Quotation of the Day

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;

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/27/nyregion/new-yorks-mental-health-system-thrashed-by-services-lost-to-storm.html?pagewanted=1&_r=0&nl=afternoonupdate&emc=edit_au_20121226

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.

Later....................................Dave

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 ago...plus 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!

Later..............................Dave

"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:

FOR IMMEDIATE 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 
www.hchmd.org

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)

Later.............Dave

"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 ...lol  ;-)

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.

Later....................Dave

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.

Later........................................Dave 

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

Later..........................Dave

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 either....lol)

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

" 'Tis The Season"

Later............................Dave

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 :(

Later...........................Dave

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

Good Afternoon;

So....it'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!

But......

(Curious, unattached, {non-violent, non-psychotic types preferred......but?,....well...call 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.

Later..................................Dave

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"
Later.....................................Dave

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

Good Morning;

Well.....to anyone I may have told that there would be a City Paper column in this week's, (Dec. 5th), edition....my 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'....lol.

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 breath.....it'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, "Buy..Buy..Buy.......you 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"...as 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".....lol)
{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...

But.......
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"
lol.

Later...................................................Dave
"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.

Later..........................Dave

"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

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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.
Dave 


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 maroon...lol), left me with the above, or should I say, "left you" with it......I quit!...........lol!

Later...............................Dave

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

Later........................Dave

"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'

Later...................................Dave

Sunday, December 2, 2012

"Fog......Funk.......&.....Fugues....."

Good Morning;
Well....it'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.

Later...................................................Dave