Sunday, August 31, 2014

I Saw a Leaf The Other Day

I Saw a Leaf The Other Day

Yep A Leaf.

You probably ask: What was so special about it? Was it Fancy? Was it an odd leaf? Was it unique, oddly-colored, or in any way attractive? NOPE Just a leaf. It was in the gutter, yellowed, and no longer beautiful.
















Why would that attract my attention, and why would I feel like Blogging about it?

Well, living in Las Vegas, sometimes it is easy to forget about the simplest of natural things. Vegas is a place where everything is artificial. It is a land in a barren Desert, a land that anything green was placed by man, not by nature. There Are Many trees, shrubs, and plants that do exist so prevalently here. Heck, especially in the most popular areas, tourist areas, and attractive areas.

Palm Trees are EVERYWHERE in Vegas. It would seem at first glance that this is a Tropical Paradise! I remember when I first moved here, how amazed I was at All the Palm Trees. There are so many wonderful varieties, shapes, and types. It actually is amazing, and mesmerizing to gaze upon the millions of Palm Trees everywhere ya go in Vegas.

There also are millions of other trees. There are also thousands of varieties all over Vegas. Yup, they have leaves. So why would seeing a single leaf in a gutter just make me stop, ponder, and study it in awe?
Well, I came to Vegas from Oregon. And before Oregon, I have lived in Washington, California, and Virginia. I have been all over this beautiful Country, But those are the places I have called home. The one thing all those places have in common, is there is abundant nature, trees, and greenery everywhere … Naturally. Trees in those places thrive, and create forests … with no help from humans. In those places, you would never think twice about a leaf in a gutter. In those places, leaves are always all over the place.

That is not how it is in Vegas. But it takes many years of living here to suddenly realize that one leaf you just saw is an abnormality. Every tree growing in Vegas is planted by a Human. Every tree in Vegas takes lots and lots of human care for it to survive, let alone make it to maturity. In fact, most of the landscaping here is done with Very Mature trees, because most trees if planted as young ones would die. It is quite amazing to see a tree the size of a house lifted by crane and planted!  Imagine a fifty-foot tall tree, with a 20-foot wide crate encasing its roots being hoisted. (I have never seen how they arrive here, but it must be by truck … somehow … Or perhaps Aliens?)

The same goes for the palm trees. They are so amazing, and majestic. They are Everywhere here! (Haha, Even the Cell Phone Towers are made to look like palm trees, so they “Blend-in”.) True palm trees give the feeling of Paradise, and are wonderful to be among. But, they are not Natural here. All it takes is to go a few miles in any direction, and you suddenly notice the “end” of where The Artificial ends, and the True Natural begins.

Sure, The Mojave Desert has plenty of what grows naturally … But it is not usually found in the “make-believe” land that is Las Vegas. Go just a few miles outside of Vegas, and you see plenty of shrubs, unique bushes, and assorted growing things. Go along any of the washes/ drainage ditches that trickle thru the valley, and you will see an assortment of greenery, shrubs, and things that attempt to look like trees. You will notice that the stuff growing naturally in this region is low to the ground, has very small leaves, and seems to fit perfectly in this environment. But if you seek Trees, You will be disappointed. The tallest of anything that grows here naturally is seldom above 15-20 feet tall. The Leaves are quite amazing, and wonderful to study. You notice how they are adapted to Thrive in a Desert.  


As you ponder the things that truly grow naturally here, you learn more about how much effort is put into creating a make-believe landscape. Well, Las Vegas is here for The Tourists. The entire economy exists because it caters to Tourists. Apparently the tourists want trees with leaves. Yet I wonder how many of them stop to notice a Single Leaf in The Gutter. 











Whether you see One Lonely Leaf in a Gutter, Or Thousands on a Tree, I Hope You Stop and Notice it.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

An Itsy Bitsy Pink Flamingo Bikini

An Itsy Bitsy Pink Flamingo Bikini
Would you wear a Bikini?
What if it was a Pink Bikini with Flamingos on it?
HELLO! A Gorgeous Pink Bikini with Flamingos printed on it!! 
Is There Still Any Doubt??
What if it was not yours?
What if you were male?


Part of my job is to match lost humans with their found items. I work at a very busy airport, and for a very busy airline. To be exact, I work at Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport. It is not a secret which airline I work for, but since this (wearing a guest’s bikini)is not officially condoned by my employer, I will leave the name of the airline out of this post.  (But if you really are nosey, and really want to know: Here are two hints. All our flights come from Canada to Vegas, and from Vegas to Canada. Also We are The Largest inbound international carrier for Las Vegas.) It totally is public, and not at all a secret that I did this, I just do not choose to place the company name in the blog.

Our motto is “We take our jobs seriously, but not ourselves”, which is why and how the Pink Bikini even happened.

A guest traveled from Vegas to Saskatoon Canada. She left her carryon backpack in the overhead. Somehow the bag was not located until that plane returned to Vegas. It was found in Vegas, so it became our station’s responsibility to find the lost human that belonged to this found bag. It would be too simple if every traveler did what they were taught at age 5 in kindergarten: Put your name on your stuff. Yup, such a simple lesson we all were taught, yet for some reason millions of people seem to think that rule in life does not apply to them … yet, if they leave their items behind, suddenly they wonder why we cannot get it back to them.

Well, even against all odds, with having absolutely nothing labeled, and no way to track a bag that was never checked, We still manage to find the lost humans…

Part of the process we use is to create a file in the computer system which is traceable from anywhere in the world. Now keep in mind, there are thousands of “Black Backpacks” Lost every day. So, how would one go about locating the right one? Well, that is where detailed descriptions, contents, and anything unique come into play. We must take an accurate and detailed inventory of all the items inside to hopefully put something in the file that the person looking for it also would list as unique item in the search.

This lady’s bag had zero information inside. All it contained was clothes, toiletries, and the few essentials she needed for a quick Vegas getaway. It was August, so really she needed very little in the way of clothing. She traveled with the clothes she was wearing, and a few items in her carry on pack. Funny thing about my job: Since I have to open bags regularly, I learn quite a lot about the type of person whose bag it is.  I will leave the rest of that thought to your own imagination. (You likely already have gone there anyhow.)

This bag had the usual: some underwear, some makeup, some hair products and appliances, a pair of shorts, a top, and a bikini. Sure, they all were great items to list, But THE ONE unique thing that likely no other lost pack would have was the bikini. Sure, the leopard print underwear was good, but seriously, ya know how many women travel to Vegas with Leopard Print panties?? (Lots!) As I looked and itemized each item to list inside this pack, Every coworker who happened to come past stopped and admired this bikini. Almost every female held it up to herself, and dreamed of being able to wear such a delightfully fun bikini. Even the guys pondered for a moment. True, Most of the guys probably pondered it for different reasons than I did, but still, it was admired by all who saw it.
Nobody was surprised that I was actually looking at it wishing I could wear it. Everyone knew I would if I had permission. But it was not mine, and dream as I might, I will NEVER treat another’s items as if it was not theirs. SO, the file was created, and dream as many of us might, all the content was sealed up again inside the pack, placed into the lock cabinet, and left to wait for someone to look for it.

Yup. I have a penis, so by limited definition, I am male. I never understood “Guy Code”, or why guys are so afraid to play, have fun, and limit themselves to what is or is not “allowed”. Sadly also most guys, even if they would put on a bikini, would never allow it to be photographed, or shared publicly. For some reason they think this should be a secret. I feel so sorry for those guys. They have no idea how to be free, enjoy an opportunity, and relax. Imagine if guys would take a minute to even ponder why women enjoy their bikinis so much! Imagine if guys truly allowed themselves freedom!

Well, it only took a few hours before I got an email from our central baggage department giving me a phone number of the gal whose bag it was. They stated in the email that the bikini was The One identifying item. I called the guest as soon as I was not buried in arriving flights. She indeed had gone looking for it, and once Saskatoon determined they did not have it, she contacted our central baggage, who asked her for what might be unique inside, and they did a search.

The guest was thrilled when I called her. First she expressed embarrassment for us having to see “all her dirty laundry”. I assured it that was not a worry. I also assured her the bikini made so many people smile, that sometimes it is a joy when people leave their items behind. Relieved, she told me excitedly how many admired her and her bikini while she was in Vegas. Once I told her we would happily send it to her, she told me she would send us a photo of her in that bikini in Vegas. Then she paused, thought about it, and said: “Tell ya what, You loved it so much, how about You take a photo of You wearing it, and send it to me!”  Oh My Gosh! She likely did not realize who she was talking to!! I absolutely loved that idea! I verified again that she really wanted a picture of me in it. She howled with delight at the thought. She said “Absolutely YES!” I told her I totally would. She laughed and said she could not wait to see me in her bikini!

Well, I could not find a suitable location to take photos at work, although I wished I could be allowed to go out with the planes in that bikini and take the photos! (And there was the fact that I needed to shower first.) Normally, I would NEVER take anyone else’s items home, even for a moment. But this was a special situation. She totally had given me permission to use her bikini, and take photos of me in it, so I took the bikini out of her pack, and took it home for the evening. She had already expressed excitement over getting her bikini in time for her weekend plans, so I needed to be sure and take the photos that night, and get her bag shipped off to Canada the next morning. Oh, how I wished I could have had that bikini for more than a night! I had so many fun ideas of where to take photos with it… plus had many friends who also wanted to “model” it! But I knew I was already blessed beyond belief that it presented itself to me as such a wonderful opportunity, so I would cherish them brief moment it was given to me to enjoy.

I also noticed as soon as I removed it from my bag that it totally smelled like suntan lotion. (At work, and mixed with all her other items, it was not noticeable, but in my home, that scent stood out strongly!) Normally perfumes and scents are too strong, even offensive to me, but while this was strong, it was tolerable. I showered after work, and put on her bikini right after my shower. (No I was not about to put it on while sweaty from work… that would be rude to do to her.) As soon as I put it on, I of course took a few phone-selfies inside my apartment. Then I went outside and set up my camera, and put it on timer, so I could get some fun outside shots, with iconic Vegas signs behind me.




















Surprisingly, not one person who saw me even looked twice, stopped to stare, or cared that a tan dude was on the balcony in a Bikini! I was outside for about ten minutes, took dozens of photos, and loved it! Of course I included Just Ducky in the photos! I pondered taking my camera down to the pool, and taking some pool-side, and even swimming photos, but at this point I still was not sure I was ready for that. So I sighed, as I removed that wonderful bikini, tucked it away in my pack again to be shipped off the next morning.

I hardly keep anything like this a secret. In fact, many of my friends requested that they not be sent the photos of this… I agreed, and never sent them the photos. But they saw them anyhow. Yup I posted them on Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, even Google, Tumblr, and Snapchat. Then Google, doing what it does, took the photos and made them even funnier! They created 2 GIF, so I now have two “movies” of the set!








Go Ahead ... Try not to smile and laugh!


Oh MY GOD!!
I Absolutely LOVE These!! 




Plus I joked that the only reason I looked “Hot” in the photos was “The Padding”… Then Google created one that says It was “Enhanced”… and the placement of the “Enhanced” was perfect! … Well-played, Google. Well Played.


Oh, and You wonder about the lady whose bikini it is, and her reaction? Well she did reply to my email, but only a short reply, Stating “Wow! I did not think you would really do it!” Makes me wonder how many people have lied to her. Sad that I told her I would, yet she did not believe it. She has not yet sent me the photos she promised… Maybe she will send me the Bikini as a gift instead? (Hey, a guy can hope, right??) I totally would wear that bikini proudly!



Can Ya Guess What The ONLY words fitting for this Blog to be finished are?
THE END! ~=:-)

Saturday, August 23, 2014

The Last Place I thought I Would...

Would You Sunbathe and Skinny Dip Downtown Las Vegas?
I Guess we all want to know: Would I??
How About some Photos to help understand what Downtown Vegas Really is: This view above would likely make your decision much easier. I mean This Pretty much screams "Naked Time!" 
But What about the one below? (the pool is in the lower right inside the fence.)
Well, I previously would have said “Not Likely”.
Then I likely would have followed it by: “Well, It Depends.”
Depends on What? You might ask? Well, lots of things. For me naked, and natural needs to be comfortable, safe, and in a place I can be totally free, not worry about anything, and just relax. I NEVER get naked for attention, a thrill, or for a challenge. Yes, I know Downtown is Exactly the kind of place those who seem to think naked is a “dare”, “only for sexual/ wild/ drunken/ or when you wish to misbehave” kind of activity. Those kind of people, of course would use Downtown as a reason for a thrill, or a “take a risk” kind of reason to get naked. They Want to be seen, risk “Getting Caught”, get a thrill. None of those apply to me. Not even the sexual part. Yup, you read that right. I do not like sex, do not seek sex, do not have sex. Period. To Me Naked is freedom, peace, nature, and natural. The LAST thing I ever want is someone (or many someones) to look at me, notice me, or pay attention to me simply because I am naked.

So, Why does this subject come up? Well, I am currently living in “One of THOSE Places” (see that blog HERE.) Yup, I moved recently into one of those Weekly Rentals Downtown Vegas. My first opinion was “Nope, cannot ever be naked here, nor did I think I would swim, let alone sunbathe… Boy was I wrong! (And I am Glad, too!)

I NEVER imagined I would swim in a place like this, let alone sunbathe. That is how safe this place really is for me. Why would I have previously NEVER swam here, let alone sunbathe, too? Well, the pool is right next to the street, with no privacy. Also the buildings wrap around two sides of the pool, with every door and window facing the pool. The Only entrance gate to motel is right next to the pool. In short, if you use the pool, you totally are on display. You feel like you are watched by every resident, every passing vehicle, and everyone walking past on the sidewalk, too. The pool is tiny, so even if you swim alone, it feels crowded, add another swimmer, and it would feel like you are squeezed into a bathtub with someone (and NOT in a the cuddle/ snuggle/ fun awkward sort of way ... But in the must share a bath with someone you’ve never met kind of way.)

There are so many things about me that I really never care if people see, watch, or am visible about. But oddly enough, when I lay in the sun, or swim, I would rather not feel like I am “on display”. Yes, I totally know it is silly, and totally know why I feel this way. (Maybe one day I will write those reasons in a blog…) It is just one of those areas I am fully aware of how it makes me feel, and while I have come a long way in what does not bother me, the sunbathing in public view has always been a hurdle for me.  There have been all too many times in my life I just decided to skip swimming, or soaking up my much needed and loved sunshine, because I am not in a totally safe, comfortable environment. I know it is my own biggest struggle. And for the most part, A silly one, too. But it is still real, and it does create a problem that only I can overcome.

Well, I DID sunbathe here, and EVEN Skinny Dipped, Too! I was quite surprised that I even decided I would go swimming, because when I first got my room, I thought I never would, except possibly late at night… But This Past Saturday, the timing was right. I felt I was ready. I mean, really, I had already been seen nekkid by many of my neighbors, I had been seen in that Pink Bikini with Flamingos on it, and had been seen plenty in my short-shorts spandex fun pants. What could possibly keep me from enjoying the pool and sunshine?? Well, I first put on my baggy, and longer swim trunks… Ya know, for more to hide me, right? But then I decided, NOPE! I Gotta be ME! I put on my short-short, (and slightly snug, too!) trunks. I went and started my laundry, while wearing those and a Large, Baggy T-shirt. The Laundry is right next to the pool. There was another resident already sunning on a lounge. She said hi as I went to laundry. (Oh good, not so scary!) Yes, even Me, the bold, outgoing, brave, and confident one can be timid and shy sometimes.

 I took my laundry basket and soap back up to my apartment. Decided I was ready. Now was the time!
So of course I marched confidently out to the pool, and enthusiastically leapt into the water, swam wildly and joyously… Right?

Ummm. No. The Mighty Warrior ready to be brave and be on display for all to admire how confident and strong, and unshakeable He was would take away all the fear! Oh, wait! HAHAHAHAHA umm, no.

I grabbed my towels, and bottle of water, and took the long way to the pool, walking all the way around the outside of the buildings, to have yet to enter the pool-side area. I approached the pool from the third floor. Looking down on it, watching for any sign that I should flee. Then went to the second level, and scouted it all out again. Finally down to the ground level, and cautiously opened the gate. Oh No! The other lady looked at me as I did! ~meemp~! Mighty warrior I am, all shriveled-up, wishing my invisibility cloak would work right now. But I decided I would still enter. But no swimming, no sunbathing! Nobody can look at me that way. I arranged my towels. Then moved the lounge, rearranged the towels again, took off my sandals, put them back on, then took them off again. I had successfully managed to waste maybe a full minute, maybe two. Ugh, I had not even come close to wasting enough time that I could go transfer my clothes to the Dryer. Oh, maybe I’ll look at my phone… That should make the time go by! Would you believe there was not even One new notification! Sigh. I have managed to waste maybe a whole five minutes.
Finally (yeah, finally… like a whole six minutes later…) I took off my hat, my shirt, and went to the pool. Did I just jump-in to disappear into the water where I “could be invisible”? No. I went to the steps, decided to enjoy it, relax, and just feel every bit of the wonderful sensation of that sun, the water, the breeze, the gentle currents in the water, the different layers of temperature, and admire ALL I was feeling! This was wonderful!!

The Water is MAGIC. Something about water that always takes me into THE MOST FREE Place! In the water, I can meditate, escape, let every care in the world float out and be free. When I swim, once I forget all my fears, I AM FREE. Totally Free. I often do not even give it any thought, I just allow myself to float, feel, escape, and find the inner balance I was needing. Often, I will just allow myself to sink. The way my body is made, I cannot totally float, nor can I totally sink. But when I relax, I can be half-way in between … No part of me touching the air above, no part touching the surface below. When I am doing this, I am FREE. This is when I often just remove my shorts. At this point, I KNOW I am safe, nothing can harm me, and I am Completely FREE. Other than Water, there is NOT a single item on this Earth I am touching. I also know when this moment happens, there is not a soul that will object, and very few will even seem to notice.

I mentioned earlier my fears about being “On Display”. Well, it is funny, but when I find my safe-place, and can also get nekkid, I seem to become invisible. People just do not seem to notice, care, or look twice when this happens. I truly believe When I can let-go, and just be, so does the normally judgemental view of those I might be near. But it DOES require the people who might be near to also embrace the spirit that is around. Those who have a welcoming, gentle spirit will never care, notice, or look twice at a person who happens to be naked in that spirit. It only is an issue with those who are not open, welcoming, and have not found the spirit, the openness to love, peace, and comfort. THIS Exactly sums up what was wrong with the roommate situation I just left, and why I Ended up in a Weekly. Amazing as it is that “Those people”, meaning all that happen to live in a Weekly have a more-gentle, open-spirit than the one who asked me to be her roommate. To her Naked was never comfortable, and I NEVER could feel safe, comfortable, or free if I was naked around her. (Even though she claims to be comfortable with naked. To her, Naked is sexual, and if she sees someone naked, she automatically is sexual, so she has no idea how to behave when it is simply naked, not at all sexual, which makes it extremely uncomfortable, unsafe, and unhealthy. Supposedly she is a massage therapist, and supposedly does massages on fully naked people. Yet, she acts like she has never before seen the human body, gawking, uncomfortable, and even asking rude questions when she sees any skin. Sorry, but if someone accepts the human body, and is comfortable with it, nakedness, and skin, they do not act surprised, gawk, stare and ask rude questions like they have never before seen it. A three year old has more tact around naked than this person did.) So the irony of finding Safety in a Weekly motel in downtown Vegas is huge!

I also mentioned the other lady who was at the pool: She already proved to be safe, comfortable, and open to freedom. While I was under water, and had removed my shorts, her friend came to join her at the pool, and they both had sat on the edge, with their feet dangling in the water. When I remove my shorts, I just let them float free. While under water, I totally escape, but still feel every ripple in the water. I knew exactly where the two of them were with their feet in the water. They were just a few feet behind me. (And, No I was not worried, because I already knew I was safe, and they were too!) I came up for a breath of air, and turned to say hi to them. The one who came while I was under and nekkid, smiled, said “Hi Friend”. The one who had said hi earlier just smiled, and said “They floated over there”, indicating where my shorts had drifted to. Neither of them cared.
This Picture is from another pool, another time, But it shows my shorts just floating free :)

 I noticed a guy on the third floor balcony, also leaning on the railing watching and smiling. He was holding a little dog, which appeared to be almost stiff, and like a taxidermied animal. (He later came to the pool and told me the story of why his dog looked like that.) I gave him a smile and a wave. He smiled, and waved back. I swam some laps, still nekkid, and even while I did one of the women got in and swam some. I mentioned it is a tiny pool, so it was not like we were totally in separate areas. We totally were in each others’ bubble, but it was safe and comfortable. I heard my phone alarm going off, meaning it was time to move my laundry. Now my shorts had drifted right next to the other woman’s feet. I swam to her, she handed me my shorts, Grinning, and I put them on before stepping out of the water.

I changed my laundry to The Dryer, and went to Sunbathe while they dried. Sunbathing nekkid is different than swimming nekkid, so I had to keep my shorts on while out of the water. But I totally felt I did not need to hide, so I tucked the legs up, and the waist down so I was covered, but barely. Ahhh… Soak up as much sun as I can! 
find the calm


Another lady I’d met in the building named Renee came by. She smiled, and asked if she could join me. Of Course! She was not interested in chatting at all, but was happy to lay on a lounge next to me absorbing the sun. She promptly fell asleep, smiling and looking like she had just found the safest spot to finally relax. She was not there to sunbathe. I have no idea what her story is, but the two times she has come around, she seems heavily burdened, but finds moments to escape and relax near me. She napped for quite a while.
My clothes finished drying. I went and gathered them, then took my whole laundry pile back to the pool, and went for another swim. Renee was still napping. This time, I did not remove my shorts. She woke while I was swimming. Looked at me, grinned groggily and said, “Not Naked This Time?” I blushed! But she quickly said “No, it is totally OK!” I went to the edge where she was on her lounge. Asked if she enjoyed her nap. The smile on her face told it all. She definitely was in some sort of stressful situation, and found comfort near me, where she could escape life for a brief moment. She told me she had watched me from “somewhere up there”, pointing to the third floor balcony. I asked where she lived. She asked me what time it was. I told her where my phone was. She looked at it, then said she had to go. She left, now again looking worried and stressed. I was glad She found a few moments of peace. From the pool, I could not see which apartment she went into.

I got out and napped in the sun again. I did notice every person who walked by, drove by, came and went from the apartments all looked my way. But nobody stared, nobody made me uncomfortable. Many did a double-take, because they are simply not used to seeing a man wearing as little as possible sunbathing in a “public place”. I stayed at the pool another two hours. The sun was setting, and it was time to go make dinner, get ready for the work week, and back into the normal daily grind. I decided to take one more skinny dip. This time, dropping my shorts on the steps as I entered, instead of under the “cover” of the water. As soon as I did, I heard a giggle from the third floor balcony.


 I knew it was Renee J  I pretended not to notice, and went for my last nekkid swim of the week. When I came up for air, I could see her peering and smiling from above. I gave her a wave. She waved and smiled, then looked over her shoulder to see if anyone had seen her watching. Then she went around the corner again. I swam back to my shorts, climbed out, put them on as I did, and dried off before heading upstairs.


I totally NEVER expected I would live in a Weekly, totally never thought I could or would swim, sunbathe, or skinnydip in a place like this. Interesting how I allowed myself to become imprisoned for the past 8 months, and only once I finally decided to save my own life, did I discover how much I needed to be in this exact place.

Yup. I LIVE in ONE OF THOSE PLACES. I Like it. Good thing! Because as I was writing this I learned how crooked Vegas is, and how they keep people from leaving bad situations. Too bad for them, that I am tougher, and WILL REFUSE to remain in an unhealthy situation. But I also have learned how come so many in Vegas will stay in a Very bad Situation. They would rather suffer, and be miserable, than Risk being homeless, or having to pay exorbitant rent amounts because their safety is not a priority. Sorry, but My Safety is more important than being able to afford to eat at restaurants. I will pay high rent, and eat cheap for the next few months, thank you very much!

What about You? Would You Skinnidip in Downtown Las Vegas?

I Hope You Find Your Safe Place. :)




Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Yup, I Live in One of THOSE places:

Yup, I Live in One of THOSE places:
(AND I LIKE IT!)
We’ve all heard, seen, and noticed THOSE places we thought we would NEVER Live.
The Weekly Motel. The “Flexible-stay” living places. No, I am not referring to the ones that are for the business traveler, or even the family-style. I am talking about the ones in Vegas that are “Cheap”, trashy, and full of people that for one reason or another need someplace to stay that cannot or will not live in a “Regular Apartment”.

We’ve all had our own impression, stereotypes, and beliefs about what sort of people live in these. We tend to believe it is the ones who are on drugs, the tweekers, alcoholics, felons, poor, thugs, trashy, hopeless, mentally-disturbed, unstable, etc etc. It is easy to judge these “places” from a quick glance, a drive-by, or just what we have pre-determined to choose to believe as what or who lives in these places.

These weekly places do not check any background, do not require a lease of any sort, no deposit, or even proof of income, driver license, insurance, or any of the things that would seem to determine “responsible” citizens. They also do not require a credit card, bank account, or any other sort of “financial responsibility”. So, you might ask what it takes to be able to call one of these “Home”? Cash. Simple as that. Pay for your week, give them some basic information (which is never verified), agree to the “rules” of the place (which are minimal) and they give you a key to your new home for the next week.  They even include ALL Utilities. As long as you do not break the rules (too badly anyhow) you get to stay the entire week. What happens at the end of your paid week? You either leave by noon, or pay another week. There is no option for waiting past noon. If you do not pay, you will be removed and cited for trespassing.

They actually give you two keys. One for the locked gate to access the buildings, pool, laundry room, and walkways. One for your new home. Yup, a gated-community. Special, huh? Yeah, not really. As you well-know, a gate or fence is not really to keep anyone out that really wants to get in. It is merely a “suggestion” to keep those out who do not have a key. But with any community, it will have what exists outside the gate and fence also inside the fences. So you plan wisely, and choose a neighborhood that will not be a problem to live in… Umm, Plan?? Sorry, but when choosing to live in a weekly, a “Plan” is not usually what motivates someone to call one of these home.

I think there are many words that would better describe deciding to live in a weekly than “plan”: Chance, circumstance, necessity, survival, desperation, or even faith. Those are all words that describe the reasons many live in a weekly. Plan is usually not one of the reasons. Everyone has a different story. Everyone has different circumstances. But two things every person living in a weekly have in common are: They need a place to call “home”, and they all must pay the same price. No matter who they are, or how they landed there. By the way, they are not cheap. They have various prices, depending on where they are located, how much in-demand they are, and what “extras” are offered. The one I am in is $160 a week. Considering I think $500 for a month is high, imagine how that messes with my mind to pay so much for just a week!

I Never NEVER imagined I would EVER live in one. Ever. I had all those visions in my own mind about what, and who exists inside one of these. Was I wrong about what lives in these? Nope. But I was narrow-minded about what I imagined lived here. Sure a weekly has all that. But you know what else they have? Working people, laborers, job-seekers, business people, families, decent humans, caring, loving, and just plain ole nice people. So what is it about a weekly that makes even those who do not fit the “usual” come live here?  Well, Life. (Or as I learned, Vegas has some screwy Lease-laws, and those laws prevent even people like myself with a perfect rental history, no evictions, no landlord debt, and nothing negative in any of my rental history from getting a new apartment. I will write more about the screwy and twisted ways Vegas manages to both have thousands of vacant apartments, but also have more Weekly rentals than any other city later…)

My reason? Simple: I needed a safe place to live. Yup you read that right. A weekly filled with all I mentioned above is safer than where I was living. I finally had enough of being treated like crap, and living in an unsafe, filthy, unhealthy environment. I would rather risk being homeless, or have to live in “One of those places”, rather than risk going to jail and losing my job. I HAD to get out. So I packed all my worldly possessions in a Uhaul pickem –up-truck, left where I was, and was officially homeless. I gave it all up to God, and trusted in Faith that He would provide my next home. Ya know what? At that exact moment, I felt more peace and calm than I had in the past 8 months. I KNEW I would end up exactly where I needed before I ran out of rental time on the truck.

I had been looking  for a new place to call home, but while mired in the mess I was “stuck in”, I could not focus with a positive outlook on where I needed to call home again. Long story short, and by pure Divine design, I landed Downtown Las Vegas … to be exact, at 13th and E Fremont. Some would dare to say this is one of the scariest, most dangerous neighborhoods in Vegas. They are welcome to their opinion. I know differently.

Of Course this neighborhood has all that one would expect, but dangerous? Nope. It actually is VERY peaceful, safe, and comfortable. People tend to treat others the way they are treated. I treat people with kindness, respect, smile and say hi. They do the same to me. I do not meddle in their business, nor do I care what they do, as long as they are not harming others, they can do as they please.

I absolutely feel comfortable, safe, and “at home” here. In the short time I have been here, I have managed to focus, prioritize, and find some balance. By the end of the first week, I managed to find What I think will be the next place I will call home, feel relaxed, and even find time to go lay by the pool while I did my laundry.

Now, keep in mind, I NEVER imagined I would swim in a place like this, let alone sunbathe. That is how safe this place really is for me. Why would I have previously NEVER swam here, let alone sunbathe, too? Well, the pool is right next to the street, with no privacy. Also the buildings wrap around two sides of the pool, with every door and window facing the pool. The Only entrance gate to motel is right next to the pool. In short, if you use the pool, you totally are on display. You feel like you are watched by every resident, every passing vehicle, and everyone walking past on the sidewalk, too. The pool is tiny, so even if you swim alone, it feels crowded, add another swimmer, and it would feel like you are squeezed into a bathtub with someone (and NOT in a the cuddle/ snuggle/ fun awkward sort of way ... But in the must share a bath with someone you’ve never met kind of way.)

There are so many things about me that I really never care if people see, watch, or am visible about. But oddly enough, when I lay in the sun, or swim, I would rather not feel like I am “on display”. Yes, I totally know it is silly, and totally know why I feel this way. (Maybe one day I will write those reasons in a blog…) It is just one of those areas I am fully aware of how it makes me feel, and while I have come a long way in what does not bother me, the sunbathing in public view has always been a hurdle for me.  There have been all too many times in my life I just decided to skip swimming, or soaking up my much needed and loved sunshine, because I am not in a totally safe, comfortable environment. I know it is my own biggest struggle. And for the most part, A silly one, too. But it is still real, and it does create a problem that only I can overcome.

So, Ya wonder: Did I Sunbathe? Did I Swim? Did I Skinnydip? Well, that is an entire separate blog. (It is almost finished, and I will publish it soon…)

I totally NEVER expected I would live in a Weekly, totally never thought I could or would entertain the thought of swimming, sunbathing, or skinnydipping in a place like this. Interesting how I allowed myself to become imprisoned for the past 8 months, and only once I finally decided to save my own life, did I discover how much I needed to be in this exact place.


Yup. I LIVE in ONE OF THOSE PLACES. I Like it. Good thing! Because as I was writing this I learned how crooked Vegas is, and how they keep people from leaving bad situations. Too bad for them, that I am tougher, and WILL REFUSE to remain in an unhealthy situation. But I also have learned how come so many in Vegas will stay in a Very bad Situation. They would rather suffer, risk their own safety, and be miserable, than Risk being homeless, or having to pay exorbitant rent amounts because their health and safety is not a priority. Sorry, but My Health and Safety are more important than being able to afford to eat at restaurants. I will pay high rent, and eat cheap for the next few months, thank you very much!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Is It A Purple Kinda Day?

Is it A Purple Kinda Day?

Last week, a friend asked why I was wearing my plain denim shorts, instead of the Purple Booty Shorts I love so much. The simple answer: Safety.

Of course, there is not really such a simple answer. I also told her “The Bus is a different world.”
These of course are both true.

But there is so much more than safety, or the bus.
Fear.

Well, I Proudly, and Happily AM Wearing My Purple Booty Shorts Today on the bus! Fear Be Damned! (~Meemp~) I Hope I am as fearless As I think as I march out the door with no place, or no option to hide. (Picture me shriveled-up, hoping my invisibility cloak is working today…)
Fear plays a bigger part in what we choose to do daily than any other factor. Fear of what? You may ask. Good question. That is what we each need to look deeper at.  It is easy to just not be what we need to be, blend-in, and not stand-out. When I make big changes in my life, I tend to retreat a bit (A LOT!, ~Sigh~) from where I was before the changes. I tend to go more into a “Don’t look at me” mode. Which of course is only in my mind. I am different than anyone anywhere all the time. I cannot and do not blend-in, nor do I even for one second seem invisible to any who look my way. As much as I would love to sometimes, nothing about me says “”Blends-in”.



What changes have I made? And Why would I want to Be Invisible for a short-time?

Well, Last week I did something I have never before done. I chose to go live in one of those “Weekly” rental apartments. Technically it is a motel, with long-stay tenants. Yep, One of THOSE places. This decision did not come easy, but it did come easier than the decision to move from where I was. After months of searching, trying to find where I needed to be to find the life again that I had let get pushed aside, it finally hit me. I had left living Downtown Las Vegas one year ago. I realized Downtown was where my heart is, the culture, life, and community are. At least for me. I know Downtown is not for everyone. Once I decided I needed to be Downtown again, the deciding to move was easy. The hard part was while in the bad situation I was still living-in, I could not focus properly on finding where my next new home should be. The place I was leaving was extremely unhealthy, unclean, and a very unsafe environment. So I set a Move-out date, and knew it would be final… Whether I had found a home or not.

~GASP!~ I Really was about to commit to being Homeless again!! Oh MY, What have I just Done??
No worries, I told myself. I’ve been homeless before. Except this time, I was without a vehicle. So I put it in God’s hands. (I occasionally forget, and try to place things in my own control… silly Me!) But I totally gave it all up to Him, and went on Faith. Pure faith. Yup. Got the Uhaul truck, loaded up, and only once I was free from the old place did I begin looking for my next new temporary home.  I knew Vegas has thousands of those weekly rentals. No problem, right? …  

… Well, Long Story Short, This week has been faced will all sorts of new challenges, new  ways of living, and adjustments.
The story of how I actually ended-up in this particular weekly, plus all that happened leading to it is a story in itself, and I will write it another time.

But back to my Purple Shorts.

As I got dressed today, I noticed I HAD indeed re-found my confidence, safety, and began living exactly as I am, without fear. Heck, I even put on a Pink Bikini with Flamingos on it, went outside and took pictures! (Yes, there totally is a story, and blog to come about that!) I had even gone outside nekkid (yes on Fremont and 13th!) and not had a bit of fear. I finally got enough taken care-of , including what I think is my next new home lined-up. For the first time in months, I felt I could relax for a bit. Saturday afternoon, my only day off this week, I decided to relax. While I did my laundry, I also decided to go enjoy the pool. I even allowed myself to sunbathe in a place I never would have before. (Yes the sunbathing is a complete story all in itself also.)

Yup, I was ready to be myself, including wearing my Purple Booty Shorts …To work!
Now, there are “Strict” rules about how an employee is supposed to look upon entering The Airport. 
I, being a responsible employee, of course follow ALL The Rules! ~Cough! ~Ahem!

So, as I exited the bus, and entered The Airport, I proudly put on my badge, and marched right on in. Most of this morning crew had not previously seen me arrive in my Purple Booty Shorts. They were about to. I was ready. Boy is it always funny to watch peoples’ reactions. They should know better by now that there is nothing I will not do if it makes me smile and feel good.  But I always manage to shock a few. They will learn (maybe). The guys are always the funniest. They just do not know what to do with a guy who does not follow “Guy-Code”.

My Morning went great! Kinda funny, though. The entire rest of the day was a blur. Even as I changed back out of my uniform into my Purple for the trek home, I noticed somewhere the day disappeared in a blur. The magic of the Purple was missing. But it did not really hit me until I got a Snapchat from a friend as I drifted to sleep saying she hoped My “Purple Day” was great. Umm… I wish I could say it was great. The morning was. And That is what I will cherish. I also had a few good interactions with some of my favorite coworkers, and I will cherish those. I will continue to find the Magic of The Purple, even if it is in tiny doses.

I hope, no matter what is happening in your world, you remember to always find something to bring even the tiniest doses of Magic. Cherish those moments. 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

"Where Is My Birthday Card?"

"Where is My Birthday Card?"


If I close a door in my life, it will remain shut.
That door remained open far too long, if it is needed to be permanently shut.
It is never sudden.
It is always after exhausting all other options.
Sadly, those who find themselves on the other side seem to think it is sudden.

A recent door-closing was addressed by one left outside now. Her first words: "I can't believe what you did to me."
Followed by: "I was saddened and hurt that you did not have a birthday card waiting for me after I returned from my birthday trip."
This sums up the selfish nature that caused me to remove this person From my life.

I asked her to leave matters where they were, and we could each just move on knowing it did not work for longer than the first three months. October, November and Half of December were great! After that it all went screwy. I left peacefully, hoping she would accept and move-on herself. She decided that was not satisfactory. She blew up my phone after I asked her to leave me alone. I have given her all the reasons we needed to part ways, she seemed to not believe I was really going to leave. Once I did, is when the peace, and healing should be happening. Suddenly this is a surprise to her, and she wants to hear it all over again. All of her desires and attmepts to relive it all again were easily ignored. EXCEPT when she said she was Saddened and Hurt that I never gave her a Birthday Card. REALLY?? Ok, Two thoughts run through my mind... Perhaps she really does not have a clue about treating people badly, and there being consequences, or she is playing games.Possibly even both. Some people love to create and encourage drama. This is whhta makes them feel included somehow. I work very hard to remove drama, squash it and distance myself from it.  Either way, This blog will serve as notice to anyone who I have ever removed from my life. I will allow anyone to do anything they choose in life, UNTIL there is Harm. The Rule is simple: Harm Noone. Ever. Once willful, and purposeful Harming of anyone begins, It Must End.

If someone works especially hard to show me my thoughts, concerns, and needs are of no concern to them, yet seems to think I should be waiting inside the door for her return to give her a birthday card? Nope. 
If I repeatedly try to find a balance in our home, yet every concern is ignored, sorry no birthday card. 
If I say hello when I see you, and you "harumph" at me, sorry no birthday card. 
If I ask that you provide a 'potty mat' in the kitchen for your dogs that are locked-up all day, and you refuse, yet allow pet waste to remain all over the floor, occasionally placing a floor mat on top of it, instead of cleaning it up, sorry no birthday card.
If you 'forget' every Thursday night that it is my scheduled/ allowed time for access to our washing machine, no birthday card for you.
If I scrub and clean the kitchen when I come home so I can actually use it, and you work hard to make it filthier by morning than it was before I even cleaned it, no birthday card for you.
If you insist on poisoning me with the non-stop airconditioning, giving me a lung infection, no birthday card for you. 
If I am forced to eat out, costing me a fortune because you make the kitchen filthy, unhealthy, and un-usable, no card for you.
If you continuously 'forget' to let me know you have a 'client' coming to our home, only to catch me by surprise when I am face to face with a stranger in my home, no card for you. 
I absolutely hate moving/ changing homes. Yes, I am aware of the irony in the fact that at age 46 I have lived in at least 60 homes, maybe more. (I will have to count again.) as a result of hating to move, I will stay-put usually much much longer than I should.

And YOU have the nerve to say "I can't believe you did this to me!"?? Nothing is sudden. Many Mnay months, I tried. Finally, I just geve up, "retreated", and thought I just needed to suffer, and not have a peaceful, healthy home. Then it dawned on me. I Deserve Better. This is My Home, too. For three weeks prior to my moving out, I left three separate notes explaining why I was moving, also withholding rent due to your lack of care about a clean and healthy home, a back patio smeared with pet waste, a kitchen floor so covered in pet waste, I needed to put shoes on just to enter the kitchen, and the smell was nauseating, kitchen sink overflowing with moldy, filthy dishes, food smeared on every surface, and not an inch of clean useable counter anywhere. You wadded-up and threw away the first two notes. (Yet you want to now insist you never saw them.) Maybe you should have not thrown them away where I would see them if you wanted to claim you never saw them. Also amazing that you always found the rent money in the same spot, so nice try. If you had not seen and read the notes, you would have wondered and asked why there was no rent paid for three weeks. I left a third note Saturday night before you left for your trip, explaining I would be gone before you returned. Not only was that note gone Sunday morning, but you had cleared everything off the table along with it. Sunday as I left for work, you said you would likely be gone before I returned. I told you that I would likely be gone before you returned also. You did not reply this time. All your actions showed me you wanted me to leave, but also that you wanted to pretend to be a victim because I left. Sorry, you cannot have it both ways. You Chose. I Left.

The list of why I left is long. You want to pretend you have no idea why. Maybe you truly do not have an idea. This would match your two immediate statements about my leaving: so of course you "can't believe what was done to you" and the priority to your needs is "Where is My Birthday Card?" 
Good luck former Roommate. I hope you find the peace and understanding you need.

I have left a bad situation. I have made it so not only am I moving, but have to move two times in one month. I already have found plenty to surround myself with that is positive, healthy, and uplifting. I decided to put this into a Blog so anyone that might think they are "Suddenly" behind a door I have closed, might see it for what it really is.

The photos in this blog, I do not have proper credits for. Each of these four photos crossed my path as I was in the process of saving my own life. I failed to also research and save the original author of them.



We all will face challenges in our lives. Hopefully each of us learns to better handle, adjust, and move on before those challenges become problems.