Posted in faith, family, friends, grief, life, music, Personal, semicolon

7/27: The Dance

“I could have missed the pain… but I’d’ve had to miss the dance.” ~Garth Brooks’ The Dance.

Sums up so much. I always felt the song was more than just about a romance. And I was right. I see it right now as a good summation of my life to this point. We live our lives not knowing where it will take us.

We experience joy.

We experience pain.

We lose people we love… and people we wish we could talk to one last time. We get caught up in existing. Then, one day, we find regret. I’ve always sworn I wouldn’t regret what I’ve done in my life (only a few of the people I’ve done those things with). But as I inch ever closer to my 45th birthday, I do see some regrets. One biggie is not dropping everything in the world to see my dad sooner… before he died the day after I last talked to him. I was so damn caught up in helping at a local convention and then, as I was sitting there, enjoying an evening with friends, my dad passed away 600 miles away. I should have gone down there sooner.

But I live with that regret.

The lesson from that is to never, ever take anything for granted. Not a single person in your life. Not a moment to stop and admire the clouds in the sky… the green of the leaves on a tree… a flower blooming early. Stop what you’re doing, take a step back. Look around you.

Funny how Brooks’ song comes back around (via an article and video where a cancer survivor went to his concert) into my life. I got into listening to country music in the 90’s. I remember listening to this song back then. Oh, how life gives new perspective on a song you loved in your youth.

I don’t regret my experiences. I don’t regret the pain. That pain taught me to appreciate my life… good and bad. To take each day and live.

~A

Posted in anxiety, bugaboos, cats, community, crowdfunding, depression, eviction, friends, homeless, job hunting, life, music, Personal, poverty line, storage, transitions, urgent

7/24: Being Shameless Again

Storage, urgh. Life in general, urgh.

Still struggling with just over $100 left for this month’s storage rent. I am resisting begging, but if people wanted to throw money my way in the next couple of days, I wouldn’t turn it down… PP is the only (and preferred) method. You don’t need a PP account, just a credit/debit card. I’m switching back to a Biz Acct with them to hide my legal name… I have my reasons (cyberstalking asshole ex-boyfriend who is the cause of my C-PTSD). So if you wish to help, this will be the method. There should be a PP button over there shortly.

On to “Life in General” 

I’ve now been homeless for almost 5 months. It feels like an eternity. Trying to keep my belongings safe in storage. Living “in between” where I don’t have things like a full normal refrigerator to myself, living by others’ rules (and a few quirks, but I don’t delve into that), and not really having a “home” where I can be completely myself… walking around and even cooking in my underwear (seriously), dancing and listening to music loud enough to drown out the world (but not so loud to piss others off), where I can have my piano out, put the toilet lid down…. generally be ME. Live by my own rules.

The transitional aspect of my life right now is frustrating. When my own bank technically doesn’t accept PO Boxes as home addresses, but it’s technically ALL I have of my own. When I’m sleeping on a rollaway bed that’s likely almost as old as I am, and there’s really no room for the cat, unless I curl up on my side and she gets the foot of the bed.

Don’t get me wrong… I’m grateful to the friends who’ve let me stay here this long (most of the time since handing in the keys March 2nd). I don’t really have anywhere else to go.

Living in a constant state of instability.

I’m grateful I’m not out on the street. I just really need to get my own place again. Soon.

~A

 

Posted in anxiety, bugaboos, community, depression, eviction, friends, homeless, music, Personal, silliness

6/11: Sunday Evening Rambling

This may end up one subject or multiple subjects… depending on my train of thought. As I’ve said in the past, I rarely edit blog posts…


I’m a solitary person. I’ve had roommates, etc. Some okay, some… well… I won’t air dirty laundry such as that on here. Just be safe in the knowledge that I’ve had a few “roommates from hell” in my life.

While I’m eternally grateful to those who have helped me and those who’ve taken me in during this period in my life, I am the kind of person who is not inherently social. I need to shut the door and shut out a lot of negative stuff… even if people don’t think it’s negative… the core emotion/vibe under anything exciting, happy, nervous, etc is tense and anxiety attack producing for me.

I have no interest in living with others on a long-term basis. I need my own place where I control my environment. My kitchen, my bathroom, my living space, my rules.

I just need a good job to get me there. The sooner the better.


Music of most genres have helped me survive so much in my life. This is why I’m sharing my little playlist on YT. There are other things on that playlist, such as Robin Williams and clips from movies and shows, but the hint of variety there may give you an idea of me and what speaks to my soul as a music lover and musician.

My ever changing YouTube playlist 

I want to write more on this, but I can’t seem to find the words right now.


I think that’s all I can do right now… more later…

Posted in adoption, animal advocacy, anxiety, bugaboos, cats, crowdfunding, dragon, emergency, family, homeless, life, music, Personal, silliness, storage, urgent

5/14: This time I’ll remember a title (#crowdfunding)

SHHAAAAARREE MEEEE! Pwease?

So I must have been more tired than I thought when I wrote up last night’s blog post. I didn’t realize until this morning when I checked the stats that I’d forgotten to put anything beyond the date (sometimes I put that after I write). Whoops.

The usual stuff: need help saving storage and all my stuff, etc… yes I’m quickly running out of time here. Thursday is the auction and I need to prove I’ll have funds by the time they close the office at 6pm PST Wednesday. Yeah… only a few more days. 

On to other things… there’s the big elelephant in the room. Mother’s Day. My mom passed away from end stage Alzheimer’s (total organ failure, etc) in 2013. But with her disease, this day hasn’t felt like anything special for a lot longer. Before that, it was ‘meh’ as we constantly fought. The two strongest willed people in the family… yeah, fireworks happened… a lot. I never got that mother-adult daughter relationship. It was stolen from me by a disease that hits the caretakers the hardest. She went to her death never seeing me as a strong adult who can do awesome things. She forever saw the four year old teaching herself to play the melody of the Star Spangled Banner on the piano without knowing how to read music, and yet, once learned, my mother actively discouraged me playing it.

I also have a friend or two who don’t think women like me with pets instead of human children should celebrate it as a ‘mom.’ Even being hostile about it and saying they’ll unfriend anyone who wishes a Happy Mother’s Day to women who only have pets.

[Oh shit… Dragon wants a word…]

Look here, hun, just because I chose to not fertilize my damn eggs and put more dragons out there to devour stupid humans does NOT mean I’m not a mom. I pick up more cat shit from one cat alone in her entire life than you do changing diapers. Don’t even start with me. I step on toys, clean up errant cat poop, take her to the vet, feed her the best damn food I can get for her and her specific needs and issues, make sure she’s healthy and happy and clean and know what that furball gives me in return?

Unconditional LOVE. Laughter at her antics. Purr therapy when I’m stressed out. 

I don’t need to bring more like me into this overcrowded world. It’s fucked up enough without more from my gene pool. So, you go do you, be a parent to human children all you damn well please. Just know that I’m over here saving animals and I don’t have to buy them clothes every six months and worry about how I’m gonna pay for their college. I may adopt a human child one day… when I’m damn well ready to do so.

You do you, and leave us pet lovers alone. 

[shoves Dragon off the chair]

“GO BACK TO YOUR CAVE, DRAGON!”

Sorry about that. She can be a handful at times. Anyway….

Sooo… I’m taking things one nerve-wracking day at a time. Job hunting, etc. Never easy, but that’s life.

Nightly poem to be uploaded later….

~Amanda/Dragon

Posted in activism, bigotry, community, crowdfunding, emergency, faith, life, music, peace, Personal, politics, storage, urgent

4/27: Music, #crowdfunding, and Peace

(Still #crowdfunding… as if that wasn’t patently obvious by now) I’ve cleaned up the main text on the YouCaring campaign. I have a bad habit of rambling. And with no one to stop me, it just keeps going… much like a certain bright pink battery powered rabbit with a drum in commercials.

Music: I’ve talked about my lifelong relationship with music in the past. I started playing piano at 4, singing a few years later. Listening as soon as I was out of diapers. Music got me through some of my darkest times, including now. The only frustrating thing is that since I don’t have my own place with my speakers and such, I can’t really crank it up and dance like the mad fool I am (if you play Hakuna Matata around me, I will go “full dork”).

If you had a few minutes to glance at my iTunes (most of my CD’s are ripped in), you would see everything from Bach and Chopin to Green Day and P!nk. Just about every genre covered. Music is my escape from the world.

Peace: This is a massive topic, but here’s one thing I’ve seen. The new Heineken commercial has many praising it, but also a fair number mad about it. I get it. I don’t like bigots and their hate either. I lived with a parent that way. I hated everything she stood for. Her Alzheimer’s made things worse as well.

But here’s the thing, if we keep hating and seeing bigots as the enemy, we will never make change happen as it needs to. We will never have a solid world community where there is no war. In any situation where two or more parties are at odds with each other (a marriage gone bad is one example, war between countries is a larger one), fighting and anger will get us nowhere. Judging and hating others who are different than we are will never accomplish anything good.

No, I don’t expect anyone to change their view overnight. Just planting a seed of peace.

Early on when I joined Facebook, I was willing to get into wars of words with people. I’m sure my blood pressure went up those days. I do know one thing that came out of that: I stepped into several conversations over time with atheist friends who had other friends who were bashing Christians. I defended my core faith in my own way (lots of swear words). Those I was directing my words toward backed down…. and some even sent me friend requests and told me that they’d never met someone like me who knew her shit and could bark just as loud as they could. Nowadays, I don’t engage as much in FB arguments. Too many flame wars and ad hominem attacks. I have plenty of my own stress to deal with… I don’t need to deal with people who can’t have a decent discussion.

All I ask is that we figure shit out before it’s too late.

~Amanda

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

~Dragon/Amanda

Posted in community, depression, music, Personal, semicolon, transitions

4/19: Music Within

I started this draft a couple of hours ago… with just the date in the Title. Then I stopped. I couldn’t really decide on what to say. Earlier today I found out I did not get the job I was damn near a shoe-in for. I came in 2nd. I was so close. After so many months of job hunting, sending in resumes and cover letters to jobs ranging from basic to “yeah, not even close to qualified but what the hell.” Mostly never even hearing back at that stage. To get an interview is great. It just didn’t fit together perfectly.

So I’ve spent much of the day sulking, figuring it out, etc… then I sat down and was going to write this blog… and nothing came. I changed spots in the room I’m staying in (not very many available) and zoned out for a bit. I decided to play some music from my barely usable smartphone. That got me to going through my ‘faves’ playlist on YouTube. Only a little music, actually, but video clips that I enjoy rewatching.

Now I can write what didn’t come before.

No matter where I am in my life, music has been there to shore me up, get me through whatever it was. In high school, it saved me from the cliff’s edge of suicide more times than I can count. Listening to it, playing it, singing it, dancing to it. Music has kept me alive. So here I am, frustrated that I was so close to a decent job…

For the record, no, I’m not suicidal. Contemplative at this point… but I have no interest in ending my life. I know… I believe… there is a job locally that suits my needs (decent pay, decent hours, no standing, little-to-no phone use) and where I suit the needs of the company. It just keeps eluding me.

One of the songs in my faves list is As It Seems by Lily Kershaw. Those of you who watch Criminal Minds know it from when JJ and Will get married. It isn’t an official video or anything… but the song resonates with me. Tonight, it gave me a glimmer of hope… that yes, it’ll be okay. Somehow, I’ll get things back on track.

To me, music is like oxygen… I need it to keep me going. It is as much a part of me as breathing or drinking water. Others may not understand the love affair I have with music. That’s okay. They don’t have to.

Music is part of my soul. It grounds me when nothing else can touch me. It has healed me, made me laugh, made me cry. It has given me closure when there was no other way. It is part of me, part of my journey.

~Amanda (yes, still need help with storage… my piano and all my music is in there)

Posted in grad school, music, Personal, student life, writing

2016: The Review Begins

This won’t be long. Not on the computer. This has been a pretty crappy year overall. I’ve struggled with school and job hunting. I’ve come face to face with memories of parts of my life I thought I had handled well. 

A few good things happened. I got to meet Stan Lee finally. I found a great museum to do my practicum with, and am continuing the project to its completion. 

I still feel empty inside, to some degree. Not sure that will ever go away.

I wrote a manuscript for something other than Science Fiction or Fantasy. A massive step outside my fiction comfort zone. And I love what came from it.

I’ll write more about my observations of the year as I get to them. Some “practical-minded” types may say I should give up certain things, such as writing and the small press. But those things, and music, are more to me than “just hobbies” … they keep me alive. They help me breathe when I’m unsure if I can. They are a part of my soul. My dad saw that. He knew it. 

Never stop believing in yourself. Never give up on what you love. Ever. 

~Amanda 

Posted in dragon, music, nanowrimo, Personal, writing

11/28: I can do the thing… #nanowrimo

I’m at 28K. I know…. I’m crazy. But I think we established that a LONG time ago.

I had my first session of speech therapy today. I did really well… it brought back a lot of my old voice training for singing and theatre. Now I’m yawning like mad and I’m not THAT tired…. it’s a matter of retraining me to use my “head voice” or what they call “forward voice” or something like that, in every day speaking. I have exercises to do every day.

So, as I  said, I’m at 28K…. I’ll do my best to hit 30K, or at least get damn close, tonight.

I just need to stop yawning, dammit.

~Dragon