Burning Desire

Apparently we need some clarification! When the chairperson towards the end of the meeting says:

“does anyone have a burning desire – anyone feel like they might drink if they don’t share?” That means exactly what it says… IF YOU THINK YOU MIGHT DRINK TODAY SPEAK UP WE’RE HERE FOR YOU!

Below is a list of things that are NOT considered “burning desires” and instead more likely self-centered, ego-centric bullshit that none of us need to hear… chances are you’ve talked too much this week anyway, go help an alcoholic and get out of yourself already

Things not considered burning desires (that I’ve actually heard)

  • I’ll be teaching the clown school in Tempe this week and would love to see you all there
  • The Mental Health Workshop (the field you happen to work in) will be downtown this week and it’d be great if you could drop by
  • My 40th birthday (not AA birthday, belly button) party is this Saturday, it’s a potluck and we need more volunteers for food
  • No one talked about the point I was thinking of since the meeting started… well they did kind of but I can say it so much better and really need to, because sharing and stuff
  • I really loved what you said about cats, it just touched me spiritually

This is not a point in the meeting where you should speak up because you’re feeling the need to share your wisdom (especially if you’re on your third relapse and only have 60 days – take the cotton out of your ears and put it in your mouth)

… ok, sorry… I feel better now

Tech in Tucson

For work I traveled to Tucson, the Westin La Paloma, for a conference we put on “Mobile Learning 2013” for anyone really, but focused primarily on Education. Three days of ed tech focused sessions with some great presenters.

There were teachers there from all over the world who came specifically for this conference and many of the attendees had been to the last two Mobile Learning conferences – it’s one of our most popular events. The Westin was a really great setting for it as well – the event staff were so attentive to our needs and everything went off without a hitch. The rooms at the Westin are really great – the beds were so nice that I wanted to spend the whole day there. And the view….

Westin La Paloma

Westin La Paloma

I attended one session “WoW in School” put on by Peggy Sheehy about gaming and learning – she spent a lot of time talking about World of Warcraft and I really enjoyed her session.

It was long hours for us staffers – I arrived Sunday after loading up the van in Phoenix at 12:30 and setting up it was after 7 when we were done for the day and I had carpet burns on my knees (not for good reasons) and we were dog tired. I didn’t get back to my apartment until 7 p.m. on Wednesday…

The teachers and educators all had a great time though – they were all so focused on learning new things and so happy to be there – I’m glad I was a part of it.


The apartment complex where I live has three separate laundry facilities – the one closest to me is not far so hefting a basket down there to wash isn’t a big deal. The machines can all be used with coins OR credit cards, which I really like. One heaping basket of clothes is usually two loads of laundry – sure i could mix it all together but I separate lights and darks (I’m a clothes racist and believe in segregation). I’d still prefer to have a washer and dryer in the unit, but this works, I can always find two machines next to one another.

This particular time was no different than the rest – laundry in the basket, detergent capsules on top. As I approached I could see two other people in the facility, nothing new there. I went in and said hi to the person closest to the door – she just glanced and me warily and then towards the other person there. I looked back there and didn’t think anything of it and said hello to him as well. As I was loading the washing machines I noticed the woman kept looking past me at the guy in the back, so I took a better look at him.

The man was really skinny, with a short hair cut. He was wearing a blue short sleeved shirt and tan shorts with flip flops. His eyes were hooded and he wasn’t there. Very slowly, slow-motion like, ┬áhe would pick up a piece of clothing, hold it to his chest an fold it. I think I loaded two washing machines in the time it took him to fold that one piece of clothing. He was shaking as he moved and every once in a while I’d hear a loud “sniff”.

“None of my business” I thought and proceeded to pay for the machines, set the timer on my phone and headed back to my apartment. But the man gnawed at my thoughts on the way back – he must have been on something, maybe he has mental issues – again, none of my business was the thought that rose to the top.

When the timer went off I headed back to start the drying cycle, thankful that the odd one would be gone, but as I approached I could see he was still there in the back of the room, his basket where it was when I left. As I approached I saw he was still moving at a snails pace, even the simplest of motions.

It wasn’t until I was on my way out that I noticed the clothes he was folding were dirty. I could see dirt, red stains and what I hadn’t noticed before was the smell from back there – a mildewy scent wafted from that side of the room.

This was several months ago now, and I’ve not seen that guy in there since. But I wonder what’s become of him sometimes and what he was on. A small part of me wonders if he was enjoying himself – it was hard to tell what he was feeling when I would look at him.