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Thursday, December 27, 2001

I'm looking forward to taking the tree down this weekend. I'm so focused on "getting back to normal" now that having a twinkling tree in the corner of the room is an impediment. Besides, it'll be turning brown and shedding even more needles soon. And I have three other live plants in the room with me, two of them new this week and the other a cactus that I've been neglecting for a couple of months (but that's okay — that's why Mom gave it to me).

Getting back to normal. It's too bad that means getting back to not being lazy, because laziness comes so naturally to me. Actually working all the hours I'm supposed to work (plus all those extra hours on the weekend) makes me feel like an ant, when I know I'm a grasshopper. I'm not exactly proud to be a grasshopper, but I don't aspire to be an ant, either. Or an anteater.

As of now I've eaten all the leftovers (and my, didn't they disappear quickly). That'll have to be my big step forward for now, because the cards are still hanging on the wall and Santa is still landing his sleigh on top of my TV set. But I listened to Frank Sinatra today ("When I was seventeen...") instead of Merry Axemas (volume two, which includes "Deck the Halls" by Ted Nugent), so I'm gradually phasing out the full-on Christmas mode.

Here's the kind of thing that gets me all frothy and excited: DirecTV as of today and at no extra cost is providing access to no less than thirteen new local channels here in the Bay Area. Until now, all I got was NBC, CBS, ABC and Fox, plus the national PBS feed. Now I get four local public stations, two more Spanish language channels, and three that feature Asian programming. And at long last I can watch Buffy and Enterprise on UPN, or 7th Heaven and Smallville on the WB, without having to watch them on the grainy cable feed.

In fact, I no longer need cable at all, since the only reason I kept it was for the local channels that DirecTV didn't provide. So I combed through the listings, looking for all the wonderful new shows I'll be watching now. Pfah! Mostly what I get are more court shows (all Judge Mathis, all the time), dating shows, religious shows, infomercials and home shopping (not the same thing, by the way).

I now have access to reruns of McHale's Navy and Suddenly Susan. I can watch programs in German, Italian, Korean, Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Japanese and Tagalog (along with Spanish, Spanish, Spanish and Spanish — oh, the temptation to watch telenovelas 24/7). Channel 42 seems to be half religious crusaders and half Microsoft infomercials, and it's hard to decide which is scarier. Channel 32 has four hours of traffic reports every morning.

In other words, I'll still be spending most of my TV time watching the same channels I did before. I won't be tuning in to Jerry Springer just because I can now see him in pure digital clarity (if that word even applies). Likewise, Barney on four different channels. No. But at least I got excited about something for awhile.

looking upward

My satellite dish reaches for the sky.

I do like new stuff, which is why I also got excited when the garbage company dropped off another container today. This one's an enormous blue can, the size of the green yard waste container, but it's for recyclables. All recyclables now get taken to the curb in the same giant blue bucket on wheels.

Glass, metal, papers of all kinds, milk cartons, cardboard — it all gets dumped in the same can. I've been separating these items for so long that I don't know how I'll be able to toss the junk mail, yogurt containers, boysenberry jam jars and Mountain Dew cans all on top of each other.

It's a good idea, though, because it'll encourage those backward souls too lazy to separate their recyclables to join the rest of us. Maybe there'll be something left besides landfill fifty years from now after all.

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Latest recommendation:

Wendy, The Dragon's Lair, December 26, 'Twas the Night After Christmas

Recent recommendations can always be found on the links page.

One year ago: The Cookie Crumbles

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