Well, I sent my ex-boyfriend birthday wishes on Facebook today and hoped to God it wasn’t awkward.  I don’t know.  I don’t think I’ve ever gone through a particularly dramatic breakup.  I usually stay friendly with my exes and there’s no hatred or resentment there for me.

I took my first music lesson in quite a while today.  I have a brand new teacher, and my sister will be learning music alongside me.  I was excited but nervous.  What would happen?

I chatted with the bus driver on the way downtown, where he dropped us off outside the local music store.  There’s a studio inside the music store, and that’s where we’ll be taking the lessons: acoustic guitar, voice, and songwriting.

We had a whole CD full of songs we both like that we brought in there to show the teacher.  On the CD was: “I Love Rock n Roll” by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, “The Black Parade” and “Famous Last Words” and “House of Wolves” by My Chemical Romance, “This Hurts” by Mindless Self Indulgence, “Permanent Vacation” by 5 Seconds of Summer, “Misery Business” and “Daydreaming” by Paramore, “Memories” by Panic! At the Disco, “Centuries” and “Sugar We’re Goin Down” by Fall Out Boy, “Punchin Bag” and “In One Ear” by Cage the Elephant, and “No One” by Cold.

The music teacher’s nickname is Doc.  I’ve taken a poetry class with his son.  He has long hair, a beard, glasses, and a cowboy hat.  He’s like a hippie intellectual cowboy figure.  He’s very friendly.  He has tons of instruments and vivid pictures on his studio walls.  He has guitars, banjos, a piano, a computer and printer, tons of music books, and three chairs all stuffed into the tiny space.

Our lesson was an hour long.  He gave us some basic picking and finger strengthening exercises for the guitar, some songs to practice singing (“Ghost” by Mystery Skulls in the higher octave, “The Only Exception” by Paramore in the lower octave), and he’s going to teach us how to read tablature.  He says to learn guitar and voice separately first, then together.  And he will eventually teach us how to write songs.

He also explored our vocal ranges.  He doesn’t want us to label our voices yet – just to explore them and get used to using them.  He says my voice is soft and clear, while my sister’s is edgy and clear.  He seemed excited by how we’d sound harmonizing together.  (I write and my sister draws, so we complement each other in other ways as well.)

It seems like we’ll have a good basic grounding, slow building from there.  That’s a relief, after my admittedly erratic history with music lessons.  The only problem I saw was that Doc focused more on my sister than he did on me… though that could be because she has never taken music classes before, and I have.  I just asserted myself and spoke up when I felt I needed to practice something, and he seemed to notice.

After music lessons, we went to a little downtown pub and coffee shop right nearby.  There’s dim lighting, bookshelves full of books on the walls, old redbrick and industrial metal, and live music plays there on the weekends.  We sat at a two-person table and had Mexican Mochas in little mugs; my sister had a snack.

Then we took the bus back home.  An unstable homeless man got on the bus while we were on it this time.  The local bus system is free, so that kind of thing happens a lot.  The ins and outs of public transportation, I guess.  It’s still always a little nerve wracking, though.  I just never make eye contact, and always make sure the seat beside me is filled.

Back at home, I sent off an email to my current property management company.  We’re moving to a bigger apartment and switching property management companies later this summer, so it’s going to take a lot of back and forth.  The reason we’re moving companies is because our current landlady does things like:

-try to sneak in addendums saying they can’t guarantee bed bugs won’t be in the apartment, attempting to get us to sign without telling us about what the addendum contains – when we figure it out, they backtrack and say they “didn’t know that part was n there” – yet they won’t sign the corrected copy

– not call us or email us back if we have a question she doesn’t like, or treat us like we’re stupid for the questions she and her colleagues do deign to answer

-take months and lots of nagging to fix something extremely simple like a broken window screen

And we’re just so fucking sick of her that we’re moving to another company.  We have the next lease all signed and everything.  Bigger apartment, different company.  So that’s that.  And now our current management company is treating us with this really hot-and-cold style because in another couple of weeks we’ll be moving out and they won’t be getting money from us anymore.  And it’s like… that’s your own fault?

Anyway.  Me and my sister are ordering pizza on delivery for dinner tonight.  We’ve been eating home cooked meals the past few nights, but tonight we’ve decided to be lazy and treat ourselves.

The rest of the night probably consists of me reading and watching Netflix.  My current book is Girl At War by Sara Novic.  The current show I’m trying to wade my way slowly through is Orange is the New Black.  I might also flip through one of my two magazines: Entertainment Weekly and BP Magazine (which is a magazine about bipolar disorder).

I have a Netflix DVD rental too that I’ve literally had sitting in my apartment for a month and a half, so I should probably watch that and send it back sometime in the next few days.  It’s Grandma with Lily Tomlin and Julia Garner.  Maybe we’ll watch that over pizza.

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