20 Aug 2014
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If Only I Had Twins

I’m not anti-television. It’s just that there are better options available.

If Only I Had Twins

Last year, the Minnesota Twins decided to broadcast most of their games with Fox Sports North, a cable channel, instead of on a free local network. This saddened me since we love Twins baseball but don’t have cable television.

That’s right. We’re weirdos who choose not to spend hundreds of dollars per year to turn ourselves into Jimmy Jet and His TV Set.

Besides Twins games (and Mad Men, of course) I don’t consider abstaining from cable TV too much of a sacrifice. In my opinion, Modern Family is probably the only other “must-see” television show, and it’s free on ABC. (Also available on the ABC player for iPad.)

Then there’s Netflix and Hulu, both of which offer decent, commercial-free programming for a fraction of the cost of cable. This makes it easier for me to be choosy. I’m less apt to mindlessly tune in to shows that are overhyped or over the top.

Why be tempted to waste time with any housewives or, God forbid, Snookie. And I only needed to read the reviews of HBO’s new Sunday night series, Girls, to be grateful that we don’t have cable.

I’m aware that I’m not the norm. That most people enjoy their TV time. And I’m not saying TV is not enjoyable.

I’m only suggesting setting some limits. Not just on how much we watch, but what we watch. Does being entertained have to equal endless grisly crime scene investigations, celebrity news or genital jokes?

Let’s all bust out ! There is so much great fiction available, contrary to whatever’s implied by this year’s lack of a Pulitzer Prize for fiction.

Excellent fiction has the power to enlighten, inspire, educate, promote empathy and broaden our view of the world. Some favorite titles that fit the bill include Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward, The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri and Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese.

To discover more titles you might enjoy, check out www.goodreads.com for tons of book reviews and recommendations!

Prefer non-fiction? Maybe try Cleopatra by Stacy Schiff or Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit, or Imagine by Jonah Lehrer. All seem like time well spent.

What I prefer not to read are poorly written attempts to shock me with things like vampires, violence, or vixens.

Maybe you’ve recently overheard your girlfriends giggling about a certain series that’s received raised eyebrows of attention. If you’re considering sneaking a peek, I say, don’t bother. A friend’s review, titled Fifty Shades of Overrated, told me all I needed to know.

To be real, there are times that I do choose TV over books. But mostly, I prefer a library card to a TV remote.

Now if only the library would broadcast Twins games, then I’d have all the television I needed. Wouldn’t it be fun to watch some Twins baseball together in Woodbury’s amphitheater? We could bring our kids, check out some books, get some ice cream, and then enjoy what’s being withheld from us: less expensive major league baseball.

That’d be nice. Just sayin’.


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