Monthly Archives: February 2016

Housing the homeless ain’t that easy

For a long time, I have balked at seeking transitional housing, mainly for two reasons:  (1) There must be a thousand buildings in Baltimore City serving that function, each with its own application process, eligibility criteria and rules — not to mention desirability.  There’s no way to find “the right place” without going to each one in person. (2) I have heard too many credible horror stories of negligent house managers and conflicts with residents who abuse substances, abuse the property, and abuse each other.

Fortunately, the case manager at the clinic appears to have equipped me with the very short list of highest-rated outfits.

Last week’s City Paper cover story sets forth a microcosm of what is, in fact, the big picture:

A new program for the city’s homeless leaves them struggling amid a chaotic system of care

Continue reading Housing the homeless ain’t that easy

Hope and vision

As of March 7, I will have been homeless five years.

This morning I took first concrete steps to get myself into transitional housing.

This is essential if I’m to get job.  For some time, I’ve been living off life insurance policy proceeds, but in the near future, that money will run out.  It’s urgent that I get an income.

The shelter where I’ve been staying is extremely comfortable, perhaps too comfortable, but it has very rigid hours that make it nearly impossible to hold a job while one stays there.  Currently, having to carry my two heavy bags and backpack with me wherever I go, severely limits my ability to commute.  Transitional housing will spell having a place where I can stash my stuff, and freedom to come and go as I please.  I will, for example, be able to take a night job.

Related:  Obstacles to my prosperity

Continue reading Hope and vision

ΔFosB: The genetic addiction risk factor

I only this week became aware of this.

Wikipedia:  FOSB

The article is extremely technical, but makes clear in no uncertain terms that Delta FosB is the genetic risk factor for addiction.  All addicts have it, regardless whether the addiction is chemical or behavioral.

It also helps me understand how, without having been born with the specific genes for alcoholism, they came to be present for me in middle age; how, after decades of consuming alcohol no differently than any normal person, I abruptly became a “drunk” at about age 32.

Related: Alcoholism basics

 

The pain pills saga

The dentist prescribed ibuprofen 800s and, for me to take at night if the toothache became severe, Hydrocodon-Acetaminoph 7.5-325.  This is a narcotic.  “Pain pills.”

I have a large zipper bag with four compartments.  There is a main compartment, which I can lock; a front compartment; a left side compartment; and a right side compartment.

Every afternoon when I sit on my bunk, I empty my pockets and put my phone, debit card, and cash in the main compartment.  I take my afternoon meds, which are already in there, and lock it all back up.

Related:  Giving it all away

Continue reading The pain pills saga

It pays to be grateful.

I meant to discuss how privileged you are if you can choose your food.

An event Thursday night changed that. Sometimes you’re privileged even when you can’t.

That same guy happened to be right behind me in the dinner line. As we approached the serving window, he got all put out because they’d run out of the chicken and French fries. What we had to accept instead:

Four thick slices of hot, tender, juicy, turkey breast with gravy, and this fantastic stuffing.

And mixed vegetables.

Related: I stay at the best shelter on the East Coast
Related: Learning curve
Continue reading It pays to be grateful.

“World’s happiest man” shares his secret

A 69-year-old monk who scientists call the ‘world’s happiest man’ says the secret to being happy takes just 15 minutes per day

Another must-read.

This is actually a different approach to meditation than any I have ever used.  I may try it.

Enigmatically, happiness is no laughing matter.  Last week’s article suggested that your happiness is a key to success in life.  It is central to one’s functionality,  the ability to get things done, overcome obstacles, set wise goals and diligently pursue them.  Whether you believe in heaven or hell, wish to serve merely yourself, or instead wish to “serve” God, serve Jesus, or serve humanity — it’s essential to optimize your functionality, your effectiveness in life.

Fortunately, apparently, that can be fun!

Do I need a safe space?

“I was feeling bombarded by a lot of viewpoints that really go against my dearly and closely held beliefs.”

— Brown University junior Emma Hall

This event was no microaggression.

There was no chapel last night, so at 7:15 we had the option to go straight to bed, with or without taking a smoke break first.

Some of us stood in the smoke pit rehearsing the things we don’t like about chapel.  This one newcomer said, “The Bible’s all bullshit.  If you read that stuff and you can’t tell it’s all bullshit, you must be mentally retarded.”

Continue reading Do I need a safe space?