Holy Snow Storm Batman!!

This is Ste. Catherine’s Street, just outside the Forum, where I was at the gym this morning.

BUT FIRST !!

They warned us that the weather was going to go bad as Saturday night progressed. AND IT DID.

I went to bed early last night, because I had to be up for 8 a.m. this morning to chair the Old Brewery Mission meeting. I was up and ready to go and headed out. I was layered well, and had winter boots on.

There was snow all over the place. Snow had piled up so high that the outer door to the building was barricaded by a snow drift that was four feet high and about three feet deep. In front of the door, on the outside.

I pushed my way out the door, as piles of snow fell on the floor inside, when the door closed behind me. There was almost a foot of snow on the ground as I made my way to the tunnel and down to Georges Vanier Station on the Orange line.

The wind was blowing so hard and snow was piled up so deep, that it took me almost fifteen minutes to walk 1000 yards downhill. There was so much snow that the wind had blown snow all the way down into the tunnel on both the car side and on the pedestrian walkway.

I made it to the train and Juan was already on it, when we arrived at Place D’Armes. We trudged through feet of snow to the Mission. It was well attended. People braved the first major snow storm of the season to make a meeting. Juan spoke, and we gave out a two year chip.

After the meeting we trudged back to the Metro Station and got back on the train coming this way. We were both headed to our respective gyms to train for a bit.

I thought that the gym would be empty because of the storm. There were a handful of people. I got my lifting in and a couple of miles run on the tread mill. I was trying to keep up with one guy to my right and another woman to my left. we were all running “run” programs, but they were running a bit faster than I had been.

On the way home, I took a photo (above) of what it looks like outside at this hour. They have not plowed any of the sidewalks, and barely the roads either, because snow is still coming down.

I thought to walk home would be painless … I WAS WRONG!

Just four blocks through snow drifts more than a foot deep all the way home. I had to stop several times to get my footing because the wind was pelting me with snow, and my glasses were frozen on my face. They warned us of possible frostbite.

They say this will be the coldest storm in Montreal’s history.

All the Homeless Shelters are working over time to make sure nobody is left outside. They opened a new shelter in the old Royal Victoria Hospital, not far from here. They have 100 beds open. Which makes a small dent in shelter traffic. But no shelter is turning anyone away. Human nor animal.

People with pets are an issue here, and now shelters are taking the homeless with their pets, where before, you could not bring a dog into a shelter. Which is why many people stay on the street.

Holy Snow Storm Batman !!

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: I Want A Drink …

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Nothing pisses me off more, than a room of few people, an hour fifteen for a meeting, 45 minutes to share, and a chair with the penchant for egg timing people from the chair.

I go to meetings to listen to my friends. And I go to meetings to hear God speak to me. And if the share gets to me, you bet your ass, I am going to take all the time I want.

We have two Hasidim men who come to our meetings out of their communities. We had a woman who had just days, and she was in pieces trying to get her words out. There were old timers who just sat there and tutted me every time I said to the chair to put his goddamned egg timer down and let people finish.

It wasn’t like we were pushed right up against the hour. No we had 45 minutes, and everyone should have gotten the time they needed to speak.

And Be Damned your Egg Timer … Damn it to Hell.

I made it a point, when our Jewish friends came, to make them feel comfortable and welcomed and supported and all. They usually come in late and have to catch up, which means, if time allows, you Let Them Talk, for Christ’s sake !

I never egg time anyone. And I’ve never egg timed anyone in a meeting that I chair. Not in all the years I have chaired any meeting in this city. There are very few occasions that I’d stop someone from going on and on and on. We all know, in the rooms, who they are.

The last time I had to kettle someone was after the election and a man started ranting and raving about politics and Donald Trump, at a Friday Meeting. We don’t do politics in the meeting. That’s in the Preamble.

The share got to me, and I had things to say, and I picked up my phone and said to the chair that, “I had 30 minutes to speak, and I was going to take every minute I wanted.”

My former sponsor and her boyfriend were sitting in the circle TUTTING me.

Fuck you…

That meeting is the hall at St. Leon’s where I got sober. The room where I saw God. The room that has been a weekly fixture in my sobriety for more than 15 years.

And you’re gonna egg time me ??? You Fucker …

**** **** ****

Clock-and-Stairs 200%

This morning I went to sit for my first design appointment for my birthday tattoo. My guy did not show. This is the image of the tattoo as my consultation began. The boy on the stairs, walking towards time, over the ocean.

It is a black and white image. No color to speak of.

The discussion went along, and we eliminated the clock works from the image. The clock is now a spiral configuration. The stair case is also Spiral, with the boy climbing a Spiral set of stairs, and in my mind’s eye, his shirt is red.

We are going to go along a blue theme. Having One Color, and many hues, is much cheaper than going full-bore, with many colors on the same tattoo.

The reason being is that your paying by the hour. Each color is, in and of itself, one set of color. And every time you have to change colors, you have go to through a cleaning process, eating your time and your money.

The outline is black. The ocean is blue, and whatever else needs to be colored will be a hue of blue, except my required red shirt on the boy.

The Clock denotes … TIME.

The Past, The Present and The Future.

The Stair Case … Is self-explanatory if you are in recovery.
We all know what Stairs or Steps mean.

The Ocean … Is life in all its turbulence.

The Boy’s shirt is … RED. A nod to my journey with AIDS.
One single shot of color. And the boy is going UP the stairs.
Not looking back or coming down. He is moving forwards.

The Clock is ticking, The steps are in front of you, and the water is gurgling below.

The Journey Home …

There is also a Kryon Parable about Michael and the Angels. A story I’ve read over and over again. Michael has suffered a terrible tragedy, the loss of his parents, he is living a dead-end life, and there is no one special in that life either. He gets mugged and almost killed. While in the ER he has a vision of an angel, who he tells, “That all he wants is to go home!”

The angel facilitates his way out of the hospital after a benefactor pays his bill and tells him to pack his things and prepare for the Journey Home.

In the story there are seven angels who teach Michael about life, in seven very colorful houses along the way. The last house is the House to go HOME.

Michael’s final walk, is up a staircase, to a door marked HOME.

Then he threw up …

If you’ve never read the story, you won’t get the last sentence.

People who know me, know I am a gentle man. And I never raise my voice or get angry. But the last few months has changed all that. I am more apt to speak my mind a bit more openly, even if it pisses my friends off and imbalances the power in the room.

I may not be in the chair, but if you displease me, you will know it for sure.

I’ve never walked out of a meeting before, ever.

Tonight I did … Wanting a drink !