Sunday, July 31, 2005

Turn and face the strange
- David Bowie

A meandering....

Work is sending me to NGLTF's Creating Change conference this year. It is being held in Oakland, in November and will be my first Creating Change. A few folks have wanted me to attend for the last couple years but it was never budgeted. This year it is. I have been fascinated by this conference because as activist conferences go, it seems to have a greater sense of holism.

Not only that, but this is the conference where a certain someone had an interest in my coming up with a workshop. Yes, I alluded to this last week. Well, yesterday I noticed the deadline for workshop ideas was a couple weeks ago. That's fine with me. I think it first is more important for me to get the lay of the land.

While at Septieme's the other night, I saw Icarus and mentioned all this to him, including the fact that (other than one quick workshop thought), when the idea was first suggested, I really didn't think I had anything to offer and couldn't understand the interest. Trust me. This isn't false humility. I was puzzled...and couldn't put my finger on it. With time, I've learned I do have something to offer. What I do not know is how to offer it up.

Changes. Creating change. Activism.
It seems we see those as big ideas. Public action, focused outward. Reaction.

I see its importance.

For me, my idea of greater activism is personal and internal. So how could I even begin to share that?
It is simple. It is quiet and it is private.

This morning, I responded to a comment with the mention of our shadow selves. Since then, it's been stuck in my head.

I am intrigued and I suppose enamored by shadow. That's why I craved Sir's training above others. Do not misundertand. I am not putting down other forms of training. They simply were not right for me. We each have to follow our own path. I didn't want to put on the layers, the masks and the regalia. Not yet. First I craved to see what lay underneath. Sir's teachings then morphed into psychotherapy which is all about shadow. is Zen. There's an idea that Zen is a device used to seek the calm space and if we don't achieve that particular state of being during meditation then there is something wrong.

Sitting brings up all sorts of ghosts. Never having done a formal sit, I've been told zazen can be a maelstrom. I do know that any type of meditation has the potential and will at some point, immerse us in the chaos of our self. The centeredness and balance comes from not fearing our shadow, accepting it, feeling it and allowing to be what it is. So yes, one can achieve calm with Zen, but mediation isn't all rainbows, happiness and flowers. It is to discover the rock that we are while in the midst of the storm.


Here's an aside.

Last year the shrink and I were speaking of altars and statues. I have a big problem with statues and more so with Buddha statues. I truly and emphatically believe that if Buddha were alive and saw how he was elevated, he'd be absolutely mortified. Our buddha nature? Crap. I understand the use of the word, but again, as humans who need to have someone to look up to, instead of focusing on our own strength, this whole buddha stuff feels it plays right into that weakness. Anyway, a tangent within a tangent.

During our conversation the shrink mentioned that one zen group had only one thing on their altar. A rock. Immediately, upon hearing those words, an "ohhhh" sprang from my lips and tears from my eyes. It struck me in the most powerful way. I didn't understand why at the time, but saw truth. Now I know. Focus on the rock that we are. Our own strength.

Double whoa.

End of aside.

When I look at art (subject matter is irrelevant), I gravitate toward work that seeks the shadow space of life. Regardless of technique, the piece has a rawness - a vulnerability which creates a unique integrity. In that, not only do I discover the erotic but it will scream sex.

Mind you, I am speaking of my personal experience and view.

I belong to many discussion lists and read many blogs. I don't engross myself in many topics. Or I may start and then need to stop. It's not because I have nothing to say. Instead, with these passing months, I discover I have much to say and don't know where to begin. It is all so interconnected and not as complex as we've made it. It's simple and it is large. In its simplicity...I have no words. Only a heart knowing.

With all this, I don't engage in life wondering how I'm going to change the world. Instead, my focus is on how I can continue to be present to my own evolution, knowing on some level all my actions, thoughts, words, and each inhale and exhale are a ripple in the universal pond.

Shadow self.
In my opinion, the most substantial change comes from dancing with our shadow. What lays in the bowels of our own personal hell? Why is it there? How do we walk through those flames to rise in phoenix-like fashion?

Discrimination, in all its disguises, is derived from fear. Fear is the substance of shadow.

For some unknown and bizarre reason, I feel and therefore am driven to explore my shadow.

This knowledge seems in direct contradiction with doing a public workshop. But, blogging about my stuff tends to remove some of the privacy which becomes an obvious contradiction that I am comfortable with. Strange.

It is all strange.
Very strange.
I think I'm becoming Padacia's pimp.

Check out this photo.
It is Michal Chelbin's photography. Gorgeous...on so many levels.

Saturday, July 30, 2005


Tonight, I went to the hospital to pick up my friend and bring him home. I walked in the lobby, into the elevator and got off on the 8th floor. As soon as I stepped out, I smelled it. Hospital smell. Although it doesn't bother me, having worked in a hospital and nursing homes many years ago, it struck me. Hmmm...when was the last time I smelled a hospital? I realized it was when Sir was in for his stroke. We were there every day for a week. Then it dawned on me that today was almost exactly, if not the actual day, the 3rd year anniversary of Sir's stroke. I can't quite remember if it was the 29th or the 30th.

It was a dagger to the heart and a massive belly sink.
When I went to get the car, I wasn't fast enough to beat the tears back to the garage.

We have no idea what life has in store for us. The best laid plans, albeit well-meaning and important, do not prepare us.

Yes, it is true. The fag is in love.

I haven't been sleeping well in the last week or so. Normally, I like to crash around 10 because I enjoy being awake around 5. Lately, I see 11 and then midnight. My eyes still first open around 5 and I squeeze them shut hoping to capture another hour or so. The bright sun and Seattle heat are powerful forces working against my extra sleep.

On Monday and Tuesday I clearly saw how my vacation was a vessel that held and revealed all I'm learning from the work with my shrink. It seemed that everywhere I turned, there was something else to show me personal progress.

The tumblers are clicking into place.

Today, other than driving my friend home from the hospital, will be a painting day. Tomorrow afternoon I am working a catering gig, so it's even more important I become a recluse today. Conserve my limited amounts of people energy.


I have fallen in love with my current work. Totally giddy, butterflies in my stomach, mushy, gushy, caramel butterscotch sickening sweet, in love.

I'm not going back to check and so don't know if I've written this or not, but I feel I'm coming into my own with my work. In school, I felt a sense of confidence. It was safe because I had a prof to fall back on. When unsure I could lean on them. If I was oblivious and not present to my work, they were right there, reminding me I may get hit by a truck. One of my favorite comments at the beginning of my thesis year came from one prof who looked at what I worked on all summer. "What the fuck is this shit?" I felt a small stab and then knew that he saw I fell into what was safe. No risks taken. I wasn't pushing myself the way I had been during the year. I hold his words with affection because he saw more in me. Two months later, in class, he came up to me and said... " you're getting somewhere." Those words were gold.

After I graduated, I spent the next year painting. A friend and I were painting side by side, sharing work, critiques, comments...and I felt as if I was barely treading water. It seemed as if I didn't know what made a good painting. There was no trust in myself. I felt I was working blind. Unsettling.

Once I moved to Seattle, my painting (when I did paint) still had that uncertainty. Very tentative. Other than a handful of pieces that stand out, it felt like I had no fucking clue. I didn't know what I was doing.

Imagine baking a pie. All the ingredients are in front of you. You have a rolling pin, a pie pan, an oven. Standing there, in your apron, ready to bake...everything looks like foreign objects. If you don't know the measurements...what do you do? How long to cook for? How much flour? Sugar???

That's what it felt like. Not that painting is a measured science for me. I felt I had the tools yet didn't know how to access any of it in a way to allow creation of something edible.

So, why oh why after not painting for over a year, it began to come together? I feel a strength, a sureness. All I can determine is that it seems the more I can tap into the deeper parts of myself, I find the key to connecting what I've learned. I think it's about trust. This doesn't mean I know the answers. Instead, it feels as if I am becoming more comfortable with my painting gut which allows me to be freer with the painting. Looking at my work, I do not have a final vision for any of the works and it doesn't matter.

For the first time in my life I am in love with the painter that is me.

This afternoon I dropped a friend off at the hospital. Appendicitis. In case he wanted someone around for a bit, I brought my knapsack and reading material. He reassured me a few times he was all set. Didn't need company. Tomorrow I'll play chauffeur again.


My first week back at work. It didn't take long to feel the work try to suffocate me. We do so much and plan so big that it can be overwhelming. I'm much more conscious of it this time and won't allow myself to be smothered. Boundaries. Rethinking things. Looking at work from other angles. I do have to say, I'm continually blown away by what we try to achieve. Yesterday's meeting, being another planning and vision meeting, reaffirms that for me each time.


I miss writing. It feels like it has been a while since I wrote anything substantial. Yet I'm kinda relaxed inside and have no desire to write. And on the other hand, I want to and some part of me needs this. As Clarke Lane wrote today, regarding not writing in his blog, "LJ is kind of an emotional and expressive anchor for me. A few days can seem like forever."
He said exactly what I've been feeling this week.

So I brought my laptop to Septieme to see if maybe motivation would appear.


While sitting in my booth, I noticed a man walk by and stop to speak with someone dining at one of the sidewalk tables. The man's skin was dark and rich. On his head, a red bowler. Cherry red pants, red patent leather belt and a shirt that was a stew concocted of bright yellow, red and lime green completed the look. I couldn't see what kind of shoes he was wearing. Behind him was a young tree with bright, green foliage...bespeckled by the late light. It was the perfect frame for the man in color...his jovial nature matched his attire.


Last week I was sitting in the courtyard of my building. On the sidewalk 2 women and what seemed to be 6 small 4 year olds stopped at the gate. They were listening to the sound of the fountain in our pond. I asked if they'd like to come in and see the goldfish. Piling in, they gathered and crouched around the pond for quite a while. Giggling. Pointing. Laughing. Looking. Seriously cute.


Two nights ago, Auxugen and I were out walking. We headed over to Volunteer Park, hoping to dabble our toes in whatever wading pool water was left...before it fully drained for the night. We lucked out, kicked off our shoes and refreshed our feet. Why is it that anytime I want to soak my feet, Auxugen is around? What does it say about our relationship? :-)

I noticed it was dad and toddler night at the pool. 3 or 4 dads, each with what appeared to be their own 2 year old...slowly playing in the water. I also observed the latest trend in potty training diapers. They were all naked, except for what seemed to look like Huggie pull-ups (or whatever it's called). All the same.

One dad and his son, both wading in the water, had a whiffle ball. This little boy's hair was almost white. The kind of blond that happens from being kissed by summer sun. Dad would drop the ball in the water and the boy would run and pick it up. At one point the ball floated to the center, where the drain was located. There was a mini whirpool in this 8 or so inches of water. It would suck up the ball and so the ball stayed stuck in the vortex...slightly under the surface. The little boy wandered to the ball and would reach down to pick it up. Seeing the ball wasn't on top of the water, he didn't think he could grab it. He never submerged his hand to pick up the ball. Instead, he'd call to dad and point to the ball. Dad bent down, picked up the ball, and would toss it again. The boy would head over, but not pick it up if it was in the whirlpool.

Dad then came by, and one more time picked up the ball to then drop it near the little whirlpool and pick it up again. The toddler examined this very carefully.

Dad then handed the ball to the boy. The little one mimicked his father's moves, dropping the ball, then stopped, thought a moment, to then bend down and actually pick it up. It was so exciting to watch. Not having children, I normally don't get to see kids make those first aha connections. Seriously cool. That little boy was so proud of himself. Rightly so.


While eating dinner tonight, the street filled up with bicyclists, all headed north. Folks on the sidewalk were whoopin' and hollerin'. There were at least 30 or 40 bikers, some all decked out. I wondered what was happening, stopped and studied, smiling. At the end of the group of bikers, I noticed a sign:

Going to my trusty little computer, I looked it up and found this:

"What & Why:
on the last friday of every month in over 100 cities around the world cyclists congregate together to ride in demonstration and in celebration. critical mass has no leaders and no set agenda and people come together to ride for many different reasons.
just a few of those reasons are...
to assert cyclists right to the road, to promote bikes as a fun, healthy, viable alternative to cars, to build a greater sense of community, to get more folks on bikes, or simply to celebrate bike love and ride in solidarity with other like minded individuals and have some fun!
overall the ride is what you make it!"

Fun, eh?


On my walk home from the Cafe tonight, Mr. Sax Man was on the corner of Broadway and Republican playing his luscious saxophone. I headed east, up the hill toward home, and his soulful notes serenaded me for the next three blocks.


There is so much to see out here in our world. Sometimes, I think about carrying around a microcassette recorder to mark the moments more quickly. But maybe sometimes it is about seeing, enjoying and letting it go.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Trains, planes and automobiles.

Not really. Instead bus, ferry and feet.

Hoppin' the ferry to Bremerton this morning for a day long staff retreat on regional outreach planning. Although I'm really not a meeting person...the saving grace is that we'll be on the water.

Oh yeah...yesterday, I've received confirmation that I'll be in Oakland, CA in November for about 5 days. It will be the first time I step foot in CA. I'm looking forward to it.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Painting, work and rock stars.

Last night, after work, I was going to paint. The only thing that stopped me was that my coworkers wanted a show and tell. They know it's all work in progress but would like peeking priveleges. They were quite sweet yesterday. When I mentioned I'd returned to painting, there were sighs of relief, exclamations of joy and one "I'm so glad and I was afraid to ask!" One of my coworkers even strongly suggested I figure out how to take a week off in August so I don't fully lose the small momentum I have going. This morning, while recalling his advice, I decided I'll split vacation time to give me 4 day weekends. Working three 10 hour days a week right now is feasible. My busy time won't hit again until after I come back from the east coast in September. Then I'll be flat out nutso busy until after the year end tax receipt letters get mailed at the end of January. So it's almost crazy not to take the time now. an odd way, this is giving me the 30 hour week I sought, while still retaining my full time status. Huh...I may be able to do something with it. In August, I acquire one more vacation week because of my 5 year anniversary.

Wow. I hadn't even considered that until the words flew off the keyboard. It seems I have greater options than previously thought.


So...where do rock stars fit into all this? I've gotten hooked on a certain reality show. It's good. It's very good. 99.9 percent of reality shows suck and I don't even find most of them to be entertaining. Watching bitchiness and ongoing inter-relational dysfunctional drama between people is not my idea of a good time. But I can or could handle a few. The first one that caught me was Survivor, although I became tired of the infighting and did stop watching.

What fascinated me about Survivor were the primal challenges - to find food, create shelter, get water. From a sociological standpoint, it intrigued me. And I do believe that Jeff Proust is one of the sanest reality show hosts around. He would call people on their shit. He'd try to counsel without being overbearing. He saw the greater idea...and attempted to convey that.

The situation that still makes an impact on me was a time when one tribe essentially was out of food and had been for a while. Jeff came up with a large bag of rice. (This incident reminded me a lot of Sir's training and what he'd request. Sir was big on choice and sacrifice.) Anyway, Jeff approached the tribe with the food. He said he needed something in exchange. The item had to be as valuable as the food and so appropriate payment for the rice would be their shelter. The group needed to decide between food and shelter, knowing it not only rained heavily every night but the temperature would drop. I was impressed. He would try to show them larger life lessons. about off track.

Back to rock stars. Or more specifically, Rock Star INXS.
This is nothing like American Idol. The judges aren't arrogant bastards, posturing every chance they get. INXS are the judges, and they have something at stake here, considering they are seeking another member for their band.

The talent is amazing. All of these kids can rock. A few are supremely on top of their game. And most do heed the critiques and try to apply that to their next show. It is one hour of listening to covers of some of my favorite music. The Kinks, The Clash, Eric Clapton, The Doors, Nirvana, Stevie Wonder and on and on.

What strikes me in a powerful way, especially with last night's show is how someone can hit every note. On the surface, they're doing it. They may have the drive and the passion yet somehow are disconnected from the stage, the audience, the band and ultimately from themselves. You can see they aren't in their body. It's almost there but not quite. Then there someone like the guy who immersed...absolutely immersed himself in Nirvana's Lithium. His voice was not quite as good as some of his other performances and it didn't matter. That song. That space. That moment in time was perfect. There was such a oneness and energy that flowed. It blew me away. And then, there are the rare few that nail it, all the way around.

I've seen folks do strong performances only to fall flat on their faces for a night.

Apparently INXS holds clinics with them each week – stagecraft, voice. etc. I haven't caught those episodes, but from the snippets I heard last night, it reminds me of some of my profs.

So, I've been really struck by the show because I'm seeing the connections between these hopeful rockers and myself. Their struggle to nail a song and make it their own, the way they are trying to touch their essence and let it out with abandon and integrity. Lots of meat in the show.
And...the music is fierce. I mean, who doesn't love "Lola"?
Mark Morford is on vacation for about a week. Today, Rob Brezsny stands alone.

For Capricorns:

"There are at least 20 different kinds of kisses, and the ancient Indian book Kama Sutra describes ten of them. Loving gazes and caresses come in an almost infinite variety, and the 2600-year-old book identifies a few of each. As for sexual positions, the Kama Sutra provides insight into how to perform 84. In the coming weeks, I suggest you explore the Kama Sutra or a text like it, Capricorn, because your astrological assignment is to be ingenious and experimental as you push past the frontiers of your sexual wisdom."

For nonCapricorns, your horoscope is here.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005


National Coalition for Sexual Freedom

Susan Wright, NCSF Spokesperson
(917) 848-6544

Communications Decency Act (CDA) Lawsuit

July 26, 2005 - New York, NY
A three judge panel has made a decision in the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom and acclaimed photographer Barbara Nitke's challenge against the Communications Decency Act (CDA) which criminalizes free speech on the Internet. According to the court, the plaintiffs presented "insufficient evidence" to support findings that the variation in community standards is substantial enough that protected speech is inhibited by the CDA.

According to the decision handed down by the Federal District Court for the
Southern District of NY, in case #01 CIV 11476 (RMB): "The plaintiffs have offered
evidence that there are at least 1.4 million Websites that mention "BDSM" (bondage,
discipline, and sadomasochism)... The plaintiffs have submitted images and written
works that represent material posted to a small number of Websites, that they
contend may be considered obscene in some communities but not in others. These
examples provide us with an insufficient basis upon which to make a finding as to
the total amount of speech that is protected in some communities but that is
prohibited by the CDA because it is obscene in other communities."

The court agreed that NCSF members and Barbara Nitke are genuinely at risk of
prosecution under the CDA and that their speech has in fact been inhibited.
According to the decision: "Nitke's fear that the CDA will be enforced against her
is actual and well-founded. She has submitted objective evidence to substantiate
the claim that she has been deterred from exercising her free-speech rights, and
this fear is based on a reasonable interpretation of the CDA... NCSF has submitted
objective evidence that one of its member organizations, TES, has been deterred
from exercising its free-speech rights and that this deterrence is based on a well-
founded fear that the CDA would be enforced against it."

John Wirenius, attorney for the plaintiffs, says, "We are disappointed that the
court did not act on the uncontradicted evidence we presented that artists and
citizens who are sexual minorities are disproportionately censored by the
Government's ability to pick its own forum and standard for obscenity cases. The
government brings obscenity cases where it knows it can get convictions."

"I am appalled by this decision," says co-plaintiff Barbara Nitke, a fine art
photographer who explores sexual relationships in her work. "It is vitally
important to keep the Internet free for education, the arts and open discussion on
sexual topics. This law is a form of unfair censorship that must be stopped. I am
absolutely going to appeal this."

NCSF challenged against the CDA law because personal websites and chat groups that
include discussions and images of SM, swinging or polyamory are at risk of
prosecution. Membership groups that maintain educational websites about adult
sexuality are also at risk.

Under the Bush administration, nearly 40 prosecutors, as well as investigators and
FBI agents are spending millions of dollars to bring anti-obscenity cases to
courthouses across the country for the first time in 10 years. Obscenity is judged
by "local community standards," which means that a religious political extremist in
the Midwest can claim that a website from San Francisco is obscene and therefore

NCSF is dedicated to proactively challenging the rise in obscenity and pornography
prosecutions, including filing an Amicus Briefs in support of Extreme Associates,
and supporting the Free Speech Coalition's injunction filed against the expanded
record-keeping provisions of 18 U.S.C. B' 2257.

To contribute to the expenses of the CDA lawsuit, go to:
Every dollar goes directly to ensuring free speech on the Internet.

National Coalition for Sexual Freedom -
Barbara Nitke -


A project of NCSF

The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom is a national organization committed to
creating a political, legal, and social environment in the United States that
advances equal rights of consenting adults who practice forms of alternative sexual
expression. NCSF is primarily focused on the rights of consenting adults in the SM-
leather-fetish, swing, and polyamory communities, who often face discrimination
because of their sexual expression.

National Coalition for Sexual Freedom
822 Guilford Avenue, Box 127
Baltimore, MD 21202-3707

Please cross-post
Just a quickie for now.

Sunday I had my very first, very mini dinner party (one guest).'re thinking "big deal". But it is. You see, I haven't cooked for someone in almost 7 years. Another serious sign of my healing.

Busy yesterday. Again I met up with my friend from Body Electric. Picked her up at the hotel...roamed Seattle for 4 hours, and then dropped her off at the airport.

She wanted to see the locks, which I love. While there we checked out the salmon ladder viewing area and saw loads of them. Good fun.

I am now back at work.

There are comments I want to make but it'll have to wait. Emails begun but those too will need to wait.

Possibly some interesting news...and that will also have to wait. What I will say is, someone had been pushing me to do some type of workshop at an annual conference. Yesterday, while with my friend, we were talking about it...began brainstorming...and may have come up with the perfect thing. I remember seeing the call for submissions in my work email before I went on vacation. So I'll check out the details. If it's still viable, I'll contact the board member of this org who encouraged me and run it past them. Keep ya posted.

On that note...I'm looking at my blinking work phone. Time to check messages and then go through emails.

Life hits.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Another nod to Padacia...

...for this good link.
It's a website created for Van Gogh's letters - with sketches.
What I did on my summer vacation.

In these last two weeks I've discovered and lived the life I was born to live. Now to figure out how to do it full time and still pay the bills.
Read. Walk. Drink. Paint. Many slow hours at the Cafe. Some social time. A lot of quiet time. Paint. And paint some more.

Had more healing with my dad.

Learned that I could teach someone how to paint.

With my painting:
~tried something new, which is still in progress. A totally from my head, non-representational painting. I am actually enjoying the process.
~Slowed down with my work to allow myself to play and explore.
~Built up the amount of variety in painting that I am simultaneously working on. To work on two still lifes (one more realistic than the other), the full abstract, a painting of a friend masturbating, and a couple urban landscape views from my window seems to create a synergy. They are feeding each other and creating fuller work because of it.

The first painting, the self-portrait I began, is now asleep. I need more work space to explore this further. It's going to take working with large charcoal drawings at the same time as the paintings. With time...and patience it will happen.

I've realized that as much as I love my day job, it is slowly killing me. While many weeks I only physically work 40 to 45 hours, I now see I am putting in the equivalent of a 60 hour work week in emotional and creative energy. Even while away from work (in a regular nonvacation week), my head is always working on creating solutions for the database needs for the rest of the staff.

This is sucking the juice out of my marrow, and I fear resentment building. The last two mornings I've awakened in anxiety because I don't want to go back to work. It's definitely bittersweet because I can't pay bills without it, I'm extremely passionate about the work we do, and I am so in love with all my coworkers. It is the best job I've ever had.

I think the answer is to figure out how to cut down to part time. I would have a partner shouldering part of the responsibility. If I begin to make this a more concrete goal, something to strive toward in the next couple years, then it should be more emotionally manageable.

Last week I complained to the shrink that I felt lazy and had no drive for painting. This time I think it was his turn to stare at me as if I had three heads. He replied:

"What are you talking about? You have plenty of drive. You're in this office 3 times a week working on your stuff. It is this very stuff that will lead you to a fuller painting life later on. Your drive may not appear to be directly focused on your painting, but ultimately, it is. In spite of your fear, you dig in and keep on going. Stubborn. Passionate."

I've been thinking about what he said. Yeah, I have to concede he's right. I suppose I need to begin to look at this time as learning how to play the scales in my old piano lessons. Foundation courses. Once I'm through, then it will be time to focus on the rest.

But I've become quite impatient. I keep looking ahead, toward that day when I've done most of the therapy work and feel I can pick up my life again. It's incredibly frustrating at times. Many times it feels like I'm sitting back cleaning the chimney while everyone else is partying it up.

I guess, a big lesson for me in this is to realize that this is the perfect time to clean off the soot. Back to that being mindful thing. I guess it's about being patient and try to enjoy the ride. It's my present moment.

That's it for now...

Saturday, July 23, 2005

I've been too tired to write or even chat. Until now.

Now, I'm just a specky bit buzzed, thanks to two fairly strong margueritas at the Cafe, and a good dinner with Sir. So you'll hear from me. I think I'm just loose enough to relay something that happened this week.

During dinner, I shared news with Sir that I've only told a few other people thus far: the Bear, Auxugen and Hoss. My shrink's been away until this Monday. Otherwise I would have called him right away.

You see, my father called me on Thursday.

First the back story. I've had this debt I've been carrying since '96. It was from a department store credit card. I had full intent of paying it, but with my move and everything else since, I didn't have the extra money. You know what happens when you don't pay a bill. It goes to a collection agency.

From there, I'd receive regular bills. For the last few years, I could either make payments on the full balance of what was $2,500 or if I wanted to pay $800 all at once, they'd wipe the slate. I planned on saving up for the $800. The odd thing is, when I'd move, they didn't request change of address service from the post office. Instead, it would get mailed to the original address which for some odd reason was my parents' home. Over the last few years, dad would call and let me know I received a letter. I'd have him mail it out and then call the company to give my new address. I wasn't hiding from them. And the debt weighed on me.

Now that my student loan is paid off, my plan was to save from Sept - Nov and then pay off this longtime debt.

Dad called me a few weeks ago, letting me know that they had received the bill. He must have opened it because he told me what it said. (Yeah that felt weird. And it's unlike him.) I told him to send it to me and so found it in my mail last week.

Thursday. Dad called me in the morning to inform me he contacted the company and paid off the debt.
Whoa. He paid it off.

Want to talk about mixed feelings?

On one hand, I'm absolutely grateful. I also feel a big load off my shoulders. I told him so.
On the other, it was a big invasion of boundaries. I told him it didn't feel good to me for that reason. For him to not only open my mail, but after I said and he agreed to send me the bill (which I received)...he decided to pay it off without informing me ahead of not cool.

And it's not like him.

My parents and I may have had many problems in the past. Boundary stepping wasn't one of them, and I'm glad. Kids need to learn about boundaries, and the place they are first taught about good or bad boundaries is from their parents or primary guardians. If they don't learn it at home, there is a good chance they won't have a healthy sense of boundaries in adulthood.

So dad's actions surprised me. That is, until I remembered the shrink's words last week regarding my father's actions of late (paying off my student loan). It seems dad is alleviating his guilt as well as trying to show me, in the only way he feels is accessible to him right now, he loves me.

With that reminder, I worked on letting his actions go. Instead, I focused on the bigger picture.

Although it was a surprising gift, it was something I could take or leave. It was the next thing he did that blew me away.

For those of you who have been reading my blog since the spring, you may remember when I mailed 5 copies of the spring newsletter from the queer foundation I work for to each of my siblings and my parents. It was another step in coming out. The sex scholarship was finally endowed and I was asked to write the article. It included a photo of me surrounded by chosen family and good friends. It spoke of a Leather scholarship.

Granted, my family more than likely have no idea what Leather actually means. If they ask, I will explain. But being a scholarship to further research and study of human sexuality, especially alternative sexuality, was big enough. We are dealing with very conservative, fundamental Catholic people who see sex for procreation only.

On top of it, the final article in the newsletter was a story about a kid from a gay camp we funded. This kid had been carrying around a letter from her pastor that stated homosexuality was evil. It contributed to her guilt and shame. Her family did allow her to go to this one week overnight summer camp for gay youth. By the end of the week, she was beginning to accept herself. On the last night of camp, during the campfire, she pulled this hateful letter from her pocket and threw it in the flames. about some button pushing for my family.

Anyway, I sent out the newsletters, along with an identical letter addressed to everyone. It explained that I wanted to share more of myself, including the scholarship project I'd worked so hard on. I was proud that it was finally endowed. It was another coming out for me.

I am learning that life is a series of coming outs. One after the other. All the time. Every time we allow ourselves to be challenged and in spite of our fear, continue to take the next step, we are coming out in some fashion. It's not only about our homosexuality.

Back to the newsletter.
No one responded. Ever. Nothing.
Not even an acknowledgement that the newsletter was received.

Talk about adding to my feelings of invisibility.

Back to my father's phone call.
After he gave me the news about my old debt, we chatted a bit. Before hanging up the phone, Dad said (as best as I can recall):

"Remember that magazine you sent us a few months back?"
"Yes Dad."
"Well, I just wanted you to know I'm really proud of you. I am very proud of you."
(silence on my end)
"You have a heart that wants to give to others...and that's the most important thing of all. I love you."
(silence again on my part, then...)
"I love you too Dad. Thank you. Thank you very much."

Dad didn't need to pay my bills to show me he loved me. Hearing "I'm proud of you" after I sent him our newsletter was huge. More than huge.

I was relaying the story to Sir tonight. Sir said something really wise.

"So did you let your dad know you love him?"
"Yes Sir"
"But you'll need to say it a few times"
(puzzled look on my face)
"Men, especially men who only traditionally know one way to show love, as in feeding and housing their family, REALLY need to hear those words...and often. They need to know that you acknowledge their love as well."

Sir is right. Just because I haven't heard it from him in the way I really needed to, doesn't mean I can't say it back. If he can't say it, it means he really needs to hear it.

Yeah...I know magic happens. I've seen it.
And this was a beaut.
Unexpected and totally perfect.
Here's an interesting review pulled from Americablog on the latest Harry Potter book.

No, I haven't read the new release yet. I still want to read books 4 & 5 first and it will be a while before I tackle them. Then I'll pickup book 6 as a paperback. Although I look forward to them, it will wait. I have 5 other books queued up.

Anyway...Harry Potter and our current political system:

"Harry Potter" -- The Americablog Review
by Michael in New York - 7/22/2005 01:45:00 PM

By J.K. Rowling
**** (out of 4)

By Michael Giltz


Okay, I won't discuss the novel at length, to avoid spoiling it for fans who haven't finished it yet. Suffice to say, I think it's a big improvement on the last two (which felt a bit self-indulgent). Briefly, the first book was an unexpected delight. The second and third were good, but felt like Rowling was slipping into formula. The fourth and fifth ended that formula, but you got the impression an editor didn't come within a mile of those doorstoppers -- if Rowling thought of it, she put it in.

"Half-Blood Prince" is much more focused and streamlined. Plus, Harry isn't so teen angsty anymore, so he doesn't speak IN CAPITAL LETTERS any more, which is quite a relief. It's restored my faith in the series and made me painfully eager for the final book.

But why are we discussing this at Americablog? As a number of people have pointed out, it's very much a post 9-11 (and sadly, post 7-7) book, with the government clamping down on rights, people suspicious of one another and fear everywhere.

There's a rather clueless prime minister seen in the very first chapter who is informed by the real powers behind the country about what is going on. It's easy to see him as a mild dig at Bush.

But one element -- that doesn't spoil the plot at all -- involves people thrown into jail by the wizards in power. As Dumbledore and Harry discuss it, some of those people are completely innocent AND THE GOVERNMENT KNOWS IT. But they leave those people to rot in jail because they're desperate to be seen as doing SOMETHING to fight the terrorists...pardon me, I mean the Death Eaters. Harry knows this is wrong and says so.

So think about that. Millions of kids around the world have been reading and respecting Harry Potter. They probably can't imagine anyone in the real world would ever do something like leaving people they KNOW are innocent to rot in jail. And when these young people realize it's actually being done this very moment by their own government, they'll say, quite simply, "That's not right!"

No wonder the far right radicals try to ban "Harry Potter" from school libraries. No wonder Pope Benedict thinks it's dangerous for children to be "seduced" into questioning authority and thinking on their own when making moral decisions, rather than just blindly accepting what they're told.

Thank you, J.K. Rowling.


And thank you Michael.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Say it with me...
...Google rocks.

I'm always impressed by their creativity.

Check this out.... (Make sure to zoom all the way in).

And, want a job?
What a long day. And a very busy one.

It began with a moment of grace in the form of light streaming through my blinds and hitting my painting at just the right spot. From there...I realized that my mail server guy, who upgraded my iBook with Tiger yesterday, attempted to email me a couple programs. My mail program took hours downloading, which ended locking everything up.

It was only a small annoyance because I was leaving for the day anyway. I knew I'd tame the cranky computer later. If not, I had friends who could. As you can see, it's working again. And mail appears to be running smoothly as well.

One of the Body Electric folks is in town all weekend and we made plans to hook up today. Maybe Monday as well. I played airport chauffeur and dinner, walks, showing them my apartment and my work. I just got back to the house about a half hour ago. It was a really good time. I do have to say, no one, or very few people, hug like someone who's done lots of Body Electric work. Full body, groin to groin. You can feel the zapping energy that runs through our lower parts when we touch, hold and don't want to let go. It rejuvenates my spirit.

I just received word that I can book some retreat time at the Mountain in September after my brother's wedding. It's all about self care.

There are a few more things, but it'll have to wait. I'm tired now.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Early morning is my favorite time to paint. The world is still. Very few people are up and so the frenetic energy that fills our daily lives hasn't stirred yet.

The other reason, which I had forgotten about until now, is the light.

I've yet to get back into the habit of early morning painting.

I'm sitting in my living room, listening to the news. Glancing over at a large painting I began last week, I see the solution. You see, I was stuck. Not sure where to go. Something was missing. The light drifts in through my blinds and lights my painting from behind. It's coming through in selective spots and has resolved the painting for me.

When I began the painting, there was a specific light source. The subject matter was backlit with late afternoon sun. This morning's light hits the canvas in such a way as to make sense and complete the light direction I first used. It resolves the left hand side as well.

I'm going to block in the light before it shifts any further.

See you later.
Yeah...twice in one night.
How about another painting?

This one is old...painted in '96. Because my palette tends to be quite dark, I decided to see if I could do a lighter painting. I wanted to explore whites. My favorite part of this? The wood piece that was part of an old lobster trap I found laying around. Yeah...I was born to live at the ocean.

My parents didn't want me to sell this one. They were adament. So much so that they purchased it to keep it in the family. Not only that but the family tried to push me into having prints made of the painting. Something about my going commercial. I don't think so. I held out then, and at this time in my life, would still not have prints made of my work.

Anyway, I loved this painting for many years. Looking at it now, it doesn't have the same place in my heart. Maybe I need to see it in person again. Or not.
Painting again.

Hoss took this last Saturday, during his first painting lesson. I let him use the easel, and so covered my little green french table with lots of plastic and turned it into my work space. I began this little painting that day. Tonight, Hoss came by to paint again, and it pushed me back in the saddle. LOL. Although I do not have a photo of it yet, I finished that little painting tonight.

I think painting is magic.

It helps to know technique. It helps me to know composition and color. But it seems that the painting moves forward when I stop thinking and just paint. That's what happened with the little piece. It reminded me that it is how it always happens. I'll look at a work in progress, try this and try that. The analytical side of me comes out. And it deadens the work. When I finally let go and submit to the brush, move paint comes together. Each time.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

It's Wednesday...

...and that means I return to work in 7 days.

It also means the latest Freewill Astrology is up.

Capricorn's 'scope (The bold is my touch, emphasizing how timely this is).

"I am crossing years tonight to light an answer," writes Keith Althus in his poem called "Poem." That should be your theme in the coming week, Capricorn. Take a deep journey into your past, armed with good will. Before you go, inscribe in your mind's eye a vision of something that symbolizes the power to illuminate, like a torch, lantern, or star. As you wander through your memories, becoming reacquainted with all the turning points that helped make you what you are today, pay special attention to lingering questions from the old days that never got properly resolved. With the help of your torch, lantern, or star, light some new answers."

Too perfect. I need to keep that in mind.

Mark Morford, on Rove:
"It's almost too good to be true. It's almost like you can't hardly believe it and it feels like it must be a nasty trick, a scam, some sexy lithe European fashion model smiling all coy and flirty as she offers you her thong underwear only to yank it away just as you reach for it as she instantly turns back into a hairy incubus and dashes away, cackling. Ohpleaseohpleaseohplease ... yank."
Yes, I check my work email while on vacation. But I only open up nonwork stuff, such as a NGLTF's first remarks about the nomination of Roberts for the Supreme Court:

July 19, 2005

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force calls President Bush's selection of Judge John Roberts Jr. as his Supreme Court nominee a reason for 'great pause'

WASHINGTON, July 19 — President Bush tonight selected U.S. Court of Appeals Judge John Roberts Jr. to replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor on the nation's highest court.

Statement by Matt Foreman, Executive Director
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

"President Bush's announcement that he is nominating U.S. Court of Appeals Judge John Roberts to the Supreme Court of the United States gives us great pause, particularly in light of Roberts' role in the Counsel's office of President Reagan and the Solicitor General's office of President George H.W. Bush.

"In exercising its constitutional 'advise and consent' function, the Senate must take the time necessary to thoroughly review and evaluate Roberts' commitment to individual rights and equal justice under the law, including his record and thinking about civil rights, the right to privacy and the reach of Congressional power under the Constitution.

"We especially call upon our allies in the Senate to determine whether Judge Roberts subscribes to the holdings of Romer v. Evans and Lawrence v. Texas, among other cases, and will affirm that the civil rights and privacy rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans are protected by the Constitution.

"And only if Judge Roberts meets these critical standards of qualification, judicial philosophy, fairness, independence and a dedication to protecting the rights of all under the Constitution, should the Senate vote to confirm his nomination to the court."

Inga Sarda-Sorensen, Deputy Director of Communications
(Office) 646.358.1463
(Cell 202.641.5592)

Tuesday, July 19, 2005


...and more photos.

I just found a new Seattle photographer. New for me.

She posted a link to her Gay Pride photos. Going through, I expected the standard imagery, which it is...yet somehow with a different viewpoint. I was delightfully surprised. Some are singularly powerful and others add and connect to the strength of the whole. The comment I left in the photographer's LJ:

Year after year I see nice examples of good Pride photographs. But I have to say...yours are captivating!!! The images grabbed me and told a story of diversity and celebration. Some are poignant. I was slowly flipping through...smiling, a couple times a heart wrench...


It seems to me that your sense of composition and selective depth of field assisted in capturing that perfect moment.
I also enjoyed the the choice of b/w versus color.

Thank you!

There are many photos and I looked forward to each one.


Now this link I retrieved from The Padacia. Go to showcase, and turn the pages.

These are absolutely fascinating.

I'm popping in to say although I've been silent, I'm still around.

Saturday night, I was slammed and thrown into a really hard place that has yet to let up. Well, maybe it's easing up some because I'm actually writing.

Since Saturday, I haven't been able to write. And...I haven't been able to paint. This is the first time that the blackness has lasted this long and been this intense. In the past...when I couldn't write, I'd find myself posting lots of links. Something. Anything to connect.

Not this time. Just the idea of reaching out in some capacity was/is painful.

Sunday afternoon I opted to go to a BBQ. The Bear and bunny's energy always helps. Until now. I roamed and couldn't sit still. I'd walk from one room to the next, dissatisfied...and angry. The Bear grabbed me at one point. He was sitting on a stool, and pulled me between his legs, holding me and then scratching my back in that way that he has. It feels like steel nails scraping the skin. It's a good pain.

And I still remained dead inside.

Angry with myself.

I'm furious because I feel so broken that overcoming old voices feels truly insurmountable. These are the voices that remind me how invisible I really am. The whispers that tell me everything I do is garbage. The melody that plays over and over reminding me that nothing matters. There is no point.

I do know that it's not a coincidence this enveloped me after painting. Methinks I scared the bejesus out of myself.
I'm really thrilled (or was) with one painting in particular. If I get a good photo of it, I'll show you.

On Saturday, Hoss and I were taking a break from painting. We were looking at the work, scattered in the room. I said to him,
"You know, I think I'm starting to get it. If I really applied myself to my painting...I could be incredibly successful."
He gave me a look that I still laugh about when I think about it.
It was the loudest, nonverbal "DUH" I've ever seen.

"I could make a name for myself." Huh. That's it. I know that. I've written about it. A couple weeks ago I shared my realization that not painting is an act of suicide for me. I do know all this.

What I don't know is how to not get enveloped by old patterns of destruction created from continued messages of:
"She's great...she doesn't need us."
"Look at her. She has it made. Let's focus on someone else."
"She's so smart and talented. She's got it all. She's fine. and so requires our attention, our strokes."

The only thing those ideas did was to implant and cement the idea that I'm not worthy of attention, therefore, a piece of shit.

Yesterday, I went to lunch with another artist. At 43, he wants to return to school for his BFA and then MFA. Talking with him was almost like being in my head. It felt as if we understood each other. One big difference. He's currently self taught, and is continually working. Back east, he has a long list of shows and commissions. He is working. I saw his drive, his fearlessness, and craved it for myself.

In the middle of our conversation, he said something about spelling bees. I saw a quick memory flash with those words "spelling bees."
Grammar school. I remember being spelling bee champ. Many times. I remember my dad bragging to everyone that I was reading the newspaper at 4 years old. I remember winning art contests in school. I remember never having to struggle with homework.

And that's the last positive thing I clearly remember about my education.

I also remember choosing to go to a certain private high school because hardly anyone from my grammar school would be going. By the time I hit 8th grade...I couldn't wait to get away from those kids because I felt we had nothing in common. All the girls (except 3) were going to attend an all girls high school. I opted for a school of 3,000 students. I could get lost in the crowd.

I did.

I stopped doing homework. I stopped reading. I allowed my grades to slide.
It didn't matter.
That's the way it seemed at the time.

I know the only way out of this is to find...somehow fucking find the prized me within myself. Rediscover that person and hold on for dear life. See, feel and believe in my own intrinsic value.

You see, it doesn't matter what others say, if they say anything. Because in my head, I have longtime experience proving otherwise.

Getting out of this is up to me. Seeing myself in a new mirror.

That's the hard part.

The shrink says it's happening. I look at him as if he has three heads.

Maybe sharing all this here will help some.
Maybe it is a way of releasing the poison.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

How about one of the questionnaires that is floating around?
Here ya go...!


My knee scar. Driving a 1980 volkswagon rabbit I rear-ended a tow truck because I was fiddling with the radio and therefore not paying attention. The front end of my car almost fully ended up in my lap. Something hit my knee...and left a small scar.


Nothing. I'm still waiting for Hoss and Tag to do their "voila" magic to my space. :-)
Now, that's not fully true. In my bedroom, sitting on top of a dresser and leaning against the wall is a large 3' x 4' self portrait of myself in suspension bondage. This is the scene I was doing the night I met Sir for the first time. He watched me play and then afterwards suggested I contact him because he was considering taking me on as a student.
It's an unfinished painting. There are also 3 paintings of mine leaning against the bedroom floor waiting to get hung.

And there are a pile of my paintings stacked neatly in the entry way and another corner also waiting to get hung.


Whatever I feel like in the moment. Folk. Rock. Jazz. Blues. Classical. Opera.
The only thing I don't really like is country and 99 percent of the rap I hear.


I think it was about 12:30 pm. Still waiting for the accurate time so I can get a good astrological chart done.


To see myself as others see me.
Oh yeah, and a really good, draw blood singletail scene.


Regular play...the way I had it before I went into training. I was doing intense play 3 to 4 nights a week.


The leather rose Sir gave me. It was my first earned leather.
And my my second. laptop because my life is in it and I've yet to back it up. I know. Me bad.


The smell of sex, cum, pussy, cock and piss. The smell of spring, summer, autumn and winter. Also, although I no longer use it in any capacity, there's something about the smell of patchouli that makes me nostalgic for a time that was, which is weird because it wasn't my favorite time period.


Spending a full weekend in a dark dungeon locked in a replica of a vietnamese prisoner of war torture cage, or 8 hours in a full leather hood and sleepsack has pretty much ruled that out.


Phew! I'm glad this is over!


Sir. I just bumped into him on a street corner and we talked for a long time. They were the hurting-for-another-person kind of tears.


Natural body scent.


Whatever the other person is comfortable with on their own person.


Proposed to? Me? No traditional partnerships for me! I'm a pig. I want lots of people. And everything changes anyway. I don't believe in permanent relationships. If it happens.


Yes. But from what I can tell, my idea of porn is different than at least 90 percent of the population.


Goodwill Hunting. Going to see the movie when released was an assignment by my first favorite shrink back east. She said it would speak to me on so many levels...and maybe I'd understand myself better. It was a painful film for me. Still is.

Amelie. The first character (that I can vividly recall) who enjoyed and immersed herself in the sensuality that is life.

Don't laugh - The Pajame Game. Hey, how can you not love "Hernando's Hideaway" and "Steam Heat"?

Mysterious Skin - It really is an edgy film. Especially giving our current political climate. Brilliant.

Can't think of many. And I'm too tired to think about it.


Nix honeymoon. Bah.
Where would I like to go on vacation?
I miss Martha's Vineyard. I used to spend time there every summer. I'd like to go back. I really miss it. Especially the small fishing town of Menemsha.
The south of France...the Provence.
Greece...for the quality of the light.


Ha. Probably most people. (Or that's how it feels).


I grew up speaking French and didn't learn English until I began 1st grade at 5 years old. It was a Franco-American Catholic masses were in French, French every day in class and even once we moved to the U.S. we still had to speak French in the house. That is, until all us sibs were in school. Then we wanted to speak English at home, but my parents said no. So, we got together and stopped talking...until we were allowed to do both.

It was trippy for our friends who'd visit, because in a regular conversation, we'd flow from French to English and back again...sometimes even within one sentence. Not only wouldn't we blink an eye but we never saw a problem with it until we'd see the confused look on our friends' faces when they lost track of the conversation.


A Takamini 12 string guitar. 1978. I still have it. It had a solid spruce top and rosewood on the side. It was a $400 guitar at the time, brand new. I was saving my money, but only had $100 saved. Unbeknownst to me, my best friend Bruce had saved up the rest...and paid $300 so I could purchase it. He was planning on paying for the whole thing. But I wasn't aware of that and was impatient. I think he got tired of hearing me whine about how it would take me forever to save the money.

I love that guitar. I did not pick it up for a few years and so the Bear has it now...on loan.

Actually, the singers are my niece and Etta James.

The others are singer/songwriters/

Aimee Mann.
Jeff Buckley
Heidi Stone
Leonard Cohen

My niece who is 16 and is becoming an acclaimed jazz, blues singer. No...I'm not revealing her name unless you email me and ask me nicely. Then I'd lead you to her website. I'm just not comfortable throwing it out here.
Her voice rocks something fierce for someone so young. She's been taking lessons since she was 5 or so. She has "IT", that thing can allows one to succeed.
She's also taking college prep courses, and has considered Harvard for law in addition to her singing.
I wish I had it that much together at that age. Then I wouldn't be where I am now.

Give me the New England folk music scene and I'm very happy.


Tough one. I'm not a big group/band person because I much prefer the singer/songwriter.

-Alice In Chains
-October Project
-I used to LOVE The Roches

Again, don't laugh. I really enjoy Enigma, but for one reason only. The only time I listen to them is when I paint. There is something about their music that allows me to step to the side and allow my insides to paint, with no inhibition. I don't know what it is. But if my headphones are on...and their music is works every time. Now to use them all the time is a different story!

I seek other groups that do the same thing. Any suggestions?


My favorite books are the ones that grab me from the very first page and I lose much sleep because I can't put it down. Those type of books don't come along very often. I miss them, and cherish it when I have one in hand. So much so that I begin to mourn the book about 20 pages before the end...knowing the story is coming to a close.


Chocolate mousse.
Bananas Foster.
Creme Brulee.
Really fucking good cheesecake (with no damned fruit on the top!)

To be fair, I have yet to meet a dessert I did not like.


Light and sweet. like me.


"Whatever." ( I know. It 's not good because it's such a dismissive statement.)


Yes. And have and even pushed that person out the door when I knew and they knew it was the best thing for them. Sometimes you both realize that their journey is in another direction. It still hurts and breaks your heart but in a different way, because it's not rejection based.


And hugs.


And, and, and and. Although I do have to say... that at a glance, I've never been attracted to blondes. It's really odd because my first two partners happened to be blondes. So I didn't hold their hair color against them.


The Bear and the bunny's cell phones. Okay...those are two different numbers, but the only difference is the last digit. So it pretty much counts as one number.


Arrogance (this is a biggie but I think that's because I can see arrogance in myself many times. It's a mirror thing. Also it's one of my defense mechanisms.)
Lack of common sense.
Not thinking for oneself
no imagination
no compassion
someone who doesn't question

Do I have to choose one?


No. But I've done a prank kidnapping. When I was about 25, a good friend wanted but was afraid to go into a gay bar. So one evening, when there was a group of us, out of the blue I set up a prank and ended up abducting my friend. They experienced their first gay bar that night. And yes, once they got over being pissed, they had a blast.


You think I'm going to tell you? Here???


That I'm not really seen for who I am.


I missed you.


Once. Three weeks later I took it back. It was a big lesson for me. Just because I'm fucking someone and they say it to me does not mean I have to reciprocate. That was when I learned to hear "I love you" and not say it back unless I really mean it.

Taking back the "I love you" and explaining why was one of the hardest and most painful things I've had to do with another person. But it was the most honest.

Gee...that was back in '94. Time flies, doesn't it?


Getting ready to go to bed.
And why aren't I there now????


Liposuction. Thing number 2 I hate about being female. Cellulite.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Well, I am painting. It's not going as intensely as I'd like, but I'm trying to cut myself some slack. Since Wednesday, I've worked on something new each day. If I had a camera...I'd post pics. It's a serious case of ADD painting. Not bad. It's just the way it is.

Wednesday, working from my head only, I began a small self portrait. Once the paint was thick and wet, I had to put it down which led to frustration. I wanted to continue. But lines were mushing into blurry marks and it needed to stop.

I picked up another canvas and began a second piece. This one is a full dead on abstract, totally from my head. I've never done such a thing before. In the past, I've abstracted the seen. But I stood in front of the canvas and just painted. I didn't even have a mental image to guide me. It wasn't about feelings. It's a painting of nothing. Created from a vision of nothing. The only requirement was to continue laying the brush, loaded with paint, to canvas. It's a very unsettling experience. I wasn't grounded to anything. I didn't really have a direction. I didn't know what I was doing. But I did it. I may go back and work on it once it's a little drier.

It felt like I was flying without a plane. Although there was a small sense of freedom, I was too freaked to really enjoy it. It was one of those "I can't believe I'm doing this" moments. And yet it was happening. I'm going to do these more often. I think it's a good exercise for me.

Yesterday, I changed tact completely and began a small painting of a corner of my kitchen counter. It's the pitcher, jar and a couple apples. After the one in my head painting and the no mind painting I was hankering at the bit to work from life. The subject matter was irrelevant.

For some reason, while working on it, I became afraid. I started to feel the preciousness of what I was doing and put down my brushes. When it comes up, I can't let go and paint. Each mark after that would be born of fear. So I stopped.

And then, I thought I'd spend the day reading, writing and walking...but didn't. I was exhausted. Purely, totally exhausted. I hated therapy. I hated what it did to my energy. I hated that the least amount of exertion drains me. I did manage to get out and down to the cafe for dinner and read a little of Frankenstein...but that was it.

This morning, before painting, I began a pro and con list of psychoanalysis. There are about 10 cons and no pros yet. I have a few in my head, but at this point, although positive, the steps seem so small as to not even begin to outweigh the cons. I was also reading up on the differences between regular therapy and what I'm currently doing.

Although I'm glad to have learned all I have, if I had to do it over, knowing what I know now, I wouldn't have shifted gears from therapy to analysis. When I mentioned that to the shrink today, he smiled. He said he remembered telling his shrink the same thing at one point in his process. That is my one saving grace right now. He had to go through years of his own analysis before beginning to do this work with others. He's the only one who really understands. That is, unless there are others who've done it as well. But I don't know of any.

It makes for a big con. The loneliness and isolation. I am sure that I'll feel much differently when I come out on the other side. Obviously I'm not there yet.

Anyway... I pulled out the last painting I worked on, before I stopped for all this time. I just found the journal entry I wrote the night I began the painting. April 6, 2004. So not quite a year and a half.

It was a still life, in the first stages. Very minimal color. It was greys, created out of alizarin, ultramarine, sap green and much white thrown in to achieve the values. More cool. Much cooler than I've ever worked before. I spent a few days on it, and then my painting was halted.

This was the painting I began one morning when I left work to paint. After being in the office about an hour, a fierce horniness rose up within me. I was at my desk and I couldn't stand it. The urge to get off was powerful. Then the desire to paint hit me hard. I emailed the staff, told them I was going painting, and left the office. That was the last painting I worked on. Until today.

I pulled it out of the closet, dusted it off and threw it up on the easel. Being cold as death, it needed to be revived. So that's when I filled my brush with medium, and a drop of ochre mixed with a speckybit of alizarin. I washed the lights in the painting. From there, I went into the shadows with a glaze of alizarin, and then a deep, dark neutral that was floating on my palette. As I wrote earlier, the painting was set on fire. I watched it come to life.

What's happening now?
I don't know.

There are 4 wet canvasses hanging out. Each so different from the next. And it doesn't matter.

Auxugen asked me the other night "Is it art yet?"

But I'm fucking painting, man. And right now, that's the only important thing.
Also, I can't go into the studio with the idea of doing art. It won't work for me.

I wish I could paint for longer times each day, but as the shrink tried to remind me this afternoon, it's tiring. He said I had a huge backed up pool of creative energy, and the pipe it needs to go through has been corroded for a while. We're chipping away at it, allowing a trickle. With time, the opening will get wider and it will come back.

In his office today I also spoke of the color thing that frustrates me.

I love color. I can paint from observation and even concoct new colors from what I see. I do not limit myself to what's there. Yet when I don't have the seen color, I can't create it.

He gave me good food for thought. We were talking about the coloring book thing. How I hated those things. I refused to color how everyone did because I found it boring. I mean, we know that the sky is blue, the grass green and an apple is red. There was no way I was going to follow in those footsteps. The coloring book was a place to imagine a world in the colors I wanted. Yet I was frozen. Still am. And it's a bigger freeze than the small one I've been through with my painting.

The shrink reminded me I was taught that my way of seeing the world wasn't the right way. My imagination squelched. My viewpoint silenced. The coloring book issue - creating colors from thin air - made perfect sense to him. As I rebuild myself and regain my voice, the color imagining will manifest itself. I'm letting that one sit.

So I've noticed that my big plans of what I was going to paint has been blown to bits. I don't care. I get up each day and decide in that moment what feels right to paint.

The only important thing right now is that I paint.
And I am.

Yeah...I'm pleased with myself. Very much so.

I love underpaintings and glazing. Pulling out an old fairly just begun painting, the first thing I did was apply a warm glaze to the very cool, very minimal colored base painting. That small act set the piece on fire. Gawd it gets me hard.

What I hate is the fact that I don't know how to use color. If I'm reacting to something in front of me, I'm fine. I can see the subtleties and exaggerate or even pervert it. It's play time with my palette. That's where I see the colorist in myself.

But when working totally from my head, I'm fucking lost! I didn't like coloring books for that reason. I never knew what colors to use.

Gotta go. I have an appt in 20 minutes...and then it's back to this painting.
I'm stockpiling painting thoughts. They'll come out soon.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

New Identity?

Spurred on by Boymeat, I ask:

If you were easily able to dump your life, disappear and come back with a new identity...would you?

What prompted my question was his entry - and then my comment to his post:

"I love the idea that someone possibly did this. It lets in all sorts of feelings from discomfort to fascination to sexiness (think James Bond fantasy type stuff).
Also, as soon as I read your entry, a question popped into my head (looking at a couple different sides..) ...what if someone just wanted to mess with the readers and it's not true?
Mindfuck turns me on as well."
Now this is my favorite referral thus far.
It was a google search which somehow led them to my blog:

plastered with bandaids to keep my soul in

It's gorgeous. I tried googling for it myself, in quotes, to see if it was a song lyric. Nothing really came up.

My second favorite is:

pentacostal panic attack

I used to have a word doc on my desktop where I'd save all the interesting searches that led to girlfag. One day, I planned on making haikus out of them...using some of the basic characteristics such as season words to set the space, keeping it in the present tense, the 3 line format, the juxtaposition of two images...
Yeah..remember I said I like challenges?

Well I had a wonderful list. In my first hard drive crash last September, I lost it. So I never began again. Maybe I will now. That bandaid line is beautiful.

I worked on two paintings yesterday and will blog about it. Something interestin' happened to my work. But, I need to wake up more before you hear from me. And I look forward to doing more painting today. I realized, when I'm in a good emotional space, I have no problem with discipline, regarding painting. It's not a chore to get in there. It's a joy. Although I'm sure that if I had vast amounts of time to paint, there would be days where I'd be dragging my ass, kickin' and screamin' into the studio.

Anyway, be back later. See ya!

Wednesday, July 13, 2005


I thought I had a 1pm appt. with the shrink today. And being in the mood I was, I couldn't wait. My phone rang at 9:10 am.
It was the shrink asking me about our 9am appt.


He wondered if I'd like to run over then, but I opted out. I hadn't showered yet, and was in such a foul mood that I either wanted my full 50 minutes or nothing at all. So we rescheduled for 2pm today.

Maybe it's a good thing. I've worked through some of what I was pissy about. And I began a painting. The carpet is covered with an old shower curtain. My apartment reeks of medium (which isn't a bad thing). I do have all the windows open and the fan going.

Logistically, it's awkard. Being an old building where everything is crooked, including the little table is wobbly. It's at the wrong height. I need to set up better light. But I'm painting dammit. In spite of the technical difficulties, I'm laying down paint.

Now, time for lunch, a shower, the shrink and then back to painting. I'm making a mess but it's an exciting mess.
First some Mark Morford. In Beer & Porn & Guns & Manicures he writes:

"It's a confusing time, not just for men, but for marketers as well as they try to target and depict men meaningfully," he continued, his bare chest glistening under the hot sun, pectorals flexing madly as he squeezed the iron exercise bar in numerous glorious reps while simultaneously smoking three Marlboro Reds and curling a small paperweight with his penis. Ahem."

And now, from me, some bitchiness and possible whining-

I hate people today. No, you don't understand. I REALLY hate people today. Yeah, I'm in a foul mood. I couldn't fall asleep until early this morning, and even in that...I swear I woke every hour to toss and turn. 5 am rolled around and staying in bed was useless. At 5:30 I conceded and got up.

The shortsightedness of people freaks me out. The arrogance of religion never fails to astound me. Knowing that I will be painting in a very restrained fashion infuriates me.

My place is too small and too pretty to paint in. There's damned carpeting on the floor! Yes, it's now covered by an old shower curtain. My easel is up against nicely painted walls. I can't do larger paintings. I knew this, and even prepared for it by stocking up on smaller canvasses. The largest may be about 16 x 20. Most are 9 x 12. But I have no place to tape ideas and photos to the walls...and lay out my large drawing board so I can work on drawings and paintings simulaneously. I have to choose. One or the other. That's not how I'm wired. In addition there's no real room to really step back and look.

I love my apartment. As it has morphed, it's become my haven. My respite. But it is not a painter friendly space.

Yes, this creates a challenge and I do love a challenge. Yes, I still plan on painting today. Yes, I'm fully aware that maybe some of my fears around painting have made my setup feel wrong. Yes I know that there's no reason to have a larger painting space when I wasn't painting. I also know that once I'm regularly painting, I'll manifest more room for myself. Yes, I know it will be fine once I get going. But that's not how it feels now.

I'm furious. And I know that when I'm feeling liike this it really means I'm terrified. Scared shitless.

From the "Rapture" series, untitled - marc 1999
Photo by Frank Yamrus

Once again, thank you Padacia for another treat - Frank Yamrus.
This week's Freewill Astrology by Rob Brezsny.
Just found this and love it -

Labels Are For Jars

Unabashedly, I've extracted from the website to convey that it's really about all of us, not only what we see on the streets.

"It’s a state of mind. Do you look at a person and automatically, consciously or unconsciously, label them as a... (pick a label).
If so, you’ve just made a judgment about them without knowing what’s inside. That works fine for jars, but it doesn’t work so well for people. People deserve better than that.

...Labels create distance between “us” and “them,” making their problems seem less and less like our problems. Close the gap. It is your problem."

Now, check out the website.
Labels Are For Jars

It's a brilliant idea.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Hey there.

I didn't rush out of bed or anything. But once I got up I finally strolled down the block for coffee, came back and enjoyed being lazy for part of the morning. That is, in between picking up my apartment. Afterwards, I tackled the closet. It's my art closet. Everything is in there. I pulled out boxes, an easel, a tarp and my toolbox of paints. Before going too crazy I vacuumed and took stuff out to the trash.

I'm creating my two week retreat space.

Throughout this, I found myself getting nervous. It began as I pulled my easel and paints out. So I'd periodically step back and breathe. At one point I decided that I wouldn't hold myself to all I had planned for today. It was a way of showing myself grace for what I already accomplished.

When the pressure was off, it allowed me to continue. The space is set up. I've inventoried my supplies.

Opening my box of paints was an emotional act. The heavy scent of oils hit my nose. I reached my hand in and pulled out each tube, caressing them. A few times I brought them closer to my face. I'd open caps and squeeze...looking at the vibrant color. Some new....others much used. My fingers were stained by the time I'd finished. Staring at my hands..."yes faggot, you do have the hands of a painter. Don't ever think otherwise."

I've been to the art store and picked up 4 more brushes, a new large drawing board because I can't find the one I had, a tube of cad yellow, glass and foam core.

The brushes and paint were a splurge. I wanted to try a better quality cad yellow. A rose is not necessarily a rose with paint. It was a small way for me to begin taking myself seriously as a painter. The brushes were an impulse buy. I realized the more brushes I had (although I have quite a few), the more likely I'll use different brushes for certain colors and therefore another attempt at cleaning up my palette.

Right now I'm at Septieme, sitting in the cool restaurant, near the wall of doors that are opened to the street. I can feel the breeze and easily call out to anyone I know who walks past.

I've had a huge craving for tiramisu. Septieme has never carried it - not when I've been in there. Today...they had tiramisu. Isn't that a perfect thing for a warm summer day? The odd thing is, I wanted to ask the baker if he could make it sometime but I hadn't the opportunity. Lo! He must have read my mind. And it's really good. I'm a tiramisu snob and I've noticed in most places, it is average. Tutta Bella has the best I've ever had. And today's slice is wonderful. A little way to celebrate vacation. I'll thank the baker the next time I see him.

Just a lazy, regular kinda day...

Monday, July 11, 2005

From Common Dreams

JULY 8, 2005
6:51 PM

CONTACT: Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting

New York Times Suggests Bisexuals Are "Lying"
Paper fails to disclose study author's controversial history

NEW YORK - July 8 - In a lead article in the New York Times' July 5 Science section, headlined, "Straight, Gay or Lying? Bisexuality Revisited," Times writer Benedict Carey reported that an upcoming study "casts doubt on whether true bisexuality exists, at least in men." In suggesting that men who claim a bisexual sexual orientation are liars, the Times relies heavily on a single study whose senior researcher has a career marked by ethics controversies and eugenics proposals--facts that were not presented to readers.
According to the Times, the study "lends support to those who have long been skeptical that bisexuality is a distinct and stable sexual orientation. People who claim bisexuality, according to these critics, are usually homosexual, but are ambivalent about their homosexuality or simply closeted. 'You're either gay, straight or lying,' as some gay men have put it."

In leaping to dramatic conclusions from a single study with a small population, Carey echoes the study's authors, who seem equally eager to generalize from scant evidence--and to confuse the study's assumptions with its conclusions. Carey quotes the study's senior author, J. Michael Bailey of Northwestern University, who acknowledges that bisexual behavior exists, but argues that "in men there's no hint that true bisexual arousal exists, and that for men arousal is orientation."

But that arousal equals orientation seems to be assumed, not proven. The study measured men's self-identified orientation against their physical arousal while watching various kinds of pornography; bisexual men's self-identified orientation did not correspond with their physical arousal, according to the study, with some being aroused much more by on-screen men and a smaller group responding much more to on-screen women.

This finding could just as easily be read as evidence that arousal in bisexual men does *not* equal orientation--that simple measurement of arousal does not predict people's behavior or identity. But the Times reporter himself uses the phrase "true bisexuality," which suggests that people with bisexual behavior and identity might still not qualify as "true" bisexuals.

Well into Carey's piece, some cautionary or critical viewpoints were aired. None of those viewpoints, however, gave readers any hint of Bailey's controversial history. In 2001 Bailey co-authored an article that argued that, if it became possible for parents to determine the sexual orientation of their fetus, "selecting for heterosexuality seems to be morally acceptable.... Selection for heterosexuality may tangibly benefit parents, children and their families and seems to have only a slight potential for any significant harm" (Archives of Sexual Behavior, Vol. 30, No. 4, 2001). The fact that a researcher has promoted the eugenic elimination of homosexuality would seem to be relevant background for gauging the credibility of his studies of bisexuality.

Bailey more recently came under fire for his 2003 book, "The Man Who Would Be Queen: The Science of Gender-Bending and Transsexualism," which defended the discredited theory that transsexual women are not female-gendered people born with male bodies, but "are extremely feminine gay men or are sexual fetishists who are 'erotically obsessed with the image of themselves as women'" (Chronicle of Higher Education, 12/10/04). Bailey profiled a handful of transsexual women for his book, many of whom filed complaints against him for not getting their consent to be studied (Times Higher Education Supplement, 5/28/04).

The book shares remarkable similarities to Bailey's new study on bisexuality: In both, the researcher denies people's own evaluation of their identities, suggesting that bisexuals and transgender people are lying about who they are.

In fact, the Times' headline could have been taken from the press release for Bailey's book, which was headlined, "Gay, Straight, or Lying? Science Has the Answer." A new study by the same author, peddling a very similar theory, should have been a red flag to journalists, and readers should have been informed of the author's controversial history in order for them to better evaluate the study.

When the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation asked the Times to retract its inflammatory headline, the paper argued that "gay, straight or lying" is "a commonly used phrase among many gay people" (, 7/7/05). It's unclear why a derogatory stereotype about one group--bisexuals--should be more acceptable in a headline because it is attributed to another group--gay people.

ACTION: Please ask the Times' new public editor, Byron Calame, to examine the Times' report on bisexuality, particularly the lack of relevant information about the senior researcher's controversial background and the headline's suggestion that an entire sexual minority is "lying."

New York Times
Byron Calame, Public Editor
Phone: (212) 556-7652

As always, please remember that your comments have more impact if you maintain a polite tone.

Read the Times article here:

See also GLAAD's action alert:
It is here!

Yes...I am officially on vacation!!!

I changed my voice mail and turned on my out of office message for email. Then I shut down my computer and yes...began to cry. I'm so thrilled to have these two weeks. It was about 3:30 and after stopping by everyone's cube for hugs, I left the office. Tonight, I'll christen my vacation with a dinner at Septieme with the Bear...and possibly the bunny.

A much needed break has begun.

Tomorrow, I'm taking it light. I'll clean my house...prepping it for the next few weeks. For painting, I will set up a painting corner, pull out my easel, go through my supplies and pick up whatever is missing. It's also time for a new palette. Since I've been in Seattle, I've used disposable paper palettes. It's easy. No storing. But I don't like them. I never have. So I'm making a new one tomorrow. I love using glass for a palette. I use glass, foamcoam under that and then cardboard beneath it. I tape off the edges and seal it with duct tape. And it's going to be 16x20. I think another reason my colors weren't clean is because I wasn't allowing myself enough palette space.

Those are my plans for tomorrow.
Oh yes...and a stop at the Cafe to sit in the sun with a book.

One step at a time.
Press Release
July 11, 2005

Task Force denounces New York Times story promoting bisexual stereotypes

Task Force Communications Department
Roberta Sklar, Director of Communications

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force denounces New York Times story, 'Straight, Gay or Lying? Bisexuality Revisited,' promoting bisexual stereotypes

WASHINGTON, July 11 — The New York Times published a story July 5 titled "Straight, Gay or Lying? Bisexuality Revisited," covering a forthcoming study on bisexuality in males. The article, which concludes that the study "casts doubt on whether true bisexuality exists, at least in men," fails to note several serious and obvious questions about the study's methodology and underlying premises; fails to report the serious controversies that have plagued one of the study's authors in the past; misstates some of the study's conclusions; and fails to reflect the views of any leaders in the bisexual community. The study’s senior author, J. Michael Bailey, maintained that "there is no hint" that bisexual orientation exists among men. The Times failed to note that Bailey's past research has been roundly criticized and that he has been accused of misconduct by some of his research subjects.

Statement by Matt Foreman, Executive Director
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

"We remain stunned that the New York Times Science section would carry such a shoddy, sensationalistic and downright insulting story. It — and the profoundly flawed 'study' it purports to cover — are laced with biased premises, misstatements and inaccuracies. It equates sexual orientation with sexual arousal, as supposedly measured by a crude device — considered highly suspect by researchers — in the hands of an individual with a long history of controversial research. It defames the truth in the lives and loves of millions of bisexual men. The Times should be ashamed."

A fact sheet detailing some of the problems with the article is available at The Task Force has also been working with bisexual leaders and the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) to consider a coordinated response to the Times article.

Additional Media Contacts from the Bi Community:
Sheri Kritzer, Bisexual Resource Center 857.205.9786
Loraine Hutchins
Paula Rust
For assistance with letters to the editor:

Sunday, July 10, 2005

To paint or not to paint...

"...that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;
No more; and, by a sleep to say we end
The heartache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, 'tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wished."

William Shakespeare, "Hamlet" (1600-01)

Clarke Lane said "Now, go make more!"
Nayland Blake, a while back, said something like "go paint!" And...Hoss and Auxugen and Lydia and the Bear and...and...and...

...and I haven't painted in over a year and a half.

The deeper I went with therapy, the closer to the wounds. The closer to the wounds, the greater the sense of nothingness and invisibility. The hurt was more intense. I was really carrying a "what's the point? It doesn't matter. I'm not really seen...etc." mind.

Now on one level I knew it was not true. But on another, it was very true. With my painting, it manifested itself in paralysis. I couldn't. I was frozen. The hurt kid inside was winning. And for me, not painting is a passive form of suicide.

Painting is who I am. As is my s/m.

Sophie's Choice.
If I had to choose between the two, I wouldn't. I couldn't. They work together, in different ways, to create my wholeness, and give me my strength.

But back to painting.

I decided to spend two weeks in July to grab my gutts and get back into matter what else happens. So isn't it interesting that after I made that decision, Blogger hosts images, and so I've been able to share them with you? In doing so, I give extra thought to the featured painting. Really thinking and looking. Isn't it interesting, that I've longed for a queer painter to share with in Seattle and one reached out to me a couple weeks ago? No..I hadn't told you about that yet. But it's someone I've known for a while...yet didn't know he was a painter. I saw him and his Top last night and again this morning at brunch. The painter and I are going to spend time over coffee while I'm on vacation.

And, most importantly, isn't it interesting that about a week before my vacation, memories come flooding back and I'm dealing with the ugly core?

Isn't it all interesting?

I think so.

It again reminds me of the power we each carry inside to heal ourselves.
I've had no other good choice but to trust the path I'm on.

And so...yes, I'm going to paint again.
Yes...I'm really scared. Especially since I have been looking at my older work. Part of me is afraid I won't be able to even achieve the level I did then. Yeah, it's silly. I'm out of practice! I can't go there just yet. But with perseverance, I'm curious to see what comes out with time. I'm coming from years of working with my pain. It has to affect my painting. So that's exciting.

I do not have images of anything I've done in the last 7 years. It's work done here in Seattle. I did notice that except for a series I did 6 years ago, everything else is drab. The colors are greyer, muddier. They aren't as clean. And before you think it, it has nothing to do with the weather! Our summers are known for a couple months of brilliant sun. And the winters aren't really greyer than back east.

I know I wasn't taking care when mixing. I wasn't using medium.
I had become the lazy painter because I rarely had time and energy to paint. So when I did...I just hungered to slap the paint down quickly and wasn't as meticulous with my materials.

That needs to change.
It is time.

My vacation begins Tuesday.