It's been a week of catching up since I last wrote. A week of starting my Christmas cards, which has led me to turn on the big box in my house that magically dances with images. You may know this as your television set, but to me, it's a new-fangled contraption with bells and whistles, and the ability to stop time.
Basically, we have cable again, let me explain...
To the confessional--
I confess a few weeks ago we dropped our landline and got cable.
This sounds bizarre, but because we ended up "bundling" with one company, it was actually $80 less a month and took our basic cable (which was just regular TV plus Hallmark & Discovery Channel) to 210 channels. (I had no freakin' idea there were so many cable channels out there. I know, I live under rock, that is both my blessing and quirk.)
We now pay $64 a month for high speed internet, cable, and a landline you can call into but we can't call out (We've become kind of like the phone version of the Hotel California).
And while I know my landline is pretty much the way it was in the 1970's (minus the fact I can only use it to call 911), I hate answering it without the Caller-ID feature. It's as if I'm playing Russian Roulette with my time-- will it be a telemarketer? a friend? my crazy aunt?
I know for years I answered the phone happily without knowing who was calling. Now, I live in fear that I will answer it and it will not be the new car, but I will have chosen Door #3 and it's the goat pulling the wagon.
I confess that while I haven't watched a lot of television since getting cable (honestly, I can't find anything as shows are numbered into the hundreds and I don't have any channels memorized yet), I started watching 2 shows while doing Christmas cards that I was a little entranced by-- Storage Wars and Pawn Stars.
It's as if they've taken my favorite show (Antique Roadshow) and added treasure hunting. (And if you happen to be the other person watching this show, my favorite person on Storage Wars is Barry, the older guy who dresses like a hipster.) Who knew this existed? (Okay, probably a few million people, but I live under a rock, remember.)
I confess while we technically *have* cable, I have blocked a lot of channels.
My daughter (whose 11 and in middle school said) while looking over the cable channel guide asked, "Mom, what's MTV?" What can I say? We've only had cable 2 years when she was 6, it was blocked then too.
I confess I've also blocked CNN and all the news channels too. Um, except the one with Rachel Maddow on it. Because I love Rachel Maddow.
With all my blocking, I think we ended up with about 38-45 channels out of our 210-- but they are good ones.
I confess while I love Rachel Maddow, she is not the top of my crush list as that spot has been reserved for Conan O'Brien for something like the last 8 years.
I confess this cable deal came with a DVR box (it's like a VCR without the tapes). I'm sure you all knew these existed, but I had no idea. AND I can pause a television show while watching it and if someone talked in the middle of something I can rewind it. How weird is that?
I'm guessing many of you have had this feature for years and do not find it fascinating, but I am amazed by it. We pause the television show. It freaks me out. I feel like a small television producer god in my home. Pause the CBS Sunday Morning Show while I make waffles... can you rewind to the penguins again?
I confess the very best part of all of this is that I went through and taped all the Christmas shows on ABC (Charlie Brown, Rudolph, The Year Without a Santa Claus) and know in my heart, I will *never* miss "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" while we have this device.