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Burning at Both Ends
2006-08-23, 11:31 a.m.

Day 731 Burning at All Ends

I’ll get to the title in a bit.

First, Happy Birthday tomorrow to our buddy Sport, who is actually confessing to her real age, but you’ll never see me mention here except to say she’s a youngster relative to my ancient ass.

Second, got to spend my 2 year smoke free anniversary sweating my ancient ass off in an aerobics class. How appropriate. Tweaked Cindy a bit, but she spent the time out on the porch smoking & drinking. I’m not going to feel bad about celebrating my smokelessness exercising with people that like aerobics.

Now, ‘bout that title. Our younger son, Eric, has always been up front & critical of Cindy’s drinking. To her. Sarcastic, cynical, bitter, he didn’t hold back much of anything. I talked to him about it, tried to get him to back off a bit and just try to detach himself from her when she’s ‘in the zone’. He tries, but it’s an understandable struggle.

Older son, Zach, has been much quieter about it. He’s worked different hours, different days and has been exposed to it a little less. Plus, the extra year away at school had also removed him from some of the earlier episodes. He also clearly understands that this is a sickness we’re having to deal with and trying to force Cindy to do anything about it is counter-productive.

Well, last night Zach lit into Cindy. It was apparent when I pulled in from the Y. Cindy was out on the porch, torching off another butt, swilling down her favorite ‘medicine’. It looked like Zach was just finishing off his tirade and had receded back into the garage, tidying up some old car parts that he was getting rid of. Even though I couldn’t hear what he said, I could tell by body language and facial expressions he wasn’t telling her a joke.

Cindy’s eyes were impossible to read, it being dark and her being into her cups. Couldn’t tell if her eyes were bleary from the drinking or from a reaction to what ever Zach said. I just love coming home to situations like this. Playing the part of Switzerland, I stayed right the heck out of it. Got my dinner, ate in the kitchen, let the combatants settle down for a while. Cindy did go upstairs and unload a bit on Zach, but it sounded pretty controlled. At least she wasn’t yelling & screaming. And Zach didn’t respond much that I could hear.

After I got dinner dishes cleared and the kitchen tidied, I went upstairs to talk to Zach some. Just asked him what happened. Never asked for a blow by blow description. He admitted to blowing up and venting a little steam more due to frustration than anything else. I still don’t know just what he said, but I did remind him about not trying to force things, trying to stay detached when she’s drinking, and just holding on until she figures out she needs help.

Cindy was pretty much unapproachable. She was taking offense to anything, twisting things around to make it like everyone was blaming her for screwing everything up. Things as simple as ‘how are there 3 pork chops left over if everyone had one?’ got a tirade about how ‘the bag said there was 5 chops, why is it my fault there’s so many left over?’ Yeesh. I just backed right out of that one. I did ask her about how many drinks she had, but never got an answer. Left it alone after that. Unfortunately, now she has to face the possibility that both of her kids are starting to call her out on her drinking. That leads me to really want to get the hang of the whole Al Anon program so I can at least offer a little peace & consoling to all 3 of them.

I know I’ve read bits & pieces in the Al Anon books that encourage one to create a happy, peaceful environment in the house, especially in the presence of an active drinker. That will be my immediate mission – trying to create a serene household. Everything else I’ve done – direct confrontation, sarcasm, caustic comments, getting rid of all the alcohol in the house – none of it produced the desired response. That’s when I realized I have no control over any of it. Time to get with the program. Create an environment that promotes peace. At the very least, the kids & I will be happier. If Cindy tags along, fine. I can only control my own actions & reactions.

Today, we have to go over to Cindy’s Dad’s after work. The place he’s staying is changing their meal plan a bit, and he wants to be sure we’re up to speed on the changes. The old meal plan included breakfast & dinner, leaving residents on their own for lunch. They could have lunch in the facilities dining hall, but were charged separately for it. Apparently, so many of the residents are opting to eat lunch in the dining hall the administration has decided to adjust the meal plan cost to include it. Super idea. Most of the residents probably just don’t want to be bothered with having to prepare their own lunch. I think they were talking about upping the rent $100/month to include lunches in the meal plan. I say go for it. Bob just wants to be sure we’re aware of the change and that he’s got the budget for it. Truth is, Bob has the budget to not worry about any of that stuff. The other truth is Cindy & I will show up at his apartment this afternoon and he will likely be surprised and wonder why we’re there, even after asking us to come over. Yesterday. If I ever get Alzheimer’s, I hope the first thing I forget is how to operate a gun, because I’d sure be tempted to use one on myself. If I could remember why. This disease is just so scary & depressing. Sucks to watch a perfectly healthy man slowly disappear.

Oh – updated the buddy list. Yup. Figgered out how to add non D-land sites to the buddy list. Damn near killed me. Check out the new addition there on the upper right margin. Big welcome toScotty, Jamie Lee Curtis’s stunt double (kidding, but only sort of). She’s another sensitive, caring soul that likes to send the occasional virtual slap upside the head when I get a little too distracted in my whining. Not that I need it or anything, Scotty just likes to help.

On that note, I gotta go. Big department picnic this afternoon, catered by The Dinosaur. Yes, y’all need to be jealous. And that new weight goal? Maybe AFTER this weekend. Mmmmmm, Dinosaur.

Updated stats:

Weight start: 206.5 on 1/1/06 (265.0 on 1/15/05)
Current weight: 185.0 on 8/21/06 #$*&^ scale pointer has helium in it!!
Next weigh in: 8/28/06

New target – 8/22/06 to be at 180 (hey – only missed by 5!!) Time to re-load.

The Keep on Truckin goal: (idea stolen shamelessly from Marn’s Big Adventure)
Miles at speed 8/23/06: 680.00
Miles with cool down: 747.35
Target for 2006: 1000 miles
Plus 60+ miles biking so far.

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