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5 October 2001

7:46 PM: And not a thing to think. Aaaaaaahhhhhh.....

Yesterday was a Hell Day to match any I can remember. The folks from Dish Network were coming over sometime between noon and 5 PM to install my New! Satellite! TV! This in itself is not Hell. No, it's a good thing. But see, when you sign up for the service, what you buy is this piece of paper. And you have to have that piece of paper when the installation people show up, because that's how they know you really bought the service.

So did I mention that there have been people over here this week cleaning out all the junk from my apartment? Doing a fucking amazing job of it, too - I'll get back to that in a second. But, see, the thing is, a too-large-to-contemplate part of that job was going through all the miscellaneous kinds of paper scattered all over. If you didn't throw out anything, but kept it all to be "sorted" ha ha, you'd be pretty much right back where you started. So stuff got thrown out. Including this one piece of paper that frankly looked like some kind of fake Winner's Certificate from Publisher's Clearing House. But was, in fact, the aforementioned Dish Network Certificate of InstallMePleaseNess... I'm just not used to thinking about anyone else being in this apartment (for oh so many reasons but let's not get into that). I should have put it aside, tacked it to the wall, something. But I didn't. I think it was on the desk but it could have been on the floor Near the desk for all I really know.

Come Thursday morning, waking up around 11 AM, oh so excited. No certificate. Oh so panic stricken. What could I do? I tore the room apart again looking for it, but it was clearly gone. It didn't cost that much, fuck it, I could just get a new one. But it's 10 minutes to 12. If I leave the house for so much as five minutes, the installers are guaranteed to show up while I'm gone, leave a note, and return sometime early next year.

I bounced back and forth between the walls for a while, pleading and cursing and whining like a giant baby, as is probably easy to imagine if you've read this thing for any length of time. Then I finally did the smart thing - I called Lana and borrowed her non-on-fire brain. She got Saul to come over and wait for the installers, while I called a cab, went back down to Costco, picked up the new certificate, stood in the long line, paid for it, took it to the little side room to be exchanged for the real certificate (I think that's what that was all about, at least), called for another cab, and waited. "Oh, business is so slow! There'll be another cab here in a second!" 15 minutes later, Saul calls me on the never-to-be-cursed-at-length-again mobile phone. The installers are there. Where do I want the dish, can they put it on the roof instead of the wall? Yes yes yes yes. They can put it on a flagpole and mount it in the corpse of my backyard neighbor if they want to. Just don't leave. More waiting. No cab - shock. I finally manage to flag down one that's driving by.

I get back, they're still there Thank Bob. There's more discussion about where and how to install it. Meanwhile, the people who've been doing the cleaning show up for their stuff. So now there's four people besides me trying to work in this not very big Tetris-shaped apartment, and I'm dancing around trying to stay out of everyone's way - unshaven, unclean, and uncaffeinated. As the saying goes, Oy Vey.

But, it all worked out eventually. So now I have a gazillion channels to not watch. Plus the front room satellite receiver has a ReplayTV unit built into it, so I can record programs right onto the hard drive without having to juggle tapes around. There's even a second receiver in the bedroom! Cartoons in bed! (Though it might not stay the bedroom for long, but that's a later.) The quality is excellent. Skipping the commercials rocks. Now if I can just figure out how to find the programs I want to watch...

I ended up not going to Sigur Ros after all. Not only was I dog-tired, boss, but whenever I went out of the house that day, it seemed like all I saw were these happy couples making googlyeyes at each other, and the thought of that happening in that crowd, listening to that music, with that empty space by my side... I couldn't deal. Their last show was just too perfect, in all kinds of ways. But, that's what I get for being an old fat-headed satellite-TV-watching, Internet-diary-keeping, grasping pushy needy loser. That, and two episodes of the Powerpuff Girls. There's always a consolation prize.

Willfully blind self-indulgent nebbish or amusingly quirky old coot? And how bout that local sports team? Discuss among yourselves.

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