Monthly Archives: May 2014

The Park Gathering and the Constant 90’s Vibes


Last night I just wanted to have fun. To go out with my friends. So, much like Simple Plan, I did something about it. I did not, however, steal a car and crash it. What I did do was message my friend Isley (the actual love of my life) and tell her we should make like 90’s kids and hang around in the park after dark.

Which is exactly what we did. The street lamps flickered over the old park equipment and water fountains. From the distance, someone could be heard strumming a guitar as dogs barked. A group of five people sat in the sand of the playground, thinking they were a really great punk rock band but really just being a group of people who were getting eaten by mosquitos.

Of course, everyone was cute. How can you be a 90’s TV Show Protagonist Group without being hella cute? We sat on the swings, we made music with a guitar, a ukulele, and a harmonica, and we talked about things that probably won’t be relevant at all by 2020. 

We stayed out until two in the morning and then walked home. Isley and I both got home safely on our block, but barely for Isley, who got to her house just in time to see someone get jumped right by her. I feel lucky she’s alright and that our hugs last for a long time, otherwise she wouldn’t be.

Overall, it was a beautiful night with a small group of lovely people that I feel so blessed to have as friends. And we all live in the 90’s despite it being 2014.

Today is a day of goodbyes. I am packing up my room and washing clothes in preparation for the official move-out on Sunday. I have two nights left here. How insane is that? This month has been so topsy-turvy up and down that I don’t even know what to think. In one month, I got to say hello and goodbye to my first house away from my parents, to the garden I planted, to the people on my block.

I kiss goodbye to my old blanket, which is finally seeing the end of its days after at least six years of keeping me warm. Covered in sharpie and holes, she doesn’t do her job anymore, and she smells like bum sweat, but I will miss her. I say goodbye to my books and my futon, to my fedora collection and most of my shoes. I say goodbye for now to my art, my letters of accomplishment, and my fish.

Yes, my friends, it will be a bittersweet weekend indeed, but I take solace in the fact that I tried my hardest and sometimes your hardest just isn’t good enough. Onward I move to dirtier and grungier things…but you’ll get the whole speech when its truly time.

For now, I must continue throwing the material objects of my life away. As always, I wish all of you the very best.

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Not Strep and Medical Insurance


So I’ve been struggling with a nasty cough and other stuff for a week or so. After hearing that AniMinneapolis was struck down with the plague of strep, I decided to try to find a free clinic where I could get tested. My mom helped me get pointed in the right direction and I showed up, only to find out it wasn’t a free clinic.

Luckily enough for me, what it was was a place where underemployed or unemployed people could sign up for medical assistance. Being a broke, homeless street kid with not much but college going for me, I obviously qualified in just about five minutes. I am officially insured for the first time since September and damn does my ass feel safer.

I also tested negative for strep, so these icky feelings are probably just a viral infection that has gone on too long because of all of the stress in my life. I have a followup appointment just to make sure I’m not dying or something and then I get to schedule a health check up! Woo hospitals, and by that I mean…nnnnggghhhhhhhhh.

Now I’m sitting in a library utilizing my rights to the free internet so I don’t have to go ‘home’ just yet. It’s an up and down life, Charlie Brown.

My hair, for some stupid reason, now has purple and blue in it. Like I wasn’t already making enough dumb, spur of the moment decisions.

I guess I don’t really have much else to say. I still don’t have a backpack for bumming it and I’m working on deciding what belongings of mine actually have any value and throwing the rest away. It’s a hard knock life but I’ll make it through. Anyway, I just thought I should post some updates now that I’ve decided I’m still somehow a blogger. I don’t know, it seemed appropriate.

Tonight I might go dancing if I decide that’s actually a good idea, but I’ll probably just sleep a lot and cry a little over some weird thing. You know me; over-emotional about the stupidest of things. I’ll probably also try to regulate my diet again. I have been eating one meal a day maximum and that is just not good for the system, especially when you’re trying to recover from a virus.

Anyway, time to head out and find my way back to my current residence. Wishing the best to you all.

 

Don’t Cry for Me, Franklin


I hate to be the bear of bad news, but I just recently grew fur and paws and bad news bears is rebooting in my honor.

First off, my sickness has relapsed after this last weekend and I am once again coughing up green alien chunks and blood. I am currently eating my first meal in the last 36 hours and it is one graham cracker because I just can’t stomach food. 

My awesome job has been giving me not so awesome hours and by that I mean no hours, so when it came time to pay rent, I was incapable of doing so. I am moving out of the dear Queer House at the end of this week. Hot June, please be good to this freshly re-bummified girl. It’s going to be a hot bum life.

So yes, at the end of the week, I will hopefully be not as sick because that is when my homeless life begins once again. Not that I minded it TOO terribly last time, more that I thought I was finally making my mother, who had invested so much into me, proud. 

She messaged me today to offer me plants for my garden and I had to respond that, at the end of this week, I wouldn’t have a garden anymore. I, too, am very, very, sad.

I am also sad that I will be moving away from two super cool cats. My luck with cats has been the best in my long run of apartment-hopping. First there was Wilson, one of the coolest animals I had ever met. I made my room mate mad because he started to like me better and sleep with me every night. Next, there was Neko, a mischievous cat who was always a lot of fun. Now, I must say goodbye to Franklin and Lucian, gray and pink cats respectively, and I am once again very sad.

Watch my life as it crumbles around me.

With optimism in mind, I will continue forward houseless, catless, and a little bit hopeless. I hope only the best comes from this but I know that will not be the case. My posts may become few and far between once again after I move out but I will try to make sure my story is told and the five people that read this blog know I’m alive.

I love you all.

The ALMOST Kick-Down


In bum life, a kick-down is when someone gives you some food, money, or something else of value, whether you spanged it, flew signs, or busked for the kick-down. Last night we were out in downtown Minneapolis looking for some kick-downs for food and gas for the big hippie van that my friends Brian and Emily travel in, with my road girlfriend and a dog with them.

Hungry, tired from the road, and without booze, no one was in high spirits as we parked the van on Nicollet Island and headed toward the bar block. It was mid-day, so not many people were out, regardless of it being a Friday. Opening the guitar case for business and trying to get Mogli (that damn dog) to calm his shit anyway, our hot May day was not bringing in the most business.

Tired, hot, hungry, and frustrated, Emily and I decided to dive some street dumpsters. It’s amazing the sorts of things people throw away. While some people look at trash cans as, well, trash cans, others look at them like gold mines, where you can find half cigarettes, half-eaten burgers, and half-bottles of soda. That’s the trifecta of a bum meal, especially if the soda comes in an opaque container so that you can fill it with beer later.

The dumpsters were pretty dry, but I managed to find a barely-eaten meatloaf burger that I gave to the troop to heighten their spirits. We also stopped by a bar to get water for Mogli, and the bartender filled a to-go container with water so that that giant dog could actually fit his face in it.

A couple of dollars, a couple of beers, and some yelling at a dog later, we reposted our asses over by Sneaky Pete’s, where our luck remained fairly minimal. I took off again for some dumpster diving and found a whole, unopened box of granola bars. It was the golden jackpot of the day and my spirits were lifted like a kite.

I headed down to the Anime Convention to run into some friends and bum some cigs for the group and did just that, finally turning around after an hour of tomfoolery. On the way back, an elderly man and his friend who were sitting outside of Chipotle  saw me digging around in the trash and called me over.

“What the HELL are you doing?”

Explaining to an older man that you’re a nineteen year-old who hangs out with street kids and never has enough food to eat is like telling your parents you do hard drugs, apparently. This man, who had just regaled his new friend with tales of having been a gang-banger, was struck down by the idea that a pretty girl like me wouldn’t be able to pay the bills and would spend all of her time hanging out on the streets with bums.

His friend, who turned out to be a minister, was much less shocked and more interested in making sure I was fed. Here comes the story of the time I almost got a hella kick-down.

He asked me how many people were in my group and I told him we were four total. He smiled and told me he would get me and my friends Chipotle. Of course, I told him that I couldn’t accept so much kindness from a stranger, but he insisted. We walked to the doors of Chipotle only to find them locked – of course, it was after ten pm. Bars were going down on the doors of Target and tired employees were damn sick of making burritos.

He apologized that he couldn’t help more and I told him it was fine and thanked him for his generosity. At the end of the day, I had my granola bars and more faith in humanity based on the kindnesses of others.

Though it may not be a meal ticket, cigarettes, beer, or gas money, human compassion is one of the best kick-downs you can receive sometimes. It reminds you that we are all just humans and must exist on this planet together, through hell or high water.

Be good to your local bum, your neighbor, and the guy who rings up the granola bars you’re going to ditch in a dumpster five minutes later. Be good to the angry-looking lady walking down the street and the dude who rolls up a joint ten feet away from the cops. Hell, be good to the cops.

Something good will happen to you if all you put into the world is good and that is a damn fact.

I love you!

The Queer House


Queer House, in the middle of the street.

Since I last actually posted in February, I have moved a bit. When we last really had any sort of conversation, I was sitting in an airport and you had no idea what was going on with my life. Let’s do a very quick catch-up and then talk about today.

In January, I was kicked out of my apartment in Brooklyn Center, MN, for being a bad room mate. You get what you give and I was giving shit. Sure, we both had our problems, and really the end lesson is that I can be an absolute shit-head and that I don’t work well with certain people. 

I went from living on the floor of a living room to not knowing where the hell I was going to go. Coffee with my friend Lex during this hard time turned into a month at her house, celebrating life with music, too many cigarettes, hookah, and all sorts of accents. I was staying in a house that, for the month, had turned into an accidental refuge for people with bad living situations. Marzy, Tailer and I were three women who were down on their luck and on good room mates. Corwyn, Seamus, and Lex were three compassionate roomies who took us in indefinitely. Though there was quite a bit of struggle – not enough food, the dishes weren’t being done, love triangle drama weird stuff – we managed to exist quite well together through the month.

Finally the time came when the bills were due, money was tight, and someone had to move out. I packed up my bag and searched on Facebook for a place to lay my head. My friend Angie took up the gauntlet, saying I could stay with her for a week or two. This is what coincided with my trip to New York and, after five days crashing on a couch, I took off.

Returning to Minnesota, I found I had overstayed my welcome by just a tidge and spent three hours in not enough clothing in negative weather waiting outside to get my stuff. It was dramatic. Tailer, who I mentioned earlier, had a solution. She told me there was a room I could live in and pay rent at where she lived, and I jumped on the offer. 

Two days, one sexual assault, an STD screening, and a lot of work later, I was officially moved into my new home. My room mates, Tailer, Ron, Ken, and Lee, were all pretty alright and it worked out well for a while, especially with the leniency they showed for my not being able to pay rent right on time.

Let’s just say too many twists of fate and not enough employment lead me to searching for a new place. Tailer informed me that she would be moving out and I, faced with increased rent and no way to pay it, also started searching for a place. I got the good news that week that I had been hired (after a failed interview at Barnes and Noble) as a server at a novelty restaurant.

The same week, after hours of Craigslisting, I found a new place to lay my head – a Queer House in a decent part of town, not far from where I had previously stayed with Lex, Corwyn, and Seamus. After a tour, an interview, and a lot of talking myself up to my future roomie, I had my room secured. Cheap rent, a nice basement bedroom, and a big back yard all suited my fancy.

I have now been here for nearly a month. It’s an old punk house that we are fixing up and it’s starting to look like home. As room mates, we get along but still have some things to sort out. Work is slow, life is fast, my room is a mess, and I have still managed to keep the kitchen somewhat clean, find bus money, and plant a garden.

Though I have returned to the life of washing my clothing in a bathtub, I finally have a yard to hang-dry said freshly-clean clothing in. 

This last week I have been very sick – coughing up blood – but I am finally recovering. Fighting through a lot of depression and monetary panic, I am struggling to stay on my feet. I have faith I can work through it all somehow. Life gets hella hard sometimes. Today I worked in my garden, washed some clothes, and cleaned my room. Tonight I go to an Anime Convention and also busking to get my mind off of the worrying things in life – bills, my fish, the prospect of living with five cats, my depression, and my job.

Tomorrow I hope I’ve made enough money to pay some bills, see my train-hopping grungy girlfriend, and take a well-deserved nap before maybe drinking a bit, maybe partying a bit, and then getting right back on the grind of life. We’ll all make it through somehow.

As always, I’m wishing all of you the best in all of your endeavors and must finally congratulate Marzy for landing a dream job. I’ll catch up someday, I can only hope this is true.

Love to all.

A Fatal Finish to a Long, Terminal Destination


The word ‘terminal’ has a lot of definitions, none of them necessarily positive. What we can really draw from all of the definitions is that the world ‘terminal’ is describing the penultimate; close to the end or resulting in the end. Whether it be an incurable illness or a date gone badly, an adjective to describe a person’s character or a so-called ‘destination’ on a magical airplane ride, we all know that terminal is incurable, inevitable, and generally sad.

This is how I would describe, in one word, my ‘big adventure’ to New York. I guess I don’t need to begin this story with ‘it all started when’, because we’ve already done that. I think that, in a more nerdy and suiting way, we should incorporate something closer to ‘but then everything changed when the fire nation attacked’.

Yes, this is one of those ‘learning experience’ adventure stories that teaches its lessons with everything going up in flames…figuratively, of course. Let me assure you before we begin that this is not the worst thing to have ever happened to me. Yes, disclaimer, I am prone to being over-dramatic and a bit sassy. So here we go. We last left our young protagonist (because I guess I’m not conceited enough to say ‘hero’ in an airport terminal in Chicago, Illinois. Spunky and with a lot of hope, our dear character had used her negative flight experiences insofar as positive reinforcement to her morals, goals, and spirit.

Here we rejoin our young hero (oops, did end up being that conceited), full of hope and excitement, pulling an all-nighter in the beautiful O’Hare Airport. After finally disconnecting from my overly expensive WIFI, I decided to wander around all night and have a solid time.

For those of you who haven’t been to the O’Hare Airport, I should inform you that there is a massive underground walking path with music and lights. Let me tell you right now that it is the wet dream of anyone on an Acid Trip because I have never been more comforted by moving floors and glorified elevator music than I was at that airport. Unwisely spending my money on a book and a terrible coffee, I did what any nineteen year old girl set loose in an airport overnight would do – I took a lot of Instagram videos. Eh, maybe one day I’ll grow out of being such a child. At least I have some memories.

Fast forward through Skype Calls, more coffee, some weird barrel rolls, alien hairstyles, laughter, bathroom panic, and finding my terminal – there’s that word again – an exhausted Telea could be found curled up on a seat near to a man reeking of whiskey who would not stop calling her ‘sugar’.

My flight was scheduled to leave just before 7 am so I took a short cat nap and then wearily climbed onto a plane in deceivingly sunny weather. An hour and change later, I was landing in the Cleveland, Ohio airport –  a spacious and more industrial looking airport to the ones I had seen before. A man who had been on my previous flight walked up to me and informed me that he had overheard me discussing my destination with someone on the plane and that he could lead me to the right terminal.

Lucky he did because I would have NEVER gotten the directions right. We walked for what seemed like forever, down a flight of stairs and, as I was informed after a rather loud and disconcerting sound from just over my head, directly under the tarmac to arrive at the right gate. From there I had three hours to kill and a stomach to fill.

After buying some shitty breakfast pizza and a scratch-off ticket, I wandered over to the giant floor-to-ceiling windows, where a sunny 42 degree day greeted me like an old friend. Lounging in the warmth of the beating fire-globe, I stretched like a cat, ate my pizza, scratched off my ticket (won 30 dollars but couldn’t redeem it since I had to stay in the airport), and then took a sunbath nap.  Two hours, three slices of pizza, and a mild sunburn later, I was boarding the final flight of my trip to Erie, Pennsylvania, which I imagined to be a somewhat desolate ‘stuck-in-the-70’s’ suburban horror movie bay town.

After the most turbulent 45 minutes of my life – and I mean this quite literally; the tiny jet plane was almost an engine that couldn’t as we were harshly ripped across the skies over Lake Erie – we landed in exactly the town I pictured when first plotting my course to New York. The man who had assisted me in Cleveland now sat by my side and we shared stories of our lives over the Doctor Pepper he bought me out of kindness.  As the car containing Lex and her friend pulled up, we bid each other adieu and he handed me a business card should I ever need his help.

This was it. It was over. The moment of truth as I finally met Lex in person for the first time. With high nerves and two shitty carry-on bags, I climbed into the car, finally meeting the girl behind the blog.

I guess this is where the story takes a rough turn. Of course it would. I was meeting up with an emotionally unstable girl who was about to drop her whole life she had built and move back to Wisconsin. Who wouldn’t be edgy and scared and overwhelmed? Who wouldn’t be on the fritz and a bit sassy? The car ride was alright. Lex was cool, Lex’s friend was awful. As I got overly excited that Tim Horton’s was a real thing, she got overly edgy about having to drive. We stopped at a Walmart and then it was home sweet home – Jamestown, New York.

Located about a two hour drive from Niagara Falls and a six hour drive from the big apple, Jamestown, New York is a semi-suburban no-man’s land, mixing the novelty of Lucille Ball’s childhood there with a refusal to enter the 21st century in the worst possible way.  Remodeled turn-of-last-century buildings line a street surprisingly free of pot-holes in a town also surprisingly free of pot-heads. Snow blanketed the ground as we spent our three days indoors packing, getting drunk, and, for me, listening to the sound of tears.

Located on the upper floor of a shitty duplex two miles from the nearest convenience store, Lex had become complacent in sitting indoors, and the bitter cold New York air didn’t help things. While I was still entranced with the idea of a big adventure – if only a couple of hours walking around in the sparkling snowdrift that was Jamestown – Lex was not in the mindset to even set foot outdoors. My big New York adventure had turned into a drunken disappointment.

Three days, twelve bottles of booze, and one fight later, we were loading into a car in the middle of the night to escape an evil ex and return to the Midwest. We stopped to eat and sleep in Erie and then, with few stops, traversed the the states in our way back home. Too much junk food, too many toll roads, horrible music, and not enough leg room made the trip almost excruciating as fourteen and a half hours after departing Erie, we were just pulling into Chicago. Oh the lights, the magic of Chicago that we saw from the freeway as we continued on our path, stopping at a gas station for water in a part of Chicago where it is customary to have bars on every window and door.

Finally, we arrived at our destination, pulling into the driveway of an apartment building/housing unit right outside of Eau Claire. We were sore, cramped, and tired, ready for hours of rest before taking me home to dear Minnesota. A mattress was blown up for me, showers were taken, and heads hit the pillow fast that night as I prepared to return to my life of couch-hopping and sorrow that I had put myself into.

Shortly after our trip, Lex and I had a falling out and everything seems rather silly to have done now. It’s sad to say that the best part of my terminal trip was spending 30 hours experiencing layovers in terminals, but that’s the damn ironic twist of fate biting us all just as we think we’ve accomplished something great. Though the trip went as sour as Calcium Citrate, I still have to admit that I learned a lot and grew up even more on my destined-for-failure venture. I learned how to talk to travel agents, be alone, be even more resourceful, and find joy in even the shittiest of New York weather.

I join the large percentage of people who have had terrible experiences during their first time traveling alone and I do not regret it one bit. It took me off the negative degree streets of Minneapolis for a few days, it allowed me to meet someone I had always been curious about, and it taught me how to fend for myself in this sometimes hostile world. And now, when people ask me if I’ve gone anywhere cool, I can say that I got a fully comped trip to New York one time just to revel at the low prices of milk, the high prices of cigarettes, and the high volumes of liquor I could fit in my body.

Humor aside, it is important to remember that not all stories have a happy ending but they do all have a lesson. Do not be down-trodden by bad experiences, rather, find some way to make them worth it for you. Despite the miserable circumstances and the sadness, despite the terminal effect that this trip had on my friendship and some of my finances, I do no regret the opportunity to have another story to tell. That’s all I am, in truth. A shitty traveling bard who wants to be remembered for her life, no matter what happens.

I think I’ve accomplished that to a degree already.

Terminally yours.