90 days ago, fresh out of rehab, a young man sat in a meeting at 8 p.m. and listened to someone share their experience, strength and hope with the people. This was our first introduction to junior.
He took his first chip and introduced himself to us and in the end signed up to become a member of our home group. Rick and I have worked tirelessly to help him stay on the path. Rick is getting all the work he needs with newcomers and folks with time. I’ve never seen someone gain so many sponsees over a period of time like him.
Tonight, our speaker shared from his heart. Brief, to the point, no turning back. We had a full house, (meaning all the tables were sat), and at the end of the meeting Rick proudly handed a 90 day chip to junior. He was very solemn and only asked one thing of our young charge, that he make it to six months, come December 31st.
It was a busy day today. We have been given a warning by transport Quebec that road work was coming to the neighborhood, by the sign of street cones lining Tupper from the Children’s Hospital, on the West, through to Fort on the East end. This morning, it started. The diggers and pounders were out in force, and that damned jack hammer worked digging holes in the street until three o’clock this afternoon. I don’t know what they are doing, but there are several holes in the ground at 10 foot intervals from end to end.
Earlier last week, they ripped up several sidewalks in the neighborhood and repaved them with fresh concrete. This upkeep stems from bitter winter damage from traffic and salt. They have been doing this all over the city.
I was up too early today. I wanted to sleep, but that didn’t happen. So I showered and headed over to Dawson to see what I could find in the bookstore. First I got my new ID, and wouldn’t you know it, the picture on my ID is terrible, I hate Id photos, they are always bad, the light isn’t right, my hair is all over the place and I am not 16 anymore. Most of the students at Dawson are still teen-agers…
Clearly I am a fish out of water in many respects. I am older than my professors. I am well older than all of my classmates combined. Sitting in class with kids, in all seriousness, is a challenge. I am here to work, not talk about boys and play with my cell phone. UGH !!!
Then I got in a lineup for the bookstore. I stood in that line for more than half an hour. Upon reaching my destination, said bookstore, I was directed to leave my backpack in the hallway in a cubby hole, and not bring my folder into the store, only my booklist. ok …
This bookstore is not the Concordia bookstore. It is small, cramped and piled up from one wall to the other from one end of the store to the cash. yet they pumped out hundreds of students over a short period of time. They did not have the coursepack I needed for Monarchs, but they had the book we need to read. They only had one of the two mandatory books I needed for French, needless to say I am fucked on that front. I am going to have to make a second trip into that store in the coming weeks to hopefully find the missing texts. What a nightmare …
I ran out of medication two nights ago, and only today was I able to pick up my refills at the pharmacy, because the government did not send my bursary through until 3 am this morning. I was jonesing, and I was tired when I finally made it home from school.
I had two hours to take a nap before I had to get on the move to get to the meeting in time to set up with junior. Hubby can lay down anywhere and within minutes is snoring … I wish I had that ability, seriously…
The jackhammer was going downstairs. The trucks were vrooming up and down the street. Deliveries were coming and going from the hotel downstairs as well. It was total sound pollution … Add to that a humidex of 36 and no air conditioner in the apartment and you hit the sleepless jackpot. My head was popping and I did not get an hours rest, I just laid there and ruminated …
I got into my afternoon routine, picked up milk, cookies and candles for the late meeting and set off. It was miserably hot outside and I was sweating like a pig. What I needed was a cold drink during set up, but I bypassed the 5 Seasons and only had water in my bag.
We got setup done in record time, and sat ourselves on the stoop outside the church and waited for the business meeting at 5:45.
We got the business taken care of. We planned on paper our 58th sober anniversary for the group. It will take place on January the 11th 2011. We have money in the kitty to pay for food, and plenty of time to get it into the blue sheets. It is far enough after the holidays to get regular traffic and hopefully more people from other meetings. We shall see how that goes. Traffic is spotty at best during the winter when it is – 20c outside and snow on the ground.
Now I need to eat, I need to take my pills and I need a good nights sleep…
This has been my sober rant for August the 31st, 2010.
Goodnight from Montreal.
Courtesy: Patronsaint – Memento Mori
Did you notice the new addition to the sidebar? This image came up on the Tumblr queue last night, and I had to add it to the showcase.
Sunday has come and gone. Hubby went shopping this morning and got me a new French/English dictionary for school. Hopefully tomorrow I will be able to get my books for class before hand. That is going to be a $120.00 expense. I still have to do my homework assignments from last week yet tonight.
I headed off to St. Leon’s for a meeting earlier. It is the last Sunday of the month so we read from the Twelve and Twelve, Tradition 9.
A.A., as such, ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.
We had a handful of people come to the first meeting, I had hoped to see Thomas and junior but they didn’t come. I need to give them a call before too long, it gets too late.
That is it for tonight. Maybe I will write more later.
Courtesy: Alt XY
The end of the week has come. And now for some fun. I got a call from Financial aide yesterday about my bursary that isn’t coming until Tuesday. The deadline to pay fees is Monday. I got an extension because the government fucked up payments again this month. The bastards …
We hit Friday West End tonight, Rick, junior and I. Junior’s day count ends on Tuesday with his 90th day. It is tradition as newcomers to count the first 90 days to bring them up to their first chip. He will be a May 31st anniversary next year. Which means his 6 months will fall at the end of the holidays. He is holding up ok at school.
It was a good speaker meeting. And at the end of the meeting, one of my friends, Mary – one of the women who used to belong to my home group Tuesday Beginners, took her 21 year cake, it was a festive night with cake and coffee.
I am gonna try to get to the 9 am meeting at St. Matthias tomorrow morning. We shall see.
That’s about all for tonight.
Courtesy: Go smoke a tree
The universe conspires to help you …
What a busy day today. Lots going on, and everything got done.
Today was my shift at the phone lines. It was busy all day long. We had a lot of calls on the morning shift and it was quite busy during the afternoon. I was able to get juniors 90 day chip while I was there. He better stay sober and make it to his 90 days or I am gonna make him eat that chip.
I spoke to Rick just a few minutes ago. He and junior went to Thursday Nighter’s in NDG to see Tom get his 19 year cake. Junior had a bad day today, hopefully tomorrow will be better. He will be pleased I am holding onto his chip. Hopefully …
I had to leave the office early and my replacement came an hour and a half early. We had a short chat about stuff and I took off at 4:30 to come home. As I walked into the station I heard that tell tale 3 tone alarm and the voice saying that traffic on the green line was stopped, I wasn’t sure how long we would be waiting on the platform. 3 trains came and went on the outbound rail side inside of 5 minutes of me arriving on the platform. Eventually a train came by on the inbound side of the rail. The trains were packed. There must have been a hold up somewhere on the line.
I got to school with a good hour to wait for my 6 p.m. class, I had a book with me so I sat in the classroom and read for 45 minutes. The class is a humanities class called Knowledge. When the prof walked in the room, I just about fainted. I don’t think he is even in his 30′s. He is quite young and wears a wedding ring on his left hand, so if he’s married he must be mature. He calls the class – “Judging Monarchs” in which we will be reading about different kings, queens and such, and by the end of the semester our final project will be to research a particular monarch and judge that person accordingly.
I think I am the oldest person in the room once again in this class. I only saw one familiar face in the class, a young lady who is in my French class.
He is a cute young professor. We had to pick apart a Christmas carol called Good King Wenceslas, to see if the good king really was a good king or not. It served as a good ice breaker, to get people talking. At the end of class he asked us to write a short info sheet on ourselves of why we were taking the class and when we graduated High School. I think he will be stunned when he reads my sheet. We will see what happens next week.
He let us out of class about 7:40, and I walked out front of the building and thought for a moment, what I wanted to do, either walk home or hit a meeting… I was halfway between both locations. I decided on the spot that I would walk up to St. Matthias since I had enough time to make it by 8 o’clock. It took me about 15 minutes to walk there. It was a good meeting, a small crowd.
Then I came home and now I am sitting here writing.
That was the day … More to come tomorrow…
Courtesy: Peace Riot
Today was a quiet day. Hubby was out for most of it. So I had a few hours to myself to sit quietly and enjoy the day as it came. Today was the first day / night of classes for me at Dawson.
A Mon/Wed French class. There are 8 persons in the class. 3 men including myself and 5 girls. I am the oldest in the room, my prof is younger than I am. Everything is in French. The work, the reading, the conversation, the syllabus.
There was no structure to the class as it happened. She flit from one topic to another randomly, assuming that we knew enough french to converse with one another… she was wrong. Oh well. We have homework for Monday. I need to buy several books for class.
That was the night in a nutshell.
Tomorrow I have a shift at intergroup. I need to get juniors chip and I am hoping that one of my old friend shows up so we can have a chat. That is what is on my mind right now.
More to come tomorrow. Stay tuned …
Living with a terminal illness myself, I know how tenuous life can become very quickly, when the cards turn against you. Over the past few days I have heard snippets of information from certain people that scare the living shit out of me.
You just don’t up and die … There has to be a good god damned reason why someone would up and die. The body has organs and once those organs go, you go with them. The liver is number one on the list of organs that, when it stops working, you either replace it or you die. Add to a healthy liver, Hepatitis A,B, or god forbid C.
Alcoholics, many of us, have extenuating circumstances. A good drunk might suffer liver damage so bad that the clock is ticking for some. My grandfather died from Cirrhosis of the liver, plus the trauma of a severe stroke, he never rebounded. And he died.
People with serious immune compromising issues take medication to keep disease at bay. I have heard it said over the past few days that my friend we are mourning, stopped taking his meds. That is like a form of heresy. I don’t know what to think or who to believe. But the information comes from a very reliable source.
I also was told that even in his sick state physically, that when a transplant was offered it was denied. He was so sick, that even if they opened him up and did the job, he would have died anyways and much quicker than what had happened in this case. It begs the question… Did he really have a death wish? How could someone so strong and viable go to their death in this way (the picture that is being painted for me) that it happened.
I just can’t fathom what would lead someone to make that kind of series of decisions. I guess he got tired of living. All you need is one fuck up, and all you need to do is quirk the body’s immune system to start reacting to disease, and the clock starts ticking. It is just very sad indeed.
I don’t have a death wish, and I have been on a good swing for a number of years now. Whatever I am doing is working, and somebody up there likes me because I am still alive and well.
I have been warned very many times that if I ever stopped taking my meds I was inviting a serious dalliance with death. You don’t fuck with a life threatening STD.
I just can’t get past the fact that this might have been avoided. I know that alcoholism is an insidious disease. Even sober, sober people can make stupid decisions. I am not one of those people.
I don’t know the facts. All I have to go on is heresay. I don’t want to know, because the truth might be worse than heresay. All I know is that a man a truly respected, a man who introduced my sponsor to me and guided me through my first run through the steps in early sobriety is dead and buried.
It is all so sad, unfair and unbelievable.
Once you start making death decisions, and you resign yourself to the fact that if you don’t do certain things, and take care of the vessel God gave you on this earth, that that vessel will fail. I mean for fucks sake, what the fuck…
may I never forget that the vessel I have is precious. And that the list of pills I take on a daily basis, tether me to life. I do my best to keep my end of the deal. I do what I am told, without question.
There is no argument. I am alive, and my medical team watches me like hawks. I don’t know how long this good run will last. it could end tomorrow, it could end next week. One day at a time, I will live.
If you are sick, you do what you are told. There are no such things as drug vacations. You just don’t stop taking your pills. Sometimes you can’t fight a sick body. Once the organs go, one at a time, or more than one, the rest follow in cascade failure. Then all you can do is wait for death, and hopefully face it with courage and faith.
I won’t sleep tonight. But I will remember this day and what is running through my head. Just another sober day in the life.
Eternal Rest grant him and may perpetual light shine upon him.
It has been a good day so far. This morning saw me walking to NDG to meet Rick early on so that we could attend the funeral for Mick up in Cartierville. We got there with plenty of time prior to the service to hob nob with the who’s who of Montreal sobriety.
There were a pair of pipers playing music outside the church, which was a very nice touch to the morning. There were more than 100 members there for the Christian rite of burial. I would say there were at least 200 people in the church. It was a beautiful service and mass. I haven’t been to mass in a long time, and I was amazed that along with the priest I can still recite the order of the mass rote by memory.
During the homily, the priest was walking around the church asking people to say things about Mick. At first nobody wanted to say anything for fear of upsetting the fine balance of mourning. But after a few minutes the priest says to the crowd … “If you had all walked into a BAR, I am sure you would have something to say about him!”
Needless to say that the room erupted in a roar of laughter. The priest realized that everybody in the church was SOBER, and many haven’t walked in a bar in years or decades. “Woops, the priest says outloud, “I seem to have stuck my foot in my mouth!” It was funny. Nothing like a little levity in a sad situation.
After the service there was a beautiful reception with food, drink and coffee. The reception hall was packed with mourners. We had a bite to eat and we spoke to a few people around the room, but then Rick needed to get back home to go back to work, and I came home on the metro.
Hubby applied for a special HBC card to do some shopping and it came in the mail today. Woo Hoo … $1000.00 worth of shopping goodness. Things are happening as they will – all in good time.
I need to eat and get going for the next portion of the evening. More to come later tonight …
I had a bite to eat, made some phone calls and set off for the meeting. Junior was waiting for me when I got there. It is always nice to have a second person to help set up and to chat with. The quiet is always nice, but it is a lonely job doing it alone.
Junior gave us our topic for the night… “Am I really an alcoholic?” There are numerous excuses I can use to have a drink, with the beginning of school, peer pressure to drink and use has begun for him and that little vicious voice says … aww, just one, you know you wanna… Everybody else is doing it … why not …
I can’t – it is just not what I want to do. Junior is coming up on his 90 day mark in the next week. I will be getting his chip from intergroup on Thursday afternoon.
The group rose to the call of helping him put voice to that little voice inside that tells us that we are not really alcoholics. Like the big book says …. Alcoholism is a disease that tells us that we don’t suffer from the disease of alcoholism. But we do. And the only way around it is a program of recovery. And daily maintenance is based upon our spiritual condition…
We talked about listening to people. Getting to know them. Coming to the same meeting week in and week out, over time, affords one the ability to read the neon sign above their heads as they come down that stairs. Come long enough to witness the miracle.
There was a lot of heartfelt sharing tonight. It was a great meeting. I love my people. And we do our best to take care of each and every one of them on a weekly basis. The flurry of meeting lists and getting phone numbers was crazy tonight. We have stepped up our A game.
So we’ll see where that takes us over the next weeks time.
Our speaker for the late meeting, came to us via Friday Finchley. I have been graced to hear her message before at Finchley and at Belmore. Tonight she was amazing. The message was great. You never know what is going to come up in your life on any given day in sobriety, and it is the task of a sober person to know how to handle those baffling situations when they pop up. That is the gift of sobriety. Over time, with time, when issues come up we can answer them with right action if we are diligent and sober.
Things in Montreal have been changing by the day. God is moving through the community it seems. People are facing adversity, people are dying right from under us, and it boggles the mind. It boggles my mind. When a sober person dies, the entire community mourns.
That is a gift of sobriety. My only wish is that when I die, that that many people come to see me off. I would hope that one day people would say that I made a difference in their lives. That is all we want out of life, to be able to help someone in sobriety. You can’t keep it unless you give it away.
Today we gave it away in a big way …
The muffin man has left the building, the angels weep and so do we, but there is a God and there is a heaven, and there is one big Irish man looking down from heaven tonight, telling us to carry the message forwards…
|Michael John Gilliece|
|GILLIECE, Michael John At the Royal Victoria Hospital on Saturday, August 21, 2010. Dear son of Noreen Whelan and the late John Gilliece, brother of Daniel (Gordon Barrie) and Patrick (Tina Tsovras) and loving companion of Robyn Diner. A Memorial Service and celebration of Mick’s life will be held on Tuesday, August 24, 2010 at 12 noon at the Transfiguration of Our Lord Church, 11775 Filion (corner Dudemaine). Visitation to precede the service at 11:30 a.m. The family would like to extend their special thanks to the Royal Victoria ICU and transplant staff at the Ross. If so desired, donations may be made to the charity of your choice. Arrangements entrusted to Armstrong Funeral Home, 514-331-1104.|
Friday has come and gone. A very productive day as well. I had called the college to speak to the coordinator of the French classes to see if I could change up my schedule, because once they place you, that’s it. I had left a message and this very kind woman called me back and we spoke for a little while. She explained about the course and why I was put where I was. Which means I am locked into a 90 course hours French immersion class on Mondays and Wednesdays for the next six months. OH GOD …. Can I do this ???
They say the older you get the harder it is to pick up a language. I got some facebook messages tonight from my francophone friends list and they have volunteered to help me through this. So that’s one in my favor.
I did some tumbling earlier. I got behind because of a hiccup last night in my nightly ritual. But I am back on my nightly routine.
Tonight the gang of three hit Friday West End. The room was packed as it usually is. There were a lot of people there. The Who’s who in Montreal sobriety. We are all a bunch of big celebrities aren’t we. It was a double whammy night with our speaker and Al taking his 20 year cake tonight.
Tonight was the second night this week that we heard a speaker who had come and got sober and decided at one point to leave the program and go back out and drink, and have to come back defeated my booze and drugs. It is just a reinforcing message that alcoholism is a cunning and baffling disease and it is also progressive.
Nothing guarantees our sobriety like working with new comers. And Rick and I have been carefully guiding our young Matthew in all things sober since his departure from the rehab a couple of weeks ago. He has almost 80 days now. We will celebrate his 90 day mark at the home group in the coming weeks.
Our speaker talked about not feeling all the “right” as she shared, she also mentioned that she would be taking her 12 year cake in the next two weeks. And I mused to the guys on the way home that she was on her “pre-cake” roller coaster ride. Matthew asked me to explain what that meant …
It usually begins about 30 days out from ones anniversary. When things in life begin to change, circumstances may be going good, or they might take a turn for the bad. You get emotional and start obsessing over things a little too much, which tends to get you going into your head, and everybody knows that an alcoholics head is not someplace most people go alone or without a hard hat. You begin to assess your life and your sobriety.
Every year you stay sober the pressure gets worse. Because you have a lot to think about over all the years you’ve been sober. Sometimes you get to escape this roller coaster, because you have learned how to pray and meditate and you maintain that conscious contact with the God of your understanding and things go swimmingly.
My anniversary is in December and I got sober before the holidays so that is always an exciting month for me. My anny on the 9th and Christmas and New Years to follow. I love winter sobriety. Because the winter separates the men from the boys and the women from the girls because you really have to work for sobriety in the winter because we are always traveling to meetings in the sleet and snow.
They mentioned at the meeting tonight that the area was beginning a sober shuttle to begin service this winter in the city, making sure people can get to meetings if they don’t have transport. I mean we are a completely covered by mass transit city. But you still have to walk from point to point to make meetings and 20 below is still 20 below. And that is cold …. brrrrr….
It is the weekend and we are jamming to SEA 89.5 on the digital dj box and tomorrow is St. Matthias 9 a.m. discussion meeting. I am going to try my damnedest to get to the meeting in the morning which means I should really get to bed in the next hour and get a good night’s sleep.
So I guess that is where I will stop for tonight.
Stay in the loop, and we will see you on the flip side…
I guess I am a college student again. I spoke to the adviser for language studies and she confirmed to me that the French courses that I have been sorted into are FOR CREDIT. Which means the province will cover those fees in financial aide.
It seems that all departments do not communicate correctly, because every time I speak to someone new, I get a new story and none of the stories are the same. I confirmed my classes for the fall semester.
I will be taking French as a second language on Mondays and Wednesday nights, from 6:30 to 9:30, and a Humanities course called Knowledge on Thursdays from 6 to 10. Now I wait for the province to issue my financial aide in the coming days.
Tonight is Friday and the three wise men will be going to a meeting tonight, I am waiting for Matt to call to sort out what meeting we will be hitting. Rick suggested a new meeting up on the plateau. That sounds like a good bet. More on that later tonight.
It is funny. They went so far to buy a computer for the office. It is loaded up with everything. And it is locked down. You can log in, and it opens up an Internet Explorer browser page, that only opens to one site. And only one site. The area 87 home page for meeting listings. Everything on the browser is in French. And the computer is password protected so it won’t let you surf while you are there.
At 1 pm the sun was shining out and it was beautiful. At 6 pm when I left the sky was leaden dark and it looked like Armageddon was going to happen. We were 12 stops from home at Pie IX station and it took 30 minutes to get home.
I got home, changed my clothes, called Rick and I left for St. Matthias. I walked through the mall and into the Westmount Square Tunnel. I met my friend Danny walking the same route. So we walked together. I even got a lesson in Westmount Architecture on the way. The walk seemed less trouble when you are with someone else.
Young Matthew was there. It was good to see him. It was a great meeting, the room was packed. We had a good time.
I had things to do today, and people to see. I got to bed around 3:30 in the morning and was up for 8:45 to make it to the clinic for my doctors appointment.
I have two doctors. They are brothers. One is my HIV doc, the other is my Diabetes doc. You’d imagine they talk. I saw HIV doc a couple weeks ago, and all my numbers were great. Today I saw the diabetes doc. The numbers were all good, except my cholesterol. I didn’t know that number could change within days of two separate lab draws. So he gave me the labs copy and I brought them down to HIV doc to see.
I got to the clinic at 9:05 this morning. A record door to door transit. I waited 20 minutes. Doc came out called my name asked me a few questions, and let me go. No triage, No meter maid, No interns today.
The day gets better…
Yesterday I joined Dawson in continuing education. They gave me my student number. And I went to financial aide to sort that all out.
Today, I had to write a placement test for french. They gave me a blank sheet of paper, I wrote my name, student number, and they said write something. I did… It was one sentence… “I do not speak or write french…” end of test.
After that I came home. Advising hours started at 1 o’clock. I walked back to campus at 12:30, knowing that there would probably be a line up for advisers. There was… I waited 15 minutes. When the adviser put in my student ID, they could not find it. The searched by my name, and we realized that the ConEd office wrote the number down wrong, which was why I could not get into the registration service online last night. UGH …
Then we talked about the french courses. Here is the kicker …
None of the preliminary courses are for credit. WHAT ??? unless you complete prerequisite courses then you are stuck taking remedial classes to reach the college level, then you can take FOR CREDIT courses. Well, that changes everything.
I left there and went back to ConEd. because they have me filed as a student outside Quebec, and I am a Quebec resident, they fucked me up a second time. They sent me to the registrars office to change the file, I waited in line, gave them my card again, and they said they did not have my fine, it was back at ConEd. FUCK !!!
I go back to ConEd. And they tell me that there are three stages to paperwork, first it goes here, then it goes there, and then finally it ends up where it is supposed to be. FUCK !!!
THEN, I go to financial aide again, bewildered about finances. I have been to financial aide 5 times in two days. There is ONE woman working in that office for the entire campus.
I tell her about the ConEd french, and it NOT being FOR CREDIT. Then she tells me that I need 12 credits for full time studies. But I am a student with Disabilities. (HIV is classed as a disability in Quebec). So then she knocks that down to 2 courses with 75 hours of credit time. In CeGep Quebec counts hours not credits for financial aide.
I have been over the river and through the woods all day long. I come home afterwards and try to register for classes. They are all at night Mon – Thurs from 6 to 9 or 10. Most of the classes in the book overlap french. FUCK ME !!!
I registered two courses Humanities and Western Civilizations, in addition to the french course I still need to register, but I won’t find out where they placed me until Friday. Which means I may get screwed for schedule. I don’t want to take class on Tuesday nights.
Damn Damn Damn Damn …
And I thought getting into University was tough… Dawson is small scale pittance, low on manpower and one person does not know what the other is doing. God grant me serenity …
All this running around to establish one thing … To take French. Now I have to take 2 more classes in addition to meet financial aide requirements in order to get funded. Because French is not for credit for me at this time …
Time for a nap, I am knackered…
This is where I will be attending classes this fall. Dawson College (CeGep) as they call it in Quebec. College, the step between high school and university. Usually you graduate high school and the logical step prior to university is CeGep if you don’t proceed to university straight off. It is a proving ground to take courses to prepare you for university.
I, myself, am taking a step backwards. After departing the graduate studies department at University, there was nowhere to go. I had used up all my undergraduate studies eligibility already in university, so I could not take any more undergraduate courses in university. And I could not continue as a graduate student after my rush to judgment expulsion because of my grades.
So this morning I ran to the clinic to get labs drawn for tomorrow mornings doctors appointment and then stopped off at Concordia to speak to my friend in financial aide. She suggested that I contact Dawson to see if I could get in to take language courses.
I walked over to Dawson and applied in the continuing education office. I filled out the paperwork and gave them a copy of my transcript from school, and they gave me a student number. I came home for a bit and went back to see the financial aide adviser to update my file for Quebec. She put in the numbers and Concordia released me to Dawson for the fall term. And tonight I have a calculation for financial aide on the books.
Where I could not get any money from the province to study further, I was able to get financial aide studying at the college level because I have not utilized college level academic eligibility. So for now, I am going to take a few classes at Dawson, some much needed French and maybe a couple others. This will complete the necessary requirement of French as a second language, which will help me later find a decent job in the city, because to date, I haven’t had one bite on any of my CV’s online.
It has been a long day. I was at the church at 3:30 this afternoon and we started set up around 4:45 when a couple people showed up early. We were done by 5:15. The first meeting was packed, we had about 25 people for the discussion. The boys showed up, which was good to see. Everybody participated in the discussion.
Numbers at the late meeting were down. I did not count for sure but I imagine we had about 18 people. I was chairing, because I had farmed the speaker for tonight. It was a good night all around.
So that was the day, very productive I should say.
More to come tomorrow. Stay tuned…
It has been a long day and night. Last night I stayed up all night to start trying to reprogram my circadian clock to a day cycle instead of a night cycle. I took an early shower in the morning and set off for the 7:30 a.m. Wood meeting just around the corner from home.
It rained… cats, dogs and little fishes.
There were a handful of people there, and since this is the eight month of the year, the daily reflections center around step 8.
“Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.”
I was sort of out of it during the meeting. I was jonsing off my night pill cycle into my day cycle. I did not share, I just listened and at the end of the meeting I made a quiet exit.
I came home and stripped off and went to bed, it was 9 a.m. I slept all day, into the evening. I did not see any of my boys at the early meeting, but I will see them tomorrow at the home group, tomorrow night.
I have to get to the clinic in the morning for my labs to be drawn for my doctors appointment on Wednesday morning. I don’t want to have to go in at 7 am and wait for three hours to see the doc.
I got a call today from intergroup asking if I would switch with someone for the Thursday shift at the phone lines. It seems, as I have been told, they are having problems filling shifts so I volunteered for several shifts over the next few months. i figured it was time to do some serious service, besides my home group.
I am tired and I am going to head off to bed shortly.
I am in a down mood tonight. I made it to the Sunday nighter’s meeting at our hall this evening. The first meeting is a literature discussion meeting and this week was “Living Sober.”
I found myself last night all discombobulated after following a number of discussions on Tumblr, that really bummed me out, so much that I unfollowed a number of people because I just can’t sit here and read the insanity going back and forth. It just isn’t sober behavior.
I wanted to get to a particular meeting yesterday, and I failed to make it. Which bummed me out. So I called Rick and he met me at Sunday Nighter’s with the coffee and supplies I needed for Tuesday night. And he stayed for the discussion meeting. We needed a speaker for Tuesday night, and so I asked Sharon to do that for me and she said yes. So it looks like I will be chairing the 8 o’clock meeting also on Tuesday, in addition to the 6:30.
I don’t know. Everyone I know is gearing up for school. Hubby included and I am not. Which puts me on the outside and I am feeling a little off. I don’t know what I want to do this fall. I need to get with financial aide to see if we can work out some money to keep studying something, and not be doing nothing next term.
I am doing a load of meetings every week. I am networking with my fellows and I am hoping by showing up that something will happen for me in the next to near future. But I just don’t know.
So it is back to basics and First things First, which is what we read today from the Living Sober book. So that’s where I am at the moment. We shall see where the night progresses to.
I didn’t see Matthias at the meeting, but I did see Thomas. It was good to see him. They will both be at the Tuesday meeting, so that is a good thing.
More to come, stay tuned …
It was a quiet day and a quiet night. I had planned to do several things today, and none of them got done much to my surprise. I got to bed a few hours before my 7:45 am wake call, and I was too groggy to make it out of bed after only 4 hours of sleep to make it to the 9 a.m. meeting. I may have to change my schedule at home to be in bed at a decent hour to make it up and to the bus stop in time to catch the bus to the meeting instead of walking all that way. It is about a 40 minute walk there, I walked it home the other night, it’s a long walk and the bus is a better bet.
I slept in for a few more hours and got up for 5:30. I was going to get ready and hit the 8 o’clock meeting in NDG. But once I started Tumbling, I realized that I did not feel like traveling tonight. The meeting, I have found had left me wanting more in the last few weeks, so I don’t think I missed very much.
Hubby cooked his famous pot of chili and it simmered for a few hours while we watched incessant programs about WWII. NatGeo has been doing overtime on Hitler and WWII all night tonight. And I think I am fed up with war time programming. Such is summer cable television.
So little was done at all tonight save a little tumbling. And at one point in the night I realized that the traffic had stopped and the conversations had begun … I had been Im’ming a friend on and off this evening. The photo quality had dropped off so I didn’t tumble very much in return. I only Tumbled 18 photos out of over 150 pages of images tonight. It was quality and composition in stead of quantity tonight.
Now my favorite show is on tv… Fantasy Homes by the Sea followed by Escape to the Country and Homes under the Hammer on BBC Canada.
I love this photo. A little winter never hurt anyone.
It was an eventful day. It’s been a long time since we’ve had a youngin’ in this place. So my day was devoted to making sure Matthias had his books, because he is going to the cottage for the weekend with his family.
I made a trip into Westmount to get a Big Book from our locker at the church. I am a trusted servant and have keys to the parish center. I was surprised to see that there was no daycare today.
We share common space with the nursery/day care groups.
It was a beautiful day so walking was really nice out.
This evening Matthias called to check in and we set out for Snowden to meet Rick to motor to Friday Central. It was packed, but every meeting, it seems, has its drawbacks. There is no other meeting hall in Montreal, like our meeting hall. For sound, lighting, cooling, and comfort, St. Leon’s puts every other room in the city to shame.
It was funny because as the three of us walked up to the church driveway, several people commented that “the Tuesday crew” was on final approach. Since Rick and I travel together to meetings all over the city. And since we are meeting chairs, it is up to us to find speakers for the month.
It was a good meeting. We do a lot of speaker meetings, and Matthias is looking forwards to coming on Tuesday for the discussion portion of the night.
I handed over the book on the way home and they dropped me off at Villa Maria Metro to come home. Hopefully Matthias will be all right for the weekend. He has my number. Let’s see if he uses it.
Working newcomers into the system from tough rehab is a challenge, and only if all parties are willing.
So that was the day. I think I may hit St. Matthias in the morning for the 9 a.m. meeting. Maybe I will get to sleep at a normal hour tonight. Or maybe not.
It was a good day. We are fostering a new pigeon just out of rehab here in the city. His name is Matthew. He showed up on Tuesday night for the later meeting and he asked to become a member. Something you don’t see very often. So he helped us break down and got himself a booklet and we coordinated him to the next meeting which was tonight.
I got out of the house early tonight to get the bus that runs East-West on Sherbrooke E. I forgot to look at the stop map because I waited 15 minutes for a bus to take me 8 blocks from home.
I made it with 20 minutes to spare. I hung out front with my friends while waiting for Matthew to show up. We were sitting out front of the church watching traffic go by, and Matt zoomed past us on his banana board and down the hill and back.
The meeting was packed. I’d never seen that many people show up for that meeting before. Our speaker came all the way from the Laurentians to speak. He was born a long time ago, and had a story of woe and sadness. But, he is sober now 25 years. He had some sage advice.
1. Find an old man to sponsor you… not to many of those to be had in the city.
2. Get a big book and read 12 pages a night, until you finish the first 164 pages and then read it again.
3. Go to meetings, sit down, shut up and listen.
4. And don’t drink …
He went on for more than an hour. I heard several watches beep at the top of the hour. Very few people shifted in their seats. Nobody got up and left before the meeting ended. I like my piece of advice for speaker meetings,
5. For an hour, don’t think… just listen…
After the meeting Matt and I hung out front for a few minutes and coordinated tomorrow’s meeting. We will meet at Snowdon and hit Friday Central at St. Columba. I confirmed plans with Rick when I got home from the meeting tonight.
Hopefully all will go to plan. We’ll see tomorrow…
Courtesy: The Curve of the Earth
It was a gorgous day today. The sky was blue, the breeze was blowing and everything in my world was fantastic.
I had to go up to intergroup to get literature for our home group, and I also picked up a collectors medallion from the 75 annual convention that took place in San Antonio in July. I don’t get my 9 year medallion until December.
While I was there, I stopped by the office where the English help line is located, since I am working the phones on the 26th of August. I was pleasantly surprised to see my old friend Stan there manning the phone lines. He is a wise old bird, with a wry sense of humor. We got to talking a bit, and he said that it seems that people are loosing enthusiasm for meetings and “doing service” in AA.
The old timers are staying home, and newcomers are not rooting themselves in home groups like they used to when I got sober. Which also speaks to the fact that there are only 4 active members doing the work at TB, and only 2 of us chairing both meetings, getting speakers every week. More on that in a few …
The next time I go up to intergroup I have to bring my camera, because the office is 2 blocks from the Olympic Stadium complex, when Montreal hosted the Summer Games in 1976. It is quite a beautiful building when you get up close to it. I have to get some pics before season ends and winter sets in.
I got home with a couple hours to spare before leaving for set up. I left with plenty of time to get all my work done with plenty of time to finish “House Rules” by Jodi Picoult. I did not like the end of the book. All that story telling to end on a page and a half of text … What a rip off… I have to go back and read the last chapter again.
So we talked about “Opportunity” during the first meeting, and there was a good group of people there. A few newbies, a few oldies, and a few in-between. One of my pigeons, who came to our meeting many years ago, but left, came back tonight. We remembered each other. Hopefully he will come back next week.
We had 24 people show up for the late meeting and the kitty was quite full for the night. We even picked up a new member, a young man from Portage Rehab center here in Montreal. We got him signed up and loaded his book with phone numbers. Hopefully he will use them and hit some meetings with us in the coming weeks.
Our speaker for the night was a very quiet and humble man with considerable time, and one who gives back whenever he can, we’ve been trying to get him to our meeting for the past month, and tonight the stars aligned and he was able to make it and speak.
I guess I have been practicing the fine art of patient listening to speakers from across the spectrum lately. It is a good lesson to work with in sobriety. For an hour, don’t think … just listen …
So that was my day. Full, Free and Complete …
Courtesy: Alt XY
It was an ok day. Rick and I went back and forth on the phone about group finances and tomorrow I have to go up to intergroup to get more literature, which is WAY up on the Green Line at PIE IX station at the Stade Olympic.
We got to a meeting tonight over at Belmore, the same location as Friday Finchley. They use the same space but enter through a door on the opposite side of the building. We went to support Rene who was speaking tonight. We heard her share at Finchey a few weeks ago, the night they were sacrificing babies upstairs.
There is not much else going on, I need to get some dinner soon.
Much more to come, stay tuned…
“Couldn’t stop myself…”
It was a quiet day. I did not make the 9 a.m. meeting this morning because I went to bed close to 6 this morning, after spending 3 hours reading “House Rules.” The book is finally going somewhere.
I called Rick to see if he would be up for the 8 p.m. meeting and he called back to say he was going to pass. I was showered and ready to go by 7 o’clock. I made all my transfers quickly so it only took me 25 minutes to complete the transit.
There were a few members in the park, before hand so we hung out there until the coffee was ready. None of the members I know were there, and some people I was expecting to see there, didn’t show up, which means I didn’t get a backup for Tuesday.
Once again tonight, I sat for a meeting, and I listened. They did not get a speaker for the meeting, so by default, they pulled a guy from the home group to speak instead. I don’t think he has ever spoken before. From the story, I gathered that he was a generation behind me because he kept mentioning the 50′s and the 60′s.
I sat and I listened. Patiently.
I don’t know, every time I go to this particular meeting, I leave there wanting more. Did I miss something? I don’t think I did. We all take a path in, not one path is the same. At least I showed up and participated.
That is all … Almost time for dinner…
I completed my read of “The Moonlit Earth” two nights ago. I must say that Christopher Rice gets better and better with each successive book he pens. There is a running theme throughout all of his books that deal with gay relationships. And he did not disappoint me in this book.
What starts out is a bomb attack at a Hong Kong hotel, and Cameron, a young beautiful flight attendant is a prime suspect of what authorities are calling a terrorist attack. His sister Megan goes on the offensive trying to clear his name, and is taken on a whirlwind tour of Hong Kong and the South Pacific.
What is truth and what is fiction, who did it and why? All these questions and more get fleshed out in this thrilling read of intrigue, mystery and friendship. The story of Aabid and Cameron’s friendship is beautifully written, in what we think might be an inappropriate indiscretion turns out to be Cameron’s saving grace.
“I know the truth, and if you don’t tell her, I will…”
There are so many twists and turns in this book, that if you skip one word you might miss something crucial in the telling of the story. Which brings me to my next comment… This book is a true page turner and had me caught up in the story so well, that I spent almost four hours reading the other night, I couldn’t put the book down.
Rice writes like a seasoned author. His ability to weave characters and story lines are a master stroke. Like his mother, Anne Rice, he really knows how to build a back story and fill in all the spaces with detail with his effortless story telling.
This book is a beautiful work of art, bringing together the East and West, and even a bit of Middle Eastern tradition and religion. You will not be disappointed by this book. Christopher Rice has written, I think, his best work yet in “The Moonlit Earth.”
In keeping with the Summer 15 series, today I purchased another two books to add to my summer reading list. It was a joy to open my mailbox to discover that my friend Donald sent me a $50.00 gift card to Indigo books.
I had to go to the village for some items – which is always a nice ride on the train to the other side of the city. The gay village streets are closed to traffic and there are terraces open on Ste. Catherine’s street which was really nice. I got in and out of Priape with little fuss.
On the way home I stopped off at the Eaton Centre for lunch at BK, and then strolled into Indigo. I had looked at a few selected titles the last time I was there, last week so I knew what I was going to buy.
I usually troll the entire authors section looking for books that jump off the shelves and peak my interests. Here is what’s up next on the read list:
1. House Rules – by Jody Picoult. A story about a boy with aspergers syndrome, who gets into crime fighting. It looks like a good read. Several of my friends are reading other selected works by this author. I saw those books, but this one stuck out amongst her collected works.
2. Heresy – by S.J. Parris – A historical thriller. “Heresy is a must read for every fan of historical thrillers, S.J. Parris transports the reader back to an extraordinary time in history by mobilizing fascinating details, suspense, and fully drawn characters. Giordano Bruno turns out to be that rare hero, charismatic and nuanced enough to impel an encore and to leave us asking for more from the gifted Parris.”
That was my adventure for today. Maybe a meeting tonight, we shall see. I haven’t heard back from Rick yet.
More to come, stay tuned…
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – A federal judge on Wednesday struck down a California ban on same-sex marriages as unconstitutional, handing a key victory to gay rights advocates in a politically charged decision almost certain to reach the U.S. Supreme Court.
U.S. District Court Chief Judge Vaughn Walker also ordered the voter-approved ban, known as Proposition 8, immediately lifted to allow gay and lesbian couples to marry while the case moves to a higher court.
Prop 8 supporters had sought to keep the measure in place pending the outcome of their appeal.
But Vaughn said the lawsuit challenging Prop 8 “demonstrated by overwhelming evidence” that it violates due process and equal-protection rights under the U.S. Constitution.
“Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license,” Walker wrote in the conclusion of the 136-page opinion.
Outside the federal courthouse in San Francisco, a cheer went up among a group of about 70 same-sex marriage supporters carrying small U.S. flags, as a large rainbow-striped flag — the symbol of the gay rights movement — waved overhead.
The highly anticipated ruling marked a major turning point in a social debate that has sharply divided the American public and its political establishment.
Gay rights advocates and civil libertarians have cast the legal battle as a fight for equal rights, while opponents, including many religious conservatives, see same-sex marriage as a threat to the “traditional family.”
Both sides have said an appeal to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was certain regardless of the outcome on Wednesday. The case could then go to the Supreme Court, provided the high court’s justices opted to hear it.
(Editing by Steve Gorman and Sandra Maler)