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The Car, She is Bought and Other Tales
2007-05-09, 11:28 a.m.

Day 989

OK Ė a two-fer. First, from Tuesday:

Whew! The car shopping extravaganza is done. Came down to the choice between a very, very dark blue Malibu and a very, very white Malibu. The white one was a year newer, had 20K fewer miles on it and was the newer, slightly larger body style. Mom apparently thought that the white Ďwould just show all the dirtí and never look clean. Plus, the blue one had cargo nets in the trunk and split folding rear seats, all the better to haul around those 2x4ís she needs so often.

What ever. I tried to steer her to the newer, lower mileage car, but she got caught up in the cosmetic issues and picked the blue one. If sheís happy with it, Iím thrilled. She picks it up tonight. She had wanted me to go with her tonight too, but we got all the financing talk out of the way last night. That keeps my evening schedule uncluttered and leaves me free to attend my usual meeting, which I think I kinda need.

Zach got stuck at work waaaaayyyy late last night, and with me out enjoying the car shopping extravaganza with mom, it left poor Jill home alone with Cindy. Now, Cindy was fully warned about my spending the evening out car shopping again, so she knew she was on the hook for dinner. That she did fine, but Jill called Zach at work, kinda giving him a blow by blow description of the evening as it unfolded. Wish I were there to be a buffer for Jill. She tends to go to her room and hide, studying or spending time on any of the various IMís. By the time I got home, Cindy was upstairs, Zach still wasnít home and Jill was in hibernation.

I wasnít home more than 10 minutes when Z finally pulled in, very ready for dinner. Got him set, listened to how his day went, fielded the reports on Cindyís activities for the evening. Trying to get him to understand that itís going to happen Ė all he can do is learn to cope and let things play out. His learning to cope is praying real hard that he gets a job with this outfit heís interviewing with so he can move out by the end of summer. Heíll easily make enough to support both he and Jill, she can complete her last year of school (Dental Hygiene) and they can go on to become DINKS. (For a while. They definitely want kids, just not yet. Plus, Iím too young to be a grandpa. Geeze!!)

So everybody is coping as best they can. Whether itís the best way to cope? Who knows? For Cindy, itís far from the best way, but until she decides to own her recovery process, sheís going to continue on her downward spiral. All I can do is protect the kids and myself while she figures it out. Hope she gets busy on that soon.

Havenít heard form the dude with the Peugeot road bike. He was supposed to have an ad ready for Craigslist this past weekend. I have, of course, been checking every 2 hours like an obsessed fool. What did I find instead? An older Trek 420 touring bike. The seller posted pictures of it in his ad, and it looks nearly as good as the Trek promo shots. The only setback is that the handlebars have been replaced with mountain bike style handlebars rather than the typical rams horn road bar. But you know what? I happen to have a set of rams horn bars I can suddenly spare. Put some fresh tires & tubes on it, move my speedometer over and Voila! Instant upgrade.

Ad was posted last night, late. I emailed him this morning, basically saying Iíd pay his asking price right now and come pick up the bike tonight. Iím just waiting to hear from him. Oh. His asking price? $100. Iíll turn around and sell my old Huffy to some college student (U of R, RIT, I donít care) to recoup the cost of new tires. Gives me time to start training on the new bike this weekend. I just hope the seller emails or calls me today. Iíd even take a pass on the meeting tonight just to get this deal done. (Shhh, donít tell anyone. Iíd like to do both, but Iím on the hook for dinner tonight too)

No cycling this morning. Ran instead. Have a TUV safety guy coming in to the zoo today so no weights either Ė just a quick (23:14) 5k to get the old ticker pumping. Plus, this Saturday is the Run for the Young 5k race. I want to kind of take it easy this week so I can save up a little extra for the race. Last year, this was the first 5K Iíd run in umpty-something years, so I figured itíd be my new ďfirst race of the yearĒ forever. Now, I want to beat last years time by a bunch. Canít remember that I ran last year Ė 27:45 or 26:45. oh Ė I know Ė itís posted here . Looks like I did it in 27:46 (look for the dude that was 25th in males 45 Ė 49) Iíve run fast enough in the last month to finish 7th, but lately have been coming in at 23:00 or so. That guy who finished in 10th last year (with his last name and town misspelled)? My dentist. I checked with him a couple of weeks ago. Heís definitely entered again. Think Iíll look him up at the race and use him as a pacer. Heís right in the upper range of what I can run Ė as long as he hasnít shaved 4.5 minutes off his time too. (Should hit him up to sponsor me in the Tour de Cure too, eh? Business deduction and all . . .)

Now from Wednesday

Went and pushed the limits again last night. At least Cindy was/is being a civil human being lately.

Went and decided to do that simple, but involved chicken dish again, Chicken Paillard . You really gotta try it. If you decide to, let me know, I can let you know what to substitute for some of the ingredients (like Wegmans Basting oil for one).

Anyhow. Zach is pretty tuned in to my heading out for meetings on Tuesdayís and will pitch in to help with dinner. (Such a good kid. I should rent him out.) Got the dish done, did dinner, cleaned up and still got to the meeting 5 minutes early! Amazing what a little help can do Ė if you ASK for it. Díuh.

Funny too Ė Cindy isnít raising a stink about my going. Sheís actually leaving one of the garage doors open and not shutting down the downstairs part of the house. Might have been because the kids were out at a friends house too, but Iíll take what I can get.

At last nights meetings (all of 5 of us there) I got hit up to be the meeting chairperson. Never done that before. After having been to, what, 40 or 50 meetings? Went smooth as silk. I might even volunteer for it in the future. Of course, it helped immensely that the other 4 in attendance are all very good at opening up and sharing things, but we managed to get all the way through the meeting with none of those awkward silences. Even ran over a few minutes with some of the discussion. As chairperson, I kinda felt the need to share a little more than whatís normal for me (like almost zero), and in so doing, I think I got a little more out of the meeting. You gotta give in order to get I guess.

The Bob is having an issue with one of his dental bridges. Need to get him in for some minor repair work. Cindy called our dentist (Dr. Joe), got a mess of referrals and whittled it down to the office that could get Bob in the quickest. She called me this morning, started out by good naturedly teasing me about not picking up my messages. Nice. (No, really. Nice.) Then she asked me MY favorite question to her: whadaya want for dinner? (Again with the nice!) We got dinner decided, figured out who was gong to run The Bob to the oral surgeon (me Ė power of attorney & all Ė I get to write the checks) and also decided to send me to a butcher shop right down the road from where I work to stock up on animal protein. Gonna have 5 people in the house as of Saturday and we need out protein. Ought to just get a side of beef, half a pig and a hen house. Might actually last a week. Tell me again, why do we need to feed our kids?

So Iím kinda jazzed a little. An actual human style, civil conversation with my wife. On a weekday morning no less. Not going to get any hopes up because she still hasnít resolved to fix anything herself, but at least this Al Anon is starting to pay some dividends. Itís keeping me from flying off the handle, obsessing, and providing other coping mechanisms that I can share with the kids. Not bad for such a small investment in time & money.

That Trek Road bike from yesterday? Gone. Again. I was like the third guy to ask about it. Again. Seem to be following a theme here. Got a suggestion from a cyclist here at the zoo to go check out a nearby bike shop. They sometimes have decent road bikes for sale, and if I mention that he sent me in, they might only charge me double! Such a deal.

So thatís what Iím doing for lunch today. Checking out gently used road bikes. If push comes to shove, Iíve also researched some Raleighís and have selected an entry level roadie that I might be able to pick up for less than a weeks pay. I have a company funded stock account with my former employer that is being cashed out as a result of our buyout. It isnít huge (they stopped actively funding it in the late 80ís I think), but it will cover a very) modest road bike. Thatís my story and Iím sticking to it. Plus, if I get something from a bike shop, itís more likely to fit me properly. Since Iím a teensy bit taller than the average bear, with possibly a slightly longer than normal torso, fit is important. (Early bet: 58 Ė 60cm frame with a 56cm top rail).

Anyhow Ė Iím off to go look at toys.

Behave or have fun. Pick one.

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old habits - new tricks