Memory in Time – Thanksgiving

How the Grinch Stole Christmas courtesy Cartoon Network

“Over the river and through the woods to grandmothers house we go …”

Tonight I heard a friend say about recovery, “I’m not sure what I really wanted to ‘recover’ from my past, but when I was drinking, at certain points, there was some fun, but that eroded away very quickly, after the first drink.” He went on to say that “there may have been a time in our past that we connect to in a way, we don’t connect to others, maybe that’s where recovery of time begins.”

I always hold dear a place and time in my mind’s eye. I go there often, because my visual of that location is clear and present.  The house in my memory is long gone now. The land was razed, the trees chopped down, and land appropriated by the drinking establishment next door, has shrunk the old family plot by half.

The house now exists only in my memory. Holiday’s were born in the homes of grandparents and aunts and uncles. I don’t have memories, young memories, of any place other than the homestead in my mind’s eye.

Later on, as I grew up, those memories are more fluid. Because as I grew up, we made family memories in the homes we inhabited later on. Holiday’s were special, as long as family cared for and loved each other. As soon as the “us versus them” reared its ugly head, memories became painful to remember.

And all I want to do is FORGET !

At a point in the timeline, there were three families who shared holiday cooking responsibilities. The biggest house, could hold the most people, so it became my step mother who provided the bulk of my teen age holiday’s.

Thanksgiving usually began early in the morning, with brunch at home, with the yearly Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The turkey would be in the oven by lunch time and the requisite football games would begin. So would the drinking.

Depending on the house picked for the dinner, people would begin to gather in great numbers, the open bar was a welcome event for all, the kids included, because my parent preferred that we drank at home, it was even encouraged.

At my step mothers house, the kids always ate at the kids table, off the kitchen, while we were younger. As we grew up, we would find our places at the adult table. That little kitchen table has many memories attached to it. But it was with great fanfare when we found ourselves seated with the adults for dinner, with adult conversation and the requisite adult drinking.

There was never a bad memory made at any dinner table. It was what happened after that dinner that was the problem. My father, the hateful man he was, every time we sat to eat a meal, would cringe at those seated at the very same table. Those “homosexuals” just made him sick. Add to that the fact that I could carry on a decent conversation with said homosexuals made my father’s blood boil.

Upon arriving home, he would beat me senselessly to make sure he beat the gay out of me, upon every occasion of sitting around that particular table.

Years would pass, as the abuse was heaped on me. Until one eventful Christmas, after I was diagnosed and headed for death, at my parents home in Sarasota, that my father humiliated me in front of all the guests at a Christmas dinner, that I vowed, then and there, never to darken my parents door or any table for any holiday ever after.

Twenty two years have passed since that memorable day. I remember it like it was yesterday, because the very next day, the family who sat at that very table and witnessed my humiliation, hosted me on their boat. And I explained what had happened and why.

I am not sure my parents kept that friendship going after that event. But there is the empty chair at their table now. I do not know what is worse, “Knowing you pushed a son away from home from that table intentionally, or that every year, the memory of me still exists in the minds of everyone who sits at that table. Or does it ?

Do they remember me ? Do they care ? Probably not. The last words my mother said to me many months ago, like the litany she spoke for years …

You were a mistake that should never have been born.

Nobody cares that I am not there, because to this day, nobody has come looking for me. We are not getting any younger, and in the idealistic part of my brain, I see adults coming to their senses and realistically, one day, that table would be full.

Alas, there is no love. So no love lost.

But those memories of the time I would recover for myself exist in my mind’s eye and in my heart, because it was there that love was born. True love. True compassion. True family connections that no living person can take from me, because those memories exist within me.

When I moved to Montreal almost seventeen years ago, I came with the hope of recovering memories connected to the maternal side of my family. I have a friend, Nigel, who is part of my recovery circle. Whom tonight, I handed a copy of the maternal family tree that goes back to the 1600’s.

We are hoping that his family tree, is, in some way, connected to mine. We shall see in the coming weeks, as they pour over the document I provided him with at the meeting.

Holiday’s are sacred times to build memory, to pay respect to those who came and went before us, to remember, those who gave us life and BEGAN holiday memories for us, while we were still too young to care or to know better of memory.

Grammy, Memere, Aunty Paula and all the other family who built the first memories for me, in their houses, are top of mind tonight. I remember you.

Holidays are a time for family and for love and for making memories.

Go Make Memories …

If they cannot be made for you, then start your own tradition in your own homes.

Do not go someplace that will only bring you misery and pain, and push you to want to forget than to remember.

Saturday: Odds and Ends, and Everything In Between

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On my trip to see Alexander, we engaged in serious debate about the state of the world. I am not the best at politics, world issues, and everything in between. Our lives at home consist of one cable news channel, and at 11 p.m. we turn to CTV for our nightly news fix.

I cannot go to bed without the last word coming from Lisa LaFlamme.

I’ve never been totally political, as in, devoted to politics or politicians of any stripe. I’ve always known where I sit on issues of the day. But expanding my brain to other news outlets only began when I moved to Canada in 2002. And over the time I have lived here, I’ve explored other points of view.

Alexander encourages that I step out of my bubble and echo chamber to see the world from other points of view. And this is one reason I love my best friend, because he is from somewhere else, (read:Brazil) and he has world knowledge that I do not. He has a smarts about him that no one I know have themselves.

So I read, I watch, and I listen to other points of view. If you polled me online, I rank in the NDP sphere of thought. But I voted for Justin. And he is proving to be a challenge to me.

Alexander sits on the Conservative side of life. And that is NOT a bad thing at all. Because he forces me to see the world, like he sees the world. He challenges me to spread my vision and take in others words, and not just accept words by people I am accustomed to listening to.

Politics and world events are two different spheres for me. I care very little for U.S. politics. And I do not consume politics like I used to because I cannot be bothered on a daily basis to know or listen to repetitive redundant news about a mad man in the Oval Office.

Cannot Be Bothered.

I spend a good amount of my sober life, buried in books. I learned long ago, while in University, that reading “other literature” that situate itself “around” a topic I was studying, as it went along, was very useful.

Reading side literature around a specific topic whether that literature be fiction or non-fiction, built a world for me to engage with on a wider basis, rather than on a single note in time.

I read, Every night.

There are places in the world that interest me. There are social issues that I am passionate about as well. Issues in the world, and issues right here at home are on my dashboard, quite often. I worry about our less fortunate, our homeless, and our indigenous population.

Because I am in the rooms, I’ve seen so much suffering. Friends of mine, in the program have gone on to work in those specific areas of helping the less fortunate. So I am engaged in their work.

Studying Religion and Pastoral Ministry opened my eyes to World Religions, as well, taking care of those people I am engaged with on a daily basis. I have stayed away from posting anything incendiary on this blog, certain world issues, that I am not clearly well-rounded or well versed on, to write coherently or knowledgeably.

I’ve always been interested in Israel and Palestine. Our Jewish Community here in Montreal served my early sobriety solely. The Chabad organization does work all over the city for many people, I just happened to be one of those people.

During my studies I spent time at the Ghetto Shul at McGill during my Judaism studies. And I often said that if I would become anything other than a Christian, I would certainly be a Jew. Palestine is a new subject for me, since being introduced to that area by a friend who wrote a book on the subject, from a point of view we don’t hear about ever.

When I finished the book, all I could write about was what was in Ben’s book, by the words he wrote. Which began my reading slant into books that were written, on the ground, within the Palestinian community. There are not many in circulation, that don’t begin with a premise situated in Israel, and merely spits on Palestine.

I need to figure out what I know, what I need to know, and where I sit on the spectrum of politics and on the ground situations. I know where I would like to be, but that point needs to be plotted on a map so that I can see it clearly.

Israel and Palestine is such a deep topic with some serious history, people, and problems, that I am unable to touch because of the complexity of the state of that area of the world. But while in Ottawa, I picked up another tome that I am reading at the moment.

I just cannot read a handful of books and expect to be able to write anything that is worthy of print on this blog, because that would be stupid and green of me.

The entire Middle East is a quagmire of instability, political strife and religious intolerance. And we just cannot say, incendiary things about people we know little about or those points of views or lives that we don’t even care about informing ourselves about, because it is easier to hate outright, then find a point of agreement or understanding.

How many people do you know who really care about the Middle East beyond blanket hatred of those we don’t even know, or care to know ?

Because they are not “Christian?” or “Jewish?”

If we don’t read, or listen to other points of view and study areas of the world that interest us, and take the time to get informed, how can we relate what we are reading/studying?

That is a thing …

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Colorful Metaphors

Any Star Trek fan knows the line from Star Trek IV the Voyage Home, where Kirk and Spock are on a bus, and Spock relates his confusion of people’s use of “Colorful Metaphors.”

I don’t know if it is age, or my sensibilities to certain colorful metaphors and words, used by people I listen to, or something else, but I’ve grown weary of people using certain language.

Since the dawn of the Pod Cast, when I got my I Phone for Christmas, my nightly bed time schedule was shifted when I started listening to Pod Casts. They competed with my traditional book reading time before bed.

Over the past few months, I’ve listened to a number of Pod Cast presenters. And I’ve come to the point that the Ardent Screaming Host, or the host who litters his show with the word FUCK, every other word, I just delete their shows from my phone.

I love me some Bill Maher. But he is incessantly insane. And over the last month, I’ve also grown weary of him as well, because his devolution into insane screaming by the end of the hour podcast.

People who talk on the Pod Cast, are not bound by ethical language rules. Although many men and women, do take listeners into consideration when it comes to words. Others, not so much. I just don’t have the mental energy to listen to people swear and use foul language. It is just no longer appealing.

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Social Media

Over the last year, I have had to unfriend many people from my Face Book Profile. Certain friends litter my time line with shit I am not interested in, and they persist. Others, all they can do is post POST after POST of political bullshit, incessantly.

I went as far as to neuter my feed from showing me anything related to topics I have no interest in. That meant turning certain people off, for my own well being and sanity.

Aside from news online, that I do consume, Face Book and Twitter are two sources of news and current events that I utilize on a daily basis. But I don’t do either on my phone, so I deleted the apps from my phone.

  • I make phone calls on my phone.
  • I listen to music on my phone.
  • And I Pod Cast on my phone.

That’s it.

I am trying to set some news boundaries for myself. I have built a wall around me on social media that is useful, because I have a life, and I am not connected to social media 24/7. That is insane.

I turn on my computer when I wake up, I run my set. All those sites I look at and participate in and when I am done, I just shut off the computer until I need it again, and I go read, or better yet, I nap …

All the time…

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Sober Realizations

I wrote to a friend of mine recently …

I no longer have the desire to engage most people who believe so strongly what they do, contrary to any evidence of acceptance and respect of humanity in others. Religion, like politics, are two areas I intentionally stay away from, because I know who I am, and what I know, and that is good for me. Sobriety teaches me that I don’t always have to argue when it is not necessary to do so.

He replied that this portion of my comment is a post in itself.

I spend my days working with others. I spend a few nights a week in meetings. Only three meetings a week now, instead of my prior, six meetings a week, spread over two fellowships.

I love what I do. Because the men and women I work with are accountable. We are all moving forwards. And that is a really good thing. Because I am not a born leader, however I think I “could” lead. I’ve had time in the past where what I did and what I said meant something to those I spent time with.

You never know WHO you are going to meet or what conversation you are going to have with them, until the meeting happens, and conversations take place either before or after.

I want a clean break going into my fifties.

God has made that something that I work on daily. Recently, certain friends have gone dark, for one reason or another, that I am not understanding at the moment, but it is what it is.

I have a routine that works. I have a life that is fulfilling. I have friends whom I love and adore. And a best friend, second to none.

Discussion was brought up the other night, by someone I trust, when he asked me why I just did not adopt the baby, and give her a father, who wants to be in her life, and someone she can rely on, because I am reliable and accountable to her and Mama.

And my reply was this … I want the biological father to pay his dues like the law states. Because he is a dead beat and a looser. And I want him to pay up.

I don’t want to step in and absolve him of any responsibility towards the baby.

I need to research this before I head to New Foundland in April.

I think I know what I want of life and of myself. But that is subject to change because sobriety is not a one trick pony.

Shit happens. Life happens. And you never know what to expect when you walk into a room full of your friends and fellows.

You might just learn something you did not know, or realize something you had not before, and it wasn’t until that particular moment that God opened up your eyes and spirit. And you heard something you realized you really needed.

But did not realize you needed it until right then.

This is the filler that happened between the lines over the last little while.

Sobriety is Magic. Sobriety is Miracles. Sobriety is God, it is Us and it is We.

I love the “We” that I am part of today.

Now You See it, Now you Don’t

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The old Children’s Hospital, which was closed last year, when the new MUHC was opened just up the road at Vendome, has been sitting, empty, vacant, waiting for someone to buy the building, design a plan, and execute that plan.

It seems, we have a plan now …

Courtesy: CTV News Montreal

City council is expected to approve a plan next week to build a half-dozen high rises, a library, a community centre and possibly a school at the site of the former Montreal Children’s Hospital.

Last week the hospital confirmed that Montreal developer Luc Poirier had purchased the building and the land that lies at between Atwater Ave. and Sussex St., and between René Levesque Blvd. and Tupper St. for $25 million.

Poirier sold his interest to Philip Kerub, who along with Devimco, Fiera Capital Corp., and the FTQ’s real estate fund are investing $400 million in the plan to build six buildings that are 20 to 30 storeys tall, and a three-storey building.

Kerub will renovate the three-storey former nurses’ residence that lies at the corner of the lot, and said he will preserve and restore its current envelope. Kerub will also build a tower that will house a hotel, office space, and “high-end condominium units.”

Devimco president Serge Goulet said his company will build the other towers that will include 600 condos, 600 rental units, 160 social and affordable housing units, and a community centre.

The Devimco towers will also include room for stores.

Plans for a school are still being worked out. If a primary school is built, it would be an eighth building on the site, and would decrease the amount of greenspace in the area.

But with close access to the metro and Alexis-Nihon Plaza, developers believe the site is bound to be a hit.

“Location, location, location,” said Brian Fahey of Devimco. “You also have to take into account that we’re going to be respond to demands for people looking for greenspace and community activities.”

The block’s footprint will also expand by removing a section of Lambert Closse St. and incorporating Henri Dunant Park in the northwest corner.

Richard Bergeron, the Executive Committee member in charge of downtown Montreal, said he wants to see a development like this every year for the next 15 years.

“If you look at the objectives of the downtown strategy the goal is to have 50,000 more inhabitants in downtown Montreal from now to 2031. We need to get this objective, to reach this objective, more or less 1,800 new housing units year after year,” said Bergeron.

“If you compare to Toronto, Toronto had 80,000 new inhabitants in the last 10 years downtown.”

Bergeron was enthusiastic that the development has condos, apartments, and social housing in the same location, combined with community services.

“We need that density, that quality of project. We need projects with mixed-use like this project has to have the city that we want,” said Bergeron.

The opposition at city hall pointed out that most of the condos and apartments will be between 700 and 800 square feet, pretty tight for a family.

“We believe and the housing department has done studies that indicate there’s a market for that,” said Executive Committee member Russell Copeman. “If families want homes that are much larger than that, they’re not going to find them in downtown Montreal,” adding that having roughly 2,000 people living in the area will help merchants including those in the old forum.

“We have a marvelous opportunity to contribute to, as Mr. Bergeron said, to the rejuvenation of this neighbourhood,” he said.

The entire project, with its 1,400 housing units and 600 underground parking spots, will be subject to public consultations beginning in January.

If all goes according to plan the demolition of the hospital will begin next summer, and two towers could be completed next year, with the entire project finished in five to seven years.

This is what will appear, a block from home, over the next seven years …

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Jeudi – La Dixiem Etape – The Tenth Step

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God, Let me have a new experience, Let me see the truth …

My new and improved meeting schedule began on Monday night, with a meeting, right down the hill from home. A ten minute walk through the tunnel to Georges Vanier Metro.

Now I know, where several of my friends disappeared to, when they left meetings we used to do together. This particular Monday Meeting is a Big Book study …

Like I can’t get enough of the book as it is.

Tonight, I attended my first meeting in French. In all these years of meetings, I never ventured across the solitude’s for a French meeting, because  I’m Anglo.

My friends, including my sponsor opened this meeting, specifically to open a “New Experience” for folks who want something a bit different. It’s a carbon copy of the Sunday Night meeting, being a literature discussion, only in French.

Having read the Big Book for all these years, in English, I know what it says. And after all these years talking about said book, I know what to say, on various topics. We read from the Book tonight, and the 10th Step.

Not shying away from a challenge, They asked me to read first, which I had a huge paragraph, in French, I read like a Boss… When the share went around the room, I was on the tail end, so I had time to think about what I wanted to say, I just needed to find the right words, in the right tense, in the right order. And I was able to speak “In French” for the first time, in a room full of Francophone folks.

And we talked about The Tenth Step. Having just completed these steps with my sponsor, I knew the territory and what I wanted to say. I think I made sense, in the end. Everybody was proud of my effort.

My friends were impressed with the fact that I made the effort to talk, and not just sit there and not say a word. It always goes, if you make the effort, and not hit the nail on the head, people understand. But if you don’t try, it’s a bad reflection on you.

I had a French Big Book here at home that I was reading off and on all week, practicing my reading and comprehension. Like I said, I know the book, so reading it in French was really not a stretch. I understand and comprehend more than I give myself credit for.

Learning a second language “in the rooms” is sometimes easier than learning it in a classroom. Because on both sides, the words are exactly the same. However, the French Big Book, is twice as FAT as the English Big Book.

My Francophone friends use English meetings to practice and hone their English, in the same way, I want to practice and hone my French, the same way. Knowing people in said meeting makes it a bit easier, because if I get stuck, I get help.

But, You Must Make the Effort …

Sunday Sundries – October Welcome

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Hello out there. Today is October 2nd – I’ve noticed in many places, the leaves are beginning to turn. Thanksgiving is next Sunday and I am cooking a feast for my little family once again.

Imagine, next Monday, here in Canada, The battle for Christmas will begin. An entire month earlier than you folks down in the U.S. of A. They won’t be closing up Halloween shops until the end of the month, and in the meantime, the competition for WHO puts up Christmas decorations FIRST is always a holiday mystery.

I know that in St. John’s New Foundland, Christmas trees are up in stores there already. Winter always hits the Atlantic Provinces first.

It has been a very busy week.

This week my meeting routine takes a turn for something a little bit different. My sponsor has encouraged me to seek out a new adventure, since completing this round of “Booking.” (read: The Steps)

The Set Aside Prayer

God, please set aside everything I know about

Myself
The Twelves Steps
A.A.
Meetings
And You God

 So that I can have a new experience, Please let me See the Truth

Tomorrow night, we hit a new meeting, just down the hill from home, called “Love and Tolerance.” It’s very close to home, and very convenient.

Before the meeting we had been talking about changing it up, and my sponsor then asked me to do something totally out of left field. I’ve been learning French, via the Metro Method, (read: There are tv’s in most of the Metro Stations that show news, weather and train times) and they all run in French. And I’ve noticed that my French is getting better, well, my reading comprehension.
With that said … I am going to start hitting our sister meeting on Thursday night, ( Jeudi St. Leon) at the same church we meet on Sunday night’s, IN FRENCH. My friends from that meeting, who are native Francophones come to Sunday night, and other English meetings to learn, or improve their English. So they invited me to come on Thursday to begin integrating into the French community, which will be something totally new for me.

I brought home a French Big Book to look over, and one of my friends is going to send me the prayers, translated into French so I will at least learn them before Thursday.

Instead of hitting an English meeting, I will be hitting a French meeting.

Saturday is still up for grabs. I hoped to initiate a Saturday night Date night for hubby and myself, seeing we never go out ever unless it is a special occasion for dinner or something.

Fall is certainly on its way. My favorite season of the year, because in just a few short months up here in the North we traverse three seasons, and everything changes so much, very quickly. And in the Fall we get to see the Majesty of Mother Nature in all her Grandeur.

Tomorrow morning, bright and early, (read: The ass crack of morning 8 a.m.) the building workers will begin the destruction of my balcony. They have been knocking down all the balcony banisters and walls on the entire building. 7 apartments. Ours is the last one to be started. Last week, they asked if I would clean all the crud that was on the balcony floor, (read: All that Shit that has been under the floor boards for the last 42 years).

And I was like, “How am I supposed to do that ? I don’t have a freaking shed in my bedroom with cleaning tools and leaf bags, and by the way, a shovel would be great for that kind of thing.” Our Super came up and told me this in French, and I did not get it at first, so about half an hour later the building manager came up to translate, when I then inquired about “Tools and Bags.”

They got me a square shovel and a handful of bags. A plastic shovel at that.

There is a hanging wall of plastic over the opening and I stirred up a shit load of dust in doing the job, I failed to remind them that I am immuno-compromised and that I will probably get sick from dust and allergens from the shit on the ground…

Of course I did …

2 leaf bags later, I had completed said work.

Now tomorrow at the crack of dawn, jackhammers will announce the arrival of morning before I even get out of bed. Which at such time, I will have no choice but to get out of bed because my bed, is just inside the balcony door, and sleeping while jackhammers pound the building is a lost cause.

More to come. Stay tuned …

 

 

 

Sunday Sundries – He Said “Hello”

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Life is busy. Fall has come. Single Digits followed. The A/C unit is in its box until next Summer. And we have the windows open until it gets cold at night, and they have to be shut.

Thanksgiving is 2 weeks away. And then PUSH for Christmas will begin.

UGH, God Give Me Strength !!!

For a few weeks now, folks have been in a funk. The funk of untreated alcohol/marijuana addiction. There Is A Solution. It just seems that not many people WANT that solution, and I am totally frustrated with how hard my friends want to make life, when it could be much easier.

Let’s go back to Friday.

I had a doctors appointment in the morning. BOTH my doctors have been bemoaning the fact that my sugars are up a bit, and my triglycerides are high again. Not that they’ve managed to fall with all the pills I put into my body.

My diabetes doctor wants me to further curb my diet, when I don’t even eat three meals a day, because I just don’t. I might eat lunch occasionally, when I am bothered to go get something to cook. That happens here and there. On Thursday I always treat myself to some Burger King on the way to the meeting, if I am not book shopping, or I do both.

My HIV doctor has been giving me the same complaints …

I was dumbfounded when, on Friday, Dr. George says to me …

OH I HAVE A MAGIC PILL THAT WILL DROP YOUR TRIGLYCERIDES TO ZERO …

I was like, how long have you had this ACE in your pocket ? You’ve been on my ass about this for a year, and now you decide to drop this little pill into my life now ? Now we add another pill called EZETIMIBE to my regimen for a month to see what happens. I have another appointment on Tuesday for my HIV doctor and I am going to chew him out as well.

The day gets better from there, Friday …

The Book of Mormon …

I walk back to the Metro at Acadie and I am standing on the platform and a couple of CUTE Mormon elders came down and stood next to me. One walks a little further away, and One stands just off to my left. We stood there for a few minutes, when the young Elder says to me “Salut” in French, ( Hello for those who don’t speak French) I said Hello to him in English.

He let out a breath and sighed … “Oh God, you speak English!”

Wiping his brow …

We got on the train, and a flurry of conversation began. When we got to the terminus of the Blue Line (Snowden) I was transferring to the Orange line to get to a job I was working next, our young Elder handed me his card and smiled … Call Me Anytime.

The next afternoon, I did call him back. We have a date for coffee on Tuesday evening.

I rode the Metro to Vendome and walked several blocks to a small church in Westmount where I had been hired for the day to do a theatre installation for a photography group in the meeting hall.

The group had paid $7,000.00 for a theatre sized motorized screen that needed to be mounted and hung in the rafters above the stage. This monster weighed about 400 pounds and it took 5 guys to build the framing, figure out how we were going to hang the beast and make it all work in less than five hours.

We made a trip to Home Depot and bought the supplies, and returned to build 2×4 trusses for the rafters, from which we would hang the screen. My friend (in the program) is in construction, so he had all the major tools we would need. It was a precision job to get the screen up and hung. It was a great success.

In hanging heavy machinery, you need good framing. You need solid metal works, and you need to double your fail safes, in case the brackets on the end caps of the screen give way and fail. We used high quality chain in the rigging and solid metal works for the hooks and clamps.

When all was said and done, on the way home, I said to my friend that, we might want to secure the chain looping in the rafters further, because there are two clamps on each end that connect chain to the screen. and the chain hangs from large hooks in the framing we had already hung.

If one of the clamps on the screen end caps fail, the chain is going to go into the rafters, come out of its ring, and the failing end of the screen is going to fall to the floor, and probably bring the other side down with it. My thought was, if we secure the hanging ring and the chain with a larger C clamp, that will prevent the chain from running loose and bringing down the screen.

At $15.00 dollars an hour, my advice is not cheap.

Light and sound is a great business to be in. Having built a nightclub from the ground up in the past, and working in the nightclub industry, this job was right up my alley.

The job ran me right up to my Friday night departure at 6:15. I had twenty minutes to spare when I got home. Enough time to unload groceries and change into clean clothing.

While at the doctors earlier in the day, I had updated my apps. And I’ve never seen my battery go from 85% to zero in like thirty seconds. Which meant my phone was dead for the rest of the day, because I had left my charger at home.

 

 

 

Friday – “Complicated”

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Why do you have to make things so complicated, and do stupid things, and then ask why me when shit gets bad ??? We are complicated people who don’t necessarily follow simple suggestions, yet are honest enough to tell you to go Fuck Yourself when you tell folks that it really isn’t that bad, if you did, for once, do as you were told.

I don’t get this generation of folks, who think they own the world, and demand everything and want it for free, on demand. How many times do you have to have a brick wall fall on your ass, before you stop and listen for once ?

People are going to do what they are going to do regardless of how many times you tell them that they are barking up the wrong tree. I have worked to get my young folks back into the fold and to get active again, because so many of them have fallen away and have spent weeks and months isolating in their misery, instead of showing up and investing in each others lives. I don’t know how to get them to invest in each other beyond seeing each other at meetings !!!

The building fire alarm is ringing – hasn’t done that in a long time.

UGH …

The daily construction on La Catherine begins at 7 a.m. A mere 500 yards away from my balcony. They are working on the 15th floor right now and are close to pouring it. One more floor to 16 and the roof and they will finish in less than a month.

There is a cherry picker crane in the alley down stairs and every day, there are men IN that cherry picker riding it up and down the side of the building that faces the alley. It seems that some do not know how high the building is so they are spray painting the numbers on the side of the build, just to make sure. You know how industrial trucks and cranes have that automatic “Beep, Beep, Beep” when the truck, or crane is in reverse ?

Well, this particular cherry picker is always in reverse it seems. If it goes up it beeps, if it goes down it beeps, if they move it forwards it beeps and if they move it backwards it beeps as well. So for hours every day, all I hear is that God damned beeping.

At the same time, the company that owns this building is doing hard construction all over the facade of the building all at the same time. They are rehabbing the balconies, knocking down the banisters and rebuilding them. They came the other day and took off the flooring on my balcony ( the wooden slat flooring ) not sure what they did with it, but there is 42 years of shit strewn all over the underfloor. Feathers, dirt, rabbit shit and other assorted crap that was underneath the flooring all these years.

The jack hammers begin pounding the building at 8 a.m. every morning. Every morning !!!

Two construction sites. Both running together, first thing in the morning.

Sleeping in has lost its charm.

Our building manager has encouraged me to be patient, while this major work job continues.

UGH …

Tonight the topic was all about Step 4. And I laughed to myself. This time around, the first time I hit Step 4, I was a neurotic mess. I was 34 years old, and neurotic. I wrote pages and pages and was insufferable with the sponsor I had back then.

Fifteen years later, I see serious progress in the way I approach Step Work. For the first time in sobriety, I am clear and free of every item that first appeared on that list fifteen years ago. I have come full circle.

I’ve been living my sober life, By The Book. By some of my design, but highly dependent on the advice and counsel of those I trust. My sponsor, and my spiritual adviser and a couple of other important people in my life.

As it happened, everything came together quite spiritually. This pass at Step 4 was more spiritual than clinical. I did a good amount of writing and in the end, was given the final key to free myself from the past that has been dogging me for the whole of my life.

People who are all over the map, from day one to thirty years plus, all have stories to tell and fears to be addressed. Sobriety is a lifetime journey and never ends, and is never over, this is it, if you accept the challenge of getting and staying sober and sorting your life out once and for all. Inventories are or should be cyclical, and done often and when necessary.

If you don’t know what is in storage, how is your shop going to be profitable?

Fall is on its way. Temps are coming down, ever so slowly. October is mere weeks away, and Thanksgiving will follow soon after.