Tuesday, November 07, 2017

The Work!!!!!

The Work, The Work. So today I had a story due. It was assigned late Thursday, and I couldn't make calls till early Friday. But I'm going in blind, right? I don't even know what questions to ask. By Friday AM, I've figured out the two main people and do interviews. But they were weak because I don't know the thrust of the story yet. They tell me I can call them back....I go through their notes, see 5 groups I need to get in touch with--these are all groups trying to help immigrants and refugees, so if you don't like those people you can stop reading--but by that time it's Friday evening and no one is reachable. I work on background all weekend, do better interviews with my main people, leave emails for official people--ICE, Border Patrol, Homeland Security, School of the Americas Watch-- but cannot go further. By Monday morning I know what the hell I am doing. I start
making calls at 8 AM Central Time, which is 9 AM East
but by 11 AM I HAVE a splitting headache. I can't think. I can't write. My interviews are in, it will only take two hours to write a draft of the story--Hell, I've got 5,000 words of interview, 20,000 words of back story, and I am only writing 1,500 words--but my head is splitting. For the first time in my life I asked for an extension based on feeling bad--and I am not kidding. If I had a gun I would have killed myself to stop the pain.
My boss let me slide till 10 AM tomorrow morning--we go to press tomorrow, so that's very cool on his part. So I lay down. Then a friend called who needed medicine, and he came over and I served it. While serving the medicine--the south American frog sweat known as Sapo or Kambo--my head started feeling better. Then Chepa, my wife/ex-wife, called to say she'd be coming over for dinner with the girls--her two new daughters, 11 and 8, plus my granddaughter, 7--and they needed rice with garlic and lime, cucumber with lime, fried chicken breast pieces, and she needed talapia, onion, tomato, cilantro, red pepper, scallions. And a good mix of veggies: Broccoli, cauliflower, green zucchini and yellow squash, corn, tomato, onion and garlic. So I raced to the store, bought what we needed, head splitting, raced back, cooked good jasmine rice in garlic, got oil hot enough to fry the chicken breast pieces, reduced the juice from last nights' Coq au Vin, made the food.
All the while I was cooking 5 pounds of chicken legs for the two dogs and 2 pounds of chicken livers for the 10 cats to go along with 3 pounds of dry food.
It is now 6:32. I've fed the dogs and cats. I fed Chepa, Sierra, Alexa, and Taylor Rain. I gave Taylor $20 for something she needs for school and Chepa $100 for jackets for Sierra and Alexa. The fried chicken breast is gone. The two Talapia filets Chepa made with capers, garlic, onions, tomato and garlic are gone. I'm sick of the Coq au Vin.
So there is nothing for me to eat, but I fed a lot of people and I felt good. Now, I just feel tired. I think I will smoke a joint, watch a little television--which I rarely do--and go to bed by 9. I need to get up by 5 to get that story in by 10. I promised, after all.
Ain't life grand!!!!!!

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