Tuesday, April 10, 2007


As you readers know, Tony and I love us some TV. We like all types of things on TV. However, Tony recently decided that it was an overload of media and that he was sick of it. I don’t blame him. I was kind of sick of it too. We now have to find other things to do. As this has only really been going on for a few days we have been ok. As the week progresses we may run out ofother things to do. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Keep in mind that all things have to be completely free.

The first night we painted. Our first x-mas together one of Tony’s presents was a painting I did. I promised that it was the first in a series of three and that he would get the next one either for his birthday or Christmas the next year. Two Birthdays and two Christmases later, he still only has one painting. The beginning of the second has been done for close to 7 months but I haven't ever finished it. Now it is 95% done. To finish I need masking tape, I don’t have any. I’m broke. The soonest it can be finished is Friday. My sister got me a nice set of paints for Christmas and there was a small matboard included so Tony used it to paint a picture of Mr. Snodgrass, our plecostomus. It is a very nice picture.

Yesterday we played a game of scrabble. Usually I can get Tony to play two in a row but yesterday was not one of those days. We also played a fair amount of Bully, our current video game. We realize a video game is a lot like TV but it isn’t the same. Bully is funny and fun. Tony also suggested that we write a children’s book. We started. It was tons of fun. We work very well together and aren’t offended when the other doesn’t agree with where the story is going.

We undoubtedly have a lot more we can do with our story, we can probably play a few more games of scrabble and are only 43% finished with Bully. However, I don’t know how long this aversion to television will last. It is getting nice outside so we can go for walks more often. Tonight he is planning to go buy a bike (thanks Mom) so he can ride around all day. I hate biking so I won’t be joining him in that activity.

I can’t help but think we will need a few more things to do. We are creative people but can only clean the house, play with artistic expression, and beat up those who try to control us so much before we run out of things to do. So what do you do? I know there are some non TV addicts out there. Let’s hear some ideas.

Sweet Leaf, Black Sabbath- So here is the thing. This song is freaking awesome. I feel bad about how opposed I was to Black Sabbath because I associated them with metal and associated metal with hair metal. I’m glad I got over that.

Black Sunshine, Me Phi Me- Some people will see this and laugh hysterically. Others will say, Me Phi Me, what the hell is that? Both are totally valid responses. The invalid response would probably be to say “Me Phi Me, I totally dig them too.”

Swing, Ani DiFranco- The easiest way to ruin a great song is to put a really bad rap at the end of it. The fastest way to ruin anything is, in fact, bad rap. However, if you are at the Radio-Television Correspondents' Association Dinner this rule does not apply. In that case, bad rap is exactly the thing to get the party started.


Kiyotoe said...

sorry Nat, I'm a t.v. fiend so anything I'd say would be to encourage you to turn to ABC so you don't miss the next episode of "Lost"

Katrina said...

Well, we're huge tv watchers too. But on the occasions when we don't watch or I read while he's on the computer we do the following:
1. Scrabble
2. Cribbage (very addictive)
3. Backgammon (used to be how we'd determine what movie to watch, the winner gets to pick with no bitching by the loser) and it's also very addictive

That's about it really.

Good luck in finding other things to do that'll keep you occupied and entertained.

dmarks said...

Do one of those really huge and complicated jigsaw puzzles together.

it's the little things... said...

Your life sounds so sweet and fun... :)

Mom said...

You guys could find more things to read to each other, like you did with "Watership Down." You could read plays together, for a twist. Or just regular books.

When the power went out here a while back, we got out the backgammon board. It was fun.

How about finding free concerts or art exhibits to go to? Just a thought...

terry said...

i was JUST about to suggest the reading to each other thing, but i see your mom's already gotten to it...!

i love all your non-tv watching ideas. what fun.

Always on the Move said...

Do you guys have a camera sitting near by or a digital camera? Then I think you should go on a photo scanvenger hunt or something. Make up some crazy things, or have someone make it up for you, and then go around your city or neighbourhood and take some pics. It's really a lot of fun. You may see things that you never really focused on before...I do this about once a year and love, love, love it!!!!

ENID P. said...

wow... How about monopoly or internet window shopping..


Danielle said...

I second the puzzle suggestion. I can't do them now with the rats (read young boys) so I am feigning for some puzzle time. You guys could write songs and play with genres. I love to paint too. I don't have the extra dough to buy fancy paper so I find rocks with odd shapes and paint what I "see". I think I'll post one for tomorrow. Write a play, make some costumes, get Monica to join in and perform it in the middle of a park. However you spend your time will be a lot more fulfilling than watching tv. We all need a break from the tube from time to time.

CSG said...

buy a kite! You can find very cheap ones and it's a lot of fun. Plus good exercise.

Jeff Roberts said...

Wow, to have time and not know how to spend it...what a great problem to have.

Some areas have a community garden where you can stake out a hundred square feet or two and try your hand at growing some stuff.

Offer to baby-sit or house-sit, and spend the money on your next non-TV venture?

We used to window-shop at places like Home Depot. Or test-drive cars.

Clean up a park or volunteer for a shelter or meals-on-wheels?

Develop intricate schemes to torment and/or embarrass your neighbors?

Exercise? I guess you did mention walks and biking already.

Learn a new language?

Learn to play a musical instrument? Might be hard to make that free, although most families have a trumpet or clarinet under a bed somewhere. Or spend that baby-sitting money on a recorder.

Jeff Roberts said...

Oh, and another blogger mentioned a game where they go to Walmart/Target/etc. and they each have 5 minutes to find each other a gift. You could choose a serious gift, see who can pick the most appropriate/inappropriate gift, funniest gift, etc. Then you put them back.

Toy stores are also fun to wander through. You know, like Lowes :-)

Brooke said...

I like Jeff's idea. That's funny shit. As is the idea of you and Monica doing a play together. I suppose that would be appropriate, since we were supposed to be doing a film together, but that bitch abandoned me. Oh well.
Go to free movies and concerts once it gets warm. And Dude, you're close to the lake. Take advantage of it.

Jaclyn said...

I totally sympathize with you guys on being tired of the television. These days all we ever seem to be doing is watching "King of the Hill", "That 70's Show", or ESPN Sportscenter when we get home.

Of course, we've been buried under another foot and a half of snow for the past few days, so...either way.

Take up knitting. Yarn is cheap (or, wait until I get back and I'll unload all my extra on you). I think it is a hobby you both could enjoy. You could make a blanket or...what are those things called you use to pull hot food out of the oven?

Oh nevermind. My brain is pickled today.

Natalie said...

Kiyote- We've never seen lost. I think we would be lost. HA.

Katrina- I tried to get him into cribbage but as we don't have a board it just isn't as fun. Scrabble is great but I really have an unfair advantage and it can only go so long. Backgammon would be good. Maybe we need a trip to the game store.

Dmarks- We do have a dining room table that has absolutely no use 363 days a year.

Little Things- Thanks, I try.

Mom- We are almost done with Stranger in a Strange Land now. Art would be good. Music could be but we are both kind of music snobs and I think music may be included in the media Tony is officially off.

Terry- Yeah I can't believe all the good ideas I've got.

Kim- awesome. We have a digital camera that holds 15 pictures and can't be plugged into the computer due to a blown up cord, but it could work.

Natalie said...

Enid- I love Monopoly and Tony is finally almost willing to play with me.

Danielle- The play is sounding very interesting. Someone might discover us.

CSG- Kite is a great idea. This is the windy city

Jeff- You have so many ideas that I just can't wrap my head around them. We could easily torment our upstairs neighbors. They suck. The gift idea is really great too!

Brooke- No play would be complete without you.

Jaclyn- we could use some new hot oven things... I think knitting is hard though.

With Love, Fat Girl said...

Cranium is one of the most fun games EVER, but better when played with at least four people.

If you have a large liquor stock, try mixing up new drinks together. Have a picnic, play hide and seek in a wooded area, write a story where you provide the first line, he second, you third and so on, making it as funny as possible. Play video games together (I recommend Need for Speed), strip poker (close your eyes to that one, Mom), try to read each other's palms, make scrapbooks of your photos and experiences. Tour the bars of Chicago just for the sake of getting matchbooks (I did that once it was fun :)), or do a song and dance act on a street corner just to see if people throw change!

Monica said...

if you can get tony into playing cribbage, i'll come over for the tournament to end all tournaments

Blog Antagonist said...

Buy a set of Dominos. You wouldn't believe how many different games there are to play with them.

Go buy one of those big fat crossword puzzle books. I had forgotten how much I enjoy them until recently, when my son got one in his Easter basket.

There are several really fun games on the internet...Flipwords, Soduko, etc.

Listen to an audio book together. I always kind of snickered at them as not really reading, but recently we listened to one on a road trip and I really enjoyed it.

Those 3-D puzzles are really fun and challenging.

Pick a fancy new recipe and prepare it together.

Take a walk. You live in a beautiful city! The architecture is amazing. Maybe take a camera and see who can take the most interesting picture.

Good for you for cutting down television. I really watch very little but I watch now more than I ever have. I totally understand feeling like you are on media overload. I am married to a Fox News addict and sometimes I have to beg him to just turn it off already.

Good luck!

Mom said...

Wow -- these are some fantastical, excellent ideas!

Natalie, knitting is not hard. It's just wrapping yarn around a stick, over and over again. But it's easier to learn from a person than from a book.

AboutA said...

I love me phi me! I was just trying to explain their music to a friend of mine. I couldn't think of a wasy to descibe their music other than it makes you want to start "steppin" ;o)Oh those nostalgic college days, sigh.

kim said...

I can't believe no one mentioned having sex.

Have sex. It's fun.

dave said...

i like the kids book idea, that's cute!
me and a co-student were thinking of things to do that were cheap or preferably free and were having issues.

i need to do things this summer though. or i may just implode. why no biking? i want to be a big lazy bike... mmmmmm, what i really want is a Zepplin NT (they don't burst into flames as easily as the regulare type) but i could settle for a lazy bike. picnics, bbq, and lounging in parks. come over to my house!!! i dislike the TV. i don't watch regular TV very often, but then again my TV doesn't allow for watching.

but i do like my videos and and games.

lets see, what do i do when i'm not watching TV, and hasn't been suggested...

Well, crochet, but i find that a seasonal inspiration, i find it easier then knitting, and would be happy to teach you.

i think you guys doing art is wonderful! i can't wait to see you on friday, it's going to be a hoot.

i do a lot of writing, mainly personal journaling nonsense. if you get stumped on your kids book you should have a "book journal" with just random thoughts, concepts, characters... things that don't fit into your current story or where your current story is at, so you can make it fit later. i was thinking of writing morbid kids books about hideious george, or little suzanne degnan. or a book on Wo Etiquette.

Volunteering is a great idea, i was thinking of volunteering at the Brown Elephant. do a good deed and get a discount!

we should set a play weekly play date, make a group for something.

oh yes, and i discovered that leather sexuality fetish museum down the street has evening hours, i think wed or something! we should do that, if they have a free day or cheap day! but tony can't be all wierd when he goes in because that would just be wierd.

i think the gardening idea is good too. you can get seeds for cheap. it may be late in the season to start now, but you can look into different communities that offer something like that. i know there is one on Ridge, near ravenswood, and another just west of me, that i want to look into. this year we should look into it and get something for next year! i think it would be hot to grow some our very own food!

you should invite me over for more free student massages! (limited time offer)

Host Pot luck parties!

write letters to your friends and family and mail them off! stamps are only $0.39!!! and i heart mail!

how much do models cost? that's a super duper 3D puzzle that may involve toxic glue, life doesn't get much better than that!

okay... that's all i've got for now!