What I Want

Rough Day, By Lou FCD on deviantArt

Rough Day, By Lou FCD on deviantArt

It’s a recurring theme lately.

I’ve been wrestling with being down, maybe to the point of depression. I’m not a doctor, so I can’t rightly say, but it wouldn’t surprise me to hear such a diagnosis.

So I suppose it’s natural that among the questions my friends are asking me are two that keep popping up: “What do you want?” and its sister question, “What do you need?”

The second question is easy to answer now, but it took me a while to figure out. I need to be. I need to be sad, and I need for that to be OK. I am not ready to be happy today. I need you to listen, not try and make it better. I need your permission, I need your acceptance. I need a hug from you.

The first is not a hard question to answer, it’s just a hard question to feel allowed to answer. I know what I want. I can’t have it, but I know what I want. I can’t tell you about it, but I know what I want. I can’t express it generally in public on Twitter or Facebook even, but I know what I want.

Do you really want to know what I want? I hope you mean it when you say you do, because if you keep pressing me, I’m going to tell you. And you know what I’m going to say.

What I want is a fist full of your hair in one hand, a fist full of your breast in the other. What I want is to growl your name behind your ear and hear you whimper mine. What I want, right here and right now, is to sink my teeth into the back of your shoulder, and feel your warm, wet tears on the back of mine.

That’s what I want.

From whence came the art:

That image is titled Rough Day, by me, all rights reserved. You can purchase prints of my work at my print-shop on dA, or you can just hire me for your intimate or other portraiture needs.

To the Virgins, to Make Much of Wooden Horses

My Instructor's remark.

My Instructor's remark.

This is my second reading and response for Paul Verlaine (read the first here). The poem I chose to read and respond to was “Wooden Horses”  (1874), wherein Verlaine takes aim at using a carousel as symbolic for life. While this could have been his best of the lot, the didacticism of his Victorian mores is as sophomorically simplistic as it is blatant. “Wooden Horses” has all the subtlety of a sixteen-pound sledgehammer wielded by a bridge troll.

He uses gross stereotyping to create a strawman version of hedonistic pleasure, with as much negative imagery as humanly possible. I was particularly annoyed by “… the fattest maid / riding your backs as if in their chamber”, roughly translated into modern English as “the big fat ho / fucking the wooden carousel horse like nobody’s business”. Could he be anymore derisive or crass? I found it offensive in the extreme, what with my modern feminist sensibilities and all. That kind of crap is uncalled for in any time period, though it’s pervasive in the writings of fuckaphobes throughout history.

Fuck you in your dead ass, Paul.

I cannot stress enough how much I disliked reading Verlaine. Trite and unimaginative, puritanical and offensive. These are not the traits I look for in a decent writer, much less a poet. Fortunately, we have moved on through Mallarmé and now we’re on to Chekhov, writers with a bit of sense and perspective.

The poem by Verlaine (again translated by C. F. MacIntyre) and my response in rhyming couplets lies below the fold.

Read the rest of this entry »

Sir, You Do Not Know the Moon

My instructor's remarks.

My instructor's remarks.

Paul Verlaine was a French poet whose 19th century work sort of straddled the Romantic and Symbolist movements. Critics seem to love the guy, but I found his stuff rather uninspiring. While the case has been forwarded that Verlaine only sounds trite and prosaic now because it’s old and been done over and over since then, I would argue that it had all been done before by better poets (The Bard of Avon comes to mind).

Our assignment for World Lit was to read two of the five offered (translated by C. F. MacIntyre) selections and write a paragraph in response to each. As I was bored to tears with him and his shallow fling, I went a bit creative with my responses. About the only thing I found interesting about Verlaine was the progression of his style over time.

For my first response, I actually read and addressed two related poems, “Moonlight” (1869) and “The White Moonglow”  (originally untitled from 1870). Those poems and my Sonnet in response lie below the fold. (Read the second reading and response here in another post.)

Read the rest of this entry »

Donna Hughes and the War Against Whores

I Support Sex Workers' Rights

I Support Sex Workers' Rights

What do anti-sex crusaders and the sellers of creationist bullshit have in common?

I mean besides quotemining, deliberate conflation, obfuscation, and general disregard for reality. Well it turns out they’re both examples of scum sucking dirtbags.

Look, two academics squaring off against other academics, including one who HAS been an actual supporter of sex workers, and one who does listen to what we have to say, over what, you might ask? Prostitution in Rhode Island.

Read the rest at Renegade Evolution, because I don’t even want to repeat the fucking dishonest, disgusting, filthy garbage that Donna Hughes put out. I just don’t have the stomach to print that pile of shit, so read it at Ren’s.

Boss Lady

To wit:

Chew On It, by Lou FCD @ Flickr

Chew On It, by Lou FCD @ Flickr

Jane had to help open a new store up in Mt. Olive, NC the other day, and since she was to be there late that evening, the company paid for a hotel room for the night. She was kind enough to indulge my photographic nagging.

More photos of Jane from the hotel room below the fold.

Read the rest of this entry »

Clutching Pearls

Woman Clutching Her Pearls. 5th Ave - MDPNY20090617, by mdpNY @ Flickr

Woman Clutching Her Pearls. 5th Ave - MDPNY20090617, by mdpNY @ Flickr

I recently received a bit of a hat tip from a teacher of 18 years who is just dipping her feet into the blogosphere. I always appreciate a mention and a link when someone finds something here at Crowded Head that they like or find informative. Peggy apparently did, and said so. I sort of got conflated a bit with Brian Switek who led the discussion in the conference session about which I blogged, but there are certainly worse people with whom to be confused, from my point of view. (I’ll let Brian speak for himself on his end.)

In any event, Peggy found some interesting points that she thought might be useful to her as a teacher and pointed them out as part of an assignment for her ITED 511 class.

One of her commenters though, not so much.

This is a comment about the first blog entry – “Teaching College Science: Blogs and Beyond”

How do I say…what I am about to say…and be politically correct? There is too much sex referenced on the web page. It distracted me from the blog. It also gave me credibility issues. In one sentence the blogger talks about his excitement with teaching high school students, while several sex-related ads run in the margins.

Or am I misunderstanding the sex part? Please come to my rescue here.

I hope I’m wrong.

I presume that Linda meant that my blog gave me credibility issues, but I’d argue her statement is more accurate as it stands.

I of course was a bit bewildered, thinking perhaps my blog had been hacked or something and immediately checked, looking for “several sex-related ads run in the margins”.

Um.. yeah.

There is exactly one ad and it’s for a charity calendar, unless you count the link to Sex in the Public Square where I am a contributing editor (though calling that an “ad” when SitPS doesn’t sell anything is a bit of a stretch of the vernacular). No racy pictures or nuthin’. (What’s with that, anyway? I really have to spice up the blog sidebars at some point.) A purple banner linking to the 2010 NYC Sex Bloggers Calendar (have you ordered yours yet? Get on that!!) gets poor Linda clutching her pearls. Not exactly what I would characterize as “several sex-related ads run[ning] in the margins”.

Anyway, more interesting than Linda’s apoplexy is the underlying assumption that high school teachers should be asexual, or perhaps at least publicly so. It’s not an uncommon attitude in our society, but exactly where did this supremely bizarre notion come from? Does anyone actually know any high school teachers that are not at all sexual? Is that even possible?

Honestly, I’ve considered writing less about sex here from time to time in light of the medieval attitudes about the subject. I am aware that here in North Carolina school boards and the general public are all about waving their Bibles around and clucking their tongues about other people’s sex lives. (And let me point out here as an aside that the Bible is probably not the best anthology of fairy tales on which to base one’s prudery – have you ever read that thing? It’s not even well written porn, mostly.) Yes, even tangentially discussing human sexuality decimates my hirability here in Jesusland, but that’s exactly the kind of problem I work to correct with what I write. It would be rather hypocritical of me to bow to that kind of pressure when I’m preaching on the other corner about standing up to sexual repression.

I just can’t bring myself to do that.

So for the foreseeable future expect to see posts here on sex and sexuality right alongside posts about my Biology and English classes. You’ll find sexy photos of my wife, and you’ll find write ups of Science Conferences I attend. If a school board I’m considering working for later has their panties in such a wad that they can’t hire me because I’m unashamedly human, then that’s their loss and unfortunately, their students’ loss.

Hell, just for spite I might even let JanieBelle make the occasional guest appearance.

From whence came the art:

That image is titled Woman Clutching her Pearls. 5th Ave – MDPNY20090617, by mdpNY, and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial No Derivative Works license.

Jane Disrobes

Jane Disrobes, by me @ Flickr

Jane Disrobes, by me @ Flickr

I’m really enjoying the new camera. It’s a Canon EOS Rebel XS (AKA the 1000D), an entry-level digital SLR. One of the smartest things I did was to pick up an 8 GB SD card when I bought it. That sucker will hold a ton of pictures before it’s full. A few days ago I went out and about and took 664 RAW format photos, and had plenty of room to spare. I ❤ that.

I’ve been clicking away at anything that catches my eye. I’ve got a couple shots around town that I’d like to think are pretty decent. A handful of my shots of birds and other critters are pretty good, but birds seem to be my toughest targets. I’m working on it.

Mostly though, I’m enjoying taking photos of my favorite subject: Jane. I’ve easily taken a thousand photos of her in the couple weeks we’ve had the camera. Some of them she lets me share on my Facebook page. There are more … grown up… shots on my Flickr page. There are some really beautiful nudes on my hard drive. She’s not ready to let me share those with the world, though. Sorry. (I’ll let you know when she gets a little more comfortable with that!)

This morning some really bright morning sun was being reflected off the neighbor’s car window and through our bedroom window, onto the wall. It inspired me to wake up my sleeping bride, and take a mess of photos as her eyes opened. Some of them came out ok, and they’re on my Flickr page. They start with the morning light on the wall that awakened me (and hence the set is named Morning Light).

Later I talked her into, and then out of, a bathrobe. Jane Disrobes follows the Morning Light shots.

Pop on over for the two sets I took so far today, Morning Light and Jane Disrobes, and leave a comment if you see something you like, or if you have a suggestion on how to improve my pichertakin skilz. Feel free to browse around the rest of my photostream, as well. There might be something half-way decent there that catches your eye. If so, I’d love to hear about it.

Updated: This post has been very kindly featured in Diva’s Friday Foto Fiesta at Best Sex Bloggers. Thank you, Diva.

From whence came the art:

That image is part of the set I took today called Jane Disrobes, and can be found at my Flickr page. The ghostly groper in the image was a happy accident.

Real Women

Reaching, by me ©2009, all rights reserved

Reaching, by me ©2009, all rights reserved

I never cared for Loni. While every boy I knew went on and on about Jennifer’s tits, I was dreaming about Bailey. I did fall for Farrah, but it was a passing fancy. Pam was ok before the mega surgery I guess, and I never thought much of Dolly at all. Diana Prince had a neat secret outfit, but I lusted for Jaime Sommers. More recently, Six was nice to look at but nothing like Boomer or Starbuck. Truth is, all I needed to know about Barbie was that “Math is hard!!” She was plastic, fake, and not very bright.

These days, Carrie Prejean exemplifies everything that turns me off in a woman. Just like Barbie, she’s plastic, fake, and not very bright. I don’t find her attractive at all: not her fake smile, fake beauty-pageant breasts, fake walk, fake hand wave, or fake holiness. Not even if she keeps her idiotic, homophobic mouth shut. I’m just not interested. She’s not pretty. She’s not pretty at all.

I love real women.

(Continue reading, below the fold.)

Read the rest of this entry »

Jane in Gray

Jane in Gray, by me ©2009, all rights reserved

Jane in Gray, by me ©2009, all rights reserved

From whence came the art:

That image is titled Jane in Gray by me ©2009, all rights reserved.

The Writing is on the Wife

Sexy Hand

Sexy Hand

I love my wife.

That is all.

Just a Simple Melody

Feeling each word!, by Shahireh @ Flickr

Feeling each word!, by Shahireh @ Flickr

It’s funny, the connections the internet brings. Finding the little things that connect me to someone half a world away always amazes me, always brings a smile and a sense of wonder.

Now sure, there are the big connections, the grand ideas that I share with lots of people. Ideas that are large and encompassing: important, headline material upon which the future of humanity hangs.

But much more likely to bring a smile of wonder to my face are the little things, little things like a song sung on the street by an unknown street performer.

I was on Facebook a few days ago, and came across a random meme involving ‘my rock band’. The idea was that I was to use the randomize features of wikipedia, quotationspage, and Flickr to put together my fictional band’s first album cover.

I thought it a pleasant distraction, and went through all the steps. (I’ll put up the meme at the end of this post.) The image I drew through Flickr was (oddly enough) titled Flicker, by a photographer named Shahireh. Shahireh’s photostream is made up of photos from the UK and from Iran, and most of the comments left to her are in Arabic Persian of Farsi (though she speaks both Arabic Persian of Farsi and English). It made a great album cover, and I was moved to flip through her other photos. One of them, the one to the left, caught my eye.

Read on, to find out why.

Read the rest of this entry »

Haggard’s Sexuality is “Complex”, He Says Amidst New Scandal

Ted Haggard, infamous for being caught doing meth and a gay prostitute while preaching his raving diatribes about his god’s hatred of homosexuality, turns out to be polyandrous to boot.

While cashing in on his super-infamy by having HBO shoot a documentary of his life, he told an Associated Press reporter that his sexuality was “complex”. Yeah, I’d say so.

While it’s unlikely that anyone not brainwashed by his mega-money machine was shocked to find out Haggard is gay, or that his incessant attacks on other gay people was anything more than a manifestation of deep-seated self loathing, it may be a minor surprise to find out he is also non-monogamously gay. Ok, probably no surprise there, either.

Turns out he’s also a predator, using his megachurch pulpit as a means of access to at least one young man in the pews.

DENVER – Disgraced evangelical leader Ted Haggard‘s former church disclosed Friday that the gay sex scandal that caused his downfall extends to a young male church volunteer who reported having a sexual relationship with Haggard — a revelation that comes as Haggard tries to repair his public image.

Brady Boyd, who succeeded Haggard as senior pastor of the 10,000-member New Life Church in Colorado Springs, told The Associated Press that the man came forward to church officials in late 2006 shortly after a Denver male prostitute claimed to have had a three-year cash-for-sex relationship with Haggard.

Boyd said an “overwhelming pool of evidence” pointed to an “inappropriate, consensual sexual relationship” that “went on for a long period of time … it wasn’t a one-time act.” Boyd said the man was in his early 20s at the time. He said he was certain the man was of legal age when it began.

And of course Haggard’s integrity is above question, right?

Just for a little icing on the cake, the church paid the young man’s college tuition, and got him ‘counseling’, probably of the ‘fixthehomo’ flavor. Of course, the church claims the money wasn’t hush money.

“It wasn’t at all a settlement to make him be quiet or not tell his story,” [current pastor of Haggard’s old church, Brady] Boyd said. “Our desire was to help him. Here was a young man who wanted to get on with his life. We considered it more compassionate assistance — certainly not hush money. I know what’s what everyone will want to say because that’s the most salacious thing to say, but that’s not at all what it was.”

One has to wonder then why there was a stipulation that he not talk about it.

Boyd said the church reached a legal settlement to pay the man for counseling and college tuition, with one condition being that none of the parties involved discuss the matter publicly.

Oh, well then, move along, nothing to see here.

h/t: MoJoey

Buh Bye, Fluff Fluff

Mark Dybul, the man the Bush administration has relied on to spread its fundamentalist sectarian dogma of disinformation and ignorance, has been unceremoniously dismissed.

Sworn in as Secretary of State just yesterday, Hillary Clinton wasted no time cleaning house at the vast department she runs. Today, we have heard, Mark Dybul was asked to submit his resignation as US Global AIDS Coordinator, head of the office in charge of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.

This is a huge first step to ensuring the health and rights of all people at risk of HIV and AIDS: Dybul oversaw the last several years of abstinence-only programs funded by PEPFAR, hob-knobbed a bit too closely with the far right, and never saw a law or policy restriction he could not make even more restrictive. Curious for a self-identified Democrat? Not so curious, I guess, if your career is dependent on pleasing the far right, and if your desire to be Global AIDS Coordinator outweighs your desire to stand up for what is right.

Given the fact that this kind of propaganda is known to have led to the deaths of untold numbers of people, I only wonder why there were no handcuffs involved.

h/t Elizabeth Wood

Forced-Birth Lemmings

This video is profoundly enlightening. This is what happens when people just mindlessly repeat what their preacher/priest/witchdoctor/shaman tells them, without thought. The glaring underlying theme of the video, “I’ve never really thought about it”, is horrifying and appalling. The protesters in the video admit to having spent years in the forced-birth movement, and then seem (only) momentarily struck by their own lack of cogitation on the consequences of their goal.

Religion depends on the masses shutting down thought and the woman who refers the interviewer to the guy down the street is a perfect illustration of the abdication of both thought and responsibility that is inherent to blind obedience to authority.

Not one of them has given a moment’s thought to what they are doing or what should happen if they achieve success. It is readily apparent that they are doing what they are told and that whoever told them to do it should be obeyed without question.

These people are nothing more than victims and shock troops, charging the hill in the name of Preacher Joe. I pity them in a way.

h/t PZ Myers

You Know What They Say

16 - September - 2007 -- Dirty Horse, by reway2007 @ Flickr

16 - September - 2007 -- Dirty Horse, by reway2007 @ Flickr

“Always make ’em walk around a dirty horse.”

From whence came the art:

That image is titled 16 – September – 2007 — Dirty Horse, by reway2007, and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 license.

I Think I’ll PASS

Studying Hard by Kyle Kesselring

Studying Hard by Kyle Kesselring

Ok, I suppose the cat can be released at this point.

There are somewhere about 10 students left in my Bio 111 lecture, about the same in my lab. Considering we started out with well over double that, this is disappointing.

Coastal recognizes this is a persistent problem in particular classes and has a plan to address this high drop/fail rate in these classes. Building on a model from U Missouri KC, they are considering instituting what will be known as the PASS program (Peer Assisted Study Sessions). They will be taking a student that has done well in the class in a previous semester and having that student lead a voluntary group study session a few times a week, so that the student who did well in the past can give students currently taking the class some help.

It’s a paid position (not much, but some), and the peer group leader has to keep separate office hours in addition to the group study sessions, to be available for individual assistance.

Additionally, the peer group leader repeats the class (for free and not for a grade) to keep current with the various sections.

Doc asked me a few weeks ago if I’d do this next semester (assuming the college follows through – it’s not 100% commitment yet), and at the time said I was the first one he thought of. I was pretty chuffed about that, regardless of whether I got the position.

He gave me a letter of recommendation, and I turned that in with my application for employment, and the interview went well, I think.

(More below the fold)

Read the rest of this entry »

What’s It to You?

Damn I’m tired.

But I’m glad the beard is gone.

Posted in About, Life. 4 Comments »

The End of The Last Road

Rystefn has died.

Goodbye, friend.

8 Seconds

Essay Number 3

Essay Number 3

I got my third essay back in English 111 today.

The prompt was a personal narrative, using illustration.

In grammar school, I was taught to write out numbers smaller than twenty, and round numbers like thirty, forty, one hundred, and so on, and to use numerals for other numbers. Mr. Beverage, after having read the first draft, suggested I run with numerals all the way through in this instance, for the effect.

I took that advice, and I have to say that I do like the running undercurrent of the recurring digits.

As you can see in the image to the right, he asked if he could use the essay as a model for future classes for this assignment. I was, of course, happy to oblige him and not a little flattered and tickled. I just made the corrections he requested and emailed a copy to him.

The essay, in its corrected form this time, lies below the fold.

Read the rest of this entry »