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As you all know, I challenged myself a couple months ago to raise money and participate in the cystic fibrosis Climb for the Cure fundraiser. Well….. I did it. Boo-ya, bitches.

Many people admitted to me “Eh, I figured you were going to bail out of it.” And I wont lie, but I laid in bed the morning of it debating on leaving the comforts of satin pillows and heavy comforters that kept me snug and warm. I starred at my ceiling and took a deep breath…. “NO! My team needs me! And people donated money for me to participate in this event!” Plus it was a fantastic excuse to get caribou and have dilly bars when it was all over.

The experience in its self is hard to explain. I have never done anything like this before, and I was so nervous to do it. What if I couldn’t? What if I died on the 7th floor and everyone laughs and leaves my body there to rot away all weekend? Seems silly to think but I lost two nights of sleep over those kinds of dreams. I love the gym, I love the feeling after a good workout, but lets be honest about the fact that I have NEVER been athletic and I get tired out and discouraged easily.

I showed up bright and early, zoned in on the IDS building that stood above me in the crystal court. It seemed like a long climb, but easily possible. Most of all I was excited to participate with KDWB, I was so nervous to meet the morning show participants, and sure enough when they called for the team to meet them I was completely star struck (most famous people I have ever met lol). To make matters worse on my nerves, I was the ONLY one who showed up on the team! 10 people signed up, and only I showed, which made me instantly happy I went.

Crisco and Intern John are two of the coolest, laid back people I have ever met and I enjoyed hanging out with them! Climbing the stairs was especially fun, and not at all what I expected. When I heard IDS stairs, I was picturing a wide stairwell along side window after window. A bright and sunny set of marble stairs that take you to the top in no time. But no, it was the emergency stair case, made of metal and lit by orange-ish colored lighting. I felt like someone was going to dodge out of a corner and shank me.

I pushed on my way and by the fourth floor, I was already exhausted. Legs went tense, face began to get warm, heart was racing, I didn’t think I could do it. I am so thankful for the people with little cups of water every few floors lol. It proved how out of shape I really still am!

Anyways, getting to the top was a very amazing feeling. Empowering a bit, but I was SO thankful to be there, look down and know I walked up that far by stairs! And all for a good cause! My very first fundraising event complete.

I spent the past week looking for other fundraisers to do. I am enrolled to do the Polar Plunge, planning on participating with U.S Bank for the heart walk, and was also suggested to do the gray ghost run in October. All for good causes, but I also thought, what is a cause I am personally passionate about. Although all fundraisers need help and I am happy to make a difference, what is something life changing to me?

Well, duh, a melanoma fundraising event! I am personally affected by the loss of my only brother from melanoma, so it’s only natural that I would want to raise money so others don’t suffer what my family did. I began my google process immediately, only to discover that there is no fundraising event in Minnesota! The only one I could find was a run in New York.

This, my dear friends, is something that needs to change. So I thought about it… it’s going to be a lot of work, but with help and motivation, I would like to organzie a charity event (i.e a run or a climb, golf tournament, something) to raise money for Melanoma research and families suffering from it.

Think about it…. Susan G Komen started this way, the climb for the cure did, polar plunge, all charities started when someone was really passionate about something! I want to bring that awareness to MN in honor of Tim. It may not happen this year, and it may not get big for years to come, but I am determined to make.this.happen.

Bring on the new challenges 2011. I am ready for you!

The Challenge

         Salutations and seasons greetings to you 5 people who read my blog!

         I know it has been quite some time since my last post, but lack of internet makes writing difficult!

         It is a mildly chilly morning of -7 degrees, and I decided writing needs to be done. This one is simple tho my friends. Short, sweet, and mostly in need of your help!

         While Christmas fastly approches, it becomes apparent how difficult it will be this year. First set of holidays sans The Tim Gage (although I have this eerie feeling he has been hanging around lately!), and the tradition of gifts, egg nog, board games and all around holiday laughter will be lacking a bit. I have adjusted my mind set to the fact that my big brother wont be around, which is hard, but I began to awknowlege the kind of things other people are missing out on, and simple selfless things that can be done.

         Lets start with the fact that I still been thinking about the kind of person I am. I can openly admit I am a selfish person, but I would like to change that. December is all about helping others by donating toys, clothes, toothbrushes, hats, mittens, food, etc. BUT, what about the other 11 months? There are many other charities that need year around help! Battered women don’t just get battered in December, children aren’t just parentless in December, people don’t die of cancer nor are children born with a birth defects, just in December.

        With this in mind, I once again thought about what a giving person my brother was. Maybe not to charities, but he was beyond helpful to his family and friends. I think about all the times he bought me gifts, food, took me to see plays, drove my 14 year old girlfriends and I to the movies and more. He always made sure the people he loved were taken care of. Well, I will make more of an effort to make sure my family is taken care of, but I thought about other families who need help with that! I officially want to put myself out there more to help others.

         This my friends, is where I need your help!!!

          I joined the KDWB team for “Climb for the Cure”. It’s challenging, exciting, and all for a good cause. Team Crisco wants to raise $1500.00 for Cystic Fibrosis via funraising and donations. The Challenge: an enduring climb up the IDS stairs, all 1280 of them, on February 5th 2010. I am also looking for others who would like to donate their time in walking those stairs with me. Training will be have to be done before hand, but I figure it’s an excuse to REALLY force myself back at lifetime fitness (my ass…..is going to look FANTASTIC!). I made a personal goal of trying to raise $300.00. The minimum is $150.00 but I would really like to challenge myself on this one.

         If people could donate i’d be VERY greatful. I am also planning on fundraisers, and if anyone has any fundraising ideas, or could donate some of their companies profits one day (i.e. the beer sales of that day from a bar) or know their work would gladly help in taking in donations and hanging up peoples names, PLEASE LET ME KNOW!

        I am really looking forward in doing this and pushing myself in helping others who have harder times then some of us fortunate. Thanks to everyone, as you would really be making my holidays by helping me do this!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Please Visit Here —> http://www.cff.org/LWC/dsp_DonationPage.cfm?idEvent=15164&idUser=434760

I…..am 21!!!

Yes, finally, after 4 years of agonizing over not having anywhere to go because I was too young has ended. After meeting many guys who flirt and then run away screaming because I couldn’t legally drink, has ended.  It is a new Era for April Rayne! Who knows what wacky antics I will get into now (well, I do know actually. Being drunk.)

My experience turning 21 was not as exciting as I thought it would be tho.  I was expecting lots of people to be excited with me, and buying me shots, and me dancing on the bar, and then I go home to sleep and the next morning the magical hangover fairy visits me and sends me on my way to a great day of work, only to start over again the following night!

You called?

I always thought that’s the person I would be when I turned 21. I Could HANDLE it, and not look like a jack ass.

Sadly, I followed the traditional turning 21 check list. Items include:

  • Pretending to not be drunk infront of the family.
  • Stumbling over bar tables when arriving at the bar.
  • Downing first 6 drinks.
  • Downing first 6 shots
  • Crying
  • Drunk dialing co-workers and screaming “I’m drunk!”
  • Hustling the bar tender
  • Trying to have a deep conversation with the bartender, telling him you were once a server and know how it feels to suck
  • Running up to random tables and doing the white-mans overbite with some quirky hand movements
  • Projectile vomiting in the bathroom for half an hour
  • Singing loud and obnoxious to the obnoxious songs you put on the juke
  • Falling out of the car when someone drops you off and laying in the driveway
  • Drunk dialing all your exboyfriend to tell them how crappy they are at life
  • Finally; passing out with your makeup smeared all over your face and your weave tangled up.

That is grade A clASS right there.

We’ll see what happens. Since then I have drank out in public several times and I was plenty fine (gay 90s in a completely different topic we wont get into). But, I am an obnoxious surprise who loves attention from anyone who is willing to stare at my ugly mug for more then 2 seconds. What will happen now that I am 21 is beyond my guess, it’ll be interesting to see. I predict too many vodka crannies, one bar fight and a one night stand.

But we’ll see…..

"Drink me, I make the sad go away, yaaaaaayyyy!!"

Cheers to be 21 and being at the peak of my life. Now if only I can figure out who I am.

I Heart Single

Spring is here!

Birds are chirping, deer are humping, and the facebook newsfeed is FULL of relationship changes! It is the time of the year when people start to realize they don’t want to be fucking alone, so they have to quick settle for someone until about mid-June.

As for me, I Heart Single.

This is not one of those pitty loves ether.  You know, the kind where you are the only single at a table of couples giving ‘poor you looks’ and you feel you must quick explain “but I love the single life”.  No no, this is, thanks to facebook creepin and the crying sounds of relationship distress from friends, a love that makes me feel fluttery. The fact that I love myself and doing what (and whom) I want.

I had a relationship months back, and I can safely admit now that it wasn’t much of anything but lustful feelings for someone who paid attention to me when I had self esteem issues. At the time, nothing felt more embarrassing to me then being broken up with, and only later to discover he was with another chick quickly. Was I heartbroken, or was I feeling ashamed for being 20 and single?

I feel like girls in todays society have the hardest time. I’m not trying to be all feminist and GIRL POWER by any means. We all are having hard times, but the expectations on women now days are stressful to the maximum. Men still have the same….get a job….support a family….make money. But as a female, we have to wear our hair right, and keep it healthy, wear the right amount of makeup (can’t be too much or too little), have cute pants, skirts, capris, shorts, tanktops, sweaters, bras, lace panties. Then there are shoes…..flats, sneakers, heels, wedges. We are expected to go to college now (can’t rely on NO MAN to support you -finger snap-), get a high paying job, have our own car. Seems pretty standard for now days….but there are so many guys out there who still 100% expect women to have that AND know how to sew torn clothes, cook dinner every night, wake up with the kids every morning to get them ready, keep the house clean and maintain a healthy weight.  ALL of this, expected out of one women and if you are 20-something, and single, you are quit possibly almost a spinster.

What the....?! I was just trying to look up funny cat photos! Go away!

This is where I heart single. I started going to the gym to maintain the healthy weight, I started cooking for myself, spending the money I have to concentrate so hard on to earn on me and only me. Being in a relationship is a lot of work and stress! I learned that quickly from my friends who message me on a daily basis about todays issue;

“He is always busy and doesn’t have any time to spend with me and I am so depressed about it!”

“He left me because he expects me to cook and clean and he wont even let me go to school!”

“She’s just going to cheat on me anyway…. she wont even give me a b.j…..”

“He never wakes up with the baby, he forced me to quit my job, and now he is breaking up with me because I don’t have a job!”

I’m telling you….the problems my friends have with their relationships are enough to keep Gloria Allred busy.

I just think it’s so sad that we get this one life, and so many people are freaked on what others will think about them if they are single, or that they have to find THE ONE while in college. Altho it is very sweet, and romantic, hearing that story of meeting her husband of 80 years at college from old biddy Eunice, it’s so unrealistic. And if you do meet someone at college, how many of those people stay married and happy for long? You meet someone when you are 20…spend all of your time with them and then you spend the rest of your life with them!? That is way to long for me.

These are the reasons why I am taking a better approach. Screw the looking for someone. I will be 21 in one week, and I will only be 21 once. This is the time in my life to have fun, be young and beautiful, meet new people and worry about me and me only. I don’t want to worry about what boyfriend John Doe wants to eat for dinner. I don’t want to worry about what baby needs (too many young mothers, but I will save that rant for another time). I want to go out, dance my butt off and not worry about the boyfriend being angry about it at home. I want to spend quality time with my friends and gossip without having boyfriend there to pout because he isn’t as close with them.  I want to worry about who I will be, where I will be going, and be responsible for nothing but what is sitting right here in front of me.

I Heart Single.

Everyone has inspiration for the great things they do. Thomas Edison had Ben Franklin for example, Martin Luther King jr. had Mahatma Gandhi, and Stephanie Meyer has J.K Rowling and a little bit of crazy to help her come up with “Twilight”.  I am in no way a great writer, In fact, I have always HATED writing, but for the past several years I find myself with thoughts going in and out of my head at a thousand miles an hour. After seeing the success of my older brothers blog I decided to start one also. I still have a hard time slowing down those thoughts so I can write them out but I am starting to succeed and have began to enjoy expressing them to others.  For this, I have the inspiration of my amazing brother Tim Gage.

This post is dedicated to him. To acknowledge his great accomplishments and how he has changed who I am today. Having siblings much older then me has always been a challenge growing up. I was in second grade when Tim graduated highschool, and what 18 year old wants their 8 year old sister hanging around them? My sister also, being 6 years older then me, had her own social life going on and didn’t much appreciate the annoying child trying to hang around, and altho we are close now, Tim had always been the one to let me be an annoying sister.

I feel so lucky to get a brother and sister. One of each. But poor Tim had two very emotional sisters. Two younger sisters who cried, screamed, fought and giggled with girlfriends on pretty much a daily basis. Growing up, I have so many fond memories with him. He let me hangout in his room and watch him play playstation. He took me to see the original Star Wars movies when they were re-released into the theaters. He even did all the dishes when mom told me to, and never spilled a word about me being lazy. Never once did we fight (altho he was good at arguing).

I feel so lucky to have gotten to share in alot of the same passions he had. Between both of my siblings, I feel I am most like my brother (sorry Amber =]). I spent a lot of time in school being teased, wanting to be creative, staying home to read instead of go out with friends and found the same accepting love in the world of theater then I ever did with the “party” girls I hung out with in high school. Tim is, and always has been, my inspiration for the great things I try to do. I know I will never be as good at them as he was, but now I feel the need to try and follow in his footsteps. Not just for me, but to keep his legacy living on.

At first, I had what I thought to be an easier time then most handling his death. We all saw it coming for some time and it seemed best to happen. His last few months were not good, and let me tell everyone that watching your only brother slowly suffer is the hardest thing you can go through. I do believe that what I went through was harder then anyone in the world can understand.

People often tell me “I know how you feel” and I nod…..but no. No you can not understand. You can not understand what it’s like to see your already skinny brother get skinnier. You can not understand waking up every morning to the sound of your brother puking up his entire being. You can not understand being on stage with your brother, spending christmas time with your brother, and in only two short months later watching him go from headaches and dizziness ,to laying in a hospital bed in your living room completely helpless and drugged up and unable to speak or see you. No one can understand that.

I try so hard to block out his last few days from my mind. He wasn’t him, and it breaks my heart still to close my eyes and see those images. They wont go away….I feel so trapped. How does someone block memories and why can’t I do it? I was in such denial about the whole thing. Even when he got to the point where he couldn’t make sense of his sentences, I told myself it was the medications he had, even tho deep down inside someone was screaming at me that it was the cancer. Maybe because my mom would keep talking about “when your brother dies..” my every bit of being held onto that little string of hope and my denial stood ontop of reality.  All I can picture is my brother laying there on his last day with us, his eyes were empty and starring off into nothing. The sounds he made I can’t even explain….but those sounds…those sounds of death…. the sounds of pain and frustration and feeling cheated out of life. Those sounds still echo in my ears and I want them to go away so bad.

The last time my brother spoke to me was the monday before he died. I was heading to work and I said i’d see him later. He just said “Bye.”

….Bye. Not “See you later”, but bye. When I got home he was sleeping, and by that next morning, his last day, he couldn’t even speak anymore. I spent all Tuesday by his side, along with my family and two of Tims close friends. I feel like I can’t even remember much about the day other then it was long, and my haunting image that wont leave me alone. The image of holding his warm hand, and looking into his eyes. This is where no one can understand my pain. The pain of looking into his eyes, and seeing nothing. Just the suffering and frustration of someone so young and someone who tried so hard. I remember feeling so angry at the world. I was angry at the doctors, I was angry at my mother, I was angry at myself. I was angry that I was looking straight at him, straight into his eyes and I couldn’t fix it. I couldn’t do anything. I was angry that I was talking to him and altho he starred back at me, he couldn’t see me. Not only did I feel he was cheated but I felt cheated too.

One-by-one, we all fell asleep. Everyone except my brother-in-law, and when he left the room for even two seconds, that was the moment my brother chose to leave his body. I know he chose that moment too, because it is such a Tim thing to do. Secretly, when no one is around to witness and bother him. Waking up to my brother-in-law telling me he had just passed away is my other hurtful memory. I was sleeping on the floor next to Tim’s bed, and I sat up faster then a blink of an eye. My heart completely sunk and I heard my thoughts screaming at me “No, no no no it’s not true it’s not possible he is gonna get better he wont die.”I practically leaped onto his bed, grabbing his hand and feeling nothing but cold. It was a complete 180 from the warm hands I had just been holding and felt moving hours before. Instant tears, instant screams from us all as we one-by-one woke up to someone we loved and cherished to have left us alone.

My sister I think is the one who suffered the most. She just starred when she realized he died. No sounds, no cries. Just the blank look of what I know was the feeling of failure. She tried so hard, devoted much of her work and family time to saving my brother, and I know she has felt the most cheated from this situation. But I envy her so much for trying, and I know my brother is nothing but thankful for all the love she has to give us all.

So here I am. Almost a month later from March 17th 2010 and I am finally telling people how I feel. The easy time and relief I had from having to watch him suffer is finally turning into ultimate grief again. I am so used to having him around it has turned into nothing but pain. At first it was almost like he was just gone at rehearsal, or back at college. But now….now I find myself needing answers and he isn’t around to answer them. He isn’t playing poker in his room, he isn’t watching Arrested Development on his laptop nor is he sitting at the table reading a poker magazine and eating a toaster strudel. Not getting cast for the first time in a play was where it struck its first chord. “Not cast…but I need advice! I need reassurance that it’s not the end of my potential theater hobby!” …..no answer. No ‘Break a leg’ before my audition ether.

My house is too quiet now and for the first time I am constantly alone. The sounds that once annoyed me or lulled me to sleep are missing. Tim often fiddled with poker chips on his desk while he played online poker, and I would hear the sounds of them clanking together repeatedly. No loud movie playing at 1 AM in the next room while I tried to sleep is heard anymore ether. My whole routine is thrown off, and each day the absence of those sounds become more and more real.

I can feel myself sinking now, slowly into the hurt that has been absent for the past few weeks. I can feel myself fighting the pain as well, because Tim wouldn’t want me feeling this. This pain that is creeping up on me is exactly why my brother fought so hard. He didn’t fight just for himself, he fought because being the selfless person he always has been, he didn’t want any of us to feel what we are feeling.

I find myself the last few days pacing back and fourth in my room. My mind once again thinking one thousand things at one thousand miles. Back fourth, back fourth. I keep thinking exactly what I know I am not supposed to think.

“Why?”

“Why?” I repeat.

Back fourth, back fourth. “Why did this have to happen? Why god, do you feel the right to take someone so selfless and talented from us? Someone who had a big impact on so many lives?”

back fourth, back fourth.

Stop……stop and stare at the wall. Stare at the wall and feel the frustration of getting no answer.

back fourth, back fourth, I continue on. “Why couldn’t this be me instead? What do I do? What have I done? I don’t have an impact on a community. You, god, never blessed me with any talents to share with the world. Not like Tim.”

I keep trying to understand his death. I come up with answers but they are just excuses. “Why do you take the good, and leave behind the lazy, the useless, the angry, the rapist, the problems? Do you take the good because they have done what they were intended for? Tim enriched so many lives, there is nothing more he can do for anyone? You leave behind the problem people for us….is it to understand more of life, and learn to solve these problems? To teach us? You gave a young man cancer and allowed him to suffer because it was his time to go?”

Then I remember….

No. No you didn’t do that. You have no control in any of this do you? Cancer is just a disease that happens at random. Happens to the good and bad and will most defiantly happen to the rest of us.

I wish I had answers. I wish I knew where Tim was right at this moment. Is he reading as I am writing? Writing, his favorite thing to do, on his computer? Writing about him.

Tim, Tim, Tim… I felt you were around still at first but your absence is becoming too noticeable. It’s making me uneasy. Why can’t you give me a sign? Your baby sister needs you. Your nephews need you. Your mother needs you. Your best friend needs you.

But you can’t help me can you? This is a life lesson, isn’t it? I need to learn on my own. You have accomplished so so so much, how do I follow that up? What am I supposed to do now with myself? 20 years with you, and now I have to spend the next 60 without you. Hardly seems fair.

From here on out, my accomplishments are for you. My attempts to succeed are for your name. I will try and try some more and I will learn in the process. Why ask “What would Jesus Do?” because my real question is “What Would Timmy Do?” I will do what I can to enjoy life for you. Because I know, that’s all you wanted out of yours and others. Enjoyment. You showed us how short this one you get can be, but how much a single person can do in it. Your almost two years with cancer has changed me, and your passing has even more. I miss you so much, and I need help now more then ever. Please, please hear me. Please let me know you are better. Please let me know you are happy. Please don’t leave me alone here.

Please help my hurt and helpless feeling go away.

I love you, and I miss you for always. Thank you for being the best, smartest and funniest big brother anyone could ever have. Thank you for teaching me everything you did. Thank you for always sticking up for me. 1 month down, only719 to go until I can see you again. ❤

Timothy James Gage 6/6/1979-3/17/2010

(P.S. I know this blog is sort of all over the place. I feel I have so much to say, but I don’t know how to properly write it. It just takes practice and skill to get to the writing potential I need to be at.)

Changes.

It’s been two years since my last post. Two long years that have changed my very living, my heart and my soul. These two years have changed who I am today, who I will become and how my one life I get to live will be lived. The once 19 year old girl who started writing here is now a completely different 21 year old women. Completely different, but still trapped in a haze of “Who Am I?”.  The blog “The Real April Rayne” is going for a completely different feel now.  I wont hold back any info, and maybe together we can figure out who the real April Rayne Gage is.

So there is this rumor going around that I decided to start.  The water in Anoka has something in it. Only I am pretty sure it is true. Why? I got my reasons!

Everyone is pregnant or engaged. At first it was lots of high school girls getting pregnant, and I could only conclude that it was the new cookies at Anoka High school (They went from giant, delicious and moist to small, hard and wtf is that?)

But now, a year and a half after I have graduated, not only is there a handful of girls who I still remember playing four square with in elementry school having babies (Or already had them), but suddenly, everyones engaged too! Is there a memo I missed? Do these people know something I don’t? Is the world ending soon?

There is a GIANT handful of 19/20 year old girls I graduated with engaged, and at first, I didn’t care. Thats their lives. Its none of my business. But in TWO days, I was informed of people I was close to or knew getting engaged. On monday, one of my best friends dropped to me that she was now engaged. We saw it coming, and I actually reallllllly didn’t want her to say yes and spent some time trying to make her realize that it MIGHT not be her best idea. Whatever, she said yes, I was confused and a little dazed by it, still, nothing I can do. And then on tuesday, a girl whom I still adore and was once in a show with tells me she is ALSO engaged.

…….huh?

Here is my favorite part. Both her and my best friend haven’t been with the guys or KNOWN them for even a year. Now I shouldn’t judge, love does crazy things and it blinds people and blah blah blah and it could work out for them but….. what is the rush?

Oh! Then another friend drops the word to me that his ex boyfriend is engaged. I don’t REALLY know him at all, but when he told me that on the same day I began banging my head into the keyboard.

My favorite gay man imed me also, he just started seeing someone and right away says….

Gaysian: “AHHH!! I’m SO EXCITED!!!”

Me: “I swear to god, if you are engaged, next time I work I WILL put a pizza cutter to my throat and just have someone do my dirty work, I swear to god gaysian!”

Gaysian: “No, the girls are throwing an ugly Christmas sweater party!”

Oh…. well… yay! lol. Thank god. (P.S hes not even asian but we call him gaysian haha).

What I am trying to get at is… well I don’t know how to put it into words. I am jealous to the max, but then I am not. I in no way shape or form, by all means, want to get married right now. But, with everyone getting engaged they are making me feel like that sad, pathetic old lady in the 1900s who has never been married and everyone just avoids for that reason. I feel like suddenly I am behind in life, and I SHOULDN’T have to feel like that at 19!!! But I do…..

I work two/three days a week as a small time waitress. I don’t go to school, I don’t have my own car, I don’t have my own place, my own husband or my own kids. And technically I shouldn’t have that stuff (except maybe a car. And school) but everyone I know has all of it and I am extremely jealous. Suddenly I am looking at rings at the mall jewelry store wondering when it will happen for me. The last few times I have walked to work its left me with a long time to stare at the passing houses on the lake and wonder if I will have a home on a lake, with a swing set in the backyard and a screened in patio where I will hold bbqs in the summer with family and friends.

I have so much life to live and I shouldn’t be thinking like this, I wish people would stop making me feel like I need to rush my life. I wish I didn’t feel this way. We’re young and we should be having fun. Underage drinking, driving with the windows down to crappy music, drinking our energy drinks and eating candy because we have high metabolisms right now. We should be going to the clubs or having bonfires and flirting and spending our money on pointless crap. But apparently everyone is in such a hurry to grow up.

But to be nice, best of luck to ALLLL those engaged 20 year olds.

I been asked many times now, “How did you and your boyfriend meet?”

And everytime, all I can do is smile and state how long of a story it is. Because truly, with my detailed brain and ramblings, it IS a long story. But the details are important, because without each chain of events that happened, we never would have met.

So, I thought I would write about it here, and just send people this link when they want to know. Haha, lazy.

So let me start way back, On June 22nd 2008….

We had our last performance for “Pirates of the great lakes”. I was sad it was over, but out the audience doors walked my friends, and to my surprise, my friend Ryan was with them. Ryan and I had been in the crucible together, and he lived right around the corner from me. I was excited too see them all since only one of my friends had even bothered to come see the show. I thanked them and told them I would text them when I was done cleaning and got to wash up. I felt bad not being able to talk to them about their thoughts on the show.

I went home with my brother, a little dazzed, sad and also relieved at the same time that we were done. It had been exhausting work and I felt especially bad for my brother since he was on stage thru the entire show. I got to work right away with scrubbing my stage makeup off. Pink lipstick stained my cheeks, lips and my eyelids all the way up to the black drawn on eyebrows. Stage foundation is tough enough to scrub off as it is, but I spent awhile with rubbing alcohol and a washcloth and prob lost 2 layers of skin alone.

I had gotten multiple texts from people telling me we were going to go see a movie. I was down, but what movie?

“The Happening.”

……..yuk. I thought the movie looked ridiculously stupid as is and I fought them with their choice but in the end, it ended up being what we saw. I stopped at subway on the way to the theater with my friend Kar and we snuck my turkey 5-dollar footlong into the theater with her purse. Yeah… i’m one of THOSE people. But I was starved.

The movie continued to suck and Lauren and I mostly chose to laugh at the ridiculousness of the plot and acting. And while leaving, we made the decision to continue to mock the movie at Laurens house, and play a brutal, bloody game of spoons. (The game really did turn brutal we had chipped nails, scratches and bite marks everywhere!).

Only a few days before had I cried and complained to one of my friends that I was beyond done with boys. I was done LOOKING. That was my problem I was one of those girls who would meet a guy, and right away think “how would this person be as a boyfriend? Can I date them?” and thus leaving me a string of failed attempts and messes when it came to boys. I vowed to my friend that I would stop looking, concentrate on working and paying my bills, and just let w/e happen happen.

Anyways, back to after our game of spoons, Michael, Collin Lauren and I decided to go to Dennys. It was 1:30 AM but pancakes sounded DELICIOUS! They sounded especially good to our friends who couldn’t go with (hahaha).

We sat at the C.R dennys in the very back booth, being giggly and chatting still about the cuts on our arms from spoons and also how we were going to order pancakes and send pictures of them to our other friends who couldn’t come with us and rub it in. Within minuets of our milkshakes coming to our table, I saw the doors open and in came Ryan, another boy and another girl. We were far away and they sat at the very first table, Ryan on one side, the guy and girl on the other. I could only assume they were dating. I tried waving to get Ryans attention but he didn’t even look, so on the top of my lungs, I yelled Ryans name. Everyone in the store looked but him, and his waitress pointed me out to him.

He stood up and walked to our booth and started talking to Lauren and I. He had a big stupid smile on his face and I right away asked him, “Ryan are you drunk?”

“Noooo…..”

Awkward silence of me starring at him.

“Okay yeah.”

When Ryan is drunk, its very distinct. My friend Becca is the same way. Some people you can’t tell when they are drunk but others are very obvious in a fun way.

He was telling me he was just getting back from the bar when his other guy friend walked up to our table, clearly drunk also. I looked up at him. Cute. Very cute. More then cute my mind actually screamed at me handsome. But I don’t use that word do I? He just had that typical guy look. That look books describe… straight teeth, big smile, square jaw, beautiful eye. Typical guy look.

Ryan pointed to him and introduced us as his friend who is home on leave from Iraq.

Suddenly he wasn’t so good looking to me anymore. I knew those army guys. They all acted the same. Acted cocky, tough, said they could kick everyones ass who walks by them, overly protective and needy and worse of all, they like to take a million pictures of their abs. I could picture his myspace already. PLASTERED in half naked pictueres and beautiful blonde girls commenting on how they were dying to grate cheese on his washboard of a stomach.

I just sorta gave a half ass smile and turned back to my milkshake and choose to talk to Michael and Collin.

Ryan and his friend walked away and we all continued to talk amongst ourselves about school and fourth of July plans while chowing on breakfast items. I realized I still had yet to talk to Ryan about what he thought of my show, so I excused myself from the table and walked to sit next to him. I turned right to him and began ignoring his two other friends. I felt rude but I was dying to know. We were discussing the shows pros and cons, who sucked and who did amazing and while so doing this Ryans friend, his name is Joel, was referring to me as hot. I vaguely remember this part. I remember him saying it once, but according to him, he kept saying it. I sorta turned and glanced at him, thinking he was a drunk mess. Clearly drunk since I still had fadded pink occupying my cheeks and eyelids, no other makeup and my hair was in a ponytail ontop of my head. I was FAR from hot.

I ended up leaving with my friends and chose to Ignore Joel while leaving the table. I said bye, but it was more focused to Ryan and the girl next to Joel (she turned out to be Joels 17 year old sister, their sober cab).

That was all on sunday, and for the next week, my mind didn’t even phase back to that night except for when we talked about the movie and more fourth of July plans. By friday, I was sitting online at 2 AM and watching television when I got a call from Ryan. He invited me over to his house to drink and that his g/f Kari wanted me to come over.

2 AM seemed late to drink, but I thought, why not I have nothing better to do and he does live right around the corner. I hung up, fixed my makeup a tiny bit and ran over to Ryans. I literally ran because the neighborhood was dark and I didn’t want to die.

Arriving in one piece to see Kari and one of her girlfriends, they right away insisted on jagbombs and shoved one in my hand. Okay? Why not? I did a few with them and we walked into the garage where Ryan was setting up a beer pong table. My eyes strayed next to him and I saw Joel was there. I felt weird. He sorta glanced at me and looked away, no smile, no frown, no expression at all. I got annoyed kind of. I thought “omg already he is giving me that ‘whos the ugly chick, i’m to good to party with someone like that’ look.” I got over it. He was a stupid army guy he should be feeling lucky to party at all. Kari and I decided to play against Ryan and Joel in beer pong. Our big problem tho was we didn’t have plastic cups but choose to use glass instead.

…..word of advice, doesn’t work! I felt like I was playing a carnival game trying to win a big stuffed bear! After 15 mins of failed attempts from both sides we gave up. Glass was not going to work. We went inside and decided to play Categories, such a generic game. And being as I was in no way trying to impress anyone there like I usually would be, I decided to act as myself as I usually do with Ryan and Kari. I was tipsy, answering my questions truthfully. We were having so much fun and Joel only sort of began to talk. I was out of beer and glanced around the table to see what others had. Right infront of Joel was a bottle of Jack Daniels. I glanced up at him and he was looking at me, I assumed he read my mind because he asked if I wanted some. I tried saying no but then, I nodded, taking the bottle and having a drink. I expected the worest but it wasn’t that bad.

The rest is sort of a blurr after that. I remember failed attempts of us trying to see who was strongest and could pick one another up. I felt confident I could pick Joel up since he is not much more taller then I, but I couldn’t do it! I was shocked. Usually I could always pick boys up and boys have a hard time picking me up. I was awkward to pick up and heavy I guess. Not very well proportioned. But Joel picked me up with ease. I was drunkenly impressed.

I remember eating spray cheese also. Which makes me gag now writing it since I HATE that stuff, but, for some reason I sprayed it on my arm by accident, licked it off and found it pleasantly tasty.

Anything else that happened is gone from my mind. The next thing after all of that we were standing in the garage talking to Ryans mom for a long time. The sun was coming up, it had to be a warm 6 AM and one by one people went to bed. Ryan and Kari, soon Karis friend and then Ryans mom. I was alone with Joel. I glanced at him, not wanting to be awkward and asked if he wanted to go for a walk. A very drunk, 6 AM walk. He said yes and we started to walk around the neighborhood. To my suprise, he lived in the neighborhood. He lived right by Ryan, exactly parallel to my house, on the next street over.

We walked to Caseys genral store and bought Gatorade, and while he was checking out, I was leaning head into the counter looking at scratch offs. I hadn’t gotten one since my 18th birthday and they looked appealing. But I was broke.

“Hey, you should buy a scratch off!” I said a lot louder then needed. I stood up fast, sorta stumbled back and he caught me. He didn’t seem much like he wanted to, but he tossed 5 bucks on the counter and said, “okay what do you want?”

I was thankful the guy behind the counter I went to high school with because I didn’t have my I.D on me. I was going to buy all one dollar ones, but the lady also behind the counter helped me pick.

“You should get this one.” she said, pointing at a 5 dollar scratch off. A 5 dollar one, but I only have 5 dollars! That means I can only get one! I glanced at Joel quickly, and then back at the lady. “Okay we’ll do that one.”

She tore it off, scanned it and handed it to me. I grabbed a penny from the tray and began to scratch at it with Joel hovering over my shoulders. I didn’t read how it worked I just scratched the whole thing, and pressed it to my face trying to understand whats going on.

“Uhhhh, I think we won?” I lied and handed it to the boy I graduated with. “Can you just scan it for me?”

He laughed at me and took it, running it through the machine and then turning back to look. “You won 100 dollars.”

It took me a second to process that. “100 dollars? No shit?” and then as he took it out of the register and placed it on the counter. I grabbed it handing it to Joel and jumped up and down excited. He seemed really happy to and we left with our Gatorade and 90 more bucks then we came in with.

Anoka High School, where we both went, was directly across the street and we decided to walk the long path there. We continued talking as we had before, we talked about everything. We sat on the grassy hill overlooking the school and parking lot and talked about our experiences there. We didn’t sit long because I started to feel sick and then insisted we go back to Ryans. We walked down the path towords 7th avenue and I linked my arm with his. Not in a flirty way ether, just a friendly way I would with my gays or girls. I mostly did it so I didn’t fall over while walking. The funny thing is as we were getting to 7th avenue, my mom was driving down it and turning right onto the street we were headed to. I waved, but she didn’t even notice me. She was going home from her boyfriends house.

The walk wasn’t long back to Ryans, Joel showed me where he lived, and we went into Ryans house straight into the living room. We found some blankets and layed down still chatting. It had to be 8, 9 in the morning at this point, and I still didn’t see him as a boyfriend type (I woulda thrown myself all over him if that were the case). To me he felt more like a long time friend. I felt like I learned so much about him. The most important thing I had learned was that he hated the army and wasn’t at all like the rest of the boys i met. He didn’t want to go back, he didn’t want to kill people he didn’t want to be in the army anymore. This changed my whole perspective of him.

We layed side by side still talking, and I found a little chest right next to my head. I opened it and pulled the first thing I saw in it out. It was the first curious george book. I opened it, turned to him and began reading it. I read it in different voice, and read it just like a kindergarten teacher would to her class. He laughed at me and smiled and told me I was the biggest dork he ever met. And then we fell asleep.

We woke only a few hours later, me completely turned and scooted away from him and feeling sick to my stomach. The rest of our friends were in the room with us playing wii Mario kart and I ran to the bathroom thinking I was going to puke.

The day proceeded to us all hanging out again all day. We played badmitten, and went bowling at Brunswick. Joel didn’t say a word to me all day. He was acting like he did the night before and I thought maybe he had an interest in karis other friend. Maybe I talked too much? Oh well, I gave up the thought. He was going back to Iraq anyways soon so why should I care?

We drank again that night and did as we did the other night, talked about every thing we could. We were very comftorable talking but only when we were drunk it seemed. The next day we went seperate ways. He had stuff to do and I had to get ready for my call backs. Call backs were a long process I read for one part and spent a long time siting around. Ryan texted me and invited me to go see Wall-E with kari and Joel. Kari and I had just been saying how much we wanted too see that movie, so I said yes, and then I got excited. Was this a date? A double date? I borrowed money from my mom, and decided to meet them at Bostons. When I got there, it was only Joel and Ryan and they were finishing up food and told me we were meeting kari at the theater.

I was getting kind of nervous, wondering if it was a date, and then I decided to try and not think of it that way because he was leaving soon and this would only end in a failed attempt like the last ones did. Ryan and Kari prob just wanted someone there to distract joel. But Joel bought my ticket for me. I panicked. Is this a date?! What do I do!? It’s a kids movie tho!!!! A kids movie that I actually wanted to watch! Do we hold hands? Do we kiss? I ignored it and spent most of my time talking to Kari to avoid awkward first date feelings. I succeeded. And I also loved the movie. We were all going to go to Dennys but Ryan and Kari decided to ditch us. Just Joel and I go to Dennys? I sorta felt like this was a set up, but, I went. Joel offered to buy me food but I declined just the way he offered to give me a chunk of the 100 we won on the scratch off. I said no to that also.

There we were, at Dennys, again. Right where we first met, but we talked this time. I liked talking to him. I felt like I could tell him anything without him judging me. I don’t go to school, he didn’t care. I didn’t have a job at the time, he didn’t seem to mind. I felt myself with him.

I dropped him off at home after Dennys (Since my car had been at Bostons) and he asked me if I wanted to come with him the next day to go get a tattoo. I smiled and told him to call me as soon as he woke up and I would love to go. He did just that, I woke up the next day to him calling me. It was his last day before he had to go back to Iraq and I felt kinda lucky he wanted to hang out with me. We went to Wingnut and I watched them ink him up, and after we went out to eat at Panera. I didn’t want to leave Panera because I assumed he would want to go hang out with others and I would never see him again, but he invited me to his house. I met his family, and we sat in the basement playing N64. I love video games and I kicked his butt in Mario Kart and SuperSmash brothers. We spent the whole day together, and the whole night. By 12 A.M we were laying outside getting chewed up by mosquitos, but I didn’t mind. I just wanted to spend as much time with him as I could. He was leaving at 6 A.M until April. It was weird how much I had really started to like him. I still remember every detail of everything we talked about. The fact that he smelt like subway at one point for a brief second, when hed sing quietly to himself but towords me and it always made me smile. The most important detail was that I told him I liked him a lot, and that he was prob going to think I am a freak, but he told me he really liked me also. He said a few other things but I wont say exactly what it was because it might get back to that person. Another thing that made me happy was when I confronted him about being so quiet.

“You barely said anything to me the night at Ryans and you didn’t talk to me all day saturday until I started drinking and talked to you, I thought you hated me?”

He just looked at me and smiled. He explained to me that hes a really shy person and actually thought I was very beautiful and was too scared to talk to me.

Beautiful? Me? I been called cute, yeah, hot, that also. But never beautiful. Not even past boyfriends ever called me beautiful and even when I wore little makeup and had pink streaks in my hair this very attractive guy was to scared to talk to me because I was beautiful!? That alone completely made me melt. People always say “Find the guy who thinks you’re beautiful even at your ugliest.”

I had to go home because his mom was going to be awake soon to take him to the airport and he had to get back into uniform. He walked me home, and I cried. I tried not to because it seemed silly but I burst into tears and he hugged me in my driveway telling me he would talk to me everyday, and that we could write letters and before I knew it he would be home for good. I nodded, kissed him, and watched him walk away.

I went inside feeling sad and got online right away to check facebook. I was awake and hadn’t been on all day why not? I am very glad I did because he messaged me saying he still had an hour before he left and if I wanted to come say goodbye and see him in his uniform. I was just glad to get to see him one more time since my earlier goodbye felt incomplete.

I put on my running shoes, and quietly snuck out my front door so that my mom wouldn’t ask where I was going at 6 A.M. I ran as fast as I could thru the yards of our neighbors to get to his house and when I saw him looking spiffy in his uniform I jumped into his arms and hugged him.

I had my camera so we took some pictueres, sat around and talked and then I had to say goodbye. I gave him a long hug and kissed him and didn’t want to stop hugging him. I knew it would be the last time I got to hug him for a long long time and I wondered if I would even get to see him when he got home. Would he meet another girl online while in Iraq? Or get back with an ex or just completely start hating me all together? I went back home, layed in bed with grief and spent most of my day between the computer and bed. That was all the morning of July 2nd, and on July 9th we decided to just make it official and date. And we have talked, written and etc everyday since. I worry about him alot but if I knew he wasn’t something worth waiting for, I wouldn’t waste my time. But I know he is something special and I think of him all the time.

It is so weird how all this time, the guy I would end up being crazy for was in plain site of my house. I always wonder if I ever saw him at Anoka. We did grace those halls at the same time long ago, and little did I know of all the times I watched the football games, or heard his name announced over the intercom, or saw his picture in the yearbook that he would be the guy I got along with the best and would be the craziest for.

I know no one understands how I feel, or why things are how they are and I know lots of people are probably sitting there thinking “How can you really like someone that you don’t get to be with everyday?”

But I think this is good because we are able to get to know eachother and learn stuff from eachother and look forward too seeing eachother without the physical stuff getting in the way. I started off getting to know him as a friend. I didn’t meet him and start thinking “boyfriend material”. I was able to act myself, and he has treated me the best out of all relationships. Sometimes when I hear of my friends relationships I think of how lucky I am.

But that was a long story, long blog, but people asked and now maybe people can understand where I am coming from. It is weird how right when you stop trying to look for someone, they stumble right into your lap.

So I realized I can actually SEE how many people view my blog. And to a relief, people look at it! All this time I thought it was only MAYBE 5 people but I often get up to 20 viewers. How sweet…. people actually care!

This blog has no particular reason. I have been busy/lazy lately, and I figuered i’d update WHY I have been busy/lazy.

Lets start with the fact that I ONLY (most of the time) work on weekends. And I work EVERY WEEKEND from 5-11. I am not complaining tho. I love my job more then someone should ever enjoy a job I think. Alot of the times I would prefer to be at work then at home because, lets face it, I don’t have many friends anymore who are around (I got friends they are just all MILES away at college). So this is my time to GET OUT OF THE HOUSE!

Also, my mom drives me NUTS! My sister got lucky by moving out when my mom was still in her “cool mom-party phase”. I am 19, and living with the mom who would rather eat sunflower seeds ALL day long and nap on the couch. And if she ever decides to say anything to me, she usually finds something to complain about. It is usually ether “blah blah blah don’t put shoes near the door!” (She wants me to keep shoes down stairs. No way Jose thats what in front of the door is for!) or it is “omg you are doing the dishes completely wrong!” She is very anal about things being clean and cleaned HER WAY! When I do dishes I have to start with cups and then do plates and bowls and NO PANS are allowed to touch the water until everything else is clean. And then usually she gets mad because I stack them in the strainer wrong. I say…. who cares at least they are getting done.

Anyways, since my sister and friend both had babies within a week of eachother, I been busy wanting to help my sister or talk/help my friend. Talk about MAJOR baby envy.. For about a week I was thanking my lucky stars my boyfriend was all the way in Iraq. But I am WAY over the thought now (not to worry anyone).

When I am at home I mostly confine to my room. I think that is most likely the cause of my serious depression and sudden urge to just run my brothers car off a bridge every time I am in it. But there is NOTHING else to do. I usually sit down here and check my facebook and myspace and e-mail. I bought a dvd player so for the past week I watched the entire series of Sex and the City for the 10th time. And also I have a STACK of books I been reading. Yes, it is true I DO read believe it or not. Most recently I finished reading “Wicked”. I have been reading Tori Spellings book “sTori Telling” but since I own it, I bought it on hiatus to read “Twilight”. My sister is reading it, my mom is so I thought what the hay I will too.

Believe it or not, that book explains my internet disappearance! I often find myself talking online to my boyfriend, and trying to keep asking him “So are you tired?! Are you going to go to bed?! Maybe you should go shower and play games with the boys or go play poker or something!” ….. Don’t get me wrong I CRAZY like my boyfriend… more then someone should like a boyfriend I AM the definition of creeper but….. this damn twilight book as got me to the point where I want everyone to go away so I can read. Tonight at work I found myself cleaning tables, doing the dishes and pretty much throwing food at people faster then possible because I was dying to get home to read.

Right now people are probably thinking… “Hello April twilight is like, three years old now! You are SO out of the loop!”

But my reasoning for not reading it was because I am a die-hard loyal Harry Potter fan. Harry Potter came out when I was 11 and the characters were 11. The last book came out right after I turned 18, and all the characters were 17. I grew up with H.P why on earth would I EVER betray Harry Ron and Hermione for LAME Twilight!?

Well I am sorry to them all but I HAVE! Twilight is actually filling  the H.P void in my heart. Maybe thats why I like it so much? Or is it because its totally written well? And by written well I mean written just like a trashy romance novel for tweens.

Ether way,  I shall stop rambling on because…. I am going to go read and go to bed soon. =]

So if I am M.I.A lately, it is because the intoxicating words of Bella and Edward are preoccupying my mind.

And I would just like to end this blog with a little story Andi and I wrote when she and I were in 10th grade. Just to show you how dumb we are….

By Andrea Jay and SOME by April Gage

Artwork by April Gage (currently not pictuered).

jamal, a black prince from bel air, was deep sea fishing in the caspain sea one day back a long time ago.. it was stormy out that day and lightening struck jamals ship.. jamal had weak knees.. and was in a wheel chair. He desperately tried to steady the boat but the waves were too powerful. Poor prince jamal toppled out of his wheel chair and got knocked into the sea.

Meanwhile, Johndo, the giant squid was looking for dinner. He had to feed his wife and kids.. He was swimming along.. looking for a tasty meal when suddenly a crippled black man fell in the water! It was Jamal!

“YUMMM!!!” said Johndo the giant squid! He quickly grabbed the prince of bel air with his long 300 ft tentacles and began shaking him violently.
Luckily Jamal carried his spear in his back pocket. He whipped it out and began stabbing the tentacles.. The squid lost three tentacles but still had plenty more. Jamal was doomed. He began to scream help.. but nobody could hear his cries. For he was under the water.. and his lungs had no oxygen.

Suddenly king tritan from the little mermaid swam up! he was coming to save Jamal! but the king was too late. Johndo had already eaten the prince of bel air. So King Triton said “fuck this!” and swam home to his daughter ariel where she was having a party under the sea with Sebastian and flounder.

Jamal was greatly missed back in bel air but the town soon found a new black guy to sit on the throne. his name is will smith. you can catch him late at nite on nickelodeon.

the end.

The Style Issue

So I realized my blog is dull of religion, celebs who royally piss me off, and nothing about politics. So, naturally, I am going to shake things up a bit.

My pregnant “bestie” had her baby on 10-09-08 (bitchin birthdate. I was the one to point this out to her =] ). I have known this girl since 8th grade and her family has generously boughten me to Wisconsin Dells every summer and also brought me to Florida before my sophomore year of high school. We always had so much fun and we have the same sense of humor. The first year we spent lots of money trying to get these plastic glasses with the nose and mustache attached to it out of a crane machine. We successfully got them, and then proceeded to wear them while shopping in the downtown area.

We also got hamburger hats and thought they were THE GREATEST things ever!

So anyways, her and I went to the chinease buffet a few weeks ago. As we are leaving, a mom comes in and has with her a…..ohhh… i’d say 16 year old daughter. Now this was the type of girl you envied in high school. She had cute designer clothes, perfect long blonde hair (ya know the kind you spend lots of money trying to achieve but it never works out) and zit free skin. But…. she had something so horrendously weird on her face, we both about died….

Loath and behold SHUTTER SHADES!!!!!

Yes, the girl was wearing THOSE on her face.

After she walked by, Andi and I both looked at eachother, and made our same, traditional “Uhhhh…” noise followed by obnoxious laughter. Don’t worry she didn’t hear, but we got in the car and kept asking “What was that girl wearing?! Were those for real!? Does she realize they don’t block out the sun!? Can she actually see?”

Those now trendy “shutter shades” were made popular by Kanye West in his “Stronger” video. Even tho they are funky and ugly, they are exactly the type of thing Andi and I would find in Wisconsin and buy just to be silly (In Florida we wanted to buy these LED sunglasses that flashed and changed colors, but they were like, 40 bucks).

I am going in to see her and the baby at the hospital and I am bringing a little gift bag. I thought it would be extra fun to find these shutter shades in stores just to throw in with her gifts so I searched for them.

……………

Urban outfitters has them and they are 25 bucks! WHAT!? I can find FULL sunglasses for cheaper then that! Damn you Kanye West for making something so outrageously dumb so expensive!

Hopefully soon they will be in the dollar bin at Target, then we can both get a pair and wear them around the town thinking we are being funny like old times!