the advice line

The other night while I was in class my younger cousin, Michael was texting me about how he doesn’t know what to do about his son being gay and about how he’s cross dressing now. I told him that he’s probably just acting out to get attention. Mike went on to say he was trying to find organizations to talk to about this and reaching out to myself, Jace and our other gay cousin Stephan. I mean like dude you have PLENTY of us to get advice from.

He asked: Do you know of any chat rooms or party lines regarding this situation?

I’m thinking, My God you really are living in Hicksville, Indiana aren’t you – I haven’t seen a chat room since the AOL days and what the hell is a party line? Was that during the Vietnam war?

Meanwhile I had to pay attention to my computer class on networking. I suggested a PFLAG group – surely to God he would have heard of that and went back to trying to pay attention to LAN’s, Hubs and Switches.

I messaged Jace this morning and related my conversation with his younger brother. I said, He should be worrying more about WTF the kids are going to do when they graduate high school not Emilio wearing his grandmother’s old shoes. I directed him to a PFLAG group in another-hick-town, Indiana on FB.

I mean, at least they have these things now – not when we were in school – maybe there was a party line back then.

Jace: We’ve all been telling him this. We all nod our heads when he says his son is gay and we’re like, Okaaaaay – and……I mean this isn’t a big deal like when we were in school. I directed him to an Indy PFLAG group on FB.

Well, maybe that’s ones more progressive but I don’t really think Mikie can handle anything too progressive.

We had a laugh over that and then we both had to go to work. There was nothing mentioned of Samantha coming out from him. I’m wondering if this has just pushed him over the cliff of what’s going on with Emilio or is it that since he’s recently divorced seeking attention as well as Emilio. I didn’t push for dates of when Samantha could visit as I didn’t feel it was a good time.

I’m getting ready to register for summer quarter and after much thought I’m going to suck it up and take two classes instead of just one. I know it’s going to be a lot to take on in just 8 weeks but I spoke to my professor from the networking class the other night and he looked at my curriculum and said it would be best if I could knock out these two pre-requisite classes this summer so I would be ready for the CISCO and Linux classes next fall and spring quarters. He’s also teaching one the of the classes online but told me I should take the ground class but that I could email him any questions I had if I had difficulties. There’s also this guy in my lab group who is taking the exact same classes this summer and we’ve agreed to study together. So, I think I’m going to be ok. It’s just going to be a lot of work but if I can get through I’ll be where I need to be in my curriculum next fall.

And, then there’s the unsolicited advice…….there’s this guy I work with who got me into the program – and, he kind of drives me crazy ALL THE TIME sometimes. He’s graduating in May from the program – that’s how far ahead of me he is. When I told him that I was going to take two classes this semester he went on and on about how hard it was going to be and how this guy who went through the class with him flunked out and yada, yada, yada. I wanted to punch him. I mean, just tell me I can’t do something and I’ll mutha-fucking do it, shut up.

Like I said, it will be a lot of work but I’ll get through.

 

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away and this year

I felt like I got a lot accomplished this past weekend. I got ahead on a lot of homework and filed our taxes. Despite liking doing the taxes every year it still gives me quite a bit of anxiety before I finish them. I never know what they’re going to look like, if we’ll get anything back or have to owe. Especially, this year with all the new tax laws – although, I don’t think any of those affect us because we’re not millionaires.

Charlie and I are planning a couple of out of town trips this Spring. One is firmed up and the other I’m looking in to. Both trips include taking the dogs. That will probably be the extent of our trips this year as I can’t miss too much school. I will probably look into taking several stay-ca’s this year which will still be relaxing. I hope to get out and do a little trout fishing this year. This is something I think I’m going to do every year and then it never happens. A friend of mine’s husband is a fellow angler and every year when we see each other at Super Bowl we always say we need to get out and go fishing. I’ve already looked at the stocking times and rivers and plan on trying to get out there as early as March. March – mid-April is really the best times because it’s still cool. When it gets hot outside those fish dive to the bottom and are hard to coax out.

I just love when you have friends who read your blog and every time they tell you something they have to preface it with “Don’t put this on your blog”. It’s a double-edged sword having people you know read your blog.

But, I am not a professor and will not lecture people about their lives and choices. I have only myself and my family (which, I will preface with the family I have chosen not my blood family) to worry about.

It’s a large temptation of mine – getting involved. I’ve had to tell myself several times – don’t get involved. Worry about your own shit and stay out of others. That’s one of the NY resolutions. Others are:

I will not see The Indigo Girls for the 45th time. I will pursue hearing new music.

I will not let my sister or father hurt me and I will remain non-emotional when I speak to them. I will not give them details about my life so they can criticize.

I think the whole sex-change thing was the last straw for me. The last two conversations I’ve had with my sister she’s said she’s taken food down to our father and I never commented on it. She’s asked me what I’ve been up to and I’ve said just work.

Take more breaks from social media – honestly, I have been a little tempted to uninstall FB from my phone – especially, in light of everything that’s happened in the news. I get staying in touch with people and events but there’s a time when it’s just too much negativity and the need to take care of yourself.

I guess that’s enough resolutions for now. How are your resolutions going?

 

tuesday chex

The time of reckoning came. What I had been waiting for to happen for a whole year finally came – I got my yearly review. And, it was good.

Big exhale.

I was prepared for battle, believe me. My boss waited until the last moment to do mine last Friday afternoon – over the phone. That’s fine – he’s kind of a gutless twat. All I was looking for was the “meaningful impact” which is higher than the somewhat impact I got last year. Upon further investigation I was told everyone got the same rating (we were all evaluated as a team) and no one got the highest rating like I suspected they wanted. I was happy that we were all evaluated on the same plane and no one got more of a rating than others, more of a bonus structure, etc.

Now that that’s out of the way I can breathe easier and just hang out here until I get further through cyber security school before I start looking again. I mentioned in the past I’m in this computer basics class – that although I know most of the basics some of it stumps me from time to time – like the UNIX lab we did last weekend. My favorite class is the other one – the hardware class. We cover a part of the inside of a computer every week. Last week we talked about the processors and wattage tonight we’re going to talk about hard drives.

So, I dug out my old Macbook Pro – this is an early 2008 15” running OS X. After several attempts I finally got the thing to turn on. It ran and I played around with all the programs, it connected to the internet but the fan runs constantly on the thing. I suspect is has years of dust that has collected in it. I’ve been doing a ton of research on switching out the hard drive to a SSD and putting in more RAM. That all seems pretty straightforward but then I started looking into replacing the motherboard. That’s a whole other ball of wax. I plan on picking my prof’s brain on that tonight when I get to class. I think it would be a good little home project to do is switch out the hard drive and replace the ram.

I’ve bailed on the last two guitar classes – I mean, why would I want to go play Leaving on a Jet plane all night compared to having V-Day dinner with my wife? So, I don’t know if I’ll be back there. I plan on working on some stuff this weekend while Charlie is away if I can get all the homework completed that I need to. I’m going for all A’s this semester so I need to keep my GPA up and that’s way more important than Jet plane right now.

So, on that note I’ve gotta fly – cheers and have a great weekend if I don’t talk to you before then!

 

leaving on a jet plane

Guitar lessons are not what I hoped them to be.

Our teacher in guitar looks like a hippie from the ‘70’s – in fact, I’m sure she was a hippie in the ‘70’s – and we keep working on these chords which you would expect guitar lessons to be. She has a strange way of presenting – the best I can explain is that say we play something in the key of A then A= I, D=IV, E =V

Does that make any sense to any of you guitar players out there?

Then, the key of D is D= I, A = IV, A7 = V

What is with the Roman numerals, lady? If you want me to play the chords of D, A & A7 just say so instead of arbitrarily writing these Roman numerals on the dry erase board and testing us on this. I’m a bit fed up to be honest. Last night we played the key of G (since we just learned G & C last week) and it was this: G= I, C = IV, D = V then we had to play this tune in this order: I, IV, I, V, then the next line I, IV, I-IV-I-V the dashes between being switching the chords quicker like a quarter note as opposed to a half note.

It was hard enough just to switch between the chords quickly let alone having to just remember what the IV, V was – especially since we just did something in the key of A. I admit I’m not memorizing the Roman numeral/chord/key correlation quick enough.

Again, does any of this make any sense to you guitar players out there? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

To top it all off – all we’ve been playing in class are these old songs. She even mentioned some old cowboy song last night and I groaned inwardly. In the last class recap email she said to start practice playing these songs in the key of A – Bury Me Under the Weeping Willow and Hello Mary Lou.

What.the.fuck.is.THAT?

There is a list of songs online (229 to be exact) that were made in this last century in the key of A we could be playing instead of some songs that were released in 1927 and 1961.

The second half of the class we’re all supposed to go downstairs and jam out with the old people. There’s always some guy standing up front announcing the songs we’re going to play in some key and he holds up fingers that correlate to the Roman numerals. The last two classes my friend, Yolanda and I have been skipping the jamboree. The last week of class we’re supposed to have a recital and play – get this: Leaving on a Jet plane (1967 – at least we’re getting more recent here).

Honestly, I feel like we should be attempting to play more recent songs and the last 30 minutes that have been devoted to a jam session downstairs should be cut to 15 minutes with an extra 15 added on to our lesson. Last night the teacher, Shelly, said that if we didn’t learn all the 7 and minor chords by the end of the remaining 4 weeks then we probably wouldn’t be ready for Guitar Repertoire next semester and that we’d probably have to take Guitar I over again.

Not me, sister.

I’m not playing Leaving on a jet plane another 8 weeks. I keep looking at online guitar lessons by Fender (and they have all kinds of recent songs to play) and wondering if that’s a better option for next semester. Regardless, Yolanda and I have both said we’re done with Guitar I down there after the semester is over – we’re both flying outta there onna jet plane.

 

 

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:

 

 

ghosting the past

I know I have been writing a lot about pod casts lately but some of the topics make me really think about things I want to write about. Usually, I listen to these when I’m going for a walk. In fact, they kind of spur me to walk more because I look forward to listening to them. I cannot seem to listen to them while I’m at work because I can’t concentrate on my work and listen to what they are saying – sometimes even when I’m walking when I’m listening to something that makes me think I take off with my own thoughts and have to rewind the podcast to hear what they said because I drift off.

One of the topics that has stuck with me is ghosting. We all have been ghosted at one time or another and probably have ghosted someone else. I know I have probably written about this previously but I was ghosted by two of my good friends who I share a tattoo with and the other two friends with the tattoo I have ghosted (there are five of us altogether who share this tattoo). Sometimes I wonder if this tattoo was a curse to us. Maybe we shouldn’t have gone all-in to be marked for life with the same tattoo.  Other times I think that it’s just a way of life -having friendships come and go like the ebb and flow of the ocean. I’ve come to grips with it and am completely ok with it.

I believe that friendships fit into three categories.

  1. The besties you see or speak to every week or sometimes even more than once a week: These are a rarity for Charlie and I. We only have a few who we see every week and it’s kind of works out the way it does because if we had more then we wouldn’t have any time to ourselves.
  2. The once a month kind of friendships – the ones you may say, Hey haven’t seen you in a week, month, a few months since that ho left you – you meet for a drink or dinner.
  3. The ones you maintain a distance relationship with who you only really converse with on social media. Maybe you’ll travel every once in a blue moon to see but you remain distant friends.

And, everyone outside of that is really not a friend. They’re just someone you run in to at a bar or concert or restaurant and you exchange pleasantries of “We really do need to get together soon.” When both parties are thinking, Yeah no.

I believe someone can only have so many close friends in this life or else it gets crowded. I also believe people outgrow friendships, they move on or the time to spend with them takes a lower priority than the ones who currently are your besties or they piss you off.

I’ve lived on the same street since ’97 and have been friends with another lesbian couple three houses down. They have only been here a year longer than myself. They have both been through some health problems over the years but they are both doing well now. I used to take them lasagna’s when one of them was ill and there were times I got the mail for them. Charlie and I were always asking them down for a beer, over to dinner and even to the parties we’ve thrown – to no avail. They never hardly ever took us up on it – to a point where I was starting to think that there was something they didn’t like about us or our house or something. They always said no. It was a while back that I needed a ride to the train station – which, is less than 3 miles from both of our houses. I asked one of them if they could give me a ride to the station – this was the one who has her own business and is not tied to an 8-5 schedule. Before I could even tell her what time  or day I needed to go she said, Oh I don’t think so. I know I’ll be busy.

I was hurt by that and thought after all the lasagnas I’ve made for them when they weren’t feeling well and taking them all my Good Housekeeping magazines she won’t even give me a ride to the train? I mean, I think I almost cried.

Flash forward, they are one of our landscape clients and Charlie always gets roped into doing extra things for them like getting their mail when they go out of town and making sure if any packages that are left she gets them so no one will steal them. I told her that she shouldn’t do anything extra for them that I was done after that train station incident. She said that she was going to test them and ask if they could get our mail while we’re out of town next week just to see what she says since just recently she not only hauled their mail down to our house but also all their Amazon boxes as well. (Strangely, when Charlie said it would be easier if she had a key to their house and leave all that stuff there the woman acted all weird about it and changed the subject)

Don’t count on her saying yes, I said.

I just want to see what she says.

I guess the moral to this story is to just do stuff for people and not expect anything in return. Maybe I just need to get my head in that space and not expect anything of people. Even so – she’s pretty much off my #2 list.

Then, there’s the ones who are taking a different path – away from the friendship. Whether it’s a life changing thing, a new relationship, or a lifestyle change the ghosting may be mutual. Sometimes we’re just all in different places. I had heard that one of the “Toads” I share a tattoo with had hers removed. I find this ironic because she was one of the ones who always tried to get us all back together. I look down at mine in the traditional Chinese style on my ankle and think, this was just a phase of my life. Part of my past. I will not erase it. You can’t change history but only the future. 

trying to stay positive

It’s really hard to write about positive stuff when everything that is happening in the world right now is so devastating. That’s a big reason why I haven’t written lately because I don’t have a lot of positive to say. It’s an effort, believe me. But, as I look around I realize how lucky I am that none of this devastation has affected me or my immediate family so that’s a positive note and my heart hurts for those who haven’t been so lucky. So, I will post just random positive stuff for now.

As you know from former posts that I’ve gotten into listening to pod casts lately. My sister showed me a couple that she listens to and The Moth is one of them. The last time I was home she looked them up online to show me and said that they have live shows that you can tell your stories. Well, last night that’s where I was – at Dad’s Garage telling a story based on something creepy and scary. I had Charlie, Link and Stiletto there to cheer me on. I wasn’t as nervous as I thought I would be standing up in front of a large audience – I’ve done this previously but it’s been awhile. But, my scores at the end weren’t what I’d hoped for. See, they choose 4 person teams from the audience to act as a judging panel and they judge your story based on a few guidelines they are given. Plus, your story can only be 5 minutes in length. They will ding a triangle when it’s time for you to wrap it up and from there you only have 1 minute to seriously wrap it up or else you get the harmonica. I made a mental note that if I was chosen to give my story that I would not get the harmonica.

So, my story was about a time I was arrested along with several of my friends on a dilapidated train trestle over the Wabash River. This particular trestle was haunted and named “Purple Head”. Folklore was that a man tried to hang himself from the trestle and was decapitated and if you went out there on a full moon you could see a purple head rising out of the water. Well my story was when I thought I saw the head it was only a police spotlight telling me to get off the bridge and that we were under arrest. Long story made very short I put in a few humorous notes before immediately wrapping it up once I heard the DING.

So, I was a bit disappointed of my scores – I thought I did well compared to the guy who told about his brother sexting chickens and ran so long he got the harmonica and the woman who told some very uncomfortable story about her brothers friend molesting her – harmonica again. AND, the woman who told a quick 2 minute story of some man whistling in her yard when he turned out to be this man who lived in her town who had Alzheimer’s (I mean, why did she not know this if she’s lived in this small town her whole life??) Regardless, the points are moot, I guess, although the next time I will hone my story and polish it before stepping up on stage for another story slam. It was a good opportunity and I’m glad I did it. I still can’t watch the video that Charlie covertly took of me on stage yet. I’d be like, I sound so dumb. God, this is terrible – no wonder I only got a 7.6 from that one group.

We are our own worst critic, aren’t we?

In two weeks we leave for vacation in Colorado. Other than our flight arrangements we really don’t have an agenda that we are sticking to. We hope to meet up with a fav blogger and a college buddy of mine. Other than that it will be some brewery tours, sightseeing and hopefully maybe even some live music although, I’m not so sure of Red Rocks after reading this post.

This year is flying by and before we know it – 2018. In the New Year I am starting back to college and hopefully a new role. More about that later.

Take care and stay loose, as an old graphic designer prof of mine used to say.

Friday chex mix – podcasts & chillin’

It’s time for another Friday chex mix edition. I regret I haven’t written a whole lot lately – sometimes, I just have all kinds of ideas just floating around in my head doing nothing.

I feel like just when I’m catching my stride with work someone comes along and just trips me up. I was speaking to a colleague the other day – this is someone I always go to for answers – one of my go-to guys. I’d always liked this guy until this past Wednesday.

I don’t know about y’all but when I go to ask something from anyone I always preface it with a good morning or a good afternoon, how are you and so forth. I like to gauge someone’s day before I ask to take anything from them – such as information, a favor, etc. If they’re having a bad day I move on and decide to ask them something at another time. That’s just me – I’m polite.

This guy wasn’t answering my ‘Good morning’ skype messages. Finally, I called him and said, ‘What’s up?’ We usually have a pretty funny back and forth dialogue so when he started in on me about my ‘stupid skype messages’ and that I should just call him and ask my f*cking questions. I was a little taken aback. I blinked back tears and wondered if it was just early menopause creeping up or if indeed he was being a real a-hole. He pretty much berated me for the design I sent him to look at, told me that I was the rookie on the team and that ‘everyone’ knows I have questions so ask my question and quit bugging him on skype. By the time we hung up I vowed I wasn’t going to ask him d*ck until hell froze over. I went for a walk and applied to three jobs after that. I’ve been trying to walk a couple of miles every day. It doesn’t take long out of my schedule and it’s completely doable. It also clears my head of all the stuff that’s running around in there. I’ve been listening to podcasts while I walk, too. This one particular podcast, Sincerely X is really good.

Our friend Benji turned us on to this one podcast Up and Vanished. It’s about a lady in Ocilla, GA who disappears. I admit I was addicted up until the 16th podcast and then I was done. I won’t give anything away and will let you decide if you happen to listen to it. So now I’ve been kind of addicted to these podcast things. (If anyone has a particular one they would like to share please put it in the comments section of this post.)

This past Tuesday Charlie and I went out to Cowtippers to support our friend who was competing in bartender wars. It was sponsored by El Jimador tequila and the drink(s) she made were dangerous. Needless to say she won the competition. She is our hands down favorite bartender in Atlanta.

Tonight, we’re just doing a little dart party at the 143 shed in back and Benji and Emil may come over. Maybe Maybe-Nicole, too. We’ll see. We don’t have a lot of plans for the weekend so we’ll just be grillin’ and chillin’.

Hope y’all have a great weekend, cheers!

weekend recap

The Party

The party went off without a hitch and was very successful. We had several people there and we were even able to convince Charlie’s mom to get on a plane and come up for it. Val, LB and Emil all played and we had some business clients there along with some of our friends. Aside from almost blowing our ears our setting up the amps, once we got the setting down we could jam out.

Asheville

The day after the party me, Charlie and her mom headed up to Asheville, NC to see our friends Liz and Lina. We checked into this AirBnB on the west side of town and they met us over there for a beer before we went out. We grabbed some great tacos at this little place just up the road and then went walking around downtown Asheville for a bit before heading back to the BnB for another drink before hitting the Guitar Bar.

Sadly, the heat got to us a bit after awhile and we left after a few hours to head back to the BnB. We loved seeing our friends and had missed them terribly.

Drum Practice

The next morning we had to be up early to make it back to Atlanta for our Taiko drum lesson (Charlie and I are in an 8 week course). Afterwards we chilled at the Truman with our fav bartender, Josh, and then headed home for darts and then leftovers from the party.

General stuff

I have to go to Indiana this week to see my step mother who isn’t doing well. She got a really bad prognosis a few weeks back and I need to go see her before she passes. I’ve been talking to my cousin and I’m going to stay with him and his husband initially until I know what I’m doing. I really have no plans except to go see my step mother and to meet with the farmer who works my land up there. I haven’t told my sister a thing about it yet because I really don’t want her dictating every moment that I’m there. I’ll let her know once I’m there. I already called my step mother to let her know I’m coming and not to tell her (which, got a laugh out of her). I’m going to be rolling over another bday while I’m up there – maybe I should just stop having bday’s from now on. I’m sure Charlie and I will celebrate when I get back.