We Bought a House! Here's How It Went Down.

This week's edition of Simon Says.

This is Simon Says, Rachel Simon’s weekly newsletter that’s part life updates, part pop culture recs, and part whatever else is going on in her brain at the moment. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram for more, and subscribe here to get this in your inbox every Sunday night.

Hi, friends! Some big news to share this week—Kurt and I bought a house! After renting an apartment in Raleigh since November, we decided it was time to set up shop for good. It’s the first house for both of us, and while there’s plenty about the process that’s intimidating (landscaping? water pressure? security systems?!), we couldn’t be happier with our new home.

If you’re wondering how it went down, here’s the TL;DR: We saw about 10 houses with our realtor (not counting the 20 (!) we saw on a previous, way-too-ambitious trip to Raleigh), one of which we loved. We placed a bid, waited anxiously, and… did not get that house. We were super disappointed, but little did we know that just a week later, we’d find another house we loved even more! This time, we managed to seal the deal, and we spent the following weekend signing a bunch of forms and coming to terms with just how much it actually costs to buy a house (spoiler alert: a lot). Fast forward four weeks, and we were in a lawyer’s office for the closing, signing more paperwork than I’ve ever seen in my life (seriously, please don’t ask me to write my name or the date ever again). And now… we’re here!

The house is, honestly, perfect. It has tons of space (we each get our own office! A WFH miracle), gorgeous wooden beams, and a backyard big enough for Ellie to run around in. It’s on a lovely, quiet street, and the few neighbors we’ve met (from a distance) so far couldn’t be nicer. If you have any questions on the house-buying process (or want to set up a visit once you’re vaccinated), let me know!

Obviously, the move was the biggest thing going on in my life this week, but here’s what else is going on:

What I’m writing

That big freelance story I kept mentioning went live on Wednesday! ICYMI, it was an oral history of the iconic/infamous Grey’s Anatomy musical episode, which aired 10 years ago this week. I shared some of my favorite excerpts here, and you can read the whole story on Shondaland here.

On the book front, I’ve been continuing to focus on re-outlining, which has actually felt like a relief—I’m getting closer and closer to getting this plot totally figured out. More updates soon!

What I’m reading

I finished Tressie McMillan Cottom’s essay collection Thick, which was interesting and thought-provoking. I’m now reading Libertie, a novel by Kaitlyn Greenidge about a free Black girl in Reconstruction-era Brooklyn. It’s gotten rave reviews, and I can see why—it’s wonderful. Every sentence is beautifully constructed, and each character feels real and vivid. Highly recommend!

What I’m watching

Despite still needing to get through pretty much every Oscar-nominated movie on the list, we decided to watch Godzilla vs. Kong last night. Was it excruciatingly dumb? Absolutely. Do I have any regrets? Nope.

Also, I watched Speed for the first time! Now that was a solid popcorn movie. Young Keanu, guys…

What I’m listening to

Olivia Rodrigo’s new song is goooood—this girl is a serious talent.

Also, Demi Lovato’s album is out, and while I still need to listen to the whole thing, I really love her collab with Noah Cyrus, “Easy.”

Closing thoughts

I devoured not one, but two New York Times profiles this week: this one on the super-talented musician Brandi Carlile, and this one on the super-ridiculous (in the best way) lawyer Laura Wasser. Read them both!

This tweet brought me joy:

I really enjoyed this piece by the great Anne Helen Peterson on the future of remote work.

Lastly, how long do you think it’ll be until we give in and let Ellie on the couch?


Talk soon, everyone. Have a great week!

-Rachel