Yep. You heard it here first - I, Bonnie K. Frogma (not my real last name but I'm giving up the BK thing 'cause anybody that stumbles across this blog that's a new york city paddler has got a pretty good chance of recognizing me as that reformed blabbermouth bonnie13 from the nyckayaker list) just finished watching 2.5 hours of television!
Which means that as of tonight, my television-watching hours for the year stand at (hm, let me pull out my calculator...calculate calculate)...2.5 hours!
See...I truly am a freak. I am one of the 5 households in America that does not own one single television set. Not even a little one. Do you have any idea how much time that saves me? It's great.
However I do like to at least keep up a passing familiarity with the popular culture so that at least when I overhear shocking conversations in the cafeteria I know which ones are about TV shows & which ones are for real. So when I am kittysitting for my friends with the cutest toilet-trained kitties in the world, I take advantage of it & do a little catching up. And it's amazing - I do find myself hypnotized by the worst drivel...yes, cruel dating shows and fear factor (hangs head in shame...)
I actually hadn't watched anything yet this time except Spirited Away on DVD , but today was rough & I was feeling suitably brain-dead to indulge, plus I read a review of some Lifetime made-for-tv movie, Odd Girl Out, and having gone through a wee bit of bullying myself in HS (I had 2 strikes against me - I had to move between my sophomore & junior year in high school, so of course all the cliques were pretty much formed - plus I was an officer's brat & I think some of the enlisted kids picked up on that - it was pretty obvious who got on the bus where - thinking back, I don't recall the hazing lasting that long but there was at least one p.e. class where I ended up crying in the locker room with a whole lot of other girls razzing me) I was naturally up for a happy-ending type flick where the kid gives the bullies what-for. Heartwarming and all that, yes. Then I watched a show where two eccentric English ladies taught a retired fireman how to clean his house (which frankly, I'm amazed he was willing to have shown on national television).
What really blew me away though was how much STUFF they were trying to sell me the whole time. I was particularly struck by an ad for a disposable razor where apparently if you buy this razor, you get to have a catamaran and the ability to turn into a dolphin. Sounds pretty neat to me, that would certainly cut down on the kayak expenses (not that those are very high).
No wonder I'm such a non-consumer. I've sort of got everything I need already (shelter? check. clothing? check. Food? check. the internet? check. plenty of other stuff too including a whole lotta books which is the main thing that keeps me from missing having a TV on a dreary yucky day? check.), and by not having a television, what I've managed to avoid is having this thing whose entire purpose in life is to suggest Things that would Make Me Happy If I Bought Them (unless I stuck to a straight diet of PBS which I wouldn't have the self-control to do). I mean - even if you don't really listen or watch, that message, repeated enough, just has to be sinking in at some subliminal level, doesn't it? Otherwise why would they (ah, the famous "They") spend all that money on it?
So I'm curious...is it just that I'm drifting farther and farther away from the regularly-advertised-to norm the longer I don't have a TV, so when I do sit & watch it's a little culture-shock thingy goin' on in my soggy little amphibious paddle-happy brain, or is the advertising getting thicker and faster than ever?
I'm going to resist the razor, btw. Gonna fight it off the same way I used to fight off the temptation to buy the stuff in the Victoria's Secret's catalogues a roommate of mine used to get - oh, man, I remember seeing this one big patchwork-y blouse (this was back in the days when Express was selling gazillions of tunics and leggings sort of things) that I just felt like I must have, and if I had it I would be happy. But then I realized that no, I was actually going to be incredibly dissappointed when the package arrived, and I opened it, and there was only a shirt inside when I'd somehow been expecting that the beach the model was sitting on, and the turquoise sea, and the palm trees and the blue skies and the seagulls and the clouds were all going to be in there too. KnowwhutImean, Vern?
I bet they wouldn't have even had the decency to throw in a handful of sand. Or a seashell. Or anything.
And I bet that razor doesn't really come with a catamaran. Those insidious, misleading advertisers...jeeze.
(thus endeth the rant...)
Oh, yeah. No paddling happened last weekend - very cold & raw & rainy. Did anybody guess that by my crankiness here? And I have to work next weekend - so maybe I should post some sort of "cranky beyotch" alert... But the upside to daylight savings time is that now all the sudden we are getting into the time of year when paddling after work gets more appealing (I have no problem paddling after dark in the summertime but when it's cold & the water's cold I do prefer to be in by sundown & I do like to at least start with the sun still up). And soon I can give my drysuit gaskets their twice-yearly 303 spritzdown & pack the miserable nasty thing away for the summer. Can't wait can't wait can't wait can't wait...guess I have to wait, though.