Friday, November 11, 2011
We've always got Gosford Park
I'm sure I underestimate the amount of time I spend with the television, especially when I'm half watching while I do other things. There's no denying it. As I go through my day, the TV provides background noise more often then not. Even if I'm only using it for the music channels and not actually watching programs.
When I become acutely aware the television is when it goes away.
Yesterday smack in the middle of Morning Joe, Dishnetwork diminished our service. If you've never experienced an outage due to the an unpaid bill, here's how it works, for Dish, at least: First they call sixty times a day. Then they start putting a message on your screen every couple of hours reminding you that your bill is late. Next they decrease your number of channels until finally they cut you off altogether and you're stuck watching the instructions on how to use your remote, whatever's on your DVR and that mess of DVDs you've recorded. Thank goodness for all those old Poirots you recorded on A&E. And how historically quaint are those Countrywide Mortgage commercials with the guy who looked like John Kerry?
Then they send you a box and tell you to send your fucking receiver back stat or they're going to send Fred over to yank it out and he won't be putting down the floor mats to keep from tracking mud into your house either!
Not that we've ever gotten to that stage.
Anyway, now we're in the diminished state. When this happens, it's a surprise. You never know exactly when it will happen or which channels they'll leave you with. It's different every time.
This time, we've got the Science Channel, NASA channel, a handful of Christian channels, Current to balance those out, I suppose; ESPN RedZone Preview, Tasty channel so I can learn of all the things I can do with Country Crock, a Spanish movie channel, American Movie Classics, The Military Channel, every shopping channel you can think of, Japanese news and two - count 'em TWO! - holiday music channels. The modern and the traditional. In case you don't want to hear G Love without his Special Sauce, you can listen to Bing croon about A White Christmas.
Because, you know, there's no chance I won't be hating Christmas music by Thanksgiving. I've already heard enough Burl Ives to make me want to build a snowman so I can kick him in his frosty balls and enough Mel Torme to make me demand a martini with a candy cane swizzle stick. The cats are working on the recipe right now. At least, based on the clinking of glasses and hiccuping, I think that's what they're doing.
Not to mention the fact that I find the whip crack sound in the Boston Pops' version of Sleigh Ride oddly arousing.
And what is the idea of keeping the shopping channels? I can't pay my bill, do they really want me buying that set of faux pearl handled vibrators?
But back to the TV. Naturally, none of those channels are my favorite. Even the one movie channel they gave us isn't my favorite. I prefer Turner Movie classics. No commercials.
Do you go through TV phases? Like in the days when my time was spent with young children, I watched PBS from morning til night. I would sing the Celery Bunch and the I Like Fudge songs and close out the day with Nature or Frontline.
Then we were getting ready to move to Georgia and I entered the HGTV days which dovetailed nicely with The Food Network era.
That came after the period when I watched a lot of VH1, catching up with the I Love series. I had no idea my youth was so interesting! Then the kids and I got into watching The N for the Degrassi series and I fell in love with Daria and wanted to be Jane. That coincided with when A&E and The Biography Channel had the wisdom to show the Poirots, Midsomer Murders and Sherlock Holmes with Jeremy Brett on Sundays.
And then there was the complete and utter devotion to BBC America. Sigh.
Some of you will remember the C-SPAN mornings that dragged on all day. Election time, you know.
So for now I'm stuck with the whirring sounds in my own noggin, Christmas music or The Military Channel which I can at least pretend is research for my novel. Thankfully, there's a DVR full of murders committed by people with charming accents. The kids have Netflix. And MathMan has Calculus.
My mother appears at my shoulder like one of those Angel/Devil apparitions and suggests I read a damn book. Yes, but I can't do that and be on the computer......(looks at the stack of books waiting to be read)..... oh.
What's your favorite channel? What's on your DVR or Tivo that you never delete?