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2007-03-15, 3:34 p.m.

Day 936

We got up to a sultry, steaming, glorious, 67 degrees on the Fahrenheit scale Tuesday. There were even extended periods where this big yellow thing up in the sky was shining brightly Ė so bright it actually created shadows! And if you stood in the light, it felt even warmer!

It was actually pretty enjoyable, cruising around town with mom, doing her doctor appointment (Sheís healed! Itís a miracle!), running all sorts of errands. Heck, up here in March Ė 67 is shirt sleeve weather. Having the sun shining too is just gravy.

So momís a free woman now. Sheís back to being able to drive and can return to work next week after her last PT session. Good thing too. She was developing a serious case of cabin fever. She still cheats and uses a splint some to walk, but I think weíve got her talked into trying to wean herself off it so her muscles can re-learn to carry the load.

Before I left for my adventures with mom, I yanked some ground beef out of the freezer to thaw. Figured to do meatloaf for dinner. The expectation is that if I have a day off, Iím expected to have dinner plans all set and have dinner on the table at a reasonable hour. Doesnít matter what else Iím supposed to accomplish that day Ė a day off means dinner is all mine.

On the way home from momís, (later than I wanted, but how does one ever leave their mothers on schedule?) I swung by the store and picked up some asparagus, hamburger rolls, and a two-pack of white chocolate Reeseís cups (those never made it home). At home, the ground beef got turned into burgers, the asparagus was trimmed, doused with EVOO, salt & pepper, Zach was put on salad duty and I got too many potatoes ready to go. Since it was such a beautiful day, the burgers and asparagus were grilled. If youíve never tried grilled asparagus, you really must. Providing, of course, that you can tolerate the stuff to begin with. Itís understandably a tough vegetable to like. But grilled? Oh my. Let the outside get all caramelized, the insides get nice & tender, really quite tasty.

Thereís one thing about asparagus though. Cindy hasnít noticed it, but than I think that might be common with a lot of women. Men canít help but notice it. At least those that stand to pee canít miss it. About two hours after you eat the stuff, something vile happens inside your body. The next time you hit the can after dinner you may notice a certain, unique aroma. Might have something to do with sulphur or something, but it isnít pleasant. This continues for 12 Ė 18 hours, depending on how much asparagus youíve had. It seems to also affect ones sweat. At least it did this time. I kinda noticed it after the cycling class this morning. I was just finishing wiping down my trusty steed, when I got a whiff of the unmistakable aroma of asparagus saturated pee. Except Iím pretty sure no one peed during class. I hope. Then two things occurred to me: that stench is coming through in my sweat, AND, if I can smell it in my own sweat, everyone else must be able to smell it too. Poor people.

So, while I do love me some asparagus, I may have to restrict my intake on days before I plan a particularly heavy workout Ė like an hour long cycling class at the Y for example.

Oh Ė the reason why I think women may not notice this phenomenon? Sitting to pee mostly. Doesnít allow the vapors to escape and spread. The boys and I are constantly mentioning how nasty asparagus pee is, and we just get the WTF? look from Cindy like weíre nuts or something. Well, we are, but not because of that.

Beets on the other hand, are much more fun. I accidentally found out that if you eat a whole bunch of beets (like a cup maybe a cup and a half or so) you can have some real fun. At those levels, you have enough beets in you that the pigment starts to spill over into (you guessed it) your urine. I had the unfortunate luck of unknowingly running into this just before a complete physical a few years ago. After the physical, the doc asked if I had any concerns. I mentioned having red urine a few days prior. She couldnít come up with any causes for it and advised me to just keep an eye on things. Had to go back a week later for blood work results (cholesterol of 260 something, glucose borderline, blood pressure too high - this was in my still smoking, pre-diet days) and by then I was able to make the connection between beets and red pee. We both had a good laugh over that one. Too bad all the snow around here is melting. Now of all times, I get the bright idea to eat a bunch of beets, then go write someoneís name in the snow in bright red pee. Oh well. Maybe we have one good storm left. If I manage to pull it off, thereíll be pictures (of the results, not the process)

In more mundane news, didnít get to the alanon meeting Tuesday night. Seems that besides being on the hook for dinner, I also signed up for getting no help during clean up. Fell victim to that manipulation all too easily. I do cook a lot, and I donít mind that. I also do dishes a lot, and I donít mind that either. Itís my way of contributing to all the crap that needs to happen to keep a house running. But. The feet dragging on Tuesday nights is reaching new lows. Guess who made sure they took their sweet time getting back from the gym before dinner? Guess who was the last one in from the family room (by a 3 or 4 minute margin) when dinner was ready? Guess who was last to finish up eating? Lordy Ė her ass was dragging from the minute she got out of bed Tuesday morning. Getting up late and hung over must do that to a person. By the time I was finally done with getting the kitchen returned to a non-meal prep state, it was 7:55pm. Best I can do is 15 minutes to the meeting, more than likely itís 20 minutes. Thatíd make me 10 - 15 minutes late to a 60 minute meeting. I hate showing up that late (even to cycling class), so rather than stress about getting there on time or not, I just caved. I gave up even before that Ė realizing that I was getting no help. I should have pulled Zach in to help Ė but then Cindy probably would have stepped in and done it anyhow, using that opportunity to take pot shots at my ďleaving a messĒ in the kitchen after making the mess by daring to cook dinner.

Chalk it up as a lesson learned.

Do you have any idea how much I want to bring up the empty whiskey bottles (still) in the trunk of her car? It would be so easy to just open my mouth and let it flow. The urge to ask her how she can think thatís normal behavior is pretty strong. But I can see how that would be calling her out and rubbing her nose in something she has little control over. So mum it is. Thank god for the gym.

Hereís a map of the latest crazy idea. June 10, 2007. A 62.5 mile bike ride for the Job security?

Those of you with stat trackers will know who I work for. For the rest of you? Iím American. Not Canadian. Yet.

Leap to Thursday afternoon. Okay Ė step gingerly if you need to.

Went and saw Annie last night. Cute show. The little 5 yr old girl that played Molly was a scene stealer. The woman who played Miss Hannigan was also a hoot. The two of them got the most vigorous applause, even more than what Annie got. The girl that played Annie was no slouch either. Quite a voice, and a helluva set of lungs. She held on to one note at the end of a song for an incredibly long time. All in all, a very enjoyable experience. Even if Cindy did fortify herself before I got home with her dad in tow. I think she was also upset that I only had a lemonade with dinner too. If Iíd had a beer, she would have been all over one for herself.

Other than that, Iím buried here at the zoo. We have 4 EEís in my group, Iím the only one in today. Fun. Tomorrow thereíll be two of us. Fun again.

Bowling tonight. Gotta go get shit done so I donít miss my physical relief. Had to skip the gym this morning due to our late night at the opera. Sucks getting culture.

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old habits - new tricks