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Archive for December, 2006

2007 Resolutions – Predictions…

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When I log into Word Press there are other blogs listed. And we have this young man, his name is Matt. Is He word press or just an elf that works for Santa? I am not sure, but I’ve seen him pop up a few times since I started this Word Press Blog. He styled the Holiday template which some of my fellows used this season. He wrote today about tagging your resolutions and predictions so that you could navigate to them easier and allow others to navigate to them as well. I guess I need to start somewhere…

I’m going to start with my Gratitude list:

1. I would like ot thank Ms. Nikki for being my friend, my mother, my guide and my rock when I was unsure of myself, and for providing certain staples when the money ran out.

2. I would like to thank Ms. Margo for never giving up on my even though she left the field if it were not for her I would not be here today.

3. I’d like to thank my homegroup for putting up with my rants and raves and who helped me to stay sober this last year, and every year since I got sober.

4. I would like to thank my boys, for keeping me honest and giving and loving. They would be Jon (Tx), Karl, (Ca), Jon (Melb Au), Clay(NYS), John (NYC), Darsh (Ca) and all you boys and men out there who participate in my social network.

5. Now the women… Boo,(Because she has helped me immensely with her care and support) , Shark Fu, Ms. MoMo, Ms. Beverly, Ms. Sam, you have all allowed me grace by accepting me into your world and lives and for that I am grateful.

6. I am nothing without men in my life. Here is to the most noble man I know I’ve not spoken his name, in keeping with the mystery we call him the Dating Dummy…

7. Ok, let’s remind them of the others too… David, Randall, Gordon, Dustin, Michael and Tom, Obliquity, the Zeitzeuge Studs, Homeboi (Manchester), Phoenix Boy (Sydney), Mitch (Germany), Steve and Chris. If I missed you then thank you too…

8. The Preacher Boy gets his own line because I love him so because he has loved me and ministered to my soul without judgement, just because.

9. For everyone I forgot ( old timers ) Forgive me – but everyone in my sphere is important.

10. I forgot to thank Donald Boisvert, my mentor friend and advisor and teacher. He has meant the world to me in the last 4 years of university.

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Ok, let’s start with Predictions for 2007:

1. America will be forced to pull out of Iraq because Americans will revolt and impeach the President and he will go to the Hague for Crimes Against Humanity. Americans will finally get the balls enough to start a revolt against the government and the needless wars may, I said may end. But I don’t think they will totally.

2. Nasa will give up SOME of its secrets about the Aliens and UFO’s and Mars will surely be the next Final Frontier because something BIG will be found and with that truth will have to rule the day, there will be no ways around the BIG FIND on MARS.

3. The Middle East will erupt into a war of Nations and someone is going to get an itchy trigger finger. There’s gonna be a really big disaster, but not in the U.S. hopefully…

4. There will be conflict in the Pacific – China, South Korea and North Korea will come to blows and the U.S. will be forced to engage in the Pacific theatre once again.

5. Global warming will claim more lives as storms wreak havoc over the Caribbean and Southern U.S. – the Arctic Ice pack will further disappear and Polar Bears will make it on to the endangered species list.

6. I see a change in ocean currents in the coming year as more dead zones appear and the upcurrents change and that will impact the fisheries and world climate.

7. If new Aids drugs work as expected, we will see a sure shift in HIV/AIDS cases drop drastically and the world will turn to Africa once and for all and help them.

8. I don’t think that the world will turn to humanitarian needs as they should and millions more people will die because of starvation, famine, and war and AIDS.

9. The U.S. President will force his nation into another war – “Just because!” There will be anarchy in the streets and Washington will become a firestorm of factions.

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10. I think that spiritual entities will make themselves known to mankind because the earth is going to hell in a handbasket and if someone does not intervene with the wars and disease and lack of concern for ones fellows, we are all going to die. The world will be forced to acknowledge that there is SOMEONE ELSE OUT THERE and we need their help.

11. I will make history on the HIV front this year with new medications. I will loose the 18 pounds and my health will take a suredly positive turn in 2007. I forsee a radical change in HIV treatment because of new medications.

12. There are always 12 …. I will live to see my 40th birthday…

UPDATE:

 

13. I spoke of major disasters. I am going to amend my predictions and say that the U.S. will be part of a major occurrence, be it volcanic, geologic or natural. AS climate changes I think that the earth is going to shift. Yosemite has always been a hot spot along with Hawaii, the earth is not done shaking and sputtering. The Pacific rim could see some action and from that results circumstances across the pacific rim and the ring of fire.

14. The spiritual nature of DMT will arise in human kind – the turning from religion as institution to spirituality in Intuition will rise further. And once this transcendence begins what we know as religion will end, and those spiritual forces in the universe will become known to us. It is inevitable. Unless we change, the world we know, will come to an end.

15. We shall see a conflict that will end generations of people in the fertile crescent. Once all the factions kill each other, who will be left to repopulate that land? If it is true that the Maitreya walks the earth, we must be aware and look for that dark force that will try and darken the already darkening world.

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Here we go now with Resolutions:

1. I need to get to the gym more often

2. I will need to fill time in this semesters schedule because classes are one day a week and I have two classes this term. Maybe I will get that “Indigo job.”

3. I need to loose 18 pounds, God willing if the new meds work

4. I need to accept that 40 can be beautiful

5. Resolutions are pointless because they bring up expectations and for an alcoholic in recovery and expectations is a HUGE mistake. Expectations are just prepackaged resentments.

6. I need to get two A’s this semester without a doubt, but never speak those words because one may never hit the specified goal and be disappointed.

7. I would like to become a fit, sexual beast of a man so that my husband will find me incredibly sexy in the way he used to when we first met! Oh how times have changed since then.

“as long as a word remains unsaid, you are its master; once you utter it, you are its slave.” (Jeff Vergara.com)

 

Before I sign off I need to thank the man I love, my husband. Because he keeps me sane, he loves me, he cooks for me and he is faithful to me, even if I am old and fat! I have worked to be the best man I can be and he knows that. So I love you Honey!!!

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Happy New Year – Have one for me… And we shall see you in 2007 !!

Thank you for my sobriety. Goodbye 2006 and good riddance.

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Madonna Confessions

TQS French Television here in Montreal, showed an UN-EDITED version of the Madonna’s Confession Tour Concert in London, which I taped – it is very different from the U.S. Feed that was shown in November.

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New Years Came and we were flipping through the channels. We stopped to hear Dick Clark count down the New Year. We sat on the sofa, we did not even take out the champagne flutes to toast the new year. Hell, we did not even get up and hug. New Year went by without a notice. After the ball fell, we moved on to some Discovery Television and went to bed around 1 a.m. I finished reading a book (Bloodletting) and it is now approaching 5 a.m.

 

Abooga booga booga Ah Ah Ah….


Reach for the Stars…

I found this image atUbuntu Blog:

I serendipitously happened across this beautiful image while browsing the web. Imagine my surprise when I learned that Mark Shuttleworth rendered the image in orbit using povray! The image was apparently inspired by Exupery’s Little Prince.

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Read about this visual here.

Or Buy the poster here.


Jeff Vergara.Com

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Go see Jeff’s Incredible Photography: The Dubai Chronicles/Jeff Vergara.com


Medical stories and faith…

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It is the last Saturday of 2006. Another year has passed us by. I can’t say that this past year was difficult in the sense that bad things happened, suffice to say, it had its ups and downs. I think the major downer of 2006 was the death of Sister Georgette. Cancer is a very harsh and cruel disease. With her gone now, visits to the Mother House have come to an end. With no direct link left to the house, the other nuns do not call or invite me up. Last night I took out my prayer beads (which I really love) they a beautiful rose wine beads in the Anglican format from The Solitaries of DeKoven.

In that pounch in the backpack is where I also keep Sister Georgette’s Rosary and relics that I got after she died. I spent some time saying a rosary for (mom) and (sis) I have faith that my prayers go directly to God because Sister Georgette used them when she was alive. And she prayed her rosary daily for as many years as I can think about.

Faith is as strong as the strongest medicine. It is the thread that connects us to the divine. And where else do we find the power to survive? Faith is the key to Divine Inspiration and power.

The more faith one has the greater the power of transformation and healing. I believe that with prayer and a little faith one can transcend what is human into the realm of the spiritual. I believe that God hears our prayers, each and every one of us. And besides all the curative drugs and chemo there is, the base for any healing comes from the creator of the universe. That is where we shall find the strength to fight and to conquer. And we will be victorious.

Last night I had a really long conversation with a friend, and it was like we knew each other so well. We laughed and giggled and talked about some serious issues about family and such and so forth. I felt good that I could be of some use. The future is going to be challenging, and we shall be victorious.

I want (Sis) to know that I pray – I pray daily – I prayed last night that whatever the power is out there, that She-He-It help us stay strong and to be able to be strong and to be able to fight, and most importantly that we know that we are loved.

When all was said and done last night, we turned on the radio to hear Art Bell start his radio show, from the High Desert – in Pahrump Nevada, Art and his wife are back home in the U.S. and what a joy it was to hear him last night. I spent a few hours reading Bloodletting and other Miraculous Cures, I am about halfway through the book. I am finding the read quite enjoyable. It is a very emotional roller coaster ride of emotions, and I found myself wanting to throw the book against the wall over Ming and Fitz…

(Go read the book)…

We ventured out to the store a bit ago to get some supplies for the weekend. Thank God for Gift cards to stores that sell FOOD! New Years will be a very muted night. I am not sure if what the final decisions are on events as of yet, but since cash is tight until Tuesday I am not sure what we are going to partake. When one does not drink, parties are something we don’t go to. Dick Clark’s Rockin’ Eve is not what it used to be when I was a kid. There is no family to celebrate with, no great dinner party to dine at, nobody to really ring in the new year with as it was so long ago.

As of late I have been reading allot of blogs in certain circles and many people are reminiscing about the past. I could sit here and write all that stuff down again, but why bother – it won’t change the time line, but only bring up old memories and feelings that have nothing to do with today.

“I don’t live in the past, it distracts from the NOW!”

We welcome the Preacher Boy back to the circle – You can find him over at “Being Selfish” over on my list —> over there. I made a call the Texas last night, I thought it would be wise to check on all my ladies before I went to bed. I’ve spoken to all of my boys this week and they are all doing good.

That’s about it from Montreal. It snowed last night and this morning, and the temp is sitting at a balmy (-7 C) and more snow is expected over the next couple of days. YAY!!

We shall see you all on the flip side.

TTFN…


Arctic ice shelf collapse poses risk: expert

An ancient ice shelf the size of 11,000 football fields that broke off Ellesmere Island could be dangerous when it starts to drift in the spring, a scientist says.

The collapse of the ice island’s northern coast represents the largest breakup of its kind in the Canadian Arctic in 30 years, the head of a new global ice lab at the University of Ottawa said on Thursday.

The collapse of the ice island's northern coast represents the largest breakup of its kind in the Canadian Arctic in 30 years.The collapse of the ice island’s northern coast represents the largest breakup of its kind in the Canadian Arctic in 30 years.

Luke Copland, an assistant professor at the school’s department of geography, said scientists are surprised at the speed of the collapse of the Ayles ice shelf, about 800 kilometres south of the North Pole. It took less than an hour.

He said the new island formed by the 66-square-kilometre fragment, which could be up to 4,500 years old, could present a serious risk to oil platforms in its drift path in the spring.

At the longest and widest spans, the remains of the Ayles shelf are about 15 kilometres long and five kilometres wide. The fragment is between 30 and 40 metres thick.

Copland learned of the break after an official with the federal government’s Canadian Ice Service noticed the change on satellite images and passed it on to him to determine what happened, according to a report by CanWest News Service.

In June, Copland received nearly $206,000 in grant funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation to create the Laboratory for Cryospheric Research, which will monitor the state of glaciers, climate change and study ice in all of its forms.

A satellite image shows a 66-square-kilometre chunk of ice has broken off Ellesmere Island.A satellite image shows a 66-square-kilometre chunk of ice has broken off Ellesmere Island.
(CBC)

Warwick Vincent of Laval University in Quebec City, who travelled to the new segment, said in 10 years of working in the Arctic, he had never seen such a dramatic collapse.

“It’s like a cruise missile has come down and hit the ice shelf,” he told CanWest News Service. Vincent is a professor at the university’s biology department, where he does ecological research.

The collapse of the Ayles shelf — one of six that still existed in Canada — occurred 16 months ago, on Aug. 13, 2005, but because it is so remote, no one saw it.

Scientists have been combining seismic and satellite data to determine what happened and are now releasing details of the collapse.

The researchers suspect climate change may have played a role in the collapse but said they cannot definitively say it is a result of global warming.

With files from the Canadian Press


End of Year Review 2006 – Prospectus 2007

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I haven’t really thought about the end of the year review but in reading some other of my fellows like Zeitzeuge, I guess I should write it down, before I forget. I live my life on a different wavelength – unlike my fellow, I am married, and I am sober, so relationship issues are somewhat the same, but are different. When you are sober and get married everything changes. Add to a marriage a bi-polar rapid cycling man and an HIV positive man and you’ve got yourself a pretty green pickle of a situation. Sero-discordant issues are a reality, but not as much any longer. Life is an issue, problems arise, but we deal with them as they come up.

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We don’t live on year to year expectations. We have been on an path, so to speak. Our lives are lived in the pursuit of happiness, in as many ways as one can have it. The work that goes into “making a relationship work” is a force of nature. It is a willingness, an energy that I have no idea from where it comes, how one taps it, or how to control it. I guess this energy comes from the fact that “I made a promise” before my friends, family and before God.

A relationship takes on new meaning when vows are spoken and promises are made before God, at least that means something to me. Add to that – that my husbands Bi-Polar issue started well before our marriage and I chose to stick it out and be a man and do the right thing. That commitment has carried me through until now. It is the promise I remember – the man I knew then – and the man I know today. They are not the same man by any stretch of the imagination.

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I have spent another year learning how to be a Better Husband. To become the best man I can be. To continually know how put someone elses needs before my own. THAT is the gift and meaning of marriage and becoming a MAN. That is my goal, to be a better man, husband, partner, global participant.

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I don’t focus on my “Positiveness” like some of my fellows. The only place the word AIDS or HIV appears is in my sidebar profile. I only talk about it when necessary. Aids does not define me, nor does it limit me, nor does it make me any different than any other man or woman, it used to.

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But the older I get and the longer I survive, the less important what I am or what I have becomes or exists to be for me. So what I am Gay, HIV positive, so forth and so on.

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WHO I am is more important than WHAT I am… with age comes wisdom. That I can share that wisdom with others through the medium of a Blog makes each one of us important to those who read us. And that makes us accountable and responsible and reliable to be good men and women. To think of others when we write to try and leave the world a better place than when we came into it.

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What IS important is that I am Clean and Sober. I quit smoking at age 39 and succeeded. I have had 5 years of continuous sobriety. I still go to meetings and I live my life in the terms of a “sober life.” I am a fallen away Catholic become Buddhist. Ritual is totally important to me. Be that religious or spiritual. My life is lived based on a series of daily rituals that I follow, and so does my hubby. Unlike some, living a sober life is much different because allot of what you all suffer from or deal with, are non-issues for me and my hubby since we are both sober. We both have medical issues, we both have addictions issues, and we both quit smoking.

Marriage changes everything.

Willow Tree Heart of Gold

Hubby and I have spent that last 4 years learning how to live with another human being in close quarters. We were both sober when we met. Freshly sober. We have had a few years to work through our resentments and emotional issues. When life is on the line, everything else becomes less important. What once was important and critical to survival has changed since I decided to stick and stay.

I may harbor a couple of resentments because certain areas of my life are not what I would like them to be, but that is not my fault. Sex IS an issue, when mental illness is a fact of life. And I have learned to deal with that. If there was anything I could change with pin point accuracy, that would be the first issue that would be changed.

Everything else is, well, unimportant…

Because we do not engage in the regular activities of the main stream homosexual couple, we don’t have the same problems you do. We don’t socialize in great numbers. We are very quiet, and home-bound gay men. We are involved in University Careers, both of us, full time, so much of our time is spent in academic pursuits. Our friends are hand picked, and who we choose to spend time with or invite into out home is specific. We have gay friends, but we don’t socialize with them like we used to. We have become particular and judgmental in our old age.

In the last year we have made great strides. We have both began the 2006-2007 academic year and have successfully navigated through the fall semester with passing grades. Hubby is truly a better academic than I am. He is a genius. Yet I continue to pass with good grades, nonetheless. The goal to graduate is what we both want for ourselves. I guess we are lucky because we are both on bursary programs in Quebec, so we don’t work full time jobs nor can we because that would screw up our financial aide.

Goals:

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I have decided to delay my graduation in opt for a calm Winter semester with only 6 credits, which is still full time for a student with disabilities. I will take a language over the summer because in Quebec you need French to work and qualify for certificate medical / social work. I will graduate next Fall, which will be ok. It’s not like I am in a hurry to graduate. I need to bump up my GPA to graduate with distinction, as my academic divisor has requested of me. So I have changed my academic schedule and that’s ok with me. Better to be safe than sorry.

How can I be a better husband? I think I do a pretty good job at taking care of my hubby and not being demanding, resentful and angry. We hardly fight or argue. We both have a life outside the home. We both have or circle of friends. I have my meetings and he has his. We both have time apart going to the gym and studying. You know the one area that we are still working out is Financial. We still struggle with finances, although we are not in really deep, but we are far enough to still have issues with money – in that paying all the bills – rent – tuition and still have money to buy food for the entire month afterwards.

Finances is the proverbial thorn in our sides.

What do I want for 2007? I would like to pay off all of our debts. I would like to pass the Winter semester at school. I would like to take a nice vacation (Cruise) this year, I am supposed to start new HIV medication in Jan/Feb, I hope that I can tolerate the new meds and not fail another regimen. I need to loose the 18 pounds I gained in 2006 due to my old HIV meds. I would like to make 6 years of sobriety. This year is the BIG 40!! I need to SURVIVE another year with HIV…

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Marriage will be what it will be. Our relationship will become what it is to become this year and we will deal with the issues as they come up. Unlike some – we don’t have to worry about trivial self centered issues. We don’t have to deal with the wreckage of our pasts any more, and thank God we don’t drink or drug or smoke any longer. A Lotto 649 Win would be nice this year. That would solve the financial woes. But would that make us happy? No, I don’t think so.

We have our health and we are both still alive.

I want my boys to grow up into fine young men. I want Jon, and Karl, and Clay, and Jon and Darshan to grow into fine young men. I mentor a few people and they are my sons. I care for them as if they were my own. I devote a huge portion of my life into the service of others. It is a very Buddhist/sober thing to do. In order to keep it, you must give it away. This will be a tough year for some of them, but as long as they know I am here and as well, the other men who mentor these young men, they will be ok. I am hoping to take a few trips this year to visit my boys and of course in June the Preacher Boy is coming to Texas and I will be going to visit Beverly, the Preacher Boy and Jon and Nathan in Texas, so that will be exciting.

So some wise thoughts for the rest of you to ponder…

If you think you have issues that you cannot solve, then I invite you to come and take a few of mine for a week or two. When you think of it, after studying The Holocaust, like I did this past year, My problems and issues PALE in comparison to some. The world is in pain and I need to focus my energy globally and live my life spherically, in many directions.

A VISION FOR YOU

Our book is meant to be suggestive only. We realize we know only a little. God will constantly disclose more to you and to us. Ask Him in your morning meditation what you can do each day for the man who is still sick. The answers will come, if your own house is in order. But obviously you cannot transmit something you haven’t got. See to it that your relationship with Him is right, and great events will come to pass for you and countless others. This is the Great Fact for us.

Abandon yourself to God as you understand God. Admit your faults to Him and to your fellows. Clear away the wreckage of your past. Give freely of what you find and join us. We shall be with you in the Fellowship of the Spirit, and you will surely meet some of us as you trudge the Road of Happy Destiny.

May God bless you and keep you-until then.


"Movie!"

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“Never loose your childish innocence, it’s the most important thing…”

“Ladybugs… Lots and Lots of Ladybugs…”

“What are four walls, anyway? They are what they contain. The house protects the dreamer. Unthinkably good things can happen, even late in the game. It’s such a surprise.”


Jainism Final Exam

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I got my final exam in the mail from Dr. Orr. I got a ( B ) on question #1 and a ( B – ) on question #4 on the Jain Diaspora and mendicant traditions. YAY… I did well in this class. I checked my grades for the term.

1. Holocaust ( B – )
2. Buddhism ( C )
3. Jainism ( B )

I am still contesting my ( D ) and ( D – ) on my exam questions from The Holocaust. So that
( B – ) may get higher when I am through with that Prof.


The Holocaust Final exam

So I got word tonight that my grade for the Holocaust class was wrong and that I actually made a (B-) rather than a (C-) that was nice to know. I was also informed of the grades on each essay I got a (D) on one and a (D-) on the other. He’s gonna grade my essays like that after all that fucking reading and work I put into that exam, Absolutely unacceptable.

Un-fucking believable…

Needless to say I am not pleased and I contested my grades. I also forwarded those emails to the chair of the religion department. No fucking way! Absolutely NOT!!


The Death of a President (RIP)

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LOS ANGELES, California (AP) — Gerald R. Ford, who picked up the pieces of Richard Nixon’s scandal-shattered White House as the 38th and only unelected president in America’s history, has died, his wife, Betty, said Tuesday. He was 93.

Ford had battled pneumonia in January 2006 and underwent two heart treatments — including an angioplasty — in August at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

He was the longest living president, followed by Ronald Reagan, who also died at 93. Ford had been living at his desert home in Rancho Mirage, California, about 130 miles east of Los Angeles.

Ford was an accidental president, Nixon’s hand-picked successor, a man of much political experience who had never run on a national ticket. He was as open and straightforward as Nixon was tightly controlled and conspiratorial.

He took office minutes after Nixon flew off into exile and declared “our long national nightmare is over.” But he revived the debate a month later by granting Nixon a pardon for all crimes he committed as president. That single act, it was widely believed, cost Ford election to a term of his own in 1976, but it won praise in later years as a courageous act that allowed the nation to move on.

The Vietnam War ended in defeat for the U.S. during his presidency with the fall of Saigon in April 1975. In a speech as the end neared, Ford said: “Today, America can regain the sense of pride that existed before Vietnam. But it cannot be achieved by refighting a war that is finished as far as America is concerned.” Evoking Abraham Lincoln, he said it was time to “look forward to an agenda for the future, to unify, to bind up the nation’s wounds.”

Ford also earned a place in the history books as the first unelected vice president, chosen by Nixon to replace Spiro Agnew who also was forced from office by scandal.

He was in the White House only 895 days, but changed it more than it changed him.

Even after two women tried separately to kill him, the presidency of Ford remained open and plain.

Not imperial. Not reclusive. And, of greatest satisfaction to a nation numbed by Watergate, not dishonest.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press.

Eternal Rest Grant him and may perpetual light shine upon him.

The era of Gerald Ford was well before I was old enough to understand. But later in my life we studied government, not so much specifics about Nixon or WaterGate, that came much later in life. Students were not taught about the failures of presidencies in middle or high school. Any death of a president is important to mark with honor and respect.


6th Sober Christmas…reflections

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It came without fanfare, it went by without acclaim. And after all is said and done, I am unmoved and unimpressed. But I am spiritually aware that I learned something throughout this holiday period. Sobriety never ceases to amaze me when I least expect it and when I most need it. God moves when I need to know that I am ok and loved.

I can say this for my sobriety, I must stay connected and remember why it is that I got sober in the first place. Because, I cannot just have one drink. I cannot use drugs and I cannot think like a normal person. But, you wonder, what IS a normal person. I do not know what normal looks like or feels like, so my sobriety has been an experiment to try and divine what normal is, according to the steps and the work I put into myself on a daily basis, contingent on my spiritual condition.

I did not expect miracles this holiday, well, I take that back, maybe one or two. But I did not place much importance or credence or power into my miracle expectations, because I know what expectations mean to me and how every time I expect something God giggles and gives me something totally different to ponder.

There are just some amends that may never be made. And I may never be forgiven by some people in my past, namely my family. Because they don’t know what AA is or do they have one iota of understanding of what sobriety is or how it is achieved. I made a move to invite dialogue and celebration and what did I get in return, a slap in the face. I am angry that still to this day, I cannot receive absolution or resolution in one major area of my life. But I must remember that God forgave me a long time ago and that I don’t need forgiveness by every man and woman on my amends list, because they are where they are at and I am where I am, and I must remember not to be so hard on myself. Some people may never get to where I am on the path, and that is ok. Because I have cleaned up My side of the street, and that is all I am responsible for.

This holiday I chose NOT to engage the insanity or participate in the whole commercialization and insanity of the holidays. I discretely shopped and did what I needed to do for my home and family, and I did my best not to engage the insanity in my head, and I was rewarded with another stage of enlightenment. All these years I have watched people struggle through the holidays with family, sobriety and the whole “living a sober life” and in 6 years of sober holidays, this was my first real “sober” holiday. I used all those years of experience of others to have for myself a sober holiday in as many ways as I could have.

And I found that I can be with myself and be by myself and be ok with that. I am ok inside my own skin and I am capable of not making stupid and rash decisions or act out in ways that would harm me or others. That is progress. I don’t need to act like I like everybody and that I can focus my love and friendship with those who mean the most to me and my hubby. And I know intuitively that those people who thought it was important to be part of my christmas were. And that was enough for me.

This afternoon hubby and I ventured into the Boxing Day mele at the mall right down the street and let me tell you, never go shopping in any store on Boxing Day because it is a free for all barage of insanity on all the major senses. We were in Zellers for less than 30 minutes and even that was too much insanity for me! The noise and the commotion and the fighting over merchandise and the pushing and shoving and the tempers, Oh My God, I could not handle all the insanity, I had to get out of there as fast as I could.

I met Ms. Nikki for coffee and the cafe was so noisy and insane that we decided to walk over to the church 2 hours early so that we could have some peace and quiet to talk and set up without the rush. Not to mention that I had to shovel snow for the first time this season this evening. We are responsible for the walkways around the church because we use the hall on Tuesdays.

I had hoped for a good showing tonight and I was extremely pleased that so many people came to our meeting at 6:30. It was a raw and honest meeting. I remarked that after christmas, I found that I thought I had missed something, in the fact that the holiday was so quiet a devoid of so much emotional and mental insanity this year. It felt strange, you know, not being in the middle of the storm. This year I chose to ride out the storm by staying in the eye, in the middle where it is calm and peaceful watching everyone else suffer and be insane. It is very much like getting sober all over again. Learning that it is ok to be devoid of the voices, the insanity and the ritual of self mortification and abuse.

Watching newbies get sober is a fresh experience, it keeps me humble and present to the moment. It keeps me engaged to my sobriety because I sure as hell don’t want to go back to the way it was. I kinda like it here in the calm of the safe harbor of serenity. This new sense of self is sometimes unnerving. I don’t know what quite to make of it yet, I guess I need to sit here and understand the feeling a bit longer – to put space between me and the event so that I can allow hindsight to grow into understanding. Suffice to say I came through this without any major resentments or heartache. I did not allow myself to sit on an expectation and be broken. I know my family may never grow to understand and I don’t expect it, but I still pray for that miracle to come. The promises do come true eventually, all of them, one way or another.

I know that it was not about the gifts for me – what I was going to get. It was more about making Christmas special for my hubby and my close knit family. All I wanted was for my friends to have a holy holiday. I wanted Sam and Beverly to be allright. I wanted them to know that they were loved even if that love came long distance. I wanted to know that Scott had some peace and felt the love of the holiday. I wanted my hubby to know that I loved him and I think he knows that. It wasn’t about me – all that much.

I made some sober decisions and my hubby made sober decisions for me so that I could be free of those insane activities that I have been a part of over the years. I chose not to engage those people who don’t participate in my life on a daily basis. I am not going to play “family” with those who think less of me because I am gay, not at my age. God forbid they find out I am HIV positive… that would be a major nightmare. 12 positive holidays and I am still alive, God is not finished with me yet. Hallelujah…

The holiday was calm, unnerving and unfamiliar. Yet, 5 years of sobriety were unfamiliar until I got here, and I walked through it. Hopefully expectant. I wanted a spiritual holiday and I got it. It feels good to be sober 5 years on. So we trod on that road of Happy Destiny. Thanks to all of you who have been on the merry go round with me. I appreciate all of your wisdom and your encouragement. Even if you didn’t say it directly, here on this page, I know you are all a part of my life anyways – because I choose to include you in my life today.

It was a good day.

Blessings on your heads…

Goodnight from Montreal


Bloodletting and Other Miraculous Cures

vincent-lam.jpg

Get it: Here and Here

Tuesday Boxing Day. I haven’t started reading this yet, but the praise inside the cover for his writing seems genuine. I will let you know how the read goes.


And so it is…

snowing.JPG

The prayers of millions of people went up last night and today God answered those prayers. The snow has been falling rapidly for the past 4 hours. This is going to be a major snow event. The first in Montreal this season. They tell us the snow will continue all day into the night.

There is SNOW on the ground… Lots of it…

Hallelujah!!


Soul star James Brown dies at 73

Singer James Brown, known as the “Godfather of Soul”, has died at the age of 73, his agent has said. He was admitted to hospital in Atlanta after being diagnosed with severe pneumonia but died at 0145 local time (0645 GMT), said Frank Copsidas.

The star was famous for hits including I Got You (I Feel Good), Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag and Living in America.

“He is such an influence, I learned so much from him,” Mr Copsidas told the BBC World Service.

He was dramatic to the end, dying on Christmas Day

Reverend Jesse Jackson

“On Friday he had his toy giveaway, which is his annual toy giveaway in Augusta, Georgia.

“On Saturday, he went to his dentist up in Atlanta, and his dentist told him something was wrong, and he sent him to a doctor immediately.”

String of hits

Brown was born in 1933 in South Carolina.

He joined a gospel group as a young man after his release from jail for trying to steal a car.

   

He had his first hit on the US rhythm and blues chart, Please Please Please, in 1956.

Brown had 94 hits on Billboard’s mainstream Hot 100 in the US, according to his official website, and by the end of his career, he had a repertoire of 800 songs.

However, he achieved only one top 10 single in the UK – Living in America, from the soundtrack of Rocky IV, which reached number five in 1986.

The star was credited with spreading the popularity of funk around the world, influencing a new generation of black music which spawned rap and hip-hop.

Brown, who had surgery for prostate cancer in 2004, appeared in London in October as part of the BBC’s Electric Proms line-up.

Hall of Fame

At the time, he described how he planned to carry on as a performer, saying: “Everyone’s got soul, whether it’s talking, hip-hop, rap, gospel.

“I don’t wanna change, because then I’d have to name myself Sam Smith or Ted Wright or somebody. I’m going to be James Brown.”

James Brown in 1992

Brown won the Award of Merit at the American Music Awards in 1992

Last month Brown played at a ceremony at London’s Alexandra Palace which saw his induction into the UK Music Hall of Fame, 20 years after entering the US equivalent.

“He was dramatic to the end, dying on Christmas Day,” said US civil rights leader Jesse Jackson, who has been a friend of Brown since 1955.

“He’ll be all over the news all over the world today. He would have it no other way,” he told Associated Press.

Former BBC Radio 1 DJ Andy Peebles said he was “a one-of-a-kind, never-to-be-repeated star”.

And Bob Harris of BBC Radio 2 described him as a “massive influence, not just for black music but also for so many white music fans who were so strongly motivated and influenced by the music he made”.


Santa came to our house…

Rudolph

Did you leave out your milk and cookies last night?

I did

Last night hubby came home on the express run from Ottawa so we were home by six, after running some last minute stuffs from the grocery, we unpacked and got him resettled in. We watched a little tv and I was off to bed by nine, I was pooped.

This morning, I was up at 7 a.m. I waited until 7:45 a.m. and put a Christmas CD in the stereo – “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer!” as the coffee was brewing. Hubby finally got out of bed and we opened our gifts. The was the first time we have celebrated Christmas in our home – because we are usually in Ottawa.

We got some great gifts from my inlaws. My sisters in law usually put together these extremely beautiful gift baskets with all kinds of trinkets, bath accessories and for Liz, she and her hubby OWN an “A” style Canadian Tire in Guelph, they sent us a HUGE basket with goodies and brand spanking new fry/Stir Fry Non stick pans!! WOO HOO!! along with some kitchen stuffs, and we each got a Canadian Tire Gift Card! Fabulous.

For you Americans “The TIRE” is a Canadian Institution. You can buy anything and everything at The Tire. The Tire is n all purpose, get it all here kind of store. Not to mention the more you spend there, you get “Canadian Tire Money.” It’s like monopoly money that you can respend at the store or any Canadian Tire store.

Hubby did well too. He really liked the gifts I got him. I was crafty and took a stack of over a hundred photos and created our “wedding album,” that we got from a friend when we got married, but I never got around to filling it up, I did that Saturday night, while hubby was away. The album has all kinds of photos of my hubby throughout his life, with family pictures and some of us from our wedding and honeymoon. Crafty christmas gifts always work, because there is honest thought behind the gift. I got all “for klempt” when he opened that gift.

I got him some really nice gifts for his kitchen, since he is the chef of the house. I can cook too, but he got some nice stuff. For me, I got 2 dvd’s. Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away and Under the Tuscan Sun with Diane Lane. I LOVE those movies. And he got me Vincent Lam’s Giller Prize Winner – Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures, from this years Giller Prize Competition, here in Canada.

Hubby’s parents got me a beautiful Tommy Hilfiger Sweater and gift cards and we got a gift from Nana to spend, which is always nice. We had a nice Christmas morning. and the turkey is ready to go into the oven in a couple of hours. Woo Hoo…

We hope you all have a Merry Christmas Day…

We’ll see you after dinner this evening.


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