lady gaga gets down and real when receiving a critic’s choice award

Seriously, this is the first time ever I’ve even written the name, so one knows this is pretty hot stuff. Critic’s Choice awards carry their own weight, I’m sure, if just in name alone. What got my attention was the quote that will certainly make the rounds in all the AA clubs and meetings where Lady Gaga is a character of significance. Check it for yourself:


repost of a repost by finding a sober miracle: keeping up appearances and drinking

From Finding a Sober Miracle, one of the consistently inspiring recovery blogs I purely admire, comes the revisiting of a very revealing issue… and a profound step forward in Shawna’s own healing.

I am reposting this blog about how important it was for me to look like I had it all together to the outside world, even while I was falling apart.

. . .

What happened next was tragic, like it always is with heavy drinking. And once the storm picked up steam, it was downright scary — like watching a car crash in slow motion. Divorce. Custody suits. Lawyers. Financial problems. Damaged children. Escalating drinking, to cope with the ruins of a life led by drink. I never knew it could get this bad. The truth burst like dam, flooding everything in sight, nearly drowning us all.

I have precious little to add to this, other than one just needs to go read the entire post. This is what this stuff does to lot of folks, eh?

via Keeping Up Appearances and Drinking

repost from unpickled: how to avoid the trap of family roles

via How to Avoid the Trap of Family Roles

  1. Choose your part
  2. Don’t believe everything you think.
  3. Keep some people in your pocket.

An excellent post from one of my go-to bloggers. Get another cup of coffee and go read her outstanding insights on simply getting through that “special” time of the year. One thing I caught on to real quickly, though, was that these three uber-critical components to managing relationships just happen to be good year round. And you don’t even have to buy specials cards for everyone.


keith richards quits drinking. kinda.

First of all, I guess I don’t get to run this classical little bon mot anymore:

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I have to admit when I first came across the news at Storm in a Wine Glass, I was a little surprised… but not a whole lot. And then reading the disappointing and totally unsurprising 3 ‘graphs at Consequence of Sound simply affirmed what I guess is the best to settle for. I mean, after all, Keith is the one who reportedly [i.e. never happened] had two complete blood transfusions to clean up his system. Be that as it may, here’s Keith’s take in Rolling Stone on the big shift: 

“It’s been about a year now,” Richards says quietly. “I pulled the plug on it. I got fed up with it.” While he admits he still has “a glass of wine occasionally, and a beer,” it’s a major step for a guy whose hedonism is a key part of his legend. “It was time to quit,” Richards says. “Just like all the other stuff.” Was it an adjustment? “You can call it that, yeah,” he says with a laugh. “But I don’t notice any difference really – except for I don’t drink. I wasn’t feeling [right]. I’ve done it. I didn’t want that anymore.”

The Stones. Wow… It’s been pretty interesting to watching these guys live a lot longer than they probably planned on. But, hey! That happens to a lot of us, moi assi. Oh, well. Enjoy.

repost: time flies when you’re anxious and self-medicated

Outstanding post from one of my regular reads that brings back some old, yet still quite memorable moments in time. I hardly know where to begin. Joy and I have hit some amazing resorts in the Caribbean and Mexico: the Dominican Republic (2x), Costa Rica, and both Mexican coasts (4x) have left indelible imprints in what is left of my memory cells. That being said…

It was on our Feb. 27th, 2010, flight home from my weeklong 60th birthday party at the Moon Palace in Punta Cana that we had a conversation as to whether we may have an alcohol problem. Gotta start somewhere, right? BTW, just for the record, in every photo in that particular photo album, no matter where I am or what I’m doing or what time of day or night, I have a serious drink in my hand. Which is probably why precisely one month later I introduced myself at a meeting Club East and said, “My name is Greg and I’m an alcoholic.”

So for that reason, I love what time flies… says about dealing with crises in a sober life on life’s sober terms. The following is one example of several in a very profound entry, so go read the whole thing.

The first took me by surprise almost immediately upon arriving in Mazatlan.  My parents and their friends were out of control!  I’m talking folks in their 70s  (in varying degrees of physical shape and general health) being so drunk they were stumbling and falling down on cobblestone streets and around a pool.  I felt like I was babysitting, and it really pissed me off!

  See what I mean? Good stuff.

repost: ten times filtered

Via Anna at Storm in a Wine Glass comes one of life’s hair-shirt adventures most — if not all — of us have lived through at least once. This one was played out by her “normal teenager” son Bambino. It’s fair to say that, for Anna, the dèjá vu was pretty freaking overwhelming:

I was once a teenager too. I knew this was coming. I was roughly Bambino’s age the first time I chugged vodka from a bottle a friend and I had nicked from her parents (and later filled up with water). So it’s not like I was going around thinking Bambino is some little angel who will only taste alcohol once he is of legal age. Hah! That’s a lie. I didn’t see this coming. I did and I didn’t. I think I just didn’t see it happening this way, so brazenly and violently right in front of me. I feel so stupid I can’t even begin to tell you. But I can tell you how my heart was breaking when I last night checked in on Bambino before bedtime and tried to ask him if he’d felt like he couldn’t stop once he started. It was a stupid thing to ask and I don’t know what answer I expected. I got all this so very wrong.

Although Joy and I have three dogs and no kids, I feel it’s insightful of me to add that I used to be a kid and, like most of the folks around me the last 8½ years, I got my alcohol-based training wheels off at an early age due to family environment. No wonder Anna’s concerned, to say the very least.

Read the whole thing. She does a terrific job of parsing out her heart on the situation and weighing truth against her beliefs.


i hate it when the good die young

but i hate it even more when they die unnecessarily.

Guinevere at revisits the death of rocker Tom Petty, whose mid-tour death last fall left the music industry stunned and fans broken-hearted. To say the least, I was amazed and just a little angered when I finished reading her post and pondering things.

The Los Angeles medical examiner today announced autopsy results for Tom Petty, who was found dead last fall: it was found that he died of a heart attack caused by an accidental drug overdose. His body had traces of three different kinds of fentanyl—which seems to be ubiquitous in ODs involving opioids, particularly heroin, these days, and which was prescribed to Petty for pain—and also oxycodone (the drug in OxyContin) as well as two different benzodiazepines (Xanax and Restoril).

As they used to say when I was a kid: Enough drugs to kill a horse. 

And a doctor (or doctors) prescribed them all.

Nobody is innocent here but read the whole thing.

breathe in, breathe out

Okay, work with me on this one. I had to be at the south campus of Franciscan St. Francis Health this morning at 7:15 for a 7:45 MRI. No biggie. Nothing I had to put my big man pants on for, simply to take them off in a 2′ x 2′ dressing room to put on pajamas. MRI’s are really pretty blow and go for those of you who’ve ever been party to one. For those who are not familiar with this in-depth brain (for me) imaging technique, think back to the movie The Exorcist. Remember when Reagan was taken in for a electroencephalography? That was my first experience 50 years ago with a brain scan. Just for some fun, though, here’s a refresher:

You’ll be glad to know the technology has grown immeasurably over the last 50 years or so since my first one. The noise, however, is still rather distracting, even with earplugs.

Very brief backstory: Been having some neurological problems somewhat recently that caused my neurologist (appropriately enough) to raise his abundant eyebrows and say “I think we should look into this further. When was the last time you had an MRI.” Never mind that my insurance company pays the man (my attorney: “no names in this post, please.”) all kinds of filthy lucre for him to keep that info in his files. Or perhaps it was a test and he was just wanting to see if I recalled any finer details of the last 15 years.

So, I went in today and slid in under the wire. instead of going in at 7:45, I got in at 7:20. I was out very shortly after 8:00. Since my ride home wasn’t going to be there until around 10:00, I actually had some time all to myself. No blogging, no vacuuming, no walking the dogs, no stocking shelves at the club, no on the way to somewhere else, no doing the dishes, and best of all, no thinking I should be doing any of those things. So I got myself a cup of French roast coffee and a blueberry cream cheese something-or-other at a cafe, and simply sat at a table and read a mystery on my tablet until my wife picked me up out front a little after 10:00.

And I think I’m a little uncomfortable with this next thought and I don’t want to chew on it for too long, but here’s what I got to pondering: When was the last time I honestly had any peace — real peace — in my life? I think I need to find a way to accept peace on different terms. Or find something that looks and feels like peace that I can live with and be willing to accept.

Perhaps that all sounded a bit harsh. When’s the last time I had any time for myself? Oh… that sounded a bit selfish, didn’t it. I’m beginning to feel a bit trapped in here. Joy and I watched Lipstick & Liquor: Secrets in the Suburbs last night, and just as the title indicates, the movie is about alcoholic women in the suburbs, I still identify strongly with the lives portrayed in it.


taking stock of things

1525097_10152301538978581_2604131687562424285_nWe’re all walking the same path. We’re all on the same journey. It might feel, look, or sound differently from day to day. But no matter where I am now, someone has been there before. . . and they lived through it. Not only that, they came out on the other side cleaner and stronger, with a clearer picture of who they really are. Odds are, though, they didn’t know with all certainty what the outcome was going to be. They simply persevered in the middle of everything. So I think that’s what I’m supposed to do now. At least, that’s what I’m going to try to do now.

27 years ago yesterday…

Joy and I tied the proverbial knot. It has been a long and winding road (Hey! That’d be a great name for a song! Nah, never make it.) Anyway, through a whole bunch of stuff for both of us, we’re still here today, taking it a day at a time.

Here we were 27 years ago on November 28, 1987.


And for all my blogging friends who have requested a pic of my other half, here she is today. And immediately, the corporate thought is, What in the wide world of sports is she doing with him? And for some strange reason, I’m the only one who’s gotten gray (the dog pretty much came that way).