The Game of Life

While I technically moved to Texas in early July, I really have not spent all that much time here over the summer, but this week things “got real” (as my son likes to say) as we finally moved into our new house on Monday. Since then, my life has consisted of identifying, moving, and unpacking a never-ending horde of boxes and assembling a mountain of furniture.

Thursday started off rather well, I must say. My wife got up on only the third snooze alarm in order to take my older son to school and then herself on to work. I don’t know about you, but as soon as the alarm goes off, I am awake. Period. In fact, just about whenever I wake up, there is little hope of going back to sleep. I would venture to guess that I am among the worst fall-back-asleepers on the planet. And my wife is among the best, which only serves to piss me off just a tad more.

Regardless, my wife left and I proceeded to lollygag about for another half an hour or so, which is certainly a rarity for me. When I finally got my ever-expanding white keister out of bed, I realized that my left ankle had swollen to nearly three times its size over night.

Excellent.

I hobbled down stairs to make my younger son, Sebastian, breakfast. He has the week off from school and has been bugging me to play every game we own. Well, that is not entirely true: the kids have only unpacked enough to find one pair of shorts and one shirt. Therefore, almost all their games are still in boxes.

I would rather play "Water Boarding"

I would rather play “Water Boarding”

Except the game of Life.

And I hate Life.

There was a bright side to the day ahead, however: the cable company was scheduled to show up between 9 and 11 to hook up our TVs and, more importantly, the internet, which I have been without all week.

To my surprise, the doorbell rang at 8:45. I scrambled back upstairs to find some clothes appropriate to wear on a forecasted 94° day (while I have unpacked a large portion of my wardrobe, I seem to be only able to find the long pants and wool sweaters).

Shutter guy.

At the door was not the cable guy, but rather two scruffy looking characters who were there to install the shutters (my wife assures me that she had told me about their scheduled arrival, but…). The two waltzed in and proceeded to tell me that I had to move about 90% of the boxes in the house so that they would have enough room to work.

As I started in on the task, the larger of the two added: “Boy, you really have a lot of boxes.”

Thanks.

After re-arranging the bulk of our worldly possessions, my ankle was throbbing, so I sat down on the one chair we had at that point. As I struggled to maneuver a box to serve as a foot stool, the doorbell announced another visitor.

Cable guy?

Nope.

This time it was a pair of rather scrawny individuals who announced they were there to repair a remote control (my first impulse was to question why there were only two of them for such an ominous task, but it was still early–I try to save snark for the afternoon).

Instead, I informed them that I was not aware of the demise of any of our remote controls (much less know their whereabouts), but, flashing a clipboard, they assured me there was one on the third floor, associated with a ceiling fan that required every ounce of their collective expertise.

The offending need-two-people-to-fix-me remote.

So limping, I led them up to the third floor. Upon reaching the top step, the apparent foreman of the duo quipped: “Wow, it looks like there is something wrong with your ankle.”

To which I meekly replied “Thanks.”

The afternoon could not get here soon enough.

After twenty minutes of deliberation, the Fan Remote Control Repair Task Force had decided that not only was the remote control defective, but the entire fan needed to be replaced. Of course they did not have one with them so they alerted me they would need to come back another day (no doubt with considerable reinforcements).

Shortly thereafter, the blind installers had completed their job (without any apparent hitch).

The next couple of hours I tried to unpack a few more boxes while avoiding my son, who no doubt was busy setting up the Game of Life, eagerly awaiting my participation.

I hate Life.

Right before noon, I had given up on the cable guy and I told my son if he could find a different shirt to wear at least, we would go out for lunch. Twenty minutes later, he came down with a shirt that was at least two sizes too small, causing his arms to raise up noticeably as if he were a bodybuilder or about to be frisked.

Then, at precisely 12:22, the doorbell rang.

Cable Guy.

Perfect.

By this point, my son was apparently close to starvation, but there was no way we could leave. I checked the fridge: two hot dogs, one bun, three celery sticks, about one and a half ounces of potato salad, and 47 bottles of water.

After battling it out for the hotdog bun (he won), the doorbell rang again. It was the cable guy (again) informing me that he would not be able to complete the installation. He then proceeded to explain why, but I did not really understand 90% of what the hell he was trying to say. Cable technology is not my strong suit. The English language was not his.

No sooner did I shut (almost slam) the door, but the bell rang again (in Philly we did not have a doorbell and I thought its addition would be welcome…not so sure now).

This time it was the baby sitter. My wife had graciously called her the night before to come over and watch Sebastian so that I could go to a sparkling wine tasting that afternoon.

Which was going to start in seven minutes.

Perfect.

I raced (hobbled) upstairs and threw on some clothes. I could not find a belt (yet to be unpacked), but no problem, I would just untuck my shirt like all the millennials do.

I got to the tasting more or less on time where everyone else (of both genders) was wearing a sport coat, and most of them (of both genders) were also wearing a tie.

Perfect.

Great wines, nice ties.

After the tasting, I hopped in the Prius, needing to race back home to get my son to football practice on time. I had not counted on Houston traffic. I know many places in the country claim that they have horrible traffic, but Houston has to be right up there.

On the drive back, my wife called to tell me that she was able to get another cable guy to come out who apparently knew what he was doing.

OK.

I got home, threw the kids in the Prius, and went back out into traffic for football practice. We arrive at the field on time (miraculously) only to discover that there is no practice (naturally), the coach had cancelled it.

Perfect.

After making the kids run around on the field anyway for about 30 minutes, we headed off to the H.E.B. to grab some beef for dinner–I had received one of my absolute favorite wines (a single vineyard Russian River Valley Zinfandel) as a sample, waiting for a moment such as today to open it up.

When we got home, the (new) cable guy was waiting. He had assessed the situation, knew what needed to happen, but apparently he needed another fifty feet of cable to make that happen. He would have to come back Friday.

Perfect.

Modem: still in the shrink wrap.

Nonetheless, I turned my attention to the meal and wine: I put some dry rub on the steak, trimmed the green beans, cooked both to perfection (or at least close enough), sat down, opened the bottle, and sniffed.

Corked.

Perfect.

Tomorrow is another day, but today? I hate life.

 

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About the drunken cyclist

I have been an occasional cycling tour guide in Europe for the past 20 years, visiting most of the wine regions of France. Through this "job" I developed a love for wine and the stories that often accompany the pulling of a cork. I live in Houston with my lovely wife and two wonderful sons.
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10 Responses to The Game of Life

  1. jeffeckles says:

    Perfect.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am sorry but I cannot help but laugh….only a little. What a day! How is your ankle now? The tasting looked amazing. You should have taken an un-opened bottle home! Hang in there, it will all be done soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Moving sucks. End of story.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. chef mimi says:

    I do not miss moving! We did it so many times before landing here. Wish we could ave moved one more time… Good luck with Houston. Have you seen the giant cockroaches yet?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Lynn Millar says:

    Ha! Great description of life. We’ve been appreciating the “C^%$#&” commercials that describe their great customer service. Apparently it’s for people better than we are.

    Liked by 1 person

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