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FC Bayern Munich

Winners, Loosers and Non-Negotiables

BARCELONA, SPAIN - APRIL 08:  Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and UD Almeria at Camp Nou on April 8, 2015 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Courtesy: VIP Football Collection / via Getty Images Copyright attributed.
Lionel Messi, F.C. Barcelona

The first HUGE match of the season took place yesterday between Bayern Munich and F.C. Barcelona. Team Messi, went up against a very unprepared Bayern Squad. There are many things being said about Bayern tonight, some, not that kind at all.

Too many good players were out with injuries. Too many players were benched before the match even took place, who would not see any action, even though they were kitted up and ready to play. So the team that Bayern did field, failed in goals.

The Star Players Lionel Messi, was the King of the match, hands down. He just killed the Germans with his Top of the League playing.

I couldn’t give a shit about hockey, unless of course, it is the Olympics and Sydney Crosby is playing for Team Canada.

So that was the big sports news that I am interested in.

I was at the Thursday meeting tonight, and I heard our guy say something that really resonated with me. At some point in sobriety, we learn about people, by listening to them speak, either in person with us, or from the chair, or from their chair.

At some point we might hear something come out of someones mouth, that is a “truth” and you learn what that means for you. Sometimes people talk, and in most cases, they are unscripted and unvarnished. To a degree I am judgmental, but I also attribute my judgment to this:

“When someone shows you who they are the first time, believe them.”

Oprah said it, and I have used this advice sparingly.

We are not immune to this happening to ourselves.

For a year, my little band of friends at our Tuesday meeting have been working tirelessly in the meeting, and for the most part, outside the meeting, to bring normalcy and sobriety to certain women we know, who are out with small babies.

We’ve invested in these lives because we love our women, all women. Some of those women have just moved back into the city from points farther away, and they have come to our little meeting, because we invited them to come, and guaranteed that we would all welcome them with open arms.

Couples marry and they have children. It is a natural progression in life.

Pregnant women, go to meetings. New mothers, go to meetings. And sometimes they bring their babies with them. And in years past, every “other” woman in the room, knows what to do. One by one, we play hot potato with the babies. We hold them, feed them, rock them, while mom gets an hour to go to a meeting.

That is a certainty. This is how we do things here.

On Tuesday one of our new mothers, brought her daughter with her. We had seated a small group. Caveat … babies are not naturally silent, for long stretches, unless of course they are sleeping.

She came a few times prior to this weeks installment. Every time she came, she got up and left because the baby was a little noisy. She did not get her meeting in.

A particular old timer (read: My Sponsor) who is thirty one years sober has an opinion about small children.

On Tuesday, mom was sitting, baby was chirpy, and we let it go. Nobody said anything. She stayed for the entire meeting. However, five minutes into the meeting, my sponsor was already fidgety. He got up, went to pee, and went home.

After the meeting I called him, and asked what his problem was? His response …

A.A. is not a nursery, we come to get sober, not to listen to babies cry…

This was unvarnished truth. I heard the words, I listened to them as they came out, and right away I knew, in my heart of hearts, that he was telling me a real truth. Not an opinion.

That did not sit very well with me. I said to him, pointedly, that I will not ask a woman with a child to leave a meeting, because she is carrying a baby. I will not go against the third tradition for no reason whatsoever.

The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking.

The tradition as it reads in the Twelve and Twelve states:

“You are an A.A. member if you say so. You can declare yourself in; NOBODY can keep you out. No matter who you are, no matter how low you’ve gone, no matter how grave your emotional complications – even your crimes – we still can’t deny you A.A.”

Having a child is not in the handbook. Bringing that child to a meeting, is also, NOT in the handbook.

If you read Tradition Three from the book, and you have studied the early fellowship, this tradition was really needed early on because of all of the strife, judgment and problems, those early drunks had with certain people. Some of those prejudices still exist.

It was a very good thing when the Traditions came in, because they solved a lot of problems.

But like I said, shit still happens in meetings to this day.

Traditions be damned in some people’s opinions.

So I heard that judgmental and sexist remark.

Some alcoholics get sober, some do get SOBER, and some do not. Nobody is immune to judgment or opinion. We all have them. It was my judgment that someone with thirty or more years of sobriety would “behave better” or be a little kinder or compassionate and understanding.

I did not hear that when he said, A.A. is not a nursery.

What I heard was, women with babies do not belong at a meeting. Not mine of course.

For many weeks, I have been in consultation with another Old timer. I respect him a great deal, and I have been talking to him about many things. After this small succinct conversation with my sponsor, I knew the deal was done.

I don’t agree with you, and I won’t be part of your campaign.

I just lost all respect for someone because they were honest, to a fault.

Tonight after the meeting, I asked this other old timer to be my new sponsor.

He respects me as a man, that is mutual.

Tomorrow I am getting in a car, with my present sponsor and going to Vermont for the Spring Men’s Twelve Step Intensive retreat, at St. Anne’s Shrine in the Vermont lake district.

I have shared my displeasure with him.

I paid $200.00 for this weekend. I can NOT go. One, it is nonrefundable, and Two, my husband would kill me if I stayed home.

Suffice to say, I am glad that there are two other people riding in our car. That will make the transits a bit more pleasurable.

But the deed is done. I made my decision. I trust my intuition.

I’m not going to ask my friends, that I have spent inordinate amounts of time ministering to afar and close, ask them NOT to come to the meeting with their babies. That is just NOT going to happen, not on my watch. The other women in the group would agree. You can’t kick someone out of a meeting because they are “with child.”

I will be away until Sunday.

I need to pack my bathing suit before I forget !

More to come, stay tuned …


BVB Borussia Dortmund … Marco Reus Gear

borussia-dortmund-2014-2015-puma-long-sleeve-ucl-home-shirtI just UN-bagged my Borussia Dortmund gear that I ordered from UK Soccer Shop.

They have the BEST gear, at the Right price. And if you are wise, and like a deal, stuff goes up on sale at certain times. And that’s the time to buy …

The availability of Soccer Gear in North America is non-existent. You can’t buy soccer gear from any seller that serves the U.S. or Canada. It is just not a market they cater to. You have to go off continent to find reputable, top of the line, Soccer Gear seller. Or you go to Ebay.

The U.K., and all points East is where you have to go to find gear. Then you have to find a purchase model that works for you, then there is the currency conversion in the end.

I must also say that the quality of their stock is fantastic. I’m really loving this jersey. And like I said a few days ago, it would not surprise me if Marco’s stock starts to rise sooner than later.

Now I have the Germany Mario Gotze World Cup jersey #19 and the sox to match.

I have F.C. Bayern Munich Mario Gotze jersey #19 and the sox to match

I also have BVB Borussia Dortmund Marco Reus jersey #11 and the sox to match.

And this spring, when it gets warmer, I can purchase all the shorts to go with those kits and make them complete. I am one German Jamming Man.

The exchange rate from Canadian Dollars to Pound Sterling or the Euro is not so hot right now, but an investment is an investment. If a deal appears, you can’t say no to a deal.

And we get GOL tv on our cable package. So I get European games here at home.

Online retail pays off in certain cases. If I see a certain products; clothing, shoes, sox, sneakers, cleats, etc… on the web, like on Tumblr, or on a player, let’s say, I can plug that into Google and find a seller. I also run it through Ebay at the same time. I got World Cup Gear on Ebay for a steal. Then when Mario came up, at the World Cup, I found UK Soccer Shop, and I have been shopping with them ever since.

They carry Gear from all over the world. They have great customer service. They ship world wide, and most importantly, you can use Pay Pal, which does not require a credit card. All of my online purchase points are Pay Pal sellers.

With my Ebay account, I can shop world wide, and thanks to Google Translate, I can shop on Euro sites, which sell by the Euro, which is sometimes expensive. You can find great quality clothing in Europe that you can’t get anywhere else in the world.

Pay Pal, You can do business World Wide and never have to resort to credit again.

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

You know the phrase, “The customer is always right?” right?

Back in December I made a purchase from a certain company here in the city. It was not the first purchase I have made from them, that I was dissatisfied with. In past cases, I just ate it. In this most recent case, gear I purchased (molded silicone) (@$30.00) ripped apart and was rendered useless.

I’ve since found more than one purchase point, selling the same item, for the same price. They are in the U.S., so you have to calculate the exchange rate at time of purchase. I looked online at the shop in the village for the same product, and it came in at twice the price, but with a reputable source.

I’ve since asked for a refund, of the original item, priced at $30.00, and the answer has since been NO. Since I made that purchase with Pay Pal, I have opened a complaint ticket. Now they know I’ve got a defective product, and if I get no response, (which I have yet to get from the seller) I can escalate it further.

So with that said, last week I went to the village and spent twice that amount ($60.00) I spent on the above purchase for the same product, just better quality from a reputable company in Europe.

These kinds of items come with proviso’s.

Not all of them that come off production lines are 100% reliable.

Once again, tomorrow I have to travel into the village to return said item, because it has ripped apart and it is only a few days old. I’m sure they will exchange it without a problem. It just seems to me that every time I venture into this territory, something inevitably goes wrong.

I guess sometimes, “The customer is not always right …”

Update: This morning I was up early and went to the village, got there a bit before opening, but they did refund my purchase, without a word. $64.00 in the bank … Woosh …