February 2, 2014

The Discipline Vanishes

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Previously on this blog, my neighbor Gwen who knows something about just about everything had fixed my wireless connection (without my interference because I was asked to leave the house) and had cabled my computer up to the TV with the cable that she bought (so as to get the correct one on the first try.) I can now stream videos from the tens of thousands that are out there. 

For people who aren’t sure what streaming means, here’s an easy way to understand this formidable power: movies and television programs are out there in the atmosphere.  When you stream, you divert one of them into your computer. When your computer is cabled up to your television, you can watch them on the big screen.  All that’s left is to be savvy about how to find the best resolution for the best price, preferentially nothing. I can’t explain resolution because I don’t know what it means.  That’s where I am.

In any case, last week was a busy one and I conscientiously went about my work, piously pronouncing that I would only use my new capability in the evening when I finished teaching, answered all my e-mails and when my checking account balanced.  Sunday night after watching bits of a few things from You Tube, I changed my Netflix account from discs only to streaming.  I filled up My List.  Then I went to bed.

Monday when I emerged from my reading time (which continues to be an inviolable two hours) the computer was at my desk.  I did some writing, some busy work, some practicing, some fussing about this and that, and played a word in Scrabble.  I wandered into the kitchen around eleven thinking I needed some elevenses.  I picked apart a pomegranate.  As it was shooting and spitting juice all over the wall, ceiling and floor, I remembered Netflix. Maybe I’ll just watch something for a half hour, I thought. I hooked up the computer to the HMDI cable (I don’t know what that means either.) For the rest of the day I watched:

The Lady Vanishes
Cottage to Let
All Over the Town
Two episodes Law and Order Criminal Intent
One episode Everybody Loves Raymond
One episode Midsomer Murders

All of which I have already seen with the exception of All Over the Town.  And in the case of Everybody Loves Raymond, I own the disc.  It’s in the other room.

I emailed Gwen: “This is like having a box of chocolates that I don’t have to share.  I can take a bite of one and if I don’t feel like eating that particular one just then, I can put it back.”

She replied: “I wish I could say that one gets tired of even chocolates.”

I emailed Gwen the next day: “Poirot. Season One.”

That was pretty much all anyone heard from me on Tuesday except for the students I saw that day.  My hairline is spontaneously growing little curls like Miss Lemon’s.

Wednesday was Law and Order Criminal Intent Day.

Thursday was more old English movies: Encore, English Without Tears, Black Orchid, Millions Like Us.

Every evening when I started to feel almost sick with satiety, I moved the computer back to my desk so that’s where it would be in the morning.  Friday I was so sleepy, I just left it by the couch, all hooked up and ready to stream.  That was a mistake.  Everything I do in life, I do better between the hours of 5:30 AM and 12 PM: thinking, reading, concentrating, warming up my voice, playing the piano, painting, writing, and even exercising. I peak out at noon.  I can’t afford to lose those precious 6 ½ hours to 130 episodes of a little Belgian dandy clipping his waxed moustache. 

Saturday night The Gwen was open so I took my Macallan across the street and Gwen and I finished watching Parade’s End together.

Gwen said, “I was afraid that when you could stream movies, you wouldn’t want to come over anymore.”

I said, “I thought when you were so eager to get me hooked up, you were trying to get rid of me.”


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