Show Discusses Interesting Domestic Arrangement

At work I’m allowed to listen to media through my headphones while I do my more tedious tasks. While I sometimes listen to music, I am more of a fan of podcasts, in particular newsy podcasts.

I began listening to DNTO (acronym for Definitely Not The Opera, a radio program that plays on the CBC Saturday afternoons when many other public radio stations are playing, you guessed it, opera) when I lived in Canada and am a subscriber to their Best of DNTO podcast. I finally got to listen to their “Deep Into Debt” episode this morning.

This episode discussed a new TV show called “Maxed Out“, one professor’s attempt to hold onto his youth by paying his student loan debt very slowly, and the nostalgic/cool allure of being able to have a bar tab. Overall, it was an interesting show that didn’t go too far off its main topic. (DNTO does occasionally do that.) I did particularly enjoy one idea from it.

One part of the show talks to Dave Meslin (from a Toronto band called Hidden Cameras). Dave gets his prime Toronto office via a barter system with the owners of the building (he helps with computers, sweeps, etc.). Barter in itself is pretty interesting but what’s more intriguing is how he lives.

Dave is a professional houseguest. He stays at a house for two weeks and helps the people with odds and ends. He’s alphabetized 1,000 children’s books, cooked, cleaned, ran errands, and built custom bookcases. In exchange, he gets a nice place to sleep. I found an interesting blog by one Pretty Lady that explains how she turned to professional houseguesting after her relationship with a Flaky Heiress forces a change in living situation. (And it made for a very funny read.)

Sean had a room mate before I met him. A good room mate. And there are times when a room mate is really convenient for everyone concerned. I am, however, intrigued by the idea of a room mate for a shorter period of time that would be mutually beneficial.

When I looked online earlier for some kind off an association around this idea, I only found lots of people who are professional houseguests (among other things) and a Myspace page visitors are directed to when visiting (I have not been able to visit the site from my work computer but I will check it out this evening.) In any case, there should be a place on the internet where professional houseguests can meet up with potential hosts. It would only make sense. And while you aren’t making cash on the side, you would be getting value added services for next to nothing.

Have you ever been a professional houseguest? Or had one? How did it go?

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