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Archive for September, 2010

HTC Hero Review …

I wrote about this HTC Hero phone on the day that we received them, and I had not spent any time with it at that point. Suffice to say that I am thoroughly pleased with this phone. Mine is the Hero HTC black. I have a blue phone cover on mine, and different apps and clock/weather on the home page.

The Android operating platform is one of the most stable platforms,

I have been told by a tech friend of mine that I will be totally blown away by what this phone can do.  Hubby puts his phone to much more work than I do. His phone is set up for email, web browsing, text and phone.

I find that my phone does a lot of thinking on its own. With the Google access, it syncs up all of my accounts across the web into the phone. I noticed the other day that it had imported all of my google contacts from my GMail account.

When the Google Wave accounts were created some time ago, I joined along with other  friends in London Ontario and a second friend in Australia and several others from around the world. It seems that the email addresses were synced into the phone. I like how smart this phone really is.

I am still getting used to the phone and how it all works so well. The way that the many social mediums are synced on the phone are amazing. I can Facebook, Email, Blog on my WordPress account, and browse the internet. I have several of my favorite tv shows bookmarked like Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow and now Lawrence O’Donnel’s The Last Word.

The trackball on the phone is super useful when browsing the net or specific websites. The touch screen keypad is very user friendly.

The apps I enjoy the most are Four Square, a GPS program that follows you where ever you go. I find myself checking in throughout the day from where ever I am walking or visiting. The internal GPS system is incredible.

The biggest joy of this operating system is the on board memory for music. The most fun is that they gave us 8 gigabyte cards for our phones, it was a sweet deal. I loaded up my phone with a TON of music. I mourned the loss of my mp3 player a few months ago. Now I can do it all with one hand-held device.

I have a library of no less than 50 apps on my hand held device. From sound effects and ring tones to the entire collection of the assorted Google services. Everything that I can do on my desktop PC at home, I can do on my hand held device all neatly wrapped up on the HTC Hero.

Some of the apps I have loaded on my phone are as follows:

  • .977 music online
  • A Online Radio
  • Android Light saber
  • Bar code Scanner
  • Online Browser application
  • BBC News
  • Assorted Holiday/Movie ring tones
  • Dictionary
  • Facebook
  • Google sky map/Google voice/Gmail/Google Maps
  • Footprints
  • Foursquare
  • Paypal
  • Quickoffice
  • Sims toolkit
  • Tumblr
  • Weather apps
  • WordPress
  • You Tube
  • Stocks – not that I use it.
  • Twitter – I don’t use twitter (yet)
  • Star Trek/Star Wars ring tones
  • Camcorder/Camera

The only thing that isn’t synced on my phone is my email, which I decided not to import into my phone.

The app Market for the Android platform is huge. All of the apps that I have downloaded onto my phone were free apps. I won’t be using apps that are for pay. I am totally pleased with the selection of apps that I have on my phone right now.

We’ve never had issues with dropped calls. The only problem I had with my phone was the memory card. I had to reformat it once and reload all of my music back onto the phone because it got dumped the first time I loaded all the music that I have in my personal library. Here are the Telus specs on the HTC Hero.

Processor: Qualcomm MSM7200A, 528Mhz
Operating System: Android™ platform
Memory: ROM: 512MB, RAM: 288MB DDR
Display:
  • 3.2-inch 320×480 HVGA resolution
  • Color TFT LCD with LED back light
  • Capacitive touch screen
HSPA/UMTS/EDGE
/GPRS/GSM Function:
  • Internal antenna
  • HSDPA / WCDMA
    • 850/1900 MHz
    • Up to Mbps up-link and 7.2Mbps down-link speeds
  • Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE:
    • 850/900/1800/1900 MHz

Band frequency, HSPA availability, and data speed are operator dependent.

GPS: Internal GPS antenna
Camera: 5 megapixel camera with auto focus
Connectivity: Bluetooth® 2.0 with enhanced data rate, Wi-Fi®: IEEE 802.11b/g, HTC ExtUSB™, 3.5mm audio jack
Power: Rechargeable battery — 1350 mAh
Talk Time: Up to 250 minutes
Standby Time: Up to 360 hours
Dimensions and Weight: (LxWxT) 4.5″ x 2.22″ x .54″; 4.5 ounces with battery

I am totally pleased with the choice we made to go with Telus for the plan and customer service plan that we have on the phones. I love this Hero Phone. Now that I have a cell phone I often think about why I went so long before getting one. I get a full days usage on the phone with the battery charged to full every night.

Imagine, growing up in the 80’s like I did, and seeing the first cell phone, (that brick of a device) that was the first cell phone compared to today’s technology.

I wonder what life would have been like had all these technologies, and forms of social media were around in the 1980’s. I have seen records in 78, 45 and 33 rpm come and go. I don’t remember that last time I bought a CD from a record store. In fact I can’t even remember the last time I visited an HMV.

Kids in today’s day and age have so much more to appreciate I can only imagine how far these communication platforms will evolve over the next twenty five years. How many kids today could imagine what life was like “before” technology came. Was life so much more simpler then? Who knew from computers and now these mass functional hand held phones that do everything in one spot.

Totally Amazing… I Love this phone.


Hold me forever …

Courtesy: PixelEight

Gotta love the photo…

It rained today. Cats, dogs and little fishes…

The rain began last night, and carried into today with ferocity. Like I have said before that if you don’t like the weather here, wait 30 minutes… So we had rain, then some sun, then more rain, and more sun, and then the skies opened up and the little fishes fell from the sky.

On the way to the meeting, it was sunny. I got my errands taken care of on the way over. I had my music playing, can I just say that I love my hero phone. And tonight there was our business meeting for next months jobs. It was all good.

While I was setting up, the sky outside got incredibly dark. And I looked out the kitchen window and it was ominous. I stepped out the door to see and at the stroke of 6 the skies opened up and the little fishes started to fall.

Which did not bode well for the meeting. We only had 12 people for the first meeting. Junior pulled a topic from the Daily Reflections and it did not go over well, suffice to say that for most of the hour, we sat there in silence. Sometimes you get a topic that mystifies the masses, and today’s topic did that. Something along the lines of the mystery of God, or your higher power if that is what you believe.

I picked up on the “mystery thread” of the passage. The longer I stay sober, one day at a time, those mysteries happen here and there. There have been so many over the last nine years. I’ve been re-reading some of my earlier entries that have been hit here over the last two weeks, it is just amazing how things have changed over the last nine years.

Everybody scattered after the meeting to miss the next wave of rain that came eventually. We only had a handful of people at the second meeting, which I chaired. The speaker was really great, he was an old timer with more that 25 years of sobriety. He shared a really strong message … “If you don’t go to meetings, and work your steps and get involved in service, survival in the program is slim to none.”

Only a minor percentage of people who come in the door stay, and a fair amount will go back out, and after than even smaller numbers make it back. We have seen, over the last six months tens and twenties of people have gone back out, with considerable time under their belts. How many of those people have not accepted that they are alcoholics?

Oh, last night I spent a good chunk of time playing with the blog. I am listed on Blog Catalog and last night I spent about an hour updating the stats and profile and syncing the blog up with all my communities like Facebook, LinkedIn, Stumble, Technorati, and Bloggers Unite.

Everything is set up to cross post across the different social mediums. I got an email to upgrade my account to get recognized and the price for that upgrade is $995.99… A thousand dollars, I was like WTF ??? You got to be kidding me right. Like I have that much money in the bank to toss over to a linker system. Ugh !!!

So, that was the day, in a nutshell. We gotta eat dinner soon.
More to come, stay tuned.


Solemn Saturday …

Courtesy: Sing Life’s Song

Clean space, clean lines and solemnity.

Tonight we ventured out to Laval for the New Laval Saturday Night’s 37th anniversary. The place was packed to the rafters. We got to meet and greet a lot of people from all over Montreal and the surrounding areas.

Our speaker for this evening came by way of Friday West End. She was a very solemn speaker, with 40 years of sobriety. A good night was had by all. She spoke of a men’s sober retreat that she had attended, and she could not believe how hard we work at sobriety.

After the meeting there was a full spread of food and several pots of coffee. We had plenty of food and lots of cake. It was a great turn out for them. People came from all over.

I had to find a speaker for my Tuesday night meeting, and that task proved harder than I thought. I was trusting my inner voice to lead me to whomever it was supposed to be. I asked one and he told me no. So I turned my sights and headed for another person, and he said no. After two no’s I was pretty deflated. I went to Rick and said that we needed to revert to plan B. He knows more faces than I do, he knows a lot of people with heavy sober time, and he walked up to one man he knew and asked him and he said yes.

We got to see the entire sanctuary tonight. The church usually has a partition wall that cuts off half the room from the rest of the sanctuary, the meeting ‘meets’ inside of a church. In the main area of the sanctuary. But the pastor came down and prayed with us at the end of the meeting, and then they opened up the sanctuary so that we could see the entire space. It was quite beautiful.

They had several raffle gifts to give away tonight. They usually sell raffle tickets at the meeting at a quarter a pop for books, tonight they gave away four items, 2 books and 2 flowering plants. Dave won a plant with beautiful flowers that he brought home for his girlfriend. That was sweet. he brought it home on the Metro.

On the orange line coming home, I noticed that there was a blip on the train that there was an interruption of service on the green line, and when we hit Lionel Groulx, we got held up there for almost 40 minutes, there was an incident on the green line.

That was the night. Time for bed now. SNL is over with.


Pushing me Away …

Courtesy: FakeBlood

LOVE this photo …

Nothing is working like it should be working. The internet has been bouncing up and down all night, I had to call in a ticket to my ISP so that they could check the line over night.

When I tried to blog earlier, WordPress actually went down so I could not access the blog at all. So it is 2:50 a.m. in the morning and I am sitting here trying to remember everything that I wanted to write from earlier tonight.

Crank the Linkin Park on the phone and sit and type whatever comes to mind. It rained tonight. UGH !!! Makes everything stark and dreary. The trees are starting to turn in the neighborhood. I noticed looking down from our balcony earlier today.

We went to Lasalle tonight for our Friday night meeting, and it was half the crowd they had last week. I wonder where everybody was tonight, maybe it was the weather. When it rains, people don’t go to meetings and when it is -20c outside they don’t come either.

Oh Well.

The little meeting that could went on anyways. The primary speaker could not make it, so in a pinch Donny comes out to us, we were standing outside the community center smoking, and he asked Rick to share tonight. It was good because you never say no when you are asked to do something in AA. You give back in any way you can to repay what AA gave you to begin with.

Rick, bringing his clutch of sponsees with him to a meeting, get to hear him speak.  He is one of the most soft spoken and calm speakers that you will ever hear. Ever mindful of the line he walks every day in sobriety. It is always good to listen to him share.20 years of sobriety is nothing to balk at. Our friend Bill celebrated his 60th anniversary this summer. THAT is sobriety …

Junior did not make the meeting with us tonight, because he had a museum visit to do for class tonight. And hopefully he will be able to make it tomorrow night for the anniversary in Laval. We are planning to get there early for the celebration. Big anniversaries usually bring out the big guns in sobriety. Which I am hoping for because I still need to find a speaker for Tuesday night.

On the way home, Rick dropped Dave and I at the Angrignon Metro station at the end of the green line in Lasalle and we were waiting for the train to come from the station house, we got on the train and we went to sit down and I kind of tripped someone trying to get on the train, and he sat across from us on the train, giving us all kinds of dirty looks. The train was moving towards the next stations and this guy sitting farther up the car from us was holding a bottle of booze. When he went to get off the train Dave just looked at me and shook his head. That’s the second person we have seen in as many days carrying an open bottle of booze on the train. They come in all shapes and sizes.

I got home and farted around while my modem bounced up and down all night. It is a pain in the ass when you call the ISP that we use. The offices are here in Montreal, the technical team that does all the online technical services are in Vancouver. That’s across the country. The last time they had to send us a new modem, it took three days to get here. What a pain in the ass.

**********

Our Monarchs class has been broken into small groups for our group project this term. Each group has a chosen monarch to study this term and as a group we have to prepare a group presentation and a final paper based on our work. And the Monarch that we chose was Louis the XIV. I have to take a look at the library at Dawson to see just how good it is, or else I will have to access the Concordia Library, since my ID is still good, I can still get on the system and check out books.

I joined a new blog system, writing professionally for Technorati and Blog Critics. I will be blogging for them on a more professional basis. This is a good gig if you can pump out high end posts. I opened my account today and filled out all the paperwork and adsense information. I am still waiting on Google to approve my account. When that takes place I can fill in the rest of my account profile.

The order of blogging will change. I will have to publish over there first, before I post anything else professional here. And it has to be approved by the committee. I got an invitation yesterday to join the little group so I said what the hell, why not. I will have to figure out what I want to write about – I need to find a topic generator. I am getting group emails from the system tonight in piles and piles of emails, I was like, this is too much shit coming into my box. We will see where I fit into the grand scheme of things.

So that’s all for tonight. More to come, stay tuned…


Just Relax …

Courtesy: steffrawr

Jamming at the moment: Chad Fox Podcast from San Francisco. Name that tune: Faggalicious Dance Party – Faith Evans, Mezmorized … Freemasons vocal mix …

OMG … this tune is so get up off your ass and dance …

I got to see the latest trailer from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows tonight. OMFG is all I can say. November can’t get here soon enough. I’ve read, reread and read the last Harry Potter book so many times that I busted the spine and had to glue it back together again …

What did I do today? I farted around the house all afternoon. Hubby was in and out doing school and work, he is a T.A. for his sociology professor, hoping that she hires him to be her R.A. next season. The university is paying him quite nicely for his time T.A.ing…

I got some stuff done this afternoon before going to class. On Monday we had our first oral /listening/communication exam. It was the first huge mark of the term. I thought that I had done ok. And it seems that I did, I got 94 out of 100%. Hubby was pleased. He advises me to relax into it and enjoy the process.

Today in class we went to the language lab where we listen to different dialogues, practice oral skills, but today was different. We signed into the system and we got to listen to music. French music.

Each song that is logged into the language systems has the lyrics to the songs that we are listening to. And while we listen to the songs we have to fill in the blank here and there with key words from the lyrics from a drop down menu. At the end of the song we click a finish button and it grades our listening skills.

The first tune I got was a breeze. I got a 99% on it. My Prof came over and clicked the screen for me and asked me who I liked to listen to that sang in French. of course, who do we listen to in Quebec???

Celine Dion. On Ne Change Pas.

That was the song that I was supposed to listen to and write out the lyrics. I did not finish by the time lab ended, so the prof gave me the link into the system so that I could do it from home.

That was the exciting part of my day.

Tomorrow I have a full phone shift at Intergroup from 1 to5. And then I have class at 6. It is a 30 minute run on the metro from Pie IX to Atwater. That should be fun.

It’s a big weekend here in Montreal sobriety. The New Laval Saturday night meeting that we have been going to is celebrating their 37th anniversary on Saturday night. It is going to be good.

Friday we will probably go to Lasalle as usual. I have to find a speaker for my Tuesday meeting. Junior is sitting on the edge of the sober bubble – when we stop drinking we stop drinking. No cheating with 1 or 5% alcoholic coolers at the cottage. I hope that he doesn’t loose his time with this little experiment. That is all up to what his sponsor tells him. They are going to St. Matthais tomorrow night, poo poo I can’t go, I have class.

On the way home from class I went by IGA to see what they had in the frozen section and OMG have you ever eaten a Casa Di Mama pizza? They are the best frozen pizza out there. Well, at IGA they have six different toppings to choose from and a multitude of other things we can’t get at the Provigo downstairs. We are going to be cross shopping in the coming days.

Our little Provigo has been cutting back on food for the last year. Like we can’t get Kraft Mac and Cheese with the foil packet of cheese any more. Only that shitty dry mix in the stand up box. The one thing I had to get used to living here is that in Canada we don’t have HUGE box stores in the downtown core or in NDG, only small stores that are maybe 1/3 of the size of a conventional supermarket. If you go outside the city towards the outer regions like Park X or outside NDG you hit Loblaw’s and Super C. But they are a haul by bus and metro. It’s a bitch carrying grocery bags on the bus or the train.

Brand names are hard to come by for the most part. We get most of the brand name merchandise in food. But mostly if you shop at Provigo you get a lot of stuff called Presidents Choice foods. They box it, bottle it and sell it as “house brands.”

It is good that we have several grocery stores within walking distance of home so bag carrying isn’t an issue. If you can’t get something at one place, you can probably get it at another. Like at P&A grocery across the street from Provigo, yes they are on the same street side by side. P&A carries a lot of fresh foods, fish, meats and fruits. During the holidays we get fresh turkeys at P&A, you can only get the frozen ones at Provigo and IGA.

I love holidays… Turkey and all the fixings… If you like to eat good food, then you need to be at my table at Thanksgiving and Christmas.

So now I am rambling, it is 3:22 in the morning and I really need to get to sleep, I have a long day tomorrow.

More food goodness another time…

Nighty Night Peeps …


Life …

Courtesy: Thiswillnotdefineus

I just love this photo.

I am powerless over people, places and things. So that allows me to let go and let god. Enjoy the day and stay in the moment…

Don’t ask Don’t tell was given a sharp blow to the chest today. We are ashamed at the Republican party for their filibuster today. And we are also confused that the Democrats did not shore up the votes, they said they had just 24 hours ago. Gay rights in association with the military will just have to wait for the President to make his move. I guess we shall just have to wait for the military review to be completed in January. But the President has already promised a repeal by the end of this year. Someone needs to light a fire under his ass to get this done, already.

Last night I worked on the blog finding new imagery for my header and the sidebar. I really like the update. It is fresh, poignant, and brings a different slant to the blog. I have found a couple of sites through my tumblr account that collect these beautiful photographs from all over the world, by some of the best photographers in the business.

I started writing a post last night, that I later abandoned because I wasn’t sure about my topic. I’ve been talking to some of my friends lately about life, it is always great to hear that friends are doing great, having fun with life and exploring different aspects of our lives.

After reflecting on those conversations I’ve been reminded of the past and what once was, and just how much I miss certain people and times in my life, almost to the point of lamentation.

I wonder what life would be like, if those parts of my life, that have been long since gone many years now, that I miss so terribly, were a part of my life today, would life be so different? We do not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it …

Today we revisited the past in talking about “Hitting Bottom.” Junior pulled this topic from the daily reflections and the group did not hold back the honest sharing.

I remember my experience with a crash and burn bottom when I first got sober in 1994. It was really bad, I almost died, save for the team that rallied around me to help me get better. Things that happened in my first round of sobriety did not happen the second time I got sober. I have said this before.

Everything that happened in my life the first few years I was sober, was cathartic real life teaching. It was the most transformative period in my life. If I had to do it all over again, I would. I would not change one thing about my past, in order to make it any better or worse. I had the right people in my life, I had the right job at that time, and I had the right friends in the family we created amongst ourselves.

I remarked that the second time I got sober, I hit more of a psychological bottom. On Miami Beach, where I was living at the time, it was all about being seen in the best light. Having the best body, using the best drugs, and drinking the best booze, and partying at the best nightclubs week after week. I could not keep up with the partying, nor could I compete with the gym bunny crowd any longer.

I was socially stuck in my thirties, trying to act as if I was twenty, playing the social games of society, trying to be good enough or pretty enough… But I grew up. And I knew the party was over by the time I decided that I had had enough…

I knew the way back. The prayers I said when I decided to quit drinking the second time were well placed. And once again, god put the right people in my path, at the right moment, to facilitate my return to the program.

Once I crossed that threshold back into the room, I hit my second psychological bottom. I was ashamed of myself. I hoped that none of my sober friends would see me coming back to the rooms. I thought getting sober on the beach, and not in the city, would save me face.

Later I learned that it was all in my head. My friends were happy to see me back. I had to get past all the shame and remorse I felt coming back a second time.

At that time, the right people welcomed me back to the meetings. They took care of me day in and day out. I had a good job, I had a place to live, and I was getting sober again.

I know that after those first four years, I forgot about how and why I got sober. I became blind and the disease of alcoholism was eating away at me, in certain aspects. At four years sober, I was living in Miami and not Ft. Lauderdale, where I first got sober.

I did not have the support of the men who were in my life in the beginning. I did not do enough to shore up my sobriety. When I pulled the geographic at four years sober, it was a slip in the making. I had no control over the first drink and drug.

Even there, on my slip, when I picked up and used, I had hit another bottom. There was no going back, I was fucked from the word go. I should have never done what I did. That whole 18 months of my life were a waste of time, talent and treasure. I lost everything I owned and almost my life. We heard tonight that if you go back out after time in the program, you are powerless over the first drink, and that once you start drinking again, it only gets worse.

It is a caution to the newcomer just how crucial it is to stay on track, to know your bottom, and respect it for what it was. If you were blessed to come in and stay in, then you must do what is necessary to make sure you shore up your sobriety against another drink.

I have been consumed with thoughts about the past over the last few days. There seems to be a lesson coming. I am not sure what the lesson is yet, but a theme is coalescing around me. I am too far out from my anniversary, to get on the pre cake roller coaster.

I guess I am polishing my gem, so it seems. Issues are cyclical. Life is cyclical. In sobriety, you get to review your life on a continual basis. As we hit beginner meetings, and you go over 1,2, and 3 over and over again, month after month, the act of self evaluation comes and goes. Every time you get to look at some period of your life and each time that specific point comes up, you get to look at it with fresh eyes, sober eyes of today.

What happens is that once you learn the lesson that happened in the past, you get to review it again. And from that comes gratitude. Gratitude that the lesson came and you learned from it, and that you can move past it, and let it go, until the next time the review takes place.

Every pass of the polishing wheel cuts and shines the gem, that is sobriety. Every memory that is cataloged is grace. Every person in your life, is there by divine position. I begin to see in sobriety the universal plan. The great hand of god making his presence known to me on a grand scale. Sobriety is a wonderful grace. Every day brings something new, and today we got to take a look at a specific area of life and we are reminded just how blessed we are to be sober today.

I had asked a friend of mine to speak at the 8 pm meeting, and she was fabulous. I’ve been asking people from my sober circle of friends to speak at the meeting this month. This group of people all got sober around the same time period and we are all coming up on our nine year mark. Every day is a gift, including the people in our lives.

Ok, I think I am finished with this thought.

If you have a cell phone, I wonder how many of you play Foursquare? A few of my facebook friends foursquare. It is an online application that you have running in the background on your phone, and as you move about your city, it knows where you are at any given moment and you “check in” throughout your day. You collect badges and you can see where your friends are during their days as well. It is quite fun.

I have a bunch of apps on my phone that I use on a daily basis. Hubby spends a lot of time on his phone with his work and all. he loves the functionality of it all. I never imagined what a freeing experience it is to have the phone, I don’t know how to explain it but having hubby just a phone call away when we are out and about is totally freeing. It just makes sense…

Ok it’s 11 o’clock I need to eat and do my other online activities…

That is all for tonight.


Don’t Ask, Don’t tell …

Courtesy: snooz3r

Just ashamed … what else do we have to say?


Don't Ask, Don't tell …

Courtesy: snooz3r

Just ashamed … what else do we have to say?


It was a “Phil” sort of day…

Sunday has come and gone. The day was beautiful, the sky was blue, very little cloud, a nice breeze… And I stayed in all day. Looking at the tv today brought a “Deadliest Catch” Marathon and everybody who knows me knows that on Tuesday Night’s, The Deadliest Catch is always on here.

I’ve been watching the “After the Catch” shows that have been airing here all month long. It was nice that they spread After the Catch over several episodes and did right by each boat, captain and crew.

Hubby had things to do today, and he went out with friends for the evening, which left me home alone with my remote control. I got to see the entire season in one shot. This season was truly emotional with the death of Phil Harris, but seeing the season in one shot in one night was cathartic. Watching week to week broke up the drama and the story into manageable portions.

Tonight’s marathon gave it to you up front. It still made me cry just like the first time the episode aired. At the end of the marathon, they showed a behind the scenes look at the cinematography and we got to see the filming teams and what they went through to get the stories on film. It is truly a remarkable feat of cinematography with all the technology employed to tell stories. And matching up the right producer/camera operator to each boat and team.

All of the teams are important. But I have my favorite boat, that’s for sure. But this season everybody was a favorite I think.

So hubby went out and I had house chores to do like vacuuming and scrubbing the bathroom, and cooking some dinner for myself. Staying in the day today was easy. I enjoyed the day and the night.

It was a good day.


It was a "Phil" sort of day…

Sunday has come and gone. The day was beautiful, the sky was blue, very little cloud, a nice breeze… And I stayed in all day. Looking at the tv today brought a “Deadliest Catch” Marathon and everybody who knows me knows that on Tuesday Night’s, The Deadliest Catch is always on here.

I’ve been watching the “After the Catch” shows that have been airing here all month long. It was nice that they spread After the Catch over several episodes and did right by each boat, captain and crew.

Hubby had things to do today, and he went out with friends for the evening, which left me home alone with my remote control. I got to see the entire season in one shot. This season was truly emotional with the death of Phil Harris, but seeing the season in one shot in one night was cathartic. Watching week to week broke up the drama and the story into manageable portions.

Tonight’s marathon gave it to you up front. It still made me cry just like the first time the episode aired. At the end of the marathon, they showed a behind the scenes look at the cinematography and we got to see the filming teams and what they went through to get the stories on film. It is truly a remarkable feat of cinematography with all the technology employed to tell stories. And matching up the right producer/camera operator to each boat and team.

All of the teams are important. But I have my favorite boat, that’s for sure. But this season everybody was a favorite I think.

So hubby went out and I had house chores to do like vacuuming and scrubbing the bathroom, and cooking some dinner for myself. Staying in the day today was easy. I enjoyed the day and the night.

It was a good day.


Reflections …

Courtesy: ©2010 Vasilis Pazionis Flickr

This is an amazing photo, taken by a photographer on Long Island, by way of Tumblr.

The week was quiet, classes were ok. I am still trying to figure out what the prof wants from us in my history class. I think the boy has a complex, he carries around a McGill backpack, which must mean he is a student there??? Maybe an MA student or something.

Today was uneventful. Everybody is talking about the tall ships that are in port in Old Montreal. Rick said there were lots of lines and that I should get down there early tomorrow morning if I want to get on board the ships.

I did a little supermarket safari tonight. Nothing much to report there, bits and pieces and odds and ends for the weekend.

Hubby bought a new printer/copier/scanner machine for the computer yesterday. Today he hooked it up and ran the drivers into the system. So that’s all good.

Rick spent the day at the Old Port, and called to let me know that he was going to skip the meeting tonight. I got up from a nap early to shower, shave and do my hair for nothing… ugh … I got my speaker at the Lasalle meeting last night, one of my friends from early sobriety. She got sober a few weeks before I did in 2001.

Not much all going on tonight…


Living in the Moment …

Courtesy: Sky blue Sky

When you pull back from life, and work each day to learn how to live in a 24 hour period, different things come to light. For a long time I have been waiting for an “Almighty” answer to come.

I asked men of faith to pray with me. I prayed on my own. I took my concerns to my meetings, and I worked with others. Listening for the voice of God takes work. It is not a cut and dry practice. I never know where the voice is going to come from. Or how that voice may manifest itself.

We are going into my favorite season of the year. The city will begin to change. The trees are beginning to turn, and leaves are falling from the trees. The march into winter is a season to pay attention to the earth, and as you pay attention to the earth, you pay closer attention to the creator.

Sitting here waiting for an answer has been what I have been doing since leaving graduate studies. All my negative thoughts are just that, thoughts … People have their lives, hubby has his and I have mine, and others have theirs. I worry about specific things, and sometimes that gets the best of me.

At some point, one decides that something has to give. And that’s when the voice comes… Living in the moment, one day at a time is fine art. I just do what has to be done every day. I allow others to do what they do, and I let hubby walk his journey as well. All I can do is live in the moment right now.

There aren’t any big decisions to be made. Everything is going fine. Hubby is doing what he enjoys doing at school in his studies. He has work that he enjoys. Which leaves me right where I am at the moment.

I haven’t had any work opportunities open up to me yet, and I needed to bring in some money to the house so that we could move ahead. The only way to do that was to take classes. I was unsure of this decision, because I am uncomfortable in my surroundings. It’s like starting university all over again. Being the oldest man in the room has its drawbacks. CeGep is not university. But class is class.

One must finish what one started. Or else, at least, once you begin something, if you are not sure what it is you really want, then you have to “act as if…” This acting as if, manifests itself in the action of living in the moment. When you actively let things go, the rest of life makes itself known. Finding ones comfort in uncomfortability takes a lot of patience, and it doesn’t come over night.

It’s a one day at a time journey… and it begins with a decision, one day at a time. And I think when you are waiting for the voice of God to come to you, I find that just acting as if brings answers. The voice might come by way of my own feelings, or my intuition.

Sometimes it feels right, sometimes it doesn’t …

Tonight it felt right. I felt a kind of freedom of worrying about what I was doing. I went to class, and I did what I had to do in class. And hubby took care of me tonight, even though he was across town on campus.

Living in the moment can sometimes be exhilarating. I think that’s the word I am looking for. That is what the word of the night is tonight.

It all feels right, right now…

I think I will leave it at that for tonight.


Hope … Tuesday part 2 …

Courtesy: Tylerbear

Sometimes the right picture appears on your dashboard, right when you need it. The message is simple …

From the Daily Reflections: March 2… 3rd month, 3rd step.

“Hope is the key that unlocks the door of discouragement. The program promises me that if I do not pick up the first drink today, I will always have hope. Having come to believe that I keep what I share, every time I encourage, I receive courage. It is with others that, with the grace of God and the fellowship of A.A., I trudge the road of happy destiny. May I always remember that the power within me is far greater than any fear before me. May I always have patience, for I am on the right road.”

Do not be discouraged … A.A. p. 60

The afternoon was uneventful, waiting at home to get to the meeting. I was home alone, so I watched some tv, I tumbled a bit and set off for the meeting around 4:15. Junior was waiting for me at the church to do set up. It was his meeting tonight, so he chose the topic and HOPE was what he picked for tonight’s discussion.

The room was packed. We saw folks from all over, and even people whom we haven’t seen in years… and it rained today. The weather has been very conflicted all day.

It rained … the sun came out … it rained again … and the sun came out… and it rained AGAIN … and the sun came out … and it did that all evening long, right up until the second meeting started.

We had a guest who happened across the room. We don’t know who he is, or where he came from, but he was a total disruption of the meeting. He ate an entire plate of cookies and drank an entire pot of coffee … “grant me tolerance for those with different struggles…”

He pulled a chair off the stack of chairs during the meeting and sat himself on the far side of the room, in front of the kitchen, and he sat there all night long, choking and retching, wandering from one side of the room to the other, from his chair to the bathroom, putting on layers of clothing, and taking them off …

The discussion went around the room. It was getting intense. People were sharing deep stuff. I started to share at one point, and I was in the middle of speaking and this guy was choking over in the corner, and amid thought, I am trying to talk about myself and all we could hear was the choking … I was like WHAT THE FUCK …

I lost my train of thought twice as I was speaking because of the interruption, and the third time it happened, I just gave up the ghost and shut my mouth … Everybody laughed, I was like, “what can you do right ???” FUCKER !!!

I really wanted to throw the guy out of the room, he wasn’t part of the meeting, just a freeloader who ingratiated himself upon us from god knows where… But I ignored him the rest of the night … He left after the speaker finished. Where he went, nobody knows…

I am feeling a little inadequate. A little like a failure. I think this is all in my head, stinking thinking. I don’t think that hubby thinks that I am a failure. I am still in school, taking classes anyways. I don’t know if this is where I am supposed to be, but it is the place I am at the moment. I heard it shared in the meeting tonight, that sometimes we get into uncomfortable places in our lives and sometimes we have to be able to be comfortable in uncomfortable times … That is where the program kicks in. Keeping it real, fresh and staying in my day.

When I first got sober, this time around, it was the people I kept company with who showed me hope, they took care of me, they gave me hope, they supported me, I just kept coming back, night after night (back then) we had a meeting in the same place, every night and it was useful. Then when I moved to Montreal, and found my home group, where I am today, I came, week after week.

My little laundry list of expectations for God got trashed. This story comes up time and time again. The exercise of learning to stay in my day and one day at a timing it … It took me a year to learn this lesson.

You know, things that happened the first time I got sober, did not reoccur, the second time I got sober. Each point of contact with AA dealt with specific life issues. The first time, I was learning how to stay alive while getting sober. The second time, I learned how to not take a drink one day at a time. I had conquered the life issue, I had survived …

I am feeling a little resentful over people in sobriety. When I first got sober, I had relationships with certain people. And one night, and an ego trip later … Those people no longer called me “friend.”

You can’t get sober and keep your ego.

I mourned the loss of those friends for a long time. Every time I touch myself I think of one particular person whom I was very close with. I miss him.

Some weeks ago, I happened into a meeting in NDG. And a particular friend from that old period of my life was speaking. She and I connected after the meeting and I gave her my number, and she said that she would contact me… I’m still waiting …

When Mick died, at his funeral, I ran into her again, and we arranged to have coffee at inter-group one afternoon that we would both be there at the same time… She never showed up …

She holds the key to this part of my life, I haven’t crossed paths with my old friend in a number of years. I saw him once, at Shadows one night and he wouldn’t deign to acknowledge me as we sat in that meeting. Sad, someone who was that emotionally close to me could just turn around and banish me to silence, because of an ego trip.

EGO’s … A very sensitive topic for me. I see kids come and go and I see men come and go, and the ones with egos I stay away from. Narcissus spoke at a meeting last week, my sponsor was there, I’ve been dreading the fact that he would come back to TB’s.

Boys with egos are a disaster in the making. I maintain my position, that you can’t get sober and keep your ego. People beg to differ…

I am powerless over people, places and things …

Anyways, back to my resentment … Living with AIDS, I have a few truths. 1. Don’t lie to me, 2. If you tell me that you are going to do something with me, for me, to me, I expect you to follow through.

When it was either life or death, back in the day, when someone would say that they would take care of something, I went to great lengths to make sure those things happened, because in most cases it was life issues like food, rent, pills or social services …

Still to this day, people in sobriety, in this city say things, and don’t follow through. And I know that there are no justified resentments. I let this go, over and over again.

I feel like, sometimes, that I am back at square one, and for people with time, remembering what square one was like after years of sobriety is useful. Because sometimes and most times, we forget.

We have to have HOPE…

Friends are hard to come by, and the ones I have I am grateful for. Sometimes I wish that things were different, and that I could pick up the phone and make contact … BUT, I don’t have the numbers I need. Nor do I know where the people I want to contact are these days. Fuck emotions and egos and promises …

Oh well, I am powerless over people, places and things …

It’s 11 0’clock, time to eat and relax.


Shop Till You Drop … Tuesday part 1

Courtesy: AWMF tumblr

It was a quiet weekend as I have said already. Monday I had class and it went well. Our comprehensive oral exam has been pushed back until next Monday … Thank the creator … And absent students from class.

I am having immense fun with my new HTC Hero phone. Hubby and I sat up last night and programmed them with news sites that we like in the bookmarks, Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow, and Lawrence O’Donnel. We watch this line up every night, every night.

Yesterday my HBC credit line card came in the mail. It was a free $1000.00 card, good for the taking from the HBC website. So what does a good boy do with $1000.00 in his pocket of free money?

SPEND IT !!!

I went to Zeller’s, because I needed supplies for tonight’s meeting. Then I went shopping… like a mad woman, I felt like Wilma Flintstone yelling “CHARGE IT !!!”

**edit** I just got a note from the bank that I need a code to set my re-payment app on my online banker. They are up late …

Oh my god, where do I start… I really needed a new wardrobe. I’ve been wearing the same jeans for months now, and I am loosing weight so I needed some new duds. I bought 7 pairs of jeans/pants/dockers. 2 really nice button down shirts. Hubby thinks they are fashionable… I bought more undies and sox. One can never have too many pairs of either. At least in my case…

And I bought a Conair, professional hair straightening iron, like my hairdresser has at the salon. My hair is getting long and is too wavy and I can never duplicate a hair dressing look when I go to the salon, so hopefully, this little gadget will help me perfect my beauteus looks.

Oh yeah, and a pretty cool hoodie … One can never have too many hoodies in the closet, with fall approaching, it will start getting cool at night. They haven’t put all the winter coats out yet, although there were some on the racks already… I didn’t like them, so we shall wait for the booty to get put out soon.

Well the day is young, I need some food and maybe a nap. Stay tuned for part Two to come later this evening…


One of those days …

Courtesy: Daviid Misery

It was a gray type of day. Cloudy, breezy, dark. The kind of day that only encourages one to stay in bed and sleep. There was not much to do today, all the shopping was done. I have no homework this week as of yet, so I didn’t do anything but stay in bed for most of the day, I know pretty lazy. Sometimes sleep is at the top of the agenda.

Courtesy: Hawtblogfeed

I haven’t been moved to write anything of substance. I am preparing to do a guest spot over on Sam’s Stories in the coming days, she has yet to send me my topic. I skipped the meeting this afternoon, I didn’t feel like getting out of bed. It’s all good though.

Maybe more tomorrow…