Maybe I Should Get Cable Now

As many people already know, we cut cable several years age. We haven’t always eschewed television. Once, we had digital cable with over 300 channels. Shut up. I know that’s like a basic package these days, but back then, it was a big deal. For the record, though, it was still 300 channels of nothing to watch. Eventually, we cancelled service completely and never looked back. Until now.

We have the converter box thingy that makes everything all digital-like, but we don’t pay for extra channels. Our television cost us $10 at a garage sale. Four years ago. No need to gild that particular lily. So the regular programming we now have available consists of three different PBS stations, CBS, Fox, and NBC, which really is three stations too many, since network television now seems to boast nothing but B-list celebrities in reality shows. And PBS has Sherlock. I’m covered. And then came the Olympics.

I get NBC. I figured we were all set. We brought our Olympic-sized snacks down to the family room to get our game on. The Padawan is the only one in the house who knows how to actually turn the television on (don’t get me started. Apparently the cables have to be just-so if you have been playing the Super Nintendo or the VCR.), so he worked his magic, and we were good to go. And what did we get? Women’s volleyball.

Before all the athletic supporters of the world tie me in a net and spike coconuts at my head, let me say I used to like volleyball. I did. I even played. In gym class and stuff, but whatevs. I was good.

I distinctly remember the day my gym teacher approached me and my friend on the court. He said “We’ve got a spot on the team. Are you interested?” I said I’d think about it. Turns out, he wasn’t actually talking to me. He was recruiting my friend.    With all the diplomacy he could muster, the coach said “We’ve got a spot for you, too. We need a statistician.” Yeah. A score keeper. That’s like your best pal getting asked out on a date by the cutest guy in school and being invited to go along. As the driver. I watched my Olympic dreams go up in smoke that day. I’m not bitter. Nor apparently am I good at volleyball.

I tried to watch the game. These are Olympic athletes, after all. God bless the whole world, and all that. But, and  this is strictly off the record, I did not enjoy it. In high school volleyball, the best teams are the ones that actually get a volley going and keep it going. If you’re good, the ball stays in the air for longer than a serve. Olympic level volleyball goes something like this:

Ball is served.

Ball is hit.

Ball is hit again.

Ball hits ground.

Everyone hugs each other and holds hands. 

Maybe that last is just the women’s teams. I didn’t stick around for the guys’. In tennis, the score would be love-15. In volleyball, it’s love everybody. I wouldn’t enjoy playing at the Olympics. Too much hugging.

The ball was touched about three times before it hit the ground, leaving the impression that both teams stink. Score one for the Olympics. Or don’t score. I’m not sure.  After forty-five minutes, I went upstairs to gouge my eyeballs out make popcorn, and when I came downstairs again, the score was the same. I think. My TV is kind of small.

While I was making popcorn, I made the mistake of checking Twitter. There, someone in my feed was discussing Dressage. I followed the conversation, and it was then I discovered that everyone else in the country could watch Dressage, or swimming, or even archery. Oooh, there’s a sport! Who doesn’t dream of shooting holes in things with arrows and winning a prize for it?! No, really. I would totally watch archery. Especially if my only option was volleyball. And why were my choices so limited while my friends had the world at their fingertips? Because my friends have cable! 

No matter. We’re cool.We would just catch the highlights of all the good stuff after 7:30pm. After dinner, armed with my super-sized box of Junior Mints, we resumed our position on the couch, thanking the Olympic committee that Women’s Volleyball coverage was good and over. And had moved on to Beach Volleyball.

Kill me now. And sign me up for cable.

Wow. This was way bigger on my computer screen.

A Super Bowl Story

Nothing says "biggest game of the year" like food.

As we all set aside our political differences for an evening to hold hands and sing kumbaya watch the game, I thought I’d share my Super Bowl story. Because you were hoping that I would. Get a hanky. It’s a sad story.

My husband and I had been married a year and a half, but it was to be our first Super Bowl under the same roof.    I was so very excited. It is practically a religious holiday, and I was going to make it special.

No other day of the year offers the same opportunity to stuff my pie hole with enormous quantities of high fat food. Guilt free. Something about watching the Big Game makes consuming more calories in a single meal than a collegiate power lifting team a-okay. Without the game, it’s just unbridled gluttony.

I know nothing about football, but I had a routine. I collected decadent recipes that included such non-foods as Velveeta. And Rotel. I shopped gleefully, not caring for one single minute that this vast  pile of cholesterol and artificial colors was going to feed just me and my husband.

I was able to step out of my comfort zone for the love of the game. I watched ESPN, the news, searched through the Bible, and even broke down and bought a TV Guide to ascertain the scheduled time for tip-off.  7pm. I even picked “my” team. I always root for the underdog, though truthfully, I have yet to see Underdog actually take the field. But whatever.

I was so happy. Cheesy sausage dip simmering in the slow cooker, corn chips (name-brand, no less) waiting on the counter, pizza, hot cookies coming out of the oven. Hours of binge-eating and watching the Budweiser frogs with my new husband. Does life even get any better than that?

At 7pm, I turned the television on. I flipped through a few stations, but the game hadn’t started. Undaunted, I gave the “cheese” dip a stir to break up the cholesterol clots, loaded my plate, and took my spot on the couch.

7:10 My plate was nearly empty, but there was no game to be found. I checked the TV Guide again, wondering if I had gotten the time wrong, of it it was merely delayed. I fixed more food and waited.

7:20 The button on my jeans burst. Still no game. I flipped through the channels again, but more slowly this time. Perhaps I was only hitting the correct station at a commercial break. But the commercials weren’t that funny. I got a little more food. I no longer recall if my husband was even there.

7:30. I scraped the last of the Velveeta out of the slow cooker. No game. I finally did what any die-hard sports fan would do in this situation. I called my mom. She assured me that the game was being broadcast, as she was watching it herself, and “darn it if Underdog hadn’t just scored! Did you see that play?” I had not. And would not. As it turns out, the game was being aired on Fox. Our back-of-beyond mountain holler was hooked up to cable that boasted four different HBO’s and a Showtime. The only station we could not get. Was Fox.

I think I cried. Or threw up. Unbridled gluttony sometimes wins.

I may still eat this on game day, even if I don't have cable. Who am I to mess with tradition?

Nearly Wordless Wednesday: Superbowl Pick

I heard on the radio yesterday that this Sunday is the big night of commercials game. Avid sports fan that I am, I thought I would share Squish’s most expert pick.


Introducing the judge:

I would bet all my money on this guy's pick. I'd vote him for president. He's obviously adventurous.


And now for your Superbowl champion…


That is, indeed, a super bowl. It is obviously using The Force on his hair.


A closeup of the victor


And you thought I didn’t know anything about basketball…soccer?…cricket?