21/07/2009

not another sitcom

about two months ago, we cancelled our cable in order to save a little bit of money.

i have to admit - even though i don't consider myself a big tv watcher - i was originally strongly opposed to the idea of not having cable. what was i going to do when i came home from work and just wanted to zone out for a little while?

you'd think that since i'm a big bookworm, and have more than enough crafty projects on the go to keep me busy for a month of sundays, i wouldn't think it a big deal about cutting off cable. we didn't grow up in front of the tv - we've always eaten dinner at the dinner table with the tv off, would play outside on a regular basis, and friday or saturday nights are still often spent hanging out with one of my siblings doing things unrelated to the television.

no - it's not like i needed cable to survive; it just was my convenient little safety net for boredom. i rarely watched it, but when i did it sucked up hours of my time - particularly back in the days when we had HGTV and the food network. jamie oliver, giada de laurentiis, ina garten, and bobby flay were my constant companions – i’d often cheer on their newest culinary inventions from the comfort of my couch. i could also consider myself a professional house-flipper (from my armchair, of course), and sarah richardson’s best network friend. not to mention restaurant makeover, which was the perfect storm of two of my favourite things,
cooking and interior design.

i’d often say that there were only a few channels that i really needed anyhow –
HGTV, the food network, the weather network and maybe the news channel. and oh – the history or discovery channel as well, in case i felt the need to dork out for a few hours.

ever since we made the cut, though, i’ve barely missed it.
surprise! my world hasn’t spun off of it’s axis nor have i found myself wandering the streets in the evenings with nothing to do. the biggest change i’ve noticed, actually, is that we’re more conscious of any time spent in front of the television – when a movie is finished, we get up and do something else instead of staring like zombies at the continual prime-time programming (even though it’s not really all that good in the first place).

yeah, this no-cable thing is actually
pretty alright.

cartoon by dave walker

16 comments:

Michelle Brunner said...

This is exactly what we are doing, cutting cable to save money! I agree with you, I put on the food network (jamie, giada, ina and nigella are my faves!) for background noise! I hope I do as well as you when we cut the cable!

PonderandStitch said...

Good job on making the cut! We only have the most basic of cable (whatever automatically comes with the lowest package and no extra) and I'm fine with that. :)

beornica said...

Ha! We just recently GOT cable, and I am trying sooo hard not to become addicted. There are so many things to do all the time, especially working from home like I do, and I'm a huge procrastinator as it is! It's the DVR that gets me, though. "Ooh! The Fifth Element is coming on at 1 am, followed by Moulin Rouge!" and soon enough I'll have 6 or 7 movies that I have to see. Netflix sucks me in, too. grr.

Julia said...

That's so funny, I go and visit Andrew at his apartment in La Crosse and watch all the FOOD network I can because we haven't had cable in years and I miss Giada and the Barefoot Contessa in weird and wonderful ways!

Bri said...

I've been TV-free for years, and it's just awesome. It's really nice though when you go to a hotel and it's a special treat to turn on the TV and zone out for a little bit. :)

cabin + cub said...

wow.. good for you! i love food network and HGTV horribly, and have it on while i craft so i don't feel as guilty ;)

Rachel said...

We're contemplating going cable free starting next month (um, 5% paycut, anyone?), but I'm a little scared. I didn't even grow up with a TV, but I've become very attached to watching HGTV while crafting. But if you're surviving, I should be able to survive, right?

courtney said...

totally! something that i forgot to mention is that there's a ton of sites where you can download tv shows and burn them as you would a dvd (if your player is compatible), or there's always options for online streaming if you're really jonesin' for a hit of HGTV. :)

DipYourToes said...

I've given you a One Lovely Blog Award. Stop by my blog to pick it up. http://worthburning.blogspot.com/

PS~Erin said...

We did this a few months back to save money too... I only occasionally miss it... And it's not the shows that I tivo-ed that I miss as much as just have the chose of sitting down for 20 minutes to watch HGTV or Dragon's Den. I love that when my daughter watches tv it is something she consciously choose (video/dvd that we agreed to purchasing) and isn't subject to commercials. That is a huge payoff for me. We recently got an antennae, so we get the local channels, but we don't even watch it still. The commercial thing and being slave to the television schedule isn't worth it to me. Anyways, that was a longwinded way of me saying, I'm right there with you. We would have never made the move if we hadn't needed to save money, but it's been a surprisingly nice change.

Amanda Nicole said...

I haven't had cable in about 5 years, and got rid of the TV 4 years ago. I can say that I don't miss it a bit, because I watch all my shows on the Surf the Channel website. I love that I can pick and choose what I watch, when I want to, with no crappy filler while I wait for the good stuff.

soulflower said...

Wow...you are brave! I just down sized my package!

heidiburton said...

I've been cable-less since the mid 90's (when as a teenager I was glued to MTV). Due to this, I've remained in the 'grunge' era having rare access to music videos. It's funny how lack of cable can affect you in years to come :P

Wonder what we'd all be doing if the internet went away.... *ponders*

cindy said...

we're always about to cancel hbo and then some new show starts up. i would be lost without tv at night. at least i think i would. i love many of the shows you mentioned, but really adore sarah. i have vcr tapes of the original room service shows. you can borrow them ;).

Andrea Q said...

Good for you! I rarely watch TV...I use the computer instead.

Melissa A. said...

Our family has done that on and off for months at a time, then someone gets an itch and there is a good deal with Comcast so we sign up again. About 4 years ago we turned it all off except for the very basic which cost us $11/month. We live in a townhome and have one of those big fangle dangle HDTV's. Every once in awhile we would get some of the cable channels, and then about 6 months ago I decided to do another channel reset and now we get all the channels that we used to have to pay for, for free. I'm not sure how long it will last. It's nice to have more channels available, but since we turned most of it off around 4 years ago, we have learned to do other things to occupy our time and watch it alot less now. Now I just need to limit my computer time:)

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