Better Than Rock

Summer took Autumn to the gym this morning while I cleaned up some corned beef with Eaddie. Once they made it back, I headed home to clean up so Summer and I could go to the movies. Eaddie wanted to ride her bike, so Summer brought her over to do that while we were out. Bác Vân also had some kind of nut bread and a couple bánh bao for me.

When we got to the movies, we learned that Shazam! Fury of the Gods was showing in one of the tiny auditoriums for that showing, so we had to kill an hour before coming back at four. We ended up going back to get the Tesla, and then washed it before going for a drive around town. We made it up north, and then around to the marina before finally ending back up at UEC.

We were the only two people in Auditorium 5, which was awesome, but also kind of depressing for how much we really enjoyed the movie. I have no idea why it got such a bad rap, because we thought it was really solid story, and a great family flick.

Eaddie just barely beat us home after riding all around town, and we took her to BFD for dinner and ice cream. They were super busy, and the service and food were both actually really good this time. It always seems like lunch is really hit-or-miss, but dinner was great. We all got our fill.

Once we got back to the house, the girls headed home. Autumn had gone to Adam’s for dinner, but then got herself into trouble again for generally being awful and changing up her story to fit whatever she wanted to do. When I tried to head up to their house, the Pathfinder wouldn’t start. I tried poking around under the hood, but couldn’t tell much. It just acted like it was completely out of gas, but it appeared to have half a tank and drove fine earlier in the day.

I poked around a bit at my house for a while, and eventually just took the Model 3 up to the girls, who all appeared to have been in bed for a while before I got there. I was a bit restless again, but tried to go to bed before midnight.

What an absolute lack of previews.

State of Dinner

I had a horrible time trying to sleep again last night, but surprisingly it didn’t hurt me too bad during the day. We had breakfast and got out of the hotel, then made it down the road to The Butterfly Palace. It was a relatively short wait, but the greenhouse was a bit smaller than I expected for the size of the building. There also weren’t quite as many butterflies as I had envisioned, but it was still a good time. They had little vials of “a scoop” of orange Gatorade mixed with two quarts of water with a little fake flower on top, and we carried those around just hoping for butterflies to land on us. I had the bright idea to stick mine behind my ear, and I think I was the first one to actually attract a butterfly.

It was a really neat experience, and we watched a little short 3D film about monarchs before we made it downstairs for a tiny reptile room and a really cool mirror maze. I started really feeling the effects of my lack of sleep while the girls were looking around the gift shop, so I waited in the car until they came out. Then we started heading toward Eureka Springs, stopping in West Branson for gas, and then Reeds Spring for some lunch at Parmesan’s Pizzeria. Their tiny dining room was packed, so we waited for a table, and the pizza was worth the wait.

We finally made it to Eureka in the rain, and got checked into the hotel after a bit of a wait. They gave us a room right next to my parents, which was convenient. I bounced back and forth between our room and theirs to talk to Mom, and then Summer and I went down to the convention center to find Dad. We weren’t hungry during the dinner break, so the girls and I found a recreation area by the pool that had ping pong, mini golf, air hockey, a couple of pool tables, and some other stuff that was mostly out of order. It was actually a lot of fun, and was probably the best thing we could do to keep out of the rain.

Eventually we had to make our way back for the evening show, and Eaddie got picked as a volunteer again. The girls seemed to enjoy it enough that we thought they might actually be willing to stay another night, but then Autumn started to get cranky again as the evening progressed.

After the show, we all went downtown for a really late dinner at The Spring on Main. We actually parked right by the entrance, but I didn’t realize it was upstairs, and we walked up a couple blocks before I realized we were in the wrong place. We made our way back down, and then up the stairs into a small, mostly empty restaurant and bar. The menu gave me a little bit of sticker shock after glancing at the prices online, but I think it was worth it. Everyone was really happy with their upscale food. It all tasted really fresh and delicious, and the service would have been excellent even if we hadn’t showed up 30 minutes before closing.

Once we ate, we headed back to the room and we had to practically wrestle Autumn into the shower after over 48 hours. Summer put on Indiana Jones, and I wrapped up as quickly as I could, hoping to sleep through Autumn’s relentless snoring.

Suffer silently.

Mark My Words

Summer took Eaddie to school today, so I laid around for a little longer this morning. Eventually I got up and had some tacos for brunch before prepping a corned beef in the slow cooker for dinner. Then I went home to try and gather my thoughts for a bit before getting some last-minute help. I felt like I had everything pretty well organized, but I should have reached out for help sooner.

The afternoon was there soon, and the girls headed home with Autumn’s boyfriend in tow. Eaddie went to her room for most of the time, which meant I had to keep an eye on Autumn and Adam so I could call them out later.

Finally I was able to meet up with Mark at their new building, and I gained what perhaps what shouldn’t have been such a surprising level of insight. He definitely looked at things from a different angle, but I wasn’t too far off with some of the things I had considered. I found myself wishing I had involved him sooner, though I still felt like when the time comes, I’ll screw something up. My best-case-scenario is just a moving target, and it stresses me out.

When we finished talking, I headed up to Summer’s where she had just gotten home to an empty house. All the kids went to the movies, and ended up watching Shazam! Fury of the Gods. Summer and I ate our traditional corned beef, and then I got to work assembling my documentation into its final form. The girls eventually made it home and I talked to Eaddie a little bit. Autum talked to Summer while she settled into bed, and eventually everyone went to sleep.

Hey, I’m the victim here!

Blurritos and Tacos

Summer took both of the girls to two different events today. Eaddie had state robotics, and Autumn had solo and ensemble. I got up when she got back, but didn’t get into much of a rush for anything. Eventually she went to the gym and I ate a bean burrito, then headed home to clean up.

I ended up tinkering around the house a bit, but more in the fashion of getting continually sidetracked until it was time to leave. Summer picked up Autumn in the afternoon and got stuff for dinner. I made it back up to their house and started cooking. The prep work took the longest, and the Instant Pot did a great job of melding all of that together into some shredded chicken tacos.

The girls put on Moana and then The Incredibles, which I watched intermittently. We ate, but Eaddie missed out because she was at the tournament until pretty late. I eventually picked her up, and she was pretty excited about her day in spite of the fact that her team was the only one that didn’t qualify for worlds.

The girls shuffled off to bed pretty soon after we made it home. Eaddie wasn’t even hungry enough to eat anything, but that was okay. There’s plenty for tomorrow.

I’d feel a lot less guilty if I knew I were rich and could just do whatever I want.

Downhill Climb

I had a few messages for my birthday today, as well as a couple of phone calls. We didn’t have any plans, and I got a pretty slow start to the morning. I think the large dinner last night made things a little worse, but I eventually got around. Eaddie had a recital at the high school, and then wanted to immediately leave for Tech to watch their symphonic wind ensemble perform.

Eaddie wasn’t fully prepared for her recital, which was out of the ordinary for her. Afterward, her instructor announced my birthday and had everyone in the room quickly sing Happy Birthday. It would have been so much more embarrassing at a slower tempo, but she kept it fast.

The Tech concert was really great. There were several solos, with two pieces that showcased the oboe and then the marimba players. The final piece was done in the dark with a video to accompany the music, and it was really incredible. I’m excited to hear Eaddie perform at that level after she leaves high school.

After the concert, we dropped Eaddie off and went to Walmart for dinner. We decided spaghetti would be relatively quick, easy, and delicious. I ran into Janie on our way to check out the clearance section, and I told her all about my suspension. She seemed to have a lot of frustration with a lot of the administration herself.

Summer took me to my house to get the Montego, and we met up back at her house to cook dinner. I wasn’t feeling well after a day without any food or hydration. I took a minute to recover, and then helped with dinner. She baked a chocolate cake, and since Autumn was finally home, we had her run to the store for some frosting and ice cream. She didn’t eat, but Eaddie at least came out for food.

Unconventional, but what did I expect?

And Then What Are You Going to Do?

I made ham, egg, and cheese bagels for breakfast this morning. Then I spent some time researching law and combining cell phone plans. Three of us are finally on one plan together, which means we all get unlimited data on Fi for less than our individual plans. I’ve been stingy with my data for over five years, so this has the potential to be life-changing.

Summer made it to the gym and back while I tinkered. I already had fresh clothes, so I showered in what little hot water was left after hers instead of going home. I talked her into going to Little Rock with me to see the new Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania in IMAX, so we stopped for gas, and then I swapped cars and picked her up. Autumn had homework to finish, and Eaddie didn’t have any interest in a completely-CGI film that required too much suspense of disbelief.

As we neared Little Rock, Summer found a Mediterranean place called Al Seraj for us to eat. It was more of a deli in a tiny market store, and they were more or less empty other than a couple groups of people coming through to shop. The food was great though, and the guy said they have a buffet throughout the week. I think that’d be pretty awesome.

We made it to the theater in plenty of time, though it was pretty dead too. I thought the movie was really good, with plenty of laughs and a few surprises. It did a fine job of setting up the next phase.

Afterward, we drove straight home except for a stop in Atkins to let Summer drive. She said autopilot hadn’t worked for her, and I forgot you had to enable it in the settings. I didn’t realize it until we were on the road again, but the car had to be in park to change the setting, so she stopped again in Pottsville, and then tried autopilot for the last couple miles home.

I dropped her off at home, and then went to Cogswell to try and find their EV charger. I was hoping it would give me a big boost, but after hanging out for nearly an hour, I only charged about 7%. At that point, I decided I should head home to clean up before making it back to Summer’s.

Autumn still hadn’t finished her homework, even after bargaining to go to Clarksville overnight, and even asking to go to Fort Smith this morning. She failed to get it done at the study session with Jennifer at the mall, so we tried to motivate her to finish before bed. Summer and Eaddie went to bed, and I laid down to compose some thoughts before getting back up to finish my nightly routine.


Fn Keys

I tried to sleep in a bit this morning, but I still couldn’t. I got around to making a burrito for breakfast, and then woke Eaddie up to watch Breaking Bad. She eventually got hungry, so I made her a ham, egg, and cheese bagel. Autumn had an away basketball game, but I couldn’t drop her off until the afternoon.

After I finally got Autumn to the high school, I went home to clean up before taking my keys back to Thomas. Tammy met he at the door with a big hug, and then I sat at her desk super awkwardly while Thomas watched me remove the keys from my KeySmart holder. I took the opportunity that this was a really shitty 40th birthday prank, and then went on my way as he walked me right out the door again. It seemed I wasn’t welcome even to visit.

I saw Zach and Greg pulling back in as I left, but decided not to turn around to chat. I went on to visit with Dad and give him the news. We talked for a while, and then Ben called and we talked on the phone for nearly an hour. It seems I have options, but I just need to make a decision.

Eaddie wanted to make shrimp Alfredo, so I met Summer at Walmart for some groceries. I tracked down Amanda while we were there, but she wasn’t able to chat. Then on the way out we ran into Lenetta and one of her kids, who apparently knew Summer. It was fun to realize those connections for a moment, but frustrating to share my termination after she remembered my last one from Asurion.

When we got home, Eaddie resisted coming out to help, but eventually made minimal effort while I made dinner. I enjoy cooking, but not knowing the recipe by heart and having to scroll up and down between different sections of the site to find volumes and steps was incredibly frustrating. I only loosely followed the recipe anyway, and added mushrooms and broccoli to the mix. It turned out really good, though the garlic bread got burned while I tried to defrost it. I was just doing too much at once, and Eaddie was too busy on her phone.

After dinner, Eaddie and I watched a few more episodes of Breaking Bad until I had to pick up Autumn. I brought her home, and then it was pretty quick to bed since Eaddie had her National History Day project the next day.

I couldn’t even get halfway through the book before they started asking for money.

Charge Test

I got up and made breakfast this morning by frying up a bunch of leftover bits and pieces of things with some eggs. It turned out pretty good, and even Autumn seemed not to hate it. She surprised us with improved grades so as not to lose her car or privileges to see her boyfriend, so we were pretty pleased with that. Summer had plans to meet some girls from work in Conway, and Eaddie wanted to go shopping with me while Summer did that.

I headed home to clean up, but then Summer said her plans had to be postponed. Eaddie still wanted to shop, so I picked them up and let Summer drive the Model 3 to Conway to get a feel on the interstate. I brought along my mobile charger to see if I could charge from her front porch, and then I looked for a NEMA 14-50 plug at the Splash in Conway once we got there. Unfortunately there wasn’t one available, but we could at least slow charge on a regular outlet available outside.

From there, we went down the road to The Mighty Crab and got some crab, shrimp, and crawfish boiled. The food was good, but I left pretty hungry. The crab was problematic and frustrating to eat, but the food all tasted good. It made me want to host a seafood boil myself.

After we ate, we went shopping across town. We started at Kohl’s, where they were having a pretty good sale on clearance items. Then we walked down to Shoe Carnival and TJ Maxx before going across the street to Old Navy. We closed them down, and then made our way back across town to Las Delicias. I had a “bubble wrap,” which was basically an inverted waffle with ice cream. I ultimately wished I had gotten a regular cone, just because it was so bready. The waffle flavor just overpowered the ice cream, so I couldn’t really enjoy the flavors I picked.

I drove us home, I changed, and then Summer drove us home in the Montego. Going back to such a rickety vehicle after driving the Murano and then the Tesla, I think Summer finally agreed that it was time to put the Montego behind us.

Burnin’ Bills

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.