Thursday, June 30, 2011

Isn't it obvious?

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for slogans ...

Live and Let Live
Easy Does It
But for the Grace of God
Think, Think, Think
First Things First

(look at those again, and read the first word of each)

"Never look back unless you are planning to go that way."
- Henry David Thoreau

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I really, really try to keep it simple (everything)

to see progress in others; especially friends who have less than a year in the program

for second chances

for outside help; those in recovery who say it should not happen should keep their damn mouths shut. Actually, they are probably the ones who need it most.

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.
- Lao Tzu

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Dancing Queens

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I'm old enough to have experienced a lot, but young enough to try it again anyway

for A.A.'s first step and its importance -- "We were powerless over alcohol and our lives had become unmanageable."

for those who've tried to get sober outside/without AA and come to share their experiences

that I feel much better than yesterday, thank you

Courage doesn't always roar.
Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying,
"I will try again tomorrow.”
- Mary Anne Radmacher

Monday, June 27, 2011

Not feelin' well

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I got to celebrate and participate in another Pride weekend here in Houston

that I stayed sober and content throughout the weekend

that I wrote this much this morning; I'm sorta sick

Achievement seems to be connected with action.
Successful men and women keep moving.
They make mistakes, but they don't quit.
- Conrad Hilton

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Saturday, June 25, 2011

You can retire ...

You can retire to Phoenix, Arizona where
1. You are willing to park 3 blocks away because you found shade.
2. You've experienced condensation on your butt from the hot water in the toilet bowl.
3. You can drive for 4 hours in one direction and never leave town.
4. You have over 100 recipes for Mexican food.
5. You know that "dry heat" is comparable to what hits you in the face when you open your oven door.
6. The 4 seasons are: tolerable, hot, really hot, and are you KIDDING ME ?!

You can retire to California where
1. You make over $250,000 and you still can't afford to buy a house.
2. The fastest part of your commute is going down your driveway.
3. You know how to eat an artichoke.
4. You drive your rented Mercedes to your neighborhood block party.
5. When someone asks you how far something is, you tell them how long it will take to get there rather than how many miles away it is.
6. The 4 seasons are: Fire, Flood, Mud, and Drought..

You can retire to New York City where
1. You say "the city" and expect everyone to know you mean Manhattan.
2. You can get into a four-hour argument about how to get from Columbus Circle to Battery Park, but can't find Wisconsin on a map.
3. You think Central Park is "nature."
4. You believe that being able to swear at people in their own language makes you multi-lingual.
5. You've worn out a car horn. (ed note: if you have a car)
6. You think eye contact is an act of aggression.

You can retire to Maine where
1. You only have four spices: salt, pepper, ketchup, and Tabasco .
2. Halloween costumes fit over parkas.
3. You have more than one recipe for moose.
4. Sexy lingerie is anything flannel with less than eight buttons.
5. The four seasons are: winter, still winter, almost winter, and construction.

You can retire to the Deep South where
1. You can rent a movie and buy bait in the same store.
2. "Y'all" is singular and "all y'all" is plural.
3. "He needed killin'" is a valid defense.
4. Everyone has 2 first names: Billy Bob, Jimmy Bob, Mary Sue, Betty Jean, Mary Beth, etc.
5. Everything is either "in yonder," "over yonder" or "out yonder." It's important to know the difference, too.

You can retire to Colorado where
1. You carry your $3,000 mountain bike atop your $500 car
2. You tell your husband to pick up Granola on his way home and so he stops at the day care center.
3. A pass does not involve a football or dating.
4. The top of your head is bald, but you still have a pony tail.

You can retire to the Midwest where
1. You've never meet any celebrities, but the mayor knows your name.
2. Your idea of a traffic jam is ten cars waiting to pass a tractor.
3. You have had to switch from "heat" to "A/C" on the same day.
4. You end sentences with a preposition: "Where's my coat at?"
5. When asked how your trip was to any exotic place, you say, "It was different!"


You can retire to Florida where
1. You eat dinner at 3:15 in the afternoon.
2. All purchases include a coupon of some kind -- even houses and cars.
3. Everyone can recommend an excellent dermatologist.
4. Road construction never ends anywhere in the state.
5. Cars in front of you often appear to be driven by headless people

Friday, June 24, 2011

Just trying to stay warm

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that the consequences of sobriety seem to be much better than the consequences of continuing to drink

that today, I plan to stay sober to oblivion

for an easier, softer way

for my particular committments to service work, without which I'd either be sitting at home doing very little or sitting in a bar doing way too much

There is no passion to be found playing small -
in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.
- Nelson Mandela

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Life as I understand it

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the cool and unexpected experiences that I've had while praying and as a result of praying

for my AA home group and its spiritual health

that I feel very comfortable sharing many of my more embarrassing experiences with sponsees

that the Houston area finally got some significant rain yesterday. The best rainfall since January. But we're still in a record-setting drought.

Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak;
courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.
- Winston Churchill

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Don't be a doormat.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for my step work with another alcoholic. Yesterday, we read more about Step 8 -- "Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all."

"The moment we ponder a twisted or broken relationship with another person, our emotions go on the defensive. To escape looking at the wrongs we have done another, we resentfully focus on the wrong he has done us. Triumphantly we seize upon his misbehavior as the perfect excuse for minimizing or forgetting our own."

"Since defective relations with other human beings have nearly always been the immediate cause of our woes, including our alcoholism, no field of investigation could yield more satisfying and valuable rewards than this one."

I'm really grateful that I'm not nearly as affected by denial as I might have been. I've met many people who live in denial. It can be really tough getting through to them. Another good reason to keep coming back. LOL

Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood.
- Helen Keller

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I woke up sober today (again).

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I don't wake up in the morning feeling a need to re-invent the wheel

to be able to see/recognize progress in others

that I have integrity - something crucial for my self-esteem

for this -- (overheard at my AA club) -- "A friend was given an award for his humility. When he accepted it, they took it away from him."

Everyone believes that their beliefs are the right ones - that is why they are called beliefs.

Monday, June 20, 2011

I try to NOT repeat myself, but ...

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

some things are worth repeating

for my sobriety AND my slow recovery from alcoholism

for the many, many things about life that I haven't learned yet

that most things in my life aren't nearly as important as my mind thinks they are

for the people I know who give and give with no seeming expectation for something in return

that this is gay pride week; I will drive a convertible in Houston's parade this Saturday

The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, June 19, 2011


In case you have not read this lately, here it is.

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant, they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interest in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let not this blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have the right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore, be at peace with God, whatever you conceive him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams;it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

- Max Ehrmann, 1927

Saturday, June 18, 2011


I have always loved the humor of Rodney Dangerfield. If you do too, read on ...

My wife only has sex with me for a purpose. Last night she used me to time an egg.

It's tough to stay married. My wife kisses the dog on the lips, yet she won't drink from my glass!

Last night my wife met me at the front door. She was wearing a sexy negligee. The only trouble was, she was coming home.

A girl phoned me and said, 'Come on over. There's nobody home.' I went over. Nobody was home!

A hooker once told me she had a headache.

I went to a massage parlor. It was self-service.

If it weren't for pickpockets, I'd have no sex life at all.

I was making love to this girl and she started crying. I said, 'Are you going to hate yourself in the morning?'
She said, 'No, I hate myself now.'

I knew a girl so ugly that she was known as a two-bagger. That's when you put a bag over your head in case the bag over her head comes off.

I knew a girl so ugly... they use her in prisons to cure sex offenders.

My wife is such a bad cook, if we leave dental floss in the kitchen the roaches hang themselves.

I'm so ugly I stuck my head out the window and got arrested for mooning.

The other day I came home and a guy was jogging, naked. I asked him, 'Why?' He said, 'Because you came home early.'

My wife's such a bad cook, the dog begs for Alka-Seltzer.

I know I'm not sexy. When I put my underwear on I can hear the Fruit-of-the-Loom guys giggling.

My wife is such a bad cook, in my house we pray after the meal.

My wife likes to talk on the phone during sex. She called me from Chicago last night.

My family was so poor that if I hadn't been born a boy, I wouldn't have had anything to play with.

Friday, June 17, 2011

side by side

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for freedom and choices

that I'm still willing to do whatever it takes to continue my recovery

as a real minority (a gay, recovering alcoholic) I can be an example to others like me

that I feel no pressure to do the next right thing

The jump is so frightening between where I am and where I want to be.
Because of all I may become, I will close my eyes and leap.
- Mary Anne Radmacher

Thursday, June 16, 2011

I already knew this

No judgement. I just like the picture and think it's funny.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I hear a lot just by listening

that I see a lot just by watching

that I learn a lot just by doing

for the fellow bloggers I've gotten to meet over the years I've been writing this little ditty. People from Massachusetts, Ohio, Colorado, California, Michigan, New York, Florida and England. That's cool.

Laugh at yourself and at life. Not in the spirit of derision or whining self-pity, but as a remedy, a miracle drug, that will ease your pain, cure your depression, and help you to put in perspective that seemingly terrible defeat and worry with laughter at your predicaments, thus freeing your mind to think clearly toward the solution that is certain to come. Never take yourself too seriously.
- Og Mandino

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

No worries ...

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I don't worry about relapsing or going out to bars

that I don't worry about getting old (it's happening as I type)

that I don't worry about having to please those who know me

that I don't worry about where my next meal is coming from or where I'll sleep tonight

If only the people who worry about their liabilities
would think about the riches they do possess,
they would stop worrying.
- Dale Carnegie

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Short, and to the point.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that even though I am at a loss for wordage this morning, I am


If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, Thank you, that would suffice.
- Meister Eckhart

Monday, June 13, 2011

Monday the 13th

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I no longer live on the edge

for a highly successful fundraiser over the weekend where we raised twice our goal

for all of the people who give, then give some more; they are both an inspiration and motivation

that I got to participate in a Cadillac event yesterday that allowed me to drive on an obstacle course and racetrack at some very high speeds. Another first for me.

Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.
- Winston Churchill

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Inglorious remarks

These glorious insults are from an era before the English language got boiled down to 4-letter words......

A member of Parliament to Disraeli: "Sir, you will either die on the gallows or of some unspeakable disease."
"That depends, Sir," said Disraeli, "whether I embrace your policies or your mistress."

"He had delusions of adequacy." - Walter Kerr

"He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire." - Winston Churchill

Lady to Winston Churchill, If I were your wife, I would give you poison. To which Churchill responded, madam, if I were your husband, I would take it!

"I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure." Clarence Darrow

"He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary." - William Faulkner (about Ernest Hemingway).

"Thank you for sending me a copy of your book; I'll waste no time reading it." - Moses Hadas

"I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it." - Mark Twain

"He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends.." - Oscar Wilde

"I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a friend.... if you have one." - George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill

"Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second.... if there is one." - Winston Churchill, in response.

"I feel so miserable without you; it's almost like having you here." - Stephen Bishop

"He is a self-made man and worships his creator." - John Bright

"I've just learned about his illness. Let's hope it's nothing trivial." - Irvin S. Cobb

"He is not only dull himself; he is the cause of dullness in others." - Samuel Johnson

"He is simply a shiver looking for a spine to run up." - Paul Keating

"In order to avoid being called a flirt, she always yielded easily." - Charles, Count Talleyrand

"He loves nature in spite of what it did to him." - Forrest Tucker

"Why do you sit there looking like an envelope without any address on it?" - Mark Twain

"His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork." - Mae West

"Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go...” - Oscar Wilde

"He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts... for support rather than illumination." - Andrew Lang (1844-1912)

"He has Van Gogh's ear for music." - Billy Wilder

"I've had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn't it." - Groucho Marx

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Friday, June 10, 2011

Continued to take personal inventory ...

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for this writing from Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, page 90.

"It is a spiritual axiom that every time we are disturbed, no matter what the cause, there is something wrong with us. If somebody hurts us and we are sore, we are in the wrong also. But are there no exceptions to this rule? What about 'justifiable' anger? If somebody cheats us, aren't we entitled to be mad? Can't we be properly angry with self-righteous folk? For us of A.A. these are dangerous exceptions. We have found that justified anger ought to be left to those better qualified to handle it."

I was reading this with a sponsee yesterday and realized that I had better take a look at myself and my relationship with my partner. I've been a little angry and resentful with him this week. And I haven't been practicing what I preach.

The only thing necessary for evil to triumph
is for enough good men to do nothing.
- Edmund Burke

Thursday, June 09, 2011

The easier softer way

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I no longer have to waste so much energy finding reasons to do the next wrong thing

for rigorous honesty in all my affairs

for my health. I'm overweight by 30 pounds but so far I seem to remain fairly healthy. My Peripheral Artery Disease is 75% better since I stopped smoking and began working out 4 years ago. I hope to become willing to improve my diet so I can take some poundage off.

that I heard this in a meeting --- "I'd rather someone else beat me up when I screw up because at least they will know when to stop."

Every wall is a door.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

early morning thoughts

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I will have the honor of listening to a sponsee's 5th step today

for the similarities and the differences

that my control issues have really improved over the past year or two; it's such a process!

to know that the grass is always greener on the other side until I have to mow it

Appreciate again and again, freshly and naively,
the basic goods of life, with awe,
pleasure, wonder and even ecstasy,
however stale these experiences may have become to others.
- Abraham Maslow

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

experience should not be discounted

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a very inspiring AA discussion meeting about (of all things) -- failure. A concept many of us (certainly me) know about. We talked about a different attitude concerning failure. That there is no failure and no success -- only our experience. I've heard numerous times that all of my experiences (the good and the bad) make me who I am today. In that sense, failure becomes an asset. So what could have been a whiny meeting became very uplifting. Wow, I love my fellow alkies!

for an overall better attitude toward life than I had before I stopped drinking

for American Pickers, a show on The History Channel this year. It's about 2 guys who travel the countryside in their truck, stopping at old barns and farms to see what junk they might be able to buy and then resell for a profit. I love this kind of thing and would love to do something like that. I would not enjoy the process of having to sell all that stuff though. Maybe I'll just stick with watching them on the telly. LOL

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.
- Marianne Williamson

Monday, June 06, 2011

A look at sidecars (this week)

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I rarely find a need to be somebody else

to possess some knowledge of the insidiousness of jealousy

that I'm physically well (again). I got sick on Saturday with the same 18-hour bug I had a few weeks ago. I missed both of my Saturday AA meetings. It marked only about the 12th day since I got sober that I didn't attend an AA meeting. I've missed 12 days out 2831 days of being sober. I'm proud of that. Thank you. (If I were still drinking and still alive, I would not have missed that many days of drinking)

that we seem to have lived through 105 degree temperatures here yesterday

Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.
- Winston Churchill

Sunday, June 05, 2011


Waive Bay shore-break surfing pioneer, husband, and father of two, Clark Little has gained nationwide recognition for his photography on National Television..

It all started in 2007 when Clark 's wife wanted a nice piece of art to decorate a wall.

Voluntarily, Clark grabbed a camera, jumped in the water, and starting snapping away capturing the beauty and power of monstrous Hawaiian waves from the inside out.

" Clark 's view" is a unique view of the ocean that most will only
be able to experience safely on land while studying one of Clark 's photos.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Friday, June 03, 2011

Thanks for dropping in ...

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a first-time newcomer to the noon AA meeting yesterday. I was proud and inspired to hear the shares by my fellow alkies.

for those who need help and aren't afraid to seek it

that my own little world of martyrdom has diminished more and more over the last few years

that Houston has been spared the violent weather that has hit so many areas of the country; instead, we're in the 4th month of a severe drought

If you wait to do everything until you're sure it's right,
you'll probably never do much of anything.

- Win Borden

Thursday, June 02, 2011

But seriously folks ...

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I have not relapsed (yet) from my sober life

for many frequent reminders that I have a deadly disease; something I can easily take for granted

that I have a treatment for that disease but it must be applied continuously

for the times when people tell me about how they have seen me change. I guess Ineed that validation from time to time because I just don't recognize it all the time.

The greatest mistake you can make in life
is to be continually fearing you will make one.
- Elbert Hubbard

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Today's words are very filtered.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

to remember how life once was and know that I never have to go there again!

that I had enough conviction to NOT be a doormat; it wasn't pretty, but I got my point across (but damn, I hate confrontations)

that I got to chair some noon AA meetings in May and I really enjoyed the responses during the discussions we had

that I have respect for most people, until they show me I shouldn't

Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
- Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama