Summer went to work this morning, and I eventually got out of bed and made some rice for the leftover corned beef. Autumn slept on the couch because she got everything out of her storage unit, but didn’t have her room cleaned up with a place for everything. She sat around watching Criminal Minds all morning, and then ate some plain white rice without any of the actual leftovers. I tried to get Eaddie out of bed, but she didn’t want to get up. Neither of them wanted to clean house like I asked.

I eventually left to meet Summer at Superfast so we could get her patched tire back on. I was there with her for a little while after the guys helped swap the tires, since she was ready to leave work a bit early and I thought she might do something with me. She ended up going to the gym, so I went to my parents’ house to prep the turkey.

I’d never actually handled a raw turkey before, but this was actually much cleaner than I expected. I’ve always felt that chickens were super gross and slimy, but the turkey wasn’t slimy at all. It trimmed up nicely, and the random clearanced shears I picked up at Walmart a while back did a great job cutting the spine out. I decided to spatchcock the turkey for my first attempt at smoking one, since it promised a more even cook with the added benefit of speeding up the whole process. I couldn’t have been more pleased with how the prep went.

Mom warmed up some shrimp soup while I was there, so we ate a bit before I headed home. I was supposed to drop the spine and other assorted entrails off at Julie’s house so she could make gravy out of it, but she took forever to respond to my text messages, and said she had left the house to go shopping. I killed a bunch of time cleaning up at home, re-covering the fire pit out back, showering, and getting things generally organized to smoke the turkey. Finally she just had me leave the bag of turkey bits in my mailbox so she could pick it up on the way home.

I had to stop by Lowe’s for an injector, and I decided to throw out my leftover marinade, so I’ll be making my own from scratch in the morning. Just as I left Lowe’s, Summer reminded me to bring my bread maker, so I had to circle back home to get it. When I got to her house, Autumn was still at her boyfriend’s house. Eaddie was working on homework, and Summer was making fruit salad, key lime pie, and deviled eggs. She finished up with a loaf of bread that we thought was a bit overdone. Autumn got back home a little early, and after a little wind-down time, everyone was off to bed.

There’s simply no respect.

Quarter Panel with Ketchup

I almost made it to my charge limit this morning, and left the house at 75%. I think being able to take a day trip during the weekend and then recoup that energy throughout the week is acceptable. I kept relatively busy today, and went to Dwight in the morning to troubleshoot a display issue. I ended up having to contact Newline support for some firmware, so I went back to the shop and had lunch before going back.

Aramark served us Thanksgiving lunch in the Gardner cafeteria, and most of our crew went, along with a few from maintenance, several from administration, and some others from the surrounding buildings that I didn’t know so well. Gary joked that the superintendent didn’t punch me when she walked in, so I must be in the clear for now. Thomas was going to go back to the shop, but we ended up staying. I sat with our substitute custodian, Anthony, and a couple Chrises from maintenance, since the tech table was a little crowded.

After lunch, I finished up at Dwight and Ian found me in the office again. I guess no one else ever sticks around so long when he starts talking, because he’s always got something to say. I ended up going back to the shop just before school let out, and rode out the rest of the day there. Thomas told us not to wait until 4:30 to leave, but I only got out a few minutes early.

I saw Summer at Superfast, so I stopped in to see her and we went to Walmart to get stuff for her to make chili for work. I found a kitchen faucet on clearance as well, so I picked it up to replace my leaky one. She dropped me back off at my car and I took it home, but on my way back out to go to her house, I noticed a big blob of ketchup on my rear passenger quarter panel. It was all over the place, and obviously intentional, so I had to take it to the carwash.

I spent a couple minutes in the carwash, trying to scrub through what little sentry mode footage I had. I never saw anything suspicious, but the recording hadn’t been working for several days anyway. I was really upset that someone would do something like that to my car for no apparent reason other than the fact that it’s a Tesla. The ketchup was very dry, but I never noticed it throughout the day as I walked to the car. It took me a little while to clean it off, but I had been wanting to wash the car again anyway. Fortunately it didn’t seem to mess anything else up, but it was also dark outside. While I was in the middle of the wash, I had to ride out an anxiety attack. I remember a couple of loud trucks being around, which probably put me a little more on edge on account of why I was at a carwash in the middle of a cold night.

I made it back home to swap cars and headed up to Summer’s for the evening. Eaddie had me bring my Yeti microphone over so she could record some flute assignments, but she kept yelling with frustration for most of the evening. Summer baked a cake, but I just laid in bed playing the Stranger Things game on my phone, desperately trying to make it through Chapter 5. When I finally got back up to finish my blog, I had another anxiety attack that I tried to collect some data on. I stopped breathing to see if my oxygen level was just low, but it didn’t seem to be. I’d love to know why I get these now.

This is the kind of stuff that gets people shot.

Each Morning, We Tell the Robot to Kill

The girls left early this morning to go to the robotics tournament. I eventually got up and ate an old, leftover pancake for breakfast before going home to shower. Summer came over once she was ready, and we went to the high school about an hour before we were supposed to be there. I knew they had plans for food, but I didn’t know what or when.

We found the girls and wandered around the commons and cafeteria. I saw Thomas as soon as we walked in, and evidently he and at least two other administrators were told they had to attend. There were enough people there that I was absolutely sure that nobody cared anything about them. They weren’t volunteering, or otherwise involved in any way, and just mingled and chatted among themselves.

Food arrived at noon, and we ate with all of the other home folks. Other schools had their own plans elsewhere, but we had a mix of pizza and some cheap pastas from what looked like Pasta Grill. The food was pretty good, but I really tried to limit myself to a small plate. After we ate, we had to find positions to work. Evidently a couple other volunteers planned to be there the whole day, so we were kind of extra. Instead of scorekeeping, Summer helped at the queue table, and I submitted final scores in the tournament manager program.

It was a pretty long day, and my job was pretty dull. I basically hit a button once after every match, so the scores would show up on a projector. I helped break down a very small part of the setup when the middle school kids finished. Then we waited so Summer could watch the high school finals.

Summer went on home while I traded vehicles and got some gas for hers. Then I met her back at the house for some leftovers for dinner. Of course everyone else has been picking at the better food while I’m left eating a giant mixing bowl full of lettuce. The girls got home late after finishing the cleanup, and then everyone was off to bed.

But secretly, we’re just afraid to tell it to love.

Veterinarians Day

I slept longer than usual last night, but still struggled to make it to work on time. We didn’t have much to cover in our meeting, as everyone else was run off relatively quickly, but I stuck around to chat with the newbies for a bit. After that, I just tried to stay productive until lunch time. Roy’s was there to work on our air conditioner up front, so Tammy came back to my office for a bit and I started to tell her the story of Sam the clam. Unfortunately I didn’t get to finish, because Kelsea walked up right as I was wrapping up and I didn’t want to spoil the ending.

Gary, Greg, Josh, and I were the only ones to go out today, and somebody decided on Fat Daddy’s. I actually had a really good burger there, but I still couldn’t imagine what takes them so long to make it. It’s a half hour burger for sure.

The afternoon was really quiet, and got pretty cold with the door hanging wide open all day. I went to Dwight for a bit, and then tinkered all afternoon. I never did get a chance to finish my story, so I guess I’ll have to start over later. I walked out a few minutes early so I could catch Summer at the Veterans Day parade.

I had to park on the side of the street on the south side and then walk across to find Summer. Then she ran across the street at the start of the parade so she could record Autumn with the American flag. I think she would have actually had a better view from where I was sitting, and I got aggravated thinking she was going to spend the rest of the parade over there, but fortunately she came back.

We left in a hurry since I had to run across the street before the traffic started up. I sped home, quite pleased with the zippy, instant torque of my new car. It really made navigating stupid traffic feel much better. I took a moment to relax a bit, and eventually made my way up to the girls for the evening.

Summer kept talking about going out to get food, which further aggravated me on account of how much food was in the refrigerator. Of course they all picked at the tasty stuff, and nobody touched the mixing bowl full of salad that was slowly wilting. In fact, a couple of them didn’t even finish the plates they had made themselves, so I finished those up and then had a salad myself. Autumn never once made an appearance, and Eaddie didn’t stick around for very long. Summer and I looked at some houses for a bit, and then she went to bed really early.

I spent the rest of the evening mostly bored out of my mind. I tinkered on YouTube a bit, and finally got ready for bed so we could go to the robotics tournament in the morning.

How do you say “I don’t understand” in Spanish? “No Nintendo?” I simply do not.

Hip to Be Cubed

I tried not to sleep too late today, and I think I may have been the first one up. Summer eventually got up and wanted to make monkey bread, so she got stuff to start that, and then fried some potatoes for brunch. I had my Steam Deck recharged, and tried to play a little Fez. It played really well, though the first part of the game that acted like it glitched out kind of had me worried for a second.

Eventually I headed home so I could try and get something done instead of wasting another entire weekend. I almost immediately noticed a tiny leak under my kitchen sink that caused the particle board to swell up and sag even more than it already was. All I could really do at the time was stick a bucket under the drip and leave the cabinet open to try out. Then I got a little bit more stuff shuffled around in the garage, but I need to finish up since I’ve probably only got a couple weekends left before delivery day.

I ended up having a pretty bad, relatively long anxiety attack while doing some sweeping, and had to go inside to lie down on the couch for a bit. Summer stopped by after dropping Eaddie off at a schoolmate’s house to work on something for robotics, and we eventually went to Walmart for dinner ingredients.

As soon as we got back to the house, I butterflied the pork loin into surprisingly thin and tender chops. Summer sautéed some Brussels sprouts and then did a little Shake ‘n Bake, and we ate that with some leftover potato salad and broccoli salad. Dinner was really good, but we never saw Autumn except for when we made her come take out the trash. I think all three of us are just ready for her to get lost.

When we finished eating, I went to pick up Eaddie, and brought her back home to eat. Then she had Autumn take her to the store to get cake mix so she could make cake pops. Summer was in her head, on top of having a headache all day. I got frustrated that she wouldn’t even do the bare minimum to take care of any of it, and nearly went home for the night. I ended up staying and just sitting on my phone on the couch all night until bedtime.

Just do the goddamn thing.

Dirty Laundry

I tried not to sleep in too late today, and got up to finish the leftover corned beef from weeks ago. It had definitely gone a bit sour, but otherwise didn’t seem to have any adverse side effects. As soon as Eaddie got around, we took her to the high school to get her flute for an assignment she needed to finish. Afterward, Summer was going to take her to New China for lunch, so I had them drop me off at home.

The first thing I did was clean up the smoker after yesterday’s meal. It took me a while, but I think I’ll get better at it over time. Then I did a couple loads of laundry while intermittently cleaning around inside the house. Every time I stepped outside, I got really sweaty, so I stayed inside for most of it. I got my old computer running and started a whole bunch of updates on it. Finally, I took a shower when I got to a stopping point.

Eaddie was going to come ride her bike after lunch, but Summer wasn’t feeling well. They both decided to go back home for the day, and Summer tried to sleep it off. Autumn eventually made it home, and she and Eaddie mowed part of the lawn. I decided to go by Freddy’s for a couple concretes to take up to them, and I just ran into one frustration after another.

I placed my order online and headed to the store. Some lady flew in from the other direction and got in front of me in the drive-through, and then took a while to order. I just knew it was going to take forever for her to get everything she ordered. When I got to the speaker, the girl told me I had to pick up my order inside, but by then I had traffic behind me, and evidently there was no way out of the drive-through, so I just had to sit and wait for the lady in front of me to get everything. When I finally got inside, the pickup process was not clear at all. There were three different places to get my order, and it was in none of them. That was actually a blessing in disguise, because they simply hadn’t even made my order yet. I placed it before I left the house, which meant they didn’t even start making it for at least 10 minutes. With custard in hand, I headed out, but was cut off by some other lady that flew out of the parking lot without looking.

When I got to their house, Summer was still agonizing in bed while Autumn was trying to help Eaddie bake cookies. Eaddie wasn’t trying very hard, which was aggravating Autumn. I couldn’t believe they didn’t start fighting, but Autumn just made herself a huge glass of chocolate milk and went to her room. I took over a bit and started combining ingredients for Eaddie, and then she formed cookies on the baking sheets. I used a fork to embellish them a bit, which Eaddie enjoyed.

I ended the evening next to Summer, trying to complete an achievement on Into the Breach. My cough got worse again as the night carried on, so I loaded up on water and meds and went to bed.

It’s not a video tape.

Mow, Mow, Mow to Boat

I didn’t sleep very well or for very long last night. The girls were supposed to get up early to mow so they could go to their father’s for the weekend, but we beat them out of bed. It took some prying, and neither one was super motivated. Eaddie finally went out to start mowing, but complained that she wanted to go out on the boat with her friends. Summer was kind of in and out and up in her feelings about it, but tried to get Autumn motivated to do some cleaning up herself.

Eventually I got it through to the kids that they didn’t meet our expectations, and that they had to get it done and work together if they wanted to do anything else for the weekend. Autumn eventually started mowing while Eaddie took a break to go out with her friends. Summer went to the gym and I dropped Eaddie off. On the way back, I got some more gas for the mower, then stopped by to see Grant and Robert. They didn’t have any pork pops that I wanted to try, so I got some brisket and headed back to the house.

Autumn had taken a pretty lengthy break while I was gone, but started up again shortly after I got back. Summer got back from her workout, and by that time I figured we didn’t have long before we could go to my house and do some cleaning up there. I didn’t realize she had a bunch more stuff she wanted to get done, so I ended up burning all afternoon and evening doing nothing more than playing Into the Breach.

Eventually Autumn left to get Eaddie and head to Clarksville. Summer wasted the rest of the evening in front of the TV. I ate some leftovers myself after refusing to get some takeout for her. I cleaned a whole bunch of stuff out of the refrigerator, and I’ll clean out some more for breakfast in the morning before going home.

Better just go it alone.

Good Old-Fashioned Ultraviolence

I woke up a little late this morning and got the sense that the girls were in a bit of a panic to get the cats out of the house. Evidently Summer got a formal eviction warning letter, and she counted only two days left to have them gone. Since nobody actually addressed me about it, and since I had already expressed my own frustration about the situation, I just did my best to help out with breakfast so they could finish what needed to be done.

After we ate the kielbasa and veggies with eggs, they went to Dollar General for some cat food before taking everything up to Noah’s house, and I went home to shower. I got incredibly frustrated with always being made the villain, and Suzanne said I was “cold, cold like the wind” for being so unsympathetic, but I likened it to God sending people to Hell for eternity because they worked on a Sunday. People show up in droves to worship that guy, but I’m the fucking bad guy here for reminding them that they’re not allowed to have pets.

I had a couple drinks and a shower to relax, and then Summer wanted just the two of us to go to the movies to see Bullet Train. I thought I was the only one that was really excited to see it, but I don’t think she really knew what to expect. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and it reminded me a lot of Kill Bill, without being quite so vulgar, but with some classic ultraviolence. All of the characters were great, and I really liked the cinematography.

After the movie, I tried talking to Summer about my feelings on the way home and I blew up for a bit that she kept saying I wasn’t being comforting or supportive. I knew it was hard to watch her kids hurting, but she enabled them by buying all of the cat supplies instead of shutting the whole thing down early, and I needed her to understand that it was okay to take the loss. She didn’t have to try and lessen the blow, and it was okay to just have a bad day and accept that every single one of us did something wrong.

When we got back to the house, Eaddie was still very upset. I learned that they just took the cats outside Noah’s house, so Sweetums got into a fight with his dog and immediately ran up a tree. I don’t even know how big of a tree it was, or if she’ll be able to get down on her own, but even Eaddie knew that she didn’t have any time to associate Noah or his house with anything good. I’ll be astounded if she doesn’t get picked off by a predator overnight, but I don’t know what else I’m supposed to do. I wasn’t present to do the thinking for all four of them, so if it’s two dead cats, it’s two dead cats.

I tried to coax Eaddie out of the house for some fish soup with my parents, but she didn’t want to leave. Autumn wanted to go to her father’s for some reason, so the lawn still didn’t get mowed over the last two weeks that we’ve been asking. I just have to assume I’ll be the bad guy again next weekend when it still hasn’t been done.

I went to eat and visited with my parents for a little while before heading home. Bác Vân called while I was on the way and asked me to come over for a bit. I helped with her iPad for a bit, then went home to do some laundry before bed.


I Don’t Wanna!

We had a little meeting today, but it didn’t seem like there was a whole lot of stress to do anything. I certainly didn’t overexert myself in my office. Gary asked me to go upstairs to take care of a couple work orders, which would have burned him up a bit, but I was able to breeze right through. I thought I might make it back over to Oakland at some point, but I just never did.

The morning went by surprisingly quickly, and Gary came back to fetch me for lunch. I took him, Josh, and Thomas to Zaxby’s where we mostly sat in silence and ate. Then it was back to the office. After a little while, Greg came in to investigate the phones, as they had all disconnected. Evidently Gary was making some network changes, and some automation actually caused what he was actively trying to prevent from happening. Once they got it working again, I went with Gary to Central Office, then Transportation, and finally Support Services.

By then, it was nearly quitting time. I think my greatest accomplishment was melting the crystals out of my honey bear with my Ember mug. I still ended up sticking around late though, because Eaddie didn’t have karate. I had a little peace to myself, and then went home for some more before heading up to Summer’s.

I stopped by Taco Bell for a couple burritos, which was fortunate since Summer wanted something to eat. Autumn was watching YouTube on the TV, and had talked to Summer about getting some things out of storage. I was still upset that we hadn’t addressed the manipulation that occurred while Autumn was “helping” around her grandparents’ house, so I made Summer call them on speakerphone. She didn’t answer, but at least it got the conversation started with Autumn. She got angry at first, but cooled off surprisingly quickly. I’m not going to keep letting her think she can get things over on me though.

We ended the evening shaking out Eaddie’s blanket because she left chocolate in her bed, which attracted ants. They’ve been in every single room of the house, and nobody’s figured out why yet. I baited them, and was off to bed.


She’s a Little Runaway

I hardly slept last night, but got up and back to my cooler house after its first night of air conditioning in a while. We were a little scattered for projects during our meeting, and I could have hidden away in my office all morning, but instead I rode around with Zach to work on a few doors. We chatted, and it really helped keep my spirits up.

Summer had to go to Little Rock for a meeting, but then came back to work from home for the rest of the day. She wanted to get lunch, so after Zach and I finished running around trying to fix and lock all of the doors we were working on, I met her at Sumo’s. I still wasn’t feeling great about the situation at home, but we finally talked a bit and tried to come up with a plan. I suggested that she try and take Autumn to a recruiter and see what options might be available to her.

I went back to work, and after a followup text, Summer said she was having trouble with Autumn, and then called in tears to say that Autumn had blown up again and “ran away” down the road again. I reminded her that she could file a FINS petition, so she made a phone call and then had me meet her at the juvenile office next to the courthouse. The lady there did a whole lot of talking to sell the program to us even though we were already all-in. Eaddie sat in the corner quietly while we chatted, and then they went home to fill out paperwork while I went back to work. I figured Autumn had most likely called her grandparents to pick her up, and of course Summer confirmed my suspicion.

I worked out the rest of the day, and even a little bit late to update our Jamf server prior to our migration to their cloud service. Everyone else left me in the dark, but I was just happy to accomplish something of my own before I left. Then I went home until Eaddie finished with tennis practice and then met Summer at her house. They cleaned up a bit, since Summer had also worked up a sweat at the gym. Then we went to Stoby’s for dinner before fetching Autumn.

Eaddie went inside to visit, and perhaps to survey the situation. Her grandmother came outside to talk to Summer, but Autumn hid away inside until we talked her into going back inside to get her. I had to threaten calling the police, and then ultimately made the call when Autumn came outside but refused to come with us. A few minutes later, she realized how dumb and wasteful she was being and agreed to comply, but by then the trucks had already rolled and we had to stand at the end of the driveway talking to four officers for the next hour.

Autumn had cooled down, and was very talkative with Eaddie in the back seat. She kept wanting to talk to us, but of course we were sick of even hearing her voice. We had them shower as soon as we got home, and then they went to bed while Summer worked on the FINS petition with occasional help from me.

Having a written record of your life is pretty handy…and incriminating!