Yesterday I was on the phone with my brother Mike and his wife Fran comes on the other line screeching "It's a tiara! It's a tiara! I'm a princess and this is my tiara!" at somebody, presumably me. Normally I would assign this type of outburst to Fran actually believing herself a princess and wanting to make sure that it was well understood by everyone within hearing distance (and possibly further since I was on the phone and nowhere near her location,) but sadly she was addressing only me. This is sad because the words she was saying were lines from a recent episode of The Big Bang Theory and she knew that I would recognize them as such since apparently I now watch that fucking show.
I'm not sure when I became the type of person who watches The Big Bang Theory. I didn't used to be this kind of person. I used to do... um, other things.
I can't seem to remember what they were, but they weren't anything to do with watching The Big Bang Theory , that's for fucking sure. This is one of the problems with being this type of person. My ability to think has most likely been impaired from lack of use. It's like when you don't drive a car for a while and when you finally go to drive it... the battery is dead.
Or something like that. I don't know. I used to be able to come up with more than just a serviceable metaphor, but now I watch television so I guess... something. Fuck.
Also, because my brain is dead there will apparently be a marked increase in the amount of swearing in this post because that's how stupid people talk.
It's not like this is the The Big Bang Theory's fault. It's not a bad show. Many people work hard to produce this program and many, many people watch it and enjoy themselves on a regular basis. And I'm happy for them! I know I sound like I'm being a sarcastic, artsy dickhead right now, but that isn't my intention (this particular time.) This was not intended to be criticism of the show or their viewers, only an observation of the questionable choices I make. It's just that I feel I should be doing something creative with my time instead of watching the product of other people's creativity.
That's not even really the problem because when I read the Chuck Klosterman's Eating The Dinosaur this week I didn't consider it a waste of time and that's clearly a different person's brain at work. In my opinion, it's not so much that reading a book scores higher on the Cosmic Scale of Importance than watching TV, it's just that one endeavor usually inspires at least some kind of minimal brain activity and the other inspires me to eat an entire frozen pizza and stop thinking for the rest of the night.
Three years ago I moved to my new apartment and, as part of a conscious decision to try to be more creative and produce more work, I didn't bring my TV with me. I was going to use my free time to draw, write, get drunk with my friends, talk my girlfriend out of her clothes, get drunk by myself... whatever. It didn't have to be something amazing, it just had be something. This included watching TV if I really wanted to do it. That is the key! I didn't want to just come home from work and automatically flip through the channels until I managed to find the least awful thing to watch. If there was a program that I really wanted to watch I could always dial it up on the Internet and watch it on my computer. That would be fine because I would be actively choosing to stimulate my brain in a slightly less stimulating way.
And, as we all know, slightly less stimulating is sometimes my thing.
This mostly worked fine until recently. I'm not sure when it started, maybe when I was sick with some kind of flu-thing, but for the last few months I've been watching every crappy sitcom I can find on the network websites. Yes, it's that bad. Sitcoms. I can't even say that I waste my life watching some cool HBO show or an uppity BBC America show. I watch 2 Broke Girls and The New Girl and any other show with 'girl' in the title. And fucking Suburgatory. I even liked The Big Bang Theory so much that I went back and watched the previous four goddamn seasons, probably telling myself something like it would enrich my understanding of the character's story arcs if I started at the beginning, to justify such a waste of time.
Then, at some point, I stopped caring about justification and just came home every night and watched TV.
The saddest part of all may be that since I have to watch TV on my computer, I don't even get to flop all over the couch and relax while I do it. I sit at my desk for hours with my junk-food smorgasbord laid out in front of me, trying to find a new position in my desk chair that might resemble something comfortable. As you might expect, after four or five hours of How I Met Your Mother these are harder and harder to come by. It's usually when my back hurts too much to take anymore (or when my stomach is so full that food is visible in the back of my throat) that I get up to go to bed and find out that both of my legs are asleep. Between my dead legs and the lightning bolts of pain shooting up my sore back I can barely shamble to bed like a drunken, tortilla chip crumb covered zombie.
I lead a glamorous life.
Strangely, I don't seem to have the patience to sit through a single hour-long crime show even though I can sit through six half-hour episodes of The League with minimal effort. Maybe television dramas aren't my thing. Maybe after I've watched every season of every sitcom on earth I might be able to get back to being productive in my life!
Maybe I'll give goddamn Chicago Fire a try just to be certain that prime-time melodrama isn't my thing...