Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Top Old School Funk/Disco Songs. Part #1

I owned "fire" ON 45 by Ohio Players

Monday, August 30, 2010

"Life in Twisted Pines*"

One of the women who helped me move in said on that same day: "Elana, are you going to be able to stand the noise here?"

  "No" I replied. She was referring  to the excruciating vehicle noise.  I did not know that the apt. sits on a virtual highway.

There is banging all hours of the day and night coming from one of the adjoining apts.   There are people just a few yards from my bedroom window who are there off and on between 6 a.m. and 1 a.m.  that  use screaming tones in "normal" conversation.  Couple that with those little dogs that have the high pitch squeal. This one cries/barks when the owners are out.

 3 residents told the manager that it's me making the noise. So the manager threatened me with lease violation and told the residents to call the police if they hear it again!

  I thought "Wow, the manager sure does get into gear for this shit!" But in gear over the burglaries and auto vandalism? fat chance.

It's not all that different from La Pew. It's rural hell instead of urban hell. I want the hell out, but I do not have the federal voucher that is the only way I can afford "Rent in America"

Kool & The Gang - Celebration

What will it take to get you to write or check off the comment box? Do u comment on your other friend's blogs? What should I do to elicit comments?

James Brown - Good Foot / S Power / Make It Funky (ST 1973)

I can remember playing this 45 of mine over and over and dancing around the apt. I was about 10 when this came out. This'll sure take your mind off your troubles (well sort of)


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Three Dog Night - Mama told me not to come 1970

"Severe non cardiac chest pain"

I have had severe chest pain for  3 weeks.

  Doc and I determined today that it is respiratory and most likely pleurisy.  ;(

  Pleurisy is  when the lining of the lungs gets damaged or narrowed I believe.

They did a lung function test on me. The nurse said "No, not like that, you have to blow as hard as you can and for as long as you can!" She was surprised I guess that was the best I could do. We tried again. Still pretty bad. She printed out a sheet. My lungs are only operating at 73% of their function!

Then, for the first time in my life I had to receive a breathing treatment. I thought about birthmother who has been on oxygen for more then 2 decades. I thought about how neither of us have ever smoked.

And I thought about how serious a problem air pollution is in Baltimore.  Birthmother has been in Baltimore since she was 3 but spent the first 3 years of her life in NM.

They re-did the lung function test. After the treatment my lungs were operating at 93% of their capacity. She gave me an inhaler and expects the chest pain to go away.

So, that is the highlight of today's doc visit. I also have to do outpatient hospital surgery. She is having me get 2 procedures done at once so as I don't have to be subjected to anesthesia more then once.

Oyyy. Well,you know, I thought, that after I received my Medicare (in 04) that I'd get much better medical care.  And My doc (technically she is a nurse practitioner) is fantastic. 

She explained that nurse practitioners get very different training then traditional m.d.'s She said her training included a holistic, alternative approach apparently with excellent training in listening and bedside manner.

Conversely, even though Medicare has opened many, many doors for me, one really needs to shop around with these specialists until they find someone who is not condescending or abusive or just plain incompetent!

I did the Dr. Oz "real age test" (www.realage.com) or is it www.trueage.com well u can find it if you google. I tested at 59 years old. Funny thing is in my support group online for fibromyalgia, most of the girls feel a minimum of 80, so "59" ain't bad from their perspective!

Time for my nap.

"Hon you look very sick"

That's what an old lady just said to me out in front of the Wal Mart today. I said yes I am! I have something called "fibromyalgia!"

  She extended her arm wanting a handshake.   I said "you have it too?"

I decided to sit on the bench and talk with her.  

lady- "I'm bipolar and I fall all the time. I have life alert. There was the time I fell and busted my head open. There was the time I fell into a coma at home and no one found me for 3 days. I haven't had fun in 16 years. Well, not until last weekend that is when my grandson got married. Heart disease runs in my family. My nephew dropped dead at 24 at the Sunset Inn. My son in law passed of heart disease at 30!  I'm so angry at my Dr. He should have told me I'd have this cane for all my life. (She moved closer)

me- "I'm sorry but you have to move back because I'm asthmatic and I can't take the second hand smoke"

I'm (elana) learning that conversations with the majority of people diagnosed with bipolar illness, tend to go one way.

I found it interesting (because I think of the issue alot) that she said she hadn't had fun in 16 yrs. I said "But you just told me you go on outings with your girlfriends" She said I do, but fun. Oh, I used to win contests with Jitterbug. And I got to dance at my grandson's wedding.

I told her that the last time I had fun was 18 months ago when I went disco dancing in Cockeysville. I told her I danced my ass of like James Brown, then I was dead for 3 weeks and could barely walk (because of the fibromyalgia!)

We've got to stay in touch she said. Can I have your #? I said I'm happy to take u out but you can't smoke when you're with me, ok?

That's a deal she said. "I'm Cassie"

Oh I said, that's easy to remember "mama cass"

She said you got it that's what they call me "mama cass!"

"English is his second language"

Chinese is his first language and English is his second. A customer in a bookstore asked me what I do for a living. I told him I'm unemployed but I'm writing a memoir, and I've journaled for 30 years.

So you're a journalist! he said. I thought, that is absolutely perfect; I am a journalist.

98% of my social interactions involve my interviewing the people I meet.

So, If I'm leaving nearly all social interactions knowing all about you knowing little to nothing about me,  then hell, I'm a journalist! I'm impressed that this man from China coined it for me! ;)

Bread - Guitar Man (1972)


The O'Jays perform "For The Love of Money" on Soul Train

If there were "discoteques" still playing this kind of music, and I were well and strong enough, I'd go every weekend. I had this "45" as a child and played it nearly as much as "dancing machine"

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Life At Twisted Pines

Right around the time that I was beginning to feel I could let my guard down was when the break ins to my apt. car and mailbox started up. I have incurred thousands of dollars in loss and damage if you include the vandalism to my car, since the 3rd week of Jan. 2010.

Early this morning before the sun came up a suspect was apprehended and turned over into the hands of the police.

I don't know the name of the suspect nor at this time will I be given the option to press charges. Nonetheless, it is a step forward. Few drs or professionals or cops believed me but now theyp retty much have to believe me.

I have no desire to be in MD after 10/1 for many reasons including the fact that I can't take the winters, so this development doesn't change my desire to get to a warm clime that's what I've needed for years.

Pleased that I have moved forward even if it's only an incremental step.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

I was a little bit "high" on Wednesday

For many people/writers this wouldn't feel like a big deal at all if it happened to them. But for me it was very exciting. Because I finally got to see my letter to the editor in an actual magazine as opposed to just a newspaper.

P. Pathways chose 6 letters to publish. They put the first letter and the last letter (mine) in very large font and double spaced it. So my letter took up 3/4 of an 8 by 11 page. Normally letters to editors are not alloted that much space, so that was exciting as well.

I have been unable to find the letters online, I had to wait and pick up a copy at my neurologists office. As I said in an earlier blog, this is the first time I've ever been published on the subject of living with chronic pain. So that was a milestone as well..................

About 50% of the time, I look back at a blog and I think "Elana, you disclosed too much" But they say that best selling non fiction books got there because the author "went deep"

There is a saying in memoir writing, "GO DEEP" "WRITE STUFF THAT MAKES YOU UNCOMFORTABLE" "PUSH THE BOUNDARIES OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE" I think it's fair to say that I pushed my boundaries a bit with this letter!

"She only went to school to take the tests"

The teachers wanted to put me in 2nd grade rather than 1st because I was pretty far ahead. My parents didn't allow it. I knew by the time I was 10 that I wanted to work with children and I was always teaching little kids. I even gave kids younger than me at Hobart Court, piano lessons.

I begged my parents to let me go to college (when I was 19) but mother said in so many words "over my dead body" I was scared to be alone with my parents when I broke the news about wanting to go to collgee, so my boyfriend was there for moral support and remembers TO THIS DAY what went down ,in great detail. He said I fell into a deep depression because my parents were forcing me to remain in my secretarial job.

But by the time i was 20 I didn't care what they thought, and I enrolled against their will and without their blessing or financial support.

At 23, (they to this day do not know this) I applied for and was awarded a full scholarship to Western MD College via essay writing as well. It was the Krista McCauliffe Scholarship. I never told them that I won it. I ended up declining it because if the stipulations involved. I had to be willing to teach for 5 years in the state of Maryland. Staying in MD (in my mind at least) for 5 years beyond college felt like a prison sentence so I turned it down.

I think Liz got into Harvard on her first essay as well, but in her case she was wise enough to take it! I don't regret not taking the scholarship because had I taken it I might not had met my wonderful ex partner Bill S who I was with for almost 6 years. Absolutely don't regreat having met him for he was the right person for me.

I do not know what Liz ended up getting her degree in. But if you go to you tube there are numerous interviews with her as an adult. I'm going to have to write to her and tell her about our commonality of obstacles in terms of having gone such long periods without being ableto meet our needs such as housing, health care and food.

I just cried and cried through this documentary. I wonder if you'll find it just as poignant. Do we cry because of what it reminds us of in our own lives? Do we cry for them? I guess it's a combination of both!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

"Homeless to Harvard" the documentary

During one of my homeless episodes in 03 I sat in the lafayette library and compiled a list of books and movies on homeless women.

I finally got to see it today. "From Homeless to Harvard" WOW! Fabulous. And it turns out that one of my fave actresses plays Liz, her name is of course Ellen Page.

I think I'm a lot like Liz. I don't know how to write to authors but I better learn, as I gotta write to her. Did you see her story on Lifetime years ago?

The only addictions I saw in my parents home (saw that is) were the t.v. and the cigarettes. That part is a little different from the way Liz grew up. I did as a child have some of my needs met. Certainly more then she did. I never went hungry and my family were never homeless.

But that opening scene in the docu. where the t.v. is the backdrop for all the fighting and chaos, now that i could relate to instantly. Because the dad drowns out everything and every one in his apt. for the t.v. show Jeopardy. In my apt. it was Price is Right. But in my home growing up the t.v. was on 24 hours a day. I was not allowed to pick the show, unless I was willing to watch alone in my bedroom.

Here's a scene in the movie that resonated with me. I always as a child and as an adult loved the written word. But my parents couldn't have cared less about reading or anything else it seemed. I remember at age 8 going to my mother and saying MOMMY MOMMY I CAN SPELL ENCYCLOPAEDIA! Uh Huh. Who cares was the general attitude I got in response. In real life Liz learned about life by studying the Encyclopaedia, and I as an only child did the same thing!

Synchronistically I found something yesterday that I didn't even remember that I had. I found my certificate that I had made the Dean's List at Catonsville Community College. Liz got great grades in school even tho' she only went to school to take the tests.

to be continued

Thursday, August 12, 2010


So, I just got back from the store, 9:30 p.m. complex nearly pitch black. it's raining. i'm walking my stuff (need to make 2 trips) to my apt. put down load one. walk to car for load 2. I hear one gunshot at the next bldg.

I sit in my car windows rolled up for 20 minutes, afraid to carry the rest of my stuff into the apt. Eventually, I make a go of it. And by the looks of this posting, I have not been shot.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

"What would you do?"`

I love this show. What would you do? The 2 episodes I watched yesterday on the internet are the following. Have you seen them?

The way the show works has some similarities to the old show "Candid Camera" (i remember as a kid i'd look around hoping i'd see candid cam. and get to be on t.v.)

So on wwyd show they t.v. crew set up very realistic scenarios things that happen in real life but with some kind of a twist.

The t.v. crew locked a bicycle to a sign in a park. The crew hire a # of actors and actresses to take part in experiments which allow us to find out how the public reacts or doesn't react to what they see.

Scenario 1 (and i admit i can't recall if any of the parkgoers threaten to call the cops or not) But in this scenario the crew have hired a young handsome black male. He pretends to "steal" a bike. But he has a hard time so he asks for help. No one will help him and one old man screams and yells and gives an angry lecture that what he is doing is morally wrong. The boy says "technicaly after property is sitting for a few days it becomes mine!" But the bottom line is people either didn't do anything or they called the cops or they gave the boy lectures.

Scenario 2 t.v. crew hires hot gorgeous blonde female with low cut tank top and short shorts to go steal the bike. She asks for help and all 4 males help her steal the bike. One goes above and beyond and even says stuff like "i guess this makes me your accomplice" a man said "is it your bike" the girl said "would that matter?" the man said NO IT WOULD NOT MATTER!

So my fave scene was when a couple (older) were bicycling by and the husband is the one that makes sure that the girl gets all the steps completed until she steals the bike. The wife threatened the husband. "No Walt, what the fuck are you doing?" Husband continues ignoring the wife and works at freeing the bike! Wife told her husband and the girl that she's going to call the cops on both of them! WOW!

So after each scenario there is a psychologist who explains the human behavior. She says every human being in America believes that black male equals criminal. They might not admit it but it is what they believe it's a deeply held stereotype."

And as you can see men are completely irrational when there is a gorgeous girl around. People believe that beauty equals goodness and all things good so they went so far as to make sure she got to steal the bike!

this is an amazing show!

In another scenario, actress / customer is older woman. She's at her pharmacy but her co pay went up and she can't afford her diabetes meds. Many help her I think one person paid off the whole rx.

But then the t.v. crew hire a young pretty "healthy looking" woman to try to buy her med, same thing the co pay has gone up. She cries I think but for the most part no one will step in and help her.

Later they interview folks and ask why didn't you help the younger one? One man said "i've seen worse life situations, she'll figure something out"

So the psychologist said that folks stepped up to the plate for an older woman who appeared like a victim, but didn't feel an attractive young woman deserves to be helped with something like that.

I'd have to say that in my experience over the last 17 yrs, the overwhelming # of people do not want to help with much of anything.

A guy "adopted" me as his sister many years ago but never told me he's a millionaire. So for years he watched me homeless and in other scenarios but never offered to help. During one of my homeless epis his relative tried to give him 100k and he said "oh no i can't accept that i'm sure i'll just misuse the funds" it never occurred to him to offer to help me, or perhaps he just had no desire too. Needless to say I have not spoken to him for many years.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Customer Dis-service

O.k. so subway is doing breakfast now or so they claim. I showed up at 7:20 a.m. and the food was out but there were no employees around. I hunted down an employee in another part of the convenience store. She said she'd see if she can find someone to help me. 4 min later she came back and told me that Subway isn't open yet.

I asked her is the one down the road is open. She said she doesn't know. I drive to the next one. it is closed.

I drive to Mc Donalds which is still teaming with flies , an issue that has been going on for at least a year.

My cashier appears to have conjunctivitis. I asked him if he does and he said "I have no idea"

I call the store after I get my food and ask for the mananger. I told her about the incident. She said "He didn't know what u were talking about" She laughed. I said he doesn't know if he has a highly contagious illness and he's serving food! She said "He got sugar in his eye" I said what? "he got sugar in his eye"


No apology, no nothing.

All in a day's work and that's just the first 45 min. of my day out!

The only other place that does brekkie is Dunkin Donuts whose food is perpetually stale. At the one nearest to me that is.

Oyyyy, time to go back to sleep

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

"Beautiful terror/ nature's streetlamps!

What a night! I left Baltimore County @8:50 p.m. I got in the car and heard the following warning. Thunderstorm watch in effect until 9:30 p.m. Storm will start in Manchester MD and work it's way south. Stay away from windows this storm may produce winds as high as 60 m.p.h.

It's not raining but the air feels like a vat of glue, just disgusting, and there's been heat lightning for at least an hour with regular flashing on and off of lights. I do not know how to turn on the inside light of my car. It hits me that the announcer said "stay away from windows" well oh shit, because i think this windshield counts as a window. My visibility is already poor because of vandalism, and generally I can't drive after dark if there's any precip.

The winds are picking up and my trip starts out with swirling leaves, and drizzling which turned into blinding rain, tree braches are hitting my car and I feel a huge thud under my car. I slow to about 10 mph and try to find my cell phone incase the worst happens.

It is both beautiful and terrifying at the same time. Because rain and leaves and light flashes it's all so pretty but the roadways are filling with debris. Whadya know my battery light has come on.

I call the agent and ask if it's safe for me to go another few miles with the light on. The car begins dragging and fighting me. I remember to turn off the defroster as it might pull juice from the battery.

I specifically ask the agent if my car might catch fire if i drive it. He said I'm not allowed to give you advice it would be against the company rules, but if you go dead then call us and we'll come out and give you a jump.

It took me 45 min to get home and all the complex lights are out all apt lights are out. I have no wrking flashlight cept the mini one on my keychain! I have one candle. I begin to worry about my food spoiling and wonder if I'll be days without power. It feels even scarier to be here on nights like this. My complex like much of America has very poor lighting . Had I not had the flashlight I wouldn't have been able to find my way to my apt door everyting is pitch black.

Power is restored by about 10:45 p.m. and I've survived yet another Carroll County storm.