October 14, 2008

Mumble Rawr Grump Grump

OH HI! have no internet at my house. I have not had any since Sunday. I won’t have any until the tech comes out tomorrow. COMCASTIC! The first time we called to get them to fix it, a recorded voice told us, “We have a tech working in your area,” and then the bot hung up on us.

This is not exactly a lie…Granted, it is a PRECORDED message that says “If you are experiencing outages right now, don’t worry, we have a tech in your area,” that plays to EVERYONE who calls in. I have heard this EXACT message about outages and not worrying and that a tech was in our area RIGHT NOW every time I have called Comcast in the last YEAR. But it is not a LIE, as long as you assume MY AREA means the planet earth. Then the message is TRUE, in that they have a tech working SOMEWHERE on earth. Probably just the one.

When we finally got a person on the line we TOLD him we had already rebooted both the modem and the comps, and he read a set of instructions from a printed card telling us to reboot the modem and the comps. We re-explained that we JUST did that before we bothered to call him, and he went back to the top of the card and started reading instructions on how to reboot the modem and the comps…so we gave in and RE-rebooted the modem, and then RE-rebooted the comps, and it RE-didn’t work, and THEN at last he agreed to schedule a service call.

The first date and time he gave us was for October 12th between 8 am and noon. We gently pointed out that it was now the 13th , but if he COULD have a tech here yesterday, that would be great. Alas, time travel retrograde repair costs extra, SO, no tech until Wednesday.

DO I SOUND GRUMPY? Well, I am grumpy! I wrote you a nice thank you letter for your best beloved awesomelyness and a thing about my horrid cat that I can’t post because, no internet. I’m writing this from my office (read: Starbucks) this time one in the middle of Atlanta as I have to meet a guy about a writer in residence gig in a few minutes.

I WAS trying to work on my book here, but a woman I have named Stentorina is treating me to her half of a conversation she is having with a man I have named The Blessed Mumbler. I hear the gentle susurrations of The Blessed Mumber’s bee-buzz voice gently saying things at a volume that does not allow me to understand a SINGLE WORD. I think I love him.

Then Stentorina will take her turn talking. She is loud. She has opinions. “THEY WILL NEVER OVERTURN THAT LAW, YOU KNOW,” she is opining now, “IT CAN’T BE DONE. IT IS PART OF HISTORY. AND ANYWAY, WE ARE TOO EVOLVED.”

I have no idea what the law is we aren’t going to overturn but… too evolved? Who is WE? I think she means PEOPLE? I don’t put ANYTHING past people. Human Beings are the species that invented war and cannibalism and made Milli Vanilli go platinum. No evil and no silliness is beneath us, and under our Decatur book fest T-shirts beat the hearts of beasts.

I want to say to her, “We are too evolved? Have you MET any human beings recently?” I should say it. I feel if she did not want me to be PART of her conversation, she wouldn’t make SO sure that I could hear EVERY LINE OF IT.

I went and asked my barista to turn on the music, and he did, and still I hear her very word. She is going home to make REAL oatmeal. That instant stuff here at Starbucks has no fiber, she says. The paper reading guy across from me has shot her UMPTY dirty looks, all of which she has deflected harmlessly with her volume-shield. He finally folded his paper up and stamped out past her, and she remained oblivious. He is currently sitting on a hard outside chair in the dark, and happier for it. I would join him if there was an outlet out there.

I SWEAR this woman has swallowed the soul of a trumpeter swan and the dern thing floated up instead of down and lodged in her nostrils and it is BLARING everything she says through it’s TRUMPETY LOUDNESS SWAN FILTER. “Don’t do it, if it doesn’t feel good!” Stentorina is saying now—Words to live by. Words that make me wonder how chucking this 3 dollar tall skinny late at her head would feel.

I’m thinking, pretty good. If I only I wasn’t too evolved for that…

AH she has finished her PROTEIN SMOOTHIE THING. She is packing up. She is leaving. HUZZAH! Okay. I’ll be in Fictional Amarillo if you need me, trying to be less CRABBY. I need to assume that she has an ear infection or was recently almost blown up (This seems credible. I myself am very close to trying to explode her.) and perhaps she has NO IDEA how loudly she was speaking. I need to stop being such a SOUR little pill just because COMCAST is POOPY. It’s going to give me FOREHEAD LINES.


Posted by joshilyn at October 14, 2008 7:14 AM

If you don't trademark the cannibalism and Milli Vanilli line, can I have it?

Posted by: liz at October 14, 2008 7:38 AM

We leave town and come back to see comcastic becomes comcatastrophe!!?? SO not fair. Not fair not fair not fair!

On another note G and I have...things for you...that are sure to make your heart smile.

Posted by: Lia at October 14, 2008 7:45 AM

Conspicuous people. My least favorite kind. I spend my outdoors time aspiring to be a wallflower. Not make extra traffic, extra noise, anything extra to look at. Nothing to see here. I do not care to be unwillingly dragged to a public soap opera by its star. All the world IS a stage but really, who put these blowhards in the leading role?

You must imagine she is pretty proud of herself and her ideas and must think that you (and everyone else) are terribly impressed with her ideas. You totally should have thrown the coffee. It would have been worth it.

Posted by: Em at October 14, 2008 9:36 AM

Comcast is Teh Devvil. On a happier note, by the time you get teh internets back, maintenance will be over and huzzah patch day!

Posted by: inkgrrl at October 14, 2008 10:03 AM

I don't know ... starbucks coffee is a pretty expensive weapon.

Posted by: Tina-cious.com at October 14, 2008 10:06 AM

"Human Beings are the species that invented war and cannibalism and made Milli Vanilli go platinum." Best line ever.

Posted by: justAcliche at October 14, 2008 10:12 AM

I am simultaneously relieved and disheartened to hear that there are loud, annoying people everywhere. (Relieved that others get annoyed w/the annoyers and try to stare death rays.)

The one downside of watching Charmed and the like is that I find myself terribly frustrated that I can't vanquish these types. If Joss truly is boss he (or our Joss) ought to be able to figure out a workaround for that.

Posted by: Elizabeth J at October 14, 2008 10:27 AM

Ohhh yes, I have fallen prey to the Comcastic fates. I shudder to think what they *might* do to me, and more important, my internet connections, IF I write nasty things here.

Let's just say, I have had them out 3 times since June. They recommended that they send some guy out to boost my signal. I am in the basement, crawling around near the sump pump, looking at some do-hickey he's attached to the cable line. He says, "See this will boost the signal and make your internet connection better. " For all I know, he could have attached any spare part available from the truck. It was like a pig looking at a watch.

After much trial and tribulations AND having the electricians out (They wanted $700 to lay a NEW cable line) my darn computer works a *bit* better.

Now Comcastic tells me it is probably my computer, so I need to call Mumbai and speak with the lovely and talented Debbie.

What, pray, did we do before we spend hours, days and months trying to fix electronic things?

Posted by: gin at October 14, 2008 11:15 AM

Stentoria's brother lives in Kalamazoo. The good news is that he just had a reunion with his estranged (far be it from me to eliminate the first and last letter there) son. The bad news is that he did it at Water Street Coffee Joint, on the couch I wanted. The good news is that they are on their way to reconciliation and healing. The bad news is that this has been achieved by going inch by inch over their mutual past, social worker by social worker. (Mom continues to be an issue as does Dad's girl friend.) I finally went out into the front room, but rest assured that they did not shirk nor take their hands from the plow; it was at least an hour later that they finally got out to the parking lot, and even then it took another ten minutes. And in theory? I'm glad. And in practice? I just wanted to drink my coffee and write. OOFdah.

Posted by: rams at October 14, 2008 1:43 PM

So will there be a guest appearance by Stentorina (love the name BTW) in the new book?

The last time a phone person told me to reboot and all that, when I already HAD before I called, I just pretended to obey them as I sat there reading paperwork and whatnot.

Posted by: Brigitte at October 14, 2008 2:40 PM

Poor Joshilyn, things will be on the up and up in a few days. I was never one for reading pointless fiction novels but since i have read your blogs, noticing how you keep me hanging on your every word, i must read ALL of them. *smile*

Posted by: Elivaras at October 14, 2008 3:27 PM

Recently my husband and I paid a sitter to stay at our house while our children slept, just so we could go get coffee after dinner. That's how DESPERATE we were to have a conversation that did not involve preschoolers. When we finally get to the coffee shop, and are just settling in to our 20$ coffee+sitter EVENT, a GAGGLE of college students hovers near our table. The ring leader trumpets about how hard she threw up from their previous night's binge (I do not lie), and how she was going to be Marilyn Monroe for Halloween. If there had been anything (except my 20$ coffee) for me to throw at her, I would have.

I'm irritated all over again, just thinking about it.

Posted by: Stephanie at October 14, 2008 3:45 PM

I really thought Stentorina was a character in your WIP, and you wanted her to pipe down so you could hear what the mumbling character was saying so you could catch that in your manuscript, too. I also really thought you asked the barista to turn DOWN the music so you could hear what the mumbler was saying and I laughed, thinking, maybe that WOULD help. Then when the paper-reading guy across from you got mad too, I thought, wait, wha?? And re-read it all and laughed at _me_.

>sigh< Sometimes we're a wee bit slow on the uptake here. And evolved? Ha, not so much of that either...

Posted by: Lulu at October 14, 2008 4:18 PM

Stentorina apparently has relatives worldwide, but be glad you only had to put up with her in Starbucks.

Our neighbors have a relative we like to call "Auntie Loudmouth." Auntie can be heard through closed and locked thermal-pane windows and over vacuum cleaners, and she shows up whenever the neighbor kids have vacation. They love her, whereas we, um, do not.

In fact, she was here for Columbus Day, and I had to turn the iPod up to Imminent Deafness volume while I was out working in the garden or risk insanity.

I hope they enjoyed my tuneless humming :-)

Posted by: firefly at October 14, 2008 4:27 PM

Oh, I so wish I'd come up with that Milli Vanilli. line.

This is why I can't write in public... not because the Stentorina was loud, but because I would have been busy taking notes and then I'd have probably asked her questions just to egg her on.

Posted by: toni mcgee causey at October 14, 2008 5:26 PM

Yes, Stentorina, she is everywhere. Her daughter is actually on MY daughter's volleyball team. As one person pointed out, at least I don't have to bother with yelling for my own daughter -- DONE! And, I'm with you -- humans? Too evolved for WHAT? "Fear Factor", "Big Brother 8", and "The OC" -- we can only fantasize.

I finally told my satellite dish dude, "This thing is coming off the wall. You can take it away in your truck, or you can put it someplace on my house where it actually receives a satellite signal, or I can just rip it off." Yeah, we get grumpy. Let me know when that time travel thing works out, though.

Posted by: Sarah S. at October 14, 2008 5:32 PM

we used to have comcast....my kids like to call it craptastic.

Posted by: Laura L at October 14, 2008 6:13 PM

Oh, I am slinking down in my seed, feeling like that latte is gonna hit me, just by association. My husband is one of those loudsters who think that everyone in the restaurant is simply thrilled to hang on his every word. And if I'm caught up in a conversation with him sometimes I'll find my voice going up and up - and it's not like I'm Miss Squeakie Little Mouse Voice under the best of circumstances, plus there's my hearing loss thing so I think everyone else is deaf and I talk even louder.... sigh. Don't hate me. Him. Us.

I just went through the same thing with a tech trying to fix some e-mail issues. I had to call not one, but TWO tech support companies - my server and my computer - and neither tech could handle starting in the middle of the process where I already was. ARGHHH. So it took me triple the hours to fix and it was in fact the very thing I suggested we look at first to each tech.

Posted by: Laume at October 14, 2008 7:15 PM

Ohdear, that would be "sinking down in my SEAT" "Slinking down in my seed" sounds... uhm... creepy.

Posted by: Laume at October 14, 2008 11:27 PM

I'm voting for "recently blown up" because it reminded me of a t-shirt I covet from a local training facility:

I am a bomb technician. If you see me running, try to keep up.

Posted by: Cindy Ericsson at October 15, 2008 1:14 AM

When I lived in the States I HATED Comcast. They were the only internet provider in my tiny college town though. Grr....

Posted by: Nik at October 15, 2008 1:45 AM

I like your crabby. Sad but true, and probably demonstrates the lack of evolution of my part...

But you make me laugh every time.

May that one tech find you soon.

Posted by: Lisa Milton at October 15, 2008 2:27 PM

My husband says my left eye begins to water, the right begins to twitch and I start gnawing on things when I lose my internet for more than 12 hours. My sympathies. Thank heavens for your Starbucks.

Posted by: Cele at October 15, 2008 7:33 PM