Escape Trap Room House

We slept in fairly late today before I got around to some leftovers. I made some tea that turned out to be super weak, but at least I’ll burn through it faster if I actually drink it. I was pretty cold all morning, so I think I’m just more of a seasonal tea drinker. Hot coffee is fine in the summer, but hot tea seems less appealing then.

The girls went to Denny’s with their father, but came back home not feeling so great. Autumn came home fussing that he had gotten rid of a dog he had. After a little while, she left for Adam’s while Summer started on some potatoes and deviled eggs for our late Christmas lunch.

I thought it was a pretty good Christmas day, but I’m sure Dad was probably still tired from three days of travel after a vacation with Julie. She had work to do, and couldn’t make it to lunch on time. Autumn actually did a good job with time and beat us there. Bác Vân and Doug came along after we got there, and eventually Julie showed up after everyone else had already eaten.

Julie brought a package of Oreo houses for the kids to build, but Summer and Eaddie were really the only two that could be talked into participating. Eventually Julie and Dad built a couple. Eaddie and I ate most of hers. I think I would have rather just eaten some regular Oreos.

After we all finished eating, Summer broke out The Scandal, a Puzzle Post escape room game in an envelope. The puzzles were pretty straightforward, and I think just about everyone contributed something. Eaddie’s solutions were probably some of the most impressive, but it took everyone. Overall we didn’t really have to damage anything, so we could easily pass the game along to someone else to play, but it wouldn’t be repeatable for any of us.

We eventually headed home, and the girls pretty much went straight to bed. They were all tired from the belly aches they got from Denny’s, or from staying up too late the night before. Autumn came out of her room at one point and wanted consolation for the anxiety she was feeling over growing up. I genuinely tried to listen and help, but who knows if it’ll make a lasting, useful impression on her.

Last holiday we all played Phaaaeeeese 10!

Dropped Merch

After not feeling well last night, I slept in today and then left for work a bit early, unrelatedly, so I could pick up some McDonald’s on the way in. They were supposed to have a merch drop with some kind of shirt or beanie, or possibly something else. Unfortunately I never got the notification in the app, and never made it to the store.

Work was pretty boring, as we lead up to break. I went back to McDonald’s again for some fries on my way to Dwight, but never got the link to the secret store for that either. When I got back to the shop, a group of us went to Quiznos for a proper lunch break. I just had a little cup of soup, since I had already eaten so much that morning.

When we got back to work, Gary sent me down the block to set up a computer for a new girl with Child Nutrition. Shane came by with some macarons from Kneading Hands Bakery, which were delicious. Then after work, I hung out with Gary while he upgraded the firewalls.

I went to see Mom when I left, and she had rice soup warming up for dinner. Summer needed to pick up a prescription from Rose Drug, so I offered to grab it quickly since I was already on that side of town. I went back to eat with Mom, and then headed home to change before going up to see the girls.

Autumn was finishing up with baking some cookies. Eaddie had been wanting to play Rocket League, so she got it loaded onto the Switch. She drove in circles a bit, and then had me actually play to show her how the game works. Playing on a new profile had such bad players that it was mostly everyone running into each other as they chased the ball. I didn’t play long on her profile though, because I didn’t want to get her into a rank where she couldn’t compete. I was surprised to see they moved the goals in from the outside walls for the hockey mode. That was neat.

The girls eventually went off to bed, and I wrapped up later than I wanted. Phase 10 still has my attention on the phone, but I managed not to check in on ExoMiner today. Who knows what tomorrow will bring, though.

Probably not merch. ಠ_ಠ

Da Boiz

I woke up a bit early today after staying up to late last night. Eaddie was up before I was, and made herself breakfast and started cleaning house. Both of the girls were having their boyfriends over, so they had to get everything cleaned up before then. I tried to clean up some leftovers for breakfast, and then went home to shower before meeting Summer at Walmart.

Summer went to the gym, and then had most of the stuff picked up for chili by the time I found her. Then we made a quick run through the rest of the store before heading up to the house. Gavin showed up in the early afternoon with a flower in a vase. Eaddie had fallen asleep again because her head cold was draining her, but she got up and I eventually took them to the Valley Park Center to wander around.

Adam didn’t show up until after I left to pick up Eaddie and Gavin again. Then they played some Mario Kart and watched TV until it was time for me to take then to Pasta Grill. When I got back, Summer had chili ready for the four of us. Adam was well mannered enough, though he didn’t eat much. Autumn warned us that he was a picky eater, but he let slip that his father took him to CiCi’s before he came over.

After we ate, the four of us played a game of Monopoly. Adam seemed to enjoy it, but was mostly quiet and didn’t seem to fully understand all of the mechanics. We taught him about making monopolies, and coached him through buying houses. I tried to get the game going pretty quickly, so it was a good time until I had to go pick up Eaddie and Gavin again from the train depot.

When we got back to the house, the two couples split up to watch two different TVs. I laid down in bed until Summer came in to find me, and then made me periodically wander through the house to mind the children. Gavin had to be home by 10:30, so Eaddie and I took him home in time for that. We saw lots of deer and a raccoon, but fortunately nothing jumped out in front of us. I had to make Eaddie ride up front with me on the way back, but then she was super talkative for the whole drive home.

We stopped by my house to get the Montego and my neti pot since her head cold had just gotten worse all evening. Right as we turned onto Main Street, we could hear and feel that the car had a flat tire. I pulled over in front of GameStop, and the rear left tire was completely flat. Summer had to come pick us up for the evening, and we’ll have to go back tomorrow to try and air it back up.

Adam was gone again by the time we got home. Autumn was in her room. Eaddie showered and went to bed. I chatted with Summer for a bit, and then it was off to bed for us as well.

Just be a well-rounded, good-intentioned human.

Down With OPWO

Thomas got us two dozen glazed donuts today instead of one being chocolate covered, which meant that we actually ate them all by the end of the day. We did a little training in the morning to teach everyone about the flow of data from our information systems, and it feels like about the fourth time I’ve been through that conversation.

We were all split up to work Kyle’s work orders again, and this time that included me. I was sent to Dwight, which wasn’t that bad, but again seemed like a bunch of really little stuff that he could have closed out if he’d just go to the actual room to see the teacher instead of waiting on responses in the work order system. I tried to be useful without stressing too much over how few of my own bigger projects I was completing.

I made it back in time for lunch, but it was only Zach, Brody, and myself since Gary was out. They wanted to go to Chick-fil-A, and I was game for a salad. I was surprised how run down the inside of the restaurant looked, especially considering how long they were closed due to COVID. They put a bunch of work into the drive-through, but the inside seemed very pieced-together. I also felt like my salad had shrunk, and if they had a self-service fountain, a lemonade would have made me much happier. Instead, I grabbed a peach milkshake on the way out.

I didn’t even get back out in the afternoon, because I had enough things to do from my office. I still feel like I spend about 60% of my day fighting the work order system, which is astoundingly frustrating. I wrapped up the day as the last one in the office, trying to get some help through chat for one of our systems. They kept trying to refer me to James, who hasn’t been in that role in over a year. I finally just left.

When I got home, I unwound with some Into the Breach until Summer got back to town and finished a workout. She wanted Stoby’s, so I met her there for dinner before heading up to her place. The girls had a football game, so they didn’t get home until really late. I was exhausted from the day and week, so I didn’t stay up long.

Did we just create a new timeline…?

Decoy Day

I was surprised I made it to work in such good form this morning after having so much trouble going to sleep last night. I would expect to be exhausted after such a long drive home, but I seem to always have trouble falling asleep after that. Today was our first day of training with Capturing Kids’ Hearts, and without going into too much detail, it went exactly as I expected it would. It seems we paid half a million for two days of teambuilding exercises sporadically placed between lectures about child psychology. I was surprised that so many people thought it went better than they expected. Evidently the usual teacher professional development is absolutely hot garbage, and this was new and refreshing.

We took an hour for lunch and were told to “leave no teacher behind,” and immediately my entire table disappeared without a word. I ended up going to McDonald’s on my own, and had a pretty terrible experience, along with everyone else that was there. I saw so many orders go back up to the counter in such a short amount of time. My burger was made incorrectly, and tasted terrible to boot. It was as though they placed the meat patty on a mound of salt to cook.

In the afternoon, we finally got to our “sentimental item” sharing activity. I had brought the giant stuffed cow/body pillow thing that Summer got me when we first started dating, but also my BaliYo butterfly/balisong pen. I decided at the last minute to switch it up and tell a story about the pen instead of the obvious, giant cow. It barely got a giggle, and nearly every other person in our enormous circle of staff had stories that made them sob.

We wrapped up “early,” but I was absolutely positive that the dismissal time was planned. I went home for a little bit to change, and then met the girls at The Center for Eaddie’s sophomore orientation night. The girls immediately left us, so it ended up being Summer and me by ourselves in the middle of the crowd. Feeling pointless, on top of some creeping anxiety, meant that I made it through the commons to the library before having to duck out.

I went home to wait for the girls, and then got a text from Dad that Mom was feeling chilled with a fever. I ran an expired at-home COVID test to them, and then stopped by to see Grant for a couple minutes as I waited for the girls. Once they were done, I met them at La Huerta for dinner, and then went home with them.

Summer went straight to bed, so I played Aperture Desk Job to completion on my Steam Deck, which took it down to about 49% battery. Then it was off to bed.

What a colossal waste of time for so many people that are already so far behind.

Mario Cam Live

Autumn had a PT event with JROTC this morning, so she was gone all day. Summer got up and made eggs for breakfast, and then we got out the Ring Fit Adventure game to try it out. I think Summer was a little surprised at the workout she got from it. Then Eaddie got out the Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit games to try setting up a track. It was actually really cool, though the cars were a little bit bigger than I expected, which meant they didn’t have quite enough room to make a really good track in their house.

Eventually Summer went to work out, and I took Eaddie to get her phone that she forgot at the junior high, and then to drop her off at her grandmother’s house so she could work on Eaddie’s dress. On the way, we stopped to pick up my “free” taco from Taco Bell, along with a burrito for good measure. Eaddie ate the burrito, and I dumped my taco in the floorboard. There was just enough of it left in the wrapper that I could eat, and then I cleaned up what I could to throw away.

After I dropped Eaddie off, I went home to clean up. Eventually I made my way back up to Summer’s to take her shopping. We went by Lowe’s, then Walmart to pick up dinner. I wasn’t really successful in finding any interesting deals. We picked Eaddie up, then headed home to make tacos.

Summer made all the fresh veggies while I cooked the taco meat and cheese dip. Dinner was great, but I ate way too much. Afterward, we got Mario Kart Live out again and Eaddie played some more. Then Summer went to bed and I laid on the couch with Eaddie to watch Romeo + Juliet. I started dozing off pretty early, and Eaddie decided to save the rest of the movie for tomorrow, so we went to bed.

Hoes.” That’s what we call a group of women now. Feminism won.

Kicked Out With Love

I was a hair late into work today, but it was a pretty quiet day anyway. I poked at a few things in my office until some people showed up in the shop for a meeting. Rather than lock myself in, I went to Oakland to catch up on some work orders until lunch time.

When I got back to the shop, Zach said they were going to Linhs. Five of us piled into my car and we had a pretty good lunch. I went light with a bánh mì, but was left hungry for the afternoon.

After lunch, I called SuddenLink and got my bill lowered more easily than I’ve ever done before. The girl didn’t even try to haggle me or sell me anything new. It was incredible. Then I left to get my windshield chip patched at FastGlass. They didn’t need an appointment or anything, but they also didn’t seem to do a very good job on the patch. It was still very visible, and the outside still seemed to have some of that sandy/powdery glass feel to it. Hopefully it holds up.

I ended the day at Oakland to count Chromebook carts. It took me longer than I thought it would because there were still so many people working late. I finished though, and went home to change before picking up some Subway and taking it up to Summer’s for the evening.

I helped Eaddie with a little bit of homework. Autumn stuck to herself for the most part. Summer did work stuff most of the evening, so I played Don’t Starve in the living room until bed.

Donut tempt me!

Highking Trails

Summer picked up fast food breakfast this morning, and then everyone got up to go to Magazine Mountain. We stopped at a couple overlooks and then the visitor’s center, then made a couple loops around the top of the mountain before parking at the lodge to hike up to the top. Eaddie would never admit it, but she was sweet and walked with me while Summer and Autumn walked way ahead.

After the hike, we stopped at my house and cleaned up the back yard after last night’s fire. Then Eaddie rode her bike to my parents’ house while we drove Autumn home to get her car. We all met back at my parents’ house for some leftovers. I rolled around in Mom’s wheelchair for a bit. Eventually Autumn left for her father’s for the week, and the girls and I went home so Eaddie could clean her room and do some laundry.

Summer had to return to work for the week and went to bed, so I stayed up and played some Don’t Starve while Eaddie completed her chores.

Finally made it to winter…

Everybody Dies

Summer went to work in Cabot today. I slept in as long as I could, but Autumn was banging around the house rearranging her room. Eaddie stayed in bed all day, so I just milled around and ate leftovers as I got hungry.

Eventually I gave up on going home, and played some Don’t Starve on the TV. The girls went to eat with their father, so when Summer got home, I made us some salads for dinner. Then when the girls got back, Eaddie and I watched the last episode of House. It seemed much shorter than I remembered, but it was still the perfect ending to the series.

With Summer in bed early after a long day, and Eaddie not wanting to watch anything else, I got ready for bed myself. As I finished up, Sweetums brought a baby mouse into the house, which Autumn had to chase around and throw back outside. The Matrix awaits me tomorrow, and I’m excited in spite of the bad reviews.

Follow the white rabbit…

Tropical Christmas Cookies

I got around this morning and went to Walmart and to get gas on my way to Summer’s. She baked lemon cookies for the kids to decorate when Noah got out of work. Eaddie was still in bed, so I was more or less left to my own devices for most of the day. When Autumn left the TV, I played some more Don’t Starve, which has been fun playing a little more casually on the couch.

Summer made a big pot of chicken alfredo, and we ate when Noah arrived. Then they decorated the tree while Summer made colored icing. It didn’t seem like anyone was really in the mood to do any of that stuff this early, especially with highs in the mid 70s this past week. Our weekends are pretty booked up until Christmas though, so we made do.

When Noah left, Eaddie went to finish up homework while Autumn did chores. I played my game some more, but ultimately died. C’est la vie. I needed to warm back up to the mechanics anyway.

You don’t keep it this warm in here even during the summer!