Wednesday, September 26, 2007

It's a rough time going

Well the sales at the store have been lackluster at best. I've been trying to come up with some new ideas about how to generate the traffic I need. I'm also trying to figure out how to finish stocking the store, trying to figure out how to pay bills, and all that fun stuff. IT's been a rough couple of weeks. This week seems like a way to dig myself out of the hole, but more and more keep coming up. I swear this place is a money pit at times! Eh, what place isn't really?

WEll that's all for today, I'm exhausted from working my other job last night and need to get motivated or I'll be falling asleep.

nervous

Well I joined a chubby online dating thing, and I just got my first message. It's from someone that is not that far away, and it's got me thinking. I've gotten messages before but I've always declined because I was sure they didn't know how big I was, or I wasn't ready, or something was wrong with them. But I'm to the point now that I'm tired of waiting, I'm tired of putting it off. Maybe it's time to make sure this is who I am.

So I'm thinking about sending this guy a message, it's time to just do it right? At least meet with the guy get to know him and see what happens. It's not like I'd be meeting him in town in my tiny town where everyone would find out, I'd meet him in the Big town near here where no one watches, and no one cares. Just the thought gets me going, it really gets to me in the pit of my stomach. A feeling of excitment, the thrill, I'm going to have to do it.

I've always thought that I'm not the type of person that would jump into bed with someone else without a relationship, but I'm no longer that sure. I've been so alone for so long, it's coming down to that, just sex. Is that so wrong? I'm battle everyday with myself over what's in my head and what's in my heart. I was raised to believe one thing but my mind and partly my heart believe another thing. There is a balance somewhere, but how do I find it? My religious beliefs have been in such turmoil I'm not sure what to believe or what to think anymore.

Where will I find answers? Who do I believe? No one can answer except for God himself, and I don't see him faxing over the answers, so all I can do is the best I can.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

It's the First Day of the rest of my life

Yes, today is the first day of the rest of my life. Today my bankruptsy was granted and I know am able to start fresh. I no longer have this huge amount of debt hanging over my head and I'm so thrilled. After hearing the news it took everything I had to not break down in relief. I was so happy, it was nice to feel the tears of joy dwelling inside of me rather than the usual tears of frustration. The amount of relief I feel is incredible. I still have a very rough road ahead of me, but I'm up for it. After a good nights sleep I'll be ready to roll. I'm not so sure when I'll get that good nights sleep yet, but sometime it'll happen.

The store is currently seeing some down sales. I'm not sure why, I have some advertising to get done. It seems people have forgotten about me already. I'm still in the process of building an inventory to be proud of, it just takes longer than I thought. Slowly I'm getting there. I have some ideas of how to spark interest in my little store again, but it's going to take some time to get the ideas in place and put them into action.

I do feel dirty for having to go through this process of bankruptsy. The idea of not paying for the things I bought with that credit makes me a little sick, but I guess feeling like that makes me feel better in a way. To know it's still the thing to do as a last resort is a good thing right? Yeah I thought so too. I'm so glad we agree on so much! ; )

A customer today brought me in an article written about Eldor after he passed away. It was put in the local paper, but living in Michigan at the time I never got to see it. It was a well written article and I think I'm going to rewrite in on here to share with everyone sometime this weekend. The article called him the Mayor of the Southside. It was a really neat article. I'm going to have it framed as it has a really nice picture of Eldor and Martha taken back in 1985, a few years before her sudden death. It's really all I have from the previous owners. I was hoping for pictures and articles and ads, but they didn't save anything and hardly took any pictures. So I just have to deal with what I have right? I'm working on posting some photos in my blogs too, but I'm going to have to practice that. I'm still new to the whole blogger experience. I've been bloggin on myspace for sometime and really enjoyed it, so I figured this was a good way to document my life at the store.

Well soon I'll start on writing about some of my customers, there are some good stories about these people and some funny stories about how dumb people can be sometimes. I know I've done some of these things, but some of them are just really out there!!

Thats all for today!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Check out my Slide Show!

The opening process

Well as I stated in the previous post things didn't go quite as planned.

This building in parts are nearly 100 years old, there hasn't been a whole lot of maint. done on the place throughout the years. The owners just never deemed it necessary. As I started to dig further into it the worse it got. The grocery department was where we started. I had a dumpster placed outside one of the back doors and we filled carts with out of date products, old products and products I wasn't going to sell. Well by the time we were done with that we found we didn't have much of a grocery department to speak of. Three aisles of nothing is what we had. The oldest item we found that won our little contest was a package of Pie Crust Sticks by Betty Crocker. While there was no real expiration date there was a coupon on the back with an expiration date of 1980, yeah, our jaws were dropped and I managed to hang onto the package. I'm thinking of putting it into a shadow box to hang on the wall, it will be interesting.

My sister-in-law (God bless her heart) took on my deli as her project. The 12 foot long case, the floor, the walls, the cooler door, and the counter top, and the slicer. She scrubbed from top to bottom for over a week everyday and when she was done it was like a whole new space. Everything was shinny and nearly looked new if it hadn't been for the peeling and bubling linolium. She got the case to look as if it had never been used, with the exception of the rusted metal racks that she couldn't do much about. But it never looked better. We hauled out an old dishwasher they were using as a counter top and storage for towels as it hadn't worked for some time.

The grocery department got a much needed cleaning, it took us three days to get the layers of dust removed as well as removed an entire aisle. There was a very large cooler behind the groceries that no one could ever see, with the removing of one of the aisles it opened it up and showcased the cooler. We also had to put bulbs in six of the lights which really lit the place up. The remaining lights required balast replaced and after much searching we found them at a nice price and replaced several of the ballasts to get the lights to light up again. We cleaned the carpet and had to do some major cleaning and glass replacement on the cooler in that department, but all said and done, with the truck load of stock I purchased it looked like a grocery department again. We purposly left shelves empty with signs "What would you like to see here" It was our clever way of not running out of money for stock while being productive on finding out what customers wanted.

The front room for years had housed ceramic gift items, household appliances, sewing items, kitchenware, and major appliances. We had to sort through all of it and fill boxes of clearance items (some of which I still have) and things to donate, things to keep, and things for ebay. It was a nightmare. By this time we realized we were running out of space quickly. We decided we would baricade the back half of the store and use it for storage at the moment so we could keep moving forward and get the store opened. We set up our hardware clearance department up there. We moved all the hold hardware up to the front room (with 8 new light bulbs mind you) and set it all up and priced it to move.

The hardware was another hair pulling experience. SOOOOO MUCH INVENTORY!!!!!!! It was all brand new, it was just 20 years old. We created a donation pile to donate to organization wanting donations for the first year. The rest we set up as regular stock and the rest clearance. It took a few weeks to get through that, and actually we are in the middle of doing it again.

Both of the front walk-in coolers were required to have floor tile installed to make it mopable (as if smooth concrete can't be mopped). We had to dismantle all shelving and thaw them out to get the concrete up to room temperature and install new floor tile. My friend Scott did all that, he had fun, so I let him do it. He did one hell of a job. The dairy cooler needed to be kilzed (oil based stinky primer) Scott and I did that together and boy did we get high. It's to be used in a well ventilated area, but a cooler is not really ventilated, so we took our chances. It was fun at the end, we were so high we didn't care what was happening. Then we had to reassemble all shelving and place new shelves in the dairy cooler as the other set was not up to par with the health Department.

You're probably asking yourself, what didn't go according to plan? Well the answer was this: The county health department. The conditions of the store were not acceptable anymore with a new owner and I spent many of meetings with the sanitation expert to work out the details of all the aspects of my store. It got heated, it got ugly, but it calmed down and we were able to work together. I think they were just seeing how far they could push me. The deli was approved, the coolers were finally approved, but when it came to the kitchen, we had our battles.

My plans for the kitchen were to rebuild it completely. That meant new walls (because there weren't really any to begin with) and new everything. What was meant to be an easy $1000 project turned quickly into a $3000 project, thanks to the health department. This is where the story takes a turn, but I'll get into the turn after the kitchen.

The original kitchen was a space in the back of the hardware department where several boards were placed up on end between some shelves and tables to create this "wall". There was a walk-in-cooler, a 3 bay sink, a meat saw, and a grinder. The place was filthy and it scared me from first thought. My plan was to remove everything, build the new wall, new floor application, and move the stoves and some new tables back there. Well the new wall was required to have a certain kind of finish, so we had to buy special boards, the water heater and furnace needed to be enclosed, so we had to build new walls and buy more special boards. The plumbing barely worked and we had no hand washing sink. so we had to rip the sink off and replumb the entire thing, as well as add an additional sink special for hand washing. Not to mention the furnace back there had an exhaust tube that ran to the outside wall that was not even there, it had rusted through. Lets not talk about the years of carbon monoxide poisoning that was happening there! So we had to rerun that line, we had to run all new gas lines to the furnace as well as the new stoves (that were moved back there from up front). Once we got that all completed, we used a special finish on the concrete floor to make it mopable, and had to replace the 4 foot wooden door with a 3 foot steel door. New wiring, and had to service the walk-in cooler. When that was all done the health department told me there wasn't suffient light for the space so I had to go out and buy three new fixtures and install those as well. Then I had to buy plastic tubes to cover the bulbs in case of breakage. When it was all said and done the kitchen was beautiful. At this stage in the game, it was the most beautiful room I had ever set eyes on. A COMPLETE transformation. Even the previous owners couldn't believe the amount of work that was done to that space. It was functional and clean. The health department was besides themselves with happiness.

Well with all this going on in the kitchen and the rest of the store (I didn't mention the "hardware hallway" or the office, the house, or the two restrooms in the store) I should mention the lack of help I had. All through the research part of this project everyone said how happy they would be to help out. When it came down to it here was the list: My mother, my father, my brother, my sis-in-law, my friend Scott, my then girlfriend, and my uncle marv. There were a couple of other people that were here for a day or two, but not a constant thing. I can't forget to mention my grandmother, that woman at 79 was here everyday doing whatever she could to help me, I love her to death! All while I was still full filling potato salad orders, serving random customers who wandered in through the papered glass doors, and were oblivious to it being close (hey, money is money, especially when the govermnet doesn't know about it!), and I was still working at the pizza place four nights a week. I was running myself into the grave and the deadline of two weeks slipped further and further away from me.

I made peace after we missed the two week deadline, but I was getting nervous as my first mortgage payment was due at the end of the month, and I wanted an income to pay it with. Well we settled on three weeks, then the health department called. "You can still open next week but you won't be able to serve food. We have to wait one more week before we can release any new licences, it's just bad timing" I was pissed. I distinctly remember the day. I was walking towards the back to try and calm down and I kicked a box of plastic junction boxes across the room. I just kept going, walked out back and just broke down. It seemed everytime I turned around there was something else going wrong, and I had enough. For the first time in my life my father came out after me and talked to me. He talked me back into the building and it was probably one of the most defining moments in our relationship. I thank God everyday for that moment with my father.

Well we took the extra week and finished getting the house together. The last week was a mess with Thanksgiving and the buckeye game. My family forced me to take the day off from cleaning and organizing to go to a party to watch the game. From what I can remember it was a good game, I slept alot. I was just sooo tired!!! I decided that Thanksgiving would be my day to move into the hosue. Previous years we were too busy with Dad's side of the family at noon and Mom's in the evening. But Grandma had passed we no longer spoke to Dad's side of the family so we figured it would be a good time to move.

Everytime I move it seems I've aquired so much more stuff. Year to year at college the trips were bigger and were more of them. When I finally moved to Michigan full time they packed a pull behind u-haul trailor from top to bottom, and I do mean top to bottom. When I moved to a different place in Michigan it took 6 trips in my car, 2 pick-ups and a 10 foot u-haul truck. Then when I moved from Michigan to Ohio we wanted everything in one truck, in one trip. Well I had planned on a 14 foot truck, but due to some bad planning on thier part I ended up with a 21 foot commercial moving truck. It was the biggest I could drive without a CDL. We ended up filling it. Yeah I know, it's sad that a single man has soo much stuff. But we packed all that stuff into a storage unit and now it was time to unpack it. Of course that was the thanksgiving we had a HORRIBLE ice storm. When we gathered in the morning to go get my stuff, it was 5 degrees and the roads were covered in ice. We had four trucks caravaning the 15 minutes out to my storage unit (which happened to be right next to the place where my dad's family was getting together for thanksgiving, it makes me laugh) and took six trips with the trucks and very tetris like packing to get my stuff moved into my house.

I spent the next three days unpacking and setting up my house as well as working on the store, which lucky for me were in the same building! All this led up to my opening date. Finally I opened the store on December 1rst. 2005. My first day was NOT a $12 day like Eldors it was a kind of day I was hoping for. It gave me high hopes, it was good. I had so much fun meeting all these people and hearing the stories and my favorite was listening to the people gasp at the changes. That made my day. My first customer was my mother, I knew it would be, it was 6 in the morning, and she had to have a cup of coffee. She stayed and visited a while before she left for work.

Since that day there have been many ups, many downs, and everything in between. The rest of the story I can break up into true blogs. Employees, customers, stories, neighbors, etc... it's going to be fun. It has now been 21 months and tomorrow I go to my final bankruptsy hearing. I'm hoping they don't take my store away from me, I did this to save the store and save myself. If all goes well Friday will begin a new chapter in Mohring's history, it's called the future. I'm crossing my fingers that it goes well.

I think that's it for this entry. I'm sure there will be some background stories as we go along, so until then!

Monday, September 3, 2007

The story continued

Well it was around late February when I discovered the store was for sale. Lets backtrack a bit shall we......

I grew up in the small town where the store was located, about four or five blocks to be exact, so I was no stranger to the store. My father would bring us up all the time when he had to grab something from the hardware department. Then he would disappear into the house portion to have a beer with Eldor and Norma would tend to us kids who would be oogling over the penny candy counter figuring out how to spend our 50 cents we had gotten from our father. We just had a grand ole time and Norma made the experience that much more fun by joking with us and laughing with us and treating us like real customers, it was always fun.

As we grew up we always would still stop in, but as the store went downhill we spent less and less time in the store. We were growing up and didn't have much use for the store anymore and were always busy.

After high school graduation I went to a semi local university about an hour away, but I was commuting. I just couldn't comit myself to a school so far way yet as I wasn't done living my life as an adult. After 2 years at the local university things went sour and I dropped out of school and went to work in a factory. Nearly two years into the factory and a near death experience (brought on by myself) I decided to move away to school. I moved to Michigan and went to a university there for architecture. I loved architecture, I had so much fun in school and life was going well. Besides the drama of my personal life I could see myself being an architect forever. Durring a few summers I was working part time (like 35 hours a week because I had so much fun) working at the local liquor store/carryout/deli that my cousins owned. I learned alot and I really enjoyed the customers, the job and just had so much fun. But they sold the store and things went down hill rapidly. I took a job with a firm in Michigan while in school and continued to stay there after graduation in 02.

My job at the firm was nice, I loved the work, I loved our clients and it was all homes, it was a dream come true. But then there was the owner. He was a prick and to make a long story short he was abusive (verbally) and a horrible business owner and a horrible person in general. Just to speak about what's happened since is he lost both businesses he owned, his wife and kids left him and he's working in Phoenix now, I hope he burns. But back to our story.

It was late February when I discovered the store was for sale and in a general converstaion with an old friend of mine from home (and now ex. girlfriend) I talked about all the times I talked about owning the store. How my father and I could work on wood working together and sell it there and open a second hand store and just dreamt alot about the store that meant so much to me as a child. I used to dream all the time about buying it and taking over for Eldor, but I always feared something else would happen to the place before I was old enough to do anything about it. That night I went to bed still thinking about it.

The next week or so I was doing some online reasearch about owning a business, just out of curiosity. I mean I was leaving my job soon anyway, what would be the harm right? So I did some research about financing and funding and all that fun stuff. The idea started to grow on me, it really sparked a life inside of me I thought had long died because of the current horrible life I was living. I felt alive and renewed in a new project. The first weekend in March of 05 my parents came to visit me for my Mom's birthday. I loved to have my family visit, I'd take them to thier favorite eateries and favorite shops, it was such a vacation to all of us. I remember being in a clothing store talking to my parents while my sister was trying on some clothes and had made mention of the store, my research for the past week and that I was considering buying the store if I could figure it all out. My mother turned and looked at me and said "you should, that sounds like a great idea!" My father agreed. To me that was the green light.

My parents opinion means soo much to me. I want them to be proud of me, and proud to talk about me to other people. Their opinion is my world. So that night while everyone was watching t.v. at my place I was online typing up ideas, and researching more and my family was helping and really getting into it. We were thinking up names, slogans, items to carry and just everything about the business as a whole.

Within another 2 months I had developed my business plan, had met with the small business administration and taken a class and had found a bank to look at the plan. All this and I hadn't even told my boss of anything about this, knowing that if I had I would have been shown to door before I was ready. My lease wasn't up on my place until July 1rst. so I didn't want to rock the boat. I had secured $35,000 in credit and ready to be used. I talked to the loan officer at the bank and sent them the information they required. He was very excited about the idea.

Well time was an issue so I decided that with the store or without the store I had to leave my job, so I met with my bosses and turned in my two weeks notice. It was like a HUGE weight had been lifted off of my shoulders. I was very happy to have done it. They were both very shocked and upset. They tried to convince me to stay but there was no way I could have stayed there in that hell hole any longer. I had a plan. I was going to my friend's house on the other side of the state the day I was done with work and party up the weekend in celebration and have a great long weekend with her and enjoy my new found freedom. Then after that I was headed home to do more work with the bank, then a week later head back to Michigan and pack up my apartment and move it home. By then I figured the store would be mine and I could start work. That was the plan anyway.

Everything worked well until my sister and I were back in Michigan for a week packing my apartment up (I had a lot of shit) when the bank called. After four weeks of reviewing and stalling they decided they were going to pass on the project. My whole world came crashing down on me. It was over. I got back home devastated with everything I owned in boxes still in my apartment in Michigan and I was devasted in Ohio trying to figure out what to do next. Do I just give up and find another job? Where do I go? What do I do? I was so upset and couldn't think straight.

The next day I went to talk to Elwood and Norma to let them know what was going on and they were crushed. They were so excited about the idea of me taking over the store and continuing a tradition. They suggested that before I give up I should talk to the local bank. They had been customers there since the bank opened thier doors and knew about the business and had a stake in keeping local business. So on thier advice I made an appointment with the commercial lender and brought her my business plan. She seemed hesitant and acted as if I was bothering her, so I left her office very distraught and still searching for work. The next day she called and said the plan looked wonderful and they wanted to be a part of it. I couldn't believe it!!! I was just so shocked! She gave me a list of things that needed to get done on my end and I set off to take care of it.

The lawyer for the estate was dragging his feet on everything and took forever to get anything done. Having been in a hell job for so long I decided I saved enough money I could take some time off of work for awhile, so that's what I did. While I was running around doing things for the deal I took the month of July after I moved my stuff back home and worked with my brother at his house. I slept in most days watched some t.v. and helped him renovate his house. This was all good until money got tight near the end of august so I decided to go back to work temporarily until the deal went through. Fortunatly for me my uncle was just about to open a new pizza place and I was hired on to work there.

I continued to help my brother during the day and help my uncle get his pizza business off the ground during the nights. It was going well and finally in late october we got a closing date. We had it all set up, we'd sign the papers, I'd close the store for two weeks for remodeling and then open back up and start my new life. Well the lawyer screwed something up and they wern't ready for closing. Norma and Elwood had planned on that date of closing and were planning to leave town. What they decided was to close anyway and turn over the keys so I could begin renovating. It's a little unorthodox, but between family it was going to work out just fine.

The next week I took a break from my renovations and went to the bank and closed on the loans. It was November 4th. of 2005 it became mine. We came back and broke open some champagne to celebrate. The plan however was not happening like we originally thought.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Back in the late 1800's a family built a home. The home was on the main road leading through a very small farming town. The town was divided by a river and created nearly two seperate towns. The south side being more rural, and the north side where businesses ended up because of the canal. This family eventually sold thier quaint family home to a man named Eddie Fry sometime in the early 20's. Eddie built on to the house to create his own business, his dream, a saloon. Eddie's saloon was popular but as the years went along it became popular with a crowd most people didn't want, it became the "Den of iniquity" as the story goes. Eventually Eddie grew tired of the bar and closed it down. Eddie sold his bar to a family by the last name of Foebel. The Foebel's saw promise in the old business, as they worked day and night and began to improve on what Eddie had started. The put on a small kitchen addition and opened up Foebel's family restuarant in the late 30's. This is where they served family meals for years and years. In the process of a growing business they became the local teen hang out. They were the soda shop of choice. Seeing a future in this the Foebels put on another addition to the building for a dance floor. This is where business took off and continued to grow. As the Foebel's grew older they lost the ambition to keep up with the place and sold it to Eldor Mohring.

This is where my story really takes off. Eldor was the first cousin to my grandfather. I never really knew the connection while I was growing up five blocks away, I just knew we were related. Our last names were the same so I was sure I wasn't wrong about that. In 1950 Eldor bought the establishment known as Fast Eddie's. They continued to run the teenage hangout until it's ultimate slow down roughly 5 years later. Eldor saw a future, he saw a new direction for the building. He and his wife Martha closed down the hang out and built an apartment for thier family in the dance hall. Doing this allowed him to rent out the house to another couple while they lived in the newly built apartmnet and collected rent money to keep the family afloat while Eldor opened the convenience store.

The convenience store was roughly a mere 500 square feet. The building as a whole at this time was 1000 square feet for the house, 500 square feet for the carryout, and another 700 square feet apartment. I was told the story of his first day in business. His first day of sales was a mere $12. His daughter Norma told me she remembered Eldor coming into the kitchen and putting his head on the table and asked Martha.. "What have I done?" What he did was slow to start but by 1965 he was doing so well he moved his family back into the house and renovated the old apartment to be his new grocery department. He then added on 1500 square feet to the back of the building to house his new dream, his hardware store. When they did this they also created a space filled with glass and doors and opened up a beauty shop to help pay the bills. Mohring's quickly became the Wal-Mart of the time. They sold fresh meats, hardware, clothes, beer, tobacco, and all the household items you could imagine. They had everything in this store. They removed the porch on the house that was on the side of the building and poured concrete for a produce stand.

In the 1970's the business was growing so much he built a room over the place where he sold produce and began selling furniture, appliances and gifts. The business was a hit. 20 years after he purchased the place it was allowing his family to live quite the life. He and his wife Martha were able to travel to Europe often and they never needed anything. Eldor's youngest daughter Norma became a staple in the business, even her future husband Elwood became a part of the business as he began working full time while he was farming. Elwood and Norma were married and they stayed on helping Eldor and Martha with the daily operations of the store. As time went on the little town began booming, more stores were opening and people began to shop elsewhere. Business began to dwindle little by little, it didn't help that Martha and Eldor were growing older and just couldn't keep up as much as they wanted. The large building that had grown to over 7000 square feet began to get the best of them.

In the late 80's Eldor and Martha were involved in a terrible car accident that took Martha's life and left Eldor in critical condition. He was not even aware of his wife's death until nearly a week later. They feared that telling him would kill him in his shape, so he did not even get to be at her funeral. It is my personal believe that Eldor never really recovered from that tragedy. The home and business that they had built together was a constant reminder of her. He began to subconsiouly give up. He couldn't keep up with the trends and no matter how hard he tried people began shopping elsewhere. The thing with a business is you need to have minimum orders to get the suppliers to deliver items to you. As business went down they couldn't reach the minimum orders and therefore couldn't keep the items in stock people had grown a custom to. This was the end. Sales had dwindled in the last five years from 6 figure sales to low 5 figures. Eldor wanted to sell for years but wanted the family to take over the tradition and the kids had thier own lives and careers and were too old to start something new.

Eldor held on, he was 91 when his family decided he could no longer run the business and it wasn't safe for him to be alone. They put him in the home where within 6 months he had passed away. The kids had decided that Elwood and Norma would run the business for 6 months, if it didn't sell as a business they would close and auction off the contents and the real estate and call it quits.

And then I came along.

All I want is a nap.

So my business has been hitting some bumps in the road here lately. It's been dragging me down and my sleeping patterns are all out of wack and it's leaving me very sleepy and irritable, it's just not a good situation. I work somewhere between 90 and 100 hours a week. It's getting old. It's been 18 months and I thought I was seeing a light at the end of the tunnel, but it turns out it was just my eyes. Things just keep falling apart around me and I'm having problems coping. When things go good, something smashes me upside the head without me seeing it coming, when it's going bad it seems the good part is just soooo far away. There are days I just want to give it all up and go back to my old life, or a whole different life. But then I have a good day and realize why I did this to begin with.

I just figured a business like this I should not have so much time to blog on a Saturday, I used to be sooo busy on Saturdays but here lately it has not been so. I have been getting busier during the week, so I guess it balances out, but I was hoping to just continue to grow and so far it seems pretty stangant. I'm thinking I'm going to create a new blog just for this sort of stuff. There haven't even been any cute boys or bulges to stare at today like other days. I just want to curl up and fall asleep. When I was working for someone else 7 hours was enough to keep me going all day, which I'm sure would still be the case, but I haven't been able to sleep that long in nearly 2 years!! I get an average of 4 1/2 hours a night which has really taken it's toll on me. I'm never sure just how long I'll be able to keep this pace up.

A part of me wishes this would all go away, I could move on with my life, go back to work for someone, move away from my hometown and begin my gay life. I feel like I'll never get to live a full gay life when living in a town of bigotry and hatred. But I've put everything I have and everything I am into this place, all my resources, and to watch it go down would just kill me. To see someone else take over and try to make a go of it would really just be a kick in the junk to me.