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January 9, 2006

no longer like one of you

Donald Sutherland is on to you
I survived my first weekend in several years without a cell phone. No siezures, no conniptions, no breakdowns aside from some minor issues meeting up with someone for a night out. But I had run out of energy by then so it didn't matter too much that attempts at planning sans cell had failed. Most of the issues have to do with getting my home phone number out to people who were not aware that I have one.

I noticed while going out of the house that being without a cell phone means that you can't be contacted, and you can't call anyone unless you find a pay phone. It's kind of liberating knowing no one knows where I am and no one can 'get' to me. My time is completely my own, with no external intrusions other than with real people real time.

While walking without a cell phone I found myself thinking more, not about any particular topic in general, but of many things that I think people don't allow themselves time for anymore. It makes me wonder if people will cease to let their minds simply wander anymore without the constant distraction of incoming digital information, and how their thought processes will develop because of it, or not. Allowing a train of thought to run its course before it is interrupted by a call or the need to call someone may somehow be important.

On the street I met another disconnected friend, that is, a person without a cell phone whom I hadn't seen in a long time, and we communicated verbally and with body language. Crazy talk, I know.

While I'm still the last gay in the village to not have seen that one movie, I did meet another friend on the street who was talking about it. We were not interrupted by incoming calls, so we had a complete contiguous exchange of ideas and conversation. He had the best quote I've heard yet, saying it was little more than a movie about "cowboys on the Down-Low," which was spot-on coming from a native of DC.

Somehow I managed to plan (without a cell phone, mind you) on meeting up with Gurl to go see The Ringer. It was fairly good, but actually turned out to be very much a chick flick rather than a 'tard-humor movie in bad taste, so I was kind of let down. Save it for Netflix, in my opinion. Seeing the movie, starring a rather dreamy Johnny Knoxville, reminded me of my biggest regret of 2005: paying money to see the cinematic interpretation of The Dukes of Hazzard, which featured an unforgiveable crime of putting fake scruff on Seann William Scott. Someone will pay for that.

Posted by jimbo at January 9, 2006 9:49 AM


Congrats on getting rid of your cell phone! Let's hope it's the beginning of a trend.
You know when I see people walking down the street chatting on the cell, or wired to an IPOD I think 'these people have truly turned off the world around them'. (there was an expression in the 1960s -- "turn off an tune out" -- and it looks like a generation and a half later it's happening but not, alas, in the way as hoped) AS my big sis once remarked,"Who the heck are these people talking to". Anway, I haven't seen BB yet. I'm sure it's a good movie but hype turns me off.

Posted by: Jefferson at January 9, 2006 11:27 AM

And here I thought the unforgiveable crime was the script, the acting and Jessica Simpson in general. I didn't even realize he had fake scruff.

Posted by: Boo Augustus at January 9, 2006 12:26 PM

Jimbo - You wanna try something even more liberating than getting rid of your cellphone? Go without a TV and computer at home. I've done it and I haven't perished yet. ;) BTW, I still haven't seen that "one movie" yet either. :)

Posted by: Shawn at January 9, 2006 12:39 PM

Cell phone or not, the Bush administration knows exactly where you are. Exactly...

Posted by: Fitz at January 9, 2006 1:17 PM

dang, if you're cell phone rings that much you need a break. *G*

I gave up my landline phone years ago for the ole wireless wonder. But I have the will power not to answer if it's somewhere annoyingly inappropriate.

Posted by: moby at January 9, 2006 2:04 PM

I've been in NYC for almost 5 years and only last fall did I finally surrender and get a cell phone. Life is sooooo easy without one.

Posted by: Joe.My.God. at January 9, 2006 3:14 PM

No, no one can find me Fitz, not even W or even YOU! I am completely incognito persona non grata now.
>; )
Can't be rid of television: Battlestar Galactica.

Can't be rid of computer/Internet: City of Heroes.

Sorry, but I'm not THAT crazy!

SWS only had fake scruff in the opening and closing scenes of Dukes of Hazzard. And you know I was looking _very_ closely.

Posted by: jimbo at January 9, 2006 4:16 PM

how old are you again? i want to know exactly when i can expect to turn into andy rooney or some other curmudgeonly-type.

Posted by: jeremy at January 9, 2006 5:04 PM

I'm perplexed. As far as I know my cell phone isn't surgically attached to me. If I want to be left alone (which I frequently do) go to a movie, dinner, theater etc.....well I just leave it at home.

Posted by: Rich at January 9, 2006 11:39 PM

I had to carry a pager for five years before the cellphone craze hit due to work. Why people desire accessibility 24/7 (unless you've got semi-important responsibilities) is beyond me. The sweetest pleasure for me has always been turning the durn thing OFF. Glad you're taking back your life.

Posted by: greg the doctor at January 10, 2006 12:16 AM

It seems I have the best of both worlds! I've gotta cellphone (and the same number for over 11 years now!) and don't give out the number unless I absetively, posilutely gotta. Otherwise,I only use it for outgoing calls and if my regular phone company screws with my land line again.

And no, I ain't going to give up the tv or 'puter.

Posted by: Lee at January 10, 2006 12:27 AM

Gotta echo Rich on this one. About a month ago my firm gave me a blackberry. I shuddered and thought of all the people I've seen in this town who proudly strap their office bling to their belt. The associate who had IT send the thing to me called me and basically said "I know you didn't want this thing, but this is really for your convenience ... Blah Blah Blah... It's not like you have to use it anyway." My ears pricked up on those last few words. I don't have to use it.

It's still in the box, gathering dust in the shelf above my desk. Nobody's noticed yet...

Posted by: Dan at January 10, 2006 2:49 PM

I find that the on/off button on the cell phone works just fine. I've yet to figure out why when people don't want to be bothered they just don't turn the damn thing off!


Posted by: Dinger at January 11, 2006 10:53 AM