Kathleen Clary Miller has written 300+ columns and stories for periodicals both local and national, and has authored three books (www.amazon.com/author/millerkathleenclary). She lives in the woods of the Ninemile Valley, thirty miles west of Missoula.
My husband recently traded in our large-screen television for an even larger-than-life one. The better to see sports with! He claims. We are so close to the action in our modest-sized living room that I flinch when the splintered half of a broken baseball bat jettisons toward my armchair, which feels like it’s smack dab in the center of the dugout. Honestly, I couldn’t quite rationalize the need to go bigger, but at least I can read foreign film subtitles from the kitchen now, not that I am married to an aficionado of any production that requires subtitles. Only when he is away playing a sport do I imbibe in those movies.
Otherwise, the primary reason for super-sized clarity is to feel like you are right there on the football field. That, and to be able to watch the opening scene from “Gladiator” like a real man—surround sound making the bloody combat all the more satisfying for the barcalounger-battler. If it isn’t chariots and horse hooves pounding so that I can hardly hear my daughter talking on the phone, it’s “Last of the Mohicans”; plenty of warfare there.
Before I mock my mate’s taste in viewing, however, I must confess that I do like being able to call Andy Murray’s tennis serve like a referee (tennis is such a dignified sport), while sitting across the room at the breakfast table without my glasses. OUT! As well, I can think of worse things to invade my peaceful home than scantily clad Daniel Day Lewis lunging through the brush past arrow-slaked bodies to rescue yon fair maiden.
Telephone conversation is not the only way I communicate with my daughter; Skype is our favorite venue with which to visit. Whenever it’s time (which is as frequently as we can pull it off) to chat with Kate on the computer screen, I discreetly slip into the office my husband and I otherwise share so that he can ogle up-close-and-personal athleticism or assault (they are often the same thing) in blaring peace. Not to mention so that behind closed doors I can actually hear something other than an announcer, blood curdling screams, or the clash of armor.
Kate lives in a suburb of Philadelphia. She is expecting her first child soon, and ever since she announced she was pregnant, we’ve been scheming about Skype being the best way for me to see my first grandchild on a daily basis. We’ve already done this once, and very successfully I might add, in order to see my husband’s son’s newborn daughter, his first grandchild, and my step-grand. He groans and rolls his eyes, just a more exaggerated version of the usual, to think I will be online with Kate even more than I already am. All I can manage to wail in my defense amid a lachrymal flood and such guttural sobbing sounds that I can barely open my aching throat to get it out is, “The babies are so far away!” Really, really mature. I’m obviously doing just fine with the distance.
A friend pointed out to me that the television we have can access the computer, and she can’t help but wonder why my husband, the greatest guru of technology gadgets, hasn’t pointed this out.
“He’s afraid there will be life-size diaper changes on the big screen!” she surmised.
Ah-ha! I hadn’t considered that. No wonder he hasn’t accessed that feature. As well, I wonder if every feeding and changing and burping and drooling could be viewed in 3-D (This new Sony boasts of 3-D capability, although my grandchild would grow up seeing me in those goofy glasses)! I’ll have to read the directions and as adverse as I am to computer machinations, figure out how to bring Babies to the big screen.
3D daycare…in Big Skype Country.