Monday, October 24, 2016

Home Tours

I am a nosy person.

I especially love looking at people’s houses. They are such a reflection of the people who live there.

And now that I’ve discovered home tours, I realize that I am not alone in being nosy. I’ve been to three so far – and all have been jam-packed with attendees.

Each tour is different.

There’s the annual Azalea Trail home tour, sponsored by the River Oaks Garden Club. These are super-posh houses. Gargantuan. Unbelievably fancy. Honestly, though, they tend to look a lot like each other. These houses belong to a certain demographic who share the same taste.

Then, there are the twice-yearly home tours in my neighborhood. Some are old bungalows renovated by young designers and architects. Some are filled, every available inch of wall and surface space, with the owner’s art collection. (Many of the people in my neighborhood are artists and/or gallery owners.)

And then there was the first annual Weird Homes Tour of Houston, which I just went on. Wow. One home, billed as a 5,000 square foot one-bedroom, belonged to an artist who incorporates the cremated remains of multiple people into his paintings. (Who knew? People’s ashes vary in color.) Then, there was one, which was left dark and was filled, to its loftlike ceilings, with carefully built piles of, well, junk, that made my husband turn to me and say, “You know, if you were ever on a first date and the person invited you back here, you’d be certain you were about to be murdered.”

Hats off to the people who volunteer their houses. They do inspire me (fleetingly) to set up my own house. (Five years in and I am, right now, sitting in sight of some unpacked boxes.) But then I lay down till the feeling passes. :o(

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Hygiene Lectures

It’s when a professional of some sort gives you very basic advice about how you should do something that you should have, if you weren’t faulty as a human being, been doing all along.

Actually, “hygiene lecture” is short for “dental hygiene lecture,” which is the very first one of these I ever had. As a kid, I had a lot of cavities. I’ve since been told that it was probably because of the shape of my teeth.

But for years, I dreaded, even worse than when she did her “Marathon Man” thing on my gums with her little picky tools, when the dental hygienist would finish, hand me a mirror and proceed to “teach” me how I should be brushing and flossing my teeth.

Of course, I clean my teeth, I wanted to shout. But I didn’t. Just had to sit there and listen.

Hygiene lectures take many forms. Why haven’t you been changing those filters or these batteries? Don’t you know you are supposed to clear out all those cookies on your computer every so many months? And you are supposed to flush out your hot-water heaters every year? When was the last time you changed the oil in your car? Don’t you check your bills every month and call the cable company, the cell phone company, the electric company to see if you can get a better deal?

The A/C company recently came to do its 6-month maintenance on our system. Now, I could have just left everything as is and the guy would have changed all the filters. But right before he arrived, I took out the ladder and changed them all myself.

Because I didn’t want to hear it.

So, I guess hygiene lectures work. :o(