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



Hurricane Sandy Destroys Ali Forney Center for Homeless LGBT Youth - ABC News

Good Morning;
With all the happiness and celebration here in Maryland and in Maine, Minnesota, and Washington over the overwhelming voter approval that have guaranteed gay and lesbian couples the same rights and benefits and miseries of marriage as straight couples, let us not overlook the plight of these LGBT kids in New York.

Hurricane Sandy Destroys Ali Forney Center for Homeless LGBT Youth - ABC News


Thursday, November 8, 2012

"Beaten To Death By Biscuits................................."

Good Morning;'s off to D.S.S. to try to get my Medical Assistance, T.D.A.P., & Foodstamps reinstated. The stamps should be almost immediate, (within 10 days), but for the others I know I'll have to go to at least one doctor to get forms filled out, maybe more. First I'm stopping past the City Paper to see Evan and get an advance on the column that will be in next Wednesday's issue (Nov. 14th).
I think I'll stop by the Starbucks and say hello while I'm out, and definitely the grocery store.
Jenn had sent me down a small 'care package' and my heavy sweatshirts with Tom on Tuesday. He just happened to have an electrical job pop up at one of the condominiums here in Canton and stopped by the apartment to drop off the package when he was done.  A jar of peanut butter, a couple packs of cheese and peanut butter snack crackers, a can of tuna, and a box of whole grain Angel Hair pasta and a jar of sauce, (and it's a good thing I like pasta). I've been living on that and my own 'Scavenger Hunt Bisquick Creations' ranging from the mundane to the bizarre, as first optional, 'add in' ingredients disappeared, then necessary ingredients, requiring substitution and then 'creative modification'.....and 90% of the time....It Works!! It's that last 10 % that produces 'objects' not only disallowed by the Geneva Convention as food for P.O.W.s, but also prohibited as biological/chemical weapons in most civilized countries! Most importantly she threw in a handful of various fun size/snack size Halloween candies---- CHOCOLATE!!!!...Mmmmmmmmmm!

I was going to go to D.S.S. yesterday, but after waiting in the cold, (it may not have been freezing, but it was damp and nasty), close to 2 hours for a bus that never showed I said 'screw this' and came back inside. It's pretty windy today, and cool, but the sun is shining and that's a nice change from the dreary grayness of the past few days.

I'm outta here for now, more when I get back.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

"Sleep Out To Help Out..........."

Good Evening;

A link to a picture in "Word On The Street", Baltimore's street newspaper:


"Remembering The Forgotten..............."

Good Evening;

A link to a story in "Word On The Street", Baltimore's street newspaper;


Sunday, November 4, 2012

"Stormy Whether?.................."

Good Afternoon;

This is a link to an article in the New York Times Online
on the incredible number of "Instantly Homeless" left in
the wake of 'Superstorm Sandy' (I've seen numbers that range from 20,000 to 40,000 depending on who's counting and the area involved in the estimate) and the rush to try to find
shelter before the Nor'easter that is forecast to hit the 
New York/New Jersey area on Wednesday:

And this is The Weather Channel forecast:

I'm still counting my blessings that I'm inside under cover, warm, dry, clean, with both cable TV and Internet access, and... if not well fed, able to exercise my 'kitchen kleverness' to come up with times quite tasty, at other times some, well, let's say....'not inedible'!, meals out of slim pickings and odd combinations.

Bon Appetit'


(And a surprise link below)

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Good Evening;

Here is a link to a photo in the Baltimore Sun Online;
It is of the building facades on Broadway in Fells Point that I
mentioned in a recent post.


How does the US treat its homeless? - Inside Story Americas - Al Jazeera English

Good Morning;
This is a link to an article in Al Jazeera
Which came from an Invisible People post on FB 
How does the US treat its homeless? - Inside Story Americas - Al Jazeera English

"Outside Looking In......Literally & Figuratively, A Metaphor For My Life...................."

Good Evening;

So...... I put on my new jeans, (hate 'em, hate 'em, hate 'em!...if the 'Regular Fit' are this freakin' baggy in the ass and thighs, ...then the 'Relaxed Fit' must have enough room to rent out space to a small one ring circus!), the last t-shirt I own without a hole in it, and one of the flannel shirts that I was able to wear from the batch of clothing that Frayda gave me, and walked down to St. Casimirs R.C. Church to stop in at an N.A. meeting I used to go to fairly regularly on Friday nights when I lived down in Fells Point.
I thought that maybe getting out of the apt., some fresh (cold too, with the damn wind that kicked up!!) air, possibly running into someone I knew, (I won't say friends because I 
now realize that so much of what was uttered by so many people was only lip service), and just maybe hearing a speaker who actually had an inspiring story and message to relate.

When I walked in, (a few minutes after the meeting had started and people had settled in), and looked around I saw 2 men and a woman I knew, (but who did not seem to recognize me--see comment above), and a couple faces that looked familiar sitting at a table in the back, older guys who had been around for a long time. Other than that the room was full of strangers,
 mostly 20-40 -somethings who looked like they all came out of the same mold.
After hearing the speaker finish up and open the meeting to comments etc., and then listening to the silence for 8 minutes before someone who really did not have anything to say but was the only person willing to break the ice and go first spoke....

I quietly slipped back out the door and walked across the street to the Safeway. Except for possibly going to an anniversary meeting for someone I know to help them celebrate, this is most likely the last N.A./A.A. meeting I'll be going to. Too many times at too many meetings getting the same feelings and gut reactions...... 
Well, in the Basic Text and the Blue Book it says the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.....

The fellowships worked for me when I was trying to get and stay clean, and I give them credit for saving my life and sanity at the time, but now I feel even more of an outsider there then I do among society in general, (and I put the 'L' in loner in most cases.).

Anyway, I spent an hour puttering around the Safeway trying to figure out the best way to spend the $3.00 I had left to spend on food to make it stretch as long as possible. I ended up with a box of rotini pasta, a can of diced tomatoes, a package of Goya Mexican style cookies, and a can of Progresso Cream of Potato with Bacon and Cheese....all for under $3.00......(don't!,....but seriously.....don't!)

I walked back here to apt. I'm cat/apt.sitting at in both a better and worse frame of mind than when I left. I think part of my depression is from the fact that it is beginning to get colder, with each passing day one day closer to winter and also one day closer to the end of my stay here. And the uncertainty of not knowing exactly when that is going to be or how much advance notice I am going to have is starting to eat at me too.

I am going to have a some of the soup poured over some of the rotini pasta and some crackers then see if I can get to sleep before it is almost dawn for a change.


Friday, November 2, 2012

"There's Always A Roomful Of JELLO!................Wait, What, ......That Doesn't Sound Right ?????............."

Good Evening;

Well.......both Thursday and today would be classed as some as totally wasted days.
I was up at 7:00 am. both days, (after finally being able to get to sleep well after 3:00 am. both nights before), took my morning meds and tried and succeeded to get back to sleep, and didn't get up until 11:00 am. both days. Yesterday was pretty much spent sitting in the chair and dozing, I hurt all over, even my heels were aching and bruised from the way I was walking and the way my muscles had tensed and cramped up while I was out Wednesday.

Today I was a bit more active, (through it still feels like I'm walking through Jello), scrounging and scraping in the kitchen cabinets and the 'fridge and freezer to put together a couple meals.....without going into detail at the moment, because I'm too tired and the laptop screen is hurting my eyes....lets just say Old Mother Hubbard's dog probably fared

I have been messing around on the computer most of the day, just letting my twisted and 'black' sense of humor roam where it would. I'm going to chalk both days up as 'Mental health vacation' & 'sleep deficit recovery' days (I didn't sleep much during Sandy's visit & kept worrying about the power going out), and get back into motion on Monday with rescheduling HCH, D.S.S., and doctor visits.

As for now, I'm getting another headache......

Thursday, November 1, 2012

"The TV Commercials All Say ...... 'Depression Hurts' ........... I Say------'No Freakin' Sh*t!!! ....................."

Good Morning;
 So......not a good day today so this is going to be real short.
For some reason the depression came down on me like a load of bricks,
all of a sudden, with no warning.....WHAM! 
It felt like I had been kicked in the head and the gut, and the balls all at the same time.
I was on the subway headed to D.S.S. to see about my Foodstamps and Medical Assistance
when it hit and I thought I was going to vomit. A rushing and roaring in my ears, steadily narrowing tunnel vision, and I am told my face got red, then almost purple and I started gulping for air. As a couple of people came over to see if I was okay (a miracle in itself on the Baltimore Metro!!), the physical effects began to fade and the overwhelming mental and emotional gloom and despair just washed over me like Sandy hitting the beach at Atlantic City. This is not an experience I want to go through again. I got off at Reisterstown Plaza Station to get to the air outside to try to cool off and walked down to D.S.S.

Which I had forgotten had been closed for 2 days because of the storm, plus the 2 days of the weekend. At 2:00 pm. you could not even get in the building! I realized I had forgotten half the paperwork I had to submit anyway, so I just grabbed the application forms and took them with me.

Next I took the bus to Pikesville to the RiteAid to pick up prescriptions and walked in and out of the library. I didn't stay because there were no computers open and an anxiety attack was on the horizon if I stayed inside among a crowd.

It was bus, subway, and bus back to here and I just sat with the lights out to avoid any trick or treaters banging on the door. For some reason my guts began to cramp up as if I had a case of food poisoning and I hadn't eaten anything! I tried going to the bathroom but that did not help. I finally ended up taking one of my meds, which has the side effect of shutting down all intestinal an Immodium on steroids & crack!

I'm going to try to go to sleep now, I did not want to earlier, even though I was/am exhausted, I was afraid to be in bed lying down if the sedative/tranquilizer effects of my meds all kicked in at once and I ended going from a nap to a 'dirt nap'....unintentionally!!!

Anyway.....bedtime, and I don't care what happens at this point I am THAT damn tired.