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Posted in anxiety, auction, chronic pain, community, crowdfunding, emergency, faith, friends, health, housing, job hunting, life, nanowrimo, Personal, poverty line, storage, writing

How did it get to be December already? #nanowrimo #crowdfunding (again)

The last couple of months have been a blur. Still trying to settle into the apartment, but still don’t have my stuff from storage. October sucked for jobs and November, while better, ended up going to bills and food since they cut my food stamps back to a pathetic amount. So it’s gonna go to auction later this month and I’ll be screwed yet again unless I can get it caught up with nothing short of a small Christmas Miracle. 

I’m still sleeping on the floor. Which sucks for my back. But I’m dealing. I’ve started my internship (for privacy, I’m not going to disclose where it is until after it’s over).

I also did NaNoWriMo again, and ended up doing almost 14K words on the final day. Not my biggest final day marathon, but comes in second (1st place goes to 2009 with 16K on the last day). After a break, I may clean it up, do a couple of quick’n’dirty edit runs, make a simple cover, and then release it. It’s what I classify as EnviroSF… I think there’s another term as well starting to float around. 

I need to find a second steady PT gig to help with expenses. The internship isn’t going to pay enough and it is only temporary. Working it around the internship and classes will be the biggest challenge. I just simply need more steady income. 

The big thing on my mind right now, other than getting my paperwork and everything done for school, is storage. I’m now up to about $1100 needed. I’ll post when I hear the date of the auction. Honestly, if it hadn’t been for October being all fucked up financially, I’d be fine on storage. But it sucked. And I’m back in a bind. Once it’s caught up and I have furniture out, I can work on moving everything to a smaller unit that won’t be $300/month. 

~A

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Posted in activism, community, creativity, observations, poetry, politics, silliness, society, writing

It isn’t rocket science, part 1 (#poetry)

Tax the rich.
Help the poor.
Keep the peace
And nothing more.

Feed the hungry
Fix the roads
Punch the Nazis
And live the code.

Read the books.
Save the kids
Just don’t try to
Hold the squid.

Some of this
Is common sense
And some of you
Are on the fence.

Rhyming lines
Can be silly
But life is rarely
Rather frilly.

The balance is off
In this world today
We must work harder
To find a way.

Treat each other as equals
And no more hate.
This has to stop
Before they dictate

Who lives, who dies
Who loves, who cries
We must see our equals
In each other’s eyes.

This isn’t so hard
This being respectful
It’s as easy as breathing
Nothing too fretful.

Try to see all others
As you see your friends
Equal in humanity
Not through a tainted lens.

So really it isn’t
Rocket Science.
Just remember to
Stand in defiance.

Of those who promise
Unreal things
As we are not
A nation of kings.

~A

(I normally don’t do rhyming poetry. But this just kept on going and there are more lines running around in my head.)

Posted in auction, C-PTSD, chronic pain, community, creativity, crowdfunding, depression, disability, emergency, empath life, faith, family, friends, health, life, medical, Personal, poverty line, PTSD, society, storage, urgent

12/9: The week and being disabled… #crowdfunding

Warning: this may end up rambly and bizarre. And, FTR, I am in dire straits again with storage. I’m still sleeping on the floor (much to my poor back’s dismay… ouch). It’s set for auction later this month. Even with the couple of tasks I’ve had so far and the weekly small paychecks from my internship, I won’t have nearly enough (I also have my phone bill, internet bill, food, cat stuff like pet-specific CBD oil, and other things). 

That last post, about standing desks, oddly sucked a sizable chunk of my energy. Not like I had that much to begin with today. I have been battling something along the lines of a sinus infection for about 3 weeks now. Starting my internship in the middle of that didn’t help. But I needed to get that going. So I’m working two days a week at a local non-profit which is a very cool place to work, at least in my opinion.

I also have about everything down for school. I’m going back to PCC next month for some accounting and business classes. As I took Intro to Business some years back at PSU, I won’t need to take that again, so I can take an additional class. I’m thinking payroll accounting, as that’s a HUGE part of accounting and bookkeeping. 

In the middle of all of this, I’m facing my chronic pain and chronic fatigue. I’ve spent much of this weekend, into today, resting and/or sleeping. I had hoped to get some creative stuff done, but my energy flat-lined Friday afternoon after I got home from a furniture assembly task.

In all honesty, I have no idea how the hell I’m going to ever work full time. I really don’t. I’m playing phone tag with my disability attorney, and I’m frustrated as all hell. I wanted to get some cleaning and painting done this weekend and I’ve barely gotten anything done. I managed to clear some of the kitchen, but knowing the meager size of my kitchen, that isn’t saying much.  I think the biggest chore I was able to tackle this weekend was cleaning the litter boxes. 

After I was denied this summer from my disability hearing (which, according to my attorney was a “sure thing” by the way the judge was talking), I read the report. Basically, I didn’t appear “disabled enough.” So, because I’ve lived with my back injury for 29 years and it’s getting worse and I’ve figured out ways to work WITH it or AROUND it, I’m not disabled enough….. fffffuuuuuuuu…. *ahem*

Honestly, right now, I’d love to have them see how I’m living right now. i’m sleeping on the floor because I can’t afford to get my storage caught up long enough to get my mattress and furniture out, I can’t stand in the kitchen and do anything longer than 5-10 minutes at a time. Yes, that was today. I managed to get up, rinse off some dishes and put them in the small dishwasher and then run that. It’s done, but not emptied. Bast only knows when that will get emptied. I don’t have a partner or roommate to help me with things. Honestly, I don’t really want one, either one. Especially after spending the past year and a half living with other people -either in the shelter or with friends. 

On that note, there was a woman at the shelter who couldn’t FATHOM why someone would not want to live with other people. Why someone would WANT to be alone. What bugged me is that she kept saying she’s also an introvert, but this was one of the most social women on our floor at the shelter. She wasn’t loud, but she was always out in the community room cooking or chatting or… yeah. For me, add being an Empath who can’t block to save my sanity on top of the whole being an Introvert. I can “people” in very small doses. The more people I’m around or interact with, such as on transit or at conventions, the shorter that amount of time ends up being. My PTSD doesn’t help either. I love hugging people, but have pulled away from being social in part because hugs make me a bit less comfortable now. And yet, if I’m greeting a friend or saying goodbye to them, I’m usually the one who holds my arms open to hug them. I’m a walking contradiction. I hate people but love hugging. Go figure.

Now, one may wonder why I did a post on standing desks. Well, a few reasons. I want one to help with my back. If I can go from sitting to standing and back when I need to for reducing the stiffness, and thus pain, in my back and legs, the better off I’ll be. Also, I started my little quest by looking at drafters chairs, you know… the ones that go up higher, for using possibly in the kitchen. This would possibly help my longevity in the kitchen. The way my apartment is, the desk would be right next to the kitchen, so a taller chair to go back and forth (which can be lowered down as needed) would be awesome. It also means I’d have a place to put said chair when it isn’t needed in the kitchen. This place is not that big. Seriously. Everything needs to serve more than one purpose or space. Chairs included. Hell, my bed will have storage (once I can afford to get the frame I want), my desk will be for both computers and the sewing and embroidery machines, and the shelving I want to use for my TV stand will also house my record collection, music and DVD’s and some books. The bench I want to put at the foot of the bed (if there’s room), will have books, shoes and be a place I can sit briefly to put said shoes ON. 

I’ve planned this apartment out to every damn detail. I just don’t have the money to execute my plans. First, I need to get storage settled and accessible. It’s three months behind. October sucked for work, so I couldn’t pay for storage… and then, as it does, it snowballed out of control. So…. halp?

~A

Posted in life

Standing Desks from the POV of a furniture assembler #standingdesks

I’m gonna add my two cents about Standing Desks. In my time as a Tasker, I’ve assembled a LOT of standing desks. To the point where I can assemble a Jarvis in an hour. Nope, not kidding. One hour. 

Of all the standing desks I’ve assembled, they’ve been three main companies: IKEA, Fully/Jarvis, and StandDesk. Fully and SD offer more options, such as programmable height adjustment, casters, etc. They’re also more durable (with Fully/Jarvis being the best of the three). As their videos show (and I can attest to) they can take a LOT of abuse. The videos show the guy standing on one at its full height. They can handle a lot. 

That said, they are more expensive. Some go up into the 2K range. I priced what I wanted out and it comes to about $635. I can get something close, but without casters, programmable height, and the extended range, from IKEA for $449. StandDesk is slightly cheaper than Jarvis/Fully, but by only about $20 tricked out the way I want … or not. Scroll down. Jarvis is cheaper.

The desk below is 60″x30″ with a bamboo top, black frame, programmable height adjustment, and the price includes the casters which aren’t shown. 

Jarvis Desk with my specs at $634.

Then here’s the closest I can get comparable in look to the Jarvis. I’d prefer the “linoleum blue” top with the black legs. They’re the same damn price, no matter what. But for this comparison, I’m using this look. Here is the IKEA Bekant Standing Desk. No frills. Well, it isn’t a crank style, as it does have the electronic buttons to control the height. 

IKEA Bekant standing desk at $449.
StandDesk 60″x27″
StandDesk price with same options as Jarvis.

If money wasn’t an issue, I’d buy a Jarvis/Fully desk hands down, no ifs, ands, or buts. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE IKEA. I swear by IKEA for about 99% of the things out there. Where they usually have lots of cool options, this is one area where they’re lacking. I like the linoleum blue top, but wave a bamboo desk… hell, bamboo -anything- in front of me, and I’ll go that way. 

Why? Because bamboo is one of those few super-duper-highly-renewable sources of things. The two I know of are bamboo and hemp. Industrial hemp, not what you smoke. Put that lighter down, dammit.

So, what makes the Jarvis so damn stable? I have no idea.  I just assemble them, I don’t make them. If you look closely at the frames on all three, Jarvis is different. The legs are not centered, but offset. Maybe this is why. I don’t know. I do know one thing: those suckers can withstand ME assembling them. Alone. Heavy, large desks. This, if I could, is what I would get. And it would move with me no matter where I go. 

I love IKEA. I do. But this is one time I’d go for the “other guy.” Now, with finances being what they are, I may still end up with one from IKEA. But man, given the options, I know what I’d get in a heartbeat.

~A

Posted in anxiety, bugaboos, C-PTSD, crowdfunding, depression, faith, life, nature, poetry, sexual assault, storage

12/4: The Lake (poetry)

Waves pull back
Let go.
Gently lap at the boulder
I stand on.

Breeze manipulates the water.
The leaves.
Fall on the surface of the lake
Before me.

I am here and
Yet…
I am elsewhere. Wishing
I were.

The craggy peaks around me.
Tell an Ancient Tale
Of geologic fury
Long ago.

My mind escapes.
Where I am is not where
I wish to be.
And still.

Closed eyes, trying to ignore
The person next to me.
Making me wish. I was anywhere but
Where I am.

Peaks make the wind whistle.
Rhythm matching the water.
Nicer tune than the person
Talking to me.

Eyes closed. Breathe. Slowly.
Calm my heart. Remove his hand.
Get up. And make sure he doesn’t
Follow me.

Posted in anxiety, artsy stuff, chronic pain, creativity, crowdfunding, depression, disability, faith, grief, health, individuality, life, poetry, writing

12/3/18: Twisted (poetry)

(I figured it’s been a while… gonna try to keep this up to the end of the year.)

Bent and torn.
Pieces flaking off.
Laid bare
From anger.

Cocooned in blankets.
Picking up pieces.
I myself
In sadness.

Twisted and broken.
Heart lost.
The rubble buries
My soul.

Waiting for Spring.
New growth hopeful.
World won’t wait for me
To heal.

Twisted in pieces.
Anger melts away.
Pieces bind and will heal me
Some day.

~A

Posted in activism, anxiety, auction, bugaboos, community, crowdfunding, friends, history, life, observations, peace, politics, research, society, storage, urgent

11/23: Catching Up and Observations

I kept swearing I was going to write posts over here… and my poor hotspot was being overworked. So, as of yesterday, I have wi-fi in the apartment. 

I’ve had some good runs of activity this month, but the funds have mostly been spent keeping other, smaller, things alive (such as said cell phone with hotspot)… and groceries since they cut my food stamps back. Between that and a lack of work in October, I’m still in dire need of getting storage caught up from these two months so I can get some stuff out to get my apartment closer to my own sense of normal: mattress, piano, TV, desk, sewing and embroidery machines… not to mention chairs. This sleeping/writing on the floor thing is killing my back.

And on top of that, it’s been scheduled for auction for December. Late December, I assume, as they haven’t said the date in the emails. 

I can’t currently do a GFM or anything as my checking account got closed due to a lack of positive balance for too long (a month). So, PayPal is all I have. Closed checking account: another reason October sucked. 

I currently owe $804. Can we get there? Halp?

Between my fiction project this year for NaNoWriMo, and observations of news I see around me and online, I ask one thing:

Why are we so angry? Why so much anger and hatred?

I noticed myself getting angry while living at the shelter. I was absorbing all these negative and unstable energies around me (living with 60 women will do that), but I’m much calmer now. I’m closer to my normal self again.

But I then look at the news and observe others as I walk/bus around town.

Man kills pregnant wife and two young children. Disposes of their bodies. Shooter kills multiple people at a Synagogue. Young black security guard killed -doing his job- by cops arriving on scene. 

Need I say more? This is just barely scratching the surface. You can say what you like about their motives. I may or may not agree with them. Today, I watched footage of a “peace” officer on a middle school campus beat a young black teen boy for seemingly no reason. Staff of the school looked on, doing nothing. The dude picked this kid up and flipped him over his shoulder, slamming him to the floor. For what? I’d love to know what the motive of this “officer” is for so much violence toward a child. 

People are angry. Not just in specific moments, but the energy I get when I walk around town is one of anger, indecisiveness, frustration. But where does this stem from? Why are we so angry? Why do we not ask questions first and then resolve the issues at hand instead of using violence of one form or another. 

Have our prejudices taken over? Are we so filled with fear of the unknown that we lash out more readily now? What can be done to combat that fear? Unlearn the prejudices? Unpack the hatred? 

Never -ever- tell me one can unlearn bigotry. My mother was a closeted bigot, only revealing it to her family. Like me. She went to her grave the same way, but she tried to get me to follow her views. I chose not to. I’ve seen articles on former members of the Klan and of the WBC who walked away and learned to not hate so readily. It is possible. 

But this hate and anger I see is so much more than bigotry. Look at the cases of road rage. Many have nothing to do with racism or bigotry, but a core hatred of… something. 

I doubt I’ll ever get this answered, but I want to know why people are generally angry and mad at the world… and I want to know how we can plant the seeds of peace.

~A

Posted in adoption, anxiety, C-PTSD, cats, community, depression, disability, family, food, food cravings, health, housing, job hunting, life, nanowrimo, poverty line, PTSD, storage, urgent, writing

10/31: FOOD! (and a bit o’begging) and #NaNoWriMo

(trigger warning: talk of suicidal ideation and PTSD further down) Pardon the wonky spacing…

Here’s hoping that since I was able to log into my EBT account to check my balance, that it’s been reinstated. I tried logging in over the weekend on my phone and it said it couldn’t access the account. Just now, I was able to on the CB. Tomorrow is the day I get to see if they’ve changed my amount.

I haven’t gotten any letters (picked up mail yesterday). I definitely need those food stamps right now. If anyone has every seen my fridge/freezer and pantry from before the eviction, you’d understand why the barren landscape of the fridge and freezer (and somewhat barrenness of the cabinets I have now) is so daunting.

I’ve almost always had frozen meat of different kinds, as well as veggies and other things… and the only things in the freezer right now are a wedge of local bleu cheese and the packs of Dorot minced garlic and basil. And a couple of ice packs. No ice cube trays to make ice. No chicken, no nothing. The fridge usually has cheese and sauces and lots of other things… not right now. So, food stamps for November are SUPER important. I need to restock. Badly.


I was raised to have a full pantry and fridge/freezer (although my mother took that to excess with a second full sized freezer crammed to the hilt). This was so that if one couldn’t go to the store, we could still pull from what we had and make dinner or whatever. I’m not a huge fan of frozen veggies anymore, but I’ll gladly still stock some up for backup needs.
Frozen chicken breasts and pork chops… stew beef… you name it. A frozen dinner or two on occasion (Amy’s Rice Mac and Cheese is amazing and awesome comfort food). A container or two of crumbled hard cheeses in the freezer… Feta and Bleu usually. Grated Parm… all in the freezer. Yes, you can freeze them. I LOVE making scrambles with some of the cheese sprinkled in at the last minute… 

So, here’s hoping my food money got reinstated.


I’ve pretty much given up asking this one friend of mine for help. This person has told me that if I need something, to ask. Period. I did. A month ago. They said they’d help a week later… I checked in then… had to wait… and then wait… I know this person is dealing with a lot, hence why I’ve decided to no longer ask.

My only thing is that this month has SUCKED for tasks, which have been my only income for two years. All while trying to find steady employment I’m physically capable of. But this month has seen ONE task, one cancellation fee, and less than $200 in income. And that has gone to nudging my checking account back up to ZERO (thanks to the cell phone I need in order to run the app for getting tasks). So, I’ve had no usable income this month.

A month ago, when I got storage caught up before auction, I thought I’d have another decent month, so I didn’t worry so much about October. Then my app for getting tasks stayed silent. I had one cancel, one was fraudulent, and then the one I did get.

Another that was supposed to be today, but I don’t have the tools on my to mount things to concrete (better drill than what I have… which i have in storage, but can’t get to, and masonry drill bits, which I don’t have at all), so the whole thing, including assembly, got cancelled. Last night. Mind you, it wouldn’t have counted as October income anyway, as the billing would take a couple of days to process.

So, I need help just to get October paid. Then I can get in there and get tools out (if I can FIND the damn things) and my mattress and other stuff so I don’t look like I’m squatting in my own apartment.


Yesterday was Portia’s Gotcha Day Anniversary. 10/30/2010 is the day I adopted her. Eight years later, she’s saved me from suicide and getting stabby toward male humans who don’t understand personal space on transit (PTSD from sexual assault sucks when you’re on transit). We almost had a vet visit due to a couple of hotspots on her skin (that’s the one main health issue with her: sensitive skin and stomach). But no money, denied for CareCredit, and waiting for PAW Team to call back (it takes time to get an appt with them) all ended up with me just keeping an eye on her for now. They’re likely from stress-grooming, so my friend is going to hand off a partial bottle of CBD oil for pet use and I’ll try that in her wet food (which I need more of soon. See her wishlist on Amazon… if someone was so inclined).

My girl is now roughly 13… they said she was 4-5 when I adopted her. But no one really knows exactly how old she is. I’ve been saying she’s 12 for about 2 years now. So, I’ll finally bump it up to 13. Still a guess, though.

IMG_20180328_210201_131.jpg


Tomorrow is November 1st. The start of NaNoWriMo. This will be my 13th year straight. It’ll be fun and challenging, but I’m game. This year I have two ideas that I’m going to combine into one SF story. I also have a couple of backup tales if my characters take a break and don’t want to talk for a bit.

~A

Posted in anxiety, C-PTSD, chronic pain, community, creativity, depression, disability, faith, family, friends, grief, health, homelessness, job hunting, life, poverty line, PTSD, society, storage, transitions, urgent, writing

10/27: Creativity and Storage

It’s now been a week in the new place. I also still don’t have access to storage so I can get my mattress and stuff out. I was depending on one person who said they’d help, but hasn’t so far.

Tasks are slowly picking up. I had one yesterday and have another one tomorrow morning. Unfortunately, those two will only get me closer to $0 in my checking account as I’m about $260 in the red. If I’d had work throughout the month, I wouldn’t be in this predicament.

So, I’m asking. It’s only one month’s rent plus late fees ($305 plus about 40 or so), and using PayPal will keep it from getting sucked into the checking account (I did finally deactivate the GFM).

It wouldn’t bother me so much if it weren’t for my back. I’m sleeping on the floor with very little cushion. I’m now getting numbness along my right side (the side I keep re-injuring), which isn’t good.

The sooner I can get into storage and get things out, the sooner I can move the rest of it into a smaller unit again. Which means less storage rent. My goal will be to go from the 8×20 unit down to a 9×10. It’s about half the price.


Now that that’s all out of the way…

I finally heard from the one place I might be doing that internship/job (the place doesn’t pay me, SE Works/state does). I like the place. They’re an arts organization that focuses on making arts education available to all, among other things. I’m hopeful.

Right now, my focus in on getting my life back on track, but I also can’t forget what drives and heals me: creativity. With that, I am happy to say that I will be doing NaNoWriMo for the 13th year running. I’ve done and won all previous 12 years. Last year, I was a mess, though. I admit that. I ended up piecing together my 50K words from various half-finished stories. This year, I have two small ideas that are going to be expanded into one larger tale. I haven’t decided if it’s going to be fully off-world SciFi or Post-Apocalyptic Earth… not yet. It doesn’t wholly change the story much. In the snippet I wrote earlier this year, I do reference a poison gas that was used in WWI (Mustard Gas), but it could still be referenced similarly in an off-world story. Just maybe the planet they’re on is one humans colonized and shit went sideways.

Who knows… I’ll let the characters determine that part. I know that Post-Apoc stories are a HUGE thing right now. It would be very easy to make this PA.

My writing has stalled in some aspects the last two years or so. Four years ago, my dad died, and he was my biggest fan and cheerleader. A month ago, I lost another cheerleader, my friend Connie, to cancer. She was always in awe of how I came up with the adventures and random shit my characters ended up doing. So this year is for Connie. I’ll make sure they get into a decent amount of mayhem.

Now that I’m coming out of homelessness, I can stop being on constant alert… hyper-vigilant mode. That’s from a combination of homelessness and PTSD. It’ll take some time to fully come out of it.

I think writing this tale in November will help pull me back into life again. Where I don’t have to keep looking over my shoulder.

~A

Posted in activism, anxiety, bigotry, bugaboos, chronic pain, community, depression, eviction, faith, friends, health, homeless, homelessness, housing, life, observations, politics, society, transitions

10/24: Adjustments and Changes

As of Friday the 19th, Portia and I are now in our own apartment again. We still have several hurdles to jump: getting storage caught up for October only (more on that in a bit), getting furniture OUT of storage so I’m not sleeping on the floor (I do have a mattress in there), getting my old electric bill sorted before the end of the month, and getting internet in the apartment.

Oh, and getting my checking account up to zero or higher. Ugh.

So, most of the past two years, I’ve at least had SOMETHING coming in from being a Tasker, but this month? Nothing. Nada. Zip. Seriously. I’ve had no jobs. Well, there was a team one set for yesterday, but I have a feeling the other person stole the whole thing from under me and will try to muddy my name on TR. I’ve already sent an email to a contact there about this. I have proof the guy said the task was postponed and then late last night said it was cancelled. If it was cancelled, I’d have an email from TR saying it was. Nothing. Soooo…. yeah.

I need to cover 200 of the old electric bill plus a deposit… and also storage… and ordering internet. I do NOT want to rely on the hotspot on my poor phone to do everything. But it’ll be nearly $50 to get it set up… if not more. The electric, I may be able to get help from CCC as a one-time thing.

Things are happening slowly. I talked to the person at SE Works last week about the training job. She’ll get back to me soon, I hope. Right now, I’m just holding on.

I had zero intention of this being a pity post or a begging post. If people want to help, great. But it’s okay. I’ll figure this shit out somehow.

In the coming days and weeks, I’ll be able to reflect more on my experiences of the past two years. Most of that time has been either staying at friends’ houses or in the shelter. Being at the shelter was likely the strongest learning period. Man, I learned a lot. I stood up for myself and for others being bullied. I saw how low people can go while they hold their heads up high acting as if they’re better than the rest of us. I saw, and was the ‘victim’ of food theft, among other things.

I still have a lot of emotional stuff to unpack from that experience. When I do get through it, I fully intend on being an outspoken advocate for resolving homelessness.

No matter where we sleep, what we eat, the clothes we wear, our gender or sexuality, our skin color, our mental and physical health; we are human beings and deserve to be treated equally in society.

 

~A