I Can’t Write Anything That Isn’t Angry

I’m up to my twitching eyelids in local politics as I defend my livelihood from the deaf ears of City Council who have deemed renting out rooms in my licensed and inspected house on AirBnB and VRBO to be “socially unjust.”

That’s a quote.

Perhaps they need a reminder about what social injustice actually looks like.

THIS is social injustice

THIS is social injustice

It is a deeply stressful and disturbing process.

I mistakenly thought that if they could meet me – and people like me – they would realize that people who do short-term rental are not evil out-of town investors hell-bent on buying up ALL THE HOUSES and turning them into full-time rentals.

Heck, I have a nice couple visiting from Carbondale upstairs with their 18 month-old. I spent a better part of yesterday searching for a sitter so they could enjoy a baby free meal on Pearl Street last night.

You and your family spend the night in this apartment for less than half of what a hotel costs. THE HORROR!

You and your family spend the night in this apartment for less than half of what a hotel costs. THE HORROR!

It’s horrible the way we exploit people, isn’t it?

It’s true that by renting to out-of-towners I am not renting to locals looking for a place to live.

But you know what? Been there, done that … for over 20 years.

I think I should have the right to decide who I want living in my house and after having kids, I don’t want to live with pathological liars and drug addicts any more.

I don’t go looking for them but somehow they find me because that’s what Craigslist is for.

Sure, some of my short-term renters might not be the kind of people I would want to live with permanently, but that’s the point. I’m not living with them permanently.

I pre-screen them to make sure they have a history of being considerate guests and I make sure they know the house rules. Aside from welcoming them and keeping tabs on their stay, I keep out of their way.

Then they are welcome to spend a shitload of money in Boulder and not develop unhealthy attachments to me and my family.

Is that such a terrible thing to want?

I am a long-time local who loves living in Boulder and needs to be creative about finding ways to afford it as it gets increasingly expensive.

For example, Loony wanted to take me out for dinner last night.

There’s a new brewery in town and he heard they had a killer bahn mi sandwich.


Turns out the only offer it for lunch.

We ended up paying $80 for a serviceable meal and a few local brews.


The food was okay, no doubt. Nothing to blog about or anything and from now on if I don’t feel like cooking I’m going to cook anyway. I could feed a dozen people the exact same meal for $80.

Or I’ll take a trip south of the border, if you know what I mean.

Taco_Bell_NightBecause even with that “crazy VRBO money” Boulder prices are still too high for me and $80 for a meal is just plain stupid, especially when I am trying to raise money for the PTA because Colorado education is embarrassingly underfunded and needs parental donations to hire paraprofessionals to manage our overcrowded classrooms.

That $80 should go to my school. It will go to my school.

Only tourists and people will a helluva lot more money than me go out to eat regularly.

A potential client wrote a letter to City Council telling them how much she loved staying in short-term rentals and isn’t Boulder progressive enough to participate in the new sharing economy? Maybe she won’t visit Boulder unless she has more options other than hotels …

The response from one of our very tactful City Council members was, “Stay in a hotel.”


I suppose that during the Bolder Boulder, Ironman, Conference on World Affairs, Boulder International Film Festival, Communikey, Hanuman, CU Graduation, CU Move-in week, CU Football Games, and any of the other times the hotels rooms are completely booked up, those tourists and all their money can go to Broomfield .

That won’t hurt Boulder’s alleged non-tourist economy at all.

City Council, giving the finger to a potential tourist, telling her to go away for all intents and purposes. I wonder how the Pearl Street merchants would feel about that?

Oh, that’s right, “Boulder isn’t a tourist town.” Another quote from a very in-touch City Council member.

Head. Spinning.


My left eye is stuck on permanent twitch from all the stress from reasoning with a brick wall, organizing a fundraiser for my sons’ school, and figuring out my plan B for after City Council legalizes my livelihood into oblivion.

Do you want to hear something funny?

While they want to make it illegal to rent a room in my licensed, inspected house for more than 60 days a year, do you know what would be legal?


Yep. Using my house as a house wouldn’t be legal because that’s bad for the neighborhood. But I could legally grow weed in it and turn my house into a drug factory and that would be okay.


I don’t have anything against weed. Hey, it’s legal. But can you see the irony in this?

Am I going to grow weed in my house? No.


A baby skunk (Mephitis mephitis).

The smell would be annoying to my neighbors and I wouldn’t want to annoy anyone.

Too bad renting it out might not be an option because I’ve gotten EXACTLY ZERO complaints from any actual neighbors in the eight years I’ve been doing this.

Zero. Nada. Zilch. Zip.

My eye is twitching again.

And this is why I’m not blogging. I get FUCKING ANGRY every time I do because all I know how to write is what’s on my mind and this is all that is on my mind 24-7.

Deep, calming breaths

Deep, calming breaths

I am taking notes for a future blog called Things People Without Kids Shouldn’t Say to People With Kids because apparently people with kids don’t have feelings and love it when their children are called filthy bags of disease.

Stay tuned.

Okay, one non-angry thing. I’m considering renaming my cat.

Timpano is a good name for him. He is a big, fat Italian pastry dough stuffed with tasty, rich things. He is.

But he’s also kind of like the Secret Service, he constantly lurks around me where ever I go, but he keeps his distance.

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He reminds me of Edward Meechum from House of Cards.



Timpano is just like Meechum because he follows me everywhere and he sleeps with both me and my husband.



14 thoughts on “I Can’t Write Anything That Isn’t Angry

  1. Well said, Viv. It’s just the undeniable downside of where you live, meaning Boulder, which everybody knows has its share its range of good and not-so-good about it. It’s been interesting to watch you go through all this (yes I still read what you post, you know, except for sometimes the cat stuff…) Anyhow all this seems far from over. But I predict one way or another you’ll prevail. In love and solidarity… Greg 🙂

  2. Wow I can’t believe what dicks they are being. It must be weird for you because you not only write beautifully but you do so well in person.
    I know for Basil and I when we went to Spain it was wonderful staying in a house and having a kitchen and laundry facilities.
    Here in Indianola we too have so many events going on throughout the year that there are families that rent out their rooms, that aren’t official VRBO’s but happen to have a spare room and want to help out the community. (But I live in a town of less than 1,000 ppl)
    Your place is so lovely and you are so professional I still find it hard to believe.
    Don’t give up yet.

    • Thanks for the solidarity. It has Ben a disillusioning process. I used to people listening and using logic. I’ve never dealt with people with such strong agendas before. Welcome to

  3. Well FUCK!! What a mess. And here your are, just trying to do a good and right thing. I’m so sorry. I will think of something to help.

  4. Pingback: I Changed My Cat’s Name Again (aka Not My Best Work) | Vivienne's Process of Elimination

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