Wednesday, February 27, 2013

" Birthday Wishes.....NOT Birthday Fishes!!...Pisces Or Not!..."

Good Afternoon;

So.......  "Happy Birthday To Me!"
Yeah yesterday was another one down the tubes!!
I had appointments with my HCH caseworker and then with the contract doctor doing
the exam/eval. for the S.S.A. D.D.S. for the State. Which went amazingly well, Dr. Mercado was a wonderful person and even though 'technically', strictly neutral, gave me hope and a positive vibe.

I went up to the Starbucks in Mt. Washington as the rain began to pound down, and John gave me a ride back to the library after the coffee shop closed. Which turned out to be not a good thing. The whole area where I sleep was just soaked and impossible to even think about sleeping at I had some cash that I was saving up towards a pair of boots and part was also going to Monkee......wellllll, the boots are again on hold and Monkee is deferred until the weekend when I hope to get my little bit of TDAP money....
Because....(He Rationalized....)....It's My Birthday Damnit....And I'm Sleeping In A Motel!

Which I did, from 10:00 pm. until 11:00 am. (at a rate of $5.00 per hour!)....
problem is that I forgot about my appointment with the Psych doc at HCH at 10:00am.

damn...outta time......!!!!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

"Cold, Dry,Cracked, & Bloody x 10 vs. Smells like Ass, Squared ........................."

So...... This is a typical 'clusterf*ck'!
I'm here at Jenn's out in West Bumf*ck and the boiler won't prime or light, which means no hot water for the shower and load of clothes I came up here for!
The clothes are in a cold water wash and I have been doing some 'ghetto engineering' to keep
the new washer drain hose my son-in-law installed from leaking, splashing out, and basically in the drain pipe!

This is after I had to take a "whore's bath" with 2 pots of water boiled on the stove.
The reason I even bothered with all the hassle is because I have appointments with HCH and a doctor who contracts out for Social Security Administration Disability Determination Services..
and my pants smell like ASS!..... imagine what my ASS smells like!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That is one of the problems of having only one pair of jeans at the moment, and having to sleep in them because it is now too damn cold to switch into sweatpants out in the weather, and my ass is just too damn big to try to wriggle into them while under the covers/in the sleeping bag!

The clothes just went into the dryer and I need sleep desperately. Last night was cold, windy, and my fingertips are cracked from the cold and all the moisture being sucked out by the cardboard I lay down and then pick up again each day to sleep on.

Oh Well......there's no heat, but it's indoors tonighat least!


Saturday, February 23, 2013

"The Hobo Life Ain't No 'Big Rock Candy Mountain' Anymore......................."

Good Afternoon;

So..... A letter/comment originally sent to the Baltimore City Paper
in response to the HomeLessCide column "Back To Abnormal"....:
(link to it is in the third post back before this one)

Dave (May I call you that?),

I read your column faithfully. Now, I’m not your typical City Paper reader. I’m a conservative-leaning moderate living in Central PA. Let me say up front that I don’t know at all what it’s like being homeless and I hope your day comes where you don’t have to lug all your worldly goods around and wonder where you’re going to spend the night. If I were homeless, though, I don’t think I’d spend my winters in Charm City. Sometime in early autumn I’d face south and head for the Caribbean (Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida). I understand that you have family in B-mo, but you have to take care of yourself. You could face north in early spring and be back in Maryland by June. Good luck, guy, things will be better. Stay warm!
Chuck Spiroff

Thanks for the support Chuck, there are homeless people who do "follow the sun", but that open up a whole new set of challenges. If one does not have any knowledge of, friends, or contacts in a new city it is infinitely more difficult to both simply survive and learn the ins and outs of that city's go/no go zones. Services are harder to access and in some cases not available to transients, or who at least have a longer waiting list behind long term familiar faces. Transferring any benefits may take almost the whole time one would spend at the new location, and then it's time to move North and do it all over again.....every 6 months. Plus the mere logistics of travel and transport would be well nigh impossible. For those who have a source of income that will sustain them, it may be feasible, but walking into a strange city 'cold', broke, and alone, with issues of anxiety, paranoia, and depression? And as you mentioned, I have family here that I am not about to leave.

Besides, with any luck and the blessings of the gods, be they major, minor, old, or new, I am at last in the 'fast track'.. (of course we are talking "Government Fast Track" as in 'Hurry Up And Wait' where molasses and snail racing are considered high speed concepts!!!! ........LOL).. and nearing the point in the neverending application cycle where I will actually get to deal with a human, face to face, as opposed to computer generated, form letter, automatic rejections and dismissals. Another jurisdiction means a new S.S.A. office and having to re-start he whole process, and I already LOST 2 YEARS!! because a former 'service provider' dropped the ball.

Anyway, I'm here at the library, about to head out to the bus and over to the coffee shop in Mt. Washington now, so I'm not stuck here in Pikesville with nowhere to be once the library closes at 5:30 pm. The rain has stopped it looks like and it is not TOO cold and it does not look like tonight will be too bad either. Last night was damp, drizzly, and foggy, but only chilly not bitter and I think tonight will be similar.

Not to say I don't want someone to come by and say " Jump in the car and crash at my place for a while"!!!!!!.........LOL!!!

"Who Let The Dogs Out?.......'Woolfe!! .....Woolfe!!'............."

Good Afternoon;

A quote I was asked to share....:

To admit authorities, however heavily furred and gowned, into our libraries and let them tell us how to read, what to read, what value to place upon what we read, is to destroy the spirit of freedom which is the breath of those sanctuaries. Everywhere else we may be bound by laws and conventions—there we have none.”
-- Virginia Woolf (1882-1941)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

"Winter Wonderland My Left Nut!!! ........ CWS!!!!!....."

Good Evening;

So.... It's that time again......

Dropping down to 28 degrees with an 18 degree wind chill, and me without my shed.


Bed, Couch, Recliner, & Floor space gratefully accepted!!!

Call me!

After 2 nights with Rachel at Jenn's, (even with my son-in-law sick as a dog and a bitch of a stereotypical 'under the weather male'), it is not looking like a fun 3 or 4 days back out here on the sidewalk! a 'Perfect Storm' effect of short library hours, precipitation, wind, cold, and lack of ....'off street parking'.....(lol)!


"Back to Abnormal - Columns - Baltimore City Paper"

Good Afternoon;

Here is a link to the latest column in the
Baltimore City Paper;

Back to Abnormal - Columns - Baltimore City Paper


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

"Auld Lang Syne....................."

Good Afternoon;

So...I made it to my HCH appointment with my mental health/housing caseworker and was told all the paperwork was done and sent in with all the "i"s crossed and "t"s dotted to the housing agency, and now we are waiting for an interview date. Still not letting my hopes take flight though.....too may experiences as a 'clay pigeon at an expectations skeet shoot' to put much credence in anyone's...."soon, very soon now!" talk.

While I was at HCH I ran into my S.S.A. caseworker and also the Speakers Bureau Coordinator, who is also involved with the fledgling 'Word On The Street' (W.O.T.S.) street newspaper (and blog) distributed by homeless folks who get to keep 75% (?) of the sale price. She had some release forms for me to sign for a couple of my poems being published in the next 2 (Quarterly) issues.  I also ran into her at the Starbucks at Mt. Washington over the weekend/Monday as well as Jeff Singer the retired Director of HCH who helped me get in contact with the caseworkers and counselors I so desperately needed but could not access due to the debilitating anxiety that I could not get past to 'cold call' as a walk-in with no previous contact or introductions.

It seemed to be '
old home week' at the library, Giant, & coffee shop from Friday to Monday as I ran into all kinds of people I had not seen in months, and in some cases a couple years, who have aided me on this journey to get assistance. I had not realized how much I missed actual human companionship and conversation when I was at the cat sitting gig, too much talking to the TV......LOL!!

I dodged a bullet twice as regards precipitation this week, and only once had to truly feel a touch of cold while bundled up in the bag and blankets. Sunday Night Was COLD and Windy!!!

Today Tom is picking me up here at the library this afternoon, then we are grabbing Rachel and heading out to Jenn's where I am watching the grandmonsters tonight while jenn and Tom go to a meeting Jenn is chairing. Rachel will get a chance to play with Ed this afternoon and Devin while Ed is in school tomorrow.

I think(!?) there will be a new column in the City Paper in Wednesdays edition, more as I find out.

And winter is on the downswing......let's hope the Grouindhog was right this year!!!


Saturday, February 16, 2013

"Long Green With a Short Fuse?......................"

Good Morning;

So ..... this is in reply to Becky624's comment on the "Helter Shelter" post:
Becky..... WOW! That is quite a limited range of options. I'm pretty sure that there  are a few more choices available to anyone.

I know that for Section 8 housing, once you are approved, you can live anywhere, at any residence, within the jurisdiction of the adminstering agency, (City, County, Etc.), that accepts the Section 8 payments. That could be a regular apartment complex, (some of which are required to have 'mixed income' levels, if built with any Federal or State funding), straight up all subsidized unit complexes, what used to be known as 'the projects', or single family homes, or houses made into apartments or rooming houses. Even some 'residence motels' accept it.

Of course 'marrying rich' is not an option I'd refuse.....(depending on her 'pre-nup').... 'cause love and money are not always incompatible!.....LOL!     ;~)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

"Helter Shelter............"

Good Evening; is a  story from the "Word On The Street" street newspaper....
seems like my reasons for avoiding the City's Shelter aren't so bizarre after all!


There is an encampment of wonderful homeless people under 1-83 diagonally from the city’s prized, Housing Resource Center (HRC), Baltimore’s biggest shelter. Some of these “campers” I’ve known for a while and some I just met in their home today. 
tent at 83 camp
tent at 83 camp
Mr. Nate also known as the camp mayor greeted us and offered us seats. A pleasant gentleman, Nate said he camped by choice. He camps because of the horrible conditions at the HRC.   “I’m a grown man and they treat clients like children.”  Nate said his case worker came to the camp last week and told him about the pending eviction of the camp on February 26th.
Mellow & Mr. "Mayor" Nate
Mellow & Mr. “Mayor” Nate
Mellow talked with me next. “I lost my job.  That’s what caused me to be homeless.  I have kids. They are in Montgomery county and being taken care of. I’m out here struggling for them. The shelter doesn’t allow a man to work. You are out at 4:30 or 5 am and you have to line back up at noon.  At least, I can look for and do some work being here.”
I left the camp with a lot of my mind and many questions. Why are these people being evicted? Why now? I am still waiting for the answers.  I called the Mayor’s Director of Policy & Communications and left a voice mail. 
Later on Wednesday, I returned to talk to the campers with the social work student, Kait Mc Donough and two fellow homeless advocates Tony & Shakazulu. This time there were many people waiting to talk with us. Mayor Nate had convened a camp meeting. One of Mayor Nate’s questions was, “How come no one official from the city has come to talk to us yet?”  I told him that I didn’t know why and I would keep asking the city until I got an answer.
Point blank the system has failed these homeless people as well as thousands  across the country living in encampments like this one.   Charles and Tracy Jones granted me an interview to tell their side of this tragic story. “We’ve been here camped since Jan 29, 2012. We were both at BBH (Baltimore Behavioral Health). BBH started charging $300 a person to stay. That is $600 and our $185 TDAP checks aren’t enough.” said Charles.
Charles & Tracy Jones
Charles & Tracy Jones
When I asked the couple about staying in the city shelter, Tracy said, “I did it before and I didn’t like it. There’s too much stealing. I had my medication stolen. They separate couples. You have to sign in at noon. If I have a doctor’s appointment I have to choose between it or a shelter bed.  They pat you down and frisk you.”
Charles had a job as a carpet installer and Tracy worked as a bartender/server. The housing authority has failed Charles Jones. He was on the section 8 waiting list since 2007. In May 2012, he went into their office on Pratt Street to learn they had made a computer error. The error was they were sending his mail to the right street address with the wrong zip code. This caused Charles to be removed from the list because he hadn’t replied to two notices.  Charles housing application has been withdrawn and he now is waiting for a hearing.  “Everywhere I turned a door is slammed I my face. I’ve been fighting with the housing office on Pratt since 2007.”
Charles and Tracy have four children between them. Their children are ages 2 5, 5 and 11. The children are split among multiple family members until this homeless couple can secure housing.  They thanked me for helping them tell their story. I left the camp again full of questions which I intend to ask until I have the answers.
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake stated, “Homelessness is unnecessary.” at the recent 75 Journeys Home press conference. My questions to her and her office are: Why this encampment eviction? Doesn’t it make these homeless people even more vulnerable? Does the city intend to provide real housing for these people? The shelter fills up most days at noon. Where should they go? How does this help Baltimore’s ten year plan to end homelessness?”
Main tents at camp 83
Main tents at camp 83
I will be writing updates on this story as details unfold and probably questioning the Mayor’s Office in person.  Myself, I am committed to helping save the 83 encampment. If you wish to join me in the fight to either get housing for these people or save their camp, email me at


"Another Night In Paradise.............."

Good Evening;

So....After a dry day at the library......
A wet night has begun, it's rain mixed with snow at the moment, and about 35 degrees. The sidewalk outside the library is dry enough in my sleeping corner so that the cardboard I already have will suffice as ground cover/insulation/mattress. The extra cardboard I snagged today can be used as a windbreak, or an awning or tent like structure if it starts getting windy and blowing the precipitation inward. The low temp. is not supposed to drop below 31 degrees so cold is not a major issue tonight. I just wish their was someplace really close to hangout for a while after the library closes at 9:00 pm., (and 5:00 pm. on Fri. Sat. & Sun.!!!), lugging my bedding and baggage is a bitch.

There is nothing exciting to mention, other than my meeting on Friday at 1:00 pm. with my mental health caseworker at HCH, I'm hoping I can stash at least one bag somewhere for a few hours to avoid dragging both on the bus, especially as I'll be coming back during school letting-out hours and or rush hour.


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

"After Fevered Dreams And Primal Screams.....Hopefully Tonight I'll Just Pass Out From Exhaustion!..............."

Good Evening;

Well..... I'm back from 3 nights and 2 days up in the country at Jenn's and back to the library. My grandson Edward graciously shared his 24 hour stomach bug with me and Monday was a real crappy day, spent mostly curled up under a blanket with the chills.
Thanks to a combination of Immodium and Buprenorphine I escaped the usual explosive side effects at both ends related to an intestinal upset, suffering only headche, dizzyness, and some cramps. Sleep was not a longterm item either, broken by some strange and some even stranger fever dreams.

It looks to be mild tonight and tomorrow morning with temperatures ranging from the highof 47 now to a low of 33, but dry, so 'camping under the stars/streetlights' is not THAT much of an issue.
 But then the rain starts about noon and has the potential to change to snow at dark Wednesday through to the early morning hours of Thursday. The big question is whether it will be windy!? If not I can deal with it under the overhang, if yes.... who knows where I'll be sleeping tomorrow night.

See you tomorrow........


Saturday, February 9, 2013

" Blowin' In The Wind..... Wind In The Willows..... High Wind To Jamaica..... Dust In The Wind..... ??????? ALL Of The Above!!!!!

Good Afternoon;

So.... I damn near had to drive stakes into the pavement and lash myself and all my bedding down last night! After riding the subway for few hours after the library closed at 5:30 pm. yesterday I went and began to layout my sleeping gear about 10:00 pm. I grabbed a few more big, thick boxes to add to my mattress and ended up using the largest and heaviest one as a wind screen between the pillar and the wall in the corner of the sidewalk under the overhang of the library. One side anchored by the heavy mesh garbage can against the brick pillar and the other between the wall and the phone booth, with a milk crate and traffic cone wedging it into place and keeping the center from ballooning inwards. I was blocled by the corner of the building on 2 sides, the cardboard wall on the 2nd short side of the rectangle and I used my bag as a low level block extending down from my head to just past my shoulders. Once I got in the bag and folded and wrapped the quilt and the other half of the blanket over me, and snugged the sleeping bag tight around my neck I was almost too warm, and the excess blanket and quilt acted as a hood to keep the blowing dirt, dust, leaves, powdered road salt and other detritus from my eyes and!

Today I have been in the library all day and this eveing tom is picking me up, somewhere in Pikesville, ?????, once the library closes, ??????, on his way home from Anne Arundel County, and I'll be at Jenn's so I can watch the grandmonsters tomorrow while they are out.

That's about it for now.....


Thursday, February 7, 2013

"Still Good Folks Doing Random Acts Of Kindness......."

Good Afternoon;

So....I HAVE to get a WORKING laptop...I'm out of time here with 3 minutes left and I still have hours more to do...shit...shit...shit...!

 Quickly....A bit of renewed faith in the innate goodness of people.
A reader of the blog sent me $5.00 via PayPal... (now I have to figure out how to set up an account without a bank account or a credit/debit card...[and cannot use 'reloadable' types -- doesn't that kind of defeat some of the purpose of the system?])...out of the blue and was apolgizing because it was all she could afford. I was so overwhelmed with gratitude at just the act itself and the love and compassion she showed me, that the amount 'makes no nevermind', (as an old hillbilly friend of mine used to say when the alcohol and homesickness for West By God Virginia caused her carefully cultivated Ivy League accent to slur and slip

Thanks Cynthia, and I'll be in touch real soon. an extra 30 minutes from the I can continue this post at least....

The Second event last night/early this morning occurred a little after Midnight when Corporal Tyler of the Maryland State Police, on duty at the Executive HQ building & compound next to the library, was starting his shift and making a security loop around the exterior. He crossed the parking lot to the sidewalk under the overhang where I was just falling asleep and I heard someone calling "Sir..Sir...Sir... Are you Okay?". I clawed my way awake and we spoke for a while and he inquired if I had eaten, and did I need any hot food and offered to get me something, and was I warm enough. Well as you all, (and the scale), know food is usally not an issue, and it was not then. He told me if I needed anything in an emergency situation or urgent help of any nature to just come across to the HQ building and ask.

In the many years I have been in and around the library in Pikesville, either using the WiFi late at night, watching my little TV in the predawn darkness, reading under the steet lamp, or sleeping on the pavement or benches, this is the first time a Trooper has actually walked over and inquired as to my well being. While reading on the bench by the library entrance, one oficer has on occasion nodded or said hello in passing as he walked by, 6 feet away, but this is the only time anyone has actually engaged me in any dialogue.
Thank You Cpl. Tyler for adding to the "Good Cop" scoreboard...

And time is up again......

(Friday morning is the physical exam at the doctor for, I'll be back maybe tomorrow afternoon, maybe Saturday, from here at the Library....or Jenn's)


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

"Bedtime For Bonzo......."

Good Evening;

This did not get published last night because the computers shut down as I hit the enter key.

So.... here we go again! I am at the Pikesville Library just about 30 minutes away from the first night I have spent outside since October 12th 2012. That means it's been 115 days since I last slept here at the library. It is actually warmer tonight than it was the last night I was here, but not as dry as it was then, with a damp haze and occasional fits and starts of very light rain and snow flurries just now. Temps are in the low 30s and humidity is at 87%. The next couple days look to be mild, around 40 for the high and from 26 tomorrow to 36 on Thursday for the lows, (that's in degrees F for the International!). Friday...that's another story....not too cold, but it may 'rain like a bitch', and that sets up a set of major issues regarding lack of shelter. Between a cardboard mattress and my sleeping bag, quilt and king size fleece heavy duty blanket...., cold down to about 20 is bearable. Precipitation and especially storm driven windswept forms of liquid or frozen hell... "Bite The Big One!"

It's closing time so, see you in the morning, unless a good samaritan comes by and offers a place to crash.....hint hint......LOL!


"Out Of Practice Sleeping Out On The Street........."

Good Morning;

Well, here I am in the library again, on the public computer, (Anyone disposing of a working laptop out there?? Even if the battery is shot, as long as it has a working power cord and a wifi card, it's good enough for me!).

It was cold last night, more so than I expected and it took a lot of rearranging to get and stay warm. I'm out of practice and I also traded higher efficiency for less bulkiness in my choice of sleeping bag to carry. Tonight I am going to try the 'Human Burrito" method of combining quilt and fleece blanket interleaved and wrapped under and over the sleeping bag. The big drawback is getting in and out to pee the 2 or 3 times a night that has been occurring with increasing regularity. (I think I really need to switch ALL my medical care to H.C.H. soon no matter where the M.A. situation is at. What I have been assuming has just been an aging prostate and an inevitable fact of nature has been pointed out to me, in combination with some other apparent symptoms, could be a sign of diabetes or it's precursors. Which, with my past history and recent medical luck.....would not surprise me.
'Whatever doesn't kill you-- makes you stronger' ?
Not always, sometimes, just DOESN'T kill you!!

Anyway, it's time for coffee and I just got a voice mail from my S.S.D.A. I need to check....


Oh...just F.Y.I. ;
Health Care for the Homeless
Medical Assistance
Social Security Disability Administrator

Monday, February 4, 2013

"Super Bowl, Super Stressed................Win One, Lose One.......As Long As There Is No Sudden Death Overtime!..............."

Good Afternoon;

Well...., it's an oldie but a goodie, but always appropriate.....

So..."how 'bout dem Ravens, hon?"!
Edge of my seat, stomach churning, hands shaking, nerves a mess
(..and hell, that wasn't even the excitement over the Superbowl!
This was from the combination of the weather report..[3 more 'Alberta Clippers' due in from Canada in the next week, bringing the infamous and dreaded 'Canadian Lows', with 2 of them also having the chance of of them tonight..maybe not a lot, but add in the following  > ]..the fact that as of tonight I am leaving Jenn's after a 4 night 'transitional period' between the apartment I was cat/apt. sitting in from October 12th to January 31st, 3 & 1/2 months of needed respite from the street, and.....the gnawing, worrying, soul consuming anxiety of having found absolutely no place to go, other than on the sidewalk under the overhang covering part of the parking lot of a local library branch, and having nowhere to stash my, way to much and bulky to carry, heavy winter sleeping gear in the morning.
Now you can add in the emotional twists and turns from a typical Baltimore..
"It ain't pretty, and we damn near didn't.... but WE DID!", ugly ass Superbowl victory.
(P.S. - Screw you , to all the network commentators, who can't give the Ravens credit, for anything...ever!............Ha!)!

Yeah, I'm a bit slap happy and well past the point of the gut wrenching, dry heaving, 'what the hell to do' anxiety of last night right now, into the.. sleep deprived, artficially calm, sense of fatalistic 'wtf' that can come over one when that last straw has slipped from your grasp, and it's either find some sort of sick, black humor in a situation....or die. laptop is shot, (this is Tom's), so it will be the weather, the library, and hopefully finding the desire to make the effort to write something that will determine when I'll be back again.

As always, if anyone knows of someone with a need for apt/house/pet sitting, or who has a spare room, shed, empty house or store they are willing to  share, or if you hear of an 'abandominium' in a discreet location, etc... etc...
call/write/text me!

And just FYI I had a psych. eval. (I think the technical diagnosis was "Nuckin' Futz"), at H.C.H. this past Wednesday, and on Friday Feb. 8th I have a physical exam. with a doctor from D.D.S. and hopefull some progress will soon be apparent on both the S.S.I. front and the housing front, according to both my mental health counselor/coordinator and S.S.A. facilitator/advocate at H.CH.
(Of course "soon" is a relative term when dealing with agencies and bureaucracies, where 'tomorrow' often equates to 'six months from yesterday'.

Later............[unless hypothermia comes to visit first]........................Dave