Friday, June 27, 2008

Fitting it all in

One of my goals for the summer and my fall sabbatical is to do large amounts of reading and viewing--project-specific stuff but also general stuff, such as shows backlogged on the DVR (Heroes, I'm lookin' at you), journal articles I've gathered as they've passed by in content alerts, new and newish books. But I find it a constant struggle to read and watch and listen to everything I want. I kind of blame the internet, as there is so much to read and watch and listen to online that it detracts from my time to do so otherwise. Yet new media technologies have of course also expanded where and when I can consume--not only the video iPod at the gym, but the DVDs on airplanes (perhaps the greatest thing to happen to air travel EVER) or when visiting family. I read articles during T-ball practice, listen to podcasts while making lunches, catch snatches of NPR during my brief times in the car. But still not enough. I'm rather noise-averse, so no background music or radio or podcasts when I'm working, or when I'm talking to another person in a car, or trying to get a wiggly 4 year old out of a bathtub. Perhaps I'm too single-channel for a multi-channel world. I think scheduling reading and watching times may be the answer. I kind of do this already with the gym, with my new habit of Dark Shadows eps while waiting to be sure the boy is asleep in the evening, with prime-time DVR catching up. Will try to report back as I try to jam more media into my days.


Anonymous said...

I so agree with you on this. Moreover, it seems the backlog of stuff to read/watch/listen to just keeps growing. I would love to finally watch Xena or Farscape or UNCLE, but hell if I know when that will happen.

I've increasingly made peace with the fact that kid time is in fact pretty cool (even if that means altogether too much Wiggles), though I'm usually so exhausted by 8 pm or so that I can barely muster the energy or interest for TV. On top of that, Sally and I are sometimes not on the same wavelength as far as what we want to watch, so compromise (usually a DVRed Daily Show) reigns, and the stacks of each of our shows pile up.

That said, I'm on sabbatical as well this fall (yay!), and just finished my last class of the year. The fall will be dominated by writing for a January deadline, but hopefully, somehow, I can chip away at that backlog a bit, and practice a little more internet self-control!

Chris B. said...

I don't have kids, and I still can't remotely get done what I either need or want to get done (and of course, those two branches rarely meet). I did declare that no matter what I would fill the Citizen Kane-shaped hole in my TV viewing this summer by finally watching Buffy. But without the video ipod, it would never be possible (I've gotten halfway through season 4 thus far. Oh no, Faith is back!). I also have a major bummer coming in the fall because my husband (Chris Sieving, to fill in our pals) is taking a job very far away (at U of Georgia) and so we'll be living apart for at least a year. I'm trying desperately to find bright sides to it, and one of them is what Derek mentions -- we rarely watch the same shows, except for the Daily Show and sports. So there's a positive: I'll now get to watch all my shows on the "big tv" whenever I want. Yay.

Elana Levine said...

Thanks for the empathy, Derek and Chris. I know this must be the case for most of us media scholars/fans but it's a bummer nonetheless. Chris, you should definitely focus on the bright spot of all the TV you want to watch on the big TV--at least you'll be caught up on your viewing. When MZN was away for a few days recently, I couldn't believe how much TV I got to watch. But I was kind of lonely, so I'm not sure if it was worth it. But to get to watch Buffy for the first time! What a gift! I keep hoping I will forget it enough that going back to re-watch the series (yeah, right, like whenever is THAT gonna happen?) will be like seeing it for the first time. Enjoy.