If any of you have ever seen the ads for the Converter Box Coupons and thought “who is the person that needs one of those?”, I have your answer: I am the person who needs one of those. When I first moved into my apartment I didn’t have a television, but after a few months I decided that a home without TV, phone, or internet was too ascetic even for me, and I took a freebie set from a friend who had bought this television before our freshmen year of college. You do the math. The set is deeper than it is wide.
After today, however, I can say that I was the person who needed a converter box. My coupon came in the mail and I headed over to Target to buy one. There have been a bunch of things I needed so I went for broke today, buying belts and trash bags and a few pieces of furniture. I had been agonizing over a TV table (my set had been sitting on an overturned crate for more than 2 years) so I bought one today from Target’s “furniture in a box” line. I got it off the top shelf into the cart and then shimmied it from the cart into the back of my car.
Luckily I hit a little traffic on the way home, so I had plenty of time to figure out how I was going to get this box out of the back of the Jeep and into my apartment. With snow on the ground. And without a parking space near the house.
I ran through my mental list of everything I own that is on wheels. The box wouldn’t fit in any of my wheeled luggage, I don’t have a trash can on wheels, the bike wouldn’t work for obvious reasons. I don’t own a handtruck, which is always a great disappointment to me. By the time I had double parked on a wide street near the apartment, I realized I only had one choice: open the box in the back of the Jeep and carry everything in piece by piece.
I neatly opened one end of the box in order to slide components out one at a time. I removed the Styrofoam at the end of the package which immediately crumbled into a thousand pieces all over the car. Through the disintegrating foam I saw that everything in the box was bound together. I had to flip the box over and open it the long way, then slide the bindings off (without any sort of blade – something else that I should keep in the car).
Around this time one of my upstairs neighbors came out of the apartment. If he had offered to help at this point it would have been fruitless, with bits of TV table scattered all over the car, and my ridiculous ideas manifested right alongside them. I was way past “hey can I give you a hand with that” so I buried my head in the backseat of the car until he and his girlfriend walked by.
The tendency to get really creative in hopes of doing things on my own is one that has obvious familial roots. I was thinking today about a few of our odder do-it-yourself projects (the most memorable of which involve a winch and the tree closest to the barn) and I realized that one of the many benefits of living way out in the woods is that no one can see how weird you are. When we pulled the dents out of the door of the Malibu and left it looking like it had been chewed up we at least had some privacy. Here in the city, when I decide to get all MacGyver on a box from Target there are dozens of people who can see me from their windows.
After a few trips I had everything in the house, so I found a parking spot and got down to work. I now have a TV stand and have all of my equipment hooked up. The table is a little big, but most grown-up furniture is in my dollhouse-sized apartment. Let me tell you: the converter box is amazing! I had forgotten what ABC looked like ever since I moved the bunny ears to the far side of the apartment, and now it comes in clear as a bell. All of the network stations do, and I also have one new station that hadn’t come in over analog: Worship Music Video. I can’t say I expect to watch a lot of Twila Paris videos on 68.4, but it seems more than coincidental that I would start receiving a sacred music TV station.