Friday, April 15, 2011

The Joys of Instant Gratification

I've always been good at delayed gratification. Cross-country training in high school, eventing/jumper training with Panache, and—oh yeah—this whole residency thing.

Recently, however, I have been enjoying the wonders of instant gratification in the digital age.

Example the First: Netflix streaming. We have been longtime subscribers to Netflix, and it was nifty enough when DVDs started arriving regularly at our house in the mail. But this streaming thing, though not available for all movies/TV shows, is FANTASTIC! I finished the available seasons of Friday Night Lights a couple of months ago and have since moved on to Angel. I just click a button and boom, brain candy TV arrives on my computer screen, ready to entertain me through a session on the bike trainer or a laundry-folding extravaganza.

This was taken to an even higher level a couple of weeks ago, when, thanks to a spring snowstorm, I ended up doing a 12-mile run on the treadmill at the YMCA. Ick! Luckily, I was able to use the wireless network at the Y and the Netflix app on my iPhone to stream the three episodes of Angel that entertained me through my run. Ah, the wonders of technology!

Example the Second: My Kindle. I love my Kindle. I didn't want to love my Kindle so much, but I do. As a book-lover and former bookstore-worker, I was kind of hoping that it would be deeply inferior to real books. And there's no doubt that for decorating the house, or looking at illustrations, or making notes in the margins, books carry the day. But for reading in bed, the Kindle is great...light, and none of that foldy-over-book-bulge problem with every other page. I can carry it anywhere, and access any book I've bought. And boy oh boy...I can think, "hmm, I'd like to read that book!" and then fifteen seconds later I've downloaded it and am starting the first page. Fabulous! I'm going to be in trouble with the book budget if I ever get more time to read...