21 June 2014

Updated Wishlist

Just a little post to keep track of things I need & want. I'm not asking anyone for anything! (My birthday coming up soon is coincidental XD)

Could definitely use:

1. Refillable peppercorn grinder (got one from my Grandmamma's estate... RIP)

2. New headphones

3. More cool skinny ties

4. Bike shorts that look like normal shorts



Simply want:

1. Art commissions! Especially of my fursona, Tica

2. Any nerdy/cute 1-inch pin or button (for my purse)--esp. skulls!

3. Any of these cool Star Trek Books 

4. This Tetris seatbelt belt

5. This (expensive) replica two-toed sloth skull


27 March 2014

Furnal Equinox 2014

NB: this was written after the first weekend in March, but I didn't actually publish it yet. My bad.

--

Last weekend I really, really needed a break from everything. From the pain, the depression, the fatigue, the loneliness--everything... So I went to Toronto with a friend of mine from Ithaca. Had a blast at a furry convention called Furnal Equinox.

That's right... I am part of the "furry fandom"--a furry, for short. And I'm not even ashamed of it. Like, should I be? It's just a hobby of mine: it's not a huge part of my life, but it does inform what I do for fun. Which is mostly to make animal-related art and attend furry events in my sloth costume. I have to admit, I've made some of my best friends through the furry fandom, so I don't regret buying my costume and becoming more involved in it, not one bit. (If you don't really understand what the furry fandom is, or if you think it's a fetishistic or horrible fandom for some reason, I'd be more than happy to talk to you about it and explain my involvement in it to you.)

Anyway, here's how it went.

(you can find photos from the event here... I haven't uploaded them all yet, so check back later too)

First thing in the morning I get up and head to the doctor to get some blood drawn. Yay? Then it's time for another appointment, this time with a psych. (Being sick is like this. You get used to it after a while.) When that's over I go to get my friend Tabby Tim, who took a bus up from Ithaca to Geneva to meet me.

First thing we do is go to Wegmans and stock up on four days' worth of food and snacks. I get a several bags of chips, some salmon, some gluten-free muffins and cookies, fruit cups, trail mix, sugar snap peas, an orange pepper, and pistachios. We also get guacamole and tortilla chips for lunch, and eat together in Wegmans before heading out.

I put some oil in my car and we're on the road. We basically just talk all the way to the border crossing. Now I know all kinds of blackmails for the Tabs >:D (except he knows all my blackmails, too... DX ...)

Canadian border guy is very nice! Sends us on our way without comment. We go to exchange our monies for gorgeous Canadian currency and check out the cheap booze in the duty free store. From there, onward to Toronto!

Except it's not that easy... we get lost somewhere on the QEW and end up travelling in the wrong direction for probably like an hour... luckily some nice guys in a gas station point us in the right direction, and I buy a map of Ontario to prevent this from happening again. THEN we stop at the overflow hotel instead of the actual hotel on accident because we were silly and didn't look up the name of the hotel before we left... but we take a free apple off their hands and pop next door to the Sheraton and see some fursuiters and people wearing tails and ears and know we're in the right place ^-^

First thing we do is meet our roommates, whom Tabs had arranged stuff with online. One's a dragon and one's new to furry and hasn't picked a species yet... they're both really nice and it seems like a great arrangement. We head downstairs to socialize a bit but I'm so beat from the extra-long car ride that I seem drunk and Tabs keeps laughing at me. He gives me a shoulder massage and then sends me to bed while he heads back down to meet some folk.

In the morning on Friday we kinda wander around aimlessly, taking pictures of the people in suit already. We sit down and talk to DJ Pup, Quinn, and one of the judges for the upcoming dance contest, who when she discovers I have a fursuit encourages me to come to the preliminaries later in the day. I don't have a routine or anything, but I think, why not have a laugh? I'd be dancing in slow motion anyway. I figure that if they're using the prelims to cut undeserving acts out of the contest, then I'll get cut, but it'll be fun to try anyway.

Opening ceremonies are at 11 a.m. and I put on my suit for that even though it's kinda hard to see what's going on that way OH WELL

Next big thing we do is the furry dance competition prelims! We request "Can't touch this" by MC Hammer but they just have Super Freak, which is fine. I haven't technically choreographed anything so I just do the dorkiest dance moves I can think of... but in slow motion. It's apparently a big hit and everyone kinda roars with laughter and I feel good about that, that I was entertaining even as I had no idea what I was doing. Turns out they're not cutting anyone from performing, they're just using the prelims to get introduced to the contestants and give some critiques. Looks like I'm headed for the final competition on Sunday!

Then there's a wicked crazy informal pool party in the hotel pool... Tabs borrows my athletic shorts and sports bra (why the bra on a dude? ...well, why not?) and we go down and everyone has all these huge, custom inflatable toys, like a big white dragon and a tiger and an otter and beach balls of all sizes. It was actually crazy fun, everyone just splashing around and having shenanigans.

Then there's a photoshoot for fursuting wimmins so I go to that and take some photos with my gurlz! I was hoping more lady suiters would show up; it was only a handful, but that's okay I guess.

Then we go to the dance for a little while, and I dance in slow motion with glowsticks stuck between my claws... yeah! (There's a great picture of me and someone else bedecked in glowies: http://www.furaffinity.net/view/12927466/ ). After a while with the lights and the sounds and heat and fatigue I can no longer tell what's going on around me anymore really? So Tabs takes me up to bed and then goes back down to see what he can do to get into trouble...

On Saturday we sleep in until the fursuit games. I'm... I'm pretty sure that my sloth slowness is the reason why my team loses... D: OH WELL I can't help it! Once the suit goes on I get in character and I don't break it for anything.

After this it's the giant fursuit photo, which is really hot and tiresome just standing around while they try to get us all situated, but honestly considering that there's like 200 - 300 suiters trying to get in this picture, it doesn't take that long at all! I end up somewhere near the back but you can see me pretty well in the final picture. (I'd link to it, but they haven't posted it yet.) After this, the parade! I start near the front of the line but end the parade near the rear, like always :3

Tabs and I spend some time just like, idk, eating and snuggling and being boring anti-social people up in the room... then we come down and look for people to hang with. Spend some time in a pretty cool room party with free booze. At some point in the middle of the party, though, the gaggle of women who I was chillin' near all leave, meaning I'm the only chick in a group of chucks, and it's kinda weird? So I head off to bed, leaving Tabs to fend for himself!

In the morning (when I finally get Tabs to wake up... by poking him every five minutes and making him some tea and finally saying I'm gonna leave without him if he doesn't get up) we head down to the fursuit dance competition!

All the dancers are really good. I like each act that I see, pretty much. I'm number 18 so I see a lot of 'em before I finally go. While I'm watching the other acts, I'm trying to think of what other dance moves I should add to my routine to make it a bit longer. Then, it comes to me... twerking. Yes. You can see the dance on youtube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJkqdIMiyGQ ...

Apparently that dance really turned some heads, because I won first prize in the competition! @-@ The medal is really cool, too, a golden paw on a Canada-themed ribbon. I think there were some people who got kinda upset that a comedy routine won the dance comp instead of a serious show of skill, but most people seemed to be pretty pleased that I won... a few people told me, if I didn't win they would've started a riot o.o ...Glad there was no riot!

Tabs and I left before the closing ceremonies since we had a bit of a drive left. Mostly everyone else was leaving at this time, as well. We did some quick WHAT'S YOUR INTERNET INFO exchanges and then headed out.


Swag I ended up buying from the dealer's den: a birthday present for my sister (it's still early, but hey, whatever), a cool carved elephant necklace (couldn't resist), and three pins for my purse--a cute little pirate symbol, a kitty going NYA~, and a human rainbow dash (conversation when I got the last one: "A cute girl with rainbow hair! I don't even like My Little Pony, but I need this" "Why?" "Because I'm a lesbian!!" *seller bursts out laughing*).

Drive home was considerably shorter since we bought a map and knew what we were doing this time. American border guards were, as Tabs so eloquently put it, "dickbutts." They just take themselves way too seriously and are super rude about everything! ugh.

Got Tabs home to Ithaca after dark and was really kinda crashing off my con high and way too tired to actually drive the 45 min back north to my own place... so I stole his bed and he took the couch and I just slept and slept (had Monday off work) and went home at like noon. The rest of my day was just spent relaxin' and finding all the peoples online!

There were too many cool fursuiters and really awesome people there, so I'm not even gonna try to list everyone or do shout outs. You all know who you are. :3

Conventions are a lot of fun and I look forward to doing at least one more this year in Colorado (RMFC).

peace out, y'all

p.s. -- you can find my furry art accounts here: https://www.weasyl.com/profile/tica and here: http://www.furaffinity.net/user/tica/  if you are so inclined. I'm tryin' to keep 'em updated and all that... I still have a lot of art and photos yet to go up!

15 February 2014

Something that makes me sad

I'm struggling with chronic fatigue issues and that is why this blog falls by the wayside. Apologies to my mama, and anyone else who reads this.

I had to leave work an hour early today in order to come home and sleep because I was so tired I couldn't concentrate. I had gotten 9 full hours of sleep the night before. I get 8 - 10 hours of sleep every night purposefully, but despite this have hypersomnia some days where I can't stop sleeping/taking naps because no matter how much I sleep or don't sleep, I still feel tired. This fatigue can cause anxiety, panic attacks, and super drastic mood swings on top of hypersomnia, migraines, and muscle aches.

I've been thinking about something because of this. My energy levels are really low. All I can manage in a day is to go to work, do a half-assed job, and come home. At home I eat a simple supper, then lie in bed with my computer and faff about on the internet a little while before going to sleep early. I don't have the energy to leave the house and do things like laundry, or even to wash dishes, so I save that kind of thing for the weekend. Sometimes I have to take sick days or leave work early because of these issues.

Normal people usually work 8 hours, sleep 8 hours, and have 8 hours a day to live their normal lives, do their hobbies, hang with their friends. Normal people leave their house on weekends and go do things. I basically have 8 hours worth of energy a day, and then spend the rest of the day sitting to eat or lying down or sleeping.

The way Americorps works you get 10 vacation days and 10 sick days to use. If you're sick more than 10 days you have to start using vacation days.

Being sick is a shitty vacation. Imagine you're sick for 15 days so you only get 5 days of vacation, and a healthy person who feels great all year gets 10 days.

As a sickly person I'm expected to work just as much as a healthy person, that full 8 hour day, and to prioritize work over personal projects and personal activities. And it makes me sad. Because if I spend 8 hours working, 12 hours sleeping, and 4 hours uselessly lying around wishing my head didn't hurt so much, I don't get the kind of productive personal time that a healthy person gets.

 I'm jealous of people who aren't tired all the time. I'm really frustrated with the way things are working out. I don't mind working, I really don't. But imagine that you only have like 7 hours worth of energy in a day and you have to use 8 hours working to make money so that you can have a place to sleep at night and food to eat so you can repeat the process.

I feel like, if I could work a 30-hour week instead of a 40-hour one I wouldn't be so gorram depressed about everything.

idk. peace.

11 December 2013

Jam's Christmas wishlist 2013

yes I've been in New York state for a month now! I've been very busy with work starting, and also I'm moving into a cheaper apartment this weekend. I will try to update about all that when I can. My internet access has been pretty spotty--as in, the wireless I'm paying premium rent for will be down for days at a time and unusable. More reason for me to move.
but anyhow! I wanted to post a list of items I want/need but don't necessarily have the budget for right now. All I *really* want is cards/letters from my friends--if you need an address to send 'em to, email me or comment with a way for me to contact you. I'm working on getting a P.O. box here, but I don't have one yet. I don't have the budget to create/mail my own cards this year, but all cards/letters I receive I will respond to!
As for non-card things, there's a small list I have. This is as much for my own reference as anyone else's.
*want*
A Little Book of Sloth by Lucy Cooke  Got! (a friend traded me for some art)

This awesome tetris alarm clock by thinkgeek Got! (with a gift cert.)
any Star Trek: TNG or DS9 2014 calendar
amazon.com or thinkgeek gift certificates
any nerdy/cute 1-inch pin or button (for my purse)--esp. skulls
*need*
cute wool/synthetic socks (not cotton)
cute/nerdy winter house slippers got! thanks mama.
king soba gluten-free buckwheat/sweet potato noodles
money in general
That's it for now.
pax!

20 November 2013

New York ho! Days Six and Seven

I get up and drink earl gray tea and eat rice chex and read maps and use the internet until an hour after I originally meant to leave. I wake up a sleepy Nan in order to hug him and bid him farewell. Packing up my truck takes no time at all and then I'm driving, taking a wrong turn, trying to turn back around and failing, then finally driving eastward on the proper road again.

I spend about 3 hours on I-70 before I'm too sleepy to really continue driving safely, and I pull over into a rest stop and devise a way to lie down across my two front seats without crushing any of my things or any part of my body. I have a pillow, blankets, and stuffed animals to make it easier on me. It's a tight squeeze by the steering wheel (I have short legs, okay?!) but I manage just fine. I think I sleep about two hours, and when I awaken it's softly drizzling outside.

That drizzle takes its time and then becomes a full on *rain*. It gets dark really early in the afternoon, and I drive through the rain listening to my terrible audiobook and every once in a while making sarcastic remarks at it. In Columbus the crumbling roads writhe like snakes amidst its raw, smoking industry, factories and warehouses lit up by the sickly glow of streetlamps--by the fierce, ascetic glare of headlights. Traffic is thick as the rain, which sloshes across the road and reflects light just-so to confuse the placement of the markings painted there. In the distance a great orange flame rises over all, spitting and howling at the storm with long tongues of furious fire.

I pass through a small piece of Pennsylvania, lake Erie to my left, and before I reach New York the rain has become a snowstorm, sleet flying straight at my windshield like stars at warp speeds. I am on I-90 and the buildup of slush slows down the right lane to something like 40 mph--which is, according to me and the others in that lane, the safest speed to travel in such conditions. Large trucks behind us disagree and roar by in the left lane much too fast, splashing my windshield with copious amounts of water and ice, rendering me blind for a good 30 seconds after each passing. The anxiety from trying to keep on course and safe on the slick roads reaches a tipping point within me, and soon I am bursting into fearful tears each time a truck passes. I turn on 4-wheel drive, but it only helps steady me so much. There's nowhere to stop out here; and besides, the plan was to reach Waterloo tonight. As soon as I am able to get off I-90 onto route 20, away from the dangerous trucks that are making me cry, I do so. Added bonus: no tolls this way.

I'm losing no time by taking this 45 mph road instead of the interstate because either here or there the only safe speed is around 30 anyway. I crawl along and keep changing the CDs in my audiobook as they complete themselves. The book has created a very scary, awesome villain I find interesting, only to somehow forget about her until the very last climactic scene. It is not good storytelling. Feels like something a promising young middle schooler would've written: shows promise, but needs much work.

There is an accident up ahead. A bad one that blocks the entire road. Someone is standing there, makes me roll down my window, tells me to turn around. I do my best. What now? I can't go back to I-90, I can't... my wheels slip on some ice and send me sliding sideways across the road. Lucky no one was coming. I go back into the last town I'd passed, stop and check my map. I can go on east 5 past the accident, and then east 5 will join east 20 right into Waterloo. I go that way, passing through town after thickly-frosted town. It is hard to see through the reflection of my headlights on the falling snow, but soon enough it is not snowing at all.

My audiobook finishes and I take out the 13th disc. I wonder if it's even worth giving away, or if I should simply toss it later. Hmm.

I reach Geneva late at night, past midnight by at least an hour or two. I am going to look at the cabin in Waterloo early tuesday morning... I can't bring myself to pay $50 for a motel for so little sleep. I find a parking lot by a lake and park there... near to a porta-potty in case I need to pee at night. I fill up my car with as much warmth as I can before turning it off, wrapping up in two blankets across the front seat, and conking out, exhausted by the stress of driving in the snow and past an accident that very well could have been me.

KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK. I jolt awake. Someone is rapping at my window and shining a flashlight at me. There are two police cars, lights flashing. My heart is racing from the shock of it.

I open the passenger door. An officer waits as I sleepily paw through my purse and pockets for my driver's license. Apparently this park closes at 10, and I am trespassing. I tell him the full truth of what happened. I am young, innocent, cute, naive. When he establishes thru running my license that I am not a wanted criminal, he tells me to put on my shoes and drive away. Try sleeping in the grocery store parking lot, he says. That's your best bet. Sleep there and buy something in the morning when they open. I nod gratefully and putter through Waterloo to the Tops in Seneca Falls, cranking the heat up high to replace all the heat lost by the open door. When I reach it I lie down again and sleep fitfully till sunrise, warm enough to keep my circulation going but too cold to sleep restfully.

I get up and go into Tops for breakfast, buying a package of turkey pepperoni and a strawberry/banana smoothie and eating them in the car with the engine running for warmth. At 0800 I call the cabin owners to confirm when I can come see it. How about 9, she says, and tells me how to get there. I go early and wait for her.

It is adorable. Small, but all I need, wood floors, wood walls, wood ceiling, wood bunk beds. It heats up quickly and stays toasty warm without too much trouble. My only issue is it has no oven, but she says the last tenants used a convection oven instead. It is reasonably clean, altho' I will need to clean beyond the immediately visible surfaces later. I run through my options in my head. This location is probably the closest to work, which is a straight shot from here up 96 to Lyons. Heat, electric, internet, all included in the bill. I ask when can I move in. Right now, she says. I meet the landlord and in a flurry of questions and answers obtain phone numbers and information and lightbulbs then they're gone and I unpack half my truck, make the lower bunk, and crash to sleep.

I now live in upstate New York. Who'd've ever thought.

pax.

mon/tue, nov. 11th and 12th
Bloomington IN to Geneva, NY
Geneva to Seneca Falls to Waterloo

17 November 2013

New York ho! Days Three, Four, and Five

It is good to be here, in Bloomington, with my honorary brother, Nan. (He is also my British Grandmother, hence the nickname. Long story.) He is going to grad school at the University here, studying music. He's constantly singing something. I don't think he even realizes it half the time. I love him like a brother and I'm happy that I don't have to drive today.

I drink Earl Grey tea every morning that I am here. On the first day, we go by the mall for a while, and I eat boiled eggs from my pockets in the food court while Nan has a grease-dripping lunch from the mall pizzeria. We browse Hot Topic and some other stores, then head to Barnes and Noble, were we get lost in the stacks of books. I spend a lot of time looking at the Star Trek books. I'm not super interested in the official, published fanfiction novels, but I like the textbook-style books--visual dictionaries and such. I want all of them. I almost buy a history of the Federation book, but then I decide that someday I will go online and buy all of these kinds of books at the same time, and have them all, and also possibly for cheaper than they are here. I do end up leaving the bookstore with a copy of The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, which I've been meaning to pick up for a while. (I don't read it until I reach New York and obtain lodging, but it is beautiful and brilliant and it makes me cry.) Nan leaves the bookstore with a pretty little copy of A Christmas Carol by Dickens.

We go hang out with friends of his that night, have a few ciders and beers between us, get acquainted. They're feminists and one of them is a Trekkie, like me, so we have a lot to talk about. I talk about Star Trek so much tonight. It makes me happy. Nan rolls his eyes at us and sometimes tries to redirect the conversation but he doesn't understand just how awesome it is to be able to talk Star Trek with someone who has, in the very recent past, re-watched all of TNG and most of DS9 just like me, and remembers all the little details and has opinions and loves and hates and... it's just great.

Saturday and Sunday blur together in my mind. At some point I make a phone call, setting up an appointment to view a cabin in Waterloo early Tuesday morning. I don't call any other places but I keep browsing craigslist looking at prices. The Waterloo cabin has all utilities, including internet/cable and snow removal, included in the rent. Since heating seems to turn out very expensive in upstate New York, the price seems like the best deal. There might be cheaper places I could live, but not by a lot. I decide that if I like the place when I see it, I will probably take it as soon as possible. I begin to think in terms of moving in there even tho' I haven't seen it yet. Brains work that way.

My dad calls me, too. It is good to hear from him.

On the third night, I meet a person who has no gender, and prefers the pronouns they/them. I am bad at this, trained as I've been to never use "they" to refer to a singular person. I default to "he" a few times accidentally and backtrack and rephrase the sentences using their name instead of the pronoun. Later I wonder if a singular "they" should be used with singular verbs. "They is really cool." "They wants some pizza, wanna bring them some?" We need, in English, a gender-neutral pronoun that rolls off the tongue and is not "it". More experimentation needed. More practice needed. Time will tell.

Nan and I are very lazy. We watch a lot of youtube. We wear wizard robes and witch hats and watch Hocus Pocus (which is, of course, the best Halloween movie of all time). We watch an episode of the Muppet Show, the only DVDs that I actually brought with me to NY. I take naps. I realize suddenly that driving gives me all kinds of ridiculous anxiety and that driving so much for so long made me a nervous wreck. I need these few days just to iron out my nerves for the final assault on Monday. Nan's driving is terrifying and mostly when he drives me places I just close my eyes.

I take a walk on Sunday evening while Nan goes to church. It settles my mind.

I am ready for New York.

pax.

November 8th - 10th
Bloomington, IN

10 November 2013

New York ho! Day Two

I toss and turn with the cold, but manage to sleep a significant amount... I rise at 8 a.m., having collected enough sleep between 18.30 and 08.00 to total 8 or 9 hours. My tent is coated with a diamond glitter of frost on the outside, and slick with condensation on the inside. Emerging from it into the cold air takes a colossal amount of mental effort. But I manage. First thing is to pee, then to pack my bedding back into the truck along with the tent. Packing the icy rain fly back into its bag, bare-handed, is super painful. I can hardly feel my fingers and have to take a break periodically, wander around in the sunny parking lot and come back to it. I wonder about gloves but don't want to dig around in my cases and boxes to find some.

Got some mud on my Starfleet hoodie. This makes me sad, but then I get over it.
Breakfast is simple... an apple, some cured beef sticks, an Izze. I sit with my car running for warmth while I eat it. For lunch I will have more avocado and rice cakes. I read over and respond to a few texts from friends and family, then pull out of this lovely, lonely little campground, leaving it behind as I press ever eastward.

I find my way back through rural Kansas roads to I-70 using a combination of the sun (to know which way east is) and notes from google maps I jotted down before leaving home. I have to get gas before I hit Kansas City and Missouri just to realize later that Missouri gas prices are significantly cheaper than any gas prices I've seen so far. oh well. As is always my luck, when I finally have to pull over to fill up, the next station I pass has gas cheaper by 5 to 10 cents.

I get lost a little in pre-Kansas city city, off I-70 due to confusing signage, filling up at a 7-11 with no public restrooms. I am approached by a man in a backwards cap and oversized shoes, and he asks whether I have 75 cents for the bus. I give him a dollar in quarters. Then, he tries to give me his phone number and address. His upper teeth, all of them, are capped in some kind of gold plating, with letters on them. K... C... ? initials? I tell him I'm not from Kansas and won't be here much longer. I lie and tell him I have no phone yet as he keeps trying to give me his number. He repeats it often enough I expect he wants me to memorize it right then and there, but I push it from my mind, and bid him farewell as I finish looking at my maps and figure out how to get back onto I-70. He saunters back to sit on a bench with a friend of his on the other side of the 7-11.

I put on an audiobook that I bought specifically for this journey: Iced by Karen Moning. It's... really bad. It's narrated by an obnoxious 14-year-old, leaves huge holes in its world-building and plot... mentions past events that seem much more interesting than present ones (leading me to be like, why not write the more-interesting prequel to this instead?)* ...and the voice actress's Irish accent lapses from time to time into American South (??). I bought it because it was set in Dublin and featured a superheroine lead, but most of the book involves more powerful men fighting over the right to own her, and... ugh. It's mildly amusing to the point where I leave it running, and to where I want to know how it ends, but I have to speak aloud my critiques periodically in order to bear listening for long stretches at a time.

* actually, I researched this later and this *is* a sequel. Unfortunately, nothing on the packaging mentioned that, or I probably wouldn't have boughtten it.

I don't stop again until I reach St. Louis. I have an internet friend there I planned to meet for lunch--we have a lot of real-life friends in common, so I want to meet him in real-life too. I want to park near the famous arch but get turned around and end up in a very impoverished part of Illinois. All the buildings here are crumbling, surrounded by the rotten bones of dead industry: rusted-over machinery, graffiti-encrusted brick, weed-eaten concrete. My friend texts me... don't get out of your car on the Illinois side of the river. I lock my doors and heed his warning. It looks about as poor and run down as Steubenville, where I used to fearlessly walk alone at night, but it's best not to take chances when you're carrying all your worldly possessions in your truck with you.

Parking by the arch is $5 I don't want to spend, so I drive around in circles for a long time looking for a meter. My friend and I meet in a Hardee's, where he orders food and I whip out my avocados, rice cakes, and cured beef. We talk a lot about music, especially jazz bands and the like we were in during high school/college. It's a nice lunch and we leave before our meters run out... I would've liked to have talked longer, but I still have quite a bit of driving to do. I ask him for a picture I can use as his contact photo in my phone and he gives me this:

(picture of an arctic fox, looking to the right with snow on its nose)

A man with two little girls comes by and asks us for money. My fox friend gives him all the change in his pockets. All I have is a $10 bill so I give him that. He's so grateful he hugs me. Then he apologizes to my friend, in case I'm his girlfriend. He thinks I'm hot and he likes my Starfleet hoodie. I don't find what he's saying creepy 'cause I don't think he's trying to pick me up or hit on me... even tho' he calls me hot like 5 times, I think he's just trying to pay me a compliment in the only twisted way he knows how. I just think it's funny how a homeless guy likes my super nerdy hoodie.

My friend and I part ways and I keep on through Missouri, needing a fill up again in Illinois where the gas prices are much higher. My friend Nan calls me to make sure I'm still coming to his apartment in Bloomington, IL tonight. I definitely am. I get off I-70 and putter through small town Indiana roads on my way to his University town. I get tired of my audiobook and play music for a little while. Nan keeps texting me while I'm driving so I just call him. He tells me how to find his place, thinking I'm another 45 minutes or so away. Within 15 I'm knocking on his door.

I've missed him quite a bit since my senior year of college. It's nice to have a chance to hug him again. I give him some presents (he's easy to get presents for, so I do that a lot)... mostly religious articles I no longer need or use or desire to have. I give him an awesome purple-and-green rosary that has glow in the dark spots on the beads. That present was meant specifically for him, while the rest are just religious things I could never simply throw or give away. I know that what he keeps he will take care of, and what he gives away will go to people who really want it.

I eat a really simple supper and we set me up with a fluffy sleeping bag on his floor, along with my blankets and pillows and my stuffed giant anteater I've named Lady Annabelle. We talk and catch up. When I crash, I crash hard.

pax.

wed. Nov. 7th. Topeka, KS to Bloomington, IN.