Category Archives: “The Flying Nun”

“Lassie” and Television’s Progress

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On Friday, September 12, 2014, 60 years of television had passed by, since “Lassie’s”

first debut episode. The show was simple, meaningful and encompassed all areas of

rural living, (1954 – 1973). When they list the ‘longest lasting television series,’ they

place this show close to top of the list.

 

The years I remember the show, “Lassie,” best had June Lockhart as portraying my

favorite mother of all time. The father was genuinely well-acted by Hugh Reilly and

my favorite little boy, “Timmy,” was played by Jon Provost.

 

Although the leading “human” roles changed over the years, there was always the

faithful dog, “Lassie.” (Many dogs played this role, of course, through the years.) I

enjoyed the various transitions of “Lassie,” having family values and including life

lessons.

 

Fast forward to September and October, 2014 for the New Fall, 2014 television

season.

It would be nearly impossible to picture most of the newest additions to our current

television programming to last ten years, let alone 19 years.

 

The “CSI” and “NCIS” shows are still going strong and on this Fall’s t.v. line-up.

I am going to miss having the original show, “CSI,” with its location of Las Vegas,

when it moves to its new Sunday evening slot. Sunday is my favorite ‘catch up’ night,

with PBS, Hallmark and I still am a big fan of “Once Upon A Time” and “Revenge.”

The new Fall line up is already getting over-crowded on my own Sunday night.

 

I was talking to a good friend who thinks some of the shows sound “silly” and was

pointing out a Columbus Dispatch critic thought Debra Messing would be hard to

imagine being a cop, in the new show called, “”Mysteries of Laura.”

Since I would first respond, I love the silly show, “Mike and Molly.” I may be quite

blasphemous to say that “Mike” would NEVER make it on a real police force, due

to his large size…

Criticism from someone who loves all kinds of wild SyFy shows like, “Haven” and

“Eureka,”  and on regular network t.v., “Under the Dome,” should be wondering

about their own ways they stretch their imagination! I am laughing with you; not

at you, my friend!

 

Can you suspend your sense of disbelief and let your imagination go?

I remember the funny ways we learned, as children to open our ‘escape hatches’

and step into the Lands of Wonderment.

 

I shall try all the shows with female-driven plot lines. They have had ‘good fortune’

in the past. Imagine “The Good Wife” not being on,  not receiving another round of

Emmy Award nominations. I think it is nice to see women in professional situations,

not wearing an ‘apron’ and carrying out the character of a ‘housewife and mother.’

This is not to say that I don’t enjoy programs that have women who have chosen to

stay at home to do

this very important job and having this be part of the plot line, too. Choices are what

makes this a different world from the Fifties and Sixties’ television programming.

 

“We’ve Come a Long Way, Baby!”

I like the characters in this sweet little show about a single mother with a son, you may

recognize him from big screen movies, I “About a Boy.” I am sadly not pleased with

where they tucked this show into a 9:30 time slot. It is ‘not cute’ but original and quirky.

We, if you are a viewer, are ‘rooting’ for the handsome neighbor man to become the single

mother’s date. Although it is about a boy, it is definitely about the mother, too. Having

raised 3 children on my own, I am particularly happy to watch this one. I also like the

upcoming role of Katherine Heigl getting another chance on television in “State of

Affairs.” While Katherine Heigl left “Grey’s Anatomy,” definitely getting better comedic

roles in movies, she is still sorely missed as the character of “Izzy,” on that show. I am

looking forward to seeing her as a CIA agent. She was funny in “One for the Money,” a

movie based on the hilarious antics of a bondswoman in more than 20 books by Janet

Evanovich.

 

If you liked Tea Leoni’s funny past roles you may have seen her show her acting chops

in serious dramas, too. We will see which direction she heads in, “Madame Secretary.”

She was one of the wackiest women on television for 2 years in a show called, “The Naked

Truth.”

 

I have read a decent review of “Red Band Society.” It is not a “Breakfast Club,” nor

is it one that will be all laughs, but will tackle diseases and illnesses with a touch of

humor and give it an uplifting spin. It is a group of young people who are ones who

have hospital experiences, who are dealing with personal challenges. I picture it more

like the movie, “Stand By Me,” in its tone and togetherness. It is about a ‘band

of young misfits.’

 

Critics are harsh when it comes to some and not so much with others. I remember

when I discovered, “How I Met Your Mother.” It was before the critics endorsed it,

awhile back. I am sad how they chose to end it, with the death of the mother but

happy the main gal, Robin, got her ‘man.’

 

The serious shows genre are tougher to predict. I would imagine Scott Backula will

knock the New Orleans’ version of “NCIS” out of the park. I happen to have liked his

‘goofy’ portrayal of character in “Quantum Leap.” I am not sure about, “Stalkers,” but

will support Dylan McDermott, since he is still okay after all these years since his role

as a non-supportive ‘husband’ for Julia Robert’s dying ‘wife’ role in “Steel Magnolias.”

 

Another serious plot line can be found in “Gracepoint.” (Not to be confused with the

CIA/FBI show about the safe house, “Graceland.”) David Tennant, from the British

show, “Broadchurch,”and Anna Gunn are two strong actors that will head up the

already critically-acclaimed and well-promoted television show. This show is set in a

fictional California coastal community.

 

I think that the “Forever” show that is listed on two consecutive days, for its kick-off

first two episodes sounds good.  Sadly, I lost “Journeyman” and also another traveling

through  time show just in the past two years. I will hope this one ‘sticks’ because I like

the concept. I used to enjoy “Time Tunnel” on television and “Back to the Future,” on

the movie screen.

 

I have been a fan of Josh Dushamel ever since the show, “Vegas.” I have enjoyed his

forte into romantic comedies, too. The actor, Dushamel will be on a new show called,

“Battle Creek,” This will be loosely based on likely crimes to be found in Battle Creek,

Michigan. His co-star/partner will be that of Dean Winters. You will recognize him,

but not necessarily ‘place’ him. I will check this one out simply because I love crime-

solving television series.

 

I will return to comedies. This is what a good friend in Lancaster, Ohio mentioned

when we turned 50: “Try to laugh more, watch comedies!”

I came up with a slogan, which I will hope no one else has coined:

“Humor is found in the ‘ear’ of the listener.”

(“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”)

So, if you liked “My Favorite Martian” did you ever try 2 seasons of “Neighbors?”

I think not, since it did not make it. This was clever, witty writing with four likable

adults, along with poking fun at Suburbia. I will miss this, unless it is on a later

schedule, it did not make the ‘cut.’

 

If you liked “Scrubs,” you probably followed the guy who was the janitor on over

into “The Middle,” who became the ever patient, sometimes ‘clueless’ Dad in this

sit-com. This also includes Patricia Heaton, who played the Mom/wife roles in

“Everyone Loves Raymond.”

 

If you liked “Taxi,” “Barney Miller” and “Psych,” you may have discovered last year’s

Emmy-awarding comedy, “Brooklyn 9-9.” Hilarious, quirky and goofy at times, but

watch out, you may laugh out loud anyway.

 

I am wishing that Nielson’s Rating chart were in my mailbox, because I had such a

lovely time about eight years ago, studying and analyzing the television Fall Season

Line-ups back then. The first time I had the full control of a remote control.  I wrote

some comprehensive and profuse notes for those receiving my multiple page Nielson

Ratings Report. I  am not a paid writer nor do I write for a newspaper. I was able to

honestly say this, it was all for the love of television and the future of programming

that I was inspired to carry out my ‘duties’ in this report.

 

My final thoughts on the Progress television has made since “Lassie” was on.

You are invited to ‘debate’ these comments, too. I love a good and lively discussion!

 

I personally feel current shows embrace more ethnicities, culture and show characters

with wider world views in our programming. They encompasses much more ‘diversity’

on television since my childhood days. This means the people who are represented

are not stereotyped as much, anymore.

 

I like that there are two children with special needs included in some popular shows.

I recommend, “Parenthood,” and if you have never seen this, start by watching the

first shows. It is cool to watch this fine young actor, “grow up” with two caring

‘parents’ who disagree about how to handle him, along with a supportive ‘family.’

I am not sure how they would ‘label’ the character, “Brick,” in the show “The Middle,”

but the family accepts him just as he is.

I feel the shows today give better examples of the way families really act, showing

varied relationships, how to handle or not able handle serious and controversial

subjects such as addictions, challenges and sexual orientations.

 

We have heroes and villains. The same as in the past, sometimes more graphically

(and honestly presented.)

 

World conflicts and images are horrifying.  We cannot ignore what is going on, bury

our head in the sand. Powerful, and yet maddening, events are daily depicted (some

consider, ‘bombarded’) on our television sets.

We are urged to ‘act’ and ‘choose’ which side of the dilemmas we will take, as a nation

and other countries must, too.

Along with this serious, somewhat negative impact of television’s immediacy to

situations, we have positives.

We have the opportunity to watch the Olympics, sporting events and international

specials, shown across the world. My coworkers and friends from the Philippines

were captivated by Pope Francis being chosen to be the Roman Catholic Pope.

Other friends were entranced by the wedding of Prince Charles to Diana. Then,

many followed the tragic ending to Lady Diana’s life. They were hopeful for the

more recent wedding of Prince William to Kate Middleton. The baby’s birth and

now, the next one on its way, are subjects that many feel are happy bits of news.

 

History, social studies, geography and science are subjects of programs, for

everyone to  learn about, grow to enjoy and get more educated. There are so

many fascinating shows to watch. Nature, musical and art works may never be viewed

or listened to, first hand. Other countries and animals, places that may not be within

everyone’s budget or ability to travel.

 

Some people are not necessarily able to buy or read the newspaper. They find out

information about the world they live in, from the television news shows.

Hurray For National Geographic, Travel Channel, PBS, Weather Channel and

other quality network programming!

 

We have real and make-believe images still, with our magic carpet rides taking off,

from our own homes.

 

There are subjects and shows I may never care to watch. I embrace and support

those who like QVC shopping, cooking shows, reality shows and true dramas,

because they are part of the wide community of television watchers.

 

Many of the shows I choose to watch, you may not want to watch. I got hooked on a

soap opera, during our second break at work. For the past six years, I am ‘guilty’ of

watching, “The Bold and the Beautiful.”

All the years I stayed home and babysat, I did not watch any soap operas. I did in

college, much to the chagrin of my parents, when I mentioned I was scheduling my

courses around a couple of soap operas!

 

I was listening, the first year of American Idol, to all the animated conversations in

the teachers’ break room. They were talking about the ‘bad’ try-outs and the odd

characters. It was in the very beginning of the national search for those who would

make it to “Hollywood.” This caught my attention and I am so glad that I started

watching it.  I can say, “I remember when I first heard Carrie Underwood’s fantastic

voice, was medium built and had frizzy hair!” Along with several well-known singers

who made it to the Top Ten or higher.

 

I am grateful that I don’t have to sit on a sofa and listen to radio to imagine the

great radio characters of the “Green Hornet,” “Gracie Allen and George Burns,”

or how the President of the United States looks like as he is speaking. I enjoy

hearing my Mom’s excitement when she heard about Amelia Earhart’s trans-

Atlantic plane trip and her memories of the “Fireside Chats,” with President

Roosevelt, though.

 

I liked how we  used to watch to find out if we had school on Snow Days. Later,

if our children or grandchildren have school cancelled. I enjoy watching to see

how ‘my’ candidates or ‘my’ issues are doing, as the voting polls report in their

results.

 

I am saddened that there are blind people who cannot see, but grateful for the

inventions of special devices and increased equipment due to new technology

allowing them ‘to see’ the shows. The descriptions of the setting, characters and

other visual ‘clues’ are given. I have read about these and think the inventors are

brilliant for creating and providing this service. There are new creations in hearing-

impaired equipment, too.

 

Many people cannot afford to go to the movies or take a vacation with their families.

They may not go to Broadway but on PBS, they can see a Broadway play or musical.

They get their main form of entertainment from television.

 

There are others, lying on their back sometimes, healing from surgery or permanent

disabilities. My Dad liked to watch the comedies, while getting his chemo treatments.

Laughing made him feel so much better on those days he was nauseous.

 

The elderly in the nursing home I worked at for 4 1/2 years, liked to watch the shows

on TV Land, old reruns of “Lawrence Welk” and  “Bonanza,” along with their church

programming on Sunday mornings. The beauty of fireworks in our country and

celebrations around the world, brought big smiles to their faces. They enjoyed, as

I still do, the lovely creations in the Tournament of Roses Parade.

 

We get a sense of conscience from our ‘small screens.’  The night I watched, “Stand

Up 2 Cancer” impacted me, along with millions of other people watching. It moved

us to donate to some form of Cancer (Society) fund-raising, including Hospice Care,

research and local hospitals.

 

Remember “One Small Step for Mankind?” We now look forward to continued

space travel, inventions and research. When we hear of satellites making it to

Mars or other planets this gives us information that we may use in the future.

 

A quote about freedom from H.L. Mencken, American author and journalist

(1880-1956):

“We must be willing to pay a price for freedom,

for no price that is ever  asked for it,

is half the cost of doing without it.”

 

My soap box, put away for now. . .

 

 

 

What do you watch?

Have you heard about any new t.v. show compelling you

to ‘set your DVR’?

 

Reflections (In the Mirror and Inner Self Awareness)

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George Orwell, sometime in his life, said these

profound words,

“At age 50, everyone has the face he deserves.”

From that thought, I will use it as a springboard

choosing a few different ages to think about and

while I reflect, it may give you some thoughts, too.

Does your face show more smiles through your

multiple laugh lines?

Do your lips show more signs of “pursed lips” due

to “tsk tsking” a few too many times? I am going to

stereotype the teachers and the librarians, (myself

having been one, my cousin the other) that we may

have given more stern looks say, then the ice cream

truck person. Or did you make it an absent minded

habit to pull your lips into a frown or by biting your

lip, pulled it in one corner or another?

Maybe you smoked and those wrinkles around your

mouth are from the “pleasure” of taking deeply

inhaled breaths of nicotine. I have heard from at

least two good friends, a brother and a meeting full

of people that it is almost easier giving up alcohol

or heroin than nicotine…

Sometimes, while younger, I depended on others to

verify or give me validation that I looked “okay.” I am

still working on this insecurity. Not sure where it came

from. I was much loved by parents, friends and most

of the time, people in general.

During my elementary years, I liked my pointy black

glasses with the sparkles in the corners that raised up.

I imagined myself a little like a cat in my appearance.

I liked my dark brown hair, when long enough to sit

on it. Then, when I tired and ached from the daily

pullings and yankings, I accidentally “groaned” or

let a little ‘yelp!’ out. That brought the end of long

hair until after high school. Mom cut it in the style

of Julie Andrews in “Sound of Music.” Never mind that

she played a character who was a nun. I got used to

that short hair. It was nice also, that during Sally Fields’

reign as “The Flying Nun,” short hair was in style.

While in Junior High, there were a few shows where

the girls had short hair (or the Mom in Partridge Family

and the Mom in the Brady Bunch.) I particularly wished

for the cute adorable short bob of a British actress

and also, Goldie Hawn, of “You bet your sweet bippie!”

fame and fortune.

I think in one’s teenager years, there is a lot of peer

pressure and self awareness. I was suddenly not so crazy

about those glasses, switching to contacts. I was still a

little awkward and a “late bloomer.” Although I joined

many clubs and belonged to the honor clubs, too, I felt

a little on the “fringe” of life. I was loved within my groups

and therefore did fine on a daily basis. There were som e

insecure moments, when the girl ask boy dances came

around, also when the times were more noticeable that

I did not have the “popular” clothes, shoes or hair style.

Time marched on. Happiness should never be fleeting,

but a continuous sense of contentment. The source of

peace came more over me, when my teachers and

parents shared this awesome thought,

“Reinvent yourself when you go off to college. Imagine

yourself popular, accepted and well defined in your goals.

Don’t focus on your imagined shortcomings.” Lots of little

tidbits and nuggets as good as gold to this young woman.

I have been feeling some joy since I have completed the

resposibilities of raising three children, along with helping

and challenging some students, child care/babysitting kids

and neighbors’ children along the way. I feel very good with

those accomplishments.

There are still bubbles of hope for finding a partner, some

say to give up the quest. I am not sure that this is the way

I would like to go. There are some who advise that someone

may enter my life when I am not looking. That is entirely

possible, but it doesn’t hurt to keep my eyes open wide for

the ones who may be a little shy or not likely to approach

me. After all, my goal is to find a partner to share the rest

of the road, holding hands, having fun that we can remind

each other of, when there may be times our memory is

a little ‘faulty.’

I like the movie, “Moonstruck,” where Cher slaps Nicholas

Cage’s face, the line, “Snap out of it!” makes me smile! It

is almost as good as this one, repeated in teen shows and

some comedies, “Get over it!” or better yet, “Get over

yourself!” Letting go of your worries, the things that weigh

you down is so important to do. I also like this little ditty

that applies to us as we get older, “Eat dessert first!”

To me, it is not so much about the content of the words

but the meaning behind them. Enjoy life and don’t wait

to get to the fun part of life!

There is a big wave of authorities and an author besides

who is emphasizing writing down what you would have

told your younger self. The “notes to self” movement is

good, maybe to teach others who have not made their

mistakes yet. But, to tell you the truth, honest to God!

If I had a time capsule and sent myself the warnings and

other pieces of sound advice I am thinking would be so

wise to impart: There is NO way I would have changed

any of my actions!

I had parents who I loved dearly and did not rebel

against since they were that good. I chose the men I

chose, who let’s face it, those are my biggest mistakes,

ALL BY MYSELF! Against advice of my parents and even

one friend of mine, too. I honored and respected my

Mom and Dad, yet went against their best guidance.

Oh well! I have to get over myself and those books or

notes to self would have been ripped up and thrown

out, sorry to say!

The best compliment is that I survived my mistakes

and I hope my face shows some of those happiest

seared into my brain and memory moments. I made

it after all!

I am well aware when I visit my mother that I may get

more forgetful, she likes to ‘hide things’ but ends up

forgetting where she hid them! I like to think it is okay

to forget because she seems so much happier, less

stressed.

The sands of time are slipping down the glassed walls

of the big timer in each of our lives. It is like a sundial

that is pointing with the shadows each day more quickly

passing to the next.

If you are like me, over fifty, there is more sand at the

bottom of the timer and less at the top. Like the gas

in your car, the gauge once it reaches below the half

way point, it seems like the gas runs out more quickly.

It would be nice to put the timer sideways, or retip it

so it will have more time left. But that is not the way

life goes.

So, cherish each grain of sand, let it be a special moment

and notice more, seek more, challenge yourself to get out

of your ‘comfort zone.’

Lastly, as you are possibly reflecting on your growth and

self awareness, have you developed some good strategies

to handle the future? Are you looking at that face with its

lines and saying, they were all worth it, each and every one?

The credit or inspiration for this post today, is from a

column Connie Schulz wrote and was published on:

February 19, 2012. She chose five face photographs and

commented on her own self awareness and ones that

were less complimentary, explaining why. The ages she

chose are interesting, too. She chose ages 12, 21, 37, 45

and 53. Connie’s story was titled, “My Story in Five Faces.”

Small Town

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Someone recently accused me of becoming a “small town mind.” I think they

meant having a “small town mind” or mindset. But just to settle that subject

on my posts, I am a transplanted city girl from Cleveland’s west side and hope

to always be considered open-minded, cooperative and friendly. Some of those

traits are from living in a small town, like being friendly!

I am so accepting of differences that I really don’t feel them, notice them nor

point them out unless it helps to be able to describe someone. My parents put

us in front of a mirror and if we weren’t close to a mirror, sometimes they just

plain said these valuable and insightful words: “You are white, you are middle

class and you already have your foot in the door in almost any business or

occupation you will choose. Don’t whine, don’t complain because you are blessed

with so much more than others, it isn’t funny!”

All of us did a lot of chores, we went to a babysitter that lived on a farm so we had

fun doing chores there, too. We loved feeding baby sheep in the kitchen of their

house with a baby bottle. We loved jumping down onto big mounds of hay from

on top of the hayloft. We loved tons of little things like barn kitties and hiding in

the cornfields.

This did not change us into farmers nor did we become less liberal. We were not

raised by conservatives and we did not become anything different as time has gone by.

So, how did someone come to view me as “small town minded?” At first, I was not sure!

I have posted about my mother telling me that my spinster cousin who lived with a

woman was probably gay, we just called them “the aunts.”

I have mentioned several diverse nationalities that have come around in my different

circles of life. Each one I met (so far, and I mean this sincerely!) have been so nice and

very sharing and open towards me.

My brother once said I reminded him, in appearance, to the actress who played in the

hit t.v. series, “The Flying Nun.” He thought I looked like Sally Fields, for years and

years.

Heavens! I am not a nun! I am not strict, judgmental nor only believe in one religion. I

have mentioned my father’s faith, my grandfather’s faith and then there is my mother’s

faith and my grandmother’s faith. None of these four important people thought or

practiced the very same religion! (One is an agnostic/atheist, too.)

When I asked him directly, “Why do you think I have a small town mindset?”

The man ansered, “Well, about relationships.”

Oh! That may be true! Gosh, never thought someone would describe my sexual orientation,

strong need for serial monogamy and my lack of interest in threesomes as “small town

minded.”

Funny! I had to laugh and actually chuckled on the way home from my dinner with this man!

I have lived in Delaware, Ohio for 27 years now and I feel like it is not too small minded since

it is on the edge of Columbus and I have met several friends who are open-minded, vote the

same way, and agree with acceptance of all people helps us all to become a closer and happier

world. The Cleveland roots got me into a job interview twice, though. Both times the men

who were interviewing were superintendents of schools. Each time they were from big cities

and were at that present time, employed by county schools.

The first time I interviewed for a teaching job, I was all of 22 years old. I had just finished

college, was newly married and was asked to become a language arts teacher in a middle

school. When I said where I went to high school, this tall, lanky forty-something year old

relaxed his shoulders and said, “Thank God! We need a city girl on our staff!”

I asked at the time, in a rather timid voice, “How does being from the city help me get this

job?”

He replied, “There are several new families that have moved into Wood County and the staff

are developing a negative attitude towards them. I am hoping you are open-minded. I hope

you won’t let them, because they are older, influence you to also think negatively towards

these new kids.”

I answered with a more confident tone, “My parents taught us that we are not such hot stuff

and  just because we were born white we should never, ever look down our noses at others’. My

mother, my brothers and I piled into a station wagon with some of our best toys and games

all summer long to go teach Head Start in Sandusky, Ohio where it was held in thecool basement

of an African American church. We did this for several summers until we moved to Cleveland,

Ohio.”

The superintendent leaned in intently during this exchange, then he said, “Good! Now, how do you

feel about migrant workers?”

I was able to honestly say I was fluent in Spanish (at the time this was true, it does come back while

with those who speak it) and my mother was a Spanish teacher so we ate Mexican foods, too. I

remember mentioning the spices, including saffron, which are used in those foods. I also said I was

lucky that my Spanish Club and my Mom’s Spanish Club traveled to Mexico and Spain.

The second job interview that had a selective Superintendent was up in Mount Gilead, Ohio. He is

no longer there but I loved that big, burly man! He instantly made me feel welcome and let me know

that my background on my resume of working at a battered women’s shelter and also, working with

elderly in a nursing home would prepare me for the diversity of population that have special needs’

children in their care. He told me being from Cleveland and then, my profession as a Child Advocate

in Lancaster, Ohio would help me to stand up and be an advocate for the children who were sometimes

“falling into big cracks in the local educational mainstream.”

This will end my summary of how being from the city has helped me, but of course, having some

amazing parents and forebears really were the ones who opened my horizons. I am always thankful

that I never closed my mind or door to any person, even when there have been kind of scary ones

knocking on the door!