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This Day in My History


"Fools", said I, "You do not know
Silence like a cancer grows
Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my arms that I might reach you"
But my words, like silent raindrops fell
And echoed
In the wells of silence

~ Paul Simon

Yesterday's Entries

2000: Peeing My Way to Los Angeles 
 The Laramie Project
2002:  The Ride that Sorta Wasn't
2003:  Not My Problem


A Walk in the Woods
Bill Bryson


Six Feet Under

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22 July 2004

The house is silent, except for the whirring of the fan which blows cool air on my face as I type.

There was a time in my life when I wanted to follow in the footsteps of St. Theresa of Lisieux, "The Little Flower," who lived her entire short adult life in a Carmelite Monestary (I was amused to discover there is a "Little Flower Web Page." That’s almost as funny as the Amish web page!)

Carmelites spend their lives in a cloister, in silence, communing with God, praying for your soul and mine.

I can’t believe that I ever thought I could live my life in silence.

I am one of those people who seems to need "white noise" in the background at all times. Which is strange, because there are times when background music drives me to distraction, but I have always, for as long as I’ve lived on my own, used the television as "company."

When I was working at UC Berkeley, before we got married, I would come home to a quiet apartment and turn on Popeye cartoons. It wasn’t so much that I enjoyed the cartoons--in fact, I don’t think I ever watched cartoons on TV until I watched them with Gilbert, who was a cartoon afficionado. But it was something for background noise that I didn’t have to give my attention to, or think about. If I glanced at it, it was amusing.

I graduated from cartoons to talk shows after we married and I was home taking care of a baby. I ironed (yes, Mary and Ellen, at one time in my life I ironed) to Mike Douglas or Phil Donahue and learned all sorts of oddball useless information that bored Walt to tears when I would share with him at the end of his day.

The kids started getting older and we had Sesame Street (I suppose it’s some crowning achievement to boast that Jeri watched the very first episode of Sesame Street), Captain Kangaroo, and other kids’ programs.

Some people come home after a day out of the house and get a glass of wine. I come home and turn on the television.

The television is my clock on the wall. My day goes:

6-7 Local news
7-9 The Today Show
9-10 Regis and Kelly
10-11 The Today Show, Part 2
11-1 West Wing reruns (2 of them)
1-2:30 Columbo
2:30-3 Whatever is on Bravo
3-4 Ellen
4-5 Oprah
5-6:30 News, local and national
6:30-7 Hollywood Squares
7-7:30 The Ken Jennings Show Jeopardy
7:30-8 Wheel of Fortune
8-11:30 Whatever is the nightly programming
11:30 Tonight Show (till I go to bed)

So I always know what time of the day it is by what is on television.   I don't necessarily watch any of these programs.  I'm cleaning house, or transcribing or doing whatever, but the television keeps me company while I go about the rest of my day.

Comcast Cable is upgrading its system in these parts right now and that has resulted in periodic loss of cable service.  I was sitting here, minding my own business, watching Josh Lyman hashing out some thorny problem or other on West Wing, when the TV screen went blank, just like it did yesterday sometime during the morning.

It's not that I'm missing some essential plot on West Wing.  I've seen every episode enough that I know them pretty well--and, besides, I have the first two seasons on DVD anyway. 

But there is this......SILENCE....that descends on the house, which is anything but calm and peaceful.  It is disturbing.  My brain can't process silence.  

I could fill the silence with music, but I find music agitating.  I need that talking in the background.  That talking I can ignore, but which lets me know what time it is. 

So instead of taking advantage of the silence, I make complicated lunches, write journal entries several days in advance, wander around checking to make sure that all the TVs are off. 

Eventually, The West Wing comes back on.  I've only missed 50 minutes and now I can settle down and actually get some work done.

In the interim, however, the transcription unit has decided to go on the fritz and I can't work anyway.

Might as well sit down and watch TV....  smileytype.gif (1300 bytes)

Today's "Must See" Web Site

Dogster -- be sure to check Sheila's page


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This is a ripple on the pond at the place
where Walt's mother lives.


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