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Beer: anti-Semitism

Wine: hatred of Gypsies

Aspirin: mild disdain for babies

Chocolate: distrust of squirrels

Iced tea: quizzing mentally disabled Wal-Mart greeter about his involvement in 9/11

Oxygen: being a total douchebag

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9:30 a.m. Began session.

Went around circle and had group reintroduce themselves to one another. Process went fairly smoothly. Only one member had to be reminded to refer to members of group by first name and not body parts. Apologies were accepted and the group moved on.

Asked group to begin writing list of people who have been hurt by their addictions and behavior. Always a difficult part of the session but generally good progress made by all. Most of group listed parents, friends, lovers, and even acquaintances and co-workers from several years past. Mel’s list currently stands at 12.9 million. Note to self: Must think outside the box on this one.

Interesting developments during the exchange of ideas on how to right the wrongs we’ve committed. Aaron’s suggestion to write personal notes chronicling past behavior and offer apologies was encouraged. And Nancy’s decision to compensate those who lost material items was also considered a step in the right direction. Mel took longer to grasp the concept. Group roundly rejected his idea to send autographed copies of Passion of the Christ to all those who were offended. This idea actually better received than Mel’s original thought to send autographed copies of Lethal Weapon 3. Inappropriate laughter occurred. Note to self: Clamp down on this behavior. Unhelpful.

Mel also offered to initiate new project as part of healing process. Suggested perhaps drawing upon his trademark “buddy cop” genre. Fairly tepid response from group to this idea. And offer to replace “Negro sidekick” with “Jewish sidekick” not well received. At all.

Entire group needed to be reminded that apologies should remain focused on their own behavior and should not be of the “I’m sorry you’re a ___” variety. Some members of group needed more reminding than others here. Note to self: Revisit this point. Several times.

Addressing reasons for addiction problems rendered some real progress. Carl acknowledged that his father’s emotional distance had taken a bigger toll than he had wanted to admit. And Barbara did some impressive soul-searching about her fears of failure and disappointing her loved ones. Though Mel was not accomplishing as much success as others, did get him to agree that the Jews were not responsible for at least the Myanmar conflict near the Thai border, the one featuring those creepy 12-year-old Htoo twins. All agreed this was an important concession and a real step forward. Opportunity to address more current conflicts wisely avoided by entire group.

Mel opted not to address issues with his parents, specifically his father. The group tacitly supported this decision.

A setback occurred when Mel once again began speaking in tongues during Karen’s turn to share. Order restored once Mel was asked repeatedly to “use his words” and apologize to Karen for interrupting her account of several hard years sleeping behind a Wal-Mart. Mel reminded again that it is not relevant to his outburst whether Karen is a Jew. Karen also reprimanded for unintelligible comment about “getting off” something and “needing the wood.” Note to self: Remind group to speak up when addressing others.

Others offered to help Mel in tracing the reasons for addiction problems. Nancy’s suggestion that Mel’s lackluster performance in What Women Want and The Man Without a Face had facilitated his addiction sparked a lively debate. No resolution reached here, although all seemed to agree, Mel included, that Signs certainly did not help.

Noon. Finished session.