WATCH EPISODES OF THE OFFICE SEASON 5 : SWISS ARMY MAVERICK WATCH : WOMAN WATCHS.
I have the last few lines of "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend" stuck in my head. For a few hours this afternoon it was "Master of the House", from Les Mis. I'm so glad I went to see that. It must be about 2 weeks ago, but I really loved seeing it. I've had a lovely evening! I finished watching "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" with my Mom, & then we started watching "Laurence of Arabia" before my Dad & brother called us for dinner - only 49 mins of the film left. & after we'd eaten we had a lovely long discussion about freedom & rights, & religion, beliefs, your sense of self. It was great. I love it when we have talks like that. Except my brother got bored after 5 minutes & walked off. We all asked & told him to stay, but he said later he finds it 'boring'. I really don't see how. After our marathon discussion we went upstairs & watched the last episode in season 3 of Mad Men, & then the first of the fourth season. I really love it, & am a bit annoyed I didn't start watching it earlier. My Dad showed me an episode which looked absolutely beautiful, & you could tell the show itself was good, but I didn't watch anymore for some reason. I carried on knitting the latest scarf I'm working on (a purple one for my Mom) & then I went downstairs to fill up my hot water bottle while my Dad had a peanut sandwich. & I'm just feeling lovely. Whereas this morning I wanted to vomit I was in so much pain. I don't know why I had that reaction, but sometimes it hurts so much that just seems to be my natural reaction. I said to my Mom either vomiting or crying would make me feel better, but I wasn't managing either. Luckily I hadn't eaten anything, because I really, really hate throwing up. I could never make it as a bulimic. Anyway, my Mom woke me up this morning & asked if I wanted to go to lunch with her, & I was all excited & pleased because I thought that was a lovely suggestion, but as soon as I was up I felt awful & that always makes me much slower & then my Mom said it was time to go but I needed another 10 minutes. She then told me that was cutting it too close as she had a meeting to go to soon so I couldn't go out. I was very sad, but said it was just fine. Of course, it did make me feel a little more miserable. She had to nip to the post office to drop off my camera, & it felt like she took ages before getting back (I now realise that's because she was probably out having lunch without me!). I called my Dad, practically crying, just because I needed someone to talk to while I waited for the paracetamol to kick in. I was so claimmy & the house felt over-hot, but then I was shivering too. He suggested I go into their room & open the window a little bit until I felt cooler, & then go & make a hot water bottle. So it was while I was downstairs getting the hot water bottle that my Mom arrives home & she is so kind asking me how I am, & then she presents me with some rocky road she bought for me in town (though she assured me that it wouldn't be as good as my recipe) & I thought that was so sweet. She tried some first before she had to go out again & realised there were some nuts in the two slices she'd bought, & I said it didn't matter but really my heart was sinking because I hate nuts. & I noticed there were cherries too. Gross. But I figured I could pick them out. The idea of eating though was making me feel sicker, so my Mom suggested I try a piece of bread, as usually that helps me, but just chewing the crust made me queasy. I scurried on up to bed then & read The Week & an hour later I was already starting to feel much better, albeit hungry. So I go downstairs & manage a piece of bread. All good. Then I figure I know I'm not actually sick, just in pain, so I'll try some of the rocky road. It was not good. I personally believe you shouldn't make rocky road with milk chocolate - it should always be dark chocolate. That was their first mistake. Second, it was choc full of marshmallows. Ridiculously choc full. Third, they had almost as many nuts. Fourth, there were cherries too. & I felt so sad that my Mom had done such a sweet gesture & that I couldn't appreciate it. I felt mean, really. But rocky road should have biscuit, not nuts. Dark, not milk. & some marshmallows, but not so many that you feel your teeth will be coated with them forever. I had some more bread. My Mom came back from her meeting then, & invited her friend Averil round for a cup of tea. The kettle had actually just been boiling for my hot water bottle, but I felt it would have been churlish to point this out, so instead I emptied half of it & filled it with the remaining water. Averil asked me all the to-be-expected questions about going to uni, & then my Mom left the room so I felt I should make a "grown-up gesture" & ask her about the meeRon Barrett
December 18, 2005
Taken to a New Place, by a TV in the Palm
By DAVID CARR
Last Tuesday night, I took my place in the bus queue for the commute home. Further up the line, I saw a neighbor - a smart, funny woman I would normally love to share the dismal ride with.
I ducked instead, racing to the back of the bus because season one of the ABC mystery-adventure "Lost" was waiting on my iPod. Claire was clearly about to go into labor and John Locke, the sage of the show, had been acting funny of late. The portable show meant my commute, which I have always hated with the force of 10,000 suns, had become a little "me" time.
Much was made of how silly it was for Apple to believe people would watch television on a 2.5-inch screen. But consumers have downloaded three million video programs from iTunes since the new video iPod became available in October. What gives?
The new iPod is its own little addictive medium. Its limitations - a viewing experience that requires headphones and a hand-held screen - create a level of intimacy that arcs to television in its infancy, when the glowing object was so marvelous it begat silent reverie.
You now stare at bejeweled color and crisp lines rendered in miniature. The ability to download programming of my choosing gives me a new kind of private, restorative time, a virtual third place between a frantic workplace and a home brimming with activity.
But I feel a little dirty. As a print guy, I have always thought that magazines and newspapers were the ultimate in portable media - I even learned that fancy subway fold so I could read broadsheet newspapers without bonking my seatmate in the nose to get to the next page. And if I am living in a little world of my own making, it is not doing a great deal for my connection to the world at large.
Many times on the train or bus, before the new iPod, I would run stuff over in my mind - doing actual thinking as opposed to the data processing I do throughout the day and night. My commute has gone from a communal and occasionally ruminative day-part to a time when I stare at a television remote control that happens to have a picture embedded in it.
Still, I make the trade. "Lost" always sounded like a show I'd like, but as the father of three with a job that required long hours, and a commute thrown in for good measure, viewing network programming at an appointed hour never seemed to work out. The "Lost" bandwagon left without me.
With the new iPod, I could start at the beginning of the series and view "Lost" at my leisure. The average episode lasts 44 minutes, about the length of my commute. Watching "Lost" on the bus next to a large man working his way through a crinkly bag of nuts is a deeply satisfying media experience. Goodbye crinkly nut man. Hello Claire and John Locke. (It is a bonus that the man can't see the image from the side, as hard as he tries.)
So this is how we end up alone together. We share a coffee shop, but we are all on wireless laptops. The subway is a symphony of earplugged silence while the family trip has become a time when the kids watch DVD's in the back of the minivan. The water cooler, that nexus of chatter about the show last night, might go silent as we create disparate, customized media environments.
By forgoing a chance to sit next to my neighbor on the bus, I missed out on all sorts of gossip and intrigue. And that New Yorker in my bag with the article on Osama bin Laden's upbringing? It is still sitting there, as is Joan Didion's new book, "The Year of Magical Thinking." Ditto for those MP3's of the Concretes I downloaded so lovingly when I bought the iPod a month ago.
There are other drawbacks to personalized, portable video. "Lost" is a program with a background plot of visual clues that don't scan on an iPod, and one and a half hours of video battery life seems precisely designed to frustrate a movie watcher. But as a device for taking in a single episode of a serial drama, sitcom or soap opera, the video iPod seems perfectly conceived.
I actually watch very little television in my home. Between the phones, both cell and landline, the kids' homework and other needs, and a wireless broadband connection that keeps me on the work grid, the TV often ends up being a silent piece of furniture.
The iPod, on the other hand, gets charged, programmed and used almost every day. I have missed my stop on the bus because the video iPod is a completely immersive experience. The act of peering at a small hand-held screen with headphones on blots out the rest of the world - even more than the experience of listening to music.
Am I an anomaly, an overstimulated and overworked freak in need of digital soothing by staring at a curio? Apple does not think so. Remember that the company's iTunes store began in 2003 with just 200,000 songs and now boasts over two million, and that consumers have dow
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