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Changing Normal

February 25, 2013
by Erin B

I know I’m kind of just rambling here, so just bear with me or at least expect little from this post.

It occurred to me today that I haven’t watched TV since Christmas.  A movie here or there, sure.  The odd children’s program on Netflix, yup.  And I have really enjoyed both Journey Quest and Standard Action on YouTube. (Great big THANK YOU to Carol for the JourneyQuest recommendation!  After I watched all those episodes, YouTube recommended Standard Action.)

I can tell you that I last watched real TV on Christmas, because I couldn’t miss The Doctor Who Christmas Special.  It was REAL TV at B & Y’s house.  Usually, TV around here is online TV, on the Canadian TV networks’ websites, but I haven’t even watched that since the Ponds left Doctor Who.  I was making a special effort for the good Doctor.  I lost track of all the sitcoms, weekly dramas and what have you while studying for my final.

Knitting has mostly taken my TV time.

I’m OK with that.


I don’t miss TV, but I do worry a tiny bit about being cut off from a world where TV is SO culturally significant.  I wasn’t even aware the Oscars were coming up until I heard fall out from them randomly on the radio.  I haven’t seen any of the trailers for any of the movies that people are talking about (or any that people aren’t talking about for that matter).

Terry Pratchett wrote something along the lines of people define normal based on the other people around them.  If you have no people around to constantly sanity check yourself against, you start going a little odd.  Isolated communities can spiral in on themselves.  I can see how that can happen.

I have fallen in with the Crunchy Mamas.

I don’t think it is a bad thing, not directly.  Indirectly, the normal that I find myself using as the yard stick for myself now includes mostly people several income brackets above where I am.  I can’t afford to by organic food, or high end premium all natural skin care products or grow lights for my seed starts or all certified organic seeds for that matter.

NorthWest Edible Life has become an aspirational blog for me.  LOVE her!

I will never own enough land to have that kind of garden, nor will I ever live in a gardening zone that allows me to harvest 12 months of the year.   I haven’t ever organized a No Spend Month to the extent that she has, but we do something similar around here at least two or three times a year.

Here’s what I think I am getting at… the internet helps you find people in similar circumstances as you.  Moms with kids worried about how to make a whole foods dinner.  Moms who love to garden and are on a budget.  Geeky moms who like F&SF and reading and grew up socially awkward.  All of that is great, it lets you know you aren’t alone…. but if you aren’t careful it will drive you nuts because real life is messy and exhausting and even if they blog about that too, you aren’t really having a conversation.

Even talking to the mama’s (who I really enjoy talking parenting shop with) it is very superficial.  You tackle the big issues where people think there will be group consensus (like over crowding in schools) and everyone respects everyone else and no one ever will flat out tell you that you are wrong.  And you don’t do that for anyone else either. No one says I have two weeks left in the month and $30 left in the bank…. how do I make it work?  Or while I respect your right to refuse treatment on behalf of your child, I think consent (or non consent) should be informed, so can I introduce you to the polio survivors I know?

I need someone to tell me when I’m wrong.  Everyone does.  But personally, I need it to be someone who has actual knowledge.  Science based knowledge not just “I read it on the internet” because you can use the internet to “prove” anything based on how you type your search.

Never mind Pinterest.  I love it.  I hate it.  For me it hasn’t become the time suck some people claim it is.  I have found some lovely, frugal recipes on it.  I use it as my personal book marking service, but with pictures because from titles only, I never remember why I book marked something.  But my house will never look like that.  The pictures I take of my kids will never be photoshopped like that.  My blog (I hope you like the new look) with never look like that or have that much traffic.  And I’m OK with all of those things.

My father in law says you should never window shop, it just makes you dissatisfied with what you have.  He is absolutely right.

Thanks to the internet I want a tiny, cosy house, with four large bedrooms and three fabulous large four piece bathrooms on an acreage with a mature fruit orchard and a big lawn for T to tractor on and Little Girl to play on centrally located so that everyone can bike to work/school.  Oh and I want my town to magically change it’t mind and let me have a chicken coop.  Heck, while I’m asking, make the weather nicer so I don’t still have snow higher than my four year old in my back yard* **.

Cabin fever, isolation, makes me neurotic.

Bike season can’t come fast enough for me.


* Yes, the snow really is still deeper than little girl is tall. No, I am not making that up.


**in proof reading this post I realized that what I am really asking for is a TARDIS.  Even the Doctor needs companions to keep himself sane.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. February 26, 2013 1:18 am

    I haven’t subscribed to cable service for 6-7 years, so I only get to watch real TV when I’m in hotel rooms while traveling. Netflix is pretty good; I loved watching Billy Connolly’s Journey to the End of the World, and I’m partway through The IT Crowd.

    If you moved to Red Deer, you could take part in the Urban Chicken Pilot Project. And we could keep each other sane. But the weather out here sucks just as bad.

  2. LAT permalink
    February 26, 2013 11:14 am

    I forget if you ever watched Community, but one of the main characters is a geek and fan of “Inspector SpaceTime”. I’m sure I’d get more out of it if I was really into Dr. Who. But I highly recommend Community, don’t know if it’s on Canadian Netflix or not!

  3. LAT permalink
    February 26, 2013 11:15 am

    And to address the thought of keeping up with culture… we have cable and we use it to watch nature shows and documentaries and science shows in HD. I’ve given up on keeping up with pop culture, and I don’t miss it.

  4. Jaclyn permalink
    February 26, 2013 11:30 am

    I share many of your sentiments in regards to online communities and some of the specifics you dwelled into. I think you and I both fall more to the science side of things than most, but yes, I’m not often brave enough to talk about it.

    • Erin B permalink*
      February 26, 2013 1:38 pm

      Jaclyn – I full realize and understand WHY there is such HUGE distrust of the medical establishment out there, especially locally. I just want quantitative research. There may be something to all of the interesting health theories we are all passing around, but I get frustrated when I ask for more information and I’m referred to what is basically an opinion piece. Especially when key arguments that are made in these opinion pieces are easily disproven by the lab science or radiation biology that I have spend the last 14 years studying.

      It is really frustrating because I don’t want to close my mind based on one badly written article, but I don’t have time to track down science for every theory I come across.

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