Monday, February 27, 2012

Living with an Antenna

Two years ago The Captain’s employer decided to make some changes that temporarily severely affected our finances. Like many families in our country, we had to make some tough choices to stay afloat. The one that initially seemed hardest to swallow was cancelling our satellite television service. Not just reducing the services, but cancelling altogether.

The first thing we did was sign up for Netflix, which was a significant cost reduction compared to satellite. Then a friend told us about, which made me a bit happier as I was having serious withdrawals from my prime time dramas and sit-coms. When our finances leveled off a bit we added the Hulu Plus service so we were able to stream some of our favorites through the blu-ray, albeit a day later – or thirty days later in some cases.

One of the strangest things we had to get used to was the silence between shows. All my life when the TV was on, there was noise coming from it all the time. When we cancelled pay TV and turned to other sources, the silence at the end of a show was deafening. I kept waiting for a commercial that never came. Not really complaining, mind you, but odd nonetheless. Something we eventually got used to.

Then came the day when The Captain came home from work, where they have access to satellite TV, saying we had to go see “The King’s Speech.” I had no idea what that was and he was incredulous. That’s when I blew a gasket. Here is a movie that no doubt was advertised a ton on TV (I’ll never know) and, in fact, was so amazing that it received numerous Academy Awards AND whose leading man is one of my very favorite actors EVER, and I had no clue it even existed. So The Captain acquiesced and installed an antenna shortly thereafter.

I was SOOO excited. Finally, we would have all the local channels so I could watch Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice. Except that local channel didn’t come through on the antennae so I still had to wait to watch online. Then the day came when this black box began to cover half the screen – but ironically not during commercials. Not to mention that back in the day when the TV was a bit fuzzy, the antenna could be turned to catch the signal better. But no, it’s digital so when the signal is weak, the screen goes black – usually during the last five minutes of the show when The Mentalist is filling in all the bits and pieces or Nick Stokes (CSI) is looking especially dreamy. (sigh)

After about the fifth time The Captain found notes I’d taken on the back of the advert for the latest and greatest satellite package, he asked if I wanted TV again. Of course, I jumped on this. I am happy to conclude that we are now a “normal” American TV over-viewing family once again. Woo Hoo!! Something to do while I’m folding laundry….

Monday, February 20, 2012

Who IS This Woman???

I am first a wife and mother of one little boy. This year I will be celebrating the fourteenth anniversary of my twenty-ninth birthday (you do the math; I don’t want to) and my husband, hereafter known as The Captain, and I will be celebrating our fourteenth anniversary. I have four generations of an amazing family here in my hometown in the North San Francisco Bay Area where I returned after college and met The Captain.

I’ve been working steadily all my adult life, even through college, at least part-time but years of fifty-plus hour weeks before The Boy was born; that is, until eight months ago. I started my first office job when I was seventeen. A family friend and CPA was in need of a file clerk. There, I worked after school until they closed at 5:00, no evenings, no weekends. I learned all the basics and built my working life from there. A very good start compared to most of my contemporaries. However, in December 2010, my employer of five and half years informed me that he was retiring and selling the firm to another firm on the east coast. That instantly negated the possibility of transferring my services along with the firm, as I just couldn’t commute that far. The CPA I had worked for in high school saw my post on Facebook stating I was soon to be out of a job and offered me temporary work through tax season, which I eagerly accepted. Tax season ended and so did my employment.

As it turned out, the timing was actually pretty good. It was a few weeks before The Boy’s school term ended for the summer and since we hadn’t known whether or not I’d be working, we didn’t arrange for summer childcare. It was the best summer of my life. My nine year old and I were very busy so the summer flew by. Our family went camping several times and at the end of the summer, took our great-nephew (who is a year older than The Boy) to Disneyland for five days. The Captain said it wasn’t likely anyone would hire me with the amount of time I’d need off to accommodate our pre-reserved vacations anyway. Thus, I happily went about my summer, which turned into fall then winter.

So, eight months of being a housewife. Volunteering at The Boy’s school at least two days a week, co-chairing the school’s first holiday gift fair including making crafts to be sold at the fair with the kids after school, assisting The Captain who is chairing a seedling sale fundraiser, Cub Scouts planning meetings and fundraiser chair, and helping with two other upcoming school fundraisers. Like most parents, I am the chauffeur to swim team, Cub Scouts, karate, jiu jitsu, and the tutor. I have found that I’m good at projects outside my house but not a great housekeeper – something I already knew but have proven time and again recently.

Which, eventually, brings me to the point of this blog. I need to be kept accountable. That’s your job. I am soooo good at procrastinating. I can justify anything. See? I started a blog so I don’t have to fold laundry! J