Category Archives: Uncategorized

I Forgot How Trains Work

 Somewhere in Oklahoma…

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How dare you, Union Pacific, block off the ONLY road to the neighborhood I need to get to!! Alright, fine, roll on through…

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…keep it moving…

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…geeeeeeeeeez how long is this train? Hurry up slowpoke…

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…wait, WHAT? Why are you stopping? Here?? IN FRONT OF ME???

(several torporific minutes pass)

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BACKWARDS?!?! You just went– you were going — GAWDDAMMITSUMBITCCCCHHHH! 

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I HATE THIS PLACE!!! 

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Pinche tren.

 

UGH.

Vonnie, Get Your Guns

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I bet you want to hear about all the shenanigans I got into while traveling across the country, and we will get to that fun stuff soon, but I must open my return to Bloggyland by explaining why I had to end my vacay early.

The They are at it again.

Smartly, I had forwarded my mail to my friend’s house in the off chance I get a notification or a summons or a request for information from the They while I was trying to enjoy being alive.

And they sure did. Those fuckers sent a notice to appear for a hearing, and I had to respond immediately and be present in less than five days. 

When dealing with the They, you’re not treated as a beneficiary. You’re treated like an offender. You’re not assigned a case manager; you’re assigned a probation officer. Be where you’re supposed to be, else suffer the consequences.

So ZOOM I go across the Plains, through the Heart of Dixie, and back into the Deep South. My body, not quite ready to pull this trip, managed to anyways. With another bout of sleeplessness, irritability, and mood instability, I journeyed from my home to the hearing, a full cross of my county, a bridge, and then into a city I try to actively avoid to make the 10am appointment. To add lemon juice to the paper cut, the office I arrived at was in a building down the street from the site of my worst motorcycle accident. Nothing like fresh traumatic flashbacks to start the day!

I did allow myself two drops of Visty, my psychiatrist saying I can do that “if you feel a situation oncoming that may trigger your aggression.” I did state once we were on the record, that I was attending under duress, so no one could say, “Oh I didn’t know she was symptomatic,” and hold it against me. 

The night prior to the hearing, I prepped as any good lawyer should. The paperwork from the They that showed I met their guidelines. Check. The order of events since December 2013 notifying me of an audit, and the copies of the paperwork I submitted per their requirements. Check. The hand written notes I took during my request for appeal, including request for reinstatement of benefits while the appeal is processed. Check. The hand written notes the case manager at the They provided to me, indicating my cessation of benefits was erroneously entered into the system, and they had opened a ticket for their main whatever office to fix it. Check.

Considering the evidence before me, I couldn’t see how They could justify denying my continuance. So, as a good defense attorney does, I considered what evidence They had that can negate my disability status. Reviewed all that I submitted, and I patted myself on the back for being such a good, detail-oriented writer, describing down to the night terrors what a typical day in Von’s life is like. Then, I go back to the original psychiatrist who reviewed me for benefits: an expert in post traumatic stress disorder, an expert with working with disabled veterans, this guy’s word is bond. So it has to come down to….

SHE.

She. She who sent me in a tailspin. She who manipulated the mental exam. She who was far from ethical and objective. I flip through the They’s rules for the hearing, and in Courier size 12 it read, “you have the right to review your case file at the time of the hearing.” This is the meat of the debacle. I *need* to see what she said about me.

So, back in the hearing room, a thick plastic wall separating me from the hearing officer, an armed security guard behind the door closed behind me, I utter after my swearing in, “I would like to review my case file.”

The largesse of the caught-off-guard hearing officer moved towards the plastic partition, “You’re supposed to do that a half hour before the hearing.”

I know this to not be true, so I restate, calmly, “I would like to review my case file.”

Visibly annoyed, he got up, asked the security officer to escort me out while he set up the computer on my side to upload the necessary files. The security officer escorts me back in, the hearing officer explains how to navigate Windows 3.1, and the two officers leave my side of the hearing room.

Even though the partition exists, Lunchy hovers as I begin to read. “We can print this out for you to take and review at home if that’s what you prefer to do.”

“Will I be granted another hearing?”

“No.”

“Then I’m fine.”

Lunchy sulks. He leaves the room for a bit, then returns, noticing I’m furiously writing into my notebook, for what I was reading was indeed, infuriating.

“This hearing isn’t about the person who prepared that evidence,” he snarks.

“Yes, but those who are making a decision on my case are basing my condition on what this person said about me, correct?”

“Yes.”

“Then it’s important I continue reviewing.”

That’s when I wrote down on my rebuttal as a reminder, high cognitive ability is an attribute of several mental disorders.

You can tell he’s flustered now. “We have some time before my noon appointment. How much more time do you need?”

My wide eyes blink up at him. “There are six pages. I am on page two. I can take 20 minutes to complete all pages.” Yeah, I may have delivered that a bit robotically too, seeing that I was already annoying him. Anytime I can bust balls, I shall!

Lunchy leaves his side of the partition, and I digest essentially my suspicion: she was not objective in her review. In one paragraph, I found complete fabrications of the event. Also, she left off way more than what I recall. For you see, I have an acute memory, even in the midst of trauma.

So on front to back wide ruled paper, I prepared a rebuttal to the evidence. Lunchy’s back in exactly 20 minutes, and I’m prepared to continue with the hearing. The testimony I provided took Lunchy an hour and a half to process. I provided him the written rebuttal to copy, and a copy of the notes I made the night prior, because I’m determined to present the facts. Along with the typed notes, I had already entered a statement contesting the reviewer’s reliability as a source for determining my case. SO happy I stuck to my rights and reviewed her copy, because my suspicions were correct. She lied. She straight up LIED and the They believed her.

During the closing of the hearing, I asked for the formal measures to report a licensed mental health practitioner and a funded mental health facility to the Florida Department of Health. Lunchy provided me the person’s name and where to mail the written report to. The look on his face was almost of pride. I must’ve turned his world around. I get this a lot during my appeal process; the They are practically shocked I can elocute effectively what my condition is, as well as deftly expose the flaws on their end. In other words, my argument is impenetrable.

I’m once again battling with finding the strength to persevere through the muck as well as finding the will to live. I think I put it so well in my journal I’ll just type it out here: “I think what it comes down to is I’m being discriminated against because I’m so articulate. I can clearly describe my conditions. I’m not stupid. Whereas VA can take in every soldier and out process them as PTSD, SSA starts first with NO, and then see if you’ll challenge their decision. And once you’re in, you’re scrutinized. If you’re not seeing a GP, you’re not sick. That’s discrimination against us who practice non-Western medicine. Then, the lack of objectivity on Dr. —– part is too outstanding to be left alone. That exam should be dismissed as evidence, and I invite DOH to present another psychiatrist with credentials as well as ethics, not just the first loser on an alphabetical list. Dr. A— = A; you’re not even trying. So all we can do is keep fighting. The center where I’m receiving treatment is on my team. My new GP is on my team. Both will submit medical evidence that I am still disabled. How irresponsible of the SSA to not enter the data in a timely fashion. How sloppy that they restored my record piecemeal; in the meantime, I still pay out of pocket for treatment expenses when my benefits kicked in June 30 of this year. I’m still under the impression they want me to see a suicide through, so that no one has to be accountable and they can get back to mass murdering the disabled. -imes

Score One For Humanity

walmartI sent this e-letter to Walmart Corporate Relations last week; I heard from the company the VERY next day…

 

Imagine what it feels like to be driving, alone, after midnight in unfamiliar territory, when suddenly your GPS navigation system gives out, and the lamps inside your truck stop working. This happened to me during the wee hours of Thursday, July 24 just a few weeks ago.
The Girl Scout in me knew she needed a map, but she also knew we didn’t own one. All I knew was that I was in Georgia, alone, directionally blind in the middle of the night.
A familiar beacon, a striation of sunny yellow beams extending from a blue background and the words, “Wal-Mart.”
If ever a woman could get completely exasperated from excitement merely by reading a lit sign, it would be in the way I reacted.
Pulled in to Store #5797 and noticed first how bright and clean it was for stock hours. The design of this store is different from what I have back home, so I must’ve looked very turned around when a lovely associate stopped shelving and asked if I needed help. I asked for an atlas, and so he came up to Maranda, who, mind you, had recently lost her voice, eagerly directed me towards the atlas I own now.
Not content to leave me looking at the atlas, Maranda asked me where I was headed, and, still nervewrecked I responded, “I don’t even know where I am!”
With the sweetest delivery, she pronounced, “You’re in Albany, Georgia,” to which I sighed relief. At least I was still heading the correct direction.
Maranda called over KT, who used to frequently travel to Memphis and Little Rock. As my stop was Memphis, he showed me on the atlas which roads to take, as well as how much time it should take me to get there. Relieved, grateful, confident on my path, I bid them farewell and told them I’d write a letter to express my sincere gratitude. Of course, they said it wasn’t necessary.
Obviously, I was compelled to share my story. I appreciate Maranda and KT going the extra mile to help me find the product I needed and get me safely on the road. My navigation system eventually resolved itself, but it’s good to know this cherished atlas is in my truck with me.
Still on the road; might visit Store #5797 for snacks!
Please freely use my expression of gratitude, as long as KT and Maranda are mentioned.
With greatest appreciation,
Von Simeon

Author, I Blew Up Juarez
vonsimeon.com

Wherever I May Roam

 

 

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…

 

Summer Book Giveaway! Enter by July 19th to WIN

Here’s my not-so-desperate attempt to get you to like me!

Courtesy of Goodreads.com, I’m giving away two signed paperback copies of I Blew Up Juarez, my debut novel. Details are all on the Book Page

Enter the giveaway here: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/enter_choose_address/97322-i-blew-up-juarez

Big sloppy kiss to the winners!!!

If You’ve Got 5 Minutes, Could You Please Judge Me?

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…

I Missed Ya, Baby!!

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So, while I was on WordPress hiatus, I:

    1. Skinned my knee falling off the wagon

    2. John Connor’ed my nephew

    3. Violated my personal code of conduct and accepted a date…WITH A COP.

    4. Received a growl from Bobby on his 5th born day

    5. Forced a 1st grader to do math (related to #4)

    6. Blew up eBay

    7. Made like Mowgli and returned to my “people”

    8. Decided to celebrate Christmas in July, Jack Kerouac style

    9. Mastered the Nooky and fell in love with Scrivener a la HER

    10. 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!

Stranger Than Fiction

[NOTE: Every one of these shorts is inspired by actual events, but are all fiction works.]

You Don’t Have AIDS

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Bill The Self-Congratulating (Non) Dom

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That New Schlong Feel

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Remembering Bear

[NOTE: Forgive any typos. I've been bawling my ass off putting this together.]

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.”

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Upper left: The feud between Bear and Smokie was akin to the Hatfields and McCoys Upper right: Bear me and Andrea at the University of Tampa Bottom left: The apartment we lived in before the 2004 Hurricane season damaged the place Bottom right: Bear trotting in front of Texas State Alumni Association House (undergrad alma mater)

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.

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Top: How strung out I was after driving 9 states. Bear? Ready to party! Middle: weirdest obsession of his was the lime juice squeeze bottles Bottom: being goofy in the U-Haul. Yep, that’s me driving!

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.

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Upper left: NOT a fan of baths Upper right: Striking a pose at my alma mater Below: Nifty B&W pic in the Tampa condo; he looks like one of the sand people!

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.”

How the Internet Began:

Von Simeon:

This is so wonderfully done, had to reblog…

Originally posted on With A Heart Of A Warrior..........:

How the Internet Began:
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In ancient Israel, it came to pass that a trader by the name of Abraham Com did take unto himself a young wife by the name of Dot.

Dot Com was a comely woman, broad of shoulder and long of leg. Indeed, she was often called Amazon Dot Com.

And she said unto Abraham, her husband, “Why does’t thou travel so far from town to town with thy goods when thou can’t trade without ever leaving thy tent?”
~~~

And Abraham did look at her as though she were several saddle bags short of a camel load, but simply said, “How, dear?”

And Dot replied, “I will place drums in all the towns and drums in between to send messages saying what you have for sale, and they will reply telling you who hath the best price. And the sale can be made on the drums…

View original 307 more words

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