Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Television Tuesday: Emmy Edition

Clear Eyes. Full Hearts. CAN'T LOSE this time.
Full confession: I like awards shows. That said, I limit myself to the Big Two Four - the Emmys, Grammys, Oscars and Tonys - and even then, I'm only into the Grammys and Tonys for the performances and the rare win by someone whose work I may know and enjoy (*cough* U2 *cough*). Usually, I watch those two awards shows on delay so I can fast forward past the aimless drivel. For the Grammys, this is includes anything with JayZ, which is pretty much everything these days since he produces the dang thing. For the Tonys, it's often anything not involving Neil Patrick Harris. And Hugh Jackman, obviously.

But my well-documented love for television and movies make the Emmys and Oscars must-see TV.  This year, a number of superb shows and marvelously talented people were nominated and I had hopes, dare I say high hopes, of some spectacular wins. Happily, I was not completely disappointed.

That said, the show itself was a major loss.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Back-to-School Blues

Laugh it up, fuzzball (Google Images)
Last week, parents across the country bundled their offspring of various ages and sizes into cars and buses and onto bicycles and other modes of transportation and sent them back to school.

Almost, you could hear a sound wafting along the breeze, like the faint tones of the Whos down in Whoville, the tall and the small, as parents everywhere released a universal and nigh simultaneous expulsion of relief.


Behold back-to-school week. The time when parents reclaim the sanity that slipped from their fingers with each hot summer day and night that included the unrelenting presence of their children. Oh, I've no doubt they all love their respective progeny deeply, but I'm equally confident the urge to chuck their children began right around the Fourth of July - if not sooner. Sure, sports and dancing and music classes and scouts and plays and all the hither and dither that make a school year will soon sap the energies of many a mother and father. But for now, the bliss of even a temporarily empty hearth and home is effulgent.

But if you'd listened closely, if you truly paid attention last week, you would have heard the subtle ripple of a different timbre beneath this collective parental sigh emanating from the kid-free contingent (c'est moi). It went something like this:


Oh, just get on with it! (Google Images)
No longer is my commute free of lumbering school buses. No more do I seamlessly flow down 287S. Instead the quagmire of moronic bumper-to-bumper traffic is mine to curse once again, the brake-pedal tango of pause-tap-slam mine to maneuver.

I have the back-to-school blues.

Look, I loved school. OK, I hated most of it up till the last two years of high school, but I loved learning (mostly) and adored college (usually) where, if you're lucky (and I was, eventually) they not only allow you to argue, they encourage it. Win!

Though I'm not in the ranks of the learning anymore, I enjoy feeling life settle back into the bloated school year structure, but oy, do I miss the empty roads of summer. The traffic these days is making me nuts (all right, nuttier) and it's only been a week! My kingdom for a teacher's conference!

Plus, there are people everywhere! Where did you all come from? The shore? Feel free to go back to clogging up the Parkway, you yobbos, or at least quit pulling out in front of me and slowing down to beneath the speed limit because you don't know how to go down a hill and around a curve at the same time. Yeesh. Tonight, driving home through the twilight, without warning, a utility worker ran out in the street maybe 10 yards in front of me. His orange vest was worthless in the gathering dark and damn, it was close. People are getting stupid(er) and its wearing on my nerves! There's only so many times I can miss!

Parents, have mercy on we few, we unhappy few, we band of befuddled who can barely muster the energy to glare when you gleefully swan up and down the aisles of an office-supply store cued to a Journey soundtrack. School is back is session, but- A-Ha! - it won't be for long! If such a small grace is so beyond you, then, for the love of Colonel Sanders, at least remember this. When you're on the highway half an hour later than usual after dropping Johnny and Jane off at school stay the hell out of the left-hand lane!

Gloat not, preening parents. Christmas break will be here sooner than you can press the easy button.