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Choose Your ‘Tude
2008-01-15, 2:42 p.m.

Day 1242

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Haven’t updated in what, 5 days? Been busier than a one legged Texan in an Okie kicking contest (sorry OKC – that was a favorite of my old Army buddy that was from Circe’s neighborhood – it IS kinda funny tho . . .)

That title thing up there. Relates directly to what I was doing Sunday morning. Last week we had a pretty nasty wind storm pass through. 70+ mph gusts for most of the morning. We didn’t lose any trees, but we did get a lot of dead branches breaking loose. Been warm around here lately too, so all the snow has melted and the leaves that didn’t get raked up in the fall were blown all over. Mostly in my back yard. The back yard is kind of a pocket where the wind gets trapped between some houses and a small patch of woods. As the wind slows down, the leaves it was carrying settle out. In my back yard.

So Sunday morning I was getting all ready to start whining about having to go out and pick up dead wood and rake the yard (again). But while I was out there running around in a sweatshirt with a flannel jacket over it (jeans too, but need I mention them?), I realized something. Rather than get all “wah, wah, poor little me having to rake again” I should be grateful that the weather was nice nice enough that I COULD be outside raking, in relatively light clothing. Actually, I even worked up a little sweat. Take a note – a sweatshirt and a light flannel jacket are too much to wear when it’s in the mid 40’s and you’re raking leaves.

Most of the leaves I picked up were from oak trees. The nearest oak trees are two houses down and across the street. Sheesh.

Bowling last week. Team started out in 4th place. We bowled the third place team. Ahh – excuse me – the FORMER third place team. We managed to win 2 games outright and tied for total pin fall, taking 5 of a possible 8 points. That was enough to flip us up into third. Funny part is that the only person on our team to come close to his average was Zach, who was only subbing for Lefty. Baby bro and I were too busy stinkin up the joint to actually do any good. Our saving grace was that the other team sucked worse than we did.

Speaking of Lefty – he’s going in for a biopsy this very minute. The docs are going to do a CAT scan – if the mass still shows up in his lung they’ll do a needle biopsy and try to grab some of the gunk. Lefty says that a week of antibiotics seems to have helped. He’s pain free and hasn’t had to take any vicodin since last Monday. We’re hoping that the preliminary CAT scan shows no mass, which would mean no needle biopsy either. Then he can bowl with us Thursday. Otherwise, with the biopsy, there’s a 1 week advisory against any strenuous activity. Heaving a 16lb ball down a 60-ft lane, trying to maximize the damage done to a set of (10) 3lb 8oz pins does sound a trifle strenuous. So if Lefty gets the needle today – no bowling Thursday.

That’s mildly unfortunate too. We’ll be bowling a team just behind us in the standings. The anchor bowler on that team is also a lefty, and MY lefty loves to (good naturedly) tease him about how easy it is to bowl on the left side. That makes the other guy press a little harder and causes him to make poor shots. My lefty? Highest average in the league. Bowls like an effin machine. I thought he was just having fun teasing poor Larry like that, but in actuality, he was doing it with a purpose. To goad him into pressing a little harder. So I will be picking up that torch Thursday, whether Lefty bowls with us or not. Might be fun.

Went to the Margaret Woodbury Strong National Museum of Play here in Rottenchester. They have a lovely Butterfly Garden there. When I sort through the pictures I’ll post a few. But they have butterflies from around the world. There is a incubator of sorts with hundreds of chrysalis’s (chrysali?) percolating along, getting ready to spit out more flutterbys. It’s really an amazing little place. Small, but amazing. And warm. Hated to leave. Warm and humid feels so good right about now.

Found this at CosmicCrayola, who found it at LA the Sage. Don’t know where LA got it, haven’t poked around there (yet). Still – I’m apparently a Canna.

I am a

What Flower
Are You?

Couples head session coming up tomorrow. I think. Gotta confirm it. Should be interesting. I can predict the themes. From Cindy – “he procrastinates too much” (honestly, I’d agree) From me – “She tries to control or influence EVERYTHING”. I doubt Cindy will agree.

Here’s a transcript of a fun little interchange we had last night.

We had figured that I’d get home before Cindy, so I got the grocery shopping task. I got home toting the odds and ends we needed for dinner (stuffed pork chops). Cindy actually beat me home, so she had the veggies ready to go (steamed green beans) and the oven warming up. Earlier in the day, I asked Cindy how long she thought the chops would take. We agreed that it would take 1:15 – 1:30 to cook them properly. (Remember this for later.)

I emptied my grocery bags, got water on to boil for the dressing and washed my paws. Cindy was flitting about the kitchen putting away a few dishes and just sort of nosing into what I was doing. I thought we had agreed that I was doing the pork chops. But. I got advice on how to heat the water. How to melt the butter. Which dish to use for the butter. That was when I asked Cindy just who was doing the stuffing. She assured me I was. (She also wanted me to not pack the stuffing in so tightly, because last time the chops didn’t get done. Remember this for later too.)

I dumped the stuffing crumbs into a large mixing bowl. Poured in the melted butter. Added water from the teakettle, measuring the water carefully, per package instructions. As I was starting to mix the stuffing, Cindy said, “You should add more water, it always . . . and I never really heard what she said because I was busy exploding. I don’t recall precisely what I said, but it was along the lines of “Here, you fucking do it” but not quite so polite. I left the kitchen, picking my coat up off the back of a chair, taking it to the closet to hang it up just for an excuse to leave. From there, I headed to the garage to take out some recycling and just to cool off for a bit.

When I came back in, Cindy was not, in fact, finishing stuffing the chops. So I did. Loosely, and without further interruption. Put them in the oven at 5:42 – figured they’d be done right around 7. I went and puttered around, looked at some bills, did some on-line banking, played with a worksheet I’m doing for my FIL’s estate management.

At 6:30 we all got called in to eat. WTF? Thought it’s be more like 75 minutes, not 50? Cindy says, “Oh, they’re done” Guess what? The chops weren’t done. Not even close. Eric and I pulled them out of the stuffing. I fired up a big skillet and proceeded to pan fry them to finish them off. While the chops were finishing, we had green beans and stuffing. Know what Cindy said? Nothing about the chops. But she did complain that the stuffing was too dry.

Cindy trotted off to her AA meeting after dinner. That’s why she was so anxious about getting dinner out of the oven. When she returned, she was all sweetness & light. But she never really acted the part of the asshole earlier either – she was just trying to be controlling, I think without realizing it. Perhaps in the guise of offering advice, or ‘helping’. I’m hoping that through AA she starts to realize how controlling she’s trying to be. So far, I get the impression she doesn’t quite understand what “being controlling” is.

For example. We never had a holiday get together with my brothers. Cindy didn’t want us to call them and “control” the situation – she looked at it as giving up control. But her watching over everything I did in the kitchen last night? Helping, and/or offering advice.

Calling people and asking to get together for dinner/gift exchange isn’t controlling. Offering unsolicited help and/or advice IS controlling. Or at least trying to be controlling. Maybe our next session with the counselor will help shed light on this. Or maybe I can just wait till later . . .

ps – in case y’all are wondering – there is no such thing as unsolicited advice when it comes to responses to any of the drivel I post here. Besides being a place to vent, this is also one big “WTF do I do now?” waiting to happen.
pps - Update from Lefty, and I quote "Hurray!! I have pneumonia!!" Mass gone, no biopsy needed. Best possible outcome. Guess who's bowling Thursday, teasing the crap out of poor old Larry?

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