Well ... as per request from several of you ... mostly those from somewhere other than the good ol' U.S. of A., and others who where
simply curious and wanted a peek at the gears turning in my mind, I present to you "A Day in the Life". This is what it's like for me (and
although I am by no means any kind of representative of your "typical" Angeleno', but I suspect there are plenty out there just like me)
day in and day out in this Lake of Fire we call Los Angeles. Now of course the details change, but this is pretty much what it's like for me, day after day ... week after week ... year after year.
I should say, this is what it WAS like for me. Not anymore! Of course the "family" part hasn't changed .... but the living in L.A. part HAS.
If you want to read more about how it is now, go back to the opening page and read "I'm outta' here" and "Tales of the Great Northwest"and "Tales of the Great Northwest 2"....
3:00 AM - I drag my tired ass up out of bed, and beat the top of the alarm clock several times. Hopefully, if I remembered to set it up and turn the timer on the night before, coffee will be waiting for me ... otherwise I have to stumble through the process trying to focus with bleary eyes.
I can't to a damn thing, and am completely useless until I get that first swig of Java down my throat.
Why do I get up so early (even on my days off!) you ask? This is the best part of the day. The house is dark and quiet. No noise anywhere.
This ... is the only time of day that I have completely to myself. It gives me a chance to wake up, get ready for work, and gives me about an hour on the computer to answer email and check up on several other things. So far as getting up this early on my days off ... I've been doing this for so long, I wake up anyway. Must be a biological clock thing.
4:30 AM - Time to hit the road. I'm either picking up the guy I carpool with, or waiting for him to show up. I'm pretty lucky to have a carpool buddy that I am good friends with. I've carpooled before with people whom I'd just as rather push out the door going 70 mph down the freeway... but that's another story... We Angelenos spend alot of time in our cars. Most people who work in L.A. don't live there (nor would they want to, if they have even half a brain) and commute long distances to and from work. I happen to live 60 miles from work. Now most of you would think that driving 120 miles round' trip to work every freekin' day ... is just plain nuts.
And you're probably right.
But it's just a fact of life around here, and you just get used to it.
Now , once you get on the freeway, the fun begins. The speed limits around here are 65 mph. But you'd better not go that slow around here, Bub! If you're not doing at least 75 mph, you're going to get run off the road, and sometimes even shot at. "Road Rage" at 5:00 AM in the morning. Only in Los Angeles. I tell ya, there's nothing like having some knuckle-dragging cretin in a 18-wheel "Big Rig" climbing up your ass at 80 mph ... at 5:00 AM. Or some other moron weaving in and out of traffic, not using their turn signals, so they can get to work about 15 seconds sooner than otherwise. You've seen the type ... if there is 15' 2" space between you and the guy in front of you, some drooling idiot with a car thats 15' long will squeeze in there. And then flip you off, and tap the brakes, because your "tailgating" him. Sometimes I wished I had one of those James Bond cars ... the kind with a 20mm cannon that pops out from under the hood. Anyway these are the kind of retards who cause accidents on the freeway EVERY SINGLE morning. Same thing with women trying to put on makeup while driving ... the guy trying to read the newspaper while driving ... or the idiots talking on their cell phones and not paying attention to their driving.
It takes about 1 to 1 hr. and 15 minutes to get to work ... provided there isn't some major tie-up on the freeway.
6:00 AM - The work day begins. The yard that I report to is in a dump called "Atwater Village" A village .... it's not. The middle of infested gang-town it is. This little festering boil on the ass of the world, is tucked in between Silverlake and Glendale. It's a beautiful little hamlet of industrial buildings, and graffiti scared cracker-box houses that all look like they should be condemned. The whole area smells like dead skunks.
Here ... is my base of operations. I work for The Department of Water and Power, City of Los Angeles. I have been a Snivel Service employee for 10 ... long ... years now. My purpose in life at the DWP is to (in a nutshell) make sure water gets from point "A" to point "B" through various means and methods. As long as it gets there. Los Angeles is a pretty big and spread out hell-hole (we are the largest municipality owned water system in the U.S.) and the water system is pretty damn old ... so it needs constant attention. I get all over L.A.,
(so I get to drive even MORE!!) but I spend most of my time in the picturesque landscape of East L.A. ... God, what a beautiful place! Just absolutely freekin' heaven on earth ...
Beautiful people in beautiful homes. Graffiti ... gangs ... crime ... crack whores ... homeless dregs ..... smog so thick you could cut it with a knife .... police helicopters flying all around ... gunshots going off in the distance ... ambulances screaming up and down the streets ... people running out of their houses screaming at me, because they think I'm there to turn their water or electricity off ... All the while listening to the guy on the radio saying "And it's another gorgeous day in the City of the Angels!!" I wonder what freekin' planet THAT guy is on!! Holy shit! It's 90 degrees outside, with 90% humidity, my eyes burn because of the smog, and I'm sitting at an intersection watching some crack-whore giving some gangbanger scumbag a blowjob behind a trash bin in an alley as payment for her next $10.00 rock! What kind of dope is that DJ on?!? This place SUCKS!!!! Oh yeah ... it's just another beautiful day in L..A. ... Man, I tell ya, it just doesn't get any better than this!
Now, thats if the day goes normally. But usually the days monotony is broken up by one of my many supervisors (At the DWP there are about 6 "Chiefs" for every "Indian") who even though has NO fucking idea what they are doing, let alone what I am doing, wants me to go someplace 20 miles away to do something, which usually turns out to be "busywork". Hell .... I have "supervisors" who took 10 years to get their lowly degree from the "University of Phoenix" in Civil Engineering, and kissed a WHOLE bunch of ASS, whose heads are swollen with EGO so much as to make one wonder how they even walk through a fucking 34" door-frame .... and know absolutely NO idea as to what the hell is going on ... but they kiss ASS with all the might their lips can muster ... and would probably suck a dick, if it was asked of them ... Well .... it makes them look like they are doing something, other than taking up space and breathing my air. Anyway, (I know, I'm ranting again...) this "busywork" kind of thing usually happens about 15 minutes before quitting time, even though they knew about it for the last 3 hours. And the best part is ... I get to experience this for 8 hours a day! Day .... after .... day.
So I spend my 8 hours driving about the Emerald City, dodging the idiots who are literally trying to get into an accident with me because they know the city will just pay up to make you go away, and making sure the water does it's point "A" to point "B" thing.
2:30 PM - The work day ends. I tell you ... the time just flies by when your having a grand ol' time! so I get back into my little "econo-box" and make my way back home. I sure don't know what it is ... but for some reason, people are sure in a big freekin' hurry to get TO work ... but for some strange reason not in a hurry to get home. Me? I wanna get home, Jack! So now the people who were climbing up your ass at 80 mph in the morning are now creeping back at 55-60 mph ... in the fast lane ... when it's hot out.
3:45 PM - I get home ... dog tired. It seems like I'm always tired. Tired of L.A. ... tired of the idiots at work I'm forced to deal with ... tired of the heat and smog (and it's been 80+ degrees out on say ... Christmas day before) ... tired of morons that got their drivers license out of a cereal box (and YES, Asians are HORRIBLE drivers!!) ... tired of dealing with the vast amount of cretins that make up "humanity", all the way from our stupid elected officials down to the snotty punk bag-boy at the grocery store (the one with 14 earrings in each ear, green hair, and a bone through his nose) who acts like your pulling his own personal teeth out when you ask him for paper bags instead of plastic.
Anyway... I'm digressing here.
So I get home and usually find something broken (those of you with small children know what I'm talking about here) and when I ask "OK ... what the hell happened to this??", I am met with a chorus of "I DON'T KNOW!!" . Yeah, right ... this (insert "thing" here) just flew around the room and broke itself, all by itself. Another addition to the never ending "Honey-do" list (Hereafter known as The List). It's always 2 steps forward and then 3 back.
Soooo ... more often than not, my wife is, or is getting ready to, walk out the front door to go to work as I get home. But not before I get a quick fill-in on the important day's events. Usually something like "Josh has homework, Garret fell down at school today and scraped the side of his face up, the guy across the street borrowed your floor-jack, the washing machine is making a funny noise, don't take anymore money out of the bank until Friday, some guy called you about that thing-a-ma-jig you have for sale but I forgot to get his name and phone number, the neighbor wants to know WHEN your going to trim the mulberry tree back, we've been invited to a barbecue this weekend,
make sure you feed the kids and give them a bath, your mail is on the table, the dog dug up the tree you planted, and the air-conditioning in the van isn't working. Bye! Gotta go! (kiss-kiss).
Just kill me now ... please.
So, there's never a moments peace. When I should be taking a bit of time to relax, it's "go,gO,GO!!" So, I take care of the things at hand and put the other things on The List. It should be noted here, my weird work schedule. I work what is called a "10-4" schedule. This means I work 10 days straight and then get 4 days off. This may sound good, (Hey! 4 days off in a row!) but after awhile it's hell. 10 days straight ... about the "Day 7" your dog-assed tired, with 3 more to go ... and when the "weekend" finally comes your so wasted, the 1st day you do nothing at all, just trying to gather strength. Then comes The List of things you HAVE to do. Sometimes I swear that I work harder on the "weekend" than I do at work ... but it's the same ol' thing. If YOU don't do it, it won't get done.
4:00 PM So now it's about 3.2 seconds after my wife has walked out the door the kids let out with an earsplitting shriek and start beating the hell out of each other. Upon hearing this, the dog decides she wants to start doing back-flips and barking like the room was suddenly filled with cats.
I quiet the kids down, and pry their hands off each others throats. I put my shoulder into it, and shove the dog out the back door. The kids are quiet for about another 13 seconds before it starts all over again. This goes on for about the next hour. I notice my stupid idiot neighbor peeking her head over the back wall so see whats going on. To which I must have said "WADDYA YOU LOOKIN' AT?!?!"
once a day, for every day, of the 10 years I've lived here.
5:00 PM Time to make dinner. As usual I make the mistake of asking the kids what they want. "Pizza!" .. "Chicken!" .. "Pizza!!" .. "Chicken!!" .. "PIZZA!!!" .. "CHICKEN!!!"
ArrrrruuuUUUUUGGGGGH!!!! "I'M NOT MAKING BOTH!! THIS ISN'T 'DENNYS'!!
MAKE UP YOUR MINDS OR I'LL FEED YOU GUYS LIVER AND BRUSSEL SPROUTS!!"
They immediately quiet down and decide on Macaroni and Cheese. So, I whip dinner up, and finally get to grab a beer and sit down.
6:00 PM I turn the news on the TV set. Death and Destruction. The list of daily murders .. People car-bombing each other .. crooked politicians .. some old people being abused at some retirement home .. a dead baby found in a dumpster .. some drunk driver that killed a mother and child in a crosswalk .. a couple of guys found executed "gang style" in some apartment somewhere .. a white-trash biker type who got busted for a meth lab out in the dessert somewhere .. the FBI busting people for some kind of "car accident insurance fraud scheme" .. another day of record temps and 1st stage smog alerts ..
Oh... and the last 5 minutes is devoted to some poor lost puppy that the local animal shelter is begging for someone to adopt. Heart-wrenching.
7:00 PM The usual fight over who gets their bath first and who does their homework last. Ya' know, when I got out of college, I thought to myself, "YEEEES!!! I'll NEVER have to do HOMEWORK AGAIN!!!!"
Now I don't DO their homework for them, but the time I spend helping, I might as well be. Ugh.
Shower time for the kids. Now if a kid takes a 15 minute shower and uses say, about 40 gallons of water .... WHY does it seem that about 39 of those gallons of water end up on the bathroom floor??? Same thing with dinner! If I feed them 20oz. of "whatever", why does it seem like 19 of those ounces end up NOT in their mouths??
8:30 PM OK ... I'm ready to fall flat on my face now, and break my nose. Time to put the kids and myself in bed. Heh heh ... when I was 20 or so, 8:30 was just when I was getting ready to go out. Now I need toothpicks to keep my eyes open.
The kids in tandem shout:
"8:30 !!!! DaaaAAAAAaaaad!!!!"
"Shutup. Time for bed"
"But it's only 8:30!!! We're not tired!!"
"I don't care. I'M tired. Go brush your teeth."
"But MOM let's us stay up till ..."
"MOM ISN'T HERE. I'M HERE. NOW MOVE!"
"SHADDUP! MOVE! GO! BRUSH! PEE! BED!"
And as I finally get the little nippers in bed, I stumble towards my own bed ... hit the alarm clock a couple of times to set the alarm ... and get ready to do it all over again.
No wonder men die earlier than women.