Sunday, November 27, 2005

And still more non-fans

I have recently become aware of the term "polyamory," which is a lifestyle that celebrates loving more than one person. The term was coined after Cassie's adventures at Yale, but I can't help thinking that her agony would not have been as great if she'd had access to the relationship tools that polyamory offers. Yet even with those tools, it's not an easy road, as the site Polyamorously Perverse makes plain. A middle-aged man who has always been poly in a monogamous marriage comes out to his wife, with all the attendent anxiety, soul-searching and questions. Not just for the polyamorously inclined, and all in all a very wise and sage baring of another human's soul.

It quite surprises me at times that there is more sexy writing on the Internet than sexy photography. First of all, I agree with Cassie in her meme from Remembrance Girl that sex doesn't photograph very well. Showing a man coming on a woman's face doesn't tell us anything about passion, only that someone had an ejaculation. Written descriptions of sex, though, often capture the heat, the smells, the stains. One of the better sites is Unfettered cravings. Written by Lou, a man, the site is about his sexual adventures, including a series called "The Vixxen Chronicles." Strong, basic writing. Worth a trip.

99 Erotic Notions is another Internet erotica offering like The Rosary that is complete and available right now. The premise is simple enough: a 25 year-old man has a series of erotic reveries.

My Voyage of Sexual Discovery has a good balance of erotica and nasty photos. I don't know how many of these stories are fantasies and how many actually happened, but they're well-written and easy to enjoy. The Brits seem to be a randy bunch, I wonder if it's the rainy weather?

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

100 Things About Cassie

Thanks to Ms Krys for "100 Things about Cassie":

1. I am the oldest of four children.

2. I have a sister and two brothers.

3. I don't have any secrets from those I love-- except P. because I don't want to hurt him.

4. I hate my feet because I'm REALLY ticklish (I'd break your arm kicking you if you tried and couldn't help it).

5. I like watching hockey and old movies and "Monty Python."

6. I don't watch network TV, but I loved "The Smothers Brothers."

7. The best part was Pat Paulson.

8. He would've been a better president than Nixon.

8. The music groups were good, too, especially "The Doors" and "The Jefferson Airplane."

9. I am a secretary in Manuscripts & Archives of Yale's Sterling Library.

10. I hate every minute I'm there.

11. My co-workers treat me like shit and won't let me do anything interesting.

12. That's because I don't have a college degree.

13. At Yale, only wives with college degrees get the good jobs.

14. No husbands of students work in the library. No husbands of students work, they're all students themselves.

15. I grew up with both of my parents.

16. I'm bisexual, maybe tending to lesbian. At least P. thinks so. I do like women.

17. But I'm also married and still am attracted to some men.

18. Go figure.

19. I am not homophobic. Duh.

20. I've been married for 5 years.

21. My best friend is my husband.

22. But also S.

23. He's not here any longer, he left to go to grad school at Harvard.

24. I went to public school.

25. I loved school and hated summers because there wasn't a fucking thing to do in South Philly.

26. I am from South Philadelphia, the predominantly Italian-American part of Philadelphia.

27. I am predominantly Italian-American, though my mother is English-Irish.

28. My parents fight constantly because they're so different (so much for body heat).

29. In the last election, I voted for McGovern.

30. Not many people did, which is why we ended up with that criminal, Nixon.

31. I believe welfare recipients should have to work to receive benefits.

32. In South Philly, most people think blacks are lazy and don't want to work.

33. I had black friends in high school, but think some of them should stop trying to get by on welfare.

34. I try to write correctly, but am a terrible speller.

35. If I could choose any career in the world, I would be a doctor.

36. I want to go back to college when P. is finished and become SOMETHING.

37. If offered $500,000,000.00 for eating crap, I would have to think about it.

38. I live on Clark Street in New Haven, CT.

39. I have lived away from home since I was 19, but have never lived alone.

40. We pay too much for rent, but all the Yalies do, because the townies think we're all the sons and duaghters of rich fuckers.

41. I work with 4 men and 12 women and hate all of them except my boss because they look down on secretaries.

42. I audit classes at Yale, one of its few benefits.

43. The first two years, I learned German.

44. One of P.'s areas of concentration is German Romantic literature.

45. It came in handy with S. who is German.

46. No, I don't know what the thing is about German in my life!

47. I flunked out of Temple University after freshman year.

48. I don't belong to any church, and don't think much of organized religion; Billy Graham "saved" me at one of his tent revivals down the lakes in South Philly when I was 12.

49. Nevertheless I believe in God.

50. I haven't been to church since I got married.

51. I don't think most churchgoers would want someone like me coming to their services, especially if I came with P. and another woman.

52. I want to have children but NOT NOW!!

53. When I do have kids, I want both a boy and a girl.

54. I want my son and his sister to learn to skate and play hockey. Girls can do anything boys can, even though my mother wouldn't let me learn to ride a bike until my father bought me one on the sly when I was 15.

55. I broke 1100 on my SAT's.

56. My parents didn't even say anything when I got into Temple.

57. Clothes aren't the most important thing in the world, but I once came home at lunch and changed out of a dress because my co-workers were congratulating me on getting pregnant.

58. I was named after my grandmother and my Aunt Emma.

59. One of my best friends in high school is about to become a plastic surgeon. Another is a lawyer and one of the boys I dated in high school was just sent away from fraud and embezzlement.

60. I struggle with every day, more so since this past Spring and S.

61. I like waffles with boysenberry syrup as a treat for breakfast.

62. Zucchini is my favorite green vegetable.

63. Fried zuchini flowers are my second favorite (dipped in batter and deep-fat-fried).

64. I once prayed I would wake up with an Irish brogue after seeing "Darby O'Gill and the Little People."

65. I am bad with intimate relationships because I can't keep my feelings bottled up.

66. I value my friendships, but don't have many friends here in New Haven.

67. I have known half my friends from high school, the other half from the one year at Temple.

68. My mom doesn't understand why I work outside the home.

69. It means we're not as close as we could be because she calls me up and harrangues me about it.

70. I think love makes people fucking crazy. It did me.

71. I try to be logical, P. says I'm too emotional.

72. I have been writing this journal since May.

73. I hope it will make getting over S. easier.

74. So far, it hasn't.

75. New Year's is my least favorite holiday because you're supposed to feel happy even if you're not.

76. I shop to distract myself from my shitty job.

77. I grocery shop by myself because P. is so picky about what he wants, we'd spend hours doing it together,

78. I have never turned a cartwheel because I don't have much upper body strength (all my strength seems to be lodged in my vaginal muscles).

79. My mother smokes and is getting short of breath. She had rheumatic fever as a child and it left her with a heart murmur.

80. I got sent home from school for wearing a skirt that was too short when I was 17.

81. I do not regret my first boyfriend.

82. We still keep in touch.

83. I have not been to any weddings since I got married.

84. I love cranberry juice, it wards off urinary tract infections, which I get a lot of (using a diaphragm for birth control doesn't help, plus I like to be fingered).

85. I lost several best friends because of boys, especially after I developed.

86. I have no god children.

87. My bed is some crap we picked up at the Salvation Army furniture room.

88. We bought it because it was very inexpensive.

89. I think Alexis Smith is to die for.

90. I have seen "The Godfather" numerous times.

91. I speak pig-Latin fluently.

92. I took four years of Latin in high school, but remember almost nothing of it.

93. Mozarella is my favorite cheese, raw or cooked.

94. My favorite soda is Tab.

95. I love cooking for other people.

96. If I were to die tomorrow, I would have many regrets.

97. I am a big fan of Marlon Brando and Al Pacino.

98. I think Faye Dunaway is super in "Three Days of the Condor." Many people say I look like Goldie Hawn. She's not my type. I wouldn't kick Julie Christie out of bed, though. Not by a long shot.

99. Robert Redford might be able to make me break my marriage vows.

100. I believe that today is yesterday's consequence, and that if I want to change my tomorrow, I have to change my decisions today. But I don't think I can most of the time.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

CHAPTER 5 (part 2)

Last night after I stopped writing and crawled into bed, I lay wide awake— as usual— curled up in the customary fetal position, arms aching, legs heavy and dead. All I could do was wrack my brains hoping to figure out the reasons why this blew up in my face. After all, what's the big fucking deal? Married woman gets involved with a younger man, her fingers get singed, it happens everyday, right? The whole thing sounds so ordinary, so middle-class, so tawdry.

One thing made it different: whatever you want to call it, "dalliance," "liaison," it was no big secret from P. He knew I was spending a lot of time with S., knew he was getting into my head, and it never seemed to bother him. He knew I found S. attractive— I made sure of that, I don't believe in deception. What's more, by the final act of this domestic drama, the three of us were hanging out together almost every day— like the close friends we'd become. That last happy day at Toad's was the rule, not the exception.

As husbands go, he's always been absolutely trusting and unthreatened by my friendships with men here at Yale. I mean, it's natural for me to swim in the sea of undergrads. For one thing, I'm closer in age to them than he is (he's 28). Plus graduate students are in a far different orbit than undergrads. He knows I'm bored and restless, so the amazing amount of cultural activities at Yale filled up my spare time. Sampling all the varied intellectual fruits like the good dilettante I am meant less time to get into mischief. Not to mention that S. was over at our apartment all the time. He became a fixture in our lives throughout Spring semester.

Now? Just when I could use some real distraction, the school year is over and those wonderful cultural offerings— concerts, exhibits, lectures, film series— have shriveled up until Fall. The Summer promises to be dull— and empty. I hope I'm wrong.
S. hung around so much because the two of us were slogging away at his Senior thesis, me typing, him revising the scrawl he called handwriting. At first P. stayed mostly in his study, I'm sure he found the subject (history) and the level (undergraduate) less than scintillating. Plus, he's a bit shy around new people. Whenever we have a party, for example, at some point in the evening he'll slip off to his study and leave the entertaining to me. Yet gradually he became part of the Senior thesis carnival in our kitchen, slipping into the river of banter, distracting us with witty comments or off-hand discussions about a new book he was reading or a joke de Man had told him after class.

Yale Comp Lit is the center of the literary world right now because of this new theory called Deconstruction, and de Man is one of its brightest lights. It's not so important what Deconstruction's about—something along the lines of how language shapes our understanding of the world. What makes this so exciting is that Yale's like one of those 19th Century literary salons I've read about where smart, creative people sit around smoking, drinking absinthe and discussing important topics in the arts and culture.

I don't always "get it," so suffice it to say, it's heady stuff. Sometimes I want to fall back on Humpty Dumpty's line to Alice in Through the Looking Glass, I think it goes "when I use a word, it means exactly what I choose it to mean— neither more nor less." I'm just a naïve reader, what do I know?

to be continued

Friday, November 04, 2005

Tag, You're It

The fascinating Debra Woehr, who interviewed me for her blog The Writers Buzz, has tagged me with a meme that no former student of Deconstruction could refuse:

1. Delve into your blog archive.
2. Search my archive for the 23rd post.
3. Find the 5th sentence, or closest to.
4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions. Ponder it for meaning, subtext or hidden agendas
5. Tag 5 people to do the same.

Here is the fifth sentence from the 23rd post on June 3, 2005:

Thanks also to the referral sites like "Kristen's Links", "Photography" and of course, the ultra-fantastic Jane's Guide. Jane and Vamp have brought over 1/3 of all the visitors!

Meaning? I was happy to have reached 10,000 visitors. Since then, we've added over 55,000 more. Sub-text? I wanted to convince the agents and editors of mainstream publishing to publish Beyond You & Me. Now, my meaning is really "kiss my ass, I've found a public who's interested in the novel, so I don't need you." Hidden agenda? I plan to publish this sucker, one way or another, and don't worry anymore about agents or editors.

Whom will I tag? Demon Queen, Magdalena, O from "Eros/Logos," Clayton Holliday and the fascinating Gabby.