Saturday, July 27, 2013

I Miss You Like The Deserts Miss The Rain

Anyone who's talked to me in the last couple of years (well, ever, really) knows that I'm not particularly fond of the part of the country that I live in. I don't care for my city, as nice as it is, and I don't care for my state. It's not that I can't see the appeal- I can, to a degree. Unfortunately, all of those things that appeal to the people who live in this area of the country mean almost nothing to me. I don't have kids to raise, so being in a bigger city with a small town feel doesn't do much for me. I don't think the level of education in our area is particularly high, though I will say that its better than some of the bigger cities in our state. There's plenty of green space and lakes to enjoy. Unfortunately, the political climate of our region makes it so that a lot of that is closed off to me and Kitten unless we want to spend a whole day acting like acquaintances. I don't.

At any rate, I feel like I've made it really clear that I'm not fond of here and that there are other places (namely, Portland Oregon) that I would rather be. That said, this last week Kitten and I were finally able to go into our favorite local breakfast joint and have a bite to eat. It was then that we realized that there were, indeed, things that we would miss about my hometown.

I will, certainly, miss that breakfast place. Part of it is the closeness. I feel like I'm at home. The staff feels like family. Hey- we had only been away a couple of months (one of them on vacation) and some of the kitchen staff came out to give us hugs. Seriously. I am friends with them on Facebook and it feels like I'm in my grandfather's kitchen when I'm there. Not so much the look, but the atmosphere and the taste. They make pancakes I swear could be my's about the only place I'll eat them short of at home. The food is good and home made. The staff are wonderful people. It's cozy in a crammed, warm, comfortable kind of way. When we move, I'll have to spend months, maybe years, looking for another place like that.

I'll miss the convenience culture of my town, whether I want to admit it or not. Do I want to live in a town that encourages local business, local food markets and healthy living? Absolutely. But that doesn't mean I won't miss Walmart. I know, I know, there's plenty of Walmart haters out there and I understand it. I do. But let me tell you something- if my coffee pot breaks any time day or night I know there are a minimum of seven different places I can get a high quality, programmable, grinds yours beans, steams your milk and sings you good morning coffee pot. Minimum. See, in my town, we have six Walmart Supercenters, eight or nine (I've lost count)  Neighborhood markets, Three Big K-Marts, A Super Target, and somewhere in the neighborhood of ten big market national chain superstores. We have six or seven Walgreens and three CVS pharmacies. I choose which store I shop at based on which one's layout I like best. I have five major grocery stores within three miles of my home. That's convenient.

I wonder how I will cope in a city where there isn't a grocery on every corner. I don't know how I'll feel when I have to drive to get to a big box store. Hell, maybe I'll start shopping online. I mean, I knew someone who moved out there and actually had to ask their friends on Facebook where to get a toaster because there wasn't a Walmart within easy driving distance. How will I feel when I can't get to a McDonald's within 5 minutes of wherever I am in town? Thinner, probably, but that won't help my french fry craving. We'll see...but I think I'll miss it a little bit. Don't get me wrong, I think the perks outweigh the disadvantages, but it will be a big change.

Speaking of which, I'll have to adjust my eating habits. Specifically when it comes to "Chinese" food. Now, we all know there's nothing Chinese about the stuff we order at The Great Wall of Chicken (or wherever you like to go- pick one, our city has probably close to fifty) but its not going to be the same when we move. We're going to want Chinese and what we're really going to want is a local delicacy called "cashew chicken" and I was raised on the stuff. Let me tell you, no one on the planet makes it the way we do here...and I'll miss eating it. We keep swearing we're going to perfect our own recipes...but I will get to craving my old favorite places and I'm pretty sure my visits home will be packed full of cartons full of Shanghai Dynasty's (or wherever's) food.

More than that- there's food everywhere here. Seriously, if you drop someone anywhere in my city with $20 they can walk to a restaurant and be eating in less than ten minutes. Take the picture below. From the corner where that picture was taken, I know off the top of my head there is a McDonald's, Wendy's, Taco Bell, Starbucks, Rib Crib, two other local BBQ places, a Chinese place (Kitten's favorite one, actually), a McCallister's Deli, and a Long John Silver's within visual radius. There is also a liquor store, a grocery store, and a whole foods type market. There's even two restaurants inside the building, one of them an upscale casual type place...I'm going to miss food, en masse, everywhere I look. Hey- I never said I wasn't a glutton.  

I'm also going to miss Bass Pro Outdoor World.

Okay, I know it's a strange thing to miss, but I will. You can keep Cabelas. I love that this place is massive. It's got a shooting range inside it for heaven's sake. There's waterfalls and tanks of fish and a wildlife museum. On the way down to the boat gallery (yeah, where you go to view all the different kinds of boast you can by, in an indoor showroom) there's a giant enclosure with an alligator in it. That's intense.

I like to go there for camping gear. They carry quality hiking boots and some really nice clothes. My favorite pair of hiking pants came from there. If we're ever bored, its a great place to go and daydream. Why yes, I am a lesbian stereotype sometimes- its nice to think about the tents, subzero rated sleeping bags, utility knives, waterproof boots, etc, etc, that I would like to own. This is a great place for it. In the winter it's nice to head over to the little food area they have and grab a mug of coffee or cider and then settle down in front of the giant fireplace and rest. Those split wood rocking chairs are comfortable. As many great stores as they have up north, there won't be a Bass Pro in Portland.

I'm also going to miss the flea markets and thrift stores. I'm not saying that there won't be great ones there...but I have my favorites here. For some reason I think Bobcat and I are going to end up reminiscing about the days when we could find an English Walnut sideboard from the mid-1800's for less than three grand. I do. Because I know that's not normal. It will take some adjusting. And speaking of the things used and abused- I'll miss my favorite local used book dealer, where all the girls know me and ask about my writing and what I've been up to. The ones that chorus with me (when the new kid foolishly asks if I have trade credit) "She never brings them back." I say it every time. These are the girls who will laugh when I reach into my coat for the fistful of quarters I know is there and come up with a fistful of Starburst candies- and then gleefully take one when I offer the fistful to them. They know I'm cool. I'm going to miss that. Even if there is Powell's City of Books.

I can't think of many things I'll be sorry to leave behind....but those things...yeah. I might just miss them every now and again. I guess in a few years we'll see. Won't we?


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Wouldn't It Be Lovely?

So another day of me running around town hunting for awesome things at the flea market/antique stores. I might post some pictures tomorrow. Bobcat and I are in love with lead glass work, which can't be produced legally in the US anymore. We've also discovered when it comes to furniture we really like the twisted English barley pattern on oak and maple. In discovering this trend, we've also discovered we dislike flowery detail and prefer more clean or geometric lines in our older furniture. Every now and again, though, we run into a ridiculously ornately carved piece we love....we may not be consistent, but our taste is consistently good, I think. 

So this evening was devoted to a quick hello from Flyguy, watching America's Got Talent (I voted for those acrobats and Collin's Key) and letting my feet freeze while I let the poultice Kitten made me dry on my spider bites (more about those later). Thus, you are stuck with another set of bizarre questions and my attempt at more than two word answers. I've included questions this time, so you'll see where my train of thought leaves the station. 

Incidentally, I'm currently reading the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan. It's wonderful. I love reading it. The detail is lavish and it distracts me beautifully when Kitten is taking needles to my feet. 

Do you think musicals are cheesy?
I absolutely adore musicals. I was raised (despite my family’s economic station) to really love the theater. As a result, I’ve developed a deep and abiding love for musicals of all kinds. I love the classics, but I still enjoy newer ones. Honestly, one of my favorite sweet moments from early in mine and Kittens relationship was when we went for a drive and we passed the street where I grew up. Kitten told me she used to drive by and think of me. It made me smile. A few minutes later, I noticed she was humming “The Street Where You  Live” from My Fair Lady. It’s my favorite musical. Definitely an “it was love” moment for me. In fact, one of the early questions I asked her on a date was what her favorite musical is. Its Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.

Is Christmas stressful?
Honestly, I’m not a huge fan of the holidays. I was when I was little, and I still enjoy the “atmosphere” of Christmas, but it’s something I view as artificial and created. If I want to “feel” like its Christmas, I like to go to Silver Dollar City’s Old Fashioned Christmas and wander around. I like the lights and the chill in the air. I like to listen to the carols. I enjoy a nice glass of wassail or four. We’ll watch the fudge being made and get fresh taffy. We’ll huddle around a warming lamp and eat savory treats. I’ll spend all the time you’ll let me in front of the giant tree that plays all the Electric Light Orchestra music and coordinates the lights. It is super old-fashioned and I also get to ride roller coasters, so it’s a win all the way around. But there’s no question, the atmosphere is created.

I think it’s very stressful that our families still try to create that “perfect” Christmas like there used to be. But you can’t force amity and goodwill. You can’t make everyone get along. Just because there’s a turkey or a ham on the table doesn’t mean everyone is happy to be there and wants to share the joy of the season. That is very stressful. The need to buy people things is stressful- especially since we’re always broke. The need to coordinate holiday parties with three sets of parents, plus my extended family, plus my friends and on top of that I have to plan a ritual and feast for MY winter holiday, Yule, as well- that is stressful.

See, the thing is, I don’t celebrate Christmas, do I? So I don’t particularly care. I think it’s the being forced to care that irritates me the most. I get tired of hearing “But it’s Christmas!” and then getting all the subsequent lectures about family obligations and how will I feel when family members die and I should want to make it special for everyone else because I love them even if I don’t celebrate the holiday, etc., etc. That’s stressful and it’s irritating.

Now, to answer the question that would be posted were you to ask without a Gregorian Calendar Anglo-Christian bias- no, I don’t find Yule stressful at all. It’s one of my favorite holidays (the food!) and is for sure my favorite “light” holiday.

Favorite type of fruit pie?
Honestly, I’m not a huge fan of pie in general and fruit pies in specific. If I am going to have pie I like the fruit to be fresh and that means only certain months of the year for my favorites. I like a nice peach pie, one that’s super syrupy. I also love a tart blackberry pie. I don’t want them to be double crust (impossible to find, you have to make them on your own, and I’m a terrible baker) and they should certainly have a flaky crust not a super thick one. And rich. Really, really rich.

Occupations you wanted to be when you were a kid?
Um, when I was really little I wanted to be a ballerina, a rock star and a nurse. When I was grade school aged I wanted to be a ballerina, a country-western singer and an artist. When I was junior high aged I realized I never be a ballerina, or a singer or an artist. I decided that being a writer was a much better, more attainable profession and it was something that I liked.

Someone told me that being a writer wasn’t a viable career. So when I got into high school I looked into the things that interested me. I decided I wanted to get into government somehow. I love languages and I was (still am, really) interested in foreign policy. So I decided it would be awesome to work as an ambassador or in a foreign government office. Like most American high schools, mine didn’t offer Russian (the language I wanted to learn) so I settled for French and German. I got a backup plan, because the counselors told me to, and decided that if foreign relations didn’t work, government relations would (yeah, me a lobbyist) be interesting. I applied for all the right schools and for what it’s worth, got accepted to most of them. And then I saw the price tag for school. And law school. And I knew, in my heart, there wasn’t a chance in the deepest regions of hell that I would be able to do either of those things.
So I went to local university, couldn’t afford that either once I had a semester of living on my own and trying to maintain a job and my incredibly bad health and so I left school. If you asked me now, I would say that I’d like to write. I want to go back to school and get a nice degree in literature and writing. I’d like to teach, but that would require an advance degree if I want to teach college. In most places in the country you still can’t be out and teach high school, so I’m aiming for writing a book that gets published and finding a job as a librarian or working in a bookstore of some sort. That would be fine with me.

Do you believe in ghosts?
I do believe in ghosts. I believe in spirits and poltergeists and all sorts of strange astral beings. I also believe that we sometimes believe in something so much that we create it with our mind. Our minds are far more powerful than we give ourselves credit for. I also believe that you can speak to the spirits of the dead and to spirits that were never human.  

Take a vitamin daily?
I do. In fact, working on this post reminded me that I needed to take it. I take two vitamins. One of them is a B complex supplement and the other one is an iron supplement. Both of them help me with much needed energy and they’ve really helped me feel better as far as my moodiness goes- they were a suggestion from Dad and I was glad for it.

Wear slippers?
I do. I actually have a whole lot of slippers. All of mine have hard soles so I can run around in the yard in them. I like slip on shoes for in the house and around it. Kitten is not so fond of my old pairs so she started buying me nice ones. It may have backfired though, this last week I’ve had some nasty spider bites in the shape of my outdoor house shoes and I’m pretty sure they were poisonous since I’ve got nasty pus-filled bulls-eyes now…no worries, Kitten lanced them and I’ve been putting on a poultice, but it’s pretty gross and it makes me reconsider no socks outside.

What do you wear to bed?
I don’t wear anything in bed. I used to, but I’ve found as the years pass that I just get hot and tangled up in my nightclothes and its more comfortable for me not to. Even when we were on vacation in South Carolina, even when we were camping, once I was in for the night I had all my clothes off. I slept nude in the tent. I also had a bad habit of running around camp in nothing but a sports bra and a pair of obscenely short exercise shorts, but hey- it was a hundred degrees and ninety-plus humidity every day. I get a pass while I’m working over a fire.

Shy OR open?

I think I’m both. I’m nervous around new people. I don’t like strangers or crowds. Most people don’t believe that I’m introverted, but I am. Once you get to know me, though, I’m an open book. I’ll talk about almost anything. I won’t keep secrets from you. I’m pretty forthright. Of course, you get a lot of that here. I don’t conceal much, which is a little normal, considering the regular readers here are, I’m pretty sure, my friends. It’s also a little odd, since I might be talking to strangers after all. Either way, I suppose, I’m an open book once you know me. 

Monday, July 22, 2013

Something's Coming Over Me

So, here’s the R rated version of the about me. This one is predominantly about sex and love and all that stuff that generally makes people uncomfortable. So you’re forewarned.

I wanted to start with my “would” list. I thought that would be fun. First, I want to point out that I get both a male list and a female list. And I’m not aiming for a specific number, these are just generally celebrities that I would sleep with if they showed up on my front porch and asked me to. Some people call it the celebrity exceptions. Whatever…Also, I am picking people whom I not only would sleep with, but whom I assume would be good in bed. There’s some people I think are pretty, or would be fun to see nude, but I’m sure would be a totally lame lay (Liam Hemsworth, I’m looking at you.)

Michelle Rodriguez- because she's just lovely. 

Ellen DeGeneres- I could look at her all day. She's got a great smile. 

Tilda Swinton- androgyny, beauty, activism...its all sexy

Meryl Streep- Classic. That's all

Jennifer Lawrence- so beautiful. And funny. And she has *curves* which I love. 

Emma Watson- not just for Harry Potter fans anymore

Anna Kendrick- cute as all get out. 

Robert Downey Jr.- quite possibly the perfect specimen of a man...

Utkarsh Ambudkar- Musician, actor, super-cute....

Peter Dinklage- so beautiful. And his voice....I want him to sit and read to me for hours....I would utterly melt!

Jason Issacs- not just for Harry Potter fans

Howard Stern- Yeah. I can't explain it. The hair, the mouth....its like when I had a crush on Jeff Goldblum in the '90's....there's inexplicable sex appeal. Not to mention, if you listen to him at all, he's a spectacular person. 

David Beckham- Look at that picture and tell me you blame me!

Chris Hemsworth- he has a classic manly beauty.

So I wish I could say that I don’t think looks are important in a relationship, but I think at the first they are pretty important. I think later it still plays a part, because I think you have to be attracted to your partner. Even if that attraction is mainly intellectual, you wouldn't want to sleep with or wake  up next to someone you found repulsive all your life. Maybe that’s shallow, but it’s the truth. Conversely, I refuse to be with a partner I don’t find intelligent and intellectually stimulating. I won’t date stupid people. Hell, I won’t even have a one night stand with a stupid person. If you go to YouTube and look up interviews with each of the celebrities above, you’ll discover they are all well-spoken, passionate, amazing people who are highly intelligent and devoted to good causes. That’s sexy.

My position on PDA, as a general rule, is that as long as it’s not something you wouldn't do in front of your mother or grandmother, it’s acceptable. That is how I try to conduct myself. I do, I’ll admit, have some exhibitionism incidents in my past, but as a rule I don’t do stuff in public. You never know who’s watching. Not to mention we've all seen couples in public that are's uncomfortable. Now I won't say I don't run around naked in the house with the windows open. I'm not so prude that I can't see why people do it. I'm just saying as a rule its really not my thing to be all over someone in public.
I've slept with both men and women. I do identify as a homosexual. I'm a big fat lesbian. Or I think I am. Here’s why- I can have sex with a man and have a great time. I truly can. Some of my favorite partners have been men. Unfortunately, I am completely incapable of maintaining a relationship with a guy- I’m always wishing he was a girl. If you offered me the perfect mate- if I could design the person I was going to be with- no question, it would be a woman. There are things I like about men- they almost border on fetish- their chests, their backs, stubble…I adore stubble…I like their legs and how they’re shaped. That’s the thing, though, when I sleep with men it is, for me, a tactile experience where I am drinking in all of my partner. When I sleep with women it’s about my being with her. I pay more attention. I want her to feel special. I adore every single part of women. There isn't an ugly body part on a woman, really. (sorry guys, they may be interesting, but penises are ugly) And when I have a woman as a partner I devote myself completely to making her feel like she’s the most special person on earth. Its about awe and worship. Its damn near religious. I don’t do that with men, and honestly, I've never tried. Which makes me great for a romp but terrible for a relationship. I still prefer the softness and sexiness of women. I like the way they smell and how they feel. I like the way they taste and how they sound. 

As a general rule I have a strong preference for partners who are older than me. They’re more experienced, more mature, more fun. The relationship usually lasts longer because I spend less time being ticked off at how immature they are. Can my partners be silly? Sure. Can I tolerate a gross lack of life experience? Not really. I’m not patient enough. The largest age difference I have had with a sex partner is about 18 years. The largest difference in a person I was dating, 5 years. Emotionally maturity doesn't always equate to sexual maturity, mind, but it does help. It also means that my partners are less likely to equate sex with love (not the same thing) and they're willing to approach it with a sense of humor and lightness. I was talking to a friend the other day and I mentioned that I really like having a sex partner who doesn't mind that it can be messy, awkward, loud and strange sometimes. I like a partner who will have fun with me. Sex can be all those things and still be sexy- or at least I think so. 

I want to leave these next questions here where you can see them, because they just seem odd to talk about without them there:
Have you ever liked one of your best friends? Have you ever liked someone who your friends hated? Have you ever liked someone you didn't expect to?  Have you ever wanted someone you couldn't have?

The answer is, yes, I've liked one of my best friends. I ended up marrying the person I like and admire most in the world. She is my best friend. I like hanging out with her. I like talking to her. She understands me in ways other people don’t and that was true before we ever dated. I always say make it a policy to be friends with your lovers, that way you have more than sex in common. It makes the relationship - and the sex- better.  I have dated someone that my friends didn't like and as a rule, they were right about them. Especially the last one. He was a douche. I don't always listen, but if everyone I know dislikes my partner, something is probably wrong. Yes, every now and again who I am attracted to will surprise me. Hell, look at my “would” list- I would have never predicted Howard Stern would make it…eh, it happens. My tastes are fairly eclectic, and I find so many different things appealing that I'll on occasion startle myself. In real life I am generally less surprised by my predilections. As a general rule I don’t hang out with people who disgust me, most of my friends are good looking (I’m the ugly duckling) and they’re all intelligent, compassionate people. The fact that in the past I've looked at some of my friends and been attracted to them is never a surprise to me. And yes, absolutely, a thousand times over, I have had desire for someone I can’t have. I think that’s part of the human experience. It’s frustrating beyond all measure, especially when its someone you care about, but sometimes you put on your big girl panties and suck it up- there’s nothing to be done.  

I can usually make it about ten seconds kissing before my hands start roaming unless the person kissing me is holding them and even then it won’t last more than thirty seconds. I’m a tactile person. If you’re teasing me by holding my hands in place I end up touching with other parts of my body and it’s all over from there. If I’m being intimate with you, you have to be prepared for me to want to touch you all over.  Don't get me wrong, if all you want is a good make out session, I can sign up for that...but that doesn't mean I'm putting my hands on your shoulders and being a good girl. I don't think I know how. 

 My longest relationship lasted almost 6 years. I have every faith that Kitten and I are going the distance on our marriage and there’s no change that 6 will be my max. I’m willingly working on a life sentence. I would mention, however, that I think quality of relationship has nothing to do with length. 

 I've “dated” (and by date I mean sleep with over a period of time and maintained a close, emotional relationship with a person) probably 5 women and 4 men. I have slept with probably (and I’m guesstimating here, because I’m not willing to sit and tote up all my conquests, its taxing) 15-20 men, 3 M to F transsexuals, 1 F to M trans, and about 20-25 women. Of those, only about 6 of those were one night stands and the numbers jump a bit because I have been involved in several (I hate this term) “group” interactions.  I've had a lot of partners I will never forget but I think sometimes it’s more upsetting to think of how many I could recognize by face but not remember their names. Every now and again one will pop up in my mind and I'm like, crap, how did I forget them the last time I thought to count?

8 facts about my body:
I have a 36” inseam
My teeth are crooked but I like them because I have fangs
 My feet are a little warped because of all the years of ballet.
A majority of my tattoos are on my back
I wear glasses most of the time, my eyes are very weak.
I have a 34” bust and a 32" waist
I wear my nails long
Despite the fact I am relatively soft around the middle, I have very prominent hip bones.

 Five Ways to Win My Heart (excluding the obvious, which is to be Kitten):
Be honest with me all the time
Pet me- I like to be touched. It’s comforting to me. I like my partners to make me feel safe
Don’t be afraid to laugh, to laugh with me, to be silly or to play
Pay attention to the things I say
Know what you’re doing in the bedroom.

 This is what I look like (as of a month ago)

This is how I see myself.(Obviously, this photo has been doctored)

The first thing I notice about a person is their smile (or their mouth, if they aren't smiling). The way a person smiles and how their mouth moves says a lot to me. After that, it’s their eyes. I don't have a preference, really. Or I should say, I love brown eyes but I have predominantly been with people who have blue (maybe my part of the country?) Again, its not so much the color as the depth of the eyes and what's behind them. Beyond that, it’s usually how tall they are and what they smell like. I’m a sucker for someone who smells good.  I don't care about height so much. History indicates I like short women (most of mine have been 5'2" or less) and tall men (most have been 6' or taller) but if you look at my would list you'll notice some tall women and some very small men. As for smell, I'm super sensitive. If you're wearing too much cologne it turns me off. I love the natural smell of a person. I guess, technically, I mean how you smell when you've been active. Like, you're gym smell. Though most people have a softer version of that when they aren't running a marathon, and that's usually what I notice. I've known some people whose natural pheromones made me absolutely nuts any time they were near me. 

My definition of sex depends on whether I’m with a male or a female. For me, sex is about the most intimate common physical act that you’re capable of, involving the genitals. For sex with a man, that means penetration. For a woman, that means some version of oral sex and/or touching. Everything else is either (less) foreplay or (more) special favors/preferences.

Things that turn me off or things I won’t do in general: watersports of any kind- just the mention of it freaks me out, humiliation (NOT the same as domination), lack of consent/forcing, cutting, cockiness- I don’t like partners who think their god’s gift, the sound of the phone ringing if it’s in the room, animals in the room (the cats ALWAYS go out- there’s nothing that kills the act faster than a cold nose on your leg during), food in the bedroom, boy/daddy style role play, baby voices, extreme cold

 Things that turn me on or things I generally like: kissing- lots and lots of kissing, innuendo, extended foreplay, petting, teasing, leather, playful pain (i.e. spanking, swatting, crops), light BDSM, when my partner is vocal, laughter, backs, necks, long fingers, touching “non-traditional” erogenous zones- wrists and palms, having my back touched/licked/bitten, light biting in general, warmth, anything tactile, watching my partner (mirrors are fun), wet skin (just out of shower/pool), latex, if you have scars I like to touch them (note I don’t say I want you to have them, just if I notice them), tattoos, my partner smelling good, when my partner tastes either sweet (like fruit) or like alcohol- but not the heavy fumes, just like, the light taste of beer or a cocktail.  

As a general rule I am not too terribly superficial about my partners. I do, however, require them to have all of their teeth. For some reason lack of teeth bothers me. I don’t mind curvy partners.  Height or lack of doesn't bother me. Yeah, I require teeth and you can’t be stupid. Those are automatic nos.

I would be willing to date someone off the internet, though I think that would require some prerequisites. For example, if I was getting a date from a website, I’d probably ask for a double date first with a couple I knew, so I could feel safe. If it were someone I met online I would want to have known them for a while. Confirmed identity and stuff like that. Otherwise, I don’t see what’s wrong with it. I wouldn't exclusively date ON the internet, meaning, I would like to see them in the flesh. Sex-scyping or whatever wouldn't be enough for an actual relationship, I think. 

Right. There's the NSFW version of about me. As always, questions and comments are welcome. I'm an open book. Not to mention, I've always liked writing about sex. It makes me happy. (no, as a general rule it doesn't turn me on.)

Happy Playing,

Wake Up In The Morning Feeling Like P-Diddy

So, I've been trying to blog more lately, and I've discovered sometimes I just don't have a whole lot I feel would be interesting to say. Normally my go-to would be a survey and I know how boring those are. So I thought I would look at some survey questions and just write about them so you get more than my general two word, to the point answer. 

This edition is totally family friendly. I will be posting another one shortly that is not- you can avoid it if you like. As always, if you actually have something you would like me to blog about or tell you about I totally will, you just have to tell me.  

I’m a neo-pagan. More specifically an eclectic neo-pagan witch. My religion is very important to me, and I’ve spent a lot of time talking about it. If you look for the Witch 101 and 102 posts you can read more about it. I’m always open to answering questions about my faith, as long as they’re respectful. 

My current URL is a play off of the title of my original blog. My first blog was called “Alecya G’s Plastic Castle.” The title was a throwaway reference to a line in the song “Little Plastic Castle” by Ani DiFranco:
They say goldfish have no memories. I guess their lives are much like mine; and the little plastic castle is a surprise every time. It’s hard to say if they’re happy, but they don’t seem much to mind…

At the time it was really indicative of my state of mind. Over the years, I think we can all agree I’ve evolved into a much happier person.  As I evolved and changed, so did what I wanted from my blog. When I ended my last relationship and my ex was a little bit stalking, I ended up moving URLs for a fresh start. Plastic Castle Tours is my attempt at a nod to who I was and what I want for myself. I’m inviting you to explore my life and my perspective. It was also the first time on my blog I was willing to acknowledge my actual first name, though I still answer to Alecya, even in real life. 

Speaking of nicknames, Alecya, my alter-ego, is probably my longest running nickname, if you can call it that. Originally she represented the side of my personality that was highly sexual, confident and content with who she was. Over the years, that part of my personality has become dominant enough that I don’t really think of that name as an alter-ego. It’s more like an avatar. Every now and again the frightened girl I was intrudes on the life of the woman I am now, but it’s not very often. Incidentally, it is pronounced Uh-Lee-See-Uh. I’ll answer to Panther, which is what most of my friends refer to me by. Kitten gave me that nickname. Other than that, I haven’t a lot of nicknames. I have a few pet names from people whom I am close to, but those are one or two person use only. 

Whenever I am stressed I like to take baths rather than showers. I especially like listening to the radio while I’m in. It’s a good time. I don’t normally put bubbles in, just because the smell is pretty overwhelming and I forget to enjoy myself because I’m too busy messing with the bubbles. I do like a tension relieving bath salt, though. 

I used to dye my hair all the time. I have since I was about 15. Right now my hair is 100% my natural color. That is totally not normal. I’ve been contemplating going back to black or dark brown again, that’s how I see myself in my mind’s eye. 

I like soups better that I like salads. I will eat soup any time of year, including when it’s over a hundred degrees outside. I adore that Kitten makes great soups. My favorite is called 86 the Bean and it tastes like ham and bean soup only there’s potatoes and carrots instead of beans. I don’t know how she does  it but I love it. It is a nice spicy soup and it always makes me feel better about life.   

I don’t go out drinking like I used to. This is mostly because I’ve turned into a home body. I can have a nice glass of wine or scotch at home and not have to cope with strangers. We also get up early, so staying out until 2 am is just too much. I’d rather have my friends over for a game of cards and get to bed at a decent hour.  

I mentioned this earlier this week, but I quit smoking recently. I’m really proud of that. As of this week I’ll have stopped for two months. Habit officially broken. I don’t even have cravings anymore. 

I’ve only ever smoked weed a few times and I didn’t like it. Once I got seriously sick. The rest of the time I didn’t feel much. I did have once where I was high, but it’s not really a PG story, so I’ll let that one be. I’ve always said that if I wanted to be hungry or sleepy I could do that on my own. Now, I don’t condemn people who use it medically, and as long as you’re away from me I don’t care if you do it recreationally, but it’s not for me.  

I used to do hard drugs, but I’ve been clean 12 years now. I don’t have any desire to do them again and it’s a really quick way to get me to stop spending time with you. I don’t like being exposed to it, and I don’t like what it does to people. I’ll always be dogmatic about that.  

I love falling asleep with other people, especially cuddling. It doesn’t have to be a romantic or sex thing. If I am comfortable enough to sleep near you, or close to you, or in your arms/space/lap then I like you a lot and it’s a compliment from me. I feel the same way about people I will let take care of me when I’m sick, because you’re seeing me at my worst and I am really, really vain. 

I don’t sing in the shower but I do listen to the radio. I always like music when I’m in the bathroom. Even when I’m meditating (yes, I meditate in the bath sometimes) I enjoy a little white noise. It helps me to focus. My bathroom is too small and the acoustics too good for me to sing, it upsets the cats and the girls always come running thinking I need them for something. I will, however, sing in the car. I will also dance in the car. Driving or no. The girls get a kick out of this thing I do we call “kitty karaoke” and its when I sing to the radio using cat meows and such. They always laugh, which is why I keep it up, even when other cars are staring at the lights. 

Yesterday I went to the flea market with Bobcat. We had a good time. We picked out antique furniture that we loved. I found a watch fob from the 1800’s that I was in love with, but couldn’t afford the $100 price tag on. I did purchase a set of WWII Paratrooper jump wings. My grandfather was a paratrooper and it meant a lot to me to find that. 

I have never fired a bow and arrow. I do know how to fire a gun and I am fairly handy with a knife. Okay, for most people I’m pretty scary with a knife. I would like to learn archery, but I have zero upper body strength and I’m pretty sure you need a lot of it to be any good at it. 

So there you have it, a brief and somewhat informative about me. 


Saturday, July 20, 2013

Sweet Dreams Are Made Of This

Advance warning, I'm going to be chatting about some not so family friendly stuff today. If a TMI post isn't your style...bail now.  Oh, and thank you, I like the new layout too. I was sick of the trees.

So, have you ever had a dream that just left you a little...dazed? I had one of those last night. Well, this morning. Normally my dreams don't phase me. Being a witch, I put a lot of stock into the things I dream and I dream pretty frequently. I don't normally have a hard time remembering what I dream, and I am usually pretty good at telling you what my dreams mean. Anyone in my coven can tell you that, I'm pretty sure I've done dream interpretation for most of them at this point.

This morning...this morning was different. The more I think of it, the more I try to convince myself it was nothing more than a half-lucid product of my imagination...a combination of things that resulted in what I was dreaming about. I tell myself that chatting about a vampire novel last night, plus me chatting about a fantasy novel this morning before I fell asleep on the couch, plus me working on a clothing design project added to me getting kisses from my wife and idly thinking of a couple of my friends resulted in this very weird dream. I can almost tell myself that.

Except it was...more. You know that I am an intensely sexual person. I make no protest over it, I don't hide it. When I'm not being a huge glutton I am walking, talking, thinking and breathing sex. Its the truth. Not in an overt way but its never too far from my mind. And normally a sex dream is just that to me- an expression of my desires. I leave it at that. But when its in the incredibly odd context this one came in, and there was more than just my wife and those others were people I know and not, you know, Robert Downy Jr. or Michelle gives me pause. And I'm having a lot of trouble escaping this one.

 The dream takes place in what I can only call an alternate reality because there were beings and things that happened that are not possible on this plain. And before you all start shouting that this was happening in the astral (witch friends I'm looking at you) I'd like to point out that I am relatively certain that at least two of the people in the dream were awake and not meditating so unless I'm really cool and able to call parts of them to the astral while they are out and about in their daily lives...not possible. Also one of the men in the dream was a guy I went to grade and high school with and I've seen him twice since I gradated and I am fairly certain he hasn't thought of me since the last time I saw him. I'd be shocked if he had. (Come to think of it, I saw one of his dad's real estate signs yesterday...maybe that's where he came from.)

Anyway these things that weren't...well, I'd say they were vampires but that's not really correct. I mean, they liked biting and all, but it wasn't a bloodletting thing. It was more a drawing on essence kind of thing, if that makes sense. I'm just calling them Biters. They were very, very beautiful. Very beautiful. It was certainly inhuman.

We're in this, well, rather like an old fashioned circus tent. The canopy is made of this lavish red material and there's goldenrod colored embroidery all over the walls. One side is open and I can look out over what looks like a field. There are very clearly other humans out there, doing strange things in water and on obstacle like courses and they're all very fit. I can recall as I watch in the dream that I've just been out there. Looking back in my mind, I can see that I am also very fit. My hair is longer than usual and its black- this is fairly common, I almost always see myself this way when I dream. I know in my mind that I've done well and I am pleased with how I've been performing. This has something to do with the Biters, but I couldn't tell you know if my motivation was to impress them or to gain their approval or what. But there I was.

At one point I get up and I cross the room to chat with the guy I went to high school with (whom I will now refer to as Mohave Martini) and I make both of us a drink while we talk. Its nothing of consequence that we talk about, I can recall that. He's being pleasant and I am cordial with him. I get the impression he is more concerned about what I think of him, which makes no sense in a realistic, real world context because he was always really well liked in school- popular, really- and I was a nobody. I know in my dream I make him a martini- vodka, in an iced highball glass, extra dry and so dirty its x-rated (hence his name. true story, this is actually how he liked his drinks, that I remember this even in my dreams having not seen him in about 4 years is frightening). When I leave to go back to Kitten and the Biters where I came from he kisses my palm and almost sort of bows, but its more with the neck and shoulders.

Before I get into much more of the dream I want to (1) give you another moment to bail, because its about to get more intense and (2) talk about palm kisses. Still here? Okay. So I love palm kisses. I think they're deliciously sensual and absolutely beautiful. If they show up in a dream its almost always a signal things are about to get hot. To me they're one of the best places to kiss. Generally, we're more sensitive in our hands (psychically speaking) than anywhere else. So for me, there's a greater potential for feeling the transfer of emotion. On top of that, its not a common place to kiss and its a gesture to me that signals not only passion and affection, but respect as well. Truly, if I offer to kiss your palm I admire you very much indeed, and not always sexually, but in a way that speaks of deep caring and fathomless emotion. I can think of maybe a handful of people I would kiss on the palm of my own volition. There's plenty who's fingertips or hands I would kiss, as a gesture of respect....but palms? I have to truly love you to do that.

At this point in the dream I've gotten myself a very lovely palm kiss. I'm aware enough of the dream to know what's happening, its almost like a dreamscape. I head back over to the area I came from which has several fainting couches, what most people now call "chaise lounges" I think. Tacky name. Anyway. There's several of them and a few low lying tables. When I arrive there is a male that I know and am very, very fond of (well call him Fine Sir) and he is standing by these couches clearly waiting for me. He pulls me into a hug and its one of those where you touch from the soles of your feet all the way to your shoulders. I draw his palm to my lips (and at this point in the dream I know beyond a doubt we're lost when it comes to adult content) and kiss it. He responds by kissing the hollow at my throat. These are done almost like a greeting, so I sit down after. I'm sitting with my back against Kitten's chest and we're reclining on one of the benches. Its not terribly innocent either, there's definitely some possessive petting and holding going on. Nothing territorial, but in that way that clearly marks you're around people you don't mind to see you making out.

Kitten, Fine Sir and myself are chatting with a beautiful Biter. Really beautiful. As we're chatting another person walks by and they've got beautifully tinted skin. I remark on it and Beautiful Biter tells me that its very common. Cue typical teasing about the fact that I am out of the loop. I ask how its done and I get a description from Beautiful Biter that indicates it is done by magick. As the biter is telling me, Kitten is stroking my arm and where she strokes a lovely pink and lavender snakeskin patter emerges. I am feeling no small amount of wonder at this. I hold my arm out to Fine Sir in delight and he joins us on the couch, He lifts me gently so that I am sort of in his lap but not- my body resting against Kitten and my legs sort of propped around his waist on one side so that he is very close. Its rather hard to describe. Kitten and Fine Sir are petting me and admiring this new pattern even as it begins to fade.

Beautiful Biter moves over to us, kneeling on the floor and explaining how the magic works, which is pretty well some sort of essence exchange with the biters, and it makes feelings more intense between you and the people you care about. Apparently I've done something that makes Beautiful Biter like me very much and he offers to let me experience the exchange, which gives me some measure of control over this magic. I look to Kitten, who seems not to mind because she nods and so I offer Beautiful Biter my hand. He bites me at the apex of my thumb and first finger, with my palm facing his mouth. The biting is intense, seriously intense and it hurts me for just a moment (honestly, this hand has been sore all day in that spot, its weird). As soon as the exchange starts happening....I honestly lose words on how it feels. What I can tell you is that Kitten gasped and her eyes were tearing up over the emotion she and I were sharing. Fine Sir, who apparently until this moment in the dream really didn't know how much I cared for him, looked down at me with wide eyes. His hands grip my hips and he asked me, "My dear, sweet girl, what have you done?" I look into Beautiful Biter's eyes as Fine Sir and Kitten wrap me up in this glorious cocoon of love and heat and I see him glowing brilliantly and I know I am too. The feeling I am experiencing is so close to ecstasy that I want to cry out.

And that, my friends, is when I wake up. And when I start puzzling about the dream, because really, what in the hell? Nothing super sexual but I swear to god when I woke up I felt like I had been teased to the point of crazy for hours. I mean, I had been sleeping for almost two hours, but seriously...I've been puzzling it out all day and I'll be damned if I can figure out what it means.  What I do know is that it feels like it meant something, but it may have just been a very beautiful, very weird, intensely erotic dream about two people that I love very much with some seriously odd stuff thrown in because that's how my brain works.

I'm at a loss. Any of you witchy sorts, feel free to have a stab at it if you want. Or non-witches. Or you can just laugh at how silly I can be over a dream.

I'm back to telling myself its just a weird sex dream.

Yeah, that's it....

Friday, July 19, 2013

These Stories Don't Mean Anything If You've Got No One To Tell Them To

My love of books is something bordering on psychological disorder. Anyone who's seen my house can tell you that. Anyone who's ever looked at a picture of the inside of my home can tell you that. We have a joke in our home about how we used to have a dining room and then one day we woke up to discover that our table was in the kitchen, there was a library where the dining room had disappeared and the bookshelves were marching relentlessly towards the living room (which now has three bookshelves). If you do the math something like a full third of our wall space is covered by bookshelves. The number of books we have has a comma in it, and we acquire approximately 3-10 books a month. You might be able to accuse us of hoarding if it weren't for the fact that we actually read them.

I've also never made much of a secret of the fact that I'm a huge snob. Up until recent years I've sworn I'm a classics girl to the bone. I love Jane Austen on a rainy day. Some Dostoevsky or Tolstoy when I need an escape in the winter is perfect (given my obvious issues with spelling, would it horrify you to know I spelled Dostoevsky without the aid of spell check?). I recommend books like Gone with the Wind to my female friends. I insist that you can find entertainment in Tudor biographies. You can. Promise.

So up until now, well, recently, I was the kind of girl you could sit and have a cuppa with and I would be happy to discuss why certain British authors bore me (really, have you read Dickens?) or why I don't really care for most early American literature (trite) and how The Three Musketeers gets way too much credit for being Dumas' great work, when anyone with half a brain has read The Count of Monte Cristo and know better. I can even tell you which unabridged edition I prefer (the one with the introduction by Lorenzo Carcatera, he wrote Sleepers, by the way).  What you couldn't do was ask me for a recommendation about a romance or fantasy series. I was useless there. Until about a year ago.  When I quit my job and became a housewife.

I am always protesting that I actually do work pretty hard at the house, and I do. But the truth is, I've been trying to work on my writing as well. For some reason I can't recall, I decided I wanted to write a historical romance novel this year for NaNoWriMo. I think it was an inspiration that hit while we were at the Kansas City Renaissance Faire in October. I was sick of trying to write lesbian romances and literary fiction (not together, both are hard enough on their own) and so I thought I would branch out and try something new.

Unfortunately, I didn't have a lot of experience with the field. So I got on my favorite networking site for writers and I asked some of the ladies (it really is mostly ladies) in the forum who their favorite authors were for historicals. I discovered Candace Camp and Eloisa James and Connie Brockway and Alexandra Hawkins and Tessa Dare and would you believe I got so wrapped up in those books I found it hard to write? Its intimidating. The women I listed? They're all college graduates. There's an Ivy Leaguer in there. Let me tell you, they aren't lacking in plot or detail or execution. They write brilliant female characters who love themselves and their bodies (and food, bless them!) and know what they want. They write women who won't take crap from men. They write stories I want to read. Two years ago I would have died rather than admit I read romance, because I didn't know any better. Now I'll freely admit I have one whole bookshelf stacked two deep full of romance novels. I also have several that have taken over Dean Koontz's bookshelf. Its okay, he was getting lonely.

One day right before we left on our trip (the dreaded which I did, in fact, stop to buy more books- five of them- because I had read the four I had brought along halfway into the trip) I was talking to Felix about books and we got on the topic of fantasy novels. Again, I found myself out of my depth. I've read Imajica (Clive Barker) and I loved it. Of course I've read Tolkien and  Paolini and the Harry Potter series. Otherwise, I'm pretty useless- that's more Kitten's bag and she leans more towards SciFi. But then I remembered while we were talking a book I had checked out of the library at school when I was in 5th grade or so and I remembered liking it. All I could remember was the cover was red and there was a princess in a diamond box on the throne. That's right kids...The Diamond Throne, by David Eddings; the first book of the Elenium trilogy. I'm sure you know how this turned out. I read through it on the trip and was salivating for book 2 by the time we got home. I've finished that series and I'm going to start the Belgariad, which is supposed to be just as good. I've also agreed to start reading Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series with Swisslet and I'm truly excited about it because my buddies on Goodreads have all rated it as one of the best series they've ever read.

Speaking of Goodreads, I have no idea how I missed it before. Its like Facebook for literature nerds like me. I'm obsessed. You know what's funny? I look at the books on my shelves (on goodreads not in my house) and I almost feel bad there's not a wider genre representation on there. I've got tons of other stuff in my house. There's more to life than classics and non-fiction. And I'm learning. Slowly, but I'm learning.

Today is my literary liberation moment. I'm making my confessions boldly and proudly:

I love romance novels. Dashing rakes and silk ball gowns make me happy. I read fantasy and find it engaging and enriching. Yes, I did read Fifty Shades of Grey (it was just as awful as I thought it would be). No, I don't care if you judge me, I do own the Twilight series and I've read it enough times the spines on the books are cracked. Bite me, its a brilliant idea, however poorly edited or executed it might have been. I do read children's series and not just Potter. Johnathan Franzen is not god (even if I want him to be sometimes).  There is nothing wrong with my tastes. I do not have to give up Austen just because I like Seth Graham Smyth's version of Pride and Prejudice. Urban Fantasy is actually a thing.

Well, that wasn't so hard, was it?

I don't care what you read, but read something y'all. Then tell me if its good. I'll read it too. After Swiss and I finish that series...(something like 17 books, you know that, right ST?)


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Its Been A Long Long Time

So I have been a very bad blogger and not posted for something like two months. I know, I know. Someone I love very much brought it to my attention this week, inadvertently, that my blogging has dropped off, and I think to myself "I should get back to that, even though there's only like, four people reading this. Because, you know, there's four people out there who care about my life. And its healthy for me to express myself."

I have two bits of good news and two bits of not so good news, so we'll cover the happy stuff first so you can bail if you want later.

Good news part one? Kitten graduated. I mentioned this before, I think. She graduated with honors. Her party went well. Everyone was nice to each other (there was some concern about that) and she had a good time. She has a new job in her career field as of last week. It pays much better than her old job, the people are nice, and its not in residential cooling, which was what she was terrified she would end up doing. She did not want to be a lackey for all the window units in this corner of our state. She isn't, and that's awesome. They're going to train her into other fields. They're going to pay for extra education. They're paying 100% of her health insurance. She loves the work already. I'l so terribly proud of her.

The other good news is that as of the day after I posted the blog previous to this one (That is, the 26 May) I have been smoke free. None, nada, zilch, no slip ups or stress smokes or I'm-trying-really-hard-so-I've-earned-ones, not even a its-giving-me-a-migraine one. NO. SMOKING. I'm pretty proud of myself. I was doing between half a pack and a whole pack a day depending, so quitting cold turkey was hard. I am pretty sure I wasn't fun to be around. It may or may not have contributed to the incident that has, in-part, kept me from blogging for the last month.
Which was this


The vacation.

That's right. It was horrible. I'm pretty sure the smiling happened only for the camera. Well, most of the time, anyway.

For the record, I'm giving you the edited for public consumption version of this tale, because I have some semblance of respect (not a lot, but a little) for my family.

I do think that me not smoking contributed to this awful. Kitten actually begged me three days in to smoke, telling me it would be okay and I could start over when we got back to town, but by then I was three days in and I was damn well not going to give up if I didn't have to. The lack of cigarette, for the first week or so anyway, would be enough to make most people be grumpy.

The other part had a lot to do with KMom. Suffice to say our styles of travelling are different. That was a struggle for me. I'm a "lets have a plan and get directions and go do things like we planned" kind of girl. She's more of a "throw caution to the wind, work without a plan, get directions while on the street (even from bums!)" kind of girl. She's also very set in her ways, because she's lived alone for something like 12 years, she isn't used to compromising. In our household its almost all about compromising so I struggle when someone, anyone, is contrary about working as a team. Even in my coven everyone works as a team and we all make decisions based on consensus, which makes it easy for things to get done and everyone to feel like they're important. Not so with KMom. That was a problem for me. A big one.

When it came to the camping aspect it got worse. Really bad, actually. Again, that has a lot to do with me believing that camping is an act of teamwork and KMom isn't really a team player. Not to mention, despite her protestations to the contrary, she's a sissy camper. She is WAY to concerned with comfort. And she didn't like to help carry things. Or work. At all. Which naturally pissed me off. Especially when she's insisting we repack the truck (again) because she doesn't like how things are arranged (even if we are unpacking it all again in three hours). Or when we were getting ready to leave and I'm sick with a headache so bad I'm stepping off the trail to throw up while I haul coolers and bags and she stops with holding only a pillow and complains to me about how long the trail to the car is and how hot and uncomfortable she feels. Or when she's telling me that I'm making dinner wrong (How, I ask? How?) or not to her tastes. She was cranky or combative whenever we went hiking or did anything strenuous, but insisted on coming along. If it rained she would hide out in her tent. And it rained. It did. Like, a tropical storm hit one of our campsites....that was a real treat.

Here's us camping, by the way- well, k\hiking a trail at our campsite. This was our first site, at Hunting Island State Park.

She also wouldn't stop making fun of my newly discovered phobia of raccoons. It was constant. And it pissed me off.

I know its petty, but seriously. I wasn't afraid of them before. I wasn't. Its just, you know, they were everywhere. And not afraid of anything. Like, there were bear boxes for yours stuff to keep them out. Oh, and I should mention THEY WERE THE SIZE OF AN AUSTRALIAN SHEPHERD. And they broke into our tent. Twice. Once was at night and it tore through the closet on our tent. Not cool. Of course I was afraid. I think this is reasonable. Especially since I was fighting off nicotine cravings and getting next to no sleep between them and the headaches I was having from what turned out to be a tropical storm depression.

Imagine this:

The size of this:

Of course it made me nervous.

There were other things that upset me too, but really, I don't think anyone would like KMom if I talked about it. And honestly, I don't want you all hating her. She's a nice lady, most of the time. She's just set in her ways, and she's still a little skittish about her relationship with Kitten and that makes her a little possessive sometimes.

There were some good parts of the trip, really. Like, you know. The food. I wept over some of the food. I love soul food. I love fried chicken and home made mashed potatoes. I love locally sourced vegetables and fruit. I like veal so fresh that it was just days from gamboling about in some farmer's field. That's good food. The whole trip was like that too- locally sourced ingredients, fresh made honey, hand made desserts. When we were eating out I was not an unhappy person. I was very happy indeed. Even the delis (and god, we had so many sandwiches at lunch because KMom doesn't like heavy food in the afternoon) were really, really good. Fresh bread, hand-sliced meats, local sauces and pickles and such. Yep, the food was amazing.

We went to a zoo. That was fun. We took a ghost tour- actually, we took two. That was amazing. I played in the ocean with Oscelot. We collected seashells at low tide. I managed to impress my ladies with my ability to cook anything in cast-iron- my meals were like we never left home thankyouverymuch. I saw my first lighthouse up close (not impressive) and drove through the Great Smokey Mountains (really impressive). I managed to whittle a new walking staff for myself. Yes, I do whittle. We saw some amazing waterfalls. We hiked in the rain (so that was both fun and awful).

It wasn't all bad. Just most of it. I'm making the best of the memories now that we're here, because I want it to be something Kitten remembers fondly. Hell, a few years from now some of this may seem funny. Maybe.

The other thing that's really kept me off the blog is I've been coping with depression again. Almost from the moment we got home I've been struggling. Some of it, I know, has to do with inadequacy issues brought on by the things that happened on the trip that I don't want to talk about. Some of it, I think, is just old issues reasserting themselves now that they have the chance. I spent the first couple of weeks back sitting in Kitten's recliner alternately weeping and moping.

I;m better now, and I've got my issues sorted out. It was not, however, conducive to me being here and sharing things with you. I credit my speedy recovery to (1) my partners, who totally didn't judge me (2) my coven, who spent plenty of time patting me on the back and letting me be totally weak even though I'm supposed to be leading (3) plenty of B vitamins and an iron supplement and (4) one conversation with one very special person that I hadn't talked to in a while. Talking to him reminded me I've been through worse and I'm tougher than I was letting myself be. It was the linchpin in my recovery.

Now that I'm back and feeling normal again, I'm going to make an effort to actually be a good blogger and put things up more than once a month or so. Maybe I'll even go back to that old blog-every-day habit I had five or six years ago....

I love you all. I want you to know that.

Its good to be home.