“…but you can never leave…”

Sitting at the Dunn Brothers, Lake Street & West River Road, because I can. 5th of July. Noodling on the ShapeWriter iPhone app. Pandora Radio: Listening first to Bungle in the Jungle, then to Behind Blue Eyes via ear buds, which I can do now since getting iOS4. (Otherwise, pre- multitasking, moving away from Pandora to ShapeWriter meant music stopped.)

Led Zepplin “Rock and Roll” soothes my mind while I survey a coffeeshop of other folks similarly self- absorbed. Amazingly humid. Like last night, the sky is filled with a complex, dense jumble of clouds, thunderheads rising at regular intervals in all directions.

Went to Common Ground again this morning, making four consecutive days of sitting for two hours at a time.

Last night to Martha’s house for a neighborhood gathering. Men sitting on the porch, women in the kitchen. Does it never end? And the “kids,” shit– twelve years on, and damn– they’re BIG, they’re ADULTS, fer Christssake. I retreated to the air conditioning and solitude of my bedroom hours before the official fireworks. Stella decided she was most comfortable UNDER the bed.

What I SEE is quiet self- absorbed, computerized individuals. What I hear beyond the sonic iPhone Hubble Sphere is many voices, a la there’s a party going on.

Cable go bye-bye

For weeks, the text message had been scrolling across the top of the television screen. A warming to call the cable company and arrange for the installation of a digital converter, a “set- top box.” (Funny, but there’s not much “set-top real estate” on top of TVs anymore.)

The children were itching to call 1-800, for fear of “a possible lose of service.” The irony is that, for years, we’d been getting a pretty sweet deal. And placing that call was certain to end it.

Years ago, when we switched our Internet from DSL to cable, a cable guy came to our house to do the install. He determined that all the cable from the pole to the set needed to be replaced. It was too old. And replace it he did, at no cost to us. When done, however, he couldn’t figure out how to give us just the basic channels package that we were paying for. So we got the next level up package. No questions asked.

A few days after the children made their call, a UPS delivery appeared—the cable box. The children opened it up, plugged it in, and called the cable company. Software was pushed. Systems updated. And POOF! the carriage was a pumpkin, the prince a frog, our extra channels gone. No more Twinkies.

Kind of miraculous, that the kids really can’t say much since it was their actions that caused the change. While I’d like to watch Twins games, going with the flow and not having the full TV thing is an interesting change. If I had simply taken it away—oomph. But since they took it away from themselves—it has been workable.