Escape Room


I have been craving space in the worst way. From the outside it looks like I have nothing but space, what with this gigantic, sprawling house and all. But the truth is that none of it is truly mine. It’s all my responsibility but there is no place I can go to have a private conversation or avoid the incessant bickering of my kids.

I’m the dude in the middle

I share a bathroom with three guys and a couple dogs, also dudes. Just this morning I was in there trying to pee and every single person in this family was in the bathroom, including Bartleby and Chief. My bathroom is not large by any means and all I could think at the time was, WHERE ARE THE CATS? WHY AREN’T THEY IN HERE, TOO?

I’ve been fantasizing for a long time about turning the garage into a little studio where I could go and make things out of clay and be able to leave projects covered on the table, maybe leave my tools out, and really spread out. As it stands, when I make things at home (which hasn’t happened since I started working but that has to change) each session would require a full clean-up because it happened in my kitchen.

The kitchen is my domain, it’s the room in the house I feel most comfortable; I can truly flow in there whether it be cooking, cutting fabric for clothing, or hand building pottery. I know where everything is, I could navigate it blindfolded. If you really want to piss me off, get in my way while I’m in the groove.

In some ways it makes sense that it’s where I did my pottery but the multi-purpose nature of the room made it hard to get messy, which sometimes I had no choice but to do. It would be nice to be able to leave it that way while stepping away to make dinner and not have to clean it top-to-bottom only to pull everything out in a couple hours.

So through a series of very fortunate events I find myself able to redo the little garage and turn it into the pottery studio of my dreams. It will have a 10-foot long butcher block counter along one wall, space for my tools, a sink with a clay trap, a couch and a little loft for reading and dozing. I am beyond excited. How cute are my plans?

Fortunately I have a friend who is an architect and she drew real plans for me. Very professional.

I’m putting in a composting toilet that I can also use in my Shasta and a sink that will run into a gray water tank. I’m keeping it simple so I don’t run afoul of the city’s codes (because there’s no law against using your garage as a workshop) and to keep the cost down. I plan on calling it my Escape Room.

But instead of trying to escape from the room, I will escape to the room. And the lock will be on the inside.

I feel like escaping a lot these days. I wish that wasn’t the case, but it is. I can’t say that this process is making things much better. Because in order to build the space I have to empty it. And in order to empty it I have to lock horns with Loony. I know that when it’s done he will be taking guests out to visit it and talk about all the work we did and wasn’t it a great idea we had? It always turns out like that. I just wish he had that perspective right now because it totally sucks to be us.

I have to keep my Pinterest board in mind while slogging through all the junk and marital conflict.

You might not remember when I last emptied the garage out a couple years ago, but it was a really unpleasant experience made excruciating by my little Chihuahua, Chicken, getting run over by a car in the middle of the process and a very dishonorable person taking advantage of my distress to get into the basement and walk off with a thousand of Loony’s records.

It was an almost marriage extinguishing event.

That might be a bit dramatic, but Loony was shattered by the loss of his records and were it not for his supreme easy-goingness, it would still be something he could pull out as leverage against me. But he hasn’t, and for that I am grateful.

But all the work I did to clear the garage has been slowly slipping away as more and more things pile up inside it. What I’ve learned is that if I clear a space, I have to repurpose it quickly lest it become a dumping ground. Hoarders should never be given space.

So I found myself once again going through the garage and sorting through piles of stuff.

Two shop vacs, 4 drills, 2 chainsaws, endless bottles of cleaners, wiper fluid, an entire box of assorted windshield wipers, car wax, so many galvanized steel nails, copper pipe, commercial plumbing supplies, you name it. All useful things, but nothing as useful as some fucking breathing room.

I promised Loony that I would not get rid of stuff this time, that I would find a way to save the things he didn’t want.

But there was a ton of just plain garbage.

Sayonara sucker!

I found in the attic of the garage a collection of super vintage snowboards that I put away for when I feel like putting some shit on eBay because this stuff is collectable as hell.

Really old Burton snowboards that so many people messaged me about when I put them on IG. Y’all can bid on them when they go on eBay motherfuckers.

My favorite find was this three pound candy cane that is probably 30 years old. Or more. Maybe 50 years, because it has to be older than me.

I don’t even know why something like that exists.

It’s hard that Loony isn’t helping me with this but I know better than to involve him. I’ve been through the pain of purging enough times to know that it will be over soon and things will be way better.

I banished him from the garage because it always goes the same way. He picks through some things for about five minutes and then says, “Why are you doing this now? I’m really busy. Why can’t this wait until I have more time?” which is ironic because he is always busy and never has any time, especially for this.

And for his information I’m busy too! I’m doing all the shit I did before and now I have a very demanding job. It’s not like I’m just sitting around looking for a project but I know a good opportunity when I see it so I make time.

I don’t think he has the same presence of mind. He’s a hoarder and getting rid of things causes him acute distress whereas it gives me orgasm-like pleasure.

Maybe even better than an orgasm if I’m to be completely honest

Well, maybe not orgasmic but definitely afterglow. What can I say? We are built differently but both of our realities count. One doesn’t negate the other, even though I think I’m the saner of the two. Just sayin’.

When I informed him that this is happening and there’s no point in arguing with me he said that I keep making our house smaller with these projects.

Smaller?

In his mind, home is where you store your junk you never want to look at again but can’t part with. The way I see it, I am making our home bigger because there’s more space for us to move about. It’s something we will never see eye-to-eye on but for the sake of my sanity, I need to get away from all these people and chaos.

I got the garage cleared, the crawlspace organized, the laundry room purged, and everything reorganized. It was a herculean project and one that I didn’t have time for. I spent days completely filthy and covered in mouse poop and grime. I didn’t bother to change my clothes, just leaving it in a heap next to the bed to put on the next morning because what’s the point of cleaning up in the middle of it?

I would strip off my mouse poop clothes and step in the shower and never want to leave

At least we found some funny stuff.

I’m almost at the end of it and dropping shit off at Goodwill, Resource, and the metal recycler because Loony kept copper pipe and all kinds of metal around.

I got $130 for the copper pipe, which was nice. Not nice was Loony trying to convince me that saving all that pipe was a good thing because $130. Space is priceless. $130 is chump change.

What I really want right now is a vacation. I didn’t take one over Thanksgiving or Christmas and I feel due. Which is why I was really excited to get this text out of the blue.


My sweet Brynn texted me from LA, reminding me that I should come out and visit. I texted Sideboob tout de suite.

Ten minutes later Sideboob and I had tickets to LA, I confirmed that Nadia, AnnMarie and Jordan were available and we got tickets to see Brynn perform in Tarantina.

Tarantino does not do damsel in distress – and neither do we! This show celebrates the very best of Tarantino girlpower. These heroines have slashed, kicked, punched and seduced their way into our hearts and we are here to pay homage to them. Eat your hearts out all ya burlesque bootlickers, b film buffs and movement maniacs!

That’s Brynn in the photo and it’s going to be an amazing show. Especially since I got a text from Nadia that she’s now in the show, too! I hope she gets to wear an eyepatch. She will definitely kick ass.

I am beyond excited to hang out with this wonderful women who also happen to be extremely sexy and powerful. You must remember, I used to walk down the street with a Great Dane, I enjoy the ripple in the energy around me that is caused by showstopping beings.

How fun do you want to guess they are to hang out with? Well it’s that times infinity. Plus boobies galore.

The last time we went to LA we hung out with them and went to a Korean spa. Sideboob and I intend on doing the same. Catch a show, maybe go to Jumbo’s Clown Room or an equivalently weird place, and then recover in elastic waisted shorts and t-shirts while eating Korean food and lounging on heated bamboo floors.

Sometimes I feel like my life is shit, when I’m tired and feeling sorry for myself – and I realize I don’t have the right to feel this way but I’m only human – but then I can not only pull together a getaway like this in minutes, and I can afford to do it. Life’s not so bad.

And I’m good at making friends, I don’t think I will ever be alone unless that’s what I want. Yesterday I messaged a dancer in the PNW who specializes in Russian Exotic and I invited her to come visit. I really didn’t have anything to lose.

She responded immediately that she would love to and I give it a 50% chance of happening. I’ll help her find a studio to teach workshops at, likely humiliate myself in class trying to get my exotic on, and show her the magical fairytaleland that is Boulder.

Dan Savage talks about New Relationship Energy, that zing you get from being around a new person, being your best self. It’s not just sexual. I get NRE from making new friends.

All I ever really want is to bask in the energy of creative types, it helps me tap into my own creativity and it reminds me that my life is interesting, I have something to offer, and I am worthy of new people and experiences. In exchange I provide hospitality and fold people into my way of life, which seems pretty pedestrian to me but I’ve heard is anything but. I know how to care for people in a way they aren’t used to.

Family is something you create

I really miss my pole friends. I travel to see them and not a day goes by that we don’t communicate, but I miss the days of their suitcases stuffed with costumes exploding all over my house, taking them on adventures, sunrise hikes, meals and long talk sessions on the porch, playing in their workshops, and sunbathing on the roof. It was a beautiful family. We had splendid reunions.

I especially miss seeing them perform and sitting rapt in the audience, looking at my friends up there defying gravity and demanding the attention of every single person in the room. It was their superpower and I felt honored to know them off-stage and witness their process.

Needless to say, I’m glad to be going to LA next week and getting some time with a handful them. Sideboob and I need to find time to go to Australia next winter so we can enjoy the summer on Bondi Beach with our favorite ladies.

Not to bag on my Boulder friends, they are the best friends one could hope for. They are weird and funny and talented and they get me. I got this very funny Text Support from Junebug. The girl knows me.

ALSO the other day I went over to MPT’s house to yell about shit and what did I see on her feet but these ….

Those are Costco bunny slippers!

I whipped out my phone to show her MORE PROOF THAT WE WERE SEPARATED AT BIRTH!

This keeps happening, like the time it turned out we had identical ER visit photos. It’s spooky I tell you.

Then I told her about how I’m being harassed by some Chinese seller on Amazon that I bought gel polish from that ruined my nails, so I left an accurate review. The color is lovey but the polish does not come off, destroys nails.

The seller (or more likely some poor schmuck chained to a desk) has been emailing me every 30 minutes, trying to bribe me with gift cards to take my review down. When I refused she threatened me, “I know your phone number.”

The fuck?!

So I told MPT about it and how she should stop ordering shit on Amazon because it’s essentially Craigslist now, and if we stop shopping brick and mortar stores, all that will be left is a bunch of scammers.

I told her how people receive items they didn’t order from Amazon and it’s scammy sellers randomly shipping crap out so they can submit verified purchase reviews.

She didn’t believe me but as I was at Costco buying more bunny slippers for us, she called to tell me that she got mystery package of Korean face wash that neither she nor Redacted ordered!

I tell the truth! She should not put it on her face, it’s probably made with heavy metals and lead.

I’ll leave you with a very strong recommendation to listen to Reply All, one of my favorite podcasts about weird shit on the internet. The content is fascinating but the best part is the rapport between the hosts, they are magic together.

This episode is one of their best. If you like Harry Potter, revenge, and seeing assholes get their just desserts, this one is for you.

Junebug usually takes my advice and listens to things I force on her.

3 thoughts on “Escape Room

  1. I love how you pull off a fun trip to LA in moments. Impressive. What job do you have? I love hanging out with creative people. Speaking of that…just got back from HB hanging out with mom and good friends and their families. We have been friends since we were 12yrs. 🙂 I am super excited for you and your new space. Of course it will be beautiful. You must look at the book “Where Women Create” so many lovely creative spaces.

    • Thanks for the book recommendation! I just looked at the first few pages, it’s awesome. You and I go waaaay back when it comes to making stuff. We’ve always been kindred spirits that way.

      I am a personal assistant for a very cool woman who I’ve known for years but just moved to Boulder. It’s a demanding job but I really enjoy it, and her.

  2. What kind of a personal assistant?You are so organized you would be great at any type of assistance. As far as the book “Where women create” that I bought years ago, Basil was shocked because I bought it full price at a bookstore. I think I have done that twice in our 21 yrs together. It is so full of ideas and different styles of creative spaces. I had to have it! The other book was “Rustic Furniture Workshop” So many great ideas and inspiration. I went down to the beach and got lots of driftwood then made a chair which got destroyed when I had a guy remove a tree.(A lot of it had rotted) I will have to make another one.

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