We watch... so you don't have to.

My TV, She is Like a Woman...

Men really have no idea what kind of women they're really attracted to. Try this experiment: Ask a man for the list of things he'd like in a woman. Be sure to do this when the man's girlfriend or wife or interminable companion isn't around. Take notes. The next time you see this man's girlfriend or wife or interminable companion, use your notes as a checklist. I guarantee -- guarantee! -- you will check off fewer than three items. Men are like car shoppers who collect brochures for sporty red imports but end up buying the green station wagon with plenty of room in the back.

I have discovered that I, at least, was the same way about television viewing.

Like a few of the other Vidiots, I recently bought a TiVo. I won't go into a lot of detail on what it is -- you can get that elsewhere -- but here's a quick summary: It's a digital VCR. You tell TiVo what you want to record and it records it. When you sit down to watch TV, TiVo shows you a menu of shows it's recorded with the name of the show and the date, like "18 Wheels of Justice 6/21". You choose what show you want to watch and you watch it. If in the middle of this nail-biting Lucky Vanous vehicle something more important comes up -- say you forgot to taste-test the glue in that new box of envelopes you bought -- you hit the Pause button, lick yourself silly, and come back. It's a lot like a VCR without the hassle of figuring out what time a show is on, what tape has room on it, and what tape you saved that show you wanted to watch on. Come to think of it, it's nothing like a VCR at all.

Owning a TiVo has brought to light one fact in my little world: The shows I thought I watched because I liked them I in fact only watched because they were on when my TV was on. Given the freedom to watch whatever show I want whenever I want has changed not only how I watch but, more importantly, what I watch.

It's like going into the showroom and finding nothing but sporty red imports. And all within my price range.

My TiVo is hooked up to my DirecTV, but the way TiVo works you have to use their onscreen programming guide, not DirecTV's. I was a little depressed about this -- the Hughes DirecTV unit I have has an amazingly wonderful onscreen guide -- until I found that I almost never use any onscreen guide at all. I tell TiVo what to record, it records it, and so I always watch whatever TiVo's got on tap. Hot and cold running Good Eats? You betcha.

Gone is Howard Stern's E! show. Gone, in fact, is the entire E! Entertainment Network. If Steve Kmetko exploded on air leaving only a pink mist hanging next to Jules Asner, I would not know it. I have not frolicked on any beach with E!'s Wild on the... series in months. I am not shedding tears over Talk Soup. E! is off my dial. Come to think of it, my dial is off my dial -- I haven't owned a TV with a dial in eons.

A friend passes me this gag:

From Futurama this weekend:
Gary Gygax: I'm <rolls dice> very pleased to meet you.

A Gary Gygax joke? On prime time TV? Futurama is on TiVo now once a week. What a great show!

I can't remember the last time I tuned to MTV or VH1. Behind the what? Before They Were who? TRY? I haven't heard any pop music in ages. You mean everyone isn't listening to Miles Davis' "Bitches Brew"?

But people have been talking about this Malcolm in the Middle series. Now playing on TiVo. What a great show!

Emeril Live is now dead in my house, alas. But Good Eats -- ah, there will always be Good Eats.

I'd seen an episode or two of good vs. evil and I kind of liked it. Let's throw it on TiVo! What a great show! Oh, they cancelled it. Again. Oh well. What about Space Ghost: Coast to Coast? Still running? There it is!

My TV viewing hasn't completely changed, of course. Law & Order is still a staple of my week, and, you know, I even watch it in its regular time slot. But now, if the kids get uppity -- Pause. And, if need be, we can always switch over to one of the many children's shows we now have on hand twenty-four-seven: Blue's Clues, Kipper, Maggie and the Ferocious Beast. Kiddie cartoons are not just for Saturday morning any more.

So, yes, I still watch Law & Order. Which goes to show that while I may think I like tall, brown-haired, shapely women with smoky looks and kissable lips, what I really like is short, blonde, chubby, with non-smoking looks -- and kissable lips.


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