Altering Habits

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2008-05-16, 4:42 p.m.

Day 1363

That ride I took yesterday to my Al Anon meeting? Fatal. Broke a spoke. Sux muchly.

So there I was, knocked off probably 19 of the 19.6 miles I need to go. I’m on a major road (NY Rt. 104 for those that have been through the area), heading west, driving hard trying to get to this meeting on time. I’m on a bit of a bend, the shoulder is smooth, no impediments. Out of the blue, I hear a very audible “TWINK” (like plucking and then very quickly muting a harp string) and my read end gets all mushy. Well, the bikes rear end, not mine. I could literally feel it get softer. Without even trying, I slowed down considerably, like from 18 – 20 mph down to 10 – 12. Crawling!

I dared to look back. What a sight! The rear wheel was wobbling back and forth so bad it was pushing the brake pads out to the sides. It was bad enough the tire was nearly rubbing on the frame. Seeing as I had only a half mile to go, I kinda limped along, thinking light, feathery thoughts. Got to the meeting, pulled up to the door and dismounted. I immediately inspected the rear wheel and sure enough, there was a busted spoke. Separated right where the spoke goes into the mounting nipple – a nice, clean break.

Clearly, the bike was not ride able. I was forced to call in the cavalry for the return trip home. Most of the folks at the meeting are local to the area, like within 3 – 4 miles. I live 20 miles (well 19.6 by bike) away, so the cavalry had to be Cindy. Bummer for her, it cut into her drinking night.

I called her before the meeting began, just to make sure she could get out there. Had to supply directions & everything. She knows I go to this meeting, she’s just never been out there. Till last night.

Well, lunch has come & gone. Took a trip out to my favorite bike shop, The Bike Zone, and got all fixed up. The spoke dealie was covered under warranty. Got the wobble taken out of the rim, just be fixing the spoke. Who knew?

While I was waiting, I went over to the road bike section and lusted after some of the new Trek models. I was >< this close to plunking down the plastic and walking out of there with a spanking new Trek 1.2, but I want to be alive when I wake up in the morning. (It was way under a thousand hon, it’s the shoes that put me over, really!). I’ve been toying with the idea of switching to clipless pedals & the shoes to go with them for a while now. I’ve been hesitant to make the leap, until this afternoon. Found pedals for a reasonable price, they had shoes my size for a reasonable price, and the clips were a throw in. I can’t wait to get home tonight and take them out for a little test ride. Nothing serious, maybe a quick 8 or 10 miler to practice getting in and out of the pedal. Now, for the first time ever, I have shoes with Velcro closures.

Best part? They use the same system that the spin bikes at the Y use, so I can practice getting clipped in & out with out the risk of falling over and hurting something on the ground. That would make a funny video though.

Still kinda bummed though. The shoes & pedals were my version of retail therapy. Seems that Cindy still likes to sneak in her drinks on Thursday nights. We have a large-ish bottle of el-cheapo Pinot-Grigiot that we use(d) for cooking. Couple of favorite dishes use a sauce that’s a pan sauce with some wine reduction blah blah blah, and I need a ¼ to ½ cup or so of wine to make the sauce. Our most recent bottle was purchased maybe a month ago. I’ve used it once – to the tune of about 4 ounces. Now, this 1.5 liter bottle is about ½ empty (yes, the glass half empty approach – I’m pessimistic about this). The same size bottle of el-cheapo Merlot is also mysteriously evaporating. So there’s that, plus my dwindling supply of tasty malt beverages.

Yeah, Cindy’s whole AA/recovery thing goes ok maybe 5 days a week. She’s coming up a little short on the agreement we made when we started therapy. Of course, we haven’t had a couple’s session in a couple of months. Cindy has asked me about scheduling another appointment. I asked Annette about scheduling another appointment. Annette’s opinion is that there’s no point in our doing couples therapy if Cindy isn’t also committed to working with another therapist on her own issues. I know for a fact that over a month ago Cindy’s therapist called to ask about her last cancellation and Cindy has made zero effort to continue. So – add that to the list of things that need to be resolved.

Why am I asking for absolutes? Sitting here thinking about it literally makes my chest hurt. Do I have the right to insist that Cindy totally abstain from drinking? No. But I do have the right to choose if I care to be around someone that abuses alcohol, drugs, kids, spouses, kitties, puppies and/or their right to vote. I guess the question is how much longer will I be willing to compromise my own boundaries? The answer – long enough to get all the parent plus loans paid off. Long enough to get the van paid off. Long enough to get the rest of those pesky credit cards paid off. Long enough.

‘Nuff of that.

Eric graduates Saturday. No more kids in school. Only the bills are left behind. Jill graduates Tuesday or Thursday night. She’s lined up a job as a dental assistant for the summer and will transition into a dental hygiene spot come September, so for now, she’s set.

Eric? Working at the local grocers warehouse for now. It’s income, so he can start paying his school loans. He’s also desperate for a car. He’s really got nothing in his field (History) lined up at the moment. Guys at work here are suggesting that maybe government would have potential for him. Not elected office, but more into researching & studying groups of people, other governments, that kind of thing. We’ll see. He’s a smart kid, just need to get his ass motivated. I really, really hope he doesn’t settle for being a warehouse rat for the rest of his life.

Man, I’m sitting here wishing the end of the day would hurry up. I want to go test out those new pedals & shoes!!

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old habits - new tricks