Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Volleyball and dreamy houses

Wow, do I ever love watching volleyball. Last night I was watching my TiVoed recording of the U.S.-Italy women's volleyball quarterfinal, which was a real nail-biter, and I was so into it and on edge that I was actually fast-forwarding through the three seconds between points. It was seriously KILLING ME to have to wait. Even though the whole thing reminded me of how much I suck at volleyball by comparison, and also how frustrated I was at essentially being pushed out of the work volleyball team, because they didn't think I was good enough.

And yes, I think that bears repeating. We were in the intermediate REC LEAGUE of professional adults who play for fun. The prize was SHOT GLASSES, and crappy ones at that. We were all pretty similar in skill, but the net was at men's height, which neutralized me because I was too short to hit and hitting is my best skill. Still, I was a reasonable setter and I was HAVING FUN, which was the effing POINT of joining a rec league with your OFFICE TEAM, and yet when it came time for the playoffs (the end goal of which was a SHOT GLASS, let me remind you), they suggested subbing me in one game and having me sit out the other two.

AND the worst part was that some guy's friend who didn't even work for us, who was only allowed on the team under the condition that he not get much playing time because he wasn't part of our company, was scheduled to play all three games because he was a good hitter. So, I said screw this, I'm not giving up all my Wednesday nights and trekking across town to sit and watch a bunch of people I don't even like play volleyball. Especially because nobody would give me a ride home afterward so I always had to take a really long, lonely Metro ride by myself late at night.

Let me say again. SHOT. GLASS. I would be willing to buy every member of the team a cheap shot glass in exchange for them not making me feel bad and guilty for wanting to have some fun and get some exercise. Definitely a case of a bunch of stodgy office workers who look awkward in their gym clothes taking themselves WAY too seriously. Not that I'm bitter. Ahem.

ANYWAY, despite the annoyed memories of my own past volleyball experiences, I loved watching the game yesterday, and that was my damn point to begin with.

My other point is that now that we are seriously saving for a down payment, we've started thinking about the type of house we'd like to buy. I was momentarily excited when a For Sale sign popped up in the yard of my most beloved house in DC, the one I admire every time I see it, this gorgeous gray house on a corner lot right by a Metro stop and a Whole Foods. But then I went home and looked it up on the realtor's website, only to discover that it was listed at a cool $1.7 million dollars. And just like that, my hopes were dashed.

Still, thinking of home buying makes me dream of gorgeous houses with rooms like these:

Torsten and I have been keeping a mental list of things we would love to have in our dream house. It includes an inductive cooker, a big shower with a tile bench, huge floor to ceiling windows, at least one fireplace, hardwood floors, and a big porch. Every time we look at houses, we think of more things to add, but those are the ones we keep coming back to.

What specific element would you have to have in your dream home?


  1. i would love to have heated floors! and a bay window with a nice reading nook set up :)

  2. Huge open spaces. I love houses with that open feel. And a jacuzzi tub, and a large kitchen with tons of counter space, and maybe an island.

  3. I want my house to be decorated so that it looks fabulous. I would love to be able to decorate it myself but it's SO HARD for me to make a stinkin' decision!!

  4. OOUTDOOR SHOWER! Umm, excuse me, but I get excited. I would like an outdoor shower at my house.

  5. My dream house has a screened-in porch with a hammock. Yeah.

    You're totally right to (not) be bitter about that office volleyball team. How much are they missing the point? Completely!

  6. So, apparently, more than one person was trying to post a comment at the same time, and there was a "conflicting error." This comment won't be nearly as awesome as the last one.

    Huge windows with a reading bench all the way. I love windows, so anything with a great view and lots of light, I can dig. And I used to want a room with outdoor stairs leading to it on the second floor. . . oh, with a balcony! Haha. Love it.

  7. When we started house hunting this year we made two lists: The "Must Haves" and the "Would Like To Haves." Some of the things on the "Must Haves" were an island in the kitchen, fenced-in yard, walking distance from the train, and a garage. We found a house with everything on the must list except for a walk-in closet. This one has a gorgeous floor to ceiling wardrobe instead. Plus, it was remodeled by the gay couple who owned it...and they picked amazing wall colors. My kitchen is Cider Toddy. Love it!!!

  8. a master bath to die for is what I want!

  9. A wrap around porch with rocking chairs and a backyard paradise with a pool...

  10. DEFINITELY wrap-around porch. And also a built in DEEP FRYER, like on Emeril, and a couple of those refrigerator drawers. So awesome.

  11. That totally sucks about the volleyball! I played on an office team a few years ago and at first the guys were all, "Why don't you be our setter, little lady?" and then I smashed a spike right on the 10-foot-line and said, "That there's called having a decent vertical, boys." But still, I simmer every time I play because the men run all over the court because they don't think the women know anything. Asses.

    I would love to have a fireplace in my dream home. And to live near a lake. Yes.

  12. Okay first of all? That is ridiculous about your co-workers. I'm not surprised, but it is still ridiculous!
    Now, the fun part:
    Vaulted ceilings; hardwood floors; whirlpool tub; deck; pool; sunroom; huge kitchen with 2 ovens, granite countertops, and island.

  13. In my dream home, I would like either a person or a robot to pick out all of my outfits for me, taking into account when I am bloated or when I have gained a little weight, so that I won't have to try on something and then start crying - everything will just magically fit.

    Also, are we going to break up if I say that I think watching volleyball is like, um, SO BORING?

    OMG, Two days.

  14. The first thing I learned when looking to buy houses is that what items you want in your dream house become nothing in comparison to the actual dream itself of owning a home. Buying a house is the most stressful thing I have ever done. You get not nearly as much as you expect for your money.

    But if money was no object, I would want a pool.

  15. I would LOVE a room for workout machines!

  16. The biggest requirement when we were house shopping was a nice yard and a big deck. I was obsessed with having a deck. And now we have one, and it is AWESOME.

    My office has a rec league team that is ridiculously and unnecessarily competitive as well. It is funny to me how seriously they take a rec league.

  17. OK, that volleyball thing? ABSURD. What is with your coworkers?? That sucks.

    And I think my entire house would fit inside the room in that second picture.

  18. OK - first - that SUCKS about the volleyball team. That sounds horrible.
    I LOVE my house, the only thing it needs are wood floors instead of carpet in the dining and living rooms and to be nicely decorated, which I've had neither the time or money for.

  19. I want separate closets in our bedroom and a big front porch. I also really want a kitchen with wraparound counters and a large pantry.

  20. I need the following-

    reading nook
    oversized jacuzzi tub
    wrap-around porch
    LOTS of counter space
    built-in bokshslves in most rooms
    big backyard for puppy or two


  21. Dream house chatter is so fun! Yet slightly sad, since we are on the hunt right now and certainly won't get everything. But I would like real hardwood floors, an island in the kitchen, a windowseat for reading, a small yard for a dog, and a location that has things we can walk to.

    Unbelievable about the volleyball! Some people are so into winning that they forget all manners and social skills.

  22. I am so steamed on your behalf about volleyball. This is why I started a kickball team for my friends and was then dictatorial about enforcing our "we'll be noncompetitive and just in it to have fun" agreement. =)

    And my dream house would have a big gas range, lots and lots of counter and cabinet space in the kitchen, and a YARD. Man I long for a yard.

  23. I would love:
    a garden
    floor to ceiling windows and skylights
    a porch (with a swing)
    heated towel racks
    a huge kitchen with sub zero fridge, wine fridge and a Viking stove/oven
    walk in shower with multiple jets
    a soak tub
    an infinity pool

    But right now I would kill for a second bathroom...I am, after all, living with a boy.

  24. DUDE. that house looks a-mazing!

    i want!

  25. As a recent home buyer, here's my advice. There's nothing wrong with dreaming. But, you should keep your reality checklist close at hand. I broke mine into two sections: MUST HAVE and NICE TO HAVE. Include neighborhood specifics (like, must be close to a Metro stop) and unit specifics (must have two plus bedrooms). It'll really help your Realtor narrow down units/homes for you to look at and you won't waste your time seeing units that just won't cut it. Also? Be reasonable give your price range. :-)

  26. I've been thinking about my dream house a lot lately. I even considered making a post about it. I guess that's what HGTV will do to you. My dream house includes: a large kitchen with lots of cabinets and counter space with an island, a large back yard with a patio, a huge master bath with a jacuzzi tub and a separate shower. That's all I really need. :)

  27. A house that comes with its own cleaning lady. Actually, my must-haves have changed considerably since having kids. Now the only things I require in our next house are a play room and a fenced backyard!

    That SUCKS about volleyball. And volleyball is so! much! fun! Lame-o competitive people really muck things up for everyone.

  28. Already one step ahead of you:

    An old fashioned soaker tub! but my dream home is a renoed 100 year old home, so... lol

  29. 2-story with a basement, huge windows, maybe a bay seat somewhere, mature trees, big fenced backyard but also a place to put patio furniture, adequate cupboard/counter space in the kitchen, a DISHWASHER, OMG, but most importantly, HARDWOOD FLOORS.

    Oh yeah, baby.

  30. Wow, those pictures are beautiful. I want that! The one thing I've always known I've wanted was a big wraparound porch, with a comfy seat to sit on for reading.

  31. Totally open concept with a huge kitchen, lots of windows, a porch swing and it would have to have a black door. I love the second pic youi showed...

  32. I would love a big kitchen with a window over the sink and a large, walk-in pantry with a window on the far end so it isn't scary.

    I am such a boring nerd!

  33. My dream house is the little raised ranch we have---as long as we NEVER HAVE TO MOVE AGAIN. I hate moving.

  34. Man, that is EFFED UP what they did to you! Want me to come out there and kick their asses? All 5'3" of me??

    I want a two story house with a balcony. That has always been a dream of mine. WHOA DREAM BIG

  35. My dream house would have to have a great kitchen with space for entertaining. I love having people over!

  36. A proper library. With floor to ceiling bookshelves filled with books. And a ladder. Basically, the library in Beauty and the Beast.

  37. An island bench/breakfast bar, and a decent bathroom, which allows me to move around (something that is seriously lacking at the current abode).
    Also, wardrobes/storage. Lots and lots of storage.
    Beyond that, I'm not fussy!
    (Although, I would also look more closely at the neighbours than we did this time around!)

    PS Your coworkers so totally suck. We had an office netball team last year, and I was by far the worst on the team. But they were nothing but encouraging most of the time. If I was ever going to play volleyball, I'd be stoked to have you on my team.

  38. A big -- BIG -- bathroom with a separate soaker tub and a deck. Must-haves. (uh, I have sort of neither right now).

  39. ohhh man. let's see, things i want:

    *hardwood floors
    *really well done lighting (like recessed lights, etc)
    *plenty of natural sunlight
    *laundry IN THE HOUSE. non negotiable!
    *big kitchen with new appliances, as open to other rooms as possible (no dead-end galley kitchens)
    *walk in closet

    those are pretty reasonable, right?? well.. i mean.. maybe not around HERE... :-(

    ps i hate your coworkers. jerks. that's why i quit kickball. IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE FUN, PEOPLE.

  40. Fenced backyard! I am shy and don't want to be so in my own back yard. How can I suntan? Prevent random dogs from crapping on my lawn? and prevent unwanteds from arriving at beer pong and bocce ball? With a beautiful fence. Dream house also has babies.

    I would say most work rec teams are doomed. On my softball team this year, our out field was re arranged for every hitter so some of us, ME :( , never got hit to.

    Who needs them? You are getting a house one day, and can tell them they have to sit out 2 out of 3 parties, while some random new friend comes to ALL 3 Biatches!

  41. Whoa. That is a gorgeous house with a gorgeous view.

    Having recently moved, I would say that most of my immediate home dreams have come true: nice hardwood floors, large kitchen, an open floor plan, back yard. At this point we're looking for ways to make our house "greener," like solar paneling and gray-water systems. Both cost a lot more than we can afford, which is really too bad. My husband tries to make up for our lack of greenness by bullying me into adding more florescent lighting in our home. Florescent lighting has it's place, ya know? And it's not in the bathroom where I put on my makeup.

  42. My goodness sweetie, that volleyball team story is AWFUL. Mean people. Boo.

    Ever since I was a kid-- every since I can REMEMBER-- I always wanted a room in a house that, instead of a regular floor, had a TRAMPOLINE. A TRAMPOLINE! Like, you walk into the room and the bouncy trampoline surface is wall to wall. With some padding on the walls, but not in a creepy asylum way. How COOL would that be?


  43. Big airy windows, warm, dry, and mine, all mine!

  44. I want a dishwasher, and a laundry room...and A/C. And why not throw in a library, a fantastic kitchen, and a grand piano. :o)

    And perhaps let me have the muscle tone of volleyball players while we're wishing for things, alright?


  45. i love my new house! however, it is just my FIRST home...

    my "forever" house will have:

    a huge porch, front and back (back will be screened in)

    high, flat ceilings (my house now has tray ceilings)

    a jacuzzi with some sort of clear roof over it so the stars are visible

    oh and a beautifully landscaped yard. lots of azaleas, hydrangeas, and the like

  46. But there is no purple in those how could you possibly like them? ;-)

  47. A jacuzzi tub with windows that have an eastern exposure. Nothing better than soaking in a hot tub in the warm, morning sunshine.

    A wrap around porch.

    A view of the ocean.

    Other than that, I'm good. Oh, wait. Lots of counterspace and appropriately-placed outlets in the kitchen would be good, too.

    And a top loading washer, because front loaders are crap.

    Okay. That's all.

  48. Those men suck ass. Seriously.

    I would love to have a master bathroom again. Our current house doesn't have one, and I miss it. If it was my dream bathroom, it would have a big clawfoot tub and separate shower. Mmmm.

  49. LOVE the last house there. I'd need it to be directly on the ocean, of course, with a pool and tennis court out back.

  50. God, what jerks! Total assholes...

    Anywho- dream house
    I want it swedish country style
    hardwood/parket floors (I have dustmite allergies so no carpets ATCHOO!)
    Floor heating
    Open plan kitchen/diningroom/livingroom
    Library room
    Walk in closet
    and a padded window bench.

  51. ohhhh those rooms are beyooootiful!!!! i want!

  52. The picture of that kitchen made my mouth water. But somebody's coming to look at our house on Saturday. I am SO nervous!