Posted in artsy stuff, cats, creativity, crowdfunding, emergency, eviction, grief, Personal, storage, urgent

9/10: Deadlines, #crowdfunding, and @Chewy

#CROWDFUNDING: It turns out that the auction is on the 21st, not the 15th. I had guessed the 15th because when I’ve gone through this before, it was always the 15th or as close to it as possible. But this time, it’s the 21st (which is a Thursday, so I find it odd, but okay). So I have a SMIDGE more time, but not really by much. If the two people whom I’ve talked to do send what they say they’ll be able to send, I’ll have roughly 500 between them and what I have in my accounts.

So I’m roughly halfway there. If I get more TR work this week, I’ll have a little more, but unless I get a really big job or two, it won’t cover me the rest of the way.


A few months back, I got a call from the manager of my former apartment building that a package was there. It was “kind of urgent” and since I didn’t live there anymore, I technically shouldn’t have packages sent there. I didn’t know what it was, so I sent off to go pick it up. It was a 1-800-Flowers delivery from Chewy, the pet supply website. I had talked to a CS person there a couple weeks before and had mentioned I lost JoJo to congestive heart failure in the midst of my eviction. The flowers were a beautiful arrangement in a vase.

So, I’m still (obviously) unemployed and money is tight, so I haven’t been able to order my normal stuff from them. On Friday, I got a call from Fedex that they had a package that couldn’t be delivered to my PO Box. I was going bonkers trying to figure out if this package was something I’d ordered (interview clothes) or something from my wishlist that maybe someone sent… I had them route it to a local store that is now a pick-up location for Fedex. Picked it up today. A small metallic blue bubble wrap package.

From Chewy.

Inside was a card: wp-image-1885802957

And two 6×6 paintings. JoJo

wp-image-956431916

And Portia.

wp-image-398707042

If you want to inspire customer loyalty, it’s stuff like this… hell, even the flowers were more than enough… to make a customer for life.

Showing compassion and caring for a customer is how customer service should be done. I know, as that’s my own philosophy from working in retail. Go above and beyond, help and show that you care about what you’re doing. This is something that’s hard to find in bigger companies. It’s all about the numbers and speed anymore, not about making sure your customers walk out the door wanting to keep doing business with you. Instilling loyalty through caring and compassion is something missing in retail anymore. I’m glad to see Chewy doing good.

~A

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Posted in anxiety, C-PTSD, cats, crowdfunding, depression, dreams, emergency, friends, grief, homeless, housing, job hunting, life, Personal, storage, urgent

8/30: Past, Present, and Future… (#crowdfunding, of course)

I am not the same person I was five years ago. Ten years. Twenty years.

Have I gotten stronger? In some ways, yes. Other ways, not really.

I’m still not a totally confident person. I have goals and dreams and working on accomplishing things even I never expected of myself twenty years ago. When I was 18, I considered becoming an attorney. Then I looked at the amount of schooling and didn’t think I could do it. I thought there was NO way I could do anything remotely like that.

Yet, here I am finishing up my Master’s in Library Science, specializing in Archives. And looking at hopefully going to Germany for a second graduate degree. Am I crazy? Yeah, probably a bit. But it expands on the Archives education and is something I love. While not law school, making it this far is pretty fucking awesome for the kid who wasn’t expected to finish high school.

I still have a LOT of challenges ahead of me. Getting work so I can get my own place again and no longer be homeless. Healing the scars of C-PTSD. Saving money to get to Germany. And many other things…

One thing they encouraged us to do while in school was to network and be active in the ALA, OLA (Oregon Library Association), and SAA (Society of American Archivists). Well, I had to let my dues lapse and I’ve yet to be able to afford any conferences. I’ve been flying under the networking radar for this field. I hate that, but it’s how things played out for me.

My journey has been one of many ups and downs, and I honestly don’t expect that to change as I move forward with my life. I’ve learned to not plan ahead too far. Shit happens. Such as an eviction and becoming homeless. Life will play out as it should.

I do what I can, even though it never seems to be enough. And it sucks. But this is why I try to reach out to others and not isolate myself too much.

~A

Posted in anxiety, cats, crowdfunding, depression, emergency, faith, friends, grad school, health, homeless, life, Personal, society, storage, urgent

8/28: Cats and #Crowdfunding #storage

(Yes, still #crowdfunding. This is getting urgent now… and I’m trying not to freak out. Any help will do) Please SHARE… it’s free to share.

[CW: alcoholism, homelessness, suicide talk]

On my way back to the house today, I sat with a couple of fellow homeless folks on the MAX. They were both struggling with alcohol and in environments that didn’t help with sobriety. I am reminded that, while my situation isn’t easy, adding an addiction to the mix makes it harder. One of the reasons it’s hard to stay sober, from their point of view, was that it’s so damn cheap to get drunk. Have ten bucks? You can get a couple bottles of cheap wine. And when you’re surrounded by fellow alcoholics and addicts, sobriety is a bitch.

Being homeless at all isn’t easy.  Add other factors into it, such as disabilities, addictions, having pets, and it gets harder. I will be blunt: if I didn’t have Portia, I would be considering suicide. But I have this sweet, dingbatty cat who loves me and makes me laugh. I look at her and I see this gorgeous cat who purrs me to sleep and wakes me up at any and all hours. Who blends into the flooring at night when the lights are out and I end up tripping over her. She still hasn’t gotten the idea that when I’m moving, to get out of the way. She’s a big lovable goofball. And I love her.

And she keeps me alive.

All that said, I do also need help with storage. There’s no way I could rebuild what I may potentially lose in storage. So I ask for help.

I have faith that things will somehow fall into place. How? I don’t know. I’m gonna need a miracle at this point.

On grad school: I still haven’t heard on the appeal. Which is bugging the shit out of me.

~A

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 anxiety, C-PTSD, cats, chronic pain, crowdfunding, depression, dreams, empath life, health, housing, job hunting, life, Personal, PTSD, storage

8/24: Future Housing (and #crowdfunding still)

(and also still #crowdfunding like a madwoman)

Because of various reasons, I’m back to looking at apartments with a modest market rate budget… not knowing what kind of job I’ll get, how much I’ll be making, etc. As soon as I’m able, I need to move out of my current temporary space and back into something of my own. There are a number of reasons for this, but I’ll leave most of that alone here.

I am very much a solitary person. Introvert, borderline anti-social at times… Me and my cat. And my stuff.

I have friends in the area who have made suggestions for neighborhoods. I appreciate these suggestions, but there are reasons… the top one being my mental and emotional health.

So, here’s one scenario:

Ideal job location: Downtown or very close in, on MAX or Streetcar line.

To go with this ideal job locale, I need to find a studio apartment that is in a moderate range for market rate apartments. The $800-$1200 range is where I’m looking. That, for close in, is at the low end of market rate buildings.

The factors that play into this decision:

  • Anxiety on public transit.
    • Partly from my C-PTSD and not wanting any form of touch around men if I can help it.
    • General “Empath who can’t block worth shit” issues. Crowded trains and buses are a problem for me.
  • Disabilities.
    • Walking 1/2 a mile to a bus stop that may not even have a bench is a problem. Staying close to a MAX or streetcar stop is ideal for my physical disabilities.
  • Travel Times.
    • In order for me to be able to balance work and possibly finishing school and doing other things such as my writing and all, a short commute is my goal. Working on artistic things will also help my anxiety. Finishing school will be a HUGE load off my back.
  • I also have to look at newer buildings… built within the past 10-15 years, preferably. Why? I’m allergic to mold. My asthma is bad enough, dammit. Older buildings are a risk.

Another idea that friends have bandied about is the idea of getting a room in a house with friends or others… My response is a huge, fat NO.

Of the handful of roommate/houseguest (either me as the guest, like right now, or having a temporary houseguest) situations I’ve had over the years, only ONE was without tension or conflict. Hell, that psychotic bitch in Chicago still owes me the $1000 she said she was going to (even had a written contract as to such… never fucking happened… but it’s too long ago and 2000 miles away for me to track her sorry ass down and take her to court). Any time I’m living under the same roof as others, save for one temporary experience, shit goes wrong, tempers flare, etc, etc.

As an Empath, I need to be able to close my front door, turn on some music, and be able to move about my space, from bedroom to kitchen to bathroom to living room space, freely. And Portia needs to be able to be with me in all those spaces. Right now, she has problems as she can’t come to the kitchen with me… same for the bathroom… Anyone who has pets knows how they love following you to the toilet. Must be there with you at all times. Without a second cat to keep her company, she’s Velcro-Kitty for me. I must be in her line of sight at nearly all times. When I leave this room, she waits by the door for me to return.


So, I’m looking at places. I have a few ‘bookmarked’ on the Apartments .com website… my top pick doesn’t have floorplans on their website or on the above-named site. I need floorplans.

Now to just get a decent job.


Alternate scenario: Say, I get a job out in Hillsboro. Then, I’ll either deal with a longer commute, but a reverse one, living close in and working out there… or I’ll find a place out there and again stick to the “live close to work” principle. I’d still prefer working downtown.


Yes, there is tension in my current situation. One half of the couple wants this room back to get it prepped for winter (the hot tub needs to be fixed… yes, I’m living in the ‘spa’ room in the house). I’d love to be out of here by my birthday, as I mentioned in my earlier post… but that would take a helluva miracle right now. I’m working on it.


And yes, I still need funds to get storage caught up.

~A

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 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

Posted in anxiety, cats, crowdfunding, grad school, health, homeless, life, Personal, storage, urgent

8/5: Forgetful Dragon

Coffee: √

Food: √

Two tasks booked for tomorrow? √

Crowdfunding plea: Well, you know the drill by now. YouCaring and PP are both active. Even with a handful of tasks, I still need more than I can bring in to get storage back on track.

Headache at bay…. somewhat. Ya know, the coffee/caffeine is supposed to help a bit with that. Oh well.

I didn’t post the rest of yesterday because I was laying low due to overdoing things on Thursday. Today, because I know tomorrow is going to exhaust me, I’m upright but still not doing a whole lot. Watching Law & Order: SVU repeats and hanging out with Portia.

I haven’t heard anything on the appeal for my tuition and fees from Spring yet. I hope I hear soon and then can get things going for Fall term. With my school, fall term starts mid-late August, so there isn’t much time. I’m good at getting things done quickly myself, but dealing with institutions and all… they don’t move very fast.

So everything in my life is in flux. Hell, I even have a partially written poem sitting on my phone right now… I couldn’t think of how to continue it. I will, though.

~A

Posted in cats, crowdfunding, dragon, homeless, insomnia, job hunting, life, Personal, storage, urgent

8/4: Sleepy Not-A-Morning-Dragon #crowdfunding 

Nothing like having a fitful night of sleep -while on sleep meds- and then finally getting sleep and the cat jumps up to sit on your full bladder at 5:30am (I nudged her off and managed to keep her off until 6).

Too early for Dragon… at to be coherent. 

#crowdfunding still happening. I can’t let it accrue more late fees… I know it’s over $600 between the two months owed.

Things on the job front are looking a smidge better. But I have to keep going. The sooner a decent job happens, the sooner I can move into a place of my own again and no longer be homeless. 

More later… 

~Dragon 

Posted in activism, bugaboos, cats, crowdfunding, dragon, dreams, friends, history, homeless, life, peace, Personal, politics, storage, urgent

8/3: Hotter than a Pissed-Off Dragon’s Nostril

So, if you know where I’m located (PNW, Portland to be more precise), you know we’re getting hit by a heatwave rivaling what other regions of the US and Northern Hemisphere have been getting. On top of that, we’re getting smoke from two wildfires. One fairly close by and then the BC fires that have been raging for a while now up north. So it’s hazy and smoky outside, which is filtering the sunlight and heat, but it’s still not a normal August for us. It’s a wee bit toasty for us.

I decided to go grocery shopping anyway. For the most part, I behaved myself. I got water, ginger ale (because something fizzy helps at times), cauliflower and a few “bad” things… but mostly I behaved. I didn’t really get anything to cook as this week is so toasty. No interest in cooking and heating up the house any further. I may get something later this week or the weekend.

Here I am talking about groceries and I still need to tackle storage rent. I’m going to need about 630-650 total, and I do have a little bit coming in, but no more donations so far.  I have less than half. I have a LONG way to go. PayPal or the YouCaring campaign are available.

Portia is staying cool as far as I can tell. There is A/C here (which is great for her, but after a while, I end up freezing my ass off) at the house we’re staying in. I don’t have fur like she does. Today is supposed to be the hottest day for the week and then we’ll be back down in the 80’s and 90’s… Portia is sleeping a lot, but then again, she is pushing 12 years old, so she’s an “old lady” in cat years. She has her moments, though. Oh boy does she ever.

If you’ve checked out the Amazon Wishlist, you may notice a new addition to the top of the list. A gaming headset. Except I’m not using it for gaming. See, I need to get back on track with my German lessons and since I’m living with people, I don’t want to deal with the speakers and cheap mic on the laptop. Having a decent headset will help me hear the audio without having to turn it up, and the mic on it will be better for me to practice the pronunciations. I use Duolingo for my German and French, but I set it aside, like everything else, during the eviction.

And hey, my birthday is coming up in two months… 😉

I do want to at least get my application in for my second citizenship before the end of the year. Hopefully I’ll have a decent job by then so I can save up the money for the application fee.

I did have a strange dream last night… and yes, it ties in to what I just wrote. A friend found a piece about how supposedly 45 (he who is pretending to be the POTUS) is going to release lists of types of people who are “enemies of the state” of some sort… invoking an American Kristallnacht. This is not a good sign, but my hope is that Mueller will nail a few overblown asses to the wall before Christmas… (fyi: I do not use 45’s name and he sure as Hell is NOT my president. He doesn’t represent me and the vast majority of people. I include the disenfranchised who just didn’t vote.) Well, my dream was one where a new list was released and that anyone holding or applying for a second citizenship elsewhere was un-American and if they traveled outside the US, they would not be allowed back in. Sound familiar? Charlie Chaplin was flagged as a Communist by the McCarthy hearings and when he traveled overseas and tried to return, his re-entry was denied. He settled in Switzerland, in Vevey, never to return to the US.

I sincerely hope this country doesn’t travel down that dark path. We really need to learn from the past. Not just the history of our country, but that of others.

And now I must be off to meander around the internet causing trouble and lighting fires on Twitter… balanced, of course, with pictures of cute kitties.

~Dragon