It has been a long day, today.

I should just go to bed, but I’m not where I’d like to be on my word count and I’m not really tired. Five, six hours ago if you’d asked me, I would have told you I didn’t think I could stay awake more than perhaps half an hour. In fact, had not my father been a constant distraction, I would very likely have fallen asleep on the way home from Phoenix tonight, despite my intestinal difficulties. But here I am, four AM, posting a post that, if it becomes a typical length, will take me on to five AM, and I sure hope I get there tired. I really ought to be exercizing or something, but it’s somewhere between 30 and 40 degrees right outside my bedroom door, which is not a temperature that I personally find conducive to exercize (or much else). A shower wouldn’t be bad, either, though I expect I’ll take one tomorrow morning if I don’t find myself too awake to sleep after this post and take one then.

Anyway, today was a day. Okay, yesterday was a day, but … maybe I’m just in another timezone. Got up around 8, got dressed and together, tested my copy of The Storyteller DVD – it works – and put the original in the Netflix envelope to return via USPS. Went down and had waffles and awful, awful fumes for breakfast (the spray-lubricant we’re using right now is downright noxious), and very quickly left for Phoenix.

Dad took a … different route around, down the 87 to the 202, through the airport for some reason to 24th, north to Thomas, East to 44th to a little Sears store that didn’t have anything we were looking for, across to the 17 and up to a hardware store that the internet said carried products from Standard Abrasives, but which … well, they can order them, but … we should have called first. Then on to the Map store, where they didn’t have the map my dad was looking for and my dad didn’t let me look at maps to find the maps I was looking for because he thought I should be helping him look for a map that only he knows what to look for on, to know it is the right map, then went up to Stuart Anderson’s to meet Angela for lunch. She was early, we were on time, April was quite late. Around the time we ordered lunch (before April arrived), we determined that my father’s inability to communicate effectively and my sister’s inability to assert her own opinions had led us to a restaurant that neither wanted to eat at, but both thought they were at because it was what the other wanted. I thought we were there because my grandfather had wanted to eat at Stuart Anderson’s on Tuesday, and … well, I think I was right. Anyway, we all ordered the Filet Mignon and we all agreed that it was about the quality of a Top Sirloin at best and that we were glad we hadn’t ordered the sirloin. April showed up during our salad course. Overall we spent two and a half hours at the restaurant before we split up and went our separate ways.

Heath went with April, to get his hair cut. Dad went on his own, to shop for tools. I went with Angela, to shop Zia’s. Angela has a credit there from selling all her Sex and the City DVDs, and wanted to see if she could find something she wanted, and … I’m practically addicted to music and movies. She didn’t find anything, but I bought a new copy of Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Fever To Tell for the price of a used CD, a used copy of Elliot Smith’s Kill Rock Stars, and a used copy of Trainspotting on DVD for the same price as the other two. I very nearly purchased a used 28 Days Later DVD, when at the last minute I found it was Full Screen instead of Widescreen. I have no idea who prefers Full Screen and why. Anyway, I put it back. I’m burning through my tax refund. I shouldn’t be.

Angela and I stopped by the house to get the shirt and cups and then went to Harkins to see a movie. She gets one free on her birthday. We wanted to see Secret Window, but it’s a ‘special engagment’ and can’t be seen for free… so I bought her ticket and drink. Happy birthday! I … I somehow didn’t know that the movie was based on a story by Stephen King until, during the opening credits, it was revealed to me. And instantly I knew the story was going to be boring and slow-paced and unbelievable and predictable and have a disappointing ending. And it was everything I thought it would be, and more. There’s a twist near the end that … well, if you don’t see it coming you’re probably watching The Passion of the Christ in the next theatre over. Sigh. We should’ve gone for Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen or Agent Cody Banks 2.

Anyway, that was okay. It was a movie, and that has a generally calming and mood-enhancing effect on me. And the screen was like, quadruple the size of the movie-theater screens in Payson. And then we went back to the house where very shortly father showed up and gave me the big Roundup sprayer. I mixed up (in two trips) about three gallons of Roundup and sprayed the ‘lawns’. The east side-yard seemed pretty bad, but that was just because that’s where I started. The back yard seemed worse, but that was because ragweed was growing thicker across the entire back yard than I’ve ever seen grass there. It was … an unusual sight. I thouched up the front yard, and then right before I ran out of Roundup, father reminded me of the West side-yard. Which, when I got there, trumped the other yards. It had ragweed and other weeds taller than me throughout. It was like a forest. Most of the weeds were taller than the palm tree there. If I hadn’t sprayed them, the weeds would have killed the palm tree by blocking its sun.

A little loading, and father and I left the house. Somehow in all dad’s travels he hadn’t come across a post office, so the Netflix envelope had not yet been mailed, and it was then after 6:30PM. So we dropped it in the box at the local post office, and it says it’ll get picked up tomorrow morning. We’ll see how fast they get it from right there in Phoenix and show it as received… probably Tuesday at the earliest, which is silly.

Dad and I went to … let me remember here … Lowe’s, where we looked at some abrasives, dad bought some hardware for his hutch, and we got … something … I don’t recall. Something to adapt a motor to a big flex shaft? Then we forgot to look at something, so when we got up the road to the Home Depot, we stopped there too, and picked it up there. Oh, and a new sander for me that (we hope) is really well suited to the work I’m doing, and a couple 10-packs of abrasives for it. I do a surprizing amount of abrasives-shopping these days. Eventually we’ll get the right tools all together and I’ll spend more time sanding and less time shopping for new ways to sand. I hope. There are basically only two basic types of sanding power tools left to consider before I have them all. Really, there is an end in sight.

(Ooh, that reminds me, I’m thinking of doing a dining table after the coffee table, in a similar style; manzanita legs and a barn wood top, covered with a special epoxy to make it a flat surface without taking away from the roughness of the barn wood. Actually, I’m thinking that I’ll make both table tops at the same time this week, to get ahead… though I do have to find some fucking way to box up and pack away everything that’s left in the store and get it and the shelves and display cases out of the store before next Friday so someone else can set up shop. Sigh. My father makes such interesting decisions and plans sometimes. We’ll see how the tables construction goes.)

Anyway, then on to Sam’s Club where we did the grocery shopping for up here. Nothing exciting there, except that by the time we got to the checkouts I was becoming faint from not having eaten in six or seven hours and made my dad buy us something from their little … restaurant thing in the Sam’s Club. Nourishment made a big difference for staying awake and cognizant for the ride home. We made one more stop, at Officemax, actually. Which was nice. Dad needed to buy tax software, and I needed to get a new little pocket notbook, either spiral bound or stitched. I prefer stitched. I have one I’m using … I’ve been using it off and on, carrying it in my pocket for over a decade … and it’s stitched and has only lost pages that I’ve very carefully cut or torn out of both sides of the stitching. The one I got a couple months back that has a glue-spine is falling to pieces. And I don’t know how Spirals will stand up, but I expect them to get malformed and perhaps damage my pants. Anyway, Officemax didn’t have any stitched-bound notebooks in pocket sizes. Spiral-bound (at the top) were one for 99cents or twelve for 5.99, so I got the 12-pack. It’ll help encourage me to write more. I’ve been trying to loosen up and write everything down that it occurs to me to write down. This involves a lot of lists, to do lists, lists of books I want to read, things to pick up the next time I’m “in town”, and I hope it leads to more. The stitched one I’m still carrying around, that’s for … ideas. Story ideas, painting ideas, movie ideas, whatever, but that sort of creative ideas. It’s been accumulating ideas for a long time, and getting pretty good.

So … that’s about it for the day, except that we got back here after 10:30, and after I got settled in and checked my email and site and comics and stuff I didn’t have time for in the morning it was nearly midnight. I was sortof tired, but also sortof not. But then it occurred to me that … a software CD I’ve been waiting for might have arrived in my PO Box today, and that if it had, I could be playing it all night long. So I put my shoes back on, put on a couple of warm layers, grabbed my keys and flashlight and went downstairs and out and to the post office to check my mail. I’ve never really wandered around Pine at around midnight, Friday night or not.

It’s dead quiet. There was one car on the highway the entire time I was out, and beyond that I did not see or hear any sign of another waking person. The post office box was empty. I emailed the company to be sure the CD got sent out. It’s been over ten days. I’ll be patient if it has, but there’s a possibility it didn’t, or went to the wrong address. Anyway.

Ooh, and the replacement Power Rod for my Bowflex came in today, so I get to install that tomorrow, and should be able to post photos of the broken rod tomorrow. We’ll see how that goes, what that looks like.

And then… I don’t know how I spent the last five hours, exactly. I know that audioblog entry took me a while… for a variety of reasons… including hardware, software, and mental and emotional preparations, plus a couple of errors along the way. But there it is. And here this is. And I got all the relevent/current notes xfered from the falling-apart glued notebook into one of the new spiral-bound notebooks. And … watched some TV? I don’t know. Time flies.

And now, as I expected, it’s around five as I’m getting to the end of what I have to say. So. On to bed. The blanket’s been on a while, so that’ll be warm. Tomorrow there’s more branch-gathering to do, the bowflex to repair, and I should probably get started selecting barn wood for my table tops, if time permits. And maybe some sanding. I don’t want to be too ambitious, I do need some sleep, too. I’ll get whatever done I can get done, and only two or three things more.

Good night.

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