Here’s an account of a single day, August 2nd, 1999. This was originally published in my friend Rachel’s zine Daybook.
I get up around 7:00 or 7:30. I shower and shave. For breakfast I eat a bowl of granola with rice milk. I grab a carrot and an apple, and leave the apartment around 8:00.
As I’m driving to work a sheriff’s car pulls up alongside me and uses his loudspeaker: “The maximum speed is 35 miles per hour — you better slow down.”
When I get to the office I make coffee, talk with the cleaning lady, check my e-mail. I spend some time futzing around with Macromedia’s Shockwave installer, which seems a little buggy.
I finish up some work from the day before and upload it. It’s a new version of a website called MathNerds.
The university’s Webmaster calls me up, and while he’s got me on the phone we manage to resolve a problem with our CGI access that has been plaguing us ever since I arrived here on June 1st. Short of the long: It’s good news. I’m able to complete a couple of tasks that have been on the back burner for two months.
Our secretary has been working on our newsletter for the past week. I help her save it in an older format so the folks at the Document Centre will be able to read it.
A professor of Spanish stops by my office. She’s in desperate need of a programmer to help her finish a CD-ROM project, and quickly. The CD is called Hispanics in New Orleans. I explain that it’s too much for me to do. She offers to hire me after hours. The money is too good to refuse, so I agree.
For lunch I eat my carrot and apple.
After lunch I put the newsletter on a floppy and take it to the Document Centre. It’s about five blocks away. The August heat is incredible. A few drops of rain hit me, and I swear at myself for not bringing an umbrella. When I get to the Document Centre, I realize I’ve forgotten the damn floppy, so I go back to the office feeling like a dumbass.
I’m so exhausted by the heat that I can’t bring myself to go back out again. I revise an on-line form on our website, then I start work on an HTML tutorial.
I feel like leaving early, so I do.
On the way home I revisit the Document Centre. (Yes, they really do spell their name in the British style. I don’t know why. They’re the spawn of some unholy corporate-academic alliance with Xerox Corporation.) This time I remember the floppy.
When I get home, around 3:30 or 4:00, Xy is just finishing her job application. She’s a teacher; she’s looking for work in the public schools.
I change into my swimming trunks and go up to the pool on the roof of our building. I drink a beer and lie in the sun and write this account of my day. Meanwhile Xy is making guacamole down in our apartment. I swim a few laps in the pool and start thinking about the best way to tackle the Hispanics project.
Later that evening we get together with our friends, Marlon and Delme. (I’m not sure if I’m spelling her name right.) They’re the only real friends we’ve made since moving to New Orleans. They’re from Honduras. Delme doesn’t speak much English, and I speak even less Spanish, but Xy and especially Marlon are fairly bilingual. Our conversation tends to revolve around language itself, as we teach each other in little bits and pieces. Xy wants to go see a Latin salsa band at the Red Room, but when we arrive, the club is closed. We end up at Tipitina’s instead, where there’s a fifty-cent special on beer. The Original New Birth Brass Band is playing. It’s a kind of funky Dixieland jazz I never heard back in Indiana.
When it’s later than it should be, and we’re drunker than we should be, I drive us all home. While Xy and I try to sleep, our two cats chase each other around the apartment all night long.