Monday, February 06, 2012

VHS tapes OR How I spent My Summer Vacation OR I Think It Might Be Love

For my sixteenth birthday my parents bought me a little TV with a built-in VCR, and man did I love it. Suddenly I could tape shows and watch them whenever I wanted. And if someone was watching TV upstairs, no biggie, I could go downstairs and watch something else. My TV even had a timer setting that would turn it on automatically, so I used it as an alarm clock, sleeping with the remote under my pillow. That's why I was so confused when I learned that John Ritter had died. I heard it on the early morning news when my TV turned on, but then I fell back asleep, and it worked its way into my dreams. So when I heard the news later that morning, I was sure I had made it happen. I dreamed he died, and then he was really dead. Heaven help us, no one was safe!

Mostly though, I watched a lot of TV and TV on DVD. That Christmas I got the second season of Gilmore Girls, and so during the post-present-opening-lull that comes Christmas afternoon when you've already given up on leaving the house because it would mean having to shower, my brother Rough Draft and I watched Gilmore Girls. After nine straight hours spent loafing in the dark watching the the antics of Rory and Lorelai, we agreed to take a break in order to get something to eat. Five minutes later, having consumed some crackers and water, we re-glued ourselves to my little TV screen and finished off the season.

Then there was the time that M-Lite started cleaning her room. With her bed a mess of clothes and items to be sorted, she came downstairs to sleep in my room where I had not one, but three beds set up. It was only supposed to be for a night, but it somehow stretched into a month. She kept all her things upstairs, but every night she'd come down to my room to watch TV (we tried to get into Cold Case) and end up staying there.

Nearly ten years later, I still have my little TV. I keep it in my craft room so I can have something on in the background while I work on things, which means I also have a small collection of VHS tapes. Too small, in fact. Because while I don't mind popping in and out of the room to rinse out paintbrushes during entertaining-but-mostly-just-stupid movies (Center Stage), there are others that I'd feel guilty for missing a single syllable of (Little Women). It's a problem of both quantity and quality, and the only solution I could see was getting my hands on more VHS tapes.

Today I was at Goodwill looking for a dresser, and while I struck out on that front (only ugly couches as far as the eye could see) I came across a bin of movies on VHS being sold for, get this, 10 for $0.99! At that price it was all I could do not to fill up my trunk!

Shall I tell you what I purchased? In no particular order, here are the gems I saw fit to buy:

1. Fiddler on the Roof (tradition!)

2. His Girl Friday

3. Great Sports Moments of the 80's (for Optimistic.)

4. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings

5. Titanic (a total guilty pleasure movie)

6. The Great Escape (I've been wanting to watch this for weeks, and there it was!)

7. Mouse Hunt (Optimistic.'s family hates this movie (for obvious reasons), so the look on his face when he sees that this wretched movie has crossed the threshold of our house will make it ten cents well spent.)

8. Hook

9. How The Grinch Stole Christmas (I would touch this film with a 39 1/2 foot pole)

10. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (an absolute classic)

11. Hockey Fights & Big Hits (also for Optimistic.)

12. Grease (also one I've been meaning to watch, not because I like it, but because I got a line from it stuck in my head and I won't be able to get it out of my system until I watch it through.)

13. The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle (This is a collection of four episodes and it's a big deal that I found this, because on the back cover there's a picture from my all-time favorite episode of Dudley Do-Right, where Snidely Whiplash makes a suit out of Marigolds and gets away with committing his evil deeds because Dudley's allergic to him. I might die from happiness, people.)

Not purchased (through tremendous self-restraint) were Gargoyles ("What could make claw marks in solid stone?"), Blank Check ("It says all you can eat, not all you can eat here"), and Rookie of the Year ("Hot ice! That's right, I heat up the ice cubes. It's the best of both worlds!"). All in all, I'm very pleased with the mix I ended up with. And now, if you'll excuse me, I believe I've got some movie-watching to do.