I don’t make a lot of phone calls home. Skype’s free, but inconsistent w/ quality, and having to be tethered to the PC really takes the spontaneity out it. Skype calls need to be planned, and if you or the other party doesn’t make the effort, they just don’t happen.
But I called my brother on Thursday because I needed something from him. A client of mine has a system that forwards calls from an extension on their Boston phone number to my cell phone in Israel. But it wasn’t working right, so I had asked the client to make an adjustment. He did, and this is what I needed my brother to help me test.
Anyway, I reached him, and he helped me, but he didn’t have much time to talk. He had moved into his new house the day before, and you know, there was *a lot* of stuff to do.
I felt very excited for him, but understood that he didn’t have a lot of time to talk. I wanted to keep him on longer and have him tell me *everything*, but I felt like I kind of didn’t have that right. We stay in touch, but neither one of works that hard at it. I should really only speak for myself.
After the call, I thought – should I have been angry? (Such an important day in your life, and you didn’t even call to let me know?) Well, no – because speaking for myself, there is more I could do to be better in touch.
Then, I got a little hard on myself: this was a monumental event in his life, and I almost missed it. I reached him on the tail end of it, almost by accident. I mean, I can’t live without seeing the series finale of LOST, but apparently I can live without talking to my brother, his wife or my niece for a month at a time.
Don’t hate on myself. I have control over how much I call. And if I want to feel I am more a part of my brother’s life, then I have to, you know, *be* more of a part of my brother’s life.
Then, there’s LOST. If you’re a fan, you know what I’m talkin bout. If you’re not, well then I’m not gonna try an esplain. All you really need to know for this post is that I didn’t want to wait the day or two for it to appear on TV Shack. I needed it sooner. So, I broke out the Big Guns, the Slingbox.
This is an amazing technology my friend hooked me up with. Basically my computer is hooked up to a separate Time Warner cablebox in New York City he has set up just for his friends living abroad. When I connect, I can literally control an actual Time Warner cable box (with TiVO !) and watch LIVE TV as if I were in the United States.
Most of the time I don’t bother with it. I can get what I need with less fuss using TV Shack. But, you know, LOST is different. So, I TiVO’d the 2-hour final season premiere and delighted in some kick-ass, bionic storytelling.
And because there’s no remote control from my lounge chair, I watched the commercials – in English (of course). And the local news promos. OMG – there’s Liz Cho! And (cutie-patootie) Lee Goldberg! I got to watch them warn me like 20 time that a snowstorm was going to ‘foil my morning commute.’ Plus, the promos for ABC’s other network shows that were coming back from winter hiatuses – Flash Forward, V, and the like.
Here’s the thing, why this was significant. In some ways, I am kept very up-to-date on what’s going on, what’s hot, in America. NYTimes.com gives me my news. Perez, my gossip. Mashable, my tech & social media news. And I can watch new episodes of LOST, Project Runway, glee, 24 and other series. But I watch them without commercials. And it turns out – I miss Liz Cho and my rightful husband Lee Goldberg! Seeing my local news team talk about the local stories as if I were still a New Yorker…and watching advertisements in English (instead of rapid-fire, smarmy, salespitchy Hebrew ads, like I hear sometimes on the radio), and seeing the promos for those shows, as if I were still in the U.S. – wowza!, I really saw home in a different way, through this media slice I’ve been missin.
Conversely, you know – it made me realize how much Israeli media I don’t experience over here. It’s embarrasing, but if you ask me about domestic Israeli politics, I really don’t know how to answer. I still read the New York Times; I only know of Israeli news when a headline gets big enough so that that the Times is reporting it. And I don’t have a TV here. Cable is expensive, and why pay for it, when I watch so little TV to begin with, and I can use my much cheaper Internet to get everything I might need? But as a result, I watch no local Israeli TV news (which could really help with my Hebrew language skills) or Israeli pop culture and TV series. It’s kind of really keeping me apart from my new culture, you know?
All that, I got from viewin’ my LOST on the ‘Sling, huh?