Missing Stranger

For my father, who passed away on Father’s Day, June 17, 2007 at 44 years old.

I wrote this poem months later in order to sort through my feelings about his life and death, his absence from my own life, and general confusion about how I was supposed to feel and what I should and should not do.

Today, the memories of him are all good ones . 🙂

Missing Stranger


Oh, how I searched for you,
familiar stranger,
for you captivated my heart
years ago.Oh, how it still cries for you,
sweet stranger,
reacting to fuzzy images I can’t
let go.

Oh, how angry you made me,
foolish stranger,
as I tried to make you
understand.

Oh, how lonely you must have been,
timid stranger,
for you could never reached out
your hand.

Oh, how I longed to call for you,
distant stranger,
as you let others take
your place.

Oh, how my guilted soul questions,
elusive stranger,
if too soon I gave up
the chase.

Oh, if you could feel my heart,
misguided stranger,
you’d feel only love beyond
its door.

Oh, if you could hear me,
wandering stranger,
I would call you “Daddy”
once more.

Oh, what a painful memory,
slumbering stranger,
when you passed on the ‘day
of Fathers’.

Oh, how I wish for your happiness,
eternal stranger,
and that you will one day call me
“daughter”.

P.M.O./Ponix7
March 17, 2008

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The Power is out in Bellevue

Exploring styles again. This time, in the style of Dylan Thomas.

Also – true story! ^_^

The Power is out in Bellevue

The power is out in the Bellevue today
All things electronic are a blunder
No more computer games for you to play.

The sirens roar in a high pitched way,
When the lightning strikes before thunder;
The power is out in Bellevue today.

You glance out at the sky – dark gray,
Armed with a mouse and time to wonder…
-No more computer games for you to play.

Hail pings off of cars to your dismay
Your plans for the day, now torn asunder
The power is out in Bellevue today.

Oh, so desperately hoping for the sun’s ray,
Your patience begins to buckle under
No more computer games for you to play.

But you failed to ‘save’ so you must pay,
Can’t blame the lightning’s successful plunder.
The power is out in Bellevue today.
No more games for you to play.

by P.M.O./Ponix7

 Link: DeviantArt

Playing games into the 100s

Today I read an adorable article about a woman who turned 100 years old last week.

In an article posted by the Telegraph, centenarian Kit Connell gushes over the Nintendo DS, exclaiming that “It’s absolutely super, I can’t speak highly enough of it. I don’t know what I would do without it”. She believes that the many puzzle and Brain Age type games help keep her brain active, and enhance her memory.

Kit Connell

Whether her claims are true or not, there’s something fascinating about video games when it comes to age. I find myself imagining my own old, wrinkly body, still playing the games and game systems I own today, and trying new ones as they come along (assuming I am not a vegetable or dead before I get all my gray hairs)! 🙂

So, I started this conversation about ‘age’, but I’m going to talk about some personal feelings about gaming as a female as well.

As a girl, there were many things that girls were and were not supposed to do, and  parents, teachers, and elders, seemed to find it ever so important to remind me of what my place is – a place that favors making sandwiches and child-rearing over playing games and ‘doing what boys do’. And certainly, a place where grannies didn’t play Nintendo, Atari, Sega, etc.

But with video games, the age range of game enthusiasts is growing – this video game generation has a far greater reach and lifespan than perhaps some expected; and I have been wonderfully surprised to learn of the ages and backgrounds of friends that I have played online games. Today, my circle of fellow gamers includes a more equally balanced mix of males and females and some inbetweens; of many ages, maturity levels, races, disabilities, beliefs, and income levels – a far cry from gamer demographics 15 years ago.

It is my hope that as I age, these demographics will continue to diversify until they no longer surprise people – that a ‘norm’ will be established in which even our great grandchildren will think of their video gaming great grandparents as ‘normal’ – perhaps even allowing for more understanding and appreciation of each other, and enhancing communication as well.

Anywho – I digress…although these are topics I thoroughly enjoy!

Cheers to aging with video games! ❤

 

Article/video:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/9051795/Nintendo-playing-centenarian-says-video-games-secret-to-youth.html

“Blocks Away!” finished and lessons learned!

Woohoo! Got another app done for the Android Market!

Winter is in full force, and my husband and I are still just as unemployed as ever – which certainly has its benefits (getting to work on projects for our company) and disadvantages (making little $$ and going stir crazy cooped up indoors). I think I’ll talk more about that in a different post…

What I have enjoyed about the process of making apps for Android is that we can reuse both code and graphics from other games or projects that we have completed. Neither one of us are talented artists, so while this may not seem like a victory for some people – it is for us! 🙂

Lately, we’ve been getting quotes for vector and promo art from a variety of art studios – US and foreign. We sent them some art specs for another app we want to do, and holy moly – it can get pricey!

So far, the lowest quote we have received is at $3000 – the highest at $30000 (->the US company being the most expensive thus far).

That is one hell of a motivator to:

a) raise some dinero fast

b) learn to do as much of the art as possible myself.

On that note, I got to try my hand at some simple backgrounds for “Blocks Away!”  – not super fancy, but better than staring at a blank screen! Thank goodness for free/open source software like Inkscape and Gimp!

Lastly, after much googling and research, we realized that we needed to put ads in our games as another possible source of revenue. Since yesterday – we have made 2 cents using Admob! XD

I know I know – doesn’t sounds like much, but I think a lesson in persistence, patience, and awareness is going to help us in the long run, even if our is slow like the tortoise instead of the hare.

Anywho! So excited to have made some progress!

Shameless self-promotion bit:

Just posted up “Blocks Away!” on Android! Will be available for FREE, and should be able to download it today! XD

Direct Link: https://market.android.com/search?q=blocks+away&c=apps&start=24&num=24 

VA Self-Employment Program

Ok. Biz time!

My husband and I started an independent game development studio officially a few months ago, though we have been working on a few products these last two years or so.

As we are both veterans of the military, we decided to look into the VA to see if we could qualify for retraining under CH31 benefits – i.e. Vocational Rehabilitation (now called VetSuccess I believe).

Just like applying to use your GI Bill, you have to apply for CH31 and meet with a VA counselor who will determine if there is a need and what level of need is to be given.

In our case, her official recommendation was “self-employment as a means to employment”, and she referred us to a self-employment counselor in our area.

Before going further, keep these 4 things in mind when it comes to the VA:

1. VA has a self-employment program (surprised? So was I)

2. Nothing with the VA is a guarantee – if you have been found to qualify for any type of benefit or assistance, remember the “hurry up and wait” motto.

3. VA counselors aren’t always forthcoming about what you can and can’t do – research like mad, ask questions,have a good attitude (I know sometimes that one can be tough) and be extremely persistent.

4. If the VA says a document must be no more than 10 pages, single-spaced, Arial font – they will absolutely throw it out/reject it if your doc is 11 pages, 9.5 font, Times New Roman – you get the idea.

That said, I met with a self-employment counselor a few days ago, and today – finally got a hold of the template that the VA uses for business plans – the general requirements are similar to any business plan, but the format is a bit different from the one I used for my original business plan.

(If I can find a link to the template, I’ll post it here later)

This isn’t the only way to write a good business plan of course – SBA has a good outline, as well as any Small Business Development Center (non-profit agency that helps small businesses get started – free service!):  http://www.sba.gov/content/templates-writing-business-plan

Anywho – back on track->

Here’s the short list on what the VA asks for, in the order is was given to me:

1. Cover Page

Company name, contact info, owner’s name, mailing address, phone, email addy, webpage/site addy, privacy statement

2. Executive Summary  (written last)

3. Marketing Section

Company mission statement: include competitive environment, source of competitive advantage, and competitive analysis

Marketing ‘Mix’: includes product or service, price, promotion, and channels of distribution

4. Organizational Section

Legal form of business, license and permits, human resource management, record keeping and tax preparation, insurance needs

5. Financial Section

Customer Investment: include equipment and supplies, and capital

Funding Needs: include a description of purchases, ‘break even’ analysis, and revenue projection

6. Appendix

Attach supporting documents – reference appendix docs throughout the text.

I’ve been told to pay strict attention to financial projections – VA wants to see a 5 year projection that must show growth beyond the initial investment. These projections must include at least 3 quotes for resources/services we intend to purchase (in our case – we have to get at least 3 quotes for art, music, and marketing/advertising so far).

After typing this, I’m getting the urge to get back to grind on updating my business plan, as it is taking a lot more research and editing than I had originally thought.

If there is anyone else thinking about applying for this program, here are some websites to check out first:

http://www.vba.va.gov/bln/vre/   (general voc rehab/vetsuccess info)

http://vabenefitblog.com/self-employment-tips-with-voc-rehab/   (details of self-emp program)

http://www.disabledveterans.org/2011/12/29/rehabilitation-program-blocks-many-entrepreneurial-veterans/   (good/bad perspective – found this pretty helpful)

TL/DR:

What’s the point of doing all this?

If approved, VA will give my business a grant for up to $25K – it’s going to be a long process, and one that doesn’t promise anything – but at this stage, I have nothing to lose by doing the work anyway! 😉

Letting Go

Attempt at a poem with a similar style and format as another poem by Nancy Willard. I think I was having some trouble with syntax here, but decided to leave it alone for now.

Letting Go

When the small child cried on the beach
and her tears turned into the ocean
and her hair turned into the seaweed,
she was taken by the churning waves
which my thoughts brought forth blackened clouds
which my fears brought forth rolling thunder

which my exhale brought forth glimpses of sunlight
when I heard an echo of laughter
when I awoke upon the sand.

PMO/Ponix7

Two

Pair of sad, lonely, and confused brothers back home in AZ – for so long I wished I could help them, until I realized that sometimes the best thing one can do to help another is just to let them be.

I have no doubt that someday they will find their way 🙂

Two

by ~Ponix7

There stands the long shadows of two men –
similar stature
similar appearance.
Trace the top of their shadows to see whose feet
they cling to…
Your eyes do not deceive –
they are the prepubescent feet of young boys.

How do they bear the shadow of ‘man’
whom stand so tall against the setting sun?
Two puddles of muddy gray
side by side;
Two boys – brothers
stand solemnly,
side by side.
They, too, a deep, muddy shade of gray,
whom seem to be yearning
for something…

or perhaps –
someone who will come with sticks and grass
and an earthen palette.
Someone who will come
to fill in their muddy gray bodies,
their ever-stretched, dreary shadows;
who shall paint them and paint them
until even their souls are saturated…

Who will rise to fulfill their wish?

You cannot.
I cannot.
Although,
if we could reach them –
to give them their own brushes and palettes,
then they,
two,
may choose to paint themselves into the men they wish to be
and resolve the emptiness and sorrow
of the child inside of each.

PMO
31 May 2010

(This one also located at: http://ponix7.deviantart.com/gallery/#/d2qt8ly)

The Aging Italian

The Aging Italian

The aging Italian

finds time for a jig,

and celebrates with

energetic limbs like twigs.

Although his students

snicker and jeer,

he chuckles, ‘they won’t

understand for many years’.

So he dances and smiles

for the joy of being alive-

not to waste a moment

to bounce and jive.

23 January 2008
P.M.O.

Pepperpoems

Hola! Again!

I decided that I should try to get my ‘blog on’ and write something again. I’ve been feeling a bit of a block with writing in general, so I’m hoping to reinvigorate myself by forcing myself to get back on task before procrastination becomes a convenient excuse not to do anything.

Poetry is a passion of mine, though I have no formal training. I don’t claim to be the shizzle, but I do think that poetry is a fun way to pull thoughts and feelings outside of oneself – for the sake of both pure expression and learning about “us” – people, places, cultures, idealogies, objects, and all things that the mind can conjure up.

I’ll include a random sampling of poems I’ve written over the years – some common themes range from happy times, to humor and mischief, to sadness, and ’emo’ before the emo was cool (lol – or existed).

My other poems may be found at: http://ponix7.deviantart.com/ under the pen name PMO or Ponix7.

Thanks and enjoy! 🙂

Hello Internetz!!

Guess it’s about time to venture into blog-o-land!

I, like many of you, are about to hop on the unemployment train come 1 January, 2012 – not by choice and not eligible for UEI. I know it’s hard to think positive during such trying times, and typically, I am a worry-wort about such prospects. I have never truly been unemployed since my first taxable job at age 15.

So here I am – starting over in a new place. I am uncomfortable, this place is unfamiliar, and the faces and roads are all new to me…

Sound like anyone else?

[looks around] Thought so! Somehow, it does feel better knowing that others are in this position too. Still, many more people have got a life far more difficult with many more burdens to bear than I – and to all, I wish you much success!

Since my spouse and partner-in-life are both about to travel the unemployment journey together, it seems like the right time to put all of our energies into our small business.

Not sure where this road will lead, but it is sure to be both exciting & frightening at the same time.

Been here too? I hope you will share your stories and experiences also! 

@@@

I haven’t quite decided how I want to organize my scribblings here, but here are topics of interest that I will be talking about soon:

1.  Business/entrepreneurial endeavors – including subtopics such as executive leadership, communication, strategy, and reflections on my experiences being a business owner of a small, independent game company.

2.  SEO, online marketing & advertising, & computer mediated communication.

3.  Game art, music, sound effects, coding.

4.  Culture and gender/sex studies as they relate to online gaming and interaction, and other random thoughts on the subject.

5.  Posts relating to personal interests and hobbies, such as poetry, anime, music, carpentry, and of course – video games! XD

Perhaps not the most exciting thing you’ll ever come across in this internet society, that is OK. For all I know, could attract the most epic trolls in existence,  some ‘passers-by’, spam-bots, ads, and probably a few solicitations for prawns (hehe)… could be fun!

Hooray for digital existence eh!?

Thanks and Happy Holidays around the world!

~Pepperonymous