The New Routine

I freely concede that I am a creature of habit. I don’t mind doing new things, but I ultimately like to settle into a routine. When we moved recently, part of the process was establishing a new routine.

In our German Village place, I got up at 5 or so, wrote my blog entry, and then took a walk around Schiller Park. When we moved downtown, the Schiller Park part of the routine had to change. Fortunately, our new place includes a small workout facility, so it was pretty easy to substitute a treadmill walk and some weight work for the stroll around Schiller. The treadmills feature a standard 30-minute walk, with a five-minute “cool down” period, which amounts to about the same time period consumed by my Schiller walk, and the ability to do some exercises with free weights is an added bonus. I miss the German Village scenery and I don’t get as much fresh air as I used to, but I like using the machines, setting goals and getting data about my workouts, counting the calories that the machine says I’ve burned, and seeing my fellow workout room users in the morning.

For those of us who are creatures of habit, creating the new routine is a way of getting acclimated to new surroundings and locations. I’m happy with my new routine.

Hot Showers And Home Ownership

A shower is an essential part of the morning routine.  You get squeaky clean and move back into conformance with prevailing social hygienic norms.  You ruthlessly eliminate that lingering case of bed head.  And you finally complete the drowsy transition from blissful sleep to outright, whistling-as-you-get-dressed-for-work wakefulness.

IMG_4820I like my showers hot.  In fact, scalding is closer to accurate.  I like clouds of steam to rise from the shower floor and fog up the shower door, so that I could write “Kilroy was here” with my index finger if I desired.  I want to emerge from the blistering deluge wide-eyed, scourged clean, and as red as a Maine lobster fished out of the bubbling cookpot.

Unfortunately, for the last few months this hasn’t been possible.  At our rental unit, the hot water temperature never got above tepid, probably for cost saving and liability avoidance purposes.  Even at the maximum heat setting, a shower had no sizzle.  As a result, the morning shower there was not a particularly satisfying experience — functional but ho-hum, and sort of like getting woolen socks from your grandmother as a birthday present.

But now we are in our own place and in complete control of the hot water heater, which has been cranked up to high-end, fast-food-carry-out-coffee-before-they-got-sued-into-moderation temperatures.  Yes, I think: this is one of the essences of home ownership and the American Dream.  Now I get to decide water heat, and “room temperature,” and what to put on the walls, and how much light there will be in each room.

So turn that shower handle to maximum at your own risk, baby!  Let the scorching begin!