Happy New Year!
The GSR Says!
Happy New Year! Well, one down, one more year to go! It has been a doozie! At our December General Service meeting for District 24 we discussed the Area Election Assembly our District is scheduled to host in November 2021. This is an assembly held every two years where new officers are chosen for Area 07. At this time the Area is asking us to plan as if we will be able to hold an old fashioned, in person Assembly. Currently we are considering the Scottish Rite Temple. Hopefully this will come to pass.
We had a guest speaker from the Northern California Accessibilities Committee who shared with us a program they have put together where the committee has set up an account with UBER so that if there is anyone who is a newcomer that would like to attend a meeting, but does not have access to reliable transportation, they can receive three round trips from their residence to a meeting. Only three round trips will be fronted by the committee since it is expected that within that time the newcomer would make contacts and arrange for needed transportation with fellow AA members. The program was put into operation prior to COVID, therefore there has been little opportunity to see it in action.
I also attended the on-line Western US and Canada Regional Forum. It was very cool! We heard talks from General Service Office staff in New York as well as staff from the Grapevine. It really provided an insight into the work that goes into keeping Alcoholics Anonymous connected throughout the United States and the world. During the day there was an opportunity to break off into smaller groups to discuss topics such as: what difficult conversations are we not having in AA, AA history, the Traditions, particularly Traditions One and Four (look them up!). Really cool to hear people from Hawaii, Western Canada, Texas, the Dakotas, Oklahoma, and yes, even Sacramento!
SATURDAY JANUARY 6, the annual Area 07 Winter Assembly will be held on-line. I will post a flyer to our website with the log-in information. Check it out!
Thank you for allowing me to be of service,
The lyrics are crass, vulgar and profane. So, of course, I liked the song F#$% 2020 by Steel Panther. You can find it on You Tube. Juvenile Mind warning….. can be considered offensive material.
And let’s face it. The song downplays how bad 2020 was.
It doesn’t even address the luxury store bought Lakers and Dodgers winning their respective championships. Thank God, for the asterisk.
I try to look at the first month in any year of AA as building a platform from which to improve and add to my foundation of sobriety. I like to think that the previous platforms I have built going into each year are below me, but I have always been afraid to look.
I dwell on my guilt, shame, remorse and self loathing enough. Luckily, I have the wise words of my second sponsor, Robert J., who told me to take out a piece of paper from time to time and write down what I am grateful for. The object of the exercise is to get you through guilt, shame, remorse and self loathing. It can be prevalent pastime in these trying times.
When I do that, one of the first things I write down after my kids is electronics.
I had several attempts at solving a problem I knew I had 30 years ago. Back then, I wanted to drink normally. I wanted to not be so afraid of everyone and everything around me. I had periods of sobriety and some awful periods of being out in those 30 years too.
However, when I made the commitment to AA almost 8 years ago, one of the first things I realized was that I Phone I had bought while drunk, had meeting schedules all over whatever town I was in for AA meetings and phone numbers if I needed an emergency call. All that in the palm of my hand. I am forever grateful for that. Honestly, it gave me the confidence that this time, going sober was going to work.
I think that had as much impact on keeping me sober as anything, including 400 channel TV and rapid advance remote controls.
I went from grabbing a piece of paper, to starting a Microsoft Notebook -electronic software – to expand the list of what I am grateful for, to include speculation of what the consequences are of going out. Picking up a drink. A joint.
I have improved the phone and one positive … yes we have to find some … of this year is the online meeting. I know, but I am going to admit it.. Video Conferencing AA meetings are convenient and plentiful. I know, my lazy ass should walk to a meeting and one day I hope that is back in style but another part of me is also thinking, hey .. these online meetings are pretty cool. I hope they stay as an option.
I think I can also say this. There are many kinds of those meetings too. Some are phone ins, some are Zoom, some are so large that you can attend and not say a thing. Which is why I feel fortunate to have the Step Two Men’s Group as my home group.
I am grateful for all of you.
So, I am wishing all of you that 2021 is your best year ever and all your endeavors are successful. May your journey from here be safe and satisfying.
Pass the Basket… please?
As we enter the umpteenth month 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!
THE LITERARY CORNER: Alcohol in Literature
“You tasted like fire
And I miss that.
So, at times
I drank a little.
And at times,
I drank too much.
But I only drank
Till it burned me enough.”
― Saiber, Stardust and Sheets
“I want a new liver to replace my heart.”
“Um, why?””Because then I could drink more and care less.”
― L.A. Casey, Alec
“People don’t care about being duped as long as they’re happy, which is the shortest form of happiness; hence ‘self-duprication’ becomes a habit.”
― Criss Jami, Killosophy
“Driving down deserted early morning roads. Round and round. Round downtown. Through naked streets. Lips pursed on two litre bottles of beer, but pursuing the lips of freedom’s night. Swapping cars. Winding up at karaoke bars or Bolsi- the best place in town. For the food. For the folk. For the service. For the crema de papaya. And for that late night dawn’s whiskey coffee.”
― Harry Whitewolf, Route Number 11: Argentina, Angels & Alcohol
“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
“All that alcohol does for them is to liberate the sense of sin, which reason suppresses in saner moments.”
― Bertrand Russell, The Conquest of Happiness
“In 1969 I gave up women and alcohol – it was the worst 20 minutes of my life.”
― George Best
“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
“Hemingway is overrated,
Twain is even more lost at sea,
And all truths point to the mouth of a woman,
Where both her whispers and her screams,
Pour another glass,
Beer, wine, whiskey,
I don’t care,
So long as its wisdom is sharp,
And it tells lies instead of promises.”
― Dave Matthes, The Kaleidoscope Syndrome: An Anthology
“Usually after a good puke you feel better right away. We hugged each other and then said good-bye and went off to opposite ends of the hall to lie down in our own rooms. There is nothing like puking with somebody to make you into old friends.”
― Sylvia Plath
“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
“My dream was one day ordering a drink and finding out it tasted wonderful.”
― Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
“That first drunk, first high, first sexual encounter, those feelings of first are the most intense, the best remembered, always impossible to attain again.”
― Justin Donner, I Just Woke Up Dead: A Memoir
“It is no longer necessary to preach sonorously of the sinful and deleterious effect of liquor on the human mind and body; the essential evil is recognised scientifically, and only the sophistry of conscious immorality remains to be combated. Brewers and distillers still strive clumsily to delude the public by the transparent misstatements of their advertisements, and periodicals of easy conscience still permit these advertisements to disgrace their pages; but the end of such pernicious pretension is not remote. The drinker of yesterday flaunted his voice before all without shame; the average drinker of today must needs resort to excuses.”
― H.P. Lovecraft
“Later he´ll be drunk in extremis and will only be able to speak the esperanto of alcoholics, which is a language full of stutterings from the geological layers of our animal ancestors”
― Anaïs Nin, A Spy in the House of Love
“The problem with the 11:11 Phenomenon is getting anybody interested in it that hasn’t experienced it themselves. Other phenomena, such as U.F.Os or crop circles, are able to be seen. We can debate them. But seeing and being guided by 11:11 is hard to convey to those uninitiated in its ways.”
― Harry Whitewolf, Route Number 11: Argentina, Angels & Alcohol
From an idea by George T.
Our Trusted Servants Continue to Be:
The current ‘Step 2 Men’s Group’ meeting schedule is Monday through Sunday at 11:30 AM. All meetings are online for now until further notice. The Thursday meeting is a ‘Book/Step Study’ format. Each of the M-Sunday gatherings are one hour. Great job men!
Monday: Tim C.
Tuesday: Dick M.
Wednesday: John M.
Thursday: Bob R.
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!
December 2020 Meeting Data
Now using distinct attendee count instead of connection record count (the same person connecting multiple times)
Here’s the connection info for joining the meeting, in case anyone missed it.
Contributed by Mark C.
A.A. member Dave Mc. curates a few selected readings from a variety of A.A. related publications each month. Dave is a life long friend of the editor and has been sober 34 years. His childhood nickname was “Mouse!”
“I’ve had many spiritual experiences since I’ve been in the program, many which I did not recognize right away, for I’m slow to learn and they It is by self-forgetting that one finds.”
Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, pg. 551 Freedom from Bondage
“As I ‘turned my life over ‘to the principles of the Steps, my former alcoholic behaviors began to take a back seat.”
The God Word, pg. 11 World Service Pamphlet pg. 86
Contributed by Dave Mc.
First Wednesday…January 6th
John M. reviews the 1st Step on January 6th (First Wednesday). “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol-that our lives had become unmanageable.” Oh no…not gonna cop to that one just yet? Most of us haven’t met a man in an AA meeting that didn’t need to be there. You don’t land here by mistake!
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. takes the reigns to take us through Grapevine, Twelve Steps and Big Book readings to start the meeting every Thursday. Each missive is packed with fine prose, fascinating insights and challenging reading. 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 your support and contribute something to the newcomer. Every Thursday at 11:30.
We’ll try to make readings available ahead of time on the website.
January Birthdays… IF They Make It!
January 2nd… Ken B. celebrates 17 years!
January 3rd… Anthony S. celebrates 37 years!
January 18th… John O. celebrates 3 years!
January 25th… Rory B. celebrates 4 years!
January 25th… Fred C. celebrates 5 years!
If your birthday has been missed, please use this form to add it to our growing list.
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…’
“I AM A MIRACLE”
The central fact of our lives today is the absolute certainty that our Creator has entered into our hearts and lives in a way which is indeed miraculous. He has commenced to accomplish those things for us which we could never do by ourselves.
— ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 25
This truly is a fact in my life today, and a real miracle. I always believed in God, but could never put that belief meaningfully into my life. Today, because of Alcoholics Anonymous, I now trust and rely on God, as I understand Him; I am sober today because of that!
Learning to trust and rely on God was something I could never have done alone. I now believe in miracles because I am one!
From the book Daily Reflections
Copyright © 1990 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.
The last days of my drinking were like making love to a skunk. I wondered how much pleasure I could stand!
An Alcoholic Bottom? When things get worse faster than you can lower your standards!
A speaker at an AA convention approached the podium. Looking out over the sea of attendees he proclaimed, “My heart is pounding like a drum, my knees are weak, and my stomach is in knots. I used to pay a lot of money for this feeling!”
Late one evening, a boozed-up character entered a large department store. He was about to step on the escalator when he noticed a sign reading “Dogs must be carried on the escalator.” Dejectedly, he stumbled off muttering, “Where the devil am I going to find a dog at THIS hour?”
On New Year’s Eve, the alcoholic at a local tavern stood up at the bar and announced it was time to get ready. He loudly exclaimed, “At the stroke of Midnight, I want everybody to be standing next to the one person who has made your life worth living!” The Bartender was taken by ambulance to the local hospital, after nearly being crushed to death.
“The Joke Box” features narratives, anecdotes and jokes from the AA publication “A Rabbit Walks Into a Bar”. Available at the AA Central Office, it contains the best material from the historic AA Grapevine. You can learn more at aagrapevine.org. Thanks to Anthony S. for picking up a copy and suggesting it!
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 strictly “clinical”. Write what you want…you might enjoy writing it! For now…enjoy this ‘MFM’ Classic from our friend James S:
When I was at the ‘bottom’ (hopefully) I looked up on-line where meetings were being held downtown. I had visions of them being held under tarps in the parking lot behind Goldie’s on 12th Street with lots of random pit-bulls and people picking imaginary insects off their arms. People projectile vomiting and screaming at me about what a POS and a fraud I was (ok, that last part was correct). Then I VERY nervously knocked on the double-triple secret door across from St Francis Church and my world immediately transformed. It truly did, and has. It continues to this day, and follows me when I am sitting across from Volo Wines in airports when my flight is delayed or when my wife and I have a dust up over some silly thing (but not about being buzzed thank God!!). Constantly with me…thanks my friends. Couldn’t do this alone. ‘Accountability without judgment’.
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.
Extra Special Thanks Dept:
Thanks to our ‘GSR’ George T. for “The GSR Says”. Thank you John M. Thanks to Mark C. for your contributions in making our online meetings a reality. He also wrote “Step2mensgroup.com.” Thanks to Dave Mc. for “Mouse’s Corner.” Thank you Anthony S. for the ‘Joke Box’. We’re still waiting for YOU gentle reader…Why YOU don’t contribute a short “something?” Any length, most any AA related topic. Reply now and it will get included next month!