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Archive for the ‘television’ Category

Small side note: this week someone searched “I don’t want to work today” and got to this site.  This fills me with glee. I’m with you, anonymous internet searcher.  I don’t want to work today either.

Which is why I’m going to talk about The Antique Road Show.

I’m not sure how up on current events you guys are, but I really am (by current events I mean whatever pops up on Google News, People.com, and Gawker.  Don’t ask me about the debt ceiling because you’ll get nothing but a blank stare in response).  And recently, this story has been everywhere: A guy takes some junk he had sitting around his attic to the awesome Antiques Roadshow television program, and it just so happens his junk is worth A MILLION DOLLARS.

You’ve read this, right?  Or seen it?  The junk in question is a collection of 5 rhino horn chinese tea-cups, and the guy is some dude who lives in Oklahoma.  He says he bought the cups in the 1970s “for cheap” and they’ve just been hanging out in his attic since then. When Antiques Roadshow rolled into town, he took them over on a whim.  Which then turned him into a millionaire.  Here’s a picture of the magical cups in question (that crazy looking person is not the owner, but the ‘Asian Art” expert from the show).

I am officially obsessed with this story, on a variety of levels.   First of all, I adore Antique Roadshow.  It’s an awesome show for people who like old things (me), low-budget public access television (also me), and average Americans acting silly on TV (me, duh).

On another level, people who hang on to inordinate amounts of worthless (or maybe not!) crap are very close to my heart.  See, some people in my family has a slight slight problem with not throwing things away.

No no, they aren’t hoarders. How dare you even suggest that.  They don’t belong on that awful TLC show with the seriously mentally ill people who have dead cats mummifying in their homes, oh no.  Sentimental, fine. Nostalgic, sure!  But mentally ill?  Well…no comment?

I kid.  I kid because I love.  Certain family members who will remain unnamed can’t really help themselves.  I’m convinced it’s a gene, passed down from one generation to another. For whatever reason, science has instill in them the DNA code that says “I CAN’T GET RID OF THAT HOW DARE YOU TRY TO THROW IT AWAY WHEN I’M NOT LOOKING PLEASE STOP TOUCHING MY STUFF I’M SAVING THAT FOR (INSERT INSANE REASON HERE).”

I’m now going to start the campaign for “let’s find some valuable stuff amongst your piles of “important items” that we can sell for a huge profit.”  Does anyone know when the Antique Roadshow comes to New York?

 

PS: Never seen Antique Roadshow?  Brian Regan has it down pat, below.  Advanced apologies for the terrible quality…it’s worth it though.

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Unplugged

I never thought of myself as a person who HAD to have a TV.  I always considered it a welcome distraction at the most, a way to unplug my busy, generally anxious brain and just zone out.  It was nice to have, but was I one of those stereotypical obese zombie Americans who watched 500 hours of TV a week?  No.  I was proudly not.  It was just TV.  Same thing with the internet, especially now that I’m an office drone.  Do I really want look at a computer after staring at one for 8 hours straight? Um, no. HELLS no.  My eyes would literally remove themselves from their sockets and walk away in protest.

But you know that song that goes “…you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone?”  That has been my last 2 weeks, in a nutshell.  Except when the singer (I want to say it’s Joni Mitchell?) came up with those lyrics I’m sure she was thinking about true love or war or the environment or something actually important.  Not TV.  But whatever.

To those of you who are wondering where I’ve been since October 29th, well, I’ve been right here!  I’ve just been without a television or internet.  Mystery solved.  Don’t look so shocked. That was not a typo. In the two weeks that we have lived in our new (awesome) apartment, we have been sans technology of any kind.

The thing about moving is that even after the big stuff, the manual labor (not that I actually did any of that, but I did spectate and direct, which is equally taxing) and the packing and the actual transferring of entire lives from one place to another, there are still a hell of a lot of loose ends that need to be tied up.  Which is incredibly annoying, especially because you think finally, I’m moved!  All done! Lets start LIVING a fabulous new life in this fabulous new apartment!  LETS DECORATE!

Sorry, maybe that’s just me?  Maybe I’m just extraordinarily impatient?  Maybe I’m just inexperienced in the art of moving?  This was, after all, technically my first move. Maybe I’m just an amateur.

Irregardless.  Scraggly, irritating loose ends abound.  And sometimes these issues are out of your control, and no matter how much you want to make them go away and have things finally done, you can’t.  Enter TimeWarner Cable.

I won’t go into the gory details, because they are quite literally too obnoxiously bureaucratic and painfully frustrating to force anyone to read about them.  Suffice it to say that despite having taken all the correct steps, and despite having called and emailed and online chatted with TWC many, many times, when we finally had the keys in our hands on November 1st, there was no cable or internet to be had in our new home.

In the afterglow of having actually achieved moving (hooray!) with minimal drama, H and I were pretty OK with doing without cable & internet for a day or two.  We literally did not own a television at that point, so really, it was just something to sigh over and solider through.  We put on some tunes, opened a celebratory bottle of wine, and unpacked a little bit.  TV was, dare I say it, not even missed.

That was night #1.

It is now night #12.

Listen, I love H very much and we have good conversation and stuff and I very much enjoy just gazing at him weirdly at times, but sometimes you just want to come home, exchange pleasantries, and hunker down in front of the TV.  Sometimes (all the time) you want to watch the news when you get up in the morning and giggle at the kooky ways of master weatherman and entertainer, Sam Champion (GMA fo’EVER!).  Sometimes (rarely) you want to watch your boyfriend become utterly overjoyed and then suddenly, hilariously irate in the span of about 5 minutes as he watches football and monitors his fantasy team. Sometimes you want to lay in bed hungover all day and watch Netflix Instant Watch whilst drinking Gatorade through a straw.  Sometimes you want to YouTube funny videos to have a good laugh in the privacy of your own home.  Sometimes you want to download a song that you just heard before you forget it.   Sometimes you run out of books to read, and the library is closed.  Sometimes, when you’re all alone, having the TV on quietly in the background is almost sufficient company.  It sure as hell beats chit-chatting with inch-worm you find in your veggies, or the shoe-racks you’re putting together (yes, I did both in the last 2 weeks).

So before you tell me to read books or bake cookies or have meaningful conversation, before you tell me how refreshing life is without the shackles of technology retarding human relationships and how I should be relishing this quiet, contemplative time, I got it.  Thanks.  I did all that.  I read and I talked and I embraced the quiet (the quiet might have been the worst part).   And then that stuff was all done, and there was TV/Internet related stuff that I wanted to do and could not.  And that made me ragey.

Needles to say, it’s been a difficult two weeks. There is a light at the tunnel, however.  I found a nice new cable company that will give me Tivo and fast internet and not require my firstborn as payment.  H did some manly shopping and bought a new flat screen.  On Saturday, installation day, a glorious dawn will rise.  The dawn of technology.

Halle-freaking-lujah.

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That is what Frank Lloyd Wright called Television. Which I think is a pretty awesome description, both in total accurateness and in creativity. TV doesn’t really have a point. That’s what ole Frankie is trying to say.

But does that stop me front plopping down in front of our circa 1999 Sony and becoming utterly absorbed in something that is most likely an insult to my intelligence? Absolutely not! Because I LOVE tv.

I get accused of loving trashy tv by a certain fellow who has to share the remote with me, but I like to think that I’m just open-minded. It’s not like I watch Rock of Love or Jersey Shore and don’t realize ‘hey, this is really really trashy and stupid.’ I do think that. I also think ‘this is so horificially entertaining I cannot get enough!”

It’s like a car crash. SO bad, but you can’t stop looking, cause it’s fascinating. I sit there and marvel that there are really people out there who act like that. And it’s not just bad reality tv that I watch—oh no, I’m nothing if not fair. I also watch bad, cheesy, scripted tv.

Exhibit A: Spartacus.
If you can’t guess from the title, this program is a spin on the classic movie staring (St. Lawrence University ALUM) Kirk Douglas. Except it is so cheesy and trashy and overly dramatic that the title is probably the only thing the TV show has in common with the movie.  It’s a typical “Sword & Sandals” series in the vein of Xena, Warrior Princess (and, coincidentally, Lucy Lawless is in Spartacus too).  It is, shall we say, raunchy (we’re on Starz here people, you can show whatever you want), and it’s super blood-guts-gore.  I’m really embarrassed to be admitting that I love it, but I do.  Thank you, Netflix On Demand, for allowing me to watch it in secret (although I guess the secret’s out now, whoops).

AP Photo/Starz Entertainment, LLC

Do you see these abs?  Do you blame me?  That is Spartacus himself, that fuzzy little man peach.

Annnnnyway.  Don’t judge me too much just yet.  I do watch bad tv, but I also watch really, really, REALLY good tv.  Like “Life.”  Now I’m sure you’ve watched “Planet Earth” on the Discovery channel, and, if you have any brains in your head, you recognized it as being an absolutely stunning piece of television.  This is sort of the same thing, but with Oprah, and LOTS more cute animals.  I’m obsessed.

This is really saying something, because anyone who knows me knows that I am not the greatest fan of nature.  Actually, yeah, I mostly hate it.  It’s okay.  I hate nature.  Bugs and weird stinging plants and crazy vicious animals…blech.

But therein lies the beauty of TV.  I can watch something like “Life” that showcases insane nature-y things and totally appreciate it (from the safety of my couch, indoors).  Plus, now I totally would like a baby elephant for a pet.  Please and thank you.

Copyright © 2006 - 2010 by Jason Butler, elephant-photos.com

So, the point of this post is, while I appreciate Frank Lloyd Wright’s clever turn of phrase, I don’t necessarily totally agree with him.  Yes, there is deffinetly TV that is utterly pointless (Real Housewives of…wherever, anyone?) but there is also TV that opens up a whole new world for you, and shows you stuff you’d generally never see.  The History Channel, Discovery, even TLC (I mean where else would I see the “Man Who’s Arms Exploded”).  People sort of poo-poo the notion of educational TV, but I think it’s pretty legit.  I learn tons from TV–from how ad-men in the 1960’s philandered their way to the top (hey Don Draper, I miss you! Come back soon!) to how Guidos get their blow-outs just right.

So I’m proud to say I am a TV lover.  It allows you to turn off your brain and to stimulate it depending on what you’re watching.  I give those who do not have cable credit, and I’m jealous of the money you save, but I could never do it.

Hi, my name is Mary, and I am a tv-aholic.

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