Monday, October 29, 2012

Progressive Bishop on NPR

While I'm not Christian myself, I though this was a pretty good interview on NPR w/ a progressive Anglican Bishop.  His topic is "Can Christianity survive the prejudices of Christians?"  He talks about anti-science, antisemitism, and homophobia in the Church.  You can hear it at:

Status Changes

So… my family has undergone a significant change as of Saturday evening.  Some of you reading this blog who follow Shdwkitten on FetLife have already seen the note she posted, but I’d like to re-post it here for those who haven’t:

“As the seasons must change, as the leaves on the trees must accept change, so must we as people accept change.  Sometimes it is bad, sometimes it is good, and other times it is just something we must do. It is neither good nor bad, but it is necessary to continue.

“Snow and I have come to a cross road in our journey where we must decide to accept that change is occurring for both of us.

“For two years I have been blessed to call her my partner, for over a year I have had the honor of calling her my wife and I hope for the rest of my lifetime I will be gifted with the pleasure to at least be able to call her my friend.

“Snow and I are changing. We both have new journeys facing us and we both must embrace those new journeys. Sadly though, these changes mean that we can no longer be married at this time. This is not an ending for us though as much as it is a set of changes.

“I love her dearly. Snow is an amazingly beautiful woman inside and out. I remain fiercely protective over her. I hope she will always allow me a place in her life.

“Please respect both her and I through this difficult time. Please don’t cover us up with a thousand questions or speculate on what may or may not be happening. This is hard, painfully so for both of us as we try to figure things out.

“Instead of rumors and negativity, I ask that you provide love and support and happiness for us as we undergo our necessary changes right now.”

I thought that was beautifully written.  One of her friends who is twice divorced contacted her to offer comfort, and he said, “I wish either of my ex-wives spoke of me that way.”  Snow and Ma'am are both wonderful people.  I love them both and want to see them both happy.  As I understand, they mutually agreed that they will be happier as loving friends than as wives.  Of course it’s a difficult transition.  My Owner is still processing, and she’s having her ups and downs… but (as she put it herself) sometimes change is necessary, and the goal is for everyone to be happy.

As something of an aside, only days ago my best friend underwent a similar shift in his relationship status.  He and his boyfriend of one year decided to shift to being friends (w/ benefits) and date other people.  They had been living together, but my friend moved out.  It’s another situation where they are both wonderful people, and I wish them both happiness.

Sunday, October 28, 2012


Here's the sensational Shdwkitten and I at the CAPEX Halloween party as a sexy SWAT officer and her K9 puppy.  :-)

Friday, October 26, 2012

Puppy Play on Nat Geo's Taboo

Nat Geo's Taboo did an episode "Private Passions" a couple of weeks back that had a segment on puppy play... and (and this is kind of weird) featured the famous philosopher Peter Singer as a talking head.  The treatment on puppy play was really good, I thought.

And part 3 had a segment on zenti that was kind of cool, too:

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

New Tattoo for Shdwkitten

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Our wolf-dog just came by and stuck his big nose on my keyboard and typed the above message.  I assume that means he wants a steak…?

My lovely Owner celebrated finding a job (after a 10 month search) by getting a new tattoo.  She’s a huge Alice in Wonderland/Looking Glass fan, and she’s always wanted to get the original Cheshire Cat illustration inked on her.  So we went back to Eric, the guy who did my wolfhound knot.  This brings up an interesting bit of serendipity.  When we went to have my ink done, we had picked Eric totally at random.  Afterwards, we found out that he is an old friend of a friend of ours, Mystrys, and did some of her ink.  Mystrys was actually the first person to Top me in a BDSM scene – like 10 years ago.  Eight year ago next month she threw a housewarming party, and that is where I met Shdwkitten.

Well, while Eric was working on Ma’am’s ink, we discovered that he was also at Mystrys’s housewarming party… and he now remembered Shdwkitten, and she remembered him.  She actually wanted to get a tattoo from him then at that party, but her asshat fiancé wouldn’t help pay for it, and they had a fight about that at the party… where she then met me, we hooked-up, and she subsequently dumped Asshat, collared me, and moved in... and then 8 years later I took her to get the tattoo from Eric she wanted.  It’s just weird how serendipity can bring things full circle.

So, w/o further ado…

I love the contrast between Alex (her little tiger cub kitten who looks so cute and cuddly) and the Cheshire Cat (who looks so sinister).

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Horror Movies Kill!

It’s true; watching horror flicks kills… but so does everything else you watch on TV.  Apparently, every hour you spend watching TV over the age of 25 shortens your life expectancy by 21.8 minutes.  (Source)  (By comparison, every cigarette you smoke shortens your life expectancy by 11 minutes… so it’s two smokes or one hour of TV.)  So, now every time I sit down to watch a movie, I have to ask myself, “Well, I want to watch this, but is it worth trading off 44 minutes of my life for?”

Well… this week I killed myself 100 minutes sooner by watching James Whale and Boris Karloff’s Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein and Stephen Spielberg’s Duel.  All three are great movies, so I think they were probably worth the 44 minutes. 

Bride is certainly an amazing and film.  The first Frankenstein is quite good, but the sequel surpassed it… largely b/c Whale didn’t want to do a sequel, so to get him to do it the studio gave him carte blanche.  He took it and ran w/ it.  Bride slips an amazing amount of sacrilege past the 1930s censors.  There’s plenty of religious imagery in it… but even the structure of the plot is an inverted Passion Play: First the Monster is resurrected, then he’s crucified, then imprisoned, then he eats a last supper where he says “Bread good! Wine good!”  Then he meets the Mephisto-figure, Dr. Pretorius, who successfully tempts him by offering him a wife.  Pretorius offers the famous toast: “To a new world of gods and monsters!”

For something a little more recent, I traded 33 minutes of life expectancy to watch Duel.  It’s a great thriller built around the urban legend of a mad truck driver who runs down randomly selected motorists.  Midway through, the protagonist utters a great bit of monologue:

“Well, you never just never know. You just go along figuring some things don't change ever, like being able to drive on a public highway without someone trying to murder you. And then one stupid thing happens. Twenty, twenty-five minutes out of your whole life, and all the ropes that kept you hanging in there get cut loose, and it's like, there you are, right back in the jungle again.” 

That’s the essence of the of the Hitchcock-style thriller: the ordinary everyman suddenly finds the bottom falls out of normal, predictable, civilized life… and you’re “back in the jungle again.”

Duel I had to watch on my own (this saving my Owner 33 minutes of her life).  Ma’am won’t watch that movie w/ me.  The Kitten once got hit by a semi – her car crushed between the semi and a guard wall, totaled the car and cracked her sternum.  She still tenses up when she drives next to a semi (mild PTSD).  So for her watching Duel is, I guess, like guys who've seen combat watching a war movie.  She watched once w/ me years ago and said, never again!

Outside of the Halloween film fest... it's been warm enough to do some motorcycle riding, and I'm going to go out again today.  Not sure how that effects my life expectancy...  I'll try to avoid any mad truckers.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Halloween Horror Fest

My Owner and I have started our annual Halloween film fest this week.  The couple of weeks before Halloween we like to watch some of our favorite horror/suspense flicks.

Monday night we kicked things off w/ Alfred Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train.  We’re both big Hitchcock fans (we own almost all of his films… including a lot of his very early British films) and Strangers is one of Hitch’s best films… with one of his best villains: Bruno Anthony.  I don’t know why exactly, but Hitch frequently used gay characters (especially villains) in his films (Leonard and VanDamm in North by Northwest, all three principle characters in Rope, possibly James Stewart’s character in Rear Window…), only hinted at given the Hollywood censor codes of his day.  Maybe he just felt it added and extra undercurrent of tension.  In Strangers it works particularly well b/c there’s a hinted-at sexual tension between the hero (Guy) and villain (Bruno).  I think Fight Club drew some inspiration from Strangers.

 Last night we watched the Bela Lugosi Dracula (1931).  Always a good one.  It’s seems a bit campy now… but that’s mostly just b/c Lugosi did such an amazing, iconic job that he’s forever lodged in everyone’s brain as THE baseline Dracula/vampire.  Most of the stuff people picture when you say “Dracula” or “vampire” comes more from Lugosi than from the Bram Stoker novel.  You could say that Lugosi deserves credit as the co-creator of the character.  In addition to Lugosi’s performance, the movie has some other nice technical aspects (great sets and great lighting)… although Kitten and I agree that it’s anti-climactic.  Almost all of the best scenes are in the first third of the film (at Castle Dracula and the shipwreck scenes), and when they destroy Dracula you're kind of like, "That's it?"

Not sure what we’ll watch next.  I’ve got a pretty extensive DVD collection, so we have plenty to choose from.  The Cabinet of Dr. Calagari, The Cat People, Bride of Frankenstein, Freaks, The Bat, Night of the Living Dead, The Terror, Masque of the Red Death, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Let the Right One In…  I want to watch Duel again this year, but I’ll have to watch that one myself.  That’s the one film that my Owner is too freaked-out by.  She watched it w/ me once and swore, never again!!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

She Kissed a Girl, and She Liked it

My Owner and I along w/ her boyfriend went to Carolina RenFair Saturday.  We almost always make it out opening weekend.  We ran into other friends there... including the guy who sold me my puppy hood at Frolicon six months ago.  How he recognized me ("So, how's the puppy hood?") I can't imagine!  I'm really bad w/ faces, so it just blows my mind that some people can do that.  We saw no Klingons or Stormtroopers this year... but there was one furry there in costume w/ his collared boy w/ him.  He said they usually do Atlanta FWA, but we told them they need to also come to Frolicon.

We had a great time, but one particular story needs relating.  We were standing in the periphery watching one of the comedy shows (the Tortuga Twins) and this guy and girl approach Ma’am, and out of the blue he asks, “What do you call it when you’re sword fighting, but not really fighting?”

Shdwkitten says (just to mess w/ the guy), “I’ll tell you if you give me a dollar.”

He forks over a $5 bill (all he had).  Ma’am says, “Sparring.”

“No,” says the stranger, “I don’t think that’s right.”  Then he asks for his $4.

“I don’t have change,” Ma’am says.

“Well, give me my five back then.”

“No.  You gave it to me.”

“Well, what do I get for my other $4?”

Ma’am thinks a moment.  “I’ll kiss your girlfriend.”

Said girlfriend cocks an eyebrow and smiles.

“Okay,” agrees they guy.

Ma’am gives the girl a friendly kiss.

“Aw,” groans the guy, “That wasn’t worth five dollars.”

Ma’am looks at the girl again, shrugs, and then gives her a very passionate kiss.

Girlfriend looks at her guy and says, “You should give her another $5.  She kisses better than you.”

Guy walks off in disgust.  Girl waves goodbye and follows.

This is life w/ Shdwkitten.  :-)

Sunday, Ma’am and I drove into TN.  We had some time to kill in Knoxville, so I showed her around the campus where I went to collage.  The McClung Museum had a great exhibit of Zen Buddhist art.  It was very nice.  It was also fun just to show the Kitten around a little where I used to live and go to school 15 years ago.  It really hadn’t changed much.  Nobody paid us for a kiss Sunday.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Long awaited good news.

Three years ago, my Owner lost her job doing data entry for a furniture manufacturer b/c they had the bright idea of closing the factory and sending those jobs overseas so that way they could help tank the American economy so that no one would be able to buy their cheaply-made furniture.  Anyway… she took an opportunity to go back to school and picked-up a degree (w/ a 4.0 GPA b/c my Owner is one smart Kitten)… but then she’s spent the last 10 months job hunting.  It was a rough search; there’s just nothing out there, and there’s a lot of people looking.  She looked day after day and applied for jobs every week, but w/o any luck.  Fortunately, we had some money in savings, and that’s kept us from having to raise our debt level b/c of her being out of work… but our savings were about to run out.

So just in the nick of time (Why is it the nick of time? Nick who?), she got a call today w/ a job offer!!!!!!!  So that has been some of the (long awaited) best news we’ve had all year.  It’s about an hour drive from home, so she'll have a bit of a commute… but it’s a job!  Yeahhh!  *happy puppy dance*

Monday, October 1, 2012

Which Shakespeare Hero are You?

Not remotely scientific, time-killing test found here:

My result:
You are Prospero of The Tempest. Congratulations: you are a sorcerer of exceptional creativity. Well-read, self-assured, and rebellious, your talents and passions are recognized (and even a little feared) by others. Sometimes your temper gets the better of you, but you always come around enough to ask for forgiveness when it does. Keep inventing worlds, and we'll keep marveling.