Thursday, August 10, 2006

Just to be polite

I've wanted a DVR for the longest time. Ever since Chili got her TiVO probably. But my cable bill, which includes cable, remote and cable modem, might already be termed astronomical. Some might say that adding to it is foolish. Others would say what's another few bucks when you're already in up to your eyeballs. Final straw is that on Thursdays this fall the networks have seen fit to pit Grey's Anatomy, CSI and the new Aaron Sorkin piece, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip against each other. (Denny's dead! Grissom & Sarah are sleeping together! Aaron motherfucking Sorkin! How's a girl supposed to choose?) I'm not entirely clear on the capacity of the DVR but I believe that it will only catch 2 things at a time, or that I could watch one thing while it was catching another so hard choices will still have to be made, but this helps. (Assuming I can manage to hook the DVR to the VCR anyone who would like to trade tapes of one of these shows for another should let me know in the comments. I love my stories this much. Really. Just ask Miflohny.)

This means that for a few months now I've been scanning the Time Warner web site and reading the limited information about DVR service. There's a price, which is not so bad, and some copy about what it can do but that's it. Do I have to bring my cable box in when I go to get the DVR box? Is it a separate box? What about my remote? Can I go to the storefront in Manhattan or does it have to be the one in Brooklyn? And since I didn't know the answers to these questions I was able to save myself some money by not getting the DVR.

Today, though, I had an impulse to take the next step. I decided I would call and get a human being to answer all my questions. Then I could sit and mull the answers for another month or so until premiere week on NBC when I could panic and get the DVR and fear I'd set it up wrong with only 24 hours to spare or, you know, something.

When you go into a store do you avoid talking to the sales staff? If someone helps you even a little do you feel compelled to buy something to compensate them for their effort? Has this sort of irrational guilt resulted in ownership of things like blister-inducing shoes, aqua colored sunglasses and expensively trendy dog treats that your dog won't eat if it's a choice between that and chewing off her own leg?

Yes. Yes. Also yes.

After some automated information on outages and offers for service savings I finally just start hitting "0" until I get into the queue to speak to a human. It informs me nicely that I'll be waiting 3 minutes. Then it proceeds to play an interview with our fine mayor which briefly wigs me out because I can't tell if it's a news station or if he's actually shilling for the cable company, something that seems eerily possible. (Interview, my bad, something about a new tunnel for bringing water into the city. The only specific facts I remember are that it's 60 stories underground and there's one guy and his crane that are responsible for chucking people and equipment down the 60 story hole.) In about 3 minutes Barbara gets on the phone. She's actually pretty lovely and really enthusiastic about her products. She's certain I'm just going to adore my DVR. She answers all my questions and I tell her that's just what I needed and I'm about to say goodbye and feel all informed and shit when she says, "OK, just give me a minute and I'll get you an order number. You just take that up to the desk and they'll give you the new box. You're going to love it!"

I couldn't say no. Then she'd know I was a timid shopper. And lord knows we can't have that, can we?

So, I've got an order number and I've got to figure out a way to get myself out to the cable place in Sunset Park (across from the cemetary, natch) and pick up my adorable DVR box. (Bring the box I have now and my remote - very cool since I dropped the remote a while ago and it has a suspicious rattle.) I'm thinking Saturday since I've got nothing else to do and it'll give me some time to play around with it and get it set up right and test it and stuff. (And call Alex if I screw it up. Hi Alex! Can you put a sitemeter on this blog, too? I'll pay you in beer and dogwalking. No, really. Can you feel the love?) Maybe I'll take the bus out there, I think it's fairly easy and it'd be a nice trip for a lazy Saturday. Or maybe I'll borrow the Mama Girl's car.

OK, yeah, you caught me, I'm actually pretty excited. Which is embarrassing in and of itself but so be it.


  1. I cannot adequately describe the horror of being without TiVo. For almost a whole month, now. I've missed ALL the RMs this summer, ALL the Saved, and reruns of stuff I missed last season. I'm very, very sad.

  2. I'm proud of you sister. No one in the world, the WHOLE FREAKING WORLD needs that box more than you do. I think of mine as an almost religious icon. AND, as far as the $$ goes. who cares. you're not going to paris. you aren't moving in with me in Oklahoma where it's 108 effing degrees today, you aren't sporting a Boxter, or canary diamonds or anything else grossly expensive...and to reward yourself for NOT having/doing these things you get yourself a MAGIC BOX!!! (and not the kind you keep the weed in.) You are going to LOVE LOVE LOVE it. all you need is love.

  3. Woo Hoo! You'll have to tell me how awesome it is, so I can convince the Husband we need one. Won't take much.

    However, not to diminish your NEED for one, because I agree with MKAEP, I think Studio 60 (have I mentioned how excited I am?!) is going to be on Mondays at 10.

  4. As you know, I'm not very high-tech. But I found this thing on my television called the window through which the rest of the unit can be tossed.
    I too want to hook up a site meter. I tried and they told me "paste this gibberish on your blog." Well, paste really messes up the monitor, and the gibberish keeps falling off anyway. Watch Alex closely, because you will be telling me how to paste gibberish.