So, I'm a busy guy.

It's a holiday weekend, and I was up at 5:30.  Partly that was because I couldn't stop thinking about some code I need to write today for Project Drummond, my side business.  Partly that was because I have been thinking about working with my illustrator Jenn in a whole new way.

So I got up, got showered, and headed down to the old home office to crank out some work.

The night before I had put my laptop atop my lap (funny how you can do that with it) and tinkered a bit with code while Missy, Rachel and I watched a movie.  When I hooked it back up to my monitor this morning, this bad thing happened.  Or rather, a good thing didn't happen.

My beloved Thunderbolt monitor wouldn't charge the laptop.

Well, crap.

So I asked Cousin Google what to do.  And tried many of the things they recommended, to no avail.  This potentially was going to eat my whole damn day.  Then I took a well informed guess, based on my research.

My magsafe adapter had gone bad.

My who-what-now?  

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This thing.  It's a little magnetic adapter which connects the monitor cable to the laptop.  I ordered a new one for like $10, and was able to pick it up at a nearby store.  And when I brought it home, and swapped it out, and saw the sweet green light of functional charging.

Then I dug back into my list of many things.  Which included reading an amazing story written by a fellow author.  Negotiating some narration work for a new story.  Writing code.  And having an important phone call with partners.

And that's when I started to have this feeling: that much like that little magsafe adapter, I'm just this one little part of many vast, complex systems.

Which reminds me of a quote from one of my most favorite books, Cloud Atlas.

 “My life amounts to no more than one drop in a limitless ocean. Yet what is any ocean, but a multitude of drops?”

It's good to be a drop.

 

Posted
AuthorMako Allen
CategoriesgratitudeNow
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Spacey and I had the best phone call today.

It was a Thursday, and like pretty much every Thursday, we had a call on the books.  It's one of the ways in which we stay connected.

Anyhow, our phone call was so damn good.  I mean, they're always good, but this one was spectacular.  Besides planning out about 7 months worth of Big Little Podcast topics, we had this very substantive talk about relationships, about our own connection and how much we mean to one another, about healthy boundaries, communication, empathy, and self-love.

One of my favorite things about my brother is that he loves digging into the deep stuff like this with me.  We're like co-pilots of some spaceship that traverses the brain and the heart.

One of the things he told me is that while he considers me his poly partner, when he's explaining our relationship to vanilla folks he refers to me as his best friend.  Not surprisingly, I'm in complete agreement with him.  We're of one mind on it.  I see it just the same.

I'm so grateful for him.  He makes my life better each and every day.

Posted
AuthorMako Allen
CategoriesgratitudeNow
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1 hour drive

over in moments

Last night I walked out of my office a little before 7pm, walked to the garage, and got in my car. Then I drove the hour or so between where I work and where I live, and pulled into my own garage at home.  It's a long commute.  But it went by like no time at all.

The reason for that is I was talking to Moliére.

We've been friends for years now.  I first met him through mutual friends of ours.  He knew of me through my work on the podcast, and asked some mutual friends of ours to introduce him to me.  I was up at their kinky bed & breakfast to teach a class.  He came to meet me beforehand, and we spent a long time together chatting and just getting to know one another.  I liked him enormously from the get-go.

That had to have been four or five years ago at this point.  

We're similar in many ways.  We're both techies, both love puns, have many of the same sensibilities for things in life.  We both have excellent taste in partners, too.  Did I mention he's my metamour?  Yep.

You know that song My Boyfriend's Girlfriend Isn't Me?  It's like that.  Oh you don't? Here.

So anyhow, back to Moliére.  We've been close for ages.  Our relationship, like all relationships, has had its ups and downs.  We've endured hardship, apart and together.  The part where we're metamours is relatively new, and it's not without adjustment.

That's not a bad thing though.  Last weekend we got together, just him and me, to talk about where we are, how we feel about one another, and to eat really good poké.  

We love one another, a whole lot.  We always have.  We're still figuring out all the various things we mean to one another.  It's a good thing.

So when I got in the car in the first garage, I decided to call him, just because I felt like chitchatting, spending time.  We joked around, talked about all sorts of stuff, laughed, did some insightful thinking about ageplay and porn, and just generally basked in the warmth of one another's company.

Before I knew it, I was in the second garage, the one in my house.  I really love him, and I'm so grateful he's in my life.

Posted
AuthorMako Allen
CategoriesgratitudeNow

So, if I haven't mentioned it before (I have), I'm not just a teensy bit polyamorous, I'm a whole lot poly. 

What I mean by that is that I have a bunch of relationships in my life, of varying ages. I've been part of the Ghidrah for more than a decade, been married for almost that long, and have relationships that are deeply meaningful to me besides those, many of which go back for years.

Along the way I've learned some special guidelines and even new words that are useful in navigating the fulfilling but often complex life of being a polyamorist.

One of those is FRUBBLE, a silly informal variant of COMPERSION.  That's the pleasure you get from when your partner is happy doing something that doesn't directly involve you. 

Another thing you learn when you are poly is to use tools, to help manage the finite resource of time, and facilitate communication, which are problems for everybody but most especially us non-monogamous folks.

Shared calendars are your friend.

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I had this awesome frubble moment this morning because of another piece of tech, GeoZilla.

It's kind of like the Weasley Family Clock from Harry Potter, as a mobile app.

My girlfriend Squee, my wife Missy, and Squee's other partner Moliére (who is also one of my closest friends on earth, and whom I consider to be family), all use this thing.

Moliére is out in Chicago visiting Squee.  They're going kinky camping. This is a big deal, because their relationship is in this new hot phase, and there's a whole bunch of really great things going on that are good for them, and which in turn make me ecstatically happy.

Frubble.  It's awesome.

Anyhow, I wasn't completely up on the details of when he was flying out. I didn't need to be, so no big deal. But when he landed this morning and checked in, I opened up GeoZilla, saw they were together, and instantly got this warm, schmoopy feeling of joy. 

Then I called them, and we talked all the way through my commute in this morning.  And that might not have happened without us being bionically frubble assisted. 

Totally cool.

Posted
AuthorMako Allen
I didn't draw this - and it's not the right number of kids, but it's got the general idea right.  My poly family is a family!

I didn't draw this - and it's not the right number of kids, but it's got the general idea right.  My poly family is a family!

This past weekend was a big deal.  My girlfriend Alissa (Squee) and her kids came to visit us for Easter, and to be a part of Missy's confirmation at church.  

There's so much to say about it all, I almost don't know where to begin.  

First off, there was the way even the prospect of the visit swept us all up in excitement and planning, at both our houses.  There were discussions about the best and most viable ways to travel (via a rented car), and schedule (travel all day Thursday and Monday), and time off (Friday for Missy and myself.)

And then the easter-bunnitizing.  Missy, Alissa, and I spent a whole bunch of time talking about ways to celebrate Easter.  We wanted stuff for the kids to enjoy, that wasn't all about getting stuff, but still let them really immerse themselves.  It involved a whole bunch of discussions about things that work well for them, and things that don't.  

Sparkly egg is sparkly

Sparkly egg is sparkly

We really made a family project out of it.  Missy and Marybeth shopped for days, looking for the right Easter Basket stuff, and for eggs for the egg hunt.  Me, I'm very-not-obvious about encouraging the kids to co-operate, not compete, so I searched for a way to make the egg hunt into a shared thing.

Here's what I ultimately came up with.  Missy got a bunch of sparkly, shiny empty plastic eggs.  I filled with a series of puzzle messages in a hidden code, based on a cipher key.  I also hid pieces of the cipher in other eggs.  The messages looked kind of like this:

If you really want to figure this out, do a search for the "pigpen cipher", and you'll be able to.

If you really want to figure this out, do a search for the "pigpen cipher", and you'll be able to.

Originally the message-puzzle was going to lead the kids to a hidden stash of pumpkin hand-pies I made for them.  And while I did in fact make them a bunch of those things (which they are all absolutely mad for), I had the better idea of having them search for the presents that were originally going to go in their easter baskets.  (Because scheduling, and food freshness, and the VERY HARD TASK of sneaking around three children to hide things.  You think linear algebra or organic chemistry is hard? It's piffle next to hiding presents from children.)

The special presents that were originally going to go in said easter baskets weren't super expensive things, just thoughtful ones.  Each had meaning to each kid because of inside jokes, games we play together as a family, or special interests they have.

We also looked for a super fun thing to do.  We ended up going to this escape room thing about an hour north of where we live.  It was hilariously awesome.  There was a fair amount of family-wrangling involved in our trying to get there for Friday, and we sort of blew it, because of holiday traffic.  But we made it work for us.  We wandered around the touristy town we were going to go to in the first place, having a great meal out, and just sort of wandering.

The next day, Alissa and the kids and I went back there, while Missy went to a confirmation rehearsal.  We got there totally early which was awesome.  All of the kids (and both grownups) were totally excited to get to do this thing.  Things have a way of working out.  Not only did we solve all the puzzles and escape the room, we did it with eight whole minutes to spare.

That's because we're a smart family.

That whole we-can-solve-puzzles-thing totally came back as an awesome "this is who we are" moment on Sunday morning, when the kids woke up, came downstairs, found their baskets and then the first sparkly egg.  S., the youngest cracked open the egg, saw a coded message and said, "Oh this is just like the escape room.  We can totally do this."  

Then all four grownups watched, delighted as the three kids tore through that egg hunt in short order.  L. the oldest, was sharp-eyed, and saw each egg before either of his sisters, and gently, lovingly, and bluntly-not-obviously gave them verbal clues to help them find them, like "I'm so on the fence about where the next one might be."

He's a great kid.  I love him so much.

Soon they had them all assembled, and put their heads together, and worked out the whole thing in minutes.  It was honestly, utterly and totally badass impressive.  

That sort of family co-operative thing was very much at play all weekend long.  We cooked meals together, set and cleaned the table together.  We supported one another, both when we were all together (like for meal times, or Missy's confirmation), and when we split off into groups.

Part of both that splitting off process and the larger group stuff was bonding.

Missy and Marybeth got girl-time with the girls, braiding hair.

Missy and Alissa spent quiet time together, cuddling and watching Moana.

Alissa and Marybeth got bonding time talking together about shared-life-experience stuff.  

Missy read stories to the kids at night, from The Great Brain books which she loves so much.

The kids and I did that co-op thing big time, playing this awesome silly videogame called Overcooked.

Yang even "helped" some with that.

Yang even "helped" some with that.

And there was plenty of alone-time and intimacy, too.  Alissa and I have a big rule that's super important to us, that when we're together, I don't dress or undress myself.  That's for her to do. We kept to it, too.  I goofed it a few times, and got spanked for it, too.  I was in diapers for bed every night, also.  And we made time for the intimacy with one another that we crave so much.

That wasn't weird or shoehorned in, either.  It fit organically into everything we did.  There was always at least one grownup looking out for, and utterly enjoying time with the kids. 

One of the highlights of the whole weekend was playing some of the games we play together across the internet together in our living room.  We played some QuipLash, and some drawful.

At one point, E., the oldest daughter drew this:

"Melodrama"

"Melodrama"

But I ventured the guess "accidental fart poops", which made pretty much everyone collapse in laughter.  

We all smiled at one another, basking in the warm glow of how very much we all love one another.

Because we're a family.