It has been an uneventful weekend. Snow is falling on the city and should end sometime this evening. But this is a good representation of what it looks like outside right now. It has been blustery all day into tonight.
I left early so that I could snap some shots of the mall renovations and I did that on the way out. On the way back we walked the tunnel to come home and I attempted to snap a few more, but got caught by security telling me that photographs were not allowed. WTF ???
When I got home, I could not find my computer cord for the camera so that whole job was a waste. No cable, no photos … FML !!!
The renovations are getting bigger and bigger. As many of the shops on that ground floor are now shuttered and dark and it seems that the new Target is going to be huge. They’ve basically gobbled up three quarters of the Metro floor from one end to another.
We all arrived at the church early, seeing the weather was a bit dismal. And we had a modest showing. We read more of the Big Book. YAY !
All of my stories are getting old. But they rise from my memory when ignited by reading of certain texts.
Not much else to say tonight. Not a very great start to the year in writing I must say, but more to come, so stay tuned…
It has been a cold couple of days. We are sitting at (-13c) at this hour with a little snow falling over the city. With the beginning of the year, and the beginning of the month, I’ve been running to and fro lately.
I was up with the birdies this morning because I had to go drop labs at the hospital for my upcoming appointments, one the end of this month and the second the beginning of next month.
I left early enough and hopefully there wouldn’t be a mass of folks waiting for labs to be drawn. I had to go get my lab sheet from the clinic and pop upstairs to the draw room. Thankfully I took my number and didn’t even sit down, and they called my number, so I was in and out in less than twenty minutes. Swoosh !!!
I stopped by to see a friend who works at the hospital because we missed each other over the holidays. I made the next bus coming down the hill to come home. I’ve been having a problem with my left hip, I must have slipped or landed off center and pulled a muscle because it has been painful over the last couple of days. Hubby went out and got me some pain medication to take and I took a nap this afternoon and took a pill and the pain was lessened greatly.
This evening I was up and ready to go by 7. I was going to meet a friend to walk up to the stop for the 104 at 7:20. They have been working diligently in the neighborhood to collect the snow and cart it away. However, in Westmount, they haven’t plowed away the snow banks. They have their own snow operation, and they don’t use city help.
We arrived early for the meeting. One of our Tuesday members spoke tonight. It was the second time I have heard her share, the first time was at 5 o’clock shadows some time ago. It was good to hear how things have changed over the past few months.
When our lady was drinking, being first, the preachers daughter and later the doctors wife, she kind of lost her voice and herself in the process of living. And once she came into the rooms she began to reconnect with herself and find her voice.
Over the past year she has done exemplary service to the community at large, she cooks meals on wheels and gives back to her rehab community here in the city, she is our Tuesday night group secretary and she cooks for us, shops for us and is a great all around woman of the group.
At the end, one of the Thursday night St. Matthias group members took a 23 year cake. It was a packed house with lots of women coming to support her, we all had cake and lots of conversation.
A good night was had by all.
We took caravan home, and I did some supermarket Safari on the way home.
Wau Lam … That is all …
More to come, stay tuned …
Tomorrow is New Years Eve. And it will definitely be a cold one in the Big Apple. This year some folks I know from the Tubes will be in the crowd watching the ball fall and ring in the New Year in the middle of it all.
I went back and perused some old posts from the past year, like my prospectuses and I chose one post per month to see where my head was and whether or not it was screwed on in the right direction. But let’s start with some numbers shall we?
In the year 2011 … I posted 260 posts. Uploaded 404 photos and we ranked 28,000 page views in that calendar year.
In the year 2012 … I posted 272 posts. Uploaded 326 photos and we ranked 47,000 page views in the last calendar year.
That is a rise of 19,000 views.
The goal I had set was to best 28,000 page views and You did that.
To date there are 99 followers of the blog. Which has grown exponentially in the last year. Somebody at Word Press pushed a button for me and the last year has seen an explosion of visitors from 160 countries from all over the world. Ranked first was the United States, Second was Canada, and in Third Place is the United Kingdom.
I don’t know what turned the tide, but I was consistent with my writing, as you all came on board and the numbers began to rise, I wrote more. With the new “LIKE” feature, several weeks went by and I hit records with “liked” posts.
I can only guess that where ever you are you enjoy reading what it is that I write about. And I appreciate all that you have given me this past year.
Let’s see, what do I want to say next? I hit more than 200 meetings in 2012. Which span four nights a week at one point. But I backed down to three for the last 8 to 9 months.
I will start with my 10th sober anniversary. On December 9th 2011. A few months prior to that anniversary, I was bored with my routine, and I was looking for something exciting to happen. I was going to a certain meeting on a Friday night, a speaker meeting. There was an old timer whom I became friends with and he introduced me to many books about the Real Old Timers. One of those books was called 1000 Years of Sobriety. 20 stories from men and women who have been sober more than 50 years.
I joined that group eventually. And did service there for a few months. The culmination of my time there afforded me a Gold Dipped 10 year Medallion on my 10th anniversary. I also got my first Tattoo for the occasion.
But you know, when it comes to people, if you piss me off, I usually write you off. And I had beef with a man who turned me away from service and then I had some readers who would critique what I was writing and bash me for some of the things I was writing. If you don’t like what is here, then go away !!! I got good practice in De-Friending people on Facebook. I stopped going to that meeting and withdrew my membership. Because after a while, I came to see that I didn’t want what they were peddling.
At our Home Group of Tuesday Beginners, we grew from three members setting up and hosting two meetings a week, One a discussion and the other a Speaker meeting, we dropped the speaker and changed format to a Literature Discussion meeting at 7pm on Tuesday night. One night our most dedicated ladies came and said that she had come to join the group because she heard we needed help. And after that more than twenty women followed her.
These Women with Lots of Sobriety came. And they brought their sponsees to the meeting. And now Tuesday Beginners has 23 members. More than half of them are women. I open the room early and every week, like clockwork, they come in two’s and three’s and four’s to read for an hour. And I have grown to love these women with all my heart. They have done great things for many people.
We have become a tributary of New York City. Many of our girls are city gals who travel between Montreal and New York. And we have adopted many practices from New York at our meeting. There are so many folks that there aren’t enough jobs to go around, so we shortened the chair to two week stints, we have a gaggle of greeters, and directors for sponsorship, set up and clean up and literature folks.
The best new thing of the year is that we have a fair amount of LGBT folks at our meeting. Something that I am very proud of. For many years, LGBT folks were scattered around the city – and you would see them here and there. There is an entire city of LGBT folks in the rooms. And we have our own handful and I try to take good care of them. I share all my big events with my people. We are an open and welcoming group to all who come.
This past Winter 2011, saw me work my steps again. I started in a step group, just prior to my 10th anniversary. And I was slated to speak on my anniversary and the chair of the step group gave me a smart ass comment, which did not go over very well. Needless to say I didn’t finish my steps with them. I left the group and worked them directly with my sponsor.
I had a sponsee for a season. And that did not go very well either. And now we are no longer friends and we don’t hit the same meetings either, which is good. Words were said, egos and feelings were hurt, and nothing came of that. Sad.
I could not see sponsoring someones Face Book Statuses. That’s not how it works.
That left me free for the balance of the year to maintain my weekly routine.
I finished School at Dawson College last Spring 2012. I had used up all the credit hours that the province gave me and racked up some good grades, in the end I came away with some new knowledge having taken many different courses over two years time. And when that ended that put A LOT of time on my hands, to find something to do with.
I wrote the State of Our Union in January setting forth hubby’s time line of what was going to happen when. He was supposed to finish his M.A. last summer, and that did not happen. Thank you mental illness.
We were supposed to be riding high on the hog because with his M.A. he would be gainfully employed teaching, but he decided that teaching was not what he now wants to do. Which will parlay into some marketing job in the near future.
New income was supposed to see us into bigger digs not far from here, and we were going to furnish that space with new furniture and really great decor. And that did not happen. Hubby is still writing his thesis for his supervisor. She granted him a shit load of time to work on it. I was more “put a stick up his ass” and make him finish it already, but he is taking his sweet old time. Which keeps me in this holding pattern until he actually does finish his thesis.
We saw his best friend finish and defend her M.A. in the summertime, and now she is back here in Montreal working on her PHD. Hubby could have been there too if he hadn’t fucked off on his work for so long.
We are managing the house we live in and we are living inside of our means. We live very simple lives. This year also afforded me some of the promises. Some of the promises that have been elusive to me came to pass this year, which is a great blessing.
To date, I have lived another calendar year. Which brings us to my 18th year living with AIDS. The pills are working well. And I have been in good health for the entire year. A good year is one that nothing goes wrong with you, like flu or pneumonia or any other AIDS related sickness.
I haven’t dropped labs in some time, and I need to do that because I see the doctor in January, and they are going to have to push that back because I haven’t gone up the hill to do labs. My doctor did say at my last appointment that new meds were coming down the pike and that he would be changing up my pills in opt for some new ones that are once a day dosing and not twice. In his words, I am taking too many pills. I’ve been taking too many pills for a long time.
What have I learned this year? I’ve learned that I live simply and love deeply. Hubby and I are on the same page in many ways. We get along well and we take care of each other. I like this story that on our anniversary, hubby went to a store and bought a card, signed it and enveloped it. The next day, our anniversary I went to a second store and bought a card. Signed it and enveloped it too. And when we opened them, the cards were exactly the same card.
Every year you stay sober, in the beginning it is an outside job. You get to clean up and sort out your life. You read the books, and work your steps and things begin to change. Now that I am beyond my first decade of sobriety, it has come to pass that it has been a very inside job for me.
I have foibles and short comings. I did not do everything right this year. I made some crucial mistakes. I upset some folks, and I ended some relationships that were not working out. I don’t do well with egos and attitudes, or assholes and stupidity. Ignorant is right up there as well.
I turn back to my books that keep me on the beam. I Heard the Owl Call my Name and Nobody to Call me home. I’ve learned a lot about people in the last year. Some good, and some not so good.
I’ve read a number of books this year.
- The Bishops Man
- I Heard the Owl Call my Name
- No One to call me Home
- The Alchemist
- The Way is made by Walking
- Looking for Alaska
- Harry Potter – assorted
- The Historian
- The Wounded Healer
- The Life of Pi
- We Need to Talk about Kevin
- Many Live Many Masters
- John the Baptizer
- Christ the Lord Out of Egypt
- Memory and Identity JP II
- Why He is a Saint – JP II
- The God Box
- Out on Holy Ground
- From Boys to Men
- Halfway Home
- Living on Borrowed Time
- The Betrayal
- John Paul the Great
That’s a long list.
I think I am finished writing this piece. I’ve hit all my bullet point on my outline and I covered the bases on what is going on in my life today. The goal for the next year is to best my numbers that I posted earlier tonight.
Welcome to all my new followers. And as always, if you want me to talk about something or you have a topic that you would like me to write about just drop me an email (email@example.com).
Thank you all for the great year, let’s now turn our eyes to 2013.
I am sure there is more to come, stay tuned …
Sunday Sundries … Everything You Wanted but didn’t get for Christmas is on Sale Now at Sears … edition.
Courtesy: CharlieBeechGrove …
It is a bitter (-14c) out. The streets are slowly getting plowed. But in my neighborhood, there are mountains of snow all over the place. I heard the ring of the prep truck as I came home, so they must be working on this end of town tonight.
It has been an uneventful weekend. It being cold and snow all over the place, we did not venture far from home at all. Hopefully this week I can go drop labs and go shopping for the books I wanted to get for Christmas.
And they sing … Everything you wanted but didn’t get for Christmas is on sale now at Sears … remember that jingle from a long time ago???
I was out early tonight, because trudging through snow is slow going. And I must say that the homeless in this neighborhood are getting quite rowdy.
Because it is cold they are in the malls, sitting outside restaurants, and sleeping in the Westmount Square tunnel and the Metro station kiosks. Which is usual because shelters only hold so many, and many of our homeless won’t go to shelters, they choose to stay outside, and eventually they will get evicted from the inside spaces by the cops.
But they are very mouthy and I’ve noticed over the past week that they get in your face and don’t let go, which is unnerving and you know, if I gave change to every homeless person I saw, I’d be poor myself. But they are relentless.
I met our coffee person on the way to the church and we opened up a little early and the group before us set out more chairs than usual, they were in a speaker format setting, so I didn’t have to put out many more chairs.
We were missing some folks – people are traveling for the New Year so it was a small sitting.Since it is the last Sunday of the month, we read from the Twelve and Twelve and Tradition Twelve.
“Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.” Which translates into :
Who you see hear, what you hear here, when you leave here, let it stay here.
The discussion went all the way around the room and we ended really early, which meant we were out of the church soon after.
Tomorrow is New Years Eve. And I have to pull together some type of end of year review and I don’t really want to sift through more than 300 posts to draw some narrative for you, but that is in the pike now.
The WordPress monkeys sent me my end of year report which I posted just now, you can all take a look at it. It is quite interesting.
Stay tuned, much more to come.
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 47,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 11 Film Festivals
This is a new record. Two motion pictures in a weeks time. Well, one motion picture and the lauded Best Musical of all time tonight.
It was a date night event. We went out for dinner prior to the movie where we were hassled by a homeless man over dinner, which began the upsetting part of the night. He just wouldn’t leave us alone. And words were said…
The we arrived at the theatre and we were the first two in the room and got our seats up in the back center screen. And a good number of people followed. A row in front of us to the right, a couple were sitting and conversed amongst themselves throughout the entire movie.
You know they tell you to turn off your phones prior to the main event, but they sure as shit don’t tell you that voices carry in an otherwise silent theatre. Hubby was not amused and several times, almost getting out of his seat yelling shut up at the talkers.
The musical was epic. I can see Anne Hathaway going home with a golden statue or two this awards season. I have seen this production on Broadway some number of years ago. The music was heavenly and the “sing through the movie worked really well, there were very few spoken words the entire almost three hour run time. All of the characters on screen were strong. And it was a who’s who in movie talent.
I give the film ten Oscars out of ten. A must see if you are a “musical” person.
Courtesy: Flickr James Clear
There is a lot of snow on the ground. 45 cm worth. The snow began overnight and fell into today. I went out to the Provigo a little while before I was to set out for the meeting, and there was snow everywhere. Un-plowed snow reached three and four feet deep in some areas. Crossing the intersection was a chore.
The plows were working overtime to get the streets passable. I was supposed to meet a friend at the corner to catch a bus at 7:20, so we set off around 7 to walk up to Cabot Square, it was slow going. Like I said, there was snow everywhere.
We waited a few minutes for the bus as it came up Atwater hill to the stop and several people got on. It was a short ride to Metcaf and Westmount has its own street plows besides the city plows and the streets were plowed the sidewalks were un-passable. So we walked up the street.
Outside the church someone was shoveling snow from the doorway, but between he and us was a 4 foot snow drift that we had to climb over to get to the sidewalk, my friend started over the drift and at the top he doubled over and fell head first into the snow rolling over his head – it was quite funny. I fell over the drift as well, I had snow all over me. Thank god nobody got hurt.
A small group of people braved the snow to come to the meeting. You know the die hard folks who brave a winter storm to get to a meeting. I knew the speaker and I got to thank him at the end. I heard many common themes come from him and the take away was this … The best idea to come from the Big Book, is the idea of a Power Greater than Ourselves.
I was watching Oprah’s Master Class last night and she talked about God, or a universal power that was greater than she. And she said that we grow up and go into the world – but we go out not alone. We can’t do it on our own. We need something bigger than ourselves to help us. And that is God.
Before many get sober, the idea of something greater than ourselves is foreign. But eventually, when we get sober, we learn about this concept and we come to find that power greater than ourselves.
Our caravan driver made it to the meeting, so we had a ride home and didn’t have to wait for a bus in the snow.
It was rather pretty out – freshly fallen snow piled high here and there. We hit a new record with today’s storm accumulation. 45 centimeters.
It was a good night.
More to come, stay tuned …
It was a great Christmas Day. I hope you all had a great day as well. We are sitting at a balmy (-9c) at this hour.
We were up around 11 this morning and I put the turkey in the oven to bake around noon, for a 3 p.m. dinner time. This was the first year that we shared our table with guests. I had invited a good friend over for dinner today. We had good food, great conversation. Hubby talked his ear off … He spoke more words today than he usually does in a weeks time … I kid.
We had a simple gift exchange this morning. Since we really did not specify what we wanted exactly, I bought a couple of items for hubby, and he bought me a couple of beautiful shirts. I can always use shirts.
I did the dishes while hubby entertained our guest, and he and I set off for the church around 4:45 for a 5 p.m. arrival. It was a cold night so we traversed Westmount Square. It was odd walking through the tunnel and the Metro Station and having it basically deserted because of the holiday.
On the way through the mall we stopped to see just how Target is going to extend the store outwards from the original front of the space. And it seems that they are expanding out some 30 feet into the mall, and more than 100 feet to the side all the way to the “Yellow” store. That’s about all the space they can have seeing there is a diner directly in front of the appropriated space unless they push them out and they take that space as well. They really can’t extend out any farther because there are retail shops to the opposite side of the store front.
Set up was quick because there were two of us working. Which gave us some time to sit and chat before folks began trickling in. And I was surprised that we sat 23 folks, a good turn out for Christmas. We read from Living Sober and “Being wary of Drinking Occasions.”
Living Sober is a great “first book to read” when you just come in to the rooms. Even before you set eyes on the Big Book or the Twelve and Twelve. Because it deal with REAL life situations. And addresses all those things you might ask about with real advice and guidance. Several members spoke to that point tonight. It was apropos to read this passage, somewhat a longer reading than most of them, but important nonetheless.
It spoke about being wary of drinking occasions. And it gives advice at how to navigate the sticky topic of the fact that we don’t drink, and it gives prudent, honest advice as to how to navigate this topic with friends, family and coworkers. Since it is the holiday season, we get a reminder of just how we can navigate the holiday party, family gathering or night outings with friends.
We went around the room once – everybody got in. And we finished up around 8:15. Several folks brought food, candy, cookies and nachos. And in the end we packed up all the goodies because everybody was stuffed from Christmas dinner. So we will have goodies galore next week on New Years Night.
It was a beautiful bright sunny day. We have a little snow on the ground. And if the forecasters are correct, we will get a 20 cm dump on Thursday. We are hopeful for a good dusting or more.
A good day was had by all. For many at our meeting, this was their First Sober Christmas. And they chose to spend part of their night with us. We are blessed. Many of my friends came to the meeting after serving meals to the community all afternoon. We all believe in random acts of kindness, and many of us did service in some shape or form today. Which made the day rich and hopeful.
In the end, a little kindness went a long way.
I hope you had a good day and we will see you tomorrow.
More to come, stay tuned.
Holiday Greetings from Montreal.
5 o’clock and the time ticks away …
I made three trips for supermarket safari. And this last trip I got in just under the wire. The store was packed 6 deep and more with three wickets open.
People here are NOT in the Christmas Spirit mood. Especially when you are in the mad dash and dart express checkout. Because the express check out also does lottery, bottles, returns and all that crap.
I got in line – there were 5 people ahead of me. And I waited. The man in front of me had four items and he was playing push me pull me in line. He was openly in a hurry because he kept moving to the head of the line around folks to see what the cashier was doing. (bottles)
A woman behind me started bitching about the wait. And I was like you get to wait because he is also doing bottles and check out, bouncing from one register at the bottle station and the express register. She clearly was not happy at all.
As I stood there, the 15 minute to closing announcement was made. People were crammed in line. Finally our little man got to my checkout and I was out of there.
Patience is a virtue except when you are in the express check out line.
Hubby should be at the bus station right about now. And should be home in a little while.
More to come, stay tuned…
Nothing says Christmas like Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry…
It is Christmas Eve.
I was up late last night. I finally got my turkey prepped – it was 2 in the morning, and I was gutting necks and gizzards and tossing them. So that is ready for the oven now.
The Polar Express was on late last night, so I watched that – ending around 3 in the morning. Why they would put a Christmas movie that late at night is beyond me. Good nonetheless.
I got some sleep and was up early today because I needed to supermarket safari to get some final goodies for tomorrows gastronomical extravaganza. Came home dropped off the food and turned around and headed back out to the mall.
I didn’t spend much time shopping this year as hubby only gave me a short list and one of the two items he wanted was out of stock, so I got him the other. But I thought that I needed to get something else for him, so at the mall I spied something I think he might like. I did some other assorted shopping, quick and painless. Nothing like waiting for the last minute to shop !!!
Now I am home, awaiting Hubby’s coming home phone call.
We have Booty from the in-laws and such and so forth.
Tomorrow is the big feast and meeting night.
Stay tuned, more to come.
I haven’t heard from hubby in two days time. This is the longest we have been apart since the holidays last year. He didn’t call home last night, I figured he went to bed early and forgot to call.
However, I was up late, watching tv and eating pie !!! I bought a blueberry pie yesterday because I wanted something sweet, and this pie is cloyingly sweet.
I slept in today and was up around 3. I was ready to go to my Sunday meeting early because I needed to stop off at Pharmaprix to get some things. The mall is several floors high. The shops sit on three floors accessible by escalators up and down.
Zeller’s was located on the Metro level downstairs. And out front of the store was a staircase that connected the Metro and first floors. That staircase is now gone. I don’t know how they removed it because it was a stone banister with stone steps and pretty hardy a structure. Nonetheless they took it out.
Zellers is but an empty shell of a space. It is very odd seeing the empty space. I am told, talking to friends that they are expanding the existing area – however I don’t know where they would expand, because there is no front space to take up so they would have to expand in the back and to the sides. They can’t go very far with the either because of the Metro train tracks that run along the far side of the store.
I arrived at the church earlier than planned. So I cranked out chairs and tables, my coffee lady showed up a few minutes after I got there. We had a good showing of folks for the meeting. I was happy to see some of my friends show up. We all triangulated our plans for Christmas day. I am hoping to see a good turnout on Christmas Night for the meeting.
We read from the Big Book, and More about alcoholism.
” This is the baffling feature of alcoholism as we know it – the utter inability to leave it alone, no matter how great the necessity or the wish.”
Growing up in an alcoholic home to speak the word alcoholic was akin to family heresy. Everybody drank, some to excess. I guess you could say that certain family members were “functional alcoholics.” You know the ones who kept the job, the house and the family, yet stuck in the alcoholic stupor on weekends and holidays. The amount of alcohol that was consumed was excessive.
And for me as a young man, I drank to excess whenever the alcohol was available – provided by holiday events and at parties. I spent a fair amount of change on alcohol during my drinking career. I imagine that I could have spent that money of better things, but I just didn’t know any better.
In the last year of my drinking there were periods of enforced abstention. We all were sober for a specific period of time to reflect on the state of the world. That only lasted a couple of weeks and we were off the to races again.
The blackouts I was having were scaring me and I knew that my drinking career was coming to an end. I knew the way back, I just wanted divine intervention to step in and help me. And it did. When I put down the drink once and for all, I was finished. Done, Cooked, Kaput !!!
They say getting sober over the holidays are a bitch. But I’ve been successful for many years now. I’ve seen a lot of folks come in and leave, I watched people agonize over the holidays. And today I can offer simple solutions to help my friends stick and stay. It comes down to honesty, open mindedness and willingness. A desire to stop and stay stopped and the hopeful participation in sober community, especially over the holidays.
There are holiday events taking place over the next two weeks to guarantee folks a sober holiday with meetings and sober parties to attend. Some friends are serving food at a parish here in town on Christmas day, then they are coming to our meeting during the evening.
There are Christmas and New Years parties here and there. There is no reason that we have to drink – and a million reasons not to.
It will be great.
Hubby comes home tomorrow.
All is well.
Wau Lam … That is all.
More to come, stay tuned.
What do you do with a weekend full of time when your hubby is out of town until Monday??? I hate supermarket safari for one. What do you buy when you are only shopping for one? Frozen food that can be portioned and snacky foods that you can eat in between. And of course, PIE !!!
Last night, Friday, I sat around all night here alone, farting around on the computer. I watched a little tv, but I am tired and a little burned out on all the programs dealing with the end of the world.
We survived, get over it, enough already !
I was in no mood for overnight radio, because it was the end of the world extravaganza. BORING !!!
I went over to my library of movies and decided that it would be a chick flick kind of night. I have always loved Diane Lane in “Under the Tuscan Sun” it was nice to watch it again. Then I followed it with “Calendar Girls.” A double feature that carried me to 4 a.m. exactly.
I got into bed and pulled out Harry Potter and read that chapter called “Godric’s Hollow.” Since it is Christmas and all, and that’s where Harry and Hermione end up on Christmas Eve.
It snowed overnight. So we have accumulation on the ground. And maybe it will snow some more tomorrow.
Today – after surviving the near apocalypse, I slept in and rose around 3 in the afternoon. I went looking for things to do for one and decided that I would take in a movie tonight. It was nice getting out of the house for a couple of hours and the theatre is just up the block from home.
I finished reading Yann Martel’s Life of Pi on Thursday night. And one of my friends said on Tuesday last that I would not be disappointed in the film. I arrived early – the first person in the room, I got my seat way up in the back mid screen. It was a 3-D screening.
There are a bunch of cool movies coming out soon from the “coming soon” reel. The 3-d effects for Life of Pi were amazing. If you’ve never read the book, the film kept pretty close to the text. I noticed that in the film a story thread was introduced that doesn’t appear in the book, just a short story arc. I guess they added it to keep continuity in the films timeline.
The rest of the film was lifted directly from the book. I thought it would be monotonous – seeing most of the book takes place on a life boat/raft. I mean how can you embellish a life boat/raft crossing the Pacific Ocean? They did really well with that story arc. And the added 3-d dimension really helped the story along.
There really isn’t much to give away, because I am not going to tell you about the film per se, but if I were to recommend a book to you it would be “Life of Pi,” for sure. It is not a waste of time to read, and the story is riveting from beginning to end. I enjoyed how they decided to present the story telling in the format of a movie. All from the 1st person standpoint of character. That was well done.
A very enjoyable night for sure.
Now I need to cook some food for a late dinner and figure out what movie I am going to watch tonight. Tomorrow I am chairing the Sunday Niter’s meeting at 6:15. We are on chapter 3 – More about Alcoholism.
Hubby comes home on Monday afternoon – we may need to get a few things from the store before hosting a Christmas Dinner for a friend I invited to dinner the other night. I’ve cleaned the house, scrubbed the bathroom, vacuumed and sorted out the stack of papers that usually reside on the dining room table.
I have a hard time being at home alone for any length of time, since hubby and I are not usually apart for numbers of days at a time. I hate sleeping alone. He is enjoying himself with his family.
That is all.
More to come, stay tuned …
Sinai photographed from STS 109 – Shuttle Columbia March 1,2002 …
I’d imagine that if Armageddon was going to take place, this is the place we would imagine the first strike to take place, or the first event. It is 3:10 a.m. on Friday morning. Nothing happened, or should I say, nothing has happened
If you are a listener of Late Night Radio, ala Coast to Coast for any length of time you would know that all the crazies in the world listen to this show night after night. And we have been all through the list of crazies over the last year.
We have the ads for end of days Armageddon style food sales, you know, just for those moments when a disaster takes place and you need those ready to eat meals, They aren’t just for earthquakes and hurricanes Yall !!! If you have a spare couple of hundred dollars that you can plunk down for mass storage food stuffs, and you gotta have a place to put it all, and who has a spare bomb shelter in their property portfolio ???
I hear in UTAH that there are bunkers that have been prepared for today’s calamity to take place. I have also heard that the cleansing of the righteous from the non-righteous will take place today. That God is going to cleanse the earth of the sinful and errant peoples. That only the righteous will be saved from God’s judgment.
There is a town in Southern France that is supposed to be a vortex location and that when the earth meets its end, that the aliens are going to appear there and take away all those who fled to the safety of this mountain perch.
All over the tv tonight have been every kind of end of days programming. People trying to divine what the Mayans were trying to say and what that damned calendar and glyphs really have to say, since they are woefully incomplete, and the end story is all up to conjecture.
We’ve heard over the last year all those good preacher men who have foretold of the coming Apocalypse and twice they were wrong and God did not come screaming out of his heaven to take us all to heaven and send all the sinners to hell.
That would mean all of us LGBTQ folks. Because homosexuality is all so sinful and errant of God’s ways … Oh, I kid …
Did you partake in the hysteria of the end of days? Did you buy into the end of the world? Are you hoarding food, guns, ammunition and all kinds of food stuffs? Because you know, when the end comes later today it is going to be utter anarchy in the streets. People clawing and fighting for food and guns.
And those who are prepared for the end will be hunkered down in their bunkers and nuclear safe type hovels defending themselves from the marauding hordes of people who did not listen to the council of the folks who have spent the better part of the last year telling us all this it is coming and you’d better be prepared.
All this talk of financial ruin coming to the U.S. The wars over seas and the Arab spring running into Arab Winter. You never know if the Anti-Christ is going to rise from the desert sand of the Middle East somewhere like Iran or some other backwater Middle Eastern country. Because like I said above, if Armageddon was going to take place, you’d probably be looking over there for him.
I have read that the sun isn’t going to erupt in some hellish solar flare that is going to knock out the electrical and communications grids all over the world. And at this hour, I haven’t read of any earthquakes, tsunamis or volcanic eruptions taking place anywhere in the world.
And when you wake and come upon this entry – having said your prayers to whatever God you pray to the night before, you will rise and the sunrise will be glorious – just like the day before.
And I am sure on Friday night on Coast to Coast they will be hosting a night of checking in with all those folks who have added to the mass hysteria that today is supposed to unleash on humankind.
Did the ancients get it right? Will we come to rise above ourselves and grow in spiritual awakening? Will we rise to the next level of humanity overnight? And what have we learn in this exercise of preparing ourselves for the end of the world. And what will we say to all those folks who are hiding in their bomb shelters as I write this.
Will we see a nuclear Armageddon from the East? Because if we do, for those of us who could not afford a bomb shelter – we are all goners … So I guess before I go to bed I should say my final prayers – kiss my ass goodbye and hope to wake up tomorrow morning.
Today my husband is traveling to Ottawa to see his family, and it may be his last meeting with them if we are to believe that something BIG will take place tomorrow some time. Who knows.
It’s the end of the world as we know it. And when you wake tomorrow – what kind of world will it be? And what will we say to all those crazies out there sitting in their bomb shelters and on mountain tops and those fleeing the big cities into the interior of the United States and Europe because the oceans are going to swell and swallow up all the coastal land. God forbid you know that volcano on the Canary Islands that is supposed to blow its peak and send a tsunami across the Atlantic and submerge the entire East Coast of the United States.
You are all FUCKED !!!
Shall we make a prediction of what all will happen the day after tomorrow?
Sit tight. I will report more as the day progresses.
More to come, stay tuned …
The plows have been working over time to get what little snow is left on the margins of the streets, Off the streets, because tonight we are in for a real DUMP!!!
All in all we may see upwards of 20cm of snow over the next two days and nights. We are now guaranteed a White Christmas. Our fridge is full of food to cook, the cabinets are stocked with the assorted fixings for Christmas dinner. Hubby leaves for Ottawa tomorrow for a few days to see his family and get the booty we usually haul in for Christmas from all the in-laws and such.
I haven’t ventured to the mall at all. There is only one gift under the tree for hubby, seeing he hasn’t really asked for anything in particular. He forbid me from buying him clothes which leaves little to purchase since we have everything we need. We don’t go out and spend oodles of money any more. it is far easier to cook a good meal – we live a very simple lifestyle.
I was up early today farting around and my usual morning routine. We had some lunch and then took a power nap about an hour or so before I had to be up to get ready to go out this evening.
I left promptly at 6:30 and arrived at my stop and a bus arrived shortly thereafter. Another member was on the bus and we walked up from the stop to the church. We set up the room in short order and sat and chatted.
It is a bitch getting old. But people in the rooms try to approach aging with dignity and courage. We are not immune to cancer and other assorted concerns. But some of my friends are finding it a challenge to do daily things. And I hear their voices speak the words … “I am finding it hard to …” And “I wish I could do …” And “my body is not what it was just a couple of months ago.”
What do you say … We all know the routine. See the doctor, get some labs done and wait to see what they say. It’s the waiting in between that is the challenge. We always want to be supportive and like a mother hen to her chicks… “It will be ok.” The word cancer is spoken with reverence because I have friends who have been down this road recently.
But we press on. Boldly and Courageously.
Our speaker came from the city. A few years sober. Got stuck in the door of dishonesty and using. The quintessential question, “Is alcohol a gateway drug to pot and cocaine?”
You start with one and it leads to another, which leads to a life of dishonesty and I heard it again tonight, our woman drank for effect, for the blackout. Because that is how it always ended for her. We scoff at people who saunter up to the bar and “just have one…” How can you just have one? I can’t have “just one!”
They talk about it in the book. Honesty, Open mindedness and Willingness.
For some of us this comes in short order when we get sober, and for others, it takes a little longer. We recognize the dually addicted here and I know the story because I was one of them too. When I regrouped after my slip, the ability to procure pot was non-existent, so I stopped toking. Cold, Clean and For Good.
But it was 2001 and we know what happened in 2001. I remained to drink for a few more months. Just because you quit drinking once, but you are still on the marijuana maintenance program, you aren’t very sober.
So it goes.
We return to the notion of honesty. however hard or bitter a pill to swallow in the face of certain situations, we eventually come to the point where the lies and dishonesty have to stop. I heard the words Selfish and self centeredness.
We’ve all been there.
Our woman finally came to at a meeting and came clean about her lies and dishonesty. She got into the book. And she got “Booked!!!” And now she is sober. Her claim to fame is that of a recovered alcoholic. “Recovered” from a hopeless state of mind and body. We never recover, it is an ongoing process every day and every month and every year. I would never utter the word “recovered” myself.
She says that we coddle the newcomer. Ah well, go to meetings, read the book and do your steps when you feel like it… NO. I was sober some months before I started my steps. But once I got to work, I did them in due course.
But she tells us that we need to get down to work. As soon as possible. Not in the throw a Big Book at you on your first meeting, but, merely suggesting that maybe you really need to get into the book sooner than later.
I know of several young people at this moment who are amid their steps since a week ago Thursday, and I haven’t seen them at any of my meetings, as I usually do. Now this could just be “I missed a meeting,” or “they are out there…”
There really isn’t an easier softer way, however hard we want that path. And people do not like being told what to do in any case. So how do you tell someone “this is how we are going to do this” and not get a fuck you in reply???
Honesty, Open Mindedness and Willingness.
You either want it or you need it. It’s your choice. You might not agree with me or our woman on this point, but if you do what you are told, life will change and things will get better. The best gift of the program comes when you get to BOOK someone and the spiritual experience happens for them and you get to witness those changes. What a blessing.
Our woman came to, got honest, she got Booked, and now she is sober. And she has had her quintessential Spiritual Experience. Don’t you want one too ???
It’s the holidays. And it is the hardest time to get or stay sober. The city will be bustling with meetings on Christmas Day and New Years Day. The West Island will be hosting at Serendipity a whole days events on Christmas. There is no excuse for not getting to a meeting. Because you don’t have to be alone.
I have it on god authority that our girls will all be there on Christmas Day as one of our women celebrates ten years on Christmas and she will be at our meeting. It will be a good day for a meeting. We will cook early here and I will open the room at 5 o’clock. And our meeting starts at 7 p.m.
Having worked in bars during my life I know the biggest days in gay bar business is on Halloween night, Thanksgiving Night, Christmas Night and New Years Eve, bar none. By 5 o’clock folks really need a drink. So the bars will be packed to the rafters.
And as alcoholics … there is only one choice. We don’t get to drink, but we also don’t have to be alone on the holiday.
And for YOU my READER, over this holiday season, please be mindful of your friends and family. Make sure you call them and spread the holiday cheer.
Take a moment out of your festivities and do something for someone less fortunate or alone.
Random Acts of Kindness count double over Christmas.
There is a God, and I am not He.
For us, we are sober by the grace of God and the program. We have a daily reprieve based on our spiritual condition. You are not alone.
Tomorrow I will be posting my Ode to Armageddon.
They say that the world is coming to an end.
But scientists tell us that’s really not the case. I just want to send an email to a certain radio host tomorrow night saying …
You big fuck up, all these past months you have only incited fear and hoarding.
FUCK YOU … The world did not come to an end as they predicted !!!
Mu ha ha ha ha ha ha !!!!
It will be a festive next few days. So Stay tuned for that.
Snow falling is peaceful. A blanket of snow in the yard of the church is pretty. But what lies in between these spaces is dirty, slushy and annoying. The temperature is hovering at (1c) and the sidewalks are covered in a slushy mess that makes walking tedious.
It snowed this afternoon so there is fresh powder on the ground. And amid the snow I was carrying a huge load of things. I had a cake bundled in a carrier inside of a grocery bag, padded and protected from bumps and drops. My back pack was full of milk, cookies, books, and cards. And I had to make a stop to get a card for my friend on the way out.
I arrived at the church on time – after navigating sloppy sidewalks and cranked out set up. I left a little later than usual, and it seemed that shortly after I finished a handful of folks showed up to read. I unpacked my cake and put candles on. And our chair brought a second cake for our fellow celebrating tonight, so we had two cakes after the meeting, which went over very well.
It was a packed house. The topic came from Living Sober. Changing routines.
They say when you get sober that the only thing you have to change is Everything!!!
It was a good thing that when I got sober, the club I used to drink at closed for good shortly thereafter. That was a good omen since I had to walk by it every day that I went to my meeting.
I was seeing a counselor for a while whom I remember fondly. I had a duty to perform every week for my landlord. And I had my meetings. But one good thing is that I was never alone for very long on any given day. Fellowship was a huge component to my getting sober, since it was the holidays.
I stayed sober. And the running theme to my life would be Geographic. The problem with staying in one place haunted me. The first time I got sober, I stayed where I was because of the people in my life and the care I was receiving.
When that gig died, I had to move out on my own. And I had to re-learn how to live in society, because the family grouping I was part of disbanded. That took a good long time. And I failed at that venture because of the unadvised and unspoken choice I made to pull a geographic to fill a void. That was the biggest mistake I ever made in my life, because it almost cost me my life.
When I regrouped and returned to the scene of sobriety, I had to relearn how to stay in one place. And that was successful – but I was still drinking. So it wasn’t that good either. When I took my last drink, I had to change people, places and things. And it was difficult to change those things seeing I lived in a city that’s claim to fame was “there is a party every day, and every day we drink!!!”
Which is why my fellows in the program never left me alone for very long. And a visit here would change my life forever. I was sober 4 months when I made my exploratory trip up here. I got connected. I went to meetings. I fell in love with this city, and I did it again. I pulled a geographic in sobriety.
I wasn’t only changing people and places. I was changing Countries. You’ve all heard this story, I’ve told it countless times. Besides being sober, I was living on bare minimums and it wasn’t a good life, so I moved.
I packed and moved. When I got here I connected with sober people. I was going to three meetings a day. I got involved with after care with a full time counselor who helped me prepare to live in a city with seasons. I got rooted in a meetings and I did what ever they told me.
Find a home group. Get rooted. And first and foremost,
You build your life around your meetings.
Not your meetings around your life.
That is the one thing I did right. And I’ve kept that routine to this day. Some 11 years a a couple of weeks now. I did not deviate from that routine at all. I lived my life around my home group. I went back to school, I fell in love and later married, soberly. I hit three meetings a week at a minimum. I do service and I help others.
Since I never drank here, I was able to build a life here. Without the threat of taking a drink in some dark and dingy club. We used to bar hop in early sobriety, on weekends. But the problem with bar hopping in the Winter is this …
First, nightlife doesn’t get started until after midnight, which means a one way trip on the subway into the village. Carrying your things in pockets with a jacket, hat and scarf, and hoping for a good coat check.
The Metro doesn’t run all night, which means a taxi ride at 3 or 4 a.m. which runs you more than $20.00, plus what you are going to spend on sundry cola and water bottles.
It was too much trouble to go out for a night of fun. And it got old. I don’t remember the last time we went out to a club, it was years ago. So that part of my life ended, and I don’t miss it.
I never drank at home anyways, so liquor in the house was a non-issue. We spent the first year of sobriety cleaning and setting up a home together. And that is what we have been doing for more than 10 years.
The only thing you have to change when you get sober is everything.
You can’t keep your old friends. Or go to your old haunts. Or do the same things you did while you were drinking. Now you are getting sober, so give yourself a chance. Really make a clean break from all that was, to all that CAN BE.
It will all make sense in time, you don’t need to know everything, you just need to follow the suggestions and things will play out in their own time in your life.
There was cake. There was conversation. Everybody went home satiated on sugar three times over. A good night was had by all.
More to come, stay tuned …
It snowed, it warmed up, and the pretty white snow is a dark slushy brown. I did some supermarket Safari earlier today, while it was still snowing. But it all may be for naught, because rain is in the pike for this week. And the odds of a white Christmas are slim, if you believe environment Canada.
We squeaked by last year with a dusting on Christmas day. And this year we have dinner and a meeting on the same night. It will be exciting.
After reading how some of my fellows are baking and cooking goodies for the holidays, I went to the store hoping to find something tasty to add to the cake I baked tonight for my friends anniversary tomorrow.
Hopefully the choices I made will be pleasing to the masses.
I wrote out the balance of my Christmas Cards for members of the group. I feared that if I gave a card to one, that I would have to give one to all. And my sponsor said, just do it in secret so that nobody gets jealous of those who did not make the cut.
I spent a chunk sending cards out in the mail, and these were the leftovers from that event. I got a card from some of our women for my anniversary, so I put them on the list and a few others that have been a participant in my life in some way this past year. And that is how I made my decision. If you were active in my life you got a card.
So the cake is cooling. I need to plate and frost and decorate it later on.
What am I reading now …
I got a copy of “Life of Pi …” by Yann Martel.
It is one of my favorite books of all time. There are so many books in my library that many of them are favorites. I enjoy having something to read before bed. I was tiring of reading the same standards over and over again.
Hubby is out finishing his Christmas shopping so we can get them into the mail for my inlaws and my nieces and nephew. Thanks God it isn’t me out there tonight.
There are only 7 days left to get your Christmas shopping done.
Time is a precious commodity. Once wasted it can never be regained …
More to come, stay tuned …
I once heard a preacher preach a sermon many years ago, when I was a boy. And the thought was … “It is Friday, but Sunday’s a coming …” and this thought was repeated in succession … “It’s Friday but Sunday’s a coming …” And he repeated these words until they caught up in fire-like fervor and the crowd was on their feet repeating … “It’s Friday but Sunday’s a coming…”
The reference was to Christ dying on the cross, on Friday, we all wept for him, in his humanness and brokenness. And we sat vigil on Saturday through the darkness in the hopes that He would rise again. And that came to pass, as Sunday dawned and the stone was rolled away, Jesus had risen from the dead, and in that there was victory over death … It’s Friday, but Sunday’s a coming …
Today all over the world people are coming together to pray for the little ones and for their families, and also for the children still alive today. We join their prayers and we say … “It may be Friday, but Sunday is coming …”
*** *** *** ***
I was sitting here last night as I usually do, Tumbling and farting around. And someone I know said to me that “Wouldn’t it be nice to just get shit faced drunk?” And this isn’t a thought that I usually entertain very often. Having just taken my cake, I should be wrapped up in the whole celebration in the knowledge that I haven’t taken a drink in more than 11 years. But for the Grace of God. And one day at a time.
But last night, I sat here and entertained the thought all the way through to its tragic end. It was like a yearning in my chest that I was for a few moments “thirsty!” And I sat here and thought about what it would feel like to just go out and get shit faced drunk …
I don’t usually entertain people who drink heavily nor do I spend time reading someone’s writing about just how much they drank the night before and how much alcohol that they imbibed. It is painful to read, to watch and to know. But so many young people I know today find comfort at the bottom of a bottle. it is a rite of passage to be able to drink others “under the table,” but that’s just the start of a long and sometimes never acknowledged drinking problem. shit happens.
So I was good to read from the book tonight and that there were a handful of beginners in the room who also needed to hear about “the solution.” And that for us, there is a solution. It is all laid out in the book. Along the reading we stop to skip back to the appendices II – Spiritual experience.
“Most emphatically we wish to say that any alcoholic capable of honestly facing his problems in the light of our experience CAN recover, provided he does not close his mind to all spiritual concepts. He can only be defeated by an attitude of intolerance or belligerent denial.
We find that no one need have difficulty with the spirituality of the program. Willingness, honesty and open mindedness are the essentials of recovery. But these are indispensable.
There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance – that principle is contempt prior to investigation… ” Herbert Spencer.
Snow is falling over our fair city tonight. And the expectation is for more as the week progresses. It was a good day. The snow began early this afternoon, falling slowly and sparsely, but as the night went on, picked up speed.
I left early because I had a couple of stops to make on the way. And that was quick. Our Zeller’s here at Alexis Nihon will only be open for two more days, the final push to rid the shelves of useless items goes on in earnest. Soon the store will close and begin its transformation into a brand new Target store.
The church was open and bright. Thankfully the heat was on and it even got toasty as the meeting started. We sat a full compliment. We read a fair chunk of words and we completed the chapter, “There is a solution.”
These are the times when we find ourselves in a quandary about what we are going to do with ourselves, and for many, how am I going to get through the holidays without a drink … I think the worst time to get sober, is over the holidays. But this was the time that I came into the rooms in 2001. Just weeks shy of Christmas and New Years. And thanks to my fellows I did not drink, one day at a time. And here we are some 11 years and a few days more.
*** *** *** ***
A friend said to me tonight that he was troubled by the tragedy that took place on Friday. That it is bringing up memories of his childhood, coming from the life he did, deep seated anger still resides in his soul. Our man will be sober 24 years tomorrow. And he is seeking God in ways, never before sought. Trying to find something that he feels he lacks.
Tragedy happens. And God knows that only the human who committed the crime knows just what he was doing, or not doing. Gay men and women, and Gay marriage did not bring upon this town a tragedy so horrific that it is almost unspeakable. The killing of innocents. The killing of Children.
And let me profoundly say to the depraved family that has vowed to picket the funerals and wakes of little children, You are evil … And you should be stopped. I do not name you by name, because to do so would give you press. Surely everyone who will read this will know of whom I speak.
Gay Marriage, Fags and community at large did not bring this wanton tragic event to befall this town and these little children.
And how dare you speak that God is angry for gay marriage and killed these little children because God was angry …
I pity you fuckers. and God wept.
It is far too easy to get angry, because anger so deep seeded can upset our applecart of life. It does no good to harbor anger in our souls. Anger does us no good in sobriety, and when it comes up, we look at it, acknowledge it and quickly let it go, for this too shall pass. Do not let the sun go down on your anger.
Many people are suffering. Little children are dead tonight, and there isn’t anything we can do to bring them back. So we must surrender the little ones to God, who is love, life and peace. God did not smite the little ones because of anything. God had nothing to do with the killing of innocents. Don’t you dare even speak those words, because to do so would be to utter blasphemy.
God has NOTHING to do with the killing of innocents.
We will move past this in time. Time will heal the wounds of those who mourn, and one day, the sun shall rise, and it will be glorious.
Pray God, that he blesses the meek and small. Pray God that these little children are carried to the arms of the loving God in his endless mercy and tenderness. Eternal rest grant them and may perpetual light shine upon them.
Names and ages of the 26 people gunned down at a Connecticut elementary school Friday in the second-deadliest school shooting in U.S. history:
Charlotte Bacon, 6
Daniel Barden, 7
Olivia Engel, 6
Josephine Gay, 7
Ana Marquez-Greene, 6
Dylan Hockley, 6
Madeleine Hsu, 6
Catherine Hubbard, 6
Chase Kowalski, 7
Jesse Lewis, 6
James Mattioli, 6
Grace McDonnell, 7
Emilie Parker, 6
Jack Pinto, 6
Noah Pozner, 6
Caroline Previdi, 6
Jessica Rekos, 6
Avielle Richman, 6
Benjamin Wheeler, 6
Allison Wyatt, 6
Rachel Davino, 29
Dawn Hochsprung, 47
Anne Marie Murphy, 52
Lauren Rousseau, 30
Mary Sherlach, 56
God and the angels in heaven weep for you, as do all of us. How does one make sense of such pain and grief ? We pray for all those who mourn and we offer our prayers that in time, life will go on, but until then we shall carry you in our arms and comfort you.
Eternal Rest grant them and may Perpetual Light shine upon them.
A heavily-armed gunman opened fire inside a U.S. elementary school, killing as many as 26 people, including 20 students during a Friday-morning spree that left the country again shaken by gun violence.
State police confirmed the shooter was found dead inside Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, following the morning attack. The school hosts about 600 students between five and 10 years of age.
The shooter was identified as 20-year-old Adam Lanza, the son of a teacher at the school. It appears, the shooter killed his mother at her home before driving to the school to begin his shooting spree there.
“According to sources, Lanza shot his mother in the face, then left his house armed with at least two semi automatic handguns…wearing a bullet proof vest,” ABC News reported.
Lieut. Paul Vance confirmed that 18 children were killed inside the school and two more died at a hospital. Six adults and the shooter were also found dead.
Reports suggest two handguns were recovered inside the school and a .233 Bushmaster was found at the scene. According to the Associated Press, Lanza’s older brother Ryan, 24, is being held by police for questioning.
*** *** *** ***
Last night I finished reading “We need to talk about Kevin.” And it was a tedious read for sure. In the end it is an anthology of gun violence in schools. For the writer tells the story from the perspective of a mother writing to her estranged husband about what is going on in her head. Her son Kevin did something terrible – but we don’t get the entire story until the end of the book.
Suffice to say, Kevin is in juvenile detention because he was a minor when he committed his crime. But ends up in a New York penitentiary after his 18th birthday. Kevin kills his sister, father and a number of school classmates in a gruesome fashion. Instead of guns, he uses a crossbow, after locking his peers in the gymnasium of the school.
I don’t mean to give the story away, but what happened today is eerily similar to the book, but including guns. The killing of a parent prior to the killing of school children.
I’ve never been a proponent of guns. They say guns don’t kill people, people kill people. But the equation is lacking because it is people with guns who kill people. Whomever the guns were registered to, a kid got guns and killed others with them.
I don’t know what to say after reading this book. Many people I know who have read it and the people at the book store I bought it at, recommended the book to me as I purchased it. I am truly saddened by today’s tragedy. So many kids won’t grow up to have kids and experiences themselves. Carnage is not pretty.
Now we will all ask the question WHY ???
Did this boy have problems himself ? In reference to the book, Kevin had problems from the day he was born. What were the telltale signs that trouble was amiss? Now we wait for answers to this terrible tragedy.
It’s not a copy cat. The fashion of the crime, just an eerie coincidence that I was reading this book just now. But a school shooting nonetheless.
Eternal rest grant the faithful departed and may perpetual light shine upon them evermore.
To thee do we send up our sighs mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn them most gracious advocate thine eyes of mercy towards us and show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb Jesus. Pray for us!
Will it snow, won’t it snow. Will it snow, won’t it snow … Nobody is sure.
It was a crisp night for an outing.
It was a good day. I was up early today for some supermarket safari which went quite quickly. Just the staples I consume on any given week is getting more expensive. Maybe because I bought a good looking roast, and some exotic juices and sundry items of apples and chocolate. I’m Canadian, I must have my Mars bars. And they were on sale today. squeee….
I forgot to mention that The Seville Project – Phase Three is now standing at 21 stories. Which makes it the tallest building on this end of downtown. I am sure there might be more to come.
Hubby was running here and there. So he was in and out all afternoon after doing the laundry. Like I have said here before, sitting in front of this box gets boring, and I thought I’d take a power nap before setting out, I instead hot into bed to read my book … “We Need to talk about Kevin…” It is a very tedious read.
I can only take this book in hour chunks of time. I usually just read before bed, but I am damned and I really want to finish this book soon, I don’t know where this book is heading, I want something from the book I am not getting right now and it is pissing me off … But not enough to put down the book.
I was prepared and ready to go early. I set off for the stop – a bus just passed as I crested the hill and crossed Sherbrooke. I walked down to the stop and as I turned my glance back up the street a second bus pulled up and I got on.
I arrived and helped set up chairs, and another member had put up the slogans in the wrong order. And you know I am a control freak, so I had to wait for an opportune moment to change them to the proper order … I just couldn’t walk up there in front of him to change them, I waited until he went into the kitchen to do my dastardly work.
Our speaker came from the West Island. Some more than twenty years sober. I had never heard him speak before because he lives on the other side of the island. So it was fresh.
“Where ever you go … There you are … ” you can never get away from yourself.
We shared a lot in common. I heard familiar settings and familial issues. Alcoholic family, alcoholic father, codependent mother, anger, never knowing what was going to set dad off.
Picking up the drink in his teenage years, always for effect. Not being able to just have one. Growing up on the outs with everybody, including those in positions of authority … “Johnny would be head of the class, if only he applied himself…”
I’ll show you, I’ll hurt me … watch and see …
That is a common thread I hear often. The common excuses we use to say that we aren’t really alcoholic. But alcohol is but the symptom for many of us. We were fucked well before we started drinking in one way or another.
Our man had a three stage life going.
Drinking, Recovery, or Preparing for the next drink. It was a vicious cycle.
But eventually, the moment of clarity came. Standing outside a bar one night, after hours of drinking, coming to realize that, how could he be drunk, he really wasn’t going to drink that night, yet he did. Finally he realized that he was out of control. That the drink had conquered him.
Something had to be done … He made that call that began the slow turnaround in life. He arrived at a meeting. He got connected. Found a home group, did service, found a sponsor, later worked his steps.
It was slow going for awhile. Little by slowly he came to, and things began to change, not immediately, and surely not on his own schedule, but things began to change.
There are gifts we get in sobriety, and we get them when we least expect it. We begin to work on ourselves, and that effort begins to seep outwards to our fellows, our employers, our families.
Two men stand at an issue. One steps back, and the other steps back. Then you take another step back, and they take a step back, then you get to re-engage and things happen.
Twenty years in things are really great. And for a moment I was captivated with this man. There is something I want now in sobriety. I don’t know how it is going to happen, but I have a little faith.
I took a step towards, and hopefully someone will take a step towards. But it isn’t my will, but God’s will be done with this. If it doesn’t turn out, then I need to let it go for another year. You never know when the right moment will appear or the right conditions present itself for synchronicity to happen.
One of my friends spoke to me before the meeting, and she is just a few months in and she remarked to me that she had seen changes in me and that they were good, that sobriety must be working for me, and I was like “who me???”
I think we all need to hear from God every once in a while to reaffirm that what we are working so hard for is working for us. You never know who God is going to use to send you a message.
Twenty years and good things happen. I have something to hold on to. As I am into my second decade of sobriety I hope for some things, maybe not BIG things, but things nonetheless. We shall see.
It was a good night. We came home by caravan.
I am baking a cake for a friends anniversary next week. I’ve never baked someone a cake – for an anniversary. So that will be exciting. A first for me.
It’s all good.
More to come, stay tuned …
Letra de Buenos Dias Paloma Blanca :
Buenos días paloma blanca,
Hoy te vengo a saludar,
Saludando tu belleza
En tu reino celestial.
Y a mi corazón encanta,
Gracias te doy con amor
Buenos días paloma blanca.
Niña linda, niña santa,
Tu dulce nombre alabad,
Porque sois tan sacrosanta
Hoy te vengo a saludar.
Reluciente como el alba
Pura sencilla y sin mancha,
De gusto recibe mi alma,
Buenos días paloma blanca.
Que linda está la mañana,
El aroma de las flores,
Despiden suaves olores,
Antes de romper el alba.
Mi pecho con voz ufana,
Gracias te da madre mía,
En este dichoso día,
Antes de romper el alba.
Cielo azul yo te convido,
En este dichoso día,
A que prestes tu hermosura,
A las flores de María.
Madre mía de Guadalupe,
Danos ya tu bendición,
Recibe estas mañanitas,
De un humilde corazón.
There are certain people in my life, or some I wished were part of my life that I would like to pose this question to … Because it pertains to our topic this evening.
But First …
There is snow on the ground, or what’s left of what fell the other night. In Westmount, all the yards I passed were covered in a blanket of snow that stuck.
I was up early today and as you can only sit in front of this box for so long before utter boredom sets in, I set off for the church a half hour earlier than usual to see just how much farther the Seville Project is coming along, and if my count is right, they are capping the 21st floor on Phase Three, It seems that another floor is going to go up next as the elevator shaft and columns for another floor were being poured today.
They are coming along quite nicely with the ground floor spots, which house a BMO Bank branch, they moved the rental office from the original space on our end to one farther West, underneath the Phase Three tower.
I cranked out chairs and two pots of coffee and a tea pot which went over very well tonight. It is quicker to perk a 10 cup pot of hot water, rather than use the tea kettle and having to wait for it to heat water, the stand alone coffee pot was used by many folks tonight.
We sat 45 folks. The room was full of new faces and a handful of newbies. It was a good crowd. The chair read from the Living Sober book, “Avoiding Anger and Resentment.”
It was an appropriate reading as it gives us a chance to read a passage that contains a spot checklist of feelings and emotions that may crop up in our days, not that I entertain anger or resentments, but looking at the short check list there are things I can ponder on any given day.
I am always on the lookout for pearls of wisdom from our women and tonight I was not disappointed as one of them spoke these words …
” An expectation is a premeditated resentment…”
I know that when I got sober this time, I carried around an expectation wish list for God of things that I thought I needed, now rather than later. And that list was dispatched with in due time. They did not quite fester into resentments. But more like annoyances, that were dispatched with “stay in your day” and “One day at a time” and “keep coming back.”
I’ve been angry in the past. And I can tell you exactly the day, location, and at whom I was angry at on that given day. It was volcanic, targeted and I threw my keys across the church and marched my ass out without another word.
Those I got angry with, did not stay long. And it was “be gone with you.” So it went. That was the last time I got really angry. It was one night, no more than twenty minutes and it was over with. I’ve never gotten so angry again. Needless to say that I don’t deal well with assholes with Egos… They just grate against my skin like petting a kitty backwards…
I don’t surround myself with people who would trigger anger. I have friends who are calm pools of water, Margaret Craven would call them “The Pool.” Then there are some people I know who are “Chek-wa-la” Fast moving water.
I try to stay out of Chek-wa-la.
Most of my friends from the rooms I see on a weekly basis. At meetings. Very few have graduated to “friendship outside the room” like “let’s go for coffee or something.” I have pissed some folks off here on the blog, and I know they copped resentments, it’s not my problem. How many times does one have to apologize in open community. any who …
I come from a family that was steeped in anger and resentments. My parents are the masters of cut and silence. My brother and his wife have followed in those social gospel teachings from my father, who preaches a solid line that must be followed or you yourself fall victim of the cut and silence.
I was the peacemaker. For the whole of my life, I worked diligently at mending fences and trying to hold together family. Over my lifetime, I watched my parents get pissed off for one thing or another and cop a resentment and cut and silence folks like my aunts and uncles, friends, neighbors, and especially my mother’s sister Paula. They ripped her to shreds.
I watched them punish people like 5 year old’s.
I did things in sobriety that were in my best interest. The first decision I made for myself I did during my first sober period. If I was the mistake that should never have been born, I just made sure that prophecy came true.
The second decision that I made for myself entailed my move North. Both these decisions were nails in my father’s casket. And I hammered them in quite deeply. BUT… once I was settled here, I spent the first two years here trying to mend fences and maintain family. I FAILED !!!
My mother told me in on uncertain terms that if she or my father got sick and/or died, I would not be notified and that keeping ties was unworkable. Those were the last words I heard from my mother more than 10 years ago.
And I battle resentments over family. I cannot change them. And every year I get to look at these resentments and I have to cope with what I cannot change. And it burns like hot chili peppers going down my throat.
11 years sober.
I finally decided to attempt communication. My mail would have arrived there this week. Now we wait to see if I get a response from them. I am not getting my hopes up. They are still angry at me, for many things, but because I am a non-person, a Persona Non Grata, Once the door is shut on you, you don’t exist.
Being Gay and HIV+ are my two killers.
I cannot change my sexual orientation and I sure as shit cannot change the fact that I live with a terminal disease. The door was shut on me well before I made these two life decisions. Fuck me …
I failed to follow the family gospel, because I did not share the same beliefs that my father passed down as gospel. I cannot change them. And I am powerless over them. It doesn’t elicit anger but a sickening in my stomach that people hold onto shit for years and years – choosing silence and punishment rather than communication and repentance.
Acceptance is the key to all of my problems…
What if you wake up one day and you’re not angry any more ???
I don’t get angry. You’d think that the next thought is …
I don’t get angry, I get Even!!!
My family was good at the ” tit for tat ” game. And I guess that in sobriety I played that game too.
There are only so many decades you can listen to “you were a mistake” and there are only so many times a parent can belittle or talk smack about you to your face that eventually you do something about it.
Your son is gay, instead of love, they chose hate.
Your son is HIV+, instead of support, they chose condemnation.
I was fucked from the word go, doubly so …
But my Belief is this: That everyone has a redeemable quality. At the root is the fact that we are not meant to be alone, and we only get one family, no matter how fractured that is. And I go barking up this tree every year. WHY ???
I don’t fucking know.
I want to be known. I was here. I lived. I survived. I have earned Respect and Dignity. Is that too much to ask for in this life?
What do you do? Get angry, Get even ??? People with AIDS were being thrown into the streets by family. I had nowhere to go. LGBTQ kids, to this day, are being tossed from their homes because they are gay.
That’s a familial tragedy.
I could no longer live under the hate/condemnation umbrella. I had to do something, or I was going to either drink or die. I chose the first.
And now I am here 11 years later. I am the boy who lived …
If you don’t want to be part of my life, so be it. But I tried. I am powerless over people, places and things. I don’t ask very much from my friends. And they say in sobriety, not everybody is going to like you or want to be your friend. Thank God I can live with that truth.
People with AIDS don’t waste time with people who aren’t in the gang.
You are either with me or you are not. It’s very simple.
I ain’t gonna chase you. I am 45 years old. I am sober 11 years. I survived the drink and the drugs. I survived AIDS – 19 years.
I’ve earned respect, because I am a dignified man.
I am not angry any more. It’s a waste of time and emotion. Why allow useless people to rent free space in your brain, for no good reason???
The end of the night came with whoopla and applause. My sponsor had a card, a medallion, and a small gift for me. We had cake. Everybody left happy.
A good night was had by all.
Wau Lam… That is all.
More to come, stay tuned.
These are the moments that every man and woman should be afforded. We do not take for granted our marriage rights here in Canada. And we celebrate with those who just got theirs. Congratulations. We sobbed at our wedding too.
Relive one of the most emotionally exhausting days of my life, when 138 couples got married in downtown Seattle on the first day gay marriage was officially legal. Wow.