Spider Across

I tried to sleep in a little bit this morning before heading home to shower. I took Summer’s car to charge it enough for our trip to Little Rock. Then before I went back to get the girls, I stopped by my parents’ house to print off a quick “YOU ARE MARRIED” card for them to take to Randall and Danielle’s wedding.

Summer and Eaddie came out as soon as I pulled up to their house, and we headed to Little Rock for lunch. Traffic was pretty stupid, but we made it to the Promenade with plenty of time to eat. Big Orange didn’t have a wait, so we didn’t even have to queue up before we got there. Then after we ate, we walked the length of the strip and stopped in a few stores. We spent the most time in Home Goods, which seemed like an expensive version of TJ Maxx. Then we ended at Maggie Moo’s to share a banana split before the movie.

We arrived at the theater pretty early, so we had to wait a bit for the IMAX to be cleaned out. The concession stand got pretty busy, so our preordered snacks were a bit late, but it worked out alright. The theater was fairly cold, but livable. I didn’t like Across the Spider-Verse nearly as much as Into the Spider-Verse, but it had some really great moments. Overall I thought it was a good movie. It just didn’t have me punching the air as much as the first one. I was surprised to see it was a two-parter, but I was excited that there would be another.

The girls wanted to head straight home after the movie, which was a bit annoying. I could have gone for some dinner out of town. Instead, I took them home and everyone went to bed pretty immediately. I was up for several more hours by myself, which felt incredibly boring and wasteful.

Bad things are gonna happen. It makes us who we are.

Omelette du Fromage

I woke up naturally pretty early today, and made Summer an omelet out of a bunch of leftovers. Hers was the ugliest, and then mine happened to turn out the prettiest. Eaddie didn’t wake up until much later, but when I made hers, it came out looking somewhere in the middle.

Summer didn’t want to do anything, so I eventually left to shower and get ready for my first day at a new job. I spent some time trying to fix my still-leaking kitchen water lines. I couldn’t really tell where the water was coming from, but I think I mostly fixed it. Then I took a shower and got my backpack loaded before heading up to get the girls for a late lunch or early dinner with my parents.

Autumn stayed home, and the remaining three of us went to my parents’ house for fried shrimp and sweet potato. Dad was working up quite a sweat outside, as I had done earlier from the heat and humidity. We mostly finished eating before my parents made it back inside, and then visited for a little bit before heading back home.

Summer and I watched Jerry & Marge Go Large until Noah came over later in the evening and spent some time with us. Then I played some random YouTube videos on the TV until Summer went to bed. Eaddie hung out with Noah for a while after everyone else went to bed, and I tried to get to sleep really early.

I hate being the new guy again.

Grilled for Mothers

I woke up a couple minutes before my alarm and got out of bed so we could go downtown for the girls’ 5K. Summer got the others up, and we went down behind the city mall where people were gathering at the starting line. As soon as the girls were ready to queue up, I started walking back toward the car to get away from the loud music. It was a relatively small crowd, so I just didn’t want to stand around waiting all alone.

Ian spotted me as he walked up, and stopped to talk at me for the duration of the race. We watched everyone take off down El Paso, and he stood next to me as I leaned against a light pole. He didn’t really have anything useful to say, and just mirrored complaints I had been hearing for weeks.

Summer finished in good time. Eaddie was farther behind than I expected. Autumn took nearly an hour. Summer wanted to wait for the awards ceremony, which was good because Eaddie won third place in her division, and then Summer won second in hers. We dropped Autumn off at home after that, and then went to Stoby’s for some breakfast. I was quite happy with the “Blast” with the biscuit, hash browns, and all of the proteins with a side of gravy. It even came out to less than the eggs Benedict that Summer and Eaddie had.

After we ate, we went to Walmart to get everything I needed for twice-baked potatoes. Then we headed back to the house so I could cook them before dinner with my parents. Autumn left to take Adam to the Clarksville aquatic center, so we were free to enjoy ourselves. I baked some bacon and then got the potatoes into the oven before taking a shower. Then I gutted the potatoes and mashed everything together with some butter, sour cream, bacon, green onions, and cheese.

Once the potatoes were done, we loaded up and headed towards my parents’ house, with a brief stop at my house to change shirts. My parents had all kinds of stuff to grill, but none of it was ready yet. The charcoal was nearly ready though, so I raced to get things prepped and started cooking.

Julie and Kevin came over and we had steak, potatoes, squash and zucchini, corn, fried shrimp, and a couple plates full of smoked sausages that nobody touched. It was a lot of food, and it exhausted me for the day. We hung out for a little while after dinner and continued to watch some Vietnamese girl harvest bamboo shoots on YouTube. Autumn brought Adam over to deliver graduation tickets, and evidently asked if she could have a pool party for her birthday. I could have told her the pool wouldn’t be ready by then, but I guess she felt like she’d have better luck bypassing everyone else.

We ended up leaving before them, as Dad showed Adam his camera collection. We made it home and everyone went straight to their rooms. I fought sleep long enough to finish my own chores, and then it was off to bed.

Next time, I’ll use the stand mixer.

I am Groot

The girls didn’t seem to feel great this morning, but we had to get to Little Rock for our movie. I went home to shower and then came back to pick them up. Neither of them were very hungry yet, so we decided to stop in and see Gary first. Eaddie waited in the car while Summer and I went into the rehab clinic, only to learn that we’d have to make our way over to the main hospital where he had been since surgery the day before.

We chatted for a while through his pain. It was probably the worst I’d seen him yet, but even then he was still in pretty good spirits. I had hoped he might stick around the hospital a while longer, but he seemed to really want to go home the next day.

From there, we went straight to the Promenade to try and find some food before our movie. Unfortunately we only had about an hour to kill, and both Big Orange and Local Lime had long wait times. I was surprised, because it was already well into the afternoon. We ended up going to Maggie Moo’s for some ice cream instead, but that made the girls feel even worse without any real food in their bellies. We ended up going to McDonald’s to split a snack combo I found in the app.

We made it to our movie with plenty of time, and I was surprised again at how empty the theater was for opening weekend. I just can’t believe 3D is so unpopular. It makes all the difference in the world to me. On the other hand, maybe the 2D showings are just as sparse. I wouldn’t know, because I always go the premium route whenever possible.

I kind of expected the movie to have some back story for some of the characters, but I absolutely didn’t expect any of what we saw. It started off on an emotional tone, and then immediately jumped right into heavy action. There were several parts where I got a little bored, or at least physically uncomfortable or restless due to my seat. Then the heavy emotional scenes hit, and it made the whole movie a lot better for me. It definitely felt different than anything we’d seen before though.

After the movie, I convinced the girls to stop for some food. we tried a place called Ocean’s At Arthurs, but Summer didn’t want to get out of the car after she saw that they had valet parking. I would have given it a try anyway, but it really might have been upscale enough that we’d look pretty rough going in. We ended up at a hole in the wall called Lazy Pete’s Fish and Shrimp instead, and the food was awesome. It didn’t look like much at all, but it really was great.

We made it back home and I let Summer take the Murano to her house while Eaddie decided whether she still wanted to go to the hot air balloon show. She ultimately decided against it, so I took Summer’s car to the wash and then we headed home for the night. The girls both went to bed, so I laid down with Summer for a bit. That was when I got a sudden surprise call from Mitch, who said he was coming to Little Rock via a “MEGABUS.” We only talked briefly since he was going to be on the bus for the next six or so hours, and I got to bed.

I am Groot!

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!

A Real Ham

We got around this morning and I made tuna pitas for everyone. Then after a while, Summer took Eaddie shopping for some shoes while I took a shower. When they got back, we had to go to the store for something to go with the ham that Summer wanted to bake for dinner. Autumn came home eventually, and fussed about wanting to spend the day with Adam, and then fussed about him not liking me, and how awkward he would feel if he came over for dinner.

Autumn eventually gave in to taking Eaddie shopping when she got Adam. Summer and I made a relatively quick trip to my house, then Walmart, and then back to my house because she wanted another muffin tin. Then she started cooking as soon as we got back to her house. I scheduled another visit with Alisha, so we’ll check out the house again tomorrow afternoon.

We had a really nice dinner, and then Eaddie and I went to the bedroom to watch an episode of Breaking Bad. As we finished, Summer came in wanting to go to bed, so she kicked us out to Eaddie’s room where she and I watched one more episode, trying to ignore the loud music and giggles coming out of Autumn’s room because Summer is incapable of firmly telling her she can’t take her boyfriend in there.

Eaddie had enough after the second episode, so she went to bed and I cleaned up in the kitchen. Adam left when his father picked him up, and eventually I made it to bed.

Exclusion Solution

The Bœst Interview

I tried to let myself sleep in a little bit today after staying up so late last night. Eventually I got up and had another pork chop with some rice for breakfast before heading home to clean up. I dug out my old interview folders and rebuilt all of that with some extra stuff just in case. When I got out of the shower, Summer wanted me to bring some lunch to her at the wash, so I got all dressed up and took her some Popeye’s. While I was at the wash, I printed a couple more résumés and eventually headed to my interview.

It hadn’t really rained yet, but a storm was coming. I made it to Bost early and waited just inside the front door until Joshua came to get me. The first thing I noticed was his dual screen laptop, which I had been wanting for quite a while. We chatted about that for longer than I expected, and I could tell right away that he seemed like a really cool guy. The rest of the interview went similarly, with both of us winding our conversation all over the place. It seemed like they would have some really cool projects for me, and I was happy to hear it wouldn’t be just mostly break/fix type stuff.

We chatted for the better part of two hours, which was the longest, but most fun interview I’ve ever had. To my delight, he enjoyed my “fun” résumé. I really hope he liked me well enough to try and match what I was making at the school, especially since I’m sure the retirement won’t get close to matching the 17% that the school had. He said the work environment was great, and I was inclined to believe it.

It had mostly stopped raining by the time I left. We could hear it storming for quite a while, so I wasn’t terribly surprised that nobody was waiting for me outside the door with an ice cream cone. I left and went to find Summer at Superfast to fill her in. Then I grabbed a burrito and went home to change before picking her and Dad up so we could meet Alisha to look at a house.

We made it across town a little late, and climbed what felt like a 45º incline of a driveway. I’m absolutely positive the Murano wouldn’t do as well, especially in the rain. I’d probably have to drive backwards in order to keep enough traction. The house was quirky and cute, but the first thing that hit me when we opened the front door was the smell of cats. It smelled worse than just a litter box, but not the worst I’d ever smelled. There was some visible damage in quite a few places, but without an inspection, it appeared to be stuff we could mostly fix on our own.

The owner was home, sitting on a chair in the living room. We didn’t realize it until we got outside, but his wife was sitting on the porch. It all seemed very odd to me. He was kind enough to walk us around the outside, and we got into the detached garage. His wife was converting it to a rec room, and had the garage door drywalled over, and a drop ceiling installed. I couldn’t tell if the rails were still attached, but I figured they must be if the garage door was still there. It was weird to just seal that wall off behind drywall though.

Overall it was kind of a letdown, even at that price. I figure we’ll talk about it some more, and possibly look at it again if someone doesn’t scoop it up. I don’t really think that will be an issue, but maybe someone else will also appreciate the rocky terrain of a dated house in the side of a mountain.

We dropped Dad back off at home and got the Murano up to Summer’s for the evening. She ate and then took a bath before bed. Then we were going to watch TV, but she got distracted by a work call, so I had time to warm up some dinner for myself. Then we watched an episode of Modern Family before she started falling asleep. The girls were out late watching a school play, so I saw them in and then made it to bed.

The internet was here, for better or worse! *thunder booms*

Tales From Many Moons Ago

The girls left in a fit this morning, so I was up for the day. I ate a hard boiled egg of questionable integrity, then headed home to get ready for Bill’s funeral. I had to drop Summer’s car off to have it re-tinted, so I picked Dad up and had him drive my car so we could take it to Fort Smith.

Traffic wasn’t great, but we made it plenty early. At first we thought we might be meeting for the burial at a building, but then through the powers of deduction, followed some other cars into the Fort Smith National Cemetery. It was a surprisingly small crowd, but he was old. Dad had made a joke earlier in the day about me standing in the distance in all black, with an umbrella in hand, just to be mysterious. Catty-corner from us, behind those actually performing the service, stood a man in a dark coat and glasses, already filling the role.

The service itself was relatively short. The unfolding and re-folding of the flag took the absolute longest. Having lived nearly the perfect length of time, there was no dramatic sobbing. Just tradition.

Afterward we met at a church for a much longer service of hymns and preaching, intermixed with just a few stories, and concluded with a pipe organist’s rendition of what I thought was supposed to be Steve Miller Band, but sounded instead like a memorable song from a circus, ball game, or merry-go-round. Finally, we were dismissed from the formal service and could visit with friends and the family for a while.

When we left, we thought we’d just head straight home in spite of my hunger, but traffic was backed up on the interstate badly enough that my car tried routing us off the interstate and immediately back on just to skip ahead in traffic. I didn’t want to look like an asshole, so we stopped and had Big Macs instead. Then we continued to Ozark for a quick charge before I let Dad drive us the rest of the way home.

I had Dad drive by a house that I wanted to look at, and I was excited enough that I talked Summer into looking at it. I wasn’t sure anyone else was as impressed, but I liked the price per square foot and the availability of parking. I eventually made it back home, but had to get Autumn to pick me up so we wouldn’t have all of the cars at Summer’s. Her car smelled like stale McDonald’s, and I just wanted to throw up.

Summer had left work early because her face went numb again, and her blood pressure spiked. She talked them out of thinking it was an emergency, but her seemingly forgetful or unempathetic physician just put her on antidepressants and anti-anxiety medication after Summer reminded her that she had just gotten the results of her psych evaluation. When we got to the house, she had already been in bed for a while, so I laid down with her and scheduled the house tour with Alisha. Then she fell asleep pretty quickly after that. It took me a while longer, because I am distracted easily.

Hey Google, what’s this song? Da-da-da-da, da, da-da-da-da!

Hang Low

Summer asked me to stop by Superfast this morning to check out their computer, but they figured out how to hook up a new monitor on their own before I got there. I stopped for a couple breakfast burritos from Taco John’s and met up with her to eat, and then continued on home and got cleaned up so I could jump right into job hunting. I had a few that I had saved from the night before, so today was for submitting applications. In the middle of a bunch of confirmation emails, I actually got one for an interview, so I’ll schedule that for next week.

Summer ended up going to Morrilton, but came back so we could go out for a late lunch or early dinner. We ended up at Wendy’s for a relatively poor experience. They didn’t have the stuff to make the bourbon burger she wanted, and they didn’t add my requested vegetables to my pretzel pub burger. It was also just really dry and unsatisfying.

We made it up to her house and sat around for a while. Autumn eventually showed up after mooching some dinner off of her grandparents. Eventually I had to get Eaddie from her classmate’s house, where they were practicing for their National History Day competition tomorrow. When we got back, I started watching NOPE on a complete whim, but didn’t get very far before we had to go to the depot for the 5k Glow Run.

We arrived at the depot a little early, but didn’t have a whole lot to do. Cindy walked by us and stopped long enough for me to give her a hug. She has always been so friendly, and was always so encouraging about the work I did on the CPPC. I couldn’t help but feel a little like I let her down, but that’s why I have to fight.

Once they started lining up for the race, I had to leave to get away from the loudspeakers. I headed home to swap cars, and then took Summer’s to the carwash before coming back to pick them up. Of course Summer and Eaddie had already finished for a little while, but we had to wait for Autumn to finish well below average.

The girls showered once we got back to the house, and I did my best to get to bed early so I could take a bunch of kids to Conway in the morning.

If you’re going to be rebellious for rebellion’s sake, then I recommend you continue being a complete twat.

Stick-on Shade

Summer went to the gym this morning and then came home to shower before going to work. I had gotten around a little bit, and once Summer left, I tried to get someone from the EEOC on the phone. The wait time ended up being longer than I could stay on the phone though, because I had to get home and cleaned up before taking Summer’s car to River Valley Tinting and Glass to get the windows tinted.

I waited in the near-silent lobby for over an hour while they did the job. I had high expectations after trying two other places in town with the Murano and then the Model 3. I was told this place had a plotter to cut the vinyl, which would make the corners perfect. When it was all done, the left window looked to be stuck on a little lower than the right side, but they both looked good. There were a couple bubbles on the driver side as well, but not as much on the passenger side.

Once I got back home, I put together a slightly more concise timeline to try and explain to another firm, but my first pick was a girl that claimed to be a “switchboard” that could only take my information, but couldn’t tell me whether I would get a call back or not. The second place I tried also said they never worked with employees, and would only work in defense of the employer in my type of case. For better or worse, the first place I called was still ready to get started if I would only pay them nearly two months’ salary.

Just as I was becoming the most frustrated, Dad rang my doorbell and I went outside to see him. Apparently Mom, Lelan, and Julie were all coming over to try and sort their outfits for Randall’s wedding. It seemed to be quite an ordeal for the girls to find something suitable to wear. It was all a bit too stressful for me to consider.

Summer picked me up when she got back to town so we could go to the high school for a PSAT meeting for Eaddie. Michael was outside the Crimson Room when we got there, and told us it would mostly be the same information we already had. We decided to leave, assuming Eaddie was already at home. Summer dropped me back off at home so I could continue to visit with family.

As soon as she got home, Summer called to say that Eaddie wasn’t there, and that she had left her phone in her room. Evidently she was still at the high school in her study group, which I thought was being led by the same people hosting the meeting we didn’t attend. By the time I made it back to the high school, Eaddie had already started walking toward my house, and was spitting mad that we left without her.

I took her back to my house to cool down while I visited some more. After a little while, I took her on home and shared some of my leftover pasta with her. Autumn was excited to share some “tea” with me, that turned out being a critical accident that happened at the school. Evidently Gary had taken a hard fall at the arts center and broke several bones. I was upset that she considered this “tea” that she selfishly wanted to share with me herself, instead of letting me know that my friend was badly injured.

Everyone made it to bed, and Michael ended up calling me late so I could catch him up on all of my drama. He was surprised, and shared the same sentiment I had gotten pretty much everywhere else. All that’s left is to start a GoFundMe for lawyer’s fees.

Seriously, why is it so hard to find someone to provide some counsel with vigor?