Annual Business Meeting
The first, and hopefully last, online annual business meeting will be held on Friday, October 30 at 11:00am. Click here for details.
Weekends at the Park
We’ve moved our weekend meetings to McKinley Park. It’s a nice change of pace from the online gatherings to which we’ve all grown accustomed. Click here for details.
The GSR Says!
Happy October! Not much new to report for this month. Very slowly some Sacramento area groups are back to meeting in person. Many groups are waiting to hear if they will ever be able to return to their previous meeting places. There is still uncertainty concerning COVID protocols going forward. On the Area and District level all business meetings and workshops and conferences are either cancelled or meeting on-line.
On a positive note, financial contributions to AA entities such as the
Sacramento Central Office and the General Service Office in New York
have increased since many groups are not paying rent during this time.
However, it has been suggested that groups keep an eye on their prudent
reserves in anticipation for when groups are once more able to meet in
person the rental landscape might be more restricted and costly.
One item of note, our District, District 24, is planning on hosting a virtual
workshop the second Saturday of November. The topic will be how to write
and submit a story to the Grapevine. More details to follow, but I am
certain that many members of our humble group have stories worthy of
Thank you for allowing me to be of service.
Pass the Basket… please?
As we enter the umpteenth week or so without meeting in person…there’s a big elephant in the room! You guessed it…revenue from our contributions. Our trusted servants, Step 2 Men’s Group Treasurer Dan Mc. and General Secretary Tom W. are asking our help.
In fact, we’re all asking each of you and us…to make a contribution to the group. Please make your check or money order payable to “Dan McKinley” and mail direct to: Dan McKinley P.O. Box 221756 Sacramento, CA. 95822.
While an amount of $50 is ideal, we understand this may not be possible for all or even desirable. Any amount is much appreciated, any amount is thoughtful. As always, it is an entirely voluntary contribution. There will be no judging! Well…not much anyway. Just kidding, no one share whether or if you assisted.
Please give what you can. Our group remits a great deal to Central Office, St. Francis Church (both rent & causes) and other expenses. Thank you in advance all of you…you guys are awesome!
SUBSTITUTES FOR SUCCESS
As so often it is when my publishers deadline approaches, I find myself staring at the ceiling. Did someone actually lathe on that pattern of plaster or is it pre fab and a machine did it? Pretty heady stuff.
This crossed my mind.
I began to think about the requirements of our membership to Alcoholics Anonymous. Presently, as stated in the Preamble of Alcoholics Anonymous, the only requirement is Desire.
Is that enough?
Shouldn’t there be a small monthly stipend from each member for AA Columnists so that they maintain their Desire to impart this knowledge bank?
Just think about it.
Maybe Desire is the wrong word. I have desired a lot of things. I have had to settle for a lot less. Desired a stipend; Settled for a couple readers. The rest of the list is too long and veers from the point.
I think a better word for a requirement is Commitment.
There are many times, I don’t have the desire to practice these principals in all my affairs. I am not that great a person. However, I keep that word Commitment with me, at all times.
Here is what it means to me.
I have a commitment to go to meetings. I do not have a rigid schedule but I make damn sure I get to a couple meetings a week. Sometimes more. Sometimes less, but this is a commitment I make, even if I travel. I find out where the meetings are and when I can excuse myself from everyone and go. It’s important.
I have a commitment to read. The books, the Grapevine, our Newsletter. I also like to read books by and about alcoholics. Stephen King, is a member of AA. The great Elmore Leonard. I also like this guy, James Lee Burke. He writes novels about a detective named Dave Robicheaux, who wrestles with his alcoholism and describes his AA.
I have a commitment to correct my wrongs. Even simple things like sending along information in an untimely manner. See Above, Dan.
I have a commitment to the 12h Step so I Secretary a meeting and of course, I write this column. Trust me, there are many times the Desire is not there. I know what you’re thinking… “I could write a column, anyone could”. No, no. At the risk of having someone emerge who may actually write better than I, I have to say, its very hard. You have to write many drafts before achieving this excellence and it takes a lot of time away from friends, families and sports.
I have a commitment to try and stay honest. SO…… the latter part of the previous paragraph is not true.
And finally, I have a commitment to stare at the ceiling, often. Its off white, with very slight textures. Perfect for my assessments of my present moral inventory. A blank page, I can add to.
Contributed by John M.
THE LITERARY CORNER:
“A man who drinks too much on occasion is still the same man as he was sober. An alcoholic, a real alcoholic, is not the same man at all. You can’t predict anything about him for sure except that he will be someone you never met before.”
― Raymond Chandler, The Long Goodbye
“When you are young your body cannot handle alcohol, and when you get old your mind cannot handle it. Either way, alcohol has its way.”
― Robert Black
“In a Bombay street an urchin was distributing business cards. He took one. ‘Are you alcoholic?’ it read. ‘We can help. Call this number for liquor home delivery.’ Excellent business model, he thought.”
― Salman Rushdie
“The social prestige of wine at table and at the club must be destroyed through lofty example and polite ridicule; forces which are not always available, and for whose successful operation much time will be required. But the outstanding fact remains, that the world has come to regard liquor in a new and clearer light. Our next generation of poets will contain but few Anacreons, for the thinking element of mankind has robbed the flowing bowl of its fancied virtues and fictitious beauties. The grape, so long permitted to masquerade as the inspirer of wit and art, is now revealed as the mother of ruin and death. The wolf at last stands divested of its sheep’s clothing.”
― H.P. Lovecraft
“I had never been a dresser. My shirts were all faded and shrunken, 5 or 6 years old, threadbare. My pants the same. I hated department stores, I hated the clerks, they acted so superior, they seemed to know the secret of life, they had a confidence I didn’t possess. My shoes were always broken down and old, I disliked shoe stores too. I never purchased anything until it was completely unusable, and that included automobiles. It wasn’t a matter of thrift, I just couldn’t bear to be a buyer needing a seller, seller being so handsome and aloof and superior. Besides, it all took time, time when you could just be laying around and drinking.”
― Charles Bukowski, Women
“And do you really know what Vodka is like? Jesus! It’s just straight alcohol, and they drink it by the tumbler full. Really, some scientists should investigate how it is possible for man to drink such stuff in such huge quantities.”
― Kurt Vonnegut
OUR TRUSTED SERVANTS REMAIN:
Monday: Tim C.
Tuesday: Mike T. & Tom W. in for Dick M.
Wednesday: John M.
Thursday: Bob R. & Mark W. in for George T
Friday: Dan Mc.
Saturday: David K.
Sunday: Mark C.
Want to add your name to the “Back-up-Help-Substitute Secretary List”? Just contact Group GS, Tom W., Treasurer Dan Mc. or any Monday through Sunday Secretaries and let them know!
September Meeting Connections
Contributed by Mark C.
First Wednesday… October 7th
John M. reviews Step 10 on October 7th (First Wednesday). “Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
John reviews the step corresponding to the number of that month on each first Wednesday. It’s a rewarding meeting with John outlining the step of the month, how he was challenged by it and how we tackle it ourselves, with and without success! Look for his monthly contribution in this edition!
THURSDAY ‘Book & Step Study’
Bob R. & Mark W. take us through the Twelve Steps and Big Book portions to start the meeting every Thursday. Each missive is packed with fine prose, fascinating insights and challenging reading. Following the read (about 20 minutes)…the floor is open to everyone’s thoughts on how they may have been influenced or impacted by that writing. It’s really fun to be a part of and members are enjoying it.
Get on in here and show Bob and Mark support and contribute something to the newcomer. Every Thursday at 11:30.
It takes 2 men to fill George T’s shoes!
We’ll try to make readings available ahead of time on the website.
October Birthdays… IF They Make It!
October 15th… Mike B. celebrates 14 years!
October 19th… Ed D. celebrates 35 years!
October 19th… Mike F. celebrates 9 years!
October 20th… Mike M. celebrates 2 years!
October 23rd… Scott Y. celebrates 2 years!
If your birthday has been missed contact Mark C.
If you’d like to add your birthday, you can find a form for that on any page with a sidebar.
We really want to celebrate your AA anniversary because your birthday made ours possible!
Thanks everybody and apologies to you if you were missed or incorrectly noted.
Alcoholics Anonymous ‘Daily Reflection…’
LEST WE BECOME COMPLACENT
It is easy to let up on the spiritual program of action and rest on our laurels. We are headed for trouble if we do, for alcohol is a subtle foe.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 85
When I am in pain it is easy to stay close to the friends I have found in the program. Relief from that pain is
provided in the solutions contained in A.A.’s Twelve Steps. But when I am feeling good and things are going well, I can become complacent. To put it simply, I become lazy and turn into the problem instead of the solution. I need to get into action, to take stock: where am I and where am I going? A daily inventory will tell me what I must change to regain spiritual balance. Admitting what I find within myself, to God and to another human being, keeps me honest and humble.
The Road Less Traveled
There are many paths on the journey through life. I think I might have chosen the psychopath.
—Gary M., Atwater, Calif.
Drunk #1: “For better digestion I drink beer; in the case of appetite loss I drink white wine; in the case of low blood pressure I drink red wine; in the case of high blood pressure I drink scotch; and when I have a cold, I drink schnapps.”
Drunk #2: “You ever drink water?”
Drunk #1: “I’ve never been that sick!”
—John K., Sanford, N.C.
Mike to Charlie the bartender: “Pour me a stiff one, Charlie. I just had another fight with the little woman.”
Charlie: “Oh yeah? And how did this one end?”
Mike: “She came to me on her hands and knees.”
Charlie: “Really? That’s a switch. What did she say?”
Mike: “She said, ‘Come out from under that bed, you gutless wonder!’”
—Will N., Arlington Heights, Ill.
A man sat in front of his home, contemplating his future. He had just gotten a divorce, lost his children, been fired from his job and now faced eviction. He noticed a case of beer bottles in his trash and walked up to it. He took out an empty bottle and smashed it, swearing, “YOU are why I don’t have a wife!” He threw a second empty bottle: “YOU are why I lost my job!” And third exclaiming, “YOU are why I don’t have my children!” He then discovered a fourth bottle, still sealed, pristine and full of beer. He tucked it neatly into his pocket whispering, “Stand aside my friend, I know YOU were not involved.”
Ed S. Brooklyn, NY. August 1988
“I really want to thank you for sticking with me through all the years of my drinking, and the first five of my sobriety”, said the AA to his spouse on his fifth-year birthday. “But I’m curious. If I started drinking again, would you still love me?”
After a momentary pause, his wife replied, “Of course I’d still love you. I’d miss you, but I’d still love you!”
Richard M. Golden, CO September 2008
My First Meeting
Please be “of service.” If you’ve never contributed a “My First Meeting”, please help to keep this column going…we need you! What do you remember most of your first meeting? It can be one sentence; it can be up to two paragraphs. Could be funny, poignant or strickly “clinical”. Write what you want…you might have enjoy writing it!
Memory Lane…Remember the FUN We Had?
Step 2 Men’s Group Believes…
“Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”
We’d never presume that the 12 Steps are not clear. Nor would we imply that they need ‘improvement’. However…for purposes of assisting to keep the meeting pointed in an important direction each day, the ‘Step 2 Men’s Group statement is read as follows:
Step 2 Men’s Group is founded on the belief that spirituality is essential to our sobriety. Our group is non-religious, but we do not oppose anyone’s religious beliefs. We believe that respect for others and their beliefs are essential to our spiritual development. Accordingly we ask that avoid criticism of others or of their religion or lack of religion, their race, ethnicity, national origin, age, sexual orientation, physical appearance, trade or profession, length of sobriety, or personal beliefs. Our goal is to further our spirituality, our sobriety and our personal development, not to confront or belittle others. Always remember to be kind to others.
SPECIAL THANKS DEPT:
Thank you Mark W for this newsletter. Thank you George T for your hard work and GSR Says. Thank you John M. for your hard work and “Substitutes for Success”. Thank you Mark C. for your hard work creating the http://step2mensgroup.com/ web site. Thanks to Anthony S. for the ‘Joke Box’. Thanks to everyone for filling in as Secretary when needed. We’re still waiting for YOU gentle reader…Why don’t YOU contribute a short “something”? Any length, most any AA related topic. Reply now and it will get included next month!
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