Category Archives: Pet Life

Meet The Author! Gulfport ArtWalk Saturday April 19th 6-10pm

 

 

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Feel like visiting the Gulf Coast this weekend? Come join me and other artists as we share and sell our wares. Check out this badass raffle…

 

Goodreads.com QOTD

Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be

Abraham Lincoln

Anything to declare? Don’t Go To Punxsutawney

Because I love you, I’m gonna save you some dignity. Trust me, you’ll understand after you read.

Back in the yearin Oh Seven, I had me a curio bout the Nordie folk tale of a rabbey en him magick hole. (Shouts to David Mitchell, yo) This was the beginning of Spring semester 2007. A fellow cohort in my Science Technology and Society graduate minor program, Jenn, a lifelong Pennsylvanian, said she and her brother may be planning to go up to Punxsutawney for Groundhog Day. I said, hey, if that happens, count me in. Doubt I’ll ever be up in these parts again, sounds like a thing to do.

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The only thing you miss out on is scoring a bawse G Day shirt like mine.

Early, I’m talkin’ errrrrrrrly that 2nd of February, we leave from State College after a very necessary stop at Sheetz for brekky and coffee up on 322W towards the town of that very spirited tradition, the witnessing of a ground rodent’s shadow to predict if the winter continues longer. I knew of it from the Bill Murray classic, Groundhog Day, and I remember our February school room calendars decorated with Punxsutawney Phil along with hearts and cupids and head shots of presidents.

I figured a place with ‘Punx’ in its name would be, by default, cool. It ain’t. Alright, first, the early morning call is because the crowd gets thick around 5am. If you want a good view of the ceremony, you have to be in town, up the hill (there’s a hill), in position, and you cannot leave that position lest risk losing view. There’s no stadium seating around the hole, go figure. It’s an hour and a half drive from State College, so I figure we’re relatively okay.

We smartly filled up at Large Grocery Store Complex with snacks and sandwich goods in a cooler to keep with us as we hold position. Sure, there’s tents set up for hot cocoa and street food and artisanal wares, but again, risk losing optimum rodent viewing. Interesting was the moment Jenn mentioned, ‘you have to look out for my brother. He’s a little strange.’ Like, grab girls’ butts as they pass him in the crowd strange, or has a sniper rifle in his long coat and plans to take Punxsutawney Phil out strange? Before I could ask for clarification, she hits me with, ‘oh, and… No alcohol allowed on the hill.’

WHAT???

It’s Six Degrees Fahrenheit at 5am. Whiskey needs to be in my life, as a survival tool. She coulda mentioned this before we left, so I could’ve had my flask at the ready. But they check bags and monitor the crowd for such things. As they say up in dem parts, criminey!!

So alright, early ass morning, no alcohol, trapped like sardines til The Big Show. Just when the sun starts making its way up, signaling time for Phil to do his thing, Jenn’s brother is nowhere around us. She casually says, ‘He escaped.’ Escaped? That’s the verb we’re using? Someone escaping in a large crowd on purpose can only mean terror/disaster/hysteria. At that moment, not my problem, cuz here comes a bunch of old, White men wearing top hats, waistcoats, coattails, spats, I mean, they’re into this. And the fact they’re only wearing that and no furs or thermals means they’re dedicated to the game. Super Bowl XLVIII ticket holders have nothing on the Committee, or whatever they’re called.

The crowd clusters, I crane and crook into a clean view of the tree stump Phil’s gonna do the observation from. Then with much applause, a HUGE dirt rodent is hoisted in the air by the Committee Head. Then he’s placed on the stump. And then…

and THEN…

…every member of the committee enters into a huddle OVER Punxsy Phil! Blocking out the sun with their bodies! Really??

To which one steps back and proclaims whatever Phil saw, which I couldn’t hear, because I was screaming out, ‘DIS IS BUUUUUUSHHHEEEEIIIITTTT!’ If it wasn’t for the fact there was a pancake breakfast on the Main Street immediately after, I may have snatched Jenn by her pretty brown curls and shook her body with them.

Miraculously her brother showed up, with no explanation as to where he went. I housed about six to eight pancakes, a low number, because I wasn’t thawed out completely. The Main Street was lined with tents, activity centers, booths, street shows, all that you would expect for a holiday celebration. The local movie house played all day, you guessed it, Bill Murray’s Groundhog Day. You can tell the local chamber and officials put a lot of effort into providing entertainment for all us shmucks who just got conned by Marmota Monax and his well-dressed henchmen.

Jenn made up for the lackluster show by taking us to a winery she knew about off of 322W on the way back home. Years of cell damage limit me from remembering the location, the owner’s name, or the name of the fantastic blush I had, but it sure did make up for the farce that is Punxsutawney Phil’s Big Day.

Got Mad Nursing Skillz

I gotta hand it to the beast, Bobby Tiberius can take some injuries.

We went on our evening constitutional, minding our own, wrapping around the north end back towards The Treehouse. There’s a segment of the property that’s all large, lush flora, what Florida looked like before the conquistadors had their way with it. As we walked through our mini tropical forest, we came upon two tween girls. The taller one gasped, “You scared us!” I laughed and gasped back, “You scared me,” as children do genuinely frighten me. Then I look down and see Bob’s back leg lifted in the usual release of bodily fluids akimbo, but found it weird he wasn’t lowering it. The girls approached with the expected awww that everyone gives my cute little dog. I lowered to look for the spur that was bothering him, and noticed…it was moving.

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Need medical attention? I’m your girl!

The fuzzy thing was a honeybee. An angry, going-to-work-on-my-puppy’s-toe honeybee. I swear, living in this neighborhood is a constant episode of When Animals Attack. Moment of truth, gotta spare my dog his pain. My two witnesses are giving their best “Oh no!”’s as I look for a soft leaf. Bob, amazingly, is wagging his tail towards the girls, telling them telepathically, don’t worry, ladies, I’m gonna be okay. I’ll let you scratch my belly after the big one is done doing her job.

I pulled the disoriented honeybee from his foot, said my apologies, and placed it under my foot, pressing the bee against the ground as I searched for his stinger. Fuzzy, black foot under leafy cover and overcast sky was not helping. I released the foot, and Bobby hobbled towards the girls. While they comforted him with hugs, I watched for anaphylactic shock. Nope. Still 100-mile-an-hour wag, affectionate, but favoring the foot.

“Now girls, I want you to walk around the trees, I don’t know if that bee is still alive, I don’t want you stepping on it,” I instructed. They listened, and I watched them walk across to the sidewalk before departing.

Bobby hobbled the rest of the way, and he stretched across his yard pillow as I assembled the recovery kit: tweezers, hot water, cloth, Witch Hazel, clippers, diphenhydramine HCl, dog treats. I found the fat barb after gently cleaning his rear left paw. Nasty thing!

Damn honeybee.

Zdravstvuyte!

It’s cool to know I’m a popular search result in Russia. I mean, hey, kinda makes sense, I live in St. Petersburg! Florrridahhhh. :)

But you know what? I’ll take it. Besides, I want to make friends all over the world, especially after my book comes out next month. Yep, I write action fiction, and I’m excited to offer I Blew Up Juarez as an e-book and paperback if you so like!

Let’s make it a popular enough read so I can get it translated in several languages. Russian, too. Then I’d have a GREAT reason to hang out in St. Petersburg, Russia! Let’s make my dreams come true!

Go check out the Facebook page and do that thumbs up like thing.

Good morning, St. Petersburg! And good night, St. Petersburg!

 

G’Day and 안녕하세요!

Recently, I checked out my WordPress site analytics and found, besides the United States, I have frequent viewers and visitors from Australia and South Korea! I love that. So to all my way-way-more-East-than-I friends, thanks!

I invite you all to check out my Facebook page for I Blew Up Juarez. This is my FIRST fiction work I am publishing as an independent author. Super excited about it, and I hope you are too! Please take a moment to Like my page today.

We set up the page chiefly to organize the central question: what’s this book about? Here’s the synopsis straight from Facebook:

It’s her 33rd birthday, but drug trafficker Johnny Saucedo won’t be celebrating until her next job is done. Plagued with inexplicable surges of energy that leave her incapable of controlling her own body, and haunted by events from her past, Johnny seeks refuge from her troubles in the home of her best childhood friend, the incorrigible and mystic-minded Phoebe Mclaggan, who lives conveniently close to Johnny’s new assignment.
But the job might not be what it appears to be, and Phoebe’s insistence on tagging along doesn’t make things any easier for Johnny. A heated altercation breaks out between the two women, and the mysterious energy surges out of Johnny’s body, decimating the entire city of Juarez, Mexico and leaving Johnny in a near-comatose state. During her state of unconsciousness Johnny meets an enigmatic being named Jossara, who informs Johnny that her powers have only just begun to surface. Unfortunately, so have her problems. Labeled a traitor in the trafficking industry, and a possible-terrorist by the military, Johnny now must lace up her combat boots for the fight of her life. But the stakes are bigger than she can even begin to imagine.

St Petersburg writer, Von Simeon, has created an intense, humorous, fast-paced story of action and intrigue that will have the reader on the edge of their seat. With its no-nonsense style and audacious marriage of non-traditional elements, I Blew Up Juarez breaks the mold of the traditional action novel and paves a new path in genre fiction.

Your Favorite German Is ON FACEBOOK

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Johnny Saucedo, I Blew Up Juarez. Artwork by Marie Chapin, copyright VS Enterprises.

Today I’m debuting my official Facebook page for I Blew Up Juarez, my FIRST published fiction work! WILL be available in e-book and paperback format. VERY VERY excited, and I hope you are too!

When you Like the page, you’ll get updates about the novel, including Teaser Tuesdays. This is where I’ll post an excerpt (200 words) from I Blew Up Juarez, plus a fact about the character ONLY FACEBOOK USERS will know! Fun, right?

Help me get 100 likes by 3pm Eastern Standard Time!

 

 

[Video] BIG Announcement!

TWO WAYS TO FIND IT:

Here’s the I Blew Up Juarez: A Novel Book Page

OR

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Life-Saving Fat Pants

Turned the leg of an old pair of sweats into a cozy for Bobby. He’s comfortable.

The Other Woman

Courtesy: Redbubble.com

Courtesy: Redbubble.com

[Flash Fiction writing prompt, time = 30 minutes]

Didn’t expect to be here again.

Then again, didn’t expect it to be me standing before her, she, crumpled against the ground, crying. From my position at the height of the stairs I’m looking down at her, legs splayed, black dog on leash to one side, dressed in all black, hair wrapped back tightly. From her vantage I must look menacing.

I wasn’t expecting to be here, like this.

I expected her to be larger.

She continued to wail with her dog in her lap. He didn’t have to introduce me, but I think he did it more for his validation of the moment than everyday cordialities.

This is Karen. Karen, this is Sam.”

That was my cue to descend stairs and leave. I had a fleeting thought to tell him to call me, but of course he can call me. We just made up a week ago. Tonight was our first night together since the fight.

I tightened Bob’s leash and circled around the pile of woman and her dog, both of them too immersed in their drama to notice or care of my leaving. Leaving I was doing, freeing myself of any incident.

The hardest part was bringing myself back to consciousness. I had two bowls of his stew and rice in my stomach, I was high, I was well on my way to 4th stage sleep when he woke me. I pressed the heels of my hands into my eyes, coaxing moisture from the reserves, switching to my purse to get the eye drops. Fuck I hate driving like this.

Perhaps I wasn’t moving fast enough. I heard his voice approaching the car, but it was his typical admonishment of the dog. Her dog that lived with him while she was “finding herself,” the same dog I’ve grown fond of and enjoyed caring for. She had broken loose and ran towards my car. Does she think this is another one of our car rides? I felt him pacing. He needed me to leave. I needed to wake up. Finally, I twisted the headlamps on. I’m going, I’m going.

My last sight was of he and she entering the courtyard with the dog.

I eased the car up Roosevelt, down the boulevard, across Hempstead, down Chester, over onto my street, and back to the house. Bob was confused. He was used to staying the night. He was happy to be asleep on top of him. Why are we here?

I wasn’t expecting to be there when this day came, but I’m glad he wasn’t alone when she appeared. That’s the heaviest strike one woman can lay upon another without touching; face-to-face with the physical embodiment of his moving on.

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