Two weeks

Two weeks

Midst night it breaks,
like a
potent fire;
does not put out.
harmony dissipates.
Love was,
“Betrayal,” meet “Desire.”
Plural eyes her life’s force renew.
Resurrection, hurry along,
woah, do me do.
Chaste the lark, unsung the blues,
warming lyric palettes, cooling lusty hues.
Two weeks, recall, I was so into you.
“Ah! Love, you know why it cannot be you.”


men women writing

48, Single Men Only

If you were a spornosexual dandy in your twenties and thirties, forty was the year you were smoking hot. You could do no wrong. Women wilted at the sight of you and men wanted to be you. The first thing you needed to be an expert at when you hit forty was how to be with women. I don’t care how much you suck at your job, this was the most important skill you needed to have at that age.

If you weren’t lucky enough to have won the style sense lottery, are unhappily single or divorced but gainfully employed and reasonably sane, this post is for you.

You are not a small animal, so stop acting like one. First, do not compare women to inanimate objects. It’s not a compliment. If you think she’s beautiful say, “You’re beautiful”. That’s it. If you like her say, “I like you.” No explanation necessary. Never try to be poetic or descriptive about why you like her. If she wants a man to read her poetry she should join a book club. Because a woman with that as a priority will bring you nothing but misery and pain.

Second, never initiate a conversation with a woman when you feel horny. You’re going to mess up. You’re going to put your foot in your mouth and she’s going to slap you.

Assess yourself before you wreck yourself. Think of all the wonderful things about yourself that you admire. Your humour, your good looks, your charm, your ability to use eye contact to melt panties. Now strike all of those things off your list because no one sees you that way.

In other words, don’t be a pompous oaf. If you’re overweight, balding and lumpy; take medication for diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease before drinking half a bottle of cognac; have erectile dysfunction and smoke like a chimney, please leave the woman’s tiny little breakout alone. If she’s younger and fitter than you are, it is simply oaflike to use the fact that she’s over the age of eighteen against her.

By the age of thirty seven most men have a working knowledge of who they were at twenty seven. Socially, it is not a requirement for men to constantly reassess and update themselves as they grow. Women have a better advantage because we always see ourselves as we are going to be in ten years.

Now imagine reaching forty eight and interacting with women as if you’re twenty seven. Are you having problems getting women to stay interested? That’s why.

Listen. It’s really important to pay attention to what is being said to you. Assume she’s not speaking in metaphors. She knows exactly what she’s thinking and she’s telling you exactly what’s going on in her mind. Ask lots of questions if you don’t understand. Be direct and use simple phrasing. It’s what forensic scientists, economists and Nobel prize winning physicists do all the time.

Third “animal point”? Stop making out in cars. Get comfortable first. Her breast is not a horn so don’t pump or tap it. I don’t want to hear any of that crapiology from the 1920s when people were passing syphilis around like it was cornbread. It is 2015. There is no excuse for you to not know how your body works. The Playboy Channel is not the way to learn. Your superhuman ability to sustain an erection for days is a cause for concern. Borrow an anatomy textbook from your local library and read it from beginning to end.

Fourth point. The law of reciprocity applies. Before you start inspecting manicures for length and sustainability, see your above list of flaws and pick them apart at home. Be thorough. At forty eight did you really ask her to gag on it? Alright, get an unpeeled banana and shove it down your throat to see what it feels like. Try something a bit more rigid and unyielding up your rectum. Jam it in. Ask someone to yank on your hair really hard and pull it out. Tell them to ignore your pleas to stop. Try waxing the hair off your legs. Pull hard through the pain. Don’t cry. I know you’re bleeding, but just go with it.

If you say you’ve enjoyed all that, you are lying. But that’s what you sound like when you talk to women about “passionate lovemaking.”

Shut up. Awkward silences help you to assess the way you feel in the space that you’ve created with each other. Your job is not to entertain a woman. She should know how to entertain herself. You’re simply enjoying her company and that’s all any woman should ask of you.

Good luck.

men women

Soul mates? iKu2e shows us the math

Guest post by iKu2e. Many thanks to him for allowing me this. This essay is the last in his five part series on soul mates. My comment, when I first read it was:

Thank you for using mathematics to show how full of crap we are. I just had a thought, before reading this post, that the current system of dating is based on pride and lust. If only we knew that the reason we’re going to be miserable in relationships is that we’re trying to reach a statistical goal that’s unattainable.

iKu2e is a thoughtful, feeling man. He’s an engineer and he writes poetry. It is a tough read if you are math averse, but you are smart people so I would like you to please try to get to the bottom of it. For my part, instead of bombarding indifferent others with my feelings, I am going to be kind to the people who truly love me. Embracing them is a sensible plan.

Soul mates – Part V

A mathematical study of how many soul mates you have on this earth
by iKu2e

This is my last post on the Soul Mates Research. I had no idea of soul mates before starting this research and now I am back to the state where I was. I explain why! What is a soul mate? The people around say there is one soul which was created for you. If you are the one thinking the same, stop it!

If you have one soul for you on the earth which is same as like yours, then the 50% of the people on the earth would be the soul mates of the other 50%, which seems to be a funny idea. The total number of people on the earth while I write is 7,300,757,312. Males and females percentage is 50.4% and 49.6% respectively.

None of the religions talk about soul mates, rather they give more importance to the single soul. All of them try to elevate each soul to the next level and give them a better place on the earth. World mythologies, yes they talk a lot about the soul mates as I described in Part II of this series.

Psychologists they just give opinions based on surveys, which is basically the idea of the people. There is no soul which exactly same as you or me, but there might be a 99.99% matching soul. Though this soul is matching yours, it might not help you achieve your purpose.

Out of 7,300,757,312 souls, that is 1.369720916974373e-8 % or 0.00000001369720916974373% is the percentage of people on the earth whom you are looking for. Still do you believe that you can meet that person?

But we can make some calculation to find out the number of soul mates for each soul on the earth. Remember, each soul can have many soul mates, not only one. If you believe in only one soul mate you are with the above percentage of people and don’t move on, you are free to go and search for that 0.00000001369720916974373% of people on the earth which I believe impossible in this lifetime.

There are many hypotheses that can be used to calculate the best match for your soul, but they relate to love. You do not have to be soul mates to be in a romantic relationship. That is the reason why I don’t want to use those hypotheses here. Let us assume that each soul mate shares some preferences / characters common to its soul mate. You want to meet every person for at least 1 seconds to decide if he/she is your soul mate.

In total, you need 7,300,757,312 seconds which is 231.35197997422 years on the earth. Do you think you can live 231 years on the earth?

Check your average age of your country and let’s limit the soul mate calculation within your age limit. Life expectancy of the world population varies from 85 years to 38 years. Considering that you live to the max age of 85 years:

231 years will be split into 231/85 = 2.717647058823529 times where the whole population also can be split into 2.717647058823529 times.

So you will be able to meet only 7,300,757,312/2.717647058823529 = 2686425850 people on the earth in the 85 years of your life.

2686425850 people into seconds into years = 85 Years! The highest life expectancy of the people on the earth! To further filter the people to meet your soul mate, Let us do this way, You can define the number of characters/preferences you expect in your soul mate:

Preferences or p = It might be 1,2,3,4,……n of characters/preferences.

You have p number of characteristics and you expect ‘k’ number of people.

Number of people matching your preferences = k

p = number of preferences, k = number of people who meet your demands

Assuming all the people have the same no of preferences, we have to find out a solution to match the demands to each other and find out the best matches. Using Binary logarithm of mathematics, where we assume the people in 2 dimensional array, we can find out the number of matching soul mates:

n+k*n = n*log2(k*n)

n = 2686425850 , number of people you have to meet in the 85 years of your life.

Solving this equation gives the value of ‘k’ as 35.4716 which can be taken as whole value of 35!

So you have 35 soul mates on the earth which can you meet in 85 years among 2,686,425,850 people.

There are lot of assumptions in the solution! We considered people as two dimensional data because each person has their own preferences and the person who is seeking his/her soul mate has his own set of preferences which has to be compared against each person in the dating pool of 2,686,425,850 persons. So it’s up to you accept it.




POSSIBLE TRIGGER(≧∇≦)This post discusses suicide threats.

I happened on a post by a Presser who stated, “Need to end this all. This blog, this life, this everything. Nothing’s worth it.” I wrote in her comments in these exact words:

“I can’t believe you’re going to give up right now because you messed up? If you know you made some mistakes it means there’s a human being in there. Frustration means you’re right on target to a breakthrough. You need a hand? Ask for it! Everyone’s “hand” looks different but whatever you need, I trust that you do have the support you need to pull through. Get mad but by all means, get changed.”

What do I mean by get changed? Organically, there might be something that’s pulling you towards an outcome that’s good for your well being. Anger and frustration are internal mechanisms for focusing you away from counterproductive behaviors or attitudes. Those negative feelings are telling you that you’ve overlooked something important. Easier to say than to swallow. Exactly. And these things take time: They’re part of a process.

The Presser might come over here and see this, and it’s fine. I felt compelled to write this post after reading that and hearing this same sentiment just hours before, from another woman. She said she might die by the end of March. When I said, no one is planning on executing you, she said, “I might do it myself.” I take all suicide threats seriously. If they’re on blogs and they’re in front of me, I say something to the author. To be clear, and I’m not saying that this is the case here, but saying you’re going to “get out” in order to get attention is super double plus uncool.

I think I’m a compassionate human being, but I was angry at the way this last statement was tossed out. You’re so hooked on being a married woman that rather than get a divorce, death is a reasonable option? I asked her if she didn’t see the wealth of opportunities in front of her. I enumerated them.

Lastly, I told her to go and find herself a pair of sequined shorts and grab a younger, cuter, taller, buffer volleyballer. Shag each other rotten. Take away your estranged husband’s power to belittle you and grind you into the dirt. Choose to feel like a woman who is desired. I don’t care if she’s technically still married. Don’t get on my nerves with your sanctimonious horse bullocks. Elvis has left the building and is shacking up with Elvira. They’re traveling together. He bought her a house. She drives his Mercedes. Their digital schedules are synced.

“NO ONE UNDERSTANDS THE PAIN. NO ONE.” That’s partially true. No one might understand your pain, as it is tailor made for you. However, we all understand pain. I saw a beautiful painting today by an artist who was crying as she painted it. I said I only saw a joyful celebration of colors. I was lifted by it, and by the time she responded to my comment, she was feeling a lot better. The pain hasn’t all gone away. Maybe she’ll feel awful later. So be it. My point being, we all heal differently, and some of us are more effective at using it than others.

I’m taking myself out of the equation now, and not making this about how I will feel. For your own sake, say, “I’m struggling and I don’t know how to cope.” That’s honest, real and very much a situation to which I can respond, “What do you need?” Or make suggestions yourself, “I need attention. I need reassuring words. I need you to tell me off.”

I’m not naive; nothing’s fixable with a hug, a chat and a cup of tea, but I’m an advocate of feeling your feelings and allowing them to overwhelm you. No medication, drugs, wine, smiley faces or compensating. You’re a human being. Pain is painful, and that’s kind of the point.


Reader response to X

Guest post by Beatrice Lewis of A House of Secrets.

Women have a wonderful instinct about things.
They can discover everything except the obvious.”
Oscar Wilde

Where do I begin? This [post] was a great summation of what disarray the state of “Womenry” is from what you’ve been reading on blogs; I too have seen the same written material over and over on very popular “help” sites. I’ve never seen myself look at the men in my life as “prizes,” nor the gifts they’ve given, rings, and such; perhaps I’ve equated them to a gift of payment for dealing with their crap; although I always refund the “money.”

I don’t quite understand the concept that men are “mine.” From my prior experience with my “best friend” turned stalker; I found myself acting or performing a role of vigilante wanting to protect other women from him taking them down too; because I was “his,” I was his property in his mind with exorbitant expectations placed on me. I would never want this placed on someone else.


Who am I? And after three attempts of self-sacrificing and staying in a toxic place; I realized it wasn’t my job to protect other women from this guy, but what I could do was tell my story and let other women take whatever tool I could give them to shed some light on their own personal situations.

I considered my story horrific in terms of how humans treat each other (outside other horrific crimes). I was very naïve to mental illness, mental instability, and grand manipulation; I thought I was smart enough to protect myself against falling into a victim role. And when everyone tried to warn or protect me; I was selfish, went against the grain, trying to prove I could ride in and “save” or “protect” a person with my magnificent powers. I laugh out loud when I think of this. Oh, when will we stop lying to ourselves?

As a teenager, I spent a lot of my time testing my mother on boys. I would ask, “What if he was black, what if he was Asian, what if he was Mexican, what if he was in a band?” And on and on I would test her. Her response every time was, “As long as he was good to you, treated you well, and doesn’t hurt you, it doesn’t matter “what” he is.”

My mother had always taught us, people are people. Men, women, kids, etc., we’re all just human beings, we are not “owned” by anyone, even parents don’t “own” their kids. I’ve also learned from many men I’ve dated that the line of respect falls into our humanness.

Accept those, as you would want to be accepted. Respect space, time, character, morals, values, and beliefs, and in return the right person you choose to be with will most likely grant you the same respect. Mostly men, have set society governance’s, ideas, and formulations of how women should behave; hence Feminism, but even feminism gets it wrong because once again feminism divides us, by color, ethnicity, gender, etc., etc; it does not unite women as human beings.

My experience finding even girl friends have been terrible because I don’t fall into their “ideals” of how we should act. If I’m gonna gossip, I’ll write; if I’m gonna compete, I’ll play a sport; and if I’m really hard up for that ring, I work, I can buy it; and if I want a partner, I want a side-kick. I’ve just wasted 14 years of my life on drama. It’s too short for me to waste 14 more, so I write. I’m trying to figure my life out. I’m leaning to go back to the things that I love, and learning to love myself all over again. There are hard choices I had to make and it means I’ve left behind quite a few people. It was necessary to leave some men and women behind.

:::—-::: (^_^) :::—-:::

I thank Beatrice Lewis at A House of Secrets for taking the time to press it out. I read her blog with a great deal of interest so I knew this response would merit its own space. Her essay is a response to my statement in X: “I still can’t understand dating as a concept. Let me blame it on how I was raised. I’ve always related to men as people and not as a potential someone or other. I’ve always just organically … You know what? I’m usually busy doing something.” Any other takers? Be brave, I’m waiting for you. Thank you for reading, SB.



The majority of subscribers to this blog are men, so I write under a heavy cloud because I’m not actually talking about them. I’m talking about the types of men that women subscribers are talking about. So, you lovely gentlemen can relax.

I’ve been reading a lot of reflections and conversations around subscribers’ blogs and I realise that many women are on the same page. Instead of being mean spirited or competitive with each other over who can get the best boys, women who have certain relationship issues in common need to participate in more conversations with each other.

You know how you get, when you’re in a relationship and he’s your boyfriend and he’s your prized possession and you have that smug expression on your face? “Poor single women. They’re so sad and they have no sex lives.” They’re camels. I read that last comment somewhere on WordPress. How rude, as if sex were a “must do.” Asexuality is an orientation, too. And so is choice.

What I’m seeing on blogs is the backside of the promised reality. At the reverse of smug, self satisfied expressions, I see that women have been feeding and caring for some lunkheads. Our continued attention to certain personality types has encouraged these men to feel that choosing to be in a relationship with us is the best thing they could ever do to validate us as women. It is within their power to recognise us as desirable creatures. Our infinite patience with their indifference, emotional incontinence and wishy washiness has turned those types of men into rotten little beans.

I still can’t understand dating as a concept. Let me blame it on how I was raised. I’ve always related to men as people and not as a potential someone or other.

My ideal partner would be a culinary artist who is obsessed with making ceramic pots and works as a carpenter in his free time. Or, a surgeon who’s looking into patients’ insides all day and has lectures at mid week and asks me to read his papers before publishing them. Busy with his hands or mind, having real responsibilities. Zero time to muck about. Too tired to wreak havoc in my life.

When I landed on my planet, expatriate women didn’t even have conversations with men. They just had intercourse with any man that looked at them sideways. The expectation was, “I like you and I’m easy, so let’s have sex.” It was a bacchanal. Two expatriates (man and woman) are right now sitting about eight feet away from me. They are talking loudly about “sleeping with people” and awarding points. They must be miserable if they have to talk at that volume in a Starbucks with small children nearby. No decorum. Nothing has changed.

I was scolded by expatriate male colleagues who told me I’m confusing the two things: Sex and love. I’m not confused. You are living with your girlfriend so why are you asking to visit my apartment?

Those free and easy women are now having issues with the men they spoiled. These men are educated, articulate, wealthy and up to ten years older. They’ve never grown up because relationships were never something to work at. A girlfriend was a sex partner with whom he shared a home and a joint bank account. A wife was a long term sex partner, now platonic friend, cook and sock washer that he owed something for her waity perseverance. That something? The Ring.

These words are going to be hard to read, but a ring is not a prize. It’s an accessory. I want women to stop acting like the Ring is the best thing that is ever going to happen to us. We must stop giving control over our circumstances to the promise of the Ring.

I received my first Ring when I was twenty two. I immediately assessed its weight in carats. Didn’t like. I promptly handed it back but took it back again half a second later when I realized that I was going to hurt his feelings. It was a ring after all. Behind my refusal was a very insensitive statement he’d made before we became exclusive. He had hinted that he was planning to live in Europe and therefore the high point would be sleeping with European women. He apologised for that gaffe near proposal time, but I knew it was damage control. When he got on the plane, I handed the ring to my sister. She lost it at a party or gave it to a friend or something.

Then, a month later he said I should not feel stresses or strains or have personal problems because imagine I’m engaged and he’s calling from Europa every morning before my daily workout to say hello and blah… Whatever.

The next day, I moved into the university’s dormitory. A friend gave me her room because she was living with her boyfriend. Three months later, I had proposals from better prospects. They were variously, incredibly good looking; fit; delicious; kinky and adventurous; considerate; sensitive; emotionally connected; wealthy; educated; well travelled; aristocrats.

I turned them all down.

fiction men women

Pull it sir

I don’t like the furniture in here.

It was all handmade by Christian Dillon. He’s a furniture designer from Australia, now living in London. He’s quite talented. This entire set took two years to assemble and ship.

It looks like poor people’s old things. Belongs in the garbage or something. Back to what you were saying about media literacy.

Yes, I’m a journalist, so naturally I advocate for this.

Yeah, I know, I know. I may sound like a pessimist, but I object in calling media literacy as the approach to modern education. Education for me has also something to do with the learning and teaching and formation of values, as corny as I may sound.

I see. So you’re saying that media literacy is not necessary because we can’t learn values from it? You were humming a Justin Beiber song just now. It seems that a media literate person would refuse to support his antisocial behaviour, which would mean not buying, downloading or listening to his music.

Yes, I know I’m ignorant. I like being ignorant.

I’m not saying you’re ignorant…

I don’t want to hear anything negative about Justin. I was going to say that media literacy cannot police plagiarism.

You realise that media literacy has nothing to do with plagiarism, which was rampant ages ago? Education on morals and values would discourage or stop plagiarism. Also, online tools exist to catch people who do this, so technically, policing exists.

Alright, alright. What?! Did I hurt your feelings.

I’m a bit confused. I thought we were having a discussion.

It’s just that you were elaborating too much.

I’m not sure I understand, but… ahh… have you considered presenting your opinion at a conference on media literacy? I’m scheduled to chair one later this year.

No. I don’t have time for that.

Okay. And what would you like to do?

I am going to be a literature professor. I want to specialise in poetry. First, I am planning on getting my master’s degree.

Well, you’re thirty years old now, and you finished your first degree when you were twenty three. What are you waiting for? If it’s money, I am happy to pay. No strings attached of course. I assume you’re going to pursue studies in …?

No. I don’t want anything from you. I am satisfied with what I have. That’s using people. I just have some writer’s block.

It would be a completely up front scholarship grant from my non profit foundation. You’d have to apply, and we would interview you.

What do you mean… foundation? You’re not a celebrity.

That’s nice of you to say. Thank you.

I wasn’t offering a compliment.

Thank you, anyway. What was I saying? I feel that if a person has a natural talent for writing, the inspiration will always find its way to them. I also like to think of people as thinkers with varying degrees of confidence and various styles of expression. There’s too much pressure to “write something” if you call yourself a “writer.” Don’t you think?

Not following.

Okay, so … Alright. I’d like to hear one of your poems.

Can I borrow your iPad? This one was published on a website. It’s called “Mama.”

Perhaps, it would be better for you to make peace with the ghosts of your past, than for me to let you see that I often go to church, that I have high grades, that I do not go partying, that I do not have a boyfriend so that I will not be your ragged doll, who bears all the lashes of your revenge

It sounds really personal. Do you have a strained…

What are those?!


Why do you have celebrity photos on your wall?! This one looks photoshopped.

You don’t recognise him? It’s Muammar Muhammad Abu Minyar al Gaddafi.

Super Belle
Are you a terrorist?!!

He let me photograph him when I met him in Paris. I’m still bitter about the way he was executed.

Sounds like you are one of those … persons. This looks like your degree certificate on here.

No. I never hang that up.

Super Belle
It doesn’t go with the celebrity pictures. It’s just so plain. You should throw it out. But, it says Columbia University. And you just said you don’t hang that up.

It’s not a degree certificate.

What’s a “Pull it Sir” Prize? Are you a comedian?

Well, that’s debatable…



I need world peace right now, because I’m in the middle of something. Actually, we all have something better to do with our time. Being on a news diet has made me extra sensitive. Try not reading the news for three months straight, and you’ll be horrified at what’s presented to you when you finally decide to catch up.

I had no intention of posting any non fiction asides in the middle of this important phase of my creative work, but this Islamic State kidnap, torture, kill for the camera boondoggle has gone past ludicrous and into straight up cartoon gaga. Is this actually continuing, right now? A group of ragamuffins in balaclavas has brought shame to the manicured Toastmasters acting as leaders of industrialised nation states.

I’d once written in my Gravatar introduction that the very tools that we use to destroy each other can be used to build us up, or was it vice versa. Social media was used to spread a snuff film around the world, and Rupert Murdoch’s wet nurse, Piers Morgan, has gone versus himself in the Daily Pail Mail. He now wants all Muslims to watch a snuff film, because he feels it will cure them of their sympathy for these mass murderers. I didn’t watch the video, and couldn’t make it through a single one of the news reports on the situation.

What the Jordanian pilot’s sadistic execution drew from me was first a memory, and then understanding. When the Taliban destroyed a large statue of the Buddha in Afghanistan in the early noughties, I received sympathetic phonecalls and emails from almost every corner of the planet. People wanted to know if I was okay. At the time, the video footage was on a shortlist of the most horrific things anyone had seen. It was a moist backwardness, a soiled intolerance.

I was a new expatriate, and a practicing Soto Zen Buddhist, which was not something people at home “get.” They think going to temple to meditate for an hour is like a snack before meals: “Go to church, too, to even things up.” I think not. I respect the religious beliefs of others because it wasn’t always a courtesy offered to me.

I respect your religion to a point, though. I’m openminded to a point because, I am familiar with the mindset of the people who destroyed that statue. Living outside of my home country has afforded me many privileges. One of them is meeting people from almost every culture, race and creed.

I know that burn the prisoner mindset very well. It is a baked in lacquer of determined retrogression. It is tinged with envy towards the unattainable. There is no dislodging it. Nothing can wash it away. No amount of exposure to other cultures, no invitation to exhibit or present at international conferences can shake these people of their conviction that they’re supreme and have the right to dictate the way things are. Theirs is an unshakeable narcissism.

At home, we have a disparaging term for that. We would say they’re “country people.” It’s a vicious objection to anything that falls outside of a narrow parameter of prescribed knowledge. What is not understood must be destroyed with spite. I touched on it in a separate essay, but that was in relation to the Charlie Hebdo issue. I had forgotten the Buddha’s demolition and how I felt the blood seemingly drain from my body.

Of course, I know it’s just a statue, so that’s not what had frightened me. I felt as if I was in mortal danger. For what? Not praying five times a day? I stopped telling anyone I was a Buddhist after that. I definitely did not say it to Muslim friends or acquaintances, because I liked them and I didn’t want them running off. Mind you, now I’m a different creature and I defy anyone to coerce me into any minimum position.

I know that in Islam, religious sculptures are forbidden. “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image” Exodus 20:4, is the Christian version of that. I remember, when I was about four or five, my grandmother screaming at one of my uncles. Almost all of her sons had an artistic or creative gift, and his was for carving wood into works of art. The walls of my home were decorated with paintings, ceramic objects and wooden sculptures. All of them done by my uncles. I remember her angry shouting after he had used an axe to destroy the wooden pieces, which his new family, a Pentecostal church, had called “graven images.” She was so angry, she forgot to use her favourite adverb, raasclaat.

When I catch up with colleagues who are Muslim, I make sure not to adorn myself with any jewellery that has religious symbolism. Otherwise, I have to answer lots of questions and justify everything. I wear plain clothing. I can adjust my behaviour to that extent, and that should be it. My life is not forfeit.

What is my point… The words can’t form, but it’s something in the region of, we’re all in mortal danger of being burned alive by rigid and closedminded people. They don’t kidnap and torture us, but they hold us hostage with their approval. I’ve already been told to shut up about what I’m presenting here in this installation, and those memories came back.What if I weren’t in the safe haven provided by an industrialised country? What if I were a wife and mother whose husband threatened to kill her because her imagination was expanding beyond the scope of that allowed by her religion? What if I were stifled by low self worth and fear of negative appraisal?

The most important question is, how does one stamp out Islamic State and its promoters, because that’s the only way forward. The Islamic State has nothing to do with religion. It is another way of saying “greed” and “barbarism”, which are both versus Islam. It is everywhere, in the “Are you doing God’s will, which I know, because I know what God says, and you can’t challenge me because God wouldn’t like that” and the “I’m my husband’s inflatable sex toy and won’t wear tights because sexual feelings are bad” and not just the “Pay us $200 million or we will kill this man who’s risked his life to save his friend.”

For my part, I’ll continue publishing this installation. I’ve already taken a great deal of time and effort to create it. I will enjoy the benefits of having a voice, a personality, coherent thoughts, a healthy love for myself, access to technology and a willingness to acknowledge that others are doing the same.

Earth Her Dark Arts

Section Two: Present Day

January 21 ‐ February 1

Fictional posts and art go above this sticky header. There may be some not safe for work material, so please be over the age of consent in your country. The contents of this blog may not be safe for work, and that’s the best thing about it.

The preface explains what I’m doing in this installation. Some of the characters have appeared in previous stories, and they include Jupiter, Lara, Marcus and Storm.

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My heartfelt gratitude goes to readers for your warm support for Section One.

dining out fashion men

What to wear to a wine tasting: For men only

Disclaimer: I know, I know. Wine tastings are best enjoyed with friends and acquaintances in a relaxed setting. Wine tastings aren’t about fashion; they’re all about the actual wine, the atmosphere and pleasant conversation with friends. But a lot of people searched the Internet for this article so I’m leaving it here for them.

Sneakers go with blazers. Image courtesy: TD Mag

Please read on if your wine-tasting event is among strangers or for business networking; or has a “business” or “smart casual” dress code. I have some suggestions you might find useful. Let’s go one level up on those guys in the photo above.

Remember, most of the successful people you meet are going to be non-conformists. Your outfit should tell them you care what people think but not enough to limit yourself or fade into the background.

It’s dressing up time. Your aim is to appear put together, with a commanding presence that is not uptight. A tailored suit jacket and matching trousers are the correct choice. For a wine tasting, a necktie is too formal.

Plaid shirt via Fashion Beams

Polo shirt, t-shirt or jumper? The answer is no. No, no. Shirts are straightforward. If the event is in a pubby, sports bar type semi-formal loungy place, wear a plaid shirt. If you like plaid, choose a deeper colour for the less formal venue. The more formal the event, the cooler your colours. No chest hair, please. Unless you are Jake Gyllenhaal.

Now, for shoes. You don’t want to show up in loafers or Oxfords, which say, “I’m trying to impress you.” Everyone has an extra pair of shoes in their car or in the bottom drawer of their desk at the office, or in a shoe locker somewhere. Yours will be walking shoes or sneakers similar in shape to the ones Tom Hiddleston is wearing, in any colour you like, except bleached white or black.

Tom Hiddleston via GQ Magazine

If you feel reckless, go for neon green or blue. I know what you’re thinking, but GQ put Tom Hiddleston in sneakers with that wool suit because sneakers go with suits. So, I promise you, sneakers are going to look great with your suit. If you want to really impress, try matching the trim of your sneakers to a colour in your plaid shirt.

Wear these sneakers with your suit.
If you’re not feeling brave, you can wear these.

Next, how to smell. Personally, I prefer the masculine aroma of a hand-rolled Cuban cigar. But may I also suggest aftershave and nothing stronger than that? Or a teeny bit of Chanel Bleu. Otherwise, you’ll be tasting your cologne in your wine, which is never a good idea.

Then, how do you pose for photos? This page is from an article in Esquire, which promotes a wine-tasting session at The Battery, London.

Wine tasting promotion for the Battery, London, in Esquire.
Wine tasting promotion for the Battery, London, in Esquire magazine.

Do not do any of that. Pose in profile and raise the glass in a toast, with a taut smile. Never allow yourself to be photographed gulping down liquids. Someone will make a bad joke and you will have to do an explainer for the rest of your life. Tag the other individuals in the photograph because you are kind and thoughtful.

In summary, suits constrain your body and say you’re willing to conform. However, sneakers say that you’re subversive. For a business networking wine tasting, choose a suit, ditch the tie and change into sneakers. Don’t drink from the glass when posing for photos. And remember to have lots of fun.

Updated, April 21, 2016 @ 13.59 GMT