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Archive for June, 2011

Duke and Dutchess of Cambridge Arrival in Ottawa …


Help …

Courtesy: Dyingwontkillyou

It has been a very eventful weekend so far. Thursday I worked my regular shift at the help line from 1 to 6. By the time I got home from the East End it was close to 7 and I got sorted out and thought about hitting St. Matthias at 8, but I did not have enough time to change and hit the bus stop in time to make the bus, so I stayed home.

Friday night I set out for Friday West End, amid rain. It has been raining on and off for the last two days. I made it all the way there without rain falling on me. I had spoken to a man on Thursday at the phones and directed him to his first meeting on Friday night and so I waited outside the hall to see if he showed up, and he did.

While I was standing out there another member walked up to me with that gleam in his eye, he stopped in front of me contemplating a question. I knew he was up to something. So I waited on him to speak. “Can I ask you a question?” he says, I responded “yes” he went on to tell me he needed a fill in for tonight’s Saturday late night shift at the phones. I told him that I could make the shift. So that was that.

The meeting was great. The speaker was “family” I listened to her start her share and she mentioned her “friend” in passing, later on she referenced her “partner” I listen for little tell tale signs of familiarity. We have a good number of LGBT members who frequent that meeting Friday nights.

It is a good feeling, we don’t have a dedicated LGBTQ meeting any more, the one that was that meeting has seen better days and not many attendees. I went one Friday night many months ago, and there were only 3 people there, including myself. We are spread all over the city in different meetings. There are a lot of LGBT members at Sunday Nighter’s, Friday West End, and  Tuesday Beginners.

Pride is coming up the end of July and the first week of August.

Last night there were great celebrations in New York City with the passage of Gay Marriage rights in the biggest city in the U.S. Oh to have been in the village last night with all the revelers.

We congratulate New York. That’s one more US state on the list.

Today, it rained. And rained some more.

I got out of the house early for my 6p.m. shift at the phones. The trains were light on passengers on the way out. I reached the office with 30 minutes to spare. I hung out out front for a bit and the lady who was working the afternoon shift was a bit adamant that she finish her shift and I was like, whatever you want.

I sat with her for a bit, and that did n0ot sit well with her so she packed up her stuff and decided to go home early. Which meant that my shift started at 5:30.

It was a quiet night. Not many calls. But the calls I did get were tough. People in desperation and sadness. There isn’t much I can do for them but to listen and try to help them get to where they need to get, or to do something other than what they were doing before they called.

It was 7 ‘o clock on one call and a caller needed a meeting right then and there. And he was in a section of the city on the north end where there wasn’t a meeting in either French or English. And he was sobbing. I gave him two meetings to choose from, one at eight and one at ten. The early one was in Verdun, the other one was close to Atwater and Rene Levesque. I don’t know if he made either one of them, but I called a friend of mine who works the later meeting and warned him that this man might show up and to expect him. I hope he made it somewhere.

Then it got quiet for a few hours. I had a couple of books in my bag to read during the down time. And the computer was on in front of me. I had dinner around 8:30 with the never ending coffee pot.

The last call I got was at 10:30. A woman called who was in the midst of great sorrow, she too was sobbing. We talked for a while about things and we discussed solutions for her sorrow. “We don’t have to drink.” And she had been sober a long time, but she fell out over tragedy. “why don’t you call your sponsor, I am sure she would want to hear from you!” In the end she made the call. Hopefully she will make it back tomorrow or the next day.

Around 10:40 the French side decided to shut down shop and hit the road. They came to tell me they were leaving, I didn’t want to be the last man out so I logged off and shut down the computer, shut down the coffee pot and emptied the trash and left with them. I walked back to the Metro it was close to 11 by the time I got there. The train was empty on the way back in.

We got as far as Papineau metro on the East end of the village and the platform was packed. There must have been a Fireworks show at La Rhonde. The amusement park on Ille St. Helen. I got home around 11:15.

Hubby made pizza and now SNL is on.

It was a long night, I hope I did some good tonight and helped some of the people I talked to tonight. We can only pray for them now.

More to come, stay tuned…


NY takes historic step as Senate approves gay marriage, Gov. Cuomo signs law

Courtesy: The Canadian Press

Revelers celebrate the passage of a bill legalizing same-sex marriage in New York State outside the Stonewall Inn on Christopher Street, Friday June 24, 2011, in New York. The measure passed, 33-29, following weeks of tense delays and debate. (AP photo John Minchillo).

ALBANY, N.Y. – Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed New York’s gay marriage bill, starting what is expected to be a crush of gay weddings starting in 30 days.

The Democratic governor signed the measure shortly before midnight Friday, following up on a promise to put his name on the legislation as soon as he received it rather than wait the usual 10 days to sign it for it to become law.

New York lawmakers narrowly voted to legalize same-sex marriage, handing activists a breakthrough victory in the state where the U.S. gay rights movement was born.

New York will become the sixth state where gay couples can wed and the biggest by far.


Pottermore …

Courtesy: Ieatcha

It rained today. It is still a little gray out.

I had one thing to do today and that was to hit my shift at the intergroup office this afternoon. It was a very quiet day, call wise. When the phone did ring, all the lines lit up at the same time across the board. All around the dinner hour, people feverishly looking for a meeting.

It was a good day nonetheless.

The other exciting news today was this:

With a sense of anticlimax for the day was the opening of this site: Pottermore.com

A supposed interactive site for the next generation of Potter maniacs. I signed up with my email address and the site opens on 31 July. Funny that, it is Harry’s Birthday, AND MINE AS WELL …

Not to mention that I also sorted into Gryffindor when it all started.

That’s about all for today.

Maybe more later.

Stay tuned …


A Midsummer’s Daydream

Northern European Midsummer’s bonfire

Lifted from: Sects and Violence in the Ancient World Blog

Solstices and equinoxes are among the earliest religious festivals in the world. While there is no means of proving this, the signs are fairly indicative; ancient peoples were close watchers of the sky. Like many other species of animals, they used subtle clues to help them determine which direction to go at what time of year. Once agriculture developed, the sky contained the key of when to plant and when to harvest and when to thank the gods. It is no surprise that when the classical religions developed many of their festivals centered around, especially, the equinoxes and the winter solstice. Did they even bother with the summer?

The summer solstice tends to get lost in most modern festive calendars: it is summer, a time when we are busy relaxing—the crops are in the ground, firewood need not be gathered just yet, and life is perhaps just a tiny bit easier (except for those poor kids who still have to finish out the school year!). No cause for wonder that this particular holiday (traditionally Midsummer) is most evident in northern Europe where in just six months days will be dreadfully short and very cold. Midsummer celebrates light, fertility, and healing. Some traditions claim that witches meet on Midsummer as the sun begins, once again, its inexorable journey south (from the northern hemisphere perspective) nearly to disappear in the dark December.

The modern day Midsummer celebration held by reconstructionist Neo-Pagans is Litha. The name is borrowed from the Venerable Bede but the observance of the solstice is certainly authentic. It is often celebrated with fires to shorten the already apocopated night. It is the time when darkness is at bay. It is perhaps telling that the major religions have little to add to days of relatively carefree existence. People need their religion when things go bad, but when the struggle is minimized we might leave angry gods behind for a while and just bask in the ease of it all. But, as the Neo-Pagans and witches know, the longest day of the year also foreshadows the darkness that, until this day next year, will never again allow us as much light.


Hero …

Courtesy: Spoonsdammit

It was a beautiful day in the neighborhood today. And people were all out and about enjoying the sun and the grass. With the beginning of summer comes all those things we take for granted during the winter. The days will begin to shorten as the seasons pass by. But for now, it is good.

I got a call from Telus this morning saying that my HERO was back from repair and that I could come get it. I couldn’t get into the shower fast enough to get out the door this afternoon. I love my cell phone. I was using a loaner Motorola Blur, which worked but I was not fond of it. The touchscreen was too touchy, and if you were listening to music and the phone was in your pocket, it would keep changing the tracks and moving forwards and backwards on its own because the touchscreen was so sensitive.

They said that the problem was with my screen, when it locked up there was no way to reopen it. So now it is fixed. Because I have a Google account all my contacts were saved on my Gmail account so all I had to do was sign into my email and it sent across all my contacts back into the phone. I had to download some of my apps like Four Square and Facebook and all those things I use daily.

I had an hour between getting back from the mall and leaving for the meeting to restore all the things on the phone I needed. I got out in time and got to the church early and got everything set up by 6. We had a very successful business meeting and it is good now we have a few more members to spread the work across. We can broaden our group to do more things with more people.

We read from the back of the book tonight and the discussion went the whole period. We were about twenty tonight. Some of the folks who complained last week did not show up tonight. We only had a handful of people in the back row, aside from the twenty or so people seated around the table.

A good night was had by all.

I have my phone back and everything is good in the world.

HERO !!!


Sunday Sundries …

Courtesy: Venomous-viper

It was a beautiful day in the neighborhood today. The sun shone and the breeze was light, perfect weather for getting out and about. And so that’s what we did…

I finished reading Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince last night before bed, this was the second time in as many weeks that I reread the book. Now I can reread book seven before the next episode of Part seven comes to theaters in the coming weeks. The final movie clip for the next film looks really good. I hope that they take more time in this episode to cover more and not be a disappointment like the first film was.

I walked out to Sunday Nighter’s this evening. There were a lot of people at the meeting. We are reading from a new book “Experience, Strength and Hope” stories from the first, second and third editions of the Big Book. It was a good meeting.

An excerpt from The Seven Month Slip…

“After a year of learning new ways of living, new attitudes and desires, I became self confident and then careless. I suppose that you would say I got to feeling too sure of myself and Zowie …”

The story goes on the tell how the writer ended back out after some time in the program. This short passage brought to mind what happened to me the first time I got sober. After four years of sobriety, I was just going through the motions, going to meetings, hanging with my friends and living life as it went along.

But at some point during that fourth year, I started feeling lonely for something that I felt was missing in my life, the problem was, I did not talk about this to anyone. I didn’t have a sponsor, and I was flying by the seat of my pants. I did not tell any of my friends either. I took my will back and planned my slip out the door. Which was exactly what happened. And when it was all over with 18 months later, I had lost everything that I owned and had to regroup with only what I could carry after being extricated from that situation with what little dignity and life I had left.

There were sure things that I had not learned the first time around. I should have opened my mouth at some point and admitted that I was going to make a huge BAD decision. Had I done that, I probably would not have done what I did. But things happen for a reason. I had to walk that part of my journey.

I’ve learned that lesson now, about my will and how dicey it would be to take my will back and try it on my own. Things are much different today. I share with people, when I get squirrley I talk about it. I never make decisions without passing those thoughts by people who know me.

The discussion went the whole period. I was going to come home right after the first meeting, but thought better because a young man I know from another meeting was speaking at the second meeting, and I wanted to hear what he had to say. I see him on Friday nights at The Gates of Hell on the East side.

Several people stayed on to hear him speak. And it was a great meeting. The young people in AA here in Montreal are working on a Bid committee to go to San Francisco September 2-5th 2011 for the 53rd ICYPAA convention of young people. They will be presenting a bid to bring the convention here to Montreal next. It is a big project and they have been campaigning for people to get involved here in the city. It is a huge community bringing together both the English and French sides together for this event. And The Gates of Hell is where it all starts.

We’ll see how they get along. I switch my Friday nights up, going to NDG for Friday West End speaker meeting, or I go to St. Laurent and the Gates on other Friday nights. I have been hitting more NDG meetings because my French is not up to par sitting in a bilingual meeting. I need more practice listening and understanding French.

After the second meeting I waited for Bill, one of my friends who lives a couple blocks over from our building, we walk home from meetings together. A good time was had by all.

That’s all for now.

More to come, stay tuned …


Finking Friday …

Courtesy: Terry’s diary

The weather is warm out. A little sticky but comfortable. It was a good day. Not a whole lot going on at the moment. I got out to a meeting last night and at that meeting I saw some folks from the Tuesday night’s meeting who had voiced their concern about us running long.

I got the opportunity to make a 10th step and talk about how the meeting runs and why it ran the way it did. We have a script that we run from, every meeting has a script sheet that we all follow per specific meeting. We have a newbie in the chair and for some reason he fails to read the script or follow it to the letter at times therefore things get a little out of hand.

There is a line about limiting shares to give each person in the room time to share, because certain people take the liberty and go on and on and on… There is a newbie in the meetings who is a few hundred days into sobriety and he is a little bot over zealous and can when allowed, well, he really gets on his horse and begins to ride over hills and dales.

It is all well and good to be a little zealous over the big book and I understand your zealous attitude and the fact that you worship the ground your sponsor walks on, but let’s get real … He should pace himself. I’ve seen over numerous years, newbies who get on the gravy train in the beginning and a few months down the line, they fall off the gravy train and self combust.

One never wants to dissuade someone from working at whatever pace they are in because you never want to knock someone off the train. We will have to see how this issue pans out over the next few weeks and months.

*** *** *** ***

Tonight takes us to NDG and a trip to Friday West End. It was a beautiful night to travel and it was a pleasant trip out there. The meeting was well attended, lots of people and lots of conversation. The speaker knocked it out of the park and the crowd loved it.

I got back to the stop and made my way home. It was a very uneventful ride. The trains were running on the minute and the trains at Lionel Groulx were spot on.

It was Italian for dinner, very tasty.

Now it is Oprah Behind the Scenes on OWN …

More to come, stay tuned …


In the Middle of it all …

This photo was talked about on the news particularly the fact that these two were on the ground amid all the destruction that was going on around them. It hit Tumblr earlier tonight.

You wonder what they were doing there and if anyone else in the photo was paying attention to them.

*** *** *** ***

This from the CBC news website

CBC.ca’s online hunt for Vancouver’s kissing couple …

The search for the couple began on Twitter shortly after 10 a.m. ET Thursday.

Tweet.

Our followers immediately retweeted, and within minutes tips began trickling in.

At first the sense was the photo was actually staged, or even art. Or was it an homage to “The Kiss,” an art show staged at New York’s Guggenheim Museum in 2010?

Tweet. Tweet. Tweet.Tweet.

And then a second image of the couple appeared, this time on Facebook.

Seen from a rooftop, the couple looked far less romantic than they did in the first shot, which led many to speculate about the couple’s condition – and whether the woman in the couple had suffered a medical emergency.

The search for the couple spread, around Canada and then to the U.S.

Tweet. Tweet.

It wasn’t long before the couple – or at least their image – began to appear in all sorts of unlikely places.

Tweet. Tweet.

Yet as the fun got underway, many still doubted the legitimacy of the image.

Tweet.

At 3:25 p.m. ET, Esquire, which earlier had declared the photo:

Tweet.

published an interview with the photographer who snapped the iconic pic, Rich Lam of Getty. “It was complete chaos,” Lam wrote for Esquire of the riots. He was running from riot police when he “noticed in the space behind the line of police that two people were laying in the street … [with] a raging fire just beyond them.”

“I knew I had captured a ‘moment’ when I snapped the still forms against the backdrop of such chaos,” Lam told Esquire.

Tweet.

Lam told the Vancouver Sun he has more pictures of the couple that he’s prepared to release.

In the meantime, the search for the couple continues. Will they come forward? Do they even know they’re being sought?

Do you know the couple? If you can help us identify them, email us at yournews@cbc.ca


Thursday Night Fist Fight …

Courtesy: geejewbee

A quiet evening outing tonight ended with violence here in the city. The weather was hot today, warmer than usual. I got up today and farted around the apartment and did basically nothing.

I got ready to go to St. Matthias and set off for the bus stop. It is a short walk from home to Chomedy where we catch the bus. I got on the bus and my friend Bill was already aboard, he lives up the route from me so he gets on before I do.

The meeting was well attended. I got to talk to a few friends about the other night’s meeting, which was good for me to do. The speaker was good. It was a great share even if he went a little long.

After the meeting I sat outside and waited for Bill to come out, so that we could walk to the bus stop together, and it wasn’t long before a 24 rolled up to the stop.

We sat down in the front of the bus and it started moving and about a block into the ride the bus driver swerved into the right lane and attempted to run down a boy on a bike. What ensued was distressing.

The bus driver stopped the bus and threw the wheel up and got into an argument with the boy who was on the defensive. The bus driver was in the wrong to start with. The argument escalated and the bus driver walked off the bus and grabbed the boys backpack and tossed it on the front of the bus dash and made to depart.

The boy jumped on the bus and grabbed his bag and the driver came out of his seat and the boy punched the driver in the head. At that point another bus coming the other direction stopped across the street full of passengers. They tried to keep the two from beating each other up.

The driver called for help. At that point Bill and I decided that we would get off the bus and walk the rest of the way home. We saw four cop cars head to the stopped bus as we walked away. How many cop cars does it take to take care of a problem?

More than one, More than two, Possible three …

So we walked all the way home from Westmount to downtown, it took us about 20 minutes to make the trip. It was nice out and we chatted all the way back.


Downtown Vancouver ablaze after rioters run amok following Canuck Cup loss

Vancouver gets the big black mark for sportsmanship. A very sad outcome after a week of prideful good behavior. We are ashamed of you Vancouver… You did not do Canada proud.

Courtesy: The Canadian Press

VANCOUVER – Parts of downtown Vancouver erupted in flames, explosive booms thundered through the air and looters smashed windows and ran amok inside department stores Wednesday after the city’s Stanley Cup run ended in bitter defeat.

Weeks of well-behaved crowds watching the Vancouver Canucks march toward Game 7 of the NHL final ended abruptly in violence and vandalism that erupted even before the 4-0 loss to the Boston Bruins was officially over.

The riot shattered the wholesome legacy of the nightly parties hosted on the same streets during the 2010 Olympics — an experience that had the city’s mayor and police chief confidently proclaiming Vancouver had “matured” since similar riots in 1994.

Police officers from around the region flooded into downtown and Mayor Gregor Robertson said things were getting under control, but the images and atmosphere that lingered late into the night suggested otherwise.

Gregor said there had been no fatalities, though he had to be asked the question twice.

Fights broke out and people were seen falling on broken glass.

At the flagship Bay store, looters jumped inside and were seen grabbing T-shirts and anything else they could get their hands on. Young women were seen escaping with MAC cosmetics. One girl carried out part of a mannequin.

The landmark building was filling with smoke as rioters, their faces covered in bandannas, continued the violence. Almost none were wearing hockey jerseys.

For many, the ugly chaos added a vicious sting to an already painful loss.

“This isn’t what the Canucks are about,” said Chad McMillan, 31, a Vancouver resident and lifelong Canucks fan.

“This isn’t what their fans are about, this isn’t what this city is about.”

Police in riot gear attempted to cordon the violence, but ambulances also appeared to be having trouble getting inside the zone to help the wounded.

The smoke from the fires and from police tear gas and pepper spray was choking.

Flames leaped from at least two flipped vehicles, which rested in the middle of trash-strewn streets, filling the downtown core with heavy black smoke in the moments immediately following the game at Vancouver’s Rogers Arena.

“I heard a loud noise and turned and there was a car being stomped on by a bunch of guys,” 18-year-old witness Brandon Sinclair said of the first few moments of violence.

“A bunch of guys started rocking it, then they flipped it over and five minutes later it was on fire and then they flipped another one. It was just out of control.”

Bright orange flames were seen shooting nearly 10 metres into the air as bystanders tossed firecrackers, setting off intermittent barrages of staccato explosions.

Live television images showed a large fire burning inside a parking garage, but it wasn’t immediately clear what was ablaze.

Patrick Fleming, 15, from Richmond, B.C., said a small group of fans took out their anger on nearby cars in the game’s dying moments, flipping over two vehicles and setting one on fire.

Another upturned vehicle was visible nearby as flames erupted from the exploding car, prompting bystanders to duck down in alarm. Fans who were trying simply to get out of the danger zone found their visibility reduced to zero by the thick black smoke.

About an hour after the game ended, some bold troublemakers started hurling garbage and bottles at police officers, who deflected the debris with riot shields. Protesters who rushed the police line were quickly subdued with blows from a truncheon.

Some protesters held what looked like pipes or hockey sticks over their heads as they jeered at officers. Newspaper boxes were wrenched off the sidewalk and hurled through store windows. Portable toilets were tipped as the stifling black smoke spread through the city’s core.

Some seemed to revel in the rampage, recording the vandalism on cellphones and video cameras. A few congratulated those who tried to attack police, while others erupted with cheers every time something was damaged.

At one point, police were using flash-bangs — grenades that are designed to distract and disorient, rather than injure — to try to break up the mob.

There were no details about injuries, although live television showed images of at least one woman mopping blood from her forehead. Another report said at least one person had been stabbed. Fights and skirmishes erupted all over.

“You don’t ever hope for a situation like this,” said Vancouver police Const. Jana McGuinness.

“You celebrate the good times and you prepare for the bad times and that’s exactly what we’ve done. Unfortunately, the tables have turned tonight.”

Som Gosh, 16, said police blocked off the area and detained a number of people, but it did little to quell the violence.

“I think it was a few people … Everybody else is watching, some are cheering,” Gosh said.

As he spoke, another fire erupted nearby in an area littered with abandoned Canucks memorabilia and hand-lettered signs expressing support for the team. The violence appeared to start when fans set fire to a stuffed bear decorated to symbolize the Bruins. Others sang a drunken tune as they danced on an overturned vehicle.

Some members of the crowd could be seen trying to hold others back as the rampage continued. Many — including families with children — tried to flee, panicked.

Most of the people in the downtown core wanted no part of the violence and headed in the opposite direction. A long line of police tried to hold the surging crowd back from the blazing cars.

Though the outcome of the game was no longer in doubt midway through the third period, a hail of beer bottles rained down on giant outdoor television screens as soon as the final buzzer sounded.

The scene was vividly similar to one in 1994, when a Game 7 loss to the New York Rangers prompted a similar stampede of boozy mayhem in the downtown core.

This time, police tried to nip the violence in the bud by closing liquor and beer stores early, but it appeared to have no effect.

Said McGuinness: “We will have to sit down and evaluate exactly what happened here. It’s going to be a black mark for a very, very long time.”

Pandemonium reigned as some fans chanted obscenities about the winning team, leaping over bonfires that raged in the street as riot police moved in to try to restore order. Isolated fights broke out between small groups of drunken fans.

Police and firemen stood nearby, but did not intervene right away. If a pedestrian happened to be heading in a direction of danger, however, officials warned them to turn around.

At least two young men covered in soot reported being roughed up by the police, but they weren’t arrested. Rivers of poured-out alcohol, broken glass and trash made navigating the streets of the downtown a treacherous task.

Vancouver netminder Roberto Luongo, who is sure to come in for heavy criticism for Vancouver’s Cup loss, was among the heroes of that game, which Canada won 3-2 in overtime.


Matter …

Courtesy: Animalbmx

I’ve been feeling a little out of sorts. Lots of things going on in my brain. Questions, concerns, feelings, emotions.

People are talking about Pride, as June is Pride month in many places. Pride won’t come to Montreal until the beginning of August. Pride is not something I think about these days. We’ve not talked about going as of yet, yet some writers are talking about the topic ad nauseum.

Another calendar year is coming to a close on the 8th of July. I mark my 17th anniversary living with AIDS. Nobody seems to care. Nobody brings it up and it is not a topic of conversation in any of my social circles. Among my short list of gay friends, we never talk about it. Nobody mentions it.

I go to the doctor and he is non-plussed. My doctor visits are like any other day. It is a rote event on the calendar every few months. The appointment begins and ends with not much fan fare. I’m alive, the drugs are working, I live a good life, so if it ain’t broken don’t fix it. My doctor never mentions the word mortality because I guess as long as the numbers are nominal then there is nothing to discuss.

Another generation of young people are coming up through the ranks. A generation who know nothing of what it was like and they don’t think about AIDS unless it is forced upon them in ads and print articles.

What is out of sight is out of mind.

None of the gay folk I read on a daily basis mention any word of std’s or AIDS or anything of that matter. For the most part it is all about Grindr, and the hunt for sex. With technology comes the easy effort in finding ones next conquest. And you have to be between the ages of 24 and 30, young cut and hot. Many of us oldsters don’t fit in today’s acceptable demographic. And because of that fact, the young don’t care that we exist, nor do they take the time to pay us any mind. Just spend any time on Tumblr or You Tube.

If the storytellers don’t speak up and tell the stories of the past, the topic would never get talked about in any case. I don’t have to rehash all the memories from the last 17 years, all you need to do is click on the pages and read for yourselves.

I don’t know, I’m feeling a little forgotten. Like if I don’t initiate contact between any of my friends, they would not initiate contact either. Facebook is the easy out, we are on every day, we read statuses and messages and I guess that’s all part and parcel of technology. Connection at a distance. As long as you are updating your status every day, there is no need to see each other.

Sobriety is a rote activity. I follow the same routine every week. Week in week out day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year. People come, people go, they don’t seem to take notice of me. I see the same people at the meeting every week. I visit assorted meetings every week as well. I come and go almost unnoticed. Nobody asks how I am doing or what I am up to. It’s amazing that I can walk into a room, sit down with my coffee, sit through a meeting and go and not speak to one person from that meeting. Not many people extend a hand, and I guess I have to admit that I don’t either.

I was talking to Holly earlier tonight and I said that sobriety is not what it was like ten years ago. People have come and gone. And being Gay in straight sober circles doesn’t seem to work for many people in the rooms. As long as I don’t open my mouth or share anything personal, they are ok. I don’t make issue of homosexuality in the rooms. I came out to Holly earlier and I did not think twice about it, and she was cool with it. I told her about what some people have said to me over the years and how people treat me in our meeting. AA might be all inclusive from the outside, but from the inside it is very exclusive.

I do my meetings, I keep to my routine. I am cordial to people and say hello here and there. And on the odd occasion someone will remember me at certain meetings because I follow the same schedule every week. I was surprised last week at Friday West End that people know my name because I read for the meeting a few weeks ago, because a man sat down behind me and I heard someone ask him if he knew my name, and he did.

Tonight at the meeting we had the 27 folks, we ran long and we made a decision from the chair that we would run long to allow all the folks in the room the chance to share, and it came that the last person to share really needed that two minutes to hear himself speak. And some had to complain about running long …

I don’t get it, alcoholics spent hours upon hours in a bar getting hammered and if you told them to leave or cut short a bar visit they would get up in your face. But should an AA meeting go over the hour mark, heaven forbid… That was an issue some people had when we changed the format that we were actually going an hour fifteen, which some people bitched and moaned about.

I am waiting until these bitchers and moaners come to the meeting and need an extra few minutes to share just to cut them off at the pass, just out of spite. It has always been understood that the chair usually never cuts someone off during a share. However, some folks at the meeting now go on and on and we have allowed that to happen. Maybe we should tighten up that portion of the meeting.

A home group for me, is the place that I call home, where I can share what ever’s on my mind, and that goes for everyone who walks in the door. If you sit in a chair you get a chance to speak. No matter what some pissy members might want. If you can’t sit for a few minutes more to give someone a chance to share, then go out and fucking drink … UGH !!! God give me strength…

I guess it’s not always about me now that I’ve come to the end of this piece. Or maybe it is. Something to maybe bring up next week in private with a friend.

I guess I just maybe need to be acknowledged. Maybe I need to feel relevant and important, that I am not just taking up space, where nobody notices me like a piece of furniture. You can’t put words in someones mouth nor can you expect a lot from alcoholics.

Expectations, that is a lesson I learned a long time ago. Expectations, you can have them, but not put very much importance on them, because people are people fickle as they are, if you never expect, then you are never dissatisfied.

Does it matter that I have survived? Does my existence really matter to anyone besides myself? People don’t know, nor do they ask about life in all its complexities. In the program I have acquaintances – but very few friends who are part of my inner circle. In the last nine and some odd years, nobody has stepped up to be that kind of friend.

People are non moved  that I do the lion’s share of the work every week in order to put on a meeting, and still have the audacity to bitch and moan about something they don’t like. Which I am like, you know what, Fuck off …

People take for granted the fact that we work very hard to keep the meeting up and running every week and yet every week someone has to bitch. Fucking alcoholics. Some of them are never satisfied.

Thank God I am powerless over people, places and things.


Decaf …

Courtesy: Pikatr0n

What does one do with time on his hands ??? Sleep??? Jog around the city??? Spend time with friends??? Hit massive amounts of meetings at night ???

I journeyed all over the place over the last few days. Hitting a lot of meetings by the by. I also get to sleep in most days which is really nice. Yesterday was supermarket safari and it was an easy shop. I usually shop during down hours so I miss the dinner time crowds.

Today was a lazy day. The weather is holding which bodes well for meeting attendance. I got out with plenty of time to set up and chill out before the meeting. It was nice today because one of our members showed up early and helped set up and we sat and talked for an hour before the meeting. We gained another member tonight. That makes 6. And we talked after the meeting that there may be more people joining over the coming month seeing the traffic that is coming now.

We had 27 people show up. All the chairs were sat and then some. It was a packed house. People are very aware of everything we do at the meeting. We usually make 2 pots of coffee (regular and decaf) and we serve cookies every week. Usually when we make 2 pots, we end up throwing at least one of them down the drain full.

So when decaf ran out last week, I didn’t make decaf tonight. And as usual when you don’t make it – people complain about it. Even if they don’t drink decaf, someone has to moan about it not being there.

The discussion was on Chapter 5, How it Works, up through the end of step 3. Since there were so many people in chairs, the chair decided to let the discussion go long in order to allow everybody a chance to share. And in the end, the last person who shared needed the few moments to get out what he needed to say.

There was an 8 year cake as well, so the meeting ended around 8:20. And wouldn’t you know it, we went over by a few minutes and didn’t someone come up to me afterwards to complain about the overage. And I was like, “are you in a hurry to get home?” So we made a decision to go over, big deal. End of story. It is the chairs discretion whether we go long or end up short. For the most part we usually end up short, tonight was not the case.

Yadda Yadda Yadda…

We all had cake and lots of conversation. The group is becoming much more cohesive. People are hanging out afterwards to chat and have coffee. We are very pleased with the numbers. The kitty did well tonight. Next week is the last meeting for the month, because the church needs the hall on the 28th.

It’s all good.

More to come, stay tuned…

 


+Desmond Tutu: “All Are God’s Children”

Found on: Walking with Integrity – Posted by Susan Russell

Delighted to see this excerpt from Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s most recent book — “God Is Not A Christian” — posted on the Huffington Post this morning just in time for June Pride Month!

All Are God’s Children: On Including Gays and Lesbians in the Church and Society


by Archbishop Desmond Tutu

A student once asked me, If I could have one wish granted to reverse an injustice, what would it be? I had to ask for two. One is for world leaders to forgive the debts of developing nations which hold them in such thrall. The other is for the world to end the persecution of people because of their sexual orientation, which is every bit as unjust as that crime against humanity, apartheid.

This is a matter of ordinary justice. We struggled against apartheid in South Africa, supported by people the world over, because black people were being blamed and made to suffer for something we could do nothing about — our very skin. It is the same with sexual orientation. It is a given. I could not have fought against the discrimination of apartheid and not also fight against the discrimination that homosexuals endure, even in our churches and faith groups.

I am proud that in South Africa, when we won the chance to build our own new constitution, the human rights of all have been explicitly enshrined in our laws. My hope is that one day this will be the case all over the world, and that all will have equal rights. For me this struggle is a seamless robe. Opposing apartheid was a matter of justice. Opposing discrimination against women is a matter of justice. Opposing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is a matter of justice.

It is also a matter of love. Every human being is precious. We are all — all of us — part of God’s family. We all must be allowed to love each other with honor. Yet all over the world, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people are persecuted. We treat them as pariahs and push them outside our communities. We make them doubt that they too are children of God. This must be nearly the ultimate blasphemy. We blame them for what they are.

Churches say that the expression of love in a heterosexual monogamous relationship includes the physical — the touching, embracing, kissing, the genital act; the totality of our love makes each of us grow to become increasingly godlike and compassionate. If this is so for the heterosexual, what earthly reasons have we to say that it is not the case with the homosexual?

The Jesus I worship is not likely to collaborate with those who vilify and persecute an already oppressed minority. I myself could not have opposed the injustice of penalizing people for something about which they could do nothing — their race — and then have kept quiet as women were being penalized for something they could do nothing about — their gender; hence my support for the ordination of women to the priesthood and the episcopate.

Equally, I cannot keep quiet while people are being penalized for something about which they can do nothing — their sexuality. To discriminate against our sisters and brothers who are lesbian or gay on grounds of their sexual orientation for me is as totally unacceptable and unjust as apartheid ever was.

As we make God’s love tangible through our work and witness this Pride Month, let’s give thanks for the powerful, prophetic voice of +Desmond Tutu as he speaks truth to power in the Anglican Communion and gives hope to LGBT people on the margins throughout the world.


Blur …

Courtesy: Loveoncelost

Last night it rained. Cats, dogs, little fishes etc etc …

We watched the clouds come over the mountain from the North and West over the city. It was a microburst storm. Living on the 17th floor, when BIG weather hits the city, the windows buckle in their frames. We went from light of day to darkness of night in a matter of minutes. The rain fell in sheets, and lightening criss crossed the sky, it was all quite amazing.

And as quickly as it blew in, inside of 30 minutes the storm blew itself out.

It was much cooler last night which made it better to sleep. We hit the hay much earlier that usual last night, and around 5 am I woke up and I was in a downward spiral sugar down. That’s the first time I have hit a down in the middle of the night, so I got up and ate and drank almost a whole bottle of soda.

I was supposed to have lunch with a friend I haven’t seen in a long time, but as I got in the elevator to leave the building my phone decided to up and die on me…

I walked to the restaurant and got a table, the server brought me a soda and I sat and waited for a while. I don’t know how long I waited because I usually use my phone as a watch, and because said phone was dead, I did not know what time it was.

In the end – my friend did not show, or I left before he got there. I set off for the Metro and headed to the mall to get my phone fixed. They took all the sim cards and memory cards out and we went around and around with a Motorola phone, they give you a loaner while your phone gets fixed.

They popped the cards in one phone – it would not read my SD card.

They popped the cards in a second phone – it would not read my SD card.

They tried a third phone and still it didn’t work.

They told me to bring it home and stick the phone on the USB cord into the computer and it would recognize the SD card. Well, I walked home from the mall, hubby got involved and in the end, we could not make the phone work either. We spent a good hour trying to find fixes online to no avail.

I walked back to the mall and said “give me a phone that works!”

I waited almost an hour while they tech who was helping me tried several other phones before deciding on a Motorola Blur. Its not an HTC Hero, but a smaller phone that is not as familiar in my hand than my own phone. They put the cards into the phone and it responded with (THERE is NO DATA on the SD Card).

FUCK ME !!!

Trying to make the card fit and work, somehow all the music, 8 GB worth of music, was deleted. So I brought the Motorolla home and started fiddling around with it.

I learned that the Blur won’t play WMA files. Only MP3 formats. Over half my music was in WMA format, so I could not put all that music on my phone. I did get a good amount of other music on the phone which was good.

Secondly, all my contacts from my old phone are stuck on the old one, they could not transfer the data because they could not get my phone to work. I reset all that info, downloaded all my apps that I usually use and reset my phone. It works. It did not cost me anything so that is a good thing.

It’s a bit humid and warm today.

I may hit St. Matthias tonight, I haven’t decided yet.

More to come, stay tuned…