Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Yes I used to tape "General Hospital"

One of the boxes I found in Diane's attic while we were cleaning it out was a box of about 30 VHS tapes. D and I were really bad with VHS tapes back in the day. We would tape all kinds of junk and then not want to erase it so we'd keep every single tape. The net result is we have about 100 unlabeled VHS tapes that our parents made us take when they moved into their new house a few years ago. The problem is, mixed in amongst the crap are things we taped that we actually want to keep so we have to go through them. I got lucky and got the box with only 30 tapes. Diane has all the rest. Score.

Last night I decided I was sick of looking at the box sitting on my dining room table so I started going through them. All of them were taped when I was in college. About 20 of them were of "Friends" and the rest of Must See TV. There were a few "General Hospital" tapes, one "Party of Five"* and like 5 or 6 New Kids on the Block tapes (that were definitely taped before college but, sadly, were taken to college with me apparently). One of the tapes of "Friends" had an ad that said, "The man who brought you "ER" proudly introduces the next great American drama...'Trinity'". What? Does anybody remember this show? I don't think I've ever even heard of it. I'm just saying looking back, touting it as the next great American drama may have been a little overzealous.

One of the tapes I found really freaked me out. I put it in and found myself looking at a school classroom. It was like someone had set up a camera in the back of the room. A girl was standing up in front of the class giving a presentation. Only it wasn't a television show. It was real. I was extremely confused. At first I thought maybe we taped something off of public access television. You know how they are always showing weird local school events on those channels. I looked around for more clues. I didn't recognize the girl speaking, but there were 4 other students sitting up at the front of the class-facing it. They looked really bored. I went through them one by one. Three guys-none looked familiar. Then I got to the 4th girl. Hmm...she looked kind of familiar. It took me a couple minutes, but then I figured it out. It was me. Yes-it really did take me that long to recognize myself.

Horrified I watched each of the guys get up and speak and then I got up there. I was talking about marketing or employee workforce or something really boring, and let me just say that it turns out I'm not that great of a public speaker. Here's the thing-I have absolutely no recollection of this. I don't remember writing or giving the presentation. I don't remember any of the students. I had no idea what class it was. I didn't recognize the room. Literally it's like there is a piece of my brain missing, and this event in my life is being stored on that piece which is probably, I don't know, under the car seat because that's where everything is when you can't find it. Shouldn't I remember having to give a speech and being videotaped? Well I don't. It's like I was watching some other person up there. The only thing I remembered from that tape was that particular haircut because I liked it so much at the time and the skirt I was wearing. How the hell did I graduate from college? Man am I glad I slept with my professors now.

Has this happened to anyone else? Where you literally can't remember a whole chunk of time like that? It's kind of unsettling. Especially when alcohol was not involved.

*I watched this show the entire time it was on, and I just realized I never saw the series finale. Um...does anyone remember it? Can you fill me in? Also, where the hell is Neve Campbell? I mean did she just fall off the face of the earth or what?


StrangerDanger said...

Neve Campbell is still kicking around Hollywood I think - every once in a while I get a hit for her when i search for "nude celebrities" on google...

sharda said...

I recently was flipping channels and saw a movie starring Neve Campbell: "When Will I Be Loved". I thought, "oh julia salinger, haven't seen her for awhile, I'll set the DVR". Hey, if you want to see one of the worst movies ever made, you should check this one out (I mean, Eyes Wide Shut had a better premise). It contains absolutely no plot whatsoever, but lots of naked Neve Campbell showering, walking around town, and having sex with random men. Her career has really progressed.

Mon said...

I have those tapes too! I have one of this show Griffon that use to be on PBS, and some original Degrassi High's. I have some 21 jump street episodes, and about 20 Days of our lives tapes, which up until last year, i recorded from tivo to VHS to have forever and ever.
The best part about old vhs, is the commercials! I seriously can't believe companies sold half the crap they were advertising back then, they are so stupid!

And though poor Neve may not be a superstar, let's be thankful that our dear Charlie Salinger is gracing the TV each week on Lost with his sexy stubble and sweet abs! Mmmm.

Nessa Mulheren said...

I blame your drinking problem for your loss of memory.

I'd be grateful though, if I were you...your memory is holding far more important stuff, like the details of the trip to vegas. You didn't really WANT to remember giving that presentation, did you?

Gordon said...

Sharda, you said naked Neve Campbell right? You still have that on DVR? I'll see you this weekend---to watch naked Neve

John said...

I found a tape just like that speech one of yours only it's just a kid in a room with no pants on whistling a sort of combination of the electric company and the theme from St. Elsewhere. All I can see is the kid has a tiny wang but I don't really recognize him but then he turns and yells "dammit MOM!" and I recognize my Cleveland Indians hat that I got the day after Len Barker pitched the perfect game.

Johnny Virgil said...

Holy shit, John! I have that EXACT same tape. I got mine on ebay though.

Marianne said...

Finally, after all the joy you give me with your writing I can give you something back. Bonus, reading your blog can now be considered work because I work in the field of memory research.

It's completely normal that you wouldn't remember that event from the tape. Unless something crazy happened or you'd talked about it with friends or familiy periodically over the years, it probably wasn't worth keeping in the easy to retreive childhood files.

However, if you were to start watching it say once a week and trying really hard to remember what happened you would eventually insist you'd known all along about it and probably make up some details that weren't true.