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The Reader's Eye on Television

The Five Stages of Grief as They Pertain to Spilling Beer

On My Cable Box and Only Receiving the Asian Channel

Denial

This should clear right up. I'll try flipping channels. Using the "up" and "down" arrows on the remote and trying to punch in a specific channel yield nothing. The red light on the corner of the clicker lights up, but nothing happens on the TV. It's stuck on "AZNTV."Okay. It's okay.

Maybe it'll come back on in a minute. I'll go to the kitchen and pour a bourbon and soda. I'll let the box dry out while I check my e-mail.

It's no big deal.

Anger

Son of a bitch! What the hell do I have to do? Screw Asian TV! I can't understand a damned thing. Even if I knew Japanese, I wouldn't savvy this program. Why is that man with the yellow mohawk dressed as a wizard, and why is he sprinkling glitter all over the interior of that train car? Stupid program.

Bargaining

Please. Please. Just let me figure out what is wrong with this box. Please. I've got it unplugged and on my kitchen counter. I'm a handy guy; I thought if I looked inside, there'd be a tiny steam engine and a light bulb that had obviously burnt out that I could bypass with some tinfoil or something, but this damn thing... It's all green microchips, soldered diodes, and little aluminum towers with air-cooling fins.

I wonder if the cable company will come out to my house at 8:00 p.m. to fix it. I could pay extra on my next bill.

I swear, I'll never hold liquids over the box while reaching for a DVD ever again. Please.

Depression

I'm so tired. I'm so cold.

All I wanted to do was watch that scene in Chasing Amy where Joey Lauren Adams is screaming in the rain because I was watching My Name is Earl and I was half drunk. It's not my fault.

All I want to do now is put my cable box together in time for The Office , and it's not going to work. It's only going to get the Asian Channel again, and I don't care. I'm so tired and cold.

Acceptance

This isn't so bad. If I turn it into a drinking game, it might actually be fun. All right, here we go. Every time that man dressed as a woman tries to force a hunk of meat the size of a football into an unsuspecting businessman's mouth, I'll do a shot.

This'll all be over soon and it's not so bad. As part of my New Year's resolutions (as part of almost everyone's resolutions), I'm going on a diet and exercising more.

Thursday, January 11 SportsCenter

ESPN 8:30 a.m. Day one: I'm mixing this awful drink I'm supposed to have for the next week. I'm not supposed to eat anything. The drink is lemon juice, cayenne pepper, and maple syrup. I'm lazy and didn't go to the store, so I'm using Nestle Quick chocolate milk, Tabasco sauce, and vodka. Meh. It's not bad. If I drink it while I'm chewing mint tobacco, it tastes like a spicy white Russian. I can feel myself getting healthier already.

Larry King Live

CNN 9:00 p.m. Time for some exercise. I signed up for the gym. I drive the four blocks to the gym, walk on the treadmill for ten minutes, and watch CNN. It is the worst ten minutes of my life. I keep a towel over the digital readout, fooling myself as to how long I've been walking. At one point, I think the clock actually went backwards. I lifted the towel and thought I read 7:53. The next time I lifted the towel, the clock read 7:25. What? Son of a bitch! After ten minutes, I drive home and drink my diet vodka, chocolate milk, and Tabasco shake.

Friday, January 12 Semi-Homemade Cooking With Sandra Lee

FOOD 12:30 p.m. Day two: I've substituted coffee for the Tabasco because I was tired yesterday morning and needed a nap after my workout. Ah. The coffee is much better. Coffee, vodka, and chocolate milk is a hearty and healthy way to start the day!

Saturday, January 13 Seinfeld

FOX 8:00 p.m. Day three: I don't know who's in charge of what's on TV in the gym, but this is terrible. I was all geared up to read the top headlines in closed captioning and listen to some gay dance-club music while walking on the treadmill, but someone switched channels on me. I didn't even see anyone go near the TV. I thought walking for ten minutes and watching CNN was horrid. This sort of thing should be reserved for reticent prisoners of war. I have to cut my workout short. I can't watch this.

Basilisk: The Serpent King

SciFi 7:00 p.m. Diet-shake time. I've gone back to the original plan of cayenne pepper, lemon juice, and maple syrup. I imagine it's an elixir that will allow me to grow ram's horns, a tail, and bat wings. I should be ten feet tall and four hundred pounds of muscle by nightfall. I can feel it working. Yes. Yes. Soon I will be king of the animals, and I will command my army of baboons to take Arnold Schwarzenegger's mansion for my own.

Sunday, January 14 Kristi Yamaguchi & Friends

NBC 1:00 p.m. Day four: That diet drink bored me to tears, and I've switched to coffee, whiskey, and, dammit, if I don't like a dash of hot sauce and a touch of chocolate milk now. I guess all those health-conscious decisions really do add up. After my third chocolate booze and coffee shake, I feel like a million bucks. Yep, it's healthy livin' for me. I could be in the 2008 Olympics if I stay on track.

Monday, January 15 Good Morning America

ABC 8:00 a.m. Day five: Good lord, I woke up with a horrid hangover. Those diet shakes pack a wallop. I'll take a day off from the diet-and-exercise regimen to recuperate. A big stinkin' breakfast burrito from the taco shop two blocks down should fix me up. Of course, I'll drive there. I don't want to overstrain.

Tuesday, January 16 All My Children

ABC 12:00 p.m. Day six: Back on the health bandwagon! This morning, I thought, Why the hell am I drinking booze and coffee in the morning to get into better shape? That's ridiculous! I'll switch to beer in the afternoon. Anything before noon isn't good for you, you know.

Wednesday, January 17 FLW Outdoors

Fox Sports World 11:00 a.m. Day seven: One week of clean livin'! I feel like a million bucks. I thought it was stupid to drive to the gym and then walk on a treadmill when I could walk in the great outdoors. Ah, the glory of North Park in the morning. The air is brisk and smells faintly of carne asada. My first walk, I made it to the liquor store, half the distance to the gym. Without having to worry about getting into my running shorts, I completed the workout in my bathrobe and picked up some beer for my afternoon health drink. Michelob Ultra. It's low carb.

Thursday, January 18 Real World/Road Rules Challenge

MTV 10:00 a.m. Day eight: I've gone back to my traditional diet drink. I had been fooling myself this whole time. I'm not really following a diet-and-exercise regimen if I keep changing it. So, it's vodka, chocolate milk, and Tabasco. I even drank it on my workout walk this morning. My walk was shorter than usual, though. I made it out to the street where my pickup is parked, and I sat on the tailgate. You know, for fresh air. It's been a whole week, and I'll take it easy today to reward myself for a job well done. It feels good to set a goal and stick to it.

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The Five Stages of Grief as They Pertain to Spilling Beer

On My Cable Box and Only Receiving the Asian Channel

Denial

This should clear right up. I'll try flipping channels. Using the "up" and "down" arrows on the remote and trying to punch in a specific channel yield nothing. The red light on the corner of the clicker lights up, but nothing happens on the TV. It's stuck on "AZNTV."Okay. It's okay.

Maybe it'll come back on in a minute. I'll go to the kitchen and pour a bourbon and soda. I'll let the box dry out while I check my e-mail.

It's no big deal.

Anger

Son of a bitch! What the hell do I have to do? Screw Asian TV! I can't understand a damned thing. Even if I knew Japanese, I wouldn't savvy this program. Why is that man with the yellow mohawk dressed as a wizard, and why is he sprinkling glitter all over the interior of that train car? Stupid program.

Bargaining

Please. Please. Just let me figure out what is wrong with this box. Please. I've got it unplugged and on my kitchen counter. I'm a handy guy; I thought if I looked inside, there'd be a tiny steam engine and a light bulb that had obviously burnt out that I could bypass with some tinfoil or something, but this damn thing... It's all green microchips, soldered diodes, and little aluminum towers with air-cooling fins.

I wonder if the cable company will come out to my house at 8:00 p.m. to fix it. I could pay extra on my next bill.

I swear, I'll never hold liquids over the box while reaching for a DVD ever again. Please.

Depression

I'm so tired. I'm so cold.

All I wanted to do was watch that scene in Chasing Amy where Joey Lauren Adams is screaming in the rain because I was watching My Name is Earl and I was half drunk. It's not my fault.

All I want to do now is put my cable box together in time for The Office , and it's not going to work. It's only going to get the Asian Channel again, and I don't care. I'm so tired and cold.

Acceptance

This isn't so bad. If I turn it into a drinking game, it might actually be fun. All right, here we go. Every time that man dressed as a woman tries to force a hunk of meat the size of a football into an unsuspecting businessman's mouth, I'll do a shot.

This'll all be over soon and it's not so bad. As part of my New Year's resolutions (as part of almost everyone's resolutions), I'm going on a diet and exercising more.

Thursday, January 11 SportsCenter

ESPN 8:30 a.m. Day one: I'm mixing this awful drink I'm supposed to have for the next week. I'm not supposed to eat anything. The drink is lemon juice, cayenne pepper, and maple syrup. I'm lazy and didn't go to the store, so I'm using Nestle Quick chocolate milk, Tabasco sauce, and vodka. Meh. It's not bad. If I drink it while I'm chewing mint tobacco, it tastes like a spicy white Russian. I can feel myself getting healthier already.

Larry King Live

CNN 9:00 p.m. Time for some exercise. I signed up for the gym. I drive the four blocks to the gym, walk on the treadmill for ten minutes, and watch CNN. It is the worst ten minutes of my life. I keep a towel over the digital readout, fooling myself as to how long I've been walking. At one point, I think the clock actually went backwards. I lifted the towel and thought I read 7:53. The next time I lifted the towel, the clock read 7:25. What? Son of a bitch! After ten minutes, I drive home and drink my diet vodka, chocolate milk, and Tabasco shake.

Friday, January 12 Semi-Homemade Cooking With Sandra Lee

FOOD 12:30 p.m. Day two: I've substituted coffee for the Tabasco because I was tired yesterday morning and needed a nap after my workout. Ah. The coffee is much better. Coffee, vodka, and chocolate milk is a hearty and healthy way to start the day!

Saturday, January 13 Seinfeld

FOX 8:00 p.m. Day three: I don't know who's in charge of what's on TV in the gym, but this is terrible. I was all geared up to read the top headlines in closed captioning and listen to some gay dance-club music while walking on the treadmill, but someone switched channels on me. I didn't even see anyone go near the TV. I thought walking for ten minutes and watching CNN was horrid. This sort of thing should be reserved for reticent prisoners of war. I have to cut my workout short. I can't watch this.

Basilisk: The Serpent King

SciFi 7:00 p.m. Diet-shake time. I've gone back to the original plan of cayenne pepper, lemon juice, and maple syrup. I imagine it's an elixir that will allow me to grow ram's horns, a tail, and bat wings. I should be ten feet tall and four hundred pounds of muscle by nightfall. I can feel it working. Yes. Yes. Soon I will be king of the animals, and I will command my army of baboons to take Arnold Schwarzenegger's mansion for my own.

Sunday, January 14 Kristi Yamaguchi & Friends

NBC 1:00 p.m. Day four: That diet drink bored me to tears, and I've switched to coffee, whiskey, and, dammit, if I don't like a dash of hot sauce and a touch of chocolate milk now. I guess all those health-conscious decisions really do add up. After my third chocolate booze and coffee shake, I feel like a million bucks. Yep, it's healthy livin' for me. I could be in the 2008 Olympics if I stay on track.

Monday, January 15 Good Morning America

ABC 8:00 a.m. Day five: Good lord, I woke up with a horrid hangover. Those diet shakes pack a wallop. I'll take a day off from the diet-and-exercise regimen to recuperate. A big stinkin' breakfast burrito from the taco shop two blocks down should fix me up. Of course, I'll drive there. I don't want to overstrain.

Tuesday, January 16 All My Children

ABC 12:00 p.m. Day six: Back on the health bandwagon! This morning, I thought, Why the hell am I drinking booze and coffee in the morning to get into better shape? That's ridiculous! I'll switch to beer in the afternoon. Anything before noon isn't good for you, you know.

Wednesday, January 17 FLW Outdoors

Fox Sports World 11:00 a.m. Day seven: One week of clean livin'! I feel like a million bucks. I thought it was stupid to drive to the gym and then walk on a treadmill when I could walk in the great outdoors. Ah, the glory of North Park in the morning. The air is brisk and smells faintly of carne asada. My first walk, I made it to the liquor store, half the distance to the gym. Without having to worry about getting into my running shorts, I completed the workout in my bathrobe and picked up some beer for my afternoon health drink. Michelob Ultra. It's low carb.

Thursday, January 18 Real World/Road Rules Challenge

MTV 10:00 a.m. Day eight: I've gone back to my traditional diet drink. I had been fooling myself this whole time. I'm not really following a diet-and-exercise regimen if I keep changing it. So, it's vodka, chocolate milk, and Tabasco. I even drank it on my workout walk this morning. My walk was shorter than usual, though. I made it out to the street where my pickup is parked, and I sat on the tailgate. You know, for fresh air. It's been a whole week, and I'll take it easy today to reward myself for a job well done. It feels good to set a goal and stick to it.

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