Bloody Sunday

I tried to sleep in just a little bit today, then woke up to Summer’s pancake breakfast. We broke out the bottle of Fruity Pebbles Mrs. Butterworth’s syrup, and the flavor was spot-on. We pretty much coasted the rest of the day though. Summer eventually went to the gym while I took a really long bath. The girls stayed in their rooms all day. Summer came back home and made some yeast rolls. I played some Don’t Starve in the evening. Summer somehow motivated Autumn to play a round on Ring Fit Adventure.

What a waste.

Run For Your Life

I slept the best that I’ve slept for at least a month last night, and woke up mere seconds before my alarm went off, ready to face the day. I had plenty of time to get to work a couple minutes early and prepared myself a perfect cup of coffee for our meeting. Brody was told to come on down to the shop in spite of his masked status, so I just tried to keep my distance, and wore my mask any time we had to cross paths. Fortunately I was still able to help him over the phone after he left, because that’s what I did most of the day.

A group of us went to Quiznos for lunch, and I think they gave me a sandwich that was larger than they should have for my sandwich and soup combo. The chicken tortilla soup was awesome, but I dropped the last half of it in the floor on accident because we were trying to eat around a table that was simply too small for five of us.

I finally finished up my CPPC meeting minutes draft after staying half an hour late, and then headed home to get another package that had been intercepted by either Bác Vân or Doug. It’s really more annoying than anything, but I guess I’ll appreciate it more if I ever have something irreplaceable stolen.

I don’t think Autumn went to school, and instead was supposed to get a COVID test done because she said she hadn’t been feeling well the last couple of days. Summer got home late, but said Autumn was “ok,” which I thought meant she had a negative test. When I got to their house, I had gotten no more than two spoonfuls of soup into my mouth when Autumn said something about still being sick but not knowing what it was.

After wrestling with her in the bedroom, I knew I had to drop everything to wash up. Autumn is by far the least hygienic of any of the kids, so even when she’s not sick, touching her usually warrants a handwash. She’s embarrassingly disgusting almost all of the time, but this time I was literally afraid for my life. I still remember COVID. Nobody around me seems to be taking it at all seriously, and I just assume I’ll be the one to pay for it.

I ran out the door for home, shaking and crying out of some emotion or another. I had the worst fever of my entire life when I got COVID last year. The pneumonia had me down for weeks afterward, and I still have panic attacks that appear to just be a normal part of my life now. It’s uncontrollable and terrifying, but I deal with it well because of how self aware I am. Maybe that gives off a vibe that I’m not worried about it, but I’m actually always scared.

I shook it off the best I could when I got home. When I finally got settled in, I put on Don’t Look Up to get my mind off of things. As soon as the movie was over, it was straight to the bottle, though.

Maybe this isn’t working.

Outernet

I was sleeping really deeply this morning, or perhaps really lightly. In either case, I barely crawled out of bed after seriously contemplating calling in sick. I squeaked into work and had just enough time to get settled and review some of the CPPC meeting notes before I had to walk across the street.

Judy brought donuts, and it was a pretty productive meeting. We voted on some new policies and a modification to the new salary schedule to be implemented this summer. As we wrapped up, I took a couple donuts back to the office for later. It was about lunch time, so after a little bit of poking around, Zach, Gary, and I went to Sam’s.

I tried the Sam’s Special with fried shrimp, which was pretty unimpressive. It wasn’t bad, but it just wasn’t nearly as good as anything else I’ve ever had there. Gary’s gyro looked pretty good though. Zach gave me a couple chicken strips to supplement my baby shrimp, so I was happy.

After lunch, Kyle and I went to run cable at Crawford and Oakland, while Greg and Zach drilled holes on the outside of the building to mount a couple wireless access points. That took us the rest of the day, and I was pretty tired afterward. Eaddie was at Oakland, so I took her with me to drop Kyle off, and then we went to my house to change.

When we got to their house, I started to assemble a ham bone soup in the Instant Pot. Summer picked up celery and onion for me, but I had the rest of what I needed here. I mixed a half cup of every kind of bean I could find here, and the soup turned out pretty good. I wish I could have left it to depressurize naturally, because I think the beans would have been fully cooked then, but it wasn’t bad.

Autumn went to some church event, and then came home complaining about not feeling well. She told Summer she wants to get tested, which infuriates me. I almost hope I die from COVID so she’ll feel some kind of remorse for going out and socializing like an idiot.

I don’t really want to die from it, though…

Need a Little Christmas

Summer jumped out of bed early this morning and ruined the secret of Santa Claus for me. I couldn’t sleep in much and was a little hungry after having a complicated relationship with food last night, so I got up. Summer made us some scrambled eggs, and we eventually got both kids up enough to dump out their stockings. Eaddie was in an immediate mood, throwing an absolute tantrum at everything. I was very near slapping it out of her, and both girls just kept picking at one another.

We got Eaddie up and around to some chores, and eventually got everyone through the shower so we could make our way to my parents’ house. Summer made all of our contribution to lunch, and we were off.

Bác Vân and Doug beat us there. I think Julie made most of the food and was about two hours late. Eaddie took a nap in my bedroom until the food was ready, and came out in much better form. We ate, did our quickest round of presents ever, and then left so I could clean up house a bit for some friends.

I had messaged Diana happy birthday earlier in the day, and she said they were in town along with Josue and wanted to get together. They agreed on a fire at my place and we all met up for a nice quiet evening outside. It was really nice seeing them all again, and the kids enjoyed some roasted marshmallows.

Josue stuck around for a little while and chatted with me after the others left. The girls all went to sleep, and eventually we packed everything up and he headed out. By then, I was ready for bed too.

Hasn’t snowed a single flurry, but Santa dear we’re in a hurry!

Alright, Bud

I woke up feeling pretty sick this morning after last night. I made it through my shower and to work, but it didn’t get better for quite a while, and I never quite made it back to 100%. Thomas was at work, but Zach and Gary were out. The others got together and split up into groups to close old work orders, and I went to Oakland to swap out old Chromebooks.

Brody called and said they were going to Fat Daddy’s downtown for lunch, so I went back to the shop and picked a group of them up. After we ordered, our server told us they were slammed with a short staff, and it showed when it took an hour to get our food. That would have made more sense if the food was actually hotter or fresher. They never cease to disappoint me, this time with a tough, dry tortilla, lukewarm filling, and dry, tough brisket. All of that was $17, and of course the server stands over you while you pay on their handheld device that everyone else has touched, making tipping accurately very awkward. I was out the door for just under 22 bucks, which absolutely disgusted me.

I spent the afternoon with more of the same, not quite finishing what I had started. I should be able to finish tomorrow for our half day though. As I finished, I started a support chat with Google because my Pixel Buds have been giving me trouble with battery life. My right bud constantly dies very early, after only two hours of playback. The battery percentage always reports with some disparity, but the right one has consistently been giving me less than half of the life it should have.

After work, I went home to change and then went to my eye appointment. I nearly fell asleep in the exam room waiting for the new doctor. She was kind, but I don’t think I got great news. It’s odd, because my vision doesn’t seem worse, but she seemed to indicate sub-optimal results. I guess we’ll see in 2023, because I dropped vision insurance for next year.

I went back home and waited for my UPS package, and then went up to Summer’s for the evening. Eaddie and I watched an episode of House while Summer and Autumn watched TV in the living room. Then everyone went to bed pretty early.

Just turn down your muchness.

HAM on Ham

I went to bed pretty late last night, and then didn’t sleep in very long. I think I already knew I wasn’t going to get much done, and it didn’t feel great. When I got up, I picked at things in the fridge and eventually went home to clean up.

Summer had her store’s Christmas party, and made deviled eggs, mashed potatoes, and a ham. I was just a bystander, running late. I got my shower and came back to pick up Eaddie and the ham, then made it to the shop at a fair time considering when others were strolling in. It wasn’t a full turnout, which I considered disappointing.

We ate, cleaned up, and then went back up to their house.l I didn’t stick around too long, and came back home to do some chores. I started a load of laundry, and then had another annoying argument with Julie over nothing. I never know how these things start. It’s as though her existence breeds conflict. Dad mentioned that Julie didn’t appreciate the “Miss” prefix that Summer often casually attaches to people when she addresses them.

It’s really just not worth the effort to try any more, and I’m done with the excuses and the blame game. I finished my laundry, had a bunch to drink, watched some YouTube, and went to bed.

The backlash to the backlash to the thing that’s just begun.

Doldrumly

The girls had me a little behind this morning, but I made it to work on time. It was pretty quiet all day long, and I think everyone was a bit bored around the shop. It’s odd that we have some techs with so many older work orders, and Zach has been struggling to inspire them.

I met Greg and the Trifecta at Old South for lunch, where I go the Reuben on a rushed whim. It was good, but didn’t seem to have any sauce on it, and the corned beef tasted a little bit old. Otherwise it was an awkwardly quiet lunch.

Afterward, I went by Oakland for a while and returned to the shop with an armful of Chromebooks. I fixed one, couldn’t find an issue with the second, and didn’t have a resolution for the third. Quitting time came slowly, but then snuck up on me at the last minute.

I ran home to change and get the crutches, then went to my parents’ house to see them for a bit. Mom cracked the bone right above her ankle and was in a boot, but was still spirited enough to argue about things that nobody cared about, and already agreed upon.

When I left there, I decided to go up to Summer’s for the evening. She was wrapping presents and the girls were doing late night chores after being away from home, and otherwise being lazy. Autumn expressed frustration and a feeling of unfairness about who went to New York on the band trip, and I wasn’t having any of it, knowing how little she practices. I remember how bad she is at squawking the clarinet. She earned nothing, and I was ready to fight about it.

Everyone went off to bed pretty quickly after that. I hadn’t slept very much all week, so it was as good a time as any to start.

I’ll show you attitude.

P is for Parked

I woke up an hour earlier than a workday today so we could get Summer to Little Rock for her exercise event. I still felt pretty sour from last night, but I made it work. We stopped to get breakfast from McDonald’s in Conway, and I just ate mine once we got to Little Rock.

It was a really small crowd of people there. In fact, it was only five teams of five competing. I dropped Summer off and went to Kroger for some bottled water and a bathroom, and then went back and waited for five hours for them to finish. I took the time to test my Pixel Buds battery life some more, and I’m still getting wildly different battery life reported from each earbud. I wouldn’t expect them to be regularly 25% off from one another.

Summer had a blast, and when they finished, we went right around the block to a ghost town Red Lobster. The manager came out to seat us and complained about his lack of staff. He said they were down to three servers for the day, and it showed during our over-two hour visit. At least the food was pretty decent.

When we finished there, I drove us across town to hunt for a deal at Home Depot. The guy that helped us was very kind, but in the end it was up to Summer and me to roam aimlessly until we just happened upon a strip of them near the electrical boxes.

Our nest stop was Target for some gifts, and then Kohl’s to blow some rewards cash. We just picked up a few little things, but I was more or less satisfied enough to head home. Traffic was awful the entire way though, and it just cemented my absolute loathing for the holidays. I was tense the entire trip back.

The girls got home from their grandparents’ house shortly after we got home. Eaddie made first chair at all-region, and evidently she completely obliterated the competition. Autumn was bitter, and we had to have a sit-down talk with her, again. I just told her she needed to put enough work into getting good at something so we could be proud of her for any reason at all, instead of just making everyone hate her.

Eaddie and I ended the night with a couple episodes of House. I was exhausted, but still didn’t actually get to bed until after midnight.

Well that was… ill advised.

Watermelon Sugar Is a Helluva Drug

I got up early this morning and went home to get ready for a day in Little Rock with Summer and Eaddie. Summer dropped Autumn off with her parents since she got in trouble last night, and then Summer had to do some more work setting up the new lube shop on Chenal. We hung out at the shop for just a little bit before meeting a couple of her coworkers at U.S. Pizza Co.

The service was pretty slow, but mostly when we were waiting to pay and leave. The pizza wasn’t bad, but reminded me of a worse Brick Oven. We really didn’t get why the others liked it so much, but at least Splash paid.

Afterward, Eaddie and I dropped Summer off back at the shop and then made our way across town to get the car washed inside and out. There were over half a dozen people standing around outside, so they had us done in mere minutes. I didn’t have a plan as we pulled out, so I ended up turning down a residential street. I’ve never seen so many leaves in my entire life. The entire street had a wall of fallen leaves that were all raked up to the edge of the street. I’m guessing they have street sweepers that come along and suck them up later. It was hilly and leafy and pretty, but much too dense of a neighborhood for me.

Eaddie decided she wanted ice cream, so we went to The Original ScoopDog and sat in the car to eat. Neither of us could finish our treats, so we drove back across town to Summer and let her finish them off. Then she dropped us off at the AMC for Eternals. Eaddie hadn’t seen it, I didn’t mind watching it again, and we needed to kill some time before their concert.

After the movie, we struggled to settle on a place to eat, and were also worried about how much time they had before they needed to be at the Simmons Arena. Chuy’s was out because of a relatively small wait, so we ultimately decided on Wendy’s. Summer found one near the arena, but the lobby wasn’t open, so they ate in the car. Then I dropped them off at the arena for Harry Styles.

The rest of the night was just me killing time. I went by the liquor store where I picked up a habanero whiskey a couple years ago, but unfortunately I couldn’t find it again, and I don’t think they carry it any more. I hung out in the parking lot there for just a few minutes before migrating to McDonald’s.

Again, I brought a bunch of things to keep myself entertained, and used absolutely none of them. I didn’t even use my earbuds because I felt super uncomfortable sitting around in that neighborhood. There were far too many people on foot around there, and every single lobby appeared to be closed. I just played on my phone and drank a bottled mojito until I noticed one of the employees writing down license plate numbers.

I gave her a minute to get back inside and then drove on to a gas station for a bottle of water and restroom break. The restroom was super gross, and of course the only soap was a bar that had fallen into the sink and was stopping up the drain. I tried hanging out in the parking lot there for a bit, but got pretty sketched out when some guy started crawling around on the ground right outside my window. He appeared to be using a crayon or something to draw on the concrete, but then he rolled over onto the ground and started “washing his hands” with leaves that had blown up against the curb. I decided to move on, driving up the road a bit and then coming back to settle into a dark Taco Bell.

Eventually Summer let me know they were almost done with the encore, so I moved further down the street to the Shell station near the onramp to the highway. There was even more foot traffic there, so I didn’t hang out long before going back across the street to the Wendy’s next to the McDonald’s where I started. It wasn’t but a minute after I pulled in that they walked up, so we loaded up and headed home.

I had to stop by my house for a package first, but then we went up to Summer’s for the evening. Autumn was staying the night with her grandparents, and the other two went straight to bed after a long day. I don’t think I’ll do this again.

I really hate the city.

Fat Patty’s

I had to take Eaddie to school this morning, but I jumped right into my morning routine and finished up about half an hour early, which meant I spent the rest of the time waiting for her to get ready. Miraculously, I managed to drop her off and get to work right on time. My office had a revolving door for most of the morning, but I got a few things done, and cleaned up some more work orders.

The morning went by pretty quickly, and four of us went to Fat Daddy’s downtown for lunch. I’m always opposed to eating at either Fat Daddy’s just because the food is almost always pretty bad for barbecue, but I tried the burger this time, and it was great. It could have used some vegetables, and my jaw hit the floor when our server told us it took 25 minutes to make, but it was one of like three things there that I can actually recommend. I very nearly went with the chicken strips, but the cost of everything was superficially high.

After lunch was pretty quiet. Shane came by with some cookies from Howard, and I ended the day at Oakland again. Eaddie was outside, so I took her home to watch an episode of House before Autumn showed up to take her to their last night at karate.

I tried booking a room for next week so Summer wouldn’t have to drive Eaddie home from the Harry Styles concert, but somehow the date changed on my reservation and I was given false hope for finding an open room anywhere near the arena. Without being able to walk to the hotel, I figure they might as well just drive home instead. Traffic is infuriating after that place unloads. I guess we’ll see what we decide as the date approaches.

It’s like a musical tug-of-war.