Guess what came in the mail today …
The excitement of the holidays has begun.
We welcomed friends who arrived from out of town, just in time for the Friday Night Meeting. People will be coming and going over the next two weeks, and our social schedule’s for those weeks have been already planned to maximize all the time we have together, before people go back to their respective schools across Canada and the United States.
In other news … Unlike the downtown core, where there is little snow piled up, basically because it has already been plowed away, up on the plateau where the Friday Night Meeting resides, there is snow piled up ALL over the place. Cars are buried, sidewalks are passable because the city workers plowed away enough snow to make them passable.
I suited up, with many layers, incorporating my new jersey, front and center, bundled up and headed out. There are 2 stations on the same line that are equidistant from home, one up towards the college, Eastbound, and the other down to the mall, three blocks Westward. I needed tickets in any case, and I can get them at the pharmacy, which is in the mall, above the train station.
So that was my plan.
There were lots of people coming and going. People are certainly taking part in the holiday shopping binge. The mall stations were packed with merry holiday goers. So I made my transit, and I was amazed to see that my phone actually works on the train across both the Green and Orange lines.
They have been upgrading the cell reception and service across the core stations and it seems they tweaked the outbound stations on the Orange line, that I take to get to the meeting. For the second time recently, I got a live text while in the tunnel, with the train in motion. YAY Telus !!!
We sat a good group. A friend that I haven’t seen in some time, came, and actually, I had been thinking about him specifically, over the past few days, and I like to believe that when we think of people. we send a ripple out to the universe, and within hours, or sometimes, days, they show up.
The universe is funny in that way.
These are hard times indeed. Our folks have been coming from other places, and new folks that don’t usually come, have shown up and visitors from out of town are in for the holidays. We are happy to oblige. We talked about A.B.S.I. and “We cannot live alone.”
This particular reading speaks about steps four and five respectively.
“… We cannot wholly rely on friends to solve all our difficulties. A good adviser will never do all our thinking for us. He/She knows that each final choice must be ours. He/She will therefore help to eliminate fear, expediency, and self deception, so enabling us to make choices which are loving, wise and honest.” Grapevine August, 1961.
I remarked to a friend that there is always something to take away from every meeting. It might be a word, an exercise, or just an identification.
In the beginning, folks are very leery about step work. Especially when they consider the “what we think” daunting process of writing our step four. Then speaking it through Step five. Tonight, there was not one horror story. Many of us have done them, and found that they were truly enlightening, freeing and liberating. Everyone had a unique story to share on the topic.
We heard about a writing exercise, that is said to be the most powerful writing exercise that is used at the famed Betty Ford Clinic.
- Pen to paper – Write out the Third Step prayer
- Pen to paper – Write out three lists: Resentments, Fears and Gratitude list
- Pen to paper – Write out the Seventh Step prayer
We do this on a daily basis, first the prayers, then our lists for that respective day. You must put at least three things on the Gratitude list every day. And as we do this writing exercise, we watch how items move between the lists and eventually land on the gratitude list.
If you can commit to this writing exercise, it will prove to be a most useful tool.
Every little bit of experience pays off from time to time. Our young people can never get enough of stuff to do to keep them “on the beam.” And those of us who have some time and experience, adding a little something here or there tends to be very useful in our daily ritual of prayer and writing.
I am very keen on having the guys I work with follow simple suggestions.
Like I mentioned yesterday, eventually, for better or for worse, your sponsor should help you along with tools that will make your life easier, which is to say, a good sponsor knows what they are doing, and I work very hard to be that person. And If I suggest something to my guys, again, for better or for worse, following a suggestion usually ends up in the positive column often.
If I’ve done it, or heard that it can be done this way, or know someone who had results doing something specific, I do it myself, then I suggest that idea out, and I watch the results.
It all comes down to The Work …
You are either In It or you are IN IT TO WIN IT …
Which leads back to How it works, chapter five … If you want what we have and are willing to go to any length to get it, then you are ready to take certain steps.
Little did I know, how that sentence changes in literal meaning, the further IN IT you get.
I mean, this seminal reading we hear ad infinitum at every meeting, read over and over, day after day, night after night, these words now leap off the page when I hear them read. Because now I know what it feels like to go to ANY length.
Imagine it only took me eleven years to understand this.
It took another member who was IN IT to tell me that I need to be IN IT and how to do that.
What a rush …
I love my life. My friends. My fellows.
It was a love fest tonight, that will continue until January 5th.
I’ve heard about gratitude living, and there I usually roll my eyes …
But I truly know what that feels like and means for me.
We need people in our lives, but in the end, the final choices should be ours alone, given with good guidance from people we trust. Not having to pollute ourselves helps a great deal in learning how to make right and good decisions, soberly …
More to come, stay tuned …
There is a theme here, it will become apparent as we go along.
The weather is getting markedly cooler. We are sitting at a tremulous 13c at this hour, with a low of 8c forecast for overnight. And for the next few nights, we will hit single digits as well.
Tonight’s topic was all about CHANGE …
And as I began typing this entry, I got an email from the seller of the Mario Gotze German Jersey that I bought this morning. I did not get my first size choice, but I took second choice and he threw in an Argentine Messi Jersey for free for the lack of stock that I wanted originally.
But I am getting ahead of my story here, so let me back up …
Lately our ISP has become nightmarish. Since hubby started his new job, we have been furiously trying to regain ground by paying backed up bills in large chunks, which leaves little wiggle room for spending and food. This week, we have a wider berth and I got some play money out of it.
Two weeks ago, we had a payment arrangement with our ISP. The night before the payment was due, around 12:30 a.m. in the morning, the ISP shut off our internet. When they do that, you can’t navigate anywhere, you just get their “please call us – it’s important page.” Well that pissed me the fuck off.
The next morning the payment was made, and they turned us back on.
Last night (Wednesday) the same thing happened again. A payment arrangement was made with a promise that they would NOT turn us off again. (READ: THEY LIED !!!) I was sitting here doing some very important internet sleuthing about some purchases I wanted to make and the internet went dead.
Hubby was already sleeping, but he got up for cookies and I said that the internet was turned off again, needless to say, that pissed HIM the fuck off. I was not happy at all. This morning he called and made the payment as agreed, at the total they requested, then they turned us back on again.
I got up early in the morning because I was on a BUY deadline. Which leads to the jersey story. If you go online and search Gotze jerseys, (One) the price varies from location to location. (Two) if the jersey was on the field, or near the field, the price was much greater. (Three) If the jersey was signed it was astronomical.
I paid a pittance for my jersey, and got a free second jersey for the size mix up. I took a photo copy of the Gotze jersey from the Ebay listing, and when I saved it, the file name was $75.00, which must mean that this original jersey was much more expensive, than the price I paid for it.
Just because something is on the internet, doesn’t guarantee that you can buy it right off.
Adidas is a sponsor of many soccer teams and their star players, from boots, to clothing to other assorted items. I wanted the GOTZE jersey, and if I could get them, the German team socks, because I am having a love affair with all things German as of late. I’ve been buying a lot of clothing from Germany as of late. Expensive, but well worth the price. Because you can’t get them anywhere else.
There was an article I read online which listed the assorted sellers of German gear.
I chose the easiest one … ADIDAS…
I went to the site last night, opened an account and carted my sock purchase. I thought it was going to be a cut and dry process. This morning I went back to my account and filled out the buy form. I soon realized that it defaulted to Great Britain, and would not let me enter Canada.
Flummoxed… I signed on to the chat service and spoke to an agent who then told me I could only shop on the site associated with Canada/U.S., and not the U.K. Just because it is on the internet, doesn’t necessarily mean that you can buy it.
I go to the Canada/U.S. site, and there is NOT ONE German soccer related item to be had.
Well, if you can’t get it on the Internet, it HAS been proven that if you really want it, then your next stop is EBAY. I can attest to the fact that almost every retail item I have bought that I can’t get local, came from EBAY.
And wouldn’t you know it, there was a U.K. seller, selling the socks I wanted about a pound fifty more than the Adidas site was selling at. They were selling on my side of Ebay so I could buy them, and they only had one pair left. Sometimes you have to bite the bullet and just BUY IT …
- The Gotze jersey is a Large instead of an XL.
- I got a free Argentina – Messi jersey for the mix up
- Shipping was FREE on that sale
- I got the last pair of Germany Team Socks
- I spent $65.00 in total. Not a bad haul for one day !!!
After a successful shopping trip abroad, I came back to earth. We needed groceries, and I needed coin for laundry. It rained all afternoon. We have 7 washers and 7 dryers. They are located on the Penthouse floor (20th floor). The exhaust pipe for the dryers goes outside to the roof. When it is muggy and/or rains, you need more coin to dry than usual… UGH !!!
I finished my chores around 3 and took a short power nap. I would have preferred a couple hours or so, but you take what you can get. We had a great wind storm during the rain, and we are on the 17th floor. When the wind blows it shakes the windows and the building buckles. Listening to the wind hit the building is quite unnerving.
I took off early to make stops at the mall on the way, and cranked it out and sat on the stoop for almost an hour before folks began showing up. We read from Daily Reflections. June 8 …
Opening up to change.
The book says that “The only thing you have to change when you get sober is EVERYTHING!!!”
And every day we get a daily reprieve contingent upon our spiritual condition.
The reading speaks of many things like Letting Go and Letting God. Surrender, and Belief.
We talked about relationships being like a garden from which our character defects grow. And I added to that thought that, in my garden, I like to pour MIRACLE GROW on my character defects.
We are all learning about ourselves, no matter how long or young we are in sobriety. Lots of folks on Step 4 from the Men’s Intensive format.
If you really want to learn about yourself, get into a relationship, better yet, step it up and marry that person. This year marks 10 years of marriage for us. And 12 years of being together. I’ve learned a lot about myself and my husband. From one end of the spectrum to the other.
It is a good sign that we can spend inordinate amounts of time sitting in the same room together, and not want to kill each other, and knowing that we KNOW each other, so well, that not one unnecessary word is spoken. Nor has to be spoken.
A rainy day opened up to a breezy beautiful, but rather cool evening.
We all think that jackets may be required from this point on …
It was a good day. A little Yin and a little Yang …
More to come, stay tuned …
The other night on Discovery Science they showed a “show” about Sneakers and the BIG business they generate world wide. From how they are designed and made and why sneakers are a special commodity. It isn’t just a simple “I think we’ll make some sneakers. Let’s do this …
No, lots of design and thought go into the shoes we wear by men and women who go to great pain and art to design the perfect shoe for every foot. It even gets scientific. Scientists study feet, on high end test machines to determine what kind of shoes you really need because of how your feet are formed and what kind of shoe you need.
I am of the mind that one can never have too many shoes. Some of them I wear, and some of them I collect. Some of them come and go on Ebay because I am a keen collector of the best shoes on the market.
They had a segment on the “Bodega.” An underground, word of mouth, secret store, they are far and few between located in certain cities around the world. They deal in HIGH END sneakers and only invite those who know about it to partake in the mega business of shoe buying and selling. It was fantabulous.
I am always on the lookout for the next big score. Social media plays an integral part in getting the word out about this business. Shoe companies produce specialty shoes only sent to those “specialty stores” and not for the open market.
One off’s or Two off’s. And you would never know where that shoe came from or how many are out there and it is a buyers market for all things shoes. This is a multi-million dollar enterprise.
There are even graffiti artists and music jammers and artists by trade that make and influence how shoes are made, styled and sold. There are special underground shoe events held in key cities around the globe to show off these new creations. Shoes that are not available for mass consumption. And IF by chance you get to one of these events, you too could score a really great pair of shoes that the general public will never get to buy. And have never seen before.
Tumblr is a great vehicle for product placement. People share images of fashion, shoes, art, and jewelry, tattoos, and piercings. They run the gamut. I might see something come across the wire and then I go on a hunt for a certain product. Which leads to an “Alice in Wonderland” hunt down the rabbit hole to find a purveyor of whatever I am looking for.
Like the Nike high Dunks. I saw them in an image that is on the blog. I wanted a pair and I started with a Google search for a photo. Which lead to a website, which led to a store that sells high end sneakers. Those One Off’s you might never see anywhere else. Usually if they are on a website, for sale, there is a good chance that they will appear on Ebay. I’ve had huge success with cross referencing website sold merchandise over to Ebay site sales.
And usually the prices on Ebay are at least 10 percent cheaper than website sales and shipping is usually cheaper as well. So you get a deal.
A few weeks ago I was walking through Westmount Square and I was in the tunnel going to a meeting and I always look to see what kind of kicks people are wearing because you never know when you are going to see something you like. And this guy was wearing the same Nike High Dunks, which leads me to believe that high end sneakers are available here in Montreal.
There are numerous shoe stores in the city, in the malls and in these small hole in the wall shops that sell “one off” shoes amid souvenirs and hockey jerseys. It would take forever to find a specialty shop in the city without a Google reference.
Google is a great tool when you want to find something particular IF there is an image of it in the data base. Because usually an image will lead you to a source. But not necessarily in the city you live in. I’ve never tracked a product to this city in particular.
Which leads me all the way back around to another purchase. I am a huge fan of the Adidas Response wrestling shoes. I wear them at the gym, they are stylish and comfortable. I own 4 pair in varying colors and styles. The ones pictured above are on my radar because I once owned a pair of these at one time, but for some stupid reason I decided to sell them on Ebay a couple of years ago.
Now you know, that certain shoes are only made for a certain season. Wrestling shoes come out every fall. And every year the haul differs by maker, style, colorway and price. Adidas had their hey day over the last few wrestling seasons and the response line that I collect has since been retired. They aren’t making these style of shoes any more. And they are very hard to come by unless you find a source and pay a hefty price for them. The shops I buy from don’t carry the response line that I like and only carry a handful of colorways on clearance prices. The new responses are very different than these.
I had, over the last year, seen this same exact pair go up on the Ebay Market for $250.00 a pair.
Now, the only wrestling shoe that I know of that commands that kind of price are any of the Sydney E.Q.T 2000 wrestling shoes in several colorways. The grey and blue, the Olympic Gold white and blue and the Olympic Silver and Blue colorways. A few years ago I scored a pair of Sydney Golds. When I turned them around and put them on the market for sale I got $250.00 for them. Athletes pay top dollar for high performance shoes for their tournaments.
The other day I was hunting. And I came across a steal. These same Adidas Response Blue/White colorway were for sale for a nominal price. A price that I paid retail for a few years back for the same shoe. They are a one off bid. And only one pair available in several different sizes and they carry a couple of different colorways that aren’t made any longer.
Like I said, the line was retired.
So tomorrow when the bids close, I will have scored a brand new pair of responses for $55.00 U.S. plus shipping. Which is a hefty deal since these shoes can now run, for collectors, in the hundreds of dollars each.
One must be wiley when it comes to Ebay. You might get a hit one week, and not see another hit for months or even a year’s time. You start looking around the end of September and the beginning of October for wrestling shoes from the odd seller here or there, because they sometimes put on offer, shoes you can’t find anywhere else. And you can usually get your hands on a great pair of shoes for a deal.
I don’t shop retail locally for the most part. Most of my shoe collection came by way of Ebay or the odd store I shop from online. From work boots, to combat boots, to sneakers, to winter boots. The last time I made a shoe purchase here in the city I paid upwards of $150.00 for a pair of 20 hole Dock Martens in a specialty shop here in the city. And I rarely wear them except in the winter when it snows.
Wrestling season is upon us and the new styles and colorways are out on the market. The new styles are sleek, colorful and come in a varying style of shoe both on the Adidas and Asics market. If you are looking for a deal then this is the time to go looking for them.
Specialty stores have colorways that can’t be found anyplace else so be on the lookout for that special shoe you want. And they are usually a One Off sale.
So that is my missive on High End shoes…