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December 1, 2006

I’ve had mild insomnia for the last couple of nights – not too badly, but annoying. I'd call it hyper-wakefulness, rather than real insomnia. I finally fall into sleep and wake a few minutes later. I change position, lie there for a long time, staring at the backs of my very interesting eyelids, fall asleep, and wake again fifteen minutes later.

But tonight, now that I’m at work, of course I’m exHOSSted. I could sleep like a log. Even the fact that we’re watching Narnia on DVD isn’t helping. What a good movie this is. 

I haven’t written much of anything since “winning” Nanowrimo two days ago – I think I’ve earned a little rest. Not much of one, though, or I’ll lose the momentum, and I want to push through this book and finally END something. I never end my books. This time I would like to, and I would like to try my hand at editing a book. I think I’ll like that.

Also, I’ve become supremely lazy in the last two days. I don’t want to do ANYTHING. I would like to lie on the couch and then get someone to carry me over to the bed. Unfortunately, I have quite a lot to do. (Quite a lot of partying and carrying-on, also, and it’s nice that I’m only working ONE DAY (night) this week and being paid as if I’m here all week – gotta love a job which has shift-swaps, especially if people owe you.) 

I apologize: None of my thoughts fit together. Like this one, which I’ll share, even though it’s all non-sequiturish. I am thinking about maybe not watching so much TV. Or getting rid of it altogether, if Lala doesn’t mind. I haven’t asked her yet, but she’s said in the past that she doesn’t need it. I like it much more than her. It’s my relaxation – my Tivo saves all my little indulgences, and then I curl up and watch, and even if it’s only ten minutes a day, I feel all pampered. But then other days, days off in which I could be writing/exploring/adventuring, I spend all day catching up with TV shows. I don’t need that.

I must, however, wait until Heroes and the Amazing Race are at their end-of-season before I really think about that crazy move. I may be considering going clean, but I’m not ready to go cold-turkey yet.


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We just moved, and decided that while we're at it, let's not have them connect the cable at the place. We bought rabbit ears (in the naive hope that we'd still pick up enough channels for Jeopardy and some public TV), and get only static, so now we're really TV-free. (Uh, except for a few things still living on the TiVo, service for which I should really get around to cancelling.)

So far it feels weird. But I think a lot of that weirdness is also the new-place weirdness, and us still not figuring out our routines or favorite reading spots, or all those other things you need to dig out for yourself in a new residence. But in the long run, I think it's a good thing. And I hear that some of my real guilty pleasures are available online, in case I ever am in desperate need of pampering, but don't want to pay the $65 a month or so for cable and TiVo service.

I think it's worth an experiment. You can always restart your cable service and re-subscribe to TiVo service, if you decide tv-less living is not right for you. I'm still not convinced that we won't do the same, eventually. But I'm glad we're trying something different, just to see how it fits.

My dad used to say that about once every 6 months. "Let's just throw away all the TV's in the house. We'll sit around all day reading and discussing art, politics, & culture." I never thought he was right until I got TiVo. You're right, it just sucks your day right up. The problem is that you'll spend the whole doing something else. For me...it's the computer. I'm capable of obsessively checking my bloglines all day, just cruising through a knitlist or...I don't know, "vegging" in front of the laptop.

I have a friend who canceled directtv and now uses iTunes for her guilty pleasures. Even at $1 per episode, it's still cheaper and they're commercial-free and at her disposal. Same deal as TiVo I guess, but since you pay as you go, you don't feel obligated to sit and watch all day long, maybe?

With a small kiddo, I've seriously considered getting rid of it b/c I don't want her to develop the bad habit. But then what would her parents do after she goes to bed? Don't answer that.

I have been sleeping poorly lately too, but I think it's because of my asthma and the fact that the weather here sucks dino eggs. As for giving up TV, well...you know how I feel about that. But TV shows eventually come out on DVD, and a 5-disc subscription to Netflix is a lot cheaper than what we're paying a month for cable...wait a minute. Hmm.

Hey - first - congrats on your writing accomplishments! It boggles my mind. Second - I'm on the gradual tv wean via the no cable / rabbit ears method, and I have to say that there isn't a heck of a lot I miss on cable. However, I still think I watch too much television - you'd be surprised at what you'll settle for when the choices are limited. I'd go for the absolutely no existing tv option myself (for all of the reasons mentioned) but I have a sports addicted boyfriend and the tv is the needle in his arm. Not my favorite quality, but we all have our addictions! Mine is knitting...

Anyway - love your blog. Have a good weekend.

What about just getting rid of the tivo? Then you still have tv for when you want to have a few minutes of relaxation without committing to a whole dvd, but you don't have all those favorites to spend your free time catching up on.

Several years ago, a following a move to a new house, I decided not to get cable hooked up and went without TV for 5 months (no cable, no reception). I did not feel deprived at all. I hooked up the VCR and DVD so I could watch movies. For me, watching a movie is a big committment of sitting on my ass time watching one long thing, so I watched a movie only a couple nights a week. I hooked up cable once baseball season started, but it was an interesting experiment that I'd love to do again, but my son and husband are total TV addicts. I'd try cutting off cable for awhile and seeing how it works before booting the TV out the door.

I went cold turkey when I went to grad school and couldn't afford cable, and haven't looked back. That was 1992. I'd rather save the cash and go to England. We do have a VCR/DVD and get stuff from Netflix, though.

The only downside that I can see is that sometimes you'll feel like you're outside of your own culture. I have no idea what people are talking about when they mention programs like "Project Runway" or "American Idol."

Then again, I have lots of reading and knitting time, and no excuse to not write or go out and do things.

Many years ago I lived without a TV for about 1.5 years and it was wonderful. It was amazing what I got done, especially in the reading department. TMK and I also started a weekly "library night" which, even now, so many years later, we still talk about fondly. I probably would've continued without a TV but my brother passed away, and I inherited his. And then, ahem, when that one died, I bought a new one. Oh, well.

I've considered it - but, then, who'd babysit my kids?? Seriously, though, I don't know if I could give it up. It's the only place I'm sure to hear English (in my native accent, no less). And, the past few times there were major issues or disasters in the US, our satellite wasn't working right. I just about went crazy. So, I don't think I could do without my CNN. I try to check the movie listing each evening and decide whether it's worth it or not. That keeps me from channel surfing all night.

I haven't had a tv in about five years now, and I don't miss it at all. I grew up in a house with tv, but no cable, so I didn't really have much to miss.

We get netflix, and I watch them either on the computer (if i'm watching them alone while knitting) or with the projector (if DH and I are watching together all cuddly like). If I hear that a tv show is really awesome, I'll get a season of it and watch it, usually in a crazy knitting marathon.

I hate commercials and I don't want them in my house, ever, at all. The product placement in US tv shows is bad enough already. I also prefer to only have the content in my house that I explicitly chose to invite to tea.

More power to you :)

Having gone through both extremes - "TV all the time" and "no TV at all ever" - I have settled on "watching shows on DVD" as a good middle ground.

I buy one DVD box set a month, more or less, which costs about the same as cable TV or Tivo. Watch 'em whenever I want, and get all caught up, without having to watch commercials or wait a week for the next episode.

Junk TV rots the mind and wastes time, but there's a lot of good stuff out there, too. Typically the DVD for last season will come out just before the new season starts, so you don't have to wait very long to get caught up on all the kewl shows. And if you buy the DVDs, you can re-sell them and expect to recoup about half what you paid for them.

nbc.com has heroes online for free. many of the other network primetime shows are also online (it's the only way I watch 6 degrees & ugly betty).

I continue to be torn.

When I was a kid I watched lots of TV and still read books all the time, played outside, went to school, took art classes, etc.... So how come I can't do everything now? I don't spend THAT much time working, running errands, and cleaning the house.

First time commenter here. (Love, love, love the blog, BTW!) About a year and a half ago, my husband and I thought we were going to move, and decided to disconnect the cable a little early, save some extra money, etc. The move didn't end up taking place until a couple of months ago, but we haven't reconnected our cable. We love renting movies or tv shows on dvd, and we get lots more knitting, reading, writing, and gardening done. We're loving it! I think you should give it a try, you can always go back to it if you miss it.

I go through spells when I can't tear myself away from the TV, and others where I couldn't care less. It kind of depends on my other media input at the time; I've been reading lately and therefore have less desire for TV. I grew up without one, and though I did occasionally miss it, it wasn't too bad (especially now that so many shows come out on DVD).

Hey Rachael - dude, I'm in the exact same place as you, man! Having reached 50k words, I've relaxed some, but given that my novel isn't completely completed, I totalllllly don't wanna lose the momentum, man! Totally. We'll do it, though, we'll finish. I have trouble finishin' projects, too, but this one, yeah. Yeah, man.

I highly recommend cancelling cable. I did mid-June when I moved house, and instead I've treated myself to a netflix subsciption. I get to watch quality movies (instead of the crappy ones always on t.v.) and catch up on all the ones I never got to see at the theatre (who can pay those exorbitant ticket and refreshment prices?). I get my news via the internet and I feel like it's also improved my sleeping. And just think of all the knitting and writing you can do without having t.v. to distract you. :-)

I haven't watched tv regularly for (oh bah, has it really been so long?) 13 years and I so don't miss it. Except for the thing that one person mentioned--that you feel a bit alien, when everyone is talking about their favorite show and you have NO CLUE what they're talking about.

I had absolutely no free time in college so post-HS there was no TV. Then when I had free time again I rediscovered the library and never got around to buying a tv. We rent the occasional DVD, so if I want to see a show, it'll almost always be available that way.
I feel like I have so many things I'm doing and I don't finish even half of what I want to do, I have no idea where I'd fit in TV time. Where does the time go?

It totally affects your attention span though -- if we're out to eat somewhere with a tv, I keep glancing up at the tube to watch the bright flashing pictures ooh ah.

However, I've got a much lower tolerance for watching stupid things. I cannot stand some of the crap that shows up on the gym TV. I have to take my iPod and crank it, the inanity of the morning shows drive me nuts.

i find that tv eats my time - even though i love it!
i've been tv free for 6 months now and i don't really miss it. i do miss the occasional mind numb, but i have a few things on dvd which i love and can rewatch, plus if i wanted i could rent movies and watch them (on the laptop mind you - no tv for me actually means i don't own a tv box thingy to even plus other box things into). but being without tv is great - i listen to a lot of radio and actually feel MORE informed about my culture - the one where actual people live and not the one where we pretend to live on runways and stuff. right now i'm listening to the Liberal leadership election (i'm canadian) - round one, there's voting tonight! plus i read a lot, work 60 hours+ a week and knit. so really, where would i fit in tv??

After 15 years of no TV and probably another 10 with very intermittent signal:0), I cannot for the life of me think I have lost anything rther I have gained a notebook and pencil when out walking with the dogs - pencil doesn't run in the rain:0, have chopped and sifted in the kitchen to Bach, Beatles and all manner of other sound without getting indigestion from looking up from the task in hand of preparing and eating, have discovered the power of the human voice to transport and transform through creating pictures that only my mind sees and understands but have not felt cut off from society as newspapers and radio all have discussion and article about TV progs if I am in need of a 'culture' fix. Rather like one of your other commentators I feel more informed about the world, about the actual and factual which leaves me with huge resources and even the time to encourage and expand my own imagination and creativity.
You my dear have the imagination and creativity, be revolutionary and give your self the space and fly.... looking forward to postcards from the journey:0)

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Rachael loves it when book clubs read her work! She's happy to attend book clubs that read her books either in person or via Skype. Contact her at rachael@rachaelherron.com to make arrangements.


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