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That's all, folks!

Ok, here it goes *big flourish*

the new journal is callipsofacto . Stop on by, have a look, take your shoes off (try not to get the new carpets dirty). Many of you will be getting emails soon about the gmail/aim accounts also. I'm going to keep this one around, in case I decide this was a terrible idea or I get nostalgic and go through old entries (unlikely, I've read them and I always end up thinking 'what a neurotic twit!' But I digress). Hope to see you there.

out with the old?

Yesterday, on a whim, I started gmail, lj, and okcupid accounts under a new user id. I don't have any particular reason to switch; I think I just like the idea of a fresh start.

Does anyone have compelling reasons why I shouldn't start using the new accounts? I'm undecided.

oh my poor brainmeats

So I was forwarded a poem this morning. A lovely poem. I used to like it (from the New Yorker):

Hackers Can Sidejack Cookies

(A collage-homage to Guy S. Steele and Eric S. Raymond)

A beige toaster is a maggotbox.
A bit bucket is a data sink.
Farkled is a synonym for hosed.
Flamage is a weenie problem.

A beserker wizard gets no score for treasure.
In MUDS one acknowledges
a bonk with an oif.
(There's a cosmic bonk/oif balance.)

Ooblick is play sludge
A buttonhook is a hunchback.
Logic bombs can get inside
back doors. There were published bang paths
ten hops long.  Designs succumbing
to creeping featuritis.
are banana problems.
(I know how to spell bananas
but I don't know when to stop.)
before you reconffigure

mount a scratch monkey.
A dogcow makes
a moof. An aliasing bug
can smash the stack.

Who writes these tunes,
these runes you need
black art to parse?
Don't think it's only

genius (flaming) humor (dry),
a briefcase of cerebral dust.
A hat's a shark fin, and the tilde's dash
is swung;the daughter of the programmer
but got her period.  It's about wetware at last,

and wetware lives in meatspace.

Heather McHugh


This was forwarded to a friend, who offered me the challenge of trying to translate this poem for the benefit of another friend. Now, not being a hacker or coder of any kind, I'm terribly unsuited to the task, but that didn't stop me from exercising my google-fu and making an effort. It took most of the day.

If the analysis seems unusually dumbed down, it's because the person I wrote this for is 69 years old, and until a few months ago his only exposure to the internet was WebTV.

Also, caveat: I know I don't know what I'm talking about. Feel free to add, subtract, and debate, but please don't get mad at me if I misunderstood something and come across as a complete idiot. Even though I spent about 5 hours on this, I almost didn't post it because I'm afraid I got it all wrong.

that said, here's the dissectionCollapse )

grr. argh.

Hours from move in it takes for house to go from 'awesome toy' to 'pain in the ass': about 24.

We've got a block in the plumbing that has rendered both the bathtub and the toilet unusable. Peter's going to ask his dad to bring the snake over later today. Yay homeownership!

I am thankful P. took a few days off after move in to get stuff like this sorted out.

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So this morning I woke up with the following song playing in my head (tune of "Nowhere Man" by the Beatles):

He's a real lawnmower man / Sitting in his lawnmower land / Making all his lawnmower plans / for... lawnmowers?

not sure what's that about.

The way Memorial Day weekend is panning out, it looks like that Saturday will be mostly family and neighbors, and Monday will be for friends. We'll just do an open house kinda thing, where we'll hang out all afternoon and people can pop in when they feel like it.

Movers show up Tuesday at 9am and I'm kinda freaking out about it. It's technically possible to get done what needs done by then, it just seems so... unlikely. Plus things look worse than they really are because the roommates aren't leaving, so large swaths of the house will still be unpacked when the time comes.

Oh, any advice about getting rid of large, broken furniture? We have a loveseat that's so messed up we can't give it away (tried Craigslist and Goodwill), and we don't have a truck. So I can either pay the movers to take it to a place where it can get picked up, have a friend with a truck take it to the dump and pay the dump to take it, or borrow a chainsaw and cut it into pieces small enough to fit into our garbage can. All of those options are annoying and/or expensive. Any other ideas?

ow.

We painted the house today. We got there before 8am, and I just got home. The living room is a greyish lavender, the bedroom is green, the office is bright red (with white wainscoting), and the bathroom is a deep gold. We didn't start on the kitchen yet, which will be the same green as the bedroom, and I only primed the front door, which will be dark brick red, along with the shutters. Pics when I get around to it.

In related news, my joints hurt like a motherfucker. I'm the most out of shape I've ever been (which is saying quite a bit for me), and getting up and down the stepladder to paint just broke me.

But it's worth it. I've never been able to paint my walls a color. When I was young we always lived in apartments, and my Dad's houses were always kept neutral for easy resale. So it's thrilling, in a slightly retarded way, just to sit in my house and take in the color on the walls.

I have a tentative date for our housewarming; I'm basically calling it all of memorial day weekend. Some people can make it Saturday and some on Monday; we'll take what we can get. If you can read this, you're invited. If you've got plans memorial day weekend, come see us some other time. We're not going anywhere for a while.

We have a wishlist, for those who are so inclined. I'm going to go collapse now.

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First of May

Today is my 1 year anniversary withhotarugirl . Happy anniversary sweetie!! She also has a new nephew, so congrats on that too.

And what a good day for it. May I introduce you to the wonder and joy that is Jonathan Coulton? (NSFW unless you have headphones, or a really freaky boss.)

In the spirit of the holiday, I thought I would share a few thoughts about threesomes and open relationships. The topic came up yesterday as I was asked for advice for a friend of a friend who is thinking about opening up her marriage to the possibility of a threesome. It turns out I had a lot to say on the subject, so I decided to put it in writing. While most of this is geared toward my friend's friend, I figured someone else might find parts of it useful.

First allow me to establish my credentials: I've been in 5 threesome arrangements, both MFF and FMM (haven't tried FFF yet but I'll get around to it eventually). One of them long term, most with friends. I've played unicorn to couples, been a partner in the 'primary couple', and picked up two people who weren't dating me or each other (by far the most difficult). Additionally, I've been party to a number of three-way makeouts and group fondlings that have a similar dynamic. And I've been extremely lucky. While I wasn't always safe in my youth, none of these arrangements, to my knowledge, has led to an STI, a pregnancy, or even a breakup. I'm no bzero , but I feel I have a firm grasp on the ins and outs of the process, so to speak.

Wear condoms. If I could offer you only one tip for the future, "condoms" would be it. The long-term benefits of condoms have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.

If you're single, be secure in your singleness. If you're a couple, be damned secure as a couple. Everyone has insecurities, and multiple partner sex is a fast and easy way to shine a big honking spotlight on whatever those insecurities are, so be prepared to address them.

Always be honest. It sounds like a no-brainer, but 99.99% (that's a highly scientific figure I just got from the Institute for Making Shit Up) of problems that arise from threesomes are just about people not being truthful with themselves or their partners.

Take time figuring out what you actually want from the scenario. You probably think you know, you're probably at least partially wrong, and even if you spend some time introspecting on the subject, you're likely to surprise yourself with hidden motivations at some point.

Don't get hung up on enacting a specific fantasy. Having a script for the encounter, or a huge list of qualities the hypothetical third has to have is a way to ensure it will never be more than a fantasy. Real life is messy, and you have to make room for it to not match your expectations.

Accept that if you're looking for a third, you and your partner may be looking for very different people. Just because you are attracted to each other doesn't mean you have similar taste.

There's a good chance the sex isn't going to be all that great the first time. Just like virgin sex, you have to experiment a bit and get to know your partners well enough to relax around them before things really get fun.

On the other hand, there's a chance that one or more of you will end up having wayy more fun than expected, or at least more fun than the other partner(s). Know in advance how you feel about this possibility, and what you want to do about it.

Don't be drunk or stoned. Not only does it remove everyone's ability to consent, it impairs awareness and coordination, which are crucial for navigating new and possibly confusing sexual terrain. Besides, with any luck, you'll want to treasure clear memories of the occasion. If you absolutely must drink, get unequivocal consent before taking a sip.

Don't use a threesome as a vehicle to get your partner to try something else that's new to them. If you're both kinky and you want to get kinky with a third, full steam ahead. But if you use the third as a bait to get a particular kink on the table, well, see above re: honesty and expectations.

Be nice to your third. They already feel like a third wheel, because... they kind of are. If things go badly, it's easy to use the new person as a scapegoat. At least have the decency to wait until they've left to blame everything on them.

Of course, most of this assumes you will find someone. But there are a lot of couples out there looking for the same thing you're looking for, and only so many unicorns to go around. Be patient.

Be very clear on the level of emotional involvement you're looking for. A lot of couples start out saying 'none at all,' which makes no sense for most people. Lust is an emotion. If you really don't expect to feel anything for the third, you're better off buying a blow-up doll. Regardless of whether you want something more or less than friendship and attraction, meet and talk with the third in person at least once beforehand in a safe environment with no expectations of things turning sexual that same day.

Make a list of activities, locations, pet names, whatever, that are off-limits or for the 'primary' couple only. If you think about it for a while and you can't think of one, you're probably not being honest with yourself. If you've got more than a dozen, you may need to rethink whether you really want to do this.

Don't go along to get along. If something's not right, speak your mind sooner rather than later. While it might annoy your partners in the short run, it will prevent disaster in the long run.

Have a frank conversation with your partner(s) about your sex drives. If one person wants sex a lot more often than the other, then agree in concrete terms how often you're interested in three-ways taking place. Different definitions of 'occasionally' can be a very serious communication problem.

One way to ease into things, assuming the third is ok with it, is for the third to be an observer/assistant, rather than a primary participant in the actual sex, the first time or so. Conversely, if you're worried about the third feeling insecure or left out, agreeing for the couple to focus their attention primarily on the third can help.

The internet is your friend. Bars, as a general rule, are not. See: sobriety, above.

If you've been having unprotected sex with your monogamous partner, go a few rounds covered with just each other before the threesome. Try out a few different brands/products, get used to how it feels different, and prepare against any temptation you may feel to forgo protection with the third. Make sure to switch condoms every time you switch orifices.

Think about how much time/energy/money you are willing to sink into making this happen. Would you travel, or pay for the third to travel to you? Are you going to set up profiles on dating websites and maintain them? Do you want to seek out your local poly/swinger community?

Agree with each other who is allowed to know about your arrangement, and stick to that agreement. Outing your partner against their will for any reason is a cardinal sin.

Read up on the literature. There is a ton of great information out there. Besides, it will keep you busy while you're waiting for a unicorn to fall in your lap. I like The Ethical Slut, and I've heard good things about the books Amazon recommends on that page. There are plenty of decent blogs and advice columns. Dan Savage is a smart guy, even though he's occasionally unfair to bisexuals.

Ignore the haters. Regardless of how many people you choose to tell, you will encounter people who believe this is the Bad Idea To End All Bad Ideas, and that even considering it means you have no respect for yourself or your partner, and no matter what you do it will end in tears and bloodshed, yada yada yada. These people are generally talking out their ass, as evidenced by their unwholsome interest in what goes on in your bedroom.

But trust me on the condoms.

Feel free to continue piling on advice in the comments.

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But seriously, you should know about this: we don't have the whole story about piracy in Somalia.

love you

I <3 Ukulele

Howdy!

I'm feeling chipper today. I'm cautiously optimistic that things are moving forward on the house. For about a week, my mortgage broker was stalking me; she emailed or called me just about every day with a new piece of information required or a form that needed signed. Toward the end we were starting to worry we'd be asked to produce recommendation letters from our elementary school teachers, or our sequenced genomes for evaluation.

We signed the bulk of the mortgage paperwork on Monday, and bulk doesn't even begin to describe it. If you've signed a conventional mortgage, you know that it's a hefty waste of a tree. Now add another 50% or so to that because ours is an FHA loan. Now double that, because according to new laws, since Peter and I aren't married, the bank can't let us see one another's financial information, so we each had to sign independent mortgage agreements. We took turn massaging each other's cramped hands later.

Yesterday, hotarugirl  and I celebrated her birthday. We had lunch, briefly went antiquing, then checked into a nice hotel downtown and cuddled in luxury. We had dinner at a restaurant called Ri Ra's (there should be accent marks on the vowels, but I don't know how to make them). It was a nice Irish or faux-Irish pub, and the food was pretty good. Hotarugirl got birthday spankings, and we took advantage of their wacky shower stall setup that had four shower heads: One big 'rainshower' thing at the top, one regular large one, and two waist level-ish jet like ones. Happy birthday, sweetie!

Finally, I haven't commented on a news item in a long time, but I felt the need to point this one out. The Pope has been a real asshole lately. First, he upheld the excommunication of the parents and doctors of a 9 year old girl who had to abort her twin babies to save her life. What really gets my ire up is the reporting from both sources calling what was done to her 'alleged rape' (emphasis mine). When a 9 year old turns up pregnant, there's nothing alleged about it. I would permit a rephrase that indicates that the rapist is allegedly her stepfather, implying it could be someone else, but that little girl did not impregnate herself. *Takes a deep breath* Second, il Papa has drawn criticism for saying that the AIDS epidemic in Africa "cannot be overcome through the distribution of condoms, which can even increase the problem." I'll save my blood pressure and assume you all instantly see how much harm that idiotic statement does.

In light of these recent decisions, I'm upping the Pope's evil status from 'menacingly stupid' to 'actively and single-mindedly visiting suffering on the helpless people most in need of a church's compassion and help.' He should be getting a commendation from Bad Horse any day now.

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