Posted in dragon, grad school, health, Personal, storage, urgent

8/23: Dragon: Grad School, Appeals, and Eejits…

The latest debacle of getting my appeal processed with my school, which is in Kansas.
So, I’m a little pissed off at certain people at my school right now. Monday, I had an appt to see a PA (Physician’s Assistant) and get the letter for the appeal for school. They didn’t get the fax, so I took pics yesterday and sent them along to the lady in Kansas.
Keep in mind… this is fucking KANSAS. My apologies to those who are from there or live there, but that state is all fucked up in the head.
She responded yesterday that that should work and she’d submit it for review today.
I wait and wait and wait… then, just before my dentist appt today, I get an email:
“Our appeal committee members will not accept the letter from ******* ******** a Physician Assistant at the OHSU Family Medicine **** ************ *****. Only a letter from your doctor on his/her letterhead will suffice.”
What the ever-loving fuck…
I call the clinic, make an appt with an MD for tomorrow morning. Then I send her my reply:
“My GP is a Nurse Practitioner. I made another appt in the morning with an MD on her team. That’s the best I can do. They all have the same access to all the records.”
*
*
*
Her response:
“So, are you saying you are not able to obtain a letter from your doctor on his/her letterhead?
Or
Are you able to request a letter at your next appointment with an MD?”
……………….
::headdesk::
…………………..
I sent her a reply, but she won’t get it until morning…
“I can get a letter from the MD tomorrow morning. They’re all under the same clinic letterhead of OHSU.”
………….
This is the thing that kills me: Nurse Practitioners and Physician’s Assistants go through damn near the same amount of training as MD’s do. I know, as I’ve had my share of all three as a primary care practitioner over the years. This woman, and the whole fucking review board, are all a bunch of fucking idiots. If I have to school their asses from here on how little of a difference there is between the three titles, I will. I should NOT have to.
Everything else today has gone well… finally got my broken front tooth fixed and got my hair trimmed up (had a full punch card, so it was free). But this fuckery…
When I was explaining it to the lady at the clinic, she sounded confused by this whole mess… “Are you telling me this is all about a letter?”
Yes. Yes, it is. Because the school wants a motherfucking letter… and my GP, who isn’t in clinic until Friday (and we’re already in the first week of classes for the term I want to finish my degree in), said I need to make an appt to discuss the damn letter….  so I’m scrambling to get SOMEONE this asinine school will accept a letter from to get a letter to them.
My plan at this point is to call her in the morning before my appt and try to figure out what the breakdown of communication/understanding is. There is NO doctor-specific letterhead from the clinic. Period. End of motherfucking story.
So, yes, I’m pissed off. Her ability to communicate certain things isn’t her strong suit.
~Dragon out
Posted in anxiety, artsy stuff, cats, community, creativity, crowdfunding, depression, dreams, emergency, eviction, faith, friends, grad school, homeless, job hunting, life, Personal, poverty line, PTSD, semicolon, storage, urgent, writing

8/22: Wishes and Goals and #crowdfunding

(Crowdfunding plea… time is running out… and now onto your irregularly scheduled post)

If you had asked me a year ago where I would be right now, I’d tell you I’d be on my way to Germany, or already there settling in for a stint working on a second graduate degree. Not homeless, staying at a friend’s place, short one cat, trying to save my belongings in storage.

I wouldn’t believe you if you told me that’s where I’d be right now. But here I am. My degree is on hold, waiting for my appeal to eliminate the tuition and fees owed from Spring term when I dropped out due to the eviction and other stressors. The eviction, losing JoJo, the constant frustration of job hunting and trying to find funds for storage and basic supplies like cat food and litter (I’ve now created a separate Amazon wishlist for Portia’s supplies)… it’s all taken a massive toll on me.

I do sometimes feel like I’m screaming into a void… asking for help… applying for jobs… trying to do pretty much anything. It does feel like there’s no one out there listening. I wish I could get confirmation that people are hearing me… seeing me… and trying their best to help. Very few people on FB are sharing the campaign… which is frustrating at best.

Now my goal is for Fall of 2018 for Germany. But there are so many other little things… well, little compared to moving to Germany, that is.

  • Being able to go to #GeekGirlCon in Seattle again (and having enough funds to buy stuff and have fun)
  • Having a decent job where I can then have money in savings as well as being able to pay debts and move into a new place of my very own. I appreciate my friends for putting me up… but I really do need my own space…
  • Take a few road trips that I’ve been putting off due to a lack of funds and car.
    • John Day Fossil Beds and the Painted Hills…
    • Crater Lake
    • CA Redwoods (not just passing through)

Those are a few things. I’ve also been itching to go to Alpenfest out in NE Oregon… also have enough money together to get my passport and apply for my second citizenship for Switzerland… yes, I’m eligible due to a straight paternal line dating back to the early 1600’s (as well as one lady was able to track)

I also wanted to get my next book out, get the anthology going, write more, art more, etc…

But eviction stopped me in my tracks.

It stopped me from functioning. From living. From finishing school. It dragged me deeper into the abyss of depression. My anxiety is worse. My C-PTSD is a royal bitch… to where I cringe even touching someone on the train.

I’m doing better for now… but that abyss still has a pretty good hold on me. I’m taking Celexa… but even that only gets me so far. I need to make improvements. Will they solve everything? No. But they will help.

The frustration of needing more cat food and litter and Bast Only Knows, a covered litter box for Portia (she’s trying to dig into the earth’s core, I swear… and litter goes everywhere). If it were possible to keep things more local for her supplies by someone buying a Mud Bay gift card or something… they just opened another one this past weekend and it’s a couple of MAX stops away. I know a lot of folks hate Amazon. Her food is cheaper at MB than on Amazon. I’m not kidding.

I’m sitting here in a quiet house, petsitting the house feline (she really does like me… even lets me pet her head, which she rarely lets anyone do… she was abused early on before they adopted her), as well as having Portia around… just wish they’d get along.

Here’s her Amazon wishlist... in case anyone feels up to helping… although storage also still needs help. I can’t risk losing everything I own.

I’m just… well, if you’ve ever been anywhere near the kind of situation I’m in this year, you might understand how I feel. Everything is up in the air. The loss of any control of my life is maddening.

Some friends call me brave… I’m just mucking through life… barely holding on. I may smile or even laugh at things… but inside, I’m screaming.

~A

Posted in bugaboos, chronic pain, community, crowdfunding, homeless, job hunting, life, Personal, storage, urgent

8/20: community #crowdfunding 

It’s frustrating to see people talk of building community and espouse Liberal values (I am Liberal myself, in case you didn’t know)… or even what should be Christian values of community and lifting up those who need it… 

And yet, when someone swallows their pride and asks (and yes, I’m aware that this is not a 1st time for me… but I’m trying to get work and it feels like I’m facing headwinds) for help, it falls mostly on “deaf ears” … 

I do what I can to help others, but sometimes my limitations hold me back. I don’t own a vehicle, so I can’t help most friends move… and my injuries prevent me from a lot of other things. 

I keep thinking (and hoping) that each round of shit I face is the last round… 

I need to get storage paid ASAP. I simply ask for folks to share. Spread the word. That’s free. If you can donate, great! Sharing is still helpful.

~A

Posted in artsy stuff, crowdfunding, faith, homeless, life, peace, poetry, storage, urgent

8/19: Ashes (& ##crowdfunding)

(Still desperately trying to raise funds to get caught up on storage. Eith the PP donate button or the YouCaring campaign link in the menu. Any bit helps, and even if you can’t donate, please spread the word.)

And now to the poem of the evening.

~~~~~~~~~~

I rise.
The past cannot
Hold
Me down.

I soar.
Over the history
I will
Not
Repeat.

I fly.
For the ashes
Of my past
Fall
Behind me.

~~~~~~~~~~

Posted in anxiety, artsy stuff, community, creativity, crowdfunding, depression, dreams, life, nature, peace, poetry, storage, urgent

8/15: Stars (& #crowdfunding desperation)

(I know I keep asking. I hate asking. But getting back on my feet hasn’t been an easy path. Just a bit longer. If you like my #poetry and posts, please feel free to share and contribute if you are able. With eventual stability, or at least things caught up, my ability to focus on things I love and need to do improves. Thank you)

Dreams made
Imagine beyond
The world
We know.
Starstuff dreaming of
Stars.
Who is out there?
What lies outside
Our reach?
Will we know?
Or destiny says
Stay.
Not knowing is
Best.
For now.
Where do
We
Fit in this expanse?
Starstuff dreaming
Of the stars out
There.
Keep dreaming.
Wondering.
Asking.
The answer is there.

~A

Posted in activism, community, crowdfunding, dragon, emergency, empath life, friends, grad school, history, life, Personal, politics, research, storage, urgent

8/15: Dragon Quandries & #crowdfunding (of course)

(CW: Holocaust)

I’ve wanted to speak on this past weekend’s events, but I’m still stuck on words. I’m pissed that we still have to fight this shit.

Just dealing with this shitstorm quietly (more or less) as an Empath has drained me. I want to write something long on my blog, but I can’t find the strength and energy to do it. My father and most of my uncles served in WWII (those that didn’t were too young). We’ve been through this shit globally and yet there are some who just don’t fucking grasp the concept that they lost those wars… their ancestors or whomever… lost. They lost the Civil War and Nazis lost the Second WW. 

Just a sampling of the shit Nazi-wannabes have done this year alone

In one of my papers for school, I had to pick a maligned group in history and show my research methods and write up a decent summary on what was done to them. Originally, I thought of the Holocaust and the Jews, but realized that was likely a vastly overdone group and one many others likely turned to for similar papers. I still wanted to focus on that time period and what else Nazis did… and found my group: Gays and Lesbians in Europe. I knew the Pink Triangle came out of WWII, but I didn’t know the full extent of the atrocities. Medical experimentation on gay men, including full castration. Women had it only slightly easier, unless they were also Jewish. If they were Jewish Lesbians, they were as good as dead within the week. If they weren’t Jewish, they were still “marked” but kept alive and somewhat free as they were considered “breeding stock” for the Nazis. The pink triangle is the gay and lesbian version of the yellow Star of David patch Jews had to wear.

My professor’s comments on my paper were simple, “Excellent research. I never knew that about what they did during the war.”

In the years since WWII, we’ve had a lot of changes in the US. Some things didn’t change enough. Legally, we have civil rights for nearly everyone, but many want to take some of those back for LGBTQ and PoC.

Some people, however, still haven’t accepted that the Confederacy and the Nazis lost their wars. These are the people we’re fighting today. These are the people who picked up tiki torches and marched on Charlottesville. These are the people who believe anyone not “pure” white and heterosexual should be “put down.” They’re called by different names today, but instead of calling them by all these different names, it all boils down to one name.

Nazis.

They use the salute. They fly the flags of oppression. This is what they are. This is what they should be called.

Germany has learned from its history. Anything to do with Nazism is illegal. No flags, no salute, nothing.

It’s time we set some of the same boundaries. Speak up, as silence will accomplish nothing but letting them win.

~Dragon

Yes, I still need help with storage… any and every bit helps. YouCaring and PayPal.

Posted in activism, bigotry, community, crowdfunding, empath life, faith, life, peace, poetry, politics, sexuality, storage, writing

8/14: Tears

Words fly.
Flames threaten from
One side of the barricade.
The other keeping the flames of
Hate
At bay.
God sheds a tear
Still so much hate
Division.
Violence.
Fear.
Anger.
Messengers of peace
Ignored or
Killed, even.
No one is
Superior or Inferior.
Skin.
Gender.
Sexuality.
Disability.
Equals
But not treated
As equals.
Another tear shed.
The rain is proof of that.

~A

Posted in anxiety, artsy stuff, community, cosplay, creativity, crowdfunding, depression, dreams, emergency, faith, life, Personal, storage, urgent

8/13: Storage #crowdfunding and my Weekend

Yeah… still needing help with storage. I really don’t want to let it get too much closer to the end of the month… it gets bad after the 15th of this month. Retweet, share, spread the word… any help will do.

I spent this weekend, starting mid afternoon Friday, helping the folks I’m staying with deal with their yard sale… except for today, as we didn’t run it today. I headed out to a friend’s place who’s moving out of the country in October. Picked up some lace and trim (do you even know how hard it is to find black lace trim??)

So, I’m gonna get all sentimental on my stuff in storage. Bear with me…

My father served in WWII. After he died in 2014, I (eventually) received his coffin flag, even though we have yet to do any kind of ceremony. That in and of itself, is a LONG story of family dramatics I’m not getting into here. His flag is in storage.

Several months before he died, we had this conversation:

Me: So, I want to get back into playing piano.
I’m thinking of saving up and buying an electric one.

Dad: Why don’t we try and send the old piano up to you?
Me: Dad, it would cost more than that thing is worth to transport it up here.
Dad: I’m sure we could figure something out.
Me: Besides, the only place for me to put it is the wall where the sleeping alcove for the studio next door is. I’m not going to torment my poor neighbor.
…..
(The rest of the call went a lot like that. The next day, I got an email from my sister accusing me of trying to get dad to buy me a piano, which is not what happened.)
…..
Me: Hi dad.
Dad: Uh-oh, what did I do? (an ongoing gag with the two of us then)
Me: Did you talk to ***** recently?
Dad: Yes. What happened?
Me: I got an email from her accusing me of trying to get you to buy me a piano.
Dad: I said nothing like that.
…..
Me: Why did you even tell her?
Dad: Well, I was excited you wanted to get back to music.
Me: Proud? (my dad was a pretty laid back person)
Dad: Yeah. You were always so happy and upbeat back then. I would love to see you get back to that.
…..
Keep in mind, I had no clue he even ever really paid attention to it back then, let alone be proud. This is just how my family has been.

When he died later that year, I knew that whatever I got from the estate, at least some of it would go toward an electric piano. And it did. That piano, like all my other things, is in storage. I can’t lose what my dad wanted me to so desperately have again.

Some of my mother’s quilting pattern pieces. Also a large chunk of my fabric. And my sewing machine.

My costumes, which range from ones I designed and my mother sewed up for me, to ones I sewed, to pieces purchased from others. Furniture that has a lot of sentimental value.

And so much more. This is all why I’m so desperate to keep my stuff in there safe and in my hands. I ask for that help once again. I know I owe at least $650, and have a bit less than half that… even if you can’t help financially, please consider sharing or retweeting this post. The more people who see it, the better my chances are.

 

Posted in artsy stuff, creativity, crowdfunding, life, storage, writing

8/12: Why I Write (and #crowdfunding)

(yes, still needing help with storage. Time is running out here. Any help is appreciated.)

I enjoy many types of creative endeavors, but the one I always come back to is writing. Whether it’s fiction or poetry, I dig in and enjoy every word.

So, the deadline for our Alzheimer’s charity anthology, The Longest Night Watch, is looming on Tuesday. I, of course, have totally spaced out and forgotten about it until now. Well, yesterday. Early this morning, a scene came to mind and some tidbits of what the story might entail tagged along behind it. Once we had the yard sale set up, I brought my computer out and worked on it while also chatting with potential customers.

In writing fiction, I’m what we call in NaNoWriMo a “Pantser.” I come up with an initial idea and gradually the characters take over and WHEEEE!!!! I’m just trying to keep up with them as they tell their story. With short pieces, they have to take over a lot faster. In my novellas, it’s more like about 15-20 pages in.

Bradbury, King, and many others also tend to write like this (or in the case of those who are gone, they did write like this). I’m not alone in using this method.

** On a side note, I also got to read a review of our first volume where the person broke down her review with comments on each story. She loved mine as it was a reminder of why we’re doing this labor of love. None of us make any money off of it. All proceeds go to Alzheimer’s research. This is our third year. We started it after Terry Pratchett died.

So one of the reasons I love to write is how I let my characters take over the story. I’m just along for the ride. Sometimes, like today, the ride switches and goes down an alternate track… one I didn’t expect. I’m not done with the story. I enjoy the journey they take me on. I breathe a little life into them and then they lead me on what can be a wild ride.

At the end of the yard sale today, I wrapped up, brought my computer inside and went back out to help clean up. When I closed the laptop, I realized I had stopped at a turning point. Where I thought the story would go… well, it isn’t going there. The MC, an elderly woman, is hinting that she may not be all that is believed she is. A twist. A different track. I don’t know how long this will be. I do know I want to go back and add some filler around the dialogue. I tend to write dialogue and forget the exposition… the descriptions. I’ll finish the dialogue tonight and then go back tomorrow and fill things in.

I love telling stories. Simple as that. I love where my characters take me. I love minimalism… giving readers just enough and then letting them use their imaginations to fill in the blanks. I create miniature worlds for readers to explore.

This is why I write.

~APA

Posted in cats, chronic pain, crowdfunding, depression, health, insomnia, life, Personal, storage, urgent

8/10: Depression Sucks Ass

Today was going to be a low-key but productive day. Between pain and exhaustion from the last few days (two furniture tasks on Sunday, then appointments all over until yesterday), and shitty sleep…. well… yeah. (Yes, still crowdfunding….)

The stress of this year so far has weighed down on me… considerably.

I have days, much like today, where my intent from the night before is to get some sleep, then get up, run an errand or two, do some writing or editing, search for jobs, and generally do things that need to be done.

But then I’m woken up before dawn by a certain 14lb feline sitting on my full bladder…

I want to be able to function earlier in the day… but the fucked up sleep cycle of depression messes me up. Me, and others like me, may sleep for the better part of 12 hours some days, but it’s fitful at best, and leaves us in a vicious cycle of shitty sleep and no energy to do things once we do get upright.

I want to do more. I want to spend an hour or two in the morning editing or writing… then going on with the rest of my day with errands and stuff… but depression stifles the physical ability to get going. It isn’t that I don’t WANT to do these things… I have the desire… it’s the physical energy to get up and do them.

It’s like there’s a wall that depression built. I’m on one side of it and all my hobbies and interests are on the other side. I can see them, but there’s no way around or over the wall. I can try to chip away at the wall to break it down, but if I stop and rest for a minute, the wall heals itself as if nothing had happened.

Tomorrow, I may have a decent day. Likely not starting very early either, but one where I can get things done.

Sure, I could put on some happy face mask and pretend like everything is all hunky-dory and life is awesome… but it isn’t and I won’t.

I had a shitty day today.

Depression sucks ass.

But I’m not going to hide it.

~A