Let me introduce you to The Rick Shaw Run team.
Finn and Jack Harries, Louis, Harry, Ben, Will and Max pictured here at the Taj Mahal in India.
If you are not familiar with Jack’s Gap, it is a You Tube Channel run by two very ambitious you tubers Finn and Jack Harries.
They have been all over the world, they have sorted through a number of bucket list items, that most of us will never get to do unless we get off our sofas and get out there and do something bold.
Last fall, this team got together with other teams and ventured to India for a cross country drive from one side of India to the other. Last night part three was aired on You Tube which is where I screen capped this photo to show you.
At the time of the third episode they had raised over $100,000 GBP for the Children’s Cancer Trust in the U.K. We shall see just how high that number goes as the rest of the series airs on a weekly basis on You Tube.
What are you going to to this year that is Bold and out of your comfort zone? Do you have anything in mind?
Today is day 8 of 365 get out there and do it, I know you can.
More to come, stay tuned …
Courtesy: JoshuaUhl – Flickr Terminal 2
It is the end of the week. And as I predicted, The word Snow has been wiped from the forecast, hopefully Wednesday is our best bet, tonight, that is.
As for tonight? It is WET and COLD.
I was up early today, I slept a little better last night, but it isn’t 100% yet. I talked to a friend tonight at the meeting and he says that dreams are the days problems pushing into our nights. My subconscious is giving me the willies.
I did some safari in the afternoon, because I nixed the nap for the day. And I decided to continue my purge. I spoke to our manager about all the clothes I had in my closet that need to go, so she is bringing me bins on Monday.
I came upstairs and began culling my closet. On one side is shelves stacked with shirts, pants and sweaters. When all was said and done, I had packed two huge boxes with clothes that haven’t been worn in at least a couple of years. Which gave me much more space to work with, with what we do wear on a weekly basis.
The piles of clothes that are sitting on the work bench will eventually get hung up on the hangers that I will liberate on Monday when I have a receptacle for the clothes I am shedding. Someone will make use of them, they are all good quality clothes. We don’t spend money on cheap clothing.
Once I finish the closet purge, the apartment will be complete. I’ve purged most everything that we don’t need, don’t use, or things that just have to go.
And in the end – we don’t really have that much – we’ve been good at not buying needless things. There is very little left that is in “storage mode.”
I got ready to go and departed around 6:15. A little earlier than usual, but I was traveling alone, and I needed some tune. I’m really loving me some Katy Perry … Over and Over and Over …
The transit was quick, on all the connections.
I didn’t check the weather, and I wasn’t carrying an umbrella. It wasn’t raining when I went INTO the Metro, but it was sure as shit raining when I came OUT of the metro. And it just kept raining all night.
I got to the church and the hall was bare bones, so I helped finish set up and wait for folks to show up. We had a good crowd.
The reading was titled… “Troublemakers Can be Teachers”
I’ve had my fair share of run ins with “trouble makers” in my years in the rooms here. I’ve seen fist fights, cursing, egos and attitudes. People I have learned to stay away from. But only ONE person in the city remains on my eternal shit list.
Yes, I know there’s a resentment there maybe. More for him than myself.
All it took was the placement of my hand on his head one night at a meeting. I had disturbed his personal space, and he almost slugged me. To this day, we rarely cross paths. If he comes to a meeting I am at he won’t acknowledge me and he never returns.
He hasn’t let it go.
Funny we read about troublemakers tonight. And at the beginning, I volunteered to read the passage. And as soon as I started, someones phone went off singing ,,, as I was reading … I kept reading anyway … I could hear the singing that wasn’t being turned off … and others were laughing openly.
Was that ODD or was that GOD ???
Someone read it again when the singing stopped.
It was a good night.
I started pondering what the theme of this year has been and what has changed and I have a particular idea, which will probably end up here soon.
On the way home, it was raining a bit more than I would have liked. I walked to the stop, thankfully, my toque kept my head warm and dry, and I had tunes. But I had to wait in the rain for a few minutes for the bus.
I got on that bus and was surrounded by several groups of kids carrying cases/boxes of beer to their certain destinations. In all I counted about 10 cases/boxes of beer in my vicinity on the bus and the train and in the stations.
I was like, really, REALLY !!!
I follow a certain young gay couple on twitter and You Tube. Over the years I have watched them share in open community their drinking escapades.
There is a problem, but they are always justified. any who …
I’ve shared my fears and got silence. So I let it go.
This past week was their big gay engaygement party in Los Angeles, with a party of who’s who in You Tube fame, at a private club. They sold tickets and all that stuff.
And in open twitter we all got a blow by blow of the party, and what happened during and after.
Actions happened, in a drunken stupor.
Which led to open apology to all those who the actions happened to.
Then the next tweet, the next day was …
“UGH, I am still hung over … Why is God doing this to me ???”
Nothing is sacred when you post it on the internet.
Someone has a drinking problem, that is apparent. But who am I to judge.
So I typed into twitter …
“that’s what copious amounts of alcohol will do to you. And that it was sad, you had to ask what you did the night before!”
There is an alcoholic in the making. And I hope and pray that their wedding is not a drunken affair, because that would be a real shame.
It’s L.A. there are parties. And alcohol and drugs, and we are young, so what’s the problem?
I am waiting for the crash and burn.
But for the Grace of God…
Anyways, that’s all for now.
More to come, stay tuned …
What a glorious day it was. And as I have said before, all good things must come to an end. The glorious day turned into a beautiful night.
Rain is coming for the next couple of days.
I woke this morning with one thing on my mind … My Turkey !!!
Having done this before – getting the bird into the oven early was my plan, but it was way too early. So around 11 I started baking. And I slow baked the bird for a 3 p.m. setting. And I timed it just perfectly.
We entertained a friend, a neighbor, a mentor, an elder statesman. When you “have” in sobriety, you “share.”
Because that’s who we are.
It’s what we do.
Nobody should be alone on a holiday.
There was plenty of food and lots of conversation. Hubby had someone else to tell about all the work he is doing for his organization. He was very entertaining.
After dinner I did the dishes and we set off just before 5 to set up for the meeting. It is very important to have the rooms open on the holiday. Because nobody should be alone on a holiday.
We sat a fair number. And it was a very interesting meeting.
Our reading came from the founder of Philadelphia A.A. and The Vicious Cycle.
“… At seventeen I entered university, really to satisfy my father, who wanted me to study medicine there as he had. That is where I had my first drink, and I still remember it, for every “first” drink afterwards did exactly the same trick – I could feel it go right through every bit of my body and down to my very toes.
But each drink after the first seemed to become less effective, and after three or four, they all seemed like water. I was never a hilarious drunk; the more I drank, the quieter I got, and the drunker I got, the harder I fought to stay sober.
So it is clear that I never had any fun out of drinking – I would be the soberest-seeming one in the crowd, and, all of a sudden, I would be the drunkest.
Even that first night I blacked out, which leads me to believe that I was an alcoholic from my very first drink.” pg. 222 B.B.
For many newly sober folks at the meeting, very few could identify with our man here. In the end, he was a “weekend warrior” drinking only on the weekends. And identified himself as a “weekend drinker.” He suffered from “I’ll show them-ism, and a little Big Shot-ism.
A friend commented on the text that you aren’t a weekend alcoholic, you are either an alcoholic or you are not. None of this weekend shit …
This story is eerily familiar. Because in the end I was the binge weekend drinker and blacking out was my nightly ending. And it was the fear of “What the Fuck” that brought me to my last drink.
The biggest take away from tonight’s meeting was the shared fellowship. That we are a people, who would not normally mix, yet under a common disease, we are all equals once we step across the threshold into the room.
It is more important on days like this that meeting halls all over the world are open to welcome the alcoholic. I’ve seen it time after time, some people who struggle so much that they can’t see their way out of the forest that is addiction for just a few hours.
And like many, they fail – go out – and drink – and some never returned.
It was a good night.
In Baby News …
This past week, there was a birth in my family. Yes I do have family. The only family who recognize that I live. My mother’s sister’s family is all that there is.
My Cousin Sandy’s -> daughter Jaime had her second child a couple of days ago, and she did not get to term. The baby was born well Premie – coming in at just over three pounds. Haven Lilee Rayne will spend the next month in hospital over in B.C. until she is strong enough to nurse and go home.
I spoke to my aunt last night and she assured me that Haven was well and will survive, even though she is a premie.
There has been nothing but hardship for my cousin’s family. And now it has spanned two generations. When my cousin had her two children, both were born with birth defects and needed multiple surgeries to make them right.
And when Jaime (her daughter) had her first daughter, Jaidyn, On August 11th 2011, Jaidyn was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. She was 3 years old then.
This past week, Jaidyn completed her last Chemo treatment. And she is in full remission. But will need surveillance for the next six months, getting a small dose of chemo each month.
Now Haven was born premature. Thankfully, she is healthy and will survive.
We pray for all of them tonight. Especially for Haven.
And now on to Holiday news … A bit brighter yes?
While getting ready for the day, and hubby was out running errands, I turned on the teevee and what was on ??? “HOME ALONE II.”
It is official, the holidays have begun. This, the first Christmas related movie on national tv. here in Canada. And just so you know …
THERE ARE 73 SHOPPING DAYS UNTIL CHRISTMAS !!!
And we end with more happy news …
If you YOU TUBE and are gay, you probably know Will and RJ. From their You Tube Channel (SHEP 689). They were Florida residents where they met in Tallahassee Florida.
(Not a very marriage worthy state we must say)
A couple of months ago, they headed to the West Coast and now reside in Los Angeles California. And this weekend was their 4th anniversary of being a couple.
Yesterday Will asked RJ to marry him on a sunset beach and RJ said YES!
So Congrats to our friends. Long life and happiness.
Go Follow them if you want.
This post was longer than I had originally thought.
It was a full day and this has been the past week in my life.
More to come, stay tuned …
I’ve not mentioned that I am on a new diet plan for the last 4 weeks. It is called the Joel Fuhrman Diet – Steps to good health with High Nutrition foods.
You can find the link here: Joel Fuhrman You Tube Video on You Tube.
The main goal is to rid yourself of needless junk food, soda and other foods that won’t help you loose the weight needed and to build up your body with Micro-Nutrients.
The plan calls for this acronym: G.O.M.B.S.
That would be: Greens, Onions, Mushrooms, Berries and Seeds.
I’ve been off the soda for more than a month now, and people are beginning to comment about my loosing weight and that the change is visible. However at the hospital a couple of weeks ago, I was sitting at 185 pounds. But I feel weight coming off by the week.
Aside from these particular necessities, I eat a good dinner at night, a small lunch at lunch time, and foods that rank on the list in between.
I notice that my jeans are loose and I have cranked further rungs on my belt to keep them up, which means I may be stepping down a waist size soon – which would be nice.
My goal is to loose at least ten pounds before my next doctors appointments in September. I am hoping with the elimination of complex sugars, white sugars, white bread and the like I can hopefully reverse my diabetes in a good way.
I’ve been on top of all my medications and with the new tests the labs use today can give a three month span of data on a blood sample instead of a one day number when the blood draw is taken. In stead of relying on one number – they now have two. This also goes for my HIV medications as well.
I’ve dropped the soda, which my body has been on detox for the last month – I’ve added to my diet many micro nutrients, fresh fruit, berries, seeds and lots of greens, which would be salads during the day.
Eating several small meals during the day and NOT eating out of hunger works.
I don’t drink coffee at home, and only at meetings. I have some juices and non sweetened tea to drink during the day and milk to drink with my pills twice a day.
I’ve been listening to folks who have made these changes in their diets as of late and great things came to pass for them. A considerable weight loss for the fall would be a great joy to my doctor.
Take the time to go watch this 54 minute video. It may just change your life.
More to come, stay tuned…
It rained all day long …
Meanwhile, at the roundup, we hosted speakers up from New York, and the weather was just not cooperating !!! That was the only damper for the weekend.
Otherwise, it was a grand success. Did you know that this year, the 39th annual West Island Roundup attracted more than 400 people to the weekend sober fest.
Last year they had less than 50 people come. So it was a rousing success, the Dorval community really stepped it up and came through with stars across the board.
We were up bright and early for a 9:30 a.m. pick up time to make the morning circuit. We had three speakers lined up for today. The first speaker of the program today, I heard her share at St. Matthias a few months ago, she came up from New York to see her sponsee ( the first lady of sobriety – of the Tuesday meeting).
I worked the registration table across the afternoon hour, so I missed the Al-Anon speaker. Then they provided a whopping chicken dinner for more than 400 folks. It was quite amazing.
The afternoon program there were 2 speakers and the closing remarks. I got to hear the first of the two, who happened to be gay. And he tells the story about the fact he is in his 50’s now and got sober in the 80’s, and when he speaks to newcomers, and asks them if they have ever heard of Judy Garland, they respond “WHO???”
Kids today, if it ain’t on I-Tunes, they don’t listen to it …
Anyways, we laughed and commiserated with our man. Not to mention that there were a contingent of LGBT folks at the roundup. We were well represented.
I got a ride home after the first speaker because I had to be home to get to the church on time for set up, because if you build it, they will come. I cranked out set up with my tunes on. I was alone. And I sat for a while reading the first of two books I bought written by Lorna Kelly.
You Tube her … Lorna Kelly
If you You Tube her you will see videos of her in Calcutta and other great things she does.
The Camel Knows The Way
In the Footsteps of the Camel
Like I said in last night’s post, she not only knew Mother Teresa, she went to Calcutta to work with the poor and to learn about her. I am encouraged to read her books because we now share a commonality.
It is the last Sunday of the month, and so it was Tradition Sunday. And it being the fifth month, we read the Fifth Tradition.
“Each group has but one primary purpose – to carry the message to the alcoholic who still suffers…”
And what was the take away from this weekends Round Up ???
You can’t keep it, you have to give it away. The most important person in the room is the newcomer, because our sobriety hinges on us sharing the message of recovery with them, as they are able, to come to know what we know, and recover a hopeless state of mind, body and spirit.
I heard these speakers talk about meetings in other places like New York, where you can find meetings with 600 people in attendance. And In Los Angeles where you can find meetings with upwards of 1600, yes that sixteen HUNDRED people show up for a meeting.
Imagine those numbers here.
I’ve seen a hundred here or there when I was newly sober. When Tuesday Beginners was in its infancy, back in the day, you could count on one to two hundred people in that basement hall that we use on a weekly basis.
Follies was popular and well populated. And that meeting folded a few years into my sobriety. People just stopped coming. But we don’t see near those numbers anywhere in Montreal. That would be incredibly amazing.
The round up was cool because there were more than 400 people for the weekend. That is well attended.
We heard many good things about Tradition Five, and how the many people interpret and utilize FIVE.
Speakers this weekend stressed that:
It might be ODD or it might be GOD !!!
Sooner or later you will find a power greater than yourself and then we learn to pray. It is a proven fact that those folks who go to meetings, work with newbies, work their steps (over and over) again, pray and meditate have a much higher quality of life. Because they get on their knees and pray …
It is the THREE, SEVEN AND ELEVEN SHUFFLE…
Three – God I offer myself to thee to build with me and to do with me as thou wilt. Relive me of the bondage of self, that I may better do they will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and They way of life. May I do thy will always.
Seven – My creator, I am now willing that you should have all of me, good and bad. I pray that you now remove from me every single defect of character which stands in the way of my usefulness to you and my fellows. Grant me strength, as I go out from here, to do Your bidding.
Eleven – God, I pray for forgiveness for the wrongs I have done today. I ask that I be shown with corrective measures should be taken.
They say: COPY – PASTE – and Place by your bedside so that every day you say the prayers that bring your life together. This is the ritual we are told changes lives and ever so slightly ratchets your will more to your creators will, and if you pray every day, your life WILL GET BETTER !!!
We had a number of newbies at the Sunday meeting. People reached out and it was a great meeting.
It has been a full weekend.
More to come, stay tuned…
The last hurrah of the summer is quickly coming to an end. The big blow out Labor Day Weekend. This is your final weekend to wear white. We are a little over a month away from Thanksgiving here in Canada. Thanksgiving falls on October 8th and it will be the first BIG holiday meal of the year.
I’ve been tooling around with new header images for fall, and I’ve found one I like so that will be going live in a few days. I’ve also lined up a tentative winter header as well. I’ve been farming images in for my collection here for the blog.
It has been a little cooler these days – in the sun it is quite warm, but as soon as the sun goes down the temps drop off. It has been in the low teens at night for almost a week. Hopefully we will see Fall temperatures coming soon.
I have all my toques ready to go. The next few months are my favorite time of year. The cooling at night, the trees beginning to turn and the falling leaves. Westmount is filled with Big Huge Trees that all turn with the seasons. And we have a view of the mountain from here at home.
Enough of all this seasonal banter … until it all happens …
Another Sunday brings us to another Sunday meeting and boy was it ever packed tonight. I arrived at the church around 5 and the set up person was there alone, so I set up the meeting while she made coffee. I set out two stacks of chairs as usual, but as it happened, a whole crowd of people showed up just in time at 6:15.
We read another story from Experience, Strength and Hope. A story called The Prisoner Freed. It was a telling of a story about what can happen when you become a blackout drinker and the consequences of our actions.
Our man drinks and ends up committing murder and ends up in prison where he gets a life sentence and is introduced to the program to which he scoffs and turns away. But as the story goes, he comes and then comes to believe after a couple of second kicks at the proverbial drinking can, he finally gets sober on the outside.
“It’s no bed of roses, but somehow or other I’ve been able to make it, through the kindness of people in AA. If something does come along that sort of upsets me, instead of walking in and throwing a buck at the barman and asking for a drink, I walk into a telephone booth, drop a dime in the box, and call someone who was so kind as to give me his name and telephone number to meet such an emergency.”
Recent events have come to pass for some people I know and I have sat back and watched someone drink, copious amounts of liquor and do stupid things. And just recently one of these friends, hit his first major “jackpot” in a blackout.
He recognized that he has a problem, but has ignored my attempts to try and help him, I think he thinks that if he just stops drinking that will solve his problems and save his relationship. You can’t get sober by yourself, because eventually things may change and get worse.
I usually make it a rule not to enable someones drinking and I usually don’t have a stomach to either read or watch someone self destruct. With that I have disengaged a number of friends over the years because all they talk about is the bar and alcohol. I just can’t sit and partake that kind of shit.
I hope my friend doesn’t find him on the loosing end of the battle with King Alcohol. But I am not going to watch him do himself in.
We have all been there. And have the physical and emotional scars to prove it. But if you don’t want our help, then God go with you. We still still be here when you come around.
That’s all for tonight.
More to come, stay tuned …
Look ^^^ up there …
A new PAGE has been added to the blog. It is a presentation by Matthew Vines on the Bible and Homosexuality. I wish I could post video on this blog, but I can’t, so you are in for a good LONG read !!!
If you click on the page and scroll down to the bottom, you can directly go to his You Tube account and watch the video, which last a little more than an hour.
It is very sad – if you go to the video and read some of the vitriolic comments that have been left on this video, the theology is sound and has been proven by researchers in the field of scripture and theology. Some people are purely ignorant and stupid. You’s think that in today’s world – people could be so vitriolic.
It is all about acceptance…
For many years I contended with one writing that was written by a Pastor who I have known for many years. But Matthew, on the other hand, has spent the better part of 2 years researching this topic and his presentation is rock solid.
But it is well worth the hour you should take to listen to a young man who Loves God and Loves Jesus and speaks from his heart about the six passages from the Bible that many Christians use to demonize and perpetuate hatred and condemnation.
He has studied Hebrew, Greek and Latin and in depth covers all the scriptures and explains the history, context and meaning of biblical history.
Take some time to participate. Show him some love,
Because in the end :
Being different is no crime. Being gay is not a sin. And for a gay person to desire and pursue love and marriage and family is no more selfish or sinful than when a straight person desires and pursues the very same things. The Song of Songs tells us that King Solomon’s wedding day was “the day his heart rejoiced.”
To deny to a small minority of people, not just a wedding day, but a lifetime of love and commitment and family is to inflict on them a devastating level of hurt and anguish. There is nothing in the Bible that indicates that Christians are called to perpetuate that kind of pain in other people’s lives rather than work to alleviate it, especially when the problem is so easy to fix. All it takes is acceptance.
The Bible is not opposed to the acceptance of gay Christians, or to the possibility of loving relationships for them. And if you are uncomfortable with the idea of two men or two women in love, if you are dead-set against that idea, then I am asking you to try to see things differently for my sake, even if it makes you uncomfortable.
I’m asking you to ask yourself this: How deeply do you care about your family? How deeply do you love your spouse? And how tenaciously would you fight for them if they were ever in danger or in harm’s way? That is how deeply you should care, and that is how tenaciously you should fight, for the very same things for my life, because they matter just as much to me.
Gay people should be a treasured part of our families and our communities, and the truly Christian response to them is acceptance, support, and love. Thank you, and thank you to everyone for coming tonight.
It’s Friday Friday gotta get down on Friday !!! I can’t believe I just typed that.
The week was a big success. We had a full house on Tuesday. And the rest of the week followed without a hiccup. Last night I went to class and it was all joy. The week prior we had our first essay exam. And from the remarks from the prof, out of all her classes, it seems we are high on the bell curve. Grades went from perfect exams to those who did not do so well. In my case I was pleasantly surprised to see that I aced the exam. 19.5 out of 20. It was good that all the topics on the exam, I was well versed on. Thanks to lots of Discovery programming, all those shows on familiar topics were of use.
*** *** *** ***
Last night I was farting around on You tube and I went to listen to some Lady Gaga and on the Vevo page was a ticker for Adele. Her new single was coming out on Vevo and so I clicked on it. Can I just tell you that if you don’t know who Adele is, you should. She is a young woman from London England. She has such a sultry, strong and unique voice. you can almost hear tones of Motown in her tones and lyrics. Her Freshman album ( 19 ) is very down beat. Not many up beat songs. But on her latest work ( 21 ), there are a number of upbeat songs.
You gotta listen to her. It is well worth the time. Some of my favorite tunes are “Rolling in the Deep,” And “Set Fire to the Rain.” There are a bunch of her videos on You Tube from acoustic performances, The Graham Norton Show in Britain and even on David Letterman in the U.S. And her great ballad “Someone Like You, is haunting. She performs this at a Brit Awards Show. Rolling in the Deep, Set Fire to the Rain and Someone like you are all on You Tube.
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This week and next I am on set up for Friday West End. There are supposed to be two of us to set up but only I showed up. I left home plenty early to get around city traffic on the bus route. We unloaded the meeting supplies and I just cranked out chairs and tables. It did not take me long to get everything done. I don’t see why you need two people to do the work. Once I get started I don’t stop until I am finished. I just crank away.
Before the business meeting Dave, myself and another member sat in the kitchen while Dave made sandwiches for the meeting. We serve food after every meeting. It keeps people around for coffee, food and conversation. We also had a 13 year cake tonight as well. It was fun fun all around.
I volunteered to do set up for the next month, since it seemed nobody else wanted to do it, or was available. I need to hit my three month membership requirement before I get to do any other job at the table. There is a woman who is a member there who has bad blood for me. She comes and goes, and refuses to acknowledge me, like tonight she walked up and hugged the chairperson who was sitting right next to me and did not even pay me a hello. You can’t change some people.
The meeting was packed. The speaker was great. Another 30 year sober person in the chair tonight.After the meeting I helped put everything back where they should go and set off for home.
I made the 10:30 bus on Sherbrooke and made it to the Metro on time. And I checked through the turnstile and got to the platform and the train was just pulling into the station. And then it happened…
The Three Metro Tones of Death …
You know the tones that harken a hold/stoppage on the line. Two trains were in the station as we were sitting there on the track. And the little voice of the Metro Lady comes on in French and says ………………….. rough translation: There is a stoppage on the “orange line” in the direction of Cote Vertu (on the West End).
Another message will follow … Now you don’t know how long you are going to sit in the station. The stoppage wasn’t on our line as we were going in the other direction, towards Montmorency on the East end.
The train remained on the platform for about 10 minutes and then we started on our way. Thank god there wasn’t something bad going on up the line.
I got to Atwater around 11 o’clock. I was walking home through my usual path, through Alexis Nihon and then cross Atwater and into the Forum around the corner and out Ste Catherine’s Street exit and on towards home, up the street. While I was in the Forum I was walking by Future Shop and standing there out front was my History prof from Thursday Night. She had told us about wanting to hit the movie on a rain night, because it rained on Thursday night, but she came to teach instead. Not that it was a choice, but she enjoys movies on rainy days.
We said hello and I went on my way.
We had a nice dinner and now it’s 12:30 as I am finishing this up here.
More to come, stay tuned …
Click the link: Read It First, take the pledge and join us Nerd Fighters with John and Hank Green, John Green is the author of “The Fault in our Stars” with this new exciting project.
You Tube Video: How to make Ideas Real.
I am a huge fan of the Green Brothers on You Tube. they are writers, musicians and really great men of the world. Anything we can do to help them, we do it.
So join the cause and make the world a better place.
There is a link, farther down on the blog. When you take the pledge on the site it will give you the code to place an image to your own Site, Blog, Tumblr.
Thanks Again …
I’ve been feeling a little out of sorts. Lots of things going on in my brain. Questions, concerns, feelings, emotions.
People are talking about Pride, as June is Pride month in many places. Pride won’t come to Montreal until the beginning of August. Pride is not something I think about these days. We’ve not talked about going as of yet, yet some writers are talking about the topic ad nauseum.
Another calendar year is coming to a close on the 8th of July. I mark my 17th anniversary living with AIDS. Nobody seems to care. Nobody brings it up and it is not a topic of conversation in any of my social circles. Among my short list of gay friends, we never talk about it. Nobody mentions it.
I go to the doctor and he is non-plussed. My doctor visits are like any other day. It is a rote event on the calendar every few months. The appointment begins and ends with not much fan fare. I’m alive, the drugs are working, I live a good life, so if it ain’t broken don’t fix it. My doctor never mentions the word mortality because I guess as long as the numbers are nominal then there is nothing to discuss.
Another generation of young people are coming up through the ranks. A generation who know nothing of what it was like and they don’t think about AIDS unless it is forced upon them in ads and print articles.
What is out of sight is out of mind.
None of the gay folk I read on a daily basis mention any word of std’s or AIDS or anything of that matter. For the most part it is all about Grindr, and the hunt for sex. With technology comes the easy effort in finding ones next conquest. And you have to be between the ages of 24 and 30, young cut and hot. Many of us oldsters don’t fit in today’s acceptable demographic. And because of that fact, the young don’t care that we exist, nor do they take the time to pay us any mind. Just spend any time on Tumblr or You Tube.
If the storytellers don’t speak up and tell the stories of the past, the topic would never get talked about in any case. I don’t have to rehash all the memories from the last 17 years, all you need to do is click on the pages and read for yourselves.
I don’t know, I’m feeling a little forgotten. Like if I don’t initiate contact between any of my friends, they would not initiate contact either. Facebook is the easy out, we are on every day, we read statuses and messages and I guess that’s all part and parcel of technology. Connection at a distance. As long as you are updating your status every day, there is no need to see each other.
Sobriety is a rote activity. I follow the same routine every week. Week in week out day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year. People come, people go, they don’t seem to take notice of me. I see the same people at the meeting every week. I visit assorted meetings every week as well. I come and go almost unnoticed. Nobody asks how I am doing or what I am up to. It’s amazing that I can walk into a room, sit down with my coffee, sit through a meeting and go and not speak to one person from that meeting. Not many people extend a hand, and I guess I have to admit that I don’t either.
I was talking to Holly earlier tonight and I said that sobriety is not what it was like ten years ago. People have come and gone. And being Gay in straight sober circles doesn’t seem to work for many people in the rooms. As long as I don’t open my mouth or share anything personal, they are ok. I don’t make issue of homosexuality in the rooms. I came out to Holly earlier and I did not think twice about it, and she was cool with it. I told her about what some people have said to me over the years and how people treat me in our meeting. AA might be all inclusive from the outside, but from the inside it is very exclusive.
I do my meetings, I keep to my routine. I am cordial to people and say hello here and there. And on the odd occasion someone will remember me at certain meetings because I follow the same schedule every week. I was surprised last week at Friday West End that people know my name because I read for the meeting a few weeks ago, because a man sat down behind me and I heard someone ask him if he knew my name, and he did.
Tonight at the meeting we had the 27 folks, we ran long and we made a decision from the chair that we would run long to allow all the folks in the room the chance to share, and it came that the last person to share really needed that two minutes to hear himself speak. And some had to complain about running long …
I don’t get it, alcoholics spent hours upon hours in a bar getting hammered and if you told them to leave or cut short a bar visit they would get up in your face. But should an AA meeting go over the hour mark, heaven forbid… That was an issue some people had when we changed the format that we were actually going an hour fifteen, which some people bitched and moaned about.
I am waiting until these bitchers and moaners come to the meeting and need an extra few minutes to share just to cut them off at the pass, just out of spite. It has always been understood that the chair usually never cuts someone off during a share. However, some folks at the meeting now go on and on and we have allowed that to happen. Maybe we should tighten up that portion of the meeting.
A home group for me, is the place that I call home, where I can share what ever’s on my mind, and that goes for everyone who walks in the door. If you sit in a chair you get a chance to speak. No matter what some pissy members might want. If you can’t sit for a few minutes more to give someone a chance to share, then go out and fucking drink … UGH !!! God give me strength…
I guess it’s not always about me now that I’ve come to the end of this piece. Or maybe it is. Something to maybe bring up next week in private with a friend.
I guess I just maybe need to be acknowledged. Maybe I need to feel relevant and important, that I am not just taking up space, where nobody notices me like a piece of furniture. You can’t put words in someones mouth nor can you expect a lot from alcoholics.
Expectations, that is a lesson I learned a long time ago. Expectations, you can have them, but not put very much importance on them, because people are people fickle as they are, if you never expect, then you are never dissatisfied.
Does it matter that I have survived? Does my existence really matter to anyone besides myself? People don’t know, nor do they ask about life in all its complexities. In the program I have acquaintances – but very few friends who are part of my inner circle. In the last nine and some odd years, nobody has stepped up to be that kind of friend.
People are non moved that I do the lion’s share of the work every week in order to put on a meeting, and still have the audacity to bitch and moan about something they don’t like. Which I am like, you know what, Fuck off …
People take for granted the fact that we work very hard to keep the meeting up and running every week and yet every week someone has to bitch. Fucking alcoholics. Some of them are never satisfied.
Thank God I am powerless over people, places and things.
Here is a complete family photo. Images released from Britain of the royal wedding party.
The week has come and gone we are down to the last week of class with final exams and essays due in the next week. It’s almost over and I need to get through one more writing exam in French and my final interview to come the week following. I have an essay and final exam on next Thursday.
The week was a success and ended on a very high note with the Royal Wedding on Friday morning. I worked two phone shifts this week. One on Thursday which was uneventful. Thank God we have a computer that works in the office.
Thursday night I stayed up all night watching live coverage of the wedding from here in Montreal. I had to work a shift on Friday afternoon which meant that I did not get much sleep going into Friday. I think I finally got to sleep around 7:30 in the morning on Friday and I had to be up by 11 to get on my way by noon on the train out of town.
It was a very hazy day – when I got to the office You Tube was streaming a rebroadcast of the wedding so I got to see the portion of the day that I missed because I was sleeping.
The Friday shift was again uneventful. I didn’t get may calls so I used the time wisely farming and watching You Tube videos all afternoon. I worked until 6 and came home. I was pretty beat. We ordered pizza in and chilled around the tv until midnight when we both turned in.
Oh, on the way home from working my shift I ran by the Circuit City, I think that’s what it’s called I had to buy some cable to run from the computer to the speakers in the bedroom, because we pipe in Coast to Coast on Friday and Saturday nights.
Cable is expensive, and I also bought a new pair of Logitech speakers because the ones we have were shot. I have to say that they work quite well, the sound is crisp and clear, much better than our old speakers.
I got a good night’s sleep and today we watched some tv, SNL is on now and I will hit the sack in a couple of hours.
Tomorrow I will hit a meeting and get into the books to study for a while.
Tonight You Tube is streaming the Beatification of John Paul II from Rome from 1 to 4 am. I may watch for a little bit.
So that was the week that was.
More to come, stay tuned…
They say that it is supposed to rain and rain and rain some more. But they haven’t been very good at forecasting in recent days. The city was supposed to get a deluge of rain, but that didn’t happen. It’s just a little drizzly out, enough to make it dark and gloomy.
There is a hockey game tonight, so that affected tonight’s numbers. But still, we had a good turn out nonetheless. In the end the night turned out good. The new format is flourishing and there is money in the kitty to cover prudent reserve.
This is an odd month, because I have back to back shifts at the phones on Thursday (my 4th Thursday) and on Friday (my 5th Friday). I got a call from the DLP the other night for my Friday, before I got a call for my Thursday, and for a moment I thought I missed a shift, but I didn’t.
We are coming to the end of term at Dawson. Two more weeks and everything will be finished. I don’t have the term book for summer studies yet. I have a few things that have to get done in the next few days and a final project that I have yet to work on for French. (let us pray…)
The 2011 election campaign is in its final days and the push is on for all parties to get out the message. Facebook has been a crucial tool in getting the vote out and we are hoping that we get a good turnout at the polls this coming Monday.
If you’re a citizen and you can vote – there is no excuse for you not to vote. The very future of Canada hangs in the balance. People we have to vote. Voting is a privilege, exercise your right and get out there and vote. There are several mass media campaigns out there on Facebook, Twitter and online to get people to the polls next week. You Tube is active with all parties posting ads on the Tube.
That’s about it from here tonight.
I need to eat dinner and do some homework. Yay Homework …
More to come, stay tuned.
Anybody who watches videos on You Tube must know about Vlog Candy. This channel has been one of my favorite channels on You Tube for years now. Andrew, John, Zach, Megan and Aubrey they are five incredibly creative people on the Tube.
Sadly, this week is all about goodbyes. The channel is coming to an end, but as I learned, the channel will stay up and running so we can watch their videos in the future. We shall see what incarnates next for these creative folks.
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Spring may have begun, but you’d never know it by the weather. It has been cold, cold enough that I am still wearing my winter jacket out and about. And there is a rain warning in effect by Environment Canada. They say it’s gonna pour down rain, snow and ice pellets over the next three days. UGH !!!
Today was like any other day. Tuesdays are always the same. Set up was a breeze and we had about a dozen folks show up for the meeting. There were three generations of sobriety at the meeting tonight. There was me, my sponsor and his sponsor who has been sober since God was a boy. Almost 60 years now.
We read from the Big Book once again, “There is a solution.” I have two Big Books, one Third edition and one Fourth edition. Both of these books have seen action over the years. Most of the first 164 pages of the book are highlit in different colors over the years and there are dates and notes in the margins of the book from countless step series and readings.
It was a good meeting, a small group of people with varying time in sobriety made for great discussion. The reading went a little long which meant that the meeting went a little long, which isn’t a bad thing, we might shorten the read next week, as we are tweaking the way the meeting goes. It was our third week with the new format, it seems to be working ok. We are seeing the same faces which is a good thing.
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We are coming to the end of term this month, three weeks to make it all count. We are into Buddhism in our philosophy class which is good for me, a familiar topic seeing I have a degree in Religious Study, and I spent a good deal of time studying Eastern Religious Traditions.
Tomorrow I have my final reading test, god help us all. Then it is on the the final interview for the bulk of the grade. This is the one assignment that I cannot fail, because it will carry me forwards into the next French class during the summer. I have one more unit to go before I start regular French classes. There are two levels of study at Dawson depending on where you started based on your knowledge of the second language. I started from the beginning and the class I am in now is the second of three courses at this level of study.
That’s all I have for you tonight.
More to come, stay tuned…
This post has been in my mind for the past couple of days. I should have written it at the first point that I put it together, but I didn’t feel like writing late at night, but late at night is when I do my best work. I do homework in the night, and it serves me well, because my mind is fully engaged with the material.
I told you some time ago that I had been revisiting some old stories from the past, namely those dealing with life and AIDS. And every time I do this action it always ends up in me becoming melancholy. Though this time it did not consume me like it usually does.
How many story tellers are there that have survived the scourge of AIDS. Those of us who lived through it and are still breathing today? I only know a few of those men personally. But I am sure there are a good number today.
Let me preface this writing by saying that every time I go to the doctor it is very mechanical. The same ritual every three months. I go drop labs and I wait the perfunctory three weeks and go see my doctor. I get triaged and they take my particular information and stats. The doc comes in, does his ritual poke and prod and says the numbers are great, he says, as usual, I need to loose some weight and such and so forth and that is that.
He doesn’t look backwards and we never talk about survival. That is just implicit as long as the numbers are nominal, there is no discussion about dying.
So I read two books in the last few weeks that were written by the late Paul Monette, a seminal writer of AIDS literature, right from the middle of the battle zone. He wrote as it happened, raw and in your face. He tells a sordid story of pain, hell and misery. Back when there were no solutions, only stabs in the dark with treatments that might work but were not proven.
Every time I wade into the past I come away with a different result. I wrote a few days ago that I was feeling a little out of sorts, trying to find my groove still waiting for that excitement to come in sobriety.
Several topics have been shared over several platforms that I engage in. One of my friends just turned 40, another friend asked the question “Do you think that you grew up too fast?” There are many different discussions going on in the gay You Tube World.
Today is Friday – the National Day of Silence. To bring attention to LGBTQ bullying in the world.
So let me talk about growing up.
I had adult size issues on my plate before I left junior high school. Coming from an alcoholic home we grew up, (my brother and I) quickly. We learned house hold chores, yard work and we learned how to care for our vehicles.
Mom and dad worked around the clock for many years, taking turns in shifts raising their kids. And who could complain? We had everything we needed and the family grew up as it did. They say you should never live with regrets. And i don’t.
When illness hit our family early on, I was thrust into the mix by my father hoping against hope that I would serve him well, which did not happen, and to this day it is my thought that he never forgave me for not saving his mother from the suffering of the stroke that took her life many years later.
I knew very early on what was happening. I was a good listener. I feasted on words that came out of every mouth in my young life. I learned a great many things in my young life. By the time I moved out of the house I had enough knowledge in my head to get me through any situation. What I lacked though, the one kicker was responsibility. Paying bills, taking care of adult issues surrounding money and all of that. I failed miserably at that point.
I had an addiction, that took me to the gates of hell, and I had no idea, it is only in retrospect that I can safely say that someone up there likes me because I survived that, although not unscathed.
Illness, I know a lot about illness and death. Illness forces you to grow up immediately even if you don’t know what the hell you are doing, you grow up anyways. I think I hit my 40’s when I was just in my twenties.
Living through the scourge of AIDS taught me a great many things about men, life and survival. Not to mention death …
I always say that when they invent a viable time machine that I know exactly where I would go and why. I would go back to when it all started. All of my friends would be alive – and life would be there for me to revisit. I often revisit that time in my life in my memories often. Every time I read the old stories they take me right back to the fight for our lives.
If I did not have the men and women in my life that I did then, I would surely have died. What did I learn? To live as if I were dying, because that’s what we were doing for so many years. But the funny thing was I survived. Was it because of me or in spite of myself? How did I escape the horrors that took so many of my friends to their graves? I have no idea.
They gave me all that I could take. Hoping against hope that I would walk away from this scourge with my dignity in tact. Every year that I live I tack another year onto my life record. Couple that with sobriety and you have a pretty strong combination. Surviving AIDS in sobriety is pretty sweet.
I wonder what is still on the table at times? I wonder about where I am in my life, and what I am supposed to be doing. I need a job, I need a life, not that I want out of the one I am in. But I need some tangible way to spend the mental cash I have in the bank. At 43 I have nothing to show for my time except two diplomas that are still in their envelopes from the day they were given to me.
What is my destiny? Who am I supposed to become, and I am becoming him?
All I have are stories.
I have written most of them already. All I can do now is write about today and what life is showing me right now. I am living in the moment. When I am mindful of the moment, I can write like this. Crank up the tunes and just sit and type until my brain is empty.
Sometimes I get a twang of survivors guilt. It doesn’t last long because I don’t have a death wish. I don’t sit and ponder my utter demise. As long as I am breathing then there is no need to think about death. And that bothers me to a degree. People are living with AIDS much longer, thank god I have great medical care. I could be stuck in other places scraping the pavement trying to pay my way and pay for drugs. Been there done that.
I am starting to fade, which means I should bring this to a close before I start rambling all over the place. Too many thoughts. I miss my friends.
That’s all for right now.
More to come, stay tuned …
Do you know who this is? I do. You can follow him HERE.
The week is shaping up quite nicely. I have been cleared to live through the month of March next year, class last night was fun. We have a huge writing exam to take place in class next Wednesday so I will have to brush up on my writing.
Humanities was interesting tonight. It went well. We met tonight in our small groups for our Monarch presentation that will take place the beginning of December. Thank God this term is almost over with. As soon as I finish this project, term will be over with. And I won’t have to take another humanities class ever again, after what happened this term. UGH !!!
Today is 11 – 11 – 10 … Otherwise known as Remembrance Day in Canada. There was a spectacular show from Ottawa and the war memorial as there is every year on this day.
I happened upon a military veteran at the mall a few days ago as I was passing through, and since I had not put on a poppy yet from home, I gave my humble yearly donation to the vets and I was given a poppy live, right there from one of our many service members.
It is very important that we remember those who have given their lives for our freedom and safety and to keep in our hearts the many men and women who are serving over seas …
Veterans rights and veterans issues have been in the news as of late. The fact is that the government seems to be lacking where these men and women are concerned. Which is a shame. There is not enough money to care for them when they return home, and veterans pensions are not what they should be. And the government should do more, but they choose not to comment or make any grand announcement about bettering the lives of the women and men who come back and need comprehensive care.
So much to think about today. And so much we must do in the future. We thank our service members for the sacrifice they have made for our country and we welcome back all those who have made it home from theatres of war over seas.
More tomorrow. We are going to Brossard tomorrow night for our meeting, so that will be an adventure. Stay tuned …