Well, last week was sort of a mess ... I had my regular Tuesday trip to the suburbs for my career-counselling thing, did a variation on the regular routine in the evening (picked up Daughter #2 early and dropped her by my Mom's, to be collected by The Wife at 6, while I got Daughter #1 ... who was in a theater production until 5:15p ... up to Dojo), and dropped the car off late (after swinging into Walgreens to pick up a little bitty radio to listen to the Cubs game on the 10-block walk back from the rental place). I've been typically in a bit of a funk, and got only "immediate need-to-do" stuff done on Wednesday and Thursday (see: depression for description of typical unable-to-motivate-to-action symptoms).
The only real "concrete" piece of "got it done" doing that I was able to muster was finishing up this book project that's been hanging around for over a year. While I've been sort of winding down Eschaton, it is still on-going, and this is the first big project for "the new owners". My career counsellor had "assigned" me to finish up the book (which took nearly all of Friday-Monday last weekend to do the graphics, which was the biggest "thing yet to do" on that), so I "had permission" to focus on that. Anyway, I got a print-out done, and an editorial read-through done, and into the hands of "other eyes" on Friday. I wish I had the capability to have HOPE for a project anymore ... because this one has the distinct possibilty of selling tens of thousands of copies to somewhat of a "captive audience" ... but anything I've ever gotten excited about has gone down in flames like the fucking Hindenburg, so the best I've been able to muster is some sort of lame justification that I might not be totally wasting my time on this.
Anyway, that brings us up to Friday. Friday invovled doing final edits on that until about 2pm, packing that up and leaving it downstairs for pick-up by 2:30, picking up Daughter #2 at daycare after her nap around 3pm, dragging her down to pick up Daughter #1 at school at 3:30 (she didn't have rehearsal), then dropping their backpacks at home and running off for the El, and taking the El way up to Berwyn to go get a rental car (Enterprise has been featuring this $9.99/day weekend rate, but none of the downtown locations are honoring it ... so the best we could do was a location up north that was just 3 blocks from the El) by 4:30pm. ... amazingly, we did manage to stay pretty much to that schedule, and then drove over to The Wife's office to pick her up at 5pm. We stopped for dinner at the nearest McDonald's with a "playland" (on Ashland north of Diversey), and then headed home ... I fell asleep during the Cubs game, and was convinced that they'd lost until I saw the paper in the morning.
Saturday had me taking The Girls to a birthday party ... #2 was the actual invitee, but we dragged along #1 as well. It was at a bar (hey, there's a great idea for 4-year-olds!) called North Beach, which features indoor beach volleyball (or, playing in the sand in this case) which I'd never been to previously. That ran till noon, at which point we dropped #2 back home for her nap, and ran #1 up to Dojo. I'm bummed that she's going to be missing ALL her classes this week, but her theater thing moves to letting out at 6pm now, which means that we don't have a shot at getting her up there for class, and they're doing costuming and headshots on Saturday when her class would normally be. When we got back from Dojo, we loaded up everybody and headed off to Shaumburg to go to IKEA. I understand that they're going to be building an IKEA in the city in the next year or so, which will be cool ... since it's such a damn pain-in-the-ass to get out there (without a car). We weren't able to find most of the stuff we were looking for, but did get some fabulous deals on some stuff. We then treated The Girls to dinner at their fave restaurant, The Rainforest Cafe, which has a location out that way.
Sunday was "Pumpkin day", with our biggest road trip of the weekend. The Wife had indentified a place out near Joliet (about an hour away) which sounded good, so we rolled out early and hit the road. The place was pretty neat, with a lot of stuff for The Girls to do (jump in moonwalks, climb through inflated things, feed the goats, Haunted Barn, hayrack ride, pony ride, a couple of big play areas, etc. etc. etc.). My mom had been making bitchy calls about us "never bringing The Girls over", so we'd set it up that we'd come for dinner, so we left the Pumpkin place in the early afternoon. We stopped at another McDonalds down that way (this one with a "real" playland) for The Girls and then stopped at Target (in the same mall) for The Wife. While at Target we saw an entertainment center (one of the things we were looking for at IKEA) that would work to replace the currently-in-need-of-replacement unit on sale for $80 and ended up buying that. I had carefully measured the trunk of the rental car twice to make sure the box would fit in there ... only to discover that I had not taken into account the fact that the opening of the trunk was several inches smaller than the insides of the trunk, and this very heavy box was NOT going to go in there. Fortunately, it just fit across the back seat area, so The Girls had zero legroom on the way home, but the box made it back to Chicago with us. Getting us and dinner over to my Mom's was a "comedy of errors" but we eventually all got fed and back home.
This morning (both The Wife and The Girls were off for Columbus Day) we had another adventure. In her day camp this summer, Daughter #1 had gone to an entertainment center called the Enchanted Castle for a field trip, and had been very eager to go back. We'd promised her that we would (sometime), and this seemed to be a good opportunity. So, after running a couple of "since we have the car" errands for The Wife, we hit the road out to Lombard (The Girls got quite a tour of the suburbs this weekend, with trips NorthWest on Saturday, SouthWest on Sunday, and West today). The Enchanted Castle was interesting (we thought it was going to be indoors/outdoors, but it was all inside), with lots of stuff to do (it reminded me a bit of the arcade/midway thing at Excalibur in Vegas), but it was still "Chuck E Chesse writ large". We got out there a half hour before they opened, and killed time at this HUGE craft/hobby store in the same mall, I had been looking for an urn to put the remains of our beloved Nikki in for ages and found a container there which (I have to think) was designed for this (it was a decorative box with places for pictures on two sides) ... while I didn't measure, I'm hoping the cremains container will fit in there. Anyway, we did the Enchanted Castle thing till about 3pm, which gave us enough time to get back downtown, drop everybody off, clean out the car, and my get it back to Enterprise by 4:30pm. I'm exhausted.
I've decided that I'm going to "call in" for my meeting tomorrow. Due to getting NOTHING done since last Tuesday (except the afore-mentioned book stuff and a few on-line postings), I don't have much new to discuss with my counsellor, and I really don't feel up to renting another car and running back out to the burbs. Bleh.
Sooooo ... just in case you were wondering what the heck happened to Brendan ... that's the story.