Saturday, March 17, 2018


Every morning, I pour some water in a glass and gulp down a probiotic supplement and an aspirin.

The probiotic is because my IUD threw off my vaginal pH balance. I was getting abnormal pap smear results, and the 6-month (as opposed to annual) screenings were about to turn into a second colposcopy. Call me a no-fun-stick-in-the-mud, but having a pair of surgical scissors inserted into my uterus and used to clip my cervix for a second time wasn't something I was particularly interested in. "What are my other options?" led to an over-the-counter probiotic, and I was back to my regularly scheduled annual paps.

The aspirin is for my hypercoagulability. My blood's just...super good at clotting. But not in a positive way like, "oh man you scab over wounds sooooo quickly" and more of a, "somebody should have told you about this before you started on hormonal birth control, because now you've combined two  risk factors for blood clots and congrats you have a deep vein thrombosis in your left leg." (Also, hence the IUD. After I was diagnosed, I was essentially told if I didn't want to have little blood clumps roaming around in my veins and arteries until one of them blocked something and killed me, it would be best to consider non-hormonal methods of birth control.)

I have a history of weird medical maladies. Like the time I thought I had vertigo but it turned out I just needed reading glasses with a prism (very slight near-sightedness, but the real problem was one of my eyes doesn't focus as well as the other when looking at things up close (like any print in a book or on a computer screen, hence the reading glasses)). I'm also on a prescription medication for my cholesterol, something almost every doctor I've seen has told me I'm too young for. (Thanks, genetics!)

Every night before bed, in with the pill for my cholesterol, I also swallow the pill for my anxiety "Pill" is a bit of a misnomer, because, after almost a full year on this medicine, I think I've found my sweet spot at a pill and a half.

My physical problems were (and likely are) hilariously under the radar. Except for my cholesterol, which I knew was becoming problematic because I was monitoring it every year via the health screenings offered by my employer, the rest of it was like discovering a shitty toy at the bottom of my proverbial, corporeal box of Cracker Jack.

My neurological differences, on the other hand, were buried in the style of the Telltale Heart. I'll spare you, dear readers, the years of circular, allusion-laden personal analysis that's been undergone in therapy. The months of adjusting to medication and the knowledge that neither of these treatments might last or make anything significantly "better" for me in the long term. (I feel as though most people have an antibiotic-centric view of "treatment." You take medicine until the physical symptoms of the disease pass, and then things are back to hunky-dory. I wonder if I would have been as amenable to anti-anxiety medication if I didn't already have a host of other disorders that require more "maintenance" style management.)

I'll bring you right up to the present, where I finally took up the rug that's been hiding the trap door in my proverbial, mental floorboards. Let light in and allowed the self-entrapped perception of myself I've been trying to ignore out. I disparage the word "neurotypical." That's not what I'm aiming for. It's more like...I've passed my metaphorical, mental health MCAT. I've still got metaphorical med school ahead of me. Plenty of things could still wind up going wrong. But I'll be damned if I'm not going to put as much work and effort as I possibly can into all those term papers and practicums in the meantime.


Saturday, October 21, 2017

Gotta keep 'em medicated

It's been a busy bit of days, intrepid readers. Although I haven't had to take another divorce-related hiatus, there has been quite a lot of low-caliber disorder for me to wade through.

Frisbee and I spent the entire summer having the house renovated. It was an interesting experience to process the relationship transition both mentally and ornamentally. Although I've identified as some variation of "sexually and romantically open" since I first started being interested in sexual and romantic contact with others, living in an MMF, V-style relationship was something I didn't have a lot of experience with. Having one stem of that V rather abruptly decide they wanted to detach from everything and then maintaining the other side of the V as something completely new and undefined was...super fun.

To channel my inner Expressive Writing 101, having several rooms of my house taken down to the studs and built back up coincided nicely with how I had my emotional self-identity broken and the process of reconstructing it. In very quick succession once the renovations were finished (the physical home renovations, anyway. I'll get back to you on that emotional stuff), the school year started back up, I had to get a new car, and I've been figuring out my anti-anxiety meds.

(It's not as bad as all that. If you've been reading along for awhile, you'll know I tend to use GIFs to attempt exaggerative comedic effect.)

In the midst also was a pretty serious restructuring of how I view and want to format my relationships. While I still have some pretty defined categories for people I'm involved with, there's whole new little subgroups within each type. For example, men that I know from the gang bang that I enjoy being with outside of the bangs, but only in the context of other sex parties. I noticed this pretty significantly after starting the meds, but feel squicky about correlation and causation on that one. I think there's definitely something about these new preferences that's been brought on by the medication. My mental functions have gone from running on every possible track at all times to (mostly) only running on the most pertinent, and I can feel how that's given me the mental space to process what I'm actually looking for when I enter a sexual and/or romantic relationship with another person. On the other hand, I ran into a pretty serious brick wall in regards to my own perceptions about my relationship with Nex-Hubby, and I'm no Wil-E-Coyote about that shit. 

I'm taking a little extra time to make sure the fit's right with the relationships I'm in. No more buying things straight off the rack and then hoping it'll fit me once I get it home. I'm still a total failure at expressing my preferences to other people once I have them decided. Small steps.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

The one where I watch Beauty and the Beast

Yes, I'm admittedly behind the times with my movie reviews.

I have a definite habit of spitefully avoiding most things people recommend to me for extended periods of time. It's one of the many hold-over coping mechanisms from my childhood that doesn't currently serve any purpose, but I can't quite completely get rid of. It was a lot more advantageous while I was growing up to know the opinion of those in charge than to try and form my own opinions about things. If I did have an opinion on something, even if it aligned with expectations, it was usually best to shut up about it. Regardless of allegiance, my thoughts on anything were regarded as pretty irrelevant. Hence, in my adult life, people make recommendations on things I might enjoy and I skeptically start gathering opinions on said thing so I'll know what the majority consensus is and how dangerous it might be not to align myself.

In any case, I had been hearing for awhile about the live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast and how it was "better than" a lot of people had expected it to be. I also had a fair amount of information about the "exclusively gay moment" supposedly featured.

So when B&B (alternative title: The Re-Beastening) was available in-flight, I locked my tray table in the upright position and buckled in to see what I thought about it.

Fair warning, the remainder of this entry isn't going to be about how I thought Emma Watson did a really good job. Or how stunning the visual effects were. I'm not offering any commentary on whether or not there was more of a "feminist" angle to this version vs. the animated one (although it is something that I've thought about, and my simple answer is "no.") The remainder of this entry is going to be a total soap-box style rage about LGBT representation and how incredibly disappointing it was to be promised something "exclusively gay" and then be delivered a fey side-kick sucking on his pinky for 2 hours and briefly partnering up with another man during a fancy gala dance.

The long and the short of it: it sucks to have a marginalized identity be used purely as a marketing strategy. As if the people that produced this movie were concerned the gays weren't going to go see a musical.

It's a movie about a "weird" girl who doesn't fit in with her little backwoods hometown. You know, she like...reads books and stuff.

It all works out okay, though, because once somebody who is literally royalty gets her to assume that stereotypical care-giver role (and her a whole fucking library full of books to read when she's not busy demeaningly teaching him how to be a decent human being), she's fulfilled and the ending credit music can swell up.

Fucking pro tip. If the main character is skewed from the norm in any way whatsoever, the queers will get to it. That's what happens when a community's integral identity and sexual expression have been suppressed and villainized for the better part of...forever. Representation is found where it can be had. Belle being ostracized for reading books is a very watered-down version of how it feels to recognize that feeling of being "other." But when you're parched, even a drop of water can be refreshing.'s all in vogue now. It's so chic to be queer. I mean, LeFou was clearly, obviously homosexual. Just look at this!

That's gayer than nine dudes blowing ten dudes. And this was a Disney film. What else could I possibly be asking for?

My pinnacle of representation, my Edenic wish, was for LeFou to be gay, and for it to be a non-issue. For the film to not have wasted so much sweat and energy on making him skip everywhere. I wanted "he's 100% dedicated to serving another man" to not be inflated to insinuate anything other than lackey-hood. (Although I'm one thousand percent sure there's some pretty raunchy BDSM Rule 34 out there, if you care to find it.)

There's a perfect moment for this in the film, when Gaston and LeFou are bro-ing out and complaining about how annoying women are but how ultimately they want to be partnered exclusively with one for the remainder of their days. (That's a whole other kettle of fish, dear readers.) Gaston, in a reflective moment, asks LeFou why he hasn't found the right woman to settle down with yet. LeFou's response, "I'm clingy," could have so easily been replaced with him screaming, "IT'S BECAUSE I LIKE DICK OMG."

Okay, so maybe not actually those exact words. I get that you were kind of a school-boy perv, Walt Disney, but I won't besmirch your legacy by advising that you insert all-caps phallus references into your films.

It would have just been awesome to have representation = normalcy. Say...LeFou is Gaston's lackey, but he also makes eyes at the bartender of the hunting lodge. Maybe you see LeFou and the bartender reach for and hold each other's hands when the whole village is going ape-shit about the Beast being a real thing and the townspeople are gathering their torches and other various angry mob accoutrements. It's...effortless. An action two hetero characters could engage in without the audience pausing their popcorn shoveling. That's how representation is done well. Once you brush off all the glitter, we're just boring old humans like the rest of ya'll.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Willful Girl Flies First Class

There was a certain amount of activity that I anticipated when making the decision to be open within relationships.

I had seen monogamy and how the majority of those who were monogamous had this weird, sitcom-esque unhappiness about them. A perpetual playback of, "this doesn't make me happy but I guess it's better than nothing." If only there was a better way!

Which is not to say that I haven't encountered this same attitude within nonmonogamy. There's unhappy couples everywhere. Not so subtly masking their unhappiness with witty comments or fatigued asides; they ring all the more hollow without accompanying laugh tracks or the sympathetic "awww" of a stock audience recording. After testing the relationship waters in my formative years, I made a conscious decision to not only be open, but to be Brian Kinney open. Me first. My happiness paramount. Allow others to get close, certainly, but always keep an inner sanctuary that's purely me. I protect that shit fiercely.

Imagine it as a small Airstream trailer. I've got the interior to myself. Sure, it's cluttered. Everything probably has a faint smell of pot smoke to it. Sometimes unexpected garbage I thought I had cleared out starts piling back in through the windows and I have to step outside before I get buried like one of those people on Hoarders. It's not always perfect, but it's always me.

The exterior I have less control over. Thankfully, I don't hang out with the type of people who think scrawling, "wash me" into a layer of dust is the epitome of humor. To bring the analogy full circle, I knew when I decided to be open that I was parking my Airstream in more of a music festival, open field lot. That I might be visited by people who were at the festival to see the same musician I was (read: people who are into the same things I am, have the same kinks, same interests, etc.), but that I had just as much of a chance of meeting people who were there to see different acts. The important part has been allowing visitors, regardless of taste variety, to leave something on the outside of the Airstream. A cool bumper sticker, some Sharpie artwork, one of those kitschy lawn flamingos...maybe just a smashed beer can.

This past weekend, I added a new bumper sticker to my Airstream. The Cuddler (a gentleman I know from the gang bangs and figured was worth giving him a moniker for purposes of this entry) offered me a sugar-daddy style, 4 day vacation before I officially started Summer School. The type of experience that far exceeded anything I had anticipated when I made the decision to be open. (Which is not to say that we didn't schedule time to fuck in addition to sight seeing and shopping for touristy souvenirs.)

I'm fundamentally a blue collar girl, so allowing such extravagance, especially somebody else providing it for me, took a bit of mental justification. Thankfully, there's enough of a hedonist underneath that blue collar to get around any economic misgivings and allow myself to enjoy the experience. Dear readers, this trip changed not only the exterior of my Airstream, but made me update the interior as well. For 4 days, I adopted a policy of saying yes, and it was...amazing. Metaphorically, I took that sheer, separating curtain from the plane when I left business class and hung it up on the wall of my internal sanctuary. A reminder it's not so bad every once in awhile to sit with a complimentary glass of wine and just be happy.

Monday, April 10, 2017

The one where I'm on Season 3 of Transparent

Possible spoilers ahead, dear readers.

I spent my Spring Break this year finishing up a coding project for school. Spent hours putting in data and x/y values only to run the program and watch my characters still continue to bounce around like they had spiteful amounts of free will.

In order to avoid throwing my laptop out the nearest window, I'd give myself period breaks to binge watch the dramatic story of the Pfeffermans. I got through to Season 2 while on vacation, and have been working my way into Season 3 the past few weeks.

Tonight I reached the episode where this show that has gotten so much right (different types of transitioning, the difference between people who like to cross dress and people who identify as trans, the exclusion of trans women by the feminist community) completely shit the bed when it comes to nonmonogamous relationships.

Brief catch-up: The youngest daughter of the Pfefferman family was in a relationship with another woman and interested in opening the relationship up. Incredulity from the GF, "aren't I enough for you?" yadda yadda yadda, ensuing break-up. Fast forward to young Pfefferman in a relationship with another woman (fittingly, the same woman she had been interested in opening up her previous relationship in order to date), and suddenly intensely aware of how she craves jealousy within a relationship. Because jealousy implies passionate exclusivity, and Pfefferman is so in love with this other woman she can't bear the thought of her not bursting into tears when Pfefferman unexpectedly "cheats."

Which is not to say that a relationship dynamic can't be different depending on the people involved. I'm arguing against the implication that the only reason she wanted to open up the first relationship was because she wasn't really invested or in love with that woman. Once she found "the one," standard relationship bullshit could commence.