Soiled Bedding Nightmare

Hi!  I'm Jake!

I left Austin on February 9th & I don't get back until April 8th.  Long trip!  This is my last super-long road trip.  Sometimes I go away a couple months & all my friends are different.  They have new jokes. They have beards.  They've appeared on TV.  Guys with new jokes & beards are big on TV!

One thing that gets a little tricky when I travel, though, is having nights off.  Any night I am doing a gig, the club or bar or whatever will set me up with a place to stay.  They usually put me in a comedy condo or a hotel.  However, every now & then, when I go on a long trip, I have 3-4 nights where I am off.  That is super-lame.  Instead of getting paid & having a free place to stay, I am not getting paid & I have to pay for a place to stay.  Why be on the road any day that you are losing money?

I had a bunch of days off last week, Sunday through Thursday. I was down in Iowa- where there isn't really a ton of stage time. Fortunately, The Twin Cities, Minneapolis/ St. Paul, was only a few hours out of my way.  I love going up there.  Great scene. Tons of fun comedians.  The gas roundtrip cost me about 70 bucks. I had to find some lodging & some stage time.  This story is all about how a guy who doesn't plan well might not get the best sleep.

My dad always tells me prior planning prevents poor performance.  If I had planned on coming to the Twin Cities even a couple days before actually going there, I could have easily found a couch for the week.  Instead, I stayed at a hodgepodge of places- with mixed results.

If you've been reading my blog the past couple years, you probably know I am on, a great resource for travelers who don't want to get a hotel but do want an adventure.  You search the area for local couchsurfers, check out their profiles, then make a request to stay on their couch. I have couchsurfed with 16 hosts in several cities (Seattle, Dallas, Boston, Tucson, Columbus, Ohio & several more).

The thing is, you have to make a couchsurf request in a timely fashion.  You should give your potential host(s) as much notice as possible. If you ask somebody Sunday if you can crash at their place on Sunday, they might not have time to respond!

At 10am, on Sunday, I started browsing Minneapolis profiles. Usually, I browse several profiles then make 2 to 5 requests.  Since, this was extremely last-minute, I made 10 requests.  Even still, I didn't get any responses on Sunday. I wasn't surprised.  So, I was heading up there with no place to stay.

Fortunately, my buddy/ a really funny comedian Patrick Bauer helped me get a paid set in Coon Rapids, Minnesota.  It wasn't a regular gig, just a 15-minute showcase set. The host/ coordinator for the show, comedian Corey Adam, threw me a few bucks. I sold a couple CDs there too. Between the CD sales & the cash from the show, I had enough money to get on Priceline and find a hotel in Burnsville, Minnesota- 50 minutes away from Coon Rapids.

Thanks, Patrick!  Thanks, Corey!  Thanks, guys who bought my CD! I had a place to stay Sunday night because of all you folks.

I got to my hotel at 1:30 a.m. Check-out was at 11 a.m. However, the hotel let me have a late check-out at noon.  I also stayed in the breakfast area until about 1:30, writing, working on jokes.

So, I had a place to stay Sunday night.  Now, if I could just figure out where I'd stay the rest of the week.  Friday & Saturday night, I had shows in Cedar Falls, Iowa.  I had a place to stay those nights.  Also, a couchsurfer from Cedar Falls got back to me.  She said I could stay down there for the week. However, I was already up in the Twin Cities Sunday night when I got her response.  So, I asked if I could crash with her & her roommates Thursday night.  She said yes.

Cool. All I had to do now was find a place or 2 to stay Monday through Thursday.  Fortunately, Corey told me I could stay at his place.  He told me it was a little messy. No big deal.  I am a little messy too. Monday night, after going to the Corner Bar open mic, I dropped Patrick Bauer off at his place.  It was snowing a bit. Patrick said I could crash at his place.  However, I already had plans to crash at Corey's.  Plus, Patrick's basement is a bit smoky. I didn't really feel like sleeping in smoke.  Corey's kind of messy place sounded fine.

It took me 15 minutes to drive through the snow to Corey's.  His apartment was a disaster area.  As my dad says, it "looked like a bomb went off in here."  Corey and his sister were in there just hanging out.  I told them it looked like an episode of Hoarders, a popular reality TV show.  Corey's sister scoffed "Oh, it's not that bad."  Yes it was!  Stacks of clutter filled the room.

Corey showed me the couch I could sleep on.  It was a love seat.  I am 6 foor 2 inches.  That love seat was probably 4 feet wide.  That's a bad fit.

My dirty love seat bed.

The view from my dirty love seat bed.
He cleared off a dirty ottoman & told me if I slept at an angle & put my feet on the ottoman, I'd be comfortable. Comfortable? Yes.  Clean?  Not quite.

His sister was sleeping just to the left, behind some other crap.

He told me his sister sleeps in the same living room.  However, I couldn't see her from the love seat because there was a stack of clutter in the way.

Corey also told me they had a downstairs bedroom. Cool!  Let's check that out!  We descended into what looked like the Blair Witch's Cleaning Project.  Their basement was filthy.
Piles of grime, pennies, nails, and cigarette butts everywhere.

He took me back to the "bedroom."  Apparently 2 people had lived in that room & moved out since they last vacuumed. The carpet was a dingy, tannish blue.  You could see where the furniture used to be because that part was bright blue.
A dirty basement montage.

Filthy basement pile.

Corey suggested I take a couple of the couch cushions and plop them into this dirty hole of a bedroom.

I will pay you $200 to lick this floor.  That will totally screw up my checking account, but I will give you $200 to lick this floor.

No thanks!  No thanks.  I chose the dirty upstairs love seat instead.  I was already sleeping on 1 dirty thing.  Why sleep on 2 dirty surfaces?

Also, do you see that? He has a copy of The Transporter.  Both he & his floor have bad taste.

Corey ordered a pizza.  Thanks, dude!

After eating pizza, we watched a bunch of bad TV on his broken projection TV.  The TV screen showed the same images in green, red & yellow.  Each of those images was slightly warped.

Eventually, around 2:00 a.m., I had to crash. Corey went to his room to play video games.  I tossed & turned on my dirty love seat bed.

At 5:30 a.m., I woke to Corey yelling loudly.  He had been up all night playing online video games.  He was yelling at a buddy. He had his headset on so he had no idea how loudly he was yelling. I sent him a text message, "Hi Corey."

He came out and asked if he was being too loud.  I said "No big deal." Shoot.  It was his house.  I certainly didn't want to make him feel bad. Corey's a cool dude.  Video games are fun.  I was just super exhausted.

I slept another hour. At 6:30, I woke up.  I couldn't fall back asleep.  I couldn't go another night like this either. I was an exhausted, dirty mess! At 10:00 a.m., I got on Priceline again. I had to go.

I didn't even take a shower in their dirty shower.  I just left.
Here is what a dirty shower
looks like.
Another angle of the dirty

What my face looks like in a dirty shower.

On my Priceline app for my Droid, I made a bid for a $25 hotel.  Priceline added a $9 processing fee.  I got a hotel for Tuesday night.  Priceline doesn't tell you where you are staying until they complete the transaction. It turns out the place I was staying Tuesday night was the same hotel I stayed at in Burnsville. Sweet!  Pillowtop beds here I come!  I called the LivInn Suites where I'd be staying & asked how early I could check in. They said they had a room now.  They said they would normally charge a $25 early check-in fee, but because I was a returning customer, they'd waive that fee. Sweet!  Suite!

In contrast to Corey's place, here are some serene, clean pictures of the Burnsville LivInn Suites I stayed at- again.

Where is all the clutter?

A pillowtop bed is way more soothing than a soiled couch.

What's this?  A clean shower?  How is that possible?

I ended up at Patrick's place the final night of my stay in the Twin Cities.  It was smoky, but it was also free.  Plus, Patrick is super-chill to hang out with. 

Look at my relaxed face- or else
Also, Corey was super-chill.  He just has a filthy place.  You're probably wondering what kind of a douche just goes & posts pictures of his friend's filthy place?  Well, I asked Corey in advance & he said it was cool. That shows you I have the balls to ask & Corey is a super-laid-back dude. He told me he didn't care because all that mess was pretty much his filthy, jobless sister's clutter. 

A lot more things happened in the Twin Cities:
  • I hung out with a ton of great comedians & met new friends at the Reapies, the Twin Cities' annual stand-up comedy awards show. 
  • I worked on some jokes at the Joke Joint Comedy Club comedy workshop. I was having trouble with 1 of my bits & those guys helped a ton. 
  • I interviewed Shannon Thompson & Patrick Bauer for The Battery Podcast. Those episodes will come out later this week.

Anyhow, Thursday afternoon, I drove through a snowstorm to Cedar Falls, Iowa.  I stayed with 3 lovely hosts. They have a super clean, smoke free place.  I had hot tea & biscuits.  Thanks, ladies!

I can't wait to come back to the Twin Cities.  Next time, I will plan it a lot better.
Bye!  I'm Jake!