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16 Jänner 2006

Cable Tee-Vee, The Death of Mee!

OK, this is so riveting that I just have to report it: I'm back on the digital basic. Video on Demand, now that's what I'm talkin' about!

On a regular albeit modest (good one, huh?) grad school budget, I've needed to prioritize perks such as cable TV and movies and those kinds of monthly entertainment expenses. Zum Beispiel, I have had the cheapest possible cable TV package and then rent movies on the cheapest Netflix plan, or I cancel Netflix and up the cable package. But a better cable package AND Netflix? No es possibile and all that. Cause then I'd have to dig into the cell phone, cable internet, groceries, heat, etc. bills.

Alas, these sort of 'you can have one but not the other, or two out of three but not all three' patterns are prevalent: Por exemplio, I rarely buy new clothes. Which I hope, by the by, does not detract from me looking fabulously sassy shabby-chic in that je ne sais quois way, and my 20-year-old car blue badness Buick is what works financially at this juncture. It doesn't hurt that it's the sweetest ride in town. So it's all good. You get the idea, and I'm not alone in the grad school scene of being used to not having certain things because you just can't swing it financially. It's our choice to be here, so the budgeting comes with the territory. Plus, damn, the money I invest is not for piddly monthly bill things.

And I've tried and tried but I am just not one of those folk who can totally do without TV. I attempted it for several months and it just waddn't pretty.

So let's call my budgeting metaphor of "either Very Cool, Cheap and Good, but Never All Three At Once" (unless you are talking 'burger nite' at the Corner Room on Thursdays, which is divine heaven...). I employ this framework for reconceptualizing how I can get more out of my cable TV package, with a view towards being a bigger, better person.

Scenario (A): I can get masses of channels (very cool) for a monthly package price (good) but it's like $75.00/month or something (not 'cheap'). Scenario (B): I can opt for fewer channels (cheap) with the package (good) featuring mostly channels I don't watch, such as QVC, random local obnoxiously religious channels, etc. (not 'very cool'). Scenario (C): downgrade to bare bones package (way 'cheap'er but not 'very cool') and ADD this thing called 'digital basic', which then gives me Showtime, BBC America, Bravo, (compensating for the 'very cool' lost from cutting off the expanded cable package I had before), which includes video-on-demand of programming I can watch around my schedule ('good').

A sort of compromise if you will, and all signs point towards Scenario C. So, as of Saturday I've opted for this. The cable guys seemed a tad mystified when they came in to do the setup but what the hecktors. It's not super 'cheap' but still is more 'very cool' financially than what I had before and there are more 'good' channels I'll watch, fewer dumb ones I won't and so I won't feel like I'm tossing Hamiltons out the window. As far as me being a bigger, better person for this, that remains to be seen. I only hope I can make sound judgments about when to turn the damn TV -off-.

I guess my point is today, who knew TV setups could be so dramatic?

And yes, you've figured it out: there is indeed a corellation between newly-installed Showtime and the new Season 3 of The L Word, which what can I say, I just love to pieces. Gawd, I'm so glad that Dana is back with the chef. And what's up with that new manager of the cafe, can we say out of place?

Stay tuned, sportsfans...And what do YOU watch on TV, what's your setup? Are you happy with it?


At 16 Jänner, 2006 19:14, Anonymous Anonym said...

Hi Lisa! I am not sure WHAT happened with you and your cable! In Manhattan, you have to get Time-Warner basic just to see the screen. I have only the networks, etc. NO CNN, no History Channel, no HBO or movies, etc. My old 1991 TV died the other evening, and I tried to be spiritually advanced and not have any TV at all. That lasted about 4 minutes. Thanks to PC Richards on 86th and Bway, I now have a dainty little flat screen TV...Golden Globes about to start. Enjoy your media-crammed leben! The dishwasher also died, so out comes the dishdrainer until the landlady gets her act together to install a new one. Love, Cindy

At 16 Jänner, 2006 22:40, Blogger stefanierj said...

Oy to the vey, as fellow blogger Girl's Gone Child likes to say.

We have the $12/month cable package, which we got just so we could watch the Olympics back in 2000. We never gave it up and now we have broadband internet and it just sno-balled from there.

But having a baby is like giving birth to a very cute, very charming money pit, so we're financially screwed anyway! :) As my friend Jess likes to say: "You're gonna be in debt the rest of your life anyway--might as well start enjoying it." True dat.

At 17 Jänner, 2006 00:35, Anonymous Anonym said...

yea i got a $120 bill with the internet. im hooked on teh DVR. its awesome. no more waitin for commercials. just hit the pause, then when u get back from doing whatever u wanted to do, hit play, then fast forward the commercials.even football can be watched in only one hour instead of 3. kinda like cheating tho. haha. my dvr list: intervention, good times, leave it to beaver, random sports like table tennis, pokeer and billiards, talk shows when special guests r on, award shows and last but not least, elimidate.

At 17 Jänner, 2006 09:48, Blogger Kat said...

SO there for you, Lisa. I could do without the TV/Cable thing, but my lovely husband would die. Cable is like his anti-krypton. He gets strength from it :) And, what would we do if we couldn't watch the Shield on FX? Ok, so I guess I couldn't do without Cable. It's Shannon's fault...SO his fault :) Seriously, I get ya. We'll do just about anything to have our cable.

At 17 Jänner, 2006 12:31, Anonymous said...

I like the "You can have 2 but not 3" model for deciding. I'll see how that works next time I'm faced with a decision/ reaching for anythingchocolate!

Also- good to remember that most of the parents I see are in debt for their bundles of cuteness.

At 17 Jänner, 2006 12:58, Blogger Lisaopolis said...

great comments, everyone, thanks for the support, glad I'm not the only one;)


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