Protective Sam


A Cat, a Half-Naked Woman, and a Computer

Protective Sam

I’m really frustrated by something, and I could use some advice on it, if you’re of a mind.

People accuse me of flirting a lot.  Like, constantly.  There’s two particular friends who bring it up almost every time they see me.  “Ooooh, you were fliiirting”, like we’re all still in grade school.  First, I don’t think I’m flirting.  Second, I’m demisexual and they know this.  Third, they know that I don’t really grasp the intricacies of that form of human interaction, and I am very uncomfortable with that lack of knowledge.  I understand that they’re teasing me, but I’m honestly confused.

This is what I think I’m doing: being friendly and charming, sometimes teasing, sometimes not, depending on the person(s) involved.  I make jokes, I laugh at their jokes, I divulge shallow but personable information, I encourage the same.  You know, all the stuff you do when you’re enjoying the company of another person.  I also cut people off at the knees or refuse to engage if someone gives me the willies.

This is just…getting to know people stuff, isn’t it?  Granted, it often comes out in a particularly Southern manner, which seems to confuse a lot of people where I live, but surely this behavior is normal!  If I’m actually flirting intentionally, I do entirely different things, and it’s usually awkward and strange and generally unsuccessful.  (Which is fine.  Still demisexual.)

Were these people just raised by wolves, or am I doing something wrong?

Protective Sam

Happy Things

  • Waking up while it's dark and watching a beautiful, honey-toned sunrise.  The redwood outside my balcony is glowing.

  • Chocolate chocolate chip muffins for breakfast.

  • Discovering that a) I'm allowed to have more than one library card at a time, and b) the other library network has literally everything related to SPN, because she is also a fan.  And when I called, she reserved everything in one big block for me.  She just has a list and goes through and reserves everything on it.  Is this what they mean by having connections?

  • Good porn first thing in the morning.  (Though, really, people.  Just because a dude wears Saxx underwear doesn't actually mean that he's hung.  It's not like they come with a big dick warranty.)

  • Hackers is now on Netflix.  Ah, my childhood.

Be Nice or Fuck Off

I've tentatively decided this is my icon for my volunteer posts.  We'll see how long that lasts.

Today, I was working with Random Acts of Flowers, where we take donated flowers and arrangements, break them up into new arrangements, and do surprise deliveries to people in hospice, hospitals, weddings, etc.  It's a pretty nice idea.

They had me show up at the hideous hour of 9am, handed me the keys to a Suburban with many warnings that no one likes driving it and that Costco was going to be shitty to me, and sent me on my way to collect donations.  The truck was easy, if a little squashy on the turns.  I figure anything's going to be easy after driving a 24' U-Haul (with trailer) down the 101 from Humboldt to Mountain View.  That was a bitch.

But anyway, Trader Joe's kept me waiting, Whole Foods shoved a piled up shopping cart at me, Redwood City Florists actually loaded the truck for me, and Costco was SUPER FUCKING NICE.  I mean, I called them in advance to make sure they'd have stuff for me, and I did that thing where you act as though they've already cooperated and then, voila, I pulled up and they were charming and sweet and friendly.

I got back to the shop a full hour earlier than their usual donation pickup driver, with no complaints, and a very full SUV, to the utter shock of the coordinators.  They've declared that they want me to do all their pickups for ever and ever amen.  That's when I told them that I used to deliver auto parts for a living, so I was well prepared for both efficient driving and dealing with surly shop owners.  I didn't mind the Suburban at all, until it tried to eat my CD.

Plus, the place feels super queer-friendly.  The director is this beautiful, beautiful genderqueer or butch woman who had the most wonderful wingtips on, and whom I had an instant crush on.  Completely taken, alas, but not immune or averse to light mutual flirting.  Everyone's easy to talk to, they make great coffee, and they're also willing to just let me do my thing without a lot of conversation if it's too early.  I like them all already.

Protective Sam

I did a brave thing today.  I told Ben I want to start seeing other people.

Technically--by the barest margins--we are not in a romantic relationship.  It's awkward and complicated, but we are not "dating".  We don't say I love you, because his other partner has requested that we do not, we don't have dates or romantic getaways or anything like that.  In practical terms, I'm his primary; in romantic terms, she is.

This is all complicated by the fact that I am--before this--mostly monogamous.  I have spent a LOT of time in the past 4 years unraveling what polyamory means to me, how to create more ethical relationships of any kind, and what my needs and desires are for right now.  A LOT.  I was in a really unhealthy poly relationship just before this, and it took me a long time to get past "they did this to me" and move toward "well, that sucked, now let's move on".  I am delighted to say that I am a more mature, responsible, hopefully more ethical lover now.

Incidentally, two books that really helped were The Threesome Handbook and More Than Two.  The former is by Vicky Vantoch, and is about, you guessed it, how to negotiate the delicacies of group sex (which is a FUCK TON harder than it seems, and I'm not always sure it's worth it, especially as it so often becomes a couple with a third person there and someone gets ignored or treated like an accessory).  The latter is about ethical polyamory, especially the idea that no one ever gets to own anyone else, and how relationship hierarchies are inherently dehumanizing and hurtful.  Reading that literally changed my life, to the point that I ended the triad I was a part of, because it was harmful and unethical for all of us.  (To be fair, I can pinpoint more than one thing I was reading at the time that led to this seismic shift in my dealings with other people, and Franklin Veaux and Eve Ensler were just parts).

Ben and I mostly need to discuss how it's going to change things for us in a practical sense.  He doesn't get veto power, and neither of us want that for the other anyway, no matter what kind of relationship we have.  But I do want a real romantic relationship.  I can't have that with Ben.  So I pulled up my big girl panties and told him so.  He was fine with it, just without enough brain power and concentration right now to figure out the practical stuff.

So yeah.  There might be dating in my future!  There might be sex!  There will probably not be sex for a while after the dating.  We'll see.  I don't know if me dating and having sex with someone else will end Ben and me having sex, the loss of which would make me very sad, but I can live with it.

What I really want, at THIS moment, is some excitement, a few dates, good conversation with a nice person I find attractive, who thinks I am also attractive (too many relationships where that was very uncertain).  Flirting. I want some kink, damn it.  (I don't mix my sex and my kink).  Respect, similar views on life, and an equal investment in the relationship we have.  Ideally, the person would not be currently in a poly relationship, or if they are, I get along with their partners.  I WILL NOT be a party to cheating.  And, I'm kind of embarrassed to say, I'd really like a relationship with a guy.

Protective Sam

Happy Things

  • Libraries.  I love libraries, and this is a particularly good one.  I have more books than I'll actually read checked out right now, but whatever. Libraries.

  • I made dinner so tasty last night that Ben has declared I will be making it again and again and again.  Lots.  And it was ridiculously easy.

  • Mostly naked Matt Bomer.  I mean, the guy is so pretty it's unreal.  I feel the same way I did the first time I watched SPN.  I was almost embarrassed to look at Jensen Ackles because wow.  (I always get that way around really beautiful people.  Like the positive version of uncanny valley.)

  • Someone I love got responses about a job, and if all goes well, we could be moving to SF.  I'm trying not to get too excited because they haven't even gotten to the interview stage, but I have wanted to live in San Francisco since I was a little girl.  SoMa or the Mission were my two favored places.  I dreamt I was going to be a lawyer and ride a motorcycle and my leathers would be pale pink, and I would live in San Francisco.

  • Tomorrow I have my first volunteer shift with the flower people.  Here's hoping I can drive a fucking Suburban.

Protective Sam

Library Haul

I really should start keeping an attendant "Books Read This Year" tag, but it's a little late to keep track at this point.  Besides, it'll mostly be fanfic.  (Which might not necessarily be bad, but then I'd have to start rating them and reccing them and I think I'd be not so good at that, or I'd be so excited about the story that I'd babble longer than the word count of the story.  Hmm.  I might do that anyway.  I read a lot of fanfic.)


  • Matter + Form, VNV Nation

  • Judgment, VNV Nation

Protective Sam

I’m watching a Katrina/New Orleans documentary, When the Levees Broke, and it’s breaking my fucking heart.

I knew New Orleans had a history with hurricanes, but I didn’t realize it was so thoroughly interwoven into the culture of the city.  There was Betsy in 1965, Katrina in 2005, there was an even more powerful storm than Katrina back in the 1927, deemed the greatest natural disaster of the US until Katrina slammed its way in.  They started building the levees in 1965, and they stillhaven’t finished them.  (By “they”, I do not mean New Orleans and Gulf coast residents.  I fully believe they’ve been victimized here.  This is political.)

People just go up to the Superdome as a matter of habit, because they know it’s the strongest structure around, the only one capable of withstanding a Category 5 storm.  The people who were around for Betsy–or any of the smaller ones between–just stay home, because they kept everything before, they’ll sustain this, too.  They pray, sure, but they stand.  I cannot imagine living with that fatality and fear.

And they’re rebuilding.  It’s slow, yeah, and they’ve lost most of the outside support, and a lot of the proposed solutions to future storms (because there will inevitably be more) will do things like cut the state in half, or just ignore other parts of the state because they’re too “at risk”.  But they’re rebuilding.   God bless these people.  New Orleans will never die. She’s coming up on her 300-year anniversary. She’ll change, but she’ll never die.

(Unrelated to anything else, I'm noticing a trend.  The white people interviewed for this thing all have that strange, TV, California non-accent.  The black people all sound like I'm taught New Orleanians should sound.  I wonder what that's all about.)

Protective Sam

Library trip!  I, sadly, had to return Jupiter Ascending, and I was so pouty I didn't check out more than two more DVDs.  I did, however, break my library rule: you can't take home more than will fit in your bag.  In my defense, I was using a smaller tote than usual, so Ben let me toss the very small overflow into his carrier.  That was the fun part!  I got to introduce Ben to our library!  And then he reminded me that I can get free museum passes for having a library card.  AWESOME.

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Protective Sam

Okay, I don't know if I just got out of a dungeon or not, but the way Caine talks to Jupiter (in Jupiter Ascending) is so beautiful and thoughtful and submissive.  It's very nice.  I just loved that "May I kill him?"  And the way he says "Your Majesty"--it's as loaded with meaning as "As you wish".  And the restraint he behaves with towards her.  Well, toward everyone, really, but especially her.  He is utterly devoted, and it's not just because she's the queen; it's to Jupiter Jones, and it shows right from the beginning.  I really, really enjoy Caine and how he works.  Beautiful training is a great thing.

(Also, I'm gonna go on record saying that I don't really get Channing Tatum physically, but he can talk to me all fucking day.  That is a great voice.  He could read the phone book and it'd be sexy.)

I still roll my eyes at Balem's lines, even though I LOVE the way he moves.  "I create life!"  Dude, are you Dr. Frankenstein?  What is that.  You sound like you're reading lines from a different, terrible, MST3K-style movie.  The more I watch this, though, the more I really, really like Titus.  I like courtiers, I guess.  He's so...snide.

Protective Sam

Happy Things & Kinky Times

Kinky Stuff Under HereCollapse )

  • Wonderful old purple-haired hippie ladies.

  • Friends who kick you in the ass and then back you up when you need it.

  • Yellow Thai curry and rice.

  • Watching Jupiter Ascending again after a long day.  (At this rate, I think I'm going to wear out the library's copy).

  • Long, full, fluttery false eyelashes that make me feel like a fairy princess.

  • Comfy clothes and a martini.

Protective Sam

Trauma Llamas and Abuse MooseCollapse )

Protective Sam

I forgot to do a Happy Things post!  I think for a couple of days, even.  But I'm not sure.

I'm going to preface today's list with some really bad news, though.  Ben got fired on Wednesday.  Dream job.  Bad brain chemistry.  No one's fault, but the guy wants and needs to blame someone, so he's blaming himself.  It's not good.  Guys, if you, or someone you love, has mental illness, PLEASE be good to yourselves and each other.  Learn what you can about it.  Be supportive.  Check your privilege and your ableism, because that shit is pervasive and sneaks up on everyone, including people who have illness or disability and the most enlightened, progressive people.  Be a good person.  Be their friend, especially when they can't be.  We're taking measures to keep ourselves housed and fed for now, and he's looking for something, but it's going to be rough for a little while, and that rough is honestly going to be mostly mental and emotional.  This week sucks, and it can go fuck a cactus.

  • Not being able to sleep, so me and my roommate getting up at the same time to watch TV in the middle of the night together.

  • My very favorite coffee.

  • My hair's grown out again to the length where I can literally do no wrong to it.

  • I'm seriously so excited about volunteer stuff.

  • Watching Teen Wolf, because it is ridiculous and fluffy and strangely satisfying.

  • Still loving Jupiter Jones.  Still not really shipping anyone.  Still enjoying that.

  • Thank God for libraries.  I just finished Divergent.  The movie not only was a terrible adaptation, it was a frankly unimpressive movie, but the book is great.  A little heavy-handed on the Christian Martyrs Are The Best, but eh.

  • Having enough stray fabric laying around the house that I can honestly consider making myself a quilt.

  • Having a full tank of gas, full cupboards and fridge, full art supplies, new glasses and contacts, before Ben lost his job.

Protective Sam

I want to write about Ben.  It's 1am, he's asleep, I'm feeling...something.

Ben is the proverbial missed opportunity.  Or denied opportunity.  We feel Things for each other, but we don't say it.  We're partners, but we're not romantic partners, and we want to be.  Instead we've settled into this comfortable, patched over life together, where we share everything, we have a lease, we have cats and a car, we cry on each other, we sometimes have sex, we go to war for each other.  But we don't date.  We're not "in a relationship".  Half the applications I fill out, I'm single, half of them I'm partnered.  Sometimes the only difference is if I'm mad at him.

I met Ben a long time ago, when I was working at Starbucks, when I was involved with my trainer.  He came in, always ordered a 7-pump chai, 1-pump vanilla iced latte, light on the ice.  Like clockwork.  He was working just over the hill from me, and we were the "good" Starbucks, so they made the trip.  I'd seen him a few times before, and he was a terrible flirt--I mean he did it constantly and he was bad at it--but the instance where we "met" involved a peach-blackberry scone.  We had samples out.  I offered him one, but he only heard the blackberry part, and he hates peach, and my God the look on his face.

Years later, I'm dating Jen.  Now, I cannot talk about Ben without first invoking Jen.  And therefore Derek, but he's terribly peripheral to all this.  For heaven's sake, he didn't even make the list of the People Who Almost Broke Me.  He just happens to be married to Jen.  I happen to be dating both Jen and Derek, and they're about to get married and I'm their wedding coordinator, and I'm pretty much polyfidelitous (I love that term) to the two of them, but I'm really monogamish and don't really want to be dating Jen, but I kind of feel it's the price of admission to dating Derek.  So I'm freaking out.  Plus it's Jen, so DRAMA was a constant resident.  She has an affinity for it.

She called her "best friend"--also her high school sweetheart--up from the Bay Area (we're in Humboldt county, which, incidentally, contributes to the drama) to stand as her man of honor at the wedding, and we meet up at the ice cream parlor, and I see this large, stocky, hairy fellow come down the street, and I glanced over at Jen to see if this was the guy we were waiting for.  Her entire face changed--nerves, delight, hunger, dread, a softness she'd never directed at me.  And I swear to God, as those two stood there just staring at each other, I just saw them like they were in a pair of mirrors, just them, repeating endlessly and stretching into infinity.  That sounds stupid.  I just sort of knew, there was no chance for me and Jen to have a real relationship after that.  She never bothered to collect her heart or her passion from this guy when they were 16 freaking years old.

Derek saw it, too.  More drama.  That was not a good weekend.

But Ben was around for a solid week, and while Derek was at work that night after the ice cream parlor, Jen and Ben and I went out for a late dinner, and somehow, Jen and I started telling stories about our most memorable customers.  Ben was fascinated, because he has never worked retail in his entire life.  He bluffed his way into a government job and never looked at anything but computers ever again.  I started to tell this story of this guy with the chai (and a good barista somehow never forgets a customer's drink order, just like a bartender) and the scone, and Ben just blurts out, "That was you?!", and BAM.  Off to the races.  Jen sort of sat there lump-like and seethed.  It's always the Jen Show, all the time, and she hates it when someone she's "claimed" shows too much interest in someone else, and even more when it's reciprocated.

Jen never really wanted me, but by God, she never wanted me to want someone else.

The night of the wedding, after Jen and Derek went off to their hotel room, Ben and I ended up spending the night together.  Not sex...but everything shy of it.  It took some creative folding of my sari to hide the marks, since I still lived with my mother.  It sounds incredibly sudden, but we fell in love.  Just that fast.  And I thought long and hard about it after, and I do believe that it was genuine love, not just the infatuation I accused him of.  Ben really likes the New Shiny, but he's also really stubborn once he's made his choice.  He just does not budge.

Us spending the night together was "unsanctioned", which was surprising news to us, because we'd been given explicit clearance from our partners to do literally whatever we wanted, but I guess they didn't actually mean that.  Again, no one was allowed to have any fun except with Jen.  More drama.  (This is a theme.  It was not a good relationship.)

A few months after Ben went home, his roommates, also a triad, decided to move into a house on their own, just them, and he needed a new place to live.  Now, among his many qualities, Ben could not adult to save his life (he is much better at it now), and so he needed a roommate/keeper, and since I'm from the Bay Area, he asked if I'd consider it.  We were dating at this point, and it was God, so complicated.  I'd never lived with anyone but family before, I was raised a Good Christian Girl and I'd be living with a guy without benefit of matrimony, I'd be living with a guy I desperately wanted to bang and I didn't know if that temptation would be ignorable.  So I told him he had to ask Jen if she wanted to move in, first.  I was willing, but it seemed insulting to not offer that to his primary.  (We've individually since done away with the whole hierarchy thing as much as we can, because it's frankly dehumanizing and impossible to maintain--thank God).

I'm sure you've guessed this by now, but MORE DRAMA.  Big fights.  I was "stealing" him, he was betraying her, no one loved her anymore, I was just using him to get away from Humboldt, why didn't he ask her first, she was always going to be everyone's second choice, blah, blah, blah.  Derek, being Derek, sat mostly stoic, except for an occasional "meh".  Not helpful.

Things came to a head when Jen and I were on a date and she just flat refused to interact with me.  When I wormed it out of her, she finally made it clear that she wanted Ben all to herself, and I was encroaching on her "territory".  (I really do not think it's ethical to claim people, and it infuriates me when people do it.  Jen taught me that.)  I made a devil's deal, and I told her I'd break up with Ben, but she could never, ever ask me for something like that again, or I'd tell him.

I regret that everyday.  Even though things came out in my favor, I feel so shitty that I treated him like that.  That I treated me like that.  That I gave in to a bully and broke this guy's heart.  He can't drive, but he almost got into a Greyhound to come up and try to talk me out of it.  He didn't talk to me again for a month.  The fucking thing of it was, he and I both knew we still had entanglements and wanted to be together, so he kept calling me on it.  He kept demanding real answers.  I kept evading.  Eventually, we agreed that some things need to be left alone.  Eventually, I did tell him.  We were living together at that point.  I told him, and he got up off the horrible IKEA couch, went to his room, and locked the door.  Not a word to me.  But I heard him shouting into his phone.

Remember how I said Ben is stubborn in his relationships?  No exceptions.  He and I never dated again, but he leveraged that into getting Jen to lift the ban on sex, and shortly thereafter, I broke up with Derek.  That little agreement about Ben was the end of my relationship with Jen, a while back.  I  Not really, because they're still tangentially in my life.  I drop Ben off on dates with her when she's in town, and I still put on makeup and a pretty dress when I see her, but it's not because I want to date her.  I just refuse to be seen looking schlumpy.  I wear armor.

I never wanted to be the girl who had a damned saga for her relationships.  I never wanted to bounce back and forth.  I want fireworks, yeah, but I also want steady.  I want passion, but consistency.  I hate saying "it's complicated".  But here I am, with the Darth Vader of relationships in my history log, and complicated is the only answer I can give.  I need a fucking diagram to explain all the makeups and breakups, and let's not talk about the hookups and sex, because that looks like a football play.  And you know?  I never wanted to be married, either, and that's basically what I am.  I just wanted--still want--someone who loves me passionately, who takes care of me and lets me take care of them, someone with the same goals and desires, someone who will be my #1 fan while I'm theirs.  I want dedication.

My life is not bad.  My life is fucking great, actually.  It just confuses me sometimes.  How the hell did I


Soooo I just spent half the day picking up All the Volunteer Shifts.  My first one is at a cat cafe.  (I've never actually seen one of those in person!  I'm so excited!)   I'll be playing with cats, convincing people to take cats home, periodically selling them stuff from the bakery, and I hope surfing the internet--though I doubt it.  I suspect it will be a lean-and-clean scenario.

And the other shifts I picked up were for an organization that donates flowers to people in hospitals.  I'll be picking up their Suburban (eek) and then driving to four different places to pick up flowers, then taking them back and "deconstructing" them so they can be put into arrangements.

I also sent emails to a local opera company's wardrobe department, various animal rescues, and a museum.  I need to get out of my house a hell of a lot more often.

The funny thing is, I keep imagining my life as an adorable AU.  Strange girl starts volunteering, someone finds her cute, dating ensues.  Strange girl walks this guy's dogs, and they keep tripping her with their leashes.  She falls down, he tends her wounds, rabid sex ensues.  You know, whatever.  It's kind of fun, actually.

Due Dates

Well, today's already a shitty day.  Ben got fired this afternoon.  He has major league depression and anxiety disorder, and Google said he "wasn't meeting his productivity goals" because he was taking too much time off.  To be fair, they've been extraordinarily helpful and patient, and his meds are slowly working on the depression.

But now he doesn't have a job.  Our insurance runs out at the end of the month.  We have some savings, but only enough for a few months of rent and stuff.  I have no idea what we're going to do.  Ben has no idea what we're going to do.  And how do you tell a guy who doesn't believe in God or fate or anything like that that this isn't his fault?  It's not his fault he has bad brain chemistry.  But he wants someone to blame, and so he blames himself.

What the hell are we going to do?

Protective Sam

So today I had lunch with a friend (Indian; really good butter chicken).  Lunch with a friend led an invitation to a playdate at a local dungeon.  This will be the first dungeon I’ve been to in at least a couple years.  I’ve even been skipping Folsom, because people are shitty and I am shy and awkward and freaked out by them.  (I’m struggling to get over this.  My doctor has begun prescribing anti-anxiety drugs, which help enormously.)

So I’m going!  This Saturday!  It’s, as usual, a themed party, so I’ve then spent the afternoon shopping for a costume cowboy hat (which I look damned good in, thank you, as good as it is possible for any human being to look in one, which is pretty subjective).  I could have done Saloon Girl or something, but let’s be real, how often do you get to go to a party and actually be comfortable?  (Though I am toying with doing a gender swap in the middle of the evening).  Jeans, sparkly belt buckle, nice stompy boots, cowboy hat, black leather vest with nothing under it.  I wonder if they'll have a boot black...they're not cowboy boots because that shit's an intensely expensive lifetime commitment, but my work boots are good enough.

I’m excited, but nervous?  I’m assured that in all the times she’s been there, my friend has never once seen people from the old dungeon around, which means I’m less likely to be inundated with bad memories and shitty pasts.  But people are still people, and insular communities are more pronounced in their people-ness, and that’s stressful.

I’ll be okay, I know I will.  I’m even really likely to have fun!  I’ve been feeling particularly dommy lately (which is weird, but I’m trying to enjoy it), if not at all toppy, and I would love to find a nice sweet sub to talk to and enjoy the company of for the evening.  Not top them.  Just a little nuanced protocol, step and fetch, that erotic exchange of their attention and my desires.  Ben tells me I even have the right crooning sort of voice for it!  That’s nice to hear.


Glinda the Good Witch

Happy Things

  • Goose is usually tamed by a good dose of corporal cuddling.  He climbs on the counter, I get up, he jumps down, I snuggle him.  He's always very confused.  And if that doesn't work, a good squirting with the water bottle will do the trick.

  • Discovering a Canadian woman-centric show called Strange Empire.  Still problematic, especially in its use of whorephobic language, but it has some nice things going for it, including Tahmoh Penikett, playing a half-Blackfoot US marshal.  I could listen to that man talk all damned day.

  • PEACH PIE.  I've eaten far too much of it today.  It was worth it.

  • Relatedly, when I ordered said pie (to go), I asked for a pint of whipped cream to go with it.  They gave me a ridiculous quart.  I am simultaneously appalled and delighted, and I am simply not sure what all I'll do with it.

  • Ben installed another 8G of memory in my laptop.  I don't notice a difference, but he said that I might be able to do art on this computer again, and that's wonderful!  It means I should be able to hook the computer up to the TV and use it as a big ass monitor.  We still don't know how to remove and replace the keyboard, though.

  • Taking a long, delightful nap in the middle of the day, and waking up gently to find a cat curled up just under my chin.

  • New underwear!  A nice package of pretty panties sent in the mail.  There's a pair that are white organza-type lace, with light blue satin bows and ruffles on them.  I feel like Marie Antionette!

  • Lunch dates with friends.  Indian food ahead!

Protective Sam

Current status:

Sniffy candle (red currant & red apple)
Cat on knee (sometimes inconveniently so)
Cup of tea (proper English breakfast)
Wearing Ben's shirt (only guy to ever make me feel petite)
Goose v. Apple (he's baffled by it)
Lincoln Child's The Forgotten Room (good-old-boy sexism, not very good writing, but nicely creepy story; reminiscent again of his and Douglas Preston's Pendergast series)
Rain (over the sound system; California's still in drought)

Protective Sam

I just finished watching Jupiter Ascending for the second time, and while I still do not love Balem like everyone else seems to, several other things have happened:

  • The cats had a slap fight on my lap, and my finger was a casualty

  • Donald Trump crashed my computer

  • Vladie has been identified as one of my exes

  • I was reminded that I have truly abhorrent taste in men

  • My mother volunteered to try and recreate Jupiter’s wedding headdress for Barbie!  This will probably never happen, because that thing is complicated, and my mom has arthritic hands, but that’s a lovely thing!  Lovely enough I’d actually buy a Barbie for it, especially if she made the dress to go with.

  • Ben came out at one point and, as predicted, railed at the TV that “that’s not how space works”.

  • The cat that accidentally clawed me got peach pie in his ear.

(Have I mentioned that my mother is a certified bad ass?  Because she is.  She is old, and her body is falling apart around her, she has cataracts and arthritis and a faulty memory now, but she still opens Vogue and makes Barbie couture from what she sees, just like when I was a little girl.  She still holds her grandchildren, even though they're teenagers now, and she hopes to someday hold her great-grandchildren, and she's almost stubborn enough she could.  She does jigsaw puzzles with ALL of her neighbors, even the horrible lady down the hall who hates everyone and pushes her, because even if no one else will treat that lady with kindness, my mom will.  Of course, she's doing it out of her "Christian duty", and that's gross, but the fact remains that my mom is the walking talking breathing definition of kill them with kindness.)
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Protective Sam

Today Was A Really Good Day!

I took Ben to see his girlfriend, and I may have feels about the fact that she mostly comes to see other people and he's incidental, but it makes him happy, so I shut up.  To him, anyway.  I think he deserves better, I think he deserves to be the main attraction for his partners when they're visiting the area, I think the fact that I have to drive him to her really sucks out loud.  But again, he is happy, so I shut up.

I finished another book!  I have several more to go, which is good, because tomorrow is Electronics Maintenance Day and I shall be computer-less.

I got to have sex.  It's been a while.  It was lovely and perfect, and I am a happy girl.

Yeah, that's the happy list today.  I could probably figure out a fifth thing, but my brain is now floaty.  I'm gonna go color and watch Tron Legacy, and then I'm gonna go read and sleep.  Good night all!

Be Nice or Fuck Off

Happy Things

  • Great art supply stores.  I am very loyal to mine.  I walked in, yet again, and told them what I wanted and what my budget was, and the found a way to make all of those dreams come true.  I don't know if they recognize me or anything, I think this is just really amazing customer service...from people who are used to scatter-brained artists.  (In other news, I got my markers!  They're not Copics most of them, but he assures me they're comparable.  Also picked up a drawing board, which shall certainly allow for many ridiculous jokes.

  • Tempest!  Which apparently has Helen fucking Mirren as the sorceress Prospera, Djimon Honsou, Alfred Molina, Alan CUMMING, and RUSSELL BRAND.  WHAT.  I am not familiar with most Shakespeare and don't much miss it, but I am fond of The Tempest, but the last time I saw it, I was in middle school and not only did I not get all the dirty jokes, I didn't get all the social commentary, either.  Prospero's tale of betrayal is much more effective and painful when it's changed to the voice of a woman.  And she's much better a villain that a guy would be.

  • Equally good optometrists.  Again with the telling my budget and them finding me what I need.  In a couple weeks, I'll have new glasses, this time with a nice strong cat-eye.

  • Nice roommates who will come pull slivers of glass out of my feet from where the cat broke a glass.  Fucking cat.  I love him, but I don't like him very much right now.  At least he's distracted by a moth right now, and that's cute.

  • Reading bed time stories to my mom over the phone, since she can't get to a library.  It's an old family tradition to read to each other, all ages.  Little passages that amuse us, a sentence or two, whole books.  I've found some of my favorite books by listening to someone else's passion.  It's how I learned to read, actually.  My mom read the Chronicles of Narnia to me, and I learned to follow along.  It's good to renew the practice.

Not a Fuck

I've been contemplating the whole "the men who almost broke me" series, and considering talking about all of them, but you know?  A lot of them didn't.  Or if they did, I can't find the cracks anymore.  Some of them just don't...count.

There was one guy who could have, but A) the relationship sort of died in a pathetic, whiny gasp, and B) I don't think he actually mattered as much as he could have.  I'm sure if you'd asked me at the time, it would be a very different answer, but now?  I'm just sort of...what the hell was I thinking?  (Same goes for his wife, who I was also dating.  I'm pretty sure they feel not dissimilarly.  I was involved with him for roughly 5 years, and we were in a triad for 3, and now it's just...bleh.)

So!  Today, instead, you get commentary from my best friend.  It seems unfair to ask for pithy opinions about people she's never met.  There's a huge part of me that'd love to introduce her to Tim, because it would be like cat nip.  Poor guy.  He'd be covered in bruises before he realized it.

On my trainer, who I've written about altogether too much at this point, on the controversial decision that I wasn't allowed to talk to people about our relationship (I know, HUGE red flag, but I didn't see it at the time): "What, creepy magician man thought you needed to learn discretion?" (He's not a magician, as far as I know.  But he still has a strong, plastic Vegas vibe to him.  And he really, really, really isn't very subtle.)

On the guy who came after, who I haven't written about much, the one who could have done a number on me but ultimately didn't matter enough, "He's a little shit with silly facial hair."  Well, she's not wrong!

About the other third of that triad, "About the only thing I can say about her is that she doesn't look weird.  Not like Magician Man or Weird Cowboy Facial Hair."

The others I can't repeat because they involve actual names.  But gentlefolk, this is my best friend, and I love her.  Snarky, pithy, an excellent judge of character, staunchly protective and passionate.  It'd be the perfect relationship if either of us felt romantically inclined toward the other.

Swedish Chef

I'm finally watching Jupiter Ascending.  I had to wait for people who didn't want to watch it to go to bed.  Unfortunately, that also means that the dishwasher's running and ruining the ambience, but oh, well.  (It is not ruining the ambience, it is simply making it impossible to hear.  Also I moved over to the other couch and that's going to screw things up a bit.  I'm sure in 10 years when I reread this, I'll be utterly fascinated by that factoid.)  I shall be liveblogging, be warned.

Spoilers BewareCollapse )

I quite enjoyed that!  I have it for another week from the library, and while I have a few other movies to get through, I'm certain I'll watch it again.  Might drag Ben into it, just to hear him squawk incoherently about how that's not how space works or something.  Now to go find all that fanfic I've been promised.

Protective Sam

Happy Things

  • Much anticipated stuff from the library! Ursula Vernon's Harriet the Invincible, Hamster Princess.  It had 12 holds on it before I got on the list.  (You'd think this library would recognize that pretty much every kid in there, and not a few adults, are reading her books, because every one of them has about a 3 month wait, and therefore they'd buy more copies--and maybe some of her adult stuff!--but nope.  They're rather invest in 12 copies of the CSI: Miami series.

  • Also picked up Jupiter Ascending.  Hadn't seen it yet, but I keep hearing great, cracky things about it.  I'm told I should look for bees.

  • Creepy Library Guy left me alone!  Woohoo!  It's the first time!  Maybe someone yelled at him.

  • Long conversations with my mother about politics that actually go well.  My mother is a social and fiscal conservative who thinks women shouldn't be president because Paul said so in Corinthians or something.  I am...not.  In fact, I am combatively not.  Not meanly combative, but I'm going to challenge assumptions and prejudice and hatred, and my mother saying that I shouldn't have the right to vote because I'm a woman and women shouldn't be in power over men, because the collected works of a whole bunch of dudes named Paul who hated women said so?  Yeah, I'm gonna call that shit out.  And I'll do it Biblically, if necessary.  It often feels like shouting into the void, but periodically she changes her attitudes.  Today we talked about the disgrace that is the way we treat the homeless in the US.  It was okay!  She's gonna go donate feminine hygience products to a local women's shelter!  WOOT!  (Seriously--if you want a tangible thing to donate to shelters, donate socks, underwear, and hygiene supplies.  All of that is desperately needed and is never donated.  And even if you can get food stamps, menstruation stuff isn't covered.)

  • COFFEE.  Can you tell I've had some?

Protective Sam

Watching Exorcismus, a nice British possession/exorcism film.  I am a big fan of both the demon possession and hauntings subgenres of horror, and this one's fun.  It's British, so it uses completely different musical cues and stylistic choices, and thus surprises you a bit.  It's rare that I'm surprised anymore.  I still love the journey, but it's rarely new.

I do find myself thinking, though, in pretty much every exorcism type deal, that demons are kind of wussy.  I mean, they do some pretty horrible things on the micro-level, but they're really not much more than vicious pranks and bullying.  If I were a demon, I'd have some fucking ambition.  Possess someone with nuclear launch codes or something.  Really fuck the world up and watch while it burned.  At the very least, destroy part of the power grid.  That'll cause some chaos and panic.  Get some bang for my buck.

Not just comparatively penny-ante stuff like destroying one family.  I mean, sure, there's the whole butterfly effect thing, and I guess it would depend mightily on which family it is you're destroying (the Winchesters being a perfect example--but you can't convince me that Meg wasn't at least partially acting out of some vendetta).

That all does remind me of one of my favorite fics, Fortress, by glasslogic.  I highly recommend you read it if you haven't already.  Dean came out of hell a different kind of demon, and he drags Sam along with him.  It's about our guys saving the world again, but it's not neat or pretty, and it's got some wonderful ruthless elements.  (Man, writing synopses is hard when you want to squee and avoid spoilers at the same time!)  Demon Dean is delicious, and Sam is his stubborn, cool-headed, slippery self.  I've read it three times now, I think, and while the series isn't finished yet, I may just reread it again.  (Frankly, anything by glasslogic is exceptional, but Fortress holds a significant place for me).

Protective Sam

Hey, More Disclosures!

The last one went so well, here's some more intimate details about me!  (I'm feeling expansive.  Just go with it.  I'm likely to crawl back into my little shell again soon enough.)  And fair warning, most of today's links are NSFW.

Another Guy Who Broke MeCollapse )

Protective Sam

Happy Things

  • When you open up on something that has the potential to be painful*, and people are so, so decent about it, it almost makes you cry.

  • When you open up about that thing and then you get a bunch of emails from people who are supportive and/or sharing similar experiences, and you feel less alone.

  • Surprise invitations to things I'm not interesting in going to, but the invitations themselves are nice.

  • Gena Rowlands.  True story: when I worked at Bed Bath & Beyond, there was this delightful old lesbian cougar who came in a couple times a week, just for flirting with me.  She reminded me so much Gena Rowlands that the first time I met her I made her sign something to prove she wasn't in disguise.  (But really, what would Gena Rowlands be doing in Humboldt County, CA?)  She was a great flirt.  Taught me a lot.

  • That look on someone's face when they suddenly get it.  We talk a lot about social justice stuff in this house, particularly the ways in which women are harmed and men are not.  Ben tries hard, but he's often largely privileged white computer dude, and therefore clueless.  I consider it a side quest in my life to stab that bubble of privilege as often as possible.  Today I told him that most rapes are committed by people close to the victim, not stranger danger assaults.  "Statistically speaking, you're more likely to hurt me than someone I've never met."  Looooong, slow, uncomfortable blink.  I think he gets it now.

  • When I have the occasional fond memory of my ex.  She was complicated.  She was abusive.  She was not easy to love.  She's still a pain in my ass.  But I miss sitting on the couch binge-watching Netflix and then jumping her bones.  She was always so startled and unsure how to return physical affection.

*I'm not embarrassed or ashamed of the thing itself anymore, haven't been for a long time.  But people can be extraordinarily shitty about intimate details of things they don't approve of.  So you end up hiding it, never saying anything about it, until one day you let it out, and when someone's compassionate and kind--and when they also share their stories!--it's almost like a shock.  You wait for shoes to fall from the sky.  But no, there's no shoes.  Just humanity.

Protective Sam

Well, that explains a lot...Collapse )

Protective Sam

I've been thinking of putting my magic-y stuff on canvas.  I need a localized, central place to do it all, and I like the idea of having a permanent, ever-changing road map of the stuff I've done.  Kind of like those Chianti bottles with the wax spilling down the sides, but in this case pooled on canvas with herbs and stuff embedded in.  Forgetting what each individual layer of wax was for, but retaining the essence of it nonetheless.  Some people keep long journals of their workings, or grimoires, and I've never been interested in writing anything down.  My stuff is too intimate and fluid for that.  This isn't science; I don't have to write it down.

I like the notion.  Plus I think the resulting art could be really, really cool, and I'm shallow and what beautiful things on my walls.  If someone asks what that particular painting's inspiration is for, I can just say it's personal, or it's an abstract expressionism using wax.  (If you say "it's personal", some people just push harder, because they want to know the story whether they've unlocked that level of knowledge.  But if you babble about energetic brushstrokes and scopes of color, those same people bob their heads and make impressed noises even if they have no idea what you're saying.)

But...does it seem weird?  Sacrilegious, maybe?  Here, let's put this magic stuff on the wall and let people gander at it, without a clue how significant it is.  On the other hand, I do like having secrets out where unknowing people never see them.  I'm a fucked exhibitionist in a lot of ways.  And everyone can use a little mysterious "I know something you don't know" hanging around them.

Protective Sam

Happy Things

  • Sleeping in until 2.  After going to bed at 7.

  • Wonderfully bad movies with Eliza Dushku in them.

  • The Great Leverage Rewatch.

  • Pickles.

  • Great fic.  I've read so much fic lately, and so much of it has been good.


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