My day starts off on the wrong foot. It is 00:32 and I am awake. I’m in a position where, if it were light enough, I could say I am staring at the ceiling. Instead, the room is black so I am staring into nothingness. There is no sound. Just as I am starting to contemplate if this is what death would feel like, I hear a snore eminating from Shirley beside me. Ah, that explains why I am awake. I gently nudge her so she assumes a new position. The snoring stops. My mind, having been awoken from slumber starts running. My mind never seems to stop. It’s a curse. I hatch the idea of doing another “day in the life” posting. This time, to keep it fresh, I’ll try and do it throughout the day rather than waiting until the evening to put it all together. It will be even less cohesive, more full of spelling and grammatical errors. Oh well, I figure no one reads this stuff anyway.
I only have one solution for falling asleep, and that’s my iPod. I fumble around the bed until I locate one earbud. I trace the wire through the maze of pillows and blankets until I locate the actual device. I power it on and — damn — it has less than 20% power. I debate moving the charger from the iPhone to the iPod, but wonder if the iPhone battery will last the five hours until wake up time. Since the iPhone is also functioning as the alarm clock, it is a decision that carries more weight than it might under different circumstances. I opt to push the iPod as long as I can. I fire up the Windows weekly pddcast and assume my sleeping position. Within seconds I am out like the provedbial light.
I wake up again. I don’t want to know what time it is. As my mind starts debating about whether I have made the right moves in life and what the future holds, I fumble around again and move the charger from the phone to the iPod. I must stop this thought process now, for nothing good ever comes from thoughts and ideas born in the dark of night; they simply cannot stand up in the light of day. As the rich baritone of Paul Thurrott starts to drone in my ears, I once again drift off.
I wake up a third time. There is more light in the room. The furnace has started running. Instinctively I realize it must be time to get up. I reach up to the corner of the bed and locsate the iPhone and turn it over. Sure enough, it is 05:00 and I have beaten the alarm by mere moments. It’s a curse. Or a blessing. It depends.
I nudge Shirley, less gently than when she was snoring. In fact, I make a big show of pretending to pry her out of bed with a crowbar. It’s part of our morning routine. When my initial prying attempts fail I resort to the exaggerated draping of my arm over her, letting it flop down in a heavy manner. Waking up with me? It’s a curse. It’s 05:03 and she heads to the shower and I roll out of bed.
I open the dog crate and let him escape. He appears to walk out of the room and head for the front door. I know better, however. He never wakes up without grabbing something to put in his mouth, even if I don’t see it. I follow him to the living room and see he has a sock hanging from his mouth. Oh well, at least it wasn’t underwear this time. I chase him around trying to catch him. When that doesn’t work, I order him to “Sit!”. That doesn’t work either. It’s a curse.
05:05. The sock retireval is complete and I send him out into the yard. I head for the kitchen to grab a coffee. In the semi-dark I bang my shin into the 50-lb box of cat litter sitting in the middle of the floor. Before I get angry I remember it was my job to move it to the basement. I’ll just stay quiet about that. I reach the kitchen and pour the first cup of coffee. As I down it I realize it is now 05:11 and I wonder how I managed to waste this much time doing so little so early.
I step out onto the front step with my now-half-empty cup of coffee, partly to enjoy the morning but mainly to keep my eye on the dog and to make sure he doesn’t destroy any more of Shirley’s flowers than I do with the lawn tractor. It’s 05:11. The yard is alive with the sounds of birds. From the other side of the house I hear one of the roosters crowing. It’s about as close to total bliss as I can imagine. Then I remember the dog. He’s no where to be seen. Yep, it’s a curse.
I wander back into the house and head for the deck. Boom! Into the box of cat litter again. It’s a curse. I reach the deck and look for the dog. He’s still not around. I admire the sun hanging low in the eastern sky before my always active mind jumps to “Where is that dog?” Before I can answer myself I am shocked back into reality by the rooster crowing again. I head back into the house and head for the front door yet again. The dog is there playing with the outdoor cats. Well, I say playing but it’s more like “randomly jumping on them while they look annoyed”. He sees me and comes inside, more from coincidence than good training.
I return to the kitchen, this time artfully dodging around the box of cat litter. Remembering it is there seems easier than actually moving it downstairs for some reason. As I fill up the coffee cup for the second time I note the time is now showing as 05:18. Shirley emerges from the bedroom, having completed her shower. I make my way past her and down the hall — my turn next.
05:20 and I find myself standing in front of the mirror, trying to determine if my eyes look as bloodshot as they feel. Finally convincing myself that they are, I hit the shower. Shirley’s towel is draped over the shower door, the hook she used to use having fallen off the wall several months ago. I toss it on the vanity without a second thought.
As the hot water pours over me I remember that I failed to shave. I mentally check my schedule — nah, I don’t think I have any important meetings so I opt to skip it. The rugged look is “in” for me today, I guess.
I step out of the shower and grab the towel off the vanity. About the moment I complete the drying process I see MY towel hanging on the hook. D’oh! Oh well, I’m sure we’ve shared things much worse than a towel after all these years of marriage. As I hang it back over the shower door I contemplate why we don’t get a second hook put up. Add it to the long list of little things that need to be done around the house that I never get to — not because I don’t want to, but because I forget. After all these years we still have problems communicating. She tells me she doesn’t want to be the nagging wife; I tell her if she doesn’t tell me several dozen times I will assume it isn’t a priority. Some day we’ll get it right, I guess.
It’s now 05:28. I have completed brushing my teeth and I find myself standing in front of the closet deciding what to wear. Being a man, this is a simple decision — my choices are black pants or tan pants. If I can make that decision everything else flows from there. I pull the tan pants from the hanger and pick a shirt that I believe doesn’t look totally horrible to go with them. Done. I need my brown belt. I can only find my black belt. At least in the poor light it looks like my black belt, but I can’t really be sure, after all, I’ve only had two cups of coffee. It’s a curse.
I’m standing there as the bedroom door opens into me, the doorknob catching me in the small of the back. Shirley has returned from her cup of coffee. She sees me staring at my belt with a dumbfounded look on my face. Instinctively she knows the problem. “It’s black,” she says. She then proceeds to reach into the closet and produce the brown belt I failed to locate just moments before. It’s a curse.
I move to the bed and sit down and begin looking through my sock drawer. I can’t find any brown socks. Tons of black socks, tons of white socks, but no brown socks. Yep, it’s a curse. Just around the time I start deciding if I can get away with white socks or if I’ll need to change to black pants I find the last pair of clean brown socks hidden away in the back of the drawer. Hey, crisis averted! There might be hope for me yet.
It’s now 05:36. I decide to not eat breakfast and instead start writing some of this down. I spend about fifteen minutes documenting the day thus far when I click on something and the entire post disappears. You’re kidding, right? I minimize every window on my netbook looking for the posting window. Gone. Damn, it’s a curse. Start over from the beginning, this time saving every 30 seconds as I type.
I suddenly notice Shirley has taken the dog outside for his final walk. Whoa, it must be getting to be time to leave. Wow, it’s worse than that — it’s 06:07. And, even worse, with this being a Monday this is our “long commute” day, where I drop Shirley at her building in the south before heading up to the U. Better get going!
I wander into the garage and look for my shoes. I can find both black shoes, but only one brown shoe. I’m really starting to regret the decision to wear tan pants today — black would have been so much simpler. I wander around the house looking for the shoe, when I realize I am also missing my wallet. I think back and remember shoving it in my hockey bag yesterday. I return to the garage and lift up the hockey bag to search it — not only do I find the wallet, but the brown shoe I was seeking was also hidden by the bag. Success! Armed with my phone, wallet and laptop I am now ready to face the day. By 06:19 we are heading down the driveway to the city.
It’s hard to judge our commutes together. Often one of us wants to talk while the other wants to sit quietly in a sleep-deprived coma. Today is a little different. In between classic rock tunes (or, as I like to call it: “middle-aged white guy music”) the announcer makes some comment where he refers to “the wife”. Shirley makes some comment about why guys insist on refering to the women in their lives as “the” wife. I make some flippant remark about “Well, it’s easier than actually trying to remember her name.” Bad move. The curse strikes again!
Being a man, I often think the best way to get out of the situation I have talked myself into is to keep talking. This often proves to be wrong. It’s part of “the curse” of being a man that we don’t learn from past behaviors. I decide to deflect the conversation by asking why women insist on identifying the gender of their friends in conversation. I explain further: “A woman often says ‘I had coffee with my girl friend today.’ Why is that?” By the time we discover we have no suitable explanation for the communication habits of men or women we have reached her building and I am commuting solo the rest of the way.
The drive to work is rather anti-climatic. Traffic is fairly light and not as annoying as I normally expect on a Monday. There is one RAV4 who seems to know exactly what lane I want to be in and what gap in traffic I want to fill and then moves to make sure I can’t get there, but other than that it’s pretty simple. There was no cursing, no gestures, no law enforcement involved in any way. Life is good!
I pull into the parking lot at 07:07 and grab my hockey stick from the trunk, along with my laptop. We’re not actually playing hockey today at lunch, but bringing all my gear into the office in stages allows me to manage it more efficiently. I just miss the ‘Walk’ signal on 32nd Avenue but decide to cross anyway. The left-turning bus is forced to stop for me and, for some reason, the thought of sixty plus commuters being delayed because of my own selfishness feels empowering. Naturally, the entire time I am walking I am also checking Facebook and Twitter to see what I missed in the world since last night. The answer? Not much.
Given how late I am running I decide not to take the stairs and instead catch the elevator to the 10th floor. I drop down into my office chair at 07:18 and fire up the laptop. First stop is email and then I need to check the calendar. Whew, I guessed right — no meetings with “important” clients today so not shaving isn’t a huge issue. By 07:30 I have deleted most of my messages without responding to any of them.
Bah, upon further review I think that covers it far enough. The rest of the day was a pretty boring mix of meetings, emails and hallway conversations. I actually failed to take notes or any good pictures after 07:30 because the batteries in the camera were dead. I’m going to leave it as is. Maybe I’ll do a third one some day but just cover the office part of things — trying to do an entire day is too much material for a single post.