Saturday, September 3, 2011

Television, Facebook Tetris Dare, and Dreams

When Pete and I moved from Texas to California two years ago, we left our small television behind. It was around the time that you needed to buy a converter box, and we figured we would just replace our old television with a new and bigger one once we got settled. We got settled, and then decided to get serious about paying off debt, which meant no money for extras like televisions. We watched movies on our laptop, and replaced t.v. time with reading, playing card and board games, and creative pursuits like writing (such as this blog and my husband's someday bestseller on Romans 8!) and art. We realized we LOVED not having a television. We were just overall happier, more productive, and  even nicer to each other without filling our minds with sarcastic zingers from "Everybody Loves Raymond".
 Then about three months ago, Pete bought this television pictured below at a garage sale for 5$:
It hums for two minutes after you turn it on! We bought it to watch DVD's on so that we wouldn't wear out the laptop as fast. It sat in a corner in the living room for over a month until I found the hookup for the DVD player (which is hiding under the blue cloth on top of the T.V.). A week after setting it up, Pete bought the VCR at a thrift store for $2.50, which eats tapes unless you rewind it while the movie is playing. "Moonstruck", which I let get to final credits, has seen better days.
         Around this time, Pete finished teaching a two-year intensive Greek class that I helped him with daily, and I came down with a nasty bug. I started watching lots of movies, and playing LOTS of facebook Tetris, and noticed that on top of being sick, I was feeling quite unhappy, almost depressed. A week of this and I decided enough was enough, so I dared myself to STOP playing facebook Tetris entirely and only watch movies when I am ironing (I'm sorry, but it is impossible to iron without watching some sort of media) or once or twice a week in the evenings with Pete while embroidering or mending clothes. Then last Sunday night I dared Pete to see if he could not play Tetris for a week (he has played three times as much Tetris as me, and I was so addicted I would see tetris pieces falling in my sleep!) The deal was that if he failed, he would have to forego sugar for a week, and if he won, I would have to watch Rockie IV with him. Today is Saturday, and no Tetris for my disciplined husband, so I am forseeing some gory boxing and "Adrian"'s in my near future.
       Since I stopped all of this Tetris and movie nonsense, I have to say that I am back to my happy former self. I am getting done organizing projects around the house (the top of the fridge has never been this clean!), Pete's New Testament Survey notes are actually getting edited this semester,  more of the Bible is being read and Greek being studied, and I feel full of dreams again. Dreams about finishing my story "16th and Island" and (gulp) submitting it for publication, dreams about calligraphy pieces being painted and sold, dreams about new skills being learned like knitting and canning, dreams about even eventually a part-time job to help pay down student loan debt, (once I get my energy up). Dreams which were not being worked towards when facebook Tetris and old 80's classics were robbing my time!

What are your dreams and how does television and computer games affect them?


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  2. It's great to have dreams! I have a TV and watch it when there is something good on. I especially love news magazine shows like Dateline or 60 Minutes but sometimes get tired of the emphasis on murders, etc. I do love to watch some cooking shows, decorating and home improvement shows and documentaries. Sometimes there is a good movie on and sometimes I want to watch the news. All in all I don't find it intrusive though I know some people do. I no longer video tape anything to watch later. I used to do that when I was working and come home and watch to "unwind".

    I don't ever seem to get in the habit of watching movies on dvd but once I watched some funny movies and it was a great thing to do. I found it kept me more upbeat over the period I did it. It might be a good way to pass the time while ironing :-)

    With the computer work like blogs and following blogs, there isn't time for me to join Facebook and play games but it seems everyone I know who is on FB is addicted to some sort of game. If I should ever get on FB I have to remember not to try out the games ;-) I do not play any other games on computer. I was never much of a game player; not even cards before the computer era. I tend to rather read a book instead.

    I hope you are enjoying your free time and energy to work on those things that are really important to you :-)

  3. It's scary how addictive seemingly trivial things like computer games can be. With me it's Solitaire (just on the PC, I don't even have to go as far as Facebook) and as I've learnt that playing it for any length of time depresses my mood and energy, I now avoid it. We have an old TV monitor for watching DVDs and videos; since giving up live Tv about five years ago, there has been so much more time, even though we didn't really watch all that much - mostly news programmes. Among the many things we do instead is to read aloud to each other - another great way to get through the ironing. Good luck with all your creative projects - Karin

  4. Joyful - I should watch the news, but I don't because I find it too sad. So I read it online in bite-size pieces instead. I love cooking programs, and documentaries - I watch PBS online sometimes for those things! Good for you for staying off facebook - it can be an incredible time waster, but also encouraging when you are down if you have good friends like I do!

  5. Karen - I used to be addicted to solitaire in college! I love the idea about reading outloud - my husband and I used to do that when we were first marriage - we should get back to it!


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