Monthly Archives: May 2017

The Girls’ Provocation Continues


The Girls’ Provocation Continues (Randyjw; May 31, 2017)


Do you like soap operas? Serial drama? I never much cared for it. I once worked out of a lady’s home for her business, handcrafting marbleized and stenciled pencils, coasters, placemats and clipboards. It was a great job, and I worked there around school schedules, etc., including breaks. She loved “Days of Our Lives” and would stop work at that time, feed me some lettuce and carrots, perhaps some cottage cheese, and we’d watch the show. True, it was addictive if you tune in all the time, but it never became a habit for me to break.


I know other people who are fans of the show, and not much on the show had really changed in the decades since I’d first viewed it. My mother eventually became addicted to the show. And do you remember the friend I had told you about who wouldn’t give me back my job at the print shop? I had gotten her a job with this lady, as well, and it wasn’t much later that she began to badmouth me and complain about me, and I then found myself soon without a job. Everything had been fine for a loooong time, prior to her joining on. Oh, well. I used to work for her Dad’s store downtown after school, etc. Often they picked me up, but at a later point I also commuted by public transportation.




The drama is just a segue for the latest episode of: “As the Shelter Spins”.


In today’s episode, the “charger situation” had been resolved with the ingenious mattress (mat) planogram devised by the “false accusationer”, the pink-haired “K”. The girls were all present to hear the fix and to see the results in action. The mats were laid. Each had an outlet. Nirvana.


Randy stays in the lobby, where all girls are to remain for at least two hours, until the last of the girls have had their showers, and until beds are assigned (called), etc. We did “beds” earlier, though, based on this new planogram.


People began to retire a bit early to the room. There was some kind of weird tension in the air. I decided that I didn’t want to be the only one caught in the lobby on some weird condition I wasn’t aware of, so I went into the room. I made up my bed with my own coverlet (it’s like a duvet cover, with a top and bottom sewn together; it actually was a comforter cover with the batting removed) and my makeshift pillow (I have a pillow with me, but don’t use it here), which is a towel-covered duffel bag filled with odds and ends. All good.


I go back to the lobby, not yet ready for sleep, and when I return, I find that somebody has taken my outlet spot, and the cable cord extends past the girl beside me to the next person. The girl next to me this evening is the one with cancer, who has been using my phone, anyway, so I don’t think it’s her phone and I can’t imagine that she would want all my charge to be depleted. But, she also let me fall to the wolves without even intervening to mention my assistance and to say, “Hey; comeon…. You’re picking apart a nice person, who goes out of their way to help others… Would you lay off the poor girl?” But, no… She might have one outlet, but I can’t imagine she’d be the culprit for the second.


Now I’m tired. I would like to lie down on my mat like all the rest of these “b’s” are doing with their phones, but they clearly are making a provocation against me by doing this. So, I’m being forced to stay up in the lobby to get my phone charged (and to write this post). And if I say anything, I’ll be banned from “the vicinity” and the shelter. Alot of them are ex-jailbirds. G-d, what “h” is this…


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FYI (Randyjw; May 31, 2017)


I’ve already used up my monthly limit of 500MB of data on my free “Obamaphone” until the last week of June. I won’t be able to surf the internet, read your poetry, look for jobs in the interim. I just have a few days of service left of my previously-paid unlimited plan before it expires, so please understand I’m not ignoring you; it’s just that I no longer will have the capacity to be able to enjoy your words.


Thanks for everything.



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Bullied And Ganged-Up On At The Homeless Shelter


Bullied And Ganged-Up On At The Homeless Shelter (Randyjw; May 31, 2017)


I’ve experienced some bullying in my life: the school toughgirl knocked the wind out of me when she picked me up and hurled me against a tree, for no reason; lots of anti-Semitic incidents, some of which I’ve written about; and last night. I was in tears, begging the perpetrators to stop, but they wouldn’t. This involved not only all the girls, but the staff that sided with them. What did I do? Stuck up for myself from continually being run over like a doormat, that’s what.


Since being homeless on May 1st, 2017, I try to get into a shelter when I can, but there is not enough space to admit all who wish to lodge. Through a phone random-lottery system, or via a physical process of meeting with a group in different cities during the week who have the authority to recommend a referral, a person might receive a three-night stay.


The phone method takes higher precedence and priority — people who receive a placement this way are often first to be allowed physical entry to the facility and receive their shower number first. Secondly, the referring agency does not mean a guaranteed placement: I once had a three-night referral via this method, where I only got to stay for the first night!


The director, or whatever the man’s title is, closed the door to me and another girl during the second night of my supposed referral, and I had to sleep outside that evening. I’m pretty sure that this was also the day that I’d gotten really sick from the food at the soup kitchen, seeing the same hot dogs in the rice that had been featured at lunchtime the previous day, retching it all, etc., in the portapotties outside.


Upon return on what should have been the third eve of my “referral”, the woman in charge that evening asked where I was the previous evening. I told her what had been told to me, in that I was told that there was no room in the shelter for me that (second) evening. So, on the third evening, she classified it as a “compassion” stay, nullifying the referral agency classification. In effect, it makes me look like a “bad guy”, as if I was a “no show” on a referral. Furthermore, it makes them look like they’re then the “good guys”, by extending their “compassion” by allowing me to stay, nevertheless. When I asked her why it was being considered a “compassion” night, instead of the actual third night of my referral, she responded, “It’s like the second night never happened”. Uh-huh.


This is not the first time they’ve done some funnywork with my classification. A different time, I was denied by the lottery system, but had gotten a three-night referral through meeting with the referral group. But, the director guy (title?) had them change the paperwork to read as the phone classification, instead. When I questioned this, they were insistent that I had received approval via the phone method (when I hadn’t) and not via the referral group, who had given me the written referral slip to get in!


What’s going on? What’s with the fancy footwork in the paperwork process? Furthermore, where are all the supplies and funds going? Why had there been a constant lack of toilet paper, and locked bathrooms, forcing too many people to use too few facilities? It’s kindof wreaked havoc with my bladder.


Well, get a load of this! On that third night, which they were considering a “compassion” night to me, we had already set up our mats on the floor (yep, mats on the floor) and been given sheets (you get just one sheet and nothing else — no pillow, no blanket, etc. — and it could be children’s-sized, so it’s too small to double-over, or a fitted sheet, to the same effect), the woman in charge then told us that she was picking ten women who could stay, and the rest (about eight others, or so), would have to leave.


Needless to say, my name was not chosen amongst those who could stay. So, at about 8:00 p.m. at night, we were all tossed unceremoniously out the door, with nowhere to go. Most of the public transportation system has already sytopped service by then. What are we to do?


I felt particularly bad for one of the women who was kicked out with me who has arthritis throughout her body and who gets around with a wheeled device she places one knee upon and then pushes herself around, like a sort of scooter. She was crying outside the front door of the shelter into her phone to someone, telling that person that she had nowhere to go; I haven’t seen her since.


Last night was just repulsive. I had spoken to the girls previously on the third night to voice my displeasure that it wasn’t fair for them to continually grab the same mat spot by a wall outlet, leaving others with no means to keep an eye on and charge their phone overnight. While there are other outlets, unattended phones were apparently being stolen, and so it meant the need to physically accompany the phone to discourage its disappearance.


The same perpetrators in the same spots the past three nights had apparently been given favoritism to be allowed to claim those spots without anyone else being allowed to have a fair shot to do so, since I had never heard the call for “beds” usually given by the evening’s director, during which bunk bed spots are assigned, AFTER WHICH all others are then told to proceed to get a mat and go to the classroom. The “beds” call has been the normal policy procedure of both the director guy, and the director woman-person (title?) I’d previously mentioned. There has been no other “policy” but the “beds” call.


But, of course, when it came to me, the staff gave a new reason, deemed “policy”, which pretends that the order of bed choice was determined by the shower-order number. This was never the policy.


The girls were really rude on that third night and, rather than agree that their behavior was inconsiderate and selfish, they told me that it was I who was disrespectful. For what? Mentioning the truth? Pointing out their selfishness? The unfairness to other people? I also need to make sure to have a charge on my phone, so that I can at least try to call the phone-lottery to try for a space. I also am letting the girl going through cancer treatments use my phones to call the American Cancer Society, her foodstamp customer service, her daughter, etc. I had been even more upset about the fact that the girls kept making both of us stay in the middle, and that they had been doing that to her. She can still text with the phone someone gave her, so that still needs to take a charge.


On the following night, my fourth night without a charger spot, because they hogged the same spots again, I complained again. They all ganged up against me and started lying about me. One said I laughed when I got my way. One of the girls, who might’ve been staff that night (I’m not sure), said “suck it up”. I just thought it was unfair to let that discrimination and favoritism to continue.


The girl that said “suck it up” then accused me of being drunk. I’m not much of a drinker. No drinks, no drugs, etc. Used to smoke cigaretes, but quit when it was a monetary choice between smoking and eating. The staff was also taking everybody else’s side! At the false accusation of an abusive person, they made me take a breathalyzer! I had written two grievance reports May 30th; one for the outlet situation, which really was a case about favoritism and discrimination; the second report was an outgrowth of the first, based on the denial of my first statements, and the response of the girl (and everyone) being extremely abusive to me and the false claim. Of course, the breathalyzer was negative.


Another staff woman said that I didn’t have the right (to make my statement) and intimidate everybody else (all the girls). Me — intimidating them? No… They were intimidating me. I kept saying “stop it, stop it” on and on and on through my tears, but they wouldn’t. “H”, a homeless girl with major temper tantrums, accused me of putting on an act with my tears (no; I was being entirely group and agency bullied).


When another man in charge came to find out the “truth” and made me take a breathalyzer based on someone’s false whims, I was also threatened with being told that if he heard my name mentioned one more time, he would have me removed from “the vicinity”. Not: “the premises”, but “the vicinity”. What does that mean? To me it means he’d take out a restraining order against me to make sure I was nowhere in the distance allowed. Wow. So extreme for my trying to stick up for democracy, and fairness, in the system.


Afterwards, the staff told the other girls the results of my breathalyzer (uh, wait a sec… I appreciate that she did, but isn’t that a violation of my medical and privacy rights? I believe it is!) Then, I believe one of the perpetrators may have recorded a portion of the incidents. Again, we’re in a homeless shelter, which is supposed to have some safeguards and protections. And, exactly where were they in my case? If she recorded me without my consent, which she did not have, she really violated my rights. Afterwards, she had someone take a picture of her on her mat against the wall, with a smarmy smile.


After the girls were told the results, they continued to gripe and make accusations. One, “K”, said then I must be on drugs. I said I’d be wiling to take a blood test. They kept being really mean to me, throughout. One of the girls, “H”, with severe issues, had just thrown a hissyfit temper tantrum fairly recently over the same issue, until she got her way. She was one of the worst attackers. She made an attack on my age, saying that a 60-year old shouldn’t be acting like a child. I said I wasn’t 60. She then said “seventy”. I’m not seventy, either. Age discrimination, anyone?


They made “H” move. I was then accused of having laughed at that point, when I got my way, and reported to the front desk, over and over, which I was refuting because I’d walked up and heard the false further accusation, which never happened. The woman must have tried to promote this lie more than a half-dozen times.


Tonight, the next night in the saga, the girl, “K”, who I had written a grievance report about regarding the false alcohol accusation, had come up with a different way of laying the mats, in order that more people can share them — just as it should be.


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A Prayer Answered


A Prayer Answered (Randyjw; May 30, 2017)


I feel very forsaken and forgotten, alone and lonely, in this latest episode of my life’s journey. But, I know that my prayers, both large and small, have been answered.


One, that I’ve gotten to know the real meaning of love, and to have experienced its expression.


Two, some of the smaller, day-to-day acts of kindness that are also a part of its expression.


I have a sore and hoarse throat and cold, queasiness, and a general, overall fatigue with under-the-weather feelings which accompany this type of sickness. But, it has kindof settled, extremely heavily, in my lungs and chest. I felt that being left outside in the elements in this condition was almost akin to a death knell for me. But, that didn’t happen.


Instead, I was allowed a reprieve and a sheltered stay, later on this evening and for a couple of days further in a shelter. I haven’t always been outside this entire time — hence the sometime electricity to charge my phone(s) and continue these posts.


I also take advantage of the services of an extremely helpful soup kitchen, which provides services beyond a daily meal, which is generous beyond imagining. They help people obtain documents which may have been lost during a homeless person’s odyssey, such as a birth certificate, the costs of which are being absorbed and privately funded; being a central meeting place for external services, such as the people who come by to provide the free phones. I’ve also met with someone (all volunteers) who processed my application for food stamps and Medicaid. I’d thought I could now get Medicaid due to my work accident and recent disabling condition, but the food-stamp people apparently don’t consider it enough of a disability to keep me out of the work force completely, and so have denied me the Medicaid portion of the application, for which all this time I was kindof counting on as my panacea to take care of my tumor.


Meanwhile, I had been to a doctor’s office to which the front desk workers told me the doctor will do pro bono work, but under the aegis of the Health Department, to which they’d verbally referred me. I had gone there, but they had given me a list of documents needed so lengthy, difficult to procure, and cumbersome, that I couldn’t really follow-through, at the time. Like, a birth certificate, etc. Now, through the soup kitchen, I can get my birth certificate.


But, now that it seemed I could possibly qualify for Medicaid since my recent disabling incident, I was kindof counting on that. I had filled out the application, and only needed to copy the documents to send, but extenuating factors kept intervening. I got sick or had other body-based issues; costs were mounting but financial resources were being depleted… it kept being one thing after another to prevent me from sending it off.


But, the volunteer at the soup kitchen who did my foodstamp application was filling-in for another person, who normally does them and is out with an injury. She is a liaison for a medical hospital group and signs people up for their services. I did that. I’m not sure exactly what it is, and I did briefly see that I’d still be liable for any and all medical bills incurred, but later someone mentioned that it’s on a sliding scale, so you pay according to income and those without income wouldn’t need to pay. That doesn’t make me feel good, especially since I also briefly read in the flurry of paperwork, that I couldn’t be the recipient of care from the medical agency that, apparently, does provide free services. I’d rather receive services that are provided and meant to be free of charge, rather than wrack myself up in financial debt, even if it is absolved. Gosh. But, this is what transpired, and what’s done is done. It will take several weeks to go into effect, I’ve heard. Meanwhile, my tumor seems to have spread and grown, kindof going inward. I do need to have something done about it and I kindof don’t feel well…


When I made the phone calls to the American Cancer Society under their Road to Recovery program for the ride for the homeless cancer patient, I mentioned my own tumor and asked about clinical trials that might be ongoing in the area. They said they need a specific diagnosis, and that they really didn’t have a way to go through all the individual trials, since there could be “a thousand”. I recall having read about the specifics of all different trials when I was doing my own “research” on cancer, years ago. I think it was the National Institutes of Health, but I can’t recall. I have relatively little left of my belongings, including intellectual work/research, due to my homeless state. This photo was work I had to let go of, because I couldn’t carry it with me:

I was a bit dismayed at the lack of cohesion and professionalism I found at ACS. Several specialists thanked me for giving the requisite four-day notice; then, it seemed the request hadn’t been processed; then, they said they hadn’t had enough time to alert any volunteers over the Memorial Day weekend. They did say they would issue a special pickup by cab for the girl, in the end, and that was nice, but it did take an inordinate number of calls to follow-through to make sure this all would happen.


I wrote an email to the Trump team to see if they could assist in getting much-needed supplies, like towels and toiletries, to the shelter. They have a shortage. I presently use my own towel and sheet to alleviate the shortage, but they lock bathrooms, which are often toilet-paper-free, anyways; cut dishtowels in halves or quarters; and I recently overheard someone saying they could crack the hotel-sized bars of soap in half and give us just the half (I have plentiful of my own toiletry items with me). I took a photo! Look:

I went to my outdoor sitting/sleeping spot to catch a few winks while awaiting my entry-time later to the shelter (they kick people out during the daytime) and fell asleep on my coverlet. I distinctly felt that, at one point, I’d just been hugged, as the sunshine warmed my face and tried to dry my nasal cold.


When I woke up, I found that someone had come by and placed these bottles of water next to me. Just earlier, I had been lamenting the fact that I often forget to fill my water thermos when I have the opportunity to do so, just like I had forgotten to do so earlier. So, I wished that I had had some water! And, look!

I hope you’ll forgive my distractedness and forgetfulness. I have a constant lack of sleep and my focus is a million places at once.


My battery on this phone is now at 2%, so I must go, now. Take care, be well, and shalom!


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Form And Function

Form And Function (Randyjw; May 29, 2017)


Found this video. It’s nice, but it doesn’t say words that I would… It gives a different impression, so just ignore that…



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The Dolphin Play

The Dolphin Play (Randyjw; May 29, 2017)


The sea was a keeper of secrets

great things that fell into the vast abyss

taking root along the stretch of coral reefs built

to support an odyssey of an underwater ecosystem

whether the chambered nautilus in its brown and white gown

or the built-up nachre of the mother-of-pearl shell

men who plied these waters all had their tales to tell

The scalloped oyster and its rounded pearl within

or the giant squid and its purple-black ink

from which were written the songs of the pirate’s den

and of those who drowned

in the words of the siren’s song and the depths of the love told therein

The dolphin mate paired with a friend

to somersault in the water and leap in a rhythm designed just by them

dappled sun on their backs and the green bed of the tides

following the main sail’s shadowing mast as their guide


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May 28 2017


May 28, 2017 (Randyjw)


I  was stuck in a torrential downpour again; it leaked into my suitcase without me realizing it, and now some of my clothes have become a bit moldy. They’re drying in the sun, and then I’ll handwash them, when I can sneak around and get to do it, somewhere. Unbelievable.


Got a free “Obamaphone”; that will help when the service on my paid phone expires, since I cannot afford another month. The rest of my other things will probably be gotten rid of, too. Oh, well.


I did help another girl with cancer by using my phone to help try to get transportation for her to be able to go to her chemo and follow-up appointments; I hope it works out for her. I knew about the service by having looked into it previously for a friend diagnosed with breast cancer.


Though I may be at a low time in my life, I can still try to do nice things for people, regardless how others might view me or my situation.


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