Sunday, November 18, 2007

New Bothers, Old Books

Things happen in threes as they say. First it was the kitchen sink.

Last night it was the heater. Although the heater isn't broken. The pilot light went out and we can't figure out how to relight it. We went through this last year after they installed it. It's a very odd set up that's not obvious. Once they showed us how, or rather, once they showed hubby how to do it last year, he remembered and was able to relight it several times over the course of the winter. But he now disavows all memory of this skill, or having even been shown it, and instead he and William cursed and banged their way through a half dozen unsucessful attempts to get it working. I suggested we call the heater company. They pooh poohed that idea - obviously it's too simple to require outside help.

Eventually hubby had to go off to work this afternoon but asked if I wouldn't mind calling the heating company and leaving a message for them to call us when they open tomorrow. Hey, now THAT'S a good idea, wish I'd thought of it. *smacks head*

The third thing is the television. We have this gargantuan television set. My folks gave it to us when they moved out of state, which was very generous of them but honestly I think it was mainly because it's a real bitch to move. They figured we'd only get another year or two of use out of it. We've had far more than that but it looks like it's long life is nearing the end. We thought our cable was going out but the cable guy took one look at it and said "ah, it's the television". Sure enough, the cable works just fine on the tiny t.v. in the studio. (Of course we didn't think to check that before he came.)

Right now it's an on again off again problem. It seems to work okay once it warms up. It starts out though by trying to squeeze the entire image through a narrow band in the middle of the screen. Then it does interesting psychadelic patterns for a bit. And finally the image stretches out and POP, we have a visual Houston. I didn't really much care until I realized I was going to miss my SHOWS. Then I figured out I could watch them on the tiny t.v. if I needed to, the only show I'd miss is Torchwood, which is on BBC, which we get only on the front television through a digital box.

I always knew we'd need to get a new television eventually. We do like our shows and family movie nights with a DVD, popcorn, and family sprawled on pillows all over the living room. We'll buy one of those flat screen ones that, while still having a large screen, takes up a tenth of the space this giant old project screen and cabinet. And yet, I just remodeled my entire living room to work around it! And if I got a smaller t.v., I'd still have to have some sort of cabinet or entertainment center to hold the DVD player and the VHS recorder and the cable box and so on.

Right now I'm torn between the idea of rushing out and getting a new big screen for the holidays (although I wasn't really planning for the expense - I was hoping to splurge on TIVO finally - sigh) or conversely, just letting our television life drop by the wayside for a bit. We've lived with and without television in our lives and honestly don't have a preference. It's the adjustment or withdrawal between the two that is the hard part.

And it's not like we wouldn't still have television. It just wouldn't be comfortably accessible. It would require an effort to watch something. It might be nice not to just flop down on the couch at night and turn on the television by default. I could have the t.v. on in the studio and get something done at the same time instead. The boys can use the bed in there as a couch for their t.v. viewing but William wouldn't hang out in there with it on all the time like he can in the living room. We might spend more time reading or talking or eating around the table without the BIG screen. Although, it's awfully nice to have it's comforting flicker in the dark of winter, the modern day equivalent of all gathering around a cheery hearth while the winter winds blow cold outside in days of yore. I'm more annoyed at the timing then the fact that the t.v. is going out. I wish this was happening in the spring. Who needs television in the summer, eh? Anyhoo, I'm mulling over my options here.

In the meantime, I said I'd show you my newest book finds. My best bargain yet - ten cents a book.

As you can see, there are quite a few old classics in the mix. One of my reading goals this year was to read some more classics that I hadn't yet read. I was further inspired this summer when I discovered so many fascinating old books in the local library booksale. From another angle, my new Francophile hat (chapeau?) has me interested in reading books written by or about many of the old Bohemian writers and artists who gathered together in the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century Paris.

Last year I discovered the pleasures of rereading old favorites and bemoaned the fact that it substantially expanded my Books to Read list. This year my new love affair with old literature has done the same thing - blown the roof off my architecturally sized TBR piles.

Waiting in the wings and making occasional appearances on stage are new intrigues - books about people and times even farther back in history or in other parts of the world. Travel books. Making a comeback after a ten year hiatus, nonfiction. Children's literature has always hovered around the edges of my interest. Young adult books frequently are my choice of reading material.

No television to distract me is sounding like a better idea all the time.


Blogger Scarlett said...

Yes, I remember such a tv in our possesion, which is why the next one wa/is a big screen on wheels.

I completely relate to tv addiction, but advise most frugaly, that if you need one, holiday sales will be the best for your budget. You can guarantee your bottom dollar, every store in the US will have huge tv sales the day after Thanksgiving.

Great luck on the used book sales!

4:54 PM  
Blogger Belita Rose said...

But if there's not t.v. how will we watch "It's a Wonderful Life" and "White Christmas", and most importantly "Elf"!?!? No pressure, just a small observation. Plus I will NOT be making cookies this year so that won't be taking up so much time. Although, there will be four small children in the house. But again, classics, that I don't have. Oh well, I guess I can Netflix them :(

11:13 PM  
Anonymous Deirdre said...

I am so much in love with my new tv - we got a rear projection (the thin kind) its 46 inches and weighs 40 lbs. I know its heavier than an lcd or a plazma but the only thing that every breaks on them is the lightbulb and once its replaced ($200) it is like brand new. And there is NO BURN IN - becuase its all mirrors (smoke and mirrors).

GET A TV - I'll send you a photo of mine - we HEART it!

:-D eirdre

9:52 AM  

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