Twelve Mile Island

I woke up with a bit of a headache and made some coffee this morning. Summer got started on her taxes and was in the living room all morning. I put on some old Disney tunes and took a shower, and then made tuna pitas for everyone.

Summer wanted to clean house without us around, but most of the afternoon was burned doing nothing. I eventually left on the Onewheel and rode to the old house to box up some more small stuff. By the time I was done, it was late and dark. I rode over to Arby’s for something to eat, and then lollygagged through down on the way home. I picked up a Snapple at Casey’s and stopped to take a couple pictures at the new co-create place, the middle school, and the Waco Detention Basin.

I stopped by to see my parents briefly, and Dad was outside looking at the moon while Mom dehydrated shrimp inside. Then I circled the neighborhood a couple times before finally landing at home for the night.

I have scaled these city walls.

Knives Out, and Beaks Bloody

Evidently Eaddie finally pulled an all-nighter to get her sleep schedule back in order. I didn’t realize that when she came out of her room in the morning, it was before she actually got any sleep. I had a coffee and started running more cleaning cycles on the washing machine since I still couldn’t get the pulsator out. Summer got Eaddie back up so she could go to another escape room with some friends, and we decided to try the new Old South for dinner when she got back.

More than anything, I missed the old Dixie Cafe. Old South is fine. The food is fine. The new location seems way better, and they’ve been busy, but the food was average at best. We had a minimal amount of service from our waitress, and all of my food was cold. I’ve got to remember never to get their prime rib, and to stick with chicken fried something with gravy. At least the girls liked their food alright.

Afterward, we went by the old house and I loaded up three boxes full of DVDs to bring home. We didn’t end up watching any of them, and instead we streamed Knives Out. I really enjoyed it, and the sequel is out on Netflix, so maybe I can convince the girls to watch it tomorrow.

Think of a community theatre production of a tax return.

It’s Electric

The workday went by in a flash. We had a few people in and out of the office, but I mostly kept my head down and read a bunch of Microsoft documentation. Eventually I’ll have to turn that learning into practice, but for now I’m enjoying the peace.

I went straight home after work and unboxed my Onewheel to get it charging before we went to Conway for Eaddie’s concert at UCA. It was a really small crowd in a fairly small auditorium. They didn’t turn the house lights down at all, so everyone just sat there in the bright light the entire time. The music was great though, and the clinician seemed really cool. It was over and done with in no time.

Eaddie rode the bus home since they had already eaten, so Summer and I drove across town to try LongHorn Steakhouse. Their online reservation system said it may be a 45-55 minute wait, but we were queued for about an hour before they called us in. We just sat in the car until then. They were crowded inside, and the hostess that sat us was really awkward. The service was fine, and the food was decent, though a little bland. It would have been a fine meal for no wait, but I couldn’t imagine why anyone would wait more than ten minutes for a table.

We made it back home and I rode the Onewheel around the house for just a couple minutes before everyone went to bed. I was up a while longer just because I kept getting distracted. Hopefully we can get the sink fixed tomorrow.


Less Than Marvelous

Ben texted that he was too late to meet for breakfast, and I noticed a couple of cars parked outside the Old Mill Bread Bakery & Cafe, so I swung in there to eat instead. The guy was just opening up, and had to leave to take his son to school, so he just left me with another customer in the store. Then Ben called after he realized the sessions didn’t start until 8:30, and met up with me just in time for the guy to make it back. I had a breakfast burrito and a scone with some coffee, but in hindsight I probably should have gotten something on BREAD instead of a premade spinach wrap. The food was good either way, and then we headed to the conference.

I went to a session about budgeting and finance, which I thought would be helpful to start the conversation with my business office and admin team. Hopefully I can come up with a decent proposal, and then use Technology money for a better salary. After that session, I went to Ben’s talk about Burp Suite, which was interesting. I was in a room with a very small number of very smart folk, but I wasn’t sure I had an immediate use for it.

The final session was the closing ceremony. Charlie was in Ben’s session, and he let me have his room key to get into the garage and charge. Then Ben and I sat through the closing remarks and went to the lobby for our bagged lunches. They didn’t have very many left, so we were lucky to get anything to eat at all. I figured he might stick around for a little bit to chat, but he actually ended up sticking around the entire time I was waiting for my movie. We chatted about all kinds of stuff, and then he helped me fix my eSchool student photos, which was awesome.

That left me just enough time to get across town to the IMAX to watch The Marvels. I had a reward for a free hot dog, purchased an ICEE, and sat down in my usual seat. There were only a few people there for the IMAX 3D showing on opening weekend, which I thought would be a good thing just for myself, but for some reason the bunch of old folks just kept talking through the entire movie. It would have been way more distracting if I had been more invested in the movie. I just couldn’t take it seriously at all. It was fine, but it was far from great. The dialog and plot just made it feel like another forced girl team-up movie.

After the show, I finally headed home. I stopped at the old house to check on things and air up my tires. Then I washed my car and headed to the house. Everyone was awake, but nobody heard me come in. Eaddie had left the Murano unlocked, so I made her go out and lock it up. Then I realized she left the back door unlocked, as well as the front door after she went out to lock the car. I don’t know how to correct these habits other than to make her life really annoying by making her go back outside repeatedly in the cold. Summer only got out of bed to use the bathroom while I unpacked and got things put away. I got my acrylic chair mat in, so I cleaned it and set it up under my desk. For one day, it seems like it will hold up alright, but only time will tell.

No appointing here.

Highly Illogical

Johnny called me for some help this morning on my drive to work. Apparently they have just been blacklisting Chrome extensions instead of whitelisting, so students have been getting around all of their policies. Easy enough of a fix. Denice had people meeting in her office all day, so I had my earbuds in early. Then after lunch, Kim and I went to the elementary to close out a few work orders. It’s frustrating that she’s clearly not going through them and closing them out. She seems to just come to work to socialize, and I’m just not paid enough to supervise her.

I wrapped up the day and headed home to charge for a while. Summer cooked dinner, but I showed up just as she finished eating. Then I sat on the porch for most of the evening until I came in to do my chores before bed.


On the Subject of Pedestals

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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!

Fire Chicken

Eaddie decided she was going to stay home again today to catch up on homework, so I only had to drop Autumn off at the high school. I thought I’d crash the CPPC meeting in the morning, but as the time approached and I didn’t really have a reliable laptop, I chickened out. That pretty well set the tone for the day, though I wanted to get outside to try and clean up the back yard a bit. If I wasn’t going to accomplish anything for work, then I figured I ought to at least accomplish something for home.

Summer was slow at work and could take a lunch break with me, so I picked her and Eaddie up to go to New China. Afterward I dropped them off back at the shop so Summer could take Eaddie home, and I went back to my house for just a bit. Bác Vân was outside, so I talked to her a bit and went inside to power cycle her mesh router. I mentioned wanting to burn the back yard, but then it started to rain a bit.

I hung out at home for a little while, but then Summer said Eaddie wanted me to come help her with her programming homework. I hate programming, and trying to make sense of her code in a language I don’t understand just frustrated the both of us. I ended up spending the evening watching Modern Family with Summer until she went to bed.

Autumn had her final basketball game in Pine Bluff, so I had to wait until late to pick her up from the high school. Then it was straight to bed once we got home.

Fire off the apps!

Parenting 401: Teenager Wrangling

Thomas had a meeting with some of our guys right outside my door this morning, so they shut me in. It didn’t seem like anything too serious, so I didn’t really get the whole shutout thing, but it was fine. Afterward I went to Crawford to take care of a couple things before lunch.

I tried to get Dale to come to Taco Tuesday with us, but he said he couldn’t make it. Allen happened to find us there though, and he had a lot to say. The food was pretty good today, which was an improvement over last night.

When we got back, I spent some time with Special Services, but couldn’t actually get their signature pad working for their application. Apparently the documentation specifically calls out that they do not support signature pads, so we had to take the “L.”

The rest of the afternoon was pretty quiet, but relatively steady. I cleaned up some old tickets, but I’ve got some more important ones that I really need to wrap up. Most everyone left right at quitting time, so I rushed Tammy out, and then went to my parents’ house to help Dad put the gate back together.

We chatted for a while, and then I finally made it home to swap cars before heading up to Summer’s. She made salmon and Brussel sprouts for dinner, and then Eaddie started on some homework. Autumn was supposed to be at a basketball game, but I caught her driving around to the back side of the high school again and finally convinced Summer to catch her and Adam in the act.

We loaded up, and I dropped Summer off at Autumn’s car. Autumn immediately freaked out, but Adam calmly got out of her car and into the Murano with me so I could take him home. The drive wasn’t too awkwardly quiet, and the conversation with his father was probably a little too easy. At least we didn’t catch them actively doing anything too bad. I told them I understood just wanting to hang out with some peace and quiet to talk, but that if they say they’ll be in a public place for an event, they had better be there.

The girls met us back at home, and we talked to Autumn some more. Who knows if it will do any good, but at least there wasn’t any screaming by the time we got back. All things considered, she seemed to be in fair spirits. By that time, it was off to bed for everyone.

It’s clobberin’ time!

O Plastic Tree

The girls decided they all wanted to go shopping today, but they didn’t want me along. I went home when they left, and hung out by myself for a while. Summer suggested that Autumn should cook dinner, and Eaddie decided she wanted fish tacos, so they got stuff for fish, shrimp, and ground beef tacos.

I made my way back to them around the time I thought dinner would be ready, but they were just hanging out in the living room. Luckily dinner didn’t take long though, and we all ate pretty quickly. After we ate, Summer got the Christmas tree out from under the bed and set it up in the living room. I helped a bit because Autumn was just being a complete bitch the entire time. I rigged up some blinking lights for it, but I was short by one blinking bulb for the white tree lights. I guess the replacements were too low wattage, and kept blowing immediately.

Stop accepting that you consistently choose to make everyone’s life worse.