Shelter Food

I was thinking of writing about my current living situation, which is that I and TJ are back in NY and living in a homeless shelter. I left BB, after an instance of abuse. There were other issues that I won’t get into just yet. I only left a month ago.

I guess I’m still untangling the bullshit that were the last few months of our five year relationship and some other issues I hadn’t really paid attention to and thought I could just ignore because everything else was going so well, or so I thought.

Instead of writing about that, for now, I’ll write about shelter living. This isn’t our first time in the NYC homeless shelter system unfortunately. So TJ and I were at least somewhat prepared.

For this first post about shelter life, I want to share about the food. There are positives in that there is food provided every day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. But most of the time, it’s not good. And I don’t mean in terms on taste, although that is also an issue. These meals are microwaveable and sometimes they’re drowning in water. Too much to simply pat with a paper towel. There’s also the issue that most of the time they’ve been serving different types of pasta. Poor people deserve to have variety and tasty options.

Thankfully, they do provide plenty of fruits like bananas, apples, oranges and even kiwis. They also provide small cartons of milk, and little cups of juice.

In our room, we have a mini fridge but no stove. So when we don’t eat the meals provided by the shelter, we either eat at my brother’s place or have microwaveable meals I bought.

After four weeks of microwaveable meals, I can honestly I am sick of them. I did mention I buy some microwaveable dinners myself and that’s because I was given emergency food stamps (now known as SNAP). I am still waiting to hear if I’m approved for SNAP, cash assistance and Medicaid.

The following photos are of some the meals we’ve gotten so far.

Stuffed shells with mixed veggies
Pizza and broccoli
Pasta with meat sauce that mostly meat
Cheese crepes with veggies. This was interesting but not good. The crepes were frozen so I had to microwave them but the cheese was sweet and it did not taste good hot.
Stuffed pepper with barely any pepper, couscous and carrots
More pasta and veggies
Swedish meatballs and some pasta
Mashed potatoes, veggies and cinchen

We get a lot of repeat meals, They just put them out again if no one takes them which makes sense. But poor people deserve variety and tasty food too. 
Today we’re eating dinner at my brother’s and I realize that is a privilege, I know a lot of people do not have family that can help them. 

Meals are also served between certain times and sometimes, I have appointments or other obligations and I miss meal time. Eating out is expensive, food at the supermarket is expensive and I still haven’t heard about approval from welfare yet. 

This is just one glimpse into my life. If you want to help me survive, there are several ways. 

PayPal

Note: My PayPal is a business account so I will pay a fee every time when you send me something so account for that. I tried downgrading my account but couldn’t. If you prefer, venmo is the best way to help currently. 

Venmo: @sunflowerpunksjw

Thank you

Sunflower Punk

Shelter Food
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Some Weather: 3 of 3

So we finally have power! But no water yet. There are several burst pipes in our complex and we have to wait until plumbers can safely arrive to the apartments.

The snow and ice are finally starting to melt. I hope we don’t have more freezing temperatures. I booked us a hotel for the night so we can shower. Not being able to feel clean is horrible. We are safe in the hotel and have had dinner as well. I’ve showered and feel so much better. Of course I’ll feel even better once I’m able to shower at home but for now I’m satisfied.

The hotel is very nice so far and super convenient! We have a kitchenette which should come in handy.

View from hotel

Being at the warming center and not being able to bathe for a week reminded me a lot of my times at the homeless shelters. It was a weird feeling. Back then I felt helpless and hopeless. But this time, even though it brought back old feelings, I also felt happy. I felt that way because I knew I had a home to go to, even if it was freezing at the time.

It made me reflect and appreciate what I have and what I’ve gained. It reminded me of what we’ve overcome. And I’m grateful and finally not hungry.

Some Weather: 3 of 3

Some Weather: 2 of 3

It’s Thursday the 18th at 4:30AM. We’re home now. But earlier today my family and I went to a warming center.

It’s in a church and the staff were very nice and welcoming. There was homemade food and lots of snacks and drink.

Again I’m setting to write chronologically but my mind feels fragmented. I can’t sleep and I’m so cold still.

We were able to charge up our phones and back up battery. Another family was there and they were very friendly.

Maybe out of the five staff, 2 were wearing masks. The cold from the past few days has been wreaking havoc on my body. I think I’ve also been close to hyperthermia.

Very few of the other families were wearing masks. TJ was set up on an air mattress but they had a hard time sleeping. The family’s 5 equally friendly dogs were with them.

I was on a cot. I spent about three hours on it. Tossing and turning, trying to get comfortable. It wasn’t very warm by then. But it wasn’t as bad as home. My back and neck are so stiff. I realized, do they even make things like this for the disabled?

One of the staff came in and asked if he could lead us all in a prayer. I whispered to Vall to just bow their head. I reminded them not to say we’re atheists. We bowed our heads. Because old habits die hard when the prayer was over I repeated amen and did the sign of the cross. That was amusing.

I can’t keep writing. My fingers are colder than ice.

We drove back home slowly because lying in that cot was going to cause me more harm than good.

My stomach continues to grumble.

Some Weather: 2 of 3

Some Weather: #1 of 3

Well, I figured I would start writing again but I didn’t think it would be about a winter storm in Texas. Like I mentioned in a previous post, TJ and I moved to Texas not too long ago.

I wanted to write chronologically but I’m going to listen to my body. My stomach is currently audibly grumbling. We finally had hot food a few hours ago after almost three days without. We’ve been eating snacks. We have food but it is perishable.

Once the power was cut, the water stopped. I think the pipes froze. We kept the faucets open as per guidance to prevent burst pipes but alas…

I take about 14 medications a day and haven’t been able to take them regularly because I need to take them with food. The snacks we have are running low. We (slowly) drove around yesterday looking for food. No luck.

Today we called around for hotels but they’re price gouging, or not accepting pets. My cat is part of the family. If he isn’t welcomed then neither are we.

This morning I woke up so stiff, I could barely walk. Chronic pain and cold weather? Not a joke. My wife and daughter were in the car, warming up and charging their phones. NOTE: we are able to do this because we’re in our complex’s parking lot. DO NOT do this if you are in your own garage or similar confined space. Carbon monoxide poisoning can be lethal.

We have a fire place but being from the projects in NYC I don’t know how to work them and I don’t know if it’s even safe to have it on.

My cat, who is usually very aloof, is sleeping on my lap. I’m currently under two big blankets and have a scarf wrapped around my head and socks on my feet. I’m still cold. My stomach continues to grumble.

We finally were able to get flashlights and so tonight should be easier. We’ve been using our phones but not much because we want to try to conserve battery.

I saw some Northern jackasses think it’s funny that -sorry, stomach again- Texas is cold and powerless.

You hate the politicians, not all its people.

When you make jokes like that you aren’t hurting Ted Cruz. You’re hurting poor people and BIPOC who are suffering the most right now.

Anyway, my daughter TJ just called me from the warming center. They don’t want to come back home. And I don’t blame them. Not having water causes sanitation issues. For example, we have two bathrooms and the apartment stinks because we haven’t been able to flush.

Because we have no water we can’t shower and because we have no power we can’t boil water either.

Things are miserable. But I know they could be worse. But just because other people have it worse than I do does not mean any of us should suffer.

As of this writing, at 6:32PM central time Wednesday February 17th 2021, we have been without power for about 55 plus hours. We are expecting more winter precipitation. We should finally hit close to 60 degrees on Friday. But can we last that long? Me and my family? Yes. It’ll be hard. I will continue to complain but yes we will live.

Our homeless and more vulnerable neighbors? I don’t know but I am not optimistic. And given the way local and state government have handled any of this so far, well, they don’t inspire confidence in me.

Check in on your neighbors. Donate food and money when you can. If you have special skills for this type of weather volunteer if possible. Let’s try to help each other.

I’ll keep updating and hoping this is all over soon.

It’s so cold in the apartment my color change mug is red! It’s normally white.

Some Weather: #1 of 3

Mandesty: Olden Fashion Edition

So last post we discussed American history by rightfully shaming George “I am a slut” Washington. At a friend’s suggestion, today we’re discussing codpieces.

Codpieces (from the Middle English word “cod” which means scrotum) are coverings in the crotch of trousers. That sounds fine on it’s own but did you know that some knights had them made into their armor?

A jockstrap is similar but it’s usually reinforced to protect a person’s precious stones. The above could be explained the same way but why the curve? I think it’s only there to show off their other lance.

Just…why

Why is the Monopoly dude’s face on the last one?!

Ultimately, I’m glad that this “trend” isn’t as popular anymore. Can you imagine President Biden posing for his official portrait wearing one of those?

Several rock and metal artists use “artistic” codpieces

Mandesty: Olden Fashion Edition

Mandesty: American History Edition

Thanks to my friend ED who alerted me to this one historical portrait of our first president. George Washington was known for his wooden teeth, being a racist and I guess also being president as I mentioned.

But did we know that he was also a slut? Obviously he didn’t know that his “dick bulge” would be memefied. But he of course must have known his penis was visible in those sinful pantaloons? Is this where Bill Clinton got his inspiration from? Shameful!

He was just waving it around like America waves around freedom. Just shoving it in people’s faces not caring who gets killed.

Just as shameful is the person who painted this. Can you imagine just standing there cock a-breeze and you just keep painting? Obviously the painter is just as perverted.

This is the history we must teach our children so we may not repeat the sins of the past.
This is why we continue to fight for Mandesty. Please join me in this fight.

Mandesty: American History Edition