Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Days 14 to 17: Am I Cheater & Other Stories

We've been TV free for a little over two weeks now, and friends keep asking "Have you cheated?"

The truth depends on who you ask. If you ask me, and you consider the rules I posted when I first started this experiment, the answer is no. I haven't broken any of my rules. However, if you ask an outsider, who simply sees me declaring myself TV-free, he might think so.

How would an outsider think I've cheated? We've watched two DVDs in the last 17 days, and I also watched a 5 minute video online of America's Got Talent. Gasp!

In my defense, hubs and I have been doing a lot of yard work. A LOT. We have weeds that could eat your children. And we discovered wild raspberries, while great in theory and we'll now plan to eat, are thorny as heck and poked the bejeezus out of our limbs. In fact, we've been working so hard de-weeding and de-raspberrying, everything hurts as we stumble into the house near dark. Not all evenings, but we've been pretty consistent in our home improvement efforts. At that point, when your body and brain really want to relax after some pretty physical work, it's no time to play a board game, read a book, or work on the computer. We simply can't concentrate on anything. So twice now, we've tapped into our DVD collection. Seven and The Matrix were our selections. Movies we had already seen were perfect for a good zone out. As an added bonus, it had been so long since we tapped into our DVD collection, we couldn't even remember what movies we had, so it was like a rediscovery mission too.

With respect to the AGT video, I have a perfectly good excuse for this one. A friend of mine was on the show! They didn't only show a glimpse. He and his girlfriend got a whole 5-minute segment. I had to watch it. And I had to share it on Facebook (which is where I first learned of it), like any good friend.

The only real cheat I see is that I have replaced TV with one activity that is probably not doing much for bettering me as a human being. I've discovered Words With Friends. It's terribly addictive, but perfect for playing when I'm eating my breakfast out on the deck - or before bed when I'm trying to unwind. I'm limiting myself to only a few games at a time. But I do feel a little guilty, because I didn't stop watching TV to do something like sit on my computer and move letters around. It's not out of hand yet, but it could get there easily. Although, at least I'm using my brain, right? I'm playing big words like "pig" and "boob". (Hey, pig was on a TW and DL. -That's geek speak for fellow WWF players.)

Besides a yard work marathon, I've gotten quite a bit of work done lately, professionally speaking. I feel like a machine. It's amazing how much focus I have right now. Maybe TV was really rotting my brain. Or maybe I was depressed and didn't know it. Either way, I feel like I've woken up. Without the distractions of the TV, I get my work done faster, and in my opinion, it's better in all respects. It's almost scary how much I feel like I've accomplished in the last few weeks, because it reveals to me how much less I was getting done before.

Aside from work, I enjoyed volunteering at the Farmer's Market today. This week, I was paired up with the mayor of our little city. We're now on a first name basis, and I feel like I could write a book about him. Such is the case when two people are stuck at a booth together for 2 hours with not much else to do but chat. Perhaps this week's experience was also better because I brought cash with me this time.

I purchased a new sweet red pepper plant for my garden, a flat of garlic spinguni bread, which when decorated with chicken, green pepper and portabella mushrooms at home became our dinner tonight, pieces of lemon cake and sweet potato pie, which obviously became dessert, and a couple organic hygiene products. I arrived with $20 and left with $2. Not a bad way to spend $18 and a few hours of my time, supporting fellow Michigan business owners with purchases and enjoying the smell of roasting cinnamon pecans in the breeze while doing it. (I would have bought those darn pecans but they were at the last vendor and I only had $2 left! Instead, I took a big whiff of them when I walked by and hoped that it would sustain me until next week.)

Here's that yummy dinner I described. The bread was $5.50 and I already had the leftover chicken and veggies in the fridge.

I have a bid out on eBay right now for a bicycle basket. If I win, next week, I'll ride up to the market on my bike and fill that basket like nobody's business. I think I need herbs for my garden. The ones I was growing inside don't look too hot. They look slightly moldy on top. Who knew you could overwater plants? I sure didn't! I'm pretty sure that's a first time for me. Also, I think I'm growing weeds, not herbs. Any input on that is most welcome. See below.

Spore City?
Tomorrow, I look forward to seeing my oldest best friend for lunch. It's been way too long. At least 6 months since our last lunch. We joke that we'll have to hold signs up with our names so we recognize each other. Also, the art festival this weekend (I'm attending and volunteering) and Father's Day BBQ. Lots of fun stuff to look forward to that has absolutely nothing to do with television.

I'll leave you with a quote I found the other day:

No one’s addicted to music and television and radio. We just need more of it, more channels, a larger screen, more volume. We can’t bear to be without it, but no, nobody’s addicted. We could turn it off anytime we wanted.
- Lullaby, Chuck Palahniuk

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