Lately, my life has consisted of sorting the miscellaneous crap in my apartment and office into piles, moving said piles into boxes (or the trash or Goodwill, whenever possible), and shipping said boxes across the country. But moving also offers a myriad of smaller joys such as canceling utilities and setting them up in other places.
Today, I made a decision that I hope will take me a long way towards my goal of scholarly productivity: I canceled my Netflix account.
Netflix, for the three of you who aren't familiar with it, is the beautiful, seductive, and ultimately destructive enemy of would-be scholars. Even those of us who have held out against cable TV, and rarely turn on the box to see the crap that comes out of it, are taken in by the siren song of Netflix, which holds out the promise of obscure foreign films you can't get at the local video store, Hollywood blockbusters that you might be ashamed to pay to see (or be seen seeing) at the local theater, and, most dangerously of all, several-season runs of highly addictive TV shows (Deadwood, the Wire, The X-Files [through season 5, at least], or all three Joss Whedon series). I almost never turn on the TV, but could happily spend two to three hours a night four times a week glued to my laptop screen (that's right: I don't have a DVD player), and you didn't even want to be around me when, for no discernible reason, my scheduled DVD was a day late.
I have a problem with moderation.
But today I made the decision, not to transfer the account to my new address in Fellowship City, but rather to cancel altogether. I'll probably go through pretty serious withdrawal. But it may be a small, temporary price to pay for more productivity. Or at the very least, for getting to bed at a decent hour.