“… 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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