Saturday, June 30, 2007

Self Esteem

I came across this article and decided to share it with you.


by Denis Waitley
(excerpted from The Psychology of Motivation)

Following are six behaviors that increase self-esteem, enhance your self-confidence, and spur your motivation. You may recognize some of them as things you naturally do in your interactions with other people. But if you don’t, I suggest you motivate yourself to take some of these important steps immediately.

First, greet others with a smile and look them directly in the eye. A smile and direct eye contact convey confidence born of self-respect. In the same way, answer the phone pleasantly whether at work or at home, and when placing a call, give your name before asking to speak to the party you want to reach. Leading with your name underscores that a person with self-respect is making the call.

Second, always show real appreciation for a gift or complement. Don’t downplay or sidestep expressions of affection or honor from others. The ability to accept or receive is a universal mark of an individual with solid self-esteem.

Third, don’t brag. It’s almost a paradox that genuine modesty is actually part of the capacity to gracefully receive compliments. People who brag about their own exploits or demand special attention are simply trying to build themselves up in the eyes of others — and that’s because they don’t perceive themselves as already worthy of respect.

Fourth, don’t make your problems the centerpiece of your conversation. Talk positively about your life and the progress you’re trying to make. Be aware of any negative thinking, and take notice of how often you complain. When you hear yourself criticize someone — and this includes self-criticism — find a way to be helpful instead of critical.

Fifth, respond to difficult times or depressing moments by increasing your level of productive activity. When your self-esteem is being challenged, don’t sit around and fall victim to “paralysis by analysis.” The late Malcolm Forbes said, “Vehicles in motion use their generators to charge their own batteries. Unless you happen to be a golf cart, you can’t recharge your battery when you’re parked in the garage!”

Sixth, choose to see mistakes and rejections as opportunities to learn. View a failure as the conclusion of one performance, not the end of your entire career. Own up to your shortcomings, but refuse to see yourself as a failure. A failure may be something you have done — and it may even be something you’ll have to do again on the way to success — but a failure is definitely not something you are.

Even if you’re at a point where you’re feeling very negatively about yourself, be aware that you’re now ideally positioned to make rapid and dramatic improvement. A negative self-evaluation, if it’s honest and insightful, takes much more courage and character than the self-delusions that underlie arrogance and conceit. I’ve seen the truth of this proven many times in my work with athletes. After an extremely poor performance, a team or an individual athlete often does much better the next time out, especially when the poor performance was so bad that there was simply no way to shirk responsibility for it. Disappointment, defeat, and even apparent failure are in no way permanent conditions unless we choose to make them so. On the contrary, these undeniably painful experiences can be the solid foundation on which to build future success.

Friday, June 29, 2007


Fun at the Ballgame.
This picture was from a game about 2 weeks ago.
The Astros suck this season, but it's always a good time at the ballpark.
On the left is our good buddy ZANE (click here to see more of him).

Craig Biggio got his 3000th hit last night, becoming the 27th player in the 120-year history of the game to do so. He's only the 8th player to get all of those hits while playing for just 1 team.
Congratulations Craig!!

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for some really helpful advice from my head fixer shrink psychoman therapist

that I successfully used pause when agitated for the second day in a row

that this program of recovery in AA continues to work me, in spite of myself

that Kenny may get his deam job the same time I get to London to visit him -- wassup with dat?

"Success is not what you think it is... it is what you believe it is... and most never believe..."
-- Doug Firebaugh

Thursday, June 28, 2007

hAAlf nAAked thursdAAy

All dressed up and nowhere to go.
Except for the Gay Pride Parade last weekend.

see more fashion trendsetters at HNT

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I was present to hear the short, 30-minute AA story of a guy who seems to be working a fine program of recovery

for a situation that occurred yesterday afternoon when my program worked me! I was able to put pause when agitated into action, which meant doing absolutely nothing besides pausing.
It worked.
My old self would have been cussing and slamming doors and otherwise making a complete fool of myself. For no reason.

that a friend had 8 years of sobriety before relapsing last year. Since then, he's not been able (or willing) to stay sober more than a few weeks consecutively. Watching his life unravel is painful but at least he keeps comng back. His example reminds me how difficult it can be to return to the rooms, giving me just a little more motivation to stay the course I sail today.

that I will eat lunch with my sister today - something we rarely do any more

for the discipline (or is it motivation?) to go to the gym and work out on days I don't have scheduled with my personal trainer

"It takes less time to do things right than to explain why you did it wrong." -- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Thinking good thoughts

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that the insanity has quieted down

that I am only as good or as bad or as screwed up as I think I am -- it's all about attitude!

that I am not sober and homeless, but if I was, I'm pretty damn sure I'd be doing whatever it takes to remedy that situation

that my road gets pretty narrow in places

that we have tickets to see SPAMALOT in London next week;
CLICK HERE to play the game

that tomorrow is hAAlf nAAked thursdAAy

Change your thoughts, and you change your world.
-Norman Vincent Peale

** by the way -- those are pencils in that picture, click on it to get greater detail

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Storm Before the Calm

New York City.
My friend Rodney (in denim jacket).

Why is this significant?

Click Here.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the full spectrum of experience and thoughts about the term, "fake it til you make it"

that I realized at an early age (late teens) that pills were too addictive for me, so I just stopped taking them (I tried all the popular stuff for several months)

that I continue to seek the right things to do each day instead of just the things I would like to do; occasionally I am successful

that I am neither violent or loud

that I'm not a liar or a cheat

"To fear is one thing. To let fear grab you by the tail and swing you around is another."
-Katherine Paterson

Monday, June 25, 2007

The Month of Dennis

There's always a lot to be thankful for if you take time to look for it.

For example, I am sitting here thinking how nice it is that wrinkles don't hurt.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I make the choice NOT to burden myself with the responsibility of ...
... running our government
... disciplining our leaders, both political and religous
... determining what is best for you
... correcting your mistakes
... scheduling your life
... housing, feeding, and clothing the world
... maintaining your sobriety

for 2 of my favorite blogggers who are having some tough days recently and could certainly use a few words of encouragement from YOU!
JJ @ A Reason A Season A Lifetime
Kenny @ Recovery Road

for a fantastic meeting about grieving -- it made me realize how much I am currently grieving over my mother, actually to the point of denial

tha today marks the 13th consecutive year that Dennis R. has remained sober. Dennis may not always be right about everything, but it's not for lack of trying. He's the most passionate person I know for the program of recovery. Happy birthday, Dennis.

for a fun weekend

that I'll be travelling again soon

The best way to knock the chip off your neighbor's shoulder is to pat him on the back.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

GAY Pride Parade

The annual Gay Pride Parade was held in Houston last night.

For some history on why this occurs each year, CLICK HERE.

I was asked to drive a vehicle by some friends who had an entry in the parade. It was a lot of fun driving past hundreds of thousands of screaming prople, all begging to be thrown a few beads.

A little joke

"Last night I had a small accident and rear-ended someone;
let me tell you, it was a REALLY bad day!

The fella I hit was a dwarf; he walked back to my car and looked up at me and said,

"I am not Happy!"

I looked down at him and said, "Which one ARE you?"

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Gentle thoughts ...

Birds of a feather flock together and crap on your car.

A penny saved is a government oversight.

The easiset way to find something lost around the house is to buy a replacement.

Did you ever notice:
The Roman Numerals for forty (40) are "XL" ?

If you can smile when things go wrong, you probably have someone in mind to blame.

and a little story to leave you with ...

God is sitting in Heaven when a scientist says to Him, "Lord, we don't need you anymore. Science has finally figured out a way to create life out of nothing. In other words, we can now do what you did in the beginning."

"Oh, is that so? Tell me..." replies God.

"Well," says the scientist, "we can take dirt and form it into the likeness of you and breathe life into it, thus creating man."

"Well, that's interesting. Show Me."

So the scientist bends down to the earth and starts to mold the soil.

"Oh no, no, no..." interrupts God, "Get your own dirt."

Friday, June 22, 2007

They were right all along!

I wonder who will replace Rosie on The View.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a good Tradition 4 meeting and some reminders about not taking myself too damn seriously

for the many tools that I usually forget to use in the right situation

for some damn clever HNT pix lately that actually include body parts of the same person who posted the photo

for the solution

that I will be driving a convertible in the Gay Pride Parade on Saturday night -- there are usually about one-half million folks there to watch, including many families

NOTE: if you haven't voted in my little survey from Wednesday, scroll down and vote.

"You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, June 21, 2007

hAAlf nAAked thursdAAy

no explanation necessary

you may need some details to figure out my friends though

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that today is my sister's birthday - Happy Birthday Lisa

that no person can take away my higher power, my sobriety nor my memories

for another new blogger from Lambda Center -- please drop by and meet Peanut and say howdy when you get a chance @ Life Safari

that I am not a procrastinator by nature; however, I usually have a certain number of projects or things I want to get done each day. In sobriety, I've learned that if I don't get everything done today, it's OK. There's always tomorrow.

"If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome."
-- Anne Bradstreet

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Social Insecurity

"But it is from our twisted relations with family, friends, and society at large that many of us have suffered the most. We have been especially stupid and stubborn about them. The primary fact that we fail to recognize is our total inability to form a true partnership with another human being. Our egomania digs two disastrous pitfalls. Either we insist upon dominating the people we know, or we depend upon them far too much. If we lean too heavily on people, they will sooner or later fail us, for they are human, too, and cannot possibly meet our incessant demands. In this way our insecurity grows and festers. When we habitually try to manipulate others to our own willful desires, they revolt, and resist us heavily. Then we develop hurt feelings, a sense of persecution, and a desire to retaliate."

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that my Mom has enough snap left to remember birthdays and other important dates; ie: tomorrow is my sister's 55th b-day and she continues to remain 21 months older than me

that I am still in a sort of feeling-good-in-recovery-zone -- it's like whatever happens just doesn't seem to matter because I know it will be OK and I don't need to worry about it or try to change it -- I also know this is temporary and I should enjoy it while it lasts - LOL

that my prostate exam was negative and the doctor used a glove; I did not, however, get a date or even a free dinner out of the experience; I may have to change doctors

for a phone call from a newcomer on his 4th day sober; this rarely seems to happen even though I give out a self-made business-type card with my picture and contact info on it to many newcomers

that I'll actually get in 3 official workouts with my trainer this week

that I may never learn to never say never

that this is my 1500th post since I began blogging in December 2004

I am trying this litle piece of software today.
Give it a try if you are willing ...

"Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much."
-Oscar Wilde

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

doin' the deal ...

Most of the news from my recent physical exam is pretty good. However, my cholesterol levels are nothing impressive. My good cholesterol is too low and my bad cholesterol is too high. Changes in my diet are underway as I type. And I'm on a regimented exercise program as well.


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that a friend showed up at 2 meetings yesterday -- he had 8 years of continuous sobriety, relapsed over a year ago and has not been able to put together more than a month or two since then. He relapsed last Friday and almost commited suicide, but stopped short.
He will be the first to tell you that he cut waaaaaay down on meetings, quit calling people in recovery (including his sponsor), put his relationship and 2 jobs in front of sobriety etc...
Where have I heard all this before?

for all the unfamiliar faces at the nooner yesterday

that I have been asked to read "How It Works" in 3 of the last 4 meetings I've attended

that I now have some experience in sobriety that I can share with non-believers

"To be wronged is nothing unless you continue to remember it."

Monday, June 18, 2007

No Expiration Date


We posed for this picture Saturday night just before an AA meeting which was followed by the annual Miss Lambda Contest (see post below).

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a full weekend of contentment

for a little more progress (tangible) on not depending on others to make me happy

that we raised $1500 Saturday night at Lambda Center; it'll pay the electric bill for June

that I have a full week ahead of me; no time for shenanigans

that Hayden made it to Ireland safely

"I'm looking forward to looking back on all this."
-Sandra Knell

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Not a glum lot

Fundraising is a constant necessity at Lambda Center. That's where I attend most of my AA meetings (click HERE for details).

Last night was the annual Miss Lambda Contest, the biggest production/fundraiser of the year. Here's a few pictures. The names have been omitted to protect the anonymous.

Click on the last picture to see a lot more photos. Then click on "view the slideshow."

Saturday, June 16, 2007



Note: Four of the five performers are puppets!

The guy in the center is the puppeteer!!

Friday, June 15, 2007

commercial free and still standing

Mary Christine (Anonymous Alcoholic) wrote this earlier this week. I really like it and want to repeat it here, just because it makes so much sense (to me).
With MC's permission, I give you this ...

"Here is a phenomena I have noticed over the years, but have noticed more recently. Those who have had periods of sobriety, gotten drunk, and then have come back seem to go off on these lectures about how tenuous sobriety is - with stern warnings about what can happen. Most of us have already heeded that warning years ago, and that is why we are sitting at a meeting - in no crisis, just sitting there on a perfectly nice sober day. I will sometimes ask someone returning "what happened?" and find the answers may vary in small details, but it is always the same. Sobriety Losing Its Priority (SLIP). They found a new boy/girl/friend. They got a new job, they went back to school... all these are great, but then they stopped going to meetings, they stopped calling their sponsors, they stopped praying. Anyway, I think it is much more helpful to hear how people DO stay sober than hearing how they DIDN'T stay sober."

I agree. While it's important to know those reasons excuses, the newcomer needs to learn how to get sober and stay sober. Hell, we already know how to get drunk.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a great Step 4 meeting ---- some great reminders for me to watch out about taking personal inventories - of other people

to discover (through lushgirl) another sober blogger - CARDINAL -
drop by and say hi if you get the opportunity

that I had a nuclear stress test (cardio) yesterday and spent 6 hours and a lot of money doing it -- hopefully the results will be OK, but I am prepared to be told about some artery blockage after all the years of abuse to my body

that tomorrow night is our annual Miss Lambda Contest --
if you're in Houston, don't miss it!!

that I'm going to the Astros game tonight with other recovering alkies and none of us will be buying the $8 beer

for Fred and Ethel Mertz

"In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different."
-Coco Chanel

Here's a little joke to start your weekend ...
An old woman rear ended a car a few days ago.......
The driver got out of the other car, he was a DWARF!!
He was very angry!
He looked up at me and said, "I am NOT happy!"
So I asked, "Then which one ARE you?"

Thursday, June 14, 2007

hAAlf nAAked thursdAAy

This picture leaves nothing to the imagination.
And it's right to the point.

see other sickos HERE

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a really insightful meeting about Living in Sobriety -- isn't this what we're really all about?

for the opportunity to listen to the AA story of an 18 year-old girl yesterday -- she has now been sober for 3+ years and I find that amazing!!

that my physical trainer took me to a little higher level yesterday -- I had forgotten what burning muscles felt like

that when I am in England next month, I will not be exposed to any GEICO /caveman commercials

"Too many people miss the silver lining because they're expecting gold."
-Maurice Setter

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

as seen from a different angle

"My resentments mounted at the realization that I had flushed a career down the drain, disgraced and alienated my family, and been relegated to the meanest of institutions, a skid row shelter. But I was also able to realize that this bonfire of resentment and rage was beckoning me to pick up a drink and plunge in to my death. Then I realized that I had to separate my sobriety from everything else that was going on in my life. No matter what happened or didn't happen, I couldn't drink. In fact, none of these things that I was going through had anything to do with my sobriety; the tides of life flow endlessly for better or worse, both good and bad, and I cannot allow my sobriety to become dependent on these ups and downs of living. Sobriety must live a life of its own."
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, 4th edition, pages 450, 451

I love the concept that sobriety is totally separated from everything that happens in my life. Apples and Oranges. Anytime I drink because something happens, it's just an excuse to drink.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that we had 2 first-timers at the noon meeting yesterday in addition to the return to the rooms of a person who just relapsed after 5 sober years

that I am always glad when someone returns after a relapse; I am glad for them (of course) and I am glad for me, because they offer such a poingant reminder of the nature of this disease

that the resentments I entered the rooms of AA with are gone / non-existent

that I don't mentally beat myself up as often as I used to

for my bike, which I ride infrequently

for the Professor and Mary Ann

"When you take charge of your life, there is no longer need to ask permission of other people or society at large. When you ask permission, you give someone veto power over your life."
-- Albert F. Geoffrey

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Caffeine and Stuff

You Might Be a Coffee Addict If ...

... you're employee of the month at the local coffee house and you don't even work there

… your eyes stay open when you sneeze

… you chew on other people's fingernails

… you can type sixty words per minute with your feet

… you can jump-start your car without cables

… you don't sweat, you percolate

… you've worn out the handle on your favourite coffee mug

… you walk twenty kilometres on your treadmill before you realise it's not hooked up

… you're so wired, you pick up radio signals

… your birthday is a national holiday in Brazil

… you'd be willing to spend time in a Turkish prison

… you go to sleep just so you can wake up and smell the coffee

… you name your cats 'Cream' and 'Sugar'

… you have a picture of your coffee mug on your coffee mug

… you don't tan, you roast

… you don't get mad, you get steamed

… your coffee mug is insured by Lloyd's of London

… you introduce your spouse as your coffee mate

… you haven't blinked since the last lunar eclipse

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I will never have to hit bottom again

that I have things to do every day which involve other people and not just me

that it's now been 3 years since I have walked inside the Irish pub of which I continue to be an investor; I drank there for 30 years

that all my possible excuses to delay my recovery have dried up

that I am as passionate about sobriety as I was about staying drunk

"Before beginning a hunt, it is wise to ask someone what you are looking for before you begin looking for it."
-- Winnie the Pooh

Monday, June 11, 2007

An Inconvenient Disease

Yesterday a man who has been trying for 2 decades to get sober asked me to be his sponsor. Initially, I was both surprised and humbled. Surprised, because I have less than 4 years of sobriety and exposure to AA. Why would he ask me to help him?
I was humbled for the same reason.

When I mentioned this to him, he said, "But you are successful at this thing. It's the one thing in my life I have not been able to do."

So I told him that of course I would work with him on the 12 steps that Bill W. and others formulated many years ago. (I also mentioned that I would NOT be his taxi driver, banker or marriage counsellor. In his case, it was not really necessary, but this is a formality that I tell anyone. He drives a new Jaguar, makes gobs of money as an attorney and is single.)

I think for someone like this, there is nothing I can tell him that he hasn't heard before. I will try to help him find a Higher Power that works for him. Some power greater than himself that will provide a defense against taking that first drink. I also know this: if he's not willing to follow the path laid out before him, he will not stay sober. But he's already proved that, eh?

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I begin work with another alcoholic today, one-on-one.

that I can enjoy my own company and entertain myself without drinking!

that I can call the ones who I trust when I need to vent and they will listen before hanging up on me

that the preliminary results from my physical exam are very good; there's still more tests to complete

for early morning phone calls from Hayden, who is now in England

that I don't always buy into all the hype, media or otherwise

that our Miss Lambda 2007 Talent Show comes up this Saturday night --

I will be taking photos for all you curious bloggers who can't be there

"When I hear somebody sigh, "Life is hard," I am always tempted to ask, "Compared to what?"
-- Sydney J. Harris

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Love, Tolerance and Forgetfulness

Sometimes it seems like there are so many new things I've learned, that I can't remember it all. I can overwhelm myself trying to make sure there's nothing I am forgetting. Of course, I want to be perfect and that ain't gonna happen. LOL

That's just one reason I attend so many AA meetings. To be reminded of the things I need to do and the things I don't want to do. The literature is another wonderful way to be reminded. When in doubt, maybe I should pick up the Big Book, the 12/12 or something else on my shelf.

For today ...

We can try to stop making unreasonable demands upon those we love. We can show kindness where we had shown none. With those we dislike we can begin to practice justice and courtesy, perhaps going out of our way to understand and help them.

Whenever we fail any of these people, we can promptly admit it -- to ourselves always, and to them also, when the admission would be helpful. Courtesy, kindness, justice, and love are the keynotes by which we may come into harmony with practically anybody. When in doubt we can always pause, saying, "Not my will, but Thine, be done." And we can often ask ourselves, "Am I doing to others as I would have them do to me -- today?"

Friday, June 08, 2007

T.G. (as I understand Him) I.F.

This is a building in Trinidad. I snapped the picture as we were driving past it. Read the sign in the middle.
(you may need to click on the pic to get a closer look)

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

to get back to my regular AA meeting schedule

for the perseverance and sweat of the original members of AA and the trial and error they endured as the traditions of AA evolved

that I had a full and complete physical exam yesterday; actually there's a few more tests to run -- a 4-hour stress test and some type of vascular testing for my legs and a colonoscopy (a blog within itself) -- regardless, my prognosis is that I may live to see the day when American Idol and Paris Hilton are NOT in the news every day

that I have lost 5 lbs in the last 10 days simply by making a small adjustment in my diet; however, my goal is to lose 2 inches from my waist and the weight loss will take care of itself

that I am rarely as busy as I think I am

for another fine session with my therapist (he's doing ok now)

... y'all have a GREAT weekend!

Self-discipline is when your conscience tells you to do something and you don't talk back.
-W.K. Hope

Thursday, June 07, 2007

hAAlf nAAked thursdAAy

"relaxin' at the airport yesterday"

see more great pix @ the HNT site

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I am home from visiting Trinidad; had a great time because we did very little although we stayed busy. Mos importantly, I did not drink nor did I have any tempatation whatsoever to drink any alcohol or smoke a cigarette.

This still absolutely amazes me.

that I can now say, without a doubt, that the program of Alcoholics Anonymous works me!

that Hayden keeps me on my toes; someday I may be a ballerina

You have to do your own growing no matter how tall your grandfather was.
-Abraham Lincoln

Friday, June 01, 2007

Big Pig and Bye Bye

In this photo released by Melynne Stone, Jamison Stone, 11, poses with a wild pig he killed near Delta, Ala., May 3, 2007. Stone's father says the hog weighed a staggering 1,051 pounds and measured 9-feet-4 from the tip of its snout to the base of its tail. If claims of the animal's size are true, it would be larger than ``Hogzilla,'' the huge hog killed in Georgia in 2004. (AP Photo/Melynne Stone)

NOTE: I'm sure you've already seen this photo and story, but I thought I'd post it to get more blog-hits while I'm gone the next few days. LOL

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a very good Step 3 meeting; good stuff to remember before leaving on a trip

for a good workout with my new trainer; I'm not sore though and that concerns me because I was using muscles I have not used in decades

for a first-time-ever decision/commitment to change or at least alter my diet (slowly though, at first)

that I am off to spend a few days with Hayden in the Caribbean. In my shoulder bag are a few books: Alcoholics Anonymous, The Courage to Change and The Language of Letting Go. Hayden lives in a nice home on the side of a hill almost overlooking the Caribbean Sea. The front porch is cozy and breezy. A wonderful place to sit in the early morning and/or late afternoon and read. Quite peaceful.

that I can pack for any trip to any place for any length of time in less than 30 minutes

See y'all about next Thursday -- or so.

Never go to a doctor whose office plants have died.
-Erma Bombeck

A final note before I leave ...

A truck driver was driving along on the freeway. A sign comes up that reads, "Low Bridge Ahead." Before he knows it, the bridge is right ahead of him and he gets stuck under the bridge. Cars are backed up for miles.
Finally, a police car comes up. The cop gets out of his car and walks to the truck driver, puts his hands on his hips and says, "Got stuck, huh?"
The truck driver says, "No, I was delivering this bridge and ran out of gas."

... later