Monday, January 31, 2005

Scott Rocks

Today, I am both humbled and mystified.

My best friend in sobriety, Scott, blogs as well. His blog today, titled HEALTHY SELFISHNESS, went inside my brain (what's left of it) and turned it inside out. He dusted it off, scraped off the bad parts, blew away the unused bits and then gently put it all back together.

I know he won't take credit for the piece he wrote and does give credit where credit is due (for his blog). But sometimes, timing is everything. And his timing today could not have been more poignant. Please click on his link, Attitude of Gratitude, to see what I'm talking about.

Thanks, Scott.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

I told you so (but don't believe me!)

I have long known that it is not wise to believe anything I hear coming from the news media.

In a weak moment this morning, I was channel surfing the news. Why, oh why do I do this to myself?

ABC NEWS reported that a gentleman in Oklahoma had built a snowman/ice sculpture which resembled Shrek II, complete with spray paint. This wonderful sculpture was said to be nine-feet tall.

I flipped over to NBC NEWS and they were reporting the same story. But NBC had it at only eight-feet tall.

If these so-called "professional journalists" (highly paid as they are) cannot even get this simple fact straight which requires no more than an accurate tape-measure, how can anything else they report be taken seriously?

They had no insurgents firing at them or politicians needling them to slant the story their way. It makes me think that Jon Stewart (Comedy Channel) is the most reliable news source remaining.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Blast from the Past

She went to our church when I was growing up. She was my 12th grade English teacher. She was always a neat lady who wore her hair in a bun.

I have not seen Mary-Lois Barden in 32 years as my life took me in other directions. My mom was still friends through the years, however.

Today she was 90 years old.

And her kids threw her a birthday party. At the same old church where I had not been since 1972. My mom asked me to make an appearance with her at the party, so I said, "Sure." I am soooo glad I did. It was surreal being back at that church. I used to spend a whole lot of time there. Nothing has changed. I fully expected to meet a frail and wrinkled Ms Barden, After all, she's 90! SHE HAS NOT CHANGED EITHER!!! I swear to God (as I understand Him) that she looks the same as three decades ago. Moves a little slower, but the face, the voice, the smile were still the same. Her family (over 35 of them in attendance) had laid out pictures taken of her throughout her life, dating back to 1915.

There were more than 100 friends who came by to celebrate with her. I told my mom that it almost seemed like a funeral for a healthy person. It made me think that when I die, there will only be a fraction of that number to see me off. I don't know that many people.

Friday, January 28, 2005


I opened the door and sat down. Next, the key was inserted and then turned clockwise. I actually could hear the engine start and that's when I released the key. There would be several additional steps before the automobile was ready to drive.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

The London Taxi

London taxi 1

Living in Houston, you gotta have a car. Oh, we have public transport, but Houston is so spread out that if one needs to get across town by bus, it could take a couple of hours. Most people here have a car, or two or three.

When I drank booze, I would sometimes take a taxi or just walk if it wasn't too far.

When I lived in London though, taxis were "the thing."

The London taxi or Black Cab as they are affectionately known, is a most unique form of transport. There is a history. They are adequately comfortable and roomy with inside space for some luggage. I loved using the taxis to get around if I wasn't taking the "tube", or London Underground. London is not well laid-out, as far as the street patterns ar concerned. One street becomes another with no warning, there are short streets, mews, that may be only 50 yards long but have many addresses. To get from "A" to "B" may require 10, 15 or 20 turns. As well as I know the city, I never drove there and never wanted to. The London taxi driver has"the knowledge." That's what it's called. Without the knowledge, a driver cannot get licensed to drive a London taxi. It can take years of waiting, studying and practice to pass the exams. The drivers are professional, courteous and can chat up a storm if you let them. If you're quiet, they can be quiet too.

In recent years, they began selling advertising space on the cars. I know that business is business but it somehow takes away from the charm of the Black Cab.

I never had a bad experience in a London taxi. And they always knew the way from A to B. Well, almost always.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Really Anonymous

From 1981 through 2002 I frequented the gay baths. Twenty-two years of anonymous sex. In 12 countries. Without going into details (many of which i will never recall) of the things I did in those places, here is where I did them. I've included the names where I can remember them.

Houston,Texas Club Houston (old & new), Midtown Spa

Dallas, Texas Club Dallas

Austin, Texas Club Austin

New Orleans, Louisiana Club New Orleans

Tampa, Florida Club Tampa

Chicago, Illinois Steamworks

Montreal, Canada Sauna Centre-Ville

Toronto, Canada St. Marc Sauna, Club Toronto, The Cellar

Rio de Janeiro, Brasil Termas Ipanema, Termas Novo Leblon

Dublin, Ireland Incognito

London, England Pleasuredrome, Chariots II, Star Steam

Edinburgh, Scotland Townhouse Spa

Antwerp, Belgium Kouros

Brussel, Belgium Macho 2

Copenhagan, Denmark Sauna Club Amigo

Frankfurt, Germany Club Concorde

Berlin, Germany Apollo City Sauna, Steam Sauna Club

Cologne, Germany Phoenix Sauna

Munich, Germany City Sauna

Amsterdam, Netherlands Thermos Day, Thermos Night

Barcelona, Spain Thermos, Padua

Las Palmas, Spain Bronx Health Club

Capetown, S. Africa Hothouse

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

My Own Personal Angel

I had been drinking alcoholically for 31 years. Like a 3-decade binge. It was part of me; it defined me as a person. I am also obsessive-compulsive. I am also a loner, independent, self-reliant. Also very successful at work.

With that background, here's what happened.

I was sent to Trinidad & Tobago to work on a project in 2002. Small country in the far-southeastern Caribbean, close to Venezuela. I had been there once before in 1989 for 2 months and loved it. I'd always wanted to return. Now I did.

The first night there, I went to my favourite bar, The Pelican Pub. Before I left that night, I had met a wonderful guy. We seemed to connect and ended up sleeping together. He moved in with me from that night (into my hotel room). I was in T&T for only 2 weeks but somehow fell in love with him in that short period of time. I had NEVER felt this way before.

I had to leave T&T for a week, but returned for 2 more weeks. He moved in with me again as soon as I got back. The relationship flourished, as much as one can in a short time span.

Soon, I had to go to Morocco for work. A month later, I came to Houston and flew "him" to Houston to meet me. I could only stay for 2 weeks but "he" (Hayden) stayed behind, living in my home. During our short time together, Hayden mentioned several times that I needed to do something about my drinking. He told me about watching his uncle die of this disease and he could not stand to watch me do the same. I sluffed it off, paid him little attention. Didn't he know who I am? I'm an alcoholic, I drink! That's what I do. Get over it.

I left the country again for work. I came back after getting laid off a few months later. So now I could really drink. Soon, within 3 months, my drinking was getting out of control. So was my verbal abuse. Towards the only guy I'd ever fallen in love with. And I could not stop either from happening. Not that I didn't try. I tried stopping drinking; that lasted almost a whole day. I tried modifying my drinking. That lasted a few days. Three more months passed and I was drinking up to 18 hours a day and crying most of those hours because Hayden didn't want to be around me. The more I ran him away, the more I drank.

Finally, he said he was going to tell my mother to have me hospitalized. I begged him not to get her involved. She has enough on her 81 year-old plate. So we made a deal - that I would go to an AA meeting.

I did. And I enjoyed it. I had NO intention of stopping drinking, but did enjoy the meetings. It was a gay recovery center and I met many others who had the same problems I did, but they were sober.

For 3 more months, I continued the meetings, going to the bar after my daily AA meeting and drinking to oblivion. Things got worse at home. He left me. I cried and I cried. I cried by myself at home, at my bar, at AA meetings. I just didn't want to stop drinking. I had a fear of stopping.

August 31, 2002 -- Sunday afternoon -- at my apartment complex, they were having a Labor Day Bar-B-Que at the pool. I'd been drinking all day. I brought home a hustler from a sleeze bar. I almost immediately passed out in the living room recliner. Soon, Hayden came by to get some clothes and walked in on the hustler going through my closets packing up my clothes. He confronted the hustler and took away the small firearm the guy had. With the help of a couple of neighbors, they ran the guy off. Apparently, the guy intended to kill me so as not to leave a witness. Little did he know that my blackout would have kept me from ever identifying him.

Three days later, I asked God to help me. At that moment, I had my Spiritual Awakening. I have had NO desire for alcohol since.

I realize now that it took me falling in love in order to do something about my drinking. If it had been anyone else intervening, I would have paid no attention. God put Hayden in my life for that reason. To save it.

Hayden is my Angel. He literally saved my life twice. First, getting me to agree to go to AA meetings. Second, from being murdered in my own apartment while passed out.

I owe my very life to my Angel.

Thanks for reminding me, Marvin.

Monday, January 24, 2005

In case you don't know ...

Google has implemented a new feature wherein you can
type someone's telephone number into the search bar
and hit enter and then you will be given a map to
their house. Everyone should be aware of this!
Note that you can have your phone number removed or
blocked. Before forwarding this, I tested it by
typing my telephone number in My phone
number came up, and when I clicked on the MapQuest
link, it actually mapped out where I live. Quite
scary. Please look up your own number. Read below
for details. Think about it--if a child, ANYONE
gives out his/her phone number, someone can actually
now look it up to find out where he/she lives. The
safety issues are obvious, and alarming. In order
to test whether your phone number is mapped, go to: Type your phone number in the search bar (i.e.
555-555-1212) and hit enter. If you want to BLOCK
Google from divulging your private information,
simply click on the telephone icon next to your
phone number. Removal takes 48-hours. If you are
unlisted in the phone book, you might not be in
there, but it is a good idea just to check. If your
number does come up if you hit map, it will show you
a direct map to your house...

Progress, Not Perfection

"Today, I was taking my inventory, not yours."
Ernest P. - Lambda Center, 24 Jan 05

That's one of my littany of character defects that I ask to be taken from me each day. I spend so much time critiquing the sobriety of others and maybe not enough time looking at my program. It prevents me from carrying the message to other alcoholics and from doing His will instead of my own.

It helps saying the AA Third Step Prayer:

God, I offer myself to thee. To build with me and to do with me as thy wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy Will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help, of Thy Power, Thy Will and Thy Way of Life. May I do Thy Will always.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Bye Johnny

Well, God, Heeeeeeeeere's Johnny

Johnny Carson

I watched him from 1962 when I was 8 years old til he retired. As hard as I've always tried, I could never be as funny or quick-witted as he. He lived a full life and I can't wait til I get to hear him again.

A Sponge by any other name ...

Poor SpongeBob

On some political issues, I lean to the right. On some, I lean to the left. On all issues, I am free to draw my own conclusions and not be close-minded to either side. This does not seem to be the way that the far-left or far-right operate. After 50 years on this planet, some things I still find difficult to believe.

Keep it Simple

Alcoholics Anonymous is a Spiritual program. It doesn't necessarily have anything to do with religion. Early on in my AA career, I heard someone say,


These few simple words were tremendous help to me as I wanted nothing to do with religion. All I needed to do was instill in myself the concept of a Higher Power; something which was greater than myself. A bunch of sober alkies told me that if I could do that and just not drink for 24 hours at a time, my life would change drastically. They said it was that simple.

I had some pretty serious doubts. By nature, I am a cynic. But here were dozens of people, some with stories worse than mine, who had done just that and were able to live a good life - sober. They told me stories of thousands who had done the same.

They freely gave me their Experience, Strength and Hope. They had packaged their lives, without alcohol, into twenty-four hour segments, during which they practice a few principles to the best of their abilities.

Now I know that, while it isn't always easy, if I keep it simple, it works.

It really does.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Great Words & Narrow Minded Actions

INTEGRITY = when one's actions reflect their own words

Some people are upset about the $43M being spent on the President’s inauguration ceremony and parties. Most of this money is from private donations. The ceremony and security are paid for by the taxpayer, just like it's always been. Terry McCauliffe, former head of the Democratic National Committee, said he didn’t care to watch any of it. He preferred to put in the “Titanic” DVD to “get in the mood for the next 4 years of the Bush administration”. Howard Dean, future hopeful head of the DNC, was going to hold an “un-inauguration” party. Former members of the John Kerry campaign committee decided to book and go on a Caribbean cruise to get away from it all. These are the people who are saying that the president must now reach out to embrace and unite the country, but now they are running away and are no where to be found. The bottom line is, no matter how much, or little, would be spent on the inauguration, these people just can’t stand that it’s a Republican being sworn into office and more specifically, and painfully, it’s George W Bush. And frankly, most people, at least 54 million of them, could give a rat’s ass what these people say, think, or do. So I can only suggest to them to get an electable candidate for 2008 with some policies that people actually care about, and if they can get him elected, then they can throw their own party in 2009 and listen to the Republicans whine.

How can these "liberals" call themselves "open-minded" and patriotic? They seem to be open-minded only when they get their way; otherwise, they gonna take their toys and go home.

We both know ...

We both know you're a very strange and weird person. Take the following test to see just how weird you are - today.

What is your weird quotient? Click to find out!

We both know the easiest job in the world is being a TV Weatherman in San Diego. The weather is always the same. But this guy has it down pretty good too.
Weather Station

Friday, January 21, 2005

Serving My Brother

from Daily Reflections // copyright by A.A. World Services, Inc.

As the days pass in A.A., I ask God to guide my thoughts and the words that I speak. In this labor of continuous participation in the Fellowship, I have numerous opportunities to speak. So I frequently ask God to help me watch over my thoughts and my words, that they may be the true and proper reflections of our program; to focus my aspirations once again to seek His guidance; to help me be truly kind and loving, helpful and healing, yet always filled with humility, and free from any trace of arrogance.

Today I may very well have to deal with disagreeable attitudes or utterances -- the typical stock-in-trade attitude of the still-suffering alcoholic. If this should happen, I will take a moment to center myself in God, so that I will be able to respond from a perspective of composure, strength and sensibility.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Easy Does It

Caution - Sharp Edges


One day mom was cleaning Junior's room, and in the closet she found an S&M magazine. This was very upsetting for her. She hid the magazine until his father got home and showed it to him. He looked at it and handed it back to her with out a word.

She finally asked him, "Well, what should we do about this?" Dad looked at her and said, "Well, I don't think you should spank him."

Wednesday, January 19, 2005


The History Channel is airing a wonderful series on each of the Presidents this week. Each night from 8-10pm ET.

Bounce this ...

The Magic of BOUNCE

• The US Postal service sent out a message to all letter carriers to put a sheet of Bounce in their uniform pockets to keep yellow jackets away. Use them all the time when playing baseball and soccer. I use it when I am working outside It really works. The yellow jackets just veer around you.
• And all this time you've just been putting Bounce in the dryer!
• It will chase ants away when you lay a sheet near them.
• It also repels mice. Spread them around foundation areas, or in trailers or cars that are sitting and it keeps mice from entering your vehicle.
• It takes the odor out of books and photo albums that don't get opened too often.
• Repels mosquitoes. Tie a sheet of Bounce through a belt loop when outdoors during mosquito season.
• Eliminates static electricity from your television (or computer) screen.
• Since Bounce is designed to help eliminate static cling, wipe your television screen with a used sheet of Bounce to keep dust from resettling.
• Dissolve soap scum from shower doors. Clean with a sheet of Bounce.
• Freshen the air in your home. Place an individual sheet of Bounce in a drawer or hang in the closet.
• Put Bounce sheet in vacuum cleaner.
• Prevent thread from tangling. Run a threaded needle through sheet of Bounce before beginning to sew.
• Prevent musty suitcases. Place an individual sheet of Bounce inside empty luggage before storing.
• Freshen the air in your car. Place a sheet of Bounce under the front seat.
• Clean baked-on foods from a cooking pan.
• Put a sheet in a pan, fill with water, let sit overnight, and sponge clean. The anti-static agent apparently weakens the bond between the food.
• Eliminate odors in wastebaskets. Place a sheet of Bounce at the bottom of the wastebasket.
• Collect cat hair. Rubbing the area with a sheet of Bounce will magnetically attract all the loose hairs.
• Eliminate static electricity from Venetian blinds. Wipe the blinds with a sheet of Bounce to prevent dust from resettling.
• Wipe up sawdust from drilling or sand papering. A used sheet of Bounce will collect sawdust like a tack cloth.
• Eliminate odors in dirty laundry. Place an individual sheet of Bounce at the bottom of a laundry bag or hamper.
• Deodorize shoes or sneakers. Place a sheet of Bounce in your shoes or sneakers overnight.
• Golfers put a Bounce sheet in their back pocket to keep the bees away.
• Put a Bounce sheet in your sleeping bag and tent before folding and storing them. Keeps them smelling fresh.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Rodney's Newest pic

Jan 17 05 C
Rodney on MLK Day


EXPECTATION (n): the act or state of eager anticipation; to look forward to a certain occurence

This seems to be one of the emotions that alcoholic thinking thrives on. For us, it can be deadly. When we don't get what we expect, we do what we do best - drink or use mind-altering chemicals. It leads to:

intolerance, contempt, envy, hatred, discontent, self-pity, distrust, anxiety, suspicion
The Steps of AA show us how to rid ourselves of this deadly emotion. All it takes is a complete willingness to LET GO. How do we do this? Through prayer to the God of our understanding. Through a constant and conscious effort of thought and practice. It does not happen overnight, but our problems did not happen overnight either. For those without this deadly thinking, you will not understand how this emotion can rule our daily thought processes.

We must learn to frame our goals but leave the outcome to our Higher Power. When we attempt to control outcomes, we often end up on a barstool with unfulfilled expectations.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

The Bar

They say, "It's not old behavior if you're still doing it."

I first went there in 1974, age 20. I went with my sister, Lisa and her husband. She was 22 and legal. I can vaguely remember that first time; I think we had hamburgers and a couple of beers, then left. I do remember that it was crowded and fun.

I went back a number of times over the years to watch some "important" baseball or football games, but I mainly hung out at gay bars.

GRIFF'S INN opened in 1965 as Houston's first sports bar. Early on though, it became well-known as hosting the biggest and best St. Patrick's Day Festival in Texas. Griff's can still make that claim. Just a small, neighborhood bar on a residential street, the Festival lasts 4 or 5 days and packs in up to 10,000 crazy people (drunks) in March. That number has decreased the past few years, mainly due to increased competition, but 5,000 celebrationists is not an exaggeration.

I retired in 1994 and moved back to Houston from overseas. That's when I became a regular. From May '94 through September '03 I may have averaged 60 hours per week there - drinking! I had the opportunity in 1999 to buy-in to the bar and I took it. Now I proudly own 10% of Griff's and haven't even been there since last summer. I never really worked there as I am just a silent investor. Sure did know a bunch of people there though.

By August '03 I was spending over 100 hours each week there as my life went down the drain. hmmmm ...

I lived 2 blocks down the street from 1994-2003, then bought a townhouse a block closer. I always joked that it was a 60-second walk to get there and a 5-minute walk home.

Little did I know that I would stop drinking.

Z Z Top 1998
Z Z Top playing a private party at Griff's 1998

Sandy & D 2003
texandave & friend on St Patrick's Day 2003

Saturday, January 15, 2005


I was lucky enough to work in Alexandria, Egypt back in '99 for 2 months.

I'd been to Cairo a couple of times before. My impression of that ancient city is that it's too damn big. And dirty. And crowded. I think there's about 10 million or so living there now.

I took the train to Alex, as it's called there. Only about a 3 hour ride through the mostly green countryside. That was a surprise as I'd always thought of nothing but desert. The train runs close to the River Nile where the land remains rather fertile. The train itself is clean and a smooth ride. Very pleasant.

Alex is a huge city too with a population of 6 million. I got to do a little bit of sight-seeing while there and even spent a day at the beach. Made a lot of friends from a restaurant/bar that I'd made "my home". Alex is quite safe. I walked around at all hours of the day and night in various stages of sobriety and otherwise. The primary danger is being hit by a car in the narrow and crowded streets as one must dodge them endlessly. Working there was pretty easy; the people were friendly and helpful. I lived in the Sofitel Cecil Hotel, a place with more history than Bette Davis.

Definitely a wonderful experience and worth the visit if you get the opportunity. Lots of history to check out and the new library is one for the ages.

Alexandria- The Fortress
texandave guarding The Fortress @ Qaitbay

Alexandria - King Fahrouk's Palace 1999.
King Farouk's Palace (you oughta see the kitchen)
now the Presidential Palace

Alexandria - The Mediterranean
Sunset in Alex

Alexandria - My Boys
Mahmoud & George (my boys from FAR & AWAY RESTAURANT)

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Poor Kitty

Hold Up


This particular story just made me laugh. Every time I think about it, the vision of that poor cat just amuses me. Hope the story leaves a bright spot in your day. Whoever said the Creator doesn't have a sense of humor? Dwight Nelson recently told a story about the pastor of his church. He had a kitten that climbed up a tree in his backyard and then was afraid to come down. The pastor coaxed, offered warm milk, etc.

The kitty would not come down. The tree was not sturdy enough to climb, so the pastor decided that if he tied a rope to his car and drove away so that the tree bent down, he could then reach up and get the kitten. That's what he did, all the while checking his progress in the car. He then figured if he went just a little bit further, the tree would be bent sufficiently for him to reach the kitten. But as he moved the car a little further forward, the rope broke.
The tree went "bong!" and the kitten instantly sailed through the air-out of sight.
The pastor felt terrible. He walked all over the neighborhood asking people if they'd seen a little kitten. No. Nobody had seen a stray kitten. So he prayed, "Lord, I just commit this kitten to your keeping," and went on about his business.

A few days later he was at the grocery store, and met one of his church members. He happened to look into her shopping cart and was amazed to see cat food. This woman was a cat hater and everyone knew it, so he asked her, "Why are you buying cat food when you hate cats so much?"
She replied, "You won't believe this," and then told him how her little girl had been begging her for a cat, but she kept refusing. Then a few days before, the child had begged again, so the Mom finally told her little girl, "Well, if God gives you a cat, I'll let you keep it."
She told the pastor, "I watched my child go out in the yard, get on her knees, and ask God for a cat. And really, Pastor, you won't believe this, but I saw it with my own eyes. A kitten suddenly came flying out of the blue sky, with its paws outspread, and landed right in front of her."

Never underestimate the Power of God and His unique sense of humor.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Celebrity Poultry

Why Did The Chicken Cross The Road?

We don’t really care why the chicken crossed the road. We just want to know if the chicken is on our side of the road or not. The chicken is either with us or it is against us. There is no middle ground here.

I invented the chicken. I invented the road. Therefore, the chicken crossing the road represented the application of these two different functions of government in a new, reinvented way designed to bring greater services to the American people.

Now at the left of the screen, you clearly see the satellite image of the chicken crossing the road.

This was an unprovoked act of rebellion and we were quite justified in dropping 50 tons of nerve gas on it.

The chicken’s habitat on the original side of the road had been polluted by unchecked industrialist greed. The chicken did not reach the unspoiled habitat on the other side of the road because it was crushed by the wheels of a gas-guzzling SUV.

To steal a job from a decent, hard-working American.

I did not cross the road with THAT chicken.
What do you mean by chicken?Could you define chicken, please?

I missed one?

I don’t know why the chicken crossed the road, but I’ll bet it was getting a government grant to cross the road, and I’ll bet someone out there is already forming a support group to help chickens with crossing-the-road syndrome. Can you believe this? How much more of this can real Americans take? Chickens crossing the road paid for by their tax dollars, and when I say tax dollars, I’m talking about your money, money the government took from you to build roads for chickens to cross.

No one called to warn me which way that chicken was going. I had a standing order at the farmer’s market to sell my eggs when the price dropped to a certain level. No little bird gave me any insider information.

Because the chicken was gay! Isn’t it obvious? Can’t you people see the plain truth in front of your face? The chicken was going to the “other side.” That’s what they call it—the other side. Yes, my friends, that chicken is gay. And, if you eat that chicken, you will become gay too. I say we boycott all chickens until we sort out this abomination that the liberal media whitewashes with seemingly harmless phrases like “the other side.”

Did the chicken cross the road?Did he cross it with a toad?Yes, The chicken crossed the road, but why it crossed, I’ve not been told!

To die. In the rain. Alone.

I envision a world where all chickens will be free to cross roads without having their motives called into question.

In my day, we didn’t ask why the chicken crossed the road. Someone told us that the chicken crossed the road, and that was good enough for us.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

arms and legs

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."

Liz @ Punch & Judy 2001
my bestest friend LIZ
at Punch & Judy (open since 1685 a.d.)
Covent Garden

Monday, January 10, 2005


Had a great weekend of sobriety.

Got to spend some time with the new man in my life and some of that time was actually spent with friends. That's important in relationships. People who are new to each other tend to want their time alone to the exclusion of others. Not healthy, friendly or wise.

Rosey, Landers, Robert
Roosevelt, Landers & Robert

R&D Jan05  b
Rodney & Me

Sunday, January 09, 2005

When it happened

When: Thursday, September 4, 2003 @ 1:00pm CST
Where: Lambda Center, Houston, Texas
What: My Spititual Awakening

Why: Because I was willing to listen, for 3 months, to the messages given to me by others who had experienced what I had now come to experience. Because I finally had enough alcohol intake. Because it couldn't get any worse. Because I had now come to a complete incomprehensible demorilaztion. Because I was willing to let God (as I understood Him) take away my lifelong craving and obsession for alcohol.

All I had to do, at that time, was ask.

And it happened.

It was the single most incredible moment of my lifetime. It lasted no more than 1 second, probably not that long. There are not sufficient words in my vocabulary to describe what happened, but I liken it to a bolt of thunder from above. My body jolted, my mind was clear. I knew, I absolutely knew, at that moment in time, that I would never have to feel this way again. I knew that I would never need or crave or obsess about alcohol again. It was gone - totally and completely. My life changed in that moment, forever. I became a different person at that moment. God (as I understand Him) entered my life, healed my illness and I knew that as long as I kept God (as I understand Him) in my life, that He would forever keep that illness at bay.

I was no longer spiritually bankrupt.

This was my spiritual awakening.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

There's a new person in my life; a budding relationship. We slept together last night for the first time.

I stayed at his house.

This brings to mind an interesting fact for me. Since 1989, I have lived many of those years in hotel rooms (overseas, working) or in short-term apartments (1-4 months at a time). In 15 years, the "other person" always stayed at my place, not the other way round. Maybe that was a control issue I am only now beginning to recognize. In my relatively new life of sobriety, "letting go" seems to be taking on a life of its own.

Rodney   Dec 31 04
my new love

Friday, January 07, 2005

Small town in the Big city

I live in Montrose. That's in the middle of Houston, Texas, the 4th largest city in the U.S. of A.

The 'Trose is about a 2 square mile area just southwest of downtown. It's been known as the gay part of town since I can remember, which goes back to the late 60's. When I was 18 and wanted some action, I headed to Montrose to see how many guys were walking the sidewalks and who I could entice into the car. Along many residential streets, oral sex was the norm, sometimes in the front seat, sometimes in an alley or even a front yard.

Throughout the 70's and into the 80's Montrose got rather seamy, to say the least. Finally, enough neighbors and businesses had all they would take and The 'Trose began cleaning up. Traffic regulations made it more difficult cruise and police patrolled the area as never before. By the late 80's, property values began to increase, businesses flourished many ramshackle structures were torn down and replaced. Throughout the 1990's and continuing today, new condos and townhouses sprung up and homes built in the 1920's and 30's were remodeled. A home that sold for $100K in 1990 now goes for $300K.

There is just about any retail outlet you'd ever want to visit here. If it's not actually in Montrose, it is within a 10 minute drive, either downtown or in The Galleria. There's everybody's favorite supermarket, affectionately and appropriately known as Disco Kroger's. Starbuck's and Diedrich's are well represented as well as mom & pop coffee houses. Restaurants are all over the place with every type of food imaginable and some menus I've never heard of.

Most of Houston's gay bars are still here, all within walking distance of each other. Lads & lads and Lasses & lasses are commonly seen strolling hand-in-hand, trying not to look at the homeless bunch sleeping on the side of the street or making their drug deals. We've certainly got our share of crime, but what place doesn't?

Great place to live. Very eclectic. Sometimes I can go for weeks without ever leaving Montrose. But I haven't seen a guy getting a blow job in a front yard in years. Maybe I'm just getting old and don't stay out that late any more.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

just chillin ...

Now that food has replaced sex in my life, I can’t even get into my own pants.

Marriage changes passion. Suddenly you’re in bed with a relative.

I saw a woman wearing a sweat shirt with “Guess” on it. So I said “Implants?” She hit me.

I don’t do drugs. I get the same effect just standing up fast.

I live in my own little world. But it’s OK. They know me here.

I got a sweater for Christmas. I really wanted a screamer or a moaner.

If flying is so safe, why do they call the airport the terminal?

I don’t approve of political jokes. I’ve seen too many of them get elected.

There are two sides to every divorce: Yours and shithead’s.

I love being married. It’s so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life.

Everyday I beat my own previous record for number of consecutive days I’ve stayed alive.

Isn’t having a smoking section in a restaurant like having a peeing section in a swimming pool?

Why is it that most nudists are people you don’t want to see naked?

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Mistakes I have not made since becoming sober (yet)

  • gotten drunk
  • taken any illegal drug
  • had a hangover or a blackout
  • have not been malicious towards anyone, including myself
  • raised my voice to anyone
  • been mad or hardly even angry
  • driven illegally
  • put any person on a pedestal
  • forgotten any appointments
  • picked up a hustler
  • have not gone more than a day without eating
  • bruised my body for no other reason than losing control of it
  • have not made inapproproiate sexual advances toward others

If you had known me during the last year of my 32 year binge, you know that it is truly remarkable for those things in the list.

cat on caffeine

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

All the way to the bank

I love this joke I heard from a comedian on The Comedy Channel.

"I hear that sperm from a sperm bank is now selling for about $175 per batch. It makes me sick to think of all the money I've been wasting."

next ...

I am feeling so spiritually fit these days. It's a feeling that has been blossoming for the past 16 months and seems to grow stronger every day; well, nearly every day. I know why it's occurring and that if i continue to do the things that work, there's no reason for it not to continue to blossom. People with much more time in sobriety tell me that "it will not continue. Be ready to fall." They are welcome to their opinion. I suppose they are telling me their own experience. The way I see it, their experience does not have to be my experience. I take their warnings positively; that I need to keep on doing what I'm doing, not to let up. So I will keep going to many meetings every week as long as I have the opportunity. I will keep utilizing the tools in my tool box. Did I tell you that during my 32nd and last year of drinking, I AVERAGED 112 hours each week in a bar? Several bars to be more accurate. I can sure devote half that many hours each week to my sobriety.

next ...

again, here's a link to my favorite blogger, check him out ...

Monday, January 03, 2005

A.A. Tool Box

If you're not an alcoholic or addict, you may not appreciate this. If you are, you certainly won't appreciate this if you haven't been exposed to a recovery program.

This is my TOOL BOX. In short, these are the "things" I do / the methods I have at my immediate disposal to keep my addiciton in remission. When necessary, or as needed, I use these "tools" in my tool box to help curb my appetite to drink or to continue in my never-ending attempt to have inner peace and serenity in my life. I can use any of them any time I need 'em, as often as I need 'em. My goal is to use all of these, all day and every day, without even having to think about it. I was not aware of these things until the age of 49. There is term for not having this inventory in one's box; it's called spiritually bankrupt.

· Go to an AA meeting
· Steps 1 – 12 (see "Alcoholics Anonymous")
· The Serenity Prayer
· The Twelve Principles of A.A.
1. Honesty
2. Hope
3. Faith
4. Courage
5. Integrity
6. Willingness
7. Humility
8. Brotherly Love
9. Discipline
10. Perseverance
11. Awareness of God
12. Service
· Call my sponsor or another person in recovery
· Meet with my sponsor as regularly as possible
· Change people, places and things as necessary
· My sobriety is my priority above all else
· The chip in my pocket
· Beware of H.A.L.T. (hungry, angry, lonely, tired)
· Pause when agitated
· Prayer
· Go to an AA meeting
· Meditate
· Read the literature
· Service work and working with other alcohokcs
· Remember what got me here
· Forgive
· Let it go
· Spend time alone
· Keep it simple
· Think before using pen or keyboard
· Do not take other people’s inventory
· Try not to judge others
· Go to an AA meeting
· Don’t give up
· Avoid expectations
· Journal or write
· Gratitude list
· Be compassionate and tolerant
· Live and let live
· Remember that some others are sicker than I am
· Know that most people (in recovery) are trying their best
· Don’t take the bait
· Go to an AA meeting
· Do not turn down any reasonable request
· Where and when possible, avoid stressful situations
· This too shall pass
· Give out and collect phone numbers
· Meet and greet people I don’t know
· Be consistent

Saturday, January 01, 2005

First of More ...

The National Poetry Contest had come down to two semifinalists, a Yale graduate and a redneck from Arkansas. They were given a word, then allowed two minutes to study the word and come up with a poem that contained the word. The word they were given was “Timbuktu”.
First to recite his poem was the Yale graduate.

He stepped to the microphone and said...

Slowly across the desert sand
Trekked a lonely caravan
Men on camels, two by two

The crowd went crazy! No way could the redneck top that, they thought.
The redneck calmly made his way to the microphone and recited...

Met three whores in a pop up tent
They was three, and we was two
So I bucked one, and Timbuktu.

The redneck won hands down!