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Back in the Trenches
2008-10-15, 10:11 p.m.

Day 1516

Took Monday off to play a little hooky. Really needed it after the weekend. Didn’t do anything mentally draining like run The Bob back & forth to hospitals & doctors, but I did manage to physically beat myself up. It’s getting too easy.

Just for score keeping purposes (and also because I want a record for our “home version” of the Intervention show) lets run down the past 5 evenings.

Thursday: I bowled. Cindy drank.
Friday: I didn’t do much. Home office kinda stuff. Cindy drank.
Saturday: Evening? Didn’t do much. Cindy? Drunk again.
Sunday: 3 sober adults in the house. No, Eric was in Syracuse. Bob was the third.
Monday: (Holiday for Cindy) I was outside playing with some electric – permanently wiring the pond pump. Cindy found her way clear to drink. Again. It wasn’t obvious when I got home from hooky. But after 2 hours of running cable out to the pond – couldn’t help but notice a change.

So that’s the score. Cindy “I can control my drinking” controlled her drinking well enough on 4 of the last 5 nights that she didn’t fall down any stairs at least. Got to take the small victories too, right?

Ah well. Intervention day is drawing near.

Anyhow. Saturday, before things went to pot, we hit up a local farmers market. Picked up some winter squash, apples, onions – whole bunch of nice fresh fruits & veggies. Then we raided the local chapter of the gates to hell (S@m’S) and stocked up on staples. And ribs. And a nice, fresh young turkey.

Got home, started par boiling that turkey to make some stock. Then headed outside and moved the last of the foundation plantings out of the way of the new back porch. Also heeled in a metric ton of new perennials, waiting to be arranged around the (to be) finished stream & falls in the spring. That pretty much killed the afternoon. Well, for me. Cindy still had some drinking to do. I had GUMBO to cook. It had been way too long since we’d had any, and I had the itch to make a batch. So I did. Damn, it was good.

Also Saturday, I rubbed up some baby backs for smoking on Sunday. Sunday started with a trip to The Bob’s swinging bachelor pad at CMSS. We got all his paintings and photo collages hung up in his new digs in the “Memory Care Unit”. This is a secured area, cipher locked, to guard against residents wandering off on their own. After getting his room looking a little homier, we busted him out on parole and took him home with us for the afternoon.

He always wants to pitch in and help, so I had him sweep off the patio as part of the process of preparing for the construction of the deck/porch thing. The area immediately east of the patio, where the pond used to be, is where the deck is going. We asked Bob to go ahead and sweep all the debris from the patio right into that dirt area – it was all going to be covered by deck anyhow. 4 times in the next half hour I answered the same question. The only real challenge there is to act like it’s the first time you’ve heard the question – not the fifth time in the last 30 minutes. It’s getting easier to do. All the practice is really helping.

While Bob was sweeping, I got started on digging the trench for the pond electric. Found out the local code requires 120VAC lines to be buried a minimum of 18 inches. A little survey work revealed that I needed to dig this 18 inch deep trench about 90 feet. Sweet! Finished up just in time to get the ribs out of the smoker. Task now is to get the actual wiring done and close up the trench before it collects critters, ankles, lawnmowers or attention.

Can’t believe it’s Wednesday night already. Work has been a real zoo. New circuit boards, new software, same old problems. Actually, got some new problems too. We’ll get them figured out, just got to keep the caffeine levels high enough.

Met with my shrink again today. Not sure on just what we’re doing with me – maybe working on my tasks related to this intervention – getting my own head straight on what my arguments are, validating my own feelings, and strategizing how to best include the boys. I guess what I see as immediate issues are the fact that I see Cindy’s drinking starting to increase, but getting an intervention together – one we’re going to do ourselves – is going to take some time. So I have the internal battle of wanting to get things done NOW, but also having to wait to get better prepared on the whole intervention.

At least there’s bowling Thursday to help take my mind off things for a while. And we get a new guy bowling with us this week. Youngest brother will be bowling for only the third time this year. Today, Lefty and I were giving him a hard time about being some new guy and not being able to find his way to the bowling center. Lefty even sent him a link to a g00gle map guiding him from work to bowling. (Nice map, but not a way I’d choose – the expressway is a parking lot headed north that time of day)

Just to appease my inner nerd, I’ve been keeping track of my bowling so far this season. It’s revealed an alarming trend – I’m a little slow out of the blocks. Here’s the stats: Game 1, average 172; Game 2, average 188; Game 3, average 201. My solution? Bowl 4 games and only count the last 3. What I have to settle for? Get in more practice shots. Unfortunately, they’ve cut down on our warm up time. For us older guys, that’s rough. It takes longer and longer to get really loose. Besides, I toss the ball with just a wee bit of pace on it (to quote some of our opponents – “How the fuck do you do that?”) so it takes even longer to get things running at game speed. Old age sucks. I’d advise everybody to avoid it, if at all possible. Not to say you should stop living – just don’t get old.

I gotta go pay attention to the debate. For the record, New York is blue state. McCain worries me. What worries me more is that if McCain should die while in office, Hockey Mom would become president. Lordy, I’d rather it was Hilary before it was Sarah.

20 days to election day. It’s your right and privilege to vote. Make sure you do.


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old habits - new tricks