Aug. 14th, 2012 06:12 pm
greenstorm: (Default)
I'm sitting in my slightly-overwarm apartment, 10 minutes into

which is Eddy Vedder singing "Thumbing my way" live.

I'm supposed to be cleaning house and, specifically, covering traces of rat so when they come to check the fire stuff in the morning with the necessary 3 days' notice they won't get upset at me for having too many small animals. In the other room, where I'm supposed to be cleaning, Eve has had her babies-- a tiny pink crop of little ones that should grow up the colour of a bright redhead, and sweet as honey.

Instead of cleaning, clearly, I am writing.

I'm thirty-one now. The birthday is recent, and it sits oddly on my skin. I can't remember really having my age drive into me before, not so that I could feel it. Now I can feel it. This concert I'm listening to is all about mortality, what to keep and what to let sift by. Pearl Jam has always been the soundtrack of my life, from when I was 14 or 15 and got the CD when living in the transition house in Mission, right on through. As with all of my relationships there have been long lulls. Excepting maybe Trevor, this relationship has been longer than any of my non-family relationships.

And oh, do I ever have need of understanding, of long relatinships, of knowing what to hold onto and what to let sift by right now! I'm doing... fine. I'm going to work, I'm not looking for an interesting new job, I'm not engaging the world really, I'm paring down twitter and paying my rent and dealing with bills and arguing with my boyfriend sometimes and not other times. I'm doing the minimum necessary to feed myself, keep cages clean, keep things from rotting on the countertops.

I'm not thriving.

I don't know if this is post-school lull, where I've been told what to do for so long that I need to rebuild my own initiative and decision-making faculties. I don't know if it's depression, maybe from a brief and soon-discontinued foray into birth control pills (BAD IDEA) or just on its own. I don't know if it's plain conditioning, being in a relationship where the things that feed me make my partner unhappy so often. I don't know if it's just me, lazy or on a low bit.

I do know I'm in the birth canal again, and the contractions are not at all comfortable, and it seems I won't be whatever I will become for a little while yet. It's the waiting space. It's, if you like, the dead space-- but death feeds everything, it powers the way things turn and turn again, and it enables life to build and rebuild on itself, attaining unexpected complexities.

I'm writing. Right here, typing words onto a (ugh) slightly sticky keyboard. Do you know how good that feels? And no, he's not in the house. And no, he doesn't know I'm home. I can't call this into being by saying, 'can you go play boardgames on Tuesday, honey? I need the house to myself'. It has to happen by itself. And it hasn't been, because he's been unemployed for so freaking long, and before that I was in school.

And I'm thinking, does this mean I'm doing it wrong? Is this why I'm not chiming internally, singing and bumping ideas into each other and taking up space? Is it because he's around so much? If so, what do I do, or do I just become this quieter, less-thinking person and roll into it? Does it mean I shouldn't move in with him, or not with anyone? Or is it something to do with externals and not the relationship at all? Mom said, a long time ago, that she worried I used my relationships to inform too much of my self. Is that what I'm doing? Losing my own self for his?

I just don't fucking know. So my brain is alternately chugging in the background and churning LOUDER THAN ANYTHING ELSE on this. And that's that.

I'll get those cages clean now.
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Yesterday I was in the middle of studying for math when the power went out.

Angus hadn't been paying the bill, it had been his responsibility between us, hadn't paid it in full since October, and hadn't told me. Had I known I could have done something.

Angus is depressed and chronically ill. I'm not sure he lives in a world where two weeks in the future really counts for anything-- he's that stressed. That doesn't make this okay for me.

Two major projects are on that hard drive. We're in the queue to reconnect. I've written a couple profs asking for extensions. The math test was only 25% of my grade, luckily, and I probably squeaked by at 60% or so.

I had promised myself I wouldn't let Angus interfere in school, and that I wouldn't let myself become this stressed out.

Sometimes I don't move fast enough on things.

I always learn my lesson eventually though.
greenstorm: (Default)
I view possessiveness, both the physical and mental 'you are mine' attitude, exactly how I view rape-- really super hot when it's consensual, or when you're playing. Explicitly: Read more... ) I put this in the same category as wearing a collar for someone, letting someone touch my collar or even wrap their fingers around my neck in any way (collar symbolism hits me very very strongly), and also in the same category as saying I'm yours or letting someone else make any decisions about my body-- from what I wear or whether I shave something to whether I can sleep with someone or am allowed to orgasm.

That is to say, I don't mind a relationship with implied ongoing consent (and can often love it) as long as I can safeword out when I need to. I may not need to, but I need to know I have the option-- and I always assume I do.

Needless to say, this wreaks havoc in conventional romantic relationships. It's been an ongoing issue, though I have had the blessing and immense pleasure of dating many people who, with a fair bit of personal effort, adapted to this and figured out ways to fit me into their lives anyhow.

On the other hand, people who have come close to me are undeniably a part of me, have undeniably marked me. That's another part of ownership, it's in the depths below conscious thought and so doesn't trespass so easily on my ability to make my own decisions. Here's something you don't know: it's been years since I wrote this but I still think of people I love very much and who I want to be in my life solidly and forever as bedmates and companions and spiritual partners and co-conversationalists and as another wing on my soul as 'my Kynnin's, like someone else would say 'my love'. It's a fingerprint-- like you can't avoid leaving fingerprints when you've been playing in the mud, you cannot avoid leaving fingerprints after a relationship that long when it's your first.

I was going to talk about other marks from other relationships-- I have so many. There has been so much love and intimacy and sharing in my life, so much intertwining. I've been wandering through old posts, though: this and this (and I suppose I do still believe that 'people throw you away'- not all fingerprints are quirky or shiny).

Oh, look how I fracture, how I coil up inside. I remember this:

Speaking of desire--
to dive into life like a wave
not sure about coming up for breath;
how a kite is nothing
without string.

I have thought that so often in the intervening years. A kite is nothing without a string, it just stuck there. A few weeks ago I started thinking a kite without a strong is a bird. It just changed, like that, a personal epiphany of some kind.

Oh, and there's the intimacy post.

And there's the most beautiful and meaningful exchange I've ever had with my mom, whose fingerprints are all over me.

There was
the head-shave.

I am reminded to read Kazuo Ishiguro's books again. I am reminded of the quote by Henry Morgantaler: "My father told me it was possible for everyone in the world to have a different opinion from you and you all to be right." I am reminded that I once wrote: "oh, fuck, hopefully I don't need to cut everyone I've had deep feelings for away just because they're emotionally unavailable pricks. Or, wait... hee. Okay. Hopefully everyone I've ever had deep feelings for aren't emotionally unavailable pricks."

I remember this poem: Read more... )

and posting this in response. I was not writing to anyone I then knew, perhaps no one I now know, perhaps no one I will ever know.

This was my first post about CrazyChris, who is still in my life (though not as a lover) and who still loves me, and who I still love very much. (In a later post about him I wrote: we'll just call him Chris. Not PretentiousBlonde, not EnviroDreads, but just Chris. Thus is my life made easier.)

I remember this, and when I read it I can safely say I am closer to achieving mastery of my life, but life is still not always safe.

This post is getting incredibly long, rambling, and inward-looking. It's been the proverbial walk down memory lane, it's been a wander through places where I no longer reside, and it's beautiful. My life is, and has been, beautiful.

I will leave you with this and a song: Read more... )
I will leave you with an image of me as a machine built, in my muddled way, to love things. And I will leave you with a poem and go out into the world:

There is earth
that never leaves your hands,
rain that never leaves
your bones. Words so old they are broken
from us, because they can only be
broken. They will not
let go, because some love
is broken from love
like stones
from stone,
rain from rain,
like the sea
from the sea.

-Anne Michaels

(but I'll tell you a secret: I like it here. I don't want to go into the world quite yet; I'm just getting bored with my own voice and there's no one else here)

((but for the sake of completion, which is an illusory and ever-retreating goal but perhaps means something, I will say: if you read all this, follow all these links, how can you doubt that I am the only one who can own the root of my being? Even if I give it, I am giving it; how could anyone else even really know what's there? There has been so much))
greenstorm: (Default)
I have something to say and I don't know what it is. Perhaps it's just that contained intensity that comes, sometimes, and batters itself against my inner walls where the dust hangs heavy and shards of glass and stone from long ago crunch emptily underfoot.

I'm not writing this for you. I'm not saying this to you. I don't know who you are. I've never seen your eyes, never heard your voice, all my life I've spent wrapped in my own flesh and all I can see is that pulpy gelatinous mass that clogs my irises; all I can hear is the whisper of the cilia inside my own ears.

I don't know where I'm going with this. Sense has been torn loose. Meaning has been torn loose. You, my dearest audience, have been torn loose. Do you know that sometimes when I am sad and I write about it people will instant message me or text me with hugs, just from this? Just sometimes, not all the time. And did you know that sometimes when I write about something that I think is funny people will do the same? They think I am upset.

I know there is an audience out there. I don't know what you get from this. Nothing, I think, from posts like this one.

I have no story for you. Today was a difficult day. I will speak as plainly as I can: I don't know where my feelings come from, I can tell you three stories for any upset. Here are six stories:

Today I was working at the Pan and it was overcast. It has been so dark so often lately, and though the morning started off well I was inexorably pulled downwards. All I wanted to do was go home and curl up somewhere safe. I was disgusted and afraid, and I shot that in every direction around me.

Today I was working at the Pan and my blood had just started. When I was younger I could tell when my period was starting to the hour because I would feel suddenly like the sun had come out from behind the clouds. Today the sun just didn't come out, or if it did the clouds were merely toying with me. I hated everything and wanted nothing to do with the world.

Today I was working at the Pan and I haven't been taking good care of myself. I've been drinking lovely tea and eating lovely chocolate and it hit me in the afternoon like a hammer to the skull. There was nothing in the world that loved me enough to make anything better, and although looking back I know there is a lot of love aimed at me, nothing in the world could bridge the distance and get me to believe it-- or at least, not enough. I wanted to be loved hard enough to change the world and I was instead left desolate.

Today I was working at the Pan and went for lunch with CrazyChris and Freedryk. We talked soft-apocalyptic vs hard-apocalyptic scenarios and it was lovely- Freedryk knows of what he speaks. He was optimistic, when we were talking, and he argued against CrazyChris when Chris said it would all go down-- and listened politely but skeptically to me when I said that whatever down meant, the world was sure to change beyond recognition. Then suddenly, at the very end of lunch, he said: yes, it will have to change completely. I know the world is ending. It's been echoed back to me so often lately-- Paul started it --and it clatters around in my head. And I love the world. I love the infinity of topsoil in Iowa that feeds our demand for bacon hamburgers and goes down so deep and so rich it seems like we could never starve. I love the people who wouldn't dream of being able to recognise a single edible plant, let alone grow one themselves, and who sneer at the people who work the soil-- how precious a system is that, how impossibly and awkwardly high it rises? I love freezer peas and lettuce out of season and the luxury of eating only my very favourite parts of an animal. I love tall glass towers that mirror each other in an infinity of improbably fused silica and air conditioned commuters. I love the bustle of traffic and the way the city beats, as they say, like a heart, the way it pulses with life in so many diverse and complicated ways that we can't really imagine it. I love so much, so much, so very much about this world. We are a product of our environment, whatever else we may be, and so we will all slip away. As with anything we cannot hold this moment.

Today I was working at the Pan and I was texting with the Writer. He's just got a TV and has spent the better part of two days playing video games. I am reminded so strongly of the years when I slipped away into the alternate world of Otherspace and I was there for hours and hours a day-- first I'd only be on in the evenings, then all the day when I didn't have classes, then in between classes from the bank of computers at UBC, then finally I didn't bother to go to classes at all. The easy escape from reality seems to me like it should be wrong, somehow-- total transport to another world means you're turning your back on this one, and isn't that morally abhorrent? Isn't it a renunciation not only of the terrific burning glory of this world we're given but also of our own potential, when we are completely fed up with our own position, to change our lives so completely that we could never imagine going back? Isn't it a settling-for, a lowering of standards, a darkening of the whole tapestry of the world that could be so bright and brilliant? Or is it just that escapism doesn't receive me in her impossibly soft arms anymore, not reliably, and so I look in enviously from the outside? Is this because my life is good and demands everything from me so there's nothing left to squander on, not imagination, but a simalcrum of somebody else's made-up life, or is it because I can't really believe in anything outside myself anymore? And how can I trust someone who may well walk the dark paths that I walked? And how can I trust someone who hasn't, and doesn't know? And how can I sort this tangled knot that tugs me so strongly towards fear of I-know-not-what?

Today I was working at the Pan and I was in love. I wasn't going to do this anymore; years ago I promised myself. I said 'never' and so it's happened. There are no answers and no words, and the brightness of it has scoured me empty inside. I am afraid of the rest of my life.

Those are my stories. I work with complex systems. Things happen for many reasons. I don't believe in one single absolute reality. I merely act, as we must, as if one exists. Tiny things can change outcomes, the proverbial butterfly flaps its wings here but what about all those other butterflies, the leaves deflecting tiny gusts of wind, the stray glint of sunshine on a piece of jewelery bouncing back into the atmosphere? We can't think about it well. We can't talk about it well: we either speak as if a thing had one cause or, if our good sense intrudes on that too heavily, we give up. I give up. I don't know the reasons for things, whatever those things are, nor do I know what will happen. I don't know why I feel like I do; I don't know anything about tomorrow.

I'm just here, lost, in this one moment. I came home and collected some hugs and Angus left and I went out into the garden. My garden is lovely with promise right now, tomato buds in evidence and nasturtiums popping up and the zucchini seed-leaves unfurling. Some basil has even reared its head through the cold we've been having lately. There's only so much to do, though, and them I am done-- rattling around the house, pacing and typing until... something. Until whatever happens next.

I have nothing to say to you. All these words and that sledgehammer of awareness will never come down on your ribcage, splintering what's there into a million pieces and replacing it with this feeling at this moment. Of course we wouldn't want it so. Everyone is so beautiful as they are, such complex knots that the awareness I can tease out myself is nothing beside some of them. I guess that's where I am, then, staring at those compelling but so distant sparks.

I guess I'm lonely.

I guess that happens sometimes.

I guess that's gonna have to be okay.
greenstorm: (Default)
if i love You
(thickness means
worlds inhabited by roamingly
stern bright faeries

if you love
me) distance is mind carefully
luminous with innumerable gnomes
Of complete dream

if we love each (shyly)
other, what clouds do or Silently
Flowers resembles beauty
less than our breathing

ee cummings

Okay, okay, enough with the ee cummings. I need a poetry buddy to call up and just read with, back and forth, you pick one, I pick one. I do so love reading poetry aloud. Words and voices make it; it was made for voices in so many cases. Language is quick and beautiful when it is words sliding straight into your brain from a page, but it is a sensuous experience in the mouth and the ear and we take that so much for granted. It's like food, like moving your body; we forget because we are given this most wonderful of experiences everyday that it is in fact so gorgeous.

Obviously I'm having an up day today. There are many reasons for this. A big one is the Vancouver freeschool at UBC Farm. You need to come to this if you live in Vancouver: http://summerfreeschool.wordpress.com/

Today at work was super awesome. I woke up early, got a couple hours of gardening done, got picked up and went to the greenhouse with my boss (who pays me for this! I guess after the long hours last week it's deserved) which happens to be the same greenhouse my boss two back used. It's absolutely the best for annual flowers anywhere. I spent some money I wasn't planning to (of course) but dude, at wholesale prices whatcha gonna do?

Then we did some planting in the rain, I got soaked through to the skin. The boss and I chatted about stuff-- he's part of a gay couple, and I think he just wanted to chat about kink some, honestly, and-- I can do that, you know? Lots of talking during work, lots of fun, and then a ride to the skytrain so I didn't have to wander around soaking wet too much.

Now home with plants and a super hot date with Angus tonight. Muahaha!

Last night was helping the Writer with painting his new place, it was a lot of fun. Last time I painted was when Bob and Ryan and Vikkie and I all moved into that one place together, so I know enough not to feel like an idiot but I don't do it enough for it to be boring. His new place has really nice energy to it, and trees outside the window, and it was nice to chill with him for a bit. Been missing that boy-- he's been crazy busy and/or burnt out a lot. I know a lot of my emotional rollercoasters (have you noticed? I have) come from not seeing him for 'too long'-- if you read back you'll notice that for the couple days right after seeing him I'm absolutely flying, and then eventually, depending on circumstance, there's a crash.

Ahwell. Things'll settle down eventually.

Yesterday at work was another long hard day. It's funny, we keep working through stuff to finish, pushing our edges, and then there's something more to do. There should be no more there now, though. If today was a soaked-to-the-skin day, yesterday was a sweating-buckets day. I did most of my normal day plus an extra four hours of pulling our dwarf alberta spruces (ewwwwww needles and rashes and poking) and putting in the tropical entrance to one of the hotels I do plants for. It looks spectacular. It'll look unbelievable in a month.

Monday I made yummy soup but the evening kind of sucked. Snuggles during the movie kept my head above water, that and a very understanding Angus.

Now I've gotta go dress up. More painting and/or moving/steam carpet cleaning tomorrow-- it's funny, I'm paying forward to the Writer all the stuff I got from Juggler when I was starting to do my own thing.

Friday PAUL IS IN TOWN and I am going to GO DRINKING WITH HIM AND HALF THE EARTH and IT WILL ROCK BECAUSE PAUL IS AWESOME and HE SHOULD CALL ME. But he won't cause I only get emotionally attached to people who are distant and aloof, at least sometimes-- Angus frontloaded that by breaking up with me back when, got his hooks in, and now he's a solid platform, but with everyone else it's ongoing, and I'm learning how to swing with that, I think. (note wecallthishumour tag. It's funny because it's true).

I need to get some upside-down tomato planters and get showered and fancied up or something.

I will do a tomato/gardening post shortly. Short form: I am planting three kinds of okra; a zillion kinds of tomatoes (trial testing I think 6 heirlooms (green zebra, nepal, Eva purple ball, cherokee purple, black prince, japanese black trifele) against some hybrids (sweet million, sungold, bush beefsteak, first lady, ultra sweet, ultra girl) in a sort of unfair setting; while I'm still gonna try two of each kind, one in each set of conditions (front/side of the house) I'm going to have a range of planter sizes and types and a range of companion plants); three kinds of sorrel (wood, blood, and garden), two kinds of summer squash (vegetable marrow and I think yellow pattypan of some kind), some different basils (anise, some italian lettuce leaf basil, maybe something else), nasturtiums, flat-leaf parsley, lacinato kale, a bunch of herbs (list later), a lot of mints (list later), some unreal beautiful coleus and fibrous begonias, a couple of rhodos, some purple jasmine stevesii or something like that, a couple kinda of violets, and I have yet to get cucumber and maybe dill seeds.

This is exciting.

I should do eggplant too but I'm chicken.

Enough! Will talk more about gardening later. Love y'all.
greenstorm: (Default)
I don't know if I've ever done such a livejournal excavation before. Usually I leave the past in the past. There were some very interesting points though.

I kept going after posting those links, popping in over the course of the day to skim a little further and then a little further. I noticed -- just suddenly -- that Angus and I have slipped into my normal relationship pattern, where there's a lot of caregiving and encouraging wholesome things and whatnot going on. When we started this whole thing it was novel for me because it was quite the opposite of that. He'd encourage me to go out and eat sugar, I'd encourage him to eat bread, we'd fuck until we collapsed and skip dinner and work as little as possible to do more of the same. I was like, "I love you" and instead of rolling over he was like, "well tough, I need to figure things out and I'll sleep with whoever I want." I was like, "you want something from me you won't give me back? Not a chance."

And we're going to be living together, his illness has got worse, and our softness and caring for each other has intensified. So we don't just tell each other 'tough' and do what we want-- we negotiate, yadda yadda, input, compromise, ad nauseum. With both names on a lease, fiscal responsibility will come into it too. So this relationship is a whole different creature from what it was -- two years ago at about this time we weren't officially a relationship even -- and so while in my mind Angus is a mostly-unchanging part of my life, he really isn't in this way. And you know, he's my home and my centre -- I've sort of ceded a whole lot of emotional support to him, less than I generally do in relationships but still -- and I'm still walking around with the idea that his closest rival is singledom which at this point in my life feels like it would be awesome just because of the sheer amount of self-determination available. I just haven't wanted him to go elsewhere while I embark on an epic life of hippie-organic-gardening-for-barely-any-money-in-the-boonies or whatever.

So I think there's actually a lot shifting there, on top of everything else, and that helps explain why I've been feeling disconnected from everything lately.

It probably is a secondary explanation for why few-strings-attached liaisons feel so dangerous, too. Until home base is secure, it really is playing with mixed metaphors... I mean fire. I mean, okay, last time I decided I liked a person I had a case of wet panties for I also freaked out, but this was extra-special freak-out week. I'd like to know unequivocally why I feel so threatened by and apologetic for liking or loving anyone. For the first two and a half years I felt like I had to say 'I'm sorry' every time I told Angus that I loved him. I don't remember that with Kynnin. Must have developed in between.

And look, I'm thinking and writing with relative clarity again, that emotional storm seems to have settled down. Instead of poking at old ljs, I'm searching for rowing machines on craigslist cause I kinda want one for my new place.

Sleeping more than six hours a night the last two nights might have helped with that, come to think of it. Since I (still and always) wake up at 6 (which is now 7 thank god) and don't have to be at work (fifteen minutes away) till 9 I was just assuming I could sleep in, failing, and not getting enough pillow time.

Ya live, ya learn. Circadian rhythms are non-negotiable for me. Maybe in the new place where there's less natural light :P

In other news, I really need to go out and get my iphone already. I've been putting it off for so long cause it's a pain the butt to do. Blah blah ID blah blah money blah blah choose a plan talk forever fill in shit in a mall blah.

(wait, have I titled this post 'making sense'?)

Dinner with Eva tonight, which will be cool. Friday is bike auction preview, and I wanna see if I can get some time in at the swings in Stanley Park one of these days. It's 'supposed' to be sunny through to Sat, then rain Sunday, which means that my ability to go swinging Saturday morning in the sunshine is anyone's guess.

Enough of this. Time to put on clothes and haul myself out the door to work. Be well, enjoy this sunshine! I will be.


Mar. 17th, 2010 06:09 am
greenstorm: (Default)
All I did last night was cry and wander through snarled words with Angus and cry and cry.

Intentionally moving in with someone I love? Both names on the lease? Really getting serious about a relationship?

Actually caring about people I have sex with?

Why does that make me cry?

I did some dredging, and oh, it does make some sense. I have walked through dark places in the past.

You know how I keep saying Angus is not those people?

These are those people:

Then, again about Juggler:


Interesting to have that to mine, you know?

Now let's see if I can get back to sleep.

am very bothered when I think
of the bad things that I have done in my life.
Not least that time in the chemistry lab
when I held a pair of scissors by the blades
and played the handles
in the naked lilac flame of the Bunsen burner;
then called your name, and handed them over.
O the unrivalled stench of branded skin
as you slipped your thumb and middle finger in,
then couldn't shake off the two burning rings. Marked,
the doctor said, for eternity.
Don't believe me, please, if I say
that was just my butterfingered way, at thirteen,
of asking you to marry me.

Simon Armitage

Edited to add this is Angus: http://greenstorm.livejournal.com/544307.html

Time Use

Mar. 13th, 2010 10:26 am
greenstorm: (Default)
You know how I'm always saying I don't have time? Here are the things I'd want to include in any given four-week (28-day) stretch:

16 days of work
4 days and 4 - 8 evenings of Angus time
1 - 2 days or evenings of extracurricular relationship activities
3 - 6 days or evenings of friends
6 days or evenings of special events (rat show, spring mysteries, family dinner, movie night). This could overlap with friend stuff, eddimication stuff, Angus time, whatever
4 days minimum eddicatin' meself and doing things I find exciting
4 days cleaning rat cages and doing rattery stuff
4 days or 6 evenings doing Greenie stuff
2 - 3 days cooking (can overlap)
2 evenings chatting about rat breeding

Plus maybe 8 - 10 hours of housecleaning, maybe an hour a day rat snuggling with no agenda, an hour and a bit a day doing email/livejournalling/etc, dinner which thank god can be multitasked, packing lunches which I always ignore, gardening which would ideally take about 6 hours/day.

This comes to mind because I've been thinking of restarting family dinners once I'm back in the neighborhood. My thinking looked like this: I really enjoy this feeling of being able to spend a whole day with Angus, it's been forever. I have four days a week of work, that means I'd have time to spend one day a week with Angus, one day doing cooking and housecleaning for family dinner, and I'd have a day left over for friends or whatever. Oh wait, I am only working four days because the rats are a full day in my own mind, so a day with Angus, a day of cooking and cleaning, a day of rats, and work... that leaves no time for anything! In the ideal world I'd have a whole day a week to bum around with friends, I sure do love open-ended days like that. I always get antsy if I can't do plant stuff, though, and there are a ton of gardenworks workshops coming up I want to go to. Oh yeah! The rat show is coming up. That's going to eat a whole weekend and a lot of my enthusiasm for large crowds for the next little while. Likely will make me wanna skip a couple movie nights. So's spring mysteries. If I build a schedule around four days of work, one day of rat cage cleaning, I'm going to very regularly have no time to spend with Angus or friends... wait, does that sound familiar? Maybe if I pack family dinner and the rats on the same day (always a good idea so they're clean for people) I can at least get people in. But wait...

Jeeze, I guess listing my priorities is a first step. It'd be interesting to assign weights to these times-- because things get weighted by how often I've done them. Like if I just had a crazy cool garden workshop this week, I might forego some other kind of learning in favour of hanging out with a friend, or vice versa. So there's a natural weight where something is a higher priority if I'm deprived of it for awhile. There are a lot of things I start to get twitchy about after a week of being away from them, and after two weeks I kind of forget that they're options at all much I'm a much less happy and resilient person in general. Over February almost everything fell into that category, but over the summer friends tended to, and in the past eddimacation has. (I am really enjoying the ability to listen to lectures at work, currently going through a biology 101 and a book-on-tape of /Outliers/-- I am thinking if I get into BCIT (they finally acknowledged reciept of my application this week) I will tape lectures and re-listen during work time)

I wish I could think up a system where I didn't forget about important things.

Also where my calendar doesn't fill up so freaking fast. Seriously-- April is more-or-less toast, all the weekends are booked at least, I believe there are two weekends in June, one in July, and one in August already booked, and that's without figuring out anything in advance (like housewarming, ratterywarming, people's various parties though I have the masquerade accounted for...)

To think that I used to worry about having nothing to do if I wasn't in multiple relationships!


Mar. 8th, 2010 02:50 am
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Oh look! A 3am post (at least it'll likely be 3am by the time I stop writing, it's 2:30 now. I seem to write in hour chunks but I'm gonna cut it short if possible). What does this mean? Why it means that I'm awake, of course, and just like at 7 or 8 am when I'm posting it means that perhaps no one else in the entire world is awake to talk to.

You know that feeling.

And I seem to have this incredible need for talk lately. You see how much I've been posting; I get together with people and I talk and talk-- it just doesn't seem to be enough. I suppose I'm in the space where I want to lie awake with someone in the livingroom talking through the night until we turn to watching the sun rise. It's been a long time since I've done that. Likely spending a little more time being me and a little less time running around doing things will help, as will being moved-- when we finally are. I'm too busy being a grown-up right now for it anyhow.

You know, tonight I went to bed with Angus and it felt _so good_-- his back was a warm curve, he had this beautiful solidity-- and I realised that whatever is going on with me, part of it is discovering just what's going on with all this-- thinking about that time with Kynnin and signing a lease and just, this is some level of commitment that is saying 'I want to continue' and not just 'I don't want to stop yet'. And so of course I want to talk about _that_ but I can only inflict so many hours of conversation on Angus because it's not his bag.

I wish Paul were here.

I wish I wasn't so busy.

Okay, Greenie, life will be measurably better if you go to sleep now and worry about it in the morning. Get yourself some water. Angus will half-wake-up and put his arm around you. It'll be okay.

And She Waiting

Always I have been afraid
of this moment:
of the return to love
with perspective.

I see these breasts
with the others.
I touch this mouth
and the others.
I command this heart
as the others.
I know exactly
what to say.

Innocence has gone
out of me.
The song.
The song, suddenly,
has gone out
of me.

Jack Gilbert

- from Monolithos: poems, 1962 and 1982
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First, some music. Ignore the video:

Okay, so last post was about some sad bits I had. This post is a little happier. Jack Johnson is definitely one of my favourite happy romantic musicians-- I can't say I have many of those. Usually they turn melancholy.

I think I'm exploring crush territory again over here. It's a nervous place for me to be, mostly because I have handled it so very poorly in the past and I'm shy of doing to Angus what I've done to others, namely going to the ignore/distracted place with him. In reality we have a bunch of time and good connections, but with his illness there's also a special need to be mindful that I'm not only hanging around him when he's shiny to me.

And anyhow, I wonder about how appropriate it is to get in any way involved in someone who doesn't have a significant other (ha, I realise most people are on the other side of this one!). I know that I'm not willing to give any kind of commitment besides 'I'll keep treating you like a human being'-- nothing regular by way of visiting, sex, emotional support, anything like that. If someone has a great support network and a focus for that, it's great, and it relieves my mind greatly. If they don't, well...?

On the one hand people do casual or short-term hookups all the time, sometimes with a lot of that energy behind it, and that energy is super fun. They don't get hurt, there are no bones broken-- fire is surely a tool humans have been using for so long we can sometimes do so successfully. I have some very fond memories of various liaisons over the years, including some searingly intense ones.

On the other hand, it can so often go bad in so many ways.

Bah, I'm not going to decide this alone or on livejournal. I'm pretty sure only Angus can help bring me clarity on this. Thank god for him, you know? I live so much in my head, with social interaction sort of a tacked-on set of learned stuff. He lives in his heart, and he's a born sweetheart.

So that's where I'm at, as the expression goes. Time to finish waking up and head out.

(To-do list additions:
X rat website updated with baby pix
- belly dance classes signup?
- yoga drop-in?)
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After reading a post on Valentine's Day, I wandered over to Angus and said, "happy not-Valentine's day!" and gave him a hug.

"I'm glad it's not Valentine's day," he responded.

"Hey, we had a nice Valentine's day this year," I reminded him.

"Yeah, this year wasn't bad," he conceded.

I always win little things like that on technicalities and semantics.

He generally wins when we're addressing the substance of the matter.

The little exchange reminded me just how many people are walking wounded when it comes to relationships. I definitely have been, and in fact probably still have tons of hidden baggage somewhere, but the boy and I have been whittling down our respective piles slowly. We've made good progress. The framework for this relationship is one of mutual support, which means first of all that we maintain the separation of individuals enough to be able to tell more or less where our selves begin and end, and secondly that we place that self in the service of the other's well-being as one of our top priorities. I never write about it because, though it does take work, it's not dramatic. It's also everpresent, which adds difficulty to the writing. I also (oddly enough) don't care about analysing it all that much. I guess we all can break character from time to time.

I felt like I had a lot more to say in this vein, but I have just realised that it's seven in the morning and I badly want to take myself out for food, but that the place which sells cod roe udon right around the corner won't be open till 1pm. That is patently ridiculous. I could go out to a diner (the Templeton is a very good breakfast place and it's close) but I really want my noodles in salty creamy goo (huh, that was totally unintentional). The next best thing is atomic orange macaroni and cheese, and cheese really doesn't make my body happy. There are no egg tarts in my neighborhood (that will be addressed by the next move, oh yes it will) and the only bbq pork steam buns I want to eat anymore come from that place at Keefer and Gore with the steamer (though I guess T&T has a dim sum counter) and that place wouldn't be open anyhow.

What this town really needs is a couple more good congee joints (a la Happy King at Renfrew and 1st or the Penny) open for breakfast in my immediate vicinity.

What do ethnically white people have for breakfast besides wheat and eggs and maybe oats? There's gotta be something. It's probably not of something open near me in any case.

What do you have for breakfast?

Where do you eat in downtown Vancouver?

Do you ever take yourself joyfully out for dinner (where by dinner I mean any meal), or conversely make yourself dinner in and eat it in a cozy state of self-nourishing bliss?

Oooo, maybe I'll wait and hit tanpopo up for 11:30 or noon when Angus leaves for gaming. All you can eat sashimi for lunch sounds awful nice. Anyone wanna join me?
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...and quiet.

I didn't go out for New Years last night, despite having a pretty fantastic concert lined up. I needed some quiet and some time to myself, and I need to not be up late every evening. Selfishness, self-care, who knows what to call it?

I've been updating my webpage some today, lazing around, and noticing how fleeting my American accent is when I'm once more surrounded by home. I even got down to the gym this evening -- I never go to the gym in the evening, but I'm going to try to wrench my schedule a little so I can actually hang out with people this month (since no one is willing to wake up early to hang out with me, bah!) and I think evening exercise might be part of that. I still won't be up past 11 for anyone.

I was just going to write about the super awesome Lady Luck babies I've got on the go right now, and how they make the most distractingly cute squeaks when their mom cleans them. Her schedule is like clockwork. Then I glanced over and saw that Popcorn might be having contractions, far apart still but there are some distinctive ripples and she looks like she's concentrating in between micronapping and yawns. It may just be hope and/or imagination. Everyone else is going crazy with barchewing and scuffling.

Today hasn't been an easy day for me. Angus has been both sick and in the midst of finally clearing his stuff out so I can get the rats in here, and so our little space isn't very useable and we're both crabby (blood day should be coming up pretty soon for me). Additionally I'm such a creature of routine that, lovely as the trip was, settling back to a different pattern isn't easy for me. Oh well, you can't say it wasn't overdue. I usually rely on him to break the slightly prickly silences that spring up so quickly around me, but he's not up to the job, and now he's asleep, and I'm tired.

Maybe I'm just seeing the babies moving around and not actual contractions? There's definitely odd movement going on there.

The rat rescue has just got in three wild Norwegian rats, tamed since they were babies and so not particularly fit to be released into the wild. I am so tempted, but we have zero space right now and I haven't got the time or attention to give to critters like that. Cinderella and Fang are more than enough for me.

I learned the other day that, well, this was on craigslist: Read more... )

...wow. It's happening, and I don't need to do it. That isn't me, it's someone else. That's crazy. It's wonderful, and it's weird. Who are these people who do this stuff in my city, who I never can get in contact with or meet? It's proof that if you sit around twiddling your fingers long enough something sometimes will start to fix itself without your help.

Maybe I really can run away and do canopy science now.


yeah, that'd be _nice_. I'd miss the rats though.


Dec. 30th, 2009 05:21 pm
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There's no light here. All day I was waiting for someone to open the blinds. It was pitch-black when I woke up. I still can't see the scenery because it's just to dark for my brain to process it. I also now understand what people mean when they say it's damp here. I thought that was just cold, but no, it's damp. Who knew?

My rats love me. I have three pregnant ladies who should give birth in the next week, and the time off to take care of the babies. The air smells nice and my home is like an old leather coat-- soft and warming to the temperature of my skin instantly and wrapped all around me so familiarly that I can't even see it. My brother took great care of it and of the rats, who are now all fat :) The dishwasher will be fixed tomorrow. My indoor plants need repotting. I live so much in the future when I'm given the chance, don't I? That's why I keep so busy-- I like the anticipation of so many things.

I'm looking for a truck and driver in the next day or two, does anyone have any leads?

My vacation was very odd. In some ways it felt like a return to childhood, you know how you have your decision-making somewhat stripped from you, hang around the house, don't have to work, etc? And of course there was no transit where we were staying with Angus' folks, so my external world was once again taken from my control and I was left with my internal one. I stay less busy that way. It's like living suspended in amber or resin, there's time to inspect each detail of everything, much contemplation and little action.

I enjoyed myself quite a bit in a low-key way. It's relaxing to have things taken from my hands. I helped with christmas dinner, that made me happy, and did some reading in linguistics/semantics and in historical botany. We spent two nights on the strip, saw a cirque show (Love), wandered around, had super cheap frozen margaritas, ate from buffets, touristed, came in when the crowds got big late at night. I spent a couple of dollars at a slot machine and another couple in five-cent poker machines and felt entirely surreal, dressed up amid crowds of people wearing jeans, and marvelled at landscaping (raphus palms outside! Grass in the desert!). Also during the stay we ended up at a nursery, went to the whole foods, did some shopping and some more shopping, saw the atomic testing museum and... perhaps that's all?

It was novel to be in a nursery and really really honest-to-god have no way of buying anything.

I did love the buffets as a breakfast choice especially. I do so love variety in eating, and taking a spoonful from thirty different dishes makes me feel so good. I was impressed with the food quality generally-- nothing was cheap, but the portions were american-sized and things weren't ever bad. In the mirage, where we stayed, the breakfast buffet had things like congee and the brunch buffet had some nice and authentic chinese dishes, which favourably impressed me. Of course all the mexican (sometimes "latin") was worlds better than anything here. I didn't dare try any of the sushi. There was cotton candy at one, once.

Oh, and Angus will kill me if I don't mention the wine bar, the Hostile Grape, that we went to in the M. It was a do-it-yourself dispensary, and since a picture is worth a thousand words, here:

You put in a card, push a button over the bottle of your choice for 1oz, 3oz, or 5oz, and out it comes. There's a chilled case for whites, and some nice ports. Tons of clean glasses, some sofas, and that's it. Really comfy and unpretentious place to taste stuff. Vancouver needs one.

Oh yeah, and we bought tens units. Huh.

We went to Red Rock. That would be an unbelievable place to climb. We've actually ended up with a whole bunch of 'next time' stuff: I wanna do the rides on the strip, Angus wants to play some of the games there, we both want to climb, I want to see the inside of everything (difficult for me, I'm allergic enough to cigarette smoke that I need to stay away from anything that allows smoking indoors after about 8pm when people start densifying). People smoking indoors is disgusting, btw.

Enough for now. Be well.


Dec. 16th, 2009 05:45 pm
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Luckiest girl ever. Get to come home to best boy ever every day. I haven't told you the weekend story yet. Here it is.

Last week I got impatient with the fact that we had only one (broken) dresser in the house and were basically keeping all our joint laundry in a pile in/spilling out of the closet, on the floor. I said we needed dressers. Angus said okay. I said I could put some money towards house stuff instead of rent if he wanted to carry the rent this month (since he had been when it was officially only his place anyhow). He said that would be cool, he wasn't expecting too much rent help since it was down season for me, but if I wanted to spend the money that was it would be cool, I could set my budget according to my financial situation (we don't keep advised of each other's exact financial stuff, but try to keep a general idea).

I said I would track down some dressers and see if mom would go on an ikea trip with me that weekend, did he want to go through the catalogue with me and we could pick some stuff out? At this point we're running a little short on time for the conversation we're having.

He said he trusted my judgement, that it would be fun to go to ikea with me but he had to do stuff that weekend, so I could just make whatever decisions I wanted and come home with whatever.

So I did. And when I got home he'd spent the day cleaning the house and disassembling the broken dresser in prep for the new stuff. So we put the furniture together, together, that evening, and now the house is much easier to deal with.

_And_... he's happy that I went out and got stuff, and happy with what I got.

How's that for a situation that usually goes horribly wrong in several places in most relationships, but that worked swimmingly here? I <3 that boy.
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Dressers are set up, ratties are home (letting everyone settle before I try intros). I haven't figured out the dinner thing yet, but I think I can be lazy and let Angus figure it out for me when he comes home.

I've been hanging out with people this weekend, and I'm ambivalent but cautiously positive about the experience. I'm not a group person, especially not a loud person. I like particular people, generally small-group or one-on-one, and I like conversation. More and more my social sphere has drifted away from that sort of event and into other things I either don't like or prefer not to do in a group - group video-game playing, drinking, eating or dancing in loud spaces, passively watching [theatre, movies, et], playing board or card games. I will do some of these things in order to converse, but it's definitely a payment for the conversation I come for. I like the occasional curling-up-watching-games evening (there was a game today called, um, Brutal Legend that was quite something) but I live for those moments when you're sitting there with someone, talking, and suddenly realise either that the world is more novel and diverse than you had imagined it could be or conversely that there are people similar to you in ways that it has never occurred to you that people could be similar.

By (nature or nurture) I have a strong distrust of people. I am reasonably dependent on my friends, etc, but it just doesn't occur to me that any sort of association might be, not just okay, but pleasurable. In individual cases I might come to expect something enjoyable from contact with someone but that's the exception instead of the rule. If I don't see a particular person for awhile, the power of that exception fades in my mind. My most common feeling towards spending time with someone I don't see often is a sense of obligation/duty sometimes overlaid with irritation. Frequently this is why I turn down social events; I need to prove to myself that I have the freedom to do so and I don't anticipate enjoying them (I enjoy them less often when burnt out or busy, hm).

I don't know where I'm going with this. I guess I've been surprised by that feeling of actually liking another human being several times this weekend, and I'm, um, surprised? I'm also pretty happy about it. I hate feeling like the troll in the cave.

I wonder what percentage of this comes from the end of blood week?

Suddenly so tired and headachy. Boy is almost home with food. I am so well cared for.

My brain contains this currently:
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I don't have work today and here I am, up early in that time when everything is still dark and quiet. The rats are up, I'm up, and I have no distractions so I can do some of the emailing I've been meaning to do for, sometimes, months. I can do long-term planning that's been getting put off (I need make a who-goes-where plan for the rat cages, for instance, and ponder some financial stuff). I can look at exciting housing prospects on craigslist. I took a day to update my website on Monday with everyone's name, though I need to take some more pictures still, so I don't feel pressed to do that right now. I've been seeing my breeding partner regularly, so I have those tangles of genes for the next couple of months mostly straightened out in my head. When it gets lighter and Angus is awake I can repot some indoor plants and make up some bulb pots for outdoors.

I'm going to the Pan Pacific breakfast buffet thingy this morning -- some of my friends will be there and so will my boss, who would like me to show up. Angus is going. I figure the crowded chaos will be tempered by some socialisation. It's not something I would do on my own, but it's too damn close to miss meeting up with Marcella &c for a bit.

Besides, not having to think about breakfast means I can think about those pots, or who goes in what rat cage. It feels nice to finally get to a place in catchup where finishing one thing doesn't just mean that the next two things which depended on that thing need to be done.

Today is going to be a sad day. Between Angus and I we have a couple of rats that neeed to be put to sleep. I need to find the tubing for me CO2 setup we do for that-- I lost it in the move, or it got put somewhere, and I've been putting off looking for it because it's sad. It's past time, though. I've had a couple top-tier horrifying and gross experiences in my life (one of which involved Lady's birth) and the tumour in Vidi's eye socket is one of them. She's hung in there really well, but you can tell it's really starting to bother her, the eye is long gone, and it's time for her to just sleep now and not need to worry about it anymore. I'm ambivalent about taking a picture. :/

In other news I should be getting my rescue kiddoes today if all goes well. The girl, Cinderella, is a bitey girl who's had three litters and loved in a tiny cage with cigarette butts before rescue. The other girl is her daughter, to help reduce some of the transition stress for Cinders and to make sure that if she doesn't get along with my other rats for some reason that she has someone to be with. Since Fang is starting to warm to me (Angus says he still has problems, but Angus is terrified of that rat and doesn't touch him really) another biter is good to have around, and I've done very little for the rescue lately so it's nice to be doing this. It's on my mind because I need to get those two spayed both so there are never any accidents (in all my history of rat-keeping there was only one accident, and 6/7 babies died of a genetic disease. Planned breeding and known lines are important!) and so they can be less in the way of tumour factories when they get older. Right now between Vidi and Shady (never bred, thank goodness) with her big ole mammary tumours I'm getting enough of that side of things.

Hah, there's enough rat stuff in here that I should put some of it on my rattery blog. Updating that gets very last priority often.

I'm reminded that the rattery is at least a part-time other job - if I dedicate 20 hrs/week to it I'll still never get everything done, but I won't feel like an awful human being so much and I'll enjoy it more and stress less. When I think of it that way I get less confused about how everyone else seems to have more time than I do.

Speaking of other people, I'm living in a tiny yaletown 1bdrm+storage closet with Angus, have been for a month now, and we're doing great. I didn't think that was -possible-. I've had to relax some of my stuff around a messy house, he's had to work at tidying some, but we're both doing it and it's amicable and loving and warm and it feels like home. I want to be here nearly all the time instead of going "home" and taking off again. We need to find a slightly bigger space for our stuff, but our brains and hearts fit together with no problems so far like this. Well, no problems except for a couple of bad days in my cycle that recur with awful predictability. I need to write something into my brain which goes like *freaking out* --> is it a day or two before my period, or ovulation day? if yes --> wait 2 days, rethink :P

There, I've spewed out about as much as I have in me, time to go back to a warm bed and wait till the sun comes up. Be well, people.
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Read more... )

Mmm. Morning before a non-work day. Time for writing. It'll be a tight month but I'm getting my life back.

Have I mentioned I'm moving again? My roommates decided the rats weren't for them. I'll be moving in with Angus. I am very much looking forward to that. It's funny, I had about a two-second thought: man, housing would be easier if I wasn't essentially supporting a dependent (food + room) in the form of the rats. The thought left as soon as it came. I'm happy to be doing it, and I'd miss them a whole lot. Seems I'm still deeply committed to this negative-income hobby of mine. :) I do wonder if getting a business license would allow me to write off food & bedding & cage purchases, or if that only works against the income of the business in question. It's something to think about.

So we're looking for a two bedroom, big one-bedroom-plus-den, or anything bigger. There are a bunch of options- a yard or balcony is pretty mandatory though there's one two-bedroom by Juggler's place where I bet I could just trade him yardwork for a veggie patch. We're looking both in the Yaletown-box-with-gym-in-the-building category and in the east-van-on-bike-routes-with-yard category, so it'll be pretty interesting to see what shakes out. You'd think it would be an awful time to be moving but people do seem to be looking, not just for Olympics short-terms stays but for actual tenants. Who knew? If you know of a place, let us know. We're looking between 1000 - 1500/month, but there may be some flex there for the right place.

I am so looking forward to buying someday.

There seems to be a lot of mental illness going around these days. This sounds weird to say, and I'm not sure how to approach the thing in my head. In the last month my brother and a friend of mine have been having issues, my co-worker is always kind of iffy, and there are a couple more people in the wings that are going that way. I mean, you know what to do if someone is physically sick, but even having been through bad depression myself doesn't help me know what to do when someone's in that, or in something else. I'm so very glad Angus is through his recent bit. His body is still hitting him hard physically, but he's a tough cookie. Also I love him like crazy, have I mentioned that lately?

My mom is sick with, likely, h1n1 right now. I need to make her some soup today-- she's really terrible with self-care. Come to think of it, I should offer her my bedroom to stay in. I'm not using it at the moment. Don't want to infect roommates though. Hm.

Chucken-garlic-ginger-orange peel congee, I think.

Discovered a really lovely all-you-can-eat sushi restaurant three blocks away from Angus' place. Tamaya, I think it's called, on Seymour by Robson. It's perfect staggering distance from here, their selection is fantastic, their prep and cooking is good, and they both offer wild salmon for an additional charge and have enough other options that it's not missed. Also, raw oysters are part of the all-you-can-eat menu, and their miso is properly bonito'd. I think I have replaced Tanpopo as long as they can remain consistent for a couple of visits.
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I'm trying to write in here, or else have a good conversation with someone talking-oriented, every day for awhile. I'm losing my grounding and I think that will help-- I need to get back into thinking mode rather than just-doing mode for a little while. Which one works best for me seems to switch up as time goes by.

Today I was listening to the Leonard Cohen cover album while weeding in the rain. Everything is so amazingly bright and colourful out there right now. It was an intensely beautiful day whenever solitude allowed it to be. And sometimes you'd look down and see something like this:
Read more... )

All the maples look like they're glowing. It's been a dry long fall, so very good for colour.

Also, Lava's babies are home and safe so far-- moving the babies is risky because she can go crazy on them if she's stressed, but their eyes opened today so it's as safe as we can get timewise. They are lovely lovely babies and super-cute little snack treats rolled into one. They are going to be brats. I understand that colourpoint babies are supposed to have personality. These are burmese, and they will have personality. I just need to get in a ton of handling-- practice for bitey mom and her babies who will come to me in three weeks.

Here is Angus eating the baby rats (did I mention that my emotional seat is in my throat?)
Read more... )

There are a couple more litters in the works. So many didn't work this summer, I need babies!

Regarding Angus, things have settled into what I can only describe as domestic bliss lately. I love that boy so much, and twitches both from my own internal insecurities and from his occasional missteps have settled down after so much consistently loving, considerate time. We're navigating through a mildly open relationship (I can't recall the number of times people have assumed that open means one particular set of rules or guidelines while poly or swinging means something quite different, and yet the meanings get switched from word to word for each person) and it's going well. I'm woefully busy lately, but he's working days again and that means we spend what evening time we have together.

It's getting to that settled stage where I can rely on him not just in an intellectual factual kind of way but rely emotionally on him being there. Now granted I'm in the middle of cry-at-the-drop-of-a-hat ovulation, but that means a lot to me from anyone, and especially a lover, and especially a life partner. Fuck people who say they'll stay with you only as long as it's convenient anyhow; surely I'm worth a little bit of blind bullheaded stubbornness but without that creepy I-need-to-take-over-your-life-cause-I-don't-know-what-I-want-ness?

I'm too tired to keep writing about this, but I must soon. Maybe this is just Leonard Cohen and the rain talking, but I have this kind of nostalgic glow in my head right now, and Angus manages to be back there in the nostalgia (do you remember the time we broke up or the time I had an emo eye and made that post about him smelling like geraniums or I sat and listened to him breathing or...) and also here in the present. Dammit, I both need and want stable, loving, sane people in my life. Maybe I better be sure I'm leaving room for them, mm, Greenie?

Oh, and I have a job interview tomorrow, speaking of room in my life. Maybe let's shave off some commuting time, shall we? Wish me luck.

So tiredly incoherent, but writing feels so good. Stopping.

Be well and goodnight.
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No money, lots of sleep, getting ready to go up to my boss' ranch for the week to work. The next couple of weeks are going to be interesting. Angus and I don't overlap any time in town, so there's gonna be a week, not just of not seeing each other but where there's also no cellphone reception for one or the other of us. Not lookin' forward to that. I think it'll be a first in terms of no-contact. I will miss that boy, though I'll use the time to do lots of useful things, no doubt.

The boss' ranch is up near Clinton, and I said, "Clinton!? I know people who go to a festival there every year!" and he said, "Yeah, the rodeo, right?". No, our worlds do not overlap, even a little. It's going to be strange living with these people for a week. They know I'm in an open relationship, they know all the facts about me basically, but I still control my behaviour around them quite a bit. That'll be a lot of control. Those hoops are going to be very necessary for some time off. I'm worries about slipping. My sense of humour's gonna have to be very far underground.

OTOH everything we eat there is coming from the propertry: veggie garden, venison, fish. That will make me happy.

I'm feeling decidedly less crazy now that I'm done bleeding.. This doesn't make me particularly happy. I don't like that hormonal ride; I like feeling more in control than that. I've been doing less biking, which may be part of the whole thing.

Boy has been having a very rough weekend. I don't talk about his being sick a lot, but he's sick a lot. I wish there was -something- I could do, you know?

Sunrise is just about over. I think I'll go down and hoop for awhile.

This song is so, so, so stuck in my head:

Now what to pack that's ok to wear up there. Also, to swim today. I need to get in the ocean to say goodbye.
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Hello again, 3am. Lately you and I have had just a passing acquiaintanceship; I open my eyes for a little while, we hang out sleepily without anyone moving, and I fall back asleep. It's been some time since you enticed me to write. It probably helps that this has been an emotionally tumultuous blood time in general.

This is the best time of night for drama, and for feeling tortured and angsty. I suppose that's why I'm dropping in on you right now. I'm definitely feeling a little shredded internally at the moment and it seems I've lost my coping mechanisms around that. It's not a feeling I've been used to as of late.

Angus and I have been moving in the direction of a more open relationship for awhile now (I was going to say 'progressing' but I am deliberately avoiding that value-laden word because perhaps it's the opposite of progress) and we've never been really technically closed. The whole thing is new to him in the context of a long-term relationship. He's still getting used to it. As a couple and as a partnership we are still finding out what we're comfortable with and how (and I do believe this may be an unending process as needs shift over time and things get adjusted). We've been doing really well with it on the whole.

My take on any sort of poly or openness is that it's got a much higher likelihood of inciting drama than monogamy. I've never -been- monogamous for an extended period of time for comparison, but I know that negotiating all the boundaries where social expectation, personal sexual energy, love, jealousy, scheduling and NRE meet takes work and no one is perfect at doing it all the time. Generally one has to choose between surprises on the one hand and constraining one's wants at least sometimes on the other. Currently I try to grab the best working model and then assume that use and feedback will allow for adjustments. With adjustments, the model will get more perfectly suited towards our needs. Our needs will change, and the process will be ongoing.

This process assumes honesty on the part of both people in the relationship. It requires several kinds of courage: it requires the courage to look at your needs, and at your limits or boundaries. It requires the courage to bring them to the table assuming that a workable compromise will be reached. It requires the courage to separate needs from wants, to sometimes say I will forsake this in favour of this and then to really live that compromise. I'm a very communication-centered person, I'm super analytical, and I require people to fully inhabit their verbal promises.

Maybe you can see where this is going?

There have been a couple of roadblocks this week and we haven't had any real seriopus roadblocks before. There have been uncomfortable things, but nothing beyond little wobbles. These might be little wobbles on their own, but they came with perfect one-two timing, and they are about honesty which makes the whole thing very hard for me. Being honest and being upright and trustworthy and straight in my actions does not come naturally to me. Growing up with dad you never expressed how you were feeling or what you needed. You were not allowed to have boundaries. Peace was dependent on saying the right thing. I have been very straight with Angus through this whole relationship; it makes me feel like a better person, I think it is the only functional way to have a happy open relationship (which is so often a contradiction in terms, isn't it?), and Angus is an idealist and so demands it of me.

So of these things that happened, one was a little thing, one was an old thing that just came to light just a couple of days after. They are both the same sort of thing - they dance around the edge of lying. I'm really not pleased. I know poly is playing with fire: sexual attraction, crushes, and NRE are described by fire metaphors in an extraordinary amount of art. The goal, as with any fire, is to feed it moderately and in accordance with environmental conditions and to then to stay in control of it; if you lose control of it to try to regain control.

The goal is to not let it control you. The goal is not to get the biggest or the most fires possible. And with fires the way to control them is to watch the size, and to take into account your limiting factors: you can deprive it of oxygen, of fuel, etc. In my experience attraction works similarly to this. If you're way into someone to the point where it's having a bad effect on your judgement, you can step back: see less of the person, keep busy with other things, moderate the pace. If you actually go so far as to do these things, you can back off while enjoying the glow.

For this you really need a huge amount of honesty with yourself, and you need a huge amount of willpower. It's not always easy. But before you need willpower you need honesty, where you admit to yourself that the thing is getting out of control so that you can then act to control it.

I find that's the hardest step. People don't want to give up shiny new things and/or they don't trust their relationship to give them room to do what they need so they just avoid admitting to themselves when things are getting out of hand. If they don't know they've gone too far they don't need to begin that hard and uncomfortable process of controlling that fire. When you get this dynamic happening it sucks, because then the partner ends up putting the restrictions and the icky self-control part is sort of offloaded onto them; often, resentment comes with this transfer of responsibility. This is a great situation: you don't need to have self-control, AND you can resent your partner for trying to keep things in hand. Angus and I are not in this place, by the way.

In my ideal situation, as I said, each person monitors the size and intensity of their feelings (or fires) and when they start behaving weirdly they take steps to back off. Here's where my problem comes in: these two roadbumps between Angus and I lately, the one-two punch, they have both had to do with his honesty about the intensity of something and the amount which it's been on his thoughts. This leaves me a little shaky. What do I do? I have no desire whatsoever to act as his governor or to replace his willpower with my rules. I want to just trust him to do the right thing, to not be a jerk to me or anyone else, and to continue to invest energy in upkeeping our relationship and his boundaries.

So of course we talk about it. Of course he says he's sorry and won't do it again. You know, this is the way relationships work.

But now life goes on.

I could talk here about social pressure, how it's hard to believe you'll get what you want, past relationships having an effect on your thought habits, learning to admit these things to yourself is a process, etc. It is only marginally relevent. I have really trusted Angus a lot, most of his actions have been entirely trustworthy, a couple have been less so over our relationship, and I am willing to let the majority have a lot of weight in this case.

I feel watchful, though, and I don't like it. I don't like the (tiny, niggling) worry that something could happen and I wouldn't know until things are completely out of hand.

Having taken an hour to write all this out, I feel better, and I'll go back to sleep. Things will resume their usual routines. Missing the boy for a week (I go out of town for work Tuesday; he gets back from Shambhala the following Monday) will suck. My rats will be cute. Work will be sweaty. And in all likelihood this subject will only come up in this current tiny form once in awhile, every year or two when there's a misstep (as there must be in such a complicated process) and not as the start of an avalanche (or do I mean a firestorm? ;P).

Sort of on a funny note, do you know how when someone starts up a casual relationship the OSO (or whatever, I have no terminology for this) always says: I don't want to do anything to hurt your primary relationship? It's a statement as inevitable as rain in spring, generally always very heartfelt, and I think that's a beautiful thing. It just seems kind of beside the point. If my partner makes a misstep, it's ultimately his decision, though I suppose he might make it with encouragement or without it. The best reassurance I ever received along that vein was when Angus came home with instructions to pass on a big thank-you to me for his use. The (I hate this word) primacy or foremost importance of my bond with him felt so validated. I am now just rambling, and need a little more sleep before another day in the oven and a pool party to follow.

Be well, and peace to you.


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