A. Classes, specifically the greatness of U.S. Literature
B. My homework load for the next week
A. What the deal is with my current equipment
B. My fall watchlist, in grid format
...there's more, but all that stuff's going to take up a good bit of space so it's probably enough to start with.
So far I haven't actually been all that busy in my classes - well, I have, but it's all been manageable, and as a result I've been a spectacularly good mood so far this year. U.S. Lit is especially amazing, because even though the paper topics BREAK MY BRAIN with difficulty (paper #2: "theorize a model for analyzing the literature we've read in this section"), coming to class is an utter treat because the prof is both extremely funny and extremely intellectual (and, as I may or may not have previously mentioned, rather attractive). However, for next week I have to hit the ground running. LOOK AT THIS LIST of things due in the next 10 days (which does not even take into account the regular load of reading):
Monday: Meeting w/ group to start putting together parts of our lab report (which means I have to be done with my section)
Tuesday: Lit Theory paper due, 2-3 pages.
--Also, there is a graded discussion on Marx in this class, which means I have to prep at least a couple of ideas I can raise my hand to talk about
Wednesday: Nutrition assignment due (not difficult, but rather time-consuming with lots of small, trixy steps), newspaper meeting (about 2 hrs)
Thursday: Statistics test. Also, 3-page Literature paper due - to give you an idea of how hard this is, last time it took me about 13 hours of dragging my way along sentence by sentence to finish it; I was actually *ashamed* of how bad my paper was, and dubbed it the Godawful Paper from the Depths of Suckville. It got an A-, but I suspect this was because he gave everyone a high grade for effort their first time around.
--To make my day in Lit even more fun, we have to spend half the period discussing our papers with a small group, and then write an in-class essay about how we'd revise our papers based on that feedback. There is no input from Cute Prof at all. Sadface.
--Also, possibly meeting with lab group again to finalize lab report.
Friday: Nutrition lab. Why is this awful? Well, for one, because some idiot decided we could fit nutrition labs into a single block rather than the double block that labs usually get, so we have to cram it into 70 minutes instead of 3 hours. As such, we have to start early, get out late (missing the bus run), and go at breakneck pace with minimal explanation the whole time to cram everything in. But it's really awful because I HAVE TO GET POKED WITH A NEEDLE. POKED WITH A NEEDLE TO HAVE BLOOD SQUEEZED OUT (for glucose testing).
Weekend: My parents are coming up...we are GOING to fix the goddamned television situation around here. (see part II, A.)
Next Monday: Presentation on Freud for Literary Theory. It's 15% of my grade, and we have to fill the whole class period, so even in a group of four that's a good 15 minutes of talking on my part. I am not interested in or knowledgeable about Freud, but I signed up for him because the timeslot was convenient. How convenient? Well, because after what I am affectionately dubbing Hell Week, it's PREMIERE WEEK! And Premiere Week is good.
ALL my shows (save Lost in February and Survivor which started the week before) crash-land with their premieres in the space of six days. I have no papers due, no tests, and no labs of any kind that week. AND, I get Wednesday off from school because our college is random like that. (well, actually, because they recently decided to create a Heritage Day full of special programming, which...hardly anyone actually goes to unless their teachers make them, and mine are nice) I will have plenty of time to slam out all my episode commentaries by week's end. After that, of course, there may be a drastic drop-off in coverage because I seriously doubt I'll have time for some 15 full-length commentaries a week. But you never know; I might surprise myself.
First, though, I need to explain what's going on with my TV situation. You may remember that I own two TV/VCR combos, neither of which works properly:
a) Magnavox "Crap TV" is 11 years old, and generally capable of recording things, but occasionally records a skipping image, and the sound quality can be wobbly. Also, reception is horrible and dark.
b) Dagwood the Evil Daewoo is 2 years old, gets pretty great reception, and has (in theory) excellent recording capabilities. Except for the fact that he destroys any and every tape inserted into him, pulling out the film and snagging and scratching it. He can still play/record, but it takes about 10 minutes of repeatedly inserting/ejecting for the tape spools to "catch", and in the process you'll likely ruin five or six spots along the tape.
Naturally, I brought Crap TV to school with me because bad reception can be fixed when you're plugged into cable, right? Wrong. The reception actually got *worse*. Every channel has white lines across the screen, not to mention "shadow images" from the next channel obscuring the picture - and only then did I remember that this problem is why I bought Dagwood in the first place. It's intolerable. But, but, I need recording capabilities! I cannot depend on the internet to faithfully deliver every episode of every show, and besides, what if I just want to quickly grab something that's airing on cable? Compounding this problem is the fact that VHS is becoming so obsolete that nobody even sells TV/VCR combos anymore, unless they're massive great things with a VHS/DVD combo. I know this because we spent several fruitless hours driving all over the city looking for one.
My idea was to buy a DVR (that *is* the equivalent of a VCR, yes, only without tapes? do not want subscription services; just timer-recording hardware), because I figured that would be a small step towards the future and probably useful for years to come...but I have no idea how they work, and neither does anyone else in my family, so I'd just end up with an expensive piece of equipment I couldn't use. I was about to resign myself to TV-on-computer.
Last weekend, my parents surprised me with a solution: they were going to give me their currently-not-in-use VCR, plus a Shiny New (flatscreen) HD TV because they found one super-sale. I know I should be really pleased with their generosity, but I'm not. One, we have already discussed how much I hate the warped wide screen. Two, the sound quality is HORRIBLE AND TINNY; I can get better sound out of my cheap computer speakers. Three, they don't even know how to work their VCR, so it's useless for recording purposes. ARGH. YOU MIGHT AS WELL HAVE SAVED YOUR MONEY AND BROUGHT ME DAGWOOD!! I sent everything back home with them. They have since learned how to make it record - or so they claim - but they have not learned how to set the timer-record so it will go off when I'm not there to push the button.
Which...okay, it's better, but timer-record is kind of half the reason I need to tape things. I'm not always home during primetime. Sigh. Anyway, they're coming up next weekend to deliver the new goods to me/hook it all up. It's frustrating and sad and *hugs Magnavox* I love my boxy little 13-inch TV! It's so cute and adorable and it's been there for me my entire television-watching career...I hate change. I love this format. Why do things have to change, why??
And now, for the part you've all been waiting for...my 07-08 Season Grid.
7:00 - The Simpsons [possibly - if I remember. I usually don't.]
7:00 - How I Met Your Mother
8:00 - Two and Half Men [possibly - I usually watch it out of timeslot convenience, because it is a little amusing, but since there is only one good comedy left on this night, it would probably be more convenient to just shut off the TV from 7:30-9]
9:00 - CSI: Miami
7:00 - NCIS vs. Bones [will probably watch Bones and catch NCIS later, since FOX cannot be trusted to put its shows up in easily accessible places online.]
8:00 - House
9:00 - Law & Order: SVU
7:00 - Back to You/Til Death [the former looks funny...the latter is funny too, but mostly a matter of timeslot convenience]
8:00 - Private Practice [maybe...it's getting trial episodes]
9:00 - CSI: NY
7:00 - Survivor
8:00 - CSI vs. Grey's Anatomy [definitely watching CSI and catching Grey's later; the ABC player is fantastic.]
(after careful consideration, I have decided not to pick up The Office since I never got around to watching earlier seasons, and the only thing I really like about it is Jim/Pam, which goes much more nicely in my daydreams. I will, however, read & comment on recaps/reviews so I have some idea what's going on.)
9:00 - Without a Trace vs. ER [GUYS. SERIOUSLY. I NEED A PLACE TO WATCH ONE OR BOTH OF THESE ONLINE!! If push comes to shove, I'm thinking I'll watch ER because it probably has far fewer dedicated fans putting up episodes at this point, so I'm more confident I can find WaT later.]
9:00 - Numb3rs
Lost off last year's lineup: The O.C., Standoff, The Class (*weeps in corner*), and any serious attempt to watch Law & Order: CI or TOS new.
New Shows: Private Practice, Back to You
Also? I was writing a list of shows I wasn't planning to watch, and explaining why. Second on the list was "New Amsterdam." It went like this: I do not care how tortured and angsty you make this potentially attractive man, nor how many previews you air containing the kick-ass Zuleikah Robinson. I'm not getting sucked into your realm of weirdness, FOX, even when you try to disguise it as crime drama. I cut ties with sci-fi/fantasy/paranormal after the end of Dark Angel....why can't I stop thinking about the potential for angst? No! It will get canceled if I fall in love with it! Fox canceled all its dramas last year, remember?? Oh, damn it. The lure is just too great - I'll be watching this one.
Then I went to look up its premiere date. It didn't have one. Why? Because somewhere between the endless previews that aired during So You Think You Can Dance and now, it's been pushed back to a mid-season replacement. Frickin' A - all I had to do was think about loving it and it got marked for slaughter. Note to Self: STOP LETTING FOX SUCK YOU IN.
Okay, I need to get this posted. More later on what I'm actually looking forward to from Premiere Week.