Tuesday, May 31, 2005

The TeeVee

Charles and I come from very different TV backgrounds.

Growing up, we had a small black-and-white set until the early 80's. His dad got the newest and biggest color set as soon as each model came out. We (sister Gail and I) were allowed no more than 1/2 hour of viewing a day. At Charles's house, it was always on, even during the night. And, well, cable, schmable. You know whose house had it and whose didn't.

As an aside, it is hardly surprising that Charles is heavily into things audio and video. We have 3 TVs, although none are in the bedroom (she says as though that makes up for anything, sheesh!). One a plasma; one a large set downstairs in the basement for games (and is also currently the only working internet access); and the really big one in the (ahem) home theater.

Yes. Charles has realized his dream of a theater in the damn house. Good thing he married a doctor, huh? Too bad she works part time in a low key (and therefore relatively poorly compensated) field. God knows what he would put in the theater if I were a cardiothoracic surgeon. The newest acquisition is a bigger sub-woofer (the thing that makes the room rattle with low sounds and booms) the size of a small refridgerator. I must say, though, he does sniff out the good deals and with the trades he does, he comes off fairly well. He has also corrupted several friends, many of whom have started down that long, dark road of electronic equipment amassment.

I suppose he could have worse hobbies, or chase other women, or do drugs. (Floozies and coke would be cheaper, though.) And it does keep him home. The treadmill is also down in the theater, which makes it almost a pleasure to run, as the run is in front of a big screen with THX surround sound. Poor Colin and Sara will be spoiled for life.

Back to childhood TV: The only exception to the 30-minute-a-day TV rule was Saturday morning cartoons. Gail and I were allowed to watch from the minute they came on (6am, following the test pattern--this was network TV, remember) until 10 am. We each got, as an added incentive to let our parents sleep in, a Pop-Tart, unfrosted. So we watched Bugs Bunny and Superfriends, Scooby Doo and Shazam, all slack-jawed and tranquil.

The network, however, obviously felt the need to sneak in some nutrition during these mornings, in the form of Schoolhouse Rock, which we, of course, hated as we saw through this and felt obligated to resist. I mean, what were they thinking, putting educational stuff in the middle of the refined sugar that was Saturday morning cartoons. Just plain wrong. Of course, over several years, all the little ditties about no more kings and naughty number nine stuck. I even owe getting an essay question right on a high school Rights and Responsibilities test to this ditty.

When the collection came out on DVD, we had to have them and now I inflict them on our kids. Colin likes the multiplication ones best and Sara is more partial to the grammar ones. Me, I have several favorites but think Rufus Xaviar Sarsaparilla has them all beat. How can you not sing really loudly to that one.

I even sent a copy to Gail for Christmas this year, along with a box of Pop-Tarts. Unfrosted, of course. I haven't heard if she has watched it, but have a fantasy of her, while tidying the condo, singing and dancing along, thinking nostalgically about her childhood and nibbling a stale Pop-Tart.

Anyone else with me on this? Anyone have a favorite or even remember them? Lioness, did you have anything like this?

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Anonymous Gerah said...

OH. MY. GOD. Your childhood TV and snacking experience was my childhood TV and snacking experience.

Although, we never even got a pop tart frosted or no. I think we got a granola bar. But not the chewy granola bars with chocolate chips or anything... The hard granola bars that taste like bark. Yeah, that's what we got.

Same deal with the husbands - My hubby raised in a household where they could barely afford the shirts on their backs, but they could ALWAYS manage to pay for the big screen TV and satalite dish... Go figure.

And, like your husband, mine is now obsessed with electronics and gadgets and plasma and iPods, but, sadly he is married to an evil witch who will never allow him to get all the crap he wants (because the list of crap never ends). NEVER.

12:56 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Gerah- See: Soul sisters. I knew it. Yes! the nasty crunchy Nature Valley granola bars: NOW! WITH EXTRA LEAVES!(hi dad! kiss! kiss!) Big bowl of real tossed salad with 10-15 ingredients and 1-2 other veggies with dinner. Fresh fruit for snacks. But you know, I eat quite nutritiously, for a Yank, and it is all because of how I was raised. Maybe they did know best. I even make my own granola now (and it does rock, if I do say so myself) but buy the nice chewy ones for the kids, but not with chocolate. Usually.

You are SO there with the never ending aquisitions of things electronic. It all started innocently with "just a big screen TV and stereo VCR, honey. That's all I will ever want." Gotta love them, though.

1:36 PM  
Blogger Cagey said...

What an appropriate post for me today.............I would never post about this on my own blog because it seems akin to bragging, BUT we just sold our rental property last week. The money hit our bank account last Wednesday and my hubby was already salivating over a new TV by Friday. By Monday, we were the proud owners of a new big honkin' plasma thingie with surround sound, etc. On the one hand, I am very excited (it's not installed yet - ???installed??? I still can't believe I bought a TV that needs to be INSTALLED as opposed to just PLUGGED IN). But on the other hand, I am horrified that we spent so much and that we will look gauche with our fancy schmancy TV. Also, my hubby is so NOT like this - it's been a bit disconcerting to see him like this because I am usually the Gadget Geek in our household. I am just grateful that my grandma doesn't know plasma from LCD - she will know we spent too much money, but she won't know HOW MUCH.

1:51 PM  
Anonymous Stacy Moe said...


Thought I would check in again. Love this post. My hubby Justin grew up in Alaska where TV reception was not all that great, plus my mother-in-law Betsy pretty much thinks that TV rots your brain. Justin had NEVER SEEN cable TV until he moved to Oregon in 1991! By contrast, the Moe household was TV-a-palooza! I had my own personal TV in my room in first grade. We had TV in every room of the house practically- plus cable (including premium channels) the moment it was available. The TV was on all the time, even when no one was watching. Of course, there had to be the great compromise when we married, so we do have a TV in the living room, and Allison has a TV with no cable hook-up for only watching movies for her room, which Justin finds even that appalling. We also have a TV in Justin's study strictly for Playstation. I was able to engineer a TV compromise because Justin has a special relationship with his computer...He plays a game called "Warcraft" which is known in our house as "Warcrack" because sometimes the play only ceases for him to pee or eat. We can occasionally peel him away, usually only with either threats or bribes!

1:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a "preverted" childhood you 2 had. Your parents should be severely chastised for letting you grow up so poorly. I bet they even gave you a full body coloring book in high school so you could learn all that gross body stuff and not have to ask them "the questions"? At least you got to learn about football from your daddy's knee--literally. And Misterogers still is as good as ever.


2:24 PM  
Blogger Cagey said...

Oops - forgot to comment about the Schoolhouse Rock.

I LOVE the song "Making $7.50 Once a Week" (the one about the kid getting his allowance) and I like "Three is a Magic Number" (the one about the "man and the woman making a baby to make three" or something like that)

5:11 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Cagey- I know what you mean. I really hesitated to post that but that is what we spend money on, that and plants for the yard. We don't eat out except for breakfast at the bakery before our Saturday grocery shopping. We don't buy much in the way of clothes or shoes (so sad). And a huge congrats on the sale of the house! Are they hanging the plasma TV on the wall? I must say I am glad ours is. No little fingerprints on the screen and not in the way.

Hi Stace- Well, YOU know Charles from way back. You remember when it was just a little obsession. Charles and Colin both play Warcrack. Well, when the computer in the study is working, which it is not now. I didn't know Justin is from Alaska! How cool! Hugs to Allison. I will ever think of her as being about 5, which was how old she was when we saw her last.

Dad- I still have that anatomy coloring book and pens. It is in the loft in the Special Bookcase.

5:13 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Cagey- Love both of those, too:

A man and a woman had a little baby, yes they did.
They had 3 in the family. That's a magic number.

5:15 PM  
Blogger CarpeDM said...

School House Rock! I love it!

My favorites are Interplanet Janet (She's a galaxy girl) and I'm Just a Bill and Conjunction Function!

Do you rememember the commercial they would have where the weird little guy would show the boy how to make snacks in the freezer with juice (the ice cube trays) and then the kid says "can you make me a banana?" and the weird guy says "yeah, you're a banana" and turns him into one? Or is that just me? Because every time I think of school house rock, I think of that.

11:12 PM  
Blogger The Lioness said...

Oh Blogger letting me in, everyone bow in reverence now!

I am a bit lost, having grown up in Portieland and all, but yes, my name is Johnny and I'm a tellyholic! I know nothing abt those series you mentioned but I have just recently downloaded all of my childhood tunes! remind me of how old I am again, please. I remember watching Maia The Bee, Vicky the Viking, Once Upon a Time in Space, Heidi, Professor Baltazar and an Australian series abt a kangaroo called Skippy.

Oh, and Marco, bloody Marco, who always made me sob. He looked for his mummy from the Apenins to the Andes and traumatised an entire generation. I once met a Peruvian bloke whose mother forbid him to watch it as well bcs, you guessed it, he wept!

I still don't own a dig cam or understand the attractions of iPod. I have a long way to go, apparently.

8:17 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

Dana- Somehow I pegged you to remember Schoolhouse Rock, too. Interplanet Janet didn't play when I was a cartoon-o-holic but am now well acquainted with it and can hum it with abandon. I do remember the punchline "You're a banana!" but can only recall part of the whole thing. I can't watch Charlie Brown specials without missing the Dolly Madison ads.

L- Damn Blogger. As someone said, "so horrible and yet so free". I should have just started with Holoscan like any normal person but now can't bear to lose all the nice comments. (Seeeeee! people dooooooo loooooove meeeeeee! Reeeeaaalllyy!) Holoscan also has locked me out a couple of times, so that gives me some solice. Don't know anyone of your 'toons but the one about Marco sounds, well, horrible! I don't have an iPod, either, but can't imagine not having my dig-cam.

12:39 PM  
Blogger CarpeDM said...


What both Beth and I did, because we are insane, when we went to haloscan, is copy all of the comments for each post and put them into the post itself. That way we didn't lose anything. I love that about blogger - how horrible and yet so free. I keep thinking about going to other sites but heck, I'm happy with blogger. Not having to learn (much) html makes me happy!

4:27 PM  
Blogger CarpeDM said...

And did I mention I love comments and like to read new comments and love it when people leave comments on my site? Did I?

Johnny calls me a comments wh*re. She is naughty.

4:30 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

D- Well, THAT'S like the lake calling the river wet, isn't it? (I get the hint, too.)

8:10 PM  
Blogger The Lioness said...

Hey! I call you a comment HO. Don't misrepresent me.

6:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The ‘you're a banana’ joke was from "Time Out for Timer". I still say “I'm so hungry I could eat a wagon wheel.”

6:44 PM  
Blogger Rozanne said...

We were denied teevee as kids, too. We could watch Mr. Rogers and the Waltons and that was about it. Of course, whenever I went over to friends' houses where the teevee was always on, I would stare at reruns of Gilligan's Island--as if bewitched (which reminds me--Bewitched was a major guilty pleasure as well--hell I'd watch just about anything except golf).

I watched a lot of teevee once I got to college (to catch up), and after, but one day I just stopped watching. These days I watch almost no teevee , and don't miss it at all.

3:24 PM  
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