Friday, September 30, 2005
... with a guy I had met several times but never had "been" with. It was 1993 in Walvis Bay, Namibia (north of South Africa). I was 39 years old.
It began in the living room of my apartment then moved on to the bathtub after some foreplay. From there, the action continued in bed. We woke up a few hours later that morning. He left.
I departed the country the following day on a new work assignment.
I never saw him again.
What was yours? (in less than a few hundred words)
todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful
that I no longer need alcohol to escape; I've found other ways (hmmmmm...)
for time spent with my sponsee - I learn much more than he does, I'm sure
that even though I'm committed, I'm not committed
for the progression of sobriety
that, in life, change is inevitable, except in a vending machine
that it only took me half a century to learn that I can't change others
that pedestals are made for statues, not humans that breathe
that I am willing to listen to what you say, but don't have to do what you say
that it was 69 degrees in Houston this morning
that, barring a major meltdown this weekend, The Astros will make the playoffs
He that will not reason is a bigot.
Thursday, September 29, 2005
to do these silly hAAlf nAAked thursdAAy pictures (see below); after 2 months of doing them each week, it takes some imagination to come up with something new (that I'm willing to put on the internet)
to hear a familiar story (it wasn't mine) at the Wednesday Speaker meeting, although I had never heard his story before
for a cool front entering Houston this morning to relieve us from record-breaking heat
that I've never been a mean person even though I have been mean
for Steps 8, 9 & 10
for Tradition 7 of Alcoholics Anonymous; it can take on many other symbolic meanings
that my Mom is still functional
that I have been able to talk a little bit about my excuses for isolating
that I don't have to go off the deep end when someone else does
for the 8 others who went for a great lunch yesterday (thanks D.R.)
that Chester's dad has a new challenge
He who loses wealth loses much; he who loses a friend loses more; but he who loses his courage loses all.
-Miguel de Cervantes
simplify ... Let it ALL go
imagine ... Have Faith
believe ... Trust
R.J. (click here) takes 1st prize today for his pic!
(the boa came from JJ as a gift)
(I'm not really this color)
Wednesday, September 28, 2005
"This is a bold step forward for America," said Bush. "And America will be stronger and better as a result. I stand here today in unity with French Prime Minister Jack Sharaq, who was so kind to accept my offer of Louisiana in exchange for 25 million dollars cash."
The state, ravaged by Hurricane Katrina, will cost hundreds of billions of dollars to rebuild.
"Jack understands full well that this one's a 'fixer upper,'" said Bush. "He and the French people are quite prepared to pump out all that water, and make Louisiana a decent place to live again. And they've got a lot of work to do. But Jack's assured me, if it's not right, they're going to fix it."
The move has been met with incredulity from the beleaguered residents of Louisiana.
"Shuba-pie!" said New Orleans resident Willis Babineaux. "Frafer-perly yum kom drabby sham!"
However, President Bush's decision has been widely lauded by Republicans.
"This is an unexpected but brilliant move by the President," said Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist. "Instead of spending billions and billions, and billions of dollars rebuilding the state of Louisiana, we've just made 25 million dollars in pure profit."
"This is indeed a smart move," commented Fox News analyst Brit Hume. "Not only have we stopped the flooding in our own budget, we've made money on the deal. Plus, when the god-awful French are done fixing it up, we can easily invade and take it back again."
for Dr. Bob's story - it reminds me of my decade-long experience with the DT's
for a little bit of exercise yesterday (yard work)
that I rarely overreact to situations any more
for my little Toyota RAV4
for the meeting yesterday on Step 4 sexual inventory; a sometimes difficult but necessary topic
that this morning, I'm going to a 6:30am AA meeting, then meeting with my sponsor, then meeting with my Mom and then going to a 12:15pm AA meeting, then eating lunch with the guys at Kelly's Country Cooking
for my overall health including a seemingly very strong immune system as I don't get many colds or flu or sinus probs that so many others suffer from
that somehow, I remain HIV negative after countless activities that were potentially deadly for more than 20 years
that I may be voted back on the Lambda Board after a long, 3 month absence LOL
He who loses wealth loses much; he who loses a friend loses more; but he who loses his courage loses all.
-Miguel de Cervantes
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
Before Brown, 50, came to FEMA as deputy director in 2001 and became director in 2003, he served for 10 years as a commissioner for the International Arabian Horse Association, according to a 2001 White House announcement. Prior to that he was an assistant to the city manager in Edmond, Oklahoma.
Brown testified before Congress today. He told the committee that he remains a consultant for the federal government helping the Department of Homeland Security review the response to Katrina. His government salary is $148,000 per year.
"I get it when it comes to emergency management,'' he said. "I know what it's all about. I know how to do it and I think I do a pretty darn good job of it.''
Lord help us all.
that we celebrated a 4th AA birthday this morning at the 6:30am meeting -- nothing quite like German Chocolate cake at 7:30 in the morning LOL
for an impromptu visit yesterday from the former owner of my home - he now lives in New Orleans, hasn't been home in a month but returns tomorrow
that I have electricity during this hateful heatwave -- there are still hundreds of thousands in southeast Texas without power or water
for one of those AHA! moments of clarity during a meeting yesterday (see post below)
to be asked to lead a meeting Friday morning @ The Post Oak Club; the 6:30am attendance averages about 50-60 people
that my sponsor stays on my ass to make me see a better way of life
that I'm still sober, and learning to live sober, in spite of myself
Luck is a dividend of sweat. The more you sweat, the luckier you get.
That is Step 7 of the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. If you're not a 12-stepper, you probably won't understand it nor will you wish to. That's fine. Read no further.
Went to a seventh step meeting yesterday. I've read the 12/12 numerous times, done all the step work with my sponsor and sponsees. I've attended a formal Step Study for a year in which we spent 4 weeks just on this step. I've talked about this step and listened about this step over and over.
During that meeting yesterday, it became a little bit clearer.
I pray every night for my HP to remove my defects and shortcomings. As He feels they should be removed. When He feels they should be removed. Not on my time, but His. Maybe not completely either, but enough so that I may better do His will.
What became so much clearer yesterday, you ask? You did ask, didn't you?
When I am practicing Step 3, really practicing it, I have turned over my will and my life to God. When I also practice Step 7, I give to Him all of me. The good and the bad. All of me. Do with me as You will. Take away those parts of me that prevent me from doing Your will. What remains is what my HP wants me to be. At this time.
What I have been doing is asking Him to take my shortcomings -- only. I have been limiting what He is to take. I have been trying to retain some control instead of turning it all over.
More work to do.
Monday, September 26, 2005
that my Mom spent the stormy weekend at my sister's home, north of Houston; safe, sound and dry
that my fellow Houstonians were spared the brunt of the hurricane
that a majority of folks were as prepared as they could be for what they expected
that I didn't lose electricity for 1 second (A/C and internet // hehe)
for receiving my 2-year Sobriety medallion Saturday Night @ Lambda
for air conditioning and Sonny at Lambda Center
for one of the great changes in my new, sober life -- I am comfortable to spend nights at home; previously, I felt like I had to be out every night, no matter what
that The Astros will be the wild-card winner in the National League unless they screw up (many would say that I am jinxing them by writing this; to that, I say fu*k off)
--- if you were formerly on my email gratitude list, I'm interested to know if you are reading this. Please click on "comment" below and let me know.
The right time to show your good character is when you are pestered by somebody weaker than you.
Part of my job was to oversee our onshore navigation stations. These were used for exact positioning of offshore seismic vessels. When I worked in Dakar (a city of 2 million) my driver would have to take me to those remote stations. Typically that would require a drive of 50-150 miles. The countryside was fascinating to see. We'd drive past small villages and towns. Places usually without petrol stations (gasoline stations to you Americans).
That meant that we would leave Dakar with a full tank of petrol. We'd also have bottled water and something to eat to take along.
We never took for granted that we would be able to purchase those commodities along the way. Water and food might be available somewhere. And it might not.
Not once did we run out of petrol or water to drink. If we had, I certainly would not have expected the government to pull up alongside and deliver those things to us. We were on our own and responsible for ourselves.
I'm just sayin' ...
Sunday, September 25, 2005
The most talented blogger I've read on a consistent basis is Joe.My.God. His writing is original and entertaining. Often happy, funny. Sometimes sad. But always interesting.
Recently I have been directed to another fine writer. His name is David Warren and he writes for The Ottawa Citizen. I particularly like this.
from the age of 17, when I began a long and mostly happy drinking career, I drank for the excitement. I drank to get drunk. Sloshed, when possible. The more, the better. It really didn't matter if people noticed because I acted the way drinking guys were supposed to act. If I hurt myself, that was OK. If I hurt someone else, I could apologize the next day.
I could "get out of myself." No longer the introvert when I drank.
This past week, during the 5 days leading up to the arrival of a major hurricane, there was excitement. Anxiety too, for sure. But that feeling of impending excitement and maybe doom was there. Of course, with Katrina so fresh on my mind, I didn't want the damage that would inevitably come with a storm of magnitude. But the tense excitement of the high winds and seeing stuff fly through the sky was there. I wanted to see that. Just don't hurt anyone.
Alcoholic drinking or Hurricanes.
Excitement + Damage. They go together and can't be separated.
You have one, you have both.
I'm sorry for all those who were forced to experience the storm and suffer its effects. I don't wish to minimize the terrible things that have happened. But for this recovering alkie, I've had enough excitement and damage to last for my lifetime.
Saturday, September 24, 2005
Yep. I do.
It's 5:40am and the eye of Rita is inland in SW Louisiana. Where I live in central Houston, near downtown, has had some gusty winds and light rain. The winds have probably not gusted over 50mph. There's a million leaves and small branches scattered about. We could still lose electricty if the right branch falls on the right power line but that appears to be the extent of the potential problems around my home.
Be back later if I remain higher powered.
6:45am -- over 700,000 energy cutomers without power in Harris County // I still expect mine to go out at any time
10:00am -- I went to my regular 8:30am AA meeting at Lambda Center. It normally has about 30 in attendance, today there were 10 hard-core soberettes. The Center has no electricity this morning, but it certainly has Power.
Again, the voice of AA speaks up. No, sobriety is only a bare beginning, it is only the first gift of the first awakening. If more gifts are to be received, our awakening has to go on. And if it does go on, we find that bit by bit we can discard the old life -- the one that did not work -- for a new life that can and does work under any conditions whatever.
Regardless of worldly success or failure, regardless of pain or joy, regardless of sickness or health or even of death itself, a new life of endless possibilities can be lived if we are willing to continue our awakening."
Bill W., December 1957 c. 1988 AAWS,
The Language of the Heart, p. 234
Friday, September 23, 2005
that by concentrating on Step 3 of AA's Twelve Steps this week, I have made it so far with my serenity intact
that my behaviour today is so totally different than 2 years, 3 weeks ago - when in the face of a hurricane, I would have had a big day planned at the bar! We would have closed the bar except to us very special alcoholics.
that I made the early decision to stay put for this hurricane and did not get involved with the utter chaos and insanity of evacuating that so many experienced
for a nice lunch yesterday with friends, one of whom celebrated his 65th birthday, 23 years of them as a sober alcoholic
for sturdy foundations
that when things go right, it's often due to someone using good common sense
that by the end of this day, we will know where Hurricane Rita will make landfall - finally!
I don't know when, or if, I will be amongst the many who will lose electricity. I'm pretty sure I will, but then I don't know for how long. I'll be back here as soon as I can.
"Pain nourishes courage. You can't be brave if you've only had wonderful things happen to you."
-Mary Tyler Moore
About 2 weeks ago, I saw a TV promo for a concert featuring The Kingston Trio. A friend and I talked about buying tickets, but never got around to it. It was for tonight.
Fri – Sat Sept. 23-24, 2005 /8 pm
The American folk music legacy and the great musical storytellers of the Sixties generation come together at The Grand for two-nights only! Legendary original folk groups THE KINGSTON TRIO and THE BROTHERS FOUR present two evenings of music magic! This tribute to the folk rock music of the 1960s includes songs that serve as a window to a time when folk music made the pop charts... and..."this land was made for you and me."
Thursday, September 22, 2005
that I got to hear a few more pieces of the puzzle that is Scott yesterday at the noon speaker meeting
that I was able to help a friend get their impounded car back on the road
that I've been able to accomplish a lot this week -- errands, errands, errands
that my Mom will spend a few days of RITA time at my sister's home north of Houston
that I was asked to model a suit in a fashion show (the show is cancelled due to RITA)
that I know first-hand how Step 9 can bring closure to one's resentments
for all the phone calls, notes and comments from AA friends, far and near
for my prediction that RITA will pass to the east of Houston, putting us on the weak side
that I am not forced to get caught up in the craziness surrounding RITA
that today is the first day of Autumn
"If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one."
Keepin' the picture clean this week 'cause I have to keep an EYE on this damn hurricane.
RITA is going to turn our lives upside down, at least for the short-term.
I was formerly a one-man disaster area. No more.
Beginning tomorrow I will live in one.
I must not forget ... THIS TOO SHALL PASS
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
that as Hurricane Rita approaches, so many are doing so much to ensure safety as much as possible
that I bought all my hurricane supplies before the long lines
that my Mom will be fine in her home; she's not afraid and will be taken care of by my nephew; I will batten down her hatches today and tomorrow
that Scott and Larry are getting the hell out of town along with a few hundred thousand others
for a sponsor who is so understanding
that I am constantly reminded that God will not do for me what I can do for myself.
that we had a Katrina survivor from New Orleans at the 6:30am AA meeting today; he has gotten a good job here, an apartment and is almost 4 months sober
Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat.
-F. Scott Fitzgerald
Two months after I gave her a home, she gave birth to 7 healthy kitties. I found homes for 5 and kept 2 of the offspring. Momma still lives with me as well. She's since been spayed along with the young-uns.
But Momma can be a bad girl. While she immediately learned and understood the significance of using the cat box, sometimes Hayley can be rebellious. She has performed #1 and #2 in various strategic locations around the house a number of times. Not often, maybe once a month or two months.
I know about being territorial. I have googled a number of cat websites to look for the answer. The best I can come up with says she is stressed. Stressed!! Over what? She doesn't have to work. I take care of her small family, both financially and health-wise. She sleeps 22 hours a day, wherever the hell she wants to. Often she sleeps in my lap while I'm reading your blogs.
But 2 nights ago, she crossed the line. I was watching the television machine in my easy chair. She jumped up in my lap and immediately -- started pissing in my lap.
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
for these words about the alcoholic --- "He cannot picture life without alcohol. Some day he will be unable to imagine life either with alcohol or wihout it. Then he will know loneliness such as few do. He will be at the jumping-off place. He will wish for the end."
for the Tuesday edition of Eyes Wide Shut (6:30am AA group), when we read the Big Book
that today, we read A Vision For You, which contains some of the best writing I know
that a friend, new in recovery, shared about the same feelings that I have regarding isolation and the feeling of imposing myself on others
damnit, I'm not unique!
that here in Houston, this time around, we have 5 days to prepare for hurricane conditions
for my Mom's health and that she will share dinner with my friends and me this weekend
that my Mom forced me to learn math and english when I was a kid
that I learned to type when in high school // the most useful course I ever took
that I studied the German language many, many, many years ago
"The love of one’s country is a splendid thing. But why should love stop at the border?"
Monday, September 19, 2005
that when I do the things necessary to stay and live sober, amazing things can occur
for a very nice weekend full of sobriety related stuff
to hear a friend in recovery tell his 55 minute story -- for the second time in 3 months
that Step 10 doesn't read -- "Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong probably admitted it."
that I am occasionally able to get out of my damn head - without drinking alcohol!
for a relatively speedy Board meeting Saturday afternoon
that I have the pleasure of taking my Mom to a doctor appointment this morning
for all the flavours of Blue Bell Ice Cream
that Sadaam Hussein is no longer a weapon of mass destruction
for curds and whey
The difference between faith and trust ...
The guy at the circus going across the high wire in a wheelbarrow has faith he will get across.
Trust is getting in the wheelbarrow.
Sunday, September 18, 2005
I crouched in the doorway of the airplane, next to my skydiving coach.
I held on to the doorway with my right hand for balance. With my left hand, I firmly grasped my coach's gripper, a padded piece of cloth on his jumpsuit. It was up to me to give the count. "Ready, set." I heard a snicker. "Get out of the plane," someone hollered. "Go."
I released my grip on the door, closed my eyes, and dove head first into the air with my left hand firmly attached to my jump master's gripper. We wobbled around for a moment. The plan was, we would turn to face each other in the air, I would grab his other shoulder grip, get my balance, then I'd release him. He turned to face me. I grabbed his other grip. Now I was falling stable and holding on with both hands. He nodded, giving me my cue to let go. I shook my head, carefully, so as not to lose my balance. He looked confused, then nodded again. I shook my head again, clinging more tightly. I looked at my altimeter. Six thousand feet. Thank God. It was almost time to pull. I released my grips. I just let go. Obviously, I couldn't safely pull my ripcord while I was hanging on to him. It was time to save my own life. My coach backed away. I signaled, and then pulled my ripcord. My parachute made that sweet whooshing sound, the one I had come to identify as the sound it makes when it opens correctly and fills with air, slowing my fall into a float. Wow! I thought. This is really fun!
Sometimes we're so scared, all we can think to do is hang on. Hanging on in this case was a silly illusion. We were both falling through the air. Holding on to a relationship that's not working, a negative self-image, a job that isn't working, moments and times that have passed, or emotions such as fear and hurt can be silly illusion, too. To save our own lives, sometimes we have to let go first.
God, show me what I need to let go of, and when it's time to do that.
After they crawl out of their cars, the rabbi sees the priest’s collar and says, ”So you’re a priest. I’m a rabbi. Just look at our cars. There’s nothing left, but we are unhurt. This must be a sign from God. God must have meant that we should meet and be friends and live together in peace the rest of our days.”
The priest replies, “I agree with you completely. This must be a sign from God.” The rabbi continues, “And look at this. Here’s another miracle. My car is completely demolished but this bottle of Mogen David wine didn’t break. Surely God wants us to drink this wine and celebrate our good fortune.”
Then he hands the bottle to the priest. The priest agrees, takes a few big swigs, and hands the bottle back to the rabbi. The rabbi takes the bottle, immediately puts the cap on, and hands it back to the priest.
The priest asks, “Aren’t you having any?”
The rabbi replies, “No...I think I’ll wait for the police.”
Saturday, September 17, 2005
Friday, September 16, 2005
that my Mom and I get along so well -- I can help her with business and she helps me with living
that my nephew seems to be doing well with his addiction problem
to be reminded (once again) that it just doesn't matter what you may think of me
that sometimes I feel good about myself
to know that my HP is always with me but sometimes I am not there for my HP
that I don't need to be in a romantic relationship right now
for a promising speech by our President, and that hopefully his actions will match his words
that I get to watch most of The Astros games on TV
COURAGE IS FEAR THAT HAS SAID ITS PRAYERS
Thursday, September 15, 2005
todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful
that it's all about sobriety, not seniority
that I was on hand this morning to help celebrate the 23rd AA birthday of THE LEADER OF LAMBDA CENTER
that I get to know my recovery friends so much better by attending speaker meetings
that I have always been able and willing to learn from folks older than myself
that my periods of isolation do not mean I need to drink alcohol
that I at least know what I am doing wrong although I haven't found the courage to change -- yet
for moments of clarity
that by keeping it simple, I can keep it sober
for the months I spent in Morocco; a defining time in my life
"DON'T TELL ME I'M BURNING THE CANDLE AT BOTH ENDS;
TELL ME WHERE I CAN GET MORE WAX!"
Has political correctness gone to a new low?
I'm no Bible thumper, just the opposite. I'm not religous at all.
Is this how we want to raise our kids? What am I missing here?
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
that we celebrated a 1st year AA birthday this morning at the 6:30am meeting / 2 different homemade chocolate cakes
that a friend introduced me to a 60's style Feed & Grain Store in the middle of Houston
for a trip to the SPCA yesterday to make a donation on behalf of a friend
for all the material donations that the SPCA is receiving
for awareness of my behaviour, both good and bad
that somehow, through it all, I remain sober and in recovery
that I don't have to act on all of my thoughts
for a moderation of the excessive heat here in Houston
When we see men of worth, we should think of equaling them; when we see men of a contrary character, we should turn inward and examine ourselves.-Confucius
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
that you've joined me here today, to read this list
for a sponsee, who seems to be "getting it"
for my physical health and the choices I try to make for my emotional and spiritual health to improve
that living a life full of resentments is now old behaviour
to understand resentment prevention
that this morning, at the 6:30am AA meeting, we read part of "A Vision for You"; part of that reading included the statement, "I know more than ever I can't stop." That was what I said just a few days before I stopped.
"YOU ALWAYS FIND WHAT YOU'RE LOOKING FOR IN THE LAST PLACE YOU LOOK"
My theory was to drive as normally as possible so a cop would not pull me over. In fact, I drove as if a cop were right behind me. And it worked. My driving record has always been clean. (almost, but that's for another post)
For the last 15 years I just didn't drink and drive. Maybe I matured. More likely, it's because I moved within 2 blocks of the bars I drank at.
These days, I still drive like the proverbial "little old lady." I try not to exceed the speed limit. I stop at red lights and stop signs, etc.. etc... etc...
Now I find this has another positive effect. My small, 4 cyl. standard transmission Toyota gets pretty good gasoline mileage. But whether I have a small car with good mileage or a big SUV that gets 10 mpg, by driving within the speed limits and not gunning the engine, I save money on high-priced gasoline. We all know and see people who race to get to the next red light. Many continue to drive 70mph or 80mph on the freeway, where the speed limit is 55mph. I see it all the time.
I can't help but wonder if these are the people who are complaining about rising gas prices. Whatever I may drive, there are ways to conserve fuel. If I choose to ignore proper driving methods, I don't think I can be a complainer.
And the cops leave me alone.
Monday, September 12, 2005
After the chaplain began the meeting, we all individually introduced ourselves and our affiliations. Funny, but us AA'ers were the last in line to be introduced. A woman spoke up and gave us her name, introduced herself as a member of AA, then without hesitation, spoke to all the Christians, telling them that she too has been a believer and worshipper of God for most of her life. But her religous beliefs alone did not prevent the disease of alcoholism from taking over her life. She said that addiciton is both a physical, allergic reaction to the introduction of certain chemical substances to the human body and it is a disease of our thinking. Both of those symptoms must be treated in order for recovery to occur. The Christians just nodded their heads.
The training session continued.
He stressed that our security while on-site was a priority. Dress professionally. Be on time. Do not bring any weapons or contraband. Do not bring gifts or accept them from a prisoner. Do not use abusive language. Do not touch or become involved with an offender. Do not fall in love with an offender. Whoa!!!
At this point, the Chaplain told stories of wardens, chaplains and guards who have made this mistake. They allowed themselves to be"taken in and manipulated" by inmates. The material given us states that sexual intercourse with a prisoner is strictly prohibited. In addition, it lets us know that deviant sexual intercourse is also a no-no (I'm so glad they took the effort to spell that out).
I'll try to remember that.
mondAAy, 12 september, i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful
for a weekend full of recovery
that I attended the orientation/training session to be certified by the State of Texas for holding AA meetings in jails and prisons
that I attended my first GSR/District meeting unscathed
for 2 new faces at the 6:30am Eyes Wide Shut meeting today (new to that meeting)
that this Wednesday and Thursday we will celebrate a 1st AA birthday and a 23rd AA birthday at Eyes Wide Shut
that so many give so much of their time and effort to service work in their life of alcohol recovery
that I went to the 7pm Sunday night meeting which was packed with humans
When it is dark enough, you can see the stars. -Charles A. Beard
Sunday, September 11, 2005
In my last job, I travelled a lot. My boss always used to call me on my cell phone and ask me, "What's your location?"
Four years ago today, I was working in my small office in London when I initially learned of the WTC tragedy.
So, now I'm asking you where you were when you found out.
"What was your location?"
A friend in recovery and I recently applied to help carry the AA message to inmates. Somehow, we both passed the background check (it does help not to get caught). Texas has no shortage of prisons and jails -- federal, state, county and city. There's also no shortage of humans to fill them. It's estimated that 85% of those humans have serious problems with alcohol and/or drugs. More than 50% of those humans released will return, in large part due to those drug problems. They need to at least become aware that there is another way; a different way to live. In recovery, we should be glad we can do our part in carrying this message.
Saturday, we attended the mandatory three-hour training class. It was in a fairly remote area northeast of Houston, at the Pam Lychner State Jail. The orientation/training session is mostly about the do's and don't's of what to do, what not to do and how to behave and present ourselves while on-site. Mostly common sense type stuff.
The classroom had 30 volunteers. Surprisingly to me, there were only 6 of us there representing substance abuse recovery and we were all AA. The other 22 in attendance were God-fearing Bible thumpers (not that there is anything wrong with that; it just ain't for me). Their organizations specialize in going into prisons and converting inmates to God. Some were preachers, the rest were their brothers and sisters. Looking around the room it appeared they all leaned a bit to the right as they hovered in their thrones. Hopefully, you are reading between the lines here.
After the chaplain began the meeting, we all individually introduced ourselves and our affiliations. Funny, but us AA'ers were the last in line to be introduced. A woman spoke up and gave us her name, introduced herself as a member of AA, then without hesitation, spoke to all the Christians, telling them ...
... continued tomorrow
Saturday, September 10, 2005
7 things I plan to do before I die:
1. remain sober
2. see the Astros win a World Series
3. visit Sydney
4. have a successful, intimate relationship with another man
5. do the next right thing, almost continuously
6. successfully administer my family estate
7. take my last remaining breath
7 things I can do:
1. remain sober
2. practice the steps of AA
4. organize stuff
6. talk about myself, incessantly
7. the next right thing
7 things I cannot do:
1. have another alcoholic drink
2. lie or be dishonest
3. eat brocolli, fish or seafood
4. regret the past
5. drive like a maniac
6. understand extremism
7. hate people
7 things that attract me to the SAME sex:
1. physical looks
3. the fact that I am a homosexual
5. that's how God made me
6. that's enough, this is a family site
7 things that I say most often:
2. The Serenity Prayer
3. "come here"
5. "my mother"
6. "my sponsor"
7 celebrity crushes:
1. Tom Cruise
2-7. 1000 guys whose names I don't know
7 people I want to do this:
I'm one of the last remaining bloggers to do this, I think.
But these guys might wanna give it a try.
scott --- kenny --- ricky!!! --- steve --- dan --- jim --- mr. h.k.
Friday, September 09, 2005
Suddenly, the woman reaches over and slices the man's penis off. Angrily, she tosses it out the car window.
Driving behind the couple is a man and his 9-year-old daughter. The little girl was just chatting away at her father when, all of a sudden, the penis smacks the pickup on the windshield, sticks for a moment, then flies off.
Surprised, the daughter asks her father, "Daddy, what the heck was that?"
Not wanting to expose his nine-year-old daughter to anything sexual at such a young age, the father replies, "It was only a bug, honey."
The daughter sits with a confused look on her face, and after a few minutes she says,
"Sure had a big dick, didn't it?"
Thursday, September 08, 2005
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
He had the EXTREME hots for my boyfriend, Hayden. That was 2 years ago. I told him about Hayden also being my Angel, who saved my life - twice.
It's funny because I didn't remember him at all. Not at all. I told him not to be offended. There's a lot of people who I don't remember, especially from that last year of drinking. It reminded me how so many times someone would come up to me at the bar and know my name. They might start a conversation. I wouldn't have a clue of ever seeing or talking to them before.
I'm so glad it doesn't have to be that way anymore.
Now, I just don't remember people because I suffer from CRS.
Tuesday, September 06, 2005
Don't believe me? CLICK HERE
As a group, we get together infrequently.
But we did yesterday.
My mom, Pat.
At 82, she's going pretty strong.
She had a major stroke in 2001 but has recovered quite nicely.
My sister, Lisa and her other half, Billy.
They have a new home in Magnolia, Texas.
She is the best cook I've ever known.
My nephew Charlie.
He's 27 and has 4 step-children.
This one is Jacob.
My other nephew Danny, he's 26 and tall.
He is congratulating me on my sobriety of 2 years.
Lisa has 2 great dogs.
Thsi is Barney.
He's 9 years old now.
And this. Well, this is Bruno. He's a 4 year old English Bulldog.
The centerpiece of attention wherever he is.
Put around 100 bricks in some particular order in a closed room with an open window. Then send 2-3 candidates into the room and close the door from outside. Leave them alone and come back after 6 hours, and then analyze the situation:
If they are counting and recounting the number of bricks - PUT THEM IN ACCOUNTS DEPT
If they have messed up the whole place with the bricks - PUT THEM IN ENGINEERING
If they are arranging the bricks in some other order- PUT THEM IN PLANNING
If they are throwing the bricks at each other - PUT THEM IN OPERATIONS
If they are sleeping - PUT THEM IN SECURITY
If they have broken the bricks into pieces - PUT THEM IN INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
If they are sitting idle - PUT THEM IN HUMAN RESOURCE DEPT
If they have thrown the bricks out of the window -PUT THEM IN THE MATERIALS DEPT
If they are clinging onto the bricks - PUT THEM IN QUALITY CONTROL
If they say they have tried different combinations, yet not a brick has moved - PUT THEM IN SALES
If they have already left for the day - PUT THEM IN MARKETING
If they are staring out of the window - PUT THEM IN STRATEGIC PLANNING
If they are talking to each other and not a single brick has been moved -PUT THEM IN TOP MANAGEMENT
Monday, September 05, 2005
Today I celebrate 2 years of being sober. For those in recovery, you understand.
For those who are not alcoholics .......
2 years ago, you might as well have asked me to hold my breath for 2 years than ask me to stop drinking for 2 days. I didn't think it was possible. Hell, I didn't want to do it, until I stopped. Until I was ready.
I was afraid to stop. Because I didn't know what it would or could be like.
My committment today, to myself, is to continue
TRUDGING THE ROAD OF HAPPY DESTINY.
Thanks to all of you who have walked alongside me and held my hand when I needed it. I didn't always tell you thanks at the time.
The fact that I'm still sober reveals my gratitude.
Sunday, September 04, 2005
I just got back from 6 hours working at the Astrodome. I got over there at 6:30 this morning. The reception center was in the Astro Hall just next to theAstrodome. Thousands of people were lined up outside waiting to get processed in. The buses were still arriving. It is hard to capture in words the scene and the feelings.
As you have seen onTV 98% of the people are black. I would say that 25% of the people are elderly and infirm; 50% are mothers with small children; and 25% are mother, father and children. Few appear to be able bodied men. They are all exhausted. The room reminded me of the scene at the finishing line of a marathon. Total exhaustion.
The people were polite and appreciative. A lot of tears of gratitude. Many wanted to recount their experiences. They were in the Superdome, in the suburbs, out on the freeways. I spent a fair amount of time just being a caring person. I spent a couple of hours setting up cots. We lined them up in lines -- two cots head-to-toe, about 200 shoved next to each other in each line, 8 lines. The cots for the most part are those that are spring loaded with a bar on each end. We put a rough blanket on each. I then handed out Red Cross Comfort Kits bags. These had soap, toothpaste, tooth brushes, etc. Most people headed for the bathroom to try to clean up. They stripped down and took sponge baths. A couple of boys had washed their clothes and were trying to dry them under the hot air hand dryer.
Most of the rest of the time I was passing out cold drinks. We had three bighorse troughs with soft drinks and water in ice. As the sun rose it got very hot outside so we began carrying cold water outside to the people waiting in line. I felt like I was witnessing the scene in the movie "Schindler's List," where Schindler hosed down the boxcar to get water to the Jews inside. These people were desperate for water. Two girls came up to me barefooted. They said they had lost their shoes in the flood. We went back to the room where there were bags of donated clothes and found them some shoes and socks. I was on my way out when I saw an older women who had a permanent tracheotomy. She was crying. She had to hold up a plug to her neck so she could talk. She said she needed to lie down right away and all the beds were taken. I managed to find her a bed. She lay down and I covered her. She was asleep by the time I walked away.
Many people were worried about relatives. One woman said her husband had gotten on the bus behind hers but it did not go to Houston. There is no way right now to reunite families. People are walking around holding signs with someone's name on it. A lot of Houston people are pouring into the Astrodome to help. At least for now there are plenty of volunteers. The Houston Police are out in force and staying out of the way. The Red Cross is doing a great job. If you ever had doubts about donating to them, I can tell you that they are absolutely necessary in situations like this. Private citizens would not be enough. The medical community is out in force and many of these people need medical treatment. They need money. They need clothes and especially they need shoes. If you live in a city that has a shelter they need your time. If not today then over the next few weeks.
These refugee centers will provide some immediate relief but you can not leave people sleeping cheek to jaw for very long. Also there are no chairs. There is nothing to do. They will have to be dispersed to smaller centers where they have a little privacy. Many of the refugees became volunteers themselves. They helped keep things clean. They carried drinks and tables and chairs. Janis Joplin has a line in a song that goes Freedom, just another word for nothing left to lose. That song came to me as I was working there this morning, partly because it also mentions New Orleans. Most of these people had nothing left to lose before Katrina. Now they have lost that.
For this middle-aged Texas guy, it just couldn't get any worse. I've lost the things that are important to me. Oh, I still have my car. Still have my apartment and all the "stuff" in it.
But I've lost Hayden's respect. I've lost almost all my friends. Most significant to me, I've lost myself. What possible reason can I find to continue in this life? I don't have the nerve to kill myself and, besides, I couldn't do that to my mother. It might kill her. I can't even seem to get drunk the last few days, no matter how much I drink. It can't get any worse than this. But it can't ever get any better. I'm lost. I'm at my wits end.
I'll go to another AA meeting. They start at noon. Not sure why I keep going. I'm one of those people who seem to be constitutionally incapapble of "getting it." I can't keep drinking. But I can't stop either.
The following is pasted from a piece I originally wrote January 9, 2005.
Check the archives if you wish.
I am at an AA meeting, near the end of the meeting, 1:00pm.
All I had to do, at that time, was ask. And it happened. It was the single most incredible moment of my lifetime. It lasted no more than 1 second, probably not that long. There are not sufficient words in my vocabulary to describe what happened, but I liken it to a bolt of thunder from above. My body jolted, my mind was clear. I knew, I absolutely knew, at that moment in time, that I would never have to feel this way again. I knew that I would never need or crave or obsess about alcohol again. It was gone - totally and completely. My life changed in that moment, forever. I became a different person at that moment. God (as I understand Him) entered my life, healed my illness and I knew that as long as I kept God (as I understand Him) in my life, that He would forever keep that illness at bay. I was no longer spiritually bankrupt.
This was my spiritual awakening. My first meeting with God.
I drank alcoholically for over 32 years. This was it. The end of an era.
Saturday, September 03, 2005
Who's to blame?
ME. That's who.
God forgot to abdicate and put me in charge.
I'm to blame for allowing myself to get caught up in all the rhetoric. The news media is soooo damn good at getting me all worked up in their friggin' opinions of what should be done.
I'm to blame for putting my own beliefs on other people's blogs in the comments section. When I do that, it keeps me caught up in the rhetoric. The same goes for writing my own posts, although I realize that's what blogs are for. But it doesn't allow me to keep a balanced eye on what is really happening. I know in my heart that everyone is doing the best job they can. I must accept that. Perceptions. Perspective. Perceptions.
So, from this point, I will try to behave myself. If I don't like what's happening, it's my responsibility to change it. If I can find the Courage.
Otherwise, I just have to LET IT GO.
The Wisdom to know the difference.
--- An elderly woman decided to prepare her will and told her preacher she had two final requests. First, she wanted to be cremated, and second, she wanted her ashes scattered over Wal-Mart. "Wal-Mart?" the preacher exclaimed. "Why Wal-Mart?" "Then I'll be sure my daughters visit me twice a week."
--- Any woman can have the body of a 21-year-old, as long as she buys him a few drinks first.
---My memory's not as sharp as it used to be. Also, my memory's not as sharp as it used to be.
--- Know how to prevent sagging? Just eat till the wrinkles fill out.
---I've still got it, but nobody wants to see it.
---I'm getting into swing dancing. Not on purpose. Some parts of my body are just prone to swinging.
---It's scary when you start making the same noises as your coffeemaker.
--- People our age can still enjoy an active, passionate sex life! Provided we get cable or that dish thing.
---The good news is that even as we get older, guys still look at our boobs. The bad news is they have to squat down first.
---These days about half the stuff in my shopping cart says, "For fast relief."
Friday, September 02, 2005
I watched all this from my 2nd floor apartment balcony.
Every day, I left my shipping agent's office located at the main port of Apapa in Lagos, Nigeria. It's a dirty, filthy, polluted area filled with men and women walking in every direction. Cars and lorries have to navigate their way between crowds of humans. Occasionally, a human loses that battle with his life. The dead body is eventually pushed aside as everyone walks past, too consumed in their own miserable existence to even notice.
Also in Lagos, I watched a man suspected of a crime being held by some men as the crowd around them gathered old tires from a nearby trash heap. The tires were dropped over the man's head, up to his neck. The tires were then set afire, trapping the burning man as the crowd watched him die a slow death.
Just some experiences I've remembered today as I see the happenings in New Orleans.
Thursday, September 01, 2005
For several days, I've been glued to the TV, watching Katrina & the Aftermath.
Today, I am sad because ...
... a great American City has been devastated by nature
... many, many people who should know better, chose to ignore a situation that may occur; it has now occurred
... our President speaks loudly but carries no stick
... I have heard no national politicians speak up about this disaster
... The Office of Homeland Security is inept
... FEMA is trying their best with very little cooperation
... the Governor of Louisiana has not (yet) declared martial law
... that our government can't win a war in Iraq
... that our government can't seem to drop bottled water from a helicopter in New Orleans
... small gangs of drug addicts are holding New Orleans hostage, without challenge
... poor African-American citizens have been ignored for so long, they are finally retaliating, even against each other
... so many sick and incapacitated citizens will die unnecessarily
... I may face an IRS audit for writing this
I am glad...
... for the efforts of so many thousands of rescue and law enforcement officials who are doing the very best they can under the circumstances
... that so many will have to answer so many questions in the future and then pay for their ineptness with not only their careers, but their legacies
... at least a small percentage are finally being evacuated form the disaster scene; it has taken 16 hours to fill up 20+ buses
... that I can forgive all those involved. I won't forget though.
That's enough for now. I'll get too depressed to say any more.
Happy September! Personally, I am still stunned by the whole situation happening as a result of Hurricane Katrina. As a native Houstonian, I'm proud that my city can be of help in at least temporarily helping to relocate some of the people who find themselves with no more than the shirts on their backs. We've donated the Astrodome. The RED CROSS is running the show.
Please find in your heart the sympathy and compassion to give what you can to the charity of your choice. Thank you.
RED CROSS DONATION FORM (click here)