This week I undertook the humbling task of reviewing all of my blog entries.
This blog stretches back to my freshman year of college, so there are a lot of great (and not-so-great) memories archived in these pages.
Here’s a look at how I spent the last decade or so, from Miami to Minneapolis, and then down to Texas.
Things got interesting when I moved to my first ‘adult’ apartment which was an utter shitshow:
- There was that neighbor who kept getting arrested, drunk people sleeping in the stairwell, and drunk people hanging outside of the building.
- There was a shooting in front of my building, and another shooting in the downstairs apartment.
- We also had a rotting body in the building, in the middle of the summer.
- My dog even joined a police raid at one point.
I eventually became the caretaker of the building, and things got even stranger.
- There were filthy tenants, and even a rodent den (plus mice everywhere in general.)
- There was also a frightening paranoid schizophrenic tenant who stopped taking his medications and would knock on my door in the middle of the night insisting that spies were breaking into his apartment.
We had a lot of snow, including an ice storm that made for an unexpectedly exciting date, a storm that trapped my car, another that trapped Halver’s car, a storm that trapped us at school, plus a legit blizzard.
Classes were fun, the quotes were amazing, plus I spent a lot of time eavesdropping on ridiculous conversations at coffee shops that sometimes got super awkward. (There was also a time when a woman got run over in front of my favorite Dunn Brothers.)
Other random events that happened around this time include:
- The time I was dethroned at work.
- When my bumper sticker made someone’s day.
- My neighbor who wanted to make friends.
- The time I got held hostage at my salon’s parking lot.
- And of course, more snow storms.
Oh, and unexpected igloos!
On that same highway, I had another bizarre incident involving rescuing a mother from heat stroke.
Oh, and more snow.
Life in Minnesota wasn’t all gore and explosions however:
- There were many outings with friends, drag shows, and epic 30-mile bike trips to the office.
- I also spent a ton of time all of the lakes dotting the city — including Lake Calhoun, Lake of the Isles, and Lake Minnetonka.
- In addition to lakes, there were many treks to the many dog parks across the city, like Minnehaha Falls.
- There was a vibrant cafe culture and art scene in Minneapolis from museums to street art.
I got to experience the epicness that is the Minnesota State Fair, including horrifying butter sculptures.
There was also:
- Lots of amazing drag shows, block parties, and pageantry.
- The time the Microsoft store gave me a free laptop.
- An unexpected trip to Dundas, Minnesota.
- Long trips around the Mississippi River.
- Zombie pub crawl.
- A fake date.
- And racism.
Plus Iowa City Pride, which wasn’t as grand but featured Alaska.
St. Paul was eventful:
- There was a lot of exploring — Blair Arcade, Cathedral Hill, and of course, the Cathedral.
- Black hawk helicopters circling my building.
- Strange crime problems, floods, and fog.
- Adopting Gunter and then Hugo.
- Museums and brawls at gay bingo.
- And the fall.
Back in North Texas, I did all of the usual touristy things:
- The Dallas World Aquarium (which is more of a zoo) and the actual zoo.
- Oak Cliff Mardi Gras and a strange hunt for PBR on Cedar Springs.
- The Fort Worth Stockyards (twice) and Lewisville/Denton.
- Historic Swiss Avenue
- The Playboy Statue in the Design District plus the graffiti in the Trinity River flood plain.
- White Rock Lake and the Great Trinity Forest.
Austin, Minnesota, a new job
We also saw snow, but nothing on the Minnesota scale.
Events upon events in Dallas
- All of the pageants: Dallas FFI, Round-up turnabout, National Showman.
- The Texas Gay Rodeo.
- So many gayborhood pool parties, and cocktails.
- The ridiculous Easter pooch parade.
- Wine walk, gay bingo, sushi brunch, and the Halloween block party.
- St. Patrick’s Day in Lower Greenville.
- The Stoli Key West Classic (which our bartender Rocky won!)
- The Texas Bear Roundup, where Willam performed on a hoverboard.
Other events that I made it to include:
- Dallas Gay Pride (featuring Erika Jayne)
- Tarrant County Gay Pride (Our last time at Rainbow Lounge, which subsequently burned down.)
- Texas Latino Gay Pride and The State Fair of Texas
- The Tillman’s Launch Party and drag brunch in Fort Worth
Crime, violence, and that damn pitbull
Life in the gayborhood was full of good friends, dogs (with questionable manners), tennis and brunch. But my love affair with the gayborhood started to wane around the time that I moved into my second apartment in ilume.
The gayborhood had a crime wave that involved several attacks. I also experienced the downsides of living in a club district, such as unconscious people in the streets, sidewalks caked in vomit, trash and drug paraphernalia, and constant weekend fights, including two assaults in front of Havana nightclub.
Other noteworthy events around this time include coming across a dead body on the dog walk, a fight downtown, the time the dogs and I got chased by a pitbull (which is hilarious in retrospect), the Pulse shootings in Orlando, and the ambush shootings downtown.
Things fall apart
As neighborhood began to feel more dangerous, things were also going to hell in my apartment building — a wave of ratchet new tenants resulted in constant police raids and most of my friends moving out. There were homeless people living at the pool, trashed hallways, and unsavory people roaming the halls.
The property owners attempted to correct course, but eventually gave up and sold the building.
We eventually left the gayborhood as well and moved to Far North Dallas. The rest of the summer was filled with non-stop studying and long commutes.
Our new suburban digs are only temporary however, because our time in Dallas is coming to a close — more on that tomorrow!