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As hesitant as I was to add to the load I'll have to carry tomorrow, I knew that I'd want to listen to some music in my new apartment. All I have on my newest laptop is The Beatles' White Album, so I went and picked up my old laptop today. It seems huge after using the smaller one for so long (although I've only been using the latter for a couple of months).

Typing on the smaller laptop did not hurt my wrists, and I wondered about that. Now that I have the desktop replacement back, I remember that this huge space in between the front edge of the laptop and the keyboard caused the problem. My wrists are resting on the front edge of the keyboard. I've only been typing on it for a few minutes, but it hurts already.

I asked for two yards of fleece without really knowing how much fabric that is. Ten bucks. I didn't recognize the fabric at first because I was expecting to see something like my old fleece TP. But my old fleece TP was well worn. I need to make sure to cut the squares (or maybe triangles?) bigger this time. Shit. I don't have scissors. I saw my fifteen dollar pair of stainless steel scissors in the desk drawer when I went to pick up the rest of my stuff from the apartment ruins, then I totally forgot about it.

More yelling at the dorm rep today from another person who didn't want to do kitchen duty. It made me so glad to be leaving. I think I'll get my stuff ready the night before, then sneak out an hour or so before lights on. But I don't leave town until nearly three or four hours later. I don't want to be sitting at the station for that long...but I don't want to be sitting in the shelter during that time, either. I think Amtrak holds bags for four dollars. I could go get breakfast somewhere. I read somewhere that there's a place that serves vegan breakfast sandwiches.

A client sent me some work last night. I don't have the time or energy (or the right laptop) to do it today, and I won't have Internet access for much of tomorrow because I'll be traveling. After I pick up my keys, I'll have to go get some food.

Two Sweet Earth Anasazi burritos ($2.69 apiece on sale) and a square of ethically traded dark chocolate (49¢) for dinner last night. I also had a bag of sweet potato chips from the dollar store.
improperlyhuman: truck tipping over on the highway (tipping truck)
The stupid overpriced pizza joint ruined my dinner last night. I was sooo looking forward to pizza (like I always am) and decided to treat myself despite the ridiculous price. I need to remember to ask what's on the pizza before ordering. They don't have a regular menu, just whatever the overly creative employees feel like making each day.

Last night, the vegan pie had chili beans on it in place of pizza sauce. And a few random pieces of pineapple. It made no culinary sense whatsoever. Someone needs to clue them in that some toppings don't taste good with other toppings. I go there for pizza, not experiments, and I'm sure that most of their other customers are the same in that respect.

Today's shelter drama: we have a new resident. She scoots along at a snail's pace with her walker. As soon as I saw her, I knew that she should not have been admitted to the regular womyn's dorm. Yesterday, I saw her sleeping with her pants half off, as if she hadn't been able to remove them.

She proved me right this morning. After she got out of bed and inched towards the bathroom, pushing a garbage can containing goddess knows what, one of the womyn in her bunk area noticed a soiled diaper propped up between her bed and the floor. A diaper soiled with solid human waste. People said that she ought to be in the medical dorm.

It makes me sad and hopeless that people can't stand each other or even just get irritated with one another for neutral personality differences. I was reading through some of the messages on the copyediting email list (which can be frustrating even when I'm in a good mood), and I just couldn't take it today. I want the other list members to focus on copyediting and stop cracking obscure, off-beat jokes. I of course don't think there is anything wrong with their cracking obscure, off-beat jokes; it just irritates me. I can't even say why it irritates me.

Sometimes they skirt the list rules and start in on personal political opinions. They may be great people, but if they ever came up to me with those jokes and shit, I would roll my eyes and walk away to prevent myself from puking up a major organ in disgust. Or maybe that's just the way I feel when I'm reading online.

People can be so random with their likes and dislikes. That randomness keeps them from being able to tolerate other people. It seems like such a small thing to keep people apart. Maybe that's why it makes me sad. If random things keep people apart, how do they ever form any non-familial relationships? That must be hella random too, right? But if people get together for random reasons, what makes their relationships special? What's the point?

My attitude towards relationships is not conducive to forming relationships. It's not conducive to sanity, either. I've been trying to change it, but that's not easy. I think what other people do is go with the flow and not analyze everything so much. But analyzing things is what I do. That's how I roll. I don't wanna be one of those people living unexamined lives. The horror.

But maybe those likes and dislikes only seem random. Maybe they are actually a predictable part of the emotional aspect of each person's personality, and only seem random to strangers. Or people who don't pay much attention to emotions. 
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A shelter client accused another of dumping a bucket of dirty water on her this morning. The shelter supervisor came around to question the witnesses. I kind of wanted to listen to what was going on because I'm curious about just how crazy this shelter will/can get, but I decided to keep my ear defenders on.

I had to agree to have my information entered into a homelessness database to receive deposit assistance. Not happy about that at all. Worse, the information will be retained for FIVE YEARS. I can't afford that deposit, so I had no choice but to consent. Another system of monitoring and control. The form I signed indicated that employees of the tech vendor may even have access to my personal information. I'm disappointed in the VA.

The landlord texted me shortly after that appointment. The apartment has been re-inspected (and passed, I assume), so all that's left to wait for is the get-go from the housing authority and the deposit. It seems like this deposit is going to be difficult to get because of the paperwork they want (confirmation that the unit passed inspection) and how they plan to go about getting it (asking my VA social worker, who has no access to my lease agreement). I worked with the Berkeley branch of this organization for my last deposit, and I don't recall having this much trouble. I'm concerned that I'll be approved to move in before the deposit is available.

Though I don't know why, my head hurts, so I'm gonna go get some cheap coffee from 7-11 and maybe a vegan cinnamon roll to go with. For lack of old books (good and readable books), I just got a copy of Whiter Shade of Pale from the library, so I'll be boning up on stuff white people like this afternoon and evening as I try to get better.

Falafel hummus wrap, brown rice thins, bulk salad mix, and ethically traded dark chocolate dipped in fresh ground organic peanut butter for lunch today.
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Got into another bike collision and hurt my hand the evening before last. The collision may have bent up the bottom of my bike basket. I didn't look at the basket at the time; I just today noticed the bent metal. Who knows. I'm very concerned about low lifes vandalizing my bike while I'm away from it; that could have been the cause.

I biked something like forty miles round trip to the VA today. I had to go to emergency because I don't have a primary care provider at the nearest facility. I went for my involuntary head movement. I was impressed with the quick check-in I got. Then I had to sit in the waiting room for two hours.

It seems that I'd been seen by neurology in the past (which I do not remember) for the same problem. The neurology department's notes indicate no known cause or diagnosis, but that they were willing to perform the tests on me again, so the doctor referred me back to them. I'm going to ask them about playing some loud noise while I'm being seen; that will likely trigger the problem so that the doctors can see it for themselves and perhaps even pick up something on their machines. I'm thinking that the head movement is related to my auditory issues.

After leaving the hospital, I went to the Veteran's Benefits Administration to find out if I have any G.I. Bill left. Every time I go to see anyone who works with VA Benefits, they thoroughly question me about having had any medical problems caused by my service. The VA is very diligent about making sure that everyone who is eligible gets benefits for service-connected disabilities.

I found out that all the G.I. Bills of that era have expired (the possibility of which I hadn't even been aware), but I may qualify for the new era (post 9/11-era) G.I. Bill benefits, which would afford me whatever amount I had left over from my original G.I. Bill.

I have no chore this week, so I'm less stressed. Since the dorm reps have been changed, and the case manager has been taking over chore assignments, I made sure to ask my vet case manager to make sure that they don't put me on kitchen duty. She's the only person still working at the shelter who knows that I'm no longer to have kitchen duty: the two other case managers have left. Weird that so many of the shelter staff are leaving at once. It probably is yet another symptom of the general disorganization: three employees shouldn't be allowed to leave all at once.

Another yelling match in the shelter this morning, this time over someone refusing to turn down Christian music in the dorm. "Turn down Jesus?" the latter asked rhetorically after the altercation. LOL. She said that she'd never heard of a "black woman" bothered by Christian music. Holy crap. Ignorant Christians. Please rapture them away. Hell, I'd be satisfied if Calgon took them away.

There was an even bigger blowup last night: someone's cell phone went missing and she decided to write up (and loudly proclaim as much) what were supposedly the only two people near her bed at the time. One of the two took great offense at being accused of theft and loudly informed the accuser (and everyone in the room, really) that she didn't need to steal phones because she had FIVE! One of a brand I didn't catch; one a Metro. And THREE "Obamas."

Why/how does she have three Obamaphones??? Actually, I have two myself, so I guess three isn't such a stretch to imagine. Whoever runs the program has probably switched the phones they give out twice. It seems that they don't ask for the old phones back so...they add up.

Lots of phones have gone missing from the dorm.

Ex-meth user says that she was standing by to make sure that the accuser didn't hit the accused because the accused is pregnant. The accused is thin and not showing at all, plus, she's been in the shelter for at least three or four weeks. That means the conception roughly coincided with her having become homeless, if not afterwards. Goddess help that baby.

I finally found the proper place to call about bike routes. As for the highway out of town, I was told that I should "definitely" not use it (without my even asking about it). She confirmed that there aren't really any bike routes out of town. Great. Trapped.

I had brunch in the VA canteen: vegetable soup, plain rice, green beans, and just a bit of salad. This pittance of rice and green beans in the photo cost $1.29. Each. Highway robbery.

For lunch I had one of two falafel wraps (which include some absolutely delicious spicy tahini hummus sauce) for $4.69, a Peanut Toffee Buzz Clif Bar ($0.99), and half a bag of pea chips ($1.49). The rest of the falafel and chips will be dinner.

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One of the newer shelter clients stabbed another client in the face with a fork yesterday evening. She also bit the victim's hand. Crazy? Turns out this is the person who was suspected of being on meth.

At the time of the incident, I was outside the shelter trying to head off a nervous breakdown and waiting for a call from the VA advice nurse. I was on edge because of the ever-present noise, and I'd called about my involuntary head movement. The perpetrator walked out the front door; I didn't notice anything amiss. Then another client, returning home, came through the gate. The perpetrator said something like, "they're trying to get me kicked out."

"Who?" asked the second client.

"The dorm rep. I can't go to jail." She walked off the property and down the main road.

I assumed that there'd simply been another argument. Then three police cars rolled up and two or three more clients came into the lobby with the victim and the fork! I heard them refer to the perpetrator by name, but I don't know the new clients' names, so I described her and asked. Having confirmed her identity, I told them where she'd gone, but the police didn't find her. Later on, CSI came to photograph the wounds. The injuries were not serious.

Well, that client won't be back. What a mess! Homeless and wanted by the police. The other clients said that they had forced her out, and, as far as I could tell, she left with nothing but the clothes on her back and a cell phone. I hope that she can get off drugs if she's on drugs.

Also reports of a stabbing and a murder down the street from the shelter.

As for the dorm rep, she told me that someone was encouraging the fight when she walked in! Typical low-class people shit; they like fighting.

Whole wheat naan ($2.99), organic ranchero chili beans in a BPA-free can ($1.49), and .12 lb. of bulk salad greens (60¢) for lunch and dinner today. The naan is delicious and very filling. I'm not as hungry today as I have been.
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Rumors about someone giving one of the male residents a blow job discussed at the dorm meeting this morning. These people are exhausting. The old shelter supervisor has retired, and the new supervisor spoke to us at the meeting. Same old message: stop the drama. But will they stop? A lot of the sane (or mature) people have found housing and are moving out; I'm not looking forward to who'll be moving in.

The creep who's been repeatedly saying hello to me despite my ignoring him is still here! I'd hoped he'd be kicked out after he got written up for coming into the womyn's lounge area on a Saturday night (on the ridiculous pretext of seeing his case manager).

I'm beginning to feel sick. Again. Same itch at the back of my throat. I picked up some oral demulcents at the dollar store while I was there getting baking soda for my laundry (surprise! no clean boxer briefs as of this morning. I'm using my shortest shorts as skivvies.). I've noticed that I don't feel like eating so much when I'm sucking on them, so my new avoid-weight-gain strategy is to have hard candies in my mouth all day. It'll be cheaper than buying food, so why not.

My memory is shot; I'm constantly starting things and forgetting what the hell I'm doing less than a minute later. I've been sleeping through the night these past few days, but I wake up feeling more tired than I did when I barely slept at all. Energy reserves running out. Also, having tremor-type things again, but without the pleasant electricity-on-the-scalp sensation.

I'm almost done reading through all the propositions on the ballot. The marijuana legalization proposition is the by far the longest. I'm not going to bother reading through all that crap, I'm just gonna straight-up vote "no." In the past, I would have been in favor of such a proposition, but now that I'm older and see how frighteningly immature many "adults" are, I fear an increase in stupid, easily preventable accidents with an increase in buzzed Californians. Just look at alcohol. Hell, I'd consider another Prohibition if that got on the ballot.

Medical marijuana will still be legal, so to hell with this universal legalization crap. The extra state revenue isn't worth it. People's lives aren't worth other people being able to legally dull their already dull brains. I'm not happy about people being sent to prison for marijuana possession, but, well...going to prison for that is VERY easy to avoid. They aren't going to die without blunts. People just need to grow up and find some other way to relax or whatever. Isn't it super easy to illegally procure marijuana without getting caught anyhow? I remember my dad used to roll through East Oakland and pick up bags of weed like it was nothing. He looked out for cops but it wasn't a big deal and he didn't seem very concerned.

Relinquishment of the right to a driver's license and the right to bear arms in exchange for some sort of license to possess marijuana is a legalization proposition I might support. I don't know how many morons would still drive without a license, though, and enforcement costs might be too much.

Afghan bread (2 bucks) and Trader Giotti's bruschetta ($2.49) for lunch and dinner today. I also treated myself to a blueberry crunch Clif Bar since I had to bike from the far end of town to the neighboring town on an empty stomach for the bread.

Jumper climbing my bike.

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I was once again reminded of the cognitive effect of insufficient sleep as I stood in the grocery store aisle for too long today, struggling to do the simple mental arithmetic necessary to determine which of two applesauce packages was the better deal.

I'm focusing today on reading the text of the many Propositions that will be on the ballot. Burning jealousy is what I felt as I scanned the multilingual education initiative. Native English-speaking students given the opportunity to learn in an immersive foreign language environment! I wanted so badly to learn a foreign language when I was a child. I didn't get my chance until junior high school, and I've certainly never had any immersion (except when I was in France, to an extent). Immersion may have allowed me to overcome the learning difficulties caused by my auditory processing deficit.

One of the shelter clients is a Russian speaker with very limited English skills. She's been doing the wrong chore, and attempts to make her understand this seem to have failed. I worked up enough brain cells to compose a sentence that is simple enough for me to translate into Russian to explain this to her, but my Russian is so rusty that I can't remember the words. I can't even remember the word for "night." The degradation of my cognitive abilities is frustrating. All that time I spent studying Russian, and I can scarcely remember any of it when I finally have the opportunity to use it!

So I have a basic Russian-as-a-foreign-language text next to me to jog my memory. Reading the language is no problem. I also downloaded Anki and recovered my digital foreign language flash card decks from Dropbox so that I can begin studying languages again. Re-familiarizing myself with the Russian keyboard layout will be something of a problem.

Both dorm reps have been relieved of their duties. We have one new dorm rep and one who is returning to dorm rep duties, one of the people who was dorm rep when I arrived at the shelter. How long will they last? The bathroom floor is a mess because the person who took the chore didn't know that it involved cleaning both the dressing room area and the sink and toilet area. She hasn't the physical ability to handle both.

Another yelling match between residents yesterday morning. The same person (the ex dorm rep assistant) who called the other client a wetback unleashed even worse epithets. I can scarcely remember what her target said, I was so taken aback. Misogynistic epithets between womyn is awful for me.

Some of the womyn have (or had, at this point) pneumonia! I don't know whether multiple bugs were going around or I just had it easier because I'm relatively young and healthy. I was only sick for three or four days.

Having my food stamps transferred to this county seems to have went off without a hitch: food stamps were available on time (today). For lunch, I had a falafel and hummus wrap ($4.69), kettle chips ($0.99), salad greens ($0.76), and two ethically traded dark chocolate bars ($0.49 apiece) dipped in bulk peanut butter (about two bucks for half a pound). This week, I'm trying hard to not overeat despite the fact that I still feel hungry. Dinner will be a ciabbatini ($0.99) dipped in bruschetta ($2) that is left over from yesterday.

I have less prosaic things to post, but the brain won't cooperate.

I missed out on another work opportunity today because of my refusal to work with Google Docs. Such a pity! I so wish that people would choose another tool for document collaboration.

I'm nearing sixty days in the shelter, so I'm eligible for VA dental care.
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Feeling a bit better today. I spent the late morning and early afternoon in bed, then came out to get some Afghan bread (2 bucks) to go with my Trader Joe's bruschetta (which is very delicious and costs $2.49).

Time to take my career to the next level. I'm planning to take the UC San Diego certification course in copyediting. I would also like to earn a certificate in technical communication. As always, the only obstacle is money. In the meantime, I've begun working through an advanced grammar book that I got out of storage, and I have an even thicker book, one for ESL teachers, that I'll begin once I'm housed.

I'm fairly sure that my deposit will be taken care of, so the only difficulty with this apartment (aside from having my application approved at all) will be getting back out there to give the owner the paperwork.

Looking up the highway between my future town and the nearest large town, I found out that it has a morbid nickname due to the large number of injuries and fatalities suffered along it. I don't get it. It seemed such a quaint and peaceful stretch of road. Then again, we did not drive all of it. My social worker did say that the intersection we turned on was busy. But wow.

Another thing I wish that I'd taken care of before losing my apartment is ordering a new EBT card. The EBT is the card I use to pay with food stamps. The magnetic strip on the back of the card is shredded at one end and detached from the card at the other end. It takes about one week for a new card to arrive in the mail. I use my card every. single. day. So waiting a whole week for a new one is out of the question.

Another dorm meeting this morning. This morning's agenda was telling the difference between clients tweaking on meth and clients experiencing the side effects of legal medication. Mildly interesting. We were told not to assume and not to accuse people of the former. The dorm rep assistant who called the recalcitrant client a wetback resigned, and now someone new has the job, the ex-meth user who says that she can recognize meth users.

I found a tampon in the toilet and didn't know what to do about it.
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I woke up to shouting shortly before lights out last night. The dorm rep assistant and someone else I couldn't see, whose voice I couldn't make out (and probably wouldn't have recognized). This second person had apparently called the dorm rep assistant a nigger. The dorm rep assistant was repeatedly calling her a bitch and a wetback. She said that she'd beat her ass even though she'd get herself kicked out for it. I think the other people in the dorm finally calmed her down at some point.

This morning, she woke up crying and talking about how horrible it was for one minority to call another a slur. I was like, why'd you call her a wetback then?

In the womyn's land little library, I found a book (much newer than most of the others) called Femme–Feminists, Lesbians, and Bad Girls. I thought to myself, ok, I'll finally find out what people mean by calling some lesbians femmes.

It was one of those books that is written like someone's women's studies dissertation: difficult to read. Phrases subjective to the point of meaninglessness blended with flowery verbosity. Typical pomoacademese. I couldn't find a coherent definition of "femme," but I did find the tell-tale trying-too-hard to make garden variety patriarchal stuff seem profound and revolutionary.

I wrote a little bit about it in the little booklet I tried to keep a journal with. On the spot, I coined the noun "patripomoisms." Can't remember exactly what I was thinking, but I think that refers to what I mentioned at the end of the previous paragraph: pomo reasoning and rhetoric used to pass off patriarchal beliefs and practices as non-patriarchal, revolutionary, even liberatory. Like the endless "choice" rhetoric used to justify "sex work," or the choice/anti-binary/progressive/multigenderverse (I just coined that one too) rhetoric used to describe or justify the misogyny, lesbiphobia, pro-capitalism, and physical mutilation that are part of the mainstream trans/queer agenda/ideology/lifestyle. I can't think of exact words at the moment so I use slashes.

Here's a quote I wrote down: "I think it is important for femmes, especially to learn from S/M communities about topping and bottoming." Shudder.

Here's another: "Power exchange is key to much femme-butch sex, in one way or another..."

Here it is: Any kind of relationship that involves any kind of power hierarchy is a warped relationship.

The book was a collection of articles from individual femme contributors. I was not surprised (well, I was in some way surprised that they'd admit such things) when they connected femmeness to BDSM, femininity, gender, and "sex work." Ok, got it. Just a bunch of patriarchal bullshit, as I'd originally thought. Not to mention another social science student who never learned how to write clearly. Moving along.

Half a pound of organic, fresh ground peanut butter ($2.15), tenth of a pound of salad mix (45¢), tabbouleh with too much lemon juice ($3.32), and a BPA-free can of organic cannellini beans ($1.19). That peanut butter, of course, will last for at least half a week of snacks and breakfasts.

I forgot to mention that I get ten percent discounts at co-ops because I pay with food stamps. So my final bill is less than what the above adds up to. Support co-ops and you support poor people!

I blow food stamps on junk food (that I don't photograph) sometimes, but I don't seem to be gaining weight. I get unnaturally hungry, and I buy extra snacks because I get afraid that I'll wake up in the middle of the night with low blood sugar and no way to remedy it. I'll just have to cycle extra to work it off. My calves are rock hard, which is great. Thighs have muscles in them but are still fatty :( And I swear my biceps have gotten bigger, which makes no sense because I haven't been lifting. Does gripping bike handlebars for dear life build biceps?
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