Saturday, December 20, 2008

"Happy Trees" at 5:15 on a Saturday morning

Baby Hope is restless. She's either feeling the ill effects of the burrito wrap/straight jacket contraption that she sleeps in nightly or she's craving some early morning television. In some cities and for some lifestyles, this time of day is considered late night, but for me it's prime sleepy time. I usually am up late anyway getting my fix of Charlie Rose or something on the DVR, and this night/morning was no exception but 3:30 a.m. for me is pushing it.

Soon it was 4:00 a.m. and the little nugget was having "issues". Twitchy, stretching, squeaking. I've been through this twice before so for those who offer up the usual "That's going to happen sometimes," I know that already. Rub her back, feed her boob (not mine), tuck her tightly in. Nothing. So I make the management decision to get her up, and go to the living room. On goes the plasma and we settle in to what could have been some rough television: Infomercials, public television, lame crafting or quilting shows on HGTV (who watches that shit?).

Instead, because I was tuned to PBS when I switched the television off the previous evening, we watched pure glory: Bob Ross! "The Joy of Painting" is likely the greatest art show ever made. It enjoys a cult following even to this day, and I remember years ago watching it every once in a while. While I never could understand how someone could possibly follow along and paint the brilliant landscapes he painted, I was more mesmerized by his language, the sweet afro, and his soft-spoken delivery. "It's your world, so you can put happy trees anywhere you like," is something similar to what he would say and then "boom" he would brush in a brilliant Evergreen. This particular segment he did the usual mountain scene, perhaps early morning, snow on the ground, trees both living and dead, and plenty of wonderful light play.

While my daughter faded off to sleep, I watched until the end and found myself wanting more of Bob Ross. "Should I put him in the DVR schedule?", I wondered. Why isn't Bob's show on later in the morning so that kids can enjoy the master of landscape and his own "wet-on-wet" technique. Bob died in 1995 at the age of 52, but his legend and cult status continues. Long live Bob Ross!

1. Hoodie sweatshirt that says "Happy Trees" on the front
2. Tons of DVD's and VHS copies of his show including one showing you how to paint a giant Panda
3. Kid package that includes paints, an easel, and a t-shirt
4. Bob Ross lunch sack
5. 1,000 piece puzzle called "Mountain by the sea"