"Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let the pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place."
-- Unknown

Monday, February 16, 2009

Birthday bubbly and Satan's slots

For all of you who celebrated love this weekend, I hope you had a wonderful and fulfilling Valentine’s Day.

Me? I went to the Gulf Coast to drink and gamble my problems away.

Just kidding.

Sort of.

Tomorrow is my grandmother’s 80th birthday. (Happy birthday Grandma!!!) She lives in Ocean Springs, near Biloxi (the Gulf Coast’s very own version of Vegas…on a MUCH smaller scale.) So, Sunday we hit up the Hard Rock for a birthday lunch. And since it was Valentine’s weekend, there happened to be free champagne with all meals. I might have had a few glasses. Then I might have felt lucky and decided to play the slots. It was, after all, my first time in a casino. Luckily, I set a very low ($20) limit and swore once I blew that, I’d step away from the machines. Needless to say, I didn’t hit it big. I walked away very disappointed. Those bright flashing lights will never fool me again. Alas, the thrill is gone.

My Aunt Jayme, me and Grandma after our lunch at the Hard Rock. Grandma's a hottie for 80, huh? She's a feisty little spit-fire, too! I hope I'm that much fun at 80!

On a completely unrelated note, I started guitar lessons last week. My attempts to teach myself proved pretty futile. As Mitch Hedberg said, “I taught myself how to play the guitar, which was a bad decision... because I didn't know how to play it, so I was a crappy teacher. I would never have went to me.” So, I decided to bring in professional help.

The bad news is I’m terrible. The good news is my teacher swears he’s taught worse. I guess that’s comforting? The majority of the lesson was spent correcting my apparently horrible pick-holding technique (or lack-there-of). The rest was spent listening to me completely screw up basic chords. Thank God my teacher is one of the most patient people I’ve ever met. I’m trying hard not to show him how impatient I am. There were times I wanted to yell at my guitar for being so obviously at fault when I couldn’t get my fingers on the right strings. Instead, I took deep, cleansing breaths and probably looked like a total lunatic. I told him to let me know if he ever decides there’s no way in Hades I’m going to learn. No use wasting time on a hopeless case, ya know?

Oh, and for an update on my last post: Kevin and I are currently not together. According to him, we’re on a break until he can prove he’s capable of compromise. He has two people interested in his land and cattle and he’s talking about selling them and moving closer to me. I hope he means it. But I also hope it’s what he really wants. I don’t want him making sacrifices for me that he’ll regret later. I don’t want him to look back and wish he hadn’t given those things up.

In the meantime, I’m going to throw myself into life here in my new town. I’m going to do things for me (like my guitar lessons) and see what I can do to become involved in my little community.
And I’m definitely NOT going to retreat to drinking and gambling. So, no worries. I don't want to be a loser.

Me and Mama after the slots proved to be hateful little money stealers. (That's my sad face.)


Diane said...

Houston, we have a problem. I don't think Mama can adopt me now... she looks younger than I do. I think that's a problem... aren't Mamas supposed to look older than their kids? Yeah, I'm pretty sure they are. Well, crap.

Anyway, now that my hopes and dreams are dashed, I'm glad you had a good weekend. Sorry your guitar-playing sucks (we ARE related, Mama-looking-younger notwithstanding), and sorry you lost your $20. I am never fooled by those lights either (after a $50 loss in Atlantic City - the Devil's playground).

Rachel Cotterill said...

Guitar lessons sound fun - I sort of hate it when I'm not good at something to start with, so I can strum a few chords but then I lost patience...

Jen L. said...

Diane--M is a definite "hot mama."

Sorry you didn't have any luck at the slots. Remind me to tell you about my 22nd birthday. It involved slots. Come to think of it, so did my 29th...my husband likes casinos. :)

Jenners said...

OK, first of all, you and your mama are adorable! And I'm so glad that I can now put a face with the lovely comments she leaves ... I'm assuming she is Heather's M that is so encouraging to me on my exercise blog!

And your grandma is looking great!

And let me tell you, if you HAD won on the slots, you would have been hooked for life! Probably for the best that you walked away a loser!

And I'm glad you are doing the guitar lessons. I admire anyone who undertakes learning a new skills at such an advanced age. (HAHA! I actually took a self-defense class on Sunday ... and I'm paying for it now).

And I wish you luck on your break. Just get out there and enjoy yourself ... sounds like you didn't have to make a permanent decision so just see where it takes you! I'm proud of you!

Lacey said...

Your sad face makes me giggle. :-)

hebba said...

Your gramma looks fantastic! And by the way...you are SUPPOSED to be bad when you first start learning something. The strings are supposed to buzz and your hand is supposed to cramp and your fingertips are supposed to be sore. Learning an instrument is hard. Why else would we worship those grizzled rock stars?

Mel said...

Oooh, a girls' weekend! Fun! You're all adorable and I'm glad you had a good time!

I so want to make a joke using Phoebe's guitar-teaching techniques from Friends, but I don't remember what they are! :o

J Cosmo Newbery said...

Sounds as if the slots are running true to form.

Jessica said...

Girls weekend.. just what you needed!! And you're family is too cute :)
Good luck with everything that is going on with Kevin. Everything will work out.. either way. Enjoy yourself in the meantime. I'm sure you can definately use the "me" time. You'll be rockin it on the guitar in no time i'm sure!!

Anonymous said...

Boy, don't we look like a couple of down and out bums. :)

Missy said...

Drinking and gambling makes you a loser? Uh-Oh!
Selling the land and the cattle? Wow, he really must love you!

La Traductora said...

I'm so happy you still have your grandma! My mama was the same age as your grandma--I miss my mama so much. Cherish your gramms. She's a treasure, and learn from her wisdom.
It was nice visiting you!

grandma Jessie said...

Thanks so much, Heather. It was a special day, hadn't seen you in a long time. So glad you took photos, sent one to my cousin so she could see you , never met you. We sure need to get together more often.Love you lots. Grandma Jessie