Be the HOPE

4 02 2009
Snow on the High Museum Jan 2008

It feels this cold.....Snow on the High Museum Jan 2008

The wind is howling and it is COLD. 20’s, I think.  Many nights I lay myself to bed thinking of those colder and more vulnerable than I.  People experiencing homelessness, who may not have a blanket, let alone shelter. I am in a heated room with one blanket and one down comforter and long sleeved pjs…. and still cold… and feeling ridiculous about it.

So tonight I finally decided to google a way to help.  Check out the Metro Atlanta Task Force for the Homeless for many ways to help.

Here’s the fastest and easiest way!

other easy ways to help are:

1.  Become more aware of your language. Try to minimize language in your own and others’ vocabularies that refers to people experiencing homelessness in derogatory ways. By using expressions such as “people experiencing homelessness” rather than labels such as “bum,” “transient,” or even “the homeless,” we remind ourselves that people who are in such situations are still people first – just people who are going through a difficult period in their lives. In a time when they may find it difficult to hold onto their sense of humanity, it is particularly important that we do not use language that further diminishes the dignity of people in homeless situations.  (

2.  Watch this you tube video


The wealthiest nation on Earth has a wider gap between rich and poor than any other nation.

The fastest growing group of homeless people is children under 9 years of age.

Atlanta is the poorest city in the U.S. for children – more children in Atlanta live in poverty than in any other city.

Current welfare (TANF) benefits are $282 a month for a woman with two children. Could you find an apartment to rent on $282 a month?

Fewer than 20% of those women and children living on welfare get any kind of housing subsidy.

98 million children in the U.S. have no health insurance. Eight million of those children without health insurance live in working families.

Did you know that 40% – 60% of homeless people work?

Minimum wage in Georgia is $5.85 per hour, which yields $12,168 per year, before taxes.

HUD says you should pay no more than 30% of your income for your housing. (30% of minimum wage yields $270/mo. for rent)

The average two-bedroom apartment in Atlanta rents for $834/mo. (which is 30% of an annual income of $33,360 or hourly rate of $16+ per hour). Thus, you need to earn $16+ per hour to afford that apartment, according to HUD.

46% of the jobs with the most growth between 1994 and 2005 pay less than $16,000 a year.

40% of homeless men are veterans.


Be here, Be productive

3 02 2009

If you’re going to be here, BE HERE.

I was lecturing myself a day or two ago, buried under my down comforter I refer to as “the cave.”  January was boring, but it was supposed to be boring.  I was supposed to be studying for my interior design exam.  I was supposed to be saving money.  I was supposed to eat less, exercise more.  I was supposed to be productive in all aspects of life.  Not lying under the covers at half past noon.

The 31st of January was my mother’s 59th birthday.   She went to Disney’s Magic Kingdom with my middle sister and grandmother.  I wanted to go.  I would’ve at least liked to go home and visit her.  But I have limited my travel to maximize my goals of saving money and studying.  There are a dozen destinations I am postponing or depriving myself, based on my unrealized commitment to studying.  After squandering vital weekends in January, I am adopting a new mantra.  If you’re going to be here, BE PRODUCTIVE.

How to talk to girls in bars/clubs

11 01 2009

Its a simple process of elimination when meeting a stranger.

Round 1:  Must be polite in approach and be able to hold an interesting conversation.  I respect the courage it takes to approach a total stranger and I think it deserves a woman’s attention as long as the man is polite.  It also deserves a polite “No thank you” if necessary, but I think that a woman should at least wait till round 2.  Ask her, “Do you come here alot?”  or “Is it always this crowded/empty at this bar?”  Something general.

Round 2:  Must not be physically repulsive.

Round 3:  Must say or do something to make me crack a smile.   Tell me a funny story.  Compliment my appearance.  Make fun of my height deficiency.

Give a man 5 minutes before you reject him for lack of sparks (both physical and personality).  Polite strangers deserve a respectful and honest rejection.  Can you believe tonight my girlfriends would rather falsely claim to be lesbians than to say no thanks to a guy who was nice enough to offer them a drink?  [rolling eyes in disgust].

September blew by

5 12 2008

September 26, 2008

September was supposed to be my time for downtime.  It has been quite the opposite, and the crazy business has made it fly faster than it ought to.  Here’s the quick and dirty:

I moved in with 3 boys

There is no gas in metro Atlanta

My friends are getting laid off

I’ve been working 12 hour days to accomplish a deadline because we are understaffed

I have been dating ALOT to keep my mind off Brandon.  I have been dating ALOT to keep myself unattached, because girls need to juggle at least 3 men to keep them too busy to develop attachments to any single one.

I had to tell a very nice boy that I had no sparks for him.  He had fantastic conversation, incredible politeness, and a great sense of humor.  We even kissed just to make sure, and still no sparks.

I can’t find a suitable date for any of the 4 weddings I have to attend this year.

I rode the furbus during a bachelorette party and had a great time.  I attempted to snag a date for my friend’s wedding, met 2 very cute boys.  One of which gave me a fake phone number.  Sad.  The other talked too much about his ex-girlfriends and how he’s not looking for anything serious.  Too bad that I am… stupid biological clock.

Despite my rational reasonings, I continue to imagine that happiness comes delivered in a Range Rover.  Perhaps its my 2008 version of the knight in shining armor who rides in on a white horse.  Aside from it being a beautiful car, it always makes me think of the dream where I’m picking up my kids from school, opening the backseat doors of the Range Rover as 2 happy kids come running towards me.

More flossing, less fillings

28 10 2008

I got a filling at the dentist’s office yesterday.  It’s still a little sensitive now, and the left side of my mouth misses the taste of food.  The most painful part of the experience was paying the bill.  The last time I had a filling was when I was in middle school, and my parents footed the bill.  I will definitely take flossing more seriously now.

Seriously, it did make me think about the thousands of people who have no health or dental insurance, let alone well-trained doctors and dentists as we do here in the U.S.  Can you imagine getting work done without the anesthesia? 

I know that universal healthcare seems too extreme for most Americans, but other countries make it work.  It’ll be tough transitioning, but the economy and our government is capable of the task and hopefully voters will make their intentions clear and the lawmakers we vote into office can focus on getting it done.

Cheating Patience

6 09 2008

I understand that the game of life has its ups and downs.  If this were Monopoly, I’d be that broke fool who invested too much in the wrong squares.  A few bucks from bankruptcy, the game has lost all fun, and I’m dying for a “Go to Jail” card.  Quite comfortably, I’d park my silver little pawn in the Jail.  Sitting in time out, safely watching the game of life proceed, protected by the bars of my cell…  Then, when the world was finally on my side, I could come out and play.

Better yet, I’d like to cheat patience by hibernating through all of life’s current frustrations.  Wake me up when enough time has passed to heal my heart, calm my soul, and freshen my outlook.  Life has been so exhausting lately, that I could surely use the beauty sleep.

I blame my biological clock.

1 09 2008

He was in the wrong place at the wrong time.  I blame my biological clock.  How else can I explain being so attached to someone not right for me?  He is the first man I could envision myself having children with.  A year ago, I remember laughing to my friends that Brandon was imagining what our kids would look like.  Mentally, I was so far from that. And now its a year later, I’m totally baby-crazy, and I don’t like it one bit.

Yesterday, a Range Rover passed our car and I asked Brandon if we “could get a Range Rover and have babies”.  I had a dream once that I was picking up my two kids from school.  I was parked out front in a beautiful black Range Rover with the other parents, opening the doors to the back seat.  Two little boys come running out to meet me, and I had a big smile on my face too, happy to see them.  Two happy, rambunctious boys that looked alot like Brandon.  When I told Brandon about it, he was intrigued that I was coming around the baby-bend, saying that twins ran in his family. 

I’m not the only one; I know his biological clock is ticking too.  Every now and then he admits to thinking about babies.  Once, he wanted me to put a pillow under my shirt so he could see what I’d look like pregnant.  I definitely declined, unready to see myself in that way.  He even had a dream of us as a family with children.  When I asked how he descibed me to his friends, he said “Lynne is the kind of girl you settle down with and have babies.” 

Maybe I was in the wrong place at the wrong time as well.  Perhaps its too dangerous for two people who care about each other  to have biological clocks that tick so madly.  I have been waiting so long to catch up with all my girlfriends who have been baby crazy for such a long time.  And now the baby craziness is kicking my ass, making it harder for me to let go of Brandon and the hope that we will make a family one day.