Back now from the Florida Poly Retreat, where kellyv
, Shelly, and I spent a weekend with other freaks in a gorgeous nature preserve.
I’m not even going to try to make this a coherent post. There’s rather a lot going on right now, so I’m going to string it all together at random, in no particular order, and leave the sorting of feelings and impressions for another day.
Shall we begin, then?
Lena and getting down with the sickness
One of my strongest memories of my January trip to San Francisco was when Lena (altenra
) took Shelly and I to an S&M sex club called Power Exchange. Lena brought her laptop and her collection of porn.
There’s a thrash/industrial band called Disturbed whose song “Down with the Sickness” appears on the soundtrack of one of Lena’s porn flicks. (It also appears on the soundtrack of the wretched “Queen of the Damned,” the sequel to the not-quite-so-wretched “Interview with the Vampire,” which is amusing in its own way.) That song has been intermitently stuck in my head since I heard it on Lena’s laptop, so I finally surrendered and bought the album last week.
I will forever associate that song with watching porn with Lena and whipping Shelly. The world is a scary place, now that you’ve woken up the demon in me…”
We cast our troubles into the water…oh, shit! INCOMING!!
Late Saturday night, the last night of the Florida Poly Retreat, Shelly, our friend Evelyn, and I built a five-foot trebuchet out of scrap we’d discovered in a run-down barn, while kellyv
We set the trebuchet up not far from the retreat bonfire. Shelly played Igor to Evelyn’s Renfield; as the Mad Scientist, I got to direct my henchmen through the process of assembling and test-firing the machine.
As it was late at night, we used flashlights for the payload; after all, it does no good to fire ancient seige weapons in darkness if you can’t enjoy watching the projectile sail into the heavens. We aimed it across a broad swath of grassthat terminated in the nearby river.
While we were assembling our fearsome engine of destruction, a healing circle was taking pace at the nearby bonfire, where the karma of peace and love was no doubt being brutally savaged by our karma of destruction and violence. We test-fired our flashlights several times, and discovered that the machine worked rather better than we’d anticipated.
Presently, it came to pass that the healing circle went down to the water’s edge to conclude their ritual, as we fired our last shot of the evening. Which worked, ahem, far, far better than we expected it to. The projectile reached the water’s edge easily, and would no doubt have come crashing down in the middle of the ceremony but for a lucky group of trees between us and them. Well, lucky for them, anyway; less lucky for the trees, and far less lucky for the flashlight that collided with the trees.
I’m going to hell. I’m definitely going to hell. But at least I’ll still have my henchmen. And we have a cool trebuchet victory dance, too.
Other Florida Poly Retreat stuff
Much of the rest of the retreat was a blur. A few things that stand out:
– Going canoeing with Shelly. Her first time in a canoe; my second. We had a marvelous time, and didn’t get eaten by alligators.
– The Polyamory 101 panel with smoocherie. At 9:30 in the morning. I think I was coherent, but I’m not really sure.
– Invader Zim with Eric, Kim, and Keirston. Invader Zim is a short-lived and highly surreal cartoon that ran briefly on Nickelodeon. I won’t even try to explain it; it’s whacked, that’s all.
Intrusive Iraq stuff
, author of one of the most interesting journals on LiveJournal, has also written one of the best analyses I’ve seen yet
on the matter of military action in Iraq. I won’t bother to try to repeat her points here; just read it. Really.
Sex and Money
In about an hour, lordfuckbeast
and I have a meeting with a distributor who’s interested in distributing Symphony
, our internet-controlled sex toy. He wants to put it in a bunch of stores, which is both good news and bad news. Good, because it’s exactly what we need; bad, because the amount of labor that goes into building these things is nothing short of insane. Who knew bringing a product to market would be so goddamn difficult?
Sex and Love
Shelly is discovering in her needs that can’t be met within the context of our relationship. We’re working on the discomfort this causes her; when all is said and done, both kellyv
and I do want her in our lives. It’s good stuff; I think we’ll be okay.
Bumper Sticker of the Week
Seen on the back of a car on my way in to the office: Protect YOUR family from the American Family Association
URL of the Week
My birthday kind of snuck up on me this year; traditionally, I celebrate with a large, obnoxious party, but I didn’t realize how close it was this year until it was too late.
Had a good weekend anyway. Saturday, bandage, kellyv, and I went to a BDSM play party at a new S&M club in downtown St. Petersburg. The turnout was light, but we had a great time anyway; it’s a very cool space, with a lot of interesting equipment to use. I was able to tie bandage down and give her a good cropping, which is always fun. She still has the bruises. 🙂
The three of us spent most of the day Sunday in bed, not really doing much of anything. bandage made the world’s largest tray of Nachos, and we watched “Pinky and the Brain” cartoons on videotape…bandage was a Pinky and the Brain virgin, so we got to deflower her.
I also talked to feorlen
, who is having some difficulty with the San Francisco antiwar protesters
What is with these nitwits? I swear, it seems like the entire net IQ of the entire antiwar protest would scarcely reach double digits. I’ve got no idea where these knuckle-dragging mouth-breathers are coming from, but they’re so profoundly imbecilic that it makes me embarrassed to be philosophically associated with these slope-headed cretins. Much as I’m opposed to the war on Iraq, I’m also opposed to these barnyard animals who seem to believe, thorough some misguided intellectual failure, that the way to end the war is to break windows and throw rocks and shut down businesses in the heart of San Francisco–one of the most liberal and antiwar cities in the country.
Calling these lowbrow pinheads “retarded” does a grave disservice to the developmentally challenged. If I were of a paranoid mindset, I might believe that these halfwits were actually pro-war protesters trying to damage and discredit the antiwar movement. Some of these dullards, whose cranial capacities can barely be measured in cubic millimeters, are so breathtakingly, dazzlingly chuckleheaded that–get this–they believe that breaking windows and attacking police officers is an effective way to show that…er, violence is wrong.
Bloody amazing. And I thought George W. was dead from the neck up.
Lori called me on Sunday to wish me a happy birthday.
I was surprised, and very happy, that she called, though talking to her brought back just how much I miss her.
Many people believe that losing a relationship is easier for someone who’s poly than for someone who isn’t, because, hey, you still have other relationships to fall back on, right?
Wrong. People aren’t interchangeable. It hurts just as much to lose a loverif you have multiple relationships than if you have only one, and having others doesn’t make that go away. And I still do miss her.
…is that this is not the first time in history that a leader who lost the popular vote but was elected into office anyway has used the threat of terrorism to justify preemptive action against another country in the name of peace and security.
So the war is on. We failed to assassinate Saddam Hussein with bombs, which is about what any reasonable person would expect; bombs are not, after all, the most precise of all munitions. Not even smart bombs.
kellyv and I had some friends over last night, and we were all watching “Law and Order” when the news interrupted the show to tell us we were dropping bombs on brown people again.
Quite honestly, I can’t even understand why they cut into the show. I mean, it’s not like it was news, or anything. This is America; dropping bombs on brown people is what we do. Hardly seems worth interrupting “Law & Order” to say that we’re doing it again.
But, we were able to makke the best of it; kellyv popped some popcorn and we pulled up chairs and watched, and played with Eric’s iPod.
I’ll be much happier in 2004, when our Glorious Commander-in-Chimp Bush Jr. and his lackey Herr Ashcroft are gone.
“Of course the people don’t want war. But after all, it’s the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it’s always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it’s a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger.”
–Hermann Goering, speaking at the Nuremberg trials
Quotes out of Context
Her: “Implements of torture are always good gifts. I like anything that causes pain.”
Lemme axe you something…
, Shelly, M and I went to a Renaissance Festival in Largo.
I used to go to Ren Faires often, though I haven’t been to one since 1992. They don’t hold quite the appeal for me that they used to, although we had an absolutely splendid time. Got to see some friends I haven’t seen in quite a while, as well.
And I got a battle axe! It’s great…a conversation piece, and practical, too!
kellyv and Shelly both said the same thing–“What are you going to do with it?” It’s a very peculiar question to ask; I’m not at all sure I even understand the question. I mean…it’s a battle axe! What does this “do with it” mean??
I did get some excellent pictures of Shelly in the parking lot of a Holiday Inn Express on the way home, which you can see tucked away behind the cut below.
Rearranging the Furniture
Friday, I drifted off to sleep holding hands with Shelly and kellyv
. Being loved by the people around you is the most wonderful feeling in the world.
Shelly has a knack for getting right to the heart of things.
In the fifteen years that kellyv and I have been non-monogamous, one of the cardinal rules of our relationship has always been that we each have “veto power”–the unlimited right to reject a romantic relationship that the other engages in, if we feel threatened by it. This is common among many polyamorous people, and it serves to preserve the security of the primary relationship.
The downside is that it can represent a sword of Damocles, always hanging over the head of any newcomer to the relationship, and for Shelly, the fact that kellyv had this veto power meant that Shelly could not feel secure with me. Shelly challenged kellyv and I on this point, and as a result, kellyv decided that this power had served its purpose, but was no longer necessary with Shelly.
This is a major milestone in the relationship between kellyv and I. For the first time in our history together, she has felt secure without the unlimited right to hold final say over one of my outside relationships.
Shelly has that rarest of all gifts–the ability, and willingness, to make me re-examine some of the most basic ideas and assumptions I’ve made over the course of my life. She’s an absolutely wonderful person.
And now, as promised…
Pics of Shelly
Power for Power’s Sake.
Which Illuminati are you?
brought to you by Quizilla
So did you, if you’re paying attention. 🙂
Quotes out of Context
Me: That’s what the world needs. More cute lesbian chicks!
Her: As long as they’re 90% lesbian, of course.
Shelly, her mother, and I saw “The Recruit” last night. Not a bad movie; it’s basically “Training Day” with less urban attitude and more sleight-of-hand.
Exercise doesn’t really make you live longer…
…it just feels that way. I haven’t been to the gym this often or this consistently since…well, ever
,now that I think about it. And it’s all Shelly’s fault. She’s a slavedriver.
She also has this refreshing tendency to challenge a lot of the basic assumptions kellyv and I have made in our relationship. She’s caused kellyv and I to re-examine many of the elements of our relationship, particularly with regard to what it means to be ‘primary’ or ‘secondary’ in a polyamorous relationship, and what needs those terms fill in the first place.
kellyv has always felt the need to be ‘primary’–that is, to fill a unique place in my life, to stand on the knowledge that my relationship with her in some way supercedes my other relationships. Yet she does notseem to feel threatened by Shelly, even when Shelly does things that she associates with “primary.”
What kellyv seems to value most about the idea of primacy is not so much control as uniqueness. She feels threatened if someone else wants a relationship with me that looks like the relationship I have with “lj user=”kellyv”>, and not feel threatened by someone who wants a relationship that doesn’t; that, more than anything else, is the key to “primacy” for .
Since kellyv and Shelly are very, very different in many fundamental ways, including the way they approach relationships both philosophically and emotionally, kellyv has demonstrated a significant willingness to be flexible and accomodating in Shelly’s needs.
Which is, I think, a very positive and healthy thing. The three of us are growing very close as a result, and I for one am very, very happy about that.
Tis much happiness should be criminal. Really. 🙂
Still haven’t been able to get my plane in the air–most recently because I haven’t been able to reach the instructor who had been training me. I’m getting so frustrated I’m dreaming about flying it. Grr…
Just installed a third Ethernet outlet on our couch. kellyv and I now have a couch with three Ethernet ports: One on each side, and one in the center, between the cushions. Now when Shelly
I am such a geek sometimes.
Also, if you haven’t done so, check out Shelly’s tattoo here!