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The May Long - Life Update

I'm off today, work tomorrow from 6:00 a.m-2:30 p.m., and am then off Monday and Tuesday. Nice schedule. It's as if they said "you're going to get bored in the middle of your long weekend, so why not come to work for eight hours?"


The sermon I'm writing is tough. I've scrapped it twice, and am sitting on a rough third attempt that needs polish. This is not how I normally write.

The introduction came off quickly and easily and then I hit the fork in the road beyond which I had to decide what, EXACTLY, about "the doctrine of love" I was going to write. And what I found, rather predictably, was that I had about six sermons' worth of material swirling in my head. At least. Parts of other sermons kept creeping their way into this one, and the whole thing was growing horribly unwieldy only two pages in.

As a writer, this process can be physically painful. You've got this beautifully crafted few paragraphs that, you suddenly realize, add nothing to your overall theme. Can I work this in somewhere, somehow? No. Shit.  I can almost hear the letters screaming as I bracket and brace them, turning them an ominous blue colour, marking them for extinction.  The click of my mouse pistol being cocked, and -- CUT --  they wink out of existence.

I'm a serial worderer. 

There is so much I want to write, so many things I can say about love.

 I know better than to talk about polyamory. It's been mentioned a few times from the pulpit, and covered more extensively in smaller study groups. The place is friendly and welcoming to absolutely everyone, and there are numerous polyamorous people in the congregation...but I didn't need to be told that they were "probably not ready for the stretch of a full press pulpit polyamory discussion".

I really didn't need to be told this. "Freedom of the Pulpit" is a Unitarian Universalist value and tradition (hence my being welcome to speak my piece, whatever it may be)...and with that power comes responsibility. I view that as a responsibility not to offend, and I'm all too aware of how people who don't understand take offence. In short, those attending need not worry about that topic coming up.

In the end, I decided to write about how to meet hatred with love. This is something I struggle with, but "you teach what you have to learn". 

I've always given people one chance to explain their racism, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, or what have you. One chance to clarify, and if they double down on it, click "unfriend".  That's not the right approach, and I know it, but often I just don't have the energy to combat such unthinking dehumanization of people.

I can do better. And will.


Work has been boring of late. I'm on light duty due to the torn tendon in my shoulder, which means I'm mostly zoning instead of stocking.

Zoning, or if you want to go full Walmartian, "practicing zone defense" (gag) is what's called "facing" or "fronting" everywhere else. Walmart considers themselves a cut above, and so they are continually inventing, if not the wheel, new ways to say "wheel". Shelves in the back room are not shelves, they are "bins". Head Office is there called "home office", and I refuse to call it that because home offices are in basements and spare rooms. The powerjack is a "walkie" and planograms are called "modulars" and the flyers are called "tabs" for no reason anyone has ever been able to explain to me. And if someone calls in on the phone, instead of saying "dairy department, line 605" like a normal person, you say "dairy department, you have a parked call on line 605". It was over a year before I figured out they were saying "parked call" and not "part call" (what the hell is a part call?)

Anyway, zoning.

I actually take some pride in this. There's something very satisfying about taking a mess of a section -- goddamnit, but it doesn't take long for chaos to set in and yield something that looks like a few hurricanes had an orgy -- and making it pristine. My signature zone flourish is that everything is English side forward. This, to me, is common sense (our store manager is Québécois, but German would be a better way to reach our customers, to be honest). But none of our associates (that's another Walmartism for "employees") seem to care. Same thing with displays: I make sure like is with like, and ONLY with like.

But eight hours of zoning is TEDIOUS.  And tomorrow it's going to be even more tedious, because after work I'm headed to see Kathy and Jade.

One of my friends comes home from a Utah hiking trip tomorrow. Another is in Florida. Nothing so exotic this year for me. One short vacation with Eva, another with Kathy, and Eva and Mark have one as well, and that will be just lovely.

The weather is muggy and overcast today, but the rest of the weekend is supposed to be ideal. Bring on summer...just let's not make it TOO hot, please?


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Called to mind today...

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I remember selecting the course out of a desire to learn about Greco-Roman society. Well, I'll tell you, Rev. McCombe taught a little about the Greeks and Romans, but mostly he taught us about ourselves. Every day was a new adventure. We'd be given a handout at the start of nearly every class and asked to read it and ponder it. I still remember several of these things, wow, sixteen years later:

"If you have one friend in the world, you are lucky. Two and you're blessed. Three is impossible."

"Odi et amo. quare id fasciam, fortasse requiris?
nescio, sed fieri sentio et excrucior.
(I hate and I love. Why do I do it, you might ask?
I don't know, but I feel it happe…

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I had somebody stomp all over my go-to analogy for polyamory. Both of them, actually. It left me floundering for a minute.

I saw an opportunity to educate some people -- quite a lot of people, actually, the audience for that particular forum is potentially in the tens of millions -- on polyamory when someone joked that they had a hard enough time maintaining one relationship, and anyone trying for more than that was 'out of their minds'. 
Somebody just called me crazy on the internet! Must respond!
I jumped in to say: "as a poly person who lives with his wife and her boyfriend, and who has a girlfriend, yes, it's challenging sometimes, but I'm not crazy, thank you. Giving and receiving abundant love is actually really quite amazing."
Right away I had to confirm what I just said. People really seem to have trouble grasping that I, a man, live with my wife and her other partner, who is also a man. I find this endlessly amusing, in part because I know the reacti…

Rule 33

Rule 34: 'If it exists, there is porn of it'.
Rule 33: If it exists, I have overthought it.
Rule 33(b): 'If it does not exist, I have overthought it into existing'.

"My name is Ken B. and I'm an overthinker."
"Hi, Ken."

"Can I say just how nervous I am, here in this room with a group of strangers? I've never felt at ease in groups like this, because what are you all thinking about me?"
"We're not. Ken, we're not thinking of you at all. Oh, shit."
"Damn it, you mean you're not thinking about me AT ALL? I'M RIGHT HERE!"
"That's not what I meant, Ken, you know that. Calm down, deep breaths. You have our undivided attention in a non-threatening way. Why don't you tell us some of your background?"

Ugh, where do I begin. "I guess it started back in my pre-teens. I was a lonely kid, a bullied kid, a kid deeply uncomfortable in his own skin. It felt as if I was the only one of my ki…