I don’t write to be famous, I don’t write to be known, I write because I am and I want to be read. How sad to fill a room with paintings no one sees or play music no one hears. Writing is talking without sound, singing without score and dancing without movement and yet, it is all of them. It is a solitary art conjured from thought and expressed by the need to communicate.

HEAD-SLAPS, SPEED-BUMPS and LIGHT-BULBS, one woman's WTF, oops and ah-ha moments of life, is the name of my memoir/essay collection with why I wrote what I wrote and what happened after. They were published once and as every writer knows, once is not enough.


Enough Said: A bonus in hi-def



Carolynn Pianta writes from the wilds of Westbrook.
Two years ago my husband was paid a bonus at work, which is interesting because he’s self-employed. We took the modest windfall and bought a new TV, but not just any TV, a 42-inch high-definition flat-screen electronic wonderland of clarity and confusion.

The size of it reminded me of the screen at the drive-in, as seen from the back seat of my dad’s Studebaker station wagon. It’s big enough to highlight its existence, but not so huge as to take over the entire living room.

Setting it up was easy; the directions were in the new universal language, drawings. As my husband searched for written instructions, I completed the task per Rembrandt’s sketches. Because we weren’t hooked up to anything remotely defined as high-def yet, we weren’t able to avail ourselves of the wonder of the new media. Not a problem because for us to view a screen that large (42 inches is a weenie by today’s standards), was quite a thrill. We raced through the channels commenting on how big the picture and how bright the colors; then we settled on my husband’s favorite, the military channel in black and white.

Our trip to the cable company’s service center for the equipment we needed, to actually view in high definition, was like going to the dentist on a Sunday; dentists don’t do Sundays. If you happen to find one, it’s because you’re in a really bad way.

On the phone, the cable company said it had what we needed; behind the counter at the service center, it wasn’t there. The phone folks were nice, the behind-the- counter people were nice, so were all the people waiting in the really long line for exactly the same thing we needed. Some walked away mad; I walked away with a service appointment. I won’t name the cable company; I might get my plug pulled, but it rhymes with Comcast.

Once we were actually hooked up and running in high-def, our viewing habits skyrocketed. What an adventure it is to watch Antiques Roadshow in a clarity that would have caused Michelangelo to forsake his paintbrush for a universal remote.

Things proceeded swimmingly until a couple of months ago when many of the channels became pixelated, a technical term which means the picture becomes a bunch of little jumping boxes, sort of like your TV has a really bad case of hiccups. We noticed it didn’t happen all the time, only when we wanted to watch something special, like the UConn women’s basketball games or The Weather Channel.

I called the company to be refreshed. It didn’t work. I called to be rebooted, and while I chatted with a nice gentleman from Vermont about the weather, he asked if I had made sure all the connections were tight. I mean really, did the granola-eating, sap-sipping, tree-hugging, Vermonter actually think this flatlander was so stupid as to not check the most obvious, a loose connection?

Rebooting didn’t work either, so I requested a service appointment. After I hung up, I remembered that about the time our troubles began I had dusted the TV and its surroundings. (Cleaning advice: Once you start dusting, you can’t stop because everyone can see where you left off).

So, I twisted the connections, they were tight. I pressed a small black plug on the back of the cable box, the picture flickered, went blank and instantly, there were the ladies of “The View” — Whoopi in high def, now that’s a bonus.

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