02 January 2011

No TV is good TV

I don't really do New Year's resolutions, but I do tend to sit back and think about what I accomplished in the previous year and what goals I might consider in the new year. Not really doing that this year, except for the general, overarching goal of finding regular work in 2011, either in my private practice or with an employer.

On the 31st we took the TV out of the livingroom and stashed it in an unwatchable position on the floor of my bedroom. This isn't as big a change as it may seem. After the digital changeover in 2009, I hooked up a converter box to the TV -- a "subcompact" tube I got in the early 1990s for my college dorm room the year they first ran cable TV to that building -- but couldn't get a useable signal because I didn't have a good antenna. I never got around to getting the right kind of antenna, either, because I ended up not missing the morning TV news that much anyway. I kept the VCR and DVD player hooked up and watched a movie once. But it was There Will Be Blood, and when they show the title on-screen in that movie it's in a German gothic type of font, and do you know how small that phrase is on a 14" CRT screen when it's presented in a German gothic type of font? Way to make me feel like a geezer, Paul Thomas Anderson.

Long story short, I had an essentially defunct TV sitting in the corner of my livingroom for a year and a half, and now I don't, and now I like my livingroom better.

Don't get me wrong. I'd love to have a nice, big flatscreen HDTV and cable service and Netflix and all to go with it. But right now the only way I can justify even my bare-bones Internet access is that it would be an incredible penny-wise, pound-foolish way to prevent myself from working and looking for more work. To add another $50 or $100 to that monthly cost would be staggeringly stupid, and budgetarily impossible in any event.

So until I can budget for my own cable TV, I'll keep on going on TV binges once or twice a month when I'm at a friend's and he's saved up a bunch of Dr Who episodes on his DVR or OnDemand or whatever it is. And old episodes of Barney Miller on Hulu.com.

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