Monday, July 18, 2005

TV, DVD, HP and me

I had a hamburger yesterday. God, it was good. Forbidden, but good. We've got this diner down the street called Pop's, and it's the best artery-clogging food ever. Todd was having withdrawals, so we went and indulged just a little: burger for me, burger and hot dog for him. I resisted the fries and the chocolate cake that were calling to me ever so longingly. I figure a burger now and then is good for the soul. It's when you move from "now and then" to "every day" that the problems start.

Todd says our diet-and-exercise program is based on mutual annoyance: I nag him to eat right, and he nags me to get exercise, and we drive each other nuts. We can take all the money we're saving on eating out and put it toward marriage counseling. Kidding!

But exercise definitely is the difficult part for me, especially when it's 95 degrees outside. I like to walk, play tennis, ride bikes...those are my preferred exercise methods (as opposed to the gym), and I just want to cower inside with a fan about two inches from my face when it's this hot out. Hard to overcome the inertia and get moving and get sweaty.

Todd picked up Harry Potter 6.0 for me today and I cracked it open as soon as I got home. I'm about 75 pages in and pretty well hooked. I'm not, like, a rabid fan of HP, but I do wholeheartedly enjoy the books. I read so much great British children's lit when I was a kid, and HP has all the whimsy and wit of those books I loved. Joan Aiken's style reminds me a bit of J. K. Rowling. The Borrowers series makes me think of HP, too. And C. S. Lewis has that same dry wit that I think adds so much to the HP books as well.

Don't know why I have been so...bookish...lately. Todd's been buying DVDs and trying to get me to sit down and watch, but I can't seem to pay attention to the screen for that long. It feels so long since I really immersed myself in books, and I am lovin' it!

However, we have watched a couple of TV series on DVD (via Netflix) in the past few weeks: Seasons One of Newsradio and Scrubs. Newsradio is a show that I liked but never made time to watch. I adore Dave Foley--he's my favorite Kid in the Hall, so I was very interested in watching his show, but that was around the time I got disenchanted with network TV, so I caught a few episodes here and there but that was it.

Watching series on DVD is totally the way to go: no commercials, "pause" and "rewind" buttons--and you can follow the story arc through several days of watching, rather than eight or nine months of watching. Season One of Newsradio was fun. That was a great ensemble cast, and you can see them feeling their way around and settling in with each other amazingly fast. They settled into a flow that it took the Seinfeld cast several seasons to get right. It was a little sad to watch Phil Hartman, though. And there was one episode where John Ritter guested--when he came strolling onto the set and I actually gasped out loud because it was so unexpected and sad. Very odd to watch those two guys being funny together...they just should never have had to die so young.

Scrubs is a show that Todd watched devotedly when it was on Thursday nights and fit into his Thursday night line-up. Then they moved it to Tuesdays and it fell off his radar. I had just seen bits and pieces walking through the living room here and there. We completely enjoyed watching the first season, and I was amazed at how unique and freaking funny it is. And lo and behold, there came John Ritter into another episode--the guy got around, for sure. I always loved him--was never allowed to watch Three's Company, and when I got old enough to watch it, it was too stupid for my taste--but there was just something so special about John Ritter. A gentleness to his humor that was really appealing.

Anyway, Scrubs was terrific. Now I'm hooked on these TV series and wondering what I should rent next. We tried Season One of 24, and it was...okay, but I'm just not a drama fan. And the end of that first season was so ridiculous. All that nail-biting just to get suckered with a totally implausible plot twist at the end.

It's getting late, I'm going to squeeze in a few more Harry Potter chapters before bed.