I’m not sitting in front of it, so I don’t know what specific picture is up this precise moment, but it rotates through a set of some of my favourite photos of my sweeties. That way whenever I show my desktop, I see a picture of someone I love who makes me happy.
Tag: poly Page 1 of 6
In 1994, Blizzard Entertainment came out with a real-time strategy computer game called “Warcraft: Orcs & Humans”. It was well received in the gaming community, but I paid it very little notice personally.
One year later, a sequel was released, coming out just as I entered a six month period of unemployment. I ended up spending a lot of time playing Warcraft II, which was an awesome game.
By the time World of Warcraft in 2005, an MMO based on the same world as the RTS game, I was already deeply engaged with a game called City of Heroes. Some of my friends left CoH to play WoW, but I was still having a great time where I was, so I didn’t pay it much mind. In fact, I kinda resented it for stealing away my friends from the game I was playing. My dismissing it didn’t seem to cause it any lasting harm, though, and it grew like gangbusters.
Around the time that the first expansion for World of Warcraft came out, I was growing bored with City of Heroes/Villains. You can only go beat up the same bad guys in the same warehouse so many times before it starts to acquire a sense of sameness. So I asked eloren what server she and her hubby were playing on, bought the trial CD, and rolled a character.
I had no idea that this would change my life.
I played the game mostly solo, sometimes asking eloren to help me with difficult things or quests that required groups. I didn’t really know anyone who was playing; well, that’s not strictly true – I knew lots of people who were playing, and not one of them played on the same server as me or each other. I joined Jon and Aileen’s guild, and got to know a few of the people there vaguely, but I was mostly just enjoying the game as a solo player. Then drama happened, as it so often does in guilds, and they broke up. A small group of friends went looking for a new guild to join, and ended up with a group called The Grim Covenant. They seemed nice enough, and I was invited to join them as well, even though I was still far below max-level.
This was a transformative experience. As I reached level 70 (the cap at the time) and started participating in group activities, I starting getting to know people. I began to feel like I belonged in the group. I began to form real and solid friendships with people.
And then I fell in love with one of them.
It wasn’t on purpose; I certainly wasn’t looking for a new relationship. We had just gotten to talking, which led to more talking which led to exchanging emails…at some point she found out I was polyamorous, and started to ask me questions about it. As time went on, we were spending more and more time talking to each other, and it was obvious to me that there was something between us growing deeper.
Honestly, the details at this point are irrelevant. We met in person when kitanzi and I went up to visit a group of guildies for a trip to King Richard’s Fair, a trip that had been organised well in advance of these developments. During that trip, we began officially dating, although only the people who needed to know this were aware of it.
A couple of years go by. Following the failure of her marriage, she decided that, in the end, poly wasn’t something she felt she could handle, and we broke up. This is probably the hardest breakup I’ve ever been through; neither of us really wanted to and we both still loved one another deeply, but she was in a place where she needed to figure out who she was and what she was doing with her life, and this just wasn’t part of it. Her finding out that polyamory wasn’t for her after all was certainly a risk I’d been aware of when I started the relationship.
(I wrote and removed a lot of detail in the last three paragraphs, deciding it was largely beside the point. If you want to know more about what this was all about, email me, and we can talk.)
That was nearly a year ago, just before Valentine’s Day. I spent the next few months being pretty broken as a result, withdrawing from a lot of people in the process. Part of my withdrawing was to quietly withdraw from the WoW guild we were both part of. I was an officer and raid leader, but those were roles I’d been increasingly frustrated with, and this gave me the excuse and the permission to just let go of them. I went to another server, where I’d established a character and made some casual friends, and set back to playing the game semi-casually. Eventually, I joined up with a small group of friends to begin raiding again, though never as hardcore as before, and that’s been my focus for the last 12 months.
Now there’s a new expansion out, and as the new year begins I’m reflecting again on my life and how i spend my time. The truth is, I still enjoy the game quite a lot. The new expansion is full of really interesting new things to explore. catalana and I still play together every week or so, working our way now through our second pair of characters since we began to play every Friday a couple of years ago. And I still have many people that are dear to me in the game, both in my old guild and in my new one, and others besides. Azeroth has become a comforting place to wile away my time.
But the thing is….time is the one thing in my life I never have enough of. And there’s a lot of things that I want to do that want to compete with that time. I want to spend more time writing, both creative writing and blogging. I want to spend more time working on my musical interests. I want to catch up on some of the TV/movie watching that’s been piling up. I want to just sit and read. Sometimes, I want to just sit.
Given that I’m not currently able to give up either work or sleep, I have to make some decisions about how to spend my time, and the decision I’m making right now is to take a vacation from World of Warcraft. I’m not saying I won’t play it at all; I’m not giving up my nights with Erica, and it is a good way to kill an hour when you’re in the mood for it. But aside from that regular session and the odd jaunt here and there, I’m going to spend a few weeks in pursuit of other hobbies, until I figure out the best way to create a balance that lets me do everything as I’d like to.
It feels very strange to step away from something that’s dominated my leisure time for over four years. But ultimately, I think that right now it’s best for me.
Who Am I Foolin’?
by Cheryl Wheeler
I can go through the motions, sometimes I swear I’m ok.
Sure I miss you, but I’ve been really movin’, really turnin’ away.
But just when I thought the heartache was gone,
It’s tapping me on the shoulder.
Saying who are you foolin’?
Some things you just don’t get over.
I could write you a letter, and I always do in my head.
Just to tell you I’m better and this lonely didn’t kill me I guess.
But just when I know I’ve finally let go,
I dream you are so much closer.
Oh who am I foolin’?
Some things you just don’t get over.
I’m wearin’ a new face, a little insane,
And here in the old place nothin’s the same.
I’m waiting for winter, it always seems warmer somehow.
It’s the sun on the snowfall and the silence I am longing for now.
But with one backward glance, I won’t stand a chance,
So I’ll wave goodbye over my shoulder.
Yeah who am I foolin’?
Some things you just don’t get over.
So, some more random thoughts from Gafilk weekend.
Since I had actually taken Wednesday off to get some last minute stuff done, Thursday was remarkably unstressful; a first for me. I had to go drop my car at the shop in the morning to get the side mirrors fixed (long story), but aside from that, we had everything pretty much ready to go. hawklady showed up around lunchtime with her pickup truck, we got the sound equipment and other bulky stuff loaded in, and then she and kitanzi headed down to the hotel, with me behind in the car. We got checked in, settled, and started checking on flights. The weather forecast was for winter weather, so we were naturally concerned about people’s travel. Several people had their original flights cancelled and had to reboot earlier or later, including bedlamhouse & ladyat‘s flight, which was early, and Ellen and Delia’s flight, which was delayed. Poor Alexander James Adams had his flight cancelled entirely, and ended up flying in on a crack-of-stupid morning flight on Friday instead. Poor guy. I let other folks have the perk of meeting the guests at the airport this year, which left me free to go and take museinred to get a new cell phone, as she’d lost hers somewhere in the wilds of Manitoba. After stopping for dinner, I got back to the hotel, peeked in briefly on Play It With Moxie, who were rehearsing in the main room, and then went off to relax before the big day.
Friday morning started out pretty normal. We got the dealers room open so the hucksters could go ahead and start setting up, made sure registration was good to go (which, being run by Myra, it was), and then headed off with bedlamhouse to pick up some of the last bits we needed for the sound gear. Last year, we had to hire sound equipment, which is frightfully expensive, so this year we’d started buying our own kit, but we still didn’t have everything we needed for the weekend, so a bit of shopping was in order. We got most of what we needed at Guitar Centre, and then set off to look for a Radio Shack….
…and found ourself trapped in an episode of the Truman Show.
The first Radio Shack my GPS directed us to turned out to be a newly constructed block of apartments, which wasn’t terribly useful, so I looked up another one that was nearer the hotel and we set off again. As we got close to where the place was, we were directed to turn down a particular street, but were thwarted by a cop parked behind a set of orange cones. Undaunted, we began plotting an alternate route, which brought us out and around down a side street, then told us to turn……down a short connecting street that was being dug up by a construction crew, who forced us to turn around. We were starting to get the feeling we were stuck on the set and couldn’t get to the store, but finally we made our way around all the obstacles to get the last few things we needed. We stopped at the Chinese restaurant near the hotel for lunch (Note to self: your first meal of the day should not be at 3:30pm)
Back at the hotel, it was time to do the usual “bounce around and make sure everyone has the things they need”, before going up to the room and finalising the questions for the My Filk panel. I had gotten questions from both our SSGs and our Toastmaster this year, but the Second Line category I always write myself. Once that was done, there was nothing to do but get dressed up and prepare for opening ceremonies.
Friday night is always “showtime” for me at Gafilk. I almost never have anything to do on stage during Saturday, but Friday night is opening ceremonies, meeting the guests, and then hosting My Filk. Sunday afternoon is closing ceremonies. In between, most of my duties lie behind the curtains. But we got everything kicked off, introduced the guests, and sang Auld Lang Syne. I only got some of the events out of order. (Next year: lists!)
Once the party was underway, Bill and I began trawling the audience for panellists. we managed to find a good cross-section of people, but this year’s question set apparently was brutal, though I can think of people who might have had an easier time with it. (telynor would have aced the folklore section, for instance.) The insta topics this year were “poker and escalators” and “nuclear hot sauce and snakes” The judges had a spirited consultation afterwards, and then declared they were a hung jury, and appealed to the audience to clap for their favourite. The sound board declared that Team 1 eked out a victory over Team B.
The Friday Night concert this year was the very talented Dene Foye. I’ve enjoyed Dene’s music for a few years (and besides, he covers *two* of my songs. How can I not like him?), so it was lovely to hear him do an entire set. (I grinned madly when he did “Naked Ambition” in his set.) The concert was well received, and after it was over, open filk started. I found myself wandering about a bit, spending some time in the bar, and then heading to bed reasonably early.
And this is getting long, so I’ll finish up the rest of it later.
AS I sit at my desk, the decade is drawing to a close. 2009 has been a bumpy year for me, and these last few days even more so, but as I try to think back to 1999, I can’t help but marvel at how much my life has changed for the better.
I considered writing a big long essay, trying to make sense of it all, but in the end it comes down to this: I have filled my life with love, and had that love returned to me. I have friends old and new who care about me, and have the great and humbling fortune to call six of the most intelligent, beautiful and sexy women on this planet my sweeties…and to call one of those six women my wife, the best partner I could have ever dreamed for myself. I’m not sure I am deserving of any of that, but every day I strive to be.
Not a bad way to wind up a decade, if I do say so myself. Here’s to the next ten years being even better.
Happy new year, everyone. May your next year be better than the last.
Nights like tonight I wish I had a local OSO just to come over and snuggle with.
(I’m OK. Just feeling a bit…skin-hungry.)
Periodically (currently, about once every nine months), readers of the newsgroup alt.polyamory have a little convention to meet up in real space and hang out, socialize, and generally be among themselves. The organization of these conventions is ad-hoc and the location moves around, so it’s generally depending on someone to step up and say “I’ll do it.”
Some months ago, someone said “We should have one in the Southeast. Maybe in Atlanta!” and I, with a foolish lack of thought, said “If you want to do that, I know a hotel.”
The person who made the original proposal disappeared into the ether, and it all might have ended there, until Aahz pings me and says “Are you still thinking of running APC 17 in Atlanta?” Showing the amazing lack of self-preservation instinct that got me on Gafilk’s concom in the first place, I said “Could do.” Fortunately, other crazy people stepped forward to help me organize things, most notably the lovely okoshun, without whom I’m reasonably certain I’d have never gotten anything done.
This past weekend was the actual event, and while it was sparsely attended (lousy economy), it was a tremendous amount of fun. There was much socializing, and much interesting conversation, it was tremendous fun to finally meet several people that I’d only previously known online. There was a great deal of relationship geeking (as you’d expect at the programming of a convention themed around polyamory), and the traditional decadent brunch, which I’m assured was up to the standards expected by the regulars. (Those of you who were at Gafilk’s banquet this past year will know the quality of the food I’m talking about. I used the same hotel.)
So here’s to new friends and old, and a lovely social weekend filled with food for both thought and belly.
I had a relatively relaxing weekend, which is good because that was just the sort of weekend I wanted.
Friday night, catalana and I met up for our usual night of WoW questing. We spent a good deal of time killing giants and water elementals in Feralas — the giants were dutifully dropping stuff for us, and the water elementals not so much, so we dropped that quest and went to collect Yeti hides instead. On the way to the yeti cave, catalana spotted a sprite darter and said “Those are so pretty! I wish you could get a non-combat pet version of one of those!” I whispered one of my friends who is a rabid non-combat pet collector and asked if there was one. It turns out, there is! It just involves doing a very long quest chain that starts with an NPC hidden in a spot that one would be fairly unlikely to notice. We dropped our plans for mega XP and decided to chase this chain down instead. It mostly involved razing a village of Tauren and freeing a bunch of the little dragons, then flying all the way to Darnassus to turn in the quest, then flying all the way back to Feralas to pick up the second part of the chain, then down to Shimmering Flats, and then The Hinterlands. Those of you familiar with the geography of Azeroth will note that we earned our frequent flyer miles on this one! It was late when we finally wrapped up for the night, but we were both the proud new parents of tiny little faerie dragons!
I split most of Saturday between WoW and Warhammer Online. WH Online is a new MMO that just came out, and a large number of my guildies are playing it, so I figured I’d at least see what the fuss was about. I’m really horribly underwhelmed by it, unfortunately. I’ll keep dabbling with it, but as soon as Wrath of the Lich King comes out, I expect it to start gathering dust. I’ll go on more about my impressions of the game in another post.
Currently exciting in WoW land is Brewfest! World of Warcraft has a number of little holiday festival events through the year, and Brewfest is essentially the dwarven (and Orcish) Okotberfest. There’s a fair, and kegs of beer, and ram races, and a cool boss mob to go and kill for shiny trinkets. We spent a good deal of time on Saturday and Sunday repeatedly running the special boss — hes’ not hard to kill, but you can only run the event once per person, so even swapping people in and out of the party, there’s a limit to how many times a day you can get his loot. But it’s fun to do stuff as a guild again.
Sunday night, my darling sweetmusic_27 and her old roommate Patty dropped in on their way down to Walt Disney World! This made me quite happy as I have not seen my darling Amy since January, and there was much cuddling to be had. We went out to Famous Dave's for a Giant Helping of Protein, then came home and watched a Jeff Dunham DVD. A good time having been had by all, we went to bed at a reasonable hour, as kitanzi and I had to be at work and Patty and Amy had a long drive to Orlando ahead of them. But it was fantastic to get to meet Patty, and of course I’m always happy to see Amy. (We’ll get to see them both again in a week or so, when they’re on their way back north. We made sure they’d have to stop…we loaned them graphic novels! *grin*)