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

Friday, July 29, 2005

Don't Worry I'm Not in Jail

This is one of the sights I found while driving in my home town this morning. At first I thought it was a stage production of something and then I noticed the razor wire all around the building. I started laughing. I'm so used to the bright orange jump suits the convicts wear in our large city. I'm still chuckling.

On the way to the airport we got lost. We went one exit too many and after much driving around we finally ended up right back where we started. Did make it to the airport by 10:30 and my plane was supposed to start boarding at 10:55 am.. Unfortunately, going through the security check point the metal plate in my ankle set off the alarm. I was patted down, had to take off my shoes. I was worried I'd get strip searched. Couldn't remember which pair of underwear I was wearing. Hoped it wasn't the pair with the ruffles. No such luck. No stripping necessary. Thank God! I've been passing that ankle through check points for 6 years and this was the first time that ever happened. So after that as I'm walking to the gate I hear my name being announced over the loudspeaker and start running for the gate. Almost enough to make me want to give up smoking. Panting, I reach the gate. I'm the last one on board. I should have taken it as a sign of what was to come.

My first experience with Midwest Express was both good and bad. The plane was nice enough and the seats were great. Nice soft leather with plenty of butt room and leg room. Very comfortable. Flight itself was as smooth as one would expect from a large plane. I got on just before 11:00 am and expected to take advantage of their advertised gourmet cuisine. They offered two amazing dishes for $10 each and some turkey breast tapas for $5. This plane seated 100 but there were only 56 passengers. They ran out of food before they got to me and the 7 other people in my area. I was extremely pissed. I really felt like screaming something about hijackers but sanity and AA helped me keep my tongue. I was a bit rude to the woman serving, or not serving me. I did apologize a little while later. We landed at 2:15 pm and I had enough time to get a decent lunch at the airport before I caught my next plane. This was the 30 passenger one. One seat on one side and two on the other. They were overbooked by two people and so we were 40 minutes late boarding because they had to coerce, beg someone to take another plane. If I'd had a cell phone I would have called my Mom and told her to wait and I'd take another plane. Reward was a round trip ticket any where Midwest flys. Maybe next time. Ride was OK but it was cramped. Got to sit by a colonel in the National Guard. We talked airplanes the whole way. I'm surprised by what I remembered about planes from when I was a kid. I was really into them back then. He was a nice guy and made the flight more enjoyable. Met Mom and Bob who had been searching for me for quite some time as they didn't remember to write down the name of the airline I was coming in on. (sound familiar Norris?) LOL So, I'm home and I'm glad. Lot's to do. I've checked on Max and he is OK at the kennel.

I will be writing a letter to Midwest Airlines about their advertisement of "Best Care in the Air". I don't think going hungry is what they had in mind. Thanks for listening guys. L.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

I've Never Done This Before!

I have never, in my 24 years in Houston flown without at least 6 Vodka Tonics under my belt the night before!! Never! Last night was amazing! I finished packing, watched a little TV, did the dishes, watched the news and climbed into bed a little after 10:00 pm and went right to sleep. Only woke up twice during the night and it was just to check to see if it was time to go. Woke up this morning, on time and not hungover in any way. How nice. How unusual. I feel confident that this trip home will be the best ever. I've started taking pictures and yesterday I took some of work and the people I work with. Hope to get some on the little plane and with luck and perserverence I'll figure out how to load them in the computer. Never tried that before. It will be a good trip and I owe it all to AA and my friends from AA. Thanks guys. Later. Oh wait. Maybe I had a little to do with it too. Pat myself on the back. lol

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Packed and Ready to Go

All finished. Traveling light. One bag. Can't wait. Still have a few things to take care of today before I get on the plane but it looks like a "go".

Max will be fine. I just finished printing out all of the AA meetings in Butler and if I can find a computer to use while I'm there, I'll check out the meetings in Pittsburgh too. Looking forward to some new faces (no offense to you guys) or more likely, looking forward to being a new face. LOL. I've only been to one AA meeting last year in my home town and those people weren't too friendly. Maybe it was me. Nope, it was them. Perhaps since they were mostly from the local hospital they were too depressed to be friendly to a newcomer. I'm even a little excited about the little plane. Many of you have helped me with my anxiety by your comments. Thanks. Off I go into the wild blue yonder!!

Sunday, July 24, 2005

AA or the Highway

I know in my heart that there's nothing wrong with me. I know I'm a typical alcoholic. So I shouldn't feel bad about my 8 failures to stay sober in the last two years. It's not unusual. I'm no different than anyone else. I've made friends in the program who have relapsed. Some for days, weeks, months at a time. Some like me, a day or two here and there. I thank God that I haven't gone back out for an extended period of time, lately. My friend J came back yesterday after a few months out. She's in a hard spot at the moment but I hope she knows things will get better. They had, for her, once before and she can do it again. We all had a nice time last night going to dinner before dAAve spoke at the evening meeting. He did very well as I knew he would. So it was a good evening. Unfortunately I drank way too much iced tea and then couldn't sleep. Caffeine buzz. I normal have two cups of coffee each morning and maybe a coke once or twice a week. That's the extent of my caffeine addiction. So I read much of the night away and I didn't think about drinking. I'm noticing that I don't seem to think about drinking as much as I used to. Yes sometimes, out of the blue, a notion comes that says I could drink but I've picked up so many tools by going to AA meetings that I can usually talk or trick myself out of it. I've realized that I now have many friends who genuinely care about me and what's going on with me. I've very lucky. When I went back out for those two days and came back I realized that AA is now and forever will be, a part of my life. I won't ever give up. One day at a time.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Say What??

Say What?? I was just sitting here with the sound down low on the TV thinking about my trip home. Realized that I'll probably come back hearing impaired. My mom is hard of hearing in both ears, her boyfriend too, and even though they wear hearing aids the sound is way up on everything they own. I swear you can hear the TV in the next county. And I have to get used to repeating everything I say, again.

Still it's way better than it was when she wouldn't get a hearing aid. We'd go to the movies and she'd constantly ask what was just said on the screen. At one point all of her neighbors and I were thinking about chipping in and buying her one cause we were all tired of repeating ourselves. If I had one I think I'd wear it all the time. She takes them out as soon as she lays down to watch TV and that's when the sound goes up. And of course, we have to use the close captioning. I find myself reading the TV instead of listening. Oh well, as usual my trip home will be an experience I'm not likely to forget.

I've been surfing the net this morning looking for AA meetings and Gay AA meetings. Not any gay ones in Butler but there are a few in Pittsburgh. I hope to go to a meeting everyday while I'm there. I'll have the time for a change as I'm supposed to be on vacation. I was talking to my boss yesterday about my trip and we realized there's going to be a lot of work waiting for me when I get back. That's OK. It's nice to be missed.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Born in the USA and with a Great Butt

I've just been watching Bruce Springstien and the E Street Band on PBS. Sure brings back memories of the 70's. His band consists of others plus Patti Scialfa, Clarence Clemons, Steven Van Zandt, Max Weinberg and Nils Lofgren. I remember Nils from way back thanks to my brother Lance. When Bruce's hair got curly, so did my brother's. When Bruce started working out so did my brother. They were both an inspiration to me to change....Me. Course I didn't start working out until the 80's and by then I had almost no hair and the curly thing just wouldn't have worked. He's a great father and husband from what I hear from my family. Actually that's not true. I think he's a great father and husband and I think his wife, Margot, thinks so too. The rest of my family? I don't know what they think. It's too bad we can't communicate more but now that I'm working and sober and they've always been working and sober, we're all just too busy or tired to talk much. Plus they all have kids and I only have Max. He, by the way, is going to a kennel for the first time ever in our 7 years together. I know he'll be OK but it will still be an adjustment to him. I'll be gone for 7 nights and it's almost as traumatic for me as it will be for him. LOL I hope his memory doesn't go past 5 years as he was 2 when I got him and he'd been on the run, for quite a while, or, so said the DR.. He spent quite some time in a kennel waiting to be adopted. He only weighed 45 lbs. And looked pretty scruffy. He now weighs 65 lbs. And I swear it's all muscle. I get my workout every morning when we walk. Opps. Nine O'clock. Almost time for bed. Later all. Oh, PS all. April/Doughgirl is back and boy am I glad. Or girl, am I glad. Whatever works for you.

Usually When I Fly

There are usually several plane crashes on the news just before I get to flying to PA. Maybe they happen all the time but I really notice them just before. Not any so far as I know this time.
That's good. However, after yesterdays post I got several emails telling me not to worry and I decided not to. Today I added National Geographic's Photo Pages to my favorite list and just decided to check out the photo of the day. This was it. It must be a sign. Crop dusting anyone?

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Flying Sober

I never flew sober until last year. It really wasn't too bad as it was in a nice big plane. Unfortunately, this time, when I fly home for my once yearly trip to PA I'll be flying in a 100 passenger Boeing 717 to Milwaukee and then to Pittsburgh in a 30 passenger Fairchild 328. Oh, what have I gotten myself into? I'm not sure just prayer is going to be enough to get me on that little plane.

Monday, July 18, 2005


Just watching Dr. Phil and his show about keeping music in the schools. I tried to play an instrument several times while in school but just didn't have the artistic sense of how it all worked. I couldn't read music ever! So, when I got to Jr. High (they still had that back then) I joined the choir. I'd always sang at church and it seemed like a natural progression. I loved singing. I was pretty good (if I do say so myself) but the best part was that I completely enjoyed myself. Yes, I had butterflies when it came time to sing in front of the whole school, just like everyone else but it was so cool. I wish I could still do it, now and again. I do still sing professionally, but it's in the car and no one can hear me. I think it was John Prine who wrote a song about screaming or singing in your car. Too long ago to remember exactly. Any way music can be a really good way for kids to enjoy themselves and learn to work in harmony (beat you this time dAAve) with others. I sure loved it.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

I Love This.....

The Awakening
I was moved by the "The Awakening" below, which I discovered on Thanks, Dave, for turning me on to it.

A time comes in your life when you finally get it... When, in the midst of all your fears and insanity, you stop dead in your tracks and somewhere the voice inside your head cries out - ENOUGH!
Enough fighting and crying or struggling to hold on. And, like a child quieting down after a blind tantrum, your sobs begin to subside, you shudder once or twice, you blink back your tears and begin to look at the world through new eyes.

This is your awakening realize it's time to stop hoping and waiting for something to change... or for happiness, safety and security to come galloping over the next horizon.
You come to terms with the fact that neither of you is Prince Charming or Cinderella and that in the real world there isn't always fairy tale endings (or beginnings for that matter).
You learn that any guarantee of "happily ever after" must begin with you... And in the process a sense of serenity is born of acceptance.
You awaken to the fact that you are not perfect and that not everyone will always love, appreciate or approve of who or what you are... And that's OK. They are entitled to their own views and opinions.
You learn the importance of loving and championing yourself... And in the process a sense of new-found confidence is born of self-approval.
You stop complaining and blaming other people for the things they did to you (or didn't do for you) and you learn that the only thing you can really count on is the unexpected.
You learn that people don't always say what they mean or mean what they say and that not everyone will always be there for you and that it's not always about you. So, you learn to stand on your own and to take care of yourself... and in the process a sense of safety and security is born of self-reliance.
You stop judging and pointing fingers and you begin to accept people as they are and to overlook their shortcomings and human frailties... and in the process a sense of peace and contentment is born of forgiveness.
You realize that much of the way you view yourself, and the world around you, is a result of all the messages and opinions that have been ingrained into your psyche. And you begin to sift through all the junk you've been fed about how you should behave, how you should look, how much you should weigh, what you should wear, what you should do for a living, how much money you should make, what you should drive, how and where you should live, who you should marry, the importance of having and raising children, and what you owe your parents, family, and friends.You learn to open up to new worlds and different points of view.
You begin reassessing and redefining who you are and what you really stand for.
You learn the difference between wanting and needing and you begin to discard the doctrines and values you've outgrown, or should never have bought into to begin with... and in the process you learn to go with your instincts.
You learn that it is truly in giving that we receive. And that there is power and glory in creating and contributing and you stop maneuvering through life merely as a "consumer" looking for your next fix.
You learn that principles such as honesty and integrity are not the outdated ideals of a bygone era but the mortar that holds together the foundation upon which you must build a life. You learn that you don't know everything, it's not your job to save the world and that you can't teach a pig to sing.
You learn to distinguish between guilt and responsibility and the importance of setting boundaries and learning to say NO.
You learn that the only cross to bear is the one you choose to carry and that martyrs get burned at the stake.Then you learn about love.How to love, how much to give in love, when to stop giving and when to walk away.
You learn to look at relationships as they really are and not as you would have them be.
You stop trying to control people, situations and outcomes.
You learn that alone does not mean lonely.
You also stop working so hard at putting your feelings aside, smoothing things over and ignoring your needs.
You learn that feelings of entitlement are perfectly OK....and that it is your right to want things and to ask for the things you want... and that sometimes it is necessary to make demands.
You come to the realization that you deserve to be treated with love, kindness, sensitivity and respect and you won't settle for less.
You learn that your body really is your temple; you begin to care for it and treat it with respect. You begin to eat a balanced diet, drink more water, and take more time to exercise.
You learn that being tired fuels doubt, fear, and uncertainty and so you take more time to rest. And, just as food fuels the body, laughter fuels our soul. So you take more time to laugh and to play.
You learn that, for the most part, you get in life what you believe you deserve... and that much of life truly is a self-fulfilling prophecy.
You learn that anything worth achieving is worth working for and that wishing for something to happen is different than working toward making it happen. More importantly, you learn that in order to achieve success you need direction, discipline and perseverance. You also learn that no one can do it all alone... and that it's OK to risk asking for help.
You learn the only thing you must truly fear is the greatest robber baron of all --FEAR itself. You learn to step right into and through your fears because you know that whatever happens you can handle it.
You learn not to give away the right to live life on your own terms.
You learn to fight for your life and not to squander it living under a cloud of impending doom.
You learn that life isn't always fair, you don't always get what you think you deserve and that sometimes bad things happen to unsuspecting, good people. On these occasions you learn not to personalize things.
You learn that God isn't punishing you or failing to answer your prayers. It's just life happening you learn to deal with evil in its most primal state-- the ego.
You learn that negative feelings such as anger, envy and resentment must be understood and redirected or they will suffocate the life out of you and poison the universe that surrounds you.
You learn to admit when you are wrong and to build bridges instead of walls.
You learn to be thankful and to take comfort in many of the simple things we take for granted, things that millions of people upon the earth can only dream about: a full refrigerator, clean running water, a soft warm bed, a long hot shower.Slowly, you begin to take responsibility for yourself by yourself and you make yourself a promise to never betray yourself and to never, ever settle for less than your heart's desire.
You hang a wind chime outside your window so you can listen to the wind. You make it a point to keep smiling, to keep trusting, and to stay open to every wonderful possibility.Then, with courage in your heart and God by your side you take a stand, you take a deep breath,and you begin to design the life you want to live.--

Denise M. "Sonny" Carroll

posted by Bob

I found this by happenstance. I was looking at a blog someone wrote a comment to mine and I looked at their's and caught this guy Bionic Bob and he mentioned TexandAAve and here I am. It's wonderful when we all connect in our alcoholism and help each other. I've been a friend of dAAves since I got in the program and he's one of my best friends.

I'm so lucky.

unfortunately, I can't find Bionic Bob's Blog anywhere now. If you do see it please let me know where it is. Thanks.

Saturday, July 16, 2005


I've had prison fantasies but never anything like this. Really, I was trying to get the dog into position, not that position, but for the picture position. You people with your dirty minds. No Sing Sing for me.

My Good Friends

My friend dAAve of Higherpower fame just left after showing me how to link to others. He also showed me how to put pictures in here without using flickr. I probably won't use flickr much any more. This other way is just too easy. dAAve suggested I practice this a few times as I really just watched him do it and the best way to learn anything is to actually do it yourself. At least for me it is. He also wanted me to link to him so he could get more hits than our friend Scott of Attitude of Gratitude fame. I said I would and so I have, I think, if it really worked. Try it and see.

dAAve was also nice enough to help me put a Site Meter and a Counter on here too. Boy Howdy! I feel like a real Blogger now! I'm afraid most of the counter numbers are from us looking to see if what what we did really worked. Ah well.

Went to the early meeting today. It was a good one as most of the meeting are. I've seldom gone to a bad meeting. I think once in the last 2 years and I don't really remember exactly who said what about whom but I know I left feeling angry and not a little blue. Got over it though. So all in all, meetings are seldom bad and almost never boreing. Several new or like me, just back from being out, people were there. I still don't know how I feel about everything. I haven't met with my sponsor or therapist since I got back and I will, eventually, I know. It's just, it's just, it's just that I still feel numb. I know that will wear off too, eventually. Well, it better! 12 days but I'm not counting. Ha.

Gratitude Once Again

Today I'm grateful for:

Friends, who whether they know it or not, help me with my sobriety
My sponsor who never gives up on me.
Sunrises....I get to see another one today.
That I like to get up at 4 am and start my day.
For fresh ground coffee.
That I'm not going to drink today.
That I'm going to PA in a few weeks to see my family and for once I'm not too worried about it.
That I'm finally getting my eyes checked on Tuesday and soon I'll be able to see that sign....waaaay over there!
For my job.
For my dog.
For electricity.
For the Library.

Enough already. My friend Scott told me yesterday how to work with Plexiglas and I was able to fashion a new sunroof for my car. One that will never open or leak, I hope. My friend DAAve is coming over this morning to help me with this Blog. I'm still learning how to do all this stuff with this computer. Sometimes I feel so stupid for not knowing or understanding how it all works but then I have to remind myself that I'm still capable of learning. That's good, right? So I keep trying. Just like my sobriety. Norris says so often that I'm not the first person to think this or that. I always thought I was the first. No ego there. Ha. My point of view is always askew. Maybe the new glasses will help. Have a great day

Friday, July 15, 2005

Raindrops Keep Falling

Originally uploaded by
Yes my sunroof has been leaking for some time and yes it's been really wet here lately but on Wednesday as I was driving home from work in the rain my sunroof flew off and smashed into a billion pieces. Luckily there was no one behind me or it could have killed someone. I figured what the hell and got on the freeway figuring if I went fast enough maybe the rain wouldn't come in. Well, at 65 mph. The rain only came in a little and mainly seemed to coat the back window. Got home covered the top with a vinyl tablecloth and waited for it all to stop. I was planning on getting the sunroof fixed beginning of next month. Ah well. Would have been a good excuse to drink and I thought of that and then decided, once again, not to drink over it. So yesterday while at work a big thunderstorm came and I raced it back to the city and won, for a change. Covered the car and watched as the pouring rain created a large round depression where the water was collecting. It worked OK and today I'll go get some Plexiglas and seal it up somehow. It will be nice not to have to worry all the time about the weather. Yesterday afternoon we lost power. First time in the 6 years I've lived here. Of course, I didn't have any books to read and so I sat here and waited for two hours and then decided to go to the library and get something to read and when I got back the power was on again. Thank you HP. When I was sitting here with nothing to do, I thought I could go get a bottle and the time would go much faster. Took a long sigh and said nope, not today. I've had plenty of reasons to drink in the last few days and I decided each time not to do it. I'm still working the program everyday. It's still working me.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Billy & Mrs. Ellison

Originally uploaded by
Was talking to my friend Chris last night and we were comparing notes on our experiences with Billy Graham. I remember my brother and I and a group of kids from my Sunday school class and Mrs. Ellison all went to see the famous Billy Graham. I had never heard of him before. Mrs. E thought it would be a good experience for all of us. It was at the Hienz Theater and I imagine it was the mid-60's. I'd of been in my early teens. We all were sitting there and Billy implored us to get up and come down and be saved. Everyone of our group filtered down through the throngs of people to get saved except for Lance and I. We just sat there, I looked at him, he looked at me and I thought what's wrong with all these people? We don't have to go down there to be saved. Anyway, everybody came back eventually and that was it. I was somewhat embarrassed when my friends came back from their trip but even then I was determined to go my own way. Lance too, I guess. The most memorable moment was on the way back in Mrs. E's 60 something Cadillac. She told us this little ditty. I slit a sheet a sheet I slit upon a slitted sheet I sit. We tore that one up the whole way home. She was a neat lady.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Blow me

Blow me
Originally uploaded by
Just a cute cartoon. Not really about anyone I know. I got a few comments from people about my last post. Very positive but it sounded like they thought I was leaving the Program. Not going to happen! AA is my life for now and ever more. I may not buy into everything they offer but as a friend said, they're just suggestions. Not rules. I'll continue to explore the many sides of AA. Besides, I'd miss my friends too much.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

My First Car

Originally uploaded by
This was my first car. I bought it from my girlfriend's father. It was huge. I got it just as I turned 21 and was finally old enough to drink legally. I went to a rock concert in my new car with a trunk full of beer, I bought my self and took my dog, Princess with me. The concert was good from what little I remember but I spent most of it in the First Aid tent as I drank too much and couldn't walk. It was blazing hot and my friends thought it would be good for me to be out of the heat. I remember waking up and calling for the dog, who was always there right by me. Finally, after the concert was over I went to the car to start home. Sober but hungover I started down the winding old dirt road and that's when I lost the brakes. There were people walking up the road and I was honking and had my emergency flashers on and I was beginning to pick up speed. The engine died, I shifted in to low, tried the emergency brake and nothing worked. I started heading for the ditch in hopes of stopping the car before we got to the steep part down. The ditch grabbed the wheel and we rode right up and the car flipped over on it's side. I was belted in and was able to look over at Princess who was sitting on the passenger side window panting happily. People helped us out and I had to have the car towed back to Butler. The whole incident only scratched a little bit of the car on one side. It should have scared me for life. It should have been a warning of what was to come.

I'm just back from recently going back out and drinking. July 3rd and 4th. I just lost 7 months and 27 days of sobriety. Actually, I didn't lose them. I still did that and you know, I'm getting tired of feeling like I've failed each time I've gone out and drank. I'm tired of counting each day because it only takes once to wipe out all you've accomplished and frankly I'm proud of the 100's of times I just didn't drink when I wanted to. So you all have your program and I'll have mine. I'm not counting the days anymore. I'm not taking chips for time being sober. I'm not going to drink today. That's it! (I don't sound like I have issues, do I?) Ha.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Winter Scene

Winter Scene
Originally uploaded by LgJones.
It's almost like we're shut-in's because of the weather. Especially for we who have no AC in the car. It's not safe to go out after 11:30 am. as the heat and humidity can kill you or at least, make you wish you were dead or in the NW. I refuse to leave the house after 12 noon. I won't venture out until 6 or 7 pm. I can't imagine life in AZ although I lived there sometime in the late 70's. Humidity takes it's toll. Well, at least our skin is moist and not all dried out. Hey! There's always something good happening if we just remember to look for it.