school and friday chex mix

It’s my first class of the summer semester tonight. I’m trying to stay on top of it all. I have one online class that everything’s always due on Fridays by midnight -quizzes, homework and labs – I can handle that. I have another that I have to be there physically on Thursday evenings for lecture and lab. I’m trying to get ahead a little because Charlie and I are going out of town for the holiday coming up. I’d really don’t want to be worrying about homework while we’re away despite having to go straight to class right after we roll into town on Thursday.

It’s been four days since I had a drink. I’m trying to cut back on the beer and the carbs and hit the gym more. I already feel better – I could sleep a little better but every morning I’ve been wide awake around 5 a.m. and have gotten up. I sit at the bar in the kitchen and read and drink coffee while the cat begs to be fed. It’s kind of nice – not for him but me.

A bit later today….

I’m sitting here waiting for my evening class to start – there’s several of the guys back from my Spring semester classes here. One guy I have my online class with – we just found out prior to this class that the book we ordered for that class isn’t in and the assignment is due tomorrow – such is college life. SIGH. We both emailed the prof pleading our cases. I have a feeling that most of the class doesn’t have the book yet, either.

I’m really looking forward to tomorrow. Cocktail hour to be precise. We are pretty low-key this weekend. If it rains I may hopefully be able to talk Charlie in to going to a movie. She only wants to go to the theatre that sells beer. I may need to rethink my drinking plan for the weekend. I was planning on tequila since Link says it’s good for you and you can even take it with your medicine or maybe she meant you can take it as medicine. Hmmm.

The guy teaching the class is an engineer with Nokia – wonder how many students try to network with him after the class. Supposedly, this class is going to prepare us for the Net+ certification exam. That’s good – I need more certs if I’m going to find something in the field I’m studying.

The next day…..which means Friday chex mix.

I didn’t get out of class until 10:00 last night. We were scrambling to finish our lab before leaving. If I would have known we’d need to turn it in that night I would have worked on it more. As it was some of the people hadn’t even started it. At least Alton, Antonio and myself started the thing prior to class. The woman on the end who I teamed with – Nancy, I think her name was -totally wasn’t prepared. She’d hadn’t even gotten into Blackboard yet – where all our powerpoints, assignments, and homework is (usually, I sign in the minute I sit down so I’m there) nor did she bring any kind of flash drive to save her work to. She was sitting there trying to email the lab to herself. I shook my head and thought, Amateur before walking out to the car where Antonio was waiting for me to come out and get into my car safely – what a gentleman.

Next week we have to complete two labs. I’m going to be working my tail off in this class I have a feeling. I got a note back from my online prof and she said no worries on the book she’ll extend the assignment.

So, on to Friday! I have an hour and 15 before I’m going to pour myself a drink. I think Benjii and Goya are coming over weather permitting and bringing the dogs. We’re going to have fajitas on the grill and I’m going to attempt to still skip the carbs.

Happy Friday and Cheers!

 

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chex mix friday

I love Fridays!

Although, today I’m going to the eye doctor. Not only was it time, but I lost my prescription glasses last week. Grrrrrrrr. I have looked EVERYWHERE for them. I have finally come to the conclusion that A. I left them at the gym and someone picked them up because they were expensive frames or B. I accidentally threw them away at home and now they’re in a landfill. I ended up ordering another pair– same frames but solid black instead of the faded translucent gray.

Has anyone updated their Apple watch lately and found it has no battery life? I’ve unpaired the thing and re-paired it and changed the face to plain old black background to see if that helps. Usually, I can make it through at least one day before having to charge it but the other day at work I looked at it and it was only on 35% and the stupid health app kept coming up. That’s why I unpaired it and it’s a real pain to re-pair these things. I may just sell it on Ebay and go back to old school Casio digital with a 10-year battery and a fitbit. I liked being able to see how many steps I took during the day. The apple watch – yeah, it tells you how many miles and such but you have to put an app on it to track your sleep – I doubt my battery would last the night to track my sleep. I recently dug out my old fitbit and charged it (only took 15 minutes) and have been wearing it the last few days.

What do you guys do? You like the Apple watch vs the Fitbit? Pros/Cons?

Tonight, Benji and her girl (still haven’t come up with a blog nickname for her) are coming over and we’re going to pick guitars and eat some pizza. The weekend is supposed to be nice until Sunday as it’s going to rain. At least it’s not blizzarding. I think this has been the longest winter ever. We complain now and next week it will be 90 degrees and we’ll be in a drought. I’m careful what I wish for.

I’m almost done with school – I’m so ready too. I’ve turned in the rest of my homework for the semester and taken all my quizzes. All I have to do now is just show up. One of my classes if I take the IT Fundamentals exam and pass I get a 100% on the final and don’t have to show up to take it. So, I signed up to take it next Friday. I’ve already been studying for it so it should be ok. This is just one baby step in all the IT certs I will need to acquire prior to graduation and getting a cyber security job.

Well, that’s all I have for now. Have a great weekend y’all! Cheers!

weekend chex mix

I finally got Samantha booked on a flight down here in July. It was similar to an act of congress to coordinate and book. My cousin, Michael originally sent me dates that he would have her (him and his ex-wife are divorced and from what I hear it’s ugly between them) and I took a look at the Atlanta Dream schedule so I could take her to a basketball game while she was here and replied back that the dates would work and to let me know so I could book the ticket. He replied back that it was good with him that he had to run it by the ex and soon as he did he’d let me know.

A few days went by and I asked him about it again. I mean, I’ve had to stay on this guy to get this thing rolling or else it would have never happened. It’s so typical with my family – if it doesn’t pertain to them personally then it’s simply not a priority. He send me copies of all these nasty texts between him and his ex wife. She’s inflamed over it because those dates were ones where Samantha had volleyball tryouts.

I was thinking, Well, shit if I’d of known she had tryouts this week I wouldn’t have suggested it. It was Michael  who suggested those dates to begin with. Apparently, he and his ex SB are in a huge argument over Samantha going to sports during the summer. Michael is like, It’s summer, I shouldn’t have to take her to school or sports.

Great. I didn’t need to be made privy to their argument I was like JUST SEND ME SOME FRIGGING DATES YOU BOTH AGREE ON!

SB suggested the week prior so Samantha wouldn’t miss tryouts. I was like, Let me look at the flights but I don’t think that would be a problem. 

Long story short (I guess) I got the flight booked and coordinated with her. Honestly, it was waaay easier to coordinate with her than him. I know they have their differences but I have a feeling she’s way more progressive than him. Next –

I have two more weeks of school left and I tell you – I’m ready to be out. I did end up booking the two classes. My adviser even told me that I needed to take them in the summer because they simply aren’t offered in the fall. I’ll have about three weeks off in-between semesters so I’m going to use that time to try and get ahead a little. One is online and the other is a ground class so I’ll only need to drive up to school once a week.

We had Rooster and Shutter over for dinner last night and a good time was had by all. We hadn’t seen them in awhile so it was good to catch up.

Welp, that’s all I have for now. Have a great rest of the weekend y’all!

gay chex mix

Most of you know that I grew up in a very small town in Indiana – on a farm, in fact. Yeah, stow away all the romantic thoughts you have of growing up on a farm because there’s nothing great about it. It’s hard work –all the time. There’s nothing great about having to roll out of bed at 4:30 a.m. to feed the cows or better yet go find them because they got out. Nothing great about having to come home from school and work until dinner time. Fortunately, I had a mother who put her foot down later in my teenage years and let me join all kinds of sports and band. I joined every band activity I could – orchestra band, marching band, drum and bugle corp and let’s not forget jazz band where we performed at every game imaginable. That got me out of the farm work indefinitely. During this time my bestie was my first cousin – Jace. We hung out together all the time. So much, in fact that our parents accused us of dating each other – which, couldn’t be farther from the truth because we were both secretly in the closet.

After our senior year Jace moved to Florida where he came out. I quietly came out years later – after college, in fact, because I was afraid that if my parents found out they would yank me out. I could totally see them saying that college making me gay. This is how backwards the general mentality is where I came from. I didn’t completely come out until I moved to Atlanta and was paying my own bills.

Jace is married to his husband, Diego– who he’s been with for almost 30 years. They built a McMansion in our hometown and he started an IT business he runs out of their basement with 4 employees. We have another cousin who is gay as well. Eventually, the family has come around to our sexuality – I think old age mellows some people. They don’t have the energy to fight anymore. Plus, us gays are starting to outnumber the straights in my family because Jace’s younger brother Michael – who is the only kid in the family to produce offspring just found out that two of his kids Emilio and Samantha are gay.

Now there’s five (six if you count Diego) of us cousins who are gay. Michael is not thrilled that two of his kids are gay. In fact, shit hit the fan this week when it was Samantha’s turn to come out.  All I can say is at least they’re healthy and aren’t doing drugs. My uncle – Jace’s father and my father’s brother keeps asking Emilio (who at 10 is very effeminate) if he wants to grow up and drive bulldozers.

Of course Emilio doesn’t want to drive bulldozers – he probably wants to go to New York and be on Broadway since the last time I was home I asked him what he had been up to and he told me he was in The Sound of Music at school. Samantha is in to women’s basketball and sports. I’m trying to get Michael to let me fly her down here for a visit so I can take her to a game. But, I’m going to wait for the dust to settle before I push anymore.

The holidays are about to get more interesting in that family is all I’ve got to say.

 

weekend chex mix

I think I mentioned in the last post that the magnolias have been blooming this time of year so last Friday Charlie and I went out and got a saucer magnolia and she planted it in the back yard for me in memory of my mother. It also so happened that we bought it on the same day as my step mother’s bday. We’ve been planting trees in memory of people lost. In addition to the magnolia, we planted two cherries in the front for both my mothers and a true red crape myrtle in the back for Emil’s sister.

Last week we had our guitar recital. All the classes with the school performed, but our class had to go first because we were guitar I. We played our asses off to Jet Plane and sat down and watched the rest of the groups perform.  Apparently, we had the most recently released song because the banjo group got up and played some song from the 1800’s. Charlie and Kim came to watch (Kim made it to one class/jam session and decided to not come back and talked the instructor hippy lady into retaking it in May). Kim was clapping along and having a good time and Charlie was looking on wide-eyed like, You weren’t kidding when you said they play old hillbilly songs. WTH!? I was glad to be done with it to be honest. Emil had been coming over on Fridays and playing a bit and I learn a lot more doing that than anything. Thursday, it was pouring it’s ass off outside and we stayed in. Friday we had Emil over to play and then Link showed up with a couple bottles of tequila and it was on. Despite throwing down I made 100% on my midterm the next day. The weekend was so beautiful and we were outside most of it.

This weekend Bernice and Ralph are supposed to be in town so we’re hoping to do an oyster happy hour somewhere. Saturday we’re wide open and I’m hoping the weather is going to be decent while they’re here. I know it’s going to be much cooler than it was last weekend. That’s March for you! Next week we’re getting out of town for a few days to take the dogs to a cabin next to a river. I’m hoping to do a little fishing while we’re there and we got the dogs a couple of swim toys to play with in the river. This is part I of our take-the-dogs-on-vacation in a III part series so stay tuned for cute dog photos.

If I don’t talk to you before then have a great weekend! Cheers!

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!

 

rainy day chex mix

It’s a disgustingly rainy day here in Atlanta. Not just a light drizzle that you would expect from Atlanta winters but a FULL ON downpour with thunder chiming in from time to time saying, “SO THERE” and “TAKE THAT!” 

Yesterday, when I was inside all day and had class that night it was beautiful, of course. 63 degrees and sunny. -SIGH- It was the first really nice day we’d had since last Saturday and it was cold even then.

We had a great Super Bowl and the turn out was what most of us wanted. Link was still there in her NE scarf but she held back on the jersey this year – maybe because she had a premonition that they would lose? We had a ton of food and a medium crowd – around 15-16 people. Remember the couple that messed up our spare room three Super Bowl’s ago? They came – this was the first they have been back since that night. And, miraculously they’re married now. (and, no, they didn’t stay this time)

So, I have a new guitar to take to class with me [to play leaving on a jet plane]. Well, it’s new to me. LB is letting me borrow it while I’m taking classes because she just got a new guitar. This one is a little damaged – it has a crack in the side but it still plays well and the crack doesn’t go all the way through (don’t ask me how that happened). She said I could have it since she didn’t need two but I just asked to borrow it. Anyway, it’s a big improvement over that Ibanez I’d been playing that Lee left at my house after we broke up. (I think I’m even going to gift that thing to someone in our neighborhood who wants it)

This Friday we’re going to go see our friend Hannah play for her birthday bash at Eddie’s. Last year when she had it Charlie was sick and couldn’t go so Benji went instead. Hannah always has a full band of rocking women behind her on her birthday bash so we’re looking forward to it.

I broke down and got a flu shot today. There’s only two other people in the office I work and one of them has the flu. So, hopefully I will dodge the bullet. Well, that’s all I got right now – I just wanted to pop in and say hi. Have a great rest of the week and stay dry if you’re in the ATL.

 

Cheers!

 

 

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!

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!