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What a Week

One friend found out she is cancer free.

One friend lost her longtime family pet.

We were without power for two nights.

Several friends lost other familial loved ones.

A group suffered a suicide within their ranks.

All within the span of one week.

People were off. People were grouchy. We were just not ourselves.

I haven’t seen a week or day like that in a long time. A day, a week, a set time when everyone with whom I associate is just … off. My family and I didn’t have an extraordinary week one way or another. Sure, we didn’t have power for two nights, but it wasn’t cold and our food didn’t spoil. But, around us, all these things were tipping in weird balances. We weren’t sleeping. People were driving weird … all these little … annoyances. All these annoyances that by themselves wouldn’t lend any excitement, but put together made for a very off week. All week-long, I couldn’t wait for the week to end. And, finally, end it did.

Now, I’m getting caught up. I didn’t post for many days. While I might have enough posts between asides and regular blogs, I certainly haven’t been writing every day. My tool to get through the day, and I’ve abandoned it in the wake of the strangeness of the universe.

Now, though, I must retire. The computer has frozen and shut down more times than is relevant. Blogging would be so much easier if I could have the technology I covet.

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Dramas in the 21st Century

I grew up with my parents watching Dallas and Knots Landing. If we woke up in the middle of the night, we were hushed and rushed back to bed. I only remember glimpse, and I remember the opening songs.

Later, when I became slightly acquainted with soap operas, I realized that these night-time dramas were simply night-time soap operas. I don’t recall the medical or criminal dramas of the day.

So, from this look back to childhood from adulthood, I have a very slim perspective. However, it seems as if our dramas have changed. I’m finishing up the last season of Desperate Housewives, a drama I became interested in after marathon breastfeeding sessions. I’ve become acquainted with TV as a mother and more accepting of its fictional relief. So, I also watch Once Upon a Time. There are a few other shows that trickle into my routine, and I’m noticing a trend. The story lines seem to have changed. Sure Desperate Housewives is about glitz and glam, but the relationship side seems more involved than my limited view of Dallas and Knots Landing.

What’s your perspective?

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TV – Confessions of a New Mom

After Levi was born I began breastfeeding, and after the mothers paid their visit, I discovered that we actually got a reception on our cable-less TV. Soon, the lengthy breastfeeding sessions were supplemented with soap operas. I used to catch Days of our Lives in high school, back when Sami was so conniving it made you sick, and it seemed that she and Lucas should both be in jail, and the search for the real Roman was in full swing. I found that it was easy to get caught up, I remembered who all the characters were, and I just needed a few episodes to fill in the blanks. I must not have been breastfeeding correctly because Levi and I would sit there for an hour, and he was always hungry. Those first three to six months were a very frustrating time for all of us, Peter included. So, to pass these hour-long breast feedings sessions that occurred every two hours (that means an hour in between), I watched television. Soon, Peter purchased Rabbit Ears, and now we had channels 2-ABC, 5-PDX CW, 6-CBS, 8-NBC, 10-OBP, 12-FOX, 24-Trinity, 49-PDX49, and 54-ION/Infomercial. That’s NINE channels! I had the entire day lined up with morning news, local talk, Rachael & Martha, Passions, Days, and As the World Turns (a new soap I’d never experienced). As one can expect, I lost motivation, became overly enthralled with the TV, and sunk further into a cycle of Levi and TV. I’m not sure how I completed two classes, with As, Spring Term.

With the summer’s tragedy and frustrations, TV became less important. When we would be at the house, and during July and August it felt like we were home less than we were out, I stopped looking forward to these shows. My soap fix was fixed; I could care less about Katie and Jack. Game shows will always be there in some form. Local talk is being outsourced. The news is always repeating the same stuff, so there is no new news. In addition, primetime has the same script just a different name on the show.

Regardless of these realizations, I do have favorites. I admit two, but really, it’s four. Heroes and Desperate Housewives. The former has an intriguing plot while the latter is simply guilty pleasure. Who really lives like that? And, are they near Chicago, or did Illinois suddenly become coastal? But, I also enjoy Bones and House. I realized that I like the “smarter” shows. I enjoy the shows that have clues and mysteries to solve, however leading. I enjoy the shows where the nerd prevails and the underdog brings down The Man. I do not enjoy the mindless fluff. I do not enjoy the catty, gossipy shows that put people out there to make fools of themselves. I do not enjoy staged dramas pretending to be reality. I know what reality is, I’ve lived in dorms, I live life.

I also forget that I am not average, which is good. But, it’s surprising to learn that on Thursday, Survivor: China wins out at the 8 o’clock slot! It’s a broadcast version of The Real World with more stunts! Who watches these shows? And, by examining a ratings list, www.tvweek.com/ratings, it seems that many of the days highest are these reality shows, or shows that I simply don’t understand.

I recognize that TV is iconic and a symbol of the dumbing down of America, but to see it in full frontal view is, well, astonishing. It makes me mad. And, although I don’t foresee giving up Heroes or Bones, I am getting fed up. Why would we sit there, every night, minimum of two hours a night, or 14 hours a week, and watch this crap? Have books become so unpopular that we no longer remember what it was like to have an imagination? Are we so embroiled in our debt-ridden lives that the only release we have is to turn to gooey Jell-O on the couch? Why don’t we get mad? What would it take for us to stand up, turn off the TVs, and shout, “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore!”

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