A Perfect Montreal Christmas

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The weather people define a Perfect Christmas, as 2cm of snow on the ground, and snow falling from the sky, together. Last night, there was more than 2cm of snow on the ground when it began to snow again. Snow fell all night and into dawn, this morning.

There is a good amount of snow on the ground, as the snowfall wrapped up around 8am this morning. I had been up since about 6am because I had enough sleep, so I got up and watched some videos and made some breakfast, while hubby slept further.

All of my friends are in other places for the holiday. With all the travel delays and weather problems over the past few days, everybody made it to their destinations without a hassle.

Neither hubby nor myself had a very big Christmas list. We agreed that we really did not need anything expensive or huge numbers of presents. We kept it simple. I had shopped for hubby and he was pleased with the clothes I got him, some dress shirts for work and a new pair of cozies.

All I wanted was a 2 TB external hard drive for my computer, which is what he got me, along with a few odds and ends for the house. We are hosting a Christmas dinner party on Wednesday. So a few little bits and pieces did the job.

My in-laws spent a pretty penny on HSBC gift cards, in lieu of cash we usually get. However, I think that they went overboard with gift cards, when we really could have used some cash on the ground until hubby gets paid in two days, because money is tight.

Hubby is cooking a late lunch, and I am hosting a meeting at Monday Central at 8pm tonight. The church allowed us to keep the room open over the holidays. On Holiday Open Meetings are important. Because at some point, we need to get out of the house, so a meeting is very useful to the many.

The Holiday was a success.

More to come.

 

Wednesday: Thoughts and Things

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It is pouring down rain at this very moment in Montreal.

The time has come to make some changes again. The writing has been on the wall, and Heavenly Father is gently pushing me in new directions. I can trace back, not so long ago, what this looked like, when the Elders came to me and ministered to me. Elder Spencer is still a part of my life today.

General Conference took place last weekend. I participated via stream. Lots of good things shared and spoken.

I guess I want to talk about gifts and movements.

I thought about this the other day, and I’ve been ruminating on it ever since.

Am I the only drunk who goes to meetings and pays attention ? It seems that not many people pay the amount of attention to what they hear, like I do. You hear that Anonymity Statement, we have a few in the rooms here. Each of them different.

But the one I go with is this …
You can carry the message outside this room, but names and personal details stay here. We use this one on Friday Night at the A.B.S.I. meeting.

I go to several meetings, or have been. I’ve since cut my meetings by one.

In talking to my friend Sean the other night, he’s got time, like I have time. He is sober as long as I am sober now. He has a family, kids, (plural) and he does business in Asia a lot of the time. Seeing him often, is hit and miss. But we spoke.

Getting back to Heavenly Father and the prompts…

You know it’s time to go when these things begin to happen.

  • When your ideas on certain subjects begin to lose traction, and people begin moving away from you or avoiding you, it’s time to go.
  • When what you are hearing from your friends, push you to realize that, between us, we are on totally different pages, in sobriety, it is time to go.
  • When you realize that some people just do not like you. When you realize that some people do not respect you, and treat you differently, among your peers, it is time to go.
  • When you begin to regret walking into a particular meeting because of the people you share that room with, and the purpose of that meeting, becomes inconsequential to the people in the room, it is time to go.
  • And finally … When sober people you either know, for a long time, or men and women you work with, find out you are human and not Vulcan, and they turn on you and walk away, IT IS TIME TO GO !

I’ve been going to meetings for the whole of my sobriety. This blog is a testament and a record of most of the meetings I have attended over the past 16 years.

In those sixteen years, I have had to shut down, export, import and re-Domain this blog three times. Each reason is different. And usually has to happen when flamers and hackers and Evangelical Christians come knocking on my front door.

I opened this domain and blog in response to an alcoholic who thought I had broken his anonymity by telling a story about him on my former blog. He never bitched about what I wrote about until I started talking about him specifically. Yes, he lives here, and goes to the same meetings I do, but he has no respect for me, nor my presence, nor my life.

Anyways … I was thinking, Am I the only drunk who pays attention at meetings, pays attention so hard, that I come home after a meeting, I transcribe what I heard for you here and for me as well ?

I mean, how the fuck do we learn how to get sober, if we don’t study our friends behaviors, choices and actions over time ?

That’s how I got sober. By watching my friends do STUPID things over sixteen years.

Watching other people ACT is the best way we learn how NOT to BE.
Which is how WE Become US.

I am done with going to places where people don’t respect me. I am done going to meetings where people ignore me around other people, and treat me disrespectfully.

Sean, told me to go to meetings where I am a trusted custodian. Those would be the Monday Central Meeting and the Friday North End English Meeting.

Newcomers.
Simple Service.
Respect.

We all have gifts. Heavenly Gifts. Before we got here, Heavenly Father, or the powers that be, handed us a script. A job, so to speak.

Past Lifers would say that if we got here again, then, there was something we missed or screwed up, on our last visit. And now we get to work it out all over again, hoping we hit the mark this time, and not have to do this all over again …

Re-incarnators talk about how we get to reincarnate with people we knew in the past life we just left, or several lives before that. The proviso is that, we come back with a contract, which is unlike the former contract we were on. This time around we may be together for the whole journey, or maybe part of it.

There are reasons God put us here. Mainly, to learn Love, Dignity and Respect. To help our fellows and our friends. To learn how to GIVE, and not take.

The world need to learn how to LOVE … AGAPE LOVE …

Gifts … We all have them. We may not know what they are, it is our job to figure that out while we are down here, in the ways we relate to others, the work we do, and the service we give to our friends, family, peers and fellows, men and women alike. The love we share, the respect we give, the dignity we attribute and give to others.

Do you know what your gifts are ? Are you aware of them ? I am of Mine.

And to a greater degree now.

I’ve listened to my friends for a LONG TIME.

I hear them, they make stupid decisions, do stupid things, they hurt, they drink, they use, some get back, many don’t.

I seriously pay attention to every human being who talks in front of me. I KNOW all of my friends intimately. They probably don’t know that, until I walk up to them and say such things like …

  • Been there, done that.
  • Maybe you should try something else.
  • I can help you through this portion of your journey.
  • I see you did this, and paid dearly for it, now I am giving you a tool to make sure you don’t make that same mistake again …

And you know what they do ?

  • They take a step backwards,
  • They look at me with those eyes like
  • Are You Fucking with Me ?
  • You can’t be serious ?
  • Fuck your advice, even if you are sober sixteen years and haven’t drank or used in all that time.
  • Even if you have experience,
  • I don’t want YOURS !!!

Fuck me for trying …

When these things happen, IT’S TIME TO GO  !!!

I have ears to hear, and eyes to see. I mean that’s what God gave them to us for right ? I use those gifts to help my fellows, and I know today, none of that matters to a majority of them.

Which is why I need to move on to better pastures where the grass is green and the sober time is low, and people who want my message may be receptive to it. Because a few people with little time, and a lot of people with A LOT of time, have no need for me or want me around.

Thanksgiving is Sunday, here in Canada.

And I joked with a friend who works up the block that, within days of Halloween Night’s end, Christmas decorations will go up. Every year it is a contest to see who is gonna jump the gun this year and play Christmas music in their stores, and put up decorations in their shopping malls or stores.

Sunday Sundries: Birthday Pre-Show

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Sometimes you just have to tell people to just “FUCK OFF !!!” My phone has been ringing off the hook, with a very needy, self-centered woman, who thinks I exist to serve her day and night as her beck and call boy.

NOT !!!!

I have a rule about reciprocity, if you fail this requirement, you loose …

I spent the balance of the day with my best friend, eating good food, and decadent desserts, at Jeanne Mance Park. Jeanne Mance Park is within earshot of Mount Royal Park, across Parc (road) where the Sunday Funday Smoke Some Weed and Play Your Drums, Tam Tam’s takes place weekly.

On our left was a badminton game going on. On our right, was a biker, who was smoking weed, he asked us for a light, with a huge DUBE in his hand. He didn’t ask us if we wanted to share, just a light, for himself.

Not that we would have partaken anyway.

You cannot go very far in Montreal, in the park system and not have to smell weed in the air all around you.

How often does your best friend come to Montreal to see you ? Not often enough. We pledged to change that. I will be going to Ottawa next month.

Good conversation was had.

On the way home, we stopped in a very dangerous shop. A RECORD STORE !!!

I haven’t seen a record player since I left the Night Club business some years ago. I knew records existed. But I have not owned a record player in more than thirty years.

But I bought three records for myself. Which means, I need a RECORD PLAYER …

Xanadu is self-explanatory. I have the music on my phone already. I remember, as a teen-ager getting both my parents to take me to see the film. I’ve seen it several hundred times over the years.

Level 42 needs a little bit more explanation.

When I was a young man, not yet twenty-one, I was working in a travel agency. I was the Manager of said agency at the time. Auspicious? Maybe, maybe not. It was a career that I could have prospered in. Save for the rampant alcoholism that was already present.

That particular year, business was especially good. Pan American ticket sales were through the roof, and we traveled as often as we could. First Class at that.

Because, who flew coach, when First Class Passes were handed out quarterly.

First stop was London, England. Don’t remember much of England. But I did some serious record shopping while I was there. I had a walk man in my carry on luggage and I shipped all my packages home, because we could not check luggage when traveling stand-by passes.

I bought a Level 42 Cassette of Running in the Family … Record Above …

I have a copy of that album on my phone as well. And I listen to it often. One particular cut on that album, “Children Say” has a sound that is reminiscent of trains over tracks.

Every time I listen to it, I can shut my eyes, and JUST make out a visual memory of the over night train we rode from Munich, Germany to Rome. It was an overnight, sleeper car journey.

I know both records I bought today. Just finding these little gems of records is sweet.

I could really do some damage, money wise, if I started collecting records again.

Which means, I need a player to play them on.

My best friend gave me a John Coltrane CD called Giant Steps.

I am told that it was one of his best creations, after he got sober. A little JAZZ to accompany my meditation practice.

Last year, or was it the year before, I got John Coltrane’s Love Supreme CD. He was still living in Montreal, before they moved to Ottawa. We used to sit on the deck out back, and listen to music, and eat fattening food and talk for hours upon hours.

Something I really miss today. And he came up for a concert on Friday, which coincided with my birthday quite nicely.

I’m really grateful.

In 4 hours … I will technically be 50 years old.

Sunday Sundries: Christmas Wrap Up 2016

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Our Christmas Holiday 2016, is over.

Hubby visited his family in Ottawa Thursday to Saturday and returned early Saturday afternoon. The nieces and nephew are growing like weeds. They have grown so much over the past few years.

My in-laws are not getting any younger. And for a long time, my mother in law has been infirm and was in a cast, so she could not stand and cook, hence their Christmas dinner was catered. My father in law was gifted Netflix for Christmas, and he became a kid in a candy store.

We got lots of goodies, and gifts from everybody.

The packages I sent to St. John’s arrived on Thursday morning. And this morning, mama was up with Lu at 3 a.m. I woke up around 5:30 this morning anticipating a Skype call around 6:30. Sadly, Skype would not work on their end, so I got a blow by blow on the phone. The HUGE PINK TURTLE I sent Lu was a big hit, after she realized what it was.

Everything I sent to mama and Lu was appreciated.

My friend Ben, returned from Palestine last weekend, and gifted me my own Keffiyeh from Palestine. I wore it to a meeting on Thursday night, and what a conversation starter that was. One of the elders who sets up with me, is Palestinian, and has family in Palestine and abroad. He and his wife, live here in Montreal. We had a very lively discussion about world politics and we share very similar thoughts on a great many things.

Here at home we exchanged gifts, and hubby got some more earthenware bowls that he wanted, and I got a new bathroom suite decor in Silver, Grey and Whites, and a stainless steel towel/sundry rack for the wall. The bathroom was the last room to get new fixtures and decor.

I had painted the kitchen and the accent walls a few weeks ago.

We had a family dinner around 2 with my friend Bill and Amy, both from the fellowships. Sharing meals is tradition here at home. And it was very nice. There was plenty of food and conversation. We all left the table 10 pound heavier …

The weather was cold, but no snow. We are sitting at (-8c) with a freezing rain warning in effect through tomorrow morning. UGH…

Just what we need, more ice on the sidewalks. I took a dive on Friday night coming home and ruined my clean white pants. Yesterday I was going to do laundry, and I noticed that I misplaced my laundry card. We have a coin-less system now.

We have prepaid cards that you fill with a credit card and it debits when you do laundry. So no card, no laundry, until I find it, or get a new one on Tuesday. I am hoping I left it in the laundry room, and someone turned it into the office, which is closed tomorrow.

December has been a rough month for some of my friends. We lost a number of friends, and parents earlier this month, Christmas this year was bittersweet.

With a week to go until the end of the year, 2016, was good.

More on that later.

 

 

Christmas Shopping Extravaganza

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The weather outside is definitely FRIGHTFUL ! We are sitting at a frigid MINUS 15c with a wind chill of MINUS 25c. Earlier today my lady friend and I braved the cold to go shopping at the biggest mall I have seen in Montreal.

I never go that far to shop, but there was a Toys R Us / Babies R Us gigantic store at Angrinon, which is at the terminus of the Green Line, about 20 minutes from home.

And let me tell you that we hit some serious pay dirt. I was shopping till I dropped, looking for the BEST Christmas Gift EVER, for Lu and Mama. We did some serious damage to my wallet when all was said, purchased, wrapped, and then SHIPPED to New Found land.

I have alerted Mama that three boxes are on their way there and should arrive early next week. It is going to be interesting to see Lu’s reaction. I told Mama that her little heart is probably going to explode on Christmas morning.

I am competing, don’t you know, against grandma and grandpa, for the Best Gift EVER !

I think I have this in the bag…