Wednesday, July 18, 2007

A Life without TV


Walking through our apartment for the first time, something strange grabs you. At first it won’t be obvious. The kitchen is perfectly normal, complete with dishwasher, microwave oven and empty bottles waiting to be recycled. Upon walking into the living room, though, it unveils itself. You’ll first see a beige sofa facing a wall, and then it hits you. The sofa is facing an empty wall, without a TV.

It’s weird not having a TV in the entire house. It’s so engrained in the American lifestyle that it becomes a part of you. The mindless entertainment is almost needed, even if simply as background noise to placate the wandering mind. Recently, though, I’ve discovered that there is life beyond the TV, just as some of my teammates are still discovering that there is life beyond California.

Some things we’ve discovered as a substitute for TV as our centerpiece of entertainment:

Jigsaw puzzles:
We’re now at 29 puzzles since the start of the season (it looks like we’ll fall short of our goal of 100, unless I start doing more 24 piece Snow White puzzles). As diligent proof, we’ve displayed them on the walls, filling almost three walls in our living room completely. Perhaps soon we will be calling the National Historic Registry, as we are planning on opening the country’s first Museum of Jigsaw Art.

Watching movies:
Okay, so we’re not completely devoid of visual entertainment. We have Blockbuster Total Access, which allows us to watch as many movies as we want. In fact, roommate Geno Espineli bought a DVD projector, which explains why we have one wall un-blemished by puzzles: it’s our projector wall. Use your imagination and it’s almost like going to the theater, only without the big buckets of popcorn.

Reading and writing:
Not everyone’s favorite pastime, but I enjoy it. I know I’m a little nerdy; writing blogs and, of all things, reading (so old fashioned), but it’s rewarding for me. Hopefully all the other readers out there will continue to find it enjoyable as well.

Thinking and talking:
Without the TV, there is more silence. To fill the silent void, you either talk to others or to yourself (hopefully silently). Either way, there’s more room for your thoughts and for conversations. And with the randomness that takes place in this household, not to mention the drama of being on a team, who needs TV.

At first we simply wanted to save money by not having cable and a TV, protesting the rising cost of cable. In the end, though, I’ve come to enjoy the time without it. One doesn’t realize how deeply the attachment runs until this magical box is removed.

Despite this, I still am not completely broken from my TV habit. For instance, I wake up in the morning usually before my roommates. I grab some breakfast, maybe some cereal or some oatmeal, and I sit at the table. While I’m eating, I feel something is missing. I want to be able to reach over for a remote control and turn on a TV. But I’m glad that I can’t. I’m starting to enjoy the resonating silence.


RL Cali said...

Ah the joys of No TV! Have you tried adding music to the mix, either playing or listening? How about crafts or volunteering? There are lots of opportunities to get out of the house and volunteering is so rewarding...visiting in hospitals is a fan favorite. Gardening is always available in the summer time, growing your own veggies (that is if you guys like salads). Cooking (although I realize many of you don't cook much...there must be someone in the house who does). Congratulations on breaking the hold the aliens had on you (hypnotizing you with the TV). Reminds me of one of the Batman series movies with Jim Carey as the Riddler...the Box. Good discipline and glad you're enjoying it.

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