Sorry about my mini blog break … I’ve spent the better part of the last two weeks doing rain dances out in the front yard. As your brown lawns and dying flowers can attest, they haven’t worked. I was walking barefoot in the back yard the other day and realized very quickly that it was a really awful, bad – I mean BAD – idea. Paper cuts on the bottom of the foot are not funny, even when they are a direct result of my stupidity.
As for the drought, I see the weather gurus are again promising rain, as evidenced by last night’s FOX broadcast that went something like, “Thunderstorms are in the forecast! They’re coming! Really, this time we’re not lying to you! It’s going to rain and everything. Maybe. There’s a chance. But it’s a GOOD chance.” (This may not be the exact quote, but you get the idea.) Of course, last week they told us the high temperature wouldn’t leave the 80s, and I understand it’s supposed to be 95 today. Joy. I’m considering having my cousin placed on suicide watch because her Saturn doesn’t have working air conditioning.
And, these days, I mainly watch Dick Goddard. The guy’s been around Cleveland television so long he’s like everybody’s surrogate grandpa. He’s a really sweet guy and I love it that he’s into feeding animals and rescuing homeless cats and dogs, so if he’s wrong about the weather I can’t get too frustrated with him.
Anyway, the main point of this entry isn’t to bitch about the weather (although if I’m walking and breathing, how can I not?). I want to stress that life in the dust bowl is a tad tough these days, and one of my few remaining joys is summer television. There was a time when I boycotted reality TV … now, apparently, I can’t live without it. I’m not sure when that happened. Yes, my brain melted sometime around the middle of June, but my addiction was in place long before then. One nice thing about reality TV is that there’s plenty of it to watch while many other shows are in re-runs. Hooray … I’m happy Somebody Somewhere figured out that many of us who don’t have lives from September thru May don’t suddenly become social butterflies in June, July and August.
Now, the Olympics start tomorrow, and I know a lot of folks are really looking forward to this every-four-year-event. I am really happy for you guys, truly. But I am not one of you. Don’t misunderstand me – I love the IDEA of the Olympics. I love the whole Kumbaya-ness of the world’s best athletes getting together and competing for gold medals that are mostly silver (okay, what’s THAT all about?). I think it’s great that the adults of the world can unanimously get behind the idea we still need to play games and win at stuff. And yes, when America wins a bunch of medals, I think it’s pretty cool that “we’ve” won those medals, even though “we” aren’t actually competing. (I think the worldwide fascination with sports in general stems from mediocre human beings like myself needing to vicariously win at something, but I’ll save that for another post -- and another therapy session.)
And yes, I’ve been known to watch 10 or 20 minutes of gymnastics if I’m channel surfing and stumble across it, because I’m in total awe of humans who can do things that would otherwise kill me. Even when I was a kid I couldn’t hang from the monkey bars at school without falling and cracking my head open on the concrete. But I don’t go out of my way to watch them … and I don’t watch them for long … because I truly can’t handle the circus quality of the event. There are athletes doing stuff all over the place, so when I become aware that I’m only seeing what the camera happens to be pointing at, it sort of takes some of the fun out of it for me. For an easily distracted person, it’s not a great set-up. And, to make it all even more unappealing, the games are in London. London’s a great city, and that’s great programming news for Europeans … but here in America, when we’re all coming home from work, we’re not going to see a lot of “live” action. Thanks to the time difference, any primetime viewing is going to be tape-delayed and, let’s face it, if you really cared who won, wouldn’t you already have looked it up on the Internet … or had it streaming live to your iPad as it happened? Also, while it’s great that current technology now allows everybody to view EVERYTHING (because I know there are people in the U.S. who can’t sleep until they know who won the gold in archery), you somehow have to prove you’re a cable subscriber if you want to log in for the live feeds. If you care. Which I don’t. But I like the IDEA of the Olympics being simple for people to access. Complications upset me even when they don’t affect me simply because I know they’re out there.
But, honestly - beyond hoping to win crap at McDonald’s - the Olympic Games hold very little interest for me. Fortunately, they’re airing on NBC (WKYC here in Cleveland for most of us), which is good news for me. I don’t watch a lot of stuff on NBC, so at least I don’t have to worry about my summer TV addiction being disrupted by some goofus jumping off a cliff.
You’d think, right?
Wrong. I was watching “So You Think You Can Dance” like I do every Wednesday night when the hostess, Cat Deeley, announced some bad news: There will be no new shows for the next two weeks because of – ha ha – some little sporting event. WHAT? Did The Powers That Be in TV get together and (wrongly) decide that everybody is watching the Olympics anyway, so let’s just dump re-runs out there? Or is there some sort of Olympics non-compete clause (that would be ironic, wouldn’t it?) that the programming gods have to honor? Or are we being forced to watch weightlifters and high-adventure sailing competitions because these same gods got together and decided we should?
Maybe it’s the advertisers’ fault. Somehow - if there’s disgruntlement abounding in TV land – isn’t it always their fault? If they’re the source of money, you know somehow they have to be the source of this inexplicable evil.
So … the next two weeks are going to be a bear. It’s still not raining (uh … the sun is SHINING, Dick. Hello? Put down that puppy and tell me why that is, please) so I imagine I’ll be spending my evenings outside with the garden hose not watching the Olympics.
Hope “we” win stuff.