Minimal Viewing

There’s rain pitter-pattering outside my window tonight and a strong wind has set the wind chimes to tink-tink-tinkling. I’m reflecting back on a summer gone before it began it seems. Sure, there were a handful of trips to the pool, but I’d have preferred more. A summer with many an hour spent perched in front of the computer, working, working, working. All towards a worthy, but not yet reached end product. Thankfully, have laptop will travel, so I’m not day-glo white in skin color. For the many times spent at home, though, the TV became a constant companion, my view of “Kill your television!” going by the wayside. So, I painted the little TV in the Spare Oom a vibrant pinkish lavender with little black and white flowers just for the heck of it, and then got to viewing.

I’ve watched what feels like nearly everything. Such a mish-mash! Bad Lifetime movies followed by really bad Lifetime movies, HGTV and the DIY Network to no end, and so many music videos, that the novelty finally wore off. I think. I hope! Disney Channel’s High School Musical only to be followed by High School Musical II which led to a bizarre fondness for The Suite Life of Zack & Cody. The Girls’ Next Door early on and Rock of Love just recently. Larry King Live and Dr. Phil. Anderson Cooper 360. Nancy Grace, for all of ten minutes. Oprah, here and there. Mythbusters, How It’s Made and Survivorman -the limits a person can push themselves to for survival, fascinating.

The limits a person can push themselves to for survival, fascinating. I’ve discovered some interests. Through Flip That House and a slew of similar shows, what is a lifestyle and living to some has quickly turned into the latest fanatical fad for many. Well, add me to the list! I already adore refurbishing old cars, and I’m crazy about decorating and organizing and gardening. Roll that all up and let me have at it! Give me a partner to handle the none too glamorous paperwork end of things.

The Travel Channel’s No Reservations with Anthony Bourdain– a fan I’ve been since his book Kitchen Confidential– is a favorite! His biting snarkiness and sometimes overly critical analysis break at moments giving way to appreciation for life with insights that have me laughing and crying all at once. A show consisting of food, writing, and travel, things that make the heart beat faster, this heart anyways. Perfection! Bizarre Foods, with a similar premise, traveling to foreign destinations to consume unusual foods to that of the American palette, has none of the depth brought from Bourdain’s musings, but is nonetheless, delightful! Asian fare I find utterly fascinating, in particular, from Vietnam and the Philippines. To walk through one of their open air markets would be a dream! Both shows have heightened my desire to travel to a whole new level. Top Chef has me anxious to learn what the term “flavor profile” means, followed by which ones are considered classic, trendy, horrid, and unusual.

I’ve developed a few heroes, of sorts, along the way. Like Dog the Bounty Hunter‘s Duane “The Dog” Chapman, a big, mulleted teddy bear of a man. And the crew on Ghost Hunters for taking their work seriously by debunking so many of the paranormal claims that come their way versus just accepting and promoting them as fact. Tyra Banks for consistently sharing her imperfections, in hopes of obliterating the illusion of perfection that wreaks havoc on the worth of so many females. Further more, for reminding her audience that it’s more than okay to be imperfect, too. Lisa Ling, a woman whose career I’d love to have in another life (minus her stint on The View). She’s been involved in some of the most newsworthy of topics, exposing and bringing to light problems needing attention. China’s Lost Girls, the New Orleans hurricane aftermath, the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda, and child trafficking in Ghana come to mind.

I’m sad to have caught glimpses of the up and coming fall line up, because more than a few shows caught my eye. Pushing Daisies, Journeyman, and Moonlight, in particular. Bigshots, Chuck, and Life, maybe. Kid Nation, Children of the Corn-esque, though, it is. Are these to survive, I shall add them to the Netflix list with the likes of Veronica Mars Season III, Dexter, Ugly Betty, Cold Case, and Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends.

I’ve temporarily lost a sense of something in all the jumble In this plethora of programming, I’ve felt a mess, a tangle of over-fed stimuli and as much as I feed on pop culture and being in the know, I’ve temporarily lost a sense of something in all the jumble. A peace maybe, a sense of, I don’t know, being clean, I guess. There’s such a feeling of inundation! Like if I were to take a picture of myself right now, my eyes would be buggy and my teeth bared and I’d be a garish green or purple. The photo wouldn’t lie still, but instead, reverberate. The mirror tells me differently, but my mind does not. The countering of the vapid and the inane with that of what matters, the people. People with less than even their daily needs that I’ve seen in far too many reports during my hyper tuned-in summer. It eats at my heart. I’m all the more resolute in the statement that I much prefer to live life then watch it. I shall now return to minimal viewing, that of Survivor and Heroes, for the time being, Project Runway in November, and with January comes, Lost and 24. ♦

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