Wednesday, January 24, 2007

I'm in over my head.

I was in over my head from the very beginning.

And I can't do this any longer.

I overdrew my bank account. I ran myself ragged. I tried to take everything onto myself because I felt guilty about asking the Janes for money and asking them to break the law.

Emergency Kindness was a plan badly structured, poorly implemented, and cost far too much to run.

I'm giving it up. I'm broke, I messed up my credit rating, I'm facing a huge car repair bill, I have to move out of my parents' house in five months...right now I need to take care of myself. I've driven myself stir crazy trying to take care of all these other people and I can't do it anymore.

I've spent too many nights on the phone with Leon, sitting on a cold park bench somewhere in the dark and crying because I can't handle this and I'm finding it impossible to get help. I've spent too much time dabbling in horrible things like work at escort services trying to pay for all this EC. I can't even walk into Wal-mart anymore because the pharmacists know me on sight. I've spent too much time screaming, stressing. I've worried Mal half to death and he doesn't even know a fraction of what I did or how much money I've poured into this. If he did know he'd hit the roof.

I'm so exhausted. I've been exhausted for four months now. I want to wrap myself up in my coat and sleep for a thousand years. I haven't had a decent night's sleep since I started this.

It's like a long nightmare.

And I need to wake up.

So this is it; this is goodbye, y'all. I'm going to stop EK and cut back my classes and try to work full-time in the hopes that I will have a little money scraped together by the time my parents kick me out. Best of luck to all of you. Take care of yourselves and keep fighting.

You're stronger than I'll probably ever be.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Nowhere Again

So the alarm rings at half-past five.

And you groan 'cause you're half awake already and mutter, "It can't be morning already" and roll out of bed with a smile and hit the ground running.

And as you make your coffee you mentally add the three hours' time difference, know that soon she'll be checking her email and getting your job application, and just pray for a favorable reception.

Today is the day that something has to change.

You gotta keep believing that because the alternative is unthinkable.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Please donate.

Donations will fund Emergency Kindness.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

So I haven't been in much of a writing mood lately.

I've been very busy, very scared, and a little bit depressed.

First off, Emergency Kindness is proving itself to be too much for one person to handle. Because I'm trying to figure out a partnership with the NNAF, I only call on Janes if there's absolutely no way I can help the client myself, and I've stopped screening applicants because I just don't have time. Because Walmart now sells Plan B over the counter there isn't so much need for access. Most women who come to me are doing it because they can't afford EC. I try to wire money to as many of them as I can, but it's just not working out. My checking account has four dollars left in it. I've poured all my savings into it- the measly two thousand dollars I scraped up to try to start moving out, it's gone because of this.

I cannot afford to run this project. I only make $7.50 an hour, and I only work about 28 hours a week because I'm trying to balance school in. And my parents have told me that I need to move out by June.

I don't know where I'll get the money to do this. I absolutely can't stop Emergency Kindness, there are so many people who need my help. But I don't know what's going to happen to me, either. I can't afford to keep running this project.

Friday, October 27, 2006

News and stuff.

Right, so I talked to someone from WV FREE, who put me in touch with a worker at the National Network of Abortion Funds. I'm set to have a phone conference with the NNAF on Monday afternoon to talk about properly legitimizing EK as an official nonprofit and maybe even becoming one of the organizations under the NNAF umbrella. I'm really excited about it but nervous as hell at the same time. I know nothing about business negotiation.

Since I have no office I asked my old drama director if I could maybe borrow his for the meeting. Still waiting to hear back on that.

This is old news but I only found out yesterday- EK has been featured on Broadsheet! I never thought we'd get this much exposure.

...and yes, when I found out we had made it on Broadsheet, I got up and gave it a chorus of "Yatta!" complete with the dancing. Cut me a break. I'm still a kid, after all.

Okay, so legally I've been (mostly- I won't really feel like I've made it until I hit 21) an adult for a day. It doesn't really feel different, though.

Now that I'm 18 I can finish making out my living will and have that lawyered up. It turns out that I can't have my best friend (let's call him "Mal," for purposes of this journal- he did cosplay Mal once...) take power of attorney for health care if I'm incapacitated, since he's not 18 yet. (Mal's a year younger than I am, we've been closer than I ever thought possible for the past four years, I trust him more than anyone else.) The people closest to me after Mal are the ones I'll call "Felicity" and "Leon." Leon won't be 18 till May, but Felicity will be 18 next week. I'll probably give power of attorney for health care to her. I trust her nearly as much as Mal. One thing's for sure, I do not want to give it to my parents. They'd totally ignore my wishes and keep me on life support for years no matter how much of a vegetable any accident renders me.

Meh, I'm done rambling.

I'm probably not going to call too many more Janes until after I've spoken with the NNAF, I'm just going to return calls to the ones who contacted me. It'll have to wait until tomorrow morning, though, since I'm kind of stuck in a place where I can't make calls for a while.

Honestly I never thought it'd be this draining. There's so much to do and organize and research. So many letters to write and phone calls to make. I'm not the most social or outgoing person, so I feel incredibly awkward making all these calls to older people, strangers every one of them, to interview them and such. And I think nobody expected me to be this young. I know I kind of surprised the lady from WV FREE- she asked if I had an office or anything, and I kind of laughed and told her I'd been doing everything from my cell phone from a bench in front of the campus library.

Deep down I know that I am vastly underqualified for what I am trying to do here. But at the same time I know it's got to be done. I guess I've just got to learn as I go. I'm "San Cai," after all. I can flourish anywhere.

I never explained my name, did I? Might as well do it now. San Cai is the name of the heroine of Liu Xing Hua Yuan (Meteor Garden), this plucky poor girl who attends a university full of rich snobs. (After I had been in my school a week or so I felt like I had stepped right into Ying De University!) Her name is written as
杉 菜, and there are several ways to romanize it- I chose the easiest. If I spelled it phonetically I think it would look like "sahn chai." It translates as "field horsetail." They refer to that a lot in the show- it's called her "weed power." Horsetail is a nuisance weed because no matter how many times it's uprooted, it regrows very quickly and robustly. It's something that thrives wherever you plant it. Back when I hung out with my Chinese friends a lot (before they returned to S'pore), it was one of my nicknames- we all loved the show, had a thousand running jokes about it. I was always their "dry flat sour Cai, the hardworking virgin, the reincarnation of a washing board."

Hao lah, I'm going to sign off. I have a lot of other projects I've been neglecting because of EK. Might as well take the chance to catch up.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Can I collapse yet?

I really am in way over my head on this one.

I have 225 applications to work through. I've posted a notice on the form page asking for a cessation of apps, but they keep coming anyway.

Planned Parenthood in Chicago has told their workers not to distribute EC to anyone who identifies themselves as calling from EK until they know what we're about. I've called them and they'll have an administrator call me back. If I don't fuck it up maybe I can get them to support us.

I also got in touch with someone from WV FREE who contacted me; she's going to put me in contact with some people who can help me figure out the shades of gray surrounding our legality. (I think we're around 80% legal, it's just that 20% I want someone to help me clarify.)

I've got our Paypal running on the site. I'm also probably going to add a button here for a separate fund- the Keep San Cai Blogging fund, which will help me make rent to move out and pursue more active activism. (Wow, that sounds redundant. But I'm sure you know what I mean.) So when you donate, please specify which fund you're contributing to; unmarked donations will be credited to the Emergency Kindness fund.

Also, does anyone know how this AdSense thing works? I'm trying to figure it out and all the forms about taxes are making my eyes spin. If anyone has one running, can they explain it to me a bit, please?

Rant alert.

Okay, not a rant so much as a ramble.

This afternoon around 2 PM my time I'll be able to pop onto a wired lan, so I can set up the Paypal (my account there still works, I just need to switch the email address on it). I'm also going to put AdSense on this blog.

I really didn't want to have advertising on here, but I'm going to need to do it, even if it only brings in a little money. Emergency Kindness is putting me into a really unstable position. This morning I had to buy a phone card to continue interviewing Janes. I got four hundred minutes, which cost me eighty dollars.

This has cut into my "buffer"--I always try to have at least a hundred dollars in my account.

Now I have thirty dollars.

This really scares me. I haven't been this close to flat broke since I started working sophomore year. It makes me kind of wish Wolfy and I hadn't broken up, because then I could still be working for his brother-in-law. But that was a personal assistant job, and as sweet as Hidenori is, I draw the line at addressing and licking envelopes that contain my ex-boyfriend's wedding invitations. There are just some sacrifices of dignity that I won't take--I mean, come on, this was two months after I left him!

Anyway, since I'm saving to move out of my (extremely conservative) parents' house, all the money I've been spending lately to get this project off the ground scares me. I mean, I know I'm doing the right thing, but I'm totally terrified, especially since I haven't had a callback on any of my job applications yet. I need to make my way out of this house as soon as possible because I'm forbidden to participate in political activism here. My parents highly discourage the exercise of my social conscience, so if I don't get out soon it'll be too late for me to help make a lot of the changes that this country needs.

So...yeah. Going to get the Paypal running so that I can reimburse the Janes and pay the hosting costs of EK, and going to get AdSense to try to bring in what little money I can.

I still have about an hour and half before my next class, so I'm going to do some phone work on those Jane applications now.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Merciful god...

I never expected this huge a response. I thought I'd be making do with about a dozen Janes at best.

I have approved thirteen Janes so far (I don't have much time to phone, and I need to buy a new phone card so I can keep doing interviews), and I have about a hundred and thirty applications in my inbox.

I might need to start farming out calls to the Janes I have so far. Maybe I can give each of them a few calls in their local area? Feedback, Janes and Joes?