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Sunday Sundries … Listening to the Wind … Messages … Seeds

coffee cupThe weather held for the weekend’s festivities. The summer concert series is in full swing. There was and will be lots of music to come over the next couple of weeks. Osheaga was this weekend, and Coming up will be Thirty Seconds to Mars (Jared Leto and friends) with guests Linkin Park. That was a ticket i would want to buy, but coming in close to $100.00 is a little steep. I, however have all the latest music on my phone already. I’m not sure I want to find myself in a mosh pit with screaming teen-agers.

I guess I fared well with all that’s going on in my head and heart. You can’t make someone love you and you sure as shit cannot change someone who is stuck in hate and ignorance. However broken hearted I am about the situation, I must remember that I am powerless over people, places and things. I did however send another message through last night when I got home from dinner, the channel is still open and I haven’t been blocked “Yet.”

We had dinner with my sister in law while she waited on her kids to attend the concert last night they got home close to midnight, and mom left for Ottawa this afternoon and another set of parents are here to chaperone them another night and to La Rhonde tomorrow then they will all return to Ottawa Monday night.

It was another festive Sunday afternoon. The weather has been glorious and we will take it while it lasts. I cranked out set up and sat outside on the stoop to await my peeps. And we sat a full room. I had imagined that we would get through the entire story (read wise) and have a full discussion, But we read the entire circle (Listening to the Wind) and I stopped the read a few pages short, it was quite a long story with lots of insanity, and that’s where I left it tonight, next week we will get the resolution and the solution of the story.

Folks were like “damned … I really wanted to get to the end …”

Keep em coming back for more is my take on it.

Which leaves us only a few pages of reading next week, because we usually only stick to one story at a time, since we are in the “total insanity” chapter of the stories in the back of the book.

In the fourth edition, several stories were removed from older editions, several new stories were inserted, and a few were renamed from older editions, and there are several topical sections that set apart sets of stories as they were published.

Insanity was the one thing I took away from this read.

When I left home, all that I knew how to do was drink. Who knew from responsibility. We were young and pretty back then. And I lived in an apartment complex heavily populated with Disney employees. You either were one, or you knew someone who was.

It seemed that what ruled the day was the amount of alcohol one could consume on any given night, and between the gay bars, Southern Nights and the Parliament House, and the Disney bars located at Downtown Disney, we had all of our bases covered. You could drink very cheaply no matter what night it was. And who you were friends with usually dictated the alcohol and drug consumption. I was not interested in drugs early on, alcohol was much cheaper and it was legal.

From beginning to end, several times, I was the alcoholic running riot through people’s lives. And reading from the back of the book, in several stories, you could insert me into a story because at some point I was the writer.

For whatever reason, I graduated from staying in one place and attempting to live responsibly, which at one point I could not, and many room mates later, and several failed relationships, most ending in horrible ways, I began the geographical moves. I followed the boys from town to town.

I moved from Miami to Orlando to be gay and come our at the Parliament House. I failed at relationships so I moved on to Daytona Beach and Up and down the coast for a period of time.

I was always on the loosing end, meaning that I had lost everything several times. I had a couple of neat room mates. But that only lasted so long. There had to be alcohol and there also had to be good sex. Because if you were young and pretty, the world was your oyster.

In my twenties I remained slender and cute for a while. I eventually ended back in Miami for the grand crash and burn. And from that jackpot I rented from a friend, and ruined that relationship over alcohol.

When I lived in Orlando I dated a young man who I was very much in love with, but he was a seasonal Disney employee. And while the getting was good, we dated. And every day after work, we would talk and it would either be “Bottle or Blender?”

You were either going to bring a bottle or you would bring the blender.

We would get tanked, watch Mary Poppins drunk and then the night would take off. That was during the best of times. Eventually I transited into the worst of times. i really did not know why i was having such problems. Because nobody ever mentioned alcoholism to any of us, not that any of us would have responded well to an inquiry like that.

Nobody said STOP.

Nobody ever intimated that any of us had a problem with our drinking.

Imagine what life would have looked like had I gotten sober in my twenties.

The rest they say is history. I am learning so much this time around. Every day it is something new. I read, I talk to friends, I study the book, and I look at the past with new eyes. I almost feel sorry for that young man that I was. I had some friends, but no one substantial to stop me when I should have been stopped. I “wung it” for a long time.

Eventually someone did step in and tell me to Stop.

I had no choice then. Death was the only alternative. And I did not want to die.

I am committed to my sober journey and the sober journey’s of the men i work with. We are all planting seeds in our own ways. We all have something to give, depending on what we have in our virtual banks of sobriety. But the book does say that …”Obviously you cannot give something that you don’t have …”

Which is why we keep coming back for more.

I am ok tonight. Tomorrow we move on.

More to come, stay tuned …


Tuesday … Musings and New Music

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It has been a very busy few days. Good busy that is.

People are moving around, and summer camp starts soon, so my guys are hurriedly tying up loose ends and getting step work completed prior to leaving in the coming days. I have some time before one of my guys leaves for camp for a few weeks then he is leaving the country to pursue his PHD in Pittsburgh.

The Big Birthday/Going Way bash is tomorrow night. We are all going.

For the first time since starting work with my sponsor, I went a couple of days without speaking to him, because I have been keeping long hours and the end of the day comes way past the call time limit.

And today’s topic was “Being good to yourself.”

One of those things is calling my sponsor and hearing his voice on the other end of the phone. I got to see him this evening. We hosted a full house for the meeting, which was nice. People are getting what they need after waiting and waiting.

The wait list to get taken at Fosters and many other rehab facilities is months. Meanwhile, go to meetings and find people who can help you, we have at least done that for them. Today some of our folks got their intakes done. Now the job falls to them to find the time to commit to rehab programs (outpatient) along with family, children, work and meetings.

With all those factors riding, finding the time to Be Good to themselves is lacking.

But we will work with them to help them along the process. Our folks are good for that kind of work.

Before the meeting I had some down time. So I called Baby Mama in St. John’s N.F. It is great to have Canada wide calling, it is very efficient.

I’ve been reading reports of Gigantic ice Bergs off the coasts of Labrador and New Foundland. Our girl is on the coast and she reports that even the weather there is affected by the presence of icebergs off the coast.

It was her birthday today, and Baby Louisa is a week old today. Mama and baby are doing alright. She is having trouble breast feeding, because she is not producing enough milk and has had to resort to formula. Even the baby is in on the game, the other day she was nursing an empty breast and she started pounding the BOOB for MORE !!!

Mom is having a hard time with nursing and the loss of that intimate connection, where the medical community says that breastfeeding is the best route and is so important – and mama cannot provide enough – so she is beating herself up over this. Sometimes the body does not respond in the ways we want it to. I tried to comfort her and her doctor is supportive along with her friends.

We’ll see what happens.

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

I got an advanced copy of the new Linkin Park record – The Hunting Party.

It was released today in North America. I was reading the BBC entertainment page last night and the reported that they were playing a concert across the pond to rave reviews. So I had to get a copy.

I previewed it and it sounded noisy, but I put it on my phone anyway

1. “Keys to the Kingdom”
2. “All for Nothing” (featuring Page Hamilton)
3. “Guilty All the Same(featuring Rakim)
4. “The Summoning”
5. “War”
6. “Wastelands
7. “Until It’s Gone
8. “
Rebellion(featuring Daron Malakian)
9. “Mark the Graves”
10. “Drawbar” (featuring Tom Morello)
11. “Final Masquerade
12. “A Line in the Sand”

I have been a fan of Linkin Park for a long time. And if you have listened to their earlier works, they have proved that they are a force to be reckoned with. Their sound is unique, you don’t hear it from any other artist that I listen to from my old school rock bands.

They are an acquired taste.

At first I wasn’t sure what to expect but I was pleasantly surprised when I listened through the album. The tracks seamlessly blend from one to the next. That is a familiar sound from earlier productions. It is gritty and loud. Chester never ceases to amaze me with his vocals. And Mike Shinoda is a master at lyrics.

It was reported that some of the tracks were improvised and written “In process” of recording. All the contributors to this album were great. I’m not a professional reviewer, but I enjoyed the sound.

Every Linkin Park album is a listening experience. You must listen to it from start to finish. It is a journey. None of the reviews I read from Big Wigs, do not seem to notice the obvious. A new album was coming and it took some time to get here, and I don’t think you will be disappointed.

It is also reported that Linkin Park will be touring with Thirty Seconds to Mars. That is a ticket I would buy. That is a high powered ticket. “Thirty Seconds” albums are gritty and stand by themselves. But both bands on the same ticket is going to be one hell of a show. Hard, Pounding and Loud.

How much better can you get then Chester Bennington, Mike Shinoda and Jared Leto.

Rain is falling and it might be a bumpy night ahead.

More to come, stay tuned …


Page 9 of 365 … However Much I Booze

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Courtesy: Alexander S.A.T.C.

The weather is getting downright balmy as of late. And it is only going to get warmer going into the weekend. We are sitting at (-10c/-15 c w.c.) but it is balmy. The flip side to this is after the freezing rain and the bitter cold over the past few days, everything is iced over. Sidewalks, roads, and not a lot of abrasive set out to make it passable.

We sat a full compliment tonight. Our chair invited a number of friends to “back him up” tonight because we had a bit of departure from the same ole same ole … Which was a good thing. New angles and new points of view are always nice to hear.

Sometimes recovery can get stale and old.

“More than most people, the alcoholic leads a double life. He is very much the actor. To the outer world he presents his stage character. This is the one he likes his fellows to see. He wants to enjoy a certain reputation, but knows in his heart he doesn’t deserve it.

The inconsistency is made worse by the things he does on his sprees. Coming to his senses, he is revolted at certain episodes he vaguely remembers. These memories are a nightmare. He trembles to think someone might have observed him. As fast as he can, he pushes these memories far inside himself. He hopes they will never see the light of day. He is under constant fear and tension – that makes for more drinking.”

B.B. pg. 73

Compared and contrasted to “The Who’s However much I Booze”

I see myself on t.v. I’m a faker, a paper clown
it’s clear to all my friends that I habitually lie; I just
bring them down

I claim proneness to exaggeration
But the truth lies in my frustration
The children of the night, they all pass me by
have to drench myself in brandy
In sleep I’ll hide
But however much I booze
There ain’t now way out […]

I loose so many nights of sleep worrying about my
responsibilities
Are the problems that screw me up really down to
him or me
My ego will just confuse me
Some day it’s going to up and use me
Dish me out another tailor made compliment
Tell me about some destiny I can’t prevent
And however much I squirm
There ain’t no way out […]

Won’t somebody tell me how to get out of this place?!

All the world’s a stage and we are merely her actors …

The memory that rose for me listening to these readings was of that block of time from the night I came out, to moving to Orlando, and beginning my life as an adult (so I believed). I failed …

I met friends who facilitated me coming out to my best friend on a cruise ship in the middle of the ocean. That ended badly.

I packed my house and moved to Orlando to an apartment I HAD to have but could not afford. Working at the Tragic Queendom was pointless. It was the greatest stage one could have at this time in our lives.

Everything revolved around the drink. Life, Friendship, Sex, Parties. The list goes on and on. I never had liquor at home. Drinking was an OUT event, on a nightly basis. I mean Disney built a whole entertainment Village across the road from where we lived, just outside the parks, to party and to drink. Imagine a bunch of different themed clubs, discos, party places, for the sole purpose of drinking, (a lot of liquor on a nightly basis) it was heaven.

Disney created the stage. We were merely actors.

Then you add in The Parliament House, Pool, Hotel and Entertainment Complex on Orange Blossom Trail, and Gay reaches its zenith.

Drag, Dancing and drinking … Every weekend. and most night’s when you got bored of Disney. It was a little slice of heaven. it was the best of times – it was the worst of times. I saw it all, did it all, and experienced various emotions, and had many experiences under its roof.

We were young, pretty and cheek of tan. twinks in their twenties acting like we were in our thirties. Backstabbing was a parlor game. And if you had a boyfriend, the ultimate goal was for someone to sleep with him behind your back. Single men were a dime a dozen, the big pay day was the “couple.”

Work and responsibility was one aspect of life that I couldn’t pin down or be responsible. But drinking and the act was all that mattered. And I did it well. There are many memories of these times I hold dear. Friendships I had, with folks long since dead now. Dancing, music and fellows.

But it did not end well. Alcohol killed the party. Because it only went from bad to worse. I could not act any longer. The picture was bleak. I don’t know how I navigated that time into survival. But I live to tell.

I just hung onto that lounge act for as long as I could. And that takes me to my mid-twenties. I got sick, I wanted to die, and alcohol was the vehicle. And even that failed me. I lived … and Got Sober.

Ego took over and sobriety lost its priority.

And even then, I was in my mid thirties now, trying to hold on to the facade of my twenties, trying to look twink, when twink went out the window a decade prior. UGH …

We are coming to know who we are in sobriety. We are coming to be the person we were meant to be. Because when we start drinking, we stunt our growth, emotionally and mentally, and we remain that age until we quit the drink and come to. Then we have to deal with all that baggage and grow up at whatever age we come in…

It has been a journey, to say the least.

I wasn’t sure that I would have survived that slip, because there was no logical or easy way out. Thank God for mercies and angels. Because I got to live again after that hell.

The rest they say is history.

More to come, stay tuned …


Music is life, And I have a LOT of life

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This post is all about music. once can never have too much music to listen to. Music has been a constant companion throughout my life. When I was a young person, I had quite the record collection.

Record players have gone the way of the dinosaur, unless of course you find yourself in a D.J. Booth, and even there, the CD is ever present. I found it difficult to mix cd’s, I’d rather mix a record instead.

I have a phone, and I use it, but for the most part, it is my music delivery system. And an 8 gig memory card does the trick and will hold an inordinate amount of music, which means I will never go without music EVER !!!

What is on my player these days?

I am listening to PINK … The Truth about Love. A fantastic piece of music. Not to mention, if you’ve haven’t seen her in concert, she is a must see if she comes to a city near you. Hot Hot Hot !!!

For those of you who like some hard grunge music, I give you Breaking Benjamin. I kind of love their music. I was introduced to them with their hit “The Diary of Jane.” They’ve put out several albums …

Phobia
Dear Agony
We Are Not Alone … and
Shallow Bay – The Best of Breaking Benjamin.

If you like a little dark and dirty, screaming and grungy, soft rock and everything in between, then this is your band.

Growing up in the 70’s and 80’s with the dawn of MTV, I love that 80’s sound, and everything about it. And I return to those roots with the 80’s Diva Taylor Dayne and her greatest hits. Coming through my 20’s and clubbing throughout those years, 80’s music was a theme, in the clubs and on the radio and on cassette. Numbers like:

Prove Your Love
Don’t Rush Me
Heart of Stone
I’ll Be Your Shelter
I’ll Wait
and the great Barry White cover of Can’t Get Enough of your Love
This is a must have piece of music if you grew up in the 80’s.

It is said, for this next selection … That Katy Perry had quit drinking during the writing of PRISM, her latest offering.

I really love this album. It is poppy, carries good beats, And many of the songs carry undertones of someone who “might” understand recovery.

Several cuts I enjoy …

Spiritual, is my favorite
By the Grace of God
Choose your Battles
It Takes Two
Unconditionally
Legendary Lovers

In fact the entire album is great. Every cut flows into the next and each song carries a message. She clearly is talking about relationships in this album, coming off one bad relationship into another, the music moves from one extreme to another.

I love an album that I can listen to straight through from beginning to end, not get bored, or have to skip one cut or another, and Katy Perry delivers that kind of listening experience.

For all you little Monsters out there, yes, I am also listening to Lady Gaga.

Some initial reviews of her latest offering were not kind. But music is subjective, and if you are loyal to a particular artist, then reviews mean nothing. You listen because you love that artist, not for the acid reviews artists can get from the press.

However … Unlike Katy Perry, Dear Momma Monster gave me skips and uncertainties.

This piece of music took some time to get into. The first few listens I was skipping all over the place, not sure if I liked the cuts or not. After seeing her on a Muppet Special over the holidays, I fell more into the album. Seeing music presented live, sung and danced out, made a difference in my listening experience.

I really like…

Aura
Venus
Manicure
Do What you Want (Featuring R Kelly)
Swine
Donatella
Fashion
and of course Applause

I cover A LOT of music spanning the entire alphabet. Depending on what mood I am in, where I am traveling, and how much time I have to invest in a listening, there is a bevy of music on my phone to impress.

This is just the most recent collection of music I added to my library over the last month. What are your favorites? What are you listening to?

Do share …

More to come, stay tuned …