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Archive for November, 2010

World Aids Day …

This is supposed to get your attention. And it is supposed to call  you to action. The celebrities want you to fork over cash on Wednesday for charities raising the flag over AIDS in Africa and worldwide.

It is a world shame that drug companies have not done enough to bring life giving medications to many places in the world that need them.It is a shame that in the year 2010, people are still dying from AIDS, when we know so much and the first world has so much to be thankful for when it comes to AIDS research and drug availability.

But we have failed the 3rd world. Millions of people in Africa suffer because of greed and drug monopolies. Drug companies have not done what they should do to bring affordable medication to millions of people who need them. We have the means and the money to do this. And yet governments around the world do nothing or very little.

Even in the first world – Here in North America, drug companies have failed many who live with HIV not making drugs more available to us. Ryan White funds need to be approved – ADAP programs need to be funded. More money must go the states for care of people with HIV. Drug companies must bring down costs for life saving medications. And we must bring to the market any and all generic forms of drugs to the market.

In the U.S. is costs $1000.00 of dollars a month to medicate someone with HIV. Here in Canada it is much cheaper for us to get medications each month. But so many go without and WHY?

What is it going to take to get these life saving drugs to people that cannot afford them? Celebrities who talk about going off social media to bring your attention to this matter are missing the mark. All these rich celebrities need to dump some of their own wealth into the charities they are asking you to donate to. If the top 2% of the worlds wealthiest people dumped something into the pot of wealth we could bring these much needed drugs to parts of the world that still don’t have them.

AIDS is a global crisis still today. If we don’t do something now, millions more will die unmentionable deaths because we did nothing. The saving of lives trumps many of today’s drama and gossip.

We Remember all those who have gone before us. I remember all the friends who have died over the last two decades. Life goes on for many of us, because of dedicated doctors and clinic workers. I am alive because of wonder drugs available to me.

16 years and counting … Remember my friends, remember your friends. Remember those of us who are still here living with HIV.

Take time today to remember us, remember them.


Tuesday Night

Courtesy: Alexander

It rained today. And it is cold. Any colder and we could get oodles of snow on the ground. There is a rainfall warning in effect as I write this. And it looks like we are going to get our first big snow over the weekend if plans stay the way they are from Environment Canada.

It was misty all day long until around 5 when it started pouring down rain. And you know, if it is cold, people don’t come to a meeting, if it is snowing outside, they don’t come to a meeting, and if it rains, doubly so, people don’t come to a meeting.

So we had a handful of people for the early meeting. And we talked about Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hide… Hence the topic edging in the old ideas realm for discussion.

Hubby had called me before the meeting to tell me that my speaker for tonight canceled AGAIN, for the second time in a month. So I deleted her number from my phone.

Thank goodness for good people. Because one of our guests from the early meeting volunteered to speak for me at the last minute, she had a good message. Survival from drugs and alcohol, and most importantly leaving behind an addiction to heroine is epic, and tonight’s speaker was a walking miracle. She was really good.

We had a great turn out for the later meeting and the seventh tradition was huge for the night, which is good for the bank account and prudent reserve.

We are in the last two weeks of classes for this term. I got the timetable for the Winter semester that starts in January. Registration begins on the 20th of December through the 16th of January. And it looks like French and World Views (Humanities) will be my classes for next term.

A good day was had by all.

I am really enjoying the new Android Upgrade for my Hero. It is all bright and flashy. I love my phone, even if I don’t use it as much as hubby uses his.

So that’s the day for you. I am working on my post for tomorrow which is World Aids Day – December 1st. That should be up later tonight.

Closed …

I am no longer posting to this blog. It is closed.

HTC Hero Upgrade Android 2.1

My HTC Hero phone was tapped tonight for the Android 2.1 upgrade. So I am running the latest update on my phone, it looks really sweet.

It did not take long to download, but I waited almost 2 more weeks than hubby, his update came before mine.

Saturday November 27th – 1st Snow of 2010

It is 5:51 a.m. in the morning and I looked out the windows and low and behold there is white on the ground. For the first time this season I can tell you that it is snowing in Montreal at this hour.

Winter has arrived … officially …

Friday Ice …

The weather is getting frightful. It’s all over the news tonight, the fact that we got up this morning to ice covered cars, streets and sidewalks.

I noticed tonight on my way out that they have sanded/salted the sidewalks here in downtown. It is also frigid out.

They restored our hot water to the building this morning, well, by the time I got up we had hot water and I was able to take a hot shower and get my day started.

A couple of things I have been looking at lately. Over on the sidebar you see Adam’s photo. A friend I once knew, he died from cancer last Christmas. They have published a book from the Adam Frey Foundation. It is called Adam Frey: A collection of blogs and stories.

I can’t seem to get my hyperlinking to work so if you want the address you can go to Adam Frey.us.

Adam and I used to write to each other during his last year before cancer took him so suddenly.

It was Friday today and we got off the island for our meeting tonight. It was a van full of men off to Chateauguay tonight. Rick, Dave, Cliff and I. It was interesting to bring someone habituated to city meetings to the country for a meeting. The energy at this meeting is very different from any other meeting you will go to in the city.

It was a bit strange tonight. It was all good, in any case. The speaker was great, she had a good message. I got home to a pot of chili, courtesy of hubby.

This is the last weekend to work on my project for my Humanities class. I need to read through a few books, hopefully I will get 5 pages out of them. So much for the “group” effort. There are only two more weeks of class this term and I can’t wait for it to be over already.

And so that’s that for tonight. More to come, stay tuned…

God Dammit to Hell …

Courtesy: Chawwlie …

It’s 2:20 a.m. and I wanted to take a shower before bed, and god dammit if there isn’t any hot water. FUCK !!!

There are going to be a lot of pissed off people in the morning.

Not Thanksgiving …

Courtesy: Everything’s Magic

Because we had it already !!! in October … Ugh

I am so jealous of all of you who had full turkey dinners today. I hate you all !!! J.K.

I didn’t even think about cooking today, really. I had not seen turkeys at the Provigo, or else I would have bought one to cook – over the weekend … I don’t think there are any turkeys to buy right now any ways. It will have to wait until Christmas. We don’t get turkeys on days other than holidays. A few days before and a few days after.

I didn’t even get up to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Oh, how un-American am I!!! It’s scandalous. I had other things to do today.

I got up around 11 and lazed in bed until almost noon. Somebody was moving something rather large somewhere in the building either above us or near the apartment because the building was shaking. And it may have been a bad dream I was hearing things or feeling the walls shake? I don’t know, all I know is that I got woken up before I needed to get up and I wasn’t very happy about it.

Then I went to shower and for some reason, I checked if we had hot water … AND WE DIDN’T … Thank God I didn’t get under cold water. So I washed my hair and got dressed to go to Intergroup.

I had to be there for 1 o’clock. Which I made it on time. I wasn’t very hungry today so I didn’t take any food with me. They have a kitchen and dishes there, but not for today.

Oh My God … I walked into the office to see who was on shift before me today, I was expecting to see a familiar face, and wasn’t I surprised to see my nemesis sitting behind the computer. I was like “Fuck Me.” Can you even have a nemesis in recovery???

Yes you can.

There are just some people. You know you don’t have to like everyone in sobriety. You don’t have to agree with everybody either. We all get sober – one way or another. You either get it right, or you fight it all the way to the bank. But, there are just some people that you have to say “Live and Let Live.”

If I loved everyone in Montreal, that would be a tall order. Some people just rub me like sand paper on a baby’s ass. You know???

So we exchanged pleasantries and that was that. I did not want to open hostilities. He started to say something to me about the last time he had seen me, and I didn’t think he wanted to bring up that memory. So he went his merry way without another word.

Thanks be to God.

You can’t get sober and keep your ego. That’s all I have to say.

However busy it was earlier in the day, it was dead all afternoon. I took 4 calls in 4 hours. I got all of my reading done for class this evening. I Know more than I need to know about Henry VIII.

We are down to two more classes on Thursday night. There is a god.

My replacement, Dave came at 4 o’clock and we sat and talked for an hour about people, places and things. It was fun.He asked me if I was cooking today and I told him no. And when I had said that I even missed the parade this morning he was like “oh, you’re a Canadian surely now!” Yes, I am a Canadian … Have been for years.

I left the office a little after 5 o’clock for school. How many times can you repeat … I really hate this class, I wish it was over already! We had our usual quiz to start off with. Then our group discussion for our group presentation that we have to do next week in class. UGH God give me strength.

Thank God it is only 5 pages max that I have to write. I hope that I source all of my sources this weekend, and email the copy out to my fellows asap.

We had a break and a final work exercise from the reading that we had for this class. I have survived my first semester at Dawson. It isn’t Concordia, by any stretch. I found it difficult to work in a group setting because of the cross culture issue that exist between some of my fellow students. One must respect the fine line between men and women. Oh well.

Class ended and I came home. I went by Provigo on the way back and as I headed into the building between the two doors, I could see someone fumbling with his keys on the lock. We have to use a key to open the door downstairs. So the closer I got to the door I realized that hubby’s key was the one stuck in the wall, and they couldn’t get it out.

The security guy tried to shake it loose but failed. So we were standing there in the doorway waiting for him to call maintenance and wouldn’t you know it, he wasn’t at our building but he was at another building up the street. God give me strength.

So I was like, “it would have been you to get y our key stuck in the wall!!!” While hubby waited for his key to get fixed, I brought the groceries upstairs and unpacked. They guy must not have been far off because it only took a good twist with a wrench and the key came out of the wall. So much for that excitement…

No turkey, No stuffing, No cranberry sauce… dammit …

That’s all for tonight. More to come stay tuned…

TwoFer Tuesday …

Courtesy: CryptoRay

The weather is getting progressively colder. There is snow just over the horizon, but what website do you trust for a 14 day outlook that has changed nightly. At least it isn’t (-20c) outside. It could be worse.

Tuesday has come and gone. A good day was had by all. I got everything I wanted to do today done. I’ve been cutting back my nights the past few days to get more out of my days, and it seems to be working.

As usual, Tuesday setup went as planned, I took my time getting around today, I wasn’t in any big rush. I was enjoying the day because it was nice out. It gets dark at 5 o’clock now … I have tunes and it was nice setting up with heavenly music, and then having an hour to myself to just do nothing. I did a little reading for class on Thursday night.

We had a handful of people for the early meeting. Our chair could not make it so we put our newbie Dave in the hot seat to chair for us tonight. And he did a great job. We talked about the slogan “Let go and Let God.”

Kind of relates to step 3 … a little turning it over as well. Once again I listened to some same voices talk about letting go – and turning it over.

I like this topic. I love thinking about it, musing over it, and really knowing what it feels like to honestly Letting Go and Letting God. For me it works really well. There is a freedom that comes in sobriety when you learn how to turn it over and let go.

It is not something that comes over night. I can’t tell you how it came to me, or can I tell you how to do it. You just have to learn how to do it for you. If I take back my will, I am not doing God’s will.

I heard a man share tonight that one night his sister walked up to him and told him to Let go and Let God. And in that moment he got resentful because she (in that moment) was acting like God. In the Telling him what to do. If I sit and tell people what to do and I get in their way of just doing it … or letting it happen, I am acting like God.

I read a quote in the Daily Reflections tonight that struck me … It comes from November 22nd. It says … “Only Two Sins”

… There are only two sins; the first is to interfere with the growth of another human being, and the second is to interfere with one’s own growth.

Alcoholics Anonymous pg. 542.

It relates to our topic tonight. As long as I stay out of the way in both cases I am doing God’s will. Which leads us to the second part of the meeting.

One of our members told me tonight that he marked his year in sobriety and wanted to know what to do, and I said well, we need to get you a medallion and your sponsor needs to get you a cake and present your chip to you at the late meeting – this will all take place next week. I have a phone shift on Thursday afternoon and I can get his chip along with my own. I will be taking my cake on the 7th of December.

I asked him if he had a sponsor and he said that he did and that was all ok. He can reimburse me for the purchase next week. It is good that the men who have committed to the meeting on a weekly basis are sticking to the program well. The miracle is happening for a number of people, just listening to them share is miraculous.

My speaker who I lined up to speak tonight came and hit the ball out of the park. It was a great little meeting. It may have been a small group, but it was the steady group of people who always come to the late meeting.

We are all in some way, working our steps in concrete terms. Our speaker comes by way of Steps to Sobriety, a Wednesday night group, here in the city. We heard a message of hunger tonight.

We hear speakers come and go each week, going to lots of meetings  over a weeks time. And tonight I heard our man share what it means to be hungry for fellowship, hunger for the steps, and hunger for sobriety. You just had to be there …

It was a good night. There was fellowship after the meeting. We have cakes over the next two weeks. Ian will take his cake next week, and I will follow the week after. Classes will be finished and we can set our sights on the holidays.

Just a couple more weeks and my first term at Dawson with end. I can’t wait for that. one day at a time…

Tomorrow is going to be a heavy traffic day around the U.S. as Thanksgiving is almost upon us. Stay cool.

More to come, stay tuned.

Sunday Nighters …

Courtesy: Totally Trent

I am going to bed at night way too late than I should, which is costing me in that I sleep in too late to do anything substantial with my days.

When I opened my eyes today it was close to 5 p.m. Hubby was out somewhere I knew not where, and he wasn’t answering his phone, so I got dressed and left to hit a meeting at the church where my home group meets on Tuesday nights.

The early meeting is a literature meeting and we read from Living Sober. Tonight’s reading was #26 – Being wary of Drinking occasions. There were a lot of people at the meeting and the reading is a long reading – we read halfway through and the sharing started.

I was the last person to share, I didn’t get enough time to say anything so it was an exercise in listening. I stayed for the second meeting, which was a speaker meeting. It was a good share. It was also an exciting night because two of the women of that home group were taking their cakes. Sharon got her 16 year cake and Susan took her 24 year cake. There are a good number of women in that home group.

The end of the month is already upon us. In a couple weeks I celebrate my anniversary, I have to get my chip on Thursday afternoon when I go to do my phone shift.

I have a 5 page paper due on Thursday that I have yet to work on. I just can’t seem to want to sit down and read the book that has been sitting on my dining room table for weeks now. UGH !!! I have to get it done because term is almost finished there are only a few more weeks in the fall term and then we are on holiday vacation until January.

That’s about it for the moment. More to come, stay tuned…

November 20, 2004 – November 20, 2010

Six years … “he still loves me … “

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Review/Spoiler) Be warned …

After a long wait, and multiple reads through the book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows made its debut today in Montreal, like everywhere else in the world.

I have read the book numerous times to count. And I have to say, to begin with that I was terribly disappointed in the film. Harry seemed antagonistic. Ron and Hermione were really good.

The film opened with several scenes but the continuity of the story was off. The film is a series of vignettes that come and go so quickly. The opening scene with Hermione obliviating her parents memories was discussed in the book and comes later in the story than in the opening salvo in the book, where she explains what she did to them to protect them.

Snape appears at Malfoy Manor where Voldemort is awaiting him as they discuss what is to take place with Harry’s moving and Charity Babbage and Nagini.

Fade to Black …

The Dursley’s on the one hand – in the book are escorted out of the story by Dedalus Diggle and Hestia Jones after a long conversation with Harry. In the film, Vernon and family are packing up the car and trailer with all their things and drive off into the sunset. No mention of magical help otherwise. No other wizards are in this scene they are conspicuously left out.

The Seven Potters chapter was done with some continuity. The conversation from the book is left on the cutting room floor for a more proactive Mad Eye Moody and Hermione, and Harry just relents. They could have pushed this scene a little further. But they bring everyone directly to the Burrow instead of all points from the book. I thought they could have done more with this section of the film.

You can’t put everything from the book in a two hour block of time so that is why the continuity was lacking.

George gets his scene with the “Holey geddit Fred” conversation from the book. But they mangled this part of the film it just does not flow correctly, too many misses and what they COULD have done, they chose not to do.

Harry attempts to flee the Burrow and Ron wakes up and follows him outside and they have a conversation about staying and the fact that they wouldn’t last 2 days without Hermione. Harry goes back.

No mention of Harry’s birthday at the burrow. No party, no gifts, but we do get the minister of magic coming to give them Albus’s gifts from the will. Once again, this scene from the book could have been played out in its entirety, but wasn’t. There are no words between Harry and the minister.

We jump right into the wedding scene where Harry walks up and sits down with Elphias Dodge and Auntie Muriel, she actually gets a whole scene.

“They are coming…” made it into the film, then the three of them disapparate into London Proper. There is no mention or view/use of the invisibility cloak. Harry does not take polyjuice potion to disguise at the wedding. They do change in an alleyway from formal clothing to street clothing from Hermione’s beaded bag.

The mention of Harry’s birthday comes while they are wandering around town, trying to find a place to hide, which eventually the scene changes to Grimmauld place.

Then we move into the diner scene with them ordering coffee and get caught by death eaters and the first wand fight commences. Hermione does all the complicated spells throughout the movie, I thought she did a really great job with her part.

There is no conversation about Grimmauld place they just go there directly assuming that was the logical next stopping point. Mrs. Black is absently silent at the house. The whole hunt through Sirius’s bedroom and the finding of R.A.B. on the next door does not happen, but words are put into Ron’s mouth. When it is Harry and Hermione who realize that R.A.B. is the brother. The whole time they spend at Grimmauld place runs about 15 minutes in the film.

No Lily Letter – No scene with Hermione and Harry … They just butchered this section for a few minutes of film.

The whole running down the stairs and calling of Kreacher does not happen. We find in the film that the three of them are sitting in the kitchen when they open a cupboard door and find Kreacher there. Harry is antagonistic when he quizzes Kreacher about the missing locket, he hangs the fake locket in front of Kreacher trying to force a response from him. There is no discussion with Kreacher, no tears, no long story about R.A.B. Regulus.

Kreacher makes his short response about Mundungus Fletcher and then Harry tells Kreacher to “Find Him.” A quick fade across the land and Kreacher pops back into the kitchen with Mundungus and Dobby the elf …

Dobby appears once in the book … well later on in the story. In the dungeon of Malfoy Manner. That’s later on.

So Kreacher and Dobby are fighting with Mundungus Fletcher in the kitchen and Dobby has an entire conversation with Harry about he finding Kreacher in Diagon alley and overheard the words Harry Potter and so he just had to come and help.

Where did that story line come from???

There is no planning of the break in to the Ministry of Magic. No Kreacher with the bouncing locket on his chest. But Mundungus begins telling Harry about Delores Umbridge when in the kitchen, so handily there is a Daily Prophet with her photo on it.

Then we move right into the hunt for the locket at the ministry. The polyjuice in and this whole sequence of events are odd. The whole way that Harry finds the locket (around Delores Umbridge’s Neck) while she is in court with Mrs. Cattermole. Interrogating her about her blood status.

Harry steals back Moody’s eye off the door and they stun Deloris the get the locket from her and end up back in the Floo Network back to Grimmauld Place, where Yaxley grabs ahold of Hermione and they end up in the forest where Ron gets splinched.

Hermione is nervous over Ron’s body and she plays the scene right out of the book, right down to the dialogue with Harry. They speed through the Locket is a hot potato and there is no mention of the runaways goblins in the forest eating salmon where Ron becomes enflamed with Harry leading to them splitting up as rain fell on the tent.

The “You’re parents are Dead” line is delivered by Ron and Harry and Ron go at it, there is no shield charm and Hermione gets Ron to take off the locket and follows him out of the tent where the snap is heard outside the tent and Ron Disapparated.

The interaction between Hermione and Harry after Ron’s departure is funny. There is an entire dance sequence between the two actors that was stuck at this point in the film.Listening to pop tunes on a radio. Hello … is anybody paying attention to continuity???

There is discussion about Godric’s Hollow and the pair disapparate there in the snow. No disguises, no polyjuice potion… The totally ripped apart the visit. No war memorial, Hermione finds Ignotus’s grave with the hallow sign on it. Then the camera pans and Harry is standing in front of his parents grave, where Hermione walks up on him and produces the Christmas roses. In the book, Hermione is trudging through the graveyard and the whole Kendra and Ariana conversation happens. There is no mention of them nor do  you see their graves in the film. They just hopped skipped and jumped through this chapter in the book.

The portion of the story with Bathilda happens, with the photo and the fact that Bathilda lures Harry up stairs where the snake comes out of her body to keep Harry there. It was a dark scary scene in the movie.

Harry is seen standing outside the tent in the snow. Hermione is off on her own sitting by a tree reading a book, sitting on a blanket hiding the pieces of Harry’s broken wand. The whole dialogue between Hermione and Harry after the snake, the conversation where she says Ron’s name early on Christmas Day doesn’t happen.

But it is mentioned later on.

Continuity … Hermione is supposed to be sponging Harry’s brow as he wakes up from his whole “being in Voldemorts head” from the book doesn’t happen. Harry walks up to Hermione and asks her where his wand is … it could have been played like the book, but once again, Harry is in an antagonistic mood once again, she hands him the broken wand apologizes and he says that He will use hers in the meantime.

My favorite chapter in the book … The Silver Doe…

It’s funny that they sit outside the tent building camp fires in front of the tent several times. The silver doe comes to Harry and he follows the light into the forest where it ends up stopping OVER the forest pool where the sword of Gryffindor is waiting for Harry. Harry strips off and “diffindo’s” the pond. Wearing the horcrux as he dives, like the book, almost kills him as Harry is seen banging on the ice from underneath.

Ron appears and saves Harry, get’s the sword and “Are you mental???” is spoken. You cast that doe, no I didn’t, I thought it was yours, no my patronus is a stag. We flash to the locket on the stone as Harry tells Ron to stab it. But there is no conversation and when Ron says he can’t do it, Harry asks him “Why did you come back?” with attitude. Harry has a chip on his shoulder the whole film.

The locket opens and tortures Ron and is destroyed. There is no soft scene between Harry and Ron. No I love her like a sister, I thought you knew that? All that dialogue is left out of the film.

Harry wakes Hermione (it is light outside the tent through this whole section of the film) when it should be in the middle of the night. But Hermione is asleep when they get back to the tent and the whole scene between Hermione, Harry and Ron is mangled. You read it in the book, and she is really demented. She gets her hits in but the dialogue is all screwed up.

Hermione attacks Ron outside the tent (NOT inside) the whole story between Ron and the two is mangled to bits. Then we see Ron and Harry sitting on a bunk admiring the flames in a jar and Ron gives Harry the wand he snatched from the snachers. There is mention of that happening makes it into the movie but not where it should be.

They should have lifted the dialogue out of the book and stuck it into the film, the silver doe chapter is a pivotal chapter in the book.

The trio travel to see Xenophilis where Hermione narrates the entire story of the three brothers, this is a very inconsequential chapter in the book, but they go into detail at this point of the film. I don’t know why they chose to illuminate this section of the book, and they skimped on some of the more important points in the story line.

They disapparate from Xenophilus’s house into the forest where they happen upon snatchers. Snatchers in the forest. They don’t go back to the tent and are happened upon by death eaters who take them to Malfoy Manor.

The snatchers chase them through the forest and decide take them to the Malfoy’s where the family is along with Bellatrix Lestrange. They weren’t going to turn them in. Hermione mangles Harry’s face. They mangled this section of the book as well. It is rushed and there are missing characters from the book, intentionally left out of the story in the film.

The whole scene in the dungeon is rushed. Harry looks into the mirror shard and calls for help… no eye appears and Harry calls for help. Dobby shows up in the dungeon and takes Ollivander and Luna back to Shell Cottage in Tinworth. Dobby apparates back and tells Harry to meet him at the top of the stairs in 3 seconds, where Pettigrew is struck down and killed. Not by his own hand, and there is no interplay between Harry, Ron and Pettigrew.

The house is empty save the Malfoy’s and Bellatrix, at the point where they go to summon Voldemort, Dobby drops the chandelier on Bellatrix and they grab the wands and apparate out to shell cottage.

The scene fades in with Dobby standing on the beach swaying. And Harry happens upon him and holds him in his arms and Dobby dies, and Luna says “we should shut his eyes…” Where are the others?

Bill, Fleur, and Dean, Ollivander and Griphook?

Harry says that he wants to dig the grave. There are no other characters in the scene, Harry digs the hole, and they (Ron and Hermione) carry Dobby in a blanket and they place him in the grave and the cover him up.

Fade to Black … Voldemort violates Dumbledore’s grave, takes the wand from him and lightening streaks into the sky …

Fade to black … the credits roll…

They are Coming …

The night has been exciting, as news of the first crowds preparing for the first showing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The first shows should have ended by now, and tomorrow the reviews will be coming in from all corners of the world.

We have tickets for the 4 p.m. show on the IMAX screen at Scotia Bank Place Theatres in Downtown Montreal.

I’ve seen all the clips that have been released. I am hoping for a good show tomorrow. From all that I have seen, the clips are true to the book.

Prince William to Marry Kate Middleton

Today the Royal family had an announcement to make. Prince William, heir to the throne of England has become engaged with his long time Fiancee Kate Middleton.

Where were you when Diana Princess of Wales was married? I was a young boy, up at the crack of dawn to see the Royal Wedding.

Where were you when Diana Princess of Wales died? I was living in South Miami, in Florida.

Where will you be when the royal couple tie the knot? Details to follow at a later date.

They may not be relevant. And the monarchy might be a fading tradition. The Royal’s occupy a special place in the hearts and minds of Canadians, as I am sure many other places as well. Do you care? Does it matter to you that William is finally settling down?

Will you participate in Royal Wedding Mania when the time comes?

I for one, will celebrate with them. It will be the biggest event since the wedding and death of Diana Princess of Wales.

Congratulations William and Kate.

May blessings and good tidings follow you forwards.

Slip and Slide …

Courtesy: Dropdeadgorjess

I am scratching my head tonight, as are my sponsor and my friend Dave, but more on them in a moment.

But – First things First …

I got up today with a plan in hand and on my mind, and I accomplished everything on the list of to do’s. One thing was to get tickets for Harry Potter – the midnight showing was sold out. But that’s ok, I got tickets for the 4 p.m. show on Friday on the IMAX screen.

Movie tickets are expensive. An evening at the movies is not a $20.00 night any more. Two tickets, plus food and drink, you’re gonna pay… Just to let you know that (2) tickets alone for an IMAX movie here in the city cost me $25.00. Then you add pretzels, candies and soda and you are probably edging closer to $40.00.

There weren’t a lot of people in line at the movie theatre this afternoon which was good. I got in and out quickly.

I have heard, through the grape vine, that J.K. Rowling thinks that this film is the best one in the series. Which bodes well for the grand finale come next year.

After my successful adventure at movie land, I set off for the meeting, with plenty of time to spare. I only wanted to make one trip into town then a return trip to the meeting instead of coming home between.

It was great. Have you heard the new Susan Boyle Christmas album? Probably not because it just came out here a few days ago on tv. Anyways, I got a copy. I have to say that I love this cd. I love choir music and Susan’s voice is just incredible. The cd is called “The Gift.” I played the music over and over again, it was heavenly.

We had a small crowd for the early meeting, and we talked about faith. From March 6th in the Daily Reflections:

“Do not let any prejudice you may have against spiritual terms deter you from honestly asking yourself what they mean to you.”

Alcoholics Anonymous p. 47

When we speak about faith, people generally equate this topic with the 3rd step. “Made a decision to turn our will and our life over to the care of God as we understood him.”

Faith. You either have it or you don’t, sooner or later you will either find it, or it will find you. Unless of course you choose not to work your steps and remain blissfully ignorant of spiritual concepts.

Today’s topic went around the room and I listened. There were several people who spoke up, all with varying time in sobriety. Not everybody shared. But eventually, I got to the point that I was able to contribute something.

I wrote about this a while back, and I guest posted on Sam’s blog a few weeks ago.

One thing sets me apart from all the members who come to my meeting. When I got sober in 1994, the first time, I was sick. I was given a terminal diagnosis of impending death, set for 18 months.

At that time, I started my rehabilitation. Not only was I getting sober, I was learning how to stay alive. I can’t really tell you that God was on my radar in any sense. I made a conscious decision to turn my will and my life over to the care of Todd and Roy, that was as close to God as I would ever get. It was the best choice I ever made.

Do you know what it feels like to live in earnest? To live life, knowing that you ARE going to die? Not many people know what that feels like unless of course, you are facing your own death. most people in my sober circle have never faced this truth, that I know of.

And I heard someone talk about turning his will over to a God of his understanding, and he says that if he doesn’t keep control of his life, that he will surely die. “I must hold on to my will…” he said. Obviously he has issues with “turning it over.”

Back then in 1994, I learned how to One day at a time it. I marked every day neurotically. It made my sponsor so angry. He ripped several calendars off the wall of my apartment during that first year.

I had given my life over to Todd, totally and without reservation. I went to meetings, I worked, and I lived. If it had not been for the structure and love I was given then, I would surely have died.

Once that date count began, I stacked one day on top of another. I stacked days into weeks, and weeks into months. Then it was months on top of months. My system runs on six month intervals.

My birthday falls in July. My sober anniversary is now in December, so is Christmas. If I lived to see my birthday, I was reasonably sure that I would live until Christmas, and if I made it to Christmas, then I was able to say that I would live to see my next birthday. That thought process lasted for a number of years.

When I made it to the death date and I was still alive, I knew that a power greater than myself got me there. I decided to go on living instead of waiting to die, so to speak. That did not happen over night. It took a few years to be confident that I wasn’t gonna die.

Aside from the hiccup in sobriety (read: my slip) I would not rely on that six month model again.

Faith. What is it, how does one find it, and where does it come from?

I had someone to rely on. Men whom I could put faith in. In those days, God was punishing people, taking their lives and that was that. I have remarked in the past, over the years that not many people with AIDS from the circle of writers that I was reading never mentioned the word God in one single book that they wrote. And that is conspicuously missing from AIDS writing from the 80’s and 90’s.

I had a tangible example of what a relationship with God is. These men I trusted with every facet of my life. There was not one thing that was unknown about me, and I kept no secrets from anyone.

I was loved into life. It would not be for several years into my diagnosis that I would turn to God mentally. And I can tell you when that happened. The day that Fr. Jeff handed me a copy of “I heard the owl call my name.” I made a commitment to start going to church and to pray and celebrate the sacraments, at the behest of the priests of my home parish. What had been started only grew stronger.

I listen to people grapple with sobriety. I listen to people stress over turning it over. I listen to people wrestle with God. The stories are all the same, they just come out of different mouths.

So I throw it out there … You know what I miss? Living by the seat of my pants. Living in a frenetic way. Everything from that first year and a half was a big blur. A big frenetic blur. Everything I remember has been safely and completely covered here on the blog.

I have forgotten the feeling of what it was like to live as if I were dying. We can’t turn back the clock. And this is a shocker for most people, when I share these thoughts in open community.

I am different from you, and unless you have walked a day, a month or a year in my shoes, you have nothing to judge.

Faith. You either have it or you don’t, sooner or later you will either find it, or it will find you. Unless of course you choose not to work your steps and remain blissfully ignorant of spiritual concepts.

People get complacent in recovery. God is a lightly tread on subject. It is Good Orderly direction. Spirituality has replaced the old religious God. But unless reminded of these things in concrete terms, they don’t think about it the way I do.

If you knew what it felt like to be told that you are going to die, then you would understand what faith is, and how to come by it. Because in the beginning we rail against God. Then we eventually fall to our knees and beckon God. And the follow through is turning it over.

I have learned over the last 16 years what things I put credence into. Faith, Family, Love, Charity. Faith, like positive energy, is life affirming. Faith is power. Emotions are power. My faith life has been tested and fired in the kiln of life.

My life experience, my studies in university and my own sober journey have enlightened my understanding of God and religion.

I may not be a “sit in the pew and pray” Christian. I find these days that I am a follower of a a God who lives “out in the field.” I love Church and ritual. I may not get to the Eucharist as often as I’d like, but Eucharist is very important to me.

Faith is the air that I breathe. It is the perfect pin point energy that I have learned to employ in my life. I live sobriety, one day at a time. I don’t run the show, and god is God.

I think I’ve rattled on enough about that topic tonight.

In other news …

We had been going to Chateauguay for meetings for the past couple of months. And we stayed there because we got invested in the lives of the people there. Some people marked time over the past few weeks. One gentleman in particular. I heard him speak one night early on about his struggles. Then on Halloween weekend he picked up a years sobriety, cake and all. Everyone celebrated his achievement.

Then, our man decided that he would stop going to meetings.

And do you know what happened to that man?

He drank.

He stopped going to Friday night. He stopped calling his sponsor, and one thought led to another thought and that thought led to one beer and then to another. All the time our man was asking himself, “What the hell am I doing?”

Cunning, Baffling and Powerful …

Fuck all his year of sobriety.

During the break between the meetings, our man showed up with his wife in tow. He did not quite think through what he was gonna do, but Rick, Dave and I knew about him. He thought that he’d anonymously come into a strange meeting away from his home group and take another beginners chip. He seemed pleasantly surprised to see us all there.

I was chairing. My speaker canceled on me at 5, we had to hunt a speaker from who was there, and we did.

I asked our man to read How It Works. And he freaked out on me. He was like, I am just coming back, I can’t read, and I was like, YOU – You’re reading. That’s it and that’s all.

Time is of the essence. You either get back on the wagon, or you carry your ass out the door, what’s it gonna be? He stayed and read for me.

The speaker was great. I don’t remember ever hearing him, although Rick said he spoke for us last year? I don’t remember. Anyways, it was a good share.

It was a party meeting tonight as Dave was taking his One Year Cake with us. Rick, Dave and I have been traveling to meetings for the past few months, as Rick is sponsoring both of us. We were so proud of him tonight. He spoke from the heart. We had candles and cake. And lots of sharing after the meeting.

It was a full day.

In 3 weeks time, I get to have my cake and eat it too. I will be celebrating 9 years of sobriety.

That’s all for tonight, it’s getting way late …