Altering Habits

Sponsor My Ride!!

Scotty's Place





Guess Who Came for Dinner?
2006-07-07, 4:27 p.m.

Day 684 Didn’t I Say So?

Got both of my new toys Thursday. The new 1Gb memory card is kinda sweet. Can store 600+ hi-res images on it. Can’t take that many pictures on a single battery charge. Better get a spare battery and a car charger now. Oh boy – more on-line shopping. I loves me some Froogle.

MP3 player arrived too. It was a refurb model I got from overstock. Appears to operate just fine. Having fun getting a decent ripper loaded & running. The free ones are slow, shareware versions only let you do 2 – 12 rips before they cut out, and iToonz uses a format that only works in iP0ds. The ripper works great, I have a bunch of tunes I copied off of CD’s loaded on my work computer that I can now enjoy here in the cube, but I can’t put them on the MP3 because the format is wrong.

Ended up using the ripper/music manager that was sort of recommended by Sandisk- which ended up being the Y@who music engine. As per usual, I have an odd situation. My beast of a machine at home is old & crotchety, so I have to use an older version. Slow, but it works fine. Let me rip & load some Kenny Wayne Sheppard and a few Aerosmith tunes.

Loaded the new version at work. Firewall prevents the use of the freedb function, so all the ripped tunes come up as CD track xx, unknown artist. A nuisance, but at least you’re allowed to edit all that info once the tracks are copied. Problem is when I tried to move them into the mp3 player – they didn’t seem to move properly, if at all. Might have still been polluted with the iToonz stuff. Don’t know yet, need time to figger it all out.

As I suspected – our Orfe’s were definitely dinner guests for some of the local fauna. I was out feeding the fishies Wednesday evening, when I noticed something odd (fishy?) floating through one of the lilies. Went and got the net I mounted on an extension pole and fished out the oddity. Turns out it was one of the Orfe’s, couple of days dead. Looked as if it had been gutted & partially eaten. Nice image, I know. Sorry ‘bout that. Must have sunk right after the homicide (icthyicide?) and only floated after decomposition had altered the body’s buoyancy. Laws of physics, ya know. I suspect the other missing Orfe was the main course and was completely consumed. Don’t know who is coming for dinner, whether it’s a heron, raccoon or some other fish eater. I’m leaning toward a raccoon because they would tend to come at night. The fish went missing over the holiday weekend, and except for Sunday, we were home & active most of the weekend. I don’t think a heron would have stopped by under those conditions. Plus, earlier in the spring, when we were having ducks stop by checking the pond out, I noticed tiny little hand prints along the ‘shore’. Hand prints like a raccoon would make. Hmmmm.

The part about ‘Didn’t I Say So?’ – my short lived reprieve from the drunken mess I live with. First day back to work – bam! Must have needed one to ‘unwind’ from her busy day. One bender, not drink.

Summer time, she works 8 – 3. Home by 3:30, if she drives slow and has to wait for a herd of deer to cross the road. I got home around 6, she had no clue what to do for dinner, but was absolutely sure she had to go re-fill her cocktail mug, an old 22 oz beer mug, filled with her favorite 50/50 whiskey/ginger ale mix. It doesn’t take many of those to do some damage, usually 2 is plenty – but 4 or 5 is what she usually has. Kinda like an elephant tranquilizer. She keeps shooting till she’s tranq’d enough to not be able to shoot anymore.

Anyhow – I got to cook dinner Wednesday night. Made some Chili Verde with a big chunk of left over smoked pork loin. I liked it, but the kids aren’t overly thrilled with the whole cumin/cilantro white chili concept. They ate it, but it didn’t make their top 100.

Last night, I went off to my Al-Anon meeting. Got home 7ish. Eric was already home from work. My favorite alcoholic was already at least 2 sheets to the wind. Something was in the oven cooking, something else was on the stove, starting to steam. There was a tiny pile of yesterday’s salad in a salad bowl, obviously waiting to be added to for tonight’s dinner. Lets just summarize things by noting that Eric & I ate at the kitchen table, Cindy stumbled in from the family room, got some salad & casserole and retreated back to the family room. I was hoping she just didn’t mess up the new couches too bad by dumping her dinner plate on it. Zach got home from work, joined Eric and I at the kitchen table. I asked Zach if he noticed how his mom was doing as he passed through the family room. His one word response? Pathetic. How sad is that? A 22 yr old kid calling his own mom pathetic. After I got the kitchen cleaned up, I finally went back out to the family room and got Cindy’s dishes. She’s sleeping (passed out) with her half eaten dinner balanced on the arm of the couch. Judging from the sounds coming from the family room as we ate (nothing but the TV) I’m guessing this scene is what Zach found pathetic.

I’m contemplating sending her an email consisting of only these two questions:

Want to know where I go after work every Thursday till 7?
Want to know why?
Ask me.

I have it saved in the draft folder of my work email.

Or maybe I’ll pull a Sport and hand write her a note and leave it where she alone will find it. Same 3 lines. Could just up & ask her too. Somehow I doubt that will happen.

Don’t know why I have such trouble opening up and saying things to people. Afraid of hurting them? Afraid of getting frustrated & tongue tied? Afraid of the conflict? Afraid of the seven hour “discussion” that will follow? Maybe it’s the discussion – where she’ll try to blame her drinking on me, I’ll call bullshit, then tell her she drinks because she’s an alcoholic and needs help. That ALWAYS goes over so well.

I am just getting tired of dealing with it. Trying to be nice – not harass her about, but also not enable it. Don’t want her to get hurt, but I also need to take care of me. Taking care of me is starting to become more involved than just allowing myself to hit the gym and work out. Serena touched on it when we met back in May. It’s not so much the physical intimacy (well, for me, it is partly, but for now . . .) but more the intimate conversations. The feeling of closeness that develops when you get to talk about deeper thoughts and feelings – not just barely covering the day to day crap we all put up with. There’s no talk of dreams or wants or desires anymore. It’s just ‘What do you want for dinner? When are the kids due home? Is your Dad coming over this weekend?’ Did you feed the fish? All mundane shit. It was so refreshing to have a conversation where you actually had to think to formulate a response, and you weren’t sitting in a conference room at work, or trying to save your own ass. Thanks again Serena. That was a nice night we had.

Hell, we don’t even get to go out and meet people because she’s never in a condition to go anywhere. We won’t even be able to go out to dinner tonight because she’ll be too fucked up by the time I get home and won’t want to be seen in public. I’ve half a mind to leave her ass home and go out with the kids anyhow. Only problem is she might try and drive someplace. Drunk. And get in an accident. That would suck. Be my luck that the other vehicle she hit would be mine.

And then? (pardon the grammar) If/when she finally quits drinking? We’ll have to learn how to be a couple all over again. Because right now, we aren’t even close.


I skipped the gym this morning because I had trouble getting up. Had that trouble because I stayed awake, waiting for a certain someone to finally shut down and go to bed. I’m skipping out of work early (ie – after only 9 hours) to hit the gym this afternoon. Provided I remembered to throw a workout shirt in my bag. Dang it. Screw it. If I have no shirt I’ll just go home and go for a nice long bike ride. Then hit up the weights down stairs.

Updated stats:
Weight start: 206.5 on 1/1/06 (265.0 on 1/15/05)
Current weight 186.75 on 7/1/06 (f*&%in oreo’s)
Next weigh in: 7/8/06

New target – 8/22/06 to be at 180 (my 2 year quit anniversary)

The Keep on Truckin goal: (idea stolen shamelessly from Marn’s Big Adventure)
Miles at speed 7/5/06: 517.90
Miles with cooldown: 569.54
Target for 2006: 1000 miles

Weighdown Stats
Brian 7.0 14 0 50.0
Sport 5 8 0 62.5
alison 7.0 8 1 87.5

If you use a pop-up blocker, hit "Ctrl" when you click to leave a comment


old habits - new tricks