Anyone with an iPod touch or iPhone may well know the alarm sound called Old Car Horn. If you don’t, well, it sounds like a very old-fashioned car horn. It’s my alarm sound of choice. Being freelance, I have the luxury, most of time, of setting my own schedule. It’s a luxury, and it’s a pain in the arse, too. I genuinely like getting up early, getting on with stuff and feeling like I’ve accomplished something by lunchtime; rather than feeling like lunchtime is actually when I’m eating breakfast. But, most days, I hit the snooze button. Which is nowhere near as satisfying on an iPod than on a real alarm clock. Trying to be careful and just tap a glass screen when you’re half-asleep is tough going. And launching an arm in the general direction of an alarm clock feel more appropriate at that time of day. The problem I have, though, is too much snoozing. This morning, I snoozed for an hour. That’s six snoozes. On Tuesday, I snoozed for three whole hours. Eighteen snoozes. Impressive. And idiotic at the same time. Yesterday, I just snoozed for half an hour or so, and it’s yesterday that we’re focussing on here.
A bad thing about having the iPod as my alarm clock is that it means I have easy access to the Internet before I’ve got out of bed. I really, really should stop myself from checking my email before I’m properly awake. But yesterday I didn’t. Backing up a bit, I’m doing a job at the moment that I’m not entirely enjoying. The idea from the client is a good one, but it’s a job that has never entirely clicked. It’s always felt like an uphill struggle to know how to do what the client wants and what I am capable of, and would enjoy doing. It’s also a job that was first talked about a long time ago, like November last year. And when there’s too much time between the brief and the deadline, it’s very easy to not crack on, to start it “next week.” I spent my vacation thinking about it. Trying to come up with ideas, a layout. Nothing much happened. But, over the last week, as the deadline approaches, it’s come together. I’d worked a lot on it on Wednesday, and went to bed feeling—for the very first time—feeling happy with the job. Feeling like my feet were on solid ground. Then I checked my email in bed the following morning. And suddenly I was back where I’d been. Changes needed making. Things I liked had to be changed. Bad mood. Fired off a bit of a chippy email, and went out to get coffee. Didn’t bother with a shower, just stomped out, chuntering to myself. Nearly got hit by a car that had ignored the red light (I was halfway across four lanes of traffic, so it wasn’t like he was too close to stop, he just decided to ignore the red light). Got to Starbucks. Grande cappuccino, por favor. Taste it: bleurgh! Try to explain in broken español that it taste like there’s no espresso at all in there. Another one gets made. Thanks. (That “thanks” was said in a tone that actually said “fuck you.”)
Back at the apartment, I knew I needed to clarify (ie. apologise) for the chippy email. Did that. All good. Things got cleared up, but still, foul foul foul mood hanging over me. Then I looked at my Tumblr dashboard. (If you didn’t know, I have a wee Tumblr site called Flip Flop Fly Ballin’, which is basically nice baseball pictures that I’ve seen around the Internet, and a place where I put up new stuff from my real baseball site, Flip Flop Fly Ball. And, yes, I do seem to be on a mission to create as many sites as possible with very similar names.) I saw that something I’d done (taking the eyes and mouth of one famous New York Yankees player, and putting them in the face of another, and vice versa) had been reblogged by someone else, from a different source, though. Now, it’s one of the things I love about Tumblr, that there’s a nice communal thing with reblogging other peoples’ stuff. It’s a nice tip of the hat: this dude created or found something cool, nice one. Reblog. And it seems to me to be one of the key things about Tumblr. So anyway, I checked out the source of this reblog, and it was a site that, rather than reblogging, just takes the image and posts it. It included a link to my original, but that’s not the point on Tumblr, really. The point is, this site dammed my rebloggy river, and diverted all the reblogs to itself. The bad mood that I was already in started to rage up inside. I hate that feeling. The feeling of being angry, and it being a physical feeling inside my chest. I sent them an email. There were swear words and capital letters involved.
I knew knew knew that I had to do something to calm down. Sunglasses, headphones, and a walk to the park. Chapultepec Park. A very big park about ten minutes from my apartment. There’s a zoo there, too. A free zoo. So I figured looking at some animals would calm me down. It didn’t. The bad mood made me impatient. I walked around, barely stopping to look at any animals at all, getting frustrated by the people who were enjoying the zoo. My bad mood and push chairs aren’t a good combination. I did briefly calm down a little in the aviary bit. The birds were nice.
Back home, I’d had a reply from the Tumblr site guy. He was polite and apologised. He explained that he thought that reblogging was a “shitty user experience” and that “we’re a website on tumblr, not a tumblr.” I should’ve just left it, but couldn’t. The hypocrisy annoyed me. Using Tumblr to get reblogs, but never dishing them out. I went on and was just spoiling for a fight. To his credit, he stayed fairly calm while I got increasingly annoyed.
By this time, the day was a right-off. Bought some beer, and sat down and cracked open a can. And cracked on with the changes to the job. And worked and worked. And by the end of the evening, I’d done all the changes and done all the beers. And, well, I went to bed feeling like the job was in a good place again.
This morning, I deliberately didn’t look at my email in bed. I got up, and had a shower first. Email checked. Client seemed happy. Went out to buy coffee feeling better than 24 hours earlier. And just as I was about to enter Starbucks, a bird shat on my head. Bird shit on my forehead and sunglasses. Perfuckingfect. (This is true, not just a comedy ending to the blog post, by the way.) This particular Starbucks doesn’t have a bathroom. So I wiped the poo off with my hand, wiped my hand on a few napkins and went to the bathroom in the small mall-type thing that the Starbucks is a part of. Of course, the bathrooms were locked, with no attendant around. So I walked home chuntering to myself, conscious that there may well still be a smear of bird shit on my forehead. Back at home. There wasn’t bird shit on my forehead, but still had to take my second shower of the hour. Tomorrow, tomorrow, please please please, tomorrow: don’t be a cunt.