NPR and TeeVee

March 2, 2009 at 1:25 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

My days are filled with feeding, burping, changing, and rocking the baby to sleep. Over and over in roughly that order. These tasks would become utterly mundane if I didn’t have NPR podcasts and a DVR working overtime. During the night times and early mornings I listen to This American Life, Fresh Air, Movies, and Talk of the Nation. This episode, hosted by author Richard Florida about his recent article in The Atlantic was particularly poignant. While James and I eke out a living amid the rising costs of raising a child, we’re faced with an entirely new shift in thinking about The American Dream. Since our marriage in 2004 we’ve socked away money intended for a down payment on a house. Our intentions at home-ownership thwarted by our recent move from KC to DC, we’ve been looking for ways to start saving again so we can buy property here. In the meantime we’re renting a great house that’s within walking distance to the metro, close to our friends, right next to the highway, and surrounded by parks, hiking trails, and a surprising amount ofgreen space. I’m beginning to think, after listening to this podcast and reading the Atlantic article, the “in the meantime” isn’t where renting should be relegated. Renting apartments and houses over the past ten years has afforded us the flexibility to move to new cities, live in areas we might not ordinarily be able to afford to buy, and avoid pesky property taxes. When something breaks (or the pipes burst, as they did this winter), we call the landlord, and he foots the bill for the repairs. Sure, we can’t renovate, and we’re unlikely to paint because we’ll just have to paint again when we move. But, honestly, we don’t aspire to do either of those things. With the economy and the housing market in shambles, you’d think it would be a good time to buy. But we’re better served living close to mass transit and owning only one car — something I doubt we could do in a house in our price range. We’ve got a two-year lease on our current house, and something tells me we’ll be extending our stay for quite some time.

During the day and evening leading up to Liam’s bedtime I’m either working on the computer during his cat naps(lately researching nanny stuff) or watching lots of TV. I’m actually surprised by the number of shows I’ve been watching. Something that will likely taper off once Liam starts becoming more active. He’s still sleeping a lot these days, and he loves to be held. and i love to cuddle him. So we curl up on the couch and watch Big Love, Brothers & Sisters, Lost, Burn Notice, Life on Mars, The Office, 30 Rock, Grey’s Anatomy, ER, The Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother, Chuck, Battlestar Galactica (sadly, the last season) and Joss Whedon’s new offering, Dollhouse. On that note, I have to mention that I’m not sure how much longer I’ll be watching that last one. Whedon is responsible for my favorite show of all time, Firefly, and the creativity behind Dr. Horrible (be sure to watch the “Commentary the Musical” on the DVD — so worth it). But the three episodes of Dollhouse I’ve seen have been very disappointing. Not only is the timeline confusing, but the plot is kind of hokey. James and I find ourselves looking at each other incredulously as the main character very blandly switches from one character to another. She’s supposed to be imprinted with different identities, but so far they’ve been a slight variation on “hot girl/secret agent”. I’ve discovered a new show on Showtime, United States of Tara (incidentally, set in Overland Park, KS), which stars Toni Collett as a suburban mom with multiple personalities. Now here’s some good acting. I would have liked to have seen something on par with Collett’s performance in Whedon’s new show. But I have a feeling Dollhouse will be short-lived, and unless it picks up in the next couple of episodes, I’m deleting it from my lineup.


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