“the driver went and he like rode over her art piece.”

So this is, this is, this didn't happen to me. But I remember the other day, we were driving to the hospital for one of my doctor appointments. And it was, you know, like one of those art portfolios? So, this girl is walking with, with one of her art portfolios, and it just randomly started to like rain really heavily. Michigan weather, you know. And it was really windy. And her art portfolio opened, and one of her art like, came, like flew out of the portfolio, and went onto the road. And this was like one of the church schools that's next to the road. And it was a green light, so like the cars had to go. And they didn't - it wasn't - it happened really quickly. So the driver couldn't do anything and so the driver went and he like rode over her art piece. And like we were in like the lane next to it. I was like - I wanted to tell my mom to stop, and I told her but she was like we couldn't, you know, it was it was a green light. And so we drove past and I looked to the side and it was like some sort of beautiful forest I think. And it just had like, muddy tire marks over it . And I felt so bad, but nothing that that has happened to me. Thankfully, knock on wood.

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“…they’re just dozens of snowmen that hadn’t been there the night before”

For at least five or six years, my husband and I lived in an apartment complex in [redacted]. And that's where we like, like we moved there when we didn't have kids and then we had both our kids while we lived there and then from there into this house. But it was actually an awesome apartment complex. It was like these beautiful brick buildings that had been built in the 1930s and it was, you know, they were full of character, you know, wood, floors and all that stuff. And and it was all like green space in between the buildings, you know, most modern apartment complexes there's parking lots and then, maybe like a central little green space. This was just all green space, to the point where someone you had to park too far from your building, but I digress. And then each like horseshoe of buildings, had a courtyard in the middle. But again, all beyond that was just like tons of just open green space and it backed up to a fair grounds, the state fairgrounds. So it's just really a lovely place to be even though was like, close to downtown. I mean, I liked being close to downtown but I'm just saying it was like the best of all worlds, any way it was really diverse to like, it was very reasonably priced. And yet everything from, you know, college students to families to elderly folks. So I miss it. But anyway, While we lived there, I was - I worked retail and I was inventory coordinator. So I often had to go and really early to do like inventory counts and stuff before the store opened. So one time during winter, it was really really snowy tons of snow and I think I had to be at work at 6. So I was probably by leaving at 5:30 in the morning and so it was dark obviously in like usually there was like no one around when I would go out to my car that early and I came out of the back of our building into the courtyard and they're just dozens of snowmen that hadn't been there the night before or the day before. Night before anyway. I mean more than 20, and I had I have some pictures which is what I'm going to try to attach. But what…

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“A tornado just touched down in Gaylord”

Before I got back on the highway to go home, I stopped at this little gift shop thing. Because my mom used to have an Indian River snow globe, but my cat broke it. So I was looking for another snow globe, didn't find it, just started going home. Anyway, so after that I was starting to head home and I got off the highway in Gaylord and when I got off the highway like there was a lot of traffic and I like couldn't exactly figure out what was going on. But I tried to go to Starbucks and the Starbucks was closed. And so I- I was on the phone with my boyfriend at the time, and he was like, "Well, is there a Biggby?" And I was looking, I'm like, "I think that's closed too," but then I got up to an intersection and I saw that the lights weren't working. So I said, "Oh, there must be a power outage." And I made a u-turn, and I like started to go back and there were sirens everywhere, and I thought that like, "Oh, it must be like the cops are getting to the intersections to a direct traffic." So, anyway, I got back on the highway, and my boyfriend had just kind of been, like, I guess, absent-mindedly like scrolling Facebook or like, scrolling the news or something. All of a sudden he goes, "Oh my God!" I'm like "What?" He's like, "A tornado just touched down in Gaylord." So, it turns out that I missed the tornado by like 20 minutes. Like, if I had been in that area, 20 minutes earlier, like I could've been in the middle of the tornado. And it was really serious. It was like an F3 I think. I read there were two fatalities and like 60 some injured. Entire buildings are gone, cars are smashed. It was just, it was unbelievable like, the amount of damage there was. So I was really fortunate that - I think maybe my grandma might have been trying to steer me into the souvenir shop just to keep me away from the tornado. And I know, like some people might not believe that that's true, but I think I do.

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“Now I have no idea what S&P is.”

“What's a news headline that stuck out to this week?” I dunno, I saw something this morning about NBA players. I don't really remember. I dunno, I have, like, a notification from New York Times. It says: “The S&P 500 recovered from the plunge into bear territory. It is down 18% this year amid its longest stretch of weekly losses in twenty-one years.” Now I have no idea what S&P is, so I think – I have my computer open right now, the questions are on it. So I'm just gonna google it. S&P five – what is this? It's a, it’s a stock market index, tracking the performance of 500 large companies. What, so it’s going down? Yeah, it's down 18% this year, oh wow. Oh, yeah, I can see the graph, although it went up today by 0.015%. Yeah, I don't know if that's, like, useful information. But, but yeah.

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“You know, helps me feel less alone. Feels like I have a place to record my thoughts.”

Uh, grateful this week – well, I mentioned at the top, it's the eve of my 2 year anniversary contributing to Michigan Diaries Project. I feel like it's only fitting to say that I'm grateful for Michigan Diaries Project and the team. You know, helps me feel less alone. Feels like I have a place to record my thoughts for my own benefit and, you know, for this potentially linguistic research benefit and potentially historical benefits. It's – and of course, just it’s fun to me to participate in the project. You know, hopefully with the – we don't have to keep going over the COVID news. If it's here, I think we'll go over it. But, you know, fingers crossed we’re getting out of the COVID stuff. But uh, but yeah. Just really appreciate it, Michigan Diaries. I don't have a super clear idea about everything that goes on behind the scenes, but seems like a lot of work, seems like, seems like you enjoy it. And I appreciate you doing what you do.

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“That might be the last dare I ever took”

“Am I a person who gets convinced to do dares?” No. But have I been convinced to do a dare? Yes, and it fills me with great regret to this day. It was so stupid. No one even was – no one was hurt during this dare. So yes, I have been convinced to do a dare. And the first one that came to my mind was when I was in fourth grade, maybe fifth grade, and my mom's boyfriend was in the kitchen with me and my brother and the phone rang. I was a very shy child, and I'm still afraid of the phone to this day, talking on the phone, just – I get so nervous. The phone rang. And for some reason, I have no idea why. I don't know why he said it, I don't know why I agreed to it. But my mom's boyfriend dared me to pick up the telephone and just say in a – like the meanest tone, not yelling, but like louder than normal – to just pick up the phone and say, "What?!" And I think the presumption is it was probably my mom calling home from, from work because she always did right around that time, you know, to check in or to let us know what's going on. So, I picked up the phone in the kitchen believing it was going to be my mom. And so I went through with it and picked up the phone and I go "What?!" And it was my fifth grade teacher and I have no idea why she was calling 'cause I was a good kid and teachers don't usually call home in my house. I just know that I melted with embarrassment. I handed the phone off to my mom's boyfriend. I don't even remember what became of it, but it was the worst. It might have been the last time I ever took a dare, 'cause it was just – I died of embarrassment. And in hindsight I wonder what she thought. I mean, at the time, I wondered what she walked away thinking. But now that I'm a teacher myself, she had to have gone and gossiped to her fellow co-teachers like, "I just called like my sweetest boy, and he answered the phone by just yelling “what” into my ear. He didn't even say hello." She…

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“It ended up being a really nice celebration.”

Well, this was maybe more of a last week kind of thing, but about a year ago, I probably came on here talking about going to a birthday party for a friend's dad who turned a hundred. And that was significant because oh my gosh, you know, this guy was turning a hundred, that's a big deal. It also was the first time I think I really subjected myself to a gathering like that. Like to travel like I did and then to, like, be in a big room full of people. Anyway, I – Mr. [friend’s father’s name] lived for another year. So I went back for his hundred and first birthday party. And it was interesting because in, in some ways it was like a very different right now, everyone's vaccinated and nobody's masking. But my friend [friend’s name], his daughter who's, you know, my close friend, she flew from California to be there. I came in on the train from Michigan to be there, you know, other people were coming from all around and we were talking about it and you know, like, numbers are going up and [friend’s name] was like, "I really wanted to do this, but in some ways this feels like it's maybe even more dangerous than last year and like am I hosting a super spreader event?" And you know, she obviously, she wants to protect her dad, he's one hundred and one, but it ended up being a really nice celebration. And no – just about nobody masked. I obviously masked on the train all the way to well, okay, most of the way not all of the way, I think I took it off for part of the trip. But – ‘cause, you know, it's no longer required, but I just felt like I, you know, I just wanted to stay safe. Like, when you're around a whole bunch of people you don't know. Anyway, I guess I'm, I guess I'm getting off topic, but I actually think COVID-19 continues to permeate nearly everything I talk about. I mean feels like that's the, the new normal. Anyway, the party was really nice. Instead of last time instead of – they, they, like, everybody had their own plate set in front of them because I think then people were still concerned about, you know, like how much you might transmit it…

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“A cool book to, to have, a self-published book about our love story.”

I was gonna go through my diary, my online journal that I write - I write in it every day, it helps with my anxiety. If I put things down and on paper. I was gonna go through it and, and kinda write a book about mine and my husband's love story 'cause it's all in my journal. How we started talking on the telephone. He called me and then later, I mentioned to him that I was moving and I was having a big yard sale and he offered to come help me with my yard sale. And he brought things over for him, for him to sell at the yard sale, you know, kinda making it bigger for me. I thought, you know, you can – as, as I read my journal during certain parts of the, certain parts of the year, it was about a year love story that took place. And you can see the progression in the journal, until we got married and now we're waiting for our leases to be over so that we can finally move in together as husband and wife and, and start living our lives together instead of separately. And we live our lives together now, but he goes home to his house and I stay at my apartment at the end of the day. But I thought that would be cool. A cool book to, to have, a self-published book about our love story. I don't know what I'd call it, but, I met him on Plenty of Fish, POF, about fifteen years ago. And we dated way back then for a little over a year and then he asked me to marry him. And I, I said, yes, and then I couldn't do it. I wasn't, I wasn't ready to, to be married. And so we – I broke it up, off with him. I broke up with him, broke it off with him, however you wanna say it. And then we got back together. We took baby steps, phone call, the garage sale, then he helped me move into my apartment. And we'd go out to dinner. We'd go places and do things. It just progressed. It was pretty awesome. But that's something I've been thinking about doing here as a next big project.

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“Some people actually used welding masks to look at the eclipse.”

This audio contains language that has been redacted in the transcript but not in the audio file. Did you see the eclipse during the middle of the day several years ago? What made you think -- or what did you think about it? Did you get special eclipse glasses to watch it happen? Yeah, the eclipse 20, was that 2016 or 17? Yeah, I definitely remember that. My company actually took the day off of work. Basically. We kind of had a party. We went to a big park in Ann Arbor. It was close to a river and probably was the Huron River. I don't remember a hundred percent, but we did tubing. I think. And of course general barbecue stuff. Like hot dogs, hamburgers, potato chips, potato salad, stuff like that. As I recall. And yeah, the eclipse I remember that being weird. It was a little weird. It honestly made me feel connected to people from the past because, like today, you know, there's a tendency to feel like as modern people we’re so smart with science and everything, but with something like that eclipse happens, like it's just dark in the middle of the day and it's weird as h***. And it's like, it's been a few years. So I don't remember exactly but it was darker than just clouds going by. It's like, whoa, what is happening? Like it was unsettling a little bit. And yeah, I definitely remember the funny, the funny eclipse glasses cuz obviously the sun is very bright. And if you look at it for a long time, you could potentially damage your eyes. So yeah, they were -- I don't remember what was super special about them. I think they were just dark. I don't remember if the polarization of the lenses mattered. The main thing was it just being dark. I'm pretty sure. Kind of like when you're – if you were like welding or something, you wear the face shield and you don't want to look at the super bright light similar. I remember seeing pictures of some people actually used welding masks to, to look at the eclipse. Similar like approach and technology there. But yeah, the eclipse several years ago. Great times.

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