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, community, crowdfunding, depression, dreams, emergency, eviction, friends, genealogy, grad school, job hunting, life, Personal, poverty line, storage

7/31: #YouCaring, #Crowdfunding, Storage, and Stuff

I really didn’t want to go this route, but here I am. In the menu, you’ll see a new page/link.

YouCaring: Saving Penguin’s Possessions

Come tomorrow morning, August rent for storage will be tacked on, adding another $280 to my current $351. There will likely be other fees attached to July rent.

The goal is to get the excess raised ASAP, preferably before the 15th. The sooner, the better. Why? Because I need access to my nicer shoes for things like interviews. The only interview-worthy shoes I have with me are a pair of ballet flats with skulls on them. They’re not obvious, as they’re woven into the design. I also need access to the rest of my tools and supplies.

I currently have 240. I’ll need $631+ after tomorrow. They don’t take partial payments. I’m doing what I can to make money here and there through Taskrabbit, but I can get a task a week or nothing or four in a week. I do have this ongoing one, but the pay rate isn’t great.

Through my VR Coach, we’re getting some job leads, and I sent him a link for a library job that pays pretty decently. He’ll talk to them some more tomorrow. My hopeful goal is to be in my own place, or pretty damn close to getting into one, by my birthday, which is two months away. I hate being in flux like this.

I also need to start scrounging up the funds to submit my application for second citizenship in Switzerland. I have the family info laid out and verified. I’m on file with the consulate. I just need to come up with the funds and do a bit of brushing up on many things Swiss before going to SF for the interview (at the consulate). Starting next year, the process gets even more restrictive, so I’d like to get my application in before the end of the year. The fee is between $600 and $700.

Granted, I also need to get my US passport as well. I’ve never needed one.

Someone asked me recently what my dream job was. This is my response:

To travel around Switzerland staying in the different villages. What would I do there? Transcribe and digitize the parish records for births, marriages, and deaths of those in each village. So that people like me can access this information by a much easier-to-process request, as it would all be in a database. It took months and several nudges in a forum to find someone who could track down my paternal line. One woman finally found my great-grandfather, who was born and married twice there. His first wife likely died in childbirth. His second wife is my great-grandmother. My grandfather was born here in the US, but having his parents born there gives me a greater chance of obtaining federal citizenship (there are 3 levels of Swiss citizenship). She was able to trace back five more generations of the male line. 

I don’t know how to go about getting this job. Who would I be working for? The government or the Catholic Church, as it’s their records I would be working with. I don’t know. But it is one dream job. 

Until I do go there, I still have to survive here. Which means work. Which also means not losing treasured memories and items I’ve collected. Which means swallowing my pride yet again and asking for help.

Hopefully, I’ll also be able to go back and finish my degree starting in a few weeks. I have several hoops to jump through, but I only need one semester with no mayhem such as an eviction to mess me up. I want to get it done. Get my hands on that precious piece of paper I can hold up to all the naysayers and say, “SEE? I’M NOT STUPID! I BEAT THE ODDS!”

I have survived so much in my life. I refuse to be held back from achieving my master’s degree. One semester. Two electives and my capstone. Seven credits.

I just have a few hoops to jump through to get through it.

Reducing the stress of finances will help. Any help is appreciated. Even just sharing links.

~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 adoption, animal advocacy, cats, cosplay, creativity, empath life, homeless, life, Personal, poverty line, storage

6/30: Feline Bonds 

JoJo and I had this incredible bond the 14 years she loved with me. Since she passed away in February, Portia has stepped up in her own quirky way. She’s still a total dork, but curls up (read: SPRAWLS) on my chest when I’m in bed. 

She isn’t exactly a small or lightweight cat, weighing in around the 14lb mark. I’ve determined she’s likely at least half Maine Coon. Her size and varied coat lengths are a good indicator. She purrs when she eats, shows some signs of stress when I’m stressed. Not as obvious as JoJo was, but I see indicators. 

I’ve been working on a last minute leather cincher to wear this weekend at GearCon. Drafting the pattern, tweaking things, punching holes for rivets and small grommets. It isn’t done, but I’m hauling my whole crazy mess to con with me. I’m assisting mostly in the staff lounge… I tend to be the one to “babysit” the space, as I’m content to just be stationary. 

I’ve been running around all week and am also concerned I don’t have the full $280 for storage. I’ll have a bit over half when pay from two tasks from earlier this week post to my account. I think I can pay partial while I don’t owe previous months. 

So, Portia got what I think was a small hairball. This is a rare thing for her. She usually just mats. But she has been grooming more this week. She needs a companion, but the cat of the house is still uneasy about her (I think they’ll be fine with monitored rounds), and I’m in no shape, financially or home-wise, to adopt another right now.

We will see what happens…

~Amanda 

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