Monday, November 19, 2012


The TV free experiment continues! For the sake of full disclosure, however, I'm going to report on the few times I've watched TV in the last 6 months that break the rules, which I identified at the beginning of this challenge.

Yep, I'm coming clean!

  1. My husband and I watched the first presidential debate. We went to a local bar to watch it, but when we were finished eating, we decided to head home to be more comfortable. We picked up the rest of it on our own TV with antenna. My defense: I wanted to see it before I started hearing a bunch of stuff about who "won"...and the event wouldn't be available in its entirety until the next day online. Besides, knowing what's going on in the world isn't exactly mindless TV watching, right?
  2. We also watched the election coverage on election night. It's just not the same trying to keep track online of who is winning. We tuned in on our own TV and watched the results come in. My defense: This is something on TV only every 4 years and it's also not mindless TV. I.e., watching the election results is a far cry from watching a Hoarders marathon. (At one time, I was really good at Hoarding episodes of Hoarders on our DVR.)
  3. This is a big one... We watched some of this year's postseason baseball. My defense: Our Tigers don't make the world series that often, and we couldn't stand the thought that this might be THE YEAR, and of all years, we were doing the TV free thing. Also, if you've ever watched baseball on, you know it kind of stinks. Sometimes the cameraman takes a nap...and you don't get to see replays either. So, it wasn't an extremely satisfying cheat. We watched the Yankees series on, and then watched the world series on regular TV. We could have avoided breaking "The Rules" of this challenge by getting together with friends to make it a big social thing, or going to a bar and making a date out of it. However, it gets expensive sitting in a bar for the entire game ordering things so the waitress doesn't get annoyed...and as far as friends, for the record, I asked several times on Facebook if anyone wanted to get together to watch with us and I had NO takers. :(
  4. I was sick for a day. Reading was making me feel worse. Being on my laptop was making me feel worse. I really didn't feel like concentrating on anything. I decided to apply the "I'm sick" clause. The I'm Sick clause allows me to turn on the TV and fall asleep to it. I put on Law and Order SVU and zoned out. My defense: I don't really have one. This is a straight up cheat. All I can say is, when you haven't been regularly watching TV, a cheat feels extra special good! And it's not like I would have been using that time to better myself, which is what this experiment is about.
  5. Recently, there was a shooting at our local police station. The same station, in fact, where I've been attending my citizen academy classes. All I could find was one article about it online. So I watched the evening news from 5-6pm to get some details. I'm glad I did. My defense: Sometimes you can't get all your news from the Internet, particularly detailed local news. They don't always include videos on your local channel websites either. I wanted to see the interview with our police chief, who I had met the previous week. Notably, it was three days later that our local paper ran the story. It doesn't come daily.
  6. For the sake of my marriage, Lions games are now permitted. My husband has been awesome and very supportive of this whole TV free thing, considering he didn't really have a problem wasting his life watching TV. However, I can see him getting increasingly bored with not seeing any TV, especially when Sunday rolls around and we've been busily doing stuff all weekend. When the games are on, I either crotchet my afghan, just listen, or, gasp, actually watch the game. Sue me. This is my personal challenge, and I can rationalize what I want to! My defense: The Lions suck. This hasn't exactly been the biggest reward for denying myself the things I actually do want to watch. I'd much rather be watching ANY reality TV show. Also, almost as a punishment, I haven't watched any University of Michigan football. Not even when we beat Michigan State, which I had to hear about later. (I'm a Michigan alumna. This is brutal.) So see, I'm balancing things out. :)
That's all I can think of right now. You might be thinking - okay, clearly she's not quite TV free anymore. Obviously the above indicates that she's been watching TV. I object! If you think that, go back and take a look at the first article I wrote in this blog series. Remember how much TV I was watching before. I'm not sitting and zoning out in front of the TV all evening, every evening anymore. Most of the above were one time situations. The exception, some sports (and Lions games are only on once a week.) When the game is over, the TV goes off - CLICK - and we're back to finding things to do in our spare time.

A few positive notes that prove I'm no longer a card-carrying couch potato:
  • Last week, I graduated from my Citizen Police academy class. Yay! I'm one step closer to fully researching one of my characters for the book. I've written another 2 chapters since my last update. (If that sounds like a slow pace, it is...but it's still progress.)
  • I'm continuing to take the Zumba classes twice a week. No weight loss detected, but I'm sure it's doing more good than not, so I continue to torture myself with it.
  • Hubs bought me a Kindle Paperwhite for our anniversary, and I've read 8 books now. I've only had the thing 3 weeks! I'm a reading fool!
  • Now that Farmer's Market and the police academy classes are over, I intend to resume my weekly yoga. My body has been feeling creaky, so it's definitely time!
  • I was recently a featured zombie in a short film. Being on set and meeting so many fun and creative people was a blast...and even though I'm not an actress (this was my first time ever doing anything like that), I got to act like one for a day.
  • I'm starting a new, paid writing project in December. I wish I could talk about it, but I can't until the pilot is shot. Whoops, gave too much information already. What I can say is that I'm looking forward to reuniting with some of the creative folks who worked on the short film I wrote (that is still in post-production). 
  • This weekend, I threw my first annual slumber party. We ate, we drank, we conquered. We also watched Poltergeist and got ourselves freaked out, especially given the surround sound and the real fog outside that surrounded the house, making us feel like we were IN a movie! (Yes, movies are allowed in moderation...particularly when it's something social.)
  • No more garden. It's closed up for the year. We raked all our leaves this year before the snow fell on them - a personal record? - and also removed a 30 foot tree that had long since stopped bearing fruit but had increased bearing broken, dead branches. Lots of wood for fires this Winter season!
Tomorrow, I look forward to hosting a special lunch for my best friend's birthday. We'll be eating all the old school stuff we used to binge on as teenagers. Funyuns anyone? As an extension of that pigfest, later in the week hubs and I will also be hosting Thanksgiving dinner at our house for the family.

Who has time for TV when you're busy making turkey, stuffing, and all the fixins! For the first time in many years, I feel stress-free heading into the holidays. The house is clean. The food is bought. A TV free lifestyle has a way of leaving minds free of all the distractions that often make us feel busier than we are.

Wishing you a safe and happy holiday!