Monday, January 15, 2018

Today, I am determined to not be a couch potato. I am leaving the TV off and engaging with other things. Such as writing a long and sprawling blog entry. I'm not sure the world is better off because of this. But hey…

The sponsee is still here. Last Thursday he was very sick with a cold so we couldn't check him into addiction treatment. His check-in date is now set for this Wednesday. We have been taking care of him. Fortunately he has been very easy to take care of as he sleeps most of the time.

Friday afternoon the sponsee called me. The fire alarms were going off in our house. He said there was no smoke. He couldn't figure out how to reset the alarms. I quickly drove home to investigate—the house and the sponsee. The sponsee was right. There didn't appear to be any reason for the alarms to go off. I pulled the alarm batteries and disconnected their hard lines. Modern fire detectors are just too clever. The sponsee was clear headed when we talked, but still sick and coughing. He went to bed and fell asleep shortly after I shut off the alarms.

Saturday morning I fell into some kind of procrastination black-hole. I couldn't bring myself to watch the tv shows that I wanted to watch. That would be admitting that I was goofing off. Instead, I left "The Amazing World Of Gumball" on TV and just vegged. Gumball is not the kind of show that adults should binge watch. It's a clever children's show with occasional naughty jokes. None the less, I watched it for hours. What are those creatures? What are the laws of physics in that universe?

Saturday afternoon Steven returned from his trip. I was very glad to see him.

Saturday evening was Yo's birthday. Steven and I were invited, but we thought it best if Steven stayed with the sponsee. I took a few hours off and went there by myself.

I took a Lyft there and back. I really like Lyft. The service that they provide is great. Getting a taxi is easy. I know what I'm going to pay before hand. Rides come quickly. The cars are clean.

Why is it that when I call a big taxi company, it takes 30 minutes to get a ride to my house, But with Lyft, one will be there in 5?

Anyways, It's a treat to use Lyft. Not only could I drink with out worry, but I didn't have to deal with traffic or parking. The next time Steven and I go out for an evening, I'm going to use Lyft even if it is many bucks more than driving. Steven can get frustrated driving and parking, especially when it's raining and the traffic is high. He has mentioned that he wants me to drive more, but he is such a control freak that he doesn't like it when I drive. Lyft may avoid that problem and let us have a stress free evening away.

Back to Yo and the Angel. I had dinner and drinks with them. We three are all escapees of very bad relationships. The Angel opened up about that with me for the first time.

We had a wonderful dinner. We had great drinks—hand crafted cocktails. A "Hand-crafted Cocktail Lounge" sounds pretentious compared to a "Bar" but these lounges do a nice job. They are well designed. The drinks are nice to look at. The bartenders are very showy while they make them.

The difference between a bar and a cocktail lounge… at a bar, a scantily dressed young waitress will quickly bring you your drink in a Solo cup. Male bartenders or waiters are rare. At a high end lounge, well dressed men and women will serve you and even have good conversation with you.

So I had a party night with Yo and the Angel. Even though I drank heavily, I was home by 10pm. This is my life now. When did that change happen? There were years when I wouldn't head out to a club until 10pm. Now 10pm is bed time. Even on weekends.

Sunday morning I woke up with a bit of a hangover. I cannot let Steven know when I have a hangover. Given his attitude on drinking, I think that he'd rub it in. I drank a lot of water and took a few asprin. I went for a nice long hike with the dog.   

Sunday afternoon the sponsee took a home drug test as the addiction treatment center won't take you unless there are no drugs in your system. The test showed all clear.  It was nerve wracking waiting for the test to process. We had a good laugh after.

Sunday evening the sponsee went out to his car to remove any valuables. Steven, not joking, asked "Should we watch him. Do you think he will return?" We were relieved when he did return ten minutes later.

Steven is away this week for work. We said our goodbyes a few hours ago. I babysit the sponsee today. Another AA acquaintance will watch him tomorrow. Wednesday morning we check him into treatment.

I hope he makes it.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

The sponsee is here. He is pasty and tired. He says he's been awake for three days. Crystal meth and gambling. He is very uncertain of himself.

He is in bed now.

Steven is away for a few days so we have been coordinating over the phone. The sponsee is spending the night here. In the morning he drives him self to a someone (Who is also in AA) They will spend the day going to AA meetings and doing research on recovery & treatment options.  

If all goes to plan, Thursday evening the sponsee heads back to our place.

I'm trying to be a good host but am staying detached. A cynical part of me says I'd love to be taken care of for a month and to receive counseling and coaching to help solve my problems. But, that is not helpful. His are not my problems.

I don't understand addiction. Sure, there have been times I've drank too much or done other stupid things. But, I've always been able to stop myself or change. These addicts push on till money, hunger or health slam them into a wall.

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Of course there is always more bad news. A friend's daughter was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer. The friend flew into town to spend time with her. We don't know what her future will bring, though it has spread far with tumors in her colon and on her liver.



Steven is heard from the sponsee. He's alive, though he's not in treatment. Hopefully things don't get much worse for him.


Thursday, January 04, 2018

The sponsee… some thing has happened.

Steven received a text earlier today from the sponsee. The sponsee had  to leave treatment. He said his insurance was denied.

We three made an arrangement that the sponsee would sleep at our townhouse tonight. While the sponsee was waiting for me to return to home, he said he would go to a nearby AA meeting. Afterwards he would drive to our house.

But then nothing. The sponsee has gone quiet. I hope the best for him. I fear the worst.

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Am back to work again. Some people are still away for the week. Some are here. Progress on last years projects is quickly spinning up.



Monday, January 01, 2018

Happy New Year all!

We spend the evenings at friends, Allen and Evan. They cooked a great dinner for us—prime rib, Yorkshire pudding, roast veggies.

Now, we are all early people. While we originally intended to stay up to midnight, at about 11pm we started to peter out. We excused ourselves and drove home and watched the New Year come in on our TV. They we promptly went to bed.

New Years Resolutions-- Looking over my blogs, I see that I don't have a great track record of keeping resolutions. I think I will leave this at that.



Thursday, December 28, 2017

This week I am on vacation. Steven is heading up to Alaska for a few days of work. So I shall have a quiet few days. I have a few odd jobs planned—little house maintenance things that need to be done but that I keep putting off.

Just me and the dog and a lot of great hiking trails.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Steven and the sponsee have just left. They are heading to a medical evaluation before the sponsee is checked into a treatment program.

The sponsee's life melted down over the past few days. The family he was staying with kicked him out. His ex wife refused to let him see or talk to his kids. This morning, we packed up everything he owns and put it in his storage locker.

On the positive side, he didn't steal or cheat. His health appears to be fine. As they say in the program... as long as you are not dead or in jail, then you can fix things.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Something different for Christmas this year. One of Steven's sponsee's fell of the wagon and spent a few thousand dollars on drugs and gambling. He may have been kicked out of his room. Or maybe not. His story isn't clear here and he is afraid to communicate with those he has dissapointed. Either way, he's spending a few days with us. On Tuesday we check him into a treatment center. 
Steven and I had a good chat about this before we let him in. Usually he is a nice guy and comes accross as having his head screwed on straight. Still, we hid any valuables and agreed that someone had to be with him while he is in the house. 
Steven and the sponsee have been spending their time talking about sobriety, treatment options and the consequences of going on a bender.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Steven, Bailey and I  spent a few days at Whistler skiing and snowboarding. It was my first time snowboarding in a few years, and my first time at Whistler ever. A few impressions. Mostly these are notes for me to remember the next time I travel there...

Whistler is the Disney of skiing. A bit of searching suggests that it's the largest ski resort in North America. The village around the base is built around hotels, bars, restaurants and shopping with ski lifts right in the center.

The resort is built in the valley between two mountains-- Whistler and Blackcomb. Blackcomb is a more challenging mountain. My skill level could handle Blackcomb, but it was exhausting. We had much more fun on Whistler.

Australians are everywhere in Whistler. Apparently Canada allows for unlimited work visas for Australian citizens. Young Australians take advantage of this and flock to whistler to work and ski for the season.

Next time we are there, we should do more research on the different accommodations. Our building was right on the ski run, which is nice, but it was older and the beds were past their prime. I think we could do much better for not that much more money.

There is a whole social life around skiing at whistler. Baily, who skis there almost every year, kept running into people that she only meets there. The general flow is to ski until 3 or 4. Then have a little apr├Ęs-ski (after-ski drinks at the bar. Some of the bar bands are incredibly good) This is followed by a soak in the hot tub and then dinner around 7pm. We fell asleep every night by 10pm since skiing is so exhausting.

Skiing is the opposite of a nice beach vacation. Much work, effort and coordination must go into a ski trip. None of this is relaxing. Its all made up for by the views and freedom that you experience while skiing. 

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

My last support check to RO is due soon. This brings up many memories, not only for me, but for RO. Tonight he texted me a goodbye love note. With his history of attempted suicide, this makes me think twice. I'm presuming that he is saying goodbye in a friendly way.



Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Sunday, December 10, 2017

We spent the weekend in Victoria. Very plesant and quaint.

We took the Victoria clipper up. That sounds more romantic than it is. The seating is a little better than economy class. You have to go through customs on either end.

The views along the way are wonderful. I saw a pod of orcas. Steven got some great pictures of the sunset.

Victoria, like Seattle, is going through a growth spurt. Lots of construction. I'm not sure what is driving the growth though. I'll look that up sometime.

Steven and I both agreed that we could retire in Victoria.

Saturday night was a party with Steven's old friends, including Vic.

Vic and Steven were once married. The three of us were great friends. That was years ago. Vic and Steven have both rebuild their lives. Vic has since remarried. 

Steven and I chatted about that. He wanted to ensure that I was comfortable around Vic. I admitted it was a little weird, but it was also good to see him again. 

We also got to see Vic's son and his son's wife. I last saw Vic's son when he was 12. I think his son is now 27.  So much time has passed. 

Sunday morning we walked along the waterfront and through the Empress Hotel (Which is gorgeous) and along the shoppping district. The weather was wonderful. A great way to end the weekend. 

Monday, December 04, 2017

As always, Tommy responded back with words of wisdom...

Blogger "Tommy" said...

In the past few months, my friends have been coping with similar events in their parents lives. I have to say the children are now becoming the parents... the responsibility for care is on their shoulders for their parents. I see the stress that is occurring with the siblings who live far away and the ones who live near the parents.

I'm looking at this problem a few ways. 

1. My brothers and I are taking responsibilities over from our parents. As a gay man with no children, it's very new for me to feel the responsibility over the life and health of another. I have a new respect for parents.

2. My mothers condition isn't like a cold or flu where she will get over it, and go on to live a great and productive life for years to come. My mother has had a rich and productive life. Now her abilities are waning. What's left is for our family and friends to cherish our remaining time with her. 

3. This is a sneak preview of how I may age. I take great care of myself. Until recently I've been able to delude myself that I'll live a great life until I'm 90 and then die quietly in my sleep. That is not true. I may die at any time for any reason. I may die suddenly. I may linger.

As the Will Roger's joke goes... I want to die quietly in my sleep like my grandpa. Not screaming in terror like the passengers in his car.

Mother had a seizure on Sunday. She is fine now, though it was very scary for a few hours. She already has short term memory loss, so after she regained consciousness, she was asking where she was every four minutes or so.

Right now she is in good shape. My brother said she has decent coordination and is able to walk around. She has some bruises from when she had the seizure, but they will heal.

My other brother and I live far away from our parents. We are planning things through now. I've seen my parents twice this year and call regularly, so I wasn't planning on visiting them for the holidays.





The holiday season is here. Steven and I are getting together with friends three or more times a week. The social schedule is making Steven tired.

Friday was dinner with the husband of a niece of Steven's. He was in Seattle for interviews.

Saturday was a white elephant gift party with the AA crowd. We got a shake-weight and a half a dozen framed nudes of woman. Enough about that.

The party had a large attendance. Steven mentioned that he feels anxious in large parties. That surprised me. He is much more extroverted than I am so I always assumed he was comfortable in crowds. I think the difference is that he always wants everyone to have a great time, which is a tough task in a large crowd. On the other hand, while I don't feel anxious in large parties, I generally don't enjoy them either. So, I don't really care if other people aren't enjoying them selves.

Sunday was dinner with MB. MB is an older friend of Steven's, but they became distant after Steven got sober. Lately they've been reconciling, but they have drifted apart in other ways, so who knows how far that will go.



I have friends who insist that vinyl albums sound better than digital. After having dinner with a few of these friends, I'm not sure that vinyl sounds better. But it is more fun. You get to browse the albums—albums used to have great cover art. When you play the album, you must commit to listening to that album for the next 20 minutes.

Very different than Pandora or Spotify where I can just choose "Dinner Music" and then click thumbs down on any song I don't like.

You must take Vinyl more seriously.