It's not what you are eating, it's what's eating you…

Archive for the ‘unitedway 211’ Category

Things that are helpful to know for non-locals coming to Minneapolis (and/or Minnesota) for Superbowl 52/ #SBLII……


(Trigger Warnings: My opinions are strictly my own. While as a disabled activist I try to raise money and/or awareness for the first 6 above links (the 7th is to help those who are traveling to Minnesota/Twin Cities for the events and/or leading up to Superbowl 52) are/or much different than those who strictly advocate for the homeless and/or affordable housing.

But in NO WAY represent in any manner, other than trying to support non profits, of what I say in my blogs, to try and help others.

Also, I come from the perspective of “respectfully agreeing to disagree”

My hopes are that for those who are visiting Minnesota and/or the Twin Cities area, have a happy and safe time, here, as well as how they can help those who might be in need, if they choose to do so, in the safest and most efficient way possible, is not congruent with other activists who are more vocal and present than I am .

While I defend others right to disagree with me, even with as much at stake when it comes to homelessness and/or public safety, I feel strongly enough to state my point of view, do whatever you feel is right to you, as long as doesn’t interfere with another’s right to feel safe and supported,  whether you are  local or just visiting.

Lastly, my disabilities and lack of income (as well as I’m having technical difficulties, as of late), prevent me from linking websites or videos, in my blogs or breaking the subject matters covered in this blog, into separate blogs.

Safety and first aid tools can be found by using search engines such as Google (I be a “Google Girl, as well as Local 5 local guide for Google under Unstapled Lisa) or helfpul training videos can be found  on You Tube.

But at this point in time, I’m still choosing NOT to monetize anything I do on social media, although at the end of this below, if I can help in a way that’s time consuming, I’m not going to turn down renumeration for my time…

Anyhow…… Thank you in advance, for reading this blog, (hopefully in it’s entirety )as it’s only meant to help…)

Here we go…

The poor disabled blogger who has high end tastes, wants to welcome and empower those who are scheduled or thinking about visiting the Twin Cities, for either Superbowl 52 and/or the many exciting events extended in the Twin Cities area (which would include Dakota/Scott counties, which I’m also familiar with, where concerts promoted by
Nomadic Live at Mystic Lake Casino in Prior Lake, that’s outside of Hennepin (Minneapolis) and Ramsey (St.Paul) counties).

I’ve happened to reside in the core of the Mini-Apple, for the last 5 years. I’ve lived in Minnesota (I was born in Brooklyn about 984 years ago) for the last 43 years. I have lived though, 4 1/2 blocks away from U.S. Bank Stadium for the last 5 years.

Being currently a poor disabled person who should’ve been a successful small business owner, who comes from an upper middle class backround, I kinda have a unique perspective on things.

Where I live and how I feel about Downtown Minneapolis, isn’t any different.

I know what’s great about the Twin Cities and what’s NOT so great.

What I am hoping to accomplish with this blog, is multi-fold:

I want people to have the best possible experience that multiple planning commissions have invested a lot of resources in, that benefits as many people as possible.

Including those who don’t have a voice, which is the nature of most of my blogs and the “armchair activism” that I do on the internet for different causes.

Here are my “Golden Rules” for visiting Minnesota for 52 and/or the activities planned for it (and the beauty is, it could pretty much apply to where you live or anywhere you visit) although the links in the blog are either MN or Twin Cities specific, except the Red Cross one.

1. Treat people like how you want to be treated when you’re at home:

I live super duper close to U.S. Bank Stadium. I don’t live in it, though. If you wouldn’t want people yelling and screaming your neighborhood for ANY reason, at any time of the day, please keep your noise level IN the stadium and/or public spaces where it’s encouraged.

But realize BOTH Downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul, are a mix of commercial and residential properties, sometimes co-existing  on the same block.

Downtown Minneapolis, as well as surrounding suburbs and counties, are very diverse of people of all walks of life. Maybe some people like it loud, lots of us, do NOT.

2. Please do NOT directly feed/finance the homeless:

No, I’m not a jerk. I believe strongly in helping the less fortunate, which is a category I actually fall in, but again, have not monetized ANYTHING I do on the internet (well other than this blog, possibly).

However…. IF everyone I know who claims to care about the homeless, gave to non profits versus a homeless person, directly, could probably house BOTH temporarily and permanently the homeless and less fortunate, dozens of people could have access to both temporary and permanent shelter, for about a year.

Not only that, it does  present a safety risk for the samaritan and it also unfortunately, I’ve seen this happen, provide a safety risk for the homeless person who one chooses to give money to.

If I am to be truthful, I usually if I’m staying in Downtown Minneapolis (or St.Paul) purposely look like a deranged lunatic. It’s not because I get pleasure out of scaring innocent people. I just get sick of being asked for money, sex and drugs all the time (and I’m not laying blame on the homeless for that). I’m just saying, it happens to work for me, just to say that I don’t have any money, whether it’s true or not, isn’t anyone’s business but my own.

I just politely look someone in the eye, say “I’m sorry, I don’t have any money” and quickly move on. I personally don’t feel the need to tell the truth to any stranger looking for something for me and I give, even with being poor both my time and money to those in need. By donating time and money to non-profits.

Again, this is with more than just the samaritan’s safety in mind. But unfortunately, people leave themselves wide open, for the potential to be robbed, because while sometimes, it’s possible, that homeless looking or professing person, may really ONLY needs a quarter, once you open your purse or wallet and give to them, you run the risk of getting asked by another person, who won’t take no for an answer, who sees you do that.

If there is something though, that rubs you the wrong way about those who are less fortunate, the 6th link is for The Zach Sobiech Osteosarcoma Fund at Children’s Cancers Research Fund. I’m kind of the mindset that if I can give to hospital that’s associated with a hospital chain that treats also adults and in my case, this particular adult, like total crap, if you don’t have empathy for those who are poor and/homeless, you can feel good about yourself in trying to help ERADICATE children’s cancers. I picked Zach, in about 9 other blogs that I explain in great detail, previous to this one.

Which brings me to the next topic…..

3. Learn safety tricks and first aid:

There are many videos for those who have time constraints or lack of money to learn how to best protect yourself. Minneapolis and St. Paul are not the U.S. hub of major crime, but it does happen here, like it could ANYWHERE.

I found because of my own disabilities, to feel less helpless and more empowered, to watch accredited and trained people’s videos on safety and first aid, so I would feel less helpless in an emergency or crisis situation of many kinds .

But also know that both the State of Minnesota, almost any city that could expect to have visitors, have excellent trained first responders to help in a true emergency. There’s also 10,000 (yes, you read that correctly TEN THOUSAND) people who volunteered to help visitors get help that they may need to have the best experience as possible, for the activities and/or leading up to 52.

And I’m about to say something that’s kinda contradictory. I do when I see visitors, it’s kind of like my own “random act of kindness” that I do, when I’m out and about, that’s not activism related, will offer to take pics of people who look like they’re tourists (well partially that’s driven by a few people trying to contort themselves to get in a selfie near a landmark and they’re seriously risking an ER visit, okay, I’ll stop being snarky).

Truthfully that’s not a good idea, to ask someone or it’s a risk you take, if someone doesn’t have good intentions, by giving them your smartphone to take a pic.

Also, don’t keep phones, hotel keys, car keys all in the same location, on your person. That way, if something bad happens, which hopefully it won’t, you won’t be out of EVERYTHING, should you get robbed. If you will be traveling with a group people, keep your valued possessions in different places on your person, than the others that you’re traveling with.

But personally, I think it’s a good idea for EVERYONE, who’s capable of operating a digital device, to take the ONE hour of your life, to learn various safety defense actions and emergency first aid. I can get the various reasons why people don’t have the resources to get certified, but I don’t understand how anyone cannot learn something that might save a friend or a loved one, by just investing a small amount of time that provides tools to save one’s life or another.

Again, see above paragraphs. But also note, we earned the “Bold North” rep, for a reason. There are many resources for tourists on my 7th link above. While it’s good to have confidence in some things, if you’re new to snow or cold weather, ask for advice from people you trust, the volunteers and the tons of law enforcement or even me.

I’ve been to major cities outside of the Twin Cities, such as Miami/Ft.Lauderdale, New York City (not since my teens, tho), Las Vegas (almost 2 1/2 years ago) and London (England and Paris, France, almost 22 years ago and I’m not trying to be braggy) and got around fairly easily (in da olden days).

As well as I did get around extremely well, for a disabled chick, in Vegas.

While it might feel embarrassing,  even though there’s a ton of help for example with public transportation, and/or  if you’re renting a car, for example and SNOW or extreme cold, is new to you, don’t chance it. You’re not only risking your life, but those who ride in car with you and/or who has to share the road with you.

While a lot of steps have been taken for example, with accomodations, to make them as safe and scam free as possible, if you need help, PLEASE ASK.

Also have backup plans, in case something goes awry. Again, there’s a ton of help offline and you can also ask your social media buds who are local.

I know for me, personally, I’d rather answer the same question, 63,251 times than someone feel stupid and not ask for help and it causes harm to them, a loved one or an innocent bystander, and I’m NOT the only person who feels that way.

Because while most people are reasonable, and realize that you’re only asking the question for the first time, if someone’s going to be a jerk, what they have to say, doesn’t matter, anyway, RIGHT?

So, please ask for help, if you need it.

5. Lastly… :

This blog is with the best intentions, as I said previously, to help as many people as possible. While it’s true that I don’t monetize my internet or social media, in any way, I wouldn’t turn it down, either. I wouldn’t expect any kind of renumeration, for helping someone,  via email, if it takes 5 minutes. More than that, or more in depth type of help, feel free to try and negotiate and/or offer some kind of  compensation.

Hopefully this blog helped. I get that I’m super wordy, and if you’re new to my writing, I get that my syntax, among other things, could be better, but they’re NOT, because again, I have a bizarre set of complex medical, mental health and cognitive disabilities.

Also note, I’m amenable to constructive criticism. Nasty comments though, will NOT be posted….

Additionally, I do feel bad, as there are groups of people, that I hope to do more activism for, in the future, such as veterans. Right now though I am doing the best I can, to help as many people as possible.

But if one is so inclined to help a Minnesota based veteran, the following link, can help….

And for those who have just a quick question that needs to be answered and/or in the rare case, if it’s someone’s a bariatric surgical patient who’s visiting the Twin Cities for the festivities of and/or Superbowl 52, I can be reached at my email address of

I apologize, as I re-published blog, while unfortunately, it made it even more wordier, it was necessary to best help as many people, as possible.

And unfortunately, with having both tech and WP issues, required publishing the blog, more than ONCE (well, three times to be exact and here’s to hoping the 3rd time is the charm)……

Cheap or free resources: internet, books, magazines, movies, phones, music, dining out, food etc…..

Okay….I thought it would be worth writing a blog that will help those on a limited income or those who are looking to live best as possible, by writing about services that I use or that I know my friends use, that are free or low cost. This blog is wordier and more disjointed, then more of my recent blogs, I just felt that it was worth the read, for how much it could help others, whether they are low income or just want to save money. There is a lot of good tips, if you’ll patiently bear with me, with this blog.

For  my friends and or fellow internet peers, who love to read books and magazines electronically, I will give you a heads up about some apps, which either work on tablets, some may work also on computers. Some have a monthly fee such as Next Issue, but some of these apps for magazines and books are actually free, that I will discuss in this post.

I’m honestly not trying to be a spammer as it applies to my love for the app of Next Issue​. While I’d be less than honest, that if I refer you and after you 60 day FREE trial, you decide to keep it, that I get a referral bonus. I’m finding because I love magazines, that I’m probably going to keep the app, which I have the premium version which is $14.99 a month, for weekly magazines such as People, Us and Star magazine. If you just use the monthly magazine membership it is $9.99 a month.

There’s a ton of magazines of all genres, on Next Issue (if I’m not Facebook friends with you, feel free to message me at or send a Facebook friend request as I’m Lisa Kasen on Facebook) . If you would rather not go with me, you can do what I did, as I found it because of sponsored advertising on Facebook, which got me a 30 free trial day membership. Because 2 weeks into my 1st month free, I got as a Klout bonus (if you haven’t tried Klout​ , and you are a blogger or you have a lot of FB buds who you interact with, it’s worth checking Klout out, it’s an app that rewards those who have social media influence, whether you are a blogger or not) where I would get the one month free, and 2 months 1/2 priced.

Next Issue did NOT have to honor the fact that I got that Klout perk, in the middle of my free trial, but they did, anyways, once I contacted their Customer Service dept which was awesome.

I won’t take it personal, it’s just to your benefit, if you let me refer you to Next Issue, as it increases your free trial period from one month to two months. Regardless, if you want more info and then to decide if you want to try the app on your computer or tablet, check out the website for more information about the app as well as the catalog of magazines that are available.

I also found out about the app called Zinio for Libraries. That is FREE. It works with your library card. And you can use it on both a computer, tablet or phone. I only know how it works with computers and android devices. For Ipad/Apple peeps, you will have to do some research as I know nothing about Apple products and when I tried to find the Ipad version of Google Play store on my daughter’s Ipad, last  Saturday, I had a lot of trouble figuring it out .

What I like about Zinio for Libraries, is that it has Reader’s Digest available (I still may get a printed subscription to RD, because it’s right now on sale for $7) and it’s not available on Next Issue. However magazines like People and Coastal Living aren’t available through Zinio for Libraries. And because my space is at a premium, it’s nice to have reduce the amount of clutter, as well as I love that in a 7 inch tablet, I have an enormous amount of things to read, on the go.

If you love to read books and whether or not you have a Kindle or Kindle app, there’s also OverDrive for Libraries​. This works great for people who are on a limited budget and can’t afford to buy any or a lot of books electronically.

Also there is 3M Cloud Library​ which works similarily as OverDrive. I found many free online resources, also available through my county library and I have access both with my library card and my boyfriend’s, as he’s in a different county than I am. But there’s a lot of free digital resources with different libraries, across the United States. Some can be used for both entertainment and educational purposes so check with your own local library.

For music, I have access to Freegal. While there is a Freegal app for movies, both Hennepin County (where I live) and Dakota County (where bf lives ) here in Minnesota, doesn’t have access to that.

For music that I pay for, I LOVE my Google Play music account. For under $11 a month, I have access to a ton of music (as I can’t afford to pay for music per song). It also not just lets me watch You Tube with no ads, but allows me to download music videos to listen/watch offline, so I don’t use up, precious data when I’m not at home or don’t have a secure internet connection.

Note: Next Issue allows one account to be used on 5 devices, but you can’t personalize account preferences if you share the app) However Google Play, only allows it to be used on one device at a time. For me, I use it enough, both at home and when I’m out and about, exercising, that I’m kind of selfish with, and I don’t share that with anyone.

I also have Netflix, as I can’t personally afford cable and I share my account with my daughter and boyfriend and that allows it to be used on a maximum of 6 devices but only 2 people at a time can stream. Given the fact that boyfriend and my daughter have access to satellite, it’s not much of an issue for me, if not being able to access Netflix when I want to. I’m also lucky though, now that I have a tablet, that I can access both DirectTv (parents have service with them)and Dish Anywhere ( boyfriend has service with them) as well as I have a SmartTv, that I got as a gift, when I moved to the apartment I currently reside at, from my parents. I am also lucky enough to have a 42 inch regular tv, that’s currently at my boyfriend’s house (I have a “girl cave” there and bought the tv when I got my SSDI backpay in 2010 and because it took almost 3 years to get SSDI, I ended up getting quite a bit of money in backpay, so I’m putting out there, even though I’m digressing with this, and I’ve mentioned in past blogs, that if you are in need of SSI/SSDI and need support, please feel free to contact me, it’s a long arduous process and it didn’t help that I had no support even though I had a free resource to fight for SSDI, it made things that much worse for my children and I) and if you’ve read previous blogs of mine, for someone who had absolutely nothing 6 years ago and had to start all over again, I’m pretty grateful for what I have.

But if you have a library card, it’s worth checking into the multitude of applications that are free, that are associated with your local library and if you don’t have a library card, it may be worth getting.

For low income persons and/or families , there are resources for inexpensive internet. Because I live in the metro area of the Twin Cities, I got through Pcs for People ( it also serves some of the Greater Minnesota area. For more information about free internet in the United States, try these internet sites: https:// and  . I pay $40 every 3 months for internet now, compared to paying that monthly, going through Pcs for People. They also have low cost computers. But my personal advice is, that if at all possible, for how limited warranties are through non profits that offer computers, tablets and netbooks, you are almost better off, if at all possible, of buying these devices, new. Sometimes though you can get through these devices, FREE, from a nonprofit, so do your research. Or you can ask me for help and I’ll try to assist as best as I can.

For free or low cost cellular service: .  I did let my free phone lapse, when I got my smart phone, 17 months ago. I haven’t decided of whether or not to reapply as it might be prudent, if I’d lose my phone, to have a 2nd phone for back up. I can justify having a low cost smartphone, as for $60 a month, I have unlimited minutes for talking and texting (which I don’t use very often, due to my disabilities) and 3 gb of hi speed data, which I utilize in helping me, enjoy working out more, using my Google Play music app.

I also have a Fitbit Zip (which I was able to afford when I got my $25 reward for 6 months of service from Target) . I was able to afford Fitbit Zip (there is also free fitness/health trackers applications such as MapMyWalk, Runkeeper, Sparkpeople, etc and they can usually be synced with fitness devices i.e Fibit, Garmin, etc),  when starting out with Brightspot and they offered a $25 Target gift card, for every 6 months of service. Unfortunately, Target is phasing out Brightspot, as well as the every 6 month $25 reward,  but they do have pay as you go affordable plans for smartphones from T-Mobile, Sprint and Verizon, as well as few other carriers. It’s worth doing some research on.

I picked though Brightspot vs. Walmart’s Straight Talk, because at the time I got my phone, Brightspot had a better deal for data. But as I’ve said, a lot is changing with Target, so do research to find what would work best for you, with your particular circumstances.

I happen to use Groupon,, for when dining out on occasion. I know there are more resources out there for social events. For on rare occasion times, that I like to go out and try a new restaurant, I find “happy hours” to be a good deal vs. eating lunch or dinner, as well as I belong to most Facebook pages and/or e-clubs for my favorite places I like to eat out at. In addition to getting a lot of free stuff for birthdays, for example, because people don’t have the discretionary income they used to, you can save a lot of money, dining out by joining these e-clubs, some also have reward programs, too. Also because of my belonging to local Facebook business pages for hospitality services , I’ve won free nights at a nice casino hotel and free play tickets. I’ve had friends though win lots of things, such as clothing items, beauty products, etc.

Because I’m disabled and can’t drive again, I do have on my Minnesota Identification card, that identifies  I’m permanently  disabled,  that allows me lower cost public transportation. While I have in my disability waiver, to get public transportation for free (there’s been a glitch for that the last 2 months) I’ve been paying 75 cents vs $1.75 to $3.00.  So if you can’t drive again or if you can drive but can’t afford a car, and are of limited income and/or have permanent medical/mental health disabilities, it might worth checking with your local county office or a social service agency and/or non profit, on inexpensive or free ways to travel via public transportation.

Also it’s always worth checking if you belong to AAA, AARP, or you are current or formerly military, as well as if you are a student, for discounts on products and/or services.

Also for those who have permanent medical and/or mental health disabilities, it’s worth checking in for resources for socialization, either with a local non profit social service agency or local community drop in center. While I don’t use them currently, I did when  I was in the system, I was able to get free tickets to local sporting events, as well for those who are of extremely limited means, as well as those who don’t have a lot of friend and/or family support, they have social events, holiday parties, etc. They also usually have social workers to help with finding affordable housing and resources to help those with medical and mental health barriers, for  housing retention, food shelves, medical and dental care. Also in my case, my disability waiver allows me food delivery from either Mom’s Meals or Meals on Wheels. I try not to take advantage of services that I wouldn’t use, as I’m a picky eater, so I don’t use that, but that could help someone else in need who’s disabled but not a senior citizen. And  I do get help with grocery shopping both from my disability waiver and from my boyfriend, because my disabilities can sometimes keep me homebound, for extended periods of time, especially in the Winter months, although my medical health issues do effect my ability to get out all year round. Also my disabilities also make it hard for me to cook anything remotely elaborate, as well as my cute studio is small, and I’m limited in storage for food items. So sometimes it’s cheaper, convenient and easier for me, for how much time I spend alone, with disablilities that I have,  to go out to eat, to get variety in my diet, compared to those with families where it’s cheaper to get variety by cooking and/or eating at home (which I still eat at home, for most of my meals)

I know this was long and VERY disjointed. But it could help a lot of people. And I’m sure I’m missing a ton of resources. Feel free to add resources that you know about, in my comment section and/or feel free to privately message me.

I’m just writing what helps me,live a higher quality of life as for someone who is of limited income, while I live in affordable housing (it’s NOT Section 8, which I’ve had in the past and people need to lose their prejudices about it). In my case living in the State of MN, especially in the Twin Cities, where even where funding has been increased for Section 8, not enough property owners take it). But I don’t get anything for “free”, as far as food stamps, free health insurance, etc. My housing is not necessarily income based, but affordable (i.e. meaning there is income minimums as well as income limitations but someone could make a thousand dollars a month, more than I do, and still pay the same amount of rent)

For anyone in or not in  acute crisis but if you need more resources, you can also try or https: www.  ….  Please pass this on though. I realize it wasn’t the easiest of reads, but I’m sure it could help someone you know in need of something, that is low cost or free and life enriching, if low income.

Also note: I know this was a blog that wasn’t the easiest of reads. I felt compelled to write it now, and publish it now, hoping to edit and/or reformat, in the future. I just figured though it was worth writing and publishing now, as it has a lot of valuable information that could help people now. I also have in other blogs, links for those who are actually in acute medical/mental health crisis.

Tag Cloud