Yes, my ten-day sentence to solitary confinement at the Comcastic Island of the Damned is finally over.
Ten days ago I got around to calling Comcast after two days of dealing with a sick, then very sick, then moribund, then dead-as-Elvis modem. I know the signs well, as this is my third or fourth modem. After phone calls with four Comcast â€œcustomer serviceâ€ representatives and one Comcast â€œsupervisor,â€ the verdict was final. It would take ten days for Comcast to spring a technician loose to visit my home to replace a dead modem. Ten days without internet access. No blogging, no blog reading, no e-mail, no unfiltered information. No nothing. Nada! Zilch! Zip! Zubonowitz! Nothing!
So, what did I learn from having been cut loose from cyberspace and cast adrift in the meat world?
A hiatus from blogging and blog-reading does not result in a wellspring of creativity. At first I rationalized, â€Yo, Jimbo, this might not be a bad thing. After all, for the past couple weeks, you felt as if you might be losing your fastball. This will be a good time to re-charge for a couple days, and then you can spend the rest of the downtime writing really clever and creative things.â€
It did not happen. I found that, without the self-imposed daily â€œdeadlineâ€ to come up with something that might be worth at least sixty seconds of someoneâ€™s time, it is too easy to decide to do other things instead of coaxing something worth reading from the keyboard. I read four mind-candy books, which admittedly was not bad, and I watched far too much television, most of which would have been better left unwatched.
I have often heard and read that to produce an occasional bit of decent writing, one must write something every day if at all possible. The last ten days have convinced me of the wisdom of that proposition. As I sit here, I donâ€™t feel creatively refreshed, but rather creatively stiff, badly in need of throwing a few warm-ups.
Loss of internet access is torture for an information junkie. Until now, I hadnâ€™t realized just how much and how often I have come to rely on the internet for information — not for just the daily news, but for all sorts of information â€“ from news that is unfiltered by the television networks to instantly being able to find out who played â€œJoe Blowâ€ in the XYZ Movie.
It was particularly maddening to be without access to tons on information during a time period when the Israelis were kicking the shit out of Hezbollah (Hizbulla? Schmizbolla?) and, in turn, getting their asses kicked by the American media. It was positively maddening to be without access when a plot to blow airplanes out of the sky was foiled by our British friends whose intelligence gathering efforts remain unencumbered by the ACLU and the New York Times.
Most of all, I missed the peeps. â€˜Nuf said.
Itâ€™s good to be back in business.
Special thanks to my good buddy Eric, who kept the place alive and, in at least one case, â€œvibratingâ€. Also a big thanks to Dogette at Two Nervous Dogs for proving that vigils need not be a downer, but rather can be a GODDAMNED pisser!
NOTE FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF HOLY SHIT: The cable guy left, and everything was working. However, in the time it took me to write this, I lost access AGAIN!!! I immediately called my old friends at Comcast and a switch flip there (same as unplugging the modem uh-oh!) got me back on. Donâ€™t throw away those vigil candles just yet.