Now I’m 46

Another year has come and gone – this one seemed to go by very quickly for me. I had a lot going on, many changes began here and continued.

I left Alcoholics Anonymous

It was a while in the making. I finally saw the inner workings of the service side of AA, what I assumed would be the most spiritual was the most sick I guess. It seemed all anyone wanted was what they wanted, not what was best for AA as a whole. So to me I had lost a second part of the triangle, the one I believed in most – Service. Between that and the “fake it til you make it” dishonesty in an honesty program. I’m really an atheist and cannot swallow what others do in its entirety. Don’t miss it, gives me lots of free time and less to be resentful at. I did go to a meeting with Flo when I was in Albuquerque but that was for him, I was just along. No one from AA has really reached out to me asking me about it – some have said they want to leave too, so that’s interesting. Continue reading

Some Hugs Are Better Than Others

I’m not a hugger… I wonder how many posts have started out that way on my blog? I’ll have to research that some day (anti-hug posts: “My Sponsor Wont Shake My Hand” “Obsess Much?” ). I opted to go to AA over NA because of the hugging that assaulted me at my first NA meeting… it was awful.

Sometimes a hug can be better… special… needed? Continue reading

Normally Do Not Mix

I was thinking today of my friends (especially Suzanne, it’s her birthday) in the world and how incredibly varied they all are. Not all of my friends are in 12 step programs but I think being in a 12 step program has made it easier for me to become friends with a wide array of people. Going to a meeting you will likely run into a gamut of characters – bikers, politicians, house wives, students and divas to name a few. We all manage to get along as we have a common solution, a common peril that unites us. We stand together or we fall alone – it’s been proven to be true – this 80-year-old program changed more than just the lives of Alcoholics, it’s changed the world. (the book made the Library of Congress’s top 100 books that changed America LINK)

12 step programs not only make members better… they somehow transform those around them into people members can tolerate. 🙂 I kid, I kid… If you work the 12 steps the result is intended to be “an entire psychic change”, some say a “spiritual awakening”. That entire psychic change is a pretty marvelous thing in my experience – it made me a different person, some argue that drugs and alcohol hid the real person, but I’m not sure. What it did do was fill my life with some really wonderful people who I don’t just tolerate… i need them, they fill holes in my brain and turn calamity to calm.

“WE are average Americans. All sections of this country and many of its occupations are represented as well as many political, economic, social, and religious backgrounds. We are people who normally would not mix. But there exists among us a fellowship, a friendliness, and an understanding which is indescribably wonderful.” Alcoholics Anonymous, Fourth Edition, Chapter 2, There is a Solution, p 17

Continue reading

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

2014 Better Than I Imagined

So much happened this year I’m having difficulty believing it all fit in 365 days.

AA:

I started work with a new sponsor, Flo. Did another 4th and 5th Step. Sought his advice and direction in many things I’ve never asked a sponsor before, and its really changed who I am. Tonight at my meeting it was on Step 12 (Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and practice these principles in all our affairs) and just reflecting on the step work this year and my willingness I think I finally feel some of that “joy” we talk about – I still think it’s a bit overrated, but maybe I’ll get used to it.

I sponsored 4 guys this year – one of them moved back to WI (Matthew); one of them got drunk again (Zack) and then sobered up again; one of them has been sober longer than I (Mark); and one of them just kind of disappeared (Jordan).  Each of them helped me tremendously this year and I’m glad that I had the opportunity to share with them (even if sometimes they don’t listen). The very first sponsee I ever had (David) passed away and I was with my current sponsor when I received the news. Continue reading

Ding! 44

I dinged Saturday, turned 44. Don’t feel any different, probably won’t for the rest of em either. I started receiving birthday wished a day early and a co-worker even saran wrapped my cubicle items… was a good day. Friday night took a nap after work – forgot to turn off my phone, so it was a short nap – friends calling to wish me a happy birthday (for my 40th birthday I was awakened by someone on the east coast around 3 a.m. when I was in Hawaii, you think I’d have learned to turn that thing off).

Saturday morning sleeping in – forgot to turn off my phone again… so there you go – self-imposed crisis I could neither postpone nor evade.

I did what I wanted to do for my birthday – not much of anything. Video games, comic books, spicy food… naps. yeah, I had a good day. next year though I think I’ll return to Fort Lauderdale, I miss being there for my birthday.

Anyway, here we go starting another year of my life. This past year was much better than the previous – has a lot to do with the new sponsor and a lot to do with the new job, both are things that have helped me immensely. Here’s to continuing on that path.

10 Days of Whine

My 42nd year is coming to an end. In ten days it’s my birthday… I don’t really want to be anything except 42, I liked it. After all 42 is the answer to the ultimate question of Life, the Universe and Everything…  I guess all things must change or die – hard choice that one. I think I’ll be 42.A for this birthday, I’ll ask my math friends (I have some, really I do) if there are clever mathematic equations that look cooler than 42.A.

Typically for my birthday I would head to a warm destination, sit by a pool and do nothing. Now I live in a warm destination (supposedly – it’s only 46 out this morning) and I don’t know anyone with a heated pool. I’m not flying anywhere, not likely having any fancy meals or doing anything.  In past years instead of gifts I’ve asked for people to donate to charity, sometimes I even picked the charity to give for my birthday. I had all I needed and there seemed little need for more things.

Now though, it’s been tough. I’m struggling financially, juggling things around and stressing out about it – I’m not supposed to do that anymore ( fear of economic insecurity will leave us ) and I know I can get rid of that fear, but it seems I keep asking and it’s still there. I’m taking action about the money thing – trying to find other income streams and cutting back on costs of a few things I can live without. I’m weighing all my options which is going to lead to more change before too long.

There was a leak in my patio door and rain seeped into my bedroom – half the carpet was wet when I awoke the next morning. Every article of clothing in the bedroom closet was wet. Several books I had out are warped from the moisture. For four days a blower was in my room drying things out. Yesterday they came and cleaned the carpets, now the carpet was wet the entire bedroom. I’ve had fans blowing in there all night and I slept on the couch for the fifth night. I’m going to have to rewash everything and take the dress clothes to the dry cleaner again.

I’m letting someone else’s fear and paranoia affect me and make me paranoid and distrustful and damn if that isn’t a horrible place to be. It’s contagious and I’m acting on those fears out of instinct. Fear is not a nice place to live and I don’t like having it around me. I think about when I was drinking and using, how I’d go to bed at night (or early morning) and just lie there thinking about all the horrible things that were coming to pass or that I had done and just lie there not sleeping . I don’t have that, the fear isn’t that bad I can still go to bed and in moments fall blissfully asleep, for which I’m thankful. But I find myself dwelling more than I should about the future, the present and people that I have no control over. 

The cost of the recent dental procedure wasn’t covered by my dental insurance at all, I wish Obamacare would have effected all insurances, so I had to do a dental credit plan with them. The recent surgery I’ve only gotten a bill for $20 so far, I hope that’s it but I bet that too will be bigger before to long.

I’m still new here, but at meetings several people in recent weeks have come up to me and talked to me like I’m a newcomer… I’m patient with them and listen intently to their suggestions about how to stay sober. A part of me wonders why they can’t tell that I’ve been around a long time – it’s the fear I think. It’s the worry that I show on my face, newcomers have fear all the time, but I’m not supposed to. There is a guy, Chris, that goes to meetings that I do and he brings his Big Book with him, (refreshing change) and he reads along when they read HIW or the Promises and he reads when people annoy him, lol, I need to bring my book but I fear I’d read it all  through the meeting. I’m still looking for a “Home Group”, I get close sometimes, but I haven’t found that meeting that I really want to be at yet.. I miss my DC home group and those folks quite a bit.

So it’s almost my birthday, please send money, job opportunities, or a rich handsome man my way (he could even have bad breath and chew his toenails).

First Trip Sober

I was with my sponsor and grand-sponsor the first time I flew on a plane as an adult. We flew from Minneapolis to Los Angeles, a Northwest flight and we were seated in the same row. It was May of 1996 and we were going for the one year AA birthday of my first sponsor, Terry.

Many years before the events of 9/11 it was easy, worry free and a pleasant experience. I was still a smoker at the time and my biggest concern was making it far without a smoke – I think the ban on smoking on flights had just started and I was none to pleased. They offered us pillows, blankets and showed a movie. I had the window seat and was much more interested in the sky outside than the entertainment inside. I may have slept for a bit I really don’t recall.

Mid-flight they came to offer us a meal, I think it was a sandwich of which I had no interest. I was, if you can believe it, even pickier about what I ate back then. My grand-sponsor glared at me and said next time I was to give him my lunch if I didn’t want it – he wentertainment inside. I may have slept for a bit I really don’t recall.

We landed without much ado, my ears didn’t have a hard time adjusting to the altitude change like they do now. I think we were going to be there for about a week so we all checked luggage. When I thought of LAX I’d imagine scenes from Airplane with the “the white zone is for loading and unloading only – shut up Jane” and such… and it wasn’t really that, but there were so many people and it was rather loud. Everyone seemed to know where they were going and were in a hurry to get there, my Grand-sponsor led the way to baggage, but I think he was a bit unsure of himself.

The traffic was insane, even once we departed the freeway I kept imagining we’d soon be crashing into other vehicles. The trip to Santa Monica was short enough and the weather was very nice, I recall us having the windows open and feeling the sun shine warm us.

The whole week we were there was mostly about going to meetings. Being the good AA’s that we were we showed up early to every meeting, helped set up (sometimes this can be an issue, people are very serious about their commitments) and then waited sometimes almost an hour for a meeting to start. At the Big Meeting we were chastised by the people in front of us for clapping and “woo woo” ing to loudly. I remember seeing a famous person and telling Terry “wow, look there’s so and so” and Terry said it was just a look-a-like… but I’m still not sure.

We met Terry’s roommate Oscar who showed us around one day, we were at Venice Beach, climbing some rocks, driving faster than folks should drive. He was a nice guy. I learned about couch commitments – where people let new folks sleep on their couch while they first get sober to get established, seemed crazy to me at the time but now I can see where it would be helpful to folks. I remember being in their apartment and hearing the news reports constantly talking about people getting shot, that was most of the news and it was a bit of a culture shock to go from “the weather and farm report are next” to “breaking news as shots fired in local mall”.

We visited the Midnight Mission and chatted with Clancy. It was way above my pay scale to meet all these old timers. I recall I had my hands in my pockets and one of the old-timers said: “Get your hands out of your pockets, He’ll (pointing to Clancy) provide the entertainment.” I was mortified (I was very sensitive back then).

We were soon off to lunch with Clancy, some little Mexican place and we were all seated promptly, Clancy ordered for everyone and before I knew it there was this strange meal and a diet coke in front of me that I wasn’t sure of… WTH is a Fajita and Diet Coke is nasty. I had to watch others and I tried to copy them making a fajita for the first time, I didn’t want to make a fuss – I was the new guy here with 2 years hardly worth noticing 😉 You know what? I loved Fajitas, you can add the ingredients you like, it was spicy, it was flavorful… if nothing else I gained that from the trip to LA.

Saturday we were to go to the yard, I put on a Country Jam tshirt that I packed and found my Grand-sponsor was wearing one also – he made me change shirts so we didn’t look too bumpkin I imagine. Then we went to the yard (Clancy’s house) and did all the fun things they do there. Softball across the road was next and I had no interest in playing softball, but before I knew it I was up to bat – I saw the ball coming I swung it and actually hit the ball – for a moment I was standing there shocked that I actually hit the ball with the bat… then I looked to see who was going to catch it… but I didn’t realize it had gone straight up and it promptly landed on my head (this explains a lot about the following years of my life)  and I was on the ground. I was ok, and thankfully they let me stop playing softball.

On our way to the airport to go home there was a news report of a plane crashing in Florida, I was really suddenly worried about the safety of the plane we were going to be on, but all the other LAX people were just rushing from here to there.

I came back motivated to do more in AA and to have bigger groups and more fun social activities with peers. I also vowed to go again, and I did the following year without my sponsor and grand-sponsor. This became a ritual for me, every year for my AA birthday I’d take a trip somewhere – I found out many years later that my best friend wished I’d take trips to spend it with her, so I’ve done that a few times as well.

42 to Las Vegas

If you follow me on Twitter or Tumblr or Facebook or Four Square (there might be too many of these social networking sites) you probably already know what I did for my birthday trip. If you don’t you can find out here, even those of you that think you know what all I did might want to read along as I didn’t get to express everything in photos and hashtags.

Flat Pat and Suzanne

This summer I had asked my two best friends Suzanne and Pat to go with me on this trip, but circumstances didn’t allow for that to happen so I made them into Flat Pat and Flat Suzanne ala Flat Stanley and Flat Stella Fame.

I left Wednesday December 5th from Washington National Airport, the day before I had tried to check in on my Delta app on my phone but it wouldn’t work – when I checked in online I discovered that it was a Delta Flight operated by Alaska Airlines. That was a new airline for me but they gave me Delta miles for the trip so it’s all good. Nothing different about the plane really – but the crew were all, or at least appeared to be, Native American. The flight was uneventful – a little turbulence, a few screaming babies and lots of BO. We landed in LAX in enough time, deplaned and made it to the gate with plenty of time – the connection was delayed of course so we sat at the gate (not on the plane) for an hour extra I’d say. While waiting I noticed ZZ Top was in our waiting area, several people were bothering them and I tried not to stare too much. Once on the plane I asked Billy Gibson to pose with Flat Pat and Flat Suzanne and he did! wow, cool guy.

ZZ Top is cool

ZZ Top is cool

Landing in Las Vegas was normal, the lady taxi cab drivers daughter’s birthday was also December 6, that was pretty cool. I arrived safely at the Tuscany Suites and checked into my room (G203).  It was around four I was hungry and made dinner reservations at the hotel’s Italian restaurant. I gambled a little and was in bed by 9 (I had been up since 5 East Coast time).

I was up early on my birthday, December 6, and had pork chops and eggs at the hotel’s 24 hour restaurant (bad coffee, bad pork chops, and undercooked eggs – there is a region difference when you ask someone to make you eggs over easy, I’ve found that here in DC and apparently in this little restaurant over easy means something different than it does in WI, very undercooked so in the future if I ordered there again I’d order eggs over medium, but I digress). Then I sat in the hot tub for a good while – but the pool was too cold to sit in (its advertised as heated, but I doubt it was) and tried to take a nap, but it didn’t take. I walked down to the strip and then through Caesars shops and I did spend a good while liking posts on my Facebook wall and responding to emails and texts from friends and family.

Thursday afternoon my date arrived and we CENSORED…. before getting dressed and going off to see the Cirque Du Soleil show Ka at the MGM Grand. I was very excited to see it and had gotten tickets a while back. First things first, we were about 12 rows back from the stage and I think I would have rather been at least 25 rows back. I had a lot of preconceived notions about the show that didn’t materialize, but still enjoyed it immensely. I also think we were seated right near some speakers and it was very loud (you kids get off my lawn). Glad I saw it but would have likely enjoyed the Beatles Love more.

Then we went to our dinner reservation at Craftsteak also at the MGM Grand. Craftsteak is a Tom Colicchio, of TopChef,  restaurant. I had Organic Lettuce with Lemon Vinaigrette, Ribeye steak and Fingerling Potatoes followed up with the Farmers Market Fruit (consisting of Blueberry, Blackberry, Dates, Clementine, Dragon Fruit, Figs, Finger Lime, Kiwi, Passion Fruit, Pear, Persimmon, Pomegranates, and Raspberry)

Farmers Market Fruit

Farmers Market Fruit

OMG so delicious… all of it. I really can’t express in words how flavorful, beautiful and just all around great this was for my birthday dinner. The kicker for me was the painted cows on the walls – it reminded me of the cow that visited the crew at the Restaurant at the End of the Universe and I was certain I’d eaten one of the cows that was on the wall. It was the perfect place to have a 42 Birthday dinner. Quite expensive, worth every dollar. My date dropped me off with a kiss and he was on his way, it was a nice day for a birthday.

Friday morning I tried to have breakfast with my friend Danny and new friend Larry but they wanted to hear a speaker and I really need breakfast to function properly…. after breakfast I met them in the banquet hall for the end of “AA History” then we had a decent break and heard “How to live with crazy people”. Most of the rest of the talks that weekend were on steps. Two of the speakers on the original schedule didn’t make it for personal reasons.

Danny being silly

Danny being silly

I had a few meals with Danny and Larry one at P.F. Changs and one at CheeseCake Factory.

Overall my room was ok, it was very big and had two double beds. It had a decent shower and a tub. The TV did make static like noises ever few minutes for some reason and there was a high pitch beep every 5 or ten minutes that would last a minute too. The staff was nice and efficient.

I was in the gift shop looking over the shoulders of a few women in front of me at the available snacks. One of the women noticed me and apologized for being in my way – I assured her I was fine and just trying to decide which nuts to buy. Her eyes lit up and she asked if I wanted some peanuts. I said I usually get almonds. She then started to talk about these peanuts and how good they were, pulled them out of her purse opened them up and said that I would really love them and proceeded to pour a nice sized handful in my hand. They were pretty good peanuts, very crunchy. But I think it was weird to have a woman give you a handful of nuts in a gift store…

At lunch with Danny and Larry at the CheeseCake Factory we were carrying on and a woman next to us kept looking at us and smiling. We started to talk to her, seems she was also at the conference. It was a nice lunch and we made a new friend.

Some of the folks at our table for the conference included an ex-prison guard, a guy who moved from Florida to Alaska a few years ago (he did it on purpose) and a newcomer who wouldn’t shut up that I wanted to inflict physical harm upon. Great fun.

I played some roulette at the casino and while I didn’t win, I certainly enjoyed it. One woman came up to the table, put $100 on black,which hit and she then walked away with $200 – smart lady.

I met a nice guy named MiMichael from England who was there at the conference, hope to hear from him soon.

There were folks from the Chippewa Valley that made it to this conference as well: Mary Jo, Michelle, Al S and two other fellas. That was nice to see too.

Monday I was up bright and early for my flight, I had heard that there were horrible long lines at the Las Vegas Airport as it turns out it was pretty empty and before I knew it I was at my gate for my flight to Memphis (one stop). Even before we landed in Memphis I had received an email that my connecting flight would be delayed an hour, by the time our flight landed I received a few more emails and a voicemail. The updates and delays went as far as a five hour delay but ended up being only three hours, thankfully. The Delta agent was quite nice posing for a photo with Flat Pat and Flat Suzanne as well.

Delta Guy and my delayed flight

Delta Guy and my delayed flight

I arrived home around 8:30 or so, Mouse was here waiting for me at the door and was a loving purr machine for a few minutes before remembering I had left her and then she was a bit more aloof. This morning she loves me once again. I have the best roommate, Gary, who takes care of her sometimes when I’m away.

All in all, it was a great birthday trip, but I think next year I’ll be happier lying by a pool in Ft Lauderdale like normal.

Happy 42!

Deep Thought and the Ultimate Answer

Today we are officially 42 days away from my 42nd birthday – that’s the more important birthday a person could have… well a person who loves the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy and I certainly do.

42, as you may or may not know, is the answer to Life the Universe and Everything. See when a group of pan-dimensional beings created a computer named Deep Thought which takes 7 1/2 million years to compute the answer they got exactly what they asked for the answer said Deep Thought: 42. Obviously they were a bit confused by this answer and their planet was patiently waiting for an answer with festivities and awe… Fortunately for them Deep Thought knew they wouldn’t be satisfied with the answer and told them of a great computer that could give them the question that would fit the answer to Life the Universe and Everything. Deep Thought even helped them design that computer and that computer is called “Earth”.

Now Earth, according to the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy a truly wonderful, totally amazing piece of technology – at first with the following description: “Harmless”. But after Ford Prefect had visited the planet he managed to add to the description, thankfully, and it now says “Mostly Harmless” (obviously the writers had seen the US Congress in action).

Well as it turns out the day before Earth was to finally release the Ultimate Question to the Ultimate answer to Life, the Universe and Everything it is destroyed to make way for a hyper-space bypass – if you’re not expecting these kinds of things to happen, you’re really not prepared to live in the universe with the rest of us.

Now there really were really only two instances that anyone actually said they knew what the Question was… one was Marvin the depressed robot, one of the most wonderful characters in all literature, who said he could see the answer imprinted on Arthur’s brain (see Arthur was on the planet/computer Earth seconds before it was destroyed, fortunately for him he got to listen to Vogon poetry instead of dying horribly… well I guess that’s really a matter of taste, like any poetry really. And in the book Life the Universe and Everything Prak, a man who knows all that is true, confirms that 42 is indeed the answer and one would assume that if Prak knows all that is true he would also know for certain what the question was.

Anyway, back to my birthday which as I mentioned earlier is 42 days from now, I plan to celebrate in style. I’m flying to Las Vegas for a conference about the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. (You should note that the Big Book, Alcoholics Anonymous, references the number 42 in the chapter There is a Solution – coincidence? I think not. I have tickets to see the Cirque du Soleil show Ka at the MGM Grand and  reservations at  Craftsteak and a date local guy there.

I will have a freshly inked tattoo from my friend Matt at Jinx Proof tattoos in Georgetown – Matt is designing it and is fully aware of the importance of 42 and it’s significance  to the universe so it might incorporate a lot of things including, but not limited to: two white mice, at towel, the words “Don’t Panic” (which are written on the cover of each Hitchhikers Guide to Galaxy)… well, we’ll see what he comes up with in a few days.

So happy start to my birthday celebration to one and all, I know you’ve all been waiting for this day all your lives and I thank you for being so patient. If we don’t make it through the end of the year (perhaps they’ll come and destroy our planet to make way for a hyper-space bypass) I hope to see you all at the Restaurant at the End of the Universe if not before then.

Below you’ll find a few cultural references to the number 42 (from wikipedia):

On the Internet

The number 42 and the phrase, “Life, the universe, and everything” have attained cult status on the Internet. “Life, the Universe, and Everything” is a common name for the off-topic section of an Internet forum and the phrase is invoked in similar ways to mean “anything at all”. Many chatbots, when asked about the meaning of life, will answer “42”. Several online calculators are also programmed with the Question. If you type the answer to life the universe and everything into Google (without quotes or capitalising the small words), the Google Calculator will give you 42, as will Wolfram’s Computational Knowledge Engine.[18] Similarly, if you type the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything into DuckDuckGo, the 0-click box will read “42”.[19] In the online community Second Life, there is a section on a sim called “42nd Life.” It is devoted to this concept in the book series, and several attempts at recreating Milliways, the Restaurant at the End of the Universe, were made. In Facebook Chat there is an emoticon for 42 created by typing :42: .

Shortly after Adams died in 2001, the Darwin Awards Forums announced that, in his honour, the number of posts required for a member to get out of “newbie” status would henceforth be decreased from 50 to 42.

In the OpenOffice.org software, if you type into any cell of a spreadsheet =ANTWORT(“Das Leben, das Universum und der ganze Rest”), which means the answer to life, the universe and everything, the result is 42.[20]

ISO/IEC 14519-2001/ IEEE Std 1003.5-1999, IEEE Standard for Information Technology – POSIX(R) Ada Language Interfaces – Part 1: Binding for System Application Program Interface (API), uses the number ’42’ as the required return value from a process that terminates due to an unhandled exception. The Rationale says “the choice of the value 42 is arbitrary” and cites the Adams book as the source of the value.

The random seed chosen to procedurally create the whole universe including all the regions, constellations, stars, planets, moons and mineral distribution of the online massively multi-player computer game EVE Online was chosen as 42 by its lead game designer in 2002.[21]

Cultural references

The Allen Telescope Array, a radio telescope used by SETI, has 42 dishes in homage to the number.[22]

In the TV show Lost, 42 is the last of the mysterious numbers, 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, and 42. In an interview with Lostpedia, producer David Fury confirmed this was a reference to Hitchhiker’s.[23]

The TV show The Kumars at No. 42 is so named because show creator Sanjeev Bhaskar is a Hitchhiker’s fan.[24]

The band Coldplay‘s album Viva la Vida includes a song called “42“. When asked by Q magazine if the song’s title was Hitchhiker’s-related, Chris Martin said, “It is and it isn’t.”[25]

The band Level 42 chose its name in reference to the book.[26]

The episode “42” of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who was named in reference to the Answer. Writer Chris Chibnall acknowledged that “it’s a playful title”.[27]

Ken Jennings, defeated along with Brad Rutter in a Jeopardy match against IBM‘s Watson, writes that Watson’s avatar which appeared on-screen for those games showed 42 “threads of thought,” and that the number was chosen in reference to this meme.[28]