Monthly Archives: April 2011

Screen Free Week – Last Day

My last day without visual media was a struggle. The weather was gorgeous, it was Easter Sunday (which doesn’t mean anything to me since I’m not religious), and I had plans to visit a friend’s house in the afternoon.

Since I’ve been walking everywhere to save train fare, I was going to walk to Williamsburg from my friend’s home in the Financial District but opted instead to take the train home. When I arrived, all I wanted to do was cuddle up with my Beatles biography book and read. However, since I did say I was going to show up to my friend’s place in Chinatown, I forced myself to keep the engagement. The purpose for this Screen Free Week is to be more social and connect with people after all.

I arrived later than I expected (talk about Huge resistance) but we had a blast. She made yummy sweet potato casserole, I brought cupcakes from Sugar Sweet Sunshine  and we played a round of Scrabble. I would’ve stayed longer but work in the morning awaited me.

When I left her building, the rain came down hard. I wanted to walk the bridge back (again, save train fare) but there was no way I’d make the thirty minute walk across the bridge dry. I took the train, got home, took a shower from head to toe, and curled up with my Beatles biography book. Still a fascinating read.

What did I learn about myself through this Screen Free Week?

1) I spend a lot of time watching moving pictures

2) When I spend time not consuming visual media, I spend time planning my future consumption of visual media

3) I don’t write as much as I should even when I’m not consuming visual media

Can you say movie addict? Just a little bit? Yeah.

The last fact is apparent when I recount a dream I’ve had, write down my thoughts, or peruse handwritten notes on other stories. I have so many ideas but there’s no execution or follow through. It’s easier to say, “Well then I’m going to have to change that!” and not do anything at all versus realizing that making writing a priority (like exercise) will be much more effective.

I guess that’s where I’m at. Consuming visual media can be accomplished without bingeing (when I go without time with a certain thing, I overdo it) and in small doses. And of course, making writing a priority.

Since I am part of a writing group, the upcoming meeting will force me to complete something before we meet. I need to have a piece of fiction completed by the end of this week. Pressure pushes me to work than on my own.

Today, I have many shows to catch up on! I can’t wait. And reading of course. 🙂

My next self-imposed ban? Chocolate. This is a hard one. My love affair with chocolate  has always been steady, intoxicating at times, passionate, delicious, and new. When I eat chocolate after the month again, our relationship will be even more solid. Until then, eat chocolate moderately.

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Screen Free Week – Day 6

Saturday’s Screen Free day started and ended smoothly.

Because I was attending a birthday party in the evening, I baked cookies and vegan brownies all morning. I didn’t even eat lunch until three in the afternoon. The baking was easy, fun, and dangerous; I kept eating cookies with each batch I made.

I was scheduled to sleep over a friend’s house so I packed an overnight bag. I left home early to meet up with friends to watch Scream 4 (film review will posted in a day on my horror blog). After the movie, we arrived at the birthday party in which there were many different personalities, sangria, my desserts, and good energy.

We played a few rounds of a party game called “Mafia.” This game also has many other names like “Assassin” or “Killer” in which people die based on assumptions. Look it up. I’m sure some of ya’ll out there have played the game. It can last for hours or one hour depending on the amount of participants. This is always a fun game to play with people who know each other and strangers.

After “Mafia,” the party broke into small groups (as is the norm for most parties with different social circles) and when most of my crew left, I went over to the next door neighbor’s apartment (also friends with the birthday boy) and watched the first twenty minutes of Tron Legacy on the neighbor’s 3D TV. Oh the movie was gorgeous! The story, however, was significantly lacking as I was more invested in flirting with the neighbor’s roommate than paying attention to what was happening on the screen.

The night ended fairly after 2 am when everyone else left and the birthday boy was happily drunk. I ended up sleeping over because I didn’t want to go higher than fourteenth street at that time in the night.

I’d have to say the day was awesome. And also, the more I spend time without visual media, the more I crave it. After watching Scream 4, I was reminded why I enjoy the medium so much.

Losing oneself in another world for ninety minutes is glorious especially when the story is engaging. When the story is not (like Tron Legacy), you’d rather play with your belly button than watch a moving picture.

I absolutely love the cinema. When I haven’t watched a movie in a week, I binge and then I taper off, watching a movie every other day instead of three movies back to back (I’ve had my share of those days). I need to be careful when I wean myself back on visual media. My list for shows and movies to watch is growing every day.

Last day account coming up. I miss you visual media so so so much!!

Screen Free Week – Day 5

My fifth day without visual media was just right.

I hung out with one of my BFF’s at a Starbucks for a very long time and then we had some Chinese food at a nearby spot – Congee Village Restaurant – which is very well-known for their different kinds of congee (a type of porridge with either meat or vegetables). We didn’t try the congee – we weren’t feeling very adventurous but their sweet potato pancakes were amazing!

After we chatted about everything, she had to jet for a singing class on the Upper East Side. Since we met up right over the Williamsburg bridge, I walked home. The walk was lovely – a little windy – but pleasant nonetheless.

Walking briskly takes more out of me than I thought because as soon as I read a chapter of Alias Grace, I took a two and half hour nap! Completely unexpected but I guess my body wanted a rest; the body takes what it needs.

With two days left on this visual media diet, I’m itching for my next fix. I have a list of movies to rent, things to watch (I miss Glee and How I Met Your Mother episodes) and everything in between. However, the lack of visual media is a nice change up. But I still miss it.

Two more days left!

Screen Free Week – Day 4

I had quite a day on my fourth day on this Screen Free challenge.

Since I love baking, I baked chocolate chip cookies for a friend of mine who’s in semi-traction (he had knee surgery) and visited for a while. The visit lasted a whole day! Completely unexpected but awesome.

He lives in Park Slope so I walked from Williamsburg to his ‘hood. The walk  took ninety minutes but the sun was out so it was pleasant.

After we chatted for many hours, we went to a nearby bar, Toby’s, for some grub and trivia night. I’ve never attended a trivia night anywhere so this was new to me and a total blast! I met his kool friends and enjoyed the atmosphere at the bar.

I got home at 1:30 am (the G train was doing this shuttle business between Bedford-Nostrand Ave) and fell out. I was tired, joyful, and proud that I didn’t turn my TV on once! Not even when I was at his place!

When seeking out social activities not including visual media, it’s quite easy to accomplish your goal. This day was perfect because I met different folks from a different social circle and it was grand. Every day is new for me. Every time I meet new people and am in different situations, I think, “How can I incorporate this into a story?” It’s what writing is all about. Then I come back to reality and engage instead of observing (I observe quite often in social situations). It seems like I’m having all these different experiences after I’ve declared a change in location for next year. Am I looking at my city through “graduation goggles?” Perhaps, perhaps not.

Until the next day!

Screen Free Week – Day 3

My third day without visual media went by as planned. Fortunately for me, I had a half day work assignment (12-5:30) in which at work, I read and wrote all day. I even worked on a cover letter for a job!

When I was done for the day, I walked to a friend’s home in the Chinatown area (closer to Manhattan Bridge) from Chelsea Market. The walk was marvelous and was only fifty minutes. The sun was out and the weather was slightly sticky but I was fine.

I met my friend when I worked in film production (she was a PA, I was a grip) but we remained in close contact afterwards. She’s trying to make her own moves in the industry. She had a small screening of a short horror film she filmed with other people in the industry. Being a lover of horror films, the ending and execution was effective. And I’m not just saying that because she’s my friend.

I chatted with her and her friends for a good four hours and got home around midnight. All I had time to do was get ready for the next day. Of course, I read a chapter of the Beatles biography I’m so into right now.

Day 3 was great because I was socializing. The next two days will be fine as well. But what’s going to happen when I lift my screen free ban? I imposed this ban on myself because I indulge way too much in movies (I’ve seen close to sixty movies this year excluding movies I own and have seen before) and never get anything productive done. The goal is to create and complete a work (I did write notes down for a story I’m working on so that’s good) this month. Intention and visualization are my friends; the hard work comes next.

Until tomorrow!

Screen Free Week – Day 2

Yesterday, I woke up early and did not have a one day assignment so I spent most of the day looking at job postings.

The day went by very quickly because soon after, when I looked at the time, it was three pm!

I made an early dinner because I had registered for a Job Search Strategies and Tips workshop through my university’s career services center at 6:30 – 7:30 pm. The workshop was helpful and not that different from what I learned through a career counselor I had a few years ago.

From 8-9:30 pm, I attended a Bikram Yoga class which was absolutely perfect! When I got home, I was tired, I showered, read a chapter of my Beatles book, and went to sleep.

Another quiet evening without visual media. I love visual media – and how I miss it! But I’ll be fine. I’ll be fine.

Until tomorrow!

Screen Free Week – Day 1

On Monday, April 18th, I received a one day assignment which was nice (money in my pocket!) Working definitely filled my time and was a less likely way for me to partake in visual media consumption.

At work, I read the news online, read the Metro New York paper, read a screenplay while providing coverage (I’m a script reader now, no pay, but more on that later), and read a chapter from the book club selection of the month – Alias Grace. A very productive day at work for me, apart from the fact that all I did was answer phones (oh how easy reception work is).

When I arrived home, I quickly made dinner and read one of the many magazine subscriptions I have (Spin, which I realize that 1-I don’t know what the hell is going on in music and 2-I’m more of a movie person anyway) while eating.

I looked over and edited my screenplay coverage and sent it off. Which brings me to – being a script reader!

Last month, I applied to anything writing related because I wanted to be involved in something creative that I enjoyed liiike…reading and writing about movies! I applied to be an script reading intern but the position was filled. Instead, I was contacted by the president of the company to become a script reader for them which means reading scripts sent via email sending them script coverage. It’s easier for me because I can do the reading from home or wherever I have an internet connection. It’s not that much of a hassle and scripts are so easy to read.

After that, I did a little dance to some body shakin’ tunes and settled for the rest of the night with Alias Grace and a Beatles biography book I received for my birthday. I totally have Beatle fever with every chapter I read.

Quite the evening – very quiet but fun nonetheless.

I did find it difficult looking at my TV – lonely, abandoned, cold waiting for me to watch movies to review for my blog or for general entertainment. After I work as a receptionist for the day, I spend all day in front of a computer reading so when I come home, I want to veg and watch something! It was hard to do but all week I’ll be busy being social, so it shouldn’t be so hard.

‘Til tomorrow!