Saturday night single


Single working woman, what are you doing on this warm (in the temperate zone) Saturday night?

I just tried my first “instant play” from Netflix. You get to download a movie to your computer and watch it immediately. I was glad because I wasn’t sure whether I could only use the service in between physical discs arriving–which would have been hard because there’s always one coming from your “queue” or going back to them.

Anyway, I was able to download my first instant play–after of course downloading the proprietary software to play it. Okay, I thought. Even if I already have two free DVD player programs installed, guess I can add another because instant access without any extra charge to movies not remotely available on Cable’s OnDemand is a great idea.

So I picked my first instant play from among movies I wasn’t sure I actually wanted to see again. The Killing Fields was the first one. And I quickly remembered why I didn’t want to see it again. All about blood and politics and anger during the Vietnam era. But I did learn something fascinating. The star of this movie is Sam Waterston–the guy who’s been playing Jack McCoy on Law & Order (one of my favorite repeat television shows) for many years. So I can see now he was a passionate political believer from the very beginning. What a joy it must be for him to be able to mesh his career (playing a guy fighting for justice) with his real feelings. Incidentally, I have no proof that that’s the case. I’ve just noticed over the years that actors who care about issues tend to accept parts in movies that expose those issues. Check out the roster in the movie Crash.

But, again, I digress. The point I wanted to make was the Netflix proprietary software is very sensitive to how strong/consistent your internet connection is. So it happened that after about 10 minutes of the movie, I got a message saying, “your Internet connection has slowed, so we are adjusting playback to avoid further interruptions.”

They say they’ll need 20 minutes. Okay, I say. This is good. I’ll now always have perfect performance from Netflix movies. So I make myself some popcorn. Let the pet bunny out of the cage to run around. Take the sheets out of the dryer and make the bed with fresh linens (that’ll be fun tonight!). Pour myself a glass of wine. And finally the 20 minutes of “adjusting” is done. The movie recommences.

I keep watching the blood and gore and anger and realize this is not my favorite type of entertainment on Saturday (or most any other evening), but I keep watching so I can study Sam Waterston as a young man. After 30 more minutes, I get that message again.

This time, I write in my journal for a bit. Then try to figure out who among my friends might be interested–and available–to chat at 8:30 pm on a Saturday evening. Call a dear friend who’s recently become a little more available and chat for a while. While we talk, the software’s chugging along “adjusting” and then re-starts. I turn the sound down and continue chatting while watching. Once we ARE finished talking, I turn the sound up to watch again–and lo and behold, 5 minutes later I get that dread “adjusting” message again.

As you may imagine, I now decide to simply turn the freaking thing off. I wonder does this just happen the first time you use an instant download? If it happens every time, I’ll have to seriously “adjust” my expectations!

Earlier this evening, I took a short walk to the local drugstore–just to get out of the house and enjoy the warm evening. It’s really interesting to stroll through a heavily Hispanic neighborhood in Chicago on a spring’s first warm evening. You encounter pocket after pocket of loud and enthusiastic music, some from cars going by, many from open windows of houses and apartments in the area. It’s like the warm weather is the cue to turn up the volume and start dancing. I really like that in a neighborhood.

So what did YOU do tonight? I hope you enjoyed yours, too.

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