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Peace of mind
What kind of spiritual or meditative practice keeps you feeling zen?

Well I don't really get stressed or upset, but that's mainly because I try to ensure my whole life keeps me feeling zen. I do a lot of crafts like knitting and sewing and painting. I read a lot, and get plenty of sleep. I do body-focused meditation quite often, and even a little bit of exercise on occasion! I don't drink alcohol or smoke, so I'm not putting extra strain on my body. I mostly only drink green tea, water and fruit juice (although I will drink fizzy drinks when I'm on a night out) and I can fall asleep quite easily on my hour-long commute to work in the mornings. All in all, I don't really have anything to stress about, so I tend to be pretty zen as a person.

Wow, I sound really smug and prissy, don't I? I didn't intend to!

Word Meme!

May. 7th, 2011 01:07 am
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Word meme courtesy of [info]smescrater!

If you're wanting to play, reply to this post with "Words!" and I will give you five words that remind me of you. Then post them in your LJ and explain what they mean to you.

My words!

Right, well this is going to be all about the way I do polyamory, I guess. For me, the simplest reason why I do poly is just that people are so massively, wonderfully, mind-bogglingly complex as beings, that how could anyone really hope to perfectly match all the bits and pieces and jigsaw puzzles of another being? I know I have multiple layers and aspects to me - and I'm certain that each of the people I know have the the exact same feeling. This way, each of my separate facets are fulfilled - and all in an open, honest, caring and non-possessive way. I don't have to hide or deny how I feel about someone. Which equally means that I don't need to seek The One Who Will Be Everything Forever And Ever. They don't need to be everything - and neither do I. I can share my ocean of love with many different people, and each person who shares in that love does not in any way diminish the amount that is available for anyone else. Love is not a puddle, with it's limited boundaries and finite amounts. Love is an ocean, vast and continually being replenished. Love is worth nothing, if it is not offered to another.

The only rules I have are 1) Open, honest communications at all times, and 2) No taking risks with sexual health, either mine or my partners'. That's no way to respect somebody.

Hmm, kink. Well I like a bit of play now and again. For me, I guess it's more about the interaction between people, in a much more intense and focused way than you could ever get in most situations, particularly in public. For me, BDSM doesn't necessarily have to equate with sex, although it tends to do so much more nowadays. I'm a total switch, about as switchy as it's possible to be, and I rather like it that way. I thoroughly enjoy my experiences both domming and subbing. I don't do shouty, ranty doms though. I don't care what the situation is - once they start yelling and screaming, it totally breaks the mood for me and I lose all respect. If you can't control yourself, how on earth can you hope to control another person? I apply this equally to myself - If I can't control you with my usual voice, and my presence, and my touch - I'm not doing it properly.

Does this even need explanation? Really? Mmm, chocolate.

....I've been told there's Youtube video of me drinking hot chocolate. WTF?

I love books. I love to read, yes, but I also love the physical sensation of a book in my hand. The texture of a page under my fingertips, the subtle creaks and rustles of a page being turned, the scent of a particularly new, or particularly old, book. I also love bookstores - sitting breathless amongst all the treasures as I sip on a hot chocolate, watching the steam curl out of the corner of my eye. I love wandering through aisles of former-tree more precious to me than gems, more desirable than fur coats. Old and new, sitting side by side in quiet harmony. These are memories for me, joys and fears and passions and love. When most children wanted to be an astronaut or a singer or a fireman, or even just famous, my dream was to live in a library, forever surrounded by books. I love flicking through thin, delicate pages edged in gold, finger brittle sepia prints in old journals, or stroking hard leather-bound books stacked tightly on shelves with not enough space. There is never enough shelf space.

Corsets are fantastic! They're fun, sexy, gorgeous, and they give me back a figure I've long since lost. :-) I feel fantastic in them and I've been told I look great in them too. They can really add the perfect final touch to an otherwise decent-but-not-special outfit. That sensation of squeezing? That's like being held in a continuous embrace, like feeling a lover's hand moving over my bare skin or lying in bed naked between satin sheets. There's nothing like it in terms of sheer, sensual pleasure and seductiveness.

...Plus they're great for winter, as they're so warm!
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Breaking the habit
What's your most debilitating insecurity? Do you think you'll ever overcome it?

It's not really debilitating, but mine is...I'm not enough. I'm not doing enough, not participating enough, not sharing enough. That there's something I'm doing or not doing that is holding me back. My stories are never as good, my experiences are banal, my confidences shallow.

I guess that's it, but I refuse to throw myself into being an adrenaline junkie in response. I know myself - I'd burn out in a month if I did that. Instead, I carefully, gradually, and practically plan interesting things to do with fun people - and then I make sure that my first response to an invitation is always 'yes' rather than an instinctive 'no'.

This is the life that suits me just fine - and if I can't tell stories of fighting off wild beasts in the Amazon rainforest, or traversing across the desert with nomads, or helping build wells for AIDS sufferers in Africa, at least I have stories of the amazing and wonderful people that I am so, so lucky to know and love.
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Almost like a song
How would you describe your ideal romantic partner in six words?

Curious and fascinated with the world. The only trait that really, almost without fail, catches my attention.

All four of my boys are all smart and great conversationists. That's why I'm dating them.
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Snack attack
What food would you never put in your mouth for any reason, and why?

There's cucumber, which all who know me keep far far away from me. Blergh, food of icky-nastiness! That texture, that flavour, the way it infects every decent food around it....

Also, sea cucumber, which is not, as you might think, just the watery equivalent of the above. Nope. It's a sea-based slug. Tastes like a mouthful of grease. Seriously, I love seafood, but I have my limits.

Finally, sea urchin. Yes, I love sushi. Yes, I know it's considered a delicacy. No, I will not put something that has the taste and texture of week-old sperm mixed with phlem.

Yes, that description is from experience.

I mean the sea urchin, not the sperm, people! Eww. Need mind bleach now.
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Eye for an eye?
If you bumped into someone who regularly picked on you as a child, what would you say to them?

....Not recognise them? I should add that they attempted to pick on me, but I was too busy reading to even notice they were there. Or I'd forget they were around as they disappeared from my sight. I imagine that infuriated them, or so I was told years later. :-D

I had a very happy childhood, full of the most wonderful adventures and friendships and creations - all in the pages of my books. My sister was exactly the same, and we had some fantastic analytical, deep, philosophical conversations about books. We'd read together (literally - the same book at the same time, the two of us reading silently. Why do you think I read so fast now?)

I suspect the thing I'd tell the erstwhile bullies of my childhood is my name. A lot of them never got around to finding out, after all. :-D
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A latte for every day of the year
If you unexpectedly won a $10,000, how would you spend it? really boring and put it all into a high-interest savings account, actually. It's not enough to get excited about. :-p

Now, if you said £10 million, then I could come up with some interesting plans. But don't bother me for $10,000 - that's not even enough to pay off my student loan!
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'Tis the season
Do you find the holiday season relaxing or stressful, and why?

Hmm, I tend to find the holiday period requires more energy, but is conversely less stressful. I tend to be quite heavily involved in getting all the Xmas gifts for my family and friends, plus wrapping them (including my own!), writing the Xmas cards (again including my own!) and making full, blow-out Xmas and Boxing Day dinners. I do lots, and socialise lots, during this period, but I enjoy all of it so does it count as stressful? Admittedly, my family don't do the whole 'let's have plenty of family rows for Xmas' thing, so it's really fantastic to see my family and spend time with them. It's not stressful at all, even with all the stuff I do.

I'm so grateful to have a wonderful family.
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For anyone who hasn't seen this yet, if you love books may be a good place to go. It's a fantastic idea, and I know that loads of the people I know will be interested. Book lovers also love to share books with their friends and loved ones - here's a chance to share with lots of people at once!

20,000 people will be selected from applicants to give away 48 copies of one of the 25 books they've listed. There's quite a range on there, and the application is pretty short.

Guess what....I've applied!
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Right, well, one of my flatmates is moving out of our 3-bed flat at the end of January. I'm looking for someone else to take his place, so pass the message along if you know someone needing to move, willya?

Details are:
It's in Walthamstow, about halfway between Blackhorse Rd station and Walthamstow Central.
It was newly renovated when we first moved in (just under a year ago) so it's generally in pretty good nick.
Rent is £550 per month, all bills inclusive - you just need to put in for your share of the food.
There is Sky TV, (wifi) broadband internet and home phone as part of the deal.
The room isn't particularly big but does have one of those triple door IKEA wardrobes in there, so there's plenty of storage space!

So, if this sounds like an option, or you know someone who could handle living with me, ping me!
Cheers guys.
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All generalizations are false, including this one
What was the last juicy generalization from which you freed yourself? What caused your perspective to change?

I love finding my world view turned on its head sometimes. Learning new things, clearing out old prejudices I didn't realize I had (and we all have them - it's part of development, and understanding the society you live in).

The last time I had a generalization poked at, it was about my image of what differentiated a potential partner from a friend, as a result of reading something about asexuality and polyamory. Since I don't believe in the One True Love (TM), I just see people on a spectrum of degrees of love. I don't do exclusivity, nor do I do the same things with every partner I have. I don't require sex as a part of a relationship (although I thoroughly enjoy it) and I will also have sex with good friends. I'm perfectly happy to just cuddle with a partner - but then I'm also happy to cuddle on the sofa and watch a DVD with a friend. I will confide and gossip with both. I will go out to shows and dinner with both.

What, then, makes the difference between a friend and a romantic partner?

I guess, in the end, it's a matter of negotiation and expectations. We communicate more. We compromise on more. I will expect more from a partner - but I will also forgive more. I put more of my faith and trust in their person than I would a friend.

It's not that they matter and my friends don't. It's that they matter more - and that's just the way it should be.
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It's the thought that counts
Do you find holiday gift-giving more pleasurable or onerous?

I love giving gifts! The act of choosing the perfect gift for each person is, in many ways, a reminder of what I love about the people in my life. It doesn't necessarily have to be an expensive gift, so long as it's thoughtful and suitable for them. No matter that people complain about commercialism, I'm not Christian - this holiday will not be religious for me. Sharing my love for those around me is far more important, to my point of view, and if it happens to include giving gifts, I'm all for it!

Of course, I don't like looking at my bank balance in January and fending off the annual heart attack.....
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Passing the time
What's your favorite thing to do on long car rides?

Erm, I have what I term 'Travel Narcolepsy' - as soon as I'm in a moving vehicle of any kind, I tend to fall asleep. I can sometimes fend it off for a little while by chatting, or listening to music, or reading or knitting, but generally not for long. So it's not a matter of what my favourite thing to do, it's more a matter of what ends up happening whether I want it to or not!
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Today was...interesting. The building I work in was right near the epicentre of the tuition fees march earlier. The fire alarms got set off (repeatedly) by the big bonfire, stuff got spraypainted on the windows, some windows got broken, etc. Particularly odd considering the timing: most of the important people who would usually be in that building were away with David Cameron's delegation in China. Who were they protesting to in that building?

All of which brings me to a long-and-possibly-tedious-to-read realisation.

I fully agreed with the anger of students who see their Uni fees being hiked up (especially with David Cameron assuring foreign students in China that it's only the domestic students who'll see their fees hiked). I'm not that far away from my Uni days myself, and I remember seeing a big chunk of money disappearing from my accounts. I was so not happy with that at the time, and the fees are the time were a lot lower than they will be in the future. So graduates are being asked to go into ever higher levels of debt (and the interest rates of student loans are going up too) to get a better job in the future at a time when the job market looks like it's saturated. Yes I know there are always jobs out there, but how depressing must it be to leave Uni with those £40K-50K debts, just to be told you are 'overqualified' for a job?

And yes, I understand the thought that as graduates earn an average of £100K more over their lifetime, they should be contributing more to their education. There is a limit to the amount of money that the Government can afford to give out in subsidies, and the extra has to come from somewhere. I know all this.

But still...don't those higher earners already pay more tax? If we swamp them in debt they may never get out of until they're 50, that's a lot of potential first-home-buyers who will be priced out of the market. Don't those first buyers keep the market flowing? Am I just wrong in thinking that it's a bit short sighted?

I realise that as a recent-graduate earning an ok-but-not-great salary at a charity which is partially government funded, who is still paying off my student loan, I have a conflict of interests. The less money going to subsidize University fees, the more that may go into the contracts my company wins.

But either way, one thing I found irritating: why the hell did they need to cause so much destruction? There was a gleeful cheer every time a window got broken or whatever. Destruction is not constructive! And yet, there are so many issues in history that only got dealt with once people started violently protesting.

So, I feel sympathy for the plight of students...but so, so disappointed that they showed themselves to be merely another mob.
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Just came across this gorgeous video via various interwebs pingings:

A beautiful, powerful, passionate portrayal of a truly messed up and dysfunctional relationship. It made my heart stutter...

Sigh. I wish I could dance like that. The song, in case you want to find it, is In Line by Robert´╗┐ Skoro.
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When I grow up
Do you think your parents made any major mistakes in how they raised you? If so, how did it affect you?

I can't really think of any major mistakes my parents made - either in raising me or my two siblings. We're an incredibly close family, and even my little brother (once he got out of those dreaded 'early' years) turned out to be rather charming and engaging for his age. Mind you, he only 15 - there's still time!

But for me...well, I think I'm one of the most mentally and emotionally stable people I know. I happened to fall into a reasonably healthy lifestyle. I'm sensible with my money. I always remember birthdays. And I'm happy, stress-free, and have decent fashion sense (thanks mum!).

I didn't even get worried when I came out to my mum as bisexual and polyamorous. As I had expected, she just totally supported me, no attempts to dissuade me or tell me I was 'wrong' at all.

I have the most wonderful parents. What more could a girl want?
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Above and beyond
What do you think happens after you die?

Well, there's the thing with the decomposition of the body; worms crawling in and out of your various innards, the flies (and consequently, maggots), the shrinkage of the flesh due to dehydration.......

Oh, did you mean to your consciousness? Well, you're dead. There isn't anything left, you just sleep forever. That's kinda what being dead means. I am pessimistic about the possibility of life after death (an oxymoron if ever there was one) but if it should happen, I would hope to get a damn good rest! And knitting. Knitting would be good. Oh, and sex. And decent food, and other such lovely stuff.

All of which explains why the very fact of my current existence is such a beautiful and wonderful gift. I'm alive! The wonder and awe and joy encompassed in that thought rivals anything religion could supply, and the opportunity to learn and explore and share is surely the most precious gift my parents gave me, and I could never thank them enough for that.
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Family planning
If you wanted to have children and had trouble conceiving, would you be more likely to consider IVF, surrogacy, or adoption, and why?

Even the very thought of having sproglings is currently making my womb contract in terror. Can I have another few boyfriends instead, please? Oh, and maybe I'd give all my money to charity. Tada: No time or money left, same effect as having a mini-me. Job done.

In an odd mood right now.

Yay for knitting!
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I am currently looking out of my kitchen window onto a grey, cloudy, overcast day. There is a row of former-garages opposite, most of them boarded up in various examples of 'Cheapass-can't-be-bothered-stick-a-bit-of-wood-over-it'. One has a bright orange traffic cone on top. It is bent, a smooth melted curve, tipped to the right as if seeking out the nonexistent sunshine of summer.

It is still raining, a light steady scattering of raindrops that occasionally glint grey in the gloom and fling themselves with abandon against my window. They gleam in long streamers of droplets, clinging.

I'm dressed only in a short nightie, sat at the kitchen table, and debating when (whether) to get dressed. It's a pretty nightie. And I'm not entirely sure who will be turning up this weekend. It's not a huge flat, I don't want everyone here at once.

I want small, intimate groups, where I will be able to lean forward and place a hand on their knee as I murmur a comment. I want to enjoy the presence of each person. Savour their laughter, their joy, their pleasure. The warmth that extends from their friendship. The effort they have made to come all the way here, in the rain and on a weekend.

I don't want to be falling over people as I shout a comment about the music.

So, for me, this will be a quiet flatwarming. A trickle of candle light and the lilt of conversation, not a glare of floodlit crowds. Tea will be offered, a few DVDs put on, a couple of large pillows scattered. I may bring out a few duvets. Food will be going the rounds.

But that is for later. It is just gone 12, and the flatwarming weekend is about to start.

I am now...

Feb. 4th, 2010 07:55 pm
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I have just gotten the curtains finally bought and hung today. Mirrors have been put up, and the place has had a thorough going over by the cleaner.

All of a sudden, it feels cosy and homelike.

There are still areas that need to be dealt with - mostly minor bits that require a little more work than expected - but overall, I'm pretty happy. Other than still needing to find another flatmate, of course. I'm hoping that someone wonderful will pop up wanting a room soon, whether male or female. I don't want to feel anxious, or lose this lovely feeling of being comfortable in a brand new place, but the finances won't hold out forever. I need another flatmate!

But for now there's just me. My current only flatmate will be moving in on Sunday. Until then, I will sit and absorb the quiet and tranquility of my brand new flat. All by myself.



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