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 auction, C-PTSD, chronic pain, community, creativity, crowdfunding, depression, disability, emergency, empath life, faith, family, friends, health, life, medical, Personal, poverty line, PTSD, society, storage, urgent

12/9: The week and being disabled… #crowdfunding

Warning: this may end up rambly and bizarre. And, FTR, I am in dire straits again with storage. I’m still sleeping on the floor (much to my poor back’s dismay… ouch). It’s set for auction later this month. Even with the couple of tasks I’ve had so far and the weekly small paychecks from my internship, I won’t have nearly enough (I also have my phone bill, internet bill, food, cat stuff like pet-specific CBD oil, and other things). 

That last post, about standing desks, oddly sucked a sizable chunk of my energy. Not like I had that much to begin with today. I have been battling something along the lines of a sinus infection for about 3 weeks now. Starting my internship in the middle of that didn’t help. But I needed to get that going. So I’m working two days a week at a local non-profit which is a very cool place to work, at least in my opinion.

I also have about everything down for school. I’m going back to PCC next month for some accounting and business classes. As I took Intro to Business some years back at PSU, I won’t need to take that again, so I can take an additional class. I’m thinking payroll accounting, as that’s a HUGE part of accounting and bookkeeping. 

In the middle of all of this, I’m facing my chronic pain and chronic fatigue. I’ve spent much of this weekend, into today, resting and/or sleeping. I had hoped to get some creative stuff done, but my energy flat-lined Friday afternoon after I got home from a furniture assembly task.

In all honesty, I have no idea how the hell I’m going to ever work full time. I really don’t. I’m playing phone tag with my disability attorney, and I’m frustrated as all hell. I wanted to get some cleaning and painting done this weekend and I’ve barely gotten anything done. I managed to clear some of the kitchen, but knowing the meager size of my kitchen, that isn’t saying much.  I think the biggest chore I was able to tackle this weekend was cleaning the litter boxes. 

After I was denied this summer from my disability hearing (which, according to my attorney was a “sure thing” by the way the judge was talking), I read the report. Basically, I didn’t appear “disabled enough.” So, because I’ve lived with my back injury for 29 years and it’s getting worse and I’ve figured out ways to work WITH it or AROUND it, I’m not disabled enough….. fffffuuuuuuuu…. *ahem*

Honestly, right now, I’d love to have them see how I’m living right now. i’m sleeping on the floor because I can’t afford to get my storage caught up long enough to get my mattress and furniture out, I can’t stand in the kitchen and do anything longer than 5-10 minutes at a time. Yes, that was today. I managed to get up, rinse off some dishes and put them in the small dishwasher and then run that. It’s done, but not emptied. Bast only knows when that will get emptied. I don’t have a partner or roommate to help me with things. Honestly, I don’t really want one, either one. Especially after spending the past year and a half living with other people -either in the shelter or with friends. 

On that note, there was a woman at the shelter who couldn’t FATHOM why someone would not want to live with other people. Why someone would WANT to be alone. What bugged me is that she kept saying she’s also an introvert, but this was one of the most social women on our floor at the shelter. She wasn’t loud, but she was always out in the community room cooking or chatting or… yeah. For me, add being an Empath who can’t block to save my sanity on top of the whole being an Introvert. I can “people” in very small doses. The more people I’m around or interact with, such as on transit or at conventions, the shorter that amount of time ends up being. My PTSD doesn’t help either. I love hugging people, but have pulled away from being social in part because hugs make me a bit less comfortable now. And yet, if I’m greeting a friend or saying goodbye to them, I’m usually the one who holds my arms open to hug them. I’m a walking contradiction. I hate people but love hugging. Go figure.

Now, one may wonder why I did a post on standing desks. Well, a few reasons. I want one to help with my back. If I can go from sitting to standing and back when I need to for reducing the stiffness, and thus pain, in my back and legs, the better off I’ll be. Also, I started my little quest by looking at drafters chairs, you know… the ones that go up higher, for using possibly in the kitchen. This would possibly help my longevity in the kitchen. The way my apartment is, the desk would be right next to the kitchen, so a taller chair to go back and forth (which can be lowered down as needed) would be awesome. It also means I’d have a place to put said chair when it isn’t needed in the kitchen. This place is not that big. Seriously. Everything needs to serve more than one purpose or space. Chairs included. Hell, my bed will have storage (once I can afford to get the frame I want), my desk will be for both computers and the sewing and embroidery machines, and the shelving I want to use for my TV stand will also house my record collection, music and DVD’s and some books. The bench I want to put at the foot of the bed (if there’s room), will have books, shoes and be a place I can sit briefly to put said shoes ON. 

I’ve planned this apartment out to every damn detail. I just don’t have the money to execute my plans. First, I need to get storage settled and accessible. It’s three months behind. October sucked for work, so I couldn’t pay for storage… and then, as it does, it snowballed out of control. So…. halp?

~A

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 anxiety, C-PTSD, chronic pain, community, creativity, depression, disability, faith, family, friends, grief, health, homelessness, job hunting, life, poverty line, PTSD, society, storage, transitions, urgent, writing

10/27: Creativity and Storage

It’s now been a week in the new place. I also still don’t have access to storage so I can get my mattress and stuff out. I was depending on one person who said they’d help, but hasn’t so far.

Tasks are slowly picking up. I had one yesterday and have another one tomorrow morning. Unfortunately, those two will only get me closer to $0 in my checking account as I’m about $260 in the red. If I’d had work throughout the month, I wouldn’t be in this predicament.

So, I’m asking. It’s only one month’s rent plus late fees ($305 plus about 40 or so), and using PayPal will keep it from getting sucked into the checking account (I did finally deactivate the GFM).

It wouldn’t bother me so much if it weren’t for my back. I’m sleeping on the floor with very little cushion. I’m now getting numbness along my right side (the side I keep re-injuring), which isn’t good.

The sooner I can get into storage and get things out, the sooner I can move the rest of it into a smaller unit again. Which means less storage rent. My goal will be to go from the 8×20 unit down to a 9×10. It’s about half the price.


Now that that’s all out of the way…

I finally heard from the one place I might be doing that internship/job (the place doesn’t pay me, SE Works/state does). I like the place. They’re an arts organization that focuses on making arts education available to all, among other things. I’m hopeful.

Right now, my focus in on getting my life back on track, but I also can’t forget what drives and heals me: creativity. With that, I am happy to say that I will be doing NaNoWriMo for the 13th year running. I’ve done and won all previous 12 years. Last year, I was a mess, though. I admit that. I ended up piecing together my 50K words from various half-finished stories. This year, I have two small ideas that are going to be expanded into one larger tale. I haven’t decided if it’s going to be fully off-world SciFi or Post-Apocalyptic Earth… not yet. It doesn’t wholly change the story much. In the snippet I wrote earlier this year, I do reference a poison gas that was used in WWI (Mustard Gas), but it could still be referenced similarly in an off-world story. Just maybe the planet they’re on is one humans colonized and shit went sideways.

Who knows… I’ll let the characters determine that part. I know that Post-Apoc stories are a HUGE thing right now. It would be very easy to make this PA.

My writing has stalled in some aspects the last two years or so. Four years ago, my dad died, and he was my biggest fan and cheerleader. A month ago, I lost another cheerleader, my friend Connie, to cancer. She was always in awe of how I came up with the adventures and random shit my characters ended up doing. So this year is for Connie. I’ll make sure they get into a decent amount of mayhem.

Now that I’m coming out of homelessness, I can stop being on constant alert… hyper-vigilant mode. That’s from a combination of homelessness and PTSD. It’ll take some time to fully come out of it.

I think writing this tale in November will help pull me back into life again. Where I don’t have to keep looking over my shoulder.

~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, auction, community, crowdfunding, faith, family, friends, homeless, homelessness, housing, life, society, storage, transitions

9/27: FUNDED!!

I’m still kinda groggy, but storage has been funded and now all I need to do is go over there to pay it off.

Earlier this week, I wrote a post about Forced Gratitude.

Gratitude is something no one should ever demand or require. Anyone who does, it makes them come across as a manipulative abuser. Think about it. In an abusive relationship, the abuser may say things such as “you can’t make it on your own, so you have to stay… I do everything for you…” and others… all in a bid for obesiense.

But today, and the last several days (as well as times this has happened before) are where true gratitude comes up. I wouldn’t be able to save my belongings today and have them available for when I get a place soon, if it weren’t for the community online and in this world. I am absolutely eternally grateful for the help from people all over. Friends and strangers alike.

Being homeless sucks. Being poor sucks. Being both makes me see that there is so much that needs to be done to improve our society. No one should have to crowdfund paying for storage or medical bills, or insulin, diapers, food, etc… the list is endless. It shouldn’t have to be.

As I transition out of homelessness, I absolutely will lend my voice to the need for change in society.

Again, I thank everyone who has helped, from the bottom of my heart and soul.

~Amanda

Posted in activism, anxiety, auction, bugaboos, C-PTSD, community, conformity, crowdfunding, depression, disability, emergency, eviction, faith, family, friends, homeless, homelessness, housing, life, Personal, poverty line, PTSD, society, storage, transitions, urgent

9/25: Forced Gratitude (& #crowdfunding #urgent)

[#crowdfunding plea at bottom this time. two days left before auction. see the bottom of this post]

Over the weekend, I lashed out in frustration and PTSD-related anger at the agency that runs the shelter I’m in. Yesterday, I got a verbal lashing about it from the person who runs this building. The words that stuck with me the most were about gratitude. That I should be grateful they’ve let me stay longer than the normal length of time.

Gratitude first: No one should be told they HAVE to be grateful for something. Am I grateful? Yes. Should that equate to forced silence and obeisance? No. I’ve spent most of my life allowing people to walk all over me and tell me how to act (did I follow their rules every time? No, but that’s a whole other post). If living here has taught me one thing, it’s to not be silent when shit goes sideways.

Am I grateful? Yes. Should I play the nice little quiet obedient resident who shows her gratitude by not speaking up? No. Fuck that noise. I will be loud. I will be vocal. I will NOT be silenced because my voice and words make someone uncomfortable. The crap I had tweeted about was painful. Triggered my PTSD as well as anxiety, and I know I wasn’t the only one who was having a hard time with it.

The person who chided me for “not being grateful” wasn’t here. Her weekend was disturbed every so slightly by phone calls. Mine and the others here? Much more.

Once I’m out of here and my time being homeless is over, I will be able to recap the things I see as wrong and right about our systems here in the Rose City.

One thing I will address now, though, is the intended length of time they think is adequate for us to find housing. Four Months.

Now, if you have a job and just need to be somewhere to save up and get back on your feet, fine. Also, if you’re looking for work that is along the lines of grocery, retail, food service, and doesn’t require long application processes, this can work.

But what about those like me? Those with disabilities and/or advanced education who need to work in other environments? The 4 month concept is flawed. Many white collar jobs take much longer to get through the process. And if you need to rework your resume or switch career paths, 4 months is definitely nowhere near enough.

I was told I should be more grateful that they’ve let me stay longer than the 4 months.

Forced Gratitude is not real gratitude. No one should demand it. Ever.

~A

#crowdfunding: I’m moving closer to needing access to my belongings. I’m just over the halfway point for paying off storage, but I need help. Auction is on Thursday at noon. I’ll have roughly $900 by the time the rest of what’s in the GFM and my own income clears. I need about $1400. Before noon on Thursday the 27th. Please spread the word. Thank you. I am grateful for all the help I can get. Real gratitude. Not forced.

Posted in anxiety, community, crowdfunding, depression, emergency, eviction, family, friends, grief, history, homeless, homelessness, housing, life, poverty line, society, storage, urgent

9/23: Halp? #crowdfunding #emergency

***AUCTION IS COMING UP ON 9/27***

JUST OVER HALFWAY TO FUNDED GOAL!!!

Time is running out on getting funds before auction Thursday. Some semi-good news, though. Apparently PayPal DID override the “no P.O. Box” bull and I’m getting a new card after all. Bad news: it only mailed Saturday. I don’t know exactly when it will show up, but they say 7-10 days. So it may not get here in time for 9/27.

Despite a few people sharing posts, nothing has happened. I will maybe have some funds from today and tomorrow in the mix, but it depends on when those post to my account (have to do those jobs first, and then there’s a delay).

I’ve run out of being on their good graces in terms of letting me get away with partial payments and the like. I know I’ll need the full amount of roughly $1400. I have about $3 in checking and $.42 cents in PayPal. I’m not going to ask the handful of people who have sent larger chunks in the past as I know their patience with me has likely worn very thin.

To those I need to pay back: I will do so as soon as possible.

Everyone else, I still desperately need help. I have some family heirlooms in there that mean the world to me, along with items that are one-of-a-kind and mean more to me as they are a part of my memories (the good ones) from childhood. My costumes, music, sheet music (some out of print and were my mothers). While much of this may not have much in resale value, they mean everything to me. My mother’s copy of Handel’s Messiah, in book form, that’s ratty and well-used… and over 100 years old. Choir notes and all. My mother and I never really got along that well, but we had music in common. We’ve both sung Handel’s Messiah multiple times.

Nearly every item in that storage unit is worthless to the rest of the world… but not to me. Once I get into an apartment again, I’ll be able to move what’s left into a much smaller unit.

I just need the chance to do all of that. Reorganizing it, downsizing some of it, pulling what I need out as opposed to storing it… then keeping everything organizing so I can easily find what I need.

I just need that chance. If I lose it all, I won’t have that chance. So, I need help.

~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