Monday, December 31, 2007

Day 10, No Working Toilet

On Day 7, when maint. man saw me using the public restroom in the bldg., he locked it up. So I've been resorting to using public places. I just can't stand to see his face, I can't stand the idea of him being in my apt., and that's putting the fact that I am afraid of him as secondary. I'm just soooooooooooo furious, filled with fury at what I've been thru here, I can't stand to see management's faces.

So, I told the owner in Georgia my problem. She called me today and said I have no choice but to use the people that are already on staff, regardless of what I claim I've been thru. She said, she will have a female present, (the useless on sight manager) while he takes a look at the toilet.

It's been one month and the new owner has not begun any investigations into the thefts, sexual harrassment and death threats. She said to me today, "well, nobody else has turned in a formal complaint"

E-These are sick and elderly people, not activists. It doesn't lessen what I've been thru.

new owner-Well, I would need all the documentation of what has happened there. (that's 2.5 years worth of notes)

E-"The police don't write written reports, despite my requests"

O-Without documentation I can't help u

E-I know one other person who might speak to you, but so many of my files have been stolen, and much has been put in storage.

O-Well, if you can get them to call me, then maybe I can do something.

(So, I'm supposed to waste another year or more of my life, while maybe somebody does something to make me more safe?)

She said that she understands that I'd like to put in for an out of state transfer. This is true, I know which states they own property, but not yet which cities. She said that some of the wait lists are long, but I have no choice to at least get on the lists. In the meantime, I'm going to have to work like hell, to get out of where I am, while waiting for formal public housing to come thru.

So, this maint. man who I dread is coming into my apt. on weds. ( and I insist on not being in there alone with him), to "look" at the toilet. Yet, if I'm not there at all, he will steal something else from me, or vandalize something else.

I doubt that he'll replace it, even though I know I need a new one, as I got 2 opinions.

For those of you who are new readers of my blog, I recommend a famous true essay from the late 80's on life in U.S. public housing called:

"There are No Children Here" by Alex Kotlowitz

Thursday, December 27, 2007

"On David Sedaris and NPR"

I knew of David Sedaris, but I had never heard him speak before. NPR did a special on Christmas Day (07) on "Christmas Tales"

I was expecting something sappy, stories that are very different from my own experiences. Much to my surprise, that wasn't the case at all. I discovered D. Sedaris. He told this wonderful true story of the year he was hired as an Elf for Macy's during the Christmas season. When I heard him read his true essay, I thought, Mmm, "Now that's the way I experience the world." I realize that I am a satirist like him with a style similar to his.

He said that while he was dressed up like an elf, one of the female customers asked: "Where is the bathroom?" (this is much more fun when you hear him read it in his own words and inflection)

D.S.-"It's the line with the women in it!" he shouted.

Customer-"I ought to have you fired. I'm going to have you fired for your attitude!"

D.S. "Go ahead, he thought, life can't get any more hellacious then being an elf for Christmas!"

He went on to say that 2 woman that day threatened to have him fired.

He said one boy got up into Santa's lap, and Santa asked him what he wanted for Christmas. "I want Proctin and Gamble to stop animal testing!"

(Mom is coaching him along) "That's Proctor and Gamble, son. Now son, why do you want P and G to stop animal testing. Because it is cruel and unusual punishment!"

Well, you get the idea folks!

(And on this note, I will write about my 12/95 retail job working with very high end merchandise in my next posting.)

and by the way


1/3/96 "so called food stamp appt."/the local community center

I went into the Hampden Family Center for a 2:30 appt. What a waste of time that was. I was told by the volunteer yesterday that I could come in at 2:30 for a woman to interview me for food stamps. When I do come in, there is a different woman working. She asks me if I have certain things with me. I tell her that I only have one pay stub. She says I have to have more documentation than that. She asks me to wait until 3 for the formal appt. So, she then meets with me for about 1/2 hour, telling me I need this, this and this. She finally asks me if I have my utility bill?! I tell her no because my rent includes utilities.

She then says: "Aren't you here for energy assistance?!"


"Then what are you here for?"

E-"Food stamps!"

"We don't do that here!"

"Your volunteer told me that you do!"

"Who told you that?" (I would here this question many, many times over the next dozen years! I now keep impeccable records, so I know "who did tell me that!")

I told her I don't remember the name of the volunteer. So as this doesn't become a wasted trip, I decide to wait around for the director re: the possibility of volunteering for the center. I'm told the director is busy right now. So, I just sit and wait for her to free up.

The director seems really burned out, but asks me if I'd like to sign up for a computer class. The sign up sheet states a date that passed 2 weeks ago!  I asked her about it and she said that it is the wrong sign up sheet. She points me to another sign up sheet, which says:

"Tues, Weds, or Thurs?"

I ask: "What are the corresponding dates?"

"I don't know" she says. "It's doesn't matter anyway. You don't have to sign up. Just pop in anytime tomorrow!"

"You are coming in the a.m., aren't you?" she continued.

E-"Oh, I thought you just said to come in anytime"

"You better come in the a.m."

(I'd never choose a.m., but do it when I have to. Fibromyalgia people and a.m. rarely get along)

Supposedly, at 10 a.m. Frank will be there to train me.




I'm real sick, my cough has worsened. Deana really wants me to come over for Christmas. (A long lived friendship that ended in 96)  Tom gives me a ride.    But after I got there I started sneezing real bad and feeling really cold. Later that night after I got home, I started to develop flu symptoms. I was hot and cold the whole night. Despite my illness, I had a good time playing Therapy with Deana and Laura and the kids.


The last week of 95 was sheer hell because I've been so sick. I started coughing about last Saturday or Sunday after the sinus/bronchial infection (caused in part by my severe allergy to my landlord's 2 dogs) got more severe and this morning I woke up with laryngitis. I was so crippled up with back pain that I couldn't walk. That had alot to do with the fact that this house is so damn cold. My muscles get tightened up and then I end up in pain. (I would get my Fibromyalgia diagnosis in 97)

I got so weak that I couldn't stand for more than 5 minutes.


Migraine with vomiting. The headaches are precipitated by alot of coughing. Today I didn't get out of bed until 1 or 1:30 in the afternoon. Was up vomiting until around 1 a.m. Crushing fatigue, need lots of sleep, but my breathing is so obstructed that it makes sleep impossible.

Tried to find a sliding scale clinic today to help me with my bronchial problems. I called Ask A Nurse and they could only find one. I called it and it was a private doctor. I got an answering machine. The other doctor was in the Rotunda mall. I talked to the woman in billing who was very curt with me. As soon as she quoted the price of $150.00 she hung up on me instead of asking me if I want an appointment! SHE JUST HUNG UP ON ME!

When I reached the Wyman park Clinic by phone, they said they wouldn't see me at all because I have no income. I said that I would be able to pay something but they wouldn't quote me a fee over the phone. I said, o.k. I'll try your East and West Baltimore sites. She said they MIGHT work with me.

Oh yeah, there's a clinic on Reisterstown Road. Maybe if I got out there Mike (my birthmother's husband) will take me back (but that's only if my birthmother isn't home, because she'd never approve of him helping me with a ride)

I called the MTA and the dispatcher started yelling at me. (which is common) She told me that I was cutting her off, when I was simply trying to get her to slow down so I could write down the instructions on how to get to a chiropractor by bus.

I left the house at 3 p.m.  Three buses (all legally required to stop and pick me have passed me by.  I heard that whites don't always get picked up) Finally, at 3:45, I get tired of standing in the cold rain. I decide to go on foot in Hampden to try to find a chiropractor. There was one, but it was closed. So I went into an internist's office and asked about their fees. She said $70 for the first visit. She offered no other info.

After I sat down for a few minutes, and asked her if I could use the phone, she told me about the Union Memorial Clinic.

At 5:20, I find a chiropractor. The entire appt. only took about 20 minutes. None of these chiropractors/doctors want to take the time to get to know you, but other than that he was good. I liked getting hot massage from the electrodes. Adjustments are somewhat painful but I do believe in chiropractic care.

"Everything is broken"

It's a perspective that I feel nobody else is experiencing. In that sense, it's risky for me to write about the way I experience the world.

Everything is broken

The concert itself was phenomenal, but here are the events surrounding the event!


I saw an ad in a local paper for the boyschoir concert. It said: "$12 donation suggested" (All past concerts in this church have been drop money in the basket, so this is what I was expecting, if you don't have the full amount no big deal, and I didn't)

When I arrive I see a cash box on the right. I asked the volunteer about the purpose of the box.  "I thought this concert was a donation thing, what's the box for?"

She looked and me like I was from Mars.

 me-  "Is this cash box where audience members have to put the 12 dollars?"

  "No" she said. "You were supposed to purchase tickets in advance!"

E-"Oh Boy, the ad I saw did not mention that"

Lady 1- "You can talk to the lady at the entrance about it"

E-"I just took a cab here, because of an ad in the paper, that said nothing about buying tix in advance"

Lady 2-"This show is all sold out"

E-"That's not right"

Lady 2-"Here, I have an extra ticket, but tell NO-ONE that I did this!"

E-"Thank You"

I'm an hour early and need a place to sit. I try to go in to the wait lounge. 2 people are blocking it off.

E-"Do you mind if I sit and wait?"

"Well, I guess so............"

I felt like I was breaking a rule, but needing a place to sit.

The concert it self is fabulous. At breaktime, the officiator says:

"It's breaktime,  don't leave your seats because there is a video"

I go try to get water, but I'm the only one who gets out of my seat! I ask an officiator. "Where is the water fountain?"

"This church has no water fountain. But there are cups in the ladies room"

I go to the ladies room. There are no cups. I lean my mouth under the sink, as a well dressed, well heeled white woman looks on, disapprovingly. When I am done, I say: "The church has no water fountain"

"Yes, it does" , said a little girl!"

"Settling in for: "Countdown to Elmo's Christmas" Special!

(I'm a huge sesame street fan)

So, 10 minutes before the special begins on the night of 12/23/07 , my toilet begins overflowing (clean water the whole time thank goodness) I did not realize you can just turn the water off. I just kind of hoped it would stop. I'm in "flood mode" I have to get all electric appliances away from the water, everything off of bedroom and bathroom floor. I've never experienced an honest to goodness flood indoors. For the next 12 hours, I just stayed up all night and worried. I can't call maintenance, because of the stealing and harrassment. I call the chatline the next morning (the 24th) just so happens that my acquaintance (a carpenter) is on the chatline. I tell him of the problem and he instructs me to go turn off the water. The knob won't budge. He drives over and turns off the water! One third of my bedroom is flooded, but the water did not come into contact with any of my wood furniture thank goodness. There was no material loss. I'm in day 5 of no working toilet, as I wait and pray that HUD will find and send someone safe to replace my toilet.

So "Merry Bleepin' Christmas" to you too!

"To buy or not to buy a wallet"

This is the dilemma I faced 3 weeks ago. I've been wanting a wallet for some time. 

When I was mugged in 1/83 my pocketbook and wallet were taken.

 But 3 weeks ago at Wal-Blue , I stood there mentally going through this grueling dilemma

. Because with the streets being so dangerous, there's just too great a chance my wallet will be stolen if I buy one. Vicky's friend (vicky is the Big Bucks clerk) had her wallet stolen in broad daylight in Baltimore.  When V. called the cops, they told her,"if you dont want to get robbed then you have no business carrying a wallet!" (talk about compassion!)

So, I decided to go ahead and buy the wallet, but now I'm afraid to put anything in it!

Right after I posted the photo at the University last week, I popped up to the librarian's desk, and while I was there, my wallet, (i.d., health insurance, and bus pass) were stolen. I didn't realize they were "stolen" until I got home, as I thought initially I had lost it. When I tried to make a report to the University, they told me they couldn't make a report over the phone. I told them I had no transportation to get back to the campus.

Seems pointless to acquire anything!

Thursday, December 20, 2007




In 11/04, I found a barter for rent situation for 3 months in Lafayette, IN. Because I didn't have to pay rent that month, I decided to go get some professional portraits done at Tippecanoe Mall. (no joke, I was living in Tippecanoe County.)

So, I go get these portraits taken. A week later I go and pick them up, driving to the mall in my Mercury "jalopy." On the way back from picking up the photos, which are in the backseat, my car breaks down. I have to get it towed to the mechanic. I forget about the photos. The windows were cracked slightly, I forgot that too. Lafayette gets an unbelievable amount of ice in the next week. By the time I go to rescue the car, I see that the photos are in the flooded backseat! (My photos are survivors just like me) I bring the pics home, and lay them out over the bathtub to dry out, and pray that they aren't ruined.

Remarkably, I guess because of the type of paper used on a professional portrait, other than a few wrinkles, all photos had survived!

As you can see, I will never run out of stories! To see the latest photo, please scroll down to the bottom of the page.


I have seen this woman on television twice now. Once on the Ellen Degeneres show, and once on Jay Leno. She was Miss America in '44 ish. Now she's about 82. Have you heard about this woman? On Leno, she said something to the effect of "Well, I shot the tires instead of shooting the men, or I would have gone to prison."

I love that!

So the story is that Venus lives on a farm. One day, 2 men were stealing supplies out of her shed. She drives over, blocks them in with her truck, and shoots out the tires! (I have a special affinity for strong women!)

So, Jay Leno asks her what skills she used during the Miss America contest. She says: "I sang and danced, you know I shake a mean hip!"

Leno-"So, who taught you how to shoot?!"



I talk to birthmother an average of once every 18 months over the phone. It's always really weird, and stressful beyond belief. I feel drained for weeks after we talk over the phone, for many reasons, some I'll go into here.

When I called her in September, I asked her how her husband is. "HE'S DEAD! HE'S BEEN DEAD FOR 9 MONTHS!"

me-"I would have wanted to attend the funeral, you should have told me."

Mother-"YOu couldn't have gotten there! It was a million miles away in Dundalk!"

(Dundalk is about a 35 minute drive)

His name was Mike. Apparently he was violently ill in the last few months of his life. I met him a week after I did the search for my birthmother, in 6/1989. Mike talked to me like I was 3 years old. But he was such a warm person. One day when I called the house and mother wasn't there, he said "your mother has forbidden me from meeting up with you one on one" "But I want you to know, I consider you my daughter. You see, your mother and I were dating
in high school, and I decided that I was to old for her, so I told her to go date other people. She did, and then you were conceived. She and your "father" broke up and then your mother and I reunited. So, your mother and I were together while she was pregnant with you, and that's why I feel that I am your real father."

Sadly, I never in the last 18 years got a chance to get to know Mike, since he was forbidden to see me one one one. He was very disrespectful of my birthmother, but very warm with me in the rare times that I went to their house in Pikesville, MD. He'd often walk me to my car and secretly slip me a 10 dollar bill. He couldn't let my b-mother know that because she wouldn't have approved.

In the 18 years that I've known her, she has always put alot of energy into trying to convince me that they are "dirt poor." But one time when I called and she wasn't there, Mike said: "Elana, we aren't poor. We're rich. But it's all tied up in my coin collection. And by the way, I feel that you are my "responsibility" (he said this in '03 when i was "homeless" in indiana)

So, my mother waits 9 months to tell me that he has died. A funeral would be the perfect opportunity for me to meet extended blood family. But, I don't think mother is comfortable with that, so she keeps me away from funerals, and keeps information about my relatives as minimal as possible. (I have an Aunt in N.M. who I'd like to meet, but mother says "she's too sick and busy to meet you") There was another aunt there too, who I really wanted to meet, but same thing, mother won't give me any contact info. claiming these women have no time to meet me. The one, Kitty, just died in '05 of cancer. She was a famous artist, and I've tried to do research on her at the library, so far no leads.

So, in Sept. I also ask mother, "and what's the latest with your mother in law?" (she and her husband lived with the mother in law) She replied"GABBY IS DEAD." "I AM SO HAPPY TO FINALLY BE ALONE. FOR 40 YEARS I WAS A SLAVE TO MY HUSBAND. COOK AND CLEAN THAT'S ALL MY LIFE WAS!"

So, last night she calls me. (It's the exception to talk to her again after only 3 months) At the end of the conversation she says: "By the way, your uncle is dead. He died a year ago. (paternal uncle, also michael, was hoping to meet, he lived in balto) I replied: "Why didn't you send me the obituary?"

mother-"What are you going to do with an obit? He didn't even know you existed. Plus, you don't care about ancestry!"

(do you see why these conversations are so stressful?!)

elana-"I wanted to meet him." I replied.

mother-"That's ridiculous! Trying to meet him would only have made your bio. father (V.) very angry!"



which means"oh my god" in yiddish.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Health Challenges

 I've had pneumonia twice since June, 2005.  The air quality in the Baltimore area far supersedes acceptable e.p.a. guidelines for healthy breathable air. I have alot of respiratory challenges. Poverty in and of itself tends to make people sick. With an increase in income, you can choose a healthier environ, therefore likely to improve your health.

My neighbor told me in passing in the hall, that her doctor told her that she has signs of having come into contact with asbestos! She is certain she was exposed to it in our homes. So that has also got me really worried. (about my own health)

And I'm wondering where in the building or in our individual apts. it is. I'll have to do some research on asbestos. I did learn a little bit about it last night, when watching one of my favorite shows......"extreme home makeover" One of the houses they renovated was in part because the family was being exposed to asbestos.

Oyyy. So many reasons to move out of "La Pew." Too many battles both inside and outside my building.

So many sick buildings in our society.

Familiar with "sick building syndrome"?

A Change of Management at La Pew

About a week ago, I got a letter under my door, stating that there has been a change of management/ownership at La Pew. It "welcomed" the team. What it stated by omission is that 3 of the 6 bad apples on the management team are now gone. One of the 2 maintenance men who is burglarizing me is still here.

There isn't a chance in hell of having a good or normal life at La Pew or in Baltimore. However, I will give the new team a chance. Unfortunately, the 2 female managers based in my bldg. are still employed. However, the woman over them, is new. The new owners are in Georgia.

Unlike the old management team in GA, this new owner, returned within a day. She's also in email communication with me. Rather than lay out every single problem, I am just going to share one at a time with her. Right now, safety. That is my top worry.

I'm hoping that she will launch an investigation into the burglaries and that the remaining maint. man will be fired. I also hope that they do a very thorough background check on any new maint. men. (I've expressed these thoughts through email) In the meantime, I will continue my search for a healthier home. This is no small feat as you've heard from me before.

I still have to hide my last remaining valuables around the apt. everytime I leave, even if only for an hour. I doubt that I'd ever feel safe at La Pew, but for today, I am there, and I want to give this new owner a chance and see if they really mean it when they say in their letter that they want us to be happy at "La Pew."

January, 1998 "Getting There" The 1986 Honda Accord

I was initially very excited when Sandra donated her Honda Accord to me in 1/98. But the reality is, these older cars aren't really free at all. Within 2 months of her gift to me, the car needed about 2k in repairs! So for the life of the car, it was on the road, off the road, on the road , off the road, because I wasn't earning enough to keep it on the road and safe. Here is the "poem" I wrote to her shortly after her donation.















"Google Ad Sense" are supposed to be paying me

They're supposed to be paying me for every hit to my website. However, it's been 4 months and not a penny. I've not been able to find a phone # for customer service on any of their websites. I googled on this, and apparently and ironically, google are screwing millions of people out of their money, and none of us payees are getting paid. One woman was even written a bad check! Who da thunk it? That a name like Google would be screwing people out of their money. But this is why I agreed to have ads on my website. The added income would have really helped, but they are making this as difficult as possible. What would you do? If you find a valid customer service phone # for google ad sense, please email it to me. Thank you.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

"The Price of Survival Sex" Balto. Sun 11/4/07

Journalist: "The fact that she is still here at 45 years old is remarkable."

(more excerpts)

"The women are engaged in a relentless, dangerous struggle, not only for drugs but for the necessities of life. It could be for money, food or clothing. It could be for cigarettes, drugs, anything."

Authors Note: (my note)

I never resorted to selling my body to survive. But since I have lived through some extreme poverty, I have no judgements for the women who do.

"Letters reveal voices from the Holocaust" (Balto. Sun 11/2/07 by Michael Hill

If you can pull this up on line, please try. It was a man who found letters written by an ancestor during the holocaust and saved them. Fascinating stuff. The article was by Michael Hill. You can communicate with him at You can also see a video at

I think the article said that the descendant was going to try to make these letters available at a museum. (it's been a month since I read the article)

"Iraqis return home" Baltimore Sun/"Baltimore to Baghdad" 11/4/07

The part of the title "Baltimore to Baghdad" I made up. The rest of the title, "Iraqi's return home" was the title of the article in the balto. sun on 11/4/07.  

Those are the articles that I will papaphrase and then give my own comments. This particular article was about Iraqi's who feel safe enough to return to their communities. I often notice parallels between foreign cities and U.S. cities. In this particular article a woman from Baghdad made a comment that might as well have been made by a Baltimorean! Here goes:

"Six months ago, I wouldn't dare be outside, not even to stand near the garden gate by the street. Killings had become so routine I stopped going to work I was so afraid."

"Young woman nearly beaten to death on bus"

Here is a rough idea of the letter I plan to submit today regarding last weeks bus beating of a white female 26 year old in Hampden on bus #27. (which I have taken in the past and made journal entries for)

Wiedenfield =one of the reps. for MTA (I'm not sure which rep. I ll have to find out so I can write a more informed letter to editor)

Dixon=Baltimore City's mayor

Dear Letter to Editor,

The day Kreager was beaten on the #27 bus, I heard this approxiate report on the news: " Kids were jumping in front of seats telling the young woman, "these seats are reserved!" The first things that went through my head was "Kreager must be white, I'm very accustomed to seeing these acts of intimidation on buses and trains. Most likely this is a hate crime."

But most Baltimoreans don't encounter reverse racism in their day to day activities. I encounter it daily and absolutely do not feel safe on Baltimore's buses and trains, or at most stops because I am a minority white. I'm very glad that this incident on the #27 is being investigated as a hate crime.

Dixon and Wiedenfield's public comments that "Baltimore's buses are safe" is incredibly naieve.

"Baltimore, if you have the financial means to own and operate a private vehicle, I highly recommend you stay there!"

Letter to the Editor/USA Today

I never really understood what people meant when they said that "America is a free country!

I surely don't feel free.  But now I'm beginning to get it. I recently read some literature on life in the Middle East, and whenever possible I try to engage foreigners in conversations about why they chose to move to the U.S.

Hard to believe that there are so many places that don't grant freedom of speech. Now that I realize how precious that freedom is (and I love to write) you will see more letters to the editor from me. Mostly to the Baltimore Sun, and the City Paper, but occasionally to other publications as well. I will do my best to post the letters on my website, so you don't have to go looking for them in the papers. That way, whether they publish my letter or not, you'll get to read what I'm writing. For the most part, my letters will be comments on articles about u.s. transit, homelessness, poverty, hunger, and any other social issues that I feel passionate about.

If you wish, keep your eyes open to USA Today, hopefully they will print my letter re: their article on "Transportation options very limited for America's seniors."

Wish I could post daily

I'm enjoying the gradual increase in readership of my blogsite. Despite my imbalanced life, I want to keep you coming back. As you know, with poverty you will hear the same themes over and over again. Nevertheless, I will do everything I can to be as candid as possible about the bad conditions yet also, inform you when positive things happen in my life , which at this point are few and far between. I love when you respond to what I've written, and when possible if you could sign off using your real name that's even better, I love knowing who I'm talking to.

 I sure am looking forward to living in a place that is safe enough that I can purchase a home computer. At that time, I will post new blogs as daily as possible.


(a familiar saying to those of you who have ever attended a 12 step program of any sort!)

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

"Looking back at: 11/16/2001"

Waiting on my lawyer to take me to Dept. of Social Services. I haven't slept in weeks. I have zero strength and no money at all. D.S.S. supposedly awarded me $60.00 in emergency food stamps but when I went to the Giant to buy food there was no money transferred onto the card at all! (so I was unable to buy any food.)  I am at a starvation level as far as calories consumed per day go.

I am completely spent and don't know where I'll find the strength to job hunt. I think Peter (the man who has taken me in temporarily) (from Norway) is trying to understand my situation therefore isn't pushing me to job hunt right away. He is outwardly very difficult and very argumentative but has a heart of gold.

I'm going to try to stick it out here in Hampden until 4/1/02. That's my hope at least. Maybe I can stay here until I win my disability case.

"Getting There" 12/1/07

I'm at my breaking point.  My overall life conditions are intolerable. Here's just one more example of why it's monumental to even get out of bed and go anywhere at all! (besides the health challenges.)

Saturday, when I was done at Towson Public Library it was just after dark. Like I may have mentioned before I found out that the taxi company that I've had the most success with does not accept my Taxi Card!

Everytime I've ever called "Jack's" taxi (the most "logical" one to call in my region) I get dispatchers with the intelligence of a slug. Here is an account of how things went Sat. night. With the extreme cold and the idiocy of the people that work for Jack's , I had to select a place that would be easy to find. Typically when you call dispatch, you have to tell the dispatcher at least 10 times where you are.

I choose to wait directly across the street from the library at cafe spice so I can easily be located.

Here goes:

I call Jack's from my cell phone which costs about .40 a minute. I'm put on hold for 10 minutes. My phone dies. I have to go into Cafe Spice, pay the clerk .50 and ask her if she'll call me a cab. They put her on hold for 20 minutes!   Finally, someone answers.

"Jack's Taxi"

E-"HI, I need a cab, I'm at 321 york, right across the street from the library"

D (dispatch) "Where?"

"321 York, cafe spice, right across the street from the library"

D- "I don't know where that is"

E-For the 5th time, I'm right across the street from the library how hard can that be?"

D-"What's your phone #"

E-"I don't have a phone!"

(With dispatchers like this you're left feeling that there is a pretty slim chance anyone will come and get you at all!)

In a 40 minute period, i watch 4 cabbies just drive right past me! I stop each one and ask them if they are here for me. "No, I'm not."

E-" But it's freezing and I need to get home, can't you take me? You're here already!"

"We're not allowed maam. You'll have to go with which ever specific driver they dispatch."

" "WEll, can't you call dispatch and tell them that you're here and you are going to take me?"

"We're not allowed maam. There is a specific #..............."

By the time the 3rd driver turned me down I called him a few choice words, and he demanded that I apologize. I refused.

By the time the 4th driver came, I had to "pretend" that I had not already called a cab (All four cabs were with Jack's) or he would have never taken me! I told the driver that the first 3 cabs wouldn't take me. He said "you should have CALLED  for a cab!"

After he dropped me off at home, and after I paid him, ONLY THEN, could I tell him that I HAD called dispatch already.

So, to travel 2 miles, it took me one hour, unbelievable stress and about 12 dollars!

So if you just had this one life obstacle in Baltimore, the lack of a private auto, you can see that your quality of life is shit.

Well, 12.5 years of public transit in Indiana and MD, (off and on) and I'm going to try to move to Berkeley. It's a huge risk with so little money. But this is no kind of life!

Blog Photos

WHOOPPEE! Just got the photos added to my blog site! Ironically the girl here at tech support ended up needing alot of coaching from me, but we did it! we did it! And the university didn't even make me prove that I'm a student. If I knew I'd be so successful, I would have brought the 2004 photo too.

 As you can see, the 1997 photo isn't real crisp and clear, but I like that pic. nonetheless. My Baltimore theatre group "Gimme Shelter Productions" took that pic. of me. The 1987 one was when I was a student at Catonsville Community College. There was a man on campus who needed college girls for a modeling shoot. That was fun.

Victory at last!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

"A Special Place in my heart for The Waldorf School of Baltimore"

I didn't expect it to mean as much as it did. But Becky picked me up today to go to the craft fair at The Waldorf School of Baltimore. You know Balto. is a very miserable and mean place. But there are pockets, pockets of community that you step into and it's literally like a different world! (I wasn't aware that I had any more sense of community left until today) I've been loosely affiliated with The Waldorf since about 97 or 98.

In May 98, I was hired to care for some Waldorf students while the parents learned the Lazure (sic) technique of painting/decorating. I admit, I was a little jealous! While I had the children at the community pool, reams of parents and staff  were literally painting the walls of the school. But not just any paint. The school's walls look like the sky at sunset. It's so incredibly beautiful. So the minute Becky and I entered the fair today and I saw the lobby walls, I was reminded of the part I played at Waldorf. But what surprised me even more was, it seemed like I knew everybody and everybody knew me, like a huge reunion.

. Now I can't remain in Baltimore just because I had this experience today, but it's a little reminder that: in select situations I really thrive especially when  I'm" in my element." (you need a car to work at Waldorf) From the moment I set foot in a Waldorf school 10 years ago, I've been encouraging parents to take the tour and consider sending their kids there.

  It's all about "energy" I say. And Balto. in general has a toxic energy which fuels me to feel desperate to get out. Have you every noticed that different communities have different energies? Different schools have different energies. In many public schools the children are seemingly  "whipped" into submission, whereas in other schools the kids are just thriving!

You may remember from an earlier blog post  that I was a substitute teacher in a Waldorf inspired home school in 2002. There is a positivity in some of the private schools that i have found to  be very difficult to find in many public schools and daycare centers. 

As I continue my search for the right town and a healthy place to live, perhaps I'll try to live in the vicinity of a Waldorf School.

Check it out sometime, I think it's:

or you could just google "waldorf school"