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Sociology

Tuesday – All or Nothing A.B.S.I.

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Fall is definitely coming. Temps dipped into single digits and close to zero overnight last night. It was a cool night as the sun went down this evening.

I am hopeful that the cooler the nights get, the sooner the trees will begin turning. We are just weeks away from the first big holiday of the season, with Thanksgiving coming on the 13-14th of October.

It would not be strange for temps to be cold come the end of October, and quite possibly we will see snow in some Canadian locations.

I departed early for my 90 bus to Vendome – but as I stood there will a multitude of people, the bus did not come, but they were stacked one behind the other at the location buses wait for their next run. (Which is right at Cabot Square – Right where we were waiting for the bus to come).

A 63 showed up after we waited at least fifteen minutes, and folks packed that bus, which left us, the 90 folks, still waiting. A bus was coming UP towards the square on a run Westbound, Cabot Square is the endpoint of the 90 run (West) and it made the turn around and pulled through the square and took on new passengers while the other buses that were waiting remained at the kiosk.

It is still a construction nightmare at Vendome Metro. So I was a little late in arriving – but was still the first person there to make coffee. We received good news from our Trusted Servant tonight that the meeting has a new home.

As of October 1st – we will be meeting at Notre Dame de Grace Church on Decarie and NDG Avenue… Right down from Villa Maria Metro and on the #24 bus line. The 24 originates (Eastbound) from Villa Maria.

Hopefully this change will bring back folks who have stopped coming because the informality of the hall we have been in since the NDG food depot came to town. We’ve been needing this change of location for some time.

I’ve emailed Inter-Group with the new location information to be printed in our Blue Sheets and the directory and the online website meeting locator.

We hosted a small group. They might not be big numbers, but at least folks are still showing up.

The chair read from A.B.S.I. and – All or Nothing …

“Acceptance and Faith are capable of producing 100 percent sobriety. In fact, they usually do; and they must, else we could have no life at all. But the moment we carry these attitudes into our emotional problems, we find that only relative results are possible. Nobody can, for example, become completely free from fear, anger, and pride.

Hence, in this life we shall attain nothing like perfect humility and love. So we shall have to settle, respecting most of our problems, for a very gradual progress, punctuated sometimes by heavy setbacks. Our old time attitude of “All or nothing” will have to be abandoned.”

There are a lot of buzz words in this passage and there are a multitude of routes one could take when discussing this passage. And the folks who showed up tonight went a lot of places.

From this reading we can take away the thought that we can work with “Moderation!” They say that moderation should be a catchword. Because as alcoholics, many of us could not take anything moderately. It was All or Nothing when we drank and used. And learning to step away from All or Nothing and come down into the possibility of moderation is quite a change.

Many words are written about “Acceptance” being the key to all our problems.

And many words have been written about “Faith” from the book, “Faith without works is dead!”

Fear – Anger and Pride … How many of us can say we came to the rooms, with fear, anger and pride as problems to our personal progress? Once we start to work our steps we get to list these things running steps 4 though 7.

The book speaks of progress not perfection. We are imperfect people living in a world that is imperfect. I’ve never met someone who had perfect sobriety. I don’t know a perfect sober person.

For some, in the beginning, it is an uphill slog. But as long as we stick with it and do what we are told and we listen to suggestions and slogans.

Shit happens and I don’t know form Normal. What is normal? That is a question for the ages … What is Normal?

Slow and steady usually wins the race.

And to finish off the thought … ALL or NOTHING … At the end of my drinking I was an all or nothing alcoholic. I wanted ALL the liquor, not just some. It was Go BIG or Go Home.

I am glad that All or nothing was reworked and I learned to put the same force and zeal towards my sobriety that I did when I usually drank. Which is probably why I haven’t had a drink in almost twelve years.

A good night was had by all.

More to come, stay tuned …


Why Wouldn’t I ???

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Courtesy: Heath (Iheefz) Chicago Photography

It rained … all . day . long …

Enough rain to warrant carrying an umbrella. And Lawd knows how I hate carrying my huge umbrella anywhere. But this morning it was necessary because we had to travel in . the  . rain.

A few days ago, hubby mentioned his graduation ceremony was coming up but he wasn’t expecting me to attend because it was, in his words, “long and boring!” The topic came back up the other night and he once again intoned that he wasn’t expecting me to go … and I replied “Why Wouldn’t I??? ”

Two years work. Watching him toil night and day pounding out his thesis and defense for his M.A. I went to his defense. We were all so proud of him. And so today was the culmination of all that work, a 15 second walk across a stage in front of his peers to get his M.A. Diploma.

The program opened with bagpipes, piping in the graduates, then the faculty.

And One very special man – LtGen. The Honorable Romeo A. Dallaire (Ret’d), O.C. ,CMM,GOQ, MSC,CD, B.ES., LLD , Senator.

He was presented with an Honorary Degree, Doctor of Letters.

And he gave a short speech for the graduates and encouraged them to step up and be change in Canada. Because in politics and government, he spoke, they have not risen to their ultimate abilities.

2017, is a special date and there are a confluence of dates and events, anniversaries and commemorations that will come during 2017, and Canada does not have a plan to mark the occasions.

Offering questions in the Senate and to the M.P’s in Parliament, what is the plan and what are we going to do ? the answer was – We Don’t Know !!!

This is our time to rise. To become active in the affairs of the nation be it in your community, your home, your job or your country, He encouraged us all to become change.

He spoke a bit about the children in Rwanda and the deaths and situations he witnessed. He spoke of a young boy, sitting in the road there in Rwanda distended, poor and in need (in a bad way), looked in those boys eyes, and the vision of his sons eyes came to mind.

He encouraged us to go abroad and work in developing countries. To see, witness, feel and participate in the lives of those who need more than they have today. They have very little, compared to the have’s and the have not’s in the developed world.

It was a tall request. But not out of reach. If you know where to look.

I know of people in Europe and the U.K. who actually go to Africa and other trouble spots in the developing world to work for charities helping those who need it most.

It is part of Gap Year work, Charity work, and just a great character building exercise to spend time in a place that will change the person you are, just by your presence.

We don’t often think about traveling so far away – it isn’t a North America thought, just because it is “over there” out of sight, out of mind.

But numbers of Canadians do great work in Africa and areas beyond.

If I could do it, I would. But the time needs to be right.

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Once hubby did his walk across the stage, he was in the first two rows of graduates, he texted me. I was sitting about ten rows behind him on the aisle so we could make a quick getaway. The ceremony started at 3 p.m. and I needed to be at the church at 5, so we made our way out shortly after the B.A.’s started their march to the stage.

We took some photos with his cape and gown and degree for his parents, turned in his robes, and we came home. We got back around 4:30. And I was back out the door at quarter to Five.

And . It . Rained …

I arrived at the church, a little damp and the hall was a bit damp and cold. I cranked out chairs and tables. My sponsor showed up a few minutes after I arrived to make coffee and help with set up.

Little gift …

At the roundup a couple of weeks ago, all the shares were taped for mass consumption and sold on site. For quite a chunk of money. So a few folks bought a master copy of all the shares. And now they have been duplicated and are being shared amongst us.

I had mentioned that I wanted a copy of them, and one of our sober women did the duplicates and brought them to the meeting tonight. But there were a few women who have not heard them, like we got to hear them live, so I told her to give them to someone who hasn’t heard them yet before I get them.

I was sitting in my chair waiting for folks to show up and one of my friends came up and handed me a cd, with all the shares and more on it. Just because !

Then I was standing near our literature table talking to some folks, and my sponsor walked up and had a gift for me. He was given a cache of Big Books and other texts we use regularly. And from a private collection, he has already given me a copy of the original manuscript of the Big Book. Tonight he had another book for me … A Second Edition of the Big Book.

Which has an extra large collection of stories in the back of the book.

There are four editions of the Big Book in circulation. First editions are rare and cost a pretty penny. Seconds and Thirds are in circulation. But for the most part, unless you need a 2 or 3, Inter-group sells Fourth Editions, solely.

The Book, Experience, Strength and Hope is a collection of stories from Editions 1 , 2 and 3. We read that book on Sunday Nights some time ago.

But now I get to read all the stories from the book in the Second Edition.

The meeting was packed. Which was good. Lots of newcomers. And great opportunities for our girls to get out there and pound the pavement.

We read from Living Sober, page 10 – Live and Let Live …

A good topic. Lots of good shares. Many people all over the place on the slogans.

Live and Let Live
Easy Does It
But for the Grace of God
Think, Think, Think
First things First

You see them posted at every meeting we go to in the city. Keeping our side of the street clean. Not getting into other folks drama. What people think of me is none of my business. I am powerless over people, places and things.

I can’t change you – I can only change me.

And people are struggling with this slogan. On a daily basis.

It was a good night. Fun was had. I walked home.

A good day over all Me thinks.

More to come, stay tuned…


I Thirst … The Year that was 2011 …

“I thirst,” Jesus said on the cross when Jesus was deprived of every consolation, dying in absolute Poverty, left alone, despised and broken in body and soul. He spoke of His thirst – not for water – but for love, for sacrifice.

Jesus is God: therefore, His love, His thirst is infinite. Our aim is to quench this infinite thirst of a God made man. Just like the adoring angels in Heaven ceaselessly sing the praises of God, so the sisters, using the four vows of Absolute Poverty, Chastity, Obedience and Charity towards the poor ceaselessly quench the thirsting God by their love and of the love of the souls they bring to Him.

Mother Teresa writes:

Jesus wants me to tell you again … how much is the love He has for each one of you – beyond all what you can imagine … not only He loves you, even more – He longs for you. He misses you when you don’t come close. He thirsts for you. He loves you always, even when you don’t feel worthy…

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This will be my 2,582nd post…

We begin this tale of the last 365 days at nearly the end, because that is where I think we need to begin. I re-read my end of year 2010 report to try and get a sense of what I need to write about this year. So many things have happened this year and I haven’t written out an outline, I will then free write …

First, we need music. Barbra Streisand … A Piece of Sky …

The winter 2010-2011 school season was a success. I did very well in my courses and finished at the top of my game. Not much happened over the summer so I took off those months. There wasn’t much in classes that I really wanted to take. I went to an inordinate amount of meetings over the summer.

This past Fall, I pursued my education at CeGep this year with as much zeal as I could muster. After two semesters of French, I decided that I would no longer pander to the language police here in Quebec. I would rather eat glass then study French another day in my life. So I gave it up on the first day of the third semester. I sat in the chair and the prof started in and I sat until the break and then I left. Never to return. I had had enough of that …

That night I decided to study Western Civilization instead. So the Fall Semester I studied Sociology, following in my husbands footsteps. Added to that was Western Civilization. Both courses I did fantastically well. I had great teachers and a little help from my friends in the form of free textbooks and occasional coaching from the side. That’s what you get when you go to meetings. People truly want to see you succeed and if they can, play a part in that success. So thanks to Eric and Hubby for their help.

Last year I spoke of Hubby’s doing well in University. And today I can say with a proud heart that he has more than exceeded all of our expectations. He not only was a student in the Graduate Studies program for Sociology, he taught a section of tutorials this past semester. Something he worried about – but to me, looking at it from the outside, it was effortless. He just is the most fascinating man I know. He did it all like a Master…

On the medical front, I lived another year. All my numbers have been above the 1000 mark. My good run has been extended this past year. My doctor never varies from his talk to me whenever I see him. He says the same thing like a litany that never changes. Loose weight, stop eating junk food and exercise. The theme never varies. However I can report that I did lose some weight over the last year. I changed up my diet – hubby is a very health conscious cook.

My diabetes numbers have been nominal to the degree that the last time I saw my doc for that it was for five minutes. He has dispensed with the whole triage, dietician and extensive medical history and check up for a brief looking at the number on my meter – signing off on refills and sending me on my way.

The other night at a Christmas dinner at a friends, I met a man who is diabetic and we talked about our respective situations. I seem to be doing so well and he has all but given up he says “you only get one life, so might as well live it” and not in the good way either. You see this happen with certain people who can’t be bothered to take care of themselves correctly and follow medical advice, and at that I shake my head, I keep my council and I let it go. He takes pills to control his diabetes, but he doesn’t test daily, nor does he do what he is told. Which is a shame, because in the end it may kill him one day and that would be a loss.

The same goes for people with HIV. I get them newly diagnosed and I talk them into a life plan and we find them the next step to survival. Most of the men I have worked with in the last calendar year have dispensed with my advising. It is not something they wanted to continue, so I must let them go. If they live or die is entirely up to them.

Another of my fellows on the HIV train was dumped after a long term relationship by the man who fell out of love with him and over a steak dinner divulged that he did not love him anymore. This sent my friend into a tailspin that almost killed him. I warned him not to use or drink. But what did he do? He went out in a blaze of glory.

Where everyone was pissing and moaning about lost love, I was the only one to warn him of the consequences of a major slip in recovery after being sober for so many years. My counsel fell on deaf ears and he used heavy narcotics in a haze that almost killed him. And with that I took my leave of him. He ended our friendship over this.

One of my guys got sick, ended up in the hospital and had a near death experience. That experience sent him out the door into a drunken drug filled stupor for a few months only to end up in rehab, and in a haze of forgetfulness calls me one night begging my help once again. I can proudly say that today that man is sober and clean. He has a few months sobriety and is actively working his steps with me in a 12 step intensive. One of the only success stories I can talk about on the HIV front.

Another year in the books as year 44 came around this past summer. I am soon heading for fifty. Can you believe it??? Me at 50. Who knew. But we are not there yet. One day at a time … I read the book Aging with HIV, and in the book I am at the near beginning of the scale, not so old as the men in the book, but I am getting there slowly. In reading the book, I learned what concerned men going into their 50’s. Most of the issues I read about, I have already dealt with in my sobriety.

This past year has been one of disappointments in people. As I stated above the theme is recurring several times over. When people show you who they are the first time believe them…

A long time friend who I had been counseling, listening to and confiding in for the last ten years trying to be her friend just pissed me the fuck off. After 23 years of sobriety, she admitted after the fact that she was drinking and lying to me all the time, prior to her return to Montreal this past fall. I am beginning to learn just who is my friend and who paid me in lip service over the past year.

Suffice to say that I held my tongue quite well when she picked up a desire chip after 23 years at my home group. I sat on my feelings and stuffed them until they almost choked me. And one night words were spoken. Words I can never take back. It all came out one word after another …

I am not ashamed that I caved. I mean what are we unfeeling cyborgs? Can’t I feel an emotion and put it out there? Well, that was another ending. I said my piece and she felt victimized and reported me to her sponsor as a bad man. I ended that friendship in a blaze of glory. She went back to Florida. If she is sober is up to her and God.

I am beginning to find my voice as a man who knows himself. I have spent the better part of the year taking care of me and learning all those lessons that Oprah had to offer in terms of Life Class. And I put to practice all those things that she says will help us become who we are meant to become.

Being true to ones self. Knowing and being responsible for the energy we give out and what energy we bring to ourselves. When people show us who they are the first time, believe them. Things like this …

Every day of my life is book-ended with meetings. That formula for success is what I attribute my successes. I have this year crossed a huge mile marker which I will touch on a bit later. If I have a night free, you can usually find me at a meeting somewhere. Tuesday Beginners has been a part of my life for more than ten years now. And it served me well.

Over the summer, my sponsor and my friend Dave, who is a proud daddy today used to travel to different meeting on Friday night. From the South shore to the West End to NDG. We did this for weeks on end until I had enough of traveling from here to there. I wanted to invest in somewhere certain. You can’t invest in a meeting and their people if you are not a weekly attendee. So I decided to go to Friday West End by myself.

I set a goal for myself and that goal was to go and wait for God to tell me what to do. I went, week after week until the voice gave me direction. And I knew it one night when after the meeting I felt the urge that this is where the next chapter of my sobriety was to open. So I joined the group a few months ago. I needed three months of service to become a proper member, and so I did that gladly.

I would go and set up chairs and make coffee. I sat in the same chair week in and week out. People began to notice me, not because of what I was doing, but because of my presence in the same spot week after week. People started talking to me, I learned their names, and made some friends. An old timer and his wife from Dorval. I have spoken about them before.

The next chapter of my sobriety was opening up. I did my time and got into the rotation as a full member. And then everything changed. And it was the greatest gift I have ever been given in sobriety. Firstly there was the night we were in the church for the meeting – it was the first time I was responsible for setting up and doing all the grunt work because most of the group was out of town that night, and the hall was being used the next day for a church bazaar so we were in the church proper and that night we all had a spiritual experience. It was the most beautiful night on my life, listening to a young lady play the piano. It was angel speak. The night was a HUGE success. And it did not go unnoticed.

The fall came and went. I am still doing service every week. Now I am the designated coffee maker. That along with minor set up skills I am an upstanding member of Friday West End.

Weeks before my 10th sober anniversary, I had been in a really deep conscious contact with my God. My prayer life I stepped up. I was reading holy texts and I came across Mother Teresa once again. A book I had once dismissed, I picked up again, just by happenstance. And I was convicted … The story of how she began the Missionaries of Charity with “I Thirst …” I knew that was going to become the marker for my anniversary.

On certain big anniversaries, I was taught in early sobriety, you make an offering to God for your sobriety. I did it on my first anniversary with a piercing. And now at ten, I needed to do something big. I made a few calls and visited a few tattoo parlors in the core and settled on Adrenaline. I talked it over with hubby and he gave me the green light to get the tattoo I wanted. I prayed about it for a week. And on the Friday prior to my anniversary, I got that tattoo. It was all the rage at Friday West End. Since I Face booked it everyone wanted to see it, and so it went. I was really proud of myself.

And also as it came to pass that I was approaching my 1oth sober anniversary, is when God stepped in and gifted me. The Friday before my anniversary, the chair asked me to speak, ON my anniversary. On that same night our matriarch asked me if I would take my cake on that next Friday night. (Now I was prepared to wait until the 13th at TB’s to take my cake) But she had other plans for me.

She asked me if I had my 2 year silver oval medallion. Yes, it was in my wallet. I gave it to her and she took it and sent it off to the jewelers to be Gold Plated and engraved with whatever I wanted on it … “I Thirst…” is on that medallion now.

I talked to my sponsor about sharing. And he said as long as I keep my ego in check, all should be well. That Friday came to pass. I got up there and knocked it out of the park. I don’t remember all of what I said. But whatever I did say made a difference in my life and the lives of the members of the group and others as well who came to hear me speak. It was the most exciting night of my life in recent years. Then I got my cake and my GOLD medallion. It was the most exciting moment in my sobriety so far.

The people of Friday West End gave me a gift that I could never repay. They gave me a memory that I can take to my grave as being had. And I am forever grateful to them for that. We are a great happy bunch of drunks that do good things every Friday night for every person who walks in our doors.

We had our anniversary the following week and we had over a hundred and some odd people. We had food galore and fun, fun, fun. I even got to thank that speaker because the chair thinks I am so eloquent in thanking capabilities. I don’t know if it went over as good as I wanted because of the man I was thanking. Some stories are tougher than others to thank because of content and experience. And he was rough trade… But I did my best.

On the 13th of December I took a second chip and celebrated with Cake at my original home group. To show to newcomer that it can be done. Many old friends came to help me celebrate. We had lots of cake and conversation. So I have a ten year medallion to keep forever, and one to share with someone coming along to their tenth… December has been one very exciting month.

The holidays have come and are nearly gone. The weeks are just flying past, as if to say, let’s get this year over already !!! Christmas was a big BLUR on the radar screen. And it is Tuesday late night once again as I write this. I was so busy over the holidays that I forget that the day came. Our home Christmas was sandwiched in between cooking for home, setting up for an evening meeting and attending a second Christmas dinner all on the same night.

And with great effort the world is going to welcome in the New Year in the way they know how to do… With lots of liquor and celebrations. I talked to a friend on Tumblr earlier and I said that all those young people won’t know what hit them after imbibing copious amounts of liquor and smoking the best weed out there. What a waste … But what can you do???

We will take in the New Year as we always do. With our Crystal Goblets and a little non-alcoholic bubbly. We will watch the ball fall and kiss on the moment and then we will go to bed and listen to Coast to Coast AM and the yearly predictions show for 2012. This year proves to be exciting, with Armageddon knocking on our doors on December 21st 2012.

PUT IT ON YOUR CALENDAR. TO MAKE SURE YOU ARE SOMEWHERE SAFE BECAUSE IT IS ALL SUPPOSED TO END. WE CAN ALL KISS OUR RESPECTIVE ASSES GOODBYE BECAUSE THEY TELL US THE WORLD WILL COME TO AN END.

At Least the Mayan’s have given the preacher world something to go on about for the last year. And needless to say it will only get worse as the date draws nearer. So we will see who the forgiven/saved are and who is going to suffer damnation, hellfire and sorrow.

And that is how we will close out the year that was 2011.

What did you do this year that is noteworthy? Share those thoughts with us.

I really want to thank all the people who have subscribed to this blog, and to all my readers out there. From all over the world. Especially, Bear Toast, Rod, Vincent and the rest of you. Thank you for a great year. It has been a joy writing for you – and you have helped me polish my voice so to speak.

I am in touch, so you be in touch.

I love your faces.

WC:  3,173 Post 2,582


Sunday Sundries …


Courtesy:Seanklein

It is bitterly cold out tonight. (-9c / wc – 16c ) And they tell us it might snow overnight, we shall see how lucky we get. The god’s have not been very Christmassy to us as of late. We could use a dusting of the white stuff, it would make it feel a lot more like Christmas if it did.

A brief announcement – I will be opening for Sunday Nighter’s on Christmas Night for the 6:15 meeting. As this post will cross post on my other networks my friends will see this and maybe come visit for the hour.

It is D-Day tomorrow. My last final exam in Sociology.  I’ve been studying my ass off all weekend. I am of the mind that the final will be the same format as the mid term so I studied that format specifically. 40 multiple choice questions, 10 social theory questions based on varied topics and 5 social type questions based on functionalist, Conflict Theory and symbolic interactionist essays.

Hopefully I studied the right stuff…

I went to Sunday Nighter’s tonight for the meeting. We sat a dozen folks and went the entire period. And the discussion came up about Christmas night and some of our folk said that they would come to a meeting on Christmas night, so we will be open. Since I have keys, I can open the room and make coffee.

Yesterday was very productive. I cleaned the apartment and did all my chores. Then I had to go get my tattoo looked at by my artist, and she says that I need a little touch up which will be done on Tuesday afternoon.

She asked me about what I wanted to do next. And to be honest, I don’t know what I want to do, put more script on my left arm or go whole hog and get a full on tattoo with color and meaning.

I mean you need a reason to get a tattoo. It has to have some meaning, or be of importance to you in any case. And in my case, there aren’t really any topics that I could translate into a tattoo just for shits and giggles. I thought about tattoos that friends have and I looked at their tattoo photos, and in the end nothing came to mind for myself. I’ve seen a lot of good ink.

The one tattoo that stood out for me of any consequence is the one pictured above … “First you win, then you lose !!!” It is very apropos. It is a message that rings true to me in sobriety. It has a message, and it is bright and colorful and would go nicely on my left arm. Since my first ink is on my right inner arm.

So my artist said that I could email the photo to the shop for a price and time estimate and that’s what I did. When I drop in there on Tuesday we will chat about it more. I mean, it will take some work to translate the photo into a stencil to be placed on my arm. I wonder how they would do it, the transfer and all?

I wonder if you can just free hand it – I am sure that would take a good eye and some really good artistry to just tattoo from a photo. So we shall see what happens. I would be getting this one after the 1st of January, which isn’t very far away. I will keep you posted.

Other than that, hubby is packing up presents for Ottawa and his family. He will be going to Ottawa later on in the week to do present swap and visit his family, and I have engagements to attend over the weekend. We will be cooking Christmas dinner on Sunday afternoon. Friends of mine have been coordinating dinners and visits over the holiday weekend. It will be fun all the way around.

That’s my update for tonight.

Stay tuned for more later on as things transpire.

Toodles …


The Universe Conspires to help You …

Courtesy: Homesick

It is 8c at this hour. The weather is changing by the day. First it will be a little rain, then the temps will drop and it will eventually turn to snow. Hopefully sooner than later.

People are snarfling and sniffling all around me. Hubby has been fighting the flu for a week and over the last two days I have been feeling the stirring of cold coming on.

The week started off on a good note, with a little step work and fellowship. Last evening I was napping before class. And to be honest I had planned to do some reading on Sunday overnight and then finish up before class last night. And so I kept pushing my snooze alarm until it hit 5:15, which would have set me in class 45 minutes early so that I could finish reading before the quiz. I really didn’t want to go to class in all honesty.

I got in the shower and got dressed and put flair in my hair and got ready to leave for school and I sat down in front of the computer and the phone rang, it was the college with an automated “Class is Cancelled” message. Needless to say I was overjoyed. I changed out and went back to bed for a few more hours of sleep before dinner…

Be careful what you send out to the universe, because it will respond in kind.

I napped most of the afternoon until I had to get ready to go set up. It was a big night, Dave was taking his 2 year cake tonight. We are all very proud of him. It was festive. We had a full house and lots of conversation.

We read from Living Sober … Getting rid of self pity. It was all very fun.

Our chair took her 6 month chip tonight as well. And after the meeting we all partook of cake and conversation. A good night was had by all.

It was a good few days so far. We’ll see how the rest of the week turns out.

Look for my Life class post later on tonight.

Toodles, until then …


R.I.P Farmville …

Courtesy: Flickr EvanMischelle

A few weeks ago I had to write a reflection on my gaming life. That life consisted of Farmville on Facebook. I don’t own any video game consoles. Haven’t been near one since I was a kid. So anyways, I wrote it.

Over the last 3 years, I have played this little Zynga game and had fun for a while playing. I quickly moved from level to level. It was a great fun for a while. Then to sweeten the pot they added the English Country Side, which we all with bated breaths waited for with great excitement to get our invitations.

I consolidated my home farm, where I had amassed millions of coin and over the years paid out handsomely for Farm Cash every so often. There are times when you have to buy in to move forwards in the game. During this time I began a foray into CityVille. An energy based game of the same sort but more on city building and maintaining a farm onsite as well. I overgrew my city, I could not provide for my city very well, and my citizens were not very happy with me. So I ended my relationship with City Ville.

All the while I was farming madly in the English Countryside. I played the game all the way to the end of the series of quests and achieved my Castle at the end of the game. You could play both farms at the same time. Many of the quests were set so that you would utilize both farms to complete missions across the platform.

Then in August, the English Countryside was retired. And they decided to change our settings where our farms were to these plain Jane backgrounds, and the little English Countryside farm was gone. I was not pleased with this change. So I stopped farming all together only harvesting my animals, trees and my livestock pens.

Once again, I figured they wanted to sweeten the pot again and opened Lighthouse Cove. That would be three farms now we would be farming, playing and questing. I had timed my farms all to harvest at the same time every night. Because I wasn’t farming, just harvesting, the 24 hour cycle was the same for all three farms.

When playing a game becomes a chore, you know you’ve come to the end of your playing days. So with a full heart tonight, I logged into Facebook and calmly deleted all traces of any links to my farms, Farmville or Zynga. After years of faithful play, I was finished.

I put an RIP message into my status and was done with it.

I think I am gravitating away from Facebook. It has become a depository of posters, rude signs and all this political shit that doesn’t concern me since I live in Canada. I mean we watch U.S. television here and we know what’s going on, I just find all this stuff pointless and not worth my while. Now I don’t have a reason to even log into Facebook any longer. I mean I will – but the why has changed.

We are all changing as we grow up. All of our lives are changing and priorities are changing as well. I still do my fair share of internet reading, Tumbling, You Tube and Ebay. But I’ve noticed that today I am not spending as much time online as I used to. I can run my reads and tumble and watch videos in smaller intervals during my day.

I check my mail in the mornings. I go about my day, school, shopping, meetings, and so forth. In the evenings I run my reads because by nightfall everyone has posted on their respective blogs, most do, but a good number don’t post every day and I don’t even post every day. I Tumble for a good hour and keep up on the rotation over night until I go to bed.

But I am not attached to the computer with the chain like I used to be. I still love my blog and all my reads. It keeps me in touch with the wider world out there. And I write for my friends who read whenever I post.

So a change has happened. I bid it goodbye. It was fun for a while.

Tomorrow is Friday. I have to get my hair cut, Finally, I have to go buy a textbook and then put tickets on my Opus card and my meeting Friday night. Which means a 6:45 departure from home for set up and a business meeting at 8 before the main meeting.

Hubby informed me tonight that I owed him $500.00 to pay bills and take care of sundry needs of the house. And here I had already budgeted out all the money to pay bills and take care of some of my own needs this time around, but that isn’t going to happen, Again!!! Fuck My Life !!!

I have an Ebay bill to pay, a book to buy and  haircut on the list … Everything else will have to wait until he gets paid again next week.

God Grant me Serenity …

More to come tomorrow, definitely. See you then…


Go Big or Go Home !!!

Courtesy: Wrestling is Best

“We should be Thankful.”

Good evening peeps !!!

The weekend is half over. And we cooked a feast fit for a king. It was a lazy day afternoon. The turkey was chilling in the fridge and at 4 p.m. I put the bird in the oven and got ready to hit a meeting while it was baking.

I left early because I had to make sure that Sunday Nighter’s open crew figured out about the new lock system at the church. Little did I know that a change was coming. We usually sit to one side of the room close to the kitchen. But tonight the table was set in the middle of the room, in the same place that our tables go. And the seats were arranged just like I set them up as well.

The meaning behind the set up was apparent. The reason the meeting is oriented to the side of the room for the early meeting, is that the center of the room is set up for the late 7:30 p.m. speaker meeting. We just move the chairs from the side of the room to the center of the room at the end of the literature meeting.

There has been scuttle going around about the second meeting. Many of the members who chaired or participated in that meeting have been leaving the group and scattering all over the city to other meetings. It was a fair conclusion that the second meeting was coming to its proverbial end.

So it was today. The speaker meeting at Sunday Nighter’s is no more. That leaves a single literature discussion meeting at 6:15. There were a handful of people for the meeting. It was a good meeting.

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

After the meeting I walked home with a friend to the Atwater Metro stop. He is a prof at Concordia University in Sociology and I am taking Sociology at Dawson so we have some interesting conversations about what we are reading for class and what he is teaching at the University level compared to what we are doing at the Cegep Level.

I got home and the turkey was sitting on the sideboard resting. And hubby was busy cooking his potatoes, stuffing and gravy. We have a very tiny express kitchen, it only allows one person to stand at the stove at any given moment.

I set out the rest of the feast. Carved the turkey with gravy, stuffing, black olives, you can’t have a holiday without olives. Cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and stuffing. It was heavenly. We have enough left overs for a couple of days.

Nothing tastes better than hot turkey sandwiches at midnight…

That is all for now. more to come, stay tuned …


Continued…

Courtesy: Ninatang

Good day peeps! It is a cool 13c out and drizzle is falling from the skies. Thankfully the rain stayed away. The day was gray and miserable out. Several of my friends remarked that it was getting dark at 5 o’clock and the weary cloudy conditions did nothing but keep the sun away for another day.

I guess that’s how October is making its way into our lives here in Montreal in gray dreary days. Leaves are falling from the trees. Some of the trees in the neighborhood have turned a bright yellow – no reds to be seen anywhere locally. And many of the trees on Clarke over by the church have yet to even begin to change. Looks like it may be a late October event this year.

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

This weeks theme is about helping others. When you can, do.

I got to the church a little earlier than usual tonight, I was running ahead of schedule all afternoon. I get to sleep in some afternoons, and today i was up earlier than usual, so I got set and out the door before 5.

The keeper of the parish came down to meet me when I arrived at the church to run me through how the new locks in the church work. The doors are BIG heavy doors that take two hands to open and close. they had to drill huge locks into the doors in order to make them work, therefore a little finesse is necessary to get the locks to lock properly.

We have been asked to keep all the doors locked at all times while in the church, which means that we have to unload our cabinet and re-lock the inner doors to the passageways during the hours we are there, so that even if strangers came into the room, they would not be able to get into the areas of the church they are not supposed to be in.

We hosted 30 people for the meeting tonight. The topic on the table was the Tenth Step. “Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.”

Before the meeting we were talking about this step, because a few of our women are working this step presently. And they asked me why they would need to do a 10th step if they had a good day? Why do we need to do a tenth step every day?

Well, my answer to this question is this: I begin my day with my Daily Reflections. That gives me a thought to work with every day. It sets the tone for the day and focuses me on a good thought.

I remarked tonight that my marriage keeps me on my toes, I am ever mindful of how I react to situations and people, places and things. I am somewhat hyper-aware of my life in regards to hubby during the day because we spend so much time together during the day.

I do my journal here during the week. Along with the myriad of social media programs that I use, sober friends on Face book do write little steps and thoughts during the day and I have noticed lately that one of my sober friends does a spot check at the end of every day. And that’s what I do as well.

My day usually concludes with some writing. A little prayer to make the world go around. When I stop to do my tenth step at the end of the day it leads me one of two places.

One – If I have had a good day I write my gratitude list. (Something I should do daily, but if I am honest, I don’t always think about that list usually.)

Two – If I have had a bad day/or a trying day, I get to write down what troubled me or what I had a problem with and with whom as well. I get to figure out what role I played in the bad happening.

There is no justified anger nor justified resentments. EVER !!!

I get a daily reprieve based on my spiritual condition every day. If I forget that I need to maintain my spiritual connection with my higher power, I get to reconnect, at any point during my day, so that I get back on track.

So my tenth step let’s me clean my slate at the end of the day. So that I don’t take things to bed with me from during my day.

This ability did not come over night. Let me tell you that right off. It has taken me years of study, prayer and meditation to be able to use my spiritual program to its optimum performance. I’ve been practicing these things for a long time.

Some days I get it all wrong. And that’s ok. Because then I get to see what needs to be checked out and changed. One of my friends was sitting next to me at the table, reading from my Twelve and Twelve, and when we got to the last page, I had notes written all over the pages and up and down the margins.

My 12 and 12 book and as well, my Big Book are covered in highlighter ink, pen notes and comments written in the margins here and there from hearing things at meetings over the years. Let’s just say my b0oks have running commentary that has spanned the last 10 years of being sober.

A good night was had by all.

Tomorrow is my day off midweek.

Last night in Sociology we had a group assignment during class time. We had to go to Zeller’s and observe and document the toy department. Looking at boys/girls toys. Colors used in packaging, how the packaging was advertised, and what the ratio between boys/girls toys there were, what age groups were represented on the toys and we had to sketch the entire department on our group work sheet. It was an interesting assignment.

The topic of the night was gender studies. We have next Monday off for Thanksgiving, which means we have two week to write our next reflection in our journals. We have to write on Cultural Capitol.

So that was the day in brief.

More to come, stay tuned …


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…

 


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 …

 

 


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…

 


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.

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

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 …