Okay, so I finally caved in and got cable television. Not because I want to watch it all the time, mind you, but because I wanted high-speed internet access in my apartment. Now, in order to do that, you have to either have a landline from SBC or cable television from Comcast. Of course, there is always satellite high-speed internet but the roof of my building is so crowded with dishes it's starting to look like a goddamn kitchen cabinet up there. Besides, I'd hate to be downloading something when some fool up on the roof drunkenly, tweakingly, or stonily bumps my dish and knocks me offline.
That would make me mad, but I digress.
Anyway, I decided since I would never use a landline anyway but would occasionally watch television (besides, I get horrible reception in North Beach) I opted for Comcast high-speed. Besides, they were running a special where it's $40 cheaper to have cable and internet combined instead of just internet. I did the math, and now I can get NBC again, which was completely dead to me. "Conan O'-who? And what is this Will & Grace thing I keep hearing about?"
So while I was out of town, the nice people from Comcast sent a well-meaning, albeit mouthbreathing and knuckledragging, "tech" person out to my house to install the cables, since I tore them out when I had the floor redone. Well, let's just say the Comcast person must have tried their best. However, they came up short on a few different points...let me explain.
My computer is supposed to be sitting on my desk in my dressing room. This is approximately 35 feet from the front door of my apartment. However, when I returned home, the cable modem was sitting on my dining table near the front door, coaxial cable was strung along the trim around the front and kitchen doors (directly against my wishes), plus cable thrown loosely on the floor behind the bar and sofa, and there were no cables anywhere near my desk where my computer was.
As it turns out, the Comcast guy looked at my OLD computer (when I say old, I mean it originally ran Windows 3.1 ten years ago) instead of my NEW computer which was sitting next to it. He saw my computer didn't have a USB port, so he couldn't hook it up. Well, no shit. Besides, the only reason why I keep it is because it has some cool MP3's and an Atari 2600 emulator that only runs on Windows 98.
So here is where I am confused...why did the Comcast guy think my table needed internet access? I mean, there isn't a power switch or USB port anywhere to be found, or even a keyboard. There isn't even a floppy drive. It's a fucking table. I mean, it's doing a good job HOLDING my keyboard and monitor right now since I had to drag my tower into the living room in order to check my e-mail, but asthetically it's rather unpleasing and I'd rather be doing this in my dressing room where my computer stuff and built-in desk are. It took 3 phone calls to Comcast and my annoyed and firm, yet not unpleasant voice to get another appointment for them to come out and fix their fuckup.
Okay, enough about Comcast and their roving band of tards. /rant
So last night I got home after a long trip from LA and was delighted to find out I now have like, 80 channels on basic cable. CNN, MSNBC, MTV, VH1, BET, Discovery, all sorts of channels plus all my locals...I have 'em all. In fact, last night Chris and I watched Conan O'Brien's opening monologue for the first time EVER in this apartment after watching Letterman on KPIX-5 for the first time without lines across his face and a strange bar on the left side of the screen (the hills of SF do strange things to your TV reception sometimes). Anyway...anyway...back to yesterday afternoon...I was lying there on my bed, sipping a cocktail, doing bong hits (give me a break...I had just driven from LAX), looking at my clear and sharp picture, marveling at all the shows, when I looked over at my night stand.
There are a stack of books there that I've been reading...I've had a lot of time to do that since I didn't watch TV all that much. They seemed to say to me, "Chad...don't forget about us." I then looked back at the TV, with its bright colors and cheery jingles and products I had no idea I needed being offered to me in rapid-fire succession, fueling my already somewhat-annoying adult ADD, when I suddenly felt like I had just done a nice, fat rail of crystal (something else I avoid at all costs...I should never have tried that crap, I swear).
Maybe it was a stoner revelation, but damn...that TV set felt like an unwelcome intruder that particular second. To be honest, I didn't even want cable, just high-speed internet access so I could continue my unamerican mp3-swapping at an even faster rate and get my photography business off the ground. So I'm actually tempted to simply disconnect the cable, hook the rabbit ears back up, and still enjoy the internet at the lower rate.
But you all know that's not gonna happen. Comcast has given me a bump of something...and I can start to feel the addiction growing. The nice, clear, sharp picture is so pretty...I can actually read text on the screen now instead of guessing what it might say. When my neighbor runs her blender it no longer scrambles every channel. Plus, I get the community access channel which in itself is absolutely brilliant. But still...it makes me uneasy. After flipping through channels for a few hours I've come to realize about 99% of what's on is utter crap, especially Fox News. What a load of shit that channel is. I almost whipped my lighter at Bill O'Reilly's face last night, but at the last second I realized that 1) Bill wasn't really there with me in my bedroom and 2)I needed it to do another hit after listening to him prattle on for a few minutes.
Okay, that's all. Enough typing for now.