Tuesday, January 31, 2006


The weather in Houston this winter has been so damn mild. Many days have seen low temperatures in the 40's with high temps getting well into the 70's. A daily 30-degree temperature change makes it friggin' difficult to know what to wear. Jacket in the morning; short sleeves in the afternoon.

Since his second appearance on Oprah, James Frey's book has seen a sales increase. Once again, Oprah shows that she's quite the businesswoman. She dragged him over the coals for lying but never removed his book from her Book Club. If I were a cynic, I would say they planned this all along. If I were a cynic.

I think Oprah could market dog turds and make money.

Some Democratic Senators have now blamed George Bush personally for the fact that Ford had to lay off thousands of workers. I guess Ford's problems (and all American car manufacturer's) have nothing to do with the fact that they simply have not kept up with foreign technology for the past 30 years.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that the congestion problem my Mom has been having is clearing up instead of getting worse and maybe turning into pneumonia

that I was able to keep my mouth shut when an AA chairperson made an inappropriate comment based on a lack of knowing the facts

for the mantras "Pause When Agitated" and "I'd Rather Be Happy instead of Right"

for 2 new faces at the 6:30am meeting today

for the personal confusion I have in defining the difference between helping an addict and enabling an addict. That was never a problem when I was drinking.

When written in Chinese, the word "crisis" is composed of two characters --- one represents danger; the other represents opportunity.
- John F. Kennedy

Ford Super Chief

Like any good Texas boy, my favorite vehicle at the 2006 Houston Auto Show this year was Ford's concept truck, the Super Chief. It's huge with great styling. Also, it runs on either hydrogen, ethanol or gasoline.

The drawing is from a magazine website. Click for more info and details.

The pic on the left is from my camphone.

Monday, January 30, 2006

It's All About Gratitude

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a better understanding of the attention I need to give towards the financial/insurance/paperwork side of my Mom's illness and recovery

that to keep from being totally overwhelmed by her ordeal, I have to remember to live in the moment instead of worrying about what I have to do next week

for the opportunity to attend our AA Birthday Night each month; January 2006 being possibly the most fulfilling of the 28 that I've been to

that for me, it's important to not only remember my last drunk, but, to remember WHY it must be my last drunk

that my head is right where it's supposed to be -- on top of my shoulders

that I'm not an old, washed-up, useless drunk --- I'm middle-aged

There is no pillow so soft as a clear conscience.
-French Proverb

Just when you thought you had it all (part 4)

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Nude Painting

I have
no further
plans on
any more
in the

In case
you were

More than a bunch of sober drunks...

I attend Lambda Center for almost all of my AA meetings. All Lambda groups celebrate AA birthdays on the last Saturday of the month, which was last night.

There were 33 men and women celebrating a total of 419 years of sobriety. There were 3 guys who received their first-year medallion and the oldest celebrant had 31 years. I always enjoy listening to the gratitude of those who reach a new milestone. It's an affirmation that this program works when we work it. It's always touching to hear someone whose life might otherwise have ended years ago. All of that honesty and integrity were a shining light (No, James Frey was not there).

Last night, as I listened to those 33 grateful human beings, I was humbled. For what may be the first time that I have realized this, I was proud to be an alcoholic.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Self Abuse

What a load hangovers put on your shoulders! What terrible physical punishment we've all been through. The pounding headaches and the jumpy nerves, the shakes and the jitters, the hot and cold sweats!

When you come into A.A. and stop drinking, that terrible load of hangovers falls off your shoulders.

Ashamed of the things you've said and done. Afraid to face people because of what they might think of you. Afraid of the consequences of what you did when you were drunk. What an awful beating the mind takes! When you come into A.A., that terrible load of remorse falls off your shoulders.

Thought for the Day, January 28


some volume encouraged

Friday, January 27, 2006

James on the Frey-ing Pan

Yesterday as I sat upon my solid-gold, ruby and emerald encrusted throne in my 50-seat theatre, watching my 20' wide plasma-screen televison made specially for me by NASA at my 85 room (not including bathrooms) Houston mansion which overlooks 300 acres of rich meadowland boundaried by a ring of mighty oak trees, I watched Oprah.

I watched as author/addict/liar James Frey sat uneasily in front of millions of his readers while the queen of afternoon televison slapped him on the wrist, repeatedly. Oprah forced him to admit more of his lies in his "memoir"-- A MILLION LITTLE PIECES.
Did he apologize to his readers? NO.
Did she remove his book from her Book Club? NO.
Has Mr Frey ever worked any of the Twelve Steps? NO.
As a "clean and sober" addict, is he in recovery (in my opinion)? NO.
Does he know anything of honesty and integrity? NO.
Will he continue to make gobs of money from his lies? MOST LIKELY.

There are no victims, only volunteers.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I know the difference between EMBELLISH and LIE

that I am neither James Frey nor Oprah Winfrey

that today, Oprah features the stars of Brokeback Mountain

to have completed working step 5 yesterday with my one sponsee. He's my first sponsee to make it this far.

for breakfast with my sponsor this morning so I can tell him more about how to isolate

for dinner last night with a good recovering friend


Liquid Diet

This could easily have been me, only two and-a-half years ago. Getting ready for a Friday night.
Or a Wednesday night. Or any other night.
Or morning.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

hAAlf nAAked thursdAAy

Minding My Health

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a pleasant morning with my Mother yesterday

for the unique talk by Barb S. at the 12:15p speaker meeting; her experience of hitting a new emotional bottom at 15 years into sobriety

for being able to better clarify my feelings of isolation; it's not that I don't have friends, I just don't have anyone to hang out with

that when I don't isolate, I am comfortable being alone for up to 22 hours per day (I don't expect anyone to understand or appreciate this, but it means a lot to me)

that I reminded myself to be careful for what I pray

for finally having coffee with someone besides me

for some words of wisdom from this guy

that I've never been accused of sexual harrassment -- legally (yet)

for this incredible winter weather we're having in Houston -- if you like cold, you be in da wrong place

Learn to write your hurts in sand.
Learn to carve your blessings in stone!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The Short List

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for everything

"We absolutely insist on enjoying life. We try not to indulge in cynicism over the state of the nations, nor do we carry the world's troubles on our shoulders. When we see a man sinking into the mire that is alcoholism, we give him first aid and place what we have at his disposal. For his sake, we do recount and almost relive the horrors of our past. But those of us who have tried to shoulder the entire burden and trouble of others find we are soon overcome by them.

So we think cheerfulness and laughter make for usefulness."

Alcoholics Anonymous, page 132

Anxiety, Addicition and Depression

I was contactd by the owner of a blog which deals with ANXIETY, ADDICITON and DEPRESSION TREATMENT. He provides numerous links and articles dealing with these issues. Check it out when you have the time.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that my Mom was feeling much better yesterday, emotionally

to have a lifelong family friend (of my parents) who wants to assist my sister and I in ironing out the medical questions and logistics involved with permanent nursing facilities

for a day off

for a visit from a friend who is willing to listen to my crap

that I have not had a blackout since I stopped drinking - there seems to be a connection there

that I'm able to go through whatever I have to go through without having to go through a bar

QUESTION: How many alcoholics does it take to change a lightbulb?
ANSWER: Change?

2005 World Stupidity Awards

Damn! If only I'd have known these were gonna take place, I would have entered. Sometimes, I'm just too stupid.

It was a night of suspense and absolute idiocy as the World Stupidity Awards awarded achievement in ignorance and stupidity in one of the hottest ticket's at Montreal's Just for Laughs Festival Friday night.

"It was absolute magic," said World Stupidity Awards Spokesmoron, Robert Spence. "To see some of the greatest accomplishments in ignorance finally recognized. There wasn't a dry eye in the house. "
Dubbed the "Oscars of Idiocy," host Lewis Black of The Daily Show led a crack team of comics and celebrities who handed out awards to thunderous applause. The night featured performances by Penn Gillette of Penn and Teller, Greg Proops of Whose Line is it Anyway? and comedian Andy Kindler.
The Stupidity Awards themselves were recognized, winning the new Stupidest Award Show of the Year category.
"This is beyond our wildest dreams," said Spence. "I feel like such an idiot."

CLICK HERE to view all of the winners.

Monday, January 23, 2006


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the acronym of F.E.A.R.
... Fuck Everything And Run
... Face Everything And Recover

that I am sober and made it through another weekend of isolating

that they don't throw me out of AA meetings for being a sicko

that I am anal-retentive (obsessive-compulsive) enough to continue this list even when I don't feel like it

that when I isolate, my townhouse gets cleaner

that I am able to at least spend a few hours each day when it's NOT all about me

that I chaired the 6:30am meeting today and threw out to the group my FEAR of people, rejection and abandonment

that I have a sponsor who will listen compassionately if and when I have the Courage to call him

The thing you fear most has no power.
Your fear of it is what has the power.
Facing the truth really will set you free.
-Oprah Winfrey

Isolating with others

I hate being an isolator. But I guess I don't hate it enough because I continue to do it.

Another wasted weekend. With the exception of going to 4 meetings and answering Intergroup phones on Saturday and Sunday, I just tucked myself away in my cozy little home and didn't talk to a soul. I forced myself to ask Scott and Ricardo to sit with me through a quick dinner before going to a meeting Saturday night. Once there, I was in too much fear to speak to anyone.
I get depressed because I tell myself that no one would want to hang around me when I feel like this. And I feel like this because no one wants to be around me. I get these feelings of rejection and that this will never change. For the rest of my life, I will be alone. I can go to AA meetings until the day I die, but no one will ever want to know me outside the front door. I won't call anyone because I know they don't want me to bother them. I am just a miserable person to be around.

I hate being an isolator. But I guess I don't hate it enough because I continue to do it.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

2005 Man of the Year

The Book Game

As seen on blogs these past few days ...

Here are the rules:
1. Grab the nearest book
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence
4. Post the text of the next 3 sentences (#5,6,7) on your blog, along with these instructions.
5. Don't you dare dig for that "cool" or "intellectual" book in your closet! I know you were thinking about it. Just grab what is closest. No cheating.

"Today's life is measured against that of other years and, when it falls short, the family may be unhappy. Family confidence in dad is rising high. The good old days will soon be back, they think."

Alcoholics Anonymous, page 123

Seriously, the Big Book is the closest to my desk.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Goree Island

On one of my trips to Senegal (West Africa), I took the ferry over to Goree Island. This was the staging area in the 18th and 19th century for the slave trade before they were shipped to America.

It's a small island, with no cars and just a few inhabitants. Today, it consists of the museum and a few outdoor restaurants.

In this picture, some of the local kids seemed to have taken a liking to me. I probably gave them some coins.

Friday, January 20, 2006

I'm here to tell you ...

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that Mom accepts that she can never drive again; she's letting me sell her car

for small unsolicited gifts from a fellow blogger who sees me

for the theory on forgiveness I heard at an AA meeting -- that if I go around forgiving others for what I assume or perceive they have done to me, I am arrogantly acting as though I am right and they are wrong; in other words, I am playing God

that I behaved myself at our annual Townhome Association General meeting last night by using several tools I found in my recovery tool box

for the following passage from DAILY REFLECTIONS...

"Today I humbly ask my Higher Power for the grace to find the space between my impulse and my action; to let flow a cooling breeze when I would respond with heat; to interrupt fierceness with gentle peace; to accept the moment which allows judgement to become discernment; to defer silence when my tongue would rush to attack or defend."

For Your Information ...

Two trucks loaded with thousand's of copies of Roget’s Thesaurus collided as they left a New Hampshire publishing house last week, according to the Associated Press.

Witnesses were stunned, startled, aghast, taken aback, stupefied, appalled, surprised, shocked, and rattled.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

hAAlf nAAked thursdAAy


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I was with my Mom yesterday during a visit by a Neuropsychiatrist who was able to clarify a number of issues for us

that my sister is taking the lead in locating a permanent living arrangement for our mother

for the power of prayer

that even though it took me more than 3 decades to see the need to stop drinking alcohol, it happened before I died

that my program of sobriety requires just as much (if not more) participation as my program of drunkenness

that being sober is much less expensive than being drunk

that I am not the British citizen, driving a German-made automobile, who led police on a 90-minute chase around the Houston area, endangering thousands of lives, ending with a head on collision with a car occupied by an infant and its Mom and Grandmother -- this guy deserves to fry

If I have learned one thing in this life, it is that God will not tie my shoes without me.
-Doug Boyd

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Clarity of Thinking

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the 3 days I take for myself each week because I get so much accomplished

for lunch yesterday with a bunch of "guys" from the 12:15pm meeting

for heart-to-heart talks with my nephew; something we never had until my Mom (his grandmother) had her stroke

that I have set a few rules for him (my nephew) to continue living in his grandmother's home

for the simple blessings of being sober -- a roof over my head, (too much) food in my stomach, overall decent health, people who care about me even when I don't see it, opportunities to help others

for service work -- helping to keep me sober since I stopped drinking

that I am much less critical of myself now than I was my first 49 years

that tomorrow is hAAlf nAAked thursdAAy -- all are welcome to participate!


Just when you thought you had it all (part 3)

Butter stick

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

The Steps are Better than the Elevator

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that Mom wasn't badly injured when she feel yesterday morning

that she's been given a 4-week extension at the nursing facility because her specch therapist feels that she can make more progress

that solutions are possible to everything as long as I remain sober

that as more is revealed, I am in less denial

that while I've often been a day late, I've rarely been a dollar short

for some much needed rain last night

Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.
-Martin Luther King, Jr.

Auto Repair

If my body were a car, this is the time I would be thinking about trading it in for a newer model. I've got bumps and dents and scratches in my finish and my paint job is getting a little dull, but that's not the worst of it. My fenders are too wide to be considered stylish. They were once as sleek as a little MG; now they look more like and old Buick. My seat cushions have split open at the seams. My seats are sagging. Seatbelts? I gave up all belts when Krispy Cream opened a shop in my neighborhood. Air bags? Forget it. The only bags I have these days are under my eyes. Not counting the saddlebags, of course. I have soooooooo may miles on my odometer. Sure, I've been many places and seen many things, but when's the last time an appraiser factored life experiences against depreciation. My headlights are out of focus and it's especially hard to see things up close. My traction is not as graceful as it once was. I slip and slide and skid and bump into things even in the best of weather. My whitewalls are stained with varicose veins. It takes me hours to reach my maximum speed. My fuel rate burns inefficiently.

But here's the worst of it! Almost every time I sneeze, cough or sputter... either my radiator leaks or my exhaust backfires!!!

reprinted from an email without permission

Monday, January 16, 2006

Wisdom to Know the Difference

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that my Mom accepts the fact that she will probably never live at her home again

for a relatively quick and successful Board meeting Saturday

to get to hear Beau speak Saturday night @ Lambda - a tale of honesty and humility spiced with humour

that Acceptance is the answer to all my problems

that I'm still young enough to do some things, but old enough to know better

that when I feel "spiritually fit" everything seems to fall into place


Just when you thought you had it all (part 2)

Put that kid to work!

Sunday, January 15, 2006

At it again ...

Somebody, please take away the paint from this guy!

This wall had been a dark red with many pictures on it.

I've tried to streamline it. That painting took all of 15 minutes to produce.
If I had a day job, I wouldn't quit it.

Sunday Useless Information

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."

just thought you'd want to know

Just when you thought you had it all (part 1)

Keep these in mind for your next gift-giving season.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

More has been revealed ...

I came across some small diary-type journals that I kept back in my high school days.

Since getting sober back in 2003, I've said that I was practicing alcoholic since I was 17 years old. WRONG!!! I have have 100% proof that I began drinking at 16. I was passing out and having black-outs even then. I seem to have vomited a lot too. I even recorded how many joints I/we smoked each day. I'll now have to modify my Y.O.D. (years of drinking) to 33+ years.

So far, everything I was told those first few months have come true. Amongst others ...

.... things will get different
.... it will take you 1-2 years to detox
.... more shall be revealed

Oh, Those Aussies ...

Holding court

Build a Better Bush

Click here to get back at W

Friday, January 13, 2006

In the Moment ...

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a stress-free day yesterday

that I occasionally remember to leave things/people alone that don't concern me

for The Serenity Prayer - 20+ words that helped save my life in 2003

that I have made "program calls" two days in a row (that's a first for moi)

that for today, I'm gonna try to Do the Next Right Thing

for the opportunity to progress this year as much as I did last year

for the beautiful full moon this morning on Friday the 13th


My Previous Travels

There are 3 major things that define my life. Those are 1) that I am a homosexual 2) I am an alcoholic 3) my travels. This is a brief rundown on the places I've been and for how long. I logged this information from passport records and my own files.

AUSTRIA (1 day) .......... Salzburg
BELGIUM (4 days) ......... Antwerp, Brussels
BRASIL (28 days) ......... Rio de Janiero
CANADA (218 days) ...... St John's, Toronto, Montreal
CONGO, The (31 days) ... Pointe Noire
DENMARK (6 days) ......... Copenhagen, Esbjerg
EGYPT (82 days) .......... Alexandria, Cairo, Port Said, Port Suez
ENGLAND (662 days) ...... Guildford, London, Seven Oaks, Grimsby, Gt. Yarmouth, Hull, Leominster, Dartford, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Birmingham
FRANCE (2 days) .......... Paris, Chamonix
GABON (142 days) ........ Port Gentile, Libreville
GERMANY (21 days) ....... Berlin, Munchen, Hamburg, Cologne, Frankfurt, Bremerhaven
IRELAND (56 days) ......... Cork, Dublin
MALTA (65 days) ............ Valletta
MAURITANIA (27 days) ..... Nouakchott
MEXICO (32 days) ......... Coatzacoalcos, Acapulco, Monterrey, Mexico City
MOROCCO (132 dyas) ...... Agadir, Casablanca
NAMIBIA (4 days) ......... Walvis Bay (after it seceded South Africa)
NETHERLANDS, The (265 days) ........ Amsterdam, DenHelder, Den Haag, Harlingen
NIGERIA (261 days) ....... Lagos, Port Harcourt, Calabar
NORWAY (1 day) ............ Hell
SCOTLAND (79 days) ....... Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Lerwick, Peterhead
SENEGAL (280 days) ....... Dakar
SOUTH AFRICA (112 days) ......... Capetown, Durban, Johannesburg, Mossel Bay, Walvis Bay
SPAIN (67 days) ............ Las Palmas, Barcelona, Madrid
SWITZERLAND (2 days) ...... Geneva
TRINIDAD & TOBAGO (66 days) .......... Port of Spain
WALES (46 days) .......... Pembroke

The numbers are based on where I actually slept that night. I also went to Benin, Cape Verde and Mali, but was there for the day only. If you want to discuss any of these places, just shoot me an email (from my profile).

Thursday, January 12, 2006

hAAlf nAAked thursdAAy

I am the
first to
admit that
I am a
bit warped.

Now, it
turns out,
my friends

click here to view today's other HNT participants

Doing My Best (for today)

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that Mom and I had a successful road trip to her house

that I didn't freak out when she had a little "bathroom" problem

that my latest episode of isolation lasted only 3 days

for AA Speaker meetings - I am honored to be chairing 2 each week this month

that so many people, who should know better, don't verbally convey the ferocity of addiction

that I will never consider myself "recovered" (unless I become a repaired piece of used furniture)

that I'm not James Frey

tht Anderson Cooper is so nice to look at

Use what talent you possess: the woods would be very silent if no birds sang except those that sang best.
-Henry Van Dyke

Wednesday, January 11, 2006


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I'm picking up Mom for a road trip to her house -- she'll get to spend about an hour there this morning

for the wonderful AA meeting at noon yesterday "Why do you keep coming back to meetings?"

for some cool weather again

that I finished painting all I plan to paint for awhile

No one would ever have crossed the ocean if he could have gotten off the ship in the storm.
-Charles Kettering

My Typical Day in Amsterdam

In 1993, I resigned my job. I was living in the UK at the time. Instead of moving back to my hometown (Houston), I decided I wanted to experience a cold winter. I had never seen a cold winter before. So I moved to Amsterdam. Just a 45-minute flight from London.


I had money in the bank and all the time in the world. To do whatever I wanted to do. After leasing an apartment for 6 months, I quickly fell into a routine. I am very routine-minded. Very consistent.

My typical day would go like this. Wake up (or get home from the gay baths) around 5am-ish. Drink 2 or 3 cups of coffee while watching BBC News and smoking a joint or two. I just had to keep up with the world news. Shower and shave and leave the apartment about 7am. I would walk to an Irish pub in the heart of the city; a 20 minute walk. I'd get a newspaper and drink 2 or 3 pints of lager while reading. Then I'd go next door to one of Amsterdam's 200+ Coffeeshop's and resupply my hash. Smoke another joint while there and move on down the road. By now, it's around 10am.

I adopted a basement bar/pool hall as MY place. It opened at 11am every day. I was there to help open it. Made a number of acquaintances during the 6 months I lived there. We'd play pool and stay stoned (while playing) well into mid-afternoon.

Nap time. Head back home. Sleep, then wake up and begin that routine all over again by 6pm. I would alter the bars each night and visit different coffeeshops. Sometimes I would spend the night at the gay baths which didn't even open til 11pm. I was pretty fucked up by that time. But I was loyal. Consistent.

Six months and $18,000 later, I decided to move back to Houston. I just spent the mildest winter Amsterdam had seen in years. It only snowed once and the canals froze over once too. But my brain stayed frozen for the entire time.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that my mother's speech therapist may request more time to work with her - this has big Medicare implications and that's a good thang

that 2 friends requested my presence yesterday - one who had read my post from the morning and one who had not

that I so rarely get mad at people any more

that I lost so little during my drinking years

that I'll never know what oppurtunites I didn't take advantage of during those years

that I found my journals from ages 16 and 17 years old - I may have to revise some things I thought I remembered (more to come)

that I completed painting 2 walls last night which will now require additional touch up work in other colors

I will also attempt a LARGE painting to cover the wall I just painted

that I am being visited by my nephew this morning at my home - he has never been to my home during his lifetime (26 years old) even though we live 5 miles apart

that James Frey ("A Million Little Pieces") is being exposed for what he truly is -- see what Jim and David have to say


Apple Fritter

I love
one of
Apple Fritters

I think
some sugar,

Monday, January 09, 2006

Weeding Out the Gratitude

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a good meeting with my sister regarding our Mom's near-term future and living accomodations

that I am healthy and sober - today! All the "bad" stuff is secondary.

for those willing to serve on the Lambda Center Board; it's a wonderful service and learning opportunity

that I had no desire, compulsion or thought about having alcohol over the weekend even though I was isolating

to have heard that isolating from those in recovery is just another form of selfishness -- Does it ever end? LOL

that I always find ways to keep myself busy

that I finally repainted part of my living/dining room - I had given it thought since I moved here in September 2003

that my friend Liz (UK) lives close to Prince Wiliam's new home in Sandhurst -- get pictures Liz!!

My mind is a garden. My thoughts are the seeds. My harvest will be either flower or weeds.
-Mel Weldon

That's a Good Question.

Why do I blog?

Simple answer. But complicated too.

Joey gave me the idea for this. He posted a very good answer to this question.

Steve was doing a blog. Scott was going to start one. So I began too, as a way to have a kind of online journal. A place to put things I have heard in AA meetings, and my thoughts about those things. A place to write about my feelings. A place to share some of my jokes. After a few months, I added my daily gratitude list.

From almost the first post, I was hooked. Some might call it obsessed. That's how I am with things I like. I go all out with it.

How about you? Why do you blog?

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Why I'll Always Be Alone

I've been doing pretty well lately, emotionally. No isolating.

Then, yesterday morning, my trigger was pulled. In an AA meeting, no less. It was the topic of the meeting that did it too. We talked about The Fellowship. The WE of the program. How I get drunk; We stay sober. etc, etc, etc...

Every time I hear this talked about, it reminds me that I have no friends that I hang out with. Rarely in my life have I had friends that I hang out with. I had plenty of "friends" in the bars. But when I walked out the front door, I was alone.

I feel it's the same way in sobriety. I spend a lot of time at my recovery center. I know well over one hundred people there. When I'm there, I have friends. When I walk out the front door, I am alone. Alone until I return there.

There are a few exceptions. Scott W. is one. We ocasionally get together and eat or go shopping for something. That's about it though. And Scott stays pretty busy, so we don't get together very often. I also know that if I want things to be different, I have to take action. I am fully aware of the tools I've heard in recovery.

But my mind tells me that no one really wants to hang out with me. Why would they waste their time on me? I have nothing to offer them. Once anyone spends 30 minutes with me, they'll find any reason to get the hell away. An example happened last night. Scott and another friend asked me to join them for coffee after the 8pm meeting. I wanted to go, but declined because I felt they were only asking me to be polite; they didn't really want me there. I'm afraid to take the initiative myself for fear of more rejection. My perception is that I've been rejected all my life and it's never going to change. The other part of this problem is this: I can't tell any of my "friends" this. If I do, they may ask me to do something with them. Then I'll just feel like a charity case. They are only asking so I won't feel left out. But they would really rather not have me around. For those old enough to know this term, it's a Catch-22 situation for me.

It's a fucked up dilemma; one that I feel so much more in sobriety. I can't just drink it away. There is a solution. It's in the steps of AA. I've tried to just "turn this over" to my HP for two years. I continue to pray about it often and ask my HP to take away the defects of character that produce these feelings. Certainly, my attitude towards the fellowship and fellowshipping in AA do not serve His will. And yes, my sponsor and I have spoken about this at length. He continues to remind me that when I get sick and tired of being sick and tired, maybe then I will make the necessary changes. Until then, nothing changes until it changes.

I just needed to get this out in the open. I am at a point where I feel there's nothing to lose and maybe one of my far-away friends in recovery will have experience, strength and hope to offer.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Good Advice

"Never fart in your wet suit"

Friday, January 06, 2006

Short list

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I'm keeping the list short today due to the lengthy post below this

for having a quiet and peaceful day yesterday

for the Serenity Prayer, which we discussed word by word at the Eyes Wide Shut meeting this morning

We either make ourselves happy or miserable. The amount of work is the same.
-Carlos Castaneda

A New Day Begins at Noon

(this post was delayed one day due to HNT; these events happened on Wednesday)

Well, it finally happened guys. Yours truly finally had a fucked up day. Well, not really, but ...

Things were going OK til I got to my Mom's nursing center. It's called a nursing center, not home. I walked in her room at 9:15am and she let me know she had a hair salon appointment at 9:30. (the shop is in the building) How dare she schedule this when I am going to be there? Just who does she think I'm coming to visit? Her Certified Nurse's Assistant? Settle down, David.

She also wants me to call her doctor and make sure he visits her today. No way I can tell him when to visit because we don't know how long the hair appointment will take. That's out for today Mom, unless you have an emergency. She is, of course, upset about this.

She also wants me to call her CPA TODAY! to discuss a tax situation. Mom, I can't talk to him this week because he's in LA at the Rose Bowl. I told you this last week. OK, she forgot about that. (All these things she "tells" me takes several minutes for her to write down and for me to figure out what she is writing.)

OK. At 9:45am I take her downstairs in her wheelchair to the salon. This room is big enough to accommodate about 6 wheelchairs and then it's packed. Her past appointments have taken 2-3 hours due to all the elderly wheelchair-bound women getting their hair done every day and only one hairdresser. I've accepted that we won't have much conversation today. Mom wrote to me to write a check to the lady for $70. Damnit, I didn't bring the checkbook because she usually gets her hair done every other Friday. Not on Wednesday. So I empty my wallet of everything. I've got $59 plus $10 in the car. Told the lady I'll pay her the other dollar the next time.

Mom says my sister is coming to visit today too. What? She came yesterday and would never come 2 days in a row. I call my sister and wake her up. It's 10:45am. No way she's coming today. She said she's coming next on Saturday so we can meet up and talk about stuff. My sister hears a little frustration in my voice and tells me I need to take more days for myself and not visit Mom so much. That I'm stressing myself out. After about 14 seconds of sisterly advice, I tell her to stop. Just stop right now. I don't need her or anyone else telling me what to do today.

She gets all defensive about me getting all defensive. So I PAUSE WHEN AGITATED. Take a breath David. I apologized for being short with her. I didn't mention what I didn't tell her a couple of days ago.

At one point, I stopped by the Nursing Center's business office to pick up some secondary insurance paperwork I gave them to fill out last week. They lost it. Can't find it anywhere. I must now re-start that process. It took 3 weeks to get this far with it and this new delay could be very expensive. Settle down, Dave.

Mom is now in the middle of her hair thing and writes to me that she has to pee. We mop up her hair and put a towel around it and I wheel her back up 4 floors to her bathroom with the special commode attachment. Then back to the hair salon. Now I have about 40 minutes to get to Lambda (a 20+ minute drive) where I'm chairing the 12:15pm meeting. I gotta stop at the post office first and then get to an ATM because I have no cash on me now. After the meeting, I'm picking up Norris to take him to a 2pm doctor appointment on the other side of town. Can't go with no cash.

12:00 noon. Arrive @ Lambda.
Open my tool box. Remove "Start the day over" tool. Thank you AA.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

hAAlf nAAked thursdAAy

I picked up these guys in Senegal, West Africa
men in africa
To answer your question, they are 2" statues.

as time continues ...

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for my Mom's positive attitude which I know comes from acceptance

that I was able to keep my voice from rising to extreme levels yesterday when confronted by a series of "shit happens" (will post about this tomorrow)

to learn more about a friend at the noon Speaker meeting

that I could help a friend get to a doctor appointment yesterday afternoon; in the old days, I would have been too drunk at 2pm to drive

that I don't work for that Mining company in the P.R. department

for a phone call to a non-alcoholic friend with whom I've lost touch; we're getting together for coffee today

to actually sit and watch a football game and see Texas win the National Championship for the first time since 1969

that I'm taking the day off for a mental health day for me

A happy person is not a person in a certain set of circumstances, but rather a person with a certain set of attitudes.
-Hugh Downs

Wednesday, January 04, 2006


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

once again, for the concept of restraint of tongue and pen

for Rule # 62 ... Don't take yourself too seriously

that I have rarely gotten in life the consequences that I deserve for the wrong things I have done

that each day, my buttons get a little harder to push as long as I don't keep them lubricated

for the truth of the statement "that we are a group of people who would not ordinarily mix"; in my 2+ years in AA, I have met one person who knew me when I drank, but I didn't remember him

for coffee at Starbuck's with friends

that tomorrow is HNT



Tuesday, January 03, 2006

The Next Right Thing

My sister is an alcoholic. Untreated.

She's 53 (two years older than I) and has had 3 DUI's. After the last one, about 10 years ago, she got to spend a few months in government provided housing. At the pleasure of the County Sheriff. She no longer drinks and drives, choosing instead to only drink at home and almost always only at night. I don't think she ever gets rip-roaring drunk anymore. That's a good thing.

Having said that ...

Saturday night past, which also happened to be New Year's Eve, Barney died. Barney was one of her 2 dogs. He was a rather husky, mixed breed terrier. He was 11 1/2 years old.

Sis and her common-law husband were outside on the patio Saturday night at their semi-rural home, watching the neighbors shoot off fireworks. Barney was freaking out over the loud noises and bright lights and wanted to go inside. A little unusual for him; he's never been one to be afraid of anything. So they let him inside and they stayed outside to keep watching the show. A little while later she found Barney dead on the floor in a bedroom. Apparent massive heart attack. He had a good life.

Having said that ...

My sister phoned me Sunday evening to let me know of Barney's death and to tell me she would not be around Monday to visit our Mom in the Nursing Home. She only goes on Monday's and Thursday's because of the long drive. She told me that she was too grief stricken to leave the house.

Having said that ...

My recovery program immediately kicked into action. My first thoughts were to tell her that the very best thing she could do, in her state of mind, would be to go visit Mom; stay on the regular schedule. This would help get Barney's death out of the forefront of her mind. Even if just for a couple of hours, she would be helping another human (her mother) in their time of need. I wanted to tell her that she would never forgive herself if Mom were to die before she made it around for the next visit.

My program also told me to keep my damn mouth shut.

Entirely Ready ...

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

as a sober and recovering son, I can talk to my Mom very honestly and openly about my recovery and my feelings. I told her the story in the above post and she wrote to me (because she can't speak), "your wisdom amazes me."

that, with the exception of my 32nd year of drinking, I am considered very dependable

that we had a Step 6 meeting yesterday --- I once heard that most recovering alcoholics who relapse, do so because of not working Step 6. This is a constant reminder to remain entirely willing.

that my apprehension of sitting through a loooooong Board meeting last night, was wrong. It lasted 20 minutes, a record for us.

that we, as a Board, passed a new set of By-Laws after nearly 2 years of debate over them

that I have downgraded my severe cold to a nuisance cold

that my 3 cats provide me with so much entertainment


Monday, January 02, 2006

another new beginning

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I get along with my Mom so well (now that she can't speak) LOL

for an additional 4 weeks for Mom at the nursing center (on Medicare) for her speech therapy

that I made it through another year, relatively unscathed, and wiser

for the beginning of a new year and the miracles I will get to see in the rooms of AA

that I can (and will) keep learning until I quit breathing (ie: my Mom never touched a computer til she was 77, then was soon sending me emails and surfing the net)

that I got to see Jeanie P. yesterday and that she may renew and recharge her AA program (I rarely include names on this list, but I must make this exception)

that I have tried my hardest not to whine and complain about not feeling well (I am usually a pretty "tough" guy except when I'm sick) This is truly new behaviour for me.

that I've actually attempted to take care of myself during this short (hopefully) illness

that the New Years Eve celebration at Lambda was a big success due to the efforts of many alkies

for the Twilight Zone Marathon over the weekend on the Sci-Fi channel



Sunday, January 01, 2006

Card Shark

Wish I'd Thought of That

LONDON (Reuters) - If you have an envious streak, you probably shouldn't read this.
Because chances are, Alex Tew, a 21-year-old student from a small town in England, is cleverer than you. And he is proving it by earning a cool million dollars in four months on the Internet.
Selling porn? Dealing prescription drugs? Nope. All he sells are pixels, the tiny dots on the screen that appear when you call up his home page.
He had the brainstorm for his million dollar home page, called, logically enough, MillionDollarHomePage, while lying in bed thinking out how he would pay for university.
The idea: turn his home page into a billboard made up of a million dots, and sell them for a dollar a dot to anyone who wants to put up their logo. A 10 by 10 dot square, roughly the size of a letter of type, costs $100.
He sold a few to his brothers and some friends, and when he had made $1,000, he issued a press release.
That was picked up by the news media, spread around the Internet, and soon advertisers for everything from dating sites to casinos to real estate agents to The Times of London were putting up real cash for pixels, with links to their own sites.
So far they have bought up 911,800 pixels. Tew's home page now looks like an online Times Square, festooned with a multi-colored confetti of ads.
"All the money's kind of sitting in a bank account," Tew told Reuters from his home in Wiltshire, southwest England. "I've treated myself to a car. I've only just passed my driving test so I've bought myself a little black mini."
The site features testimonials from advertisers, some of whom bought spots as a lark, only to discover that they were receiving actual valuable Web hits for a fraction of the cost of traditional Internet advertising.
Meanwhile Tew has had to juggle running the site with his first term at university, where he is studying business.
"It's been quite a difficulty trying to balance going to lectures and doing the site," he said.
But he may not have to study for long. Job offers have been coming in from Internet companies impressed by a young man who managed to figure out an original way to make money online.
"I didn't expect it to happen like that," Tew said. "To have the job offers and approaches from investors -- the whole thing is kind of surreal. I'm still in a state of disbelief."