Powered by LiveJournal.com
You are viewing the most recent 25 entries.
23rd October 2016
Long time coming
It's been a while since I've posted. Since the wedding really. Well, I've been stressed. A mixture of things, really. Life overall is good, but I'm not sure you'd know it to talk to me, but it is. :
The thing I miss most is having long conversations with people and really getting into what our lives were about. Now I feel like we try that on social media: for me that's like social hyperventilation. I want to get air -- a full deep breath -- but there only small gulps of air - interactions, in a few characters. I did have a nice night talking with my friend Sara and her new room mate -- I think we were up to 1 or 2 just hanging out and talking. Not many people seem to want to do that any more. Maybe it's me? Have I just migrated to a "whiter" more proper world where people just don't talk about things. It seems that way sometimes. And I feel like I've just fallen in.
At work I'm taking this course in lowering stress. It suggests I try "expressive" writing. By which it means I write very emotionally, then destroy it. Really, I feel like the whole course is about burying emotions and being phony. The whole company feels phoney. But that's not the point. The point is, I do *need* to write more. I used to write here a lot, but not so much anymore. I haven't been taking the time.
Well, let's start a bit.( Read more...Collapse )
Ugh. The world is a lot. Even when things are *good* it's a lot.
29th June 2016
Post - Wedding
Where to start and where to end. Everything with the wedding, if you can believe it, was so much drama. Including me! :
My right big toe isn't hurting as badly any more, thank god! I think the new nail is slowly growing in, but it's been a long time since I had a new nail grow in, so I don't know what it looks like. The nail came out at the root, so I've been having to trim the bottom of it (disgusting I know) as it's started getting soggy after multiple foot baths.
It's my second week back at work, and I'm starting to get back into the groove. I really wasn't all there the first week. I forgot how isolated I feel at work, and how maddening the white noise machine is.
I went for my first allergy shot last week. Would you believe the allergy nurse was surprised I had an allergic reaction! They gave me a shot of something I'm pretty allergic to, and my lungs and throat tightened up so that it was difficult to breathe. I have to laugh -- maybe all those years in middle school with my lungs tightening up and passing out from not breathing, maybe it was an allergic reaction and not a panic attack like the doctors said. Wouldn't that have been a stitch. Dumb doctors. I go back for my next allergy shot tomorrow-- hopefully it goes a little better.
Demon Kitty seems to be integrating with the other cats a little better. He still isn't playing with them or grooming, but at least he'll be in the same room, sometimes even within a few feet of the other cats. Still a quality amount of hissing, but not quite as bad. At least he can share space now -- he wasn't doing that before.
I gave FB a call for his birthday. He wasn't able to make it to the wedding, which I understand. Lots of things going on. Honestly, many people weren't able to make it to the wedding. I'll get back on that tangent in a moment. His father's been having major difficulties, and he's stepped up as caregiver, on top of rebuilding his career and his life. It's really a lot for one person, and I really would like to give him more support. But I'm only one person, and he's down in Florida.
I need to give M's a call. She hasn't talked to me since she bailed on the wedding. She's been having medical difficulties.
A lot of this has become my new normal. Several friends either have major medical difficulties, or they're care-givers for family members with major medical difficulties. It gets disheartening, and it makes me feel old. Really, though, it's made me appreciative to be able-bodied, to be able to work, and to be able to help support those who can't pull as much weight as they'd like to.
There is something about the wedding that really hurts. There were a quality number of people who treated it like just another wedding, or just another event. And that really stung. This was only fully legalized a year ago. I'm sorry my newly legalized relationship is passé now, but I've spent the majority of my adult life integrating that society sees me as a pervert and a deviant. And there was a solid decade where my relationships were a wedge issue politically -- oh, and the freaking Catholic Church AT THE SAME TIME decided to scapegoat me and mine for their failings. So, yes, this was a big deal. So, to those who didn't have a legitimate reason for coming out and enjoying themselves -- let me just give a big fat raspberry. At least externally, Will was much more vocal about people who couldn't or didn't come -- but I didn't want to lay on the guilt to anyone -- we put a ton of money and work into things -- either people wanted to be there or they didn't. And I'd be lying if I said certain things didn't bother me, but I'm not going to let the world revolve around things that didn't happen. On the other hand, some people went above and beyond. I had two friends who came in from NYC! and I had a friend fly in from Atlanta. I had another friend who was going to come in from Detroit, but immigration kept her in Canada for an extra month (now that's a solid excuse not to be at a wedding) -- and she was extremely apologetic -- omg!!
GB came to the reception. The wedding was at a smaller venue in the morning; I had not invited him to that, largely because with the past year's history, I just couldn't. The last few times I've seen him, he's just given me the biggest bedroom eyes you can imagine. And this time it was a little awkward because he was with his partner. Not that him being with his partner has ever stopped him from staring, especially after he's had a few. I need to follow up with him and figure something out. This teenage drama has worn itself out.
I'm also still integrating a lot of the family drama from the wedding. My family is increasingly dysfunctional. It stood out loud and clear to Will. Individual and group dynamics are simply failing. This isn't a surprise to me, but watching it play out is a different matter. I've spent a lot of time trying to stabilize and break out of those patterns, and now being on the inside looking out is very jarring and bizarre.
Now, I'm trying to slowly go through the big pile of thank you cards that need to be written. I had wanted to get a ton of these done the week after the wedding, but largely, we needed to vacate the house, because that was the week the contractor decided to really start getting some working done *facepalm* The bathroom to this day isn't done. Will's kicking himself excessively for choosing such an incompetent contractor at a bad time. And I'm trying to be functional with it, and not excessively critical, but it gets difficult.
So, in the week off we went to Phipps conservatory, Carnegie Museum of Art, National Aviary, Warhol Museum, Mattress Factory (museum), and Meadowcroft Rockshelter. We also went off to Roseland to go camping for the weekend, and for the yoga 108 sun salutations.
Life is moving onward.
14th June 2016
Pecky-sue got married
This is difficult. :
Will and I wed as planned Saturday, June 11, 2016. There was typical (and non-typical) day-of drama that played out. It was all very stereotypic, like you see on tv and the movies. The reception went well. I need to give more detail, but that's what I have energy for.
My family was a wreck. I'm still working that out for myself personally.
Then Sunday, June 12 came, and we woke up to find the Orlando gay club massacre. And so, the last few days have been "I can't even".
The house is still a wreck from the contractors. Today they put a new coat of plaster on the hallways ceilings, which I'm sure you can understand makes for a wonderful honey-moon experience.
And I'm holding up as well as I can.
29th May 2016
Less than 2 weeks
It's less than 2 weeks to the wedding. Will and I bottled the Italian Cabernet Sauvignon from 2014. When we bought it, I jokingly called it "the wedding wine." Now it is. We have 13 gallon containers of red to take over, and I added in 12 750 ml bottles of California Chardonnay (which isn't nearly as good), but some people like white wine. I only need to get through one more week at work. Most of the details for the wedding have come together. Next weekend is our mutual bachelor parties / stag nights. Will and his friends will be at the house, and I'll be at a local hotel. Will doesn't know -- I've bought myself and my friends satyr horns, and I got myself a little Pan pendant with quite the erect phallus. Plus fun temporary tatoos that say "I'm with Pecky's bachelor party, if lost please buy me a drink." I'll also be wearing a red muscle T that reads, "Sometimes I wrestle with my demons, sometimes we cuddle." Seems appropriate. It should all be a fun night. :
The bathroom isn't nearly done. Hopefully it will be before the wedding. This is getting stupid. Contractors really don't know what they're doing half the time! They can do the work, but someone has to be continually pointing them in the correct direction!
For myself, I've been dealing with a pain in my thoracic spine near my right shoulder blade. It seems like one of those knots that whenever someone pushes on it, emotions and memories flood out. The good news is, that I'm processing the thoughts and memories that come out.
I don't know if I mentioned it on here, but about a month or so ago "Sleeve" stopped talking to me. Which although disappointing, is just as well. I wanted to have a friend, but he was not very ... mature, let's say. Ultimately, I got what I needed out of my time with him. Which makes it sound like I was using him, and to a certain extent I was, but I was also putting myself out there for use. (that doesn't sound all that good now does it). For whatever reason, spending a little time with him, really helped me get over Clark. I'd been holding him in my heart all this time, even after all that's happened. He also helped me get over something deeper, unconsummated feelings I had for this guy Chris. But I had a really good boyfriend, and I felt like I really owed it to him to be a good boyfriend back. Over the years, I've liked a lot of guys. For whatever reason, this one either stuck, or I never fully digested. I took myself way too serious back then. I still do now, but now things feel more open ended -- there's no correct way to live life -- no goals that can really be achieved -- just whatever I can do -- and whatever bits of happiness I can get from life and help others get from life.
13th May 2016
Wedding and reception in 30 days. Pending melt-down. Ugh. :
Can't sleep -- stomach upset from dinner and from all night bickering.
Work stress -- I don't know what I'm doing there or what my job objectives are. Most of the stress comes from me as it's been internalized from my previous jobs which have been high stress with low pay. And a desire for instant results. I'm not adapting to a reasonable work environment well. It's been 6+ months on the new job.
Home stress -- there is no bathroom. Will wanted to have it redone before the wedding. And there were delays. There's a chimney where we weren't expecting one after the walls came down. Lovely. Move into turn-around. Exhibitionist bathroom: shower will be against the window... we should probably get that frosted. And now the gym will shut down next week, so can't shower there. Will's freaking out. I'm resolved just to be dirty for a week.
Wedding freak-out -- it wouldn't be a wedding if we didn't fight over every detail. And I think we're actually mansplaining everything to each other, which is really freaking annoying... we're going to need to get passed that.
20th March 2016
I'm having another one of my "Midnight crazies" which I'm terribly prone to. It's the whole insomnia/narcolepsy thing I have going on. But I figured I'd log in and check in about my life. :
Largely, at least from my point of view, it's been calm compared to the past few months/years. At least I'm calmer. Part of that is from supplements. About a year ago, I talked with a few people I know about nootropics, so I tried a basic one out as an experience, and that really helped. That was the L-Theanine. Starting at Christmas, I started sending some to my mother for her vitamin regime, and generally she's mellowed out to. So, since then I've found a website, examine.com
, and I've used it to think about and vet supplements for various things in my life. So far, the L-Theanine has been the biggest winner, without being vetted by the literature first. I've also tried out curcumin and fish oil (for inflammation), and ashwagandha (for stress response). I used to take fish oil ages ago, so I think I would continue taking that anyhow. Unfortunately, I haven't felt very different on the curcumin and ashwagandha, so I'll probably drop those --- see this is boring talk -- I feel boring being the old person talking about his supplements! I recently started taking rhodiola rosea for stress, and while I haven't felt *very* different stress-wise, I've started having vivid dreams regularly again since I started taking it, which I like. I used to have very vivid, creative dreams all the time. That stopped around the time of the whole Thailand debacle. I've taken it less than a month, but I'm at least a little excited about the prospect of getting back the way I was creatively. I'm going to see the allergist next month, so hopefully I can lower my inflammation a little that way.
Next weekend is important to me, and it's going to be quite busy. Friday night, there's a screening of Shortbus down in Lawrenceville, with a meet-n-greet with James Cameron Mitchell afterwards. I've gotten a group of friends together and interested in it. So, I really hope that goes well. I looked back through my journal for the first time I went to see Shortbus and I found it
. Almost 10 years ago now. What a difference 10 years makes. I remember that being a particularly low point in my life, at least in terms of depression; I was two years into my first "marriage" which was showing the first signs of falling apart; I had bought my first house (for us), which I was way in over my head on; and I really didn't have any "friends", just people I knew. And here was this movie -- so much confronting loneliness and connection -- featuring this network of people, and I went to see it alone -- and I don't want to say it sparked the need for change in me -- but I really felt moved. So, this Friday, I'm going out with a core group of friends, or as good of friends as I have in this city, and I'm hoping to have a very good time. I'm trying not to put a whole lot of pressure on it, just let it happen. I'm really happy to be meeting the infamous JCM. I need to take something for him to sign!
Saturday Night is a viewing of "Hedwig and the Angry Inch", Mattachine Dance Party, and another VIP meet and greet with JCM, but this one's getting so much press, that I think it'll be much more crowded than the Shortbus viewing. And I'm okay with that. I don't have a specific LJ entry for it, but going to see the stage play of Hedwig really touched me and turned my life around at a very vulnerable point in my life. So much of the sound track cycle through my head. I must listen to it at least once a week, if not sometimes daily.
Sunday, Will and I are hosting Easter dinner. That'll be interesting to say the least. I haven't finalized a menu, but it'll be delicious, I'm sure. I'm thinking veggie heavy. The cheese sauce I made last year, which was in fact a bitch to reduce the cream, I'll repeat and put over something. And the reduced vermouth mushroom sauce I made was quite good, so I'll try that as well. I think I'll make gnudi. I don't think I'll do Easter Bread this year though; gluten free Easter bread is always too heavy. And I have to do something with the Sorrel growing in the garden -- it makes for a delicious tart treat -- but few people other than me like the tartness -- someone compared it to rhubarb?
My life is otherwise, go to work, plan the wedding, yoga on Wednesday, with the occasional panic from my family. I haven't been out with Sleeve in a little while -- he's done a lot of travelling for work -- and very stressed. Perhaps it's my own internalized neuroticism, but I keep imagining that he doesn't actually want me as a friend, and I've more or less seen the last of him. But whatever.
I've started projects for Chilean spring wine, as well as relaunched the garden. Other things will come together. Sometimes I figure the best thing I can do for other people is keep my own shit together -- and especially with what's been going on with my family, and some of my friends' families -- that feels more salient now than in the past.
7th March 2016
I've been teaching yoga for more than 5 years now. In a few weeks, for the equinox, we'll be doing 108 sun salutations. The video shows only 1 (very excellently crafted) sun salutation. Yoga was a very important part of my transition from more or less being a bar boy / drinker into being a more well-rounded, successful person. Before yoga, the pain and tightness from the celiac was too much for me, and it helped me get passed that. It also helped me acclimate into a healthier social situation. All good things!
I practice Ashtanga, which is a very vigorous form of yoga. It's an interesting journey. It's also been interesting to "age" into my practice. When I was younger, I had more energy but less patience for it. And now that I'm older, I can "do" a whole lot more, but not as easily.
4th March 2016
I'm generally feeling better tonight... Other than not being able to sleep. After careful consideration of how last week went, and how the weekend went, I decided to take a personal day Monday. Best thing for me really. I was able to go back to work Tuesday not feeling as down, and I actually got quite a bit done this week. Maybe not so much as I wanted, but I made good progress at work throughout the week. *but* given I don't post much on here any more, I should fill in some details. :
The Saturday before last, I did my morning yoga intensive like I have been the last few weeks; the body part in focus was the torso generally, and the upper back specifically. That's the area I've been working on very intently for the last few months, and to say I had a break-through would be putting it kindly. Have you ever had the joints of your sternum pop? You know how the knuckles pop and you can get some nice pops out of the back? The sternum pops too... and while there was lots of pressure relieved, the feeling of soreness afterwards lingers. So, yes, after yoga Saturday before last, my sternum (and upper back) starting popping wildly, releasing 5-7 years worth of stress (around 7 years ago was the last time I got a good pop out of my sternum area), and it continued popping for over a week. This amazingly coincided with me having PTSD flashes, and feeling the intermittent need to cry. Good cries, though! Relief, not pain. I tell you, the money I paid for this yoga class has been the best money I've ever spent towards therapy! And last Friday, I watched "The Trip" (2003) and bawled like a baby -- I've seen the movie multiple times, but for whatever reason it just struck me this time in my, let's say, tender state.
But the following Saturday morning, instead of heading to the yoga intensive for the next installment in "therapy", I was managing my family. My brother had a seizure while staying with my father et al, fell badly, and had to go to the hospital for damage to his face. So, I was alternately on the phone with various relatives, on the internet researching, and coordinating communication for people who just don't communicate well! And of course, I was heightened emotionally, and largely livid! To be honest, this situation is unsustainable. My mother needs to start making changes to the structure of his care, because she's not doing anyone any favors, including herself. I need to intervene somehow.
My friend Chris's mother has a seizure disorder, and during the same time she had a bad stroke. She'll be moving to assisted living, and I'm considering what I can do to help him out. It's tough, to say the least. At the same time, he needs to be switching jobs, which can't be easy. So, uhm, yeah, he needs help.
Otherwise, I'm plenty busy between planning the wedding & reception, the wine, getting ready for the garden, and trying to further my erudition in various fields.
I like the new job, but I find it uncomfortable to be the most expert in my department in several regards, especially related to programming and computing. My boss has an edge on me just given his long experience, but he doesn't really communicate just what he knows. He's definitely expert in other regards, though, and I have a lot of respect for him.
24th February 2016
I'm hurting again today. I know I shouldn't just post when I'm hurt, but it's easier to process here. My brother is more like me than he knows... emotionally, we're strangely similar, although he's always been more, let's say "vocal" about it, and I've always hid my feelings as much as has been feasible.... This is where the Italian dynamic comes in, because I *don't* hide my feelings, and he :
shouts his. He's feeling insecure about his upcoming wedding. Well, who wouldn't, right? I have feelings of insecurity, too. He called me up on Monday to talk some, and here's the rub... those feelings are right smack dab in the same place that I have them. Ready. Aim. Fire. Too close to home. So, now that panic has me too. It's like certain neuroses are contagious. Now, I'm much more secure in my relationship than he is, and I'm under a whole lot less stress -- good job, good finances, not supporting a "wife" and two children.
In all honesty, I'm not always sure what I'm doing. Sometimes I think it would be better if I were on my own, I'm not sure I'm cut out for this "other people" thing.
Will and I have been in pre-marital therapy, and it's helped a lot. You wouldn't imagine how many people think it's odd or taboo to be in therapy before a wedding figuring things out and learning to communicate needs. I think it's odd people don't! You mean to tell me you honestly believe that the perfect dress is going to lead to a lifetime of marital bliss (provided the groom doesn't see it), but that therapy won't?!?
The talk with my brother has me feeling needlessly neurotic.
I need a full night's sleep.
And someone to talk to me while I'm at work. 5-10 sentences over the full day would definitely help. Right now it's discomfortingly quiet and lonely.
15th February 2016
I want to build a better world for myself and others
The past few days prove that I've been too hard on myself. I'm much happier in general today than I was a few days ago. But more on that later, first Valentine's Day update. I had a very nice Valentine's Day with Will. He *loved* his present: I got him an XXX coloring book I saw featured on Huffington Post called, "Last Night I Dreamt Someone Loved Me." Then I made a surprise appointment at Mister Grooming down in "Larry-ville". He loved loved loved it. Of course, we exchanged chocolates, but to be honest, right now I'm not into a whole lot of sweets. We had some time to talk, and I had a bit of an emotional out-burst. Insecurities about being queer, being me, and the pressures of outside society. We had some nice "us" time then went to dinner. Dinner was pretty damn amazing. And because we knew to ask, we had the same cordial that we'd found in that restaurant in Paris. It was bliss. And call me kooky, but close to when we were leaving, we saw a very young couple come in, puppies, really, the waitress had to card them. And this was a fairly pricey restaurant. The one was a white guy in a light brown sweater, and the other was an asian guy in a black and white pattern sweater; both looked college age to be generous. Very out of place in the middle-aged setting. They looked so awkward it was cute. So, on an impulse, as we left, I put enough money to cover two entrées with the waitress on their tab, and asked not to let them know until the check came. I remember what it was like to be young and in love... saving up to spend more than I could really afford on a nice meal. And that's projecting a little bit. Maybe they were wealthy young snots who could afford it. But maybe I wanted them to know there's a world and a society out there that accepts, supports, and encourages their existence. I hope they have a nice Valentine's Day. :
As for me and my drama. My outreach to GB paid off. He actually messaged me back for the first time in a while. He'd like to have dinner after he gets back from Florida; he's in St Pete for a softball retreat he goes to every year. And I got to spend time with Sleeve yesterday. Sparing the gory details, we had a nice time, and spent some quality time talking which was nice. He's going to San Francisco next week for work, so I will have to encourage him to visit the Castro district if he has time. I was so worked up earlier in the week that neither would ever want to talk to me again... I don't know why... stupid insecurities... I instructed the partner practice at yoga Wednesday night, but I didn't have a partner for myself; which was just as well, since I was free to move around, instruct, and correct. It would have been nice, though.
In talking with Will early, I said a few things that surprised myself. I've been opening up more lately. And trying to articulate what I really want. I want a place. I want to belong. I want to learn how to make those things happen.
Antonin Scalia died yesterday. He epitomized the forces contrary to the world I want to build and make happen. I'm in touch with a certain vulnerability. Prejudice and discrimination in an unjust society not only makes it harder for the disadvantaged, but for all of us.
An acquaintance (or friend?), Jeremy, is serving 3 years in a federal prison for unjust and trumped out charges. This upsets me to no end. I want to believe in society where justice is served... Where was his money, his privilege? The judge and the prosecutors came down on him as if he were a sodomite, a morally corrupt individual, a seducer, an amoral wretch. No number of letters, people in the community coming, record of civic engagement or community service could save him. In the eyes of the law, we're still godless fags that exist to be punished. I don't know where I'm going to go with this, but it needs to be somewhere.
11th February 2016
Social awkwardness / phobias
The last few weeks have been a little harder on me than usual. Maybe it's winter getting to me. So, I'm a different person alone versus with other people. With other people I put on the mask, smile, construct who I think "pecky" should be in this context. But the last few weeks my mind has been dizzy, and I can't quite keep up. Or I'm absurdly sober, and I see clearly how awkward I always am. In either case, I'm not amused. Sleeve didn't want to get together last weekend, and hasn't been messaging me at all -- my rational brain says he's busy and has his own anxieties to tackle -- but my irrational brain says I did something wrong, or he's thought better of our friendship, or just wants to go a different direction. I hate silence. I saw GB trolling me online this weekend, so I made the audacious move to send a text message... No response of course. Maybe he has a voyeuristic thing. I tried not to let on that I know he trolls my online profiles... but we *are* sort of friends, so I don't know... maybe he changed phone numbers... I'll ask him direct next time I see him. :
The wedding stuff has been exhausting me, and I haven't been sleeping well. Further, being in solitary confinement all day every day (i.e. having my own office) has not been the trip I thought it would be. While I don't like it very loud out in an open plan, this is too much isolation, too much quiet. I need something during the day.
I feel like Will's been uptight lately. He has the foot recovery and the upcoming promotion. But everything's always so serious, if not him then me. There isn't time to relax and sort of digest what's going on. It was several days into the Paris trip before he would calm the fuck down already, and he's back to being tightly wound. It feels like so much of it revolves around money. I feel like he over-spends at times, so he gets obsessed chasing that next dollar. I try to get him to calm down, but that feels futile at times. And all the additional costs of the wedding are making it worse. I wish I could make him feel safe and like everything's going to be okay.
We are in couples' therapy, and we've improved considerably with our communication. I think the next step is probably trust and control issues. I think our therapist hit a nerve harder than he expected when we asked last session what we think our growth opportunity was.
6th February 2016
Forgetting you, but not the time
“O you, who in some pretty boat,
Eager to listen, have been following
Behind my ship, that singing sails along
Turn back to look again upon your own shores;
Tempt not the deep, lest unawares,
In losing me, you yourselves might be lost.
The sea I sail has never yet been passed;
Minerva breathes, and pilots me Apollo,
And Muses nine point out to me the Bears.
You other few who have neck uplifted
Betimes to the bread of angels upon Which one lives and does not grow sated,
Well may you launch your vessel
Upon the deep sea.”
I've decided to post this publicly, even if it means him reading it.
I've been waking up crying the past few nights, and I could barely tell for the life of me why. But this morning, I figured it out. My subconscious is better at remembering things than I am. Three years. It's been three years since that awful night. And if not for my wretched subconscious wanting to process and re-process the pain, I would have let the dark anniversary go unmarked. I'm crying again just thinking about it. As much as I would like to talk to him face to face and let the pain between us out, I know that's not possible. And maybe he would think unfair of me to still be hurting, a point I grant him. I continue loving men for years beyond when I tell them; I miss them; I think about the future we were going to have. I mask it by dating again, taking new lovers. I repress that pain. But it comes back up to process eventually, and so that time has come for him. I don't regret leaving -- and I don't regret leaving the way I did -- I did what I thought best at the time -- I felt threatened for my life -- but it was very painful. It was also very painful losing him; cutting off all he meant to me. Three years later and the sensations in those parts of my brain are only now starting to come back, the numbness wearing away. And again, perhaps he would think this unfair, but it is my process. The sad thing for me, is how important a two years time it was, but I generally don't allow myself to think about it. The consequences were so painful, that it was hard to think about the good times, and why I went so far. But with time now, I can start to look back.
I think I'd like to be out on a boat on the river again... Goddamnit, why does my face keep on raining!
6th November 2015
Voice is excellent... Spot on Mercury... But the music itself is the same consistency as pop. Mercury and his crew wrote truly interesting music.
9th October 2015
Paris -- Friday, Saturday, Sunday
The flight took off Friday night -- the red-eye one way from Pecksburg to Paris -- everyone on the flight was so excited hardly anyone slept. Will and I did the usual trifecta -- wine, sleeping pill, and melatonin -- but with all the noise and excitement, it was hard to sleep still. We arrived at CDG mid-morning. No trouble with customs and immigration. We had no trouble with the trains-- getting into the city was easy, and then transferring from the train to the metro was a little bit of a head-trip with all the people. But we made it to the apartment that we had rent on airbnb. While a good number of people spoke English, some didn't have any at all. I'd been studying French for a few months to prepare, so I was able to mutter out a few phrases and catch what people were saying when they spoke slowly. The person at the apartment was one of those people who didn't speak any English-- which left Will more or less in the dark -- but I managed. :
Saturday, we mostly just walked around -- it was a beautiful day. We walked through the Marais, the neighborhood where we were staying. And then to the Seine, and the Hotel Ville. We walked along the Seine, looking at the river. There were so many people. We bought some post-cards and little things from the vendors along the river. We bought a little plaque with a scene from The Little Prince, where the he meets the fox... one of my favorite scenes. We walked around the Tuileries gardens by the Louvre. But neither of us were really relaxed. We were exhausted, but I convinced Will to go out for Saturday night. We were amused, but too tired to really do too much -- just a little reconnaissance.
Sunday was another walk around day. We saw the Eiffel Tower, the Champs du Mars, and the area South of the river -- I suppose that's the Rive Gauche? We walked down the Boulevard St Germain, and walked to the Luxembourg Gardens. It was pleasant just to walk around a new place -- taking time to sit in the cafes, sip a little wine, have a little food, and just watch the world go by.
Last Day at a Bad Job
Well, I've been a busy boy lately. :
During the Paris trip, I got word that I was being offered the position I had applied for a few weeks before the trip, so I gave notice as soon as I got back. It's hard to believe that was two weeks ago. Today was my last day at that job, that has caused me so much misery and depression over the last two years. Truth is, after my vacation, the last two years at this job felt like a bad dream anyhow. I felt very much more myself. It's very gratifying to leave, but now I feel tired after this week. Last night, Will and I went to see Peaches Christ present "All About Evil" downtown. Tonight the symphony and tomorrow the fetish party. And next week I'm officially taking off, but unofficially, I'm going to be getting chores and errands done. Then week after next, I start work downtown in a big office building. Corporate. Health insurance.
But the more I think about it, the more I think about starting a little winery or enoteca. It's funny, I was talking with a coworker about it today-- and she was talking about her family's grape-vines outside the city, that her grandparents brought over from Italy. It's moments like these that make me wonder how far away that dream is, if it's far away at all-- it might be a stupid dream-- I wonder if I didn't go down a path that's ill-suited for me just based on my own insecurities.
I want to write down about Paris -- there was a lot.
I need to do some processing.. probably here... because there is a lot.
21st August 2015
Twice as many? Twice as many!
I counted the books last night. The publisher sent me double. I e-mailed them on a pro forma basis, but I expect I will be keeping them. No biggie. I used to sell books online to make ends meet. But yeah, call mr big time erotic fiction now ;)
19th August 2015
Purveyor of sin
There are certain moments in life a person remembers. Like when I was shopping for my birthday party at the liquor store one year (I haven't had a birthday party since Thailand btw): I reached the cash register and the woman asked for my license, so I handed her my driver's license -- "No," she said, "the liquor license for your bar." I haven't been carded at that store since...
And this week a new event: a friend got a book of his short "erotic" stories published, so at the big collextive birthday party in 2 weeks, all the birthday people get a signed copy. I order online, and the next day, I get a very nice e-mail asking if I was a book store or event planner, and if I would like a bulk diacount and reduced shipping charges.
The book is highly recommended, btw. It's called "College Dive Bar, 1 am" by Natty Soltesz.
So yes, I buy booze and porn in quantities to be confused for a small business. I think this qualifies me as a purveyor of sin. I think I should be proud of myself :)
18th August 2015
Feeling the need for an edge
I'm tired of pop. I'm tired of comfortable rhythms and chord progressions. Time to go slumming... :
28th December 2014
Annual Krampus Party
I can't remember if this was the first or second annual Krampus party at the dance club down the street from me. I've been amazed at how popular the idea of Krampus has become over the past few years. I wonder if it has anything to do with the prolonged economic recession, societal disaffection, and occupy phenomenon of the past few years. The saccharine Santa Klaus no longer seems as relevant to a society that already had plenty of in terms of "things" but little in the way of dignity.
This makes me remember the old nuns reminding us every time we entered a building to remove our hats.
13th April 2014
Cosmos with Neil deGrasse Tyson
I started watching the new Cosmos. I've seen the first three episodes so far. I think I'll continue watching forward, but after watching the first three episodes, it really has fallen on the list of TV priorities. I posted on Facebook, asking if I was the only one to think the show was overly Conservative, Patriarchal, and Jingoist. Apparently I'm one of the few. I was actually introduced to the show by people at work, and they're a little disappointed by the show as well. Someone pointed out to me that the show fills a long empty niche in the broadcast prime-time line-up, which is true. There should be more popular science shows... that are actually science. But anyhow, I'll elaborate on my views. :
So far, the show has arduously adhered to what is long established scientific fact. The graphics are cutting edge, but most of the information they present could have come out of the 60s or 70s. While I respect that they talk about science as a process of challenging, experimenting, and moving forward in a results based manner-- the types of results they demonstrate on the show are still very text-book. Cosmos doesn't challenge the now; it doesn't take an interest in what people are working on; it doesn't explore our current failures. A mature science show should start with the failures, the challenges, and how to push forward. I feel like I signed up for a tour of modern art, and ended up with a retrospective of Pre-Raphaelite artists. Now, I like the Pre-Raphaelites, but the world moved past that a while back. Where is the science of trying to determine what happened before the big bang? Where is the science of the Grand Unifying Theory? Higher dimensional string theory? Twistors? Even the biological side is overly simplistic-- how is it we came about RNA, DNA, proteins-- which of these came first and how did the give rise to the others? Why do we have RNA viruses-- and how is it that they can move in either 5'->3' or 3'->5' direction, and what does that mean for evolution? And how can prions self-replicate... could they have done that in the distant past even without a host?
I am not Cosmos's target demographic.
Even more disturbing than the lack of cutting edge science is the social nature of the show. In a culture that is trying its darndest to include women and show the accomplishments of women-- we have a show that focuses almost entirely on men. Let me give an example: Statistics was entirely invented, popularized, and went from concept to accepted dogma by the work of a single woman. You may have heard of her- Florence Nightingale. But women aren't supposed to be smart, so you probably have heard of her in terms of being a nurse... because women are nurses, duh. And this is what our patriarchal history does to the history of our women contributors. The woman who came up with the double-helix-- shortshrifted of the nobel. The woman who invented compilers and modern computer language- ever heard of her?
The stories are all of men. The animations are all of men. Even in the hunter-gatherer society animations-- they show groups of men hunting the herds. First this is inaccurate, as in early societies the women had the key role in hunt and fire. Second, it minimizes the role of women in pushing early communities forward. And in the later era science, they show only the contributions of men. Now, I admit Hooke, Halley and Newton were all men and you can't get around that. But the token woman in the story did nothing more than complain about receiving fish books. Really? And the earlier story about the crazy Italian monk? They couldn't have spent time on one of the many enlightenment women contributing to society and science.
The show thus far has continued with the current paradigm of marginalizing women in scientific roles. I hope that changes, but I wouldn't be surprised if it continues. Just as the show seems to stay the course with accepted scientific dogma, it stays the course with our culture's traditional treatment of women. Which makes me angry.
Now this one is a hard sell. It's less obvious that the blatant patriarchal slant of the show. One of the pit-falls of early theories of evolution and 19th century social-Darwinism was to make out as though that the process of evolution in organisms and society is always for the better. So, when fossils of Dinosaurs were found-- they were made out to be slow and lumbering-- stupid even-- because if they had evolutionary fitness-- they would still be around. Modern evolution shows more conclusively that evolution is more of a random process. It wasn't that dinosaurs were slow or stupid-- or unfit. Stuff changes. Randomly. With many interior and exterior forces acting on them. So it was our judgement of the dinosaurs that was wrong-- it feeds into our sense of superiority. The same sense of superiority that made us think the universe revolved around us. We're not at the "top" of evolution, we're just another rung. And the thing that comes next could be better or worse-- but they're all valid steps in the evolutionary process. Why bemoan the fall of biological life if in 10,000 years the earth is populated solely by bacteria with no humans left? How awful! Like Cicero said: "Oh the times! Oh the values!"
Much of the same can be said for human society, and societies as an organism that evolves. Because one society precedes another, does that make it inferior? Less clever? Less hard-working? The show portrays societies of the past living in ignorance, victims of their own superstitions, constantly working against the forward flow of science. I call anthropology bullshit. Just because societies have changed with time, and science helped us move forward does not make past societies backwards. It's a story of pride and superiority we tell ourselves. We're better than people in the past. "What were they thinking back then?" Well, what the fuck are we thinking now? In fifty years, what will people say about millenial culture and our obsession with the Rapture? Evolution does not change our bodies that quickly. We are the same people. The cultural context has changed. And it is disrespectful and jingoist of us to portray the people of the past as backwards ignorants who couldn't get with the times quickly enough. If you put me in a time-machine and sent me back 1,000-- 2,000-- however many years-- what could I really do? I can't make an engine from scratch-- much less a computer-- I know some rudiments of science, but I couldn't construct a whole system. I am a product of my society that acts within my society. As has been every other human. Newton didn't arise in a vacuum-- the Enlightenment was well underway-- and you had contributors across societies. Just because he was the brightest star of his time, doesn't mean he was the only one.
So yes, Jingoist.
And don't get me started on the special place of white people on the show.
Okay. I'm done. So, yes, I'm disappointed. The show fills a niche, and I hope it leads to more popularization of science. I might keep watching it, or maybe not. I understand the show for what it is and isn't. To me, it's a reflection of our society as it is-- not through science what it can be.
5th January 2014
My little nieces were born yesterday. Little Lillian and Abigail. The whole family is excited and everyone seems healthy so far. They both came in around 6 lbs, a little small, but hey, they're twins, get over it. I think Abigail looks more like my brother, but everyone else says Lillian. My mother sees my point that Abigail has the characteristic round puffy face with swollen eyes scowling like a little rodent, while Lillian came out looking more like a baby super-model. :
After she recovers from her C-section, the happy mother will return to their new abode which has both a furnished bedroom and living room. And possibly nursery now that nonna is there to help.
30th October 2013
My day.... :
When things get so awkward that someone tries to lighten the mood by saying,
"So, did you live through Hurricane Katrina? Why don't you tell us about that."
24th October 2013
I usually take a mid-day walk just around the block. And it was particularly sunny today, so I decided I'd walk a block over instead. I do not think I had realized that two blocks over from me, someone has a full-sized Buddhist shrine in their front yard. The Buddha is life-sized or bigger, with very large ears and completely white seated in a lotus position. There's a special roof built sheltering him, with flowers laid out in front. And on either side are orange stone dragons. Seriously, the things you see sometimes!