an electrician though. What keeps you from doing that in this area?

          • HaileUnlikely

            I like my present job. I feel like I’m doing exactly what I was made to do (most of the time anyway).
            However, there are only a few places in the country where there would be opportunities to do what I do: here and a small number of other cities to which moving would not address my motivation for leaving this area to any meaningful degree. If I could work remotely for my current employer from far away, I’d likely jump at that. However, if I ended up having a compelling reason (unrelated to work) to move to another specific place and could not continue with my current employer or another in my field, I’d probably make a clean break rather than trying to persuade some other employer to hire me to use my statistics and engineering experience for other stuff that I’m not nearly as interested in as what I do now.

          • Rasputin

            “[P]articular set of skills” – Liam Neeson, is it you?

          • HAHA…it sounds like we have similar skills…or something. I’m constantly being recruited to move to 5th tier “cities.” Nope, no way! Not enough money in the world to make me move to Sheboygan or wherever. Would move for a good opportunity in another major city (not NYC…it’s just a *little* too much for me), but so far one hasn’t popped out.
            I suspect that why I’m seeing these is companies are moving their back-of-house to “cheaper” cities…which would also mean a pay cut, so if I wanted to come back to DC/other major cities, then I have to explain why I was paid so much less at “mid-career.”

      • Most of the article is unsurprising… but part of this paragraph jumped out at me:
        “In practice, many millennials said that means having employers who match their contributions to 401(k) plans and subsidize their health insurance. They also said they would like a paid, two-month sabbatical after five years of employment and the option to telecommute at least one day a week.”
        A “paid, two-month sabbatical after five years of employment”??? This is a thing???

        • HaileUnlikely

          I wonder if this was in response to an open-ended question or if respondents were asked to check “Yes” or “No” for a series of perks including that one? I’d never come up with it on my own, but sure, that would be nice. If somebody were to ask me if I’d like that, I wouldn’t say no.

        • I don’t really think that’s a thing, at least I don’t know anyone who’s gotten that. Like HaileUnlikely said, it could be a checkbox sort of thing, in which case who *wouldn’t* like the opportunity of a 2-month sabbatical?
          I’d say something pertaining to work/life balance or vacation time would be more applicable, though I put a huge priority on my free time so perhaps that’s just me.

        • My org does a paid 3-month sabbatical after 7 years. It’s not uncommon in our field.

        • DoSomething (based out of NY, not DC) does that, though I believe it’s one month after 3 years. You have to do a volunteer project during the sabbatical.

        • Quotia Zelda

          Sabbaticals are pretty common in academia, of course, but I also know a few people – in different, non-academic industries – who were able to take paid sabbaticals. I don’t know all the details, but one case, it was 6 months.

      • This is an interesting discussion. I am hardly a millennial, but spent my 20s and 30s leaving DC. It’s my hometown so that influences everything, but I would get a big case of itchy feet and have to get out of town. New York, twice. Seattle once. Coastal Maine once.

        Thing is, no matter where I went, after a few years I would feel compelled to return to DC again, generally not for family reasons, and certainly not for ‘good’ career choices (I know the moves have affected whatever career path I thought I was on, badly) but because I really do love it here.

        Maybe in part I am just reaching out for the familiar, but I really do appreciate the diverse population, the great (and mostly free) museums, the wimpy winters, and just the general look and feel of the place. So much so, the last time I came back I had to have a little talk with myself, about just staying here, for good… and so far, that’s worked. I haven’t even changed apartments for years now, much less cities.

    • So I know this seems like a really stupid question…but how exactly do people go about moving somewhere different? When I think about trying to a. narrow down a place to move to, b. trying to find a job there, and c. starting all over some where new it makes me feel overwhelmed with anxiety.

      I am married and we own a home here and we are both generally from this area, but aren’t necessarily tied to staying here (for all the before mentioned aspects – COL, no representation, etc). How do people do this? Maybe I am paralyzed from too many options or indecisiveness…I don’t know but it seems like an impossible task.

      • I’ve moved cross country 5 times. Twice hitchhiking by myself, once with a boyfriend and a uhaul, twice by a company i worked for (getting corporate movers was THE BEST THING EVER), and once by myself and a freight company.

        I just get bored easily and when I see somewhere I want to go, I just do it. One time I saw a picture of some mountains in a bathroom with a caption that said it was the sierra nevada mountains. next thing I knew, I was hitchhking from PA to CA because I wanted to live where those mountains were. I just try not to overthink it. I spent a little over a year in Northern/Central CA before moving again.

        It’s of course easier if you’re single, but having a partner can make moving less scary, too. Showing up in a new town and state without knowing a soul can be lonely. It also helps if you’re willing to do ANY kind of work. I have a graduate degree and have loaded dishwashers, waitress, and worked as a cashier, in addition to having ‘grown up’ jobs.

      • BRKLND- I can totally relate to your feeling. When I think of getting the job in the first place, it seems very overwhelming when I am far away from my destination states. Even if a job were to fall in my lap, I worry about coordinating a move that would require moving regular furniture, my two furry roommates and me, AND my pianos (which require their own special movers). I am tied down by stuff- to think I came here literally with one big suitcase on a plane (and a box my mom shipped out to me a week later).I know it can be done, it is overwhelming nevertheless to envision it all!

      • My husband and I just went through this. We were DC for 6 years and loved it, but just didn’t see ourselves there for the long term and I wasn’t happy with my job. We wanted to move somewhere cheaper and be closer to family. We actually made a list of cities and towns were interested in along with their pros and cons, narrowed them down, then just started applied for jobs. Eventually I found a new job and we moved. Even though we wanted to move, making that decision was hard and scary and incredibly stressful. Starting over somewhere new as an adult is hard. I miss DC something fierce (obviously because I still read this blog!) but I’m excited about experiencing a new place and my new job. We’re renting a bigger place and have a guest room for my parents and they’ve already stayed with us a few times, which has been great.

    • To be fair, if you had asked me at any point in the past 10 years whether I’d be here for the next five, my answer always would have been “maybe,” but I’m still here.
      I love living in DC, but that’s because it fits our circumstances well right now (engaged, no kids, own an apartment that’s “good enough” in a great area). I love my job, our neighborhood, our friend network, but if any of those start to wobble I’d be willing to leave. Costs will almost absolutely be the main factor, if it comes to the point where we need more space and get pushed into the suburbs/long commute I’ll likely look for another city altogether. While not the same, I know I can get a similar “city lifestyle” elsewhere that’s more affordable.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: Spring membership drive
    Rave: Being able to listen to other NPR stations on my phone.

  • Rave: At least this return to cold weather gives me more time to wear my favorite sweaters and coats that I haven’t gotten a lot of use out of this winter.
    Rant: By certain actions, the leadership of my organization have made it clear that their comments about supporting and valuing the work of my department are more lip service than anything else. I don’t want to leave as the people I work with directly are great and the schedule is really flexible (important with a toddler who is constantly sick), but it is incredibly frustrating feeling like leadership doesn’t care about what you do.
    Rave: I know this is cliche, but my kid definitely makes dealing with the work stress and general anger about the state of the world so much better. She is truly a funny, sweet little human (even despite recent developments of her becoming a toddler with a teenager’s attitude)

    • Emmaleigh504

      I love toddler attitude. Such cute little tyrants.

      • Tyrant is the correct word. At least she is still small enough that I can just pick her up and put her in her room when she is giving me lip. Once she is actually a teenager, it won’t be that easy!

  • They may find it hard to move away for a job. In my job search, people in other places want people who are local, real local. They won’t hire you from far away – even when I say you want to return to where you came from to be near family, want to live in a place family members have moved to, or have always dreamed of moving to – I say whatever I can honestly say to show real interest in moving to the area – no dice. Can’t get an interview unless i live nearby. (I’m not expecting paid relocation, and I make that clear, too.)
    I once applied for a job an hour an a half out of NYC, saying in the cover letter that I would move closer to the job if I was employed there. I got a phone call asking me if the job was commutable from NYC. I stated that that it was, but as I said in my cover letter, I would move if I took the job, as I don’t like long commutes, and that I had a car. Moving an hour or so drive outside of the center of a large city is not a big deal – people do it all the time, and many commute up to two hours to get to work in NYC (and DC, too.). But even wanting to move wasn’t local enough for them to interview me. I now say in my cover letters that I rent my home and so can move quickly.
    I use a friend’s NYC address when applying for jobs there (as I used to work there for years, and can get up there easily to interview, and could start work and stay with friends ’til I moved.) But I can’t do that for places much further flung than that – last minute long distance flights are too expensive for interviews.
    Employers are just not rational. They complain about not being able to get qualified people, but they routinely discriminate based on age, gender, having been laid off during the financial crisis in industries that were greatly affected, having “too much experience,” not living right where the job is, not having gone to elite enough schools (even for one degree isn’t enough when the other is not quite so elite), or having earned more money in jobs in the past.
    When I hear economists state that people aren’t willing move for jobs, or aren’t willing to accept pay that is less than they may have earned in the past, i realize they are delusional, and part of the pretending that we have full employment, where they pretend that people who are unemployed have stopped looking for jobs, or won’t move for jobs, or won’t accept less pay. So, people are so irrational they they would rather be homeless? – I don’t think so! It is employers who won’t hire those willing move to jumpstart stalled careers, or those who are willing to accept less pay than they may have earned some years ago.

    • Interesting. I haven’t encountered that at all. I lived in GA when I applied and eventually accepted a job in South Carolina. Then later while still living in South Carolina applied for jobs in Oakland, Chicago, and DC. I did a phone interview for the job in Oakland and then flew to both DC and Chicago for the other two interviews. None of the companies seemed to have an issue with me living so far away. Some offered relocation assistance as part of the offer, some didn’t. I ended up taking the job in DC and have bounced around locally ever since.

  • That One Guy

    Today’s Friday question reminds me how awesome it would be to create a vlog of where to go eat in DC. Like each episode would focus on one type/ethnocentric cuisine. It would be like Fung Bros x Eaters (eat on a dime).
    Also, a long time ago in a galaxy far away (so we’re talking about something mythical) there used to float around a list of the best HH places in DC broken out by the day of week and what specials they ran. It’s been over a decade since I saw that list and wondering if such a thing still exists or if it’s now an urban legend.
    Happy Friday! It’s felt like a long week so looking forward to the comfort of the weekend.

    • DChappyhours dot com is still a thing, but I’ve definitely found it’s not extraordinarily accurate.

    • I remember that too! In my earlier DC days…when I was still a 20 something… and went to happy hour more than twice a year…:(

    • I still have that list in my email! I haven’t looked at it since 2008, but it was a godsend back then.

  • binntp

    Rant: SafeTrack. It is going to be a huge PIA getting from my home in MD to work in VA over the next month. Really hate switching at Chinatown, so I may end up doing the 3-train switch to take Red to Green at Ft Totten then Yellow at Mt Vernon.

  • Rant: my kids have lost their damn minds
    ?: I got an unannounced formal observation yesterday doing the same exact lesson plan I hear an unannounced formal for last year.
    Rant: the esol praxis test is sneaking up on me… I’m taking it two weeks from today and I have lots of studying to do!

  • Rant: I cant even with this Russia story. I’m sure theyre all just going to get away with it, and for sure the Russians will blackmail them, and I find it all infuriating.
    Rave: ‘Pod save America’ podcast is giving me life. Are there other podcasts I should be checking out? (I’m a relative newbie) I like true crime tv shows as well, and know theres a bunch of true crime pods out there, but I don’t know which one Id like best. Any recs would be appreciated.

    • My Favorite Murder is amazing and LittleBluePenguin recommended Ghosted Stories earlier this week. I love both.

      • I need to check out “Ghosted Stories”!

        • You DO! It is the perfect mix of comedy and analysis of human behavior. Plus sound effects haha

          • Uh-oh… sound effects?? Not like Radiolab, I hope.

          • Must have missed the convo on Ghosted Stories earlier in the week! Sounds great – subscribed. Thanks!

          • Sound effects are just my friend being goofy! It’s a podcast put out by my old college friend Chelsea and her friend Erin – they interview people who have been ghosted on and people who ghost, and do make a good effort to analyze human behavior as admitted non-professionals, mixed with lots of wine and her cat’s occasional antics.

          • I listened to an episode this week. It was pretty interesting. The episode I listened to featured a discussion about the obligations for sex in a relationship. I found it… interesting.

          • I’m working my way through from the beginning, so far my favorite is a guy who talks about ghosting on his family, and how ghosting isn’t just limited to romantic relationships.

    • As for podcasts: Civics 101, Can He Do That? (yes, Trump related), Criminal, Wrongful Conviction and, as mentioned above, Ghosted Stories.

    • I’m a podcast newbie too — am reposting (for your benefit and mine) a 2014 PoPville thread on the subject:

    • Missing – the story about how Russell Simmons hasn’t been heard from in a couple years – is really good.

    • I second My Favorite Murder! The right mix of comedy / wtf with, well…murder. The Last Podcast on the Left deals with true (…and imagined) crime. Although not true crime related, some of my other faves: 99 Percent Invisible / Freakonomics / Judge John Harmon / The Mortified Podcast / Slumber Party with Alie and Georgia / Alison Rosen is Your New Best Friend.

    • My tatstes in Podcasts are a little more on the …shallow end. My podcast favorites are: What’s the Tea? with RuPaul and Michelle Visage, Anna Faris Unqualified, Dear Sugar, and The Nerdist. Also on my subscribe list are Storynory and Myths and History of Greece and Rome… nothing puts Little Anonachild to sleep like the soothing sounds of a British Man’s voice (I can relate).

    • Some good true crime ones are Up and Vanished (on the Tara Grinstead disappearance – they just made an arrest after 12 years! so it’s a satisfying one to listen to), In The Dark, and Accused. Someone Knows Something is on my list, but I haven’t listened to it yet.

    • if you like celebrity stuff at all, Who?Weekly is my absolute favorite podcast.

  • Rave: Fresh turmeric root at Best World, $4/lb cheaper than Whole Foods – now I have lots to use in recipes and to plant out in my yard
    Rant: Experimentation in mushroom growing is turning into mold growing and lessons learned

    • I don’t know anything about fresh turmeric. I use the powdered version in some recipes. Do the fresh roots stain the way the powder does? Is the flavor similar/ better?

  • Rave-ish: The movers moved my mom earlier this week and I thought she was doing really well settling in. She still has stuff she needs to sell and things to box up at the old place to put in storage and she was going back every day to do that even though it’s physically quite hard for her to do it all alone.
    Rant: She got an email from the estate last night that they’ve changed the locks without notifying her, thus locking her remaining belongings in the old house. So for now she doesn’t have access. If you want someone out of a house, why make it a hundred times more difficult if not impossible for someone to continue moving the remainder of their stuff out? I hate my family so much.

    • Re your rant – that is terrible!! Is there still the possibility for your mom to get the rest of her belongings?

      • Yeah, but now it’s going through the lawyers and she was basically told that she’d have to go and move the rest of the stuff out when someone was there to unlock and relock the door, which doesn’t seem quite right. Especially since she’s been doing all the stuff herself with only a small car! She can’t do it all at once.

  • Rant: Woke up early, put on a suit and tie and came into the office ON A FRIDAY (which I rarely do), only for my one meeting of the day to be cancelled. Could they not have told me last night?

    Rave: A high school friend is in Baltimore this month and is coming down to visit on Saturday. He’s from London and lives in Georgia (the country). I’ve not seen him in maybe 20 years. My brother was at his wedding last year and that’s how we reconnected. We chatted on the phone last night and he’s not changed a bit and nor have I, so I’m really excited to catch up in person.

  • Quotia Zelda

    Rave: Pretty little dusting of snow this morning.
    Rave: Working at home, so I didn’t have to go out in the cold.
    Rant: Mr. Zelda keeps undermining the corgi’s diet. He will eat anything we give him. That doesn’t mean he’s starving; it just means he’s a dog.
    Observation: Mr. Zelda is a soft touch for children and animals.

  • Rant: Had a first date last night that was meh.
    Rave: In a reasonably good mood and looking forward to the weekend.

    • Me too, me too! Maybe we went out together? I can’t remember if you are a woman or a man or what gender you are, but too funny. If you weren’t my date, then I am sorry. And dating sucks.

  • Rant: I really am ready for sunshine and spring.
    Rant: Baby Artie is still sick, which means that I had to cancel on a weekend getaway with friends. I don’t want to risk infecting the other little one.
    Rave: I had a conference call with some dear friends last night. Connecting with them helped put me in a much better mood and frame of mind.

  • Rave: Great time with friends at dinner last night.
    Rant: I am so.freaking.tired. I rarely stay out “late” (i.e., not getting home til past 10) during the week, much less 4 nights in a row. And I’m taking a yoga class tonight that ends at 8. Hopefully it’s a bit more restorative! I’m dreaming about my bed already!
    Rant: Was on hold for 43 minutes with an incredibly incompetent and frustrating bunch of people for work this morning. Grrrr!

  • rant: recently started receiving a rash of robocalls, typically about either credit card financing or something about solar energy… incoming phone numbers are never the same (so one number can’t be blocked) and indicate calls coming from all over the map: nevada, pennsylvania, california, rhode island, illinois and louisiana in just the last four days…

  • Rave: Husband’s birthday is on Sunday and I can’t wait to give him his gift and do some fun weekend activities!
    Rant: Made a reservation for 5:30 today at barmini to celebrate said birthday, meanwhile his co-workers planned him a happy hour for the same time. I didn’t cancel in time and found out they charge $20 per person for missed reservations!! Is there any way to avoid this penalty??

    • Re your rant: No offense but I think your husband should go with you to your reservation! His coworkers can reschedule for pete’s sake! Geez…..

    • I’m not sure about Barmini, but at some places with this policy, as long as you find someone else to take the reservation, you don’t need to take the fee. So see if any of your friends want your reservation.

  • I Dont Get It

    Rant: My alt-right Facebook friend is in complete meltdown over the “fact” that Soros-paid leftists are going to disrupt the big pro-Trump rally in DC tomorrow (Washington Monument at noon if you want to go).

    Rave: Maybe the above is a Rave?

  • Oops, posted in wrong place.

  • Question: where can we buy sod for our backyard without breaking the bank? we have about 800 sq. ft to fill and $1000 seems like a lot of money for that. Thanks

  • Rave: 77 degrees in February?! *dumbfounded*
    Revel: Cherry blossoms, magnolias, flowers everywhere I look!
    Rant: Snow Friday stopped all that blossoming in it’s tracks. Sigh.

Comments are closed.