Sunday, September 24, 2006

Free Hugs Campaign

If you can watch this video without smiling, you win!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Apartments, Darlene, and Lonelygirl15

First of all, thanks to all who sent comments both here and in private emails. You all totally ROCK!

Jody and I both "knew" somehow that I would get an apartment the first day -- and it would be the first one we looked at. This all came true (even though we spent the whole day looking at the other apartments, too). In the end, they denied my application due to my income not being three times what the rent is and because of a spot on my credit record where I didn't pay a bill from the GAP. That charge was justifiably disputed (long story but trust me on this) and I learned that once you dispute a charge, they simply turn the account over to another credit company. I could continue to dispute the charges again and again or I could write to the two major credit corporations to document my side of the story. (Advice alert -- don't fall into the trap of department store credit cards!) Other than that, my credit was flawless. So Jody decided to rent out the apartment herself (on paper only) and she believes in me enough to risk being accountable for me paying the bills on time. I've said it before, and I'll say it again -- my sister is the greatest sister anyone could have. She has always been supportive of me in any way she can, and this just takes the cake. She and her husband recently bought a townhouse for their son who makes the mortgage payments, so they are his landlord -- plus they have a great investment now. They are making plans to do the same for me but they have to refinance their house first. They are talking about it happening in a year or so. A lot can happen in a year, though, so who knows what's in store for me in the long run. Either way, I am through living in ghetto dumps owned by the government. No more fire drills in the middle of the night. No more maintenance men banging on my door every few days to check something they have to check in all the apartments. No more panhandlers begging for money everytime I walk out my door. No more unwelcome neighbors panhandling at my front door. No more rats or gigantic roaches. No more fears of all the night noises. No more meals on wheels delivering to my apartment and me having to tell them which apartment they are really looking for. No more elevators! No more sirens. No more paramedics coming to the wrong door (mine). No more constant and ongoing noises from construction that never end. Ahhhhh.... I've actually had maintenance men use their keys when I didn't answer the door fast enough. It makes me paranoid just taking a shower. I've been very lucky they haven't walked in on me during a shower. Very lucky! So goodbye to all of it!

The apartment is $635 a month plus utilities, which run about $200 a month if you include cable, phone, and internet. I know I can pull this off. My savings account is bulging, so I will be able to buy the things I need for my new place. There's also a Kroger right across the street! Two different bus routes stop right in front of the apartment. No more survival mode. I will just have to cut corners on my daily spending, which I've done before and never went without anything I needed. So it's all good.

I won't get to move in for two months, though. That's the soonest the apartment will be ready. It's a ground floor apartment, which I insisted on. I could have moved into another apartment this week but it was a level up and a bit more expensive because it overlooks the pool. I chose the other apartment because I don't care about looking at the pool or climbing stairs. Who knows when my MS will flare up. So the wait is worth it. I'll have time to save even more money and build up my savings to a very comfortable level.

Needless to say, I am very excited about this move!

I know I said that I wouldn't mention Darlene anymore, but I was very angry at the time. I found peace with her decision even before Jody and I went apartment hunting. I know her well enough to know that she had an unexpected "hunch" that the move was wrong for some reason. I've gotten those hunches myself about other things but not about that move. So of course I was pissed. I also know when I get those hunches from Spirit, there's nothing I can do but follow my gut feeling even though every ounce of my being says to resist it. I know it wasn't about her son needing a room when he comes home for visits from college, although it was the final point of decision for Darlene to write that email. Do you have any idea how difficult it was for her to write that email? It was most likely one of the hardest things she's ever had to do -- and she didn't really know why. But writing that email was the best she could do in her situation, considering her other choices. Knowing Darlene, I can understand why she didn't call me instead. I haven't spoken to her but I found my own peace within. I had to find peace for my own sanity!

If she hadn't acted on her hunch, I would be making a mistake by moving in with her. That is hard to admit, but it's true. Hindsight... Also, I didn't get the same hunch, so I was driven to pack all my things and get myself in gear to move. I have talked about moving for years, but Spirit knew I would not take action unless I had one helluva good reason. Moving in with Darlene was my reason. If I had a hunch, even for a moment, that the move was a mistake, I never would have prepared to move. I would have fallen victim once again to my plight in government housing. So Darlene was as much an angel as my sister in this situation, even though she has no idea. I'm so glad she followed her gut on this. I know it was hard. I'd like to say I forgive her, but the truth is, forgiveness is irrelevant. She did what she had to do and I'm grateful for it.

On a whole other subject...

I don't know how many of you visit YouTube, but there's an interesting story that has hit the national news. A 16 year old girl who calls herself "lonelygirl15" has been video blogging for months about her life stuck in her bedroom, homeschooled, with religious and strict parents, few friends, and boyfriend troubles. She has become very popular on YouTube and her videos get as much as 700,000 hits each. I have been following her story from Day One, and last week it was revealed that she was an actress who was chosen by a production company to play the character of lonelygirl15. She is actually 19 or 20 (can't remember) and she is nothing like her character in the videos. They plan to turn it into a movie, I think. I don't know, and I don't really care one way or the other. I enjoy her videos and I will continue to stay subscribed. But the main reason I am writing about this is because of Karla. She is the true lonelygirl15. Karla's story is nearly identical. She is also 16 and homeschooled with boyfriend problems, few friends, and a religious parent. I thought of Karla every time I watched lonelygirl's videos. The similarities are uncanny and downright amazing! But Karla is not an actress. It's truly HER life!

I just had to throw that in because the rest of the world will never know that someone in this world is really leading the life that lonelygirl15 shows in her made-up character.

That's all for now. I will keep you posted on my life -- and it is very real (in case anyone was wondering). Acting is definitely not one of my talents!

I hope life is treating all of you very well!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

I Want it All

This video shows my apartment hunting adventures yesterday with my sister. I have a much more involved post coming next, but for now this video says a lot.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Betrayed AGAIN!

Darlene backed out of our moving plans. Just like that. In an email for goddsake!!!She didn't even have the balls to call me on the phone!


She made the decision without even talking to me about it. I feel DISSED and MAD AS HELL! I'm mad at myself for trusting her and buying into her BULLSHIT! There was no incident to provoke this new development. We were both on the same page, and we were communicating regularly. She KNEW I was already packed and ready to move. I got rid of a lot of my stuff, too, so I would fit into that room. I CANNOT BELIEVE THIS!!! I've been crying for two days over this -- not because of the move but how she had NO REGARD for me whatsoever! At this point I wouldn't move in with her if she PAID me! How stupid of me to trust someone who has proven again and again to be untrustworthy. She claimed to have changed and DUMMY ME believed her. I will never again fall into her CRAP! NEVER NEVER NEVER!!!!The reason she gave was because her son, who is in college in Idaho, needs the room for when he comes home to visit. But I don't even trust that reason! I don't believe anything she says anymore. Her words mean nothing. It's all empty bullshit. ALL OF IT! I feel like such a fool!

I also paid her $200 to have the room ready this month so I could move in gradually. If she would have told me over the phone (at least) and said she changed her mind and she has my money in her hand to send me, I would have a scrap of respect left for her. But Small Claims Court, here I come!

I will never EVER give her one ounce of my time or energy again. What a fucking waste of time and hope and trust. She has no idea what she just did. This is the last you'll ever hear about Darlene from me. Karla, on the other hand, will be in my life forever. She told me she was relieved in a way that I wasn't moving in because she knew her mother would eventually hurt me. Karla and Darlene may be mother and daughter, but my relationship with Karla is very healthy and something I cherish. Even though Karla is a teenager, she is WAY more trustworthy than Dalene is even capable of being. I promised Karla that if anything ever happened between me and Darlene, it would not affect our relationship one bit. And it won't.

Meanwhile, I am surrounded by more support than I realized I had. All my friends are genuinely angry about this because they know the hopes and dreams I had about this move are now shattered. I called Jodie in MN and she said to never doubt my feelings of betrayal because that's exactly what this is. She let me cry on her shoulder. Then I called my sister who also let me cry on her shoulder. She is very solution oriented and set up an appointment with an apartment finder. We're checking out apartments this Saturday and there's already quite a few lined up. I have not withdrawn my 30 days notice. Nothing at this point is hindering my move. It's time for me to leave this place. The energy here is heavy and it is wearing me down. Because I don't drive, even a simple shopping trip is a major ordeal. I feel like all I do is try to survive, and I am sick of being in survival mode all the damn time. I deserve better.

Yesterday, after reading Darlene's COLD email, I realized I had no food in the house. So I decided to walk to Publix and pick up enough food to last a few days. The minute I started shopping, I heard the song "So you had a bad day...." Then after checking out and loading my items in the pull cart, I walked out the door to see a major downpour! So I waited until it died down enough to make it to the bus station. It's about 4 blocks away. When the rain turned into a sprinkle, I walked to the station. Another downpour happened on the way, and I got soaked! My groceries were soaked. I stood and waited for the bus, but the route had changed to running less frequently. So I waited and waited until the rain stopped, then I walked the rest of the way home, 5 blocks, soaking wet. As soon as i walked in the door, the radio (which I leave on for Angel) was playing "So you had a bad day...."

My mind was so blown that I ended up going to bed and sleeping for 12 hours. I don't get it. I just don't.

I do know that everything happens for a reason, and even though I am confused about the reason, I need to cling to it regardless. I have to believe there's something better in store for me. Success is the best revenge, and I'm more determined than ever to succeed. No way is Darlene going to affect my success! No way is she ever going to affect my life!!! Good riddance to her! As Christ would say, "I never knew you." Another chapter of my life has ended, but I am not clsing the book. I may be a sensitive soul, but I am also a survivor.

I decided to write about this here because I know I have internet friends who actually CARE! Thanks to those of you who are reading this. You mean so much to me!

Monday, September 04, 2006

My Hometown

This is a video I shot today when Demetrius and I decided to walk to the store for a pack of cigs. We both are in denial about our smoking habits, and we end up buying a pack every day or so instead of buying enough to last a few days. Neither of us want to admit we smoke, and we blame each other for our smoking habits. But this video is not about smoking! I just wanted to capture our walk together through our neighborhood. I'm moving soon, so it's time to create memories of my current neighborhood in Atlanta. I've never lived anywhere as long as I have here, not even during childhood, so this really has become home to me. It will be sad to leave, but I know it will be much better where I'm going.