Chill Day, Stressful Night

I woke up early this morning after very little sleep so we could get breakfast before we checked out of the hotel. I anticipated a crowd on account of the concert, but after stressing over Summer not wanting to wake up, we found the steakhouse to be relatively empty. Breakfast was good though, and we had our fill before heading back to the room to get ready for the day.

It took us a little bit to leave, since neither of us had a plan for the day. We ultimately decided to head toward home, and then I suggested stopping right inside Conway so I could go to PetCo. We ended up going through several of the stores in that strip mall, including Sam’s, Michael’s, and Ross. We even found a neat tabletop gaming store, and Summer picked up something to do for Christmas.

After shopping around for a few hours, we went to On the Border for lunch, and my chicken fajitas tasted completely unseasoned. The rest of the food was good though, so I made do with some black pepper. Summer finished her tacos pretty quickly, so they must have been a lot better than what I took home for leftovers.

After we ate, we went to PetCo and I picked up some ghost and “bee” shrimp to take home. Autumn didn’t get Eaddie from flute practice, so we had to make it back in time to get her. I had Summer drop me off at home so I could tend to the shrimp, but I guess Autumn gave Summer the wrong time to get Eaddie. Summer ended up coming to get me, and we went up to the house to unpack. I went back home in the Montego, traded some more water for the shrimp, and then took the Model 3 to get Eaddie and Maristella. We took her home, and then went back to my house to finally put the shrimp into my tiny, old shrimp tank. I’m hoping they enjoy cleaning up the algae that I can’t get under control.

Eaddie and I chatted, and headed on home for the evening. Autumn eventually showed up after karate, and predictably wanted to argue about who does the most chores around the house when Summer asked her to walk the trash down to the curb. Summer decided it was time to unveil my chore tracking spreadsheet, and suddenly Autumn didn’t care about seeing how much anyone did around the house. She just knew that she did more chores while we weren’t around than any of us did. I managed to steer that conversation into less hostile territory, and we’ll try to publicly track chores for a while to see if that helps.

Other than that, I spent most of the evening stressing out about my refrigerator delivery. I never got a call to schedule, but eventually Julie got a text with a two hour window. I touched base with Ben to remind him, and everything else was on the up-and-up. He offered to let me take his truck and a furniture dolly, so that mitigated my stressing over needing the Murano to tow a trailer while Summer needed a way to get to Cabot for the day.

The girls all made it to bed reasonably early, but evidently Eaddie was still up when I did a late-night model reset. She came out for a bit for some help getting reconnected, and then I did my best to get to bed before two in the morning.

Too distracting. This is my brain all of the time.

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.

Red is Black

I struggled to find a whole lot of motivation today, and spent a bit too much time aggravated that the little felt letterboard I had in the shop was likely thrown into the garbage for “cluttering the place up.” I don’t understand why we couldn’t have anything decorative in the room. It just feels so sterile back there now, and I kind of hate it.

I left to go to Dwight and install a AA battery, but the one in the microphone just wasn’t installed properly. What made it worse was that you could easily see where the battery needed additional contact to charge. While I was there, I had to ask Karen to decipher the calendar again, because evidently the copy she gave me for the agenda had the names inverted from what Linda was expecting. This was even more confusing, considering that Linda was the source of both copies.

We thought Jeff was going to eat lunch with us, but it ended up being Gary, Zach, Thomas, and me. Gary drove this time, and I sensed that Thomas appreciated the extra leg room. Kevin texted that he saw me, but I didn’t spot him until we left. He and Keith were having lunch together, and it was good to see both of them.

Dad went by my house to meet a guy from Terminix to inspect the termite damage. I had nightmares all night about my walls falling apart from termite damage, but the end result of the inspection was really just to sell what appeared to be a highly overpriced poison treatment plan that will do nothing for the repair of any damage. He didn’t even look in the attic, which seemed particularly important to me since he couldn’t look behind the drywall. The only relief will be how much easier rerunning electrical will be if we have to tear the drywall out.

I had to go back to Dwight again after lunch because their projector in the cafeteria had some sort of problem. I finally got Karen to figure out what was happening, and luckily the end of the VGA cable would be bent and twisted in a way that the colors looked normal again. It’s super tempting to make Kyle re-run that cable on account of how high the ceiling is.

After work, I ran straight to Arvest to withdraw a sack of money. Aaron chatted with me for a bit, and all the girls got super chatty about the car. I think I would enjoy being rich. With a Popeye’s paper bag full of large bills, I picked up Summer from the gym and we went to her bank to deposit it all back into her savings account. Their lobby was closed, so we had to wait forever in the drive-through, but we finally finished, and Summer was super relieved to have her account squared away.

I dropped Summer off and ran to pick up Eaddie late from robotics. Ethan was giving Lindsey a tour of their Ioniq, but I still felt bad for being so late. We continued to my house so I could change, and then went to Walmart for some salad fixings. Eaddie argued for boring lettuce, so I made her get the unprepared romaine hearts instead of the pre-bagged stuff.

Summer and Autumn were sitting out on the porch when we got there, and I fixed dinner by myself. I got pretty frustrated by how late it was, and the fact that I couldn’t use either side of the sink to clean vegetables. I ate, the kids ate, and then Summer finally ate after a shower. Then Summer and I chatted for a bit before she went off to bed.

Be kind; Unwind!

Abstinence Club

I was a couple minutes late to work, but I walked in with Gary, which lightened the concern. The shop seemed super quiet with Zach out, and everyone else out at their own buildings. It’s super slow everywhere, but I think everyone’s just hiding out in their newly assigned buildings. I had a CPPC meeting in the morning that went without incident. We were still missing two of the administrative members, but at least Justin was there for No Shave November. I convinced one other person to abstain from the calendar vote, since it actually made no difference to any of the classified staff.

On the way out, there was a white Model X parked right in front of the building, blocking the wheelchair ramp and handicapped space. I went to Dwight to drop off a cable, and it was still there when I got back, but I don’t have a clue who was driving it.

Josh met Thomas, Gary, and me at Popeye’s for lunch. They were packed inside, but got the chicken out to us relatively quickly. I actually went with the bone-in chicken since it looked really plump compared to their usual tiny pieces. I’m not sure I got spicy, but it was still good. I wished I had gotten some hot sauce, but they didn’t have any condiments at all out in the dining area and I didn’t feel like going back up to talk to any of the employees, who appeared to be stressed out enough.

After lunch, I tinkered and wrote my meeting minutes, and ran around the campus a bit more. At one point I went back to Dwight again, and stopped at the new Ridgewood Brothers building on the way back. Robert was there with one of their guys, and gave me a quick 30-second tour of the place. He had literally just gotten the news that the fire marshal wouldn’t let them fit four smokers in the smokehouse, which was upsetting after they approved the blueprints. I left them to get back to work, but I wasn’t super productive for most of the afternoon.

I did everything I could to avoid a crash, including sip on some black coffee until quitting time. When I finally left work, I drove to the Arvest across town to see Aaron. He didn’t notice that I had gotten out of a new car, but clocked out for the day to come see it once he realized what it was. I let him drive it to Spices to pick up his food, and he had the best reaction so far. When we got back to the bank, he said he would check on getting my cash to me in the morning. I stopped by my parents’ house on the way home and talked to Dad about the termite inspection I’ll be getting tomorrow. After that, my imagination left me stressing pretty hard about how much damage they’re likely to find tomorrow.

I went home to try and clean up a bit to make the walls a bit more accessible. While I messed around with that, I started a load of laundry to clean up the bedroom, since I hadn’t slept there in weeks. I kept getting super frustrated with things, and ended up staying in the rest of the night just to decompress.

…and now I just sit in silence.

Stuffed Crabby

I woke up feeling quite a bit better this morning, after struggling with a full belly all night. There was just too much good food all day long. I got everything packed up and ready to go, but struggled to get out before 8:30, so I ended up skipping the first session. I figured they should have been recorded anyway, so I should get access to those copies.

I came down for the second session, and Gary and Greg were both just sitting in the atrium. The session I wanted to attend was actually held out there, since the guy had too much trouble keeping warm in the designated room yesterday. I didn’t think it was bad, but I think he may have been stuck under an air vent at the front of the room.

After that session, we decided to skip out on the keynote and lunch. I forgot that they usually have drawings for prizes, otherwise I might have protested a bit. We stopped in Conway so Gary could get an oil change and a carwash. While we waited for a quick detail, I took us back across town to Chipotle. I don’t think Greg was too impressed after the sticker shock, but Gary and I enjoyed it. When we got back to Splash, Summer convinced me to wait 15 minutes for her to get off work and ride back with her.

Nearly an hour later, we finally left and ran into some really heavy traffic due to a wreck right on the interstate. We made it home though, and Summer went to the gym while I went down into the shop to see how the week went. One of our new guys started that morning, and I just briefly met him on our way out for the day.

I went home to unpack, and then struggled with Summer to communicate that we should move some money around for Monday. I ended up meeting her at Centennial to try and withdraw cash, but they said they didn’t have that much to hand out. Frustrated with my explanations of what we needed, she snapped that she would just get a cashier’s check for seven bucks. I took that to Arvest, and was back out the door in mere seconds.

From there, I went home and shuffled things around in the garage for a bit. Autumn had senior night, and Summer wanted me to come record them walking onto the field. Somehow, Autumn convinced those in charge to let her have three people with her on the field. I was glad that Summer got to be a part of it, but it seemed like Autumn was only paying attention to her grandparents while they were out there.

As we left, I ducked out in a hurry and went home to continue cleaning out the garage. There’s still a lot of work to do, but at least I’ll be able to fit a car in there again. The girls went to IHOP after the game, so Summer was already in bed and not at all talkative when I got there. I waited up for the girls, and then went to bed once they got home.

You’re Not Getting It.

Call off the APB!

For some reason I thought today might be kind of quiet, but I was pretty instantly commandeered to help Gary write up some documentation for one of our recurring tasks to renew security certificates. It was neat to be able to apply one of the very few things I learned yesterday, and I felt good about expressing what I had learned. Greg was actually at work, and had to go fix my intercom at Oakland after Thomas came back to the shop, hurriedly looking for answers.

We left for lunch just a little bit early and went to Brangus, where we were quickly surrounded by Mark and a handful of other highly political figures. Our host actually joked about it as we left, and I suggested that he seated them around us on purpose.

I went to Oakland in the afternoon for a bit, after Sheri contacted me with worry about her work orders yesterday, and then Thomas came back to the shop first thing this morning. I closed out what I could, but will have more when I return. That is the way of life.

After work, I ran home to start packing for the conference. Then I went to my parents’ house for bún bò Huế. They were in the driveway about to leave for more tomatoes, but immediately came back inside to eat when I mentioned that I was in a little bit of a rush. We ate, talked about our game plan for the weekend, and then I went back home to start a load of laundry.

I don’t really know where the time went, but It was nearly midnight before I got to Summer’s for the evening. At least all of my chores were done, and hopefully everything I needed was packed.

High anxiety.

Never Gonna Finish

It was pretty cold out this morning, plus I had an armful of stuff I wanted to take with me, so I drove to work. I was really hoping I could spend the day studying Net+, but Greg and Josh were both out with the flu, so I spent the entire day doing things for either Greg, or Kyle later in the afternoon.

Thomas drove Zach, Gary, and me to Freddy’s for lunch, which was kind of a surprising choice. I always kind of thought he just tolerated that place. Evidently Jason’s daughter was the one that took our orders, but I didn’t recognize her on account of not really knowing her. Gary just said something about Jason’s car not being totaled when he saw it in the parking lot as we were leaving.

Zach and I went to Support Services to rearrange some stuff in the afternoon, and then ran around town picking up touch panels and tools to hang for Kyle at Dwight. My rooms at Oakland were finished over a month ago, so I was surprised to learn that his weren’t. That took us the rest of the day, so we just barely had time to clean up when we got back to the shop. I had made my Hawaiian coffee in the morning, and was upset that Tammy threw it out at the end of the day in spite of me specifically asking her not to. I only had one cup in the morning, so I guess if I want more, we’ll have to go back.

I went home after work and immediately started getting things ready to go to Little Rock alone the next morning. I think I just psyched myself out over traveling so early in the morning, but I hate that Greg can’t go with me. At least Ben will swing by for lunch, but I would have really liked someone I could talk to about the material afterward.

I finished up much later than I wanted, then got gas and headed up to Summer’s for the night. Hopefully I’m prepared enough, but it won’t be for a lack of trying.

Mike Meyers before Halloween? Seems a little on-the-nose.

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.

Nothing Passive About It

We had our meeting first thing this morning, and I tried to compose myself after the strange conversations I had yesterday. It wasn’t long into the day that I got an email from the superintendent with an infographic for Robert’s Rules of Order. I wasn’t completely sure how to take it, but I knew I wanted to at least show that I had some idea of what I was talking about. She tends to be kind of a fast talker, and doesn’t really give much time for a response, so written communication to me is much more effective for completing my thoughts with her.

With that, I got sucked into drafting an email again for most of the morning after our lengthy meeting about how awful Incident IQ is. We went to Quiznos for a relatively quick lunch, and then it was back to the shop for a short afternoon due to the homecoming parade. I ended the day at Oakland again, and then went downtown to meet Summer for the parade. It was surprisingly hot sitting out in the sun, but it was a short parade.

Afterward, I rode the opposite direction of traffic across town and stopped at the Ridgewood Brothers to visit with Grant and Robert. We chatted about security systems for a bit, and then I continued home. As the sun went down, I went to visit with Mom for a few minutes before going to the homecoming game to catch halftime. Summer was crammed up in the stands again, so I sort of worthlessly stood on the ground below until we could leave.

Summer wanted to eat, so we dropped off the Shadow and went to Chili’s where we were served by a student from her very first year of teaching. She really enjoyed her steak, but 100% of my food was cold. Not lukewarm, but outright cold. I went home to get her car, and then met her at her house. The girls got home after a shocking turnaround of the depressing score we left, and everyone was quickly off to bed.

Do I have your attention?

Nit Picky

I felt a little off for most of the day, like another anxiety attack was right around the corner. Fortunately it never happened, because I wouldn’t have had time for it anyway. I didn’t really do anything remarkable throughout the day, but I felt super busy just keeping up. I was super hungry when lunch came around, and was actually pretty excited to learn that it was already Taco Tuesday. I think I paid too much for the pico on my tacos though.

After lunch, I ended up at Oakland a couple of times because I didn’t have everything I needed the first time around. I’ll end up having to run a video cable through the ceiling if I can’t get a longer video cable later. I spent the end of my day in the queue waiting to talk to someone about an Istation issue, and then trying to negotiate an attendance report out of Cognos. I kind of enjoy working with Cognos, but it would sure make me feel a lot better if I could find some better documentation on the variables the state uses.

Eaddie and Summer had hair appointments after work, but Summer had to take care of something else and asked me to get Eaddie. I ran home to change and then got Eaddie there just as Lelan was finishing up with her last client. I think she just stayed late to take care of them, because nobody else was even in the salon. Eaddie’s trim ended up getting cut a little short, and then I had to take her to band practice while Summer got hers started. I went back up to the salon for a little bit, but then went to my parents’ house for some pork chops for dinner.

I picked Eaddie up after band, and then we headed home to do some laundry and shampooing. It wasn’t an early night to bed, but it sure felt like it.

What’s bugging you?