Category Archives: Inspiration

The 2nd Time Around

What a beautiful Tampa Bay weekend, and such perfect weather for the annual Gasparilla Parade! If you’re not familiar, this week-long event honors Tampa Bay’s well-documented invasion of pirates. You have your typical big event fare – personal coolers stocked with beer, girls in skimpy booty shorts, guys dressed in their best Buccaneer paraphernalia. All around good times during Florida’s winter.

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This was my 1st performance as a member of the Second Time Arounders Marching Band, and it was amazing! To dance, to smile while dancing, to dance as the crowd cheered me on…it was cathartic.

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If you happen to have pics, please share in my Comments field, tweet @VonSimeon, or post to my artist page on Facebook. Below is the band segment of the parade.

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Return of The Dancing Machine

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Happy 2016 to you! Have you started off right? I sure have! Let’s catch up:

☆ I am blissfully in love and loved in return. February 1st our two houses become one!

♤ Mental health treatment is going well; a slow, careful journey up a steep hill requiring patience. Working on ‘patience’ too.

♡ Authenticity is the name of the game. I’ve scrapped the bent cards from my life deck. Working on solidifying my inner circle (invite only). Nice to have physical friends again.

The biggest update is:
I am expanding my artistic base to dance! Pinellas County Florida is home to the Second Time Arounders Marching Band. Yours truly was a flag, sabre, and rifle-tossing member of Excalibur Color Guard in high school, and I still count those performance moments as the happiest of my turbulent childhood. So, the Universe provided me essentially a second chance at childhood – authentic, healing fun. You have no idea how great it felt to pick up a flag again!

Wanna see me in action? Check out the band’s website for the official 2016 schedule. If you’re in Tampa Bay for Gasparilla, the parade will be my 1st flag performance in 22 years! Come cheer me on!!

Here’s a 1994 video of my last winter guard performance. Look for the backboard with Cupid holding a heart; the girl with the puffy hair in set position is me…

Two Plates Two Bowls Two Glasses

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This is where/I don't live anymore/because LOVE lives somewhere else./So I go./This is 'goodbye'.

Today the lake water has taken on a pumice hue. Ripples close in like busy worker ants towards the inlet, dumping froth along the coastline. Bitter, the air, the overnight drop in temperature simultaneously welcome and abhored. This morning instead of sipping a cup of coffee I puff on my glass bowl. There’s much work to do, but a cold front means stiff joints and I simply cannot lift couches and move TV stands without healing smoke to start.

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Bobby's favorite activity was to sit here and watch the water fowl.

A commotion across the room distracts me from the lake. The grey flannel blanket undulates madly, then melts into the mattress. I return to nature-gazing with a smile on my face, thinking of the fiery Ace of Wands Spirit played the other day. Lust; Fire; Passion. Through the Two of Swords Spirit told me, ‘turn that big brain of yours off and let love happen!’ Oh that it is, for sure. I did pull the Princess of Swords. Unfinished struggles. Uncertain proceedings. It was a message about my health. Yes, I nod as I inhale, we’re gonna be experts in self-care this year.

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Kitchen, done!

There’s furniture to get rid of, boxes to pack. Walls to paint back to standard white. There wasn’t much hung for decoration until just this past year. Four years at this address, but I only felt like nesting once I had a relationship…oh I get it now. The Ace of Wands had always been in play. Good one, Spirit!
Down to two plates, two bowls, two glasses. Two houses will condense to one, and hearts will grow three-fold. Goodbye Southside, hello Suburbia!
Time to wake the sleeping beast…

Operation: Falcon Crest

Three yellow butterflies fluttered before me, playfully twisting in the warm morning gust accentuating this morning’s walk. Sweat curtained my face way before hitting the mile marker; what is this?? This time last year, a decent chill to temper the swamp, but in 2015, I still have boob sweat!

Walk is over and it’s time to get into General Schwarzkopf mode: we have a two-month campaign to complete. The objective – merge two houses into one!
This is monumental on both fronts. For BF, he’s taken on a commitment which will dynamically shift his lifestyle, all aspects for the better. This will be his first domestic relationship.

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Credit: comicvine

For me, it’s a tier short of a miracle. It’s been five years since my divorce. In that grief state, I started to believe I’d end up like my mother – alone, resentful, unfulfilled – so I slowly slipped into that persona. What I couldn’t emote I expressed in written word, and there was much power in releasing that…wrong persona…through art, allowing room for love. Which is why I am so thankful, ever grateful, that BF agreed to living together! And it wasn’t a negotiation, really, it was just a known. Kinda like the night I returned from Oklahoma last summer, sitting on his lap while we smoked on the balcony, he casually mentioning, “I told my friends you’re my girlfriend,” and me responding, “Yeah, I told my friends you’re my boyfriend.” This is simply the most logical, cogent trajectory. And frankly, my heart needs this.

So between my place and his, I’ll be a busy ass bee until the end of January. No time for composing or sharing art, there’s opportunity for that later. For now, I am working on a very delicate, very personal masterpiece: a home.

FOMO on NaNo

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Feeling a little split on participation this year..

The distinct smell of National Novel Writing Month is in the air, wafting curls of pumpkin spice-flavored coffee, donuts, and fear dancing in the four winds. All of November, local coffee shops morph into coliseums, where literary warriors compete against the clock and indirectly with each other.  It is a feat of near mythical challenge: find a way, everyday, to pour out the novel of your dreams from head to hard drive. Only the best of the best compete, but very few complete the challenge. Myself, a three-time winner of this global event, I gotta tell ya…

…I think I’m sitting this one out.

Normally I excel in short deadline situations, but after this last hospital stay, I’ve finally learned to not take life too seriously. And I think the essence of it is, the right mix of passion and mystery is just not in me right now.

But I will miss the gatherings (“I hate people, but I love gatherings!”)♤. I’ll miss the interactivity on social media during NaNo; I’ve made several friends all over the globe these past times.

Perhaps I’ll visit the write-ins, be a cheerleader or something. Yeah! My contribution this year will be words of encouragement. I shall motivate by slamming my hand loudly on the table top you rested your head on, then scream, Kinison-style, “GET BACK TO WORK!!!” into your earlobe.

Yes. I will be a NaNo cheero. No, I will not novel. And that is okay.

♤: Name that movie!

Renewed! After Much Procrastination…

Days before the cut off, I finally get around to salvaging vonsimeon.com! I tell ya, September was way too distracting to pay attention to WordPress’s many reminder emails. I blame the onslaught of pumpkin spice everything.

Still technologically determined, as repairs to my truck superceded buying a new notebook. I checked out a place in Seminole which offers refurbs and parts for building CPUs, prices comparable to newegg.com.

What can be done then, with this artistic downtime? ‘If you can’t give money, give time’ I always say! During Carmada 2015 I volunteered at the information table for the Nomad Art Bus, brainchild of gifted artist and all around amazing person Carrie Boucher. The mobile studio visits disenfranchised communities, at-risk schools, and other places where art funding is nil; I can totally get behind that! Visit the site and keep gas in the tank with a donation.

Have a wonderful week!

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NOMAD Art Bus at Carmada

Just A Reminder

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Von And The Fixer-Uppers

I did tell a long distance friend once that if my blog goes more than 3 weeks without a post, it’s a sure sign I’m dead.😀

Haven’t been able to keep my regular writing schedule due to my laptop failing. I have enough motherboard life to collect my master files.  Pics I don’t worry about; aren’t they already in WordPress? So to keep up with my proof of life promise, I’m using the tablet today; apologies in advance on formatting. The laptop issue I saw a’comin’, but what comes next, completely thrown off!

Labor Day Cimmi Red took a Hulk Smash! to the roof and the windshield by a large tree branch. My insurance company gave me a Toyota Corolla to drive for five days. As I cruised about, I left the radio low so I could listen to the whoosh! of the wind sliding over its aerodynamic curves. Pretty and fuel-economical as it was, the Corolla’s pick-up was laughable! Meeeeeeeeeee…

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Have truck, will travel!

Cimmi and her growl is back, new roofed and windshielded, and I’m pleased with the repair, although the deductible could have paid for a new laptop. And then I could migrate my work files. Then I could install Scrivener. Then I could update my website. And then and then and then…

I can’t dwell on what I have no control over. So I’m reading Lisa L. Kirchner’s novel, blazing trails with long walks, and planning my next life-adjusting chapter..

Co-habitation.

We’ll save that for another blog…😉

All Beered Out

Rapp Brewery Flights, Pinellas County, Florida rappbrewing.com

Rapp Brewery Flights, Pinellas County, Florida rappbrewing.com

Seeing how August turned out, it’s no surprise I went a tad overboard celebrating life via libations. After all, wasn’t it Benny Franks from Philly who said, “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy”? Welp, I was happy to get out of the hospital, and BF was more than happy to school me on craft beers.

Jeepers I’m so bloated! Tried on a pair of jeans at my favorite thrift store yesterday and oh no…no bueno.

I gotta take a break from beer. This is where you can help; be my substitution?

Now I’m not a reviewer nor am I being paid to promote these places, I just find their beer suitable to my palate, so I expect you’ll be impressed too. All these places are within Pinellas County, and they meet my Beer of Rights, which are:

  1. There’s gotta be food – not on certain days; every day! I’ve visited some craft breweries which only offer suds. No, no my friend, if you want my patronage, you better have some comida!
  2. There’s gotta be diversity. There’s a place BF wants to visit but I won’t visit because their menu is entirely India Pale Ales. I don’t care for IPAs. Beer should be for the people, not a select population!
  3. There’s gotta be happiness. I’ve visited some breweries where it’s clearly a ‘see and be seen’ type of crowd. That kind of thing goes against my goal of community building. I wanna see everyone relaxed, laughing it up, having a positive moment in life, ya know? In short, if I have to put makeup on and figure out an outfit in order to hang out there, that ain’t my kind of scene. Beer = happiness = peace on Earth people; let’s make that a thing!

So you have my requirements, here’s where I need you to sub in whilst I work down this bloat (not ranked in any order, all meet my approval):

Dunedin Brewery – made me fall in love with apricots, menu pairs well with all their beers. Also, live music pretty much every night to amp the ambiance.

Sea Dog Brewery – $3 beers! Three dollars! THREE! Plus they have a Hemingway Saison that’s a meal in and of itself. They have a generous menu, but if you want full dining, they’re connected to Cody’s steak house. Or just toast to Il Papa for three doll hairs.

Rapp Brewery – that’s me and the BF’s Cheers. The manager knows his name, can pretty much make out what we plan to order by the time we get to the counter. I highly super recommend Taco Tuesday for Out of The Pot’s amazing selections.

Thanks for accepting this mission. I’ll get back into a proper 8 and you’ll have a good time drinking.

Slante! Prost! Salud!

Wordless Wednesday

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