Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Home - A Photo Tour.

Every place has something good in it,
from the falling down ghettoes of southeastern Kentucky, to the TOO COLD flatlands of North Dakota.
I love Fargo, I really do...in the summer. The whole town smells good, and it's less crowded because most of the college kids have gone home.
I moved here in July. A year (11 months, but who's counting?) is plenty enough time to get to know a place.
Because I didn't make any long-term friends I didn't already know before I came here,
most of the places I'll miss will just be stores or places I spend time at by myself...but here they are anyway:

^Every time I see the bridge that connects the states, I think of the time Mike and I walked 2 and a half miles in search of a Hardees, and we called his mom to tell her we walked to North Dakota. XD She didn't know it was only 8 blocks to North Dakota from my apartment.

^The buffalo with the human face, at the art museum next to the library. Every time I want to go to the coffee shop, the Moorhead mall, or if I catch a bus downtown, I have to pass this. It's freaking creepy but I kinda feel like it's the mascot of my neighborhood.

^Just kidding. I hate Hornbachers. But it's where my food comes from, so I have to be a LITTLE bit thankful it exists.

West Acres is probably my favorite place in the entire town. It was where I bought virtually all my clothes from 7th grade up to now. When I come back here to visit, I'll have to go there to spend more money I don't have. :)

^This is where I ate lunch today. One of my first memories is trying a parmesan pretzel at this same restaurant. They're greasy and overpriced, but I had to have one because when I was younger, it was a big tradition, and I wanted to feel like a little kid again.

^Yeah, yeah, more food. This is the candy store, where I get my bag of Jelly Belly beans that are the same flavors every time. Pomegranate, Kiwi, Pear, Peach, and Plum.

^It is disgusting how much money I spend at Hollister in one shopping trip. Everything in there is bright and colorful...My wardrobe is so dark, except for the stuff I've bought from there.

^Before the store next to JCP was a tux shop, it used to be a toy store. KB Toys was where I first learned that I could blow all my birthday money on one trip. XD I remember being 10 years old throwing a penny into that fountain. I have pictures standing in front of it at 16 years old, and at 21, I bought my convention dress at JCPenneys, as well as towels and washcloths for my *4th* apartment.

^A girl I knew in college told me there is an Asian Market in Nashville, and one in Knoxville too, but both of those cities are an hour or more from where I'll be living. I'll miss having fancy ramen only a 15 minute bike ride away.

Of course, there are MANY more places I'll miss (EXTREME PITA, Cashwise, the seasonal DQ 3 blocks away, the Moorhead library, Moxie Java, Target, Taco Johns, and Pizza Ranch, to name a few), but I don't have pictures of them. I need to make a list of things I should do every holiday when I can afford to come visit.

I wonder what I'll be doing at this time next year, and where I'll be...I hope I'll be enjoying a summer in Cookeville just as much as I've enjoyed summer here so far. :)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The hard part of planning.

Things we still need:
Living Room Couch
Living Room Chair?
Coffee Table

Kitchen Table
Kitchen Chairs
Cookware (pots, mostly)

Bunk Bed

Vacuum Cleaner
Rolling hamper (to walk clothes to the laundromat)
Bike (only mode of free transportation)
1 Greyhound bus ticket (TO GET THERE!)

The only room I have finished shopping for is the bathroom. We'll probably still need a few more washcloths and towels, but I figure by the time I move in, it will be July and beach towels will be on sale.
I'm almost done with the kitchen as well. We have enough bowls, plates, etc, and I'm getting a lot of cooking supplies from my mom's house. I still can't take anything too big or heavy to put in a suitcase.
Nor can I afford to ship most of the items I already have. All of the "big things" have to be bought new IN Cookeville...somehow. Even though I haven't done ONE "fun" thing for myself all month (ALL shopping has been for either apartment stuff, food, or daily necessities), I'm still broke & waiting for a miracle.

I know I could furnish an apartment in Fargo for what I find at garage sales and on Craigslist, but that doesn't look like a possibility either. Mike lives in a very isolated town that isn't close enough to any city with a Craigslist URL, and the garage sales in that area are junky at best. I didn't even see ANY furniture at the one I went to while I was there.

My friend Dawn & I started selling a few things at her garage sale today, and I made 3 dollars. That might buy a few screws for the bunk bed XD (Having somewhere to sleep when I get to the new place is my priority right now.) It was fun sitting out there...I wasn't expecting to profit much anyway...just have something to take up my time. :) I'm going back out there tomorrow to try again.
I have one weekend to try to make some more money selling my mom's stuff, but no way will that leave me enough to have a 'home.' If the car still isn't going through the court, I might have to give that up in order to move sooner. I would really like to keep the car though. It's a really nice car!...even though I don't have a job to pay for gas or insurance, so I can't drive it yet.

My mom's retirement company has just started to send out monthly checks of $325. This is added to the survivor's check I use to pay for my rent/bills/food. Regardless of how they are spent, they will come monthly until I graduate from college or turn 25, I can't remember which. Last month, my aunt took the check to help pay off the house payment of my mom's house (Which makes no sense, because one of her kids + his friend is living in it, and they SHOULD be paying rent.) I have this month's check in my purse...I'm clinging to it for dear life because honestly, I need the money more than that house does.

I get so frustrated sometimes...I don't care what happens to that house. My mom hated it, I hated it, no one in this family will ever live in it long-term. If it was sold now, that would be the best, because then the remaining money (after paying off the mortgage) would probably fund the rest of my college tuition until I graduate. That's what my mom would really want. My school was her first priority. I remember her calling me when I was in Williamsburg. She had been eating old potatoes and pasta all week because after paying my leftover tuition, she didn't have enough for quality food. That's the first thing that prompted me to leave UC. I felt terrible. Everything always comes back to money.

If only I could hang on to the next three checks...May's, June's, and July's...our townhouse/rental house/WHATEVER will be comfortable and feeling like home. If I somehow get cheated out of it, I hope my family (who insists they have my best interests in mind) enjoys the thought of me sleeping on the floor and hitching rides (no way to transport my bike either...plus it's locked up because my mom was the only person who knew the combination...) while a house nobody wants is being paid off for no reason.

ALSO, since none of my family members (who CAN afford it) have offered to help me out transportation-wise, I may have to give up the cats. All of them. Greyhound doesn't allow pets, and I can't get them their own plane ticket...or ship them in a cardboard box. XD This seriously disturbs me. The thought haunts my dreams. I don't WANT to give them to new homes, but at the cost of saving on rent every month and getting to go to a better school, I have to? Pets aren't replaceable by any means, but I imagine myself stalking Craigslist for a couple kitties to keep me sane this summer if this is the way things are gonna go... :(

*DEEP BREATH* Okay, rant's over. I have a lot of cleaning to do. Only a few more weeks of living in an apartment with a landlord who hates me. Everything has a bright side.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Prologue - First Draft [not completed]

I found out I was crazy exactly four minutes after I woke up. The cheap alarm clock flickering on the floor told me so.I tried to force myself to recall where I had been the day, week, or month before, but it was as pointless as staring through frosted glass. There were the faintest shadows, but nothing that I could make sense of. Bright lights, a slamming door, voices that made noises, but no words. I gave up, convincing myself that the before-place wasn’t worth remembering, since I had forgotten it so easily. Waking up was my first memory.

The worn out thrift-store furniture that was arranged neatly around the attic apartment didn’t hold any sentimental value for me, and neither did the photos of smiling faces that were pinned to a bulletin board on the wall. The only thing that aroused my curiosity was a group of white bags in the corner that were marked with thick, printed letters: PATIENT BELONGINGS: A. L. PAGE.
That’s why I was so dazed, I thought. I had been sick. But I felt healthy. Then I remembered the name of the place where people go when their brains are broken. And I panicked.

The Wacky Shack. The Nut House. Something had been seriously wrong with me. My mother called on cue, as if she knew how frantically I was thinking of questions that needed to be answered.
She advised me to do impossible things. Be positive. Look on the bright side. She told me I was free now, so I might as well enjoy myself. Find a hobby. Make some new friends. Watch TV. She said I could do anything, but I had to do it on my own, because, for my own safety, I couldn’t go home.

I hung up angrily, slamming the phone into the receiver. I unplugged the phone cord and sulked on my hideaway bed until I was more bored than mad. Though the bright midday sun streamed through the living room’s only window, the thick snow that piled in drifts along the sidewalk below told me I would be stupid to go wandering in such frigid weather. So I turned on the TV, and found that whoever was keeping me housed in this place was also paying for the full package of movie channels. OnDemand was my first companion.

Every show intrigued me. I was particularly fascinated with the plots revolving around girls my age. Their lives could be horrifically tragic in the middle with no way out, but everyone got their happy ending. The credits only rolled after the girl found her guy, her best friends, and her loving family by her side. I wondered when my happy ending would come, or even a beginning for that matter. I would have been satisfied with any part of a story.

My friends never called me, if I had any. Nothing came in the mail, either. My mother only checked in to ask if I was out of money. Why would I be? I only left my living room to pick up more TV dinners from the delapidated grocery store down the street. The height of my social contact that winter was the clerks telling me to “Have a nice day!” On good days, they smiled. Once I had trudged through the snow with my plastic bags in hand, back to Story World I went, where my friends were beautiful girls and attractive boys who always showed me there was hope. I don’t know how many days passed that way. It was hard to mark the passing of time when every day was identical to the last.

Once the snow began to melt, something changed. The subtle pressure to find a real purpose in the outside world became a more crushing force until one day, the movies couldn’t keep me docile anymore. I snapped for the second time, like the crazy girl I didn’t know I was.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day Emo Rant

I still don't hate holidays.
I love holidays, more than any other days out of the year
(except, perhaps, the last day of school and Black Friday...)
but I'm having a hard time with this one.
I can't exactly say my mom and I had any mother's day traditions...
in fact, for the last two years, I didn't even celebrate with her.
But a mother is more than someone you buy a card for and mention on Facebook once a year.
Today, more than any other day, I have to be reminded that I'm missing yet another part of my life that most people get to have. I can't help but be a little jealous. :(
She's been gone for exactly 6 months.
I wonder what she'd think of me now...
I fully admit she'd spaz at the sight of my apartment...she was always so much cleaner than me.
Like the rest of my family, she'd probably be opposed to me moving again, because she saw how homesick I got last time...but UNLIKE the rest of my family, she'd still help me if she knew it was what I really wanted.
(Then again, if she was here, would I feel like I had to leave? Because I don't have any support here?)
She would be so proud of me that I finished the semester with a 3.5
She'd love how far I've gotten with my story...
I don't get the sudden urge to call her anymore.
Sometimes I just pretend she never existed, because it's easier that way.
Anyway, I don't know what I'm trying to say...
Happy Mother's Day...
I wish you were here...