Home sick, time to scheme, make it your own, etc. 

Hey, guys.

I’ve come down with something ominously representing influenza, so in the sanctity of my lonely apartment, I have opened the windows, turned on some chill beats, and I have time to plan. This is the first time in my whole life that I’ve had a bedroom entirely my own to design, and it’s so disappointingly barren.

Now, some of you don’t know me that well, some of you know me TOO well. I need things in my life. I need a cluttered space. Anything too tidy distracts me and keeps me from being able to function. Anything too messy or “full” overwhelms me and causes a near panic attack.

I’ve recently come to embrace the side of me that loves herself. She loves wearing a lot of makeup, looking as pretty as she can, she loves dressing up in fancy clothes and *gasp from former me* wearing high heels. She reads anything she can get her hands on, she cooks for herself and others because she can and she’s damn good at it, she does nice things for strangers because she lives to put smiles on faces. She isn’t sure of her place in the world, but that doesn’t scare her anymore. She knows life is about the journey. She plans to start donating time to others, she dreams of a life away from home, she hopes for everything she’s ever wanted. Because she knows she can have it.

When I was 13, I went to summer camp for the first time. I was gone for 5 days. I had just finished painting my bedroom a shade called “bubbly lavender”. I remember the shade because I picked it out and tortured my mom with many a shrill “please!” before she finally caved and let me have anything but white in my room. She also let me get some yellow bedding, covered in different colored roses. The reverse side of the comforter was purple with green damask stripes. So cool. I had a 1970s brown wicker lamp hanging over a corner of my room with nothing at all under it. I got home from summer camp, had a sandwich and some strawberries, and went downstairs to my room to unpack and figure out which camp best friend to call first. I walked in, and gasped. My mom had painted a desk for me. Yellow to match my comforter, with multicolored rose appliqués under the knobs and on the desktop. This desk, I later learned, belonged to my great-grandma who was the nicest lady I’ve ever known. All I have of her are photos of her smiling down at us so big it looks like her face might split in half, and this desk. It was one of the only surviving members of a pretty devastating flood that I don’t have a lot of other history on yet. It’s old as shit, guys. That’s what I’m getting at. I  was able to borrow shop space from a buddy and get him to help me sand it down and prime it, and this week I’ll be painting it, applying a fun glittery finish, installing agate knobs and a custom glass top and putting it in my room, with a matching mirror above it. It will be something I look at every day and remember how much I am loved. It will be with me and my family for as long as it stands. It will be where I do my makeup and silently remind myself each day that I can do anything I put my mind to, no matter how daunting the task. That’s something I never used to put much faith towards. I have always relied on the reassurance of others that I am enough. Now I feel that from within. I am more than enough and I am here for a reason.

Gosh, these get long quickly, don’t they? Time for another fever nap.

Love, Kelci.



On 20e, there was a sort of running series that almost everyone contributed to that we (Joshua) affectionately labelled, “The Love Conundrum”. Any post addressing the love conundrum was simply a few paragraphs musing upon whatever romantic issues we each individually decided were imperative at the current time. Looking back at these, with and without context, I throw my head back and laugh loud like the only way I know how. Oh, to be young. I wish I had my old problems back. I’ve noticed with no difficulty exactly how challenging it can be to look back on your life and describe the ways in which you are different or the same. It’s far too vast a period to compare. It’s like saying “well, when I was born, I couldn’t walk or see or speak. Now, I am a teller at a credit union with a nice used car I can’t afford and an adorable downtown apartment with mediocre credit and no degree.” How in the hell do you even cover a spread that large? Personally, it would take at least a year to go into any valuable detail. So instead, I’m hoping to start a new series by the darling moniker “The Me Conundrum”. Figuring out who has a crush on you is no longer an important thing in my life. I want to break down who I am and who I used to be and why those are two completely different, very familiar human beings. I like the formatting Anna used, and aside from her bodies of text, the headings could honestly be my own. I’ll give it a shot.

Who I was:

  • I was so endearingly naive. I was like a character from a John Green Novel that thought she was invincible. I acted like I was. I read my old posts and its a nauseating combination of nostalgia, affection, and embarrassment.
  • I trusted anyone I met immediately.
  • I was extremely musically, socially, and academically inclined. I never slept. I had insomnia at the time, so my schedule typically consisted of waking up, making breakfast for myself and my little brother, going to school, doing homework at Off the Leaf (RIP) or my mom’s backyard (weather permitting), hanging out with as many friends as I could fit in my giant boat of a car and listening to the same 6 songs on a loop until we had them memorized, and then going back home and speaking spanish to myself while looking at old photos or reading. (I considered it studying to read an english book and translate it to spanish out loud to the best of my ability.) This fact embarrasses me and impresses mostly everyone else. I would often experiment with hair and makeup until 2 or 3 AM, knowing full well that I’d go to school the next day wearing only eyeliner, mascara, and a ponytail.
  • I was unsuccessfully processing how to recover from the knowledge that my parents’ 23 year long marriage was over and pouring myself into anything I could to distract myself.
  • I was in love with the idea of being in love. I remember it being so important to me to have a boyfriend, I wanted to prove my parents’ failed marriage wrong so badly. A sort of “it’ll never happen to me” gesture. I was angry that my family was broken. This is a feeling that only left in recent years.
  • I fought with every single member of my family, all the time. I was a total asshole to the most important people in my life just because I didn’t know how to tell them that I was crushed. It didn’t seem like they cared. Of course they did. I was not alone in my suffering.
  • I was really, really good at spending money. I no longer have any of the things I spent that money on, and I always wished that I had saved it instead. That’s life.


Who I am Now:

  • I’m still really gullible and naive, but I am a lot better at pretending I’m not. Thanks to my favorite high school teacher, I literally “fake it til ya make it, kiddo”
  • I’m still an incredibly trusting, give-you-the-benefit-of-the-doubt sort of person, but I’ve learned to make people earn the initial trust. I am learning to be a little bit more selfish and put myself first. It’s a difficult habit to break, but I’m feeling a lot better about the way I’m treated by others now.
  • I’m still musically, socially, and academically inclined, but it’s a lot more uh, refined. I notice now that when I listen to music, I listen. I cant help but notice the way the drum beat compliments the rhythm guitar which compliments the independent cadence of the lyrics which of course are perfectly choreographed and harmonized. I am obsessed with music. I’m still staying polished on my spanish, I’m also trying to learn italian. I still feel most at home in a room full of people, but I’m learning to value solitude.
  • I’ve gotten over the damage done by my parents’ divorce, accepted that there was nothing I could have done, and repaired relationships with my family members. We’re almost closer than ever. My mom is one of my best friends, not exactly something I saw as a possibility at the time.
  • This next topic is always weird for me. I’m a serial monogamist. I’ve only been single for a total span of maybe 1 year out of the last 10. My shortest relationship in the last 6 years lasted 13 months. I don’t know why, but I’ve always had an affinity for getting through breakups quickly and painlessly. I suspect that since I’m usually the one ending the relationship, I go through the grief stages before the break happens. This goes back to the super-trusting-give-people-a-million-chances thing from before. I have explored this side of myself in therapy before, but it honestly doesn’t bother me too much. I see it as a blessing that I don’t get easily devastated over heartache.
  • I still drive around for fun, only now I get paid for it. I am always figuring out how to capitalize on my hobbies. I enjoy drinking coffee and talking to people and creating fun flavor combinations, so I worked as a barista for almost 4 years. I love driving around aimlessly listening to my favorite music, so now I drive for Uber and get paid to meet the strangest people you’ve ever heard of. I love growing things and watching the process from seed to garden, so I’m going to get a PhD in Plant Biology and figure out how to do something with that for the rest of my life.
  • I am becoming more acquainted with the logical, obsessive, organized side of myself. I used to be so lazy, and I still am, but I’ve learned to just do things before they end up kicking my ass later. My room still constantly looks like a bomb site, but every single other aspect of my life is nearly pristine. Everyone I work with thinks I have Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder because of how exactly perfect everything is at my desk, at all times. I don’t have a clue how this part of myself came to be, but I’m certainly not fighting it, either. It’s been extremely helpful in my independent adult life.
  • I am still really good at spending money, but I spend money on nice things that I will have for a very, very long time. I have unfortunately impeccable taste, and I survive on 2/3 of the income I had 2 years ago, with nearly twice the expense. I’m not sure how I’m doing it either, it’s fine.

That’s as far as I can get today without completely exhausting myself, but I will do some more work on this whenever I’m able. Please comment with any questions, comments, jokes, insults, or concerns. You Stay Classy, World Wide Web.

Love, Kelci


And Now…..

It is me, once again. I missed this.

I was going to write a bunch this last month, but I wanted to have something interesting to write about. Now I feel that I do.

I just got back from the first paid vacation I’ve ever taken, which coincidentally was also the longest time I’ve ever been away from home, (aside from taking care of my mom in Seattle while she was dying-not-dying from cancer, which really should not be counted as vacation.) I left Friday, September 8th and drove to Bozeman, spent 10 nights and 9 wonderful days with some of my favorite human beings on this earth, and woke up at the butt crack of dawn this morning (the 18th) to pack up and drive back to Billings for work. Ever since I started visiting Bozeman on weekends roughly 5 years ago, I’ve found it increasingly more difficult to leave each time I go. It doesn’t have as much to do with the company I keep there, so much as it is just the feeling. There’s no gross refineries, you’re completely surrounded by mountains and mountain air, it’s a nicer feeling town, it’s smaller; (granted more densely populated during the school year, which does not bother me at all) and don’t get me wrong…. I do quite enjoy the people I go to see when I’m in Bozeman, but I would still be excited to go every time, even if I didn’t know a soul. There’s a feeling of elation that washes over me as soon as I enter the Bozeman Pass, and it passes just as quickly when I leave. I think it could maybe be the anticipation of what I always know will be a fun-filled and happy weekend, whether it entails drinking games and going out and laughing til I cry, or just vegging out and binge-watching whatever series we’re into at the time and lobbing creative insults at each other. I’ll let him fill you in on our week together.

Will and I have been dating for nearly two months now, and absolutely everything about it just feels right. Every single tacky love song I hear walking around the grocery store or in a restaurant makes me restlessly giddy. I can’t shut up about him. He’s my very best friend, and I still cannot believe we are together. I don’t know if I’ll ever get used to it. I never would have thought this could happen. Ask me one, three, six, eight years ago if I thought I’d end up with him, the answer was no way, he’s just my best friend. And each time I’ve said that, that’s what I’ve meant. Back in high school when there was a sliver of a chance of us dating, that was all I wanted. As soon as I realized that wasn’t going to happen, I decided I’d kill him if we ever dated, and we should just be friends. We’ve always had a very comfortable line of communication; we have always been able to say anything to the other knowing there’s zero judgement. My family loves him, my friends love him, everyone’s reaction to the big news has just been “Oh, Finally! I was wondering when you two would do that.” I cannot imagine my life without him. He is as constant as oxygen and water. Getting to kiss him and all that gushy shit is just cherries on top. Anyway, enough about the stupid boyfriend stuff. Back to ME.

I currently live downtown with a close friend from high school/college. This is the first time I’ve ever lived with someone who isn’t a parent or a boyfriend. It is the best thing for me right now. We have so much fun together, we cook and clean together, we go out with our respective groups of friends, and we’re both the kind of person that isn’t afraid to say “Hey, maybe clean up your shit?”. Our apartment is a perfectly mixed combination of our two styles. It’s comforting to feel at home for the first time in a very, very long time. I’m not tiptoeing around trying to stay out of anyone’s way, this is our spaceour beer fridge, our collection of nail polish on the coffee table carefully obscuring the cover of ESPN magazine’s Body Edition.

This lease will not last forever, in fact it will be up next May, which is far too soon for me to be ready for the next step. The next step is finally, FINALLY moving to Bozeman, which is something I should have done upon graduating high school. As Frank Sinatra says, That’s Life. It struck me last month that I should probably just go to school and do something with my life, lest I let my brain atrophy while handing out 20s to angry retirees. I like my job, and there’s nothing too much wrong with it, aside from the mind-numbing boredom/stress that comes along with doing the same 14 things on auto-pilot all day, with a couple minutes’ worth of crippling panic when/if something goes wrong. I’ve decided I am interested in pursuing a career in Plant Biology, a PhD if I make it that far. I can’t really describe in words why it’s so important to me, but anyone who knows me knows that I’ve always been obsessed with anything that grows in the ground. I want to do that for a living. I want to be in a field that I actually really care about. I hope that if I can’t do anything super important with it, I’ll at least be satisfied with myself for not wasting my chance and not trying.

Let’s see, what else? I started running more (again), I only got sunburned twice this summer, I am working on writing/refining a stand-up set that I’m hoping I’ll have the guts to perform in front of strangers only by perhaps this spring, I am teaching myself to establish savings, I am teaching myself to be a more organized and neat person, I am teaching myself to recognize distress and confront it before it manifests in more toxic ways, I am back to reading at least two-three books a month, I am teaching myself to approach cooking as a creative process instead of a mathematical formula, I am attempting to learn Italian (again), and I am telling people who I love that I love them whenever I can.

Maybe one of these posts I’ll get around to talking about the last six years of my life. Maybe I never will. Stay Tuned, Y’all.

Love, Kelci

Hello, It’s We. (get it, because most of our titles were disgusting puns.) AKA [[>>REBOOTING<<<]] AKA Kelci learned how to type!

In 2010, a man most of us know and even more of us love decided to collect some friends and force us to write about the proverbial “Senior Year” of high school through the lens of many. There was the perspective of actual Seniors yet to graduate, a Junior (me) yet to enter senior year, and several College Freshmen having just finished their Senior Year. That man is an incredible human being, and this is an attempt to give something back.

Hi, Guys. It’s been a very, very long time. Although in the grand scheme I suppose it’s been less than a blink, we have lived, we have accomplished much, and most (if not all) of us are a completely different person than the last time we shared with each other in this format. We have loved and lost, we have moved, we have learned lessons we will carry (and ideally, pass on) for the entire rest of our lives. My hope for this blog is that we all write as many posts as we individually care to write concerning what we’ve been up to since the adjourning of The Twentyeleven Project™ and whatever else strikes our fancies, I guess. I don’t know Will’s reasons for choosing us all to contribute to 20eleven, but as I found myself in the middle of a very rough day a couple weeks ago, I turned to the words we all wrote nearly a decade ago (sorry, the fact that we all age equally is still blowing my mind) for comfort. It helped bring me from a point of near-tears to literal elation and sarcasm, my Final Form. If you haven’t been back since the last time you wrote something on there, please take a brief intermission and do so now. I believe you can click on the name at the top of each post to filter by author. It all began here.

Are you back? Did you do the thing? Do you feel what I felt?? That ineffable longing for “The Good ol’ Days”? You know, like when you go through a particularly nasty breakup and re-watch your favorite childhood movie for the nth time, or when you hear a song that you love but haven’t heard in years? Or was that your personal hell, you’re far, far happier now, and like I have always presumed, I peaked in high school? Either way, is it safe to assume that we all had no idea what kind of shit-flavored Green Bean Casserole adulthood would come to serve us? I think so. I don’t mean to suggest that life now sucks more than it ever has by any means, but it certainly seems that proportionally, problems now are much more of a well, problem than they were before. Then by contrast, our personal achievements, those little moments where you feel invincible, those (to me) feel so much stronger now than they would have in the days of yore. Everything I experience today has much more weight than it did yesterday, whether good or bad, and I genuinely hope that means tomorrow will have more gravity than today did, and if you *gag* look back at some of my posts, I obviously was trapped in a glass case of emotion. I still am.

A few of the posts that stood out to me aside from all of them; (because it seems every time I’ve read back over the years, I always do so with a really dumb shit-eating grin) were these. (In no particular order whatsoever.)

Also, Spencer, I hope you don’t feel left out, dear. I really could not narrow your posts down to a favorite. You’re too wonderful.

I am bringing this new-yet-familiar blog about as a surprise to Will (aka Opie, aka boss-man, aka many many more) for his 24th birthday. I have never been able to celebrate his birthday with him properly, and he deserves something fantastic. I cannot stress enough that this is a surprise, so please don’t mention anything just yet. He’s always been a phenomenal writer, (maybe I’m just biased because he’s my bestest friend) and he seems to be stuck museless as of late, and it is wearing on him. I want to remind him a little bit of a time in all of our lives when hashing shit out in blog format was incredibly constructive both for all of us but more importantly, people who related to us. The authors will consist of myself, himself, Spencer, Joshua, Molly, and the remaining original authors (if I can get a hold of them), as well as a few additional literary wizards that I hold very dear to my heart, in the interest of perhaps getting this one off the ground where we never really quite could with the previous attempt. If you know a guy, say something and that can and should definitely happen. I don’t know how long this will go, but you all agreeing to contributing a few posts is more than enough for me. I plan to be posting semi-regularly, as I find myself at a point in my life where literally everything is changing. (More on that later.) Your frequency and commitment are entirely up to you alone. No Pressure, Dawg.

If you need ideas for what you might talk about, I thought this might serve as a “Where Are They Now” edition of 20E. Our currently imaginary and quite possibly extinct readership might be interested in how our lives are different from where we left off. This could cover any number of subjects including College Degrees, (or not) jobs held or dropped, new and interesting geographical locations, hobbies new or old, whether our music taste is exactly the same, important life events, I could go on but you are all intelligent humans, so I will neglect to do so….

As the 4:00 hour draws ever closer and my caffeine stores fart out the last remaining molecules of the black-as-night coffee I chug all morning and for 2 hours after lunch, I think I will leave off here. Write whatever you want, as much as you want, as often as you want. There are no rules. Other than obviously, be yourself. (WordPress does not have Emojis, and i’m real upset about it.) Enjoy, kids. and Welcome Back.

Love, Kelci