Happy Birthday “Book Of Jamez” – 10 Years

Ten years ago today I started blogging. I started this site out on Blogger and moved it to WordPress when I changed my name as there were issues with changing my email address and linking it to the site. I average about 5 posts a month – sometimes I post up to 15 stories a month, sometimes only 2 – depending on what I’m willing to put out there.

One of the first stories I blogged was …and it sold comics where I talked about death and dying in comic books and how Supergirl’s death back in the 80s was a significant moment for me. But I went on to talk about the seeming resurrection of all heroes and how it’s just used for sales purposes instead of a good story that touches the heart. I recently cancelled my comic subscription box at the store as both DC and Marvel apparently used up all their ideas and are retelling stories and undoing some of those changes that kept me reading about characters. If they get done with Secret Wars and Convergence in the near future and stories aren’t too complicated to figure out again I’ll start reading them again, but it’s just a mess.

I also wrote about a trip to visit my good friend Julie in Cleveland OH in the story Fish Pride. She had left DC and moved and I missed her (still do, she’s pretty great). I should go visit again – that was ten years ago and her kids are almost all grown up now. Julie actually lived in Phoenix once upon a time and really liked it here.

It was the year I quit smoking too – I was often complaining about the smell of smokers after that – still today it’s just nasty to be in an elevator or to kiss one (I no longer date/fuck/make out with smokers no matter what). I was bitching about one of those things that I used to love to do… and I had only been smoke free 6 months when I wrote Ex Smokers Soap Box.

I went back to college in 2005 and wrote a lot about classes and shared stories I wrote for school. Many months there were 15 – 18 posts a month. Some great things that I wrote that I still love are Foster Home, Race for the Cure, Creepy Guy on the Bike, and My Knuckles are White – I think I’m a little calmer driving now after two years of living in Phoenix.

I write a lot of stories because I like writing – I love getting the thoughts that are running through my head down on virtual paper and sometimes other people like what I have to write – sometimes they don’t. Whether it’s liked or not I have to get it out of my head – once it’s been put down here I can move on to something else. I don’t publish everything here, somethings are inappropriate and some items I’m working on long term hoping that they become something eventually.

To all my readers new and old thanks for taking a look – I’m going to keep on doing this thing until my fingers don’t work anymore.

Flag Fury

It’s no more the rebel flag; than Columbine was about trench coats or rape is about clothes girls are wearing.

Its about living in a culture where its ok to hate others based on their religion, gender, sexual orientation, race disability or a million little things that people hate other people for. People hate entire other religions and races because they were taught to. People somehow learn in “religions of peace” that it’s ok to discriminate, they condemn other lives because they are different than theirs. Our entire culture creates schisms between things that are one way and things that are another way – it’s painful, it’s hurting us and we’re letting it.

“Racism isn’t born, folks, it’s taught. I have a two-year-old son. You know what he hates? Naps! End of list.” Dennis Leary

A friend posted an article on Facebook the other day “15 Things Alcoholics Anonymous Can Teach the Church” and I liked it, but I’m rather anti-religion and pro-AA (even though some courts have ruled AA a religion and I can see that). Number 10 in that article is “Don’t shoot your wounded” and it says “Judgment or the perception of judgment is often felt in churches”.  That’s often what I think of when I think of churches – hate, fear, demonizing.

In some respects this can be considered a true statement. The KKK considers itself a “Christian” organization and they think they teach “Christian” principles. Al Queda, Isis, The Westboro Baptist Church all think they teach their idea of “God”‘s principles too.

We teach girls how to keep themselves from being raped when we should be teaching boys how to not be rapists. We have politicians that blame and entire religion for terrorists acts that happen domestically and abroad. We focus on the color and stars of a flag instead of the tragedy and how we can do a better job (NRA has great spin department I think).

I know many old people that hold prejudices that they’d held for decades. It was taught to them when they were so young and now it’s the only truth they can see. This worries me… but then I remember what I’ve seen in Alcoholics Anonymous – where we teach love – where human beings who once were the most desolate of society rose up and became contributing members of society and sought only to help another man.

Today we should mourn. We should reflect back on the lives lost and the good they had done. We should look to the future and see what we can build now, learning from this. We need to teach a message of tolerance, love, hope to the country.. the whole world.

Start with me. Start by being open minded to things different that I am. Start by reaching out and sharing my experiences with others, letting them know I’m not so different than they are and we have a common bond.  Start by being a better human being… start by loving, giving, helping.

But don’t focus on a flag – sure it’s in poor taste, but it didn’t pull a trigger, it didn’t share hate… it just is. It has power when you give it power…

Happy 80th AA

IMG_1384I was thinking today

About the 80th birthday of AA

How much has changed from the days of old

When they’d lock us up or leave us in the cold

Back in Akron is where it came from

Two men started a journey

a movement that changed the world

one alcoholic talking to another

one hand reaching out to the hopeless

how more than one hundred men have recovered from alcoholism

that’s what the cover page on our book read all those years ago

now the hundreds are men and women and millions more

Once, a lifetime ago for some of us,

we didn’t care about anyone but ourselves

now we seek out others to help, only giving of ourselves

A power greater than yourself

Your own conception of “God”

That’s all that is necessary to make a beginning…

Well, and maybe an open mind

I have 21 years of sobriety

It doesn’t seem a possibility

That the man I am today

Could even be alive this way

Today, and every day

I reach out my hand

Think about the other man

Share what was so freely given to me

So another might be free