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There’s nothing on

My television won’t turn on. Either this is part of a conspiracy by the booksellers of America to get me to buy more paperbacks, or Philips electronics manufactured a faulty power regulator thing-a-ma-bobby-gig. A couple weeks ago I ditched my clunky, cathode-ray TV at Goodwill because, ironically enough, it wouldn’t turn off. If I could merge these two devices, perhaps I’d get a TV that functioned properly.

I tried unplugging the TV and then plugging it back in. This worked a few times, but the magic must have run out because all that does now is make me feel slightly dizzy from all the bending over and getting up. I’ve left the TV unplugged for a whole day and then plugged it in again and I still can’t get it to light up. So I called Philips and they’re sending me a new one, which hopefully is not defective.

The strange thing is, the TV broke two weeks ago and I only called Philips yesterday. One would think I’d have the TV DT’s by now, but I’m doing pretty well without it. My 10-year-old self would recoil in horror at the thought of not having a TV, and even my college self insisted on getting cable in my college dorm room. I was very dependent on the device for entertainment as a child, and can still sing you the theme songs to Ducktails, Rescue Rangers, and Tiny Toons. These days I don’t watch that much TV, and the shows I do watch are available to see on my computer, so the lack of an actual TV has less of an impact on me. Broadband Internet provides enough distractions that weren’t available when I was a child.

The only thing I really miss is being able to wake up on Sunday morning, make a cup of coffee and watch CBS Sunday Morning on the couch. The main advantage of my TV over my computer is that I can watch it on the sofa. That’s about it. If I could rig up a way to use my computer monitor in both my office and my living room, I could save myself a couple hundred bucks on an extra screen.

I also miss watching the nightly news, further proof that I am becoming an old, old woman. When I was a kid I would get angry when my parents insisted on watching the news, and now I find it oddly comforting to hear Charlie Gibson tell me what’s going on in the world today.

That said, I don’t think I’m superior to anyone else for not watching much TV. People who turn up their noses at the tube are just snobs. Just like any medium, there’s some really great stuff and a lot of junk. You have to sort through it to find what you like. I also don’t think there’s anything wrong with watching lots of stupid, junk TV if that’s what you like. There’s nothing wrong with tuning out the world for awhile. Just like anything, do it in moderation and be aware of its impact on your life, for better or worse.

I’ll be happy when I get my TV back. It might not turn me on as much as it used to, but hopefully it will simply turn on.

Chocolate & Vicodin: My Quest for Relief from the Headache that Wouldn't Go Away
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22 Comments

Jeena • February 16, 2009 at 10:02 am

Hi there I love your blog. I agree, sometimes it is good just to watch some tv and forget about work stress etc. :-)

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X. • February 16, 2009 at 10:04 am

Wow–Rescue Rangers, Duck Tails, and Tiny Toons…that’s a flashback. Did you watch Animaniacs?? That was just full on sarcasm in 30 minutes. I loved it.

X.

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Cristina • February 16, 2009 at 11:27 am

Hi Pastaqueen!

There’s a short article in the New York Times about the relation between happiness and watching TV, you may find it interesting:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/20/health/research/20happy.html

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Filomena • February 16, 2009 at 11:28 am

I am reading your book I Love it. I have not had cable hook-up for over two years. If I want to watch TV I go and download what I want from I-tunes. You will be surprised that it is alot easier than you think what you cab live with out. It is like when you decide you dont want to eat white flour or sugar. You think you wont be able to do it until you do it.

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Mara @ What's For Dinner? • February 16, 2009 at 11:41 am

I had a busted TV and no cable for 2 years before I moved in with my fiance… and I didn’t miss it! Now, if the cable goes out, I panic! Isn’t it weird how all of a sudden, 28 seems really old? Like, the difference between say, 26 and 28 is HUGE!

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coloradomama • February 16, 2009 at 11:50 am

Ahhhh…CBS Sunday Morning. I miss it so much. Nope, not a snob who gave up her tv. Just a mom who had a kiddo and has apparently given up all rights to the remote for the sake of the Disney channel. I feel your pain. Hopefully you’ll get your tv fixed soon — I’ll think of you on Sunday a.m. when I am jones-ing for a cup of coffee and some randomness from Bill Geist. :)

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Camevil • February 16, 2009 at 12:09 pm

I particularly enjoy catching a few minutes of Ann Curry while doing abs in the morning. But then I switch it off and play video games while biking. And maybe catch some parts of a movie. Or surf YouTube or Hulu through the PS3.

I would be lost without my TV, but not because of cable or other programming. It is a delivery device for other forms of media, like an oversized computer.

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Sarah • February 16, 2009 at 12:17 pm

I would miss CBS Sunday Morning too. It’s good to know another person from my generation enjoys it too. Plus, it gives me something to discuss with my mother.

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Mymsie • February 16, 2009 at 12:24 pm

“Duck tails, WOOO Oooo!”

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TimBuck2 • February 16, 2009 at 2:46 pm

Unplug the TV, it does a body good!

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Sally Parrott Ashbrook • February 16, 2009 at 4:13 pm

Not all of us who refrain from watching tv are snobs. That’s a bit of an unfair statement.

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PastaQueen • February 16, 2009 at 4:25 pm

@Sally Parrott Ashbrook – My phrasing could have been clearer. The snobs I was referring to are the people who think they are superior for not watching TV. That does not include everyone who doesn’t watch TV.

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Kim • February 16, 2009 at 6:47 pm

I LOVE the CBS Sunday Morning show! My sister calls it the “old people show.” But now she’s a fan too. And even my dog likes it – he enjoys the nature clip at the end of the show!

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Sabrina • February 16, 2009 at 9:26 pm

LOVE LOVE LOVE CBS Sunday Morning. It always makes me think of growing up. Sundays were for watching that while eating Corn Pops on the couch, then mom taking over the TV for the cooking show and art show lineup on PBS.

Thanks for reminding me of this simple pleasure today!

Sorry to hear about your TV. Sux!!!

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Nicole (Sweetie Pie) • February 16, 2009 at 9:50 pm

I got started watching CBS Sunday Morning in high school, and I love it!! They always have such a mix of random and interesting things. It’s also nice to see positive “news” at least once during the week!

You are so right about the internet. My hometown was featured on 60 Minutes last night, but I was at the gym while it was on. I don’t own a fancy DVR or TiVo or anything like that, but I was able to find the entire clip on the CBS website. Hooray for the internet!

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lg • February 16, 2009 at 9:58 pm

I haven’t had a TV for several years and don’t miss it. I think partly because I entered a very busy time of med school, medical residency but also I think watching TV is such a waste of time, passively watching something, no thinking, no interaction.

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Perry • February 17, 2009 at 6:30 am

I don’t really want to stop watching “The Real Housewives of Orange County”…because gosh darn it, those girls are going through SO much and are keepin it real…lol.

To each his own. I’ve been lectured for years by people about the evils of TV. Yawn. I love the escapism, personally. I really can’t watch “reality” TV though.

Love your blog, btw. Tell it like you mean it with no apologies.

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Olivia • February 17, 2009 at 8:52 am

This won’t save you any money in the short term, but if you buy an LCD tv it can be hooked up to a computer and used like a monitor. We have that set up now and it is very cool to sit on the couch and do things on the computer.

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kasey • February 17, 2009 at 2:37 pm

i totally remember tiny toons! haha, i love it! girl, i didn’t have cable for like 2 years after college. i have all the “friends” seasons on dvd so i watched that constantly! now, i have cable and you know what? there’s never anything on! i’m proud of you for not being dependent on tv! more time to read! i ordered your book from books a million and can’t wait until it finally arrives! i can’t wait to read it…i’ll let you know what i think!

♥k

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alli • February 17, 2009 at 11:30 pm

I am fascinated by the fact it was a Philips. My Philips just had an issue last week and now I am hoping it is their fault and not the storm’s.

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Mimi • February 18, 2009 at 3:08 pm

It is probably the fuse in your tv. I had the same issue and was able to fix it for $6.

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Bethany • February 20, 2009 at 12:39 am

One weekend morning when I was in the 5th grade, my mom called a family meeting so we could discuss the bad dream my step-dad had the night before. As if that itself wasn’t crazy enough, his dream was about a demon coming out of the TV. Soooo…we had to stand behind our double-wide trailer and watch while him shoot the TV with a rifle!!! I think I was more shocked about the shooting than losing the TV itself. And it cracks me up every time I think about it again. I don’t recall missing the TV at all.

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Comments are now closed on all PastaQueen entries. The blog is an archive only so I don't have to deal with spammers. For fresh discussions please visit my new blog at JennetteFulda.com.

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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JenFul now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for keyboards ruined by coffee spit-takes or forehead wrinkles caused by deep thought.

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