Link I'll never drink again Vol. 2: April 2005

Saturday, April 30, 2005

My Dream Apartment

I just woke up from a nap and realized I've been dreaming about a party I was having in my apartment. No booze being drunk that I can remember. I just remember a lot of good looking people, girls in dresses and guys in slacks and nice shirts all with clean cut features. A bit of jewelry here and there. No offense to anyone but not my usual crowd. Ha. This apartment was ground floor with double doors opening out onto the courtyard. I remember lots of white walls (no nicotine stains or hand prints) and blond woods through out. Danish Modern and Ikea I expect. To the right of the entry way was a waist high plaster and wood divider with translucent plastic strips hanging down from the ceiling, (like hanging blinds) but with artfully placed blue spot lights shining on them. Beyond the divider was one of the living areas. Large picture window looking out on the court yard. A view of the grill and the pool. White panel curtains (no sign of the usual dog hair) and a stereo system playing jazz (of course). Ah oh, I just remembered Martini glasses with olives. I'm sure I wasn't drinking. To the right of the entry way was a medium size bedroom and adjoining bath. Nothing fancy just serviceable. Straight up the hallway to the kitchen (small but efficient lots of Tara cotta and Navy Blue colors) and a small dining room off to the right. To the left of the kitchen is a den/office/family room. Another big window. Straight off the back of the kitchen is a bricked in private courtyard with a few lounge chairs and lots of flowers and plants. A little private sun deck area (to get rid of that tan line I expect) and a small fountain. I don't remember a laundry room so I guess the maid would take care of that, yeah right. Hey it's a dream!
So I sometimes wonder where all this stuff comes from. If I think about it I realize that I'm about to start a job and extra money will be coming in and eventually I might actually move from this one room apt. That I've been living in for 6 years. I'm at the age where I now think that the next time I move will be the last time and it had better be perfect. I was watching TV, the Jag episode I recorded last night, earlier and Harm had that lucite divider in his apt., also I visited HP's mom the other day with him and his 1960's boyhood home, I think, that's where my brain got the courtyard scene and maybe the living room too. Heck maybe even the kitchen too. Nice house. I loved the windows in that house. Privacy with natural light can't be beat. So anyway, it's a dream but it's not unattainable now that I'm sober. It's like now I realize that my life isn't over which is the way I've been living it since I left my hospital job 10 years ago. I figured I'd never do anything important with the time I had left. Alcohol was the great escape. Not that great as it turns out.
I have to add that I really do like where I'm living now. It's small but cozy, lots of light and a completely fenced in courtyard that I plant and play in and the dog has all the room he needs to be happy. There's no reason to move right now and I can't see any reason to in the near future. But it's ok to dream.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

What a Difference Sobriety Makes

I'm sitting here, 20 minutes before I have to go to a job interview and I'm calm. It's a miracle. When I was drinking I would be a nervous wreck by now, hell I would have been a wreck for the last two days. I would have drunk every night so I could quiet the thoughts about what if, what should I say, what if they, what if I, etc..and that's not happening this time. Yeah I think I'd like this job if I get it but I realize it's not life or death. From what I understand, I'd be a good fit for the kind of work they need done but if they don't hire me - it's their loss. No ego there, eh? So in a few minutes I'll get dressed and go and if it doesn't work out, I won't have to drink over it and if it does work out, I won't have to drink to celebrate. I guess that just means I won't be drinking today. Another problem with looking for work while continuing to drink all the time is that no matter how much you brush, gargle etc., you still reek of liquor. Vodka too. Tuesday makes 6 months for me and I feel fairly confident I'll get there for the first time. I can do this but not alone. I really rely on my AA friends and a few others not in the program to give me the support that I used to think liquor gave me. It wasn't support but avoidance. Ah well, Off I go, High ho, High ho.

Just got back. Got the job. Got $1 more than I asked. Life is good.

Monday, April 25, 2005

God Works in Mysterious Ways

Yesterday, I went to log on to the net and was kicked back out by my ISP. Long story short, I can't use that provider anymore so I figured I'd just wait till my next paycheck and then get a different provider. My sponsor offered the money to get started right away and so I put the money in the bank today and found out there really wasn't any ISPs that I could afford or wanted. Then my neighbor offered to let me use his WiFi?? I think that's what it's called. Anyway, I now have wireless DSL and boy howdy, this sucker if FAST!! I'm so used to dial-up. And to top the whole day off, I got a call back on a job I applied for at least a month ago. Now I have to decide whether or not to take it. I probably should as I don't really have very, ok any, offers coming in. We'll see....

Friday, April 22, 2005


This young lady told her story on Wednesday. She's so cute and kind of ditzy and funny, I was really looking forward to hearing her. It was nothing like I expected. Who would have thought that sweet young girl would have a life story like this? Not me. Everyone laughed through her discourse. At first I was angry because I thought they were laughing at her and not with her. Yes some of it was funny. I've since decided it was more like nervous laughter from the crowd. And it affected me in ways I've yet to figure out. I was so close to tears when she was finished that I could only hug my sponsor and run for the car. Luckily I was due to meet my therapist 30 minutes later and so I got to talk about it and see what was really going on with me. Sometimes I think that my story will be so boring no one will be able to stay awake for the whole 45 minutes. I've never been arrested, raped, mugged or kidnapped. Well I have hit my own personel bottom so I guess it could be interesting to someone. I've been thinking about the telling of my story more and more lately. I've heard more than a few in the past 1 year plus some months. At least 52. I can't do any worse than some I've heard. Right? Right. I'll keep thinking about it.....

Saturday, April 16, 2005

My Mother the Star

Some years ago my mom had to have bypass surgery. She was approved to be the first person to undergo the surgery in the new Heart Center in my home town. She figured what the hell, they'll really want to get her's done right since there would be publicity. I've always thought of my mom as a shy person. Guess I was wrong. After the successful surgery she was on the radio, in the paper and they even did a billboard of her and two of my nieces around the town. She was suddenly famous. Only my family. Today while we were having our usual Friday morning conversation she told me about a thank you luncheon she was attending for the people who volunteer at the hospital. She's one. It was going on and on and finally she and her girlfriend snuck out. After she left they called out her name and asked for her to stand up and be counted for being so courageous as to be the first to have that surgery. That's when everyone realized she'd left. She was mad cause she would have been proud to stand up and be noticed once again. I sure didn't get that from her. I've barely spoken in AA meetings for the past year or so. I think I've talked maybe 5 times. It's not that I don't have anything to say but more that I get stage fright. I can't remember what I want to say and when I do talk I almost always revert to tears. Not what I want to be known for at the center. I know I shouldn't care what anybody thinks about me but I do. I guess like everything I've learned in AA practice will help make it better.

So much has changed...

I've changed. In the last 1 year, 3 months and 4 days I've lost good friends (I thought), made several new friends and rekindled at least one friendship. Some of it makes me sad but most is pretty positive and makes me feel good. I think I'm still the same person but in reality I'm probably just beginning to become the person I always thought I was. Alcholol really changed my life and my personality. I don't notice the difference but on more than one occasion, recently, someone has said they've noticed such a difference. I evidently used to be bitchy (who me?) and prone to outbursts of angst. I just remember myself as "Mr. Friendly". Ah fantasy.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

I like to cook.

Ask anybody who knows me. Ask my sponsor. He's getting a free meal tonight while I get the use of his washer and dryer. Fair exchange, I think. Hope he does too. My dad liked to cook. He always said he had to learn how once he married mom. My mom did cook but I don't know if she enjoyed it or not. I guess he's the reason I tried and eventually learned to enjoy it. I still remember my little sister being pissed at me for cooking all of the food that came with her Easy Bake Oven. This last year I'd been making a lot of bread from scratch. That was until my friend Toni gave me her never used bread maker. It's touch and go with that machine. I haven't quite mastered the art of getting the flavors and texture exactly the way I want them. I do (at the moment) have an overabundance of bread crumbs in the freezer. No use throwing it out if it's not too well shaped. Right? I've always thought that if it comes out too dense or hard you can always shellac it and use it for a door stop. I've recently thought I'd enjoy a job where I had to make dinner everynight of the week for a family of four. It's what I do now but it's just me and the dog and while he's willing to eat anything I wish to share it's not really good for him. I'm not sure I want to be a Nanny though. Wonder what will happen? I spoke to my mom recently and she said that she hated to cook and she was so glad she married Walt. Once he retired, she never had to cook again!

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Almost Drafted

When I was 18 I got my draft number...It was 50. They (the government) always took everyone in lots of 50. Luckily I was going to college so I didn't need to worry. Back then I was sure I couldn't live with myself if I had to kill someone (now it wouldn't be a problem). Well I went to college and in my second semester I got my first ulcer. Very painful and opted out of school for a bit to recuperate. Then I got my notice to go for my first physical for the draft. Went and passes, naturally. I didn't yet know I was gay, didn't want to move to Canada and Objectors weren't in fashion yet. I had six months before I'd have to go again. If you passed twice in a row you were out of there! Before I went the second time I dieted. Yes, Robin's Eggs, Black Beauties and anything else I could get my hands on. I dropped almost 11 lbs. and was too light for my height. During the exam they marked me an inch shorter than I really was and I passed. Well that was it. Six months later I go to the Federal Building in Pittsburgh and go thru the exams again. This time I've brought my bag of underwear and socks. I was really going. So there I am, standing in line at the last station and they hand us each a file filled with our paperwork. I'm looking through mine and I find the letter from my doctor from the first time when I had the ulcer. It wasn't dated! I borrowed a pen and wrote in the day's date and handed it over to the doctor. He said, "That's it. Your out!" I said thank you and he said Don't thank me. You did it to yourself. I didn't care what he thought. I have to admit I've never felt as HIGH as I felt that day riding the elevator down and out of that building. When I got home I told my parents of my good fortune and about being turned down for the service. They seemed disappointed. I couldn't believe it. Did they really want me to go over there and kill people or get killed myself? No. They were hoping it would turn me into a man instead of a hippy. Well, I was never the perfect son. You know last year I spent 34 days in the hospital and even died twice. I think back on all the fortunate things that have happened to me even though I wasn't deserving of them and I really wonder. Is there a higher power? Am I still here for a reason? I'll probably never know. Ah well. Night.

Monday, April 11, 2005

What a Day!

I took my friend Mike on his errands and he bought his first ever computer. A laptop that really fits in his apt. I picked him up this morning at 7:30 am and left at 3 pm. What a day. After getting him hooked up to Netscape and trying to explain the email system I finally left. Remember Mike hasn't had any experience with the Web or for that matter, the computer. He'll do fine in time. So I went home and found out I was locked out of my Apt. by my Dog. He evidently tried to get out during the heavy rain and lightening storm. He ate both of my blinds, flipped the dead bolt(so I couldn't get in) and tore off the bottom of the door and tore off the linoleum floor and scratched the door and wall. He actually tore off the paint and I'll have to repaint that latter. I had to throw the blinds out and pray the curtains will keep the neighbors from seeing more than (I know) they really want to see. So it's been one hell of a day! I've forgiven the dog, but I'd really like to know if he'll remember what he did and why I don't want him to do it again. I've been thinking about moving to a small house or condo. I'm not really sure if I can trust Max to behave. What do you think?

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Coming Out

When I was in 8th grade I started dating guys as well as girls. I continued to do that until I was 22. At 22, one of my friends/tricks came to see me where I worked and told me there was now a gay bar in town at the Willard Hotel. He said I should stop by some Friday night cause the place was crowded then. I thought, who me, I'm not gay. I went that Friday night. I remember sitting outside the bar in my car and trying to talk myself into going in. It was a struggle. Hell, I figured I'd just go in for one drink and if I wasn't comfortable I'd just leave. There was an English woman behind the bar named Barbara (in retrospect she could have been transgendered) who was very friendly and there were more than a few faces there I recognized. Remember this was my home town. My graduating class only had 1,028 kids in it. I knew a lot of people. I had a great time. The jukebox was playing the new Elton John hit Philadelphia Freedom (just to give you a sense of when this was). I made some new friends that night and even ended up with a boyfriend for a while. Ah the good old days when I was young and pliable. Two of the guys I met were Bob and Jim. They had a house on the street I grew up on but on the other end. Never knew they were so close. They took me to my first gay bar out of my home town. That's where I met my friend Bellotti. We've been friends ever since. Bob and Jim introduced us and then a bunch of us got into their huge Oldsmobile and drove off into the country sort of beyond Kittanning, Pa. I thought it was kind of a strange way to head to a bar, but what did I know. We drove for about an hour and turned off the main road onto a small rural road past a few nice ranch style houses and then plunged into the woods heading down towards the river. This was Schenely Road (it was a dead end) and at the bottom of this road were 3 or 4 small houses and an old distillery which made Schneley Whiskey. Before we got to the end of the road on the right there was the Schneley Hotel. Imagine a large red with white trim, clapboard building sort of shaped like a Swiss chalet. There was a dance floor as you entered, a bar to the right and stairs in the back of the dance floor leading up to the rooms. Smart idea. If you got too drunk to drive back you could always stay overnight for a small fee. I spent many a day and night there partying and dancing and making lots of gay friends.
One day I was there and one of my friends named Ron said come on up to the attic I want to show you something. I walked in and hanging upside down from the ceiling in three rows, running the whole length of the building were huge pot plants. They had evidently been growing them somewhere in the woods. Hey this was the 70's. Nowadays, if that happened I'd run away from there as fast as I could. Too paranoid in my old age or just too smart. Somewhere around that time I found out about the bars in Pittsburgh and that's where I ended up most of the time. Ah the good ole days.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

3 More Jobs

Pinsetter at the K of C bowling alley.
Did volunteer work with the specialeducation/handicapped somewhere near Saxonburg
Joseph A. Banks for 4 days while I was getting Shingles.

Jobs I've Had

For some reason I sat down the other night and tried to think of all the jobs I've had over the last 40years. Wierd eh? It's just that I've done so many things and here I am, the first year I can remember not having to fill out an income tax form cause Ididn't work anywhere last year. So if your interested, here goes;
The 60's...Paperboy for themorning Pittsburgh Post Gazette. Mommie dearest helped alot when it rained.
.Mowed lawns and worked atKFC as a chicken cooker and was an usher for the oldPenn theater and worked at Troutman's in my Sr. year as a clerk in the men's dept...I think that's when I measured my first inseam.
1970's...not in chronilogical order...short-order cook, stockman stationary store, stockman electrical supply Co.,pipeline construction-1 day, carnival set up, taxidriver, usher movie theater at the Point, worked and managed two tropical fish and pet stores, buyer wholesale tropical fish Co., Buyer/Kaufmann's Dept.Store Pet Dept., Joskey's LA Bath and Bedding Dept.,Ceramic Plant LA, Pittsburgh Art Inst. Phone Sales,Holy Trinity Monastery Pressman, Dishwasher bed &Breakfast Chatam, Mass....
1980's & 90's...Teacher'sAsst. Day Care, Pix shoes Asst. Mgr., KindercareDirector, St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital busy in Printing, Copier Management, Records Management and Central Charting Depts., Kroger's Cashier, Ziggys Grill Asst. Mgr, Blockbuster Csr, Antone's Cashier,Bartender upper Bar VN, Bartender Missouri City GlassHat, Helper cleaning Serivce. That's all I can think of. Did I forget any that you remember.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

The Trip

Sometime around the early 1970's my friend's Keith, Janice, Jewel, Elaine and I decided to do a road trip. At the time we were all living in Butler, PA which is 32 miles north of Pittsburgh. We drove Keith's Ford Cortina station wagon to the Canadian side of Niagara Falls where the drinking age is 18. I know Keith and I were 19 at the time. After getting a very large, 3 bed hotel room we proceeded to the nearest liquor place we could find. I still remember Blue Nun Wine? I'm not sure it was wine and we got lots of other strange named things to drink. Did I mention that because Keith was paranoid when we were getting close to the border, that he decided we should all take the rest of the acid he brought along. We were severely tripping when we got and drank that booze. Then we decided to go sightseeing. What a sight! Of course the first thing I thought of when we got close to the falls was "I've gotta pee." All that water rushing was just too much for my weekend bladder. We eventually ended up going to a restaurant that reminded me very much of the Space Needle in Seattle. Same concept I think and it overlooked the falls and it was spinning. We rode the elevator up to the restaurant and then went to the observation area to look at the falls. Not many diners there at that time of night and we happened upon a door leading to a very small deck surrounding the outside of the restaurant and lo and behold a ladder leading to the roof. Of course we had to go up and so we did. There we were, all 5 of us, hanging on to the flagpole on the tippy top of this building, in the wind, staring down at the multi-colored lights of the falls. Beautiful! I don't remember anything else from that trip but a couple years ago I was telling this story to my friend Colletta, Jewel's mom, when Jewel exclaimed, "THAT WAS REAL!!? I thought I dreamed it!" Oh what you can do when your young and stupid. No wonder I'm scared of heights

Wigs on Fire....The Chronicles

In 1987 I was living with my friend, Ken. We wanted to have a Halloween party and he came up with an idea for a theme, from a B 52's song. What's that on your head? It's a wig!! Anyway, we had a huge two bedroom apt. And knew we were getting new carpet shortly there after, Thank God!! I went through my files and I think I have the complete list of the parties we had in chronological order. Here goes:1987 Wigs on Fire1988 Hooray for Hollywigs1989 Wigs a Go Go1990 Star Wigs (science fiction)1991 Nightmare on Wig Street1992 Voo Doo Wigs (one of the other hosts did this one, we were too tired to produce anymore, but we all went)Honestly, you've never seen so much big hair. It was spectacular even for here in Texas. We always had donations for local food pantries and sometimes money to donate to Aids charities and so we had a great time, with a bit of work and still had something to give back to the community. One of my favorite memory's is of the Nightmare on Wig Street party. We had it in an old theater that didn't have any seats. Yes the floor was slanted which was interesting for those people in heels. I went as the Mummy that year and was almost completely unraveled by the end of the night, in more ways than one. My friend Harry Doe came as Carrie. He was pretty skinny by then thanks to the ravages of Aids. He wore a long white slip and bloody, stringy, light brown hair and little else. He carried a bucket on a rope with blood dripping out of it. (not real of course) and best of all, he spent hours melting plastic forks over the burners in his apt. to hand out at the party. Have to tell you by the end of the night you couldn't walk anywhere in that theater with out crunching down on a fork. He was a special guy and I miss him.Well, more to come, but I don't know what it will be...Later

The Good, The Bad and that was just my day.

I guess I'm going to use this Blog to vent a little too. The Good: I got to spend time with my friend Mike as we did his errands today. We had a nice time as we usually do. Last week we were at Best Buy and I saw a convection toaster oven that would really work well in my apt. And he offered to buy it for me and I'd pay him back later. Great! He even decided he wanted one for himself and so we asked about them and the guy says they don't have any in stock, don't do rainchecks for unadvertised merchandise and can't sell the one off the shelf. I was a little peeved but got over it. We checked with Customer Service and they said they had a shipment coming in on Wed. And would have them on the shelves by Friday. We figured OK and they'll still have some next Monday when go do errands again. We're we naive? Any way, I checked at Target' and they had the same kind at the same price and they were kind enough to put two away for us for today an noon. This was the Target' at S. Main and Kirby. Mike suggested we go to the one, not so far away up by the Galleria. Cool, we go, they have them but they're $10 more expensive. After checking at the counter it seems all Target's charge their own prices. We would have had to go all the way down to the Med Ctr and beyond to get them for the old price. But hey! We're only a few miles away from the original Best Buy from last week. We go there and they only have one in stock. They were kind enough to look and found 3 at the Best Buy in Sharpstown. They put those aside for us and off we go again. On the way there, the steel belt on my front left tire breaks and we're reduced to driving the frontage roads at 40 mph and the tire sounds loudly like baseball cards on my bicycle spokes. Also shakes a lot. We get there, we get them, we take Bissonnett and then Main and end up going right by the original Target' that was saving the ovens for us. Go figure. We both get home and I cook something in the sucker and it works!! Finally something that goes right. But hold on, the tale isn't over. Now for The Bad: I decide that even though I only have .12 cents in my checking account, I can still get a loan at Ace Express Cash and get my new tire, balanced and installed and have a little cash left over to see me through the month and so I take what I think I need with me and go to Ace. They say I do have everything except a current bank statement. Two weeks ago I signed up for electronic statements and no longer receive a paper copy. They said get a print out at the bank. I think the banks too far away and drive to the library and eventually get a print out there. Take it back to Ace and it doesn't count because it doesn't have my full account number on it. By now my brow is wrinkling, my head is starting to hurt and I'm getting really pissed off. I was rude to the guy and told him I didn't need the money that bad, so goodbye. One block later. Whap, Whap, Whap, I do need the money that bad so I go to the bank that's too far away and get the print out and go back and make amends (that's AA talking) and do the paper work and...........................................................................evidently back when I was drinking all the time, I got a loan and didn't pay it on time and I'm no longer eligible for a loan there. If the guy had just checked to make sure in the beginning I wouldn't have used all that expensive gas back and forth and back and forth. t And this isn't too ugly. Ah hell. I'm alive, I'm home and the GD toaster oven works. The car will get fixed in a few weeks and I do still have my bike and my friends if I need a ride. I have survived. Thanks for letting me vent. PS. I should have pics on here in the very near future.

The Many Names of Mom

When I was 6 or 7 I remember going with my Mom and little brother to the Library to get my first library card. Some of you may remember back then they had the Dewy Decimal System or the card catalog. Our library's aren't like that now. I digress. Anyway, Mom and Lance waited in the car while I (old enough to do it myself) went in and filled out the paper work. I remember getting to the part that asked for my mother's first name and that's when I realized I had no idea what her name really was. By that time in my life, my mother was known by many names. She was and still is: Ally, Alison, Gus or Honey. On her email address I have her down as Mommie Dearest. She thinks that's funny and I think it's Freudian.

Proud of my Blog

Not because I did anything special but because I keep on trying to master this whole new universe I've suddenly gotten myself into. Hence, the multitude of colors and font types, although I am fond of this font type. I've never been published before! I guess, back in the recesses of mind, I thought I should have been published by now. Who knew I'd find it on the Web? I always knew I had a book in me. YOU POOR PEOPLE! I've got to remember to keep that EGO in check. Who knows where that could lead. My younger brother, Lance, used to make up comic books starring all of his friends. I can't remember if I was in them or not but I know I should have been. If I had, I'm sure we could have sold them to Disney or somebody. LOL. You know, being the first born boy in a family of girls gave me a status I really didn't earn or deserve. Lord knows-they just got a gay boy! Luckily I didn't want to wear their shoes, etc., but I was still just one of the girls! I think Dad realized that pretty early on and did his best to deal or not deal with it. He came from a long family of religious zealots (no offense but they were Southern Baptist's) and he never spoke about religion in our house. Mom decided we needed to go to the North Street Christian Church of Christ, where her Mom still went and we did and it wasn't sooooo bad. My most intense memory of that place was when I was 15 or 16 and Martin Luther King was shot and killed and many of the elders were glad and said something to the effect that we should kill as many Niggers as we can. That's when I quit going to church. I was almost 16 and I've got to admit, my parents, while not the Saints your parents were, they never forced their opinions on us kids. We were able to make up our own minds about race, religion, whatever. I'm not sure now if that was a lack of knowledge on their part or a desire to let us become our own person. I don't know what they were thinking but my Mom's still alive and I think I'll ask her next email. I've noticed a lot of my family has selective memory when it comes to remembering the past. Or as my sponsor Norris or my therapist Kevil says, we each remember different things from each event in our lives. I guess we never really see eye to eye. This is so therapeutic for me. Hope you can stand it...LGJ

Scott's Blog

I just finished reading my friend Scott's Blog. I've been meaning to do that for the past few days. He has a bit about his Afro and it made me think about when I had one. I was a Buyer at Kaufmann's Dept. Store in downtown Pittsburgh. I remember I got it permed and it was curly, tight and OK. It was no where as big as Scott's! When it started to grow out I had it done one more time and then one day I was standing outside the store, waiting for the bus and happened to glance in the store window. Did I mention it was snowing and very windy? I looked at my reflection and realized that my hair was standing straight up over my two bald spots and I looked ridiculous! The next day I went for a haircut and came out with the same cut I wear to this day. It was the right thing to do. Think of all the money I've saved on shampoo, conditioners and the electricity I've saved by not owning a hair dryer. Yes that's me, always worried about the environment. LOL

Grandpa Jones

I was 17 when I found out I had a grandpa Jones. Seems my dad's mom and dad got divorced sometime in the 30's, I think. Dad lived with his mom and sisters. I was at my cousin Sally's house and they were talking about Grandpa Jones and I asked who he was and they said, You know. And I thought, no I don't! I asked mom and she said don't mention it to your father. I found out from the girls where he lived and decided to go meet him. My little sister Kristi wanted to go along and I don't know where my brother Lance was or why he didn't come, but off we went. He lived out in the country behind the local dam and had a fish farm or stocked pond that people could pay a small fee and fish to their hearts content. He also had a pet deer named Buddy. I remember feeding Buddy a joint and then he followed me around all the time and was very pushy. He also ate cigarettes but spit out the filters.So Grandpa had a little cottage with a screened front porch and he was sitting there with Uncle Charlie and Aunt Edith. Charlie might have been Grandpa's brother but Edith was no relation to us. They each had their own little bungalow in the woods and it made for a nice little compound. He invited us in and I told him I was Walt's oldest son and then he offered Kristi (10 at the time) and I a beer and I think we both took one. Cool. As we were leaving he stopped me and said if my dad ever wanted to come out and visit he was very welcome to do so. I said I'd tell him and home we went. We told mom about our adventure and her first reaction was Oh God, Don't tell your father! Some time later I found out dad and grandpa saw each other down at the mill everyday at shift change and neither one ever acknowledged the other for what, the last 30 years?! Anyway, being my father's stubborn child I told him. He took it the way he took everything. Stoically. But the next weekend he took a bottle of whiskey and went out to see his dad and continued to do that every other weekend until his father's death. Dad was executor of his estate. Don't know if he always was or if grandpa changed it after their reunion.posted by Hannen @ 7:12 AM 3 comments Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Disco Queen

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Sitting here listening to I've not been a Disco Queen for sometime and now I'm listening to dance music from the U.K. You know it's been 9 years since I went to a bar to listen to the music. I've lost touch but now I'm back and most important, I can remember what I've heard. Except i'll never be able to remember who sang what when. It's not Altzheimer's, I don't think. Here's what I've written down so far this week. Ann Nesby-Lovin is really my game, Sunset Strippers-Fallin Stars, Diana Ross (do you remember her)-Not over you yet, Basement Jaxx-Oh my gosh and Lnm Projekt-Everyone. Of course, nothing will top our Mars Needs Women theme, which I can't remember for the life of me. Ken Bob help me out! Love, Larry & Max

Birthday Night

I went to an AA meeting last night. It was Birthday night for people who have one year sobriety or more. I had a good time and got to sit with my friend Janet. It was a moving experience. A full house, standing room only. That means there were at least 200 people there all there to cheer those people on. My sponsor's sponsor picked up her 26th year chip. What an accomplishment! Today's Easter. I got sober for the seventh time, 140 days ago. November 8, 2004. I started drinking November 3, 2004. It was election day and I wasn't celebrating. I drank out of fear, not just of Bush but afraid that I couldn't do what needed to be done. I know it's cryptic, it's just hard to explain. I've had some really rough patches this time around and I haven't had to get drunk over it. I'm not saying I didn't think about it. My brain just naturally goes to liquor to solve my problems. But I have noticed that my brain is learning other ways to deal too. After the initial "I wish I had a drink" feeling I get the "Now why did I think that" feeling. Then I get to analyze why my brain went there and I know what I can do to alleviate that feeling. It means Blogging, calling someone, eating, napping or being with someone. I'm not lonely even though I'm alone. I walk the dog allot more than I used to. He doesn't complain. So I guess where this is going is that I've changed and I think for the better. I'd like to become closer to my family. So many people don't have that option. I'm willing but my family has been out of my life for so many years now, I'm not sure they even want to be that close. I'm only a phone call away and yet they seldom call. The only person who seems to keep us together is Mommie Dearest. Ah well, just one more thing not to drink over. I've decided to start the Steps again. I only ever did the first one and it was so long ago I can't remember what I decided. I don't know why I've put it off but it's time to rectify that issue. I'm OK you're OK. I just won't drink today.

Meeting the "D" Family

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Meeting the "D" Family
When I was around 20 years old I had my own apt. and was working for a taxi company. Horrible job but it paid the bills. I met a lady named Donna and she told me she wanted me to meet a friend of hers who lived in the country. Remember I was a city boy and the country was about 7 miles out of town. So we drive out to this lady's house. It's an old brick 3 story farm house at the end of a long lane. It was surrounded by trees and had a bunch of out buildings and a big old barn. There were a few junked cars around and an old school bus. Typical for a Pennsylvania farm. She walked up to the front door and just walked in. I was shocked and appalled. You never just walk into someone's house without knocking first! Hey I was brought up right! There was no one home and I was extremely nervous that they would come home and find us in there. Donna thought I was crazy and kept telling me it was OK. I didn't believe her. We sat awhile at this big yellow kitchen table and finally gave up and left. I was so relieved that we were out of there. We went back a few days later, must have been after Thanksgiving. I met the lady of the house her name was Colletta and she was this neat, down to earth, pixy like person and I liked her right away. We sat and talked at her kitchen table and drank coffee. I'd never drunk coffee before and didn't like it much. When we were leaving she said please come back anytime and believe me I did. I showed up a day or two before Christmas and I didn't leave until a few days after New Year's. She never noticed because the house was full of people. Of course I made myself useful and helped cook and clean up dishes etc., just like everyone else was doing. I slept in the living room with other people who were visiting from places like England, Penn State, Bellefonte, Natrona Heights and Sarver. I'd never met anyone from another country before. Turns out Colletta had a husband named Ed who was very quiet and worked for an Oil company. He was into computers and that's when computers were the size of a small car. He had a couple in the basement. She also had 4 kids named Dru, Jewel, Todd and Laurel and they had a dog named Fella, an Irish Setter and I seem to remember a few cats to. Over the years I visited allot, lived there for a bit and generally became one of her adopted kids. My mom once told me she was happy I found so many new friends and that she was never jealous of the time I spent there. She could have been but my Mom's not like that. That family moved to Houston in the late 70's and they're the reason I moved here in 1980. We're still friends to this day and I wouldn't have it any other way.
posted by Hannen @ 10:20 AM 0 comments