Jan 16 2014

Cookie-Cutter Tiny Houses

You know it’s a first world problem when your efforts to curb consumption are co-opted by copycats:

Are tiny houses becoming too “cookie-cutter”?

That’s the fear of Phoenix Vo-Dinh, a tiny-house renter who fears the rise of “miniature McMansions.” And she knows from McMansions: Before her current home, she lived in a Maryland house 10 times its size. The Maryland house had four bedrooms and four bathrooms in its 3,500 square feet, with seven entry doors.

Vo-Dinh now lives with her 24-year-old son, Christopher Lollar, in what she calls a “witch’s cottage” in Portland, Oregon. Its interior walls are papered over with Trader Joe’s grocery bags and pinto bean and flour sacks (coated in linseed oil); the exterior makes use of a local pizzeria’s tomato-sauce cans; and flowerboxes are made from discarded stove hoods turned upside down and poked with drainage holes.

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 “In Maryland,” she says, “the size of the house — it was too big! It was a big house with no hiding places in it! It was the weirdest thing. I didn’t know that would happen.

“And this is huge. This is 364 square feet.”

No hiding places. Now that makes me wonder about Ms. Vo-Dinh. And everybody else who thinks tiny houses are the “it” thing. Didn’t they have playhouses or the imagination to create one from blankets and a table when they were children? And just where does she think she’s going to hide from her son in that tiny, though chic and fashionable space?

And what the hell is her son thinking? Perhaps… “Well, Mom is a bit nutty, but she still controls the purse strings. And the apron strings.”


Jan 04 2014

Show Me Some Respect!

Tag: UncategorizedDonna B. @ 3:38 pm

Just a little bit (One of these days I’m going to learn how to embed youtube videos. Maybe.)

I’m pretty sure Aretha didn’t have in mind redistribution of any respect due her. I could be wrong, but I doubt it. Insty linked to that without endorsement, but observation over the years has led me to believe that the Instapundit respects Mickey Kaus in the best way possible — without always agreeing with him. Insty also linked to 6 Harsh Truths That Will Make You a Better Person, which is short primer on how to gain respect both from others and yourself. That link is NSFW and not safe at home if you have young children who can read. That warning applies to cracked.com in general.

Now Mickey Kaus was endorsing this post of Noah Smith’s: Redistribute wealth? No, redistribute respect. Neither article made complete sense to me. Neither one of them rang “always true”. Neither one of them seemed to consider respect to mean the same thing I’ve always thought it did. Basically, I feel and show respect to everyone I meet until they give me a reason not to. Those close to me, whose lives I know much more intimately, have greater or lesser degrees of respect even though my love for them might know no bounds.

On the surface, I agree that “the hard work of an unskilled laborer is considered worthwhile in social interactions, regardless of how many dollars it brings home”. And as far as I know nothing of someone beyond whether he works hard or not, he has gained my respect for his work. However, both articles leave out what comes afterwards regarding respect. The hard worker who drinks or gambles away his paycheck rather than spending it on food for his children gets no MORE respect from me. I might love that person, I might help him if I can, but I don’t respect him beyond his ability and willingness to work hard. I don’t hold him in high esteem.

Others express my discomfort with this idea of “redistribution” of respect much better than I can:

What sense does it make to talk of ‘equality’ of respect in any case? Is it equal like you have equal rights under the law? The reason you can talk about human equality in that sense — it is the only way in which it is possible to talk about humans as equals and avoid speaking nonsense — is that there is a single source for the rights you have under the law, which creates those rights the same way for every entity. Respect is not like that. Respect is not the creation of a single source, but is created (or not) by each individual you encounter. Some will elect to respect you more than others. You don’t even get equal respect with yourself: how much respect you get depends on whom you ask. (Free advice: ask your dog.)

You know the drill. Read the whole thing. And when you’re through with that, read this.