Saturday, August 7, 2010

Act IV Chapter 2: Goodbye to Cable

If my life was a play I would be in Act IV. Act I was my time growing up in New Jersey, Act II took place in Washington DC, and Act III was set in Bloomington Indiana. Now I'm in Act IV living in San Diego, Ca. And tomorrow begins Chapter 2 of Act IV (I think chapter sounds better then scene).

As I prepare to embark on Chapter 2 I must admit I'm feeling a bit indifferent. I mean I can't really call Chapter 1 a success seeing as how I lost my job and all so I'm not sure how to feel about Chapter 2. I'm hoping that the move from Oceanside to San Diego will provide me with the opportunity to start fresh and put the job loss situation behind me, but of course there are no guarantees. And not having a job just adds to the lack of stability that hinders my ability to enjoy my new chapter.

Nonetheless, Chapter 2 is beginning no matter what I feel so I must make the best out of it. Unfortunately Chapter 2 does start off with the loss of a few amenities from previous chapters. I must say goodbye to having a dishwasher; a parking space; a washer and dryer in the apartment (although I might be able to rent one) and most importantly cable. Now there is nothing I can do about the first three but the loss of cable is a personal choice. Sure I can blame it on the fact that I don't have a job, but since I've always been the type of person to live beyond my means, I can't truthfully say that the economy has caused me to give up cable.

I've been toying with the idea for a while now. For years now I swore to myself that when (not if) I finally get around to having children I would get rid of cable so they can grow up free from the clutches of MTV, reality TV, and advertising. But why wait for the children to get here before I free myself from the bonds of cable TV?

Truthfully I'm scared that I won't be able to go long without cable. To me cable is one of the elusive status symbols that separates me from my impoverish childhood. Cable was a luxury in Act I. Sometimes we had it but more often than not we didn't. Once I moved on to Act II I made having cable a priority. It was like food, a necessity. Nothing short of being thrown out on the street would have stopped me from having cable.

Not even being a poor graduate student in Act III could stop me from having cable. So what if I had to use my Sallie Mae loan to pay my cable bill? Having cable kept me from feeling like that poor girl in New Jersey. I was a success because cable was no longer a luxury but instead it was a symbol of how far I've come.

And then I moved into Act IV and not only did I have cable...I had the ultimate cable package. With my new job and ridiculous salary I had no reason not to get the UVerse 400 package with every pay channel, except for Playboy. I mean $200 a month for the UVerse 400 package, internet, and home phone seemed like a good deal to me.

But then I lost my job and slipped into a short but real depression. I spent my weekends locked up in my apartment with my cable to soothe my wounded ego. I came home from work each night and let the cable wash over me but it didn' couldn't...wash over the depression. In fact I think it made it worse.

Instead of wallowing in self-pity I should have been working on my dissertation, or writing an article, or volunteering with a local non profit. But instead I choose cable day in and day out. I'm not sure what got me out of my depression, but one day I realized that I was wasting my time watching TV. The life I set out to have in Act IV was passing me by. Instead of enjoying everything So Cal has to offer I was obsessing about Sonny and Carly and the rest of people in Port Charles.

Somehow I snapped out of it and I realized that cable had to go! Not having a job and having cable would surely be a recipe for disaster for a procrastinator like me. Life is too short and I'm too old to waste any more time with cable.

But all is not loss. Thanks to the internet I will not have to give up all my favorite shows. I can watch General Hospital anytime I want online and now with Hulu I should be able to watch a few of my other favorite TV shows like Grey's Anatomy and Top Chef. And of course there is Netflix which will allow me to watch many of favorite shows, even if have to wait until the season is over.

But the real loss, the hardest part of cable for me to give up will be the Food Network channel. In a strange twist of fate, I began watching the Food Network channel a few months ago (I guess it had more to do with my depression then fate) and now I'm on my way to becoming a Foodie. And for some horrible reason Hulu doesn't have access to full episodes Food Network shows, so for now I must find a way to say goodbye or convince my mom to let me watch Throwdown with Bobby Flay, The Next Food Network Star, and Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives at her place.

So as I sit here writing my farewell to cable blog I'm also watching a few episodes of the Boondocks I had stored on my DVR. And you'll never believe what cable shut off! And now it looks like I might lose my internet as well so it's time to end this blog and say goodbye to cable once and for all. It's been an exciting ride for the past 32 years but I think it's time I moved on and discovered what else the world has to offer as I begin the next chapter in my life!