On the Subject of Pedestals

Eaddie has been wanting to go out on a hike, so she and Summer decided today was the day. I suggested Pedestal Rock, a place I hadn’t been there since I was a child, because it seemed like an easy enough hike for someone in my condition. They jumped right out of bed and were ready to go, so I took the opportunity to shower while they went to the store to get lunch materials. Then they brought the Model Y over to charge while we took mine up to Pelsor.

Nobody had eaten yet, and I didn’t want to drive for an hour and then hike for just as long before we could sit down and eat sandwiches, so I stopped at Sonic before we got to Dover. It was a pretty middling experience, made slightly worse by the fact that we then weren’t really hungry enough for lunch on the trail afterward.

We walked the Pedestal Rocks trail, which was longer than Kings Bluff. It wasn’t too incredibly hot or humid out, but the slight changes in elevation got me huffing pretty quickly. Even micro changes wear me down really quickly, so I tried to pace myself. We made it down to the rock formations fairly easily, and I took a short break while the girls wandered around at the bottom of the formations for a bit. The hike back up to the car was much worse for me, but once we leveled out I recovered fairly quickly.

The girls ate some pita chips and hummus, but didn’t get out any of the sandwich stuff. I found a large chunk of something in what was left of our cranberry slush from Sonic. It had broken up a bit in the drink, which led me to believe it was a chunk of a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, but nobody was brave enough to taste it.

Eaddie was pretty anxious to get back home by that time, so we left. As we got back into town and service, Summer noticed that Autumn had stopped by Adam’s house on the way home from Clarksville, where she had been overnight. It was clear they had spent the night together at her father’s house. Autumn’s lies about their plans pretty well sealed her fate.

We swapped vehicles at my house and then went inside to chat for a bit before deciding to go to Summer’s parents’ house to talk to them first. We felt we owed them the courtesy, but that turned toxic absolutely instantly. We had barely pulled up when Autumn called Summer wanting to know if we were there to talk them out of paying for her band camp trip. It was a short conversation before Autumn hung up on her mother, and then Summer had to talk JoAnn into coming out to talk to the three of us.

Everyone seemed to be concerned about band camp, because that’s what Autumn called them about. Gerald stomped out, white as a ghost, a few moments later and banged his fist in anger. Summer told him we were kicking Autumn out, and he said, “Good! You don’t deserve her!” I think we all felt a brief feeling of relief until he pulled the rug out from beneath us and said she could come live with him. Then he tried bringing up Summer’s past when she moved out of their house, as though that made any kind of point at all. He cast Summer away and told her not to come back. She and Eaddie went back to the car while I stood there in shock.

I tried to calmly explain the situation, but it was clear he wasn’t going to listen. He was locked into blind support of Autumn’s parasitic lifestyle, and she’ll only suffer for it. I told him that I knew they loved the girls, and for some reason his only response was that he didn’t love Eaddie. That just seemed like a cruel and pointless thing to say, and I had absolutely no response loaded for that. We headed to the house to confront Autumn, but of course they had already told her she was being kicked out, so she was packing by the time we got there.

Autumn tried ignoring us at first, but finally came out long enough for Summer to talk to her. After over a year of hearing her say she hates it with us, she said she wasn’t ready to move out, and then turned to me to ask if I was “okay with this.” I don’t know what kind of answer she expected from me after she tried to send me to jail with false accusations. Summer did a great job of laying out the expectations and where Autumn failed to meet them. We gave her twice the amount of time we told her, and then sent her off with her car title and birth certificate. We’ve wasted enough time afraid for our own safety with her around. She can mooch off of someone else from now on.

I think Summer and Eaddie handled it relatively well, but it was hard. I didn’t really expect to tear up myself, but I did while giving my parting words. They took a moment to breathe, and then Summer took me home to get the Murano. While we were there, she called Nick to explain the situation. He played dumb enough that I didn’t even think to be angry at him, since he was the one that allowed Autumn to stay the night with her 15 year old boyfriend. What an absolute putz.

Summer spent a while on the phone in her car when we got back to the house. Eaddie had taken a shower, and we were trying to decide what to do for dinner. When Summer finally came in, I suggested pizza and both of their eyes lit up like it was Christmas morning and they had just found all of the surprise presents under the tree. I ordered some Little Caesars, and spent the next 20 minutes waiting for it.

When I got back to the house, we watched Modern Family while we ate. Then the girls went to bed. New challenges await us tomorrow, but at least for now, we can breathe a sigh of relief.

If it were up to me, we would have given her car to her in cube-form.

Old Tomato

Things were tense with Summer every time I saw her today. She and I both slept in a bit. She tried to wake Autumn up before she left for work, and of course I could hear mild yelling from the bedroom. Once she left, I had a bagel and then quietly went home myself for the day. I wanted to read up on some Ubiquiti networking documentation, but I could never get myself into it. The best I could do was complete a load of laundry.

I thought Mom was working, but she texted around lunch time and it looked like she was at home. I thought I’d visit her, but I didn’t get out until after my laundry was done. I had to go by Walgreens first for my medication, but that was a failed trip and a phone call to my benefits line, because apparently my insurance paperwork hasn’t made it in yet. I decided not to pay full price and just ride out some higher blood pressure for a few weeks to see what happens.

From there, I stopped to wash my car before heading to see Mom. By the time I got there, I saw the garage was empty and it looked like she was at work. Confused, I headed back home. Summer was home by then, but the girls had been out shopping all day. By the time I got to her house, she said they had left again for the art walk downtown. Things were still tense, and I likened the situation to beating a dog for peeing on the carpet the day before. I told her I was sick of nothing being done. There’s been no accountability. Autumn simply doesn’t understand the difference between not being a shitty person and working to earn something. I’m not going to keep my mouth shut any longer.

I ate some leftovers, and Summer went straight to bed. I just sat there wishing I was at home all night long. What a waste.

First fireflies of the year.

Murder Campus

I rolled in to work a few minutes late today, but that seems to be the atmosphere there. I think as long as work gets done, nobody really seems to care too much about anything else. I didn’t get too deep into much before Kim got there, and then we ended up at the bottom of the hill to finish up our inventory and hunting for Chromebooks. That project was going to take us most of the day, but I wanted to take a break and visit the Plainview campus for the first time.

We had to track down some keys for the building, and then we were on our way. As timing would have it, we had to accept a delivery from UPS anyway. Then I got a quick tour of a hallway they use for preschool, and then a walk through the back side of the building that was blocked by storage. It was padlocked shut, and everything was pretty gross inside. There were some neat things, like a giant, old safe, and an old stage with theater seating in surprisingly good condition. We looked at some carts that I might want to put back into circulation if they’re firm on keeping a cart in every single room, used or not.

By the time we finished there, I was pretty hungry and insisted on taking Kim out to lunch at the Junction Café in town. I tried the Cajun baked potato with shrimp and crawfish, and then Kim got the Cajun fries, which looked like a slightly better deal, though my potato wasn’t bad.

We finished the elementary inventory in the afternoon, which took us right to quitting time. I didn’t even bother unloading everything when we got back to the office. I raced home with very little traffic and stopped by my parents’ house to visit with Mom, but she wasn’t home from work. The landscapers were there, and evidently they cut down her favorite magnolia tree, of which I wasn’t even fully aware.

I ended up leaving well before she got home, stopped by Walgreens where the pharmacy had already closed at three, and then ran home to change before going to Summer’s. She made dinner, so I ate while she and Eaddie watched baking shows.

Summer had told Autumn the other night that she couldn’t go to band camp because she declined the offer earlier in the year. Autumn pitched a fit over it, and evidently spent the afternoon with her grandparents to get money to go. The whole ordeal burned me up, because I’m sick to death of her sidestepping Summer’s parenting, and Summer not doing anything about it. I almost left, but calmed myself down enough to talk to Summer about it. Of course she was just dead eyes through the entire conversation. I know she has it worse, but I can’t feel sorry for her if she does nothing to change the situation. Autumn is just making all of our lives worse by existing, and I wish Summer would put her foot down.

Maybe a trip to Plainview.

Opportunities Rebound

I didn’t sleep great last night, but my biggest struggle was slow traffic and feeling hungry on the drive in to work. I parked by the loading dock for the second time, assuming kids were only out there yesterday due to the staff softball game they had, but evidently that’s just what they do every day after lunch. Some of them were playing basketball nearby, and the ball hit my car and set off the alarm. What surprised me the most was that I didn’t even notice the notification because it wasn’t a special sound. It was just a regular notification that didn’t draw any special attention. One of the maintenance guys had to come in to get me when the alarm was going off. Unfortunately I didn’t even catch the event on sentry mode, beyond seeing a basketball bounce away from my car, and then be caught by a girl that looked like a deer in headlights.

The best part of the day was the “taco Tuesday” nachos, which was a big, ugly glob of meat and cheese with a heap of vegetables on top from the salad bar. I’ve actually been overall pretty happy with the lunch there. Otherwise I spent most of my day writing up thoughts on our device deployment, and trying to come up with compelling ideas for administration to limit damage and loss.

The second best part of the day was the confidence boost of getting a job offer from Compsys, and then later a request for an interview at Green Bay Packaging. The former wasn’t going to pay well enough for the commute, but the second would be worth the sudden jump. I’ve really liked the people at Two Rivers so far, but it is a lot of work for very little compensation, comparatively. It’s a bit like when I started at Russellville, making way too little for an ever-increasing workload.

I made it home through some more slow traffic, but Summer was charging in the garage, so I changed clothes and took my car for a wash. Then I came back home to do some laundry. Once it was in the dryer, I left to visit my parents, but they were out at Lelan’s shop getting Mom’s hair cut. I turned back around and waited out the laundry, and then headed up to Summer’s for the evening.

Summer was already in bed and wanted me to sit with her for a bit. Autumn started watching TV at an obnoxious volume in the living room, but fortunately left around the time I was getting ready for bed. Eaddie decided she didn’t want to go to work with me, but then came out fussing that she didn’t have a source to stream The Office. First world problems.

Don’t blow it.


I made it to bed a little early last night, so I ended up wide awake before my alarm this morning. That allowed me to get a very small head-start on my day, and I made it to work a few minutes early. I brought the leftover chicken sandwich from Burger King and ended up eating it an hour or two into my day, and then did my best to accomplish anything at all. It’s so hard not to be incredibly scattered, just because so many things need attention.

I didn’t take a lunch, and I ended up staying fairly late to finish up an email, to which I didn’t even really receive a satisfying response. I raced home so I wouldn’t burn the remainder of my evening, but as soon as I got up to Summer’s, she and Eaddie just wanted food. I immediately threw the super old, leftover ham bone into the Instant Pot along with some beans and anything else I could find.

Eaddie wanted to watch Modern Family and wasn’t willing to wait for soup, so she made a bowl of ramen. Summer ended up not eating anything at all before going to bed. I was frustrated and bitter, so I had a small bowl myself before going to bed.

All the way up.


I slept in a little bit today by comparison with my earlier time to rise with commute. I needed it. I heard Autumn talking to Summer in the living room, so I just stayed in bed for a while. By the time I came out, Summer started to rush me home to get ready. She wanted to get there before the doors opened, so she ran me off to go home and shower. Then she picked me up late to meet her parents as they were coming out of the elevator at the arena. It was kismet.

Wesley and Cindy showed up and sat a couple rows down from us, so I talked with them once my parents got seated. By then it wasn’t too much longer before they filed everyone in and the ceremony started. We had good seats to see Eaddie in the first chair position in the band, as well as the stage as the seniors walked up.

Ginni’s speech was incredibly robotic. It was as if she prompted ChatGPT to write her a graduation speech that included things for which people normally have feelings, but which she as an interstellar alien, had absolutely no understanding. It was dry, emotionless, and sounded unrehearsed. I don’t think I’d feel any differently if I weren’t bitter, because all of the other speeches were pretty great, and at least seemed heartfelt.

Having graduation split into two groups made this one much more bearable. Sitting for the entire class would have sucked, not just because it would have taken twice as long for everyone to walk, but because of how many people would be there. I suggest a hard limit of two guests per student.

Afterward, we all met outside and waited for Autumn to get some pictures. Summer’s parents left after saying they would have lunch with us. My parents would join us, but made it out before we did. Summer replaced the traffic cones I moved out of the way, so traffic backed up behind us. The girl that parked next to us was having an absolute fit and had who I presumed was her mother stand out in the parking lot behind her to block traffic. I didn’t see it, but evidently she was flipping people off and screaming about it, so I just made us wait until all the traffic was done before we left.

We had both of the girls and Adam with us, and we had a shrinking window of time to take everyone out to eat, so we met my parents at Burger King for Autumn’s favorite food group. I knew there was no way in hell we’d make it in and out of Brick Oven, and by the time we got out of the parking lot, nobody thought we’d even make it across town and back from Autumn’s favorite restaurant. I ordered some food ahead to try and speed things along and maybe save a buck, but I think I really ended up just wasting even more money because Eaddie wanted a Spider-Verse Whopper that came with a couple chicken sandwiches and chicken fries that nobody really wanted. Summer ordered her own meal, my parents ordered their own meals, and Autumn got the one meal I ordered on the drive over.

From there, we rushed Adam back to the band room and Autumn left to go with him. We took Eaddie to Old Post to hang out with some friends, and Summer took me home so she could go work out, or mow, or do whatever else. I did a couple loads of laundry and then mowed my own yard, which got me much sweatier than I anticipated. The back yard is frustratingly overgrown again, and no matter how much I plead, I can’t get a hand with it. It made me seriously contemplate staying home out of frustration so that I could just tackle it on my other day off instead of wasting that with the girls too.

I did finally make it up to Summer’s for the evening, where she was nearly asleep from watching George of the Jungle, and Eaddie was up practicing her flute. Summer woke up once I got there, and was up for a while until after Autumn finally got home. I was cold and tired, yet clammy from mowing, so I didn’t stay up very long.

Your place.

Everything Goes

Summer got up and made us a big breakfast of bacon, eggs, and waffles. Autumn refused to get out of bed, and stumbled out to eat late, after everything had been put away. We were supposed to go look at the house again, so I went home to shower and get my ladder before picking up the girls. As I was getting ready, Alisha texted and wanted to reschedule, so we set up a time for Monday instead.

Eaddie wanted to go watch the high school play again, so we took her to that. We ran into Karen and Kim at the box office, and I chatted with Karen briefly before the play. I found myself completely disinterested in Anything Goes. It just wasn’t an interesting story to me, and it seemed like the singing parts could have been cast better. Eaddie and a couple of her friends sat with us for the first half, but then left to sit up front for the last half. I had hoped the intermission was the end, but at least I had less trouble staying awake after the intermission.

After the play, Karen came up and found me to get the full scoop on what happened for me. Then Jeff spotted me and came over to shake my hand and offer his condolences. That made me feel really good that he felt concerned enough to come see me, because we didn’t have occasion to talk very often at work.

When we got back to the house, Autumn was asleep in bed, so I had Summer make her get up so I could drop her off at the gym. I figured I could take Eaddie out to practice driving while we waited. That turned into an absolute screaming fit, and she threw her car keys at my feet as we argued about vehicle ownership. I gave her another five minutes to cool down while I talked Eaddie into riding along, and then we dropped her off.

Eaddie was stressing over homework, so we ended up coming back to the house anyway so she could start on that. I warmed us up some leftovers for dinner, and then we picked Autumn up after an absolute maximum of 45 minutes worth of working out. She had cooled way down by then, and it was fine when we got home. I continued to help Eaddie with her homework until everyone wandered off to bed. Autumn, who had already spent the majority of the day in bed, stayed up late doing laundry even past when I turned in.

I say, anyone have hot pants for a game of shuffle board?

A Real Ham

We got around this morning and I made tuna pitas for everyone. Then after a while, Summer took Eaddie shopping for some shoes while I took a shower. When they got back, we had to go to the store for something to go with the ham that Summer wanted to bake for dinner. Autumn came home eventually, and fussed about wanting to spend the day with Adam, and then fussed about him not liking me, and how awkward he would feel if he came over for dinner.

Autumn eventually gave in to taking Eaddie shopping when she got Adam. Summer and I made a relatively quick trip to my house, then Walmart, and then back to my house because she wanted another muffin tin. Then she started cooking as soon as we got back to her house. I scheduled another visit with Alisha, so we’ll check out the house again tomorrow afternoon.

We had a really nice dinner, and then Eaddie and I went to the bedroom to watch an episode of Breaking Bad. As we finished, Summer came in wanting to go to bed, so she kicked us out to Eaddie’s room where she and I watched one more episode, trying to ignore the loud music and giggles coming out of Autumn’s room because Summer is incapable of firmly telling her she can’t take her boyfriend in there.

Eaddie had enough after the second episode, so she went to bed and I cleaned up in the kitchen. Adam left when his father picked him up, and eventually I made it to bed.

Exclusion Solution

Restless Exhaustion

Autumn woke me up with a start this morning and asked me to take Eaddie to school because they slept in and were running late. I would have declined if I had known she just wanted to leave five minutes earlier so she could still make the McDonald’s drive-through before going to school. We ended up arriving right after her, and I was angry. I was sleeping so heavily when she got me up, and I didn’t feel like I could go back to sleep once I got home.

I laid around for a bit until I started to feel really hungry, and I got out to pick up a McGriddle myself. I noticed Kevin’s truck outside AT&T on the way, so I drove around and ate my breakfast in the parking lot and then went in to find him. He was busy for a bit, so I talked with the other Kevin for a bit, which gave me a chance to catch up a bit with both of them. Hope eventually found her way out and saw me too. When I told Kevin I was looking for work, he turned me on to a friend of his that was looking for someone, but the job wouldn’t pay quite as much as what I was making. He figured some income was better than no income though.

After a little while they were still dead, so Kevin wanted to drive the Model 3 again. We drove out toward Pottsville, and then up Old Cove Road to return the back way. By the time we got back, they were pretty busy and I decided to head on home.

I fired off another message, this time to Mark’s winning counsel. Hopefully I hear back from literally anyone, but it seems like nobody’s hurting for work enough to talk to me so far. I feel confident enough in my own case, but would still prefer someone with a little more skin in the game.

When lunch time rolled around, I went back out and picked up a burger and some cheese sticks from Sonic for two bucks. I was annoyed when I made it home and realized there was no marinara, but I made it work. The burger was too saucy anyway, so I guess that made up for it.

It had been cool all morning, so I decided I really wanted Summer to come over and sit quietly by a fire with me for a while. The stress of not working or having any real schedule was still getting to me, and I just wanted some quiet time to relax with her. I started a fire and then took a shower, but then I had to get Eaddie from school since Autumn was running around getting her nails done for prom.

Summer had arrived home from work just as we got home, so I got her charging and then we went right out to the fire. Eaddie left on her bicycle and we never saw her again. Summer brought some smoked sausages to cook, and even Bác Vân decided she’d eat one. Autumn came over to eat before eventually leaving to pick up Eaddie and take her home. Summer and I wound down by the fire, and got everything put away after it got dark. We saw a couple little toads hopping around, but the bugs started to come out as well. Once we got inside, it was pretty quick to sleep for her. I was still exhausted as well, so I didn’t dawdle.

Just apply more.

Stick-on Shade

Summer went to the gym this morning and then came home to shower before going to work. I had gotten around a little bit, and once Summer left, I tried to get someone from the EEOC on the phone. The wait time ended up being longer than I could stay on the phone though, because I had to get home and cleaned up before taking Summer’s car to River Valley Tinting and Glass to get the windows tinted.

I waited in the near-silent lobby for over an hour while they did the job. I had high expectations after trying two other places in town with the Murano and then the Model 3. I was told this place had a plotter to cut the vinyl, which would make the corners perfect. When it was all done, the left window looked to be stuck on a little lower than the right side, but they both looked good. There were a couple bubbles on the driver side as well, but not as much on the passenger side.

Once I got back home, I put together a slightly more concise timeline to try and explain to another firm, but my first pick was a girl that claimed to be a “switchboard” that could only take my information, but couldn’t tell me whether I would get a call back or not. The second place I tried also said they never worked with employees, and would only work in defense of the employer in my type of case. For better or worse, the first place I called was still ready to get started if I would only pay them nearly two months’ salary.

Just as I was becoming the most frustrated, Dad rang my doorbell and I went outside to see him. Apparently Mom, Lelan, and Julie were all coming over to try and sort their outfits for Randall’s wedding. It seemed to be quite an ordeal for the girls to find something suitable to wear. It was all a bit too stressful for me to consider.

Summer picked me up when she got back to town so we could go to the high school for a PSAT meeting for Eaddie. Michael was outside the Crimson Room when we got there, and told us it would mostly be the same information we already had. We decided to leave, assuming Eaddie was already at home. Summer dropped me back off at home so I could continue to visit with family.

As soon as she got home, Summer called to say that Eaddie wasn’t there, and that she had left her phone in her room. Evidently she was still at the high school in her study group, which I thought was being led by the same people hosting the meeting we didn’t attend. By the time I made it back to the high school, Eaddie had already started walking toward my house, and was spitting mad that we left without her.

I took her back to my house to cool down while I visited some more. After a little while, I took her on home and shared some of my leftover pasta with her. Autumn was excited to share some “tea” with me, that turned out being a critical accident that happened at the school. Evidently Gary had taken a hard fall at the arts center and broke several bones. I was upset that she considered this “tea” that she selfishly wanted to share with me herself, instead of letting me know that my friend was badly injured.

Everyone made it to bed, and Michael ended up calling me late so I could catch him up on all of my drama. He was surprised, and shared the same sentiment I had gotten pretty much everywhere else. All that’s left is to start a GoFundMe for lawyer’s fees.

Seriously, why is it so hard to find someone to provide some counsel with vigor?