"Hey! You know what?!"
"You should get a 50 liter pack!"
What? I'm winter traveling. You know I need to carry a lot of stuff.
"Yeah, but wouldn't it be cool if you didn't die?!"
"You don't NEED some much stuff. You carried a lot of stuff in Philly and you still almost froze to death. TWICE. And, the pack was too heavy, so you messed up your back and shoulders, too."
More to the pack being a large, than the weight. If it were a xs or s, and I arranged everything properly, it would have been a lot better.
"But, you still had too much stuff, and you know it! It would have still been just as heavy!"
Then, I'll have less stuff. I still need to be able to pack a blanket, just in case.
"If you had less stuff, and you didn't die! You would be so proud of yourself!"
Get-- What is wrong with you, all the sudden!?
"And, a smaller pack would be cheaper. You can get a 50 for $40, instead of trying to get that 70+10 for $80."
And, a 50 does hold a lot.
"The problem with the first 50 was the lack of outside carrying storage, but you can still get a better. You can have the sleeping bag and blanket outside with the other stuff inside. And, the problem with finding a new pack is finding a xs and s the more liters you look up. We might be able to go up to a 60, but we know up to 55 will fit. I feel like we'd be paying more for an adjustable pack than a fixed pack."
Also valid points.
"AND, IF YOU DON'T DIE, YOU'LL BE SO PROUD! FUCK ALL THE HATERS!"
I'm always proud that I didn't die the first time.
"But, surviving this will turn your whole life around. We're nervous about what will happen when we get back, but we'll have much less time for bullshit people after THIS adventure. No time for stagnate people!"
Stagnate MINDED people. It's best to get out of here after what's happen, regardless of what size the pack is. After packing heavy, packing light could be another welcomed change.
"You won't die, and this will be AWESOME!"
In my absence from this blog a lot has gone on to explain it! Shit with the housemates went went doooooooooooooooooooooooooooown! So the housemate that wanted to to leave some months ago, accused the new housemate of spying on her, so she left. When she came back the first time, I got them to talk and she said her piece on the spying. We were both confused, but we had to let her go. A few days later, she comes back and kicks the door to her room in because she looked herself out. We don't even know how she locked herself out, but she did it. And, she continued to accuse the new housemate of spying on her. We told she needed to get out because she's been so disrespectful to us and the house, and she left with some weird drama to it, but she left. For a while, she was coming back and being more dramatic and even tried to bully the new housemate, with another ex-housemate.
We also had to have some back and forth with the house manager. He was very reluctant to meet our demands on changing the locks at first, and than it hit him as to how important the situation is. And, it also had to come out they were using him to threaten us, saying that they could get him to kick us out on a whim, which couldn't be farther from the truth. And, we've threatened with the a various occasions.
We decided "Forget those bitches" and changed the locks and told them to get their shit out of our house. If you can't play nice, you can't use our playground, facefuckers! So, they got their stuff, and our house is bully free! I have some more cleaning to do, before I'm ready to host events here. The kick off event for the GaySkull Armory will be Jan 20th, for all kinds of reasons.
The job situation is meh. I like where I work, the people I work with, and the cause we're working towards. I very much dislike being a cashier. I applied to be a bagger, by they were like "Nah." Standing in one place, PLU codes, and handling money... argh... And, now i have to deal with tare weight and picky customers... ARGH! I so don't want to be a cashier. I literally didn't sign up for this! I have to deal with it for 3 months before I can move into a different department, if there are even any openings.
My health has taken a very serious turn. My left Thyroid has 2 lumps in it, and I'll know what my cancer results are next week. I've put braces and my back on hold, until I get those results and go from there.
That's all for now!
For all the highs and lows that happened in my birthmonth this year, I can proudly say I lived through it! My birthmonth ended with a house party last night, and it helped me feel a lot more comfortable and less outcasted being in this house. None of my friends could make it, but the house manager knows a lot of great people that I was happy to meet! I feel way more comfortable inviting people over now that other have been here.
The house was cleaned up! The other 2 hosts cooked! I felt like people with lives actually live in this house, which I haven't felt since I've been here. Honestly, I'm going to make at least one more try at finding a new place, but I'm not going to be so disappointed if it doesn't work out this month. I might not try again for Nov, depending on how things go over this month. I still want to leave for a chance at a better place, but as of right now I'm not dying to leave because I dislike my housemates.
I was looking at somethings I would like to put in my room, to make it more homely for me. And, I'm buying more for the house, in general. Before I started typing this I was thinking about where I could find a tv and getting video/ movie streaming services for the house. I live here and I like nice things, so the place I live in is going to have nice things.
Now I am housed and I'm very thankful for it! My room is small and my rent is low, and I'm so fucking happy for it. My roommates are also cool! The house I'm in is a former punk house, that I would love to restart but it's not going to be a place where shows happen. We don't have the space for that in any part of the house, or the yards. None of us want this to be a place people think they can come to at 3 am randomly, either. I have much less party ideas for this punk house. Giving the roommates are down, of course. My idea is that this place will be industrious and people can come to find out about job openings and even get insider shit on the jobs, and bikes to build and bike repair! Maybe even a meal, as there are at least 2 cooks in the house.
But first, there's a lot that needs to be done in cleaning and keeping it clean. I know this house was worse than it is now. My current roommates and other past have clean this place up as best they can, with is a lot! Now, it's MY era and this place going to see more picking up. There's a lot left behind from other past that is long outdated and serves no purpose. I feel like it would really make the house ours to get rid of all that stuff and replace it with our own useless things! There's also some areas that I have targeted as my own self-proclaimed tasks!
In the other meantime, I can't ignore the reasons why I started sitting in MN in the first place. Health issues, and the quest to learn how to make money while I travel. I'm slowly getting on the ball about taking care of my health. I recently started making dental appointments, and I have other appointments to make. I think I should go for the whole thing - dental, mental, vision, and body - sexual and non-sexual. I have to look for non-mainstream care for the spiritual stuff. Taking of everything can't be a bad idea. With the job and the Medicaid I can fund it, so I'm going to take EVERYTHING I can. I don't feel like there's too much mental health. I see why I can't someone to talk to once or twice a month.
As for making money while tavel, I've finally come up with something! I'm going to start taking advance of travel season see about hostel work in the upcoming seasons. That was the very first idea that many others suggested, and I'm going with it. My own ideas have been dancing as a street act, and I'm going to do it but I've switched to hooping instead of trying to push belly dancing. I've also gotten the idea to start my own business of selling adult coloring book sheets and zines! It will be an online shop, and I don't expect to make much but hopefully it will be something, which is a lot better than nothing.
A side swiping issues is food insecurities. In MN they have a very limited time of how long able bodied people can be on food stamps, and being homeless or low income doesn't count as exemptions. They have a 3 month limit, but it can be extended to 9 months if you jump through at least 11 hoops. There are ways to get them indefinitely, but I don't fit any of those standards. There are groups trying to change the food stamp standards but MN lawmakers don't seem to care about able bodied adults going hungry.
Food insecurities should NOT be a thing that happens in the "greatest country in the world". Everyone should have the right the eat, and to eat what they want. Food pantries are a good idea, but they're only as good as the people that run them. Food stamps are suppose to be set up to be a way better and more equal system. Not necessarily fair, but equal. But, of course, people made so leave to other people to fuck up a great idea. I am all about joining the crusade to end the current able-bodied system and people getting food stamps indefinitely, with more open qualification standards and making the job search case management system optional. THIS IS AMERICA, DAMMIT!
I have a lot of work to do, and I'm looking forward to it!
A long overdue update.
I've decided to stay in MN for a while due to health issues! YAY! It was hard for a while. I was in the Sal Army Harbor Lights shelter. It was a lot more terrible than it had to be, but the Sal Army really sucks when it comes to homelessness. The worst they think they're doing good, or they want everyone to think they're doing good, but they aren't. They don't train their staff EVER and everything about the shit-show of a shelter makes every situation worse. I really wish people would do more research before giving money to them.
I've had 2 phones stolen. I got rid of the NM number SafeLink phone, and went for the Access Wireless gov smartphone. First I lost it on the bus, but I got it back. It got stolen in the shelter after I left it in the bathroom. The second phone THAT I PAID FOR got stolen out of Uptown McD's, but I'll explain that later on down this entry.
I got a job at a grocery that I won't care to name. I started off still in the shelter, but the other clients have no respect for people and insist on being loud at night so I wasn't getting much sleep. And, the staff are mostly bitches (like any other Salvation Army shelter staff anywhere else), so they gave me a hard time with some stupid paperwork for working after curfew. I got fed up with all that bullshit and started sleeping outside. Yeah. THE SHELTER WAS SO BAD I LEFT TO SLEEP OUTSIDE.
My first night out I see someone I know, and meet a guy. I'm not going to bother making this sound gender-neutral. He's very much a guy, and one of the worst kinds. He was cool at first, and I hung out with him for a few days before we went to the beach to get clean. He was suppose to be looking the other way for cop watch while I bathe, but he was looking at me instead and expressed sexual interest. I made a joke saying "we're married now, so do your job and cop-watch for your spouse." He kept going with that joke after that, and I went along with it because he wasn't bad-looking and we started fooling around. I'm very much into hand-stuff, as it turns out and i really wanted to do it on him to see his reactions. People really enjoy sex, don't they? I showed him mine for showing me his, and he inquired on doing on more. I let him do some hand stuff to me, but I wasn't really reacting. Don't know what that was about but it's nothing to worry about. I felt fine just doing stuff to him and watching his reactions and learning how to do it right.
He wasn't, though. One night he started whining about some past experiences with past relationships and I was like "What? Are you being serious?" I felt bad for him, so I let him continue, and told him I was willing to do more than hand-stuff but he would have to go get tested. He seemed ok with it at first, but he started developing a negative attitude and I got very confused by it. I kept inquiring on what was wrong and he said confusing things, like some kind of weird story in pieces of each other. Something about "trying him like a friend", and "forcing contact". I had already explained to him this was my first relationship in a long time and I just didn't know how to do some stuff, but now he was complaining about it. But, really, I also didn't feel like I had had to be so lovey-dovey in a contact type way. I gave him money, and bought him stuff. And, we'd make out during the day and fool around at night. He also taught me a lot about amping, to take the good with the bad.
After 4 days of drama, he finally told me that not wanting just jump into sex with him made him feel ugly. 4 days all the while having not gotten tested and complaining about me wanting him to get tested at least twice. Also saying various things about me being sexually broken. Yep. Abusive language. I told him that if I made him feel ugly I should just broke this thing off and stay away from him.
However, over that time for less than 2 weeks, another person joined us in camping. He's very nice and thought we all made a great camping team. He pointed out some of my faults, but those faults were do to having to go to work and the drama that I didn't even start, so I didn't think that was fair. I ended up leaving the team, being the anti-drama person I am. But, not after giving the not-even-a-good-fuck-boy another handjob at an attempt to try continue to get along with him. That one felt way more forced than the other hand stuff we were doing, but more for emotional reasons. I really felt pity for him - little old me, making someone feel ugly? I felt bad for myself. I felt horrible for a few seconds.
I let time pass and tried to camp with the other 2 again a few times, but it didn't work out for some reason or another. The universe was CLEAR in wanting me to part was with the guy. I didn't want to part ways the other person, though, so things kind of worked out between us. I've totally removed the guy from my life now. The other person I'm still in contact with and I'll try to help them as best I can.
But, they are both why my second got stolen. I had just gotten it a few days prior to seeing them again after a few days of being part. I put the phone in the window, but they gave a random person permission to move it, and it got stolen from there. Stupidity has now cost me more more money. As of right now I can't replace the phone, but for good reason.
One this past Friday, I found a place to stay! YAY! I pay rent, so other expenses have to be put aside - including the phone. Unfortunately, that's getting in the way of getting other jobs. Costing me money! People don't seem to understand "My phone was stolen so you'll have to contact me via email until I replace it". That just flies over people's heads. I make enough money for myself but the money comes so requinely it's in small increments, which is a problem in itself. However, if the job didn't pay weekly I would quit because it's a terrible place and weekly pay is the only thing they have going for them. The store I'm working in has a union so we can't be fired for no reason, but that doesn't mean we're treated properly. The union literally can't insure that we'll be treated fairly and with respect. That would mean mini-managing the store when they have so many other stores that they cover. I'm going to inquire and what the union CAN do, though... after I replace my phone. Hopefully, I'll be able to encourage some of the other workers to contact the union with their concerns, as well.
Given the experiences with both, I would say I would much rather be housed and employed than homeless and employed. No one has respect for themselves or the working person. The shelters and feeding times make everything more difficult. It was easier to sleep outside and work, than be in the shelter. When you're in the shelter you're working on someone else's time, ALL THE TIME. Very few shelters ACROSS THE COUNTRY are able to accommodate working people and their various schedules. I got lucky because it's summer in MN - perfect for camping! And, I also had help learning the ropes, and people to hang out with. That wouldn't have been able to work in the winter time. There are also places were the people are much less... "people".
I'm going to leave this here, and the next entry is going to be about the house!
In the meantime, I do want to point out that I'm thankful for everything I've learned from the guy that the intimaicy went bad with. I'm also thankful for the other guy I met, that I still talk to. They both tought me a lot in various ways. I know learned a lot about myself along with camping.
See ya next time!
I'm currently in Twin Cities, MN. I'm heading to the West Coast to Washington and Oregon. Cali is a variable. I want to see Slab City, but I don't care about the state outside of that. Things are muddy, though. I could stay in MN until it gets cold and head to New Mexico for winter. I'm going to apply for jobs in New Orleans and if I get a job I'll head over there and see if I can visit my home town while I'm back in my home state. If I don't get a job, and I don't go to the coast this year, I'll go next year after the winter in NM. If I do go to the coast from here, and I don't get a job in New Orleans while I'm in NM I don't know what's going to happen after NM.
I'm considering heading back east, but this time to the states I didn't see - NJ, KY, WV, NH, and visiting Washington D.C. I might re-visit Providence but under MUCH warmer conditions so I can camp/ squat in Onyville(?) instead of having to stay in that stupid shelter. I hear Delaware is nice, but I haven't heard of anything exciting going on there. Baltimore is the only thing I've known about Maryland, and I'm not going there, while it's it's having it's uprising.
That's all I have in the plans, for now.
"Germany to Germany " is more fitting for this one, thank "Thank you for giving me your valuable time".
Boston was surely a learning experience. I met what I can consider my "other side of the coin". More on that in my emotional blog, though. Another thing for the emotional blog is how I fell for a person in Boston. I confessed like, but only time will tell if it's love. Boston had a lot of sad lessons that I need to learn, though. I reached out to fellow travelers about how to get something more independant so I could have time to reflect on myself and everything I'm learned and been through. I asked though that means I was more familiar with as an idea, but someone suggested I camp in the woods and privacy and reflection is what I'm looking for. At this point and time, I can't say I'm against it.
Squatting has been at the forefront of my mind, but it might be time to take the suggestion to put that aside. Squatting has a lot more questions of safety than camping. If I really want to be able to relax and not be distracted so a new venue of options is likely the best way to achieve that.
As for Boston, not much was done there. I ended up having to stay with some people for a month. It was a trail experience that I needed to go through. In a month I met a lot of other traveler, and that was very exciting! I met some Aussies, and I take on their accent whenever I think about them, and one of takes on mine! I can say I know people from China, Canada, Spain, Italy, and Brazil! And, those people have been to so many other places and have done so many other things, and continue to do so! It's exciting to know them, and to meet more new people!
The UU church of Dorchester was a lovely and loving place! They pointed me to the Lucy Stone com-house and met the great people there. It was refreshing to be with such calming people.
I also had a great time at the St. Patrick's day parade. It had to be a long parade, because I got the end of it at 4:30 and it started at at 1. I met some music performers as I walked the route. I got beads, danced with people, and got a beer.
At least 5 people told me not to go to Boston and at least 5 more people told me not to go to the St. Patrick Day parade, and I'm glad I listened to none of them. However, in the future I will be more app to take well-meant advice. Boston was still rough, and there is a lot I dislike about the place. The whole northeast has been very emotional times for me. I really do need to sit back, be alone and reflect on everything without being under watchful eyes everywhere I go.
As for future travel plans, I have a health issue I should stop putting off, as well. It's something in my neck. I also have an issue with my right hand, now. I'm hoping Twin Cities will be what I need it to be long enough to get all my current pressing matters straightened out, before moving on in my travels. If not, I'm going to continue on with my plan to go to the west coast but skip going trying to go to Las Vegas, NV and Arizona. I'll go back to New Mexico for the weather due to needing the health care. That's really not a bad place to send winter. Come spring I'll head to L.V. and back to Arizona but not necessarily back to Phoenix. However, I know someone in Phoenix now so it's a higher possibility.
I'm looking at being off the road for a while as I'm helping some people with some worker's rights stuff in Boston. I will still be going between Providence and Boston, but not at the frequency I was looking at. I'm currently taking up French, Spanish, and Portuguese because of the place I'll be working in. I'm learning other languages just 'cuz.
This gig started as a couch surfing thing and turned into a place to stay with a job for a cause. I hit it really lucky! Some good energy is really smiling on me to have fallen into this opportunity! I love doing things with a cause, and I'm very much about workers rights. AT WILL employment is a fucking scam.
I don't know how long this will last, but I'm hoping it will be a while. I travel through couch surfing and shelters, and the last shelter I was in was in Providence. It was a standard shitty shelter with shitty staff, but the clients made it worse. They are always yelling and fighting, and they don't shut up after lights out. I'm way better off with my current situation in Boston. There are 4 room mates, and they have couch surfing guests. They also have a lot of groups meet here, so this place is a hub of information! I don't know if I'm at liberty to say what kind of information, but I'll say it's where I want to be.
The bad news is Boston is costly! The MBTA is $2.10 one way, but a day pass is $12.50. A week pass is $20, though. I really don't understand that. The nearest food store to me is high... The rent where I'm staying it high for the place that it is. Naturally, pay is low so there are a lot of people working 2, 3 jobs. I might be one of them, soon.
I still want to have fun, though! There are some places that i want to see and a lot of food to be eaten! Boston is much like my home, in that respect. LA and Boston are both very much about food! I'm ok with sitting in this era for a while, and I want my next stop to be Minneapolis!
The Crossroads Shelter isn't that bad, as far as things go. My waste time was in Philadelphia. In PVD I'm a human being. I missed getting a better sleeping area so I was in the community room and they have mats AND blankets. I haven't had that in a long time.
The clients were more of a problem than the staff and my only issue was them is that they were loud after lights out. They actually laugh with each other and have fun instead of being mean and trying to infect each other negativity. Of course there are some bad apples, but the bunch is a pretty decent crowd, so fear.
The staff is decent. At worst, a C- as far as I see.
I'm glad to be in that shelter than a lot of others, so fear.
I'm going to go to a different shelter after I came back from Boston!