Photo intensive. May take a while to load. Sorry!
It was a record hot week in central New York this past week. Thursday Syracuse topped 100 (rare up here) We golfed Friday while it was in the mid-90′s. Our hotel rooms A/C unit was struggling but able to maintain the room so it was cooler & dryer than outside.
On my way to Syracuse Friday morning for the wedding golf outing I learned that I-90 was closed at exit 42 – 45 miles from home and exactly 1/2 way to my destination. A semi rear ended a tour bus at about 1:30 in the morning. When the truck hit, both vehicles burst into fame. Miraculously only the truck driver was killed. The clean up & investigation was going to be a lengthy one though.
I was lucky enough to be able to divert south and then east on back roads before I got hung up on I-90. I tried heading up to I-90 again at a point beyond the crash (restricted access – exits can be 15 – 20 miles apart at times) Traffic was backed up more than a mile before the highway access. The only reason any of us were inching up was that other people were bailing out and turning around. I bailed too and kept working my way east on county & state roads. Fun. Slow.
I allowed about 40 minutes extra time for the trip, figuring that if I got there early I could hit the putting green or maybe hit a bucket of balls. Ended up getting there 3 minutes late. Not bad at all really, and I beat both of my boys. They had to wait for Eric to finish throwing up. Apparently the bachelor party the night before was still having a wee bit of an effect on him.
Anyhow. Golf was fun. Hot, but fun. Rehearsal went fine, rehearsal dinner was great. Food was excellent, the restaurants A/C was working good, everybody in the wedding party got along super.
Wedding day was nice and relaxing to start. Found a little diner for breakfast, didn’t have to settle for Denny’s or Perkins. Had only one job to do – shuttle the guys back to Eric’s apartment after they all dropped their cars off at the hotel where the reception was to be held. Easy day. Three of Cindy’s cousins and their husbands showed up around 1pm. They were vacationing in the area. Being between stops (they were headed for a camp in the Adirondacks), they stopped in to freshen up before the wedding. Eight people taking a shower in our hotel suite! Thank heavens it was a suite too, or we’d all have seen more of each other than we bargained for.
The church had A/C. Sort of. 110+ people in the sanctuary at 3 in the afternoon wasn’t too bad. But – those same people in the narthex going through the receiving line? Not good. The line formed the wrong way and actually blocked the exit door. Not that anyone was in a hurry to step out into the 95 degree heat, but that narthex got nasty fast.
Back at the hotel, we got the reception rolling. Of course, the hotel wouldn’t open the reception room until PRECISELY 5:00, so some of the partying started in folks rooms. I think one of my brothers may be implicated in that. I wouldn’t know – I had other folks to tend to and my own stash to work from.
Reception itself was super. The DJ did a great job – did what he had to do but for the most part stayed out of the way. He was also really good at keeping the dance floor packed. The kids provided him with a play list that he stuck to pretty well, but if a song was losing folks on the dance floor he’d fade it out and put on something dance-able again. I gotta add – Kelly’s family are a bunch of dancing fools too.
Best part of all – our family has expanded again. We’ve gained a great new daughter and her entire clan too. Couldn’t be more thrilled with how everything turned out. Without further ado – some pictures of the festivities.
So, I go to work Friday. Have just a wonderful day at the zoo. Went to a concert (pics to follow, because we were that close), came home, hung out in the hot tub for a bit and then went to bed.
Somehow, when I woke up Saturday morning, the heavens decided I was old enough to be the parent of a 25 year old. I apparently did not get a vote on the matter.
How do these things happen? There I was, hanging out in my recliner, nursing a monster headache – because even though you are so close to the stage you are actually UNDER the speakers they are still really loud. We called Eric kinda out of the blue because even though we’d gone out to see him last week to celebrate, Saturday WAS his real birthday. Turns out the little shit actually got the day off of work. Hmmph. But still – he had the audacity to actually turn 25, obviously violating several laws of nature because like I claimed earlier – I am NO WAY old enough to be the aren’t of a 25 year old.
At least I can act like I’m not mature enough to be the parent of a 25 year old.
The worst part is that Eric is the youngest of our two kids. With Eric & Kelly getting married next year, it’s inevitable that sooner or later either Zach & Jill or Eric & Kelly are going to try and make us grandparents. You can imagine what my reaction to that will be. I DO have it on good word that any impending grandparent hood is a ways off. Jill says there is no way she wants to be preggers at Eric & Kelly’s wedding. Doing the math, that means no grandkids till May of 2012.
Of course, I’ll still be too young to be a grandparent by then, so I really don’t know what they’re going to do. I’m sure they really don’t care. Do you think being 39 with 13 years experience is too young to be a grampa?
Friday evening was interesting. We planned on getting to dinner around 5:30, figuring we’d have maybe an hour wait for a table on a Friday night. We picked a place near downtown (that Beale St. joint), maybe a mile from the arena where the concert was.
Turns out that 5:30 on a Friday evening is a great time to get a table there. We were ushered right in, sat down and got started. We took our time and managed to stretch dinner out till just past 7pm, at which point we made the while mile long drive downtown to the arena. (Sadly just two blocks from the Dinosaur, but we knew there was no way on earth we’d have been able to get a table there)
Having trouble remembering what I had for dinner. Cup of gumbo to start, there was a pomegranate mojito, (maybe that’s the source of the memory problem!) and I know I had red beans & rice, Cajun corn and corn bread for sides. For the life of me, I can’t – ahh yes – Cajun meatloaf! Not horrible, not spectacular. Gooped a few dollops of some nice smoked habanero hot sauce on it and things improved mightily. Cindy had a Cajun fried chicken which was really lightly battered and spiced up just right. I think she STILL has a piece in the fridge. Until I get to it for lunch tomorrow.
The show was excellent. This is the third time we’ve seen them and each show has been a little different. They of course covered their really hits (Mad Russians Christmas, Wizards in Winter, Christmas Cannon, Requiem (a take on Beethoven’s Fifth) to name a few. We were much closer to the stage than I thought. I really thought there was an entire section in front of us, but as it turned out, we were all of 7 rows from the stage. (Row G actually). We were in range for the random guitar picks when they tossed them out at the end, but the folks in front of us had pretty good hands. Here’s a couple of shots of the action:
Just wasn’t quite the same without Anna Phoebe shredding her guts (or her bow string) up on the stage. It’s really like I mentioned last week, in a mans eye, Roddy Chong is not a reasonable substitute for Anna Phoebe. Ahh well, life goes on.
Saturday was spent recovering. Had a lovely headache which I am blaming on our proximity to the speakers. Namely, they were 15 feet directly over our heads. So to recover, I never once changed from my flannel pj pants all day long. What a glorious, lazy day it was. Spent Sunday having a brunch at my mom’s, made a quick grocery trip and listened to the radio as the Bills FINALLY won their first game of the year. The irony of the situation was that the Bills were playing the Detroit Lions at home. The game was far from a sellout, so home TV was blacked out. Doesn’t it figure that’s the game they would finally win?
Had a monster concept review this morning at work. I was reasonably well prepped for it, but it still acted as the catalyst in renewing my headache. In the no good deed goes unpunished category, I have 8 unplanned for action items to take care of as a direct result of this review, in addition to the umpteen thousand things I already knew needed doing. So, without further ado, I must end my lunchtime respite and get the old nose back to the grindstone, headache & all. Maybe the ibuprofen will kick in soon.
Blogging is a funny thing…we tell our most intimate thoughts for all to read and yet most of the time I find myself sitting and wondering, “who is this person!?” I know them…but yet I don’t know them! I want to know who the person is behind all those words so I thought of a great way for all of us to “meet” each other!
Every Sunday Java posts five get to know you questions that you can copy and paste into your own Monday post and we can all learn a little more about each and every one of us!!
Java has also added a linky so we can follow who participates and get to know them better!! Be sure to link the POST and not just your whole blog!
1. What is your favorite kind of pie?
2. Have you ever ran out of gas in the car you were driving?
E /= Enough!!
Twice. Once in a friends car in Washington. He was in the hospital, I was taking his car to go pick him up after he was discharged. Somehow he forgot to tell me his gas gauge was hosed.
Second time was in the old family station wagon. I was trying to leave work so I could gas up the car in preparation for a trip to Florida that was to commence that afternoon. Died in the parking lot at work. Good thing I had kids at home with licenses & spare keys to our other car.
3. How many languages do you speak?
English & Martian. (Men are from Mars,Women are from Venus . . . get it?)
4. Do you take daily vitamins?
I do not. My grazing habits are sufficiently varied that my nutrient intake is pretty well balanced.
5. What is your worst eating habit?
First – eating too fast.
Second – eating in front of the TV.
Third – I am a carb junkie.
Back to our irregularly scheduled posting . . .
Had a good AND productive weekend. Cindy & I had a nice chat in the hot tub Friday night. Actually talked about important stuff.
Saturday we headed to Syracuse to visit Eric & Kelly. Their birthdays are coming up soon but with their schedules, this was the only weekend time they both had off. So we celebrated a little early. Also got to visit the place where they are having their reception next year. Nice place! Even better, it looks like the parents of the bride & groom will be comp’d a suite for the festivities!
Only bad part? The Inn is right across the street from an LL Bean outlet. Yeah – I’m wearing a new sunwashed canvas shirt today (that baked clay color) and have another one for tomorrow (stone) for only $24 each.
We also stopped at the Carousel Mall for a bit (to return a wireless router to Best Buy). I couldn’t believe the crowd there. I asked Eric & Kel if there was some special occasion, but they assured me that this place was packed like that all the time. Seemed like half of Syracuse was there. Malls in Rottenchester only get that packed during & after Black Friday.
Since Saturday was social day, Sunday was leaf humping day. Really only had to do about 2/3 of the back yard, but most of that was two weeks worth of leaves. I transport leaves from back yard to curb on what amounts to an 18×12 tarp. After raking the yard’s leaf load into little piles that are spread all over the yard, I rake/push/drag the piles of leaves onto the tarp. Sine I’m still big & dumb, I’ll pile on as many leaves as will fit on the tarp, seemingly regardless of the moisture content of the eaves. Yesterday I ended up hauling 6 tarp loads (at about 300 – 400 lbs a load) to the curb for the vacuum truck to get. Once my miniscule stretch of curb space was full, I hauled another 2 piles back into the woods, basically returning the oak, cherry & hickory leaves to whence they came. I now have piles of leaves on my curb that are easily3 feet high, 6 feet wide at the base and occupy my entire 60 feet of curb – except for a patch at the end of the driveway. That’s the only bad part about living on the outside of a curve. Nice big back yard with lots o’trees but no curb space to hold all those dang leaves.
Best part? I have a bruise on my shoulder from where I sling the tarp over my shoulder and pull. Nothing serious, it’ll be gone in a day or two. And yes, that is the same shoulder I jammed when I was replacing the front door, and no – that thing still isn’t right. But slinging a few hundred pounds of leaves around didn’t seem to bother it. Lifting a coffee cup? Hurts like hell. Must be a positional/load thing. (Yes, I’ll go see a doctor about it. Soon as I get one. Again.)
So that really sums up my weekend. Kids birthday, hauling leaves and many, many soaks in the hot tub, letting those jets do their massage thing.
Almost forgot! Bowing Thursday. First game was deceptive. Did well, but that line seemed to disappear. Too many of us out in the same spot pushing the oil around. Ended up bowling 1 pin less than my average for the night, team took 4 of 8 points. Wew appear to be mired in second place. There are 20 worse places to be, so I shan’t complain.
Back to the zoo!
Offered as evidence (not proof) that I AM still alive. Mostly.
I suppose that since one kid has his own mortgage and the other has his very own lease on an apartment we are not subsidizing (i.e. – for school) we can now consider ourselves true empty nesters.
Bummer for Eric is that a week after he moved to Syracuse to attend the academy we replaced the windows in his bedroom. He stopped home last weekend to start packing up the remainder of his stuff. Since then we’ve decided on the new colors for his ex-room and actually started painting the window trim. When he arrived Saturday morning to pack up his bed, dresser and household items, his ex-room was well on its way to being transformed into guest bedroom #2. Poor kid, he wasn’t even officially gone and we were planning on life without him.
It IS rather urgent though. We’ll have out of town guests the first weekend of May and it’d be nice if the smell of fresh paint died off a bit. All of our old bedroom furniture (except the mattress) will go into the new guest bedroom. Knowing that Cindy will be getting an inheritance from her dad, we went & ordered a new bedroom set for ourselves. Ours is pushing 30 years old, and while it is in good shape, it IS 30 years old. We’re just rather tired of the dark coloring too.
So what did we get? Mango. Yep, the new bedroom set is made of Mango wood. The trees only bear fruit for so many years then must be cut down to make room for younger, more productive trees. The set we have has a fairly light, honey toned stain. Looks nice. It arrives Saturday. Meaning our current bedroom must be empty & devoid of furniture in order for the new stuff to fit. Meaning that the room formerly known as Eric’s bedroom must be at least close to finished by then. Meaning that it was probably a bad idea to say “screw the base molding, I’ll rip it off and put in new stuff!” just to avoid having to cut in paint close to the carpet.
So guess what I did for Easter weekend? If you guessed strip off an old border paper (that was stuck on really, really well), get 2 coats of paint on 3 windows & trim and do some quick skim coating of walls & ceilings with drywall mud Friday, move a kid to Syracuse Saturday and then for Sunday third coat 3 windows & their trim, paint the ceiling and get a first coat on two walls (plus the cutting in next to the FRESHLY PAINTED CEILING!!) AND smoke a roaster chicken for Easter dinner, you’d be right.
Sounds like a lot but trust me, there was some down time in there too. I managed to get in a bike ride to the Y, a spin class and the ride home, all before we moved Eric. Talk about dead legs late in the day!
Uuuuuhhhhh, got more, but it’s getting late. I need to post & pass out. Ugly, ugly day of meetings at work tomorrow.
Day 2045 S
What a wet weekend! We managed to get one full sized couch moved up from the basement for Eric to take to his apartment. Also moved up a dresser, a dinette table, couple of end tables, a lamp or two, pots & pans and some dinnerware.
Still have another couch, a love seat, a hutch, a 3 piece wall unit (6.5 feet tall, 18 inches deep, at least 6 feet wide, rigged with internal lights, glass shelves, drawer storage, open shelving . . .), a computer hutch, 4 printers and a computer. Was tempted to haul the couch & loveseat out & leave them by the curb. As luck would have it, the drizzle started and eventually morphed into full fledged showers. Wet weather is not awful conducive to getting furniture to give itself away.
We are entering the active planning stages of The Bob’ memorial service. First pass through the extended family yielded 30 or so out of town guests. Most will arrive Friday evening, party for a while, do the service Saturday morning. We’re hosting a luncheon thingy immediately after the service in the church’s social hall (same church where Cindy & I got married 28.5 years ago), than plan on dragging all the out of towners back to our place for the afternoon with a buffet dinner later in the day. We’ll divide the guests up for the evening, (our place, Cindy’s brother’s place, Zach’s place and our nieces place) and a few will have to settle in local hotels. We’re pretty sure we can accommodate 20 or so at everyone’s houses.
We’re doing all this the first weekend of May (right after The Bob’s 78th birthday) and have our fingers crossed that we’ll have some decent weather. The back porch will get a workout good or bad weather (smokers’ haven) and the garage will be pressed into service as well. Oh well. Have a month to work out the details. At least the snow blower is out of the garage. Hope we don’t get walloped by a late snow storm.
Back to more serious stuff.
My NCAA Basketball bracket is hosed. I think most folks had a rough time this year. A local TV station is hosting an on-line bracket tourney. I think currently I’m in like 8th place but I have no hope of winning. All the people above me have pretty much the same teams in the Final Four. If I win, so do they. No catching up to be done, ergo no 55 inch LCD TV for me. Bummer.
This article does a very high level summary of basketball’s final four :
I really like the last paragraph:
“If you want a championship quartet with real underdog flavor — and no million dollars in windfalls for coaches — you might have to check out hockey’s Frozen Four. You think Butler is a long shot? It has nothing on Rochester Institute of Technology, which is vying with Boston College, Miami of Ohio and Wisconsin for the N.C.A.A. title.
What’s not to love?”
That’s a good link (as of 3/29) to the local paper’s article on the team after beating New Hampshire Saturday. This is the first time this town has had anything lose to a ‘major’ sports championship. Ummm – except the time the local soccer team won the Americas Cup. And the indoor Lacrosse team won a title or two. But pro baseball, basketball & hockey? All top tier minor league franchises.
I should add that RIT has only been a Division I program for 5 years. They won their league championship last year or the year before, but were denied a bid to the Division I tournament because they were too new to Division I. Or there was a footnote added to their league championship because they were so new. What ever. No tournament. Only 2 words to add: “We’re Baaaaack!”
Seriously shopping around for a new road bike. Been drooling over Trek’s for years. Have recently found out that Cannondale is also a “Made in America” bicycle at the middle grade & up road bike – NOT your average $90 WalMart Huffy Road Master. I need to do more research. I would like to stick with American built products, but I also don’t want to miss out on good quality-for-my-dollar opportunities. Need to be mindful that good weather is coming and I wanna riiiiiiide!!!
What a week. Bob is really not well. Started hospice care for him today. While his passing is not imminent, the level of care he requires means that hospice needs to come in and take care of those specific needs. Cindy seems to be taking it really well. We were fortunate in that she had the week off. Some weird holdover from the 70′s where some NY schools took a week off in the middle of February to conserve energy. It’s pointless anymore, but try to change something that’s been in place for 30+ years.
Anyhow, Cindy has been able to take good advantage of the time. It’s not how she intended to spend her week off, but being able to DO something has been good for her.
Off to Syracuse tomorrow for Erics THIRD graduation. This one gets him much closer to where he wants to be. I think he wants to be in the Sheriff’s road patrol, then detective squad eventually. Secretly, I think he’s looking forward to that full pension after only 30 years.
Counseling has been interesting. I don’t think it’s a technical term, but we seem to be “ping ponging” according to Janine. Me – I call it refusing to take criticism for actions that I KNOW the critic is guilty of as well. It frustrates Janine, but I’m not taking any crap based on a double standard. I think it’s starting to sink in.
Time to get some sleep before all that driving tomorrow. Even better? All that snow we haven’t been getting? NOW it’s showing up. Perfect.
I’m still all jazzed from bowling Thursday. Forced to take a break to attend Erics graduation this coming Thursday. Hope that it gives the callous on my thumb time to absorb 3 or 4 quarts of moisturizer. It’s all cracked & nasty looking. I’m afraid it’s going to split open and start oozing. That’s going to make gripping a ball awful difficult. (Minds – get ‘em out of the gutter!)
I don’t know what’s gotten into the spin instructors this week but every one of them was really emphasizing the climbs. Another killer comes about 45 minutes into the class. The instructor will say “Last working song, then we’ll cool down!”, and you hear the opening strains of “Freebird” wafting through the speakers. That’s ALWAYS a climbing tune, and it seems to never actually end.
One thing I finally learned this week too – once you’re past 10 minutes into the class and you have to get up to grind through some heavy resistance, it’s best if you spread your towel across the handle bars and make sure the area over the flywheel is covered. If sweat drips on the flywheel, it lubes it at first, but it also cleans the dust off the resistance pad so it grips really, really well after one revolution. One time I had a nice stream of sweat drip right on the wheel and it almost brought me to a stop it changed the friction so radically. Proving once again that I am a slave to my environment, I’m finally catching on to that little trick with draping my towel.
Got a phone call from the nursing facility this afternoon. Bob’s not doing well. Didn’t eat at all today. We went in to see him and see first hand what the nurses were trying to describe. What we saw was not good. Bob hadn’t been out of bed all day, content to sleep. We were there for an hour and a half, he woke briefly 3 or 4 times. Without his glasses I think he doesn’t have a chance to recognize anybody, but it didn’t matter. It appears he’s had another stroke. No speaking in the last 24 hours, won’t or can’t get out of bed, won’t eat or drink. When his eyes ARE open, the right lid is droopy and both eyes are rather empty.
It’s kind of good that Cindy has this week off work. She prepared too. There’s a bottle of vodka stashed in the room formerly known as the family room. She got it before the call from the nursing home, so I’m guessing she was stocked up for her week off. Now with her dad doing poorly, that bottle may really challenge her resolve.
Ahhhh well . . .
What a game. Actually, it was more like three games. The first game was the first quarter when Indy could do no wrong, the second was the middle portion when the lead was bouncing back & forth, the third game being late in the 4th when N.O. was pulling away. And Peyton Manning, son of New Orleans, quarterback of the Gods, actually made a few mistakes. That pick-6 late in the game was fatal.
I was surprised that they only showed one or two shots of the French Quarter during & after the game. At that, they chose an area down on the west end, closer to all the strip clubs as I remember. Must have been a favorite hang out of the cameraman.
I see most of Pennsylvania got pretty well buried Friday & Saturday. 28 inches where you are Patty? We were lucky to get 28 millimeters. We’re really missing the brunt of the nasty weather so far this winter. Mama nature seems to have an axe to grind south of us. What did you all do to piss her off? Now that same area is getting geared up for another blast? Now you know how we feel most any winter. Here in Rottenchester we’ve had 67” in one storm back in the mid 60’s. Think it was 3 days worth. Another time in the 80’s we got 28” or so on a Thursday and another 24” the following Saturday. It was fun digging out of that one. Twice.
No counseling sessions this week. Almost weird. Need to try extra hard to work on our themes. Might even have to act like adults and try airing out some issues on our own – with no net or referee in the room. Scary thought.
Spin classes have been going pretty well. Been making 3 – 4 a week and am starting to get my legs back. Pretty soon I might start running again to really build up base endurance. Being able to pedal hard for extended periods is one thing, but doing something like running for 30 – 40 minutes or more non-stop REALLY builds endurance. There is no coasting when you run, but with biking it’s easy to sneak in a break or three.
Counting down the hours till bowling again. Last weeks good results are making me eager to get going this week. I hate the wait. But this week will be the last week of bowling for a short while. Just got official word – Eric’s graduation from the police academy is at noon next Thursday. We’ll head to Syracuse for the ceremony, probably make an all day affair of it. Maybe we’ll even get a little mini tour of the jail. Might at as a deterrent, huh?
Saw our weather forecast for tonight/tomorrow. 4 – 6 inches expected here. Not going to cause much of a fuss. I feel for all those folks in the I-95 corridor from Baltimore through Philly and up into NYC. Not going to be a pretty day down there. Stay warm folks!
Just Call me The Grinch
I’ll changed this before I posted. There was a lotta crap I needed to get out but not necessarily share. This place seems to be a good place for that. Here and the counselors office.
[Place for edited out shit . . .]
Now, on to our irregularly scheduled post.
Bah, humbug! (I was going to put in a copy of the Burl Iverson version of “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” but WP wants an additional $20 to be able to embed music. Ahhhhhh – NO.)
I am not normally very effusive when it comes to Christmas time. I tend to view it as a giant pain in the ass that disrupts . . . everything. It places demands on time, budget, creativity and patience and – stuff that I either have in short supply or tend to guard cautiously. All for a commercially over-hyped day where in you hope against hope that the presents you selected for your loved ones are at least well received, if not flat out adored.
Kind of a boring weekend here. Hit the gym Saturday morning then went in to work for a bit. Testing I was running there blew up, not literally, but the results were disappointing. Went home and defrosted the freezer, moved stuff from the back porch fridge to the main freezer. Got some moldings cut, getting ready to (finally) put the finishing touches on some rooms. (I hate molding)
Somehow dodged a bullet Saturday night. Cindy mentioned something about wanting to go out to dinner Saturday night because neither of us really had time to do any dinner prep. I acted less than enthused and went back to cut my moldings. Later in the afternoon she asked if I’d be ok with just calling Papa Joe’s for take out. (yes, we have so many Italians in this town even the Italian restaurants have drive-up take-out windows). I was fine with that because it got me out of telling Cindy I didn’t really want to go out with her after she’d spent the better portion of the afternoon sneaking drinks. (That was one of my homework assignments from my therapist team). She wasn’t sloppy drunk, but I could tell she’d been drinking because she had that sort of false happy working. Not a fake happy, those you can see too, but a false happy. She really believed she was happy, but it was only because she got her buzz on and thought she’d gotten away with it.
Actually, she DID get away with it because I didn’t call her on it. Am I in effect enabling her because I let her think she’s getting away with it? Or am I not nagging her? I guess as long as I keep it in terms of “I choose NOT to do something with a person that’s drinking” rather than “You’re drunk, I won’t be seen with you!” then I’m ok.
I still have opportunities to ‘keep in the moment’ and/or sharing how I feel. I may need to get some clarification between being in the moment and protecting boundaries though.
Day 1941 (Tuesday, 12/15)
One thing I aim to address in tonight’s counseling – Saturday and Sunday morning this past weekend. I understand that not everybody can be bright eyed & bushy tailed 5 minutes after crawling out of the sack. But. Maintaining a bitchy, crabby, sarcastic, uncommunicative and uncooperative attitude until one sneak ones first drink of the day mid afternoon is no way to get people you’re supposed to be in a relationship with to open up and share feelings. (Breathe!)
My mission – whether I select it or not – will be to find a graceful way to broach this subject at tonight’s session.
DAYS later . . .
Day 1943 (Thursday, 12/17) – Happy Birthday Mom! (Like she reads THIS!)
Eeee-gads! I got my money’s worth out of that one. It wasn’t overly graceful, but I did bring up my feelings of unease about Cindy’s surly morning and early afternoon attitudes. The bulk of her response? “I didn’t realize I was being like that. I had a lot of things I wanted to get done and was thinking about only those things, didn’t have time to worry about other stuff”. MY response? Being busy and needing to get stuff done does not excuse a total lack of civility.
Somehow that all got twisted into my complete and utter lack of enthusiasm towards decorating for Christmas this year. Shit. Here it is almost 2 days later and I finally realize that once again, I share how I felt about something (namely how I’ve been treated poorly for no known cause) and it gets turned around into being my fault again and she had the fucking gall to say that she didn’t think she was acting like an asshole at all.
Dammit. I hate when that happens. Someone text me a reminder about this before next weeks session. Matter of fact, I’m going to call our counselor/therapist gal and ‘splain the situation to her. I can believe I missed it, but I can’t believe Janine didn’t pick up on it. She got wrapped up in the adopted child/feelings of abandonment/investment in Christmas crap (as she explained it to me) and completely missed the left turn Cindy threw in there.
Now I’m going to be pissed about it all afternoon.
Company holiday gathering today. Bah, humjob! Hate those things. Went in, grabbed a plate of food & left. The entire buildings population in our cafeteria – that’s like 250 some people. Hors d’ouevre food scattered all over, having to weave through people just to go wait in line at each little serving station, eating standing up & moving, playing happyface with the entire flippin building. Ugh.
My biggest worry? My thumb. What with the dryness, my calluses have cracked, in spite of gallons of lotion. On top of that, the old exacto knife wound from last week also opened up yesterday, again due to the horrific dryness around here.
Laterer again. Bowling sucked. Worst night of the year. Four big, wide, unconvertable splits in the first game alone – 7 total for the night. I was so lost I’d sort of given up and started throwing straighter shots in from the corner. Felt safe when nothing was going right. Best game I had was 10 pins below my average. Ugh.
Highlight of the evening? Going to Rohrbach’s (German style restaurant with a micro brewery) after bowling with my brother/SIL, Zach, Jill & Cindy to do a little birthday celebrating. Brothers bday was the 5th, mine is the 18th, Cindy’s is the 20th. I will allow that their Rohrbach’s Vanilla Porter is quite delicious and induces sleep like nobody’s business.
Check THIS out:
Duration calculation results
From and including: Thursday, December 18, 19-something
To, but NOT including : Friday, December 18, 2009
It is 18,628 days from the start date to the end date, but not including the end date
Or 51 years excluding the end date.
18,628 days can be converted to one of these units:
- 1,609,459,200 seconds
- 26,824,320 minutes
- 447,072 hours
- 2661 weeks (rounded down)
According to my mom, at 7:45am today all that was exactly true. Over 1.5 billion seconds, more than 25 million minutes. Should I change my day count thing?
I’ll be enjoying an Edmund Fitzgerald tonight at home if anyone wants to join me. Email for directions. If you don’t want a dark, rich, chewy beer, I’ll dig up a lighter variety or something else entirely for ya.
Home now – got to go out & fix the snow blower. Seemed to have toasted the starter motor last week and it refuses to start by hand with last years stale gas in the tank. Fussy damn things. Plus there’s about 6 inches of snow in the driveway. Need to get that cleared out before the next batch arrives.
Remember that beer or ‘other beverage’ offer too. I’m thinking hot cocoa would be appropriate given the balmy 20 degrees it is right now . . .
Oh yes – Eric is officially an Onondaga County Sheriff today. He actually starts pulling shifts in the jai next week. Be nice or I’ll send you to visit him!
It must be the perspective. Or the experience. Our forecast is calling for anywhere from 5 to 14 inches of snow overnight and through the day Thursday. I just heard the weather forecasters prediction and the words “no big deal here”. Of course, to our southwest, off the eastern end of Lake Erie they’re expecting double what we’re supposed to get. That’s getting folks attention.
had appointments with TWO counselors today – my normal 1/1 session with Annette, and a 1/1 with our couples counselor. Independently, they came up with similar strategies for handling the next, mmmmm, however long I decide to try this. The thrust of the strategy is to really, really live in the moment, freely share my feelings, vigorously defend my boundaries and provide immediate, appropriate consequences for bad behavior. All this while not fearing the reaction I may get.
Janine (the couples gal) feels we are at an impasse. Ironically, she says we are both saying the same things in 1/1 sessions. We both want things to work, we’re committed to staying together, and we both feel the same shortcomings in each other. Janine feels that in order to break the impasse, someone has to make the leap of faith, dare to the lead by example.
Lucky me gets to make the leap. Janine just feels that with Cindy still in denial of her addiction, she really isn’t going to make the jump. Subconsciously, she wants to lag behind and maintain her link to the hooch. The question then becomes how long to I want to be the lead dog, trying to pull this sled through the drift? (I guarantee, the view is better when you’re the lead dog)
I hesitate to put a firm number on it. Is a year long enough? Two years? I don’t know. I think that in 6 months I’ll ask myself the same questions. How much longer? Can I DO another 6 months? Has there been progress? Do I WANT to do another 6 months? In 6 months I might have an answer.
For those that do, say a little prayer for Eric. Tomorrow he gets to experience pepper spray. I told him to be prepared for a little stinging and more mucous than he ever thought a human could produce. And bring milk. To dive into. At least they aren’t tasering him. Also – 1 more week before he’s done with the state mandated portion of the academy. Then he’s a real Sheriff. Exciting!
Bowling tomorrow. Yay. Have to try for another 3 open 590 series. That sucks by the way. With 3 opens and a decent number of strikes, I ought to be around 630, at least. I should video a whole night of bowling. (Nah, not really)
Been an eventful run of days. Almost bowled well Thursday Almost.
The kids had the pre-closing walk-through of their house earlier Thursday. I never knew that when you buy a new house, the project manager conducts an inspection with you, showing you what light switches operate which lights, which switch is for the disposal, how the programmable thermostat works – a lot of the little details you need to know in the day to day operation of a house.
Friday they closed. Friday evening they were masking the 3 rooms they wanted to paint. One room even did get painted that evening. Saturday was a painting marathon for them. I put down the powder room floor tiles in the morning, then headed over to the new place and installed a garage door opener.
Sunday was the REALLY big day. Moving day. I have a few pics to share down below. Please note how absolutely gorgeous a day we had. Low humidity, not a cloud in the sky, crystal clear air and at mid afternoon it had to be all of 45 degrees. Thank god. Better 45 than 85.
Didn’t do too bad. The kitchen stuff is unpacked, washed and put away. Maybe not where they want it, but it’s not in a box. Their bedroom is set up. That was also one of the rooms they painted – a deep sagey green. With their bedroom furniture in place, it looks fabulous. The master bath also got painted a slightly lighter but complementary color. I didn’t spend a whole lot of time in there. Like a minute maybe. Not much furniture involved there. The living room is nearly set up, but we were running low on energy by Sunday afternoon. We did manage to get the water line run to the fridge so they have ice & chilled water. Didn’t get the mail box installed, but not for lack of trying. All the ingredients are there, we just ran out of day light. Got to save a few jobs for the new homeowner.
Eric was in town this weekend too. Not a chance he was going to miss Zach & Jill moving in. He helped with the painting and moving for as long as he could, then headed back to Syracuse to study for this weeks tests at the academy. He’s unusually excited for this week because they get their handguns and start live fire this week too. For anyone that knows (I don’t) or cares (I do) he’s getting a .45 caliber Glock. If I understood him correctly, between now and the end of the academy (Dec 18 for the state mandated part) he will be putting 8000 rounds through that handgun. 8 weeks, 8000 rounds, that’s 200 rounds a day if they shoot every day. That’s a lot of shooting. Plus daily cleanings.
So the house is empty again – just Cindy and I rattling around in there. It’s going to be interesting with out the kids there to deflect our attentions from each other. Of course, she’s got her AA meetings 4 or 5 or 6 days a week, I’ve got my own meeting to attend and bowling to keep me occupied. 2 days a week. The other 5? I’m open for options, once the powder room is done.
I have 4 floor tiles left to put down (The Move kind of super ceded The Room), grout to do (I’m looking for a giant pastry bag, or a re-usable caulking cartridge) and my favorite – molding. Then I can put the fixtures in and there’ll be no more running upstairs to pee.
Moving day pictures:
For a complete change of subject matter I read this article Monday. Just – wow. Talk about tough, tough decisions.
Can one get a do-over of a do-over of a do-over 3 times over? I think that’s what I’d need to set me back on track after this weekend. I will try to do a reap in mini (for me) sentences.
Got a slightly late start to Eric’s swearing in. Left 100 minutes to go 100 miles plus walk 3 blocks. That pee/coffee stop on I-90 about did us in. As it turned out, we walked in during the opening prayer, so missed very little in all. Bonus? Eric got to show up on Syracuse news shows. Seems this was the largest recruiting class in quite a while for the Onondaga County Sheriff. Glad our son was a part of it.
I mention the Dinosaur BBQ here frequently. We have one in Rochester, there is (was?) one in Harlem and the original is in downtown Syracuse. Guess where we ate lunch Friday? Personally, I think the Rochester Dino is better, at least in atmosphere and facility. The food? Just damn good BBQ.
We stayed at Eric’s girlfriends (Kelly) parents a good chunk of Friday afternoon, shooting the breeze with Kelly and her parental units and going gaga every time Syracuse’s 24 hour news channel showed their snippets of the swearing in ceremony. By late afternoon/early evening, everyone was ready for a change, so Cindy rode home with Zach & Jill, I headed back into Syracuse proper for my Al Anon Assembly and Eric, Kelly & crew were released from entertainment duty.
Along about 9:30 – 10:00 I got a text message from Cindy on the crackberry supersecret messaging network. We spent the next 90 minutes in what I thought at the time was a very good conversation. I got suspicious when she mentioned that the kids (Z & J) had gone upstairs early and hadn’t come down at all throughout the evening. I kinda passed it off as them being young and able to, well, you know – having the energy and all.
Towards the end of the conversation though, the questions took a turn towards the ‘searching for validation’ mode. To me, that is signal #9 (of 20 or so) that you-know-who is drinking you-know-what. I ended things as politely as possible, begging off to get rested up for a day of meetings, from 9 straight through till 5.
I skipped the banquet at the Assembly and headed home for dinner instead. Home made linguini & (white) clam sauce trumps banquet fare every day of the week in my book. Know what? When I got home Saturday evening, Cindy had definitely been drinking. She wasn’t polluted or falling down drunk, but she was overly friendly (trying too hard) and also constantly wanting attention. Ugh. Saving grace was that she fellasleep not long after dinner. Thank God for pasta & tryptophan.
Sunday. Oh my. Spent as much time driving Sunday as I did Friday. Started with a trip to Home Depot (HD) at 9:30 to get what I needed for the day’s powder room work. Got a little ways along and realized we needed a bit more. Went back to HD to get more. Started in re-arranging the plumbing to get a nice fit with a pedestal sink. As I was cutting an old drain line, my sawz-all blade caught on the pipe briefly. Didn’t think twice about it until I was getting ready to start running the new drain and the stump of what I cut off wouldn’t stay still like it should have. Went into the basement & looked. When the blade caught, it managed to move the pipe in such a way that it cracked and completely sheared off a 45 degree elbow feeding the sanitary ‘Y’ in the main 3 inch drain stack.
After much swearing and sweating, we figured out the least invasive way to repair the damage. Needed 5 fittings (two of which I had) and run #3 to HD for the day. Got our parts, did a mental calculation of the tab, checked out and headed for the parking lot. Got in the truck, realized that the tab was less than I thought. Looked at the receipt. Saw a part on there that was incorrectly priced. Hmmm – seem it was incorrectly labeled too. So I checked the part. No – it was labeled correctly and priced correctly for the part it was. It had been in the wrong bin. I managed to grab a 3x3x2 PVC ‘Y’ (a 3 inch fitting with a 2” ‘Y’ thingy coming out the side) instead of a 3x3x1½. BIG difference. Went back into the store, grabbed the right part, did the swap, paid 1.50 more for the right part and happily went on my way. Four visits to HD in one day! At least the last one didn’t require a separate trip in the truck, just a hike through the parking lot. No small benefit in the place being less than four miles away too.
Got the drain repaired and by about 2pm we got back to where we started the day. Well, we actually DID get the old flooring stripped out before the shit hit the drain pipes. Literally. On a day when I thought we might actually get to taping & mudding the monster 4X8 space that is the powder room, we were doing well to get the last two full sheets of drywall in.
Maybe taping & mudding can begin tonight. Depends on if I want to start another conversation with Cindy about how her non-social drinking is starting to muddy things up again. I think I might, if only to get things stirred up a bit before we go to our marriage counseling Wednesday. I need to separate frank discussions about drinking & denial from the counseling. Instead of bringing the subject up in counseling and sort of blindsiding Cindy with it, it needs to be broached at home. Then we can use the counseling session to start working towards a resolution. I’d rather have the help in the ‘putting it back together’ phase than in the ‘bring up the problem’ stage.
Ahem. So, my declaration from last week. That one with the workout goals in it? Yeah. That one. Haven’t done so well with it. It’s still there, mocking me though. My pants are mocking me too. Actually, they’re squeezing me, and not in a nice way. Somehow repairing the marriage has put body maintenance in the back seat. I’ve mentioned that to both therapists, my being afraid of it happening. I need to reset priorities and find a way to communicate to Cindy that my taking care of myself does not mean I am devaluing her or our relationship. I just don’t like me when my 36’s get tight. Subconsciously, I think she’s afraid because the affair happened when I was at my fittest. I actually fit in 34’s, could do sub 24 minute 5k’s and ride a bike indefinitely. I want that back. And it will be a topic in this weeks counseling. That and how I think Cindy is undermining my drive to get fit with project after project, questionable grocery shopping choices and other button pushing techniques. Then she has the gall to ask why I don’t go to the gym like I used to. But when I’m less fit I’m less attractive to other women. Or maybe I’m less likely to be looking?
Tonight’s goals – do dinner, post this & put up the last pieces of drywall while Cindy is at AA, then after her AA meet, ask her about her definition of ‘social drinking’ and have her explain things to me so I am less confused.
So he made it. We now have a bona fide sheriff’s cadet on our hands. He’s got a shopping list about a mile long that includes all the things he needs to get uniform-wise to be prepared. He’s already ordered all the stuff that will have his name on it, but still has boots, shoes, BDU’s – all kinds of stuff to get. Three weeks to go, plenty of time.
The conundrum I’ve run into is this: Eric’s swearing in ceremony is 9/25 at 10:00 in Syracuse. That’s about a 90 minute drive. After the ceremony, one way or the other, he’ll be staying in Syracuse with Kelly’s parents while he attends the academy. Doubtful he’ll be heading back to Camp Ra-cha-cha for a few months. So Cindy and I will drive out separately to see the swearing in. No biggie.
The NY North area Al Anon Fall Assembly also starts 9/25 and runs to 9/27. Know where it is? Syracuse. I have a room in town the evening of the 26th so I can stay after the assembly, enjoy the banquet, crash upstairs and drive home the next morning. (side note – the Assembly is a giant, 10 hour working meeting where we conduct the business of running an organization that spans the northern ¾ of the state) And no – you don’t want to have to drive 100 miles after an Al Anon party! (That’s a joke folks, the hotel bar is gonna be dead that weekend)
I could add a night to my reservation and stay in Syracuse the night of the 25th. Wouldn’t hurt me in the least. But I don’t think Cindy would want to stay an extra 2 days in Syracuse at a working meeting of a hundred or so Al Anon folks of whom she knows one – me. I also don’t think she’s going to want to drive separately to Syracuse Friday morning and home that afternoon so I can stay out there that night with out her.
It seems that the best solution is that Eric drive out Friday in his car (he’s got a ‘Malibu Barbie’ Rox!), Cindy and I go out Friday in one of our cars, do the ceremony, probably have lunch with Eric, Kelly & her parental units (John & Julie – super folks) and head home that evening. Then for me, head back out to Syracuse at 7 the next morning, do the do with the Assembly and come home Sunday morning. Lots of driving for me, but it’s the least disruptive to everybody else’s schedules. I think. Cindy and I have a date to discuss this very thing. Ought to be a real barn burner.
Bowling Thursday – ouch! Haven’t used those muscles in a while. Think it was a good thing I got out a week early. First game kinda stunk – but that was really the warm ups. Had 3 opens, all splits, not too many strikes. By the second game I loosened up nice and was throwing nearly normal. Hence the last three games I shot closer to my average. Still seem to have trouble getting the ball to stay right with serious amounts of lift. There’s a real tendency to pull left a bit and lose lift. Not good. I think the mantra needs to be ‘elbow tucked, shoulders square, head steady’.
Oh lordy. Just saw this. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,546511,00.html??test=faces Deep Fried Butter! Paula Deen has GOT to behind this effort of deep fried fat. That girl does love her buttah. Sadly, on average the US is one of the most obese countries on the planet. Deep fried fat will not help. Deep fried pickles, however, are excellent. Had ‘em at Nola’s. Might be a bad way to start, having them at a swanky joint like that, but they were surprisingly delicious.
In more travel news, we’re planning another get away weekend. Not as extravagant as flying to New Orleans for 5 days, just an extended weekend in Vermont, hopefully in time to catch the end of leaf peeping season. There’s always antique hunting, a Ben & Jerry’s tour, a fascinating farming museum in Shelburne (really!), maybe a hike up a mountain to see what’s really at the top, and long lazy soaks in the tub – with a mountain view. Plus, on the way there we’ll get to take a ferry across the southern portion of Lake Champlain. Cool little diversion.
On tap for this weekend? Prepping for a garage sale (still), getting the last of the new plants in the ground (again – hit up the end of season clearances on some stuff), plus I picked up a gazillion daffodils & crocus for around the pond. Something like 90 bulbs in all. But it’s a 3 day weekend, right? Plenty of time!!
This is the Bikinfool’s once a decade public service announcement.
I’ve seen quite a few aluminum water bottles over the last few years. People thought they were getting away from the BPA that can leach out of the polycarbonate (a type of plastic) variety.
Oops. Read here:
The good news is that the company is offering a free exchange. The bad news is that they were aware of the BPA’s in the liners for quite a while before they did anything about it – including admitting they knew. Oops again.
The pond is recovering nicely. I think I need to get a set of measuring cups dedicated to the use of pond related chemicals. Saturday, while rushing through things a bit (in the rain) I kinda OD’d the pond on algaecide. You know how a pool reacts to algaecide when you dose it right? You get a bit of foaming when you agitate the water. It usually breaks up pretty quickly. But when a pond gets oohhh, about triple the normal dose, you not only get foaming upon agitation, it doesn’t break down. The waterfalls? Lovely agitation. All. The. Time. By Sunday morning, the pond looked like a giant bubble bath. I could literally scoop the bubbles out with my skimmer net.
So. Sunday morning I pumped out several thousand gallons while I also added fresh water from the tap (and water conditioner for chloramine treatment). Sunday & Monday the fish kinda refused to eat. The water was kinda cloudy and they seemed to want to hang out in the deeper areas. Some sort of stratification going on? Was the deeper water more to their liking? Beats me. Tuesday evening, while I was playing Rochester area Al-Anon Info Services newsletter editor, Zach texted me that the fishies were finally coming up to eat. Last night, the water was definitely looking better and you know what? The algae is gone. Even the stuff growing on the liner. All I really wanted to kill was the stuff suspended in the water, making it cloudy. What I really need is mo better biological filtration. More plants to suck up all the nutrients out of the water so the algae beasties don’t get a chance to proliferate. Next year.
Chaperoning season has begun at school. That leaves me evenings at home alone, well, once the kids are out & on their own again. Anyone up for some evening dinner parties? I’ll cook, promise! I need something to keep me out of trouble.
Today Eric is off to Syracuse again for part, what, five? of this Onondaga County Dept. of Custody approval process. Today he gets to do a physical, then when the results are faxed, called, sent along, he gets to go to another separate office for the psyche evaluation. He spent Monday & Tuesday east of Syracuse camping with Kelly’s family, drove home so he could work Wednesday, has to drive back for testing today, and come back and work the next 3 days. He and his car are getting run ragged.
Accidentally created a nice marinade last night. Well – maybe it wasn’t an accident, but it certainly turned out better than I expected. Zach and I were bemoaning the fact that here we get all this venison to eat and we rarely get to have any because our respective gals aren’t all that fond of it. Tastes too gamey they say. Bull puckey I say, but I’m not going to force them.
Anyhow, last night we took advantage of the fact that A – I found a pack of pork chops with only 2 in it, and B – Zach & I were both willing and able to have some venison. Venison loin chops to be exact. You know – to go with the pork loin hops the gals were having. The pork loins got the typical treatment 1.5 hours before cooking, lightly salted, fresh ground black pepper and a light dusting of garlic powder. Covered ‘em up and let them get happy in the fridge till cooking time. For the venison chops, I did this (measurements very approximate):
¼ cup EVOO (that’s extra virgin olive oil for the uninitiated)
¼ cup Tabasco Soy sauce (New to me – found it in New Orleans, got some & drug it home – just like a deer!)
1 tsp garlic powder (wouldda used 2 cloves fresh, but I was lazy) (There is no such thing as too much garlic!)
1 tsp dried thyme
A dash of Tabasco (or 2, 3, 4 . . .)
Several grinder turns of black pepper
(No additional salt. The soy sauce has plenty!)
Whisk together. Place loin chops in a freezer bag, pour marinade in, seal bag. Massage it a bit to get everything covered. Let it sit in the fridge getting happy with the pork chops.
After an hour or so, grill to your choice of doneness. I combined it with garlic smashed taters (with seriously sharp cheddar AND Asiago cheeses – heavenly! – but load up in moderation) and steamed dill carrots.
The venison was excellent. Maybe a tad overdone (medium is over done for venison), but the marinade kept it from getting dry. Even with all our moaning & drooling, we couldn’t talk the gals into trying even a bite, but they were also pretty pleased with their own pork loin chops. Mmmmmm – Pork fat!!
Today for lunch I got to have the leftover venison mixed with rice and some left over stir fry veggies from a night or two ago. Added a touch more soy (light sodium variety), celery seed, more garlic, a little of Emeril’s Essence (home made mix), maybe ½ tsp of sesame oil and a teaspoon or so of my mesquite smoked dried habanero flakes. Oh lordy –they hurt so good!
Side note – know what’s almost as good as Viagra? Chopping up a bunch of habaneros, then when you’re done realizing you have to pee, but like normal you wash your hands after the dirty deed. Mr. Happy will NOT be thanking you later. And no – I didn’t share the joy of my new found ‘burning desire’. I can not imagine getting capsaicin, well, there. It was quite enough getting it on an external part. Just one more instance when a little latex would have kept Mr. Happy safe!
Went bowling tonite – season starts next week. After a warm up game I had 200, 211, 178. Didn’t suck.
Tried to sneak in an update via crackberry earlier, but my work building kinda ate the signal. The big news is that al these trips to Syracuse for Eric have paid off. Pending the results of the drug test he took this afternoon, he officially has a spot in the academy. So we now have an Onondaga County Sheriff’s Deputy Cadet in residence. Until he leaves to go to the academy. Then, well, we can only claim he’s in the family. But still . . . the culmination of 18 months of work for the guy. Couldn’t be more proud. I’m even buying him a beer when he gets home tonite!
Days 1828, 1829 & 1830 & 31
Gah! Guh! Goooooooo . . .
Seems like I’ve been writing this for days. Keep getting little tidbits to add, but no time to sit & post. Or – when I have the time I don’t have my thumb drive, laptop, gumption – something is always missing. So on this Thursday the 27 of August, 2009 Anno Domini, I promise me that I WILL get this crap loaded tonight. So there.
Here ya go:
We had a very productive weekend here. At least a far as generating trash goes. I hauled out the garage, tossed out a 30 gallon bucket of rags I’ll never use, found my workbench, such as it is, and in general cleaned up a summers worth of flotsam & debris. On the inside, in preparation for Zach & Jill joining us this weekend, Cindy hauled out several of the upstairs closets. She managed to drastically lighten the load up there. It’s amazing what was crammed into some of those closets.
All this is also in preparation for the big garage sale. Peej – you are of, course, invited, but I’ll understand if the 5 hour commute dulls your enthusiasm some.
Also on Saturday I got to pull lots & lots of weeds. As much as I dislike the weeds, I sseem to really enjoy pulling them out. You can kinda go all Zen and sort of meditate as you’re doing it. Well until you hit a particularly tough hunk of crabgrass. Then you have to go a little medieval for a while to get that puppy out. Once it’s excised, it’s back to the land of Zen.
Sunday. Had something on the radar screen as far as needing doing, but didn’t expect to tackle it just yet. But opportunity knocked, I opened the door and a window walked through. See, we’ve been planning on re-doing the downstairs powder room since we revamped the room formerly known as the family room. But then spring & summer, with all their projects, got in the way and the functional but ugly as sin powder room got shoved to the back burner. Except that we need to finally repaint the back of the house as the finishing touch for the porch (so all the paint colors match – some of the house colors have dimmed somewhat in 5 years). Well, the powder room window is on the back of the house, so there’s no sense in painting the back of the house until it’s replaced.
I am happy to report that I can now paint the back of the house – as soon as I finish the exterior window trim. But!!! Now, all the original, leaky, drafty, inefficient windows on the bottom floor have been replaced with nice, tight, thermally efficient windows. I really only have one complaint. I used “Great Stuff” to seal the space around the window. I got the low expansion variety because it’s better for windows & doors – it won’t exert pressure and get them out of square. But I must have been a little over exuberant in the application and it oozed sort of all over. I scooped up what I could, but it sorta dripped here & there. Turns out, what got on wood, plastic & glazed tile is easy to clean. What won’t come off is what got on my hands.
Water? Nope. Soap & water? Nope. Mineral spirits? Not after the soap & water sealed the surface. Nail polish remover? Mmmmmm – a little, but it hurts like hell when it gets into cuts & scrapes. Having suffered through this before (d’oh – I have latex gloves for just this purpose!!) I’ve found the easiest way to remove this stuff is time and a Mach III razor. I’ll end up shaving my fingers to get this crap off. But the window is in. Only 4 to go, and they’re all upstairs.
OK – now we’re into Tuesday.
When we were in New Orleans (now that I’m back up north, I can say & spell it like a Yankee), I didn’t give much thought to Cindy drinking. No point. There was no way I was going to nag her about drinking and ruin the trip for the both of us. As it was, drinking was kept to dinners with the occasional ‘beer to go’ snagged from the jazz club across the street as a treat while we were in the hotel pool. (Hotel beer prices were outrageous!) and the odd beer or two if we were out listening to bands in the evening.
Things seemed to go pretty well. I didn’t fret it, Cindy seemed to keep things in check. Except now at home, I’m noticing things again. Weekend afternoons, by dinner time she’s glassy eyed and overly chatty. Her breath reeks. She appears to be drinking some Crystal Light crap, but it’s spiked. The night we went to pick up the new truck (it is too a truck!), I noticed the same things – glassy eyed, too talkative, sweet breath that reeked of alcohol.
Come to think of it, this was happening before we left too. Cindy had managed to talk Janine (our marriage counselor) into possibly believing that she wasn’t truly an alcoholic, she just made a string of poor choices in dealing with the loss of her mom by burying everything with booze. Further, Cindy told me in session that she didn’t want to feel like she was being watched 24/7 and every time she had so much as a beer I was going to bring up in session how uncomfortable her drinking made me. She is apparently under the illusion that she can ‘drink socially’ and not have a problem. Except that secretly sucking down a couple ginormous Crystal Light & vodka’s on a Thursday or Saturday or Sunday afternoon isn’t really ‘social’ (that’s starting to be a lot of ‘excepts’ isn’t it?).
I think that’s what she gets out of her AA meetings though – the social aspects of it. She’s found a flock of people that will accept her – faults and all – and she likes it. Hell, who wouldn’t? Problem is that they only have to deal with her during meetings and the Friday evening gathering at the coffee shop. The family & I get to deal with the real shitty end of the stick.
The kids notice too.
Wednesday now. Might even post tonight. Tempus Fugit. (Hah!! I lied)
Tuesday’s counseling session was another interesting one. I didn’t bust on Cindy’s surreptitious home drinking. No point to it yet – it would only breed anxiety & distrust. And other stuff that I can’t quite put a name to just yet. Not contempt, but similar. It would make her believe that I was being disloyal to her by telling the truth. All I get out of that is that she’s still in denial and isn’t owning the fact that while she may be a borderline alcoholic, she certainly has a problem with abusing alcohol. Fine line there. Too many shades of gray in her mind. Black & white in mine, but we’re trying to agree to disagree on other things, so I’m extending the courtesy here too (aka – paying out the slack in the rope. You know what comes when one runs out of slack.)
Had my private counseling session with my buddy Annette – my reality check visit. With Annette not being involved in the relationship side of things, she’s better able to keep me (and Cindy) honest. The other good thins about seeing Annette is that I often get these little germs of ideas related to how things are going and she is able to flesh them out and complete them.
F’rinstance: Tuesday with Janine the girls (that being Janine & Cindy) brought up in couples session how Cindy often feels left out in group situations. In larger gatherings, smaller groups form as people link up and start discussions on various topics. Cindy somehow manages to find herself not in these little sub groups. Often, I will be. I’m socializing, right? So now, because we are a ‘team’, I’m supposed to figure out a way to get Cindy included, insinuated, invited into what ever sub-group I’m happily conversing with. In session with Janine, I thought out loud, “Sure, I can do that. All I need to do when Cindy slinks over is to sorta make room for her in the group, then do a ‘Hey Cin, we were just talking about the finer points blah blah, what do you think about that’ – or something to that effect, right?”
Except – when the fuck does Cindy get to own at least one of the god damn problems she professes to having? So far, with any character defect she’s identified in herself, there’s something I can do to fix it. So, while I buy into the whole team-building thing and wanting to help out your team mate, I also want to see that some work is being done by the person with the issue – the person that ought to be owning the problem.
That last paragraph really came into focus yesterday when I was talking with Annette. It will have to be brought up in our next couples dealie next week too.
I also told Annette I’m trying to not get my radar working quite so loudly – that is to say that I am trying to avoid the obvious situation assessment whenever I get home. Cindy has picked up on the fact that the kids and I withhold interacting with her until we’ve had a chance to figure out if/how much she’s been drinking that day. But you know what happens? As soon as you let your guard down, Crystal Light & vodka breath blasts you full in the face. Along with the glassy eyes, ratchet jawed over-friendliness and other physical tells. Maybe I don’t need radar?
Confessed to not wanting to confront Cindy about how itchy scratchy her latest behavior REALLY makes me. Her drinking so far is nothing like it was even two years ago (during that whole Ms. CL episode), but when you get home from work on a Thursday night and have less than an hour before you need to go pick up your new vehicle and she’s already been drinking? And then does a repeat performance Saturday and Sunday? Not slurring, falling down drunk – but enough that her behavior hell, even her accent, changes. All in all, these are minor transgressions. Taken individually or even a weeks worth at a time, there isn’t a whole lot there. But I am sitting back, with my radar on low, waiting. Waiting for that big “I told you so” moment – knowing that when it comes, declaring it so is the absolute wrong thing to do. Annette agrees, but I may do it anyhow. Cuz it’s going to feel good. Janine also knows I’m laying in waut
When a puppy pees in the house, part of housebreaking it is rubbing it’s nose in the pee, then (gently) putting it outdoors. Repeat until it associates pee with outdoors and figures out how to tell you it needs to go out. It only take ‘em a couple weeks to figure it out.
Found some interesting data on the clunkers program. Here’s some clunker numbers: (from here: http://finance.yahoo.com/family-home/article/107610/the-final-numbers-on-clunkers?mod=loans-autos)
Top 10 Trade-in Vehicles
1. Ford Explorer 4WD
2. Ford F150 Pickup 2WD
3. Jeep Grand Cherokee 4WD
4. Ford Explorer 2WD
5. Dodge Caravan/Grand Caravan 2WD (My Dud!!) (18mpg)
6. Jeep Cherokee 4WD
7. Chevrolet Blazer 4WD
8. Chevrolet C1500 Pickup 2WD
9. Ford F150 Pickup 4WD
10. Ford Windstar FWD Van
Top 10 New Vehicles Purchased
1. Toyota Corolla
2. Honda Civic
3. Toyota Camry
4. Ford Focus
5. Hyundai Elantra
6. Nissan Versa
7. Toyota Prius
8. Honda Accord
9. Honda Fit
10. Ford Escape FWD (My stud!!) (24mpg)
Thursday evening now:
Got home, cooked dinner (chicken paillard, stir fry veggies, rice and a nice little pan sauce), cleaned up. I’m bushed. I was going to edit all that crap up there, but you’re stuck with it.
Zach & Jill move in this weekend. That will throw a whole different dynamic into the house.
Got a visit from a detective from the Onondaga County (Syracuse area) Sheriff’s department yesterday. He was doing an ‘unannounced visit’ to try and see how things at the house really were. Eric was stuck working overtime in the freezer, so Cindy & I had a nice chat with him to while the time away. Talking to him helped ease some of our own anxieties about the job – we think it was well worth his time. He also told us that the department was really trying to attract people like Eric, kids that scored really well on the qualification exams. All good news. Last couple of steps? Drug test and possibly a psyche profile. No official word yet, but things are looking better and better. It’s exciting.
Time to post & run. Gotta go sort pictures.