Thursday, August 23, 2012

Cheap Motels: The Good And The Bad

 INSTANT SIDETRACK: Gives me a great excuse to use this cool GIF again!

What I have learned, at least here in Texas and Tennessee:

1. Internet speeds seem to be a lot faster than at more expensive places.

I stayed 10 wonderful nights at a Marriott Extended Stay. REALLY nice room, 2 flat screens..a nice little kitchen. Relatively slow internet. DSL speeds of around 3 meg down.

Cheap places have given me about 10 meg downstream.

2. WAY better showers!!!!

For the first time I think ever, I had to back down on the amount of water coming at me in the shower here. I CRAVE a shower that feels like it's taking my skin off. Thing is, this one WAS taking my skin off! It was great!!!

More expensive places use those cursed "Water Saver" tree hugger shower heads.Cute and P.C., but wimpy and it never feels like you get all the soap rinsed from "those" places!

3. "Colorful" occupants.

The higher priced places draw a more common, casual crowd. Cheap places give roofs to folks who are pretty entertaining. Who needs T.V. when you have a Jerry Springer audition right outside your door! Speaking of which....

4. T.V

The higher priced places have this won, hands down.

Ok..downside...and this is a BIG one!

PREFACE SIDETRACK: Before I share this, let's review.

I spent nearly every night from August 4th, 2009 to March 24th 2012 in The Sovereign Conversion Van Of Wonders. But for a few nights in donated motels and hospital rooms. I shared said living space with Bob The Formerly Van Eating Dog. I would take Bob out for regular walks, sometime in wooded areas, with no adverse conditions arising.

One time, I stopped at a Walk In center for homeless types, to check in on things and collect mail. There was a specific day when two folks were there, one sleeping on the floor, and another (God bless her) who looked like she had not showered in a year.

This was a day I decided to let Bob join me, because the woman who ran the place liked him a lot.

Bob, being the adorable canine he is, drew the attention and affection of all there, including the 2 aforementioned folks. I was concerned about fleas, etc. I felt really bad about this crossing my mind, but given the circumstances, it was not unreasonable to be considered.

I kept Bob at a bit of a distance.

I had maintained a vermin free environment to live in. I recalled having been at Penn Station many years ago in N.Y.C. and seeing a guy half asleep (read: wasted) and clawing at his skin because he itched so much.

I wanted to not have that experience in my resume.

Thus....I took great precautions.

Cheap Motel Downside:

Say hello to my new friend, rolling on his back "haw hawing" because he bit up my ass!

 Yeppers...bed bugs!

I had already spent a few nights at my current locale with no adverse results. Once I found myself in a position to do a couple of weeks at a time, they put me into a different room on the 2nd floor.

Now I not only have to use stairs, but I am very itchy as I do so!

Over 3 years homeless...most of that in my van. Never so much as a mosquito bite.

I get a solid roof over my head................

As I enjoy the very intense shower and speedy internet I must pause from surfing or typing to ....



And so it goes....

Friday, August 17, 2012

Well...This Was Pretty Interesting....

Finally got my second sale today, and I feel pretty good about it. The company is talking about transferring me to a place I would LOVE to be in. I won't elaborate much more, so as not to jinx things, 'cause this place would be uber cool!!!

So...I had to get to Walgreens to buy a couple of things when I get waved frantically at and a nice young lady with a poodle asks me about the writing on the van "Homeless Advisor". Now, this is not unusual as, in the past, others have come to me asking advice. If I know something, I share it...but c'mon...really...I live in a van...a Sovereign Conversion Van Of Wonders....but a van none the less.


She asks me if I know about resources and services and such to help people get back on thier feet. I try explaining I am from Jerzy...with the disclaimer that I don't know Snookie...and that my knowledge of Texas is quite limited.

SIDETRACK: Ahh, for the days when everyone associated Jersyans with "The Sopranos" and types like that. #GoodTimes

Well...turns out it's for her "baby brother" who just did a 10 year stint for...ahem...MURDER!!! Said criminal infraction having occurred while he was on parole for attempted murder.

Practice makes perfect, I suppose.

I have met victims of some horrible crimes...but never a "big sister" to one who helped another achieve room temperature.  It was kinda startling!

I gave her some Google search ideas, the names of a couple of national agencies and that was pretty much that.

During our conversation, a nice young man of African lineage says to me, in a very happy tone while pointing... "JERSEY"!!! And into the store he went.

On his way out he stopped by to talk for a bit. Seems he was born in Central Jersey, near Routes 1 and 9....Colonia...and was raised in San Francisco. Told me he works for American Airlines and was bemoaning the recent contract his union signed with the air carrier. Some judgement came down in favor of the union...kinda...and he felt some relief at that.

It was a nice conversation and he went his way....I went mine.

On the way out I notice a white Lincoln Town Car and a "McCain/Palin" sticker in the rear window. At the traffic light, I honk to get the driver's attention to  pay compliment on said vehicle. Turns out, it was the same young man I had been speaking to moments before.

In the brief and hurried chat before the light went green, I learned he put that sticker in the window, admires Glenn Beck, and is staunchly Conservative!

How the hell did THAT happen?!?!??!

Born in New Jersey.
Raised in San Fransisco.
Black American.
Union Member.

And this guy had his head on straight!

Must be something about Texas.

I am impressed.

Gets more interesting all the time.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Brief La Tee Da...

HOLD THE PRESSES!!!!! I was given 5 more nights at the place I a staying already. THANK YOU P and V K!!!!

Had to stay home from work today. I think the combo of BIG HEAT and not much food at all took it's toll on me. I had to cut my day short yesterday because it felt like I was going to pass out. Sucks because my job is commission only.

If anyone reading this has or knows someone who has, free Marriott nights they can spare PLEASE reach out to me! I was given some nights at one here in Bedford, Texas. I am 3 miles from the office and 1 mile from my territory. So please, ask around and let me know at I am at the Marriott TownePlace Suites 76021

Will keep you all posted.....

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

As For Today..Even If They Aren't In A Row Yet...

....they are at least gathering!

Ok...some clarification....

My first day of work was Friday. Some basic training. My first FULL day of work was Monday. Shadowing a more seasoned associate in the field.

Today, was just your humble narrator! And in less than 2 hours I made my first sale...and it was quite a nice one at that! To a very nice couple that are Glenn Beck fans, and the husband heard me on Glenn's radio program.

The powers that be are pleased.

Here's how the day went....

I spent the night at a motel that was really inexpensive. A VERY nice woman in N.J. named Barb who has helped me a number of times, afforded me the chance to have a roof, bed, and a shower, as well as, gas and food. Given the 'hood I was in and what I paid, the room was pretty nice. And the internet speed was impressive. Across the parking lot was a convenience store with a couple of semi-gambling video game consoles. I asked this well tattooed young man about said opportunities of chance and he, very politely, called me...


WTF!!!!!! Pops??? Really????

Kill me, please!

I do admit since my quite significant weight loss and road miles, I do look a fair bit older. But...but...


I need to get some "work" done so I can have that same wind tunnel look Kenny Rogers has.

But I digress....

A friend and supporter of mine named John reached out very early this morning with an offer of some free nights he had at a name brand hotel chain. He said he thought he had maybe 2 nights available.

I said GREAT...and thanked him for offering.

Well, turns out...because of the sub brand facility of aforementioned chain, he was able to get me 5 nights! That gives me until Sunday morning with a roof.


Just before I got the good news about the hotel, I got my first sale.


Then I took my very last five dollars and bought a couple of things. I had one dollar left and figured, what the hell, buy a scratch off.

I won my five back!

Hows that for a day.

I could still use help getting nights past Sunday morning. I hope to get a bit of an advance from work to get food and such. But you know what...

In the words of Charlie Brown in "You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown"...after he found the pencil the "little red haired girl" dropped and discovered she nibbles it like he does...

"It was a good day after all!"

Sometimes it really is the simple things....

I hope you all enjoyed that!

Until next time....

Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Third Anniversary Of My Great Homeless Adventure

Always try to put a positive spin, no?

Ok...thoughts on Texas.
You know that Sun Guy who is always trying to make people eat breakfast? Well, the sun here feels like he's living next door! So direct on one's person, annoying me with a Jimmy Dean Egg Sandwich.

Been hitting temps of 107. Heat is ok with me....even at that level....but in The Sovereign Conversion Van Of Wonders, that is minus the ability to offer up Air Conditioning, well, it's sweltering!

As with many southern states I have driven through, Texas allows beer sales pretty much everywhere, most notably, at gas stations. It seems that more stations here also sell hard liquor. It makes getting your DUI/DWI much easier since you can do so with a full tank of gas. Plenty of miles to be swerving and stuff.

Ok...3 years ago today I lost my home. I made a number of attempts to take that situation as an opportunity to change my life and relocate. as my more faithful readers have learned there were a number of mis-steps and medical issues along the way.


I moved along, finally. And here I am in The Lone Star State.

I have already found gainful employment. I go full bore come Monday and expect a check inside of 2 weeks. Turns out, the owner of said company and her husband are big Beck fans, which certainly doesn't hurt anything. We'll see how it all goes.

I am staying with my nephew and his family in Flower Mound, but that's only until Monday morning. After that...who knows. Sunday he and I are going to finally get the van back in order so I can sleep in there. I am looking into campgrounds/RV parks. As long as I have electric, I can survive. If it has WiFi, I can stay in touch.

It's odd...and a bit unsettling. I am on the verge of moving along, but so many ducks are out of the row. I hope something comes along that can sustain me until the first check arrives...but odds of that happening are slight. If anyone can help, feel free to let me know.

In the meantime...keep me in your thoughts and prayers.

Until next time....

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Ok...Where To Begin....

So much has transpired, that it's hard to pick a starting point.

Obviously, it completed when I got to Cowboy's Stadium to attend to my designated task of photography/videography

Started a day early and pretty much I hit the ground running. Started shooting as soon as I
could. In the 4 days I was working, I figured I must have walked some 60 miles. I took a LOT of pictures....really nice shots. Thing is, they are the property of all things Mercury and I can't show you least as of this writing.

I covered events, book signings, families, dogs, stage setup, and the dry run the day before "Restoring Love. My last assigned task was to documents Rep. Michelle Bachmann's book signing, and from there, what I shot are mine. The image on the preceding post is about all I took. I was so swept up in what I was seeing, feeling, and experiencing, taking pictures was the last thing on my mind.

I had never seen Glenn live before. As a public speaker, he was engrossing! His speech at the end, had the most rousing effect on a crowd I had ever seen. You could feel the energy in the stadium go off the charts.

Completely captivating.

The Restoring Love event will be broadcast on TBN this coming weekend. Click HERE for the schedule.

And there is so much more to tell.

As for your humble narrator, my mind has been occupied with finding some gainful employ. I have all of $16.00 in my pocket and a full tank of gas. My motel runs out tomorrow morning and I have no idea where I am going next.

That's why I haven't been writing as much, no spouting my remarkable postings on Twitter and Facebook. And I have a bunch of other kinds of pics to post, like the next one:
                   This Little Guy!

At 70 M.P.H in the middle of Louisiana, I see something hopping around the windshield out of the corner of my eye. He finds his perch, and takes in the road. About an hour later I had to stop and get gas, so Mr. Toad was let out near some water and grass.

I hope he enjoyed the ride. I have NO idea where he came from, but suspect in Mississippi. There are these toads there that sound like mini-sheep when they bellow.

Really odd.

Anyhow..I'll wrote more, soon. I have a meeting tomorrow and have a call to make for an interview that was set up for me.

Here's hoping!

But for right now, I am kinda screwed and a LONG ways from whence I came.

Keep good thoughts for yours truly.

Until next time.....