Worlds & Time

Sunday, April 23, 2006


One of the highlights of moving is that something good usually happens to me just before I move. I loved Rochester just before I moved away. I loved Miami. I loved Albuquerque (and Matt still has to remind me that the job was eating my soul [not the people, the job. I love all of you]).

Looking back, the day I went to college, the house one door down was on fire.

I've always wondered what it is that makes me more outgoing when I'm leaving. I've attributed it to the unconscious knowledge that I'm not responsible for my actions to others. I can take risks when I normally wouldn't. And I think that's true. After all, the only anonymous sexual encounter that I've ever had was two days before I left Miami.

But there are things that aren't last minute that I hate to loose. Jeff's been playing with me for years, but it's harder and harder to get together with him. Khalid just disappeared between one day and the next. Michael was a dream come true as far as players go, and Alex was promising. (Yes, I'm talking about all of you, and I know at least some of you are listening.)

So I know that all good RPG's must end some time, but these guys (mainly Jeff now) started in Planescapes, moved on to Taliesin, then got bandied around a couple of intermediate games (I still can't believe I lost my arm in Mutant Chronicles), and then moved into Endless Light.

The website is almost up and running, but I'm not going to advertise it myself. I know where to start, but the maintenance is my prerogative. Most of the information is up, and it's sitting there. I don't know if it's worth it yet. I can't get the feedback that I get in a real game, the validation.

Steph apologizes for distracting Mike, but that's not really the big issue. It's that I'm distracted and distant. I'm an hour away, and my hours change from week to week. I'm getting desperate, I suppose. The games aren't just games, they're six intensive hours of game play and combat amongst fictional characters while we the players bond.

What did happen to Khalid? The motel is still there, and he's the one that answered the phone. I broke my promise when I let/made him GM the Star Wars game, and I'm sorry. So, so sorry. I miss you, dude. (In a platonic way. I'm rarely that attracted to gamers . . . with the notable exception of Vin Diesel.)

So I'm left with the thought of the move . . . was it really good moving away? I think, and not for the first time, I've been hurt pretty badly by moving. I'm loosing friends, and I'm desperate enough that I'm willing to shunt my contact with them into the online realm to try to remain in contact.

So here I am, sitting, wondering if this experiment is going to work. It could build into a good community, maybe if I could get Mike or Jeff to advertise at UNM Gamers . . . but will it be enough?

Or will I succeed at moving away from everything behind me again?

Labels: , ,

Saturday, April 22, 2006

U.S. Interests

I was listening to a radio show today, and one of the topics that came up was U.S. interests over seas.

What a phenomenally fucked up idea.

You know what was nice about the cold war? The simplicity of the good/evil duality that the whole thing was based on. True, there are all those proto-film noirs that add shades of gray, but looking back on it you could really see the understanding that nationality was good and disrespect to your country was evil. There could be this impersonal camaraderie when you were shooting the other spy in the back because, hey, it was good times on both sides.

But now, you don't fight for our country.

Does anyone else remember victory gardens . . . ? Well, if you're reading my blog, probably not. I certainly don't, but I remember the idea, which was that war was hellish enough that you had to sacrifice for it. If it really was worth it, then you could give up something so that your country to fight. Circa WWII, incidentally, although there were some more in the Vietnam era.

Now what do we give up? I'll tell you, it's our souls.

I'm not saying that it's just one company. As I sit in my Sam's Club purchased chair on my computer with an Intel chip and just having eaten a bag of Nori Maki that may as well have been produced by Atria, I have to rail against the internationals, because I know that nothing I can say or do could ever hurt them.

We don't have interests over seas. The American people, that is. Well, that's a mis-statement. We do have interests, but they're supposed to be about real concerns. The natural resources of another country should never have become an interest of the American government. You know why? Because we're Americans. We're self sufficient and rugged and (dare I say?) manly. When we have a dependency on anything that's a problem that we should have steered clear of. And you know it's gotten bad because even Bush acknowledges it.

I'm too lazy to find a resource for this, but did you know that hybrid cars are killing the environment? Why? Because somewhere in Washington, someone struck a deal with the car companies, and instead of thinking it through, it was some 23 year old that was up against two 40 year old corporate lawyers that ate him alive.

The deal went wrong this way. A congressman (probably a democrat) said to an aide: "We need more hybrids on the market. Two guys from GM and Ford are coming in to talk to you, and I want you to convince them to produce more hybrids."

And so the corporate lawyers come in, and they say, "Sure, no problem! We can do that, but we want these concessions. Quid pro Quo."

And the aide is so shocked that he agrees to it, and the law comes up, and the democrat votes for it (of course the Republicans vote for it, it's written in blood on their corporate contracts), and it passes.

So why is more hybrids a bad thing? Because for every hybrid sold, the Illinois boys get to produce a vehicle that (may or may not violate U.S. regulations and) makes up the difference that someone saves by driving a hybrid.

So when the commercial comes on for the hybrid (or when Bill Maher is talking about his Prius) and someone says "I'm doing my part," that's just dandy, except he's not because elsewhere there's a person that's making up the difference.

We don't even notice, and so when Bush notices, you know some thing's wrong. Our interests are heavily invested in being free, and it's hard to do that when we're enslaved to Sheik Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud or when China and Japan own our souls in the form of currency deposits.

And so we don't fight for America any more. We fight for good things, but those things are black or white any more. We fight for gray (have you ever heard anything more depressing?) and it's a dark gray.

Why are Victory Gardens important? Because it was important enough to us to fight that we had to give up something. Today, some of the players can't give something up. KBR shouldn't be making money off of Iraq of Afghanistan. Profiting off of something like a war should be a fucking crime against humanity. If KBR was a person, for the first time ever I'd argue for the death penalty.

U.S. interests abroad should be protecting our citizens. But crime should be a national priority. The war in Terrorism needs to be fought without sacrificing troops that could have been used in Katrina. Hey, for that matter, aren't storms on U.S. soil supposed to be U.S. interests?

Our drug problem should be too, but the war on drugs needs to be fought here in America. Not in Columbia. Oil is a national interest, but only our oil and our dependence on it. You'll never solve it by going somewhere else. Could Rocky have won by learning ballet instead of boxing? If you want the results, why can't we do the work?

Labels: ,

Monday, April 17, 2006

Michelle and Marriage

Really posted on April 22, 2006 just after midnight (so the night of the 21st) but back dated to fill a gap.

Michelle claims to have once been a liberal that supported gay rights. After some thought and reading over the tenants of her (fundamentalist Catholic) religion, she was able to determine that homosexuality was wrong, and therefore gay marriage was/is politically a no-no.

I came in on the middle of a conversation about a "support group" for homosexuals that she supports. The main idea that I seized upon was the group's dualistic expectation of behavior: either remain celibate forever (lovely chastity!) or deconvert (and for some gay people, throw away all hope of not going to hell, Michelle is very clear on the existence of hell and gay people's place there).

It was sort of different because there wasn't a lot of emphasis on change (not that I saw, anyway.

Interestingly enough, Michelle is married. So I took a look at the duality (which actually doesn't mean much to me, atheist and all that) and I offered it too her:

"You're married, and I'd guess that you must be in love with your husband. What if, when you met your husband, instead of encouraging you to find a relationship that glorified God you were told that your relationship was an abomination in the eyes of the Lord? Instead of being able to love him as a man and a wife you were required to keep your distance forever. You could love him as a brother, but you could never love any man as a husband.

"That's the challenge that this group is putting in front of homosexuals. You may either disregard God or live alone forever.

"So Michelle, what would you do? Disregard God, or live alone forever? I suspect you'll indicate the later, but I'll doubt the veracity of the answer. It's one thing to say, and it's another to live."

I was right of course. She said she'd live alone forever, and it's true, I don't believe her. I think she's a liar, and I think she's a hypocrite and worse.

But it was when she said she understood the sacrifice that my eyes narrowed. It wasn't her statement that she could live alone forever that caught me because somewhere in the Catholic church there must have been some nun somewhere that managed to make it through the temptations and die a ripe old maid. It was when she compared living alone forever to two years back in the day when, and I kid you not, she had to spend a few months not sleeping with her husband because her marriage wasn't recognized by the church.

Which means that any brief period of pain is equal to hell, I suppose. I have to say, I'm not really scared any more. Obviously, if I can last for a couple of months, it'll be like forever.

She also pointed out that since I'm unchurched, I could never understand the depths of her emotions, and that she feels misunderstood because of her frustration.

I sit back here, and I wonder if I could hate her any more. I don't want to. I really feel horrible about my feelings (the hate, not those other ones) but I can't help but to feel just blinding sheets of anger toward her.

Two years is a long time, but someone once said that the presence of hope is heaven, and the loss of all hope is hell.

She was willing to equivocate the difference.

This is venting. Half of it. Because I can't honestly say that this blog represents me without at least a little bit of my dark side. So here is the hate that I feel for others to see, not because I'm proud of it but because you shouldn't know me without having some idea of who I am. And here's the darker section:

The other half is in my response. It's not a nice thing, writing out your dislike. I know it's going to hurt her, and it hurts me to write it (I have no illusions . . . it will hurt her worse than me). But if I don't let it out, then it'll come out somewhere else. There's not going to be any creative outlet, no kick boxing or punching a pillow. I'm a writer, and it's going to be words, either with Michelle or with my mother.

After that I'm going to think about crying for a while. For my loss of innocence, and for the pain that her church is causing others, but mostly because what she represents is so wonderfully talented at bringing out the worst in me.

Labels: , , ,

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Date needed/Missing MIF

The total lack of experience I have with social situations is showing. Anyone want to join me at Pulse, Friday the 14th? DJ Irene is playing.

Let me know.

Incidentally, I've been looking all over for MIF members . . . cause guess what? You know the jock from Goonies? He's gay. Hahahaha!


Thursday, April 06, 2006

HBO Party: All Aboard

For the life of me, I can't seem to spell "Premiere" . . .

Anyway, saw the last preview of "All Aboard: Rosie's Family Cruise" with the director at the Museum of Fine Arts. The party was not particularly exciting . . . there was no one there my age, but the movie was interesting.

It was nice to see gay people in situations that were positive. All the people with families and kids. I mean, they really managed to find just about everyone for the ship ride.

So I don't think I'll be spoiling anything by revealing the plot: Rosie O'Donnell and her partner Kelly rent out a Cruise ship and fill it with gay and lesbian and transgender families. But the movie isn't really all about them, it's more about the people that ride with them.

Of course, when you've got that much love in a place, you also have that much hate. They're protested in the Bahamas by churches. I mean these are families, not just gay people. They have the straight daughter of a Lesbian walking by the protesters, holding up a v sign and they're screaming at her, and she walks by what looks to be a gay family holding a baby . . .

Because apparently, Christian Love means hating gays and their families, and anyone who respects them.

Not that there weren't problems on the boat, like the mother against gay marriage, or the jeweler that makes a faux pax, but it's the reception at the Bahamas. Well, now I know that I'm hated there. Good thing I know, I can plan my vacation plans accordingly.

Incidentally, there's drama at home again. Maybe I go more into that later.

Labels: ,

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Fairly Interesting Quiz

30 facts about me:

1. What does your name mean?

Spherical Time is an odd concept that's related to the timecube. The sense in which I use it is a combination between the linear Western and Circular Eastern Time, which is normally expressed as a spiral or helix, but with another dimension thrown in. It could be considered to be representative of space/time.

2. Elaborate on your default photo:

In front of the Tides Hotel in South Beach. The guy that took it was probably trying to hit on me, and I went along with it for a while before cutting out. I felt bad, but I made it fairly clear up front that I wasn't interested.

3. Do you smoke/drink?

I don't smoke, and I don't really drink very often, and never alone.

4. Are you a stalker?

Sometimes. Not in the evil "I'm going to kill you" sort of way.

5. What exactly are you wearing right now?

Black shoes, black socks, black dress pants, black collared shirt and a silver bolo tie for work. I can't remember what color the skivies are.

6. What is your current problem?

How to live with my mother without suiciding.

7. What do you like most?

Unreality, usually. I'm not a big fan of reality.

8. What makes you the happiest?

Uh . . . Interested people, probably. I love it when people are genuinely interested in me or what I'm saying, doing, etc.

9. Are you musically inclined?

I used to be. Not any more. I've played Bassoon, Oboe, Trombone, Piano, and Recorder.

10. If you could go back in time, and change something, what would it be?

I'd rewrite the Bible. Fewer parables, more respect for gay people (and in general), and a complete unequivocal prohibition on slavery.

11. If you MUST be an animal for ONE day, what would you be?

Falcon. I love to fly.

12. Ever had a near death experience?

Not really.

13. Have you ever been in love?

Not reciprocated. I've had a few great crushes though.

14. What's the name of the song that's stuck in your head?

Dreaming, by BT.

15. Who did you cut and paste this from?


16. Name someone with the same b-day as you...

No clue. I could look someone up, I suppose. Piper is two days away.

17. Have you ever vandalized someone's private property?

I plead the fifth.

18. Have you ever been in a fight?

No, although once Chris slugged me. I don't remember why, but I remember that he was justified. I didn't hit him back.

19. Have you ever sang in front of a large audience?

Yes, and I proudly sucked. My voice = not impressive.

20. What is the first thing you notice about the opposite sex?

Uh . . . not much. Whether or not they're smiling, usually.

20. a. What is the first thing that you notice about the same sex? (Ben's personal addition, which you can delete if you want)

Weight and skin tone, followed by face structure and then a generalized cuteness rating.

21. What do you usually order from McDonald's?

Hash Browns, but it's been a long time.

22.Have you ever hurt yourself on purpose?

I've made myself sick from stress, but never been able to injure myself.

23. Have you ever thought of living a life of crime or as someone else?

Yes. I'm a writer. It's what I do.

24. Has anyone ever said you looked like a celebrity?

Probably. Not that I can remember though.

25. Do you still watch kiddy movies or TV shows?

Hell yes. I'm a proud cartoon watcher, and sometimes I was "Phil of the Future because the star is cute in a jail bait sort of way.

26. Did you have braces?

Nope, although I wanted them. I was hoping that I could use them as an excuse for my poor social skills, and further, I think my teeth are just a little bit off.

27. Are you comfortable with your height?

Not really, I'd like to be an inch taller. 5'11 is tall without being quite tall, and it's quite annoying.

28. Is there anywhere else you want to live?

Ireland, India, Japan, and a few places that don't exist outside of stories.

29. Do you speak any other languages?

Nagaata dro' slesha drachim. Granta soze.

30. Do you have a crush on someone on your MySpace?

Yup. There are a couple of people.


Fear of Death, and Lack Thereof

So, I have a reason to live, so don't go reporting me. I'll live for a while yet.

But I'm getting more and more comfortable with death. It's odd, I must be depressed, but I don't feel that at all. What I feel instead is this silence. There's a view of hell that is being all alone in the dark, and I have to say, that's one of the concepts that I've agreed with over the years.

But there's also a hope in the quiet. Nirvana is a place where you reach detachment, where you can want nothing and therefore be hurt by nothing. Americans really can't reach that, with our focus on materialism, and so our hell is empty.

But it's really enforced Nirvana. There's no one to interact with. No one to be hurt by and nothing that you need to want. So if death is being alone, then there's a certain amount of hope for the Buddhist in me. It's a strange comfort, which in an of itself is something that I'm not entirely comfortable with, but then again, when have I been comfortable?

So I'm looking forward to it. Not right away, but someday in the future. When I've completed what I want to in the mean time.

I know it's scary sounding. It sounds fatalistic, and maybe it is, but by good it gives me hope and I don't really have that in any other fashion. And anyway, things change. The world is impermanence, so it's not like I'll think this way forever.