Of Honesty and Integrity

On Sunday, my wife and feorlen and I spent some time with friends we see too seldom. It transpired that these friends are considering a romantic relationship with a person I know, and one of them asked me, point-blank, what I thought of the idea.

Oh, boy.

Long and bitter experience has taught me the folly of getting involved in the romantic affairs of another. Even on those occasions where I have been right, every time I’ve done it, I’ve been sorry.

And yet, here it was. The question had been asked; I was not volunteering the opinion, it had been solicited. And I have knowledge of a destructive pattern of dishonesty in the individual in question’s romantic situations in the past. Exactly the information that had been solicited.

And with reason. Apparently, some flags had already been raised. So there it was. Evading the question seemed close to intellectual dishonesty; saying I had no reservations would be overt dishonesty. So I ansswered the question as asked, to the best of my ability, and now I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop and hoping that it doesn’t land on my head.

Which brings me to the crux of the matter, which is this:

None of this would be necessary if the person in question would Just. Be. Honest.

Why is that so difficult? I don’t understand. Is it really hat hard to figure out? Can dishonesty really become such a habit that you become blind to its consequences? Is it really so hard to see how much goddamn simpler your life is if you try to make a habit of honesty and integrity?

I mean, this person has a lot to offer–smart, witty, well-educated, capable of being compassionate and warm and giving and fun. So why? Why mar it with a habit of lies?

I know, I know–wasted potential, not hydrogen, is the most common element in the universe, and many are the people who have a lot to offer yet fall short of the mark. But still…

On Change

feorlen is moving.

When we first became involved, about ten years ago, she lived here in Tampa. Now she’s in Atlanta, which is about seven hours away by car or half an hour by plane…far, but not too far. We still see each other often.

The pressure has been growing for quite some time, however–calling her to San Francisco. It’s the right place for her to be, for a number of reasons, not the least of which is her career.

Still, it’s hard to bridge such a gap in a romantic relationship.

And so, I, the person who said he’d never be involved in a long-distance relationship, will soon find himself in two. Go figure.

Of Rings and Things

URL of the Day: File this one under “You Gotta Be Shitting Me“: The Lion King teaches homosexuality.


My wife has never before been exposed to “The Lord of the Rings,” or indeed to any other Tolkien.

I suppose i can’t really say too much about it. I have my own cultural illiteracies as well; I’ve never watched “Charlie’s Angels” or “Three’s Company” on TV, for example, and I’ve never seen so much as a single episode of “Leave It to Beaver.”

But anyway, she’s somhow managed to live without being exposed to the joys of Tolkien’s brand of fantasy, until now. She is currently deep in “The Return of the King,” having devoured “The Fellowship of the Ring” and “The Two Tours” in much the way a starving wolf might devour a Sirloin steak, and having seen the movie version of “The Fellowship of the Ring” twice. In fact, she’s ahead of me on “The Two Towers” as I write this, and takes great delight in teasing me about it. (I’ve read it a long time ago, but I’m rediscovering it as an adult.)

It’s fun to see her enjoying something so completely…

Too many irons in the fire

URL of the day: Who Cares?


I have too many irons in the fire. Ever wonder what would happen if someone kept tossing balls to a juggler until the number of balls he was trying to keep in the air threatened to completely overwhelm him? That’s how I feel right now.

I have email sitting in my mailbox that I haven’t even had time to answer in the last three weeks…

Still jetlagged…

Meeting with a patent lawyer on Wednesday. LordFuckBeast and I are slowly but steadily moving ahead on The Project. It’s driving me crazy…it takes so much work to make anything happen, it’s just absurd.

Still, I suppose I should be happy it takes so much work to accomplish anything worthwhile. Barrier to entry, and all that. But even so, the roadblocks the world puts in front of you are very frustrating sometimes. It’s almost like they do it with malice, though I know that isn’t so.

Paranoia is not in thinking everyone is out to get you. Everyone is out to get you. paranoia is in thinking they’re conspiring.

Home again, home again…

Well, I’m back from MacWorld San Francisco, finally, after spending the entire day from 9AM until midnight at the airport or in the air.

While feorlen and I were in SF, we had the unique pleasure of meeting altenra, who is an all-around cool chick.

I say “unique pleasure” because the first day I met her, she broke me, and sent me back to my hotel room damaged goods. Undaunted, I spent a second day with her, and she took me to a bathhouse, made me dirty, led me into a dark place, and covered me with chicken feathers.

And it isn’t what you think.

First day, she offered to take me on a walking tour of the city. Her: “How much walking can you do?” Me: “As much as you can. Do your worst!”

Fifteen miles later, she was still skipping and bouncing while I was limping along behind her. I finally hobbled back to the hotel, and spent the rest of the week limping around the convention.

The second day I spent with her, she took me to Sutro Baths, the ruins of an old nineteenth-century bathhouse on Ocean Beach:

You can’t tell from the picture, but rain and constant salt spray have turned the ground into a sea of slippery mud. Behind me as I took this image was a cave, which we went into, stopping along the way just long enough to get COVERED in mud.

“But the chicken feathers!” I hear you say. “Tell us of the chicken feathers!”

Ah, yes, the chicken feathers.

When nightfall comes in San Francisco, the temperature drops very, very fast. feorlen and I didn’t really realize that. We went to meet altenra on a sunny afternoon. Feorlen didn’t spend the whole day with us, but as night was falling, we were still out exploring, and it got suddenly very cold.

“The chicken feathers! The chicken feathers!”

I’m getting to the chicken feathers. She let me wear her down jacket. It sheds. I was wearing a black sweater underneath. Hence: Chicken feathers.

Ah, yes, one more point of interest:

Above Sutro baths is a museum of old penny-arcade machines. And video games, mostly dating back to the Golden Age of the Video Game (about 1980-1984). They had a Star Wars video game–an old vector game made by Atari.

I LOVED this game as a kid. in 1983, I could play for hours on one quarter; my high score was just over two million, nine hundred thousand points.

They had one! They had one at the museum!

First time I have played since 1984, and on altenra‘s quarter. Score: 300,000 points.

Busy days, and off I go!

I’m leaving for San Francisco tomorrow! Heading out to MacWorld, and I haven’t even started to pack yet. sigh Just means I’ll be up all night tonight, I imagine.

feorlen was kind enough to give me a film safe for my camera bag, since I’m fond of using 3200 speed film, which turns to mush if it goes through an airport X-ray machine. Which means, of course, that the security people are going to see a large, opaque black rectangle on the X-ray monitor…which means I’m sure to get hand-searched…but at least my film will be okay.

If the guy in front of me on the plane tries to light his shoes on fire, so help me, I’ll strangle him.