Posted in anxiety, artsy stuff, community, creativity, crowdfunding, depression, dreams, life, nature, peace, poetry, storage, urgent

8/15: Stars (& #crowdfunding desperation)

(I know I keep asking. I hate asking. But getting back on my feet hasn’t been an easy path. Just a bit longer. If you like my #poetry and posts, please feel free to share and contribute if you are able. With eventual stability, or at least things caught up, my ability to focus on things I love and need to do improves. Thank you)

Dreams made
Imagine beyond
The world
We know.
Starstuff dreaming of
Stars.
Who is out there?
What lies outside
Our reach?
Will we know?
Or destiny says
Stay.
Not knowing is
Best.
For now.
Where do
We
Fit in this expanse?
Starstuff dreaming
Of the stars out
There.
Keep dreaming.
Wondering.
Asking.
The answer is there.

~A

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 activism, bigotry, community, crowdfunding, empath life, faith, life, peace, poetry, politics, sexuality, storage, writing

8/14: Tears

Words fly.
Flames threaten from
One side of the barricade.
The other keeping the flames of
Hate
At bay.
God sheds a tear
Still so much hate
Division.
Violence.
Fear.
Anger.
Messengers of peace
Ignored or
Killed, even.
No one is
Superior or Inferior.
Skin.
Gender.
Sexuality.
Disability.
Equals
But not treated
As equals.
Another tear shed.
The rain is proof of that.

~A

Posted in anxiety, artsy stuff, community, cosplay, creativity, crowdfunding, depression, dreams, emergency, faith, life, Personal, storage, urgent

8/13: Storage #crowdfunding and my Weekend

Yeah… still needing help with storage. I really don’t want to let it get too much closer to the end of the month… it gets bad after the 15th of this month. Retweet, share, spread the word… any help will do.

I spent this weekend, starting mid afternoon Friday, helping the folks I’m staying with deal with their yard sale… except for today, as we didn’t run it today. I headed out to a friend’s place who’s moving out of the country in October. Picked up some lace and trim (do you even know how hard it is to find black lace trim??)

So, I’m gonna get all sentimental on my stuff in storage. Bear with me…

My father served in WWII. After he died in 2014, I (eventually) received his coffin flag, even though we have yet to do any kind of ceremony. That in and of itself, is a LONG story of family dramatics I’m not getting into here. His flag is in storage.

Several months before he died, we had this conversation:

Me: So, I want to get back into playing piano.
I’m thinking of saving up and buying an electric one.

Dad: Why don’t we try and send the old piano up to you?
Me: Dad, it would cost more than that thing is worth to transport it up here.
Dad: I’m sure we could figure something out.
Me: Besides, the only place for me to put it is the wall where the sleeping alcove for the studio next door is. I’m not going to torment my poor neighbor.
…..
(The rest of the call went a lot like that. The next day, I got an email from my sister accusing me of trying to get dad to buy me a piano, which is not what happened.)
…..
Me: Hi dad.
Dad: Uh-oh, what did I do? (an ongoing gag with the two of us then)
Me: Did you talk to ***** recently?
Dad: Yes. What happened?
Me: I got an email from her accusing me of trying to get you to buy me a piano.
Dad: I said nothing like that.
…..
Me: Why did you even tell her?
Dad: Well, I was excited you wanted to get back to music.
Me: Proud? (my dad was a pretty laid back person)
Dad: Yeah. You were always so happy and upbeat back then. I would love to see you get back to that.
…..
Keep in mind, I had no clue he even ever really paid attention to it back then, let alone be proud. This is just how my family has been.

When he died later that year, I knew that whatever I got from the estate, at least some of it would go toward an electric piano. And it did. That piano, like all my other things, is in storage. I can’t lose what my dad wanted me to so desperately have again.

Some of my mother’s quilting pattern pieces. Also a large chunk of my fabric. And my sewing machine.

My costumes, which range from ones I designed and my mother sewed up for me, to ones I sewed, to pieces purchased from others. Furniture that has a lot of sentimental value.

And so much more. This is all why I’m so desperate to keep my stuff in there safe and in my hands. I ask for that help once again. I know I owe at least $650, and have a bit less than half that… even if you can’t help financially, please consider sharing or retweeting this post. The more people who see it, the better my chances are.

 

Posted in artsy stuff, creativity, crowdfunding, life, storage, writing

8/12: Why I Write (and #crowdfunding)

(yes, still needing help with storage. Time is running out here. Any help is appreciated.)

I enjoy many types of creative endeavors, but the one I always come back to is writing. Whether it’s fiction or poetry, I dig in and enjoy every word.

So, the deadline for our Alzheimer’s charity anthology, The Longest Night Watch, is looming on Tuesday. I, of course, have totally spaced out and forgotten about it until now. Well, yesterday. Early this morning, a scene came to mind and some tidbits of what the story might entail tagged along behind it. Once we had the yard sale set up, I brought my computer out and worked on it while also chatting with potential customers.

In writing fiction, I’m what we call in NaNoWriMo a “Pantser.” I come up with an initial idea and gradually the characters take over and WHEEEE!!!! I’m just trying to keep up with them as they tell their story. With short pieces, they have to take over a lot faster. In my novellas, it’s more like about 15-20 pages in.

Bradbury, King, and many others also tend to write like this (or in the case of those who are gone, they did write like this). I’m not alone in using this method.

** On a side note, I also got to read a review of our first volume where the person broke down her review with comments on each story. She loved mine as it was a reminder of why we’re doing this labor of love. None of us make any money off of it. All proceeds go to Alzheimer’s research. This is our third year. We started it after Terry Pratchett died.

So one of the reasons I love to write is how I let my characters take over the story. I’m just along for the ride. Sometimes, like today, the ride switches and goes down an alternate track… one I didn’t expect. I’m not done with the story. I enjoy the journey they take me on. I breathe a little life into them and then they lead me on what can be a wild ride.

At the end of the yard sale today, I wrapped up, brought my computer inside and went back out to help clean up. When I closed the laptop, I realized I had stopped at a turning point. Where I thought the story would go… well, it isn’t going there. The MC, an elderly woman, is hinting that she may not be all that is believed she is. A twist. A different track. I don’t know how long this will be. I do know I want to go back and add some filler around the dialogue. I tend to write dialogue and forget the exposition… the descriptions. I’ll finish the dialogue tonight and then go back tomorrow and fill things in.

I love telling stories. Simple as that. I love where my characters take me. I love minimalism… giving readers just enough and then letting them use their imaginations to fill in the blanks. I create miniature worlds for readers to explore.

This is why I write.

~APA

Posted in cats, chronic pain, crowdfunding, depression, health, insomnia, life, Personal, storage, urgent

8/10: Depression Sucks Ass

Today was going to be a low-key but productive day. Between pain and exhaustion from the last few days (two furniture tasks on Sunday, then appointments all over until yesterday), and shitty sleep…. well… yeah. (Yes, still crowdfunding….)

The stress of this year so far has weighed down on me… considerably.

I have days, much like today, where my intent from the night before is to get some sleep, then get up, run an errand or two, do some writing or editing, search for jobs, and generally do things that need to be done.

But then I’m woken up before dawn by a certain 14lb feline sitting on my full bladder…

I want to be able to function earlier in the day… but the fucked up sleep cycle of depression messes me up. Me, and others like me, may sleep for the better part of 12 hours some days, but it’s fitful at best, and leaves us in a vicious cycle of shitty sleep and no energy to do things once we do get upright.

I want to do more. I want to spend an hour or two in the morning editing or writing… then going on with the rest of my day with errands and stuff… but depression stifles the physical ability to get going. It isn’t that I don’t WANT to do these things… I have the desire… it’s the physical energy to get up and do them.

It’s like there’s a wall that depression built. I’m on one side of it and all my hobbies and interests are on the other side. I can see them, but there’s no way around or over the wall. I can try to chip away at the wall to break it down, but if I stop and rest for a minute, the wall heals itself as if nothing had happened.

Tomorrow, I may have a decent day. Likely not starting very early either, but one where I can get things done.

Sure, I could put on some happy face mask and pretend like everything is all hunky-dory and life is awesome… but it isn’t and I won’t.

I had a shitty day today.

Depression sucks ass.

But I’m not going to hide it.

~A

Posted in anxiety, artsy stuff, bugaboos, community, creativity, crowdfunding, depression, dreams, eviction, friends, genealogy, grad school, homeless, life, Personal, PTSD, storage

8/9/17: Ermagherd, a Blog Post! & #crowdfunding

Yeah, I know… but some days, I just can’t put words in actual sentences … and enough sentences for a post. A few things: yes, still need help with storage. Remember, I’m basically homeless and nearly all my belongings are in that storage unit… I’m trying to earn the money, but it isn’t happening fast enough.

So, something I’ve been thinking about since I started my journey to get back and finish my degree. This is also relevant with the prospect of going overseas for a second degree/escaping the stupidity in our politics, as well as general making ends meet.

I’m doing this alone. 

Yes, it is my choice. I have no interest in dating. I’m more aromantic-asexual right now. I don’t have a partner, husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, etc… and I’m more interested in men in general anyway, so the wife/girlfriend thing isn’t a thing for me. I just used those to cover my bases. Many of my classmates do. They have husbands and wives and partners, etc… those who don’t have family they can live with. Great! Awesome! That’s … wonderful… but I’m over here struggling because I am very much alone in my journey. Yes, I have siblings, but they’re both 600-ish miles away and I don’t really speak to one of them unless I absolutely have to. So, yes, when life started teetering on the edge of disaster last fall, I had a hard time sorting out my direction. First the C-PTSD, then the eviction and loss of JoJo and my world crashing down around me.

But I’m still here… still trying. I don’t feel I have that support network of someone who will help do household things (granted, I’m in a different position than I was before… living with people, but still have to do things for myself) while I do my weekly readings and assignments. I -HAVE- to get work, not have a spouse who can do the FT job and me cut back hours in a currently non-existent-job to focus on school. To me, having someone else cover those things would be a luxury.

Then there’s the general “how can anyone afford to live here?” problem we’re getting to here in Portland. Rents are going through the roof and waiting lists for low-income places are miles and years long now. And for a single person, 34K is low income. If I get a job close in, I want to keep my commute as short as possible. That’s one thing I’ve learned over the years… long commutes suck the life out of a person like me. I know… I’ve done it. And I had a car at the time. Now I’m on transit, and my anxiety doesn’t make being on the train very easy.

Then we have goals… dreams… packing up and heading to Europe to live for a while. Preferably in Germany attending a school with the intent of a second Master’s degree. Maybe stay there for a few years, paying into the tax system as the college is free there and that’s how it’s able to be free. But I’d need a decent chunk of change just to get over there, get settled into a place and then start school… I’d still need income of some sort. And the program I’m looking at is very intensive during each term. The breaks are nice and long… presumably to help restore some of the sanity of the poor student. But income… I don’t know what I’d be able to do while in an intensive class structure. I’ve joked that I should marry someone just to have income for a roof over our heads… but that would mean living with another person… and I can’t see that happening for a very long time. I simply don’t do well having roommates… of the human kind.

So that support network that many others have is something I don’t. For the most part, I don’t want a partner of any kind in my life. But a small part of me wishes I did have someone to lean on and be a mutual support system.

I struggle with that part of me. I’m stubbornly independent (just not wholly financial) and individualistic. I am my own person who doesn’t need another person to feel complete.

~A

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

8/7: Busy, Grumpy Dragon & #crowdfunding

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

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

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

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

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

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

~Dragon

Posted in bugaboos, crowdfunding, homeless, life, poetry, poverty line, society, urgent

8/5: the bubble

People holding onto
Their own needs.
Ensconced in
Worlds of their own.
Blinders on.
Walking unaware
Life merely about getting
From point A
To point B.
Upheaval unallowed.
Staring.
Blank.
Never looking
Beyond.
The bubble.
The blinders.
Stepping on the
Bodies
Of those
Less
Fortunate.
Every step taken.
Another broken body.
Another broken soul.
No one sees the
Invisible.
Not because they can’t see.
But because they won’t.

~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