Friday, February 02, 2007

Package Deal

When Leah and I moved 18 months ago, we upgraded our cable package to digital and got the movie channel package, not yet knowing that new parents don’t get to sit on the couch, let alone sit on the couch and watch a movie. At least not any movie rated for people outside of the 0 – 3 year range. For 18 months, we’ve been paying for every movie channel available (sans the adult movie channels). I know that I watched Shawshank a couple of times, The Interpreter (awful), Bourne Supremacy, and a couple more, but mostly we just watched Entourage and Curb Your Enthusiasm on HBO. We were paying about $15 a month for nothing, really.

A couple of days ago, Charter Communications sent their customers a letter notifying them of rate changes to a few of the packages. I realized that, for considerably less than we were paying for the movie package, we could get the family package (or something like that). I showed it to Leah. As soon as she saw that SoapNet was included in the package, she was SOLD!

Yesterday must have been Leah’s lucky day, because she called at 4:45 and talked to the only person at Charter that cares anything about customer service. Leah explained what we wanted and the Charter rep said, “We can take care of that right now.” I’m not kidding! The rep had Leah turn on the TV and tune to channel 100. The rep then asked, “Do you see BBC America?” Leah said yes and, voila, we had a new cable package. I’m not sure why, but the rep also said that it would be cheaper for us to keep the HBO/Cinemax channels than to drop them. I’ll keep an eye on my bill.

So, now we have BBC America – which still shows the original versions of many American shows, and I get BBC News, which is interesting – we have the 90210 marathon channel that is SoapNet, we have ESPN Classics, a bunch of Discovery channels, countless music video channels like GAC and MTV14 (show tunes – kidding – but there are A LOT of music video channels), and, among many others, NOGGIN!!!

Jack likes the Disney channel mostly for The Wiggles – because they sing and dance - and Go Baby. He also likes the singing and dancing parts of Mickey’s Playhouse, Little Einsteins, Higglytown Heroes…he even likes the Doodlebops (which tend to FREAK me out) and Imagination Movers (Leah haaaates the guy in goggles). This morning, though, I tuned in to Noggin and Sesame Street was on. Bert and Ernie, Grover, Zoe… he absolutely loved the puppet type characters. It could have been because it was new, but he was fixated. We’ve only had it for 12 hours, but it appears that Noggin is geared toward the smaller kids and Disney takes the 4 year-olds and older.

Let’s see, what else? I actually fell asleep yesterday writing my article for the journal submission. That can’t be a good sign. I’m just trying to get the skeleton on paper, though, and I’ll go back and add color when I’m done. I haven’t heard back from the editors, but I’m plowing through as if my idea has been accepted. I’ve already spent the $300, so they better publish my article.

I’m going to a conference in Orlando in October. We’re trying to decide if Leah and Jack could/should join me. I know that he’d have a good time once he got there, but would getting there be the end of all three of us? How do you travel with a child that’s supposed to be in a car seat? I know we have options on the plane, but what about the cab ride from the airport to the hotel? It would be almost a free trip. My airfare, meals, and the hotel room would be taken care of, and Leah could use SkyMiles for her ticket (and probably Jack’s ticket also). We’d have to buy their food and each of us a one-day pass to Disney World, but the major portions of the trip would be free. Alas, one of my favorite all time sayings is, “nothing's free”. What do you think?

Lastly, I never thought that I would miss people telling me that I look like George Clooney. It used to irritate me to no end, mainly because I never really knew how to respond. Oh, I’ve worked on a few responses, even used a couple like, “well, that can’t be good news for him” or “that’s probably not all bad, is it?” Last Halloween, when someone told me that I looked like Clooney, I responded with, “it’s just a mask”. The human equivalent of a 404 error flashed on his face. (I’ve never really felt comfortable when the comparison came from another guy). A few weeks ago, the girl at the McDonald’s drive thru went old school on me and told me that I looked that I looked like “Doug from ER”. I kind of got a chuckle from that.

Now for the worst story that scores the highest on the unintentional comedy scale. We went to dinner somewhere in Florida with my parents and my aunt. As we were paying to leave, the lady behind the counter said, “It could be worse, people could say that you look like Rosanne Barr.” Without ever looking at the woman, I responded, “Yes, that would be bad” as I signed the credit card receipt. I dotted my 'i' and, 5 seconds too late, looked at the woman for the first time. She was the spitting image of Rosanne Barr. I could not get out of there fast enough. I’m kind of embarrassed right now as I can still see the look of utter disgust on the lady’s face.

There’s an Arby’s right up the street that I can’t go to any more because the employees, well, it’s mainly the manager, scream “Hey George Clooney. George Clooney everybody. Somebody ring the bell!”

Any way, I just thought that I’d never miss being told that I looked like George Clooney…but lately people have been telling me that I look like Taylor Hicks. What's worse, the mail person for our building believes that I look like Taylor Hicks, and every time I see her in the hall - whether she's 5 feet away or 50 yards down the hall, she yells, "Taylor Hicks! Taylor Hicks!" I don’t think that I really look like either one of them, but if I had a choice, I’m picking George Clooney – even if it is being rumored that he was seen macking up on Pamela Anderson.

Wow, that was a whole lot of nothing, huh? Sorry, there’s just not much happening at the moment.

Have a good weekend!


Katie said...

Leah told me about the SoapNET. I am going to have to check into that.

I don't know if the Disneyland plan is wise at this point. Yall go and let us know how it goes.

I don't think you should worry about Rosanne. It would be worse if people told you are a man! And just what is wrong with being like Taylor? I bet Toots loves it!

Karly said...

Charter has significantly improved their customer service as of late. Granted, they had to consolidate all of their local offices into one mega-office that does NOT EVEN HAVE A PHONE, but hey, whatever it takes. I know the new package is worth it to Leah for the SOAPNET, but you do realize that you can watch Sesame Street on PBS without paying extra.

Love the 404 error comment.

Michelle said...

We took Noah to Maui when he was two years old. We took his car seat and checked it with our baggage. When we went somewhere we had it if we needed it. Our flight was 4 hours to LA and then 4 1/2 to Maui. On the way home it was 11 hours with one stop for fuel. Noah never got upset and he actually slept a lot. Take a bag of new toys that he has never seen for the plane. Everything will be new and exciting. When he gets bored with one toy, pull out another new toy. We also took a portable DVD player and took his favrite things to watch. I think you should go for it!

Karly said...

I hereby revoke my positive comments about Charter and there is NO WAY IN HELL I would take my child to Maui.

Katie said...

Oh goodness Karly. What did Charter do?

Jammy said...

Well, as I said, Thursday was Leah's lucky day. The new box was installed yesterday and we were getting every channel - I MEAN EVERY CHANNEL - in Charter's lineup EXCEPT SoapNet. When Leah called and told the guy what was going on, he said, "well, you're not supposed to be getting all of those channels." No kidding. When she asked about SoapNet, HE ASKED HER what she thought the problem might be. Leah said, "I don't work for the cable company, you do!"