Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be
Category Archives: Pet Life
Yes folks, this is happening. I’m hittin’ the road starting this week!
Where to Von? I honestly don’t know. I’ve got gas, I’ve got maps, I’ve got information and communication technologies, and I have
a badge-wearing wingman to help drive and navigate.
Why are you doing this Von? Life-wise, I need some sparkly fresh brand new so I can feel the wow again. Creatively speaking, my writing is uninspired largely because I’ve deprived myself of Befindlichkeit, which is a big pretty German word for self-discovery. Discovery is tangible – what you experience with your senses within current time/space – but self-discovery requires a more metaphysical…event, let’s put it. I’m gonna position myself in physical places I’ve never been before, connect cosmically with what or whoever has a cosmic charge, and throw myself into uncertainty, allowing reactions to happen in whichever plane of existence that happens.
And no, I am not using any drug, natural or manufactured, in order to encourage these events forward. Clean and sober and open-minded. That’s how this is going down!
I will regularly post to this blog, at least to let you know I haven’t been slaughtered. Since I’ll be working off of WordPress for Android, my posts might be more Instagrammy than verbose; I’m sure you’ll understand. :)
I will tell you I’m not doing the Atlantic seaboard or New England; I’ve done that drive four times in the past ten years. Something fresh and new means in the guts of Merica! Maybe even up to oohhhhh Caaaannaaaddaaaahhhhhhh
This is Von Simeon, signing off, and leaving you with a sweet song to remember me by…
You know how you look at a thing too long you don’t know if you’re done? I’ve updated two of my Pages, “All About Von” and “Make Contact”. Well if you could just dance through those, offer edits where necessary, so I can stop looking at this, I’d really appreciate it!
Going to walk away and shower while you do that. Maybe eat lunch. Yeah, lunch…
So, while I was on WordPress hiatus, I:
Skinned my knee falling off the wagon
John Connor’ed my nephew
Violated my personal code of conduct and accepted a date…WITH A COP.
Received a growl from Bobby on his 5th born day
Forced a 1st grader to do math (related to #4)
Blew up eBay
Made like Mowgli and returned to my “people”
Decided to celebrate Christmas in July, Jack Kerouac style
Mastered the Nooky and fell in love with Scrivener a la HER
Went vegan for a vampire story!
Tell me via Comments which one you want me to elaborate on, and I’ll feature it in these week’s posts. For my new followers gained during the break, ♥THANK YOU♥ and enjoy these bears!
Bear was born on May 28, 1998 in Dallas, Texas, the son of an AKC champion American Cocker Spaniel. Larger than regulation, Bear was given as a companion to the champion’s owner’s father. Over time, the senior member of the family succumbed to Alzheimer’s disease, and the family, unable to keep up with his obligations, sent Bear to the Cocker Spaniel Rescue Society of Austin. His age, along with his obesity due to overfeeding, made it difficult to get Bear adopted. He also refused to come out of his kennel on show days, so the volunteers concentrated on their other rescue dogs.
On January 2003, Bear discovered his future companion at a Rescue Society adoption day. That fateful afternoon, Bear left his kennel and approached a small, chubby woman sitting on the floor, sniffed her hands and leaned his head on her lap. The volunteers, amid gasps of bewilderment, signed her up for a home inspection and a background check. Clearing both, Bear came to live with Ivonne and earned the additional name, Cleophus, “the wise.”
A month later, Bear traveled to Florida to start a new life in North Tampa. He excelled in strutting, playing adorable, and begging for food. Bear was not a dog at all, but a very vain small humanoid trapped in a canine body. He was an excellent party host, and an aficionado of wines, reds in particular, and was no stranger to vodka. Bear Cleophus also enjoyed the occasional weed “shotty” up the snout, making him giddy and goofy to the entertainment of all.
Bear did have his doggie duties. His expertise was in scrutinizing male suitors as they entered the home. If he liked the man, Bear would play with him. If he didn’t, he’d create a ring of judgement by neatly laying biled excrement in a perfect circle on the floor, ideally near the failed man’s property.
He was a master of deception, owning a loud, guttural bark for a medium-sized dog, and used it to keep the unwanted at bay.
Another of Bear’s duties was playing the proverbial sidekick, the Tonto to Ivonne’s Lone Ranger. In 2004, Bear traveled from Tampa to Long Island, New York in the back of a Honda CRV to keep his familiar company on her first Atlantic Coast drive. Noticing she had stopped at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, scared witless to proceed forward, Bear Cleophus climbed to the front of the SUV, sat in the passenger seat facing forward, and told her, “You got this.” He encouraged her to crank up the volume on the album “The Wall” by Pink Floyd, and sat with her as she went under and above the water. From that moment on, Bear always rode shotgun.
Bear Cleophus was also an academic. He attended Penn State University with his companion from 2006 to 2008. Ever the vainglorious daemon, Bear would pick up hot chicks and dudes as Ivonne studied on the steps of Old Main. Bear spent countless hours in the AERS lab as his companion entered sheets upon sheets of primary-sourced data for her thesis. He had his own cushion by her office desk in 311 Armsby, and became a de facto mascot, boosting morale for all the economists, demographers, and community builders in the program. Upon graduation day, Bear Cleophus received a silver dog tag with a lion paw and the school’s name emblazoned across, making him Bear Cleophus, Master of Science.
As evidenced, Bear and Ivonne were inseparable. There was only one moment in time they were not allowed together. For eight agonizing months, the demonstrably fickle ex-husband refused to let Bear live with his “mother,” and it took mediation and separation of assets to allow Bear into her custody. Soon after the divorce was finalized, Bear returned with his companion to Florida, this time, to Saint Petersburg, to turn a story idea about a mercenary with superhuman powers into a novel.
Bear Cleophus aged seemingly overnight, losing his vision and hearing rapidly, and in response, Roberto Tiberius was brought to Saint Petersburg in 2012 to fill in on guard duties. Bear’s final road trip was to Tarpon Springs in January 2013 to experience the Epiphany tradition of diving for the cross. Bear held Death at bay, wanting to ensure the manuscript was delivered to the publisher, wanting to celebrate one more birthday. Blind, deaf, weak-limbed, exhausting cold air, his companion had to tell him, “Whatever you’re holding onto, it’s okay to let go. I’m going to miss you. I’m going to be fine.” The next day, May 9th, 2013, a beautiful sunny afternoon, Bear Cleophus let go.
Bear’s contribution to this existence is immortalized in Ivonne’s novel, “Dedicated to Bear Cleophus Espada (May 1998 – May 2013), the little black dog who told me to write this story.”
Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be
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.
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.’
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…
…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.
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.
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!