The Con Game

I believed in love.

Despite all the evidence to the contrary I let myself believe that it was possible to be in love. This love thing is a virus that slowly eats away at who you are and then tries to destroy you with its obsessions and compromises. I was so certain that what I felt was true leading me to share my joy with the people closest to me, convincing me to change the very order of my universe to meet loves needs. I’m a fool. That, I think is what’s bothering me most about this whole situation – that I let my guard down and let someone come in and con me.

The evidence has been before me for years: the increasing divorce rate, my mothers failed 7 or 8 marriages, infidelity every where you look in the news in all aspects of race and class; yet I failed to heed these warnings and instead allowed myself to believe that there was something more. I’m a fool. For too long a period I believed in happily ever after and til death do us part.

So now I’m filled with shame, I let myself fall for one of the oldest con games in the universe. That’s disappointing, even more so that I did it publicly and let others see me happy – that’s a mistake I’ll try not to repeat.

Men are only good for one thing, at this point I think they should all be gagged so they can’t lie to me (which is all men do ladies and guys, they’re born that way). Ride em hard and then leave em there, don’t get attached, like a stray dog if you start to feed them (attention, affection, interest) before you know it you’ll be picking up their shit on the sidewalk after they dump on you again and again. Men are dogs, keep em on a short leash and in the back yard.

Burn it all

In a Spot

I’m in a spot. It’s a dark spot. I’d say it was a santorum but nothing really enjoyable immediately preceded the spot. Right now I can’t seem to care about – well anything.

Yesterday a dear old friend called me from her hospital bed and told me first why she was there and then other troubles going on, but I can’t seem to care about it. I still took steps to spread the word to some of our other friends so she’d get a few calls, but honestly it couldn’t pierce the fog I’ve managed to wade into.

A few other friends have recently gotten engaged or made their relationship “Facebook Official”, and again it doesn’t seem to matter too much to me. These I understand a bit more having only been a month ago dumped.

The boss sent me an email and it took me reading it probably more than five times before I saw that he wasn’t firing me, but was worried about me. I’m in a spot. It’s a deep dark spot and I hate it.

What I hate more than being in a spot is people who complain about being in a spot – so at present I doubly hate myself. I’m going to sit here and whine about this that and the other thing and that really isn’t productive – I hate people like that. But, I’m in a spot, so I’ll probably whine a bit more.

There a probably lots of things to be happy about: a new Avengers: Earths Mightiest Hero’s is likely downloading tonight or tomorrow, I’ve been able to watch Game of Thrones, I have friends that I’ve known for over 20 years that call me when they are in the hospital cause they know I (normally) care, I have friends that I’ve known almost twenty years that tell me I reacting normally, I have friends… yeah, all those things are probably things that should make me happy, but mostly today all I wanted to do was cry and sleep. Sadly, I’m in a spot.

Silence Your Noise Makers

At today’s meeting, like at most meetings, the secretary/chairperson/whomever made the announcement for everyone to please silence their cell phones, she did so to her own phone as she was asking all of us to. This has become common place in meetings that I’ve been attending for quite a while now, however when I first came to meetings cell phones weren’t generally found outside of your car, where they were attached by a cord. (Yes, this means I am quite old.) It doesn’t really matter if the phone is silenced, I and others can still hear it when you have it on vibrate and then all the noise you make while you rummage through your purse or back pack trying to see who it is that contacted you. But, don’t worry, I’m sure the person talking wasn’t saying anything important enough for us to be able to hear them.

Old Princess Phones

This morning someone’s phone rang during the meeting, it was an actual phone ring tone like the old princess phones used to make before technology came and made those outdated. The woman rummaged through her purse for several minutes, giving us that delightful tone repeatedly 5 times before she got to it – unfortunately she didn’t silence it then and we were subjected to the voicemail notification sound, which was a high-pitched chirp. Experience, strength and hope? nah, thanks, I’m trying to answer the phone. It’s bound to happen, I myself have forgotten to turn off my phone on a few occasions and now double-check more frequently than I used to.

It’s usually not too bad when this happens, at the same time that this woman’s phone was going off music started to play outside the room, we could feel the deep bass reverberations and it grew increasingly louder – several people went out to see what was going on and the music stopped – for a while – it made an appearance again later.

What really gets my goat is the folks that are using their phones and gadgets in the room during the meeting. One guy in particular gets several messages on his cell phone during meetings and he just answers them and puts his phone back in its holster, did I mention it makes  a “beep” each time he gets a message, he has it turned down low, but all of us can still hear it. Thank you sir, but perhaps you should talk to your sponsor about the definition of sharing, this isn’t it.

messaging away

Two people at today’s meeting were busy reading emails and typing away on their iPhone, one of them had the “click” activated for each letter and we were able to hear that she can type quite fast when she’s using it, I’m sure her boss is happy about that. Thanks for sharing.

Is it really so much to ask that you pay attention during the meeting instead of using your phone? I called someone out of this a year or so ago, a chronic relapser that was busy typing away into his iPhone right next to me when I was trying to listen to the meeting. I told him after the meeting that he might have more success at staying sober if he put his phone down and listened to the message. He didn’t take it well and a few months later he went out to do some more experimentation.

Recently a conversation about younger people and their attachment to technology was had by Suzanne and myself, she’s a supervisor and during a recent training session mentioned that young people have a different work ethic than what was instilled in people my age or older. It’s not that they don’t work and get their job done, but they tend to do two things at once that us (and I’m not trying to group us all up into one category) older folks can’t really do as well. This is not an excuse for the sales clerk in Macy’s to be on their cell phone when I’m checking out or for the Burger King worker to be texting instead of helping the customers, but it should help me to come to terms with the changing face of how things work, sometimes even in AA meeting.

"Big Book" on my iPad

At a Big Book meeting in San Antonio last year I was getting annoyed at a man who was on his iPad during the meeting, it really started to get to me. Then when he shared his experience he started reading from it and I realized that he had the text on his iPad, I suppose this should have made me less annoyed but it didn’t, I had to come to appreciate it, it doesn’t help that technically speaking what’s on his iPad is not General Service Conference-Approved material. I have it on my iPad also, sometimes it’s nice to be able to look at the Book on the technology that’s available and I hope AA catches up soon.

Speaking of AA and technology, this afternoon I was able to make my AA birthday contribution via credit card on the web, I LOVE that. If it’s your AA birthday you should check it out at www.aa.org .

Losing the Connection

About a year ago, after years of poor quality service and hours upon hours of time on the phone with thickly accented “tech support” people named Jack and Fred – the household left Verizon’s DSL and phone service in hopes that my previous enjoyable experience with COX (in my nine months living in VA my COX internet went out once – for an hour – I was very impressed) cable out of Virginia would be as seamless with telecommunications giant Comcast.

I was so excited the day they arrived to hook us up, but it wasn’t long before I was on the phone with Comcast local help line wondering what was going on. The phone and the internet simultaneously didn’t work, but the TV was unaffected. They seemed stumped each time I called and the only solution seemed to be unhooking the cable from the back of the modem and then hooking it back up – a temporary solution that sometimes only lasted 5 minutes. This was a really frustrating fix as the computers are upstairs and the modem downstairs.

After a while it seemed like there was a pattern to when the connection would terminate and we started keeping a log of when it happened each day. Almost every day we lost the connection at 10:00 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 3:00 p.m. and around 8:00 p.m. (sometimes right at 10:30 p.m. too). This was good I thought, if they know that these outages are happening at regular they may be to come up with a solution.

As a result I called Comcast frequently to see if they could determine what the problem was – one of these phone calls went like this:

“Can’t you see that our connection keeps cutting off there in your office?” I asked the Comcast representative.

“For all I know, your disconnecting it yourself everyday.” she replied

She honestly thinks that I’m so bored with my life that I want to call Comcast every day? Seriously

Fancy New Modem

So Comcast technicians would come to the house, there have been several and each of them were certain they knew what the problem was and that the solution they would prescribe would fix it. The latest visit from their tech people gave us a new fancy modem… but it too is not fixing the problem.

At this point you should be reminded that I really will do just about anything to avoid going back to Verizon, their customer service that bad that I’m willing to have spent the last year with the bad service at Comcast, mostly because at least the Comcast people would listen to me on the phone and not speak in (in broken english) from a script that didn’t usually have anything to do with my issue. My roommate is a consultant and needs the phone and the internet to work when he’s here at home – never mind that it really began to affect my game play on World of Warcraft.

Well, I’d finally had it and we’re having RCN come on Wednesday to install their service with TiVo (which is the best, if you have never really experienced a genuine TiVo you’re missing out – it’s far superior to the every day DVR) Premiere service. I’m also getting Showtime and HBO (so I can watch Dexter and Game of Thrones when they are on instead of waiting for iTunes).  I’m hopeful that the experience with RCN will be better than it’s been with Comcast, I’m hoping RCN is as good to me as COX was… if not, I may have to go back to Verizon.

Well, I’d better post this and go there’s no telling how long my connection will last…

Getting Away

It was nice to get away for the weekend, even if only to Virginia Beach. I flew down to spend time with Suzanne and celebrate my 17th AA birthday – even though that was on the last day of the trip. Thursday night we hit a Big Book meeting and some fellowship before at Ruby Tuesday, we had tried to go to a Mexican restaurant but as it was Cinco De Mayo it was impossible. All the Mexican restaurants get busy with white people on that day and we were the unfortunate whiteys. Ruby Tuesday’s while good food, was just one of the oddest restaurant experiences I’ve had. The wait staff thought one of our party ordered a side dish as a main meal, a glass came apart at the table a flooded us with soda, asking for napkins to help clean up the soda was confusing to them… and to top it off they didn’t even give any discounts for the soda/glass disaster.

At the Thursday night meeting there was fun too – one of the guys present was on fire with AA and the book, he brought some life into the meeting – just a little over five years sober and he was alive with the spirit, great to see. We also had the other spectrum, the new girls who kept chatting during the meeting about this and that and we kept hearing “Cinco De Mayo” they were asked to be quiet and when that happened were insulted – one of them left. Alas, we alcoholics are sensitive creatures and it takes some of us a long time to outgrow that handicap.

Friday I just sat around and watched cartoons on my iPad and that evening we went to see the movie Thor – which we all liked.

Saturday I walked around the mall while Suzanne took a final and then taught a fitness class, it was alright. Then she and I went out to eat before hitting another meeting, this one started with a read from the Daily Reflections and was going pretty well when “Part-Time Alcoholic” started to share about why he was different and special and didn’t really belong – several people interrupted him with “Keep Coming Back” (including me) until the lead asked him to stop advising him to find a sponsor who could help him sort out if he belonged there. He left, and then the meeting changed to folks talking about that as other people thought the meeting chased him off – and a few people who are forced to go to the meeting were offended and left… someone chased after them. I was actually alright with it, the “Part Time Alcoholic” is still suffering from his terminal uniqueness and if he’s going to start to learn it should be now.

Sunday, the morning of my anniversary, Suzanne and I met her husband Paul at the gym for Body Step – at least it’s not too boring. Then Paul and I went to iHop where we had a self-proclaimed “OCD server” who asked us if we were right or left-handed (so he knew which way to turn the cup handles) and if we could place all our trash in a pile at the end of the table so he could collect it…. it was odd, but the food was good. Then we moved a couch from their garage to their living room, one of those sofa sleepers that are stupidly heavy.

All in all, it was a nice weekend. Suzanne kept asking me what I wanted to do and there really wasn’t anything that I wanted. Which I think she found very frustrating – not much I can do about it. It was nice to be away. Oh… did I mention I got to spend time with Farley, her dog? I’m his favorite uncle. 

Testy

Yesterday, it was all I could do to not smack the happy couple walking in the middle of the sidewalk in front of me – holding hands, smiling, bumping into one another. I did manage to just walk by them and not smack them with my bag… but I was tempted. It’s not only that they were a happy smiling couple, they were in the middle of the sidewalk and oblivious to other peoples needs to get around them… ok, maybe it was just that they were a happy couple.

I had my annual physical yesterday as well, all is normal: high cholesterol, old man, lose weight, eat better, exercise and get some sleep. Truthfully I have a great doctor at Kaiser who is easy to talk to and doesn’t rag on me to much. I was tested for everything and I’m negative… so were the tests.

Today I go into the CVS, and granted I’m not smiling and wearing my Harley Davidson Biker boots and just generally pissed off and a police officer follows me in and stares at me until I’m done. Go figure.

I can’t find anything in my iTunes Library that I want to listen to. Sigh.

This weekend I’m heading to the Virginia Beach area to spend time with Zanne, that should be helpful. I’ll go to the gym with her a few times, Body Step and crap, but it should be ok… I don’t mind step classes. And she said we could go see Tron – she meant Thor – so hopefully Tron isn’t playing anywhere…