Out of Touch  

Posted by Jonathan E Johns

Well, my apartment building will be a little bit quieter this month. It seems I am one tenant of five in this building which has eight apartments. The guy who was below, and across the hall from me moved out, and went back to his wife (Thats a good thing), and I don't think the ones across the hall from me are going to last much longer. They are young, and for the first month here, they had guests all day and night, trashing the parking lot, making lots of noise, loud music, parties, etc etc. Yesterday, the local rental agency came by, and took everything back, beds, couch, chairs, tv, stereo, everything. I think someone in the other side of the building left too, last week, I saw a moving van, and I have not seen the big truck parked over in that lot recently, either.

What does this all mean? Why do I care? Well, it seems one of the recent departures had wireless Internet access, of which I had been 'pirating' service from, since I have not had access from any of my accounts since mid September. That means, I now don't have Internet access in my apartment at all. I don't have any phones (Although I have my cell, and though I don't have an account in good standing, I think it will still access 911 emergency, if need be) and I am completely disconnected. I guess it is a good thing I work 6 days a week, about 9-10 hours a day, otherwise I might start feeling like a hermit.

So I will write when I feel up to it, and figure out a schedule to go to the library a few times a week, and upload a blog entry. I have a memory stick somewhere, I'll have to dig that up. But I have a plan.

As for Facebook, I will visit that a couple times a week as well, rather than the several times a day I am used to. I haven't gotten much E-mail in the last several months, so I don't think anyone will miss my slow replies there, and I do have a plan to get a phone. Maybe after Christmas, I can get a land line for cheap, and maybe in February get Internet access back. I miss my Bandwidth. I haven't played any online games since August, I think, and I miss that camaraderie.

Autumn has arrived here in the Mid-West, not so much with a fury, but more like a sneak attack. Warm days, cold nights, and the occasional storm, punctuated with the inevitable 'Weatherman Guess' every evening at 6. I honestly don't know how we attach ourselves to the weather prognosticators so tightly. I imagine if they weren't around at all, we would all be a little more surprised than we are, but my guess is that we would take up a little more faith in the Farmers Almanac, and might even teach weather in high school. We might look to the skies without so much indifference, and look at with as much interest as we do a weekly sitcom. This is a pretty tenuous connection, but give me chance to explain.

The state of writing in TV Sitcoms is pretty horrible. More often than not, everything is so predictable, that the writers count on us knowing what is coming next, so they can throw a slight curve into it, not enough, of course, to change the outcome, but to show us their great ability to put our favorite character in a familiar situation, so that we can see how they would deal with it. Ralph Cramdon did it in the Honeymooners fifty years ago, Lucy did it in I Love Lucy forty years ago, Richie Cunningham did it in Happy Days 30 years ago, Cliff Huxtable did it on Cosby 20 years ago, Jerry did it on Seinfeld 10 years ago, and since I don't really watch them anymore, someone is doing the exact same thing tonight, at 8, 7 Central, somewhere on one of the four networks. And we know what the outcome is going to be, we're just not sure how our favorite character is going to apply their catch-phrase for this season.

Maybe without weathermen on TV, we would look at the skies with as much fore-knowledge, and better understand what is definitely going to happen, but with the same fascination of how much, or for how long we get from the Sitcom.

Of course we cannot so away with the Weathermen, but their predictions are not gained from some mystical knowledge, it is simply observing, and looking at past trends. Any of us can do that, farmers do it every day, so do pilots. I think it makes us lazy, and stupid, rather than more educated. I would love to see the Weather Channel run educational pieces late at night. If you had enough insomnia, and took good notes, you could probably be a certified weatherman in only a few months.

So the weather is unpredictable, and the dryness here is unbelievable. I am constantly thirsty, dry sinuses, dry lips, like I am in a desert. I leave the house in the morning wearing sunglasses and a winter coat, and leave work in the late afternoon with dark skies, and warm rain blowing sideways. I think I might have said once while in California that I missed the 'weather', which I meant I missed the changes of the weather. But after being back here for a while, I guess I blocked out the fact that from late October to mid April, the death of the land is overwhelming, and sucks the life from your soul. I cannot imagine how bad it must be north, or south towards the poles, with only a few hours of light every day for months, and farther even still, weeks and weeks of darkness. The cold is not so bad, I can deal with it, but the lack of predictability is amazing. We could have snow on the ground one morning, a warm rain in the after noon, and a tornado in the evening. I never felt a need or desire to take a vacation anywhere but around home in California, but I can understand why people here want to leave this place for even a weekend and go someplace not so much warm, but stable.

Anyway, I am looking for another unpredictable Autumn, followed by, at least as far as the Farmers almanac says, a crazy violent winter. Preparing my emergency kit, with flashlights, candles, water, etc, (just like the earthquake kits we made in California,) And otherwise getting ready for what I hope to be my last winter here in the mid-west.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, November 12, 2008 at 9:22 AM . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

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