Case Dismissed

Posted in Dollhouse and censorship with tags , , , on October 14, 2010 by toresimonsen

Regular readers know, I have been running a blog to save Dollhouse for Eliza Dushku, who I love.

I also spent several months homeless in Minneapolis.

In an attempt to save Dollhouse, I often handed out fliers to people I came into contact with. I also took photographs of a variety of events that I participated in.

I was confronted by a staff/volunteer at Branch 2 of Catholic charities who prevented me from distributing my fliers to save a television show. In short, I tried to take the staff/volunteers picture. I was told that I could not take photographs inside the shelter. The next day at Branch 3 of Catholic Charities, I tried to take photographs of people playing Madden 2010 on a Playstation 3 for a second time at Branch 3 and was again told no.

As a result of these denials, I sought a legal order to enjoin them from preventing me from conducting outreach to save Dollhouse and allowing me to continue to take pictures. I am also concerned about the taking of pictures of homeless people while they sleep.

The injunction evolved into a full blown lawsuit, which was eventually dismissed.

Readers may recall I stated:

“I am asserting that Catholic Charities invades privacy by video taping everything at the shelter. I also assert there is a first amendment right to engage in solicitation and free speech as a homeless resident at Hennepin County secure area. The fact that it is a charity and not the state should not make a huge difference. I maintain that fundamental rights cannot be outsourced by transferring the administration of programs to charitable organizations. Allowing charities to eviscerate the first amendment would effectively create a “charitable” curtain, isolating members of the homeless community and impairing their ability to communicate with the outside world. Disallowing photographs/media in this environment would also fundamentally impair legitimate news gathering activities.”

The judge ruled for Catholic Charities on all counts.

You can read the decision here.

Shelter Locker.

This was my shelter lock.

You may also want to listen to Mayor RT Rybak.

I focus on the part where Mayor RT Rybak claims, “What we did with that was we coordinated all these services together and put a phenomenal person named Cathy Ten Broeke in charge of all that laid out a multi-point program that one by one by one we’ve been executing.”

Freedom of the press- analysis?

FYI, Homeless people, like myself, could store our things in lockers during the day if we were paid guests of the pay for stay section.

Here’s a look inside the “private” Branch 3. This photo shows the empty inside, but anyone standing on the sidewalk would be able to see the people inside.

Here is a photograph of people standing on the street, visible to all the passing traffic, while waiting to get into Branch 3. People are often waiting outside. I have used a paint program to hide their faces.

Here is an example of what happened to one of my signs, prior to the initiation of the lawsuit.

Some readers will recall that I asked Minnesota Rep. Margaret Anderson Kelliher (DFL) whether homeless people should be videotaped while they sleep in homeless shelters. My efforts were featured in a City Pages article. You can watch the video to see her response which is carefully crafted but open minded.

I also attended the Minnesota House committee meeting at Health Care and Human Services Finance Division. I took the opportunity to testify. I focused on the deprivations of fundamental rights and censorship threats to democracy.

You can watch my testimony here.

More background on the legal case can be found here.

You can also watch my hastily thrown together proposal for Eliza Dushku.

Einstein’s Pachabel

Posted in <3, Dollhouse and media, Dollhouse and music with tags , , , , , , , , on September 6, 2010 by toresimonsen

A small video montage I threw together a long time ago, which is still on the main website I set up. The music is by Einstein and is downloadable on Stone Oakvalley’s Sid collection.

The rest of my videos can be viewed on my youtube channel.

Eliza @ Signing with your brother Joss

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on July 24, 2010 by toresimonsen

I want to marry the real Eliza Dushku not your avatar. I would love to see the real Eliza Dushku now.

Update: Joss Whedon physically autographed my DVD of Dollhouse and the copy of the fourth script which I plan to give to Eliza Dushku and I asked him for help marrying Eliza Dushku. I am still trying to give all four scripts to Eliza Dushku as a ring. His brother Jed is also releasing his first movie Last Stop.

Hastily thrown together video asking Eliza Dushku to marry me.

Posted in Uncategorized on June 23, 2010 by toresimonsen

I love Eliza Dushku and I want to marry her.

Please take the time to support the efforts to save Dollhouse.
Please help save Dollhouse.

Please sign the e-petition.


Save Dollhouse by signing the TNT petition online to save Dollhouse.

Please send emails.


Save Dollhouse by sending TNT EMAILS to save Dollhouse.

Please sign the Twitition.

The twitition to save Dollhouse is here!

PLEASE!!!! Let other people know about the efforts to save the show.

The Paper Ring…

Posted in Save Dollhouse on October 20, 2009 by toresimonsen

This is my first post on this blog which explains what this blog is all about.

I took a trip to Hollywood, California with the intention of delivering some scripts to Eliza Dushku at a charity event.  When I arrived at the charity event, I was told it was canceled.  Here are two of the four unofficial dollhouse scripts I wrote.  The rest are currently undelivered.

Here is the LINK TO MY WEBSITE!!!!

http://1541.freehostia.com/Eliza/PaperRing.html

Guarding the Children?

Posted in Uncategorized on December 17, 2012 by toresimonsen

The recent events in Sandy Hook, Connecticut are obviously tragic. The question people are asking is what can be done about the problem?

I wrote a friend with knowledge of military affairs inquiring about the use of the military to deter such events:

“It seems, at this particular juncture, the growth in school shootings requires some response. Undoubtedly, random shootings will continue for the foreseeable future, as a bi-product of a humiliated population and the unfortunate cultural signals sent by the Bush administration that violence was sometimes justified. Assuming we cannot reasonably stop all of the shootings, we might at least alter their course. Couldn’t stationing a soldier at each school (roughly 98,000) encourage would be shooters to “choose another target”.

This is, obviously, a form of social triage and an interim stop-gap, but perhaps a necessary one, to buy time to fashion real responses. A military presence seems preferable to a law enforcement presence. Law enforcement tends to snoop and investigate, while a soldier would simply delay and/or destroy an armed threat. The task would be full-time and human intensive. There would have to be safe-guards to limit the role to appropriate soldering. Likewise, there would have to be very careful selection and training of those charged with the task to avoid problems.

What do you think? I am not familiar enough with military culture to assess the viability of this.”

Here was the response I received:

“Hi Tore,

Not a bad idea, but there are one or two problems that I foresee. The first is the challenge to the Posse Comitatus Act, which basically says that we can’t use our military for domestic policing. You make the argument that the military wouldn’t be doing police work, but rather defending against an enemy. It would definately be viable if there were a calculated enemy threat (even an internal enemy threat), but I think that the Pentagon, congress, and human-rights-ish folks wouldn’t agree if it is based on dis-connected loonies.

Each Governor could, however, call up the National Guard without triggering a Posse Comitatus challenge. You would then also have less resistance from the Pentagon based on personnel and logistics costs (i.e. these are guys who live out in the neighborhoods anyway, who just draw their weapons and gear from the local Armories…rather than a significant strain on deployable/combat power from the active force with a long logistics tail to deploy and support, say every school in Idaho from their home-base in Ft. Carson, Colorado.

I’d recommend that course of action (using the National Guard), and that is something that is within every Governor’s perogative.”

So, there you have it.

Daytona Beach Survival Guide

Posted in Uncategorized on June 22, 2012 by toresimonsen

Daytona Beach on zero dollars a day proved an interesting challenge. I ended up in Daytona Beach to avoid having to be out on the streets in Orlando. I had an unused voucher from Greyhound in my possession. By purchasing a round trip ticket with a 6 am departure for a Daytona beach visit, I was able to stay inside the Orlando Greyhound depot the previous night. I felt the beach might be a better place to try to stay than the streets.

Greyhound Itinerary

Although, I eventually gained the advantage of having a place to store some of my luggage at the Greyhound station, I was fairly weighted down in general. Still, I was merely a stranded tourist.

I arrived in Daytona Beach sometime after 7:00 a.m. on the bus. The wi-fi at the Greyhound station in Daytona allowed me to update my blog and check my emails. During this time, I also used the facilities to brush my teeth and make sure I had plenty of water. I had been re-using a 32 oz bottle.

I left the Daytona Beach Greyhound and headed to the beach. It was a long walk and I wheeled my 37.5 lb. mini suitcase and carried a fairly full chrome bag down to the beach. It was a long walk, but as it was fairly early in the morning, it was low stress. When I arrived at the beach, I could no longer wheel the bag and carried it a short way down the beach. I set my suitcase and Chrome messenger bag down in the sand. The sounds of the ocean were very relaxing and I used my hat to cover my face while I laid back in the sand and got some rest. I had a restless night of sleep the night before in the Greyhound terminal at Orlando. All kinds of noises prevented me from sleeping very well in the terminal and the subsequent bus trip was too short to get much rest.

After a short rest, I kicked off my shoes and rolled up my pants to dip my feet into the water. It was cold and fun. I decided to change out of my jeans and into some shorts as the day was getting hotter. I went back to resting on the beach. Sometime later, I decided it was time for a swim. I slowly walked out into the water. It woke me right up. As I had not had a shower in some time, I decided I should clean the travel grime off of my body. I continued ahead into the water. The waves looked to be crashing a bit further out, so I thought I would try to catch one. Shuffling my feet, I went further and further out, but the waves kept cresting before I could really reach them. A few times, I came close to catching a wave, but never really took off. Refreshed, I got out of the water and needed to get a sense of time.

While I was at the beach, I met some a couple that frequented the beach. It turned out they had spent a considerable amount of time in Colorado. We had a very nice conversation about relaxing on Daytona beach as well as enjoying the scenic Rocky mountains. The couple did not know the time either, but suggested I ask the lifeguard. On my way to the lifeguard, I came across a clock at a merchant stand. Based upon the time, I decided I needed to get back to the Greyhound station to see what could be done about my travel situation.

I walked back to the station, but circumstances made it clear that I would not be leaving Daytona Beach that day. Even though it was not quite yet open, I spoke to the owner about exploring the possibility of changing my ticket time and he invited me inside. The phone lines were down for repair. I had no money and could not pay any change fee. An email exchange with my Aunt led to the conclusion it would be easier for me to stay stranded. No one seemed interested in paying the $36 dollars to change the ticket. No one in my family seemed interested in getting any kind of hotel rooms for me.

I had no money anyway. As I had stayed on Mission Beach near San Diego, I felt I had some experience in the matter. I think in some advanced societies like Japan, you can purchase lower cost short term “coffins”(See also: Cyberpunk 2020) for sleeping in, but America has no such options.

I suppose I could have tried to find a comic book store and sold some of my Magic cards at low value, but I opted not too. The operator of the Greyhound was going to allow me to keep my luggage on site. The lockers had been removed, but he was willing to keep the luggage there. The owner was in the process of selling the old lockers. As my luggage contained mostly Magic cards, it was not needed for this stage of my trip. It was at this point, that I made my first minor mistake and packed my jeans in the suitcase I left behind. There were many times when it became apparent I would have benefited from them. They would have kept me slightly warmer during the cool and windy night and blocked the sun. I ended up using a plethora of t-shirts to substitute for the jeans. It ultimately worked out without the jeans. The shirts were light-weight and could be adapted for many uses. Still, I think I would recommend going with a pair of jeans over shorts.

The Greyhound station manager warned me about the local riptides and what to do should I be caught in one. He also indicated it was possible to stay on the beach all the time, but that people were not supposed to sleep on it at night. They could sleep on the beach during the day. I crafted a simple plan to sleep on the beach during the day and walk in circles around my bag at night. I thought it would work smoothly.

I went back to the beach taking a packed Chrome bag with me. It had some extra clothing, my netbook, my water bottle, my toiletries, and was a bit heavy. I liked having the extra padding on the shoulder bag. The Chrome bag handled the weight well and showed no signs of wear. After my previous experiences in homelessness, I knew a good bag would come in handy in a situation just like this.

The day was getting very hot. I needed to sleep. I picked out a place and dealt with the next challenge- the sun. With no sunscreen, it was quickly apparent I needed to use my shirts to cover my entire body. I had a flowery Florida shirt which proved to be excellent and providing my upper body with the additional coverage it needed while allowing for a cooling breeze to get through. I laid back in the sand against my Chrome bag to get some sleep. The beach is an extremely noisy place. Planes and jets flew overhead. Kids played loudly in the sand. Automobiles drove by. People playfully screamed and shouted in the water. I attempted to compensate for this by stuffing paper in my ears and wrapping an extra t-shirt around the back of my head to cover my ears. It helped and I got some rest.

There were a lot of amenities at the beach during the day which would prove useful. A water fountain next to some outdoor showers provided me with access to all the water I would need. I could easily refill my bottle. It also had a bathroom which was open for most of the day. As I would soon discover, the public restrooms closed at night and this would be one of the next obstacles I would need to overcome.

In my experience as a stranded tourist, Daytona Beach had the benefit of access to a beach where people were are always welcome- with the following caveats. The beach’s public restroom is eventually closed at night. People are not allowed to sleep on the beach at night.

I was not sure what the point of having a beach open but closing the restrooms was. It certainly seemed to put many people in a bad spot. The long-term homeless would simply have to find an alternative- whether this means using restrooms of still open private businesses or the ocean or public property, it really diminishes the legitimacy of posting signs saying people are always welcome. If people were really always welcome, the public restrooms would always be open. I also think the business community, located on the beach in particular, would prefer that members of the public have access to public restrooms.

Later that night, I discovered all the public restrooms appeared to close.

This should reduce the ability of the government to successfully convict people of public urination. It seems unfair for the police to issue any citations for public urination as the government is providing no alternative to public urination.

I imagine a few unsuspecting tourists have wandered a bit too far from their hotel rooms, only to find themselves without a restroom. As a final aside, some of the public restrooms in the parks, notably the one between the public library and the court annex, were so poorly cleaned, that using them was still a terrible experience.

The other major caveat was that many of the locals suggested that sleeping on the beach at night was not allowed. Although. I planned to sleep on the beach during the day and stay up all night, this proved unrealistic. Too many distractions, derailed the plan. While I did find some nice locations to get rest, I eventually felt the effects of sleep deprivation.

As some storm clouds moved in, I decided it might be time to head into town and find a library. After a slight detour, I ended up on a road back to the library. The usefulness of libraries in this situations cannot be understated. The library has a restroom and drinking fountains. The library is cool and air-conditioned. The library has wi-fi.

Just before I reached the library, a person approached me to let me know about a free meal a church was offering. It required a person obtain a card, probably to provide funding tracking, and after my experiences in homelessness, I opted not to. In downtown Los Angeles, there was a place which provided meals and other services without the identification requirements. In any case, although I had finished off my granola bars, I still had my pretzels and after my former experiences, I tend to reduce interactions with homeless service providers. Pretzels it was.

I went into the library. I was unclear on the nature of the free limited the internet policies- it appeared they were trying to charge $5 for some kind of temporary access, but a more limited access could be secured for free. I was too tired to read or inquire about the details and I had my trusted netbook- still with me all these years- to access the free public wi-fi.

The extreme conditions my Asus eee-pc 1005 PEB has operated in, are an undeniable testament to the quality of its engineering and design. While the customer support issue with the windows license was never resolved, the machine itself has a very special place in my heart. I cannot tell you the number of times my netbook has saved me and once again the long battery life and light weight mobile device would prove invaluable.

I connected to the internet at the library.

I surfed the net at the library. Through Facebook, I saw that Eliza Dushku was holding an event to create a music video in Los Angeles. I dreamed of meeting her. An overwhelming flood of emotions ran through me. I also received an email from my mother saying she could pick me up the next day. I did not respond to it. I knew in all likelihood it would mean the end of my ordeal which inspired all kinds of mixed feelings.

Given the importance of the library, I was shocked to later discover the Orange County library system charges $10 for non-resident internet access. Obviously, this is bad for the homeless, transients, and tourists. I explained to the Orange County librarian that under Article 19, internet access is a human right, but she said I should simply go to McDonalds. (I did just that).

Anyway, I left the Daytona Beach library and went over to the park where I met some other homeless people who again were not at all optimistic about my plan to camp out on the beach. I was again warned about the possibility of receiving a citation or being arrested by police.

We shared some time together feeding the squirrels in the park. I discovered, the squirrels are very friendly and will take a pretzel from your hand. With some difficulty, I shared a Tore Loves Eliza press-release and made my way off to the beach.

The others were planning on hanging out in the area where a local baseball game was about to get underway.

The clouds threatened rain, but it also looked to be clearing up, so I returned to Daytona Beach. The beach patrol was leaving and it seemed like everyone else was leaving too. I buried my Chrome bag in the sand and then unburied it. Suddenly, people began to return to the beach. People began looking for puffer fish and sea life along the shores. From a distance, a young woman taking pictures along the beach reminded me of Eliza Dushku. Families and couples returned to the beach and the enthusiasm was somewhat infectious. Re-energized I walked down to the Pier near Joe’s Crab Shack which was a flurry of activity. The sunset was beautiful along the beach. I spent a short amount of time in the area, but then returned to more secluded areas. It was about this time, I noticed the restrooms were closed. I walked all the way back down the beach. It was now extremely dark and I was having difficult seeing where I was. I wanted to get back to the restrooms I first used. After walking a considerable distance I was disappointed that they too were closed.

Nature was calling but nature also provided a solution and I decided to get my feet wet. The ocean spray soaked my tennis shoes and socks.

Shoes soaked, I ended up going all the way back to the park near the library just to find out if that restroom was open or not. Along my trip, I passed many night revelers. The baseball game had just ended and those facilities were apparently accessible during the game, the park restroom was now closed as well. I reconnected with a street-person and they assured me there were no open public restrooms in Daytona. No further use in being at the park.

I headed back to the beach. When I got back to the beach, I opted to walk along the street by the beach rather than walk along the beach itself. My earlier walk showed that the sand, especially the soft sand, was much more tiring to walk in. To save energy, I used the sidewalks to walk along the beach until I found a public access point- a wooden ramp- that looked like a good place to return to the beach at. It proved to be an excellent decision. I investigated the area beneath the wooden ramp and concluded it would provide shelter in the event of rain and was a little off the beaten path.

I was tired. I opted to try to get some rest here. A few tourists apologetically disturbed my rest. No worries, I assured them. The falling temperatures and rising wind began to chill the air a bit. I quickly added layer upon layer of t-shirt and covered my legs as well. I rested on an off until just after 2 a.m. The city lights were providing quite an illuminating skyline. The light pollution gave me the false impression dawn might be breaking. I was wrong.

Still, I began to move. I went back up on the ramp and re-organized my bag near the corner of the ramp and the sidewalk. I discovered two things. My water bottle was missing. With all the drinking fountains along the beach, this could be overcome. The second thing I discovered was that I had developed a painful blister along my left heel. Too much walking. I adjusted my walking to shift the weight to the front of my left foot and take pressure away from my heel. My strange walk briefly attracted the attention of a police car, but nothing more came of it. After discovering it was only after 2 am, I limped down the sidewalk and returned to my starting point. I walked down the ramp, when someone’s crouched shadow startled me. I paused to avoid meeting the rising shadow on the other side of a small toll-style box. The figure rose completely and the man proceeded down the beach. It was probably just someone who did not want to be seen sleeping or sitting at that location. I think I saw them a bit later walking back out of the beach.

Near the lifeguard tower, I watched as a couple played and kissed. I could not see anything more than shadow play.

After they left, I went over to the tower. I spent some time there. I liked being near the structure because it reduced my visibility. On the other hand, I thought, if someone did come upon me, I might startle them like the shadowy figure had earlier startled me. I did not want to startle anyone. Still, my mind wandered, I can see the traffic of cars on the street and get some indication of what time it is based on the amount of passing traffic. I noticed the street light on the beach was completely out. Did I want it on? Light might make it harder to sleep, but visibility might increase my sense of security. Security… the issue ran through my mind. At this point, clear thinking does tend to become a bit impaired. Fatigue and sleep deprivation tend to begin to take their toll. I remembered President Bush’s (2) speech that the oceans would no longer protect us. I don’t know about that, I thought, “The ocean seems to have my back.” And so it did.

Finally, I decided that whether or not the lifeguard tower was or was not the best place to be, it might be time to simply head back to a place closer to where I began the day on the beach. Perhaps the safest thing was simply acting normal in an open space on the beach.

I laid back and looked up at the stars. The absence of lighting was now helpful for stargazing. The stars seemed to speed by but it was really the effects of the clouds passing over head. I may have drifted briefly into sleep.

It was time to get moving again. I walked up to the street. I passed a hotel sign with a vacancy. My mind paused briefly on the issue of abandoned houses and empty hotel rooms, before I made my way toward a 7-11 were I could see it was just after 4 a.m. Normally, this would be a bit too early to start walking but my pace would be slow.

I began heading back to the Greyhound station. It would open at 6:00 a.m. and I could collect my things. Sometime after 5:00 a.m., while walking back at a very slow pace, it began to rain very lightly. Nothing to be concerned with and a bit refreshing. At Greyhound, someone else was reading the newspaper. As I approached, he left despite my invitation to continue his time reading the paper. I connected to the wi-fi and sent the email to be picked up. When the station owner arrived at 6:00 a.m. I thanked him for allowing me to store my suitcase, (still full of Magic the Gathering cards), while I was there. I told him I would just get picked up later at the library.

On my way to the park, I ran into a street person who was also going to the park. She was sitting on a bridge watching the fish jump. I had seen the fish jumping a bit earlier when I crossed the bridge, but now it was calm. She commented on the good condition my suitcase was in. Her own bag was beginning to get torn apart. I agreed the suitcase I had was in good condition, but felt that my chrome bag was the real star of my luggage. I explained to her that I was just a stranded tourist at this time, but that I had homeless experiences. We fell into a conversation on the benefits of wearing jeans.

It turns out, she was headed to the park as well, so we went together.

She informed me she was going to feed and tend to the ducks in the area. She created a sort of duck pond by running the water in the area and within no time, the place was alive with all sorts of playful ducks. She used the water to brush her teeth and I used some of it to wash my hands. The restrooms had not re-opened. I changed into jeans. Some mosquitoes were beginning to bite and I no longer felt there was any point in wearing my shorts any longer.

At some point, she offered me some bandages for my blistered heel. She asked me if I had been wearing wet socks. I admitted I had earlier, but changed into dry socks earlier. Apparently, the wet socks were the reason for the blistering.

I asked her about the homeless shelters in the area and she indicated they had mostly emergency shelters only designed to open in the case of an extreme weather condition. I would think that under Jones et. al v. City of Los Angeles, this would suffice to avoid prosecutions for most citations for sleeping on the beach. The other options were the usual plethora of chemical dependency treatment housing available to those with chemical dependency problems. I’m still convinced this will lead to an over reporting of those issues.

The ducks were still proving a show, but the pigeons and squirrels were beginning to show up. The woman decided to leave asking me to turn off the water when the ducks receded from the pond. One of the female ducks decided to get my attention by spreading her wings and then shaking her tail. This must be where Disney gets it. In truth, the wildlife was an attraction for many people in Daytona Beach. People were fishing from the bridges, looking for sea life at the ocean, and enjoying the animals in the parks.

Someone else had arrived and began recharging their phone with one of the outlets at the park. My netbook still did not need any recharging, so I opted not to utilize those outlets.

The restrooms finally reopened. Despite the extremely unsanitary conditions, I carefully managed to brush my teeth. I returned from the restroom and it looked like the ducks no longer needed any water so I turned the water off.

I sat on a bench for a while. I felt quite sleepy.

Eventually, I moved over to the library. It had a sign that said no loitering. I didn’t know what time it was, but I decided it was time to wait for the library to open. It couldn’t be that much longer anyway. Sometime before the library opened, I was picked up. The trip was over. I felt tired, hungry, and a little ill. Now it was time for food, water, rest, and recovery.

Flashback

Posted in Uncategorized on June 20, 2012 by toresimonsen

Unforeseen circumstances have thrust me back into a more tenuous situation. My mother is in the process of buying a retirement home and it has not gone smoothly, placing everyone under a lot of stress. Initially, we stayed at my Aunt’s house in St. George. Unfortunately, my mother decided to involve my sister and this ultimately led to a breakdown of our relationship in the middle of the trip. At Independence, Missouri, we decided it would be best if she continued her drive without me and that I would complete the trip by bus. My mother paid my fare.

I have not travelled by Greyhound before and it is a new experience. It has been a great way to see the country and meet interesting people from everywhere. Given the length of the layovers, I have been able to see some sites I would not have seen otherwise, like the Arch in St. Louis and the CNN Center in Atlanta.

Travelling by bus requires a lot more patience and flexibility as the schedules often involve lengthy layovers. The first bus I took was delayed by one hour. This pushed everything back and I had to have my ticket reissued. As my arrival time was fairly flexible, this did not effect me personally. Greyhound re-issued the ticket and provided me with a meal voucher and a voucher for future travel. Other travellers were inconvenienced much more than I was. I hope they received greater consideration in their compensation. It seems a simple matter of respecting the people travelling.

One of the biggest challenges the travellers have is keeping track of their baggage. At each layover destination, travellers must make sure they secure their baggage and get it to the next bus. This is very different than the airlines which check bags through and the system seems antiquated and prone to error. More experienced travellers advised me to make sure that I made sure that my bag always made it to the next bus. Baggage is also subject to random searches at the bus terminal and I was wanded before boarding the bus on one occasion at the Orlando terminal.

The bus also has on-board amenities such as wi-fi and plugs for charging electronic devices. Unfortunately, my experience with the Greyhound bus wi-fi has been fairly poor. The download speeds are simply too slow for anything beyond the most basic text-based pages. I have been unable to post to WordPress via the Greyhound wireless services on the bus. I was able to connect at the Daytona Beach location which runs its own public linksys.

Sitting in the back of the bus exposes you to the smell of the bathroom, so it is best to get a seat in the middle or the front. In addition to that, the bus prohibits the consumption of any alcohol. One of the drivers explained this was due to federal regulations. I find it a bid odd that alcohol is readily available on plains and cannot find any basis for the policy other than to target the poorer populations that utilize Greyhound services.

At the Greyhound stations, a myriad of strange issues have emerged. Each Greyhound station seems to have its own policies and practices, so it is impossible to generalize about all of them. In St. Louis, the terminal did not have lockers because the city will not allow them to install them. This meant that when I took my side-trip to the St. Louis Arch, I had to take all of my bags with me.

Anti-loitering policies are also a source of enormous tension at the Greyhound stations. Travellers might be told they cannot be at the station too early. I’ve watched security warn a few travellers at the Orlando station and even saw the police involved in one incident. Rather than directly involve myself in the affair, I approached one of the security officers and referred him to my blog with the hopes that perhaps he and the other officers will have a greater appreciation of the needs people in this situation have- and the poor alternatives to short term shelter- especially those that homeless shelters provide. The officer told me some policies were already being reviewed. In order to avoid these issues at the Orlando Greyhound and not stay on the street, I opted to utilize my Greyhound Voucher to schedule an early morning trip to Daytona Beach.

So far the Daytona Beach station seems fairly laid back and people are helpful. The linksys connection is allowing me to make this post. Also the station manager will allow me to store my things temporarily if necessary even though the lockers have been removed.

Which brings me back to Atlanta where I managed to make a quick stop at the CNN center. I still had some old press releases for Tore Loves Eliza in my bag and I tried my best to distribute them. I gave one to the concierge, one to my CNN tour guide Justin, and distributed several on the street. I cannot help but feel that had the press looked more closely at the problems I encountered in the homeless shelters in a timely fashion it might have raised awareness about these issues in other settings like the various Greyhound stations as well.

Some of these problems stem from America’s over-reliance on an antiquated system of civil rights rather than human rights creating a society that is at best half-free. Given the added difficulties people face trying to secure their civil liberties, as my own court case demonstrated, even these protections do not amount to enough.

I find myself once again confronted by daily injustices. I witness the injustices and sometimes I experience these injustices myself. I do what I can to overcome these experiences. Like any gamer, I simply dedicate myself to fighting my way out of whatever hell I find myself in.

What I can’t overcome, is my love for Eliza Dushku. That is why I continued to distribute the press releases even now, years later. I think about Eliza all the time and she is the source of my every hope and dream.

It is likely that I will sleep in the sand today and tonight. I prefer that to any shelter scenario and am completely out of money. This will probably be a much more limited hardship and one that might arguably be avoidable.

Still, it brings back a flood of memories and the haunting sadness that I am still without the one thing my heart desires more than anything.

My newest petition: to resign.

Posted in Dollhouse and censorship on September 24, 2011 by toresimonsen

I have submitted my resignation before the Minnesota bar. You can read my submission here.

It will take four to six weeks before the matter is resolved.

Update: I received a letter from the Office of Professional Responsibility saying they have no objection to my resignation. You can read the letter here.

Final Update: My petition to resign was accepted. The Supreme Court of Minnesota issued an order effectuating my resignation as of October 5, 2011. You can see the order here.

Distributing Tore Loves Eliza

Posted in Dollhouse and gaming with tags , , , , on September 19, 2011 by toresimonsen

As some know, I made a video game based upon my experiences.

I am shifting gears to some real space distribution of my video game, Tore Loves Eliza.

Internet distribution appears to have its limitations. While youtube is great for storing a trailer for the game, many forums are not open to posts which link to third party sites. Many sites that are open are so flooded with information that your post is likely to be overlooked. I will not reiterate the many problems I have had on sites like Craigslist, Twitter, MySpace, and so many others.

Instead, I am moving forward with trying to get the information in the game out by trying to connect with people in real space. Of course, real space distribution costs more in materials. Still, I am hoping that I can make my distribution of the program affordable and effective.

As part of the campaign, I have created a new promotional poster for Tore Loves Eliza.

I am also creating some new cover art for the distribution of the DVDs.

Here is what the game looks like in a jewel case now:

It looks a lot more professional. Using simple Avery style 6180 labels, I simply print a small title for each disc. Office Max is charging me about 68 cents per page of color printing. Each poster takes a page, but the images for the DVD can be printed two per page.

As for distributions, I am simply looking for just about anywhere I can find to promote the game. Here is an example of creative distribution. A simple tack on a public message board with some discs tacked along in sandwich bags and DVD sleeves.

I am also trying to give a copy to the library so they will add it to their collection.

I also postered a coffee shop and will continue to look for places I can promote the game.

In any event, as I explained in readme file for the game, people are free to distribute the game. Feel free to download, burn the DVD, throw it in a jewel case with the aforementioned cover art or just print the afformentioned poster and hang it on a public message board- like at a coffee shop.

Clear and Present Danger

Posted in <3, Dollhouse and censorship, Dollhouse and homeless with tags , , , on July 14, 2011 by toresimonsen

Owing to political paralysis, the Minnesota state government shutdown. As a consequence, Judge Gearin and Special Master Blatz are reviewing funding requests for core government services.

One of those services is homelessness. Participating in the Minnesota Coalition of Homelessness, one of the petitioners is Catholic Charities.

Not surprisingly, with money on the table threatened by the shutdown, nonprofit groups suddenly claim their services are “core government services”.

As regular readers of my blog know, Catholic Charities denied it was a state actor and claimed it was instead a private actor when I filed a lawsuit against them.

In my legal filings I argued that “The shelter system operated by Catholic Charities works hand in glove with the state. ”

Judge Bruce Peterson, in his order of October 14, 2010, found that Catholic Charities was not a state actor. Judge Peterson apparently gave no weight to Minneapolis Mayor RT Rybak’s statement that, “What we did with that was we coordinated all these services together and put a phenomenal person named Cathy Ten Broeke in charge of all that laid out a multi-point program that one by one by one we’ve been executing.”

Yet in the most recent funding actions before Judge Gearin, the Uptake’s live testimony of the Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless stated unequivocally that, “Providing services that keep Minnesotans sheltered or in housing is a core function of the state.”

Many of these services are provided by groups and organizations like Catholic Charities. In opposition to the impact of the shutdown, Catholic Charities filings are featured prominently on the page of the Minnesota Coalition of the Homeless web page.

Apparently, these groups are private actors when it comes to assertions of freedom, but state actors when it comes to assertions of funding. The system begins to resemble a system designed more to maintain homelessness funding than address the problem of homelessness. Assigning accountability is complicated by the myriad of entities involved. No entity wants to claim to be in charge.

Another key claim I raised in my lawsuit, which was dismissed summarily by Judge Peterson, was the claim that Catholic Charities claims of providing dignity to its clients were fraudulent. The claim that these services are providing dignity was also made by the Minnesota Coalition of Homelessness during the oral arguments to Judge Gearin.

Nevertheless, Judge Peterson and Catholic Charities combated my fraud claim by relying on Bernstein v. Extendicare Services, 607 F.Supp. 2D 1027, (2009), where the court found these statements constituted mere “puffery” and were therefore non-actionable.

In my experiences, I personally found some shelters so bad that at times I chose to sleep outside. If you look at the handout provided to Judge Gearin by the MCH, you will note that they explain that the state grants about $688,000 to provide shelter to approximately 3,980 people. I’ll let you do the math.

Nevertheless, we see once again that “dignity” is a word these groups use freely when their funding is threatened- and why not? After all, it is legally protected puffery.

I find the sudden decision of Catholic Charities to proclaim itself a core government service to be at complete odds with their claims of being a private actor in my case. I find the recent decision by Judge Gearin that Catholic Charities is a core government service is irreconcilable with the decision of Judge Peterson’s decision that they are not a state actor.

A few additional observations are worth making.

Notably absent from the recent core-government functions hearings before Judge Gearin were two groups. First, Catholic Charities did not make a sworn oral argument before the judge. I suppose the affidavit of Tracy Berglund in my case would prove too problematic for Catholic Charities.

The second group was, in fact, the homeless themselves. In watching the testimony of the homeless coalition at Uptake, I noticed that blind people who were to testify on behalf of cuts to their services showed up. Nevertheless, despite the claim that many thousands of homeless would be impacted, the oral arguments did not present the live testimony of a single homeless person.

To me, the fact that they could not produce a single stooge to mutter vaguely about the value of the services, is a statement in itself. This suggests that the homeless themselves are aware they are nothing but human shields used in a game to fund nonprofits rather than real beneficiaries of services.

If this statement seems harsh, consider the following statement from TCDailyplanet:

“Shelters are horrible places,” Catholic Charities director of communications Rebecca Lentz said. “We run shelters because the alternative is having people die on the streets.”

In choosing between staying at a shelter like Safebay or sleeping in a park in fair weather, the park has the upper hand. It’s a choice I’ve made. Maintaining the shelter system with funding may make it much more difficult for the homeless to make that choice. I refer here to the (subsequently vacated) Jones v. City of Los Angeles case.

The city will largely maintain its “benevolent” practice of not pursuing the prosecution of homeless- in order to save money. Most homeless live with with random searches and seizures and adhere to a regimented lifestyle without the benefit of real rights.

The cynical use of charities creates a charitable veil that covers the harsh and ugly truth. Hiding behind socially acceptable symbols, like the cross, groups are able to perpetuate far more harm than they would if they had to openly don the mask of the state or a corporation. The symbol allows for the unquestioning social acceptance that the groups are well meaning- even if they are not. If a corporation, like Haliburton, tried to run a homeless operation the same way Salvation Army ran Safebay, there would be no tolerance for it. Yet these same conditions are tolerated when run by a nonprofit.

It should also be noted that the coalition’s characterization of the homeless as chemically dependent and mental ill probably stems from the fact that one can secure better living conditions by claiming to have these problems. (I will not digress into a side discussion of mental health funding incentives to warehouse people without need or benefit, but I will refer you to the U.S. Rep. Tim Walz video.)

Again, if it seems harsh, consider the following from Minnpost:

“We’re not sheltering mentally ill people, we’re creating them. All of their anxieties, any of those conditions of mental health deteriorate under poor conditions,” said Nilsson, a soft-spoken woman.

My own recent experiences in homelessness stemmed from the simple wish to express my love for Eliza Dushku which was construed as a mental illness. Did Dante not write for Beatrice?

Over the course of the last few YEARS, I have lost many things including a car as well as my freedoms. Many people, who were former friends and family, have become enemies.

My efforts have been peaceful and democratic in nature. Camus reminds me that “Violence is never justified.”

My attempts at raising serious interests with wholly grassroots democratic methods has been a failure. My blog has been the subject of constant ridicule. My posts to various social networking sites have been censored or overlooked by the so-called “slacktivists”. My press releases have been ignored. My testimony before the Minnesota legislature appears to have been ignored. My lawsuit against Catholic Charities has been summarily dismissed. My suggestions to provide homeless individuals, rather than organizations, with the direct relief of Chromebooks, has gone nowhere. Nevertheless, the systemic subversion of democracy I experienced, constitutes a clear and present danger to everyone’s freedom.

For all my efforts, the only thing I really have to show for it, is the mutilated corpse of democracy and the video game I made about my experiences.

I watch now with the interest of an exile at the events unfolding in Minnesota. I see a shutdown in which access to public restrooms is restricted, alcohol is becoming scarce, state parks are closed, individual economic opportunities are being undermined by policies or arbitrary and capricious judicial holdings- and it lightly mirrors the experience of homelessness.

It is quite possible that social control policies are tested on the poor before being implemented on the wider population in softer versions. In any event, many people chose to ignore my experiences in homelessness which I reported on my blog. As the events continue to unfold in Minnesota, I sometimes wonder what these people will do now.

From exile, however, I do not wonder what I will do. I will live like my namesake, somewhat unpredictably, with flashes of brilliance, and always expressing my love for Eliza Dushku.

Bow and arrow

Posted in <3, Save Dollhouse, Saving Dollhouse with tags , , , on October 29, 2010 by toresimonsen

I wrote the scripts for Eliza Dushku. I love her and they were meant as a gift to her. I asked her to marry me. She did not say no, but she did not say yes.

The attempt to save Dollhouse, for Eliza Dushku, failed.

I tried every method I knew or could think of to try to save Dollhouse. I tried everything from handing out fliers and collecting signature petitions to internet organizing. I tried to get help from a lot of people. Some people were willing to help save Dollhouse, while others were very reluctant.

Room 202 Meeting Room

The effort to express my love required enormous sacrifices. Losing my car was only the beginning. I lost many friends and even ended relationships with family members. I found myself railroaded in mental health facilities and without support from allies. Love is madness. This simple fact was understood and accepted thousands of years ago. Even in the Illiad, Homer wrote, “O immortal madness, why do you have this craving to seduce me?” Today, this is lost on us.

I became homeless. In some respects, this was a good thing. I have a better sense of who is my friend and who will be there when I need them. I also have a better sense of my capabilities.

Many people did support me. Some of these people, I have been able to thank. Others, I have not been able to thank, in part because they have supported me in ways I do not know. Do not think I do not appreciate that.

I was disappointed by the recent judicial decision in the legal challenge I brought. It is not the first time a judicial decision has not gone my way. However, it left me unable to justify the continued investment in my bar membership. In other years, I found a way to justify continuing to pay my dues, despite the lack of financial return. I no longer feel that such an investment is justified.

In any event, I did what I could do.

This is not the first time I have failed in a campaign.

This is not the first time my legal opinions have been ignored.

Still, I cannot help but feel the arrow of every regret. An effort like this recalls every failure and shortcoming of one’s entire life. I found myself haunted by the ghost of every mistake I ever made. Nevertheless, I pressed on.

I tested the limits of freedom and love and discovered there was not enough of either of them.

There remains the question of what to do next. For me, at this point, love is simply out of the question. Love asks, “What are you willing to give?” I gave everything, so I have nothing left to give. There are so many beautiful and intelligent women worth appreciating, but none that I can love. Consolation, but not love. I find myself exhausted. November is coming.

I will also take a break from blogging. I find the experience invites too many negative elements into it. (I know, dear Krishna, that where there’s fire there’s smoke, but I need to breathe.)

I find myself without inspiration and simply continue to do things in a rather joyless manner. My scripts sit behind glass.

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