Sunday, August 31, 2008

Then & Now

Click HERE to see how some celebrities looked then.
And how they look now.


Some great before & after pictures.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

BUGgered?

This is why your favorite TV station should reconsider hiring that gay weatherman.


video

Friday, August 29, 2008

another Friday





todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that my first day sober led to my second day sober

and so on and so on ...

that 7 recovering alcoholics sat around talking about Tradition 10 for a full hour yesterday at our 6:30am meeting

that Mary Christine apparently survived the Democratic Convention this week

that I can help friends in recovery by throwing some business their way

GETTING STARTED

"If you wish to reach the highest, begin at the lowest."
-- Publilius Syrus

"What is the most important thing that you should do right now? It's easy to figure out the answer--the most important thing is usually the item you least want to do. So jump on it. Get it out of the way. Then go on to the next thing you don't want to do and get rid of that item by completing it. You'll be amazed at how it frees your spirit no to have them hanging over you."
-- Tom Hopkins

"Think big, start small."
-- Patricia Fripp

"Don't wait. The time will never be just right."
-- Napoleon Hill

Thursday, August 28, 2008

not for sore eyes




todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a fruitful visit with my sister and our CPA as we are trying to tie up any and all loose ends with our Mom's estate

that she went to lunch with Hayden and I after we twisted her arm forcefully
that I may have some relief some of my character defects today - that mostly depends on me

for a good time at the baseball game last night. I've been fortunate enough to attend 22 Astros games this season (so far). I may have gone to this many games when I was a teenager, but it's been along time since then. I've really enjoyed it.


You should not suffer the past. You should be able to wear it like a loose garment, take it off and let it drop.
-Eva Jessye

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I can stay sober -- today




todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I had no reason nor temptation to drink yesterday and I can't imagine what might cause me to think otherwise today

for those who are able to return to the rooms of AA after a relapse

that This Too Shall Pass works in so many areas of my life, almost daily

that my sister will visit our new home this morning for the first time


THE FUTURE

"The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time."
-- Abraham Lincoln

"My interest is in the future because I am going to spend the rest of my life there."
-- Charles F. Kettering

"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams."
-- Eleanor Roosevelt

"I am not afraid of tomorrow, for I have seen yesterday and I love today."
-- William Allen White

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Success

the picture is of the neighboring city to Chernobyl, USSR, taken a couple of years after the nuclear accident



todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I understand the importance of being a meeting maker (for my own personal recovery)

that I never tried Crystal Meth

that Lambda Center has Crystal Meth Anonymous meetings 4 days per week

for the inspiration given me by AA's Step 12


It takes as much stress to be a success as it does to be a failure.
-Emilio James Trujillo

NOTE: I lost misplaced the camera-to-computer cable that I use to download pictures. As soon as I get it replaced, I'll share some pix with you guys. I know some of you are holding your breath. Please exhale.


Monday, August 25, 2008

right back to it



todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the wonderful party I attended Saturday night in celebration of a friends' 20th sober birthday; there must have been more than 50 people just from Lambda Center there

for a successful 2-week Olympics

that our backyard deck should be completed today. Originally, my intention was to landscape the whole yard myself, using flagstone pavers amidst mostly flower beds. Several people convinced me that this would not be good for my back problems. So I chose to have the work done. My responsibility will be to maintain it to the best of my ability.

for fun times shopping for new house stuff

We can never live in the past as if it were our true home…. And it is a good thing that God draws this veil over the past even without our asking. In so doing, He allows us to live today for tomorrow with just the few memories we need of what was.
-Karl Barth

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Perspective

A friend sent this to me a few days ago, knowing the ordeal I just endured with my Mom.


It was a busy morning, about 8:30, when an elderly gentleman in his 80s arrived to have stitches removed from his thumb. He said he was in a hurry as he had an appointment at 9:00. I took his vital signs and had him take a seat, knowing it would be over an hour before someone would to able to see him. I saw him looking at his watch and decided since I was not busy with another patient, I would evaluate his wound. On examining it I saw it was well healed, so I talked to one of the doctors and got the needed supplies to remove his sutures and redress his wound.

While taking care of his wound, I asked him if he had another doctor's appointment this morning, as he was in such a hurry.

The gentleman told me no, that he needed to go to the nursing home to eat breakfast with his wife. I inquired as to her health. He told me that she had been there for a while, ss she is a victim of Alzheimer's disease.

As we talked, I asked if she would be upset if he was a bit late. He replied that she no longer knew who he was, that she had not recognized him in five years now.

I was surprised and asked him, 'And you still go every morning, even though she doesn't know who you are?'

He smiled as he patted my hand and said, 'She doesn't know me but I still know who she is.'

I had to hold back tears as he left, I had goose bumps on my arm and thought, 'That is the kind of love I want in my life. True love is neither physical nor romantic. True love is an acceptance of all that is, has been, will be, and will not be. Peace is seeing a sunset and knowing who to thank. The happiest people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have.
I hope you share this with someone you care about, I just did. Life isn't about how to survive the storm but how to dance in the rain.

The road to success is not straight. There is a curve called Failure, a loop called Confusion, speed bumps called Friends, red lights called Enemies, caution lights called Family. You will have flats called Jobs..

But, if you have a spare called Determination, an engine called Perseverance, insurance called Faith, a driver called Almighty God, you will make it to a place called Success.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

A blind man...

A blind man walks into a little restaurant and sits down. The owner walks up to him and hands him a menu.

'I'm sorry, sir, but I am blind and can't read the menu. Just bring me a fork used by a previous customer. I'll smell it and order from there.'

A little confused, the owner walks over to the dirty dish pile and picks up a greasy fork. He returns to the mans table and hands it to him. The blind man puts the fork to his nose and takes in a deep breath. '

'Ah, yes, that's what I'll have--meatloaf and mashed potatoes.'

Unbelievable, the owner thinks as he walks towards the kitchen and tells his wife Gladys, the cook, what just happened. The blind man eats and leaves. Several days later, the blind man returns and the owner mistakenly brings him a menu again.

'Sir, remember me? I'm the blind man.'

'I'm sorry! I didn't recognize you. I'll go get you a fork.'

The owner retrieves a dirty fork and brings it to the blind man. After another deep breath, the blind man says, 'That smells great. I'll take the macaroni and cheese with broccoli.'

Walking away in disbelief, the owner thinks the blind man is screwing around with him and tells his wife Gladys that the next time the blind man comes in he's going to test him. He returns the following week, but this time the owner sees him coming and runs to the kitchen. He tells his wife, 'Gladys, rub this fork on your panties before I take it to the blind man.' Gladys complies and hands her husband the fork. As the blind man walks in and sits down, the owner is ready and waiting. 'Good afternoon, sir, this time I remembered you and I have your fork ready for you.'

The blind man puts the fork to his nose, sniffs, and says, 'Hey, I didn't know Gladys worked here.'

Friday, August 22, 2008

No longer a wreck




todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for so much potential healing through the practice of Step 10

that I have a lot of friends celebrating their sober anniversaries this month

for miracles

for Texas Bar-B-Q

that our home is finally coming together after 6 weeks of living here. We've had numerous projects going on since we moved in, including replacing the entire first-floor covering and replacing bathroom fixtures and repainting some walls. This week a major roof leak is being repaired. Fortunately, no permanent damage. I would go into more detail, but I don't want to bore you. Suffice it to say that our builder was less than competent. Overall, however, we're happy with the place but it's been a real headache getting to this point. I haven't said much about it here because (1) I was busy with Mom stuff (2) I didn't want to whine about it.

FORGIVENESS

"I believe the time we really look big in a child's eyes is when we go to them and apologize for our mistakes and we say, ‘I was wrong. Will you forgive me?’"
-- Kevin Leman

"To forgive is the highest, most beautiful form of love. In return, you will receive untold peace and happiness."
-- Robert Muller

"We are told that people stay in love because of chemistry, or because they remain intrigued with each other, because of many kindnesses, because of luck... But part of it has got to be forgiveness and gratefulness." -- Ellen Goodman "Our friends are those who know their own faults well enough to forgive us ours."
-- Moulton Farnham


Thursday, August 21, 2008

back (again)




todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I have another chance to be my best

that each day is different and poses possibly unfamiliar challenges

that I am learning a new (to me) design for living that shows me how to handle life as a sober man

that I recognize that I need to do some letting go in my life before some situations become resentments -- maybe I should re-read Step 3?

No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave.
-Calvin Coolidge


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

my shoe is untied





todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that we read "Acceptance was the Answer" from the Big Book yesterday and then discussed it. That's one of my favorite stories.

at my 2nd meeting of the day, we discussed Step 12. I think many of us could speak forever about the ways this step can be practiced. Always provides for an insightful meeting.

that my nephew came over and did a little electrical work for us (yes, he's licensed)


The mind is like a parachute. It doesn't work unless it's open.
-Unknown

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

being aware




todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I am generally a responsible person; part of my alcoholic "bottom" was punctuated by several examples of being very, very irresponsible

that although I don't always improve my conscious contact with my HP, I don't disprove it either

for hands-on help from Scott W at my home; he's hanging some shelves and pictures for us, but mainly, his sense of placement is needed


Maturity is the ability to do a job whether or not you are supervised, to carry money without spending it, and to bear an injustice without wanting to get even.
-Ann Landers

Monday, August 18, 2008

Look at all the 8's !


8-18-08

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a peaceful weekend, sprinkled with rain and accompanied by lower temperatures

that I woke up sober this morning, again

that I don't have to like everyone in AA, but I need to respect them if they are finding a way to remain sober. However, there's a recent incident of someone with 20+ years sobriety 13th stepping a 1 week newcomer. The newcomer was emotionally and sexually abused by this person and of course relapsed. I find this difficult to swallow (no pun intended).

that THIS GUY had his uniform number retired yesterday at Minute Maid Park

Ask yourself: Have you been kind today? Make kindness your daily modus operandi and change your world.
-Annie Lennox

Sunday, August 17, 2008

enjoy

They should be math teachers.


video

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Aphorisms

I know you've been waiting for this, so I'll quench your thirst, right now ...

APHORISM: A SHORT, POINTED SENTENCE EXPRESSING A WISE, CLEVER OBSERVATION,
A GENERAL TRUTH OR ADAGE


1. The nicest thing about the future is that it always starts tomorrow.

2. Money will buy a fine dog, but only kindness will make him wag his tail.

3. If you don't have a sense of humor, you probably don't have any sense at all.

4. Seat belts are not as confining as wheelchairs.

5. A good time to keep your mouth shut is when you're in deep water.

6. How come it takes so little time for a child who is afraid of the dark to become a teenager who wants to stay out all night?

7. Business conventions are important because they demonstrate how many people a company can operate without.

8. Why is it that at class reunions you feel younger than everyone else looks ?

9. Scratch a dog and you'll find a permanent job.

10. No one has more driving ambition than the boy who wants to buy a car.

11. There are no new sins; the old ones just get more publicity.

12. There are worse things than getting a call for a wrong number at 4 AM. Like this: It could be a right number.

13. No one ever says "It's only a game" when their team is winning.

14. I've reached the age where the happy hour is a nap.

15. Be careful reading the fine print. There's no way you're going to like it.

16. The trouble with bucket seats is that not everybody has the same size bucket.

17. Do you realize that in about 40 years we'll have millions of old ladies running around with tattoos? (And rap music will be the Golden Oldies!)

18. Money can't buy happiness - but somehow it's more comfortable to cry in a Corvette than in a Yugo.

19. After 70 if you don't wake up aching in every joint, you are probably dead.

Friday, August 15, 2008

middle of the month



todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a day of beginning to return to whatever is normal, but I still feel kinda weird

that life goes on, whether I want to participate in it or not

for my health

for my friends

for my cats

for my house

for my everything

for Barry White

FOLLOW-THROUGH


"Have the dogged determination to follow through to achieve your goal; regardless of circumstances or whatever other people say, think, or do."
-- Paul Meyer

"The elevator to success is out of order. You'll have to use the stairs... one step at a time."
-- Joe Girard

"There is nothing so fatal to character as half finished tasks."
-- David Lloyd George

I had rather do and not promise than promise and not do.
-- Arthur Warwick

Thursday, August 14, 2008

To begin with, it's over



todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that Mom's Memorial Service went smoothly yesterday

for all the Lambda Center friends who showed up in support of this drunk

that I got to meet a few of Mom's church friends who actually made us a very nice lunch after the service

that my nephew was able to catch a last-minute flight from Barbados (where he is working) and attend his grandmothers' funeral

that I was able to step up to the podium and relate a few thoughts about Mom -- without crying!! I must have learned how to do this in A.A.

Happy 85th, Bob!

that I feel a little relief from the stress I've experienced these past 3 years


The kindest way of helping yourself is to find a friend.
-Ann Kaiser Stearns

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

My Mom, the Sunbeam


Mom with her only son on her 82nd birthday, just a little more than 3 years ago. This was just a few months before her devastating stroke.




todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for another peaceful day yesterday; Mom would be proud of me

for the nearly overwhelming number of messages of support I've received the past 3 days from friends and acquaintenances

that we're off soon to the church for Mom's Memorial Service

for Hayden's immense help these past few days preparing for the service

that I don't need to say any more today

The race is not always to the swift, but to those who keep on running.
-Anonymous

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

furthermore ...



Mom
1966



todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I can stay sober as long as I wish

that yesterday was a fairly peaceful day, although it was extremely busy

that I'll make the final preparations for Mom's Memorial Service; if you'd care to join us tomorrow, let me know

for gravity. It keeps me grounded.

for Lambda. It keeps me centered.

for stairways that keep me using the steps.

God helps those who persevere.
-The Qur'an

Monday, August 11, 2008

A new home for Mom



Mom and I in 1992.

She died yesterday at the age of 85.

Her body continued to fight death for 18 days after we removed all forms of life support, including food. This almost sounds inhumane, but actually her digestive system shut down and there was little choice but to allow her to die.


Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers. I believe it helped prevent her from suffering.



todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that within 30 minutes of the phone call that notified me of Mom's death, I was sitting in an AA meeting. This was a commitment I had made to myself some time ago.

that I shared my loss in that meeting so another alcoholic will know of my experience and one day be able to go through a similar situation without having to resort to drinking or drugging. I have heard dozens of stories just like mine -- before it happened to me.

that I had a definite plan in place which made the hours after Mom's passing much simpler.

for all the offers of support from my friends at Lambda Center.

that I had such a great time in my drag debut on Saturday night -- pictures will be posted during the week, most likely.

In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you.
-Deepak Chopra



the picture on the left is my Mom in 1924 at her home in The Heights in Houston


Sunday, August 10, 2008

Quick Pic


Nuff said!


Dave needs...

Syd tagged me to do this.
He said to google "Dave needs" and see what the top ten things are that Dave needs.

Dave needs ... a shave.
Dave needs ... a rest
Dave needs ... a shower
Dave needs ... a time out
Dave needs ... to come over with Artest
Dave needs ... an iPhone
Dave needs ... rehab
Dave needs ... help
Dave needs ... to go peepee
Dave needs ... to sound proof

hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Congress in action

Here is your congress in action. Do you really want to re-elect your current politicians?


video

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Saturday morning

Scott W sent me this.


Enjoy.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Faith



todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful


that I can sometimes recognize messages that continue to bombard me in the face

that FAITH is the principle behind Step 3

that today is my sponsor's AA birthday; he means so much to me

that we no longer have ashtrays to empty at Lambda

that tomorrow night, at the age of 54, I will make my drag debut at Lambda Center. I will be lip synching to the song, "Satin Sheets" sung by Jeanne C. Pruett. If someone is brave enough to take pictures, maybe I'll have one to post next week. Pray that doesn't happen.

FAITH

"Work as if you were to live a hundred years. Pray as if you were to die tomorrow."
-- Benjamin Franklin

"I do not believe in a fate that falls on men and women however they act; but I do believe in a fate that falls on them unless they act."
-- G.K. Chesterton

"The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today. Let us move forward with strong and active faith."
-- Franklin D. Roosevelt

"Material success may result in the accumulation of possessions; but only spiritual success will enable you to enjoy them."
-- Nido Qubein

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Staying grateful

Claustrophobic?
Check THIS out!

video


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for constant reminders (in meetings) about the importance of practicing Step 6 in my life at all times

that honesty plays such a significant part of my day

that I don't believe the crap I hear from any of the media, just because it fits my agenda

for the concept of contempt after investigation

Chance is always powerful. Let your hook be always cast; in the pool where you least expect it, there will be a fish.
~~ unknown

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

just gettin' along



the cats enjoying their new bed



todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

to be sober another morning with a real chance of staying that way all day

that my Mom is still with us as of this morning

that I'm making final preparations to participate in the annual Lambda Center Talent Show. It's this Saturday night. Stay tuned for a synopsis of my talent upcoming performance.

that we were spared a direct hit by a hurricane

for complete media coverage of a potential major hurricane. However, it turned out to be no more than a storm with a few inches of rain, so is 14 hours of continuous television coverage really needed?

What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul.
-Yiddish proverb

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Experience

the dining room


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I went to a really nice AA meeting where we discussed Step 9; a step that changed my life tremendously

for the drama I don't create these days

that sometimes my experience is all the proof I need

that I had a busy day preparing for a bad storm although as I publish this, it appears tht Houston will be spared once again

that a seat belt is not nearly as confining as a wheelchair

EXPERIENCE

"Time is the wisest counsellor."
-- Pericles

"Experience is an asset of which no worker can be cheated, no matter how selfish or greedy his immediate employer may be."
-- Napoleon Hill

"The good times we put in our pocket. The hard times we put into our heart."
-- Les Brown

"For years I have been accused of making snap judgments. Honestly, this is not the case because I am a profound military student and the thoughts I express, perhaps too flippantly, are the result of years of thought and study."
-- George S. Patton

Monday, August 04, 2008

peaceful, easy feeling




todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful


that I got to hear Lisa Mc's story Saturday night -- well done, Lisa!!

that my Mom is still hanging in there -- today makes 2 weeks since she has been able to have food/nutrition and medications; she was actually able to give us a little smile yesterday

for a peaceful weekend although the stress from my Mom's situation is getting to me (it seems)

Scott sent THIS out to some friends. If you haven't seen it, enjoy!

"The only way things are going to change for you is when you change."
~~ anonymous

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Saturday, August 02, 2008

fun with words

HUMOR FOR WORD LOVERS

I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger. Then it hit me.
Police were called to a day care where a 3-yr-old was resisting a rest.
Did you hear about the guy whose whole left side was cut off? He's all right now.
The roundest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference.
To write with a broken pencil is pointless.
When fish are in schools, they sometimes take debate.
The short fortune teller who escaped from prison was a small medium at large.
A thief who stole a calendar got 12 months.
A thief fell & broke his leg in wet cement. He became a hardened criminal.
When the smog lifts in Los Angles, U. C. L. A.
The dead batteries were given out free of charge.
A dentist and a manicurist fought tooth and nail.
A bicycle can't stand alone; it is two tired.
A will is a dead giveaway.
Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.
A backward poet writes inverse.
In a democracy it's your vote that counts; in feudalism, it's your Count that votes.
A chicken crossing the road: poultry in motion.
If you don't pay your exorcist you can get repossessed.
Show me a piano falling down a mine shaft & I'll show you A-flat miner.
The guy who fell onto an upholstery machine was fully recovered.
A grenade fell onto a kitchen floor in France resulted in Linoleum Blown apart.
You are stuck with your debt if you can't budge it.
A calendar's days are numbered.
A lot of money is tainted: 'Taint yours, and 'taint mine.
A boiled egg is hard to beat.
He had a photographic memory which was never developed.
Those who get too big for their britches will be exposed in the end.
When you've seen one shopping center, you've seen a mall.
When she saw her first strands of gray hair, she thought she'd dye.
Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead to know basis.
Santa's helpers are subordinate clauses.
Acupuncture: a jab well done

Friday, August 01, 2008

Happy Friday!


3 pix of the master bedroom before furniture;
1 picture of the master bath
click on a pic to enlarge

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I can miss one of my regular AA meetings and stay sane(ish)

that Mom made it through another month alive

that a majority of the time, I'd rather be happy than right

for some apparent major progress on finding a cure for HIV/AIDS
CLICK HERE and HERE

for '60's sitcoms; they don't make 'em like that any more / No Way, No How!!

that I live in a vibrant city that has escaped much of the economic woes of most of the rest of the country (so far)

"The only way things are going to change for you is when you change."
--anonymous