Ahhhh… Netflix

About seven months ago we decided to get rid of cable. We got the little Roku box, hooked it up to the TV, and prepared to receive all that wonderful, streaming entertainment from Netflix. We love the $7.99/month price, and the selection is great; however, I’ve now become a little disillusioned with the whole thing.

Initially I thought we would watch less TV, but the shorter running time, lack of commercials, and complete seasons have caused us to gorge ourselves. Recently I’ve been binging on The Office. It’s one of my all-time favorite shows so I am enjoying it…. but. After 4 or 5 episodes in one afternoon I feel like I do when I eat one too many cookies, or when I get two scoops of ice cream instead of one. Bloated. Discontented. Slightly nauseous. Too much of a good thing.

Something I never would have expected is the difficulty we face in choosing something to watch. Yes, cable has lots of stations too, but there are limits based on day of the week and time. When you turn on Netflix, the choices are truly overwhelming. I can’t tell you how many times my husband and I have sat down to watch something and we end up scrolling, reading, scrolling again, discussing, trying to agree on something, and scrolling some more until in utter frustration we just give up and go to bed. I won’t even mention the other channels you can subscribe to- Hulu, Vudu, MGo, OMG! Way too much of a good thing.

There are definitely things that I miss about network and cable TV. When my husband and I go on vacation, one of the main things that we look forward to is laying in bed and watching… wait for it… HGTV! And Food Network. And crazy reality television in all its sordid glory. Oh yes, I’ll admit that I love America’s Got Talent, and I’m sad I’m missing it. I also hate to miss awards shows. I watch clips the next day on You Tube, but it’s NOT the same. I miss the pleasant feeling of anticipation and excitement I had when I waited a whole week for the next episode of Once Upon a Time. I think maybe what I miss most of all are the commercials. They make you laugh and cry, they make you outraged, they make you hungry. They have jingles you can sing to. They are a signpost of where our culture is and where it is going.

Overall, I feel a little disconnected from mainstream America without live television in my life, but despite the drawbacks we have no plans to go back to cable- for now. We are considering getting a pair a rabbit ears so we can enjoy the Big Three stations again. Viva la television!

Imaginations of a Day

I’m late again, I know! I wanted to share the poem I wrote years ago that inspired the title of this blog. It has undergone some revisions and will undergo more in the future, I’m sure. I won’t say much about it, only that it brings together things I’ve seen, dreams I’ve had, and some thoughts that came with them. Enjoy

Imaginations of a Day

I saw an old woman today
and she had that look.
Regret, resignation, or nothing…
I don’t know.
When I am she,
What will my thoughts be?

That night I saw a city on a hill
Golden light flung out everywhere like a net
Over water and mountains
And I thought, This is God’s, too.

Night thoughts are the hard thoughts.
I twist and can’t breathe under the weight of the images-
All those things I can’t quite reach-
But then he throws his arm across me to make me still.

In my dreams I saw a door that shut little by little,
A bright plain room on one side, and a dark city on the other.
When the door shuts, the world will end.
I came back from the city streets to the right side of the door,
I came back,
But I woke up and did not see the Lord’s coming or His reward.

Now I’m riding on a swing in a cool quiet park
With tall pine trees that have tops like starfish.
All around me the sun is glancing, hiding
As I go back and forth slowly flapping my arms
And it really does feel like flying.

I’m not the Star… and it’s Okay!

So I’ve finally missed a week on this blog… It was bound to happen, but I feel bad. You probably didn’t even notice, right?

I’ve been super busy rehearsing for a production of Singin’ in the Rain that opens on September 12. I’ve been doing musical theatre since I was 11 or 12, when I was cast in Once Upon a Mattress in the 6th grade. I’ve been hooked ever since. Over the years I’ve had lead roles, supporting roles, and featured roles, and I’ve been in many ensembles.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love being a star, but depending on the role I may not get that sense of community that can make a show so much fun. Many times with larger roles you work only with a few cast members, or you come on for one or two scenes only. That’s why I was kind of lonely when when I played the Fairy Godmother in Cinderella last summer (although I did have a wand that lit up- so that was awesome). I’m not complaining, I’m just saying there were times when I looked longingly at the ensemble doing their stuff and wished I could be a part. In this production I’m back in the ensemble- and having a great time. There’s a great feeling of accomplishment and camaradie when, after hours of learning music and running dances over, and over, and over again, the harmonies are finally perfect and the steps are finally in sync. I just need to relax, quit worrying so much about everyone else doing everything right, and embrace the process- and my part in it.

When I don’t, that’s when the group thing gets a little rough. I’m a perfectionist, and I think I’m always right. I’m in a constant battle to make sure I don’t annoyingly butt in to correct people. It’s a battle I lose about half the time, unfortunately. For example, in the finale song there’s a moment when only the leads sing a line. Some of the ensemble are still accidentally singing it, so when it happens I’ve been going “Shhhhhh!!!!!” as loud as I can. Terrible, I know- I can’t believe I’m admitting this. I do want to be helpful, but I tend to get uptight and go too far with it. And it’s no fun being the Song Police.

The good thing is that the last two times we have run the number I have contained myself. It’s good for me to subvert that craving to assert my position, try being humble, and find the joy in supporting the whole by simply doing my own part well, no matter how small.

I Corinthians 12:12-27