Ever since I can remember, I've always been an active person. I would watch TV from time to time but I never really watched it that often. I didn't have a TV when I lived in New York, so my first Christmas there, my father brought me a TV. When I left, it wouldn't fit in my car; so I gave it to a friend who provided me with a helping hand whenever I asked. It was the least I could give him. That and my king sized mattresses.
So, when I came back to Houston and made it my home, I never bothered to buy a TV. For the first few months I lived with my parents until I could save up enough funds to jump out and live on my own. Eventually I found this little efficiency for $295/mo in a scary part of town. (After New York it wasn't really so bad). There was a really nice black guy that lived below that sort of took it upon himself to adopt me and watch over me. He kind of knew I was out of place. Whenever he saw my lights on, if he didn't see my car, too, he would knock just to make sure everything was ok. On Valentine's Day one year he left chocolates for me at my door. He was really shy but had a good heart. So one day I invited him up to hang with me and have beer.
Noticing that I didn't have anything by way of furniture, I think I had a day bed, two barstools, and a $50 computer desk I bought at wal-mart he felt sorry for me. So he gave me his sony Watchman. It had a tv screen the size of a CD case and only broadcast in black and white as long as the antaennas picked up a signal. (I have great memories of that sony watchman).
That Watchman was my only source for TV and I didn't watch it that much. That lasted for almost 10 years. I have to admit, that if ever I went to someone's house or a bar where the TV was on, I was totally into it. People thought I was odd when I would marvel at something I had seen on TV. I was so totally disconnected from TV Culture.
Then in 2001 or so, I decided that I was going to get a TV. I have a friend who is a doctor and when I made this announcement he immediatelydiscovered I would make a good home for one of his that he no longer wanted. It is one of those TV's that has a built in vcr; the screen is about 20". Not wanting to get to hooked on TV, I passed on the option of acquiring cable. If the TV couldn't pick up the signal, I wasn't going to watch it. It was actually my way of compromising.
That first year I got brave and held a Super Bowl party. It was rather amusing as we had to keep getting up and adjusting the antaennas to get decent reception. We didn't care; it was just an excuse to have a party and it turned out to be a fabulous party. Unfortunately my best friend, who is a great cook, couldn't be there but I made a great chili in spite of his absence.
Soooo, after the first year or so of having this beast, I only watched Alias and the Practice. That was it. Then a little over a year ago I made a career change and money was tight. Really really tight. So I would work hard all day and come home and veg and watchTV. Every night that was my routine. I didn't do anything else for a year.
Well, my friend, I'm paying for it. That was the worse thing I could have done. I honestly believe that sucked out so much of my energy, creativity and ambition. I struggle now with my memory and my vocabulary. I lack motivation to do things in the evening. Actually, I'm embarrassed by what it has done.
So now, I'm banned from watching TV. I can lay on the sofa and do nothing, I can read, I can goof off on the computer, paint, read, write poetry, do whatever my little heart desires but I CANNOT watch TV. I am going to allow myself to watch Alias when the season begins; but that's all I'll watch. No more CSI, 2 1/2 Men, House, Boston Legal....not even American Idol sniff, sniff.
It is my hope to kickstart the active part of me so that my life can begin to be interesting to me once again.
May the force be with me.