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October 18, 2010

And we're back online!

The cable guy just left and my new modem seems to be working. Hello, internet. You look pretty!

They aren't kidding around with that Monday morning 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. window. I've never been able to have repair appointments scheduled during the workweek so experiencing an on-time repairman visit was like winning the lottery.

The best part of being innernetless for many days was the freedom from technology with no guilt. There was no guilt at being late with email or not reading it at all or not catching up on this or that or deleting spam or even checking my accounts because there was no internet, therefore I was free. I have friends who can't stand to go an hour without checking email or facebook or twitter or voicemail or texting or whatever it is they do obsessively on their fancy phones. I have a fancy phone but I use it almost exclusively for playing scrabble and solitaire. Maybe it's an age thing? Or perhaps I just don't have the DNA for technology addiction.

Instead I spent last week and the weekend reading (both versions of Hemingway's A Moveable Feast, the original and the updated version, so I'll be ready for our book chat next Monday!) and re-reading Passing for Thin by Frances Kuffel. The last time I read that book I must have still been a smoker, inside the pages I found a little improvised bookmark from the torn foil liner of a pack of Capris.

When I found that little scrap of paper I held it up to my nose and breathed in deeply, hoping it still smelled faintly of tobacco. But it just smelled like paper. I turned it over and over in my fingers, thinking about every thing I loved so much about smoking: tapping a fresh, unopened pack of cigarettes to pack the tobacco, pulling off the cellophane on the outside, opening a fresh carton and pulling off the foil-lined paper. Then I would smell them. Tobacco (when it's not burning) smells universally good, earthy. Then lighting, inhaling, watching smoke drift off as you exhale. I loved smoking.

When I quit and realized it wasn't just a blip, that I really had quit, I shared my dirty little secret with people. I explained that I hadn't quit, really, I just decided to pause smoking until I turned 60 and then I could smoke again. And that was the only way I could quit smoking rightnow, by promising myself I could smoke when I was older. I figured it would give me something to look forward to, anyway. And so far it has worked, I am a non-smoker. For now.

When I told people my plan to resume smoking at age 60 the responses were varied and firmly reflected the personality of the person commenting. "You'll be surprised how soon you'll start hating smokers!" "You'll never smoke again, trust me." "Smoking kills!" "Oh My God, Me TOO." "I was going to start again at 70, but maybe 65..." "I want to smoke right now."

One of the things I love most about Los Angeles is how insane people are about smoking. People here will have man-made chemical objects inserted in their boobs to gain a cup size or inject a substance made from botulism into their eyebrows but they won't stand a hundred yards from a smoker. It is fascinating! If you want to bring this city to its knees, forget terrorism and warfare. Just place a smoker on every street corner. When I turn 60 I assume that smoking tobacco will be illegal in Los Angeles County.

Luckily, though, it looks like pot will be totally legal so I can just make the switch from Capri Ultra Lights to Billy's Bong Shop!

How did I get off on this tangent?

Also, while the innernet was away, I caught up on some laundry and some mail and took several long walks and watched plenty of good TV. Is anyone else watching Detroit 1-8-7? I'm not sure why, but I find it very disturbing. It's compelling -- I can't stop watching -- but it's so gritty. Not really an ad for the Detroit Visitor's Bureau, but probably the best cop show I've seen since The Closer first aired. The Undercovers was a disappointment, but Hawaii 5-0 is beyond great TV. The new season of Castle is fun, and I'm watching DWTS, although I find it odd I'm rooting for Bristol Palin. I was glad "The Situation" finally got the boot, I feel like I need to get inoculated every time I see him on TV. I still don't understand why I watch Jersey Shore. It makes me cringe and worry about our declining civilization. Yet I watch. Fascinating.

So that's me, and now I have to catch up on email and pay some bills. What have you been doing?

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Oh, and I made a turkey in the crock pot.

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And I stalked Bob with my iphone, yet another use for technology... cat pictures!

Posted by laurie at October 18, 2010 10:06 AM