Wednesday, June 30, 2004

I'm making this quick because I want to spend time with the others. Just booked rental car for this week and next. And tomorrow I am headed for Portsmouth NH. I'm spending tomorrow night in Portsmouth and Friday night in Haverhill MA. From there I can hop the train in Boston on Saturday.

Yeah....finally completed these details! Within a half hour of talking with two hotels and two rental car companies, I managed to save over $200.00. I didn't accept their first price...but asked about discounts. Scored. I then asked more questions. Scored again. :-) My first car rental went from $147.00 to $88.00. The second (on a holiday weekend) went form $148.00 to $100.00. I managed to get discounted hotel rates also. Time worth spent.
My mother and I had an interesting talk this morning. She asked if I was becoming a buddhist.
"No mom, not in the formal, ritual sense." I continued with "I am not wearing robes and doing sitting meditations. But I've noticed that my life philosophy is closer to buddhism than anything else. I'm letting myself be who I am."

Mind you, this is a big conversation for my mother and I. When I came out to my parents many years ago...I decided to go all out. Seeing I was informing them I was gay, I decided to tell them not to hold their breath for my return to catholicism. During this particular talk, I noticed it was more difficult for me to come out about fully cutting off their religion (for me, not them) than it was to discuss my homosexuality. Interesting, eh?

So that's why this morning's talk was curious and surprising. Mom ends with "buddhism doesn't surprise me. You've always preferred a simpler, more peaceful life without extraneous stuff. I know you see our world as one of greys, not black and white. I know you are big on compassion. You've surrounded yourself with loving friends and are all into helping each other and others."

You know, sometimes parents just turn around and surprise you.
I've reconfigured my parent's computer so I can access what I need to. Apparently my brother set them up so they work in a virtual bubble. No chance of porn or spam for them...or anything close!

How about this week's Freewill Astrology?

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Hey. I'm here.

Other than being very tired from not sleeping well on the plane, I'm experiencing a huge sense of culture shock. Big time.

For me to live in a world (in Seattle) that I'm fully out regarding not only my queerness but my Leather, to be immersed in so many ways with freethinkers...funky folks, to not have to dip into the pool of mainstream, capitalistic sheep thinking, and land here.

I'm surrounded by Catholicism. I'm surrounded by beautiful colors, good taste, and yet it's all so plastic some how.

I love my family and yet I feel so much like a foreigner. Right now I have a difficult time believing we have the same blood. They talk loud and fast. I knew that. But I can feel the contrast even more now from my own life. It's about stuff. Superficial stuff.

Maybe they don't know how to be with me. Maybe they don't know what to talk about. You see, religion is off limits. Politics is off limits. That kinda wraps it all up, doesn't it? Isn't everything political anyway?

They know I'm queer, but have no idea how queer.

On top of it, their computer is set up with AOL...somehow set up in a way to protect them from whatever. I can't even log onto my personal email, work email or anything. :-(
I'm currently at the library...taking a little time for me, before returning home to a big dinner with parents, brothers, sisters, in-laws and little ones milling around. It will be very good to see everyone...and yet...

...I'm not them.

I currently feel as if this will be a bittersweet visit. Or maybe I'm still tired and will see things differently after a good night's sleep.

Monday, June 28, 2004

Check out the new link I've added to my links list. Keckler and I apparently have a few people in common. Hopefully, if schedules work out while I'm in Boston hanging with Blackbird, we may be able to hook up and meet. There were a few others I hoped to see while back east, but times aren't meshing. It's annoying because I'm 3000 miles closer, yet due to schedules, it's just as far. time!
Nope. I haven't left yet. I've been busy and now I'm set. Sir is taking me to the airport in 4 hours. I'm fully packed and checked my list 4 times. I have time to kick back, grab a leisurely shower and then head out.

I have internet access while on vacation and plan on blogging. I've been stockpiling a few blogs in my head and will have time to write.

Packing was a challenge. I pulled out my old backpack for a carryon. That wasn't too bad. But then I have a not huge but fairly large black bag which made for a challenge. Of course I ended up with too much. After sitting on it since last night, I figured out what to weed. You see, I had room for everything except my watercolor bag. I plan on finding time for a little painting. It had to fit! After slowing down for a bit I realized that I wasn't going to use color this time. Strictly b&w watercolors. So I opened my plastic case and pulled out the tube of black and grabbed a handful of my favorite brushes. Added a roll of tape, rag, small container for water and I'll use the cover as a palette. A few pencils and a utility knife for sharpening (yes this is going in checked luggage). Add one large pad and I'm set. It fit by stuffing each in a different pocket or gaps between clothes.
Note to Always Erect....I'm ready for some painting!

When I'm tired I like to play with what I call my little zen paintings. Black watercolor paint and no thinking. I paint lights and darks. Shapes. Quickly. Little hesitation. I look and mark the paper. The longest a painting will take is about 5 minutes. It's quite freeing.

Sometimes I'll go in with soft graphite pencils afterwards for a line or very loose hatching. These are very small pieces. 2x4 inches, 1x5, etc. I tape off a large sheet of 11x14 paper into smaller units.

I don't expect to have a chance to do these until the latter part of my vacation. But I'll be ready.

Vacation reading material: Mapplethorpe: Assault with a Deadly Camera, PoMoSexuals, An Unquiet Mind, and Art Objects: Essays on Ecstasy and Effrontery. I wanted to bring Anna Karenina but ran out of room and my copy is a hardcover, very thick and not light. Although while googling I noticed the book is now online. Sir bought Anna Karenina for me a year ago, while returning from Pride. But like all these books mentioned, I didn't have the patience to read much. I'd read in fits and starts which leaves a large pile of unfinished books.

Today I paid rent and let the manager know I'm leaving at the end of July. It felt so good! Not only that, but something let loose inside. I returned home, cleaned my whole apartment, took out trash and even washed my car. For some reason, it didn't feel like a chore.

I'll write more later, before I leave.

Saturday, June 26, 2004

Something was in the water yesterday. Or something happened with the stars. Both apartment managers blew us off. We sat on the stoop of each building, waiting and waiting some more for a rental person who'd never show. But having discovered earlier that someone else would do the drive to the airport helped. Otherwise I would have stressed about being late and someone would feel stranded at baggage claim. The back to back no shows seemed so odd it became ludicrious.

Because I'm flying back east for two weeks on Monday night, I thought that yesterday's viewings would be the last of it until I return. I now know that I'll be making phone calls today to reschedule and see if I can cram in appointments on Monday, while getting ready for vacation. As I told my shrink last night, "I don't think I'm meant to relax until I'm actually on the plane." He agreed. Sometimes life just hits hard. In those times, part of being family means putting in the extra effort and time. It's called love.

I do know everything happens for a reason, even when I'm not aware of what it can be. So here I am, trusting in that. Today I'm headed over to see the Bear and wonderboy before going into work. I need massive Bearish-type hugs. Then it's an afternoon of leaving instructions for work folks, and emailing notes regarding the fundraiser on the 4th to the manager of the Eagle, and the boys who will assist with the bbq etc. Tonight it's getting together with friends. And I'm not cancelling. Other parties are busy so I know I'll be free. Oh yeah...Tattoe'd Bear and a buzzcut fits in here somewhere.

Hopefully Sunday I can do laundry, connect with a few more people, and...I don't even know what else. I've been tentative about making personal plans. Each time I have, in these last two weeks, I've needed to cancel.

I still need to make phone calls and send emails to folks back east. I want to begin to finalize hookups. Again, hopefully Sunday or Monday I can do that.

Isn't this an exciting entry? I think it's more for my benefit. I woke early, with all that needs to be wrapped up floating in front of my face. I've made 4 different lists...but it's so full I fear I'll forget.

Once I'm away and begin to relax I'll have more juice for you. I promise.

Friday, June 25, 2004 more post this morning. While beginning to tackle one pile on my desk, I heard the crack of a singletail which lets me know I have mail. How can I not share another Mark Morford moment with you?

He writes:

"...This is the mental image we are to believe, happening right this moment, across this fine nation: One hundred million honest, hard-working, sexually terrified parents are running around their homes with their hands to their heads, each thinking oh my freaking God what if our beautiful wee one just so happens to walk by the TV on his/her way to get an innocent glass of pure clean innocent Coca-Cola to wash down the pure innocent kiddie Prozac, and s/he just so happens to hear Tony Soprano call someone a "motherf-- " on TV? Why, our child, s/he would surely quiver and tremble and explode! Yes s/he would!"

and then,

"But what actually should matter is that there are forces at play right now that are far more intent on devouring your child's nubile soul -- like, say, ultraviolent war images, and rampant obesity, and organized religion, and pharmecuetical companies, and the Olsen Twins -- enerrgies that are molesting his/her sense of the world more than any hot genital reference or wanton exposed nipple could ever dream."

He concludes with a brilliant quote:

As Tom Robbins says, "There's many ways to victimize people. The most insidious is to convince them that they're victims."

Today Morford speaks for the children.
Good morning!

This will be quick because I have 2 pages of "to do's" I need to start on. I'm here until 1pm, and then run to two apartment viewings - 1:30 & 2:00 for leatherman. From there, we buzz to the airport (about 30 minutes away) to pick someone up who arrives at 2:50. Cutting it close? Yup. Then I run back into town for a 6 pm appointment with the shrink. That's how my week's been going. Tomorrow back to work, squeeze in a buzzcut, and then fun plans (hopefully) with Hoss, Hoss's boy, and Auxugen. I had to grab some lightheartedness amidst a chockful week.

Anyway, while driving to work this morning I heard one of my favorite new songs. The chorus sticks in my head because it is so visual, as well as being a tongue twister because of the tempo. Every once in a while a singer/songwriter comes along and really nails their lyrics. Jason Mraz sings:

"I’m just a Curbside Prophet
with my hand in my pocket
and I’m waiting for my rocket:
to come"

Isn't there a painting in there? I think so.

And I ain't doing no waiting but I sure could use that rocket this morning!

Thursday, June 24, 2004

It is Pride week in Seattle, with events culminating with our Pride March on Sunday. Of course all the papers have articles, opinions and blurbs about queers. Pride week. The one time of the year where it's groovy for everyone to declare their queerness or of being a friend of a queer. Yes, you did hear a tad of cynicism in that statement.

Don't get me wrong, I love Pride week. I just get annoyed at the hordes who essentially don't think twice about minorities and discrimination until Pride week when it's the cool way to be 'in'. Note: translate "think" to mean get involved, empassioned and willing to put yourself out, even in small ways, to support social justice.

Anyway...I've been so busy that I don't even know if I'll have the energy to march this year, or stay at home...away from some of the festivities. I'll play it by ear.

This week's issue of The Stranger had a nice little piece reminding people of the severity of queer oppression in other parts of the world.

I know I'm fortunate by living in Seattle. Hanging out on the Hill and working for a queer organization can make it easy to forget that the rest of the country isn't like this. Large metropolitan centers tend to have pockets of openness. But sometimes, simply stepping 30 miles outside of that brings one to a very different world. Now, because our outreach carries over 5 states, I see weekly reminders why it's important to not become to comfortable and assume tolerance is everwhere. Most of the area we service is rural and quite conservative. The Stranger included a column by Rex Wockner who gives examples of how it can even get tougher outside of our country.
If you're feeling oppressed you're not paying attention. A little perspective for ñpersecuted" American queers.

by Rex Wockner

Yes, several states and the Bush administration declared war on gays and lesbians in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's pro-sodomy decision and Massachusetts' legalization of same-sex marriage. No argument there. But while this sucks, life was massively suckier over the past 12 months for gays in many other parts of the world. Here are a selection of international horror stories that will hopefully help gays and lesbians in the United States keep their oppression in perspective.

July 7, 2003:
Police in Bishkek, capital of the former Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan, are routinely demanding hush money from gay men who place personal ads on the Internet or in the newspaper. Victims say they have been lured to apartments, interrogated, beaten, tortured, and forced to turn over around $50 to prevent being outed to their families and employers.

September 5, 2003:
Imprisoned Uzbek gay journalist Ruslan Sharipov sent a letter begging for help to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. Activists say Sharipov was coerced into pleading guilty to sodomy, sex with minors, and running a brothel after authorities tortured him and threatened to harm his mother. The government targeted him to silence his journalistic criticism of human-rights abuses and police corruption, activists claim. Sharipov wrote: "They put a gas mask on my head and sprayed an unknown substance into my throat, after which I could hardly breathe. They also injected an unknown substance into my veins and warned me that if I did not follow their instructions they would give me an injection of the AIDS virus."

October 6, 2003
: Egypt continues to arrest gay men by the hundreds. In the latest incident, Cairo police blocked both ends of a cruisy bridge and grabbed 62 men. They face up to three years in prison for "habitual practice of debauchery." "These arrests are only the latest in a two-year official campaign against homosexual conduct," said Human Rights Watch.

October 20, 2003:
The Chapel of the Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God, the Russian Orthodox chapel in which Russia's first same-sex wedding was conducted on September 1, was demolished after local church leaders determined it had been desecrated.

Nov. 17, 2003:
Greece's Mega Channel was fined $117,000 by the National Radio and Television Council for showing a male-male kiss on the weekly drama Close Your Eyes.

December 6, 2003:
Police officers viciously beat two gay men in Kathmandu, Nepal. Jag Bahadur Lama, 28, and Mani Lama, 20, were attacked near Ratna Park, first by hoodlums, then by officers from a passing police van. The police put the couple inside the van and kicked them and bashed them with rifle butts for an hour, then drove them to a barracks, beat them further, and forced them to fellate numerous officers. The Nepalese gay group Blue Diamond Society said such attacks are common.

January 17, 2004:
Taipei, Taiwan, police raided a "gay orgy" at a private apartment and detained 92 men for alleged illegal drug use. The detainees were subsequently force-tested for sexually transmitted diseases. Twenty-eight tested HIV-positive and 46 had syphilis, local media reported. Only 14 of the HIV carriers were listed on the government's official tally of people with HIV.

March 5, 2004:
Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe erupted again. He said: "Let us never entertain the theory that man and man can form a family. It's Adam and Eve, not Adam and Adam, Eve and Eve." In previous eruptions, Mugabe has stated: "What an abomination.... Animals in the jungle are better than these people.... I don't believe they have any rights at all."

March 12, 2004:
Ecuadorian gay activist Patricio Ordóñez Maico was knifed in the chest and back in the Quito office of the gay group Friends for Life Foundation by an attacker who shouted, "I'm going to kill you, you son of a bitch." The attack happened a week after Ordóñez spoke at a human-rights meeting about a complaint he filed against National Police officers who allegedly assaulted him, sexually abused him, and threatened to kill him.

March 29, 2004:
A groundbreaking resolution on gay rights was scuttled again this year at the 60th session of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in Geneva. Sponsored by Brazil, the resolution "calls upon all States to promote and protect the human rights of all persons regardless of their sexual orientation." Brazil withdrew the measure before it came up for a vote, saying that Muslim nations and the Vatican had enough clout to defeat it.

March 31, 2004:
Singapore's Registrar of Societies refused to register the gay organization People Like Us and ordered its members to cease activity. The agency said registering the group would violate the Societies Act's ban on organizations that are "likely to be used for unlawful purposes or for purposes prejudicial to public peace, welfare, or good order in Singapore."

April 14, 2004:
The legislature of the Indian Ocean island of Zanzibar, which is part of Tanzania, voted unanimously to ban homosexuality. Gay male relationships will be punished with 25 years in prison and lesbian relationships with 7 years in prison.

May 7, 2004:
Two hundred skinheads pelted 1,500 gay-pride marchers with firecrackers, eggs, bottles, and rocks, then fought with police for several hours in the Old Town Square of Krakow, Poland.

May 18, 2004:
A court in Yemen convicted three journalists of violating the nation's morals and customs for writing a story about gays. The article in the newspaper This Week quoted men jailed for engaging in gay sex.

June 1, 2004:
Amnesty International launched an urgent campaign asking people to write Jamaican prime minister P. J. Patterson insisting he protect gays from violence and legalize gay sex. "Amnesty International has received many reports of vigilante action against gay people... and of ill-treatment or torture by the police," the group said. "Gay men and women have been beaten, cut, burned, raped, and shot on account of their sexuality."

June 9, 2004:
Jamaica's best-known gay activist was murdered in Kingston. Brian Williamson, 59, was found lying in a pool of blood in his bedroom with multiple knife wounds. "The condition of his body... and his visibility as a gay man lead us to suspect this is a hate-related crime," said the Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays.

June 17, 2004:
Prime Minister John Howard's proposed bans on same-sex marriage and adoption of foreign babies by gay couples passed Australia's lower house and moved to the senate. "People can have their relationships, it's just that they can't have their relationships ascribed the characteristic of marriage when marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman," said Attorney General Philip Ruddock.

June 18, 2004:
The group Queer Somali said the biggest problem for Somali gays is fear they will be murdered. "My people don't understand what a homosexual is," said activist Faro. "They only know that through their religious law, the solution is to kill."

June 18, 2004:
Zealots from India's Shiv Sena party trashed movie theaters in several cities to halt screenings of the new lesbian-themed Indian film Girlfriends. They broke windows, destroyed posters, and burned effigies. Gay activists denounced the movie as homophobic.

Although there are several nations that are friendlier to gays than the U.S. --Canada, the Netherlands, Denmark, and others--the fact remains, we live in one of the 10 most gay-advanced countries on the planet. Gays and lesbians in 182 other nations can't say that. Happy Pride.

Rex Wockner has covered international news since 1988. His work has appeared in 350 gay newspapers around the world.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

A short entry and then I'm taking 2 benedryl to guarantee a long, good night's sleep. I am so bone tired I can barely keep my head up. Today is Sir's birthday. So after work I ran over to my new digs to hand over a deposit. From there I needed to run to another apartment for a viewing with a family member. I saw it yesterday and thought they may like it. They did. And then I quickly headed over to Septieme's to enjoy a birthday dinner with Sir and one of his other former students.

It was a nice albeit quiet dinner. I was bushed and therefore not much of a conversationalist. Sir was tired as well. Now I'm home. On the ride back here I realized that except for last weekend, I've been clocking 13 to 15 hour days between work, my apartment stuff, the other apartment stuff for family and fundraiser stuff for the Eagle on the 4th of July. As an introvert who needs to have a few hours alone each day to regroup, I'm on serious overload.

This pace is expected to continue until Sunday. I'm working Friday and as of right now it's almost a sure bet I'll be working on Saturday also. Sigh.

Vacation is definitely needed. Life is not bad right now, but it is way too full.

Anyway, that's not what I wanted to right about. This is. Wonderboy came with me to see my new apartment. I cherish his opinion and I know he'll be honest. He enjoyed it although he had the same concern regarding size. But he understands where I'm coming from and sees it as a good move. We parted ways and I then sat with the owner to fill out paperwork.

One thing I hate the most about apartment hunting is filling out the many applications. Three years ago I came up with a new system. My rental resume. On one sheet of paper I've printed out all the information generally requested in rental apps. It includes rental history, work and personal references, work history, education, bank info etc. I've noticed that's one way to impress a potential landlord. They will hand me the multi page app with all its little boxes to squish your info into and I whip out my resume. It never fails. Astonishment floods their faces. Then they staple it to their application and I'm done!

Tonight after I transferred my information to the owner, I gave him my deposit. He looked at me, grabbed my hand to shake it and exclaimed "Welcome Home!"

It was a sincere gesture. And it warmed my cockles. I have no doubt that I've made the right decision.

He then shared more information about some of the other tenants. "Not too many extroverts here and all quirky in their own way. There's a nice mix of personalities."

There is a woman on the second floor who is a metal sculptor. Her apartment holds her large anvil. She shows her work in New York. The oil painter is on my floor. Also many on the third floor (my floor) are east coast artists...mostly New York.

Cool, eh?

While checking in with wonderboy a little bit ago, he mentioned that he enjoyed the feel of the place. He was trying to find the word for it. I mentioned that when Sir saw it, one word came to mind for him. Bohemian. "That's it!" said wonderboy, "that's the word."

I wonder what these bohemians will think if they ever see my paintings of bondage and cages, portraits I've painted of myself in suspension...flying off the floor, images of Sir's St. Andrew's cross and his boots interspersed with paintings of fairly traditional still lifes and a few landscapes. And then there is the series that is still under wraps. Will they freak or appreciate the work for what it is? Time will tell.

So much for my short post. Night all.

I had barely finished posting the earlier blog and checked email. Mark Morford's new column, "Because Dubya Said So! Why prolong this insidious war? Gouge the economy? Rape the environment? Only one retort left.", was patiently waiting for me.

Within, I found:

"Why continue this hideous, bloody invasion that is failing on every front? Because we said so. Why continue gouging the economy like pigs in a trough? Because we said so. How can raping the Clean Air Act and increasing logging in national parks and rolling back 30 years of environmental progress and dissing the Kyoto treaty and molesting the planet in the name of massaging the testicles of your corporate cronies in Big Oil and Big Industry possibly be healthy for the planet? Because we said so.

How can hacking away at women's rights and endorsing homophobia in any way progress the evolution of the battered human soul? Because we said so. How can banning stem-cell research possibly be anything but a nasty and ridiculous and harmful decision that only strokes the bloody Bible of your wildly ignorant right-wing Christian voting bloc? You guessed it -- because we said so."

Want to read the rest? Sure you do.
Good morning!

Yesterday I didn't stop until about 11 pm, when I got home. This afternoon I am signing the papers on my new apartment. Yup...biting the bullet.

I was thinking of the latest beheading of the South Korean man. I was thinking of the previous beheading. I was thinking of the torture our government used on Iraqi prisoners. I was thinking of all the killing and bloodshed.

Do I have any answers? No. But this eye for an eye stuff just ain't working. When is someone going to get that through their thick skulls? Maybe it's time for some way out of the box thinking. What if our leaders had the courage to even attempt to begin to look at creating different solutions? Ummm...maybe something that didn't involve violence?

As I said, I have no answers. Simply questions. So when do we stop banging our heads against the wall and realize that our current tactics aren't working?

When I received Rob Brezsny's astrology email this morning, I noticed he included quotes before the horoscopes. Considering my recent thoughts, these are timely. You may think it's woowoo, but too bad. Here it is anyway:

"For one human being to love another is the most difficult task. It's the
work for which all other work is preparation."


"Some day after we have mastered the winds, the waves and gravity, we
will harness for God the energies of love; and then for a second time in the
history of the world, humans will have discovered fire."

- Teillard de Chardin

"Everything I understand, I understand only because I love."
- Leo Tolstoy

"If you do not love too much, you do not love enough."
- Pascal

"Until you have loved, you cannot become yourself."
- Emily Dickinson

And now for the rest of Brezsny's weekly wisdom.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

The falcon babies are fledging. It looks like 2 still in the nest box, there are another two on top, and one on the rail. Of course if you catch the birdcam later you'll see something different.
I'm home. I saw it.

Thinking out loud...

Before I begin, note that 3 of my last 4 apartments have been 900 to 1100 square feet. For myself. Granted, I sold mostly everthing when I moved to Seattle. My current apartment and the one before (both 900 sq. ft) have a lot of empty storage space. They aren't full.

The new apartment really isn't much larger than the first one I saw. They all have a separate kitchen that I could fit (barely) my table in...but could. And they have a built in dresser/storage area. So the one big room living space is 13x16. Now that I'm at home, I've been doing some measuring. My living space here is 10x12. I have stuff in my current living room that I don't really need, nor would I miss. So, if I pulled out the would leave me with a love seat, a rocker and a little coffee table that I'm currently using for my computer.

In the new place I would get rid of the love seat and replace it with a single bed/couch combo thingy or futon. You see...I don't really need the full bed. I like sleeping alone. Yeah there's room to fuck on a single, but anything more for me is wasted space. Although if I picked up a futon, then I'd always have the option of a full bed contained within.

More dresser could go in the large closet with much room to spare.

The kitchen is set. My kitchen/dining room stuff would fit in the new place.

I have a tall thin bookcase that stays with me. I think it's about 3 feet wide by 12 inches deep. 6 feet high. Gotta keep my artbooks with me. And smut.

That leaves whatever is in my studio.
-One easel
-One shelving unit that stores stuff, magazines for ideas and still life objects. (about the size of the bookcase, but a little deeper)
-A drop leaf table that I use for my palette, brushes, mediums. I can use something smaller, no big deal.
-one metal cart on wheels (the older kitchen carts that can hold a microwave). Quite handy because at times I set up my subject on there and can move it around. Need to keep. Moveable stuff is handy in a small space. summarize, the big room would definitely have a bed/couch thingy, little computer table, bookcase, easel, rolling cart. I can do without the drop leaf and possibly do away with the shelving.

Kitchen stuff in kitchen, dresser in closet, bathroom stuff in bathroom. I have 3 little wooden tables (not tv tray/tables!) that fold up and out of the way. I'll keep those. Good to have extra little tables and they don't take any room when stored.

I think this is manageable.

So...size was the downside. Wanna hear the upside?

For the last 12 years, my 4 apartments have been top floor corner units. It's my druthers. That way I don't feel closed in. Isn't that odd coming from a bondage pig?

The first one I saw on Friday was on the 2nd floor, smack in the middle. The new one today was top floor corner unit. If I had to pick the best corner of the building, this is it! 3 windows against one wall, 2 against the other and then the 3rd on that side in the kitchen. As soon as the owner opened the windows there was some serious cross ventilation.

All the windows make the unit more spacious. I get north and western light.

The tile on the kitchen counter is brand new. They are 2x2 tiles, deep cobalt blue. Really sweet. Not a flat blue, but it's a varied kinda color. much for my knowing technical terms tonight. And my current kitchen is filled with mostly blue and pale yellow. It makes this easy.

The floor in the new bathroom had been painted a turquoise/sea green. It's the same color as the shower curtain I currently have! I originally chose that color because it was my homage to the ocean. And I accent with yellows, muted orange and purple.

This apartment will lend itself to color well. I have no desire to paint the walls because the walls will be filled with paintings. Unless...I use a deep green/taupe type of color. I can't explain the color but I know it when I see it. And I've seen it. In a few museums for special exhibits. Every painting hung on those walls stood out with an extra punch. It's a fucking rich color. Substantial and shifts with the light that hits it. I don't have to worry about it making the room too dark because of all the windows.

The extra $30/m in rent is so worth a top corner apartment flooded with light.

Oh yeah, remember the stained carpeting I spoke of yesterday? Well they've begun intense carpet cleaning. And they started at the top. I couldn't believe it was the same carpet!

Another plus? Only a $200 deposit. It gets better. That $200 will hold the apartment for one month! I told the owner I couldn't move in until July 28 or 29th. Apparently not a problem.

Also, while at work today, I discovered that the grocery story/lounge in the diagonal corner of this block is getting torn down. Permits came through. That's the very spot where most of the drug activity happens.

Sounds like this is all falling into place nicely, isn't it?

I told the owner I'd give him an answer by Wednesday. It looks like I'll be handing him a check.

Am I scared? Absolutely. Literally shrinking my living space terrifies the bejesus out of me. I hear this little voice in my head that says:
"You're 44 and you're supposed to move up not down."
"You should be working toward home ownership."
"You want a large place to entertain and have people go gaga over."
"What the fuck do you think you're doing?"
"You're going to be living like a college student."

It seems to me those are voices I need to silence.

This will force me to look at my painting. Slam my passion in my face. In spite of the fear that I feel, I think I'm ready. I may be scared but not anxious.

Thanks for listening to my ramblings. It helped.

Monday, June 21, 2004

Update on possibly cool apartment.

Remember the apartment I mentioned in yesterday morning's blog? My biggest concern was the size of the space. So I called the owner this morning, to see it again...for me. He mentioned that in addition to the apartment I saw on Friday, he has a larger unit open as well. This one is $590/m. Just $30 more. The tile has been well as the kitchen. It's a corner unit and filled with light. 6 windows! For a studio...that's a shitload of windows!

Can you say jazzed???

Oh yeah, another little tidbit. The owner then mentioned that the apartment manager happens to be a video journalist for the PBS station here in town. Yup, sounds like I'd be in great creative company.

So I'm checking it out in a couple hours. I'll keep you posted!
I need a boy. This week.

Thoughts of all I have to do in the next 8 days woke me at 4am. It's not enough to get ready for vacation, but continue training the amazing person who'll step in for me while I'm gone, assist Sir with a bunch of details, wrap up the logistics for the fundraiser at the Eagle including finding a bbq person to take my place...and on and on and on.

Oh yea...finish shopping for shorts. Ewww. I hate shopping. I did head out with wonderboy on Saturday and finally bought sandals. My old ones kissed the dumpster when I noticed the soles were split. These are black and incredibly comfortable walking sandals. My feet are happy.

Now to focus on work. Be back later.

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Another busy day...albeit fun.

Sir had a couple of appointments on the Hill today and so I needed to take him there. I parked the car near the reservoir and noticed the annual Drag Queens vs. Dykes softball game was under way. But we didn't have time to check it out. There were two quick appointments and then I figured we'd be back by 3:30 or so. But The Cuff was holding a Father's Day chili feed on their back patio, and Sir wanted to attend. We went.

First thing - 85 degree weather with full sun and no clouds did not make the idea of hot chili very appetizing. But they had burgers and dogs also. We spent 4 hours...talking and playing. Yeah, Tall Top was there with a big grin when he saw me. Once again, severely tortured nipples. At one point he pulled off his belt and got my thighs. Fireplay Top joined in the fray. Kilt man showed up a couple hours later and left his marks as well. Fun times. They made a group decision and said I was the official community toy. Heehee. Yanno, it could be worse.

One man came up to me and thanked me. He hadn't played with me but did watch. Just like slim leatherman from the Eagle back in April. He said he enjoyed watching. Someone else, who I didn't know, piped in and dittoed the man's sentiment. Then he said something curious. He said "boys don't react like you do. You are fun to watch."

That's something I hadn't thought of before. And I don't fully believe him. I'm sure there are loads of bottoms of all genders and permutations who would react in a similar fashion. Or maybe I'm just not seeing in myself what these men see in me. Thing is I don't really believe in the one sex does this, another that, kind of thinking. But that's another thought for another day.

So I was tweaked, slapped, more breath control play, pinched, grabbed and doused. My clothes were quite soaked at one point. Front and back. It makes for one satisfied pig.

I'm sitting here, tired, hot and not hungry but eating a little something because it's been a while and much energy expended since my hot dog at The Cuff.

Now what interests me is how I wrote about attention earlier today. I mentioned there are some types of attention that are okay. But I fear other types. When it comes to play I don't mind the attention at all. S/M is as much a part of me as my painting. Yet with painting...we have a different story. So why?
I'm back. I've been busy. It's been hot, hot, hot. And yesterday my ISP was down most of the day.

I guess it's my turn as a Seattle blogger to complain about the heat. Hoss, Lydia and Auxugen have spoken of our weather. What's up with the heat? In the 6 years I've lived here, I pleasantly discovered that we may have a couple weeks in the summer where it's above 80. I'm fine up to 75. But I could put up with the heat because it didn't carry the oppressive humidity that New England would have. Well I've discovered I've become spoiled. I do hate heat. It wipes me out. Wednesday and Thursday I stayed in the office late, taking advantage of the airconditioning and quiet to get work done. Leaving at 7 pm meant no traffic and temps that had dropped to make it bearable.

Friday I spent from 10 am until 6 pm looking at about 8 apartments with a member of my leather family. It was hot and bright. In between viewings, during large gaps of time, we'd find ourselves at Cafe Septieme's enjoying a drink and a little food. Apartment hunting is work. These are potential rentals for him. My apartment hunting is put on hold, until after my vacation. Or so I thought.

As Lydia wrote yesterday, I may have found my apartment.

Here's the back story. At work, I park my car on the street near a large brick apartment building. There are garden plots between the sidewalk and the street. For the longest time, whenever I walk past these little plots, I've been so tempted to reach down and weed...tend to them. Odd isn't it? I've never had that urge with a strange garden patch before. In the last month I've wondered what the apartments look like. I don't work in the best neighborhood. It's one of the toughest. Hookers found dead in the dumpster in back of my office. Cops continually cruising the streets. Folks selling crack at the corner. And I've seen discarded needles on the grass while walking the 50 steps to my office door. It is a neighborhood in transition. New pricey condos are being built. A couple blocks away a large grocery store with luxury apartments is also under construction. It will be interesting to see what happens to the area.

Just this week while again walking past the apartment building I wondered if they had vacancies.

Well, as I was setting times to see rentals, I was given an address. I wrote it down correctly but my head thought it was a couple blocks away from my office. Driving to the appointment I realized it was the very building I've been so curious about for so long.

That's the first creepy feeling.

We walked into the lobby. It's an old, tired building. On the right there is some colorful, comfy old thrift store furniture in one corner...a little sitting area. On the left, against the wall are the mailboxes. I noticed that most of the name labels were decorated in a funky, artsy eclectic way. I smiled. Proceeding down the hallway, it's dark and the carpet old and stained. The doors of every apt. is painted in a Jackson Pollock fashion...with muted colors, but brighter than Pollock's work. I smiled some more. We walked up to the second floor and into a studio apartment. Medium size studio. It's not as small as many we saw that day, but not as large as a few from a week ago. I noticed the floor immediately. For some reason that's the first thing I notice with any potential rental. Hardwood floor. And not refinished and shiny, which gave me a comforting feel. It's the type of floor I'd imagine in a painting studio. I wouldn't fear spilling paint the way I do in carpeted rooms or floors that have been refinished. There's a separate kitchen with a large window facing the street. Tiny, kinda squished but bright. Someone had painting the trim in the kitchen lime green.

There are two big windows in the main living space, also facing the street. These windows can open from the top or the bottom. The odd blinds that hang can be pulled from the top or bottom as well. Although a great apartment, it was too small for the man I was with. As we stepped out of the apartment, the owner mentioned there is a photography studio as well as an oil painting studio downstairs. My ears perked. He then added that at one time there was a glass blowing kiln down there as well. It's a building with artists! This building also has free offstreet parking, and available garden plots out back for tenant use. The manager's wife is the one who has the photo studio.

Leatherman caught all this, looked at me, a big grin on his face and said "if you don't move here I'll be mad at you!" He continued, "let's go for a marguerita. We need to talk."

I was shaking when we left the building. Was the universe hitting me over the head?

We walked into the mexican restaurant, located between the building and my office and sat down in the cool, quiet restaurant. Leatherman began talking. He mentioned that I really needed to think about the space. He did say there were 2 disadvantages. One, I need to set clear boundaries with my office. Simply because I was a two minute walk, they can't expect me to be accessible in my off time to pop in because someone has a question, needs a key or to reboot the server. I agreed. The same thought occured to me. Exceptions aren't a problem, but it cannot become a routine thing.

The second concern he had is the neighborhood being in flux. He mentioned that many years ago he lived in such an enviroment. It got ugly before it got better. means I need to be fully aware when walking from my car to the building late at night. Or as he put it, "don't be dizzy."

Here's the other kicker. I would be almost directly across the street from a Zen Buddhist center. Although I am not a Buddhist in a formal sense regarding ritual and attending a temple, just knowing it's there is comforting to me. It is the pocket of balance and peace in a neighborhood that carries much pain.

Leatherman then mentions the obvious good points of living there. And he added..."you can paint naked, with the windows open!" He's right. I could open the windows from the top, pull up the blinds from the bottom...keep the fresh air coming in, and paint naked. Sigh. Heaven.

One other huge bonus. The apartment is $200 less a month than my current place. And with no commute, that's an additional $100/m gas savings, let alone wear and tear on my car. $300 a month in my pay bills and then save for an Apple laptop.

So I am excited. And as Lydia mentioned in her blog yesterday, my heart is there. She listened to me and saw.

Now me being me, nothing is quite a simple as it seems. So here are my additional drawbacks. First I do need to see the apartment again. This time with eyes that envision my stuff not someone else's. Can I fit in the space? Or will it be too small? Big concern.

The second is intriguing. My shrink is gone for a week. Of course something big always seems to happen in our last sessions before time away. We were talking about art. My painting. Or lack thereof. He pushed the button in the last 2 minutes of our meeting. I mentioned that I've always known...know because I know because I know, that if I dove into my painting, I would become famous. I explained that I am not talking about what I know as success, but what our society considers success to be...which I detest. After a little bit, I clarified my thought. What I really meant was, if I painted, people would pay attention to me. And I'm obviously fearful of attention. Certain types of attention. I'm an exhibitionist on some level. There are some types of attention I like and desire. But other forms scare me. What do I do with it? The shrink, doing what he's paid to do, asks "why do you fear attention?"

The music comes on and our session ends. Lovely.

I thank him, wish him a good week and leave the office. Shaking.

I ran into the bathroom before leaving the building. While in there, I cried. And I knew. This had to be one of the quickest lightbulb moments. I fear attention because I didn't grow up with it. My childhood showed a lack of attention because I was the oldest and the babies came fast and furious. Simply a fact of life. So although I craved the attention, not having it is my safe place. The devil known.

Other things.
Growing up in a very comfortable, upper middle class neighborhood is part of my past. I look for a certain style and flavor to my surroundings. It's not the IKEA look, although I've taken pieces from there to accent my enviroment. When I first moved to Seattle, my apartment was on the cusp of a similar neighborhood. It felt settled, safe and secure. Unfortunately it doesn't lend itself to my raw, dirty creative energy.

I was choosing apartments based on my upbringing and who my parents are. Not on who I am. Now I am not saying that I need to let go of all the material and strip myself of nice things. There is nothing wrong with that type of life. But if it is stifling my passion, my work, then maybe it's wrong for me. It is difficult for me to cut loose when everything is too neat and pretty. I feel the same way with my s/m. That's why I'm not into being part of the mainstream 'what is out there now' s/m community. Danger and dark is the name of my game.

My most productive painting spell was my last year in school. I worked fairly independently. Many times alone. But I was in a building that seeped frenetic, creative life. I could taste it and smell it.

Also I am coming to a place where I believe I need to live with my work. Whenever I've stepped into my studio space and sat...spend at least 5 minutes, I've discovered that, given the time, I will begin to work. Otherwise, out of sight, out of mind. I end up with other distractions.

I'm sure I won't have this need the rest of my life, but it seems to be critical right now. My work needs to stare at me...while eating, while on the computer, while sleeping.

If this new apartment is large enough, at this time in my life, I need to make the leap. It's a big one.

The eyasses on the birdcam come to mind. Anytime now they will fledge. I've watched it the last few years, always in awe. Imagine. You are born. Little by little you grow and become stronger. Wings are tested, flapping away, feathers flying. Hopping out to the perch, you stretch out these newly formed wings. Flapping intensely, you test and find you've lifted yourself off the ground. After a few of these some magical point, you have the courage to leap. Watching these baby falcons has shown me how amazing and brave that feat is.

So, is it my time? Methinks it may be.

Friday, June 18, 2004


Mark Morford's column for today is all about sluts. It's delightful. And I love the last paragraph.

Apparently Mark had a theory. Having spent many years in feminist circles I know the theory. I too believed it...for about about 2 days many years ago. It's the theory of the woman as the more powerful sexual being. Filled with strength, the goddess we all carry as females.

In the throes of feminism we had to lift ourselves up, higher than the 'they' who we felt oppressed us. But it didn't sit well with me. In lifting ourselves higher, aren't we then in turn oppressing others? least discriminating because if we are the powerful then that makes "them" the weaker. Smacks of bullshit to me.

Mark writes he believed in the superior inherent sexual magic of women. He goes on to say he was shown how his 'enlightened' view wasn't so enlightened. All anyone wants is to be able to live their life however they please, without judgement. It's not about allowing one group to be placed ahead of another.

I stopped calling myself a feminist about 3 years ago. It is limiting. Equality for women? Yeah I'm for that. But I'm for equality for all...races, religions, sexual orientation, gender identity, and disabilities (and believe we are all disabled in some way). I am for choice. The ability for us to choose how we want to live our life. And even some feminists aren't into choice. They put down porn, or the desire for a woman to have a child and stay at home. They are against s/m. Somehow, they've lost sight or have never seen the larger picture. No, I am not a feminist.

But where is the word that encompasses all? Where is the word that describes the belief that we all have the right to choose. One is not more or less than another. I don't care if I detest someone's belief system. They have as much right as I to write, live, spout off, fuck and exist as I do.

I like humanist. But that doesn't quite fit. So, I'm left wordless. An item, a belief without a label. Maybe it's for the best.
Want something silly? Sure you do. It's been a long day. You just got home a little while ago, wolfed down some dinner and look forward to relaxing.

How would you like a sumoflorist to veg away with? Sure you do. He loves his cock and wants to share it with you.


See? I told you it was silly.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

One of my favorite things.

When the weather is warm, sometimes I will put on my not-tight jeans, flagging black or grey right, and a men's large button-down thin cotton shirt. Roll up the sleeves. Slip my sockless feet into my beat up black leather clogs. I don't wear underwear. Don't own it. In the thinner, looser clothing I can feel my whole body rubbing against the fabric. The various textures against my skin call to me. It makes me acutely aware, in a different way than my snug clothing does, of my nakedness.

It reminds me of freedom.

That's what I'm wearing today...

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

What a day!

I didn't even have 5 minutes to bring you my Wednesday regulars. Between 3 meetings that took me from 9 am into 1 pm, oh and have I told you how I am NOT a meeting person, or when I took pee breaks and approached my assistant who I'm training and would ask "so how are you doing and the only answer I can hear right now is 'good!' because I'm headed into the next meeting", to my regular work, interspersed with making calls on 15 apartments to set up viewings for Friday, contacting prospective volunteers for the next Eagle fundraiser and creating soliticitation letters for businesses to donate gifts for raffle prizes for said fundraiser and then being a good egg by assisting a coworker with hauling stuff to a house party he was throwing... and, after my last meeting, when I needed to leave the office for fresh air, I brought back my trainee's favorite chocolate as a treat....yes...a busy day. I didn't get home until after 7pm.

I finally sat down at my computer, opened Blogger, began with "what a day!" and the phone rang. It was Blackbird checking up on me! After an hour and a half on the I am. Keyboard on my lap, radioparadise playing and a bowl of greenbeans for dinner.

So instead of blaming work for my delayed blog, let's blame him. :-) I am kidding. When he and I get talking...we can't shut up. I am going to see him in Boston while I'm on vacation and am so looking forward to it. I was hoping to meet a few others, but it looks like our schedules won't mesh. Seriously bumming about that. But I don't know how to make it work.

Anyway, here are your Wednesday treats - Rob Breszny's Freewill Astrology and today Mark Morford wrote,

" Let's get this straight. Ronnie Reagan allowed AIDS to flourish for years after it was discovered and did next to nothing to stem its virulent, lethal tide, and wouldn't even utter the word until the end of his term, when it was too late.

Ronnie Reagan denied the existence of the nation's homeless problem that he largely created, and then blamed the problem on not enough people caring to get out there and get a job as he meanwhile slashed civil services and assistance for the poor."

He's on a roll. Read his column here.

I may be back...after I finish my beans.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

It's been two very long days. There are many expectations and obligations in my work and personal life right now. At work I'm training my replacement. She'll assist while I'm on vacation to keep things rolling. That way it shouldn't be too crazy when I return.

Not much else to say right now...except maybe some food will give me that extra boost. Or...maybe I need to give myself the spaciousness to kick back. The shrink gave me that word yesterday. He said "allow yourself the spaciousness to be low energy. Allow yourself the spaciousness to have a low sex drive. Allow yourself the spaciousness to be whatever you're feeling."

I like that word. Spaciousness. His words felt like a large, hot tub of water.

I can't wait for my time off. I'm not down. Instead, I'm quite overwhelmed.

Monday, June 14, 2004

I was writing to someone and mentioned how fetishes are a funny thing. Looking at the photo of Edge and reading the flurry of posts regarding leather from Edge, Bad Faggot, Singletails and Hoss have me thinking.

You are going to get snippets. I don't have it in me to do a long thought out entry.

Yeah, one of my fetishes is a man decked out in leather. Or the right dyke. Leather that fits well. Tight...pour your body in it. But I can be just as turned on by a man in a pair of levi's, tshirt, boots. Also, for reasons unbeknownst to me, someone can actually be wearing a white shirt and a pair of khakis. And if the energy is there...I can just as easily drop to my knees. The first play party I attended in Seattle had such a person. The room was filled with fetish wear. There was lots of play going on. What fascinated and turned me on the most was the singletail top wailing on their bottom. Electricity filled the air. And that top literally wore khakis and a white cotton shirt.
One of the most amazing, intense leathermen I know will not wear leather of any sort. He's a brilliant rope top as well as a powerful sadist. He creates magic while wearing sandals, a pair of shorts and a t-shirt. Don't even think of calling him 'Sir'. It's not his scene. Yet there is something about this man that allows me to submit to him. No, not in the picture book way of kneeling and all that protocol. But, even if a certain act or play scares me silly, I can give it up for him...and have.
I think about the Seattle Eagle and the other 'leather' bar in town, The Cuff. The Cuff in the last few years has become a 'men who wear leather and do brunch' bar instead of a 'men who do leather' bar.
The Eagle may not always have a lot of men done up in leathers...and it's where some hot play still happens. Not all the time. But it's raw, little, small and dark. It has little corners. The energy that fills the walls lends itself to play.
I know that as much as I'm turned on by leathergear...I detest a call for uniforms (unless it's work-related or for school children. Then I'm all for it). That's where my idea of 'stepford' had come in. In a room that has the potential of being a highly charged erotic and creative see a bunch of drones who feel they fit simply because they are wearing the boots and the chaps makes me want to puke. There's a difference between someone wearing something because it fully turns him on versus doing it because it's expected or that's the look.
I like to be surprised. Another of my fetishes is someone not afraid to go against the flow. Someone so sure of his character and strength that he doesn't need the outer covering to prove anything.
It's all complex, isn't it? I'm not putting down the wearing of leathers. As I've said, it juices me. For example the only reason I go to leather contests (although I loathe the contest idea, think it's past it's prime, needs to be laid to rest and instead have large leather gatherings) is to be in a room that permeates with the thick stench of sweat and leather. But I wonder if it's all about balance. I wonder if it's about teaching people how to make the most of who they are...their potential. I think the teaching comes in showing people how to get rid of their shame regarding sexuality and sexually shine.

I believe that if a group of men were gathered where each was seriously comfortable in his individual much so that he glowed, it wouldn't matter what anyone was wearing. The sexual scent in that room would have everyone walking around with massive hardons, dripping precum.
I am nor have ever been a fan of Ronald Reagan. But I happened the catch the ceremony for Reagan on Friday evening. There was one highlight. I was listening to the kids speak about their dad, and while Ron Jr. spoke, my ears perked up and I muttered "did he just say what I thought he did?" I think it was a brilliant statement that was seamlessly slipped into his speech. It felt like a great slam against the current leadership.
Thanks to Draignoeth for finding the quote.

"Dad was also a deeply, unabashedly religious man. But he never made the fatal mistake of so many politicians wearing his faith on his sleeve to gain political advantage. True, after he was shot and nearly killed early in his presidency, he came to believe that God had spared him in order that he might do good. But he accepted that as a responsibility, not a mandate. And there is a profound difference."
- Ron Reagan Jr., June 11, 2004

Sunday, June 13, 2004

I had an odd thought today. Again, thinking about the leather community. Bits and pieces are going thru my head. I haven't come up with anything cohesive yet...but I'm sure I will. Anyway, what I considered a certain reference that used to show my age...I realized no longer does. When warranted I would use 'stepford' to describe something. I relished that word, knowing that not everyone would fully understand the reference. Snobbish? Maybe.

Thinking about the leather community the word 'stepford' came to mind. Then I realized that since the new Stepford Wives movie came out, using Stepford as an adjective no longer has the same feel. It wasn't a hugely obscure reference but I was dating myself. Now...alas...the kids are going to know about it. So it feels more pop culturish instead of something older and seasoned.

And...hmmm...maybe there's a metaphor in there about the leather community. The original Stepford Wives was dark and forbidding. It was a horror movie. I have yet to see the new one (and plan to) but from the previews it has a whole different feel. Because of the time, the original film was intense. It was 1975 and it made a powerful feminist statement. But the new one...Is it only playing on the old? Will it carry the same substance? Will the young people who see it even bother to rent the original? Or is it only a poor copy? It is simply about wearing the clothes without knowing the pain and history it carried?

I don't believe we can recreate a solid revisited "Stepford Wives". Because we are in a different era it won't carry the same punch. But, we can take from that and in this day and age have a new story to tell. Trust me, there are plenty. I believe that the world will always have renegades and outlaws. There will always be some type of discrimination and outcast population. And within that there are stories. Much history in the making.

I'm not being very coherent because...well...I'm tired. I want to tie my ideas in hemp. Rugged and sturdy. But it's a twine day. Today has been...yes...another migraine day. I'm keeping track and am seeing a pattern to the headaches. But, me being me...just had to pipe in anyway.
When I posted about traditions and leather, something bothered me. Actually, it bothered me for a while but just came to the forefront as I was writing. I briefly wrote about how for me, boots are a metaphor of service and earning. Paying one's dues. The unglueing came in the fact that I see a distance between myself and boots and it makes me sad. I've been mourning the loss of eroticism around boots. This distance doesn't feel like it's a forever thing. I know in my gut it will come back. But when? It's another reminder of how I don't feel fully connected to my whole erotic self. Just parts of it.

Boots. bondage and cigar Top was the one to awaken my deep love of boots and service. I'll never forget the first time BBC Top took me to the Cuff, about 5 years ago. We walked through the bar and into the small back room. There was another bar against one wall, and there in the corner was a bootblack station. It was cigar night. We leaned up against the wall near the bootblack, watched and played. It was also my first experience with cigar play. My eyes were glued to the bootblack. He was good. You could tell he got off on doing boots. With each man in the chair there was a whirling energy that encompassed blackened hands, boots and the two men. It was pure sex. Watching, I would get so caught up in the energy, smell the sex, and on more than one occasion would cum...right there, standing against the wall watching.

After that, most times that BBC Top and I played, our scenes would end in some type of boot service. I learned to polish boots, condition chaps and the saddle that was in BBC Top's apartment. One night, in a nonleather bar, although we were geared up, BBC Top simply had to wiggle the toe of her tall officer's boots and without hesitation I was on my knees having sex.

BBC Top pushed me into training with Sir. At the appropriate time, Sir re-introduced me to boots. That time is branded in my mind. His boots on my back, leaving their imprint.

I love boots.

In the last few years, with all that's happened, I have put up many walls. These past three months or so have seen bricks come down, little by little. But when it comes to boots or the heart is sad. My shield is still up.

There is an organization called Body Electric. They do weekend and week long intensives in different parts of the country. I've known about them for quite a while now. The first workshop (intro, so to speak) is Celebrating the Body Erotic. Everyone I've know who has taken this workshop comes away with only good things to say about it. From there, you can take others such as "Power, Surrender and Intimacy" which introduces s/m. I know a few of the instructors.

I always thought that maybe one day I'd do it. Then I would waffle and figure I wouldn't learn anything new. I mean...between 4 years of training with Sir and 2 years of intensive therapy... I thought the intro workshop would be boring. But you can't access the others without the first. They don't seem to have a CLEP program.

What I have found interesting is, even the leathermen I know who have been so sexually open for years upon decades come away from these weekends transformed and even more open somehow. Apparently it's powerful stuff.

This weekend I was granted a gift. (Don't worry...this does tie back to my earlier paragraphs)

Always Erect, wonderboy and I were walking down the street. AE asked "can I give you a gift?" I stopped. I mean, why did that feel like a loaded question?
A halting 'yes' came out of my mouth. He then said that he had paid a deposit for one of the advanced week long Body Electric intensives and due to circumstances, it wouldn't be prudent for him to attend. He wants to turn his deposit into a credit in my name. That amount would allow me to attend the initial weekend. I was floored. Then fear and panic set in. It sat with me for one night and one day. I came up with all sorts of excuses not to take the workshop at this time...but of course, maybe someday in the future, like 5 years from now. Right. I knew full well I feared the unknown that could be unlocked while there. Because of this I KNEW I HAD to do this.

Yesterday, while walking with BBC Top I mentioned the gift. Later on amidst other topics, BBC Top said something and in those words...something clicked big time.
"Reconnect the bits." Hearing those words became an 'aha' moment for me. Now, I'm not pushing aside the fact that I'm sure I'll have new discoveries. But I realized a big reason this workshop is critical for me is so I can reconnect my bits. All these years have been spent taking me apart. Imagine a machine. Unscrew and disassemble. Oil, lube and replace parts. Little by little it gets put back together. Slowly you can feel the improvement. But overall it's not quite firing right. It needs to be recalibrated.

Those words "reconnect the bits" eased my worries about my disconnected erotic self. I've been given an amazing gift that will assist with such a task.
All I need is a good rebooting.
Tonight Always Erect, wonderboy and sweetboy took me to see Donnie Darko: The Director's Cut. The 3 of them had seen the original Donnie Darko before. I had not. And now, the Director's Cut is playing at a local film house. They knew I loved the Gary Jules version of "Mad World" which is part of the soundtrack.

This movie is one serious circular thought movie. My head still hurts attempting to put all the pieces together. There is so much to chomp on as well as many connections to discover.

A little interesting tidbit. This afternoon I was driving to pick up Boots, Bondage and Cigar Top for a walk before meeting the boys. While in the car, "Mad World" came on the radio. After it was done I happened to flip to another station and guess what? That same song was just beginning on the second station. I had not heard it in over a month...and had bemoaned that fact. Today I heard it twice just a couple hours before heading to the movie. It's a little gift. You see I don't believe in coincidences. Love it when stuff like that happens.

Friday, June 11, 2004

Although my day off, I went into work, quite early, to tie up some loose ends before heading to Cafe Septieme's where it looks like I'll be holding court for a while. Likemyassfull boy and I haven't spent time together in a long while. So we are meeting there this morning. Always Erect is in town and wanted to get together as well. He's popping into Septieme's about 45 minutes after Likemyassfull boy leaves. Then wonderboy and I are spending the afternoon together. He would like to see Always Erect as well. So he'll be popping into Septieme's before Always Erect leaves.'s my public living room.

Unfortunately I don't have time for a lengthier post because I need to dash off. But I'll leave you with Mark Morford who writes about conspiracy theories and world disasters.
Just got home.

Sweetboy met me after work and treated me to the new Harry Potter. I still have not seen the first two, but thoroughly enjoyed this one. Originally, I didn't want to see the first movie because I had just finished all the books. The images were still vivid in my head and I didn't want to lose that. Now I barely remember the books. So, I'm willing to check out the first two...and then go back and reread the series.

Work has been intense and I somehow lost it in front of my boss. She was patient with my meltdown. She's so good that way. I know I'll get everything finished. It simply won't be in the time frame I desire. But sometimes, I think I set rigorous goals. Much too ambitious for a mere mortal such as myself. I've got to remember to lighten up.

There's still so much I want to write. I have thoughts about my leather and have noticed certain walls I still have. It's sad and I wonder when they'll come down. When things settle a little bit I will elaborate more. I want to share it with you.

In the meantime, I'm off to bed. Maybe I'll get a full 8 hours tonight. Here's hoping...

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Just in:

MEDIA RELEASE - June 9, 2004

Sheri A. Lunn – Director of Communications – 323.857.8751
Roberta Sklar – Press Secretrary – 917.704.6358

-National Gay and Lesbian Task Force closes offices on June 11th in memory of all those lost to AIDS-

On June 6, George W. Bush announced a federal government closure and a national day of mourning for former President Ronald Reagan on June 11 by saying in part: "All executive departments, independent establishments, and other governmental agencies shall be closed on June 11, 2004, as a mark of respect for Ronald Reagan... I call on the American people to assemble on that day [National Day of Mourning] in their respective places of worship, there to pay homage to the memory of President Reagan." (see full text of proclamation and executive order on the Task Force Web site:

The offices of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force will be closed on Friday, June 11, 2004 in memory of all those we have lost to AIDS. (see Matt Foreman's open letter on the death of Ronald Reagan here:
Last fall, we gave the Seattle Public library a grant to put on a series of GLBT workshops. Guess what? Our staff was invited on a private tour of the new Seattle Central Library! Yes, I am jazzed. The tour is being held this evening. Here's a diagram of each of the floors. I can't wait to see the new sorter. At the bottom of that page is a link for a slide show. There's a photo of the sorter in there.

In addition, I have thoughts in my head that need to get out soon. Hopefully I'll have the time in the next day or two.
I could write about this ridiculousness with Reagan. I could write about how easily we are swayed into a large pool of sappy, emotional sentimentality. No wonder Hallmark does so well. I could write about how quickly we forget the facts and instead desire to friggin' canonize someone for what...a great smile and wit? Oh yea, this is America. We are into idolizing celebs and actors. Silly me. I could write about how no one is wholly good or wholly evil. We all have aspects of both and need to keep things in perspective. I could give you lists of links and blurbs I've been bookmarking as a reality check. These are the other side of Reagan. His stance on the environment, the deficit, the Iran-Contra scandal and his gross inaction regarding AIDS. I could write about how touched I am by the devotion Nancy had for her husband. That's some serious love. I could write about maybe the time to mourn is when the diagnosis of alzheimer's was relayed. Maybe death is a blessing? I could write about how disturbed I am by our society's mentality as well as how cynical I currently feel.

But I have no desire to take up more time than this.

Instead I'll give you something a tad more uplifting. Freewill Astrology.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Something bizarre happened in therapy yesterday. My shrink and I were talking. You know...talking like you talk. Nothing too heavy. There was a lot of checking in and hopping through topics. I can't remember what the conversation was about, but I remember finishing a thought. From there, a few minutes of silence and then a blurt.

"I want to teach!"

"Welll, well." The shrink sat back in his chair and smiled.

It took me by surprise also. You see, in the past I've said "if I'm called to teach" which about 6 months ago evolved to "when I teach."
"I want to teach" is very different. It expresses a longing instead of simply going along for the ride.

The shrink and I looked at each other.
"The desire is strong. So much so that I can picture it...a clear image in my head. But it's only going to be one on one teaching."
I continued with, "I'm not rushing this. It will happen when it's meant to. It can be months or years before it manifests itself. That's okay."

This experience really surprised me. It felt that an inner part of me was claiming another aspect of who I am, in spite of me. Bursting forth with empowerment.
My therapy has turned a corner in the last month or so. I began with needing guidance and help after Sir's illness. Originally it was about grief counseling. It's since touched all parts of me and I feel that I've worked through the emergency painful stuff. Now that's not to say there isn't more that will crop up. But this particular crisis is over. The relationship with my shrink is transforming from one of an ER doc kinda thing into a mentor type relationship.

Another sign of continued healing manifest in our talks. For the first time in a year I've broached the subject of Master/slave with my shrink and myself. Yes, I am back to questioning. In many ways my viewpoint has changed. I am a different person than last year and wonder how or if I fit with what that specific relationship really is. I will blog in more depth about my thoughts and developments. It's not yet time although I will say, I've learned that my spirit of service is strong. I believe it can be called slave spirit. But I also know that I am not one to be micromanaged. A non-negotiable limit unless it's a specific short term scene. That could be fun. Otherwise the only intense, breathless confinement I enjoy is in physical play. I have a mind and a heart that needs to be trusted and used. I need to run free in a large enough corral. Fenced in but not shackled, unless the shackles are to sleep in. :-)

Monday, June 07, 2004

Today is Paul Gauguin's birthday.

Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?

I like this painting because he attempts to paint big questions. NPR Boston has a blurb on Gauguin. If you scroll down the article, you'll find a link to an interactive interpretation on this painting.

I believe it's important to know our history. Our personal, civic and even leather history. Of course the history we hear will shift contingent upon perspective.

As I was seeking a Gauguin painting to showcase, this particular piece struck me. It's because my history has been on my mind. All of it. Especially leather. I didn't realize my pervert 10, 20 or 30 years ago. It's been 6 years and I still consider myself a novice. When I began, I took on a little leatherdyke history. Since Sir's training, I've embraced his history. His teaching evolved from his personal experience, and it's been passed on. Granted, with each passing, evolution takes place.

Sometimes I wish for the days I've never seen. Just a sample. I crave to smell and taste some of the stories Sir has relayed. A certain energy. And I don't believe I'm romanticizing, because crazily enough, I'd like to taste its pain as well as its joy. I can't imagine what it's like to lose friend after lover week after month. Finding conflicts in scheduling and not knowing which funeral to attend and which to miss. I haven't seen the days of massive drug use and police raids on bars. The harshness of being gay and a sexual outlaw. It will never be. It's not my story. I am of the here and now.

It's the same with my strong desire to have lived in Paris or Berlin in the '20's or in Greece during it's Hellenistic period. It is not my life.

Now because I carry a part of Sir's history, I have some personal artifacts. He has guided and mentored me into the leatherperson I am. I take these gifts, hold them to me and in turn, when the time is right, pass on some of his stories, the history we've created together, and my own history which continues after Sir. With each passing the old is diluted. Generation upon generation. I believe the tradition doesn't lay in the 'what was' but in the spirit and the act of passing on and sharing.

Although times are different, some of what I carry of old is the idea of service. Be it Top or bottom, service is not only an important part of Leather, but of being human. Another tradition I hold dear is earning one's leathers. Again, it's not only specific related to leather but it is the larger concept of hungering, working and bleeding for a goal. The Leather part of this life stuff comes in the boots. For me, through Sir, boots are a powerful metaphor for service and earning. Although I don't wear my boots every day, for a few reasons, there are other things I do put on or carry each day. It's as natural as breathing and part of who I am as a Leatherperson.

The community (whatever that is anyway) changes as it will given time. It's always sad to see certain things fade and die. Mourning is good. But if we carry the spirit of the physical, then is it ever really dead?

So then...where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going?

And there's another question. What are we doing? Actually, what am I doing? All I've just written are newly burgeoning thoughts. There are some virgin ideas I don't normally blog about until it's at least a little further developed. But...that's the kind of mood I'm in tonight. I have given you a thumbnail sketch.
Hey there.

The fundraiser was a smashing success. Not only in the money raised, but in the good feel of the group gathered. Men laughing, playing, eating, drinking and having a good time. The scent of charcoal and cigars. It felt like family, even if folks didn't all know each other. A few women popped in as well for support.

I dragged my tired ass away, after a long afternoon/evening tending to the barbie and socializing. Smelling like burgers and charcoal, I detoured and popped into a friend's and gave him a birthday hug. Afterwards it was home for a serious shower and bed.

Today's work day lasted about 5 hours after which I had to leave. I was so tired that stupid mistakes were being made. Seeing yesterday was work-related, I didn't feel bad taking the time off.

We have 3 more of these planned for the remainder of the summer. I'm looking forward to it. It was a blast.

Still wiped, I'm not feeling ambitious in regard to blogging right now. Maybe it'll change later.

Sunday, June 06, 2004

In spite of a few burps yesterday in my well intended do nothing day, I now feel much more relaxed. It's a good thing too. I'm headed to Sir's for a bit, and then off to bring chairs for a birthday party which I can't attend because I need to buzz over to the Eagle to prep for a fundraiser. I discovered yesterday that I'll be manning the bbq on their back patio. It'll be fun. Sometimes life is chock full. I do believe my vacation in about 4 weeks will be well earned. See ya later!

Saturday, June 05, 2004

You know, I was rereading some of my entries from these last few weeks. I noticed that I periodically wrote about taking time to relax. Pretty much each time, something would come up and I'd be out and about. Well the intent was there!

Today was no exception. Early this afternoon I discovered a few fires. One of them involved a run to the bank for petty cash for tomorrow. Because it's Saturday, our CFO isn't around. I realized I would need to front the money from my personal account. Getting off the phone, I noticed it was 12:55 and my bank closes at 1 pm. Ugh. Frantically I made more calls and found a bank about 20 minutes away that stayed open until 4 pm. Okay, one problem solved. I would head out in an hour. So much for the thought I could stay in all day. In the middle of this there were other logistics that needed to be tended to. Yes, I freaked. Because I was so tired everything felt laborious. Today was set aside to not think about work, volunteering, apartment hunting or anyone but myself. The stars had other plans for me.

My blood sugar was dropping so I made lunch. Holding a hot plate of chicken and rice, I headed to the table where my hand slipped, and most of my food landed on the carpet with some hitting a painting that was propped against the wall. Sauce and rice had fallen in between my canvas and frame. Losing it, I broke down and cried.

My mind then kicked into gear. "Okay girlfag, first you need to eat." So I finished the little that was left on the plate. Then step by step took care of what needed to be done. No worse for wear.

Although life is hard at times, I don't remember having a week where so much has been physically difficult. The best plans were trashed, or there would be suprise problems, such as discovering I needed to pop into work yesterday to find paperwork the auditors requested.

Interestingly, I've found the strength to deal with all that's arisen. But today was too much. Oh, by the way, my mother woke me before 7 am with a phone call.
"Were you sleeping?"
"Yes mom, I was."
"Oh...I thought you couldn't sleep late."
"Most times I can't mom. But it was rainy and dark, so it allowed me to sleep."
"I just wanted you to hear this song."
(She throws on a cd and plays it over the phone)


I did get back to sleep for another hour. But maybe it was a sign to not leave my bed.

Anyway, as I was saying, in spite of the bumps in the road, I've somehow found the strength to keep clearheaded. I'm still short one person for tomorrow but not worried about it. Everything will be fine. Somehow, someway.

Earlier this week I discussed life drama with my shrink.
"I don't like it when I'm surrounded by drama."
"Life is filled with drama" he says.
"No, life is filled with experience."
"Yes, that's a better word. That was a very zen thing for you to say."
I snarled at him. Then I responded, "Okay, maybe this is how it goes. There's Shakespearean drama and soap opera drama."

The shrink gets excited. His eyes are twinkling and he remarked that he's thrilled I understand the difference.

The conversation then went into other topics. But thinking about it today, I wonder if the way of keeping life out of the soap opera category is my attitude and ability to breath through whatever turbulence is thrown my way. It doesn't mean I won't become weary or frustrated. I think that if I hold onto who I am inside, and walk through whatever fire there is, then I don't get bogged down and surrounded. Maybe the soap opera drama arises from how I handle the regular shit that happens just because it is a part of life.
In his column yesterday, Mark Morford speaks to how we are encouraged to drug problems away.
He wrote:

Hey, they've done studies. Studies that finally prove once and for all that Prozac is much more effective on your depressed miserable slouchy door-slammin' punkass teen than merely talking to him and loving him well and teaching him to appreciate life and sex and spirituality and fine artisan cheeses. So you know it must be true.

And do you know why? Why the Prozac is more effective? Because it's a potent chemical narcotic, silly! It rewires their brains and poisons their little juvenile blood vessels and kills any pesky burgeoning testosteroned sex drive once and for all!
I feel bad because it seems I've been MIA from my blog lately. Even though I post something fairly regularly, I haven't been able to give it the attention I have in the past. Life is very busy right now and the little alone time I have is spent catching my breath. There are emails and voicemails I look forward to replying to. I hope it slows down soon.

Want to know what's on my plate lately?

On the workfront: I'm playing catch up now that our phonathon is over. You ought to see my desk. It's two messy large piles of mysteries, fixes, requests and reports. There were three. I am making progress. In addition, I'm creating some training materials to make it easier while I'm away for 2 weeks. And...I send out periodic reminders to the rest of the staff. If they need a report pulled, they can't dump it on me my last couple days, or the first few I return. It's called planning ahead folks.

Now, I have semi-officially put my apartment hunting on hold until after I return. But, while on the Hill, if I see an opportunity to check out an apartment, I grab it. So it's still taking up room in my head. More importantly, I am assisting someone else with apartment hunting and this is taking up time. It's a greater priority for them.

There's a fundraiser this weekend, and that's sucked up more energy and time.

My days are overloaded and way too full.

Yesterday, I left the house early and didn't return until about 10 pm. Although a day off, I spent most of the time doing bits of all the above. We ended the evening at Septieme's, where we bumped into other friends. It turned into a 4 hour party. The weather was glorious. We pulled tables on the sidewalk together. A few of the waiters would stop and spend time with us. It made for an easy way to wrap up a crazy day.

Today is quiet day! I cancelled plans to put this me day on the calendar.

Expect to see me later.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

I finally got new glasses. Not only new frames but a new prescription which was seriously needed. I knew I was overdue. I knew my 'script had changed. But until my tax refund finally came in, it wasn't going to happen.

Over the last few months my eyes have been deteriorating. At home, on my Mac, I was using the button to enlarge type with every page. In the last 2 weeks I've had headaches right behind my eyes. I knew it was getting bad.

At the doc's, sitting in the chair, you know how they flip back and forth between lenses, looking for the perfect ones? After going thru those gyrations for a while with each eye, he showed me one set of lens for both eyes, and I said "that's awful". I couldn't read anything on the chart. Then he flipped to another and it was incredibly clear. Doc said, "that first set was your current glasses."

Oh my fucking gawd. I mean I knew I'd outgrown my glasses but really! There's no excuse for that.

Anyway, new eyes. I'm still getting used to them. But it feels good to see what I've been missing! Now I just need to find my magic pair of life glasses.
A very short whine.

I'm tired. I've been running around for 3 weeks now, and not really given myself the chance to catch up. It's my fault. Even when I have the opportunity to stay at home and relax, I seek out a way to get out. What's up with that? I, the one who relishes my quiet alone time to re-energize myself, has been getting fidgety when I am home. That's not like me.

I wonder if I'm overtired. Like the babies who don't get their sleep and become cranky.

I can't sleep when it's light out and so these long days have me getting up very early.

On top of it, there is something in the air. Allergies have been running rampant. A couple coworkers are experiencing the same as well. Tough to sleep thru the night when you wake with a full head and runny nose.

Hopefully...I will slow down. Maybe by Monday. I did cancel Saturday's plans so I can stay home and veg. Maybe a sleepsack and hood is needed. It would keep me still.

Well, the benedryl is kicking in so I'm off to bed.

Night all.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

I loathe hypocrisy. I mean, seriously. In my opinion, a patriot is one who envelopes and lives the spirit and idea of their nation, even in the face of opposing, vocal forces that may happen to fall in line with that nation's head. A patriot supports his country, which is NOT synonymous with supporting the country's leader.

When the news of the torture by american soldiers in Iraq broke, one artist painted to work through his digust and pain. The gallery, where the painting is hung, has become the subject of threats and violence. Let's invade another country because they don't have basic freedoms. Yet it seems the loudest to be prowar are also the loudest when someone takes advantage of that very freedom here in the U.S. What's wrong with this fucking picture?
Here is the article:

Patriotic or obscene?
Threatened gallery owner moves paintings
By J.K. Dineen | Staff Writer
Published on Friday, May 21, 2004

Fearing more vandalism, North Beach gallery owner Lori Haigh decided Wednesday night to remove a controversial painting depicting American soldiers torturing Iraqi prisoners from her storefront window.

"I took it out of the window and had five or six notes saying it was about time I took it down," said Haigh, who owns the Capobianco Gallery on Powell Street. "And then today I put it back up."

It's been a tough week for Haigh, who has been torn between wanting to protect her business from vandals and a desire to defend the artistic vision of painter Guy Colwell, who is currently showing his work at the gallery.

Colwell's painting depicts the now-famous Abu Ghraib prison-abuse photos and shows Pfc. Lynndie England and another soldier smoking cigarettes and smiling as they look upon a trio of naked Iraqi prisoners hooked up to electrical wires. England is facing charges for her role in the abuse.

The painting is black and white, except for the American flag patches on the soldiers' uniforms, which appear to be splattered with blood.

On Tuesday, Haigh arrived at her gallery to find smashed eggs, broken glass and several trash cans of debris littering the entrance just off of Columbus Avenue.

Since then, she has been inundated with messages and letters from both supporters and critics.

The artist at the center of the controversy, meanwhile, said that he simply made the painting because he was angry.

"I was very upset about the revelation of abuses and torture happening in Iraq -- so upset that I almost immediately sat down and began painting a picture, which I happen to consider to be a form of protest," he said.

Colwell, who was born in Oakland in 1945, studied for two years at the California College of Arts and Crafts and worked as a toy sculptor for Mattel in 1966. In 1968, he was imprisoned for draft resistance and spent two years in jail. He was a central player in San Francisco's underground comic scene in the 1970s and penned Inner City Romance, in which he depicted "tales of political repression, violence and ghetto and prison life."

He said he did not understand the animosity directed at the art.

"Apparently, people are quite shocked by my painting," he said. "I don't know why they are not equally or more shocked by the pictures they are seeing on television of the actual torture taking place."

He scoffed at the notion that some objected to the graphic depiction of the war prisoners' genitals.

"If you can see genitals in my painting and call that obscene, then I think you need to look at the actions taken by these people in the prisons in Iraq," he said. "That is where you will find the real obscenity."

Colwell calls himself a patriot.

"I have worked for peace and justice most of my life. I think that is a very American thing to do," he said. "I am not anti-American, I'm anti-torture. I'm anti-cruelty. I'm anti-hypocrisy. I don't want to be lied to any more by our government, and I stand by my work."

Meanwhile, Haigh said the gallery window would feature a less- controversial image at night.

"I'm putting a picture of a square in the window," she said. "Who can object to a square?"

She said she has been frightened by the animosity directed at her.

"I am scared now for my kids," she said. "I'm getting calls at home. Can little me put my whole life on the line for this? It's really kind of scary."