...the Journal

Refrigerator Door

This is a very unusual store in Sacramento

Household Hints


A Medieval Home Companion:
Housekeeping in the 14th Century

On Laziness:

One kind of laziness is sensuality. This is the pursuit of bodily desires, like sleeping in comfortable beds, relaxing a long time, staying in bed late in the morning; and in the morning, when one is reposing comfortably, paying no attention, turning over to the other side, and going back to sleep when the bells ring for morning mass. Such lax and idle people would rather miss four masses than a warm sleep.

Yeah...and yer point is...?

I am a theatre critic

OK...so it's a new "career", but if you're interested in reading my reviews, go here

Updated 3/10/01


In a Sunburned Country
by Bill Bryson

I was able to get into this book while waiting at the doctor's office yesterday. Fascinating book!! Fascinating country!!


Gideon's Crossing

That's it for today!



13 March 2001

I have too many videotapes. Waaaaaay too many videotapes.

We got our first VCR in the 70s. Blank videotapes cost $10 each at that time and Walt was afraid we’d go overboard on buying videotapes, so we agreed we’d buy two tapes and just continue using them, recording over them once we’d watched what we’d recorded.

That lasted for a short time (the first videotape I ever made was of Beverly Sills’ retirement concert--Die Fledermaus--and you can’t record over that. It’s a collector’s item). But slowly I began to accumulate videotapes full of things I just couldn’t bear to erase.

I started recording movies I’d always wanted to own. Movies like The Quiet Man, Affair to Remember, Love in the Afternoon, and all the sappy movies I’d grown up with. I also began collecting Judy Garland movies. I recorded the entire Star Trek Original Series and most of The Next Generation.

When we got Cable and the Disney channel, I began taping all the Disney cartoons for Gilbert, who was a fan. At the time he died, I had recorded all but about 30 Disney cartoons. I kept a big list and would cross them off as I got them on tape.

Eventually I had so many movies (and by now owned a computer) that I had to start keeping a database in order to find anything. I also spent a long time making labels for the tapes I had and filing them in numerical order.

I kept a big binder with a list of all the movies I had taped (3 movies per tape, to save money) and another list for all the things from TV that I had. The tapes now number over 600 and that doesn’t even begin to count the "store-bought" tapes, or the various series tapes, which weren’t numbered.

When we found a series that we really liked, I’d record it. I have almost all of Brooklyn Bridge, Northern Exposure, Picket Fences, and Seinfeld, and we have I think every single Muppet Show.

The Simpsons was always family night. We all loved it and would gather around to watch it (and tape it) together. One by one, the kids moved out but when they could, we’d still watch The Simpsons together. Something happened to me after David died. The show is still very funny and I enjoy it when I’m at the home of someone and they are watching the show, but I just stopped watching on a regular basis when David died.

And then there are "home movies." Our children’s life on videotape from the 80s forward. The later tapes are all movies the kids made themselves. Chase scenes and fight scenes predominate.

There must be at least 50 Lawsuit concerts on tape alone, plus tapes of various plays the kids were in, Lamplighter shows, or shows Walt worked on.

I don’t tape as much any more because I’ve run out of shelf space. There are about 6 large cabinets holding tapes, two or three deep, depending on the size of the cabinet. And all the concert/show videotapes are upstairs in the Pepto Room, along with a lot of the store-bought movies.

I also realized that...what do you DO with all these videotapes? It has been pointed out to me more than once that if I started now with tape #1 and did nothing else until the end of my life but watch videos, I wouldn’t ever see them all.

In truth, a lot of things I recorded were either because other people might want to watch them, or for grandchildren we thought we might have at some point (I have a great Disney collection). It never drawned on me that store-bought would get so affordable and that everything I recorded would be something I could buy or rent as the spirit moved me for much cheaper than recording and much less cumbersome than storing.

But that’s hindsight. Now the question is--what do I do with >1000 videotapes???

It’s an interesting collection, though. Eclectic to say the least. I last printed the movie list in March of 2000 and there were 29 pages, with 50 movies on a page. Some real gems though. You won’t find Wee Geordie just anywhere. Or W.C. Fields’ classic Fatal Glass of Beer. Walt loved all those old British movies like The Titfield Thunderbolt (about stealing a train) and Tight Little Island (about a ship full of Scotch whiskey that sinks off the shore of a small Scottish community). We have all of Danny Kaye’s movies, all of Jacque Tati’s, all of Mario Lanza’s (even the awful ones). I have all of Judy Garland’s movies, all the Spencer Tracy-Katherine Hepburn films.

The TV list is a bit more interesting. There’s a great 1987 special on how the London Underground map came to be designed. An hour long history of the toilet. A lot of Nature specials (loved The Lions of Etosha). Every show the last month of Johnny Carson’s reign on The Tonight Show, lots of operas on television, and a local PBS special called "My Mother Married Wilbur Stump," which contains a brief interview with my father.

Is it any wonder I’ve never set foot inside Blockbuster?

And now, lord helps us, I have a DVD player.....

~~ The Last Session ~~
at Ensemble Theatre Company in Cincinnati
Dates: Friday, July 11 - Monday, July 27

Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati
1127 Vine Street
Cincinnati, OH 45210-1926
$10 per show
Time: 8 PM
Call: 513-421-3555

Some pictures from this journal
can be found at
Club Photo

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Created 3/07/01 by Bev Sykes