Sunday, October 17, 2010

Late Night TV

Usually when I awake during the night, I take a book downstairs to the library or family room, and read for a while until I'm tired again.  But this night, for some reason, I came down and curled up on the couch with a blanket and the tv remote.  I started flicking through channels, hoping for some good movie on or a repeat episode of The Good Wife (my chosen series to watch this fall, though I just learned I've already missed the first three episodes!).  Alas - no interesting movie, and no sign of Julianna Margulies either.  Sucks.  For a few minutes, though, I was captivated by a program featuring an overweight woman trying to learn some new eating habits under the tutelage of a weight loss expert.  Great, I thought - I can get motivated before the start of a new day!  Unfortunately, after about ten minutes, I realized that I was a bit sickened by the shame-based approach used by the woman's "coach" - really, it was pitiful.  That poor, weight-challenged woman tearfully confessed her food transgressions to her coach, desperately hoping for someone to understand and then help her out of her situation...only to get screamed at and asked "how could you, after everything I've told you about what it takes to lose the weight?" by the coach.  Yeah, that's a helpful approach.  I was mad enough to start thinking about writing an outraged letter of complaint to the show's producer, and then realized that I wasn't actually relaxing into a sleep-inducing state by continuing to watch.  So, I gave up my mental word-smithing and turned the channel.

The next face to greet me was good old Alex Trebek, of Jeopardy fame.  Only this time, he was flogging some product called Word Smart, a DVD-based program designed to enhance one's vocabulary a thousandfold, and thus make one eligible for entrance to Harvard.  Hmm, I thought.  That sounds interesting.  Trebek was so convincing, with his grey-haired solemnity and the accompanying proof of user testimonials, that I hauled my little MacBook onto my lap and looked the program up on the Internet.  I even spent five or six minutes taking the challenge test, and, huh, did all right!  I reached level G on the A-H scale (H standing for Harvard, I'm guessing), and was told that I'd done pretty well...but I'd failed to correctly define the word abnegation, and so I couldn't progress to the elite level H, I guess.  Ah well.  I shall survive my inability to get into Harvard.  However...I did start to wonder about Matthew's potential admittance to Harvard!  Homeschool to Harvard, I started to think.  Hmm, that sounded pretty good.  So I looked further on the site...only to have my Matthew's dreams shattered by the impossibility of a USD$250 price-tag.  Shoot.  But I decided that, even though my failure to define abnegation means I'll never get into Harvard, if that's to be the ticket holder for a Harvard entrance, I'll make sure Matthew can use the word in a sentence.  I flicked the channel.

Unfortunately, the tv options didn't get any better after that.  Even the Food Network failed me...I really just don't like that 'Diners Drive-Ins and Dives' show, or its I-love-anything-deep-fried-and-I-really-can't-stop-saying-'mmmmm-that's-good'-because-my-vocabulary-is-limited host, Guy Fieri.

Ah well.  In the hour or two before my loved ones awake from their slumber, I think that I shall just turn my attention to the book I brought downstairs with me.  Should have done that in the first place.  On the other hand, maybe those shopping shows did do their intended work on me 'cause I just noticed a huge yawn coming out of me.  Go figure.  Maybe I'll head back up and see if my recollection of Alec Trebek can actually put me to sleep.  Yup...feel another yawn coming on.  I'm off to bed.

Maybe I won't be so quick to abnegate late night tv after all.


  1. I'm glad late night TV could provide you something in the form of a sleeping pill! Couple cool things here: I liked the "Homeschool to Harvard" idea. Maybe you could start with a blog on the topic! Also, totally agree with you about Guy F. of the Food Network. I liked it when he won the competition to be the next FN star (little guy goes big) but watching him is annoying. Like you said, we've seen hamburgers before, even deep fried ones....