A Day In The Life

5:10:59  a.m.  Sound asleep

5:11 a.m. “Sonuvabitch, oh, oh, oh…shit, that hurts, can’t move my leg, f%#k, that hurts, oh, oh…”  Woke up to a leg cramp that was  not in the calf, but off to the side of the lower leg. I couldn’t find a a leg position that would release the cramping. “Breathe, just breathe….Oh no, can’t breathe, oh dear mother, I think I am having a baby out of my calf.  My gender is too weak for childbirth.”

5:14 a.m. “Do you want to try that natural leg cramp stuff you got at the hardware store?”   “Yes, I do.” (Who in the hell buys leg cramp stuff at a hardware store? I guess, I do.)

5:15 a.m. Leg still cramping as I swallow a teaspoon of leg cramp stuff in a cup of water. “This tastes like shit. It is as bad as the leg cramp.” “Yeah, it is supposed to work in 2 minutes. It has vinegar in it.” “Well, I apparently hate vinegar then.”

5:18 a.m. Leg cramp gone. What a sissy man I am.

5:35 a.m. Sitting outside in a plastic chair, stars are still bright, moon winking at me.  “Go potty, Gracie.”  The puppy would rather lay down and chew on a stick for 20 minutes. “Hmm, I wonder what kind of day this will be?”

6:00 a.m. Ironing khaki colored pants and striped shirt and digging through drawer to find a pair of matched socks. I have to carefully examine the socks. Last week I paid two granddaughters .25 cents for every pair of socks they matched up for me.  One earned 10 dollars, the other one earned 4 dollars.  (Do the math, I have way too many socks.) The reason I have to carefully examine the socks is that at least one grandchild, I suspect the 4 year old, was more interested in the money than the quality of her work… or she needs a comprehensive eye exam.

6:08 a.m. Putting on the khaki colored pants which might  break a world record for consecutive days wearing the same color pants  to work.  I wish we just wore a uniform.

6:31 a.m. Non-fat yogurt with a tablespoon of granola followed up with a high protein chocolate like diet drink.

7:00 a.m. I sure am hungry.

7:14 “Go potty Gracie.”

7:25  Morning potty report.

7:30 “I have to change the chicks water.”  While I am at it, I try to feed the chicks by hand.  The two New Hampshire Reds are hungry little buggers who don’t peck, but kind of pinch your skin.  If they catch the tips of your fingers,  it can hurt. “Ouch, you little crapheads!”  Obviously they haven’t heard the phrase, “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.” Even so, I have to do this because I read last night on the world wide web that you can train chickens to obey your commands but it requires hand feeding them.  I want a well behaved flock. Hell, I want a chicken circus.   The website said to use a different tone of voice for each command because chickens are smart enough to recognize the different tones. Also, it said, don’t ever use an angry voice. “Whoops, too late. I will try again tonight after the craphead comment has long been forgotten.”

8:06 a.m. Open my office door. Emails, computer issues, paperwork, looking at grade reports, more paperwork, more emails.

10:57 a.m. A wonderful student drops by my office, and with tears in her eyes, she tells me goodbye. I am shocked.  We worked really hard on getting her here and trying to support her.  She came to the U.S. as a 3 year old with her parents when they came to search for a better life, and a safer life, from their home country, Honduras. She is undocumented and the life struggles have just worn her out.  She can’t legally work, can’t get federal aid for college, can’t get adequate medical care.  She went through our entire educational system,working hard to prepare for college – just as all her teachers told her to do.    The only country she has known is the United States of America.  She speaks better English than I do.  She is just one of thousands upon thousands of students in the very same situation in the United States.  They have worked hard.  They make positive contributions to our towns and cities and our culture.  We have invested thousand of dollars in their education.   She said, “I don’t like being called an alien.”  She is leaving the only country she has ever known. She will work at a non-profit organization serving the elderly and the poor in Honduras.  Yep, just the kind of riffraff (not the rapper) we need to get out of our country.

I am not for building a physical wall between Mexico and the United States, but not for reasons I have heard stated.  If the current political trends continue, I don’t want to have to scale a twenty foot wall to get out of here.  In my younger days, regardless of the differences of opinions – common, humane solutions could be found to our problems.  I get and understand the arguments on both sides of the immigration issues, but come on.  This could become, if it hasn’t already, the next great American scar, like slavery and the Japanese-American internment camps during World War II (slavery), and  the treatment of the First Peoples of our continent (slavery). It is way too sad. It sickens me.

12:37 p.m. Eating lunch at favorite local Chinese restaurant.  The owner, who speaks very broken English,  always sits down with us as I chew the fat (literally).  For some unknown reason the topic turns to eating placenta soup in China and how it makes “the man strong” as he curls up his biceps to demonstrate.  “Oh yeah, well I had a baby out of the side of my calf this morning.” “Huh?” I lose my appetite from all the placenta soup talk and return to work.

1:08 p.m. Office mates return to office and ask, “How was your lunch?” “Well, did you know that Chinese men eat a placenta soup to make them strong?”  “Yes,” replies the new worker, “New mothers are eating it here too, in the United States, but it is usually in a pill form.”  Oh my God, I have lived too long. I remember in our day it was pretty hippie just to use it to plant a tree.

5:15 p.m. Guitar lessons – which is really just a weekly recording session of my original songs.   Working on something different that includes 4 unique songs in one track.  It will either be really cool or really bad. We laid down a bass track, drum track and two vocals for the first part. I sang with a sleeping bag over my head to cut down on any reverb in the room. It was dark under there.  It wasn’t my sleeping bag and I started wondering if it had been washed since last used? Yuk.

6:30 p.m. Stopped at Costco on the way home to buy coffee, asparagus, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and a big bottle of Tums, an antacid.  I love living in California!

6:45 Stopped at Tractor Supply store and I bought an orange tree that is about to blossom. I love the fragrance of orange blossoms! Also, I bought a small package of dried meal worms because the world wide web said that chicks love meal worms and that will help you train the chickens quicker.

7:11 p.m. Called Gavin, our 15 year old grandson to tell him Happy Birthday.  When he was 3 years old or so, he was in the back seat of my car as I drove up our driveway. “Boppa?” “What Gavin?””Where is Darby?”  Oh,oh. Darby was a loving and kind black, labrador retriever who was lost to a tumor when she was only 5 years old and only a week from Gavin’s question. What do I tell him? Death is such a difficult topic. Oh well, just tell him the truth. “Well, Gavin, you see…uh, um,…well,… Darby died.” Gavin quickly replied, unemotionally, “Oh.”  Well that went better than I thought it might. Two weeks later, I am pulling into the driveway again with Gavin in the back seat. “Boppa?” “What Gavin?” “Boppa, where is Darby?”  What? I told him already. Be patient, just tell him again.  “Well Gavin, Darby died, remember?” Only this time Gavin said quite exasperatedly, “Again?!”

7:23 p.m. Held meal worms out to the chicks.  I think they clucked, “What the heck is this stuff?” They were very underwhelmed. Also, a bag of dried meal worms is not a pretty site. The chicks did take the opportunity to bite my hand again,  harder than this morning.  “You stupid crapheads.”  Whoops, back to square one on the training. Now, I know some men make a living riding 2,000 pound bulls on the rodeo circuit. Apparently I couldn’t handle a rodeo consisting of all chickens, if such a thing existed.

8:15 p.m  Outside under the moon again.  “Go potty, Gracie.” “Good girl,” but you have to draw out the url part of ‘girl’ and raise your voice a pitch higher at the end so your neighbors are certain you’ve gone bonkers.

9:10 p.m.  “It says here that if you want to prevent leg cramps, you should drink it before going to bed. Do you want some?”  “Ah, I guess…so. What’s in that crap? Vinegar and what else?”  “It doesn’t say.”  I take a capful of the hardware store leg cramp remedy (holding my nose) and then slam down a bottle of water. The smell is putrid. If I wake up tomorrow morning with another leg cramp, I am going to be really disappointed. If I don’t wake up with leg cramps and this stinky stuff really worked, I am going to be equally disappointed.

10:02 p.m. Final potty run for the night. I hope.

Goodnight and God Bless ya.