Sunday, January 30, 2005

February is moving month.

Auxugen is moving, I'll be moving, Hoss will be moving and today, for a few hours, the Bear, wonderboy and I are assisting another friend with packing. Honestly, I'm wiped, because I haven't slept the last two nights. The natives were quite restless last night/this morning. As soon as it would quiet down and I'd begin to drift into sleep, a car would pull up, people get out and loudly proceed with their drug transactions, which would jar me into a state. That went on from about 7 pm to about 8 am today. Yes, no matter what, I am moving this month. That's all there is to it.

I fell in love with one apartment yesterday. It's a little larger than what I currently have. It's a one bedroom, about 6 blocks west. So, I'll be 6 blocks from work and 6 blocks from Septieme's. Not too bad. A quiet street...and an immaculate building. What's holding me up is a rent negotiation. I couldn't afford the 675 plus 45/m for utilities. I asked if he could do 650. The manager said "including utilities?". "Yes" I responded.

He wants me in there. I asked if I could repaint the walls and he mentioned that if I'd like, he'd repaint them for me...my choice of color!

Anyway, he's trying to get a hold of the owner who lives out of state, to get his approval on the rent cut. The manager called me this morning to let me know that he's working on it. So...we'll see.

I am a person who detests moving. Although, I honestly don't know of anyone who gets off on it. Then again, kinks are varied and vast. Like jobs, I tend to stay in apartments a long time. So it feels strange being in a place only 6 months before moving again. C'est la vie.

I was thinking about family and community this morning. It seems that many in the leather/kink world speak of community as if it's a big family. That's bullshit. It struck home with all this moving stuff. Each time I simply would mention I am looking for a place...I've had offers of assistance. And they've followed through. It was a good reminder that I am surrounded by family. People who care and love. People who will go out of their way for me. People who I will go out of my way to assist as well. Family. They may or may not be a subset of the larger kink group.

Sometimes I think we deceive, or maybe seduce is a better word, ourselves into believing that simply because we get naked together, fuck each other, beat each other, and be renegades together, it means we are family. That is not the definition of intimacy. I know of many who use s/m, sex or whatever else to shield themselves from actual vulnerability.

Intimacy comes from revealing your heart, not your cock or cunt. It is a matter of taking the risk that we will be rejected, be considered a fool, yet still allow another person to see the demons and beasts we have lurking inside. To discover a place in the arms of another, and learn it is safe because they accept you in spite of the quirks and fears and insecurities and awkwardness and darkness we all carry inside. To love.

This is what I'm learning and seeing. No matter how foolish I feel, depressed, embarrassed, or those days when I just know I'm the ugliest, meanest person in the world...my family is there. The biggie is when I feel I'm being "too much." Too sensitive, too needy, too tired, too sad. I'll retreat, yet not allowed to do it for too long. It will be a short email with a hug attached. It will be a surprise phone call. It will be an offer to pick up my puke if I'm sick.

My family, my friends...I love you. Thank you.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Just a quickie. Yesterday I hit the 4pm matinee at the Harvard Exit Theatre. It was the first day of Les Choristes. (If you click on 'site du film' you'll hear some of the soundtrack. It does play a few of the pieces. Just have to be patient.) Here's a link to the trailer. I am such a sucker for school movies and for voice music. Seeing it had both, and filmed in France to boot...I spent a fabulous hour and a half in a dark moviehouse with about 10 other people. It's not a challenging film, but it's beautiful. The boys' singing was uplifting. Literally. They'd open their mouths and I felt immersed, coddled and transformed by the music. The beauty of voice.

Here is yesterday's column by Mark Morford.
He writes:
"These are the things that make your life peculiar and interesting and slightly surreal, make you shake your head and sigh and look up to the universe and say, wow, what the hell, how did this happen and what sort of energy did I put out that brought this thing into my life and, I mean, who would've thought?"

Although a dog person, he's actually writing about the joys of owning a parrot.

Now, time for a shower and then off to see an apartment.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Gee, a full night’s sleep makes such a difference. No Ambien! It was all on my own. Today I’ve been bouncy and aware. Hankering to write and oh my gawd…maybe even draw.

Although the drawing thing isn’t new. I’ve gone from copying Old Masters to carrying my sketchbook and sketching wherever I am, when I have a moment. It feels good to be doing that again. It’s not huge and yet it is definitely a big little step.

Right now, I’m sitting at Septieme. Spanish guitar music is playing on their soundsystem. They just dimmed the lights and put out the candles. Although I’m not actively recruiting for company, my AIM chat currently states “Available - at the CafĂ©”, in case someone would like to join me. I’m ambivalent about company. If someone shows up, fine. If not, just as fine.
Que sera, sera…ya dig?

You know, when I haven’t been too tired, I actually really and truly feel clearer inside. Lighter, happier.

The shrink has been away for a week and a half…vacation. I won’t see him again until Monday.

Ahhhhh….I just remembered what I was writing a couple entries ago when I became distracted and lost my train of thought.

Here you go.

I love research. Part of me just wants to know. When a question pops in my head, I at least attempt a quick search to quench the thirst a little. When I began seeing the shrink, it was originally for short term grief support. Sir had a stroke a month earlier, and because of where he and I left off in training, I was in a vulnerable place which led to a lost feeling. Between trying to put my pieces back together, somehow begin to mourn the loss of the man that was and get to know the man reborn, I was a mess. So into therapy I went.

Once we began to work through the grief, it led into a picking up where Sir left off, although because I happened to be with a therapist, it went into a deeper perspective.

I think about 6 or 8 months ago, it organically went from regular therapy into analysis with couchwork. And I thought Sir’s training was the most difficult experience I’d had!

Back to the research part. I don’t know why, but I never thought to research analysis and couchwork. I honestly can’t believe the idea never entered my head. It didn’t. And I believe it’s a good thing. You see, last weekend I finally did delve into some information and I’m sure if I had when I began, I would have run away screaming.

I am honestly thrilled that I’m in the middle of this experience. Shit. I don’t think ‘thrilled’ is the right word.

But I’m grateful. Yes there have been and I’m sure there will be again, times where I’m cussing up a storm that I began this process. So many times, in the last year as well as during Sir’s training, I would groan and mutter “ignorance is bliss.”

Thing is, when I was first introduced to s/m, 7 years ago, it hadn’t even been in my realm of vision. No fantasies. Nothing. Yet from the very first, I took to it as if I’d been starving for it. A fish to water. And at the same time, way back then, my first questions weren’t “how to do this” or “where to find partners”. It was “why does this resonate with me?” “What is it about s/m that speaks to my soul?”

Please don’t misunderstand. I didn’t get into therapy (even then) because I thought s/m was bad or from guilt feelings. On the contrary. Actually, s/m was not the specific reason I sought therapy.

I believe I’m the type of person that just wants to know why. Who am I? How can I improve myself? Why does something speak to me?

That’s how I ended up in training with Sir. He knew, from watching me play, that I was primed to learn more about myself.

It really isn’t a surprise that I seemed to have fallen into analysis. I think it’s taken all my life to end up on the couch. I feel honored that I hooked up with a kinky, queer Buddhist priest to do this work with.

In a weird way, without going into details, even woo woo ones, although my longtime readers may know that I don’t have a problem writing woo woo, I think this is a love letter to my shrink, my work with him, and to me.

I’m just amazed and astounded that I actually came through something to this. I don’t even know what this is. All I can say is, it is mind and heart clarity. It’s quite strange actually. How can I be clear about something and still not know my position on this earth? How can I just be and know I have no idea what I’m going to be when I grow up? How can I stand here, light as air, unplussed by the fact that I haven’t a fucking clue who I am?

I swear the shrink must have put some zen juju on me.

And I’m glad.

The shrink has been incredibly patient with me. I’ve known that throughout. What I am now seeing, with my heart, are all the people around me who love me, immensely. Most of my shit has been around the lack of my father. He was physically here but not emotionally. Not in the way that kids need their dads.

In the last week, with newly opened eyes, I can see how blessed I am. Here in Seattle I am surrounded by a bunch of dads, both at work and out of work. There's a handful of men who love me, care for me, worry about me. I’m beginning to actually let that in and once again, I feel honored. Blessed. So very fucking blessed.

Now because one of my favorite dinners, gnocchi on red chard, garnished with pine nuts and red peppers, is on its way out of the kitchen, I’m going to leave you, and immerse myself in the sensations, smells, tastes and textures associated with my meal.

Have a nice evening everyone.
Buster gets busted.

Culture Wars Pull Buster Into the Fray

By Julie Salamon

Published: NYTimes - January 27, 2005

Wayne Godwin, chief operating officer of PBS, got a bit tangled as he tried to explain the PBS stance on gay characters appearing on children's television shows.

"In fairness I would have to say a gay character is not one we would not include," he said, and then clarified. "The fact that a character may or may not be gay is not a reason why they should or should not be part of this series."

Yet on Tuesday PBS decided not to distribute to its roughly 350 PBS stations an episode of "Postcards From Buster," which was scheduled for Feb. 2 and included lesbian mothers, even though a few days earlier PBS officials, among them PBS's president, Pat Mitchell, viewed the episode and called it appropriate. That was before Education Secretary Margaret Spellings denounced the program, starring Buster Baxter, a cute animated rabbit who until now has been known primarily as a close friend of Arthur, the world's most famous aardvark. Ms. Spellings said many parents would not want children exposed to a lesbian life style.

Buster joined another cartoon character, SpongeBob SquarePants, as a focus of the nation's culture wars. SpongeBob was recently attacked by Christian groups for being pro-homosexual, though SpongeBob's creator said it was all a misinterpretation. Buster's offense was appearing in "Sugartime!," the undistributed "Postcards From Buster" show, in which he visits children living in Vermont whose parents are a lesbian couple. Civil unions are allowed in Vermont.

"Postcards From Buster" is a spinoff of "Arthur" that combines live action and animation and went on the air a year ago. In the series, aimed at young elementary schoolchildren, Buster travels to 24 different states with his father and sends video postcards home.

Buster appears briefly onscreen, but mainly narrates these live-action segments, which show real children and how they live. One episode featured a family with five children, living in a trailer in Virginia, all sharing one room. In another, Buster visits a Mormon family in Utah. He has dropped in on fundamentalist Christians and Muslims as well as American Indians and Hmong. He has shown the lives of children who have only one parent, and those who live with grandparents.

Marc Brown, creator of "Arthur" and "Postcards From Buster," said in a statement: "I am disappointed by PBS's decision not to distribute the 'Postcards From Buster' 'Sugartime!' episode to public television stations. What we are trying to do in the series is connect kids with other kids by reflecting their lives. In some episodes, as in the Vermont one, we are validating children who are seldom validated. We believe that 'Postcards From Buster' does this in a very natural way - and, as always, from the point of view of children."

Jeanne Hopkins, a spokeswoman for the show's producer, WGBH-TV of Boston, added, "We feel it's important that we not exclude kids because of what their family structure looks like." WGBH plans to broadcast the episode in March and offer it to other PBS stations.

Like the grown-ups in most of the episodes, the lesbian mothers in the "Sugartime!" segment are mainly background. "The concern really was that there's a point where background becomes foreground," Mr. Godwin said. "No matter if the parents were intended to be background, with this specific item in this particular program they might simply be foreground because of press attention to it and parental attention to it."

The question is, does the episode violate the grant under which WGBH received federal funds? Mr. Godwin said, "The presence of a couple headed by two mothers would not be appropriate curricular purpose that PBS should provide."

The grant specifies the programs "should be designed to appeal to all of America's children by providing them with content and characters with which they can identify." In addition, the grant says, "Diversity will be incorporated into the fabric of the series to help children understand and respect differences and learn to live in a multicultural society."

Brigid Sullivan, vice president for children's programming at WGBH, has been producing children's shows for 20 years, including "Arthur," for many years the top-rated children's show. "This asked for a project on diversity to all of America's children," she said. "We took it seriously and thought that with 'Arthur,' the No. 1 show on television for kids for years, we had something to draw kids in. Buster is Arthur's best friend, the child of divorce, he has asthma. Children sympathize with him. We had a breakthrough format, this animated bunny with his camera getting live-action sequence. Not to present a make-believe world of diversity but a real world."

Explaining the goal of the show, Ms. Sullivan said: "We want to reflect all of America's children."

"This is not about their parents," she said.

Good morning.

Yesterday I discovered that I'm not only silent in my blog. A coworker approached me and we spoke of our staff retreat on Tuesday.
"Are you okay?" he asked.
"Yeah...I am. Why?"
"You were unusually quiet during the retreat and you've been quieter than usual. Your energy felt fine and you seem okay but I'm just double checking."

This surprised me. I have so many thoughts inside and feel I'm spouting. Apparently I'm not. I don't feel any internal pressure to do so either. Ever since my last shrink session a week and a half ago (the breakthrough session), I notice I am quite protective of what's in my head right now.

It's a good thing. I feel as if I'm seeing myself with new eyes and seem to be rediscovering my voice.

I have opinions. Loads of opinions, thoughts and ideas. They're all jumbled and dancing around. I've read so many posts that have given way to new insights and would like to comment. Instead, I've stepped back. I'm watching and reading. Observing. It's all percolating.

I've been busy. Busy being busy and busy resting.

In the past, I'd hit the theaters a few times a year. Now it seems to be every week. This past weekend I caught A Very Long Engagement. Good film. Audrey Tautou intrigues me. She's one of my favorite actors. This movie hit a vast multitude of emotions including some of the delightful quirkiness of Amelie. It handled the issue of war in a non-hollywood, glamourless way. Very intense. Felt realistic, although not having experienced one, take my words with a grain of salt.

Last week I had the pleasure of meeting a man I've wanted to meet for almost 2 years. He happened to be in Seattle for a quick trip and it was a good evening of friends.

I'm slowly looking at new apartments. Although the landlord offered another apartment in the building, I don't think it will work. There aren't any one bedrooms available, only studios. The reason I can handle the size of my studio is because I am on the corner. Two walls of windows allow the space to feel more expansive than it really is. The other studios are constrictive to me.

I'm relaxed. Calm. At times still tired, but it's okay.

I love to research. Love it, love it, love it. When assigned papers in school, I'd immediately spend the first week at the library, researching and taking notes. Once that was complete, then it would all sit. And I'd procrastinate. Until the last day. I would always end up pulling an all-nighter trying to write the damned paper.

Oh no...I wrote the above sentence with a specific reason in mind, then was distracted by a coworker. Now that I've returned to this, I haven't a fucking clue where I was headed. Talk about serious derailment!

Well, I'm way overdue for breakfast. My blood sugar is dropping so it's time to find some food.

Be back later!

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

It's a glorious foggy morning here in Seattle. It's thick and grey and tightly hugs all it encounters. Love it.

Want your Rob Brezsny horoscope for today?

And here is Mark Morford, writing about the Sponge Bob uproar. Yeah, it may appear silly...on the surface.

Morford writes:

"But now, the not-so-cute part: Much like that other small-minded cluster of clenched nonbrains over at the Parents Television Council, the very tiny but weirdly vocal group that single-handedly managed to hurl the FCC into fits of hysteria regarding naughty swearwords and exposed nipples in the national media, these groups are having one helluva moment right now, one influential and dangerous time in the cultural limelight.

These are the minuscule and shrill groups that, perhaps in a period not seen since the Puritans forbade dancing and kissing and the color fuchsia and all pleasure of any kind, have a shockingly powerful pull on American society and who reputedly helped tilt the election toward Bush and who increasingly have the ear of Congress -- a Congress, it must be noted, that's increasingly crammed with evangelical Christians and homophobic nutjobs and Tom DeLay.

Which is to say, much as most of us on this planet laugh and feel pity and shake our heads at the odd paranoia and dread these cheerless people wallow in on a daily basis, somehow, some way, they have stolen the reins. For the moment.

They now have a semblance of voice, a hook, have warped the ear of the government and embarrassed our national common sense and soiled the clean white sheets of healthy happy debauchery and perversion.

They have jammed a black seed of paranoia and dread into the tired soil of American consciousness, and have made it their lifelong duty to ensure that the seed festers and erupts into a gnarled weed of hate and ignorance and bad missionary-position sex with the lights off."


Working in sync with Morford is this article featured in today's Arts and Letters Daily.
Ohhhh...yes. I'm home. Not only home, but naked and curled up in bed, under a pile of covers, half reclining and talking with you.

I've been wishing for my bed since about 7pm tonight.

You see, I left about 7:30 this morning, hopped a 9am express shuttle one hour flight with my coworkers, headed to a regional office and had an all day staff retreat where we spent 5 hours focused on our strategic plan for programs and fundraising. At 4:30 we went to a glbt youth organization in this town for a site visit. In the past, we had awarded this organization many grants and so were excited to see the place, meet some of the kids, and talk with the ED. From there we had maybe a 1/2 hour to crash on the floor of the regional office, and then off to a schmooze fest and dinner with donors, volunteers and other previous grant recipients. Our staff was split between two planes. I was on the earlier flight (2nd to the last one out for the evening), which proceeded to get cancelled due to major fog in Seattle and so the airline did arrange for seats on a plane leaving an hour later (which happened to be larger and therefore could handle the fog). It was the plane that the other half of the staff was on. The second plane was a different airline in another terminal and therefore it meant going through security all over again, which also entailed all the displaced passengers to go through thorough screening, including full search of our luggage, wanding and manually shaking us down everytime the rivots in our jeans set off the alarm. Ugh.

I just got home.

This was a VERRRRYYYY LONGGGG day for all of us. Especially the 3 introverts in the office. It was also a good day and I had been looking forward to it for even while knowing it was going to kick the shit out of me. The work is exhausting and yet, I love my job.

Now it's bed.
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...

Monday, January 24, 2005

Good morning. Today is a full day, but I knew I wouldn't be able to dive into work without writing here first. I'm sipping my coffee and playing 'wake up'.

I haven't really written anything in almost a week. It's all been about links. The breakthrough from therapy is filtering into my life. I've watched my viewpoint change, and seeing things clearer. That is, when I'm not too tired from lack of sleep.

Yup. The natives are still restless at night. The meeting we had, with the neighbors and cops was wonderful. Lots of great ideas on how to reclaim the neighborhood. Positive ways to plant seeds.

Problem is, my problem is immediate. This isn't simply a couple weeks of sleep dep. It's just over 3 months. I left early a few days this week, because my eyes would begin to blur over the spreadsheet I'm working on. Useless. I've been useless.

I contacted my doctor and refilled my prescription for Ambien. I took it for 2 nights and noticed an immediate change. Full, deep sleep really does make a difference.

Anyway, what's troubled me is this:
My apartment felt so good. The owner is great. The energy fabulous. It seemed perfect. Yet everything turned on a dime, back in October. We went from silent nights to party nights on the street. I believe that we all have control over our enviroment. If not physical, then emotional. I wonder what I'm doing to call this to myself. I wonder what I'm missing. Sometimes I think the solution is right in front of my face and I can't see it. I wondered where I'd find the answers.

Then on Friday I realized that maybe I was asking the wrong questions. Maybe I didn't need to angst so much about it. Maybe I simply needed to be in what I was in.

With that, I let go. I let go of the idea that I wasn't going to move. You see, I really don't want to move. But things are bad at night, and currently, the only constructive thing thus far is to remove myself. So I've begun making phone calls. Yesterday I looked at a place.

Either I find an apartment or the noise stops at night. When I finally made the decision to let go of my place, I felt the terror that had been building inside, dissipate. When I lay to sleep, I try to focus on breathing so as to encompass the outdoor sounds with the indoor ones. Then I know it would all blur into my environment, not one having more power than the other.

Ha. I've yet to achieve that level of grace and enlightment.

That's is for now...

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Last request for controversial statue

10:44 PM PST on Wednesday, January 19, 2005
By PAT McREYNOLDS / KING 5 News

SEATTLE – Do you know where you can find a single naked statue visible in Seattle?

Probably not, but that may soon change with a wealthy man's last request.

Seattle is filled with public and impressive works of art. But it took a voice from beyond the grave to point out there is one area we are truly lacking.

Stu Smailes, a former computer analyst at Safeco, left Seattle $1 million in his will to build a fountain.

But, he stated, it "must include the figure of at least one life-size naked man."

Statues of the naked male form grace the best museums in the world. But for some strange reason there isn't a single one in Seattle.

Even in the Seattle Art Museum, there are only cherubs and body parts, and they are nowhere near life size.

"The public arts program started in the '60s and there was nothing of that sort being done by contemporary artists at that time," said Elizabeth Brown, Henry Art Gallery chief curator. "And it's really only recently that the art world has come back around to that type of configuration."

Apparently Mr. Smailes was on to something.

The city is already exploring ways to grant his dying wish and use his million.

"We are in discussions with the art museum and the estate to basically assign the interest in the bequest from the city to the art museum," said Karen Bystrom, Seattle Arts and Cultural Affairs.

So now that a naked statue appears to be in the works, will a public so used to covering up welcome a bronze that bears all?

"What's the big deal?" asked one.

"It's a gentleman's area. Why not?" said another.

"I wouldn't mind seeing it in this city," said yet another.

The attorney for Stu Smailes said the man was an art lover with a healthy sense of humor.

His idea will most likely be placed in the Seattle Art Museum's Olympic Sculpture Park, but it is still being negotiated when it will be finished and what it will look like.

The million dollars will also go for the upkeep of the fountain.

The will also states the statue must be designed in the classical or "realistic" style.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

"The word Monster in its original application describes a child born with a physical deformity.  What does it mean that our society has taken this word now to mean "evil"?  Where is that leap between appearances, either physical or emotional, and the specifically dark nature of one's soul?  All of this speaks of a shallowness I seek to conquer.  My work is about looking beyond the outer to the inner, and finding with this the true definition of Beauty - which is beyond form."
-Chris Mars, artist statement 2003

Here is a link to his full statement. Pretty powerful.  He begins with:

"When my brother "Bill" was fifteen years old, he was institutionalized for schizophrenia.  He saw things, he heard things.  Were these monsters?  Was he?"

Take a look at his paintings.

Thank you Padacia for consistently showcasing amazing work.

Friday, January 21, 2005

I don't know about you but I couldn't focus on the outside world yesterday. I woke. It was black Thursday. Instead of checking the news or reading papers to find out how things went in D.C., I dug my heels in, worked my job, and spent time appreciating the people in my immediate vicinity. I sought the daily delights and goodness that is still around, in spite of what's happening. Right now, the most I can do is try to make my little circle a better, more loving, sexy place.

Today, I open up Morford's column. He writes about news fatigue.

Listen to him:

"I know how it is. Even in a good month, following the media and keeping yourself truly informed is rarely easy and infrequently pleasurable and unless you're a fanatical media junkie absolutely never better than sex.

And this is quadruply true when all we're hammered by is nonstop wartime atrocity and Bush-policy abomination and the fact that it has now been almost exactly four years since the last shred of good news about environmental improvement, health-care reform, progress on women's rights or gay rights or cleaner air or a crackdown on the worst industrial polluters (instead of more tax breaks), outreach for the poor or more protection for national forests or a broadened sense of spiritual diversity or maybe a nice new treaty with a new ally that's designed to actually improve relations instead of degrade and isolate and destabilize.

Of course we're exhausted. Of course we don't want to hear it any more. It's a decidedly fatalistic feeling, after Bush snuck in to Term II, that there's little that can be done and we might as well just hunker down and wait for it all to be over because, after the valiant and heartbreaking battle of last November, much hope has been lost."


A little bit later he continues with:

"So, then. It's OK to take a break. It's OK to, in the wake of the deeply nauseating Bush re-election, stay away, refocus, recharge, focus inward and focus locally and focus on living your own life with the kind of temerity and resolve that you normally prescribe to rabid evangelicals from Kentucky. Never think you have all the answers. But just know that you know how to ask the right kind of questions.

Which is to say, it's all about validation. Of truth. Of your truth. Of what you know to be true of progressive kaleidoscopic open-thighed human consciousness, and how radically and beautifully that belief differs from the small-minded black/white pseudo-Christian BushCo truth.

And in fact, I would argue that this kind of regular, daily validation is mandatory right now, that as far as Bush goes, living well -- living your beliefs to their utmost and allowing them full, raw manifestation, sacred or profane, luminous or pointed, naked or slathered over in karmic whipped cream -- is the best revenge, is by far the best thing you can do to counter the seemingly interminable BushCo onslaught."


I'm with Morford.
It is mandatory. Critical. So go out and love each other. Hug each other. Fuck each other. Paint, sing, cry, dance. Smile at the stranger on the street. Bring your coworker a flower.

Our souls and hearts need healing and rest. Kindness helps. Everything is so damned big. When tired it feels insurmountable. Then let's work on the little things. I don't know about you, but it's all I can do right now. Plant those seeds and see what grows.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Mark Morford speaketh:

"This is about the time your head spins all the way around and you shudder in disbelief and you stifle a giggle and hold your sides and restrain yourself from gagging, think happy thoughts about sex and love and trees because otherwise you just smash your head with a brick and throw puppies into paper shredders to numb the pain and quiet the screams."

See what else he says in today's column, Ho Hum, More War and Death.

And check out your 'scope in this week's Freewill Astrology.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

A short entry.

In about 20 minutes I need to be at the mexican restaurant on the corner. The owner of my apartment building has set up a meeting with the police, interested neighbors and the tenants of my building to discuss the night time drug trafficking problem on my corner. In his letter to us, he mentioned that nachos and the first round of drinks were on him. He hopes that we could come up with creative non-confrontational ways to handle the growing issue.

Yeah, I'm still not sleeping through most nights due to the noise.

When I spoke with the apartment manager this week, he mentioned that I can move into another apartment in the same building. It would be quieter. And he volunteered to check into extra space in the basement where I could set up a painting studio. How cool is that? There are already a few artists working down there.

Yesterday I had a massive breakthrough in my therapy session. Like the insight I've yet to fill you in on, I have intentions of sharing this as well. Please be patient with me. Between the bigness and newness, and considering I'm working on major sleep dep...it may be a little bit before I get the words out.

Interestingly, when I left my session, I noticed my lungs were clearer. The rattling was gone and my breaths were deeper. It was immediate. Heart stuff.

Well...I need to run. Talk with you soon...I promise.
Thanks to LJ's dragonflysister...

...she contacted me with a reference to another point of view regarding the destruction of Babylon (check my entry from a few days back regarding an article I found in Reuters UK).

Anyway, the comment led me to google some more. Here is a more recent article from Reuter's which states they are doing further investigation. Apparently there's a question as to who actually created what damage.

Monday, January 17, 2005

I've been quite horny for the last week. Not that I have the energy to engage with anyone, but I'll gladly tend to things myself. It's the most active I've been all week, other than laying in bed or crapped out in comfy chair. The last remnants of my cold are a rattling chest, no air in my lungs when I walk or talk too much, and a serious lack of energy. I trust the next week will get rid of these final symptoms.

But in spite of this, I have no problem jacking off whenever I see fit, over and over, many times during the day. Last night, it was to the dvd Gandhi. I had never seen the movie and thought a 3 hour epic would be good tonic for a kickback weekend. I watched a fair amount of the film with my hands in my cunt, playing with myself. Mainstream porn doesn't get me off. It bores me. So many other more interesting things in life get me hot and bothered, especially intelligence and compassion.

Mornings again find me waking up wanking. My eyes haven't even opened for the first time and yet my hands are busy. In Body Electric, back in October, we were gathered and each had to talk about our genitals. My turn came.
I began with:

"My cunt is the first thing I touch when I wake up and the last thing I touch at night."

Depending upon my libido, yes, there are times I won't get myself off. But even when that happens...I still have to touch my cunt.
It's part of my soul.
It's one of the places the god-me resides.

What has me writing in this vein? I had picked up my laptop to check email, and needed to scratch my nose. I caught a strong whiff of me. Dried up wetness and cum smells still lingered on my fingers. Every few minutes I put my fingers to my face and take another deep breath. It's some of the best perfume I know.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

We are no better.

Remember how outraged we were when, a few years back, the Taliban militia were responsible for the destruction of ancient buddhist statues?

From Reuters - U.S.-led forces damaged ancient Babylon

"U.S.-led forces, using Iraq's ancient city of Babylon as a military base, have caused "substantial damage" to one of the world's most renowned archaeological treasures, a British Museum report says."...

..."Lord Redesdale, the head of Britain's all-party parliamentary archaeological group, told the Guardian he was horrified.

"Outrage is hardly the word, this is just dreadful.

"These are world sites. Not only is what the American forces are doing damaging the archaeology of Iraq, it's actually damaging the cultural heritage of the whole world."

My longtime readers remember when I used to show them art. Not mine, but links to other works that pleased me. It's been quite a while since I've done so. Six months? Maybe more. Over the fall, during the period of continual hard drive crashes, I lost all my links and files in the first one.

Tonight I sit quietly, listening to music and the sound of obnoxious cars outside my window (local drug dealers cruising up and down the intersection), I thought of finally researching and recompiling my files. Or some semblance of them.

Wondering which artist to seek out first, a painting came to mind. And then another.

300 years separate the painters Juan Sanchez Cotan (Spanish, 1560-1627) and Giorgio Morandi (Italian, 1890-1964). Two unique artists, and yet, not so different. Both are still life painters. It may be my mood that brought them to mind.

Look at Quince, Cabbage, Melon and Cucumber by Cotan and Blue Vase by Morandi.

I love the austerity. Within what may appear as barrenness, lay a whole world, rich and filled of substance. These two paintings remind me that isolation and quiet, or even nothingness, is a space of resonance. Sufficient and teeming.

This is a good thing for me to remember.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Today Mark Morford goes off on a different vein in Stray Dogs Deserve Back Rubs.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

I made it to work this morning, and forced myself to be there until certain things were complete, which meant for a 10 hour day. But now I'm at Cafe Septieme where I can relax. After being home sick for 5 days, I couldn't spend another night indoors. I still feel like crap but had to get out of the damned house. Tomorrow is my regular day off and Monday is a holiday, so I have a few more days to get better.

Sir should be meeting me here in a bit. We chatted via AIM a few minutes ago, and he wanted to join me for a drink.

Okay, onto serious stuff.
I've written 3 entries and they are still sitting on my desktop. You know those insights I alluded to a little while ago? I can't seem to get them out right now. It feels so fucking intimate. Maybe it's just not time to share. Honestly, I'm in the throes of dealing with the awareness and therefore it's all about feelings and not much in the way of intellectual stuff. I haven't a clue how to articulate it. And I don't know if I have the courage.

Today I mentioned that to the shrink. He assured me that I would be sharing with you. Huh. You'd think this blog has become his domain. :-)

Anyway, in addition to being sick, the feelings I'm immersed in and struggling with are those of invisibility and extreme loneliness. It's all heightened a hundredfold. Today there's a sense of despair.

In the midst of this, I've been checking the Seattle Academy of Fine Art website. 4 years ago I took a weeklong drawing workshop for advanced artists. I love this place and would like to begin their open figure drawing studios. I can see myself drawing and painting again. At the same time, the chasm is wide. How the hell am I going to get to the other side?

My horoscope this week spoke of nurturing talent I've neglected. Yeah...

I'm grieving. I'm fiercely grieving the aloneness, invisibility and lack of home that I felt as a child. I'm grieving the fact that I'm 45 and all these years feel wasted. Imagine if I wasn't so broken inside, and had the security and suredness to pursue my passion. Where would I be now? What would I be painting? Who would I be?

I know that dwelling in 'what if's' can be a futile task. But I believe it's the perpetual wallowing in 'what if's' that is pointless. I've never before mourned what I could have been. So it's time. And it fucking hurts.

I'm angry at my parents. I'm angry that I never felt I truly fit in. I'm angry at my continual 'outsider' state of being. I'm angry at the isolation and freakiness I felt as a child. Childhood is NOT the time to feel freaky. Kids need to feel loved, wanted, secure and safe. Then and only then, can they become the brilliant freaks they were meant to be as adults. Shit.

Bloody cheery entry, isn't it?

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Yeah...still sick. The asthma is under control and my cold is progressing nicely. It has gone from my head and is making a nest in my chest.

I still have stuff I want to share with you, but it needs to wait until I'm clearer. In the meantime, I'll give you Mark Morford:

"God fails. Earth fails. Man fails. The disaster, it just is. We stare at it and see the devastation and feel a deep relief that we were spared this time because we know, deep down, it could have very easily happened to us.

And we blink hard and we are touched on some primitive level, some ancient chthonic instinct that hearkens us back to the beginnings of time, before there was a person on the planet to conceive of a god who would gently explain it all away as a grand master plan and you just have faith and stop your worrying there there now. Right."


Read Morford's latest column, God Does Not Cause Tsunami.

Check out my horoscope from Rob Brezsny:

Capricorn:
"One of the strongest characteristics of genius is the power of lighting its own fire," wrote essayist John W. Foster. While you may not be a genius in the same way that Albert Einstein or Emily Dickinson were, Capricorn, I believe that one of your special talents deserves the title. The only problem is, you haven't consistently given that talent the nurturing it needs to flourish. Would you consider correcting this neglect in the coming weeks? No later than March 1, I hope you will put into action a disciplined, long-term plan to create a metaphorical greenhouse for this natural endowment of yours."


Considering I'm dealing with my lack of painting in therapy...it's timely.

In case you aren't a capricorn, here's your horoscope.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

I've got to get these thoughts out otherwise I'll just bust. I am still sick and so you are going to get snippets.
And, even though I've reread the following 3 times, I'm not editing anymore. I'm tired. What you see is what you get.

Oh yeah...feel free to comment or email if you desire. It's cool.

Hmmm...where to start.

Okay, the boring stuff first.
Guess what? Asthma. I've got asthma. Ugh. When I was a teenager, my asthma would only kick in when I was with cats.
Two years ago, although I wasn't aware of it for almost a year, I had an apartment filled with black mold. I developed asthma that wouldn't even cease with an albuterol inhaler. My fabulous doc gave me a 16 day 'script for Prednisone and told me I had that many days to find a new living space.

Saturday, my cold began. Last night, while in bed, I couldn't breathe. I thought the cold had settled in my chest rather quickly. This afternoon, at the shrink's, I seriously couldn't breathe. Every 3 or 4 words left me gasping for air. After the shrink I buzzed to my doc, hoping she could see me. She walked in.
"I'm really sick and didn't know where to go, so I came here" was uttered between gulps of air.
"Awww...." She smiled.
We talked, she gave me another 'script for prednisone to only use at the first sign of intense asthma. From there my inhaler should work. It did. 24 hours of working for breath really takes it out of you.

Doc gets me. I've said it before and I'll say it again. I love my doc. She said that because I live my life walking on the edge of society and choose to delve into dark spaces, she wants to keep me healthy. A few times over the last year she said she felt I was courageous and admired that. Yes, good for my ego. It's important to have your doctor on your side.

This is where I get stuck. What do I blab about next?

------------------------------

Okay, next thing. A few people have sent me articles on Susan Sontag and the silence around her sexuality. Yeah, it's annoying. More than that but I haven't been able to dwell on it. I think it's for the same reason I can't spend time thinking about the immense, mammoth disaster in Indonesia. Each, and I'm not comparing them, are so big in very different ways. I know I have loads of feelings around them and no energy to indulge in extra thoughts.

But, here is a quickie about coming out. I'm not specifically speaking about Sontag here, yet about coming out in general.

Regardless of my private feelings around coming out, I will wholeheartedly support someone's decision to come out or not. It is not my place to judge them because I am not living their life, with their history and baggage.
I don't believe it's anyone's business. Yes, I know that if everyone who is queer publicly came out, I think we'd have an easier time of it. But I don't believe in outing.

Now...when someone has come out and the press keeps quiet about that fact...it seriously pisses me off. In a sense, it's an example of how the media rewrites history by creating a fantasy, concocted with a lie of omission.

Or...once someone has passed away, I don't see any problem with outing them.

That's that for now.

------------------------------

Here's an update on my art. Guess what I'm doing? Nope. I still can't paint. But last week I pulled out a few of my large art books. I love art books, don't you? They are some of my cherished possessions. Anyway, AE was here, hanging out. While he was checking his email, I pulled out two books. Big, thick, fat hard-covered books. One is about Picasso's portraits. The other is a large book from the exhibit at the Met (I think a few years back). It's Leonardo's drawings. I wanted to see the show really bad and couldn't So I did the next best thing. Ordered the book.

In my little sketchbook I began doing pencil copies of Picasso and Leonardo's drawings. Small sketches. Yes, because it's art it is emotional. According to the shrink, I'm tricking my psyche by thinking it's only a technical exercise. This allows me to get my feet wet again by committing myself to a level of intimacy that I can handle right now. I'll agree. What I love about it is once again, my body and spirit are showing me how a part of me is really looking out for me. Quite pretty.

------------------------------

While on the topic of art, due to the writings of a fellow blogger (thanks Pete!), I've been giving a lot of thought to angst, dark times, change and the creative process. Friday and Saturday I spent a little time researching creativity and depression. There is a thought floating out there that embraces the mad genius, the mad artist stereotype. Maybe we have to be totally whacked to paint, write, compose etc.
I read articles on how clinical depression or even a bipolar disorder go hand in hand with creativity. Personally, it doesn't sit well with me. Sure, it can happen in some. But I don't believe in a blanket statement.

Then I found other articles where people are misdiagnosed. Because many creative people have an increased level of sensitivity and intensity they are incorrectly labeled. Their depression may in fact be situational. Imagine the individual who's told he's crazy because of his divergent thinking or view of the world. Imagine the child who desires to become an artist and yet can't because it's not practical, doesn't offer insurance or retirement plans and has nothing to do with our society's idea of a successful life. If we continually find ourselves in situations that hamper instead of support our passions and creativity, that sure as hell can lead to depression and in extreme cases, either passive or active suicide. Although someone is strong of character, if highly sensitive, it takes very little to wound that person.

Now even when we finally somehow grab our gutts and break through into the life we envision for ourselves, we may have years upon years of old voices to deal with. Ha...not like I'm talking from experience.

Right.

------------------------------

And I suppose this leads me into some insights. Or not. Sigh...

I really want to share, and truly promise I will. But I'm bushed, my head began pounding again and it will have to wait. It should also be easier considering I've done an inital dump.

I will leave you with a couple short revealing things. First, I'm shy. And I'm not shy. I just realized this morning that I'm only shy when I'm in a space where I feel I fit, yet feel intimidated by the people gathered. Like....I really, truly want them to like me and so I end up feeling like a dork.
I'm not shy in a new space when I don't care. Or, if the booze is flowing. :-)

Number two. I need to learn to be freer and goofier. I tend to take things so seriously, including statements meant as jokes. At work, it must happen at least once a day. It really doesn't matter if I know and love the people or not. I believe I'm too serious for my own good.

------------------------------

I think that's enough for tonight. It's time for my pillows and comforters.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Still sick.

I never made it to Septieme's yesterday. And we can forget about the art party I was invited to. A one block walk to get coffee pretty much nixed those thoughts. I returned home and just wanted to sleep.

Today I'm at work. My coworkers took one look at me and ordered I go home. My stubborness kicked in. Kinda. I need to speak with another coworker and therefore am not leaving until after he arrives. Then yes, it's home to bed.

I hate being sick.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

snow...


...SNOW!!!!

I love, love, love waking to a freshly white covered earth. What I love even more is when the sky is an infinite plane of flat gray and it's still snowing. The icing on the cake is when it happens on a weekend. You can smell the collective breath of calmness where the daily freneticism seems to cease. Silence in the air.

I love it.

Today is it.

Yeah, I still have my cold. The nonstop nose runniness stopped during the night. I'm kinda wiped due to waking every few hours. Working on a couple loads of laundry. Curled up in my sweats. Drinking a vat of ginger peach tea. It has just enough caffeine to ward off a withdrawal headache.

Although sick, I am considering popping into Cafe Septieme this afternoon with my laptop. It may make for a cozy afternoon. Or not. I'll play it by ear. There's plenty of food in the house, and once I'm further awake I will walk to the corner for a latter. Maybe gingerbread spice latte?

It's a quiet day.
I'm not sure how coherent this entry will be. I have a fucking, nasty cold. It's the kind that begins out of the blue with sneezing fits and a nose that starts to run. This in turn leads to a fully stuffed up head and a nose that won't stop running.

Today, Auxugen and I went to check out apartments for him. Afterward it was off to the Harvard Exit Theater for Pedro Almodovar's Bad Education. Brilliant film. I don't have more words than that cuz, well....a stuffed up, foggy head. Remember? Actually my cold reared its ugly head as I sat down in the theater. The sneezing began when the film began. In spite of that, I thoroughly enjoyed this flick.

I'm now sipping on Cold Care PM tea from Traditional Medicinals. If it can make my nose stop for a bit, I'd feel a tad better.

Since the post I wrote on Wednesday...I'm still feeling...well...bleh. Actually, the last few days have seen me feeling intensely invisible. It's nothing that anyone can help with, so honestly, don't bother trying. This isn't a passive way of seeking connection. It's just where I am right now. I don't want any comments or emails with advice. In this particular moment, it will annoy instead of help.

Intellectually, I understand what's going on and what's really real. But my heart has to get in sync with my head, and it just ain't happening right now. No one other than myself can get me through this piece. And I'm doing all I can. It's simply a matter of time. Wade through the muck.

When I get do get together with people, like my birthday night or today, I feel detachment. Not from them, but separated from myself. It's strange and at the same time feels like a little resting spot from what is happening inside. So that's what's up with that.

Friday, January 07, 2005

From the Village Voice, a good read about Susan Sontag.

Susan Sontag (1933-2004)
Remembering the voice of moral responsibility—and unembarrassed hedonism

-by Gary Indiana, January 4, 2005

Like Maria Callas's voice, Susan Sontag's mind, to borrow a phrase from the great filmmaker Werner Schroeter (one of countless underappreciated artists Sontag championed), was "a comet passing once in a hundred years." In a dauntingly, often viciously anti-intellectual society, Sontag made being an intellectual attractive.

She was the indispensible voice of moral responsibility, perceptual clarity, passionate (and passionately reasonable) advocacy: for aesthetic pleasure, for social justice, for unembarrassed hedonism, for life against death. Sontag took it as a given that our duty as sentient beings is to rescue the world. She knew that empathy can change history.

She set the bar of skepticism as high as it would go. Allergic to received ideas and their hypnotic blandishments, she was often startled to discover how devalued the ethical sense, and the courage to exercise it, had become in American consumer culture.

Sontag had impeccable instincts for saying and doing what needed to be said and done while too many others scrambled for the safety of consensus. Hence the uproar when she declared, at the height of Solidarity's epochal crisis in 1982, that "communism . . . is fascism with a human face." Hence also the depressingly rote indignation mobilized against her response to a New Yorker survey about the 9-11 attacks, published on September 24, 2001—a survey that most respondents used to promote themselves, their latest books, the depth of their own "feelings."

Of course it was, and still is, easier for many Americans to pretend the events of 9-11 were inexplicable eruptions of violence against American virtuousness, perpetrated by people who "hate us for our freedoms." Indeed, the habitual assertion of the American way of life's superiority is probably what persuades supposedly serious writers to weigh in on a civil catastrophe by promoting their own narrow interests, dropping in news of their current travel itineraries, their marriages, their kids—oh, and how shaken they were by the tragic events.

It takes unusual bravery to cite, in a large media venue, cause and effect as operant elements in a man-made emergency—especially when the programmed pieties and entrenched denial mechanisms of society run in the opposite direction.

Sontag drew her own better-than-well-informed conclusions about what happened on 9-11. The habit of independent thought has so little currency in 21st-century America that dissent is the last thing most Americans consider worth protecting.

What Jean Genet referred to as "the far Right and its imbecilic mythology" have already been activated in several "obituary" pieces, including one fulminating, hateful dismissal of Sontag's entire lifework. It's lowering to realize how terminally bitter the American right really is: Even in its current triumphal micro-epoch, it needs to demonize somebody.

Sontag's political "lapses," cited even in sympathetic articles, are in fact the public moments one should most admire her for. She was usually right, and when she hadn't been, she said so. It's customary these days to damn people for "inconsistency," as if it's somehow virtuous to persist forever in being wrong. Sontag interrogated her own ideas with merciless rigor, and when she discovered they no longer applied, or were defectively inadequate or just plain bad, she never hesitated to change her mind in public.

Certainly she felt the same revulsion and horror at the atrocity of 9-11 that any New Yorker, any citizen of the world, did. But she also had the moral scruple to connect the attacks to generally untelevised, lethal American actions abroad, to the indiscriminate carnage that has typified both state policy and terrorist violence in the new century. Where, exactly, does the difference lie?

Unlike our government's loudest warmongers and their media cheerleaders, Sontag put her own life on the line, many times, in defense of her principles—in Israel during the Six Day War, in Hanoi during the American bombardment, in Sarajevo throughout much of the conflict there. Like Genet, she was willing to go anywhere, at a moment's notice, out of solidarity with people on the receiving end of contemporary barbarism.

The range of her talents and interests was no less impressive than her moral instincts. She once told me that "every good book is worth reading at least once" (in her case, it was usually at least twice). Her appetite for cultural provender—opera, avant-garde theater, film, dance, travel, historical inquiry, cuisine of any kind, architecture, the history of ideas—was inexhaustible. If you told her about something she didn't know, she soon knew more about it than you did. She routinely went directly from a museum to a screening, then to a concert; and if there was a kung fu movie playing somewhere after all that, off she went, whether you were still ambulatory or not.

I know I'm in a minority, but I remain a fan of Sontag's early novels The Benefactor and Death Kit—Sontag herself cared little for them in later years. Not enough people have seen the films she directed: Duet for Cannibals and Brother Carl in Sweden, Promised Lands in Israel, Unguided Tour in Venice. These early and middle works could be considered noble experiments, operating on a high level of fluency and daring.

None of these works are as sumptuously realized as her best essays, or her later novels The Volcano Lover and In America. At times, her reverence for the European modernists who influenced her eclipses her own seldom mentioned, American gift for absurdist black humor. (Death Kit has anything but a reputation for hilarity, but it's one of the most darkly funny narratives written in America during the Vietnam War.) Many of Sontag's essays, for that matter, have threads of Firbankian whimsy and manic satire running through them—and no, I'm not referring to "Notes on Camp."

There's no way to summarize her restless cultural itinerary and her immense services to "the republic of letters" in the space of an obituary. What I can speak of, here, again, is the indelible example she set as a moral being, citizen, and writer. She sedulously distinguished between the merely personal and the insights personal experience generated. "I" appears less frequently in her writings than in those of any other significant American writer I can think of. If Sontag was less averse, in recent times, to saying "I," it could be that she at last realized she'd earned the authority for "I" to mean more, coming from her, than it does coming from most people. (In America, "I" isn't simply a pronoun, but a way of life.)

It's my guess that growing up in Arizona and Southern California, among people who placed no special value on intelligence and none at all on its cultivation, Sontag's first line of defense against being hurt by other people was the same thing (aside from physical beauty) that distinguished her from ordinary people—that awesome intellect. She could be ferociously assertive, and at times even hurtful, without at all realizing the tremendous effect she had on people. In some ways, like any American intellectual, she often felt slighted or underappreciated, even when people were actually paying keen attention to her.

Her personal magnetism was legendary. Even in later times, she had the glamour of a film star. She almost never wore makeup (though she did, finally, find a shade of lipstick she could stand), and usually wore black slacks, black sweaters, and sometimes a black leather jacket, though occasionally the jacket would be brown. She had the body language of a young person: She once explained to me that people get old when they started acting like old people.

I never heard her say a dumb word, even in moments of evident distress. She did, from time to time, do things that seemed quite odd, but then, who doesn't? Her will to keep experiencing, learning, and feeling "the old emotions"—and, sometimes, to make herself empty, restock her interiority, break with old ideas—came with a project of self-transcendence that Sontag shouldered, like Sisyphus's stone, cheerfully, "with fervor."

She once told Dick Cavett, after the first of her struggles with cancer, that she didn't find her own illness interesting. She stipulated that it was moving to her, but not interesting. To be interesting, experience has to yield a harvest of ideas, which her illness certainly did—but she communicated them in a form useful to others in ways a conventional memoir couldn't be. (To be useful, one has to reach others on the level of thought, not only feeling—though the two are inseparable.)

In light of her own illness, she set about removing the stigma then attached to cancer, dismantling the punitive myths this fearsome illness generated at the time. We don't look at illness in the same way we did before Illness as Metaphor and the widespread examination of our relationship to medicine that it triggered.

Her detachment in this regard was a powerful asset. Many years ago, I went with her one morning to her radiologist. The radiologist had gotten back some complicated X-rays and wanted to discuss them. On the way uptown, Susan was incredibly composed, long resigned to hyper-vigilance as the price of staying alive.

At the clinic, she disappeared into the doctor's office for a worryingly long time. When she came out, finally, she was laughing.

"She put the X-rays up," Susan told me, "and said, 'This really doesn't look good.' So I looked them over, and thought about it. Then I said, 'You're right. These don't look good. But you know something, these aren't my X-rays.' "

They weren't her X-rays. Her most recent procedure had left a temporary, subcutaneous line of staple sutures running from her throat to her abdomen. The tiny metal clamps she knew were there would have glowed on an X-ray.

For some reason this was the first memory that flashed to mind when the sad news came that she was gone.

----------------

I have to tout a new blog. Feeding Frenzy, the catering company I periodically work with, has a food journal now!

Daniel, the owner of Feeding Frenzy is passionate about food and writing. He does both well. Check it out in his new entry on cheeses.
"Maybe stupid is too strong a word.

Maybe it's more like willful ignorance. More like intentional blindness. More like a calm and conscious denial in the face of a staggering stack of overwhelming facts that if you looked at for even one minute would prove that land tanks are some of the most overrated and silly and harmful and utterly pointless vehicles on the planet.

OK, maybe stupid is the right word."


That's Mark Morford latest column, sounding off in Do SUVs Make You Stupid?

Thursday, January 06, 2005

I need to run out the door in 15 minutes but wanted to thank everyone who sent nice messages. Thank you all!

The Bear and wonderboy are taking me out for dinner tonight. We are dining at the Kingfish Cafe. It's only 6 blocks from my apartment...and I've always heard wonderful things about the food, the ambience, the fried chicken and the coconut cake. There are always large groups of people lined outside the door waiting for seating at this little corner restaurant. I am looking forward to this seeing I am a virgin Kingfish person.

It's been an interesting day and hope to write about it when I return.

see you soon...

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Tomorrow's my birthday. I'm not really old. Although I'll only be 45, I feel fucking old this year. We can blame it on therapy. I mean...I gotta blame it on something, right?

The last month has seen times of intense loneliness, despair and loss. The loss feeling is strange because it's not as if I've lost people or material goods. I feel I've lost a sense of myself. The self that I knew. And I haven't a clue who the new me is. Surreal.

Imagine heading down a path which turns into a tunnel. You know it opens up into something else. But I've taken enough curves in this damned tunnel that there isn't any light left from the opening where I entered. I can't see the hand in front of my face. I can't see a speck of light from the exit. All I know is that there are walls on either side of me and as long as I keep walking forward, I'll get to the end.

I really haven't written about this because I wasn't sure how.

All of a sudden, for the first time in years, my larger blood family (uncles, aunts, cousins) have been writing and emailing me. They all want to know how I'm doing. When I lived on the east coast I used to see them at least once a year. But I haven't seen them once since I've moved to Seattle over six years ago.

How do I begin to tell this large french canadian very catholic family that I'm pissed about the election? How do I tell them that my life consists of being in the moment, which includes massive doses of sexuality in all its forms? How do I explain that when I was taught that self pleasure is sinful I was actually having my spirituality squelched?

Here I am. I work for a queer organization. I've come out to everyone in my life, and yet I can't seem to do it with them.

Well...seeing they've all generously given me their email addresses, I started a letter to the ones who have expressed curiousity about my life. No, they don't need to know about my s/m. That's a little much. No, they don't need to know that although I remain female, my sexuality is gay male...with room for other queer folk. Shit, most of my friends couldn't understand that, let alone trying to explain it to these people. I began composing something, and of course it brought up all sorts of feelings. So I've saved the email and left it untouched. I can't quite seem to work on it right now.

Because the opportunity has presented itself, it's thrown me into a state. A state of rage at some of my upbringing. Old events flash before my eyes and I feel the hurt, isolation as well as the actions that led to my shame and guilt for feeling angry at those who live the 'godly' life.

Addictions come in many forms. Destruction has many faces.

I am an offspring of a religionaholic. When everything is wrapped in a package of christ, it's not necessarily the healthiest way to live. When christ is used as the excuse for family vacations, or infiltrating the home with rejects off the street, or not being able to speak of anything else other than godliness and sermons...there is a problem.

I remember being too embarrassed to take my friends home. I remember being offered grand opportunities to go to Jerusalem or Portugal, which I turned down when I realized it was because they needed an extra pair of arms for a pilgrimage to holy sights with wheel chair ridden folks. It wasn't a vacation for me. I would be a pack mule. I remember having my magazines marked up with words such as "not until you're married" scrawled over lingerie ads.

Everything centered around god, not us. And as children, how could we feel badly about that? I remember my little brother and I talking one afternoon in the car. I was driving him somewhere. He quietly said "i hate god." I knew what he meant. And I understood the guilt in his voice because I felt it also. Our parents were trying to do good. People all over loved them immensely. They had opened their doors and hearts to everyone. Everyone except us.

Now don't get me wrong. They weren't cruel in the traditional sense. We received bedtime stories and love. We had great vacations. But somehow the house, car and camper was always too full. There was one extra person along. god.

Just writing this sounds silly. You see, even now a part of me feels I'm being the bad child...betraying the wholesome upbringing I received. I love my parents. And a part of me hates them.

In their innocence, they tried to stomp and smother the very essence that makes us vital, healthy individuals. They didn't know better. To them, they honestly believed there was only one way to live. And they did their damnedest to squish us into those boxes.

I am feeling the effects of that. My unsuredness, my struggles with self-worth, my abandonment feelings all stem from these past experiences. My extreme sensitivity with fitting in. This has been my struggle. Little by little, with the help of the shrink, I'm learning to make sense of it all. And maybe hopefully see myself in a new light.

Some days I feel strong, wise and brilliant. And most days I feel like the lowest mess on earth. I've learned how to hide the intensity of that. The times I can't are the times I remain silent or hide out in my house.

So happy fucking birthday to me. Maybe next year will find me heading out of the tunnel. In the meantime, I suppose I could look for beauty in the place I'm in now. I may not be able to see anything, but I wonder if there's texture to the walls. I ought to take a deep breath and note what the air smells like and how it feels on my skin. It's a matter of immersing myself in whatever this is, right? And maybe it's with my other senses that I'll find the light.
"This is the year.

No, really. This is the it. This is the year you resolve to let it all hang out and lick the fingertips of the divine and stop holding back and stop quivering with unchecked anticipation/dread as you realize that, if you care a whit for self-definition and spiritual nuance and hot wet intelligence and deep karmic color in this tsunami-hammered, Bush-ravaged world, you are desperately needed right now. It's true."


Sound familiar? Yup, it's Mark Morford, back from holiday break and he's focused on resolutions in his latest column, Resolutions For The Damned.

One of his suggestions:

"It is, in fact, about doing all those things hand in hand with a sly and elusive energy called consciousness. Presence. Awareness. It is about avoiding the cheeseball New Age stigma that's mutilated those luminous terms and instead choosing to use them to stick yourself to the moment, to the right now, and plumbing it for all its heat -- so when you eat that organic hot dog or lick that lover, it positively curls the toes of your id.

Do you have any idea how to do this? To be this conscious? This present? Do you know what the hell this really means, how hard it is and how unbelievably invaluable? Neither do I. Let's resolve to find out."

I slept last night. What a difference a full night's sleep actually makes!!!

If I have a chance, I'll write more about it later. But before I step out of the office for a little bit, I wanted to make sure you have your weekly dose of Rob Brezsny's Freewill Astrology.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

The question for 2005.

Questions, questions, questions. It's all about the questions. Think of zen koans. Riddles for the purpose of stretching the mind past the familiar into enlightment.

Before I began training, I would meet with Sir once a week, and he would give me a question to mull over. He explained that it was his responsibility to give me questions that I wouldn't know to ask, not having experienced his training before.

My shrink speaks of questions all the time.

I've personally experienced that the times I struggle for answers are the times I'm not asking myself the right questions. Once I have the question, the answer easily follows.

It's all about the questions.

On Arts and Letters Daily (another favorite site) they mentioned a NYTimes Science article for today. In God (or Not), Physics and, of Course, Love: Scientists Take a Leap a group of scientists were asked a question by the publisher of Edge. This particular question is the annual question for 2005.

This year the Edge Foundation, Inc. asks:
"What Do You Believe Is True Even If You Cannot Prove It?"

I love questions.
Here's a beaut!

Although these are so not my favorite calls, it's definitely a part of my job. I stay calm and always keep a stepford smile in my voice because there's no point in arguing. I know some are trying to get me riled but I won't bite. I'm not giving it to them.

caller: (brusque and authoritative) Could you please take me off your mailing list? Although I support civil unions for homosexuals I don't believe in full marriage rights. Honestly, I believe homosexuals are among the lowest life level of humans...caused by mental illness...

me: (cutting him off while remaining pleasant). What is your name sir?

caller: My last name is "X"

me: I don't seem to have you in our database. What did you receive from us?

caller: I got a letter in the mail from you guys this morning.

me: Oh yes. We recently purchased a list from "X" org for one time use, which is that direct mail piece. We do not add any names unless the constituent donates money.

caller: Okay. Now I'll have to call that other org because I thought they focused on reproductive rights for man/woman relationships. Seeing they've become political, and strongly took sides in the last election, I have no desire to continue supporting them. But I do want to tell you that I spoke with my Republican congressman and encouraged him to try to get some of the same legal rights for gays, within a civil union context. I don't believe people should be discriminated against.

me: Thank you for calling sir.


Huh? Apparently we are a low level mentally deficient life form...but I guess he doesn't discriminate.

Now...the call I took earlier more than made up for this joker. It's a good thing we get plenty of warm, fuzzy mail and calls to tip the scales. At least 3 times a week we receive thank you's from organizations and individuals who've received assistance. There's a lot of pain out there, yanno? Being able to help ease someone's burden even a specky bit is absolutely worthwhile.

And calls like this one remind me there is still so much work to be done.
It's that season and I'm inundated with year end numbers. But I wanted to pop in and bring you a link from one of my favorite sites, The Padacia.

Check out Reuters Pictures of 2004.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Happy New Year everyone!

So how about an update?

First, recap of 2004.
Tough.
Hard.
Sucked in moments.
Magical in others.
How's that?

Resolution: Hmmm. I'm not offering anything profound. For 2004 I resolve to enable the tortoise method. Keep on truckin', slow and steady. As long as I can remember to keep placing one foot in front of the other, I'll get to where I'm going. Wherever the hell that is. And it hopefully won't be too fast, so I can catch the sights along the way. I don't want to miss anything.

I've been incredibly tired. Although the nighttime drug deals outside my window have eased up somewhat, even on a silent night I wake about 4 am.
My first thought:
"wow, it's quiet out there."
Then:
"so why did I wake up?"
To:
"I wonder if they'll come around and get noisy."
Lastly:
"why the fuck can't I get back to sleep?"

Friday morning, about 3 am, I woke to noise. Sickening noise. The sound of fist hitting flesh. A man was getting beat. Hard. No screaming, but lots of punching and groans. I had 911 on the phone so fast, and noticed that the cops cruised by about 5 minutes later...only to have the guys move away from my corner. But then, a little while after that an ambulance cruised down and stopped about a half a block away. The beaten guy must have ended up on the sidewalk. From there...two women began wailing and holding each other. Grand way to end 2004, eh?

Saturday was an open house at the Bear and wonderboy's. Although he sent out a mass mailing, we were a small crew of about 20 at the most...down to 10 of us at the end of the afternoon, sitting on the floor of their dungeon, Seattle treefort. Talking. There was some interesting conversation going on...and it flowed. At one point, someone said something I totally not only disagreed with, but needed to fully concentrate on censoring myself by clamping my lips shut. Sir was sitting across from me. At that moment, he looked at me and said "What did you say?"
"Nothing Sir. I didn't utter a word." He looked again and smiled. In the car, on the way home, he mentioned that he could feel my thoughts so clearly he thought I said it aloud. And he knew what "it" was, doing similar censoring. This isn't the first time it's happened. I wrote about another example in this entry. We tend to have that type of connection. When my feelings or opinions are strong...he can hear them, even from afar.

Sunday was a low key day. AE, who is headed back to the Mountain tomorrow morning, came by in the afternoon. Sir had loaned me a dvd he had just finished, and ranted about it. He couldn't stop thinking about it. So having the dvd in hand, AE and I curled up on my bed and watched O Fantasma. Here's another blurb on it. For not being porn, and although the lead was too clean shaven for me, this was the hottest movie I've ever seen. In addition, it's a haunting film. Troubling, and yet at the same time, not. Beautifully shot. And did I say how hot it was? I highly recommend it.

In addition to the great blowjob and fuck scenes, I was just as turned on by the fact that he was such a sensualist. It seemed everything made the boy hard. And yet, for being excited, he wasn't emotionally excited. It's about alienation...isolation...loneliness. Go rent it.
I'm back.
I didn't realize I needed to take a mini-blogging vacation until yesterday, but that's what happened.

How were your holidays?
Although it was all good, I'm glad it's over.

This will be short because there is way too much to do at work today. I may or may not be back later. Have a good day!