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The catholic girls now, stark in their dark and white
Dread in monochrome, the sisters of mercy
High tide, wide eyed, sped on adrenochrome...


Friday, Shelly and I got gothed out and headed to Orlando to meet up with friends at a Sisters of Mercy show. Shelly now has a Catholic schoolgirl uniform, which she wore for the first time that night...and no, you don't get to see any pictures, neener neener.

Good show, all in all. I've never seen Sisters before and never been to the House of Blues before. House of Blues is a weird venue, in that "corporate rock meets gospel with a touch of urban decay" sort of way; they try really hard to give the place atmosphere, honestly they do, but a corporate chain's idea of "atmosphere" always comes off in much the same way (witness Sony's corporate idea of "cool," the Metreon in San Francisco, and you'll see what I mean.) House of Blues is decorated in a kind of "folk art with a vaguely nonthreatening gospel theme and AK-47s" style, and features television monitors that run ads for HOB merchandise on a loop--even during the show. But I digress.

Opening for Sisters was a goth band called Warlock. Picture a group of avid, hardcore D&D gamers who get together one day and say "Hey, we should start a band! And...and...we'll call it 'Warlock,' 'cause that's like, the most goth name ever! And we can practice in my mom's garage!" 'Nuff said.

We are few, and far between
I was thinking about her skin
Love is a many splintered thing, don't be afraid now
Just walk on in


We met up with serolynne there. She's decided she's moving to California for sure, which means that the relationship between us is about to become long-distance.

And that right sucks.

She seems to be quite good at maintaining long-distance relationships. Evidence would suggest, however, that I am not. One could argue that we have a long-distance relationship now; she lives on one side of the state, and Shelly and I live on the other, a good several hours away...but we still see each other nearly every weekend. Opposite sides of the country makes that more...difficult. I don't know yet how this will work.

I hear the roar of a big machine
Two worlds and in between
Love lost, fire at will
Dum-dum bullets and shoot to kill,
I hear dive bombers, and empire down


My archnemesis datanode and I have remarkably similar desires for the world, all things considered. At the concert, we began negotiating a temporary truce, at least until such time as the Apocalypse comes. The idea of stalking him from within a steel exoskeleton across the shattered ruins of a post-apocalyptic world just seems so much more...satisfying than stalking him across a Wal-Mart parking lot, you know? And perhaps, if we learn to work together, we can pool our talents and help bring about that arclight-illuminated future nightmare of twisted steel and broken concrete that much sooner.

Besides, with the money I save on the swarm of self-replicating nanorobotic hunter-killer machines, maybe I can get a new G5 Quad computer this year.

Somebody tell me about the rhythm of the 4th floor.
This is the image, this is the place
Somebody tell me about the rhythm of the dance floor
This is the way the world will end


We spent the remainder of the weekend with serolynne who has a Dance Dance Revolution pad for her Playstation. I've never understood the cultural phenomenon of DDR, much as I've never really understood the cultural phenomenon of "Friends" on TV, but Shelly seemed to think it was great fun. Somehow, things went from that to ballroom dancing, and Shelly (who's taking a class in it) was showing some things to serolynne (who's planning to), and this involved me "being a guy" by, evidently, standing there and raising my arm periodically so that one or the other of them could twirl underneath it.

Which is an interesting metaphor for life, when you think about it.

Some people get by with a little understanding
Some people get by with a whole lot more
I don't know why you gotta be so undemanding
One thing I know, I want more
and I need all the love I can get...


Sunday saw a PolyCentral meeting, which S was actually able to make. We realized that this represented the first time since I've been romantically involved with Shelly, serolynne, and S that all of us have been in the same room together, so we took a picture outside the restaurant to mark the occasion:



I think it'd be great to get a picture of the whole extended family all in one place--serolynne's other sweeties, S's other sweetie, Shelly's other sweetie, and so on--but that would require rather a lot of travel, as at least two of those other sweeties live in California.

Long-distance relationships seem to be an ongoing theme here.

S is wearing a T-shirt reading "My boyfriend said I should be more affectionate...so now I have 2 boyfriends." She has an online shop where you can buy it and other designs here.

You bought a mask, I put it on
You never thought to ask me if I wear it when you're gone
Get real, get another
I don't exist when you don't see me
I don't exist when you're not here


Shelly has become disenchanted with the poly community lately, and I think I'm reaching that point myself. Part of the reason is that when it comes to communication the folks in the poly community can talk the talk but they often don't walk the walk--poly folks stress communication more than any other group I have ever seen, but when it comes to actual communication, they're lousy at it. Just trying to define words like "polyamory," much less, say, defining relationships and expectaions, is met by fierce resistance bordering on hysteria in some corners of the poly community.

And part of the problem is that there is a certain approach to polyamory that seeks to box and contain things before they even exist: "Well, I already have a Primary relationship, and my Primary and I are reluctant to face our own insecurities and jealousies, so we'll deal with them by making damn sure we let everyone else foolish enough to get involved with us that they are Secondary, not Primary, and that our Primacy will always reign supreme. Because, y'know, that's the only way we can do this without being jealous, right?"

And lest you think that there's a contradiction between wanting to define a thing and not wanting to box it in: defining a thing merely describes the reality of the form it has taken; it does not assign a shape to it.

Relationships are with people, and it is hard to see people for who they are if you're too scared to talk about what you see and too jealous to let relationships take their natural form.

Sunday evening, S introduced us to some friends of hers (visiting, natch, from California). Her friends do not self-identify as "polyamorous," and are supremely uninterested in having anything to do with the organized poly community at large. They are, however, cut in many ways from the same cloth as Shelly and I in matters related to romantic relationships; their refusal to identify as "poly" comes not from the fact that they're monogamous but rather from a very similar frustration that Shelly and I are beginning to feel with polyamory as it is often practiced within the poly community.

Meeting them was absolutely delightful, and talking to them was natural and effortless. It's nice, sometimes, to see a shared commonality in approach in someone.

I had a face on the mirror
I had a hand on the gun
I had a place in the sun
And a ticket to Syria...


We all--Shelly, serolynne, S and her friends, and I--wandered around a shopping mall for a bit, then ended up at a combination ice cream shop/miniature golf place for a while. I realized that I haven't taken a picture of myself since Shelly got at me with a set of electric trimmers, so I slipped into the restroom to rectify that:



I think I like the short hair. It's...err, growing on me.

And finally, because this is LiveJournal and LiveJournal is ultimately all about pictures of cats, I give you:






And now, to work.

Tags:



Comments

( 27 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
tacit
Mar. 8th, 2006 07:10 pm (UTC)
Re: Polyamory
Well, see, polyamory is often about talking about moving away from an ownership paradigm, while still being unwilling to face anything uncomfortable or to talk with clarity and honesty about the relationship itself.

And see, now this is Franklin being bitter about poly folk. *sigh*

I'm trying not to get too cynical about it, actually. I think I'm going to start dumping this cynicism into the new "Cranky Polyamorist" section I'm fixin' to put up on my Web site, and hope that it stays there. I'm not this cynical in person, honest. :)
(Deleted comment)
ra_the_bold
Mar. 11th, 2006 03:49 pm (UTC)
Re: Polyamory
but kids, I think that's most people in general. I know many couples, but I don't know many that really work on the level of true 100% healthiness.

They get by. They compromise, they make arrangements they cope. They don't look past the problems and put bandaids on them and keep going. Now and then they have huge fights. Many times they breakup.

Most people bury their actual issues in favor of keeping the peace.

If I thought other poly-amorists were gonna be walking the walk, I'd be silly.

I've inter-net met individuals that seem to "get it." Heck, I look at Franklin as someone who's ideas really keep me in line and honest - and I have no idea how well it's going in his reality! It seems to be doing okay.

Often he and I will get hassle on the polyfamilies list for saying "well, ya gotta be honest with yourself and pay attention to your real motivations."

Because many people don't want to face up to the fact that they're just as much part of the problem in their lives as the horrible outside forces that are creating all their grief.
(Anonymous)
Apr. 20th, 2006 08:51 am (UTC)
Re: Polyamory
I really think it is about just giving yourself to other people really; I mean why else would you want to to that , but to express yourself with others, right?
(Deleted comment)
(Anonymous)
Apr. 20th, 2006 08:59 am (UTC)
I really think it is a matter of just giving yourself to others, but that does take trust. Still all in all I think that we all can do it if we let go of our fears. I think then we can experience beauty beyond what we could imagine.
daoistraver
Mar. 8th, 2006 05:34 pm (UTC)
"And lest you think that there's a contradiction between wanting to define a thing and not wanting to box it in: defining a thing merely describes the reality of the form it has taken; it does not assign a shape to it."

This is a beautiful summary quote. I've dealt with the distinction between "labelling" and "definition" in a few posts before. It seems to be a crucial one that most people don't get.
(either on one side, where they take "not all X are N" too far, or the other where they get hyper-aristotelian...)
_ellen_ripley_
Mar. 8th, 2006 05:54 pm (UTC)
Interesting re: the polyamory community bit.
I got involved in online communities as a stepmom (which was harder for me than polyamory, actually - if I could make a go as a stepmum I KNEW I could handle being poly! LOL) and there's a lot of similar disillusions to be found there: backbiting, double standards, etc.
But for me, it's worth it for the handful of like-minded people that are always there; for the few posts of advice that hit you where it hurts and help you change yourself; for being able to pass on the pointers that have gotten you through many rough spots, the things someone told you that helped and now it's your turn to pass it on.
Also this comment: "Well, I already have a Primary relationship, and my Primary and I are reluctant to face our own insecurities and jealousies, so we'll deal with them by making damn sure we let everyone else foolish enough to get involved with us that they are Secondary, not Primary, and that our Primacy will always reign supreme. Because, y'know, that's the only way we can do this without being jealous, right?" made me think carefully. I'm married to my partner but in the early stages of involvement with another man. And I don't know where it will end but I think it's somehow deeply wrong to say, 'I can't love you like I love Ender, because HE is my PRIMARY partner'--like we can have only one primary partner; we might as well return to monogamy and have only one partner, period, if relationships will be limited so arbitrarily.
indywind
Mar. 8th, 2006 06:16 pm (UTC)
A buddy of mine described the frustration one has when conversing with people whose veiws overlap your own very closely: "you try to have a conversation and then you realise you're just taking turns coming up with different words in which to agree with each other." When I read this post I felt an attack of that coming on.

So instead of making like a yes-man, I will digress with the socially approppriate and heartfelt "awwwww, adorable kitty!"

And I am on my way to browse S's online store. As if I needed any more T-shirts. Please, someone steal my clothes....
tedeisenstein
Mar. 8th, 2006 09:40 pm (UTC)
If you're with a friend with whose views you are in almost complete unanimity, why talk? Why not just sit there and enjoy each other's company? Silence can be quite companionable.

Not that I've done it myself, mind you: there's always so much gossip to catch up on that even with complete-agreement-on-everything friends, we wind up talking for hours.

. . . are you _really_ wanting someone to steal _all_ your clothes? I'm sure I could arrange it. . .

peristaltor
Mar. 8th, 2006 06:32 pm (UTC)
". . . their refusal to identify as "poly" comes not from the fact that they're monogamous but rather from a very similar frustration that Shelly and I are beginning to feel with polyamory as it is often practiced within the poly community."

For the same reason, I don't self-identify as a non-smoker. As bad as smoker behavior can be, I've found non-smokers to be infintesimily more frustrating and obnoxious.

Nice post. Oh, as count me as clueless, but could you ID the poetry? It really set the mood.
tendentious1
Mar. 8th, 2006 06:51 pm (UTC)
Sisters of Mercy lyrics ;)
ladyoflourdes
Mar. 8th, 2006 06:34 pm (UTC)
Shelly has become disenchanted with the poly community lately, and I think I'm reaching that point myself. Part of the reason is that when it comes to communication the folks in the poly community can talk the talk but they often don't walk the walk--poly folks stress communication more than any other group I have ever seen, but when it comes to actual communication, they're lousy at it.

Read, understood, agreed, and why I do my own thing now.
scathedobsidian
Mar. 8th, 2006 06:41 pm (UTC)
You're a cool guy.
kiwitayro
Mar. 8th, 2006 06:52 pm (UTC)
hey, my bf josh has that shirt! hehe. (not in that picture, however.)

re: disenchantment... i'm only aware of one poly-related community we both participate in, and i'm not sure if i'd define my lack of enchantment the way you did, but I certainly understand you. what i have seen is just a general lack of tolerance, jumping to conclusions (again, a communication issue), and general snarky nastiness... as if people are only there to find fodder for their snark community. i've seen it directed at others, rather than at myself, and it just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. brain? whatever. :)

i do get tired of the repetition of questions that make it seem like they don't know how to use google, but that doesn't mean i need to be an asshole. mostly i really really dislike the "holier than thou, better at poly than thou, have all the answers, do everything perfectly, never fuck up & never have problems" that i see online. i don't really participate in the "poly community" outside of online, which is probably a good thing. i like to have a place where i can go for advice from poly-friendly folk, but if they're not friendly? what's the point? my flist is filling up with polyfolk i know in RL or i've known online for a long time or are at least articulate and intelligent. (nudge, nudge!)

i've contemplated leaving the online groups, but then i feel like a bastard for abandoning honest and decent newbies to the wolves...

dilletante
Mar. 8th, 2006 07:21 pm (UTC)
do you find the community gives useful advice?

(i haven't participated in any sort of "poly community" and have been reluctant to self-identify as "poly"; usually like you i ask experienced and clueful friends when i need advice. although, hearing them talk about things in general seems to help me a lot-- i get answers to questions i didn't know to ask, you know?)
kiwitayro
Mar. 8th, 2006 07:44 pm (UTC)
useful advice... sometimes. usually just tacit and a handful of others... i guess the communities have been useful because i've found some cool folks. but i've seen lots of snarking and people nit-picking and being assholse more than trying to figure out the actual problem and ignoring the bad grammar, etc. and just helping the person with their real problems. i personally don't post questions, etc, but the one time i did there was way more snarking than helpful advice.

the other online poly community is better.
quaryn_dk
Mar. 8th, 2006 08:30 pm (UTC)
Slow Poke Poly here on LJ is frequently pretty good, albeit low-traffic.
tedeisenstein
Mar. 8th, 2006 09:44 pm (UTC)
Eh. Sometimes yes, sometimes no. But I persist, because there are times that the advice given is so wrong that I have to clarify my thoughts as to why it's wrong, and articulate them well enough that others can understand my thinking, and that's always useful. Figuring out why something is wrong can be as important as just knowing it's wrong.

(There are a few books I will re-read for just this reason: I need to find out _why_ I dislike their ideas, and that takes time, work, and sometimes fanatical re-reading. . . )
indywind
Mar. 9th, 2006 02:29 am (UTC)
"holier than thou, better at poly than thou, have all the answers, do everything perfectly, never fuck up & never have problems"

::nodding in painful agreement::

That attitude makes me want to put my own words out there as a counterexample. I'm not where I want to be, I'm still struggling, but I have hope and determination, some strategies that work pretty well and some successes. Maybe my perspective will help someone else find their way, as a stranger's account on the internet (I googled ) gave me tools to begin changing my attitude... and reassurance, contrary to what acquaintances implied, that I could do so, was not so doomed I should just give up already.

Anyway... reckon that's enough of hijacking tacit's journal with my personal commentary.

ra_the_bold
Mar. 11th, 2006 03:53 pm (UTC)
I suppose I come across as holier than thou a lot of the time.

I'm not.

I just read that way.

I do think that many of lifes problems are a heck of a lot easier to deal with than people make them out to be.
tendentious1
Mar. 8th, 2006 06:59 pm (UTC)
I <3 Sisters of Mercy... I am envious as I have never had the chance to see them live. Love to dance to them tho!

Re the poly comments.... hrmmmmm...interesting... any time I have a comment or question, I find myself using a phrase along the lines of 'while I don't ID a poly per se' or 'tho I wouldn't exactly call our relationship poly...'.

I just realized that I've been doing that to head off 'that's not poly' comments. Fact is, my partner has other romantic involvements. It's sometimes a struggle to get my head around it, but frankly I'm having an easier go of that than the regular relationship 'cliffs' (like how to say we need to talk in boy speak ~grin)

I'll give him this tho... whenever we are together he makes me feel I am his primary partner. I expect the others feel the same, and that's as it should be.
merovingian
Mar. 8th, 2006 07:12 pm (UTC)
I am in thorough agreement with you, on all points except one thing: I really, really like the Metreon.

Also, great pictures!

tacit
Mar. 9th, 2006 06:36 am (UTC)
The Metreon would be cool, if it lost the relentless 30-second techno on a tape loop, and added some sex toy shops. And maybe a tattoo parlor. And a place to buy tasers and tiny pistols concealed in cell phones, perhaps. And it would be cooler still if it were surrounded by miles of broken concrete and rusty razor wire, and patrolled by ruthless killing machines with hardened steel exoskeletons, and...

Ahem. Sorry, I was having a moment there.

The toy robot dogs you can buy there are cute.
feorlen
Mar. 9th, 2006 05:25 pm (UTC)
Well, I guess you are too late to do anything about it. Sony just sold it to Westfield. Several cool things were gone already, although unfortunately not the 30 second techno music loop.

So now it's going to be just another mall I suppose. Kinda like the one that Westfield owns down the block at the San Francicco Shopping Center. Oh, and the one Westfield is developing between in the old Emporium building. So basically the entire block is going to become a giant mall. At least Metreon has a place to sit.

Oh, and you are wearing one of the many t-shirts I gave you in that picture. I forgot about that. Although now I'm a bit more circumspect about just randomly buying crap for friends and sending it to them. Now, years later, I get to see Dillo's all the time in the dirty laundry pile...
dilletante
Mar. 8th, 2006 07:17 pm (UTC)
too jealous to let relationships take their natural form.

hm. if that's your usual way of describing the dilemma, i'm not sure why you don't get more general agreement amongst poly folk. personally, i usually find that people respond positively when i imply that their problems are all the result of flaws in their own character, especially the flaw of not adopting my personal point of view, which is the "natural" and right one.

;)

but i don't know much about the "poly" communities. in my experience different people vary widely in their approach to relationships, and different poly people even more so. do you find that's not the case? from your description above it sounds as if there's the backbone of a describable relationship structure in the relationships of most folks in the poly community, but that you don't yourself think that structure is what "polyamory" is, or should be.

sorry to hear of the demise of the nanorobotic hunter-killer machines plan. the world needs more of those.
datan0de
Mar. 9th, 2006 01:19 pm (UTC)
sorry to hear of the demise of the nanorobotic hunter-killer machines plan.
I think you misinterpret his words. tacit's plan to reduce me to my component molecules through combat nanotech is still in full effect, as is my plan to crush him to pulp under mighty robotic tank treads and nuke the remains. Since we would each rather annihilate the other in the shattered, techno-hell nightmare world of the post-apocalypse than in, say, Wal-Mart (there is a subtle difference between the two scenarios), it makes sense to declare a cease-fire and temporarily join forces.

There are three advantages to this:
1) It takes a lot of the pressure off. I can build robots of doom much more effectively if I don't have to constantly worry about distractions like tacit crashing his car through the front wall of my lair or that package from DigiKey actually being a bomb, or that ominous-looking trebuchet being erected down the street. I can focus on the task at hand.

2) By stretching the timetable we can think more long-term and produce more effective and spectacular weapons and schemes against each other, rather than focusing on scoring a kill right now. This works out better for everyone. A virus custom-tailored to kill just one person takes time and a significant R&D budget to produce, and simply going over to one's archnemesis' lair and shooting him, while quick, is both rude and very unsatisfying.

3) Working together we can produce far grander implements of doom than either of us could dream up working solo. In addition to making for a more impressive battle, it will also almost certainly hasten the world's plunge into eternal night. That can only be a good thing, right?

As to the rest of your comment, tacit and I have bumped heads on this issue before, and I think we've pretty much agreed to disagree.
nimnod
Jan. 4th, 2010 11:00 am (UTC)
I feel that a bit about the poly label too; as a result we made up our own term for our chosen family of 4 adults and 3 kids. (Yes, I'm reading all your back entries slowly ;) ).
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