October 9th, 2003

caillebotte_the balcony


I finally got the cable fixed, more or less, so I ended up watching television half the night. It took three calls to Comcast this time, which brings the total calls I've made to the company since they took over the local system a bit over a year ago to about eight or nine. The strange thing is that with the final call, which finally got it fixed, I reached a customer service representative who actually knew what she was doing! As many times as I've called that company, this is the first time I've had such an experience. Her name was Michelle, and I'm sure she won't be around long. She will either be promoted, since she has a brain, or she will be fired because her competence makes everybody else at Comcast look bad by comparison. Anyway, she managed to figure out what was wrong and fix it, and didn't argue with me once! The rest of the people I've talked to there have been, at best, condescending, and more often, flat out rude. I hope that Michelle either takes over the whole company, or gets a job with a real business.

So, the cable got fixed just in time for me to see Amalie, which, since I live in a backwater, I'd never before seen. I enjoyed it, but it made me nostalgic for the years in Los Angeles when I frequently saw foreign movies in real theatres, with audiences that understood them. I miss that.

Now it's late, and I'm tired, and the cat will complain loudly when I remove her from my lap so I can go to bed. She's been on my lap for at least three hours tonight. If I wore loose pants, she'd probably crawl inside them to sleep. Clingy cat.
caillebotte_the balcony


Evening is decidedly gray. There were gray periods all afternoon, too. The clouds were splendidly steely, and the air brisk. Sound carries well on days such as this, and I noticed that the rumble the town has developed over the last few years. As the population both grows and grows younger, the number of commuters increases, and the daytime sound of traffic is now as constant as I remember it being in Los Angeles, though not as loud. Only at night does the rumble subside, and the ancient quiet of the forest return.

In this evening's chill, I hear no sound of insects. There might yet be a few days of heat which will be sung to sleep by the cicadas, but if so, they will be rare, and thus precious, like fruits out of season. Most likely, there will soon be rain. It, too, will be welcome. In a few weeks, the legal burning season will begin, and the fallen leaves will be piled up and set alight, and the smell of their smoke and of the smoke of wood stoves and fire places will drift through the short days. I now recall that, in spite of the wet spring and the overheated summer, we did not suffer a single major fire this year. Brush fires are rare after September, so this will probably continue to be the case, and 2003 will thus have at least this one virtue by which it can be remembered. But that means all the more fuel for next year. Maybe it's a plot, and 2003 has left a time bomb of desiccated brush with which to spoil next summer. That would be just like it. Evil year.

Now the settling darkness is growing still. The noise of passing traffic is no more than punctuation for lengthening periods of quiet. And now I hear in the distance a single hardy cicada braving the chill. Dogs are barking, too, maybe at raccoons out for an early stroll in the light of the nearly-full moon. The air does not smell quite like rain, but it's getting there. It won't be long.

Bonus -- For your entertainment and edification: An actual product available online! I don't think that it's any cheaper than MD at Safeway, when they have buy one get one free sales on the 12 and 24 roll packs, but it would be quite amusing to have a few rolls displayed in the bathroom.