Posted in dreams, faith, family, grad school, grief, individuality, life, Personal, storage, writing

2017: Dear Dad

Three years. I miss you. I always will. It hasn’t been an easy three years. I’ve struggled with grad school, finding work, and am now homeless. I know what you would say if we could talk on the phone. “Hang in there.” “You’ll sort it out.” That’s how you were.

The day I’m actually writing this (11/7) is the anniversary of the day I last talked to you on the phone. I called you in the morning before heading off to OryCon. I insisted on figuring out a way to get down to CA to see you for Christmas. One more visit. You said to not worry if I couldn’t… that we’d have phone calls and it was okay with you. You asked how my finances were doing and I said I’d be okay, but January might be tight. You said you’d see what you could do to help.

But you never were able to. And I wasn’t going to get one more Christmas with you.

That next evening, while I was at OryCon having dinner with friends, you passed away. We were notified the next morning. I had just finished my morning shift at the store (unlike you, I’ll never be a morning person) and checked my messages.

My world -the one where you were my lifeline, my cheerleader, my rock- turned upside down. I was just finishing up my first semester of grad school. Finally making progress in my life. I had my cheerleader a phone call away. And then you were gone.

I want, more than anything right now, to be able to pick up the phone and hear your voice. Knowing what you would say isn’t enough. Hearing them from you would mean the world to me.

You always joked that it was up to me and Bud to get the rest of the family into heaven. I always responded with, “Dad, it doesn’t work that way.”

“Oh, I’m sure you two will figure it out.”

Honestly, knowing you as I do, I don’t think you had any problems getting through those gates. Bud joined you a few months later. I’m sure the two of you are sitting on a bench somewhere, watching over me and everyone else.

Still want to hear your voice, though.

Tomorrow, I’ll see about picking up some sheet music. You were so excited about me getting back to my music. And maybe hit Ace Hardware. Not the same one you took me to as a kid, but my favorite one here in Portland. Maybe I’ll find solace in going places and getting things you would want for me. I can’t go play my piano. It’s in storage and needs an outlet. I told you I’d get an electric one.

I miss you. Always will. But I’m going to do my best to live my life as you would want me to live it. No holding back. Never settle and never give up on my dreams.

~A

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Posted in cats, creativity, dreams, family, grad school, life, nanowrimo, Personal, Science Fiction and Fantasy, writing

11/3: NaNoWriMo: WTF am I doing??

Yeah… three shorter tales. Below is what I put on my NNWM profile for this years’ work. Intel Reports may get a title change… potentially DisPATCHES from Earth… but we’ll see. Mausi is the historical piece. I’m expanding upon a short-short I wrote for the Writer’s Games in 2016. I loved the characters… still do. Something about the bond between grandmother and granddaughter. Maybe for me it’s to do with the fact that I never knew my maternal blood grandmother (she died when my mom was young) and barely knew my paternal grandmother (but we had a bond nonetheless… she passed away when I was 6). I find the bond spanning generations to be fascinating and wonderful. What I do remember of my dad’s mom was a woman who loved me and wasn’t afraid to say so. I still miss her 40 years later.

So an “orphaned” young teen trapped on a transport ship with no human contact; feline reports about trying to make contact with humans; and a tale spanning decades and generations. Yup… I have my hands full. Plus school and everything else.

******

In Between (YA SF): Trapped on a transport ship, Leyna is now a young teen, having grown from infancy unwanted back on Earth due to reasons she doesn’t understand, and is unsure of why the destination colony hasn’t accepted their ship. While the older passengers have been in stasis, she was saved from death and sent to the colony. During her time in a specialized stasis chamber that allowed her to grow and thus learn by subconscious transmission, she has come to understand that she is “different” and the colony is little more than a fancy prison.

As she reaches the age of 13, she is able to leave the chamber and learn more about the ship and her fellow passengers. What she learns and what she realizes about herself forces her to make decisions that could cost her her life, and those of her fellow passengers.

*************************************

Intel Reports (Comic SF. in progress name): We all know it. Cats are smart. Little do humans know, but they’re really an alien race that has sent several intel operatives to figure out if humans are ready to handle becoming part of the Universal Consortium.

One problem: They can’t seem to communicate with the Felines. A few manage to get close, but their sentences are gibberish. This Tail of Time is made of reports from operatives throughout time. From the Egyptians to modern humans in the 21st Century. Reports from the Front Lines of First Contact.

***************************************

Mausi (Historical Fiction): Mausi is the nickname for 10 year old Anelie Scheer, but only her grandmother, Annika “Oma” Siegel is allowed to call her that. It’s the eve of the fall of the Berlin Wall, a wall that separated Oma from her beloved husband, Erich, after the end of WWII. The rumors of the wall coming down bring Annika to reminisce about her marriage and the hope of Erich still being alive. She wonders if he remembers her.

**************************************

~A

Posted in anxiety, C-PTSD, chronic pain, creativity, depression, disability, dreams, empath life, eviction, faith, friends, grad school, grief, health, homeless, housing, insomnia, job hunting, life, medical, Personal, writing

10/21: Living Outside My Own Life

More “frustration contemplation” … bear with me.

I’ve chattered on about the various things I do: writing fiction, etc, costuming, grad school, and a bunch of other things. I’ve also talked -at length- about depression, grief, homelessness, being unemployed, being disabled, etc…

Right now, I feel like I’m not living my life. I’m trying to move forward, busted my ass and made promises to get back to school and finish this term, but I’m flailing again… each week flies by me and I look up to find myself even further behind and royally fucked. My own doing. Job hunting is the same. I feel removed from the life I’m supposed to be living.

My health hasn’t helped this, but neither has being homeless and jobless, and … yeah. I know I need to do X, Y, and Z… but I don’t … I… fuck it. This is difficult to put into words on a ‘page.’

I see ME doing all these things in my head. I KNOW I can do them, but I feel like… like there’s a door between the me I am at this moment and the me who can do all those things. That door is locked and deadbolted and can’t be gotten through. And I don’t know where the keys are. I know they exist, but not what they look like or where they may be. I feel as if I’m standing at the window next to the door, looking in. Seeing this other me accomplishing things. But she can’t hear me banging on the window and door to let me in.

Every time I try to jump back in, break down that door, the brain fog returns. The disconnectedness. The feeling like my life is RIGHT FUCKING THERE!!! and it’s just out of reach. I can hear it, smell it, see it… but I can’t step into it and DO it.

Is my being “in between” [i.e. homeless] part of it? Likely. Is being jobless for over two years part of it? Very likely. Nothing like spinning your wheels in a job hunt and getting nowhere. The rare interview I do get, I don’t get hired. Despite the fact that my VR coach has said I interview very well.

I feel as if I can’t fully be ME where I am. Not my kitchen, not my bed, not my bathroom, not my home.

A lot of it started when I lost my dad in 2014. Before I was evicted. My dad was my anchor in life. If I felt lost, I could call him and he’d say what was needed to get me back to center. It’s been nearly 3 years now. A couple of weeks away. I slowly began to slip after he died. I was able to keep shit together to some degree for a while, but over a year later, my own disintegration became more obvious. The fog settled in. It lifts every so often for a brief moment or two, then returns to envelope me, keeping me from my life.

It’s looking -to me at least, from my own digging around- that Chronic Fatigue/Adrenal Fatigue is a distinct possibility. Long term stress makes it worse. Look at my life of the past 12 months… it’s been pretty fucking stressful. But getting out of this mess. How?

CFS/AFS has no cure. Doctors treat the symptoms at best. I’m on Vitamin D (enough to choke a large farm animal), and Celexa, among other meds for things like my asthma and allergies, my tachycardia, and “as needed” pain meds.

Is my current living situation part of the issue? The late start to mornings here… the people I’m staying with are retirees, so they stay up late and get up late. I stay up to about 11 and try to get up at a reasonable hour in the morning (Furry Alarm Clock gives me no choice), but I’m groggy and stumble around. Fall back asleep and wake up a few hours later… late morning. There are other “environmental factors” as well, but I won’t go into those. And no, setting an alarm doesn’t help. Tried that. Keep trying it every so often.

But that brain fog… lack of oomph… standing outside of my life… I don’t know how to fix that.

~A

Posted in C-PTSD, chronic pain, creativity, depression, empath life, eviction, food cravings, friends, grad school, health, history, homeless, job hunting, life, medical, Personal, research, silliness, storage

9/21: Like I Really Need to Write More on Here Today… SQUIRREL!!! (shit)

*sigh* It feels strange to NOT be begging for help after the last several days. I would say the last week-ish has been madness for me. I went from “great! I’m gonna get back to school and finish my degree!” to Cluster(fuck) Headache for 6 days, then that resolved, then “oh shit, storage!!! help!”

No wonder I’m freaking exhausted right now. I think most people would just curl up into a ball after the past 8 days. Actually, I kinda want to do that. I also want Thai food… and Hot & Sour Soup. I LOVE me some really good H&S soup. It better be a bowl of incredible goodness that can clear the magma chambers of Mt St. Helens… nice and hot. Dammit.

I had nothing left… well, not enough to order food via Postmates. Also, they’re being assholes with my debit card… sooo…. yeah. I ended up with Annie’s Gluten Free Mac & Cheese… microwave M&C… it’s decent… but it isn’t Pad Thai and H&S soup.

In case anyone who reads this blog hasn’t noticed, 2017 has really, REALLY SUCKED for me. And I’m not even bringing political fuckery into that picture.

Oh… yeah… when I’m tired, I get all rambly… like now.

Someone sent me a message request on FB… asking if there was a way for me to split my stuff up and have friends store it. I still haven’t accepted his message (I will, really) and replied, but this is my answer in case anyone else was wondering the same thing: No one I know has the room. Two friends (well, married pairs of friends, so four friends, technically)

Oh look… SQUIRREL!!!!

Where was I? Oh yeah… friends of mine are holding a few bins of fabric from when I had tried to downsize a previous storage unit and hauled them back to my apartment… and then the management said “no… you can’t have all those in your apartment… it’s a fire hazard” … welp… fuck. I need to get those bins back from said friends (one pair has asked when that would be possible… ummm.. when I can make enough room in storage?).

One must understand geeks/creatives like me. We have “stuff” … a lot of “stuff.” Some of the “stuff” in storage can be (and will be… once I can reach it) downsized, trashed, etc. Some will get sold off… I really don’t need three sets of speakers. One set… one is good. I have a buyer for one pair… some furniture will be broken down and trashed… I kinda beat them up a bit during the eviction. Sadly.  That really was a nice sideboard… it would just need a lot of shoring up with metal bits to hold it together (which I could realistically do… not sure yet)

(don’t mind me… my brain is bouncing around between ‘things’ as I type… this is kinda ‘stream of consciousness’ blogging when I’m like this)

I don’t have the physical energy (yay for chronic pain/fatigue… NOT!!!) to tackle my storage unit alone. I get a few feet in and I need to sit my ass down and rest. I am not joking.

This has been a wild week. Still need to play catch up with school stuff (thinking of taking my Chromebook, Kindle, and iPod with me tomorrow and alternate between school things and working on storage… I’d be offline, as it’s one huge steel and concrete building… signal? What signal? Psshhh).

One of the many things I am grateful for with this week is an answer to the issue of my headaches. The fact that it responded well to oxygen therapy is HUGE for me. I’ve been on birth control to help manage hormones, as they were presenting after every other month’s cycle. We chalked it up to wonky hormones and have been managing them that way. But even if hormones are affecting them, the headaches are something else. I looked up “one sided headaches” and cluster headaches were the clearest answer. While migraines and tension headaches can present on one side, they tend to be present on either side, and mine have always been on the right. Cluster headaches are always one sided and most commonly on the right. No one really knows what causes them. I looked at a few medical sites. But oxygen therapy helps them. Seriously, it fucking WORKED. 15 minutes breathing pure oxygen made the vast majority of the pain go away (I also have TMJ pain, so that wasn’t helping either).

Medical stuff is one of the “big uglies” that has impeded my life. If I even tried to list the shit I’ve been through that has sidelined me for some length of time… I know I’d forget something. Big things, little things… everything from Cellulitis to breaking a toe… This year, it was the eviction, which exacerbated my back injury, knee injuries, drove me deeper into depression, sidelined schooling and job hunting to some degree… I’m not fully out of the woods, but feeling better. It’s been a shit year, but I’m slowly climbing back out of the abyss.

With a little help from my friends (and a few strangers online).

When I got back from my errands today (which ended with an eye exam and ordering new glasses… I’m getting old… new pairs will be bifocals… and Voc Rehab is covering them as they are something needed for working), the number of page hits for this little personal blog were higher than I’d ever had since I started blogging. I’ve had different sites/blogs over the years. This is my personal one. I have another one I’m working on starting, but it’ll take me a bit. It’ll be about archives and history. That’s what my grad degree is in. But other than linking to it from here, I want to keep them separate. Last thing I need is potential fellow archives folks (and potential bosses/coworkers) seeing all my personal ramblings…. yeeaaahhhh, no. It was around 172 at the time. Now? 188.

I think I’ve gotten most of the rambling out of my system. That’ll be all for the night… I think.

~A

Posted in creativity, crowdfunding, dreams, emergency, eviction, friends, grad school, life, Personal, storage, transitions, urgent

9/21: post 1: 12 hours before auction #crowdfunding 

Just for safety sake, let’s go with 11am as the deadline. Could things change? Maybe. I’m trying to BEAT the auction, not bid in it. 

What it will cost: $1025+ lock purchase

What I have: $609(as I was typing this, a donation came in. I now have 709)

What it would coat to replace what is replaceable: at least $15,000, bare minimum. 

After this save, I have school funds coming in that can cover the next few months. It just isn’t going to show in time for this week. I just need a little more help. I’m not perfect. I screw up a lot of things. See you when dawn breaks. Maybe a miracle will happen while I’m trying to sleep.

~A

Posted in anxiety, bugaboos, cats, crowdfunding, emergency, eviction, faith, friends, grad school, homeless, housing, job hunting, life, Personal, society, storage, transitions, urgent

9/20: Laugh While You Can… At What You Can #crowdfunding still

I’ve learned one thing: Find something to laugh about, even during the darkest times.

So, in my last post, I mentioned Portia was sitting next to me… shortly after that went up, I made the mistake of shifting my body and thus my jar of grape flavored water (that was sitting solidly on my pillow, mind you, no jiggling) tipped and spilled all 24 ounces of water onto my narrow bed, going all the way to the mattress. Yup, I’m one of THOSE people… the ones who just can’t seem to get shit going right.

I guess I needed to flip the poor mattress anyway. Everything else went into the basement for laundry. Tonight. I have nothing else to sleep on or under. And this room gets a smidge chilly in the ev- well anytime really… but worse at night. There’s a reason I’m wearing layers of warm clothes even during a heatwave… this room is cold.

Yes, I’m frustrated with myself for it. I spaced on the fact that the water was still there. But I’m also laughing at myself over it. I have to. It’s a survival mechanism. I taught it to my dad while we were dealing with my mother’s Alzheimer’s… and I use it to deal with the super-shitty year I’ve had. Being homeless sucks… no matter how your situation is, whether you have friends to stay with like me, or you have a tent or are in a long term shelter… it sucks. The tension, feeling of not knowing how or when you’re going to finally land on your feet… it’s hell. And when you have a dependent, whether it’s a child or a pet, it gets even harder.

I hold onto the things of my life, my past, and my hopeful future… much of which is in storage. It’s all I have left. Hence why I’m trying to save it.

~A

Posted in chronic pain, crowdfunding, depression, friends, grad school, health, life, medical, Personal, storage

9/20: Two: wheee!! & #crowdfunding 

Yes, annoying #crowdfunding chatter. Still holding at needing $400. PayPal is the only way to go right now. Share (and encourage others to share) even if you can’t donate. 

So, today is technically Day 7 of the Cluster(fuck) Headache. After oxygen treatment yesterday, I still had some pain, partly from my TMJ. But one scrip strength Aleve a couple hours ago has knocked that down to virtually nothing. 

I can function today!

Trust me, this is huge. Trying -and wanting desperately- to get caught up on school,  but bogged down with extreme pain, makes life frustrating. Not gonna do anything super active, but functioning is good. Very good.

~A

Posted in anxiety, chronic pain, crowdfunding, depression, emergency, grad school, health, life, medical, Personal, storage, urgent

9/18: Normally… I’d be #crowdfunding

Normally at this point with needing funding, I’d be posting several times a day, asking everyone to share, etc, etc (and encouraging their friends to also share)… but I’m on Day Five of a Cluster(fuck) Headache. I wrapped a piece of fabric around my head to cover my right eye because it hurts to use it… I need to get the rest of the 1025 before Thursday morning. I estimate I have about half… if the folks who said they will help come through. If not, I’m super-stuck. (also, PayPay only at this point… YouCaring will take too long)

On top of the headache from hell, I had a panic attack strike while out. I went to the doctor to deal with the headache (and a lovely rash… I’ll spare you the details on that), and went to pick up meds (this mess added to my stress) and kleenex. Between the anxiety and my C-PTSD kicking in due to people getting WAY too close (if any closer, at least one of them would’ve had my elbow lodged in his throat). I got back here to the house and broke down. My BP, which normally stays low even when my heart races, was high. Meds have been taken to bring things down… but they still don’t really help the headache.

I also have school things to get done this evening, although I may ask for an extra day due to medical issues. I’m already in catch-up mode anyway.

The doc I saw said that oxygen therapy is one thing that helps cluster headaches. Since it didn’t feel really bad at the time, I declined it for today… I shouldn’t have. If it’s still bad tomorrow, I may call and ask about coming back down for some oxygen and see if it helps.

So, beyond all of that, I am still asking for help. Every little bit helps. I don’t see school funds showing up in time. I’m on academic probation, but the process… yeesh, the process. I’ll call them in the morning and find out what’s going on. But for now, to save all my belongings, I need a little more help. Once school funds show, if they do the full amount, I should be okay for a while until I get work. We’ll see.

More to come… as long as my headache allows it.

~A

Posted in asexuality, cats, chronic pain, cosplay, creativity, crowdfunding, depression, emergency, grad school, LGBTQIA Pride, life, Personal, storage

9/16: Saturday Check in & #crowdfunding

Still #crowdfunding. Not sure when school funds will show, so I can’t count on them. I have until 9/21 (preferably the day before) to get the full $1025 (will have about half, I think, by Monday) before auction. Auction is at noon 9/21. Please share even if you can’t donate.

I’ve been quiet due to a few things: catching up and managing shit for school stuff. Getting my headaches from hell. Etc.

I’ve long believed my headaches were a combo of tension and migraine, but Cluster Headache actually fits what I get better. Predominately on one side of the head, can last for days, etc… I don’t get auras or the usual stuff of migraines… so I think it’s more Cluster with a little Tension thrown in. And yes, I still have it. Been battling it since about Thursday. They tend to be triggered by hormone imbalances (the girly ones)… so I’m on birth control to manage them. I’m a week out from my next shot (I get Depo every three months) and the headache is VERY obvious right now.


In other “news” I’m developing a new Fursona. If y’all haven’t figured out I’m a Furry by now… may Bast help you. My primary one has been Jaeli, who is a character from one of my manuscripts. Still love her, but with my lioness fursuit of Zumai (the Cowardly Lioness), I wanted to develop a fun, toony character.

Her name is Aili (AY-lee) and she’s a Calico kitty with Ace/Asexual flag colors (black, grey, white, and purple). She is asexual like me, and she loves being a total ham. I’ll be commissioning a partial suit of her from a local friend and I’m going to try my hand and drawing her ref sheet.


I’ve had so many topics floating around in my head the last few days, but every time I’m able to write them down, I’ve lost the idea. So, you just have a catch-up thread for now.

~A

Posted in anxiety, community, crowdfunding, emergency, eviction, friends, grad school, history, homeless, life, Personal, storage, urgent

9/12: Sentimentality (and #crowdfunding)

Yes, this involves #crowdfunding. Despite what the YC campaign says, I’m about the halfway point, as two people have promised funds (and I do have a little). At least I hope the second one will be able to. But this is about why it’s important for me to save what’s in storage.

After my mother died, my dad told me on the phone that I could have her ashes as I was “the sentimental one” in the family. Yeah, I am. I think that goes along with being fascinated with history, both global and personal. I want to hold onto old things and give them respect as they’re due. Some of the items in storage are from my own history, such as my coffee table. To replace it at all would take 4 figures. It’s a mid-century modern table from a well-known American company. I’ve had it since I was 17.

A friend on Facebook asked me recently how much would it cost to replace everything in there. Well, there are some things that can’t just be replaced. Costumes and fabric. Much to the surprise of some, fabric tends to be cyclical. You may not see it in the stores 3 months from now, let alone 3 years. My costumes are custom to fit me, in most cases. I have no pattern for some of them as my mother was the kind of person who just knew how to make something… sometimes she made a pattern, sometimes not. Clothes, shoes, etc.. yeah, they could be replaced with something newer in most cases.

Then you get to my collections. To replace those would run me into 5 figures. Likely 15-20K. Some things can’t be replaced. Too rare, too old, etc. The collection of my father’s 78’s of very old opera recordings cannot.

So a lot of people balk at the amount I need to save my storage unit from auction, but when I explain the replacement costs, they usually go silent. I would never be able to replace everything, and what is replaceable will cost me more than the $1100 I need to save it. I have tried -come close- to making each month’s rent, but fell short each time… and it adds up over three months with late fees.


In other news, I’ve gotten the all-clear for returning to school. I have a lot of catching up to do, as we’re in the 3rd or 4th week now. 4th I think. The only hurdle left is a piece of paper for financial aid. It’s been a long road, but I feel good about getting it done.

~A