Another mom update

My mother had ankle surgery on Thursday. Basically this is the ankle that precipitated her knee and hip replacements as her ankle was so bad that it was making her walk funny and stressing her other joints.

Unfortunately she has had to recover from the other surgeries and then work on her circulation issues. And then deal with Parkinson’s. All before this surgery could happen.

Anyway, her ankle was completely shot so she had to have it fused.

The surgery went well, according to the surgeon, so now it’s all about recovery.

Unfortunately with this surgery, it’s like a broken bone. She can’t put pressure on it for 8 weeks.

And she lives alone.

In a non-ADA friendly house.

And she has strength issues.

And weight issues.

And mobility issues.

So this means she is currently in the assisted care facility in my home town. Assisted care in this case means “old folks home”. So it’s full of seniors who are very sedentary and who have Alzheimer’s, etc.

The thing that mom didn’t tell me is that Medicare is NOT covering this stay. The last time I spoke with her, they were working at it so that it would be covered.

So this stay is completely out of pocket.

And she hasn’t told me how much it is. However she did say that if her stay gets extended more than 2-3 weeks that I “may have to help”.

Which is incredibly stressful for me as I already wiped out my emergency savings (and delved into my 401k) to take care of her credit card debt.

So, right now I’m in a “wait and see” mode as we have to make it through the doctor follow up visit in 2 weeks and then go from there.

I may have to go down for a week stay or something to help. All of which is coming at my busiest time of the year.

I hate this. I really hate this.

Being an only child sucks.

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Objet d’Art

This past weekend I was invited in a leaf peeping excursion on a pontoon boat on the St Croix river. It was cold AF, btw.

Afterward, we got hot coffee then walked around an arts and crafts fair in the lovely town of Stillwater.

It was a bit more crafty than arty, but there were still some good things. I found a collage artiSt I quite liked, and then stumbled upon a young glass artist.

He had several different things, but this small, glass skull caught my eye.

So I bought it.

It’s roughly the size of a large softball, and it’s heavy as sin.

I wish the inner detail photographed better. I need good sunlight and we’ve had nothing but dreary weather.

Anyway, you get the idea. I think the black ribbon spiral evokes MC Escher imagery. Or Dali.

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Luna Loves-good

Or she’s learning to anyway.

I don’t know if it’s the cooler weather or if she’s feeling better or if she’s decided I might not be a bad guy after all, but Luna has been seeking out time on my lap recently.

Especially this past weekend.

Almost any time I was on the couch or on my bed she would eventually find her way to my lap (or stomach) and sack out.

She also sleeps next to me every night and I drift off to sleep petting her while she purrs.

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Furr-iday

It’s been a long, semi-crappy week. So here. Enjoy.

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Luna Games

So I’m convinced my cat hides her toys on purpose in order to make ME hunt.

At first she would bat them under my bed, so I’d have to fish them out for her.

Then it was stove and occasionally the shelf in the laundry room.

Many times she seems to enjoy batting them under my piano; I have occasionally found all three under there.

And now. Now? She is managing to get them trapped under the swivel chair in my living room. They’re getting caught between the underside of the chair and the swivel base. To free them I have to tip up the chair.

Which miss Luna watches with great interest.

She still lets me know where the missing toys are. She’ll crouch and stare to let me know her toy is trapped. So that I can retrieve it for her.

Yeah, she makes me work.

On the plus side, she’s curled up in my lap three times this week. She’s only sat in my lap a couple times before, so I’m hoping she’s trusting me more.

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I got in.

So, I was selected as one of the 16 members of the Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus chamber ensemble. And I’m feeling… conflicted.

While I’m excited to have the opportunity to sing in a good, small ensemble, I can’t help but wonder if I really deserve to be there.

Because I feel my audition sucked.

I get super nervous when I have to audition for things- especially if it’s music related. I’m a perfectionist when it comes to music, yet I’m not good enough to expect that level of performance from myself. So all I hear are flaws. Which amplifies my anxiety.

It’s fairly debilitating, really.

I mean, I can do karaoke and be terrible and I don’t care. I’ll make it comedic or drink more or whatever. And if I’m auditioning for a solo, I’m not as stressed, because I know I’ll be ok if I don’t get selected.

But when auditioning for inclusion in a group (band, chorus, theater, etc) it’s either you’re in and you get this opportunity– or you’re out. And that stresses me out.

My tummy is oogy just typing all this.

Anyway, I was nervous and my audition was not great. The term “shit the bed” comes to mind. So I was basically prepared to be cut.

Only I wasn’t. I was selected.

Which makes me wonder if the director chose me out of pity or gave me some sort of pass because I’m a section leader. Or because I’ve kind of struck up a friendship with the new director.

And I would be upset if I was chosen for some reason other than talent.

Hence me being conflicted.

But it’s done, and I’m in. And now I just have to prove that I deserve to be there.

Oh! PS- the good news is that the director set rehearsals on Thursday instead of Monday, so I get to stay in band!

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Auditions

I have an audition on Sunday and I’m already getting the nervous stomach.

Our new artistic director is holding auditions for the Chamber Singers- a small ensemble culled from the gay chorus. This group will only be 16 singers, so competition for spots will be… well, more rigorous than in the past.

I have been in the Chamber in the past, but that’s obviously no guarantee. And Gerald (new director) makes no bones about being rather cutthroat.

So– nerves.

Now, I know I have a decent voice. Am I the best singer in the chorus? No. But I do have a pretty good sense of pitch. I have dynamic range and control. And I can sing the better part of 2.5 octaves. But I’m not a trained vocalist. Or super polished by any means. And my voice sits somewhere between pop and classical.

When I record myself and listen back, I hear every little warble. Every imperfection. Every intonation issue. I hate it. And I obsess about it.

The audition is Sunday evening. I have an audition piece prepared (although I’ve never done it with accompaniment before). And we also have to sight sing in both major and minor keys.

Imma definitely fuck that up.

The only bright spot is that if I get turned down, I will be able to continue with concert band (as the rehearsals for chamber and band conflict).

I just think I’d like to sing under Gerald to see what music he might be able to make with 16 good singers.

Wish me luck?

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Woofy Wednesday

More male hirsute pulchritude.

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So, there’s this boy….

Ok. So.

As you may or may not know, I have a thing for hipster otter types. Specifically, bearded, hipster, otters with furry legs and chests and chunky-framed glasses and tattoos, etc. and usually they’re about 28-35 years old.

I know, I know. That makes me a perv. But I can’t help it. I’m just drawn to that look.

Anyway.

In the gay chorus, there are usually one or two boys that meet this description. When they join, I see them and develop small crushes on them. And then spend half the year avoiding them So I don’t seem too pervy. And then the crush fades as they inevitably have a boyfriend or get someone age-appropriate.

C’est la vie.

That being said, there’s a new tenor that joined, and I find him ever so dreamy. He is bearded. He has chunky glasses. He has ink. He’s an otter. He’s 29. And his eyes are so blue……

But I figured him to have a partner. (He’s too pretty not to). Or at the very least not be interested in old farts like me. So I’ve been drooling from afar.

Well, so he was at beer bust at the Eagle last night. And we started chatting. And drinking and chatting. And having fun.

Which eventually led to him propositioning me. “So, you maybe wanna get out of here and go make out and fool around and stuff?”

Yes. Yes I do. Did. Whatever. Anyway.

So I rode my semi-drunk ass home in my bike as fast as possible, and he Lyfted over.

Since this never ever happens, I was kind of at a loss. And nervous as fuck. See, I don’t know what to do with the pretty ones. It’s honestly nerve wracking.

Evidently his type are older, salt-n-pepper “daddies” that are bigger than him. And he seemed to enjoy himself. And he wants a rematch.

For him I can be a daddy.

I think.

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Windfalls.

Part of the problem with doing your own taxes is that sometimes you miss deductions that are less obvious.

Now, my taxes aren’t hard. I don’t have tips or rental income. I don’t have dependents or other issues. I don’t have foreign investments, lottery winnings blah blah blah. I just have standard charitable donations and my condo mortgage. And a little interest from savings.

So once I worked my way through the taxes once Time, they’ve remained relatively consistent.

However, last year as I was doing my state taxes I discovered that there was a property tax deduction that I appeared to be eligible for. I kind of just stumbled onto it, really by trying one of those “you may be eligible” worksheets.

It was kind of complex, what with projected taxes and actual taxes paid and income levels and crap. But I filled it out and did the separate form and mailed it in, as required.

And when I started looking at it, it looked like the same deduction was available for the 2016 taxes as well. So I filled out that form too and sent it along.

Well, earlier this year I got my 2017 property tax refund around the same time as the state and federal refunds. But nothing from 2016.

So color me surprised when I looked at my online bank statement today and see a deposit from the state of Minnesota! The nice thing is that this isn’t a pittance– it’s several hundred dollars.

Everything’s coming up Milhouse!

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