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A DAY IN THE LIFE

Are you ready to be completely underwhelmed? This is what a typical weekday looks like for me:

0525 (5:25 a.m.)

The first alarm goes off. Since I've been sleeping on my hand, it's completely numb so I slap the dead hunk of meat with fingers attached to it all over my bedside table until the sound stops. [Wow, that's quite the visual, isn't it?] I grunt, wondering why the heck I have the thing set so early. But if I get up, I'll have lots of time to get ready for work! Whatever. I go back to sleep. Zzzzzz.

0540 (5:40 a.m.)

The second alarm goes off, this time on my Kindle. My hand is awake now (unlike the rest of me) and I fumble with my Kindle until the sound stops. The dogs are semi-awake. If I get up, I won't have to hurry too much to get ready for work. Whatever. I go back to sleep. Zzzzz.

0555 (5:55 a.m.)

The third alarm goes off, this time on my phone. Since I've been awake and asleep twice, I'm totally confused and slap at my alarm clock/Kindle/phone until whatever is making the horrible racket finally goes silent. This is my "triple nickle" alarm, and it's the last time I can get out of bed without being really late. The dogs are fully awake--as are their bladders--and they're getting frustrated. My bladder is fully awake, too (the joys of being over 50) and I really should get up. I don't. Zzzz.

0605 (6:05 a.m.)

At this point, either my internal alarm goes off, or my wife rolls over and elbows me in the neck because she's tired of hearing all the alarms. The dogs are getting frantic. I roll out of bed. The dogs go crazy. I head downstairs and start the coffee water (it's an old steel peculator so it takes 25 minutes to brew on the stove) & set the timer. I let the three doggos out of their kennels and head to the basement, then we all go outside to the dog run (well, the dogs do) where they take care of business. At this point, I remember I didn't take care of MY business, so watching them pee is pure unadulterated hell. My bladder screams. I scream. They come back in the house, just in time. Whew, that was close!

(NOTE: If I forgot to disarm the security system, add a vision of a sleepy bald guy running back upstairs to disarm the panel before the phone starts ringing and the police show up and general mayhem erupts. This only happens once a week or so.)

0610 (6:10 a.m.)

Back upstairs to the kitchen. I feed all three dogs, make my lunch, and finish grinding the coffee. The dogs finish eating, and since going outside just once is never enough, we all head back down to the basement and make our second trip out to the dog run (well, the dogs do). Their last night's dinner makes a second appearance, only in a much different form. They come back inside & I head upstairs.

0620-0635 (6:20 - 6:35 a.m.)

This is my morning goof-off time, while I'm waiting for the coffee to finish. Into the office I go, and I quickly make myself a Keurig (something strong). Did I mention the coffee perking downstairs is my wife's coffee? Did I mention that I don't usually get any? Yeah, but it's my own fault. If I'd have gotten up when the first alarm went off I'd have the time, but we all know how that went, right? I hop on the computer and check: 1) emails, 2) emails from my website, 3) book sales numbers & rankings, 4) the weather/news. I hear the stove timer go off, and back downstairs I go to turn the heat down to low. Then, you guessed it, back upstairs. With the amount of stair-walking-up-and-downing I do, you'd think I'd have thighs like the old Houston Oilers great Earl Campbell...but, no. When I wear shorts in the summer, my brother-in-law has been known to say, "Hey, are you wearing shorts, or are you riding a chicken?" I usually tell him to buck-buck off. *snicker* Now that was funny. Admit it.

0640-0700 (6:40 - 7:00 a.m.)

Shower/shave/get dressed. Getting dressed when I was active duty was easy - put on a sage green flight suit, black combat boots, and viola! Same thing every day. Now, I have to choose different COLORS of clothes? And sometimes, on bad days, a TIE and JACKET??? And on REALLY bad days, a SUIT???? I wish they would make Garanimals for adults. Sure would be easier. Tiger, goes with tiger. Lion, goes with lion. Simple.

0705ish - 0725ish (7:05 - 7:25 a.m.-ish)

I make the harrowing 15-minute drive to work in LA-esque Bellevue traffic (yeah right), head in the building, and walk down a bunch of stairs/ramps/more stairs until I'm as far down as I can go (three floors underground). And then, after I plop my arse in my chair, take a deep breath of decades-old stale air scented with the pleasant aroma of ancient leaky plumbing, radon gas, black mold, and the dead skin cells of General Curtis LeMay (it's an old building), I REDACTED for the next 8 1/2 hours. Wait, what? Nope, can't talk about it. Really. No speakum, so don't askum. Even my wife has no idea what I do all day, and hasn't for almost three decades now. She doesn't seem to mind. ;) So...

[Insert 8 1/2 hours of Jeopardy music *here*]

1600ish (4:00 p.m.-ish)

Hooray! Quittin' time! Once I come back topside & squint my eyes & hiss like a vampire because of the glowing ball of fire in the sky (It burns! It buuuuuuurns!), it's back home I go. At this point, we'll skip-ahead a bit: There's family time. Feeding the dogs again, and looking forward to the moment when said doggy dinner will make its second appearance the next morning. Maybe vacuum up the sheen of dog hair that's always on the hardwood floors (the joys of having dogs). Cooking dinner (which usually consists of me burning something on the grill & my wife whipping up other stuff to counteract the carbon poisoning). Doing dishes. Maybe watch a little TV if one of our shows happens to be on. Maybe read a little. Then, I head up to the office and job #2 starts. Sort of.

2000 - 2300 (8:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.)

This is when I usually write (job #2). In the ~three hours I give myself, when I'm in the writing mood (or under contract), I'll try to pump-out at least 600 words on whatever project I'm working on, while valiantly fighting the urge to check: 1) emails, 2) emails from my website, 3) book sales numbers & rankings, 4) the weather/news, and the uber-evil 5) Facebook. The urge to do something other than write wins more often than not (thank you Al Gore for inventing the Internet), and I'll look at the 37 words I've written, sigh heavily, and then...well, I'll check Facebook again. Just because. Argh.

I usually stumble to bed around 2300 (11:00 p.m.) and maybe read my Kindle for a half hour or so. Eyelids get heavy. Sleepy, so sleepy. *yawn*

I sleep on my hand. Blood flow stops. And at 0525, it all starts again.

See? I told you it was underwhelming!