Oh my god you guys, I *want* to have things to share, because you all know how much I like to talk about myself, but I just can’t bring myself to do it. I’m going through my late-winter/early-spring my-brain-has-atrophied/I-was-never-that-great-a-writer-anyhow thing. And, like I mentioned last week, I’d rather spend my evening on the couch, or at the dining room table, with N…watching HGTV (or NCAA stuff)(and yes, I’d rather watch basketball than write; that’s how hard I’ve been avoiding it).

HGTV has become, without question, my new favorite channel (DIY is good too, but I always forget where it’s located on the cable box). It has usurped my former TV-watching routine, which could be summed up as “Freaks-n-Food.”** I love the sassy Canadian-Italian woman on Property Virgins, who manages to chide people politely (most common: “It’s just wallpaper; you can fix that”….”I can’t believe you guys don’t like this place; it has everything on your checklist!”) and Mike Holmes from Holmes on Homes and his North Dakota Gay Disco getup and his “bad-construction-as-personal-affront” persona. Curb Appeal, with its adorable crew. And it’s all G-rated.

I love Househunters especially. There’s something so calming about watching pleasant people with strange ideas about fashion (I thought that Kate Gosselin hairdo was roundly mocked everywhere? Guess not) in towns I’ll never visit look at houses I’d never buy in a million years. Every show is the same: Two reasonably attractive people — sometimes a couple, sometimes “friends” — are shown three houses, and they buy one. There’s always some drama with the offer-counteroffer. And you can tell they’ve been fed vocab words, and that paying bland compliments to each house is an enforced rule. “I like the tile here in the bathroom, how it’s on the floor and the walls.” “I like this two-car garage. I bet our two cars would drive up in here real nice.” “It’s nice that there’s no trees in the way at all, for when you mow and such.”

N and I have devised a Househunters Vocab Game. You get a certain amount of points when each of the following phrases is used:

One point:
-Finished garage
-“Mancave”
-Cathedral ceiling [and there is always a cathedral ceiling, because the houses are almost always contemporary architectural abortions set in developments]
-Kitchen island
-Finished basement

Bonus points:
-Scrapbooking
-Soaker tub

Triple bonus points:
-Home theater
-Trampoline

A lot of people on this show have dogs, and they always want a big yard for the dogs to run around in. Now, I can understand that dogs need exercise, but really, doesn’t this pretty much mean that these “homebuyers” are basically just looking for a property that they can surround with yellowed grass and piles of dog shit? Is this really acceptable?

scottMy *absolute favorite* show, however, is Income Property, hosted by an impossibly wholesome guy named Scott McGillivray, who has teeth like Chiclets and bulging muscles and hair so thick and manicured it has to be glued on. He goes to people’s houses and builds rental apartments where there were formerly only boilers and rats and torture chambers. He is superimposed on his proposed design using green screen technology, and then he and his attractive crew start tearing shit apart and putting in Ikea cabinets. They always find something distressing, and the camera fades to commercial with Scott looking flummoxed, patting his perfect hair. And then when we come back from the break, they’ve managed to resolve the problem, and we flash forward to the finished product, with West Elm furniture (for staging purposes) and wainscoting in the “washroom” (is that a Canadian thing too?) and dove-gray walls and slate floors everywhere. And he’s just so excited to help people move TOTAL STRANGERS into their house.

I love that guy. I hope he’s not a douche in real life.

*A friend put it that way to me many years ago, before I even turned 30. He was right.

**Speaking of which: This morning at the gime I watched I’m 16 & Pregnant while I did the elliptical thing. Conservatives can bemoan the tragic state of inner cities all they want — the result of decades of Welfare Queens and “jewels in the crown” and crack babies and community organizers &c. — but they should really be looking in the fucking mirror and acknowledging their own fucking voter base, because those people are the ones whose chain-smoking, high-school-dropout, unemployed, no-prenatal-care dimwit progeny are creating an entire generation of Fucked-Up Kids. And to the parents? You’re the generation who banned sex ed, and you get what you deserve. Time for me to donate more money to Planned Parenthood.

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