Posted in anxiety, community, cosplay, crowdfunding, depression, emergency, homeless, life, Personal, poverty line, society, storage, transitions, urgent

5/7: Getting close #crowdfunding

I’ll write something else later. Right now, I need a miracle. I have a week and a half to raise the funds to save my storage and the vast majority of my belongings. If you were in my shoes, and all the stuff that you love and cherish were about to be auctioned off, much* of which never to be seen again by you, what would you do? How would you deal with this? Yes, some things are replaceable, but most of what’s in there is not.

As I struggle to find work I’m able to do, I see my belongings slipping away and my heart is breaking because there are memories attached to those things… mostly good memories. So, how would you handle a situation like this?

My intentions before the eviction were to go through and start downsizing the amount of things I have… things I no longer need, etc. Half my books were sold off over a year ago. To help pay rent. I’ve also weeded out and donated a fair chunk of normal clothing (as opposed to costumes). I want to continue to downsize, but on MY terms, not wiped clean due to an auction.

I am job hunting. Going to doctor appts and VocRehab (which had to be rescheduled as my case worker there was sick), trying to stay sane in all of this. But I can’t do this alone. I need others, you out there, to share posts or the YouCaring campaign. Donate if you can, either via PP or the campaign, but most of all share. That simple action is free for you and takes only a minute or two (if you want to write something up about it). 

2017-02-25-16-17-03
This is the storage unit before it was completely filled up. As it is right now, you can’t see any floor and most of it is up above my 5’2″ head.

Thank you for reading this far…

~Amanda

*I have been told that personal documents, etc, would be returned to me. Things like birth certificates, etc.

Posted in community, crowdfunding, depression, emergency, friends, grad school, homeless, life, Personal, poverty line, storage, urgent

5/2: Shameless #Crowdfunding Post

#crowdfunding still… if you’re reading this on a computer, the links are on the sidebar. On mobile, you have to scroll down to the bottom of a post page (the home page just keeps loading more posts… I think). 

If you look at the YouCaring campaign, you might think I’m close to what’s needed, but about 540 of that is older and long used.

I’m encouraging as many as possible to simply share, even if they can’t donate. I’m posting just about every day, either here or on that campaign. 

My situation is a reminder that without community, anyone is a “paycheck away” from being homeless. My struggle to find work that doesn’t exacerbate my various injuries from my past makes it even harder. I have now been accepted into the vocational rehabilitation program. Yes, still trying to finish up grad school. But in order to get back on my feet and pay for my 1-unit capstone this summer, I need work with decent pay (minimum wage or just above it isn’t enough to cover living costs and pay off the debts incurred). 

I also can’t afford to lose my property in storage. Among all the normal stuff is my father’s flag (and service medal) that was earned in WWII. So much other stuff as well. Right now, the financial goal is to catch up on storage before auction on the 18th. 

Anything and everything helps. I’m barely hanging on. Still looking for work and finishing school. 

Thank you,

~Amanda 

Posted in bugaboos, chronic pain, community, crowdfunding, depression, emergency, empath life, grad school, life, Personal, poverty line, student life, transitions

4/18: Perspective & #crowdfunding

Still desperately #crowdfunding. I need to round up a total of roughly $700 for two months of late storage rent and late fees and the auction fee…

Yes, I’m more stressed and pissy, but there are multiple factors right now. And most of them, I can’t really talk about. Do I come off as needy or clingy? Maybe. I don’t know, honestly. I do know that I’ve been doing the best I can to not completely snap. Last night’s post is the closest I’ve come. I hate asking for help, but I haven’t been able to bounce back up financially and job-wise as I had expected and hoped I would. So yes, I ask.

I am eternally grateful for all the help from various people. I’ve never really been good at all the social graces and stuff.  I may not always say thank you right away… but most of the time I do remember.

Our “Western” society is one of independence and not building strong selfless communities. We’re failures if we can’t “go it alone.” While I’m stubbornly independent myself in many ways, finances have always been a problem for me. I’ve repeatedly done what the commenter told me to do, “just find whatever job comes along that can cover the basics.”

The problem here is that Portland rents are skyrocketing and in order to afford a market rate unit close to reliable public transit (I don’t really trust the buses that much), I would need a salary of a bare minimum of 40K/year. For a studio. I don’t do well living with other people (I’ve known this a long time now). As an Empath, I have a hard enough time shutting it all out (I can’t block well) when I live alone… living with others is extremely difficult. I never have the chance to calm my thoughts and clear all the emotional muck.

I physically can’t do many jobs listed out there that are, in the commenter’s words, “plentiful.” Standing for longer than half an hour is painful. Sitting for long periods is uncomfortable. I cannot sacrifice my health and well being for a meager paycheck that won’t cover basic living expenses.

I know my limits (I know me better than you know me). I have for years now. They’ve changed over time. My old and newer injuries are catching up with me. Such is life. I shouldn’t have to justify my limits to a stranger. And yet, I have. Repeatedly.

I’ll likely do at least one post tomorrow… I’m already late to turn in this paper, but appointments and such have pulled me away. Tomorrow, I’ll be able to work on it more. Hopefully even get it done.

Good night, stay safe, don’t do anything Dragon wouldn’t do (that list is rather small, though), and spread the word… I feel I’m really close to the start of the next chapter of my life… I just need a little more patience and assistance so that I don’t lose what I have.

Thank you…

~Amanda

Posted in community, crowdfunding, Personal, poverty line, transitions

3/3: Another shameless #crowdfunding post

(photo caption: “She’s behind me, isn’t she?” RIP JoJo. It’s been 2 months today.)

SHARE ME!!!!! PWEASE?

It’s Monday, I’m pretty sure I slept last night, but I’m not sure. I know Portia kept alternating between wanting to sleep ON me or being sprawled across the foot of the twin size bed to keep me from stretching my legs out.

Another shameless crowdfunding post. I’m sure people would prefer to use YouCaring to send money, or have me set up another GFM. But both of those, in one form or another, take a percentage out. They all do. YC doesn’t directly, but the money transfer system they use does. If people want receipts for tax purposes and do use my preferred system of PayPal.me, let me know and I can write up a receipt for you to include all donations you’ve sent. Not sure if these donations are the kind you can get deductions for…

Anywhooo…. Still nothing for storage yet. And now that I’m into April, it’s almost $600 for March and April. In the one post on the 1st, I think I outlined the costs from both months. I cannot access my storage now. I pushed it to the brink on March 15th when getting stuff out of the apartment, but it’s been on lockdown since. I can’t put anything in or get anything out. And I need to get a couple pairs of shoes out…. and a few other things.

One friend is sending $150 as soon as it’s available to him, but they likely won’t take any partial payments at this point. They might. But I kinda need to have the funds to give it to them. I have a few things I got free from a friend this weekend that should go INTO storage as well, as I’m trying to keep my on-hand stuff to a minimum (but that lantern, silk shirt, and wine box were just too nice to pass up… and… oh, you don’t wanna know, especially if you end up as my future downstairs neighbors).

So, small miracles are requested. Larger miracles would be cool too… as they could go to future costs… but lots of smaller miracles. One thing I’ve also noticed: when a campaign like this is shared frequently, it gets more attention. I share and post about it, but friends may share once or twice, a few do share posts when they see them and more often (a couple a week or so), but the more eyeballs on this, the better.

If you really, truly insist on YouCaring, I won’t stop you. I may need to fix the link. Just keep in mind that WePay (their bank transfer system) takes a 3.something %…

I’ll go look at the link now. I may have to create my own “buttons” for YC and such… and as long as the computer behaves, I can do that.

~Amanda

 

Posted in community, crowdfunding, eviction, homeless, life, Personal, poverty line, transitions, urgent

3/25: Storage, #Crowdfunding, and Organizing

#Crowdfunding: [Needs: Storage funds, cat food] When 98% of your life’s belongings are in a storage unit that you can’t access right now, you feel a bit down. Right now, I’d love to go over there and move stuff around and organize the ever-loving-hell out of it (with possible help, as my back and knee are both cursing at me). But I can’t access it because I don’t have the funds to pay for it right now. Hence back to crowdfunding…. since I’m not employed, I don’t have the funds to cover it. (A bit over 300 now with the late fees)

Organizing: It’s been a week and I feel the need to organize the stuff in this room better. Of course, this would mean futzing with some of the stuff that was already in here that isn’t mine… just shifting of a few things… mainly so I don’t need to keep the two duffel bags on the floor and maybe I’d have more room to get around… not much, but a bit.

I’m slow this week because I torqued my right knee (for the millionth time) and having to walk and climb stairs, etc has not been easy for me. It hit the next level of pain a couple days ago when, for no real reason, I felt a jab of sharp pain run right through my knee. The kind of pain that would likely make regular people drop to the floor holding their knee… I just put my hand on the cart next to me (I was in the kitchen) and took all my weight off that leg. It did it again yesterday. Hurting even when no weight is on it. I put the call in to request a referral for Orthopedics.

I’ve pushed myself through pain a lot over the years. Last year, I remember standing in line to meet Stan Lee at RCCC, and the couple in front of me were military/former military. At least the husband was. I was getting extremely uncomfortable standing there (due to the pain), so we started talking. He listed some of his injuries from serving… then I started rattling off mine. I wasn’t even showing off scars! Just “well, when I was 6…. when I was 17…. oh, and at 22…” I got to about my early 30’s and he caved. His wife was amused. I had him beat. And when you go up against a soldier and out-do them on injuries…. that’s saying something… not sure what, but it says something.

I sign off for the evening with the hope that tomorrow and the coming week show promise…

~Amanda

Posted in community, crowdfunding, emergency, eviction, faith, life, Personal, poverty line

A Fitful Night… #crowdfunding

(featured image is JoJo hiding from the world, which I’d love to do myself, but can’t)

Some of this is from the latest update on YouCaring, but I’ll expand on it.

I REALLY need to stop challenging the Universe with this whole “it can’t get worse” bit. I swear God has a warped sense of humor (explain Aardvarks without science) … I swear God is sitting there wondering “what else can we do to push her limits?”

So storage is set up and everything moved into the larger unit. We (a friend and myself) returned from storage yesterday to find my power shut off. Just one more level to add to my torture.

I didn’t have enough last night for the bare minimum payment, but thanks to one friend and payment for a gig from last week coming through, I had enough to cover it this morning. Power will be back on sometime today. (I personally think it’s inhumane to shut someone’s power off in the winter…)

With all of that, I am not able to get the apartment cleared out by end of day (unless a miracle team of ten people showed up and helped me pack and had a couple of vans to take it all over to storage). I can only make so many trips walking stuff over on carts.

Also, still no place to stay. I’ve tried the charities that are supposed to be able to help, and nothing is available. So, I’m staying put and letting them file a formal eviction while I scrounge more more money. I have nowhere to go otherwise. All the low income housing facilities around here have waiting lists months long, even years long.

The goal is to have enough funds to rent a studio somewhere that will accept me and my two cats with a fresh eviction on my record. That won’t be easy. Housing/rental prices are skyrocketing around here. I’m going to sign up for the RentWell classes that provide a certificate or something upon completion that shows I understand about life after eviction, etc.

But I still need to fight over the eviction. Giving me a mere 5 days to move out and find a new place to live with no money is basically impossible. If I was like some of my neighbors and had a few pieces of furniture, a box or two of books, etc… mostly just furniture and a few possessions, I could see the vacating part, but finding a new place when the local charities have nothing available, on short notice, it’s not possible.

So, there you have it. I need to stop challenging the Universe by saying “it can’t get any worse.” Yeah…. it can.

Power is getting dangerously low on this computer and none of the others have the same combo of ethernet port AND battery. Once power is back on, I’ll be back.

~Amanda

Posted in crowdfunding, emergency, eviction, Personal, poverty line, urgent

11/22: State of the Dragon #crowdfunding

I need friends and followers to share this -or another- post. I need the help desperately. Wherever you can share on social media, please spread the word. I don’t know what else to do. Every share helps, every little bit helps.

I still need about 200-250 (I had to get a few groceries, k?) for storage and would like to tell him I have it. I also need to be prepared for court Thursday. If I can show the effort of getting the funds together, there’s hope. I may call the attorney who helped answer my questions two years ago. Just to see what he thinks my options are this time.

So…

  • $200-250 for storage, ASAP.
  • roughly $2000 or so for rent/eviction. That includes two months rent and court fees (this estimate is from when I went through this two years ago during the debacle financial aid put me in). I knew the money was coming that time.. this time? I don’t know. This scares the ever-loving-fuck out of me. 

If you donate a decent amount, or whomever does, and wants something made in return, let me know. I have a bead on one PT job, although it won’t pay all my expenses.

I’m trying not to get stressed, because when I do, JoJo gets stressed and overgrooms and then I find hairballs all over the place. But remaining calm when I may lose most of what I own and my apartment is not that easy. This, honestly, is THE closest I’ve come. I’ve been here 7 1/2 years in the same apartment. I can’t afford to move elsewhere. JoJo isn’t good with other humans. And most of my friends don’t have the room. The handful that do have dogs and …. well… Portia doesn’t handle dogs well. Small ones would get mauled and big dogs scare her to death. I cannot and will not inflict that torture on my girls.

I’m scared. I’m stuck. I feel hopeless. I’m trying to not curl up in a ball and shut down from the anxiety.

~Dragon/Amanda/Penguin

Posted in crowdfunding, Personal, poverty line

Stuck with less than 1 hour #crowdfunding please #retweet

#crowdfunding #urgent #eviction #share

I don’t know what else to say or do. I’m sure people sick of me being in this tough spot…. guess what? So am I. Help however you can. I have less than one hour. I may try calling or going downstairs to the office and asking for another day, but will it help? I don’t know. I’m sick, I’m stressed out, and I don’t know how much more of this I can take. I need a bit over 800…. actually, with the fees PP takes out and how I have to withdraw the cash, 850 covers it…. all of it.

~Amanda

 

Posted in cats, crowdfunding, depression, dragon, emergency, eviction, Personal, poverty line

12/9: Cats and Dragons and Snow! & #crowdfunding forever, apparently

#crowdfunding … Yes, I’m still asking for help. I’m almost out of time. I may ask tomorrow how the Sunday deadline would work with the notice and having to hand them my rent money. The office isn’t open Sundays. Before I get stuck under a cat (that’s the 14 year old in the pic), I want to ponder on a few things… kinda boring, but still….

This has been an insane year… we’ve lost a lot of amazing talented people, both famous and some not so famous (who I’m sure were talented). Heroes and Legends each in their own way.

I’ve struggled with this whole year. Something has felt off ever since Bowie died. Both out there and for me personally. Being unemployed, struggling with school, all of it. I won’t even touch the politics right now. But I’m still here. Partly because of my cats.

They just went through a post-dinner zoomie session, ages 11 and 14… two fluffy old ladies. Running back and forth and sounding like a herd of elephants is over for tea… I still wonder how I haven’t completely given up on everything. I know they wouldn’t handle change well, especially new humans. And especially JoJo. I’m her human. Period. End of story. No one else. In part, I’m still here because of them.

One day, earlier this year, I posted not as Penguin, but because I was in a foul mood, as Dragon. I’ve long felt I was a dragon in a former life or something. I dislike most people, love being alone, and I hoard “shiny” things. I’m a dragon… without the scales. It got attention. Now more people read my blog. Still not sure why, but okay.

We just had our first snow of the season here in PDX. Yes, people got into accidents; yes, people hated it; yes, people played in it. We may get more. Right now it’s icy. Folks on the west coast who’ve never lived back east freak out. It’s a bit amusing to watch. I lived in Syracuse and Chicago for a total of 5 years.

But here I am in Portland for over 10 years now. I’ve mostly re-acclimated to being on the west coast… except I didn’t feel as cold when I went out today as others made it seem. That’s what hot cocoa and a hot shower are for.

I’ve made it out here…. although barely surviving is closer to how things are, and really always have been. I’ve never had the really good paying job. I keep trying for it though. But being unemployed for over a year is hard on a person. Trying to improve my life while feeling lost and unemployable is a difficult balance. The stress drags you down into a pit where you feel very lost, like you’ll never get back out. The rejection emails don’t help either.

I’ll try to make the next round a little more upbeat… but do please share my blog….

~Amanda