This is not gonna be a restaurant review. Although thoughts took place in a gastropub called Neighborhood….
Here’s the set up: Yesterday. Afternoonish around 2:30 following an hour Foot Reflexology treatment. Hungry and wandering around between a few blocks where we had meter parking space…(I know those are fragments, but that’s how I felt—in a daze). I was angling for the still sunny corner of Café Chloe where my husband and I could extend our massage date and still pretend we’d entered some other silky world, but he steered us to an opposite corner down a block toward 7th, a spot now in concrete shade, grays and industrial steel but with signage that alerted him to craft beers.
We got in there and much to my surprise, sports coverage was not blasting loudly and fresh air gently moved through the pub’s up-swung windows. Other pluses: lots of great wall art—huge tile-scape of downtown scene, oil and acrylic paintings, and funky plaid bar stool covers. But being a wordsmith type, my eye went to the scrawl of words on all sides of the wall-mounted TV screen and surrounding shelves of spirits and tall-size craft beer bottles.
Maybe it was just the brainwave zone that I was still in after fingertips had drawn circles on my scalp and forehead, pinched and pulled at my toes. I can’t say I was under the influence yet of the pork cheek sandwich, citrus beet salad, or Coronado Idiot IPA, but upon reading one of the quotes scribbled right next to the TV screen, I opened my phone “Notes” and typed.
“When I got my first television set, I stopped caring so much about having close relationships.”
Then I noticed who had said it. Andy Freakin’ Warhol. The King of Pop print culture and more. The guy who mediated into brightly painted, repeating screen panels so much of what we all consumed during the 60s from Campbells Soup to lipstick in a tube to TV.
For me, it’s not so much about getting a TV. TV was in my life because other people or college dormitories that I was forced to live in bought the TVs and there they were. I’ve gone without TV for years at a time and most people who know me would probably attest that I’m not one of the top five TV addicts that they know. However…
Since acquiring that little black box—Apple TV—and since NetFlix went to streaming and since cable now offers the DVR option, in the past year I’ve been sucked into a number of TV series, American, Swedish, Danish, and British. I justify my TV consumption because I think that these shows—the scripts, the actors, and the production quality are soooo much better than ever before and anything currently running. Also, I can rip through an entire season, pulling an all day or late night binge and feel that I’m not tied to some schedule that requires me to be in front of the set every Thursday night instead of out dining in the ‘hood and catching up with friends.
I confess to consuming the following series up through their current season and/or final ending episodes (and I highly recommend all of them, even though I get irked by some aspects): Wallander (Swedish and Brit version, but Swedish is my fave), Homeland, Downton Abbey, Breaking Bad, The Killing, Mad Men, House of Cards, The Protectors, Top of the Lake, Annika Bengtzon, and Rectify.
Other shows that I tape and DVR through include: SNL, American Idol, The Voice, Sunday CBS, Padre Games, Glee, PBS specials, History Channel specials on War and Terrorism.
I’m probably leaving something out.
The truth is that I don’t think I care less about having close relationships. I’m not watching these shows at the expense of spending quality time with my husband (he’s usually somewhere on the sofa next to me along with our old cat and sometimes two dogs). I’m also usually texting my TV watching friends who also might be watching some of these shows and saying things like, “Did you see that? Whoa.” Sometimes I’m knitting, reading, of course, eating, and occasionally catnapping, and also playing Hanging with Friends whenever it’s my move.
I spend lots of quality time with Skye and the rest of my family. Most weeks I meet up with writing friends, also catch movies, dinners out, walk the dogs around OB, read plenty and write.
I think what it comes down to is that I’m losing sleep.
And then there’s the thought that yesterday afternoon if I’d stayed home and eaten a turkey sandwich while watching the night before’s episode of something I’d taped, I wouldn’t have gotten downtown to the Green Bamboo for that foot reflexology treatment and then late lunch at Neighborhood. I wouldn’t have had that date with Don. I wouldn’t have seen that Warhol quote about getting a TV and caring less about close relationships.
Here’s another quote, one my husband loves to pull out because a) it’s short enough he can recite it from memory; and b) it can easily be leaned upon to justify any number of past times. He read it first in his 1975 Hopkins High Yearbook—who knew? He credits Jan Gilbert for posting it beside her Senior photo (upon “googling” it, credit goes to any number of people including John Lennon and Bertrand Russell for saying it as well):
“Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted.”