The other day we went on a open house tour put on by local area builders and realtors. It was strange. The first house was basically The Mariott meets the boy's club. In the bathroom was a huge, two-basin wide mirror. It was a two way mirror, and a television was installed behind it. It was the weirdest, stupidest thing I had ever seen -- I made the mistake of giving my opinion when somebody asked, "Isn't that TV cool?" I think he was the contractor who built it, and if he'd had cat ears they would have been flat against his head.
We went to a bunch of houses, mostly to look at color combinations and design ideas. The first three houses were more or less the same color. And they were very blandly decorated. Except for the lamp shades; it looks like your choices are Louis XIII lamp shades with dangling beads or large glass hurricane lamps (Mark broke his own, hastily enacted 'Be Nice' rule by calling the latter "somebody's science project.")
Then we went to the "MacMansions." I never understood the term before that night. It looked like The Borg had scooped up a chunk of southern California and dropped it on the southwest end of Eugene (where it used to meet the forrest). What struck me about these houses was that each room was designed for a single function, and that the rooms were not to human scale. One room looked like the ruins of the Lady Chapel at Glastonbury Cathedral -- it appeared to be missing a middle floor, and I kept looking around for where a crucifix should be. Oh, yeah, and it appears that new houses must come with small auditorium for showing either The Incredibles or Pirates of the Carribiean. When I ran into another TV installed behind a bathroom mirror, I said, "Oh no, it's another one." before I could stop myself.
The whole TV behind a bathroom mirrror really stuck with me, and inspired a Laurie Anderson-esque poem:
Good Morning, America
I woke up the other day
And I went to the mirror
But I couldn't see myself
Instead, it was the TV guy
And I said, "Oh boy, I look good."