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.