Writing Prompt: Last Day On Earth

writersblock

[NOTE: I joined a new writer's group! This group differs from the old one, in that these writers are eclectic in personality, diverse in style, and disciplined to work, which is what I prefer in a group setting. Our first meeting was fun. Here's one of the 12 minute writing prompts we did; enjoy!]

Concept: A meteor is about to strike our planet, decimation of our known civilization is certain! React to the news…

My fellow Americans, Armageddon is upon us. I will not speak to you as your President, but as your neighbor. I too am terrified, of what shall become of our homes, of the natural life, and of the art we cherish. And since I have the world’s attention right now for the next 11 minutes, I’d like to go ahead and share a few things. First, I need to apologize to Ms. Jackson. It was me, not Henry, who pushed Melissa off the monkey bars. I watched as Henry got swatted over and over, tears streaming down his red face, eyes of disbelief pleading to me to tell the truth. It has haunted me this entire life and I’m glad to relieve myself. Next…I confess…I looked down Sara’s shirt in Shop class all period long. She never caught me doing it, but I know I was a total sleezeball.

Alright, let’s forget the grade school stuff. This war currently in the Middle East? Well, it’s ongiong because I lost my shirt at the White House poker table! Yup, it was me, Dubya, Dicky Cheney, Donnie Rumsfeld, Metta World Peace, and Rhianna. Me against Donnie, chips high, and I lose, two sevens to his three 9s. I thought I had a good bluff, America! So yeah, you parents of soldiers battling out and losing lives over senseless interference? That’s all because of double 7s. Whew! This is therapeutic.

Okay, another one. Me, Putin and Cameron had an ultimate three way at Yves St Laurent’s former terrazzo in Marrakesh. We called it a ‘peace summit’ but really, it was all about gettin’ a piece of SOME ASS! Also, I tried LSD and I like it. I should’ve pushed for an increase in research funding because frankly, if we were all stoned right now, I think we’d be taking the end of the earth way way better.

In closing, I’m gonna roll a spliff and cheef in the Oval Office, because I’m the Chief of State, and the state I’m in merits cheefing. HA HA! This is why they got a guy to write my shit, oops, STUFF, oh hell, who the fuck cares about decorum! I’m gonna take off my clothes now…EVERYONE GET NAKED AND START FUCKING!!

President, out! <drops pen like a mic>

Original composition 9.7.14

 

Physically Fit And Mentally Shattered

wpid-20140830_181135-1.jpg

Fun Fact: An hour prior to this photo, I endured a manic attack. This shit is real.

One leg in front of the other. One strides, the other pops, as I challenge myself around the block. Figure four times around will make a quarter mile, figure a quarter mile is all my busted knee and shattered ankle can stand. Inhale and exhale metering easy. Shoulders low, arms heart level, knees hitting at the 90 degree angle. This is also known as a battalion run.

Open up into a quasi-sprint rounding the corner towards Manatee Avenue, sweetly greeted by a plume of pungent kush. I already like this neighborhood. Push through and then out the sprint to curve onto Manatee. Ten months of bullshit and the Courier 12 point font hearing decision proclaims, “The claimant’s disability continues.” I feel my knees pick up to work out the frustration, this unnecessary bureaucratic ordeal weighing on me like I’ve put back on the 80 pounds I’ve lost cumulatively in the past three years. Frustration reverts to pleasant curiosity as I pass a white clapboard house swirling with the sexy scent of bacon. I slow to a plod and feel exceptionally carnivorous.

Just the other day, in the new shoe store along Central Ave, we were all complaining of the same health benefits issue. The shop owners, both Army, both retired and now in business selling Miami-style women’s clothes, are also struggling to maintain their disability benefits. Active duty, reservist, civilian personnel, anyone who tolerated asinine bureaucracy for the sake of public service, we’re all at the same level of irritation: we put in our time, we paid our taxes, we satisfied contracts. Now, when we’re ready to collect on our hard earned yet meager reserves, we’re forced to prove or substantiate or submit or fill out or visit a vortex of dumbfuckery.

With the help of rage, I’ve already completed three laps. Purge this hate outta my body! This is a staycation with The Boyfriend (still haven’t thought of a clever nickname for him; suggestions welcome!) and this bungalow is adorable. Our own pool and a green-friendly innkeeper. It’s our two month anniversary this weekend. Yeah, I’m becoming very gay and so far I don’t hate myself for it.

Slow to the soggy wood gate and push it open, clasp it shut behind. I follow the path around to the pool, and I collapse into a plank. Only 45 seconds this morning. Dammit I’m getting fat!

Immediately I’m reminded of this silly saying my Mom would say:

“el amor se engorda”

10 months and 4 years later, the battle for competency has come to an end. Perhaps I can enjoy life right now. I’d like to. After all, there’s a guy waiting for me inside, waiting for me to clear my head to make room for him.

Wordless Wednesday: Date Night

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Wordless Wednesday: Poetry Night

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See the girl with the ninja tattoo..?

RANT: What Makes A Woman Fap-able?

Courtesy: StyleBistro

Courtesy: StyleBistro

[NOTE: I am a retired information technology specialist. This rant is long overdue.]

This week’s biggest culture shock was The Fappening, and I’m not going to bother to route you to the specifics of the story. Just, once again, nudies have been made public via the zeroes and ones. It’s really nice to know that all the progress we’ve made in information and communication technologies have led us to a social state of constantly taking pictures of our junk and feeling the world needs to know about it.

I’ve done it. Shot a few pics of my fun box. Not in the, ‘ooh this is sexy’ sense, but more in the paranoid, ‘does this mean I have herpes??’ sense (and no, friends, I don’t.) I’ve also done it to confirm, albeit in pure disbelief, that not one, but TWO white hairs have occupied fun box region, which is why I go smooth now.

I present this to say, I’ve utilized the technology to resolve an issue in a real-time moment, but I’ve never thought, ‘hey, I need to send So-N-So this.’ So why is it so commonplace for people to share these kinds of pics, and then be completely disgusted that they’ve made their way to websites. Really?? The issue is the violation? No, fucktard, the issue is you’re so self-absorbed you felt the need to hit SEND to a very unreliable person. That, or you’re just fuckin’ lazy. You want someone to be impressed with your naked body? Get up, go over to their place and show it to ‘em, Bible-style.

It was a hack job, Von. Yeah, yeah, but don’t blame The Cloud. Again, blame the fucktard who sent his or her ‘sensitive, personal photos’ across the firewire. It’s a shared lane, people; anything you put out there in zero and one form can be accessed. Screw passwords and encryption; remember, humans designed them, humans can deconstruct them. NOTHING IS IMPENETRABLE. You really should stop blissfully relying on sites and services to protect your data. In fact, try to spend some time reading the EULA or Terms Of Use before registering your avatar. Don’t want to read through all the fine print? Then don’t complain about your ‘sensitive, personal’ shit being accessed. Most of the time, you’re already signing over your rights.

And don’t forget, ya’ll…there’s the good ol’ NSA. The Metadatabaters can bypass any wails of violation you may throw at them. No one’s on your side, baby, so stop bitching.

Don’t want it out there? Don’t hit SEND.

That rant being over, lemme go ahead and reiterate the title: what makes a girl fap-able? In studying my site traffic and analytics, I have found that, during the early morning hours in America, a certain pic of me tends to show up in search engine results. The specifics are defined as “encrypted search results.” Well, doing some further digging, the popular search engine term for that particular pic is “hot wifey”. How the hell does that lead you fappers to ME?!?

Now here’s the debacle…a talented artist like myself, an amateur photographer, who happens to be a woman, likes to post pictures of herself in action quite regularly (and deftly I feel) right here on vonsimeon.com. The intent of the site is to celebrate my -ness; my creativeness, my wildness, my antipatheticness. However, during the early morning hours in Brazil, a certain pic of me tends to get hits. Same in Belgium. Same in South Africa. Not the same picture, mind you, which I guess would be a compliment if I was trying to solicit compliments from night fappers! But still…this site wasn’t designed for you to jack off to. I’m contemplating adding a warning message to my main header: There Be No Fapping Here.

It is the zeroes and ones, and if I upload then hit Publish, the probability of being fapped to increases as I continue to provide photos in my blog posts. I want the attention to my artistry, not my genitals, but, I suppose I have no choice but to sigh and quote The Stiffler:

 

 

 

“Whack away, Jim. Whack away.”

 

A Message from the Leadership at Penn State

[NOTE: I attended Penn State University and proudly earned my Master of Science in 2008, before the Sandusky/Paterno incident occurred. I was not on campus at the time these events were revealed. I abhore the actions of a small group of elitists over vulnerable children. I do not deserve the mockery, the heinous comments, and the outright unsolicited disrespect, somehow equating me to paedophiles simply because I wear a Penn State shirt or have decals on my vehicle celebrating my achievement. Most of the time I have to muster the strength to not say anything, but admittingly, it'd feel better if I could just pound those constant, ignorant bastards into the ground!

This letter is from the University President sent to all students and alumni on September 5, 2014. I've copied and pasted it here plus highlighted the particular statements which struck my sentiments exactly. This isn't just an examination of the lack of civility towards Penn State; rather, I read this as an observation of the state of modern American society, and the depths we now go to make our ability to function as a community impossible.]

psuheader

 

 

A Message from the Leadership at Penn State

September 5, 2014

Dear friends:

For decades, few universities could match the considerate manner in which Penn Staters treated both friend and opponent. In particular, to see someone wearing a Penn State T-shirt while traveling was a guarantee of a common bond and warm conversation no matter how distant the location. Today, that rather remarkable bond is under stress.

Unfortunately, there are many examples in every university where differences of opinion lead to incivility. For Penn State, one issue is of particular concern. There are honest disagreements on fundamental issues related to whether our institution acted appropriately, how our institution handled a crisis, and whether the sanctions that resulted are appropriate. Reasonable people can be found on all sides of these issues. The reasons for this disagreement are clear. Much is still left to interpretation and the issues have considerable emotional significance to us all. We are likely never to have the full story. We are equally likely never to reach consensus.

The question is whether a lack of civility in discussing these issues will create a deeper divide, one that alters the remarkable bond that exists between all those who are a part of the Penn State community. Consider just a few examples that you may have also come across – the alumnus who says he lost his best friend over his opinion of the Freeh report; the alumni trustee candidate that faced dozens of unkind comments; the long time donor of time and treasure who no longer feels welcome.

Debate and disagreement are critical constructs in the role of universities in testing ideas and promoting progress on complex issues. But, the leaders of your University at every level, from the administration, faculty, staff and students, are unanimous in deploring the erosion of civility associated with our discourse. Reasonable people disagree, but we can disagree without sacrificing respect. The First Amendment guarantees our right to speak as we wish, but we are stronger if we can argue and debate without degrading others.

Today, civility is an issue that arises in many areas of campus debate. Some may argue that the lack of civility is a national issue, promoted by a growing community involved in posting anonymous comments on blogs or by acrimonious national politics. We cannot afford to follow their lead, not if we are to serve our students as role models, not if we expect to continue to attract the outstanding volunteers who serve our University in so many ways, and not if we wish to have Penn Staters take our University to new levels of excellence.

Respect is a core value at Penn State University. We ask you to consciously choose civility and to support those whose words and actions serve to promote respectful disagreement and thereby strengthen our community.

Signed,

Members of the President’s Council (unanimous)

Eric J. Barron, President
Janine S. Andrews, Director, Office of the Board of Trustees and Associate Secretary
Anne (Sandy) Barbour, Director of Intercollegiate Athletics
Susan M. Basso, Vice President for Human Resources
Blannie E. Bowen, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs
Michael J. DiRaimo, Special Assistant to the President for Governmental Affairs
Stephen S. Dunham, Vice President and General Counsel
David J. Gray, Senior Vice President for Finance and Business/Treasurer
Madlyn L. Hanes, Vice President for Commonwealth Campuses
Craig Hillemeier, Chief Executive Officer, Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center; Senior Vice President for Health Affairs; Dean, Penn State College of Medicine
Nicholas P. Jones, Executive Vice President and Provost of the University
Rodney P. Kirsch, Senior Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations
Robert N. Pangborn, Vice President and Dean for Undergraduate Education
Thomas G. Poole, Vice President for Administration/Secretary
Neil A. Sharkey, Interim Vice President for Research
Damon Sims, Vice President for Student Affairs
Craig D. Weidemann, Vice President for Outreach and Vice Provost for Online Education
Marcus A. Whitehurst, Interim Vice Provost for Educational Equity

Members of the Academic Leadership Council (unanimous)

Francis K. Achampong, Chancellor, Penn State Mont Alto
Michael A. Adewumi, Vice Provost for Global Programs
Kelly M. Austin, Chancellor, Penn State Schuylkill
Lori J. Bechtel-Wherry, Chancellor and Dean, Penn State Altoona
Donald L. Birx, Chancellor, Penn State Erie, The Behrend College
Blannie E. Bowen, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs
Christian M. M. Brady, Dean, Schreyer Honors College
David W. Chown, Chancellor, Penn State York
Barbara J. Christ, Interim Dean, College of Agricultural Sciences
Ann (Nan) C. Crouter, Dean, College of Health and Human Development
Charles H. Davis, Chancellor, Penn State Wilkes-Barre
Barbara I. Dewey, Dean, University Libraries and Scholarly Communications
William E. Easterling III, Dean, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences
Craig S. Edelbrock, Chancellor, Penn State Great Valley
Amr S. Elnashai, Dean, College of Engineering
Gary S. Gildin, Interim Dean, Penn State Law in Carlisle
Davie Jane Gilmour, President, Pennsylvania College of Technology
Madlyn L. Hanes, Vice President for Commonwealth Campuses
Marie Hardin, Dean, College of Communications
Melanie L. Hatch, Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer, Penn State DuBois
Nancy L. Herron, Interim Chancellor, Penn State Greater Allegheny
A. Craig Hillemeier, Chief Executive Officer, Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center; Senior Vice President for Health Affairs; Dean, Penn State College of Medicine
R. Keith Hillkirk, Chancellor, Penn State Berks
James W. Houck, Interim Dean, Penn State Law at University Park
Nicholas P. Jones, Executive Vice President and Provost of the University
Barbara O. Korner, Dean, College of Arts and Architecture
Mary-Beth Krogh-Jespersen, Chancellor, Penn State Worthington Scranton
Donna J. Kuga, Interim Chancellor, Penn State Beaver
Jonna M. Kulikowich, Chair, University Faculty Senate
Mukund S. Kulkarni, Chancellor, Penn State Harrisburg
Daniel J. Larson, Dean, Eberly College of Science
Gary M. Lawler, Chancellor, Penn State Hazleton
Kenneth F. Lehrman III, Vice Provost for Affirmative Action
Paula Milone-Nuzzo, Dean, College of Nursing
David H. Monk, Dean, College of Education
Kevin M. Morooney, Vice Provost for Information Technology
Robert N. Pangborn, Vice President and Dean for Undergraduate Education
W. Charles Patrick, Chancellor/Chief Academic Officer, Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus
Mary Beth Rosson, Interim Dean, College of Information Sciences and Technology
Karen Wiley Sandler, Chancellor, Penn State Abington
Neil A. Sharkey, Interim Vice President for Research
Damon Sims, Vice President for Student Affairs
Kevin J. G. Snider, Chancellor, Penn State New Kensington
Regina Vasilatos-Younken, Interim Dean of the Graduate School
Craig D. Weidemann, Vice President for Outreach and Vice Provost for Online Education
Susan Welch, Dean, College of the Liberal Arts
Marcus A. Whitehurst, Interim Vice Provost for Educational Equity
Charles H. Whiteman, Dean, Smeal College of Business
Ann M. Williams, Chancellor, Penn State Lehigh Valley
Kristin R. Woolever, Chancellor, Penn State Brandywine

Members of the University Faculty Senate’s Advisory Committee (unanimous)

Mohamad A. Ansari, Penn State Berks, Chair Elect, University Faculty Senate
Thomas O. Beebee, Member, Faculty Advisory Committee to the President
Ellen A. Knodt, Penn State Abington, Member, Faculty Advisory Committee to the President
Jonna M. Kulikowich, Chair, University Faculty Senate
Chester A. Ray, Penn State Hershey, Member, Faculty Advisory Committee to the President
James A. Strauss, Secretary, University Faculty Senate
Brenton M. Yarnal, Immediate Past Chair of the University Faculty Senate

University Staff Advisory Council Executive Officers (unanimous)

Jeremy Warner, Security and Facility Manager, Palmer Museum of Art, Chair
Jennifer C. Blew, Administrative Support Assistant, Schreyer Honors College, Co-Chair-elect
Devon Marie Mower, Residence Life Coordinator, Co-Chair-elect
Susan A. Johnson, Manager of Planning and Operations, Liberal Arts, Secretary
Susan A. Johnson, Manager of Planning and Operations, Liberal Arts, Secretary
Madhavi Kari, Cocurriculum Programs Manager, Information Sciences and Technology, Secretary-elect
Pauline M. McCarl, Administrative Support Coordinator, Earth and Mineral Sciences, Past Secretary

Student leadership (unanimous)

Anand R. Ganjam, President, University Park Undergraduate Association (UPUA)
John Shaffer, President, Council of Commonwealth Student Governments (CCSG),
Danielle C. Rhubart, President, Graduate and Professional

 

Want to discuss the matter civilly? Let’s discuss…

[POEM] Tithi for the Demigod Freddie Mercury

Courtesy: FreddieMercury.com

Courtesy: FreddieMercury.com

[NOTE: HAPPY FREDDIE MERCURY DAY! En homage to my demigod, here's an updated draft of a poem I wrote in self-loathing three years ago. :) Remember, if you share, CITE!]

Freddie Mercury, if you’re listening
I speak to you shrouded under palm and cypress
sticky-skinned from tropical torrential rain
Silent.
In repose, reflecting on recent regrets
wondering…do I want to live forever?
Hard rain sounds a snap snap snap against the window
metering my manic thoughts,
my Moet and Chandon, not in its pretty cabinet, but rather, bottle empty in my weakened clutch,
whilst wailing under tears, “Can anybody find me somebody to love?!”

Oh Freddie.
Am I home Freddie?
Does the fat bottomed girl deserve another turn in the buccaneer bay?
I just want to ride my bicycle
but my soul wants to burn up the sky
like she’s Mr. Fahrenheit
Oh Freddie Mercury…
how do I make a supersonic woman outta me?
Original Composition 9.3.11
Property of VS Enterprises

Typical Florida Afternoon

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You Fall In, I Lean In.

I watched with mixed alarm/rage as he took my lap tray, my footstool, and assembled a crude end table beside my bed. Delivering my calmest, what the fuck are you doing?, he replied matter-of-fact-ly, “I go to bed with a glass of water.” I watch as he places a glass full of water and his smoking accutrement on the tray. Great, I think to myself as I scoot from dead center of my bed to the right…Baby wants a nightstand.

The next day, we head to a going out of business sale where anything you can fit into a lidded bin, she’ll sell you for the size of it. She also had furniture for sale, so I muddle about until I spy a wobbly end table, double tiered, with a jacked drawer. Examining closer, the person who had owned this not only did a shit job of assembling the particle board pieces, but set the drawer guides the wrong way! Instead of reversing it and evening out the screws, they dumped it here.

“How much?”

“Twenty.”

“I’ll give you ten.”

Sold.

Even though I *should* be writing, even though I *should* be preparing the next few features of this blog, I am instead deconstructing and reconstructing this nightstand. I actualize that I’m doing what most solitary people do when the Missus is being annoying – surrendering myself to the peace and simplicity of matching dowels and wood screws into pre-pressed and holed boards. Like my hideaway-in-the-craft-room brethren (and hopefully sisthren; I can’t be the only chick who enjoys woodwork!) I’m mumbling under my breath about all the uncertainties which have surfaced since I agreed to this arrangement. It’s not an arrangement, I chide myself; after all, we sparked at the exact same time. I’m perturbed because he’s constantly on my mind, he’s constantly pissing me off, everything smells of him. I can’t avoid him.

I reset the drawer and it slides with ease.

“Lean in!” my dear 94-year old neighbor exclaimed when I told her about him, she more interested in my dealings than her recent trip to the ER for a heart attack. So I did, I leaned in. As a result, Baby has his nightstand, and when he comes back to visit, he’ll have a place for his drink and his smoke and I’ll quietly burn knowing the condensation is going to collect and leave rings on the surface and he’s bringing ash into the bed but WHATEVER. He’s got a primo hottie as a girlfriend, who not only has her own lake but a Xbox attached to a 50″ high definition flat screen TV and a Netflix subscription.

He’s still going to break up with me, because ultimately, no man would DARE stay with a woman who has the capacity to turn junk into functioning furniture. Hell, he’ll probably not even notice it’s there.

I’m leaning in. And it’s painful.

Read My Book? Need Your Feedback ASAP!

Love that you bought it, would REALLY love your feedback!

 

You bought my book? AWESOME! Wanna tell me what to do next? Also awesome!

Go RIGHT NOW to Make Contact and select FOCUS GROUP from the pull-down menu.

I’m collecting information to help me decide my next move in the book game.

As always, thanks for playing along!

 

 

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