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Atlanta. Poly. Weekend. June 3, 2015

Posted by shaunphilly in Personal, Polyamory.
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apw-logo-300x190Holy motherfuck balls do I need a vacation.

This weekend, I will be headed south. I’ll be leaving tomorrow afternoon and staying in Charlotte with Steph, of Love Infinitely, because it offers some break in the journey but also because I love seeing her. She’ll be spending some of the APW conference with me, where I’m ultimately headed, and I’m hoping that going to the conference this weekend can help inspire me, re-invigorate me, and maybe get me writing again.

Because, on paper, most things have been good recently. But I’m not writing, and me not writing is usually a sign that something is not right. Yes, I’m very busy with life, but even so I am feeling empty. I need a challenge. I need a project. I need something to give structure to the surge of energy under the surface.

The time I have spent in therapy, journaling, and talking with people close to me in recent months has been a sort-of project in itself, of course. I’m in a significant period of personal transition, after all. But none of this is translating into public writing. As a result, PolySkeptic.com has been somewhat quiet.

I apologize about that.

The Tao of staring at your phone while walking down the street

The Tao of staring at your phone while walking down the street

So, this weekend, I’m going to be in Atlanta. This means a couple of things; 1) I may get a chance to get some Ingress uniques, since when I lived down there Ingress did not yet exist. 2) It also means I get to relive some memories. Memories which used to be among the happiest I’ve ever had. Memories which are now painful. I can hope for some resolution, but I doubt it will come. Catharsis? Also doubtful. Perhaps some perspective is all I can hope for. Perhaps that is all we can ever expect, and be grateful that we have the ability to gain it’s favor.

It also means I get to inject myself into a polyamorous world for a weekend, and hopefully better define where I stand on some issues when it comes to that world. There was a time, as some readers may remember, when I would wax philosophical about polyamory at length with confidence. And now I’m not as confident.

It’s not that I’m less sure that I want to be polyamorous, but I’m less secure about what direction I want to take future relationships. A year ago, I was very certain. I wanted a family, children, and to get more comfortable settled into a life of less change and more establishment. Now, all that is changed, and I’m forced to reinvent myself in order to adjust.

And I’m not sure, yet, whether this is a good thing or a bad thing. I’m not sure if I’ll be happier this way or not. All I know is that I do not have a choice. I have to reinvent or risk dwelling and building more resentment. I have to live or accelerate the dying process.

This is not what my vanity looks like, but it's close enough.

This is not what my vanity looks like, but it’s close enough.

But I have people who love me and know who I am. In the last year or so, I’ve had to read and listen to some people who think they know who I am, but who seem to be more motivated by self-interest and an unwillingness to perceive their own flaws or errors. It’s like watching fans of opposite teams argue; they reflect each other so well, and the very fact that they disagree in the same way and cannot see it is both frustrating and amusing. And my seeing it is an impotent power, because my own emotional attachment to my own “team” stirs up the same motivations. And then the image resolves and “we” see “we’ve” been staring at a blurry image of myself in the mirror, where the blur created a doubling of the image.  Then I wonder if that’s what the mystics mean when they say that all of reality is a projection of some cosmic consciousness. Is maya a mirror or a wall?

If you can make sense of that last paragraph, then perhaps we understand each other already. Or, more likely, that made no sense to anyone except myself. Am I writing for you or for myself? Also, is there a difference, when we dig down deep?

And so I need this weekend. I need to get away. I need a vacation. I need to take some time to figure out what I need and what kind of people I want in my life.  I’ve lived enough allowing other people to mistreat me to the point where my own flaws and limitations overshadow my ability to tolerate pain. And I’ve also allowed that pain to be the germination of my mistreating others. We all hurt each other and ourselves, and it’s when we can understand that sometimes both of those things happen because of its complement, that the cycle might end. Maybe. Hopefully.

I know who I am. What I’m working on is being OK with that person.

How’s that for a Wednesday morning?

In any case, I’ll see some of you in Atlanta this weekend.

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Less than 2 months until the Atlanta Poly Weekend, so get your tickets now! January 17, 2013

Posted by shaunphilly in Skepticism and atheism.
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I wrote up a preview and details here, but in case you forgot or you missed it, I will be in Atlanta in the middle of march to participate in a convention of polyamorous people, in part to talk about the relationship between skepticism and polyamory (atheism itself may come up as well, we’ll see!).

So, again:

So, get your tickets now! We at PolySkeptic.com will be there, and we will look forward to seeing you.

The What: Atlanta Poly Weekend 2013

The Who (no, not the band!): you, and all your awesome friends (who will be permitted to listen to The Who, if that is your kink.  The Kinks will also be acceptable).

The When: March 15-17, 2013

The Where: 

Holiday Inn Select Atlanta- Perimeter/Dunwoody
4386 Chamblee Dunwoody Road
Atlanta, GA 30341
(770) 457-6363
(770) 458-5282 (Fax)

The Why: Because it will be awesome!

The How: That is for you to figure out, because I don’t know who you are or where you are coming from.  If teleportation doesn’t work, try a car, train, plane, or penny-farthing.

Atlanta Poly Weekend, March 15-17 2013 November 14, 2012

Posted by shaunphilly in Polyamory.
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As many readers may know, I lived in Atlanta for a little while a couple of years back.  It was where I met Ginny! While living down there, I participated in the polyamorous community down there and made some friends.  Some of those people still read this blog, and because of my awesomeness, have invited me to participate in their annual orgy polyamory-themed event in Atlanta, Atlanta Poly Weekend.

Know that I had the option of putting a picture of a sexy woman here dressed for St. Paddy’s day.

It will be the middle of March of 2013 (you know, because the 2012 Mayan calendar thing is bullshit), winter will be starting to give way, it will be St. Patrick’s Day weekend, and Atlanta will be warming up! Also, lots of smart, sexy, poly people gathering for workshops, presentations, and possibly a few drinks after we solve all the world’s problems with said workshops and presentations.

You can take a look at the list of presenters to get an idea of who will be there, and they look like a fantastic bunch! I am looking forward to meeting them all in March, and I hope to see some of you there as well.

So, the skinny is this:

The What: Atlanta Poly Weekend 2013

The Who (no, not the band!): you, and all your awesome friends (who will be permitted to listen to The Who, if that is your kink.  The Kinks will also be acceptable).

The When: March 15-17, 2013

The Where: 

Holiday Inn Select Atlanta- Perimeter/Dunwoody
4386 Chamblee Dunwoody Road
Atlanta, GA 30341
(770) 457-6363
(770) 458-5282 (Fax)

The Why: Because it will be awesome!

The How: That is for you to figure out, because I don’t know who you are or where you are coming from.  If teleportation doesn’t work, try a car, train, plane, or penny-farthing.

Dragon*Con provides synchronicity and skepticism September 10, 2009

Posted by shaunphilly in religion, atheism, polyamory, culture.
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So, I attended Dragon*Con last weekend.  It was sort of a last minute thing, really.  See, my friend Margaret Downey was scheduled to speak there and needed an assistant.  I was in need to go to Atlanta to do some apartment hunting, and things fell together nicely.

Margaret Downey (left) with Eugenie Scott of the NCSE

Margaret Downey (left) with Eugenie Scott of the NCSE

If I were a less rational person, I might have thought some intelligent design was at work. But I’m a skeptic.  And luckily for me, there was a track at DC for people like me.  The skeptrack dragon can be seen to the right with two of it’s guests.

Margaret Downey has been doing a variety of characters over the years to deal with a number of issues related to skepticism, atheism, and freethought in general.  On Friday night, she did a presentation about anti-superstition parties, and superstition in general, at the Skeptrack section of Dragon*Con as the Friggatriskaidekaphobia Treatment Nurse.

After all, we know that there are lots of people who are into science fiction and fantasy who believe lots of silly woo things.  The skeptrack, organized by Derek of Skepticality, is focused on trying to introduce skeptical thinking into this culture, as a sort of outreach to the larger community of slightly nerdy, geeky, and sciency people.  The fact that Dragon*Con 2009 attracted more tha 45,000 people means that there are a lot of people to reach out to, and in future years they hope to become a larger and more significant part of the event. I’ll look forward to that.

I mean, we all like to meet some celebs, right?  I got a chance to meet some of the cast from Babylon 5, which was pretty sweet because it is among my favorite sci-fi shows.  I also got to see people from Stargate, Star Trek, and he recent Battlestar Galactica (don’t get me started on how annoying I thought the ending to that was…).

Those Skephicks love them some aliens.

Those Skephicks love them some aliens.

On top of all that there were some pretty awesome costumes. In the picture to the left, Maria from the skepchicks is getting to know the local alien population a little better.

Of course, alcohol was involved, and hopefully she won’t have any little aliens popping out from her stomach anytime soon.

And what was great about the plethora of costumes, from a male heterosexual point of view, was how economical many girls can be with their costumes.  I mean, making a whole costume while using so few materials? Brilliant! I must say my head was turned on more than a few occasions, which distracted me sufficiently as to not get my camera out in time.  My lovely girlfriend, who stayed back in Philadelphia for work training, would have been thoroughly amused by this.  Actually, she would have likely done the same thing with the many guys who were not afraid to show off their various attributes.  We are quite a pair.  And speaking of great pairs…never mind.

And there certainly were a lot of people there.

Just one shot from one of the many hotels involved in the convention on Saturday night.

Just one shot from one of the many hotels involved in the convention on Saturday night.

And I got a chance to meet some pretty cool people there as well as well as catch up with some friends I only tend to see at such events.  A few drinks, late night conversations, fun panel discussions, tens of thousands of people and science fiction.  What else does one want from a weekend?

And you read correctly above; I was looking for apartments.  My lovely lady and myself will be relocating to Atlanta come October 2009, just a few weeks away.  But there is a good set of communities down there so we will be able to make ourselves at home.  I’ve already been in communication with people from a skeptical community down there, I will be in contact with the atheist and polyamorous communities, and then I will have to find myself employment in Atlanta.  We are moving because of Seana’s new job, and I love her enough to relocate to be with her.

Philadelphia is a great city and I will miss living here.  What I won’t miss is cold winters with snow, slush, and ice.  A nice cool winter with occasional snowfall seems much preferable.  I will miss hot, fresh Philly pretzels off the conveyor late at night, however.

But I’ll still continue to be your friendly neighborhood atheist, polyamorous geek.