squirrel nut zipper

so here i am back, on my brand new computer!  miss me?  didn’t think so!  and yet, here you are.

during the intermission, we had a fun interlude called ‘super-storm sandy’.  not something we want to repeat too often.  all i’m going to say about that event right now, is a phenomenon that happens to us when nature reminds us again who’s boss.  it’s called, ‘back to the dark ages, literally’.

no matter how much you tell yourself after each disaster, i’ll never take anything for granted again, it’s human nature to get used to modern technology.  and there’s so much more of it to take for granted.  so every time we’re plunged into darkness, and its accompanying discomforts, it seems more shocking than ever, in this ‘advanced’ age, to be so reduced to primitive conditions.

take this blog, for example.  not only was i instantly cut off  from the entire world, including  phone, email, fb, etc., i couldn’t even write about it online.  (ntm, my old computer was dying, but that was moot anyway.)  i was actually forced to resort to, gasp, analog traditional journaling, something i hadn’t done in ages.  by definition, it’s a medium which is intentionally private and viewed by select others only by permission (or not).  it is literally talking to yourself.

which of course this ‘blahg’ of mine mostly is, to all intents and purposes!  but it’s just the illusion of having an audience that theoretically gives a crap, or even offers feedback once in a while, just the imagining you’re not alone out there, that makes the difference.  so there i was, writing, with a pen on paper (remember those?)!  but what i really want to say about that, is the difference in the content and tone, looking back on it.

i don’t have to remind anyone who’s bravely still with me how morbid and negative i tend to be.  yet, during the long, dark teatime of the soul that was ‘sandy’, and then even after the lights, heat, internet, etc. came back online, my writing–yes, i actually continued with it, partly because my dying ibook was almost impossible to use–seemed uncharacteristically less self-absorbed and angsty, if not downright cheery.

during the storm, i mostly wrote about the aftermath, and any news i could pick up on my, wait for it, battery radio!  i described all the proactive disaster responses, both statewide and local, including how all of us neighbors banded together, like a microcosm of what was happening on a larger scale.  people forced back into the dark ages, for the most part rediscovered their communal concern and survival instincts, and rose to the occasion.  even nasty politics was set aside for the moment, to deal with the reality on the ground.  so ironically, while apocalyptic devastation was happening all around, like scenes from ‘the stand’, here i was, if not totally amused, then trying to keep spirits up, helping neighbors out, holding the fort, and attempting to find some redeeming value in the experience.

after the power finally came back on, it seems i was on a sort of positivity roll, so why not continue in that vein?  also, my ibook finally bit the dust, so that outlet was no longer an option.  admittedly, that added on a whole new layer of anxiety, but since i had just spent a week without basic amenities, i was somewhat acclimatized to being disconnected.  i was again reminded of just how attached one can get to one’s virtual lifeline.

otoh, in just a week’s time i found i somehow had no interest whatsoever in all the endless trivia of  Facebook.  its relentless chatter about [fill in the blank],  next to the ordeal millions of people were continuing to deal with, just didn’t have the same appeal.  even with my new efficient laptop, i no longer waste as much time on fb and other frivolities as i did pre-sandy.  (although i confess it’s so much easier on this elegant piece of technology to find distractions.)

besides, i now have a new hobby planted firmly in the physical world: squirrels!  yes, those self-same loathsome varmints who were the bane of my existence are now my personal source of amusement!  how could such an inexplicable thing happen, you ask?  possibly all the nuts i feed them have something to do with it.  they will now gather around me in a big herd, and one or two will actually take a nut from my hand!  if you know anything about squirrels, even obnoxiously bold squirrels in the nyc area, you’ll know this is pretty advanced training.  i can almost recognize individuals by their behavior.  the smartest squirrel of them all is named ‘squirrel nut zipper’.  ok, so i’m desperately pet-deprived, but this keeps me amused in the meantime.  one thing squirrels in general don’t do is shut down, delete, or ever go away no matter what, so i can count on them to be consistently,   ravenously, there.

so there you have the ‘new’ post-hurricane cheery me!  well, for the time being.  stay tuned to this blahg to see if it sticks.  stranger things have happened.


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