Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Stampede Week Safety Planning

Okay, so TOMORROW the Calgary Stampede will KICK OFF.....yeeeeee haaawe!

It starts Friday - but - the grounds and midway will open for "Sneak A Peek" tomorrow and every Calgarian knows what this means...

UTTER CRAZINESS IN CALGARY - for about two full weeks. Yeah I know the Stampede only lasts 10 days...but people started partyin' several days ago - and they'll continue until a couple of days past when the Stampede events end.

I happen to live VERY CLOSE to the Stampede Grounds...I can walk there from my 'abode.' That also puts me only a few blocks from "THE RED MILE" - 17th Avenue at the Southwest-Central area of 17th...and this is an area of Calgary that is basically nothin' but bars, clubs, lounges - okay, there are some restaurants and other shops, too - but these are conveniently stuffed between all the bars.

Anyhow - I've called a few friends already to let them know I am 'safety planning' around the Stampede celebrations and my will to stay a RECOVERING ADDICT. There's no sense in me relapsing now, at this point, when I have come so far in my recovery. I am very thankful that 2 of my friends have offered an extra bed and a couch to me in the case that I get feeling 'not so tough' with my recovery - and start thinkin' that it would be 'fun' to join the partying mobs along 17th Avenue this year.

To boot - I really REALLY MISS some of my family - who are involved in some of the Stampede events as Contestants (*hint* GO WATCH THE CHUCKS! Root for RICK Fraser!), so I am 'safety planning' around that too - around a trip down to the grounds area where the contestants 'live' for 10+ days. I am pretty sure some of my family are camped out already RIGHT THIS MOMENT - and have probably been up for an hour already, feeding livestock...

How freaky is this post, anyway? How relevant to 'safety-planning'? - check the time on it! haha - it's around 6:30am and I have been so excited about the Stampede this year that I have been up for HOURS already - I couldn't sleep I thought it was a good time to post on the - it's a good thing that one of my first items on my list of 'things to do once normal people are up for all day' is - PHONE 2 MORE FRIENDS about my 'safety planning' around Stampede week.

I hope that others who are in Recovery in the Calgary area will do the same thing. Maybe just tell a few recovery buddies that you might get to feeling not quite as 'strong' about stayin' sober - with all the partyin' going on around town. Ask if you can catch a coffee with your friends INSTEAD OF partyin' somewhere with alcohol. Ask if you can just phone for 'support' if you get feeling rough...

That's all I've done - but I can tell you that having 2 people already who said "YEAH - I SUPPORT YA - YEE HAWE" this Stampede season makes me feel a WHOLE LOT BETTER already than I felt last year when I DID NOT make a safety plan. As well, last year, the only part of a safety plan I had was to NOT GO TO STAMPEDE events, not go over to the grounds to see my family, or anything. I have stayed away from EVERYTHING STAMPEDE for 4 full years now...

THIS YEAR I am extra excited - 'cos I am goin' DOWN THE STREET for a visit! YEE HAW! Unfortunately, the last time I saw family members who participate in Stampede events - was 2 years ago at my Mother's funeral...we all live quite far it will be great to see people - PLUS - know that I have some good friends ready to talk or free up their couch or spare room for the night...if I get feelin' creepy after I leave the grounds.

By The Way - if you don't have tickets yet for events - or if you haven't even looked at the incredible Rodeo line-ups of events or for the line up of Entertainment at the Stampede site or around the city, I'll leave you with a link so you can have a look:

The Calgary Stampede 2007

Monday, July 2, 2007

Now That Some Time Has Passed

I just did a quick Google Search on 'David Hasslehoff' paired with the word 'Drunk.'

There were 668, 000 results that turned up, and the first two links are both YOU TUBE links straight to the video of Mr. Hasslehoff in his drunken state. The videos are from two different users who are members of You Tube, but there are (of course) links from thousands of other sites, too. Sites such as: 'ifilm' dot com and 'liveleak' dot com and a site called 'nationalledger' dot com. Right under the National Ledger site is a link from the 'snarkygossip' site.

The man RELAPSED for gosh-sake...

What is worse...I have followed some threads in forums that stemmed from this incident and resulting video. It's not so much the fact that this man, regardless of his celebrity status, has to overcome the bad press, but that the topic of David Hasslehoff's intoxication incident is still drawing such comments as...

"he should discipline himself and that kind of stuff won't happen"
"he can get away with it because he's a celebrity"
"he is disgusting, gaining publicity through an awful stunt like that - that's what it was - a publicity stunt"

Somehow, even with all the information at a general public's ready convenience and consumption, a great number of people still do not know a darned thing about substance abuse.

There are arguments back and forth all the time about:

"It's a habit" versus "it's a disease"
and "it's not just a habit" versus "it's not really a disease" and so forth...


All the efforts in the WORLD to define the habit/disease of substance abuse is not getting people to the point of SOBRIETY...

BOTH ARGUMENTS have their drawbacks!

If alcoholism/addiction IS a disease - then there are many who will take advantage of this concept to say, "I can't help myself - it's a DISEASE!"

If alcoholism/addiction is merely a habit - it is not enough to just "knock it off and get on with life."

Many of those who are outspoken about the issue and who are on the 'criticizing' side of alcoholism/addiction no matter which explanation is used - are misunderstanding the depth of the problem - as well as assigning BLAME on the both cases of the 'habit' versus 'disease' argument.

It's more complex than that...

While ultimately, an addict is responsible for picking up drugs, picking up the bottle and it is a choice of sorts, there are dozens of other contributing factors that should not be overlooked - one of the TOP factors, in the case of celebrities, is PUBLIC PRESSURE and lack of privacy! (not to meantion 'means' - celebrities often have the money to buy drugs and alcohol freely, in generous amounts).

I don't think that either argument is sufficient to explain a myriad of serious problems that come along with addictions. Certainly, showing videotapes of drunken actors/celebrities isn't going to further any kind of argument - but will instead - raise questions about


Some parts of addiction are, indeed, 'habit-based' - but some aspects of addiction fall into less tangible areas where the addict's chemical balance of the body are mainly out of the addict's control - UNLESS the addict simply ABSTAINS from drugs and alcohol.

I wish less time were spent with people making statements about "It's a habit" or "It's a disease!"

In both cases - or despite both arguments, one thing is certain...

Addiction/Alcoholism doesn't have to be fatal.

People who believe in the 'disease' concept and act accordingly do quite as well as those who change their both cases, addicts who successfully recover and stay in recovery will change their habits to more positive, regular habits and changed lifestyles. People who have other illnesses often make changes to their lifestyles and greatly improve their health, as well. Few people will freak out and argue against someone with Huntingon's or Multiple Sclerosis that they should just 'change their habits...' or 'they wouldn't have Huntington's if they would just behave and gain some self-discipline.'

Anyhow - I thought the 'David Hasselhoff Drunk' incident would taper off - it's been 'OLD NEWS' for over a month now...but some further checking showed me that AVID BLOGGERS are just starting to EXPLOIT THIS VIDEO of Mr. Hasslehoff...I'm seeing brand new blogs go up - all dedicated to just 'David's Awful Problem and Behavior' (HELLO, PEOPLE...he's recovered himself - put out a statement HIMSELF that he had a 'slip' but is now in better shape, and clean.), other celebrity 'incident' sites, detailing ALL NASTY, GOSSIPY information...dates, June 1 2007 and - many of the 668, 000 sites that I just searched for are blog posts and site posts made just within the last week.

Do a quick search, yourself, if you don't believe me...and check the dates...these 'incidents' are being grossly exploited now, starting TODAY...and more will go up tomorrow, too...

How much 'news' is enough for you where celebrities are concerned?

Do you need to know what they had for supper and whether they had an alcoholic beverage with their supper?

With the other 'celebrity' addict problems - Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton...I've noticed that many 'blog marketing' individuals have picked up the 'Celebrity Addict' topic as a NEW NICHE for MAKING MONEY with!

Making money by typing gossip on the internet. It's INFORMATION - It's a service, right? People read it, right? People want it?

(I don't anymore)

All in all, I wonder - if a time capsule is made TODAY and 'celebrity magazines' from today are thrown in...what will people think of North American (possibly 'Global') society 100 or 200 years from now when they open up the time capsule from TODAY and see all the 'blurbs' about Celebrity Drunks and Addicts?

I do have an account at YOU TUBE - and I did go there and watch the video - many weeks ago when it was first posted. I refuse to put the video here on this blog, even though this blog template and setup conveniently lets me post videos straight from You Tube.

I have recently been having a very difficult time trying to sort out my own 'ethical' issues over the past 6 months or so - with regard to how much I do or do not know about celebrities and their personal problems...

Should I buy magazines with this personal exploitation of celebrities inside? (I don't anymore - I haven't for about 4 years)

Should I watch the News when stories about the Drunk Celebrities come on?

For the past few months, I have REFUSED to purchase even local NEWSPAPERS unless I have a PURPOSE in mind - like needing to view the 'classified' section. I DO NOT BUY them for 'entertainment' at all - and have not for over a year.

It's not just the Internet that is bad. My own local Calgary news channels on television are really awful right now.

I cut my TV service off almost 3 months ago, so I have just a few channels, mostly local, to watch. I like certain celebrities and want to hear about them, but if what I see is a news broadcaster talking - with a picture of a selected celebrity in the background, I don't bother watching (this setup is usually a 'gossip' draw where the news person is spreading gossip and the pic is shown to visually draw viewers). If I see a celebrity I like and they are actually ON THE SHOW being interviewed or if a clip is being shown of them speaking (such as at a fund-raising event or something) then I will watch for a while because what I am viewing is the words of the celebrity his or herself.

I still find myself changing the stations ALL THE TIME when a clip about "Paris Hilton" or "Britney Spears" comes on - because it's not's a clip telling me what I DO NOT NEED TO KNOW about Paris or Britney...or David...Or Mel Gibson...Or

How many Celebrities can you think of in the past 6mo who have been treated this way by the media?

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