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

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Posted in anxiety, community, depression, homeless, life, Personal, storage

9/21: Thank You

THANK YOU!! THANK YOU!! THANK YOU!! THANK YOU!! THANK YOU!! 

Storage is out of the woods. I just got back from a day of errands, which started with stopping at the post office to get my mail, and then to storage to pay the bill and put a new lock on it. I grabbed a few things that were near the front and then headed off to my next stop. I do want to desperately go back with a bunch of friends and really dig in and sort the whole mess. I can’t get back to the back corner (it’s an 8×20 unit and the door is half of one of the long walls…it’s 8′ deep, 20′ wide, jam-packed).

That’s what happens when one is homeless and has “stuff.” Here’s the thing: once I get into my own place again, I can downsize back to a smaller (cheaper) unit. It isn’t like this is all “excess” stuff, this is all my household things… some furniture, my mattress, kitchen supplies, etc… plus my collections of books, music, fabric, costumes, and random other things. My dad’s coffin flag, my piano (electric. my dad wanted so badly to see me return to music, so that was my “legacy purchase” with the estate money).

I won’t need the 8×20 unit forever. This is a temporary thing while I’m “in between” homes of my own. I would love the help in tackling organizing it better… so if you’re local to PDX and want to help and aren’t a total gimp with chronic fatigue like me, let me know. I’ll supply water/soda and granola/protein bars. I have two seats (small office chair and the padded piano bench) but there’s plenty of space to spread out.

And the offer stands… for those who helped, especially those who donated, if you want copies of my three published books, let me know. I can place an order in October.

Again, thank you to everyone who helped. People have asked me how I’m surviving this even deeper pit of hell with being homeless… it’s because of my cat and my friends. Portia, the cat, makes me laugh and lets me bury my face in her plentiful fur when I need to… and my friends help me in every other way. It isn’t easy. But I’m surviving. One day at a time…

~Amanda

Posted in community, crowdfunding, friends, homeless, life, Personal, storage

9/21: all set!

Another donation came in… $100. And a very good friend has covered the remainder. 

With the way my life goes, school funds will show tomorrow. Honestly, I doubt it, as they take time to process stuff… 

Portia is holding my left ankle down. Wish she had slept on my feet last night… I was cold. She’s a stubborn girl. Does what she likes: sleeping, eating, zooming around the space we’re in like her butt-fur is on fire, and watching the squirrels skitter by in the back yard.

I’ll post more later. Want a bit more rest before I go galavanting all over PDX for storage (1st), pick up scrips (2nd), and then put on the east side for an eye exam (covered by voc rehab because my eyes are kinda important for getting and doing work). 

~A

Posted in crowdfunding, emergency, eviction, friends, homeless, life, Personal, storage, urgent

9/21: #crowdfunding at (almost) 8am

Still holding at $276 needed. (The pic above is Jack back in Chicago.)

*There looks to be a chance… I’ll post when it’s confirmed.*

I’d rather have my eyes closed and be curled up under the covers, but I’m posting on here. Not sure where else to turn. 

Due to my medical bankruptcy and lack of current employment, I don’t have a credit card. Don’t have parents to turn to either. Family is a difficult issue for me. So, I turn to friends and the online network of people. 
Things in life haven’t lined up as hoped, so a little more help is needed. Just a little further.

~Amanda

Posted in anxiety, community, crowdfunding, emergency, eviction, faith, friends, homeless, life, Personal, storage, urgent

9/20: Last one… I think (at least for the day… hey look! #crowdfunding)

Total as of 7:20am on 9/21: $749 out of $1025. $276 still needed.

So I’m gonna make this short and sweet for the purpose of crowdfunding in case people don’t wanna hit the donate button for PayPal.

  • No, you don’t need a PP account to send money. Just a credit/debit card.
  • It’s pretty painless. No, really. Granted, your checking account may not agree (neither does mine), but it doesn’t hurt.

So you can click on that button or you can send directly to [greatpenguini333 @ gmail .com] (just remove the spaces and the brackets). The donate button is easier.

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 cats, chronic pain, community, crowdfunding, emergency, homeless, housing, life, Personal, storage, urgent

9/20: The Love of a Cat

**I have no magic words. I only have a request. I can ply you with free books.**

I’ve had cats all my life, but growing up, they were strictly outdoors (unless someone slipped in “accidentally”). Then, in 2003, I adopted JoJo and then Jack six weeks after her. Jack passed away in 2010, acute renal failure. JoJo, congestive heart failure earlier this year, right after my eviction process started. After Jack died, I adopted Portia. She is currently curled up next to me on the rollaway bed I’ve been sleeping on for 6 months at a friend’s house.

She is what keeps me going every day. Through physical therapy, headaches, job searches, doctor visits, back pain, and all kinds of other things. She isn’t exactly a young cat herself, as she’ll be 12 in October. She has her moments. She loves having her mane combed, but anything else? HA! She tries to draw my blood. She’s a goofy, gorgeous, silly old lady.

To be fair to both myself and to her, I never -in a million years- expected life to hit me this hard. I thought I’d be able to bounce back up quickly. I never wanted to stay where I am this long. But here we both are. In a room I refer to as the “spa room” due to the indoor (non-working) hot tub and a small sauna that I’m currently using as my closet.

I would love -more than anything- to be sleeping on my own full size mattress in my own apartment again… but I need a good job first and foremost. I also need my stuff safe (you really didn’t think I’d write a post without crowdfunding, did you? You did? Silly you).

As I said at the top, I don’t have any magic words. I can offer free copies of my books in return… although it’ll take me a couple of weeks to get them.

You would be helping Portia and myself to keep our things safe until we can get income once again.

~Amanda

Posted in activism, anxiety, bugaboos, chronic pain, crowdfunding, emergency, family, health, homeless, life, medical, Personal, politics, storage, urgent

9/20: Round 3: #Healthcare, ##GrahamCassidy & #crowdfunding Life

Yes, still on the non-violent warpath to get storage covered before auction. As of this post, I have $609 and need to hit a total of 1025 (plus yet another damn lock, which is $15 or so) before Noon Thursday the 21st…. tomorrow. Preferably today before 6pm Pacific (3.5 hours) so I can sleep easier. So a little over $400 needed. Small donations, large donations… I’m not gonna be picky. I don’t expect any one person to cover the rest… but any little bit helps.


While I am merely crowdfunding to keep my belongings safe from auction while I’m homeless, others out there have to do the same for things like medical and vet bills. Vet bills, I can understand as pet insurance isn’t a huge thing still… and past a certain age of the pet, you can’t get it (at least what I looked at years ago). It isn’t required and it is somewhat affordable. Human healthcare, however, is not affordable. And now, here in the U.S., it is a requirement.

Only now, for the umpteenth time in less than 12 months, the GOP is trying to yank our coverage out from under our collective feet. They’re like the little kid who refuses to listen to “mom” and not put their toys in the microwave and setting it for 10 minutes.

Fool me once, shame on me; fool me twice, shame on YOU. 

Why? Why do they do this? Because they can and because it was “that black dude” us Liberals voted into office for two terms who got the ACA passed. Is the ACA perfect? No. Was Obama perfect? No. But when it came to a number of things, he still did a lot better than the GOP is now. The latest bill to repeal the ACA and kill off American Citizens access to coverage for millions of people. GOP Cruelty at it’s finest ugliest.

If we had the money, I say we form our own superpac or similar and lobby the ever-loving shit out of them, luring them away from Big Pharma (who does some good, but not as much as they’d like us to think), billionaires, and the like. I get it, they want to keep their money. But they’re risking the lives of those who do pay their taxes.

I have a say in this. While my senators are working to fight the GOP insanity, there are too many who don’t listen to their citizens.

One of my many health issues right now is cluster(fuck) headaches. Not much can be done for them and even narcotic pain meds weren’t very effective at even knocking the pain down more than a notch or two on the pain scale. So I was frustrated. It renders me unable to do much of anything. Doctor on Monday suggested oxygen therapy. I had no clue if it would work. At that moment, the pain was lower, so I didn’t bother. But it returned with a vengeance shortly after and I went back yesterday to try it.

It fucking helped. The pain went from a 9 down to a 3 and then I was able to take Aleve (I have prescription strength at 500mgs) and knock it down completely. I still have a few twinges of pain here and there. Now comes the hard part: Getting my insurance (OHP+/Medicaid) to cover a tank for home therapy. The doctor/clinic will be going to bat for me and hopefully get it covered. I had wondered why I never heard of this option before. I thought that maybe it was a new thing. But then I looked it up. Nope. They’ve known about this since the 1930’s. Holy shit.

A friend of mine from the UK said it’s used over there and is one of the first things tried. That’s when it hit me: Big Pharma. Like I said above, they do a lot of good. I’m pro-vaccine, etc… just got my flu shot even… but this is my theory about why this therapy isn’t offered. Pharmaceutical companies would rather you be pumped full of their drugs first. Oxygen therapy isn’t lucrative, after all.

So, back to crowdfunding and the financial burden of human healthcare…

I had sub-sub-sub-par health insurance back in 2008 when I landed in the hospital with Cellulitis. After it was all said and done, and after my bone-break a year later (patella… that was fun to explain to the doctors), I was over $60K in debt. JUST medical debt. I had about $5K in consumer debt… I ended up filing for bankruptcy in 2013. I had to. There were no other options.

When the only options if your uninsured or underinsured are bankruptcy or crowdfunding, the immediate future looks dreary. There’s no way I could have crowdfunded 60K. Not a chance in Hell. Changing my name and moving to Ecuador sounded really good there for a while. But I stayed.

I have a friend who live in an assisted/independent care facility. Her fiance moved in and then was diagnosed with a form of dementia. They moved into an Assisted unit, but his dementia is already beyond what they can do. They were not going to get married because it affected certain financial and medical insurance arrangements, but now that he’s in a different facility, they will be. There are a vast number of reasons why, but I won’t go into them here. The reason I do mention their story is that for two people in need of a senior facility, being legally married should never have a negative impact on their Medicare or Disability.


I’ve seen rallying cries of “Medicare for ALL!” recently. Here’s my take and then I’ll go on my merry way. I watched from a distance as my father struggled with caring for my mother in her last weeks. Hospice had been set up, but they struggled to find a bed for her. After weeks of home care and searching, a bed was finally procured in a facility where they lived (and where I grew up). She was admitted on a Sunday or Monday. On Wednesday, my dad was informed that, DESPITE BEING AT END OF LIFE, she would be discharged Saturday because MEDICARE only covered 6-7 days. My dad, the doctor, and a few others scrambled to get my mother on Medicaid (Medical, technically, as they were in CA) in time. They got it Friday. She passed away a few days later.

I don’t agree with “Medicare for All” mostly for that issue. I say expand MedicAID, include some of the good parts of Medicare, and make it one giant Single-Payer service. Cut the insurance companies out, except for possibly dental and other secondary services (vision, for example).


This is one of my longest posts yet. I don’t normally go over 1000 words on here. But medical care is a big issue with me. And the GOP want to take mine away. The very coverage that handles my dental, my physical therapy (when needed), women’s services, medications that I couldn’t otherwise afford but help me function, and the list goes on.

Call your senators, especially if they’re GOP. Help them understand who is really getting hurt with this mess. Let them know that their constituents refuse to be silenced.

~A