Tuesday, September 30, 2008


by Norman Rockwell


Several meetings I've attended the past few days have begun on a great topic, e.g., "Slogans", "Acceptance", "Anonymity", "Honesty", "Step Nine", "Tenth Tradition", to name a few. Seems like after about a half-hour, a member has brought up (almost every meeting--not the same person!) a current affairs topic regarding either world markets and money matters, mortgage foreclosure statistics, unemployment figures, and the like. True, we are living in a time of much distress. I somehow believe these "issues" (still hate that word!) belong maybe before or after the meeting...maybe I'm looking at it wrongly. Of course, if I'm having a foreclosure proceeding against me etc., etc., it's time to "talk it out" during the meeting, if I wish.

Troubled times are almost always with us, it seems. Examples are WW I, the Great Depression, the WW II years 1941-1945 and before and after those years. Then followed Korea, Vietnam, the darkness of Communism with nukes pointed in each direction, then the Middle East conflicts, and many, many in-between moments of worldly uneasiness. And so the pendulum again is swinging along its temporary and momentary, weary trip in the other direction. This shall not affect my happiness, my gratitude, my spirituality, my sobriety!

Thank God, I am just like the couple million miracles of sobriety sitting at tables in rooms all over the world.

After all, who of us has never known being broke--or broken-hearted? Who of us has never known homelessness--or a home with less? Who of us has never known jobless days or months--or low-paying dead-end jobs which we hated? Who of us has not known despair or euphoria, and the ladder of places between?

Yet, I look around the rooms, and see that lots of the members who have been working these Steps, are wearing shoes, look well-fed, have clean shirts, etc., and are fairly groomed...sure, some perfume is TOO much, (OK, Nellie Jane?) -grin-

What I mean is that many of us were not very well off at one time or other, and now things are better. And they will keep getting better. I am learning--during these world crises--patience and (lots of) tolerance. I am learning how to keep a good (great!?) attitude, midst the horrible predicted fateful events of our day. I wish to be at peace, evidently some in the world do not.

Thank you all for allowing me the pleasures of writing and reading here!

Monday, September 29, 2008


Blueberries and coffee


At one of my favorite meetings, several members were celebrating anniversaries. There was a guy with 32 years, a girl with 23 years, a 17-year-sober fellow, another friend with 8 years, and a young man sober 5 days. The fellow I was sitting with was attending his very first AA meeting! Hey, I KNOW all these people.

Sunday I played violin at three masses, one celebrated by our bishop. At that mass, we had an English and Spanish choir, flute, two guitars, piano, organ, and me. At the mass I noticed a girl in the choir smiling at me, so I asked her (in a whisper) "Do I know you?" Of course, you all sort of know the answer, "Yes, you were at the meeting on 'anonymity' last night!" She feared, since the director knew that SHE was in AA, that she might "break my anonymity" by being friendly. Ha!

Since then, two people at meetings have said they were at one of the masses, and saw me in the music group. It seems like wherever I go, there is someone from the program, that's because there are so many of us here. More than McDonald's, I enjoy Starbucks for coffee, because that's where the alcoholics (recovering!) hang out.

It is so wonderful to be surrounded with fellow AA members, on-line, off-line, in line, out of line, everywhere, anywhere, at hospice or hospital, Country Club or AA Club, Ritz Carlton or Joe's Motel and Grill, Saks Fifth Avenue or Dollar Store.

Life just does not get any better than THIS, my friends! Thank you for being......

Photo by:
Nick (The Coffee Detective)
Montreal, Canada

Sunday, September 28, 2008



"Steve, it's NOT 'all about YOU'! Don't ya GET it?" Occasionally through the years, those words have resounded within my brain, usually having emanated from an outside source and usually--but not always--from someone who knows me well. And it is not necessarily a pleasant notice for me to accept with ease. So, it is with no slight difficulty that I attempt, with God's help, to adjust my thinking. After all, where else is any problem I might have, except within my head?

When something has been on my mind for at least a week--that's my criteria for deciding whether to post or not. Last sentence not entirely true. I mean it's a LIE, OK? Regardless, while riding my motor-bike early today, I received an insight...Ha! Gotta make this sound 'heaven-sent'. I 'made a decision', that instead of wondering why or when I am truly self-centered (like when writing this blog?), I would write down a situation in which it is NOT "all about me".

Well, I found one. That is when I am face-to-face with a suffering alcoholic (one-on-one) talking--no, rather, LISTENING to him or (rarely) her. This might take place in the Quiet Room at **** Club, in the cab of my pickup, or on a bench located midst nature's beauty in the garden of a churchyard, or anywhere else. During those minutes or hours, I can recall being as unselfish as God will allow me, having not one byte of self-serving thought.

There IS another time when I can become 'selfless', and that's while in meditation mode. Certainly, my 'meditation' is rudimentary in nature, but "practice becomes the virtue" (hey, THAT'S a 'quote-a-roni'!). Anyways...this meditation thing just gets better and better, even easier. Talk about "letting go, and letting God"--that IS a form of meditation for me. Other times, I want to just let myself BE in His Presence. I ask simply to be NEAR Him, feel the Greatest love, the God-Love. THEN can I wholly--albeit maybe momentarily-- realize that of what my mind thinks of, and my soul desires, is You, God. Moments fleeting...Oops, almost started a 'po-em' there!

One MORE "not about ME" opportunity just came to mind--right this minute! About a year ago, I took on a new semi-hobby, planting stuff around our yard, to make it look more pleasing to whoever drives by. So, as I weed, sew, weed, mow, plant, mulch,weed and water, etc., I am 'removed' from myself...that's for sure! So I have been slack in this, and just comprehended that I need to get out there and practice more of this method of mentally getting away from ego.

Our Twelfth Step tells me to "Carry the message" and, finally, insists that I PRACTICE this stuff always and everywhere. Our Primary Purpose: to help others, is obviously a gift given and received. Our wonderful Twelve Traditions, which guide the outward and inward behaviors of our groups, and ourselves, I sometimes--a bit shamefully--take for granted. The goal here is to add to this list of
experiences which relieve me of the bondage of self, and to allott more time to them.

Again--here I go!--I am TRULY so happy to discover (actually, RE-discover) these methods of applying our program to my daily living pattern, and I thank my Higher Power, God, AND all you AA people who assist me in your unique fashions. Just like playing a violin, it takes practice, practice, practice!


Saturday, September 27, 2008

Staying Saturday in a Sober Kind of Way"


After two really great AA meetings, Anna and I decided to go for a ride Saturday morning, and motor biked north to Bonita Springs. I had heard there was a "Bonah Feedah" (that's 'bona fide') VIOLIN SHOP located in that area. For many years I have been making an overnight to Miami FL, just to have a couple spots glued on my violin--like the whole top side?!--and maybe have a couple bows rehaired. Notice how now--even after years of being sober--everything is still "a couple of this, a couple of that"! As it used to be, "Your Honor, all I had was a couple beers". Yeah, right-o.

The VIOLIN SHOP, about a half hour ride, is really first rate, owned and operated by a violin-maker-repair man. This is just the type of place I found in my younger years (1950's) in Cincinnati. And I am SO happy about that. Another gift from God, believe me on this!

It so happened that one block away from the violin place is what used to be our favorite ice cream place. It is again our favorite ice cream place! So at 10:30 AM Anna and i were each eating (a 'couple scoops'?) of chocolate ice cream made at home? (Well..."Homemade") This breakfast treat highlighted our ride, and made for us a perfect Saturday morning. Also, the treat served as breakfast and lunch, though the ice cream cost more than lunch would at the Ritz Carleton! (Another lie, but I'll always let you know!)

We have noticed a sign in many 'five-star' ice cream emporiums, "Life is Short--Eat Dessert First". Naturally, I pondered this 'message from my Higher Power'-sigh-and decided it is a good idea, and why didn't I years ago practice this type of dietary habit-change?

That got me to thinking, which is really bad--for me to think. If I wanted to eat less, I could just begin with dessert. After that, hunger pains might cease. I might even practice the habit of taking 'doggy bags' home from restaurants! Never did THAT before. In fact, I could order another dessert, and skip the salad with its mountain of chunky Blue Cheese. I'm feeling more healthy as I write. (Cough, cough!)

Before I get deeper into this food quagmire, and before sunset, I'm gonna go outside and weed a small flower bed. Then maybe I'll return and delete this nonsensical post...............................well, guess not.

Grateful for another sober day in SW FL USA

Friday, September 26, 2008


Shhh. Don't tell anyone. I'm trying to sneak back into my blog. Shhh!


NOTE: The following poem was written this week, upon the memory of the life and death of a dear AA friend and her husband. They closed their garage door, sat in their car, started up the engine, held hands, kissed, and then prayed. Before long they were in the next life, where all must enter. This heart-breaking occurrence took place in early 2008.

The lines below were written by a VERY happy, almost serene, totally sober alcoholic, who has not entertained a single thought of suicide for over 34 years. This extremely grateful "poet"? -grin- was in NO way drunk when he hung himself. Hey, WAIT! It's ME, guys! I'm still here!
Alkyseltzer...steveroni..macabre-a-roni...Steve E.

I started with "Trying to sneak back into my blog" (Been away a few days), and just kept on writing...and the next thing I knew I was at the end of my rope..... and so "ended it all". No relation to reality, almost like a dream. PLEASE! Can anyone understand this? I do not...weird!!!

Shhh. Don't tell anyone. I'm trying to sneak back into my blog. Shhh!

Sign in big window
At the Dew Drop Inn

Whether friend or foe

I went on in...
and so
my tale of woe

Trying to sneak back into my blog

Hope to be met but not by my dog

For with bark and yelp
He'll call out for help

As he grabs me by the tog

To welcome me from my fog

Sign in big window
At the Dew Drop Inn


Whether friend or foe

I went on in...and so

Renewed my tale of woe

I might make some noise

Falling over the toys
And wake up the boys and their cat

While my wife upstairs

Asleep unawares

And me here, being, feeling, like a rat

Sign in big window
At the Dew Drop Inn


Whether friend or foe

I went on in...and so
Went on my tale of woe

Like many good men
I just did it again
'Twas a bit of drinking
Totally without thinking

Which brought me to the end
To this place 'round the bend

Sign in big window
At the Dew Drop Inn


Whether friend or foe

I went on in...and so
Persisted my tale of woe

I left my Big Book in the car

It's just not welcome in the bar
Now I'm standing on that book on a tall chair

There's a hefty rope swinging in the air
I put it around my neck, slip it by my cheek
And forever (kick!) I shall be...asleep

Sign in big window

At the Dew Drop Inn


Whether friend or foe

I went on in...and so
Ended my tale of woe

Steve E. 09/24/2008

Thursday, September 25, 2008


The Queen's Tiara


One of my favorite bloggers dreamed she was a queen, complete with name, and it got me to remembering:
Queen Tia D'Amico, is that like an Italian Tia Maria? Sounds good to me.

In late 1960's I worked in a bar and a tradition was, the bartender was allotted two bottles of beer to carry home at the end of his shift, like 3 AM. (See, I WAS a "night person!)

Well, just about that time the "screw-off" bottle caps were invented. I figured if they screwed off, they would screw ON. So I carried home two 12-oz. bottles of Tia Maria every night for a while. (Only one of them ever made it all the way home.

Maybe that was the beginning of my present addiction to Hershey Bars?

After sobering up, it took me several days just to figure out how much I owed the bar owner (The 'financial' amends of Step NINE Ughhh!), and much longer than that to pay him back. I'm so glad those days are behind me now.

Wonder if many of us even consider those 'financial' amends any more? People I work with do. Well, some of them, and they are the ones--you guessed it-who stay sober, and are happy, and free...and joyful! (For some reason I don't like the word 'joyous'. Now, JOYFUL I can buy. Oh well.)

We who have done our best--with counsel--to work this part of Step 9 appear serene, and untroubled. Could it be that, having made financial amends, we're now so poor, we don't have all those savings to worry about these days?

NOTE: Tomorrow's (SATURDAY) blog may be a bit macabre for some, it is about suicide, and people I know. Let this be a WARNING

Peace, and Love,


Wednesday, September 24, 2008


..."well, some old lady kissed me on the cheek after an
AA meeting, and this is what happened."

First, A Social Comment:
I traversed my blog archives back to read number 1 (July 7, 2008), and read a few more of my early entries. It almost stunned me, to fathom how much we can learn about someone's life, if we read them daily. I mean...you guys (and me, too!) really DO open up to each other here.


Has the whole world taken on a new meaning? Well, not exactly, but I'll say this, it has never been more colorful. Blues, Reds, Greens, (traffic lights!), daylight, night-light (yes, it's true!) all colors between black and white, you name it, are all clear, bright, and the whole world looks like it's been through a laundry--including my socks! The stained glass all through the church have taken on new meaning, so vibrant are depictions therein. All things solid and unsolid are sharp, clearly defined, and definitely look...well, just BETTER! I just may learn the decorating business--no, not cakes and cookies, youse guys!

Of course, the reason for this world's prettiness--I am looking through brand new eyeballs. Now I've had both cataracts removed. As of Monday--in my eyeball--installed (med people use the term "implanted) are what's called RESTOR lenses, those expensive little 20/20 thingies --and yes, it IS spelled correctly (that's RESTOR...not "thingies!).

This I can also say, for both operations: They are fast (one hour), they are utterly painless, the very positive result is IMMEDIATE (I could read my computer as soon as we got home, first time ever without glasses...first time ever, without a fog-like overlay!).

It is truly for me a miracle, that I've just returned from a two-hour rehearsal where I could READ all the notes, for the first time in fifty years without glasses. Prior to several hours ago, I actually SAW all the notes, just could not decide if they were on a line or in a space. Non musicians may not realize the huge difference between a note on a line and a note in a space (e.g., I am a "note in space"!).

I have been praising my Higher Power these past few weeks, almost continually. Sure I slip a bit now and then (daily?) but after all, I'm a drunk--even if only rarely--in my head. Some of whom are reading this may be in agreement with a few of my close acquaintances, that they are in the presence of a "very sick man". Well, I simply believe some have not yet experienced the First Promise, that we are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness!

I know a new freedom and a new happiness. Most of the time I even ACT like it! I heard a guy say this morning, at a meeting "It pisses me off to hear some people (who, MOI?) tell me EVERY single day, 'Oh, I'm so happy, and serene, and praise God and love everybody', etc., etc."

I smiled because I DO know what he means, and how he 'feels', because I've BEEN there! (He is an 'old-timer' also, but a grumpy one--maybe happy inside, but who would ever know?!).

Ya know, my eye doctor told me that with these "new" eyes, I might have a problem with seeing circles, halos, around headlights, street lights, stop lights, etc. When I said that would not be a problem, he wanted to know why? (Well, I'm a pretty laid-back guy usually, and he knows this.) I said that I'm thinking of how BEAUTIFUL Christmas will be this year! Those billions of lights all over town will be blinking with halos, and heavenly points of light. He thought that good an attitude HAD to come from somewhere else...so I told him! (YOU all know from where an attitude of gratitude comes!)

And so, again I'm thanking and praising God today, especially when riding my motorbike. I ride along the streets before sun-up, and talk to God, and my Angel Flex, out loud. Occasionally I ask them to 'get me though' the next light--and they DO! Sometimes I'll ask to be allowed to get home before the heavy rains come--and they DO! I just enjoy miracle after miracle all the day long. So, what's to be unhappy about? Ha! That's what I say.

But the REAL miracle is that I do not drink any more

And I'm the guy who brought 6 quarts of vodka into my hospital locker when I was being chemically measured for dosage of warfarin (six days in hospital) for phlebitis. The one precaution I read was to "not alter your diet in any way, when using coumadin (warfarin)", so even then, I obeyed the rules, yayaaahss! "Git me to the Likker Stower, Ma!"

So the real miracle is that I do not drink any more.

I LOVE to fly, have a passion for that special feeling at takeoff, that slight bounce on landing, and even the taxiing to and from the loading zones. I love the pervasive excitement generated by members of the airline staff going about their routines. And yet, in those old days, I never flew with any of my wives...because it would be a pain to load two cases of quarts of vodka on the plane. But they fit easily into the trunk of a car. Bottom line was that Alcohol was my only friend, it took the place of God in my life, and I wanted it to be always within close proximity, within reach, and within ME, until I passed out.
(What a "fun" date!) Remember?

And the real miracle is that I do not drink any more!

THAT is the miracle, which for me allows all the other miracles to take place, e.g., sponsoring men, seeing some get well, living in a loving atmosphere with Anna, enjoying many friends at meetings around town (one of the GREAT benefits!) and reading your Blogs, and commenting. Life is a miracle today, and I absolutely insist on enjoying it!

God loves you all, and so do I...Blooong!


Saturday, September 20, 2008



NOTICE: steveroni will not publish this blog ANOTHER SOBER ALCOHOLIC for a few days. I have a great degree of certainty that the Internet will not close down, as THE result of this Step.

I reserve the right to lurk and comment a bit, just not gonna blog. OK? It sure is FUN, though.
See ya Wednesday or Thursday...

Steve E.


This is my "TAG" ISSUE

I was "tagged" by Kathy Lynne
and if I can follow these rules, a
DONKEY can DOIT (four-letter word!)

Here are the rules:

1. Link the person who tagged you.
2. Mention the rules on your blog.
3. Tell about 6 unspectacular quirks of yours.
4. Tag 6 following bloggers by linking them.
5. Leave a comment on each of the tagged blogger’s blogs letting them know they’ve been tagged.

1. Always I've been jealous of those who got to go to a 30-day Treatment place, and vacation--no phone, no worries, just "step out of the world for 30 days WOW! (A resentment? -grin-)

2. I wear the same socks (sometimes) two or three days in a row. No, I do NOT wash them!

NOTE: Monday EDIT: hardly ever wear sox. Go barefoot most of the time

3. Sometimes I'm chewing OLD gum when I receive the Eucharist. What am I gonna DO with it? Besides it's better than lighting up a Camel!

4. I had two heart attacks before I was 34 years of age. Who SAYS this ain't a deadly disease?

5. I have ALWAYS told the TRUTH about EVERYTHING. WAIT! That was a LIE!

6. I spend more time blogging than I do sleeping. And THAT'S the truth also. And I LOVE it, so much FUN!

Now I gotta TAG six others:---and the

1. Prayer Girl
2. 300 Days In The Sun
3. Banana Girl
4. Gabi
5. MOLLY 1
6. Powerless Princess

Enjoy the weekend all you wonderful PEOPLE!

Thursday, September 18, 2008



I believe I am normal--I am a normal ALCOHOLIC! I do crazy things, I think crazy thoughts, I occasionally utter the craziest words which have no fit or meaning to anything. The point I wish to make here is that MOST PEOPLE DO THESE THINGS! I am not in a SPECIAL category, just because I'm an alcoholic.

I have all those defects of which anybody can boast, PLUS, if I take ONE drink, I cannot stop! I set up for myself that mental obsession, a physical craving, and soul-destroying compulsive behaviors which only cause damage, and result in hurting myself and others. I can rediscover the perfect equation for loads of unpleasantness--that first drink.

I LIKE chaos...or DO I? I like to 'push the envelope' (wish I knew exactly what that meant!) but I'd also like to not push it off the desk. Sometimes I get that envelope right near the edge, to where it precariously totters--before I say to myself once again, "Hey, what's going on here? Slow down this engine, before you have a major train wreck on your hands, Steve. God?? Flex?? (Flex is my Guardian Angel!) Where ARE you guys? I really REALLY need you now!"

It is usually around that time, when I remember to make myself "willing to grow along spiritual lines". It is then when I recall those words: ..."praying only for knowledge of His will for us (me) and the power to carry that out ". It is only then that my temporary restlessness, irritability, and discontentment slowly, yet surely vanish. AND, it is then when my sanity and serenity return, and I begin to live again among the HAPPY people in this world!

NOTE: I AM happy more than 90% of the time.

What causes these issues? (I hate that word 'issues'.) Who knows? I sure do not. It might have something to do with human frailties, or with being 'NORMAL' (THAT word again?)

And I'm somehow NOW left with the thought that maybe Pride (my Ego) plays a part in any discussion of my own 'shortcomings'...so there's a likely place to start cleaning up the streets of my brain. Those streets are mostly potholes and patches at this late stage of road building (The Road To Heaven?). So I'll throw down some more asphalt , rake it around, roll it,, and hope it will stick...and keep on staying sober, keep on working our Twelve Steps, keep on helping others, and keep on living.

For some reason, God brought me to Alcoholics Anonymous, and He and you people in AA--and now you AA Bloggers--have helped to keep me free from drinking alcohol, ever since my first AA meeting many years ago, March 19, 1974.

Love and Peace!

(If I single left click on the picture above, it will appear enlarged in another window!)


LOOK! There ARE Twelve Steps--COUNT them!


Hello, Recovering Alcoholic! I HATE meetings. I hate your Higher Power, I hate anyone who is working a program. To all who come in contact with me, I wish you suffering and death. Allow me to introduce myself. I am the Disease of Alcoholism. Cunning Baffling, Powerful, that's me. I have killed millions, and I have millions yet to kill. This pleases me. I have SO much work to do. I am a "raging worker".

I love to surprise, to stun you. I am THE expert in
pretending I'm your friend and lover. I have given you comfort, have I not? Was I not there when you were lonely? When you wanted to die, didn't you call me? I was right there with you, "helping" you. I enjoy making you hurt, tearing apart your heart and your brain. I make you so numb you can neither feel, nor hurt, nor cry. Eventually, you can't feel anything at all. For me, this is true glory.

I will give you instant gratification and all I ask of you
is simple, painful, long-term suffering. I've been there for you always. When things were going right in your life, you invited me. You said you didn't deserve anything good, and I was the only one who would agree with you. Together, we were able to destroy all the good things in your life. We can do it again. Isn't it FUN? People don't take me seriously.

They take cancer seriously, strokes seriously, heart
attacks seriously, even diabetes they take seriously. Fools that they are, they don't even know, that without my help these things often would not even be made possible.

I'm such a hated disease, but ya know, I don't come uninvited. You choose to
have me. So many have chosen me over reality, over love, over peace, over truth.

More than you hate me, I hate every single one of YOU who work a 12-Step Program. Your Steps, your meetings, your Higher Power...all weaken me so that I cannot function. These take all the joy out of my life. They reduce me to dormancy.

So, for the time being, I must lie here quietly. Unseen. You don't notice me, but believe this. I am right here next to you, with you. Waiting.
Bigger than ever.

When you simply exist, I may live again. When you really are living,
I only exist. But I AM here...and until we meet again, IF we meet again, I wish you only my best: Suffering and Death.

I am waiting. The one virtue I own is PATIENCE.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


This is where I found Serenity--Ted and Laura's "POINT OF VIEW"
somewhere in the Colorado mountains.


Serenity in my life today seems to be more important than in the past. Maybe because I "didn't drink and didn't die" thing. That's 'staying sober and growing 'older' -grin-, but this peace which surpasses all understanding is something I've tasted, although rarely--during prayer and meditation, and even during turbulence (more rare!).
And I want MORE! So I'm reminding myself today...what I can do to gain that which brings me closer to my goal, which is to know God's will for me, and receive the power to carry it out.

"We are not saints. We are willing to grow along spiritual lines." BB, p.60

20 Ideas For Mastering Serenity

1. Serenity is a choice that I make with my own mind.

2. I am resolved to master serenity. I will benefit in multiple ways from being calm and serene as my usual way of being. As I focus on those benefits, I will be more motivated to master this state.

3. This moment is the only moment that exists and this moment I choose to be calm and serene.

4. All stress comes from the thoughts in my mind. Therefore the thoughts of my mind can release stress right now. Whenever I realize that I feel stress, I will immediately flow to a calmer mental place.

5. Whatever I focus on gets strengthened. I am strengthening my ability to be calm and serene by focusing on it.

6. Every calm and serene moment adds up. Every time I am calm and serene it makes it easier for me to be this way more often.

7. I will consistently talk to myself and others calmly and serenely.

8. Even when I am not yet serene, I will be 'serenely' un-serene.

9. This too will upgrade my serenity. Serene moments upgrade my serenity. And challenging moments upgrade my serenity by mastering the ability to flow from unserenity to serenity.

10. The nine word serenity formula: Be totally in the present with a calm attitude.

11. Whatever happened 15 seconds ago is ancient history. Let it go.

12. No matter how much I have to do, I will do each thing calmly and serenely. This will enable me to take care of things faster and more wisely. I will be alert and will do things with appropriate speed.

13. I will be in a state of serene empowerment whenever I need to experience a sense of empowerment.

14. I will be in a state of being centered, focused, and flowing whenever challenges with other people arise.

15. I will remember times when I have been calm and serene. I will picture what I saw then. I will talk the way I talked then and I will feel the way I felt then.

16. I will mentally picture the most calm and serene scenes that I can imagine. Since these images are in my brain, I know that my brain is always with me and I can mentally go to these calm and serene places whenever I choose.

17. I will learn from every calm person I meet. I will learn from their attitudes and patterns of speaking. Whenever helpful, I will mentally put on the head of a calm and serene person. This will help me think like they think.

18. I will mentally prepare myself for challenges. Whenever I think of a challenging situation, I will mentally picture myself handling the challenge calmly and serenely. I will do this calmly and serenely. Every time I practice in my mind, this becomes more and more my actual reality.

19. Whenever I need to become more calm, I will breathe slowly and deeply and I will repeat over and over again, With each breath I am becoming calmer and more serene. More calm and more serene.

20. Serene people accept what they cannot change and change what they can. Stay calm and serene during your stay on this planet as you gain more wisdom about what you can and cannot change.

© Rabbi Zelig Pliskin [based on "Serenity" by Rabbi Z. Pliskin]

If this is an infringement of copywrite, please let me know, and I'll remove it.

Monday, September 15, 2008



From this man I have learned so much:

Be Serene This Moment

I exist in only one moment at a time. To be serene I only need to be serene during that moment. I create serenity when I think serene thoughts and mentally picture serene scenes. I create serenity when I breathe slowly and deeply and relax my muscles. I create serenity when I vividly remember scenes of being serene. Regardless of how I have been at any given moment later on, I only need to be serene this moment. I should say to myself throughout the day: "Be serene this moment".

Serenity Promotes Harmonious Relationships

Serenity promotes peaceful and harmonious relationships with other people. “As in water, face to face, so too is the heart of one person to another” . When you speak serenely to someone, the peaceful energy puts the other person in a better state, and usually that person will speak more pleasantly to you.

From Rabbi Pliskin’s new book, Serenity

I just felt extra serene today,
so decided to spread it around a bit
--like apple butter(?).
Hope someone who needs it
will read this today....
I did.

Peace and Love, Steveroni

www IS What a Wonderful World!!!

(in next line)

I absolutely LOVE this song!


(George Weiss / Bob Thiele)

I see trees of green, red roses too
I see them bloom for me and you
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world

I see skies of blue and clouds of white
The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world

The colours of the rainbow, so pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces of people going by
I see friends shakin' hands, sayin' "How do you do?"
They're really saying "I love you"

I hear babies cryin', I watch them grow
They'll learn much more than I'll ever know
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world
Yes, I think to myself, what a wonderful world

Oh yeah!
Love, steveroni

Saturday, September 13, 2008


With permission, I copied this photo SHADOW published Saturday.
In my "bad place" the following conversation took place between the
feather and the flower:

Feather: "You smell."
Flower: "I know. What can I do about it?"
Feather: "Go to meetings...and DON'T DRINK!
You will die...and STINK"

Steve E. decides to break his anonymity
by publishing a self portrait, taken in Colorado!


I heard today: "In AA I got to know the real ME!"
I said to myself: "Noooo...In AA I get to BECOME the real me."

What a day was yesterday! I have learned to 'not go back'. However, It is difficult to turn away my thoughts from the past 24 hours. These hours began with a beautiful "Getting-to-know-you"-type phone conversation with Jenn in Houston, who sounded to be weathering Ike's wrath quite well.

Funny, I felt as if I had known Jenn for a long time--but we've never met, or even spoke before. We do have this common thread in each of our lives--a deadly disease, and a seriousness about a program to recover from it and better our lives. And we make an effort to help others in any way we see fit, that they also may enjoy some of the benefits WE experience. And while we discuss our alcoholism almost daily on-line, I don't believe we even gave it a thought in live conversation. I know we laughed during those few minutes. How wonderful it is! Thank You again, All-Powerful God!

Later, I read on Andrew's Addiction about a "bike-for-sale" ad (with picture of bike, and phone number of owner named Steve--happens to be my name!). L. Made vague reference that it might be that my wife is forcing me to sell the bike. (BTW, that would never happen--or we'd BOTH need lawyers, or maybe paramedics ASAP?) Well, this significance apparently escaped my usual aptness -grin-, until later, when I had to set the record straight (like NOW!) Again, I REVEL in the Email exchanges with my new and true friends in this Blog Community.

A few of us 'bikers' (misnomer, because I ride a scooter, albeit a BIG one!) rode to Ft Myers Beach to a men's meeting, what a FUN trip! I try to go every Saturday. It's the 'ride' and the 'breakfast' after, and oh, yes...of course, almost forgot--the AA MEETING! About 50 men from different towns around two counties attend this Saturday morning event. I have seldom enjoyed 'men's AA meetings' until finding this one.

Then I practiced my violin parts for playing at 7:30 AM mass Sunday morning...I LOVE it! Believe me, when I say I LOVE something (and I say it often here, and everywhere else, too!) it is for REAL!

Attended another AA meeting Sat afternoon, about 50 people, in a discussion out of Big Book, "Chapter To The Wives". That reading has never excited me until today, I decided to pay attention--there's the clue, guys! And, AND--there is SO much AA I found in that chapter today, had never 'seen' it before in all these years. No, I did not "share" my new-found insights--it was not the 'moment'. I'm jes sayin'...

Almost finished here:

Ya know, all of us have been thinking about, and praying for, those friends and their loved ones, living along the Texas east coast, and rightly so. An approaching hurricane, with all its uncertainties, is very stressful for most people.

Just stop though, and think how this terrible, violent storm of nature got us all to focus on others' troubles. I got to pray--or continue praying--for other people. I got to think about--and care for--and wish the BEST of everything for OTHER than "my usual SELF". I got to kneel right here at my computer and say aloud the prayer I was at the same moment writing to someone. Isn't that magnificent? Another item on my 'Gratefulness' List? Definitely!

NOTE: Now that these thoughts are in cyber space, I can "Let Go-Let God".

Have a GREAT sober Sunday everybody!

Friday, September 12, 2008



First, a moment of prayerful silence for all our friends in harm's way in Texas and elsewhere.

I've been looking at my own daily log which a counselor told me to write. It was begun several days before I stopped drinking, before my first meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous. Had I not kept a written accounting then, my feelings, behaviors, and observations as a beginner, would have been lost. I'd have forgotten what a difficult time it was--34 years ago last March--for my wife, two young children, and me.

Because--just moments ago--I relived those early, first days of not drinking, I come again to the realization of the TRUE miracle which happened to me. I'm shaking my head now, wondering how in the world did I stay sober? Without my knowledge or desire, God brought me here to you people in AA, and you, and He, (and later, me) began the work of trimming. Layer-by-layer, one-day-at-a-time, the fear, the lying, the total selfishness, one moment, the huge ego, next moment, the deadening low self esteem, the 'attitude', the hatred, which was ME. The first phase of this took 15 years.

Why so long? Because I did everything wrong. Well, not everything--I stayed alive, and stayed sober! "All in God's time", is now my excuse for being an AA deviant, during those early years. Step one I took to heart, because there was no way I could NOT know something was seriously amiss, my life had somehow gotten all out of kilter. So much promise, and no product. I had met a catholic priest at 1973 Christmas midnight mass, as I tumbled down the altar steps, wearing dark glasses. While in 'protective' mode, I held high my violin and bow--with which I had been playing "Silent Night" as part of the pre-ceremony music. Yes, I was drunk out of my mind.

Father Owen, the non-alcoholic priest, as it turned out, was also the drug-and-alcohol-abuse-counselor at our County Health Clinic. He insisted, in 1974, that I visit him as a patient, twice each week. Each visit cost me the price of a quart of cheap Vodka. He "tapered me off" of alcohol , whittling my daily maintenance diet of vodka to one pint, only 16 little oz. Well, I never got used to that.

You might think that, as a bartender, I'd have had trouble staying sober during those darkest of my early days as a member of AA. Not a problem, I was too busy, and used the foolishment of my heavy-drinking customers as my guide to going dry.

Saturday March 16, I had the worst day of my whole life, fighting the urge to drink (remember, I was only 'allowed' one pint of Vodka), using sheer will power. It did not occur to me to ask God for help--He and I had been personally on the 'outs' for many years. I thought I might die.

And I SURE AS HELL did not fathom that two days later I'd have my last swallow of mind altering alcohol two minutes before midnight. Three days later would find me sitting in a room with 15 chairs and 20 drunks, 19 of whom were holding lit cigarettes in each hand! Cough, cough! Welcome to my first Beginners' Meeting! It was borring--BORRRRING! All they talked about was some steps. Who needs this crap. And cake and cookies--WAIT! Are those chocolate chip?

My journal entry for March 19, 1974: "Midnight--1st AA meeting over. Will try again next week w the non-smokers---they have GOT to be smarter! Still no drink, in day #2 now" (after midnight).
They told me "One day at a time." I thought, "Bull Shit!"...and yet, in my log book, I SURE KEPT TRACK of 'how many days', 'how many hours'; EVERY day, EVERY hour! But I could not understand "One Day At A Time" coming from these people. They were so confident, so happy, so well-groomed, eating stale chocolate chip cookies and yesterday's doughnuts, drinking gallons of coffee. I slept a LOT, and dreamed a LOT. Dreamed of booze, dreamed of drinking it. dreamed of being very drunk. Woke up. Nothing! Still shaking. Still sweating. Still crazy. Still "tasting" the alcohol, even though I had not been drinking! My 'plan' was to enjoy ONE MORE drunk in June of 1974. My wife and children went away for two weeks to Cleveland, OH. I was FREE! FREE! Get me a couple of those sick AA girls I saw giving me the eye, and let's PARTEEEE!

Something kept holding me back from my plan. (Looking back,. this was the first "turning point" of which I was aware.) I, who had not made a personal telephone call in many a year--me, I--picked up the phone and dialed Tim F. It was 9 PM and he was at my house in a few minutes. I cried. I surrendered, in a fashion. And I knew I would never drink again, no matter what.

All this stuff is reported in my journal that year. It was still some huge length of time before I realized that NOT doing something is NOT enough. I had to DO something. That will have to wait for another day. But there I was, and here I am. God is not letting go of me, of that I'm certain.




Riding to the "cookie" meeting last night, I thought to myself, "Steve, you've been to two AA meetings today. Why are you going to a third? What's the motive here? Are you climbing back on that old roller coaster?"

Well, for one thing, I absolutely adore riding my bike. Two, I absolutely love chocolate chip cookies. Three, I felt a strong desire to 'be at that place'. And, to be honest, an AA meeting room is a very comfortable spot, like the TV saloon CHEERS, (Where Evr'ybody knows your name?). But I still was not sure, just why was I going to #3 meeting last night? (As if I have to be so positive about my every activity any more -grin-.)

My answer arrived on two legs, as I was 'dismounting' my bike, I spotted a young fellow, looking lost. He was holding a clipboard and a pencil -grin-. So I joined him, and together we walked the 'green mile', that long sidewalk leading to the meeting room. Naturally, I asked him the usual questions, "Are you new here? What's you name? Ever been before to a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous?"

He was brand new. So I told him, since there's between 150-200 people at this meeting, to follow me, and I'll show him where to sit, etc. (Ha! I'll show him the ropes!)

Wonder of wonders, he did follow me! He sat with me, asked some questions, etc. I (sort of forced?) got him to stand when the chairperson asked if there were any newcomers, etc. And I noticed he DID listen to the (two) speakers. Later, I literally pushed him out to the front of the room to receive his 24-hour chip. And we exchanged phone numbers. He admitted that he'd earlier planned to sit quietly in the back of the room, didn't cherish"being made a spectacle of..." We sat in the 'meditation' area of the church yard for some minutes, talking. I'm certain he had no plan to include ME into his first meeting!

Also, I'm just as certain that God 'showed me' exactly why I rode down town to that meeting! The kid is probably today climbing on that old roller coaster, which is so familiar to many of us. Don't know if I'll catch him at the top, or at the bottom, or at ALL. What happens is ALWAYS in God's Hands. That is one thing I DO know!



Thursday, September 11, 2008


Back Yard of my daughter's home!


One day, several weeks after I had stopped drinking, my guru-type person queried me: "How is that violin sounding, now that you're getting sober? I'll bet it surprises you how much better you are playing now."

And, probably the first truthful thing I ever told him, "Jim, my violin sounds terrible since I'm no longer drinking, The vibrato is slow, I'm playing out of tune, my bow shakes, and I can't stay in rhythm. Truth is, it's awful!"

Jim shot right back at me, "Well, that's because your HEARING is clearing up."

How do I remember a brief exchange like that, of 34 years ago? One of the early advices I obeyed was from a counselor. He told me, a week before I came into AA, a week before I stopped drinking, to keep a daily log, like a diary-type accounting of my feelings, attitudes, and thoughts. He figured it might help me stay sober (but he didn't tell ME that!). And it did!

Tomorrow I intend to recall--from that log--my 'early days' in this program, and possibly discover WHY I never drank since my first AA meeting. (I already KNOW why! -grin-) Because I SURE didn't do everything according 'to the BOOK'.

Oh, another topic: I absolutely LOVE Gratitude Lists! Please, you guys who write a daily list, keep it up! I'm just thinking that I'm also SO grateful...my Gratitude List is every word I've written in this blogosphere since July 1, 2008. Each morning (or evening, or noon!) I think of those happenings in my life which are nothing short of miracles, gifts from God, and I become so thankful, nearly to tears. Seriously. I've come to love all that IS.

Tomorrow: log-a-roni

Wednesday, September 10, 2008



It's been only two days since my cataract removal (one eye) and I marvel at the changes which have taken place in my vision. Of course, everything is not clear, but all that cloudiness and fuzziness is gone. And I am typing for the first time in thirty years without glasses.

So, I prayed recently, and so did others, for my eyesight, for the whole situation to end with improvement. And it appears this will be so. However, now I wonder at that inner vision, my insight, my perception of things spiritual in nature (big contemplative words for me, "IN NATURE"). That is what I might, should, and better have prayed for. I wish to see clearly the will of God and then ask His help for....carrying that out.

Example: I am so dense when it comes to understanding the simplicity of certain concepts. This morning's meeting moved into the "I-am-a -grateful-alcoholic" mode. People were sharing about how they at first did NOT share the "gratitude" thing. Well, I always said it...because everyone else seemed to be saying it. I was "in agreement" with the majority, so maybe they would not bother me any more. Real truth was, at age 40, I had not the slightest notion of what they were saying. I did not know the word--the meaning--of grateful, or gratitude. "Why don't these AA people speak English?"

When someone gave me a gift--say, a half gallon of Smirnoff--I fell immediately in LOVE. Not with the giver...with the BOTTLE!

So many years later I am reading:

"The master's sermon that day consisted
of one enigmatic sentence.

With a wry smile he said, 'All
I do is sit by the bank of the river, selling river water.'

I was so busy buying the water that I failed to see the river."

--THE SONG OF THE BIRD by Anthony De Mello p 60

Reading that last night, again this morning I was still puzzled, even though De Mello explained it in his usual succinct manner.

NOW, finally, I GOT it! (Maybe!) All my life, I've been in line to hear and learn about God and Me. It never occurred to me that He is already everywhere--I don't need the jug, the 'reading', the 'sentence', the 'chapter', the 'verse' the 'explanation' of every word and comma. I'm not looking for that sought-after SPECIAL 'insight'.

After all, of the Alcoholics Anonymous ABC's, is letter (c) "That God could and would if He were sought." (NOT CAUGHT!)


Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Photo is Aspen overlooking Lake City CO
GREAT (small) AA Mettings there!


Before I continue...how about someone signing up on my "Follow This Blog"?
It's at top on right side over HERE ------------------------------->>>>>>>>>>>>>>

OK, I gotta let ya all know...the cataract extraction, and intra-ocular lens implant procedure of the right eye, went VERY well. I am SO HAPPY! And I do not remember ever undergoing a surgical procedure with such a high degree of confidence that everything would turn out so good. It was a breeze--one more next week.
It was a real experience for me to completely trust 'in the process'. My gratitude to this blogging community for your supportive Emails, your comforting comments, and your meaningful PRAYERS, is huge! Were I a man of great means, I'd invite each of you (and friends) to a--'nice, with stars'--hotel, somewhere in Texas (you know who you are, Texas!) for a weekend FUNference...maybe THIS weekend, like a "Non-Hurricane" party? Oh! How I'd love to see (and now, I mean SEE!) all of you in one place, and hug every single one, with real hugs instead of {{{}}}.... We would not have to meet, we've done that here. We'd not even have to 'get to know' one another--we've done THAT right here also! We might discover more of our purpose, our prayer-life, our love. And we just might share with each other, in person, our happiness, our sadness, our dreams, hopes, fantasies, ourselves! (Talk about "fantasies"!) I am in heaven just thinking about that whole last paragraph. Just now, I noticed that I have not mentioned our disease, have not once used the words "alcoholic" or "Alcoholism" nor any of the words which might precede the word "Anonymous". We might even discuss a tiny bit -grin- of THOSE experiences while in the great drinking State of Texas. This post is simply a GREAT and HUGE THANK YOU from me to all of you who read here. You DO know my appreciation is like a wonderful mountain in my heart! Steve-eye-roni

Monday, September 8, 2008


(This'll crack you up--you know who you are!)

(Shakespeare's original title, before he
decided to remove the word "more"!!!)

Hurricane Ike, Sunday afternoon September 7, 2008...Ya never know where it is going, ya do not have the slightest clue how strong (what category) it'll be when it makes landfall. And ya have NO IDEA what damage it'll do, how many lives it'll affect, how many people it will KILL! The one factor known about a hurricane IS it's capabilities for destruction!

So like a hurricane was I, 'back-in-the-day'! I felt supernaturally full of strength, yet a good chilly wind would have me withered, incapable of decisive action, or intelligible word. After I had been reduced to Tropical Storm status (Sheeesh!), producing none but a mess of soggy, breezy, soaked days and nights, there was but one more rung down the ladder...DEPRESSION!

Depression: Noun, c. A lowering in amount, degree, or position. That was me, THAT WAS ME! Well, that is NOT me today. I have been sober since the night before my first meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous, March 18, 1974. Since that time, "...these lips have not touched alcoholic spirits!" as they say -grin- ...but these lips have touched a lot of OTHER spirited things they might have should not -VERY BIG GRIN- OH! I mean, like the time I licked ice off the handle of the well pump, outside in 15 deg below zero F. Ouch! Or the time(s) I sipped muriatic acid out of a vat in the hayloft ...there were other lip moments-- well, you get the picture.

Then 'they' told me (always wondered who is 'they'?) to "..act out the symptoms of radiant happiness, and your depression will leave." Well, I tried that with little success. Hell, I didn't even know what 'they' were talking about--and didn't think 'they' knew, either.

Then, along came this Big Book, and it read: "There are those, too, who suffer from grave emotional and mental disorders, but many of them do recover...." Well, THAT was me! And now I'm reading there is a way out of my chaotic situations. It's called Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, a program for recovery from a hopeless state of mind and body (and soul?), called alcoholism. I am here to say, It WORKS. It worked. I'm still here, that's how I know it works. And I'm HAPPY, that's how I know it works. And I'm FREE, that's how I know it works. And I am now riding--instead of in the eye of a hurricane--on a Tropical Heat Wave, of Love and Service to others. and of humble gratitude to God.


Sunday, September 7, 2008


NOTE: Gratefulness is what I'm experiencing at this moment. Thank you to all who responded to my request to pray for my eye-Doc. Monday morning he's doing a cataract extraction and an intra ocular lens implant.

I still find it difficult to believe that in a short 65 days, I have discovered so many people, you all, who shower each other, and me, with support, prayer, empathy, humor, a tad of ribaldry, advice and instruction--and do all that with understanding and pure love.

God does not tire of my asking Him to bless us all, and so I'm asking now. Again!

Steve E.

I CAN........WHAT?!!

I used to say to myself, "I cannot drink, I cannot drink, I cannot drink, I cannot drink, I cannot drink, I cannot drink, I cannot drink, I cannot drink."

Then one day I found that I CAN!!!............................not drink.

To me, it does not matter, the hour or the day that happened. But it DID happen, a gift from God with my cooperation, in the form of a habit, of being busy, of attending meetings, of talking with the people in Alcoholics Anonymous. It happened as a result of a gift from God.

When I discovered that I could DO-IT (not drink), I became free to work the Twelve Steps, the second part of God's gift, also in cooperation with me. You see, He and I became partners in this recovery. In truth, none of any of this happened overnight. All happened during a 'process' of admission, belief, cleansing, reparation, and then giving away all that I learned.

And the third part of God's gift to me is ongoing, a spiritual awakening, as THE result of these steps. Imagine, all this work had as its goal ONE result, my spiritual growth.

The rest of my job--and it's really NOT a job--is to simply pass it on. And that can be as much fun as I will allow it! And I allow it a LOT!

This IS serious business. So was my drinking serious...just you TRY to get my bottle away from me in the morning. Just you TRY to crack open my new quart bottle of Vodka at 3 AM...get your hands off my BREAKFAST-----or in the oily darkness of the cold, scummy river current, you will find your watery grave--and THAT was a promise.

I should end this now with a couple lines of how MUCH God and I love everyone, etc., etc., but I'm all riled up remembering that guy who thought he was going to drink MY 'morning bottle' before morning. See how quickly I can jump into a full-blown resentment? God, come help me now. Guardian Angel "Flex", where are you?

LOOK! All those gifts from GOD just went out the window. Well, what should I do? I know the answer, and so do y'all. One more gift left: Go to a meeting, There's one I can make this afternoon. (I don't call my sponsor on Sunday. Anyway, he would offer this..."Go to a meeting. Good bye!)
Steve E.

Friday, September 5, 2008



Hey, I'd just like to ask for some prayers today. This is early, though, because I'll need them Monday morning at 8:30-10 AM. Understand, I have no fear, just wish an extra cushion of assurance that everything will turn out for the better.

Ya see, it's like this. I play a violin. If you've ever played a musical instrument, and read notes, you'll understand what I'm saying. When playing in a concert or a church, the notes look fuzzy (as in wuzzy-was-a-bear!) and a note that should appear on a line, might look to me like a note in the space below. NOT good.

So, my eye-guy is going to do a cataract job on my right eye, Monday morning, and the left eye probably a week later (hopefully). He is also installing some kind of $2,000 lenses in each eye.

The reason I'm asking for your prayers TODAY, is because SOME (guess who?) people will be traveling to North Carolina, etcetera. And some do not Blog on weekends...and I need them all to pray if they will. So please pray, whoever reads this--not for me, but for my doctor! I wish to make sure God is with him Monday, that he doesn't stop off at Joe's Tavern on the way to the hospital. (On The Other Hand, if he needs a drink to 'calm the nerves', maybe a 'Joe's Tavern gig' would be advisable?)

I really believe in the Power of Prayer. It's why I call "Princess Powerless", well, I call her "Powerful Princess". We all witness that Power, again and again, as the miracles walk into our AA rooms. Some of those miracles leave, and some return. But just BEING here, for however long, is the miracle, to me. I am reminded of that God-Power as being only a thought away, all day, all night, all the time. It is a gift. It is mine to use. I must ask for it often, until it becomes habit. And all I must give back, is Thanks, and then Praise. I must install gratitude into my attitude.

I have never been afraid of surgical procedures on myself. Just always figure that God is in charge, as usual. And I appoint my doctor as my "Higher Power"-for-the-day. I will not mention this again, except to let ya know next week, how it went.

Nothing is truer than truth. Truth IS, I enjoy some wonderful gifts from God; sobriety, nature, chocolate, this AA program, you recovering people, my family, the world, and life, and love and chocolate.

I truly thank each of you for your Blogging time, your kind comments, your support...and truly, I love all you Blogger people!

And, believe me, so does God.

Steve E.