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 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 anxiety, artsy stuff, bugaboos, community, creativity, crowdfunding, depression, dreams, eviction, friends, genealogy, grad school, homeless, life, Personal, PTSD, storage

8/9/17: Ermagherd, a Blog Post! & #crowdfunding

Yeah, I know… but some days, I just can’t put words in actual sentences … and enough sentences for a post. A few things: yes, still need help with storage. Remember, I’m basically homeless and nearly all my belongings are in that storage unit… I’m trying to earn the money, but it isn’t happening fast enough.

So, something I’ve been thinking about since I started my journey to get back and finish my degree. This is also relevant with the prospect of going overseas for a second degree/escaping the stupidity in our politics, as well as general making ends meet.

I’m doing this alone. 

Yes, it is my choice. I have no interest in dating. I’m more aromantic-asexual right now. I don’t have a partner, husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, etc… and I’m more interested in men in general anyway, so the wife/girlfriend thing isn’t a thing for me. I just used those to cover my bases. Many of my classmates do. They have husbands and wives and partners, etc… those who don’t have family they can live with. Great! Awesome! That’s … wonderful… but I’m over here struggling because I am very much alone in my journey. Yes, I have siblings, but they’re both 600-ish miles away and I don’t really speak to one of them unless I absolutely have to. So, yes, when life started teetering on the edge of disaster last fall, I had a hard time sorting out my direction. First the C-PTSD, then the eviction and loss of JoJo and my world crashing down around me.

But I’m still here… still trying. I don’t feel I have that support network of someone who will help do household things (granted, I’m in a different position than I was before… living with people, but still have to do things for myself) while I do my weekly readings and assignments. I -HAVE- to get work, not have a spouse who can do the FT job and me cut back hours in a currently non-existent-job to focus on school. To me, having someone else cover those things would be a luxury.

Then there’s the general “how can anyone afford to live here?” problem we’re getting to here in Portland. Rents are going through the roof and waiting lists for low-income places are miles and years long now. And for a single person, 34K is low income. If I get a job close in, I want to keep my commute as short as possible. That’s one thing I’ve learned over the years… long commutes suck the life out of a person like me. I know… I’ve done it. And I had a car at the time. Now I’m on transit, and my anxiety doesn’t make being on the train very easy.

Then we have goals… dreams… packing up and heading to Europe to live for a while. Preferably in Germany attending a school with the intent of a second Master’s degree. Maybe stay there for a few years, paying into the tax system as the college is free there and that’s how it’s able to be free. But I’d need a decent chunk of change just to get over there, get settled into a place and then start school… I’d still need income of some sort. And the program I’m looking at is very intensive during each term. The breaks are nice and long… presumably to help restore some of the sanity of the poor student. But income… I don’t know what I’d be able to do while in an intensive class structure. I’ve joked that I should marry someone just to have income for a roof over our heads… but that would mean living with another person… and I can’t see that happening for a very long time. I simply don’t do well having roommates… of the human kind.

So that support network that many others have is something I don’t. For the most part, I don’t want a partner of any kind in my life. But a small part of me wishes I did have someone to lean on and be a mutual support system.

I struggle with that part of me. I’m stubbornly independent (just not wholly financial) and individualistic. I am my own person who doesn’t need another person to feel complete.

~A

Posted in artsy stuff, chronic pain, convention, cosplay, friends, job hunting, life, Personal, PTSD, sexual assault, society, storage

7/8: My week…

If anything below has already been said earlier this week, my apologies… I’ve had a crazy-weird week.
I survived GearCon with my sanity intact. Mostly thanks to certain people setting me up with my own sleeping space so I could retreat to a quiet place when needed. Which I desperately needed. To those people, I am in your debt and I intend on reimbursing you for the room. I know they aren’t cheap. Even those little ones. After four months of sleeping mostly on cots and rollaway beds, having a couple of nights on a real bed was heavenly.
I made my black waist cincher to wear at con on Saturday. I finished it that day and wore it a fair chunk of the rest of Saturday. It’s fairly thin plain tanned leather that I did a second layer to give it a bit more body, painted black, drew gears in silver and bronze Sharpies… and will be adding more later. It came out pretty damn well considering I only starting working on it the Thursday before.
(pics here)\
The Front

The Back
I enjoy working with leather. It’s a pricey hobby, but I have fun with it.
I had appts Wednesday and Thursday and have been strongly encouraged by my GP and my therapist to start creating a local in-person group for those of us with C-PTSD from domestic/sexual abuse. I won’t discuss it too much here, as it’ll be a peer-run (non-clinical) confidential group.
I also met with my VR trainer and we’re getting going on redoing my resume, etc and switching gears to finding work in research instead of social media. SM is over-saturated here in PDX, hence why I’ve had shitty luck in even getting interviews. Research isn’t AS saturated… likely not saturated at all, honestly. I may have a better chance at solid employment there.
Now, here’s an interesting thing. I’ve pondered about it on FB and have been told that this is actually very possible. A few months back, I fucked up my SI Joint (sacroiliac joint) on my left side. It’s right next to the tailbone and has affected my walking ability among other issues. I was already having issues with my right knee, and then this… but on Sunday, while at the con, I was room-sitting our hospitality suite while others were off doing things. I’m fine with this… I actually enjoy just hanging out and watching the room. I got up to make a sandwich (yes, we had gluten free bread), and on my short walk back to my chair, I had a severe sharp jab of pain right in that spot next to my tailbone. I couldn’t move that hip, could barely put weight on it, etc. One girl was also in there and I had her set my sandwich down on the other chair and then help me over the last few steps. I managed to get pain meds, etc… but before they could take effect, everyone returned in one big blob of happy people… some noticed I was having problems and asked if I needed anything. They got everyone else mobilized to set the sofa-bed back to sofa form and my stuff was carried over there, pillows set up, and 2/3’s of the couch set up for me. That’s pretty much where I stayed most of the rest of the day. I got a ride home and stayed in bed for about 95% of the next two days and nights.
By Wednesday, when I had a doc appt for other things, I had almost no pain on the left side. I’ve since wondered if that pain on Sunday was my SI joint basically resetting itself. That hip still doesn’t like sitting in any one position for too long, but that’s my body for you. I will have sciatica until I die… not much can be done for it. But no more excruciating SI pain. I’ve been told that the SI join can reset itself back into place… it happens… not for everyone, but it can… and I have a feeling that’s what it did for me. I’ll run it by my PT when I see her next.
I’m also having issues with the very computer I’m writing this post on. Oddly enough, it’s ONLY on Facebook and no other site. And on FB, if I’m using the other computer or my phone, it’s fine. I try to type a status or comment and get a few letters in and the cursor pops back to the beginning. I even shut the damn thing down a couple of days ago to let it rest… fired it back up about an hour ago and it’s still doing it. Closed the window, opened a new one… yup… still.
I’m also trying to scrounge up the remaining funds for July storage rent. I have about 130 or so, and the bookcases will be sold shortly, but that’s only another $50… I need 280 plus late fees. I’m working on it, but I’m just not getting anything else coming in. I may have a lead on a little part time (maybe under the table) work for a friend and fellow writer, but I need to email him. As my post from earlier this week stated, our internet was down for a couple of days and that threw me off track with emailing people and all that jazz.

I’ve been fairly quiet this week, but I have had a lot on my mind…

~A

Posted in artsy stuff, creativity, Personal

6/17: Projects

So, I have three jacket/coat projects rumbling around in my brain. Only one involves sewing… I’ll get to that one later.

  1. The Blazer: It’s actually a mens black tuxedo jacket. Nice condition. I bought it at Goodwill a couple years ago for a cosplay I never used it for. It was the “backup” plan. So, I got this idea in my head: Cut a hole in the stitching between the lining and outer fabric and draft out a design to hand-embroider along the back. I was thinking a Mandala, but there are so many ideas. A dragon would be awesome as well. I’m looking at designs from Urban Threads.
  2. The Denim Jacket: I have a basic denim jacket I don’t typically wear much. I have several patches and make patches on my embroidery machine (when I have access). A friend of mine suggested I turn it into my “Patch Jacket.”
  3. This one will be more vague in my description. I have a hoodie that’s wearing out and I want to do a little “nip and tuck” to it and add more to it. It won’t be recognizable as a hoodie once I’m done. I just need pieces of sweatshirt fleece and old sweatshirts of varying colors to do what I want to it.

Right now, to work on #1, I have the jacket and the needles. But my embroidery thread is buried behind a ton of other things. I need to dig out a hoop and my thread… or get new thread. If I go with the mandala, I want to go with blues and purples. I’m having a hard time deciding on a design. I’ve linked to UT above. If anyone has any ideas, leave a comment with a link to the design you like the best. Nothing too complicated. Look at the hand embroidery options.

Dragons, mandalas, wolves, etc…

~Amanda

Posted in artsy stuff, life, Personal, poetry, society

6/1: Woven

[I wrote this back in 2012 in a notebook that I just rediscovered in storage today.]

Intertwined.
Breathing.
Up and down.
Backward
Forward
Weft and Warp.

One color meets another.
Crossing each other
Maybe to meet again
Or not.

Humanity moves
Breathes
Passing each other
Once, maybe again.
Touching briefly
Or for life.

I knew you once.
Passed through life
Briefly.
Once.
Maybe twice.
Warp and Weft.
Back and forth.

One strand
Holds
The weight of 
Those that come
Before
And
After.

Shall we meet
At another
Junction
Again?
Or never to be?

The fabric we
Become
The humanity
Of our 
Woven lives.

We each are
One strand.
But we become
So.
Much.
More.

APA 2012

 

~Amanda

Posted in activism, anxiety, artsy stuff, bigotry, chronic pain, depression, life, Personal, storage

5/31: Day off again

I did a little too much yesterday, so I spent the day at the house helping my hosts with prepping for a book garage sale. Tomorrow, pain levels willing, I’ll hopefully head down to storage and push myself to even higher limits. I have things I want to remove, shift around, etc… weekdays are better for that because there are less people so I can spread out and use the hallway to pull things and move more stuff around.

Thanks to a certain person whom I don’t know, June storage rent is paid up. One less thing to worry about. A friend is buying my bed frame… and I’m going to find a way to haul the two little bookcases back to also put up for sale this weekend. My intent tomorrow is to get a little deeper into the mess in the middle of the storage unit. The perimeter is organized, but as things got more frantic, it was more of a “throw it in there and don’t break anything!” It’s a jumbled mess of stuff that if you pull on one thing, Bast only knows what will come tumbling down in an avalanche of stuff.

One goal of selling things is to buy the supplies to make a steel pipe garment rack for my costumes and such that come down when things get shifted. Eventually I want to rig it so it’s on heavy duty casters, but those can wait. I just want to get those garment bags hanging up.

Another goal is to pay the buyout price for a textbook. I like keeping my Archives textbooks and this one will take about another 65 for buyout from rental.

Then, after that, set funds aside for feline supplies and July rent for storage. I’m also returning to TaskRabbit as a Tasker and will hopefully start back up and get decent gigs… it isn’t the best source of income, but for the storage unit, it’s fine.

And yes, I’m still job hunting.

Life has been tugging me in so many directions, I’ve felt like I’m on the edge of something… a breakdown maybe… but I’ve gotten through the worse of it… I just still feel stuck. Getting steady work and back into a place of my own will help immensely.

So, there’s my boring life in a nutshell… at least for today.

I also just made a banner for my FB. Feel free to use, just don’t trim off the copyright at the bottom. It fits the FB specs for banners.

nohatepdxfbbanner

I can make a general one as well, but with so much shit going on here… hate crimes more public, bolder, more violent… I needed something. And with Pride Month upon us, the colors felt right.

Well, I think the coffee has worn off for the day and it’s well past my bed time. Although the pain meds were taken too late, so I don’t expect to sleep tonight anyway…

~Amanda

Posted in anxiety, artsy stuff, chronic pain, creativity, Personal, silliness, storage

5/25: Arting w/o Words & Stuff

So I scribble and doodle a lot…. well, not often enough to be REALLY good, but I try.

A few weeks back, an image came to my mind that I felt needed to be put onto paper. Now, when I do artsy things, they usually involve photography or Photoshop… design-like things… but this image in my mind of a Tolkien-esque elf just kept sticking. I started to sketch it out, but got stuck on shitty erasers and a pencil that wasn’t soft enough… I stalled. I still have every intention of finishing her in watercolor pencils… but now there’s a second version that popped up in my mind while sleeping last night. Same general image, but in charcoal on toned paper…. yeah.

So, while I have some quiet time here at the house, I’m going to work on her. She doesn’t have a name… she’s different than RG, who is the main character of a webcomic I’ve been trying -very unsuccessfully- to launch for over two years… I think my financial instability and such hasn’t helped…

I have access now to storage and can get my charcoals and supplies out… I don’t know at this time if I have any blank toned paper left… if not, I’ll have to get some.

I’m a writer who occasionally likes to draw and paint. And now, as I’ve been writing about this, I’m thinking of a small piece as a gift for someone…. I wonder if I can pull it off in time…


Now, about yesterday. I’m amused that I got all kinds of ‘likes’ on here for last night’s post about not being able to do my usual stuff.

I had my Voc Rehab appt and then went to storage… by the time I got TO storage, both of my hips and both knees were screaming bloody murder at me. I rested for a bit on a bench I have in the unit, then started pulling things out and trying to make the stuff right up front a little more “me friendly.” I’d gotten 5 of these huge waxed boxes for produce and four were stacked up right in the middle of the doorway… trying to get around them was a bitch. They’ve now been split up, a few other things shifted around… etc.

I have two short and narrow IKEA bookcases for sale and a friend is buying my bed frame as soon as I can extricate it from it’s location in storage. I can see part of the headboard, but yeah…. there’s a lot piled on top of it, so it’ll take some major shifting of stuff… MAJOR shifting. My folding table is now withing easy reach for each time I open the door. It got buried in the rush of things in March. I like setting the table up for smaller items and an intermediary spot for heavy boxes as I pull them out.

I really want the bookcases gone… they take up floor space in there, which is extremely precious.

Thanks to a person and their biz PP account, the day after auction, I received enough to pay for June rent for storage. When I went down there yesterday, I paid it early. Needless to say, Dustin (manager) was very surprised. I’m almost always late on rent. So I have a little breathing room to tackle selling off some things, organizing the rest, and just getting the physical stuff together in my life.

My left hip is still hurting as I walk around the house. Not as bad as yesterday, but I’ve been resting and trying to stay off my feet, and thus my knees and hips, today. I think this is my sciatica flaring up… although with only occasional sharp jabs of pain. If I had free access to weight machines like leg press, leg extension, and leg curls, I’d not only make my physical therapist happy, but it would help strengthen both of my hips and my back…

Now to see if I can pull off this small thing in time… I have a kneadable eraser, both WC pencils and regular colored pencils… and a sharpener…

And I’m not posting it publicly until it’s been handed off to the person.

~Amanda

Posted in anxiety, artsy stuff, creativity, empath life, faith, life, patreon, Personal, poetry, storage, writing

5/21: quick “note”

You guys (and gals) never cease to amaze/amuse and befuddle me. My earlier post was really nothing spectacular… just more of a “hey, I am still alive here” post… and yet 11 likes on it… this one won’t be much better.

Pretty sure I’ve rambled about this before, but tonight’s poem made me think of this. A lot of my poetry is train of thought. I rarely edit them. Most of the time, I hand write them. Those may get a word change or two when getting typed up, but still, nothing radical. My poems also fall into a “freestyle” form. And they tend to be either observational (the one from earlier this past week about being at the station and watching people is that type) or internal and sometimes extremely personal. I don’t write those to get attention or anything… they’re random stream-of-consciousness pieces. Nothing grandiose.

I sometimes read them to my therapist, who loves them as both a written art form but as being therapeutic. They can trigger an intense conversation in session. Tonight’s poem, which will post at 11pm PST, is an internal reflection piece… it’s kind of an internal conversation… take from it what you will. I’ve noticed a lot of people pay attention to the poetry posts. So, as long as you read them and like them, I’ll keep writing them. The monthly Patreon poem will be a longer, likely more traditional, work. These are just short little ones.

Well, half an hour before it posts… enjoy.

And thank you for bearing with me with my frantic situation over storage… and ensuing “crash and burn” this weekend. It takes a lot out of me.

~Amanda