2002-01-22 - 11:16 a.m.
I think JohnnyBravo and I watch
too much bad TV. In fact, I know we do. It's this vicious cycle
- at 6:00 we turn on the news to see what the latest horror stories
are, then sometimes the TV just kinda…stays on. Local news
(this just in! rain!), Friends (oh, god), whatever unbelievable
crap is on primetime, then JB usually catches up on some work
on his laptop while I'm so mired in the whole brain-on-hold thing
I channel surf until we turn in.
I mean, sometimes I just can't
believe what we'll watch. Like last night on Fear Factor?
Where they have to splash around in this tank of rotting squid?
TV used to deliver gifts like Twin Peaks, which was a
show that didn't make you feel like a bad person after you watched
it. Unlike, say, The Real World. You know what's bad about
The Real World, is that when I first started watching it I was
about the age of the people on the show and therefore had a chance
in hell to identify with them, which is most definitely not the
case anymore. But their editing is like visual crack, if I happen
across the show I am totally helpless until some retarded Mountain
Dew commercial comes on and I can escape.
The worst thing I've seen lately
is The Chamber. With the goofy Running Man aluminum mechanism
that either scorches you or freezes you? I watched it the other
night, they had this buff guy in there getting all blasted with
ice water and stuff, going "Uh could you repeat the question?"
cause he apparently can't hear very well in there, and his "Stress
Level" is conveniently zooming over and under his Danger
Zone or whatever, and I mean it's not like exciting in the least.
It's totally anticlimactic when they stop the Chamber "for
his health" and he's sitting there saying "No, I felt
ok. I could have gone longer." The lizard-eyed host sleazes
something about how it was for his protection, and sorry guy,
and that's the show. BO-ring. At least on Fear Factor they don't
take the moldy pig intestine away from you for your health,
they just wait to see if you ralph it out your nose in front
So I was all excited when JB
and I signed up for this night class on conversational Mandarin.
It made sense for JB's job, and I was thinking - hey! Something
to do at night, should be interesting, more productive than the
usual couch marathon. Maybe we'll get all scholarly and study
together, murmur sweet chinese nothings in each other's ear,
get all feng shui with the apartment and stuff.
Sadly, the class wasn't quite
what I had hoped for. It's a wet wintertime evening, you're sitting
in a dreary little classroom garishly lit by buzzing fluorescence
and furnished with The Carpet of 16 Mysterious Stains, you want
a motivational kind of teacher. Let's-All-Learn-Chinese-RAHTEAM!
Instead, we had a papery little elderly man with a slow, creaking
voice. The desks were set up in an awkward rectangle shape facing
his desk, like the world's smallest (and lamest) fashion show
or something. So for two hours Elderly Teacher creaked away,
sometimes achieving 5 words a minute, while everyone in the class
sort of all looked at each other.
We eventually learned: Mandarin
has 4 tones, a flat, a rising, a dipping-then-rising, and a downward
tone. Elderly Teacher led us in unison:
We sounded like sheep, bleating
to be let out from our fluorescent pen.
The next class came, and JB
and I talked about dropping the class. We flipped a coin, and
it came up heads - meaning we were committed to trying it one
more time. On a whim, we checked out Elderly Teacher's website,
where you can click on the various words to hear them spoken.
I clicked one.
"Maah", creaked the
Oh god, we said. It was like
instant flashback and so we called and dropped the class.
For me to ponder: was having to listen to Elderly Teacher really
any worse than watching someone struggle to keep down a cow brain?
go back :::
comments so far.
I have moved. - 1.03.2005
Obviously, a work in progress. - 12.27.2004
Happy holidays! - 12.24.2004
Listen, I am not a complete dick, it's not like I want Joe to die alone surrounded by cats or something. - 12.23.2004
Plus I am convinced my butt is extra big when it's upside down. - 12.22.2004