But anyway, they’re not so much rules; more sort of… guidelines.

That’s about the extent of the pop-culture references you’ll get from me, for which I am unabashed.

I swore I’d write in this thing every day and of course immediately fell off the face of the planet. It’s not that I’ve not had time- there’s been plenty of that- it’s that I’ve not had brain, which is a far scarcer commodity, sometimes. We’re in the process of trying to find somewhere to live, which has devoured just about all my processing power, as it were. The thought has been to find somewhere with three bedrooms, and split living costs with friends D and M, although it’s been surprisingly difficult to find somewhere that suits all of us. Given we’re none of us particularly picky people, one would have thought finding somewhere was just a formality, but no: there is a startling dearth of homes for rent that a.) have enough bedrooms/bathrooms (3 and 2); b.) allow pets; c.) are close enough to where all of us work that the commute is not unreasonable; d.) aren’t in neighborhoods in which I’d be terrified to open the blinds, much less walk down the street, and e.) aren’t ridiculously overpriced in rent or utilities.

Five fairly reasonable qualities, I should think, but it seems that a house containing each of them is elusive, if not completely mythical. Part of the problem is the housing market in this area: it’s so glutted with Section 8 properties that rental prices have been artificially driven up. Since landlords know that with Sec8 the rent will be definitely paid, whatever they’re asking, they hike their rent up to maximize their profit, and landlords that don’t deal with Sec8 follow suit to match the average asking price, because hey, if those guys get to charge that much, we should, too. Rental prices, therefore, are much inflated in this area. Anything in our price range is also in complete disrepair, or is in a location in which I’d not feel safe, and I certainly wouldn’t feel safe bringing my kid.

Pets have, surprisingly, not been as big an issue as we were afraid they would be. We found a house that was otherwise perfect that did not allow cats, which has been a sore point now and again, but by and large, the pets have not been a problem.

It’s getting to the point J and I are going to have to get a place on our own. We can’t stay where we are any longer. If we haven’t found a house that works for all of us by the end of this week, we’re going to take a small apartment in WS by ourselves.

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