After a solid week of of annoying, frustrating, and downright pathetic events, I finally broke free from the streak of bad days and had a perfectly lovely one!  I took the day off to drive 50 miles for my annual appointment with my neurologist (par-tay, I know!) and meet a friend for lunch.  We enjoyed a relaxing al fresco lunch followed by some leisurely window-shopping.  Ahh, it was wonderful to have a little bit of a social life and spend some time hanging out with M.

Overall, my social life has been a bit . . .  missing . . . lately.   Spring Break solitude was  my own fault – I started reading* and spent 5 days living inside those pages.   I think I really needed the escape (it’s been at least a year since I dove that far into fiction), but it doesn’t do much for my “real” life.   Thus, I’m looking for events to attend this spring – you know, something to get me out and about with actual people.  So far I have mostly discovered that I have been in the wrong city at the wrong time!  But I did find at least one upcoming art fair that I should be able to attend.  One is a start, right?

While my real life has been a bit bland, my imaginary social life seems to be going pretty well.  I continue to virtually stalk Stephen Fry via Twitter.  OK, so he Tweets me, but it seems a little weird to receive so many charming messages from a man I’m not dating.  And since he’s been traveling in exotic locations with no data coverage, he’s not Tweeting a dozen times a day . . . and I feel a bit like I’ve been dumped.  Sad, isn’t it?  No worries – I just found Greg Grundberg, one of my Heroes.  And, frankly, Brent Spiner makes my imaginary social life seem completely sane.  Heh.

Well, I have a day of sheer drudgery ahead of me — laundry, bills, cleaning, etc. — and then one more day of fun and relaxation with another friend.  I have to say that taking a day off work to play is a very good thing for the psyche.   Coming back to work on a Tuesday (i.e. a short week) is a bonus.

OK, time to crash for the evening.  This is my favorite part of the day – being unconscious.   Now that the sinus infection is starting to break up, and the shoulder exercises are reducing the rotator cuff pain, and the dental work is easing the ache of that pesky molar, I can actually sleep!  This is a very good thing.  I’m a happier me when I get to be unconscious for most of the night.  Wish me luck.

Oh, and for those of you keeping track of my Time Warner Cable rants, they haven’t killed a channel in the last month.  They have, however, announced that they’ll start a tiered pricing plan for Internet usage by summer.   Keep  in mind that TWC doesn’t tell you how much bandwidth you use . . . so there’s no way to predict how many gigs of bandwidth you need each month.   Surprises are nice when they arrive in a box with a big bow . . . not so nice when they arrive in the form of a much-higher cable bill.  I suspect that my Hulu/iTunes/Internet radio days are coming to and end (good thing I never got around to NetFlix and their streaming movies).   When TWC pulled our NBC affiliate a few months ago, they encouraged users to hook their computers up to the TV and stream the shows.  How evil is that?  Get us hooked on streaming video, then start charging to access each program.  Nice business model – if you’re following the ethical standards of Enron and Bernie Madoff.  I’d love to switch providers, but there are no alternatives — my apartment complex has an exclusive deal with TWC and the only competitor in the area doesn’t even recognize my street address.

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*I read the Twilight series over Spring Break – 4.25 books in 5 days.  If you lack a week of leisure time, enjoy strong female characters, or have any literary standards, I suggest you read the synopsis and save yourself all the eye-rolling.  There was a compelling story somewhere under all the prattle, because I kept reading and hoping I would be rewarded for my tenacity, but I wonder just how long these books will survive once the fanatics grow up and find real literature.   I also suggest skipping the movie – I suspect that banging your head against the wall would be an equally-effective use of your time.  I’m still miffed that I’ll never get those 2 hours of my life back (and I’m still not sure what the movie was about).

Time Warner Cable and LIN Television (the company that owns our local NBC station) have been bickering about money.  They took their squabble public, advertising on TV and radio for the last couple of months, so each can complain about how the other one is being unfair.  Frankly, I think they’re both being greedy: TWC charges consumers to carry local stations, and now the local broadcasters want a piece of that revenue.  Neither would budge.  So the NBC signal was yanked from the lineup as of Friday.

Once again, corporations bicker and the only people who lose are the consumers who want and pay for the service.  Sure, NBC is free if you have an antenna – but I live too far away from the broadcast towers to get a signal.  So there goes my plan to follow ony three TV shows this year – Chuck and Heroes are no longer an option.  Yes, I know I can watch them on NBC.com or Hulu, but the reality is that I won’t.  My tiny computer screen is not as easy to view as the TV, and when the computer is on I tend to be doing other tasks.  Hard to multi-task when watching a TV show in the same screen real estate.

I went 3 days last week without turning on the TV.  Looks like the trend will continue with even longer streaks now that I’m even angrier about having my choices taken away from me.   I’d tell TWC to shove it and take my business elsewhere, but I still need Internet service and they’re the only game in town.   My apartment complex has (or had, if it’s been made illegal now) an exclusive contract with TWC.  Even if the law allows me to change providers, there aren’t any . . . AT&T U-Verse doesn’t serve my Zip code, and the competitor cable company doesn’t recognize my address.

I hated TWC for screwing me over back in 1996 and I survived 10 years just fine without cable.  I had to pay for basic cable just to receive local stations here . . and once again I find that I hate TWC with a renewed passion of a thousands firery suns.   I obviously don’t need network TV in my life anymore.  I get my news off the Internet and I’m probably just as well off not knowing about severe weather (I don’t have a basement anyway).  From now on, I’m watching my Iron Man DVDs.  Thanks to Jon Favreau’s excellent planning there’s enough content to keep me busy for weeks to come.

Oh – Time Warner  Cable and  LIN Television – you both can bite my shiny white ass.   I’ll be bringing both of you a handbasket with some directions . . . .