Saturday, July 31, 2010

All Grown Up





Your houseplants are alive and you can't smoke any of them.

Having sex in a twin bed is out of the question.

You keep more food than beer in the fridge.

6am is when you get up, not when you go to bed.

You hear your favorite song in an elevator.

Your friends "marry" and "divorce" rather than "hook up" and "break up."

You go from 130 days of vacation time to 14.

Jeans and a sweater no longer qualify as "dressed up."

You're the one calling the police because those damn kids next door won't turn down the music.

Sleeping on the couch makes your back hurt.

You take naps.

Dinner and a movie is the whole date instead of the beginning of one.

You go to the drug store for Ibuprofen and Antacid rather than condoms and pregnancy tests.

A $4.00 bottle of wine is no longer "pretty good shit."

You actually eat breakfast food at breakfast time.

"I just can't drink the way I used to" replaces "I'm never going to drink that much again."





Friday, July 30, 2010

Helping others / Being of service



todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a good Tradition Twelve meeting - principles over personalities, anonymity, humility. You know. The good stuff.

that I have a whole lot better grasp on twelfth step calls -- I was involved in one yesterday and was able to help guide another person how NOT to enable the using addict. Allowing a user to hit their bottom is a significant step for this people pleaser.

that I really got a lot done yesterday - very productive day

that I get to go to my 3 Friday meetings today

Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do. Don't bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.
- William Faulkner


Thursday, July 29, 2010

little reminders

I think you'll like THIS video. It's about friendship.



todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I go to an AA meeting early every morning; in case I don't get to another one, I've made my meeting for the day (this is hugely important to me)

for the tools I'm learning in Al Anon. My catchphrase for this program is whatever.

that I'm a slogan whore

that the universe takes care of itself pretty damn well, with or without me

Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old.
- Franz Kafka



Wednesday, July 28, 2010

my mind was a terrible thing to waste



todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

to know that spirituality is a gift, not an achievement

that I have a wild imagination and someone to settle it down

for the impact that people-in-recovery have on me

that Houston has caught up on our 2010 rain deficit

"The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company... a church... a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past... we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you... we are in charge of our Attitudes.

~~ somebody

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Now hear this!

The Passive Cat

video


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful


that I'm willing to listen to just about any point of view

that I can be of service just by listening

that I'm not deaf

that I'm not unique nor special -- that would be some unnecessary pressure on me

It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.
- Mark Twain

Monday, July 26, 2010

Sold! I hope.






todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for some good exercise over the weekend, both in the gym and outside in the yard. Damn, it's hot though.

that I have been going out of my way to contact some friends who've relapsed. I hear their excuses and am learning some really f***ed up ways of thinking.

that we don't have toilet rings

that I sold one of my collector cars on eBay - now I just hope the buyer pays as promised.

Quotations help us remember the simple yet profound truths that give life perspective and meaning.
- Criswell Freeman


Sunday, July 25, 2010

It's the law

1. Law of Mechanical Repair - After your hands become coated with grease, your nose will begin to itch and you'll have to pee.

2. Law of Gravity - Any tool, nut, bolt, screw, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible corner.

3. Law of Probability -The probability of being watched is directly proportional to the stupidity of your act.

4. Law of Random Numbers - If you dial a wrong number, you never get a busy signal and someone always answers.

5. Law of the Alibi - If you tell the boss you were late for work because you had a flat tire, the very next morning you will have a flat tire.

6. Variation Law - If you change lines (or traffic lanes), the one you were in will always move faster than the one you are in now (works every time).

7. Law of the Bath - When the body is fully immersed in water, the telephone rings.

8. Law of Close Encounters -The probability of meeting someone you know increases dramatically when you are with someone you don't want to be seen with.

9. Law of the Result - When you try to prove to someone that a machine won't work, it will.

10. Law of Biomechanics - The severity of the itch is inversely proportional to the reach.

11.. Law of the Theater and Hockey Arena - At any event, the people whose seats are furthest from the aisle, always arrive last. They are the ones who will leave their seats several times to go for food, beer, or the toilet and who leave early before the end of the performance or the game is over. The folks in the aisle seats come early, never move once, have long gangly legs or big bellies, and stay to the bitter end of the performance. The aisle people also are very surly folk.

12. The Coffee Law - As soon as you sit down to a cup of hot coffee, your boss will ask you to do something which will last until the coffee is cold.

13. Murphy's Law of Lockers - If there are only two people in a locker room, they will have adjacent lockers.

14. Law of Physical Surfaces - The chances of an open-faced jelly sandwich landing face down on a floor, are directly correlated to the newness and cost of the carpet or rug.

15. Law of Logical Argument - Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.

16. Brown's Law of Physical Appearance - If the clothes fit, they're ugly.

17. Oliver's Law of Public Speaking - A closed mouth gathers no feet.

18. Wilson's Law of Commercial Marketing Strategy - As soon as you find a product that you really like, they will stop making it.

19. Doctors Law - If you don't feel well, make an appointment to go to the doctor, by the time you get there you'll feel better. But don't make an appointment, and you'll stay sick.




Here's some extras, but they aren't laws. Yet.


A doctor examining a woman who had been rushed to the Emergency Room, took the husband aside, and said, 'I don't like the looks of your wife at all.'
'Me neither doc,' said the husband.
'But she's a great cook and really good with the kids.'

An old man goes to the Wizard to ask him if he can remove a curse he has been living with for the last 40 years.
The Wizard says, 'Maybe, but you will have to tell me the exact words that were used to put the curse on you.'
The old man says without hesitation, 'I now pronounce you man and wife.'

While shopping for vacation clothes, my husband and I passed a display of bathing suits. It had been at least ten years and twenty pounds since I had even considered buying a bathing suit, so I sought my husband ' s advice..
'What do you think?' I asked. 'Should I get a bikini or an all-in-one?'
'Better get a bikini,' he replied. 'You'd never get it all in one.'
He's still in intensive care.

The graveside service just barely finished, when there was a massive clap of thunder, followed by a tremendous bolt of lightning, accompanied by even more thunder rumbling in the distance.
The little old man looked at the preacher and calmly said, 'Well......she's there.'

Saturday, July 24, 2010

commercial

What an awesome ad for the new AMG Mercedes SL!

If any of you were ever to roll a car ... this is the proper way to do it!!

The stretch of highway that this ad was filmed on is in the Fraser Canyon, British Columbia, Canada

The tunnel they did this in is the China Bar Tunnel on Highway 1 just North of Spuzzum ...

The car is a new Mercedes ... make sure that your sound is on ... enjoy!!



video

Friday, July 23, 2010

consequences



My life can be categorized with 4 distinct bottles.



todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the damn good life I had before getting sober; I traveled and got to live in many cultures

for the damn good life I have now

that it can be so rewarding to do something because it's the right thing to do

that I have no particular plans for the weekend; we'll just see what happens

that I'm off to the gym when it opens at 0500, then to the first of 3 AA meetings today


If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.
- Mother Teresa



Thursday, July 22, 2010

Today, I won't drink any alcohol.



todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful


for so many recovery tools. Too bad I don't always wanna use them.

that Kevin C. gave us a little more of his experience, strength and hope yesterday. He is one-of-a-kind.

that when a relapser walked into our noon meeting yesterday drunk or really high (or both) no one over-reacted. She made a complete fool of herself and had to be removed and taken to the hospital by paramedics. Damn, I'm glad I'm sober.

to be the recipient of so many blessings

Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

flooded



todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I know my motives are good in the things I do. I often question myself and make instant corrections to my behavior when I see myself doing something for the wrong reason(s). Is this Step 10? I think so.

that my colonoscopy went well/without a hitch yesterday. Everything came out just fine.

for the professionalism of the medical personnel who dealt with me; they could not have been more caring and kind; in turn, I flooded them with my stupid humor. They seem to have lived through it.


There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Overhead and Behind







todAAy i AAM grAAteful & thAAnkful

that today is the 41st anniversary of men first landing on the moon. I well remember watching it on television with my parents. I was 15 years old and fascinated by the space program. It was also my last year of sobriety until I would be 49 years old.

that I'm pretty damn happy, joyous and free. There's not much new in my life today but there's no big drama happening either. Life is just flowing. That reminds me ...

that I'm having a colonoscopy this morning, my second. I had one about 3 years ago. This brings to mind the story about a friend who had gastrointestinal problems and they eventually removed part of his colon. He did just fine without it except we always called him semi-colon. At least he was punctual.

Study the past, if you would divine the future.
- Confucius



Monday, July 19, 2010

Monday morning




todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that my sobriety has a life of its own

that I'm not an angry person

that I'm able to be honest with others but everyone doesn't have to know everything about me

that I'll chair a noon AA meeting today and we'll discuss Step 9

that I'm so damn lucky


Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.
- John F. Kennedy

Sunday, July 18, 2010

No horsin' around

You're just NOT gonna believe this!


video

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Protect yourself

Protection for you and your home ...

If you don't have a gun, here's a more humane way to wreck someone's evil plans for you.
(I guess I can get rid of the baseball bat.)

Wasp Spray
A friend who is a receptionist in a church in a high risk area was concerned about someone coming into the office on Monday to rob them when they were counting the collection. She asked the local police department about using pepper spray and they recommended to her that she get a can of wasp spray instead.

The wasp spray, they told her, can shoot up to twenty feet away and is a lot more accurate, while with the pepper spray, they have to get too close to you and could overpower you. The wasp spray temporarily blinds an attacker until they get to the hospital for an antidote. She keeps a can on her desk in the office and it doesn't attract attention from people like a can of pepper spray would. She also keeps one nearby at home for home protection.

Thought this was interesting and might be of use...

Val Glinka teaches self-defense to students at Sylvania Southview High School . For decades, he's suggested putting a can of wasp and hornet spray near your door or bed.

Glinka says, "This is better than anything I can teach them."

Glinka considers it inexpensive, easy to find, and more effective than mace or pepper spray. The cans typically shoot 20 to 30 feet; so if someone tries to break into your home, Glinka says, "spray the culprit in the eyes". It's a tip he's given to students for decades. It's also one he wants everyone to hear. If you're looking for protection, Glinka says look to the spray.

"That's going to give you a chance to call the police; maybe get out."

Maybe even save a life.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Attitude



todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a bit of a realization that the things that were happening in my life that led to my alcoholic bottom weren't really much different than the things in my life today. The difference is my ... attitude.

that I like the concept of fake it until you make it (I know many people don't ascribe to this, but that's not my problem).

for the beneficial effects of the Al Anon program for me

that the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has been contained, at least for now


The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes. . . . than what other people think. . . . . or say. . . . . . . . or do.

It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company, a church, a home.

The remarkable thing is ….. that we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for the day.

We cannot change our past. We cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable.

The only thing we can do is play the one string we have … our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% of what happens to us and 90% how we react to it. And so it is with you.
We are in charge of our attitudes!
Author unknown


Thursday, July 15, 2010

another foot forward



todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that we got to hear the story of someone relatively new to us at Lambda; she spoke with candor, humility and humor

that I've been able to reach out a little more lately; I hope this continues

that Hayden is back home safely after 6 weeks in the UK

for a nice, clean house home

that we now go to the 2nd half of the baseball season


Never argue at the dinner table, for the one who is not hungry always gets the best of the argument.
- Voltaire


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Belling the Cat



The Mice once called a meeting to decide on a plan to free themselves of their enemy, the Cat. At least they wished to find some way of knowing when she was coming, so they might have time to run away. Indeed, something had to be done, for they lived in such constant fear of her claws that they hardly dared stir from their dens by night or day.

Many plans were discussed, but none of them was thought good enough. At last a very young Mouse got up and said:

"I have a plan that seems very simple, but I know it will be successful. All we have to do is to hang a bell about the Cat's neck. When we hear the bell ringing we will know immediately that our enemy is coming."

All the Mice were much surprised that they had not thought of such a plan before. But in the midst of the rejoicing over their good fortune, an old Mouse arose and said:

"I will say that the plan of the young Mouse is very good. But let me ask one question: Who will bell the Cat?"

Moral: It is one thing to say that something should be done, but quite a different matter to do it.

a fable by Aesop



todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the things I get that I didn't know I needed

for the things I don't get that I think I wanted

that I love to share my experience of recovery with anyone who's willing to listen

that I love to hear about the recovery experience of others

One can not reflect in streaming water. Only those who know internal peace can give it to others.
- Lao Tzu

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Gratitude today

Don't do the steps without a sponsor.





todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I am still absolutely amazed that I don't get drunk every night -- or any night, for that matter!

for a recovery program that teaches me how NOT to start drinking again

that so many emotional and spiritual changes seem to take place in me when I'm not watching

that my life is better than I could have ever planned it

for a life of (slowly) diminishing addictions


With gratitude, all life appears as a blessing - without gratitude, all of life is perceived as a burden.
~ somebody

Monday, July 12, 2010

back to work



CLICK HERE to view a cool advertisement by KLM Airlines.



todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a busy, yet peaceful and serene weekend

that I didn't see any people drinking alcohol because I didn't go to any bars or any place else where people drink

for the almost imperceptible changes that continue to occur in recovering alkies (me too!) years after the last drink

for excellent results from my physical exam last week (a little low on the HDL cholesterol though)


Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn't learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn't die; so, let us all be thankful.
- The Buddha


Sunday, July 11, 2010

Word origins

In George Washington's days, there were no cameras. One's image was either sculpted or painted. Some paintings of George Washington showed him standing behind a desk with one arm behind his back while others showed both legs and both arms. Prices charged by painters were not based on how many people were to be painted, But by how many limbs were to be painted. Arms and legs are 'limbs,' therefore painting them would cost the buyer more.
Hence the expression, 'Okay, but it'll cost you an arm and a leg.'
(Artists know hands and arms are more difficult to paint)

As incredible as it sounds, men and women took baths only twice a year (May and October) Women kept their hair covered, while men shaved their heads (because of lice and bugs) and wore wigs. Wealthy men could afford good wigs made from wool. They couldn't wash the wigs, so to clean them they would carve out a loaf of bread, put the wig in the shell, and bake it for 30 minutes. The heat would make the wig big and fluffy, hence the term 'big wig.' Today we often use the term 'here comes the Big Wig' because someone appears to be or is powerful and wealthy.

In the late 1700's, many houses consisted of a large room with only one chair. Commonly, a long wide board folded down from the wall, and was used for dining. The head of the household always sat in the chair while everyone else ate sitting on the floor. Occasionally a guest, who
was usually a man, would be invited to sit in this chair during a meal. To sit in the chair meant you were important and in charge. They called the one sitting in the chair the 'chair man.' Today in business, we use the expression or title 'Chairman' or 'Chairman of the Board.'

Personal hygiene left much room for improvement. As a result, many women and men had developed acne scars by adulthood. The women would spread bee's wax over their facial skin to smooth out their complexions. When they were speaking to each other, if a woman began to stare at another woman's face she was told, 'mind your own bee's wax.' Should the woman
smile, the wax would crack, hence the term 'crack a smile'. In addition, when they sat too close to the fire, the wax would melt. Therefore, the expression 'losing face.'

Ladies wore corsets, which would lace up in the front. A proper and dignified woman, as in 'straight laced'..... wore a tightly tied corset.


Common entertainment included playing cards. However, there was a tax levied when purchasing playing cards but only applicable to the 'Ace of Spades.' To avoid paying the tax, people would purchase 51 cards instead. Yet, since most games require 52 cards, these people were thought to be stupid or dumb because they weren't 'playing with a full deck.'

Early politicians required feedback from the public to determine what the people considered important. Since there were no telephones, TV's or radios, the politicians sent their assistants to local taverns, pubs, and bars. They were told to 'go sip some ale' and listen to people's conversations and political concerns. Many assistants were dispatched at different times. 'You go sip here' and 'You go sip there.' The two words 'go sip' were eventually combined when referring to the local opinion and, thus we have the term 'gossip.'

At local taverns, pubs, and bars, people drank from pint and quart-sized containers. A bar maid's job was to keep an eye on the customers and keep the drinks coming. She had to pay close attention and remember who was drinking in 'pints' and who was drinking in 'quarts,' hence the term 'minding your 'P's and Q's.'

One more and betting you didn't know this!

In the heyday of sailing ships, all war ships and many freighters carried iron cannons. Those cannons fired round iron cannon balls. It was necessary to keep a good supply near the cannon. However, how to prevent them from rolling about the deck? The best storage method
devised was a square-based pyramid with one ball on top, resting on four resting on nine, which rested on sixteen. Thus, a supply of 30 cannon balls could be stacked in a small area right next to the cannon. There was only one problem...how to prevent the bottom layer from sliding or
rolling from under the others. The solution was a metal plate called a 'Monkey' with 16 round indentations. However, if this plate were made of iron, the iron balls would quickly rust to it. The solution to the rusting problem was to make 'Brass Monkeys.' Few landlubbers realize
that brass contracts much more and much faster than iron when chilled. Consequently, when the temperature dropped too far, the brass indentations would shrink so much that the iron cannonballs would come right off the monkey. Thus, it was quite literally, 'Cold enough to
freeze the balls off a brass monkey.'

(All this time, you thought that was an improper expression, didn't you?)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Could this be the future?

Today is my 2500th sober day. All of them are back-to-back, including weekends.

If the government takes over dental care, this might be your dentist ...


video

Friday, July 09, 2010

Anonymous Rant



todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for reminders about personal ANONYMITY in the program of A.A.

The internet should be treated the same as any other media. Tradition 11 reads, in part ...
... "we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio and films."

I bring this up for several reasons. (1) I attended a meeting at the International Convention about anonymity on websites. It made me realize how often I personally have violated this tradition. (2) Earlier this week, a friend posted Facebook pictures of a July 4th swimming party and identified the people in the pictures as members of AA and CMA. When I brought it to his attention as a violation of this tradition, he said everyone does it so it's OK. (3) Only yesterday, I looked at a recovery blog where the writer identifed themself as an AA member and then posted pictures of themself. It goes on and on.
I mention this not to embarrass anyone but to remind us that we must be more careful, including me.

Have a lovely Friday and weekend.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.


Thursday, July 08, 2010

simplicity



todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful


that I can observe a lot just by watching

that I can hear a lot just by listening

that drama-free days = serenity

that I love to participate in my recovery - 24/7


As we work to create light for others, we naturally light our own way.
- Mary Anne Radmacher

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

humility




todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for another day of sober growth

for those who step up to the plate when asked

for the different concepts of humility. My personal feeling is that I must be teachable to new concepts which will help me to become the best person I can be.
What is your definition or understanding?


Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.
- The Buddha


Tuesday, July 06, 2010

observations




todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the meetings I attended at the convention. Topics included ...

... emotional sobriety - a friend from Houston was there whom I've know since I first entered the rooms. She hates me because of a wrong perception of something she thinks about me (contempt prior to investigation) and would not even acknowledge me when I said hello as she sat with one of her sponsees. At a meeting on emotional sobriety. I want nothing of her 20+ years. A reminder that everyone has a lesson for me.

... AA websites and anonymity - this is causing me to be much more aware (and hopefully careful) about the information I put on the internet, including social-networking sites.

... healing with laughter - there were about 3000 members at this meeting. After opening with the regular readings, the chairperson (jokingly) asked that we go around the room and indentify ourselves. Got a big laugh. LOL


Everything that we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.


Monday, July 05, 2010

Love & Service











A couple of images from the International Convention of Alcoholics Anonymous in San Antonio.



todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the messages I got over the last 4 days -- to love and to be of service to others

for some really fine experiences in San Antonio and that we made it back safe and sound

for the weather whilst we were there; it was mostly cloudy with light rain most of the time which meant that the temperatures were rarely over 90 degrees. Had it been sunny, the temps would have reached 100 deg.

that we went to the closing meeting yesterday at the convention. I got to hear the finest recovery speaker I have yet to hear in my sobriety. Steve L. from Nashville, Tennessee.

that I had to deal with myself the last few days; someone I am getting to know a little better


Worry often gives a small thing a big shadow.
- Swedish Proverb


Thursday, July 01, 2010

An experience you must not miss ...



todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

I found time to write this short list

we made it to San Antonio safely; just a little rain

that we're staying in a hotel right in the middle of everything and this place is swarming with sober people; I've heard estimates that by tomorrow there could be as many as 90,000 people registered for this convention


Getting to know someone is not a task--its an art.
- Pierce LeBlanc