Friday, July 31, 2009

Living and Letting Live

cool house!

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that as I practice being the best person I can be in my new life, I am learning to let others dislike me without having to show them why they're wrong. In my past life, I would have gone out of my way and done everything in my power to force them to like me. No more.

for the bad behavior I haven't done. Yet.

for a new recovery blogger, Diane.
She can be found at This Sober Life (click here)

that I stopped trying to get as tan as possible many years ago; I may still get skin cancer sometime in my future, but not because of my actions these days

Hem your blessings with thankfulness so they don't unravel.
~~ unknown

Thursday, July 30, 2009

color not needed

a friend of mine snapped this B&W photo of me as I was departing Lambda Center

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I was on hand yesterday to hear Rashann E. relate what it was like, what happened and what it's like now

that I get to chair the 6:30am group each Wednesday in August

that I went to the Double Winner Al-Anon group last night where the main topic was shame and how we learn to deal with it. I really identified with the shares.

No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars or sailed to an uncharted land or opened a new heaven to the human spirit.
- Helen Keller

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I enjoy participating in my sober life

for my passions -- sobriety, recovery, my loved ones and my friends, my health, and of course, you

that I have enough clarity of thought to know when someone has overstepped proper boundaries

that I got some financial stuff straightened out -- one of the banks I use was merged into the JP Morgan Chase family and routing numbers and account numbers needed adjusting

CLICK HERE for a little explanation of The Universe by former Monty Python actor Eric Idle

Envy someone and it pulls you down. Admire them and it builds you up. Which makes more sense?
- Elvis Presley

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Watching my step(s)

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the answers I get when I keep a conscious contact with my HP

that my first (original) amends list was short because I had so many blackouts for so many years, I don't remember most of the people and situations to which I would owe an amends

that I learn from others even when they don't know they're teaching

that almost 43% of statistics are made up on the spot

Imagination was given to us to compensate for what we are not; a sense of humor was given to us to console us for what we are.
- Mark McGinnis

Monday, July 27, 2009

off in the distance ...

During their walk on the lunar surface one of the astronauts (probably Buzz Aldrin) snapped this photo of the Lunar Module with Earth almost directly above.

todAay i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that sobriety brings me more perspective

for a fulfilling and exhilarating experience as guest speaker at an AA meeting in Austin, Texas. The last 2 times I "told my story", I was 15-20 minutes short of the alloted time period. Saturday night, however, the words seemed to just flow and I could have easily spoken for another hour I think. Instead of telling about my drunken days and nights, I focused on the unmanageable feelings of obsession and behavior behind my alcoholism.
It felt really good to get some of that stuff out in front of a group of recovering alkies.

that Steps 1, 2 and 3 got me sober

for lunch @ Luby's with the guys & girls

Nothing lowers the level on conversation more than raising the voice.
- Stanley Horowitz

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Hollywood Squares (revisited)

If you remember the Original Hollywood Squares and its comics, this may bring a tear to your
eyes. These great questions and answers are from the days when "Hollywood Squares" game show responses were spontaneous and clever, not scripted and (often) dull, as they are now. Peter Marshall was the host asking the questions, of course.

Q. Do female frogs croak?
A. Paul Lynde: If you hold their little heads under water long enough.

Q. If you're going to make a parachute jump, at least how high should you be?
A. Charley Weaver: Three days of steady drinking should do it.

Q. True or False, a pea can last as long as 5,000 years.
A. George Gobel: Boy, it sure seems that way sometimes.

Q. You've been having trouble going to sleep. Are you probably a man or a woman?
A. Don Knotts: That's what's been keeping me awake.

Q. According to Cosmo, if you meet a stranger at a party and you think that he is attractive, is it okay to come out and ask him if he's married?
A. Rose Marie: No; wait until morning.

Q. Which of your five senses tends to diminish as you get older?
A. Charley Weaver: My sense of decency.

Q. In Hawaiian, does it take more than three words to say "I Love You"?
A. Vincent Price: No, you can say it with a pineapple and a twenty.

Q. What are "Do It," "I Can Help," and "I Can't Get Enough"?
A. George Gobel: I don't know, but it's coming from the next apartment.

Q. As you grow older, do you tend to gesture more or less with your hands while talking?
A. Rose Marie: You ask me one more growing old question Peter, and I'll give you a gesture
you'll never forget.

Q. Paul, why do Hell's Angels wear leather?
A. Because chiffon wrinkles too easily.

Q. Charley, you've just decided to grow strawberries. Are you going to get any during the first year?
A. Charley Weaver: Of course not, I'm too busy growing strawberries.

Q. In bowling, what's a perfect score?
A. Rose Marie: Ralph, the pin boy.

Q. It is considered in bad taste to discuss two subjects at nudist camps. One is politics,
what is the other?
A. Paul Lynde: Tape measures.

Q. During a tornado, are you safer in the bedroom or in the closet?
A. Rose Marie: Unfortunately Peter, I'm always safe in the bedroom.

Q. Can boys join the CampFireGirls?
A. Marty Allen: Only after lights out.

Q. When you pat a dog on its head he will wag his tail. What will a goose do?
A. Paul Lynde: Make him bark?

Q. If you were pregnant for two years, what would you give birth to?
A. Paul Lynde: Whatever it is, it would never be afraid of the dark.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Obama getting snubbed

This was when our President was in Russia recently. Very disrespectful.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Surprise ...

todAAy i AAM grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I don't need to look for any reason to drink. Nothing, absolutely nothing, will get better if I drink.

for integrity, which begins at home

that my friend, Mary Christine, celebrates 25 consecutive years of living without alcohol today!

that I can slow myself down when I'm under the weather; my instinct is to just keep attacking life

that I should have a nice weekend, punctuated by a speaker meeting in Austin tomorrow night (I get to be the speaker!)

To fear is one thing. To let fear grab you by the tail and swing you around is another.
- Katherine Paterson

Thursday, July 23, 2009

as things become a little clearer

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that more IS revealed, just like you guys told me would happen

that I got to know Bill A. a little bit better when he shared some of his experience, strength and hope yesterday

for the various amounts of hope I receive as a result of being in recovery

that the Energizer Bunny was arrested; he was charged with battery.

Whoever can see through all fear will always be safe.
- Tao Te Ching

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

cat and mouse

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a lively noon AA meeting yesterday. Sometimes, personalities take control over principles, but I can just sit back and watch when I'm not in charge.

that most of my fears may never be removed, but they are mostly manageable

that I have a very comfortable home to spend my time in

that I'm not a fairweather baseball fan, nor a fairweather alcoholic-in-recovery. I work 'em both 24/7.

Create the kind of self you will be happy to live with all your life.
- Foster C. McClellan

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

on the road to recovery ...

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I know the way to a fast resolution of my anger and resentments

for Step 7 and the humility that has come about because of its practice

for my extensive recovery tool box; I just have to remember to use it

for the multitude and wide range of folks whose blogs I've had the pleasure of reading. Steve of Another Sober Alcoholic is retiring (for now) and while I hate to see him go, I am glad I got to know him a little bit over the past year. I doubt that any of us will be blogging forever, so the times we have together are not to be taken for granted. Just like life, eh?

that it’s always darkest before dawn. So if you’re going to steal your neighbor’s newspaper, that’s the time to do it.

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

NOTE: Does anyone know whatever happened to Mark of A Dozen Steps Reborn?

Monday, July 20, 2009

July 20, 1969

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I'll go through today doing my best; I never know what that's gonna look like though

for the professionalism and humanity of Walter Cronkite; 60 Minutes did a show on him last night which really brought back some memories and showed the personal side of the man as well

that I got to be a judge in the annual Lambda Talent Show -- it was a fabulous evening!

for NASA and all it has given back to our society -- you probably know that today is the 40th anniversary of the 1st moon landing

that I reached 200,000 hits on this blog and 400,000 page views over the weekend

that we got some really meaningful rain over the weekend, but our drought continues

Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.
- Bill Gates

Sunday, July 19, 2009

one of my favorites ...

After Quasimodo’s death, the bishop of the Cathedral of Notre Dame sent word through the streets of Paris that a new bell ringer was needed.
The bishop decided that he would conduct the interviews personally and went up into the belfry to begin the screening process.

After observing several applicants demonstrate their skills, he had decided to call it a day when an armless man approached him and announced that he was there to apply for the bell ringer’s job.
The bishop was incredulous. “You have no arms!””No matter,” said the man. “Observe!” And he began striking the bells with his face, producing a beautiful melody on the carillon.
The bishop listened in astonishment; convinced he had finally found a replacement for Quasimodo. But suddenly, rushing forward to strike a bell, the armless man tripped and plunged headlong out of the belfry window to his death in the street below.
The stunned bishop rushed to his side. When he reached the street, a crowd had gathered around the fallen figure, drawn by the beautiful music they had heard only moments before. As they silently parted to let the bishop through, one of them asked, “Bishop, who was this man?”
“I don’t know his name,” the bishop sadly replied,.. “But his face rings a bell.”

There’s more..........The following day, despite the sadness that weighed heavily on his heart
due to the unfortunate death of the armless campanologist, the bishop continued his interviews for the bell ringer of Notre Dame.
The first man to approach him said, “Your Excellency, I am the brother of the poor armless wretch that fell to his death from this very belfry yesterday. I pray that you honor his life by allowing me to replace him in this duty.”
The bishop agreed to give the man an audition, and, as the armless man’s brother stooped, picked up a mallet and struck the bells as beautifully as his brother. But as he finished, he groaned, clutched at his chest, twirled around and died on the spot.
Two monks, hearing the bishop’s cries of grief at this second tragedy, rushed up the stairs to his side. “What has happened? Who is this man?” the first monk asked breathlessly.
“I don’t know his name,” sighed the distraught bishop, "but... he’s a Dead Ringer for His Brother.”

Saturday, July 18, 2009

the Lord of the New Dance

Britain certainly does have talent!!

Friday, July 17, 2009

useful info


1. Before (or during) your next meeting, seminar, or conference call, prepare yourself by drawing a square. 5”x 5” is a good size. Divide the card into columns, five across and five down. That will give you 25 one-inch blocks.
2. Write one of the following words/phrases in each block:

· synergy * strategic fit * core competencies * best practice * bottom line * revisit * take that off-line * 24/7 * out of the loop * benchmark * value-added * pro-active * win-win * think outside the box * fast track * result-driven * empower (or empowerment) * knowledge base * at the end of the day * touch base * mind-set * client focus(ed) * paradigm * game plan * leverage and last but not least ...... * MOVING FORWARD

3. Check off the appropriate block when you hear one of those words/phrases.

4. When you get five blocks horizontally, vertically, or diagonally, stand up and shout, “BULLSHIT!”

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for my part in carrying out Step 7

that I'm unique. Just like everyone else.

that I was reminded (from reading Boston's blog) that my thinking is so often flawed and that few things in life are as bad or as dangerous or as uncomfortable as I think they will be

that I am recognizing the fact that I just don't know how to be successful in a relationship; but I keep on trying

that I get to be a judge in a sober talent show this weekend @ Lambda Center

You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.
- Christopher Robin to Pooh

Thursday, July 16, 2009

a waste of good glass

todAAy i AAM grAAteful & thAAnkful

to be objective, at least where others are concerned

that my personal definition of humility has changed from meaning to be modest to being teachable

for the joy of in-depth discussion of Step 1 with a new sponsee

that my life has taken so many turns, I don't think I'll ever be straight!

Yearn to understand first and to be understood second.
- Beca Lewis Allen

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

a good day was had

another farewell to MJ ...

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful that

that I am not worrying about what time I'll start getting drunk today

that I spent most of yesterday doing service work; in other words, staying out of my own head, which is just what the doctor ordered

for the early members of Alcoholics Anonymous and the trials and errors they endured

that things seem to be going pretty good in my life. I wonder what I'm overlooking.

If you are losing a tug-of-war with a tiger, give him the rope before he gets to your arm. You can always buy a new rope.
- Max Gunther

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

just passing through

todAAy iAAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that even though I've felt a little depressed the past few days, it's not a career-ending injury.
It will pass.

that I've been able to diagnose the reason I feel the way I do

that feelings are not facts

for all the people in my life

for a somewhat renewed effort to workout a bit harder

that I am in shape. Round is a shape isn't it?

Beware the barrenness of a busy life.
- Socrates

Monday, July 13, 2009

this may be the best-ever commercial

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I woke up sober again this morning; no hangover, no blackout, no new enemies

that we all come from a different mold

that Mary Christine is back

for a little reminder from Scott about being silly - I always have been, so why stop now?

Speak when you're angry, and you'll make the best speech you'll ever regret.
- Lawrence J. Peter

NOTE: With all the sadness and trauma going on in the world at the moment it is worth reflecting on the death of a very special person that went almost unnoticed last week.

Larry La Prise, the man who wrote the song “The Hokey Pokey” died peacefully at age 93.
The most traumatic part for his family was getting him into the coffin.
They put his left leg in.
And then the trouble started.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

a lesson in patience

A lady was video taping her son riding a skate board when her attention switched to an old woman trying to cross the street. You might need to watch it twice to get the full effect on the driver. You can hear the photographer giggling as she records the event.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Friday, July 10, 2009

Have a Great day... unless you choose otherwise

July 2008 and July 2009

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I seem to have one more day of sobriety than yesterday -- that's cool!

for another day to not participate in the character defects I don't like anymore

for my Friday's - I attend AA meetings at 6:30am,. 10:00am and 12:15pm

that we closed on our new house 365 days ago; note the small differences in the pix above

Life was a lot simpler when what we honored was father and mother rather than all major credit cards.
- Robert Orben

Thursday, July 09, 2009

going forward

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I'm gonna do my best today. I'll never get another chance to experience today.

to hear about Brian B.'s experience yesterday. His progress since coming into AA is palpable.

that I attended the Double Winner Al-Anon meeting again last night. Last week (the inaugural meeting) there were 30 people. Last night, there were 58 of us. It's my second consecutive Al-Anon meeting, but I've gone to about 6 or 7 during the past 4 years. I am confused about how "consecutive" meetings are counted. From what I understand, I have to attend 6 consecutive meetings before I am a member. Kind of confusing to me. (any thoughts, Syd?)

I'd rather be a failure at something I enjoy than a success at something I hate.
- George Burns

Wednesday, July 08, 2009


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that yesterday in our 6:30am Big Book study, we read one of the stories in the 4th edition called "The Vicious Cycle". I really identified with this exerpt where the author is talking about taking that first drink ... "I could feel it go right through every bit of my body and down to my very toes. But each drink after the first seemed to become less effective, and after three or four, they all seemed like water."

that I have all day to practice these principles ...
1 Honesty
2 Hope
3 Faith
4 Courage
5 Integrity
6 Willingness
7 Humility
8 Compassion
9 Discipline
10 Perseverance
11 Awareness of God
12 Service

One who imitates what is bad always goes beyond his model; while one who imitates what is good always comes up short of it.
- Francesco Guicciardini

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

stepping forward

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

to those with courage in any of its forms

for the positive results of stepping through the unknown to get to the other side

to know that half measures won't work for me if I want to stay serene

that I must exhibit some integrity if I am to be the sponsor I wish to be

that I am not attending Michael Jackson's Memorial today, but will probably see a little bit of it on the telly (@ Lambda Center)

When it is dark enough, you can see the stars.
- Charles A. Beard
I am Curious ... From what I've read, MJ's estate is still worth a net of about $500 million. Yet he had filed for bankruptcy. How does this occur? Any accountants out there who can 'splain this to me?
And why can't his estate pay the cost of security in LA for this memorial service?

Monday, July 06, 2009

moving forward

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the concept of rigorous honesty, in the context of Alcoholics Anonymous

for the honesty of my friend, Laura L.

that Shann (TodAAy) celebrates 16 consecutive years of sobriety today

that I have cleaned up my side of the street and have every intention of keeping it that way

for the companionship of my 3 cats

Two things a man should never be angry at: what he can help, and what he cannot help.
- Thomas Fuller

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Saturday, July 04, 2009

the 4th

If you have sex with a prostitute against her will, is it considered rape or shoplifting?

Can you cry under water?


How important does a person have to be before they are considered assassinated instead of just murdered?


Why do you have to "put your two cents in"... but it's only a "penny for your thoughts"? Where's that extra penny going to?


Once you're in heaven, do you get stuck wearing the clothes you were buried in for eternity?


Why does a round pizza come in a square box?


What disease did cured ham actually have?


How is it that we put man on the moon before we figured out it would be a good idea to put wheels on luggage?


Why is it that people say they "slept like a baby" when babies wake up like every two hours?


If a deaf person has to go to court, is it still called a hearing?


Why are you IN a movie, but you're ON TV?


Why do people pay to go up tall buildings and then put money in binoculars to look at things on the ground?


Why do doctors leave the room while you change?

They're going to see you naked anyway.


Why is "bra" singular and "panties" plural?


Why do toasters always have a setting that burns the toast to a horrible crisp, which no decent human being would eat?


If Jimmy cracks corn and no one cares, why is there a stupid song about him?


hy does a hearse carrying a corpse drive in the carpool lane ?


If the professor on Gilligan's Island can make a radio out of a coconut, why can't he fix a hole in a boat?


Why does Goofy stand erect while Pluto remains on all fours?

They're both dogs!


If Wile E. Coyote had enough money to buy all that ACME crap, why didn't he just buy dinner?


If corn oil is made from corn, and vegetable oil is made from vegetables, what is baby oil made from?


If electricity comes from electrons, does morality come from morons?


Do the Alphabet song and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star have the same tune?


Why did you just try singing the two songs above?


Why do they call it an asteroid when it's outside the hemisphere, but call it a hemorrhoid when it's in your butt?


Did you ever notice that when you blow in a dog's face, he gets mad at you, but when you take him for a car ride, he sticks his head out the window?

Friday, July 03, 2009

Friday morning

Pastor Quinn, the gay converter

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I still prefer to stay involved; with my partner out of the country for an extended time, it's important that I remain active

for the cycles that make up my life

for the boundaries that I maintain

that I am off to the gym for cardio at 5am today

I have learned through bitter experience the one supreme lesson: to conserve my anger, and as heat conserved is transmitted into energy, even so our anger controlled can be transmitted into a power...
- Mahatma Gandhi

Thursday, July 02, 2009

down home, at home

Look what the cat brought in

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that my friend Jesse J. told his story of experience, strength and hope yesterday

that I went to the inaugural meeting of a Double Winners group last night at Lambda Center; I can sure use me some good Al-Anon

that I only have one life to live, but I get to live it in 2 very distinct halves

for the PBS show, American Masters, which highlighted Garrison Keillor last night

There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in.
- Leonard Cohen

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

It's already Wednesday!


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that miracles never cease

for the wide range of people I've met in the rooms of AA

for the wider range of people I've yet to meet in the rooms of AA

that I've been lucky enough to go to AA meetings in Houston, Palm Springs, New York City, London, Costa Rica and Trinidad. Later this month, I get to speak at a meeting in Austin.

for spontaneity; I plan it as often as possible

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