HGTV Leaves Me Hanging: The Marriage Under Construction Season Three Fiasco

I have no idea how or why this happened but I now watch a lot of HGTV. This isn’t particularly strange I suppose.  Many of you do too I’m sure, but until recently I had been a very vocal hater of all things HGTV. In high school and college I would practically go into apoplectic shock when my mother would have the channel on. Granted she tended to have it on day and night but that’s not the point.

Ten years ago the sight of some random man sodding a lawn and ripping out a wall would have resulted in me having a sudden fit of exaggerated yawns followed by a string of impatient and rude comments, but now it just elicits excited exclamations.  I regret to inform you that I find myself saying wistful things like, “I wish we had a house.” or “Why can’t I have a wine fridge?” to CK with big puppy dog eyes.

Lately, my favorite HGTV show has been season three of Marriage Under Construction. It was  simply EPIC. CK and I ate it up with a fork and knife. This show follows a newly married couple as they renovate their home under the professional guidance of a designer. The end result being the home of their dreams. This season featured the coolest Canadians ever. Rodney and Natalie Bowers are the ultimate couple friends you wish you had. Rod is a chef and Natalie works somewhere cool like Lululemon. I may have made that part up though. I feel like I read it once upon a time while I was googling their names, but now I can’t seem to find it.

Anyway, all stalker-like behavior aside, Rod and Natalie hire this hot shot designer named Melissa to redo their monstrosity of a fixer upper. Melissa seems to always wear really cool boots and a gorgeous amethyst ring that I covet wholeheartedly. Then she creates these magical visions from crappy old spaces in this house that turn rooms into the Toronto version of the Taj Mahal. Probably 98% of the outcome of this house was exactly my aesthetic.

Not only was the house spectacular but following Rod and Nat’s adventures in renovation was a blast. I just loved how they interacted with one another and I really enjoyed how genuine and real their relationship seemed. Rod had CK and I doubled over in laughter on more than one occasion with his on camera hi-jinx.

Sounds awesome right?! Well it was. That is until HGTV stopped airing it several episodes before the series ended. In the US we’ve been left high and dry and apparently I’m never going to find out how Rod and Natalie’s gourmet kitchen and nursery turn out. You know, only the best parts of the whole house!

I’m more than a little annoyed with the whole thing. They’ve even pretty much removed all mention of the show from the HGTV website. You can still view a bit more info on the Canadian site. All-in-all I find this to be incredibly shoddy behavior. At least burn off the last few episodes at some point so we can see what happens! I NEED to see this kitchen. Anyone have any hints on how I might be able to do this? And yes, before you say it I’ve already checked the torrent sites without any luck.

My Name is Memory

I finished Ann Brashares latest novel My Name is Memory last night and instantly wondered if maybe my review copy had left out a much needed “to be continued…” at the end of the book. The way the first novel ends is incredibly frustrating, but thankfully after a little online research I discovered that this is going to be a trilogy so I can now stop my eyes from bugging out of my head in annoyance. In all seriousness though a little clue into that fact right up front might have helped me deal with the agony I was feeling when I was down to the last five pages and nothing was wrapping up. I’m curious if the actual copies that are for sale in bookstores now alert readers to this fact or not? I’ll have to pop over to Porter Square Books at lunchtime and see.

Notwithstanding the rather abrupt ending, My Name is Memory weaves together elements of so many genres that I love including historical fiction, romance, and sci-fi. The best part is that they all seem to work harmoniously together. The basic premise of the book revolves around the many lives of Daniel. Daniel has a memory that stretches across centuries. Thankfully not in the “I’m a vampire and I’ve lived for 2000 years” mode. Daniel lives and dies like a normal man, but somehow Daniel is able to retain his memory from each of his lives as he is reincarnated over and over again.

Many of his lives intersect with a woman whom he refers to as Sophia. In each of these instances he is consumed with persuading this woman of their destiny. As you can imagine having a strange man you’ve never seen before explain that you have hundreds of years of history together could be a bit daunting. The present day incarnation of “Sophia” who is actually known as Lucy essentially runs screaming from Daniel when he starts spouting his seemingly crazy notions. But his strange tale stays with Lucy and she begins to wonder if perhaps there could be something to Daniel’s claims.

While Lucy ponders, Daniel takes the reader on an epic jaunt through his past lives. I loved Daniel’s portions of the book. Reading about his many adventures in various foreign and far-flung places offered an exciting pace to the story, and the frequent near-misses in Daniel and Sophia’s tragic inability to ever be together left me feeling frantic for them to meet in the present day.

Of course, nothing comes easily to these star-crossed lovers. In true villain fashion Daniel’s evil brother, who also harbors the same supernatural ability but with a more wicked twist, decides it’s time to make his presence known.

Will Sophia and Daniel ever live happily ever after? Well you wont find out in this book, but perhaps by book three we’ll all be able to celebrate a merry resolution to this epic love story.

Just as an aside, I actually had this book with me on a flight home from Houston where Alexis Bledel sat two rows in front of me. I was instantly star struck and thought it was such a cool coincidence that the star of the film versions of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants was on the same plane with me while I read an Ann Brashares novel. I know…I know…I’m a total geek.