Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Bad News

Sorry for not being able to visit blogs, school has me incredibly busy.  There may be some time this weekend, but it's likely not going to be until after finals are over.  Today, eye found out something that affects me horribly.  Apparently, the policy regarding being able to continue school has changed.  M'eye first two semesters here, eye completely let myself fuck up.  So, now this school's GPA is .45.  At first, eye was told at the beginning of the semester that as long as eye passed all the classes with at least Cs, eye would be able to get financial aid continued next semester.  Eye can do that just fine.  Now, this has changed.  They want me to have a cumulative university GPA of 2.0.  Even getting a 4.0 this semsester would not accomplish this.  They will NOT count m'eye previous school's GPA of 3.25 into their calculations to determine the GPA calculation.  Eye think this is bullshit.  If eye did pretty well during a couple years of school, then fuck up a year of it after moving, then do ok in full time school (C or better), eye think that proves that eye'm not out to fuck up anymore and that eye am making an effort to correct bad school habits.  So, tomorrow begins the lovely appeal process so that it can be completed before school begins January 17th.  Eye already have a note from m'eye previous therapist that eye thought eye would have to use for THIS semester.  Eye'm going to check tomorrow to see if passing this semester and doing well the next will bring me up to par at the end of next semester.  (Eye'm expecting an unfortunate current semester average of 2.5, really awesome from not knowing eye was in school the first two weeks, then later almost a week of sleeping past early classes, for which the assignments/tests cannot be made up.  Eye'm not really complaining about that, it's just a fact.  Being ill is an excuse.  Turning off the alarm for "5 more minutes of sleep" is not.  Next semester eye can get a semester average of between 3.0-4.0 for sure, considering this semester's classes include most of the hardest eye will have to take for a bachelor's degree.)  Going through an appeal every semester for a number of semesters does not sound very fun, so hopefully just one will do it.  It takes up to a month, and break is coming up, so that period of time might not count, or maybe just around the actual holidays.  What's unfortunate is that until the appeal goes through, the classes won't be paid for, which means they will not be "held" for me.  Eye may end up having to pick basically just whatever's leftover and isn't full, and HOPE that the classes are all ones that are needed for m'eye degree.  So, if eye wasn't freaked out enough as it is, this is doing it for sure. 

By the way, if having to go to school for so many damn years for just a bachelor's seems odd to you, eye have always taken the minimum number requirement to count as "full time," which is 12 credits (4 classes.)  In order to graduate in exactly four years, one has to either pay for summer school, or take 15-18 credits per semester.  In addition, most of the classes eye took at the previous community college out of state did NOT transfer as required classes, just random electives, even though most of them definitely were not.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


October 2006, eye lost a job from the resulting depression of losing m'eye cat.  In November, eye still hadn't found work, and needed to come up with money for upcoming bills and rent.  Eye decided to take an opportunity from our native neighbors.  After all, Marty had done it before, successfully.  Well, the first time.  His second time, he was caught, but released, he received no charges, and our trip to Las Vegas for his birthday was merely postponed. 

The opportunity was to pick up "workers."  It involves what can be a bit of a drive, but it works.  The neighbors basically needed a car and a driver.  That meant me.  Eye was to drive any one of the neighbors (in our case, it was the main female of the house who took care of everyone) and they told me where to go.  Eye ended up at a house very close to the border, where eye was to pick up any number of illegal immigrants, depending on how many are available, how many could fit, and how many were wanted.  They are told to get in the car, and one may or may not hide them.  (Eye did.)  One of the people at the house gives the driver a phone number and a city.  Upon arriving in the city, the phone number is called, the person who answers says where to meet them.  The meet up involves an exchange, the people go from one car to the other.  The person who picks them up pays $600-$1200 per person, which is to be split with the neighbor.

Marty went twice because he got greedy.  He partied a lot with his money and wanted more money to play with for his birthday.  Eye went a second time because the first time didn't result in enough money for bills, and as the end of the month grew near, eye still had no job.  It was right after Thanksgiving.  We drove down.  This time at the house, there were not people there who were listening to the police scanner to tell us when to leave, like there was the time before.  Also, upon leaving, eye saw LOTS of Border Patrol cars.  Sure enough, they pulled us over.  Eye stuck to the story of thinking they were hitchhiking, but hid them because eye knew where we were, that even picking them up could get us in trouble.  However, m'eye neighbor decided to break and even start leading them back to the house, but for some reason we didn't end up there (eye was in the back of the vehicle, she was in the front, so not quite sure what happened, but that's what it seems like.)

At the Border Patrol Station, they tried to trip us up and turn us against each other.  She was locked in a room, eye was out in the open answering questions.  Apparently, the car had been seen before, and eye fit the profile of someone smuggling, it was a pretty big car (boyfriend's at the time, not own car - which he'd also taken down with one of the neighbor's, but there was no one to pick up at the time,) etc. They informed me that one of the people eye'd been transporting was a convicted felon, so eye could get a felony charge.  They also asked if eye had any prior arrests.  Yes, a DUI and a driving on a suspended license.  They looked it up.  The officer said, "DUI Drug Metabolite?  How much Metabolite did you take?"  Idiot.  They also wanted to know about drug history, they seemed particularly convinced that eye was on methamphetamine.  Ridiculous.  At the time, the only drugs eye used were hallucinogens and dissociatives, and eye hadn't done any of those since two months prior.  Eye consented to a drug test.  They didn't give me one.  They asked a bunch of nosy "personal history" questions.  After that, eye was taken from holding facility to holding facility all night, and then to court, where she was sentenced to four months, and eye was sentenced to two, but allowed to be released (to m'eye mother's house!) until the semester was over.  It was a "petty charge," they said.  And who was sent to pick me up?  Mom, incredibly pissed, eye am sure, as she is VERY against illegal immigrants.

Eye had to do weekly drug tests.  Once, eye went there pretty damn high on DXM and shaking, but that doesn't come out as anything.  Another time, eye'd taken a diet pill the week before and ALMOST got in trouble for amphetamines (which the pills are not), but eye showed her the prescription, and then the test cleared.  She said she thought eye needed help if eye was already thin but trying to lose weight, especially if eye was not going to be seeing people for a couple of months.

Eye went to "self-surrender" the day after Christmas, after a night of DXM and alcohol, and even "pre-dosed" with DXM before going in there.  So, the intake process was pretty amusing.  They asked if eye were on drugs.  "Nope!"  (after all, it couldn't be proven.)  But eye was extremely wobbly, and the other girls watching me close m'eye eyes, and the way m'eye eyes were likely wiggling when they were open, they thought eye was coming down off methamphetamine.  Eye was then taken to a "corporate prison" where the people go while they are either still in court proceedings, or waiting to be transferred to their final facility.  Eye was given a tuberculosis test and a psychological test, and all these stupid tests.  Their picture of me looks ridiculous because of just how intoxicated eye was at the time.  They also attempted to transfer me to m'eye final facility the second day eye was there.  Eye was taken way out to an airport by bus, and then taken back and re-booked because the TB test hadn't cleared yet.

In this place, there are federal inmates, and people who are in the process of being deported.  Eye was at first placed in the housing unit where lots of illegal people were, and made friends with a lot of them.  The second area eye went in was solely for federal inmates.  M'eye co defendant was in there.  She'd converted to Christianity.  Eye made friends with her native friends, and an old lady who was in there because she'd allowed some people to use her farmhouse to store smuggled drugs for a couple of days.

Prison itself, it wasn't too bad.  It certainly wasn't as bad as *one particularly infamous jail eye have been in.  Eye spent time reading books, and making written suggestions about how to improve the prison, which eye'm sure annoyed the hell out of the people who read them, but it entertained me.  Eye worked out when eye could.  What WAS bad is that eye had no control over what was occurring at the house.  A different girl moved in, eye requested m'eye brother cover m'eye part of bills til eye got out (but eye didn't find out he couldn't til eye was there a couple of weeks.)  Well, the girl and Marty both lost their jobs and got this "fuck all" attitude, and then the electricity went off.  They both thought it would be cool to play gutter-punk, and so became homeless on purpose, rather than going back to their parents.  So, eye didn't know if while eye was locked up, the house would be lost, and eye'd be stuck coming out and living at m'eye mother's, which to me was a horrible fate, especially because m'eye car broke down about a week before eye went to prison.  She is very intrusive, and we don't live together very well.

A few weeks before eye was to be released, eye was transferred to the actual federal facility.  It was a women's Federal Correction Institute, minumum security.  That place was nice!  They had a better selection of books, a laundry facility where you could drop off your stuff any day, real soap and toiletries, good phone access, REAL fresh vegetables, you had a job 6 days a week, and got to be outside anywhere between 5:30am and 9:30pm.  They also offered online school courses to people who had to be in there a while.  The older lady eye'd made friends with also ended up going there with me, but was housed in a different area.  The things that weren't as pleasant about it were that eye was on a cot in the hallway by the stairs (although it was fun to climb up the railing, then slip through the rails into bed) and that eye couldn't order commissary (an issue from the previous prison that was supposed to be fixed but had still been neglected - since eye had THREE booking numbers at that place, from initial arrest, being booked, then being booked again - m'eye $68 was on the second booking number, still.  That place still has m'eye money.)  But eye got to work out all of the time, and got to lose a few pounds eye'd gained from having to convert from vegetables to starches at the first facility, plus not being able to be that active.

After being released, eye went back to mom's house, and that night taken to m'eye house, from which eye had NOT been evicted, by Anthony, whom eye wasn't sure was going to be m'eye boyfriend or not after release, and Marty.   However, eye discovered a few things.  First, squatters had been inhabiting the house.  It was trashed, and the washer and dryer had been stolen.  Secondly, Marty had LEFT his cat there.  (M'eye cats were at mom's ever since having to live with her before m'eye sentence began.)  Eye picked about five outfits out, and vowed to return to clean the house and get more belongings later.  Eye also picked up Marty's cat and put her in a cage, eye was going to get her somewhere better until eye could get work and get the house back. On the way back to Anthony's house, something happened to him (drugs?seizure?)  He suddenly veered across the road and proceeded to crash through about seven fences, some steel bar, some other types.  Finally, his car stopped on a chain link fence, about 15 feet from crashing into someone's house.  They were illegal, so they didn't call the police.  (excellent, because he'd given me a "return" present of LSD, which eye was going to be keeping tucked away for the next month and a half, which eye did.) He told us that what had happened is that suddenly he couldn't see.  After getting back to his house, he went to lay down, and Marty told me all about how he'd basically gone to shit after eye'd been away - he lost his job, he let a bunch of raver kids stay at his house to the point it was packed - including underage kids - when he was almost 40 (quite a bit older than eye was, but certainly nothing compared to lots of the people he was surrounding himself with), contracted an STD, got the cops called on him, his house was being watched, his kids were taken away, and though had done or people had been doing stuff like heroin/meth/crack (crack used to be his "problem drug" many years back), what he'd actually gone overboard on with was basically just constant ketamine.  And apparently was very whiny/obsessive about me when eye was gone.  Basically, he was attracting cops.  And eye'd just gotten out of prison.  So eye decided to distance myself from him.  And that's probably good, because a little down the line, he was busted in an ecstasy sting.  And not long after serving his sentence and getting out on parole or probation, he was arrested driving down the wrong wide of the road with an underage girl, high on K with drugs in his car.  And so back he went!

Well, back to the house story, and all that.  About a week after getting back, eye still hadn't called the landlord because eye didn't have the money together and wasn't sure how eye was going to get it.  It would START with a tax refund, but eye didn't know where to go from there.   So, he called someone to clean out the house.  Every single one of m'eye belongings, other than some pictures, a few odds and ends, and five outfits, were now gone.  Eye had to start from scratch.  Eye was working again two weeks after getting out, and stayed with a couple of friends who were closer to work than m'eye mom's house.  After the tax refund and some loans, eye got the house back.  It started as an empty house with three cats, me sleeping on the ground, and slowly became a regular house, but with a revolving cast of mostly irresponsible roommates.

Prison didn't make me any different at all.  But eye learned that out of criminal activities, obviously smuggling people is not the path for me, if eye got caught so fast like that.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Last night, oh around 3am, still not asleep and needing to be, eye decided that it would be fine to have an extra shot, after all, hadn't done extra in a couple days & can every once in a while, plus it would be easier to go relax, right?

HAHA!  Yeah, right!  Instead, it turned into a 2-hour vein hunt, during which Angel woke up and pretty much just made some snide comments and then ignored me.  Half of shot went to an area that APPEARED to be sort of working, but was not.  So now there's a bloody-shot miss right under an abscess (yeah he's right it was a dumb move to even attempt there but ah well.) The rest went nowhere because soon as it was settled, clog!  If eye'd left the ol' arms alone for another day, something probably would have worked fine, but NO eye have to poke around even when eye know nothing's going to happen (like this morning for example, what the hell?)  Also a stupid result of last night, poor Melody got about 5 messages from me about the entire event.  Just what everyone wants to wake up to, a whole lot of complaining, right?

This morning, after obligatory attempts, just flat out asked him to help me instead of dropping hints.  Eye totally forget sometimes how men think, like either they won't get the hint, or they get mad at you because you just didn't come out and say it.  Saying "would" instead of "could" you help with something is important, too.  So yeah, now wrist and the "little" one's bruised area hurt terribly.  Probably should go, get home, because who knows how long it'll take to map out a different area, retire the arms a while for sure.

So, had eye chosen to just go to bed without any "help," eye probably would have gotten to sleep a lot earlier.  That's cute.

Having a HELL of a time getting up in the morning this week.  This is the reason eye don't like winter.  And with daylight savings time, how it gets dark so early?  Goodness, it still messes with me.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Possible Benefits

Earlier this year, around spring, eye lost the ability to use neck veins, which eye didn't like because eye didn't know where else to go, as other areas had "died" and the neck area had lasted for a couple of years.  At this point, further evaluation had me conclude that eye "couldn't handle" this type of life.  Eye planned to quit.  And thought it would be a permanent quit, or at least one that resulted in very infrequent opiate use.  Prior to this, eye was VERY conflicted about being addicted.  There was a point in time that eye even attempted to quit every six weeks.  But never stayed sober more than 7 days.  Eye didn't want to be stuck, but hated life without it.  And it had become far too tinged with meaning, too ingrained into identity.  But this time, it seemed that eye was truly ready.  Eye asked for some Suboxone from a friend of mine.

Well, it took at least 4 months for her to send the pills to me.  By then, eye had discovered that arm veins had come back, and on this return, they didn't disappear again in six weeks.  By then eye'd become re-accustomed to the whole routine, eye had plans, and the desire to quit had faded away.

Since then, eye have discovered that the whole thought that eye am incapable of functioning with a drug habit was a cop-out and an excuse for bad behavior and laziness.  Getting behind in classes from not attending or doing homework, not keeping up on the house, being late to work and losing jobs (the work thing eye've ALWAYS had a problem with, long before heroin, coming from poor sleeping habits and sleeping through the alarm during senior year of high school - mom let me miss school & mess it up for myself - had to take a summer class to graduate.  So the bad habit had begun, and maybe this is a mistake she made with me.) Eye am in school and class performance ranges from average to good (between As and Cs.)  Eye have upcoming bills pre-paid.  The difference is effort.  Prior to this, pretty much everything was "too easy" for me.  Eye could breeze through classes, rarely attending, rarely reading the textbooks, just reviewing notes that the professor posted online, then acing the tests, doing all papers at the last minute.  So, now eye have to actually try.  It's different and at times hard, but eye suppose this is just what it's like to be a human.  So, maybe in a way it's a good thing and will teach me something.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Waking Up In Vegas

Las Vegas is the very best at showing the bipolar sides of vices, hopes, and broken dreams.  Our old mayor even made a statement about how Vegas will basically find your weakness and expliot it.  We're excess.  We're a party town and a 24-hour city.  We trash "history" by imploding the old casinos to build something shiny and new.  Even if the casino isn't failing.  We build and we build.  We're a valley filled with foreclosed homes.  Filled with "homeless camps."  With the highest unemployment rate in the nation, and eye am sure that the rate is underestimated.

Casinos-in-progress with cranes STILL at the same spot as they were years ago. Jackpot winners to homeless-from-gambling, clubs to slobbering drunks, high-dollar escorts to bag whores, clean-cut dealers/runners to toothless junkie nodded out on the street, famous performer in Thunder to poor aspiring-singer waitress who'll NEVER be known, forever doomed to play in sparsely populated coffee shops (and boy do eye fear that the "music" part of me will also share a similar fate.)  But who is the winner and who is the loser?  Maybe that jackpot winner is a major business owner in debt and even with the winnings, he's going to still lose his business.  Maybe the slobbering drunk begging for beer money WANTS to live that way.  Or maybe he had to accept his fate and change his dream.  Maybe he came here with high hopes and started to make something, only to be kicked down like this place will do to people, and now he has nothing.

LV is funny because in some ways is like any other bigger city, and in others like nowhere else. There's so much that people do not see beyond "the Strip" - the tourist area. But don't move here to see it - it's also AWFUL when you have no income, apparently we're between 5-10th worst economically of major metropolitan areas in the WORLD.

Eye moved here with a lot of ideas of how things were going to be.  And in many ways, this city has let me down and eye'm disappointed.  But eye'm not going to go away.  Eye am determined to survive.  ("If you can make it in _(city)_, you can make it anywhere.")  Maybe eye have to put more effort into it than eye ever had, but it's worth it.  Eye still have dreams of "how things can be."  And every single time eye'm on The Strip, eye look around at the people rushing around, eye look at the shopping centers and up at the big, bright casino-hotels.  And it fills me with hope, it fills me with energy.  And once again, anything's possible.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Technology Woes

Technology can be a blessing.  Eye've been online since eye was 12.  Eye can't imagine NEVER having it, although have had to go long times without.  When our microwave broke, it was two months before we got a new one.  Relying on the stove and oven, and the time it took, was obnoxious.

There are also games now, where "your body is the controller."  It's pretty cool, and it's not something eye ever would have even imagined when eye was younger.  As a little kid, eye imagined "the future" (which is now) as flying cars and robots.  Eye was amazed when eye heard they were starting to work on a way people could chat to each other, visually on a screen, like the Jetsons.  Now there's webcam and camera phones.  However, eye wonder if one day, if the earth ever becomes so populous there isn't really room for parks and the like - if exercise will be done via console, if all school will be online, if "sports" will be an interactive version of each individual's gaming console.

It's no secret that technology encourages laziness.   Kids are much more likely now to play online games than go play pretend outdoors.  And people wonder the reason it's so common for kids to be overweight, now.  At least there's that "game console" thing.

*Oh!  Here in Fabulous LV, we have lots of auto-flushing toilets.  And sometimes, you just MOVE a little and it flushes, and if you're crouched kinda low, well, there's some nice water on your behind.  Marvelous!

The invention that irritates me to no end is "auto-tune."  Already, much of popular music is programmed sounds and beats.  So, one need not necessarily play an instrument to be in music.  Now, an awful singer can sound pitch-perfect?  So, now you can be a talentless person with a pretty face and a good agent and become famous in music?  RIDICULOUS.   Having never actually experienced this contraption, maybe that's an exaggeration right now.  But if it is, that will not be the case for long.

The Everyday Hassle of Tying Your Shoes

Contrary to many people's impression of certain lifestyles, eye do not spend loads of time asleep.  Sometimes it's quite the opposite, while not being caused by "subtraction."  Nightly sleep varies wildly, "catch up" nights on the weekends offer anywhere between an insulting 6 and a cute 11 hours, 11 being quite rare.  Eye wake up during the night an average of about four times.  The night before last included about five hours.  Last night, eye slept maybe an hour.  Still awake around 4:30, decided to get completely ready for the "next day," except for clothes, hair, and makeup.  It was a struggle waking up this morning, and was out the door in 6 minutes after waking.  Eye was one minute late for the usual bus, and barely to school in time for class.  On days like these, eye often plan a 15 minute to two hour nap (just depends on when eye wake from it), but frequently am not tired upon returning home.  But, even a 15 minute nap leads straight to dreams.  This seems to demonstrate that eye spend nights in lots of Stage 1-2 sleep, so REM's at the ready for naptime!

In Spanish, we're blessedly not having a quiz on this chapter, meaning this week does not have three tests, after all!  Today, eye get to print diagrams, look over notes, and review chapter upon chapter about all of the sensory systems, sleep, and emotion for a test tomorrow in what is by far the hardest class eye've ever taken.

Eye WISH the only obligation today would be studying.  It's what is needed.  However, today's Grocery Day!  Eye despise grocery shopping without a car.  It's a long haul of a wheeled suitcase, a backpack, and arms loaded with cloth bags, across an enormous parking lot, to a far-away bus stop.  Next is lifting the horrendous weight of the almost-bursting suitcase, juggling to get the bus card to swipe, finding a seat, feeling like a horrible person for taking up more than one seat.  Then, off the bus, a 1/4 to 1/3 mile walk home, coaxing self regarding how much closer eye'm getting to home with every "landmark."  Near home, cloth bags have slipped from elbows to wrists, reposition them to open the gate, walk to door, and relieved (for a minute!) throw everything down on the doorstep.  Unlock and open the door, big sigh, pick everything up, set down in kitchen, and unpack.  The unpacking eye like.  The organization is comforting, and sometimes like a game of Tetris.