This weekend has been wonderful. Honestly, it’s the best weekend I’ve had in a long time. It took this weekend for me to realize that it’s been a very long time since I’ve had a weekend that felt like a weekend. I’d forgotten what they can be like. Typically, I spend the majority of every day, Monday through Saturday, working. Even when I work from home, I break for meals and otherwise am reading and/or writing. Typically, I do an hour or two of work after dinner too. Sundays are different, but they’re not exactly relaxing. I am often teaching a class at church, but even when I’m not, getting ready for and going to church seems to take the majority of the day. It’s been forever since a weekend felt like an honest to goodness break from my “job.”
Well, I sure hadn’t planned to take a break this weekend, but that’s exactly what I did. Since Friday evening, I haven’t done a lick of homework. On Saturday morning, my family and I attended a tailgate potluck party thing at our church. We saw some friends and enjoyed the culinary talents of many. My original plan was to go home immediately afterward and hit the grindstone, but that’s not what happened. Prior to the potluck, we went to Wal-Mart and ended up buying a Blu-Ray player. It wasn’t exactly an impromptu purchase. Melanie wanted to buy me a Blu-Ray player for Father’s Day, but she thought it best to let me figure out which one would be the best for us. I researched them a bit, but we never invested the time or money into actually buying one. On Saturday, Melanie encouraged me to look them over, since it’s a very rare occasion that I’m at Wal-Mart with her. We looked and, based on the little bit of research I did a few months ago, I was pleased with what you could get for what seemed like a decent price. We took the plunge and brought one home. We don’t even have a Blu-Ray disc, but already, I’m extremely pleased.
Here’s why. The Blu-Ray player we purchased (a Vizio something or other) has a built-in wireless connection. Because I have a wireless router hooked to my home office computer, this enables me to view Netflix instant streaming movies through our Blu-Ray player at the touch of a button … or at least, at the touch of relatively few buttons. It’s kind of silly, but this has been quite a thrilling thing for us. I say it’s silly because instantly viewing movies online has been an option for us since we joined Netflix three years ago. What’s more, it was not altogether uncommon for us to watch such movies on our television by hooking our laptop computer to the TV. In short, the Blu-Ray player doesn’t make it possible for us to do anything with Netflix instant viewing that we haven’t already been able to do. It just makes it immensely simpler to do it. And that alone makes Netflix instant viewing feel like a completely new toy to us. The movies have always been available for instant viewing, but not having to hook up a laptop, load Windows, pull up the Netflix website, etc., makes it feel like this extensive collection of online movies are ours. Like we can really just watch them anytime we want. I don’t know how to put it into words. It just feels very different, and it’s very fun. After we got home on Saturday afternoon, I hooked up the Blu-Ray player and within a couple of minutes we were watching a movie as a family, in glorious HD no less. Very cool.
Now, don’t you worry. We’ll get a Blu-Ray movie eventually, so the Blu-Ray player is not just for streaming Netflix. That was never the plan. We very rarely buy movies, but there are a few I wouldn’t mind getting on Blu-Ray. Also, I’ve been told (though I haven’t yet verified) that even DVDs look better through Blu-Ray players because of the interface that the latter utilize. That’ll be cool. For the moment, I have no plan for us to change our Netflix subscription so that those movies we receive in the mail are on Blu-Ray rather than DVD. I don’t necessarily think that’s worth the extra money. But the Blu-Ray experience will be cool for any movies we want to buy in the future.
On Saturday night, the family and I went out to dinner. Today, church went about as well as it can—it should be noted that I often hate Sundays, so to have a good Sunday is awesome—and we once again watched a movie as a family via the Blu-Ray player. These things probably sound very simple, but for me, they are rare. It’s rare for me to just spend time kicking back with my entire family, and I loved it. It was very refreshing. Just thinking of tomorrow makes me sad, to think of being back to work and seeing my wife and kids pretty much for mealtimes and little else.
Sigh. Sorry, I feel like this got derailed a bit. I feel like I’m ending on a somber note, but I think it’s because I’m listening to a somber song right now and I just had some discipline problems arise with my oldest son. (He’s supposed to be going to sleep, and I just had to run into his room because I thought I heard something shatter. It was a false alarm—just a toy xylophone spilled all over the floor—but it happened because someone’s not following the rules and trying to sleep like he’s supposed to. His bed also has water droplets all over it because he’s throwing his water cup. I best not type the next few words I’d like to type.)
Honestly, it was a great weekend. All but the last few minutes.