Bloggity Blog Blog Blog…

July 12, 2010

Speaking of Which.

Filed under: Uncategorized — thirdxlucky @ 5:50 pm
Tags: ,

So this happened: Call for Thoughts: Poly People of Color

And then this happened:
Update: If it were possible to truly retract a blog post, I would want to do so with this post. But it is not, and I have a moral problem with deleting pithy comments such as those below. I am leaving this post up as a lesson in what not to do, and as a starting point for conversations.”

I’m just starting on the comments now:

Katie I guess I’m wondering why you want POCs to join your movement, when the experiences of deep racism I’ve had in majority-white movements indicate that your time would be far better spent addressing the racism of your own spaces, for your own good and that of the POCs who already exist there. Groups with a real commitment to antiracism tend to diversify more organically. From my perspective, it serves only you, and not us, if we join you as opposed to carving out our own spaces that fit our needs.

This whole blog looks pretty interesting, actually. Written by a poly organizer in the Bay Area who’s evidently published a number of journal articles about polyamory and bisexuality. Maybe once I get my own paper done and have time to fuck off on the Internet again…

Meanwhile The Philosophy of Non-Monogamy still hasn’t updated. Her last post – from mid-May – requested people who read her blog to follow it or e-mail her. Aug’s theory is that she got so much more of a response than she expected that she got overwhelmed and blocked… Which is too bad, because she used to update almost every day and it was some good shit.

Makes me both curious and afraid to know who/how many people are reading this blog – since I do more-or-less feel like I’m just talking to myself here. And I’m kind of okay with that.

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July 8, 2010

Write Yer Mom

Filed under: Uncategorized — thirdxlucky @ 12:15 pm

I’m thinking about the World Cup. Of all things. I finally watched the Write the Future ad. 18,904,175 views. Goddamn.

Nothing like World Cup Football frenzy to make a little American girl feel isolated from the rest of the entire fuckin’ planet. I have a couple of friends who are in Germany right now. Another friend who was in Germany for the 2006 World Cup, when it was actually being hosted there. It must be a crazy time to be in Europe. Or, well, anywhere else on the fuckin’ planet besides North America. (Are the Canadians into soccer*?)

715.1 million individuals watched the final match of [the 2006] tournament (a ninth of the entire population of the planet).

You ever get the feeling that you live in a giant climate-controlled bubble? Sure, considering how many awful things are happening to people the world over every day, it’s kinda fucked up to feel connected to (or disconnected from) the rest of humanity on the basis of a massively marketed sporting event. Still, this is something that’s important to one in nine human beings. That’s a thing. That matters.

I remember when the final Harry Potter book was released. I was in Uganda and I went to a whole lot of trouble to get my hands on a copy the day it came out. Not as much trouble as some people; I met a couple of aid workers at a hostel in Kampala who were actually taking a weekend off and traveling overland to Nairobi to meet up with some friends who were bringing them a copy from America. When I finished reading mine, I gave it to an English girl in Dar-es-Salaam, who had seen me with it on the street and squealed in disbelief. “Is that…Ohmigod. Where did you get it?! Is it good!? WAIT! Don’t tell me anything! Don’t say anything at all!” In Cape Town, I would pass South Africans reading the book on park benches and ask them, with no other introduction, what chapter they were on. We’d smile and laugh together. And I remember thinking, “It’s just a stupid children’s book with a fantastic marketing team…and yet this may be the last time in my life I’ll feel this universally connected to humanity for any reason that doesn’t involve a lot of innocent people dying.”

But one in nine people gets to feel that way every four years. Goddamn.

I won’t go so far as to say, “I love America.” I don’t own a flag. But I do love certain things about American culture and about being an American and what that means. This is my home and I’m happy to be home for a while. But I still want to expatriate. For a few years, at least. Stuff like the World Cup and my culturally-induced failure to really get it reminds me why.

Yeah. My thoughts on this are totally inarticulate.

…2014 in Brazil?

* Incidentally, I went to type this phrase into Google and the first thing that came up in the most common search suggestions: “Are vampires real?” Ever feel like you live in a giant climate-controlled bubble full of morons?

July 6, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — thirdxlucky @ 1:36 pm

I’m taking a half-hour lunch break.

I’ve been bizarrely on task and accomplishing stuff for the past few days. It’s a good feeling, but not a manic one. The other day, my mad scientist friend Lafe described research to me as “non-linear work.” He was explaining that, in most types of work, there’s a direct correlation between how much you do and how much you produce – whereas, in research, you might do something for weeks or months on end that turns out to be a total wash, but then one really good hour can set your work ahead five years. There’s a bit of plug-and-chug labor involved, but there’s also a lot of letting ideas percolate in your subconscious required, plus some sheer serendipity. Granted, he does high level physics research for the government and I study middle school students, so we’re not exactly dealing with the same scope of conceptual abstraction here. Still, I’d never thought of it that way before and it makes a lot of sense. (It also makes me feel a little better about the amount of time I spend staring mindlessly into space. By which I mean Facebook.)

I’ve also been swimming a lot and writing so much that my hand is cramping. I filled up my last notebook, the one Jackie got me for my birthday, so I got a new one the other day. It’s 8.5 x 11″, bright red and brandnew shiny, with delicious, heavy, creamy white pages; I can’t decide if I want to write in it, hug it, or eat it. In quiet gray text on the title page it says, Name/Nom and Adresse/Address and in inky black ballpoint, “Rebecca. Wherever.

July 4, 2010

My Consciousness Streams in Realtime

Filed under: Uncategorized — thirdxlucky @ 4:58 pm

I’m sitting in the bar at the Walnut Brewery which, due to some fortunate fluke of geography, means I can connect to CU’s wireless network. I wonder if there’s a CU office building around here or something. It’s about 4:00 in the afternoon, and I’m drinking a beer and eating some Mac ‘n’ Cheese and watching it drizzle on the people sitting on the patio. Hopefully these clouds will clear up in time for the fireworks tonight.

4th of July is the perfect time to make some comments about patriotism, nationalism, identity, international politics and my mixed feelings about what it means to be an American. But I’m not going to, because that’s not what’s on my mind right now.

I’ve had a pretty intense day. Something happened in my house this morning that triggered me in a way I wasn’t expecting, and I freaked out and had to get out of there before I had a meltdown on any innocent bystanders. It seems I still have a lot of baggage around sex and sex-related trauma. Because I’ve made so much progress and done so much healing in the past year, it’s easy to think that I’m all better and to forget that I still need to be extra kid-glove careful with myself psychologically sometimes. I really wish I was over all of this, but I’m not. I’m not even sure what “all of this” I’m trying to get over is anymore. It might simply boil down to the fact that I’ve been raised in a rape culture – one in which the idea of even “normal” sexual relationships, especially between men and women, is rooted in an objectification-and-coercion-model – and that, for some reason I don’t understand, I’m intensely over-sensitive to it. If that’s what’s going on, recovery may literally take the rest of my life. I hope this isn’t the case. That would suck.

Anyway, the point is, I realized I was about to have a cataclysmic freakout, so I just left the house and got on a bus without telling anyone where I was going. This is kind of a shitty thing to do, because it makes people think you’re upset with them. On the other hand, I feel like it would be shitty to force anyone who hasn’t explicitly agreed to do it – much less people who have no idea what’s going on – to witness/help process the raw emotional toxic spew of a trauma reaction. Sometimes that happens and you can’t prevent it. (I remember one night, three or four years ago, dissolving into an absolute sobbing, shrieking trainwreck on Jackie’s lawn. August held me through it despite being scared, angry, hurt, confused and basically clueless as to why his usually obnoxiously-rational girlfriend was suddenly screaming and hitting things.) Still, if you can prevent it and know you’ll be okay, for fuck’s sake, do. Especially if said innocent bystanders were involved in what triggered you; it’s like trying to do couples therapy on your own intimate partnerships, or trying to be a friendly shoulder for your ex to cry on about your own break up with each other – it’s kind of a nice idea and understandably tempting because you’re so close, but it’s also a complex, emotionally entangled recipe for fucking disaster.

Here’s my other, far less altruistic, motivation for sudden bailing: Watching someone you love suffer is painful and sometimes scary. Especially if you don’t understand why they’re hurting or that it’s part of a healing process. Especially if you think they’re hurting because of something you did wrong. Problem is, at the tiniest sign of emotional distress from someone else, I will automatically kick over into Caretaker Mode and start taking care of them instead of myself. This is a bad habit, but it’s one that’s deeply ingrained from growing up with my emotionally eleven-year-old mother. So, sometimes, I just need to be selfishly solo in order to sort through my own shit. In fact, I really need to do this MORE often than I do. Otherwise, I put it on hold and don’t sort through it at all until, well, I get triggered by something unexpected and have a total meltdown. All over some unsuspecting innocent lover, friend, roommate. Hell. Trauma is a pain in the ass for everybody.

These are all new realizations for me. I mean, literally, I’d never articulated any of this stuff before I wrote it here, just now.

It’s a process.

Deep breath.

Man. What a fuckin’ day.

I’m going to go watch some gigantic explosions now.

July 2, 2010

Timestamps should be working correctly now.

Filed under: Uncategorized — thirdxlucky @ 7:13 pm

Testing. Testing. 1.2.3.

Overheard at Michaelangelo’s: “I think part of my mid-life crisis is going back and buying old Black Flag albums.”

That makes even me feel old.

I’m also testing my laptop’s crappy built-in webcam:

Wow. My hair is especially fluffy today. Also: Worst angle ever.

Link Bucket

Filed under: Uncategorized — thirdxlucky @ 5:30 pm
Tags: ,

Stanford Law Review article on bisexual erasure that I’ve read the first several pages of because there are like ten more important things I should be doing:

The Epistemic Contract of Bisexual Erasure – Kenji Yoshino

Devilish

Filed under: Uncategorized — thirdxlucky @ 11:15 am

On my way to Denver.

Cute girl at the bus stop wearing nothing but a tiny little low-cut short-skirt plain black spaghetti-strap dress and, around her neck…a shiny gold cross.

Why is this so hot?

Erasure – Not the Band

Filed under: Uncategorized — thirdxlucky @ 6:05 am
Tags: ,

Gah! In this episode, he’s talking about this problem exactly – only, not really. He’s talking to a lesbian-identified bisexual woman who’s worried that lesbians won’t want to date her because she has a boyfriend…

“For a lot of women, particularly lesbian-identified women who are not ‘lesboflexible’, your having another partner is going to be a problem. Your having another partner who is a dude is going to be a very big problem. And so you’re just gonna have to ask and ask and ask, and you’re going to have to endure a certain amount of rejection and – I’m sorry to say this, because the bisexuals are going to blow up at me – LEGIT rejection. We all get to pick our own dealbreakers. The more we have, the more likely we are to be lonely and single all our lives, so you want to have not a massive collection… But people have the right to say, I’m a lesbian woman and I want to be with a lesbian woman who is a LESBIAN woman and not a lesboflexible-in-denial-bisexual-woman-making-an-exception-for-just-this-one-dude-who-happens-to-be-married.

Your other option, beyond lesbian women – and it always blows my mind that this never occurs to the lesboflexibles, and the homoflexibles (the handful who exist) and many bisexuals – is dating bisexuals. Why not find other women who are similarly situated emotionally, sexually, socially, romantically, and chase after them? And they’re out there. Because the lesbians are constantly complaining about being approached by them. They’re out there. They are legion! Go after a bisexual. What is it about so many bisexuals? When they complain about their lack of luck, they seem to only complain about how straight people won’t date them, and gay people won’t date them, and lesbians won’t date them, dot dot dot. And they never get around to saying, “So, I’m hitting on bisexuals now.” It just never seems to occur to them that they could chase after other bisexuals!”

Um, yeah. Duh. Wouldn’t that be nice? But Dan, how do we know who they are? Just pop on down to the local Bi-Bar? Oh, wait. Hit on our guy friends’ straight-seeming wives, just in case? Yeah, sometimes that could work – like, for example, with my roommates – but more often, that’s the kind of faux-pas that might get you punched. Especially outside of fluffy liberal bubbles like Boulder and Seattle.

Yeah, sometimes you just gotta take a risk and pursue someone who, for any number of reasons not limited to your gender or sexual orientation, might not return the interest. But unless your dating pool is limited exclusively to really close friends and pre-vetted OkCupid users, there’s no really good way to guess who’s bi. This means that you can either hit on straight-seeming women who, it will sometimes turn out, are straight and freaked out because a girl is hitting on them; or you can hit on gay-seeming women who, it will sometimes turn out, are gay and “constantly complaining” about being approached by bisexuals. Maybe these things don’t happen very often; maybe they happen all the time. I’m sure it depends partially on where you live, who you hang out with, and how hot you are. My point is: Isn’t the fear of rejection already debilitating enough when all you have to worry about is whether this person will like you – much less having to stress about whether they’re even into people like you?

This would be less of an issue if we lived in a less ‘phobic, less sex-negative, less gender-fixated society where people could turn down an advance from someone of a gender/orientation they’re not typically interested in with the same kind of, “You seem nice, thanks, but you’re not really my type” you’d give to someone who, say, is a blonde when you’re mostly into redheads. Rather than, “Ew. Omg. No. I don’t like girls/I don’t date bisexuals. Why would you think I was into that? Do I seem like the kind of person who’d be into that? Why would you even think to hit on me? Do I look gay/bisexual? Do I give off some kind of girl/bisexual-attracting vibe? Oh god. What does that mean about me? I’m going to have a freakout identity crisis all over you now.” Which again, like I said, may not happen very often. But the prospect is intimidating enough to keep a lot of bisexuals – especially shy bisexuals – at home, hiding out on OkCupid.

(And, again, let me point out that this fear may be even more poignant for bisexual men, since the Straight Dude ‘How Dare You Hit On Me?’ identity crisis freakout is more likely to involve lots of violence.)

Here’s the thing. I’m not really bitching about this on my own behalf. I’m very lucky. Over the past few years, I’ve found myself surrounded by a community that includes a lot of confident, self-possessed, out bisexual poly women, some pretty accepting and savvy queer-identified lesbians, plus a couple of delightful genuine Kinsey-3 bisexual male friends. I’ve also gotten to a point of confidence with myself and expectation of maturity/openness in those around me that I am able, most of the time, to approach someone without feeling to need to first determine their sexual orientation via Internet stalkage. (And, weirdly, this has resulted in me getting a decent amount of straight-girl tail. Oh god. What does that say about ME? Do I give off some kind of bi-curious straight chick attracting pheremone?? …Cuz I might be okay with that.)

But, like I said, I’m very lucky. Even within this utopian-sounding social environment, I still run into erasure issues – and this scenario is not even close to the case for most bisexual folks. Even those who do live in fluffy liberal enclaves. Like, for example, my roommate. Who is sweet and gorgeous and would probably get devoured by women if they knew she was interested and available. But nobody, unless they know her very, very well, is ever going to assume she is, because she looks pretty and femme and normal as hell and she’s married to a man. She isn’t going to advertise to people who don’t know her very, very well, because she’s very, very shy. And there’s really no good way to flag discreetly. Obnoxious T-Shirts saying “Bisexual, Poly, Switch – And No, I Still Won’t Sleep with You” do not count.

Incidentally: The time tags on my posts are all out of whack.

Filed under: Uncategorized — thirdxlucky @ 4:54 am

The Internet is not providing sufficient emotional sustenance this evening. I need a snugglebuddy.

However, it does appear to be Callers With Adorable Problems night on the SavageLovecast this evening.

I’ve been dealing with this shit with my mom for two days straight and I’m worn out. I’ve been exchanging e-mails with a volunteer mother at the Phoenix PFLAG. She’s been very welcoming and encouraging and I want to put the two of them in touch, but we hit a snag today because Mom doesn’t have her internet hooked up yet and the volunteer lady “doesn’t really do telephoning.” Um…Huh? I mean, I get it. I hate the phone, too. But if you’re the outreach person for a support group-type organization in a major metropolitan area, maybe you should…get over it? Not that I’d wish phonecalls from my mom on my worst enemy. Whatever. I’m so tired. I was falling asleep on the keyboard at work today. I finally just gave up, came home and took a four hour nap. This was dinner: Cold tortillas and hummus. A bowl of Cheerios. A hardboiled egg. Cookies.

Where are my roommates, anyway?

Hah! Dan Savage just prefaced a suggestion that the caller’s partner might’ve been sexually abused with, “I hate to sound like Dr. Drew, but…” Awesome. (I can’t stand Dr. Drew, but that’s a post for another time.)

ETA: The roommies are home (they went to a ballgame) and now we’re all sitting around the table listening to Dan Savage together. Aw, domesticity.

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