Holy bejeezus, it's log time.

The last half year of my life has been spent working for the man, writing literary failures, and reading up on my home sweet Texas according to Kinky Friedman. I've traveled halfway across the country several times, and every time half the trip seems to be getting out of, or back into, Texas. I believe it's the only state where you spend the morning in a cold front/rainstorm and wind up the day in a warm, dusty sunset.

I've taken quite a hiatus from the connected life, as it were. I gave away my hard drive and disconnected my provider. I cut off my cable and only turned my television on to watch the occasional movie. It's amazing how life can change and what seemed to matter so much, doesn't mean a damn thing. I think I'm over the "If you keep staringat a screen all day, life will pass you by" phase. I still won't watch conventional television, but certain things about the internet still hold interest for me.

I've found myself often taking on musings of life and the crazy people wrapped up in it. I deal with hundreds of people every day, 5 days a week with hopefully two full days off to recuperate. I highly recommend to any person to take a job in service. If only for a day. It would sure make thousands of people's lives easier if some proverbial meanie-heads knew what we service-grunts have to deal with every day.

I think I've typed enough for now...perhaps I'll write something of actual interest, intellect, and hopefully some humor next time. Until then....

I WON A $4000 COMPUTER!!!

I was working for the CPL Pentium 4 Summer Tourney in Dallas over the weekend (mostly for fun, but also for the hookups) running cables, taking care of network shit, keeping Counter Strike clans in line - you know, the usual shit. It's a well known rule that CPL volunteers are not allowed to participate in CPL raffles, but this guy - from www.freakingfastcomputers.com - was not a CPL sponsor and this was not a CPL sanctioned raffle, so there was nothing preventing me from grabbing a free ticket.

I didn't expect anything to come of it - I never win anything after all, and put it to the back of my mind until much later. Wednesday evening, during the closing ceremonies (handing out of big fake cheques), the voluptuous Stevie Case started pulling out ticket numbers. I hear the first one and it's nowhere CLOSE to mine so I just stop caring. But then I notice she called another number - the first guy hadn't shown up, and neither did the next four. On the sixth pull, they called my ticket number and I had a little difficulty standing.

The following is to be delivered to my house within 2 weeks -

    1 - Lian Li PC61 Aluminum Tower Coolermaster ATC210 case with 431Watt Power Supply, window modification, and blue cold cathode lighting
    1 - PIV 2.4aPIV 2.53 ghz processor (free upgrade for delayed delivery!!
    1 - Thermaltake Volcano 7 proc fanSent the Intel Stock fan instead, I put the V7+ on later :)
    1 - strip of 512mb PC1066 RDRAM
    1 - Visiontek GeForce4 Ti4600 Graphics Accelerator
    1 - Asus P4T533-C motherboard
    1 - 80 Gigabyte 7200 RPM Seagate Hard Drive
    1 - Plextor 20X12X20X12 CDR/RW/DVD
    1 - Silver Sony Floppy Drive
    1 - Red rounded floppy cable
    2 - Blue rounded IDE cables
    1 - Microsoft Keyboard
    1 - Microsoft Mouse
    1 - NEC Multisync FE950+ 19" flat screen monitor
    1 - set of Creative Inspire 5300 speakers (shitty, I know, but hey, free!)
All of the above totals to about $3900+ retail as I've totalled it (the PC alone without monitor speakers etc runs $2650). I've been on a total high for the past three days and can't wait for the thing to come in. On top of that, I also won a free copy of Unreal Tournament 2003 (which will be shipped to me upon the release date), a Mouse Bungee, an X-Box travel bag, and some cool shirts.

Don't let anyone tell you volunteering is a waste of time... Good things always happen to good people in the end.

So, today I'm getting married.

Yeah.

So, what about it?

I'm not entirely sure. I don't get to have sex with other women besides Amanda, like, it's illegal now instead of just morally ambiguous.

I know it's weird that the first thing to come out of my mouth is something I can't do any more. Not that I was any kind of Cassenova to begin with.

It's really, and I hate to put it this way, a buisiness kind of proposition. I love her, and I'm not going to deny it, but the only reason to get married now instead of when I have a job and become financially stable is a small girl. We've planned this, roughly, for four years. The marriage, not the baby.

I'm 23 years old, and already I'm filled with regret. Words I should have spoken. Actions I should have taken. Many many desserts I shouldn't have eaten. Psychotropics I should have known and loved.

I can't get a job because I'm bad at The Job Interview. Feeling sorry for myself: my own grand tradition.

I've become a conservative in act, but not in thought.

Such is life. I just hope I don't mess up the Honeymoon.

in BDSM is the sign of a sick society intones:
I promise i'll never comment again on this node because it's gone waaaaaay over the top....

You people want to hurt and humiliate each other!

You sick fucks!

And i think a great many of us feel that way. If we don't say so out loud it's because the "more liberal than thou" posse will be right on our cases and we can't be bothered with it. Safe, sane, consensual? My ass. ...

Enough from me.


Gracefully(sic) bowing out of the flames (s)he chose to start.

Goddamn right it's enough. (And by the by, not all people who engage in leathersex are liberal.)

This rant goes well beyond my personal tolerance for insensitivity and self righteousness. the author is as much entitled to an opinion as any, however I, for one eidn't come to e2 to be lectured about my sexuality. I will take on particular points:

Any kind of Freudian analysis of domination resolves to either megalomania or compensation

For starts, more than one practicing therapist has come to the viewpoint (which I first heard expressed by ram dass (Richard Alpert)) that "The patients of (freudian, rogerian, ...) therapists invariably showed symptoms consistent with the discipline of the therapist.

In other words viewpoints matter, and the analysis which focuses on the analyst's view ahead of the subject's (or patient's) reality is probably somewhere missing the point. This is not to suggest that analysis is useless, rather to point out it's limitations, and to emphasize that 'perception is reality'

1. Domination is all about power-complexes and wanting to humiliate somebody else ...
2. Submission is all about wanting to be powerless, getting off on not taking responsibility for your own actions

Yes there are people I talk to who subscribe to this view, sometimes it's clear thay haven't 'gotten' what I express on the subject. That is not to imply that people who disagree with me are wrong, they have a viewpoint.

Similar viewponts could hold that my bisexuality is 'wrong'. Some gay or lesbian queers hold that bisexuals are 'fence sitting' or 'holding onto heterosexual privilege', some homophobes would label me as bad for being 'queer' and some other 'het?' people might label me as 'interesting to fuck because they like the idea of a threesome. I could (and sometimes do) label all of these as sick, exploitive or clueless. I also try to keep in mind that these are just labels, and others may not use the same ones.

For my viewpoint, most of these labels began with the freudians. (And the cynic in me is quick to note that some fraction of the therapy profession has been quite willing to incarcerate people like me and / or make a living curing them.)

And the worst thing is that you know you're fucked up and twisted but rather than admit it, you try to convince everyone else that you're completely natural.

Ahem. Ok for starts I personally subscribe to rack not SSC, some people who practice leathersex choose watered down language to describe what they do when speaking to outsiders, believing that this is a key to quicker social acceptance. While I am not against gaining some degree of mainstream acceptance, I don't think this is an objective which would justify telling half-truths.

I have done my time in therapy it serves its purpose I have solved some problems there. I worked hard at that and have made progress against a lifelong inclination to depression. I think I understand a little about the process of therapy, and the limits of psychoanalysis.

I also like to play on the edge. I identify as willing to undertake nontrivial risk. In the words of Joseph Bean I will risk 'life, limb or sanity in 'play'. This could be simply labeled thrill seeking, however I actually see myself as risk averse. (On a motorcyle I wear leather (or similar synthetic protective gear, ride sober, and smart, and aware of the limits of the equipment and my own judgement.)

So why take on 'risk' in sexual play?

Whether playing on the top or bottom I am taking responsibility for my own exploration of self. I find pleasure. (It is every bit as possible to tickle or caress with a bullwhip as it is to create searing pain.) In simple biochemical terms SM can create very high levels of endorphins. Done 'right' (usually involving build-up, and a rythm which mimics or combines with the rythm of repeated orgasm), this is a means to expanding body awareness.

The wu I'm ranting about focussed more heavily on what I would call the dominance and submission aspects of leathersex. In particular the wu focusses on humiliation. While I've been focussing on SM and sensation aspects, the potential to access sensitive places in the psyche are also an aspect of leathersex. Humiliation play is in fact a very touchy subject in the scene, and for many players in their personal views.

DS can imply accessing places that are very sensitive and some find it to be a good way to work through past trauma or other issues. This does not necessarily imply repeating or wallowing in the past. IMX while most people (in and out of the context of leathersex) may continue to revisit themes, that places which had priorly carried much angst either evaporated (hence becoming less interesting for future 'play'), or possibly becoming places where I could take simple joy, where before there had been fear.

Finaly, much of the strife and drama I have observed in people's personal lives has had *everything* to do with power exchange, and that is often happening without openly negotiated boundaries, limits or objectives. The skeptical observer might consider this to be a polyannaesqe view (that 'we' in bdsm do things differently or better) I will suggest that (s)he actually walk a mile in that person's shoes before entertaining criticism.

What the fuck is wrong with people?

I went over to peachtree center today because I didn't recall ever having been there before and besides it was a nice place to read The Stranger by Albert Camus for my summer reading. Peachtree center is a really beautiful marta station and decent mall. There is an escalator in peachtree center which is perhaps one of the weirdest places I have ever been. The escalator is so long that as you keep going up it and you look forward up the escalator, you eventually feel as if you are staring straight up and that the escalator is making you fall upwards. When you go down the escalator you wonder why gravity does not give you the beating you so richly deserve for even thinking about this defying-the-laws-of-physics nonsense.

After a few hours of exploring downtown Atlanta and thinking about walking into a catholic church to convert on the spot, (which I decided was probably just not how such things were done) I ended up back in Peachtree center waiting for the train to take me to Five Points Station and then down to Decatur's Marta station where I could call for a ride or catch the 19, whatever was convenient.

When I got there I saw two black kids. I nodded at one who said something in a dialect of english which I am not too skilled at speaking, since black people don't usually talk to white people (which is the obvious not to mention only reason two dialects could have developed.) He said what I believed to be, "Heyo wes goin' to the Pootytang" I nodded, not really wanting to know what this Pootytang was. He asked me "You ne'er been to the Pootang?" I said no. He told me it was a strip joint and that I could see black pussy there, and asked me if I wanted to go. Not interested in such things I said no. One of the kids said to the others, "He don't wanna see none of that BLACK PUSSY, that boy wan'z some WHITE PUSSY." The first kid asked me if I didn't like black pussy, and I responded that once you've seen one strangers pussy you've really seen every strangers pussy and that I felt rather indiffrent towards them. He said damn and thought I was full of shit. Afterwards, it struck me as strange that 15 year olds should be able to get into a strip club.

make a night of it

weill in japan: day 25

The third week of classes is over. Rather than do my pointless busy-work homework, I relaxed for a bit today. Relaxation isn't all about standing still, though.

The day started with lots of sleep, waking up late, doing some laundry, and other stuff I didn't take care of during the week. A friend of mine was working on Saturday correcting English papers, but he gave me a call after he finished up. At about 4:00 PM, we headed out towards the historic Asakusa area for the first of hopefully a few festivals.

let's matsuri

The matsuri (festival) season in Japan has just started, and I hope to take full advantage of it. The Sumida River Festival in Asakusa attracts positively enormous crowds. We arrived two hours before sunset, and there were already tens of thousands of visitors who had placed sheets down on the ground to mark their places. The trip to get to Asakusa was enough of a warning: after taking the rail to Asakusabashi station, we had to transfer to the subway. As the hordes of people -- including hundreds of women in traditional yukata summer kimonos -- made their way towards the subway, we were glad to see that additional ticket agents were available to handle the overflow traffic. The subway ride to get to Asakusa station was easily the most crowded train I've ever been on, with conductors pushing people into the train to make sure we all could get there.

Despite all the logistical struggles, the festival was great. The fireworks were second to none: 20,000 blooms launched from two spots along the Sumida River produced stunning effects. I took a ton of pictures, and a few of them actually came out well. Vendors along the streets sell beer, yakisoba, beer, takoyaki (roasted octopus), beer, okonomiyaki (called "Japanese pizza" by many), and all sorts of other refreshments. The prices are terrible: a small container of yakisoba and a can of beer cost me ¥1000 (about $8.60) while at any other place they would cost maybe half as much. Still, especially for street-vendor food, the quality was very good.

Police were clearly in force at the festivals, primarily to keep crowds moving and to maintain roadblocks. They also lead people in huge groups over bridges, providing stunning unobstructed views of the fireworks display. Last year, crowds caused injuries from trampling and even a bridge collapse near Kobe, so police are taking no chances this time around.

Two more Saturday festivals will take place before I head back home, so I'll need to check them out with some friends. Lessons learned: don't buy beer from street vendors, bring a sheet, and arrive as early as possible.

halfway home

It's frightening to think that just three weeks from today, I'll be returning home. There's so much more to see, but at the same time I have things like our Thursday midterm to worry about. I also need to give my stupid survey to my host family, imposing the will of my professors on these nice people. If I'm lucky, I'll get three out of the four family members to complete it.

Classes won't get me down. It's fun time.

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