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 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 creativity, dreams, empath life, faith, life, poetry

8/3: Sealed Secrets (#poetry, #crowdfunding)

Dreams abated.
Life has me in a
Stranglehold.
Caught between my past and
What I am to
Become.

Who is that person?
The future does not give
Sneak
Peeks.
It holds those secrets close.
A seal on its contents.

Where will I be in
Five years?
Ten years?
I do not know.
Preferably breathing.
Hopefully more than that.

I wake each day.
Not knowing where that day
Takes me.
The adventure can be small
Or one of great challenges.
But I have to wake up first.

~A

(Yes, still crowdfunding. Any help will do.)

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

Posted in anxiety, asexuality, bugaboos, community, crowdfunding, dragon, dreams, feminism, friends, gender, life, Personal, society, storage, urgent

8/2: Dragon Dreams, Toxic Masculinity & #crowdfunding

I mentioned last week about going to Europe and all that. Well, last evening I was reminded of a phrase I get a LOT from people: “It’s very different living in Europe.”

No. Fucking. Shit. Sherlock.

I’ve asked people to elaborate. Some give me reasonable answers, etc, such as about grocery shopping (usually daily and no stocking up like we do here) and the like… but then I get the “American stereotype” answer: “Well, there aren’t as many malls and fast food places like you might be used to there. America has so much excess…” you get the idea.

Whenever people tell me this one, it makes it abundantly clear they don’t know jack shit about me. Do I like having up to date computers? Sure. Do I need the latest and fastest thing on the planet? No. Having worked too many years in retail, I HATE Black Friday. With such an unadulterated passion, you would likely question my sanity… or my drug use. Both of which are reasonably fine.

I have no interest in the latest and greatest items out there. I don’t care about name brands to the point of obsession. I certainly don’t go nuts over designers. I’m not a stereotypical “American.” I have things, yes. Many of these things mean something to me. They aren’t the “latest and greatest” out of whatever company.

So, yes, it’s different there. I WANT that. I CRAVE it. I want to see what life is like outside of this materialistic economy and mindset. I like change. I like new experiences. I’m the one who just picked up and moved to different states THREE TIMES in the last 16 years. I have to plan things a lot more with going overseas, but still, moving there isn’t the issue. Living there and adapting to the culture isn’t an issue. It’s the closed-minded attitudes of people who prefer to stay close to home, as it were, that is the issue.

And don’t get me going on the whole “American Dream” bullshit. The white picket fence, husband, 2.5 kids, dog and cat, nice working cars in the garage, etc… BLECH.

Give me a space I can adapt to my own needs. A place close to a food market, flower stalls, quiet streets with some solid history emanating from the walls of the buildings lining it. Let me be free to live MY life, by my standards and choices. I’m not interested in having a husband and kids (and really, I’m almost 45. I ain’t pushing babies out at this point). Don’t tell me what my life should be like. Let me determine that.


Yesterday, I had my first (in a while) catcalling run-in. Yeesh. I have a fucking mohawk. I’m not some uber-femme type. And yet, some jackass in a van was catcalling me. I had a brief moment of being tempted to yell back at him to go fuck himself… or at least give him the finger.

But I refrained. Why? Because of Toxic Masculinity. Far too many men think we, as women, even those of us who are genderfluid women (that sounds odd, but I do mostly still identify female… my boobs ain’t going away), OWE them. We’re supposed to acknowledge their catcalls and pushiness and be delicate little femme flowers and be appreciative of their attention.

Fuck their attention. I’m not on this planet to be put on some fucking pedestal for some jackass to catcall. I’m not here for their fapping fantasies. I’m here for me. To do the things I love to do… which, if you have not figured out by now, is not being a girly girl fragile little princess needing to be saved by some ego-maniacal jackass on a white horse.


The only saving I need is a little financial help to regain access to storage. So, help if you can, share the YouCaring link or PP if you can’t donate… or do both… I’m cool with that.

~Dragon

Posted in anxiety, bugaboos, chronic pain, community, crowdfunding, depression, dragon, dreams, grad school, health, homeless, life, Personal, PTSD, storage

8/1: Dragon Mode On… oh, and some #crowdfunding

Yes, still need to take care of storage. There’s a link to the new YouCaring campaign in the menu, and in the sidebar, the PP donate button is always active.

I’ve posted in the past about how hard it is for me to deal with crowds and being on public transit. My anxiety about crowds and such has gone up even more since my C-PTSD was massively triggered last November. There are few men I know that I allow to hug me now, and even many of them have to still ask for permission. Or they at least ask even though I’ve told them they’re on the “approved list.”

I’ve gotten to where even sitting next to someone on the train or bus grates on my nerves and pushes the hot buttons for my anxiety. It’s mostly when one or both of us is just a bit wider than the seats. I think most Americans are anyway… they do make those seats pretty damn narrow. It’s the whole ‘touching’ thing. I’m not entirely sure why right now. If I had my own place and worked 100% remotely, I’d likely turn into a shut-in and have my groceries and everything delivered and only go outside for rare excursions.

I have to listen to music, and the volume gets turned up to where I don’t have to listen to people’s voices as much. Some, however, are too damn loud for their own good. When they’re loud AND racist, then even more buttons get pushed. That happened Sunday. I didn’t do anything because I was tired, but damn, I was so tempted to smack that jackass for saying racist shit.

So, people are nudging me into Dragon Mode. I’m not always very nice in Dragon Mode. The politics of fuckery going on in DC, the people talking shit on the train here, my own frustrations of finances and health stuff. Dealing with the whole “getting my degree DONE” mess. So help me, if I can swing it and survive Fall term (if I’m able to go back) and finish my degree, in December, I want to scrape up some funds and find a way to get out of town for a few days. Go on a mini vacation of some sort. Unplug from everything. Maybe not be so easily drawn into Dragon Mode.

For me, Dragon Mode is when I want to snarl at people, curl up into a ball with Portia nearby, and just rest… when I don’t want to deal with people, even though I know I have to. When the littlest shit sets me off into a bad mood. When I’m fed up, burned out, and exhausted beyond all reason. And I still keep going because I have to. I need to interact. I need to go to appointments. Find a job. Go grocery shopping. Need to ask for help at times.

It’s how my life kinda just is right now. I may have pain on any particular day, sometimes a headache, sometimes my back or my knee or… yeah… but if it isn’t completely off the charts, I have things I need to do. And I do them. Some days are harder than others. But I still try.

This year has been challenging for me. Ever since last Fall, really. My downward spiral started hitting last summer when I just could not grasp this one class I was taking. I wasn’t sure what was wrong then. I’m still not. I’m doing better, but Life keeps lobbing massive lemons at me. I’m pretty sure they’re grapefruits now. Urf. That might explain the headaches.

Well, I had a busy day today and my flame is dwindling for the day. Need some rest to get my flame back tomorrow…

~Dragon

Posted in anxiety, community, crowdfunding, depression, dreams, emergency, eviction, friends, genealogy, grad school, job hunting, life, Personal, poverty line, storage

7/31: #YouCaring, #Crowdfunding, Storage, and Stuff

I really didn’t want to go this route, but here I am. In the menu, you’ll see a new page/link.

YouCaring: Saving Penguin’s Possessions

Come tomorrow morning, August rent for storage will be tacked on, adding another $280 to my current $351. There will likely be other fees attached to July rent.

The goal is to get the excess raised ASAP, preferably before the 15th. The sooner, the better. Why? Because I need access to my nicer shoes for things like interviews. The only interview-worthy shoes I have with me are a pair of ballet flats with skulls on them. They’re not obvious, as they’re woven into the design. I also need access to the rest of my tools and supplies.

I currently have 240. I’ll need $631+ after tomorrow. They don’t take partial payments. I’m doing what I can to make money here and there through Taskrabbit, but I can get a task a week or nothing or four in a week. I do have this ongoing one, but the pay rate isn’t great.

Through my VR Coach, we’re getting some job leads, and I sent him a link for a library job that pays pretty decently. He’ll talk to them some more tomorrow. My hopeful goal is to be in my own place, or pretty damn close to getting into one, by my birthday, which is two months away. I hate being in flux like this.

I also need to start scrounging up the funds to submit my application for second citizenship in Switzerland. I have the family info laid out and verified. I’m on file with the consulate. I just need to come up with the funds and do a bit of brushing up on many things Swiss before going to SF for the interview (at the consulate). Starting next year, the process gets even more restrictive, so I’d like to get my application in before the end of the year. The fee is between $600 and $700.

Granted, I also need to get my US passport as well. I’ve never needed one.

Someone asked me recently what my dream job was. This is my response:

To travel around Switzerland staying in the different villages. What would I do there? Transcribe and digitize the parish records for births, marriages, and deaths of those in each village. So that people like me can access this information by a much easier-to-process request, as it would all be in a database. It took months and several nudges in a forum to find someone who could track down my paternal line. One woman finally found my great-grandfather, who was born and married twice there. His first wife likely died in childbirth. His second wife is my great-grandmother. My grandfather was born here in the US, but having his parents born there gives me a greater chance of obtaining federal citizenship (there are 3 levels of Swiss citizenship). She was able to trace back five more generations of the male line. 

I don’t know how to go about getting this job. Who would I be working for? The government or the Catholic Church, as it’s their records I would be working with. I don’t know. But it is one dream job. 

Until I do go there, I still have to survive here. Which means work. Which also means not losing treasured memories and items I’ve collected. Which means swallowing my pride yet again and asking for help.

Hopefully, I’ll also be able to go back and finish my degree starting in a few weeks. I have several hoops to jump through, but I only need one semester with no mayhem such as an eviction to mess me up. I want to get it done. Get my hands on that precious piece of paper I can hold up to all the naysayers and say, “SEE? I’M NOT STUPID! I BEAT THE ODDS!”

I have survived so much in my life. I refuse to be held back from achieving my master’s degree. One semester. Two electives and my capstone. Seven credits.

I just have a few hoops to jump through to get through it.

Reducing the stress of finances will help. Any help is appreciated. Even just sharing links.

~A

Posted in anxiety, crowdfunding, depression, dreams, grad school, life, Personal, PTSD, storage, urgent

7/31: Tunnels, Lights, and still #crowdfunding

A bit ago, I posted a very short post about crowdfunding. I estimated I had $220, and I was close: $210.

I need a total of $351 by 6pm Pacific time. Less than 4 hours. So, roughly $140-ish… paypal over in the sidebar (unless you’re on mobile, then they’re at the bottom). Every bit helps.


On to what I was going to blog about initially…

I’ve struggled with a lot this year. Starting late last fall, I dipped into a deeper depression than I’d ever had, even with suicidal ideation on the table. C-PTSD was now on the table and front and center in my life. Then the eviction and death of JoJo, and then… and then… and then… Virtually everything else in my life was on hold.

Including school. In the midst of the mess my life had become, my advisor and I made the decision to drop all of my classes and try to complete the class I was retaking as an Incomplete. Which, due to other things, ended up not getting done and I got at F. Financial Aid got rescinded and I then owed the school $4500. I finally got my head clear enough today to call someone in the cashier’s office and ask about what I can do. I found the form I was told about, filled it out (fillable PDF’s are a freaking Godsend), and sent it in to the controller. I also may need to scan some of the legal docs surrounding the whole mess. But, if approved, that amount would get waived due to special circumstances and the block on continuing classes would get lifted. I also may need to convince Financial Aid that I really am taking this seriously and will do some serious kicking ass and taking of names this Fall. I have a good idea of what to do now.

The goal is to get my degree DONE. I want to finally be able to hold that piece of paper in my hands and know that I’ve accomplished something no one ever expected a fuck-up like me (who wasn’t expected to finish high school) to do. Finish a graduate degree.

So this is one light in a tunnel. Hopefully this will all work out and by Christmas I’ll have my MLIS.

~A

Posted in anxiety, cats, community, depression, dreams, emergency, eviction, health, homeless, job hunting, life, Personal, semicolon, storage

7/26: …..

I honestly wasn’t sure what people would think of last night’s post. A lot of my frustration comes from being essentially unemployed for two years (I started doing TaskRabbit about a year and a half ago and get some gigs, but not steady enough and definitely not enough income to survive on) and then the eviction earlier this year. My current situation is … well… sometimes good, and sometimes that temptation to snap becomes pretty damn strong. I’m not good with living with other people. I’ve known this for a long time, but I don’t really have much of a choice at this exact moment. The goal is to get steady work and then hopefully be making enough to get my own place again.

Having my own place means that Portia (the floofybutt I live with) can follow me to the kitchen, the bathroom, etc… she loves being close to humans. Because she and the resident feline don’t get along super perfectly (I personally think they’ll be fine and give each other space), she has to stay in my room with baby gates up. Also, little space to stash foodstuffs. There are other issues, but I won’t go into them.

Sometimes waiting for therapy isn’t enough. I have an appt tomorrow, but one of the issues is that it’s through the county mental health system and the therapists are scheduled so heavily, the wait between can be anywhere from 3-6 weeks.

If I had the chance to truly run. I’d get my passport, pack up as much as possible, get Portia’s vet records updated, and haul my ass to Germany or Switzerland (where my gr-grandparents are from and where I’m eligible for a second citizenship) or somewhere in Europe and find a place to stay, then get work and a work visa, and settle in for a while. But I’d need a sizable chunk of savings to get my ass over there and stay without a job for a bit. Something I don’t have… or I wouldn’t be so damn worried about paying my storage rent every month. $280 a month to keep all my worldly possessions safe. There are some things I’m selling off, but I need to pay it up so I have access.

I just picked up a short-term TR gig that’ll be ongoing for a little while, even though the rate I set for it isn’t really great. It’ll help.

I’m living at the bottom of the bottom. The only thing lower is the streets. And I wouldn’t do that with a cat. Besides, Portia is one of the few things in my life that’s keeping me grounded and reasonably sane. Waking up to a 14 pound Maine Coon mix purring on my chest is a good reminder to keep going.

Thank you to the person who commented on last night’s venting… and to the person who sent a donation… I’m just that much closer to having July storage handled… then I just have to tackle August… *thud*

Well, I’m getting the ‘stare’ from Portia… not like she’s starving or anything… there is kibble in her bowl. She’s just on a kick right now that she wants wet food… which reminds me, I need to pick up some small cans today. Damn. There goes more of the storage money. Maybe I can find some on sale.

I have PT today (I’m bad, I haven’t been doing my exercises this week, but I’ve also been down with a massive amount of pain). I’ve also discovered what may be a new food allergy… one I’m rather unhappy about. Walnuts. I LOVE walnuts, dammit. But when I need my inhalers after eating some… yeah, not such a good thing. It isn’t really bad anaphylactic shock, but my breathing gets difficult.

Oh yeah… the stare… I guess I should refresh her water… yes, she does drink it.

~A