<3 Well, the KickStarter continues to do well. We're currently getting quotes for printing Buck Godot, Gallimaufry, since we're kind of reaching the end of our stretch goals, and people have indicated that they would like to see that one in print. Yay!--Kaja <3
I made a desklamp out of an LED bar and a reasonably-weighted vertical USB extension:
Run from computer
My system and its external wireless adaptor* are connected to a power switch box. When I shut down the system, I also turn off the power to the CPU and the power to the external wireless adaptor via this switch box.
Lately I’d been forgetting to turn off the power switch box, and thus, the adaptor. It wasn’t much power wasted – no more than a nightlight’s worth – but it bothered me.
Separately, I’ve lately been grabbing my battery-powered LED sheet music lights and using them as desk lamps for electronics work at this very desk, which uses up their batteries.
So: two solutions at once. USB extension cable with vertical port plugs into the unused back-of-system USB hub, which is separate internally to the system USB port my sound interface lives on. Computer doesn’t even have to be on to use the lamp; just turn on the external power switch box and the CPU’s USB ports get power without ever starting the CPU itself. So if the light is on, I know I’ve left the power box on again and need to turn it off.
Most of the time, the lamp lives behind the left monitor, where it’s out of the way but throwing enough light on the desk to serve as an indicator. But really I’m just pleased with how it looks, so you get a picture. ^_^
Oh, zouk part for the finale tunes set is about, oh, 50% done. Enough to have a yellow tag, not orange. Lots of timing edit work to do – because tunes on zouk are stupidly hard, particularly at 300 notes per minute (150bpm, but everything’s eight notes). So y’do what y’must.
*: External adaptor necessary because the Linux realtime** kernel works well only with a very limited number of network drivers, none of which are wireless because of reasons, and using essentially any Linux or WINE-translated wireless driver will defeat the RT kernel’s quasi-RT scheduling. So I use a supported card, which I then connect to the wireless adaptor. It’s crude, but effective.
**: Yes, yes, I know, it’s not really realtime, it’s … sorta realtime. Realtimey-wimey. (Real timey-wimey… ish.)
- Current Mood: busy
There is evidence that Haitian voodoo includes aspects of commedia del'arte characters in their versions of the Loa.
I'm reading The Black Count by Tom Reiss. I'm only on page 43, and my entire impression of 18th century French Caribbean culture is, well, not OVERTHROWN, but definitely modified. You've got both the incredibly brutal "use 'em up until they die and replace 'em" sugar plantation slavery -- but you've ALSO got a class of well-educated, well-respected, highly cultured free black and mixed-race people.
History is always weirder, cooler, and more interesting than we think.
There were spiders dropping down from the ceiling and into my wife’s cleavage. The wall behind her was a huge, stretched expanse of hairy green flesh, breathing slowly in and out. Phantom janitors stole in and out at the edges of my vision, sweeping in places they could not possibly stand and then vanishing when I tried to talk to them.
And my response was, “Oh. That’s interesting, what my brain is doing.”
These ridiculous hallucinations happened during my extremely traumatic 52-hour post-surgery recovery phase, when I was in tremendous pain and could not sleep. And yet, I think about the only other time I hallucinated, having dropped acid on a very hot summer’s night… and I found it disappointing. Yes, my vision was flexing and distorting, and I witnessed all sorts of curious artifacts as my brain’s visual processing center went into overload – but I quietly dissected each illusion, breaking it down into its interesting components, and in such a way I reduced what could have been a wild trip down into a series of interesting quirks.
I don’t really hallucinate, I don’t think. I know what my brain is up to. And today, I realized why:
It’s because I’m a depressive. I don’t trust my brain.
My brain has been a chronic liar for years, telling me how everyone hates me (when they don’t), how I’ve never accomplished anything of any note (I have), and how the world would be better off if I just killed myself (unproven, but I use the other two false conclusions to keep that one in the “bad idea” zone). I live a very strict life of having to double-check every input my brain gives me, for it routinely distorts a mundane “Oh!” into an encoded “You suck, Steinmetz, everything you ever liked was a fraud.” If I don’t, well, I ruin my life.
So when my brain starts providing false visual information, I do the same thing: I question it. I compare it to reality. And if it doesn’t make sense, I ignore it.
This makes me a little sad. I mean, it did protect me from a full-fledged freakout when I was in the hospital… but it means that while others experience an exultant joy with acid and peyote and other crazy drugs, seeing the face of God, I’ll never be able to flow with that illusion. They can trust what their brains give them, accepting most inputs safely and without harm, and so when some external source causes the brain to deliver crazy input, they can just run amuck with it like a kid whirling on a playground.
I’m off to the side. Analyzing. Breaking it down. Questioning relentlessly. Because that’s my survival. That’s what I do.
Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.This entry has also been posted at http://theferrett.dreamwidth.org/304609.h
The three women in Cleveland who escaped their captor opened up a horrible wound in my psyche. When I was living in Cleveland, I was raped. I never saw the man's face. It could have been so much worse than it was, but I got very lucky that day. In retrospect there were a lot of things I could have done to prevent or break away from what happened, but when your life is threatened, you do what you can to survive. But when those women escaped, I was transfixed, wondering if the asshole who had hurt me had been captured. But I can never be sure.
I've been working on outlining and building synopses for both new and old novels. I can be a bit of a "method" writer. So in outlining and writing the short versions of these stories, I run a gamut of emotions. One of my new storylines includes a widow who must confront a manipulative mother in law and a boss with ulterior motives. At the very core of this story, it became very important to me for this heroine to be self reliant and independent. In fact, I make her love interest force her to stand on her own and make decisions without ever allowing her to be a fainting flower. It's awesome! And it also hammers home how much I tend to shut down, or back away. For all of my fire and cold, magnetic anger, there are times, very important times, where I want something so badly and so terribly it hurts my soul to see it so close but so far away but my crippling fear of BOTH success & failure keep me from doing anything at all.
Also, here's my Twitter feed. I link it here, because the odds are very high that I won't be doing any blogging - just snapping selfies and other assorted shenanigans, and uploading it all for your amusement.
So! Tune in, show up, be amused. That's my suggestion.
And for now ... I'm outta here!
[:: zoosh ::]
Once again, we come to a rushed day where I cannot churn out a full blog entry. And yet I feel like interacting! And so I return to the gift that keeps on giving:
Ask me one question, on any topic. I shall answer truthfully.
(Please. No woodchuck questions. Someone always asks, and it’s never gotten a good response.)
Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.This entry has also been posted at http://theferrett.dreamwidth.org/304147.h
Long story short, when all the extra layers of shingles were pulled away for the roof work, rotting trim and siding were revealed around the attic windows. No water is getting inside or anything, and really, it's to be expected; the house is over a hundred years old, and this looks like original material. It wasn't managed well over the years, and it should've been removed/restored with the rest of the exterior restoration before we moved in, but I will save that rant.
I resolve instead to quit being aggravated at the half-ass repairs and dumbass remodeling performed on this place over the years, and instead I shall be pleased that THIS MUCH, at least, will be done correctly - and by professionals this time, goddammit.
Anyway. Dude will be here tomorrow to give us a quote. Let's knock this out while we can afford to, and then not worry about it anymore - that's what I say.
In other news, this afternoon a freaked-out skittering noise gave me a heart attack, for it was coming from our living room fireplace. At first I figured, "Squirrel." Then maybe, when I thought I heard feathers ... "Baby bird." We have had chimney swifts in the past, and 'tis the season, eh? Maybe some tiny not-quite-a-fledgling fell from a nest.
I summoned the husband. We conferred. We booted the dog out into the back yard, made sure the cat was secure in the back room, found a stray pillowcase, and counted to three before removing the cast-iron summer cover.
At first we saw nothing but darkness and old soot. Then a pair of small, panicky eyes looked up from the gloom beneath the old coal basket.* I almost had time to get, "Awwwww!" out of my mouth, but then the tiny jerk made a beeline for my forehead.
It was indeed a chimney swift. Juvenile, and fledged - barely. Freaked out of its wee birdie mind. It bypassed the pillowcase entirely and bolted for the nearest window, where it left a sooty bird-print. Unharmed and undaunted, it set off around the house, leaving bird-prints all over the ceiling and walls until we finally managed to get the front door open and usher it back outside.
Godspeed, you fluffy little bastard.
(Last I saw, it was sitting on roof across the street, so I choose to believe that all is well, and our brief guest will live happily ever after.)
And that's all I've got today.
Tomorrow: Laundry, packing, printing up useful documents and instructions, and running last-minute errands. (I mean, in addition to the construction dude's visit.) I'll be gone from Thursday morning to Monday evening, and while I'm there you can find me at the following locations and times.
All the usual rules apply - come up and introduce yourself, say hello, hand me stuff to sign ... I'm happy to be of service! Just as long as I'm not eating, drinking, or in the bathroom. If you catch me running to or from a panel, you may have to run alongside me - but you're welcome to do so.
And now. Deep breath. Maybe a drink. Must settle in and let my heart calm down from the Surprise! baby bird incident. Good evening, everyone. Thanks for reading, and be well.
* It's a very narrow, long chimney - a set-up for burning coal, not wood. An adult bird might be able to navigate back out again, but not a baby.
Tarot of the Cat People- This is usually my go to deck and is very insightful for those looking for inquiries about serious situations.
Aleister Crowley Thoth Deck- When you need hard answer to tough questions and every other form of divination has given you the runaround.
Affirmations for the Everyday Goddess - This for when you want to be pointed in the right direction of your spiritual journey and aids in the process of inward gnosis.
The Zombie Tarot- While this deck appears to be for entertainment purposes only. It is certainly most entertaining it also gives insightful information in its own comical way. Sometimes making that bitter pill at little easier to swallow.
Olivia's Bettie Page Playing Cards- Perfect for that general reading or for someone interested in the Romance department. These cards can also be used for more serious readings and are perfect for Yes or No questions. All with a Sexy Bettie on every card.
The Gothic Tarot- I typically use these for Necromancy (communioning with the dead) and / or working with Psychopomps (death deities). These cards are very serious and can be cantankerous. They prefer working with the dead.
Runes- I prefer to use Runes combined with other forms of Divination. Runes can be very broad in the meaning. Which makes them wonderful for general readings for more insightful information I like to layer them with Tarot.
Scrying/ Psychic readings- Using no tool at all or simply staring in a bowl of water. I can recieve messages from either those on the other side or spirits and deities. I prefer to use this again with Tarot or Runes to get more detailed information.
“Cammy is the perfect woman,” says Dennis Hof, owner of the Moonlite Bunny Ranch. “Cammy has a value system that comes from the fifties. We were on an airplane, and a pilot – a lady pilot – introduced herself to me. When she went back into the cockpit, Cammy said, ‘I’d rather she be serving Cokes and peanuts, and let a man be the pilot.’
“She designed her life around, ‘How can I please a man?’ She went to massage school, cooking school – she bought a book on blowjobs. I wish more girls would do that. If more girls did what Cammy’s doing… my business would go down.”
And good Lord, I am filled to brimming with revulsion.
The thing is, I’m not revulsed by Cammy’s choice. If Cammy is content living subserviently, and that makes her happy, then I say “Go, Cammy.” (Even if I suspect Cammy is perpetuating an elaborate ruse to extract cash from gullible men’s pockets. They say the best salesman never appears to be a salesman. Cammy’s probably getting exactly what she wants, from men who probably deserve it.)
But I’d never want a woman whose whole job was dedicated to pleasing me. That has nothing to do with feminism; it has everything to do with the fact that ultimately, I think humans turn into monsters when they have all of their needs met without cost.
Maybe that’s because I worked in retail – where if you’re smart, the attitude has to be, “The customer is always right.” Because you don’t want the customer to feel dumb; nothing closes a customer’s wallet quicker than, “Gee, your concerns are stupid.” And they’ll tell people how they were insulted, spreading bad tales about you wherever they go.
So when they cram your mouth full of shit, you swallow it and smile.
Working retail, eventually you come to realize that “reasonable” is determined by past history. You think it’s reasonable that a cup of good coffee is $3.95 because you grew up in a Starbucks culture… but talk to a guy who grew up in the 1950s, when coffee was an inflation-adjusted dollar at best. You think it’s reasonable that drivers will give you the finger and honk at you in traffic, because you grew up in Manhattan. You think it’s reasonable that people smoke in restaurants, because you live in Europe.
The important point: that “reasonable” creeps up, depending on what people do.
As humans, we’re bounded by other people’s reactions. And if everyone acts like you’re completely normal and wonderful, you internalize that.. even if you’re completely awful. On some level, we all think, “Well, if we get out of hand, someone will tell me I’m too much trouble.”
Remove those blocks – and sure enough, you start becoming too much trouble.
Wanna know why celebrities implode? Because they’re swaddled in a culture that caters to their every whim because they’re a non-replaceable entity, and when normal people see them it’s usually in a gawking fawningness of “Oh my God, it’s you! I’m so pleased to meet you!” So their waiters go to extra miles that no normal person would get, and when they casually ask for a Diet Coke at precisely 45 degrees with a titanium straw in it, everyone just brings it to them. Nobody notes this is actually really a pain in the ass to do for them, or if they do, they agree that oh, you absolutely need a perfectly-chilled drink.
Eventually, you come to think that this is reality. That the 45-degree Diet Coke with the titanium straw is not just you, but universal and easy to do, it’s happened a thousand times before. And then a waiter forgets and you get the wrong drink – and for the celebrity, it’s like they got brought a cup of transparent coffee with broken glass at the bottom. It’s such a stupidly-done thing that it feels like an insult. How could they not know?
So: embarrassing shitfit in a public place. And to some extent, it’s not the celebrity’s fault – it’s the fault of all these people around them, nodding and agreeing and convincing them that yes, this is the way the world is. Sure, the celebrity went off the fucking rails, but all of their PR agents and fans and entourage quietly removed the rails months ago. In some ways, it’s astounding that they kept on the right path for as long as they did.
And you see that in retail, where people think, “Oh, I’m always right! So I’ll sit in the coffee shop and slop coffee all over this magazine I have no intention of paying for, then leave it sprawled on the counter in a pile of sugar and drool.” They think, “I’m always right, so when I bring back a tattered book with no receipt and want cash for it, the clerk who’s refusing me needs a good, solid yelling.” They think, “I’m always right, so why aren’t these clerks catering to my every whim?”
And yes: you get more money from these nitwits. But you do so by catering to their dysfunction. Which means you get richer off of exploiting people’s psychological weak points. (A point I make, in a somewhat more hammer-handed way, in my story Dead Merchandise.) You actually make them a little insane – and some of them a lot insane – to harvest their cash.
So for me, having someone eager to cater to my every need makes them, in a low-grade way, the enemy of my sanity. I want people who question, who remind me of the work this took, who tell me when I’m inconveniencing them. A woman like Cammy (or at least how Cammy presents herself) would undermine the integrity of the person I’m trying to be, give me an inflated sense of self-esteem I might not deserve, slowly push me towards the land o’crazy expectations.
She’s not the perfect woman, Denis. She’s a perfect servant, perhaps. But perfect servants come with hidden costs, and I for one would be very reticent to pay them.
Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.This entry has also been posted at http://theferrett.dreamwidth.org/303879.h
Bone Walker, the soundtrack for The Free Court of Seattle, has its very first blue tag on the Big Board.
Blue means ‘finished.’
There are many more blue tags to go, but this is a major milestone, because as of yesterday, all of the session tunes sets have yellow or blue tags. All of them.
- Current Mood: accomplished
- Current Music:I am Bender, Please Insert Girder | Futurama
Long-time readers will know: May is the time my Seasonal Affective Disorder usually creeps in. For a few weeks out of the year I’ll become a sniffling pile of self-hatred, sometimes skidding as far as self-harm, weeping and curling into a ball. This misery lasts for about three to six weeks, during which in lesser moments all of my suicide attempts have arrived, and when I emerge it’s a slow crawl.
This is where the sadness usually starts to tickle. And… it hasn’t yet. Which concerns me.
The thing is, if there’s any year when I might not have my usual SAD, this would be it. I’ve had major surgery in January, which my body is still recuperating from in some minor ways. I’ve changed my diet and exercise habits. And I’m on new medications, specifically a heavy dosage of Vitamin D in order to get my cholesterol and body chemistry back to proper levels.
So is it going to arrive? Maybe. I felt very sad on Saturday but then I ate a sandwich and realized my blood sugar was low, and everything went better. I’m feeling a little low now, but is that SAD or just a reluctance to charge ahead with a tedious work day?
No clue. Until then, I’m sort of waiting for the axe to fall – maybe it’ll show up late. (It used to arrive in June.) I’m on alert, trying to be careful about how I react, so I don’t take anything too much to heart.
But once a year, I usually have to endure a time of knives and anguish. That may or may not show up this year. In some ways, waiting for it to hit is nearly as bad as the depression itself, being tensed for a blow that may never arrive. On the other hand, I’m relatively content, and finishing up my novel.
A strange place to be.
Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.This entry has also been posted at http://theferrett.dreamwidth.org/303809.h
I've seen Iron Man, I've not seen Star Trek, but have read a lot of spoiler-y discussion about it, so, while my Iron Man thoughts are based on the movie, my Star Trek thoughts are based on what other people have reported about the movie.
This is something I originally wrote in a comment on Greywash's post over on Dreamwith, http://greywash.dreamwidth.org/43081.ht
Her post included, among other points, the observation that our fannish culture frowns on spoiling plot points, and that this interferes with having fully free and open discussions about issues related to works that are just recently released, at the times when the discussion SHOULD be most relevant. She was wondering to what extent this is deliberate.
Anyway...( Read more...Collapse )
<3 While obsessing over our KickStarter, I noticed that our friends at Wolff & Byrd, Counselors of the Macabre are also running one. In honor of this occasion, I have pulled out some art to share with you all. Please visit their KS and help them out!--Kaja <3
Deadline: October 15, 2013
New words written: 4648 (multi-day total)
Present total word count: 103,343 words
Things accomplished in fiction: Probably best if I leave off with these, at this point. Even the vague stuff could point to spoilers.
Next up: More cryptic shenanigans.
Things accomplished in real life: Daily jaunts around the neighborhood with the dog; did some pre-travel shopping; went to an anti-fracking fundraising concert at Rhythm and Brews; went to a friend's birthday party at the Honest Pint; left the birthday party with a bruised up butt and back from the wood stools and the banister I leaned against all evening; returned a loose dog to its owner (for the second time - same dog); got caught in two thunderstorms and spent most of Sunday soaking wet but not in a good way.
Other: If you haven't checked out The Button Man and the Murder Tree at Tor.com, what are you waiting for?
Bonus! other: This coming weekend I'll be at Phoenix Comic Con! And I, for one, cannot wait - but I also (probably) will not be able to wrap up a draft of Maplecroft before that occurs. I wanted to, but...I suspect that's not in the cards. That's okay. I have plenty of time, and when I get back ... THAT WEEK. That week I shall cough up the Draft Zero I so dearly want. I bet.
Number of fiction words so far this year: 99,169
If you were to log into StarCityGames about two years back, you’d have logged in with your username. And once you’d chosen your username, you could never ever change it. If you had, in a fit of pique, chosen “SirPoopyhead” as your user name, that was what you’d have to use forever.
The reason you couldn’t change it was because of a silly choice that had been made back in the year 2000, when we’d first purchased our shopping cart software. The people who had designed that shopping cart decided to use the login name as the unique way of determining who you were – and when we’d created our own customized shopping cart, we hadn’t changed that. So for all intents and purposes, that arbitrary string of characters – “SirPoopyhead” – was the single factor that made you you.
Problem is, that’s actually terrible design.
See, on the back end of an application, we have literally hundreds of places where we store the answer to the question, “What customer did this?” What customer placed this order? What customer tried to log in at 4:56:15 am? What customer ordered a Premium subscription? What customer has $14.15 in store credit? And the answer to each of those questions, each answer stored in a separate location, was “SirPoopyhead.”
The problem is that if we changed that string of characters to, say, “SirGalahad,” then we’d have to manually change that string in every one of the hundreds of tables that referenced it. If we forgot to update just one table (or something went wrong in the middle of all these updates), then somewhere lurking in our database there would be a bunch of records that referenced the now-no-longer existing “SirPoopyhead,” which means that we’d have lost data. This could be very troubling if we were asking the question, “What customer had paid us money?” when we needed to give you a refund.
And with every new feature we added, this problem got worse. We added gift certificates, so here’s yet another place we need to store “SirPoopyhead.” We added wishlists, each of which was duly recorded under “SirPoopyhead.” Hundreds, thousands, of locations each keyed to this arbitrary string of letters.
Worse, turns out logins are a terrible idea. Customers forget their logins all the time, having made them up to check out. If their login was associated with an old email address, they might not even be able to get access to their old login without manual intervention. We literally had, in some cases, customers who’d created twelve separate accounts because they kept forgetting what their login was supposed to be.
No, what we needed was a nice clean email login like Facebook. Everybody remembers their emails. But people change their email addresses a lot – and as noted, having to constantly change “SirPoopyhead@hotmail.com” to something else had a nonzero risk of something going wrong.
What you need, as it turns out, is a unique ID to reference each customer that never changes! You! SirPoopyhead! You’re now customer #123456, and every question we’ll ever ask about you now returns the answer, “Customer #123456.” Then you can change your email, you can change your login, you can change anything you want – all we’ll be doing is looking up the information for Customer #123456.
Come this point in our shopping cart’s development, we had literally thousands of places in the code that used the login name instead of the customer ID to answer questions. And it wasn’t as simple as a “search-and-replace”; some of these were complex queries that we’d completely have to rewrite from scratch. And then, because we’re responsible website owners, we’d want to test all of these changes thoroughly to make sure nothing got broken.
Yet if we wanted to do this, we’d have to do it soon. Because we were hiring more and more programmers, and adding new features daily, each of which referenced “SirPoopyhead.” The longer we put this change off, the more places we’d have to change the code.
That’s what’s called technological debt. Thanks to a bad decision made literally twelve years ago, we had a ton of code that caused us to have to jump through a lot of hoops for what seemed like it should be a simple thing. And every month that went by without changing this sprawling, underlying code was another month’s worth of updates that would also, eventually, have to be changed.
What followed next was a tedious and gruellng five-week project where I looked through each of the hundreds of thousands of lines of code that touched literally every page on StarCityGames.com, changing instances of “login name” to “customer ID.” You cannot understand how magnificently boring this was. There are fun things a programmer can do, usually learning new techniques or doing something flashy – this was basically me, being a smart search-and-replace, doing something a computer wasn’t quite equipped to do.
When it was done, we ran some conversion scripts, and then rolled it out. Zingo! To you, the customer, the only change was that there was now a notification saying, “Please log in using your email.” But to the back end, there was literally a whole new day.
That’s why it’s sometimes hard to change software. How difficult could it be to change your user name? Well, as it turns out, thanks to factors that are hard to explain to your average customer, it can be incredibly hard – an unpleasant task requiring weeks to fix, one that adds almost no new features whatsoever, one that can introduce bugs into stable sections of code that haven’t had problems in years…. yet one that ultimately needs to get done in order to make way for bigger changes later on.
That’s why programming is weird.
Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.This entry has also been posted at http://theferrett.dreamwidth.org/303537.h
Once again Barack Hussein Obama shocks the conscience of the nation by doing something all the white presidents have done.
Tumblr is not going to be as much fun if everyone has to come into the Yahoo! office to do it.
I wish we had the kind of humane health care system where a man could quietly ask for the mental treatments he desperately needs instead of having to go on the air and announce that he wants to shoot Hillary Clinton in the vagina.
<3 The KickStarter has already funded. Not only that, we've reached our stretch goals for the reprints of Volumes One, Eleven, Five Two and Three. Amazing! We're still working on the rest, but there are several days left, so hope springs eternal. Please tell your friends, and...THANK YOU! --Kaja <3
When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.
As soon as I saw the lines, I visualized particular shades of red and purple, which I'm sorry to say don't clash all that horribly.
What's more, they're the default medium-dark purple and slightly orange red seen here. There seems to be a second default purple, sort of a medium lavender.
I'd say most of the women are wearing hats that suit them.
When I am old, I shall wear some other colors. And not form a club about them.
This entry was posted at http://nancylebov.dreamwidth.org/100887
My poly bureaucracy creeps slow. Very slow. This is for my wife and girlfriend’s protection, because I am a dumbass.
See, I have a tendency of assuming that emotional intimacy == compatibility. Yes, it feels wonderfully cozy that we share all of these fears and concerns and relationship patterns, and finding your most sensitive feelings reflected in someone else is a beautiful thing.
The problem is that I’m fucking crazy. So finding someone I really resonate with immediately? It usually means they’re as bad as I am, and that we’re actually going to exacerbate each others’ issues.
I’ve been known to dive head-first into relationships without checking for compatibility first, just sort of assuming that because we have A Connection it’s going to work out. Then, after months of daily fights, me wringing my hands 24/7 about WHY WON’T SHE UNDERSTAND, and an eventual slow death by slices, I’ve learned that I need to spend more time getting to know people before I start getting committed…. if only so my wife isn’t obligated to play psychotherapist for me when things turn sideways.
So there’s a six-month cooldown time in place, where we can make out but not have Teh Sexx0r… and usually that cooldown time stretches to nine months, or even a year, as we just take it slow and not rush getting permissions.
The big question is, why don’t I find this limitation confining?
Part of it is, of course, is that I chose this lifestyle. This isn’t an externally-produced ruleset, created in a process tantamount to blackmail; it’s one I helped shape, because after a series of four disastrous relationships that imploded messily across my poly web, I took an honest look and said, “Okay, that’s a bad pattern, what’s a potential fix?”
But more importantly, sex is the least important bit for me.
Don’t get me wrong; anyone who’s ever made out with me will tell you that I’m passionate as hell. But sex is something that’s common; particularly in the kink communities, it’s not particularly difficult to get. If you’re open about your desires, reasonably personable, and are sapiosexual as I am, you’ll have a lot of options.
What I can’t get elsewhere is you.
Sure, maybe I’ll spend nine months hanging out with you on our once-a-month dates, getting to know each other… but that’s the best part. For me, “getting to know people” is an activity I find desirable in and of itself. Chatting, snuggling, dining out… that’s all stuff I like. And the level of flirtation/innuendo is a beautiful spice for that.
If and when we eventually hook up, that’s gonna be a wondrous new layer to what we share, and not the entirety of it. So I’m perfectly okay waiting for that to happen, since that is far from the whole reason I’m here.
I’m in no rush.
So yeah, it’s a long time. It’s not a process I’d recommend as standard for most poly groups. But that’s the glory of poly relationships: there’s no objective set of rules. What would be insanely restrictive for one set of people is actually a wise and stabilizing force in ours, just as what would be joyous freedom for some couples would actually cause harm if I tried it at this time in my life.
But does it matter if my rules would work for you? Lemme repeat: if it’s working for you and the people you’re dating, then it’s great.
This glacial proceeding helps me to choose better partners, and keeps my wife and girlfriend happier (even as neither of them are bound by this six-month rule), and hopefully the people I’m dating in this slow process are still happy to see me even if I’m not whipping out Little Elvis yet.
It’s an approach. Because there’s no the approach. And there never will be a the approach as long as humans are varied creatures with differing needs.
Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.This entry has also been posted at http://theferrett.dreamwidth.org/303286.h
When I began to fall in with a Brad Crowd, I met someone who was living in the Brad Davidian Compound. She had a half-grown kitten, or catlet, named Friday.
I am probably misremembering this, but I seem to recall that his name was related to Heinlein's book of the same name.
Friday was fierce, and fluffy, and a source of endless amusement for the Brad Crowd. I never caught him stealing underpants, but I'll lay good odds that he might of swiped one or more of mine.
He had this thing he'd do to try to bring down a human prey; he'd wait in the shadows and fake-hamstring us from behind just after we passed him in his ninjalike invisibility. I'm embarrassed to admit that we were all tagged multiple times before it dawned on us that we could dodge these attacks nimbly. The trick was first knowing the places where Friday lurked, waiting patiently for one of us to stagger away from the herd. He had a few favorite hiding spots. I particularly remember the one near the front door. If one were to travel from the kitchen to, say, the hallway where the bedrooms were or to the main stairs to go down, one would take about four steps into the living room and then... pause. A catlet would spring PAST one and realize too late that the prey wasn't in the calculated spot.
This went on for months, and the weird thing was that there were places in Brad's house where we all paused out of habit, even after Friday and his human moved out. Some of the people followed the pattern even though they'd never been hunted by Friday. They simply saw the custom and adopted it without thinking about it too hard.
I miss you, Friday. My dear friend will miss you more, but I will pause in shadowy areas of my house in honor of your passing.
Eventually, if you’re trying to make it as a writer, you’re going to despair. You can’t write well enough. This story will never sell. If you do sell it, it’ll never be popular.
This terrible feeling like you’re just wasting your time and nobody cares happens, absurdly enough, to very popular writers. It happens to nobodys. It happens to writers, period. If you’re putting words down and trying to get people to read them, there will be times you’ll want to take everything you wrote, set it on fire, and then fling yourself in to burn with it.
Here is what you do when those down days come: you write more.
Took a nasty rejection straight to the sternum? Write more.
Had a confidence-shredding bad review? Write more.
This grand story in your head is completely beyond your ability to commit it to the page? Write more.
This terrible book you’re reading made millions, and your better work can’t find a home? Write more.
Feel like you’re a fraud who’s somehow lucked out when better writers languish behind you? Write more.
Your favorite author just told you he abhorred what you wrote? Write more.
The thing about writing is that so much of it comes down to tenacity. The most popular writers in the world can all tell you about this fellow they knew when they were starting out, a colleague who could write stories that would charm the petals from a rose… and yet these natural geniuses didn’t stick with it. They either let life swamp them, or couldn’t stand the rejections, or didn’t feel like it. And these magnificently talented people never became Writers, because for whatever reason they never pushed through.
It’s not that they weren’t very good. It’s just that they stopped knocking on doors. While the writer you’ve heard of kept ringing doorbells until she got an answer.
So pushing through is what you need to do. Write when you’re sad. Write when you’re busy. Write when you’re uninspired. Write when you’re utterly consumed with the idea that you cannot do this. Learn to take all of that despondence and to transform it into beauty, for writing in the throes of despair will do two things: when you are writing sad scenes, you will have so many more emotions to cram into it, and when you are writing happy scenes, you will be forced to emulate joy. One will make for better writing, the other will elevate your mood.
The truth is, though I’ve written in both despair and elation, I can’t really tell which mood I was in when I go back to revise. You must learn to write without hope. Keep creating through those dry spells, keep sending out stories during the rejections; decouple your personal contentment from your creative muse and make that bitch dance for you. She’ll be clumsy at first, foolish… but with time, you can make her do the most elaborate pirouettes when you’re barely able to move off the couch.
In fiction, there’s often a plot sequence: Try/fail, try/fail, try/succeed. In real life, there may be a hundred try/fails before you get to that succeed. But you’ll never know unless you stay in that execution loop.
And then write more still.
(Inspired by Catherine Schaff-Stump’s Writers and Despair.)
Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.This entry has also been posted at http://theferrett.dreamwidth.org/303034.h
Just discovered: I could pretty much ruin any woman’s day when she’s about to leave the house by asking, “Oh, you’re going out like that?” and then muttering that it’s fine, it’s fine.
I just said that to Erin hypothetically, and she knows I didn’t even mean it, and she’s still itching to change her clothes.
(Cue tides of women saying that they’re above that. You may thank me for making you feel superior.)
Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.This entry has also been posted at http://theferrett.dreamwidth.org/302666.h
If you’re into the whole old-school SF idea of planned/constructed societies and all that -and if you haven’t read much SF of the 30s though early 60s, you’ve missed out – you really need to read about Synco (a.k.a. Project Cybersyn) in Chile during the Allende administration, before the Pinochet coup d’etat. Because they tried it, for industrial production.
The Opsroom or Operations Room: a physical location where [nationalised industry] information was to be received and stored and made available for speedy decision-making. It was designed in accordance with Gestalt principles, in order to give users a platform that would give them a chance to absorb information in a simple and comprehensive way.
They didn’t get finished before the coup d’etat – the screens were used, but they had to have slides prepared each day rather than getting the data straight from the computer. But they were using the data – successfully, in many cases. All the major production facilities were, in fact, connected, via a massive network of telex machines, and data was flowing to the central computer, which was modelling and predicting based on daily data, and heuristic decisions were being made and acted upon and everything.
The goal was to have it all be realtime, as their computer capabilities ramped up. Keep in mind: this was in an era when moving this kind of data around and collating it within a single company in most countries could take took weeks, and decision-making could take even longer. They were doing it daily, with an eye towards continuously.
The difference between this and the Soviet and Chinese experiments is that it was intentionally decentralised. They were specifically avoiding those systems and trying to come up with something both socialist and rationalist and distributed – some of the factories had started setting up their own mini-facilities like this central one.
I’m fascinated by what they might’ve come up with, without Pinochet and his military dictatorship. They had the entire system destroyed – Pinochet was about authoritarianism, and had no time for this distributed-authority bullshit.
- Current Mood: fascinated
- Current Music:Main Theme, Logan's Run | The City
- Current Mood:Depressed