Well. I did it. I turned my cable off. I turned in the box and the remote and said, “Turn it off.”
This may not be a big deal for many people. I know many people are cable-free and it’s not a big deal for them. But, for me, it is.
I grew up with television. It was my company and my entertainment and my source of information. It is as familiar to me as brushing my teeth. I use television to unwind after work. I turn on something mindless and just chill.
But lately? No. For the past 6 months or so, I’ve flicked around at night thinking, “Goat, eleventy-hundred channels and there’s f*ck all on!”
There were (are) a few shows that I really like that I will miss, I think. But, be it due to age or temperament, the show that I used to *love* just didn’t do it for me any more. Either the characters changed, I lost my taste for blood and gore, or the “plots” just became insipid. I could no longer get interested in CSI or NCIS or any of the other letter-shows. I didn’t want to see anything with vampires or cops or hospitals.
So, both for that reason, and to save money, my cable is gone. I disconnected the box on Sunday. I turned it in on Tuesday. It was strange to come home from work and not just flick on the mindlessness. A friend sent me a text on Tuesday asking me if I was watching a particular show. It was strange.
I have taken on Netflix though. So I will continue to rot my brain at times.
I hope I get used to it. I hope it motivates me to use the Wii again. I hope it motivates me to read more.
Baby steps, right?
I’ve decided on some of my goals for the coming year. I won’t list them ALL here, because some of them are none of your business. F’realz…
1. The push-up challenge. @annieology on The Twitter did it last year, and I didn’t join in time. You can learn more about it on her site at annieology.com. I’ve recruited 3 others so far to do it along with me.
2. 2-million step challenge. “They” say that we should all walk 10,000 steps-per-day. If I do the math right, I think setting a goal of 2-million steps works out to be around 5,500-per-day. I wanted to set something high enough to keep my moving, but not so high as to be discouraging long about August. I’ll keep you posted weekly on how I’m doing.
3. Hot yoga. I used to do it regularly when I lived out-of-state, but didn’t know where the good places were here. I have finally heard about a good place and I want to attend at least 3 times per month. That’s a good number, I think.
4. Reading. For many years, I kept a list of the books I read each year; I wanted to read more this year than last. In 2010, I read 84 books. Or was it 86? I don’t remember, but it was a lot. I decided to not keep track this year – no pressure, just read what I wanted when I wanted without a focus on the bottom line. But I think I will set a goal for 2012. One a week should be good. So, 52 for 2012.
5. Cancel cable. I do watch TV. I’m not going to say “I never watch TV”. But honestly? There isn’t much on TV. There are a few show I watch regularly, but that number is dwindling. As I get older, I find myself less willing to tolerate the shows that I used to love. So, cable seems like less of a priority. I don’t think I will miss it.
So there you go. 5 of the goals I have set for myself for next year. There are more, and I’m sure there will be more still. But that’s all I have worked out so far.
What are your goals?
How do you know when your tastes have changed? How do you differentiate between a new interest or lack thereof and a mood swing?
I’m not one of those people who can say “I don’t watch TV” and look down my nose at others while I say it. I watch TV. And most of the time, I like it. I find it a good way to relax and to just chill out with something mindless. After 8+ hours at the Gas ‘n Sip, I just want to let someone else do the thinking for a while. And while I would love to come home and turn over all responsibility to someone else, I can’t do that. The Wonder Twins *insist* that since they don’t have opposable thumbs, they can’t *possibly* help out. What they can do? Look adorable and prance in front of me looking adorable. Le sigh.
I have a bunch of shows that I record regularly. The problem? Lately, I find myself less interested in the “standards”. I loved NCIS, L&O SVU, CSI, Burn Notice. But lately, I just cannot take the violence and blood and gore. The inane ability for the main characters to come across all the C4, explosives, guns, etc at *just* the second they need them? Or that OF COURSE there is a car, unlocked, with the keys in the ignition just there. It makes me seven kinds of stabby. Come on.
But, what is it? Is it because my tastes have change? Or is it because I am feeling the need to change EVERYTHING in my life? Should I make that commitment? Or should I change things more slowly so as to not freak out?
How do you know if you are changing or just being impetuous?
If you are of a certain age, you will remember when computers were new and shiny and scary. When schools had “computer labs” rather than providing 5-year-olds iPads. When mobile phones in cars were something special and *gasp* had cords.
Now? Almost everyone has at least 1 computer, 2 phones, an e-reader, or some combination of this. Buying a computer for your child is not an event; it’s almost expected.
So, what brings on this rant?
As a corollary to my previous post of looking for beauty, I feel like I have become hyper-aware of the constant barrage of media stories about celebrities and politicians who think they can get away with things and act “surprised” when they get caught.
I cannot watch the news – local or national. I’m sure I’ve written about this before. I just cannot do it. The constant reminder of all the horrible things that go on in the world – what’s that saying? “If it bleeds, it leads”? Um, no. There *are* good things going on in the world. Babies being born, weddings, medical advances, estranged families finding each other. Really. Happy events occur all the time.
Obviously, horrible things *do* happen. I’m not living in a fairyland bubble where everything is rainbows and glitter. I just get to choose what I am exposed to.
Now, here’s where the love/hate part comes in. There is a headline today about a judge, caught on video beating his disabled daughter. My first thought, other than the obvious disgust and horror, was “Who the hell would put that on video and put it on the Interwebs???” That was quickly followed by “Thank goat someone DID video it and exposed this monster!” I will not now, or ever, watch the video. It would make me physically sick, I’m sure. Nor will I put a link to the story. This “thing” is (hopefully *was* at this point) a judge, tasked with the duty of deciding the fate of the people in his court. My heart hurts for his daughter.
Another example is the ocean of information we get about celebrities. Who is dating/marrying/divorcing/having dinner with whom. I know many celebrities court this notoriety and call the press to let them know where they are. I cannot imagine living that life. Luckily, I will never have to.
I follow celebrities on Twitter. I read some magazines (NOT tabloids!) about celebrities. Just as I am looking for new blogs to read, I have changed my taste in magazines as well. I am just as susceptible as anyone else to checking out who is doing what over there in Hollywood. But, jeepers! Leave these people alone! I don’t need to see stars grocery shopping. Or going to the dry-cleaner. Nor do I need to know every. single. move. they make throughout the day. The celebrity that most recently “announced” her divorce after 2 months? Now we get to hear every. gory. detail. Over. And over.
Technology is fantastic. I love my laptop. And I would be lost without my phone. I get my exposure to world events online. Some of my favorite people in the world? I know them from online. Exposing horrible people so that they will stop doing what they do? Good thing. Holding a magnifying glass to every facet of life? Could go either way, quite honestly.
I could never see myself “going off the grid” as they say and giving up technology. I can’t change it. But I can change my attitude about it. I can change how much I allow myself to be exposed to. I can turn off the “bad” things. And I can surround myself with the glitter and rainbows.
Oh, hello! I haven’t been here in so long! You must be starved! I have a full breakfast buffet for you. Anything you want. Help yourself, or ask a server.
Part of the reason I haven’t been around is that I was sick of myself whining. OMG. Shut up already, self! So I wanted to be in a better mind-frame. Well, that and I really didn’t have anything to say. As usual. So here are some random things to tide you through.
My brother, Herb, did something for me on Friday last that is going to change my life. (No, it’s nothing dirty. Gross, you pigs.) I asked him for a HUGE favor and felt like a HUGE asshole while doing it. For the very fact that my life had come to the point where I had to ask it. And, do you know what? He did it. With no questions. No judgement. No scorn. And because of what he so generously did, my life is about to get infinitely better. I won’t tell you what he did, or what I asked for, but I will tell you that right now, my big brother? Is my hero. Also, I have had 4 awesome days in a row! Big change for me and it’s all due to Herb’s awesomeness.
I have become obsessed with the show “Lie To Me”, thanks to Netflix. I hadn’t watched it when it was first on, but I’m looking for it now. If you haven’t seen it, it’s about this guy, Cal Lightman, played by Tim Roth, and his company who analyze microexpressions on people’s faces to determine if they are lying and why. You know those times when you are talking to people and you think you see a flash of something on their face, but you don’t know what it is? These guys see it too and can tell you what it means. It’s so fascinating! Kelli Williams is in it too. IDK what else she has been in, but I find that I really like her acting. I’ve never seen Tim Roth in anything either, and find him odd, but I guess he’s perfect for the role. Check it out.
So, on Twitter, there are always people giving something away. I’m pretty sure I bitched about it here before. (It’s how I roll.) But, evidently, I entered a giveaway by an actual person (not a company) for a Coach bag. Yesterday, I got an email from Sweetney LETTING ME KNOW I HAD WON!!! OMG! I was so excited!! I only vaguely remember entering the contest, so I’m not entirely sure what I did to win, but SQUEEEEEE!!! I was going to post a picture of it, but the security-nazis at work have mucked up wordpress, so I can’t. But I will when I get it. YAY!!! (And thank you again, Sweetney!!)
The season of Celebrity Fit Club just ended, and whoda thunk that Kevin Federline would end up being my favorite. He seems like a pretty cool guy, especially when I was expecting a cocky, punk jerk. Most of them looked so much better. I still hate Nicole – what a biznatch!! But now I can look forward to the next round.
OH! And speaking of reality “celebrities”…. Guess who started following me on Twitter? Kendra from Celebrity Rehab/Sober House, whatever. She followed me first. It’s my little brush with fame. So, I’m following her back. So far her tweets are very nice. I hope she stays sober.
Okay. That’s it for now. I guess I should go to work.
Oh, hello! Come in and make yourself a sandwich.
I took a few days off from work last week to just chill and sleep. I’ve been busy (for me) the past few weeks, and wanted some time to sit and do nothing. As a result, I ended up watching more television than I normally do. Not the best use of my time, I know, but I did, so let’s move on.
What I have noticed about television is that the advertisers must think we, collectively, are dumb as a pile of hair. The ads shown, regardless of the time of day, the station, the program, are insipid crap. I understand that networks need advertisers to pay the bills. I get that. And I also get that having a DVR-type technology available means that advertisers need to work harder to make an impression so that people don’t fast forward through them, but come on! Obviously, I can’t speak for anyone else, but if the advertisers spent a little time coming up with thoughtful and well executed ads, I might watch them.
Some examples? Anything by Burger King. That “king” is terrifying. He makes me think of a pedophile every time I see him. I’m pretty sure that is *not* the image the company wants to put out there. Yeah, I remember it, but for all the wrong reasons. Also the kid with the small hands. WTF?
How about the phone company, and to be honest with you, I have no idea which one it is, that has Flava Flav on it. Um, really? You couldn’t get anyone more relevant? You had to pick the least attractive “star”?
And any of the weight-loss pill ads. I don’t mean Jenny Craig or Weight Watchers. I mean those “You take this pill and you will lose 90 pounds in 2 weeks” ads. The women on these ads, who now claim to be able to strut around in a bikini, ARE ALREADY THIN! Show me someone realistic.
Again, I get it. The company has 30-60 seconds to get their message across, so it needs to be memorable. But, should the ads be SO dumb, SO inane that we remember them for the WRONG points? We (America) are not a stupid culture. (Sure, there are stupid people *in* the culture, but that’s not exclusive to America!) Why do these advertisers think it is okay to treat us like we are stumps in a forest?
C’mon, advertising companies! I challenge you to stop dumbing down your material. I challenge you to speak to us like we have brain cells. Until then, I guarantee, DVR use is going to skyrocket.
Oh, hello! Come on in! We’re having mini crustless Quiche this morning.
So, it seems that some of the biggest “news” these days is about this “celebrity” Heidi who had plastic surgery.
To back up for a second, I recently discovered I have reached the point in my life where I have no idea who most of the people claiming to be famous are. I don’t watch their shows, see their movies, listen to their music, or whatever it is they do. This Heidi is in that group for me. I have no idea why she’s famous, but evidently she is and was showing off her new bewbs on the cover of People magazine.
Back to my point. It’s been widely talked about that she had all these surgeries. She’s been interviewed and said she feels good about it and is very happy about it. Her husband is supportive of her decision. In my opinion, the story should end there. And yet….
And yet, from reading the news online, I have seen a new story, seemingly everyday, where other celebrities (who evidently have some sort of expertise) are opining on Heidi’s choices and condemning her for them.
Who do these people think they are? If this woman is happy with her choice, then the discussion ends there. Personally, I wouldn’t want beach balls for bewbs, but what? Oh, that’s right! I DON’T HAVE TO GET THEM. If it’s right for her, it’s right.
I suppose the argument could be made that she made this a topic of discussion by appearing in People in a bikini. But she’s a celebrity, and that’s what they do. They create photo-ops to stay on the radar. That’s her job. (I’m guessing.) It could also be argued that she did all this to combat some level of insecurity. So, ripping her apart for it is helping her how? If she was insecure about how she looked before, what must she be thinking now?
I get it that if we aren’t talking about a celebrity, they get concerned. I also get it that what they do/say/wear has absolutely no bearing on my life. And finally, I get it that there is a whole industry built on reporting what celebrities are doing. But how about we focus on what they are doing to better the world and not what “we” think they should be doing. Talk about/Promote the new movies/books/shows/music.
But let’s get away from the constant mental flogging about looks. Use what Heidi did as a spring-board to have a discussion with your kids (if you have them, that is. My cats? Not interested.) about body image. Again, it may not be right FOR YOU, but it was for her. And that’s okay. We don’t all have to agree.
But, step off, Judgey McJudgerson. Or at least remember your feeling of superiority the next time someone judges you.