Well, my 27-hour adventure in the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti area went pretty well. My bus arrived on-time, and I turned ’round the corner to the post office to mail Etsy stuff, but the clerk who got me clearly wasn’t used to running so many things with tracking numbers at once, and I spent nearly twenty minutes *just* on Etsy stuff, so I figured I’d put off renting a P.O. Box until just before my return, cos I figured that was going to be at least twenty minutes, on its own, even without someone doing point-n-peck typing.
After that, I stopped at the CVS that’s on State Street now, which is right near my friend Kelly’s store, The GetUp Vintage, cos they didn’t open until noon, and I needed food, so sure, why not? Unfortunately, i forgot my water bottle as I was packing my overnight bag, so I grabbed a litre of Evian (it’s almost as slim as my purple aluminium bottle, so I know it’ll fit on the side-pocket of my backpack), one of those turkey sandwiches from the cooler, and a bag of “Mediterranean Medley” (or something like that) trail mix, (in part cos it was the only one that didn’t have soy in it).
I then went across the street to sit on the stairs of one of the university buildings that litters the downtown Ann Arbor area, and I lit one of the candles and sticks of incense that I brought, and said a short prayer to Hestia and Apollon before settling down to my meal:
Now, as all proper Hellenists know, a libation is also part of this sort of thing, and so rather spend oodles of money I couldn’t afford on wine and a cup or bowl for said wine, i did the unthinkable —I took out a bit of my trail mix with my thumb and first two fingers, and rather than pour out onto the earth, I placed it on the elevated ledge there, and poured a tiny bit of water (probably less than half an ounce, to be honest) onto the mix of dried fruits and nuts. I know, pretty hard, right? I don’t know how some of us in the “piety posse” ever manage to get through the day, with all these sacrifices.
Unfortunately, while The GetUp opens at noon, Kelley has some-one else do her opening, cos she lives out of the area and cos of traffic tends not to come in until about 1pm, but I had things to do and get done, especially as I had the primary renter of the apartment to meet up with around 4pm in Ypsilanti.
So, I cut through Nickels Arcade, which I’ve always felt nymph presence at, in addition to Hermes (not just because it’s a covered street of shops, but cos the Arcade often attracts pan-handlers), the Moisai (because it’s always a site for buskers), and Hekate (because, especially as the location I lit the candle at the end, the Arcade has always struck me as this sort of high-end alleyway, and YMMV, but I tend to feel Hekate’s presence in alleyways, as well as more traditional crossroads). I also decided to light a candle and some incense at the far end, where it exits onto Maynard Street:
Such terribly hard work, and I think I spent all of my moving donations to have to do it, but I do it! (in case this is unclear, I’m being sarcastic.)
I left a “seeking roommate(s)” notice at Encore Records, and… You know, i can’t remember if i did anything else on my way back to the bus station to get to The Ugly Mug in Ypsilanti, but clearly I did *something*, but damned if i can recall what….
So, I took the bus into Ypsilanti, and figured I’d stop at the Deja Vu Love Boutique –you know, the porn shop next to/technically inside the stripper club (it’s not a “nudie bar”, Michigan has laws against that). I’d had some friends who used to work there, and I knew it was a long shot to see if they still did, but I also knew that it was pretty frequent that the dancers are looking for reliable roommates, so it’d be worth it to check, right? Well, I got in, and no-one i knew was working, and it’s possible that the whole staff of people i used to know isn’t there anymore. And to top it off, an older man who worked there at the shop, Big Al, who had this almost encyclopaedic knowledge of the porn tastes of the regulars, and always seemed extra-excited to see me and my current humanoid meat-based housemate, I had heard that he had actually died. He had to be at least in his seventies, so I’m not too surprised, but he was nice enough, so when I stepped back out to make my way to the coffeehouse, I places a candle on the pavement and stuck an incense stick between the bricks, and asked the Khthonoi to see his safe journey:
I got to The Ugly Mug a bit early, and so I plugged in the charger cord for mt mp3 player, and ordered an iced vanilla latte. Just over the little station where they have the sugar and creamer and lids and stuff, they had these little busts that I forgot to get photos of, and I don’t even remember who (or Who) they were supposed to be (and of course they’re not in the panorama of the interior), but the dress and hair seemed mid-Victorian, and one was the basic eggshell/ivory-coloured resin and one was stained brownish-blacking, possibly with tea or coffee. With the stained one, I was immediately reminded of Aphrodite Melainis (Αφροδιτη Μελαινις); I was kind of tempted to pocket it (and i can be sneaky), but I figure if I end up moving close by, either a) on the off chance this’d be my first time caught stealing, it would not do me any good to steal from the best coffeehouse within walking distance of where i was guessing I might end up living, OR b) if i did end up moving to the area, i could just ask how much they cost. Of course, i could’ve asked that, at the time, but I was expecting to see the only real prospects I had on a roommate situation, and i didn’t on the off chance that She’d be $15 or less, I didn’t want t get caught in a loop of trying to decide whether or not i could afford the expense.
The potential roommate was running a bit late, but when she showed up, we chatted a bit about situations, what we’re looking for in co-habitants, and cost of living expenses after utilities. Personality-wise, she’s pretty chill and laid-back, not the biggest stickler on cleaning in the common areas (“if you say you’ll get to it, just get to it when you can, no big deal”), and totally cool with the trans thing (even sounds like she’d be willing to eliminate other potential roommates from the running if they aren’t). We walked back to the apartment, and the place was *gorgeous*. It’s an apartment in a converted BIG old Victorian house (one of the more modest ones, to be fair), and the apartment itself is about half of the basement, and maybe a third or just over that of the Ground/First level, and the two floors have a spiral staircase –and the Ground level master bedroom opens up onto a porch; the potential roommate said she’s taking over the master, but that she doesn’t care if other people in the apartment go through it to use the porch. 🙂 So, assuming I get a room there, I can bring my bird feeders!
Now, I say “assuming I get a room there” because *technically* nothing is set in stone, just yet. After I looked around, Potential New Roommate aid that she’d planned to email people later that night or early today, and that it was going to be “first come, first served”, as in the first three of the five people to get back to her would get to fill out an application with the property management. I said “this could be an issue, cos I don’t have a smartphone and so no guaranteed Internet access until I get back to Lansing”, which was around 4pm today; if it wasn’t going to be any trouble, I asked, would I be able to just fill out an application, right then, if she had any *or*, if she didn’t, would she be willing to take my claim to an application before she sent out the emails. As luck would have it, she had an app for property management right there, and the apartment had wi-fi so I could check on the Lansing house’s property management phone number –I even offered to go get copies made of Nigel’s current vaccine documentation and ESA certificate, but that wasn’t going to be necessary until I get my credit check approved.
And speaking of cats, the Potential Primary Roommate has a cat, a fluffy long-haired tabby named Cleo; she’s a little shy, but very sweet. There are also potentially two other cats who will be staying while their owners move out to places that may be anti-cat and a total of three other cats there, now: a big orange tabby named Jerry(?), a slightly smaller orange tabby, and a brown/grey-and-black tabby with a white belly (I forget the names of these two). The cats are very playful with each-other, and I know that Nigel will love that, cos before Vermin died, when Nigel was still a wee kitten, he really wanted her to play with him (since Chunk and the now-departed Fat Bob wanted nothing to do with him), and he’s so happy when the tamer of the porch cats will come in for a few minutes to play with him, so I know it’ll be good for Nigel to make friends with other cats –might even help some of his shyness issues with strangers when he’s out of his carrier (he does fine at the vet and the groomer, but as soon as a stranger [to him] even steps on the porch, he’s trying to get under the chair, cos obviously this person is here to murder kitties!)
When I finished up and asked for directions back to the Ypsilanti Bus Station for the AATA, Prospective Roommate said “yeah, just make a left out that way onto N. Washington, and it should be just down the street eventually. This was an overstatement –the bus is just barely a block away! Also, on the very short walk to the bus station, apparently some of the people in the neighbourhood think the local nymphai get chilly:
So I hopped on a bus back to Ann Arbor to see my friend Jeff at PJ’s Used Records. I got off the bus about a block early (three and a half years away led to forgetting that there’s a stop right out in front of the shop), and when i stepped in, I said “It’s smells like old hippies in here!” (which is kind of true, when Jeff’s working), and here’s something interesting he had to share:
We chatted a bit, I politely explained that I was unable to really justify buying anything from my hold this time, but to wish me luck on the apartment, and, just as an “insurance policy”, put up a “Seeking Roommate(s)” notice on the corkboard just outside.
I noticed that i *just* had some time to swing by Crazy Wisdom and maybe fill out the app at the Tea Room, but by the time i got there, I was told that there weren’t currently any openings, but maybe if i’m persistent the manager (who was not there) would at least keep my app on file. On my way out, got the urge to ask the woman at the book counter if there were any downstairs openings at the time, and she said no, but assured me that even thoug the manager likes to have people commit to at least a year at the Tea Room, that there’s a high turn-around, cos food service, so just be persistent, and it’ll happen, eventually. Then on my way out, I noticed a statue of The Three Kharites (Χαριτες) in a case. Because it’s what sells, most of the statuary at CW is either Hindu, Buddhist, or Celtic. They have a very small selection of Shenist and Kemetic deities, but it’s actually unusual to see Græco-Roman stuff there, at all. Cos I couldn’t see the price, I asked the woman at the book counter if she could check that for me, and it’s certainly affordable. I asked how long they could hold stuff, and she said only about two or three days, and since I’m not going to be back for at least another two weeks, that wouldn’t be fair, so I said, “well, I’ll just cross my fingers that They’ll still be here when i can justify the price.” She responded, “they will be.” I thought it was a tad odd, but noteworthy, that she didn’t couch this in a “probably”, so here’s hoping. 🙂
At the trans group, I met a few new people and said hi to some people I saw last time. Unfortunately, nothing much to say about that, but I did share my experience at the Polytheist Leadership Conference and also my search for living arrangements back in the area, and asked people to “pray to whatever deities or saints they think could help, light a candle, and/or just send out good vibe or energy for me. Apparently at least one person from group lives in the neighbourhood, too (not sure where, and since I’m not giving their name, hopefully this doesn’t breach the expectation of confidentiality in that group), so I just may have someone to go forth and make
mayhem art with!
I then got back to the Ypsilanti bus station and met up with my couchsurfing.com person for the overnight I had planned. She has a half-blind, 12-year-old Pomeranian who loves carrots and thinks I’m a bigger sucker than I am. Not much to say, there, we chatted, I slept, woke up, showered, and got on the bus back to Ann Arbor.
When I got back to A2, first I stopped at the Forest Hill Cemetery. I stopped there instead of the Island Drive Park, where i had planned to cos a) I was now doubting that the park was where I remembered it was and b) I tried to find the cemetery the day before, but because Ann Arbor’s city streets were designed on cannabis or something, where I should’ve turned a hard right, I turned a soft left and instead wound up at the dental school. I found one of my old favourite spots and stopped to light some incense for Nyx, Persephone, and the Dead. Now, the day before, I stopped in at the little shop called Middle Earth, where they sell postcards and a bunch of trinkety things, and they had a wall of Wildberry™ Incense; I had grabbed a few sticks of Opium and a few sticks of Sizzling Bacon for my current humanoid meat-based housemate. When I stopped in the cemetery, I intended only to burn the stick of patchouli for the local dead (which was lying around and fit in my overnight bag, and in a pinch, I’ll use anything that doesn’t specifically has Khthonic qualities, as an all-purpose incense) and a stick of the Opium for Nyx, but as I was there, and praying, supplicating my weord old Goddess for Her blessing, I said suddenly, mid-thought, “yes, you’re right, Persephone wants the Sizzling Bacon, Scott won’t mind one less stick.”
I had lunch at NYPD (New York Pizza Depot), and then made my way back to the Student Union, or rather, the vicinity of its rear entrance on Maynard street for another little offering to the local gods; I would jave the day before, just before group, but i had been on my feet, carring my messenger bag and my overnight bag, and I was afraid that if I sat down on the steps, I would not be able to get back up in time for group. So why here, in particular?
Click the picture for the full-size. See what building I had to stop at, there? See why it was a moral imperative that I libate and offer incense to Apollon and the Moisai, there? 🙂 When I lit the incense, a woman with a headscarf that looked kinda like how a friend who converted to Hare Krishna wears hers saw me and smiled sweetly before walking into the Literature, Science, and Arts building.
Then I *finally* got my PO Box –now people can send me things!
After that, I stopped at Sam’s, which was just across the street, and got a new bandana, waffled briefly between Purple or Spiderwebs, selected the Purple, and then went back across the street and to the parking structure office that now serves as the new Greyhound Bus ticket office and baggage check station. Obviously I got home safely, and I have made this post and shared these photos! I also have a couple photos for Galina that I forgot to take off the camera until just now, so I’ll do that after I hit “Publish”.
Other good and relevant news: Nigel’s paperwork came in today! I *knew* Priority Shipping was going to be a waste of money when the default was First Class Package! I was honestly expecting it a little later in the week, but now is good, too. Thank you, registermyserviceanimal.com! Now Nigel has a certificate (in my currently-legal and soon-to-be legal names!), an ID card for his carrier (ditto!), a collar tag that says “Emotional Support Animal”, and a little emergency kit, with a couple of window decals, key tags and wallet card, and a booklet for jotting down vet info and vaccine records. Thanks so much to those who donated and made this possible, now Nigel and i cannot legally be separated. 🙂
That said, I’m still raising money for moving expenses! You can just straight-up buy my Ni-Ni a carrier or microchip, or donate toward any amount! Scott needs gas (and not the kind from burritos), I need rent, and it’s possible I’ll need a van rented. Things are looking more hopeful now than ever, I’m just waiting for the news from New Potential Roommate and the property management people to make it official!