I should be writing my Broad Ripple Gazette column, working on the piece I’m assigned for NUVO’s year in review issue, cleaning the house, doing laundry, writing Christmas cards, shopping for gifts, working out or cleaning the basement. Instead I’m taking procrastination to a new level.
I’m lying in bed, “Googling”. That is not as perverted as it sounds. I need to backup at bit, start with a confession. I did not have Internet access at home until last week. Yes, it’s true. I was loath to admit it. Write for two publications, book music and maintain a Web site? No DSL or wireless? Not even dial-up?
I had dial-up for years, and it was a pain. My house is pretty old with the standard one closet, four electrical outlets (some of my wiring is “tube and knob”—when the clothes washer is spinning, the lights dim) and one phone line jack. I purchased my beloved Apple iBook G4 in March. Dial-up did not work well and it seemed such a shame to have a mobile computer but be chained to the phone line. I do not have cable television and the heavily advertised AT&T/Yahoo high-speed access was not available in my neighborhood. How about spending a little less in advertising and bring cheap access to the poor folks AT&T? Cable access would have cost at least $50/month. I also dislike how the cable folks want to sell everything as a package. “It’s less expensive if you also get basic cable and cellular service only $99/ month." Huhh?
My favorite newsstand has wireless access, as does Indy Hostel down the street. I soon discovered that you could park outside of those businesses and still access the signal. Which came in handy when I was e-mailing a column in at 2:00 am. The owners of both businesses knew I was doing it, and found it funny. Matt (from the newsstand and my black-tie date) scared me a few time by knocking on my truck window as I was hurriedly typing away). Northside Newsstand is next to a bar popular with people who like to drink pitchers of beer (not that there is anything wrong with that) and watch the 82 televisions in the joint. I’m not kidding about the TV’s. I might be off by a couple, I get mixed up when counting—and that has nothing to do with the beer. I swear. I saw lots of fun/sad things sitting outside of there doing work in my truck. Once the signal was too weak to send the document, so I had do stand in the rain mashed up against the newsstand window to transmit it. I can only wonder what people leaving the bar were thinking about me.
All of this kept my Internet time pretty focused. Until last week. I got a new neighbor on the other side of the double. Matt is a full time writer and is 30 years old. I cannot describe the look of pity he gave me when I told him I did not have access at home. I think that gist of it was “poor clueless old woman”. Actually Matt is great. He wrote the piece profiling me as a community volunteer. We are now sharing the cost of wireless. The signal is strong enough for both of us.
Which is why I’m lying in bed Googling. I searched for “Nora Leona,” couldn’t find any born before 1882. And it’s not lost on Nora Leona Spitznogle (born 1961) that the time I took to write this I could have finished my column, started a load of laundry and walked to the Newsstand to get coffee.