Friday, March 7, 2014

You can say what you want, but don’t step on my blue suede shoes


This is my favorite pair of shoes.  They don’t look so bad, right?  I own three pair of dress shoes, two pair of ‘work shoes’ (Hush Puppies Mall Walkers), a pair of athletic shoes (or whatever they’re called these days) and some sandals, but these Vans are the ones I wear pretty much everywhere.  The grocery, my sister’s house, the pizza place up the street… they slip off & on almost on their own.  I bought ‘em way back in 1995 because they reminded me of the ones Kurt Cobain wore and they looked really comfortable.  (Has he really been gone 20 years?) 

The reason I shared them here is because it seems that at least once a week, one of my friends will feel the need to remind me how cheap I am.  I will then feebly protest, and someone listening in will tell me to 1) spend more money 2) live a little 3) give them money so they can live a little too. 


October 1996--yep that’s me, holding my 2 year old niece Drew while my sister Donda and our older brother Duke look on. 

Drew is 20 years old now, and did you notice the shoes I happen to be wearing?

I’d like to state for the record that I’m not wasteful, but I don’t think I’m cheap either.  Hey, I add a 20% tip to my check when dining out and Angie (who cuts my hair) gets 25.  (That’s percent, not cents!)  I may be a bit more frugal than some, but I believe it’s going to serve me well in the long run.  (Yes, I’m talking about those dreams of early retirement again—when I hear coworkers lament about the decades ahead they’ll still be working, I nod my head in sympathy but I’m rubbing my hands together in my brain and estimating my own work-sentence in DAYS.  A thousand plus or so, we’ll see!)  So until I meet the love of my life and feel the need to impress her with a $17 hamburger at the Steel Grille for lunch, I will happily settle for that six dollar turkey-burger in the cafeteria upstairs.   And continue wearing those 20 year old Vans too.

Of course, all of that brings me to the real reason why I’m writing this—my  outrageous cable bill!  I got mine a couple days ago and why in God’s name am I paying $121.00 a month?  I don’t subscribe to any premium stuff like HBO or Showtime, but I do have 745 Latino, childrens and sports channels to choose from.  The only shows I’m watching on cable (besides my local networks) are old Waltons reruns, ‘Pawn Stars’ on History, ‘The Little Couple’ & ‘Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo’.  Jesus, I’m paying over a hundred bucks a month to watch Mama June yell at Sugar Bear.  God help me!

So last night, I googled ‘paying too much for cable’ and saw I wasn’t alone.  There’s a million couch potatoes like myself out there who can’t live without their tvs either, but also feel like they’re throwing away money.  One guy (who lives in an apartment building like me) asked what can he do, as he can’t exactly put an antenna on his roof.  Someone suggested he try an indoor ‘leaf antenna’ (it looks like a sheet of paper you tack to the wall) and someone else said “if you want to see a sampling of what an indoor antenna can do for you, shape a paper-clip into an “L” and stick it in your RF input on the back of your set.  If you get any channels, you can probably lose that cable.”   Okay, where’s a paperclip when you need one?

Here’s my newfangled “L” antenna

I wasn’t expecting much, but I set my tv-input to “antenna” and stuck the shorter end of this into the cable-input.  And as I turned around to get my remote to scan for channels, the tv suddenly sprang to life with a local NBC station in all it’s high-def glory; I mean absolute clarity.

I’m getting 12 digital channels (three of them break up at random intervals but the others are crystal clear). 

Still, I couldn’t believe it; from a paper clip??  I even unplugged the other end of the cable from the wall, just to be sure—and I suddenly felt a noose lifted from my neck that was made from coaxial cable. 

My next step here is to get a “real” indoor antenna, to see if I can pick up the rest of the local goods.  I see that Mohu Leaf on Amazon is pretty popular.  As for a DVR, I could go with a Tivo.  It’s $14.99 a month, but that’s a hundred bucks less than what I’m paying now—plus you can record 4 channels simultaneously.  Take that Comcast!

Hmm… I’m suddenly feeling a little anxious here.  Am I really ready to cut those apron strings cable hookups?  Or am I just being cheap again?   I’ll keep you posted! 

                             Oh and finally—this is my 200th post



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...