Monday, February 28, 2005

"Touch me with your naked hand or touch me with your glove...".

That's from Leonard Cohen's Dance Me To The End Of Love. My latest, favorite cd is "Careless Love" by Madeleine Peyroux. The first cut is an amazing, continually blow me away kind of cover of the Cohen classic. The piano just rocks in that piece. If you haven't heard of Peyroux...she's a skinny white girl born in Athens, GA, with a very french name and a voice reminiscent of Billie Holiday. And what a voice! Now I need to pick up her first cd.
A small addition to yesterday's entry about tourists and the leather scene. Haven't we all been tourists at one time or another? Either we were new or we were checking something out because we were intrigued or curious.

In addition, someone may think that another is a 'tourist' simply because they are a different gender, or because they aren't wearing the clothes or some other trivial thing. Assumptions are dangerous. Some of the most intense, powerful players don't look the way others may expect.

My heart is broken because I've really been massively feeling the effects of not fitting in. I was able to shut it down a little bit because I needed to focus on the move. Now that I'm settled into the prettiest apartment I've ever had, everything else is coming to the forefront.

Maybe I simply need to be a loner. You see, in general my life is fabulous. Great job, great friends and groovy apartment. And yet, because of the freak I am, the one part of me that is as important, if not more than the rest, remains invisible and unfed. Many times, I can push it down and keep busy with other things. But as I said yesterday, I've had too many reminders in the last few weeks, and now that I can physically's reared it's gruesome head.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

It's a gorgeous spring Sunday afternoon in Seattle, made even prettier because this morning, I finished the little bit of cleaning in my old apartment, and then pulled the remaining items out of boxes in the new place...and now I'm relaxing.

As I proclaimed to Auxugen last night, over margaritas, "I am not moving myself or anyone else for at least a year!" Now I know that's not true. But I need at least a few months break before I pick up another box. I'm back in the coffeeshop, checking email and figured I'd post a little something. I'm not sure what I want to say...but here I am. Let's see what comes out, shall we?

Although I haven't had the luxury to immerse myself in cyberland, really reading blogs and responding to email, the little bit I have read has my mind whirling. There's an ongoing discussion on a certain list about leatherland, tourists, connections and more. I had to stop reading, although I've saved everything, because I don't have the time to sit and compose my thoughts. And of course, I've a plenty!!! Including the fact that I hate the word tourist, used in regards to nonleather folk in leather places. Public places are public places. I too have experienced hot scenes that felt they were losing their sizzle because of gawkers. But I'm aware that if I play in public, that's the chance I take. If someone wants to engage only with "their type" of person...then hold a damned private party or join a private club. Otherwise get over it.

In addition, we use the exterior to determine likemindedness and that's crazy. Yeah, for ease, I can see it as a starting point. But it's not the end all. Huge assumptions get made when that happens. Then it's everyone's loss. The world is so much bigger than black and white, male and female, gay or straight, kinky or vanilla. Why do we lose site of everything that's inbetween? It's really a muddled blob of greys. Life is messy. To find similar folks takes a little time. It's a matter of shutting off the head and sensing connections. It's not that hard really. But it means letting go of our own fabricated constructs. That's when surprises happen.

I had the fucking delightful experience a little while back of spending a few hours with a nice man. He's hot, very smart, and I could see he was caring. We were working together, with others. What wasn't nice was that he never once looked me in the eye. I'd make a comment, and the kicker is, he'd acknowledge and follow up on the comment. But to do so, he would turn away from me and speak to the other men in the room. Can you say rude? The only time he acknowledged me was as I was leaving. He surprised me because that's when he actually caught my eye.

I met him the first time at a dinner party. The reason I remembered him is because he did the same thing there.
It's really interesting how good manners disappear in the face of intolerance. Sometimes, people are so principled that they forget how to engage, human to human. Or they choose not to. Somehow ideals become bigger than basic courtesy. If you want to ignore me in a bar, that's one thing. But to be invited to the home of a mutual friend and still ignore one of the guests is appalling and insulting. It also shows disrespect for the host.

You can't see my dick, but I bet it's bigger than yours.

I couldn't decide if the guy was misogynistic or simply awkward around females. I've met both types.

I will confess that I'm somewhat sensitive around this issue right now. You see, in the last 2 weeks, I've been hit over and over, in many different ways, by different people, regarding this very stuff. Because I don't believe in coincidence, it's all there for a reason. Of course it all neatly tied in with what the shrink and I are currently working on. I've been hitting bottom (the shrink's words), emotionally. I haven't written about it because this dark place has been quite painful. This particular time has been silently carried while I've attempted to help others, move myself, do what I need at work, and try to grab onto the joy that life does offer, without ignoring the bleakness I've felt in my soul.

On to other things.


I also have a burgeoning theory on how to create erotic art. What is it really? You see, the Seattle Erotic Art Show is coming up in a month and a half. So there's a buzz out there. I'll be putting out a challenge soon. Just let me get settled.

To boot, my mom responded to my email. I'll post that soon as well. It's all about sex. Everything is about sex. Whether we are aware of it or not, I believe it all comes down to sex. And not the limiting sex that our culture (vanilla and leather) say is sex but the bigger idea of sex as "no matter what I'm doing or looking at, something gets me in my cock, cunt or belly" kinda sex. How do we live an erotic life? How can we guarantee that our eroticism will burst forth in more places than the dungeon, or licking someone's boots, or sucking cock?


Sometimes, I think the whole world is incredibly fucked up. Sometimes I wish I were ruler of the world. Although that would be boring, wouldn't it? I don't think I'd want to live in a place where my viewpoint was the only one allowed. But, I do wish I lived in a world where viewpoints were based on logic. And then again, where does that leave intuition? Loads of questions. Some I have possible answers for and others I'm still mulling. And it's somehow all connected.

Yeah, this post unintentionally ended up with a few teasers. But there you have it.
And gee, from rereading my entry, I sound quite ornery. I'm not really. Well...maybe a little.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Good morning!

I am almost finished with the move. My goal today is to move the remaining pieces which consist of my boots, some larger paintings and framed pieces, 3 boxes, one plant and the cleaning supplies. Oh yeah, 5 or 6 pieces hanging in the closet. I know you don't care about that list, but seeing I'm still groggy, I needed to write it down, so it sticks as well as remind me it's not much.

Yesterday my phone switched over to the new place as planned. Unfortunately, the phone jack was trashed. We took care of it last night, in between helping Auxugen with his move to his newer place. Yup, overlapping moves once again. Last weekend it was Hoss...this weekend Auxugen. I can't wait until March. No one is going anywhere. Not with my help anyway! :-) I need a break.

Wonderboy, Auxugen and I were doing a load of A's bigger stuff, using wonderboy's van. At the end of the first run, my head began to pound. I was nauseous, had chills and just craved my bed. The boys reminded me that essentially I've been moving people for the last few weeks nonstop and I probably overdid it. I finally conceded and headed home. I think that what pushed the exhaustion over the edge was the restless sleep I'd experienced for the last couple weeks. Yeah...I was pretty tired.

Thursday night I slept in my new place for the first time. Friday morning, about 6:30, I woke to sounds of a woman screaming. Godawful screams. She sounded like she was in some kind of danger, but I couldn't place it. And it sounded like it was a street away or down the block. Then a man chimed in with screams. I couldn't call 911 because of the dead phone jack. Being still tired, I threw the covers and pillows over my head and tried to get back to sleep. Next sound...sirens.

The window is next to my bed. So at this point, even though I'm on the top floor and wouldn't be able to see the street, I lifted a corner of the blinds and looked outside. My view is rooftops. And this morning there was an addition. Massive red flames just behind the rooftop. Holy shit. I jumped out of bed and pulled up the blinds. Some building, the next street over was on fire. Major blaze. Being nosy, I decided it was a good time for coffee.

Walking down my block, I hang a right on Republican, heading toward 15th. Republican, between 14th and Malden is packed with police cars and firetrucks. As I cross Malden, I look down and there was so much smoke that we couldn't see which building was burning. I continued to the coffee shop, where I realized, once I stepped in, my clothes already smelled like fire smoke. From there I ran home to close my windows. I didn't need the smoke smell in my freshly painted new apartment.

About a half hour later, I noticed that more firetrucks had filled up my street, which is parallel to the street the fire was on. They were setting up a coffee and refresh station for the firemen. I spent about 20 minutes in the rocker by my window watching firefighters flood down in front of my apartment. In the midst of chaos and someone's disaster, I'm having hot sexual fantasies.

From watching the news later that morning, I discovered that it was a small house. There were only two people in the structure, a man and a woman, each having jumped out of a window to escape, one from the second floor. According to the reports, they only suffered minor injuries. But thinking about the screams that woke me left a chilling feeling.

That's my first morning in the new apartment. I guess they don't send out welcome wagon ladies anymore.

By the way, I love my new place. It's beautiful. It's homey. It's comfortable. It's all about color. Thursday night, after the Bear left for an appointment, wonderboy and I set everything up. It's always exciting to see how a new place comes together and watch it reveal itself. Each is different. And no matter how planned, I believe the space ultimately dictates the personality.

One thing I couldn't wait to do, and so did almost immediately, was pull out my smaller paintings and lean them up against the walls. Oh yeah...! It sent shivers up my spine. The wall colors gently fuck with the paintings, in harmony. Now I can't wait until they are hung! I'll let Hoss hang my paintings. The man has a flair with hanging that I just can't access myself. :-)

Well I should run and get started on my day. Hopefully I'll check in later, if I'm not too tired. Auxugen and I decided to finish the last of our moves together. It's easier with good company. Although I don't have dsl at home yet, there are about 3 coffee shops within a 3 block radius with wireless. I'm currently writing from one of my favorites, Victrola, specializing in coffee and art.

Have a nice day everyone!

Thursday, February 24, 2005

While waiting for The Bear and wonderboy, I'll update you on the latest with my family.

I haven't heard anything, nor initiated contact, since the afternoon my dad called me and offered to pay off my loans. It's not because I didn't want to speak with them, yet instead due to the task of moving and work. This morning, mom emailed me and I had the clarity and time to respond.

Sometimes, we think that something we are emotionally working on will involve huge amounts of work and energy. But I wonder if the work and energy actually takes place within. Then, when we are ready to speak, it happens simply and quiety. Easily. No drama. That's what happened this morning. Mom wrote. I responded. While typing, it felt so right to continue. Here are the emails (leaving out irrelevant stuff and changing names).

From mom:
...When dad asked you the figures of your school debts, he really meant it. At the time that he encouraged you to study, he could not fully cover the expenses but he feels now that he should and could do he is expecting you to give him the total amount, would you please send this to him?
We think about you a lot and we care!
Looking forward to hear from you,
Give us your new address when you have a chance
Love you!    
mom & dad  xx

My response:
...Regarding the student loan, I am very appreciative that dad offered to pay it.  Yes, it would help.  But, I want to make it clear that it is not necessary.  I would have gone to school anyway.  And more importantly, I know that both of you love me very much.  I love you just as much.  The money doesn't change that. That has never been an issue.   Now if dad still wants to pay for school, I will let him.  I just want to emphasize that I already know, from the bottom of my heart, that you both love me.  :-)

Being different, it's difficult being a Smith.  From the time I was 14, I always felt like the black sheep of the family.  My heart would break because I felt I couldn't share who I really was with the family...knowing that many of my beliefs and life were at odds with the Catholic church.  It was hard because I cherish you both and love you so much.  And yet, I put up a big wall because I didn't know how I fit in the family, as well as feeling smothered because of our diverging viewpoints.  It was easier for me to say nothing.  It was also the coward's way of living.

I'm so proud of what I do and who I am.  I'm honored to be working where I work.  I don't want to be afraid to share that with you.  

I love the fact that you and dad worked hard to instill basic values in each of us.  It's those values, as well as other traits, that have allowed me to grow into the being I am.  The drive, the stubborness, the passion, the compassion, and faith.  Those come from both of you.  And thank you.  That, in and of itself, is a huge gift that parents can give their children. 

Now, I have to get to work so I can hurry, get home and begin moving.
all my love,


I didn't have one bit of nervousness or anxiety. That's how I knew it was the right thing for now. We'll see what happens.
I'm home. Not my new home, but it's my last night in my old home. After moving a few more things with friends, I buzzed over to Hoss' place to pick up the boxes I loaned them for their move, and then drove Hoss to the airport. Now I'm home. And bushed. But content. And tired. Yet excited.

You see, when I walked into my new place, I felt myself relax. The color is soothing. I sat on the floor with friends, and looked at my big pile of books stacked on the floor, paintings strewn here and there...the plants all clumped on the kitchen counter, the colored bottles on the kitchen windowsill.

So I look forward to nesting and making a sweet place of my home. Yesterday, Sir assisted with the move. While walking up the stairs of the old place, I did feel a little sad about leaving. It's so bohemian. As Sir and I were talking about that, just for effect, a hot tattooed boy was throwing his laundry in the washer. The timing was perfect.

Everything is about choices. I don't believe that anything is 100 percent perfect. I simply needed to choose what is best for me at this time of my life.

Yes, I'm content. This is a good choice.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

What is worse?

Doing the full move in a day or two...or stretching it out over a week, a little at a time? Pros and cons to both, yet right now, I am so over it. Another load tonight, and then tomorrow the furniture. At this point, I can't wait to settle in and be done with it. Gotta run...a few friends just arrived to help.

See ya later.
Here it is! Rob Brezsny's Freewill Astrology finally came thru.
Mark Morford's back with a piece on Hunter Thompson:

"Here's what needs to be said, what's worth lamenting most: there are no new Thompsons. There are no new snarling fierce-eyed one-of-a-kind journalists covering politics and the national agenda with such radical and nasty and brilliant aplomb and with such an explicit and enthusiastic disregard for standard journalistic rules and tropes, all via anything resembling a national media outlet.

In other words, while it's true what all the staid J-school chairs and Thompson's fellow journalists are right now saying about how HST did indeed blow the door open for a whole new breed of blast-furnace writers who merely disguised themselves as journalists to get a goddamn press pass, tragically few have dared follow HST through that door."

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

I’ve been busy. And quite distracted. Moving does that to you. I spent all weekend moving Hoss and his boy, beginning each day with moving at least one box to my new apartment. Monday, wonderboy helped me move my bookcase, and then in the evening, Auxugen assisted with more boxes.

Yeah, moving slowly really drags things out. Honestly, I don’t have the energy for more than that right now. Thursday is the day that the Bear and wonderboy will help with furniture. They have a van.

In the meantime, don’t expect too much from me. Between the move and writing an article that I’m too emotionally close to, my focus is elsewhere. But I miss all of you. :-)

Monday, February 21, 2005

The Gates and the Gates.

This cracks me up. You've all heard of The Gates by Christo and Jeanne-Claude.

Have you heard about The Somerville Gates by Hargo?

Here's a list of comparisions. :-)

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Thanks to Qnetter for pointing this out, here's an update on the conference in Portland. And it's good news. ;-)
HHS reverses itself on using 'LGBT'
Christopher Curtis, PlanetOut Network
published Friday, February 18, 2005

The Bush Administration has reversed itself on whether it is permissible for programs sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to use the words "gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender."

The fight was sparked by a SAMHSA official insisting a program originally titled "Suicide Prevention Among Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Individuals" be changed for a Feb. 28 conference in Portland, Ore.

One of the organizers of the program was told to use the term "sexual orientation," instead.

Mark Weber, a spokesman for SAMHSA, told the Washington Post his agency suggested the term "sexual orientation" because it is more "inclusive." When asked how strong the suggestion was, he told the newspaper, "Well, they do need to consider their funding source."

After a public outcry and intense media coverage, SAMHSA officials tried backing away from the controversial position but did not say whether LGBT references in future SAMHSA-funded activities would be barred.

Openly gay congressman Barney Frank, D-Mass., spoke to SAMHSA's administrator Charles Curie about the problem.

According to Metro Weekly, a Washington, D.C. LGBT paper, Curie e-mailed Frank stating, "there is no policy on the use of the words 'lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender.'"

According to Metro Weekly, Curie added, "I am still planning to participate in the ... conference and I will highlight in my remarks our commitment at SAMHSA to ensure that we reach out to all populations in our efforts to provide substance abuse prevention, addiction treatment and mental health services."

Frank thanked Curie in a press release published by Metro Weekly.

"I am pleased that Mr. Curie was so cooperative and moved so quickly to repudiate the apparently erroneous earlier statements that SAMHSA policies bar the use of references to any of these terms."

"Given the fact that the frequency of youth suicide in particular is so much higher in the GLBT community, it would have sent terribly mixed signals to convene a panel discussion on suicide within that community and then refuse to even acknowledge the target audience. I appreciate the fact that the head of the agency took the necessary steps to correct the misinformation," Frank added.

John Marble, spokesman for the Stonewall Democrats, said he was not surprised by this week's events.

"Of course the Bush administration has routinely rejected science in favor of right-wing ideology. As usual, they got spanked in the press and they were embarrassed because they got caught.

"The Bush administration knows that the majority of Americans don't subscribe to the crazy ideology that the West Wing does, and when they're exposed, they back off."

Ron Schlittler, the interim executive national director at the national PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) added, "I think it's great news. It demonstrates that if we shine enough light on it, they have to deal with reality."

"We've consistently seen reports that researchers better not use words like 'gay' or 'lesbian' or they won't get funded," Schlittler added.

"This is just another example of a very disturbing pattern. I hope the Bush administration realizes now that we're not going to remain invisible."
In a couple hours I'm headed to help Hoss move. Now if I still have energy, this is what I want to do tonight:

On Saturday, February 19, Seattle Men in Leather will be joining with the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence of the Abbey of Saint Joan for “Nuns of Steel II.”  For $5, confess one of your sins to the Sister Confessor and then get sent to one of several “penance stations,” where a Sister or a Leatherman (your choice, unless your sin is especially egregious) will issue your penance.  Penance decreed will be of various BDSM types.

Proceeds will go to the Sister Hellfire N. Dalmatians Endowment Fund, which supports smaller grassroots 501(c)3 organizations who may not qualify for government funding.  Larry Burke (aka Sister Hellfire) was active with the Sisters, Generic Leather Productions of Washington, and Seattle Men in Leather until his passing in 2003.  “Nuns of Steel” was an event originally produced by Sister Hellfire.

Nuns of Steel II will be held at The Cuff Complex from 9:00 pm-12:00 midnight.  In addition to confessing your sins, the Sisters and SML will be selling raffle tickets to further increase Sister Hellfire’s Endowment.


Have you heard about discovery of a new species of monkey in Bolivia? Pretty cool.


In other news, considering our political climate and conservative, fundamentalist administration, queer orgs should beware when receiving federal funding. In this day and age, it is becoming more critical that we financially support our groups. Why you ask?'s a good example, and one that makes me sick to my stomach:

Administration Balks At 'Gay' In Gay Suicide Conference.
by Doreen Brandt Washington Bureau
Posted: February 16, 2005  11:02 am. ET

(Washington) The Bush administration has told a federally funded conference on LGBT suicide to remove the words "gay," "lesbian," "bisexual" and "transgender" from its material.

The conference will be held Feb. 28 in Portland, Ore., and was organized by the Suicide Prevention Resource Center of Newton, Mass with funding from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) part of the Department of Health and Human Services.

It was originally titled "Suicide Prevention Among Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgender Individuals."

But the SAMHSA balked at the name according to the Washington Post. The request to change the name came from SAMHSA project manager Brenda Bruun who suggested the organizers use "sexual orientation" the Post reports.

One of the three specialist who will lead the meeting says that "sexual orientation" is inadequate.

"Everyone has a sexual orientation," Ron Bloodworth told the Post. "But this was about gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgenders."

In addition, he said that trans people differ from others in terms of sexual identity, not sexual orientation.

"Unless you use an accurate term, the people you are trying to reach don't recognize themselves and don't attend," he told the paper, adding that the agency told him he should not use "gender identity."

Bloodworth is a former coordinator of youth suicide prevention for Oregon.

Studies show that LGBT suicide rates are three times higher than the national norm, with suicides among teens the highest.

But the name change was not the only thing the Administration called for. It also wanted a session on faith-based suicide prevention.

"We find this behavior on the part of our government intolerable," Bloodworth wrote in an e-mail to colleagues that called for the government to "end this shameful marginalization of an already marginalized at-risk population."

The pressure on conference organizers by the Administration was slammed by gay rights advocates.

"It is unconscionable for politics to get into the way of life and death health care gay LGBT young people," Human Rights Campaign spokesperson Steven Fisher told

SAMHSA says it has been flooded with complaints since word leaked out that the name of the conference was being changed.

"It is incredible, the venom from these people," said spokesperson Mark Weber who added that the name change was "only a suggestion".

But, when pressed by the Post about how strong a suggestion it was, Weber replied: "Well, they do need to consider their funding source."

© 2005


Friday, February 18, 2005

Hey ya.

Rambling, rambling and more tired rambling.

Today is my regularly scheduled day off. And now that I've walked to the coffee shop to get my morning coffee, which ended up being free today because the baristas felt bad due to the fact I had to wait a little extra yesterday, and in addition was loaded down with sample coffee beans which I'll use at the office next week, while now waiting to throw in my third load of laundry and so trying to decide what's the best way to begin packing and moving, and then I will run over to work for a little bit to to email...all in's a good day. I can feel it in my bones.

I'm taking the day in chunks. Some of this and some of that.'s gotta be productive. :-)

Last night, wonderboy and I finished painting my new apartment. Tarps pulled up, brushes cleaned and tape gone. It looks good. Very good. I'm quite pleased and can't wait to begin moving stuff over. But as I wrote before, it will happen a little at a time. Except for the furniture. I think that will be one load. So today, methinks I'll move my plants first. One gone from the old apt. it will make room to begin to pack and stack some boxes. In addition, I think I'll move bathroom stuff and most of the kitchen stuff. Except the basics.

Yeah. Remind me I can do this.

It is a little bit of a challenge to not really have the room to pack everything all at once, and store boxes for a few days until it all gets out of here. But maybe that's a good thing. I'm so damned emotionally tired that maybe small steps are best. I'm not stressed about it. Simply a tad discombobbled.

I'll call Auxugen this afternoon and see if he'd like to make one load with me.

This weekend I'll be assisting Hoss. He and his boy are movin' on the top. It's an easy move. Same building. Two floors up. And they have an elevator. Sweet...

A couple nights ago I was at my new place. The sun was setting and I could see the salmon color light hit the edges and rooftops of buildings. I stepped outside, walked to the corner and realized I had a straight shot view of the Space Needle, the Olympic Mountains and the setting sun. A few other people had walked over as well. Silently, we stood, and watched the beauty unfold. I love this city.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

I read about this on on Monday, and then QNetter posted a blurb in his journal. From there I forgot all about it until last night, when Uppity Faggot posted links.

In case you hadn't heard...

Maya Keyes, the daughter of Republican Senate candidate Alan Keyes came out, causing quite the ruckus in her family.

Her Valentine's gift was a speech made at VD rally on the state house steps in Maryland. I'm posting the whole speech, found in her blog, because,'s wonderful.


For all those who weren't there (why weren't you? ), here's the text of the speech I gave yesterday:

God works in really screwed up ways sometimes - there are times in life when He doesn't just nudge you gently in the direction He wants you to go, he sorta - takes a 2x4 and whacks you over the head a few times - last month felt a lot like that for me.

These past few weeks two things happened and it became absolutely clear to me why I had to speak here today.

To begin with, I was having issues at home - issues that we'd been having for quite a while, but things just came to a head - liberal queer + conservative Republican just doesn't mesh too well. So that was making life a little turbulent - and on top of that, the second thing was that while I was out in Chicago I got news from my friends back here around DC that one of my really good friends was not doing too well.

This kid, Shymmer, he and I were a lot alike. Like me, he grew up queer in a very conservative household. Only, he came out to his parents back when we were juniors in high school - and they promptly just threw him out of their house. So, sixteen years old, not even through with high school, and he was out on the streets. He did manage to finish high school - somehow even with no roof over his head he kept his grades up, got into good colleges - but after a year out there things were just getting worse and worse for him - he was going home with any man who'd give him a roof over his head for the night, wound up with some people who just abused him awfully - by the time we caught up with him again it was just horrifying to see what too much time spent trying to survive out there had done to him.

The thing that really got to me in this whole situation was the contrast between what's happened to both of us -
For me, people got to hear that things were difficult for me, and I got flooded with emails of support, people telling me, don't worry, no matter how rough it gets, we're all sending you our best wishes - somehow you'll make it through everything okay. And that was great, I was really touched; but in the midst of it all I got this call about Shymmer back home, who had lost so much weight they were thinking of taking him to the hospital; I'd been saying lots of prayers for him and in the middle of praying once it just hit me how wrong it all was. The first time something goes wrong in my life I get hundreds of people offering support, prayers, donations, people offering me spare bedrooms to crash in and telling me how they were going to make sure that I got through school alright; people writing to me to tell me that even if it feels like everything's going downhill there are people out there who care. And Shymmer, he'd been out there for over two years now; been hungry and freezing and beaten up and raped and his situation was so incomparably worse than mine; and what support was offered him? He got the support his handful of friends had to offer; but where is the community that offers to stand in solidarity behind him? Where are the hundreds of expressions of sympathy, support, outrage that this boy who had had such a bright future had spent two years starving in alleys?

The worst part is that he isn't the only one. This past summer I read in the International Herald Tribune something that anyone who has much to do with homeless kids has probably already noticed - approximately 40% of homeless youth were LGBTQ. For 3-10% of the population to make up 40% of street kids - think about that. I have known a lot of street kids; and I have known a whole lot of queer street kids, kids who were cut off by their parents solely because of who they are, kids who'd done absolutely nothing to deserve the treatment they were getting. I've seen these kids struggle out there and I've seen these kids die out there - kids like Shymmer, who passed away this Friday - and I have seen far too much silence about the reality of this problem. I won't be silent any longer.

So yes, this is a speech about how it's hard growing up queer in a conservative household - but it's not a speech about me. Sure, I did grow up in a really conservative household; and, okay, it was a slightly more high-profile household than most people's - but this isn't a speech about me. This is about the thousands of kids across the country growing up in houses where they're raised hearing constantly how they are somehow wrong, unnatural, immoral just because of who they are - kids who are rejected by those who should love them most - and we have to figure out what we can do to make sure that during those times when it feels like everything in the world is rejecting them, they know there are resources out there they can turn to; there are people out there who will say to them, I care.

It came into my mailbox early, so you get to see it early. Here's this week's Freewill Astrology.

Now, considering what I've been working on with the shrink...this is almost too close for comfort.


If you try to operate a chainsaw or backhoe before you've been trained in its use, you might hurt yourself or others. That doesn't mean the chainsaw and backhoe are evil. Now let's apply this idea as a metaphor for a situation you face right now. I believe you are at the earliest stages of your relationship with a freshly discovered potential. You've realized the benefits that it can ultimately offer you, but you're nowhere near being able to wield it safely and effectively. Having sounded this warning, however, I want to encourage you to begin learning how to use it immediately.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Today I signed the lease and picked up my keys on the new apartment. Wonderboy and I then went to grab a coffee, and brought it back, where I finalized my paint choices. The space permeated and shimmered with light. Much of the light was reflected off the gallery white walls. Looking at it, I hesitated. It would work with my paintings. I wouldn't have to deal with buying paint and doing the work. Arguments were flipping back and forth in my head.

But I finally opted to tone down the white. I want a restful space. A cocoon.

My entry and little hallway are going to be a sage green. The walls and the ceiling. I want to feel wrapped and calm as soon as I step in the door. I want to literally feel I am walking into my refuge. From there you walk into the large room which is the kitchen and living area. I decided to leave the kitchen area white. My colored glass, textiles and bright bowls will liven the space. The living area walls are going to be painted taupe. The carpet in that part of the room is a light taupe. I'll overlay my deep red area rug over the carpet. Going through the pocket door will lead you into the bedroom. I finally opted for ochre on the walls.
It's a little darker, intended to hold me while I sleep and not jar me awake in the morning when the sun streams in.

There is enough noise and confusion in my head, and during my work day. The only bright colors I want to see while at home are on canvas. Bright screaming color on the walls in my living space is nails on a chalkboard. Accessories are one thing, walls another. They need to be saturated though.

I'm taking afternoons off as vacation time for the next two days. It should be all painted within that time. Then I'll have a week and a half left to move in.

I wanted to begin packing and noticed it wouldn't be a good idea. Due to the size of my current place, I'd be living in boxes, around boxes, over boxes and under boxes. Normally I like having boxes packed and tucked neatly against a wall or in a corner of a room. That's not going to happen here. I need to keep reminding myself that there's plenty of time. Once painted, I can pack a bunch and bring them over. Then I'll essentially just need help moving dressers, bed, bookcase and table. Remember the little hand size game which was a square with sliding tiles? There was one opening, and you had to shuffle all the pieces around one at a time until the image came together. That's what packing and moving out will be like. :-)

I'm tired. Can you tell? Everything is going forward. I'm really okay. But once again, therapy is taking its toll. It's fucking exhausting man. So moving my stuff just feels like one big chore right now. It's strange. I have the energy to move others. It's because there are no decisions for me to make. I get handed a box to tote, or grab the end of a chair. Just do. Don't think. Physical and relaxing at the same time. Moving myself is a whole different thing. Honestly, it's too many decisions and details that I just can't deal with right now. Yet I will. We always find the strength and energy when needed, right?

Monday, February 14, 2005


Blackbird. Remember Blackbird? He surprised me a few weeks back with a phone call. It was great, absolutely great chatting away with him. Anyway, while we were talking, he referred me to another new blogger (new for me) that he's been reading regularly.


I periodically check in. Joe is a wonderful storyteller. A few days ago I read an entry that hit me deep. It's a total wow or whoa entry. Superpowers. Check it out for yourself.
Happy Valentine's Day to all of you who celebrate the day!

Today's been quite busy. I'm switching gears from database work to working on an article. Finally. It's a good time to ease into the writing with a quickie update. At the end of last week we upgraded our database to a newer version which included an all new, super-improved interface. Yeah. Right. It's a very busy interface which isn't conducive to keeping focus on the actual card at hand. I knew about all this which was why I kept holding off on the upgrade. But it's finally done. And I am trying hard to be patient. Many things take more steps to access than before. For example, what used to be one mouse click now takes two, in two different locations. Many of my old right click features are gone.

I'm navigating uncharted waters, and it's quite rocky. Hopefully it will come with time.

Wonderboy (aka the bunny) and I made plans to paint my new apartment this week. I've already changed the bedroom color about 3 times in the last 24 hours. It's a good thing I'm still only working with swatches. Let's see what happens with the other rooms. Tomorrow afternoon I sign the lease. Then I'll take afternoons off for most of the week to paint, organize and maybe move a few items.

Not much else to say for now because I can feel the article calling my name. Talk with you later.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

I don't believe in the goddess. Once, I did. For all of about 10 minutes, during my radical feminist separatist lesbian phase. Now, goddess stuff creeps me out as much as god stuff does.

And a while back, I stopped believing in god. The lack of god has made my world bigger, cleaner, more liberating, compassionate, thoughtful, filled with self-responsibility and awareness.

But, in spite of all that, I want to share this beaut of a prayer. Rob Brezsny was quite inspired and and so spewed forth a delirium of dance in words.

From Killing The Buddha (which is a fun site in and of itself, check it out), I present Brezsny's A Prayer For You.

This is a perfect moment. It's a perfect moment because I have been inspired to say a gigantic prayer. I've been roused to unleash a divinely greedy, apocalyptically healing prayer for each and every one of you -- even those of you who don't believe in the power of prayer.

And so I am starting to pray right now to the God of Gods… the God beyond all Gods… the Girlfriend of God… the Teacher of God… the Goddess who invented God.

~~~Dear Goddess, you who never kill but only change:

I pray that my exuberant, suave, and accidental words will move you to shower ferocious blessings down on everyone who reads this benediction.

I pray that you will give them what they don't even know they need -- not just the boons they think they want but everything they've always been afraid to even imagine or ask for.

~~~Dear Goddess, you wealthy anarchist burning heaven to the ground:

Many of the divine chameleons out there don't even know that their souls will live forever. So please use your brash magic to help them see that they are all wildly creative geniuses too big for their own personalities.

Guide them to realize that they are all completely different from what they've been led to believe about themselves, and more exciting than they can possibly imagine.

Make it illegal, immoral, irrelevant, unpatriotic, and totally tasteless for them to be in love with anyone or anything that's no good for them.

~~~O Goddess, you who give us so much love and pain mixed together that our morality is always on the verge of collapsing:

I beg you to cast a boisterous love spell that will nullify all the dumb ideas, bad decisions, and nasty conditioning that have ever cursed the wise and sexy virtuosos out there.

Remove, banish, annihilate, and laugh into oblivion any jinx that has clung to them, no matter how long they've suffered from it, and even if they've become accustomed or addicted to its ugly companionship.

Please conjure an aura of protection around them so that they will receive an early warning if they are ever about to act in such a way as to bring another hex or plague into their lives in the future.

~~~Dear Goddess, sweet Goddess, you sly universal virus with no fucking opinion:

Please help all the personal growth addicts out there to become disciplined enough to go crazy in the name of creation, not destruction.

Teach them the difference between oppressive self-control and liberating self-control.

Awaken in them the power to do the half-right thing when it is impossible to do the totally right thing.

Arouse the Wild Woman within them -- even if they're men.

~~~Dear Goddess, you pregnant slut who scorns all mediocre longing:

I pray that you will inspire all the compassionate rascals communing with this prayer to kick their own asses and wash their own brains.

Provoke them to throw away or give away all the things they own that encourage them to believe that they are better than anyone else.

Show them how much fun it is to brag about what they cannot do and do not have.

Give them bigger, better, more original sins and wilder, wetter, more interesting problems.

Most of all, Goddess, brainwash them with your freedom so that they never love their own pain more than anyone else's pain.

~~~Oh Goddess, you wildly disciplined, radically curious, shockingly friendly, fanatically balanced, mysteriously truthful, teasingly healing, lyrically logical master of rowdy bliss:

I ask you to give your unconventionally unconditional love to all the budding messiahs who read this prayer; love them with all of your ocean and sky and fire and earth.

Cultivate in yourself a fervent yearning for their companionship. Play with them every day. Answer their questions. Listen to their stories.

Inspire them not just to nag you for what they want, but also to thank you for the uncanny gifts you flood them with.

And if there are any pockets of ignorance or hatred these insanely poised creators might be harboring, any inadvertent idiocies that keep them blind to your blessings, please flush them out as soon as possible.

~~~Dear Goddess, You psychedelic mushroom cloud at the center of all our brains:

Bless all the inscrutable creators out there with lucid dreams while they are wide awake, and their very own spin doctors, and solar-powered sex toys that work even in the dark, and vacuum cleaners for their magic carpets, and a knack for avoiding other people's hells, and a thousand masks that all represent their true feelings, and secret admirers who are not psychotic stalkers.

Arrange for a racehorse to be named after them, or an underground river, or a boulevard in an exotic vacationland, or a thousand-year-old storm on Saturn or Jupiter.

Teach them to push their own buttons and unbreak their own hearts and right their own wrongs and sing their own songs and be their own wives and save their own lives.

~~~Dear Goddess, You fiercely tender, hauntingly reassuring, orgiastically sacred feeling that is even now running through all of our soft, warm animal bodies:

I pray that you provide all the original sinners out there with a license to bend and even break all rules, laws, and traditions that keep them apart from the things they love.

Show them how to purge the wishy-washy wishes that distract them from their daring, dramatic, divine desires.

And teach them that they can have anything they want if they'll only ask for it in an unselfish way.

~~~And now dear God of Gods, God beyond all Gods, Girlfriend of God, Teacher of God, Goddess who invented God, I bring this prayer to a close, trusting that in these mysterious moments you have begun to change everyone out there in the exact way they've needed to change in order to become the gorgeous geniuses they were born to be.

Amen. Awomen.

Rare and aggressive HIV reported in NYC.

Here is the press release from New York City Department of Health, and well as a link to the NYTimes article.

Friday, February 11, 2005

The Gates by Christo and Jeanne-Claude
Central Park NYC, February 12 - 27, 2005

The Spirit of the Gates - another way to experience The Gates. (slow load webpage)
I'd love to to be able to do this.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Hi everyone.

Walking downstairs I peeked out the window in the stairwell and noticed the mountains. It was the beginning of dawn and the sky hinted to lightening up. The Cascades were a deep gray silhouette. The clouds were thick and white, floating and hugging the base of the mountain range, creating the appearance of small hills in the forefront.

Each morning brings glimpses of visual pleasure, a hershey's kiss momentary delight. Fully immersable.

Moving from my apartment is a bittersweet event. I'm thrilled about the move and at the same time will miss the current place. There are constant reminders of the friendliness of the tenants in the building. The neighborhood is banding together to create an environment that's safe for all. The proximity to work was a bonus. Yeah, I'm spoiled. I'll miss the charm of the structure –
-the wood trim that wasn't painted over.
-the look of the windows, the brick.
-the funkiness of the mailboxes and doors.
-the cobalt blue tile on my kitchen counter.

Yet my new place is more spacious. It has the added treat of an actual bedroom and a much larger kitchen. The windows, although lacking in character are large, offering lots of light. I have a view of Mt. Rainier. The neighborhood is an easy walk everywhere.

This week I feel something new under my skin. I wrote briefly about it a few days ago. It's a weird, unfamiliar type of calm that sits with me during times that would normally have me going off the walls. I like it, and at the same time it's unsettling. Unsettling because it's new and I'm not sure what it means. From there, I wonder why I have to wonder about the meaning of everything? I mean, why not just allow it to be what it is?

The calm is a thick, warm blanket in my heart that at the same time is transparent enough because it doesn't hide the hurt or pain I may feel in a given moment.

Currently my thoughts regarding this are so convoluted that I can't write much more about it right now. Something feels as if I've reached a new level in my awareness. It will be good to sit down with the shrink tomorrow evening and discuss all this.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

I just walked in the door after a long day. I began to blog about what life really is about. I think I've figured it all out. In the abstract, anyway. As I was writing, I realized it needed to be a draft. For now.

So all you get is this dumb little blog telling you that I'm not going to write about what I intended to. That must mean it's time for bed.

Sweet dreams everyone. :-)
This is why I love Rob Brezsny.
His horoscope for this week really corresponds with my blog entry from last night. Rob tells me:

Happy Valentine Daze, Capricorn! After careful meditation about what advice would be most likely to energize your love life, I've decided to make three suggestions. First, bring more boldness and daring to the part of your life where intimacy is of crucial importance. Second, take to heart the idea that loving another human being is an epic, heroic, monumental enterprise. Third, write down this quote from poet Delmore Schwartz and carry it with you for the next 14 days: "Love is the most difficult and dangerous form of courage. Courage is the most desperate, admirable, and noble kind of love."


Now, Rob tells you....
It's been a bizarre week. I'm counting back from Friday, not Sunday. The emails with sis, the phone call from my father, and another conversation that I can't speak about have really unglued me in so many ways.

In the past, it would have shoved me far enough off course that I'd stop taking care of myself. It would affect my mood in a big way. What's odd is that not only has it not sent me into a tailspin, but I'm more peaceful inside than I've been in years. Work has been great. Actually, work's the same, but my attitude at work is more joyful. What gives?

Now wrap this all up and throw it in a big ball of loneliness. That's where I'm at. It doesn't make any sense whatsoever. How can I be content and lonely at the same time? How can I be productive while watching all this old stuff fall away and feel I don't know anything? I see progress and yet...I don't know. This is tough to explain....

...And to boot, I just received an email from a good friend. He's someone who has consistently shown he cares and I know I've been too fearful to fully open to him and his partner.

Why is goodness so hard to receive? Why is it so difficult to simply realize that most people really don't have an agenda? They want to share, to give, to love...just because. Maybe just because they think the other person is worth it. Nothing else. Nothing more.


Life, if nothing else, is fucking fabulous at throwing curve balls.

People are amazing and I need, I must learn to let them in.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Hey everyone.

I woke up this morning in a mild panic. Panic, because I'm moving. Mild because I then realized I have a week to organize. I needed to remember there isn't much to move. When I stepped into my little/big room in August, it allowed me to pare down some more.

The kitchen stuff will fit in about 3 boxes.
2 boxes for my colored glass and still life stuff.
Bathroom stuff – 1 box.
Books, about 10 boxes.
CD's – 1 box.
Sheets, blankets, towels (2 large plastic containers).

Art stuff:
1 – easel
1 – rolling cart
bunch of large paintings.
2 – boxes of smaller paintings.
3 – boxes of painting supplies and hardware
1 – portfolio
1 – toolbox o' lovingly used oil paint tubes
8 – frames of various sizes (really big to little)

The furniture consists of a fullsize bed, a comfy Ikea rocker, another rocker that seems to be made of large branches, french kitchen table (distressed green top with white legs), 3 chairs (2 are stained red with wicker seats), bookcase and 3 small dressers, one pale yellow, one green and one white. Oh yeah, and a little wasabi-colored parsons table.

Color fiercely turns me on. Love it, love it, love it.
Color by itself doesn't necessarily do it. It needs to converse with another. That's what sends me.
My deep eggplant colored comforter really enjoys rubbing up against the wasabi parsons table.
The green dresser holds a plant sitting on an orange plate. Looking at the sliver of orange against the green, and then glancing to the right where I can see the red chairs tucked in the green kitchen table makes me smile. From there my eyes move up the wall to an unfinished still life that happens to play with the same colors.

Sheer joy. And it gets me wet.

Alrighty, back to organizing. Listing this out helps. I can pack the kitchen in about a ½ hour and the bathroom in 10 minutes. This will go fast.
I grab wine and booze boxes from the liquor store for my bottles, jars, vases. For quick moves, it's easier to slide one in each slot.

I love living light.
Now the trick is to keep it that way.
If I ever begin to collect stuff again (other than books, cds, and art supplies), slap me, will ya?
Or...just slap me anyway? ;-)

Monday, February 07, 2005


Will UN Recognize 'Gay Kingdom'?
by Peter Hacker Sydney, Australia Bureau
Posted: February 7, 2005 12:01 am. ET

(Sydney, Australia) Its a tiny coral island off the coast of Australia but it could become the center of a major battle at the United Nations.

Cato Island is technically part of territorial Australia. But, last year, after the Australian government passed a law banning same-sex marriage (story) a group of gay activists in a bid to embarrass the government, sailed out to Cato and planted the rainbow flag, declaring it to be sovereign territory

The group renamed the island the “Gay & Lesbian Kingdom of the Coral Sea Islands”. Dale Anderson, the group's leader declared himself emperor. But, the Australian government failed to blink.

The stunt would have gone unnoticed except for the constant needling by Emperor Dale. The island is hardly of strategic importance, and it is only about 3 miles square.

There is no human habitation on the island - Emperor Dale lives in Australia.

But, now he is upping the ante by going to the United Nations.

Dale and his "subjects" are preparing to ask the UN to declare the island an independent nation, and they are doing it by using the world body's own rules to do it.

The group is preparing to submit a case to the International Court of Justice arguing that under Australian law the "gay Tribe" is an “oppressed people, and the island is ruled by an overseas colonial power. That overseas power is Australia. The submission argues that under the UN charter the Gay Kingdom has the right to self determination.”

The new nation is already issuing passports and postage stamps available through its Website. It says that the money raised will help its legal fees and "build an infrastructure" on the island.

After the establishment of the “gay homeland” the island leaders say that “our nation will welcome GLBT refugees from around the world like Israel does for Jews”.

However, the island could only support a few dozen people. There is no economy. There isn't even a port.

Nevertheless, the International Court of Justice could be forced to deal with the application - embarrassing internationally the Australian government and angering Islamic nations.

The UN Commission on Human Rights has failed on two occasions to add sexuality to the list of categories protected by the world body following intense pressure from the Vatican and Muslim nations. (story)

The Vatican and the 56 member nations of the Islamic Conference also fought Secretary General Kofi Annan's plan to give the partners of some gay and lesbian UN workers the same benefits as the spouses of heterosexual employees. (story)

If the UN did recognize the gay nation the Rainbow flag would fly outside UN headquarters in New York along the flags of all other member states.

© 2005

Anyone headed to D.C.?

From Artdaily

Major Retrospective of André Kertész Opens at NGA

"André Kertész was a man of immense talent. Throughout his life he made photographs that are infused with a haunting poetry and quiet authority few other photographers of his time--or any other--could rival," said Earl A. Powell III, director, National Gallery of Art.

Want to peek at a little of his work?

One of my favorites, Chez Modrian.
And here's a link to more.
How about some photography? Courtesy of The Padacia. His links are gold.

Conceptual Photography by Misha Gordin.
Beautiful, haunting, some unsettling, quite erotic.
Thus far my favorite is the series, Doubt.

Another link this morning is something I keep meaning to share. In addition to Rob Brezsny, who we love, I have another favorite astrologer. His 'scopes are monthly and, for me, each have been frighteningly intense and on the mark. Check out Eric Francis Planetwaves monthly.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Sunday snippets:

Want to know how nice it is sitting at Café Septieme, typing and sipping a latte while the rest of the world is glued to a tv watching the superbowl?

Absolute bliss.

I'd been looking forward to this today, hoping it would be quiet. And it is. I’ve never seen the restaurant this empty. I’m the only one in the larger room. The smaller space with the bar has a couple full tables, that’s it. Today has been rainy, grey and cold. It’s not a complaint. We’ve had many nice days. The variety is good. I can feel it in my skin.


Tuesday night I watched my coworker's 3 year old for a couple hours. The coworker needed to attend a meeting, and so I kept the boy occupied. The child came to work, and he and I spent a couple happy hours on the floor doing art and then playing with his planes, trucks and little skateboard people. We were laughing and having fun, scooting all over the floor. At one point the little tyke looked at me and asked "You are really sad, aren't you?"

Well he cut right through the bullshit, didn't he?

I mentioned it to a few coworkers the next morning. They were floored. And impressed. As was I.
Out of the mouth of babes...


Yesterday Auxugen and I moved all his stuff into his new digs. It's a fabulous little apartment, one block east of Broadway, on the Hill. Quite charming, oodles of character.


Before moving Auxugen, I decided to paint. Another blogger, for his birthday, put out a request for us to be creative. He didn't need things sent to him. His gift was knowing we'd create something. Anything. I had forgotten all about this until yesterday morning. Something inside me kicked in, and I thought it would be a good way to jump back into the one thing I was so fearful to touch. Painting.

I spent about three hours being quite anxious. It wasn't a matter of doing something good, or completing a painting. The weirdness came from the thought of the act of actually picking up a brush. In spite of the fear, I knew I'd do it.

Watercolors would be the medium of choice. No color though. Just the little black and white ones I do when I haven't worked in a while. No pressure. Paint what I see. Capture a little corner of my world around me. I laid out my paper, my brushes, and my tube of black. I masked off the paper into little chunks. I literally am in midstream of plopping my ass in the chair and the phone rings, which in turn leads to a conversation with myself.

"Don't answer it. You'll regret it."
"But what if it's important. It could be Auxugen (who I was still waiting to hear from).
"Okay...but this doesn't sound good."

I ran to the phone and brought it back to the table with me.
"Hi, it's dad!"
I take a deep breath. "Hi dad."

The timing was impeccable. Not that I didn't want to hear from my parents. But dealing with family stuff in the last few days meant I really wasn't ready to talk with them just yet.

Anyway, it was a nice...and interesting conversation. I worked on my little painting while talking with them, which made for a fascinating exercise. The interesting part is because I think my sister has been speaking with my parents regarding the emails she and I have exchanged. I know I had mentioned to her a few times that I'd speak with everyone in my own time. Yet...I'm sure she said something to them.

Why, you ask?

Well...after the initial pleasantries were concluded, dad asked "So how much do you have left to pay on your student loan?"
Hmmm...well that came out of the blue.
"I don't know dad."
"What do you pay a month?"
"Dad, it's 240/m, and I know I borrowed about 15,000, and I'm dealing with a 9% loan. I always planned on paying this until I'm 60."

Now don't even talk to me about the 9%. After I graduated, and consolidated 3 years worth, that 9% was favorable, although it's changed since. I looked into refi, but apparently, being privately held, it can't be done. Or it couldn't. In the last month, I've been receiving notices of how I can now supposedly refinance at a much lower rate, but I decided to hold off until after I move.

I mention that to my father.

"Well don't do anything until you check in with me."
"Okay dad, what's going on?"
"I didn't pay for your full education."
"I know dad, but it's really okay. I didn't have a problem with it then, and don't now. You were quite generous at the time."
He was sending me a monthly check of $1000 for 10 school months for each of the 3 years. It allowed me to keep my apartment, cut back on work hours during the academic year and not have roommates. To cut expenses, I sold my new Corolla at the time, and they gave me an older escort so I'd have wheels. Personally I feel it was above and beyond what he needed to do for a 35 year old who decides to return to school for painting. I always had in mind to at least begin to pay him back.

It's strange how 2 days after the last email with my sister, Dad calls, feeling some remorse about not footing the whole bill for my education.

His next question was regarding verification of my current mailing address and how often I check my mailbox.
Then before hanging up, he reiterated a few times that he loves me very much, and misses me. He went on to say he thinks about me each day.

I'm dealing with all sorts of feelings around this while I'm working on my first little painting in months.

The conversation made me angry. Not with him, but with my sister. If she did tell him something, apparently she misunderstood what I was trying to say. In a few days I'll give her a call. It will be easier talking on the phone instead of email.

And the call made me sad. I could feel my father trying really hard, in his way, to show me how much he loves me.

I never doubted his love. And I don't doubt mine for him. It's sad that he feels he needs to use money to show me.

My dad, at 75 finally retired this year. He's really not wealthy. I'd much rather see him save his cash and spend it on nice vacations and a comfortable life for he and my mom.

I know we have major differences around religion. I know it was quite difficult to be brought up in the family we were. My sister admitted that as well. They were loving and very strict. The strict part doesn't bother me. I feel blessed that, as children, we had firm boundaries. Where I hurt is that there wasn't latitude for individuality within those fences. If it didn't follow the teachings of the Catholic church, it was bad. Plain and simple.

My beliefs, my life, my writings, my paintings and my sex, as adult, goes against their beliefs. Our lives are so very different on every level. Now I am part of them as well. My stubborness comes from my parents. My strong passion around what I do, as well as my hard opinions, comes from dad. My heart, my mind...again it's the bloodline.

But, and I know I wrote about this a long time ago, it's tough being in a place where your family can't see all you are. When I was painting, I couldn't very well show them what I was painting, let alone attempt to describe it. Therein lay the wall.

I'm sure there's a balance in there somewhere. We love each other.
Yes, I carry much anger, and at times hatred, for some of what went down as I was growing up. I'm also acutely aware that no one's perfect and we all make mistakes. Everyone totes baggage from childhood. It's our own responsibility to figure out how to deal with it at some point in our lives. I see the integrity in the intent of my parents to raise us in the best fashion possible.

It was a bittersweet phonecall. Sure, I'm no fool. I would love for my student loan to be paid off. But I have this thing about not relying on my parents for help after I moved out of the house. It's my deal, yanno?
Yet if my father really strongly insists on doing this, I need...I MUST, somehow show him that I know of his love and it has nothing to do with money. He doesn't need to prove it in this way. I need to learn how to live within that circle when I step into it. It's my dance, not his.


Back to the painting. It's about an inch and a half tall by about 4 inches wide. I told you it was little. It's a very dark piece. And yes, filled with frenetic marks.
I left everything on the table, which was a good thing. Today, while walking past, I worked on it some more. A couple hours later, I began another one. I don't know what kind of painter I am. I don't trust myself in paint anymore. I'm sure if I were painting regularly, it would come back. Let's see what happens with time, shall we?

Friday, February 04, 2005

15 years ago today I would have been . . .
10 years ago today I would have been . . .
5 years ago today I would have been . . .
1 year ago today I would have been . . .
This year I am . . .
Yesterday I . . .
Today I . . .
Tomorrow I . . .

I saw this meme in imaenad's lj. You know I'm not one to take the time for these, but this time, I bit.


15 years ago today, 1990, I was a month into 30 years old. I couldn't wait to turn 30, because I honestly believed I would finally be treated as an adult. Listened to, respected, acknowledged. Not once did I carry the dread of 30 that my friends did. It was relished and embraced. It isn't until this very moment that, looking back, I realize where that hope came from. My incredible need to be seen and heard.

Some things you just carry with you.

I was living in Nashua NH and was the lab manager for a small custom photolab in Lowell MA. I had been in the photo industry for about 5 years and loved spending all day in the darkroom making that one perfect print for a customer. Burning, dodging, color-correcting, composing.

I had completed my A.A. in Studio Art a few years earlier and had been out as a lesbian for 7 years. At this time there wasn't a partner or g/f, but had a good group of friends. My ex g/f slash roommate and I were finally living apart. We were still close friends but ceased cohabitation.

My first sex toys were when I was 12. If it was insertable, I'd try it. Then I didn't really deal with it again until this time. I learned more about self-pleasure. I began looking at produce in a new way. It took on a new meaning. Shopping for veggies became a "one for my dinner and one for my cunt" game. My friends were titillated and appalled. This was the first sign where I noticed the difference in our sexual lives.

1990 was the year I learned to make elaborate meals for myself. I would cook on Sundays, Beef Burgundy or Stroganoff or something. Enjoy good dinners and freeze the rest. This was also the first New Year's Eve I opted to spend alone. I began my little ritual of yearly reflection then.

Life was good. Plain, simple, quiet. Nothing earthshattering.


10 years ago today, 1995, I was a month into 35 years old. Yeah, being born in 1960 really helps with age remembrance. I always felt I was born 10 to 15 years too late because I was too young to be part of the collective voice of the late 60's into mid 70's.

I've been living in Newmarket, NH, for the last 2 years. In spite of the fact I knew no one in Newmarket, I just upped and moved from Nashua to the seacoast. It increased my commute from 10 minutes to 50 minutes. But after my first day trip to Portsmouth a few years earlier, I knew I had to live there. My friends thought I was crazy. It was the beginning of that trend and the beginning of a larger journey. A year after moving to the coast, I knew I had to quit my job and return to school for painting. 10 years ago, I was halfway through my BFA. I was getting my stride. My gf at the time was an 18 year old who had been hitting on me for 4 months while she was still 17. We worked together. I'd come in and find little presents, notes and cards tucked in my desk. Although we were friendly, I wasn't going to touch her with a 10 foot pole.

On her 18th birthday, she came into work for her shift. I walked up to her and said "Call me." I turned, walked away and then shot back, "Happy Birthday."

I thought it would only be sex. For 4 Friday nights I wouldn't allow her past the living room. She'd walk in, we'd have a glass of wine and then fuck for hours on the floor. I'd send her home and we wouldn't get together until the following week. I didn't want a g/f type relationship. I was in school, busy, single and happy. But life happens. After a month I added dinners...and then the bedroom. We were together for 2 years. She was a tough little thing. Sexy wildchild.

That summer I had my fellowship at school. I'd crawl out of bed at 7 am on a seacoast summer day and head for my painting loft. She'd be tucked under the covers, delicious and warm. Mid morning she'd meet me at school and we'd have sex near my easel, in front of the large glass windows, and with a summer drawing class in the large studio beneath us, partially opened to the loft. It was my first foray into public sex and being forced to keep quiet while cumming.

With a kid for a partner, I discovered Nirvana that year. STP and Alice in Chains. I also experienced the joy of watching Pulp Fiction or Natural Born Killers while fully baked. She and I would go to Ogunquit and smoke on the way. Don't ever try to do the outlet stores while stoned. LOL... It's a trip. Everything in J. Crew or Eddie Bauer looks too good.

From there we'd head to the parking lot at Ogunquit, sit in the car (being winter) and smoke more weed. I'd make up stories about the people around us. Ramble on...and on. One tale involved the guy in the truck next to us. I concocted something about his 14 foot penis and how it wasn't only his pleasure tool but his work tool as well. He'd tie it to carts and pull his groceries behind him.

I bought my first dildo and shocked my friends. Although I loved them, it again emphasized how my sexuality was different that theirs.

I was at the Crown and Anchor in Provincetown with friends, having a cocktail outside. The waitress had a sour disposition and my friends and I tried to get her to laugh. The women's toy store was across the street. I wandered in quickly and purchased my first dildo. It was some vibrating unit. When I returned to my friends, I opened the package, inserted the batteries and plopped the toy on the table, standing up. Whenever the cheerless waitress came by, we'd turn it on and watch it hop around. She wasn't amused.

That's the same afternoon I experienced my first leatherbar. While sitting at the Crown and Anchor, I noticed the door to The Vault. (This is about 3 years before I really began my s/m). There was a tall, meaty doorman who was shooing women away. When he disappeared for a bit, I exclaimed that I wanted to see what was down there. Two strange gay boys at the table next to us overheard me. They jumped up and offered to take me in. So with the doorman still gone, we went downstairs. Darkly lit, I noticed a saddle on a rail dividing that space. I was so naive and yet it felt good in there. Only the bartender, a large scruffy man, was in this smallish room. He looked at me, pointed to a tv screen and said "Ma'am, we show explicit videos in here." "Not a problem," I mumbled nervously and glanced over at the porn on the screen. Then he offered me a beer. Men would slowly enter, in singles or pairs and walk past the bar into a backroom. I wondered what was back there, but felt it wasn't my place to explore. 5 minutes later I finished my beer and returned to my friends outside. I didn't want to overstay my welcome, albeit a begrudging one.

Now that I think about it, and not only because of the g/f, because she was icing on this fabulous, freeing, passionate cake, but it was an amazing year. I was one of the golden students. I had great painting mentors. Receiving the fellowship was validating. I was being encouraged to apply to Indiana U at Bloomington for my MFA. Work was satisfying because they allowed me to create my own position and my own hours. So some weeks, due to school, I would only work 8 hours. And then I'd increase to 40 as my schoolwork allowed. I was painting, painting, painting. My body was in great shape. Sexuality oozed out of everything.

1995 was a very good year. As well as 1996. They were the happiest in my life thus far. Although these last few years have been richer and more substantial, they've come with a steep price. Sorrow, grief, loss, rage, awareness.


5 years ago, I had moved to Seattle a year and a half earlier. My friends thought I was nuts for moving to the seacoast? Now they didn't know what to think, except maybe I had lost my mind.

I had been working for Census 2000 for about 8 months, and newly promoted to Assistant to the Seattle Census Manager. We were slowly gearing up for the big count, having completed the preliminary projects and address verification. My first project was to coordinate and throw an open house for the politicos in King County. The feds required each office to have an open house with food, entertainment, speakers and decorations while at the same time specifying the brutal fact that there would be no budget. We needed to rely on donations. We had about 300 people show up, and it went well. The bash was held on January 6, 2000, my birthday.

I knew at this point that I no longer wanted a traditional partner. I could see myself in a Master/slave relationship at some point. I didn't want to be their lover, but their slave. I didn't want to share their bed. I craved being chained and imagined my place sleeping on the floor. I wanted lots of lovers. That was a big shift for me.

I had just signed a contract with Sir for training in mid-January. 5 years ago this month saw me give away my leathers, in sacrifice. It was the first physical step to ripping away my skin. A month later, the labrys I had worn around my neck for years (along with two other symbols) mysteriously fell off my chain. Clasps weren't broken. It simply appeared on the floor of Sir's dungeon after our training session, while the other two pieces swung safely from my neck. Freakily, that was the session where Sir said I needed to let go of all the assumptions I had of me, including my sexuality, gender, and beliefs.

This was the active, conscious beginning of the work I still find myself immersed in.

If I think anymore about it I'll just cry. Let's move on.


1 year ago today, I'm working for a glbt community foundation. I've been with them 3 years at this point. The organization is evolving into an amazing organism, creating more complexity in my position. I receive a promotion.

My ideas around relationship changed once again. The boundaries were expanding. I realized I wanted to be part of a large family. All living together, fucking, playing, and fighting over who does what housework. Plus of course, a large pool of play partners outside of the house. I'm becoming much more comfortable with the question mark of who I am, regarding sexual orientation and identity. And I was quite hurt by the actions of a few people who knew the pain of fighting to find their place. We eat our own. That was a tough one to take. I've since come to forgiveness around this.

I'd been blogging for almost a year. This was a large tool in my healing. Next to my painting in 95-96, this blog was possibly the first active claiming of space as I rebuild myself. I've been with my shrink almost a year. Sir's recovering fairly well from his stroke and, after a year hiatus, we began fundraising again for the sex scholarship.

There's not much more to say. It was a challenging year, and in many ways I was consumed by my own stuff, which in turn would lead to guilt because I felt too inwardly focused. The shrink continually would remind me that it's part of the damned process. Yeah, let's take 5 years out of my life to decide to jump into the pool of learning. Crap.
Today I'm a tad bitter about it all. Note the tone?


This year I'm doing the same as last. Keep on keepin' on. Somedays I feel I'm hanging on by my fingertips, only to turn around and find the intense power I do carry. It fluctuates from one to another.

With my lack of gender stuff, I'm more comfortable saying "screw the fucking world...all of it." Of course, there are lonely days and still hurtful times. There are also times with feeling left out. But I'm bouncing back quicker, and each time stronger.

This year saw the completion of the endowment for the Tony DeBlase Scholarship. This year saw the release of Kinsey, which was quite timely, for the country's political mood as well as to help push the scholarship over the edge. In December, I compiled a list of different schools around the country which have a program in human sexuality. The scholarship manager emailed these programs with notice of the sex scholarship. Almost immediately, a school in San Francisco responded as well as a few others. They were thrilled because they weren't aware of anything else like it. This was a good reminder of the need out there.

This year the shrink says I am a Buddhist. I argue with him and say no. If you can't argue with your shrink, who can you argue with?

I'm not formally practicing any type of religion, and don't plan to for a long time, maybe never. But I think I understand what he means. My viewpoint and personal philosophy fall more in line with buddhism than anything else. Yet I can't call myself one really. I'm not doing sesshin. I don't do sitting or walking mediation on an irregular let alone regular basis. Maybe the attempt to live mindfully, aware of each moment, could be called meditation. I don't know. Maybe it doesn't matter. And is it really important to have a label?

This year has seen a bringing together of chosen family. This year has seen very little s/m play. I keep trusting that everything will happen in time. This year, because of all I'm learning, has led to great confusion around d/s and master/slave relationships. Even service. Here's a perfect example:

A few months back, I was assisting BBC Top (boots, bondage and cigar). I was giving her a ride to the airport. While in her apartment, she asked if I could empty the teakettle while she finished packing. She then kindly said "that's not a service thing...just a friend thing."
"But...", I began. She jumped in and said something along the lines of maybe someday - meaning we could possibly re-establish that relationship. I replied, "that's not was I was thinking. I was going to say I know it wasn't a d/s thing. We all serve each other. Even in the leatherworld...even masters and slaves. Everyone is of service to everyone else." BBC Top laughed and said my buddhism was showing.

See where and how I'm confused? I mean, how do my beliefs fit into the leatherworld at large? Yeah, I can do the protocol when needed. Honestly, in the right space or with the right person, it gets me off. But I see the power in all individuals. We all bring something to the table, and I think the more successful play interactions (short and long term) stem from elevating and showcasing the power in each. I don't believe in power over. In my opinion, that's abuse. I believe in power exchange. I don't want someone dumbing down for me, nor will I dumb down for them.

My thoughts on this are still forming, but I think that all we do in leatherland is role play. Role play isn't bad. It can be fun and titillating. It's imaginative. It can be really hot. But it's role play. And I can go into it if all parties involved are honest about that. Those are my quick, brief, still being formulated thoughts on a big subject.

This year I am clearer and more confused all at the same time.


Yesterday, I just found out that the Kinsey Institute responded back in December (to the notice about the scholarship) as well. Not only were they thrilled, but they'd like to be hooked up with the recipient of this scholarship, in the hopes that maybe the student could somehow, in some capacity, work with the Institute over the summer. That's fucking big!!!

Yesterday I also found out that out of 200 scholarship applications so far gone through (out of a total 315 apps received this year - new record), 50 thus far have recorded human sexuality as a field of study. It was another huge validation of the need that's out there.

I contacted Sir last night and we shared a drink at Septieme in celebration of all this news.

Yesterday I noticed a new trend. I love chocolate. I don't pig out on it, but relish it. In the last 3 days, I've had either a little chocolate or some sugary dessert thingy. About an hour later, I've been shaky, headachy, and feeling plain sick. That feeling continues for hours, sometimes going to bed in that state. I had to cancel fabulous dinner plans with Hoss and his boy because of this. It's the kind of feeling I get when my blood sugar drops if I haven't eaten in many hours, yet now appearing after the sugar intake. In addition, while this is happening, I've noticed I have to pee like every 30 - 45 minutes. Yesterday I decided to remain in denial as to the possibility of what this may mean. If it still persists, I'll deal with it after I move.

If you try to comment about this particular fact, I'll just put my hands over my ears and sing "la, la, la, la, la....I can't hear you...." at the top of my lungs.

I know the emotional can wreak havoc on the physical. Let's just wait until I'm settled, calmer and sleeping again. K?

Yesterday I told the shrink that this is all too hard and I no longer have the strength to continue. The email exchanges with my sister have pushed all the wild buttons. It's interesting how, although quite conscious of my actions and knowing full well it may not be the best tact, I will quickly resort to being the little invisible kid who needs to build herself up. I also informed him that I'm not doing the couch anymore. It's hot enough already and I don't need anything else stirred up.

Of course we both know that's a big, fat lie and copout. I'm ornery and hate to quit.


Today I found out that my application process for the apartment is complete and officially approved. So now I can begin to move in the last 2 weeks of February. I didn't dare shop for paint until I knew for sure.

This morning I tried to write an article about the scholarship for our spring newsletter. It's pages of gibberish with no cohesion. Ugh. I periodically go back in and write and write, hoping to find some direction. Maybe I'm too close to the subject?

And now I've spent the last couple hours writing this.


Tomorrow I have no firm plans. I will be assisting Auxugen with his move sometime this weekend. Otherwise, I'll play it by ear.

Nix that. Auxugen just emailed me and it looks like we will be moving him tomorrow.

There you have it.
In Why Does Windows Still Suck? Morford writes:

"Here, then, is my big obvious question: Why the hell do people put up with this? Why is there not some massive revolt, some huge insurrection against Microsoft? Why is there not a huge contingent of furious users stomping up to Seattle with torches and scythes and crowbars, demanding the Windows Frankenstein monster be sacrificed at the altar of decent functionality and an elegant user interface?

There is nothing else like this phenomenon in the entire consumer culture. If anything else performed as horribly as Windows, and on such a global scale, consumers would scream bloody murder and demand their money back and there would be some sort of investigation, class-action litigation, a demand for Bill Gates' cute little geeky head on a platter."

Read the whole thing.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Morning everyone.

I've been busy, between working out the details on the new apartment and yes, ongoing emails with my sister. It's been...interesting.

By the way, Hoss, I'll need your design sense to layout the furniture in my apartment. Yeah, yeah. Give me a flat surface and I can comfortably break up the space. But 3D??? Nope. I'm stumped.

My sister responded in a supportive manner. Personally, I didn't expect less than that. But, it's weird. And I'm not sure if the weirdness is something I'm concocting in my head and therefore am putting out there, or if it's actually weird on her end.

She spoke lots about FAMILY. It reminded me where my strong sense of family comes from. Our clan is big on family. The all-important, all-consuming family. But you know, sometimes blood isn't enough to create family.

In her first response to me, she mentioned that some of the older kids do know about me. They told the kids, while teaching them that all are equal and family is family.

When I read that, I smiled. Upon a second reading, I cried. I've spent years believing that no one was talking to the kids because they were ashamed of me and in reality they had. But I wasn't informed. We then corresponded about that. She said they didn't know how to tell me. That's fair. Probably waiting for cues from me, and I wasn't giving any.

So it's ongoing. I'm not fully clear how to write about it yet because of old dynamics that are entering our conversation (in an energy sense).

Anyway, that's that for now.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

"Let's just say it outright: The ends do not justify the means. A barely democratic Iraq is fine and good, but you well know that if Bush had mumbled to the nation three years and $300 billion ago that we were going to start bombing this piss-poor country back to the stone age and gut the U.S. economy and put thousands of American soldiers and tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis in death's way to deliver it, all while sending the nastiest possible message to the world and actually increasing the threat of terrorism while turning our backs on every major U.S. ally, I doubt many Americans would have giddily waved the flag of support (except maybe Ann Coulter, who apparently loves anything involving guns and dead foreigners).

Let's put it another way: Here is your choice, America: $300 billion and massive international disrespect and a huge pile of dead American soldiers in an effort to force a fragile democracy onto a torn and fractured Iraq by ousting their useless dictator who was, let us repeat, no threat to us, or to anyone, and who was, in fact, our ally, until he dared to threaten our oil.

Or: $300 billion to assist struggling nations and battle AIDS and protect the planet, to evolve our international relationships and set up treaties and unifying alliances and maybe even have a little left over to help fix our own schools, maybe help all those destitute American city upgrade their hospitals and fix their homeless problems and even maybe launch a national health care plan, spend that money on trying to solve a huge host of social ills plaguing this crumbling beautiful egomaniacal empire we call home.

Which do you choose? What cost democracy? Where do you draw your lines?"

That's an excerpt from Mark Morford's column for today, Come See Our Brutal Democracy.

And grab Rob Brezsny's weekly horoscope right here.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Here's another 'guess what?'

Unbeknownst to me, when I began the email...I took a step in changing the dynamic with my family. My sister and cousins are planning a family reunion on the Cape in March. I considered attending, for the weekend, and then possibly take a trip to the Mountain after that. Or maybe hook up with some folks in NY, Boston or both. :-)

I knew that because of what's been happening in therapy, seeing everyone for the weekend would be intense. I was leaving the option open.

Well the February move has nixed those plans because moves suck up money.

After I emailed my sister to say I couldn't attend, she replied with the question of whether or not I'd be visiting this year at all.
I was going to reply a short, quick answer and yet...something happened. My fingers kept typing. I wasn't even nervous. Instead there was an inner excitement and calm about the sureness of my words. I knew it was right because I didn't even have the urge to send it to the shrink before I emailed sis.

Want to read what I wrote? Keep in mind that I've been out to my immediate family for a long time. But no one talks about it.

Here you go. It happened so fast that I didn't allow extra time for editing. And names have all been changed.

Dear Jane,

I may or may not come this year.  It's always in my thoughts.  But you know...I can't afford to do it all the time.  And, there is another reason. 

It's been a tough year.  Brutal.  The elections really took their toll on me (and most people I know).  Hearing that 51% of Americans think we shouldn't have the same rights as other Americans hurt.  It hurt something bad.  Out of that 51% was a large number that hates gays enough to actually go to the polls and vote, when they wouldn't have voted otherwise.  Big ouch.  

I'm personally more inclined to stay and surround myself with people who believe the way I do...who accept me...and who are queer like me.  I have no desire to hide who I am any longer.   And with family, I still have to hide.  The kids don't know about me.  The uncles, the aunts...etc.  I love everyone, very much.  But it's really tough and intense to love knowing that they don't know who I am.  Sure, if they knew, they may say "but we love you anyway."  "Anyway." 
Hmmm...right now, that qualifier doesn't feel very good. 

As much as I love the family, it hurts going home.  It always does.  You all see a minute piece of me.  Granted, it is all I've shown you.  That choice was made partially because I didn't want anyone to be uncomfortable.  The big reason was because I didn't want to be rejected.  But it's been a decision that's taken its toll.

Jane, it rips me up inside.  And it has, for a long time.   

All that I am, my whole life, my whole being, goes against everything the Smiths stand for.  I am not speaking only about being gay. but also my ideas, my viewpoint on life, on spirituality, on sex, on passions....all of it.

You are the only one, thus far, that I've said this too.  I know this is the year where I need to claim my space, for better or worse, in the Smith clan. 

I guess you have become my first step.


There you have it. Now I know that my sense of compassion and faith come from them. When I reread the letter (after sending it), I saw that I was extreme and harsh when I wrote that all I am goes against everything they stand for.

But maybe it's for the best. I'll keep you posted.