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 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 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, 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