“if the tipping culture goes away…. I’ll be making so much less a year.”

I saw that Michigan has passed the- I don't know what the phrase is for it, um for tipped workers where we have to get paid now a minimum wage of 12 dollars an hour instead of the whatever it is like $3.75 or whatever. I get $5 an hour and then plus all my tips. And it's kind of I know people are appealing it and bringing it up into higher courts, and it's probably going to go to the Michigan Supreme Court. And I got to be honest, I don't know how I feel about it passing. I think people are doing it because they want to help. Because they think it's really unfair that we're not making real money. But like I have this fear that if it does pass. You know, the tipping culture will go away. Which don't get me wrong, it is stupid, like the whole idea of it is dumb, I understand, but it's my life and I'm accustomed to it now. Yeah, and so if the tipping culture goes away to wait tables for 12 dollars an hour and then you know say maybe you get like five percent or 10% tips on top of it. I'll be making so much less a year. Like there's no way I would stay I will let you know right now. There's no way I would keep waiting tables, you know at 31 years old. If I was making twelve dollars an hour, like right now I make somewhere between I don't know, between $25 and $40 an hour. Which yeah, why would I want to change that? And then I do understand like some people think that like it would make more sense to have more fair salary between front of house and back of the house. But my opinion is take all that extra money that you would give me for the twelve dollars an hour and just give it to back of house. I don't think people that work back of house should be making any less than 20 dollars an hour like that should be the minimum. It's a hard job. And it's hot and it breaks your body, and you work every night and every weekend and every holiday. And most of the time you get no insurance. No benefits. No sick leave, no paid time off. No 401k. But it's a skilled labor job,…

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“And she just had this incredible story and it turns out she’s a hundred and three years old…”

I do have, kind of a fun story. We had at the library this summer a series of book talks which we do every year. So authors come in, talk about their work. And people get to ask questions and have a chance to buy their, buy their books and have them signed, that type of thing. So we had- usually we try and have, Michigan authors or stories that take place in Michigan something that has some sort of a local Michigan connection and one of the books this year was called the Dock Porter, which is about the dock porters on Mackinac Island. And the two guys that wrote it were actually dock porters. I think in the 1970s 80s something like that and they just remember their- just an incredible experience being these dock porters on Mackinac Island, that's where they met each other and have stayed friends, you know since then. So they gave this talk one of them was in person and one of them actually lives in the Philippines. So we zoomed the second author in. And it was a really great talk really interesting, you know, a lot of really good questions from the audience and then this lady who was in the audience started to tell this story and she was very quiet. It was kind of hard to hear and she looked like she was you know quite elderly. And she talked about this story about how her mother was a schoolteacher on Mackinac Island and how they used to live there, and they used to walk across the channel between the you know, they used to walk across well Lake Michigan and to get from the Upper Peninsula to the lower Peninsula and they used to plant, I should- plant- but they used to put trees down to kind of make make a path, so people knew where they were going, so they put these trees in the ice. And she just had this incredible story and it turns out she's a hundred and three years old and really just had some amazing amazing stories about walking across the ice from Mackinac Island to the lower Peninsula and it was such an incredible such an incredible story that I thought that was I thought that was pretty cool.

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“Okay, I’ve revised my answer, I want it to be a Saturday.”

If I was stuck in a time loop, what day would I pick? I always have questions around these prompts. Like how long does the time loose loop last for because that would change my answer. But I think if I just if I didn't know that then it could go on indefinitely. I would probably pick a day that I don't have any set obligations. So like Saturday or Sunday where, in theory, I could do all different kinds of things that day. So it would be a Saturday or Sunday in the summer. Um, I would want everything about my life currently to remain true. So, I have a partner I would want to be with my partner. I wouldn't choose a day in the past before I knew him. And then I think I would just kind of reinvent the day each time. So sometimes maybe it would be really structured and I'd go out to events and things and other times. I would just kind of lounge around. I would- I guess okay- I've revised my answer. I want it to be a Saturday because some things are closed on Sunday. So it's a Saturday which means the library would be open. So if I wanted to read all different kinds of books this loop just went on forever and ever and ever. That would be really nice and I wouldn't have to pay for it. Although I guess my bank account would reset each day. So it doesn't matter. I was gonna say that I might try to gamble but it wouldn't matter again because even if I won it would reset the next day. Yeah. A random Saturday in the summer with my partner. No, nowhere to be. No plans I'm missing.

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“She just crashed right through the surface. My parents and the other parents did everything they could…”

Content Warning: Mentions of drowning and death My best friend, when I was eight years old, we went camping in Oscoda and and we thought where we were was frozen over and spoiler was not frozen over the very surface was frozen but she walked onto the ice and she fell through and we found her three days later. She was dead. She had drowned. That was my first introduction with death. Actually, It's kind of a morbid story, I am sure it's not the light-hearted ones that I think are expected, but to her credit or to my parents' credit. They did not know that we were out there. We were supposed to be on the shore and not go near the water. We were kind of having like a little picnic with another family that we'd met at the campground. and I being overly cautious, then and now, I remember saying "I don't think this is really a great idea." It doesn't you know, my mom said it's not it looks more solid than it is and neither of us were very small children. We were very very stocky overweight to be honest children and she, I don't know what her plan was, I think she thought she could make it like a large slip and slide. Or a slip n' bleed rather. Yeah, she took she just took off running and then kind of made like that diving motion you make on a slip and slide and she just crashed right through the surface. My parents and the other parents did everything they could. They tried to get rope, but she kind of she was flailing a lot. We couldn't get her back to the hole. She was under the ice and she was kind of drifting away from the the hole where my parents couldn't couldn't grab her. They tried to grab her and my father wanted to go in and he couldn't- he couldn't fit through the hole and he was you know punching at the ice trying to make the hole bigger and it just it wasn't making it bigger. You know looking back maybe we could have gotten something to make the hole larger but none of us- I mean, I was eight. My parents were freaking out. Everyone was freaking out. They called the police the police. I don't remember how long…

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“…we bought tickets and went even though we were not done with our semester.”

Have I ever been someplace where it never fully got dark? I have not been some place where there was never a sunset but I've been someplace where the sunset really late. So my sen - I guess it's not really my senior year - my last year of my grad program, I was living on the East Coast pretty close to Boston and a lot of flights out of Boston, especially going to Europe are so much cheaper than they were when I was living in the midwest. So I found myself - and at the time I was also dating someone that lived in Ireland, so I kept an eye on flights for that reason. But it was probably 2015, and at that time there was a - I can't remember the name of the airline, but there was an airline that was advertising for trips to Iceland really really inexpensively. And I think their kind of shtick was that they would do a lot of like layovers in Iceland give people an opportunity to kind of tour around and then you had the option to continue onto other places in Europe if you wanted to. But they also just flew people kind of, you know straight to Iceland as well. So I remember it was my last semester and we were not done we had maybe two weeks left of class, and my friend texted me that she just found flights round trip to Iceland for a hundred and eighty dollars, I think. And so we were like, "Oh my gosh, we have to go!" And so we bought tickets and went even though we were not done with our semester. So we got there and I remember it was really convenient because the sun didn't go down for so long. I think it was bright until like 11pm, maybe even after that. And so we were kind of exploring the country during the day and then trying to stay awake and write papers. We had one big paper that was due while we were there. Thankfully, the person that went with me we were both in the same class. So we kind of had that to commiserate about, but it was really nice to have it'd be so sunny for so long. I definitely as you know, I think most humans do find their energy waning…

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“…uh oh, I didn’t see this question before”

Have I ever had pasties? Uhh uh oh, I didn't see this question before and I - I don't know. Oh my! This is pretty funny. Let me re-read that question. Have I ever had pasties and did I like them? So I googled pasties, which is pretty funny because I get it's either a British baked pastry. And it looks like there's stuff inside of it. Or it's another name for nipple covers, which I think I've heard it used in that realm before. I haven't tried either frankly. But I would be open to giving it a shot. I kind of want to click the Wiki page and see what's going on inside of a, a pasty. Beef skirt, potato, swede, and onion. My main weakness is being a picky eater, one of my main weaknesses I - I just am and I - I wish I wasn't but trying crazy foods is just seems like abnormally difficult for me. Seems like everyone else can try new stuff no problem, and it's all fine. But this - this is a - that's a lot going on there for me and to try it would probably... It takes willpower for me. I think that's the thing, with other people it seems like there's no willpower involved in trying new foods it - its just a thing you either choose or choose not to do. And for me, it's a wall I have to climb to some degree. Not to make it sound dramatic, but sometimes it feels traumatic like like trying a pasty full of beef and potato and onion mashed together would be a big deal for me. But I don't know, catch me on the right day and I guess I'd give it a shot.

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“It just always breaks my heart…”

So I had the opportunity to give a spray bottle of hand sanitizer to a person on the side of the road this afternoon, Michigan Diaries. And it just always breaks my heart to see folks standing on the side of the road, with signs often when you exit the highway. I just don't have it in my power to solve all of those problems for people. Yeah, today fate just kind of lined up. I was cleaning out my storage unit. And I was loaded up, heading back east. And yeah, saw this guy with a sign, "Single father anything helps". Quickly looked around, kind of my dash area under my car radio. Saw I had a spray bottle hand sanitizer that I keep handy for myself. And yeah, dropped my window down, just shouted out, "Hey man, wanna bottle of hand sanitizer?" And he was like, "Yeah, anything helps!" And he ran up to my car and handed it off and he said, "God bless." And yeah, I just don't know where that's gonna take him. Tough road ahead.

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“I was going to work to what was probably the worst shift I’ve ever had.”

Note: Some language has been edited out of the transcript that is not edited out in the audio So like I said the last so my last recording I was going to work to what was probably the worst shift I've ever had. It was just really really stressful so they had me on so when I typically do is one-on-ones, so that's like I sit with literally just one other person and I'm just watching that one other person which is fine. Like I can do one-on-ones just fine. I had a two on one to where I sit and I have to watch two people. And that was stressful only because and this in my opinion was a really bad one-on-one at least to put me on because as a patient safety associate, I can't really like do much other than like watch people I can't really, like touch them and like move them and like I can kind of help them walk and stuff, but I can't like restrain them. I can't so the patient that I was sitting on was trying to leave. Which I would have had a better handle on had I not been at have- having to sit and watch a different patient while he's also trying to leave and it was just a shit show. And I already get anxious as it is sometimes and my heart rate's like f****** pounding in my ears and I'm kind of freaking out and trying not to like have a panic attack. So somebody had to like sit on them for me. And so I sat for somebody else while they watched my people so they can get so there's a tech that could get him back into his bed and stuff like that. But you truly see especially like from my standpoint how people like misconstrue the healthcare like like healthcare services versus like f****** like service the service industry. because it's really grey area sometimes because you want to give people the best carry that you can but sometimes they don't they misconstrue the best care that you they can with waiting on them like hand and foot and it's f****** annoying. Um, because obviously you want people stay to be comfortable, but when you have nurses with f******* seven to one ratio. You can't be waiting on these people hand and foot…

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“here we are having a memorial service and it starts it all going again.”

First he was sick for so long and then he passed away. And we were all just like starting to get used to like get past that that missing, that grief of having somebody gone. And then here we are having a memorial service and it starts it all going again. But it was it was a really nice-er – nice time with like I say service, but it was like a potluck in my mom's backyard. She has like a couple acres and we didn't know how many people were going to come. We were planning for as many as a hundred because of the that's about the size of the church. So well, the church is probably more like 150-200 but you know, some people are not gonna make it so we were planning for a hundred and like 30 or 40 came which was such a relief because it was just gonna be this is the first time that I've been anywhere more crowded than a doctor's office in two and a half years. so like starting with a thing with a hundred people, I was not looking forward to at all and I still would have if I could have gotten away with not going I would have not gone because of you know, worrying about health stuff because as I've mentioned before I am a- Well, I don't know- Well, yeah, I guess I'm still technically a cancer patient. Like hypothetically there's no cancer. They don't think there's any cancer in me anymore. But I guess I'm still taking a pill every day for like five years. So, I guess I'm still in treatment. but yeah, that that makes me more nervous about COVID-y stuff because I had it already but I wasn't a cancer patient when I had it before and so I well now I've got a stupid underlying condition. Or at least if I don't still I don't still have the underlying condition but I guess even people who are recovered cancer patients have increased risk of negative stuff happening even though yeah. so it was a big weekend because the first time I've been around a lot and I was able to you know, it was outside. Otherwise, I wouldn't have gone because 40 people inside a building that's just like That's a big old dollop of nope right there. There's…

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“911 operator: Can you tell me what exactly is in your home? me: A b-b-Bat!”

That's when I heard it. "Wapa wapa wapa weeee" That sound froze my breath. My hair stood on end and my cat flew from my arms. I was squeezing the life out of him. The blanket sailed over my head. When my heart began to beat again, it started in a hyperspeed. It was beating in my throat. I started to shake. I knew I was going to vomit. I was gasping for air. I heard horrible little choking noises coming- I heard these horrible little choking noises and realized they were coming from me. It was so dark under the blanket, but there was danger looking outside the shelter I had thrown around me. I snuck my arm out slowly, slowly, slowly so that no one would see the movement. I felt for my phone. Gingerly I touched it and snatched it back into the hastily made sanctuary with me. I dialed 911 the conversation went something like this: "911 operator, This is 911, What's your emergency?"  me: gasping for air quietly, so no one would hear, trying desperately to give sound to the voice that was squeaking from my mouth. "911 operator: Hello. Is anyone there? Please state your emergency." Me squeaking and hyperventilating: "I'm here. Please, send the police." 911 operator: "State your emergency, please." Me: "There's an intruder in my home. Send a cop to get me out." 911 operator: "You have an intruder in your home ma'am, where are you?" Me still hyperventilating now crying as well: "I'm under the covers on my couch." 911 operator: "You're hiding under the covers on your couch, ma'am? Me hiccupping hyperventilating and crying: "Y-y-yes!" 911 operator: "Why?" me: "So the intruder don't get me." 911 operator: Let's see if I have this right ma'am. You're hiding under the blankets on your couch at 2:10 in the morning. So the intruder in your home won't get you." Me: "Yes, that is exactly-ly right, right. Send someone please." 911 operator: "Does the Intruder have a weapon ma'am?" Me: "Yes.Yes! Big- big teeth." 911 operator: "ma'am, could you please calm down? I'm having a difficult time understanding you- did you say teeth is his weapon?" Me: Yes. Oh my God. Oh my God. Oh my God. Oh my God. Oh my God. Oh my God! 911 operator: I have your information pulled up here ma'am.  Can you tell me what exactly…

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