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Mini-rant, maxi whine
2005-11-18, 5:32 p.m.

Day 453 On to the next mini-rant

Two nights ago, as I was walking back into the house after taking the trash out, I noticed a disturbing sight. About 6 houses west of me, someone already has their outdoor Christmas ornaments up. Midway between Halloween and Thanksgiving. Must have fallen victim to the pressure from the stores that already have Christmas decorations out for sale. Kinda cheapens the whole season. Not that I’m all that religious a person, but I thought I understood what Christmas was all about. Guess I was mistaken. It’s not about the birth of the savior of Christians everywhere, but about having good 4th quarter sales so the board of directors gets off the CEO’s ass about company performance.

Rant over. For now.

Almost have the family room put back together. Shelves are painted, put up, and populated. TV, DVD, stereo are back & re-assembled. Little cabinet doors are all back on except the one that somehow never got 2nd coated by my assistant. Still have some trim mouldings to put up, but they need a wee bit of painting done to them first. Lucky I’ll have the paint out to finish that cabinet door, no?

Started a new mini streak at bowling. In spite of having one spectacularly crappy game, I’ve managed to hit 600+ two weeks in a row. Last night it was a case of the conditions changing slightly and me taking, oh, about ¾ of a game to figure out I needed to change my target line. After that subtle little change – 7 of the next 8 shots were strikes. Much better results than I was getting the 2nd game. Oy – the splits!! Team wise we’re doing fine too. We were within 6 points of first place. That’s pretty decent considering there’s 8 points being contested each week. We took 6 of the 8 points last night, so we lost very little ground, if any at all.

The “power” window in the door of my van has been acting a little strange of late. Started acting up over the summer. Window would go down, but wouldn’t always go completely up. Seemed like the motor just quit. After a few seconds, I could finish closing the window. Seems like maybe the motor was overheating and a thermal cut out was kicking in. This symptom has been gradually getting worse, to the point I’d actually have to wait a minute or two to get my window rolled up after using my work pass to get into the parking lot, or using the drive-up ATM.

Last night was the pinnacle of window malfunction. Had to hit up the ATM before bowling. There’s a drive-up one within a half mile of our bowling alley that’s free for me to use. I figured I’d have plenty of time for the motor or thermal cut out to recover before I had to actually go into the bowling alley. Well, I waited for at least 5 minutes and the window never budged in the upward direction. And it was snowing. I had the good fortune of being able to park with the open window facing east at least, and I had nothing of any real value in the van. Decided to suck it up, leave the window as is and head in. Good thing too – we were already into warm ups as I walked in.

Went back out after the first game and tried the window again. Got it about 1/3 the way up. The snow at least stopped. Got it to go up another 1/3 after bowling. Had to leave it in the driveway at home as the garage is still recovering from the great family room/carpeting fiasco of 2005. Sometime during the evening the snow started up again. Cindy was outside snarfing down a butt while I was puttering around with the cabinet doors. She came in and grabbed some keys and got the window the rest of the way up. Mean while, she thinks I’m on crack or something for leaving my window open this time of year. Of course, she’s not up on the story of the window, cuz I’ve never bothered to tell her it was acting up. Or I did and she forgot, or we both forgot. Matters little, actually.

So now I’m trying to dig up information on Dodge caravan power windows. Is there a thermal protection device in the circuit? If so, is it buried in the door? How about the fuse panel? Is it integral to the motor, so I have to replace the whole motor? Is the motor a dealer part only? (that means lots of $$$$, vs getting it at Advance Auto for about 1/3 the price). So many questions. Time to go hit up the library for the Hanes manual I guess. At least I have access to a copier.

Today is the last day of bow season for deer. Know how many times I’ve been out hunting so far? I’ll give you a hint. It’s a real number, less than 1. What really pisses me off is that I’m getting shit about never being around to do the family room work so ‘someone’ else has to do the bulk of the work.

‘Someone’ else has done cutting in on the lower 5 feet of the mouldings 2 times. (They have 4 coats of paint on them). That same ‘someone’ has also painted the shelves (3 coats of paint on what amounts to a 4 x 8 sheet of plywood.

‘Someone’ else also moved all the light stuff out of the kids bedrooms and the spare room in preparation for the carpet install. Our room was saved for the last hour since we had to sleep in there and all.

What I was left to do: Paint any moulding more than 5’ high 4x, paint all the rest of it 2x. (There are 5 doorways and 3 windows in this room. Painting the mouldings and doing all the cutting in is NOT a trivial task.) Do all the wall painting 4 times. Remove all baseboard mouldings out of 6 rooms and the upstairs hallway. Still had to mow the yard and rake leaves on these weekends too. After the carpet install, had to return all the large furniture into the proper rooms. There were major painting touch ups to be done. Carpet guys were animals. Really beat the tar out of the walls. Still had to put all the mouldings back in, then do touch up painting on the re-installed moldings.

‘Someone’ is whining to me about all the work they had to do on the family room and re-carpeting because I was never around. I would like to know where I was. I wasn’t hunting. Wasn’t bowling, fishing, drinking, or chasing women. I did go to the gym for about 2 hours each weekend. Usually was home by 9:30am. Outside of that, I was either working on the painting, mouldings, moving furniture, or doing outdoor yard maintenance. During a whole freakin bunch of that time, ‘someone’ was sitting on their butt, watching some sort of crap on Lifetime TV.

Doesn’t help that while we were arguing about who did what to whom, she was three sheets to the wind. To somewhat compound matters, I started ragging on her about how much she drinks (still). I’m convinced that getting shitfaced 4 nights a week is no way to live. She thinks getting shitfaced less than that is torture.

I’d like to know when she’s going to bottom out. I know her dad’s situation is stressing her. The stress is driving her to drink. The drinking is making her unable to cope with her fathers situation. Toss in all the other tangential crap that goes on in life, she doesn’t stand a chance.

Part of her job is to call for substitute teachers when the regulars call in sick. She has an voice mail that the teachers call, begging off of work the next day, or in some cases, later that same day. She faithfully checks her voicemail every 30 minutes, from 5pm till about 9:30pm, then again each morning from 5 till 6:30 or so. If a teacher or aide calls in sick, she has to wrangle a sub for the absent faculty member. Odds are, if you get a call from my wife after 7pm Sunday through Thursday, she’s tanked. She’s getting really good at hiding it though. She talks a little slower, enunciates very clearly, and tries to keep the communication to a minimum. What the caller doesn’t get to see is how she leans on the kitchen counter. If she tries to stand up straight, she wavers around like a small tree in a stiff breeze. Her eyes are like glass, sometimes looking like she’s forcing them open. Bloodshot, pupils constricted, droopy eyelids.

Usually the secretary for the middle school calls. They compare notes on who’s out, who’s in, what to expect for the coming school day. The guidance counselor secretary often calls too. She kinda covers for the wife in the early part of the morning, making sure the subs have room keys, etc., so she also needs to be in the loop. I wonder if either of them have figured out how looped Cindy usually is when they talk to her at night? I wonder how deep a pile of shit she’d be in if the school found out at all?

I tried for a long time to not whine about that whole situation in here. Found I didn’t have much to write about otherwise, hence the lack of updates lately. I’ll try to be better on both accounts.

453 days down. Still smoke free after all these days.


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