Bloggy Posts, example
October 9, 2021 at 8:07 pm #39546
Unlike TA, AZ’s kinda weak when it comes to giving users their own blog page. I came here today to start a group for blogging, where people can create their own personal topic (e.g. “PopeBeanie’s Blog”), but now I’m asking what people might prefer. This random posts forum might even be a good place to do this?
Or, maybe we should have a more public forum (e.g. named “Blogs” in the list of Forums)? I found that I don’t have rights to create a new Forum, but can ask someone with rights to do this.
Or both? Anyone can post to a Forum, but people have to join a Group to post to it. So casual bloggers could post to a blogs forum that’s always open to the public, and/or more serious bloggers could join a group (or this Random Posts group) to blog amongst only their more familiar friends and bloggers.
I’m posting my own entry below, as an example of what I wanted to write with a bloggy flavor to it.October 9, 2021 at 8:09 pm #39547
California vs Covid, and myself vs VA Covid Vax Proof
As a Californian, I like this story and its map:
Other stories on same day:
A personal story wrt VA proof of covid vaccination
But first, a really long sidenote, spontaneous and completely unplanned.
The VA health provider systems been awesome to me for the past ten years or so. IMO, it’s a model for what socialized health care should and could be for all USA citizens, for both medical and psych needs. To this day, I’m still receiving mental health services.
It began ten years ago with treatment for depression, which basically required only Prozac for a few years as prescribed by a psychiatrist in six month intervals, and with personalized, weekly therapy from a certified counselor.
Within a year or so of starting the psych therapy, it became apparent that the cause of my depression was several decades of severe social anxiety, which I’d been experiencing since around puberty. I was comfortable and very functional on a one-to-one personal level, but once I was in the close physical company of more than a few people, I became quiet and fearful. With larger crowds (e.g. at parties), it almost always got so bad that I couldn’t even follow, much less contribute to, the simplest of everyday conversations that people around me were having. I’d get a headache almost every time from the stress of just being with a few friends, but in a pool hall with a lot of people.
So as my depression therapy led to relatively quick success, treatment for social anxiety became my focus for the next six years or so, which included enrollment in Junior College classes. It was really tough at first, with difficulty focusing in every class, and I failed several classes before being successful in an increasing percentage of classes, until about three years ago when I really started enjoying them. I could interact with students and instructor in the classroom, even with humor that made them laugh, and even when I was almost always the oldest guy in class by far. Instructors gave me better grades than I deserved on paper, because I contributed a lot to the class in terms of interaction. I got my first degree ever, a two-year AS degree in Natural Science, with a lot of additional medically oriented courses on top of it.
Before these successes, I’d been divorced from a wife who’d been the household earner while I couldn’t function in a job, I lived solitary in a garage with no health insurance, and she just finally had to give up on me. She made enough income for me to be ineligible for low income services. Then I became officially homeless, which, after the high stress of first getting rid of all my belongings that wouldn’t fit into a minivan, turned out to be fortunate.
Enter my daughters. (I’m tearing up now, recalling this.) They jumped in, driving me around town for a week, signing me up for this or that service provided by the community, and by the VA. I was only officially homeless for a few days before I got super, super lucky with a vacancy at a charity-provided veterans halfway house that houses seven vets at a time. Most of the other vets’ problems ran deeper than mine in the long run, due to drug and alcohol addictions, or being homeless with HIV, requiring more psychiatric care than me. I soon felt caring and comfortable enough to be among them for over a year.
Finally cured of depression and several decades of severe social anxiety, I’ve one more problem to fix, which is severe hoarding. (My current therapist and I feel that hoarding is probably a psychological defense mechanism that started at the very beginning stages of my social anxiety, back in high school, to always have an excuse to not have people come and visit me.)
Reg, when you mentioned you had recently visited my town, I didn’t think to invite you to my place. This is why. No one’s been in my apartment in the past six or so years, other than my daughters when they need to use the bathroom, or routine inspections from property management that I couldn’t refuse.
Hoarding is a newly recognized mental disorder, with its own diagnosis code, but once just lumped into the OCD category. Lucky again, the VA actually reached out to me to participate in their new group therapy sessions for hoarders, based in San Francisco. Over the past year since I and four other hoarders completed group therapy, we’ve continued to privately meet online every single week. Most of us don’t take visitors or talk about our hoarding with other people. At 67, I’m the youngest, and the oldest guy just had his 80th birthday. He’s the only guy who’s still married, with motivation to make progress so his relatives can visit more and more often.
I’m taking classes now to focus on website development, because I’ve had hopes for decades that I could create a few unique websites where I can finally contribute to the community, including a website to help hoarders fix themselves. I’ve accumulated — ok, in spite of it usually being a bad behavior for me — enough audio equipment and expertise to start a podcast. My therapist says she’d like to join a forum or group of fellow therapists working in this area, if I get that far. SHE gets excited when I talk about it! Meanwhile, this hoarding website is just one “niche presence” I hope to be working on. The others are more conventional, but still nichy, and none are planned for making profit. I hope to pay back to the communities at large that have helped me.
Ok, back on topic, about the only gripe I have wrt VA health care is that for months, I’ve been trying to get a copy of a covid vaccination card that I lost. I tried several different avenues via the VA system, and they all said they can’t do it. I tried to see if there’s anything on file for me at CDC or State of California, and apparently, the VA is so privacy oriented that they haven’t communicated my records to the state or feds. They don’t ask me for permission to share my vax record, they just don’t have a mandate to share… I don’t get this, but it is what it is, and I finally gave up on them.
I really want a proof of vax card because I primarily travel on public transportation, plus I want to be able to show proof in private establishments. So, realizing that no authorized vaxing agencies out there seem to be communicating with each other, I thought what the fuck, I’m just going to lie to one of those agencies, say I need my first vaccination, and get my damn card. I chose the J&J Janssen shot so I can be officially immune in two weeks with one shot instead of waiting six weeks for a two-shot regimen to complete.
But I discovered that all places I looked into who were claiming they have and give J&J shots in my county ended up saying sorry, don’t have it at this time. So I looked up J&J vaccs within a 60 mile radius (via a CDC website), and found a non-profit about 30 miles south of me in another county that’s reaching out to Latino communities, and I booked a shot. Got there, lied about my vax status, got my shot from some really nice people who were happy to see me, and most importantly, got my proof of vax card, right there, right then. Woohoo! They said I’d automatically be added the state database (and I assume CDC as well), so I’m all set now. BTW, that was about three weeks ago, and like with my two previous ModeRNA shots, I had no side effects at all.October 9, 2021 at 11:34 pm #39552
Reg the Fronkey FarmerModerator
Good to hear this positive news from you Pope Beanie (Your Holiness). It was only afterwards when we were chatting that I mentioned I was in your area but at the time I did not know you lived there and 5 days earlier I did not even know I was going to America. It was a spur of the moment decision based on a potential business venture that had time constraints. I think I was parked for the day on your street!
I have wondered in the past about hoarding and if the things people hold onto are sort of “virtual anchors” from the past that give a sense of security about the present? I am probably the opposite. I own very little. Apart from books and some standard electronic equipment and clothes, I possess not much else. I make a point of “de-cluttering” and taking stuff I no longer use to the charity shops (as long as it is in good condition). I have a spare room with one wall used for stuff that I might be done with. If it is there for 3 months it is recycled. Every time I do it I feel better even though I often ask myself “should I keep it longer…..just in case”? Same stupid thinking in my head every time! But “I” always win out and get shot of it. Maybe we all go through that same line of thinking to some (lesser or greater) extent when it comes to our possessions? If we just do it once, then the next time we argue (to ourselves) about it, we will be armed with the knowledge that we have won this one previously and then it gets easier to break the routine once we realize that nothing bad happened the last time we did?
Is it better to recycle a few small items as a start of a de-cluttering process or jump right in and hire a dumpster or do a charity shop run and just “go for it” all in one go? Like pulling off a sticky plaster….little by little while prolonging the pain (which when we look back was not painful at all)?
Might be a good move to document your journey with photos of “before, during and after” the process starts so that your website will help inspire others to go for it. Knowing you gave that springboard to others is the profit! Then you can join up with the others. I am sure you will get that far now. What could be stopping you😊
Good move on getting the J&J shot. I also got two ModeRNA shots but I am planning to go into my local CVS for a third one (or J&J) when (if) I am over in Atlanta for Thanksgiving.October 10, 2021 at 12:18 am #39556
I once had a client i represented in the sale of her home. She called me all stressed the day before the closing. She was a hoarder and apparently procrastinator cuz her shit was knee deep and then some. Of course the seller has a legal duty to turn over the property in broom clean condition. Anyways i said my afternoon was clear and volunteered to help. Oh boy. Yeah my suit needed to be dry cleaned after that.October 10, 2021 at 3:47 am #39557
Yes, congrats on your progress, Pope. Many people avoid help…seems like just getting help is the hardest part for them!October 11, 2021 at 8:25 pm #39592
So, who’s safer now? A Jew living in Paris, New York, or Copenhagen, or a Jew living in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, or Haifa?
Same question about Palestinians, albeit in this case I pose the question more cynically.
Thinking now of larger contexts, and how humanity’s taken an evolved penchant for band and tribal competitions and extended their cultures to impose hegemony at global scales. I’m actually not being cynical there, but pointing out an unfortunate aspect of human nature that’s been with us for tens or more thousands of years and has grown in affect alongside our technological, political, and religious growths. (Hint: Some growths are called “tumors”.)
In one of many larger contexts — which I think about, arguably obsessively, how would an extraterrestrial cultural anthropologist summarize humanity’s behaviors, notwithstanding all their science fiction’s self-depictions? [omg, that rhymes, said the obsessive sapiens self examiner]
Enter the concept of New Israel [sic] during WWI, severely affecting Palestine. Enter China as a communist superpower with plutocratic tendencies that can increasingly out-compete with capitalistic plutocracies. Add a lot of other human history, too.
While the alien anthropologist is probably just an AI entity sent on its way to here some thousands or millions of years ago while it was still just a tiny zygote-like seed that could be accelerated to a sufficient percentage of light speed before being decelerated for Earth orbit where it could self-assemble into something larger and heavier.
I just saw a YT vid of Musk saying how an entire galaxy could be populated with intelligent life, even within a relatively short time frame. It starts about 2 minutes in:
Yeah, I’ll move this from the topic on Israel to another topic now. [oh noze, another blog entry! i shan’t derail the topic on Israel]
Reg and others, I started a reply to my confessional post above, but it got waaay too long. I’ve so much to say, but should format it for, and link from here to my unHoarding website… which btw isn’t up, yet.
I’m just going All Over the Place right now. Or maybe it’s not actually Me, but just My Brain. After all, it’s only gonads that have a true purpose in life and any multiverse-compatible, scientifically-logical reason to exist.
(Come on, no one else wants some kind of blog option here at AZ? I feel so alone!)
October 11, 2021 at 10:00 pm #39595
- This reply was modified 5 days, 7 hours ago by PopeBeanie. Reason: edits, ongoing for much longer than they should, but i promise to finish within a half hour or so
Pope, i heard that same idea in re to the rapid population of a galaxy from Neil Tyson on a Sam Harris podcast. The notion of a free market of ideas is nonsense but the notion of a rubber is glue, bounces off of me and sticks to you market is somewhat apt.
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