Archive for March, 2006

Oscar night and me without a TV

There are only a few occassions in which I rue not having a television. When PBS comes out with a new art history series (Art:21 specifically - go ahead, call me a geek), the Olympics and the Oscars

I made a very conscious decision when I moved into my first apartment after high school - I did not want a television in my home.  I always felt like having it as the center of your living space was unhealthy and made for lack of social interaction - and I hated being force fed advertising every time I wanted to watch a show.  That said, I am sitting on my hands hating the fact that I don’t have one and waiting for someone to invite me to an Oscar party. 

If I did have a TV, I’d do it Tivo style.  This article from NPR talks about the wonders of Tivo and how it can erase all the things I hate about television programming (namely the icky commercials). 

Now, three hours is a lot of time to commit already, especially as some of us have kids, so extending the evening by an hour to fit in a meal wouldn’t work. But we got TiVo not long ago, and discovered the joy of tuning in to programs late, so that we can fast-forward past commercials, and that seems pretty much the ideal way to watch the Oscars. No commercials, no long walks down the aisle, no speeches about the ballot-counters. Just the jokes and the winners… and the obit-reel, which is always a heart-tugger.

Sounds like heaven.  If I ever to succumb to the allure of a TV, which it close at hand, I think I will have to go the way of Tivo and finally join my peers in the age of 21st Century technology. 

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The Good Deed Fellow

It’s remarkable when you feel more down on your luck than ever before and there is a simple stranger who, with a small thoughtful gesture, can make you realize that things are pretty great.

We (my family) have been through what is usually referred to as the ringer these last few years. Typical young-married-couple-with-two-kids stuff — money, job changes, money, job losses, trying to prove to our families that we aren’t crazy for sticking to our passions, money, our daughter having half of her lung taken out. Alright, mostly typical stuff — we have had some things that I’m not quite sure we will ever emotionally recover from (my husband and I can’t really talk about our daughter, two weeks old at the time, almost dying in his arms simply because it was so stressful that I am certain we have blocked most of it out).  But back to my point: by all accounts of the stress of the last two years, we could be really angry and mean people.  I think anyone that has struggled can relate — you tend to start to lose the better qualities of yourself when things get lower than you ever thought possible.  And today I was reminded why we came out of it happy and with an even more stellar outlook on everything.

I’m going to sound like the cheesiest feel-good motivational speaker in the world but, here goes. This man, a mechanic, who could have taken all my money and been an opportunist about the fact that I had to have some work done on my car to pass my emissions test to renew my registration. Instead, I explained to him the situation and made a note that we really didn’t have the billions of dollars to fix the part and so, he looked at the car and pushed a simple button and said “there ya go — you should pass your test now”. There is something that needs to be fixed but it would have cost me lots and lots of money that knew I didn’t have.  He could have just told me to go away but, no, he bought me some time. He saved me from a week’s worth of being pulled over by every bored cop who notices that I have expired tags. A simple thing that made my life easier and gave me a chance to get things taken care of. He referred me to a local mechanic who is cheap and respectable and made me promise to go see him soon. As I drove away I realized (here comes the cheese) that this exact type of thing was why my husband and I aren’t angry and miserable people. Because we have been cared about, on a very human level, by others who have been, or still are, there. We’ll always look back on those years with great wonder at how we survived — and then we will have to remind ourselves that we survived because of the strangers who wouldn’t let us fall.

Posted in Daily Living, Mental Health, Cars, Home Budget | No Comments »

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