Friday, May 27, 2016

The Leap

I knew it wasn't going to be terribly easy.

I figured I'd done it before, always landing on my feet.

This time I had doubts. I knew the economy is not the same as the last times I've taken leaps.  I knew it was risky.

Because sometimes when you take a leap of faith, you land somewhere special.

Other times, you go splat.  

I'm beginning to worry this is a splat.

I've been here 10 days, and have zero prospects.  It's not that there aren't places available, it's that the rent is out of reach for me without section 8, and there aren't places available that accept section 8.

I widened my search, even though I know the odds are slim that I'd be able to port into Los Angeles County, when my paperwork is in transition in Long Beach.  And once I port to Long Beach, I'd have to wait a year to go to LA.  

Long Beach is giving me until September 28th to find an apartment.

You read that right.   September 28th. That's how tight things are here for section 8.

Today I was looking at places that are over an hour away... out in the far reaches of LA county, just hoping that one of the listings was still open.   Out in the far reaches there are a number of 55+ communities similar to the one I left in Santa Fe.  I'd decided I could go for that... and that the medical and being in CA was more important than the beach.

So far no one has a vacancy.

DeeAnne has already put me up for longer than I expected, and I expect longer than she expected.  I'm so grateful for her providing a roof while I search, but I am more and more feeling like a burden.  And I know that's all on me, she's been nothing but warm and welcoming.

But every day I can't help but ruminate on the fact that I'm homeless.

Today I caught myself thinking about calling the old complex in Santa Fe and asking if there were a one bedroom available. Not that I think I can change my section 8 port now.  Not that it would solve anything with my health and medical, but honestly, i don't have medical care now.  I'll go in to Long Beach on Tuesday and see if there's anything that can be done there, as things are starting up for me again... a gastric event two nights ago, and intestinal symptoms when I woke up today...

But now I have three days ahead of me... the holiday weekend... where there is absolutely nothing that can be done.  I hate this feeling of helplessness.

Today I cleaned and repacked everything.  If there's a place for me to go, I'm ready to go there.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

going to my happy place.

Angel's gate from the beach. 
It was a rough morning, and even though I'd decided NOT to go to the Cabrillo Aquarium today, I ended up going there.  I needed my happy place.

I'll post more and in depth (including some of the white abalone information) but for now, just some fun photos of the animals and some of the informative signage.

Note also that there are time stamps on my photos now.  These will also help me keep track of some of my images, which now number in the thousands.

California Sea Hare noms

a pile of nudies!

Lion Nudibranchs (rahr!) aka Hooded Nudibranchs

red urchin

you know I really should have read the signage for this one...
later identified as Pandalus platyceros, the spot shrimp (see comments for more details)


there are four fish in this photo...

finally, after years of trying, I get a really good photo of a sea horse (thank you, Fuji!)

nom nom nom
just a little light fun on what's been a very heavy day.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Where I finally get to view an apartment...

I admit it.  Today STARTED wrong, and perhaps the best thing would have been to simply go back to bed until the grunion run tonight.  Instead, I made my way through my list of possible apartments again, to hear "no vacancies" and "the wait list is closed" over and over again.  But then I found a place.  It was in a suspicious location, on the edge of the neighborhood I swore I'd never live in again, but I was getting a little desperate, and decided to call.

After calling the landlord, who informed me she didn't give a damn about the Americans with Disabilities Act, she'd charge extra for service dogs if she wanted to, I arranged to see the apartment.

Once I got on the highway, I realized I'd left my landlord packet back at DeeAnne's house, but figured I could go get it if I liked the place, so continued in to Long Beach.

Once I got off the highway, I drove through Signal Hill, and down into Long Beach, where the neighborhood was shadier and shadier.  Despite the ad which stated that "parking is no problem" in the area, I had to go park on one of the side streets.  There was one parking spot available to me.  There was a newly dead cat in the grass along side of it.  I didn't want to take it as an omen.

Cinnamon and I got out of the car, and rounded the corner (where there was a grimy little corner store and a bus stop)  Where there was a woman in slippers and a black t-shirt that said "Fuck you, you need some Jesus" semi reclining on the bus stop bench drinking from a two liter soda bottle that didn't look like it contained any kind of soda I was familiar with.  After telling me how beautiful Cinnamon is, she asked me for 50 cents.  I informed her I don't carry cash, and continued up the block.

When I got to the (broken) gate to the community, I met some residents coming out.  "Do you like it here?" I asked.  They laughed "No comment"  "We can't say anything" "We wouldn't want to influence you."  I was already influenced, but willing to put that aside.

The courtyard (a grassless cement pad) and the fronts of the little cottage style apartments were flaky and dingy. It's a testament to just how desperate I felt that I went down to the open unit and looked inside.

The "kitchen" was on half of one wall, set back only a couple feet (the other half of the wall was the bath, which had a tub, toilet and pedestal sink, and absolutely no storage of any kind) There was enough room for a half cabinet on either side of the sink. Adjacent to the sink (in front of the half cabinet) was a gas line for the stove (so that if you HAD a stove in there, you'd have to reach over the burners to get to the sink) and the only place for a fridge (and it would have to be a small fridge and run on 110) was in front of the bathroom in the "main" room.  Off the main room, there were two smaller rooms with some pretty sketchy looking indoor/outdoor rugs which, because of the small size of the room, passed as area rugs.Because there were no actual closets in either room, the landlord couldn't list it as a two bedroom. In one of the tiny rooms (they were both probably about 8'x8') a bar hung across one wall, where one could, I presume, hang clothing.  The walls and the pipe were painted a dingy mustardy yellow.

On speaking with the maintenance man, I learned that the renter would decide in advance which of the two rooms was a bedroom, and at that point he'd be required to remove the door from the other room, in order for it to be a living or dining space.  Except for the new linoleum faux wood floor and the new shades on that floor waiting to be hung, the whole place was dingy and dismal.

I left feeling dingy and dismal, and wondering if this was all Long Beach had to offer me.