How I got through 31 days of not watching television and what I watched first.

I’m writing this at 10:45 p.m. from my living room couch. It’s September 1st as I write this, my first day back watching television after a month long hiatus from it. I’m laying back with my head on a pillow, my legs covered by an antique linen blanket. On the acrylic coffee table there are 3 white ceramic candleholders with tea lights flickering in them. To my right on the couch are 3 television remotes. To my left, a bag of chips and half a pint, a quarter of a pint, an empty jar  of London Fog flavoured ice cream from Foundry Ice cream with a spoon sticking out of it.

I am ready. I am set up. I am not watching television. I repeat … the television is not on.

For 31 days I’ve been looking forward to watching television. I haven’t looked forward to something this much since I finally got that third nipple removed.  Just kidding.  It’s still there.  Just kidding.  Never had one.

I didn’t even think about turning the television on until around 9:00 at night. I was busy canning tomatoes and peaches all day and I really wanted my first television experience in a month to be EPIC. A movie. A great series. A weatherman on CNN hanging sideways off a tree as a hurricane hits land throwing an octopus over his head. Something like that.

I had decided weeks ago that I was going to watch the documentary Amy, about Amy Winehouse and what a train wreck she was because of mishandling and misguidance. I love Amy Winehouse and I love documentaries so this was a perfect pick. But it turns out that movie isn’t out yet so I couldn’t watch the one thing I’ve been looking forward to. No problem. I’d watch Trainwreck with Amy Schumer instead. It’s not out yet. Straight Outta Compton! Not out yet. I KNOW! I’ll watch the last 3 episodes of The Mindy Project that I haven’t finished yet!!! Except I had finished them. CNN had some guy I’ve never heard of on, I’m completely bored by HGTV and I couldn’t bring myself to let Entourage: The Movie be the first thing I watched after a month of not watching television.  So I gave up.

After 10 or 15 minutes of clicking, scrolling, and searching I thought …. this is stupid. This is why I went on a television hiatus to begin with. Because I spent half the day half paying attention to shows I didn’t care about and half the night flipping around looking for something I wanted to watch. So I turned the television off and stared at my socks for a while. Then I ate the ice cream. And now I’m writing this post.

It’s not that I’m over television. AT ALL. So get that ridiculous idea right out of your head immediately. I think it was just sort of anti-climactic. I got too worked up over it, put too much pressure on myself to be entertained and just got overwhelmed. Or I actually became Amish. Can that happen? Like you stop doing normal, modern things and suddenly you’re Amish? Because if that’s possible it may have happened to me. I did spend the day canning tomatoes and peaches. And yesterday I tried to milk my cat. Oh no. I think I caught Amish.

Which could very well explain why I am not watching television tonight but instead, am listening to a radio show.

Radio. Radio is what got me through the past month.  The first radio thing that got me through the month was Chicago Public Radio’s This American Life.  It’s what I’m listening to right now. So I’m not totally Amish. More Mennonite really.   In fact This American Life was so instrumental in entertaining me whenever I needed it to last month, that by the middle of the month I donated money to them.

The other radio that got me through my month of no television was a local radio station.  Boom 97.3 .  I had that radio station on from morning until night.  And I got WAY more enjoyment minute for minute out of listening to it than most television shows I watch.  (As long as you don’t count The Mindy Project, House of Cards, Deadwood, Dexter, Breaking Bad, Transparent, Downton Abbey, Call the Midwife, Nurse Jackie, Shameless, Arrested Development, The Sopranos, Moone Boy, 4 or 5 episodes of Danger Bay, The Wire, Empire, the first season of Prison Break, Mad Men,  um …. and a few more) It’s the best music from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s which sounds really dorky but you can hear The Jackson 5, The Smiths, then Blind Melon within a half an hour.  IT’S GREAT. It’s enough to turn an Amish woman English.

Other than those two things nothing else really changed around here.  Well that’s not true.  I worked longer because without television I had no reason to sit and relax.  If I tried to read or listen to a radio show at night it went something like this … “Opens book … head nods … drools on rug“.  “Turns on radio show … head nods … drools on cat“.

So that seemed like a waste.  I also went to bed much earlier than I normally do.  Partly out of boredom, partly because I was so tired from doing stuff for 17 hours straight.

I’m going to try to watch television again tonight.  Once I get the buggy shined up and the quilt made I’m sure I’ll be ready for a sit down.

Have a good weekend!

 

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P.S.  If you like television but have run out of good shows to watch, here are my posts on the shows I HIGHLY recommend
 
 
 
 

97 Comments

  1. PoMoMom says:

    Ummm. No CBC One?? I’m a wee bit disappointed.

  2. Sarah says:

    Karen –

    I have been TV-less for about 12 years – though am a TV’aholic. 12 years ago, there was no Netflix, no online shows. I was at zero-watching for a few years, then eked out an existence through online shows. I supplemented with iTunes in the last year. I finally caved to Netflix this (THIS) July… I hear you about (a) being bored with HGTV; (b) loving The Mindy Project (I’ve watched every episode on Netflix already!); and (c) loving This American Life (love it!). Since we have so much in common, I have one word from you – though you CANNOT tell anyone I know that I said [typed] this: “Nashville”.

    • Karen says:

      Nooooooo, lol. No, no, no. NO! Also, I was very amused when I had so many commenters proudly announcing they were “TV free”, but then went on to list all the stuff they downloaded, streamed or watched through Netflix when I put my original post up, lol. I watched one hour of television all of yesterday by the way, and 2 hours today. (2 episodes of an Australian series while recategorizing my ENTIRE website) ~ karen!

      • Sarah says:

        Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone if you watch — shhhhh – (Nashville)… 🙂

        By the way, I thought of you, urging me on, as I put in my first drywall anchors (and their accompanying screws) today – and then did that again about 10 times, and worked with my 75-y.o. dad to install shelving and a light fixture (all in handy hubby’s absence). Yay for you and yay for me! Next time, maybe everything will be PERFECTLY level, and not just level’ish 🙂

        • Sarah says:

          Karen – I just gave myself a big chuckle, all alone in my parents’ living room at 10pm while they are away. I’m up, by myself, drinking beer, watching MILLIONAIRE’S CLUB (about a dating service for rich people). Can you tell I’ve had no cable for 12 years?!

        • Karen says:

          Meh. I can’t see that they’re crooked from my house. 😉 ~ karen!

      • Isabelle says:

        Karen, I’m interested to know what Australian show your watching! Recently, I’ve been enjoying Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries and A Place to Call Home.

      • Cynthia Jones says:

        What Australian series? Exactly. The Husbands one? Do you know something I don’t?

        A good one is “Secrets and Lies”. I hope you are watching that one. It was made in the city I live in. The lifestyle is presented accurately.

        The guy in it is yummo. Big things ahead for him I hope.

        PS I know who did it.

  3. IRS says:

    I never have to click around aimlessly, with nothing to watch. My DVR has about 180 hours worth of space, and it’s all full. So is the extra drive that hubby rigged up for me to switch back and forth from. I have shows that I like, but more often than not, I don’t feel like watching them, preferring to read instead. I call it digital hoarding. Every once in a while I will watch a whole batch of episodes of something, but as soon as I delete what I have just watched, I fill the drive up again. Hubby thinks I’m nuts, and I think he’s right. For once.

  4. Lynn says:

    Congratulations on your month off Karen?. As you just found out you really did not miss any thing on the boob tube by not watching for a month. I am beginning to think it should only be turned on when the snow flys .An we still would not miss much .

  5. ET says:

    I think about doing away with TV frequently, but haven’t been brave enough to do it yet. I’m currently caught up with the old show NYPD Blue on a Direct TV channel, but it is almost to the last season. When that’s over, I’m not sure what I’ll watch. Satellite TV is way too expensive and I, too, can’t find anything to watch, even with hundreds of channels, so it is on it’s way out. My daughter recommends Netflix and Amazon Prime (which I already have for other reasons). I read a couple of books a week – when I should be sleeping. Can’t afford to read during the day, or I would never get anything done. Speaking of……

    I’m continually inspired by your blog – at least I think I am. It’s that “doing” thing that I’m having a problem with. You’ve cured me of raising chickens. I’ve bought tools so I can build things and have lots of wood for projects. For years, I’ve had them. So, your work is cut out for you. Keep plugging away. I’m depending on you.

  6. Valerie says:

    Those of us who reside rurally often cannot access Netflix or other such movie providers without break up in streaming. We must be satisfied with what we can view via satellite dishes. Many of the programs are hopelessly awful. I simply cannot watch the same Property Brothers episodes for the third year, yet again – groan.
    Canning is almost complete for most of your fans. Since we now just have to wait before we start the leaf raking extravaganza and Thanksgiving preparation hoop dee do, I would suggest that it is now time for you to do your third annual book review post. Reading is simply delicious. Comparing other’s books on your previous posts in this regard sent me scurrying to the library in search of a few of those mentioned.

    • Pam'a says:

      Hey! That’s a great idea. I always find a good read or three from those discussions. I’m not sure, but I might be one of the only other people who’d already read “Geek Love” when Karen recommended it (awesome book). I’m in between good ones right now– So what do you think, Karen?

      • Ann Brookens says:

        Pam’a, I highly recommend The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. I loved that book! I just read it and am in the process of recommending it to everyone I know…well, just to EVERYONE, whether I know them or not. It’s written as a series of letters written in 1946 to, and from, a young British woman. There is a lot of information about the WW II German occupation of the Channel Islands, which I knew nothing about, and it is funny and touching and wonderful.

      • Karen says:

        In a couple of weeks … 🙂 ~ karen!

    • Karen says:

      Yup, I have one of those coming up relatively soon Valerie! ~ karen

      • Mary W says:

        I sure hope you have read “Who Moved the Cheese”! Honestly it would take an hour to finish and you would remember the book. I’ll send you my copy but you have to send it back since it will be in my “inheritance chest” which is full of stuff for them to fight over. Gotta work for what is important so a good family fight is necessary when I go into that Good night.

  7. bonnie says:

    You are so funny 🙂 Really.

  8. Lindy says:

    I’m so glad you embraced radio: it’s my saviour. You can tell I’m only a trainee peasant because I can’t get by doing menial garden and farm jobs all day without my mp3 plugged into my ears listening to BBC podcasts.

    And if you buy a clever bit of technology called Total Recorder, you can record anything off the websites and listen to them for your personal use. Plays, dramas, eight hours streaming of live cricket matches between England and Australia (sad, or what?) .

    I went four years without tv when I lived in Moscow – plugged in permanently to the BBC world service radio with an aerial snaking down four floors of my crummy apartment building. And then I cracked. Went out and bought a tv with cable and had the best night of my life watching… wait for it…. German Eurosport…. truck racing on snow. Utter bliss. I didnt’ leave the apartment for a whole weekend. But it meant that I had no critical faculties when it came to my viewing options. That’s the evil of tv.

    • Karen says:

      I not only laughed at “best night of my life watching… wait for it…. German Eurosport…. truck racing on snow” but actually throat cackled. ~ karen!

  9. Paula says:

    Last summer I was tv free for one entire month. It wasn’t hard…we were away on our boat – lol. It was hubby’s 25th work anniversary so he was given the time off and we checked out. Love, love, loved it and it literally changed my life being away like that. Now we live on 2 acres and I grew enough veggies to (hopefully) get us through the winter, I make our bread, have chickens, and can, can, can. I am working on peaches and tomatoes right now, too. Do I watch tv again now? Yes, yes I do and I wish I didn’t.

  10. Wisconsin Gal says:

    Moone Boy – almost as funny as you!

  11. IRS says:

    By the way, I clicked on the link for the ice cream you were scarfing down, but apparently it’s only available in your immediate neck of the woods. It wasn’t much of a link, either, with very little information. 🙁 So my question is: what the hell is “London Fog flavored ice cream”? It sounds like a cat who got caught in the rain rolled around in a moldy old raincoat to dry off. And then someone tossed the raincoat into a vat of ice cream. Yum.

    • BethH says:

      No, really, it’s delicious; Earl Grey tea-flavored ice cream. A simple recipe for it is to steep the tea bags in cream, remove, blend in a can sweetened condensed milk and freeze. Or use a vanilla ice cream recipe you like, steeping the Earl Grey in your liquid before combining with the other ingredients. Not mousey flavored at all.

      • BethH says:

        Wet cat flavored, not wet mouse.

      • IRS says:

        Well that does sound good. Too bad they have the worst web site I have ever seen. If they had any brains, they would put some effort into it, including listing the flavours they make, along with a description. If they did that, maybe some people would be willing to even drive a ways to buy their ice cream. As for me, I will try making some myself, not just because I refuse to drive an hour and a half for ice cream, but because it probably has way too much sugar in it. They all do.

  12. amanda says:

    people think I’m weird because I haven’t owned a microwave in ten years (i can’t even tell you how many people have literally offered to BUY ME ONE as if I’m some charity case) but you best believe that when the dishes are washed, and the pets are fed, and the husband is working, i’m marathoning old episodes of cold case, or some other equally sappy murder show. but i don’t have cable so maybe that counts a little? at least i don’t watch commercials.

  13. 31 days is quite the achievement, it’s interesting how the complexity of scheduling both pushes you away and pulls you in. There’s nothing to watch, but there’s always something about to be on.

  14. and the ad that comes up at the top of this post is….
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  15. maggie van sickle says:

    I don’t think you caught Amish Karen cause you have electricity but good for you no TV for a month. There really is nothing good on TV these days but I manage to find something like Alaskan Bush People. Watch this and you would be glad you caught Amish trust me .

  16. Thera says:

    My husbands cousins wife is a DJ on Boom, great radio station.
    We just moved to Kitchener and the Mennonites live just up the road. I keep telling hubby we’re going to join them so I’ll have to have a secret trap door under a rug to a secret basement where we’ll keep a secret room full of modern day amenities including our tv lol.
    Seriously though, once I retire I may just head that way.

  17. Janalee says:

    If you’re looking for something new, The Knick series by HBO is excellent.

  18. Su says:

    agree with you that HGTV, which I used to LOVE and DIY network are yawn! I am so over room and or garden makeovers that happen in 3 days…. like thats anyone’s reality! I email HGTV quite often, just cause I am so bored with it, asking for them to bring back REAL how to shows….. but they just say thanks for your input….

    whatever happened to Gardening by the Yard? Loved that guy…. he was cute, quirky and knew what the heck he was talking about….

    • Karin says:

      YES! to this comment. I agree completely and have done the same thing – writing to HGTV and telling them how sick I am of shows that show you how to fix up your home for sale using tacky, shitty, ugly fixes.

      • Karen says:

        Funny story. When I was hosting shows for HGTV I kept pitching them shows where the audience actually LEARNS how to do stuff. Nope. They didn’t want anything to do with it. Real Estate Shows! That’s what people wanted. I said “But no one wants to watch only one type of show”. Yep. Yep they do, they said. Real Estate. No one wants a how-to show. I tried. :/ ~ karen!

        • Karin says:

          Yep. That was their response to many of my letters, too. “Our regular watchers tell us they like Real Estate shows.” So sad. I used to LOVE The Gardener Guy, too. Now there is no G in HGTV, on top of the fact that there are no shows to actually teach us how to do anything. Thank god we have YOU!

          • IRS says:

            Yup. Paul James the Gardener Guy. He was smart, capable, and I learned a lot from him. He was a bit like Karen, because she uses her own house and garden to demonstrate how to do things. PJ lives in Oklahoma, and he also used his large property to demonstrate projects that he actually worked on for himself. I had every one of his shows on a PVR hard drive, including shows that I hadn’t gotten around to seeing yet, but the drive became corrupted, and I lost everything on it. I haven’t watched HGTV or the DIY network in a few years now, because it is all dreck. I don’t give a rat’s ass about real estate shows, or 3 day makeover shows. I also would love to see shows that actually teach me something. Sadly, that seems to be what YouTube is for these days. Well, screw HGTV and their advertisers too. If they won’t show anything worth my time, then they won’t get my eyeballs on their products.

        • Su says:

          thank you…. for your effort on behalf of those of us quite content to STAY PUT and fix/improve what we have…..

          eternal thanks

  19. angie s says:

    While I’ve never gone on a TV hiatus, we don’t watch much of it. It thrills me that you’ve been listening to This American Life – I listen to that religiously, along with the rest of the Saturday line up that our NPR station has run for years.
    My other favorite is Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me (http://www.npr.org/programs/wait-wait-dont-tell-me/) seriously funny.
    Cheers!

  20. Molly says:

    Consequences.
    Binge it on Amazon.
    You’re welcome!

  21. Manisha says:

    Something I heard recently but can’t figure out where I heard it (was it you?): If you are too tired to do anything but watch tv, then you should just go to bed. I’ve been thinking about that lately. I tend to be doing something while watching, like knitting or pasting photos into my journal, and if I stop doing something, then I’ll try to get myself to bed. This week it took me three nights to actually finish the book I needed to be get done because each night I fell asleep immediately. I love This American Life and TED Radio Hour and As it Happens and Moth Radio Hour. I usually listen to these all weekend long because we are out of television range on the weekends so I guess I get a tv fast every weekend. I feel so much better about it now that I called it a tv fast. Thanks for that spontaneous breakthough, Karen.

  22. judy says:

    You have helped me enormously again because I too spend a shameful amount of time channel surfing and I actually believed I was the only person who was doing this. I am ADD so I wander through time starting and not finishing until I come back round to the half done thing and finish the half made bed, the dishwasher half filled and half open etc. I am going to stick with what I know I can find and enjoy and stop searching for some mythical entertainment treasure. What I miss most are Jack Parr, Dick Cavett types with all of their funny fascinating guests. Now Jon Stewart is departing and Colbert will be on ad dominated TV so I am bereft for truth-iness. Who are your voices of witty, informed dialogue? We are staring down the barrel of President Trump for our future, sure to make America great again?

    • IRS says:

      Yeah, I am quite sad about Colbert and Stewart as well. Colbert will no doubt be a good replacement for Letterman, but I think he will be wasted in a format where he will have a lot less creative freedom than he had on “The Colbert Report”. The new guy replacing Stewart is a wild card. I hope he will be good, but I’m not betting on it. Here in Canada, many people considered our voice of “witty, informed dialogue” to be one Jian Ghomeshi. I never liked him, and always thought he was a smarmy little dickhead. Almost a year ago, he was unceremoniously shitcanned from his show by the CBC, when it was revealed that he was an egocentric S&M freak, who loved beating up women as part of sex. He was subsequently arrested after lots of women came forward to press charges, and his trial starts next winter/spring. He is like Canada’s version of Bill Cosby. As for Donald Trump, that pompous windbag with the rabid weasel on his head may well end up as your president. There seem to be enough people in the US who like him. Go figure. If he is nominated and elected, we Canadians expect to see many applications for citizenship here from our southern neighbours. Citizenship or asylum.

      • judy says:

        How hard would it be for two people in their seventies with a comfortable retirement income to live in Canada? America is becoming a nightmare. I am convinced that some powers that be would welcome a Race War and are creating a climate of mindless hatred and bigotry that may eventually light that match. The desired outcome would be cessation of Civil Rights, including the right to vote. Hope I’m wrong and we will try to move into this Century with Liberty and Justice for all Americans. Excuse the Politics on such a great funny informative Blog but you Canadians might be surprised at the number of Americans that look to our northern border with envy at your Peaceful, intelligent way of Life.

        • IRS says:

          Judy, I share your concerns. I am a proud Canadian, but I spend at least a quarter of every year in the US. I also follow US politics very closely, because it is so horrifically entertaining. Our politics is generally sane, efficient – and dull. Yours is a freak show. One reason is religion. In Canada, if a politician so much as mentions religion while campaigning, he or she is done. It is considered a personal matter, and no one wants to hear about it from a politician. In America, a politician’s religious devotion has to take centre stage. And then there is the gun issue. You love ’em, we don’t allow them. In Florida alone, 1 in 17 people have a concealed carry permit. Yikes! I could go on, but yes, Canada is a great place to live. The big factor is weather. Ours is generally not what most retirees want, but if you don’t mind winter, then come on up! We would love to have you. As for cost, you would have to do your research, to see what you can afford. The United Nations has declared Toronto to be the most multicultural city on earth, but it is expensive to live here. However, you can still get good housing deals in some of the Toronto suburbs. Since you would not be driving into the city to work, that should be fine. I wish you luck wherever you end up.

          • judy says:

            We are 75 and 78- so our longevity is limited, I just would like to get away from the sense that half my fellow Americans are such unkind, nasty humans.. And the worst of them seem to believe fervently that they are worthy of Heaven because they profess Jesus as their Lord and Savior. All of the compassion and care for the least of these that Jesus professed– to his forgiveness of his murderers doesn’t seem to register at all in their model for how they must live as a true Christian. I am not a religious person but I try to be a moral person because I believe it is the right thing to do and not because of the threat of eternal pain. Their hatred when they come out to protest anything seems so out of control and irrational that it frightens me, and most of them could start their own war with the guns they have stockpiled. Crazy. Scary

            • IRS says:

              Judy, what state do you live in?

            • judy says:

              We live in Virginia but I am a news junky and have MSNBC on throughout the day. I can’t stop watching as we see unarmed men shot by our Police time after time. A woman stopped for failure to signal a lane change when a Police car pulled up close to her car and she pulled to the side of the road to get out of his way. She is pulled from her car because when asked to put out her cigarette, she states in her own car-she doesn’t have to put out her cigarette ,she is arrested for assaulting an officer(the alleged assault occurred after he moved her out of range of his dash cam)She is dead within a few days from Suicide. This young woman was a college graduate new to the area and due to begin a new job with her college. Children and adults slaughtered in a school and countless others unknown to their murderer, wiped out by Military caliber assault weapons. We have an endless river of money to build a war machine and never enough to assure health care, Social Security for the aged and to repair our roads bridges etc. etc. etc. I may be on overload on bad news but it’s like gawking at a car wreck, you know you shouldn’t but it’s impossible not to. I shouldn’t be commenting on this topic on a blog that informs and cheers me with every post. Sorry for the Debbie downer whining and apologies to you Karen for casting a pall on all that sunshine you splash into our day. I am going to shut up now……….

            • IRS says:

              I love MSNBC too (since we are talking about TV). They are the best news network around now. CNN used to be great, but they have turned into tabloid TV, and of course Fox News is surreal. My only quibble with MSNBC is that from Friday night until early Monday, they show nothing but prison shows and “Caught On Camera”. Who the hell wants 54 hours of that crap? If I was a shut in with only that one channel, I would rather spend my weekends making crank calls. So anyway, I am quite familiar with all of these cases that you have mentioned. I don’t see this kind of thing happening in Canada. If you are serious about moving north, do lots of research (including about our winters, since Virginia is quite mild), and make several visits of at least a week or two each, to see if you like living here. If you want to make it permanent, we would love to have you.

  23. jenny says:

    I love This American Life–I listen to the podcasts while riding the stationary bike or doing the rowing machine. It’s the next best thing to reading while working out. 🙂

  24. Karin says:

    Love This American Life! And I’m quickly becoming addicted to RadioLab, too. You go NPR!

  25. Jebber Jay says:

    A cure to Amish is Knitflix … it’s the best. You watch Netflix and knit. Tea optional. :o)

  26. Gina says:

    I think the problem is when you decided to take a hiatus and when you are starting to watch tv again. Nothing new starts for a few more weeks.

  27. Jim Barry says:

    Wait… what? You don’t even have one nipple? 😉

  28. Ana R. says:

    I highly recommend the podcast “How Did This Get Made?”

    You won’t regret it.

  29. Jane says:

    You should watch Rita on Netflix. It is in Danish (aren’t you?) but it is SO WELL WRITTEN (!!!) that you don’t care about the subs and just enjoy it. If you have a VPN, then set it to Sweden and watch The Bridge.. also brilliant. You can thank me later.

  30. Marie Anne says:

    oh, and Karen..I love your blog…but I love reading the comments just as much! Although I sometimes scan the comments on other blogs..I actually read all of them here.

  31. amy watson says:

    We don’t have a smart tv in our house they are all dumb TVs, my daughter still can’t believe we don’t use netflix or hulu or any other streaming service…l can’t imagine watching ANYTHING on the only smart thing in our house, our phones or my tablet….who does that???? I have to be on the couch with popcorn and a rootbeer to watch the news, so yea, no streaming going on here….l do love one show on hgtv….fixer upper…those 2 have real talent and style…heres to hoping something pops up that you will want to watch..cheers 🙂

  32. Mary W says:

    My turning off point was when I moved from the city to the county. My husband worked two jobs and had a little time in the afternoon so we began watching soaps and got hooked. Not us at all but it happens. We had no reception in the country so began having fun together. I learned to lasso the fence post, kill tomato worms and can tomato sauce, feed orphan calves, and dance naked in the moon light. Then we got an antenna. After about 5 years, we turned on the TV and watched the soaps – finding out that we had missed. nothing. Within a couple days, we knew all major events that had happened in the last 5 years. So we turned the TV off and enjoyed our own life again. Your experience sounds similar – just pick the best to enjoy and get on with living. There will be time enough when you are old (if that ever happens to you) and bed ridden and bored enough to watch again.
    Just read Who Moved the Cheese before that happens!

  33. Dagmar says:

    When I first moved out on my “very” own, like a grown up should. And I say, ” like a grown-up” because all of my university friends from on campus were surprised that I owned a proper dining room table, a real bed and curtains, and all kitchen amenities; while others made do with milk boxes as storage and futon mattresses on the floor. I owned a television, but decided against cable, both for economic reasons, and because I had far too much on my plate to think about television. Those were some of the best days of my life. I would listen to the rock radio station Q107 or 102.1 on the FM dials, which in those days played all the new hard rock and grunge. I would continually win tickets and prizes, and all sorts of things. The producers knew me by name, and I even acquired some acquaintances. And on the long nights of studying, I had the jazz stations to smoothly sail me into the long books and essays I wrote by the dozen.

  34. Lynn says:

    Oh no. I think I caught Amish.
    That is perfection.

  35. Ev Wilcox says:

    In a hurry-have to assemble and bake many meatballs for a party tomorrow. So I didn’t read all the replies, which I enjoy very much! Anyway-re: TV. A suggestion-get a TV Guide or whatever is like same. Go through it and circle what draws you. Plan your day. Stop working at designated time to watch your choice. Turn off TV-do other stuff, etc. Unless, once you’re done, you’re done for the day. I kind of do it now, but minus TV Guide.
    Catching Amish would be great, except for the male dominance thing-it would suck too too much, and injuries could result. Never mind! Stuff to do-have a great weekend all!

  36. Sera says:

    That’s funny. I haven’t watched much TV lately because my husband and I won’t watch tv with our 9 month old in the room. We’re not ready to start her on TV. I guess we’ll see how long we make it before we are cursed with a Frozen onslaught. Anyway, by the time we do get her to bed, we’re both too tired to watch anything. And neither of us have read a book in ages. Actually, scratch that – I’m reading a cookbook. Not that I can scrape together the time to cook anything, but… Sigh.

  37. Jennie Lee says:

    Karen, I love Amy Winehouse, too. I recently found some recordings of her that I had not heard before, on Spotify. You can listen to them free. Maybe that will help. Be careful, though. I’m concerned that maybe your mind was thinking “Amy…Amy…Amyish” and it spell-corrected to “Amish”. A dangerous possibility, huh?

  38. Elen G says:

    Isn’t that just the way?
    Very entertaining. I’m so laughing. Enjoy the long weekend. Hopefully, it won’t be filled with labour.

  39. Aspasia says:

    After mentioning you to my significant other for the umpteenth time (the latest comment being, “Hey, Karen Bertelson watches Downton Abbey and Call the Midwife too!”) he responded with “Why don’t you just marry, Karen Bertelson?” I’m not really the marrying type, but I am also a fan of the Mindy Project and Breaking Bad. Maybe he’s on to something lol

    • Karen says:

      Throw him for a loop and tell him we’re already married. Say it real casual-like. ~ karen!

      • Aspasia says:

        If only he were that easy to faze; he’d probably just ask if we saved him any cake. But since he got that “why don’t you just marry…” line from me (far more hilarious when I deliver it), I guess I can’t complain too much 🙂

  40. Kelli says:

    Meh. Television smellivision. It’s overrated. Skip it altogether and just get your binge on with Netflix and the like. I haven’t missed TV in years now (except as a conversation topic with die-hard fans: What show was that? What was her role?).

    Props to you though, for rediscovering This American Life! (do they make a Canadian version, eh?) It’s one of my favorites too…it’s amazing where your own mind can take you with radio and your “TV in the brain!”

    • Karen says:

      O.K. You understand that you’re watching television right, lol? Like … you’re watching tv shows. Nope. I won’t give it up. I love television. (well … I love great television … and there is a lot of truly great television being made … just don’t judge it by anything starring Charlie Sheen) ~ karen!

  41. Nicci says:

    Goodly morning. I’m new here but I’ve added you my Feedly and have been working on reading back posts this week. If you like TAL, (and you likely already know this but I thought I’d chip in) you should listen to Serial, some of the best radio podcasts ever made, but don’t forget to start at the beginning. Also Podcast Addict is an amazing app that helps keep my obsession organized; I love podcasts because they entertain me more than music while I’m running and they teach me all sorts of things. “Stuff you should know”, “Stuff you missed in History class”, “Freakonomics” and “99% Invisible” (and I second Radiolab) all are great choices. Have a lovely day and thanks! ~Nicci

  42. Cathy says:

    Boy, If HGTV-Canada is boring they have really gone to seed. It’s way better than the USA version.
    My go-to radio program at lights out is Marketplace. Not that it bores me to sleep, it’s more like someone telling me a story like Dad did when I was a kid (and generally fell asleep before we did). Kai’s voice is a pleasure to listen to.
    If I am still awake at the end, I will add All Things Considered to my podcast play list and let it run. It (iPad) will shut itself off and is perfect. Best part there is you can choose which ones to delete; I’m getting very weary of the Mid East crap and though I feel horrible for the refugees, there is not one danged thing I can do about it/them save a prayer offered up for those suffering. Sleep is what I need, not one more thing to worry about.
    Yea, when it’s just me here, the TV is generally off.

  43. Luanne says:

    I had a similar experience with “quitting” ice cream for a calendar year. Once the New Year rolled arund again, I decided to just wait until I oculdn’t wait any longer. It was April before I ordered a DQ Blizzard. Not even half-way through, I started feeling a bit icky. (No – I soldiered through and finished it.) Weird how that happens, eh?

  44. Jennifer says:

    Your good taste in TV is proven by your recommendation of Orphan Black awhile back. So good! This summer, we’ve enjoyed USA network’s Mr. Robot. Smart psychological thriller. It would be hard to work during that show – I didn’t want to miss anything.

  45. Vanessa says:

    I really don’t watch much tv during the summer. Just killing time until the new season starts! And then you can find me on the couch from 8 -11, some nights more so than others. And Oct is really bad when all then new stuff starts. I try to watch the first couple of episodes of everything and then pare it down to just my favorites.

  46. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    TV SUCKS…well most of it….

  47. helen says:

    Your tv list looks a lot like mine. Try to find a sitcom called “Episodes”. Very funny.
    I’ve been trapped in the kitchen a lot lately with tomatoes and peaches, too.

  48. Norah says:

    This summer the realization came…..what the heck I am I doing….
    House Hunters is robbing me of my life! Slow I know.

    Although I did not give up TV I did cut WAY back and yes life is better.
    A couple of shows that I enjoy are Playing House and Miss Fischer’s Murder Mysteries
    Both I feel are “show worthy” for after a drought.

    I started listening to The Archers on BBC 4. I listen to see if Wob will ever get his comeuppance!

  49. Carol says:

    Too funny! I’ve been listening to 97.3 for about 7 years. First time, at a girlfriends for a girl’s night, someone tuned the stereo on to it after dinner and we couldn’t stop ourselves from dancing, we danced for at least 2 hours, declaring each song after the next as a past favourite. I’ve been hooked on it ever since and pre-set it in my car (right before cbc one). ~ C

  50. Chayes says:

    If you’re looking for something new, I just finished season 1 of Broadchurch on netflix. So good. I was hooked from episode 1.

  51. Jackie H says:

    Have you tried watching TED talks? They are my go to when I need to be inspired and refreshed.

  52. Shauna says:

    I just finished all 3 seasons of The Killing. Great Netflix show. It’s from 2013 I think, so I’m totally behind the 8 ball on this one, but if you haven’t watched it – try it out. The first episode has really great acting in it and unlike most detective shows, I never really could figure out ‘who did it’ until they wanted us to know.

  53. Linda says:

    Lots of interesting posts. I”ve become a TV addict because of hubby who is addicted to it.
    I love some reality shows and documentaries but in all honesty I’m a radio addict. Love Friday nights when I can stay up all night listening to CBC, PRI, etc

  54. Teresa Jennings Richardson says:

    I started out smiling, then chuckling to myself and then laughed out loud so hubby asks, “you alright in there?” as I read this update. You actually made me think of myself. I love to read on a cruise. Sit in a lounge chair and just read til my eyes hurt. I was looking forward to reading the Left Behind series–all 12 books, all 3069 pages of binge reading. I didn’t quite get thru on the cruise. I finished up this morning around 10:30. Why did it take me so long? Reading relaxes me right to sleep, and I had forgotten that little fact. Writing and creating keeps me wide awake as I juggle all the individual characters and their lives, but reading what someone else wrote, just knocks me right out. And the last 3 books of that series were just a little boring and repetitive. Reminded me of those little blurbs before a commercial on TV to let you know what is going to happen after the commercial. If you cut all that junk out, the 60 minute show would only be 17 minutes long. And that’s the way those last 3 books of the 12 were, rehashing what had happened in the first 9, 10, and 11 books so much there was probably not 5 pages worth of new material. I was a little disappointed until I realized the epilogue hints there could be a book 13. Only thing is I don’t know how long we have to wait for it to come out. Satan has to be bound in the pit for 1000 years before we know what happens next. So tonight I finally got around to cleaning out the 3500 emails that had piled up in 12 days, read a few Facebook messages and saved my favorite things to last–your blogs. No wonder I laughed out loud. I didn’t fall asleep re-reading what I had already re-read several times before because your stuff is fresh and new and funny. I think I’ll watch some TV tomorrow. It’s Saturday, college football season and it makes the hubby happy. I think I may have ignored him for 12 days too.

  55. Peggy says:

    Two words: Orphan Black. BBC America. Best. Show. Ever.

  56. Dawn says:

    Try Danger 5 on Netflix. Amazingly stupid and entertaining. A bit of an acquired taste.

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