Sunday, January 30, 2011

News Junky . . . January 29

Okay, I admit it. I've been a news junky since the tube-radio days. Not that I recall there being 24-hour news then. But I do remember nonstop coverage of political conventions in the days when the outcome was not preordained and true suspense reigned until the very last minute.

When they invented transistor radios and ditched the cord, I went mobile, room-to-room, while performing my household tasks. I never missed the news, whether from LA to Detroit, or Dayton to San Diego, all locally produced except for short national network feeds, perhaps five minutes on the hour.

Whereas you can roam with radio (early multi-tasking), TV anchors you to one spot, demanding your singular attention. Or at least it tries, but I've thwarted it by having TV on in every room so I can still move from place to place as I work. As much as I "watch" TV, I'd hate to be anchored to a media room or man cave.

CNN started the 24/7 news on TV in 1980, but I don't remember having cable until we moved here to the mountains in 1989 and then only for a few years, until my husband threw the cable company out of our lives. I caught my broadcast networks via antenna until late last year. During all those years, my heart sank every time someone phoned me between 5:30 and 6:00, interrupting my only chance of the day to watch my precious national news.

Even after I got cable again, it took me awhile to discover the CNN option. Oh, I "knew" CNN -- it's in hotel rooms world-wide -- but I never before had my own CNN to turn to when my NBC station unaccountably inserted one of those real housewife disaster programs into the morning line-up as they did recently.

This week, the uprisings in Egypt have dominated CNN 24/7 and I've had it running most of the time, except for occasional deviations to local channels for other news. However, when I turned it on this morning to find out what had happened overnight, they were rebroadcasting what I'd seen at 5 p.m. last evening.

So I switched to This Old House, just in time to be in on the first episode of a new Old House, then I shut off the TV.

Today I wrote a letter (email) to a hotel in Saint Rémy-de-Provence inquiring about accommodations during language school for this summer. In French. I can fake a conversation in French, but it's so much harder to fake proper spelling, proper accent marks, and proper verb tenses, not to mention all the flowery phrases of politesse.

My Pocket Oxford Hachette French Dictionary has a sample letter for just such occasions, but I wanted to add my connection to Magali and Colin and their language center, in case there's a student discount.

French people don't write perfect letters in English and we find them amusing and charming. I hope the French find my errors amusante et charmante.

I eventually turned the TV back on late today, to HGTV house hunting programs, another new experience, which unexpectedly enthrall me but also demolish my self-esteem. But that's another story. I've just seen the late night report on Egypt, where lines of Egyptian men locked arms to protect a museum of national treasures against looters.

Would that freedom and democracy prevail.

See you tomorrow.

P.S.  Hooray !!! This just in. My letter in French has just been answered and I need only to fill out a confirmation to complete a reservation. I'll do that in the morning when I expect to be a little more clear-headed.


1 comment:

  1. I admire the way you constantly seek new adventures and challenge yourself with improved foreign language skill, etc.