I felt super sick to the stomach after I went to bed last night, but I slept pretty horribly. After just a few short hours of sleep, I got up and showered so we could get some breakfast before we had to get across town for Summer’s appointment. The hotel breakfast was about standard for what I’ve become accustomed to considering an upscale continental breakfast, but I’m not sure I’d consider it a “full breakfast” as advertised.

The trip across Little Rock wasn’t too bad, and the written directions were a great help. We made it underground and then back up to the parking garage, and upstairs into the psychiatric wing. We didn’t have to wait very long to get back, and the first part of the appointment was a bit more like therapy than I was expecting. Afterward, he had a bunch of tests for Summer to do that would take a couple more hours, so I had to get lost. I ran to the deli to get her some snacks, and then ended up in the car for a while. I thought Ben might be able to entertain me, but that didn’t pan out. Instead, I just sat in the car while it did a software update.

Eventually I started to feel a little ill being cramped up again, so I went back inside for the rest of the time. My phone was enough to keep me entertained, and eventually they came back out. The whole meet was way less formal than a normal doctor visit, so it was interesting. Hopefully it’ll help motivate Summer to take better care of her mental health.

We headed straight back to Conway, where Summer had to stop and work for a bit. We moved some stuff between cars, and then I headed toward home. Just past Plumerville, I ran into a dead stop in traffic on the interstate. Evidently there was a large semi wreck way ahead, and they just closed a large portion of the interstate between Morrilton and Blackwell. I ended up stopping at the first Morrilton exit once I got there, and had a Happy Meal before taking Highway 64 back to Blackwell.

As soon as I got home, I quickly unpacked and then met Summer at Shell for some gas. Then she went to Popeye’s for dinner while I headed up to the girls. She wasn’t terribly far behind me, and everyone had a little to eat before bed. Eaddie was up trying to get help with science homework, but I was exhausted from multiple nights of very poor sleep, so I made it to bed super early.

Shut It Down

Năm Mới

Summer had to go to Morrilton this morning, so I had her take me home first. I spent some time picking up around the house a bit before getting a shower. Then I met her and the girls at CiCi’s for lunch. Autumn was going shopping afterward, so Summer took Eaddie home while I went to visit my parents for the lunar new year.

After hanging out for a bit, I went back home and stopped to see Bác Vân for a bit. She hasn’t been able to talk to Bác Trần on her iPad for some reason, but he was at the temple and unable to troubleshoot with us. She gave me some sweet rice, and then I headed back up to Summer’s for the evening.

Eaddie and Summer were watching a crime show, so I gave them some sweet rice and sat with them for a while. Then the girls went to their rooms early. I laid with Summer for a while until Autumn finally got home from shopping. Then I dawdled on the computer a bit before doping up and heading to bed really early.

The rabbit, you say?

Zillow Down, You Move Too Fast

The girls left early this morning for all-region band tryouts in Conway. I got a slow start after that, until Summer finally got around. We had some leftovers for brunch, and I tinkered around on Zillow for a bit.

Someone had told me to go ahead and try to get pre-approved, so I started filling out a form online. I took a break in the middle of the form to try and find my retirement balance for the school, and I got a call from someone at Zillow that immediately put me on hold for a loan officer. I was about ready to give up when someone else picked up and asked if I would prefer a callback. I suggested an email, and we ended the call. Then I got a text, email, and immediately another call from a loan officer that I talked to for a bit.

The call went well enough, but I wasn’t ready for another hard credit inquiry. Byron, the loan officer, basically said I wouldn’t have any problem getting a loan for the home we were looking at, and that when we factor in Summer’s income, we would basically be rich rich. I thanked him for the information, and that was the end of the impromptu surprise home buying adventure.

I went home so I could make it to my parents’ house for the warmest part of the day, to help Dad repair the privacy fence that blew over in the storm a couple nights ago. I hadn’t felt stellar since the day before, but I was surprisingly worthless when it came time to try and dig up a fencepost. Dad had a long iron bar that he used to chip and pry away the concrete, but we didn’t get to that until we had a bunch of vines cleared out of the way. I didn’t have the upper body strength to do much, and then started to get really dizzy really quickly after just a little bit of work. I haven’t felt that out of shape before, and I don’t know if it’s age, weight, COVID, or just a lack of stamina from being so sedentary.

We finally got the post out of the ground, and that was it for the day. Dad wanted to wait to set new posts, but I was a little worried the holes would get filled in some rain. We packed up and went inside, where I showed them the house Summer and I had been looking at on Zillow. It was a big house, for sure, but the price per square foot was low, and it came with enough land and a view that I could see settling down there.

On the way out, Dad took the Model 3 out for a spin with the yoke. I suggested they should get a Tesla, since the price dropped to accommodate the tax break. Then I headed home to shower before making it back to Summer’s for the evening.

Sumer made an awesome dinner, and both of the girls made it in all-region. Eaddie made first band, first chair for high school, and there was never a doubt in my mind. Autumn complained that she did poorly, but then got upset when we tried to encourage her to practice more to get better. I’ve never seen anyone get so immediately offended at the mere concept of working for something.

As the night progressed, I felt worse and worse until I checked my temperature at about 100.5ºF. I had an obvious head cold and a scratchy throat, so it was off to bed early for everyone.

Settle down.

So Long, and Thanks for All the Carbs

Today was Josh’s last day, so we had a bit of a long meeting to socialize before everyone split off. Once that happened, Kyle asked me for help on a one-person job. I had my own things to tend to, so he okayed delaying that until Monday when the kids are out. I actually did a fair job of keeping busy for the rest of the morning, even finishing up some things at Dwight before making it back for lunch.

Just as I got back to the shop, Tammy was walking out to pick up Pasta Grill for lunch. I rode along with her, and then the whole crew got together to eat. Travis missed out on account of some unexplained intercom issues at Oakland, but made it back for some leftovers after everyone else had split off.

The remainder of the workday just creeped by. I went across the street for some ice and talked to Kayla for a little bit, but otherwise it seemed like several of us were just riding out the clock. I ended up taking the leftovers home, but there was hardly enough for a couple people left.

I went home and tended to the shrimp for a bit, and eventually made it up to Summer’s for the evening. Eaddie wanted to watch TV, so after she finished baking brownies and Summer ate some food, we watched one episode of Umbrella Academy. Then everyone was off to bed, because the girls had all-region in the morning. Summer hadn’t felt well all afternoon, so she went straight to bed. I still had heartburn and indigestion from lunch, so I struggled to settle down for the evening. I burned so much time tending to frosty survivors on my phone.

Of course I overpaid.

Savory Pie

Today was one of my busier days at work. Josh is on his way out this week, so Greg has been taking care of the junior high. I’m a little surprised nobody has asked more of me, but I’ve had enough random questions come through to keep me busy. I actually didn’t get out of the office until lunch, when several of us went to Quiznos. I spent quite a bit of time at Dwight in the afternoon, up until the end of the school day.

After work, I went home for just a little bit until Eaddie was done at Robotics. Summer made it home early and surprised us with dinner, which was a shepherd’s pie after our conversation about my unusual preference for sweet breads and savory pies.

Autumn was actually at the dinner table working on homework when Eaddie and I arrived. Then Eaddie worked on homework after we ate. It was a quiet evening after that, and I did my best to keep a reasonable bedtime.

Ground will be the death of me.

If You Can’t Get Out of It, Get Into It!

The girls were sleeping peacefully this morning, so I let them sleep in as late as they could. I picked them up in time to make it to Little Rock, and the Model 3 did much better with navigation on autopilot during the day. I was hopeful that there might have been improvements overall, but the evening drive home proved otherwise. It seemed the daylight made all the difference.

Avatar: The Way of Water was great in IMAX 3D, and was fortunately loud enough to drown out the nonsense in the crowd of people around us. Some idiot came to sit next to Eaddie, and then left a colossal mess behind when he left. I was a bit surprised to see so many people there, but I guess Avatar has been a success.

After nearly four hours, we made our way out and across town to Star of India for dinner. They wouldn’t be open for about an hour, so we went around the block to Michaels, and then Office Depot for lack of a better option. The parking lot creeped me out a bit, with all of the mental illness creeping around. We made it out without incident though, and made it to dinner.

The trip home was more stressful than it should have been. I don’t know what all the traffic was for, but there were idiots everywhere. Fortunately, we made it home without too much trouble. I dropped the girls off before swapping vehicles, and then met Summer at Shell to get some discount gas.

Everyone was off to bed pretty quickly once we got home. I had been up for much longer than the girls, so I was pretty tired myself.

The sea gives, and the sea takes.

No Fear, But Stupid

Summer made sausage, eggs, and biscuits for breakfast this morning before heading out to the gym. I had a slow start, but eventually made it home to clean up while she and Eaddie went out shopping. When they finished, they wanted to go out to eat to Chili’s, so they picked me up and we ate in a surprisingly busy restaurant.

After we ate, we went through Walmart and they had more fun going through the Christmas clearance than I ever do. They loaded up a whole cart full of stuff before we made it back to my house for the evening.

I put on the first Avatar so we could refresh ourselves before seeing the sequel tomorrow. The girls didn’t waste any time getting to bed after that. I struggled a bit, but made it there before too long.

Pandora’s Farts

I Heard a Rumor

Today went by fairly quickly compared to the rest of the week, which was technically short, but felt really long. We had a pretty chill meeting in the morning, and then I sat in the dark for most of the morning until lunch time. Several of us went to Freddy’s and ate in relative quiet until we got back to the office.

Greg helped me look at the Gardner sign after lunch, and then I spent the end of the school day at Dwight. Karen said her lunch with Ginni went well, and that she admitted after some thought that the school newsletter was focused primarily on certified staff. I keep feeling like I could have a much better one-on-one relationship with her than our public interactions ever go. In any case, I finally made it back to the shop for a collaborative Net+ practice test with Greg, Gary, and Thomas to end the day.

I went by my parents’ house after work to drop off some paperwork, but had to run home to change so I could make it up to Summer’s for dinner. She made a pork chop dinner and we all sat down to eat together for the first time in quite a while. Then Eaddie and I spent the rest of the evening watching The Umbrella Academy until bedtime.


That’s Jefe, Man!

Gary came by my office first thing and asked Kyle and me to go help Jeff at the middle school since he had gotten several new tickets while he was out for jury duty. I got to swing by choir to see Marky Mark, and then fixed a display issue for Beth before going back up the hallway to help some teachers I didn’t know. I wrapped up by fixing a printer for Sara in the office, and then went back to the shop.

I got pretty hungry pretty early, so Gary and I thought we’d leave for lunch a little early. We thought Thomas was gone, but he was actually there and went with us to Sam’s. The gumbo was awesome, and it looked like they had elevated its presentation by quite a bit. Thomas ended up paying, which was a surprise treat.

The afternoon was dark and quiet in my office, and I ended the day at Dwight again. Once I finished up, I stopped by the carwash to see Summer, who was mostly stressed, or a little frazzled from the day. They had a bunch of leftover chicken fried rice from Umami, so I had a plate of that before I picked Eaddie up from robotics.

Eaddie was hungry but didn’t know what she wanted. We thought we’d go by my house to hang out for a bit, but then I mentioned Ridgewood and her eyes lit up. I took her across town and we shared a tray with a small assortment. Robert had the evening off, so it was all new folks running the counter. We got to visit with Grant in the back for a bit though.

We ran back by my house to trade vehicles, and headed up to Summer’s for the evening. She wanted me to make her a stiff drink, and then complained about how strong it was. It was an early night to bed for everyone.

It’s the Quitting phase!

Storm’s a Brewin’

It was set to storm in the afternoon, but I thought I’d have time to get over to Summer’s parents’ house to test their old car battery after an overnight charge. I had a bit of a slow start and ended up bathing before I left her house, and shortly after I got home, the deluge started. I ended up working on getting Eaddie’s new phone set up instead.

Mom and Dad came by Bác Vân’s and wanted to see my refrigerator, so while they were still next door, I took my Google WiFi bridge over to test out whether it would help her signal for her iPad. Mom was there trying to teach her how to do things on the iPad, but I knew how frustrated she would get trying to do too much at once. I ended up having to shoo them along to look at my refrigerator so I could meet Summer at Walmart.

Summer closed the carwash early due to the storms, so we went to Walmart for salad stuff for dinner. We ran into Ryan there, and got to hear about their fourth kid on the way. Then we made our way home for the evening. I still had to port Eaddie’s number to a new Google Fi account, so Nick called me out of frustration with AT&T and had me hold on the line with him. It took a total of two transfers over several minutes, but we finally got it done. Autumn had brought Adam over, but they hid out in her room while we ate.

When Autumn finally took Adam back to the pet store, Eaddie and I started watching The Umbrella Academy. We both felt like there were several inconsistencies and plot holes, but enjoyed the show in spite of them. I found it to be relatively predictable, but entertaining. Elliot Page is teetering on the edge of Uncanny Valley, which is odd considering an android mother and a talking monkey are supporting characters.

We wrapped it up early since it’s back to work for me tomorrow. The kids will be back in school the day after that. I failed to actually apply for any new jobs, so the anxiety I’ve felt all day may not serve me well tomorrow. Time will tell.

Dick Tater Ship