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Thursday, April 28, 2011

This Translates to a "New" TV

As you may know, my husband and I fled to Arizona to live with his sister. This was to keep her company, as her husband had recently passed away, and mostly because we couldn't afford a place of our own. Now, as you know, my husband has a job in the far south of the city, so we had to move because his sister's place was way too far north and we literally couldn't have afforded the gas, even before the springtime price increases. Even with the gas savings, we're just holding steady in a virtually furniture-free apartment, crossing our fingers for the day we can go back and get our stuff. Then we won't feel so gosh darn poor.

Now my sister-in-law has finally sold that house so far from town and is off this week to move back to California. (Arizona had been her husband's idea.) Good for her! My husband and I feel slightly abandoned to the rattlesnakes, coyotes, gila monsters, and burning sunlight, but her departure for a smaller place means we get even more second-hand stuff. You name it, we can use it. The one that's most drastically changed our quality of life has been that my sister-in-law gave us another TV set. She had given us one that she thought was decent, but it was anything but. The first TV she gave us was 12 or 14 inches, so I had to sit pretty close in order to see the questions on Jeopardy! Its remote control had been lost to the sands of time, and the cable guy didn't give us a cable box or remote because we got the cheapest package. I assure you, we pay for cable, but on this TV, it felt like we were stealing. The TV was really designed to be used with the now missing remote, so in order to use it, we had to take off the front panel and change the channels and volume with the little nubs. Even when I was single and at my poorest, I never had to endure such ignominy. The worst part was, well, it's visible in the picture.
In this picture you can also see the borrowed glass coffee table and a castoff lamp.
The channel number in the middle of the screen, taking up 25% of it, obscuring sight gags and making it impossible to recognize who's talking, never goes away! (This is apparently a common malady of older TV models -- I've seen Craigslist ads with this description!) You have the watch the lower numbered channels to get only half the obstruction.

The result of all this was that I never watched TV until my husband came home and needed to unwind. I think that's the reason I've gotten so much writing and Fireship Press projects done, so it actually added quality to my life ... until I had to look at that screen again.

The "new" TV my sister-in-law gave us is 32 inches or so (ginormous!), so I can see it across the room, read the Jeopardy! questions, and flip through the stultifying channels with the working remote. I feel almost like a princess. Or at least lower middle class. I'm still not watching much TV, but I do feel most grateful to my sister-in-law. I wish her all the best in California.