Saturday, January 31, 2009

Phyllis Diller lines

A bachelor is a guy who never made the same mistake once.

A smile is a curve that sets everything straight.

Aim high, and you won't shoot your foot off.

Always be nice to your children because they are the ones who will choose your rest home.

Any time three New Yorkers get into a cab without an argument, a bank has just been robbed.

Best way to get rid of kitchen odors: Eat out.

Burt Reynolds once asked me out. I was in his room.

Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing is like shoveling the sidewalk before it stops snowing.

His finest hour lasted a minute and a half.

Housework can't kill you, but why take a chance?

I asked the waiter, 'Is this milk fresh?' He said, 'Lady, three hours ago it was grass.'

I buried a lot of my ironing in the back yard.

I want my children to have all the things I couldn't afford. Then I want to move in with them.

I'm eighteen years behind in my ironing.

I've been asked to say a couple of words about my husband, Fang. How about short and cheap?

If it weren't for baseball, many kids wouldn't know what a millionaire looked like.

It's a good thing that beauty is only skin deep, or I'd be rotten to the core.

Most children threaten at times to run away from home. This is the only thing that keeps some parents going.

My cooking is so bad my kids thought Thanksgiving was to commemorate Pearl Harbor.

My mother-in-law had a pain beneath her left breast. Turned out to be a trick knee.

My photographs don't do me justice - they just look like me.

My recipe for dealing with anger and frustration: set the kitchen timer for twenty minutes, cry, rant, and rave, and at the sound of the bell, simmer down and go about business as usual.

Never go to bed mad. Stay up and fight.

Old age is when the liver spots show through your gloves.

Our dog died from licking our wedding picture.

The real reason your golf pro tells you to keep your head down is so you can't see him laughing at you.

The reason women don't play football is because 11 of them would never wear the same outfit in public.

There's so little money in my bank account, my scenic checks show a ghetto.

Tranquilizers work only if you follow the advice on the bottle - keep away from children.

We spend the first twelve months of our children's lives teaching them to walk and talk and the next twelve telling them to sit down and shut up.

What I don't like about office Christmas parties is looking for a job the next day.

Whatever you may look like, marry a man your own age - as your beauty fades, so will his eyesight.

You know you're old if they have discontinued your blood type.

You know you're old if your walker has an airbag.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Enjoy the weekend

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for another Step 8 meeting yesterday -- that's 3 of them in less than a week

for a sponsee who is willing to do whatever it takes

that I am doing my best NOT to take myself too seriously but I take my recovery program as if it's life or death (actually, it is!)

that we in Houston are so lucky to have such mild-ish weather during the winter. I know many of you are experiencing hell lately. It's gorgeous here, although a little chilly for us, but this afternoon should be about 65 deg.

Winners have simply formed the habit of doing things losers don't like to do.
-Albert Gray

Thursday, January 29, 2009

It's absolutely amazing!

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I went to the 12:15pm meeting yesterday and heard Gavin tell a little bit about what happened to him to get him in the rooms of AA and how he found a Higher Power

that Scott at SoberNuggets celebrated 13 years of sobriety yesterday - drop by and say howdy

that we are each an example -- sometimes good, sometimes bad

that age is progressive

that I am going to be the secretary of the 2009 Houston Roundup
(I did this in 2006 as well)

To err is human; to refrain from laughing, humane.
-Lane Olinghouse

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


"Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. All you folks in coach, please immediately exit the plane on the starboard wing and stand in 35 degree water up to your knees. Business class and Gold Card passengers, please exit through the galley where we have a Zodiac 650 inflatable raft and continental breakfast waiting for you."

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that there is a solution -- it's found in the first 164 pages of the book Alcoholics Anonymous

that sometimes you just gotta hang on tight

that I found out about the correct treatment for my incomprehensible demoralization regarding my alcoholic behavior -- AA

that my GP prescribed Lipitor for my borderline high cholesterol, which is crucial because of the damage caused by my 36 years of smoking. I also take an aspirin every day. I also modified my diet. I also exercise.

that my psychiatrist put me on Lexapro after a year of therapy; it's made a huge difference in my life

Believe those who seek the truth; doubt those who find it.
-Andre Gide

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Morphing the Presidents
courtesy of Todd in Hell's Kitchen

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I rarely give up

that I didn't give up 5 minutes before the miracle

that the miracle to which I refer is sobriety

for a new recovery blogger, Michael at Gratitude Nugget

Vitality shows in not only the ability to persist but the ability to start over.
-F. Scott Fitzgerald

Monday, January 26, 2009

What an order ...

Do you see gray areas in between the squares? Now where did they come from?

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I'm a member of AA, AAA and AARP.

to see and hear stories of humility in the rooms of AA; it inspires me to be a better person

that we went to see Nixon/Frost (the movie). Superb. Brought back some memories.
that we went to see Milk (the movie). Superb. Brought back some memories.

Three grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.
-Jose Addison

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Saturday, January 24, 2009


Pam awarded me (and others) with this Lemonade Award on me a few days ago. It's about Gratitude. When you have lemons, you make lemonade. Now, I'm supposed to pass it on. My instructions are below ...

Please share this opportunity with your favorite bloggers by doing the following:
1. Put the logo on your blog or post
2. Nominate at least 10 blogs, which show great attitude and/or gratitude!

Recovery Road --- A Reason, a Season, a Lifetime --- A Dozen Steps --- Life Safari --- Boston's Gratitude --- Sober Steve --- Another Sober Alcoholic --- Sober Nuggets --- Letting Go --- rAAnch --- Recovering Wino

3. Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.
4. Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
5. Share the love and link to this post and to the person from whom you received your award.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Friday morning

You should see a man's face and also a word.... Hint: Try tilting your head to the right, the world begins with 'L'.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I have been willing to do whatever it takes to remain sober

to hear honesty from a newcomer

that I've never "fired" a sponsee (I don't care for that term); they have always fired themselves when I just give them the chance

that I'm willing to help someone as long as they are willing to try to help themselves

The only way on earth to multiply happiness is to divide it.
-Paul Scherer

Thursday, January 22, 2009

a burning desire

If you take a look at the following picture, let me tell you, it is not animated. Your brain is making it move. To test this, stare at one spot for a couple seconds and everything will stop moving. Or look at the black center of each circle and it will stop moving. But move your eyes to the next black center and the previous will move after you take your eyes away from it.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I'm no longer managed by alcohol

that my (writing about) Gratitude for today is being replaced this CHILI RECIPE.
Syd inspired me to copy and paste it here, just for you guys.

1-2 lbs ground round
1 can tomato paste
1 – 10 oz can tomato
1 can peeled tomato
1 large green pepper
1 large white onion
2 stalks celery
2 jalapeno peppers
½ potato
1 can Budweiser (optional, of course)
1 shot olive oil
1 envelope chile mix
1 envelope taco mix
½ tsp oregano
½ tsp thyme
½ tsp black pepper
½ tsp bay leaves
½ tsp grated parmesian
½ tsp salt

lightly brown the hamburger, drain grease
add the meat and tomato to water and bring to boil
simmer for 1 hour (leave top of container ¼ open to allow
condensation to evaporate)

Chopped pepper, onion, celery, jalapeno, diced potato, chile mix, taco mix, olive oil, spices

Add enough water to make it like soup, bring to boil, simmer 1 hour

Now add the beer and parmesian

After 1 hour, let it cool and put in refrigerator over night before serving

Get rich quick! Count your blessings!
~~ unknown

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

encore, encore

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a day of unity, in this country

that we finished Bill's Story in the 6:30am meeting yesterday; it offers some good reminders of where I could go and how Bill first imagined the steps

that my dream sequences have changed since being in recovery. For my first 2 years of sobriety, I had extremely vivid dreams as soon as I fell asleep which almost always awakened me. No more. Now, I just sleep.

that I'll never have inaugural balls

Lady Luck generally woos those who earnestly, enthusiastically, unremittingly woo her.
-B.C. Forbes

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for this momentous day

that I lived to see it

that I lived to see it sober

that I lived to see it sober and in recovery

that I lived to see it sober and in recovery with other alcoholics

There comes a point in your life when you realize who matters, who never did, who won't anymore... and who always will. So, don't worry about people from your past, there's a reason why they didn't make it to your future.
~~ unknown

Monday, January 19, 2009

the beginning of another interesting week

We'll miss these ...

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for all the events that led me to be the person I am today -- the good, the bad and the ugly

for the emotional pain I've experienced which is why I know when I'm feeling good

for Martin Luther King and all of the changes credited to him

that I have been walking around in shorts all weekend whilst many of you are in freezing weather

that I sat in on a Lambda Board meeting without being on the Board

for Rob & Laura Petrie

I will waste not even a precious second today in anger or hate or jealousy or selfishness. I know that the seeds I sow I will harvest, because every action, good or bad, is always followed by an equal reaction. I will plant only good seeds this day.
-- Og Mandino

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Things I might have heard...

Things overheard at 12 Step meetings...

  • Treat your mind like a bad neighborhood - don't go there alone.
  • Ten out of ten people die, so don't take life too seriously.
  • Be profound, funny or quiet. After you talk in a meeting, listen to hear if you said anything.
  • I don't need your help today.... Love, God.
  • Our sickness is between our ears.
  • Want to hear God laugh? Tell Him your plans.
  • Don't expect to learn about people from books; a person can't fit in a bookcase.
  • Now I can wake up and say, "Good morning, God!" rather than "Good God, it's morning!"
  • When I turned myself over to God, I took my life out of the hands of an idiot.
  • When the world comes to an end, it will do so without my permission.
  • If you pray for a Cadillac and God sends a jackass, ride it.
  • There's no one too dumb for this program, but it's possible to be too smart.
  • All I wanted was to control you, myself and everything else.
  • My disease is an elephant. As long as I remember it's there, I won't get stepped on.
  • Try praying. Nothing pleases God more than to hear a strange voice.
  • Reality can be hell when you're only visiting.

Enjoy your Sunday. (if you want to)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Friday, January 16, 2009


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the concept of being entirely ready to have my character defects removed

for the common sense that makes up the order of the Twelve Steps

for common sense

that everyone survived that airplane splash in NYC yesterday

Life's most urgent question is: what are you doing for others?
-Martin Luther King Jr

Thursday, January 15, 2009

gettin' it together

disassembled VW

todAAy i AAM grAAteful & thAAnkful

that fear may be a mile high and a mile wide, but usually it's just paper thin;
thus, I just have to muster the courage to walk through it

that I heard this yesterday -- it doesn't matter if I believe in God or not. He can do His work without my approval.

for all of you who have preceded me and already discovered the things I need to know

for the few who are able to make it back to the rooms of AA

that I haven't (yet) tested my desire to make it back after a relapse

If you can't get a compliment any other way, pay yourself one.
-Mark Twain

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

on the nose!

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for Bill's Story (Alcoholics Anonymous, Chapter One)

that I have just enough knowledge & experience to train people in certain jobs

that these days, when I drive, I'm DAI (driving above the influence)

for the museum exhibition we attended yesterday; see the link on my post from yesterday

There is no such thing in anyone's life as an unimportant day.
-Alexander Woollcott

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I can bear it

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I didn't drink any alcohol all day yesterday and woke up sober (again) this morning

that prayer is an intricate part of my recovery, every day

that we will read (at the 6:30am AA meeting I attend each day) some pages in The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous this morning and then we'll discuss what we read and how our experiences help us to identify with what we read

that I intend to call my sponsor today, even if just to check in with him

that Hayden, his Mom and I will do some museum hopping today, including going to see Body Worlds II

Mountains cannot be surmounted except by winding paths.
-Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

Monday, January 12, 2009


Snorkeling in Minnesota.

Alcohol may have been involved.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the way Boston presents a topic for discussion in an AA meeting

that I could give a little guidance to a first-time newcomer

that I stood aside and declined to run for a position at the election of the Board of Directors of Lambda Center. It was my turn to adhere to the spirit of rotation after 4 consecutive years. Now, I'll have to find other ways to be of service to the place wqhere my life was saved.

life is pretty good these days

When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.
-Ernest Hemingway

Sunday, January 11, 2009


In the course of living, many people are disappointed when others do not live up (or down) to their expectations. In order to be happy, some expectations must be dropped. These unrealistic and unhealthy expectations are three of the main culprits.

1. Do not EXPECT appreciation. When others say, "Thank you," or in any way show their gratitude, be happy. It is a gift!

2. Do not EXPECT others to make you happy. They simply cannot do that. Make yourself happy and share your joy with others.

3. Do not expect NOT to be let down. At times, people will simply not come through for you in the way you need. Forgive them and move on.

Get rid of these three expectations and you will be getting rid of daily disappointment!"
~ Steve Goodier

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Maintaining your insanity ...

How To Maintain A Healthy Level Of Insanity

1. At lunch time, sit in your parked car with sunglasses on and point a hair dryer at passing cars. See if they slow down.

2. Page yourself over the Intercom. Don't disguise your voice!

3. Every time someone asks you to do something, ask if they want fries with that.

4. Put decaf in the coffee maker for 3 weeks . Once everyone has gotten over their caffeine addictions, switch to espresso.

5. In the memo field of all your checks, write For Marijuana.

6. Skip down the hall rather than walk and see how many looks you get.

7. Order a diet water whenever you go out to eat, with a serious face.

8. Specify that your drive-through order is 'To Go'.

9. Sing along at The Opera.

10. Five days in advance, tell your friends you can't attend their party because you have a headache.

11. When the money comes out of the ATM, scream, 'I Won! I Won!'

12. When leaving the zoo, start sunning towards the parking lot, yelling, 'Run For Your Lives! They're Loose!'

13. Tell your children over dinner, 'Due To The Economy, We Are Going To Have To Let One Of You Go.'

14. Pick up a box of condoms at the pharmacy, then go to the counter and ask where the fitting room is.

Friday, January 09, 2009

As I see it ...

picture courtesy of Bill at Life on Planet Bill

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that my sponsee meeting last night was about Step 3 -- great stuff!!

for some occasional semblance of balance

that I've been consciously using my spiritual tool box more often lately

for a pretty damn good life

Love truth, but pardon error.

Thursday, January 08, 2009


A glimpse at the new presidential limousine. Check out the thickness of that door!

todAAy i AAM grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the gifts of being sober; both the obvious ones and the invisible ones.

for choices, for freedom to be, for clarity where there used to be fog

that I have had enough glimpses of emotional maturity to know that I want more of it

for the fighting spirit of Patrick Swayze. We were in high school together, although he was a year ahead of me. He did a Baba Walters interview last night that focused on his battle with pancreatic cancer.

You are unique. Just like everyone else.
~~ unknown

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Yesterday's discussions

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that yesterday we read THE DOCTOR'S OPINION in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. Great stuff! Great reminders!

that in another meeting yesterday, the topic was loss -- whether it may be the loss of a loved one, a job, a relationship or a pet. There is a lot of experience in the rooms of AA of people who have gone through this before as a sober person. Including yours truly.

I had a realization during that meeting that my spiritual life really evolved at a different level during my Mom's 3-year illness, culminating in her August 2008 death. What I also know is that her illness was not about me! But it was my responsibility to be there for her.

When you put your hand to the plow, you can't put it down until you get to the end of the row.
-Alice Paul

Tuesday, January 06, 2009


After flipping his speedboat, Jesus quickly leaves the scene before his father finds out.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I don't feel too guilty lately when asked to share in a meeting and don't have anything much to say. I can sometimes beat myself up for having nothing to add to a meeting, when asked.

for a book called Alcoholics Anonymous. We read it this morning at the 6:30am meeting I attend as we do every Tuesday. Then we discuss what we read. My constant and consistent exposure to this book is a part of my recovery from alcoholic drinking.

that the good old days are a thing of my history

that I will be doing my best (I hope) to focus on my emotional sobriety this year

that Pam showed us a way to block IP addresses, which in turn has allowed me to cancel the comment moderation gadget. If you are interested, scroll all the way to the bottom of my blog and click on the icon.

Only one thing has to change for us to know happiness in our lives: where we focus our attention.
-Greg Anderson

Monday, January 05, 2009

Today is ... January 5th

Yesterday, I posted about Step One. As a supplement to that post, following is a list of questions that one can ask oneself.

1. What is your definition of Powerlessness?

2. List some examples of how powerlessness has revealed itself in your own personal experiences.

3. Give three exampIes of personality traits that block you from admitting powerlessness.

4. What convinces you that you can no longer use alcohol or drugs safely?

5. Are you an alcoholic or chemically dependent person?

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

to hear an hour's worth of experience, strength and hope from someone with 27 years of it

that we have some cool-ish weather again. It's been like spring the past few days with temps nearing 80 deg.

that we went to see "Slumdog Millionaire" last night. Excellent movie! Superb! This movie has to win some Oscars, maybe Best Movie. Certainly Best Soundtrack.

Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there.
-Will Rogers

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Step One


Surrender usually means admitting we are powerless over "this thing". Of course, it is very hard for us to do this. Alcoholics, for example, must say, "I'm powerless over alcohol." We have to surrender to a Power greater than ourselves and we have to let go of the outcome.

A lot of people see surrender as a weakness, but those of us who have had some experience with surrender know that it is the way we get true strength. All the people who are remembered as successful military commanders, for example, had one thing in common: they knew how to surrender or retreat. Custer didn't, MacArthur did.

Until we fully concede that our uncontrolled use of alcohol has made us ill we will find no reason for treatment of this illness.

Because our alcoholism is self-inflicted and develops so slowly, we are averse to look upon it as a disease. Thus we retard our recovery with egotistical thoughts of false security.

Most sick persons require exacting care. They rarely ask a surgeon to partially remove a malignant growth. That doesn't make sense. Yet many alcoholics come into AA seeking temporary relief from alcoholism, which can become as serious as any malignant disease. A realistic view toward alcoholism is our first step toward recovery.

Paradoxically, admission of our weakness soon becomes a source of new strength. Make it now and avoid the future reservations that bar success.

(This is part of an exercise I give to sponsees. It's followed by a series of questions.)

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Friday, January 02, 2009

Day Two

todAAy i AAM grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a quiet first day of the year

(I am at a loss this morning, so here's something we read yesterday in 12&12 study)
"The chief activator of our defects has been self-centered fear -- primarily fear that we would lose something we already possessed or would fail to get something we demanded. Living upon a basis of unsatisfied demands, we were in a state of continual disturbance and frustration. Therefore, we could find no peace unless we could find a means of reducing these demands."
Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, page 76

There is always a certain peace in being what one is, in being that completely.
-Ugo Betti

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Day One

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I woke up this morning with 1,945 continuous sober days under my belt

that I remember what I did last night, all the way up to when I went to bed, said a short prayer and then fell asleep

that going to sleep didn't include passing out or vomiting

that I have the opportunity to make 2009 even better than 2008, not only for me, but for those with whom I come into contact

for each and every day

We probably wouldn’t worry about what people think of us if we could know how seldom they do.
-Olin Miller