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 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 chronic pain, community, crowdfunding, dragon, friends, health, life, Personal, storage, urgent

8/7: Busy, Grumpy Dragon & #crowdfunding

I should be able to get back up to speed tomorrow. I had two exhausting tasks yesterday and then a dentist appt today. I’m going to the OHSU dentist school clinic, so appts aren’t some half hour block… they last an average of 2-3 hours. Today was the first stage. A thorough exam of what work has been done and what needs work. Next one is more in depth assessment and then a treatment plan…

Yesterday’s tasks will net me a good chunk of funds, but I’m still roughly halfway from what I need to get storage caught up. Any help is greatly appreciated. Either the YouCaring campaign that’s an external link up in the menu or the PP donate button. I really want to get it caught up soon… like really soon.

Some of the padding is to cover September. Some is (ideally) to also help with getting some essentials food stamps don’t cover such as cat litter and canned cat food. I also desperately need to replace my sneaker slides… they’re at least 11 years old, more like 12 or 13, and are falling apart in a massive way.

I have a few post ideas floating around in my head… but I’m on pain meds at the moment so me blogging those topics while on meds is not the best mix…

I’m gonna head offline and lights out. This Dragon needs some more sleep. I was damn close to falling asleep in the dentist chair today.

G’night….zzzzzzzzzz*snort*fire*zzzzzzzzzzzzz

~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

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, 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 chronic pain, community, crowdfunding, depression, family, friends, grief, health, life, Personal, storage

7/29: Paying It Forward & Other Things…

Storage: Yeah… still need a little help with storage. The ongoing task I’m doing won’t pay the first round in time, so it’ll help for August, but not July. I’ll tally up and see what exactly I need tomorrow. But payment has to be in by 6pm tomorrow Pacific Time. (I’ve had to use some for food, as I ran out of FS funds, but I’m guessing between 60-100 or so, once you add in the late fees.)

Shit… I need cat litter soon… like SOON. Also, cans of food for her. I swear, if I could have a public wishlist on Chewy, I would. But I talked to them and they don’t have anything like that.

Paying It Forward: After friends, and even a few strangers, stepped up to help me get my stuff packed up and into storage during my eviction, I felt I needed to pay it forward in some way. I don’t always have the emotional or physical strength to do a lot. But helping a friend move between units in a retirement building was manageable. I spent yesterday and today helping move stuff and some furniture between floors. Most of what’s going into the new place is done. Still a few things to get done and moved down, but maintenance will be able to help.

We all have limitations. Some of us have good days where our limitations don’t affect us as much (although what we do on those good days may lead to some ugly days shortly after). This weekend has been a pair of those good days for me. It’s funny to me that I look at my own belongings and be mentally paralyzed… meaning I look at it and just don’t know how to tackle it. But then I look at someone elses’ things and I’m all, “okay, so this can go here, and we can load that, and go ahead and put that on there. No, that won’t fit that way…” you get the idea.

My friend I helped this weekend has Fibromyalgia among other health issues. Her limitations are far greater than mine. I certainly have my days where even fixing dinner and sitting upright is a challenge, but give me a task and a tight deadline and I’m in a mindset of “pain? what pain? oh, THAT pain… nah… I’ll deal with it later.” I am sore right now. That’s what happens. And besides, those desks weren’t that heavy. Once the drawers were out, they were pretty light. I can deal with the aftereffects. Helping someone move from one studio to another in a short time is worth the pain I’ll have.

Losing People: I’ve faced my own mortality on more than one occasion. It sucks. But I’m not afraid of it. Others are. Something I’ve never understood. It is inevitable, so why fear it? A friend and former coworker passed away recently. She wasn’t a young woman, but not pushing 100 either. She passed away quietly in her sleep. Losing friends and family over the years -of all ages- is something I ponder on. Everyone has their own way of doing things. My parents were “no fuss” types (even though I still want to have the ceremony and have their ashes interred in a military cemetery as my dad was a WWII Vet. It’s just a matter of getting them from a certain person in the family. Long, ugly story). Then there are others who do various celebrations of life and a funeral and all sorts of rituals.

What matters to me is to remember my mortality. And then celebrate the fact I’m still alive, despite staring death in the face. I may not always seem like I’m celebrating, but I am grateful to be able to wake up every day. Sometimes, that’s enough.

~A

Posted in chronic pain, community, crowdfunding, emergency, eviction, faith, family, friends, health, life, Personal, society, storage

7/29: Need & Hope #crowdfunding too

(Still scrambling to get the last of my storage rent covered… anything helps)

Ideals give us hope.
Treat others as
You
Wish to be
Treated.
Give and take.
Life is about more than just
Taking.
Help others.
As if your life
Depended on it.
Ideals of equality
The hope of sharing and love
Make us better.

(This comes out of spending a few hours helping a friend move from one independent living unit to an assisted living unit because of her fiance needing more help. For me, helping a friend who needs that help outweighs my own desire to have a day of chilling out. 

The least of us gives the most… as we know the feeling of true need.

I try my best, pushing myself beyond my limits at times, to do for others what I hope is done for anyone in need. I got help from people during my eviction. I needed to give back in some way. This working to help each other is how society should function. I see too many flaws and things not functioning as they should. I can expand on this later… right now, my back is telling me to get rest. I’m going back tomorrow.)

~A

Posted in faith, family, friends, grief, life, music, Personal, semicolon

7/27: The Dance

“I could have missed the pain… but I’d’ve had to miss the dance.” ~Garth Brooks’ The Dance.

Sums up so much. I always felt the song was more than just about a romance. And I was right. I see it right now as a good summation of my life to this point. We live our lives not knowing where it will take us.

We experience joy.

We experience pain.

We lose people we love… and people we wish we could talk to one last time. We get caught up in existing. Then, one day, we find regret. I’ve always sworn I wouldn’t regret what I’ve done in my life (only a few of the people I’ve done those things with). But as I inch ever closer to my 45th birthday, I do see some regrets. One biggie is not dropping everything in the world to see my dad sooner… before he died the day after I last talked to him. I was so damn caught up in helping at a local convention and then, as I was sitting there, enjoying an evening with friends, my dad passed away 600 miles away. I should have gone down there sooner.

But I live with that regret.

The lesson from that is to never, ever take anything for granted. Not a single person in your life. Not a moment to stop and admire the clouds in the sky… the green of the leaves on a tree… a flower blooming early. Stop what you’re doing, take a step back. Look around you.

Funny how Brooks’ song comes back around (via an article and video where a cancer survivor went to his concert) into my life. I got into listening to country music in the 90’s. I remember listening to this song back then. Oh, how life gives new perspective on a song you loved in your youth.

I don’t regret my experiences. I don’t regret the pain. That pain taught me to appreciate my life… good and bad. To take each day and live.

~A

Posted in cats, crowdfunding, depression, friends, grief, homeless, life, Personal, semicolon, storage, transitions

7/27: More shamelessness and reflection…

I’m edging closer to having what’s needed for storage, but due to late fees, I need a bit over 300… I’m at about 230 right now (ran out of food stamps and needed a few things… and a few cans of cat food for Portia… which food stamps don’t cover). If I can get the rest of it together, I can run down there tomorrow and pay it up (two different cards, etc). I really don’t want it snowballing into next month. Then it gets out of control.

As for reflection… I’ve had a rough couple of days with frustration levels and pain and … well, you know. I saw my therapist today. I read her the venting text and then we talked about it and how it sums everything up. She also noted that no matter how shitty things get, I find humor.

This comes from years of dealing with abuse and such that I had to find things to keep me going. As my mother later started to wither from her Alzheimer’s, I got my dad into the same mindset. Find the humor in the situation. Whenever and wherever possible. If you can’t find it in the messy situation, find something else that makes you smile or feel good to balance out the mess. We had many bad moments with her disease… as is the way with Alzheimer’s, but we had amusing things to look back on, such as the Marshmallow Incident and how she lost her license (thankfully no one got hurt). I have some OLD blog posts from before I started this one that I may dig up and schedule on here so that they’re here as well.

So, yeah, I do my best to balance the shittiness of how things have been this year. And whether it’s listening to music, or watching Portia be an absolute dork of a cat, or laughing at some memory… it all works. I love telling stories. I get animated when I really get into it.

No matter how bad things get… remember to live and laugh.

~A