Posted in activism, community, creativity, observations, poetry, politics, silliness, society, writing

It isn’t rocket science, part 1 (#poetry)

Tax the rich.
Help the poor.
Keep the peace
And nothing more.

Feed the hungry
Fix the roads
Punch the Nazis
And live the code.

Read the books.
Save the kids
Just don’t try to
Hold the squid.

Some of this
Is common sense
And some of you
Are on the fence.

Rhyming lines
Can be silly
But life is rarely
Rather frilly.

The balance is off
In this world today
We must work harder
To find a way.

Treat each other as equals
And no more hate.
This has to stop
Before they dictate

Who lives, who dies
Who loves, who cries
We must see our equals
In each other’s eyes.

This isn’t so hard
This being respectful
It’s as easy as breathing
Nothing too fretful.

Try to see all others
As you see your friends
Equal in humanity
Not through a tainted lens.

So really it isn’t
Rocket Science.
Just remember to
Stand in defiance.

Of those who promise
Unreal things
As we are not
A nation of kings.

~A

(I normally don’t do rhyming poetry. But this just kept on going and there are more lines running around in my head.)

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Posted in activism, anxiety, auction, bugaboos, community, crowdfunding, friends, history, life, observations, peace, politics, research, society, storage, urgent

11/23: Catching Up and Observations

I kept swearing I was going to write posts over here… and my poor hotspot was being overworked. So, as of yesterday, I have wi-fi in the apartment. 

I’ve had some good runs of activity this month, but the funds have mostly been spent keeping other, smaller, things alive (such as said cell phone with hotspot)… and groceries since they cut my food stamps back. Between that and a lack of work in October, I’m still in dire need of getting storage caught up from these two months so I can get some stuff out to get my apartment closer to my own sense of normal: mattress, piano, TV, desk, sewing and embroidery machines… not to mention chairs. This sleeping/writing on the floor thing is killing my back.

And on top of that, it’s been scheduled for auction for December. Late December, I assume, as they haven’t said the date in the emails. 

I can’t currently do a GFM or anything as my checking account got closed due to a lack of positive balance for too long (a month). So, PayPal is all I have. Closed checking account: another reason October sucked. 

I currently owe $804. Can we get there? Halp?

Between my fiction project this year for NaNoWriMo, and observations of news I see around me and online, I ask one thing:

Why are we so angry? Why so much anger and hatred?

I noticed myself getting angry while living at the shelter. I was absorbing all these negative and unstable energies around me (living with 60 women will do that), but I’m much calmer now. I’m closer to my normal self again.

But I then look at the news and observe others as I walk/bus around town.

Man kills pregnant wife and two young children. Disposes of their bodies. Shooter kills multiple people at a Synagogue. Young black security guard killed -doing his job- by cops arriving on scene. 

Need I say more? This is just barely scratching the surface. You can say what you like about their motives. I may or may not agree with them. Today, I watched footage of a “peace” officer on a middle school campus beat a young black teen boy for seemingly no reason. Staff of the school looked on, doing nothing. The dude picked this kid up and flipped him over his shoulder, slamming him to the floor. For what? I’d love to know what the motive of this “officer” is for so much violence toward a child. 

People are angry. Not just in specific moments, but the energy I get when I walk around town is one of anger, indecisiveness, frustration. But where does this stem from? Why are we so angry? Why do we not ask questions first and then resolve the issues at hand instead of using violence of one form or another. 

Have our prejudices taken over? Are we so filled with fear of the unknown that we lash out more readily now? What can be done to combat that fear? Unlearn the prejudices? Unpack the hatred? 

Never -ever- tell me one can unlearn bigotry. My mother was a closeted bigot, only revealing it to her family. Like me. She went to her grave the same way, but she tried to get me to follow her views. I chose not to. I’ve seen articles on former members of the Klan and of the WBC who walked away and learned to not hate so readily. It is possible. 

But this hate and anger I see is so much more than bigotry. Look at the cases of road rage. Many have nothing to do with racism or bigotry, but a core hatred of… something. 

I doubt I’ll ever get this answered, but I want to know why people are generally angry and mad at the world… and I want to know how we can plant the seeds of peace.

~A

Posted in activism, anxiety, bigotry, bugaboos, chronic pain, community, depression, eviction, faith, friends, health, homeless, homelessness, housing, life, observations, politics, society, transitions

10/24: Adjustments and Changes

As of Friday the 19th, Portia and I are now in our own apartment again. We still have several hurdles to jump: getting storage caught up for October only (more on that in a bit), getting furniture OUT of storage so I’m not sleeping on the floor (I do have a mattress in there), getting my old electric bill sorted before the end of the month, and getting internet in the apartment.

Oh, and getting my checking account up to zero or higher. Ugh.

So, most of the past two years, I’ve at least had SOMETHING coming in from being a Tasker, but this month? Nothing. Nada. Zip. Seriously. I’ve had no jobs. Well, there was a team one set for yesterday, but I have a feeling the other person stole the whole thing from under me and will try to muddy my name on TR. I’ve already sent an email to a contact there about this. I have proof the guy said the task was postponed and then late last night said it was cancelled. If it was cancelled, I’d have an email from TR saying it was. Nothing. Soooo…. yeah.

I need to cover 200 of the old electric bill plus a deposit… and also storage… and ordering internet. I do NOT want to rely on the hotspot on my poor phone to do everything. But it’ll be nearly $50 to get it set up… if not more. The electric, I may be able to get help from CCC as a one-time thing.

Things are happening slowly. I talked to the person at SE Works last week about the training job. She’ll get back to me soon, I hope. Right now, I’m just holding on.

I had zero intention of this being a pity post or a begging post. If people want to help, great. But it’s okay. I’ll figure this shit out somehow.

In the coming days and weeks, I’ll be able to reflect more on my experiences of the past two years. Most of that time has been either staying at friends’ houses or in the shelter. Being at the shelter was likely the strongest learning period. Man, I learned a lot. I stood up for myself and for others being bullied. I saw how low people can go while they hold their heads up high acting as if they’re better than the rest of us. I saw, and was the ‘victim’ of food theft, among other things.

I still have a lot of emotional stuff to unpack from that experience. When I do get through it, I fully intend on being an outspoken advocate for resolving homelessness.

No matter where we sleep, what we eat, the clothes we wear, our gender or sexuality, our skin color, our mental and physical health; we are human beings and deserve to be treated equally in society.

 

~A

Posted in activism, anxiety, auction, community, conformity, crowdfunding, depression, disability, emergency, empath life, faith, friends, homeless, homelessness, individuality, life, observations, politics, poverty line, society, storage, urgent

9/22: Political Divide Ponderings (and #crowdfunding)

[Before I get to politics, I need to raise the funds for storage before Monday because of transfer time for GFM and PayPal. Any sharing or donation is greatly appreciated. See the stickied note for more info. Basically: auction is on 9/27 and I don’t have my PP debit card, so everything has to be transferred over to my checking account. I have two days before the transfers will be too late.]

I have always been in the “Bleeding Heart Liberal” category. I knew at 15 that I was going to register Democrat. My parents were both registered Republicans. But from a time when Republicans were more liberal (Dad was an Eisenhower Republican) and Dems were more conservative. My mother was originally a Democrat, from back in the day before parties switched views. She switched to Republican, around when she married my dad. I think because her views were so conservative, he nudged her to change affiliation to match her views. Dad, however, was pro-choice and all the other stuff. He voted Republican, but man, he was liberal through and through.

By the time I was 18, I knew Democrat was where I belonged. Some of my views have a twinge of Libertarian in them, but I’m staunchly a Dem. When I got my voter ID card at 18, I showed it to my dad, who joked, “Where did we go wrong with you?” I knew he was messing with me in a good way. Remember, he was quite liberal and I am such my father’s daughter. He knew, in his own quiet way, that I was in the right spot.


Flash forward to this past week. A couple days ago, I got into a debate with a conservative woman from this shelter. Here’s where my pondering begins.

How can someone who is homeless/poor/etc and reasonably intelligent stand by politicians who are so vehemently against them? I’m talking about the Liar in Chief. I usually just use ’45’ to refer to him, and will do so the rest of this post.

How does a woman who served in the military and depends on the VA in all its brokenness support a man who cuts spending for the very system she uses?

How can someone who is living in a shelter that depends on federal grant money to help people say that the government shouldn’t be the ones who help the poor and disabled, but that churches should be?

The debate happened while we were waiting for the MAX train back from her first trip to IKEA is several years. When we got on the train, I was so pissed, I just started ignoring her. She turned to a man on the other side of her and started in about “ignorant liberals”

*twitch*

*twitch*

The one thing I got clearly from her was this: she got her advanced education later in life (a Bachelor’s in Science [B.S.] in something) and had dropped a class because the professor made something clear about some sort of view that was decidedly more liberal than conservative. She then went into how she was glad she didn’t pursue her degree when she was younger because she might have been convinced and brainwashed back then to agree with this more liberal view.

As with everything involving the women in this shelter (other than the backstabbing and lies some pull), it all has mostly blown over and she’s all smiles again with me. Meh. I’ll move on and chat again with her. Just not today.


This is why I ponder these things:

I am innately curious about the human condition and psyche. Always have been. Ever since I was out of diapers, I either had a camera in my hand or was observing people in how they acted, reacted, and interacted. I wanted to understand human behavior from the time I was really little.

I’ve long joked that I’m really an alien from another planet who was dropped off here to observe human behavior. Sometimes, it doesn’t really feel like that much of a joke. I’ve always felt different. Like I wasn’t the same. Not human. My physiology is the same, save for a few oddities, but I am essentially a human being. I just don’t feel like I am one.

I want to understand why people behave how they do, believe things they do, act how they do. I’ve always been the one who asked questions and looked for answers. As a kid, I was always pulling random things from the yard and putting them under our little 3x microscope. I wasn’t big on dissection once we got to that in school, but I wanted to learn about other things.

Why are we seemingly always at war with each other?

Why do we so easily fear and then hate each other because of differences?

I know that second one is partly why I feel so different. I choose not to fear the differences. I’m curious about why the differences are there, and want to examine those differences. I love and embrace my curiosity. I want to absorb and learn and experience those differences. And I’ve never understood why others don’t want the same.

To choose being informed over conformity.

~A

Posted in activism, anxiety, auction, bugaboos, community, crowdfunding, depression, disability, emergency, friends, health, homeless, homelessness, life, observations, peace, politics, society, storage, urgent

6/27: Duck and Cover (more #crowdfunding) SHARE ME!

SHARE ME!! PWEASE?

Still looking to raise at least $300 more before noon Thursday 6/28 (tomorrow) Pacific Time. The FB fundraiser is no longer active, as it takes a couple of days for funds to transfer. I hope the funds raised so far will make it to my account in time.

It’s now closing in on 12 hours before auction. Less than 18. I’m starting to get some decent tasks, so I hope I can continue paying it down after it gets pulled. With that, I hope to never deal with it getting this way again.

In other stuff… not gonna get too political, but with Justice Kennedy retiring, women like me, who rely on Medicaid for a number of things to manage my health, this is not a good time to be poor, disabled, and female in the U.S. Add Liberal to that, and it gets a smidge worse. I’m looking at my options and they aren’t many in number. I don’t have the money (obviously) to run to another country right now. I don’t have much tying me here, so if I do scrounge up a way out, I’ll likely take it.

Borders: I want to expand on this a bit, but the question that’s been bugging me: Why do we obsess over borders here? I know we aren’t the only country to do so, but I look at several countries in Europe whose borders are little more than a demarcation line in the pavement and a sign. And it’s been this way since long before the European Union. Other than pissing contests over land (Mine! No, MINE!! No, no, no, MIIIINE!), I don’t see the point in it. Migrant workers from the south of us have long benefited our agriculture and society and they’ve gotten some kind of pay (yes, I think they should be paid better, but that’s a whole other post). With fully open borders and people being able to come and go as needed, relations with other countries would be vastly better. And no, only a fraction of those who come from the southern countries are drug dealers/mules/kingpins. And that issue would become a non-issue if we legalized ALL drugs and treated it as a health issue instead of a criminal one. Look to Portugal for that.

But that is all for other blog posts. I’m just over here trying to save my stuff. Things that help me survive and things close to my heart. Just trying one more time.

Thank you,

~A

Posted in activism, anxiety, bigotry, bugaboos, C-PTSD, community, depression, disability, domestic abuse, eviction, health, homeless, homelessness, housing, life, observations, politics, PTSD, society

5/9/18: #Homelessness and #Elitism

This started as an FB post, but I needed to vent and my connection won’t let me post there.

…..

There’s a pompous asshole or three in my old neighborhood on NextDoor bitching about the homeless. And y’all know how I feel about elitist shitholes who get whiny about us homeless folk. Several others are stepping up and chewing them out politely. One even went to say that maybe the ones who whine need to move out of the urban setting to a suburb or countryside area.

Basically, if all you do is whine and stomp your feet about the homeless on the street, then you’re contributing to the PROBLEM and NOT contributing to the SOLUTION. Shut up or put up. Are there mentally ill and drug addicted homeless? Yes. And they are (many times) the most visible and vocal so they end up being seen as the “majority” of homeless. They are one segment of the homeless population. Many are working poor who got pushed out. And others struggling like myself to just get through each day due to one issue or another. There are families. To lump us all together as junkies and “psychos” is a disservice to the population as a whole.

I’ve refrained from posting or commenting over there. I may have to write something regarding the homeless population demographics and post it there and here on my blog.

What people like them forget is that everyone is one or two paychecks, a job loss, a medical catastrophe, or other events, away from being homeless themselves. I want them to just listen. Try to understand who we are that they’re whining about. Because we aren’t all what they think we are. Some, yes, but most are not.

Obviously this is something very personal to me. I am educated and homeless. No drugs or alcohol put me here. No major mental illnesses. Depression and anxiety… PTSD, sure. But I can function to a reasonable degree. Not everyone has that ability. And those are the ones left behind since the days of mass closures of mental hospitals across the country. [More info here on that]

If you refuse to be part of the solution, you are part of the problem. Stop being a pain in the ass and start working on solutions to help end homelessness. And shipping them to other cities and states doesn’t count.

~A

Posted in activism, anxiety, bugaboos, C-PTSD, community, crowdfunding, depression, emergency, faith, friends, history, homeless, homelessness, life, observations, politics, PTSD, society, storage, urgent

4/10/18: Observation on Religion

Quick observation that could lose people:

When one notices that Muslims (the majority, not the tiny fraction that are extremists) behave more Christ-like than many who think themselves Christians, one has to wonder what happened (such as the prosperity gospel crap) to pull “Christians” away from the core lessons Jesus taught.

Where is the “love one another?”

Where is the practice of caring for those less fortunate?

I see Imams opening up their Mosques to those in need during natural disasters and such. Giving total strangers shelter, food, and clothing when they have lost so much. I read articles on Muslim medical professionals running a clinic in Texas, helping the poor in their community at no charge.

They don’t ask for you to convert. They just give and show the love of a benevolent God (aka Allah, which is Arabic for God. It is not only used by Muslims, but by any who speak Arabic and have a belief system).

Where are the mega-churches with all their money? Why do we not hear about them opening their doors and helping others, no questions asked, no money asked for, no expectations of conversion? Those who do go out and feed the homeless (either in a park or coming to our shelters and feeding us homeless) and are associated with a church are few and far between.

Jesus taught us love.

What happened?

~A

(Featured image from this site.)

(Yes, still desperately crowdfunding. If anyone knows of an organization that can help on short notice, as auction is on Thursday the 12th, let me know. Or reach out to them and see if they can help. A pdf of the most recent letter is in an earlier post from a day or two ago.)

Posted in activism, anxiety, bugaboos, C-PTSD, community, crowdfunding, emergency, empath life, faith, friends, history, homeless, homelessness, life, observations, peace, politics, PTSD, society, storage, urgent

4/10/18: Change and #crowdfunding

Post 4 of ? I think?

SHARE, PLEASE?
PayPal is the easiest and fastest way.
Auction is at noon on April 12th.
I need a bit under $1400, but would prefer a bit of a cushion at $1500.


POETRY TIME!!

The Cycle of Change

History becomes the future.
The present is the past.
When do we stop repeating the cycle?

When do we evolve?
Learn to be better?
Stop killing our future?

To hate for the sake of
Hating.
Instead of loving for the sake of being?

How do we grow?
When we refuse to learn.
Even from ourselves.

When we stop the cycle,
We learn.
We grow.

We evolve
We do better than our ancestors
Filled with hate and fear.

~A

Posted in activism, anxiety, bugaboos, C-PTSD, community, crowdfunding, depression, disability, dogs, emergency, homeless, homelessness, housing, life, observations, politics, poverty line, PTSD, society, storage, urgent

4/10/18: Stun Gun vs Taser (& #crowdfunding)

Post 3 of ? today.

SHARE THIS!! PLEASE?
PayPal is the easiest and fastest way.
Auction is at noon on April 12th.
I need a bit under $1400, but would prefer a bit of a cushion at $1500.


So, I don’t hide much of anything in my life. While I’m not big on guns themselves, I felt I needed something while out and about on transit due to my PTSD and my close calls with bad reactions to men being assholes.

I bought a stun gun.

Then, of course, I moved into the shelter where I can’t have any weapons in my room. It gets checked in when I come in and checked out when I go out. If I stop at the desk and ask for it.

Then I hear “she wants her taser” which isn’t quite accurate. A stun gun and a taser are very different. Yes, they both emit an electrical charge, but in a different way. Tasers are what you find police carrying. Those can be placed against the person’s body OR shoot the prongs on wires and transmit the charge that way, from a distance.

A stun gun can’t shoot the prongs. It is only a close-body weapon. If some jackass decides to harass me and gets up close, even after me telling him to leave me alone, he has to be close enough for me to reach out with it and press the button.

Mine has a safety measure. I don’t know if they all have this. Mine is also a flashlight and the toggle switch has three settings: off, flashlight, stun. So, to stun someone, I have to push that toggle all the way forward and then press the small button on the opposite side of the handle from the toggle. Only then does it stun someone.

Does it hurt? I would imagine so, but I’m not gonna try it on myself.

I know, saying ‘taser’ is so much easier, but it isn’t accurate.

This is all I can afford before I can get a service dog. I’d prefer the dog, honestly, but for now, the stun gun will have to do. And maybe an extendable baton at some point…. and… yeah, I think those are all that will be legal for me to carry.

 

Posted in activism, anxiety, bugaboos, C-PTSD, community, crowdfunding, depression, emergency, faith, friends, grief, history, individuality, LGBTQIA Pride, life, Personal, politics, PTSD, society, storage, urgent

3/18/18: #crowdfunding and #walkup vs #walkout (this could get ugly)

(The featured image will make sense when you read further down)

***CROWDFUNDING!***

I’m going to write a bunch of posts, at least a few a day, with #crowdfunding at the top and prominent, so I can get a smidge more attention.

As it stands, I owe somewhere between $1000 and $1200 (that changes due to late fees and such, so I know it’s somewhere in that range… last I checked) and #AUCTION is April 12th. For screencaps of recent messages from them, scroll all the way down to the end of this post.


On to the other topic of this post: Walk Up versus Walk Out. I’ve seen some reasonably well-meaning people on my friends list encourage Walk Up. I’m more on the side of Walk Out. For those who haven’t been paying attention here’s the breakdown of what they both mean:

Walk Out: School kids and teens getting up at a set time and walking out of classes in protest of a severe lack of gun control in this country (and yes, gun control means control of who owns/buys them and what they should have to do before getting their hands on firearms. But this isn’t the debate at hand, pay attention). This is a mostly silent protest. Much like with Kaepernick and others silently protesting the treatment of POC by police and the government in general (systemic racism at its ugliest. No, it was not about the flag, never was). This protest is about showing peaceful resistance to the powers that be that this shit ain’t cool and they need to step up and fix the problems or step down and let someone who can and will make a difference take that office.

Walk Up: Well meaning to some degree. This is about the more popular or vocal kids approaching and even trying to befriend the loners who may be potential shooters. It’s about “walking up” to them and engaging them. I get it, I do. But I’ll state my reasons for it being flawed in a moment.


As you may be able to tell (granted, I already alluded to this above), I’m all for Walk Out. I’m a pacifist (with ptsd… yeah, that’s fun… NOT!!!). I believe in standing up for what we believe in. To make a stand for change when the establishment isn’t listening to the people. Those of my generation (X, if you were wondering) have stood by far too long. We’ve let the establishment walk all over us and those around us. But we have been afraid to engage and lead. We didn’t really have things like school shootings when I was that age. One of the worst things that happened was a custody battle gone wrong between two parents and the father killed his two children, one who was a classmate, and then himself so that his wife couldn’t get custody. Three lives snuffed out because of jealousy and selfishness. But it wasn’t on campus.

We lived in a bubble. Yeah, we still had loners *raises hand* and the popular kids. But we didn’t have the carnage and anger that we’ve seen the last several years. In 20 years, since Columbine, we’ve seen far too many shootings (add some stabbings in there, but those end up with less deaths) in schools and places of business.

I wholeheartedly support Walk Out. And some of the teens from Parkland are stepping up and making sure their voices are not silenced. Making sure change WILL happen, come hell or high water.

So, now I’m gonna play a little Devil’s Advocate.

I kinda wish more fellow students had Walked Up to me and others back in high school. I felt invisible and unknown. I didn’t want to BE part of the popular crowd. I liked just being ME, but I wanted them to see me. To say hello in the halls. They didn’t have to befriend me or anything, but just an occasional hello or “hey, Amanda” would have gone a long way. Especially those who were also in my church high school group.

The difference between that and Walk Up is that the campaign for Walk Up is going about it for ALL THE WRONG REASONS!! It should never be about “well, if you don’t befriend them, they may shoot up the place.” That’s all about fear. It should never been about fear. It should be about community, not fear.

If this action is based upon a fear that the loner kid may be the next shooter, then the action comes from fake concern, not honesty. And please, no platitudes. Just saying hello.

One caveat: If the loner kid creeps you out and you get a really bad vibe… yeah, maybe not the best idea to Walk Up. But there are loner kids out there just like I was who just don’t do well bursting into the crowd and making friends that easily. Trust me, at school dances, if I could have melted INTO the walls, I would have. I was a geek of all trades… still am.

In my senior year, I went on a ski trip the weekend before Spirit Week. My mother had this notion that I’d outgrown my allergy to down feathers (nope) and sent me off with a down ski jacket, down sleeping bag, and down pillow.

I. WAS. IN. HELL.

I was sick most of Spirit Week. On top of that, that trip was where I slipped on the ice and messed up my back. I was 17. I had costumes planned for all the theme days of Spirit Week. I would have NAILED any contests.

But I was sick.

I was finally well enough on Spirit Day, Friday. A half-day, mind you. I went to Econ and ended up sitting next to one of the cheerleaders. Don’t ask me which one. I don’t remember. She turned around and saw me. Mind you, I was still sniffling and I was in pain from the fall a week before.

“Amanda, where have you been?”

“Huh? Oh, home sick.”

“Oh, that’s too bad. We were really looking forward to your costumes for Spirit Week.”

My visible response wasn’t much, but in my mind, I was freaking out. One of the popular kids knew who I was? Knew my name? Noticed I had been out all week??????? OMG!

It was surreal for me. After all those years walking around campus and knowing people’s shoes better than their faces, at least one of the popular kids knew who I was.

It didn’t change a lot for me, but I did start feeling a bit more confident. I looked at faces.

A lot more shit happened the rest of that school year, but I still made it through. Now, I was never the kid who would have picked up a weapon. I hated myself more than I hated my classmates. I had shitty self-esteem and self-worth. I was more prone to suicidal ideation. But, as you can tell, I’m still here.

If Walking Up to someone is out of genuine friendliness and not based on fear, do it. You may just make that loner’s day. But trust your gut. If they seem a bit off… maybe not.

Walking Out. Do it! And then follow through afterward with letters and phone calls to Congress Critters (hey, it’s gender neutral, shush!). Take action with words. Trust me… words are so much more powerful in the long run. Maybe I’ll talk about that in another post.

~A