Archive for August, 2012

Poly – Without trouble this time!

Posted in Uncategorized on August 27, 2012 by sanguinesnow

Polyamory can be messy when it doesn’t work (I have a good example of that – and have found out even more about the whole mess. I’m leaving it alone, since at this point it’s not my mess to clean up and I have other things to talk about.) but I still have this warm, happy ideal in my mind.  A lot of it’s based on past experiences that did work wonderfully and the rest is based on how I relate to people in general.  I finally got to see what that ideal might look like in real life – MY life, nonetheless!  Happy post time!

Not too long ago, I said that I’d probably be talking about The Kitten more.  She and I seem to click on some level that makes any time together, talking or having sexy fun time or anything at all, really comfortable.  We have that balance of similarities and differences that leads people to appreciate each other naturally.  Interestingly, the weekend we met we were both attracted to each other physically at first, and then once we started talking saw intelligence and strength in each other that sealed it.  On the rare occasion that this happens, it’s something you should probably go with!

This past weekend there was a club event.  I’d talked to Kitten about some unpleasantness with a person who shows up to these that had happened last time I went.  She said she’d love to come out with me and would totally have my back if anyone messed with me.  Kitten’s not a domestic feline – she’s a tigress – so she’s someone you want on your side.  Claws and all.  I was already going with Sir, but He’s been friends with her for a while and they like each other so I asked if we could bring her along and He said we could.  I only have one bed and no couch, and no way would I send any friend home after a late night of drinking, but this didn’t concern me at all.  After what happened last time, Sir and I agreed that if another woman was involved in anything with us she’d have to be someone I chose.  I felt like even if we all ended up in the same bed at the same time it wouldn’t be weird or uncomfortable at all, and no one would get jealous.  I was right!

Now, lest you think that I’m all about nonstop crazy kinky sex and am just trying to pile in lovers for my own amusement, let me remind you that quality is far more important than quantity.  I’ve heard people brag about their “numbers” and am not impressed.  A number is just a number.  What I want is my warm happy ideal.  At this point, Sir has a place in my life that no one else can take, but I have such a range of attractions and interests that it feels natural to develop friendships that have a sexual element.  Ideally, the people I choose will admire and respect each other and have friendship and even, I would hope, some level of love among them.  Even though the three of us hadn’t yet gotten together as a group, as soon as we were all at my place talking it did feel friendly and comfortable right away.  Just as I’d wanted!

The best part of the evening was later, at the club.  Kitten said that although it was very rare that she’d even consider wearing a collar, she’d gladly wear mine.  I was inwardly going, “What?  For real.  Seriously, though.  Ohmygodohmygod, awesomeness!”    Okay, my inner dialogue is not always that clever.  But there it is.  I’ve been wanting someone in my life I can explore the other side of my complex switch duality with.  Not just anyone, though.  I have very serious time constraints that have to be respected, plus I’m just really picky about who I spend my tiny amount of free time with.  So having a hot, intelligent, sexy woman who’s already a good friend AND who knows about my insane schedule (when I told her what it was this semester she actually said “You’re insane”.) AND is friends with Sir just honestly offer herself like that?  That does not happen all that often.

Not too long after that we were looking at some leather work, and there was a pretty blue collar saying “pick me!”  I know all the Serious Business Protocol folks are going to injure their spines shaking their heads in dismay at us crazy kids, but I went ahead and got it for her.  We can have a fancy party later, when I have a free weekend and the funds to feed everyone and get them drunk as the celebration rages into the night.  Right now, the important thing to me is that I know Kitten trusts me and holds me in high enough regard to offer a part of herself that is not just freely given to many people.  Just that is enough to give my more dominant side an ideal to live up to, just as Sir has given to my submissive side.  Ideals being what they are, I’m sure there will be  a lot of stumbling around on my part.  I’ve never been with two people at the same time that I have such different relationships with, so that alone is a bit odd since the headspace I get into with each is so opposite.  Still, this weekend gave me a solid example of what the three of us together can be like, so it should be interesting the next time we have a triangular date.

Everyone who’s waiting for the kinky threesome story will have to wait a bit longer.  Us ladies had several drinks and it was very late when we got home.  I ended up snuggling in between the two of them, but getting a nasty hacking cough from smoking too much so I got up and fell asleep in the living room cushion pile so I wouldn’t wake anyone up (which is too bad, since the cuddling in bed was so cozy and I’d have loved to fall asleep like that).  I’m sure there WILL be kinky threesome stories in the future, but none of us are in our twenties so none of us can drink like we are.  Sleeping has to happen too!  But that’s one thing about being older (and hopefully wiser!) – I didn’t come away from the weekend with a sense of regret over not having all my dirty fantasies fulfilled RIGHT NOW.  Sir and I had time to work on some of the problems we’ve run into, and Kitten and I made a major move toward a more serious relationship.  That means more to me than any amount of sex with people I don’t really care about ever could.  Just knowing that He’s off on His own vacation soon and not leaving behind any doubts or unfinished business with me, and she’s going to see me again in a little under two weeks and will have my collar on then is enough to keep me happy and satisfied with the state of things.

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Blog Hop Challenge!

Posted in Uncategorized on August 25, 2012 by sanguinesnow

Here’s something new for me to add to my long-and-growing list of Things To Write About:  The Submissive Guide has a monthly blog hop.  Which sounds fun, like a sock hop!

Okay, let’s get to it.  This month’s writing prompt is “What is your submissive personality?”  If you wandered over here from The Submissive Guide, welcome!  If you’re a regular, you’re either already familiar with everything I’m about to write, or you’re asking “is there a ‘submissive type’ that involves drinking and cursing a lot?  I think Sanguine’s that one!”  It depends on how you know me.  And that is the really interesting thing about this challenge.  This is just one aspect of my entire personality.  I’m looking forward to reading everyone else’s entries, since there’s a whole range of people out there, and thus a wide variety of individual styles.  I think they all have value, so long as they lead to happy, healthy relationships.   If you’re an s-type of any sort (including switches who submit), and you’ve had some self-proclaimed Big Bad Domly Dom tell you “Real submissives do x” or “are y” as soon as you expressed yourself in a way he disagreed with, raise your hand.  See?  I knew it wasn’t just me!  From now on, I think the appropriate response is “well, real dominants take the time to find someone who’s a good match and don’t wander about bitching at the rest of us.”  Point is, I think this is an important conversation since plenty of us hear about how we’re “supposed to be” from people we aren’t even involved with.  I think the key to a successful relationship is first figuring out what you want and need and then finding someone who will work with that because he or she values what you have to offer.  I’ve run into more people than I care to count who are way more interested in their fantasy ideal than they are in building a successful D/s relationship, or even a single successful scene.

But what about me?  I have written a bit about this already, in two entries that seem to contradict each other.

The short version is, I have a complex style that changes with my state of mind.  In my own terminology, I have a Service Heart and a Fighting Heart.  My Service Heart is more prominent, and is the side that is sweet and obedient and will work hard to do anything to please Sir.  My Fighting Heart is the darker part that shows up when I’m working through some inner turmoil and will challenge Him on purpose.  I am very lucky to be with someone who can handle both sides, especially now.  Our relationship is still fairly new, and has already hit a few major snags.  The only thing that holds it together some days is communication, which always ends with both of us learning more about each other and deciding it really is worth the trouble. (Yay!)

I’ll start with the service aspect, since it’s my main form of expression, and my happiest one.  This is a natural part of how I show friendliness and love to everyone, including family and platonic friends.  I deeply enjoy inviting people to my house, making food, and being helpful when I can.  With Sir, this enjoyment is amplified heavily.  When He’s visiting, I get excited just shopping for food and cooking and trying to make the house look nice.  I enjoy bathing and dressing in ways He’ll like.  One of the best things about building a good relationship is how it can give me a safe space to improve myself.  My ex didn’t appreciate the cooking and housework I did, and my makeup and clothes were never “good enough” for him – even if he’d chosen the clothes himself! – so I found myself becoming indifferent and slacking off in all areas of my life.  By contrast, Sir is very good about letting me know He appreciates any work I do, so it makes me want to continue improving.  The real benefit here is not just that I’m fulfilled by making Him happy, but also that gaining appreciation and praise for things I do makes me want to be constantly better.  At this point, two very important people in my life have heard me talk privately about some of my concerns at this stage of our relationship.  Even if things did end up going south, and I were single again in a year or a month, having this aspect of myself – what I have to give – acknowledged the way it has been would mean that I’d still be better and stronger in my abilities for future relationships.

Of course, this part of me carries over into the bedroom (or whatever room or party or club we find ourselves in).  That goes for sex and for impact play.  This is where the power exchange works particularly well, since He enjoys putting me in the deep mindspace that comes with MASSIVE amounts of endorphins and I enjoy being safe enough with Him to open up to such vulnerable places.  The deeper into it He can drive me, the more receptive I become.  For example, we were at a club a while back and I was trying to be patient waiting for a cross to open up for us to use.  There were only two stations set up, and one was being manned by a DM I dislike so that narrowed it down to one.  Eventually, Sir decided to steer me off into an alcove and have me face the wall.  He bound up my legs and made me bend over and put my palms on a chair, then began paddling me.  I couldn’t see anything but the wall, and couldn’t hear anything above the music.  After a time, He pulled me back upright against Him and asked, “How do you feel?” (He’s very good at checking in, since He knows I usually can’t say much unless I’m addressed directly – again, this works well for us).  “I feel completely under Your power”, I said between long deep gasping breaths.  “Good!” And then I was pushed back into position for more.  It was a perfect balance of joy for me, from being a “good girl” and also from being handled in a way that made me feel safe and able to relax into all the ecstatic feelings such play rouses in me when I can allow myself to drop my barriers.

Those barriers are what I want torn down.  A lot of them are leftovers from bad relationships or encounters in my past, but a lot of them are just the walls that need to be in place for me to function in the outside world.  When negative things have happened between Sir and I, whether it’s a misunderstanding or a real problem (and there’s only actually been one of those),  the walls come back up from my impulse of self-preservation.  What I term my Fighting Heart is the side that’s come out in reaction to this.  It’s happened twice, and both times it’s been due to “talking it out” not being enough for me.  I either still have more walls around my heart than I’d like, or I’m unsure of what He meant with all the talk and I need a physical lesson to open me back up or to affirm that He can handle whatever negative side I have to me.  This is different than bratty behaviour.  This is me challenging Him to show me He’s strong enough and brave enough to look at the worst parts of me and bring me back into my service state.

There are positive things to this side of me.  The strength I’ve shown at these times is presented as a challenge, but it’s the same strength that, if we should end up in a deeper and closer relationship, will make me fight for that.  When this has happened, a lesser man would probably turn tail and run, but He’s able to meet my needs with a firm hand and bring me back out of whatever fear or turmoil I was facing.  In its purest expression, this will hopefully evolve into a state where I’m not challenging Him, but asking Him to help me face challenges I find in myself.  It will allow me to find the dedication I need to devote myself more fully, channeling that fight into a tool I can use to strengthen ties between us and face down outside intrusions, like being able to fend off creepers or calling people out when they criticize Him.

What ties all this together for me is that I feel my submission style is a source and expression of strength.  To be the best partner I can as a submissive, I need strength to run a household (even if it’s just my own for now), to be able to balance a relationship with the demands of work and school, and to meet His needs.  I know we’ve all heard the old “submissives aren’t doormats” saw, but I truly believe in it.  Dominants who need a “doormat” tend to be weak in themselves in some way, in my experience.

To be fair, the idea of strength being at my core here can sound confusing, especially to people who don’t know me.  There’s an entire school of thought (which I disagree with) that would call that “topping from the bottom” or would suggest I just like bondage and impact and am throwing the old ‘submissive’ label on it just so I can fit baking and collar-wearing into my activities.  Let me go over how ‘strength’ and ‘power’ fit into my lexicon.

I’m using ‘strength’ to describe an inner quality – one which would exist in any situation.  ‘Power’, on the other hand, is something that can be given up at will or exerted over another person.  To use a kink-free example, say you get pulled over by a cop.  The cop has power in this situation, since she can write you a ticket or just make you wait while she runs your license and then you end up being late for work.  As the person who got pulled over and may end up with a speeding ticket, you still have strength, which means you can decide not to let it ruin your day or send you into a crying fit.  So for me, I can hand over all the actual power but still feel strength – better yet, strength in a D/s context is not just a means to cope, but something that can be built by handing over power.  It’s the sexiest paradox ever, people!

Having assignments is a good example of how this works in practice . . . .  Assignments, in this case, are things I’m told to do on a daily basis, or are lists of instructions I’m given before a visit.  The Big Strong Man In Charge dictates these (power) and I carry them out (strength).  “But if you’re just following orders, how is that strength?”  Well, I’m glad you asked!  Seriously, I have an insane schedule.  Keeping up with anything in addition to it requires a whole great lot of strength!  Every time I feel like saying I can’t, I’m too tired, I’m too busy, I’m going to be lazy and choose not to because I need to fit in an assignment, that is an expression of strength.  That is me deciding that my devotion is enough to keep me going no matter how tired I am.  And the really awesome thing, that makes me feel so appreciated?  At the end of the week when we finally see each other, I will get to rest at some point because He’ll see I’m tired and have got a lot done, and He’ll want me to be able to relax.  And then, when I have to start all over again on Monday I’ll be off to work and school knowing that I’m the best I can be.

Again, thanks for dropping by and reading, everyone who got here through my link!  I tend to ramble a bit, so if there’s anything I didn’t cover or that you want to hear more about let me know in the comments!

And Then I Survived My Vacation And Lived To Whinge About Things

Posted in Body Image on August 13, 2012 by sanguinesnow

It’s over!  It started well, and ended well and those bookends were examples of How To Have A Vacation That Does Not Kill You.  If I focus my next one on ONLY including heartfelt conversations over drinks, sex, and working (working vacations, or “Worliday” as the BBC’s Lucy Kellaway would have it, are a great idea as far as I’m concerned.  YMMV, depending on what counts as “work”.)  and leave out all the laying about, excessive sleep, and poor scheduling I’ll be much better off.  I know those last three things are pretty well what define vacation for some people.  I also know that some people watch the Twilight movies on purpose and under no coercion whatsoever.  There’s room for endless variety in this world, you know.

Now on to the whingeing!  I have a few small things that add up to one great big ongoing THING, which I need to get out.  A couple of things were said to me which I didn’t respond to as well as I’d have liked.  L’esprit de l’escalier, you know – if it ever ends up in the DSM, I have a chronic case.

Back when I was married last, I was pretty unhappy.  I sat around and ate a lot of junk.  I put on about 40 pounds.  Once I was out, I started exercising and eating well and it all came right back off.  During this recent trip, I was staying over with some friends who hadn’t seen me in a while.  The male half looked at me and asked if I’d lost weight, then when I said I had he said, “Oh, you were just starting to look healthy.”  What I should have said was that I am much healthier now by pretty much any measure (strength, flexibility, endurance) and besides that, feel much better.  But I didn’t.

Next up is Joe, who I don’t see much at all and when I do we tend to “reconnect” in ways that involve not wearing clothing.  At one point, fully intending it as a compliment, he told me that if I ever got breast implants he’d be angry with me for ruining my currently-perfect set.  I said something diplomatic, along the lines of, I’d never even consider it since I very much love my body as it is.  I know it was meant as a compliment, and I also know that (along with possibly every heterosexual man ever) Joe is generally not very good at being eloquent when there is a naked woman right in front of him who is about to do filthy things with him.  But it did match up to a common theme.  I’ll call an intermission here and let you figure it out . . . .

********

Did you get it?  If you guessed “Sanguine’s body is none of your damn business, nor is any other woman’s and also if you feel the need to add commentary you are revealing massive cultural conditioning”, you guessed right!

What is this about conditioning?  Two things: In the first case, looks are being put above actual health.  I might “look healthier” to some people if I were bigger, but that seems to come straight out of the backlash against thin women.  I know women even thinner than me who are very healthy.  I also know women much larger than me who are very healthy.  We’re all built differently, but very few of those builds are culturally acceptable.  Mine is to an extent, but the body policing and open hostility is part of the territory.  It’s a mixed bag, and it doesn’t even matter since commenting on someone being “too thin” is really just as bad as commenting on someone being “too fat”.  But guess which one is more acceptable.

Second case is a little different.  As I noted, this was meant as a compliment, which is why I didn’t lay out this whole argument I’m about to type.  The culture bullshit is in the idea that I would ever get implants.  It ties into another issue I have with whoever the hell designs bras.  I am very small-breasted.  That tends to go along with having very little body fat, and possibly a few other things I suspect about my hormone levels.  Point is, I really, really love my breasts but they are not “standard-issue sexy”.  Assuming that I am so blindly indoctrinated into “how you as a woman should look” that I would have invasive surgery that carries several risks and is also expensive and then has to be redone every decade or so just to “fix” a body I adore is kind of insulting.  I have had a couple of boyfriends ask if I’d consider it.  They are all ex-boyfriends.  And the thing with bras?  This is my issue: I would like a pretty, feminine bra that flatters my figure.  I do not want to strap a couple of sofa cushions to my chest.  Finding bras in my size that are not padded all to hell is difficult to say the least, probably because most people who design them assume anyone as small as me is deeply unhappy about it and will strap on those damn cushions until they can afford surgery.  Better bra selection, please!  When I do find a good one I also like to find excuses to prance about in it publicly, which is really great free advertising!  (Lingerie designers can contact me in the comments for measurements and the address merchandise should be sent to.  I have a couple of parties and photoshoots coming up.)

The obvious question is, why am I on another whinge-fest when I could be working on fiction or polishing up one of my Serious And Informative essays I’ve got in the works?  Well, I did throw in a bit of observation on Our Nasty Culture And Why I Do Not Like Parts Of It (only a bit, but still . . . ).  Thing is, it’s not just about these small examples – this sort of offhand thing comes up all the time for me – it’s about the fact that that long, aimless vacation was also meant to give me time to sort out all the weird uncomfortable things Sir and I have run into lately so I could have a productive discussion with Him once I was home.  Part of that discussion is about physical issues that are going on.

Part of me is saying “NOOOOOO!  Never write about things before they’re sorted out among the parties involved!  You already learned that!” But the bigger part is saying, “I’m sick of scribbling away in my personal journal and also I’m very frustrated that the entire reason I have to put discussions on hold indefinitely is scheduling problems – or is it?  Maybe these discussions are just never going to happen?  Never mind, then, carry on.”

I’ve touched on this before here, but finally got to the point where I am both comfortable enough and annoyed enough that I can write a full account.  Yes, that’s a contradiction, but not really.  The comfort part is being able to step back and look at things and realising that whatever the actual problem is I do not have to feel bad about my body.  Having no contact for that long made me say “What if none of this ever gets better?  Would you still love yourself?” And I said, “Hell Yeah!”  The annoyance is mainly in the waiting.  I’ve held off on a lot of things I want to talk about because He has things that MUST be written and sent to me before we get down to it.  I can respect that, since I often need time to collect my thoughts (hence the sporadic posting here).  But I can respect it and still be annoyed.

There’s a lot going on here.  I have a gut feeling that a lot of it comes from not being His preferred physical type.  Maybe all of it.  I’m able to accept that, because it’s not as if I can ONLY enjoy my one, perfect physical type – it’s more to do with the actual person, and I think we’re matched in that regard.  So I can shrug that off and move on.  A lot of the individual issues probably do relate to it, though.  They add up to something that looks a lot like lack of respect.  That is what’s not cool.  I hate it when little things add up like that, because it means writing about it gets into rambling, but it’s always a bunch of little things.

All of these are small: For one, I described the Other Girlfriend (remember those posts?  I wish I didn’t!) in a way that He thought was wrong – I didn’t mean it as an insult, but my word choice (to be clear, I referred to her as being more “fleshy” than me) was taken as being super-offensive and I did indeed get called on it right away.  I honestly meant it in nothing but a literal sense (more flesh?  Made sense to me at the time.) but intentions don’t matter here.  Meanwhile, OG actually straight-up insulted my body and never got called on it.  See how this ties in?  It’s okay to insult thin women, but NEVER, EVER suggest that someone is not thin, even if it’s just stating the facts.  Thanks, misogynist culture that creeps into “progressive” viewpoints!

And then there’s the ongoing problem of my just plain not being physically able to do a lot of things (not really a lot – just a handful of things that come up OVER and OVER).  I’m pretty sure I’ve talked about this before here, but my “reassurance” was that that is one of the great things about polyamory – someone else can, so I need not worry!  Basically, that is awesome.  No, I mean it – there are needs that one partner can’t fulfill, so another one can step in and everyone’s happy.  It’s a great idea in theory, but in practice if the same things are still brought up I think it’s totally reasonable to snap and yell, “Leave me the hell alone and go fuck someone else (please)!”  Which I have yet to do in real life, but may one day.

And as a final note to anyone in any sort of sexual relationship, I have a Public Service Announcement.  If you really like ladies with a bit more meat on them and then find yourself with a thin one, please remember that our bodies are different.  Bones are closer to the surface, and nerves tend to be more densely packed.  I’ve been going back and forth on this one, because in a strictly BDSM context I’m aware that most of these other ladies Sir likes also describe themselves as masochists or pain sluts.  I am not either, but I do tend to enjoy lots of things that most people would consider painful.  Let’s say a true masochist is a 6 and someone who does not care for any “painful” activities is a 1.  I’m about a 3.  So for a long time I’ve just chalked it up to different tastes.  But then there’s a lot of “Watch out for my ribs/spine/abdominal organs!” so I’m starting to suspect it’s partly to do with His being unfamiliar with my body type and forgetting that that bone has no padding over it.  Maybe it’s half and half.

So this is all about physical things.  Things I deal with when I’m balancing my hard-won love of my own body with other people’s (and society’s) opinion of it.  There’s a lot of other things going on with Sir that I absolutely am not ready to write about here, but the physical part is important.  It’s important because I have to live in my body no matter what, and having guests over is very often going to involve them saying “nice place, but it could do with a little remodeling”.  Hearing it from someone who is supposedly sensitive to all the issues women face is a bit of a joke, really.  Just not that funny.

Vacation Time Continues

Posted in Nothing! Nothing at all! on August 8, 2012 by sanguinesnow

It’s still disorganized.  It’s still rousing those feelings of “Not Being Constructive Enough With My Time”.  (which is silly, since this is the first time I’ve had in a couple of semesters that I can actually NOT DO ANYTHING.)  And it’s still giving me those “Should have tied up loose ends before you tried to leave town and relax” moments.  But I’m shaking that off.  One thing that’s been good about having time off (relationship-wise) has been that it’s made me look at what it would actually be like if some of the unfixable-looking things actually are.  No contact for over a week – and I have NOT died.  I’m a little weirded out, but not dead.  That means I’m unlikely ever to die from relationship fuckery.  Yay for learning things!  A lot of what I’m dealing with at the moment is not giving me actual “Yay!” moments, but that is.

Other good things – getting to see friends, and finally lining up a shoot that’s been in the works for a little while.  All the moving from house to house and sleeping in different places and having no schedule whatsoever has got me a bit out of joint, but that’s typical.  My friends are great – busy, but great.

So, I’m still not up to writing anything “real” or “important” but next time I’m talking about heading out of town with no real plans, these vacation entries would be really good to refer back to.  I am Doing It Wrong.  So, if someone could point me in this direction next time I have time off, I’d appreciate it.  When the only typing I’m capable of makes me sound like I’ve been stoned all week I KNOW it’s bad.

Vacation!

Posted in Nothing! Nothing at all! on August 5, 2012 by sanguinesnow

I am on vacation.  To be more specific, I am on the most disorganized but much-needed vacation I’ve had in ages.  As often happens, there’s been a lull in posts.  That’s partly because of school but in the last few days has been more because I don’t travel well.  As soon as the pressure to finish summer semester up was off, I had left home to visit a bunch of people in some random order I hadn’t actually worked out.  This is not a good way to start any trip anywhere, at least not for me.

I do have plenty of things to work on once I’m home, but trying to get any real writing done this week is going to be an exercise in futility.  I’m keeping up with a personal journal right now, mostly because I’ve run into things that aren’t ready for entries here but that need attention if I’m going to get anywhere productive once I’m done having social time and can buckle down and work out what exactly I’m going to talk about.

So, this is seriously an entry about nothing.  I have a mixture of anxious feelings around things I need to get done – and I’m the sort of person who wants to get things done right now, as soon as possible – and relaxed feelings that say, “fuck it, you haven’t written anything to share in weeks anyway so what’s one more week off?”  Balancing those two is hard.  Being stuck somewhere without a phone is hard, and having a list of things to discuss with people that HAVE TO WAIT is hard, and having schedules that almost, but don’t quite, match up to other peoples’ is hard.  I’m pretty well ready to plan my next vacation around a beach or something and not deal with any of this.  I’m also partly ready to get back home, even though I still have a week left.

The very beginning of this trip was a bright spot, though.  Hopefully there’ll be more.  But my first night away from home involved a lot of great conversation that needed to happen for me.  I got to stay with Kitten, who I don’t talk about much but suspect I will in the future.  Since I’ve been thrown a lot of learning experiences lately (a lot, but not more than I can handle.  That’s an important distinction.) I’ve needed someone to run my ideas by and ask “am I fucking insane?” knowing there’d be an honest answer.  I got to have a lot of that (including a talk about a post I’ve been working on but am not ready to publish yet – it’s on its way) and it did boil down to “take a break and rest up a bit.”  So I’m doing that, even though I have no idea what I’m up to for the rest of this week or where I’m staying.  It’ll work itself out, and knowing my friends, once I figure out who I’m seeing and when, it’ll turn into nonstop happy fun times.  But the confusion is a huge part of why I want one of those ridiculous country estates the nobility used to keep – so I can just invite everyone over for a week or two and put them all up at my own home with no worries about food or lodging or anything that us regular folk have to think of during time away from home.