Posted in activism, anxiety, community, depression, faith, family, friends, grief, homeless, housing, life, poetry, society, urgent, writing

11/18: Feeling Broken

Something happened today.
Something that ripped me to pieces.
I want to believe there are humans
Who understand what being
HUMAN
Is like.
What being
HOMELESS
Is like.
My day was okay.
Except one brief moment.
That formed a black cloud
Over my head.
My soul is soaked through.
My heart and mind
Need to be wrung out.
The cloud weighed me down.
I wonder now.
Who among us
Has compassion?
A safe place for a woman and her cat?
When the world buckles underneath you,
Who do you turn to when it makes you fall?
When the help you need the most is not the help family can give you?
Where do you go?
When you scream for help, but there is
None to be found.
~A.
November 2017

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Posted in activism, bigotry, bugaboos, community, faith, homeless, life, society

11/7: Humans aren’t always Humane

Humans are strange critters. Granted, the homeless man probably shouldn’t have been begging ON the MAX, but nevertheless, he was. This woman across from me though… she had this air about her that screamed “I’m a churchgoing conservative” … I know the type all too well. He stopped and asked her. Her response?
“What are you asking ME for?”
Here’s what I take issue with: You can (and should) be polite to all people, no matter where they are in life. Many of us are one or two paychecks away from being where this man is… hell, where -I- am. Homeless. Not enough people realize this is very much their reality as well. We are all made of the same starstuff. Her response could have been much better. Even a simple, “Sorry, I don’t have any cash” is enough. I rarely have cash on me, and when I do, it’s usually for something specific. If I do have ‘spare’ cash, I will give it. Because I know what it feels like to ask for help.
I imagine that woman on the train today has never had to ask for help. I pity her more than the homeless man. If she is a churchgoing “Christian,” I don’t think Jesus would be too pleased with her behavior. His teachings were few, but enough to get the general idea.
Love, not hate. 
Not a difficult concept, really. But it doesn’t seem to get through to enough people. I’m not going to get all preachy or anything right now. I just wonder about people like that woman today. If she were in his shoes, even for a while, maybe… just maybe, she would come out the other end of that experience a better Christian. For those who consider themselves people of faith, especially Christians, how would your God react if they saw you treating someone this way?
~A
Posted in activism, bugaboos, disability, faith, life, nanowrimo, Personal, society, writing

11/4: Writing and Respect

I hit 2500 words last night and then had another task today, which took up a chunk of my afternoon. So I’ll write this evening and then tomorrow.

On my way home on the bus, I noticed things. The more I’m on public transit, the more I see both good and bad behaviors. One dude wearing a camo jacket and had camo on his backpack (and a trucker hat… with a trucking company name on it) sat across from me and was entirely too guilty of “manspreading.” And I really wish he hadn’t. There was a hole in the crotch of his filthy jeans… not big enough to know what color his undies were, but noticeable. Which is bad enough.

Then two examples of people wanting to get on the bus not waiting for people to get off the bus. The first time was when I arrived at my destination and these two kids just got on and even after I said ‘Excuse me,” loud enough, still stood there like they had zero clue. It wasn’t until the adult in the group (mom or aunt, I presume) who was still outside on the sidewalk spoke up and told them to get off the bus and let me get off. Because of being disabled and having my wheeled crate with me, the front door is best.

Then, on the way home, two ‘kids’ in their early 20’s or so didn’t bother waiting for an elderly woman to get off the bus. The only difference was that no one, not even the driver, told them to wait. Most drivers will hold up their hand and tell boarding riders to wait because someone was exiting. This driver was younger and female and had a new setup with a plexi-glass barrier up (that can unlatch and swing open for her to get up) for her protection. Maybe she’s fairly new, or she is concerned about getting any riders upset, but she said nothing. These two just pushed past the older woman.

This brings me to a bugaboo I have: lack of respect. I’ve seen, and dealt with a lot more of this on public transit recently. I use a cane and I still am expected to ask for a seat in the priority seating area for elderly and disabled riders. None of us should have to ask. The signs are actually pretty damn obvious. A couple days ago, a fellow disabled rider had to tell a woman who purposely turned away to ignore that someone else with a cane (me) needed the seat she was in. The older woman said I needed the seat. She reluctantly moved. We chatted and she said she recently watched as someone requested that an able-bodied person move so the disabled person could sit in the area designated for us, and the guy sitting there refused to move. Another guy, who was disabled, told the reluctant guy that he was required to move for people like us. He still refused. I can’t remember what she said ultimately happened, but man…

We. Should. NOT. Have. To. Ask.

It’s called respect. Try it sometime.

Sadly, I’ve seen a decline in it in recent months, even in the last few years. I do my best to respect others. But it’s a two-way street, ladies and gents and everyone else. If you want my respect, you gotta earn it. You are NOT entitled to it. Shit, you aren’t entitled to anything other than being able to breathe… and equal rights. I don’t give a shit who you are, where you’re from, what you do for a living, etc. If you treat others like shit, expect that in return. You are owed nothing. Want respect? Be worthy of respect.

I believe that every person who makes it to adulthood has earned a basic amount of respect… say 5 points. You can lose some of those points by being an absolute asshole to people… or you do massively evil things. But I believe we all start adulthood with those 5 points. You want more? Earn them. Do good deeds, be kind to those who maybe aren’t as lucky as you are. Respect those around you, even simply by being polite and kind to them. Let them off the damn bus before you board. It isn’t difficult to do. It just takes a few extra seconds and a little patience.

Practice kindness and respect. You’ll earn them tenfold in return.

~A

Posted in activism, bigotry, community, family, history, life, politics, society

9/25: Silence

This part of Simon & Garfunkel’s Sound of Silence struck me as powerful at this point in time. While many younger people may know Disturbed’s version better (which is the one I’m listening to on repeat on iTunes), I know both, hence referring to as S&G’s song.

And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening

You may already be onto what I’m referring to.

The NFL and others in silent protest.

It started with Kaep a year ago. I’m a die-hard Niner’s Girl, but I’m still pissed off at the owner for releasing one damn good player because of some controversy. Controversy over Kaep doing something GOOD. (He needs his damn job back.)

Here’s the thing that I know a bunch of (fellow white) people aren’t grasping about the whole protest: It isn’t about the flag or the anthem. It isn’t insulting to servicemen and women. They fought for our right to protest.

So, what was Kaep protesting? And what many others in the NFL and other sports are now doing?

The extreme violence and senseless deaths of PoC, namely black men and children.. sometimes women. And all, or nearly all, by police officers. You know, the people who swear to -serve and protect the community- … and yet they kill PoC. What far too many of them are using as their defense is that they feared for their lives or they thought the 8 year old had a real gun. Or any other number of really lame excuses.

My opinion of officers being afraid -so afraid that they shoot a child who clearly has a toy, or an adult PoC running away from them- that they shoot to kill, not maim is that if they’re so damn afraid of getting hurt by a child with a toy gun or someone running from them, then they do NOT belong on any police force.

I want to look at the training practices between US police departments and other countries. This will take some time. But I have a distinct feeling I already know the answer: police in the US do not get enough well-rounded training.

So, back to Kaep and all the other players who took a knee this past weekend. While there have been a few here and there, it wasn’t until 45 (and if you don’t know who 45 is, get out from under your rock) publicly insulted Kaep, his mother, and every person who has supported Kaep’s mission. Don’t you dare insult these men. Men and women vastly better than you (45) fought and some even died for the rights stated in the Constitution. And men much better than you (45 again) are taking a knee in silent protest against the senseless and needless deaths of PoC in this country at the hands of police.

There are some who are angry at Kaep and the others for their silent protests. But these are the same people who get pissed off when protesters stand in the streets… when they hold legal, permitted rallies and hold signs… You want them to not be so loud, but when they do a silent protest, you still get angry. Why?

Could it be that you are racist and refuse to admit it? Quite likely. You want them to not speak up at all. To be subservient and quiet and do as they’re told… right? Admit it.

I know people like you. I was raised by a person like you. I chose to do the opposite. I chose to fight for equality. For true civil rights for everyone. No special treatment, just equal treatment.

If their protests make you uncomfortable, then they’re making their point. And your uncomfortability over being stuck in traffic, or watching football players kneel instead of stand for the anthem, is a tiny price to pay compared to the blood of black children and adults being spilled in the streets for nothing more than racist fear. If you are uncomfortable with these protests, then you need to check yourself in the mirror. A racist will be looking back at you in your reflection.

My father served this country. His brothers, his father and uncles as well. My mother’s brothers-in-law served as well. I have cousins and friends who have served. If my dad were alive today, I think he would be proud of Kaep.

All voices need to be heard. Even the silent ones.

People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening

Kaep and others are talking… will you listen?

~A

Posted in activism, anxiety, bugaboos, chronic pain, crowdfunding, emergency, family, health, homeless, life, medical, Personal, politics, storage, urgent

9/20: Round 3: #Healthcare, ##GrahamCassidy & #crowdfunding Life

Yes, still on the non-violent warpath to get storage covered before auction. As of this post, I have $609 and need to hit a total of 1025 (plus yet another damn lock, which is $15 or so) before Noon Thursday the 21st…. tomorrow. Preferably today before 6pm Pacific (3.5 hours) so I can sleep easier. So a little over $400 needed. Small donations, large donations… I’m not gonna be picky. I don’t expect any one person to cover the rest… but any little bit helps.


While I am merely crowdfunding to keep my belongings safe from auction while I’m homeless, others out there have to do the same for things like medical and vet bills. Vet bills, I can understand as pet insurance isn’t a huge thing still… and past a certain age of the pet, you can’t get it (at least what I looked at years ago). It isn’t required and it is somewhat affordable. Human healthcare, however, is not affordable. And now, here in the U.S., it is a requirement.

Only now, for the umpteenth time in less than 12 months, the GOP is trying to yank our coverage out from under our collective feet. They’re like the little kid who refuses to listen to “mom” and not put their toys in the microwave and setting it for 10 minutes.

Fool me once, shame on me; fool me twice, shame on YOU. 

Why? Why do they do this? Because they can and because it was “that black dude” us Liberals voted into office for two terms who got the ACA passed. Is the ACA perfect? No. Was Obama perfect? No. But when it came to a number of things, he still did a lot better than the GOP is now. The latest bill to repeal the ACA and kill off American Citizens access to coverage for millions of people. GOP Cruelty at it’s finest ugliest.

If we had the money, I say we form our own superpac or similar and lobby the ever-loving shit out of them, luring them away from Big Pharma (who does some good, but not as much as they’d like us to think), billionaires, and the like. I get it, they want to keep their money. But they’re risking the lives of those who do pay their taxes.

I have a say in this. While my senators are working to fight the GOP insanity, there are too many who don’t listen to their citizens.

One of my many health issues right now is cluster(fuck) headaches. Not much can be done for them and even narcotic pain meds weren’t very effective at even knocking the pain down more than a notch or two on the pain scale. So I was frustrated. It renders me unable to do much of anything. Doctor on Monday suggested oxygen therapy. I had no clue if it would work. At that moment, the pain was lower, so I didn’t bother. But it returned with a vengeance shortly after and I went back yesterday to try it.

It fucking helped. The pain went from a 9 down to a 3 and then I was able to take Aleve (I have prescription strength at 500mgs) and knock it down completely. I still have a few twinges of pain here and there. Now comes the hard part: Getting my insurance (OHP+/Medicaid) to cover a tank for home therapy. The doctor/clinic will be going to bat for me and hopefully get it covered. I had wondered why I never heard of this option before. I thought that maybe it was a new thing. But then I looked it up. Nope. They’ve known about this since the 1930’s. Holy shit.

A friend of mine from the UK said it’s used over there and is one of the first things tried. That’s when it hit me: Big Pharma. Like I said above, they do a lot of good. I’m pro-vaccine, etc… just got my flu shot even… but this is my theory about why this therapy isn’t offered. Pharmaceutical companies would rather you be pumped full of their drugs first. Oxygen therapy isn’t lucrative, after all.

So, back to crowdfunding and the financial burden of human healthcare…

I had sub-sub-sub-par health insurance back in 2008 when I landed in the hospital with Cellulitis. After it was all said and done, and after my bone-break a year later (patella… that was fun to explain to the doctors), I was over $60K in debt. JUST medical debt. I had about $5K in consumer debt… I ended up filing for bankruptcy in 2013. I had to. There were no other options.

When the only options if your uninsured or underinsured are bankruptcy or crowdfunding, the immediate future looks dreary. There’s no way I could have crowdfunded 60K. Not a chance in Hell. Changing my name and moving to Ecuador sounded really good there for a while. But I stayed.

I have a friend who live in an assisted/independent care facility. Her fiance moved in and then was diagnosed with a form of dementia. They moved into an Assisted unit, but his dementia is already beyond what they can do. They were not going to get married because it affected certain financial and medical insurance arrangements, but now that he’s in a different facility, they will be. There are a vast number of reasons why, but I won’t go into them here. The reason I do mention their story is that for two people in need of a senior facility, being legally married should never have a negative impact on their Medicare or Disability.


I’ve seen rallying cries of “Medicare for ALL!” recently. Here’s my take and then I’ll go on my merry way. I watched from a distance as my father struggled with caring for my mother in her last weeks. Hospice had been set up, but they struggled to find a bed for her. After weeks of home care and searching, a bed was finally procured in a facility where they lived (and where I grew up). She was admitted on a Sunday or Monday. On Wednesday, my dad was informed that, DESPITE BEING AT END OF LIFE, she would be discharged Saturday because MEDICARE only covered 6-7 days. My dad, the doctor, and a few others scrambled to get my mother on Medicaid (Medical, technically, as they were in CA) in time. They got it Friday. She passed away a few days later.

I don’t agree with “Medicare for All” mostly for that issue. I say expand MedicAID, include some of the good parts of Medicare, and make it one giant Single-Payer service. Cut the insurance companies out, except for possibly dental and other secondary services (vision, for example).


This is one of my longest posts yet. I don’t normally go over 1000 words on here. But medical care is a big issue with me. And the GOP want to take mine away. The very coverage that handles my dental, my physical therapy (when needed), women’s services, medications that I couldn’t otherwise afford but help me function, and the list goes on.

Call your senators, especially if they’re GOP. Help them understand who is really getting hurt with this mess. Let them know that their constituents refuse to be silenced.

~A

Posted in activism, anxiety, community, crowdfunding, emergency, eviction, friends, grad school, homeless, job hunting, life, Personal, politics, storage, urgent

9/4: Labor Day Musings

Still not online much. I noticed that 1gb of data really doesn’t go far for someone like me (Writing this offline). Still need help with storage. Time is ticking away. Every share can help. Different times of the day, etc. Donations are more helpful, but I know not everyone can. Encourage your friends to share as well. 

I’ve never figured out how to “market” myself well. Sometimes I say too much, other times too little. I look at my YouCaring campaign and wonder what I’m doing wrong. If anyone can look at it and give me tips, leave a message for me.

So, school is out of the question for this term. I didn’t get any word on the appeal in time to add classes. I had hoped to get school funding this term so I could catch up on storage, pay for a few other things, etc… but won’t be able to make it this term.

So I really need all the help I can get.

Job hunt stuff: of the five I applied for a week ago, one has turned me down, a second through an agency gave me a phone interview but the job is on hold due to funding, a third did the “auto-response” and a fourth has a similar thing. The fifth, mo word yet. 

I am grateful, however, for no longer being in retail. Or I’d likely be working today. Labor Day is a day of honoring those who sacrificed their lives and such for safer working conditions. Today is for recognizing what labor unions have done to help give workers in many fields better pay, hours, safer working conditions and much more. No more child labor, etc. 

But our society has turned this day into one that still takes advantage of some workers. Retail, food service, public services such as transit workers, cab drivers and many more do not get today off. Many of those who do have today off seem to forget that retail workers* should have the same rights as those who get today off. Many large corporate stores don’t allow (and actively discourage) their workers to unionize. I know, I saw it working at various chain stores over the years. I was union briefly while at a newswire service and still won’t cross a picket line. If they were allowed to unionize, wages would be better. In retail, some rights have been put in place because some of the things fought for (such as length of shifts) are in the labor laws. Things such as pay are more of a grey area. 

We still have a long way to go to truly have all voices heard.

~A

*and all others previously mentioned.

Posted in activism, bigotry, cats, community, crowdfunding, depression, dragon, emergency, eviction, faith, friends, grad school, health, history, homeless, housing, job hunting, life, Personal, politics, society, storage, urgent

8/27: Choices (Dragon on War and Life) #crowdfunding

My grandfather and all three of his brothers chose to fight in WWI.

My father and at least one of his brothers (I think both of them did) chose to fight in WWII.

I have cousins and others who chose to enlist. Uncles on my mother’s side (who married in, as there were 4 girls and 1 boy and my uncle was too young to serve) chose to fight in WWII and even in Korea.

Due to my various injuries, I would never have passed the physical, but I seriously tried to get into the AF as an officer. That was my choice. They just didn’t want me.

We can choose to fight fascism and tyranny, or -as some choose- to join said fascism and be those we fight against. I am not a veteran, but I have enough of them in my family and amongst my friends to know what they fought, and even died, for. To corral hate, injustice, bigotry, fascism, genocide, and so much more.

And we choose to fight it. We must learn from the history of this world, of our ancestors, so we can stop repeating the same bullshit.


There are things we also cannot choose to do or choose to happen. I did everything I could to find work and keep my apartment, but one really shitty month when things didn’t go as I thought they should ended up with me losing my apartment of over seven years. I didn’t choose to be homeless. I fought with everything I had, everything I could muster, but it wasn’t enough. So now I’m still homeless, struggling to make ends meet, struggling to keep my belongings safe from auction. Struggling to make the choices of what I need right in this moment to keep me and my cat safe and healthy. She needs cat food and litter. You don’t want to know how long I’ve managed to stretch the box of litter I bought while still in the apartment. Well, considering I finally was out at the beginning of March, you can do the math. She needs fresh litter. And food.

I refuse to give up my cat. That is my choice. I also will fight to keep my belongings safe in storage until I can get a place again. I’ve had people tell me that “if (I) can’t afford to keep a cat, (I) shouldn’t have one” … well, that asshole got blocked really fast. Portia is one of the few parts of my life that makes life worth holding onto.  She keeps me grounded and in reality. She comes first. I just wish my food stamps covered cat food (I can’t go to Pongo Fund, as the food they hand out is too rich and makes her sick. She has a very specific type of food. The protein and fat percentages have to be in a certain mid-range or she mats and gets sick).

I did not choose this ‘in between’ life. In between homes. In between jobs. I don’t like it. I’m working on changing it. Vocational Rehab for work help, fighting to finish school, doing odd jobs via Taskrabbit to make a little money, but it never lasts long and it’s feast or famine in terms of income.

I do what I can, but it isn’t enough. So my choice is to ask for help. So I ask.

~Dragon

Posted in activism, anxiety, community, crowdfunding, depression, homeless, life, Personal, poetry, storage

8/24: Still Human

Seek out the
Invisible.
Stop averting your
Gaze.
They… we
Are your
Equals.
Still human.
Just living a different path
Than you.
I am no different than you.
When all the trappings of our
Lives
Are removed.
We are all
Human.
Our differences help
Define our
Individuality.
Chosen or not.
I survive.
We get by.
Asking only that
Those with better fortune
Help lift us up
Out of pain and misfortune.
A second or
Third
Chance.
To be
Heard.
Seen.
Understood.
To live a little better
Than where
We have
Fallen.
We simply ask for a helping hand to
Climb back up.

~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