Saturday, August 29, 2009

Building intentional families

I was rather disappointed with Darren Aronofsky's latest work, The Wrestler starring Mickey Rourke and Marisa Tomei, who both garnered Oscar nominations for acting. While the acting was certainly fine, the whole movies just seemed to plod along in scene after scene of a pathetic aging wrestler. I understand that's what the movie is about, but I expected a more original telling from the director who gave us Requiem for a Dream and The Fountain. Maybe his updated take on RoboCop will be better.

On the other hand, I was pleasantly surprised by the movie, The Secret Life of Bees starring Dakota Fanning and Queen Latifah. It was a very funny and touching story about a young white girl who finds love and a new life among a family of Black women in 1960s South Carolina. To me, it spoke volumes about the need we all have to be loved, and how we build intentional families based on love. While my first attempt to do this here in New Jersey has not been entirely successful, I am hopeful that the experience will be beneficial for the future.

When I think about why my family did not work out, I can't really say I'd do anything differently if I had to do it all over again. In hindsight, I recognize that we came together when I was in a period of great volatility in my life, figuring out elements of my core identity and personal values on the fly. Ultimately, as much as I would have wished otherwise, my self-actualization caused a deep incompatibility that we could not overcome. I'm sure we all have wished at one time or another that people didn't have to change in ways that drive us apart, but sometimes there's no way to avoid it. We all have the right to live how we feel is best for ourselves, and everyone else is free to decide if they want to come along or not. If I decide to build a new intentional family, I'm sure I won't be dealing with the same magnitude of change in myself as before, but perhaps I'll have to deal with it coming from other people instead.

But before I can even think about doing anything along that line, my first priority is finding a job and becoming self-sufficient again. Aside from the jobs in Princeton and Jersey City, I now have a lead on a job in Hackensack, which should result in an interview next week. I am definitely seeing more opportunities out there, so perhaps it will not be long before I find something and get back to a normal life, although I'm not looking forward to normalizing my whacked-out sleep schedule.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Poly picnic in Bridgewater

I got a second-round interview for the customer relationship management company based in Israel. The hiring manager is the UK, so I have to get up early on Monday for that call. This job would be based in Jersey City, so this would be one job opportunity that would not require me to relocate just yet. We'll see what happens.

Today I went out to Bridgewater, NJ to Duke Island Park for a picnic with an older polyamorous crowd I don't get to see very often. My friend Adele, who comes to my women's poly group, is a central figure, so she invited me. Most of the others I met either at the Poly Leadership Summit back in March ("Poly Leadership Summit 2009" - March 3, 2009) or at the one Thursday night poly munch I attended back in February ("Limerancing through life" - Feb. 27, 2009). Adele was actually at that meeting in February, but we didn't know each other by sight back then.

The weather was pretty crappy but we had reserved a covered pavilion, so it was reasonably comfortable. I brought some tortilla chips and organic salsa, and baked some of my famous Ghirardelli triple-chocolate brownies, which were tremendously popular, along with Adele's peach and blueberry pie.

Covered picnic

Here's a picture of Adele and our friend Bill - he was a volunteer at Poly Pride back in October ("Poly public relations" - Oct. 5, 2008) and also marched in the Pride Parade ("My first pride parade!" - June 29, 2009) yet somehow we've never actually been introduced, although Polina knows him. He's a former analyst in the intelligence industry, which is a fancy way of saying he used to be a spy.

Adele and Bill

Adele and her husband Lance also brought their six-year-old Haley and she was a delight to watch. She couldn't stop making comments about my height! She dragged Adele out from under shelter to splash around in the mud with another Michelle, who is in a triad with a fellow (Rob?) and a black woman named Stephanie (who recognized me from a PolyNYC meeting more than a year ago):

Cavorting in the rain

Here's a picture of me and Haley - she got really tired and grumpy at the end of the event, so she didn't feel much like smiling. She reminded me of Pearl at that age, who also used to get the same way. Or maybe it was her coming down from the sugar rush of eating three of my brownies. But I think I look cute in this picture, at least:

Me and Haley

"Miss Polyamory" Beki Rosenthal called my friend Mark Van Pelt during the picnic, and I got to talk with her a little bit on his cell phone. I got to know both of them during the Leadership Summit since Beki was one of the online participants I handled during the event and Mark helped me with communications.

Polina also called me on my cell using Skype from Switzerland during the picnic, and we had a nice chat about chocolate fondue, foggy mountains, and video blogging. She comes back to New York tomorrow and goes straight to college from the airport. I'm very thankful she convinced me to start using Skype - it's been a wonderful tool to keep us connected while she's been on vacation. Plus I even had a chance to chat with her Dutch boyfriend Peter, who visited with them for a few days. But I'm certainly ready for her to be closer to home so we don't have to deal with the six-hour time difference when we talk.

All in all, it was a fun day, despite the wet weather. Tomorrow I'll go to Costco and buy some more brownie mix, since I've run out.

Friday, August 21, 2009

An embarrassing first date

So the job search is ramping up to high gear of late, which is a welcome distraction while Polina is away in Switzerland. However, she has been very good about calling me on Skype and videochatting with me regularly, so I don't miss her too too much.

The interview in Princeton went very well. The company is really in the middle of nowhere, smack dab in a giant corporate complex about 18 miles from the New Jersey Turnpike. They have a big trading floor that you can see behind glass as soon as you walk in the lobby, and the rest of the offices are open desks with no walls whatsoever. Not really my preferred environment, but I can't really be picky about that. My recruiter who set up the interview followed up afterwards and reported this morning that they really liked me, and thought I was a good candidate, but they are just starting their search and they want to see some more people. This is actually okay for me because I have a couple other interviews I want to explore before I'm required to make a decision.

The Midtown PR agency let me know they were not going to offer me a position, so that's a dead end there. I'm waiting to hear more from a phone interview I had last Thursday since the interviewer went on vacation for a week after she talked to me. Then I have another phone interview on Tuesday for a new position being created by an insurance brokerage company, one that reports directly to a CEO. That's a pretty exciting opportunity, so we'll see how that pans out next week.

In other personal news, I had my first date with someone new since I started dating Polina almost a year ago. My friend Vivek, who runs the cricket meetup group I participate in ("My first cricket game" - July 8, 2009) asked me out to Lolita Bar on the Lower East Side near my old burlesque studio. I planned to go directly after my Women's Poly Meetup Group on Tuesday, and I did, but we ran quite long so I turned up almost an hour late. It also started pouring down rain when I was about two blocks away, so I got drenched and showed up looking like a drowned rat. To add to my embarrassment, he was dressed nicely in a suit and dress shirt, and I was wearing just a t-shirt, skirt and sandals. He seemed to take it all in stride and we had a nice time talking about all manner of topics. He lives in Jersey City and runs his own mergers and acquisitions firm with a partner, matching up companies that do IT outsourcing in India. We'll try to get the group together on Tuesday after my phone interview to have another cricket practice, and maybe I can get him to go with me to Brick Lane Curry House, which was recently featured on Man vs. Food, to eat some spicy food.

I've been captivated lately by Regina Spektor's last album, Begin to Hope, which I checked out of the library a few months back and listened to, but wasn't impressed with it at the time. This time, her quirky lyrics and quasi-electronic folk music have caught on with me. Maybe I will find a copy of her latest release, Far, and give that a listen as well. I am also now more than halfway through my collection of Ranma 1/2 DVDs, just starting Season 3 now. Even after all this time, they still make me laugh. Maybe after I'm done with those, I'll finally get to watching the first two seasons of The L Word, which is the only remaining TV series I own on DVD that I haven't watched yet.

All for now. Hopefully I will have some good news on my job search the next time I post.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Job search update

First off, a quick update on my busy job interviewing schedule, which I haven't mentioned in a while. I had a decent interview with three vice presidents at a large PR firm in Midtown on Wednesday. This firm is very big on social media, and actually requires all its employees to be on Twitter (which I'm not, by the way). The job is pretty much the same things I've been doing the past nine years, so it would be more of the same, and in the same place as I was before. Not terribly exciting, but certainly not the worst job in the world.

The second interview on Wednesday was with a recruiter who has found me an opportunity with a large energy company in Princeton, NJ that is interested in talking to me. He just wanted to get some more background and meet me in person so he could see if I present myself well, and he said I passed on that score. So next Wednesday I'll drive down to Princeton and start interviewing directly with the company itself.

The third interview was a phone interview on Thursday, and it was a large company based in Israel that does customer experience improvement. The job would be based in Jersey City, and some days in NYC, plus some work from home. This would probably be my least favorite job opportunity because it's a little outside my bailiwick, but of course, I'll take anything at this point.

Friday I woke up relatively early to prepare to go into the city for one last visit with Penny before she leaves for Switzerland for a week-long vacation and then college. Since I had made plans to see a movie with my friend Angel that night, and Penny was working the last day of her job in the city, it was an opportunity I didn't want to pass up even though I thought when we parted Tuesday it was going to be our last meeting for a while.

I had been thinking about what I might get her as a college going-away present, my used mini-fridge notwithstanding. She gave me an idea when she recently expressed how much she was going to miss me, her friends, and the poly community in NYC. I decided to give her something that would help her keep all that in mind while she's away in school - a digital picture frame with photos from our adventures together this summer. So I went out to Target, picked out a Kodak frame, came home and set it up, loaded it with about 70 photos spanning the period from our cooking party ("Cooking party" - Jan. 24, 2009, the first time she visited my apartment and my first picture of her) through last Monday's Poly Cocktail Hour. I also included random photos like those of my stuffed animals and me in the dress I wore to her New Year's Eve party, pictures of our friends and a few others of us that have never been shown before. Then I repacked the frame and wrapped the box before hopping the train into the city.

I got to her workplace almost an hour early due to the train schedule, so I wandered around the Financial District until it was time for her to leave. Here's a photo of the New York Stock Exchange Building, where I sat for a while and read a book:

NYSE Building

Here's a photo of Polina working with the dogs at Ciao Bow Wow:

Dog handler

Her ex-boyfriend Louis (whom I met at the New Year's Party) joined us when it was time to leave work, and we went to a nearby Borders Bookstore to buy some travel guides for her vacation. Then we went to grab a bite to eat at a cafe, and I gave her the present before I had to leave to meet with Angel.

Angel had invited me to a group of queer people who like movies, which certainly describes me. We were supposed to have a group of people to see the 7:20 p.m. showing of The Time Traveler's Wife, but by the time we got there, that show was sold out. So me, Angel and her straight friend Victor bought tickets to see the next showing at 8:20 p.m. Since we had some time to kill, we went to the Coffee Shop on the west side of Union Square and had a bite to eat. Victor and Angel sing opera together at an opera company. I love Angel's hair - it reminds me of the giant block of stibnite on display at the American Museum of Natural History, pictured below ("The week in review"- July 26, 2007):

Victor and Angel

Unfortunately, we dallied a little too long and by the time we got back, the theater was almost full so we had to sit near the front of the theater and look straight up at the screen. This might have contributed to my inability to emotionally connect to the movie, so I'll reserve judgement until I see it again, if I ever do.

I did have some more relationship stuff to write about, but since it's getting so late now, I think I'll save that for my next post.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Polys in the wild

It's been quite an eventful 48 hours with Polina, and following on the heels of our Great Adventure Shindig a week ago, we definitely have made the most of our dwindling time together. In four days she leaves for a week-long family vacation overseas, and then goes directly to college for band camp. That means we probably won't see each other again until Sept. 12, when she's taking me to her sister's wedding. But we've had some very good talks recently and I think we understand what's needed if we want this relationship to weather our extended periods of separation while she's at school.

Friday I brought Yoshi into the Honda dealer to have the engine problem looked at, and it turned out to be a major repair of almost $2,000 requiring a multi-day stay, so I drove a CR-V loaner all weekend. Saturday night I had dinner with my family, and we completed our Kill Bill series by watching the second movie. I think that's all the Tarantino I'm going to get out of them, but that's okay - I'm not a big fan of any of his other movies besides Pulp Fiction, which they've already seen.

Sunday morning Penny called me and we chatted for a while until Ryan showed up at her place for a visit - he came to the first part of our Great Adventure Shindig at my apartment ("Great Adventure Shindig" - Aug. 5, 2009). I packed for an overnight stay and joined them around 5 p.m. to hang out while Penny tended to laundry and helped her mom and grandmother work on a scrapbook for her sister's upcoming wedding.

Ryan, as you might recall, is a polyamorous guy who is dating a monogamous woman named Beth. We decided the best way to help him was to invite Beth to Monday's Poly Cocktail Hour so she could see for herself poly people in their natural environment, so to speak. After dinner with Penny's family, we three went upstairs so that Ryan could give us an improptu lesson in shibari (warning: link contains nudity). He performed this lovely tortoise shell tie on Penny (who of course kept her pajamas on):

Shibari demo

He also demonstrated an ankle tie on me and performed some light S&M on both of us using a plastic rod from the window mini-blinds in Penny's parents' room. I know this sounds very kinky and probably weird to some people, but it was really just innocent play, and involved a lot of instructional talking about etiquette, role-playing and boundaries. Plus, we couldn't really do anything too loud or involved since Penny's parents and grandmother were downstairs working on the scrapbook. They even called for her once while she had her wrists tied to her ankles and we had to quickly untie her so she could go downstairs.

After we put the ropes away we sat up and watched an episode of HBO's True Blood on DVD before Ryan had to go home. Penny and I got ready for bed and watched six more episodes in bed together on her laptop until about 5:30 a.m. before we finally stopped to go to sleep. Then her mom woke us at 8:30 a.m. to ask about something, but we went back to sleep until about 11:30 a.m. before we finally got up.

We spent a good portion of Monday afternoon looking at her family photo albums and cleaning up her room, which has been just this side of a disaster area for as long as I've known her. We hung up all her clothes, sorted out rubbish from recyclables, got everything off the floor and vacuumed. Now her room will be more presentable for any guests who need to use it while she's away at college:

Gasp! A clean room!

Ryan came over after work and we followed him into the city to pick up Beth from her studio right at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge. We had a bite to eat at an organic grocery store and proceeded to Poly Cocktail Hour at China 1 Restaurant. We met several first-time attendees early on, plus our friends Barbara and Joe, Simon, Lyndell, Bill, Diana, Rob ("Karaoke virgin no more!" - July 27, 2009), plus many other familiar faces. Far from feeling threatened and insecure, Beth seemed to have a very good time hanging out with us:

Beth, Ryan and Polina

The event was quite successful this month, and they soon had to open a second room to accommodate the crowd. Polina and I spent the latter part of the evening participating in some group cuddling and giving/receiving massages with various people:

Rob, Polina, Jeremy, me and Simon

Ryan and Beth left around 11 p.m. while Polina and I stayed until about midnight, saying hi to the owner Alan when he showed up late. We said goodbye to everybody and drove to Ryan and Beth's apartment in East Rutherford for a quick visit and to see some of their collection of erotic and BDSM toys. We got home around 1:30 a.m. and had some tea while I showed Penny some of my shoebox photos from my former life that were rescued from the fire of 2005 before going to bed.

After breakfast the next morning we finished the last two episodes of True Blood and we got a text from Ryan, saying that Beth had a great time with us the night before, and that "progress was being made" in resolving their relationship issues. It's encouraging to believe that their relationship will be stronger now that Beth has seen what poly people are really like, instead of what she thinks we're like.

I drove Penny back to Staten Island to pick up the things I'd left in her house from the night before and then drove her to her doctor's appointment. Then I went to the White Castle near her house and bought a baker's dozen of hamburgers and jalapeno cheeseburgers to eat on the way home. Once home, I went to pick up Yoshi and now I've got to get ready for tomorrow's trip to the city where I have two job interviews and plan to visit Simon to work on his marketing stuff.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Getting married

My friend Simon was out walking yesterday on Christopher Street and he took a picture of a lesbian couple getting married in a park:


It's such a lovely statement of love and the fight for equality that I just wanted to share it. And although I don't have any intentions of getting married again, I will continue to speak out for those who are denied the right to call themselves married if that's what they seek.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Great Adventure Shindig

Penny and I threw a fun party together celebrating my fifth birthday at Six Flags Great Adventure. Various people came and went for different parts of the party, and hopefully a good time was had by all.

We started at my apartment Monday afternoon when Penny brought her longtime friend Dakotah (whom I met last New Year's) and a new friend Kyle (whom she met at Otakon last month - he lives in Pennsylvania and is visiting her for the week) on a bus from Port Authority Bus Terminal. Shortly after, Ryan arrived in his own car - he lives about 20 minutes away from me in New Jersey. Polina met him at Otakon too; he's a polyamorous man in a relationship with a monogamous-minded girlfriend (who called him about three times that evening), and also quite experienced in the local BDSM scene.

Once everybody arrived, we took a quick swim in the pool before going to Costco to buy some pizza, salad and ice cream for dinner, and Penny bought a 1TB external hard drive for her new MacBook Pro. After dinner we spread out to watch a movie on the cuddle space I created by putting a raised air mattress in front of my couch and loveseat, like so:

Watching movies and cuddling

After the movie Ryan left, and the four of us remaining showed each other music and video clips on the Internet as we got ready to retire for the evening. After putting our guests to sleep in the living room, Penny and I stayed up a while and chatted in bed, finally going to sleep around 3 a.m. I was the first to awake at 8:15 a.m. and made omlettes, turkey bacon and toasted jalapeno parmesan bagels for the girls while Kyle had cereal.

We got to Six Flags Great Adventure just before noon and met with Penny and Dakotah's longtime friend Matt (nicknamed "Panda"), who took public transport directly to the park from his home in Brooklyn. Since we bought and printed our tickets at home, we went straight into the park, bypassing the horrendous ticket lines. Seriously, I don't know why anyone would come to Great Adventure without a ticket already in hand.

Of course, no visit to a Six Flags park would be complete without a picture with a famous cartoon character - how appropriate that we got this one with the most famous lover in the Warner Brothers stable of characters:

Oh, l'amour!

Our first rollercoaster was the Superman ride, which suspends you facedown in a flying position as it loops and rolls. Then we went to its neighbor, the Great American Rollercoaster. At this point we were getting really hot from waiting in lines, so we decided to go to the log flume ride to cool off. We were briefly tempted to try the "Guess Your Age/Weight" booth, but decided in my case it would be cheating.

After getting soaked on the log flume (Panda hit us with a water cannon at the end of the ride) we lined up for the Bizarro coaster, a revamped version of a rollercoaster originally called Medusa. They added flamethrowers and mist sprayers to represent Bizarro's flame breath and ice vision powers, but it's essentially the same coaster we've all ridden before.

Bizarro - haha

We took the sky tram to the other side of the park and rode Skull Mountain, a small indoor coaster, then to Congo River water ride to get thoroughly drenched (Panda received his due karmic justice by getting the most soaked). We took a break for lunch, and had some fun taking pictures of unusually shaped curly fries:

French fry or donut?

The line for Nitro was too long and slow, so we had to skip that one, which is a shame because it was my second favorite coaster in the park (Kingda Ka is my favorite, and it wasn't running that day) so Polina, Kyle and I went to ride Batman and a new indoor coaster called The Dark Knight while Panda and Dakotah wandered around together.

As the evening started to wind up, we played a few games to try and win prizes. I almost won a large prize shooting a basketball, but left the shot just a few inches short. Polina came in second on a Whack-A-Mole contest, so no prize there:


Eventually we all played a water gun shooting gallery together, and Kyle won a stuffed M&M man in gangsta wear:


As I mentioned in past posts, originally our friends Reiko and Kerry were going to come, but both had to cancel at the last minute. I had intended to come home after dropping Polina and Kyle back at her house in Staten Island so they could have some private time together, but Yoshi started developing a bad engine vibration while I was dropping off Dakotah and Panda in Brooklyn, so just to be safe and not get stranded in the middle of the night, I stayed over at Polina's house. Her mom made us some dinner of pan-roasted chicken and spinach pancakes with some fresh cucumbers and tomatoes from their garden. We all went upstairs to share the air mattress, and I was pretty exhausted from the day, so I pretty much dozed off while Penny and Kyle stayed up to watch Eddie Izzard videos on YouTube. In the morning Penny and I woke up together and let Kyle sleep in while I left for home. Yoshi is running roughly, but made it home okay. He has an appointment on Friday to get checked out.

When I got to my apartment, I saw an injured kitten on the side of the road in front of my apartment building. I parked Yoshi in the garage and got a box and pillowcase and walked out to retrieve it. It was still alive, but breathing rapidly and had blood coming from its mouth. I brought it to the city animal shelter, and they directed me to an animal hospital, but I couldn't find it. I called my family and Bee helped me find a hospital with a doctor on duty. I brought it in and the doctor told me the kitty had sustained severe cranial trauma and had a broken jaw. Based on its eye reaction and breathing pattern, he said it wouldn't survive more than a day or two, even with intensive treatment, so he recommended euthanasia. I left the hospital crying for this poor baby kitten, but knowing that at the very least, I helped to lessen its suffering.

As with everything else in life, sometimes we win, sometimes we lose, but the point is to try and not to give up until we know there is no hope left. It was not the way I would have liked to end my birthday shindig, but sometimes we can't control what is put in our path. All we can do is control our own actions and handle things the best we can.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

My life according to U2

Here's a clever little meme that has been going around the Internet that I thought I'd share in case anyone else wants to try it. Polina did one for Red Hot Chili Peppers that made me laugh.

Using only song names from ONE ARTIST, cleverly answer these questions.

Pick Your Artist:

Are you male or female?
Even Better Than the Real Thing

Describe Yourself:
Can't Help Falling in Love (a cover from the soundtrack to Honeymoon in Vegas)

How do you feel:
Running to Stand Still

Describe where you currently live:
Where the Streets Have No Name

If you could go anywhere, where would you go:
The Playboy Mansion

Your favorite form of transportation:
Fast Cars

Your best friend is:
Out of Control

You and your best friends are:
In God's Country

What's the weather like:
Indian Summer Sky

Favorite time of day:
11 O'Clock Tick Tock

If your life was a TV show, what would it be called:
Pride (In the Name of Love)

What is life to you:
Some Days are Better Than Others

Your relationship:
Love is Blindness/Desire

Your fear:
Wake Up Dead Man (i.e. killer zombies)

What is the best advice you have to give:
Peace on Earth

Thought for the Day:
Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own

How I would like to die:
If God Would Send His Angels

My soul's present condition:
White As Snow

My Motto:
I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For

Manhattan LoveFest IV

Tonight I went to Manhattan LoveFest IV - Summer of Love, a charity fundraiser benefiting the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom, dedicated to causes for consenting adults who engage in alternative sexual and relationship expressions, and Fractured Atlas, a non-profit organization that provides services and support to artists and arts organizations.

On the way to the event, I stopped by to visit Polina at work - she works at Ciao Bow Wow in the Financial District as a dog sitter. One of the dogs, a boxer named Odysseus, took a liking to my fishnet hose and put a few rips in it, which I guess made my outfit a little more punk-y. He must have found the pattern irresistible.

I made my way to the Happy Endings Lounge and met my friend Lyndell at the door where she was a volunteer greeter. I talked with her for a while and then got a free chair massage from a tall, handsome black masseuse named Chaka. I haven't had a massage in such a long while - it felt wonderful. The next booth over had a Sybian machine (which costs around $1,400) that people were taking turns trying out. I also saw Rob there, whom I met a couple weeks ago at Poly Cocktail Hour and again last week at the Adventure Quest play.

The first program I attended was given by Steven Speliotis, who did a demonstration of Shibari, a form of erotic Japanese bondage. He demonstrated on a young woman named Alexandra, who is a aerial performance artist and teaches pole dancing classes. Using braided nylon ropes, they showed how to make intricate knots that stimulate erogenous zones on the body by applying and releasing tension, and controlling blood flow to different parts of the body, making them more sensitive to touch.

Then they demonstrated how to use a vibrator on the ropes, which transmit the vibrations to multiple parts of the body simultaneously. The audience was encouraged to participate by holding wrist knots extending Alexandra's arms, and applying the vibrator. After the program I chatted with him and Alexandra and her partner Michael before moving on to the next program upstairs.

The next presentation was by my friend Morpheus, who did an introductory course on BDSM. Using a volunteer from the audience, he demonstrated his expertise with various toys, such as a leather whip (which made an impressive "crack"), flogging with a martinet, and a violet wand, a device that generates static electricity which can be applied through the wand or through the fingers, tongue or lips. But he also talked about BDSM etiquette and the need for proper communication to make the experience a pleasureable and consensual transfer of energy from one person to another.

For the third hour, I listened in on Diana Adams' talk about Polyamory 101, a subject I obviously have plenty of expertise in already. Alexandra, who is poly, chimed in on the topic, but I didn't see Rob there. I saw my friend Kerry (she's Diana's girlfriend) and we listened together for a while, then went off to chat privately for a bit. Kerry is coming to our Great Adventure Shindig next week, so we discussed plans for that. After Diana's talk was done, I talked a bit more with Lyndell, then left to go home.