… and I am Somebody male. in my thirties. recovering alcoholic. live in minneapolis. work in progress. gay. serenity please.

I’ve been Googled

12.11.2007 · Posted in Autobiographical, Technology

I’ve officially been Googled and I couldn’t be more ecstatic! Google Maps has released the Minneapolis area of their Street View functionality. I had noticed a car this summer as it approached me while stopped at a traffic light near my home. It had a funny contraption atop it. I remember at the time thinking that this could be one of the Google street view cars, and sure enough, a few months later, there I am!

Google Maps Street View

Home Office is the new Homo Operandi

10.01.2007 · Posted in Autobiographical

… at least this Homo’s operandi.

I’ve lived in a two bedroom condo alone for the last nine months. Initially I had turned the second bedroom into an exercise area. I went out and bought a free weight set, an adjustable bench, and covered the floor with those interlocking gym mats.

In those nine months I’ve entered the room three times. Once was to stuff something in the empty closet.

Over the last four years I’ve had my office stuffed in a corner in my living room. I’ve always thought of it as temporary, but being I don’t usually change things until they get completely out of hand, the arrangement has graduated to semi-permanent. The desk is positioned in such a way that I can watch television while working, or at least try to do both at the same time.

Last week, after my computer crash meltdown, I concluded that it was time to setup a real home office, and the real, though rarely utilized home gym, was holding a prime piece of real estate.

I ordered an LCD monitor and external keyboard that arrived today. After work, I got to work moving furniture and untangling cords. I am now the proud proprietor of a second bedroom that serves as a makeshift home gym and a home office.

At least I know half of the room will be used.

Haven’t got it all put together just the way I want it yet, and the living room still needs a rearrangement to fill in the empty space, but it’s amazing how having things in their place can bring such a sense of calm. And space.

No photos; too many dust bunnies yet to clean out.

The Bad Waitress and me

09.26.2007 · Posted in Autobiographical, Home / Minneapolis

The Bad Waitress

Broke my usual habit of going to Vera’s this evening to stop in at The Bad Waitress. I like it here. Good, cheap food. Jukebox. dimly lit. Free wireless. No-nonsense staff, who, despite the name, are actually pretty cool. I stole the image off their website. Nobody sue me, please.

There are young, just-turned 21 MCAD students surrounding me – sensibly sipping on wine and beer. Ironic – they’re Kurt Cobain lookalike art students who don consignment shop wares and they look surprisingly like 80s yuppies right outta St. Elmo’s Fire. They’re just missing the cigarettes.

Had a killer headache at work today and went home planning to go to bed. Of course that didn’t happen. The new laptop sucked me in – begging me to play with it. That and I whiped my old machine and finally let curiosity get the better of me – installed Ubuntu. We’ll see how that goes. So far it’s cool because it’s new, but I’m not sure that it’s really practical for me to stick with it.

My tuna melt just arrived.

Computer Crash Hysteria

09.23.2007 · Posted in Autobiographical, Technology

You’d think I would have learned my lesson after the last time my computer went kaput. In fact, I had. I setup a nightly syncing mechanism that would copy everything onto another drive on my home network. Then I started a sober house and the extra computer, and the hard drive space it included, went out the door – literally.

It was somewhat nerve wracking knowing that I was carrying around nearly my entire working life with me, but the thought that it might be destroyed was far from the forefront of my thoughts.

Well, it should have been. Friday evening my computer secumbed to some sort of virus-malware-spyware-eat-your-computer-ware that has brought my computer screeching to sloth-speed. I’ve run every single virus checker and spyware-booter I can find, and nothing has turned up an answer, or a problem for that matter, to what’s causing the problem.

Toshiba Satellite U305The weekend was spent trying to revive the dying Dell. Further frustrations nearly drove me off my rocker. Pulling my hair out I began to realize how addicted I am to my computer. I had no choice. I broke down and drove to Best Buy, credit card in hand.

The young homo sales boy was the most eager beaver on the sales floor, and all of my questions were answered with, “Oh certainly, sir.” and “This is the top of the line,” and “You won’t find anything better elsewhere.” After a few questions I realized he was doing nothing other than reading the cards on the shelf below the demo models, and (trying) to stroke my ego.

He kept trying to sell me on a laptop case and an $80 cordless mouse. As if!

My Book - Western Digital External Hard DriveThe Microsoft Office package I was hoping for cost $250, so I’m going to go open-source all the way for a while and see if I can’t stick it out without the needed hit to the credit card statement.

And this time I bought the accessory I should have bought years ago. The external hard drive backup. It’s cute, too 🙂

Sponsee Number Five’s Suicide

09.17.2007 · Posted in Recovery

Following up on a post from a couple of weeks ago about a potential fifth sponsee

After skipping out on our initial meeting at Vera’s I never saw or heard from him again. I’d actually forgotten about it. After all, people had asked me to sponsor them in the past and done nothing further. Unfortunately, it’s commonplace in the rooms for an addict to not follow through on their commitments.

I got a call on Sunday afternoon from a friend who told me that the would-be sponsee number five had been found dead in his bed at his sober house. He had overdosed. It was unknown whether or not the suicide was intentional or not.

I didn’t know him well and can’t tell you what his demons were, or even, for that matter, what his drug(s) of choice were. All I know is that he was an addict trying to stay clean.

He could have gotten another sponsor over the last couple of weeks and began working the steps; I’m not sure if he did or not. I don’t know that I could have helped him, or for that matter, whether the 12 steps could have helped him.

Jails, institutions or death. That’s what NA tells us are our options if we do not recover. Goodbye, would-be sponsee number five. May the afterlife bring you what you were unable to find here.

I-35W Bridge Collapse

09.05.2007 · Posted in Home / Minneapolis

On Labor Day I rode down to the bridge site with my friend Jason. I had made the trip once before, the weekend after the collapse, but at that time my camera’s batteries were dead and they weren’t allowing anyone close enough to see anything.

This turned out to be the weekend they opened the 10th Ave bridge that connects the east and west bank campuses of the University of MN.

The scene was chaotic at best. The absence of the interstate bridge had caused traffic to swell on either side of the river, and once the 10th Ave bridge finally opened one lane in each direction, the traffic began to bleed across.

Automobiles carried across suburbanites who’d ventured downtown attempting to get a peek at the wreckage, college students moving into student housing for the next day’s school opener, and I suppose, regular traffic that just happened to get caught in the entanglement.

It was 90 degrees outside, but there were at least as many people on foot or bike, than there were in autos. Those on foot had the advantage of getting up close to the edge of the bridge to view the mess below, while those in vehicles were disappointed with nothing but a view of people crowded up to the bridge edge.

Photos in the gallery taken in progression as I crossed from the south/east side to the north/west across the river.

Minneapolis Bridge CollapseMinneapolis Bridge CollapseMinneapolis Bridge CollapseMinneapolis Bridge CollapseMinneapolis Bridge CollapseMinneapolis Bridge CollapseMinneapolis Bridge CollapseMinneapolis Bridge CollapseMinneapolis Bridge CollapseMinneapolis Bridge Collapse

Sponsee Number Five

09.02.2007 · Posted in Recovery

… hasn’t showed. I’ve sat at Vera’s for an hour. Okay, so I brought my laptop and haven’t otherwise just been sitting here staring out the window in hopes that he’ll show. (As if!) I actually met him a couple of months ago while at the Friday night Proud AA meting. He was in treatment at the time and looked vaguely familiar. I introduced myself and he told me he’d been in St. Paul for the last seven years after going through Hazelden. He’d recently relapsed and was now in treatment at The Pride Institute.

He’s originally from The Bronx, or Brooklyn, or one of the burroughs. I can’t recall exactly where, but he’s got that thick accent that you hear in films that have mobsters or New York pizza joints with an Italian guy behind the counter. He’s overly calm – doesn’t seem to get excited or depressed. Actually a little like myself most of the time – perhaps he’s medicated, too? 😉

About a month ago he applied to live at one of the houses. I picked him up for his interview and spent a little time in the car with him. I figured out during the ride that I liked him. He seemed to have the right attitude about things. He interviewed at a couple of other houses as well, and in the end, opted for another house. I was disappointed that he didn’t choose our house, but everything happens for a reason.

I ran into him last night at the Saturday Night GLBT and Friends NA meeting. He sat next to me, and for much of the meeting, was exchanging text messages on his mobile phone.

It bothers me when people in meetings are chatting with each other, playing on phones, heaven-forbid laughing, or even the once-witnessed, listening to an iPod. It bothers me because I’m there to stay sober and hopefully help someone else. Aren’t they? What are you chatting about? If you’re not here to get sober, then leave, and stop disrupting the rest of us. “See that person up there?” I want to tell them, “They’re up there spilling their guts out in the hopes that you might hear something you can identify with and use their experience to better your life. Start showing them some respect and at a minimum, shut the fuck up.”

But I don’t. On occasion I’ll try a “Shhh.” But usually I just say a little prayer that they’ll figure all this out on their own.

I think it particularly bothered me last night that this guy from out East was playing with his phone, because I had judged him. I had concluded that he was a good guy, and here he was, doing something I didn’tt like. In Sparklesville something like this would never happen!

Then he did something at the break that put him back in my good graces. He’d once again displayed a healthy attitude exemplified with wise choices – he asked me to be his sponsor.

In any event, he hasn’t shown up to our meeting and he hasn’t called. It’s happened before and it’ll happen again.

I myself, probably shouldn’t agree to sponsor anyone new, as I am currently sponsorless. Yes, God really does do what I can’t, or won’t, do for myself – like turn down new sponsees.