Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Reality of reality TV home improvement

I must give props to the folks who produced the "HGTV $250,000 Challenge," a limited series that finished up Sunday,

It was a show I taped, since I work Sunday nights. You NEVER have to tape any HGTV programs, because they are on endlessly. I can name that "Designed to Sell" ep like others can name that "Law & Order" episode by the time they hear the "pppummm, pum."

The show pitted five families in one Southern Californian neighborhood, giving them money, little time but a lot of carpentry help to rehab one room at a time.

A panel of judges (HGTV stars, pimping for the network) would eliminate one family at a time. The winning duo would win the prize, while getting four rooms renovated.

There were tears, missteps, and numerous trips to Home Depot. It was as close to real home improvement gets on cable television.

It was comforting to see couples lost in what to do -- one almost had a breakdown picking furniture, another had five different colors of paint, and still couldn't decide. 

I watch most of these other damned shows, absorbing their tips and tricks like Republicans digest common talking points. But my reality is tears, missteps and numerous trips to Lowe's. the "Challenge" series was a change of pace.

Nice to know I'm not alone.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

It has been 1 day(s) since I've been to lowe's.

june 21, 2009: I have dirt in my hair

I have dirt in my hair. Not dirty hair. Pieces of dirt in my hair. Bits I can feel as I pull my hand through the crown to straighten my pony tail.

I've been under my deck, screwing in lattice panels. I've been at this for weeks, thinking about how to install it, looking at You Tube videos, buying and returning and buying supplies.

And I thought I had come up with a plan to join the lattice, finish the ends, install a removable panel and make my tired deck look more finished. The first panel is on, but it's in the same shape as anything I try to do in my house: a little off, a little sloppy, and a lot undone.

Next month, I will have owned this house -- a 1938 wooden bungalow in the South -- for four years. It was an unloved beauty when I bought it. It now has a flagstone patio, three side gardens, a railing on the front porch, crown molding, a rehabbed kitchen. A healthy list of home improvements, but this home is far from finished. 

It's not the house -- it's me. I can't stop thinking that if I did this or that, it would finally begin to look like one of those houses I see on HGTV. Maybe then I would feel finished, a fully formed adult. Instead, I look at this cockeyed lattice, and still feel a little off, a little sloppy and a lot undone.

I have to go wash my hair now.