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Archive for September, 2011

He thought he could …

Courtesy: Flickr-BrettPrice

Some vans and some leaves … Simple photography. Love it !!!

Another Tuesday has come and gone. It was a good day. Hubby had office hours at the university, and I had my studies here at home. Last night we had to write a short synopsis of the “games we play” since the topic of discussion last night in class was “why we play video games and the sociology of game playing.”

I’ve been noticing that in class my prof tends to pull topics from popular culture and recent events. These discussions are geared, in my observation, to the young students in class.

I haven’t touched a gaming console in a LONG time. And even then the games we payed were tetris, space invaders and simple fairground shoot games.We did not have the technology in the 80’s that we do today. Gaming is big business nowadays, it is an industry that had very humble beginnings.

The closest I come to gaming is Farmville on Facebook. And the prof told us that it was a viable example of gaming. However mundane and simple it is. It’s not World of Warcraft or Call of Duty…At least I got credit for going to class.

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

It has been a few days and our faucet in the bathtub is dripping, well, more than dripping, but a constant flow of water that the knob was not shutting off all the way… Constant dripping is a theme here. And one that does not lend itself well to good sleeping at night. It being hot water, when we shut the bathroom door it steams up the bathroom bringing the temperature up in that part of the apartment. The bedroom is usually ten degrees cooler than the main room. So this morning I finally got a hold of the building rep downstairs, she wasn’t answering the phone yesterday, they are coming in the morning to fix it finally.

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

It was a beautiful day. A little warm for my taste. I hope it cools off in the coming days. I got out of the house early this afternoon and arrived at the church earlier than usual, as it was the last Tuesday of the month, it was business meeting day.

We picked up another member tonight. That makes seven. We voted on some new business over singleness of purpose. Over the last month we have had several visitors to the meeting from other “A” organizations recently and some of our members were of the thought that our meeting is an AA meeting, not an other “A” meeting, hence, if you want to share, then you need to be an alcoholic.

This issue has come up before when we used to be a speaker meeting when speakers would mention other addictions from the chair. People still get twisted when they hear mention of other addictions however many of us have dual addictions most stick to the topic as it pertains to their alcoholism.

The chair has had us on the ninth step for the balance of the month of September and tonight we went back to More About Alcoholism, back to step two.

The idea that somehow, someday he will control and enjoy his drinking is the great obsession of every abnormal drinker.
The persistence of this illusion is astonishing. Many pursue it into the gates of insanity or death.

We learned that we had to fully concede to our innermost selves that we were alcoholics. This is the first step in recovery. The delusion that we are like other people, or presently may be, has to be smashed.

It was a good meeting. Everyone got in to share. And I was sitting in my seat and I was first to read from the book, and as I was reading the visual of a “Drink” came to mind. It flitted in and hung in my field of vision for a few seconds, and for a moment, I wanted to hold on to it, but knowing better, I let it pass.

It’s not really odd for thoughts of a drink to come. They are little reminders of just how precarious life is when you are getting sober. A drink is just an arm length away. One little fart, one little misstep, and there it is. And I shared this with the group.

I only voiced what I know … The omens have been speaking as of late. And they speak of drinking and constant vigilance. I know that I could not drink like other people can. I just can’t have one. That’s a simple fact.

We talked about spirituality, and the fact that at some point, you will find it. What you will find may not be the same as anyone else, but it will come. And it was said tonight that “If you are looking for God, stop trying so hard. He isn’t lost, you are … Just widen your view a little and let him come to you. It’s very simple, yet we see time and time again, newcomers fighting this “BIG G” God and we tell them then why not try a “Little g” god for the time being. Find him for yourself.

I hope it sticks for our newbies tonight. People are slipping left and right.

Next week we are in October. A new chair, a new member for that matter as well. It will all be exciting. Thanksgiving is just around the corner. I still can’t get used to Thanksgiving in October, because there is no parade, no floats, no Santa Claus. It is an odd holiday to reflect the early harvest here in Canada.

There will be turkey … A very big turkey with all the fixings. When I cook a holiday dinner like Thanksgiving and Christmas, I spare no expense.

You go BIG or you go HOME.

You know the funny thing about Thanksgiving in October? Then it is a race to see who puts up the first Christmas decoration. Halloween is just a burp on the calendar. Halloween will come and go and immediately the next day the dollar stores start rotating out Halloween for Christmas.

The seasons are coming quickly. Better to pay attention while you can, because if you blink you might miss something. We need a few more colder nights to get the trees to turn in earnest. But they are turning in this neighborhood. I’ve seen some photos from friends who live in other parts of Canada and the trees there are really turning beautifully.

A good day was had by all. I walked home with some friends and that was fun. Now dinner is coming soon, so I must go for now.

More to come, stay tuned…

 


Sunday Sundries …

Courtesy: Flickr Daniel Gottschi

The weekend is coming to an end very slowly. It is a bit warm tonight. The nights are not as cool as they had been, but temps are coming down slowly.

Tonight took us to St. Leon’s for Sunday Nighter’s. Since it was the last Sunday of the month, we covered a Tradition. And since it is the ninth month, we read from the Twelve and Twelve and the ninth tradition. The discussion went arond the circle and many people shared on topic and the thought that came to mind when reading from the twelve and twelve is that…

“Our book is meant to be suggestive only!”

There are no rules and nobody is going to tell you what to do, but we have all these suggestions, and that is that.

The thought that is implied is that “if you are smart and desire a change, then following these suggestions is paramount.” They are suggestions, but based on our experience, we think you should follow them anyways. But nobody is going to toss you out of a meeting, but it has happened in the past.

Someone mentioned egos and bleeding deacons. We’ve seen all kinds of people come and go from meetings. And the meetings have survived them. I have always said that “You can’t keep your ego and get sober at the same time.” That’s the biggest stumbling block I have seen in the rooms … Egos.

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

This week in Sociology we are talking about socialization. The stages kids go through growing up and the stages we go through as adults in learning about ourselves and others, how we learn and how we act. I read through the text last night before bed, and I need to do that again tonight, because we get tested on the readings every Monday night.

I may write on this topic at greater length later this week. I had an interesting chat with my Sociology friend at the meeting tonight. When I thanked him for the book, he was like, “what book, it never happened …” My next question was going to inquire payment, but he didn’t let me get that far. So that was a hundred dollar gift. And I am grateful for it.

Dinner is coming so I need to boogie.

More to come, stay tuned …


Friday Finking …

Courtesy: Tumblr

Friday has come and almost gone. Satellites are falling from the sky. Look up, you might miss it.

It’s a comfy 20c and it has been spitting rain for the last couple of hours. I guess mother nature doesn’t know whether to make it rain or not. I packed an umbrella anyways when I left for my nightly trek into NDG.

Tonight’s theme, “always have a back up!” Sometimes it is hard to find people to speak at meetings, and some people do not try hard enough. But it seems more lately that people are actually saying NO!

When you can’t find a speaker for a meeting, you usually resort to the list of members of a home group who haven’t spoken in a while. It usually follows that you can always rely on the backup list. So tonight’s speaker came from our home group pool.

I think it is nice to listen to fellow members share, because you learn a little about them during their speaking. I don’t know many people at the group very well as I have only been a member for about a month. My first service commitment comes next week and the week following.

Friday West End is a BIG group, with a good number of members, with lots of long term sobriety. I was talking to a friend tonight and he asked me how much time I had and I said almost ten years and he said that that was a big chunk of time. I had to agree.

Sometimes the message is simple. This is what it was like, and what happened and what it is like now. Well that’s the normal formula for any speaker, but as of late I’ve been hearing a lot of warning coming from old timers. The seasons are changing and with the onset of Fall and then Winter, times get hard.

People start to isolate because of the weather, they don’t get to meetings as often because who wants to travel in the snow … Hopefully we won’t get slammed early this year, we will have to see.

Old timers are looking out for the welfare of the masses it seems. Too many people are dropping off the radar and ending up in the bottle or dead, like I said last night.

I guess it’s better to heed the warnings and remain constantly vigilant.

The weekend is upon us. We’ll see what the weekend has in store.

More to come later, stay tuned …


Two Fer Thursday …

Courtesy: Flickr Evan Mischelle

Don’t you just love it when time is on your side?

The week is almost over and what a week it has been.

Lots of things going on. Gifts of the program keep coming. One of my friends at the Sunday meeting is a Sociology Professor at Concordia and he had a copy of the textbook I need for my Sociology class at Dawson. We did not have enough money to buy books this past month because of bills, but my friend gave me the book from his library stock.

Saving of $110.00 … Sweet !!!

Today the weather held, raining early in the day. We had an essay exam in Western Civilization in class tonight. I’ve been running over my notes like a madman. Last term in Philosophy we studies Greek history and the men who made it. And the term prior we studied monarchs.

I studied all last night and into this afternoon. And I even left early for school to get there early so I would have some more time to look over my notes. I was pleasantly surprised when the prof handed out the exams.

Much of the exam was on topics that I was already smart on. The Greek Polis and the explanation of how society runs, what the Polis means and what kind of government it has. I had that one in the bag.

Then she asked a second question about the 5 types of government from our notes. they would be Monarchy, Oligarchy, Democracy, Tyranny and Federalism.

The huge essay, second part of the exam was on Paleolitic and Neolithic periods of time, covering the topics of Stonehenge and the Ice Man found in the Italian Alps a couple of years ago. Both of these are examples of Neolithic artefacts, human remains and monuments.

All the topics on the exam I could have written on since all of it was historical topics covering Greece, Athens, Neolithic England, Egypt and Mesopotamia and Alexander the Great. I nailed it in the end.

Once I started writing, I did not stop until I was done, which took me less than a hour to write the exam. I was finished as she wrote 7:22 on the board. We were free to leave after the exam which set me out front by 7:30.

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

I walked out front and looked at my phone and decided that I had enough time to walk up to St. Matthias and hit the 8 p.m. meeting. The room was packed. The speaker was from Ottawa. A woman with 22 years of sobriety.

Listening to old timers talk about the insidiousness of alcoholism is important. Even with time, things are not easy. People get complacent with time and for some they end up in the bottle or better yet, they end up dead. Once again tonight we heard an old timer talk about people with time, DYING !!!

The book says “Remember that we deal with alcoholism cunning, baffling and powerful,” and we can add the next word “Patient!” You never know when it is going to sneak up on you and bite you in the ass. And if you don’t recognize it before it gets you, you’re gonna end up on the loosing side of the battle.

It was a good message. Sound advice to a room full of people with varying amounts of time. At the end of the meeting one of my lady friends gave a one year chip to one of her friends. It is always nice to be at anniversary nights.

There were people at the meeting that I had not seen in a number of years. You never know who is going to turn up at a meeting on any given night.

It was a good night. I jammed an exam and had time to hit a meeting.

Two for Two…

I came home and we had pizza for dinner.

Tomorrow is Friday and Friday West End. YAY !!! Then the weekend comes.

More to come for sure, Stay tuned …

 

 


Tuesday Troubles…

Courtesy: HightideNYC

caption this photo … “I can’t believe I drank all of that last night…”

There are celebrations all over the world as the end of D.A.D.T. came to an end at midnight last night. Service members all over the world are free to be who they are without the fear of discharge and ridicule. We celebrate along with them.

We had a good class last night, Sociology is becoming a very intense class with a good amount of reading and each week we are asked to write reflections on what we read the week prior. But we didn’t get to that task last night as there was much to discuss in class about Good Will Hunting.

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

It rained last night overnight and the skies cleared today and it was beautiful out and the temps were comfy. I got out to the church early and we finished with set up at 10 to 6.

There are troubles at the church. Nothing is sacred any more and that goes for our local churches. Once again I was advised that the church had been vandalized twice in the past few weeks. They did not tell us that someone broke into the office and in broad daylight walked out of that office with a desk top computer and nobody saw (them) do it.

Sunday afternoon between the hours of 4 and 6 in the evening, once again the church was vandalized. It is believed that someone was hiding in the bell tower after the afternoon meeting, gone unchecked, and said person walked into the machine shop in the basement and took hold of a krow bar and busted down several doors in the church. They first attempted to steal from the meeting rooms in the basement, and when that didn’t pan out, they returned to the church and busted down the door that leads into the back of the church proper and the sacristy. Several doors need to be repaired and several new locks will be placed on key doors in the hall downstairs.

The thief tried to break into the vault in the sacristy, probably hoping to make a serious score, but thanks to security systems and alarms, he did not get very far before running out of a side door to escape the authorities. What is funny is that the thief was carrying books with him and he set those books down on the work bench in the machine shop, before taking the krow bar. The police are now investigating this break in to see if it will lead to a suspect.

There are three meetings that meet in the church hall. Sunday Steps at 2 p.m., Sunday Nighter’s at 6:15, and our Tuesday Beginners meeting at 7. This church has been vandalized numerous times over the years and every time that happens said suspects get out with whatever they steal undetected. That’s why we don’t keep money in our cabinet. We have been hit three times over the last 3 years.

Once you get into the basement, nobody is going to hear you banging away at locks and doors. So the priest has decided to lock down the church further, because he thinks it is important that the groups stay and not be thrown out. But you know, if this continues into the winter, some one is going to pay in the end.

You never know who is going to try to steal from a church. But it happens.

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

We had a good meeting, lots of people and we talked about “Spiritual Experience” from the appendices of the Big Book. A short two page read. There was a good deal of sharing and everybody had a good time.

The one thing I remember about this topic in reflection is that I have been coming to this meeting for ten years. And I’ve had my share of spiritual experiences. This whole life of mine is courtesy of spiritual experiences. Everything happens for a reason. Chance occurrences, people crossing paths, I have said this before but, had I missed the moment when I met my then boyfriend, none of my life as it has been lived would have happened.

Sit in a meeting for any length of time and listen to the same people come and go week after week, month after month, and year after year and what happens is this… people start having spiritual experiences and being there for events like that in sobriety are a blessing. The old “Neon Sign” theory takes hold.

We watch people come and go over the years and some, very few, have been around long enough to be part of these goings on. Watching the light bulb go on in the tower, when someone “get’s it” after weeks and months of discussion, seeing the light of God drop down from the church above to the room below has happened over the years.

I truly believe that God inhabits the church we meet in. He hears and listens. Because over the last ten years I have seen people change and get better. I’ve seen people see the light and get the light. I can’t explain it, you just have to hang around long enough to see God move amongst a group of people. I’ve seen it happen many times in sobriety. And being present to share in that kind of spiritual experience changes our lives.

That is my reflection on the topic tonight. I didn’t share this at the meeting because I would have gone on and on, and on and on is discouraged in order to allow everyone to share in the time allotted.

I hope you had a good day where ever you all are…

All 15 of you subscribers.

Have a good night. More to come, stay tuned …


It’s about time …


I Can’t, He Can, I Think I’ll let Him …

Courtesy: Flickr Julianbialowas

Sunday has come and gone. Sitting comfortably at 13c at this hour. This short cold snap is over for now as temp will rise back into the teens this week. But it was a nice visit. I broke out my toques and my winter sweat shirts this weekend.

I began to clean out our closets and toss stuff we don’t need and get ready to make a hefty donation to Dans la Rue. Every year we clean out what we don’t need or outgrown or just don’t use any longer and we donate them to the homeless ministry here in the city. Winter duds are expensive and if you can afford a humble donation of jackets, sox, toques, and gloves they go very far to help Father’s kids here in the city.

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

Tonight we gathered at St. Leon’s for Sunday Nighter’s. We read from Experience, Strength and Hope. Tonight’s story – The Car Crasher …

In the end it all came back to the simple principles … Did you pray today? Are you taking time in the morning to connect? At the end of the day do you stop and say “Thank You?” It is so simple, yet we tend to complicate things too much.

I can’t – He can – I think I will Let Him…

There was a lot of sharing. People at different stages in life, looking for answers. There is a bevy of literature to read at this particular meeting. They carry a huge stock of books and pamphlets. One of my friends has been sober more than twenty years and she is having a hard time. So I shared with her the book called “Voices of Long Term Sobriety.” A small book of thoughts and stories of people who have been sober in multiples of 10, 20, and 30 years or more of sobriety.

I just finished reading the book last week, and now it is in someone else’s hands. Hopefully it will make the same impact.

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

I got home from the meeting and set down to watch Good Will Hunting, with matt Damon and Ben Affleck. It is an Oscar winner film. We had to watch it and read an article for Sociology tomorrow night. While hubby was watching the Emmy’s I was over here watching the movie.

We had a nice dinner and everyone is getting ready for bed at this hour. A new week is upon us. Lots to do…

That’s all for tonight…

 


SweatShirts …

Courtesy: Weheartit

Greetings and salutations. We are sitting at a cool 9c at this hour.

Friday has come and almost gone. It has been cool all day long and tonight as I was preparing to journey to Friday West End, it was the first night that I actually layered clothing to go out. Long sleeves and a warm fuzzy sweatshirt. Once I got out on the street I thought to myself that I should have pulled my toque out of my winter jacket because my head was cold. I just pulled my hood up and that did the trick.

It was a hurry up and wait night. The trains were all running late it seemed. None of the Metro Display monitors were updating wait times on either the green or orange lines. And when I got to Vendome there were masses of people waiting for buses.

So the bus finally came and it took me a hour to get from point A to point B and I left a half hour earlier than usual because I needed to get some more snarf pills at Pharmaprix.

We sat outside the hall and greeted. One of my friends said that I should be the designated speaker thanker since he thought I did such a good job a couple of weeks ago at the meeting. I don’t know if that would go over well with some of the women… They seem to ignore me. Well, some of them.

It was a great night. All warm and toasty. We all laughed and had a good time.

It was the same story on the way home, hurry up and wait. The Metro monitors weren’t working as usual again. I finally got home and now going to eat dinner.

Gots to go …


Brought to you by the Number 8 …

Tonight we hit a new marker in the seasons, the first single digit night this season. It usually follows that the first cold snap of arctic air will begin the transformation of the leaves on the trees.

The Fall Equinox does not happen until the 23rd of September at 9:04 am.

Classes are finished for another week. I have to do some serious reading for Sociology and watch Good Will Hunting for next Monday night and then study for an exam next Thursday night.

Tomorrow is Friday West End. And then the weekend.

Maybe more later… That’s all for now.

Stay tuned …


Nerd Fighters Unite …Read It First …

Click the link: Read It First, take the pledge and join us Nerd Fighters with John and Hank Green, John Green is the author of  “The Fault in our Stars” with this new exciting project.

You Tube Video: How to make Ideas Real.

I am a huge fan of the Green Brothers on You Tube. they are writers, musicians and really great men of the world. Anything we can do to help them, we do it.

So join the cause and make the world a better place.

There is a link, farther down on the blog. When you take the pledge on the site it will give you the code to place an image to your own Site, Blog, Tumblr.

Thanks Again …

 


Promises …

Courtesy: Nice Things

The Promises, that are read in many A.A. Meetings can be found on page 83-84, of the Big Book, Alcoholics Anonymous.

THE A.A. PROMISES

If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half way through. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others. That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows. Self-seeking will slip away. Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.

Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us—sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them.

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

It is raining … Cats, dogs and little fishes …

It has been a great day. It started with lots of sunshine, then the clouds began to roll in and the rain started before I set out for the church. But the rain came and went, and I was dry all the way across.

Today was really great because people are showing up early, really early and I had a really great conversation with a woman who comes to our meeting. I am getting to know our new members little by slowly. One member at a time, one day at a time.

I didn’t even get through getting fully set up and there were people there early. And so I went and did all my set up while we talked. And since I got there a little earlier than usual set up got done quickly. Then we had time to sit and have a great conversation about life, people and meetings out West and in NYC. Two groups the Atlantic Group in NYC and the Pacific Group out in LAX.

There are so many different ways to run a meeting and it was great to hear how big groups are in other places. How they do it and how it works. And then the bells rang and more people showed up. It is great to have people coming early to talk and hang out.

As of late, several sponsors and their sponsees have been coming early to read their books together and that fosters fellowship in the meeting, something we have been lacking for so long because we had so few members to do all the work. And now we have a good handful of members and the meeting is just sky rocketing. Attendance is way up and the kitty is full and we have people coming from all over the world to the meeting in recent weeks.

We sat 34 people tonight. The topic was the 9th Step Promises. The book went around the circle and people shared on the promise that has come true for them at this time. Having been here in this group for almost ten years, and hearing the promises read consecutively week after week for ten years I see what happens to people who come in, get it and then the promises start to work in their lives.

It has been my observation that someone different reads them at each meeting and some read them straight through and do not bat an eye. Some read them and they get partway through and end up in tears. And some read and they get stuck on a certain sentence or they misread something off the page. And when things like that happen you know the place they get hung up on is the place where the next promise is going to work in their lives. I’ve seen this happen many times over the years.

Newcomers are eating it up. Once they come in and sit down and are open to the stirrings of the spirit and you hand them the promises and they read them through for the first time, and you see hope rise in their eyes. Because there are 182 promises in the Big Book. And at Step nine we will be amazed before we are halfway through… And tonight the spirit moved. We had several visitors with more than 30 years of sobriety tonight and listening to them share is a real gift. To hear how these promises worked in the lives of people who have been sober almost as long as I’ve been alive. Miraculous…

We went the entire period and we ran out of time before everybody got a chance to share, We’ll see who shows up next week as we continue the conversation. it is just really great to have so many people come for the meeting and that I am making new friends, I’m just really grateful for my home group. It is such a blessing.

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

For me, over the last ten years, many of the promises have come true. Looking at what my life looked like in year one is so different than it is here in year 9.9.

I have known my best friend Ricky for more than 20 years. He and his partner live in Miami, where we met long ago. When they met they had a dingy little apartment with a card table and a beat up old sofa and used furniture. Over the years since, has been a journey of change for the better. They grew that apartment into a home and over the years the furniture had changed and opportunities came for upwards mobility. And now they have that little apartment and they have since invested in two brand new condos in another part of town and they are financially free to do whatever they want …

When I moved to Montreal I had a dingy little one room basement studio overrun by spiders and bugs ewwwww. I had two pots, a fridge and an alarm clock and a hand me down mattress and that’s what I could afford. Over time things changed as I came to meetings. I eventually met my boyfriend at the time and I went from a dingy basement studio to a one bedroom apartment 17 stories up in a highrise where we live today.

Since we were both early in sobriety we did not have much. A little black and white television with rabbit ears. Ratty furniture and hand me down things. We started to clear away the wreckage of the past and clean up our lives. Little by slowly. The one promise that dogged us for years upon years was “fear of people and of economic insecurities will leave us.” We could never cut a break. We lived hand to mouth for a long time. Paycheck to paycheck, school year on top of school year. We have recycled ALL the old electronics that took forever to do. We have cycled through several tv’s that were handed down to us over the years. The tv we have today was gifted to us by a friend of hubby’s, and it weighs about 200 hundred pounds. It took 4 people to get it upstairs and onto its pedestal,

We have built this place we call home over the years little by slowly. One day at a time we worked the program and worked steps and went to meetings over the years. We both worked diligently on our education and finally this year 2011 we have been blessed by all that hard work in it paying off in spades. Hubby has a great job because of school. There is food in the fridge, all the bills are up to date and there is money left in the bank to spend. We live a very frugal lifestyle. It’s not the richest or wealthiest life, but it is good. We are blessed to have what we have.

And I think it is all up to a one day at a time life.

A second observation if I may … I have been sober almost ten years. The longest period of sobriety in my lifetime. From the beginning this is how it has been. As the weeks and months passed by a topic would come up, we’d work a step and read a promise. I would spend a year studying the book. Working with others and doing service week in and week out. Living, going to class and living on my means. I’d get time to study and read, then as life happened, that practical study would get worked out in life. A year studying, a year putting into practice what you have learned. And it has been so ever since.

I got a few years under my belt, and hubby and I decided to get married, well, I asked him to marry me. But before that happened we were struck down with his bi-polar depression diagnosis and that was not a cake walk, by any stretch of the imagination. It was hell. For almost a year.

What I learned about hubby and what I learned about myself – you could not pay for this kind of practical life education. But we soldiered through it. And mental freedom came and hubby got better and the celebration of this happening was our wedding in November of 2004. And the 21 closest friends and family were there to share in that most momentous event our lives.

And year after year we have faced many challenges and with a little work, a little prayer and meeting after meeting, keeping it all in perspective, our lives have been blessed by God several times over.

If I was still a drunk, or hubby was still a drunk, we might have never gotten to this place. Because it was a a fluke, our meeting. It was a pass though a door to the church where T.B’s meets that we first met. Had we missed that one moment, none of this life would have been. It was all chance. And what transpired in our lives from the day we met until the day we got married was all blessing.

“We will suddenly realize that god is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves…”

A good night was had by all …

I still have the sniffles. UGH !!! kill me now …


Worth my While …

Courtesy: Jake Cooper || Pull & Bear september 2011 lookbook

It was a multiple generation Friday night, last. I went to Friday West End and my sponsor and his sponsor was in attendance. It is rare that Uncle Bill comes into the city for an extended period of time, because he travels the world for most of the year. It was good to see him.

The weekend came and went. It was wall to wall coverage of 9-11 all weekend here in Canada. Across every channel for the entire weekend. It is good to remember and it is a teachable moment to show our kids how the world has changed. An entire generation of kids came into the world since then, and like every generation there should be the story tellers. So that the horror we saw won’t happen again.

When history becomes just a memory … then it is feared that history will repeat itself. If we forget the past we risk the possibility of history repeating itself.

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I don’t know where it came from and why now, but I have been sniffling, sneezing and snarfing for the past couple of days. Maybe it is the cooler nights, or the fact that people I know lately are fighting colds themselves. But I went to Pharmaprix the other night to get some flu pills so that I could navigate my days better.

Last week when I got my book list, we did not have an extra two hundred dollars to buy books so I went to the library and photocopied all the readings for the next month. Next month there will be enough money in the kitty to go buy books. So for now I am reading photocopies for both my classes.

I haven’t been in the mood to really do anything academic like reading and studying because my brain is a little fogged. But today I forced myself to go over the reading for tonight’s lecture and quiz we had in class. And I only read two sections of the reading that my prof said would be on the quiz the other day so that’s only what I read, and tonight in class she handed us the quiz and it was all multiple choice – so at least I had “the guess” on my side. Since most of the quiz was on material that I never looked at to begin with. UGH !!!

Our first discussion in class was on suicide and the statistics and types of suicide that happen in the world based on Sociological Thought. It was an interesting discussion. There were a lot of people including my prof who have lost someone in their lives by suicide. So there was a lot to talk about.

After the break we came back to class and we have a journal that we are keeping based on certain readings that she has us reading. Tonight’s reflection came from the Sociological Imagination by C. Wright Mills. I think I did ok on that assignment.

The second discussion was on Sociology and the founders of Sociology and then we finished with some Feminine – Feminist Theory.It was interesting to sit in a lecture where we talked about the nuclear family and the roles of the parents, family and children. So much has changed over the last 44 years of life it makes for interesting discussion.

I wasn’t sure that I would go to class, but I medded up and went to class anyways because if you miss a class that meets only once a week, you miss a lot. And tonight the prof made it worth my while to go.

A good night was had by all. It rained a little bit on the way out and during the break, but the rain stopped by the end of class.

So that is all I have for you right now.

I need to eat dinner and then get some sleep.

More to come, stay tuned …


10 Years …

NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 11:  Hijacked United Airlines Flight 175 from Boston crashes into the south tower of the World Trade Center and explodes at 9:03 a.m. on September 11, 2001 in New York City.  The crash of two airliners hijacked by terrorists loyal to al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and subsequent collapse of the twin towers killed some 2,800 people. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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It has been a week of quiet reflection and introspection about those events that took place on September 11, 2001. Many people are writing on this memory over the last few days and I was going to write on Sunday, but I think I can write on it now.

It was a quiet morning in South Beach that morning. I was asleep in my bed when the phone rang. It was my friend Ricky. He said to turn on the tv, that something was going down in New York City.

I sat rapt and cold watching the events transpire as they did. At that time my memory started running because my brother was employed as was his wife by the government. And when the plane hit the Pentagon, I panicked. I called my mother for some shard of news that neither of them were there.

My mother would neither confirm nor deny where they were at that moment. The punishment of silence was being played out on me because of my parent’s belief that I was less than human and unacceptable as a member of the family. Even then relations were strained between us and she wasn’t going to give up her information without me groveling for it.

But after 12 hours of relentless questions she finally let go the info that they were not at the Pentagon.

I did not report to work that day or the next. I wandered up and down the island watching tv and talking with friends about what we had seen. We were all in shock. And life on the island stopped. The party hardy city was struck stone cold sober. I sat in an internet cafe on Lincoln Road trying to find things to do, people to help and news to watch. The young man who ran the cafe would eventually give me free time every day for the 2 week period of time that the benefit period lasted on the island.

We had a week of mourning. There were no parties. It seemed the club atmosphere was sobered up. Nobody was in the mood to party or drink to excess because of what happened in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.

They told us that we should go to the beach and lay candles lit in the sand at nightfall, because the satellites above were taking pictures of the coastline from space. So we did that every night for two weeks.

After a week of not knowing what to do, and seven days of forced sobriety, the island began to open up again. And the fund raising began. At the major clubs on the beach would have matching donations drives and if you donate so much money – you could have the equal back in alcohol.

So we went from stone cold sober to hot stock drunk over night. We drank every drop of alcohol that was stocked on the island for more than a week. And whatever money we raised was sent to the disaster zones up North. It was a very emotional time for us.

I spent a lot of time in front of the television. I had a computer at home during this time, even writing to Peter Jennings while he talked on tv news for days and nights after it happened. I had a direct email address for him and I would write him during the night while he was alone on tv.

One night – and I have it recorded on vhs, Peter was having a hard night, trying to remain stoic and strong, and it was wearing on him badly. So I dropped him a note and I said “Peter, take a breath, loosen your tie and just relax for a few minutes. You aren’t alone. Just do it …”

That email reached him and there on live tv, he took a breath, he loosened his tie and he stopped talking for a few minutes and he got through the rest of that shift that night. Peter Jennings was the voice of reason I had grown up with from a young boy into the man I was at that time. I have 20 VHS tapes that I have in my video collection from the morning of 9-11 through the following weeks time of news, interviews and finally the first night David Letterman came back to do his first live show after 9-11 with Dan Rather in chairs – we all cried that night.

Peter Jennings, in a moment of weakness, started smoking again after 9-11 a choice that ended very badly for him as he contracted cancer and later died from it – it was a sad time for everyone. But for those crucial few days after 9-11 Peter Jennings was the man of the hour of ABC news. I will always be proud of him and what he did for the city, the world and his viewers.

This is what happened to my community in South Beach at the time of 9-11.

What is your story?


Just One Spark …

Courtesy: RawrDaniel

“Imagination, Imagination a dream can be a dream come true with just that spark in me and you …”

I have found the most amazing website just clicking through links for the old E.P.C.O.T. Center audio/visual clips. Click THIS EPCOT LINK for some fun.

There is a collection of audio clips from the rides of E.P.C.O.T. old that many no longer exist and along with that videos of several of the rides themselves. This post was going in one direction and quickly morphed into what I am writing now. I don’t have the space upgrade with enough space to put the links here myself. I started with the thought of “one little spark” and that led me to Imagination and then I kept clicking links and came by this website where I have been stuck for the last almost two hours watching video and downloading audio clips.

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It was a regular Tuesday today. It was much cooler than it has been in a long time, it actually felt like a cool fall day in September. Last night I was reading through my blogs and I came across ROD’S BLOG HERE and he had a clip from D.J. Tiesto and Tom Hang’s Blessed featuring Shermanology.Which I liked a lot.

That took me on a second journey to find more music to put on my phone and a few hours later I had downloaded 3 D.J. Tiesto Cd’s Kaliedoscope, Magikal Journey and Club Life Volume 1 Las Vegas. Hours of music which is always good fun.

I have a very eclectic assortment of music on my phone now, and it is hours and hours of music that I will never run out of good music to listen to.

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So I plugged into the tunes on my way out and stopped by the grocery store to get milk and cookies and I walked down the cookie aisle and stopped dead the store was having a run on cookies. A whole bunch of selected tasty goodness was on sale. As I stood there looking at the choice another man walked up behind me and stopped dead as well. We were both looking at the Ultimate Crunch cookies and he sighed and said to me … “Wow, these could be dangerous.”

And you know, one does not normally converse with other shoppers in the store, and it was almost furtive the way he came across, it almost felt like a pick up line moved from the vegetable section to cookies. So I said “yeah, they do…”

And then as quick as I could I walked away from the cookies, with two packages in my cart I set off for the checkout.

You never know what is going to happen in the grocery store.

I got to the church and began my prep. Have tunes, will travel. It took me less than an hour to get finished and my set up usually takes me right up to the 6 o’clock hour and the ringing of the bells.

I came out of the bathroom and people were already arriving. Since we picked up several new members over the last 2 months, their sponsees followed. And now, once again, the lifeblood of the meeting has returned. I love that people are coming in early to chat and to read. Our space lends itself to entertaining.

The room was packed. Numbers were good. We had 30 people and a great kitty haul for the night. With numbers like this we will be sitting pretty for a while. Hopefully they will stay that way. There is a big New York contingent in the room now and everybody knows each other from NYC. And over the past few weeks we have had out of towners from NYC and so our New Yorkers know of the meetings in the city there  and who is on the speaker circuit, lots of good conversation.

We read from the Big Big Book Dictionary. And since it is the ninth month our chair brought up the word Amend, which led us to the Big Book and the Ninth Step. It’s a long step in written form, we stopped just short of the Promises in the book, because we read them at the end of the meeting.

The discussion was lively. It was also very emotional for some. “Made direct amends to such people where ever possible except when to do so would injure them or others.”

For me, Facebook was a great vehicle of connection and many of the people I grew up with are in my facebook friends list. Many of them are sober and over the past few years I imagine that we are all making living amends to one another where ever possible. Many of those friends are sober too. Some much longer than I have been sober.

Family – the dirty subject nobody talks about. This is the one area that I have failed at miserably. And it isn’t just my problem. I have been trying to make amends to family for years to no avail. I can’t sit here and beg someone to hear me out or even listen to what I have to say. You’d think that at this stage of the game, we are all adults and we all grow up, shouldn’t those adults see the err in the way they live and think and allow for a little two way communication?

When my brother popped up on Face Book I tried to contact him and he ignored me and so I tried to go through common friends to make contact and that failed. And it came to pass that my mom’s sister and I are still on the family black list. I can’t be bothered with this issue any more. It is a big waste of time and emotional effort.

We’ve played this tit for tat game for years. And this story goes back over a decade. I am guilty for my share of the issues but it isn’t all my fault for the silent treatment I get today. What can you do with being told by your mother that if they died, no one would call me or better yet tell me where they are buried!!!

My move above the northern border pissed my parent off so much that it was tantamount to family desecration. How dare I leave the U.S. and spit on the life my parents gave me! I made some serious decision earlier in my life, those decisions which I made for my own health, well being and safety are the very same decisions that I am paying for today in silence.

So Fuck me for living … And I wonder if they really care one way or another?

I don’t care one way or another. Nobody has gone out of their way to contact me or send a holiday card or gift or acknowledgement in any form or fashion. oh well, you win some – and you loose some.

So that is my mini rant on step nine…

A little drama, a little fun, and a lotta memories …

I hope you enjoy the links. I did …

More to come, stay tuned …


“The Chair …”

The last weekend of Summer has come and gone. The kids should be in bed already so that they can get up on time for school tomorrow. Backpacks should be packed and lunches made and new school clothes waiting to be worn.

It was always an exciting time getting ready for school back in the day. Lots of good memories shopping for new clothes and getting ready for new school years. I am reminded of what it was like tonight since most of the news casts had stories about going “back to school.”

This week marks new beginnings in the News World. With Lloyd Robertson’s departure from the CTV National News chair last week, we welcome a new anchor to the chair tonight.

The new CTV National news with Lisa Laflamme began tonight with a new desk, new graphics and a very exciting news reporting. Lisa has been a fixture at CTV covering world affairs from all the major hot spots around the world. It was an exciting news cast and I think that she will do well in her new role as the main anchor for the National News. Lisa writes a new column called “The Desk:”

Hi everyone,

This is a big day for the CTV National News team. The first, in our new story as we step across the bridge and into the future.

Tonight, I will sit in ‘The Chair’ for the first time as Chief News Anchor and Senior Editor. It’s a new role for me, but I’m happily surrounded by the same team I have been part of my entire professional life.

People have asked me, what will change?

Well, let me tell you first what will NOT change: what we do better than anyone.

Acting as witness to events in our own country and around the world.

Making sense of facts – some of which are easier to establish than others, so at the kitchen tables of Canada, EVERYBODY understands.

Investigating beyond the bare facts – we nail bad guys and celebrate the good guys.

So what will change? The truth is, it already has.

The dizzying pace of the daily news cycle online and on TV is only going to accelerate.

I see this as good news because 140 characters does not a news story make. It means that at the end of the day, more and more people will NEED what we do best. Context, credibility and basic reporting have never been more important than they are today.

We’re already using social media to share our stories with an even wider audience, to alert you of breaking stories and as a place we can see YOUR crucial feedback and ideas. I’m excited to take greater advantage of all the digital tools at our disposal in order to tell our stories in new ways, on exciting new platforms. (Have you checked out our new FREE CTV News iPad App!)

Back to today, or rather, tonight. So many people have worked so hard to make this launch a success. From the editorial brainstorming to the production artistry, to the magical construction of the incredible new set – our own Special Forces!

And finally, I want to thank you all for your incredible support. Your notes, tweets, and emails have been overwhelming, and I promise we won’t let you down.

Lisa

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Tomorrow the local CTV news channel here in Montreal begins its new news casts from their new Studio twelve. There are no photos of the new studio up yet and my local reporter friend has not updated his news stories feed just yet, so maybe I will be able to post some of those shots in the coming days.

It is going to be an exciting week for all. Hubby goes back to teaching next Monday in the department of sociology at Concordia, he and a few of his friends were hand picked to teach tutorials for the department this fall. It is a new chapter for him in his commitment to his education and the education of new students in the department.

It being a holiday today – we did not have to be anywhere so I slept in again and hubby went out to meet with his fellow teachers for a few hours. When he got home we prepared some dinner and that is always fun.

I’ve been noticing a lot lately that my hair has been steadily going grey in many places and I don’t fathom going grey this early in my life so the other day I went by Pharmaprix to get some Loreal Excellence hair color. This is my only vain vein in my body … grey hair is unacceptable. So that’s one thing that got done tonight.

Tomorrow is Tuesday and it will be an exciting day. Hopefully the sun will shine because it is raining a bit tonight.

Sty tuned, more to come…