Monday, December 24, 2012

The Nostril Queen Returns

I think I'd like to write a blog post today.

What?? I'm only 23 weeks behind schedule. That's not that bad. That's not even long enough for a human baby to develop in the womb. Although it is long enough for several generations of tarantula hawks to have snacked their way out of a host tarantula abdomen.

So what's crackin', tarantula hawks? Sooooo much has been going on in these parts.

I've always thought that phrase sounds kind of dirty. Maybe my parts? There's so much going on in my parts? No, that's even worse. In my neck of the woods? What I'm trying to say is, shit goin' down, foo'. Hey, you know, bears shit in the woods. Or in parts of the woods. But they don't shit in the neck.

Over the summer I had only 2 problems in my life: 1) my rotten teeth and no money to fix them, and 2) my lack of a full-time job that pays a living wage. And if that second issue were resolved, then the first one would be, too. But it hasn't been, and instead my number of problems has recently increased by a factor of 2.5.

I mean, I am working. Two jobs, as a matter of fact. Still toiling away at the library, which is low-stress and pays pretty well, but is only part-time and, I confess, skull-crushingly boring. I did work at that week-long airshow in July, which was kind of aggravating because it was crammed with rich people and rich people are so fucking full of themselves and out of touch with reality and they don't even wear gowns or fur stoles during the day and I'm always disappointed by that.

Since September I've also been working as a cashier at a gift shop/café. My friend Jen once fumbled the name of this café/gift shop and called it the "Crispy Crumb," and my friend Laura got that mixed up and called it the "Crispity Crumb," so "Crispity Crumb" it is. Everyone in my town adores the Crispity Crumb because the food is actually pretty good and the gift shop is actually pretty cute, but as they say at the Lucky Charms factory, when you're knee-deep in pink hearts and blue diamonds, they aren't so "magically delicious" anymore. Hence, when customers walk in and gush, "Oh, I love this place! I want to live here! It must be so much fun working here!" I am not amused. Nor am I amused by the fact that it pays minimum wage (which works out to $6.70 an hour after taxes), or that I bust my ass for 7 hours at a time without a single snack/hydration/bathroom break whatsoever, or that my boss gives me nervous tics.

But earlier in the fall, before I was able to secure that shitty job, I thought, Hey, I should hire myself. So I talked Laura into starting a fried cheese curd business with me, and we experimented with different beer batter recipes and also other foods, like fried ice cream pops and barbeque popsicles.

Note: That is NOT my horrible decorating.

Except we ran out of money for the necessary materials and equipment and permits before we figured out a good, solid, consistent recipe or product, and from speaking to other food vendors, it appears that fried food is not as profitable as it seems. Plus Laura was r e a l l y pregnant then, so you might say the timing of our business venture wasn't the best.

By the way, Laura had her baby last month—the most precious little girl you'll ever lay eyes on. I just ADORE that baby. She smells like milk. And she's such a good baby, too. She smiles a lot and hardly ever cries. And you should see her little footsies! I haven't got to tickle a neonate since my nieces and nephews were born, and they're all college-aged now.

Isn't she just a little cupcake? Laura is such a good mama. I was with her in the delivery room when she gave birth. I mean, I wasn't standing there staring at her hoo-ha, but I did witness the birthing process, and I must say that it was the most shocking, horrifying, utterly disgusting, yet awe-inspiring and beautiful things I've ever seen in my life. I had tears in my eyes, I was so moved. Or frightened? Maybe frightened.

Anyhow, around the same time in August/September that Laura and I were exploring the cheese curd business idea, my friend Emily and I decided to start a crafts and handmade-clothing business. Here, too, neither of us had any money to pay for the necessary materials, equipment, or permits to actually make the products we intended to sell, and here too neither of us had or have any credit to get any business loans either, nor any income to repay such loans, nor any assets to trade in or use as collateral. However, I was able to squeak out a few hand-painted glass items, including but not limited to this "His and Hers" estrogen/testosterone pilsner glass set:

It sold for $12 on Etsy just a couple days after I posted it. However, after shipping and paying Etsy the posting and selling fees, our net profit was only $0.87. 
Also during this time, from August till November, I had another semi-serious boyfriend, and I was thinking about writing a paragraph about that now, but I think I might just do a "hilariously bad relationships" post later, so I have enough space to rant. 

In the meantime, let's talk about something more interesting, like my medical problems.

My teeth are still bad because I still have no money to fix them. One of my premolars cracked open a little last month, and it hurt for about 2 days, but I think the nerve died right away because it doesn't hurt anymore and the tooth is totally gray now, so that's good because something tells me $0.87 is not enough for a down payment on an extraction and bridge. Do you think I should still wear my post-braces retainer that I got in April? I feel kind of silly trying to keep my teeth straight when half of them are going to be pulled anyway. Did you know that the state of Wisconsin has a program where you can get free dentures if you're poor? Dentures are free but preventative dental care is not. Natch.

In other news, I got a forbearance on most of my student loans, so they won't be due again till next fall. Yay...? Hopefully by then I will be well-established in...


wait for it...

keep scrolling...



Believe it or not, grasshoppers, but I am scheduled to begin truck driving school on January 7, at a tech school a half hour north of my town. It's full-time school for a month, and since I don't have a car, and since the buses run neither early enough nor late enough for me to get to and from school, I can't commute to this northward town each day. Instead I have to quit my jobs at the library and the Crispity Crumb and move to Northward Town, which wouldn't be a problem except I also have no money to stay anywhere. I have looked for rooms to rent through the school's website and local newspapers, as well as on Craigs List and I've contacted friends and friends of friends to see if anyone has a couch I can crash on, I've looked for hostels, transitional housing, abandoned houses, and campsites, and I've asked the trucking company recruiter for ideas, but all my leads are falling through. There is a homeless shelter in Northward Town, so I might stay there, which is fine—I've stayed in homeless shelters before so it's not a big deal, but I'm just worried that since it's a night shelter which closes during the day, I'll have to carry all my belongings with me at all times, including to school, and I don't know how acceptable it would be to lug around a huge backpack out on the trucking range every day. I need to find out if that tech school has lockers or something.

Maybe after a few nights in the homeless shelter I will look like a trucker, and then maybe people will stop wrinkling their nose at my trucking news and saying, "You don't look like a trucker!" What does it matter whether or not I look like a trucker? Seriously. What matters is that I have been looking for a full-time job since May and this is the only one that would take me. Believe me, if I could continue working these piddly little part-time, minimum wage gigs—if I was a stay-at-home mom who just wanted to get out of the house for a few hours while the kids were in school, or if I had rich parents who let me mooch off them indefinitely—I certainly would. Gee, sorry I don't fit the judgmental stereotype of what a trucker should look like, but I've got real bills to pay and I'm sick and tired of not having any money to go anywhere or do anything or give to anyone. Almost my whole life has been like that, and I tired of it. I'm tired of wearing shoes that don't keep my feet warm or dry because the soles are worn down and I can't afford new ones. I'm tired of walking several miles to work and back in the freezing snow and rain because I can't afford a car and the buses stop running in the middle of rush hour. I'm tired of not having any money to buy my friends the nice things they deserve, and of having to turn down nearly all social invitations because I have no money to go out. I'm tired of not being able to afford an apartment, a car, children, or the Internet. I'm tired of not being able to afford non-genetically modified food. I'm tired of not having any money to see a doctor or dentist when I need to. 

And most of all, I'm tired of people who've never had to worry about money tell me I'm too good for something as "trashy" as trucking. No one has actually used the word "trashy," but I can tell what people are thinking when they turn up their nose and frown at this news.  I don't know what people are expecting me to achieve or what they think my daily life is like or what kind of life I should be living, but trucking, along with being a factory worker or janitor or garbage collector, is perfectly respectable and honest work.

Why is it that the people who do the sleaziest, most dishonest work have the most respect and admiration, and the ones who do actual labor and get things done, the ones who do the dirty work, are scorned? This trucking gig is a really good opportunity. The company pays for your school tuition if you agree to drive for them for 6 months immediately afterward. So not only do they pay for you to learn a skill and get licensed in a trade that's short on people and therefore in demand, but they guarantee you a job with them after the training period, and after you're done with that, you're free to keep working with them or to take your CDL to a different company anywhere in the country. That is an amazing deal, in my opinion.

You know what I might do when my 6 months of working for that company are up? Move to Chicago and drive a daily-delivery truck or a garbage truck or something that stays mostly in town and would allow me to be free some nights, and then take comedy writing night classes at THE SECOND CITY COMEDY SCHOOL!!! How cool would it be to make a living wage by day and accomplish a life goal by night?

I was dreading writing this post because there was so much news to cram into it, and I did gloss over a lot of stuff, but now it's written and done and I survived. And you did too! Somehow. I figured since I sort-of have a job that I could start blogging again and that it was safe to come out of hiding, and I hope to post a few more things between now and January 7, but once I start trucking school, I don't know how much Internet access I'll have, especially since the homeless shelter I'll be staying in probably won't have WiFi.

Stay tuned to hear me bitch about Christmas and my dad's funeral!