Homeless America

Homeless Tents

When I was driving for Uber in Los Angeles, I was struck by how many homeless people live there.  Some say there are 100,000 homeless in Los Angeles, especially in the old downtown area and under freeway bridges.  Shelters cannot keep up.  Soup kitchens have not “seen these numbers” since the Great Depression of the 1930s.  Local government does little to help, and the police may arrest a homeless person only to free him or her without help the next day.  I saw a homeless tent parked near a Rolls Royce luxury sedan in the Beverly Hills area.  A U.S. army veteran camped out at a McDonald’s patio with his friend.  A man lay passed out in the street in front of a Starbucks coffee shop.  A wheelchair-bound man visited the local cat lover and his shopping cart near Walmart.  Churches lock their gates as people sleep on steps and in doorways.  Will we only do something about the homeless when they climb over our high walls and invade our homes and gardens?  We take better care of our fashion and our pet dogs.  As an Uber driver, I often slept in my car, homeless myself but with a vehicle as shelter.  Buy my books, and I will help the homeless.  Now I am not one of them.  Like most Americans, I could be homeless again–after one month without a paycheck.  America is falling.

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Big Bear Renaissance Faire 2017

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Last night the Queen invited all her court, friends, and their family & friends to celebrate Christmas on 12th Night (in January), as was done long ago and is still done in some places today.  Seeing people who have become family to me, feasting on our homemade food, listening to music and stories, and playing games like the Gift Exchange, I remembered back to last summer when I entered a better Reality than this modern age.  Close your eyes and enter a slower-paced, more fantastical time where surprises waited behind tree branches and in the spark of children’s eyes.

See the video I just posted on Youtube.  Read my fantasy novel.  Celebrate life!

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God is My Refuge

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God must be my refuge this year.  As I read the Gospel of John and Psalm 91 today, that thought became clear.  Funny how I took a photo of this window with the moon above it. Please read about the moon (and its beauty, symbols) in my books.

Moon Campus

Beautiful Fool

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I am a beautiful fool

eyes as aquamarine against faded gold

like the ring my daughter gave me

living in my own dream world

Galadriel of the forest

giving to Arwen

pink flowers in moonlight

standing, frail, against the doom of a sorcerer

waiting for a miracle

Jesus

**This is the poem my daughter Jessica wrote for me when she gave me this ring:

For My Mother
Whose Beauty Shall Forever Illuminate Through
–& Within–
My Heart
As Galadriel,
the Immortal Lighthouse
of All Forests.
My Courageous
Queen
Shall Eternally Protect
–& Reign o’er–
My Spritish Soul
with Grace Beyond
Earthly
Comprehension
(–Perhaps Sprouted from
the Aquamarine
Ring
this Elf
Once Gave Her!)

Please buy my books, just $2.99 each, so that my dreamlife may continue in practical, unpoetic, expensive California.  Thank you, this Day after Thanksgiving, Year of our Lord 2017.

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Big Bear Renaissance Faire

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My Turkish husband “Jack” first saw a Renaissance Faire with me in the foresty mountains of Big Bear, California in 2015.  I went to the 2014 Big Bear Renaissance Faire alone.  In 2016, Jack and I were having such a difficult time just trying to find a home that we did not attend.  Now, in August of 2017, the last weekend of the faire calls to us.  We hope to stroll again among the knights and ladies, fairy children, castle gates. Join us in this colorful world where you will be amazed at what you may see.

If you like my photos, slideshow, and video, please check out my books.  I wrote a fantasy novel about Selah who escaped an evil tower in the desert and followed Micah up the mountains where she felt her first rainfall and touched her first trees. I wrote a science fiction novel about Miranda who cared for the earth’s last tree and traveled back in time to meet her great, great-grandmother Gabrielle, who saved tree seeds for the future.

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Secrets of Los Angeles–from an Uber Driver

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I never used to like Los Angeles.  After exploring it day and night as an Uber driver, I find it beautiful.  Beverly Hills has silver-painted fire hydrants on very clean street corners.  Dark green leaves of Banyan trees arch across wide roads, shading the line of secretive mansions set back behind ivy-covered walls.  Some of these multi-million-dollar homes are brave enough to show sun-spattered entrances to their lofty doors and windows.  On other streets, along canyons, Pink-flowered trees line roads for pastel-colored homes with white picket fences and rose gardens.

I used to live in the San Bernardino Mountains–before traveling overseas to teach English for 5 years.  When I came home summers to sell my books at a posh Big Bear coffee shop, most LA people (up for the weekend) would walk past me as if I were invisible.  I asked, “Would you like to buy a book?”  They would not answer.  Wearing their gold and diamond jewelry with name-brand clothes, they would breeze by in their Personal Trainer-sculpted bodies crowned by salon-crafted hair.  They would examine kitchen gadgets or wooden wall signs:  “My Kitchen, My Rules.”  Sometimes they held a small designer dog instead of leaving it in their new Range Rover, BMW, or Tesla parked under a pine tree.  That’s what I thought of them:  materialistic, shallow, not inclined to read books.  But now I see their world closer, and I understand a little how the wealthy seek to preserve their wealth.

I left the mountain because I could not find a good teaching job or sell enough of my books online.  I started driving for Uber Eats.  This new division of the personal car taxi service features ordering food online from many LA restaurants.  A driver like me will get an offer on the Uber smart phone app, navigate to the restaurant via Google Maps, pick up the food, and deliver the trendy taste experience to customers.

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Most of my customers are middle-class workers with cute LA homes downtown.  A few reside in those Beverly Hills or Hollywood mansions.   Continue reading

The Liberal and the Immigrant

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It’s easy to say, “Let all immigrants come to America.”  It’s harder living with one.  I have been living with my Armenian/Turkish husband “Jack” for 5 years and 3 months.  We survived Turkey and then China and are now attempting America.  Because of language, cultural, and belief differences, our marriage has been difficult.  He can’t drive a car in the U.S., and a Green Card costs about $2000 plus proof of bank savings, home, job, etc.  We haven’t been able to afford one yet, especially since we used up all our savings when my Mazda 5 minivan was totaled in Houston, and I ended up in Texas Medical Center ICU with a subdural hematoma (bleeding in my brain from slamming into metal, no airbag deployed, seat belt bruising my ribs and pushing the air out of me).  Texas sheriffs blamed me for the accident, though I was the one hit by a speeding Houston driver.

We went back to California after that, in an American car with a high-interest loan, high payments, and increased driving insurance.  We slept in that car in the desert, then headed back toward the mountains where I lived before jumping overseas.  Jack got 3 manual labor jobs in a small town.  He quit one and was fired from the other 2, though his English now is pretty good.  After 5 years of teaching English and Journalism for universities, high schools, and private language schools in Russia, Turkey, and China, I have not been able to find a good job in America.  Nobody really needs an older, experienced English teacher in a country where the first language is English.

I found a job driving delivery for Uber Eats in Los Angeles, but with the one-hour commute from the truck stop where we live in the Inland Valley, I make no profits after gas and bill-paying (and my husband’s share, of course).  Uber pays drivers too little, though we wear out our cars, pay auto insurance, and risk our lives on steep, dark roads in the rain.

Turks love to talk, yell, fight.  Centuries of this aggression genetically infuse my husband.  My American friends don’t understand how much of a cultural difference this is and simply don’t like Jack for yelling too much.  Or maybe they question the high rate of abuse to women that Turkey records each year.

Then we lived with a Liberal couple in our small mountain town about 2.5 hours’ drive from Los Angeles. Continue reading

Terrorist Attack in San Bernardino

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Jennifer Thalasinos is comforted by her pastor, Kathleen Dowell of Shiloh Messianic Congregation

Today the world’s news focused on new U.S. President Donald Trump’s immigration restrictions concerning 7 highly volatile, Islamist countries.  Money poured in from liberal sources like George Soros and CAIR (Committee for American-Islamic Relations, a group with ties to terrorist organizations like Hamas) to fund many of the people who protested at airports and government offices across America and across the world.

The “Los Angeles Times” covered anti-Trump protests at LAX airport in a completely biased manner and even asked readers to submit their “Immigrant Story.”

Well, here is my Minority Report immigration story.  Let me clarify that not all Muslims are Islamists, a term that indicates an embracement of the extreme, violent, jihadist beliefs of Islam and Sharia Law. My Muslim Turkish mother-in-law, for example, would sooner give a stranger tea and homemade soup than assemble bomb parts, and she longs for world peace. Continue reading

Homeless in America

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All of us face challenges.  In America, our challenges are usually not as difficult as people who face civil war in South Sudan, where children walk miles each day just to find a safe place to sleep.  Yet many people think life is easy for Americans. I say, not true. Which do you think was more difficult for this American (Lonna Lisa Williams) to do:

1. Leave my California home in October, 2010 for Russia to teach English because I could not find a job in my own country even though my grandfather graduated from Yale University, was a professor at UNC, and handed the torch of education to my teacher mother and to me. Endure a long winter where I wore chains on my boots to run across the ice that coated every surface.  Teach English to 13-year-olds only to end up speaking and reading in Russian because no one really wanted to speak English and hated America. Even though my grandmother was Russian, I learned their alphabet and simple words as a child, and I look Russia, most people avoided me because I was the “Amerikanka.” Discover that Vodka is easier to get than good tea, Russian food is bland and full of potatoes, and everyone shares alcohol and violence in the 3rd-class wagons of the Russian train from Samara to Moscow. Endure the 17-hour journey with 50 bunks to a wagon, accidentally stepping on a sleeping Russian woman who screamed when I descended from my top bunk. Cry on the trash bin in the back of the wagon. Kiss a Russian stranger between the wagons, in that blessed cold, dark connector, as snow fields slipped past and a full moon shone on frozen rivers. We, Russian and American, kissed without words, like lovers from a war movie who will never meet again, showing how tragedy is really, really Russian and American.

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Leaving Korea, Coming Home?

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A Korean groom and bride on display at Incheon Airport’s Native Korean Crafts store

After 3 weeks of being Stuck in Seoul, I finally got the luggage I had to leave behind in China–and air tickets home. My last images of Korea melt into airport shots:  Incheon Airport, outside of Seoul, is the biggest in the world, like a city on an island. Tokyo Airport is the most high-tech and beautiful I have seen. LAX caused delays in customs for my husband, and I do not know how life will be back in California with no house or job. My daughter did not meet me for her birthday, nor did my son. Maybe I will go back to Asia to teach. Maybe I will push past the “Do Not Enter” sign I saw in the Los Angeles International Airport–and see what happens.

My newest surreal video of my trip from Seoul to Tokyo to Los Angeles

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A tiny, foldable paper cup, half full of water, from a Korean hospital; the worker consults a doctor

If you like my Blog and free videos and photos, please check out my books.