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

Sunday, October 30, 2005

I knew when I got sober that I'd miss cooking.

It was such a big part of my life. There was nothing I liked better than picking out a new recipe, going to the store to get the ingredients, stopping at the liquor store to pick up a bottle and going home and getting creative. I knew that I couldn't be spontaneous or creative unless I was drinking. Luckily, it didn't turn out that way. As you know I sill like to cook. It's actually safer this way. No more burned potholders, burned fingers, chopped fingers, food poisoning ( I never did but sometimes it sure looked like it would cause that), smoke alarms going off, burned pots, etcetera. Now when I burn myself or nick a finger I think, oh well, that's life. I haven't' done a gratitude list on here in a while and I guess JJ's post is the catalyst for this one....

Today I'm Grateful For:
Friends both in and out of recovery.
My doggie.
That I can wear shorts and a tank top in October.
That my bicycle tires aren't completely flat
That I'm finally going to ride the darn thing
That my yard is getting prettier and prettier (still a work in progress)
That I now recognize my Higher Power. (not you dAAve)
(although you are part of it)
That I've made some real friends while Blogging
That my life is 100 times better than it was 2 years ago.
That I owe a lot of my new life to AA.
As JJ would say, Peace.

Do you think Blogger Spellcheck will ever learn the abbreviation AA?

Do you think Blogger will ever let me post a picture again? 2 days now and still trying.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

I had a nice day today.

Woke up early and washed and waxed the car. Then I got brave and called my foster sister and asked if she'd be home this afternoon and could I stop by and visit for a bit. She suggested we meet at her Mom's and we could all visit. I haven't seen either one of them since I went in to the hospital in June of last year. J. and a few of my other friends were adamat that I be put in a rehab center of some kind. I only found out about this later, some months later. I wasn't angry but it seems these people had either written me off or just didn't want to see me anymore. They attributed my illness to alcohol. I hadn't been drinking before my illness, much, and they took the hallucinations and coma for results of withdrawal from alcohol. The docs were giving me some kind of hallucinogen which helps people in comas to come out of them. After much counseling from my sponsor and therapist I realized that I can't make people think what I want them to think. And basically, it's their problem and not mine. So after not talking to my foster sister for about 6 months or so, I called a few times but when we talked she sounded put out or not really interested in what was going on with me. I kept trying every month or so I'd call or email and eventually she'd return a call or email once in a while. Today was just a spur of the moment decision on my part to give it another try. We had a nice visit. I left after a few hours and I hope we'll continue to mend our fences. So when I got home another good old sober friend of mine pulled up as I was unlocking my door. Parker and I lived together for a couple years 8 or 9 years ago. Roommates, alcoholics together. Good party's. He got sober a few years before I did. He looked good and we visited for about an hour and while he was here he talked me into trying to put my profile on the internet in the hopes of getting a date. Haven't finished that yet but I guess I will, eventually. He does it all the time and I guess it works for him. I don't know how I feel about it. So put together dinner and then went to the center for Birthday night. Stayed till almost the end and then came home and here I am. I could have stayed for the Halloween party after the meeting but I just wasn't in the mood, even though I had a beehive wig in the car, just in case. Maybe next time. Hopefully dAAve will have some pictures tomorrow. Check out his post at He taught me how to put links in here but I've forgotten how. I hope that works. Night.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Yan Can Cook

That's a program I watch on PBS on Saturdays and I sometimes think of myself as someone who should be on PBS doing a cooking show. At least tonight would be a good night to audition. I made a corn casserole with sour cream, onions, green chilies, corn from the cob, creamed corn and then I made a spinach souffle and then I had some of that pork loin I made last week. You know, the one stuffed with dried apricots, garlic cloves, fresh rosemary and cranberries. Yeah, that one. No wonder I can't lose any weight! I need someone to come by and eat all of this. Any takers?

My Alcoholic Mind

I just spent 25 minutes searching for a file called Rollingrock Apartments. Turns out it was Rollingbrook Apartments and that's just one example of an alcoholic mind at work. I'm from Butler, PA which is about 25 miles from Latrobe, PA where they make Rolling Rock beer. Everytime I see that green bottle I get a little homesick. Dumb, eh?

Panic Attacks

Remember that girl I told you about at work who had just quit drinking? Well, yesterday she told me she's started having panic attacks. I used to have those when I was drinking. Not after I quit. I suggested Wellbutrin which is what I'm on but she just shook her head. I don't know what to suggest. I feel sad for her and proud of her for not drinking. Any ideas?

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Before and After

I was looking for some before and after pictures to illustrate my current dilemma. I found these. I think the one with the guy in the red and then blue shirt is most like me if you switch it around to after and before. I'm not quite as heavy as he was, but close.

Last year, was it just last year? In July, I was hospitalized with Double Pneumonia. I was in a coma for 3 weeks, died twice and all in all, I was in pretty bad shape. But my weight was excellent. I weighed 135 lbs. and felt really good about myself. Now I weigh 185 lbs., that's the most I've ever weighed, ever! When I got out of the hospital the doctor said to gain 20 lbs. and somewhere along the way, I forgot to stop. Everyone and his brother, tells me that I look good. Healthy. Better than ever. The liars! I don't believe them. I can't believe that fat ever looks healthy! What's wrong with you people? Do I just have a wrapped sense of self? Well, I am an alcoholic after all. Still I know I can't go on the way I've been. I was never an emotional eater. I think I am now. Ah, the price of sobriety. Damn, the price of Slimfast!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

I've never been in to sports...

I always figured that since I was gay I didn't need to be interested in sports. Don't get me wrong, I've always been interested in guys who play in sports and of course, the locker room. And so I sit here in my apartment worried about the game. I thought because I'm gay I don't need to worry about this stuff even though through the years my friends are sports fanatics...maybe that's not quite the right word, lets say sports fans. And I find myself tense, really tense, waiting, wondering what will happen next. It's better than a mystery story (if you know me, I'm always reading at least one) and I can't figure out how it's going to end. It's maddening! Oh the tension, oh, the worry, oh, not another out, oh, not another hit! I should just turn it off, I'll find out what happened tomorrow morning on the news. Right? It won't be the same. I guess now, I can identify with my other friends who really care about this. Instead of not wearing socks today, I shaved my beard into a goatee. You know, like the guys who are playing. Well, dare I say it...Go Astros!!!

Sunday, October 23, 2005


Last week I made a sandwich and took it to work. Since I wasn't feeling well, I forgot it when I left for home. I emailed the girls at work and described the sandwich to them in the hopes that they'd eat it instead of letting it go stale in the fridge for 4 days. This is the description: 100% Whole Wheat bread, 98% fat free extra lean ham, 2% low fat cheese, no fat mustard and lots of Hellman's Real Mayo. I guess the mayo sort of cancels out all the healthy stuff.
So, here I am, drinking Green tea with 100% organic honey and smoking a cigerette. Life, for me, is all about contradictions. Inhale, exhale, sip. Ahhh.

I just read JJ's post and realized

that it's OK for me to write that I've been feeling blue and sickly the past 4 days. I can't decide if I've got a cold or if it's just the Ragweed. I ache everywhere and I can't breath through my nose and my throat hurts. Yeah, yeah, other people have it worse but I just feel bad. I haven't done anything this weekend except drink hot tea, take Tylenol, eat soup and just feel bad all over. Did I mention nausea? That too. So if your wondering where I've been, now you know. I just talked to Janet, we were supposed to go to breakfast after the 9:30 meeting but I just called in sick. She says lots of other people feel the way I do. I guess that makes me feel better. That I'm not alone in my misery. Ha. Back to bed.

Friday, October 21, 2005

I was having a dream

I just woke up. I was dreaming. This is what happened. We hired a guy to replace Brooke who is moving on to a better job. He's 6'5", ash blonde hair, blue eyes, muscular and handsome. I instantly don't like him but decide to give him a chance. He borrows stuff from my office and doesn't return anything. He acts like a bully. Like someone who used to tease me when I was in school. I really don't like him!
Now for reality. Brooke is leaving. We will be hiring someone to replace her. Last night, Chris and I were checking out some hunk I downloaded. I was bullied a lot when I was in school. Change can be scary. Change can be threatening. I don't like change. Don't ever borrow something from me and not return it! (bit anal there) Now that I think about it, he reminds me of one of my neighbors.
This is just an example of how my brain works, sometimes. Even while I'm asleep. My waking thoughts used to be like this when I was drinking. I'd always project and worry about what was going to happen. I'd run little scenarios in my mind. I don't do that anymore. At least not when I'm awake. Evidently my brain has it's own agenda when I'm asleep. It often slips back in to alcoholic thinking or is that dreaming?

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Lucky, lucky, lucky....

Because the maintenance guys were coming to work in my yard today, I brought Max to work. I didn't want to give them an excuse to bitch or let Max out of the yard. They're just creepy enough that they might do him some harm. So I was working in one of the other offices when I hear this "Whoa!" "Whoa!!" coming from the front hall. As I looked around the corner there was the UPS guy cowering by the door and Max, wagging his tail, trying to greet him. I explained he was friendly but the UPS guy wasn't having it. I had to hold Max until he left. It's not unusual for people in the delivery business to be afraid of dogs. They've probably been attacked before by so-called friendly dogs. My boss then suggested we make a sign for the door and he'd get it laminated. Here's the new



I thought it was fairly appropriate. That was nice of my boss to suggest it, instead of telling me not to bring the dog anymore. I'm so lucky to have this job.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

I was invited to one of the best Halloween

party's in Houston this year. It's called the Fantasy Ball and I've gone many times since 1983. My friends Jim and Jon invited me. This is a copy of the letter I sent them today.

I want to tell you how much I appreciate being invited this year to the party. Unfortunately, I won't be able to attend. At least not this year. To be honest I'm afraid to be around that many people whose main goal is to get drunk. I'm just not feeling very strong, right now. Sometimes I have no trouble going and being around alcohol and other times (like now, this week) it's almost all I think about. Maybe it's the full moon. Maybe it's my aching tooth. The pain makes me think about drinking it all away. I know, I know, not a solution. Anybody have an extra $1000 I can borrow? Oh well, not worth drinking over...At least not today. So, I'm glad you invited me and I hope you'll continue to invite me to things and I'll come when I feel strong enough not to succumb to temptation. Thanks again.


This was something I've been thinking about for the past 5 days. When I was originally invited about 2 weeks ago I was very excited and figured out my costume and the timing and everything. And then this week, one of my teeth became loose and I realized that I had no dental insurance, no dentist and no money to really deal with this. I'm in a bit of pain, more like discomfort and eating has become a bit of a task. I'm trying to be careful while I try to find ways to get it fixed without getting more deeply in debt. It will work out. I've started taking Tylenol PM at night to sleep when the pain gets too bad. That's the only thing I've taken. Sigh...
I've given it over to God and will just wait to see what develops. That's really all I can do. Thanks for listening.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

In the 50's

My brother and I got up early every Saturday morning to watch Tarzan on TV. He wanted to be Tarzan and I wanted to do him. All this James Bond stuff recently has reminded me of the men I used to lust after when I was growing up. Thought I'd share.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Rainbow Trout

I had a flashback today. No, not the one caused by Acid, but just one from my childhood. We used to go, as a family, to a neighbor's patch of land where they had a stocked pond when we were kids. The Schisler's were so cool. Mr. Schisler worked in the Moonlite Mushroom Farm in PA. My Mom and Dad and brother and I would go fishing in their pond. I can't remember if my sister was there yet. I'll ask her. It was a great time. We'd catch fish, Lance was better at it than I, and bring them home and Walt would clean them and Gus would cook them. Mmm. Good. I bought a Rainbow Trout tonight for dinner. I caught it at Randall's. It' was only $3.99 lb. and tasted delicious. It brought back all those memories. This is an addition for this post. I recently remembered going fishing with my dad and brother when I was about 22. Walt spent most of the night before getting all the food ready. Can't remember what we ate but knowing dad it was unusual and tasty. Things like water chestnuts wrapped with bacon, special deviled eggs, etc. Lance, my younger brother went right down to the waters edge and threw in his line. Dad and I headed for the trunk of the car where the beer and food was. We drank and ate and Lance just kept on catching fish. We just sat there in companionable drinking, eating silence. We never really had much to talk about, dad and I. I know he loved me but what can a "real man" have to talk about with his Gay son. Lance is the most like dad of the two of us. I just got his bald head and drinking abilities and maybe his sense of humor. My brother's a great father, husband and provider. Ah well, we're both a little like dad. No more fishing stories.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Maybe Recovery is Catchy

About the second day I started to work I told everyone in the office about my alcoholism and my experience in AA. I sometimes mention something that happened in a meeting or an event I went to involving AA. One of the ladies in the office today, told me she and her boyfriend had decided to quit drinking. She is one of the nicest people I've ever know and she's very often out sick. Turns out she was really out, hungover or drunk. I used to do that. It's been about a week for her. She mentioned how things have gotten a little edgy at home. I promised her that would pass and we talked about gratitude, her current depression and some of the things she's missed by being drunk, passed out or blacked out. I never suspected. She said she hadn't told anybody at work or her family and I suggested her family probably already knew. She chuckled and agreed. So by my being upfront about my addiction she was able to confide in me and know I (as one drunk to another) would know what she was talking about. I told her if she needed to talk or wanted company to go to a meeting, all she had to do was call me. I meant that. I was always well-meaning before when I was drinking but so often I'd back out or not be where I was supposed to be when I was supposed to be, because I was drinking. My heart was in the right place...but my head wasn't. Now I can be there for her and for other people who I can help.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Oh, What a Night!

Had a great day, yesterday. Was very productive around the house. Then I went to the Lambda fundraiser. What a good time! They had everything you could think of. Moonwalk padded thingy, kissing booth, darts, pie throwing, pie eating, cake walk, free food and a card reader. Some people brought their dogs and of course, the weather was perfect. I went around 6 and stayed till 7:30 and then headed past Hobby airport for a party a friend of mine was throwing. I only knew 5 people out of the 60 who showed up, when I got there. By the time I left I knew at least 30 more of them. It was fun. I was just a little worried going there cause I figured I'd be the only sober person there but turned out there was one other one. The rest of these folks were real drinkers. No one got sloppy except for a few of my friends who got lost on the way to the party. I think they got lost because they had been drinking before and then during the trip there. I wasn't upset but it made me stop and wonder if I was like that. I briefly thought about them driving home, later, but realized immediately that there was little I could do. They'd never leave their car there. You know drunks. Everyone thought it was so funny, their story about getting lost, running out of liquor from the flask, the attitude that was flying around the car and their inability to see the road signs. I don't know yet if they got home safe but so far I haven't seen them on the news. You know you just have to say to yourself, "I'll do what I can and let God do the rest." At least that works for me. I would be very sad if something bad happened to them on the way home but I have to remember that we're all adults and in theory, responsible for ourselves. Enough about that. It was a great day.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Am I getting older or just smarter?

Thank Heaven for Clearasil!! When I was a teenager I used the Clearasil in a tube that was supposedly flesh colored. Not my flesh as it turned out. It left orange blotches all over my face but at least eventually, the zits disappeared. I never thought then that when I was in my 50's that I'd need it again. Every time I drink a soda or eat a candy bar I end up with the dreaded zit. I remember when I was in my 30's how I used to get up for work, shower in 10 minutes ( I had no hair then or now) and go to work. Now I shower for 10 minutes and then spend 20 or 30 minutes applying either moisturizer or a dryer to different parts of my body. It's like my body has separated into different zones. This part dry, this part oily. A few years ago I noticed that my toenails were getting really hard to trim. I told my doctor cause I thought it was from my HIV drugs. He laughed and said it was normal for someone who was getting older. The Bitch! So, maybe I'm not going into my old age gracefully but at least I'm here! Who would have ever thought I'd reach middle age and have a future for old age? Certainly, not I. I'm so grateful for the chance to do something with what's left of my life. I was telling a friend the other day about how much my life has changed since I got sober. I feel sorry for him because he structures his life around his available time for drinking. I used to do the same thing. I was always careful not to make any appointments for the days I had off, as those were my special drinking days. Unfortunately, they quickly stopped being special and every day was a day to drink. He really can't understand because he's still drinking every day. I love him and care about him but I can't really do anything but be there for him if he decides to take the plunge and try and stop drinking. I'm hoping that my positive experiences with being sober will help influence him to give it a try. I'm so lucky.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

October 2, 1985 Rock Hudson dies from A.I.D.S.

I remember that day. I remember that year. That was the year I and my 3 roommates went and got tested for AIDS. They were all negative. I, the least promiscuous of them all, was positive. I remember the shock. The fear. The disbelief. By then 5,000 people had succumbed to AIDS. We'd already buried more than a few of our friends. There were rumors everywhere about what caused AIDS. If you found out you were positive you knew you'd just been sentenced to an untimely death. It wasn't going to be pretty either. Many people had Karposi Sarcoma. A disfiguring disease common in old people. Really, really old people. I can't remember if AZT had come out yet but that in it's self was a sentence to death for most people. I think it's like Kemo in a pill. The doctor's didn't know how much you should take or how often. Back in 1990 when I started taking it, my doctor told me to take 8 pills a day. Naturally, I took 4 and was still sick to death. After six weeks of nausea, vomiting and diarrhea I finally quit and just said I'd rather die than be miserable all the time. I meant it. Turned out it was the right thing to do after all. Probably one of the reasons I'm still here. I hope one of the reasons I'm still here is because I've only got one strain of this disease. I've had safe sex for the last 20 years. That was when I was drunk or stoned, didn't matter, I was determined that I'd never give this disease to anyone or get a different kind myself. It seems to have worked. So here I am, 20 years later and still kicking. Maybe not kicking as high as I used to. But still trying.