Thursday, December 27, 2007

Live Broadcasting. We did it. What a way to start the year.

Happy New Year everyone. I am glad to be sitting here this evening. A funny thing happened to me last night. I sat at this computer and wrote a long blog. I covered quite a few areas. I talked about the components of the social infrastructure of Skid Row. I talked about a few issues that came up on the KNBC show, "forgotten neighbors.

Suddenly, my computer crashed. Usually, there is an application in Blogger that provides for autosaving. I had been writing for a long time so I knew that everything had been saved when the crash occurred. WRONG.

Everything was gone. Completely gone. Those of you who have read a few of my blogs know that my blogs tend to be long winded. Well, this blog would have made all of my other blogs look like one liners. Yes, this baby was long. I mean loooooooooong.

Usually, I would just retype it but as the day progressed, there seemed to be no point. The view points were good. They were based upon sound analysis. But it all seemed so old. Why?

Because today was the first day that Don Garza and I went LIVE on Yes, folks. We finally did it. I really did not believe it was going to happen. But it did.

It is amazing what one little show can do for one's insight into what it takes to do something. First I reached back into my experience of being an extra, years ago. I made sure I had on clothes that had high contrast quality to them. Then, I had a clipboard, upon which I could take notes etc.

Of course, I walked through Don's door and he ribbed me about my dress. He was funny as he ribbed me about my collared shirt. It was too preppy for him. He is a natural at this. He ribbed me on air about it. I did not engage in the banter as it was all new to me but I shall next time. That will a basic part of the show, getting on eachother's case.

I learned alot. Oh yes, I finally had a chance to meet Dave Bullock, of eecue. He stopped by while Don was making a presentation and I was sitting there looking stupid. As I said, it was a learning process.

We covered alot of things about Skid Row in the three hours that we were on air. Don knows quite a bit of history and it showed in the perspective that he gave to commentary.

I think he explained somethings that Dave did not know. It taught me something. Dave Bullock is someone who is well aware of things. He asked for explaination of some things that really are not germane to anyone's life if they are not living in Skid Row, even though they may come up in conversation in the downtown living room's and entertainment rooms. I know for myself, that it has taken months to gain clarity on somethings. So if Dave asks for clarity on an SRO issue or definition then it tells me that the public at large is largely unaware of the nature of Skid Row life. I know I was and I was living in Skid Row. I am still pretty much unaware of things.

Today set a new standard. It set a higher floor level of awareness and exposure to the world of multimedia and it drew a line in the sand as to what can be expected of me this year. I finally was a part of something that I have been wanting to do for some time.

When I came back to my room, I Looked up stuff about internet television. It is amazing how three months ago, I could find only a few things about internet television. Now, I can reference many different aspects to this growing industry. I can name at least 30 venues that air live or recorded video streams. Yes, I have grown and have grown enough to barely crawl. It is fun. It is exciting.

I wish someone I know would agree to do, on the downtownlabroadcasting channel, a weekly show on interior design. I think it would be a hit and would be a vehicle to gain clientel. However, it is presumptuous of me to think that is a goal of the person. I think she would great at it. Just great.

Anyway, all of this seemed to make last night's blog irrelevant. Not the information but the timing of it. Something tells me that today's event will alter my perspective. If nothing else it will change how I decide to deliver the information that I thought was so good. Mind you, the operative words are "I thought".

I must go. I must study some things and get ready for the first day of the year. I want to get some resumes out. Tomorrow is the day the resume goes to

It was a great way to start the year. That Christmas tree says it all. The person who owns it
creates the spiritual standard. And, she should know, I feel it. thanks you guys.

happy new year world. I love you.

Happy New Year. I Love You

It has been a few days since I blogged. It has been the first time that I missed a day. I did not want to miss a day. However, computers were inaccessible and the library system was down. It may have been the best thing as it gave me time to think. It gave me time to understand some things that had me disoriented.

There were a few things that I wrote on my last blog that did not set well with me. I have written similar things before. Whenever I have made a breakthrough in thinking or activity, since being down here, there has been a pattern. Invariably, when I have gone through a door into the next room of opportunities, I can not see what is there. I do not know which way to go. Ironically, in the previous room, where the lights are completely on, there is no opportunity. The opportunity is in the room to which I have been trying to open the door.

When I have arrived at those rooms, I do a review. Sometimes I leave the blog feeling that the writing conveyed a since of bitterness. I do not like that as bitterness is something that I do not want to feel, let alone convey. Bitterness is anger. Anger is a manifestation of fear. Ah, then that is what I needed to look at.

The last time I wrote like that was during the Thanksgiving Holidays. I was opening new doors and experiencing new rooms. Things like that happen in clusters and you want the pace of progress to continue. However, the progress experienced has come from the work done, internally, as well as externally---the research for jobs, the self organization regimentation, etc.

When I experienced those last clusters of rooms, that signified progress, I experienced them when my support network was on leave of absence. Don was out of town. Jose was on vacation. The computers were not available. I remember telling Jose, from this location, in Little Tokyo, how change was happening fast. I told him that when it happens, I want it to continue. I remember going back to my room and not being able to talk to people. Kevin would call and check up on me. But that was a critical time. I remember I said I was going to clean and organize my room.

It took 3 weeks for me to get mentally and physically fit to plow through the baggage for me to be able to plow through the physical debris. Then, I had to develop the good habits about which my sister was talking. Put things back from where you got them. If you dont, and it continues, then the place is a mess. However, there is something more important to realize. If you do not do that, and things pile up, it is a sign that the internal baggage is not clear, that you are more comfortable with anxiety and burdens than clarity and light loads.

I went through the opening stages of making the steps in Thanksgiving that have me where I am today. It was tough. I remember saying that I survived a big day.

This past Friday, I survived a big day, Thursday, I called Randy, and we talked. He said I could come out on Friday to get the impressions done for my teeth. I did so. I was surprised that I did not procrastinate. I did not wait until today to do it. I woke up on Friday morning and did what I had to do. Friday morning, December 28, was the date that I started smoking cocaine, many years ago. Now, on that same date, I took a bus ride to begin to repair things in my life. This dental bridge will help me get a job. No employer wants to hire someone with teeth missing. That is just a fact of life.

I was surprised that I did not wallow in the speculation that I would have to go by my mother's house on the bus and then feel bad. I had to do what I had to do. The faster I get things done, the faster I move forward, the faster my family moves forward.

I did what I had to do. Afterwards, I wrote and posted my blog but something was missing. I forgot certain things. I forgot about the pattern, the momentary feeling of disorientation.

Finally, something happened. in the early morning hours of Saturday morning. But first tlest back up a minute. During the last month, I have been observing people that sit on the ground. I have observed them. I have observed people that sleep on the ground as well. The people who sit on the ground are not necessarily the people that sleep on the ground. Also I have noticed a few people are beginning to speak to me that have not spoken to me in the past. These are people who are mainstays in Skid Row. You see them every day. There are various incrowds in Skid Row.
These people that have said hello to me are a part of different incrowds in Skid Row.
Indeed, they are a part of the every day infrastructure of Skid Row society.
In Skid Row, you have your "fixed" infrastructure and you have your "variable infrastructure. It is easy to identify the "fixed" infrastructure but it takes a keen eye to identify and constantly recognize the "variable" infrastructure that exists on Skid Row. They are independent of each other and dependent on eachother, simultaneously. ( More on that later). One of the men who has been speaking to me is a spanish speaking black man who sits in a wheel chair. He makes sure, during the last week, that he looks me right in the eye and gives me an unmistakable acknowledgement of respect. Why, I do not know. What I have done to deserve this from him, I do not know. However, I appreciate the gesture and my new status with him. Every day now, when I walk past his wheel chair, he speaks to me. There is something about this man that intrigues me. He is a double amputee but he is beginning to show me how he walks. Or is it that I am just at the point where I am LEARNING HOW TO SEE.


I said all of the above to tell you that in the middle of the night, after this how year of going through big days, I finally realized what is important about the big days. It is not going through them that is important. One is capable of going through a big day without creating a traumatic or catastrophic event. What is important are the REALIZATIONS that one recognizes with the day. With the proper understanding of the REALIZATIONS, the day becomes a "Rite of Passage"

Without the understanding, the day becomes just another day. Yeah, you went through it but you learned nothing from it that can catapult you to the next level. Sometimes people want to stay at the level they are on, subconsiously, but that is another conversation.

I learned alot from this past Friday, and everything that I have been through the last 90 days, living at the Marshall House, has been a sort of a boot camp. going through that boot camp yielded results. I have begun to see things in me. I have begun to see things in my environment that I have not been able to articulate or codify in some way. It was that cumulative growth that led me to be able to come up with the "fixed" and "variable" infrastructure classifications of the societal structure of Skid Row. Some of this is beginning to form the outline of how to answer the question that members of the Los Angeles Times' Editorial Board asked me when we walked around Skid Row a few weeks ago. I told them I could not answer the question they posed to me at that time. I am glad I said that. I could not answer the question until I knew what I was looking at in its totality. Ah, and to be able to do that I had to make sure I was looking at myself and at life in a healthier totality. I am beginning to do that.

It had been the perfect way to end the year. I put in the hard work. I put in the tears. I experienced the pain. I researched the pain. With the honest research, came answers. I questioned myself. I corrected myself when my point of view was formed out of emotions that protected the pysche but were based on distorted reality.

It has been a learning process. I looked at those pictures that my sister sent me and I knew those were deep pictures. They symbolized something new, something good, something healthy, something enduring and strong. She is doing her part. I am doing my part. I am getting myself together.

I saw Randy on Friday. My seeing Randy was deeper than any would know. I will not tell you why. Howerver, I will share this. The last time I saw Randy was at a time when I was at the end of training for the triathlon. I was in great condition. I was tanned from swimming every day in the hot sun. My muscles were developed. I had gained some weight. I THOUGHT I LOOKED GREAT.

I looked like shit. I now know that I looked like shit. Randy told me somthing when he walked out of the examining room. It was the last thing he told me as he walked out. "By the way, you look 100 percent better." Hell, I thought I looked one hundred percent better when he saw me last. I had stopped smoking drugs.
But that meant nothing. I still had the drug user's air. I still had the aura of a drug user. I still had the awareness of "fixed variables" of a drug user.

Today, I no longer have that aura. I ran into a well known drug dealer from my neighborhood the other day. He remember my name immediately. They always gave me a certain amount of respect as I tried to always tell them of other ways to make money. Anyway, I could not figure out where I knew him from. I knew him from somewhere. I thought it was from the Transition House as so many people pass through there. "I will be damned" I said to myself. I forgot his name or where I knew him from. Perfect, a right of passage has been achieved. He told me one thing that was important. He still coaches basketball for a kid's league. In time maybe we can do something about that. For now, I will keep it in the data bank.

This year, I worked hard and the result is simple. It has prepared me for next year. I am prepared to do hard work. I am prepared to keep moving forward. I am prepared, on January 2, to blitz the market place with resumes. I am ready for the next step. This blog, today, has made all of the other blogs worth it. It has made all of the doubt worth it. It reconfirms to me that it was the right thing to do-to talk about the past as I carve my path into the future. It is ok to stand in the spotlight and talk about the times in which I had to live, in the dark of loneliness.

It is not enough to stop doing drugs. Clean time without knowledge acquired is nothing. It does not put you forward. I wanted to move forward. I believe I have.

I am glad that it all came together as it did and it still is, as I write, because I was able to look at the KNBC report with new eyes. I was able to look at it with new understanding. I had questions for weeks about the people sitting down. Then, last week, someone sent a short film to me that he did about Skid Row. It began to answer some questions. Then, more experiences, more self questions asked and answered as well as doors of realizations opened, propelled me to a new point and when I looked at that television show it helped to crstallize and codify some things. Some of those things are things about which I have talked today. They may seem abstract to the reader but for me it is manifestation is very concrete in my being. I am evolving, I am growing. I am becoming while enjoying what I "am"
at the moment.

I have wondered about my blog. It is part news. IT is part commentary. It is part "story". The story is my story. It is my climb back to life. I am proud of my story. IT is not a story of defeat. It is a story of victory. It is an ongoing victory. I thought my story was boring. But it is not. I have the opportunity to chronicle the moding of a new person. I have the opportunity to share with you how a new soul is being born and developed- to explain the processes as they go, as I experience them. It is an honor to do so. The processes, the understanding of the processes of recreation, of refurbishement are transferable. You understand the processes of rebuilding self, you understand the processes of rebuilding a building. I know as I have been a part of many building refurbishments. This is my first throrough self refurbishment. My hope is that someone will read my monologue of the processes and recognize certain signs or yardposts that they can use, for themselves, to recreate their life if necessary.

I was dam good in the real estate industry. I was damn good in various industries.
I would be better now in any industry because I am better with Walter. If nothing else, I may have helped someone else be better with themselves.

Happy New Year World. I love you.

mysterious building

I have taken a picture of this building a couple of times. Does anyone know which one it is. I do not. I really want someone to tell me. I stand on the roof of my building and take pictures of it. I like the way the mountain is set behind it.


I took a bus this morning out to Westchester, next to the airport. My friend, Randy, the person I have known the longest in my life, made impressions so I can get bridges for my teeth. Randy has always been there for me. It took me an hour to get there and an hour to get back.

I just want to say, first, that the Los Angeles Mission, has opened their dental clinic. I have a friend who is delighted that they are fixing her teeth and making a bridge for her. I understand that a lot of people are taking advantage of the service.

Why am I not doing that? I have decided to devote as much time as I can trying to get a job. Waiting 4 to 6 hours to see a dentist, takes away from my job search time. I am glad they are offering the service. I wish they would just allow appointments to be made. Anyway, my hat is off to them for doing that for the people of Skid Row. I figured Herb Smith had to be a nice guy. He spent three years in Brazil. You all know how I love Brazil after being a student down there.

I should be happy that I was getting my teeth fixed but I was depressed coming home.
I had to go by my mother's house. I saw it but had to keep going. Seemed so strange that two people are separated because of the power of a governmental body that made its decision on misunderstanding. It is hard to deal with. Then, in the distance, I saw the skyline. I knew I was headed there.

I felt old, unwanted and not very confident of my future. I see people go home every day. There families come get them. Some of the people going home are doing a good job of changing their lives. The others, well, say it like this. They must be great actors because they smoke cocaine every day.

I wonder why is it they are going home and I am staying. I wonder what it would take to have my sister see me in a different light. Everybody down here does.
Randy said I looked 100 percent better. I guess it is because I hurt her so much by doing drugs. I honestly did not know that she cared.

I have received some nice comments from people and it surprises me that they are rooting for me so much.

Tonight is class night . I can go to another one. That reminds me. I better get some air in my tire. It is low and the class is a good bike ride away.

I must pick up where I left off in my cover letter and resume. I have done what I could to get my teeth fixed. Now I dont have to worry about that holding me back. I do not know how long it will take for things to be ready but I have time. Nobody is knocking on my door. I must knock on their door.

Skid Row is cold today. I wonder if it is just because I am still suffering from the effects of the death of Benazir Bhutto. It has had a deep impact on me.

I do not have too much news to tell you. I am just trying to hang in there and keep up the faith. It is easier at times than it is other times.

I asked someone today if she thought most people are determined to get out of Skid Row. "No Walter. They are doing the same things that they used to do. Most of them. There are those, like you, me and others who are really fighting to get out of here. Some need family to have confidence in them, some need a job, some need services that they do not know how to get down here."

I am determined to get out of here. That is why I do not go to the mission to get my teeth fixed. I need to used every waking moment to wage this battle, to put in resumes, to try and convince an employer that I can do an exceptional job for them.

All I need is that chance. I bettered my odds today with that bus ride. I will have to take a couple more until the job is done. IT is ok. I am pushing forward the best way I know how.

I wonder what it is like for others who are trying to get out. I know that some are really suffering. I walked into a meeting on my way to a computer. It was packed. It is never packed. Some of the people are struggling to stay clean. Some are struggling to gain confidence in themselves. Some wish family members believed they were clean. Some, like myself, just put one foot in front of the other and do the best I can to make something happen.

"Walter, she will find out what you are doing. "
"She just will. I have seen it happen many times. Believe it. You are doing too many good things for her not to know."

Thanks dear lady. I must go now. I must think of the comments from people that keep me going. I must think of the things I need to study and go study them. I must put one foot in front of the other.

I think my problem is that i want to come up with an idea for an interesting blog. Mine seems so boring.

Benazir Bhutto

This picture is of the fashion district in downtown Los Angeles. I took the picture before I came over to the Transition House to utilize their computer lab.

I worked on the cover letter. Keep in mind that when I work on this cover letter, I am working on myself--organizing the mind and the the thoughts, developing a sound packaging presentation. I can describe it unless I "am it". Therefore I am working through some remaining cobwebs of baggage that can hold me back. It feels good to cut away at it.

After finishing today's session,(interesting label for it), I saw on Yahoo news where Benazir Bhutto was assassinated. It saddens me. I have followed her for over two decades. I felt she was a very courageous and compassionate woman.

If it is not one war, it is another war. Someone is killed in Pakistan today. Someone will be killed somewhere else tomorrow or in the near future. What does it take for us to live in peace in this world? What does it take for us to learn how to live side by side with each other and respect the viewpoint of the other?

I live in Skid Row. It is a place where I see anger manifest itself in ways I did not know existed. When you live down hear you appreciate the subtleties of peace- the blowing back and forth of a beautiful tree branch, or the chirping of a happy bird.

Violence screams at you when you are on Skid Row. It screams at you when a dealer whispers silently,"weed,weed" or 'cavi, cavi". He whispers so low that you can barely hear the words. The violence, however, is inherent in the request-the request, in a demanding sort of way, that you poison yourself with his goods. The request that you purchase the ingredients of a slow death. The rock that dulls your senses today will kill you tomorrow. The heroin that makes you nod on the street today will stop your heart tomorrow. Yes, the silence of violence is the discipline to study and understand on Skid Row. It is there lurking in the alleys. It is there standing on the busiest corner of the neighborhood. "cavi, cavi".

They stand there and request that you pay them to murder you. Interesting proposition, a deal that can be refused but many choose to dance with the devil even when they see the evidence of a tortuous existence every day.

Some may argue that the violence of a murder victim is different. I say it is not. In many ways, the dealer is guilty of a cruel punishment. They kill you every day. They kill the spirit within a person. They kill the will to fight and live. I know.

You can be a real estate broker as was I. You could make money. You can work out everyday and yet you are dying inside, the spirit is weakening as each day goes by.

I pray for the family of Benazir Bhutto. I pray for us all.

We will hear the analysis of political commentators from around the world. They will discuss the ramifications and repercussions spread throughout the region and the world.

However, no one will talk of the collective world spirit dying. No one will talk about the bleeding of our collective souls. No one will discuss how the level of murderous deeds has evolved to include mothers of children. Have we overlooked, in all of these events, that the blood in the soul of our society has decreased in temperature about 20 degrees. Have we become so cold blooded that the murder of a mother in the world stage is business as usual.

I pray for us all.

Good night world. I love you
I thought I would surprise you Walter. Merru Christmas. I know you wanted a picture on the header. I hope you like this template.

Merry Christmas and happy new year.

your friend

Don Garza

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

reilly and mckenna and their beautiful gifts

Well my friends, this is Reilly and McKenna. They are the very healthy and active kids of Kevin and Debbie, the great friends of mine that had me out to their house for Christmas. Reilly and McKenna made me the lovliest art pictures for Thanksgiving and Reilly created another one for Christmas. Their gifts to me were the greatest gifts in the world. However even their gifts do not surpass the feeling I get from being around them. They are so smart and kind to eachother. I learn alot from watching them.

Oh yes. While I was there, Bubbles, their goldfish died. It had been a part of the family for 4 years. I must pay my tribute to bubbles. When I had goldfish, they did not last a couple of weeks. I don't know if I did something wrong or not. 4 years. I think McKenna did very, very well.

IT is about 6:30 in the evening. I was a little melancholy. Not down but a bit out of sorts. I needed to do more. I needed to feel more. I need to push forward.

I found myself walking down fifth street. I could see the US Bank building in the distant with its green and red christmas lights at the top of the tower. I wondered which set of windows belonged to I stared for a minuted at the building and turned north onto Los Angeles street.

The winds were blowing in Skid Row tonight. I could not feel them. I was in a trance. I was walking and did not know where I was going. "Weed, weed. Cavi, Cavi were the utterances of drug dealers as the strained to get my attention. I kept walking. I always keep walking. They keep trying. They never give up.

I found myself in front of a computer terminal in the Little Tokyo library. I did not even remember walking through the front door. I punched in and the next thing I knew I was looking at pictures of my mother. I looked at them for a long time. She still had the key chain around her neck that I purchased.

Turning to another email address I have, there was an email from an attorney. He told me to do something. My god, the endless, ongoing efforts to do something that should be simple but isn't.

Finally, I came to blogger. It does something for me when I blog and share my daily journey. Sometimes I cover things. Other times I give an opinion. However, I like it when I share this adventure of self discovery with cyberspace.

There was a comment from someone. I thought it was from someone I knew. After I opened it up, I just smiled. I needed to hear what the person said. The person said he or she liked my blog. They liked the journal/diary style of it. It helps them learn more english as well.

You did good, walter, I thought. I am helping someone in some way. Well, my friend, you helped me as well. It is a good thing.

I turned to the pictures again. I looked and looked.
I went to downtownlabroadcasting. I needed to discover some ideas that would enable me to enhance the site or to integrate my ideas into a produtive mode. The picture of my room door that I saw did that to me. I always had this idea of broadcasting from that room with the window open and the camera on. Cars would drive by and be seen by the viewing and listening public. I have had that dream since August 13,2001.

For some reason, I am coming up with substantive ideas. When you blog, you publish. Publishing is broadcasting in a different mode. You learn about the power of it. You learn about the power to yourself that you are giving.

I have some good sound business ideas that I have been working on for some time. For some reason, looking at those pictures helped spur on some creativity. My mother was in the room when I debuted on earthcam in August of 2001. She was also in show business. Therefore I feel her spirit will rub off on me.

I do not have the energy to find new things to study tonight. I shall see a couple of websites and see if I learn something quickly. I shall go home and sit in the quiet of the room and envision putting together the components of my plan.

I will also call Don. I hope he is ok. I have not talked to him since finding out about his niece. God bless her.

I have a few more minutes. I will sit in front of the terminal and look at the pictures of my mom again.

I shall look at stickam and see if there is more to learn that I missed.
I shall go home and work on the cover letter that is so important.

It is funny that I read so much about that company. I see how the potential for internet live streaming is so endless. I would like to be a part of it. I am doing the little things to make it happen. I have wanted this for years.

It is funny how writing for years has lead to blogging and then blogging led to video production(as novice as I am). However, the learning process and awareness level of what is out there has grown exponentially. It is sort of remarkable.

I must learn some more. Well, I must find something more to learn before I go home. First I must see my mom again. I feel her deeply. I feel my sister as well. Thank you, everyone for letting me share and organize my life in front of you.

Good night world, I love you.

Balloons and Brilliant Lights

Yesterday was a beautiful day. It did alot of things for me, very much like what it did for me, and more, when I was with the Royce family on Thanksgiving. I was not as upset as I had been before Thanksgiving. I was more positive in my outlook. Their healthy spirit is contagious.

I could not figure out what was the qualitative difference in me after Thanksgiving. Perhaps it was the fact that I was welcomed open arms by a family. I do know that that alone had a powerful effect on me.

At the time, I just talked with Garza about doing some things together but he had to go out of town and I was, I confess, a bit nervous about facing the holidays. However, I spent the time studying. I had to be patient.

Each night I waited for the despair and gut wrenching time period to set in and it never came. "I'll be damned. It has not come tonight," was ,my delighted exclamation each night. I pushed myself to venture out of my comfort zone and broaden my horizens during this downtown experience.

During that time period, I posted many blogs. I posted them on my site and on Centralcitye..

I began to study HTML. I had no immediate success, however, one day, I began to see patterns in the programing. All of the above provided me with the confidence to push on. The despair at night never came. Where was it? "Do you feel the spirit?"
someone continued to ask me. Yes, I did. It was driving me, pushing me to unshackle myself from things known and not known.

I found the class and finally, that was in place. To my surprise, I enjoyed the class. To be honest, I wish we did not have last Friday off. I like going to the class.

I kept pushing and pushing for change inside of me. It kept coming in ways that I could not describe then but, increasingly, I am able to articulate the independent and dependent components, that, when assembled, are creating a much improved soul of a new human machine.

I would get down, at times, if the amount of visitors to my blog dropped. Increasingly, I did not worry about it. I concentrated on learning about the craft as well as the blogging industry-the trends and opportunities that growing from being involved in the phenonmenon.

Let there be no mistake. It has not all been easy. My mood has been as volatile as a growth stock in an environment of daily economic change with corresponding to
on going political and economic events. Doubt would set in and when that would happen, I would seek reassurance. Faith would fade and I needed to lean on those who had been through this process or had seen others go through it. When those times came, I put one foot in front of the other. That is the only thing one can do when that happens. You just put one foot in front of the other.

Patience is rewarded when you least expect it. I received an encouraging email from my sister. I wanted to respond immediately but I thought it best to seek advice. I feared about doing the wrong things.

I remember never paying traffic tickets. I remember ignoring things. I also remember had I built bad habits, one step at a time, one event at a time.

"Develop good habits", is what Janice said. Those words would reverberate off the walls in my brain each day. "Patience, Walter. You can handle the wait. Do it the right way. Go to court. " I had to tell myself those words in the middle of the night when I wanted to expedite things. Patience Walter. Patience. I did not want to exercise patience but I was doing it only because it would be best for everyone. In the meantime, I could work on other aspects of my development.

Knowing that I would move from the Transition House, I made hundreds of copies of material to study about the internet--podcasting, networks, wireless networks, HTML,
CSS, SQL, monetizing, analytics. You name it, I had it. I read things from time to time and wondered when I was ever going to "get it". I had to push on when I wondered if it was a waste of time.

"You are just like your father, Walter. You are becoming more like him every day. No matter what, if your father wanted to learn something, he would find a way." I remembered those words from his wife. I kept them close to me. I would pull out a section to read when I felt terrible. I could only read a page or two but I read those pages. The number of pages increased each time I picked up a new stack to study. Then I would read something on the net and I would know about it. I did not know the details but I was famiiliar with it. I could ask certain questions as I was gaining more knowledge as the pages read increased. I did not know that I was slowly getting to the point where I could integrate the pieces of scattered knowledge.

I found more internet jobs. The more I searched the luckier I became.

I still had to work through things that were holding me back but I worked through them--piece by piece.

I opened up an account at I had to learn about broadcasting as I have been interested in it since I debuted on another website on my grandmothers' birthday, August 13, 2001.

I tried with Youtube. I did not know what I was doing. I did not have all of the equipment. So what. I posted the terrible videos I did anyway. I just wante the experience. I would get better.

I did an interview with someone and posted it on my video collection in downtownlabroadcasting. Everyone has liked it. It was something that I wanted to do for years. I wanted to communicate to the public about drug usage and the people that have used drugs and what they learned from it as well as what they can teach the world about it. When Tyree said "I felt like a wild animal" it was clear to me how powerful a medium this broadcasting channel was. I did some research about them. "Oh my god, they are right up the street in the 633 building across the street from the Library." I wanted to rush and complete a cover letter and resume.

I found it hard to piece together the highlights of my business career which would make my resume stand out. I agonized over it. I worked with the lady at Chrysalis.. I went through the process with her. I broke through some barriers. I still had some mental blocks in the creative process but I kept at it.

I wanted to rush the completion and walk the resume in. It was anxiety driving me rather than logic. It was fear rather than prudence. Patience Walter. Develop good habits, horizontally and vertically and then integrate them for the most effective product. Patience Walter.

I was forced to be patient as my access to computers was limited during the last few days. However, I had that success with the video interview. I touched base with my sister and opened new doors with my attorney. The patience exercised was just adjusting to the fears of the unknown in the higher level of actualization. I wanted to stay at that level. I did not wanta to backslide. Hasty execution would have meant I did not adhere to across the board lessons that were striving to instill the doctrine of 'thorough development". "Learn and understand what you are doing at each level" were the words of my sister.

I remember those words.

I went to bed last night, feeling different. I knew there was growth as the seeds had been watered for a long time. I did not know when I would have an epiphany of sorts but I knew things were germinating.

I knew I cleared away the debris of distraction that would prevent progress in areas known and not known. The room is clean. New shoes were purchased. They gave me a new feeling, and I was able to throw away the painful self images of the past that reminded me of where I was and did not reflect or display where I am at this time.

I woke up this morning. I had breakfast. I used the card that in previous months was lost among the scattered clothes and papers thrown around the room. However, now the room as clean and the card was found.

Immediately, I grabbed some papers and started to study. Lights went off in my brain like a pinball machine lighting up when points were scored. I felt the joy of sensation when one passes by a house with a tremendous spectrum of colorful Christmas lights are blinking on and off.--Clarity in the brilliance of it all.

I could not access any computers until ten o'clock this morning. While I waited in my room, I worked on my cover letter to I looked up, and on the bookshelf I saw my thesaurus. A breakthrough. I discovered a creative resource. I opened it and found some words to use instead of the ususal mundane selections that people use. suddenly I saw the foundation developing of a paragraph that would inspire the reader to read more. PROGRESS. Patience and discipline was paying off. I made a dent in developing a presentation package that would hopefully land me this job at Stickam. The long process was bearing fruit. Organizing the room was bearing fruit. I cleared the mind so I could see the book that would light the imagination to create success.

Without hesitation I called Randy. I needed to contact him to arrange an appointment to get my teeth fixed. I want to totally prepared. Randy was not in but that is ok. I emailed him last week when I emailed my sister and wrote that essay for that reporter's job. Oh yes, that is in the works. However, I am too busy planting more seeds.

I walked to the library and accessed my email. There was an email from my sister.
I saw pictures of my mom and progress made on the house. I was proud of her.
I shared with her some things about stickam. I wanted to share alot more but I decided to wait and develop the plans first.

Suddenly, the pinball machine inside my head was going off like fireworks. The process of integration had begun. It was spectacular. Some of it involves my sister. It makes sense but I need to have patience. We are communicating. That is the beauty of things. I sit here and I say, "Damn, why not before?"

Well, that is simple. Walls were built that precluded that. Now we are building a different foundation. It feels good. Patient walter. Just keep pushing forward.

I came back to the Transition house. I was able to do some applications that enabled me to film, upload and publish. I was lucky he was here.

I am doing some market research while I write this blog. I am broadcasting live on downtownlabroadcasting at Stickam. I am sharing my process with the world as I have been doing with my blog. A different medium, a different process that will yield much discovery. It is something I had planned doing while I was in that guard shack all of those months. I am doing it now. Doing it now, gives me experience which opens up the brain for possibilities. I am pleased. However, I must be patient. As my sister said, I must understand everything that I am doing.I know what she meanss. I monitored my every thought and emotion when I trained for the triathlon and experienced the reduction of emotional and psychological dependency on subtances. I must have done well because I am experiencing continued success in that regard. It does not surprise me. I worked hard at it.

The skills gained from that experience are transferable. Identification and recognition are only two of them but because of the process that I have been experiencing over a long period of time, I was able to identify and apply some things that enabled me to develop a portion of a cover letter that can lead to things. Even if it does not, the process of discovery will.

Good afternoon world, I love you.

Christmas healing

That is Kevin and Debbie. They invited me to their warm home to enjoy Christmas.
The people at the table are their parents and neighbors.

Those pictures show what Christmas is about. Last year, I spent Christmas in a 100 bed dormitory at the Wayside facility of the LA county jail. I was in shock.

It is safe to say it was the most horrible Christmas of my life. I cried all day.
I thought of that day all year long and each time I shuddered with trauma that had set into my soul from that experience. I thought I would never get over it.

The Royce family is a warm family. I always knew they were special but I heard stories about them from their neighbors that made me just marvel at them. You are talking about two people that gave so much love to a child that she lived when she was not expected to do so.

It confirms my belief that love can win over all. Love is such a powerful energy that it can heal wounds when medicine can not.

That table, where the people are sitting, to me, is indicative of the best of America. Each of those individuals have so much love inside of them and they have no problem demonstrating that or sharing it with anyone. I was told by Millie, one of the people at the table, that we Americans sell ourselves short. I think she is correct. We have problems. So what. But at times we forget about the beautiful aspects of the american personality.

I was embraced by this family as one of them. Accepting me as one of their own healed alot of wounds. I was not with my nuclear family today. However, I was with my nuclear extended family. I never thought I would have that opportunity but I did have that opportunity and I healed so much from it and learn so much as well.

This is why we need to be proud of ourselves as Americans. We have th power, within each one of us. to bring joy into the life of someone. We have the power to heal someone from pain. It is our nature and we do it so well. I am grateful that we do as I needed to feel love so badly today.

I spent all day absorbing love and basking in all of its Glory. It is a special day in my journey. I am with special people. I am with people who make me feel safe, They make me feel proud and they make it real easy for me to like myself.

No matter why people are on Skid Row, they have one thing in common. They have a hard time feeling good about themselves. Low Self Esteem is the thread that runs so true in eveyone who walks those sidewalks endlessly searching for themselves. somehow, if they could experience the love I did today, they would have half of the battle won. The quality of the love I experienced is very rare though it is as precious and vital as the air we breath. It is easy to see why it is easy for them to love. There parents have so much love for eachother and display it so willingly.

If people can learn how to love, then they can learn from the experience I received today.

This is one of the beautiful experiences in living life without self indulgence.
I learned alot today. I learned how to believe that I am worthy of love. I learned more how to receibe it and to give it. Thank you very much.

Merry Christmas to everyone and a special Christmas thanks to the Royce clan.

Good night world. I love you.

WAlter Mitchell Melton

Friday, December 21, 2007

More Library and Christmas meal pictures

This is another picture of the Little Tokyo Library. I sit in front of one of the computers alot.


yeterday, the LA Mission held a spectacular dinner for the residents. Mayor Villaraigosa was there serving the residents.

By the way, the balloons were a part of the Christmas decorations at the LA Mission luncheon. I know a special person who once told me she liked balloons. I love them also but I took the pictures with her in mind, especially, because I knew I would be using her computer to do my blog on Christmas evening.

Christmas Eve--trying to push forward

This is the garden at the Little Tokyo Library. It adds to the tranquil atmosphere at the library.

Good morning folks. It is 8:30AM. I am at Chrysalis. I wanted to see a couple of things so I came here early.
As we speak the LA Mission is setting up for their Christmas affair on 5th street.
As I was walking out of my building, trucks with men following close by, were unloading barricades to be lined up on the street. It was quiet on the street this morning. It seemed like the only people that were standing around were the drug dealers. Apparently, they had no customers this morning.

I woke up early this morning. I read alot more about . I love to do research about the company for whom I want to work. I learned alot more about their scope and range as well as the industry in general.

i have loved the industry for years and seeing how much can be done with live video streams makes the possibilities endless.

I am struggling to finish my resume and send it to them this morning. I am trying to figure out if it would be smart to walk the resume in. Stickam is in downtown Los Angeles and it is the Christmas holiday. Maybe I can get lucky.

You know what is so funny. I have an email address called
it is the perfect introduction and matches the theme of the company and the industry. However, I can not access it from the place where I can use my flash drive. If I use Chrysalis, I can not use my flash drive and must put my resume on a disk as the computers are of an older generation. The complications of all of this can be a bit overwhelming.

Anyway, let me get to it and figure out something. Take care. Merry Christmas. I will touch base later today if I can.

I made it through the weekend. It was hard but I got through it. Does anyone think I should walk the resume in today. Let me know. Please leave a comment.

good morning world. I love you

Keep pushing forward.

I made it. Where, you ask? I am in the Central Library to blog. Yes. I had to maintain my record of not missing a day.

You try blogging when you do not have a computer of your own. You try blogging when you have to go to one location to upload a photo. You have to go to another location to upload a video report and, lastly, to a third to input the copy.

Yes, I am here doint just that-making sure the copy is in. Three out of the four computer locations were either inoperable or unavailable today. Aside from that, I was not in the mood to hunt for a computer.

I was throwing myself a great pity party and then I snapped out of it. I had an assistant professor at Penn who told me that she was comforted each time she studied. With that in mind, I pulled out the HTML book and began studying. I was
surprised. I did feel better making progress on my education of internet skills and capabilities.

Then, I decided to do something that I have not done. I recorded a news report.
However, I just found out that the audio did not go through. I am not happy about it but I decided to keep the video posted.

Here is what the report said:

Grand Central Market was crowded today as people were preparing for the Christmas meal with large purchases of food to cook.

On Los Angeles Street today, the retail industry, particularly the toy district was extremely crowded. Christmas sales may be down in general, but you would not know it by looking at Los Angeles street in Skid row, downtown Los Angeles.

Meals were being served at the following locations to people on Skid Row.
---On the corner of 5th/San San Pedro. A live band is also there to entertain the recipients of the Christmas Meals.

----On San Julian St., between 5th and 6th, next to the Union Rescue Mission.

-----On Winston Street behind the Los Angeles Mission , between 4th and 5th streets.

Barbara, the artist who was interviewed on , was out today at 5th and San Julian. All of her paintings were on display. If you would like to purchase a painting of hers. She is still there.

Finally, the police officers are delivering gifts to children at a women and children's shelter in Sylmar. It is run by the Union Rescue Mission.


If you do not have volume on your video, I am sorry. I will work out the kinks. we will have regular downtown news broadcast on and downtownlabroadcasting.


It felt good to push forward today after a shaky morning start. I remember something my sister told me. Do something good for myself every day. I did just that. I did what my father would have told me to do. I learned something. It is a hell of a feeling each time I learn some more of the HTML language.
I can see how things are put together now.

I wish the audio would have come through today but I still am happy that I have the video back. IT is just a silent movie. Bring back the days of Charllie Chaplin,
only in news broadcasts.

I am leaving. My time is over in 5 minutes.

I just found out is located directly across the street from where I am typing. Interesting.

Good Night world. I love you.

Oh, I forgot to tell you. The picture was taken at the Little Tokyo Library.
That is where I usually blog these days. I love it there.

barbara and a morning update

this is Barbara. barbara is a painter on Skid Row. Each week she arrives at 5th and San Julian to paint oil paintings. She has completed 32 paintings on that corner. Don Garza, of, did an interview with her about her art and what is happening on Skid Row.
Don is a little worried about me. He knows I had a hard day yesterday.

I am at the Little Tokyo Library. I did a long post but I hit the wrong key and it vanished, totally. I could not find it. After that, I strolled to
Gladys Park to see the Skid Row Basketball league championship game.

As you know, I did my first article for blogdowntown covering the league. Therefore I had to go support it. I went but my heart just was not there so I wandered back here.

I had not walked two blocks when I saw a horrible sight. I met this trans gender man when I first arrived on Skid Row. He was changing himself into a woman. He was in a drug program while he was taking hormones, etc. Each time I saw him his body was changing. Breasts were developing and his hips were becoming larger.

He relapsed. I heard he relapsed badly. I just saw him and he did not eve3n recognized me. I never saw anyone who looked that bad after doing drugs. It scared me to even try to talk to him. IT is my guess that he lost over 15o pounds.
I asked some people if I should wait to present my sister with a proposal. They think I should wait until I get a couple of things in place. I may have some luck with that pretty soon. We will see.


Everybody seems pretty cheerful on Skid Row. It surprises me. I do not know what is normal down here during the holiday season but it is good to see that people are in fine spirits. Many people are getting into cars and leaving. They are going to see their families. In that respect, Skid Row is like a big college campus. There are people who have been invited to have Christmas dinner with their family members after progressing in certain programs. One man was told to pack his bag by his sister. He was going home for good. I was standing there when she told him the news. Moments before, he was trying to uplift my spirits. He knows how much I want to go home. He wanted to go home. He thought he would never be able to return home. For some reason he believes my sister will forgive me for doing drugs and clear the way for me.

I do not know what to think but I was glad to see that he was going home for good. I went upstairs to his room and helped him pack. We both shed tears. He shed them because he was finally going home. They finally forgave him for doing drugs. I shed tears for two reasons: I was happy that John was going home but I was being left behind. It hurt real badly, especially when I know my mother wants me there.

It is just one of those things. Everyone says I should feel good about doing good things for people on Skid Row. I do but it is not the same thing. I feel like I am nothing without my family. That is why I moved back to California-to be with family.


I am terribly grateful that I can spend Christmas with the Royce family. I had wanted to spend Christmas with them. I did not think I would get invited. It was a gift from heaven. They are such a fine family and great friends. I do not know how God sent them to me. I have these two paper dolls that were given to me by their kids, Reilly and McKenna. They are the greatest gifts in the world. I look at them all of the time as they are on my wall. One day, maybe, I will be able to pack them up and take them home.


Funny, I was thinking about blogging and internet tv. I firmly believe that I could build up somethings. I really do. It would be fun.


My writing is not sharp these days. I am finding it hard to be creative or imaginative in my sentence structure. The emotions are too strong these days.


I must sign off. My computer time is about to terminate. I will not be able to find a computer until tomorrow or Monday. Dam, I hope I can post a blog tomorrow.
I am not covering so much news as I am covering my journey these days. I want to share every moment with people. I need to feel all of the positive energy out there.

Indeed, I just might get this online writing position or the marketing associate position. I hope to find some more to go after but I like these two jobs. lets see what happens. I will hang in there.

Hopefully we will be broadcasting tomorrow. I must check with Garza

good afternoon world.

I love you.

one hell of a day.

it is one of those days. this morning was tough. real tough. I was in the computer lab of the STRIVE program. Either the computers did not work or the sites were blocked on the few that did work. Frustrating. What was I supposed to do. The Christmas spirit was in the air at the Transition House. I was glad for everyone.

Walking out of the facility it suddenly hit me. It hit me so hard I stopped walking and my legs buckled. I had to hold onto the wall so I would not fall. I had a heart attack. It was not of the physcial nature. It was of the emotional nature.
It seized my soul and would not let go. It gripped me tighter than a vice clamp.

I burst out crying, "I want to go home. I want to go home." "God, please let me go home." Unashamed, I kept yelling those words. "IT is Christmas, please let me go home." People saw me. People were worried about me. I did not stop to talk.
I had to keep going. I had to accomplish one thing. My sister said do one good thing for myself each day. She is not aware that I listened to her. She does not have a clue.

West on 5th street, was my heading. I was so tempted to walk straight to the Advanced Video Systems office on 5th st at the US Bank building. That is where the office is for They are looking for Marketing Associates. Stickam
is the company which allowed me to embed the video player on my previous blog posting so people could view the interview I did with a person from Skid Row who had relapsed.

When I first started to blog, Eric Richardson of blogdowntown, said to me, "I would be interested in your story. So many people hear of recovery but what do they really know about it. You could explain it as you live it."

That launched my blogging career. Every person builds their life in a different way. Tyree, the person, with whom I had the interview, shared his journey-one that sent him back into the streets.

I always wanted to have a video player embedded on my blog. I want to post videos everyday. I do not have the equipment capabilities. However, I have the desire.
I did that first interview and it was emotional for me. I always wanted to do a documentary about drug usage. 7 years ago I started my own live stream channel on It has sinced changed to

Showcam did not have audio. The technology was not there. has the technology. One can go live or record and upload. You can use their players on any website. It is by far the best I have seen in the 6 years that I have been interested in this activity.

I believe the technology can be used for entertainment and to increase public awareness on serious issues as well. My interview with Tyree proved to me how wonderful the medium is.

I was on my way to Chrysalis when I started crying. I was on my way to complete
an online job application for one firm and to complete my resume for stikcam. It is the only internet firm that does not require an intense technical background and I can do the job they need done.

Finally, I arrived, distracted and desperately praying that I could get something accomplished. I already missed the nice lady who has been working with me on my resume. There was another appointment on the calendar and I did not want to miss that. There was a chance for some short term employment.

Quickly, I sent off some emails. It was necessary to feel I was productive. I usually hear back from all to whom I sent an email, except my sister. I did not hear back from any of them as of this writing.

With that done, I had to decide what to do. I wanted to complete my resume for Stickam but I did not think I should hurry it.

Instead, it would be more prudent to advance where, at least, an employer and an interesting one at that, was waiting for me to follow up with more information about myself. It was another on line firm. They are an online newspaper. I had to answer some questions.

There was no point in procrastinating. I wanted to draft out some answers but that would take forever. Instead, I started typing. It was not what I planned but I was satisfied. I, at least did it. I did not think of rejection, my teeth or anything except getting it done. Alas, my hat was in the employment ring. If they call within a few days as, they say they will, it would be a pleasant surprise. however, they said they would do that when I first applied. I heard from them a month later.

Yes, it felt good to accomplish that. I am one step closer to something--a yeah or a nay. AT least, I am closer. That was the point of doing it. I have to keep getting closer in many processes. There was a time when I could not stand to wait a day or so. I would agonize. I thought my total fate was in the hands of whoever had an application from me.
Tyree, who relapsed, had his demons. Mine have been so much different.

There was no time to do the resume at Chrysalis. They closed at 12. Today is Friday. The computer at the building is on the blink and the computers at the Transition House were not functioning.

I used to hate Fridays as the weekend would grant me limited access to computers.
I did not think of that today. I only ached to be with my family. The ache would appear out of nowhere. It was sharp and intense. I guess it is what is felt if a woman is in labor when there are suprise kicks.

I walked around and then landed at the Transition House again. Robert, a friend of mine, saw me and immediately stopped what he was doing to talk to me.

"Walter, do not feel sad. Your mom is safe and she knows you want to be there. YOu can not be there but one day, when you go home, you will not have to leave."

"How do you know that?" I asked him, tears running down the side of my face.

"Because you are doing all of the right things. Look how far you have come. You get so upset about that job you did not get because of the hernia. However, if you got that job, more than likely, you would not have grown in your writing and publishing. You would not have developed your blog, or whatever it is you call it.
You have grown so much and everyone here is amazed at the things you are exposing them to. Internet television. You talked about it. You dreamed about it. You are doing it. Yes you are having problems with equipment but so what. You have shown them that it can be done. Your sister will know it soon."

My head turned sharply. "How? She does not read it. She does not know I have two channels on the internet. She knows nothing about or
downtownlabroadcasting. "

"She will know, Walter. Have a little faith. It is tough on you but so what. You have come so far. I have seen how much you have grown. I have seen how much you have fought to grow and how much you have fought for others to grow.
Your time will come."

I turned and walked out. I came here to the Little tokyo library. I started writing. Then I went back to the Transition House because I could upload some pictures. I could do that only because the computer teacher could change the filters for a few minutes. I left the library, went all the way back to the transition house and uploaded the pictures.

"Are we going live again, WAlter?" "Are you going to interview somebody again."
Questions flew at me as I walked in. The teacher just shook his head. "That is all they have been talking about walter. they want to see you broadcast. They cant believe you broadcasted all over the world from Skid Row."

I did for a few minutes and a few viewers came on to watch. The teacher had to leave so I came back here to finish my post. I have pictures uploaded for the next couple of days. I took pictures of this Library, here, in Little Tokyo. I took pictures of the garden at this library. Now everyone can see where I spend alot of my time trying to maintain my blog.

I am dedicated to my blog. I am dedicated to the process. I have few readers but I cherish all of them. They keep me strong. They keep me striving.

Do you know how much I wanted to have a interview on a video player embedded in my blog. I dreamed of that ALL YEAR. I felt I should post it first on Centralcitye
because Garza spent alot of time teaching me the ins and outs of the blogging world.
He led the way.

None the less, I had to put a video on my blog. I felt so professional when I did it. I want to continue to grow in that regard. Video interviews. Video news segments.

Don will have a few more posted on soon.

So you can see that walking around and searching for computers has kept me together, emotionally. I did the essay and now I only have to do the resume and cover letter for Stickam. Of course I want it to be perfect. It would be nice to get the job.
It would be nice to move forward with an internet career that pays me to do marketing.

However, I must wait. I must continue the process. It is a discipline for which I have grown to have much respect, this past year.

I must keep planting seeds and watering them. Something will come my way. Keep the process going. It would be nice to work for a company that runs the company from which my broadcasts come. They would be paying me to learn and grow and promote their company. I do now. Skid Row loves Stickam.

good night world I love you.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Interview of Skid Row Resident and a desire to move forward

A couple of days ago, I posted this video interview on Centralcitye. I feel it is important enough to post it again on my blog. Please view it. This was my first live interview. Of course, I believe I should have covered more ground but I shall have other chances to improve.


It is Friday and I have a great deal to do. I have to write an essay as well as complete a job specific resume. I wish I had done these things before today as it is the weekend and the holiday. IT is an emotional time and each moment is a challenge. I shall get through it. If Tyree was able to get through his relapse period, I can meet the challenge of completing this resume and essay.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Breaking through barriers

This picture is another one that was taken at the bloggers on ice party.
These lights are on a lamp post in Pershing Square. They form a bugler. I thought they were very nice and represent the Christmas spirit well.


I would like to thank Pamela for the very nice thing she said about me. IT uplifted my spirits. Furthermore, she actually saw my blog. I don't think anyone reads my blog. It felt good to see her comment. thank you.

I finally broke through the psychological barriers that prevented progress on the room. It is finished. I am organized. It is a funny thing about being organized. I am not used to it down here.

It is essential to be organized at this new level. Potentially, there are opportunities of which I may be able to avail myself. However, I must put myself in the game. I can not do that unless I clear the mind from the past--not put myself down and plunge forward into the unknown. It is easy to not risk being rejected and to stay in a rut. I was telling someone today, that I felt less secure, this year, each time I advanced to a new level. Why? Simple. At the new level you risk failure. You do not know what is going to happen. You fear the worst.
You already know how it feels to be where you are. IT may be frustrating but you are used to it. It is hard to explain. People sabotage progress because you are in
the "unknown" zone.

I guess the same thing happens when someone chases someone away when they meet someone and find out they have feelings for the person. Maybe they have not had a relationship in a long time. Maybe the last relationship caused pain. Maybe they are scared to risk being happy because they are so used to being alone.

Going for it at each stage this year is like that. I have to realize that when I procrastinated, I was unconsciously settling for what I was alreasy familiar until I could not stand it. Fortunately, I learned alot about that breaking through barriers when I trained for the triathlon. Training for that, I retrained myself. Rebuilt myself. That is the reason why I speak about that process so much.
I discarded negative things and acquired new things, all of which were intangible so tangible and vital to the process of progressing in life.

I broke through the barriers the last week. I kept at it. It was rough but I did it. I put it behind me so now I do not have to think about it everyday. I bought those shoes so I do not have to think about buying new shoes. I do not have to think about being a new person. I am BEING the new person with each incremental action.

I applied for a job a month ago. They finally called me. The ball is in my court.
I have to write something. I cleared my mind. I threw away the excuses that prevented the CHANCE of victory. I will sit down tonight and write the essay. I will put myself in the game. Each time I see a posting, I will respond now. I will not talk myself out of success. Something will happen sooner or later for me.
I am enjoying the self healing process of putting myself in the game.
Sometimes it is more important than a job offer. Sometimes the most important game is the one with oneself. If you win that one, you can win anything.

I put alot behind me. The smallest things help me to continue the process. The comment from Pamela helped tremendously for me to push forward. I have received so much kindness like that. Thanks everyone.

bloggers on Ice

These are more pictures from the "bloggers on ice" affair the other night.
I unexpectedly took time today to learn how to do some video work. It turned out well. It turned out so well that I forgot to go to a Men's Group at the Marshall HOuse where I live. The case manager mentioned it to me before when I went to the casting call for the movie. Of course sro housing corp. wanted all of the people to go to the casting call but that did not sit too well with the case manager. Of course he does not do anything to help anyone down here. He might be pissed and want to kick me out of the program.

I was able to interview a person about drug addiction and his period or relapse. I think it gave some insight into what he was feeling while he was back on the streets using drugs again. "I felt like I was a wild animal", were his words. That was a power description and it gave me some insights as to how people feel when they relapse.
I shall let you know how to access the video as soon as I know how to do it.

I may not be able to upload pictures for a while. They have inadvertently changed the settings where I post them and it may take a while for me to be able to upload them. therefore I will have boring blogs. I am sorry folks. I did not want that to happen. However, I knew sooner or later, something would happen. I do not have my own computer and I never know what will happen. I am glad I have had a chance to learn during the time I was able to upload the photos. I hope I will continue soon.
I have learned to make adjustments when unexpected events alter the path of growth. I no longer think these things are the end of the world.

I do cherish my blogging and desire to improve at it. I hope the settings are changed soon. Otherwise, I have only the photos that I have left in different drafts awaiting my write up.

In the meantime, I must see what this case manager has to say to me about missing the group session. What did I miss? Nothing. I missed some guys who do not want to be there and who do not feel like saying to everyone that they are having problems that no one can help them with that say they are going to help them.

The case manager I am talking about told me to go to the court to find out about classes.
When I first arrived at the building to live he told me he would help me with problems, one at a time, and when one was solved, we would handle another.

He has been absolutely useless. That is the case more than not on Skid Row.

Things come together with patience.

This is Shannon. I have read Shannon's comments on Blogdowntown and other blogs for months. It appeared that everyone knew who she was and that she was as popular as she was well known. Well, Last night, I finally had a chance to meet Shannon.
And yes, she has a delightful, engaging and refreshingly unpretentious personality.
It was immediately obvious to me why she is so liked by all of the bloggers.
Nice meeting you Shannon.

When I first came to Skid Row in February, on a few occasions, I found copies of the Downtown News. My mother used to bring them home when she worked at the Hall of Administration building on Temple. In the real estate business, it was always a way to keep in touch with what the players in the industry were doing downtown.

I picked up those papers this year to try and update myself with what was going on downtown. However, so much had changed. There were new players in the downtown real estate industry. The only name I did recognize was Tom Gilmore. I thought I would never get a grip on what was going on down here. I did not know if I was in a state of shock or what.

I never discarded those editions as I felt the information was important and would give me a foundation of knowledge in my new environment.

I have been clearing away clutter and reminders of the past-things that, in effect, create a high and strong drag coefficient on my forward progress, horizontally and vertically. I pulled out those old newspapers yesterday. I went through them.
Yes, You have come a long way, baby.

I absorbed the information and was familiar with the variety of subject matter that presented itself. Of course, I have been brought up to speed by reading many of the blogs and irritating people with thousands of questions. Many times, I had to ask questions more than once as I just did not get it.

Well, now I have gotten a few things. Most importantly I have gotten a few things within myself. That, in and of itself, paves the way for everything else in life, no matter what it is. In addition, I am more than acquainted with the subject matter, finally. Moreover, many of the people that are talked about or interviewed in the paper are people that I have met over the last few months. "OH, that's so and so from so and so place."

Last night, with the Christmas season in full stride along with the spirit that goes along with it, was perfect for alot of things to come together. I have missed many of the blog outtings but I could not have picked a better occasion than the
"bloggers on ice "(or blogger on ice as Shannon put it) to finally be at a group affair. And yes, I had on my new tennis shoes. When I first wanted to buy them, it was to celebrate a new job. Purchasing them yesterday was for a much different reason. It was too symbolize the coming together, at a new level, of a new me(still a work in progress,mind), one that is growing in a multiplicity of ways and is experiencing as many new things.

I remember, before Thanksgiving, I was worried about how I was going to make it through the holidays. I was going to be alone and I was going to think about my family. I was surprised by an invitation to spend Thanksgiving with a fine family and that healed so many wounds. They were wonderful. It was because if them that I no longer want to avoid a certain highway, etc. They do not know it, but that experience, has been a most beautiful, ongoing gift. They gift they gave to me was the gift of faith. That is most as precious as it is invaluable.

I was not worried about Christmas because of the faith they gave to me, the spirit of warmth that is ongoing, each day I am in Skid Row. Many times, I receive an email that encourages me to feel the spirit. Hell, it is that spirit that has provided me with courage to carry on, at times, when I did not think I could continue.

I received a phone call today and I was invited to spend Christmas with the same family with whom I spent Thanksgiving. I told them also about the developments in my own family situation. So, things are coming together. Just like meeting Shannon, I just had to be patient. It was worth the wait to meet Shannon and it has been worth the wait in having the hope, at times, if not the faith, that things would improve. They have. I have.

Good evening world, I love you.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Festival and Garza

This is another picture taken at the Jules Verne Film Festival. This is Don Garza, a long time downtown blogger, showing how it is done. Don was entertaining and interviewing, simultaneously, the fans that were waiting patiently outside of the Los Angeles Theatre for the stars of the Heroes cast that came to the festival and participated in the tribute to Stan Lee.

This theatre is on Broadway. However, it is hard to tell that it is Broadway in Los Angeles. With the efforts of Russell Brown, executive director of the Historical Core Bid, the lights of Broadway in Los Angeles may outshine the famous theatre district in New York City, in the not too distant future.

More Festival--Riding the Christmas Wave

these are just two more phots taken at the Jules Verne Festival. I will be uploading more during the week. One is obiously writer Stan Lee being interviewed by a woman from The other is one of the many beautiful chandeliers that hang from the ceilings and walls at the Los Angeles Theater. If I were better photographer, I would be able to play with all of the beautiful lights on the chandelier.
On this rainy day I have been working on my resume and uploading pictures. It has been a good, productive day. It is fitting because last night, at the Pershing Square Ice Skating Rink, I had a great time. I met some great people and absorbed the Christmas spirit that was in the atmosphere.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Jules Verne Film Festval

The photos are of the Jules Film Festival. That is STan lee. I have a story to tell about him later. However, for now, I just want to say that he was given a tribute at the film festival. He is the creator of Spiderman and other super heroes in comic books and movies.

Interesting afternoon.

It is about 4pm. I am sitting in the Little Tokyo library. It has a positive energy within in it and I wanted to bask in it. It makes sense that I am here for a few other reasons.

I initially came here after looking for some shoes to purchase.

I only had one pair of shoes when I landed on Skid Row. They wore out in in June.
Fortunately for me at the time, someone left a pair of shoes behind. He relapsed and never came back to the dormitory where I was living. I have worn those shoes ever since. They are ripped in many places. However, that is not why I am discarding them. I can actually wear them for a much longer period of time.

In early November, if you recall, I was offered a position as an assistant manager at a hotel in Skid Row. The offer was rescinded because I had a very small hernia.
I thought it was unfair but they made a business decision based on their assessment of risk.

On the day I was given the offer, however, I remember the human rescources recruiter
asking me what I was going to do to celebrate.

"I am going to purchase a new pair of tennis shoes."

"Walter, don't you think that a $100 pair of shoes is a bit excessive. Save your money," she said.

"You misunderstand. I have no intention of spending that much money on a pair of tennis shoes. I plan on walking over to Los Angeles Street and spending $10.00."

She looked at me out of the side of her eyes for several seconds.

I wanted to get rid of the past and start anew. Those shoes reminded me of a time when I lived in that dormitory and I had been out of that facility for a month when the offer to me was tendered.

I never purchased those shoes and when the offer was rescinded, I was scarred I would not have money later if I did not get another offer.

I still do not have another offer but some some interesting developments within the last couple of things. Doors are opening and they require that I present myself in a different fashion. More importantly, I no longer feel about myself in the manner that these shoes I now wear symbolize. I had a low self image after the things that I had experienced.

It has been a day to day struggle but there are strong structural underpinnings in place that is the foundation for a very positive attitude. I am surprised myself at times. Of course, I did not do it by myself. I had alot of support from good people along the way.

I went several places to try on shoes in the Skid Row area. The merchants range in friendliness, from gruff to accomodating in a very pushy manner. I made a point to go to a store that I visited a couple of times after I had been on Skid Row for a couple of months. The man behind the counter was indifferent to my presence when I asked him some questions about the price of a pair of shoes. I did not want a piece of metal on an all black pair of shoes and I did not want flashy shoes. However, that is all they had. I knew where I could get a solid pair of black shoes without
a metal band across the lace hole line.

When I was trying on the shoes, a small elderly lady came out from the back of the store and when I tried on the shoes, she said perfect. She was so glad that they fit me. She was not aware of my finicky attitude about the metal. I told them. I would have to think about it. Actually I had plans to return to the other store.
I told them that I at least wanted to come by there before I did anything.

They lady looked at me and said "Thank you." It was a sincere gesture of gratitude that I would consider them. I have thought about them ever since. I know they need the sale. The other store is one of several stores that the owner operates.
This store is obviously the only store operated by this elderly lady and her son.

The lady reminded me of my mother the way she carried herself. Today, an attorney told me he wants to go before the judge to get things changed for me. He said I have proven alot to him with longevity of staying on a certain path and certain things I have pointed out make a compelling argument that some things need to be reconsidered an examined. I waited a long time for people to be on my side. Once I had an open ear, it took time for them to observe me in several situations and gain the confidence in me for them to invest their professional and emotional time in helping me solve some problems. It was not easy. There have been disappointments along the way. As you know, the rescinded offer was quite a blow to me. People wondered what I would do-if I would go off the deep end. Of course that never happened and that was the first major step in establishing the trust that I needed from others to assist me in overcoming some obstacles in accomplishing some goals.

I heard from the attorney today and he itemized what motions he plans to bring before the court. I almost fainted. I could not believe I survived to this point, to see the day that this could happen. With that in mind, I am getting ready to walk out of this library and purchase those pair of shoes from that elderly lady and her son. It would not feel right if I spent it any other store.

Afterwards, I am going to walk over to the Pershing Square for the Bloggers on Ice
party. Yes, it is the Christmas spirit and I am going to be a part of the growing spirit of community down here. I will feel that lady when I walk in those shoes and while feeling her, I will feel my own mother walk with me every day.

Good Afternoon world. I love you.

christmas tree and a morning surprise

The above photos were taken of the Christmas tree and a decoration at the Christmas tree lighting at San Julian Park (Fifth/San Julian) on Friday, December 14.

I had to go to a class but returned in time to still see the crowd, the bright lights on the tree and hear Christmas carols sung by a trio of women. It was a very warm atmosphere around the park that night and I was glad to be a part of the family spirit.
This morning, I was clearing out my phone and something told me to check on a few phone numbers. two of them were wrong numbers. I started to delete the third when a little voice told me to be patient. I was glad listened to that little voice.

After pushing the button, an automated voice came on,"Human Resources Department. Please hold. A representative will be with you shortly." I still started to hang up. I wondered if this was a new telemarketing ploy or Multi-level marketing pitch.

A man came on the line. He told me I applied to a company and the were getting back to me. He explained he was from a company that pre-screened applicants for fortune 500 companies. He pulled up my file and finally told me about the company.

Yes, I did apply to it. They were to communicate with me within three days. They never did. I thought they were not interested. They are an online company. It was over a month ago. I just forgot about them.

Things have changed, I see. Companies that are in a hyper-growth mode are using companies as intermediaries to screen for them-cutting down on costs and leveraging out the capabilities of the technology in place these days.

He asked me some questions and he told me I passed this phase. I would get an email with instructions to fill out. As the computer downstairs from my room was not reliable this morning, cutting off every couple of minutes, I walked down here to the Chrysalis Agency to access my email.

It is a good thing that I became more organized mentally and physically this past weekend. The application to be filled out requires that I have a clear, relaxed mind. I must write an essay explaining why I would be good in the position to which I am applying.

As writing ability is a key factor in this position, I chose not to hastily write something in order to quickly return the application.

I have other resumes to fill out and submit as well. I am glad I have evolved to the point where I can respond to things with increasing dispatch:mentally, emotionally, and physically. It bodes well that I do not obsess and hang on pins and needles, waiting for the company to get back to me.

Most importantly, I am not putting up barriers about background before they come up. If they do, they do. I can not live my life in a defeatist posture.
I believe I am heling from that malady.

People are in Chrysalis actively using the computers this morning. It appears that no one is playing around. People are looking for jobs.

The stereotype that people on Skid Row do not want to work should be evidenced by the large number of turn outs for the background actor postion for the upcoming Jamie Foxx movie. The beginning of production is weeks away and there is no guarantee that one will be picked. Yet, people endured up to a four hour wait to fill out the required preliminary documentation.

That is the situation in the beginning of this week, Monday, December 17.

I must return to my room and tighten things up even more as I put more applications in for employment and must be able to respond.

Good morning, world. I love you