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Category Archives: General / Overhead

So we did a thing today

A thing neither of us ever expected to do. We joined a church. A Christian church, at that.

I grew up Catholic, spent some years at Friends’ (Quaker) Meetings, and am agnostic. Jalan grew up evangelical conservative, rejected the narrowness of that world and especially its treatment of her as a woman, and has not sought a church since, though still identified as Christian.

I’m still agnostic. She still has a lot of history with and emotional loading about churches and especially their hierarchies. But the one we found is ok with all that.

We first learned of it when we moved to North Carolina a few years ago, and it had made the news filing a First Amendment infringement lawsuit against North Carolina’s Amendment One (“marriage shall be between a man and a woman,” etc.). We looked them up online and found the broadest, most progressive statement of inclusiveness I’ve ever seen for a Christian church, let alone in the South–it included gender identity, mental illness, and so many other things. That was enough to get us to try it.

It is a welcoming place. They’ve had an interim pastor for the last two years who happens to be lesbian. She’s formerly Southern Baptist. (I remember noticing she wore a slightly tailored cassock–gathered at the back. Then I had to figure out why that seemed strange to me. Oh, yeah, Catholic. Right.) Their most recent ministerial intern transitioned to his gender while in the role. There are same-sex couples, there are nonbinary folks. There are young and old. Families, and at least one person who has attended the church at that location since before this denomination existed. As they put it, if you think you belong with them, then they think so, too.

They are not just welcoming, they are active. They are social justice warriors (and clerics). They preach and practice the values I was taught as Christian. They’re in the neighborhoods, in the soup kitchens, and yes, in the courtrooms.

They have a new senior pastor now, and today was their first “New Member” Sunday since we started attending.

So we joined. Jalan participates. I stay respectfully quiet for the parts of the liturgy I can’t say in good faith (no pun intended). We both participate in the community of the congregation. This is the community we want #Dragonlet to grow up in.

It feels right.

 
 

#BlackLivesMatter

Earlier today, I was driving in the lane next to a police car and was reflecting.

I’m a middle-aged, cis, white guy in a tan sedan with a handicapped placard. I could hardly be less likely to be a victim of disproportionate police aggression.

“Hardly less likely” is not zero, and all lives do matter. This is not in doubt or debate.

But the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag and awareness campaign is no less critical for that. There is also no reasonable doubt that people of color, especially trans women of color and Black men, are vastly more likely than middle-aged cis white guys to be victimized by police brutality in the US, up to and including murder.

Middle-aged cis white guys don’t need an awareness campaign. Not because police brutality never happens to us. But because that’s not the way to bet.

That is why the subject line says “Black,” not “all.”

 
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Posted by on April 8, 2015 in General / Overhead

 

February 7, 2015: In my chastity belt

I am once again locked in my chastity belt.

This is especially noteworthy to me because the last time Jalan put it on me, at the beginning of January, I’d had it set too tight, over-correcting for weight loss. I made it about 5 days before breaking into the emergency key and finding (non-serious) sores under it. That was emotionally traumatic to some degree as well as physically painful.

That had been the first time the belt had seen use since I got sick two years ago, when I wore it for a continuous 3 weeks-plus in January and February, 2013. That had been by far the longest term I’d had it on, as I had just figured out how to adjust the fitting to accommodate hygiene and my high-and-tight balls. Then my health went south and life kept happening hard and fast.

So having it comfortable and on again is a big deal. Comfortable or, at least, not the bad kind of uncomfortable. You know what I mean.

 

Overly familiar D/s usages

This is most of a Twitter conversation I had with MintyBaubles this morning about what I consider overly familiar D/s terminology among people not in a negotiated relationship. It’s a pet (NPI) issue of mine.

Posted with permission.

Screenshot 2014-11-10 06.43.04

 
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Posted by on November 10, 2014 in D/s, Daily Life, General / Overhead

 

Pictures of the dragon cooking

The stove made the kitchen hot! Honest!

http://nagadikandang.tumblr.com/post/100190094147/the-dragon-cooks

 
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Posted by on October 16, 2014 in General / Overhead

 

Empathy for mental illness: It cuts both ways

Since Robin Williams’s suicide, there has been a heightened national discussion of depression and other mental illness. Much of this discussion is from people who have experienced depression and can understand how it could drive a seemingly happy, successful, and loved person to suicide. Much of the more publicized discussion is from people who have not experienced depression (or think “a few bad days” or “sadness” is the same thing) and can not understand that.

I just read John Scalzi’s blog post responding to Henry Rollins’s victim-blaming LA Weekly piece (not linked here). Scalzi says in the post that he has not experience depression, but also that he knows that he does not know what it’s like.

On reading this, I realized that I have no understanding of what being mentally healthy is like. My mental illnesses are so much a part of my inner life, and have been literally as long as I can remember, that I don’t know what it would be like to view the world without that lens. These illnesses are better controlled now than they have ever been, but they are still present and I always know what it is like when they are, for lack of a term, asserting themselves.

The upshot is that I do not have the experience of a Henry Rollins or other victim-blamers. I do not understand what it is like to not understand these problems. Yes, the cultural wisdom is gradually moving toward a disease model of mental illness. But slowly, and not uniformly, either across social sectors, individuals, or specific disorders.

It makes me look in myself for some empathy for the mentally healthy as they respond (clumsily) to the mentally ill.

EDIT: My friend Tomio Black has followed this up with his own thoughts.

 
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Posted by on August 24, 2014 in General / Overhead, Health

 

PIcking a fight with readers: Country music

Please assume I’m aware of “You Never Even Called Me by My Name.”

My long-time nominee for the perfect country & western song was George Jones’s “He Stopped Loving Her Today.”

This was superseded when I discovered Johnny Cash’s cover of “Long Black Veil.”

I argue that these approach the Platonic ideal of c/w song, but neither is my favorite..

That honor goes to Kris Kristofferson’s “Sunday Morning Coming Down” (Kris’s recording, not the Cash, Nelson, or other covers). That’s the song I most think it a bad idea to drink to.

 
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Posted by on August 21, 2014 in General / Overhead, Uncategorized

 
 
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