Friday, August 31, 2007

the art of spontaneity

I am a planner. I'm not a super big believer in astrological signs, but I pretty much am your textbook Virgo, I will concede. I live by my planner and have my weeks planned typically before they begin. I put out my clothes the night before I go to bed. It's who I am.

But sometimes you just have to get out of "you" and do what feels right. So, as I walked from the Metro and into work this morning, I decided a change in venue for this final summertime long weekend was in order. I walked in to work, jumped online, and purchased an Amtrak ticket to NYC.

No set plans, but I've got a place to crash with Tam so I'm good to go. I'm running home shortly to pack up for the trip. This is truly a first. I'll still have the oh-so-stylin' cast in tow, but I'll have real shoes as well. I'm looking forward to it.

It's a shame how refreshing traveling for pleasure is. I used to think the novelty would wear thin, but these days, I just don't know.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

you put your right foot in...

I went to the doctor's this morning, bracing myself for a sad report of mucho more cast-laiden weeks ahead. It was to my surprise that he came back, x-rays in hand, to report that I was healing fabulously and should be able to transition fully to normal shoes... yes TWO normal shoes... by mid-next week. Fantastic. Homework is all that fun normal PT-ish stuff, like rotating the ankle, yadda yadda... but yeah, I'm on my way to putting the plethora of shoes that are such an intimidating presence in my closet back into rotation. Super. And just in time to be able to wear shoes to my birthday party. Could the timing be any more perfect???

And let me say, it's been interesting spending the last week commuting via metro in cast. I figured that people would be pretty accommodating about letting you sit down, etc. Um, no. Someone had told me they would do all possible to avert coming in contact with your line of sight. Oh so true. Wise, wise words. I've seen it in action. Have I sat down once on the commute in? Um, no. My favorite was when one day I had the nerve to lose my balance (seeing as at that point it was my first day back on the metro and balancing even slightly on the right foot was a no go) and ever so slightly bump into the person behind me, I got the look of death. Sheesh. I can't wait until I'm fully mended and can become a part of the general in-a-rush-hustling-to-get-from-a-to-b populous.

On a different note, people find it strangely appropriate to comment all sorts of things to you solely based on your cast. This phenomenon was not limited to my high school reunion. Oh no. It expands out to include all sidewalks, alleys, and the likes that permeate the greater DC metro area. No place is safe. So as I'm on my way out of this sad little woe is my foot rut, thought it was appropriate to compile a listing of the top 5 comments (ranging from quasi-pick-up lines to just flat-out stupid utterances of the English language) overheard during my last couple weeks with a fractured foot...

Comment #1: "Well, you really wear that cast well" ... followed by big goofy grin - man at drag brunch at Perry's, clearly with girlfriend (nice)

Comment #2: "Your's is better than mine" - man sprinting by in a white cast, rather than my oh so trendy black one

Comment #3: "I remember when I wore my cast. When I took that thing off at the end of the day it smelled fuuuuuuunky" - department director at work commenting on the beauty of functionality and yet stinky side effects of the walking cast

Comment #4: "Do you need any help carrying that? I can help you, you know" - random guy on metro, with ulterior motives (denied...)

Comment #5: "Oh wow, it really must suck to walk around DC in that thing in the August heat..." - about fifteen to twenty of DC's brightest and finest males clearly available. Suave points? Maximum.

Those are the best without being incriminating as you know is how I tend to roll...

I'm looking forward to putting on my iPod, complete with shoe 1 + 2, and going back to blending into the masses on the metro. I don't want Joe Schmoe feeling comfortable engaging in conversation. Especially not before I've made it into the office and had breakfast. Big thumbs down.

Hurrah to impending normalcy. Three cheers for eventually getting back behind the wheel. You know Target and Linens and Things will be at the top of that to-hit list. So ready. Oh so ready.

Monday, August 27, 2007

weekend review: when brunch *so* is a drag, sass style

It was officially the weekend o' sass. I can still say that and smile with a week to go. Friday was Sassy's official farewell. I'm not going to get too sad here. After all, it's soon. But it's never easy to have a friend leave the area - let alone one which is pretty much one of the ones you've known the longest and, oh yeah, was also the roommates. Oh the stories I could tell... but yeah, that goes both ways - so silence is the name of the game ;-)

Friday the Fashionista and I coordinated a farwell for Sassy at the F's place. She pulled out the grill, sans hickory chips this go 'round. Good to see such a great turn out. The Fashionista had written a great poem to summarize our thoughts on the impending adieu...

Our DC times with Sassy have come to an end.
We're so very sad, but wish only the best for our friend.
From kickball to Junior League to random nights out.
Not having Sassy here makes everyone pout.
But Columbus is calling, and she's gonna do well.
We know this move is brilliant, positive, and swell.
So we'll have one empty spot at the flip cupping table.
But LJ said she's gonna learn, and we know she is able.
We promise to gChat and write on Sassy's wall.
We promise to take trips and email and call.
There are so many things we want to say but can't list.
So, this stupid poem's purpose is to say Sassy you'll be missed.

From there, the group split to head on elsewhere for the evening, but all-in-all it was a fine farwell to our good friend, and a perfect beginning to the whirlwind tour of DC and VA's finest orchestrated by my former roommie.

Saturday the goal was to hit the Market Lunch. We'd read a while back that the East Hall was to be reopening in it's temporary new site and we were salivating at the thought of some fantastic piping hot bluebucks at Market Lunch. Sassy, having never had brunch at the Market, definitely made this as a priority addition to her weekend line-up. Upon arriving, we found the Market swarming with patrons, eager to be a part of welcoming the vendors back on opening day. This was further amplified though by the media swarm around Mayor Fenty, who we finally realized was standing just a few feet to our right. We were sad to find upon finally making our way through the mob to the Market Lunch that they were not re-opening until September 15th. So sad. They said they had more work to be done to be ready for full hot food service. Understandable, but sad. it was good though to see familiar faces of the workers. It's nice to see that even all this time later, the team remained the same. And yes, we'll be back.

Sunday, Sassy really wanted for us to hit up the weekly drag brunch at Perry's in Adams Morgan. My co-worker compared the line to get into the brunch to that for Pasta Mia. The plan was originally to meet up at 12:30, but at my co-worker's urging, we revised to 10 to be there before the brunch started. Very smart plan. We were towards the front of the line and were comfortably seated and eating as others were waiting for hours trailing off down the long stairs upstairs to the restaurant. The food was pretty good, some including items that I just can't do for brunch (sushi? a bit much...). They did have grits, which warmed my soul. The show was very entertaining, although I agree with the Fashionista's assessment that it would be a plus if they at least knew the words to lip sync along. Clearly, not the focus of the event. It was pretty funny, although I will say complaints would be the huge lag-time in between many of the numbers, poor lip syncing skills, and poor costume choices on some of the performers who should have been opting to show less of what they have to offer. Highlight though was this cute little girl dancing up on the couch with one of the performers during Proud Mary, although I'm pretty sure I'd never in my life bring my small child to such an event.

After an all-too-quick afternoon nap, we were back off for round two. Last night we were off to Wolf Trap for the Indigo Girls show. I'd almost opted out, thinking the lawn plus a fractured foot might not be the most comfortable combo. I decided though to get my own covered seat and hang with the gang pre-show on the lawn for that fabulous Wolf Trap picnic experience. The picnic was complete with an impromptu reuben Sassy and I grabbed at Giant (where the worker couldn't begin to fathom the concept of splitting a sandwich - insane), smoked gouda, fresh salsa, chewy Chips Ahoy, and of course the screwtop wine.

While there, we witnessed a proposal by a lesbian couple. I had to reflect on the events of the day. I remember a time not too long ago where I would have squirmed a bit at such a sight - primarily due to lack of understanding and the difference between the other party and myself. Watching the couple, their excitement, and noticing the genuine emotions in their eyes, I was a bit puzzled as to how can anyone not recognize that as love. The comments about the crowd composition at Indigo Girls shows is always pretty consistent, but so what? It's an audience of people passionate about music, passionate about causes, and passionate about life. And while my romantic interests may be towards the male gender, I'm fully plugged into the remainder of that line-up.

And what an amazing show. I'd only ever seen them at the first year's Lilith Fair, so I had never seen how a show of theirs would go solo. So many performers rely on flashy lights and set designs to drum up energy for a show. Something has to be said for two women taking the stage, nothing but various stringed instruments in hand with the stage itself bare - not even a rug of sorts in sight, and able to effortlessly energize the crowd. That's what defines a true musician. Amazing.

Setlist: Hammer + Nail / Ozilline / Fill it Up Again / Dairy Queen / It's Alright / Devotion / Run / Money Made You Mean / Power of Two / Shame on You / Ghost / Hand Me Downs / Watershed / Chickenman -> Bitterroot -> Chickenman / Lay My Head Down / Three County Highway / Get Out the Map / Little Perrenials / Pendulum Swinger / Perfect World / Closer to Fine / Accoustic Song (?) / Galileo

I loved their closing comment. As we all stood, cheering and clapping, they said, "We really appreciate it. Ya'll give us a good life".

As I crawled into bed slightly before 2 AM, I had to echo the sentiment. What a good life and, hopefully, a great send-off to a great friend...

Monday, August 20, 2007

weekend review: reunited & it feels so good...

It was the trip that almost didn't happen. I got to the airport to find the fabulous back-up of delays for flights inbound from NYC and Boston. I asked the gate agent when they'd know if we would make it out for the evening or not. When I told him it was for my 10 year reunion, he said "oh, well you have to go." My reply? "I don't know. At this point, somehow it is losing its lustre." Some 2 hours late and 20 minutes of the flight crew not being able to fly due to time on the clock we finally managed to leave DC. I was just hoping this wasn't a bad omen of what lied in store.

Groggy and not feeling my normal social self, I was hoping to arrive into a sea of unfamiliar faces to grab my luggage. But then, isn't the theme for the weekend supposed to be the return of familiar faces at every corner? I was quickly reminded.

With an arrival of almost midnight DC-time, I was surprised to encounter DK outside of baggage claim. He asked what I was expecting for the reunion. "Honestly? I haven't got a clue." He'd already run into JW who'd flown in from LA and mistaken him for another of our GHS classmates. JW walked through the door shortly thereafter. I knew the weekend should be amusing to say the least.

Saturday night included the formal program at a church followed by some more mingling at The Furniture Factory. Carless and unable to drive, I felt 15 as my Dad drove me up to the church. Hot.

So what was the reunion like? Interesting. Verrrrrry interesting. I try to keep posts from being too incriminating, so I'll keep with the theme here. Let's summarize it as follows...

Yes, there were those typical reunion things... there were classmates who'd married other graduates from our class, some who'd changed a great deal, some who looked just like they did in 1997, all the normal stuff. We paused to remember the few classmates who had since passed away. We had one classmate who'd been married 8 years, another with 5 kids, one who is a published author and even a classmate who will be representing Nigeria in the 2008 Summer Olympics. Awesome. We were always a class of overachievers though. And that has definitely not changed.

It was interesting to find everyone friendly with the exception of a select few who were (shock) their normal icy selves. Some things never change. Thinking back to those high school days, there were so many things that seemed to be of such extreme importance that have long since paled in proportion to everything else that has since happened. Guess it just seems odd to find those who still seem to cling to some of those trivial things after all these years.

The program went well... including some humorous class awards and class slideshow (old pics and even before and after pics from senior year class picture to now). While waiting for JSP to kindly give me a ride to point B, I helped clean up. I had a kind offer to be carried down the stairs of the church hall. Now that aspect of having a fractured foot I will miss. I wish I had a dollar for everytime I was jokingly called gimpy. I'd have been able to lay out of work at least for the day today... :-) but sadly, no such luck.

For Huntsville, I'll say the Furniture Factory wasn't half-bad. There was live music and it was much easier to converse with people than the tables during the dinner/program. We reminisced. Talked to people living all over, doing all sorts of things from one end of the spectrum to the next... from running their own business to pursuing dreams of acting. I learned a fellow classmate is in DC and was living only a short walk away from my old place on the Hill, and we're planning to meet up once back in the District. DK helped me to get up on top of the table for an aerial view of our class - who said the cast gets in the way of socializing? I also have an invite for a meet-up in the Big Apple. Love the Deep South reunions up in Yankee land. Perfect.

At 2AM, my dad picked me up. Awesome. At 4AM, I finally crawled into bed - exhausted, pleased, and amused. Sunday morning I woke up to homemade biscuits and Yellow Label. Ahhhh, the comfort of the South.

It was a great weekend. I'm glad I decided to come. I'd said this would likely be the only reunion I'd opt in for but now I'm not so sure. Just might be in for round two in another decade after all... and here's to hoping to more smiling faces to meet up with those occasional times I do make it back to H'ville.

Friday, August 17, 2007

i invented post-its

When I think of high school reunions, I think of Romy and Michele's and Gross Point Blank. Both absolutely fabulous. Yeah, the above clip is a prime example as to what not to do at your high school reunion. So hard to believe it's been ten years. I'm curious to see everyone again. I know I've changed. My friends love seeing old pictures from high school, where I had permed hair, braces, and anywhere from brown to blond to red hair - depending on what year you chose. If I remember to bring back some old pictures, I'll have to post some here for amusement's sake.

I was reading online and apparently many women view high school reunions as more stressful than meeting future inlaws. Hmmmm. Interesting. I was also amused by a listing of do's and don'ts. I foresee an amusing Monday posting, perhaps a top 5/10 listing. Stay tuned, and have a great weekend ;-)

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

back in the saddle again

So today was the day. I came into work and left not too long thereafter, treating myself to a cab to head over to visit my orthopedic surgeon. I was supposed to have worn the old school plaster cast for two weeks but based on self re-evaluation, I'd deemed that it was time to bump the transition to walking cast up by a week since I was already trying to walk anyhow on the cast um not quite so designed for walking.

I usually could care less about doctors. They are usually just that... doctors. My orthopedic surgeon though, he's pretty cute, so he makes the effort of hobbling over to his office at least visually appealing. Which would explain why my face must have gone white as a ghost when, as he was using the saw-type thingie that lookied like a much more evil version of a pizza cutter, he commented on my hairy legs. Eeeek! Not that one could have rectified the situation, but it did take a bit of restraint not to audibly gasp.

I'm sure I pushed it a bit... I was so excited to be able to walk sans-crutches that I walked the three blocks back to the office to deposit the crutches (yay) and then another couple of blocks for a meeting in another building. It was after the walk back to my office that I thought it was perhaps time to sit still for a while... at least until half-price burger night tonight ;-)

In all seriousness though, it felt great to be able to see such a variety of scenery. Sassy mentioned last night riding with the DG in to work and not having ridden on the metro in a week, I was momentarily confused, inquiring as to whose car they were riding in. How quickly our routine can be thrown. It was nice to see DC the way I love to see it, on foot - and preferably two. For the timebeing, guess I'll be taking in each slice even more in all it's glory as I amble by at a slower pace -- but I'm so relieved to be back.

(Much love to my friends for their lovely cartoon drawings... the Fashionista for the top drawing and MsH for the bottom. *So* looking forward to our Friday coffee/catch-up run, MsH!)

la campeona

I'm pretty proud of my last DC resident success. I went over to one of my final runs to the old row house on the hill. After some initial annoyment to my mail not being properly forwarded to my new address, I was pleased to see a statement from the DMV. You'll remember my prior post regarding my encounter with the DMV. Who won their contested parking ticket? Oh yeah. That would be me. Just had to gloat.

And now I'm off to the orthopedic surgeon. Fashionable white plaster cast is about to bite the dust. ;-)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

and the low key trend continues...

As I'm gearing up to pack for the reunion this upcoming weekend, it struck me some of the upsides of being in a cast. I'm a big time shoe afficionado. I just realized space required to pack said shoes gets halfed when you only need one of the shoes. I thought of an alternate pair of shoes to bring in place of the original cute high-heeled sandals I'd planned on wearing. I was sad to only find one of the two sandals until I realized, perfect anyhow - I'd found the magic left shoe! Lovely drawing, by the way is courtesy of my sister... it's me waiting for the bus or, as is more likely the case these days, a ride from one of my super fabulous friends who've made this experience significantly less painful.

I've been frantically trying to clean and organize the place. I'm ashamed to admit to some of the stuff I've thrown out, although loving the vacant areas that have been left behind post-purge. The slow trickle of guests have also been a catalyst, along with the supposed arrival of the Titan come Thursday evening.

Last night though, I felt fifteen again. I went upstairs to the Mack's place where, along with the Fashionista, we proceeded to watch the season premier of The Hills. I took the elevator up to their place, post bath and in PJs. Lovin' it.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

left shoes galore

It's been a wiiiiiiild weekend (sarcasm).

Titan: What's new with you?
LJ: Nada. I'm being anti-social. Because I can't be social.

I can't remember the last time I stayed in on both Friday and Saturday night. It's a whole new world. I don't foresee it being the norm for me by any means, but it's been a nice forced change. So what have I been doing with my newfound time in? I've most definitely been maximizing my monthly rent investment. I usually joke it's an expensive place to house a bed. I've been using it for much more than that this past week.

Friday night, the Tour Guide made the hike to VA for an in-home visit. Friday was our firm's annual picnic. Somehow the hot August afternoon along with my plaster cast did not seem like a recipe for fun. A friend helped me make a run to Target, where I learned that the automated shopping carts do not function quite as fast as a go-cart, but can generate enough wind to bring on a chill. Brrrrrr.

The Tour Guide brought over some fabulous toaster oven brownie muffins as we began planning our third annual co-birthday celebrations. Being Virgos, we've got the planning thing down to a science. It's how we operate. The Tour Guide did note that my place was becoming a graveyard of discarded left shoes. I had to laugh. This past week, the poor right mate to each pair might as well not even exist.

Saturday I went to brunch with TGT, a friend from college who I really think I have not seen in five years. Wild! We did brunch at Boulevard Wood Grill. The French Toast with it's Grand Marnier whipped cream was just perfect. And what did the wild Saturday evening entail? Some unpacking... reading a bit more of Jennifer Weiner's The Guy Not Taken... and finally watching Gone With the Wind (ummm yeah, that was a commitment - but quite good).

And much thanks to Coop for his help pretty much all of today with moving over stuff to the new place from the Cap Hill rowhouse. He gets serious kudos, as well as not half-bad pizza from Brick's (with the exception of Coop's half with anchovies - ewwww), for all his hard work in moving stuff for me -- including moving um me up the long staircase of the house. Thanks to him I'm three small items away from being d-o-n-e!

So yeah, I'm 99.9% moved and 100% tired. Off to the futon to prop up the foot. Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

as courtrose place turns

I was quite tired last night when I arrived back home. The doctor confirmed it's a fracture in one of the bones on the top of my foot along with a badly sprained ankle. End result? Lovely plaster cast for 2 weeks, walking boot/cast for another 4 weeks, and then 6 weeks of therapy. Beyond that, he's going to work with me on what we need to do to stop this cycle... since he said this shouldn't be such a chronic problem for me. I was pretty impressed with him. If anyone needs a good orthopedic surgeon, just let me know. I have a name now to share haha. Oh and after this, I promise the random shots of my feet will stop being included. I never broke anything as a child, so this is my first cast. Boring and plane jane - yes, I know. But I guess at 27 you're considered to be past the threshhold of being offered the hot pinks and electric blues of the world.

The Fashionista was a saint and gave me a ride from my office back to my apartment. After the long day, it was absolutely a luxury that was muuuuuch appreciated. While there, she signed her lease for our 'hood. It's official. We're now living in Courtrose Place. Ahhhh. Let the drama ensue ;-) After all, can't beat such a high percentage of your friends living in such a small radius. I'm about to get spoiled.

I discovered my old boss also commutes in to my office passing right by my place, so I have a way in and out of work now. My arms, ribs, and lower back are jumping with glee. I just can't say enough about all of the kind people I've been encountering. The people opening doors, helping with getting my Diet Dr. Pepper and my iced lattes... all the little things that add up so much. Even the sweet drawing I positively LOVED on my Facebook graffiti wall by the Tour Guide. Very fabulous.

Tonight's plans are the only of the week I haven't nixed. I'm off with the ladies to restaurant week. I'm 99.9% sure I'm not ordering steak and considering it's a steakhouse, I'm thinking I'll be getting the traditional odd-ball look. Oh well =)

Monday, August 06, 2007

crutch buns + wontons

It's been a funny day. I took the day off to relax, actually follow the doctor's advise and prop up my foot with an ice bag, as well as to try to keep from having to go into the office on painkillers. Hopefully I'll be able to stick to the original plan.

While here, I started looking around online for some sort of pads to put on the crutches since I've walked next to nowhere so far and already am mighty sore. I've always mentioned I needed more upper arm strength. This is a cruel way to get some. I was beyond amused when my mom was searching online and found a website called Broken Beauties. They've got it all... fashionable covers so you can completely cover your crutches (their "crutch muffins" - haha - yeah, I thought that one was a bit much) or just what they call their crutch buns, which just covers and adds extra padding to the part that goes under your armpits and the part you grasp with your hands. I opted not to get the leopard print, as amusing as I found them to be.

And now the delivery extravaganza has begun. Peapod arrived an hour ago with a ton of groceries (*poof* - I've got groceries again). And soon, Cafe Asia will be here and I'll be the proud owner of crab wontons, a spicy crab roll, and an eel and avocado roll. WT's on her way here for some girlie downtime.

Work with me... I'm making the symbolic lemonade.

officially va-bulous

It's been one long day. Scratch that... one long weekend. The move started rolling on Thursday, and hasn't really stopped since then. However, it's pretty much come to a screetching halt for the time being. Today during my last run to the car, my ankle flipped ... sending me crashing to the floor and my clothes flying all over our front porch. I couldn't stand, so I crawled into our den area where I almost passed out. Nice.

Rio came and helped me get to the emergency room - an adventure which ended up encompassing some four hours. The Fashionista was telling me that apparently it runs a bit slower since GW is a teaching hospital. Hmmmm, good to know.

Interesting things to note based on the experience and/or comments...

The lady who took my vitals told me my foot looked "deformed". Now I'm sure that is the kind of classy comment they teach you to use first when dealing with people. Lucky for her I kind of agreed...

A fellow patient noted that she always takes a snack to the emergency room. Smart girl. We arrived around noon and it was about 3:15 when we left. And no, I did not appreciate the staff members discussing their impending purchases at Potbelly. Drool. Very cruel.

One fellow patient noted to Rio that at least I would only have to walk around the corner to make it to/from classes. Why does everyone think I'm oh say 19?

The patient next to me was pushing the doctor to give them anti-depressants. When they said no, he pushed saying that he couldn't sleep without them. Lots of back and forth. I felt totally up in his business. But with my foot throbbing, appreciated the distraction.

I noted to Rio that I wished I had repainted my toenails, which I had already noticed the other day were chipping. I believe I will be attempting to remedy that tomorrow. Can't deal.

The x-ray technician told me I was the "exception to the rule". When I asked why, he told me that I was the first x-ray he'd done on feet that day which wasn't caused by being drunk. I said, "thanks?".

Oh and verdict was it's a fracture... not quite a break. So I guess I can no longer pop off saying I've sprained my ankle countless times but never broken. Argh. Upside is that I no longer live in a house with a long neverending staircase. I always say I have no arm strength. That's about to get remedied. Downside is I can't drive (it's the right foot). My new building has a bit of a hill to get to the metro, so haven't quite figured out that one yet. And my high school reunion is coming up, so those fabulous heels I bought might be a no-go and instead, crutches be my newest oh so fab accessory. But perhaps the orthopedist will have better news for me.

Mucho kudos to Rio and the Fashionista for all their help today... especially Rio for spending basically the whole day helping. Sometimes I have a hard time asking for help when I need it. I've learned during this move though and in today's ordeal just what great friends I have. I'm truly blessed.

More on the weekend in general later... but for now, totally konking out from the Percoset.


Thursday, August 02, 2007

downside of housing with character

When I moved to DC, I was adamant about moving into housing that was different. I'd lived in community upon community in South Florida where there was building after building of vanilla apartments, only differing by square footage, number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, the view, or perhaps the presence of or absence of vaulted ceilings.

Looking at apartments in DC was a breath of fresh air. Most I viewed were individually owned condos. Generic cream colored carpets gave way to beautiful hardwood floors. In giving up central A/C, I gained redone ceramic-tiled bathrooms, more individualistic layouts and in some cases, even traded in those blah white walls for a splash of color.

I think my most recent rental though is what sent me back en route quickly to vanilla, and high-rises at that.

Top Five Issues to Brace Yourself for When Your Row House is Over a Century Old:

1) Moths. You just can't escape moths. It seems to come with the territory. I resigned myself to purchasing cedar balls and airtight storage bags at the Container Store to be ready for battle. And, even then, you will still have them occasionally fly at your face. Like happened to me last night. Fabulous.

2) Temperamental Plumbing. You might have a garbage disposal, but you will find yourself encouraged to carefully contemplate what you put down the disposal - if you even venture to dare to put it to use. If you gamble with something a bit more extreme, be ready to dig it out. Or see it come flying up towards your face, one.

3) Busted Wiring. Be prepared to be told wiring cannot be fixed because of the fragile and feeble state of your home. Why is there no front porch light? "Oh, we couldn't ever get the wiring in that portion of the house to support something requiring that much energy". Was that an acceptable answer to three single girls? Umm no. The key to any old home is knowing when your landlords are just being cheap. And it will happen.

4) Forced Ranking on Appliances. Back to the wiring. You may have to accept that we all have choices, and occasionally that extends to appliance usage. Sure, you can run your A/C so you remain cool and refreshed after a shower. However, you will have to sacrifice all of the above and be willing to (gasp) sweat a bit if you actually want to plug in another electrically draining appliance, such as oh say a hairdryer. Clean body or dry hair. Your pick. (And guys, if you can't imagine having thick hair that would take an hour plus to air dry, you don't get a vote here - sorry!).

5) Window Unit Serenades. If your house hasn't had a major overhaul, be prepared for the glory of the window unit. Yes, I do realize we could be A/C-less, but that's an alternative we shall momentarily ignore. If your landlords have not opted to truly install window units, be prepared for poor insulation, high gas bills for radiators in the winter, and loud street noises (how many street crashes have I heard early in the morning? I've long since lost count). And no, shoving paperback books underneath does not qualify as installation.

Recommendations? Know when limits of reason have been surpassed. Feel free to push back (DC laws do favor tenants - remember that!). And definitely push for a pre-move in cleaning. We should have heeded that last one for sure. Think through all of the above before you sign next to the X on your lease.

Disclaimer: I do acknowledge this will vary from locale to locale. Perhaps you won't be so blessed to encounter the above as we did.

Bring on Virginia, baby!

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