Saturday, March 31, 2007

The Fixer

I am still getting my pics sorted from this most recent trip. Maybe I'll have some ready to post for tomorrow. I am in no particular hurry.

I only made it to a couple of meetings whilst in Trinidad, but they were great. Their format is different from what I am used to. First, the meetings are all 2 hours in length. Also, the chairperson just picks people to stand up and share a few minutes of their AA story. There's no discussion. At Lambda here in Houston , most of our meetings involve discussion to some degree. Since I was new meat, I was asked to share and me being me, was glad to do it. One gentleman I had the honor of hearing was 89 years old and walked with a cane and was almost deaf. But when he stood up to speak, he was powerful. His message was clear. He had 40 years and 8 months of sobriety and just about everything he talked about was relevant to this alkie. Amazing. Powerful. Healing.

Tonight is birthday night at Lambda Center. Our friend Matt will hopefully be presented with his one-year sobriety medallion. He is a special kinda guy and we're all proud of him.

I stole these videos from Chad Fox.
I can only hope none of you take them seriously.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Ya man. I'm back!

I have been in Trinidad and Tobago for the past 11 days visiting my friend Hayden. This picture was taken from a small boat that took me out snorkelling one afternoon. Hayden wasn't feeling well so he stayed behind.

More pictures of this event tomorrow. Maybe.

I am glad to be back and have missed the blogosphere.
Reading and writing. Thanks for all of your wonderful comments; I really do appreciate them.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

to be back from Trinidad & Tobago safe, sober and (relatively) sane

for the experience of going to AA meetings in other countries; the people may be different, but alcoholism is not

that Winter is over and now it's Spring! My character defects are in full bloom. It's so nice to have Twelve Steps to try to live by, especially Step 3 which continues to save me from me each and every time I remember to use it.

that a doctor was on the plane yesterday when a passenger had a medical event (details not known)

that I totally surprised Hayden with this trip; he was in shock and speechless (very uncommon) when I showed up in his face; my plan worked to perfection!

that I have always been comfortable driving on the wrong side of the road, even when I didn't do it on purpose (Trinidad is a former British colony, thus they drive on the wrong side)

"The value of friendly is beyond measure -- it costs nothing, yet it's worth a fortune. And it's the most contagious disease known to man -- catch it."
-- Jeffrey Gitomer

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Longer than expected

I have extended my stay in Trinidad for an extra week. That being the case, I shall resume writing on or about March 30th-ish.
I am sending this via a dial-up connection that takes FOREVER to access anything.

See you soon and Scott, please pass this along to Sonny.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Serenity & Potpourri

I will be out of town and away from any computer until the weekend. Enjoy yourselves and please stay sober.
I will.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

I'm finally 53 years old; I thought it would never get here. LOL

for all of the sweet notices and comments about my birthday 2 days ago

for the colorful taste of my alcoholism medication --
it tastes like RECOVERY, UNITY & SERVICE

for some really good chance(s) to put PAUSE WHEN AGITATED into action

for absolutely gorgeous weather over the weekend and the volleyball tournament I had the opportunity to attend at Memorial Park and the softball games of The Montrose Softball League

that Matt celebrated his One Year of Sobriety yesterday --
Way to go, Matt!!

for a little Hazelden book I bought to read on the flights this week - WALK IN DRY PLACES - a book written to address the concerns of the "established" recovering person

for the AA (Big Book) quiz on SOBRIETY SOCIETY; drop by and see how much you know

"Evaluation of the past is the first step toward vision for the future."
-- Chris Widener

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Give me more (please)

A picture from my last real celebration of St Patrick's Day, in 2004. This was at Griff's, a bar of which I am still a part-owner, albeit a silent investor these days.

One of the things that I have come to realize in my recovery is that I rarely have enough. It seems ingrained in me that more is better; more is necessary.

This ugly trait really rears its ugly head in my personal relationship with Hayden. If it didn't surface with him, it would be with someone else. It seems like when I get what I want or what I ask for, I still want more. It's like I can never be happy with what I have. It's something I'm working on and probably will be for the remainder of my days. Then, of course, Bill W. in all his wisdom, wrote about this very thing ...

"For thousands of years we have been demanding more than our share of security, prestige, and romance. When we seemed to be succeeding, we drank to dream still greater dreams. When we were frustrated, even in part, we drank for oblivion. Never was there enough of what we thought we wanted."

"Adversity is another way to measure the greatness of individuals. I never had a crisis that didn't make me stronger."
-Lou Holtz

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Paddy's Day

click on the pic for more Paddy's Day stuff

2 Gay Irish Men

Friday, March 16, 2007

Rule 62

Niagra Falls
(not to be confused with Viagra Falls)

todAAy i AAm grAATeful & thAAnkful

that I did not smoke a cigarette (or anything else) yesterday
that I met with my sponsor yesterday
that I prayed several times yesterday
that I read some recovery meditation yesterday
that I went to an A.A. meeting yesterday
that I had lunch with 5 other people in recovery yesterday
that I had coffee with a recovery friend and talked program yesterday
that I met with my therapist yesterday
that I spent time with my disabled mother yesterday
that I worked out a personal problem with my sister yesterday without losing my temper
that I seem to have stayed sober yesterday (again)
that it Works If You Work It

that I will be making a renewed effort to ...

"Let us not look back in anger, nor forward in fear, but around us in awareness."
-- Leland Val Vandewall

Thursday, March 15, 2007

hAAlf nAAked thursdAAy

fun in
Costa Rica
todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I am able to help others get to meetings

that I don't feel the need to "loan" money in order to keep friends

that I sleep well almost every night; truth be told, I fall asleep while I am praying. What a great way to end the day!!

that I don't have a desire to control the lives of my friends -- in the last week, 2 people who are very important to me have made subtle attempts to control different aspects of my life, for no apparent reason other than to be controlling; both of them seemed hurt when I rejected their controlling behavior -- it's a good lesson for me that I should always try to avoid that behavior

to see a friend who is visiting Houston this week. He got sober 3 weeks before me, when he was 19 years old, back in '03. The weird part is that he is 30 years younger and is now legal to drink in bars. But he's still sober and really changing. Great stuff to witness.

for a reminder that if I want others to be open-minded towards me and my lifestyle, I must treat them with the same respect

"And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight in a bud was more painful then the risk it took to blossom."
-- Anais Nin

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Drug of Choice

"When I was drinking, I was okay. I understood. Everything made sense. I could dance, talk and enjoy being in my own skin. It was as if I had been an unfinished jigsaw puzzle with one piece missing; as soon as I took a drink, the last piece instantly and effortlessly snapped into place."

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that the paragraph above is from "Student of Life", a story from the Big Book. We read that yesterday at the 6:30am meeting and I soooooo much relate to the descriptions and feelings in that story.

that you guys did not show or tell me how to drink right; that's what I wanted, you know

for a clearer recognition of my insecurities

that I took the time to take care of myself yesterday, which included a long massage and 3 trips to Starbucks for fellowship

for a very long and enjoyable phone conversation with Hayden, my drug of choice

that tomorrow is hAAlf nAAked thursdAAy; get your picture ready

"When you cannot make up your mind which of two evenly balanced courses of action you should take -- choose the bolder."
-- William Joseph Slim

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

No bump in the road

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

to witness daily how acceptance and attitude can make all the difference in my world

for reminders that I am much more accountable than I was during my drinking days

that today, people actually depend on me to be sober

that my best will just have to be enough today

for people who go out of their way to make a difference

that Step 10 does not read ... "Continued to take your personal inventory and when I was right promptly declared it"

that TK is seeking the help he needs -- if you have the time, drop by and offer a few words of encouragement @
TK's Journey of Recovery

"There is the risk you cannot afford to take, and there is the risk you cannot afford not to take."
-- Peter Drucker

Monday, March 12, 2007

The Basics

I attended and supported the
yesterday. This annual event raises dollars for more research.
They raised about $700K yesterday.
The weather helped --
70 degrees and sunny.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

to be sober

that I have a tangible concept of a Higher Power

that I go to AA meetings often, both when I feel like it and when I don't

for my sponsor and his sponsor and her sponsor

for the experience, strength and hope of those who come before me

for service and volunteer activity in and out of Alcoholics Anonymous

that I was honored to hear parts of the A.A. stories of 2 longtimers in Alcoholics Anonymous. They both have 31 years sober.

"There are some things you don't have to know how it works – only that it works. While some people are studying the roots, others are picking the fruit. It just depends on which end of this you want to get in on."
-- Jim Rohn

Sunday, March 11, 2007


I am reluctant as to how many details to throw out there on the internet. I'm contemplating making some changes in my life; changes that are major - to me. I still need to talk to the people who are close to me, the ones who know me and whose opinions and advice I respect.
Sobriety and recovery has taught me that I don't have to make those big decisions today and I don't have to make them alone.

I realize that my vagueness may leave you with questions. I also know that you'll respect my space and not ask me what in the hell I am talking about.

One of the wonderful rules-of-thumb that I have at my disposal is this ...
If an A.A. sponsee came to me with the same, exact set of circumstances and asked me for my advice, what would I tell him/her?

I am writing about this only because I may want to have some sort of record of the experience in the future; something to look back on and re-read about my own thinking/frame of mind. It's also entirely possible that I may mention nothing else about it.

I'll stay grounded

A woman in a hot air balloon realized she was lost. She lowered her altitude and spotted a man in a boat below.
She shouted to him, "Excuse me, can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago, but I don't know where I am."
The man consulted his portable GPS and replied,"You're in a hot air balloon, approximately 30 feet above a ground elevation of 2346 feet above sea level. You are at 31 degrees, 14.97 minutes north latitude and 100 degrees, 49.09 minutes west longitude.
She rolled her eyes and said, "You must be a Republican." "I am," replied the man. "How did you know?" "Well," answered the balloonist, "everything you told me is technically correct, but I have no idea what to do with your information, and I'm still lost. Frankly, you've not been much help to me."
The man smiled and responded, "You must be a Democrat."
"I am," replied the balloonist. "How did you know?" "Well," said the man, "you don't know where you are or where you're going. You've risen to where you are, due to a large quantity of hot air. You made a promise that you have no idea how to keep, and you expect me to solve your problem. You're in exactly the same position you were in before we met, but, somehow, now it's my fault."

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Becoming Illegal

The Honorable Tom Harkin
731 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington DC 20510

Dear Senator Harkin:
As a native Iowan and excellent customer of the Internal Revenue Service, I am writing to ask for your assistance. I have contacted the Department of Homeland Security in an effort to determine the process for becoming an illegal alien and they referred me to you.
My primary reason for wishing to change my status from US Citizen to illegal alien stems from the bill which was recently passed by the Senate and for which you voted. If my understanding of this bill's provisions is accurate, as an illegal alien who has been in the United States for five years, all I need to do to become a citizen is to pay a $2,000 fine and income taxes for three of the last five years. I know a good deal when I see one and I am anxious to get the process started before everyone figures it out.
Simply put, those of us who have been here legally have had to pay taxes every year so I'm excited about the prospect of avoiding two years of taxes in return for paying a $2,000 fine. Is there any way that I can apply to be illegal retroactively? This would yield an excellent result for me and my family because we paid heavy taxes in 2004 and 2005. Additionally, as an illegal alien I could begin using the local emergency room as my primary health care provider. Once I have stopped paying premiums for medical insurance, my accountant figures I could save almost $10,000 a year. Another benefit in gaining illegal status would be that my daughter would receive preferential treatment relative to her law school applications, as well as "instate" tuition rates for many colleges throughout the United States for my son. Lastly, I understand that illegal status would relieve me of the burden of renewing my driver's license and making those burdensome car insurance premiums. This is very important to me given that I still have college age children driving my car.
If you would provide me with an outline of the process to become illegal (retroactively if possible) and copies of the necessary forms, I would be most appreciative.

Thank you for your assistance.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Friday Gratitude

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the little things that sobriety allows me to do

for a full day spent with Hayden; he flies back to the Caribbean today

that I can still stick up for myself when necessary

for a nice dinner with ZANEJABBERS

"As I grow older, I pay less attention to what men say. I just watch what they do."
-- Andrew Carnegie

Thursday, March 08, 2007

hAAlf nAAked thursdAAy

Signs of Recovery
in Costa Rica

(click on the pic for a better view)


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a reminder that I don't need to hate myself any longer; I am so programmed to hate me, that I often forget this

that my Mom began physical therapy again for this month -- she is to the point that she can no longer walk

that Hayden and I have a very full day planned on this, his last day in town. But that includes me getting to my 2 regular AA meetings, otherwise, he would not want to be around me. Actually, my short history tells me that I can go 2 days without a formal meeting. Day 3 begins my downward spiral towards insanity. Why go there when it's not necessary?

I also have my weekly visit to my therapist (Hayden will attend too) and another visit to my Chiropractor

for the DVD presentation, complete with music and other terriffic sound effects, given to Hayden and I by Jeanie P., which tells the story of our Costa Rica trip - from a wonderful friend in recovery @ Lambda Center

"The game of life is the game of boomerangs. Our thoughts, deeds and words return to us sooner or later, with astounding accuracy."
-- Florence Shinn

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

See the Difference?

Pictures from the Canopy Safari that we went on in Costa Rica a couple of weeks ago.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a whole day of feeling great and not being a martyr once -- that's a miracle for this mental case

for everything

that I am getting my Mom (at her request) a Big Screen TV today (since her stroke 16 months ago, television is about all she has)

that my friend Zane has a new blog -
ZANEJABBERS - please drop by and say howdy!

"Disgust and resolve are two of the great emotions that lead to change."
-- Jim Rohn

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Recovery stuff

"Dandy Lions"

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I made it through another 24 hours without alcohol although I still have many shortcomings and character flaws to take up the slack

that the battles we pick often determine who wins the war

for all the stuff in my recovery tool box -- it works when I use it

for the wisdom gained from the experience of those who came before me

for this lovely Chamber of Commerce weather we're having in Houston this week

~ (NOTE) Yesterday I mentioned I have some nerve irritation in my neck/shoulder/arm -- it is due to stress - it's not an injury (just thought I'd clear that up)

"I destroy my enemies when I make them my friends."
-- Abraham Lincoln

Monday, March 05, 2007

Hanging in there


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I have everything I need and more, although I usually don't think about this when it's all about dAAve

for tangible proof that my perception is often that I never have enough

for my extracurricular AA committments - this weekend, I had a District/GSR meeting at which I made a short presentation, a Lambda Center fundraising organization meeting and a Lambda Center Board of Directors meeting. I not only enjoy doing these things, but need them to help fill out my life.

for the current topic on SOBRIETY SOCIETY; please drop by and read/leave a comment

that Hayden loves me in spite of my thinking and sticks with me in spite of my behavior

that we're not joined at the hip (or any other body part)

that I am going to see a doctor about some apparent nerve damage in my neck/shoulder/arm

"The most beautiful discovery true friends make is that they can grow separately without growing apart."
-- Elisabeth Foley

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Stop / Don't Stop

White Water

We went White Water Rafting whilst in Costa Rica last week.

Now, I have never done this before. I have floated down a river in an inner tube, but nothing like this. The river was only a Class 3 (out of 5) or intermediate level of difficulty.

It was a blast.

In the 2 water pictures, Hayden is on the left side in the middle; yours truly on the right rear (in the white t-shirt).

The tour company employs a professional photographer to go along on the journey. He gets up ahead of the group and waits for the rafts to go past. Then he picks up and gets out in front again for more pics. You can then purchase a CD with 180 pictures of your trip down the river.

At the end of the day, a rainbow appeared in the sky. The 30 gay guys on the trip all wondered how the tour company arranged for that!

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Saturday morning

Oddly enough, now that I'm back online after a 2-day absence, I can't think of anything to write about. I am not gonna beat myself up over it though.

Life is feeling pretty good right now. Hayden is still here after our trip to Costa Rica. He will return home next week. I must admit that it's really a challenge learning to live with another person. We have a very unconventional relationship to begin with and I want to compare it to what I see with other couples. When I do this, I am generally pretty unhappy. When I'm able to just go with the flow, things seem to work out much better. Does this sound something like Step 3?
This alcoholic (me!) has always preferred to live alone and I just have not developed the necessary living and social skills that seem to come naturally to many. I'm so lucky to have someone in my life who understands this and is incredibly patient with me. He is not only a good teacher but is also has great expertise at ...

Friday, March 02, 2007

Returned (again)

Someone at Blogger has taken the time to peruse my postings and determine that this does not constitute a SPAM BLOG.
Of course, on Wednesday night, someone at Blogger decided that this is a SPAM BLOG and locked me out from being able to post.