The great altar of active entertainment.

I love my TiVo.

Sometimes my TiVo records the programs it is supposed to record at the times it is supposed to record them. Sometimes my TiVo gets moody and cuts off the last few minutes of very important, educational programs like the Biography of Alexander Hamilton and by the “Biography of Alexander Hamilton” I might mean “Dancing With the Stars.” Don’t judge me.

I even continue to love my TiVo when it gets super bitchy and insists that I would enjoy Oprah, even though it knows how much Oprah makes me want to drink heavily, because drunk is the only way I can suffer through her bloated sense of enlightenment (just me?).

I love the bloop-bloop-bloop of fast-forwarding.

I love watching a two-hour episode of American Idol in fifteen minutes (Filler? bloop-bloop-bloop! Is Paula Abdul about to speak? bloop-bloop-bloop! I haven’t heard Paula Abdul’s voice in three years. I imagine it is very whiny.)

I love my David Conrad Wishlist.

I love my Season Passes of shows that I’m not ashamed to admit I watch (Scrubs, Numb3rs, Big Bang Theory, Miss Guided, The Shield, Men in Trees) and of shows that I delete without watching wink-wink (One Life to Live, Moment of Truth, Hannah Montana).

I love slow-mo-ing (wait. That doesn’t look right. Slo-moing? Slow-moing? Whatever) already slow-mo-ed (Slow-moed? Why is there suddenly a picture of a cow in my mind’s eye?) sports replays so that I’m watching them in SUPER slow-mo. It is this super slow-mo which revealed that Sid faked that high stick call in the last game.

I love pausing live TV.

And that brings me to the point of this post.

My sister in Texas emailed me today to tell me that she was painting her front door when her daughter, my niece, who is three — wait. I think she’s three. Let me think here. She’s short, blond, adorable, loves princesses, can’t legally drive but will totally mow your ass down if you stand in front of her princess golf-cart. Let’s go with three. — was watching my sister paint when suddenly nature called. Potty break.

“Mom. Can you pause it?”

“Uh. Pause what?”

“The painting. Can you pause it until I get back?”

Ah, yes. Raised on TiVo and forgetting that you can’t pause real life. This story makes me feel a little better about the fact that on many an occasion I have absentmindedly attempted to pause real life, or have found myself hunting through my purse for the TiVo remote so that I can rewind this little part of my life because that was my bus that just passed me up.

I guess I shouldn’t take too much comfort though, because after all, she is only three. And I’m … not.

But I am a WAY better driver.


  1. eileen
    March 31, 2008 10:09 pm

    Can we fast forward the Bucco’s baseball season? They just missed a fly ball that your 3-something year old niece could have easily caught. So Braves tie it up in the ninth.
    My two sons scared the crap out of me screaming.
    They turned it off in disgust.
    If they end up losing, I’m sure I’ll read about it here tomorrow.

  2. Amandr
    March 31, 2008 11:15 pm

    I have done that with the radio:I’m listening in the car and hear something that I didn’t quite catch and I reach for the knob to turn it back. Alas, it is just the volume knob.

  3. Jen-nay
    April 1, 2008 7:47 am

    Not just you on Oprah’s “enlightenment.”

  4. Ms. Caroline
    April 1, 2008 7:52 am

    A month ago The Oprah had Valerie Bertinelli on when she was promoting her book. I wanted to see what Ms. Bertinelli had to say and forgot to set the DVR before I left for work. I called my son when he got home from school and I said to him “I’m about to say something to you that you will never, ever hear me say again – please record The Oprah.”

    Entitlement? That’s putting it mildly.

  5. Not Martha
    April 1, 2008 8:28 am

    Yeah, over at “” everyone hates Oprah. The only person they hate more is boney tanorexic Kelly Ripa.

    Tivo is the best for any show on HGTV. Just forward to the last five minutes for the before and after … or which house Biff and Muffy picked on House Hunters.

  6. Kathy
    April 1, 2008 8:28 am

    I too am a DVR junkie. I can’t sit through real TV anymore. I am kind of lucky, my DVR is through my cable company so it never messes up any recordings – presumably because the cable company should be getting the listing times right.

    I also try to pause real life. Just ask my kids how many times I have told them to “pause that game and go do your chores” only to have them look at me as if to say “pause, we are riding bikes – how do we pause?”

  7. jason
    April 1, 2008 8:50 am

    i believe my friend over at dannation tries to pause life with his tivo remote, and i won’t say how old we are. i can tell you bram hates it when live tv is paused, he doesn’t want the world to be 2 minutes ahead of him.

  8. WWGRD?
    April 1, 2008 8:54 am

    The Wizard of Croz did not fake the high stick to the mouth. He was able to show NBC the black tape in his mouth from the stick that hit him. I admit, the first angle on the replay showed no contact. On the second replay you can cleary see Sid taking a shot to the mouth.

  9. Dave
    April 1, 2008 8:58 am

    great post. GREAT post.

  10. Becky
    April 1, 2008 9:25 am

    Amen on Oprah…can’t stand her….

  11. deebee
    April 1, 2008 9:40 am

    I love my DVR!

  12. Sooska
    April 1, 2008 9:42 am

    RE: TiVO niece. Kids are literalists and only know what htey live. When my son was about 5 when he first saw the ocean. Since he LOVED the Boyce Park wave pool we were surprised when he didn’t dive right in like the rest of us. He stood on the beach for the longest time staring out at the waves. Finally my husband said “Adam, don’t you want to go in?” and his return question was “When do they turn off the waves?”

  13. Brian
    April 1, 2008 9:56 am

    Scrubs, Numb3rs, Big Bang Theory, Miss Guided, The Shield, Men in Trees? You need to give us more than that? What deep dark secret shows are you ashamed to admit? Greys? Gilmore Girls repeats? A Judith Light Lifetime movie wishlist?

    Add in 30 Rock, The Office, PTI and Conan and Pittgirl and I could share one of those nice new HD TiVos.

  14. Christina
    April 1, 2008 10:15 am

    Oh, Tivo makes everything better. I find myself trying to pause and rewind real life, too. (Also, every now and then I look for my personal rear-view mirror.)

    You know about the 30-second skip button hack, right? It really takes the edge off campaign season when you can jump right over the political ads.

  15. pittgirl
    April 1, 2008 10:23 am

    WWGRD, I stand corrected then. It sure looked fake on six or seven replays.

    Brian, I do Season Pass 30 Rock; I have never watched The Office or Grey’s Anatomy; I don’t know what PTI is and it’s been a long time since I’ve watched Conan.

    Christina, spill it!

  16. Brian
    April 1, 2008 10:43 am

    PTI = Pardon The Interruption on ESPN weekdays at 5:30. It’s a great breakdown of the national sports news.

    I love the 30 second skip. Usually 3 minute commercial break, hit the button 6 times.

  17. Brian
    April 1, 2008 10:44 am

    Here’s a link to the 30 second hack.

  18. John
    April 1, 2008 10:59 am

    Love my DVR. Love PTI. Hate Oprah.

  19. DeutschtownFrau
    April 1, 2008 11:41 am

    Yeah, PittGirl — another stealth Hannah fan! She annoys me, her rubber face annoys me, but the writing is often pretty darn funny. And her dad is surprisingly attractive…

    But you’ve NEVER watched The Office???!! That doesn’t compute.

  20. Christina
    April 1, 2008 12:02 pm

    As Brian already linked to, the skip hack turns your jump-forward button into a 30-second skip button. To enable it, play any recorded show, and hit select-play-select-3-0-select; if you’ve done it right, you’ll hear three bongs.

    I’m also a fan of the keypad shortcuts. Tivo button-2 takes you to your To Do list; Tivo button-4 takes to to “Find Programs to record”; Tivo button-8 goes to Suggestions. (All 10 numbers go somewhere, but those are the only ones I use.)

    I might have an episode of Hannah Montana on my Tivo right now.

  21. Pensgirl
    April 1, 2008 12:36 pm

    WWGRD is right about the second angle…which is, of course, the one they showed fleetingly as Pierre McGuire babbled his apology when they returned from commercial. Sid was most definitely whacked in the mouth, but on that first replay it sure did look like he wasn’t.

    Getting the right angle is everything, and I find the national networks are not good at doing that. They usually show a bad angle over and over and waste time to the point that you either get just one look at the best angle, or never see it at all.

  22. chrys
    April 1, 2008 8:03 pm

    Love Miss Guided!! And who doesn’t watch Scrubs repeats after the news????

  23. Susan
    April 2, 2008 10:14 am

    Can’t live without my TiVo, and at least once I day I find myself searching for the button to jump back 30 seconds. And anyone that hasn’t upgraded to HD TiVo–it’s sooo worth it.

  24. claire
    April 2, 2008 10:18 am

    Yes, The Shield! I knew we were kindred spirits. Walton Goggins is my David Conrad.

  25. pittgirl
    April 2, 2008 10:29 am

    Let’s see HOW kindred we are in spirit. Did you or did you not watch Walt Goggins in the new Little House on the Prairie movies in which he played Almanzo Wilder?!

    Huh? Huh? Did you?

  26. claire
    April 2, 2008 10:35 am

    Oh, but I did. Did YOU watch him in Major League III? Gosh, he was so cute runing the bases.
    I even watched CSI once, when he played the serial killer.
    So there!

  27. claire
    April 2, 2008 10:38 am

    runing should be running.
    Also, I forgot The World’s Fastest Indian, Shanghai Noon, and House of 1000 Corpses. Told you I was a fan.

  28. TrolleyRider
    April 4, 2008 10:55 am

    Yeah PittGirl you have to start watching the Office, or better yet pick up the seasons on DVD and watch them from the start. That show is pretty much made for someone with your humor, especially if you work in cubeville.