Feeling good

Most years, as the winter gloominess lifts, there comes a day when I think, “Hey! Things are just fine! I feel good!” Although I worry just a little that I’m being premature here—in Central Illinois it’s entirely possible to have a whole winter’s worth of snow and cold weather in the first month or two of spring—for me this year, that day was yesterday.

In fact, today I’m just a bit manic—enough that I think Jackie was finding me something of a pest, although she bore up well. (It’s worth mentioning here that my manic—as manic as I ever get—is really quite calm. Let me put it this way: an average person on a day with an ordinary mix of good and bad news probably goes through swings of emotion that cover my entire annual range.)

Jackie and I have been re-watching the TV series “Chuck,” and last night we got to the episode where Chuck and Sarah have finally gotten together—the episode that ends with Chuck suggesting that he’s found the song to be Sarah’s favorite, a song by Nina Simone. I don’t have a recording of her version, but I some years ago grabbed a recording posted by fellow occasional Wise Bread writer Nora Dunn performing “Feeling Good,” which is still there at Nora’s site, and which I commend to your attention.

 

Livin’ TV-free

For reasons too tedious to go into, Jackie and I never upgraded to a digital TV. We had an old cathode ray tube Sony, and were still watching TV on that.

One reason that we hadn’t upgraded was that our old TV was heavy. The two of us together just barely got it up the stairs and into our apartment. I was literally afraid to try to carry it back out, even with two of us. We’d about resigned ourselves to buying a new TV from some local store that would do delivery and setup, because those stores will generally haul away your old TV as part of the deal. (Around here you can’t just put a TV into a dumpster; you have to recycle it in some way.)

As part of moving, though, we donated a bunch of stuff to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore, which will accept old TVs and other electronics, and for $10 will send a truck to pick up your donations. We jumped at the chance.

The TV went about two weeks before we moved into the summer place, but we’re still TV-free, because the summer place doesn’t have a TV either.

Since we were getting rid of the TV and packing up the DVD player, we went ahead and turned off our disk subscription with NetFlix. We kept our streaming subscription, and have actually watched one thing since moving, mainly as test that it would work.

Aside from that, though, we’ve been livin’ TV-free.

In the short term, it’s great. We could watch stuff on the big desktop screen (although there’s no good place for a second person to sit in front of the computer), or on the laptop screen (although it’s kinda small for two people to watch, unless they sit right together and put the laptop right in front of them), but we don’t.

Instead, we’re reading books. I’ve read more fiction in the last three or four weeks than I’d read in the previous three or four months. (Oh, and once we went to the theater! The local Art Theater had a late showing of Serenity. What a great movie to watch with an audience!)

I don’t expect we’ll stick with our TV-free lifestyle once we have our own place. We’ll probably get a bigish flat-screen TV. Maybe a blueray player. Probably turn our NetFlix disk subscription back on. We enjoy watching the BBC and the Nightly Business Report and the PBS Newshour and various TV series. We enjoy watching movies on disk and episodes of old TV series on streaming.

But in the meantime, we’re enjoying livin’ TV-Free.