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Monday, July 12, 2010

Hilarious with an oddball cast of characters - Recent Book Review of "Babes in Bucksnort"


***** ( Five Star) Reviewd By" C. J. Good, Author ""CONTENTMENT" - &... (Chicago, Illinois)


This review is for: "Babes in Bucksnort:" Sister Mary Olga Fortitude Book 2 (Paperback)
Book: "Babes in Bucksnort"
Sister Mary Olga Fortitude Book 2.
Author: Davis Aujourd'hui.

When I saw the cover art, I suspected this would be a compelling read. I took the afternoon off, settled onto my cozy couch and laughed my head off for three solid hours. A resistant group of conservative citizens, led by Priscilla Bunhead, are determined to purge the town of the undesirable (in this case, gays and lesbians). They attract the attention of an outrageous preacher, Reverend Billy-Bob Blunthead and his followers, who are on a mission to save the town from destructive influences.

I savored every page of this book, from the comical to the spiritually wise, to the lessons of compassion, kindness and love, to the tenderly poignant. It is not terribly often that I stumble upon a book that manages to convey in a truly entertaining manner, what it is like to live in small-town America, when newcomers or outsiders trigger a change in traditional values.

I felt immediate rapport with this wonderfully wacky collection of eccentric characters: Sister Mary Olga Fortitude, Fartley and Dewdrop Dinkledorf, Ralphy Mayhem, Lilliliver Lipstick, and Father Cowberries. Not to mention Priscilla Bunhead and Reverend Billy-Bob Blunthead. The oddball names alone make me giggle.

Author Davis Aujourd'hui's book was simply a pleasure to stumble upon. From the cover page to the very end, Aujourd'hui pulls the reader in and never lets go. A masterful comedian, his insight into human behavior deepens our knowledge of ourselves, even as we heartily laugh out loud.

I can not believe that any person over the age of 25 has not experienced the emotions of the colourful characters that inhabit the book. The book is well written, incredibly funny, and will probably take off like a thoroughbred at the Kentucky Derby. Makes a fabulous gift. Reviewed by: C.J. Good, Author - "Little Gifts of Sustainable Contentment" - sustainablecontentment dot com

Book one of the Sister Mary Olga Series - "The Misadventures of Sister Mary Olga Fortitude"

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Book Review: The Misadventures Of Sister Mary Olga Fortitude by - Author Davis Aujourd’hui


"The Misadventures Of Sister Mary Olga Fortitude" By Author Davis Aujourd'Hui
Posted on July 10th, 2010
by Simon Barrett in Book Reviews
ReviewsRead 227 times.


I read many books, they cover many genres, sometimes it is fun to dip into something truly irreverent. "The Misadventures Of Sister Mary Olga Fortitude" is one such book. I will share a little tid bit with you, Davis Aujourd’hui is a pen mane. I for one cannot understand the need for this

I have been told that The Vatican maintains one of the largest libraries of books in the world, I think the chances of them acquiring this particular tome is about the same as me winning the Powerball Lottery without buying a ticket. In Dan Brown’s blockbuster The Da Vinci code we get to meet the mad killer monk Silas. If there are any Silas’s around they probably have Davis Aujourd’hui on their hit list.

The main character in the book is Sister Mary Olga Fortitude, about the only vow she has not broken is that of celibacy, and who knows, even that might change. The good sister resides at the Have A Heart Convent in that well known town of  Bucksnort, Wisconsin. I am pretty certain I have visited several Bucksnort’s in my time.

Sister Mary Olga’s problems began as a baby, being born on February 29th certainly disadvantaged her as a young child. Maybe it was the lack of birthday parties and presents that made her seek out the solace of life in a convent?

Sister Mary Olga has good intentions but also enjoys a nip of Old Granddaddy now and then, well most of the day, every day.

I asked Diddles if it would be possible for him to create a custom crucifix for me. I advised him that it had to be an otherwise exact replica of the crucifixes created for the nuns. What I had in mind was a particularly hollow version of our suffering Lord. I asked him to create mine with a flip-top cross so that I could fill my crucifix with a little something to quench my ever-increasing thirst

A crucifix can only contain so much booze, Sister Mary Olga sought some help:

I spoke out loud to Jesus, “How will I get through the rest of the day with the tiny flask of spirits contained in your own cross of sorrow?

Salvation is found in keeping a bottle or two stashed in back of one of the toilets. This solution is one that I was introduced to on my first visit to a remote Albertan town in the early eighties. My traveling companion has insisted that we pick up some ‘travelers’, but when we checked into the motel I discovered that there was no in room fridge to keep them cool. “No Problem”, Jerry explained, “Every room has a cooler, you just have to know where to look”. With that said, he left my room, taking with him the garbage bin, he returned a couple of minutes later with a supply of ice, he then removed the top of the cistern, flushed the toilet, inserted the beer and ice, and gave me one of those ‘Told you so looks’. “these puppies will still be cold for breakfast”, with that he left to no doubt do the same thing in his room.

While Sister Mary Olga did not bother with the ice, cubicle four, always had a good a stash of what she wanted.
If you are going to be taking a nip or two, what is better than a cigarette to go with it? Her choice is Marlborough Reds, not just one or two but the whole package!

Through Sister Mary Olga’s eyes we get so see the happenings in Bucksnort. Drunken Fathers, homosexual activities, and the other ugly secrets of the town. The Reverend Mother is a former prostitute and the convent’s chef is a gay cowboy.

Misadventures is irreverent, but the author means no harm, it is a fun read, and should be taken that way. I chuckled my way through the entire book. It is far to easy to take offence when humour is pointed at the church, don’t do that. This is a light hearted romp.

To order your copy of The Misadventures Of Sister Mary Olga Fortitude use this Amazon Link!

The author has a new book out, and that is next in my review pile. He has also agreed to an interview, I can’t wait!

Simon Barrett

Comment Made by  Author Davis Aujourd'hui
July 12th, 2010 at 7:07 am
I am gratified by this review, along with the other excellent reviews posted on Amazon.com. This is a book with best seller potential. It is not only a hilarious read, but it has an underlying message.


Please check for the sequel, Babes in Bucksnort, also on Amazon, and feel free to visit my blog. There you can see the wonderful video trailer and read many articles about the book and can read excerpts from Babes.

www.bestsatireseriesofthedecade.blogspot.com

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Book Review of "Babes in Bucksnort" Reviewed By Sarah Moore

Title of Document: Book Review
Book Title: Babes in Bucksnort
Author: Davis Aujourd’hui
ISBN: 978-1-4327-4500-4
Publisher: OutskirtsPress.com
Genre and Target Market: fiction; humor; social commentary
Publication Date: 2010
Book Length in Pages: 202

Now that I have been involved in the book publishing and marketing industry for several years, I am enjoying the opportunity to review subsequent works from authors whose first offering I also had the chance to read when it was released. What a pleasure it is to watch the evolution of a writer’s vision and message. This is particularly true when the author is in the midst of creating a series of books with a common theme or that is focused on a particular set of personalities. In these instances, I get to spend more time with characters I have come to love and I get a more complete sense of what the author is intending to show the readers. Such is the case with the release of the second book in the "Sister Mary Olga Fortitude series" by Davis Aujourd’hui, "Babes in Bucksnort."

Like the book that preceded it, The "Misadventures of Sister Mary Olga Fortitude", "Babes in Bucksnort" follows the antics of the diverse residents who live in Bucksnort, Wisconsin as told by the hard-drinking, chain-smoking nun whose name graces the entire series. However, while the first book was intended to introduce the readers to the large cast of characters and establish Sister Mary’s belief in tolerance and unconditional love, "Babes in Bucksnort" now takes a more focused approach to the storyline and confronts the growing prejudice against homosexuality in the town.

Becoming increasingly concerned about the infiltration of gays and lesbians in Bucksnort, Priscilla Bunhead forms a group of like-minded citizens who are determined to chase the people who they believe to be perverts out of town. Their efforts are reinforced when Reverend Billy-Bob Blunthead brings his Born Again or Burn Forever Disciples for Jesus to Bucksnort for a large rally that is meant to galvanize the supposedly moral people to save their community. As readers will discover, Billy-Bob, Priscilla, and other dispensers of harsh judgment will face a stronger and more unified opposition than they ever expected.

In this book, Aujourd’hui continues to do an excellent job of sharing social commentary through his memorable characters. Reverend Billy-Bob immediately conjures up images of television preachers who use their claim of Christianity to make a fortune from condemning others. Lilliliver Lipstick, another new character to the series and sidekick to Priscilla Bunhead, reminds me of the weak child who stands behind the playground bully and quietly watches while her fellow students are belittled and beaten. And, of course, Sister Mary Olga is still the necessary voice of kindness and reason in the middle of a wild atmosphere. I imagine in more than one instance, readers will recognize a character in "Babes in Bucksnort" as an exaggerated representation of someone they know in their own lives.

As I read both published installments in the Sister Mary Olga Fortitude series, I realized that I was enjoying the content for two distinct reasons. First, Aujourd’hui creates men, women, and children with unforgettable (and descriptive!) names and even more outrageous behavior. I appreciated the sharp humor that the author employed to this end and found great entertainment value in turning each page and discovering what these characters would do next.

But, I also enjoyed the important messages of love and acceptance that Aujourd’hui emphasizes, particularly through the teachings of Sister Mary herself. Once in a while, we all need mirrors placed in front of us to help us examine and rethink how we treat one another, and Davis Aujourd’hui accomplishes this through his writing. "Babes in Bucksnort" is a book that will make you both think and laugh, which defines a great read for me. Now, I just need to wait for book number three so that I can discover who Sister Mary will bring to task next!

"The Misadventures of Sister Mary Olga Fortitude" (Book 1)

"Babes in Bucksnort" Book 2

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Outskirts Press Announces "Babes in Bucksnort", Author Davis Aujourd'Hui


Syracuse, NY, June 17, 2010 --(PR.com)-- Outskirts Press, Inc. has published Babes in Bucksnort: Sister Mary Olga Fortitude Book 2 by Davis Aujourd'hui, which is the author's most recent book to date. The 6.14 x 9.21 paperback in the Fiction / Humorous category is available worldwide on book retailer websites such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble for a suggested retail price of $13.95. The webpage at www.outskirtspress.com/babesinbucksnort was launched simultaneously with the book's publication.

About the Book (Excerpts & Info)

Here is the first sequel to the highly praised “The Misadventures of Sister Mary Olga Fortitude.” Once again the unconventional bourbon-swilling, chain-smoking nun will spin outrageously funny new tales about the residents of Bucksnort, Wisconsin while she tests the will of a reformed prostitute who just happens to be her Reverend Mother.

Unfortunately there’s trouble brewing in the Snortlands. The nasty and notorious town busybody, Priscilla Bunhead, goes on a crusade to stamp out what she calls the gay menace. That’s when she convinces her millionaire friend, Mildred Mayflower, to give away her fortune in order to bring the Reverend Billy-Bob Blunthead and his Born Again or Burn Forever Disciples for Jesus to town to do the job. It will be an uphill climb for them as the closet doors of many gay people in the Snortlands burst open. Billy-Bob and his wife, Pinky Poo, will have another battle on their hands when Dimples Dufus, the heiress to the Mayflower fortune, arrives on the scene to reclaim her fortune.

In between the laughs, Sister Mary Olga continues to dispense nuggets of spiritual wisdom during her classes in Beginner’s and Advanced Holiness. Just don’t take seats near the flatulent child named Fartley Dinkledorf or his lecherous one-hundred five year-old grandfather, Poopsy. The bottom line is that everyone is welcome in Sister Mary Olga’s classes. Join the diverse cast of characters for a joy ride that will tickle your funny bone until it aches.

Deftly constructed at 206 pages, Babes in Bucksnort: Sister Mary Olga Fortitude Book 2 is being aggressively promoted to appropriate markets with a focus on the Fiction / Humorous category. With U.S. wholesale distribution through Ingram and Baker & Taylor, and pervasive online availability through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and elsewhere, Babes in Bucksnort meets consumer demand through both retail and library markets with a suggested retail price of $13.95.

Additionally, Babes in Bucksnort can be ordered by retailers or wholesalers for the maximum trade discount price set by the author in quantities of ten or more from the Outskirts Press wholesale online bookstore at www.outskirtspress.com/buybooks.



ISBN: 9781432745004
Format: 6.14 x 9.21 paperback
SRP: $13.95
For more information or to contact the author, visit www.outskirtspress.com/babesinbucksnort


About Outskirts Press, Inc.

Outskirts Press, Inc. offers full-service, custom self-publishing and book marketing services for authors seeking a cost-effective, fast, and flexible way to publish and distribute their books worldwide while retaining all their rights and full creative control. Available for authors globally at www.outskirtspress.com and located on the outskirts of Denver, Colorado, Outskirts Press represents the future of book publishing, today.


Outskirts Press, Inc., 10940 S. Parker Rd - 515, Parker, Colorado 80134

http://outskirtspress.com 1-888-OP-BOOKS

Sunday, June 13, 2010

"Laugh, Learn & Love" Book Review of "Babes In Bucksnort" June 11, 2010

Book Reviews of "The Misadventures of Sister Mary Olga Fortitude" and "Babes in Bucksnort"
By A Very Merry Shakespeare (NY, NY) 


This review is from: Babes in Bucksnort: Sister Mary Olga Fortitude Book 2 (Paperback)

Guys and gals - if you want to laugh out loud, and learn something at the same time, this is the book for you. Series of books, actually; the first book in this great set that I received in the mail was titled "The Misadventures of Sister Mary Olga Fortitude". Now, Sister Mary Olga dwells at the Have a Heart convent in Bucksnort, Wisconsin. She is a true spiritual guide for everyone, and it shouldn't matter that she also has two things she loves - Marlboros and bourbon. When I began the first book, I quickly and completely fell into it and could not put it down; I was so entranced with the people on Dinkledorf Drive that I, literally, fell in love with each adn every one of them. I also was impressed at the way the author addressed many issues pertinent to the world today including religion and gay rights.


I moved on to the second book almost immediately because I was, by then, so wrapped up in these characters that I was laughing at a time when I truly needed to laugh and I wanted my happiness (and stress-relief) to continue. In the second novel, Priscilla Bunhead is one of those people that every small town in America has; she is the righteous busy body who can't stand the fact that there are atrocities in her world such as gay people infiltrating her town. She goes on a crusade, with the help of her millionaire friend, to call forth the wise and righteous Reverend Billy-Bob Blunthead. This is the man who will clean up her town and force the gay people out of her neck of the woods. Not only do we have that storyline, but the author also introduces a character called Dimples Dufus who wants nothing more than to reclaim the fortune that Dimples left behind.


The spiritual wisdom that this author and his fantastic characters impart is truly a lesson in support, kindness, and love - things that some true Christians have forgotten over time. (Yes, that's my opinion so don't send horrible letters to the owner of this site). On a side-note, when characters are named Fartley and Dewdrop Dinkledorf, Ralphy Mayhem, Lilliliver Lipstick, and Father Cowberries, how exactly can a reader go wrong? I am so happy to have been introduced to this author and his series that I really can't wait for Book III: Have a Heart, to be released. Every once in a while a writer comes along who I believe should have more press and publicity, and Mr. Aujurd'hui is the newest one to make that list. Everyone go out and get these books and enjoy!

Author Davis Aujoourd'Hui

Sister Mary Olga Book Series:
Book #1 "The Mistadventures of Sister Mary Olga Fortitude"
Book #2 "Babes in Bucksnort"

Saturday, June 12, 2010

My Secret Shame - Part 1

I have shared a host of addictions in my past. These would include alcoholism, drug addiction, sexual addiction, codependent relationships, love addiction, tobacco addiction, compulsive shopping, workaholism, caffeine addiction, sugar addiction. The list could probably go on. That's enough for now!

Gratefully, some of these addictions such as alcohol and drug abuse are no longer issues within my life. From some others, I am seeking recovery. I may never recover from some. Fortunately there are only a few that are truly life-threatening. I keep my focus on recovery from the greater of “the evils.”

What I've come to learn is that I cannot work on all of them at once. That is what the perfectionist who lurks in my brain would like me to do. It's also a recipe for failure. I am like everyone else. I'm not perfect; I am only human.

I have once heard it said that to be human is to be addicted. I believe this to be true. It seems that it's the human condition to expect something or someone to make us happy rather than to look for happiness within ourselves. That only works for awhile until we feel the aching longing within ourselves once again. As for me, only spirit can fill that gaping hole of need.

It seems to me that so much of our unfulfilled needs come from the materially-driven society in which we live. What happened to me in my past was that I became so consumed by my wants instead of focused upon my needs. I certainly have had a tendency to try to fill myself up with things outside of myself in order to make me feel better. That's only worked for the time I had been engaged in those addictions, attachments, or compulsive behaviors. After the thrills wore off, I was just as lonely and needy as before.

It was my first and primary addiction that fueled something even more toxic. That was my secret shame which would ultimately lead me back into this addiction following more shame, emptiness, apathy, or despair. For many years I fooled myself by justifying my sexual behaviors. So many gay men were leading promiscuous lives in the 1970's and 80's. For many that ended with the fear of illness and death connected to AIDS. For many of those who survived, AIDS had become the wake up call for them to have made changes in their sexual behavior. Unfortunately that didn't work for me. I was addicted to sex.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

My Secret Shame - - Part 2

I don't need to put any chemicals into my body to get high. Such is the case with any process addiction such as that of sex. As for my sexual addiction, I would experience “a high” during my sexual acting out that was more potent than any substance I'd ever put into my body. I have since learned about the altered body chemistry that's activated while under the influence of the addiction.

My sexual behavior was not a moral issue as I'd wrongly believed. I had been absolutely unable to stop my compulsive behavior even knowing that I was doing something that went against my personal values. That only increased my shame.

During that experience of powerlessness, I would often engage in behaviors that I would have never dreamed to have been possible for me. I would end up feeling so ashamed. That would only serve to drive me back into the addiction in order to try to make myself feel better. It never worked.

I would continue to engage in inappropriate and unsafe behaviors which would exacerbate my shame. As time wore on, I began to experience more and more unpleasant consequences. In addition to relationship problems, I experienced debilitating depressions and suicide attempts, sexually transmitted diseases, robbery, serious threats of bodily harm, and apprehension by law enforcement to name a few. None of that stopped me; that is, not until I hit a bottom connected to pure despair. That's when I found my way to a twelve-step recovery program named Sex Addicts Anonymous.

What I came to learn once I had come into recovery was just how devious the addiction is. As with all addictions, the behavior is simply a symptom of a deeper distress. Coming to terms with accepting my feelings and dealing with life's problems instead of running away from them would become the greatest challenge of my life.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

My Secret Shame -- Part 3

As with any addiction, sexual addiction and its accompanying shame is indeed as much a physical as well as mental and spiritual disease. It had its roots in my early life. That's when I learned to cope by soothing myself with sex whenever I became troubled. That's how I survived. What was my amazing discovery was that the addiction didn't have anything to do with sex per se. I simply wanted to be loved. I just didn't know how to appropriately find that love from others or from myself.

Unfortunately my sexual soothing became very dysfunctional for me when I became an adult and tried to maintain a semblance of a healthy relationship. I didn't have the tools to do that because I discovered that I truly didn't love myself. That made it impossible for me to develop an open and honest relationship in which I could give freely of myself. What's more, I didn't even really know who I was. I'd been running from myself for all of my life.

What happened instead was that I'd developed a double life. In what seemed like my normal life, I pretended to be a well-adjusted person. I'd go through the motions of life while using my double life as a sex addict as a means with which to cope with whatever feelings were uncomfortable. By uncomfortable feelings, I'm talking about feelings such as worthlessness, loneliness, anxiety, sadness, self-pity, anger, and resentfulness to name but a few. This would translate into basically any feeling that had a negative charge to it.

I would also invariably turn to my addiction whenever I felt elated. Then I would use sex as a reward. Ultimately I didn't know how to take care of myself at an emotional level. Additionally I would find myself turning to my addiction during times when I wasn't taking adequate care of my physical self; for instance, when I was hungry, tired, or feeling sick.

I couldn't remain faithful to my short-term wife or my first male partner for any substantial period of time no matter how hard I tried. On those occasions when he learned about my behaviors, I would tearfully promise that I would never cheat on them again. Unfortunately, when it comes to addictions, promises are meant to be broken. I wrongly thought that I should be able to control my behaviors. That mistaken thought only added to my shame whenever I would slip back into lifelong behaviors which only continued to cause my partners and myself more pain.

Over the years, my behaviors became even more frequent and outrageous. Consequently my life became more and more unmanageable. Following many years of devastating and often suicidal depressions, I finally reached out for help. This came on the heels of a suicide attempt, a break up in my long-term relationship, and recovery from alcoholism during which my sexual behaviors escalated. I came to realize that I was totally out of control. For me, it became a matter of life and death. I didn't think that I would be able to survive another suicidal depression

Monday, June 7, 2010

My Secret Shame -- Part 4

I could tell you a long story about how the seeds of addiction and shame were planted in my childhood, how I suffered from some traumatic experiences, my feelings of inadequacy, my early sexual memories and behaviors which escalated once I began to explore gay sex as a young man. By that time, I had become a full blown sex addict. It would take me several more years before I could accept that fact. It would take me another decade before I came into recovery for the first time.

Perhaps I will tell you that story some day. I have indeed written my autobiography. Writing the book was an exercise in trying to piece together a very fragmented life in order to look at the light and dark sides of myself. It became a cathartic experience during which I sought to become whole. I hope to have my memoirs published at some point in the future. For now I will tell you about my experience in recovery.

As I had implied, my journey toward recovery began after I joined Alcoholics Anonymous. Within the course of the next year, I finally found the courage to seek help from Sex Addicts Anonymous also known as SAA. As crazy as it may sound, I didn't know how I would be able to explain what I perceived as my perverted behaviors to another human being. I didn't stop to consider that people in that program might have experienced behaviors that were similar to my own.

I was horribly nervous when I met with two men at a Ground Round restaurant. They shared their personal experiences of addiction with me while telling me how the program worked. I couldn't believe that I was meeting in a public place while having such a discussion. What struck me as particularly odd was that these two fellows didn't seem to have any shame in talking about their pasts during our meeting.

This was to be the meeting before the meeting. Out of respect for the other group members, prospective members were always met in a public place before the new members were allowed to attend a meeting. This served two purposes. It created a feeling of safety for the current members and it also gave the new member an idea of what was about to happen. I will never forget that day.

I arrived at the actual meeting to discover to my horror that I was the only gay man there. What only served to make matters worse were those two women in the group. I had no idea how I would ever be able to talk about my “degrading homosexual experiences” with a group of straight men and women.

I quickly learned that, while many of us engaged in different compulsive behaviors, the underlying feelings were the same for us all. I quickly formed bonds with these men and women who spoke intimately about their own experiences in a way that quickly disarmed me. I didn't know what to make the attitudes of the longer-term members as they discussed their experiences. Many of them seemed to be happy. I decided that whatever they had was something I wanted for myself. I did my best to do what they told me had worked for them.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

My Secret Shame - - Part 5

I got myself a sponsor and I began to work the steps. The first step was to admit that I was powerless over my addictive sexual behavior and that it had made my life unmanageable. I didn't have any problem accepting that in theory. Even so, it was difficult to let go of an addiction that had, at one point, been my friend.

I began to focus on staying abstinent from toxic and inappropriate behaviors one day at a time. During many points, I had to cut that down to an hour or even a minute at a time. Sometimes I simply felt as if I was coming out of my skin. Whenever I could put together a few days or weeks of abstinence, I would feel as if God had worked a miracle within my life.

Then I would find myself allowing myself to fall back into the addiction. Recovery wasn't going to be easy and no one made that promise to me. Even so, I kept going to meetings. I felt as if my emotional life depended upon it. Truth be told, I always felt better after I'd gone to a meeting even though it often felt like pulling teeth in order to get myself to attend in the first place.

Within a few months, I gave a formal first step presentation to the group. I talked intimately and honestly about my sexual behaviors and how they had made my life unmanageable. It truly helped me understand how powerless I was over the addiction at that point in my recovery.

I felt a tremendous weight lifted off me following my presentation. I was told by the other members that they loved me and could relate to my experience. They told me how honored they were that I honestly shared my story with them. It was such a cathartic experience as years of shame seemed to melt away.

Unfortunately, as is often the case with newly recovering people, I went out of the program a year and a half later during a difficult period in my life. The subsequent shame of not coming back only kept me away that much longer.

I went back into my addiction with a sense of sad resignation. I became apathetic and managed to let go of my guilt toward cheating on my partner since we had stopped becoming sexual with each other. I rationalized my outside sexual behaviors as acceptable since I deserved to have sex.

Truth be told, I was the one who had stopped that part of our relationship. Unable to allow or know what intimacy was, I preferred to have sex with others. It would be a long time before another bottom finally brought me back into recovery. That happened twelve years later.

My Secret Shame -- - Part 6

I was back in the trenches of addiction as I continued my “field research.” What did I find that was different? The answer was nothing! The addiction only continued to escalate as I became more and more out of control. On some days, I would have sex with ten or more partners. It was such an easy thing to do in those places where both gay and straight men sought to have sex with other men.

I practiced unsafe sex almost exclusively as I continued to put myself at risk of HIV infection. Having not acquired it, I was under the delusion that I was invulnerable. The truth is that no one is. At some level, I must not have cared if I remained alive. Addiction is a terminal illness for those who continue to pursue it with all its inherent risks. How I managed to survive only spoke to one truth. I remained alive in order to tell my story.

My symptoms of active mental illness were now being controlled by medication after I had finally been properly diagnosed. That's another story I will share with you in another article - I'm sharing these different aspects of my life with you in a piecemeal fashion in order for you to absorb them according to each subject. Otherwise you would need to read a long book. The larger story will be told another time and in another way.

After twelve years of slowly destroying my spirit and my relationship of over twenty years, my partner confronted me. He'd found a bottle of Viagra which I had come to need in order to sexually perform - My guilt and shame had had a psychological effect with which I had needed physical help. He gave me an ultimatum. I could either go to couple's therapy or my partner said he would leave me. I felt trapped, but I didn't want to lose the relationship that I had thought would last me for the rest of my life.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

My Secret Shame - - Part 7

Kicking and screaming on the inside, off to therapy with him I went. As soon as I got there, I realized I would need to work on the addiction. The only thing that made sense to me was to go back to SAA. I also realized that the only way that the program would work for me would be if I was to do it for myself. To do it in order to save the relationship would hopefully be the end result. Only time would tell.

I also realized I would need to do personal therapy in order to deal with “the demons” of my past. Shame haunted me from the core and it had infected me from so many sources. These would include: childhood sexual and emotional trauma; the thought that I needed to please others in order to earn their love; and my other secret childhood shame that I might be gay and therefore unworthy of love from my family or even from God.

I returned to SAA filled with shame, though I was quickly reminded that I was no different than any of the other members. I was only doing what had become an ingrained pattern. I was only seeking to survive my pain. Yet, once again, I was reminded that there was another and better way. They loved until I learned to love myself and give that unconditional love to others.

I worked the program with a diligence. I attended four to five meetings per week. I obtained a sponsor and I practiced abstinence from my toxic sexual behaviors one day at a time. I couldn't possibly imagine myself being free for a lifetime after so many years of being in bondage to lust. Practicing freedom in small doses made my life more manageable and helped free me from perfectionist thinking. That would remain a challenge for me as is still the case.

I learned to recognize and deal with my feelings in a healthy way. I stayed connected with others as I sought to end a lifetime of isolation from people and from God. I immediately found that I was freed from compulsive behavior, though I would mistakenly test the waters again. As time went on, I was able to put together longer and longer pieces of sexual sobriety. It was a daily challenge and I was gaining more and more hope and faith as I went along.

I looked to a Higher Power that only loved and who had no judgment. I experienced God's presence and His voice through the other members of my program. I began to feel worthy of that love as I learned to love and trust myself. I also began to trust God because He was doing for me what I could not do for myself.

Friday, June 4, 2010

My Secret Shame -- - Part 8

My partner and I continued in couple's therapy, but I hadn't been able to let go of one relationship with a younger man with whom I had formed an attachment. I had started to fall in love with him. That part of my addiction would ultimately spell the end of what had become twenty-four years with a lifetime partner. Another problem was also looming. After years of freedom from mental illness, I began to destabilize. The eventual breakup would be accompanied by incredible unmanageability as I sought to change so many major areas of my life all at the same time.

Losing my partner was a huge emotional price to pay. I would not begin to realize how much pain was involved until the following year. In the meantime, I bought a new home and started a new relationship. Ironically it was not with the young man with whom I had fallen in love. I met someone even younger - an unlikely partner with whom I began a most unusual love story about which I will tell you in another article. Every aspect of my life was now changing.

The amazing thing is that, following multiple slips during the previous two years, I had suddenly become totally sexually sober. There was no compulsive desire or sexual obsession. I was able to give complete fidelity to another for the first time in my life. Talk about miracles!

That continued for one and a half years before I began to experience intermittent slips. I had taken my sobriety for granted. Even so, I no longer needed to live in a place of shame. I kept picking myself up and coming back to meetings. I never lost hope or faith as I continued to work my program to the best of my ability.

Although I created incredible pain for my new partner, he supported me. He realized I was dealing with an ingrained lifetime problem for which there would be no easy fix. Yet I was recovering. I began to realize a joy that I had never dreamed possible.

I learned to pursue new dreams and resurrect long-abandoned interests as I became free from what had been a daily and time-consuming obsession. I began to write my life story and, when I was done, I was ready to embark on another writing venture. This was to be the beginning of the Sister Mary Olga series.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

My Secret Shame - - Part 9

A new and exciting period in my life was unfolding. As I continued to recover from sexual addiction, I was beginning a new career as an author. I began to incorporate elements of my past into my blossoming series of books about a wayward nun. The most important element of having come to look at my past more kindly was that I learned to do so with humor. I had learned how to not take myself or life so seriously.

By the time Misadventures became published, I had written nine books in the series. I completed two more books before I submitted the first sequel, Babes in Bucksnort, to my publisher. A new adventure beyond my wildest dreams was unfolding.

I had to learn to practice not projecting my concerns about the future into any area of my life. I continued to work my program of recovery with a diligence as I sought to stay grounded amidst the unfolding excitement of my career as an author. The reviews for Misadventures were ecstatic and so was I. That's a dangerous feeling for a sex addict. It made my continuing recovery more challenging.

What I learned was that I could free myself from the idea of a struggle by reframing it as a challenge. By surrendering the addiction to God, I could continue to experience prolonged periods of complete freedom from this addiction. The program was working even if I couldn't always do it perfectly.

As we all are, I am only human. I learned to let go of the notion of what I had considered to be sin and to reframe it as a correctable mistake. I learned that every mistake begins with a mistaken thought. It would become my challenge to remain aware whenever I slipped into unconscious thinking. As I did so, I began to take charge of my thoughts in order to not allow them to lead me astray. In so doing I was also letting go of my shame.

Ultimately I have learned that, while it is important to learn about my addiction and how it came to manifest, I am responsible for taking charge of my recovery. It's been hard work, but it has well been worth the effort. As is promised by twelve step programs, I am learning a new freedom and happiness. I am learning to not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. I am learning that God is doing for me what I could not do for myself.

What remains most important for me is to stay aware. When I am living in the present moment, there's no need for me to fear. I am slowly but surely waking up to my spirit as I become more conscious of myself and my life choices. No matter what anyone's life challenge is, we are all responsible for creating our own happiness.

As I have learned, it does not come from the outside. It comes from within. It comes from maintaining a positive attitude and focusing on what I have to be grateful for. Everything that has come to pass in my life has served a purpose which has brought me to my today. Today I am truly grateful!

As we all are, I am here for a reason. It's my hope that my life example and Sister Mary Olga's lessons in Advanced Holiness will help wake up those who have walked in the shadows of despair to wake up to their joy. I believe that is all that God wants for any of us.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

THE EAGERLY ANTICIPATED SISTER MARY OLGA SEQUEL IS OUT!


Fans of "The Misadventures of Sister Mary Olga Fortitude" have said, “We couldn't put it down! When it was all over, we wanted more. We can't wait for the next book in the series!”

Fortunately, you won't have to wait long. The sequel to Misadventures is out. Whether or not you've read Misadventures, you'll be able to dive into the deliciously zany new tales without missing a beat.. Of course, you'll undoubtedly want to back up and read the first book, so that you can find out what outrageous stories have come before. Let me tell you a little bit about the new book.

"Babes in Bucksnort" is the sequel to the highly praised "The Misadventures of Sister Mary Olga Fortitude". Once again the unconventional bourbon-swilling, chain-smoking nun will spin outrageously funny new tales about the residents of Bucksnort, Wisconsin while she tests the will of a reformed prostitute who just happens to be her Reverend Mother.

Unfortunately there is trouble brewing in the Snortlands. The nasty and notorious town busybody, Priscilla Bunhead, goes on a crusade to stamp out what she calls the gay menace. That's when she convinces her millionaire friend, Mildred Mayflower, to give away her fortune in order to bring the Reverend Billy-Bob Blunthead and his Born Again or Burn Forever Disciples for Jesus to town to do the job. It will be an uphill climb for them as the closet doors of many gay people in the Snortlands burst open.

Billy-Bob and his wife, Pinky Poo, will have another battle on their hands when Dimples Dufus, the heiress to the Mayflower fortune, arrives on the scene. They'll also have to reckon with a mysterious woman who channels an entity who challenges the hateful and hypocritical agenda of this spokesman for Jesus.

In between the laughs, Sister Mary Olga continues to dispense nuggets of spiritual wisdom during her classes in Beginner's and Advanced Holiness. Just don't take seats near the flatulent child named Fartley Dinkledorf or his lecherous one-hundred five year-old grandfather, Poopsy. The bottom line is that everyone is welcome in Sister Mary Olga's classes. Join the diverse cast of characters for a joy-ride that will tickle your funny bone until it aches.

Look for "Babes in Bucksnort" through Amazon.com. In the meantime, I am polishing up the next books in the series. Sister Mary Olga promises to be with you for one home run after another.

Monday, May 10, 2010

HUMOR IN MY LIFE - - - Part 1

Okay, folks! I'm going to make some lemonade out of lemons. Yesterday was my birthday. It just happened to be a big one. I turned fifty-five and I'd started to come to a place of acceptance that I might now be middle-aged. It's just that I usually feel as if I am still in my thirties. Such was not the case on my birthday!

I've just crawled out of bed, having experienced a temperature of 103 degrees last night. I felt every single year of my age and then some on this birthday. I was as weak as a kitten.

Do I hear someone asking, “Where's the lemonade?”

There's a simple answer to that. After years of bemoaning the seemingly negative experiences that life can bring, I've come to realize that everything happens for a reason which is for the greater good. The challenge for me is to look for the silver lining in the dark cloud; in other words, to look for the hidden blessing. Once that can be found, it not only changes my attitude, it can lead me to look upon the experience I might have otherwise bemoaned and find some relief through humor.

Okay...I wasn't laughing last night. Truth be told, I was a pitiful mess! I slept away the afternoon only getting up to let my partner feed me a bowl of chicken soup. After a few more hours of sleep, I was rewarded with a donut and told that I was grumpy. I figured I was entitled! What a way to spend my birthday!

Today I can see through new eyes. I can even laugh at the pitiful circumstances of yesterday. Of course, it always helps to feel a bit better.

The last time I made a big deal out of my birthday was when I turned fifty. That also turned out to be the second worst birthday of my life. Yesterday ranks number three on the totem pole. Maybe I'll tell you the story about my fiftieth birthday another time. Better yet, why not now!

Here goes...The year before I turned fifty was a hairy one. I went through a number of dramatic life changes. I lost my best friend to cancer and my two beagles died. I broke up with my partner of twenty-four years, bought a new house, and took a long weekend off from work in order to move. That's not what happened. I never returned to work. I got pretty sick - sick enough to qualify for a disability retirement.

There were some beautiful things that happened. A caring new partner and his mother came into my life and took care of me when I was at my low point. I became more dependent upon God each day which opened new doors to my increasing spirituality. I also came to see that my life had a purpose; that was, to tell my story.

I decided that I would begin my memoirs at the exact moment of my birth, fifty years after the event. I did so while my partner was having a hissy fit and banging doors in the background. Perhaps he was entitled. He'd just had surgery a few days before and he wasn't feeling his best.

The way my ego saw it was that he was disrupting my big plans for my big day. Things had to be just so. I proceeded to write the foreword to my book and it still reads as some of the best writing I've ever done. I'm just grateful that I haven't needed banging doors and screaming to motivate me since then!

The day only got worse after that. I can only blame myself for that. My threatened ego continued to get in the way. After all, I'd thought, I was celebrating the fact that I'd survived the previous year. I'd made it to fifty and it seemed like a pretty big thing!

My dear parents arrived in time for the party with my mother bearing the birthday meal and cake. At the same time, my partner and I were involved in another showdown. I went to bed, feeling sorry for myself. Then an idea occurred to me. I figured I would feel better if I went to one of my twelve step meetings.

I gave my apologies to my bewildered family and I went to the meeting. I did feel much better afterward. In fact, I found myself laughing over my childish antics of the day. Fortunately my family was still at my house and there was left-over beef stroganoff and birthday cake for me. It also helped to see that they had apparently had a fine time without the birthday boy being present.

Where would any of us be without humor? The trick is to discover the humor in things that don't always seem to be funny. More and more, I'm learning to do that. I hope this will be the case for you too.


Author Davis Aujourd'hui
"The Misadventures of Sister Mary Olga Fortitude" (1st of a series of books)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

HUMOR IN MY LIFE - - - Part 2

Back in the days of childhood during my summers at my camp, I whiled away the hours with one of my first tender, young girlfriends. Her name was Marie and she had a deep dark brown complexion in stark contrast to my lily-white, freckled one. I only became more freckled following the lobster red sunburns I received after the two of us frolicked in the refreshing waters of our local Finger Lake in Upstate New York. Those were the days!

Even though she was one and a half years older than I, she must have thought I was an eligible prospect. One day she asked her mother if she would be marrying me some day. Her mother replied, “Honey, there are plenty of fish in the sea!” It was lucky for her that she didn't meet the fate of my first wife and only wife; namely that of marrying a very confused gay man.

Our camps were rather rustic. There was no electricity or indoor plumbing. It was reminiscent of the previous century when one would need to let go in an outdoor privy. “Okay!” would say Sister Mary Olga Fortitude. “Let's call it like it is! You're talking about a rank and rustic outhouse! Just watch out for the splinters or they might bite you in the ass!”

I giggled with delight when a mutual friend taught Marie and I an old song. It was entitled “Swinging from the Outhouse Door.” I immediately decided that would be a fun thing to do. The door of my outhouse cooperated marvelously. I could swing to and fro with freedom, though it wasn't as much fun as swinging from a hanging vine on the hill above the smelly outhouse.

I eventually came to act out a similar scenario in an updated bathroom at a later point in my life. That would just happen to take place on the night before my wedding. The last thing that I remembered at the scene of my wedding's eve party was swinging from the shower rod in the hotel bathroom. The rod broke and I fell into a tub filled with ice water and beer!

Ah...those fun and crazy times back in the days of my drinking escapades! I could and will tell you stories about the drunkalogues of my life. I'll keep it on the light side by telling you the humorous stories if you will bear in mind that I'm not trying to glorify the darker side of my budding alcoholism.

The memory of that bathtub scene only came back to me from others once I'd returned from my honeymoon. During what had been a black out, I came out as the gay man I was to several stunned members of my wedding party. Then I ran down to the hotel lobby in a frenzy of crazed drunkenness only to be dragged on my back to my hotel room.

I awoke the following morning with a tremendous hangover. Fortunately I made it to the church on time even though my best man got stuck in a traffic jam on the Connecticut turnpike. That didn't deter him from his matrimonial duties. He hopped onto the shoulder of the road and sped by the angry and amazed motorists who complied with the rules of the road. He delivered this groom to the church on time.

That didn't prove to have been necessary. True to form, my bride was as late as always...too bad for her that she didn't get cold feet. When the honeymoon was over, she discovered it wasn't so funny being married to a gay man! Sad, funny, and true!

Author Davis Aujourd'hui
"The Misadventures of Sister Mary Olga Fortitude" (First book of a series of books to come!!)

Friday, May 7, 2010

HUMOR IN MY LIFE - Part 3 - "The Party's Over"

Yes, there's nothing like a night of pure intoxication with which to create an evening of insanity! Let me tell you about one of the most bizarre evenings that my first male partner and I have ever experienced.

It began innocently enough when we ran into a new friend at a saloon during happy hour. He invited us to go with him to a work-related party, located in a small village some twenty miles away. Having had nothing to eat – not an unusual occurrence for us - we left for the party, already nicely lubricated.

It was a very boozy affair and we all got extremely drunk. The party hostess was not a lady! She could drink like a man. She was also extremely crude and she had the audacity to come onto me. Given my history as a sex addict, who I was in any position to cast judgments around lecherous behavior? Nevertheless I didn't appreciate her attention!

What followed only provoked a resentment on her part. After not succeeding with me, she put the moves on my bewildered partner. When he, too, rebuffed her advances, she finally saw “the light” through her own alcoholic haze! That's when she ordered the three of us to leave the party.

She hurled angry, homophobic, and vile slurs at us. As intoxicated as we were, we made a hasty exit! I was at the point where I was weaving in and out of consciousness, but I took the driver's seat and we hightailed it out of there.

Driving dangerously fast on a two-lane country highway, I nearly drove off the road as I swerved to avoid an oncoming car. I barely avoided the roadside ditch, as I drunkenly struggled to maintain control of the car. By the time we had reached the city's outer limits, our bladders had also reached their limits. That's when we stopped at a mall to find restrooms. Innocent or not, “the fun” had only just begun.

The rest of the evening proceeded into even more insanity. I picked a fight with my partner, raging at him over something I can't even remember. I stormed off on foot with the intention of walking the remaining seven miles home as I drunkenly staggered down the side of the busy nighttime street.

Unfortunately for my partner, our friend hadn't returned from the bathroom. My poor, bewildered partner didn't know what to do when he'd unsuccessfully tried to find him. What he had known was that he was too drunk to drive. He did the only logical thing. He lay down in the car and took a nap.

In the meantime I'd managed to weave and wobble about three long miles on foot by the time my partner pulled the car alongside me. Unfortunately our friend had disappeared into the dark of night. I argued with my partner, but he finally convinced me to get into the car and we drove home, without further incident, where we promptly passed out in bed.

Around three o'clock in the morning, the phone awakened us from our stupor. It was the police. That's when we learned what had become of our friend. They told us they had arrested him. Sometime after midnight, he'd been caught by the police as he had been running down a city street as naked as the day he'd been born. They wanted us to come down and bail him out! That proved to have been our just dessert for not having had supper. Of course, the drinking hadn't helped! Only time would reveal more of the same before we found our way to a more serene and sane life.

Author Davis Aujourd'hui
"The Misadventures of Sister Mary Olga Fortitude" (1st in a series of books to come)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Humor in my Life----Part 4 "That's My Seat"

I eventually settled down with a nice gay man. It's said that “birds of a feather flock together.” Budding alcoholics that we were, we soon began to drink like fish out of water.

Over time we would toy with the idea that we had a drinking problem. Then we would take a few days or a few weeks off from our daily happy hour routine just to reassure ourselves that we could stop. Then it would be back to the “same old, same old.” Only time would tell the whole story.

We'd been taking a “time out” when we were enjoying an evening with a lesbian couple who were friends of ours. They suggested we visit a popular lesbian bar. It sounded okay to us. After all, we'd always been curious about the place and we thought we could handle a sober night out.
We arrived at the bar and encountered a brutish butch bouncer who proclaimed, “No men are allowed!” Our friends defended us. They advised the hostile door-person that we were their friends and they were going to take us into the bar. Phew!

Being on the wagon, my partner and I ordered iced tea. We didn't seem to mind that the beverages didn't taste like any iced tea we'd ever had. As a matter of fact, they were extremely refreshing and we quickly downed them, ready for more. Of course, by that time we'd been advised that we had been served Long Island Iced Teas which were pure alcohol. Oh well, we thought. What could be the harm of a handful of drinks!

Several drinks later and feeling no pain, we took a tour of the bar, entering an area where some more butch lesbians were playing pool. We noticed a wall of empty bar stools and we awkwardly took our perches, probably a little unsteady on our feet by that time.

All of a sudden, one of the pool players started purposefully stomping her way in our direction. With her cue stick in hand, she marched toward us as if she was brandishing a sword. We shivered in our seats. The three hundred pound lesbian with salt and pepper hair, swept back in an Elvis Presley duck tail hair style, pounded her way across the reverberating floorboards as she advanced upon two very drunk and confused gay men.

Not knowing what we'd done or what to expect, she got right up in our faces so that we could see the whites within her steely blue eyes. Then she snarled, “That's my seat!”

Needless to say, we surrendered both seats promptly – so much for our tour! Little did I know that this butch number would play an intimate role in my life some twenty years later.

Author Davis Aujourd'hui
"The Misadventures of Sister Mary Olga Fortitude"

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Humor in my Life - Part 5

My first summer after college, I sold encyclopedias door-to-door. It became an exercise in humility. Not too many people appreciated having their dinners interrupted by a door to door salesman.

My day would start off by meeting with the other salespersons and their respective managers. We would then be driven to small towns located anywhere within a one hundred mile radius of my hometown. An appointed pickup spot, almost always a bar, would be given to each of us - what an ideal pick up point for a budding alcoholic! Then I was off on my own with my briefcase loaded with samples, knocking on doors where I hoped to get in to give my pitch. Hours later the sales manager would pick us up and drive us back to the office.

I did make some sales, but I often fell short of my weekly quota. The days were filled with endless walking and lots of rejection, though I was usually able to get into at least one or two houses a day to give my sales pitch. The one pitfall in the workday was that I often was not picked up at the appointed time. Consequently I'd feel obligated to buy myself drinks while waiting it out at the designated bars; not that that bothered me, mind you! This was acceptable behavior to management who often would reward us with boozy parties back at the office.

One night, while peddling my wares in a neighboring county, I made a sale. The one snafu was that my prospects objected to the amount of the sales tax, stating the sales tax was lower in their county. I told them I'd have to consult with my manager about reducing it and that I would return later in the evening. As it happened, this was one of those nights when I was stranded for hours at the designated pickup spot.

I sat on my bar stool next to a very friendly, elderly Italian man who kept buying me drinks – boilermakers! Well, I didn't have a good tolerance for beer and, with that added shot of whiskey, I quickly became very drunk. The “kindly gentleman” seemed to become extremely entertained and he just kept buying me more. People-pleaser that I was, I couldn't be impolite by refusing them, even though my head began to spin and I seemed to be fading in and out of consciousness.

Some hours after the designated pickup time, my sales manager finally showed up. He was also wildly drunk and, even though it was early in the morning, he insisted we go back to close my sale. We arrived at my prospect's home, but the lights were out. That didn't deter my determined sales manager. He started shouting toward their bedroom from the driveway. The disgruntled husband appeared at the bedroom window and curtly stated, “If you want the sale that much, come back tomorrow!”

My head was still spinning when we arrived back at the office, but I had to get home, right? So, I staggered to my car and I somehow managed to stay on the road for that drunken drive home. The next morning I awoke with a terrific hangover. There was no way I could even raise my head up, so blinding was my headache.

My mother showed me no sympathy as I groaned from my bed. I also knew there was no way I was going into my job that day or on any other day for that matter. I'd had enough! I quit my job and thus ended my door-to-door sales career. Fortunately or not my drinking career had only just begun!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Humor in My Life - Part 6 - Recovery

Based upon my tales of drunken adventures, you may wonder why I think there is anything funny about addiction. The truth is that addiction is not funny. It's a disease. Having found some measure of recovery from it, I am able to look back upon things that didn't seem so funny at the time. That way I am able to detach from my shame and look upon the lighter side of life.

This is what I do in my series of books. Does Sister Mary Olga Fortitude have a drinking problem? I would say “yes,” but she's the one who has to come to that understanding for herself. The same would be true for the rest of us.

People don't usually come into recovery because they are simply looking for a better way of life. They are hurting and despairing. So much of that hurt is caused by the pain which they have tried to bury by using various forms of oblivion to seek comfort that doesn't endure.

Upon coming into recovery, a new way of living is opened up before them. As has been the case for me, I realized that all God ever wanted for me was to be happy. Of course, I had to take a searching look upon my past to see where I needed to make changes within myself or amends to others. In so doing, I practiced objectivity and compassion with myself as I looked at the shadow side of myself. I came to learn how to embrace my humanness without judgment.

Was it painful? Sure it was. Yet, as time went along, I realized there had been a lot of humor to those things which I hadn't found so funny in my past. I also realized that there was a silver lining to all those dark clouds. Every piece of my past has brought me to my today and for that I am grateful. I have come to embrace a life filled with more joy and serenity than I would have thought to have been possible.

This is the message of hope that I hold out to any of you who are locked in the chains of addiction. You may not even realize that you are in bondage. That's okay. Just try to take a look at my characters and to see whether or not you can relate. Also take a good look at those characters to whom you react. There is a reason for that too. Life is full of surprises. Some of them are wonderful. Some of them don't feel so good at the time.

Underneath it all, life is all good. It is a classroom that can help us find our pathway back to joy. In so doing, we blossom as we open up to the notion that we are indeed here for a purpose. The spiritual way of life is filled with happiness. For me that is derived from helping others in need.
"If any part of my blog is of any help to anyone else, my life will have served a greater purpose. If my books can make you laugh at yourselves or the absurdity of life, then I have accomplished my objective; that is to help people find a way to look upon the lighter side of life and to not take themselves – or life – too seriously."

Author Davis Auijourd'hu

"Misadventures of Sister Mary Olag Fortitude" (1st in a series of books to come)

2nd Blog -"The Funniest Satire Series of the Decade"

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Humor in my Life --Part 7

After years of being anxious about remaining a virgin, I finally fell in love with a woman who wanted to be intimate with me when I was twenty. It remained an anxious experience for me. After all, I'd never had a single sexual fantasy about a woman. I was scared to think that I might be a homosexual; that was a fate I did not want for myself! What complicated things was that I'd lied to my girlfriend. I'd told her I was sexually experienced. Now I could only hope that I could become stimulated and perform. Talk about pressure!

I made that long trip home from college to celebrate Valentine's Day with my new valentine. Since neither of us had a place of our own, I came up with the bright idea of making love for the first time out at the family camp in Upstate New York. Mind you, it was February, the coldest month of the year and there was no heating at the camp!

After making a self-conscious stop to purchase my first condoms, I picked up my valentine and we headed for camp. We were rife with expectation and I was beside myself with my own fears. The two of us trudged down through the cow pasture above the lake, knee deep in snow, while a bitterly cold wind buffeted us until we reached the relative shelter of the woods. Then we had to make the steep, slippery descent that last quarter mile down to the camp.

I took my valentine to the cottage which I'd thought would be a romantic setting, but the temperature within it was somewhere just above zero degrees. Even a fire in the fireplace barely registered any warmth to the part of the cottage where I intended our tryst would take place. We were, very simply, freezing!

Well, what could we do? We got under the covers, fully clothed, before venturing further. Mind you, I was simultaneously contemplating my ability to become aroused with a woman, as well as how to put on a never-before-used condom! At the same time, I was contemplating my ability to hit the target once I was properly equipped. Oh, and then, there was my performance anxiety. Oh God, could a first time be any worse than this? Maybe honesty was the best policy!

Anyhow, one thing led to another after we slipped off our clothes beneath those icy covers. Less than a minute later, it was over. Phew! I was no longer a virgin and I thought I'd done pretty well, all things considered. The best part was that I was in love and she loved me!

Well, I'd climbed a figurative mountain, but now it was time to climb up that steep, slippery hillside to the promise of warmth from my Ford Pinto. It was a tough climb, especially for my valentine who wasn't accustomed to the great outdoors. Finally we made it! Both of us had to laugh about the clumsy lovemaking, though obviously for somewhat different reasons!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Humor in my Life---Part 8 -The Mask


As I've said before, it's the things that don't necessarily seem so funny at the time that, with a little perspective, can be brought forth with more light and levity. I was always one to take life so seriously and I had an ego as big as a mile. Of course, egos only serve to cover great insecurities. Such was the case with me.

As a young man, I had created a mask that spoke to the undiscerning that I was the best thing since Twinkies. I was an up and coming business executive and I planned on making my first million by the time I was thirty. Thanks to addiction and depressive illness that didn't happen. That was part of what was not funny in my life. The good news is that I got past that.

Speaking of twinkies, I married at twenty-three. “What does that have to do with twinkies?” you ask.

It just so happens that that was the same year I came out of the closet as a gay man. That was another story that contained both humor and suffering. Let me find my way back to the topic of humor.

After my short-lived, wonderful career in the business world, I became a social worker. Throughout my years, I met a wide variety of people from every walk of life. Let me tell you about one of them.

I'll call her Marti. She happened to be very eccentric. She liked her clothes and she was a pack rat. She was also very skilled at getting herself evicted from her apartments every six months or so. Marti wasn't playing with a full deck, but it didn't bother her in the least.

She could drink the best of them under the table and she smoked more cigarettes than Sister Mary Olga Fortitude. Those habits gave her a voice that sounded like a bull horn. She also had a stereotypical Irish temper.

Marti wasn't big on formalities. One time following an eviction, I was storing her clothes in my office. Unbeknownst to me, she traipsed into the office and began to rummage through them. Not a minute later, a colleague of mine tapped me on the shoulder. Marti was in the middle of the office, totally nude and picking out a new outfit!

She also had an interesting relationship with her own gay man. I'd frequently run into the two of them at gay bars. That gave Marti the upper hand in our own relationship and she wielded that with a knife when she became angry.

One day, while visiting the office and not getting her own way, she spat at me, yelling “C...sucker!” in a waiting room full of people. Never one to hold a grudge for long, later that same day, she gave me five dollars for Christmas and said, “I'm sorry.”

I wasn't allowed to accept gifts, but she wouldn't take no for an answer. Consequently, I passed on the money to someone else in need.

Marti didn't live a long life, but she lived life on her own terms. They may not have been the terms that most of us would have described as a happy life, but Marti took her lumps and handed them out as she saw fit.
The bottom line is that Marti was one of my most unforgettable characters and I will be telling you about many more.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Humor in My Life --- Part 9 - Dogs and Cats oh My!


I had a client who I'll call Joe. Joe was an eccentric character who had a wild imagination! Truth be told, he was as delusional and hallucinatory as any I'd ever known. He was paranoid and he also had some deep-rooted sexual issues.

Even though the Cold War was over, Joe believed that the Russians and the CIA were spying on him. He would work himself up into a frenzy of pure terror. That was not funny. What was funny was that he believed there were kids in the attic who did kinky sexual things to him and that there was an ape in his basement.

The kids in the attic would come down when Joe was in the bathroom where they would fondle him and insert devices into his orifices. Joe maintained that he was not gay, but he had little that was good to say about gay people. Let's just say that he had a certain fascination with his anus. As a gay man myself, who was I to judge?

Joe had a houseful of dogs and cats. All of the animals would talk to him. They told him that he was the baby Jesus. Joe was therefore very interested in anything to do with Jesus and he had a born again outlook. Doesn't that make sense since he was the baby Jesus come back to earth in the body of a grown man!

Woe be to anyone who he met outside of his house on a bad day. He particularly didn't like black people and he went so far as to prove he was a lily white as the daylight. He would sprinkle his face with baby powder so that he looked like a ghost. Then he would walk outside his house and scream racial slurs at bigger men than he who were as dark as the night. It's amazing that Joe was never beaten up or worse. Apparently his transient neighbors realized that Joe had some issues!

Joe also had a sister. The two of them were more dysfunctional than Carol Burnett and Vicki Lawrence in Mama's Family. They would have screaming matches that could raise the roof. Even so, they maintained that they loved each other before they would go back at it again.

Yes, it's true. Joe was another of my most unforgettable characters!

Do not forget to buy the book and start your wild adventure full of laughter!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Humor in My Life --Part 10--Bowel Fumes


Dementia can be a sad thing, but it does contain dozens of humorous moments. Such was the case with the “bowel fumes” lady who I'll call Emma Mae.

Emma Mae
had a strange delusion that her upstairs neighbors were sending what she called bowel fumes down into her apartment. Perhaps it was the industrious and flatulent little boy from my book, The Misadventures of Sister Mary Olga Fortitude. He was named Fartley Dinkledorf.

Fartley was well-named. He took a perverse pleasure in passing gas. God only knows, Emma Mae, had an extremely sensitive nose and she smelled farts wherever she went within her apartment.

Poor Emma Mae! This little old lady who would weave and wobble around in her high heels and negligee didn't have a clue. She was going to be headed to the Sunnyside of the Street Adult Home. That was a place where they knew how to deal with happy wanderers.

Emma Mae would frequently put herself at risk because she would wander from her apartment and get lost. At least, there were few bowel fumes in the fresh air of the outdoors. Just wait until the day that I came to fetch her to move to her new home. Emma Mae had another plan in mind!

When that day came, I asked Emma Mae where her suitcase was. She demurely answered, “Give me a few minutes to finish packing.” Then she left me on her deck while I patiently waited.

Minutes ticked by and I began to wonder what had happened to Emma Mae. I called out to her, but there wasn't a response. Upon investigating, it appeared that she had left the premises.

I walked out onto the deck where I caught a glimpse of her disappearing into the forest behind her building, dressed only in a nightgown. I hightailed it after her, but she had the advantage. She was on a mission to disappear into the cloak of the forest.

I vainly searched in the woods for a half an hour before I gave up. It was now time for me to take some definitive action. I called the cops.

They took me very seriously when I told them about how Emma Mae easily became lost. Not five minutes later, a helicopter was circling overhead. Poor Emma Mae! She was finally spotted down by the railroad tracks. Perhaps she thought that she was going to jump on a train.

I met the police who had caught up with my damsel in distress. It was now time for Emma Mae to head for the sunny side of the street.

I only saw Emma Mae one more time. By then, she didn't recognize me any more. She had still been up to her old tricks, trying to escape from Sunnyside every chance she got. That was all right. Sunnyside was used to these types of antics. She never got very far.

Emma Mae had finally gotten over her delusions about bowel fumes. She had also long forgotten the helicopter episode. Perhaps I had her mysterious neighbors in mind when I created the character of Fartley Dinkledorf.
That makes for hilarious reading when you tickle your fancy with Misadventures.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

HUMOR IN MY LIFE--Part 11--Working with the Mentally-ill


Working with the mentally-ill has its moments! It can be filled with stress and anxiety. It also has its light side. A woman I'll call Tweetie Pie was a case in point.

Tweetie Pie kept a spanking clean apartment, but she had one unusual habit. She drank soda by by the two liter bottle.

“What's unusual about that?” you may ask.

What was unusual was how she dealt with the aftermath of her guzzling. She filled those bottles with her own urine and she unashamedly kept dozens upon dozens of those urine-filled bottles adorning her bedroom. It was if she was an interior decorating accessorizing her bedroom with accent color. Let's just say that dark brown yellow wasn't exactly her color. Nor was it mine!

I would usually see Tweetie Pie twice a month. As was the case with many of my clients who didn't cooperate with treatment, I would never know what to expect. One day, I was in for a real surprise!

I rang the doorbell and I waited. Not a moment later, this large woman who did not resemble a bird burst out of her upstairs apartment door. Then she came dashing down the stairs screaming, “I'm going to kill you!”

Needless to say, I wasn't about to wait around to see what would happen. I made a dash for my car as she followed me in quick pursuit. I managed to give the car the gas just as she rushed toward me in a rampage. Later that same day, she was admitted to the hospital where she remained for a long period of time.

Tweetie Pie also developed some physical health problems. While they weren't amusing, I have an interesting tale to share about the time she was diagnosed with one of them. It was proceeded by another day involving a dash toward me. Foaming at the mouth, she screamed, “I have rabies!”

After another trip to the loony bin, she was later transferred to a regular hospital. There, she was diagnosed with diabetes.

It's been years since I left the field of social work and I frequently think about my former clients. God only knows what has become of my Tweetie Pie. No matter what, I'm sure she is still happy. In spite of her “mad” moments, she was always as chipper as a bird. I think that I've well-named her with her pen name. She was indeed a tweetie-pie. She was also a strange bird!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Humor in my Life---Part 12---Kitty Caper

Oh, the stories I could tell about my time working as a social worker! While many of them had mixed outcomes, they were filled with all-too-human examples of sadness and humor. I'll try to keep the focus on the lighter side of life, though it is often mixed with shades of darkness. Such was the case with a woman who I'll call Bertha.

Bertha was ninety-four years-old. She'd lived a rich life doing unusual work for a woman where she was employed as a lineman. She worked right up until she was eighty. Then she spent five years in retirement until she lost her husband of sixty-two years. It had been a happy life, but things began to disintegrate after that. She was not only going through her grief. She was beginning to become demented.

Bertha and her husband, Hank, loved cats. They loved them so much that they had eight of them. After Hank passed away, Bertha collected a few more. The only problem was that she had forgotten that cats needed to be neutered if they weren't going to multiply like rabbits. Such would become the case with Bertha's cats before the time that I came to know her. By that time, her ramshackle house, filled with a lifetime of possessions and five years of cobwebs, had also become filled with thirty-five cats!

Poor Bertha! Those cats managed to destroy all of her upholstery and Bertha couldn't remember to keep up with cleaning the cat boxes. There was cat poop and urine all over the place! There were also mummies of dead cats wrapped up in newspaper, placed lovingly in her kitchen cabinets. Perhaps she had placed them there prior to intended burials. Unfortunately, she had forgotten to attend to that detail.

Also, unfortunately for Bertha, something had to be done about the cat problem. Her neighbors were complaining about the reek coming from within her house. It was also apparent that she couldn't cope with the kitties, though she didn't have a clue. She thought everything was just fine.

That wasn't the case for me. To enter her house, any sane person would have worn a gas mask. Playing the role of social worker, I was mandated to view the interior of my clients' homes. I was also mandated to carry out the role of protecting the public safety. Those cats had to go!

I called the friendly and helpful SPCA cruelty investigator with whom I had become well-acquainted. It was time for another kitty caper.

Betsy arrived with her van, filled with cat carriers and her snare. Cats would become feral when they were being attempted to be caught. Under conditions such as this, one would also never know whether or not the cats were vaccinated. It would be no laughing matter to be scratched or bitten by a cat that might have rabies!

Betsy and I had to hunt down kitties that hunkered down inside sleeping sofas, under beds, and inside kitchen cabinets. They would dash around the house in a frenzy when they were cornered. It was no laughing matter!

We managed to capture most of them. Who would know what their fate would be? Fortunately, for some of the cats, they managed to escape into the fields surrounding the house as we struggled to get them into the kitty carriers. They would remain free or possibly find neighbors who would adopt them. The next day it was as if it had never happened. Bertha didn't remember that she'd been the caretaker for ten households of cats. Sad, but true. Perhaps this tale is not such a funny one. Better luck next time!