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Unbundled

We cancelled cable.

I KNOW

This sort of thing only happens in an ice-storm.

Kent (frugal husband) pointed out that we pay $150/month for a bundled package (phone/internet/TV) which amounts to an abandoned home phone and the occasional Daily Show, and not much more than that, where ‘not much more than that’ = my secret Reality TV indulgences. He proffered: keep internet and replace all of these things with Hulu Plus ($7.49), Sirius Radio ($13), Spotify ($7), and with our existing accounts – Netflix (11), iTunes, Apple TV, Amazon TV, streaming video, we wouldn’t miss a thing. I liked the word Hulu, so I said fine, we’ll give it a whirl.

Day 7: I’m not really sure what I think yet. With Hulu Plus, American idol is easily viewed on the iPad while making the bed or on a (muted) conference call, therefore there’s no reason to sit on the couch. I’m not sure what I think about that either.

Day 10: It’s a calamity. We have no way of watching the Academy Awards live. And this is no small calamity. This is a calamitous calamity of the highest degree of calamitousness. Kent worked on an animated short that is nominated (‘Paperman’) and his degree of princess-ness is rising with every attempt at getting a live broadcast to the big screen. And so , we are off to a party at someone else’s cable-ishous abode.

Day 10 and 3/4: take that highest degree of calamitousness and up it by a red-faced film colorist who is my husband having a Hollywood-style hissy fit. And for good reason, I might add. There is no sound at the Academy Awards host’s monster big screen theater despite its full throttle cable-ishousness.

Is Day 10 over yet?: So Kent resorted to viewing the award presentation for ‘Paperman’ in a neighbor’s apartment with a spotted beagle and a glass of wine. He just arrived back to the party expecting a pandemonium of congratulations, but no one realizes that the man exiting the stage on the silent screen, is the Disney director who just accepted Kent’s heavy statue on his behalf. (That award should be somewhat Kent’s, and the other visual effects guys, but that’s another story.)

Day 21: We are still unbundled, with a year to figure out how to host a 2014 Oscars party. I watch SNL skits, Modern Family and Jim Lehrer, much like the DVR days of ole, but with a spiffier interface to toggle between shows. And searching the ‘Popular and Recommended’ helps with the what-am-I-missing neurosis that comes with the whole unbundling exercise. I actually stopped watching Idol as I couldn’t find how to watch an entire program – and Nicki Minaj was stressing me out. Okay, I still worry about the cultural void of missing something, when you have to wait a day to see something millions might be viewing at any given time.

Day 42: Cultural void, cultural shmoid. I’m over that. Here’s how: 1. Thanks to Spotify, I am listening to all genres of music – right now, Patsy Cline (which is like watching ET after Avatar) as I walk our dog in the hills. 2. At home: Oprah Radio on Sirius Radio streaming through the speakers. Om. 3. I don’t miss scrolling through hundreds of channels. 4. An interesting thing happened during ad’s on Hulu Plus (you can’t fast-forward through them). Though they are short, I starting reading through them, until, I find that I just read. The program plays in the background. 5. Best of all, instead of wishing my daughter would fall asleep at night so I can watch the reality show of the moment, we giggle more and talk longer. I might be missing ‘the conversation’, but tonight I think: I wouldn’t miss this kind of unbundling for anything.

2 Comments

  1. Good for you! I don’t have cable either… If there is something I want to watch, I join a friend. Also switched my Internet connection to Sonic.net in Sacramento and bank accounts to Mechanics… still owned by the family that started it. Going local is the way to go.

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