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.

Spatched

Summer went to work this morning, and I eventually got out of bed and made some rice for the leftover corned beef. Autumn slept on the couch because she got everything out of her storage unit, but didn’t have her room cleaned up with a place for everything. She sat around watching Criminal Minds all morning, and then ate some plain white rice without any of the actual leftovers. I tried to get Eaddie out of bed, but she didn’t want to get up. Neither of them wanted to clean house like I asked.

I eventually left to meet Summer at Superfast so we could get her patched tire back on. I was there with her for a little while after the guys helped swap the tires, since she was ready to leave work a bit early and I thought she might do something with me. She ended up going to the gym, so I went to my parents’ house to prep the turkey.

I’d never actually handled a raw turkey before, but this was actually much cleaner than I expected. I’ve always felt that chickens were super gross and slimy, but the turkey wasn’t slimy at all. It trimmed up nicely, and the random clearanced shears I picked up at Walmart a while back did a great job cutting the spine out. I decided to spatchcock the turkey for my first attempt at smoking one, since it promised a more even cook with the added benefit of speeding up the whole process. I couldn’t have been more pleased with how the prep went.

Mom warmed up some shrimp soup while I was there, so we ate a bit before I headed home. I was supposed to drop the spine and other assorted entrails off at Julie’s house so she could make gravy out of it, but she took forever to respond to my text messages, and said she had left the house to go shopping. I killed a bunch of time cleaning up at home, re-covering the fire pit out back, showering, and getting things generally organized to smoke the turkey. Finally she just had me leave the bag of turkey bits in my mailbox so she could pick it up on the way home.

I had to stop by Lowe’s for an injector, and I decided to throw out my leftover marinade, so I’ll be making my own from scratch in the morning. Just as I left Lowe’s, Summer reminded me to bring my bread maker, so I had to circle back home to get it. When I got to her house, Autumn was still at her boyfriend’s house. Eaddie was working on homework, and Summer was making fruit salad, key lime pie, and deviled eggs. She finished up with a loaf of bread that we thought was a bit overdone. Autumn got back home a little early, and after a little wind-down time, everyone was off to bed.

There’s simply no respect.

Veterinarians Day

I slept longer than usual last night, but still struggled to make it to work on time. We didn’t have much to cover in our meeting, as everyone else was run off relatively quickly, but I stuck around to chat with the newbies for a bit. After that, I just tried to stay productive until lunch time. Roy’s was there to work on our air conditioner up front, so Tammy came back to my office for a bit and I started to tell her the story of Sam the clam. Unfortunately I didn’t get to finish, because Kelsea walked up right as I was wrapping up and I didn’t want to spoil the ending.

Gary, Greg, Josh, and I were the only ones to go out today, and somebody decided on Fat Daddy’s. I actually had a really good burger there, but I still couldn’t imagine what takes them so long to make it. It’s a half hour burger for sure.

The afternoon was really quiet, and got pretty cold with the door hanging wide open all day. I went to Dwight for a bit, and then tinkered all afternoon. I never did get a chance to finish my story, so I guess I’ll have to start over later. I walked out a few minutes early so I could catch Summer at the Veterans Day parade.

I had to park on the side of the street on the south side and then walk across to find Summer. Then she ran across the street at the start of the parade so she could record Autumn with the American flag. I think she would have actually had a better view from where I was sitting, and I got aggravated thinking she was going to spend the rest of the parade over there, but fortunately she came back.

We left in a hurry since I had to run across the street before the traffic started up. I sped home, quite pleased with the zippy, instant torque of my new car. It really made navigating stupid traffic feel much better. I took a moment to relax a bit, and eventually made my way up to the girls for the evening.

Summer kept talking about going out to get food, which further aggravated me on account of how much food was in the refrigerator. Of course they all picked at the tasty stuff, and nobody touched the mixing bowl full of salad that was slowly wilting. In fact, a couple of them didn’t even finish the plates they had made themselves, so I finished those up and then had a salad myself. Autumn never once made an appearance, and Eaddie didn’t stick around for very long. Summer and I looked at some houses for a bit, and then she went to bed really early.

I spent the rest of the evening mostly bored out of my mind. I tinkered on YouTube a bit, and finally got ready for bed so we could go to the robotics tournament in the morning.

How do you say “I don’t understand” in Spanish? “No Nintendo?” I simply do not.

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.

Upper Elementary, My Dear

We met at the shop for projects this morning, since teachers had a professional development day. I was sent with Josh the Wanderer and Travis the New to the intermediate school, so we could swap out docking stations for teachers that were still hanging on to old Lenovo Thinkpads from the high school. It was long and tedious work, but was broken up with some leftover breakfast in the teachers’ workroom.

Josh kept getting sidetracked while Travis and I split up and deployed docks all morning. We had a touch panel install as well, but it ended up being a faulty panel that had to be replaced again. While we were in the building, Josh found another projector out as well, so that had to be swapped in the afternoon.

I loaded Thomas, Zach, and Gary into the Model 3 for lunch at Arby’s, and it noticeably hampered my launch acceleration. I think it remains that Tammy has been the most excited about the new car. I was still full from breakfast, so I just got some Loaded Diablo Fries, which were barely hot at all. Zach and Gary had the Diablo sandwiches, but reported the same.

The afternoon dragged as well, and we didn’t get to leave early as we had hoped last week. I felt hot, sweaty, and gross all day, so I was excited to go home. I started a load of laundry while Summer headed home from Conway. Eaddie was still with her friends and would be out trick-or-treating all evening.

As it got late, I went to my parents’ house to hang out with them until Eaddie was done. They had a few kids come through while I was there, and apparently I had missed Eaddie and her friends by a little bit. She wasn’t ready to go home until an hour after we all expected, and I wasn’t thrilled to be out so late. I picked her up a little before 10 and we took Autopilot home down Skyline. It made it all the way to the end of the mountain and then bailed on the sharp 90º curve at the end. We swapped vehicles, and then it was home for bed.

Who’s driving this thing, anyway?

Not Playing

I got up this morning and dug out all the leftovers I could find to make breakfast. I started by caramelizing some onions and serrano peppers, and defrosting some ham. Once I got all of that diced up and into the pan, I added all the eggs we had, along with some tomatoes and cheese. Once that was scrambled up together, I loaded up some whole wheat pita bread that we had in the freezer. I thought it turned out really well, and the girls seemed to like it.

The girls wanted to go to the high school play again in the afternoon, so I went home to clean up. I ended up springing a leak and couldn’t stop the bleeding for several hours, so I just stayed home and did a couple loads of laundry. Once I had things under control, I headed back up to Summer’s for dinner.

She made chicken and dumplings for me, but forgot the green onions, so I turned around and ran through Walmart first. They were actually out of green onions, so I picked up some chives and cilantro instead. Those, along with some more fresh onion and serrano peppers made for a really good dinner, though I’m not sure anyone else enjoyed it as much as I did.

I laid on the couch with Summer for a bit while she wound down. Autumn took Eaddie to her friend’s house for the night, and then came back wanting to play Monopoly. Summer just wanted to relax though, so it ended up being a really quiet, early night.

Frustered

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.

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.

Worsedevil

I didn’t end up going to Maumelle with Summer today, and instead slept very heavily until around 10. I finally got up and around to finish some leftovers for breakfast, and it looked like Autumn was awake, but I never saw her. I peeked in at Eaddie to see if she wanted to go ride her bike, but she got up and did homework instead. I unintentionally spent all afternoon playing Into the Breach while she worked on her stuff, and didn’t leave for home until nearly dinner time.

I had gotten the date wrong on my free headlamp from Lowe’s, and stopped by there on my way home to pick it up. Shortly after I got home, Bác Vân called and wanted me to come over to try some ground-up black sesame seeds in water. She insisted it would cure my high blood pressure, but I wasn’t so sure it was worth it. I went back home and killed most of the rest of the evening in front of the TV.

I watched the penultimate episode of She-Hulk, and was surprised at how much Daredevil was in it. He was very different from the Netflix version though, down to his accent and the way he spoke. I didn’t much care for it, but I’m still excited to see what’s next.

After a hot shower, I headed back up to Summer’s for the evening, but she was already nearly asleep. I ended up just sitting in the dark on my phone again, wasting what was left of the night. I kind of assume tomorrow won’t be much better.

Spoopy.