“At like other arcades, I can just go on that stuff and there’s not even an age thing.”

So I wanted to - there's a museum there too, the Henry Ford Museum and there's this, like, virtual car racing thing and this one lady who probably smokes cuz she kinda sounded like it by her voice and I - my mom - because this one guy let us in for free because we pretended to be in his family because he has like the - like a premium pass or whatever. So he let us in for free, so my mom - but so my mom said we could - I could - she'd give me her credit card, and I could do it since she didn't have to pay to get in because that one nice guy just let us in.  But, so she - so she was like, I went up to the person there who probably smokes and she was like, “How are you?” And I said, “Good.”  And then she was like, “How old are you?” And I said, "11, even though my birthday is in four days. So I'm basically 12,” and she was like, “You have to be 12.” Even though, at like other arcades, I can just go on that stuff and there's not even like an age thing, like even though it's like motorcycles that just like go back and forth. Like that's like scary than this. It was just like a seat with a steering wheel, like an arcade game. So what and I'm basically 12, so that wasn't really fair. And so she was kind of bullying. My mom was like, “Well, she's 12 and -" She was like, “No, she told me she was 11.” And then, my mom secretly thought to herself, “Dang it.” Oh, but - and then she was - my mom said, “Um, but she turns 12 in like four days.”  And she was like, “I can’t - I still can’t let her in.” And then, I was like really mad kind of at her, but when we walked away we both laughed at it.  And also at the museum, we were trying to get tickets for the museum. That's when that one kind guy let us in for free, 'cause like we couldn't find it ticket person. So we were like walking around and we were talking to this one guy who worked at a cash register or something - I don't know, he just works…

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“It sounded like a teenage girl, but they were supposedly a 19 year old boy.”

I've had some friendships where I've held on longer, even when things have not always been looking super great. One of my memories is a college roommate. She was getting catfished. That was before we knew what that was, before the show, but it was somebody she was talking to on Zoom all the time, and I was convinced that she was getting catfished. And I kept telling her, this person's not real. And of course like, you know, every time that she would want to have a Zoom video call, they were not interested. You know, their voice didn't match who they should have been. It sounded like a teenage girl, but they were supposedly a 19 year old boy. And a lot of her friends were starting to really - like, she was getting into fights of people defending this person and we were roommates so I didn't want to fight too much but I stayed, you know, as even keeled as I could. And she was annoyed with me. I think she could sense that I also didn't believe that [name] was [name] and we had a little bit of a tiff, but I kept telling her “I’m gonna love you and be here no matter what. Like if I'm wrong, I welcome it, but if I'm not, I want to be here for you.” And lo behold, [name] fell off a ladder and he was in the hospital and his sister called her, and what do you know? His sister sounded an awfully lot like him, but it's his sister, right? And I think that's when [she] got wise and so I was there. Other friends had been really, you know, condescending about it or “I told you so-y” and I really just felt bad because I could see why you'd want to believe. I mean the conversations they had were really good and they felt really connected, but it was definitely not a boy and it was somebody that just wanted connection and I think [she] understood that too and that it was hard to be angry when somebody was lonely, sought somebody else over the internet and then got so deep into it, but was also so connected emotionally. We both could see why it happened, and I didn't think it was right to shove that in her face, like that individual served a…

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“The whole house smells like grandma bath powder.”

For about a month and a half, we've been aware of some fleas in the house and on the cats. And all of a sudden, that mushroomed at the end of last week, to the point that last Monday, we had to leave the house. We had to cede territory to the fleas. We had to admit defeat. We'd been like putting powder down and spraying and vacuuming like crazy, and we still had not successfully defeated the fleas. And it got so awful that like we were finally using Tyvek suits to get into the house and like my husband would just walk through the house and would come out with like a dozen fleas on him. So just like, completely out of control fleas. It's very stressful to have fleas in the house, so we put down like an absurd amount of diatomaceous earth. Like, it's everywhere. It's everywhere. And like we were using a branded kind that had like a few other things in it too, but it was mostly diatomaceous earth. And one of the things they saw fit to put into it was perfume of some sort. It smells like grandma bath powder. So the whole house smells like grandma bath powder now, and like we had to put this stuff like literally everywhere. So, the house - whole house - smells like grandma bath powder. We're gonna have to - well, at least this will - my husband and I were discussing this, but at least this will get us to finally rent a - like, one of those carpet shampooer steamer things. Which we'd always planned on doing before we moved into the house, seven years ago. And then it didn't happen, and our rent ran out on the place we were living, and we had to like, real fast move out of there and into this house. So we didn't end up ever shampooing the carpet and the guy who was there before us had dogs. They weren't like - they didn't leave messes, that he didn't clean up or anything like that. Like, it was “broom clean” as they say. But we - this will get us to finally shampoo the carpets. Maybe the carpet will look better.

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“… he ran into me so then I just ran into my friend.”

So when me and my friend were walking home from school one day, um, this one guy came up on his bike and he like, he like, almost ran me over. He like - I could feel him, like, push me to the side. He's like "'scuse me!" And he said "'scuse me" like in that voice and then like me and my friend were just, like, dying about it because I ran into my friend and then - because he ran into me so then I just ran into my friend.

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“The second hit was getting a phone call that night…”

I can say one of the biggest breaches I've had, of trust - I'll try to make the story pretty short, which I know is usually what someone says before they tell a long story. But in seventh grade, I was dating somebody, in 1997. And it was my first real relationship, if you want to call like a middle school relationship a real relationship, and I will. And, I thought things were going pretty great. And the last day of school, I was invited to like this party over at a friend's house at the end of the half day. And it's pretty unusual for me because I didn't usually go to people's houses, I just was not very social like that. And so yeah, me and probably 10 or 12 other classmates went to this friend's house and we watched The Wizard of Oz in the basement with the Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon soundtrack on in the background because 1997 was around the time where people my age heard about this notion that you could play The Dark Side of the Moon with the Wizard of Oz and the lyrics would intertwine with what was happening on screen. But anyway, I watched that, and I sat with my girlfriend. She may have like sat on my lap and we made out. Like that whole, like, middle school thing that tends to happen and I was just having a great day and I went out and I played in the pool with my friend and we - there was a basketball hoop in the pool and we shot hoops together and everything. And, you know, eventually I got a ride home from another parent. And I got grounded because I never told my mom where I was going and since it was so unusual for me to have a social life, she was very worried. But anyway, the first hit was being grounded by my mom, which is the last time I was ever grounded for something. The second hit was getting a phone call that night and finding out that my girlfriend had actually begun dating somebody else before that day, but just didn't have the heart to tell me that she wanted to break up yet. And, as it turns out, the person she had begun dating already was the person I was playing…

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“I said ‘Get in your car. Pack it with your s*** … come live with me’.”

Note: There is language that is excluded in the transcript but not excluded in the audio "Have I ever helped someone who was lost find their way?" I had a best friend from the time I was 20 to the time she died. And she felt stuck at her brother's house. She had a beater car down in Tennessee, and she had PAD in her legs, P A D really bad, her legs were purple, and she was stuck at her brothers. And she would call me and tell me horrible stories about her brother and how he treated her. And I told her to pack her s*** put it in her car and come up to Michigan and live with me. She said "I don't think my car will make it." I said "Get in your car. Pack it with your s***. Bring your cat. And come live with me. Take your car as far as it'll go. And I'll come get you the rest of the way." Her car made it to Michigan. It made a little after that too. But she lived with me. We got her on disability and got her on medical Medicare or Medicaid. Got the PAD taken care of and under control. Got her a job at Pizza Hut where I was working, summertime job. And eventually, she moved into an apartment, and she lived there for two years before she had a heart attack and died.  

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“The need with dogs, their need feels always more to me.”

"Do I like dogs or cats better?" You know, I actually don't technically prefer one over the other. I have both at home. And I like both for their own reasons. Um, my dogs are great in that they are insanely good at, you know, to some extent, at pushing me, at keeping me going when I don't want to. My dogs, I find, are really, really good at that. Because the other -- their need is just so in my face and insistent and we have go O U T S I D E. Which I have to spell because they are behind me and they would go nuts if they heard that word and it is thunderstorming. We're not playing that game. And then cats, you know, I like the whole soft and purring thing and, like the dogs, they're just so, so silly to watch. Which makes a big difference too. But yeah, then the need with dogs, their need feels always more to me. And I like that they can go places with me because it's really hard to do that by myself sometimes.

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“You throw a dart and hope it works.”

"Is there a time you risked everything on just one opportunity? How did it turn out?" So that was kind of like my college, university experience. It's like that was my way of escaping from like my crazy mom and my, you know, poverty and stuff. And so I was like, you know, I've got this one chance, this is - it's like it's hard too when you don't have a lot of eggs. You just have like that one dart you get to throw. And that's what poverty is like, it's it's not like, "Ooh I'm, you know," cuz they always - whenever I read about like - I hate reading stuff about financial planning 'cuz it always assumes like "If you have 400,000 dollars, do you get to spend it all in the house or do you spend half of it on a house and half of it investing, and let's look at that scenario." And it's like um… Yeah, that doesn't apply to a whole lot of people. So, going to college going to university and going through the education route to get a career was my egg in the basket. And I mean, I don't know. It's hard. It's like as the middle class disappears, it's like did I make the right decision, did I not? Um, I got to meet people from all over the world. And you know, I got to meet a roommate from Taiwan and that inspired me to go to Taiwan. And I love traveling and that fulfills me and I got to do like artsy stuff and creative stuff. And you know and it's hard because there are certain jobs that, you know, don't pay well, but you still can't get them unless you have a bachelor's degree. But then there's other jobs that pay really well and all you need is a high school diploma and it's just it's like it's a crapshoot and I hate to say that but that's what the United States has become is just one giant crapshoot of, like, I, you know like, if you come from poverty or issues, it's, you know, throw a dart and hope it works, you know.

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“It sounded like it was coming from across the hall.”
Door to the light in a dark corridor

“It sounded like it was coming from across the hall.”

So I am one of those people that listens to a lot of true crime podcasts and generally I'm not deeply affected by it, at least consciously. Um, but the one time that it does tend to rear its head is if I'm home alone at night, specifically. So, if my partner is gone overnight or just, you know, gone late I tend to be a little bit more vigilant. So there was a night, a couple months ago. My partner was gone overnight and you know, I was really late to bed. Just my kind of schedule was a little bit out of whack and I finally fell asleep. And I was awoken in the middle of the night to a man's voice. And it wasn't, you know, Siri - we have like, a Google Home or whatever. It was not that voice that that, you know, it's a female voice, and then Siri is a female voice. So I knew it wasn't that and it was like - kept, you know, it was just talking and I - it sounded like it was coming from across the hall. So I'm frozen. I'm like, "What is going on?" I'm trying to figure out like, "Is my cell phone, did - is my cell phone in the other room?" Like, "What could possibly be making that noise?" And the room across the hall doesn't have any "smart" anything. So if it wasn't my cell phone like there's nothing else that it would be. So I'm doing this - like, these calculations and I realized I just have to go see what it is. So I crossed the hall and it turns out my - I have a Siamese cat that's borderline morbidly obese, and he has taken up residence on my work computer. And apparently, if you just hold down all the keys for an indefinite amount of time, the computer just starts to yell at you or like, tell you that it is - can't do this anymore. It can't - you know, I think he was like smashing all the buttons into the password area and honestly, the computer might've also been saying it was overheating. I was just so relieved that there was not an intruder that I didn't really wait to hear what was going on. I just picked my cat up and tried to backspace…

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“I heard this scritch, scritch, scritch.”

"Has there ever been a time when something unexpected woke you up very early? What happened?" I lived in Detroit with my family. And my mother-in-law had moved in, so we gave her her - our upstairs bedroom, along with the kids and we moved into the basement. And one time, this - I heard this scritch, scritch, scritch. And I woke up, kinda like in a jolt 'cuz, you know, it was a unexpected noise. And I looked up and we had a drop ceiling. And one of the tiles were moving. And I, I kept watching it and out of that hole poked the biggest spider you ever saw. And it was right above my bed, and I screeched and jumped out of bed. Tried to kill the spider before it fell on me. Didn't get the spider, went to bed the next night wondering what in the heck, you know, this - where the spider was, 'cuz it was as big as my hand. It was one of those hairy wolf spiders and it scared me pretty bad. I never did get that spider.

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