16 March 2023

I said to myself at about noon today, “Self, I don’t think Jennifer will make it here today.”

I was right. And I had been wondering because she may have gone to urgent care recently but she’s also still sick, so I had the feeling from break of day onward that whether I would see her in person today might be hit and miss. The feeling got stronger at lunchtime. Then I kind of just let it go because there’s nothing I can do anyway. I am a little perturbed that she didn’t even email, but if she feels like shit then she feels like shit. I just wish the organization had assigned me a different caseworker, because this one can’t keep up. Much as I really like her.

Molly from the Salvation Army sent me another apartment to look into. In Marion again.

Look, I really like Delaware, but if I can’t live here then I don’t know that I want to be this far away from the city. This latest apartment complex at least starts at $550 (and has at least one unit available at that rate, allegedly), but it’s still out in Timbuktu. Going down to Dublin to do food delivery, which I will have to do again tomorrow because my insurance is almost due, just makes me homesick. I may not have a specific place to live there but, goddamn it, Columbus is my home.

It’ll be more of a struggle if I go back. Or maybe it won’t. I really don’t know. If I’m already working when I go, that won’t be such a big deal. I definitely won’t go back unless I am relatively established in a job and doing well. I’m flaky, not stupid. Although sometimes it comes down to the same in the end.

Accordingly, I found a housecleaning company in Worthington (it is a national chain, not based there, but this is a local branch) that sends teams out in company vehicles, meaning less wear and tear on my car per dollar earned. I don’t know if I will get it. I don’t know if, by the time I’m supposed to interview, I’ll even want to get it. But this latter half of the week will be first about getting my car insurance paid and then it will be about getting interview-suit money together. Jennifer said something about Dress for Success down in the Short North or, alternatively, a Goodwill voucher, but Jennifer also said she’d be here today. I’m not counting on it, and I can’t afford to wait anymore. My “discharge” date, as it were, is probably April 10th unless they extend me. At least I won’t have to worry about not being able to keep the car fueled if I do get the job. It’s only Monday to Friday. Normal hours. Gasp.

Anyway, soon as I found their job ad I applied, and I got called not even half an hour later. Interview Wednesday. We’ll see if I chicken out again. I doubt it, not for at least four dollars more per hour and full-time.

One of my goal apartment properties that I might try to get into is still $750 a month for studios. There are a few others that aren’t too bad. If I can’t get in with a combination of maid money and delivery money, why the fuck do I bother anyway.

Today we got meatloaf, mashed potatoes, corn, Hawaiian rolls, and brownies for dinner, and the potatoes were homemade. That was amazing. I had seconds on the potatoes and am currently stuffed like a tick, and I ate hours ago. The only snag was that when I got the ketchup out of the fridge for Patty, I noticed it felt warm in there. The thermostat was shut completely off, and the control design is such that no one would have shut it off by bumping it accidentally. I was immediately reminded of the Mystery Pisser from the upstairs bathroom, and we still haven’t figured out who did that, and no one’s been pushing very hard because this is a stressful enough situation. I’m suspicious it’s the same guy. I even have an idea who it might be. We have this youngish guy who shows up for meals but doesn’t have anything to say to anyone and he… just gives off weird vibes. Not like Ken, who is just weird and gross, though if it isn’t Young Guy then Ken’s my next most likely candidate. Could not say why. Just a feeling, but of the sort a smart woman doesn’t ignore.

Theories on my Facebook include that Ken might have some sort of ostomy. It’s possible, and I hope that’s what it is or maybe a hernia, otherwise he’s being gross walking around with a boner most of the time, which seems most unlikely at his age (he’s in his sixties). But you never know. I suspect most of my animus (anima?) toward him otherwise is because he bears a vague resemblance to Matt, that whole long-haired dandruff-bearded ratty-clothed hobo thing Matt often has going on. Even has a similar build.

Anyway, I’ll try to pay attention to the stupid fridge for the next little bit. Someone is up to silly buggers, and I devoutly hope they get caught and kicked out. There’s a camera in the kitchen, and all I need is an approximate time. I will nail them. That is the lowest of the fucking low, ruining homeless people’s food. Fuck that guy.

It could be a child accident, too, though. The fridge thermostat, I mean. I sincerely doubt the piss puddle was from a kid but I suppose we’ll see, won’t we. I kind of hope the fridge thing was a kid not knowing any better, then we won’t need a lot of drama. One of the house staff told me that not too long before I moved in, it had been pretty crazy around here. I don’t want us going back to that. At least not while I’m here. I mean, I won’t know what’s going on once I leave.

I think that if I get the maid job I’ll give it about a week and then tell Molly thank you, but I don’t believe I’ll use the “rapid rehousing” after all. I want to see how I’m physically feeling first. Though if the job works out, another thing I could do is snag an extended-stay there in Worthington (I already have an idea where I’ll go) and then call the homeless hotline and see if they can hook me up with rapid rehousing in Franklin County. If it would keep me out of a shelter, and knowing I’m a veteran, I bet they’d do it. It’s worth a shot. I can manage it otherwise as long as I have a job, but I’d like to manage it faster.

I really want to get out of this survival-brain thing. I have things I want to do and I’m already far behind schedule. I will not be a maid forever, either. I need to go through a certain process to stop the bleeding, and then after that I will have more choices. One step at a time.

15 March 2023

living room at shelter

Decided to withdraw my application for that medical-facility housekeeping job. I could maybe handle the being too sore to climb up the ladder to my bunk bed at night, but the pay is simply too low. $11 an hour, if I remember correctly. Maybe $12. Definitely not even $15. I jumped on it in the first place because my brain will not stop going you need a job you need a job you need a job YOU NEED A FUCKING JOB, and that bit of my brain got really excited when the facility wanted me to come in for an interview, but I don’t know where I am going to end up and I would barely make it on that pay, if at all, if I lived right there in Marion. If I got settled in, say, Marysville instead? Forget it. The price of gas would eat up what little disposable income I might have.

Am still going back and forth with Salvation Army. Molly applied for the first apartment we looked at, and unfortunately set a precedent in my brain that I need to shake now because apparently I’m supposed to apply for all the other ones. I am not sure how I’m supposed to do that with no money, but I guess we’ll see? If nothing else, I’m already approved for that first apartment we looked at, and that’s supposedly available on the 23rd. If we find nothing by then, that’s my Holy Grail, I suppose.

Went to UDF with Patty again. I am under the impression that she made the walk by herself before I moved in here but I have to say, it is not an unpleasant walk. It’s like having a grandma around again, except she’s actually my parents’ age. I noticed that her hat had a hole in it at the crown but assumed she’d somehow wound up with a messy-bun hat: a little weird given her hair is very short, but when you’re broke you take what you can get, more often than not. So I didn’t think any more of it until she came up to me when we were back at the house and said she’d noticed I was crocheting and wanted to know if I could repair her hat. Well, I said, that’s a knit hat, not crochet, but as it happens I can knit too. So I got my DPNs out of the car and looked things over and cussed here and there and got through it. I was rusty. Something like two-thirds of my first stitches were twisted around backwards. But I got it sorted out in the end. The hat may even survive several more washes.

I wish I could just do shit like that for a living. People are all excited about AI now and all I can think is, Great. It isn’t bad enough your stupid factories cost me a knitting career. Let’s knock out two-thirds of the IT sector while we’re at it. Assholes. Why, I ask you. WHY do we continually admonish people to wOrK fOr A LiViNg and then… take that living away from them? How do we actually think this is going to end? Dear decision-makers of humanity: Why do you behave like you want us poor folks to be arrested?

Oh well.

Jennifer’s supposed to be here tomorrow. She’s been sick since I got here, pretty much. Bronchitis. But we’re going to sit down, apparently, and discuss next steps. I feel like I should be accomplishing more, but I am not sure how to get there. She did ask me what else I needed and I explained about no interview clothes. Oh, and about my brake light. The same brake light Firestone “fixed,” I think, but the guy who explained things to me did say something about changing the bulb was going to be temporary. However, he was not good at explaining why. I will have to get a hold of veteran services and see if Bill can help me with that again. I don’t know if it counts as “keep the car running,” but it would definitely “keep the homeless woman from getting a fucking ticket.” I’m down for that.

Shelter posted this pic of today’s supper on its Facebook.

Me, Dinner Donor, and Weirdo.

Lady in the middle brought the food. Guy on your right, well, I don’t know why but I don’t like him. I’m polite. Sort of. I can do that much.

Supper was excellent though. Ham and baked potato, salad, bread rolls, cookies.

Okay. Bedtime.