Thursday, March 13, 2014

Unpacking my second-favorite waste of time

Now that I've embraced my word for the year, unpacking, I feel motivated to unpack as much as I can in the 9 1/2 months I have left. Tomorrow I'm unpacking something that distracts me from the other really important unpacking I need to accomplish. Something that whispers "Come to me," and I do far too often. Something that is like a drug that lies and tells me this is what I want to waste my hours doing. Something I've been paying for since .... well, since I didn't pay for it the 3 1/2 years I lived in Georgia back in the 80's, because somehow we managed to steal it. (Doesn't matter though. I've more than paid for those years since, both in time and money.) Something that I do when I could be doing so many other, better things, like writing and playing music and having small intimate dinner parties and hanging some fucking art on my walls and yoga. Something I've been threatening to get rid of for weeks ... maybe months .... now, but I haven't because it's like chocolate heroin, and I keep getting my fix one day at a time, even though every day I tell myself I'm done.

Tomorrow I'm going to call Time Warner and tell them to shut off my cable. And then I'm going to take my beloved DVR, which allows me to skip every fucking commercial, even the Super Bowl commercials, to their office -- wherever that may be -- and leave it there forever.

That's right. I'm giving up my cable.


It wasn't until I decided to get rid of it and save over $100 per month that I realized just how addicted I am. I planned to do it when I moved in December. I planned to take with me the internet and phone, but not the cable.

I couldn't do it. I don't even remember why. Maybe I had movies on my DVR I still wanted to watch. Maybe I was mid-season into one of the too many shows my DVR is set to automatically record. I don't even fucking remember, but it must have been important if I was willing to spend over $100 every month to watch.

And I mean really fucking important, because I still haven't finished painting my kitchen chairs, hung my art, scrubbed down the woodwork, put together the bookcase for my music, painted my downstairs bathroom door purple, or started the poetry wall I've been promising myself for years -- just as soon as I own my own house. I'm not even fucking dating, although I watch plenty of other people act out doing it on the little screen. I need to do these things .....

.... And that's the short list. If I listed everything I could be doing instead of watching the stupid tube, I'd be here all night.

It's an addiction -- one I need to break tame. And by tame, I mean .... I'm kind of embarrassed to admit it ... but I'm going to give up my hundreds of cable channels and reduce
Does this look like a drug
deliver system?
my possibilities to Netflix, maybe Hulu Plus, and whatever I can get locally by antennae, although that would mean I'd have to watch live TV with all those fucking commercials, and I don't think I can go back to the 70's and do that. I hate the fucking commercials.

From a financial standpoint, it's a win. I'd pay around $15 for both Netflix and Hulu Plus. (I've already got both, but I piggyback off someone else's Hulu, which I traded for my HBO Go password. Now that I'm giving up my HBO, I'm not going to continue using his Hulu account, even though he said I could. It wouldn't be fair.)

So it's not like I'm going cold turkey. I've still got 3 seasons of Sons of Anarchy to watch, and I've only seen 3 episodes of Orange Is the New Black. And .... movies.

I'm going from heroin to methadone.

I hope it works. I hope I start going to bed at a decent time and getting up before 9:00, not only because I'm not watching Shameless on Showtime or True Detective on HBO, but also because I haven't put off grading or writing here until after midnight because I've spent the best hours of the night trapped in the crystal clear fantasy land on my flat-screen TV.

So tomorrow I'm calling Time Warner and telling them I'm on the wagon. And no matter what they offer me, I'm not taking it. My cable days are over. Finished. I'll watch cable in the nursing home with all the other old ladies who have outlived the men our age, but not until the time comes.

I'm not sure simply getting rid of the DVR will be enough, but that's where I'm going to start. If I simply replace Time Warner with Netflix and Hulu without changing my behavior, then I'll have to rethink those too.

I'm saying it here so I have to do it: I'm unpacking Time Warner cable tomorrow. No more broken promises to my better self.

Facebook, check your back, asshole, because I'm looking at you, you miserable life-sucking whore. Once my mind clears and the cable drug is out of my system, I'm going to unpack some other wastes of time, and you're an even bigger problem than cable. (But damn it, you're such a cheap date.)

Note: If I'm not here writing tomorrow night, I failed. Don't even try to save my weak ass. I've got hours of episodes of Ink Master on my DVR, and I'm not afraid to sink into the couch and watch them.


  1. Replies
    1. I did, and so far no withdrawal symptoms at all. That may change when The Voice comes on and I can't watch it.

  2. So proud of you! Let me know if you need a call buddy to stay on the phone when the withdrawal symptoms and cravings kick in. (Yes, it absolutely IS addiction, as ridiculous as it may seem.)

    1. I'm doing pretty well. I have a lot of other things to do .... things I enjoy doing and will be glad to give more time to.

  3. I only turn on the TV after 8 o'clock at night, when--being a morning person--I'm too fried to do anything else but read (which is a worse time sink, because most shows end in a hour, and novels go on till 5am!). Right now, though, I wouldn't give it up entirely, because the quality of TV drama is so high, I truly think watching certain shows (Mad Men, Walking Dead, Masters of Sex...) adds to my cultural literacy. BUT I really resent paying for the other 98% of the time, and the 236 channels we never watch, just to get AMC, HBO, and My husband's beloved Tour de France.

    1. Becky, it is hard to give up those really good shows, and the cultural bonding that happens around them. I've never watched a single episode of Walking Dead nor of Dr. Who though, and I still get by. I think I can add to that list without too much pain.