I’d say it was a stretch, but I’m afraid that’d cause my limbs will fall off.

I guess I should straight up apologise to anyone who read yesterday’s entry. I started out with a genuine concept for a post that got lost in the intoxicating allure of writing straight up wankery for 30 minutes. It wasn’t fair to you, my ardent fans who relentlessly devour every crumb I toss their way.

HAH. As if. If anyone out there really does follow the dumb shit I write on here to such an extent you really need a new hobby. Go learn lock picking or something.

Anyway, for an inside look at how my gears turn, here was my original conceit. The plan was to hint at some secret I’d discovered then reveal that I’m actually a rapidly degenerating clone with a shelf life of 30 years. Why do I say this? Because I’m half convinced it’s true. I’m no spring chicken, I know this much at least because my joints have been breaking down gradually over the last while. Also I have naught in the way of feathers. Lately though, everything in my body has been going the way of the dodo.

For no discernible reason my gums have started to ache. This is weird, considering I’ve got nigh on anal retentive dental habits. I brush twice a day with an electric toothbrush. I tongue scrape, floss and mouthwash each morning before leaving the house. I get regular check ups and my gum health has been getting progressively better. Out of nowhere this week my gums have been sore. Really sore. Heavy chewing results in throbbing ache that lasts for upwards of a minute or two. My morning flossing has been an exercise in sustained self-abuse. Oddly enough there’s been no blood, but I’ve been left reeling from the action. It’s slowly been improving over the past few days, but without my habits lagging I can’t think of a reason for the lingering torture. It’s probably worth a mention that in flossing the other day the thin material tore straight into my rotting skin, leaving a small cut by my finger joint. The vat I was grown in didn’t prep me to live this long.

My right hand also decided to pack it in. Because I’m the kind of idiot who likes to Web MD things, I’m half convinced I’ve got early onset arthritis going on. There’s an occasional twinge of pain where my thumb connects to my wrist. This kicks in when I grip things too hard or flex the thumb a little too far. Could it be some kind of RSI? Or is it just that the biological putty my clone body is composed of has reached its expiration date? I was clearly only ever meant to last until the age of 30, with another simulacrum about to tag in at the end of this third decade.

My knee has been shitty for a while now, but over the past few weeks my adductor/groin have been so tightly wound I could be confused for an upright bass. What am I doing wrong? Was I not meant to walk for this many years? Was I built with the expectation that we humans would’ve discovered levitation by now? Thanks a bunch science, what’ve you ever done for me? It’s been a ton of joint pain, compounded by the fact that I went dancing last weekend. Seriously, dancing is enough to break my body down almost entirely. I don’t know if it’s the twisting, reaching, stomping or erratic movement in general. Whatever my body does when faced with a beat and rhythm, it’s against the wishes of my internal programming. My lower back aches, my neck’s range of movement is limited. Even my rotator cuffs feel like they’ve been worked over with a lead pipe.

Whoever it was that put me together, may I propose a compromise? I’m sure you’ve got a ton more floppy lifeless flesh sacks waiting to be given consciousness. Why not just cannibalise them for parts for my benefit? I’ve got enough self-awareness to know that while my body has outlived its usefulness, you could save a ton of strife acclimatising your new clones to society by skipping that step completely. I mean, how many more years are we even gonna use bodies? I just need 15-20 years, then we’ll for sure evolve beyond physical form. C’mon, be a pal.

You may be a mad scientist, but that’s no reason to not be reasonable.

If a keening bell were to sound, could you bear to listen?

Hey! You! Get in here and shut the door.

Are we alone now? I want to ensure the communication between us is airtight. No leaks allowed. I’ve uncovered something top secret and it’s imperative that this information doesn’t get into the wrong hands. If it does, the delicate balance holding our society together could crumble. There’s a paper thin line that we’re edging along with certain death on all sides. A line that requires the balance of a ballerina, yet we’re stumbling down with all the grace of a drunken lout, swaying from side to side but somehow never falling. There are people who don’t want you to know what I know. Hell, there are people who don’t want me to know what I know. The truth though? The truth has a duty to make its way to the light and it’s my burden to be the harbinger of its overbearing weight.

How did I discover this? What are my sources? Evidence? Did anyone get hurt? Well sometimes you just have to dig with an understanding that you’ll be covered in dirt.

That’s enough pontificating. Enough rambling. These words must sound like the incessant ravings of a deluded madman. Paranoid? Why would I be paranoid if not for knowledge too grim to grasp? My teeth clench with the pain of my grimace. To trap my mouth shut and so keep these words from more delicate minds. But hark! The doomsday clock strikes midnight and the time has come to let loose tidings that ring so deafeningly of verity that anyone in earshot would be deaf to all else.

Are you ready?

Do you even know what is about to befall you? Steady yourselves, for I’ve known tenacious minds to slither loose of their tethers with but a hint of my ill portent. Those seemingly crafted of sterner stuff left nothing but waxy puddles after embracing the searing lashes of what I’m about to unleash. The rosy veil covering our sight blinds all to the stark nature of reality hiding behind its gossamer veneer. We dance along to strings so subtle we neither hear nor see them, let alone understand how surely they guide us towards oblivion. To cut them, oh to pull yourself free from this mortal dream risks separation anxiety so ferocious your body may nary survive the plucking. For how are we to hear white noise until someone guides our ears? How are we to notice the outlines until our nose is taught the scent of ink? How can we truly appreciate what life is until we understand that death is ever watching?

Child, the time has come for you to discover the truth hiding in plain sight, for it is not mine to obfuscate. Should you survive the shock, I’ll see you on the other side:

 

The Beatles band name is “BEATles”, not “BEETles”. Like the musical notes, not the insects. It’s a homonym.

Just thought you should know.

Come on, who didn’t see that turn coming?

Today marks the day that this here site, I Have My Doubts, hit 500 followers. “Wow!” I hear you exclaim (because unbeknownst to most of you, implicit to your click to follow this site is tacit consent for me to monitor you constantly. Nanobots are my surveillance technology of choice), “500 whole followers?” You then pause and reflect “is that it? My niece has 50,000 followers and she just reviews her mum’s sandwiches. To hammer that nail in deeper, she eats the same type of sandwich every day.” 500 is not a lot. To put it in perspective, I’ve written 1,101 posts on here. That means that every second time I post, one new person joins along. That’s not a lot. People do the going viral thing and get millions of new followers on one post. Frankly I’m surprised Ellen hasn’t come knocking on my door to address the constantly escalating feud between Mr Smashmouth and I. My follower count is not something I really care about. It’s nice to know that things I put out are appreciated, I’m human and I want to be loved, etc etc. It’d be nice to see a larger reflection of the amount of work I put in here, but then again I did once start writing about how I like to draw squares around things on my desktop with my mouse. Is it really worth people’s time to be reading?

Thing is, I don’t even own ihavemydoubts.wordpress.com. Some shmuck has it and doesn’t use it. The audacity of this young hoodlum. How dare they waste such a prime opportunity with feckless disregard. Just think, they could be using $5 words like feckless too, but instead they shat the bed and put a picture of a grove with some sheep in the background. I wrote an entry that referenced marshmallow porn (which strangely gets the most hits out of anything I’ve done). Not to pull rank or anything, but I’m the eighth listing with a google search of “i have my doubts”. That’s me up there next to the Yahoo Answers question from December 2010. When you’re rolling in the big leagues like this, you clearly need a URL that shows what people are messing with. None of this ihmd.wordpress.com bollocks. Who remembers that? Hell, I typed “ihavemydoubts.wordpress.com” into my browser once or twice and now every time i type “ih” it suggests my domain name rival. I bet it was Mr Smashmouth. That smug Guy Fieri looking motherfucker.

Seriously though, how much does it cost to buy a domain name? $10? $10,000? I have no idea. If you told me that a pound of flesh closest to the heart (somebody’s doesn’t have to be yours necessarily) was part of the deal, I wouldn’t entirely disbelieve you. Where are domain names stored? Is it a black market economy? If I kill the person who owns ihavemydoubts.wordpress.com is that legally binding? How much is bail for murder? Is it cheaper than domain registration? Not on your sole…

What about going for broke and nabbing ihavemydoubts.com? That’s a big dick swinging URL that carries a one-two punch of moxie and chutzpah. I want it. My generations of offspring could look back on it fondly and remember the man I was back when humans still possessed corporeal shells. It will be mine. Oh yes, it will be mine.

Damn. I looked it up and it’s taken. Bastards. They’re not even doing anything with it. First ihavemydoubts.wordpress.com, now the big bad wolf of domains is withering away unused. My blood is boiling, a sign that my consciousness hasn’t been uploaded to the cloud yet. The ownership by enom.com expires on the 4th of January 2017 at 6.56pm. If I want to put in a bid to backorder it, it’ll cost me $69. That doesn’t guarantee me the site though, and even if I lose, I’m out the money regardless. Is it time for me to put on my big boy pants? Do I need to bone up and put in? Did that just get unnecessarily sexual for anyone else? I’m not sure about this one, folks.

So I guess you could say, I Have My Doubts.

Maybe don’t say it too loudly though, I don’t technically own the domain *yet*.

My new life is a buddy cop film in the making.

I was just in the bathroom (which is how I should begin all of these entries from now on) and wondering what to write about. Naturally your best thoughts come to you on the toilet. There’s just something about tending to things that don’t require concentration (yes, I think about things way too much, but even I don’t overt-analyse how I poop (heh, anal :3)) that facilitates lucid thought. To start one of these I usually need a kernel of an idea and where do you find more kernels than in a bathroom (I’ll stop being juvenile and gross for the next 30 seconds. Promise)? One simple seed is enough to kickstart my rambling stream of consciousness and get me through the next half an hour. Maybe you could write about living with a cat I thought. Brilliant idea, me, it’ll satisfy the hordes of cat people (in an affinity sense, not the anthropomorphic human/feline hybrid sense) who read this site dailyTHINK OF THE RATINGS! I thought to nobody in particular.

It was an easy conceit, I’d start with some cutesy exaggeration about how the cat is always stealing my computer chair. It’s half true. I’ll often walk into the office (we have an office in our house. Oh, we fancy now) and that little ginger fuzzloaf will be curled up on my butt’s favourite locale. I ask her to move, but she just meows. I tell her to use her words. Again, she just meows. I try to sweep her off the chair dismissively, but she curls over and exposes her belly, as if I was going to reward her annexation of my battlestation throne with scratches to her delicate underside. I tell her we can share, I’ll take the front half and she can take the back. I figure the chair could use an additional pillow, especially a whiskered fuzzy orange one. Once more, she just meows. So I back up to the chair, place my hands on the arm rests and slowly lower myself onto her back, as if mounting a trusty steed. She bucks like a bronco and meows once more, but less in a benign appreciative fashion and more of a slighted frightened yelp. It’s not fair. First my daddy refused to buy me a pony, now the trusty guardian of our home refuses to let me mount her for patrol. How am I supposed to complete my RCMP audition video now? She’ll jump off the chair in a huff, then get distracted by her weird little chicken toy.

See, an easy way to pad out time for this entry. A flawless idea. I came out of the bathroom to start my writing only to find an object in my path. She was lying on my chair.

It’s a learning curve for both of us. In general she’s a sweet natured kit’n, if a bit needy. She’s used to having attention on tap which I’m flat out incapable of giving. I can’t always be petting, I have other important things to do like writing about my inability to pet her all the time. It gets hard when I’m trying to sleep but she’s yowling at the door all night. It’s been over a week and she’s still set on denying me sleep in exchange for denying her access to the bedroom while we attempt to sleep. Then there are other times when we can just hang out and everything’s copacetic. I’ll be watching Netflix and she’ll curl up on a box or sit up on her butt to watch with me. It feels like a case of Stockholm syndrome in the making, but honestly I don’t know which one of us is the prisoner. I’ve never been a cat person in my life. I’ve got no issue with them, but no affinity for them either. Thing is, her and I need to make it work. We’re both head over heels in love with her owner and neither of us plan on going anywhere, so I guess that makes us family now.

It will be a golden, resplendent, trash panda and I will worship it as a deity.

It’d be easy to characterise this past week as an accumulation of physical and mental exertion. We’ve piled box upon box and unpacked very gradually (he says in a room full of still packed boxes). We’ve thrown things away, hauled others across town. We’ve spent nights thinking about where and how appliances and furnishings fit into the space we have. We’ve dealt with a cat who is dealing with the concept of change for the first time in yonks. Sleep has been intermittent, fleeting. I maybe had one full night of rest out of the past seven. Bones and brain feel dense with exhaustion. It’s almost seemed overbearing at times, the scale of it all, even compartmentalised into little units of effort. That’s why I’m surprised that when I think of the past week it’s not this stuff that rises to the surface. It’s the rest of it, the words that people have told me for years that I’ve failed to receive over the static of doubt:

Moving in with your partner is really, really nice.

The idea of feeling like we have to be present with one another while we’re in the same place is gone. We hang out when we want to, not because there’s some kind of obligation. I’m an early riser. If I wake up ready to go and she’s still sleeping that’s fine. I can leave her to rest while I go into the office and durdle away on the computer. We can be in separate rooms without feeling like we’re neglecting one another. We can tag team on tasks and divide the labour. If a meal is coming up but one of us has stuff to do, the other one will cook to save time. It’s a process, but I’m getting better about not trying to do everything. When I cook I’m learning to step back and let her do the dishes instead of rushing to take care of them myself. The hive-mind is only deepening and we’re getting to the point of transcending language. If I’m about to ask something, she’ll know what I intend before I open my mouth or vice versa. We can spend mornings lying in and having great sex. Yesterday I went out and sorted out a brunch feast (peameal bacon, breakfast sausages, tomato all grilled on the George Foreman with eggs and toast for backup). Netflix in bed to cap off an evening. Time-sharing my metro pass. Brushing our teeth together. Establishing routines. While many on the outside would be quick to decry the normcore nature of our cohabitation as bland, being in it is really exciting. One week in we’ve discovered a kind of domestic bliss that was always at the fringe of our relationship, but now feels front and centre.

Of course this is the first week. Of course problems will crop up. We’ll have disagreements about money and bills. I’ll foolishly liquidate our shared mutual funds into chocolate coins. She’ll stock the fridge with several kilos of discounted back alley durian. I’ll pick up an eight foot golden raccoon statue from the curb and be dead set on it taking focal point in our household. Her cat will record a cover of Sean Mullins’ god awful, patronising, saviour complex 1998 track Lullabye. We’ll both do inconsiderate things out of ignorance rather than malice. It’ll happen and there’s no avoiding that. We’re two different people coming together (and cumming together, amirite?) under one roof. We’re gonna clash. One thing I know, however, is that whatever arises will be resolved with respect for one another. Because there’s something we now share that is worth staying together for.

The aforementioned George Foreman grill, obviously.

Do people store their compersion in a polyarmoury?

As far as I can tell it’s been a little over a year since I decided to give polyamory a try. In this time I briefly dated one gal, but that’s as far as I’ve progressed. I’ve been on a date here and there, but haven’t felt that kind of tingling pull towards another. Ironically while I’ve been working towards the poly lifestyle, my girlfriend and I have been exhibiting habits far closer to a monogamous one. It hasn’t been intentional, but it’s been noticeable. She ended up having a few break ups in a row and didn’t make a huge effort to try and meet other people. Like myself, she’s maybe had a few dates here or there, but nothing that’s pulled her in. We’ve grown closer together, enough so that we’re now cohabitaing. Things feel comfortable, settled and secure.

As avid readers will remember however, I had a date the other night.

It went well, thank you for asking. I don’t know why I was so rattled with pre-date jitters. The awkwardness lasted all of half a second. There was a quick, easy rapport. We grabbed a couple of cocktails at Wolf Like Me, then walked down to Disgraceland for some grub, stopping briefly to peek in on drum circle practice at Super Wonder Gallery. I’m sure if we weren’t getting on well we wouldn’t have talked for over five hours straight. We walked in the direction of home and kissed goodbye when we parted. Basically the poster child for a pleasant date.

Here’s the thing that stuck out to me. We both had live in partners. She and her boyfriend had recently opened up the relationship and were both feeling polyamory out. We were both happily in love with someone we adored, yet there we were in a bar seeing if one another felt like someone fit to share saliva with. It created a dynamic that I’ve never experienced, in that at some point we just started gushing about our partners. It was amazing. I loved hearing about her boyfriend, who seemed like a top notch dude. I beamed while being regaled with stories of their adventures, relationship highlights and cute couple quirks. There was something to knowing that I was out with someone who already felt fulfilled in a relationship and was there because she wanted my company, not because I was an attempt to fill some void. For the same token, I appreciated being able to relate just how amazing my girlfriend is, how she’s fostered in me an openness and emotional communication I never thought possible.

Being totally open and honest broke down a bunch of barriers quickly. I’ve had fears throughout my experiences with poly that I’d feel conflicted or terrible for seeking intimacy with someone outside of my partner. Strangely though, the opposite was true. Nothing was being hidden, our partners knew where we were, what we were up to. There was enthusiastic consent all around, knowing that implicit trust meant we were going back to receptive significant others. Sure enough, my girlfriend was happy to debrief and discuss how I felt, if I had any issues or qualms about the date. Being able to honestly tell her that I felt great about the experience, that the support I knew she’d offer buoyed my spirits, made my heart grow three sizes. Knowing that she has my back translates this from an experience that could make me feel dirty or deceitful into one that warms my heart.

Who even knows if this is leading anywhere? My date and I hung out today to play video games and we’re gonna brunch on Monday. It’s not because there’s an urgency to anything, it’s just really nice spending time together. There’s a certain amount of NRE, but this time it feels different. Being able to spend time with someone new makes me appreciate my partner all the more. Now that we’re living together, when I leave my date to return to my girlfriend, there’s an extra swell of affection in the time we do spend together. It makes me feel loved, trusted and respected. It’s causing me to double down on all those things sent back to her. Maybe it’s the countless hours of processing we’ve done. Maybe it’s the conversations that’ve unfolded. Maybe it’s the positive stories I’ve seen reflected in my increasingly polyamorous friend circles. Whatever this is, it’s something I want to pursue further.

I can appreciate a set in which 90% of cards could be names of metal bands. Dibs on Cryptolith Rite.

Disclaimer: Magic the Gathering themed post here. If that’s not your kind of thing, well I can’t see much sense in you reading unless you want to see unbridled enthusiasm for something you know nothing about.

So the full set spoiler for Shadows over Innistrad is out and I figure why not chat about it? I’ve got time to kill and thoughts to spout, let’s get a stew goin’. I’m not a competitive player, so this will probably just be errant observations on things that’ll work in Elder Dragon Highlander/Commander. Anyway, let’s get started:

  • Vessel of Nascency: It’s pretty neat card selection for green to be getting. As the colour pie expands, green is starting to delve into different ways of filtering. Restricting it to permanents is a nice little work around with maybe a tiny bit of colour pie bleeding. Of course, I’m a predominantly green mage, of course I’m gonna say that. A neat option for enchantress-ish EDH decks, enables delirium and all that mess. Thumbs up.
  • Ever After: Double Zombify for 6 mana? I’ll take it. It’s not game-breaking, but it does have the potential to be pretty damn strong in casual formats. Obligatory EDH mention, because people will be using this to Tooth and Nail from the graveyard. Auto-include in Karador for sure.
  • Geistblast: An over-costed shock means tucking a Fork/Twincast into your graveyard for later. I’ve flashbacked Moment’s Peace enough to know how easily people forget instant speed flashback shenanigans. Do keep in mind you can only copy your own stuff, but this once again has EDH written all over it.
  • Hermit of the Natterknolls: Dare I say this dude could have constructed potential? He’s not insane, but at worst he has the chance to replace himself or do a fair bit of damage as the game wears on. His flavour text is a pun, so I’m on his side.
  • Skin Invasion: The flavour in parasite is outta sight. In limited I can’t wait to either throw it on a fragile saboteur or one of my opponent’s wimpy critters and run them straight into my awaiting defences. Is a beefy 3/4 for R enough to justify the fact that you’re probably not gonna play this until turn 3 or 4 at the earliest? Is it worth it to slam this on an opponent’s creature then use your removal on it? It’s not technically a two for one. Is that card neutrality? Why do I even play this game if I don’t know how to math?
  • Graf Mole: Mistform Ultimus’ heart just grew one size. Welcome to the creature type family, Mole.
  • Open the Armory: By narrowing down supertype search to subtypes, there’s a new budget tutor for Voltron decks. That might be kind of neat, but nothing on this card reeks awesome as much as the pure unwieldiness of the dude’s fuckoff-sized crossbow. Is that guy carrying a ballista on his back like a duffel bag? Is this what Ryu would look like in the MtG universe?
  • Grotesque Mutation: Please tell me this art was an intentional reference to Nevinyrral’s Disk. That’s all I want for Christmas.
  • Moldgraf Scavenger: If delirium is easy enough to activate in limited, this guy is gonna be a format all-star. If you opened his gym locker you’d see Vessel of Nascency with a comically sized heart drawn around it. Fwiends for life.
  • The Gitrog Monster: MOTHERFUCKING HYPNOTOAD IS A LEGIT EDH GENERAL YOU GUISE! This guy’s pretty fucking rad though. Chances are he’s at least gonna mean drawing an extra card each turn (if he survives). In EDH he’ll encourage a whole host of nasty stax tendencies. Dakmor Salvage just became legit broken with anything that discards for free. God forbid you throw a Skirge Familiar into the mix. Blah blah blah Crucible of Worlds, Life from the Loam (or anything with dredge), Titania, Strip Mine. Too easy. He’s gonna make people cry, but can you really stay angry at a giant frog? Can you? Really?
  • Altered Ego: I’m in love with the design of this card. An uncounterable clone for 4 mana is pretty sweet and having it be scaleable is gravy. I feel like it’s an auto-include in most simic EDH decks. I’ll windmill slam it into Ezuri, for sure. It’s janky, but if you pay 9 mana and target Sage of Hours you’ve got an uncounterable Time Walk. More like uncoun-terrible, amirite?
  • Geier Reach Bandit: I so badly want this to be playable. To be honest, I’m pretty doubtful. I love the werewolf mechanic. I think it’s massively flavourful, but ultimately ineffective. Maybe if you’re playing against a field of midrange, but control decks have enough cheap cantrips to quash your hopes. Aggro decks come out faster and hit harder. I’m on your side, but I just haven’t seen any sign that it’s worth committing. At least we have Arlinn Kord. We’ll always have Huntmaster of the Fells. Perhaps that’ll have to be enough.
  • Cryptolith Rite: Is this a fixed Earthcraft or fixed Citanul Heirophants? Succumbing to summoning sickness is a major step down from Earthcraft, but Earthcraft is busted. This seems fair. How strong it’ll be is another matter entirely. I would like several playsets immediately. I have that many green decks.