Describe the town where you grew up.
Do you still live there? If not, do you ever visit?
This is a multi-location topic. I grew up in many places. I guess I should tell you the whole story.
I was born in New Britain, Connecticut, it was a small town back then. It was the late 1960’s and we lived on Kennedy Drive, it was a cul de sac street. There were a lot of families that lived in that section of town.
My grandparents lived not far from us. It was a short walk from our house to theirs, on both sides of the family. Everybody was close. I was born at the General Hospital. Grocery shopping was done at the Stop and Shop, which was near, what I guess would have been downtown.
My first memories – or my oldest memories – of that time are sparse. I remember places and people. I attended nursery school here and then progressed into kindergarten and first grade. The latter two were at the local Smith School. It has a different name these days.
I used to walk to school. All the kids in our neighborhood walked to school. This would have been in the early 1970’s. My father worked at Fafnir Bearings, my grandparents on my father’s side of the family worked at Stanley Works.
My mother worked for A.J. Rossow and Company. She was in pharmacy work. A job she would carry well into my teenage years.
My mother’s mother was a hair dresser, I can’t recall what my grandfather did.
My aunt – a woman who is pivotal in my early years lived in Wethersfield, Ct. All the women in the family played pivotal roles in my upbringing. Things were very different during these years. I had three years on my brother, who came along in 1970. Being first born had its perks.
The women raised the children, the men drank hard liquor, beat their wives and children and had day jobs. That much I know for sure… Alcoholism was rampant in all the men in the family across the board.
I have looked up all these places on Google earth recently. None of the houses exist any longer. The neighborhoods are all different now.
In 1972 we moved from Connecticut to Florida. And we spent a year in Homestead Florida, where I finished first grade into second grade. This was a short stint before we made it into the big time.
In 1973 we moved to our third house in Miami. We would stay at this location through my grade school years. I went to elementary school here from second to sixth grade. I’d have to sit and ponder these memories. It was a good period. Family often visited from the North and from Canada, the place of my mother’s birth. A lot happened here. In hindsight, all these years later, I knew who I was well before I knew what it all meant.
It was in sixth grade that we made the move to our fourth house. In the neighborhood they now call Pinecrest. It was the biggest of the houses we had come to live in. It was called Coral Reef then.
I attended F.C. Martin Elementary school for the balance of sixth grade, we were bussed from the white section of town to a predominantly black neighborhood where that school was located. Hindsight affords me the ability to look back with certainly that Miami had invisible lines drawn throughout the city.
This is the house that all of my teen memories were made in. Elementary school, Junior high school and then High School – we were here a long time.
It would not be until 1992 that everything changed, with the devastating Hurricane Andrew in 1992. Everything was destroyed. The house had to be rebuilt. Along with millions of others.
My parents sold that rebuilt house and fled to Sarasota where they still live to this day.
I spent a great deal of time in Miami, Ft. Lauderdale then back in Miami. That is where I got sober on South Beach. I used to visit the old neighborhoods when I lived on the beach.
But like they say “You can never go back …”
PFC Christopher “Bunga” Daniel rests with Specialist Joshua Chamberlin, the platoon medic at the compound.
Poyi.org Pictures of the Year – International.
I love this site. All of the photography is outstanding.
What’s one piece of technology you can’t live without?
The one piece of technology that I can’t live without would most definitely be my computer. It is my point of contact with the rest of the world. Everything I do, is done on my computer from news and email, to schoolwork and Facebook.
The computer is on from the moment we wake up in the morning until late at night before we go to bed.
The other item that is important nowadays is my cell phone. However I don’t use mine as much as hubby uses his, everything is synced on hubby’s phone. He does everything on that item.
You’d think with a cell phone I would be all up in twitter, but I am not. Neither is hubby.
The computer is our one stop shop for everything electronic. We watch news, and our news shows, television and movies, and music and the like. All of my electronic shopping is done on the computer, all the banking, and Ebay.
I spend an inordinate amount of time every day reading my blog list, watching You Tube videos and I play on my Facebook. I mean really, we live for this technology because it connects us to other people around the world.
If I think about what it was like in the 80’s growing up, how simple things were. I had a stereo and a record player, a car and friends. Who’da thunk it that we would be immersed in this world of technology just 30 years hence.
And the kids of today have everything at their fingertips. With cell phones, and twitter to Tumblr and I pods and I phones. I watch the young people at school and all they do walking here and there and in class is play on their phones. It is like a third appendage.
That’s all I have for this topic.
More to come, stay tuned …
If you could live forever, would you? Why or why not?
Even human science hasn’t cracked the code to live forever even if we tried. I’ve always maintained that if I could I would go backwards in time to relive some of the things I had from the past. Caveat, with the same people that were there as well, seeing most of those people are long since dead.
If I could live forever, would I? Yeah, I think I would. Who wouldn’t?
Why? I would want to see how far technology would progress, if we could all live forever that means that all of my friends would be here as well.
I’ve lived a good long life, longer than most doctors would have imagined for me, so that is a plus. Most of the good things that happened in my life are now in the past, so I don’t know how much life would change in the future from how it is going today.
The old are ignored and unwanted. In gay terms, I am already far over the hill, based on the current standards of gay viability. anything over thirty is over the hill. I am well into my 40’s now and marriage is a good thing, because I don’t know what I;d do if I was single at this age. Probably be like some of the odler men I see at meetings. Alone and lonely…
If I could live forever, then I would want technology to help me NOT age any further first off. And maybe technology could help us reverse the aging process and regain some of our youth, once again.
What would us old people contribute to society? Wisdom, thoughts, experience? What would we do in a bright new aging society? Something BIG and exciting would have to happen to really make living forever useful and fruitful.
I think that that exciting thing for me is coming in the next years time, that I am hopeful of. Sobriety has its perks.
That’s all I have for now.
more to come, stay tuned …
What’s your idea for a perfect Sunday? How would it differ from a typical Sunday? If it’s Sunday where you are, what kind of day is it so far?
On a perfect Sunday … That will come in the Spring. The sun is shining and the birds are singing. The grass is green, one of those special days, as the first days of Spring arrive post snow.
We take the train to Mount Royal Metro on the Plateau and follow the crowds from the station to Park Mount Royal and the Obelisk. We window shop on the way across town and stop in the IGA for some drinks and munchies.
The crowds are gathered at the park, like every Sunday from this point on. They call it The Tams … Lots of people, drums, cymbals, percussion, dancers and a lot of dance. The beat starts with one drum, the rest follow along and the park erupts in a cacophony of beats.
The chant of the drums, it echoes all over, as far as you can hear it. Up the mountain around the park from one end to another. We spend a few hours joining the dance.
This is a usual event for visitors to our house to take them to the Tams.
After a few hours we are satiated with the music and we decide to climb the mountain. Yes, there is a mountain here in Montreal. There is a dedicated trail you can walk up or ride up on bicycles.
If you are like me, my first visit to this particular park was at night, early in my sobriety, with my then sponsor. We were close, very close. I was single and we spent a great deal of time together.
One night we went to the mountain and we climbed the mountain from the park to the cross at the peak of the mountain. It was dark, pitch dark, but we climbed anyway.
Now, today, I take people up the mountain by the same path. It’s a little dirty and a lot of work. There are trails all over that side of the mountain. Fenced in walkways around the mountain from one side to another. It’s a very circular path from the park to the lookout chalet.
This is the view from the Chalet House on the Mountain.
You climb the mountain, you get to the chalet, you wash up and get some drinks and munchies and you enjoy the view. This is an afternoon event. You spend the day at the mountain.
You walk around the trail to the Cross on top of the Mountain. At night, this is what the cross looks like. During the interregnum, the period of time between the death of one Pope and the election of a new Pope, after the death of John Paul II, the cross was purple.
We actually climbed the mountain at night so we could get photos of the cross in history setting purple. There is a time capsule at the foot of the cross. There are time capsules all over the city.
There are pick nick tables at the summit where you can have meals, it is also where they stable the horses that the police use in the city. There is a lake and large green spaces that one can enjoy all season long.
The end of Winter won’t come soon enough. But a perfect Sunday would be spent on the Mountain. With an evening meeting Sunday Nighter’s.
That is a perfect Sunday here in Montreal.
Is it always better to know the truth, even when it hurts? Or is ignorance bliss? Or are they both true some of the time?
Is it always better to know the truth, even when it hurts?
I guess I have to answer yes to this question. Living a sober life means that you live in the moment and in the now, which doesn’t give a lot of room for doubt and lies.
Truth is something that we strive to keep as a society. But sometimes the truth hurts. When it isn’t something we want to hear or say to someone else. I try to live my life in truth. I might keep my mouth shut at times, and not say anything if what I have to say is critical or hurtful.
I think as we grow up, we move from a place of ignorance, due to age or education into adults. But let’s be honest, there are a segment of the adult population that strive to live in ignorance. And some of them have often come here to read and give me shit about truth or on some subject that I talk about here on the blog.
There are ignorant people in the world. That is a given. I have a choice on a daily basis whether or not I plan to engage that kind of ignorance. Sometimes I have no choice. And ignorance is not bliss. Not in today’s day and age.
Having an education in certain areas gives me the ability to talk truth to the people. Even if they think certain things about me. Being sober so long gives me certain perspective on life at this stage of the game, in relation to what life has been like over the last 9 plus years in sobriety.
For some ignorant people, and education flies in the face of their ignorance on many fronts. Topics like Homosexuality, Religion, and Christianity are lightening rods that make ignorant people go crazy. And for some ignorance is bliss.
Be that as it may, I live a life of truth. In all things. In my years in school, truth is something that is mandated from the institutions that I learn at. And I had a situation arise over the last few months where my writing was criticized as false… I maintained my innocence because for every quote I used in my papers, I gave specific citations for them. I still paid a price for my paper and so be it. My conception of truth may be a bit skewed in certain cases. Shit happens by the by.
We strive to be truthful. Even when that truth hurts.
When it comes to relationships, I don’t usually have problems when dealing with hubby on a daily basis. Sometimes it is better to keep ones counsel rather than say something that will cost you days in the proverbial dog house.
When it comes to sobriety, I would rather quote you truth based on my education rather than argue with an ignorant fuck on my blog. And at age 43 and years of university education under my belt, and almost 10 years of sobriety, I’ve earned the right to speak my truth.
And that is that on truth …
If you only had an hour to live, what would you do with those 60 minutes?
Death … If you knew you were going to die, what would you do? I’ve been here before, I’ve done this before.
Could I choose the day that the 60 minutes fell on? Or what season it would be?
If I could choose the day and season, it would be Spring here in Montreal. I would go to the Tams on a Sunday afternoon and I would bang my drum and dance with everybody else.
The I think I would climb the mountain to the big rock on the East side of the mountain that overlooks the St. Lawrence and the Big O. I of course would pack my favorite food and drink.
Hmm … Would I drink if I knew I was going to die? I’m not sure about that. I think that I would rather go to my death a sober member.
My friends would be with me and we would spend the rest of the hour enjoying the day, the weather and each other. I do not want to die at home, in any case. It is not an energy that I would want to leave behind for my husband.
You’d have to see what I am looking at from this spot to appreciate fully the amazing view that is afforded at this point on the mountain.
So that’s what I’d do with my last 60 minutes on earth.
Do you believe everything happens for a reason? Why or why not?
Do I believe that everything happens for a reason?
Who created the universe? And where did we come from? They say that we have been created from stardust. That all the things that make up the body came from the universe. And everything evolves, as it does.
Do we make things happen? Or are things just moving forwards as the universe decrees in its wisest vision.
For every action there is an opposite and equal reaction.
Every body remains in a state of rest or uniform motion unless it is acted upon by an external unbalanced force.
Can we control the outcome of any/every situation? Or are we powerless over people, places and things?
I like to think that I am familiar with fate, and that I believe in fate. Whatever happens happens. Whether it be good or bad. I can take action and try to control every outcome, or I can let go and allow whatever to happen.
Life moves forwards, we grow up, we grow older and our lives change. There are aspects of life that we cannot control. Not yet at lease. Things are in motion all the time. And everything may happen for a reason?
I am powerless over people, places and things. Therefore I cede control to the universe or the power greater than myself.
People are going to do what they do. In any case. Certain things have been set in motion and the outcomes are unknown at this time. But whatever happens, the outcome of certain events are dictated by the primary action that took place at an earlier time.
I think that’s how it works. I believe in fate. I believe in destiny. Everything happens for a reason, not sure. If we act, the universe responds. It may not be what we wanted, but it may be what we needed.
If someone says something, and someone takes action because someone said something or did something to spur that action forwards, they are responsible for their actions. And so is the one who posed the idea.
Isn’t that what people are talking about today. A picture went up online. An idea spoken by a political person. That photograph was seen by millions of people, now we wonder if that action/photograph online was responsible for heinous crimes against humanity in the last week. Or is the person who acted heinously personally responsible for his actions? I think the politician is responsible for her actions and what she says to the general public. Just like the man who took action – he is responsible for what he did …
(If everything happens for a reason, to what do we attribute these goings on?) Fate, or everything happens for a reason?
Can we attribute every action and outcome to the idea that everything happens for a reason?
Do natural disasters fall under the category that everything happens for a reason? Or does this idea only apply to human interaction? Does everything that happens on the human level happen for a reason, and natural disasters occur on a different level?
If everything happens for a reason, then there is no responsibility for the outcome. How do you explain the killing of innocents – if everything happens for a reason? Can you justify things like this happening to “everything happens for a reason?”
We are responsible for our words, our actions and responses to whatever is going on around us.
I am responsible… Whatever I give to the universe, the universe is going to respond one way or another. If I act, something happens. If I say something lets say “here” I am responsible for those words.
But if you act, you are responsible for your actions.
I believe in responsible actions. If I am of sober mind, and I say something I am responsible for what I say. Just like you are responsible for what you say and for what you do. If you choose to act in an irresponsible way, then your circumstances will happen in return, just the same.
What comes around goes around … The universe is listening …
Everything happens for a reason … Not So Sure …
If you had a time machine that only let you spend one hour in a different time, what date would you go to?
Where would I go?
Would I go forwards or backwards?
I think I would go backwards. All the way back to my childhood. When everybody was alive and well. We were a family then. I would return to my father’s parent’s place back at 160 East Street. The house does not exist any longer. I went looking for it on Google Earth some time ago.
The bar and package store and dep that was next door to the old house is still there, but the plot of land that the house sat on has changed over the years. All the willow trees are gone and a one level house is sitting on the plot of land that has grown smaller because of the parking lot extension next door.
That was a special time. Grammy had a vegetable garden and the house was surrounded by flowers, plants and bushes. The lot next door was left in its ruined state, where flowers grew wild and berry bushes flourished with berries that we would pick every day.
As a child I slept in grammy’s bed overlooking the driveway. In the basement were all the old appliances from the old days. I would go back to that simple time, with family and friends. We didn’t have all these gadgets we have today, but we had each other.
My grandparents lived in the same city, New Britain Ct. They lived not far apart, and if I could go back to that time, I could revisit family, that no longer exist.
I don’t have a specific date, but I do have a time. I was in grade school then, before I hit junior high. That’s when everything got dark and sickness and death began to take people from my life.
What’s the most important thing you accomplished in 2010?
As the year progressed, a number of things happened in succession that facilitated a new phase in my life. I ended my tenure as a graduate student. More like, crashed and burned. Without a base to operate from I took a suggestion from one of my friends at the university about what to do next, and I did that next right thing.
I applied for a spot at Dawson College and chose to study the areas that I was lacking in my university studies, that of French. I succeeded in my first semester studies at Dawson college.
I survived another year in this life. That is always noteworthy. I stayed sober another year. Which makes this nine years sober.
There aren’t any other noteworthy accomplishments for the year as it went.