Sunday, February 28, 2010

"Calling the Police was a waste of time"

I showed him the item that was placed next to my bed and he said he didn't know what it was. I told him what was missing and he started on this merry go round of intimidation tactics.

"Ms. Snyder, why would anyone, pop your air mattress, or steal food, or steal underwear that's just not logical"

me-I'm not going to try to psychoanalye these people, and I'm not going to pretend to understand the way they think. all i can say is that your department told me to call if i had any more concerns, which is what i just did.

(Why isn't anybody looking at the fact that I waited 10 days to call, and I'm calling non emergency which shows that i'm not hysterical , i'm pretty clear thinking, and i'm not going to call unless i am really worried) these are the same patterns as the criminals followed at my last place.

ms. snyder "I said, don't you see it makes no sense. do you understand"

me-I don't see it your way

cop-"Cut it with the attitude. I'm not talking to you with attitude, and i expect you to show me respect. Do you see what i am trying to explain to you? Nobody breaks into people's homes to steal their food or pop their air mattress.

cop-"Look, I have a degree in psychology"

(and i have a degree in social work, but there isn't much point in saying that now is there)

So i still feel scared and he's treating me like i'm an idiot just like they did back in the city.

"Well, how did they get in?" he insisted.

I don't know, a bump key? (I probably had these conversations with cops, mayors, chief of police, t.v., newspapers 10,000 times in the 4 years I was at La Pew. Bottom line, I don't know what goes thru a criminal's mind all i cared about at La Pew was getting out, not sticking around and hoping i didn't get murdered or raped.

cop-I can assure you, nobody else in your complex has been bothered and i can assure you nobody followed you out here from baltimore city..........................

If I disagreed with him or didn't say anything he would demand that I agree with him and see it his way. All i can say is, if i have to make another call to the police district, I won't ask for that same officer.............................

The cop who took last summers report on the fireworks complaints (fireworks every night from june thru october) made me give my email address!

Most of my experiences with the cops out here have been pretty good; this is only my 2nd bad one. But it certainly wasn't a very comforting consensus.

I wasn't the only person at la pew who regularly had their food stolen............He asked me any other items. I said that well, when they take your underwear and dishes you don't notice it right away you notice it later.

He made a face that seemed to say, why would anyone take underwear or dishes? but at La Pew-every single thing I owned but journals and books were freely taken from me............................even all of the silverware and most dishes and cookware.

Looks like I'm on my own as usual..................

(I doubt this is the most coherent piece I've ever written, but I'm pretty flustered which makes it tuf to write the best pieces)

"Preparing to call the police"

So, I'm cleaning and organizing and studying everything. What's missing, what's out of place. My photo album has been moved from one end of the apt. to the other and it's on the floor by the door where I'd never put it because of the kitty litter that is on the rug, as left over remnants from the storm. I use k. litter cuz it's better for the environment in regards to removing the ice from my handicapped ramp. (It's left over from the last tenant)

So, at this point it appears my jewelry box is gone as well. Back in 02 when I was 39 I lost my entire life's accumulation if jewelery (cept 1 piece) (well it was stolen) and since then I've acquired about 100 dollars worth of jewelry. Gifts and such. So now that appears to be gone.

At La Pew, I'd have to regularly inventory every item in the apt. I'd assess it's worth and keep that in a hidden notebook. Talk about time consuming. But the way these gangs operate is that, one time they might come in and take 3 pairs of underwear and 3 of your best bowls. Another time they might take cash. Another time they'd take a knife and add more carvings to the wood of my bedroom dressers.

So, it's all about keeping me in a state of terror. They'd add more vandalism to my car almost daily. Well, if someone has indeed been in here, then my new computer is at risk as well.

I noticed yesterday that my bogus you tube videos have been removed from my facebook account. I didn't do that.

Anyhow, I'll call non emergency police after I go thru the house and get as organized as possible. Get some mental clarity. I think if all they see is chaos they are more likely to think "well the place looks like a disaster area, you probably just misplaced the item"

But as far as this animal or human part that was on my bedroom floor. Well, this should be interesting getting this analyzed. Also, there is something new on the bttom of my computer screen. It's an eyeball and next to it is a red "circle" with a line thru it. So, that's creepy too. What is it? Can you tell me? You can feel free to email me directly my email address is on my website.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

"very very very bad news"

About 3 weeks ago, I began seeing some patterns that are nearly identical to what i saw when I lived at La Pew. Food taken from my refrigerator with the wrappers left on floor, food with strange substances added to it, a med. bottle with a strange substance on the outside of it, my bag of recyclables scattered on the floor, my spinner (windchime) taken off the hook on the front porch and the spinner thrown to the other side.

A few days ago, my dish with nickels and dimes had no nickels and dimes in it. This evening I found an object next to my bed which I can't identify. (at la pew they'd kill rats and leave them on my floor)

This object in my bedroom is not like anything I've ever seen. Human flesh? animal intestine part? I don't know. But when the cop came by last week, she left me with her business card and report #. I kept it next to the computer where I could easily find it. It's gone as of tonight.

She said she doesn't think anybody has really been in my place but that I am traumatized from where I used to live. She said, nonetheless, she will increase patrols in the area and also interview my next door neighbor who notices most people who walk by...........................

Tomorrow, sadly, I will call non emergency police or go by the station. Last time I asked her if she could test this liquid for me and she said "this isn't csi. People think we have all this sophisticated equipment, but we don't."

Folks, it shocks me that any one any gang would want to come this far out to terrorize me again..............................will I have to leave the state cuz of this problem?

Commonly held misconceptions

I was at the Hampstead Community Fair today and this one vendor said to me "What?! You live in public housing AND have a car?"

It seemed like a round about accusation that I have somehow lied or cheated the system. I said "Do you want to tell me how I'm supposed to live in the country without a car?"

I also said "There are many many people in public housing with cars" "And believe you me there have been plenty of situations where i had to skip a meal so i could pay for some car expense or put gas in the car!"

The fair was nice, but one theme that reoccurs year after year when I got to various fairs and festivals is even if i am bartering to get into the festival, my barter work never "covers food" So I usually feel a little cheated because i see food and drinks and typicall don't have the money to get anything.

One guy today was selling slices of pizza for 2 dollars. Its a place i go to 2x a month or so so he knows me. I thought it was free because there was no sign saying it cost money. So, I said Oh, 2 dollars i can't because i don't have any money. he said o.k.

I thought he should have just donated a slice as an act of goodwill. As it stands by fair end, he had alot of pizza left, and likely threw it away or something ;(

But at the fair was my doctor, my nurse practitioner, my physical therapist and my dentist....................Isn't that interesting? and it wasn't a health fair, it was a fair showing off many local businesses.

My fave booths were

"Shiloh Pottery"


"Old Line Publishing"

good event, good event. I mean normally going out on the town means going to the local library showing of Mary Poppins, going to the town hall for pancakes, or going Christmas caroling!

Good town if you are living with your happy family and cute little children...................

Thursday, February 25, 2010

"I forgot to feel afraid"

During the blizzards (i really should post my blizzard diary) everytime I needed to walk from room to room I'd carry my set of keys! (boy, that elana is a strange one) Why?

Because the keys have my only working flashlight on them.(I have a real flashlight but i can't seem to get the batteries loaded in such a way that the flashlight will do me any good) since i don't use candles, i needed to be prepared in the event that the utilities should go out which bge said was a good likelihood.

But, I forgot to be afraid. And until 30 min. ago, I kinda "forgot" that strong winds (i hear 65 mph tonight) can shut everything off too!

So, I'm eating my dinner and the lights are flickering off and on and I go find my keys and realize I need to start carrying them from room to room with me again. even to the bathroom? yup, fraid so.


"A puppy or a preschooler"

The moment I walk in the door she vies (sic) for my attention. She whines , whimpers, and begs that I not just say hi, but cuddle her, coddle her and converse with her.

She is my new computer, my new internet connection. She doesn't want me to have a life outside of her. If she were my husband , I might consider going for marital counseling. But I love her, and I don't want to neglect her-she means well.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

"What's Your Real Age"

I took the test 4 years ago, and I was not even remotely surprised at the results. My "real age" was significantly higher then my bio age of 46. This test comes off of the site and is put together by Dr. Oz. The way they analyze the results so deeply is quite fascinating. And by the way my real age is 58!

"No Speakers Yet"

So at this point I don't know how to enjoy any of the audio benefits of my computer. For now I'll do that at the library. But for the first time ever, I have finally gotten around to checking out a website I'd like to tell you about. I only gave it a cursory glance cuz I'm eating brekkie, but you've got to see this.

One of the most life changing performances I have ever viewed I viewed while homeless in Indiana in 2004.

they came to Purdue University and put on a free show. The people are changing hundreds of thousands of peoples lives with what they do.

Please check out the site, and let me know what u think.

"I feel like I'm in combat"

Because it is literally a battle one right after the other all day every day. My tooth just fell out. Left upper rear. See a filling that has fallen out too.

I was in the coffee shop 4 days ago eating a bagel, lox, and cream cheese when suddenly I felt like I was chewing a metal bee bee. I couldn't see anything or find anything and i certainly didn't see anything foreign in the food. Well, a portion of my tooth just fell out and it is sitting on my bedroom dresser! Must be a left upper rear cuz I can't look in the mirror and see anything.

Ouch this hurts. You know most health insurance plans don't cover dental. YOu know those folks who smile and there teeth are gone or rotted or whatever? Always makes me think about social class, and how you give your income away when you smile.

Remember I told you I had to wait 6 years to get dental work. Then found out that my Westminster caseworker found funding for me to get the exam and cleaning end of November? I have to go back to her and ask again, as I need an emergency appt. and I certainly don't have the means.

Neither my Medicare nor my Medicaid cover this, although Medicare is good it is not perfect, so wish me luck and wish me painless chewing!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The last few days

so, sat. was census

sunday was the e.r.

sunday night, mon. and tues is the migraine.

and tues. day is Vocational Rehabilitation

Sunday I couldn't find the on call doctor's phone number (for my pcp)  so i called the emergency # for the neurologist.

I can tell most but not all of the symptoms here. I was so weak I couldn't walk without hanging onto walls and furniture. after getting a piece of cheese out of frig, I fell onto the frig. door. trouble breathing. plus i gave him a few more crazy symptoms.

Like feeling tingly. Like if you fall asleep you feel you probably won't wake up. So, he said if you don't have anyone who can stay at the apt. with you 24/7 then I want u in the e.r.

So they did the ekg and the blood tests and they said they couldn't find anything out of the ordinary.

Exit diagnosis? Vertigo. But I read the discharge sheet and there was some valuable information there like about ringing in the ears, and fast hearing loss (yes, i have that) and some other crazy stuff. Like the blurred vision.

But us folks with fibromyalgia "look healthy" So, nobody ever validates how sick we are. But I've kept a symptom diary for 15 years. I handed a 3 week symptom diary to my last doc. but he never took the time to read it.

I think this current Doctor is more thorough.

I think it helps if we aren't the only ones who see ourselves as sick. Doesn't everybody need to feel validated?

So, I just point blank asked a doc who I've had for 10 years. "Do you see me as seriously ill?"

He paused for a moment and he said "Yes, I do."

But I am probably more worried about getting my journals into the right hands, and more worried about publishing then longevity

. If the last 16 years of my life goes untold, that would be the real tragedy.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

"Census Testing"

I ask the librarian which room the census testing is in. As she sends me into the appropriate room she says "shhhh" to me. I ask her why she is shushing me when the testing does not begin for another 15 minutes.

I look around and I'm not sure what the protocol is. I look at the test admin. and say: "Hi, I'm Elana Snyder and I'm here for the testing"

He looks at me like I have 3 heads, and why would I make such an announcement. I ask "What am I supposed to do?"

The room is icy cold with air conditioning which concerns me. I have a heavy winter coat and hat and boots but no leg warmers or scarf to cover my face.

He said: "Sign in over there and then da da da da." I could not here the rest of the instructions.

I signed in and said now what.

He said "Well find your neighborhood on the grid"

(Boy I sure am not a natural and sounding emotionally detached. The tone he holds and in the rest of the room, is one of flatness where you ought not show your personality!"

I saw that grid and I came so close to saying "What in the hell is this?!" In fact I'm sure that's the tone one could probably here in my voice though I used no such inappropriate language. I said "I don't know what this is and I don't know how to use it" Even he had a hard time finding my "grid code"

An African American woman walks in the room to take test. She's in her 50's. I think about her probable educational disadvantage with this testing especially if she is from a Baltimore public school.

He finds me my grid # and I sit down. I still don't know what to do. I see a folder of materials with forms that look like one should only use a pencil with. We are given pens. I ask if we are aloud to start. I just barely finished when instead of saying "Is everyone finished?" He said "Put your materials in the folder and hand it in now!"

I turn my materials in. He photocopies my i.d.

He reads out loud and we are to read along. Yet, he is making up the script and not reading the paperwork directly. This is a stressor for me as we are supposed to be following along. So, I'm going more by the written words then by what he is saying.

On the preliminary form it asks if you have any federal debt. How much? What kind? Well, nobody ever mentioned I was supposed to bring my bills or my credit report along. I know I have student loan debt, but I don't know how much. I figure I'll be automatically nixed or that any monies earned as a census taker will just get eaten up by the loans.

He reads the rules:

No talking
No cheating
No reaching into your purse
No starting the test before buzzer goes off

No smoking. I giggle, it's a library. He smiles in return.

The paperwork asks if you've ever been fired: "In the last 5 years" This is ironic because has issued "me" an assignment to write on the topic of "fired" and I've been eager to do so as I know so much about it. so, I'm highly qualified to write the article, but am I highly qualified to be a census taker?" Shweww. I think aboutmy hx. No, it's been more then 5 years since I was fired. good for fed govt bad for the article!

We're given 30 min. to take the test. It's harder then I thought. I've needed glasses for 6 plus years and this test is making it very evident. I have alot of floaters which does present a big problem when I"m reading, and is presenting a problem today. I can't concentrate. I feel cold. The woman next to me says: "It's burning up in here" "You have got to be kidding. It's 20 degrees in here!" I say. I whispered to her: "You must be menopausal"

We are instructed to take the test fast. I don't know how to do anyting fast so I take my time. I only complete 15 of the 28 questions. Afterwards we are told we only need to have 10 questions correct. Boy those sure aren't real world odds, are they?

After the test he says:

"I need Elana Snyder"

"You failed to fill out these 3 items" One is about my "MILITARY PREFERENCE!" It frightens me because there is no option of N/A. He is in the military himself. I said: "I don't want to go into the military!"

The answer options provided are ambiguous. Scary! Sure hope I don't end up on the battle lines in Iraq!

I can't wait to get out of that room. A woman says to me "I'm waiting for the test scores" I reply "That's an option?" "Well, yea, she says like I'm an idiot. "It was written on the form"

I have no desire to do anyting but eat a egg and cheese croissant and a boston creme donut from dunkin donuts. And that is exactly what I did!

"I'm Lookin' Spiffy Today!"

Because I am taking the census test. This is one of the few times in my life I've been on a federal gov't interview. There was last year too. Went and took the census test for people wanting to do the temp. work. Would I have remembered that? Perhaps not. But, the results (from 2000) of going to take the test are all written up in my journal. So, that my dear is for a tad later.

For now, I must mentally prepare! Just kidding really. There's not much to be nervous about.

I'll talk to you later today!

Friday, February 19, 2010

"Adventure Divas" by Holly Norris

She says: "For me, a diva is not something that lives in the sky. It is a woman who lives on the earth. It is a woman who suffers, is a woman who dreams is a woman who wants to struggle." (Elana takes issue with this "wants to struggle")

She goes on to say: "If you ask me if I am a diva, I don't know; but I am a warrior. The main quality of the diva warrior is not to be scared of life. Not to be scared of the difficulties. Whether you have support or not, whether you have money or not, you still have a spirit."

"Internal 9-1-1"

I just heard that they are calling for another foot and a half for carroll county. I am TERRIFIED of being barricaded into my apt. again. Because 911 won't come if there's no fire. They won't just come and dig you out. Neither will the apt management team. I just don't know how to handle this!

I want to focus on other things. But you know our appts are all getting cancelled and it's insane!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Life in "Twisted Pines"

That's about how much I've written since mostly being trapped inside. I've lived in apts. and rentals for most of my life. And every time I am appalled at the way management operates.

This has been probably the most traumatic winter of my life. How ironic that I started worrying about winter in June. At that time I had no idea that there was this kind of a winter predicted. I knew Carroll County winters were rough but I could not have imagined anything this traumatic.

 I'm apalled and disgusted at what happened in my community. Since I have no t.v., internet, or telephone-I felt completely helpless. I refuse to accept this ever again from any landlord, and certainly not this one.

10 a.m. can't get out of house

10:05 a.m. called 911

so, I'm gonna show you the parts of my journal that are o.k. to put on a blog and I hope you "enjoy" You most certainly won't be bored.

With fibromyalgia (and it's 100's of symptoms) there is a crushing crushing fatigue that can leave people largely bedridden and very weak. I was always too proud to look into having a home health care aide cuz I'm so young. There were other reasons too. But after years of long periods where i can't get to the grocery store, or out of the house ,or have the strength to walk the aisles, or do dishes, or make a cup of coffee, I think it's o.k. to admit I need help. And my insurance allows that for free if i need it.

Doc put me on Gabapentin. It was a while before I knew it was Neurontin. It's for my migraines. But insurance didn't cover the second med, the one that melts on your tongue. so, I was walking like a drunk, and most of the time my eyes were so heavy I was afraid to drive. Asked my n.p. (nurse practitioner) told her I'm even more weak then usual despite how much sleep I get. she lowered the headache med. Still feel very weak.

Felt a tidbit better today,  but could barely get out to the wal mart the other day, and the clerk commented on how weak I looked. That was the day I started crying as soon as I saw snow (after the 2 blizzards were over) and I cried all the way to the docs. The patients and the secretary tried to comfort me. I described the barricade for 4 days and told them I was terrified.........................

In the last month I'm noticing gray hair galore.  I'm beginning to hear other "first time gray hair" accounts from others my age. No sweat. I'd never dye it. I earned those grays ya know? I'm 46.7 years old.


Only got out of the house for 1 hour today. First day on new med schedule. Was supposed to call and order working food stamp card but not enough minutes on cell phone. Rent went down to $93. Looks like "you get what u pay for" had to cancel a doctor's appt. today due to migraine and severe stomach pain.

They're calling for up to 48 inches (i just saw that in the  newspaper) and they are saying we might lose our power. They're telling us to stock up on food and make an emergency kit. Isn't it a little bit late for that? Stay off the roads!   Stock up on food that doesn't require any cooking. Have enough drinking water for 3 days. (I didn't know you lose your water too?) so, I've got PLENTY to be scared about with living alone. They are saying we should expect to be trapped for up to 72 hours. When all was said and done it was 72.5 for me.


I'm stranded inside. It's 1 p.m. and it's looking like about 4 feet of snow. I can't get out of my apt. without hip high boots. It's 3:30  p.m. snow is up to my breastbone. WHEN IS SNOW REMOVAL COMING?!   I push my screen door out about 6 inches or so but can't go any more then that. This move will end up "saving my ass" and I won't even know it.

stomach pain severe. just started on Restoril for sleep.

Can't get to mailbox there is at least 3 feet of snow. After opening my door I gave a quick smile at the irony, and the beauty, and the omg factor of it all. But I'm scared and depressed.

Why did I sleep so well? Is it because traffics been largely crippled on the main road? That does cut down on nose of course. I always sleep best when there's nothing to look forward to on that day. Been reading and reading and reading old journals. I can't let those journals die. Wish I had some spiked eggnog. Reading "Another Bullshit NIght in Suck City" by Nick Flynn. I have a great deal in common with him.............................. Just found out that 2/9 is the deadline for the article "fired" I know so much about that topic that I am handwriting a piece in my notebook. But I quickly realize that the mailbox is blocked off and I won't even get a handwritten piece in in time. I've still got a "fired" masterpiece to send them. Will send it in late.

more later my fingers hurt!


Land line is disconnected. Had 7 minutes left on my trac phone. Got to use my voice for 7 minutes today. I'm surprised "Twisted Pines" management hasn't sent anyone to clean our sidewalks.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

"The Blizzard"

I'm so eager to just transcribe the 70 pages of handwritten notes, that i wrote during the blizzard onto my blog. but, i accidentally left it at home.

In addition to my apt./front door  being barricaded for 4 days during the blizzard, i couldn't get out today until 2:30 p.m.  I  had to wait for  maintenance to come with ice picks and clear away the 7 inches of ice and snow on my "wheelchair ramp!"

the ramp was put in for the last resident.

so much to tell you im just bursting at the seams.

i recommend the book

"marry him" by lori gottlieb


"another bullshit night in suck city"

by nick flynn

Saturday, February 13, 2010

"Blizzard of 2010"

I have about 55 pages of handwritten journal entries to share with you about the storms. Carroll County got 6 feet. I got, literally, barricaded into my apt. for 4 days. I had absolutely no phone service. This definitely ranks as one of the most traumatic experiences of my life. When the library re-opens, I'll give you the blow by blow details. Plan to contact Dan Rodricks about the storm and some other stuff as well.

I sketched the view from my living room window. 10 feet high snow mountains, met by many many icicles varying in length from 2 inches to 12 inches.

I read 3 books.

I listened to 8 c.d.'s and I wrote, and I wrote, and I wrote.

Oh my God! I have so much to tell you! (can't you just hear the inflection in my voice?

And another foot this MOnday?

This my friends is global warming!

But that's for another post.

I will talk to you on Weds. when the library re-opens!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

"A Portion of my journal entry" 1/17/1996

Ran into Kevin , my acquaintance from high school. (haven't seen him in 16 years) Despite the fact that I wasn't feeling well, "Kevin" and I had a wonderful time. We took the light rail (i have no car) to Mt. Washington and went to the Desert Cafe. We also went into a clayworks exhibition and into Something Else, a really cool store where a really icy old lady clerk glared at us.

Kevin and I laughed alot and decided to go to the Hippo (a gay bar he is gay i'm not) and dance or something.

Kevin said that he and his family are really close. 

He said he has a gift of prophecy and predicting the future. He had a vision of being in a car accident and then it happened shortly thereafter.

I told him that I had this ugly feeling that I would be murdered. He started to respond , then stopped himself. I pleaded with him to tell me what was on his mind. He said that yesterday he had a vision that I had committed suicide.

Other then that creepy part of our conversation we had fun.

The last time I was at Desert Cafe was for the support group that never happened. It was 20 below zero and I fell on the ice in the church's deserted parking lot. (no car) I broke down crying that night. It was scary to think that if I had really hurt myself I could have frozen to death like eons of Chicagoans and maybe Baltimoreans. Poverty Sux!

Monday, February 1, 2010

"The $37.80 chocolate milkshake!"

Another strange day in the life of Elana. 3 weeks ago I met this terrific mom at the McDonald's play area. I proceeded to lose her phone # even though I was determined to become her friend.

She said to me, "Just remember, I'm always here on Tuesday's"

Well, since I lost her #, I have to show up every Tuesday and sit for an hour hoping she'll show. No luck.

I'm was low on funds and asked the Mc. Donald's clerk what is the cheapest milkshake you have? It's this one, for $2.80.

Well, days later I would find out that it overdrew my account by 5 cents!

And Rhonda (the mom) has not shown up.

So, it's payday and I'm supposed to receive, get this $35 dollars. Well, I didn't get a penny of it because my bank charges a $35 dollar overdraft fee!

I called the 1800 # and asked the bank operator if she would reverse the fine? "Yes, a portion of it" let me check your account for a moment" she went on to say.

"Ms. Snyder, I'm so sorry but I am not going to be able to refund any money into your account"

On this note, I hang up. No social niceties for her!

I drive the 27 miles to the bank from my old hood. The manager knows me and even came outside to see my car when I bought it 16 months ago.

He loves to shmooze. He talked about how he misses hiking and biking and bird watching. Talked about how he can't wait for Spring. Looked at my account and said:

"I see there are 2 fines against your account. I'd be more than happy to refund those"

"I know what this post Christmas time is like for people. And you've never asked me to do this for you before"

He tried to refund the 70 but was only able to refund the 35. He said he didn't know why the computer was giving him trouble. He finally realized that indeed there had only been one fine. I told him I would have really enjoyed him giving me an extra 35!

The first time I ever talked to him I swore he was single as he was so flirtatious. Strikingly handsome. And married. And with ring. And with 3 beautiful children! Isn't that Alanis Morisette who says "And then meeting his beautiful wife!"

Anyhow, I celebrated this victory by swigging down 5 coffees! Wish me luck getting to sleep tonight!