Friday, March 31, 2006

Calm and Serene

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I woke up sober this morning, drank some coffee, and am continuing to get through the morning without having a beer or a rum/coke

for a very good meeting yesterday with my Mom's nursing home administrator's

that short-term experiences can make for long-term wisdom

that I know that my wrong behaviour can affect another human enormously

that when I put any of my character defects into practice I greatly decrease my chances of serenity

that I've never been to St. Olaf North Korea

that I spoke to Hayden (my ex) last night about nothing in particular as he enjoys a couple of days in Tobago

The most beautiful discovery true friends make is that they can grow separately without growing apart.
-Elizabeth Foley

on retirement ...

Working people frequently ask retired people what they do to make their days interesting.

Well for example, the other day I went into town and went to a small shop on High street. I was only in there for about 5 minutes. When I came out, there was a cop writing out a parking ticket. I went up to him and said, "Come on buddy, how about giving a senior citizen a break?" He ignored me and continued writing the ticket. I called him a Nazi Bastard. He glared at me and started writing another ticket for having worn tires. So I called him a piece of stinking dog shit. He finished the second ticket and put it on the windshield with the first. Then he started writing a third ticket. This went on for about 20 minutes. The more I abused him, the more tickets he wrote. Personally, I didn't give a shit. I came downtown by bus.

I try to have a little fun each day now that I'm retired.
It's important at my age.

this is NOT a true story

Thursday, March 30, 2006


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that my sister and I are joining up together today to visit with our Mom

for my weekly breakfast with my sponsor this morning

that the 2 nearby Starbuck's are frequented by so many humans in recovery

that Mike celebrates his one-year birthday today!!!!!

that Scott dropped by on a moment's notice to hang some new shelves for me

that my friend Joey is trying to get his blog going again with more regularity; drop by and say hello if you can

for all of my fellow blogger friends, near and far, who stay so close because of the internet

that I usually have the strength to turn down sweets, but not always the desire

Strength is the capacity to break a chocolate bar into four pieces with your bare hands--and then just eat one of the pieces.
-Judith Viorst

hAAlf nAAked thursdAAy

Scott wouldn't let me post a picture of my surgery without the bandage.
He won't clean and dress the wound either, so my cat does it for me.
go visit the other HNT injury-riddled nuts by clicking here

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Blooming naturally

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for everything that I have and everything I don't have

that yesterday is finished and today I don't have to be perfect - WHEW!

that the consequences of being sober are preferable to the alternative

for an impromptu meeting with a couple of fellow recoverer's last night

for all the craziness creativity of gay alcoholics who are in recovery

for some wonderful and much needed water from the sky

And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight inside the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
-Anais Nin

And he was already an alcoholic

1972 Prom

I dug these pictures out of a shoebox while clearing out my Mom's home the other day. I had not seen them since the mid-70's. My prom and graduation were in 1972.
My parents refused to spend the money to rent a tux and accessories, so Mom handmade the entire outfit, including tie. I can remember, at the time, being so embarrassed that I couldn't get a rental tux and had to "bum it" wearing a homemade suit. Wish I still had the tie. LOL

1972 Graduation

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Trying to do the Right Things

Prayer and meditation are our principal means of conscious contact with God.

As we have seen, self-searching is the means by which we bring new vision, action, and grace to bear upon the dark and negative side of our natures. It is a step in the development of that kind of humility that makes it possible for us to receive God's help. Yet it is only a step. We will want to go further.


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the progress I am making with Mom's house insofar as getting it cleaned out

the 20 yard (20' X 8' X 4') dumpster is now half full, certainly not half empty LOL

thta I am finding items I have not seen in 40 years (ie: children's books and some teenage pictures)

that today I am terminating my Mom's home phone; it's been in continuous service for over 43 years

for those times during each day that I take a moment and speak to my HP

for the different hats I wear as secretary of Lambda Center

for a surprise visit last night from my 27 yr-old nephew

Keep me away from the wisdom which does not cry, the philosophy which does not laugh, and the greatness which does not bow before children.
-Kahlil Gibran

Great advice!

this is some really great advice!

Monday, March 27, 2006

Anonymous Biker

If you have the time, please drop by and welcome Mike, Anonymous Biker, to the fold of recovery bloggers.

Beginning a new week ...

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I had to find Mom on Saturday when I went to visit her -- she was roaming around her nursing home with her walker -- that meant she wasn't just laying in bed watching TV

that Wade (sponsee) got moved into his new apartment over the weekend

for the overflow crowd of about 150 humans at the Lambda Birthday Night on Saturday -- 29 celebrants with 301 combined years of sobriety

that Troy will be writing and directing the Roundup play this year

for a very successful Lambda Board meeting Saturday in which CMA was officially welcomed into the fold of meetings allowed at the center

for Scott's support of the Board at Lambda

for the Eyes Wide Shut A.A. meeting every weekday morning; it has been suggested that we rename it "Blood and Guts" LOL

that I will try to not play the martyr now that I am more aware of that character defect

that I am a non-drinker

Show me a guy who's afraid to look bad, and I'll show you a guy you can beat every time.
-Lou Brock


Sunday, March 26, 2006

A Daily Reflection

I had a fulfilling day yesterday. After posting on this blog and reading some of your posts, I went to the 8:30am Saturday A.A. meeting which I always attend. From there, I was off to spend some time with my Mom, a 40-minute drive north of Houston. Spent 2 hours with her, then headed home, stopping to pick up some fast food lunch first.

I had the luxury of about 2 hours at home before "the rest of the day."

As secretary of Lambda Center, I have a lot of shit to do some responsibilities. We were having a 4pm Board election for 2 open positions. I had previously made the special ballots and went off to copy those. While making copies, I also printed off 15 copies of the official minutes from the last Board meeting. Then I went to the Bakery to pick up the special cake for Lambda's Birthday Night. I special-ordered that cake on Friday. It is large enough to feed about 75 hungry people. Plenty of sugar.

I got over to Lambda at 3pm. Get the Board room ready for the 4pm election after which we had a 4:30pm monthly Board meeting. Since that meeting would run until 6pm or longer, I had to have the Big Meeting Room prepared for Birthday Night, which begins at 7pm. Typically, that meeting draws 100-125 attendees, including some family members. We had 29 drunks humans celebrating A.A. birthdays so I had their certificates all printed out along with their relevant medallions. I laid these out on a table behind the speaker podium for easy retrieval.

All those meetings went off without a hitch. I got home at 9:30pm. Went to bed an hour later, tired but fulfilled. When I prayed before nodding off to sleep, I jokingly told God that I had not had time to drink today. Then I laughed. In my drinking days, I would have found the time to get drunk. There was always time to get drunk. There just wasn't always time to get the important things done.

I slept well, thank you.

Karaoke for the Deaf

So that's how they do it!

Saturday, March 25, 2006


The chief activator of our defects has been self-centered fear -- primarily fear that we would lose something we already possessed or would fail to get something we demanded. Living upon a basis of unsatisfied demands, we were in a state of continual disturbance and frustration. Therefore, no peace was to be had unless we could find a means of reducing these demands.


Needs Head

Friday, March 24, 2006


(LOL) todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

thta Wade (sponsee) celebrates 60 days of sobriety tomorrow!

for the overflow crowd of humans wanting recovery at the noon meeting yesterday

that I actually went to a doctor and took care of my ingrown toenail (my life history does not reflect taking this action)

for 2 new faces at the 6:30am meeting today

that I have the time to attend the Group Of Drunks A.A. meeting on Friday mornings once again

for reminders of this, that, and the other

for the extra space in my head to put new ideas

The human race has one effective weapon--and that is laughter.
-Mark Twain

An Oaf or an Oath?

This one has been making the email rounds. I don't know if it really happened, but I like it anyway.

On Wednesday, March 1st, 2006, in Annapolis, Maryland, at a hearing on the proposed Constitutional Amendment to prohibit gay marriage, Jamie Raskin, professor of law at AU, was requested to testify.

At the end of his testimony, Republican Senator Nancy Jacobs said: "Mr. Raskin, my Bible says marriage is only between a man and a woman. What do you have to say about that?"

Raskin replied: "Senator, when you took your oath of office, you placed your hand on the Bible and swore to uphold the Constitution. You did not place your hand on the Constitution and swear to uphold the Bible."

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Early to bed ...

All my life, I have habitually awoken about 5am-ish. Even during my drinking days. Sometimes earlier, but rarely much later than that. For some reason, I didn't get up until 5:45am this morning. It tends to really throw my "rountine" off, even those few minutes.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that by 6:40am today, I had been to Lambda twice! (my AA recovery center), asked to do service work by 2 other people and still retained a little bit of sanity

that my Mom is still alive and kicking although the downside is that she is becoming more miserable with her illness

that I have some integrity in my life

for Tradition 10 of Alcoholics Anonymous which pretty much keeps outside issues from the rooms of AA

for some tolerance of those who either are not aware of Tradition 10 or choose not to obey it

that my ingrown toenail should be repaired later this morning by a real Podiatrist

"The best things in life aren't things."
-Art Buchwald

hAAlf nAAked thursdAAy


Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Words and more words

Because I am soooooo unique, none of you guys will agree with me on this one.

In the English language, there are some words and phrases that I hate have never liked. Just don't like 'em. No good reason. Just don't like 'em.

A couple of examples are things I hear in the rooms of AA, but it could be anywhere else for that matter. If you use these words/phrases, please go to hell don't be offended. It's nothing personal (unless you're near me).

"serendipity" ... I just hate the way that word sounds
"left to my own devices" ... that phrase rubs me the wrong way every time I hear it

How 'bout you? Got an example?

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I got a lot done at Mom's house yesterday -- in other words, I threw away a whole bunch of stuff

that I finally got in touch with one of my nephews to tell him about moving his stuff

for the story in The Big Book (4th edition) called "Acceptance is the Answer"

for the passion I see in people who really believe in the things they are doing

for the weekly wisdom of June and Ward Cleaver

to JJ for showing me how to do this

You have two hands. One to help yourself, the second to help others.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

The Tool Box

A mechanic can't properly do his job without the necessary tools. He keeps them in a tool box. A person in construction needs a good hammer, a working drill, screwdrivers and nails. He keeps them in a tool box. These people are proud of their tools and generally keep them in good, working order. They know where to find those tools when they're needed.

An alcoholic in recovery benefits immensely from having a tool box. I lived my life using mostly the wrong tools for the job at hand. When I needed to show compassion, I pulled a few pints of beer from my tool box. When I had to be responsible to someone else, I went to the bar. Instead of showering quality love to another human, I drank cheap rum.

My Recovery Tool Box keeps me sober today. And I am anal-retentive enough to write it down. I am obsessive-compulsive enough to update it when I hear of another new tool I can use. If you want to see it, as it exists today, CLICK HERE.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that Mom wasn't hurt when she fell yesterday; the 4th time this has happened since her stroke

the good news is that she tries to walk without her walker;
the bad news is that she tries to walk without her walker

for the surprise birthday party yesterday (see post below)

that I'm better at saying NO when it's appropriate
that I'm better at saying YES when it's appropriate

... and the Wisdom to know the difference (LOL)

that I'm getting out of my comfort zone tonight in checking out an event downtown at the request of a friend in recovery(I hate going downtown)

for a week of great weather ahead with temps from 48F - 68F each day

Always hold your head up, but be careful to keep your nose at a friendly level.
-Max L. Forman

Happy Birthday Boston

Yesterday was Boston B.'s birthday. You may know her as CreAAtive Intelligence.
Her 28th.

Beau threw her a little surprise get-together at his venue of employment.

I think she was truly surprised!

Ricardo stayed on his phone.

Scott played with the balloons.

Monday, March 20, 2006


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I could make Mom smile yesterday and she even laughed out loud (as much as she can)

that we made big progress at the Roundup meeting Sunday

for service work -- it gets me out of my head!

for an impromptu meeting with a sponsee in his new, unfurnished apartment

for a nice birthday of friends and treats last Friday

for a successful fundraiser Saturday night of Fun, Fellowship and Fundraising

that I got to meet Scott's puppy

to be reminded that my addiction can't be cured; a former Lambda Center member (he quit going to meetings) committed suicide after he thought he was cured

that this blog hit 100,000 page views this morning

that redheaded gal is back blogging again

The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reasons for remaining ashore.
-Vincent Van Gogh

Boys will be boys

boys will be boys 1boys will be boys 2

Sunday, March 19, 2006


"Our first objective will be the development of self-restraint. This carries a top priority rating. When we speak or act hastily or rashly, the ability to be fair-minded and willful snap judgement can ruin our relation with another person for a whole day, or maybe a whole year. Nothing pays off like restraint of tongue and pen. We must avoid quick-tempered criticism and furious, power-driven argument. The same goes for sulking or silent scorn. These are emotional booby traps baited with pride and vengefulness. Our first job is to sidestep the traps. When we are tempted by the bait, we should train ourselves to step back and think. For we can neither think nor act to good purpose until the habit of self-restraint has become automatic."


For this old boy, restraint has meant a life-changing world for me. It means I don't go around pissing people off. It means I don't have to apologize to people for yelling at them or calling them names (whether they deserve it or not). The reason I don't have to apologize is because I Just Do Not Engage In That Behavior Anymore.

The Office Executive

Ever wonder why your boss stays late at the office?


Saturday, March 18, 2006

Bunny shots and other good stuff

This is Scott's new puppy, Bunny.
He's a cutie allright (the dog).

My birthday presents yesterday included staying sober, getting to meet Bunny, being treated to a Chicken Fried Steak from Scott, and an hour-and-a-half body massage from Justin (the guy with Bunny on his head).
So far, being 52 is pretty good.

When I was drinking I thought I would die by age 46. I lived another 3 years past that as a common drunk. Then, through a continuing series of events, I found a Higher Power and got sober.

To speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live gratitude is to touch Heaven.
-Johannes A. Gaertner

Friday, March 17, 2006

What's Wrong With This Picture?

Luck O' the Grateful

When I was drinking, this was my favorite day of the year. After all, I was/am part-owner of an Irish pub, complete with a Paddy's Day Festival. My GRATITUDE LIST today takes a slightly different shape. Here's some pictures of past Paddy's Day's ...

at GRIFF'S in Houston

and a drunken week in Dublin

that's the Dublin Parade on the right --->

The problem with Ireland is that it’s a country full of genius, but with absolutely no talent.
Hugh Leonard

O Ireland isn't it grand you look
Like a bride in her rich adornin?
And with all the pent-up love of my heart
I bid you the top o' the mornin!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

hAAlf nAAked thursdAAy

This weeks' pic comes to you from my Mom's home. At least, the home she lived in for 43 years until last October 30 when she had a series of strokes.

I'm currently clearing it out of her possessions.
Mom is a pack rat.
She kept almost everything -- from plastic bags, empty envelopes to use for scratch paper to bottles of every shape and size.

I'm not dumpster diving -- yet.

check out the other HNT divers for this week

Memories sprinkled with Gratitude

I am a little pressed for time this morning, but

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

to be making some real progress in cleaning out Mom's home (see above post/picture)

for many memories spilling from the lost corners of my mind as I find things in her home that I have not seen in decades

for the creative and talented humans who have volunteered to be so silly in our upcoming Gong Show fundraiser

for my friend (UK) Liz who is currently driving 1800 miles up the Gold Coast in Australia

for the last day of my 51st year on this big round ball

that tomorrow is Paddy's Day

When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life in such a way so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice.
-Indian Proverb

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Maybe I could phone it in ...

Basically, I dislike telephones very much. I consider them a necessary evil. When I'm on the phone, I like to take care of business and then hang it up. Don't wanna linger. Don't wanna shoot the shit.

I also have very odd sleeping habits. I never sleep more than about 5 hours on any given night. I go to bed about 10pm, watch a little TV then go to sleep by 11pm. So I'm up and fully awake by 4 o'clock-ish. But because I don't get enough nightime sleep, I love to take a nap during the afternoon. I get that nap as often as possible. It can be a 15-minute power nap or as long as 40 or 45 minutes. I just need to rest my eyes and my brain (what's left of it).

My problem is that the few people who call me, do so between 3pm - 5pm. That is the part of the afternoon I earmark for my nap time. What seems like every friggin' day, the phone rings 2, 3 or 4 times while I'm trying to nap. So I give up trying to sleep. Then I find it very difficult to stay up until 10pm. So I wake up earlier in the morning after my 4-5 hours sleep. A viscious, viscious cycle.

So now you're thinking I should just unplug or turn off the phones while trying to nap. Ahhhhh, but you're forgetting one thing ....... I'm a sick person who doesn't think right.

I hate missing phone calls.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I have begun a new program of unplugging my home phone and turning off my cell phone while trying to nap

that Mom's nursing-home room is now inhabited only by her, for the foreseeable future

that she has the $$$$ to pay for that private room -- the part that isn't covered by insurance

for the nice (and very slow) walk we took yesterday at the nursing home and she actually waved HI to other residents

for 2 very fine AA meetings yesterday

that I was able to pass up an opportunity to satisfy my inherent need to be right, choosing instead to remain happy by not taking someone's inventory**

for the Lassie video below this post

that with a little bit of thought, I'll have an idea for HNT tomorrow

My Mind Is Out To Get Me

** new behavior


The younger ones out there won't remember this TV show.
As a kid, I watched Lassie every week.
I don't recall this episode.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Part of the Journey ...

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for Mom's new speech therapist - much better than the last one

for Mom's new physical therapist who takes a much more personal approach

that Mom is getting a private room today after sharing with a roommate the past 2 weeks

that we can share about very serious topics at the 6:30am meeting, usually between the laughter

that a friend was willing to listen to me one-on-one yesterday which seems to have brought me out of my isolating feelings

that my projections about what will happen are almost always worse than what actually happens (this was proven to me once again yesterday)

that I handed over some 90+ year-old family photographs to Mom's 80 year-old cousin for him to keep -- one of which was a great picture of him at age 20 in his military uniform

for a nice Step 4 meeting at noon yesterday in which BOTH my sponsee's attended (that's a first!)

that R.J. seems to be handling his Mom's death with Courage

You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don't try.
-Beverly Sills

Need I say less?

no comment necessary

Monday, March 13, 2006

The Progression of Gratitude

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a long visit with Mom on Saturday

for the gentle smile on her face while looking at her history of travelling (in her photographs)

that my real estate agent made a deal to sell Mom's house with the first person who viewed it, an architect with ideas of remodelling; closing date is set for June 2 and we're getting the full asking price

that I don't think about drinking when I isolate

for the progress I see in others, especially in my 2 sponsee's

that we are just about ready for our next Lambda fundraiser - The Gong Show - this coming Saturday night

that Hayden survived Carnival (aka Mardi Gras) in Trinidad and will be sending pictures soon

that Beau is writing again - stop by for a visit!

for a phone call from a Rocky Mountain blogger

There is a transcendent power in example. We reform others unconsciously when we walk uprightly.
-Anne Sophie

Family Get-together

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Some things haven't changed

I seem to be refining my ability to be alone. When I drank, it was no big deal. I would go to the bar to be by myself. I just liked being alone, with others around. In sobriety, the bar scene is not an option for me. So I just stay home alone with my cats.

I am going through another "valley" of isolation. It's a very tangible feeling for me, this being the fourth time I've felt this way in the past 2 1/2 years.
I have always had trouble making friends. Friends, at least, to hang out with. I know many people. People I like and who may even like me. But rarely has anyone been in my life that I do things with. So I've learned to enjoy being alone. Being with me.

But then there are times when I want to be with people. That's when the trouble starts. I haven't developed those few friendships during the good times so that they are there during the bad times. In my many attempts to over-analyze this, it seems that I want to have friends on my terms. I don't want them around when I want to be by myself, but they should be there at my beck and call, on a moments notice.

Apparently, that's not how it works.

I can only go to so many AA meetings every day. I've told you previously that I'm pretty well-known at my recovery center of choice. I spend 3-5 hours there every day. But when I leave there, I'm alone. Those people have a life and friends they hang out with. My feeling is that if they wanted me around, they would let me know. I feel like I'm imposing on people if I call them, even just to say hello. So the phone is off-limits. I am not able to invite myself to go eat or go to a movie with people. I have literally been standing in a group of recovering alkies who were all going to eat breakfast after a meeting. They all left me standing there, alone. This has been my "trigger" twice to re-enter that valley of isolation. I'm too afraid to take the necessary action. So I get what I deserve. I've pretty much given up on having close friends and an intimate relationship is out of the question. Why would anyone choose to be with someone who chooses to be alone 18+ hours every day?

This too shall pass. It always does.

iPod Tricks

Got an iPod?


Saturday, March 11, 2006

Trinidad & Tobago Visuals

I was lucky enough to live and work in Trinidad and Tobago in 1989-1990. I returned in 2002 for a month. TT, as it's known, is located in the southeastern corner of the Caribbean.

Click here for more geographical description.

While there, my mother came to visit for a few days. She loved to come catch up with me in various places that I worked. She took these photos.

At right is Pidgeon Beach, located on Tobago.

Mom enjoying the breeze


Left & Right:
the beach on the east coast

Left: Mango trees with many exposed roots

Friday, March 10, 2006

The Piece of Paper

Sometimes, my desk gets cluttered. I mean, really cluttered.

Bills that need to be paid, advertisements I don't want to throw away like carpet cleaning specials and 10% Off at Home Depot, IRS and tax papers that need to be filed, notes to myself about people I need to call about this or that, the list goes on and on and on and on.

The pieces of paper just keep piling up. It can become overwhelming. I know better.

To most normal people, this may be No Big Deal. To an alcoholic, it Can Be Huge!! We strive to keep our lives as simple as possible. I know things happen, things we must deal with; good and bad. But to let the small things pile up and add up without taking care of them is not a luxury any of us can afford.

Step 10 of Alcoholics Anonymous reads ... "Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it." This can apply to many facets of my life. Not just the people with whom I come into contact each day, but my whole life as it unfolds. I absolutely must keep my side of the street clean. And my desk too.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

... that I got most of my desk cleaned off yesterday after writing this post
... for a newcomer/First Step meeting at noon yesterday
... that I'm better at "being Happy instead of being Right"
... for the progression of recovery
... that my sponsor will be in the David Letterman audience today
... for a little talk with Jeanie P.
... that I'm comfortable being alone
... for Law and Order reruns (my favorite time-killer)

Always do right. This will gratify some people, and astonish the rest.
-Mark Twain

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Recovery from Me

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I didn't throw away any of my Mom's 1000's and 1000's of photos from her travels around the world -- I am taking some to her on each of my visits so she can see them again

that my Mom had the foresight a decade ago to purchase and maintain secondary insurance for Long-Term Nursing Care

that the Director of her nursing home has been of such great assistance to me with secondary insurance paperwork

that I could be of help to a couple of recovery friends yesterday

for Carol's story of despair and the honesty that has relieved her of that

that we filled up a whole hour with discussion about Tradition 9 this morning and did it with good shares from a variety of people

for the Spring weather we're now having - the temp is hitting the low 80's every day

The greatest thing in this world is not so much where we stand as in what direction we are moving.
-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

hAAlf nAAked thursdAAy

This is, without a doubt, my favorite all-time picture of me.

Using your astute investigative abilities, maybe you can find me.

location: a small hotel swimming pool
Port Harcourt, Nigeria ~ 2000 a.d.

please check out the HNT website
by clicking here

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Without Any Power

I loved Hayden and would do anything for him. But I also loved drinking. Finally, one day he had enough of my behavior and told me to just stop.

I was in a miserable condition. My days began about 6am when I got up and drank a couple cups of coffee. By 8 o'clock, I headed to one of 2 nearby bars that opened at 7am. I would drive there even though it was only a 2 minute drive to either of them. Two rum and cokes. That's what I would have. Just two. Then I'd drive back home because I didn't want to get a DUI. (I never considered that I was still drunk from the night before.) Then I'd drink beer until Griff's opened at 11am.

This went on for some months, almost the same, almost every day.

Finally, one day he told me to just stop. I tried. That's when I realized that I couldn't. I had never tried to stop before.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I know without any reservation that I am powerless over alcohol

and that I am also powerless over
... my Mom and her illness(es)
... my sister's alcoholism and my nephew's drug-addiction
... every other person who touches my life
... every driver on the streets on which I travel
... all the politicians that try to control me and you
... the movies that win awards and the ones that don't
... whatever you may think of me
... the color of the sky and the day of the week
... everything else, except

my behavior.

Instead of saying,
try asking,

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Pumping it Up

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

to be visiting my Mom this morning

that she is continuing with more physical and speech therapy

that her nursing home has a computer workstation for residents; for the surprised look on my Mom's face when I brought up this website

that I went to 3 entirely different AA meetings yesterday, 2 of which dealt with Step 3

for the Serenity offered me by practicing Step 3 of Alcoholics Anonymous

that my sister and I get along so well and can be honest with each other

that I am well enough to offer myself to be of service to others - physically, mentally and emotionally - in and out of recovery

for the inner feelings that when I've done the right thing, I've tossed out one more opportunity to screw up

that I have uncovered a wealth of pictures my Mom had stored under her bed, in closets, in boxes, for decades, some of which may find their way onto this site in the future

that baseball fans were blessed with the life of Kirby Puckett, who died yesterday at the age of 45

Humility does not mean you think less of yourself. It means you think of yourself less.
-Ken Blanchard

That's just NOT right!

Sometimes, I'm glad that Houston is not a popular tourist destination.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Serenity Now

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a good day with Mom on Saturday

for a good meeting with a sponsee on Sunday

for a good breakfast with my sponsor this morning

for the GSR meeting Saturday afternoon

for the AA speaker I heard Saturday night

for the Lambda Center fundraising meeting Sunday afternoon

for the service work I do; it keeps me informed, in fellowship, in gratitude

that I could just listen to an AA neighbor whose hair was "on fire"

Look at a day when you are supremely satisfied at the end. It's not a day when you lounge around doing nothing; it's when you've had everything to do, and you've done it.
-Margaret Thatcher

Eye Fi

Sunday, March 05, 2006

St Patrick's Day - around the corner

I guess the odds were about 365:1 that I would be born on St Patrick's Day. I won.

I was never a big celebrater of my birthday until I moved back to the USA and Houston. That's when I began spending 5-10 hours per day drinking at Griff's (click to see the website). I had been there many times before, but was not a "regular" until then, in 1994. Griff's is well-known in these parts, good buddy, as the place to go to party in mid-March. They throw a grand party which lasts about one week. It's only a small, neighborhood Irish pub. Indoor seating capacity is about 45. But during the week leading up to Paddy's Day, 6000-10000 would-be Irish celebrationists will walk through the doors. A huge tent goes up in the parking lot and part of the street in front is blocked off. Three sound stages are erected for a dozen bands to play on. There's a Festival Queen Contest with celebrity judges and a big Golf Tournament with hundreds of drinking golfers. Food, beer tubs, outdoor temporary full-bars and porta-toilets are everywhere. Tickets are sold. Radio stations advertise.

In 1999, I became a part-owner of Griff's. In 2003, I got sober. I worked my first sober birthday at The Festival and had no problem not drinking. But I hated being around all those drunks for 15 hours each day. I don't go any longer. In fact, I have not been inside since June 2004 and I live only a block from the bar.

The party begins later this week. I'll be wearing my green. And this year I will be very content to just hear the chaos - from a block away.

Drinking buddy

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Made a decision ...

Step 3 in Alcoholics Anonymous reads ...

"Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him"

Made a decision. . .

Successful people are successful because of their ability to make decisions. Making decisions is simply gathering facts and determining a course of action based on interpretation of those facts as we perceive them. We don't know what the results of those decisions will be, but we do have certain pertinent information that we must gather. In this Twelve-Step process, the first two Steps have given us the information with which to make this decision. We have seen our alternatives, and we have a choice: we can choose to begin to live our lives on a spiritual basis. Step 3 is a principle that we should apply not only to our addiction or compulsion but to all areas of our lives as long as we live.

It has changed my life.

Only one drink each, boys

Boy, this reminds me of the good old days in college. I went to a lot of parties in the woods that looked just like this.

Now I'm in Alcoholics Anonymous.

I'll save a few chairs for these guys.

Friday, March 03, 2006


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I don't have hangovers anymore, nor do I have to keep a mental inventory of how much beer is in the fridge

I don't have to concern myself with where I'm going to buy beer at 9 o'clock in the morning and I don't have to wonder what time I'll start drinking rum this afternoon

that I can drive anywhere I need to go at night without worrying about getting caught

that I don't go to the bar every day/night and wonder what I said or did last night to someone that might have hurt or offended them

that I don't have to keep notes at night so I can have a reminder tomorrow about what I said I'd do for you

that I am no longer identified by what bars I go to

that I am much more at ease with being me instead of who you want me to be

that my program of recovery is one of diminishing addictions

Start by doing what's necessary, then what's possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible.
-Saint Francis

Call it ... intuition

I'm more and more
convinced that
Hillary is going
to run
for president
in 2008.