days I remember all my life

I have Elvis Costello’s version of “Days” – it’s originally a Kinks song – stuck in my head. (Find it on Kojak Variety or, more popularly, off the “Until the End of the World Soundtrack.”

Keeping a journal has never been a strong point of mine. First, because the pace of my life rarely allows it; second, because I get bored wallowing in my feelings. However, one year, I kept an online journal (a private one) faithfully. I recently scanned through it and was surprised by how much pleasure I took in being able to remember specifics about my life that would otherwise have dissolved into the general soup. So I’m going to try recording my life for a week and see where it goes. Please excuse the verb tense inconsistency.

6 a.m. Alarm went off. I loathe alarms of the beeping type, which is what this was. The clock radio sits in the bedroom, much nicer, but too far away if I’m sleeping on the couch.

6:15 a.m. Left for the Co-op, dressed, but with hair unbrushed. Like it matters in Arcata before sunrise. Gathered breakfast (frozen organic waffles, a rare buy, butter and apples) and lunch needs (seitan, jam, bread) and then some. Stopped to check out the T-S’ mountain lion attack story; admired the wife’s bravery and passion in fighting off the attacking cat; was saddened by the follow-up killing of two mountain lions in the area.

6:45 a.m. Home, waffles in toaster, food processor put to work. Go over Nick’s insulin/carbs. Folded laundry. Said nothing about the length (or lack of) of Chelsea’s skirt. Made sure Kaylee had everything for her lunch. Finished making “chicken”-salad sandwiches for Bobby and I.

The frozen waffles made breakfast progress more quickly than usual. We actually left the house on time, without being rushed.

7:40 a.m. Kids to bus stop, school. On the way, I asked Nick if he was sure he had everything. He realized at that point he’d forgotten his insulin and blood sugar monitoring kit. I remained calm, even though this was the first morning all week I had a little bit of time between kids and KSLG. Or rather, did.

8 a.m. Back home. Cleaned up lunch mess, had a moment with Bobby before he split for work, gathered Nick’s things, my own stuff.

8:50 a.m. Back to Arcata. On the way to Sunny Brae, I noticed a guy hitchhiking at the 101 S onramp, holding a sign, “CR.” I don’t usually pick up hitchhikers, but since I was going that way, I decided to pick him up if he was still there after I dropped Nick’s kit off.

9:10 a.m. He was still there, but I didn’t see him until I was already making the turn on the opposite side of the street. I felt bad, so I exited the freeway, circled the traffic circle (or is it a roundabout?) and went back for him. His name is Sal. He was grateful and not scary at all. I considered calling John to warn him I’d picked up a hitchhiker and that if I didn’t show up, he should alert the authorities. But, like I said, the guy was not so scary. Really nice, even. We chatted about CR until I delivered him there.

9:45 a.m. Arrived at KSLG. Discussed human-predator relations with John on air. We were divided in our stances. We then moved on to the household hints portion of the show. Microwaving your sponge for four minutes on high power will kill most all bacteria on it. Please make sure it’s soaking wet first, and remember, it will be hot when done.

10 a.m. I am your KSLG radio personality, scoping out music and other news for your entertainment. I also check and respond to email as necessary. I drink lots of coffee. Some water.

Noon: Freestyle Friday action. Today I play music by bands coming to the area. Lots of good ones on the way, including a band featuring Ry Cooder’s son and a way hot keytar playing chick singer – and whose album was produced by Ry Cooder. (Coworker says name of band, Hello Stranger, reminds him of SNL “Hey, you!” skit.)

Eat yummy sandwich at some point.

2 p.m. Off to Arcata. Alternate between Eye-related CDs and KHUM on the way. Nice to get some non-KSLG music in to clear the mind. Love that R.L. Burnside. Thank you, Larry. Remind self to email people about the DM3/Hillstomp show coming up at Jambalaya. The table’s already up to 12. No surprise, considering the love these bands inspire.

3 p.m. Eye. Work on layout in between phone calls and people coming into the office, such as the man who shows up – “Love your paper!” – and explains, with great enthusiasm, that he found an OES laptop sitting on the bumper of an SUV for sale in the Uniontown parking lot. We refer him to APD, but after he leaves, reconsider that perhaps we should have offered him the chance to leave it with us. The teenagers who hang in the hall nook are especially loud today. Check in with Chelsea via cell phone.

5 p.m. Friday moment at the Alibi. I indulge my craving for a Black Russian.

5:45 p.m. Pick up Nick and friend. (The juxtaposition of these last two actions does not look very good, I notice. Should I point out that I was nowhere near impaired by the drinking of said Black Russian? Or would that come across as protesting too much?) Stop at VX for The Guardian. Cheesy, yes; Ashton Kuchter, yes – but I love the Coast Guard and will stick up for Kevin Costner to a point.

As I walk to the counter with the movie, the VX guys are shaking their heads at the inanity of a movie one of them is holding, essentially saying, “I can’t believe people rent this crap!” Of course, they were talking about the same movie I was holding in my hands. (Note: the VX people are great.)

I acknowledge the possible badness of the flick – “C’mon! It’ll be like the Coast Guard version of Point Break!” – which amuses them, so no hard feelings. The fact that I still have Troy out makes for more embarrassment – “Really, I don’t just rent Hollywood cheese all the time! My son needed it for his Greek studies!” I am relieved when the clerk says I owe a late fee on The Corporation – “See! We watch good, serious stuff, too!” Thus semi-validated, I make a break for the car, then make arrangements to get together with some other folks to watch This Movie About America’s Unsung Heroes.

6 p.m. Make dinner. Low-effort tonight, just pasta. Salad if they want it. I read more of Pretties, fold more clothes, wash a few dishes, clean up. Check in with Chelsea again.

7:30 p.m. Nick’s blood sugar goes low as we’re about out the door. We deal with it. I worry: Will I ever be able to get our lives into enough of a routine to keep priorities, priorities? Am I a bad mom for all the chaos I allow, in some ways even cultivate? We leave.

7:50 p.m. Stop at Westwood Market and once again marvel at the 1975 feel. Chips and beer.

8:10 p.m. Friends’ house. Kids bounce off walls. Everyone eats, drinks, keeps a running commentary through the movie, which is exactly what one would expect of a movie about, “A high school swim champion with a troubled past enrolls in the U.S. Coast Guard’s ‘A’ School, where legendary rescue swimmer Ben Randall teaches him some hard lessons about loss, love, and self-sacrifice.” Totally fun. Many blood sugar checks during this time: low, okay, okay, low, okay, high, high, okay.

11 p.m. Pick up the teenager.

11:15 p.m. Home, kids to bed. Make tea. Read The Pretties. Fall asleep reading. Cold; no fire tonight.

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