Altering Habits

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Finally a Normal Workout Day
2007-04-18, 11:01 p.m.

Day 969

Heh. That news article about the delays processing tax returns through the Intuit servers? Been there, done that. Had The Bob’s tax returns all finished, just needed to hit the send button and be done. Kids declared dinner ready to eat, so I took a break. Had a nice dinner, completely prepared by the chilluns, if you want to call 22 yr olds kids. (I do, since they’re my kids, after all). Cleaned up from dinner, scooted out to my favorite meeting. Got home about 9:15 last night and dove into the tax returns. Got to the part where you actually hit the send button and watched the progress. Re-check the returns – ok. Save the returns – ok. Upload the returns – Sorry, our servers are buried. Please try again later. Got that message consistently until 11-ish, when it finally uploaded the returns and gave me the smiley face response. All I had to do then was high tail it to the post office and drop off the checks before midnight.

Except my local post office didn’t appear to have anyone on staff to postmark anything. I was NOT going to drive to the next post office (whole different zip code!!) and see if they were post marking things. I just left the payments in the “to go” bin and figured one day wasn’t going to kill me. Plus, the returns themselves were filed – it’s Intuit’s problem as far as I’m, concerned. This may turn around and bite me in the ass when Intuit claims ‘mea non culpa’, but it was late, I was tired, and I may not have been capable of making rational decisions. Shoot me. (Please?)

Al Anon meeting was kind of quiet last night. Common occurrence with this particular group. Once the meeting itself is over things really pick up, but during the meeting hardly anybody wants to contribute. Could be that there were only 7 of us there. Maybe more folks would lead to more chatter.

Sucks missing a week too. Easy to fall out of the mindset needed to cope with living with an active alcoholic. Plus I have GOT to tape a note to the windshield of my van to remind me to call my sponsor on a more regular basis. He’s going to think I lost his phone number or lost interest in things. Bad, bad, bad. Doesn’t help that I’m not always comfortable calling him from home (privacy issues – the drunks have ears!) and calling from work is out of the question – even just to leave a message. That leaves calling from the van, which usually also involves driving somewhere. In New York, that’s kinda illegal – especially if you get caught. I suppose I could spring for the hands free gear which would solve the legality issues, but I’d rather put that money towards a new pair of running shoes or something for my bike (or even a new-to-me bike!)

Later, back at the ranch . . .

Got out of work late. Already had the dinner menu set, Cindy knew what it was, so she got things rolling. I finally rolled in a little after 6 to find meatloaf ready to stuff in the oven and Cindy completely lit. Managed to not pop a cork or a blood vessel and played it reasonably cool. Spent some time talking with Zach before dinner. Ran across a posting for a job that’s right up his alley, and it’s with a local firm too. Entry level engineering job, perfectly situated for his abilities. We were discussing tailoring his cover letter & resume to highlight how well he fits their job description when Cindy kept trying to butt in with her opinion on matters. Well, her being drunk made that whole scene quite a treat. Not. Poor Zach was doing all he could to keep from blowing up. Managed to keep things defused till dinner was ready.

During dinner, Cindy got on some rant about Zach not doing enough to find a job, why wasn’t he doing this, why did he do that, he’s screwing up by not doing the other, yada, yada, yada. Zach wasn’t doing much to try and defend himself for a bunch of valid reasons. Finally, towards the end of the oh-so-pleasant meal Cindy turns to me and asks, loudly & drunkenly, why don’t I have an opinion on things? Why do I not tell Zach what I think? Why don’t I ever voice an opinion?

My response to her was, “I think it’s pointless to argue with a drunk”, followed by, “I have spoken to Zach about his job hunting. To Zach and in private, not in front of everybody.” That was pretty much the extent of my response.

Heeee. The rest of the evening was just fuckin’ joyous. Cindy was pissed off. At one point, when she was rattling the dishes around while we were cleaning up after dinner, pouting like a 3 year old, I said “Don’t go acting like you’re pissed at me.” And left it at that. We haven’t spoken a word to each other in the last 3 hours.

Z & I talked some more about his need to step up the job hunting efforts. But it was the two of us, in private, batting around ideas in a positive sense. What’s gone well? What could be improved? Improved how? Real live constructive criticism, not a drill sergeants public humiliation tactics.

I apologized to him for taking so long to shut his mother up, but I had to wait for the right opening. Also took some time and tried to explain to Zach what was going on, at least how I understand it in an Al Anon sense. Stressed the importance of not arguing with his mother when she’s been drinking. Gave him several stock defusing type responses to use. (I respect your right to have that opinion. I’m sorry you feel that way. You know? Zyou could be right.) Also explained that her nagging and nit picking is a mechanism she uses to feel better about herself, if only because she can try to find fault with others so she doesn’t appear to be so bad off. He independently picked up on the fact that she could be using the manufactured stress as an excuse for more drinking down the road. (Bright boy we’re dealing with here!!)

Tonight’s shenanigans are well worth a call to my sponsor in the morning. Circe – if you read this bright & early in the morning, call me and leave me a message about calling Mike, mkay? I’ll probably be sweating up some treadmill about then, but I’ll get the message later, when I’m all hot, sweaty & nekkid in the locker room.

Ohh, that reminds me of a phrase we use when discussing the orientation of a ball grid array device (don’t ask) when laying out a circuit board –
‘balls down, rear view”. Think about that in the context of some 75 year old guy in the locker room, bending over to dry his freakin toes. Yep – gotta see that every morning of the week. It’s a wonder my eyes still function.

In the good news department, the Sabres beat the Islanders to take a 3 to 1 lead in their playoff series. Scary part is the Sabres played like dog doo for about half the game, but still eked out a two goal win. Still need a win to closeout the series, but the next game is at home Friday. Guess where my butt will be parked?

Gotta run. 6am comes mighty early. Need to run about 4 miles tomorrow morning. Minimum. My legs feel tired already. Wonder how icy the bedroom will be?

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old habits - new tricks