Monday, January 05, 2009

Home, Strangely Built Home

After an epic Christmas journey to California and back, through one of the biggest snowfalls in recorded history, we're enjoying being back at the house again. After ten days away, I had actually forgotten which bathroom drawers held my hairbrushes and Q-Tips. Because Christmas results in the giving and getting of material items, unpacking is a large task this time around.

Plus there was the taking down of the tree, which had turned into a crispy fire-hazard while we were gone. A shower of needles and a large pine-scented spill from the tree stand is all that's left now. And then to add to the home-coming excitement--it started to snow this afternoon. It kept doing that until there were a couple of inches covering everything around us. Last night when we rolled in, there were only the barest, scrubbiest of snow patches on various lawns. Now--winter wonderland all over again. Compared to California's sunshine and cloudy patches, the Northwest offers a more dynamic weather situation.

I was going to do a wrap-up of the trip but I've caught some kind of Southwest Airlines airborne virus (I'm sure that's what it is). And I'm not up to thinking too much. Coming home is always pleasant when you like your house. Except for its asymmetrical roof shape and big windows for maximum tree-viewing, our home is a standard, nice little house. I wonder what it's like to come home to a more unusual-looking dwelling. Zillow.com lists some of the most unusual houses ever built, with aerial views. Imagine coming home to a giant shoe, or something resembling a patch of fungus growing on a hillside. It must be doubly exciting to step over the threshold, suitcase in hand, wondering--where did we place that hall closet?

This is the Flintstones, or dome, or mushroom house in Hillsborough, California. It's molded of chicken wire and cement. I believe the city created a strict planning code after this went up in order to avoid any further, uh, creative housebuilding efforts. Too late for this one though--it's visible from the freeway and emits its own freaky unclassifiable vibe.
The guitar house of Fayetteville, Georgia, was built by a country & western singer (natch). From the side, it looks like a normal house. But fly overhead and ZOING! Huh? Wha-? (rubbing fists into eyes) "Is that a Gi-TAR?!"
The shoe house of Hellam, Pennsylvania, built by a shoe salesman as a marketing gimmick. I gotta say, if this is your vision of footwear as selling point, perhaps you should go into guitar sales instead. Anyway, it's cute and clunky and eventually some hipsters may take over and turn it into a Doc Marten. I'd love a steel-toed bedroom.
The real Simpsons house was a contest give-away in Las Vegas, Nevada. An authentic replica, inside and out, which was won by a woman out of 15 million entries. Lucky! Who wouldn't want that carnation pink, purple, turquoise, lemon yellow, burnt orange color scheme throughout their home? Currently painted shades of beige to blend in with the suburban landscape. What a cop-out!
The spite house of Alameda, California was built when the original owner of the big house sold this narrow patch of land to his neighbor. Perhaps thinking he would plant a sunflower garden, the original owner was miffed to find the new land-owner building a ridiculously slender house next door instead. Turns out the new owner was a carpenter. Let that be a lesson to you! Carpenters: they're always building stuff. Currently both homes are owned by the same household and a walkway has been built between them, restoring architectural harmony.
This is some kind of Flintstones house from an unknown location. The interiors are really freaky and seem to be made of wet crepe paper clumped in various formations. I'm not passing judgment, but this looks like how a mental breakdown might personify a housing structure. Perhaps lumpen walls will one day be sought after by HGTV audiences. Think of the therapeutic sculpting possibilities.
The Ojo del Sol house of Berkeley, California is just sitting there, doing its special thing--whatever that is. This is kind of a Captain Nemo aesthetic and that's all I have to say, since my health demands bed rest at this point. I just can't help wonder what kind of window treatments go best with this...

3 comments:

michelle robinson said...

i used to live right near that fish house! I love it.

michelle robinson said...

OK i think my home is slowly turning into that Simpson's house.

Lisa Mc said...

My house in Oakland was a Simpsons house too but he garage was detached. We should start a decorating site!