May 18, 2010
A Year Without Television
In 2008 I moved twice. I went from a six-room apartment with my mother, to a 3-room apartment with my mother and boyfriend (a disaster!), and now a room with my boyfriend, Mark.
That's right. A room.
Because we were trying to save money, we decided to go without cable television for awhile. That is, he decided. I wasn't happy about that at all. Now, you must understand, I am NOT a television-obsessed person. I watch no regular sitcoms or dramas. But I like to watch the 10:00 News, baseball games, Larry King, and my favorite, Home and Garden Network (HGTV). I love House Hunters!
As far as Mark is concerned, there is no need for television at all. His reasoning is that we can watch all the television we need on our computers. We found old shows on various websites. When I broke my foot, I was so bored. Even I can't read twelve hours a day. I had no television to watch, and I hadn't discovered blogging yet.
When a special event was on, it was hard to find. Take the 2009 Academy Awards, for example. I desperately wanted to see it, and frantically scoured the internet for a live feed. I finally found one to a British television broadcast, and sat hunched in my uncomfortable hard chair (didn't have a decent office chair, yet). Halfway through the show, the feed died. However, I was able to locate a live feed from the ABC broadcast. Every few minutes, I shouted "Slumdog Millionaire won another Oscar!" But Mark was riveted to some lame technology website that he could read anytime. I kept asking him if he wanted to watch the Oscars, but he just muttered, completely hypnotized by his computer.
A few days later I told Mark that I was so glad I had watched the Oscars. He looked at me blankly. "You watched the Oscars?"
I also completely missed the New York Yankees championship season last year. I didn't get to see any of the games in the regular season and the playoffs. However, when they reached the World Series I demanded action. I wanted to watch the World Series. Finally, he prevailed upon his sister and her husband to let me watch it at their house. They won!!!
Now, the irony of all this is that even though we live in a tiny room, one wall is dominated by a "Hitachi 52-inch projection TV with six sets of inputs in the back" in Mark's own words. It just sat there, unused and unloved, gathering dust, for more than a year.
This year the Olympics were on! I was not going to miss that! Even though my favorite all-time Olympic athlete, Michelle Kwan, was not participating, I could not miss the Olympics. There were also gymnastics meets coming up, and I wanted to watch the news. I just don't enjoy watching everything on the computer. Besides, we had this beautiful television just sitting there. We also had plenty of movies stored on our computers, just waiting to be projected on the big screen.
Let's just say I gave Mark an . . . ultimatum. So now we have BASIC cable. That means no Yankees, and no HGTV. I was able to watch the Olympics, and I can watch the news.
However, I discovered Verizon's nifty On-Demand button, where there are free movies and TV shows to watch. Guess what? They have some HGTV shows including House Hunters! Ok, so they don't change the episodes that often, but it's great. I also discovered that they show Yankee games days later on Yankees Encore! For free! Yay!