My Week Without Cable

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I did it. I unplugged and stepped away from the corporate machine that sucks my life into a vortex of faked reality shows that remind of my level of poverty. I am no longer chained to my television or wireless internet in my home. Yes, I forget to pay my cable bill. Evidently, I forget to pay it two months in a row, because the balance due was the equivalent of a car note.

I am now protesting the cable company and their unfair advantage of oligopoly in my neighborhood. I am protesting because I don’t get paid until Friday and I really need to see how severe my addiction to all things technology related really is.

Wednesday: Day One of my stand against the Oligarchy Gods; Hubby and I made homemade Chinese, talked about our feelings recounted fun moments from our vacation. We each made a mental note to spend more time talking to each other and less time in front of the television. We washed dishes together, shared a glass of wine and made moon eyes at each other.

Thursday: Day Two I cursed the cable company and went about my afternoon. I got some mopping done that had been grossly overlooked. I did laundry and actually folded and put the clothing away in the same day. I have cleaned the cat box and I think the cat meowed “Thank God!” I then moved on to clean and dust my bedroom furniture. I had forgotten how pretty my bedroom furniture is.

Friday: Day Three I am pacing back and forth and thinking something may actually be wrong with me emotionally. Hubby found the free convertor box thing that we ordered two years ago. Great we now have at least three basic channels. One problem, every third commercial is about the box that we have just installed. My beautifully polished furniture is now spouting “rabbit ears.” I haven’t seen those since my Aunt Lillie’s house. Curse you, you Cable Bastards.

Saturday: I am feening for some internet. My rapacious need for some HGTV is taking over my mind. The walls are closing in on me and I am scratching like fleas have burrowed into my hind quarters. I even attempted to log into the wireless systems in my neighbor that were not locked. It is sad, I know. I think I need some support. I am going to phone a friend. I am calling a friend that has wireless and HBO. I am protesting, not abstaining people.

Sunday: I have a very productive day, but at five pm and dark thoughts over takes my mind. I even read a quick book over my iPhone, which I do not recommend. I was at a loss. It is Sunday and it a True Blood night and time for Longmire at 10pm. I can’t wait. I have to be at the water cooler on Monday to discuss the idiocy of Sookie and find out whether the Authority was actually killed. I needed support. I phoned a different friend who also had wireless and HBO. I was smart, I took her dinner since she had worked all day.

Monday: To hell with cable. I watched two episodes of M*A*S*H and sweated along with Lucas, The Rifleman when Mark and Jonah tried to figure out how to get the rattle snake out of his bedroll. Then there were two back to back episodes of Law & Order SVU, when Olivia was young and not so jaded. I even tuned into American Ninja Warrior and felt bad when those guys were omitted from the competition. None of the training was enough to calm such fragile nerves. They will not be going to mount Midorijama in Japan.

Tuesday: One of my fellow instructors will not be returning this quarter and I have to take over her class. I will now be teaching on Tuesday and Thursdays from 6-8 pm, so up yours Cable Punks.

Wednesday: I give. I am going to head to the cable company and write a hot check tomorrow.

I have learned a great deal this week. I am a creature of comfort that spends too much time with television as my background noise. My dependency on the internet is way too high but it is who I am. I am Cheryl and I am an addict.

Five Shows You Should Be Watching

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    It is easy to sit back and make a list of shows on the tube that inspire no brain activity. The sitcoms are filled with situations that are less than comedic. The dramas are less than dramatic with over acting and well situations that are in fact comedic; even though it is not their intent. Yet, I do not despair between the reality show brouhahas and poorly written trash the fill the in between spaces, because there are five great shows you should know about.

5. Southland, TNT, Tuesday Nights, 9 pm Eastern

    A tough gritty cop drama set in Los Angeles with Regina King in one of the leading roles. The cast is rounded out with Lucy Lui, C. Thomas Howell and a few others that make this show really good. The writing is tight. The acting is strong. The characters are very likable, unlikable and realistic. Street cops that pull over jerks for eating behind the wheel and throwing the banana peel in the street. “An Asshole with a small carbon footprint is still an asshole.” Check it out. You will enjoy.

4. Grimm, NBC, Friday Nights

The fairy tales are out of the book and off of the hook. It is fascinating to watch because you find yourself trying to remember the Grimm Fairy Tales and the obvious ones like Goldilocks & the Three Bears, the Pied Piper and Red Riding Hood. The good guys, the bad guys and Daemonfeuer. There are a great number of German names used in the story which makes the viewer feel as if you are a part of something special.
You too can feel special by just enjoying the gruesome ride.

3. Person of Interest, CBS, Thursday Nights

At some point, we are all concerned with our number coming up. Well here is a show that has a hero that is trying to save you when your number does come up. It is a clever concept, a cool character and an interesting supporting actor who used to be that creepy dude on Lost. It really helps to have Taraji P. Henson and Jim Caveziel playing lead. These unlikely heroes are out to help New Yorkers that the system notifies as being in imminent danger. The major flaw in this plot is that they only save people in New York. What if my number comes up in Georgia? Jim are you coming to save me? The show is well-acted, with good scripts, wonderful lines all leading to the overwhelming question, who are we and where do we belong?

2. Touch, Fox, Wednesday Nights

Keifer Sutherland is back with something new and equally intelligent. This is the perfect show for a Hollywood royal. A cute kid that has found the links in the Fibonacci Sequence and is somehow trying to communicate with his dad. Yes, just like 24, Fox is hitting a big fat home run with clever plots, a cute black chick and a heavy weight like Danny Glover. There are worldwide links to a singer in Ireland. There are courtesans in Japan and somehow or other, they are all linked. This kid can see the whole world. It is riveting, it is intense and I am hooked. Okay people. It has Keifer Sutherland and Danny Glover. It is a cause for celebration.


1.Breakout Kings, A & E, Sundays

Cops and robbers, bad guys who are good guys, good guys turned bad guys seeking redemption, and a group of cons who are trying to get a break. This show has everything, a pretty girl, a smart aleck, a functioning savant, and a cat too cool for school. The writing is witty, the show is sharp and the characters are on point. It is rip roaring romp from start to finish and it is a very thin line between what makes us the good guy, and who the bad guy is really.

Check back in with me next week after you have watched one or three. I can’t wait to hear your feedback.

That’s Just Nuckin’ Futty!

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This past week has been an exercise in patience. I have found that evidently, I am not very virtuous because I had very little. I am amazed at the rationale behind some decisions that are made based on logic that is in essence, irrational. It is like watching an episode of Hoarding: Buried Alive and failing to understand why Sue is breaking down over a bottle cap. We can’t understand the thought process because if logic were to prevail, someone would tell the individual, your behavior is nuckin’ futty.

Let’s examine the first instance.

    I sat in a faculty meeting with an overactive, underachieving colleague. I knew she was going to make an issue in the meeting of how smart she was, how much she was teaching, and how much smarter she was than all of us. She brought up two class exercises she used in which three of us had no clue what she was talking about. I teach English. I am a writer. I have written four books and I don’t know that. I don’t know it because I don’t care. It has no impact on my day to day life and in essence no one gives a flying monkey! If your colleagues are telling you they would not take your class, then aren’t you missing something here? It’s called a point. It was amazing to sit and listen to her pontificate about what she was doing, when, in reality, if your colleagues don’t give a rat’s ass, and then do you think the students will? It is just nuckin’ futty to attempt to teach students everything you know. Teach them what they need to know, and then focus on one or two skills sets for the 11 week period. What makes this even more insane is that she was told that adult learners brains are not as malleable at a12 year. Of course your middle school students will get it, their brains are still developing. A 35 year old woman, forgive the bad English, “don’t want to be hearing about nothing she can’t put to use in her everyday life.” Why are you making people feel stupid for not getting it? Maybe she will get it when they escort her ass out the door.

    I sigh in exasperation.

Let’s move on to the second case. I often, out of sheer curiosity, surf over to because truth is so much more nuckin’ futty than fiction. There is a lady that is in danger of dying because she refuses to cut her toenails. Again, I shall repeat, she refuses to cut her toenails which are preventing her from exercising as required to maintain healthy blood glucose levels. Here’s the irony, if you don’t get the exercise, as a diabetic, they will probably have to amputate your feet. There goes your damn toenails. Don’t believe me? Well check out the video. If you can’t see the video I have included some photos.

Yeah, my thoughts exactly; this is just nuckin’ futty.

Life is too short to be irrational.

I Can’t Find the Remote!

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Tired, aching and full of fever, the bed had become a two day prison. At the start of day three, very pleased that the fever had broken, I was still weakened and not too anxious to move about. As I returned from the kitchen after retrieving a fresh glass of Gatorade, I hit the power button for the television. Looking to my left and to my right, I did not physically see the remote. The television was on TNT. I began to whine that I could not find the remote. I was stuck watching this channel for six hours which included two episode of The Closer and back to back showings of Rizzoli & Isles. I then began to think, was my inability to find the remote an allegory to how many of us were living our lives? Were we stuck watching a fake reality because we were too lazy to get up, physically look for something that can help you change the channel that your life was also stuck in?

    In our youth, we loved to tune into MTV and watch the latest videos, see the fashion and learn the dance moves. These iconic symbols were our models for how to dress, who to date, where to be seen and who to emulate. MTV has now changed and is full of reality television shows that have spawned the like of new young starlets named Snookie. This is also the channel that brought you Beavis & Butthead.  In the new millinia, these characters are now named The Situation and Mickey D. Somebody hand me the remote so I can change this channel because I have outgrown MTV. The same can also be said for the sister channels of VH1, E!, and BET.

    As mature adults we attempt to change the channel to CBS but there are only so many CSI shows one can tolerate along with death. CBS reminds us that are lives can be taken away by any random nut job that wants to be a serial killer or has the ability to brandish a weapon. Please help me find the remote; I don’t want to be this close to my own mortality.

    The other side of our adult hood likes to have fun, and we want to watch fun things, so we grab our remotes and tune into NBC. They have an Office full of schmucks, a television show at 30 Rockefeller Center that is full of hams who act like schmucks and fairy tales with Grimm endings. NBC is entertaining. We can leave the channel stationary for a while because here we feel sociable. We can talk about the episodes with our friends. We are connected, we are in the loop. Not really, these people on these shows are not your real friends, you are acting loopy, find the remote and find an adult channel and get in sync!

    On occasion, when our bodies and minds feel out of sync and we feel mentally loopy, we change to the Lifetime channel. Somebody is killing their husband, having the neighbor’s baby and somebody is going to die or get revenge. Either way, by the end of the movie you are in tears. An emotional cleansing that makes you feel better about the life you are really only half living. The tears aren’t really for the character on the show; they are for you, and your sad life. Remember when you used to be cool and people wanted to hang out with you? Change the damned channel already!

    In the end, it doesn’t matter which channel you are watching, the fact remains that you are sedentary. Get your butt up, get a book, start a blog, or just do something! If you can’t find the remote, then good, it may be a sign from the universe that it is time to stop watching television and become active in your community. Happy New Year and here is to a Happy New You!

What a Great Show!

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It is mid-season and on comes the mid-season replacements! Say Yeah! As you are well aware, Grey’s Anatomy was a mid-season replacement and look how well that did. It is my sincere hope that some of the hype of the earlier Fall shows that have been a grave disappointment will be removed from the televisionverse. NBC is planning to stand strong with a mid-season addition of the The Firm and a nice late edition and one of my favorites Grimm. The Firm is based off the movie with Tom Cruise and of course the latter is based on Grimm Fairy Tales with a twist. However with the addition of something new, something old has to go. The first on my list to be cut is that insipid Terra Nova. Are you hearing me Fox?

    However, I have been pleasantly surprised by some alternative programming on some of the other channels. The geniuses at AMC, who brought you Mad Men, have come back strong this season with a wonderful period piece, Hell on Wheels. It has cowboys, it has Indians, and it has moguls, madmen, and developing civilization. There are union workers and a coalition of Free Men who are fighting for the right to be called men after liberation by President Lincoln. It has intrigued, murder, romance and conniving women. Whew, that is a good show!

    AMC also has the Walking Dead, but hey, it’s about Zombies. If you are going to watch a show with half dead people feeding on other humans, please turn over to the SyFy channel for an episode of Being Human. You see, a ghost, a werewolf and a vampire all move in together and no, it is not the start of a bad joke. She’s dead, killed by her boyfriend and doomed to haunt the house the boyfriend is unable to rent. The werewolf has some issues and the end of each month and the vampire stopped feeding on humans. Together, they have become a weird, dysfunctional family that actually loves and support one another. I am not sure how it is all going to work out in the season considering the ghost lady let something malevolent into the house. It is going to be a fight for survival, but it is understood that in the end, they all just want get along and be loved.  I am now imagining greater.

Even greater, SyFy has also acquired Lost Girl. We meet Bo, a succubus that is a cop, wandering between her human life and the life of a Fae. I know right?  I can’t wait to check this one out next month.

    I am even more excited because in January we can welcome the return of that damned American Idol, but we can also return of something fresh. The Food Network understands fresh and beefed up their programming with The Next Iron Chef. Those smart aleck Chefs who sit behind a desk a critique other people’s food have been put to the test. This show is really exciting because those arrogant over paid chefs have been cut down to bite sized pieces. The one chef they thought would be gone first is actually standing up and is going against Jeffrey Zacharian. Now that is a good show! I also learned a new way to work with lamb and make sausage.

It just gets better folks, Game of Thrones will return in April and True Blood returns in June, featuring Chris Meloni of Law & Order SVU fame.

Exciting! Now that, is going to be a show!