...nothing here is promised, not one day... Lin-Manuel Miranda

The Best Modern Minor Invention
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I'm not able to imagine some things; when they ask that Miss America question about when you would rather have lived in the past, I can't do it. I'm too aware of things that I need to survive and I'm so grateful that I WASN'T born in past times. Either because of conveniences or necessities in my life ranging from indoor plumbing to antihistamines, the internal combustion engine to plastic lenses, central heating to effective narcotic medication, I just can't get all romantic about the past. As Polly Whitney once pointed out, most eras in the past had one thing in common: MUD. So never mind movable type and airplanes and antibiotics, okay? I know about that stuff and no way would I diminish it.

But this morning while watching television (egad, morning tv? Okay, um, well, the WNBA draft was being televised; I caught the last few minutes, turning it on JUST to hear that Seattle had picked Tanisha Wright (Penn State, no I don't know a thing about her) (they took Ashley Battle of Connecticut in round two and HER I think I know - another Connecticut player, yahoo) and to see one of my favorites, Rebecca Lobo and to hear how incredibly comfortable Kara Lawson is with a mike in her hand). And I channel flipped to CMT (that's country music television, folks, yes indeed I DO watch it. If you really wanna know, I can offer you my article from the fanzine "Littlebrook" wherein I defend my taste and explain why being a country music fan is somewhat like being a science fiction fan - it should be up on efanzines some day soon. And in case you're worried, my last article for Littlebrook was about Janis Ian). And I learned that the CMT music awards were tonight. And I realized oh MAN, I could watch it. Now, mind, you Stu's out of town, so he's not watching anything but that's not really it. Stu's really the tv watcher in the house, but readily gives up the remote to me, especially for sports and weird crap like country music. He's used to the figure skating season, and to those weird Saturdays were I'm boinging back and forth between gymnastics and basketball and even the occasional tennis match. Boing. God bless cable tv.

But what made me do my happy couch dance was the realization that I could watch the damn awards without pain, as it were. And it all goes back to our friend Anna Vargo, again. I started this blog in January talking about Anna. Last week, thanks to her executor Karen and her brother Walter and Janice who provided transportation, we got Anna's television. Karen had offered it for sale and I'd expressed interest as ours is aging. We got the tv, AND the VCR (which means that we can rewind now. Woo-hoo! Without risking tape getting eaten or shredded. How 21st century is that! AND the DVD player and the stand and a box of videos. All for a ridiculous amount (oh, darn, gotta send Karen that check). And what it means is that I can now MUTE things again.

The mute button on the old tv's remote control wore out months ago. I'm a mute button fanatic and the contacts just wore away as they would. I probably watch less tv than many - I know I watch less than the average American, whatever that means and I'm Death On Ads. So for weeks and weeks and weeks, I've been lowering the sound as quickly as I can. But it ain't a mute button. And Stu has the ability to block things out where I don't. So he can read through the ads and the endless promos; I hear every word. It's a major reason I don't watch tv. I'm not a really good consumer; I don't have a lot of money with which to buy stuff and even when I had more, I didn't tend to use tv advertising to inform my buying. So the mute button was one of my best friends. And I missed it.

Thanks and blessings to the inventor of the mute button. I'm not sure how one creatively offers thanks to such a genius, but I'm sure I can find an appropriate goddess.

So now it's back. We have this cool up-to-date tv that does things that most tv's do and one of them is instantly shut up when I hit the "instantly shut up" button. So tonight I get to watch the music awards. And thanks to my newly rediscovered power, I get to mute Toby Keith the second I see any sign of the asshole. Life is good here in America.

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