This here bringer of the pooper to the fun party

One instance in which the future looks exactly like it was supposed to

This post is brought to you by Netflix.

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I think I have referenced my malfunctioning Internet connection that has plagued the house for over three weeks — up for a minute, down for an hour, up for fifteen minutes, down until the next day — and my temporary solution has been to use my phone as a hotspot. That was until I got a text message that said I’d used 90% of my data plan. We were at lunch over the weekend with friends and Leta asked if she could use my phone to show her friend a video and I was like, hm. Let’s see… just how good is this video, Leta? It involves Justin Bieber? Sorry, I’d make the sacrifice for the royal baby, but I don’t love Justin Bieber fifteen dollars of overage costs.

This little hiccup in life has shown me just how much we rely on the Internet for, oh, every single thing: looking up addresses, phone numbers, recipes, take out menus, hours of operation, side-effects, symptoms, cures, washing instructions, fitted-sheet folding tips, and suggestions on how to calm down when failing every attempt to fold that fitted sheet.

I now only listen to music through online services, and all three of us have pretty much switched from traditional television to streaming video. In fact, we now watch shows, mostly through Netflix, on our phones, our iPads and through the Wii. Rarely do we even check the DVR anymore because even then it’s a question of, “Did the next episode record?”

HA! Did. The. Next. Episode. Record. That is just so precious.

Here I wax nostalgic to Leta about VCRs, how the tape would often get caught in the spools, and she will one day tell Marlo about how she had to wait a week for the next episode of a show to air. Imagine the hardship, Marlo. You can’t, can you? Kids in the 2000’s. They lived like animals.

Back in May I was invited with a huge team of bloggers to visit Netflix headquarters to preview a new set of features they’d be rolling out called Netflix Families in the next few months. I had no problem saying yes and being willing to work with Netflix because their model makes my life so much easier. They are how I want to access all of television and movies. In fact, this is what the future was supposed to look like: all of it, right there at your fingertips. Literally at your fingertips. Like, magic.

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(Yes, she’s wearing some of the jewelry my mother gave her. You can’t just show up to an episode of “Hole in the Wall” in your pajamas, people.)

Side note: Netflix referred to this group of bloggers as the Stream Team. A few of us who have known each other online for a while (her and her and her and some random guy) would routinely huddle up during breaks, stack our fists and then throw our arms in the air as we shouted, “STREAM TEAM!” Just in case you ever wondered why we ended up being bloggers.

We were also very excited about the return of Arrested Development, the series that was cancelled a few years ago and then picked up by Netflix. And then Christmas came early when they released 15 new episodes ALL AT ONCE.

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That’s the other innovative, industry-changing development that is happening: original programming. Whole seasons all at once. All at your fingertips. And here is where I acknowledge the four hundred thousand times people have told me that I look like Piper from Orange is the New Black:

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Yeah. Whoa. I could be her stunt double if I wasn’t afraid of heights or spiders or the sound of a balloon popping.

So. I’ve pretty much done away with clearing off the DVR so that there’s room enough for it to record what both the girls and I want to watch. Instead, when Marlo wakes up at an appalling hour I fire up Netflix, cue an episode of “Shaun The Sheep” and then catch some sleep as it streams in between this adorable request: “I want another one. I want another ‘Sthaun the Stheep.'”

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They’ve also improved the way they recommend content with new rows of suggestions. It’s no longer just “Recently Watched” or “Popular.” Now they offer a slew of titles under suggestions like “Family Movie Night,” “Classics to Share With Your Family,” and “Movies Based on Bestsellers” to help you decide what to watch. I’d love a row titled “Will Soothe Your Cranky Daughters Who Are Wiped Out After Camp and are Calling Each Other Names Like ‘Booger Face.'”

And even though my Internet service has been spotty at the house, my kids have been able to come home from camp and relax by streaming shows on my phone through my cell connection. Yes, I’m about to go over my data plan, but this actually has me considering a bigger data plan. Well, this, the royal baby, and the number of times I do a google image search for “Ryan Gosling with his dog.”

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This post was sponsored by Netflix. Netflix Families makes summer easier.

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One extra thing to mention… I am personally giving away a year’s subscription to Netflix because I like it that much. I’ll choose a random commenter on this post once I’ve closed the discussion 24 hours after it’s gone live, meaning by 10AM Eastern Time on Thursday, August 1, 2013. And then I’ll announce the winner on Friday. Whee!

  • David Richie

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  • Dona Hightower Perkins

    LOVE netflix, would love to get rid of Verizon FIOS/DVR crap. Please pick me for the freebie…my kids and I will thank you! 🙂

  • Berthamae

    Hell yeah, I just want to win!

  • Michelle Ackerman Havas

    I also think you look like the chick from Orange is the New Black but much cooler. I’m not reading her blog, now am I??

  • alnemsmom

    Just discovered Orange is the New Black this weekend and spent almost an entire Sunday watching episodes. I thought Piper reminded me of someone!

  • Lori Fazeli

    Netflix saved my sanity and my marriage.

  • Abbymk

    With a 4 year old and a 2 year old filling up the dvr with fresh beat band and jake and the neverland pirates, Netflix would be a welcome addition at our house!

  • Jennifer Mefford

    Wow- that is quite a resemblance. Based on other comments, I can see that I need to check out that show.

  • Jill

    Pick me. I heart Netflix.

  • Jennifer Davis

    we’ve had basic (DVD) Netflix for years and years and years (with a disc queue of over 400 to prove it). Now the kids love streaming. It’s so 2013. 🙂

  • a-lo

    You could pay for a ghost US VPN for aboit 8 bucks a month and stream US content. Dont know the details, but know someone who did this abroad. Might not be completely legal.

  • Lesley Neadel

    I want it! 🙂 With a two and a half year old, I could stream SuperWhy and Dora the Explorer and UmiZoomi for hours… and then House of Cards and Orange is the New Black after hours…

  • Becky

    I thought that was you in the Orange is the Next Black photo…too funny!!

  • Anastasiya Ivanova

    I have slept through numerous Phineas and Ferb episodes myself in the wee hours of the morning

  • Brandie Newton Collins

    Now I am even more tempted to being watching Orange is the next black!

  • oregonjudy

    I need to enter the 21st century since I barely knew what and who you were talking about.

  • Abby Marschke

    Hi, thanks for the giveaway, would love to watch orange is the new black!

  • Ligouri

    We love the kids only division. I don’t have to helicopter mom when my six year old has the remote to make sure she hasn’t landed on American Horror Story by mistake.

  • Melanie

    Pick me! I already subscribe to Netflix but you can send cash. In fact, please send cash.

  • Laura

    Holy moly. The future is here.. I want it!

  • Monica

    I love how even sponsored posts are 100% Dooce. Thanks for that. And thanks for reminding me about the Netflix option. We mostly do Hulu and Amazon Prime VOD, but it looks like it might be time to give Netflix another go.

  • EricaLynn

    I don’t have netflix so I recently binge watched all of Orange is the New Black over a weekend house/dog sitting for a friend!

  • WebSavvyMom

    –>I love Netflix and consumed House of Cards rather quickly. I’m moving on to Orange is the New Black this weekend on my iPad, iPhone, tv or wherever I happen to be slacking. You just reminded me to be thankful for an unlimited grandfathered data plan too. Whew.

  • Kimberly-Ann

    My daughter actually gets mad because she can’t watch streaming shows while in the car… Your post made me reconsider renewing my Netflix subscription!

  • Cirrus

    Love Netflix. So much. And I binged on Orange is the New Black- can hardly believe I have to wait a year for more. And like everyone else, I thought maybe you had launched a new acting career…

  • Meg Griswold

    Have you watched House of Cards? Seriously amazing and super addictive. I can’t wait for the next season. My husband and I are avowed cord cutters. No cable, no home phone. When I have to watch actual TV the commercials are such a turn off. Between Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Instant Video, we are making it work.

  • Karyn

    Me please! A subscription to Netflix would be a most excellent gift for my family.

  • KT

    I think we’re one of the last families to NOT use Netflix — even my parents, who are still on dial-up, get DVDs in the mail in those pretty red envelopes. But we keep considering cutting the cable cord.

  • Nance V

    Give me a reason to love Netflix! I’ve been using Hulu Plus, but give me a free year of Netflix!!!

  • My 4 year old lives Shaun the Sheep too! Every morning when he wakes, he comes and asks for my phone so he can watch Netflix. He doesn’t know how to use a remote to watch tv, but he can navigate Netflix better than anyone in our house 🙂

  • shmarieb

    Sweet! I’d love to get that subscription and give it to my mom so she’d finally quit it with the tethered cable already!!

  • Catherine Jones

    My family loves Netflix. We ditched the cable 2 years ago and have only missed 2 channels. And I do the same thing in the morning when I want to grab a little more sleep, but my son’s pick is Wild Kratts.

  • Jena Scammell Healy

    The resemblance is def. Doppleganger worth mentioning!!!

  • charolette33

    My kiddos have been begging me to get netflix. After reading this post I am much more willing to check it out. Thanks!

  • Terra J

    I’ve been thinking about joining Netflix, reading your blog has confirmed this is something I MUST do! Thanks!

  • Michelle Lynne

    I’ve been a lurker for years…but this, this is something I will readily come out and comment! I looooove Netflix! I use it for motivation…motivation to clean, motivation to workout (just pop my Kindle on the treadmill and GO!) but I’ve been mooching off of my parents’ Netflix. And often get the ‘too many people trying to watch at the same time’ message. Please pick me! =)

  • onthegomom

    I love, love, love Netflix. My daughter watches everything on her iPhone or iPad, we also watch it through our BluRay. I still do old school though – and get the videos delivered. I love queuing those puppies up!

  • Heather S.

    What perfect timing! I’m getting ready to sign up for Netflix for an endless roadtrip with the kids!

  • Kelly

    Yay! A new dooce.com giveaway! Gotta love Netflix too! I read your blog daily and usually out loud to my co-worker because she always wants to know what’s making me laugh so hard. 🙂 Also, thanks to Marlo I can no longer listen to “Single Ladies” by Beyonce and NOT sing “all the single legs!”. Thanks for the daily entertainment Heather!

  • Toni

    I would love to give Netflix another go! Thanks for your blog and I’m sorry you have to put up with hate comments on every social media site you post to. Reading through comments makes me want to punch each and every one of them. I would have totally ran away and hidden under the covers by now. Good on you.

  • Dana

    Why oh why does Ryan Gosling’s dog have a mohawk? And why is he constantly picking it up?

  • Della

    Four hundred thousand AND one times….

  • mdhinnefeld

    I love Netflix! 🙂 *crosses fingers*

  • sarahmacon

    I should probably win that. Never seen the magic that is Netflix, still relying on good ole DVR over here in Alabama.

  • Ashley

    Dying to see Orange is the New Black – we’ve been considering a Netflix membership just to watch it! But the giveaway would be even better!

  • Jess

    OITNB…because I don’t already have enough in my queue. Would love to win!

  • Melissa Franke

    We should all wear glamorous earrings while watching!

  • melizerd

    I’ve been thinking the same thing about Piper and you so I’m glad you saw it too!! I love my netflix!!

  • Ivori

    Great giveaway. We love us some Netflix =)

  • Janet Herren

    yadda yadda yadda love Netflix yadda yadda yadda