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?"

Men.

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!

26 comments:

  1. When my husband and I moved (AGAIN!) last time, his big ass stereo speakers were put in his office room and have been sitting there unplugged ever since. That was almost 4 years ago. I hardly ever watch real TV anymore, but there is always that ONE cable channel and that ONE show that you can't do without.

    I don't suppose HGTV has a website that replays its shows? Or maybe someplace like hulu? Or you can always check YouTube.

    Anyway, hope you're having a great day! (visiting via SITS)

    - Margaret

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  2. I've been thinking about leaving cable behind, but your story makes it sound sad. I do love the Food Network and there is a new Cooking Channel airing this month, so I'll have to wait.
    Found you on SITS.
    Blessings,
    Rebecca

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  3. @Nanny Goat -- what a fun name you have! I actually can go for a long time without television but then I start missing the news (well, sort of, even though the news is usually depressing). I just prefer to watch television on a reasonably large screen sitting on a sofa then hunched over watching on a tiny computer screen. At least the 52-inch TV is now being put to good use.

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  4. @Sierra -- yes, if you give up cable you really do end up missing some shows even more than you think.

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  5. So you're probably, and rightfully, miserable but you'll end up way less braindead than the rest of us.

    Lots of yummy love,
    Alex aka Ma, What's For Dinner
    www.mawhats4dinner.com

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  6. I hear you can watch most shows on the Internet these days. Hulu.com has some.

    Stopping by from SITS!

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  7. It's amazing, because since my son was born last fall, the amount of TV I've watched has been a mere fraction compared to the TV I watched while I was bored and pregnant. I'm glad you discovered you can still watch House Hunters!!

    I'm visiting from SITS! Hope you have a great day!

    http://thewhitebluesky.com

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  8. Hi New Jersey Memories!

    Greetings from Malaysia again! Just want to say thank you for dropping by my blog on my SITS day. You can read the aftermath of my whole day SITting episode at this link:
    http://imafulltimemummy.blogspot.com/2010/05/afternath-of-whole-day-sitting.html

    Thank you again and hope to see you back here sometime! :D

    Warmest Regards,
    Jenny aka I'm a full-time mummy
    (http://imafulltimemummy.blogspot.com/)

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  9. Wow . . . I don't think I would have been able to make it. And I'm not really a TV watcher. My husband would go into withdrawal; however, with no TV. Our DVR is always full. I am a HGTV fanatic (I love House Hunters too).

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  10. hee. i love this. makes me think of me and my husband, but texas style.
    very cute blog :)

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  11. @Ma, What's for Dinner -- the funny thing is I now have basic cable and hardly watch it. I am using that On Demand button to look at free stuff.

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  12. @WhisperingWriter -- Thanks for stopping by. I have indeed watched stuff on Hulu. The problem was that I really wanted to sit on the couch and watch on the big screen TV! I really hated been hunched up in front of the computer to watch TV.

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  13. @browneyes -- all I can is that I would never had started blogging if I'd had TV last year. So something good really did come out of it.

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  14. @I'm a full time mummy -- I hope you had a great SITS day. Thanks for stopping by!

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  15. @Ms. Understood -- yeah, another HGTV fan! I love House Hunters, My First Sale, and the organizing and decorating shows! Of course, my boyfriend is baffled by all of it. Now if these shows were about computers, it would be a different story.

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  16. @christina -- thanks for stopping by and visiting my blog. I'm sure Texas is a very interesting state to live in!

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  17. Thanks for you for your kind thoughts for GG. She's doing better today!

    Lots of yummy love,
    Alex aka Ma, What's For Dinner
    www.mawhats4dinner.com

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  18. I could not live without tv! Especially since we have 2 young kids who NEED Treehouse :)

    Visiting from SITS

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  19. Sometimes there is no substitute for a regular TV. That said, I do watch TV on my 10" mini laptop. Works just fine for me. I can get comfy and watch what I want, when I want.

    Sorry you missed the ballgames.

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  20. I can soooo relate to this post! I haven't had cable in THREE YEARS at my duplex. I do have rabbit ears and now the required digital box. It's not great. My fiance has cable and DVR --oooohhh yeaaaahhh -- at least I get my fix. I'm like you. BIG HGTV and House Hunters fan. I discovered demand on his TV. CSI and Millionaire Matchmaker. Awesome!
    Internet TV is just not the same. Unless you have one of those jumbo mac screens.

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  21. Hi there,
    I have visited your blog several times, I have commented and followed on Google Friend Connect. Let's keep in touch, okay?

    multibrand.blogspot.com

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  22. @Ma, What's For Dinner -- I do hope your grandma gets better!

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  23. @Carrie -- thanks for stopping by! If I had kids I definitely could not be without a TV!

    By the way, I love that your cat is named Chairman Meow because she is the dictator of the family. I was owned by several cats and they ruled the house!

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  24. @ Linda -- it's much more fun watching TV on the 52-inch TV (which after all was just sitting there all the time). I just can't get comfortable watching programs on a laptop. I can't concentrate on the plot.

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  25. @Angelia -- The funny thing is that I sometimes forget that I have TV now. I'll be surfing the web and realize how quiet it is. Then I suddenly remember that I can put the TV on! It feels so luxurious. I used to have almost 900 channels with really cool networks like Indie film network and Sundance Channel. I miss them.

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  26. @H. Nizam -- your blog about Indonesia is very interesting. It's great to read about a place about which Americans know almost nothing. I am following your blog and will continue to read it regularly. Thanks for stopping by!

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