Adoring Aerial Animation

Although I watch a lot of TV, it isn’t too often that I’m so compelled by something I’ve watched that I feel the need to share it. However, when I was watching America’s Got Talent this week, I absolutely fell in love with Aerial Animation and wanted to share what I loved. So creative!

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Tracking My TV Watching

I know that I watch a lot of TV. I usually have it on in the background most of the day. But I’m not quite sure how much is “a lot” so I thought I’d track what I watch for a week.

Here’s what I’ve watched since last Sunday afternoon:

  • Once Upon a Time
  • Hoarders
  • Intervention
  • House
  • Protecting Our Children
  • Cold Case Files
  • Alcatraz
  • Glam Fairy
  • BBC1’s Prisoner’s Wives (actually quite a good drama)
  • Celebrity Wife Swap (that’s an embarrassing one to add to the list!)
  • Snake Man of Appalachia (also a bit embarrassing, right?)
  • The Good Wife
  • Law and Order Criminal Intent
  • Law and Order UK
  • Private Practice
  • Gray’s Anatomy
  • American Idol
  • Remodeled
  • The Firm
  • Fashion Fund
  • A National Geographic Show on Wild Seahorses (see I actually do watch some educational stuff too!)
  • Teen Mom 2 (I’ll admit that I actually really adore this show even though I realize how trashy it is)
  • Confessions: Animal Hoarding
  • Ally McBeal
  • Kitchen Nightmares
So tell me, do you watch any of these shows? What do you think about having the TV on so much?
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I May Be Addicted to TV

The first week of my +EW42W- project has kicked off with a goal of not watching TV for two weeks. I have discovered that this is even more challenging than I expected. In fact, I think I may have an actual addiction to television watching.

The first day of the challenge was Sunday. I had decided that the rule would be that I could watch one movie and nothing else and I knew that needed to be at the end of the day or I’d get sucked in and not be able to stop watching. The morning part wasn’t too challenging. I do sometimes work in the mornings without the TV on. I put on my Pandora radio while I worked and that was fine. By the afternoon, however, my mind was totally reeling. I’m going through a bunch of stuff right now and my mind just felt nutty with thoughts that weren’t drowned out by the background noise of the television.

But this is the point – to get to a healthier emotional place in life by working through the tough stuff. So P did persevere through. Made some phone calls to family for distraction. Did some other online work that I could get engrossed in. And eventually it was about nine pm and I went to go crochet while watching my movie. I learned that I have a terrible time trying to pick a movie. I basically watch the same types of TV shows over and over so no major decisions need to be made to find new ones. But movies are different. What type of movies do I like? It’s time to learn!

I put on “On the Outs” because it was a Netflix recommendation. As soon as I did, though, I realized that I think I’ve seen it before or seen part of it before. And I didn’t want to watch something I might have seen before. So I tried to find something else and ended up defaulting to a common favorite of mine, which is biographical documentaries or docudramas about artists. I chose Kurt & Courtney. I’m not a huge Nirvana or Hole fan (not that I don’t like them, I’m just kind of indifferent, really) and I was slightly young to feel the impact of Cobain’s death that many felt when it happened. Nevertheless, I am totally drawn to stories about people’s relationships as well as stories about the tortured artist genius so this fit the bill.

The documentary, honestly, is kind of weird. It poses some possible theories about Kobain’s death (namely that some people believe Love murdered him) and then basically concludes that the theories are not correct but that leaves you with the sense that the storyline itself is kind of pointless. And two things irked me about following the documentarian along on his journey:

  1. Almost everyone he interviewed looked completely stoned and out of it and did not make a good interviewee.
  2. His questions seemed incredibly leading.
That said, I did watch the whole movie and kind of ended up enjoying it. It does a decent job of providing the biography and it’s easy to draw parallels between Cobain’s life and that of other tortured artists with quick-to-rise fame (namely Basquiat since that’s who I’ve been exploring recently). Plus we get to see some of Kurt’s original artwork from his younger days which is fun. And the story provides some interesting insight into the difficulties of trying to do a documentary about such a famous person.

After watching that, I wasn’t ready to sleep yet. The problem is that I fall asleep with the TV on and trying to do otherwise was too difficult. So I ended up breaking the no TV rule and watching a couple more episodes of Sons of Anarchy (moving myself into season three) before falling asleep.

I was okay with that. Not bad all in all. But then Monday was super tough. I had trouble concentrating all day long while I worked. I wanted to turn the TV on almost the entire day. I kept getting restless without that background noise. I tried music but it mostly annoyed me. I chose different types of music, settling for awhile on Spanish language music. I tried reading to relax, which was nice, but I can’t do anything else while I read, of course, so it was counterproductive to working. Finally towards evening I decided to go ahead and put some mindless TV on in the background while working on a particularly repetitive blog project. So I did that, catching up on MasterChef and The Protector on Hulu. It was about nine at this point and I didn’t want to deal with trying to figure out what movie I wanted to watch so I caught up on more TV (Rizzoli and Isles, Against the Wall) and then followed that up with another dose of Sons of Anarchy to fall asleep to.

That brings us up to today. I had bad sleep last night and was super tired most of the morning. That’s when I realized that being tired makes me crave much more just zoning out in front of the TV. I did force myself not to do that, digging in to my work. And I got over the hump of sleepiness and was happy with doing my work so that was a good lesson to learn. But early in the afternoon I was seriously craving TV in the background. My thoughts just felt too nutty, which happens when I’m tired. I decided to try to find some radio to listen to. I tried Dezeen podcasts, which I’d been wanting to listen to for awhile, but I couldn’t pay even remote attention with the work I was doing. With TV in the corner of the screen, I get the gist between visuals and sound as long as the show is non-complicated. With just sound, I guess I don’t get enough information coming into the corner of my mind so the background noise is just annoying noise instead of helpful noise. I did find, however, that the rhythm of slam poetry podcasts was better. I just couldn’t find any that were long so I had to keep popping back over to the page every two minutes to play the next one and that wasn’t good for work. But it’s good to note that locating a good source of long form slam poetry would be worth my time.

So ultimately I ended up putting on some afternoon TV today (Hell’s Kitchen) while I worked. And now it’s about six and for the past hour I’ve had to really struggle to not go sit down in front of TV-on-my-computer and dig into shows for the night while doing crochet work. That’s part of why I was motivated to write this post – to figure out how much this project is helping me. And I think it is. It’s definitely making me more aware that this really is a problem. I don’t do anything productive that I want to do if I’m stuck in front of the TV and the fact that I so constantly want to go back to it is a problem.

Worse yet, I’ve noticed that there are sometimes scenes from TV playing in my head during the day. I don’t want TV in my head that much. I want room for my own creative thoughts! So I’m glad I’m doing this. I may not be going full days without TV yet but I’m working at it. And learning what some good substitutes are for me. So all in all, a good start.

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Do I Learn Anything from Crime TV?

If I have any sort of addiction then it is probably an addiction to television crime shows. I like almost all of them and will watch pretty much any of them if I can get my hands on a whole season’s worth of shows at once.

Mostly I think that this addiction is a negative thing. I make myself paranoid about crime and have to remind myself that these shows don’t depict the real statistics of crime in my area. I waste a lot of time that could be spent on better endeavors than watching TV.

But every once in awhile, I think that I learn things from these shows. From watching these shows, I’ve gained a pretty accurate understanding of a lot of modern crime issues including the controversy of the national DNA database, the tough issues surrounding how to deal with transgender people in the prison system and the emotional side of being someone who fights crime.

I do think that TV is generally bad for you in big doses but also think that it can be watched in moderation as an educational tool. Now I just need to learn how to do that moderation thing!

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