Need a Little Christmas

Summer jumped out of bed early this morning and ruined the secret of Santa Claus for me. I couldn’t sleep in much and was a little hungry after having a complicated relationship with food last night, so I got up. Summer made us some scrambled eggs, and we eventually got both kids up enough to dump out their stockings. Eaddie was in an immediate mood, throwing an absolute tantrum at everything. I was very near slapping it out of her, and both girls just kept picking at one another.

We got Eaddie up and around to some chores, and eventually got everyone through the shower so we could make our way to my parents’ house. Summer made all of our contribution to lunch, and we were off.

Bác Vân and Doug beat us there. I think Julie made most of the food and was about two hours late. Eaddie took a nap in my bedroom until the food was ready, and came out in much better form. We ate, did our quickest round of presents ever, and then left so I could clean up house a bit for some friends.

I had messaged Diana happy birthday earlier in the day, and she said they were in town along with Josue and wanted to get together. They agreed on a fire at my place and we all met up for a nice quiet evening outside. It was really nice seeing them all again, and the kids enjoyed some roasted marshmallows.

Josue stuck around for a little while and chatted with me after the others left. The girls all went to sleep, and eventually we packed everything up and he headed out. By then, I was ready for bed too.

Hasn’t snowed a single flurry, but Santa dear we’re in a hurry!

Hot Coffee Mod

I slept in pretty late today, and felt great for it. I remember waking up in an anxiety attack briefly, but it didn’t last long or keep me from falling right back to sleep. I ate a leftover smoked sausage for lunch, and eventually got cleaned up to go to Summer’s for the evening.

Amanda asked me to stop by and bring a package in for her, so I did that, then grabbed a free 2-liter from Casey’s, and finally made it up to Summer’s where she and all three kids were playing Mario Party. It was pretty loud while everyone was screaming at one another, and it made me a little woozy.

Presents didn’t take long to open, because it was a pretty lowkey Christmas. Summer went overboard and got me an Ember mug, which I looked at on a whim after seeing them on sale at Costco. I made some loose leaf tea in the Manatea infuser she also got me, and the cup really made all the differnce. After hours, even the very last little sip was as hot as the first.

We tried having the kids put together the gingerbread houses, but I don’t think they cared much about it. Eaddie had some fun with it, but Autumn didn’t participate at all, and Noah mostly just made a mess. After they got the walls up, they finished their game. Noah left, and the girls went to their rooms. Summer went to bed pretty early, which left me up late, sippin’ hot tea.

Tropical Christmas

Indistinguishable From Child Labor

I stopped by Casey’s this morning for a honey bun, and spent the morning listening to the Kmart holiday reel-to-reel from 1973. It was otherwise pretty quiet again, especially since we’ve had several people out sporadically.

We went to Sam’s for lunch, and the gumbo seemed much more liquidy than usual. It tasted alright, but I think it’s been better. When we finished, I spent the better part of the afternoon at Oakland taking care of a few things. I got to spend quite a while with kindergarten, which are some of my favorite teachers. It’s like everyone else loves their kids for the most part, but in kindergarten, they’re just over it and they’re not afraid who knows it.

When I got back to the shop, I took a break to do some tinkering and soldering on a ground loop isolator that I wanted to use somewhere. Kyle had to hold the board for me while I worked the soldering iron, which meant that it took two grown men to do what one small Chinese kid can do. That pretty well got us to the end of the day, so I headed home and waited for Summer to get there.

We ended up going to Brangus for our anniversary dinner, and I wish it had been better. The onion blossom was small and overcooked, and my steak was overcooked and kind of sandy. At least Summer enjoyed hers. She watched some TV while I did a load of laundry when we got back, and then it was a relatively early bedtime.

For your convenience, smoking is permitted in the snackbar area only.

Room Full of Losers

Autumn was up before me this morning, and kept banging around and yelling at the cats, so I couldn’t sleep in. Summer got up and made a couple eggs for a light breakfast, and then I continued my game of Don’t Starve until I eventually died from a spider bite.

All three of the girls went to the gym today. I stayed and ate a little more food before going home to clean up. Summer and I had to go to their company Christmas party in Little Rock, so the girls went to spend some time with their grandparents.

I picked Summer up and we headed out of town. We got to the Westwind School of Performing Arts, which appeared to be, at least in the dark, nestled right into the back of a relatively low-class neighborhood. The building was pretty nice, with more room than the place we went to a couple of years ago.

There were enough people there, trying to eat in some form of orderly fashion, that those that went first were done eating well before the last groups got up to get their food. They also decided to draw tickets for a single grand prize, but by eliminating people periodically throughout the night. Not only did it take longer, but also served as a method for management to call everyone a loser. I suppose the desired result was to give the last five standing the opportunity to split the $500 worth of gift cards, but they opted for all-or-nothing instead.

I made it through Christmas trivia and into the second round of Splash-specific trivia, but lost there on account of not being aware of anything relating to the company. We left as soon as they wrapped things up and made it home to a house of sleeping children, so we didn’t waste any time ourselves.

At least there was “food?”

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!

Ye Olde Parade

I took the R1 to work today, and it was pretty frosty on the way in, but it was very close to perfect in the afternoon. I got distracted helping others in the morning until lunch time. Brody has been wanting to go to Nonna Bella’s for a while, so five of us went there and discovered that they have pretty good lunch specials. When we finished there, I went by Oakland and plugged a bunch of things back into a surge protector. It’s the silly things that really keep me going.

On the subject of silly things, I got TWO compliments on my mass emails today after sending out the meeting minutes in medieval English. It wasn’t a long email, which made it that much better that people cared enough to notice and write back.

We left work early so we could get out of the way of the parade. I went by Casey’s to try and score a free water, but they were out. From there, I went home to get dinner ready for the girls. Summer brought them over before they had to be back to school, and we had leftover burgers and hot dogs. Then she took Eaddie to the junior high while I took Autumn to the high school.

We met back up at Big Poppa’s since there was still room to park for the parade. I brought a couple camp chairs, and we sat at the edge of the road to talk until they officially closed the side street. Then we moved our chairs up into the street to watch the parade.

The parade itself was really spread out, and we were just on the tail end of where the bands stopped playing. We didn’t even hear them play further down the road, so we didn’t get to see either of the girls do anything cool. We ended up leaving early, and I went home to wait for Autumn to finish at the high school.

When we finally got up to Summer’s, she was already in bed. I stayed up late to help Eaddie with her math homework. I could really relate to how frustrated she was getting, but at least it was geometry, which is a subject I could really visualize.

On your guard, knave!


The girls went to Conway this morning for the Turkey Trot while I slept in. I just barely caught up on my sleep time when the cat turned my CPAP off, and the girls arrived back home shortly thereafter. I just showered there while Summer made some green beans, and then we went to my parents’ house and waited for Julie to arrive with the food she had cooked.

Bác Vân and Doug were there, along with Dad’s college friend Dave. Julie showed up exhausted from working nights on outage, but left without eating. The food was fine, but it wasn’t worth dragging herself out like that after not getting any sleep. We all ate, and then Mom joined us for a game of UNO FLIP!

Autumn left to go to her father’s, and then we took Eaddie home so she could clean house before her boyfriend could come over the next day. Summer developed a pretty bad headache and went right to bed. Eaddie cleaned, and then watched House with me on her breaks. I was tired, but stayed up a bit to look for deals. Otherwise it was a quiet, boring evening.

Shoppers are coming….

A Real Jokester

I struggled to get out of bed an hour early today for the back-to-school breakfast. I’m pretty sure I was the first from our department there, but Greg walked in right behind me. We both expected them to be enforcing masks after the board meeting last night, but hardly a soul was masked. We got our food, which was probably the best I’ve had for the occasion, and found a seat right in front with Summer and Justin. The casserole was so good I had to go back for more, but it was okay because they didn’t have any other events or big raffles like previous years.

After breakfast, we headed over to the arts center for some quick training. Without Ben’s cyber security training, we just heard from a couple suits and then listened to Judy talk about FMLA before our OSHA training. I liked that guy the best just because he seemed like a cool, old guy.

We got back to the shop a bit before lunch, and they sent out the first draft of the proposed classified salary schedule. That, of course, sent everyone through the roof when they learned that our pay was lowered both at the base, and then significantly at the cap. I divulged that I had gotten a big raise, likely unintentionally, and was making more than Zach for the school year.

I was still full from breakfast, so I only ordered some chips and a shake when a group of us went to Slim Chickens for lunch. That left me pretty salty and dehydrated for an afternoon of crunching numbers, and then trying to find out why we were short so many new laptops for junior high students. It was just one clusterfuck after another, all day long.

After work, I went straight home and immediately had to start fighting sleep. My gut never quite recovered from the food from the day, but at least I was able to go to bed early.

Let the output reflect the input.

Less Taxing

Summer took Autumn to work this morning while Eaddie and I slept in pretty hard. I felt really refreshed when I woke up, and then got to ease into the day. She came back to get Eaddie and went to pick up groceries for dinner with Noah, which ended up getting cancelled.

After Autumn got off, they came to pick me up and we went back-to-school shopping for tax-free weekend. We went to Staples first, where we ran into Jazz, who had a couple quick questions for me. Then we went across the street to the Valley Park Center. TJ Maxx was fun. Ross was about as disappointing as usual. Shoe Carnival was selling things at full price. Rue 21 was where we saw the most excitement. I had gone to move the car while the girls walked across the shopping center. When I got there, I ran into Candace and Ana. Then a few minutes later we spotted Zane Dave from across the room, but Eaddie was being weird and just hid from him.

On the way home we stopped at Walmart for a couple things to go with dinner. Summer prepped some tilapia for fish tacos, so dinner was ready super fast. We ate, and then Summer watched TV while I proofread Autumn’s apology letters to the officers she called last weekend. She ended up going to her grandparents’ house so she could take a stab at proofreading it, and stayed the night.

Trying to prep for school, Eaddie showered early and went to bed too. With both girls off to bed, I wrapped up my evening therapy and went to sleep.

I love pens, but I hate writing.

That Thon, Th-Thon Thon Thon

Summer left early this morning for the RussVegas Half Marathon. I set an alarm so I could get out to meet her at the end, and made it early enough to hang out for a little bit and then get a picture of her actually crossing the finish line. We walked around the train depot area to take a couple pictures before making it back to the cars, and then we went to Las Palmas for her recovery lunch. The service was pretty absent, but the food was good.

Afterward, we came home and she cleaned up and crashed in front of the TV while Dad came over and helped me seal up the hole in the brick outside. Once that was caulked in, we had to let it dry and moved to the other end that went into the laundry room. I still needed foil tape and wanted to try and find some kind of flange or boot to put against the wall, so we went to Lowe’s and then Leonard’s without any luck. We ended up just going to get some of his old sheet metal, and cut out a piece with a hole in it to tape to the wall. Since then I’ve seen some flexible tape made for flashing that I may like to find in order to seal it up a bit better.

With that done, we had to leave the foaming for later, since we couldn’t really get into the inside wall without disturbing the caulk job. Dad went on home, and then I came in to watch a movie with Summer. I warmed up some leftovers for dinner, and then we watched The Shape of Water, which had far more frontal nudity than I expected for a love story between a woman and a sea creature. Otherwise I thought it was a pretty good movie.

Summer continued to fall asleep on me while I browsed YouTube for a while, and finally went to bed. I scoured the official photos from the marathon for her for a while, and eventually had to save the rest for later so I could get some sleep.

I think I’ll sing it again!