Table of contents
- A General Comment On Style
- Early Life
- Teenage Years
- Adulthood: Part, the First
- New Stuff (25/8/98)
- New Stuff (19/11/98)
- New stuff (Feb. 9, 1999)
- New Stuff (Jan. 11, 2001)
- Adulthood: Part, The Second
- Updates Covering 2001-May 2010, Written May 2010
A General Comment On Style
This is my self-oriented, navel-gazing, probably arrogant, autobiography sort of thing.
I've made a decision to not edit early parts of this document that I wrote a long time ago. This means that there are parts that are ... well, not really me anymore. I'm a lot less angry than some of it. Actually, that's not true; I was never a particularily angry person, I just liked to be angry online. Or something.
I really am quite a nice guy, honest. I'm not even all that self-centered. Or so I tell myself.
When I feel that something really needs updating, in the sense that my views have changed dramatically or something like that, I make notes next to the original post in blue.
If you would like to contact me about anything in here, please send me email. I really am quite busy, though; I do not promise a response.
Some notes about naming people. I have no real sense of personal privacy, but I'm aware that I'm exceptional, so I try to make sure that no-one who wasn't actually there can identify the people named herein. I mostly use first names, if I use names at all. Mostly first names are used in those cases where I'd be interested in or curious to reconnect with the person. Otherwise I use initials of meaning to me. Ask me if you wish to have your name obscured better, or if you want to know who someone was (I certainly don't promise to answer, though; I try to respect others' privacy).
I was born on December 8, 1975. I was only slightly defective --- my right eye doesn't move. My mom says it was only like that a few hours after birth, but not right away, so maybe it was a draft in the nursery.
For the record, I am genetically, socially (well, mostly) and external-genitalia-wise male. Damn gender-neutral name.
I was born in the US, and was effectively (if not literally) the first US-born child to be born with a Canadian citizenship. I used to think this was irrelevant, as I hate this country (Canada has ludicrously high taxes for no real benefit, a fascist government, a general attitude that the majority should rule over all minorities (where "majority" is defined as "most vocal whiners"), and really shitty weather), but have since found out that the US requires citizens living outside its borders to pay taxes. As this is an incomprehensibly evil policy, I'm no longer intending to get a US citizenship. May 2010: I'm not nearly as staunchly libertarian as I used to be. More relevantly, I already had US citizenship whether I wanted it or not, and had no sufficiently compelling reason to renounce it permanently. Canada has a tax treaty with the US anyways. I am currently living and working in San Francisco, and happy that way.
My father's name is David Powell, feel free to mail him should talking to a really, really intelligent man with a very interesting and cynical view on life interest you. Please be sparing though, he's got some nasty arthritis (among other things). ~~blue:May 2010: My father died in 2009, and is hence unlikely to answer email. I did not discuss my mother when I first wrote this out of, basically, petulance. She is a fantastically kind and caring woman, and was very nearly solely responsible for raising me, which I think turned out rather well. While as a physicalist and rationalist, I do not and can not approve of her vocation as a homeopath, I respect her boundless enthusiasm for helping others a great deal. before the first accident, before the second accident (which implicitly means after the first one), and after the second one. More on this later. During the first accident I had an out-of-body experience which I have tried very, very hard to replicate to no avail. Pointers welcome. blue:May 2010: Since then, I've become a physicalist and rationalist. Tehcnically, neither of those preclude the idea of a soul, but since every aspect of human personality has been altered at one point or another by brain injury, there's really not anything left for a soul to do. Part of being a physicalist is acknowledging that things that make no difference (gods that do nothing, souls that do nothing, etc) cannot be falsified, and are thus exactly equivalent to the [http://lesswrong.com/lw/i4/belief_in_belief/|invisible dragon in your garage. I choose not to waste my time by selecting which invisible dragons to believe in: refusing them all is much simpler. So: I do not have a soul, and neither do you, until and unless someone comes up with a way to detect one and show that is makes a difference. My signing up for cryonics seems worth mentioning here, if only because I mention there that if it turns out souls interfere with cryonics revival, we'll have to do something about that. It seems to surprise people when I say things like that, but the whole point of my metaphysics is to know and believe in reality. If reality happens to include souls, I'll be surprised but I won't feel betrayed or devastated or anything.~~
The next major event was also arguably an accident of the magnitude of the other two, but simply didn't have the life-changing effects of the other two. I was playing in a field with my older sister and one of her friends, and was stung multiple times by bumblebees. My older sister (then 14 or so) had to drive me to the hospital before my throat closed up. Ironically (this also occurred the other time I had the same thing happen, but that time it was probably a yellow fever mosquito) by the time I arrived at the hospital I was fine.
Shortly after this, I think, we (my step-dad, my mom, my older sister, my younger brother and I) went to Japan where we lived for about three years. This was rather life-shaping, as now I compare every city to Tokyo. All other cities are just pale imitations to me, and they all have crappy subways. This was also the site of my first homosexual experience, which I had guilt feelings about for many years afterwards (once I realized what I had done was "bad", anyways, which took a few years). May 2010: I have since met people who were bisexual from childhood, rather than coming to it late a I did. This turns out to be great fun, as no-one worries about letting boys have sleepovers together. Ah, lost opportunities. Oh well.
Other than that, nothing much happened. My parents sent me to an English speaking school, so I lost the chance to learn a new language at a young age. Oh well. May 2010: in fairness, I didn't have the understanding of how to apply myself that would have made this work (I grew up smart, you see, a major handicap). I would have bitched and complained to no end, and probably still have ended up monolingual.
Around this time I went to my dad's place most summers to visit. On one of those trips I met a girl named Carrie and had my first even vaguely serious relationship, at least that I can remember (I had two girlfriends at the same time in Kindergarten, with everyone aware of the situation; apparently this was rather formative). We kissed a lot. Really, a lot. To my memory (which is probably wrong), she was the first girl I had ever kissed. She was certainly the first girl I kissed like that. I don't think much in the way of tongue kissing happened, and I certainly wanted things to go farther, but I didn't ask and they didn't. I managed to fuck up the end of that relationship fairly badly for reasons that are arguably not my fault, but which I'm not going to explain here for the same reasons as my parent's break up.
These events have a lot to do with my point of view on the whole topic of sexuality and "children" and informed consent and stuff like that. There is absolutely no question in my mind that I wanted what happened with Carrie, and that had I known enough about sexuality to put words to my desires I would have wanted specific sexual things as well. As it is I wanted to fondle her breasts but didn't know if that was an acceptable desire or not, or how to approach it. The key point is that best as I can remember she was 13 and I was 10, and I had a fantastic, highly sexualized, very enjoyable time.
I was somewhat badly teased at St. Mary's (the school in Japan), and there was a teacher there who would lock me into a large walk-in closet for most of the day because she thought I was stupid or something. Then I got to Appleby (a boarding school in Canada) and found out that teasing could be much worse when everyone actually spoke the same language as you fluently, and when you lived with them so they had access to your stuff. My family stayed in Japan for a term but sent me over so I could get into school at a more normal time of year, not that I stayed. I still get tears in my eyes when I remember one incident: I had pictures of my family on a little board by my bed, including some beautiful baby/very young pictures of my little brother, and some asshole used a thumbtack to poke out all the eyes. I was in Canada with my family in Japan and was like 10 or 11 years old for crying out loud!
Then I went to King Country Day School and explored the true depths of people's emotional cruelty. One of the worst bits was how the girls there treated me. I've always been very interested in/attracted to women, both sexually and in other ways, but until recently (as of this writing, August 1998) was completely (and I do mean completely) incapable of having a woman as a friend unless there was some kind of physical involvement. May 2010: I still suck mightily at this, but now it's not confined to women. Caring and friendship and love and sex are mixed up in my head in a way that seems to be quite rare. I fall in love with pretty much anybody I have sex with. I fall in love with almost anyone I and close to as a friend. I am sexually attracted to anyone I love. The only time I don't end up sexually attracted to my friends is when I find them sexually repulsive, whcih only happens with males, and not with all of them. All this would be simply annoying except that I have extreme emotional reactions to people I want to be sexual with but can't. Like, I have trouble being in the same room without getting upset. Age and psych meds (taken for other reasons) seem to have mellowed this response somewhat, I'm happy to say. I'd love to be rid of it altogether; it is a pretty ridiculously sensitive level of emotional vulnerability.
CDS may have been in large part responsible for that particular fuckeduppedness. I went through early puberty at CDS (I learned how to masturbate during my first year there --- I got the idea from health class). The girls at CDS would, with the exception of the occasional conversation here and there, not even talk to me. Starting around grades 7 and 8 they would scream (loudly) if they brushed against me in the hall. Some of the guys were worse, though, because they would talk to me, and they could be absolutely heartless. One in particular, we'll call him R1, went out of his way to nonchalantly be better than I was at everything, which would have been fine if he hadn't also gone out of his way to be an absolute bastard to me at every opportunity. He is on a very short list of people I would belt on sight if I met them today. May 2010: Probably not, actually. In practice, when I see people like this after long periods, I'm mostly just vaguely annoyed, or perhaps piteous. They just don't seem all that important.
After CDS I went to Ridley College (which was actually a high school), another boarding school. There I learned that cruelty can be physical as well. I have since found out that Ridley is known as a place where rich people send their serious problem children. I have nothing more to say about that place except that it had a good computer lab.
By the way, a good way to get into an argument with me is to use the phrase, "Kids can be so cruel!". Bullshit. Parents are cruel, so children learn to act like their parents. The difference is that children are honest about it. I'd rather interact with honest, cruel, backstabbing children than lying, cruel, backstabbing adults any day. People make that snide fucking comment about kids being cruel to separate themselves or other parents from responsibility for the way children are raised. May 2010: I had someone take me to task for this on account of em being quite cruel as a child buy ey's parents were kind and so on. On the other hand, I've met plenty of kids who are not, in factp cruel, so I stand by my basic point: cruelty is bad, and age does not excuse it. Well, past about 7 anyways; very young children have non-human psychology in a lot of respects, so they don't really count.
All during this time, by the way, I was becoming more and more of a computer geek. I learned Logo at Appleby, and kicked ass in that class. I learned BASIC at Seneca College day camp, and continued playing with that through CDS. A friend gave me a tutorial book on C, so I taught it to myself (took me years to get pointers down, though; like 8 years or so). May 2010: I'm not sure I ever really did. Now I just avoid the language: I have things to get done, and dealing with that crap slows me down. I played on the computer system a lot at Ridley, trying to crack it. That was my one and only experiment with cracking.
After Ridley, for grades 11, 12 and OAC, I went to the Toronto Waldorf School, which changed everything. During my time at CDS and Ridley I had been diagnosed with depression (this was a total surprise to me), which I was recovering from. It really was a process of emotional release, and being able to emotionally release. When I came to Waldorf I found that I was suddenly surrounded by people who didn't treat me cruelly (although I still didn't form any kind of relationship with the women there), and met several people whom I could talk to. This made emotional release a lot easier, and by the time I had the second accident I was doing really, really well, although I'm now doing better, I think.
Somewhere in here, I read an article in Gnosis magazine "A Season with Aphrodite", which started me into polyamory (I was self-identifying as Wiccan at the time). Also in this period I had a relationship with a woman, call her M1. This was significant because I specifically said I wanted a poly relationship, she said no, I backed down, then she cheated on me, apparently to make me more jealous. May 2010: The point there, which I somehow managed to forget to include, is that it was a monogamous relationship that ended badly. I have yet to have one go well for me, and I stopped trying some time ago. I seem to be polyamorous as a built-in part of my personality
In the spring break of my grade 12 year, I went on a trip to Costa Rica with my family, where I fell off a cliff. I have said this many times before, and I'll say it again here: don't fall off a cliff, or break your back any other way for that matter. It's a bad life choice. I had a compound burst fracture of my T12 vertebrae, which basically means a bit of my spine exploded. Impingement on my spinal cord was 75%. Had an operation 2 months later, got out of the hospital a month after that, stopped wearing the back brace about 2 months later, stopped self catheterizing a couple months after that. Lingering effects include partial loss of feeling from my anus to the tip of my penis (only along the underside, and by the time it gets to my penis it's quite "partial"), inability to urinate without straining (the damn urinal sphincter has been shut closed for about 5 years), and I still haven't gotten a reasonable level of stamina back because I'm lazy. Oh, and I can orgasm and ejaculate without any kind of physical stimulation whatsoever. The one good side-effect, and even that is only arguably good.
In the December after the accident (my OAC year, if I recall correctly) I met my ex-fiancee (hereafter MEF; yes, this is a unique identifier). She was working at a local video store, and in theory I had met her before but I hadn't noticed. I decided, mostly as an ego boost, to try coming on to her and see what happened. It worked rather well, in that despite having a cold I managed over a couple of days to get her to come park with me and we kissed and that was about it.
I suppose I should have realized immediately that MEF and I were sexually incompatible, but I never expected the relationship to last. When push came to shove, though, I couldn't leave her. While I knew that staying with her was crueller to her in the long run, the immediacy of having her cry at me was too much. Note this occurred several times at various stages in the relationship. Oh well. May 2010: I've since gotten better at maintaining myself in the face of others' emotional distress. I still hate to hurt those close to me, though ( agood thing, I think). As an aside, I've noticed that nobody seems to consider sexual compatibility as a deal-breaker relationship criterion. "Does he make you laugh?", "Is she pretty?", "Does he have a steady job?", sure. Sometimes "Is he good in bed?". Never "Do you both like the same things in bed?", let alone "Do you both want a similar amount of sex?". Yet it seems to me that this issue destroys relationships all the time, or at least rots them from the inside. Surely people should be talking about it? When it comes up at all, everybody acts like the person with the higher sex drive should just suck it up. This mystifies me for two reasons. One is that, having been on both sides of the fence, having a high sex drive is way more fun; we have the medical capability to fix low sex drive in a lot of cases, but no-one ever sets out to do that it seems. The other is that, in the context of a long relationship where we've had sex many times, I can't see any reason to say yes to sex just because my partner asked. I refuse a request for sex from a long term partner for sex about as often as I refuse a request for a neck rub (which is to say, basically never) and for the same sorts of reasons (utter exhaustion, physical pain). The idea of refusing sex to a long term partner because you're not in the mood mystifies me; ot seems like such a small favour to grant someone you love. Having said that, I always respond to such refusals politely unless they become consistent; I try to not be an asshole.
I had told her going into it that I was polyamorous. She appears to have done something like "Well, if I'm good enough to him he won't be like that" in her head. About 4-6 months into the relationship I met K1 over the net. The way I treated K1 and the fact that I broke up with her are what I consider some the worst mistakes of my life. I know that no apology can make up for some of the things I said to her, and I'll probably never get the chance. Oh well, you live and learn. I was young (18-19), I suck, end of story. May 2010: having said that, I'm not sure in retrospect that it was such an awful mistake. I've learned to take it very seriously when I don't become seriously attracted to a lover, regardless of how attractive I find them at first. When things are working, I come to be hot for those I'm with regardless. When this doesn't happen, it seems to mean that there's Something Wrong. It never quite happened with K1. So, perhaps that was OK. Staying with MEF was certainly a mistake, though, although I learned a lot from it that has served me well.
I could go on about this stage of my life for a very, very long time, but suffice it to say that I met K1 in person, we became sexually involved, I treated her like shit, we broke up, throughout this MEF was crying at me for being so mean to her and my family all thought I was fucked up and that K1 was abusing ME because she was nearly twice my age. It was quite the fucking mess.
For the record, during my time with K1, and partly at her urging, I made a conscious decision to become bisexual because I've always subscribed to the ideal of loving people regardless of physical issues (with the exception of uncleanliness, but that's different), and that sex is part of love (which it really is for me, I like having sex with friends). It had nothing to do with any attraction to males, although that came later. This is an example of a very weird personality quirk I have: I can alter aspects of my personality at will if I have the interest in doing it. May 2010: Having said that, there are certainly aspects of my personality that I can't seem to alter, like being poly. I had said before, "Eventually I'll probably be bisexual, but I just don't want to do the work yet.", which is something most people couldn't say and still be making sense. One day after a conversation with K1, I sat down for a few hours and resolved all the guilt I had over various homosexual experiences in my childhood, got past it, and moved on. Within a few days I had settled enough to be having pleasurable fantasies involving males. May 2010: This is now a well-integrated part of my personality. I am rarely attracted to males by default (that is: I stare at nice asses regularly, but they're almost always female asses), but I definitely enjoy certain kinds o sex with men. More importantly, I'm quite capable of falling in love with men, at which point they become attractive to me in the same way women I was not initially attracted to do.
All you genetically-determined-homosexuality people can stick that in your pipes and smoke it.
After K1 and I broke up I told MEF I would be monogamous to her for as long as the relationship lasted. Since we had nothing in common in terms of interests and were totally sexually incompatible (she has never, to my knowledge, ever masturbated in her life, I have a purity score of less than 50; you do the math), I'm thinking "This'll last for 6 months max. If MEF takes longer to get sick of me than I expect, maybe a year. No more. I can handle monogamy for six months."
Adulthood: Part, the First
Fast forward 3 years. Summer '97. MEF and I are still together, I'm still getting sex much less often than I'd like (which isn't hard, my bottom comfort level is about once every two days when I'm in a committed relationship), May 2010: This has fluctuated up and down repeatedly in my life, for a wide variety of reasons. Something about not being tied to one person certainly seems to take an edge off, at least. Having had it both ways, I strongly prefer having a high sex drive. Everything just seems brighter and more vibrant and more powerful in that state. Hard to focus sometimes, but even so if I could pick one sex drive state forever I'd set it to what it was when I was 16 or so. Everyone I'e found that has tried both states agrees (albeit I've only met a few, and the plural of "anecdote" is not data). If you haven't had the experience of thinking about (and having) sex all the time, and the world being brighter as a result, I strongly recommend trying it; get your doctor to give you some testosterone patches or something. I'm not free to socialize with friends and geek out to anything like the extent that I'd like to be, yadda yadda yadda. I'm at a friend-of-a-friend's house for an Amber Diceless RPG session. I walk in and within about 15 minutes realize that I've come in at the tail end of a more-or-less all night orgy.
This does not go over well emotionally. I spent the next several hours at the point of tears, and a friend who was involved with said fuckfest helped out more than I can ever repay him for. He says I didn't actually cry, which isn't how I remember it, but oh well. At this point I should point out that within 6 months of losing my virginity to MEF (which happened 6 months into our relationship), my life had settled to the point that from that time to "the thing at W&K's" (this is how I refer to the after-orgy above), I had not lost a single Purity point. I'm not talking percentage here, I use the 500 question test, and I'm meaning one individual question, so a point is 1 fifth of a percent. Not one. Feh.
I'm a neophile in a lot of ways, particularly sexually, so to say that I was unhappy with this situation is putting it just a tad mildly. A long term fantasy (out of the set of "fantasies I'd actually like to do IRL") is/was group sexual situations, particularly with a long term partner(s) involved. So by the time I left W&K's I was fully prepared to break up with MEF because I didn't want to go insane.
To say that she did not deal with my attempt to break up with her maturely would be something of an understatement. She has even admitted as much. She threw the engagement ring I gave her at me and told me to get out. So I did, with the intention of selling the ring and sending her the money (I was financially supporting her to a large extent at the time). She showed up at my place, ostensibly to get her stuff, and managed to cry and plead ("I'll change! We'll have more sex! It'll be OK!") her way into getting me to stay.
I can't handle it when people cry at me, OK? Fuck off.
Fast forward another year or so. I've been helping D2's friend K2 with some personal issues. D2 has been my best friend (in as much as that is a meaningful concept with my close friends) for some time at this point. K2 wanted me to translate for him to her (D2 has an...umm...unique view on life). They had broken up perhaps 6 months earlier (note that we are currently talking July '98) and there were some issues there. He had broken up with her, partly due to resistance to long term monogamy and partly to help her be less dependent on him. There was some growing sexual tension between K2 and I (we turned out to have very similar sexual boundaries and sex drive levels), but it didn't matter as I was still taken.
I want to make something absolutely, completely clear at this point. I never cheated on MEF. I occasionally have had her family say things to the effect that I did (and mine as well) due to the early parts of our relationship which were nominally polyamorous (I told her about everything, except the time periods when she told me not to tell her). I had made clear going in that she should not expect monogamy. Once it went monogamous, I stuck to that completely. The closest I got to cheating on her was a rather long hug I gave K2 (at one point, MEF got a lot closer to cheating on me than I ever did to cheating on her, but I promised I wouldn't give details). Even when I was so horny I could practically taste my own semen (cf. W&K's above), even when I was telling myself that I wished I was dishonourable enough to cheat on her and not tell her about it, as that would have solved most of our relationship problems, I didn't. Anyone who sees this and considers themselves my friend and disagrees can keep it to themselves or cease being my friend. May 2010: To rephrase/clarify: I have not cheated on anyone, ever, and if you don't believe that you can go fuck yourself. My refusal to cheat even given ample incentive makes me really, really intolerant of people who do. If I can go through the temptations I did and keep my self control... Well, let's just say that I find most cheaters' excuses unconvincing. End of tirade.
At this time, MEF was becoming more and more independent, spending more time with friends, etc, which was nice because I got to geek out more. Then we just stopped having sex. Like totally. She even stopped sleeping in my bed for a bunch of really dumb reasons. Then after about two months of no sex (I was getting ready to break up with her at this point), she gave me a "talk" to the effect of that we had nothing in common and completely different sex drives and were attracted to completely different types of people than we were actually with, and it was silly for us to stay together.
Well duh. Like, I had figured this out within two weeks of starting to go out with her. It took her something like 5 years. On the other hand, I'm really happy about where she is now. She has a self confidence I could never help her reach (although I tried so very, very hard), she has a lot of friends she has fun with, she has a new boyfriend who does the macho crap she needs which I could never do. She's in a great space and I'm really happy for her.
I am not happy at the fact that she told me that the fact that K2 and I were having sex within three days of MEF and I breaking up was "disgusting". Of course, she'd been a prude (in comparison to me, anyways) for our whole relationship, so I don't know what I expected. It wasn't like it was sudden, we'd been becoming more sexual in our discussions for several months at that point. Whatever.
This is where D2 gets more involved. K2 tells D2 everything, as do I, so it wasn't long before he know we were having sex. It also wasn't long before we knew he was jealous. Now, if he wasn't a really wonderful person that I love dearly, I would have just told him that he dumped her and he should fuck off. Also, he doesn't think his jealousy is reasonable either. Another point is that it was becoming obvious that K2 still loved/wanted D2. Around this time the idea of becoming a triad came up. K2 suggested it, which was one event in a long string that proved that she and I fit really well together.
Since then we've made out together, but nothing serious, D2 is struggling with jealousy (poor guy, he's working so hard at it and feeling so much pain and there's nothing really we can do to help), and although he doesn't want to cause us to change due to his feelings we've stopped having sex at various points with him in mind. K2 is struggling with religious issues (she's a devout Christian, Liberated Christians has been really helpful here), and we've stopped having sex at various point for that reason, and for the related reason that K2 has thought of doing the monogamy thing with D2, but he's not sure that that's what he wants and neither is she. She's leaning towards the triad at this point.
That my life so far (13/8/98). I've go 8 months of school (plus 1 course, if I can't scam 6 courses for one term) left to go and then I've got a B.Math in CS. Then I can get out of this fucking high tax, low temperature country. Thank Goddess.
New Stuff (25/8/98)
K2 and D2 are informally engaged. No ring yet, but it won't be long. They're both happy with the situation, although there's rather a lot of sexual tension going around, as K2 and I both want each other and I've been coming on fairly heavily to D2. At this point K2 and I are both waiting to see if D2 will become comfortable with any of the above, or with the three of us having sex together. It's very important to us not to mess up our friendship with him, so we're willing to wait as long as necessary (including forever). I'm not getting any at this point, but oh well, life goes on.
In other news, MEF's mother found this page and was plenty pissed. It would appear this has entirely to do with her not being able to handle the level of openness here, in particular with respect to private details of my relationship with MEF. At her request, I removed MEF's real name. MEF's mom doesn't care about my personal lifestyle choices, though, which is good, because I consider her a friends and thought for a while I had misjudged her badly. She asked me, though, to leave her house (where I was staying), my belief is she did this to lessen tension. The person who found the page first was MEF's new boyfriend.
Naturally, it was all my fault. I left MEF's computer's Netscape's start file pointing at my page, where it had been when I was said machine's primary user. Oh well. It's probably better this way, and certainly much simpler. I'm now moved in with K2, which isn't helping my sexual tension level, but what're you gonna do?
New Stuff (19/11/98)
Whew... A fair bit has happened. Let's see... K2 and D2 are now back to being friends, and a very bizarre unadmitted loose V is currently the order of the day. I'm developing a variety of new friendships and possible loves, but none of them are going here yet (it would be premature). The most substantial event is as follows:
I had been having problems with people saying/implying things about the nature of the relationships I had with them and then backing off from the position they had put themselves in rather rapidly and without concern for my feelings. In particular, about a week or two before Samhain a very long term crush (like 6 years) had come to visit, call her R2. I knew R2 in high school, we met up with each other again at a goodbye ceremony for a really cool teacher, I gave her my e-mail address, we got back in touch. Our friendship was recovered really quickly, and we moved on to some rather (OK, very) sexual e-mail and phone calls. Then, just before she came to visit, she backpedaled. May 2010: This sort of thing keeps happening to me, and I find it really confusing. I don't understand how people (who have met me in person, anyways; net romances are something else) can say "I want to be sexual with you" and not actually mean it. I don't mean that I find this behaviour annoying or upsetting, I mean I actually don't get it. When I say I want to have sex with someone, it's because I want to have sex with em, When an opportunity to so so arises, I take it if I can, because I want to have sex with em. This thing where women claim to want me until an opportunity actually arises... I just don't get what has to be going on in one's head to do that. Similarly with piles of "I may or may not actually want to do anything in person". Those are doubly confusing, first because whether I want to have sex with someone or not is perhaps the easiest decision I ever make (barring external factors), and secondly because it strongly implies that these women expect me to react to them changing their minds by, if not actual attempted rape, certainly by being an asshole, which really hurts my feelings a lot. I got her from "not a hope in hell" to "we'll see what happens" (this WRT sexual contact). It's worth noting that R2 is very much not poly, and doesn't much like that I am. She came to visit, we had some sexual contact which was, in the typical sense, very low-key (no genital contact of any kind, for example), but was stunningly intense for me, especially as it fulfilled a long term fantasy of mine (that is, being with her). The next morning I was checking e-mail and she saw an e-mail exchange between me and B1 which I thought was really innocent (it was, trust me). R2 got reminded of the whole poly thing, though, and freaked. I freaked back, and she walked out (and, in fact, drove away to another city). I haven't spoken to her since.
This hurt. A lot. I haven't cried like that in as long as I can remember (this is why, since high school anyways, I have refused to "fall in love" or have crushes or any of that crap). May 2010: OK, that was poorly phrased. I tend to fall in love at the drop of a hat; what I try to avoid is becoming too emotionally dependent on new relationships, because it's easy to get hurt that way. I had also had problems with K2 who was having issues with both poly and Christianity. She, at least, has never even suggested breaking off our friendship.
So on Samhain I was really hurting over this issue, and just wanting people not to promise me things they wouldn't/couldn't follow through on. As weird as this sounds, I don't do that. I have way too much understanding of (and honesty about) my own psychology: when I say I want a certain kind of relationship with someone, it takes a lot to change that.
So, I asked the Crone what I could do about this. Her response was simple: You can't change the people involved, or stop them from doing these things to you. You need to change yourself instead so these things don't hurt you; you need to change your perspective. All you have to do is stop expecting things from people. Be happy with what you have, always.
Simple, really, but if you had told me that before I probably wouldn't have been able to do it without a personality change (which isn't out of the question; occasionally I go through my psyche and change major pieces of it like that, but it takes a lot of work and I don't always succeed). This is why I call it an epiphany: in that moment, my views on the issues changed completely, without any work on my part. Since then, I have had nary an inkling of expectation towards the people in my life. I would still be hurt if a friend didn't want to interact with me any more, but even there it'd be much easier for me now to remember the good times we did have.
New stuff (Feb. 9, 1999)
Once again mostly quoted from an e-mail, with additions. I went to the Dominican Republic in the first week of Jan; that was very, very nice. My first vacation in ages. Warm, sunny, sandy, the whole nine yards. Had sex with K2 on a beach at sunrise; man, is that a once in a lifetime experience or what? May 2010: Very beautiful but, on the other hand, as a sexual venue not very fun; too much sand. Like how sex in the shower sounds fun but in practice the angles suck and the water causes lube issues. At least for me; I don't see that happening very often.
I went with Mom, my younger brother, my older sister, her husband, two nephews, and K2 (my roommate).
I'm back at work, which is at least better than school.
I went to Texas at the end of January to visit a girl I've been getting to know over the 'net, call her B1, and that was a lot of fun. We got along even better then over the 'net; my people sense appears to be as accurate as ever. She wasn't a surprise in any fundamental way (I mean that in the sense that she wasn't lying to me about anything, as I knew she wasn't). She took me out for really good wings and also to the Globe Trotters. I met some of her friends. We talked and..ummm... other things. Over all, it was really great. I'm looking forward to more time with her. May 2010: This never went anywhere. She did the whole "come visit and we'll have fun!" followed by "oh, now that you're actually here ewww" thing once or twice, which as I said earlier I find both confusing and hurtful. More importantly she got into the habit of turning online discussion into opportunities to be insulting, I really don't know why. Eventually I got tired of it and stopped speaking to her.
K2 and I are back to being roommates; she has made what even I believe is a fairly serious decision about sex and lifetime monogamy (that the two go together; unfortunate for me but she seems much less stressed). Because of this and the fact that there is still a fair bit of sexual tension between us (and we know from experience it just gets worse as we resist it) I'm looking at getting a new place. Of course, having my own space will also be nice, but I've gotten really used to having someone to hold at night over the last 5 or 6 years (and I don't mean sexually necessarily) and I'm not looking forward to having that change. On the third hand, that alone indicates to me that my ability to be happy alone (which is a fairly major component of my self-image) is slipping, so perhaps the time alone will be good. I dunno.
I'm cultivating what may end up being one of the most sexually intense relationships of my life with R2 (yes, I am projecting that into the future; a bit arrogant I suppose, but I've been quite good at future prediction so far). This is the woman who I had some sexual contact with and then she freaked out and ran away (see last New Stuff) Anyways, we've both acknowledged that, for a variety of reasons, a "Real Relationship" (tm) between us would be bad, but we have really intense sexual energy between us. She's currently involved with man who's very inexperienced, and is trying to go slow with him, which I respect, and is rather horny, so I'm going to try to help her out. I think that kind of relationship, fuckbuddyship really, could really work for both of us.
New Stuff (Jan. 11, 2001)
Holy crap, I'm a lazy bastard. First of all, please take a moment to laugh loudly at my stupidity in the last entry. The "most sexually intense" relationship with R2 above crashed and burned. But I'm over all of it. Really. Honest.
K2 turned out to be very, very bad at consistently making up her mind, about anything. This caused a fair bit of pain to both me and D2, as she has at various times broken promises to both of us. None the less, the three of us are still friends. D2 and K2 are no longer monogamously involved. K2 decided to move back in with her parents, at which point I moved in with someone else. May 2010: I have no idea why I was cagey about this except perhaps emotional proximity. The person in question was a man, W, my first (and thus far only) boyfriend.
While we were living together, I had an, umm, Issue at my work. I had been bitching to them about a serious internal security problem, and hadn't been getting the support I needed to fix it. So I did a proof of concept using a moderately sensitive HR document. They, umm, got upset, and fired me. So I started looking for new jobs, and out of the blue a company from Silicon Valley (that'd be in California) calls me. It looks like a hella-cool job; they hire sysadmins and outsource them to other companies, so there's lots of change and variety. I also expected very little downtime or boredom, which didn't particularly turn out to be the case.
I moved to the San Francisco bay area in late March, 2000.
Adulthood: Part, The Second
When I first arrived in the bay area, I got some e-mail from a really interesting woman whom I had a brief fling with. We had really great sex. Then she decided she really didn't want to be sexual or romantic with anyone, which sucked. Kinda like finding out an ex-gf became a lesbian after she broke up with you, ya know? But it was fun while it lasted.
It turns out that I love living in the San Francisco Bay Area. There are huge amount of geekiness here, which is just wonderful. I feel... saturated... by it. Just wonderful. And there are HUGE numbers of poly and bi and kinky people around here compared to Toronto. Especially poly people. There are poly get togethers (mostly dinners) almost every week, with like 25 people at each one. It's so cool. The public transit sucks, but other than that I really love it here. And the weather is just wonderful.
Sometime during the summer, I went to my first science fiction convention, Baycon. It actually wasn't a terribly good experience for me; I didn't know anyone and just felt really lost and alone and stuff. On the last day of the con, I bumped into a woman I had met at the poly dinners, who had apparently Noticed me, although I hadn't really Noticed here (a lot of the poly people I've met here seem to like me; this has had interesting effects on my self esteem . Anyways, we got to talking, because it was really nice to see a familiar face. She helped me feel much better, and as we were talking it was kinda obvious that she was flirting with me. We eventually ended up smooching, and as of today are still going out. Pretty seriously, actually. Call her RA for future reference.
One of the really interesting things about my relationship with RA is that I've really been able to take things one day at a time, which is new for me. I've talked about doing it several times in this bio, but this is the first relationship where it's actually happened. And it was effortless, no less. That's been really wonderful, actually. Even though we never really did NRE (New Relationship Energy/ Euphoria) and I never really got obsessed, so there was none of the insane intensity that there was with R2. But that calmness was, in and of itself, really nice for me. I don't know how to explain it, but it's been really nice.
Around September 2000, I sent out my resume a bit because my performance review was coming up and I wanted to see what I was worth. I was also pissed because the company I was working for was charging three times more for my time then they were giving me. Got a nibble from a company doing computer security stuff, which has interested me for a long time. Pursued that, eventually ended up going there instead (more money, loads of stock options which I expect will make me huge fat sacks o' cash money). May 2010: That company got sold to Symantec for cash, not stock. I got a bit of money, but I'm still bitter about that.
During some bad personal stuff in early December, 2000, May 2010: Not sure why I was cagey there, either, except fear. What happened was that I broke up with W, ad he had turned out to be rather crazy. Also rather abusive. My father thought he was basically conning me; he might have been right. I was just really bad and scary. He also, effectively, stole a bunch of money from me. I wasn't telling people about what was going on because it felt private; I now have a rule about telling my friends what's going on so I can get feedback before things get that bad. I also have a rule that if I don't start finding someone sexy / fun in bed after a while, that's a bad sign. That's my unconscious trying to scream a warning at me. W is the only partner I had that I regularly didn't want to have sex with even though I (thought I) was in love. I ignored that, and it came back to bite me. Badly. I ended up staying with RA and her roommate/bf/potential father. That was really nice. Tickled a lot of my triad desires, and RA seemed to really enjoy having us both around. But during that time I realized that I had yet to spend more than a couple of months in my life where I answered only to myself. That I had always had to tell someone when I was going to be home, for example. I made a comment about possibly needing some time on my own in my last entry, but now it's become a major imperative, so I moved in with a woman at work whom I am not romantically or sexually involved with, and while we're friends, I have no need to answer to her. It's pretty nice, although sometime I still get a bit scared of being alone. This in and of itself is a Big Fucking Clue that I need to spend some time alone, because that's a new feeling for me.
Just before the bad stuff, I started getting involved with another sweety, call her D. We're developing a nice little BDSM relationship, with me as the top. That's really nice for me in a lot of ways. I get to ask for what I want, which is something I need a lot of practice with. I get to have this context in which I can indulge my protective co-dependent side, but that context can be nicely separated out because it's part of my BDSM relationship with D, and not so much the rest of our relationship. And it's just kinda fun.
I have also decided, very firmly, that I need to not self-censor in relationships. And that I need to get out of, or not form, relationships in which I'm doing a lot of it. It appears possible for me to find people with whom I don't need to self-censor, as I'm involved with two right now, and I never want to do that to myself again. I hope that any friends that I have who are reading this will smack me upside the head if they see me getting into a relationship like that again.
I just got my membership at Planet Granite , a local indoor rock climbing gym. It'll be really interesting to see how this turns out. I appear to really enjoy doing this, which makes it more or less a first as far as activities that lead to exercise go. Hopefully I'm gonna get all buff 'n shit.
Updates Covering 2001-May 2010, Written May 2010
It's been a long time.
I never did stick to rock climbing, either of the times I tried to do so.
I did, however, develop something of a DDR fixation. This has gone back and forth over the years, partly because I have a poor relationship with exercise, and partly because of various sports injuries.
Sometime around the last entry I became involved in Lojban, and that is now one of the major time sinks in my life (I run the computer that link points at, for example). I've even written a novella in Lojban.
My relationship with D ended up not being all that BDSM oriented after all. We're still together after 10 years, and it's going quite well, except that medical problems seem to hound her every step, such that caring for her can get draining. On the other hand, she's always trying to improve her life, which counts for a lot to me.
Our relationship was rocky at the beginning, mostly I think due to depression on her end, but it's been a constant source of comfort and joy for years now. I find myself with little to say, in terms of stories or events linked to particular time periods, about my relationship with D. Perhaps someone will suggest something.
I am also still with RA, but there are a number of timeline style events there, so I'll try to lay out a timeline now and inculde them as they come up.
The co-worker I was living with moved away, so I got an apartment of my own in the same complex. Turns out I'm a bit of a slob. Around this time, the company I met said co-worker at was sold to Symantec, with little positive benefit to me. I ended up working for Symantec for a couple of years. Nice people, but it turns out I'm really allergic to big companies; I found working there pretty unpleasant.
Somewhere in here (2002 sort of time period) I formed a secondary relationship with H1 (female). I also spent a long time scared of men, which is too bad because H1's (now ex) husband was pretty cute.
Some time around 2002-2003 I had very bad tonsillitis which lead to off-the-charts (110 incidents per hour) sleep apnea. I had a tonsillectomy, uvuloplasty, pharyngoplasty, and (on a second operation) rhinoplasty to correct this. The after-care was staggeringly painful; probably the worst chronic pain I've ever experienced. Having gotten through it, however, I discovered that I had probably had apnea for my whole life because my memory suddenly and dramatically improved. It made a big difference; very much worth it. Wish I has done it way sooner.
Somewhere between and 2002 and 2005 I went from being a pagan to being a physicalist and a rationalist. This was a result of integrating the psychology and statistics courses that I took in school with James Randi's writeups of how people deceived themselves into believing in magic (like how dowsing is really the practice of learning how the land looks in the presence of water, and falls down under double-blind testing). I realized that no magick I had experienced or seen was outside the realm of "roll enough dice and you'll get some sixes in a row" in terms of statistical significance, and that it looked very different when I tried to correct for confirmation bias. At that point the JREF's million dollar prize became a compelling argument all by itself.
It was also during this same time period that I encountered the concept of the singularity, which really changed my views on everything. Note that I'm specifically talking about the rise of superhuman intelligence there. I have a lot of insight into my own thought processes; the inefficiencies there are obvious to me. It seems obvious to me that given access to my own software I could become very smart, very fast, and that a being smarter than us in the way we are smarter than, says, mice is both the greatest threat and the greatest opportunity we have ever faced. I spent a lot of time reading various people's plans on how to face this challenge, finding that most weren't smart enough (and a few were actively crazy) and the rest weren't anywhere near frightened enough, except Eliezer Yudkowsky and the Singularity Institute For Artificial Intelligence, who I now donate a fair bit of my income to.
This had the side effect of reversing my stance about having children. I had been worried about the amount of resources North Americans consume and feeling like there are too many people already and so on. With the singularity staring us in the face, though, each child is a chance at producing one of the humans that will see us through to the fantastic futures that may lie ahead. This makes having lots of humans around important, since I expect our robot overlords by 2050 (at the very latest) and most of our problems, especially resource problems, to be solved for good or ill shortly thereafter.
RA had been trying to produce a child for a while by then, but I hadn't gotten involved. Shortly after this epiphany, I did, and that has become an important part of my life; more on that later.
I left Symantec for LookSmart around 2005. I only went there to get away from Symantec, but I ended up staying something like 4 years, and becoming something of an excellent sysadmin in the process.
While at LookSmart, I got to work for a serious partner for the first time (D). We had long been partners by the time she came to work there, so it wasn't as weird as it might have been. Mostly, this was a good experience. It was nice to see her every day. We made a great team; our working together led to our two teams having much better understanding of each other, such that my boss held my interaction with her team up as an example of awesomeness.
On the down side, I discovered a tendency to get really cranky and rude with her in situations where I normally would simply have swallowed my annoyance and tried to be nice. I'm still not sure what happened there; something about us being friends rather than co-workers made it OK for me to be cranky at her, or something. That doesn't sound so bad, except that it crossed the line to "asshole" more than once. Once I noticed how unfair it was I managed to get it under control, although the response still occurs. I was more interested in fixing it than understanding it, and so I did.
H1 and I broke up so she could pursue a quad (her, her husband, and two others). She actually broke up with me twice, having apparently remembered the first time as "let's pause for a while", which is not what I remembered. I'm told I was quite hurt; I don't really remember.
In 2008 I moved in with RA and RJ (as a V, not a triad) in San Francisco proper. This has worked out quite well.
I left LookSmart for EngineYard under quite acrimonious circumstances that I really should write up some day. I am still there. It's a work from home job, which is fantastic.
I completed my application for cryonic suspension, which I really think is very important and something everyone should do.
I had a lovely unplanned threesome with a couple (the male half of which had long been a close friend) I'll call B&A. That worked out better than I think anyone involved could possibly have expected, to the point where I wrote up why I thought it had been successful. I shouldn't take too much credit, though; A-of-B&A has turned out to be a far braver and more mature person than I had expected at the time.
I also had a lovely planned threesome with T&M, also a couple where I had long been close friends with the male half. That was far more elaborate. Both were very fun in their own ways.
2010 And Present-Day
I recently started a relationship with E, which I am keeping at a secondary level in terms of time commitment because I really don't have a choice: I'm overbooked as it is. We have an amazing and very raw sexual connection, which is pretty heavily D/s in nature. It's been a lot of fun and a great stress reducer (except for my having problems with my lack of time; interestingly, writing that past seems to have made most of my angst about the issue go away, like I put it outside myself by writing it down).
Several people (B of B&A, and both of T&M) I've become very close to through Lojban have just moved up to the SF bay area, which is really cool but exacerbates my time problems. I'm very close to all of them, and have sexual designs on most of them, but I simply do not have the time to be serious about any of that.
RA is still childless. We've been having serious discrimination problems with adoption. This is the single largest source of despair and depression in my life, and has been for a few years (although D's ongoing medical problems sometimes are a close second).
Those two issues are at the core of what is now important in my life. I've realized recently that the single most important thing in my life is being close to, spending time with, and caring for those I love, so those two issues are really side effects. I'm currently working on protecting myself as I care for those around me, from burnout in particular.
Other things that are really important to me right now include Lojban, being slutty, and gaming.
I seem to be going through a fair bit of psychological shift right now, which I suppose is part of why I'm catching up this document. Sort of a gentle midlife crisis, in that I'm not looking around and feeling like I've failed myself or anything, just refining things a bit. In particular, my relationship to my sex drive and my sexual response cycle is fluctuation rapidly; this seems to be partly psychological and partly physiological (some of the relevant nerves damaged by my back accident seem to have grown back recently). It'll be interesting to see where that ends up.