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Don’t Touch Me, I’m Thiiiiick
2009-01-27, 7:33 p.m.

Day 1619

That was one of my ML’s favorite little sayings, that “I’m thiiiiick”, and she’d bat her eyelashes at you then start giggling uncontrollably. All in good fun. Think you had to hear it too, cause she said it in this slightly speech impedimented way that just added ti the pitifulness of it all. She had no speech impediments of her own, she just used a little lisp and added that tongue-to-the-back-of-the-teeth dealie in the beginning . . .

Anyhow – all that to say “I’m thiiiiick”. I even stayed home from work yesterday. Bonus was that the contractors doing the fireplace install were there in the morning to finally finish up getting the gas burner put in. I have only one word for that thing – Suhweet!! I wanted to lounge around in that room nekkid all afternoon and soak up the heat. But – had t go verify that I was in fact, “thiiiiick”

Turns out that the throat so sore I could barely swallow, slight fever and froggy (if there at all) voice were all driven by virally enhanced post nasal drip. I know – eeewww! Although, hearing that IS better than getting an endoscope shoved up, well, you know where.

But!! When I got back home, I fired up the fireplace. Got a nice little “whump” when it lit. But the flame was too blue. Then the left end of the flame petered out and it kinda died it’s way across to the right until I heard a little ‘click!’ and the flame went out completely – even the pilot light. So I re-lit the pilot, got things back to what I thought was normal and cranked it up again.

Whump, blue fame, peter out, click, dead. Lather, rinse, repeat – about 8 times. I am nothing if not persistent & stubborn. Finally, sensing that nothing I was doing was going to work (I even read the manual. Don’t tell anyone or they’ll take my “Man Card” away!!) I called the installer. Know what he said? “Uh-oh, you gotta call service. Here’s their number – yada, yada, yada . . .”

So I called service. Way before 5pm. Got their answering service, of course. Told their machine my tale of woe, hung up hoping for the best. About 2 minutes later Cindy walks in. She expects to see the fireplace running because I even sent her a phone cam picture of it running earlier in the day. (Dumb ass – now I had expectations to live up to!) So I told HER my tale of woe (“I’m thiiiiick”) and told her I already called the installer AND service and we’re waiting for some response.

In one very serendipitous moment, my cell rang right then. It was the installer. Based on my description, he had some ideas. Thought maybe I had a down draft problem. It was that or his younger assistant got the exhaust/intake pipes crossed way up at the top of the chimney.

So with the help of the installer on the phone, I did a few things to the newly installed fireplace. When we were done, it worked. Turns out (so far) there was just a bit of a vapor lock and it (the fireplace) wasn’t getting a real good updraft and the pressure was actually preventing the gas from coming out the burner. So we ran it some more last night. Zach & Jill saw it and also basked in the glow (fully clothed. No multi-generational group nekkidness happening at MY house). Cindy couldn’t really cuz she had to bask in the glow of her Monday evening AA meeting. But she sucked up some warmth when she got back. She especially likes it when she comes in from smoking her butts outside. Last night? 10 degrees. Gotta wanna but pretty bad to go out in THAT shit & smoke. So glad I quit.

I checked out the fireplace again this morning. It started up and ran correctly with no shenanigans on my part. I’m left to assume that there was just some funky downdraft thing happening last night that hopefully won’t be repeated. If it does, I have two advantages. A – I know how to fix it, and B – the dealer knows we’re pissed about getting the wrong dimensions for the fireplace rough out so he should be plenty responsive.

Debating the merits of going to my meeting tonight. The pro’s: 1 - It’s always just what I need. And today I need a little reminder of just what I can control and what I shouldn’t expect. (Yeah, I got weak and took a peek at the hidden liquor cabinet last night. Dammit.) 2 – Since I’m the group rep, I feel a certain responsibility to make sure someone is going to be there for the meeting, even in crappy weather. You just never know when someone is going to decide that Al Anon is just what they need. It would suck for them to get to a meeting and find no one there – even in our beautiful winter weather. Cons: 1 - My head feels like I snorted a teddy bear and he’s stuck just under my frontal lobes. 2 – we’re supposed to get somewhere between 5 and 10 inches of snow starting sometime tonight, depending on storm track and temperatures. Normally, I wouldn’t give a hoot, but if I’m feeling crappy I don’t want to mess around with driving in the snow, at night, on expressways.

Maybe I’ll make a few phone calls and see if others are planning on being there. But P has a long drive and she gets S who lives even farther away. B just had cataract surgery, J’s hubby is in the hospital not doing well, the other B has a bit of a drive too, the other P I haven’t seen in a while. T, W & F are pretty regular but T has younger kids, W sometimes works late and F’s hubby hasn’t been doing all that great of late. (I like F – she’s my buddy. She’s very well read and I think enjoys conversing with someone her own son’s age that isn’t all wrapped up in his next drink. Yeah – I’m her surrogate son, that’s it!)

Plus my youngest brother is having trouble with his dryer. I turned him loose with my meter, but it only raises more questions. I may end up at his place, infecting my nephews & SIL, only to finally say, “Gee, I don’t know. I think your dryer is fooked!”

Heh – fooked. Heard it in “Braveheart” – when the Irishman is talking to Wallace about their chances of surviving their next skirmish with the King – “My God says I’m ok, but he’s pretty sure you’re fooked!” I liked the Irishman. Can you tell?

Anyhow. The more I think about it the more I think I should just stay in tonight. We’ll see. If a dose of decongestant works tonight, maybe I’ll venture out. If my head still feels like a snorted teddy bear, I’ll just stay home and save up me energy for spin class in the morning.

You can bet a hunk o’change that Patty won’t be at spin class too. She hates driving in the snow. She actually lives in the village where my meeting is tonight. That leaves her about a 6 mile drive to get to the Y. At 5am, sometimes before the plows have really gotten a chance to work. Patty is a white knuckle driver when it comes to snow. Goes like a bat outta hell on a bicycle, but show her a flake and she flakes out. So tomorrow morning, I fully expect to see good o’ Mikey up front, ready to beat the crap out of us. You gotta hate these triathlon/marathon running people. They just don’t stop. Ever. And they smile the whole time. Grrrrrrr.


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old habits - new tricks