Category Archives: Just Because

Happy Year of the Goat! Love Always, Von

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Time To Take Your Ambien(ce) Medicine

Quality speakers or headphones very much recommended! (Crank the bass and flat the treble slightly)

Don’t blink!

Wordless Wednesday: Maintaining The Board Game Empire

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How To Deal With People

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Another Friday night Netflix-whorin’ (trademark!), and I decided to settle in on Nick Offerman: American Ham. It’s an hour and nineteen stand up performance, and I found it delightful; you shall too. What I valued from watching this was his hysterical delivery of ten principles he utilizes to get through life.

Nick’s performance reminded me of what I’ve put to practice these last three years. I’ve shared them in previous posts, but am motivated to revisit these principles with you, my lovely, because if there’s anything I’m good at in life, is constantly trying out new ways to fail at something, only to come out on top!

Here now, ladies, gents and in-betweens, Von Simeon’s Four Axioms:

1) Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. (“Say Nay To The Hero Complex”)

This is for anyone who’s ever had to bear the brunt of responsibility/accountability/patriarchy/leadership/ownership/command. This is especially applicable for those who carry firearms, bear badges, wear camouflage, guard incarcerated peoples, or handle children or the elderly. This is ESPECIALLY applicable for all of the above if you’re female.

Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Just because you have the mental capacity, the physical strength, the embodiment of power, the academic achievement, the title, the authority, the financial means, the superiority over friends, the familial control, the want-to without intercession, doesn’t mean YOU should exercise it. If these are the skill sets you embody, you need to spread the wealth. If it is of your nature to be dominant, then go against nature, and pass the baton on. Strike fear in the hearts you intend to enslave, or empower your subordinates by demonstrating restraint.

Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

2) In new/uncertain situations, frame the experience not as ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, but ‘different than’ what you’re used to. (“Face The Fear”)

We are all conditioned in childhood to emulate the actions of our superiors – the parental units. These people, prior to you, had their personal strengths and flaws as well as social preferences and limitations. Because those were your parents’/superiors’ values, you, by default, embody them. Now that you’re an autonomous unit (I have long given up on using the word ‘adult’ to equate to ‘maturity’), you can CHOOSE what you prefer. This means, getting out of your conditioned shell and walking the unfamiliar soil. The good news is, you can infiltrate as many unfamiliar soils you want, at any time you want, at any age or life event you’re at, and, if you decide you don’t enjoy that walk, you CAN go elsewhere! Staying the course is a very boring way to experience the world. When we do the “that’s wrong” “that’s right” mark off, we’re effectively saying, “the world needs to meet my parents’ standards since I have none.” Separate from your conditioning. Go outside. Embrace what’s different. You might realize you like it.

3) Repeat after me: I know nothing. (“Clarity”)

How’s it go? The older I get, the less I know. That’s not a line describing dementia; that’s a person actualizing her relevance in society. Truth is, we approach adulthood and the labor force in survival mode – reacting instead of planning, bearing arms instead of intellect. You do not need to embrace that. People would actually be astounded to hear you say, “I know nothing,” in our information deluge age. Consider this: you’ve known your familial conditioning, you’ve known the tasks that keep you contributing to the labor force, you’ve known the needs of your close ones. What the fuck do you know about YOU? Ask that question to yourself without an audience nor electronic devices. You will be scared shitless, then you will experience freedom.

4) Repeat after me: I am nobody. (“Oneness”)

It takes seven years for human synapses to completely change their initial routes. For every intuitive engagement you have, you’re mapping out how your brain embraces that discovery. You can, effectively, retrofit yourself to be the enlightened, engaged, enjoyable person we all want you to be. But you’ve GOT TO release that bear hug around Ego before the rewiring can commence! Society dictates the importance of the Ego. If you’re not one to get on your knees and succumb to Society’s penetration, then let go.

Everyone can swim through Axioms 1 and 2 with focus, self-respect, and a will towards living. Axioms 3 and 4, even I can’t seem to see the other end of the bridge with such a dense fog to negotiate. However, I am willed towards living, and so I will fight for Clarity and Oneness. I deserve them.

I know you do, too.

Plans… What Plans…?

First poem of 2015:

Today
is my last day
of vacay.

I have no plans. I really have no goals to achieve in the immediate future. My calendar shows a series of blank fields. Unprecedented!

Here’s the thing: every year of my adult life I’ve needed a focal point. By 1 December, I would have had a prepared list of things to do in the coming year, by quarters, with approximate time tables for project completion. This year? All I did was wake up and show up.

I did pack my laptop and wireless keyboard and mouse under the pretense of getting my prose and poetry organized. The devices spent more time occupying the bend of a sitting room couch than in action!

I did a little exercise of writing technique. For the first few days of my visit, I used my morning pages to compose a fairy tale, about the Queen of Saturnalia leaving her coastal lands for the dark and cold North, ruled by The Dark Prince. Probably five entries in, did the story go from fantastical alternate world scape to sequential erotica! How is it? Well, reading it over analytically, I have a solid grasp of the activity, but the anticipatory factor, that build-up the Midwest moms really need, is very weak. To borrow a publisher’s comment, it ain’t bad, but it ain’t great!

I still haven’t done my book unveiling yet, it was my planned New Years Day event, but then decided I wanted it to be a private affair.

No more irrational pressure. If I can I will. If it’s not in me, it’s not gonna happen. Sourcing that pressure, I know it to come from a culture demanding accountability, when, in and of itself, the culture is conditioned to act irresponsibly. This year, any pressure I embody will be self-developed for my own personal gains. This, my crone emphasized, is enhancement. Those who adhere to cues from Society call it selfishness. Just bear in mind, School of Latter Thought, the trophies for self-sacrifice are almost always awarded posthumously. My intention is to be relevent now by first acknowledging the Now.

Switching gears, I want to talk about you in your face! I am absolutely flattered by the diversity of readers engaged in my madness. Based on skillful trolling, my recent new readers average their early 20s and are artistically driven. This puts me in a vantage of mentorship, but not in the typical, “I’m older than you therefore I am better than you” way; rather, I’d like to approach my proselytizing like who I am in real life: your cool aunt who passes the ganja around while she shares tales of shenanigans, with a pinch of morality thrown in! Experience, not age, is how one achieves Wisdom.
For 2015, I’m going to enhance my blogging experience by sharing more, which isn’t easy for me, but I know if I unlatch a bit of armor, you’d appreciate associating with me more. The challenge is to be more revealing about my existence.
So let’s start with this piece… CLANK! There goes the left gauntlet to the floor.

Hi. My name is Ivonne, with an I not a Y, it’s pronounced with a hard eee, not a yuh or an eye. For the sake of monosyllablism, let’s go with Von.
And you are…?

Lucky for me, I have two benevolent people in my life who embody the values of Love and Wisdom in a manner I deeply desire. I met Love, protective and gentle, and Wisdom, reflective and balancing, about the same time last year, and since meeting them, the delusions of archetypal conditioning have started to melt away. Entering into 2015, I no longer feel starved of these self-actualizing components. Rather, I’m experiencing real-life affects of their abundant energy.

As I pack up Queen of Saturnalia’s caravan for a later departure back to the bright coastal waters of her queendom, I feel spiritually, physically, and emotionally sated. I will enter my home, settle in Bobby, and look out to the lake and marine wildlife in my backyard. I’ll plug in my newer tablet to fully charge.

In the morning, after my morning pages and coffee, I will do my book unveiling ceremony.

Or not.

That’s the plan.

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Name this airport!

Oh To Be Naked In The Sun (A Holiday Story)

[NOTE: Revisit of last year’s Christmas-themed post. Enjoy!]

On Monday, a bright, textbook sky blue morning, I picked up Marie and her son, Loki, and we headed up to Weedon Island Preserve. We were going to be the only people around, given the sparse parking lot. I love that. Don’t get me wrong, I love Boyd Hill Nature Preserve, but it’s too in the city and heavily trafficked. I’m trying to get my Henry David Thoreau on. I’m trying to loose the coil that is society for the next few hours.

I was led to reflect on Walden, one of the first books I read after deciding to cease living my old existence. My favorite chapter of the book, and I know you’ll think me strange, is The Bean-Field. His fastidiousness in accounting for developing his garden reminded me of how much I sought to control every value of my life as if it was a line item. It’s not that simple though; not every aspect of life can be quantified.

In the past few weeks I experienced a dynamic, negative shift in my professional aspirations as well as a negative shift in my personal relations, one in particular Marie witnessed herself this past Friday. We reached the lookout point and we got to the discussion of values, the who and whats in our life we’ve assigned priority to, and why. Revisiting the events of last Friday, it was evident that there was way too much expectation out of individuals on my end, as if I was going to find The Total Package upon every new relationship I build. The reality of it, as Marie succintly pointed out, is that will never exist in an individual or a thing, and the best way to keep Angst at bay is to carve out the part of the individual or thing you do value and hold on to that. Find contentment in what works, and acknowledge not everything is going to be fulfilling. It’s fatalistic, but easy to digest.

My focus returned to quality of living. I relaxed against the wooden bench, eased my spine, and felt the twists of Angst unfurl slowly. I tipped my white hat over my eyes and felt a long overdue relaxation. It was then that Marie mentioned she couldn’t find her camera. “Dammit, I just got comfortable.” I shifted slightly, ready to remove my pose. “We’ll double back. It’s got to be on the trail. You stay there.” Now that was nice of her. I heard the stroller and the whine of the boy dissipate towards the island, and I drifted away in a cat nap.

This, I realized, is the essence of being. My hands are not manipulating anything. The hard drive that is my brain has slowed its spinning to a dull loop. The breeze, perfect against my skin, the sun, warm enough to cause slight sweat. I felt cleansed. The act of Being is such a rare engagement. To detach, to be one with the sky and the water and the earth, reminds of the fickle nature of humanity. While cars zip around carrying frantic holiday celebrators to and from stores and to and from houses, fufilling social mandates of the season, I am here, Being. This is the best celebration I could possibly engage in, and a cherished gift.

I wrote myself a letter once I got home, and my plan is to read it on New Year’s Day. If I am lucky, I will Be on that day. I hope you will Be, too.

Merry Christmas.

This Guy Right Here.

Pope Francis totally crushin’ it as the vicar of Christ! :D

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Inauguration of Sweet Evil, My First Tablet

*This is a test! Trying to move from handwriting to completely Swyping my random thoughts. All activity here conducted on a Samsung Galaxy Tab 3…so far, very impressed!*

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If ever there was a time i felt most determined by the stuff i have, it is now, with this tablet, my first accessory i don’t actually need! Do i feel guilty? Yes. Do i feel indulgent? Also yes. Do i feel deserving of this sophisticated device? Actually, yes.
I am willed towards device technology, and i am sorry. But people can change their perspectives, and really, why am i still trying to uphold an old man’s lamentations, when the most sophisticated communication device of his era was the transatlantic cable? Is this conformity? I feel not. It’s that buried catholic guilt that’s making me feel bad. Think of the poor, think of the have nots. If they had their hands on this, wouldn’t they revel in its awesomeness? Hell yeah, they would! So play along, be determined, just don’t compromise your creativity just to accommodate a tool. Remember, this is just a hammer. You could just as well break a rock by hand. It’d hurt like hell though.

Wordless Wednesday: The Contender

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Dead Man’s Locker

What happens to the machine when the human abandons it?

Behold, the personal computer. A Packard Bell desktop, to be precise, with all the whiz-bangs the end of the 20th century allotted: 100 megahertz Intel processor, 1 gigabyte SCSI drive, a floppy and a CD drive, and, the creme-de-la-creme, a 28.8 bits per second dial up modem!

The programmer who owned this box passed away in 2011, and it, like many of his material things, just sat where he last left it. Now the CPU, keyboard, and start-up flops are in my house, and I’m attaching my 50″ flat screen to serve as its monitor.

Quite the whimsical juxtaposition of What Once Was with What Now Is.

Back in the IT days, we referred to an abandoned system as a ‘dead man’s locker.’ The typical service call was someone not information technology inclined asking me to figure out what Billy Bob did to make the pooter run before he croaked. The task at the user level was difficult; every system administrator has peculiar habits – a certain naming convention that doesn’t make literal sense, the redirect of master files from the default directory to a special access directory (and the guys who do this still: STOP IT YOU’RE BEING A DOUCHEBAG) and the lovely discriminate limitations to certain users to start business-specific applications.

Every ‘box’, including the one you’re using to read this, has its required components but all are completely customizeable to the whim of the box’s owner/operator. We all have a certain signature applied to every program we run, and, for us of the IT world, we go so far as to change the way the machine thinks, encouraging dominion.

So how did this fellow exact dominion over machine?  He was a COBOL programmer, so was I. If his operating system was DOS-based, then he ran MicroFocus COBOL, which means, he likely signed all his subroutines a certain way.

Yes, all programmers sign their subroutines. :)

The task was made simple: see if you can boot it up and if so, see if there’s any files worth saving.

Geez. I gotta make that call? It’s good I’m the neutral party in this arrangement!

The box came up and went through its basic start sequence. I listened for the tell-tale spin of the hard disk and the immediate hunt of the arms. I didn’t hear the distinct song.

The Jumbotron displayed ‘i/o error remove disk then hit <Enter> to continue’. With nothing in the other drives, the i/o error had to be anything along the SCSI controller.

Tool bag out, cover is off.

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Underbelly of drive. Had we had smartphone technology during my day, a lot of these system recoveries would have gone MUCH faster!

Everything looked…OLD. Even when I was supporting systems eons ago, this was considered an old box! Checked the bands, the relays, the connection…looks like he never touched it. I did attempt to open the case fully, but alas, the final screws were smaller than the heads I have in my toolkit.

This is the point of system analysis when you gotta ask: is it worth pursuing further?

I thought back to the original request. This was HIS computer; no one else even knows how to code. The only auxiliary access was via fax machine, which they didn’t own anymore. They already have a current-century box working fine in the household. Even if I was to get the arms moving and the drive spun up, the only person who would understand his codes was gonna be me, the neutral party, and nobody in the world is looking for home-spun programs written in MicroFocus COBOL.

Except me.

Then I think to myself, this would be a fun short story to write. :)

I go about trying to find anything that could fit these screws, but I’m just shearing the heads at this point. While I wanted to resolve this and discover he was indeed a talented programmer in his heydey, my curiosity was quelled by limited access to the technology.

In plain words…the needle-nose screwdriver I require costs more than this entire box, code included.

Ahhgggghh.

Calling it.

Dead box.

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Even in case notes, one can find poetry. An eager hopeful approach met by a simple yet terminal limitation. Can’t say I didn’t try!

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