Monday, January 23, 2006

Extreme Measures

Are Dave and I the only people fantasizing about the sorts of tragedies that might befall us, in the hopes of earning the sympathy of those earnest DIY guys and gals on “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.”

Because I’m pretty sure a “just the facts” approach will not tug their heartstrings. Here’s what I’ve got to work with: I am one inch above 5 feet tall and can not reach the top shelves of my kitchen cabinets without a step ladder. Our white tile does a poor job of hiding dirt, so we’re forced to mop more often than we’d like. The furnace in our condo unit is so loud that we have to watch TV, remote in hand, prepared to ratchet up the volume whenever we hear the pilot light ignite. If we’re watching a DVD, we switch to “subtitles,” usually in English but sometimes in French if it’s a foreign film.

Not particularly compelling stuff compared to those people whose front yard was a sewer.

So I might have to embellish: I’ve been diagnosed with an extremely rare disorder that only 1 in 2 billion people suffer from. Annoying sounds, such as those emanating from the stereos or home theater systems of my neighbors, send an impulse to my brain, triggering life-threatening seizures. If I die, there will be no one to pack my husband’s lunch in the morning. Or track the insidious spread of the word luminous.

Extreme Makeover comes to the rescue. In Fantasy Scenario #1, they install sound proofing between our floor and the neighbors above and below and, noticing our space heater, throw in some thermal insulation as well. In Fantasy Scenario #2, also known as Preferred Option, they buy out “Jackass” below and “Asshole” above, creating a triplex for Dave and me. I get the kind of stainless steel appliances that don’t smudge and granite countertops (concrete would be cool, too). And they hire a guy named Serge to reach for all the stuff on high shelves.

Cue the tears by the guy with the clunky glasses.


Luminous Sightings

New Yorker, January 16 issue, Talk of the Town, Nick Paumgarten, pg. 27: “All the walls are glass, and there are luminous fish tanks everywhere—seventeen in all.”

Entertainment Weekly, January 27 issue, Lisa Schwarzbaum review of “The New World,” pg. 62: “The good news for all who are not awards voters is that this newer, shorter World…communicates Malick’s luminous artistic vision of innocence and loss…”

Entertainment Weekly, January 27 issue, Will Hermes review of Roseanne Cash’s CD “Black Cadillac,” pg. 84: “But the best of Cash’s nuanced compositions, especially the luminous piano ballads “I Was Watching You” and “The World Unseen,” turns her healing process into great art.

Colgate Luminous toothpaste. It promises to reinforce enamel and protect against stains and yellowing. Available in three enticing flavors: Crystal Clean Mint, Cinnamint, Paradise Fresh.


All Is Not Luminous speaks, Hollywood listens.

Harry Hamlin, so good in his role as Supportive Spouse on Dancing With the Stars, was cast today as Uncomfortable Celebrity Guest on Martha Stewart’s show. Harry helped MS prepare delectable, low-fat breakfast and lunch foods (pronouncing the oatmeal “awesome”), while confessing he doesn’t actually partake in either meal. “If I did, I’d just blow up,” quoth the extremely svelte former Sexiest Man Alive. Thank you, Harry, for being brave enough to admit that those Hollywood bods are not the result of high metabolism or Pilates but of starvation. Now if I could just get that on the record from Renee Zellweger, I could die happy.


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