Posted in anxiety, depression, dragon, family, friends, grad school, job hunting, life, Personal, PTSD

6/26: Angry, tired Dragon

(I’m mostly venting… so if you don’t want to read my venting, it’s okay. I started this on FB, but it was getting long. )

At this point, at least for right now, if there’s something political that harms a large percentage of people in some way… then I’m likely mad about it. I can’t fucking keep up. The Supreme Court is failing us, the “president” is one of the biggest fuckups we have done to ourselves as a nation, congress has too many blind greedy assholes, and hate crimes abound because the perpetrators figure with 45 in office, they can get away with pretty much anything. So yeah.
But I’m done right at this exact moment. I can’t put energy into fighting this cesspool our society is turning into right now. I have too much of my own shit to deal with.
It’s fucking tempting to start a GFM or something for getting the fuck out of Dodge for a few years… raise funds to get my passport, plane ticket and such for Portia and I, and leave. Right now, that’s where my head is. Finishing my degree is on hold until I can come up with the funds to pay off the school. So that’s fucked.
Other than having many good friends here, I don’t have anything tying me to PDX. the US in general, my brother is still cool… there’s extended family… but I never see any of them anymore because I live at least 600 miles away from them and have been too fucking broke to visit. They’re all busy with their own younger branches of their families. Our branch? None of us have married and unless we adopt, no kids. 
So where is all of this coming from, you may wonder. Especially since I posted earlier about the very thing I’m trying to get away from: posting on politics and striving for peace.
Well, I have a few books next to my bed. A couple of overdue library books, a textbook from the class I fucked up on, and Howard Zinn’s Voices of a People’s History. I was going to refer to one piece in there for the papers I didn’t finish for the class I didn’t finish… yeah. So my head is in this weird place all of a sudden.
I want to finish, but I don’t have the 4500+ to pay off the school. I know I got myself into this mess. Spring term fell apart due to the eviction stress filling up my headspace.
I can’t put my finger on why I can’t seem to get myself together. Exhaustion and PTSD screwed me up last Fall term. Then I had a chance to redeem myself on the class from that term that I took an incomplete on… and then the eviction took over Spring term.
I started grad school totally on track, getting good grades, etc… and then over the past year, I’ve been slowly unraveling. Stress, no job, frustration with things in general, have all played a role in my downward spiral with school. I’m super close to finishing, but the money thing from withdrawing in Spring has messed things up. By the time I came up for air after the eviction, the term was nearly over. The whole thing is a jumbled blur.
***
Well, I have a bit of a nutty week ahead. Tomorrow will be a very long day, then a couple of things Wednesday, possibly something Thursday and then GearCon all weekend. I’m on staff… A week from now I’ll likely be so dead-tired I won’t be able to function for a day or two. We’ll see how things go.
I’m working on rounding up as much as possible of the $280 needed for storage. I have a little under half right now… but two more TR gigs this week will help… and still trying to sell off a pair of speakers and the two bookcases. I may need a little help, as my tasks didn’t really start getting going until mid-June. We’ll see how things are after Wednesday.
Let the wild week begin!
~Dragon
Posted in anxiety, community, depression, dragon, grad school, job hunting, Personal

6/20: Dragon Job Hunt Frustration

It isn’t easy finding work as a dragon. They expect you to breathe fire to a certain number of feet, and you must fly with absolute precision…

But all joking aside… it’s frustrating. I’ve revamped the resume, tried everything, and I still get rejected without even so much as an interview. As much as I know social media work and web design, I am wondering if this really isn’t where I should be focusing. I am going to a networking thing Thursday, and will finally meet my “mentor” person at VR (Voc Rehab, for us working types who are disabled and unemployed) next week. If that doesn’t get cancelled again. *sigh*

I’m not sure, but I think that mentor person is actually not for SM, but for research. My counselor said she could probably find a person in that field than in Social Media. Which I find interesting as I can find jobs galore for SM, but barely anything for research. Most of what I do find is medical.

And then there’s my grad school field. Do you realize that PDX has Librarians and Archives Specialists popping out of the woodwork and not enough jobs for all of them? Yeah. And don’t get me started on Multnomah County. I’ve said it in the past: Fort Knox was likely easier to break into than getting a library job in MC.

Right now, I want something that pays decently, where I can afford a studio apartment of my own and save up for stuff, pay off debts, etc. On top of student loans, I owe $4500 (I thought it was higher) to my school for withdrawing from Spring term. Then about $3000 to the former landlord… I can’t enroll to finish school until the debt to my school is paid. So, I’m basically screwed on that end.

I’m not sure where to set myself down in society. I’m not one for blending in (I want to turn my mohawk back to purple SOOOOO badly right now, it hurts). I can’t answer phones thanks to my voice/vocal cords being a bit wonky… I just want to research stuff, work on the computer doing things… could be web things, social media things, research things… have my little corner of a workspace where I can do something I enjoy in peace. For a decent paycheck.

So I’m a bit grumpy… and unsure.

~Dragon

Posted in anxiety, bugaboos, depression, dreams, eviction, grad school, homeless, job hunting, life, Personal, storage, student life

6/17: Falling Apart

I’m not totally sure what to do anymore. I have no back up, no resources. Remember: I’m homeless, jobless, and disabled. Trying to finish grad school has become an impossible feat. I owe nearly 5K to my school because I had to withdraw from my classes last term. I got a letter recently (I check my PO Box about once a week) saying if I don’t send something (and where is this money coming from?) before the 26th, it’ll go to collections.

So I’m at a loss. I’ve worked at this degree for nearly three years and the last two terms, due to depression and the eviction stress, I’ve tanked. Hard. I talked with my advisor and decided on just doing the one credit wrap-up capstone… but it’s one credit and financial aid only covers 5+ credits. I don’t have the funds to pay for one credit. I’m about ready to say, “sign me up for 5-6 credits for the fall term… fuck this, I’m going for the certificate.” Summer term has already started.

Maybe I’d get enough funds to pay off the school and a new term. Not sure.

So, here’s why I’m pissed off… they know I’m trying to finish the degree. There’s a damn good reason I’ve needed financial aid. I’ll try calling them next week and try to deal with this. Explain that with the debt, I can’t finish my degree… but I’m unemployed and fucking homeless so how the fuck am I going to come up with 5K??

I’ll call them next week and see what I can do. I don’t have the money. I’m trying to sell stuff out of storage so I can pay next month’s storage rent of a mere $280 (mere compared to 5K).

The letter from them states that enrollment will be frozen while I still have outstanding debts… I need a miracle of some sort. At the very least a small one to keep me from losing it while on the phone with them next week.

I’m frustrated. Partly with school, but mostly with myself and my life. I can’t fully put my finger on the WHY of the mess my life has become. I can’t blame it fully on either myself or “society.” Believe me, I wish I could figure it out. I wish I had that answer.

But it eludes me.

~Amanda

Posted in bugaboos, cats, chronic pain, depression, eviction, grad school, life, Personal, storage

6/12: Monday Ramblings

A few things on the plate tonight.

I’m hoping/planning on going to storage later this week. I don’t think I’ll make tomorrow, as I have two appointments and the second is closer to “home” … unless I have some surge of energy early in the morning and go over there before my first appointment downtown at 11.

Yeah, I didn’t think so.

I need to pull a couple of things and brainstorm something from what I already own to lift Portia’s food bowl up. She’s doing something she never did when it was elevated back at the apartment. She does this half cough/half hairball hack. What I think is happening is that she needs the bowl elevated again so that the food is staying where it needs to. This is why it’s strongly suggested to elevate bowls off the floor/ground. The problem is that the item I was using back at the apartment was a few old shelves from long-dismantled IKEA bookcases. Both food bowls, the water bowl, and the container of kibble were all on there. I can’t bring anything like that into the house. That’s been well established. I think they’ve mostly been tossed into recycling anyway during the move-out.

So, I need to jury-rig something smaller. Using only what I have in storage.

This will be fun.

I have mentioned I grew up watching the original MacGyver as a teen, right?


I had Physical Therapy today. Because of the new order for my back, we did an evaluation on that. Here’s where things get bothersome:

Medicaid/OHP+ only covers 8 visits to therapy type things like speech therapy, PT, etc per 12 months or something like that.

I had 4 approved visits for speech therapy due to my vocal cord dysfunction.

Then 4 approved visits for my knee, one of which we used today for the eval for my back.

I have one visit left for my knee. I need to get them to somehow approve/jump through flaming hurdles visits for my back.

Ahh, bureaucracy and red tape at its finest.

My knee is doing better… my back? Not so much. It’s getting rather inventive with new curse words. I’m not sure what language it’s using…. not sure I want to know either.


I have a lot of things swirling around in my head about some of the bigger things in my life. I’m frustrated that I can’t seem to keep my shit together long enough to finish grad school. Frustrated I can’t get very far with job hunting. Frustrated that I crave the peace of my own place but can’t see when that place will happen for me.

I’ll figure it out at some point… just wish it wasn’t so damn frustrating.

~Amanda

Posted in cats, crowdfunding, dreams, grad school, life, Personal, storage

5/9: Making a difference ( & #crowdfunding)

(Still crowdfunding… keep on spreading the word.)

If you were to look back at the list of jobs and companies I’ve worked for, your head would likely spin. Yes, lots of retail, but other types of jobs interspersed between. One job I held in two locations was teaching reading and writing in an after school program. I was also the test administrator for potential students to see where they were reading or doing math at.

I had a reason for doing this job. I was one of those kids. The one in remedial classes because I didn’t bother with homework and my grades were horrible. They never bothered trying to see what my deal was, not even my HS counselor. In everyone’s eyes, even my own for a long time, I was a failure. An eventual drop-out or suicide. A statistic.

But I’m not.

When I was about 18, after high school, I was determined to make a difference in at least one kids life.

Even with only my BA in English, I impressed one thing upon the kids I could reach: you can make it. You can beat the odds. Keep going. I made it, you can as well.

I had some amazing teachers and professors along the way. Mr. Williams, Ms. Wooten, Jerry Smith (LMC), Dr. Gilbert, and others.

Now I’m finishing up my Master’s degree. The kid who wasn’t expected to finish high school.

During my time teaching in the after-school program, I reached kids in my own way… I used humor and nudged them in the right directions, getting them to think about the answers and how to find them, instead of me telling them.

It’s a lot like the philosophy behind animal rescue. You may not be able to change the world, but you can make a difference for that one cat or dog or kid. You never know until you do it.

~Amanda

Posted in community, crowdfunding, depression, emergency, friends, grad school, homeless, life, Personal, poverty line, storage, urgent

5/2: Shameless #Crowdfunding Post

#crowdfunding still… if you’re reading this on a computer, the links are on the sidebar. On mobile, you have to scroll down to the bottom of a post page (the home page just keeps loading more posts… I think). 

If you look at the YouCaring campaign, you might think I’m close to what’s needed, but about 540 of that is older and long used.

I’m encouraging as many as possible to simply share, even if they can’t donate. I’m posting just about every day, either here or on that campaign. 

My situation is a reminder that without community, anyone is a “paycheck away” from being homeless. My struggle to find work that doesn’t exacerbate my various injuries from my past makes it even harder. I have now been accepted into the vocational rehabilitation program. Yes, still trying to finish up grad school. But in order to get back on my feet and pay for my 1-unit capstone this summer, I need work with decent pay (minimum wage or just above it isn’t enough to cover living costs and pay off the debts incurred). 

I also can’t afford to lose my property in storage. Among all the normal stuff is my father’s flag (and service medal) that was earned in WWII. So much other stuff as well. Right now, the financial goal is to catch up on storage before auction on the 18th. 

Anything and everything helps. I’m barely hanging on. Still looking for work and finishing school. 

Thank you,

~Amanda 

Posted in chronic pain, community, creativity, crowdfunding, depression, dragon, empath life, grad school, history, homeless, life, music, Personal

4/20: Dragon Puzzle: #Life, #Jobs, #Creativity & #crowdfunding

I forced myself to go out and run a couple of errands today. Even before heading out, I felt out of place today. It may be due partly to the whole being jobless and homeless thing. But I think there’s more to it.

On one of my FB statuses about all of this, even my brother, who doesn’t live here, pointed out that the job market here in PDX tends to be polarized. The extremes are dominant. We have a lot of low paying service jobs and a fair number of high paying tech-style industry jobs, but very little in between. Yes, there are “in between” jobs, but the numbers available are declining. Some months back, I was in one of my favorite music stores and one of the clerks and I were chatting. This very subject came up. He said that the people who come into the store or that he sees around town are either retail/service/restaurant or they work in one of the big tech/industry firms such as Intel or Nike. This is what the PDX job market boils down to.

The problem with this for me is that I can no longer physically DO the service jobs. And I don’t have enough paid background to even stand a chance in the high-end job market. The jobs that are in between are predominately admin assistants and such. You really don’t want me answering phones. My stumbling over words and Freudian slips would get me fired in a heartbeat. This is why I look at the slightly more unconventional jobs. why I love doing research or the reason I’m finishing up a degree in Archives/Library. I love data, research, history, sorting… oh yeah, and social media. Yes, I do have decent people skills as well. I’m just a teeny bit worn out with them right now. Chronic pain and years of abuse by customers will do that.


Then there’s the crowdfunding for survival. Right now, that’s more on keeping my stuff safe. I need to regain access to my belongings. I see a lot of people clicking on and reading my posts… and a few friends here and there share the YouCaring links… but I see little movement. Are people getting tired of me asking for help? Likely. If I had a decent job, which I’m trying to get, I wouldn’t have to ask. I’m just afraid of losing everything I own (save for a few things that aren’t in storage, which isn’t much, honestly). So I ask. Trust me, I’m tired of asking… probably even more than others are sick of me asking…


Earlier today, I made a post or two on FB about feeling out of place and how that goes with the lifelong feeling of being invisible. I sometimes feel like an afterthought…

I don’t know where I fit into society. I refuse to conform to the point of losing who I am for a job or for acceptance. I refuse to change who I am to suit what society thinks I should be.  But I get told by some that fitting in is the only way. I don’t believe that. There is a place in this world -a sorely needed place- for the Creatives. Those of us who don’t perfectly fit into the jigsaw puzzle of society. We help bring color and life into a society that encourages conformity. If it weren’t for us, you wouldn’t have those paintings in museums, sculptures to examine, books to read, music to listen to, movies and TV shows to watch. We make the world a little more interesting.

But the disadvantage is that in so many aspects of what we offer the world, all that is ever acknowledged is the work produced, while those of us who create it are ignored, pushed aside. Yes, there are award shows and all, but to recognize us as part of society, not these bizarre outcasts. We still need to pay the bills and rent somehow as well. We bring our creations to you, but we are more than just those creations.

~Dragon/Amanda

Posted in bugaboos, chronic pain, community, crowdfunding, depression, emergency, empath life, grad school, life, Personal, poverty line, student life, transitions

4/18: Perspective & #crowdfunding

Still desperately #crowdfunding. I need to round up a total of roughly $700 for two months of late storage rent and late fees and the auction fee…

Yes, I’m more stressed and pissy, but there are multiple factors right now. And most of them, I can’t really talk about. Do I come off as needy or clingy? Maybe. I don’t know, honestly. I do know that I’ve been doing the best I can to not completely snap. Last night’s post is the closest I’ve come. I hate asking for help, but I haven’t been able to bounce back up financially and job-wise as I had expected and hoped I would. So yes, I ask.

I am eternally grateful for all the help from various people. I’ve never really been good at all the social graces and stuff.  I may not always say thank you right away… but most of the time I do remember.

Our “Western” society is one of independence and not building strong selfless communities. We’re failures if we can’t “go it alone.” While I’m stubbornly independent myself in many ways, finances have always been a problem for me. I’ve repeatedly done what the commenter told me to do, “just find whatever job comes along that can cover the basics.”

The problem here is that Portland rents are skyrocketing and in order to afford a market rate unit close to reliable public transit (I don’t really trust the buses that much), I would need a salary of a bare minimum of 40K/year. For a studio. I don’t do well living with other people (I’ve known this a long time now). As an Empath, I have a hard enough time shutting it all out (I can’t block well) when I live alone… living with others is extremely difficult. I never have the chance to calm my thoughts and clear all the emotional muck.

I physically can’t do many jobs listed out there that are, in the commenter’s words, “plentiful.” Standing for longer than half an hour is painful. Sitting for long periods is uncomfortable. I cannot sacrifice my health and well being for a meager paycheck that won’t cover basic living expenses.

I know my limits (I know me better than you know me). I have for years now. They’ve changed over time. My old and newer injuries are catching up with me. Such is life. I shouldn’t have to justify my limits to a stranger. And yet, I have. Repeatedly.

I’ll likely do at least one post tomorrow… I’m already late to turn in this paper, but appointments and such have pulled me away. Tomorrow, I’ll be able to work on it more. Hopefully even get it done.

Good night, stay safe, don’t do anything Dragon wouldn’t do (that list is rather small, though), and spread the word… I feel I’m really close to the start of the next chapter of my life… I just need a little more patience and assistance so that I don’t lose what I have.

Thank you…

~Amanda

Posted in community, crowdfunding, dreams, faith, grad school, homeless, peace, society, transitions

4/18: Morning Edition 

I’m not always a nice person. I own my mistakes and learn from them the best I can. I refuse to apologize for last night’s post. I will say this: I was in an excruciating amount of pain by that point of the evening. A few other things got to me as well. 

In my job hunting all these months, I’ve revamped my resume and base cover letter more times than I’d care to recall. And still few bites. I tried for temp work with a few agencies with no luck. I’ve tried to figure out what I was doing wrong. Some of it was my resume and cover letter, but we’ve also had a massive influx of people moving here. That certainly hasn’t helped. I’m not trying for executive jobs. Just something that pays better than minimum wage. I don’t have much family to turn to. I also don’t do well in a communal household. I’ve had too many hellish roommate experiences. 

I’m also not giving up on a degree I’m almost done with. I would have nothing to show for the loans I’ve accrued. 

Life has thrown quite a few curveballs at me over the years. This one is the toughest so far. But I’ll get through it. Hopefully with a bit of help from friends who won’t judge me. I need to just get my stuff out from under the auction umbrella. 

Community is supposed to band together and help where needed. I don’t see as much of that anymore. Too much fear and greed and hate. It is not our place to judge one another. We’re here to listen and learn from each other. To build community, not tear it down. 

~Amanda 

Posted in bugaboos, community, crowdfunding, depression, dreams, faith, grad school, homeless, life, Personal, society

4/17: Response

Earlier this evening someone wrote a comment to a previous post. I could approve the comment (I won’t) or go rip into this person who shall remain nameless. Here’s the thing: this person does not know me. I have their email, which I searched for and found their name. I don’t know this person. From here on out, I’ll speak to them… the rest of you can just read along.


You don’t know me as well as you think you do. Do we have some things in common? Yeah. But you don’t know me. Despite the fact that you’ve been supposedly following my blog for the better part of a year, you clearly haven’t read everything. First, I started grad school in 2014. Since I started, I have done my damnedest to kick ass on my classwork while also working and job hunting. I am now almost done with school. I have two papers to finish off an Incomplete, and then the single credit Capstone this summer, which is really putting my best work from school up on a preformatted website. Not massively time consuming. I am almost done. I am not… I will not… hell, I refuse to listen to people who tell me to give up on school. If you knew me… really knew me… you would know how far I’ve come and how close I am to completion. And no, unless you’re paying my tuition, you don’t have a say in whether I should continue school.

Now, the other bone to pick with your comment: work/job hunting. I actually have applied for some retail jobs. The problem is that I physically cannot do them anymore. I cannot stand for more than half an hour without pain. I have more injuries than you would likely comprehend. If you actually knew me, you would know that. You would also know that I’ve been using my cane more and more lately due to my knee having problems… again. And please, spare me the crap about them accommodating those with disabilities. Been there, done that…. made things worse. Also, just an FYI: those jobs that you deem so plentiful? They don’t pay worth shit. Can you live on $10/hour? Didn’t think so.

I have pushed myself harder than you could begin to imagine. Yes, I’ve had to ask for help at times. I hate asking. I would prefer being completely independent. I’ve applied for jobs across the spectrum, even a few I knew I likely couldn’t do due to my physical issues. But I applied anyway. No calls, no emails, no interviews. I’m not looking for a “perfect job” because I’m not delusional and I know damn well a ‘perfect job’ doesn’t exist. But something where I can use my training and background, as well as a decent LIVING WAGE, and not be in pain…. that’s all I want.

My Master’s Degree I’m almost done with? That’s a career degree. Nothing “pie in the sky” about it.

You don’t know jack shit about me. If you did, you’d have known better than to belittle me and my goals and the work I’ve done to get to where I am. No, my life isn’t where I’d like it to be at this exact moment. This challenge, like every other instance in my life, is one I take on and will learn from. Your comment insulted my intelligence. It insulted my tenacity. But it’s people just like you -those who tell me to ‘just get any job’ or give up on something I’ve worked for- that I’ll leave in the dust.

Stop pretending that you know me. You can’t begin to fathom who I am. And you will never come close to knowing the real me. Go back under your rock. Stop bringing others down.

A community is supposed to come together and help each other in times of need. But I guess you don’t care much about anyone but yourself.

Don’t bother crafting a reply. It, like your original comment, will go into the s*am folder.

~Amanda