Thursday, July 06, 2006

On the Pile (or Not)

Kids, listen up: Television is the devil. Really and truly. And TNT is the worst of it. Because TNT does this thing. It runs a gajillion episodes of the same show in a row and it doesn’t include a commercial break between episodes; the end credits of the previous episode run under the opening of the next episode. So it just becomes this continuous stream that lulls you into watching, like, ten hours of Law & Order repeats that you’ve seen three times before. Last night, I got sucked into three and a half hours of Without a Trace. I was only going to watch one episode while I ate dinner, but then the next episode started before I could get to the remote and I was sucked in. And then that one was the first of a two-parter and I couldn’t not watch the second half. Fortunately Rowen started doing her potty dance halfway through the fourth episode or I’d still be on the couch now.

So I haven’t exactly been reading a whole lot lately. Not that I can entirely blame television. There’s also my complete inability to focus on anything for more than about 12 seconds, a condition I attribute to lack of sleep and lack of food. I’m not used to being on the ground floor and all the noise that goes along with it. And I’m totally paranoid about intruders (could have something to do with the Law & Order overexposure). Every bump in the night has me totally wired. And my upstairs neighbors are very bumpy. So I’m exhausted.

As for the lack of food, well . . . I don’t even know. I thought I was being strict but not unreasonable. But perhaps . . . The scale seems to think that I’ve lost 14 lbs in the past week. I think the scale is wrong. I think I would have noticed if I had lost 14 lbs. And I don’t think that’s even possibly without violent illness involving massive loss of bodily fluids. I once lost about 15 lbs. in 48 hours when I had the stomach flu, but that was after turning myself completely inside out in a way that made malaria feel fun. And yet somehow, through the magic of taffeta, the bridesmaid’s dress seems to be shrinking faster than I am. I don’t get it.

And then there’s also the freelance work that I took on last week, back when I thought I had some sort of willpower I could exercise over the television. Back when the thought, “Ten hours a week isn’t that much extra work,” didn’t make me laugh so hard I could cry.

So, yeah, not so much with the reading. I had grand plans to get lots of reading done during my four-day weekend. And I picked up lots of books. I even read the first two or three pages of several books. But then I decided that I was tired and hungry and really just needed to lay down and watch one more episode of CSI before I really got to business. Really.

Finished: Big surprise---I didn’t finish a single book. Even with four days off work. I suck.

Currently Reading: Fun Home by Alison Bechdel. I think I might actually finish it tonight. Somebodies and Nobodies by Robert Fuller. Also started Perspectives on Africa, which is a really interesting collection of anthropology writings on (duh) Africa. Unfortunately, I didn’t start it until Saturday and it’s due back to the library tomorrow and it’s nearly 800 pages of not-very-easy reading so I’m thinking I’m not going to finish it before then.

On Deck: All Rise by Robert Fuller and My Dirty Little Book of Stolen Time by Liz Jensen.

Added to the Pile: What was that I wrote last week? You didn’t think I was serious, did you?

From the Library
Reading the Vampire Slayer by Roz Kaveney
A Contract With God and Other Tenement Stories by Will Eisner

For School
Facing Mount Kenya: The Tribal Life of the Gikuyu by Jomo Kenyatta
Argonauts of the Western Pacific by Bronislaw Malinowski
Naven by Gregory Bateson
Gift: The Form & Reason for Exchange in Archaic Societies by Marcel Mauss
Tristes Tropiques by Claude Levi Strauss
Sweetness and Power: The Place of Sugar in Modern History by Sidney Mintz


At 10:03 AM , Blogger Elsa said...

I know what you mean about television - I hate it...but I love it!! I hate it when they rope you in with those "teasers" or you're just flipping the station and you come across Parental Control or Super Sweet 16 - both terrible shows - I deplore what they stand why can't I turn away!??

I also thought I'd be able to get through a couple of books over the long weekend, but instead enjoyed some of the outdoors and the indoor TV.

I did read Skinny Dip by C. Hiassan. That was a fun, very light and quick read. And I'm half way through John Updike's new book Terrorist. So far so good. Very different from Skinny Dip.

At 10:23 AM , Blogger Scott said...

Damn TV. There are far too many television marathons thetse days, they are enough to make us go a little mad.


At 1:11 PM , Blogger Bearette24 said...

elsa - what's parental control?

At 2:19 PM , Anonymous crystal said...

Oh, how you make me laugh! It's okay that you didn't finish a book in four days. Most people don't finish a book in four weeks. :)

At 3:58 PM , Blogger Bearette24 said...

lisa, in your honest opinion, is curtis sittenfeld's new book worth reading? i have it from the library but it doesn't appeal to me somehow. the title...the cover...the first

At 5:49 PM , Blogger Elsa said...

Bearette - Parental Control is a show on MTV in which each parent picks a date for his/her daughter/son because the parents don't like his/her kid's current partner. It's pretty pathetic...but it's like a car wreck - you can't look away.

I'll probably blog about it sometime soon.

At 7:33 PM , Blogger Bearette24 said...

e - you totally should! sounds like good blog material.

At 5:54 AM , Blogger Frema said...

Oh, those TNT marathons! I remember them well! I could watch Law and Order: Special Victims Unit from the minute I came home to the minute I went to bed, and I would be like, "What the hell happened to my day?" That--in addition to the monetary issue--was one of the reasons I discontinued cable last summer.

But don't think for one minute that I don't miss it. When visiting people with cable, it's hard to get me away from the couch.


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