Tag Archives: comedy

Pulling Everything Together

So there I was. With a week to impress a very disappointed landlord. I had almost no resources and I reached out to my group of friends who had experienced the HoG on the same level I had. Immediately, I had responses. An overflow of them, actually. Paint, tools, cleaning parties, I had everything I needed. Diablo spent the last of his budget on some paint that would cover stains (particularly sharpie) and I got to work. We cleared out the living room and started cleaning up the beer cans.

My dear friend Liza came over with her camera and photographed a few things before we totally started fixing it up. Liza is a photographer, videographer, model, poet, and a whole bunch of other things, too. She is one of the most lovely human beings that I know and I’m sure there will be a blog post dedicated to her at some point.

Four hours of cleaning and scrubbing later, all of the furniture was either in the kitchen or on the lawn and I had begun painting over the words and images that had helped define all of us over the course of two months.It was arduous – and heartbreaking. It was the first real symbol of us having to move on from the house. Of course, part of me had been waiting for this for weeks, and the other part of me was scared and never wanted it to end.

We managed to get enough paint to re-vamp the entire house, and I started, well, re-vamping. I planned a cleaning party and had a decent turn-out. With the help of twenty people, we got the first coat of actual white paint on the living room walls. We got the lawn mowed and the beehives on the roof taken care of and the old mattress and couches burned.

The next day, Docken (the other room mate) and our mutual friend Khiara did some hardcore cleaning. I turned the trash room into a porch. The lawn was fixed, the trash room was gone, and I had painted some nice color on the living room, effectively finishing that project. In a week, we took down the entire downstairs and outside.

Weeds trimmed, flowerbeds weeded, trash hauled away, and a fresh coat of paint on all of the walls except for the bathroom, which would get taken care of later. The gutters were spotless, and so I guess we weren’t quite ‘gutter punks’ anymore, unless you count the person who actually climbed around on the roof like a drunken monkey getting all of the punk out of the gutter.

We even scouted the neighborhood and discovered a beautiful sofa, recliner, and desk that were in almost perfect condition to move into the freshly painted house. We carried these items a few blocks and successfully moved them in that night. The living room looked like something out of a country living magazine – as long as you disregarded the still-tarnished floor.

The landlord arrived the next Tuesday. Despite the fact that there was still large amounts of work to do on the house, we got the reaction we were looking for. Her eyes lit up the second she stepped out of her car. Of course, it wasn’t perfect. It will take a couple of years for the lawn to totally regrow and the integrity of the roof after supporting so many bodies will never be quite the same.

She entered the living room and almost gasped. Her joy at the changes showed clearly on her face as she toured the lower half of the house. No more trash room. No more stink of beer and adolescence. A well thought-out color scheme. Semi-gloss paint instead of matte in the kitchen for easier cleaning and less gruesome grease stains. Turning the corner to head upstairs, I had to stop her. I informed her that a week is a very small amount of time to get anything done, and the only fixing that had been done on the upstairs was a quick cleanup job. The walls leading up the stairs had a fresh coat of light green paint and we were busy getting the right parts to re-install the banisters (definitely a story to tell later).

It was coming along, but there’s only so much you can do. She nodded and expressed her approval of what had been done, giving us more time to keep fixing the house. The end of July was coming up, though, and I had received news from my girlfriend that she and her faithful troupe of road dogs were heading north from Iowa. Soon, it would be time for me to leave.

Funny how, in theory, packing a bag and walking out a door is easier than fixing an entire house.


The Angry Landlord and the Quick Save

I think it’s time to talk about the owner of the house I was living in at the time, because this is a very important part of the story, and an inspiring one. Diablo’s cousin, who owned the house, had let him rent it for 300 a month with the agreement that he would fix a couple of little things to make the entire house sellable.

Now, I love my dear Diablo, but he is irresponsible to an extreme, and he managed to pull me into that irresponsibility. When I arrived at the house for the first party, it was in kind of bad shape. The carpet in the living room had been ripped out, revealing ugly, damaged floorboards. The living room walls were covered in various colors of paint and small amounts of graffiti. The carpets upstairs had been slightly tarnished. There was a room specifically for trash that smelled like, well, the inside of a dumpster.

By the time mid-July rolled around, we had only damaged the house more. The shower had been broken, the living room walls were covered in sharpie – hundreds of phone numbers, drawings, and tags that gave the HoG its appeal. For us, it was beautiful. An entire room filled with stunning imagery and contact information from some of the most creative, wonderful people we had ever met. A wall dedicated to a dramatic day-by-day, play-by-play of the house. The tags had started to spread into the kitchen. The trash room was overflowing. The upstairs carpets were done for. The walls that hadn’t been tarnished by sharpie had been marked by dirty, oily hands and blood.

Blood – the entry way to the stairs leading to the bedrooms had been tagged with someone’s blood at a party that got a little too out of hand. ‘Fuck life’ was smeared across the previously untouched wall in an angsty scrawl. Outside, there were couches, chairs, and a mattress soiling the lawn. The vines had overgrown, the grass had been torn up by the feet of hundreds of little punks, and the flowerbeds were in a state of weedy disrepair.

Screens had been busted out of windows, the electricity had gone out in one upstairs room, muddy boot-steps led out a window and onto the roof.

Beer cans and cigarette butts lay strewn as far as the eye could see, piled creatively in flower pots and stacked in pyramids wherever there was free space. Broken bottles lay scattered on the overgrown back walk, the roof was covered in an assortment of used condoms, random snacks, blankets, and other waste products. A doggie chew-toy hung over the stoop from a gutter, and the front door no longer possessed a door handle.

We had become the true epitome of punk house. Warm, flat beer, people who smelled bad, and blood-smeared walls. Our stink defined the neighborhood, put a new spin on ‘you smell good’ and invited trouble we could not have imagined when we first started. We saw it all as a creative mess, a natural disaster, the perfect aesthetic. The landlord saw it a little differently. Phrases that come to mind immediately are ‘terrible’, ‘oh my god what happened to my house’ and ‘oh no no no no no no no NO’.

This incredible woman who had been so kind to let Diablo stay in that house was in the business of flipping properties and using the money to build schools. By trashing the house, we were, effectively, stealing opportunities for education from young minds. I had no idea, and neither did she. We had lived by the subconscious vibe of ‘what we don’t know won’t hurt us’, but upon her arrival, we changed our tune to ‘what have we done, we’ve made fools of everyone’.

We had only gotten the opportunity to screw things up so royally because she had been gone for a couple of months and wasn’t regularly checking up on the house. She had no idea anything had happened and she was under the impression that only Diablo lived there. She was in for a surprise. At the time she returned, Diablo had adopted not one but two room mates that were not paying rent and effectively draining the pockets of society.

She would not come to know this. Her arrival at the house was a dramatic one. As I washed dishes and Diablo played Super Smash, we heard a knock on the door. Dun dun dun, our doom was fast approaching. Diablo stood and went to check who it was, immediately freezing up and freaking out.

“Do not tell her you live here. Say you’re visiting.” He hurriedly whispered as a sense of dread fell over the entire house and at least three nearby neighborhoods.

A quick salute, a calming breath, and the sound of a door opening later, we were in big trouble. Tears filled her eyes as she got a first-hand look at what atrocities teenagers given responsibility were capable of. She toured the house and then took a moment to compose herself before expressing her anger, disappointment, and worry to Diablo. She was tempted to kick him out on the spot, black-list him to the rest of his family, even have his car sold to pay for damages.

He was incapable of defending himself or calming her down. it was time for someone to step in.

“Hey, I know you have no idea who I am, but I’m a close friend of Diablo’s, and I came over to help him out cleaning up. I have to take some responsibility for the mess in the first place, but trust me when I say that I have been over here a lot helping to reign the dear boy in. I have come to see this house as a safe place, and many others have, too, so I am willing to put in work to make you happy and allow him to keep the house.”

Her face relaxed slightly. I went on to tell her that my father had trained me to be a house painter, that there were many people who cared about the house, and that we would invest time and effort into making it sellable once again. The guarded look on her face and her hesitation to trust a stranger were overcome by a realization of how deep of a hole she would be in if she didn’t accept a little bit of help.

She decided to give HoG a chance. She decided to give me a chance. She knew Diablo would be going out of town that weekend and she asked if I could house-sit for a few days, which would give me more time to help clean up. I accepted, and we were off on the biggest cleaning mission I had ever agreed to – and the cleaning of my childhood room was no joke.

I had a week to prove to her that I could make the house a good place again. Just one week to make a drastic change that would determine the fate of the House of God.

I was ready.

The Bell Tower

As we make the leap over the cusp of June and into the insanity of July, I would like to rescind a statement I made in my previous posting.The last night I got drunk in the HoG was mentioned in ‘The First Stroke of Luck’, detailing a night on a day of independence in America that I got pretty wasted. Whether it was fueled by the Wild Turkey or my disdain for an entirely dependent country celebrating Independence all of these years after a now almost pointless event, my body was intent on getting trashed.

We sailed through July with very few choppy waters. A man who’s name sounded like the word ‘Sin’ took us over to the church and showed us how to get up to the bell tower, where we were told we were always welcome. It was a series of shaky ladders and bird feces-covered rails to end up in a small room with a ceiling that you pushed up to climb one last, short ladder, and emerge into the light (or dark, depending on the time of night we went) of St Paul.

The church was old and tall, and from its highest height, we could see for at least a mile on each side as we stood on semi-stable antique floor-boards and sat in an old exercise chair that was perched in the bell tower for no discernible reason at all.

The bell tower became a place for romance, mid-acid trip meditations, and a sense of peace. Diablo and I would take special guests, two at a time, to view St Paul from an angle they hadn’t yet experienced. Hands were held, breaths were caught carefully in the backs of throats, and chaste kisses were shared under the near-starless metropolitan sky.

It became a symbol of hope for lost party-goers, a sign that they had gotten off at the right light rail stop or that they hadn’t driven too far. The church itself was open all hours of the night, and became a sort of quieter refuge from the lights, sounds, and people of the sometimes too outrageous parties.

A grand piano was stationed at the back of the church, along with a drum kit and a ceiling built for acoustics. We would often spend time in the bell tower before retreating below to the relative safety of the kindest-feeling church pews I have ever rested on. For the first time in my life, and in the lives of several others, a church was a safe spot, a true refuge from all of our worries.

As a pretty liberal queer individual with a social circle that had various reasons for avoiding churches, it was a really strange, beautiful thing to have a home away from home in the sort of building that had shaped so many of our lives in a negative fashion. What was this church that offered true acceptance for all and praised those who helped people truly in need?

Insane that my first brush with real Christianity didn’t occur until I was almost twenty years old, running a punk party house in a terrible part of town. Throughout my childhood, I had been shown many times that Christianity was corrupt and demanding. My parents, Agnostic to the bone, allowed myself and all of my siblings make our own choices but, at five years old when your best friend says she can’t be friends with you because if you’re not Christian, you worship the devil, I had made up my mind.

As I grew and learned about religions and cultures from all over the world, my closed mind on the subject of Christianity ever so slowly began to melt away. Regardless, I was still stunned at the kindness and acceptance of the people at Church. With almost nothing in their pockets, they still gave everything they had. With almost no family in the area, they built a family. While I remain unaligned with any religion, I am proud to say that I became a part of that family.

The bell tower was a symbol of hope for lost people, the church a place of peace for overwhelmed souls, and the people of the church a gleaming light in a sky of black, giving faith to many people that had grown to believe that the entire religion of Christianity had become corrupt and close-minded.

Every day, more and more, I was finding myself confident and at peace with myself. I had a good place to live, good friends, a good community, and damn good parties. My life was straight out of a movie. I was the slightly overweight, slightly outdated girl that ended up a small celebrity. I was the charming underdog who pulled incredible romances from hats like a talented magician. I had everything I could have ever wanted and…

I was still not satisfied.

Explanations and ‘The House of God’

So there I was, living in a party house in St Paul that got more and more popular by the day. I was receiving Facebook messages from friends of friends of friends asking if they could attend one of my parties. Finally, the hopes and dreams of fifteen year-old Telea had been accomplished. I was the host and resident of one of the most popular party houses in the Twin Cities, and I was gaining rapport by hour.

Now, time for an explanation:

When I initially became homeless on June 2nd, I had a cute, short,  train-hopping girlfriend who I had last seen about a week and a half before I was kicked out. As soon as I got kicked out, I asked her if she would come back to the Twin Cities to take me train hopping. Her response was awesome, to say the least. She got so incredibly excited, and promised to be back by the start of July.

So, my stay at Diablo’s house was, indeed, just supposed to be a very short while. We initially settled on three weeks, but when my girlfriend kept getting delayed, it became an open-ended departure from the house. Basically: “Stay as long as you want, don’t break much, and throw good parties.”

I was pretty sure I could handle that. In our first 30 days of solid parties, we threw FOUR big parties, (and 26 parties of varying sizes), once every weekend up to the weekend of July 6th. The first one was a spur-of-the-moment decision that just so happened to work out well. The second was scheduled over Pride Weekend, the third was basically a Pride Afterparty (as in ‘The-Weekend-After-Pride-Party) and the fourth was a party celebrating 30 days of Partying.

On Pride weekend, my friends Alice and Xaundra went with me to the festival before the big party showdown. On our way to Loring Park, we ran into a handsome Dirty Kid sitting shirtless on Nicollet Ave, playing a banjo. We decided to say hello, and found out his name was Joe and that he was working in Wisconsin on an organic farm for the summer. He told us he usually rubber tramped it around the country in a big old van. We parted ways, hoping to see him again at Pride.

The second we walked into the park, it started pouring rain. Just a violent downpour that soaked us to the bone in 0.5 seconds. We took cover under the nearest tree, and so did our dirty friend Joe. He noticed that I had a Ukulele, and I played him a song. After a couple more minutes, Xaundra and Alice decided to go back to the house early instead of braving the rain, and we promptly invited Joe to come to the party, giving him two phone numbers to contact should he decide to make an appearance. Spoiler alert: he did (which is why that story was important at all).

Alice and Xaundra headed home, taking my Ukulele with them, and I continued through the pouring rain of Pride to meet some cute people and hang out. Within fifteen minutes, the rain had subsided, and while the park was soaked (and partially flooded), the sun AND the people came back out to celebrate.

Joe (later renamed James Franco to avoid confusion with the fifty thousand other Joe’s I know – and because he resembled a young, dirty James Franco) was not the only one who got adopted by the house from Pride. With the weather putting a damper on Pride Weekend, our party got bumped to five pm instead of ten pm. At five pm, I was arriving at the house with about five people I knew and thirty people I had found at Pride.

This party was one that went down in the history of the house. Over two hundred people showed up. There was glitter, laughter, and alcohol EVERYWHERE. It was the party where I discovered that my Ukulele had been left at a bus stop in pouring rain confusion. It was the party where everyone came together in a community like one we hadn’t seen before. It was the first party I stayed totally sober for because of the overwhelming number of people showing up, marking the weekend before as the last party I got drunk at – for the rest of the summer. But most importantly of all, this was the party that gave our house its name.

The House of God.

Explanation time:

At previous slightly-rowdy parties, we told party-goers that when they went outside to smoke a cigarette, they should always yell ‘Glory Hallelujah’ or ‘Amen’ so that the neighbors wouldn’t suspect a party. Rather, they would think it was a rowdy religious gathering. This joke, thought up because we lived across the street from a church and a sober house, ended up giving our house its name that night.

Furthermore, the previous weekend, someone had spray-painted ‘House of Gold’ right over our doorway.

The kind people at the church, Kandra and Rob, a beautiful couple who were planning to get married that October, LOVED us. Rob was the pastor of the church, and Kandra was the super-sweet, wonderful Fiance. Diablo and I made a habit of visiting the church for the good company and the good acoustics (and the semi-exclusive ‘Breakfast in the Basement’ every Tuesday morning – House of God and Church only). They walked into the party FEARLESSLY while it was in full swing to bring all of the party-goers bread, hummus, fresh fruits and veggies, and a huge bowl of delicious pasta salad.

A drunken person, hearing about this, exclaimed that it really WAS a house of god, having not seen that extra letter ‘L’ in the tag job. It was perfect. With sharpies in hand, we promptly fixed what we later called ‘the biggest spelling error of the month’ and named our house ‘House of God’, later to be fondly referred to as the ‘HoG’.

What was even more amazing was that Church (previously known as Kandra and Rob) loved the name. They saw us as a form of missionaries. We were giving all we had to the people, letting people crash at our house, and providing a safe spot for people to be any hour of the day, any day of the week. Regardless of the fact that we allowed alcohol, drugs, and sex to happen in the house on a regular basis, we were thought of by Church as true followers of the lord. They claimed Jesus would be proud to walk with us, and promptly started referring to our house as the House of God to anyone who brought us up.

We were a growing fashion statement. Weekdays were filled with people asking to come over, cigarettes and beer being bought for us as tributes, and plenty of memories. Weekends were even crazier, with people streaming into the house by nine pm for festivities, live music being played, and suddenly being hailed as ‘The Party Gods’.  Waiting for my girlfriend to take me on the road was becoming more and more fun, which, later, left me more and more screwed.

The Terminal

Wow, it sounds like I’m about to launch into a review about a really bad movie or explain that I have cancer or something. This, my dears, is not the case. Let me tell you the story of ‘the trip’.

As most of you know, when I started blogging on this site in October 2011, I met a girl who was also a blogger and also from Wisconsin. We bonded over a mutual love of zebras, being over-dramatic, and dumb tv shows. We long-distance helped each other make good and bad decisions and, at the end of the day, decided that it was time for us to see each other.

We plotted an intricate plan in which she would drive from where she lived to where I lived (about three hours) and we would hang out for a weekend and have cute picnics together. This, sadly, fell apart for numerous reasons, including the inevitable crushing end of our friendship/romance. It seemed, after she blocked me on every social networking site known to man, that it was simply not meant to be.

Time passed. We both got older. We both moved to different states. We missed each other and just didn’t know it yet. Then, one fateful day, we ran into each other on the internet once again. On a site just as obtuse and obscure as WordPress was back in 2011. Surprise, delight, and tears ensued. Topless Telea allowed tears to pour down her measly chest onto her curved stomach. Too many adjectives.

Reconnecting, we began Skyping every day, for hours on end. She told me about her life in New York and I did Skype topless cooking just because (are you seeing a theme here?). We talked and talked until we were both sure there was nothing more to talk about. We then found something to talk about and life resumed. 

Again, we found ourselves making fanciful plans. We both had decent jobs and thought that we could support a trip to see each other in New York City, six hours from the place she had come to call home. We tentatively planned it for the first week of February, even advance requesting a room on AirB&B. But it was not to be. I fell into a financial and living crisis while Lex…helped me out of said crisis. 

We abandoned our dreams. She began saving up money for a laptop again while I scraped together spare change to try to find a new place to live. I began couch-surfing; we stopped talking as much. I was busy and she was alone. Call it Heartbreak Hotel or whatever you’d like but what it came down to was not enough time or energy to keep up our friendship. We thought it might be the end…again.

Dun dun dun. 

Too bad we’re both too awesome to allow something beautiful to fall apart. I started getting my shit together and we began talking again. It was a challenge at first. We were both in places where we needed to butt heads with something, and me not making time for her was an ultimate betrayal of trust. Basically, we had some shit to work through.

Time passed. We continued to get older, cuter, and maybe wiser. Her boyfriend turned into the ultimate piece of shit. Mine didn’t ever really exist. He was back in Wisconsin and my ability to commit is…vapid. The situation took a turn for the worst when Lex realized she couldn’t live with her man anymore. Emotionally damaged and needing a friend, the two super-buddies reached out one more time into the recesses of the internet in the hopes that someone would fuel their jet (ha. hahaha.).

Somehow, it works. VS (Not Victoria’s Secret) hopped on board the Telex train and powered it all the way to the airport. A confirmation email arrived in my inbox with booked times to fly from Minneapolis to Philadelphia to Erie, where Lex and her friend would pick me up. The flight was scheduled for the very next day. Getting my best panties in a twist, I packed for my adventure. Early the next morning, you could see me walking down the snow-covered streets of Minneapolis with two small bags and my best summer dress. 

Don’t ask me why, after 19 years of living in the Midwest, I still feel it necessary to dress like an idiot during the cold months. I couldn’t explain it to you if I tried.

We take a short break in our story to inform you of some key information you might need to know for this next tidbit. Two months ago, I lost my ID somewhere. Being a couch-hopping, Minnesota resident now, I was incapable of finding a way to renew it or get a new one altogether. So I was left with an 8.5×11 sheet of printer paper with my photo ID photocopied onto it. 

This is something I advise against having when trying to fly somewhere. It is not considered an acceptable form of ID and you will be subjected to a TSA standardized validation process. Basically it’s a whole extra screening. When I read about it, it seemed pretty mild. They would look through my bags, pat me down, ask a few questions about my mom…

Sadly, that is not what happened. Kudos to TSA for still making it an expedited experience but comfortable and easy? I think not. They asked me the date of birth of my mother, my father, and one other close relative. They required maiden names, social security numbers, phone numbers, state of birth, etc. After the questioning was done, they screened my bags, testing the clothes and items with little strips tests that I think were meant to find chemical traces?

After this was all said and done, I was patted down and then strip searched. Yes, my dears, a nineteen year old cute while female was subjected to airport humiliation and crossed boundaries. It happens sometimes. 

Finally, I was cleared to fly. I excitedly walked to my gate, ready to take off into never-never land…only to find I was three hours early for my flight. Having come prepared with a book, I settled in to enjoy the fine company of Terry Pratchett. Finally, it was 1:48pm. FINALLY I was going to leave. Set off to see Lex’s face in person for the first time. I hurried to the bathroom to dispose of my nervous urine waste and then hurried back to the terminal.

Forty-five minutes later and no airplane in sight, I begin freaking out. Full-blown panic-attack mode. I’m brow-furrowed studying my ticket for inconsistencies. Maybe I went to the wrong gate. Maybe I’m in the wrong terminal. Maybe the flight is tomorrow. Instead of being a logical person and, you know, asking someone, I make the executive decision to just wait at my gate and see if the plane decides to suddenly show up two hours late.

Tee-lee Dodge, will you please come check in at Gate E-4 to discuss your flight information?”

Uh-oh. Maybe I’ve been denied passage into Narnia. Maybe Armageddon has arrived. My mind must be diseased and I’m probably just in a dream where all of my worst fears are coming true when it comes to air travel. I’m going to look down and realize I’m not wearing pants and my luggage is in India and my ticket has been canceled and I’m stuck in Iowa.

 Nay, none of this happens to be true. I walk up to E-4 and address the flight attendant and she informs me that the flight was so delayed that I would miss my connecting flight in Philly and so they – US Airways – switched my flight over to United Airways and I was on a plane out at 6pm. At this point, I think this is the worst news I’ve ever heard in my life.

I have a panic attack. I cry in front of hundreds of people. I call my mom…twice. I am full-blown raging with fear and lunacy. Finally, I calm down. I reason with myself. The flight is going to be only two hours later. Don’t panic, man. Life is good. I am sent to Gate E-8 to pick up my new boarding passes. I stand in line for one hour only to be told that since my flight is at six and it’s only four…I’m going to have to come back.

Again, I snap into panic mode. To a girl who has never flown solo or had to deal with any airport situations on her own at all, two hours is NOT enough time to get boarding passes, get to the gate, and successfully board a flight. My solution is to go get some food to pass the time.

Here comes another side-story filled with wretched anger and indignation. If you’re going to put a Burger King…in an Airport…you should do it with the same prices you charge not in an airport. This will get you booming business and everyone else will suffer except you. It’s beautiful. What you should not do is charge seven dollars for a chicken sandwich and then serve me a poor excuse for a chicken nugget on a soggy bun. That is highway robbery and I will not stand for it. Except for six hours ago when I totally stood for it.

I finish my food and return to E-8 for my boarding passes where I am told by an older woman who calls everyone ‘babe’ that “That flight has also been delayed due to weather and so you will miss your connecting flight if you board it.”

Oh. Fucking. Joy.

“Here, I’m going to turn you over to Wendolynn who will work on a new flight with you.”

Thanks, Patrice. You’ve been a real help to me in my hour of need. At this point, there are tears silently streaming down my face as Wendolynn searches for new flights and comes up with nothing. After 20 minutes, I’m ready to call it quits and kudos to her for looking for so long for a flight that probably isn’t there…just because a cute, desperate, crying girl is being cute and desperate and also, well, crying.

I ask her if there’s any way she can issue a refund and she says yes, but tells me to hold on a minute.

“I might have found something.” My hear soars into the air the way I should have been hours previously and then sinks again. I am not prepared for the false prophet even one more time. Please do not do this to me. Please let this be real.

“I can get you on a flight to Chicago at 7 pm. From there, you’ll catch a flight to Cleveland, Ohio tomorrow morning at 6:30. After a layover in Cleveland, I can get you on this flight to Erie. You’ll be there by 2. I can book it right now.”

Now let me hear you say AMEN. 


We book the flight and I call Lex to make sure it’s okay. She informs me that, hell or high water, there will be someone at the airport to pick me up. I cry again. I find a place to plug in my laptop. I get my boarding passes. I charge my phone. I make continuous strange eye contact with an older gentleman that bears a haunting resemblance to Mr. Bean. I sit next to a cute guy who keeps almost talking to me. I act like a fifteen year old girl and chicken out on talking to him. We’re both going to Chicago. He gets on the other plane. I pout.

Finally, I am boarding my plane. Finally, I am sitting in an airplane with all of my stuff. Finally, after 10 hours of sitting at MSP, I am going somewhere.

The flight takes off, as flights do, and in just over an hour, I am stepping off an AA Airplane onto Illinois land, blessing the very ‘O’hare Airport’ terminal grounds that I walk on. I have arrived at my first destination. I’m actually on the way. It’s not a pipe dream, I’m really going to Narnia…or Jamestown, New York.

After buying another book, walking forever to find terminal one, and confirming my flight details, here I am. Sitting at a Wifi port that I paid too much money to connect to and typing out this glorious story. I am 408 miles closer to Lexi. I haven’t cried in at least four hours. 

As I sit in this mostly-empty terminal, I reflect on the day. Mostly by writing about it and posting it on the internet. Despite all of the stress, the panic, the bad tickets. Despite my literal airport shop of horrors coming true, I am here. I am on my way. I am, again, a traveling, wayward soul in search of something possibly greater than me, possibly just kisses and pizza.

I am ready for whatever challenge I have next. I am ready for the next fourteen hours in and out of airports, the two hour drive back to Lex’s, whatever comes next. I forgot that my fear of bad things happening is my defense mechanism against my flight mechanism. I am reminded that, at the end of the day, I can get my head together. I can make it. And I will. Today Chicago. Tomorrow Ohio, Philadelphia, New York. Later, the world. Bring it on.

With many hugs and kisses from wherever in the world I happen to be next, I love you all…and safe travels.

The Nonprofit Sector

I have a new job. That job is no longer a job in which I stand out on the streets begging for money like a prostitute sans sexual favors. Nothing against the old job; it just wasn’t my condom brand. Anyway, I still wanted to work with a nonprofit organization, so I applied at the local Goodwill-like shopping center in my new hometown.

After a week and a half without a reply, I was worried I wasn’t going to get the callback. I had, in fact, applied at numerous places and not received word from any, except for a no-reply email from HR telling me I ‘didn’t fit the particular needs of the company; we will consider you for future positions’.

Put out and afraid I wasn’t going to be able to pay rent anymore, I ate a whole pizza and fell asleep with almost-tears in my eyes. The next thing you know, I’m being awoken by my phone, harshly ringing back ‘The Gravity For Now’ to inform me that I was receiving a call from an unknown phone number. Groggily, I answered the call. It was the General Manager for the nonprofit, calling for a phone interview. After being pleased by all of my answers, she arranged an interview with two of her supervisors the following day.

Skipping the part where I got all nervous and excited and didn’t know what to wear, we’re now approaching the part where I, dressed impeccably, showed up for my interview. They asked a lot of questions about my experiences in volunteering, which was my sign that I was going to bag this job no problem.

As you may or may not know, I have literally thousands of hours of volunteer work under my belt from a long line of service to the Girl Scouts, the local 4-H club, the Boy Scouts, and my mother. Needless to say, they really enjoyed my bubbly personality along with my ‘I can do it’ attitude. They also didn’t mind the aforementioned pro-level volunteer stats.

The following Monday, I was hired. Tuesday, I passed my background check. And yesterday I worked my very first part-time shift with them, which was very enjoyable and not too tedious at all. I get to punch in my clock number, which is weird and exciting and something I’ve never done before.

I’m now scheduled to work Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays for the rest of the month. After that, they might discuss a raise in earnings (from minimum wage to something more suitable for a human being) or hours, which I would actually adore. Working four hours a day is nice because hey, you only have to work twelve hours a week and you have a lot of time to party rock, but working four hours a day isn’t nice because hey, you have rent to pay, food to buy, and no money left over for party rocking.

Again, anonymous thousand-dollar contributions to the blog…wink.

Anyway, I have to go cash the paycheck from my old job and buy some milk and butter and other household necessities. I also feel the need to take a long, hot shower in celebration of me being all ‘grown up and responsible’.

Love ya!

The New Place

Wow, it has been a long time since I came here. The weather is a little overcast on this blog so I thought I would cheer it up with some really good news in a few different directions.

The first order of business is probably to state that I moved. I am no longer a resident of the State of Wisconsin, much less that tiny little town that I sarcastically called ‘home’ for so long. Yes, my dear friends, I am now a resident of the land of ten thousand lakes; Minnesota. Currently located in a cute little apartment eight miles outside of downtown Minneapolis, I am content with the way this city rubs me. It’s semi-orgasmic.

I got a place with a friend of mine from Wisconsin, who is just wonderful. She gave me the whole living room as a bedroom, which gives me the incentive to keep everything clean for company. Speaking of company, I can now just invite people over because I don’t have to ask my parents. I just have to let my roomie know and BOOM, they’re on the next bus in my direction.

This has resulted in a significant increase in the number of snuggles I get. It also betters my relationship with my family, as they don’t have to deal with me as often. 

I did spend a month being homeless in the streets of Minneapolis. Sleeping in parks, sometimes crashing on couches, and being generally smelly, I got free food from the local pizza joint every night at bar-close and made my bus fare/emergency money by playing my guitar on street corners.

It was an interesting and semi-exciting experience, to say the least, and it opened my eyes to just how little a person actually needs to exist happily. This makes my living arrangements so much simpler because I have not much stuff at all anymore. It also makes me just generally appreciate everything I have. I did meet some pretty excellent people while I was homeless, and am still in touch with them today.

Upon the luckiness of finding a place to live, I was even more delighted to find that my rent was only two hundred and fifty a month, and that we had granite counter-tops. Wow, it was like I was living the high life. I got a job working for a Grassroots Campaign raising money for gay rights and civil liberties. 

I loved the cause but I wasn’t too big on standing on street corners for eight hours reciting a script to whoever I could trick into stopping. Canvassing is a hard and monotonous job with very little excitement but a lot of moral rewards. However, I found it necessary to leave the canvassing industry and seek a more steady line of work (canvassing, being a commission-based job, pays very little and you can get fired if you don’t make quota every day). 

I rushed to apply at every fast food place, grocery store, organization, etc in the nearby area. Another downside of my canvassing job was a one and a half hour commute to and from work every day, which left me with no time six days a week. I got a callback on an application today and have an interview for well-paid part-time work at a place very similar to Goodwill.

I really hope I get the job because the hours don’t interfere with my life and it’s enough money to pay rent and buy food and pay my little sister back for paying my first month’s rent in the new place.

Overall, I’m a pretty happy camper. I did experience some pretty deep and numbing depression over pretty much nothing last night and took the heart-crushing insomnia-inducing emotions out on messaging an old friend and telling them how much I missed them and how much less I was without them. Not expecting a reply, I was stunned and moved to tears when they replied in kind. We’re speaking again now for the first time in over a year and it’s really magnificent.

I have been practicing guitar a lot and working on my fingerpicking, which leads to better tips on nights when I go back out to those same street corners and strut my stuff for money, which is to say that I’m a musical prostitute, receiving tips for cooing sweet nothings to the general passing public. I really enjoy it.

Anyway, I must be off. There are showers to be had and life to be lived. I will hopefully be posting more often now that the apartment has been officially hooked up with it’s own wifi network and I am in possession of my very own laptop. 

Love ya!