A Night Without Internet

A night without internet started like this. Something happened that was pretty cool.

It stemmed from a mundane act, something that happens every evening.

We feed the cats wet food every evening around 5:00.

We have to feed them in separate rooms because Alfie is an asshole and chases Gertie away from her food. So, Alfie eats his dinner in the same spot every night and Gertie eats in whatever room she is in at the time, as long as it’s not the kitchen where Alfie eats.

Anyway, this evening, about an hour after the cats were fed, Joey joined Randy and I in our room to watch Youtube videos. Randy asked if Gertie had been fed and Joey said he didn’t know. I told them her food was up in Joey’s room.

At the exact same time, Randy and Joey both said “Oh, is it?”

You guys, they didn’t just say the same thing at the same time. They said precisely the same thing at the same time. The same inflection, the same little hiccup of a pause between the “Oh” and the “Is”. They sounded exactly the same, except the voices. The voices are quite different.

It occurred to me that if I heard them same the same phrase independently of each other, that it wouldn’t have been apparent how they sound literally exactly the same, if by “literally” we agree that voices don’t count.

I was fascinated to learn how much Joey and Randy truly sound alike.

Their laughs are not even close to the same. Randy hardly laughs out loud and Joey laughs a bit like a hyena. But even though they laugh completely different, they very often laugh at the same things. Honestly, I’d say less than half is actually funny, but I am neither Randy nor Joey. So.

After they spoke at the same time, they looked at each other and Randy might have made the smallest of chuckles and Joey cackled.

I told them “Randy, you should be amused and proud. And Joey, you should be concerned.”

Neither one of them laughed.

I really do worry about their sense of humor.

Okay, so now we’re going to switch to a different story. I have no segue.

Friday night, the unthinkable happened. A night without internet.

We were in the middle of Skyping with Mountain girl and The Bass player. The call ended absurdly early.

Randy, Joey and I sort of stared at each other for a bit. We came to the realization that we had no mode of entertainment.

No movies, no music, no social media. Nothing.

We haven’t watched DVDs in 10 years. We never even hooked up a DVD player in this house.

Joey and I decided, after a few rounds of drinks, we would scour the basement and garage for a DVD player and some DVDs.DVD

We’ve been here two and half years and we still have half a basement worth of boxes to unpack. If I’m honest, some of them had never been unpacked from the previous move and we were in that house for 10 years.

We never found the DVD player, even though I’m reasonably sure we own at least a dozen of them. Or at least 2.

I did, however, after searching through dozens of boxes that were obviously packed by a crazy person, find a single DVD. It was a single DVD from a Futurama set.

Okay then. Futurama it is! We would huddle around the TV in the living room like the goddamn Ingalls and watch a handful of episodes of Futurama.

Only we never did find a DVD player, but Joey had a plan. The PlayStation. We’d play the DVD on his PlayStation that he hasn’t used in forever. We had to find double A batteries for the controller, but we prevailed.

So, it turns out you have to download something from the internet to play DVDs on the PlayStation.

And we couldn’t get it to play on the laptops.

We were forced to sit together and talk.

It wasn’t all bad, really. I told Joey an amusing anecdote about a time I babysat 5 little boys when I was 12 and how one of them ended up in a dryer. The awesome thing is, he didn’t roll his eyes and say “Yeah, I’ve heard that story a thousand times.” He actually laughed.

No worries, the kid in the dryer was fine. I mean, a little dizzy, but fine.

Edited to add: OMG, yes…we DO read books in this house. All the time. But it was late. We had some drinks. And I just found the situation absurd, so I wrote about it. Just heading off anymore comments about whether or not we read. 

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  • W.T.F… you couldn’t watch something on your phones using the cellular connection?
    Even worse… you don’t read?!
    You don’t even have a book around or already downloaded on a Kindle to read?

    • Well, of COURSE we have books and kindles. We read a lot in this house. Unfortunately, by the time in the evening that all this transpired, we had a few drinks, so reading was right out for me. I tried, but my eyesight is failing (as soon as I’m not terrified of being around other people, I’ll go back to the eye doctor). My shitty eyesight makes it hard to watch things on my phone as well.

      So…Really…we do read. But thanks for your concern. I guess.

  • The last power outage we had we played Sorry with our son by battery powered camp light. It was fun. It is weird though how everything we do is online and without power we no longer know what to do with ourselves. LOL

  • We’ve got a few old games for that reason. They’re actually more fun to play after a few cocktails! Nothing against reading, but I totally agree with you, not gonna happen after a few. Unless of course you enjoy reading the same paragraph over and over.

    • Haha, with one eye closed.

      We literally have no board games. No one living here is interested in them…but I might have to pick up Scrabble and Boggle. We can make them drinking games.

  • I kinda stopped writing in journals when I first got online back in 2003. I noticed that fact by the final two entries in the journal I had at the time, both of which were written when the internet was down. I even titled the last one “Chronicles of Interrupted Connectivity”.
    The same thing works with my book reading, apparently. When we moved into the foundry in 2013, I didn’t have any internet or even access to my computer with my music programs on it for a couple of months, and I read something like thirty books before Sara mercifully lent me her MiFi and got me back online with a 6 GB monthly data limit.
    That data limit drove me to find more text based activities and less streaming based activities.
    One of those activities I took to was reading the Bloggess’ comment section, where I discovered several other blogs to read , one of which was written by someone who called herself RageMichelle, and seemed to have left a comment in many of the new blogs I found myself reading.
    PG&E has really been inconsistent lately. First, there was the “Mono wind event” that they preemptively cut the power off in case the winds caused wildfires with its creaky infrastructure, and this time they were smart to have done so: those winds blew over giant sequoias in Yosemite just up the road, and damaged their power lines enough that we were six days without power.
    Then it came back on for three days and the snowstorm hit. Four fucking feet of it, and the power went out for three more days.
    I read a book of stories by Ted Chiang, The Joy Luck Club, by Amy Tan. and Player Piano, by Kurt Vonnegut. There might have been another that I’m not remembering, but you get the idea.
    And now I have all of that online reading to catch up on.
    The cat is disgusted. First he was appalled by the heater refusing to warm his furry little butt, then he found four feet of snow in between him and the place he usually poops. He jumped out of the window once and disappeared completely. Yowling and thrashing, he came back through the window and hasn’t gone out since. He seems to wonder why we haven’t done anything about the snow yet.
    Well, today we will do something about it, namely, shovel it off of the stairs and the car and maybe try to drive said car to town for provisions tomorrow. I say “we” but that is a lie. Briana will do those things, as shoveling while using a quad-cane seems less than efficient to me.

By Michelle


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