Busy morning and still no internet at home. Time to press “go” on the blog.
Turns out my router is just fine, my ISP is having some issues with their “circuits,” and I’ll be out of an internet connection for an undetermined amount of time. That sucks for me, because the internet is my brainless-entertainment. I mean, for most people, it’s television. They come home, plop down, and watch TV all night before going to bed. Maybe not really paying attention, maybe doing other things while “watching,” but the TV is the prime occupier of their free time. For me, it’s the computer. I’d rather sit in front of the computer, surfing the net, listening to music, tinkering with this and that, making webpages, etc. The computer is my TV.
This has been the source of some friction between Sharaun and I before. She feels like I spend the “whole evening” on the computer, which I counter with something like, “I feel like you spend ‘the whole night’ on the TV.” This does not computer to her, because the TV is just “what you do.” I’ll admit, it’s more mainstream. I bet the vast majority of people come home from work, turn on the TV, and have it going in the background until they go to bed. Kids of the TV generation then see this as “what you do” in that post-work, post-school, evening time. It was the same way with my family, we had our “shows” that we watched. Cosby on Thursdays, Murder She Wrote on whatever day Murder She Wrote came on, McGuyver, Family Ties, etc. Problem is, in her mind, there is a fundamental difference between wasting time in front of a television and wasting time in front of a computer. One is “OK,” a socially-acceptable waste of time, while the other, for some reason, is not.
To me, they’re both wasting time. To her, watching TV together is “spending time” together. But, if I’m sitting on the couch with the laptop while we watch TV together, somehow it doesn’t count. I don’t really understand it. In order for our evening to qualify as “spending time together,” we apparently both have to choose to waste it in the same way. I’m even in the same room, the sole difference is that I’m staring at a laptop monitor and she’s staring at a television. It’s funny, if I’m reading a book – that’s cool, if I’m doing dishes in the kitchen, that’s cool too; it’s only the computer that somehow magically negates the “spending time together” thing. I predict this as a problem for more people as the brainless-pastime paradigm slowly shifts.
I talked to Tracy on the phone today, a buddy of mine is in Taiwan staying at the hotel where she tends bar. He was at the bar, and had her call me up. She still can’t speak English that well, but it was funny to talk to her. She said she’s happy that I’m coming out there again soon, and this time she might let me take her out to dinner. I mean, really, y’all be knowin’ she’s not a real “girlfriend,” or else I wouldn’t be calling her that on the internets – but she is fun to hang out with when I’m in town. Hopefully, I’ll be able to talk to her a lil’ more this next time – providing I pass my Mandarin class and don’t get fired.
Kind of related, last night I called tech support for my ISP, since the connection was down and I wanted to inquire about a possible outage. The guy I got routed to was in India (I’m not pigeon-holing here, he told me), and our conversation was hilarious. First off, without sounding too boastful, I’ll set the stage by saying I could run rings around this guy’s tech expertise. Not that what he knows won’t enable him to solve 99% of the type of customer issues he probably runs into, just that to me it was pretty much useless. Anyway, I told him my connection was dropping packets, particularly large ones. Small packets were making it through with a higher percentage, while the loss increased with packet size.
The first thing homeboy asked me was “where, exactly, are you located?” I responded with my city and state. “Mmm-hmmm, OK,” says he, “Where, exactly though, are you located, sir?” “Uhh…,” I repeat my city and state again, asking if that’s the information he wants. I go further and give him the nearest “big” city, just in case he’s squinting at a wall-map of a country halfway around the world trying to find my tiny suburb. “Mmmm-hmm, excellent sir. But, in terms of location sir, where, exactly is that located?” Wow… what?! My mind races: what does this guy want? I respond with my zip code, and wonder if I should next resort to longitude and latitude or degrees, minutes, and seconds. “Oh, and currently I’m sitting in my computer room in a large grey chair, facing northeast.” Hilarious. It goes without saying, I humored the guy for about 10min and then hung up on him when I got to feeling too bad. Yeah, I do people like that.