strapless

The first week of school went off without a hitch. My first class was Tuesday evening. I made it to school in plenty of time to eat my salad in the car and hang out until class started. This class is hardware installation and maintenance. In short, we take computers apart and put them back together and learn about what all the stuff inside them do.

The class was pretty full and we went around the room and introduced ourselves. Then, the professor went over the syllabus and talked about grading and assignments. I felt a little like his lecture on turning stuff in on time and not missing class was for the benefit of the youngsters in there.

After about an hour lecture on chapter one we broke into groups to identify some of the internal parts of a computer. I had a young guy named Trey and a woman who was probably way younger than the dark circles under her eyes did her justice. Later, she said she worked at the Publix down the street evaluating their milk. I didn’t know what to say to that – I didn’t know they had milk evaluators and looking at milk all day long could certainly be the cause of those dark circles. I just said, I hear they have great benefits there.

The next evening I had my first guitar class. The first part of the evening is devoted to class and the second is a meetup downstairs for everyone to have a jam session. There are banjo, mandolin, fiddle, ukulele and singing classes going on there at the same time. A mutual friend of our neighbors down the street – Kim was taking the class as well as a friend of hers, Yolanda. Our class consisted of myself, her, Yolanda and two other women as well as the instructor lady named Shelly.

So, Wednesday evening I pulled up at the church after Kim texted me she was there. We stood out in the parking lot and talked while she smoked a cigarette. She was going on and on about not having a guitar case and feeling weird about just carrying the guitar in as-is.

Just order one on Amazon, I said.

I don’t know what kind to get because this is a slim guitar.

I mean, this isn’t the only slim guitar ever made I think you could find one.

Hers was a Yamaha slim both acoustic and electric. I liked it and picked it up a few times during the evening to strum but would get frustrated because it had no strap on it. She was dragging a strap behind her when she carried the guitar in to practice and had to explain to several people that this was a special strap because it was autographed by a favorite musician of hers that when asked who it was no one acted like they knew who this person was – myself included.

Well, put the strap on then, I said.

I don’t know how it goes.

Well, get the instructor lady to show you.

By the time the instructor lady put it on class was over and when I picked it up to strum again the strap fell off.

Girl, just go frame that strap and hang it on the wall and get something practical that will hold your guitar on while you stand up and play.

Yolanda had shown up late to the class and by then we were already past the D and A7 chords. I think she was also subjected to the strap story. So, we learned D, A7, A and E and if we get proficient in those chords then we can all play and sing Leaving on a Jet Plane. I like how no one cares how bad you sing, either. We’re all just trying to play and sing along best we can.

Saturday, I had my second class which was computer basics. This was the class I tried to test out of but missed by 10 points. The instructor basically just went over the syllabus and lectured on the importance of attendance and doing the homework and cut us loose. I was thinking that maybe I should have taken a third class as this one is starting to seem like it’s going to be a cake walk but we’ll see.

 

 

 

 

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a resolution

I’m really tired of my biological family b.s. It makes me glad I live three states away from them. My sister called yesterday. I take about every third call of her and it really depends on my mood whether I answer or not. I’ve been going through menopause lately so it makes my emotions run a little high at times. The gym and cutting back on the alcohol has helped a bit but she still gets under my skin.

So, yesterday I answered and let her prattle on and on about her job and her dog and having a party for all the people at her office that got let go prior to Christmas. (Of course, she didn’t get let go). There weren’t any questions about how our holiday was, how the boys and their spouse/gf were, what we cooked, what we ate, where we went – no-thing. I’m was waiting for her to get to the part of going to see our father. Since our step mother passed this last summer she’s been going down there to see him once a week. She takes him food that he doesn’t eat and complains about it. I ask why she even bothers if he won’t eat it and she says she doesn’t know maybe if she puts it in certain containers he’ll eat it – like that makes a lot of sense. I could give a rat’s @ss to be honest – at this point in my life I feel like they both deserve each other.

She tells me she took him to friends of ours house for lunch the other day- Jack and Lilly. They have been friends of our family since they were all in kindergarten. In fact, they grew up together as my sister and I grew up with their children. Their youngest son, Doug, has taken over the family farming business and is the one that farms my deceased grandparent’s land – the land that my sister, father and I fight over. So, during lunch Dad goes outside to talk to Jack about some piece of shit farm equipment or some stupid MAN stuff and Lilly and my sister talk. It’s then that Lilly tells Jan that she heard from Dad that I had a sex reassignment surgery and that I had asked him for $25,000 for the surgery.

Unbelievable.

Jan (I hope) said she set her straight and it wasn’t true but Lilly said Dad had been the one going around telling everyone about my sex change and asking him to pay for it. She went on to say that when they were leaving one of Lilly’s daughters pulled up and Dad didn’t know who she was. I asked her if we should have him committed. She said, Oh, he’s not that bad, yet.

Ok, let’s just everyone stay in denial about everything.

Denial about Mom’s cancer.

Denial about Step Mom’s cancer.

Denial about Dad’s Dementia.

Denial about every. Fucking. thing.

Let’s just play the denial game over and over again until something happens and we’re SHOCKED.

Man, I get so sick of it. I texted my cousin, Jake and told him that whatever he heard I have not had a sex reassignment surgery.

Normally, Jake takes a while to answer texts. He’s a busy IT guy running his own company and taking care of a sick husband but he answered right away.

I would have thought it would have come up in conversation by now so I wouldn’t believe it – who’s saying it?

Dad apparently – Jan was at lunch with Jack and Lilly and Lilly said something.

Oh, well I can’t see your dad talking anything about sex – I doubt if he’s ever uttered that word his whole life – you sure this isn’t coming from Lilly – she could be the one losing her marbles.

I could see that. Lilly is a huge gossiper and loves to stir up shit. I wouldn’t even put it past her to be a huge homophobe, too.

Yeah, she ran in the other direction when she saw me at Jo’s funeral.

I do recall Lilly gossiping quite a bit during the time I was in Indiana both before and after the funeral.

There was some speculation from Jan that Jo could have told Dad that in her moment of delirium from the morphine prior to passing. Even so – would you want to spread rumors of your daughter having a sex change surgery without even VERIFYING it first?

Regardless of everything I still can’t believe it. No one there has been able to comprehend my changing my first and last name. I always hated my first name and when mom passed I thought it the appropriate time. My first name is more androgynous and my last name is my mother’s maiden name. For years when my father cut the farm check to me he refused to make it out to my new name. This was even years after I had changed my name. I always had to sign it over to my new name before cashing it. I told my step mother over and over again to make sure he made it out to my NEW NAME. It’s only been a few years that it actually got made out to the correct name but only because the checks started coming directly from Doug and I instructed him to make them out to either my company or my new name.

Although, some have [stupidly] thought [an ex, my entire home town minus my gay cousin] that because I took a more androgynous first name that I wanted to become a man. Hello, there are plenty of other women with my name that are still women.

Just because I like my first name doesn’t mean that I want to change my sex. But, whatever – I’m done talking to them for another few weeks. This New Year I don’t want to let them get under my skin any longer or if they do they won’t know it. In fact, I find it would be amusing to get under my sisters skin for a change. Wonder how I can do that. But, alas I won’t have time because I’m starting school and guitar lessons next week. Guess it will have to be later.

 

 

it’s a wrap

Well, we got through the rest of ’17 without getting too beat up. The kids came into town on Friday. Charlie and I had driven all the way out past the perimeter to buy a ping pong table and spent [it seemed] the entire afternoon putting it together. In fact, we were almost done when they pulled up. We were somewhat in the weeds by then because we had a meal for 10 to prep but we managed to pull it off. There were six of us altogether with the kids along with our neighbors down the street and Emil and Sarah.

The next day we took a trip down to a very crowded Ponce City Market and then over to Wild Heaven for some libations. Later, we had a lowboil going on the porch with crab legs and shrimp. Sunday we took it easy for most of the day because we were going out that night to see a show at The Earl. We lyfted it over to Argosy in East Atlanta for dinner before the show.

I was amazed that the food came out so quickly at Argosy and the service was awesome. I had read some not so good reviews prior to us going so they must have stepped it up. The kids all got pizza and Charlie and I split a burger. Afterwards, we walked next door to The Earl and went to the back music venue where it was a smog of smoke. Mattiel was awesome, the two bands prior to her sucked (who would have known that you can actually shout instead of sing) and we didn’t stay for The Coathangers because the smoke was killing us–I doubt I will see another show at that particular venue because of the smoke.  We got home just in time to set off a bunch of fireworks.

New Year’s Day was very low-key. The kids left after breakfast and Charlie and I just hung out and ended up watching the game. (there was only one game yesterday in my opinion). Everyone I’m sure is just trying to get back into a normal routine today – I’m sure all those Georgia fans are a little hungover if not elated this morning.

So, Happy New year and I will leave you with 17 things to make you feel smarter in this new year.

 

new year chex mix

I hope everyone had a great Christmas!  Charlie and I had a low-key one with us putting a turkey in the smoker and heading out to our traditional mid-day cocktail at our favorite gay bar. (Leave it to the gay bars to be open on Christmas day because everyone knows us queers need a place to go and be Mary).

We weathered Christmas Eve at Martha and Dino’s for dinner – if you can believe it. This is the first we’ve really hung out with them since the whole nudity incident. Everyone – including Mike seemed to behave themselves. Charlie and I managed to get out of there before Mike (who had split a THC gummy bear with her housemate) and Dino got too wasted. Maybe that’s the key although if she ever lays a hand on Charlie again I’m going to break it for her.

Friday we went over to friends of ours for another Christmas party – this is a friend that I worked with at two previous companies many years ago – one being for a grouchy landscape architect who smoked in the office, laid me off right before Christmas one year and had a problem with my being gay. I told her that for several years after that I always had the raunchiest man on man magazines sent to his office. (I bet he looked at them, too). She cracked up. The other company we worked we had a gay boss that was turning 40 one year and we went to party city and rented a helium tank and filled his office full of balloons and sucked helium and left corny messages on his voice mail.

This week the kids are coming to celebrate New Year’s Eve with us. Friday we’re planning on roasting a pork butt and having the neighbors down the street up. Saturday we’re doing a crab and shrimp boil and NYE we’re going to hear live music in East Atlanta.

After this weekend I’m ready for 2018. I have no complaints of 2017 whatsoever. It was a pretty good year for us except for my step mother passing away. I’ve missed her dearly this holiday – more than I thought I would. My father continues to be an impossible @sshole. My sister continues to take him food every week which he doesn’t eat. He’s regressed into an 8 year-old child who eats cookies and crackers all the time. I ask my sister why she bothers but have realized that the two of them deserve each other – he’s an abuser and she’s an enabler.

Classes start up the second week in January for cyber security and I’m also taking guitar lessons at this church next to my office (I could literally throw a stone and hit the side of it from the front of my office). So, 2018 is going to be very busy which isn’t a bad thing.

Happy New Year if I don’t talk to y’all and, what’s going on in 2018 for you?

friday chex mix

a better luncheon 

Yesterday, one of my co-workers Big-D and I are forgoing the Christmas luncheon with the consulting company and going out for lunch on our own. Charlie’s came over to the office to meet me and we met Big-D at the restaurant.

I got a message from the Indian Defector wondering if I was going and I said, No- I’m not friends with them like some. 

This was a dig on Snarky @sshole and the head of the KKK who sit around and complain about them at meetings but yet won’t pass up an opportunity for free food.

So, Big-D, Charlie and myself went out to Houston’s near Buckhead for a fabulous lunch. We happened to sit in the same both that Big-D and his wife got engaged. In fact, he was on the phone with her when we arrived telling her just that. His wife is the head of admissions at the college that I’m enrolled for cyber security. She helped me through the enrollment process – in fact, it went really smooth because of her.

NYE 

After lunch we went back to the office to do a little work before calling it quits. I was already in a festive mood and decided to forgo the gym and go home and hang with Charlie on the porch. She made me a killer margarita and we sat out until we couldn’t stand the cold anymore and went in. During our time on the porch the youngest and his girlfriend called to say they got their cards and that they’re  coming up for New Years Eve. So, we have both sets of kids coming so it should be a party. They’re all going to The Earl with us to see that show.

bro

We had Charlie’s bro here last weekend and it was a party every night. We took him to all kinds of places – Ponce City Market to Biltong Bar for drinks and he bought a ton of bitters from 18.21 bitters.

In Decatur we hit Leons for drinks and played ping pong at The Victory bar and got drinks from their Tiki bar in the back. (I won’t mention the sushi place we went to because it was a huge disappointment). By the time he left we were whipped and needed some recuperation.

this weekend

Tonight, we’re probably going out to dinner with our neighbors to celebrate a birthday and this weekend more of recuperation. At some point we’re hoping to take the dogs to the park and hit Blakes for a queer Christmas drink on the patio if it’s warm enough.

Hope y’all have a great weekend! Cheers!

bah humbug luncheon

We had our company Christmas luncheon the other day and it was somewhat like this:

“F-you, pass the potatoes THAT I BROUGHT”

“and, F-you, I see you’re eating MY GREENBEANS”

“Who The-F forgot the cheesecake? DAMN!”

We were supposed to have a meeting before the luncheon that we all had to pitch in and bring food for. I say this because it is pathetic that we have to pitch in for the Christmas luncheon that NOBODY wanted to attend. And, the fact that our boss scheduled a meeting right before it made the luncheon kind of mandatory. Only one person on my team managed to escape and that was because she had to (supposedly) take her father to the heart doctor. I think next year I will have some thing that I need to be off that day for – like a lobotomy.

I know I’ve expressed this many times on this blog but my “team” is divided into many little segments with a boss that alienates all of us. The meeting we were supposed to have ended up being a discussion on some function that only 1/2 of us do and a change in leadership – which, we had to see a photo of the lead VP manager that none of us will probably see in the time we all manage to stay engineers in our positions as they are always screaming about changes in the organization and that our positions may be extinct by 2020. I pray think, 2020 I’ll either be in another position or running my own show which looks better and better everyday.

So, our bosses boss who is just as clueless as our boss was there only because there was food. I came in with the two co-workers who I’ve decided to work with in another office close to my house – Big D and Chris. This was a self appointed move for me as I figured if my boss had a problem with my moving to another location he would have said something by now and that there are two other team members who I get along with over there that I could work with. Not to mention that when I did work over there my boss didn’t even know I existed, anyway.

We were somewhat late because Big-D had to go pick up the mashed potatoes and green beans he said he’d bring. As we’re riding over Sherry of Sherry and Larry are calling to see where we were. When we did arrive our boss was still trying to figure out how to plug in and run the projector from his laptop – as if he didn’t do this every month for our meetings.

On one end was the outside the perimeter crew – the rednecks with one ex-friend Indian woman (Shampa) who has defected to the side of the rednecks. The reason she’s ex-friend is that I don’t trust her not to repeat everything I tell her to Snarky @sshole and the rest of the OTP rednecks and I don’t want them to know anything about anything that I do anymore – for good reason because the crew of rednecks is ran by a snarky @sshole with the maturity level of an 18 year old that happens to be our bosses best friend as well as his appointed resource leader – even though we all are in the same position level and nowhere on paper does it say he’s our manager or boss. I completely ignore Snarky @sshole  most times unless I need a job approved. (If you’ll remember, Snarky @sshole went behind my back last year before my review and complained to the boss about my design skills and was -I think -the reason why I got a mediocre review last year).

In the vicinity of the OTP rednecks is The Wonder Twins who if they had to sit further than 10 feet from each other they would perish. Larry has since become one of Snarky @sshole’s besties because he went over to his house one weekend and helped him cut down a tree with the rest of the beer-drinking OTP rednecks and our boss. (no, there’s no preferential treatment in my group, whatsoever).

On the opposite end of the room is the airport office crew (remember I worked down there with them for awhile when I was going through office growing pains) that are all African American save for one engineer that’s like Big D – we’ll call him Stuart.

In the middle of the table was another @sshole we’ll call him Mort. I was once on a phone call with him going over a drawing I did. Mort’s job is to review all the drawings that are designed by our contractor. Sometimes we design our own drawings – a task that I’ve taken on this year because I figure if something’s going to get F’ed up in my center I’d rather do it than pay a contractor to do it. So, I was asking Mort about a job and I always start out by being polite and asking how his day has been or saying good morning when he just went off on me and told me to ask my F-ing questions and then onto a tirade of my having the least amount of experience on our team – that even Sherry had more experience than I and then ripped on all the airport crew calling them a bunch of [N-word]. Then, landblasted my design worse than Simon Cowell’s review on “Bush Baby” audition of N’Sync’s “Tearin’ Up My Heart”. 

So, I don’t talk to the head of the KKK Mort AT ALL anymore. In fact, Mort can eat shit and die for all I care. Mort can jump off the same cliff as Snarky @sshole.

I sat down with the airport crew (as I have since that phone call) and looked pointedly at Mort in the middle. Our meeting lasted about 15 minutes, we got up and got our food and sat back down again – all of us eating as fast as possible. I spoke to the airport crew back and forth and then later went down and complimented Indian-defector on the samosa’s she brought. Asked neutral-but-doesn’t-know-anything Patricia (who I used to share an office with) about two of the F-ed up jobs of hers that I had to handle while she was out of town for Thanksgiving and the outcome of those. Then, I was ready to leave – I wasn’t the only one because our boss had already eaten and left the room.

This post gave me an opportunity to read some posts from last year about work. I remember I was in a weird place back then. I’d been on the job less than 8 months – 6 of them in training. I wasn’t managing any projects, I was only designing activation jobs – which, I was told I did poorly at my year-end review because of Snarky. I was in-between offices since we had moved from the original office and everyone had scattered. Now, I’m running an entire wirecenter by myself, designing jobs, doing field work and working out of an office of my choice (since everyone else got to choose theirs).  I also got my PMP certification. I’m enrolled in a Cyber Security program so hopefully next year will look even better. If I’m still here –

-I’m skipping that F-ing Christmas luncheon.

 

friday chex mix

Thanksgiving wrap

We managed to make it safely to and from Florida to see Charlie’s side of the family this past TG. Wednesday before we spent with the youngest and his girlfriend. We had dinner at yet another fabulous Mexican restaurant in Gainesville, FL – Boco Fiesta before heading to south Florida to spend the next few days with her folks. Saturday we went to middle Florida to spend with the oldest son and wife. We went out on their boat (highlight of the trip in my opinion) and hung out around a bonfire that night after grilling steaks. We took Sadie with us on this trip and she did remarkably well traveling as always. I don’t know why this is so surprising -the dog travels well. This is her on the boat. Only the second time she’d been on a boat but after a while she wanted to drive, as you can see.

Charlie’s  birthday week

We went out to celebrate Charlie’s birthday to yet another wonderful Mexican place Mezcalito’s with Link and Stiletto. Probably had way too many margaritas but it was her birthday.  This is the first we’ve seen L&S since the holiday so it was good to catch up and we were happy they could come out and celebrate with us.

The rest of the week has kind of been a blur. We’re having all our neighbor friends over tonight for Indian food and this weekend I’m sure we’ll hit the GA/Auburn game somewhere and Sunday we’re going up to friends in Gainesville, GA for a housewarming party. December is here already and I’m sure next thing we know it will be –

New Years Eve

We decided to do something different this year and bought tickets to see a show at The Earl in east Atlanta (and, thanks for the great post on Mattiel, Carrie). We’re going to take a Lyft down there, eat dinner and check out the show. If we feel like it later we may stop by Mary’s to dance and avoid the woman-hater bartender.

Have a great weekend, everyone! Cheers!

getting sh*t in order

This post has been sitting on the back burner of my mind for awhile so I decided now was the time to get it out.

If there’s anything I’ve learned in this life is get your shit in order. Because once you’re gone it could be a free for all. A bickering wasteland of people who you thought were your family and were looking out for you but are not after you’re dead.

Unfortunately, I’ve learned this from experience.

When I was a child and the grandparents I adored were still alive they always said that one day my sister and I would get their farm. It was always known that we’d get that farm. It was a 14 acre homestead surrounded by 115 acres of farmland that backed up to about 5 acres of woods.

Fast forward years later. Our grandmother signed the farm over to our mother thinking she would outlive her and it would naturally succeed to my sister and I. Nope. Mom died of cancer in ’99 years before grandmother who by then had no power whatsoever over the farm being split three ways between my sister and I and our father – who ended up controlling the land and profits for years afterwards. Our father dragged our mother to a lawyer while she was sick and under duress and she willed everything to him and split the farm three ways and wrote in that our father would receive the profits of the farm during his lifetime. They also wrote in that it was to be joint tenants in common with full rights of survivorship meaning that the last person alive has 100% of it.

This farm has been a contention since our mother’s death. Our father – unbeknownst to my sister and I -tore down the old house and buried it on the property. He also had all the trees taken down in the woods to make more farmland. It’s now a wasteland of corn for profit. The only thing left of the farmstead are the barns and corn cribs. My sister and I only found this out when we went to visit it one day. If it were up to us we would have kept the homestead intact.

In ’09 I was laid off from my job and started my landscape company while I looked for another job. It was then I asked our father to share some of the profits of the land with my sister and I and he grudgingly did. Let’s be aware that he has many other acres of farmland that he owns outright that he gets profits from including those of his mother and 2nd wife. So, he’s not hurting for the measly 120 acres of farm share of our grandparent’s farm. Not to mention he was the sole beneficiary of our mother’s life insurance which I’m sure was somewhere in the six figures.

So, the man ain’t hurting.

As you know recently my step mother passed. For some odd reason she always handled all the taxes including our jointly owned farm taxes. Twice a year she would call and tell me what I owed on the taxes and I would write her a check for my amount. She would put it in the bank and send in a check for what was owed for all of the taxes. I’m sure there are several tax stubs for all the parcels of land conglomerated including our 120 acres. In fact, those 120 acres plus the 14 acres of homestead have about 6 or 7 tax stubs because it’s separated into parcels.

My sister started complaining to me about this a few years ago. She tried to take over that portion of paying the taxes but our stepmother fought it. Plus, we had never received copies of the tax stubs to see what it was we owed we always just went by what she told us we owed. It would have been nice to have copies of the tax bills for our records so I called down to the county and asked to be emailed copies. I then sent the copies to my sister for her records. But, our stepmother continued to pay the taxes and we continued to send her checks for our amounts. When she passed I told my sister that it would probably be a good idea if we started paying the taxes ourselves. Our father (supposedly) by then had decided he was out of the profits and taxes on that farm (I honestly have no idea if he still receives a check for profit or not, but I don’t think so). She then told me that she would have to check with Dad to see what he wanted to do.

That burned me the f*ck up. I told her that we should pay them and he should stay out of it. I mean, the man can barely put something in the microwave to eat let alone pay our farm taxes. But, I shut up about it because since our stepmother had recently passed I didn’t want to upset everyone because then it would be all my fault for stirring the pot.

So, I sent Dad my check for the farm taxes after emailing the county yet again to get the stubs to see what the correct amount for my half was and forwarded it to my sister. (And, let it be known she has never thanked me for doing this). I called Dad weeks later to ask him if he got my check and paid the taxes. He said he did but he had a problem with my check.

Me: What’s the problem?

Dad: Well, I took it down to the county and gave it to them but it was made out to me and they wouldn’t take it.

Dad, you’re supposed to put the check in your account and write another check for the whole amount. Joe (our stepmother) always did that.

Oh, I ended up doing that and going back and paying it.

Well, if you would have told me I would have made it out to the county but I’m sure they don’t want 20 checks for every parcel of farmland that the taxes are due on.

Later, when I told my sister this she said, Why didn’t you make it out to the county?

I explained that I was never TOLD to make it out to the county and that I always made it out to either Dad or Joe to put in the bank and so on.

She then said, Well, next year one of us just needs to pay the whole amount so we only have to write the county one check for the whole year.

I have several problems with this.

  1. She just wants me to pay the whole damn thing next year and when I ask her for her half she’ll say it was $$ I owed her. (which, I don’t – she thinks I do but I don’t)
  2. The county taxes need to be paid bi-yearly because that’s what the stubs say. They send those things out twice a year to be paid then. They don’t want a bunch of upfront checks to deal with.
  3. I have that farm money earmarked for things we need. I’m not paying upfront for something I don’t owe yet.

I told my sister that I wasn’t paying all up front and this was what I was afraid of: Dad fucking up all the farm tax shit and why I said that one of us needed to be in charge of doing this. Then, she cut me off.

Well, I don’t have time to talk about this. I have to get ready and go to work now. We can discuss this later.

This is what everyone in my family does when shit gets too hard. I have to go now. Or, I can’t talk about this anymore. Or even, I’m not going to argue with you about this. Placing the blame on me like I was the bad guy in wanting to start an argument over this. I’m only sticking up for myself which always gets misconstrued of my trying to start an argument.

It’s a passive-aggressive move my sister always makes.

I was absolutely furious after that. In fact, I was so mad I sat in my car and cried before I went in to work that day. It all came crashing down on me – my stepmother’s death, my controlling father and sister to deal with and finally the loss of my mother who I cursed for leaving me this shit to deal with because her and grandma couldn’t properly get a good mother-fucking will done before they passed.

I went into work with red eyes and immediately called my lawyer and left a message saying that I needed to revise my will and that my wife also needed one.

Fast forward to me and Charlie at the attorneys office. I’m asked about my mother’s will and the farm and the language on the deed to the farm, etc. I’m shaking my head and saying, I don’t have a copy of either of those no one gave me a copy after my mother died.

The attorney acted like she was in shock over that. I said, I can’t ask my father because he blows a rod every time I ask about something like that. I don’t know if I’m even in his will.

I was told to call down to the county to get a copy of the deed to see what the language on it was – this was for purposes of whether or not it was inheritable. Which, I later found it was not – because of the language I’m sure my father had put in there while my mother was under the duress of cancer.

Just having to call the county – yet again – to get copies of stuff that is my stuff burned me up. Between my father and sister, no one wants me to know anything.  And, next year I’m again emailing the county for the tax stubs and sending my portion directly to them.

So, this is what I’m telling you. If you do one thing and one thing only before you die take care of your shit. Make sure the people you love are taken care of and don’t have to fight off mean family members. Make sure they don’t have something they have to deal with for the rest of their lives because you couldn’t get your shit right before you died. I’m thankful every day that I have a loving wife, step children, in-laws and friends – who gladly stepped in to volunteer to be backup executors and take care of our animals should something happen to us.  If it weren’t for them I’d have no one. Many times we create our own families through marriage and friendships. That’s why we need to protect the families we’ve created from the ones we’re born in to – especially, for same-sex couples.

Monday chex mix

Post-trip

Charlie and I have been trying to recuperate from our trip this past week. She’s been under the weather – probably because of all the climate changes and being on a plane 7+ hours (round trip). It seems like you can never avoid catching the crud when you travel even when you’re loading up on Airborne. It doesn’t help that the weather has gone from frigid to warm here, either. This is a crazy fall we are having these days.

School 

The whole trip on the plane there and back I studied this computer book so I could take an exemption exam to try to get out of a basic computer class before enrolling in the Spring quarter next year. Yesterday, I went to campus and took the test and missed it by 10 points so I went ahead and registered for it and another 100 level class both being prerequisites to my core classes in Cyber-security. I’m eager to begin and get the ball rolling on this thing. I wanted to enroll in the fall quarter but by the time I figured it all out it was too late. There’s this guy I work with – one of the only few on my “team” I can call a friend and he’s in the program right now – almost finished, in fact. His wife also works for the college and kind of gave me the VIP treatment in getting in the door and in the program. I’m very curious if my friend is going to get this really crazy great job doing this when he graduates. I really hope he does because I feel like he gets treated like crap where we work. He’s responsible for a specific job and and has tons of work with little help. I’d love to see him succeed to a promotion. Hell, I’d love to see myself succeed to a promotion.

Work

It is incredibly difficult to get a promotion with the company we work for. You pretty much have to know someone or your boss has to recommend you to someone. Our boss would never do that. He doesn’t want to lose us so he would do anything to keep us even if it means holding us back. My co-worker friend seems to think that’s why he isn’t getting any interviews is because someone has called our boss when they saw his application and the boss has said no he won’t release him to another job. I told my friend to just keep applying that’s all you can do.

My job has it’s ups and downs. The main reason I’m going back to school is that they will pay the tuition and I plan on taking advantage of that as much as possible but if I had a promotion somewhere else in the company I could still go to school – it would be the best of both worlds.

Holidays

I feel like Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Next thing you know it will be Christmas and then a New Year. We are planning on going to Florida for TG but Christmas we’re planning on staying here. We always stay in town for Christmas. The year has just flown by.  It all kind of reminds me of this song:

 

 

we’re back

I bet you didn’t even know we were gone, did you?

We took off for Colorado last week for a mini vaca from Thursday to Tuesday. We first flew to Denver and spent the first night there in a little Airbnb relatively close to downtown. We landed insanely early in the morning and had to stash our bags at the place before heading out to walk around. We walked for -it seemed- forever until we finally made it to Colfax Avenue. It seemed this wasn’t the “in” part of Colfax either but we walked past a few “interesting” stores we wanted to check out and finally ended up at Illegal Petes – drinking a beer at 10:15 in the morning – Denver time – since we’re from the ATL and it was after noon THERE we felt it appropriate. Plus, as I noticed several fellow alcoholics  others were drinking before noon as well.  After that, we were done walking for awhile and decided to take Lyfts around town to look at stuff and check out a few other breweries. We met up with a fellow blogger, Aussa Lorens at Great Divide Brewing Company who I’d not met before, and, I might add is just as hilarious as her blog.

Afterwards, we went to Epic Brewing Company where the atmosphere was nice and the beers very hoppy. (I honestly thought at one point there was something herbaceous in my beer it was so hoppy.)

The next day we packed up and headed west towards Breckenridge. I heard a lot of good things about the town and the slopes – mind you we weren’t skiing unless we took a temporarily leave of our senses which was all possible while on vacation but I just wanted to check out the town. On the way we passed a small town (when I say small I mean like population 20) that was situated around this lake where everyone was fishing and catching trout. I kicked myself majorly for not hauling all my fly fishing junk out there to fish.

We reluctantly got on the road after watching some people catch one trout after another and headed towards the town of Dillon. It was a quaint little town – maybe a bit bigger than population 20 but you could certainly walk from one end of it to another in about 20 minutes. We had a beer at the Dillon Dam Brewery and then headed out.

We pulled into Breckenridge and parked on the street and walked around for a bit. I was trying to find us a place to stay on my phone but everything I pulled up was well over $100. We wandered into a realty agency to see if they had any affordable rentals and the cheapest they could come up with was over $200. They said we’d better book fast because there were going to be a lot of people in town that weekend and that we should even make a dinner reservation because the places would be crowded. I was like, Next, and suggested we head on down the road to the town of Frisco and check that out. It seemed quaint and cute. Maybe we could stay there.

In Frisco we drove up to this motel that had a fan in every window. I got out and went into the office and asked this dude who looked like he’d partaken in too much of the local weed. He showed me a room that the bedspread looked like it hadn’t been changed since the early 70’s. Next. I got back into the van and told Charlie to drive me to the next inn. Which was a bed and breakfast.

Ok, for any of you that have read my blog and former blogs YOU KNOW how I feel about BnB’s. There’s always some weird people that run those places that love to get into your business and the whole eating breakfast together with strangers I can’t really do. I don’t do well socially in the mornings before I’ve had my coffee. In fact, it is coffee that has kept me out of JAIL a lot of trouble. But, for the sake of our trip and needing a place to stay I was willing to forgo my personal feelings. I went inside and rang the bell. (This was the third place I had to ring a bell – I guess no one sits at a front desk anymore?) and this lady came out and I asked her if she had any vacancies. She said she did and could show me a lovely (she said) room with two double beds.

Ok, I let it go that she just assumed that I wasn’t there with my wife and maybe I would have wanted a king sized bed because, yes, it is the 21st century. The lady took me up a very steep stairway explaining that it was the original stairs from the……then, it all sounded like blah, blah, blah in my head. I don’t want a history lesson when I’m looking at a place to lay my head. She showed me a room with steel beds covered in old quilts, dark curtains and little house on the prairie-ish pictures on the walls. Then, as we went back downstairs she pointed to the dinning room and said that they would be having pancakes in the morning and I thought about that for one second and Goodnight John-boy sounded in my head and then thought, Next. 

I got back into the rental van and Charlie asked if that place was ok and I said, If we’re playing Laura and Mary on Little House on the freaking-Prairie it is. Let’s go over there, I said, pointing across the street to the Frisco Hotel. It had a lodge feel with a great room and a fireplace. Subdued lighting and Kurt Cobain’s younger son manning the front desk. I made him show me a room and he took me upstairs to another great room that had leather couches and a bookshelf next to a room with hardwood floors, a mini bar and deck. Ah, we were home for the next two days. I handed him my credit card and said that would do. Aside from our Airbnb this place was the bomb!

After checking in and walking around town we settled on a place for dinner that had a jazz band playing. The food and music turned out to be an excellent choice for the evening. The next day we woke up to snow on the ground and the place was just beautiful. After coffee and finding breakfast at a cafe’ across the street we decided to go on a snowy hike on a trail just at the edge of the little town. The trail took us to a lake named Rainbow lake (of all places).

We talked to several people on the trails – especially, those who had dogs. It seemed that everyone had a dog there and it was fun. We saw one lab actually get into the lake and swim out to get a stick and wondered if he would get hypothermia. His owners didn’t seem to be concerned. I thought about our dogs and they would probably have had on fleece lined jackets with booties on their paws. After Frisco we headed south making our way to Colorado Springs. On the way we stopped off and played at the Garden of the Gods.

It seemed like we went from a winter wonderland to the desert in one day. The climate was really messing with us. When we first arrived in Denver it was actually warmer there than Atlanta. The first day in Frisco we were walking around with just long sleeved shirts on, then snow and coats, then long sleeved shirts and then even just t-shirts. After the G of the G we pulled into Colorado Springs. We left the van parked on a street downtown and headed for this brewery named Phantom Canyon Brewery  which turned out to be fun and we were just in time to watch some football. It was happy hour and all their house brews were $3 and free pool and darts. We shot pool and watched a few games and then decided that since an old college buddy of mine wasn’t going to meet up with us we’d ditch town. Honestly, it was our least favorite part of Colorado. Aside from the brewery there didn’t seem to be one thing to hold our interest long enough to stay there. It even seemed like a depressing little town. We decided to get back in the van and drive straight through Denver to Boulder where neither of us had been before.

Once in Boulder we went though the whole hotel thing again. We finally found a decent room overlooking the college and decided to go out and get something to eat and watch the Falcons. We ended up at  Dark Horse Bar and Grill and what a blast that place was. We ended up sitting at the end of the bar next to four other people who worked at the bar and had just gotten off work. It was two guys and a male and female couple. One of the guys was doing an Irish car bomb with pumpkin beer and we commented on that and the other guy said he was going to go get us a real Irish car bomb with Stout because they didn’t have any on draft behind the bar. He hopped up and later came back with just that. We had already done a shot of Jameson by then and the car bombs went down nicely. Later, we went to order food and the guys talked us into trying a burger that apparently the place is famous for – the Jiffy Burger which had a layer of peanut butter. They talked us into it and it was pretty good. I knew I would like it because there was a bar near Purdue that had the same type of burger that I always had.

The next day we decided to go on a hike before heading back to Denver for our last night. We drove out to a trail on the edge of town and easily found a trail that led to the top of this mountain. We could have done more hiking in Boulder and explored it more but I don’t regret anything we did on the trip.

     

By the time we got back to Denver about all we were up for was some warm Pho and bed at the Airbnb. We were both ready to come home despite loving Frisco and Boulder. Here is a pic of our lovely Airbnb host, Chloe.