Poor Test

I was pretty sleepy last night, and slept in a fair amount today, partially because my phone never finished charging overnight with a faulty cable, and I wanted to run a full charge cycle for testing purposes. Summer forgot it was Memorial Day and scheduled herself to work in Greenbrier. Autumn had plans to spend the day out, mostly with Adam, so Eaddie and I had the day to ourselves.

I started with a bowl of cereal while I shopped for a sunshade for my car. Mom called to offer leftovers for lunch, so I woke Eaddie up and we eventually made our way to their house to eat. Then she wanted to go play her flute with a friend, so we had to run back to the house for her instrument, and then I dropped her off and headed to my house for the day.

The first thing I did was poke around the logs some more to get them burning down some more. Then I went inside and had a bit of an anxiety/dizziness attack that gave me a little bit of a dull headache for a while. Eventually I got around to doing my practice testing for Entergy, but evidently I did the wrong collection of tests. I thought I had to do all of them, but it was just four specific categories.

As it got later, I went back to get Eaddie, and we made it home just after Summer. They watched The Office while I argued with Julie about the practice test answers. I just couldn’t see how they came to some of their conclusions, but hopefully they were just poor examples of test questions. It won’t be the end of the world if I don’t make it anyway.

I ended the night with even more frustration, trying to re-pair Summer’s Fitbit Aria to her new router. I forgot to update it when I replaced the router, and apparently Fitbit has abandoned the setup process, and it will no longer work. I wish I could just no longer work.


Collector of Worst Practices

I got up super early today to make sure I would make it in to work on time. I wasn’t sure how the commute would go, but I was pleasantly surprised at how uneventful it was. I made it in early and had to track down someone to let me into the office. Blake was at a picnic table with several other admins watching kids come in from the buses, and came inside to let me in before I had keys or a badge. Those showed up pretty soon after that, though.

It was a fair first day. I spent most of the morning filling out my new hire paperwork. Kim and I had chicken noodle soup for lunch from the cafeteria, and then I spent the afternoon just poking around, generally getting sidetracked by one horror after another. It appeared that every prior tech coordinator still had active accounts in the systems. Among other things, I also found an installation of Starcraft II, and a VM dedicated solely for a Plex media server, which was hosting a singular video – The Polar Express. It was then that I knew without a doubt that my entire life was a work of satire.

I really didn’t accomplish anything at all, and only barely found some of the systems I needed to access. I’ll probably have to dig into one of their more pressing issues tomorrow, just so they don’t feel like I’ll also be putting all of those things on the backburner indefinitely. Everyone filtered out about an hour earlier than I anticipated, but I stuck around to tinker some more before heading home.

The drive home was literally much faster. Traffic just worked out that way. Some guy flew up behind me, so I just followed him at interstate speeds until we got to Dardanelle. Autumn called and wanted to know if I would get Eaddie after a middle school band concert, so I went home to wait. When Summer got back into town, I met her at my parents’ house for dinner, and then she went home while I went to the high school for Eaddie.

Summer was in bed by the time we got there, so I tinkered on my new work phone for a bit, and then went through my nightly routine so I could get to bed as early as possible. I didn’t sleep super well last night, and I don’t think tonight will be much better.

Seriously, nearly all of this is a very bad, bad idea.

Accepting Rejection

I was happy enough with the response I got this morning, along with the general excitement expressed in the offer, that I’ll start at Two Rivers on Monday. Unfortunately we ended up offending the sellers of the Ouita house with our offer enough that they outright rejected our offer, along with the verbal one they received. I talked with Alisha some more, and the seller’s agent finally talked them into negotiating some.

Summer worked from home, so I took a shower and she took us to Mulan’s for lunch. I ate way too much and then had to go home so Dad could come help me fix my leaky faucet. That project snowballed on us, and it took one trip to Leonard’s to fix the leak at the knob, but then the shutoff valves wouldn’t close enough to stop the water and we had to shut it off at the curb. Of course the box was completely full of water from all the rain. I tried blowing it out with my leaf blower, and all that muddy water ended up in my face. We took another trip to Leonard’s and got some washers for the shutoff valves, but using the impact to remove the caps may have caused them to leak somewhere else. There’s still a small drip at the shutoff valve now.

I took another shower to clean off the mud, and then I had to go get Eaddie and a friend of hers from robotics. We dropped her off a couple blocks from my house, and then I took Eaddie home until we had to go back to the high school for their band participation awards.

The house lights stayed on the whole evening, and then having the directors read out every single activity that each individual senior had done in their entire school career was just the start to how ridiculous the night would be. After they finished the seniors, they called every single junior and sophomore onto the stage to collect their participation trophies. We almost left early because Summer thought they were going to call eighth and seventh graders up as well, but they didn’t.

The girls went out with friends, so Summer and I came home and watched a couple episodes of Modern Family. The girls eventually made it home and I added some flavor and correctly-sized vegetables to the pico de gallo that Autumn basically blended yesterday. I got a little sidetracked after that, but tried not to stay up too late.

How can I be so tired and so restless?

The Clown Who Juggles

I woke up to an unexpected notification for a hard credit inquiry, which got me heated. I was under the impression that the pre-qualification for a mortgage loan would only be a soft inquiry, so having two banks check had me in a panic. That may have been premature though, as I later read that if they fall within a certain timeframe, only one will count against me for the actual loan we take.

From then, I continued to be bombarded with new information. I got two interviews scheduled for the next two days, and I very nearly had to go pick up Gary from Little Rock. Fortunately his parents warmed up to the idea of getting him themselves, because then Summer needed to take some supplies to Fort Smith in the afternoon.

I made it home to get cleaned up before Autumn’s military signing luncheon, all while communicating with loan officers. Then while we were at the luncheon in the Black Box, Alisha texted to let me know there was another verbal offer on the table, which got me in a rush to complete our loan application. The lunch itself was some pretty decent barbecue for free. The national anthem was played by a singular, laughably bad trumpet player. I got the feeling he should have been significantly better, but he must have gotten choked. It did feel very fitting to be as bad as it was for Autumn, who happened to also have zero support from the Navy. She ended up inviting the librarian and getting her boyfriend out of class to come sit at our table.

On the way out, Jeff stopped to talk to me and ask how things were going. I wished I had recorded the conversation just to have a record of him saying how gut-wrenching it was to watch them terminate me. We immediately went to get Summer’s car and load it up with a big box of towels from the wash, and then we were off to Fort Smith.

I spent the entire drive going back and forth with Alisha, and responding to the loan officers. We have no idea what the other offer is, or if ours will be laughed off. It’s difficult to keep from doing too much with buyers’ anxiety, especially now that our credit has been hit. We weren’t in a rush to purchase a house, but we liked this one enough to go through the paperwork. If it doesn’t work out, I don’t know if this will screw our credit for the next time, if we don’t find a place soon enough.

We made it to Fort Smith by way of Highway 22. It aggravated Summer to drive so slowly, but the whole roundtrip was only about 20 minutes slower than the interstate, but 10 miles shorter. That’s assuming we wouldn’t have hit traffic in the construction zones on the interstate. On top of that, we saved quite a bit of battery power going so much slower. She ended up talking to their quirky shift lead Viking for a while, so by the time we made it back home it was too late for her to go back to Superfast to close the shop. We stopped to get Eaddie, and then we got her car on the fast charger before they headed home.

I took my car to the wash for a thorough cleaning, then stopped by Casey’s for a couple drinks before making it up to Summer’s for the evening. I cleaned up some Popeyes they brought home, Autumn left for a multi-hour signing and awards event at the high school, and I took a call from Donna, who had questions as a challenger in the school board election. I got some possibly-useful information from her on who might be able to help my case. I don’t know if she got anything useful from me. I certainly don’t have any time to go out campaigning, and I’ll be lucky if I remember to go out to vote in the morning.

Eaddie and I wrapped up the evening with El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie. I thought it was a decent, if not unnecessary sendoff for Jesse. It did run a bit long, and brought in some unnecessary new characters, but it was an okay story. I think Better Call Saul will probably be better.

Seriously, a kazoo would have been better.

All Eggs; No Basket

I woke up to a rejection email this morning, which stressed me out a bit. He did at least have some kind words for me, so maybe something will work out in the future. After that, I had a bit of a slow start. I wanted to do something productive, so I cleaned the kitchen and then started looking for more jobs. I got a response from an application I submitted yesterday, but that job would require a commute to Maumelle every day.

I eventually made it home to shower and apply for a few more jobs. Then I headed back up to Summer’s once she was on the way home. Joe called while I was driving, and asked me to support Donna in her bid for school board. Maybe I have Jason all wrong, but he’s always been nice to me as a total stranger. I appreciated Joe’s call, but I still find it odd to have people ringing my doorbell or calling my unpublished phone number.

Summer ended up going to the gym, so I got the ham and some rolls out for a snack-like dinner. It looked like the girls went out to eat right after school, so I didn’t concern myself with them. Eaddie came out of her room and we finished Breaking Bad, but then Summer came home talking loudly on speakerphone. We tried shutting her in the bedroom, but then she came back out and sat in front of the TV with us. That was even more annoying, because she hasn’t been interested in watching it with us, but she kept asking questions about what was happening. In the finale.

Everyone was off to bed by the time we finished. Eaddie tried having me fill out a form for her National History Day trip, but we decided to wait until after our meeting the very next day.

Strip the Personality

The Honest Ones

I got up fairly early this morning and headed home to mow my lawn. Summer had me drop a couple things off for her at the wash, and I traded vehicles with her so I could load up a ladder for our second home tour. It was nice and cool outside, so mowing wasn’t bad at all. I still felt some chest pain as I got going, but it got better over time. I got the front yard and most of the back done with just one battery, and I’ll need to burn some fallen branches and other scrap wood to clean up the rest. When I finished, Bác Vân called me over to get a couple slices of pizza she brought home from the casino. Then I took a shower so I could get some lunch for Summer.

She wanted “a good burger” but wasn’t willing to leave the wash, so she got a “Whopper” instead. After we ate, Brendon wanted a ride in the Model Y, so I took him around the block before eventually heading home. Eaddie was supposed to go with us to look at the house, but decided she would rather watch a band recital instead. Once Summer left work, I headed up to her house to pick her up, where she called Eaddie to convince her to come with us instead.

Summer drove us across town using the least efficient route to get Eaddie, and then finally started following the navigation system to get us to the house. Dad beat us there, and we beat Alisha, so we took our time staring at a neighbor’s dog that was running around the driveway. David was actually outside on the front porch, so we chatted with him a bit when we found him. Then Dad and I climbed up a ladder in the detached garage to try and figure out what it would take to put the garage door back together. They didn’t appear to have the parts, and the rails were removed far enough to encapsulate the door behind drywall.

The girls finished touring the rest of the house while we were messing around in the garage, but then I wanted to walk through once more to measure some spaces. Eaddie really seemed to like the place, and it smelled way better than it did the other day. They had incense burning in practically every room, and several of the windows were cracked open. As we finished up our second tour, I took David for a ride in the Model Y, which he really enjoyed. I guess all that’s left is to talk to a bank or five.

We dropped the ladder back off at my house, and then headed toward home. I convinced the girls to go to CiCi’s for dinner, but as we walked in the door, I got a call from the last lawyer I contacted. He was at least honest enough to give me the news I didn’t want to hear. By his estimation, the risk versus reward just wasn’t good enough, and he suggested if I had 10 grand to burn, I should take it to a roulette table in Tunica and bet on even. Though frustrated, stressed, and anxious, I was appreciative of an opinion that didn’t immediately turn into a sales pitch. I don’t know what’s next, but I know I’m not quite ready to give up.

After that lengthy phone call, we went inside to eat. It was overall a substandard experience, because we learned they were completely out of forks, but only after we had made big salads. They never once came out with a barbecue pizza, but at least they had some fresh spinach at one point. Most everything had been sitting for at least a little while, so it just wasn’t great.

Autumn was home when we got back, and had made herself a sandwich after doing who-knows what kind of grocery shopping. Summer went straight to bed, Eaddie disappeared into her room right away, and Autumn went to her room as soon as she finished eating. I spent the rest of the night poring over first-time home buyer tips, and trying to make sure we weren’t about to go completely broke. I’d really love a job offer right about now.

No Bull! Know WTF is happening!

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.

Straight Fire

I had to stop by the wash to give Summer her lunch that she forgot at home, and then I continued home to finish prepping for my hearing. I had pretty much all of my information where I wanted it, but I still wanted to get copies of some things to hand out to the board members. After taking a shower and starting some laundry, I went to Staples for copies of a couple pages. I didn’t realize how much the copies were going to be though, and spent over six bucks for 20 pages.

Afterward I went by the wash and printed the rest of what I needed, and then I read my argument to Summer, Justin, and Cameron before I left. I spent the last few minutes I had re-assembling my handouts and dressing up before Summer came by to pick me up. We made it to the high school a little later than I wanted, but it didn’t really matter anyway.

My dad beat us there. Kevin was inside, I suppose as “the muscle” in case things went really sideways. I was happy to see him. Thomas was manning the recording station. I remembered seeing Andrea, Chrissy, Samantha, and of course Ginni. Six of the seven board members were there, but Jason was absent. Ben showed up right before we started, and I think Jeff showed up a little after we started. Judy had to sit with Marshall, and by five o’clock we were off to the races.

The hearing more or less went how I expected. Marshall had binders for everyone with the supporting documents, which were just the statements given by those that were there when I bumped into Zach, as well as one from Thomas after our conversations. I was really surprised how much some of the statements differed, but I was most bitter about Thomas’s. I chose to assume it was misremembering, rather than outright lying. Given that he has a Pixel with an excellent audio recorder, I don’t know why he wouldn’t have recorded the conversation to get my quotes correct.

The biggest letdown was the fact that Marshall objected to me giving any background of my employment. I think I made my case to the board reasonably well, and I received sad smiles from a couple of them. They went into executive session for about 45 minutes, so I almost got my hopes up while we waited. Things were relatively light outside the boardroom doors, and I chatted with several people there.

When they let us back into the boardroom, they got right to the vote, and only Don voted against my termination. The feeling of the room read very much that there were others present that didn’t feel comfortable with the situation, but played the political game of backing the superintendent they had just hired for the next three years. Onward to Plan B.

I tried to get Kevin to join us for dinner, but it was just Ben with Summer and me. He chose Linh’s and we chatted over noodles. My phone had been blowing up, but I tried not to pay too much attention to it. I did jokingly ask Judy if I would get to fill out an exit survey. Brody confirmed he was trying to open a position for me, so I’ll have that option. Ben insisted on paying, even though I had originally offered to buy his if he actually showed up. I don’t even know why I was surprised that he said he would, because he’s one of the most supportive friends I’ve ever had. I did have to joke that it took me getting fired to bring him back to town though.

After dinner, we dropped him back off at his truck at the high school. Then I went home to clean up before catching up with Summer at her house. Shortly after I got there, I remembered I had a pickup order for some chicken strips at Walgreens, so I took the Model Y across town to get those. Summer was feeling mixed emotions about the day, but I felt nothing but relief for the moment. At least now I know what path to take next.

Six to four isn’t a bad ratio. At least I’m not a quitter!

The Old Man and the Pleas

I got up this morning and forced myself into the day. With my school board hearing approaching at a dreadnought’s pace, I had to formalize my thoughts into something I could actually present. I had some coffee and finalized some plans for our weekend trip first, since that happens first. Just as I was nearing time to head home, Allen texted and invited me out to lunch.

I met him at New China, and we spent the hour catching up. He said he lost his aunt that raised him, but he was more interested in what I’d been up to lately. I filled him in on the craziness, and he wished me well. I somehow managed to make it out of there without a bellyache, and he insisted on paying for my meal. I gave him a quick ride around town in the Model 3, and then I headed toward home.

John, the electrician, hit me up for some money again. I tried to withdraw it from an ATM, but I guess the amount was too high. It didn’t tell me why, but it declined the transaction and spat out my card. I headed home instead, to clean up for the day. Then I went to a location with humans to get his cash. He eventually showed up to my house, and I clarified what I wanted done. He seemed insistent on doing something completely different, but hopefully I got my message across about what I’d really like done. I’ll probably have to clean out the corner and precut some holes to make absolutely certain, but I gave him a little over half the cost of the job, and he was on his way.

I spent the rest of the afternoon recompiling what I wanted to present to the school board. It didn’t look as pretty as I had hoped, but maybe most of the text should be saved for myself anyway. I can always have a couple copies of that on hand, while giving out mass copies of my supporting documents for closer inspection. I’ll have several hours of uninterrupted time with Summer in the car tomorrow, so that will be my chance to really fine-tune everything.

It started to storm after nightfall, so I rushed to pack and then visited Dad before heading up to Summer’s for the evening. It got late fast, and I tried to pack too much into my evening. In the end, I made it to bed by midnight after a nightcap to calm the nerves. I’ll set an alarm for the first time in a month, and it’ll be one foot in front of the other for the foreseeable future.

Boldly going forward ’cause we can’t find reverse.

We Have a Date

Eaddie woke me up from a pretty deep slumber this morning, and I hopped right up to get her to school just in time. Summer was at work, and Autumn left super early because of an Ed Rising competition out of town. I made it home after dropping Eaddie off, and it was a cold, slow start to the morning for me until I got an email from Judy with only a single date and time for my hearing.

After that, I went outside to try and reset the Pathfinder’s anti-theft system, but after pulling the battery and jumping through hoops with the ignition, I finally called a locksmith that told me it was most likely a bad computer that would just have to be replaced. That, of course, means either finding another old one to swap myself, or taking it to the dealership since it would involve reprogramming the keys anyway. That whole car just hardly seems worth the trouble, but hopefully airing it out today will at least help with the smell.

Later in the afternoon, Bác Vân called and asked me to come oil her back door because she was having trouble opening it. I felt bad for Doug, because she kept griping about him not fixing it, but apart from replacing the rollers, there wasn’t much else we could do. I guess that can be a project for tomorrow.

I thought I might accomplish a bit more than that today, but my mind just kept spinning in circles. I need a way to reboot myself, but I just don’t know what I need and at this point it feels impossible. At least I have a date for my board hearing, so that should help destress me. Maybe.

Eaddie got a ride home from a friend after her band buddies program. Once Summer got home, I headed up and grabbed some tacos along the way. Then I spent all evening trying to plan a couple days in Kansas City again. This is all just so much happening at once, and I’m done having it all on the back of my mind.

At least I’ve got rewards.