Monday, October 1, 2007

i like to watch

About a month ago, Melissa at Stirrup Queens proposed a happiness challenge, in which participants would adopt some small new ritual that they thought might make them happier and, at the end of the month, write a post about the results. For me, the experiment was an unqualified success.

And yet you are no match for the wily MEGA SNAKE!!! That's the new catchphrase around our house, what we say whenever (as happens far too often) we can't think of anything else. It comes from this movie and is the direct result of the happiness challenge. When Mel proposed that we try some kind of ritual for a month, I decided that I would watch more tv. While I was pregnant, I spent a lot of time lying on the couch, staring at the screen, mostly because I was too sick to do much else. But after the pregnancy ended so badly, I discovered that I didn't want to -- that I couldn't -- watch tv at all. Over the last month, though it was hard at first, I've managed to watch a whole bunch of shows. It was fun and educational!

I saw a show with black-and-white footage of the spectacular mushroom clouds from nuclear tests during the Cold War, when, apparently, scientists exploded bombs to see how big a crater they could create. I watched a program about the catacombs and necropolis and marble-lined sewers of ancient Rome. I watched a few minutes of a show about the aircraft carriers of World War II and a reconstruction of the battle of Stalingrad, with lots of pretty computer-generated grapics. I watched about an episode and a half of Ken Burns' new documentary on America's role in World War II (which, despite some glowing reviews, I don't really recommend).

I watched the news on the French language channel. I saw a show about a Civil War-era submarine, which was lost after completing its first mission. To try and figure out why the sub sank, the hosts had a small-scale model built, then blew up it, filming the resulting explosion from a variety of angles. I saw a show about the little ice age, which described how the small Viking settlement on Greenland was slowly cut off from the rest of the world by the encroaching ice and, finally, vanished without a trace. I saw a trailer for a program about the the armies of the ancient world. The narrator explained that, in ancient Greece, soldiers were required to purchase their own equipment and weapons and that "those who could not afford them, had only one choice: UNARMED COMBAT TO THE DEATH!!!"

We've started saying that a lot too.

You can find the results of other people's happiness challenges here


Amelie said...

I'm glad to hear you had some fun, despite the memories. I assume all the war stories were more on the educational side, though?
We started to say "¡impresionante!" a lot, which is what the reporters exclaim whenever their favorite cars-running-in-circles participant, also known as "el campeon de la carrera" does, well, anything.

Magpie said...

And so, does it ever come out "TO THE DEATH, MEGA SNAKE?"

niobe said...

Magpie: Well, sometimes we say "MegaSnake had only one choice: unarmed combat TO THE DEATH!!!!"

Because, y'know, MegaSnake is kinda lacking in the arm department.

painted maypole said...

well, besides a gaining a few new catch phrases, have you found yourself happier?

Grad3 said...

It's funny how an experience can take away a simple daily practice for us because of the memory it brings. It's hard to move with life as it washes over us.

I can see that you are choosing the brave path, to move with it.

niobe said...

Painted Maypole: Absolutely. It's less the programs themselves than the fact that the exercise has helped me overcome what was almost a phobia about watching television.

thailandchani said...

I think it's great that you are managing to overcome that phobia. TV certainly offers a bit too much dross... but there's also some good stuff there. :)



Furrow said...

Documentaries and the French language channel? Okay, it's a start. I'm no fan of trashy TV myself, but I'd at least like to see a little Food Network or Travel Channel in there.

Sarah said...

my long work day doesn't leave a lot of TV time, but from my office i get to overhear whatever my husband is watching at night and it sounds like you guys have the same taste in history channel/military documentaries.