And the livin’ is easy

So today’s my first real day of summer vacation, or at least I’m counting it as such– I suppose I could have counted Friday but I had all kinds of shit to do and the boy started his summer camp today so let’s say it was today.

I am, therefore, at the same place I’m always at whenever summertime starts: looking at something like seven or eight weeks off before school starts to ramp up again and pretending that I’m gonna be super efficient with all that extra time and Make My Summer Count.

Let’s take a moment and just contemplate the pure American-ness of being given time off and immediately feeling guilt that I, in the future, won’t spend it working hard enough, and mourn our deeply stupid culture.

But anyway. This is the first summer in a very long time that I haven’t actually had a job. Since the summer The Sanctum of the Sphere was written, I think, and technically I did have a part-time job that summer so this may be the first genuinely job-free summer since early in high school.

So, therefore, knowing that my one real responsibility all summer long during the weekdays will be to get the boy to his summer camp and pick him up a few hours later, I would like to do each or at least most of the following things every day until school starts again, excepting weekends and major holidays:

  • Eat something vaguely resembling breakfast;
  • Write a blog post;
  • Write a minimum of 500 words fiction and preferably 1500;
  • Be showered and dressed by 10 AM, if not before I take the boy to camp;
  • Once a week, at least, put something on Patreon, preferably a microfiction or excerpt from item #3 up there;
  • Play video games (yes, I have to schedule this);
  • Clean and/or organize and/or maintain something;
  • Move around a bit somehow so I don’t gain 300 pounds in the next two months;
  • Spend an hour reading, and time before bed doesn’t count.

So far today I have done all but three of those things, and I’m betting you can guess which three if you’ve been around here for more than a couple of weeks.

I want a new book ready by Kokomo-Con X in October. And unlike my last several I want to launch this one right. That’s only gonna work if I get to work now.

Anybody wanna take bets? Let’s take bets.

Got you, asshole

I know, you’re tired of me talking about Sekiro. Too bad, my blog. 🙂

I am proud to announce that after 1) playing through the entire game, (which came out in March) getting to this sonofabitch, and restarting because I couldn’t beat him, 2) doing an entire second playthrough that targeted the other ending where I didn’t actually have to fight him, and 3) spending at least a couple of weeks intermittently playing and getting my ass killed over and over and over and over and over and over and over again, Sword Saint Isshin Ashina finally went down last night …

… and when I finally beat him, I had half my health bar and a couple of heals left. Which is ridiculous.

(There are still two more endings to go, and I will not rest until I have every single trophy for this game. So I’m not done talking about Sekiro, although I may take a break and play something else for a while.)

On my other kid

Pictured: not my kid, my kid

I just dug through a month’s worth of posts from five years ago to determine that, probably because she was a minor at the time and isn’t actually my kid, I didn’t mention that a former student stayed in my house overnight before the last Washington D.C. trip I chaperoned way back in the day. Technically she probably shouldn’t have been on the trip, but she’d signed up before moving to Arizona and I literally had her mom assign me temporary legal custody of her and just didn’t tell anybody about it.

I took a picture of her sitting on my couch, and I remember posting it to Facebook with a caption something along the lines of “Why is this in my house?,” which entertained a number of her other teachers who I was friends with at the time.

She is 19 now, and is back in town again, and I picked her up at the airport last night, and she’ll probably be here tonight too before spending the rest of the week with other family and friends. And last night, as we were driving back from the airport, she got a text message from one of her friends directing us to visit her at her job at Arby’s. The friend is also a former student.

So were two other employees at that Arby’s, including another kid who had been on that same DC trip. All four of them were in the same class, which was hands-down the best group of kids I ever had. And I had them twice, first in 6th grade and then when they were 8th graders. So it happened that I, a grown man less than a month from his 43rd birthday, found myself in an Arby’s at 10:15 on a Friday night, after the lobby had closed, at least nominally hanging out with four nineteen-year-olds, three of whom were at least technically at work (and one the manager) and none of whom seemed to think it was remotely weird that 1) I was there in the first place or 2) I was the person who had been assigned the duty of picking this kid up at the airport, a job that one might think would have gone to, like, actual family, but we all have our priorities where they should be apparently.

And I spent about twenty minutes bouncing back and forth between this is at least a little creepy and hey, Hacienda is right across the street, do you guys want to go over there for a while after you get off work? Because age difference or not this really was a great group of kids and it turns out they have not gotten less interesting as they’ve aged into young adulthood.

And I’m just gonna leave that thought there, because I’m not sure I have anything else to add to it, but yeah: last night was kind of surreal.

(About the picture: the boy didn’t remember her from her last visit, which wasn’t surprising, but as soon as he discovered she was wearing Psyduck socks she became his favorite person ever.)

STATUS: Ridden Hard, Put Away Wet

So we ended up going with Pair #2, against the advice of virtually every single person who voted except for my entire actual family, all of whom preferred this pair– and since my wife, in particular, who has to look at my face a lot more often than y’all do, liked these the most, that was what we went with.

But man, do I look raggedy right now.

That face is the face of a man who has just completed his fifteenth year of working in schools, and who is mildly surprised that it only turned out to be fifteen when he sat down and did the math. In accordance with tradition, I’m completely and utterly fucking exhausted and I plan to sit in my chair for a couple more hours and then go to bed.

Oh, and I got rehired for my job. So … good news, I suppose? Sure.

In which I dress for success

I alluded a couple of weeks ago to a job opportunity that I was looking at that would have represented a substantial raise as well as a responsibility level more in-tune with my current career goals. I am proud to announce that, in keeping with being in week 7 or so of the worst month of my life, I was not even called for an interview for that job despite being literally the only person currently employed by my district who has done it.

I did have a job interview today, though, for my own fucking job, as in the job I have right now and I have been doing for a year. They slightly altered our job descriptions and cut a few of us and so everyone has to re-interview. I spent some time last night thinking carefully about what to wear to the interview, which I had deliberately scheduled for the last half hour of the school day so that I didn’t have to return to my building afterward.

My typical work uniform is a collared shirt, short-sleeved, with jeans and black shoes that pass for dress shoes at a casual glance but are not. I occasionally wear a tie, especially earlier in the year, and during the winter I frequently wear a sweater over the shirt. I despise long sleeves– something about the feeling of cloth on my forearms has always made me skeevy– and even if I’m wearing a dress shirt or a sweater the sleeves will be rolled up, meaning that I don’t often wear a sport jacket (or a blazer, or a suit coat, and frankly I don’t know what the hell the differences are between those things) because I’m not about to unroll my sleeves and struggle with cuffs just to put a jacket on.

Anyway, I ended up going with a dress shirt and a tie and jeans and slightly more formal shoes, because fuck it, I’m interviewing for a job I already have and if my clothes matter then my clothes don’t matter at all, if that makes any sense and just stare at it until it does if not.

I think the interview went okay, but hell if I know. The general rule lately is that if anything can go wrong it will, so I’m sure I fucked this all up somehow. There is one more day of school tomorrow and then a teacher work day and then I will relax for three days and then I’m gonna start writing a goddamn book. I got plans, dammit.

Oh, and when I got home I jumped in the pool for the first time. Which was fucking freezing. I’m not complaining. I’m in the right mood for freezing cold water, and I wasn’t in there for more than 20 minutes or so anyway. But man, it was nice.