Wednesday, December 26, 2012

"No Room At The Inn(patient) Psych Wards ......OR...... Still No Shelter From Their Storms ......"

Good Evening;

Well...Survived Xmas, though it was neither a white one, nor tinted red & green, but a still steadily darkening blue. I'll catch up in a post in the near future.

The link below is to a story in the New York Times;

Something else to consider is that most of these folks are released right back out 'to the streets' or facilities they were in that are themselves still trying to recover in the aftermath of the storm.

And while not storm related, other cities are having some of the same issues because of the same 'make a quick buck' philosophies, the ongoing insurance crisis, and still reverberating echoes of all the doors being slammed on empty long term care and/or treatment facilities way bacvk when Ronald Reagan's policies dumped so, so, many of the mentally ill and mentally challenged out onto the streets.

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas/Saturnalia, and if I'm not back here before then...that you all will have a Happy and SAFE! New Years Eve/Kalenda celebration and the start of a Happy, Healthy, Productive New Year.


Friday, December 21, 2012

"Insomnia ... Ignorance ... Idiocy ...&... Intra Ocular Induced Insanity ..."

Good Evening;
Well......I'm feeling kind of guilty, 
I did not go to the "Homeless Persons Memorial Day"ceremony this evening.
 I got dressed, bundling up as best I could with the limited cold weather wear
I have with me, and rushed out to Conkling St. and as soon as I hit the wide open
space once I left Dillon St. the wind hit me. It tore off my hat and blew it down the center of the street for 2 blocks, in the middle of rush hour traffic. As I waited for the bus to show I kept
shivering because the clothes I have just don't stop the windchill. Knowing it would be even
colder right on the water in the amphitheatre at the Harbor, I turned around and came back in here..... because I am not about to freeze my ass off right now while I can avoid it.
In 2 weeks I am going to be ending my stay here, and it looks like back out sleeping on the streets again!
It was the cap to a just a really pissy day.

 I was already feeling like crap today after not sleeping more than 40 minutes last night, seeing a bus make the left turn up the street as I came out to the bus stop..10 MINUTES EARLY!
Thirty minutes later the next bus showed up, also early, (
Leaving the starting point of the route before the assigned time, and/or arriving at stops along the route too early, [there is a slight leeway for en route stops], is one of the MTA's most stringently enforced driver prohibitions, time off/suspensions, or even dismissals for chronic offenders are not unusual.... and if you call and complain with all the pertinent data, they investigate. I've called!), and the driver became aggressive and ignorant when I asked why he was pulling out so early. He started playing games then, 'needing' to re-examine my MTA photo ID after looking at it once, then complaining about how I was holding it, ....and we had words.... before giving me my daily bus pass. Which I took from him after he plucked it from the printer in the fare box, glanced at, and handed to me, and stuck it and the ID in my pocket as I do 99% of the time. Something made me pull it out and check it over, just because. Good thing I did, after requesting and paying for a Senior/Disability pass...I ended up being given a "Students Cont. Ticket", aka a 'Transfer', which is for the public school kids, and does not cost anything! We had MORE words. Another phone call is being made to the MTA, with a request for a review of the video, 'cause it wasn't just me getting surly treatment, or being outright ignored and not acknowledged.

Then my meeting at HCH started poorly with the information that my Medical Assistance is not yet active, then I find out there has been a letter from D.S.S. that was sitting there for 10 days with no one notifying me. My already high anxiety level, and hypertension level too, because I can't get more BP meds until the M.A.  is reinstated....started going through the roof.
The possible long term temporary shelter my caseworker had mentioned turns out to be in the vicinity of Old York Rd. and 41st. St., an area I have no contacts in, no desire to be in and in the center of a couple major high crime, high violence, & high drug trafficking and use areas. (Verified by SpotCrime/BPD/& Sunpapers crime maps). And like I said, not one in which I am comfortable traveling through.
{When I mentioned the area to my friend Monkee, who lives on the edge of similar areas, even she said "Hell No! .. Not There!", and after doing some searching later on the Internet, and through someone who knew someone who had been through there...the reviews at street level
were not encouraging.}

By this time my right eye, the one with the lid that will not stay closed on it's own due to the shrinkage caused by the damage and subsequent emergency, not cosmetic, plastic surgery performed at Shock Trauma many years that of age related skin issues....
feels like it is being sand blasted with jagged shards of broken glass, while being sprayed with nitric acid as electrodes jammed into the optic nerve alternately deliver high voltage jolts designed to cause pain just below or at the scream threshold randomly mixed with high speed, high frequency pulses that produce vibrations and oscillations causing both rapid flickering of the previously mentioned eyelid and a blurring of any incoming light waves or particles contacting the rods and cones at the back of the retina....while also producing a side harmonic similar to that of a high speed dental drill....that travels back along the optic nerve into the primary visual cortex, creating a amplified sensation like that of a jackhammer shoved into the back of the head.
Which has continued all damn freaking day and is currently on track to become an 'allnighter' !

Anyway....the guilt is a distraction keeping me from removing my right eye with a claw hammer....
.....and the onset of pain induces insanity at least keeps me from dwelling too much on the guilt!


"A Loss Less Public...But No Less Tragic........."

Good Morning;

So...This evening (Friday) at 5:00 pm. begins the ceremony for the 
"National Homeless Persons' Memorial Day"
to remember those who died homeless in the past year.

Below is a link to:
Health Care For The Homeless

This is the press release:


Baltimore Community to remember 104 People for National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day

BALTIMORE – On Friday, December 21, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake will join local service providers, public officials, faith communities, and people experiencing homelessness to commemorate National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day.  The public is invited to a memorial service honoring 104 people known to have experienced homelessness who died in 2012.  The remembrance will be held at the Baltimore Inner Harbor Amphitheater (between the two pavilions near the corner of Pratt and Calvert Streets).  A time of quiet reflection – featuring the music of local artist Claire Anthony and the lighting of candles – will begin at 5:00PM. A former service will follow at 5:30, during which local activist Jeff Singer will lead community members in a reading of names.
The commemoration is observed nationally on the first day of winter and the longest night of the year.  Local activities are organized by SHARP, a coalition of homeless service providers and individuals united to “Stop Homelessness And Reduce Poverty.”  Reverend Heber Brown, Reverend Dennis Dorsch, and Reverend CD Witherspoon will lead the service. 
Baltimore City Council President Bernard “Jack” Young introduced a resolution recognizing December 21 as Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day in Baltimore City, which passed unanimously at the Council’s final meeting of the year.  “On December 21, Baltimore City will join communities across the country to bring attention to the struggle of people experiencing homelessness, to mourn the passing of our neighbors who, in life lacked stable housing, and to rededicate ourselves to ending the conditions that create homelessness,” said the Council President.
“As the temperatures drop, we’re reminded of the grave consequences of life on the street,” said Reverend Dennis Dorsch, a member of SHARP and organizer of the memorial.  “Unfortunately, more and more of our friends and neighbors are finding themselves without stable housing.”
“Many of these deaths are entirely preventable,” said Kevin Lindamood, President & CEO of Health Care for the Homeless, Inc., who will join others to discuss the significance of the Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day on Thursday from 5:00PM to 6:00PM on WEAA’s Marc Steiner Show.  “The best way to honor those who died is to redouble our work to prevent and end homelessness.”
For more than two decades communities across the country have come together on December 21 to commemorate those who have died without stable housing.  In 2011, nearly 150 communities held events to draw attention to the tragedy of homelessness.

                           Health Care for the Homeless is building a future without homelessness. Support our work at

I'll be there to show my support and to remember some of those who are gone.
Because so many of us on the streets are either frequently forced to move from place to place, it is so easy to lose track of people. Whether it is someone you know or someone you just happen to see in a certain place at a certain time regularly, when they are gone for more than a few days, your first thoughts of where they may be tend to have negative leanings.....
Morgue, Hospital, Jail.
With possibly a different order depending on how well you know them and their health or habits.
Sadly... "Wonder if they got a place to live?" ... is usually last, by experience.

It would be so easy to forget these folks who died mostly alone in the shadows, compared to the glare of the media focus on the tragedy of the deaths of the innocents in Newtown. They all deserve to be mourned and remembered.

Anyway, maybe I'll see you there?
(Look for the pudgy grey haired guy in the bright red heavyweight University of Maryland hooded sweatshirt, under a dark gray lighterweight zipper hoodie)


"In The Interim.............."

Good Morning;

Well...still alive...still here in the cat sitting apartment...and still not feeling it.
Apologies and thanks to all of you who still loyally keep checking in for new posts.
Wish there was a way to include a gadget that would alert you when a new post appears, like when someone replies to your FB post, or a comment you made on Gawker, or other sites.

Anyway, maybe some of the more recent fans can use this hiatus to read some (or all) of the earlier, original posts, and you loyal readers who've been around from the
get-go can amuse yourselves or refresh your memories with some of your old favorites  ;-)

Or go to the Sunday February 8th 2009 post and read the couple poems from my collection.

Anyway, I'll be back with a 'catch-up' soon.


Monday, December 17, 2012

"Tears Of Love And Agony............................."

Good Morning;
So.........I have a few posts I've started in the past week, but have not posted and/or finished because of some of my own issues at the moment, and because in light of the terrible tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut. As major or minor as my real and imagined problems are to me, they pale in comparison.

As a father, this is an example of my, of any parents' worst fears realized.
I picked Rachel up on Thursday afternoon, and she spent Thursday and Friday nights and Friday and Saturday with me here at the apartment I am watching and cat sitting at. We cooked and talked and played together, lit the Channuka candles, watched "White Christmas" until 12:30 am. Saturday morning. Friday afternoon and evening to the store(s) to get her Channuka gifts that I was blessed to be able to buy her this year, the first time in a long while I have been able to do so, and went to the Safeway.

My gratitude at having such a happy, healthy, smart, loving, and kind, caring, and generous daughter was such that at times I nearly broke out in tears, both of joy.........and pain and sympathy and empathy, and even a touch of guilt.

Both of us send our thoughts and prayers to the families of those children and teachers so cruelly taken in such an evil and senseless act.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

"Dying To Go Home............................"

Good Afternoon;

So.......This is a link to the website of the street paper
"Word On The Street" about the ceremony Dec. 21st at the Inner Harbor
remembering those who died homeless this year.

Dying To Go Home


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

"Shortcuts As Well As Shortbread................"

Good Afternoon;

Well.....sorry about not getting back with the promised update, but I've just not felt like writing much in the past week. (And you're not going to get it here and now

But here is the link to this week's City Paper column:

" 'Tis The Season"


Sunday, December 9, 2012

"Straight Through The Heart............."

Good Evening;

So....Today's  "Quotation Of The Day", above ^, for 12-09-12......
That was me watching this game from about the last third of the 4th quarter into OT.

Dinner is still available if you want it, but you gotta bring a "hostess gift" of sympathy, if not empathy.........sniffle :(


"Help Wanted..........."

Good Afternoon;'s Sunday at 1:15 PM. and I'm working on a big pan of sausage dressing with peppered gravy, a spiral cut ham, and....
 some steamed corn I think, as a veggie.

I need some company to share it with...I got a $30.00, 8 pound ham for $8.00!   it's a lot of ham for me and the cat here at his, Zorro's permanent, and my temporary abode!,,,lol!

6 pack of malted adult beverage optional.

I've got the Ravens vs. Redskins game on the TV and after that first 5 minutes.... it looks like it may be one hell of a game.

Comment, e-mail, call or text me...[depending on our level of contact/friendship,  ;-)  ..]... for directions.

Later.........I hope..................Dave

Everybody welcomed!


(Curious, unattached, {non-violent, non-psychotic types preferred......but?, me...we'll talk...}, women
of a romantic nature are strongly encouraged and
most ardently yearned for!)

W-14 B-7
at the end of the 1st qtr.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

"Unexpected Treasures And Pleasures.....The Trailer......"

Good Morning;

So......It's been a better than 'very, very, good' couple of days, and I will fill everyone on with all the details at some point, tomorrow, Saturday....oops 'today' ;-)
I'm just really sleepy all of a sudden.


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

"Lord John Whorfin: Sealed with a curse as sharp as a knife. Doomed is your soul and damned is your life."

Good Afternoon:

Well! ........ Confused? 
........follow the link;
"everybody matters"

"Minor Magazine Misunderstanding & Miscalculation Means Major Monetary Malfunctions & Melancholy Maladjustments & Mood Modifications......."

Good Morning; anyone I may have told that there would be a City Paper column in this week's, (Dec. 5th), apologies, it will be NEXT week, Wednesday Dec. 12th, (or the evening of Tuesday the 11th for the online version on the website).

I misunderstood Evan when he told me when it is going to run, not remembering that in the newspaper and magazine industry, lead times and deadlines needed for printing and publishing mean that 'this week' and next week' may have different calendar dates for insiders and 'civilians'

It's not that big a deal on it's own, but with my T.D.A.P. and M.A. benefits currently lost in the land of limbo known as "Pending" where time and space follow different laws of physics...(think Salvador Dali's "The Persistence Of Memory"....aka 'The Melting Clocks')....the extra week's delay in receiving the balance of payment screws me a bit. I must let you know that I DID get an advance from Evan, for which I AM most grateful and appreciative! But....being under the impression I would be getting the rest at the end of this week, not next week, I made payments, purchases, and plans in a much different order than I would have, leaving me without cash for both meds and Hanukkah for Rachel, for next week.

{And to head off  the few soulless trolls who seem to read my blog only for the purpose of finding something to criticize, obviously never having heard of certain things 
such as satire, sarcasm, self deprecating humor, and perception and perspective jump on me....... [and BTW, with all the profanity laced, vicious, vituperative screeds you two mouthbreathing asshats are vehemently screaming as you type, in a mixed spray of spittle, poor spelling/punctuation/vocabulary, food particles, and fetid, noxious's a miracle your computers don't short-out, explode, and melt down!]....I just want to say the following};

Yes, in the grand scheme of things, or even in the small portion of it that is my life, this segment of my cash flow situation is a relatively minor irritation, when looked at objectively.
I do have greater worries and greater blessings, some which balance each other out, some which don't. Shelters permanent, temporary, & absent; food; pain = mental health issues, physical health issues,
 doctors and caseworkers; family; companionship or the lack of same;
Sometimes the largest problems are so overwhelming they are ignored or hidden behind facades of normalcy. At many times the tiniest irritations become blown out of proportion, (in the eyes of people whose basic needs are more than fulfilled), causing pain or damage that belies their surface impression, even causing a ripple effect that extends into other areas of one's life, especially mental health.

I 'KNOW' that I have been lucky beyond belief with one hell of a lot of things that have come to me in the past 60 to 90 days, and that even though they won't kill me or harm me, (well the 'meds' and M.A. issues do have the potential to have a serious impact if left unaddressed long term,...but not at this moment), the things that are upsetting me right now still have the potential to cause frustration, sadness, & disappointment. Partly because living at this level has the strange dual effect of both hardening and inuring emotions and feelings to the point of callousness on one hand....and leaving those same feelings and emotions nothing but raw, exposed nerve endings and excessively vulnerable receptors on the other, able to withstand what others would consider incredibly painful situations while being brought to tears by things those without the same experiences and resultant empathy for cannot comprehend.

In this case, at this time and place, it's something that people may be able to relate to on their own level..... money and the multitude of emotional gradients involved in the variety of layers relating to it and/or the lack of it concerning... one's children, the holiday season, expecting and not having a certain amount, expecting to receive and not getting it at a certain time, spending and then finding out the information in the above, the constant revision of plans because of both of the above, the 'robbing Peter to pay Paul' readjustments.....and hanging over everything....the not knowing "if and or when". Plus the omnipresent 'Holiday Hype' that overshadows and permeates the fabric of almost everything this time of year. We are bombarded with the message, " must spend money to be happy, or there is something wrong with you"! And the building pressure as Christmas Day and New Years Eve of the forced gaiety and non-negotiable requirement to "Have Fun" mandated by Hollywood-Movies,    NewYork-Television,
& Madison Avenue-Beer/Wine/Liquor/Food/Bar/Restaurant/Nightclub Industries
(And for Jews Dec. 24th/25th are known as "Chinese/Movie Nights"
{Wonder what the Muslims do?}

Sorry for the convoluted sentences, I'm tired and losing focus. I hadn't meant to go off on this tangent today, just let you know about a week's wait for the City Paper piece...

to paraphrase 
John Gluck, Wally Gold and Herb WeinerWho wrote the song made famous by Leslie Gore
"It's My Blog And I'll Cry If I Want To"

"It's My Party........"                                                                                                                                                                            

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

"Hot Air Or Warm Hands??.........."

Good Morning;

So....A link to "Word On The Street" about the City Council vote to
honor those who died homeless this year.

City Council "Homeless Persons Memorial Day Resolution"

Not to be disrespectful or sound too cynical, but I wonder what the cost of  the time spent on this is if all the factors are taken into consideration? End the meeting early by the amount of time involved, take that savings in wages and electric bills, security costs......etc. and put it into actual services, food, "winter survival kits" - (hats, socks, & gloves), ????

Just a thought, I don't know if it would be feasible or practical.


"No Shoes.......Still News......2 Views....."

Good Evening;

So...just some shared thoughts between one of the other writers at the City Paper and myself from an e-mail I received and replied to,
that brought the follow-up to the "Shoeless Jeff" story to my attention:


Spotted this story on the NYT website this a.m.; thought of you.

We've passed each other one or twice in the City Paper vestibule. Regret I've not taken the time to speak & hear at length. Evan pointed me to your blog years ago. I read a few posts. They are impressive in their detail and honesty. It seems to me that the stigma of mental illness is one of the most debilitating parts of it, and I've begun to try to make sense of that lately in my professional life. You are helping me.

Anyway, I want to share with you my first thoughts about the above article, as a journalist, and ask for your thoughts, both about what the Times did and my reaction.

First thing I did was send the link to a friend at Columbia Journalism Review, opining that I doubt this article would have been done a decade ago. It hovers in the space just above hopelessness, and almost--almost!--makes clear what is happening. 

Then, reading into the situation depicted, I suggested that the next stories should answer these questions:

1. How much can a homeless, barefoot guy in Manhattan get for a pair of boots that retail for $100?

2. Who buys them, and why?

3. How much more $ can a barefoot guy collect pan handling than a dude wearing shoes?

4. What's Jeff's poison? Is it the usual (booze, etc.) or a mix of mental illness and the latter?

5. What is Jeff's income and source of same? He has a DD-214, so what vets benes is he getting (or missing out on?). Is he collecting SSDI? SS!? Who is his social worker and what do they say?

Finally I concluded with my reasoning about the social value of this story and, reading that back to myself just now, I'm ashamed of what I left out. Here is what I wrote:

"This guy would be a great test of the old right-wing saw that everyone in the USA on welfare is rich & cheating, and also a needed rebuke to the many who seem to think that a guy with no shoes in America is that way because of a general lack of sufficient shoes." 

Wish you well. Thanks again for your insight. Edward



Thank you for the kind words.  I write because I love the poetry of the written word and because it helps me figure out the conflicting thoughts and emotions within my heart, mind, and soul that flit and flicker way too fast to comprehend. Writing them down and dissecting them can be enlightening and cathartic, as well as painful, embarrassing, hilarious, pathetic, and/or ridiculous. Sometimes it leads to better methods of dealing with my demons or the rest of the world around me...other times I just find better ways to conceal them and show a more polished facade.

Thank you also for bringing the follow-up in the NYT to my attention, I had not seen it yet.
I too wanted some background, and now I want even more. 
I think the article may have been written a decade ago, but the tone would
have been much nastier and negatively slanted.
I also think that the original story may have been written, in a publication such as "Readers Digest",
but it owes it's 'viral' nature of course to today's access to cell phone cams and YouTube. 

As for the questions you posed, many of the same or similar thoughts went through my head.
As they do in most articles of this type I read, with the addition of one more;
--- the ever present "WHY?" ---, in all it's permutations.

I've seen and experienced acts of selflessness and selfishness while on the street, 
(and must honestly state I've been on both sides of that moral fence).
I tend to temper gullibility, (or maybe just a desire to believe), with cynicism,
to seek a balance and the truth.

As for the mental illness aspect, just like addiction, the gateway to dealing with it lies

 in each person's 'tipping point' between denial and acceptance.
Both their own and other's in their immediate 'circle of influence'.

Anyway, thanks again for your letter, reading my blog and the column, and your thoughts and comments.
Would you mind if I used you e-mail and portions of this one in my blog, 
(with your personal info subtracted, other than first na

Take care and I'll quite likely see you soon, maybe even today if I can get hold of Evan.

Sorry about the crazy font and background color mish-mosh. Cutting and pasting, then going back to make corrections and trying to get the 3 shades of green to show the divide in the sections of the text,(you can see I just said 'screw it' here and used the, left me with the above, or should I say, "left you" with it......I quit!!


Monday, December 3, 2012

"Shoeless Jeff.....Back In The Day....."

Good Evening;

So....more information on Shoeless Jeff;
For a story on the Jalopnik website by
Justin Berkowitz click the link below:

Jeff Before He Was Shoeless


"Boots Get The Boot???.................."

Good Morning;

The following link leads to a follow up in the New York Times on the story about the NYPD officer buying a homeless man a pair of boots.

"These Boots Are Made For.....??Hiding??"

It opens up a whole new set of questions.
it was forwarded to me from another writer
on the staff of the 'City Paper'


Sunday, December 2, 2012


Good Morning;'s 5:00 am. on Sunday morning and I can't sleep. Laying here tossing and turning, hoping against hope that my T.D.A.P. benefits will appear on my Independence card each new time I've called starting at Midnight....knowing inside me that if they're not on there now they won't be there at all.
Now sitting up at the desk and looking out the windows with the lights out, staring at the heavy fog that is blocking out everything above the height of the second story windows. Decks in the near foreground fade into the dense gray nothingness and street lamps are reduced to pale pinkish-orange specks of light, while the high rises of the City with their logos, advertising signs, and purple spotlights; and the massive Johns Hopkins Medical Complex festooned with it's necklace of ruby red aircraft warning lights and the bright white diamond spotlights of the Medevac helipads  have all become totally invisible.
Like the damp gray blanket that presses down on the city, appearing suddenly out of nowhere and rapidly cloaking and hiding everything, so has the fog of another depressive episode enveloped me heart, mind, & soul. The building light of Dawn only lessens the blackness with an amorphous light that is everywhere and nowhere at once, changing only from slate to battleship to the paleness of the cold ash of charcoal briquettes. I wander lost within the fuzzy, furry, undefined haze of confusion and doubt that has separated me from logic and reality. The heavy fog both inside and out has me lost and wandering in circles, physically, metaphysically and metaphorically.

Time to make another call to the 1-800 #.... better denial and delusion and hanging on to the tiniest thread of hope, than facing the harsh, 'kicked in the balls' reality that it's going to be January 2nd before the bureaucratic paper trail catches up with it's electronic counterpart.
Resulting in yet another Holiday Season bombarded by hype and devoid of hope.


Friday, November 30, 2012

"Cold Feet.......................Warm Heart"

Good Afternoon;

A link to a story on with the backstory on
the Compassionate Cop and the Shoeless Homeless Man:

Random Acts Of Kindness & Senseless Decency,
Keep Hope Alive!
What have you done for a fellow human being lately?


"Confidences, Confessions, & Revelations......... AKA ....... Trust Times Two............."

Good Evening; least I don't have to worry about those pesky I.R.S. agents bothering me for the taxes on the $550,000,000.00 Powerball Jackpot I didn't win.

Wednesday was a 'do nothing' day. I never even left the apartment until after 8:00 pm. when I decided to walk down to the 7-11 to get a Powerball ticket, because if I didn't and my numbers were picked I'd have to shoot myself in the head.....and it's not time for that yet......LOL!!

So I showered and got dressed and bundled up because the temperature had dropped appreciably to just below 32 degrees. And I got 20 yards down the block to the corner,....and noticed that the bar sold Lottery tickets. 4 minutes later I was back inside here undressing and feeling like the little kid whose mother spends 20 minutes bundling him up in a dozen layers of clothes, only to have to go the bathroom as soon as she

Today, Thursday, I had 10:00 am. & 11:00 am. appointments at HCH with my S.S.A. caseworker and my Mental Health caseworker. The day started off crappy because I was woken up from a (very rare and much needed) deep sleep by the alarm from my phone. As many of you may remember, I am not a big fan of mornings, especially when I have been up half a dozen times the night before to go to the bathroom and had trouble falling back asleep each time....finally falling into said deep sleep 45 minutes before the alarm going off.....'snarl grumble grumble'! After burning my mouth on a too rapidly sipped mouthful of coffee, smashing my little toe on the table leg and having it swell up so that I had to put on the old sloppy boots, (but it wasn't too big a deal because I would not have to walk farther than from building to bus and bus to building....[HA!]......), and rushing out into the cold and up to the windy corner to the bus stop just in time to catch the bus. The bus that came down the street the other way 20 minutes later on it's way to the turn-around it was supposed to be at 30 minutes before. Another 20 minutes waiting and the bus showed up, which meant that I missed the connection on Fallsway and had to walk in the boots I wore because I would not have to walk.....OY!......LOL!

Anyway I made it to HCH only 10 minutes late, but that was okay because I had to wait for my caseworker to come down and get me. At about this time, when we got past the usual pleasantries, the day began to turn around, for the better.
We had a very productive session as she quizzed me for relevant information relating to my S.S.I. claim and the S.OA.R. expedited application program.
As I explained about how I was entering a downhill phase of the depression cycle and we discussed the effects of both internal and external stressors on the length and severity of the cycle. She was able to witness some examples of the confusion/memory issues/concentration lapses that occur, and I was also able to reveal an incident from my adolescence that I have never been able to talk about. I happened to have a copy of my self printed book of poetry I was planning on giving to someone else that I gave to her, as just a way to relate to some of the things we have talked about.

Pretty much the same thing happened with my Mental Health caseworker as he questioned me so as to be able to fill out a type of worksheet/qualification form relating to 'vulnerability' to determine eligibility for housing consideration as part of a program that also expedites the process for people who have been classified as 'chronically homeless' due to length of time on the street and a host of other things. We also discussed the whole M.A. and T.D.A.P.  situation from Monday, (as I also did with my other caseworker earlier that day). By the time we were out of time for today, and combined with the earlier opening up I had done......I was emotionally exhausted. Physically too.

He was able to get me an appointment tomorrow, (Friday), with the Intake department at 8:00 am. (which means I've got to try to get to sleep real soon!!). I may have to sit and wait for a while once I get there, but I won't have to stand in line for possibly hours and then get turned away because they have reached their capacity for the day.

It's time to go to bed, before I let the anxiety of not knowing who I'm supposed to be seeing get to me and keep me up. As I was waiting for my caseworker to come to the lobby to get me this morning I had the 'pleasure' of hearing some of the 'clerical' type worker who I think do all the initial intake interviews standing around talking to one another.....gossiping is maybe a better word, and whether it was fellow employees, clients, or a mix of both they were talking sounded inappropriate to me. Whoever they were, I'm grateful/hopeful they are not caseworkers/counselors. It's only my impression, but it seemed as if they had been clients themselves at one time....It gave me the same kind of negative feeling that the lower level employees/trustees/volunteers at the shelters did.


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

"Ladies Days...And Nights, .........Rachel, Jenn, Devin, & Fiona ............. And Ms. Tucker Too!....................."

Good Evening;
Well.....I'm back in Canton in the apartment I'm cat sitting at for my daughter's friend's father. Rachel spent the weekend and we had a lovely time just being together on Saturday and Sunday. On Monday afternoon we took the bus and the train back to Mt. Washington where her mother picked her up and I met my son-in-law Tom and we went back to Jenn's place in the country. I watched the grandmonsters Monday night while Jenn and Tom went to her homegroup where she celebrated 9 years. Way to go, Jenn, I'm really proud of you!

I only saw my grandson Ed about 8 times the whole evening including feeding the kids dinner and getting ready for bedtime, he was deeply involved in some type of secret, 7 year old boy, mysterious personal business involving watching Harry Potter and maps and drawings. Devin my 4 year old grand daughter spent the evening watching Modern Marvels and drawing and coloring. She has got to be one of the happiest little girls around, everyone in her pictures from Santa, to Rudolph, to her family...her Immediate Family, as I was told when asked why I was not in that picture, which consisted of; Jenn, Tom, Ed, her, 5 cats and 2 dogs! All with huge eyeball to eyeball u shaped! When Rachel and Devin get together to play, reality and probability play second fiddle to creativity! Edward is also incredibly creative, but 3/4 of the total playtime is devoted to having him explain his brilliant but unbelievably convoluted rules and regulations....either a career mid-level government bureaucrat.....or......a quantum physicist in the!

Tom brought me back here this morning after taking Ed to school as he had an electrical job in Highlandtown to finish. Zorro, (das kat!), was thrilled to see me and went into lonely kitten mode for about an hour's worth of petting and scratching, then reverted to 'fat grumpy old cat' aloof mode.
The rest of the day uneventful, except for a visit by Lauren to drop off cat food and cat litter.

Thursday morning I have appointments with Sean and Margaret, my mental health and S.S.A. caseworkers at H.C.H. (Health Care for the Homeless). I had received an e-mail this morning from Margaret asking "if I had time to meet with her before my appointment", which kind of came as a surprise to me as I cannot remember making an appointment with Sean last time I was there. I e-mailed him asking if we had made an appointment and he told me we had for this Thursday the 29th. The short term memory loss is progressing from an occasionally humorous case of C.R.S. (Can't Remember Sh*t) to something that is beginning to worry me a bit...[when I can remember why and what I'm worried about :) ]!

In other news......
I made it to JAI and saw Dr. Richardson on Monday the 19th to get the D.S.S. medical information form 500 filled out for the renewal of my Medical Assistance & T.D.A.P. money. I then went to D.S.S. immediately afterwards where they scanned it into the computer right in front of me and gave me a receipt, (another new system, that is supposed to reduce errors and lost paperwork).
RIGHT!!!.......Yesterday, Monday the 26th around 3:00 pm I get a phone call from a Ms. Tucker (of ?DHR? or whichever office/department of the State of Maryland processes the applications) as I 'm trying to leave the apartment here in Canton to get my daughter Rachel back to her mother and then catch the train to Hunt Valley to meet my son-in-law who was picking me up to go out to his and my older daughter Jenn's house where I'd be babysitting the grandkids while they went to Jenn's homegroup so she could celebrate her 9 year anniversary.

Ms. Tucker informed me that the geniuses at D.S.S. only scanned one side of the double sided medical form and she needed a copy because it contained the date's my disability is projected to last, (which is always 1 year, each recertification, who knows why). I told her I would be back in town later today Tuesday and that I could get to D.S.S. on Wednesday to have them scan in the back page. A few minutes later she calls back and asks if I have a family member or representative who would be able to claim my cash assistance be cause the "Is Substance Abuse Present" box is checked yes! After explaining, (with increasingly frustrated desperation) that NO!!, it is NOT a current issue, but one in the distant past, she tells me she needs the doctor to sign off on this. And I again said I could not deal with it until Wednesday. A few minutes later my phone rings, again, (eating up my last 12 minutes bit by bit), and asks me if I have the name and phone number of the doctor, which I gave her. She then asked if I could call the doctor and have her call to verify the information. I explained that I could not get through to the doctor, but that as an official of the State she had a better chance of actually speaking to her. I called JAI to try to speak to the doctor or her voice mail but was forced to leave a message with the receptionist about the incoming call  and the problems with the form 500. As I hung up and was walking out the door Ms. Tucker called and said she talked to the doctor and I did not have to go to D.S.S. to rescan the form, or the doctor to get the corrections made, and that she was processing my form right then. Wonderful, I thanked her and finally hit the road.

Now the kicker......About 6:30 PM. at Jenn's I get a call from Dr. Richardson asking what I wanted to speak to her about, I asked if she had spoken to Ms. Tucker and told her about the form and she said she had not spoken to her!? So I don't know WTF is going on with the M.A. & T.D.A.P. as of right now, and the number that she was calling from, is always busy when I've called all day today. I'm hoping that shortly after Midnight on Saturday night, (which will then be Dec. 2nd., the day of the month my T.D.A.P. benefits show up), when I begin calling the 1-800 # for the balance on my Independence Card,
I will be pleasantly surprised, and can then send off the e-mail I have in my Drafts Folder to Ms. Tucker's superiors praising and commending her on the extra effort  and the series of informational and follow-up phone calls she made to me on Monday,--half a dozen in 20 minutes, and the time and energy she exerted above and beyond the normal level of most typical employees at D.S.S. or D.H.& M.H. I have encountered.

Anyway, it's bedtime....which is just weird because it's not even 11:00 pm. yet, my sleep deficit is on the negative side because last night at Jenn's I fell asleep in the recliner watching TV, Before arranging pillows behind my back and neck to attain a semblance of support. Of course I woke up at 'zero dark thirty' cold and stiff. When I did get things leveled out and got back to sleep, a short time after that Jenn came down to the kitchen and was getting Ed's lunch made and breakfast for him and Devin. Also their new dog, a rescue dog from the pound that Tom got for her as a present for her 9th Anniversary, came up to me as I was sleeping and sniffed my face.The dog is an American Bulldog, standing about 2 & 1/2 feet tall at the head, which she of course plops straight on me as I was fully reclined, placing her droopy slobbering, drooling jowls on my face.....yeeeecchhhh!!!
The dog is skinny, bony, with ribs showing, and was seemingly maltreated and malnourished, but she is still a friendly, to say the least, creature. Ugly as sin, she is named Fiona after the ogre/princess in Shrek...beautiful on the inside. The dog should weigh about 75 lbs +/- and right now is probably 40 - 50 lbs., but still a big dog with long legs and huge feet.....and the single minded idea that she is a lap! It is hilarious to see her clamber up on the other recliner on top of Jenn. She is a scaredy-cat and a lover-not-a-fighter at the same time

But I'm babbling...........

Saturday, November 24, 2012

"Faith, Hope, & Giblet Gravy.................."

Good Morning;

A link to the Huffington Post website showcasing a story on; 
Anonymous Random Acts Of Kindness

The Turkey Fairy Walks The Night


Friday, November 23, 2012

"We Had Our Cake....And Ate It Too!!.........."

Good Evening;

So....up and out early this morning and over to Monkee's to discharge the last of my past due account, and get meds for 10 days. Then back here to the apartment to sh*t, shower, shave, and back out to the train to Mt. Washington. I met Rachel as the 'ex' dropped her off and we got back on the next southbound train to the Inner Harbor, then by bus back here. She is spending the weekend with me and helping with the cat sitting. We may or may not go out somewhere on Saturday, depending on how chilly it is with the wind chill. It is blowing up pretty strong out there right now and sounds like a freight train at times.

Okay, back to "How To Train Your Dragon", we've already watched the series finale of 'iCarly' and made pasta with chicken, diced tomatoes, and fake crab, with butter pecan ice cream over the remains of carrot cake and chocolate ices devils food cake....with chocolate syrup...of course.


"From Thanksgiving Hopes to Birthday Wishes......."

Good Evening;

Well....there's still 8 minutes left so I just wanted to say that I hope everyone had a happy and safe Thanksgiving, and took a minute to remember those out there with nowhere to go and no one to be with. And I am hoping that all the folks who, one day a year, go to a well publicized venue and do a "Lyin' Ryan" type stunt of handing out food to people they normally won't even take the time to acknowledge as they stampede over top of them on the way to a Black Friday sale will be touched in some way that moves them to alter their views on the homeless and the hungry. The sooner we as a community and as individuals begin to get angry at the way we treat our most vulnerable and disenfranchised members, and both demand action from our leaders and reach out to take action ourselves, we will begin to effect a meaningful change and start to eliminate a national shame.

And it's now 10 minutes after Midnight on the day after Thanksgiving, so you know what that means?
Yep....our baby is growing up, my little "Exercise In Exorcism", this blog called
"Homelesscide-'Life On The Street' " is beginning it's 5th year!
It has been a truly amazing journey, particularly notable for all the wonderful people I've met, and those special folks who have become dear friends.
My life may be a 'hot mess', but it would be far more f*cked up with you guys in it.
(As before---- you KNOW who you are!)

And it's time to say goodnight, as I Gratefully and Thankfully stumble towards the bedroom in my food induced coma, until next time, which will be the 1st post of the 5th year, it's time to say......


Thursday, November 22, 2012

"Don't Have Turkey With All The Fixin's?....... No Worries, ....With Beef Ribs And Beer You'll Never Miss 'Em After The Start OF the Second Sixer! ..............."

Good Afternoon;

So.....I'm off the streets today, and for that I am Grateful and Thankful.
But at the same time I'm here by myself and very much alone this year, with not even an invitation to turn down.....and I've just about run out of things to do to keep busy so as to hold off the depression, which is already snaking out it's little tendrils of grayness with which it is beginning to infiltrate my mind.

 Whatever, ....I've got a rack of beef back ribs about to come out of the oven, and I'm sure I can find a store selling beer that is opening up, just about the time people, mostly the 20-something bar and club set, are leaving their families houses and hitting the bars. Unless I get a call or e-mail from someone wanting to do something tonight, or come over, especially that certain someone of the 'female persuasion'.....[you know who you are! {and if you think I may be talking about you, but you're not sure...c'mon over anyway my dear... go ahead and surprise me}....--(hey....gotta have contingency plans right!!)--

 ;-) ]'s "beer and barbecue, baby"! (quite possibly ....."to the edge of excess.....and beyond!"

Hold on.......brb;

I'm back, the buzzer went off and the ribs were ready to come out of the oven. these are the big thick meaty beef back ribs, not those namby-pamby baby back pork ribs that are more effort to eat than they are worth, you have to eat so many of them to get filled up. These bastards I've got are like the ones Fred Flintstone gets at the drive-in...that tip the car over!! Ohhh Yeeaahhh!
(And perhaps I should add a disclaimer about a previous sentence above regarding a 'beer run'......the word "more" should be inserted in fron of the word "beer"..... ;-)

Oh,'s another 'dead soldier', and I'm off to the kitchen.... but
before I go, here is a link to:

A Hymn Of Thanks


P.S. .......we've crossed the 30,000th visitor threshold!

"Unaccustomed As I Am To Public Speaking............."

Good Morning;

Well.....This past Sunday morning it was my privilege and pleasure to speak to the 5th and 6th grade students at Beth El Congregation's Sunday  School program at the synagogue in Pikesville. It was a bit of a journey from Canton to the Exxon station at Hooks Lane and Reisterstown Rd. where I was met by Dr. Bor the Director of the Religious School. Catching the first bus before 7:00 am. on a cold gray and windy Sunday after getting only 3 hours sleep, and having to worry about making connections when the buses are running a Sunday/Holiday schedule with the typical level of MTA dependability had me at a pretty high stress level. I had the Metro and another bus to catch after that, and one 3 minute delay and it could have meant an hour's wait for the next connection. Luckily everything went perfectly and I arrived just as he called to see when he should get there to meet me.

After an initial bout of anxiety (because I knew no one involved and had had no personal introductions as everything was arranged by e-mail), my nerves settled down from the sedative effects of a really good  pumpernickel bagel and a cup of lemonade.
I met and talked with Rabbi Faith Cantor, who is a delightful person, and she gave me the rundown on what the kids were studying and the events that led to my invitation to speak. In a nutshell- On 2 previous Sundays Rabbi Miriam Burg of the CJE, (Center for Jewish Education) had led the class in teaching and discussing poverty and Judaism, past and present, separately and intertwined. They were looking for someone who had personally experienced poverty and homelessness to share their story with the children. As it turns out, Rabbi Burg is friends with Evan, the editor at the City Paper, and at some point my name and the column in the paper came up..whether before or after reading it I am not sure. Evan contacted me to ask if I'd be interested and when I said yes, gave my e-mail to Rabbi Burg, who acted as intermediary and brought Rabbi Cantor, Dr. Bor, and I together by e-mail....and a couple weeks later...there I was.

Rabbi Cantor listened as I gave the quick and dirty version of my back story, took some notes, asked a few questions, and explained the frame work of the occasion. The kids had been asked to think about any questions they would like to ask, and to write them down. I would speak, telling my story and expounding on a few topics I've mentioned fairly frequently in the blog and the column...shared humanity, respect and dignity, more things in common and how easily their family could end up homeless. The whole room was quietly attentive and I was very relaxed and, as would sometimes happen at an NA meeting, when everything aligned and time seemed to slow down, the words came from somewhere deep inside me with no conscious effort on my part. After I spoke their would be a bathroom and bagel break and the kids could write down any new questions that came to mind. Most of the questions were passed to Rabbi Cantor, who did a bit of weeding out redundancies and condensing and combining similar queries. There were a number of the students (and their parents, who I did not know would be sitting in until I got there!)who wanted to ask there questions themselves. Questions ranging from the obvious, 'where do you sleep', 'what do you eat', etc. to questions about 'what can WE do', drugs and mental health, political infighting, and more.

I was surprised and impressed at the grasp of the subject and the depth of thought that was displayed by these young people. Intelligent, insightful, and interesting! I really enjoyed being there and talking with NOT TO these not so childish children.

After my talk and the Q & A my ego was stroked further when some of the parents came up and thanked me and told me what a good job I did, not just in content but presentation also. 

A couple of the kids came up with their parent(s) or the Rabbi and  gave me dollar bills, one parent gave me a $20.00, and m Dr. Bor gave me an envelope from the school and Rabbi Cantor with an honorarium of $75.00.
One of the fathers, Dan, and his daughter Sarah gave me a ride back to Reisterstown Rd. and Hooks Lane.

A couple of buses and a train ride and I was back in Canton, where after a sandwich and a glass of milk....I ended up taking a 3 hour nap! I can't tell you how many times I have wanted to just lay down for a little while over the past few years and could not..... it was awesome! And, after I woke up in the dark with the cat complaining that it was well past his dinner time... I took a shower, watched the Ravens beat the Steelers...and crawled back into the bed.

On Monday morning I got up and headed over to JAI Medical to get my doctor to fill out the D.S.S. form for my Medical Assistance & T.D.A.P. benefits recertification/renewal. Then..I went to D.S.S. to hand in the forms. Expecting to stand in line for 40 minutes to see Customer Service spend 40 seconds filling out a receipt and dump the paperwork in a huge overflowing IN Basket, I was pleasantly surprised to see that they have changed their procedures....AGAIN! But!...this time for the good!
I waited about 10 minutes to see the Customer Service rep., who filled out a receipt listing the forms I had, and then told me to go over to the main counter and put them in Basket 5, and wait until my name was called. I waited about 20 min. and witnessed the woman behind the counter scan the forms directly into the computer, (hopefully into MY file!!), and ask me if I want the originals back....which I took, along with the receipts. I wait and see how long it takes to process the forms ans reinstate my M.A. It is kind of critical because I am out of Blood Pressure meds and the doctors no longer get any samples with the new system in place at JAI. My Doctor also wants me to have an MRI on my right knee, the one I slipped and fell on top of as it twisted under me at Giant about 2 months ago, the day after I went to the doctor! It still hurts and something is not right with it. As soon as she felt and manipulated the joint she knew that there is a problem! Greeeaattttt!!!'s 3:45 am. on Thanksgiving morning and I'm going to bed.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Sunday, November 18, 2012

"Healthy.....Wealthy.......&...... Wise......??"

Good Evening;

So......Thursday's individual meetings at HCH (Health Care for the Homeless) with my S.S.A. caseworker and my mental health caseworker ended up being pretty damn emotionally intense and also productive. We are still in the beginning stages of our professional relationships and luckily I feel comfortable enough to establish a bond of trust that allows me to open up with them.
Usually the process of developing medical case histories and answering questions about past and present events, emotional and mental states, physical histories, etc., etc., etc., is longer and slower as limits are reached (and hopefully exceeded), and trust is earned. I feel such an honest interest and compassion in Margaret and Sean and a rapidly increasing rapport that has allowed me to reveal more intimate details in less time than I normally would have done.

Part of the information will be useful in presenting the S.S.I. case, and all of it will be germane when I see the psychiatrist. And to paraphrase a thing they say in N.A., "with time-- more will be revealed". And I'm counting on this going two ways, because after years of hearing the echoes and reverberations of some of the crap the 'voices in my head'.. (both my own and the seemingly infinite tape loops of other's comments I have not been able to let go of [for a whole shitload of reasons that I'm not going into here!]..).. have been repeating I'm getting to the point where, well.... 'Somethings Gotta Give' as Sammy Davis Jr. says!:

Somethings Gotta Give
or, you may prefer the Beastie Boys who have their own song,
(and a little better grammar):

Somethings Got To Give

But seriously, it was a fruitful day at HCH, even though when I left there I felt like I had been used as a tackling dummy for the Ravens as they practiced for Sunday's game at Pittsburgh....that had been made up to look like Big Ben Roethlisberger!
I decided to go to JAI on Friday, since it was past 12:30 pm. when I got out of HCH. I just came back to the apartment, fed the cat and myself, then just chilled out.

I walked down to the Safeway for bread and milk that evening and ended up puttering around in the food store until my hip and back ached, but I ended up getting over $50.00 worth of food for $17.00...I love double coupons, Club Card discounts, and the Meat Clearance shelf & the 'scratch and dent' rack, plus a bunch of 'in store bakery' cake slices were reduced from $3.99 to $0.99, some almost a whole 1/4 of an 11" round cake!
I love having (even temporary use of) a refrigerator!!!...LOL!
(yEAh!! StiLL On tHaT sUGar HIgh!!!)

Friday I met Evan at the City Paper to get the balance of the check for this weeks column:

then went past Monkee's for meds for the weekend.

After leaving there I went to JAI to get the paperwork for D.S.S. filled out, and to get my right knee looked at. (I am still dealing with pain from the fall at the Giant..2 months? ago?...damn time flies sometime, I've lost count!)...and a new script for blood pressure meds. When I got there the receptionist told me my Doctor was booked and overbooked and there was no guarantee I would even be seen. Instead of waiting 4 hours for probably nothing She suggested I come back Monday by 8:30 am and get in line and sign in, and since I did not need a full exam etc. I could most likely be seen between appointments fairly early.
Which I plan to do then head directly to D.S.S. and get a signed and stamped receipt for the paperwork as I hand it directly to the caseworker, and NOT! 'customer service'..(HA!).

Tomorrow, Sunday....('s Today already!)....I am going to speak to the 5th and 6th grade students, (and I think their parents were invited too.....yikes!), at Beth El Synagogue's Sunday School program on homelessness and poverty, I've got to get up by 6:00 am. to catch the bus/train/bus to meet a ride for the rest of trip.....and of course, I'm not sleepy now. I will be good practice for Monday, When I have to do basically the same journey to D.S.S.

Anyway, I better try to get a few hours sleep, if my nerves will let me. All the introductions and arrangements have been by e-mail, and I know NONE of the principals, except Evan from the City Paper, who knows the Rabbi from CJE, who spoke to the kids previously, and after seeing my column and his story back when he was Editor of Baltimore Magazine, suggested me to the school's staff and their Rabbi, who contacted me......yeah.... I'm dizzy


Saturday, November 17, 2012

ABC TV Denver Accidentally Names Petraeus Biography “All Up In My Snatch”

Good Evening;
Sometimes I just HAVE to post something totally out of context to the usual content:

ABC TV Denver Accidentally Names Petraeus Biography “All Up In My Snatch”

Just follow the link above.......LOL!


Thursday, November 15, 2012

"School Daze ..............Sushi &..............Shrinks ..."

Good Morning;

So...just a quick update before I go to sleep. Monday night I met Jenn at Mt. Washington and drove out to her place in farm country. Tuesday morning was parents day at Ed's school and I was watching Devin while Jenn and Tom went to Ed's classroom. Tom drove me back down to Mt. Washington about Noon after they got back and I went into Whole Foods and picked up some sushi for Rachel and I for lunch. I jumped on the bus and went to the "ex'es" apartment and spent a few hours with Rachel. I left around 3:00 pm. and headed down to the train to the Inner Harbor and the bus back here to Canton. Today, Wednesday was spent doing a little cleaning here at the apartment I am cat sitting at, a little laundry, a lot of doing nothing because it was cold outside....and I wasn't!!!....(cold OR outside!....LOL!!!)

Tomorrow, Thursday I have appts. at Health Care for the Homeless at 10:00 am. and 11:00 am. to see my S.S.A. caseworker, Margaret, and my mental health caseworker, Sean, and to fill out all the intake paperwork I was supposed to do at my appt. that was canceled due to Superstorm Sandy.

When I am done there I am going to JAI Medical to get the form for D.S.S. filled out by my doctor, (and see if my Medical Assistance did actually lapse as I think it did), and if possible (see above) get BP meds prescribed and try to see the podiatrist.

That's about it for now, except to say that we are only 30 visits away from hitting 30,000 visitors!


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Monday, November 12, 2012

"Money For Nothing ????????..........................."

Good Afternoon;

A link to a chart on how many hours at minimum wage one would have to work to make the rent:

FYI....this is from Bill Moyers website


Sunday, November 11, 2012

"We Sleep Soundly In Our Beds Because Rough Men Stand Ready In The Night To Visit Violence On Those Who Would Do Us Harm." – Winston Churchill

Good Afternoon;

So......It's Veterans Day, please take a minute to stop and remember the men and women who through their service and courage fought to allow us to keeps the freedoms we hold dear. Some gave the ultimate sacrifice, giving their lives, others lost limbs, sight, & hearing, some came home paralyzed, others in wheelchairs. Yet their are also those who bear no physical scars but the mental and emotional damage was visible in their words and actions. These wounded warriors had at least the opportunity to address their issues, but what about those whose damage did not show, who repressed or internalized the pain, until months or years later something triggered years of pent up fear/anger/rage/pain, or those whose mental anguish lay invisible just below the surface unknowingly affecting their every thought, reaction, or relationship with family, friends, lovers, coworkers? Those whose demons drove them to alcohol, drugs, or the edge of insanity, the only way to shut off the memories of death, destruction, loss, and gore? Vivid flashbacks in a never ending loop.
Some of these men and women have been able to reach out and ask for help, others identified through their interactions with police, EMTs, and/or hospital personnel have been rescued. But there are still too many of our fathers, sons, brothers, sisters, daughters, and yes even mothers lost and missing in action, not in the jungles or deserts of a foreign land, but in the wastelands of their own minds wandering the concrete canyons and asphalt jungles of our towns and cities.

Here is a link to an essay by Joel John Roberts from the 'Poverty Insights' site:

And another to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans:

with information on ways to help or donate.

To any and all reading this who served in the military in any and all capacities;
Thank You!


"D.S.S. Drama...................Shaking, Not Stirred....................."

Good Evening;
So....on Thursday I stopped by the City Papers offices and saw Evan, and picked up an advance on this coming Wednesday's column. This was a totally unexpected and unasked for windfall because I wasn't going to bother him for any money this week.
After leaving Mt. Vernon I took the subway to Mondawmin and the bus down Reisterstown Rd. to the Northwest D.S.S. office to reactivate my Foodstamps & TDAP and re-certify my Medical Assistance benefits. It was crowded and insane when I got there about 2:00 pm., with two of the security guards physically escorting a shouting woman out the door as her companion was cussing out half a dozen clients as she gathered up their belongings. It was a scene right off the TV screens from one of the black sitcoms on Channels 24 or 54 with a very large woman  getting to her feet, wagging her finger, and shouting "No she 'di'int'..." as the rest of the room hooted and hollered and shouted encouragement..."You Go Girl!" & "And that's what I'm talkin' 'bout!" other words a typical day at Social Services.

I had grabbed an application when I was there last week and had it already filled out so I was able to skip one of the most time consuming phases and only waited an hour before I was called. Since I was already in the computer system that shaved another 15 minutes or so off the time when my name was called to meet with one of the intake people. By this point my anxiety and paranoia were at a point where the mania  of the BPD Type II was counteracting them except for a steady shaking in my right hand that wouldn't stop unless I grabbed and held it with the left, (which made the dozen and a half forms I had to sign loads of fun), and the intermittent stutter was coming and
The woman who was processing my information, (who I wanted to mention and thank publicly and whose name has completely slipped my mind) was more than kind and beyond patient. She took shortcuts without cutting corners and actually made suggestions on how to avoid redundancy on the paperwork. After photocopying and entering into my file the copies of the S.S.I. receipt and my letter from one of my caseworkers at H.C.H. with permission to use their address as a mailing address she returned the originals time and date stamped. She expedited the Foodstamps telling me they should be available on the Independence Card in 5-7 days. I have to get to my Doctor and get a medical form filled out by her for the T.D.A.P. and M.A.

I was out of there in about 90 minutes, which is damn near miraculous, and stopped at the Giant in Reisterstown Road Plaza while changing buses. It was nice to pick up some real food instead of having to scrape together whatever seemed to still be edible and combine them to create dishes which were half culinary and half chemical

Friday was a strange day. I woke up at 5:00 am. and could not get back to sleep for more than 30 minutes at a stretch, which lasted until about 8:00 am. when I got up and out of bed. I ended up not leaving here all day and took naps at 3 different times. Just for shits and giggles I called the # for getting the balance on the Independence Card Friday night, and 'lo and behold'... there is money available on the EBT-food part. After debating with myself whether or not to walk down to the Safeway until it was too late to go out I ended up falling asleep in the chair in front of the TV for hours, then stumbling back to the bedroom, where I woke up as soon as I lay down. After finally getting to sleep it was a very interrupted night.
Saturday I was up and out of bed by 7:30 am., NOT by choice! I really did not have anywhere to go or do today, and felt almost guilty because of it. To take advantage of the nice weather and get a little bit of exercise at least, I wandered down to the Safeway in the early afternoon. It felt good to be able to buy some groceries at least one time without worrying about cost! Not to say I ignored the 50% off, BOGO, Clearance, or Discontinued opportunities, but being able to buy an item because I liked/wanted it simply because I did was a treat. Now I have actual food for meals, instead of just bread and lunchmeat and chips, for the week.

Lauren texted me yesterday and told me her dad had just transitioned into a nursing home and it looked to be another month before he will be returning home, which should be about December 7th, so I have 4 weeks or so to try to figure out my next move.

Okay, now to see if I can get to sleep........


Friday, November 9, 2012

"Music With A Message........................................ ..............Songs From The Heart.........."

Good Morning;

Two original songs performed by Barry David Butler
The first with words and music by him:

The second, about Homeless Veterans, with words and music by 
Wade Smith Barry David Butler:

Both set to slide shows, the first featuring photos of homeless men & women in the U.S. and other countries; and the second of Homeless Veterans.

Sunday - 11 November 2012 - Veterans Day