Saturday, June 30, 2012

MS 13 - The Worlds Most Dangerous Gang

Hunger in America 2012

There were more than 100 people in front of me in line at the soup kitchen the other day. Because of my inability to stand for long, I left and went home.............................

"My approach to your "broken leg"

In the last year or so I have begun to take a completely different approach to my interactions with people who have just injured themselves.  They are, for example, in a, cast, crutches, sling whatever.  I will talk to you for a half hour, and you just want to tell me all about your injury., but I never bother to ask you why you are in this condition.

Why?  Because people like myself with largely invisible disabilities, like arthritis, lyme, fibromyalgia and nerve damage am in excruciating 24/7 pain and you never ask ME about it because i have no obvious "bandage"

If you just injured one body part, and in a month you will be all better-then you have absolutely no idea how we suffer and I'm sure you won't ask, either.

Friday, June 29, 2012

"Free Hugs"

So, I'm in the grocery store and an elderly man is walking past me and is wearing a :

"Free Hugs" t-shirt.  (It looks extremely worn, perhaps from the abundance of hugs?!)

Me-"The last guy I saw wearing that shirt forgot he had it on when I approached him with my hug!"

Him-Embracing me with a hug said "You have truly blessed my day!"

Me-"Well, the feeling is mutual!"

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Documentary: No sleep for a week

Ironically, when I was looking thru you tube for other people who survive long term with no sleep, I found this video by a boy who goes to my alma mater. Difference is he made a choice. I've been like this since I was 12; and am sometimes awake for a month at a time.

Monday, June 25, 2012

"More, on the birthday experiment"

I called taco bell to let them know I'd be coming over for the birthday combo dinner.  The employee said that "our branch doesn't do that"

Needless, to say, i called back 2 hours later and talked to the manager.

"Sure, Elana, just come on in and we'll let you hooked up!  I came in for dinner, she threw in a pie for good measure!

I called Carvel* ice cream about their birthday promotion.  I placed my order on line but could not find a way to print it out.  When I called I told Jamie that and she said:  "No worries Elana, my birthday is just a few days after yours, so come in and tell them that your scoop can be put on Jamie's coupon"

(When I got there there they said:  "What it doesn't say on the website is that we give just one child size scoop!"

I replied:  Even for adults?

"Even for adults!"

(I'll bet that had Jamie been there I would have gotten a sundae!)

That same day I showed up at Denny's for the free grand slam.  I knew that coffee isn't officially included, and of course I am penniless.

I kind of play dumb and ask my waitress if coffee is included.

"Are you an aarp member!?"

"Sorry, I can clearly see that you are not over 55!"

"I'm afraid coffee is not included, she said.

So my grand slam comes out, and there is one less sausage link and one less bacon strip then the menu stated.  The person who brought the meal out was a manager but i idn't know it.  I mentioned the diff. between what the menue said and what comes out.  She said "No, I'm sure the menu didn't say that"

So, I went to the front of the restaurant and looked at the menu.  Indeed i was right.

I'll give the manager this, she was super super sweet, and brought me out the 2nd strip, even tho' she thought I was wroung.  I showed her on the menu and she said, My master menu says something different!

She said:  "I heard you wanted coffee so we're just going to give that to you!"

Figuring that some places will honor your birthday with a 24 hour window on each side-I continued my research..........The Radisson no longer does free birthday dinner................................

Panera does but not the one in my town.........

Anywho, this has been quite an interesting adventure.  Now you know what to search for on the internet when your birthday gets here.

I forgot to mention, my waitress at Denny's turned 21 , 2 days before I had my b'day..........so I had her tell me all about it.  She said she got so drunk that she doesn't even know which club her and her friends were at!

;)

Saturday, June 23, 2012

America - I Need You

"Hi! I'm the birthday girl!"

I stopped being excited about birthdays around the age of 30-but, like I said, when I learned about companies that give you free crap for your birthday, I had to research it on the internet.

It looks like Ihop does free crap for your birthday, so I called them to find out the criteria.  I'd have to enroll over the internet, wait for them to mail me something, blah blah.

So I called up Evan* the manager and told him that by the time I wait for the thing in the mail my birthday will have passed.  He said "Just come on in and we'll take care of you" 

"I'll bring proof"  I said.

Evan-"Oh that's not necessary!  I believe you!"  (Now, here my friends is the difference in behavior between big city folks and small town folks!)

So I show up today, penniliess and announce:

"HI I'M THE BIRTHDAY GIRL!"

He explained that if I order anything over 7$ then I'l have to pay the diff.  I said, well, since I'm penniless, I won't go over.

I got  a delicious stack of blueberry pancakes but I couldn't get anything to drink because it would have sent me over the dollar amount...........

The movie theatrie no longer does free movies for your birthday, just popcorn.  When the girl told me that I said:

"Geez, cutbacks affect every level of society, even birthdays!"

Friday, June 22, 2012

Bachman-Turner Overdrive - Takin' Care of Business (Live)

Steely Dan - Reelin in the Years ('73)

Well, now I'm 49, and I reckon I'm also "reelin' in the years!"

"Life Expectancy"

For me, this is hardly news; but interesting nonetheless.  In U.S.A. today in a commentary on life expectancy Julianne Malveaux states:  "In Baltimore for example life expectancy for the wealthy is 83, but for the poor is 63"

What can I say?  I've been hyper-aware of inequity since 94............

"Birthday freebies"

I asked at Big Bucks today.

"How do I redeem my free birthday coffee?"

"You'd have to get a Starbucks card, put $5.00 on it, and then register it at the internet!"

"How ironic that I need 5 dollars to redeem a so called free drink"  (i'm dissapointed but this is how the entire society works.  I do not have any money at all)

About an hour and a half later an acquaintance came in, who I have never felt much of a connection with.

She asked me how things were and I said rough as usual.

She asked: (and has never asked before)  "Do you have enough money to buy a drink?

Me-"No, I do not"

Her-"You take this $5.00!"

I relayed the birthday story and the synchronicity of her giving me money for a birthday drink.  We agreed that there is alot of synchronicity everyday.  So, Starbucks is not going to mail me the coupon in time to redeem for the birthday, so I went ahead and bought my iced coffee today.  Too Much, ain't it?

"Overheard"

I overheard this today in front of the grocery store.

Panhandler to his friend:  "I'm meeting lots of great folks, $1.00 at a time!"

Thursday, June 21, 2012

"Talk of the Nation"

I caught the last 15 minutes of Talk of the Nation on NPR today.  They were talking about life in Supermax.  I've been researching the subject of solitary confinement for 7 years now and this story covers that subject.  The effects both physically and mentally of persons who live in solitary confinement.  This was a fascinating presentation on how America handles for better or for worse, it's criminals.  Please check it out.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Rocky Raccoon - Beatles - Music Video

"I didn't write that"

My blog was tampered with, but I don't know how many times.  If you read a post, especially if it's more than a year old and you think, "that doesn't look like something elana would say" likely it's because the blog was tampered with.  I just found an example of that today, when i was re-reading a 2010 post.

Anywho, I have limited time on internet here at the libraries-and it will take a long long time to fix what has been tampered with.

Keep coming back.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Aretha Franklin - Rock Steady (Parker Remix)

Soul Train Line Dance YOU SHOULD BE DANCING by Bee Gees.flv

"Don't abuse use of the emergency rooms"

As I was telling you recently, about 10 or 15 years ago when I learned that America's e.r.'s are being vastly overused by the poor and uninsured, I did every thing in my power to stay out.  The result for many years was that I got stuck with ghetto clinics that were so poorly run that I was better off without a primary care physician it seemed.

Despite the fact that I've aggressively sought a pcp who takes medicare and will work with a patient who is in chronic pain; my search turned up nothing.  No doctors in Mountain Town will touch me.

However some specialists and some urgent care clinics take medicare.

So, I just received the claims received by Medicare for the period of 1/13 to 5/13.  Not all of the claimes have been recieved.  When they are, likely it will total about 8k or 8,000 dollars spent on me.

The official amt. at this point, that I've been sent a copy of is just over 5 thousand for that period.  Mind you, this is without the routine health care that I need.  This is just e.r., urgent care, and a 2 night hospital stay.

Chances are if I did have routine health care Medicare wouldn't have had to pay out so much...........

Monday, June 18, 2012

"It's a small world after all"

I reckon since I've lived in Mountain Town, I have met about 10 folks from the Baltimore region.  However, today, I met a homeless Vietnam Vet. who still owns a trailer, on a horse farm, on the same exact road I lived on in Hampstead.  Black rock road.  So, he lived maybe 1/2 mile away from me.....

On his second day in Mountain Town, a town some mistakenly think is as safe as Mayberry, he was robbed at gunpoint by 2 masked men at the supermarket in broad daylight!

There is NO SUCH THING as a safe neighborhood, folks.

"The Dumbing down of America"

Like I said, EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING IS A GRUELING STRUGGLE.  A good part of that is because the society has  completely broken down. 

I can't seem to buy even one item anywhere, without there being some kind of mix up, or overcharge, or something.  It's just as bad in Mountain Town as it was in Baltimore.

So, I know from past experience that Shawntelle* is a real stupid young woman from my prior interactions with her.

She's in the diner alone, and I attempt to buy a pack of gum from her.

Me-How much is this gum?

Her-I don't know.

Me-Well can't you find out?!

Her-Well, I guess its a dollar and a 1/2 because that's how much the candy is.

Me-Can't you find someone in the back to ask?

Her I guess so.

She goes to the back, some guy  comes up front.  he says he thinks it's a buck.

Me-Is there tax?

Her-I don't know

Me-Are you going to sell me this gum?

Her-I don't know

Me-ok, here is a buck ten, are you going to let me have the gum?

HER I GUESS SO!


OMG PEOPLE!  EXACTLY HOW LOW HAVING HIRING STANDARDS BEEN LOWERED?!  I SEE PEOPLE LIKE HER IN MANAGERIAL POSITIONS EVERY DAY!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Friday, June 15, 2012

"The health care situation is abonable"(sic)

Michael Moore, I need you!  (movie-sicko)  In the 14 months I have been here it has been a health care merry go round.  I was always under the impression that Medicare was excellent health insurance.  Yet, practically nobody in Mountain Town accepts it.  Couple it with fibromyalgia/chronic pain and nobody will touch you.

So, I have used the e.r., and urgent care clinics in a revolving door sort of way.  Actually I only used e.r. 2x because i learned years ago what a burden it puts on the system when standard uninsured over use the e.r.  So I use the urgent care, but again, only in urgent situations. 

These diseases are excruciating pain that never goes away.  The only people in town I know that get pain medication are lying about their situation.  Some lie and get the medical marijuana.  We live in a society that rewards lying and penalizes honesty.

I can in theory go hours away for my health care............everything in this broken society, everything is such a grueling struggle.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

"A Pattern of Warnings/A Pattern of Death"

This article appeared in the Arizona Republic.  by Karina Bland.  I have found in the past few years that America's definition of domestic violence is very narrow and leaves many women out of being able to get help.

Here are the notes I took on the article. 

Perp. "destroys your belongings" (perpetrator)

There were 101 domestic violence deaths in Arizona in 2011.  (this shocked even me)

If she tries to resist the violence will escalate.

"intimate partner terrorism"

"coercive control" is long term

here is a test women can take.  http://www.dangerassessment.org/

Wow.  There is so much for me to say about this article.  But I cannot.  At least not yet.

"Really Exciting!"

The good news is that I finally found all of your comments!  But not even the librarian here knows how i can post your comments to my site.

The bad news is that, indeed, if you see a lull in my posts, it usually means that things are so horrible that i cannot relay electronically what is going on.  I mean it's always been true that for as interesting as you find what i am telling you, there is so much more nightmare stuff that would shock you that I CAN publish in a hard copy book but i CAN'T publish out here.

Blogger just changed their format and i so much want to publish all of your comments. Most of u want the best for me.

Johnnie / Bernie, HI!  Would you like to be on the team of people that help get my entire story out there!  The stuff in the journals that i can't put on this blog?  I live to publish.  I don't care whether or not I'm the one that gets it told, as long as it gets told by the right person!  And from my perspective!

The day to day circumstances are largely dismal with the only real breaks being that I am doing alot of dancing and singing...............................For the most part I have figured out how to live in the moment when it comes to the joyful stuff.

And yesterday, I saw the Grand Canyon for the first time.  Personally, I believe (and Jennifer the bus driver agress with me) that Mountain Town's sunsets are far more spectacular then the Grand Canyon sunsets!

More later my fans.  I can feel how much you care for me even though I have not met most of you!

Monday, June 11, 2012

romper room

I waited for years for her to say elana, and she never did!

Electric Company intro 1971

Top 4 Songs That Made Sesame Street

Thursday, June 7, 2012

School's Out - Alice Cooper (w/lyrics)

"Today is the last day of high school"

The kids that have cars painted celebratory messages on them.;they are honking their horns, yelling and having a good time.

On my last day of high school, I asked Steve to ride around with me and we ended up being a couple for 2 years..............................

I'm going to post the "schools out" video again!

"A Culture of Sharing"

I just offered a wealthy, travelling, elderly couple to share my table, at this always crowded cafe.  I told them, that at this cafe, there is a culture of sharing tables.  (But I suspect that I'm the one that started it)  Boy was I surprised to learn that the wife felt that her sandwich was not worth the price.   I told her that this sandwich used to be a Dagwood sandwich, and lately is not as good.  I asked her:  "Would you be willing to file a complaint?"  She said yes.  We all got the same thing, and even tho' I asked the clerk to make sure not to skimp on the tempeh; the sandwich was not worth the price and they did indeed skimp on the tempeh.

I was also shocked to learn, that from her perspective the grocery store prices were outrageous!  I told her what I had learned about the extremely high cost of living here; and that it was officially listed on a website, as a very tough town to make a go of it!

We shared stories, but we never shared names.  I hope this culture of sharing tables takes off.  The author, Sark , loves to share her restaurant table with strangers too!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

"Positive Thinking is bringing America down"

I am re-reading Barbara Ehrenreich's book "Brightsided" where she argues that positive thinking hasbeen America's downfall.

Here are her exact words

"Once our basic material needs are met, in my utopia anyway, life becomes a perpetual celebration in which everyone has a talent to contribute.  But we cannot levitate ourselves into that blessed condition by wishing it.

We need to brace ourselves for a struggle against terrifying obstacles, both of our own making and imposed by the natural world.  The first step is to recover from the mass delusion that is positve thinking"

"Yesterday was neato/little black spot"

Yesterday, every where you went were groups or individuals carrying the little special "sun" glasses!  Around 5:30 or so, I saw a man with the glasses.  I told him I really wanted to see the little black spot!  He lent me the glasses and I saw venus "on the sun"

I ran into my friend's workplace and encouraged her to leave her desk for 3 minutes.  She was afraid to, but I reminded her that this is her only lifetime opportunity to see "the little black spot"  she was excited as i was to see it.

Can you remember a time in your life, where the whole town was running around with the special little glasses to view planetary rarities?!

"A Gangsta' Story"

About 4 days ago, I saw a "gang" in my neighborhood.  I couldn't make out the faces, but unlike a Baltimore "gang" they were 6men ranging between the ages of 15 and 55.  They were a mix of races and ethnicities.  My heart skipped a beat.  Did they notice me?  Will they follow me?  Where are they going?

One of them yelled out my name and came walking toward me with a big hug!  Turns out to be Tavon* He's african american about 28, married to a white woman with 2 babies.  He asked me how I was and we expressed how happy we were to see each other.  We met on the bus nearly a year ago, i started talking to him because he carries a guitar with him.

Since this encounter, 2 more of his homies who have seen me since then, wave, smile and one even hugged me today.

I guess you can't "judge a book, by it's cover!"

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

There's a little black spot on the sun today

Surprisingly, I really like this techno version alot!

There's a little black spot on the sun today

"Little Black Spot"

I had heard something about this on NPR recently, perhaps a partial eclipse or something like that.  Today I was a walkin' down the street, and their was a young woman with the special glasses you use to look at the sun.  They did not cover my glasses in their entirety, so I didn't know how safe it was.  She said I'd see a little black spot on the sun, but later in the day would be even a better time to look.  I couldn't see it, but it was cool nonetheless.

(We won't mention that immediately after this random encounter, I saw a medium sized loose dog that decided to tour Mountain Town.  I thought it was going to be killed by the train somehow it knew to wait.  It appears it crossed a major highway.  This same woman was running after it, to no avail, and gave up.  I called the police hoping it wouldn't get killed-but kept my name as anonymous)

Monday, June 4, 2012

"Gawk and Walk!"

What I have largely observed in the 20th century, is that, men don't ask women out, they:

GAWK AND WALK!

Sacramento Tent City---Homeless Very Protective---May 8 2011

One of the reasons I did not video record my nearly 2 decades of being in and out of homelessness is out of fear that I'd be threatened, like this videotaper was.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Helen Reddy-- angie baby

Wow, Melbourne! That's where I lived for 9 months.....

Friday, June 1, 2012

Lee Ann Womack - I Hope You Dance

"I hope you dance"

I will NEVER pass up a chance to dance.  Yesterday, I happened upon a free polka concert.  The organizer tried to organize a bunch of people willing to do the chicken dance.  I still recall seeing it on the Flintstones.  No males wanted to partake.

There were 2 other songs I danced to, for the most part, few were willing to dance.  I was the only adult willing to dance the Hava Nagilah.  (I'm sure if it were Baltimore or N.Y.C. there would be plenty of Jewish folks willing to dance the H.N.) There were already about 5 preschoolers free style dancing on the stage.  I had them form a circle, and then I improvised what I could recall from the Hava Nagilah.

Would you like to dance?  ;)