Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Sobering and almost unbelievable, except that it has become the horrific reality of thousands upon thousands.

Reading through the papers online...

...check out the multimedia feature in this NYTimes article about the storm.
A photo does say a thousand words.

Utter devastation.
Here is this week's Freewill Astrology.

I saw this yesterday and it gave me quite the chuckle. This is what a session looks like between my kinky queer zen buddhist priest shrink and myself.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

It's been a tough 5 days, interspersed with lots of fun that in all honesty, I have no idea how it manifested itself, considering the space I'm in. During Saturday's volunteering stint, after setting up the stage, the contestants came in for their rehearsals. One boy, who I barely knew but had some contact with a month ago, approached me. He said "I am SO glad you're here. It feels good."

The way he said it calmed me down. His words and energy gave me a boost and lifted me past the broken heart I'd been carrying for almost 24 hours. Later in the evening he made a point to come by and remark again that he was glad I was helping out. He then added that my energy was healing that night. left me in awe. And, considering the emotional space I was in, it was the best compliment of my year. The next day the MC and a few others pulled me aside to tell me that stage right, where I was situated, was peaceful. A few of them said it was the solace they needed after the freneticism of the stage. They sought it out for that reason.

Again, I took those words to heart and in some way, although feel puzzled by them. I didn't feel I had any emotional strength to give anyone. It felt as if I had a hard enough time keeping myself together. Yet within all that pain and confusion, there was something else. I watched myself, before the show began, working the room. I stopped to contact, tease, flirt, connect with so many people. A big old bear came up from behind, spun me around and we sucked face for a while. There were other shared kisses. I ended up with definite dates with 3 different guys for September. Two being play dates and the other...we'll see. In addition, there were a few other tentative dates. Very productive.

During the show, I assisted with a few of the auctions again. Oddly, because it surprised me, audience members were calling out my name. At one point, when I didn't go up, they again called for me. While holding up a quilt for auction, someone shouted out $300 if I'd cum on it. led to an interesting show. The stage manager pulled me aside afterward and said "that crowd really loves you." He had a huge grin on his face. He was a joy to work with. It's not often I meet gentle manners, demeanor, intelligence and compassion. I'm fortunate to be surrounded by a few, including my friends. And I'm always thrilled to meet others. This man is definitely one.

It was a powerful evening for me. I worked the event with each guy backstage, in mind. I hugged and touched. My hand on each of their hearts, I encouraged them to show their sexiest self and own the stage. Claim it and claim their bodies.

It seems like a huge paradox. The shrink said that because of what I'm dealing with, in my heart, is the very reason why I could give others what they needed. I've yet to understand that statement. It still doesn't make sense to me.

Today was a really rough day. I hadn't slept all night and during the tumultuous dark I became acutely aware of how angry I am. Angry and sad. I've watched my entries become forceful and highly opinionated. It's not a bad thing...but it feels like a lot for me.

Today at work, I lasted all of two hours. I became physically sick, headaches, chills, nausea and knew because I knew the source was the emotional turmoil I'm going through. Placing a call to the shrink, I asked if he could see me today. His office felt like the oasis I needed.

With the anger and sadness, I'm also in a place where my insecurity is heightened. It's raging in an extreme way.

I guess this is what healing looks like. For me, anyway.

(p.s. My heart goes out to all those affected by Katrina. There is extreme devastation. I can't even imagine what it feels like. My thoughts are with you.)
In my entry on Saturday, regarding sex and porn, I want to make sure you know that I am not against the content found in what is called porn. We need more of it! Lots more. What I was saying addition, we need a greater awakening to all the sex that is found in life.

Imagine, what if we had a whole world that exuded thick sexual energy in their daily interactions? A massive movement to fill the world with oozing, sloppy, ecstatic sex. The possibility is there.

For anyone who knows me, I hoped they would know that I'm not an OR person. What I am against is the attempt to categorize sexual material. What I especially abhor is that we allow those who are so sexually repressed to define and legislate our sex. Again, if sex is really so big, where can you begin to draw the line and decide this is good sex and this is smut? Honestly, it terrifies me.

They can do it by calling it porn. We ourselves know what is appropriate in what venue and what isn't. When someone with more supposed power attempts to determine what is best for me, my life and my children (if I chose to have kids), regarding human sexuality, that is a brutal offense. The idea alone is horrific. It offends me in the same way that someone else attempts to realize the mythical standards of their mythical god as the rules and ethics I must live by.

Yes, I understand there is a certain titillation to viewing something supposedly dark and underbelly. Trust me, I'll be one of the first in line to access taboo. What I am asking is...what is more dark and underworld than the muck that resides within us? What is more taboo than what we all fear?

I know this is a very big question.

What prompted this entry is a post I read on Uppity Faggot this morning. By the way, I'm pleased to inform you that Uppity Faggot, Filthy Fiction and Seattle Treefort are up and running again. They had gone black for a bit, but have since, I'm delighted to say, returned to cyberville.

In addition, check out the latest entry in the Feeding Frenzy blog. It had been many months since he'd written, and has a wonderful entry about the eroticism of event food.
Some housecleaning.

I had a weird feeling that my autre at graffiti email was flukey. So, if anyone (who doesn't have my "otherthan" email) wants to contact me, please use absque2 at yahoo dot com.

Now, another thing I'd like to check into and so I'm asking for your feedback. How many of you are having problems with my page crashing when you attempt to read? On my Mac I use Safari for a browser, although periodically check with IE and on the PC I use primarily Mozilla but again check in using IE. There hasn't been a problem on my end but I know of one person who has experienced difficulty with the page. I'd like to know if we are dealing with an anomaly or if it's more widespread, in which case I'll figure something out. Could you please drop me an email to absque2 at yahoo dot com and let me know if it's working or not?

Thanks so much.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Kind of a short entry.
Hmmm...or maybe not.

The contest went spite of the typical contest speeches that don't say anything, in spite of all the posturing, egos and attitudes. and in spite of the large group stroke that contests are. If you disregard all that, it was a fun show and a very good time. The fantasies were high caliber, especially one, which was an out of the box, thoughtful piece. So much so that even when I first saw it during rehearsal, I cried. Powerful. Maybe I'll share when I'm feeling better.

Hoss and D were a huge help. At one point I turned around and watched D. assist a drag queen into her hoop skirt and shiny fuschia dress. It gave me such a chuckle, being in full contrast to the others prepping to get on stage.

Right now, I don't have it in me to expound further. I'm still reeling and working through Friday's bomb.

I just finished the statement for the Gender Odyssey show this upcoming weekend. Although needed for many shows, I don't like doing artist's statements, instead prefer the work to speak for itself.

Wanna see?


Artist Statement

These paintings are internal self-portraits, created 4 years ago when I chose to challenge myself by stripping away all assumptions of who I am. Those assumptions even included my gender and sexual orientation, which at the time was leatherdyke. I had been out as a lesbian for almost 20 years.

During the process, day after day, week after week, I felt myself slip from the world in an odd way. Each day I would still wake, work, eat, laugh, fuck, cry and be. With this was an overwhelming sense of invisibility that crept over my being, blanketing my body.

I would walk downtown during the workday and felt my transparency. It seemed as if people could pass right through me because I was not there. I had become a ghost who quietly floated through our physical world, a sensation so unusual I feel I shall never forget it.

This period was not an easy one, and lasted the better part of 2 years. I had a mentor, a safe place and much love throughout. The paintings were completed just after some of the most intense, awkward and uncomfortable months of this experience.

I painted a part of the journey. A journey of unfolding and discovery. A journey that began with no expectations. I could not even imagine a destination. The figures, exposed and vulnerable, try to find some peace in a world where everything cries out to be labeled and organized in the tidiest of fashions.

Coming out on the other side of this painful adventure was mind-blowing. Not only was there a new person staring back at me each time I looked in the mirror, but this individual no longer had a label, a name, yet instead, saw a glimpse into a much larger world filled with limitless possibility and magic.

The journey continues.


I know it could be better, but I'm mentally and emotionally exhausted. Tomorrow afternoon, I have a big work meeting to get through. Then it should be smoother sailing until I return from the east coast.

Oh, did I fail to mention that? I'm flying out on the 7th until the 13th of September. My brother is getting married. Although it will be good to see the family, right now, in the throes of my therapy work...well...let's just say it'll be interesting.

I am taking 2 days right after the wedding to head to what feels like my other home...on a retreat-like mini stint, to then rush back to western MA where my niece (the 16 year old jazz singer) is giving her first big concert - in a theater rented for the occasion. Other than hearing her sing in latin for a wedding when she was about 12, this is the first chance I'll have to actually hear her perform live. I'm looking forward to it. Because of the wedding, it's going to be a rushed trip as it is. I tried extending it, because I'd hoped to meet some of you while back east, but it will have to wait.

Sweet anticipation.

Anyway, after writing the statement for the show, I had a thought. You see, there is a dilemma. I have no idea what to wear to the wedding. In the past, I've always been able to envision some type of outfit. Whether or not I could find it was a different story. But I'd always have a clear picture. This time I realized I have none. I can't see myself femme'd nor butched out. Neither feels right. It leaves me seriously stumped. Quite unsettling.

I'd feel so much better if the required attire was none.

It shows me that I must be in another phase of serious self-construction.

I'm tired. I'm drained. I feel like crying a lot.
And I know this too shall pass.

Now where's the damned pizza I ordered?

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Fall is just around the bend.

The bunny called about 7 to see if I wanted to grab a short drink at Septieme. Although I've spent the whole day (after the victory brunch) recuperating from yesterday's event, other than a meeting with the art show coordinator from the upcoming show, Septieme seemed like the perfect place to be for an hour. We could quiet, and enjoy a nice glass of Portuguese wine.

So, why can I smell autumn?

It is beginning to get dark around 8 pm.
I could sit at the Cafe when they bring the candles to the table. (They don't do it until it gets dark, which means...until I'm there late, I don't see the candles all summer long).
The sky grew cloudy, the wind picked up and actually, for real began to rain.
I could wear jeans, t-shirt, sweatshirt, socks and shoes.

I love fall.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Maybe TMI

The shrink and I dug up a big pile of dirt that is now sitting on my lap. It's filled with slimy creatures...slugs, worms. I have no idea how I'm supposed to manage this whole contest weekend when all I want to do is sit in a corner and cry.

I don't even know what it all means.

Laying in bed last night and this morning...I ached to have someone beside me...just to hold me while I fell asleep and awakened. That's maybe the second time in a very long time I've desired such a thing.

Yesterday a bomb exploded in the office with the shrink. This I know. I don't know if it's the only one or if there are more to follow.

It's vague and clear at the same time.

What I'm sure of.

I was about 3 years old.
I was somehow shamed and isolated for being sexual in that innocent, child, playful way.
This is where the ingrained and what seemed to be unshakeable idea of myself as a monster originated.

I now know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that although pictures are blurry...this is a big reason why I've been so empassioned with the idea of sex being larger than what we think. This is where my frustration comes from when our world, even our "sex positive" community attempts to box in sex and eroticism.

For some odd reason, even as a child...I knew because I knew because I knew that sex is big. It's big and natural and animal. And yes...we too are big and natural and animal. We are sex.

We, if willing, aware and courageous, can live every moment as a radical sexual act.

Sex isn't only fucking. It is not only genital contact. It's not only relegated to the bedroom or dungeon.
Sex has the capacity and ability to be intimate. 2 minute intimate contacts or lifetime relationships. Intimacy is not defined by monogamous, marriage-type relationship. Intimacy happens when we crack our shells and share our soft underbellies, with ourselves and others.

Sex, if we open our eyes and breathe in our world, can be engaged in unlikely places...and so many different ways.

Sex is not this or that. Sex is this and that and that and that. It flows in and out of everything.

Is there any wonder why my brain short circuits when I try to define it? Is there any question why I can't define and relegate eroticism only to the 18+ crowd? Just the idea of attempting to do that makes me cry. It limits, stifles and chokes the sex out of life. Sex is the breath of life. Without sexual energy, we are simply automatons.

People speak of celibacy. I don't even know what that means. Not really. I understand what people think it means. But if sex is so large, one may be abstaining from genital sex, yet it doesn't mean they've lost the ability or stopped engaging in other facets of sex.

It's bad enough that governments and religions have attempted to define sex in order to regulate it. They aren't fools. They know the magic and power that lays in connection, intimacy, orgasms and ecstasy.

What's worse is that we as a society have allowed them to do it, and bought...lock, stock and barrel their definition of what sex it. We are the suckers, the fools.

If I can have a mindblowing orgasm while simply feeling hemp against my body, or standing alone in a Japanese garden admiring the landscape in front of me, or dancing with someone I barely know...not touching, our bodies a foot apart..until he grabs me when I cum so I don't fall and hurt myself...

...or while someone rubs my shoulders
...or watching a hawk swoop
...or pulls my hair...
...or painting a still life
...or as I feel the strike of the singletail
...or, or, or...
these aren't mental orgasms. But full blown belly/cunt orgasms.

Then who dares tell me what sex is?
Who will dare say whether my reaction to life is bad, sinful or detrimental?
Who will dare decide that some of this sex is right and some is wrong?
Who has the right to say that no, this orgasm isn't sex and this one is?

Earlier this week I began a blog entry and left it to the side. Clarke Lane and I were commenting about the question "What's your favorite color?"

I told him that trying to answer that question makes my brain explode. A day later I realized that trying to determine what my favorite color is, is exactly the same as trying to define sex. And...color is a big part of sex for me.

In my unfinished entry, I wrote:

A short commenting session with Clarke Lane last week. It was about color. Now it's been all stuck in my head and has expanded into a great idea. I spent a good part of my shrink session yesterday morning speaking about the relationship of color and sex. I'm exploring what sex really means to me in relation to color, painting and subject matter. I know why I don't or rarely show the work that has what most people consider sexual subject matter. I refuse to be pigeon holed. I refuse to pigeon hole my sex. And I most definitely refuse, with my work, to simply give in to what other people consider sexual. I paint what turns me on. Period.

Don't even ask me what pornography is. I no longer have an answer. I can't even respond "I can't define it but I'll know it when I see it." For my life, it's bullshit. It seems that the longer I live, the more I taste life, the greater my sense of what is sexual and orgasmic.

In my opinion, pornography is a fabricated idea created by governments and organized religions to contain and squelch the vast power and limitless possibility found in our very essence - our most natural selves, as spiritual animals. If a ruling power defined sex, with the intent of corraling sex, yes they hold the power over us. Each time we give into someone else's limited view of what sex is, we are actually allowing ourselves to be fucked up the ass by a large branch from a hawthorne tree. It is that brutal and damaging.


As I copied that entry and reread it, I realized I now have a definition for pornography. To me, pornography is nonconsensual behavior.

Everyone cries "but we have to protect the children". Children naturally turn away from something they aren't ready for. It's part of the beauty of children. Adults are the ones who shame children.

Nakedness, sex is not the real issue. We need to protect children from abuse, violence, war, homelessness, hunger, isolation, lack of love. That is what hurts and is damaging to children.

I have so much more to say but can't right now.
All I know is that I'd love to spend the weekend crying in the corner and being held. Instead, I have to figure out how to get it together to exude some open energy because this is the contest weekend I'm volunteering for. In 2 hours, I'm on, and so need to get myself strong.

Friday, August 26, 2005

I walked in the door after therapy, raw, bleeding and shocked. The phone rings.
It was the Bear.
I smiled because he was the one person I did want to hear from right now. He wanted to hear what happened, and it felt good to open up. I knew he'd get how huge the insight was.

The Bear and the bunny wanted to know if I was up for dinner (which I was).
After dinner they had a little gift for me. A t-shirt...that I will be wearing to the bar tonight.

From the bondage top extraordinaire and the bondage piglet, I receive a t-shirt that says:

"When I can't sleep, I count the buckles on my straightjacket."

Yes, I will be wearing it to the bar tonight.
Another painting.

This one is to celebrate another red letter day in therapy with the shrink.

It's a joyous word, isn't it?

Right now I'm not feeling joyful. But not bad either. Instead, I think I'm still in a small state of shock.
To see beyond what we think we see.
There's a whole world out there when we choose or more accurately, are ready to see it.

I'm stunned, and allowing truth to filter through me. One day, when I'm ready, I'll share.

I chose to show you this particular watercolor because it went beyond what I first saw. It was a cold winter day in Portsmouth, NH. I was sitting in my car, parked in the lot of what, at the time was the Holiday Inn (not even sure if it's still there) overlooking the traffic circle when you get off of I-95 North. It was a grey March day. Being cold and windy, I opted to sit in the car and paint. At first, all I saw was concrete, grey skies, and brown dead grass.

Then I looked again. And looked some more.

Is there something in the air?

I've noticed a shift in my painting. This morning, while formulating the words in my head, I catch up on some blogs and discover:

Badfaggot wrote:
"I've been trying to take a friend's advice, and writing things that I can't see my way to the end of, where the objective of the act of writing as well as what is produced is unclear."

And then I read Clarke Lane who wrote:
"How shall I live?
While this may seem like a cliche, it is a viable question for me right now. It speaks to the tension that I feel between "becoming and being."

In today's email I found (underline is mine):

Mindfulness versus Concentration-
Some people do not know the difference between "mindfulness" and "concentration." They concentrate on what they're doing, thinking that is being mindful. . . . We can concentrate on what we are doing, but if we are not mindful at the same time, with the ability to reflect on the moment, then if somebody interferes with our concentration, we may blow up, get carried away by anger at being frustrated. If we are mindful, we are aware of the tendency to first concentrate and then to feel anger when something interferes with that concentration. With mindfulness we can concentrate when it is appropriate to do so and not concentrate when it is appropriate not to do so.
-- Ajahn Sumedho

Becoming and being. Creating with or without an objective.
Mindfulness and concentration.

Yesterday I painted. Yesterday I noticed that in this particular time of my life, my painting has changed. I do not have the desire to create an idea yet instead my desire and what I've watched myself do, when I pick up a brush, is continually create.

I'm in love with the act of painting more than ever before.

I've always been empassioned with how the paint feels when I mark the canvas, the smell of the paint, the shapes, the movement of my arm when painting, etc. Attached to that was always a nagging "what am I going to paint and can I make it worthwhile?" translating to "is it showable, is it sellable?"
Or the bigger question:
"Can I create SOMETHING?"

What has shifted since then? Now my mindset is "I don't give a fuck. I'm painting!"

I'm painting to paint.

In this, I've picked up, for me unusual, freeness in the fact it doesn't matter. I stand back and watch my hand move, curious to see what will come off the brush. Color and shapes I'd never dare before use. There is a boldness I didn't know lay within me.

From there, once I'm done painting...I may or may not pick it up again. I may paint over the whole damned thing. It doesn't matter.
I'm not worried about product.

I was thinking this morning about the idea of production. I don't know, but wonder if it's an American construct, influenced by the industrial revolution, or if it's the difference between an eastern way of being versus the western 'becoming'. Or maybe it's something entirely different.

I've never travelled outside of Canada and the U.S. but from what I've heard and read, it seems that other cultures and societies are slower paced. They spend more time enjoying their life than we do. There doesn't seem to be the same pressure to rush and produce.

How can our way of life not affect our creativity, our pressure to become someone, something? The idea of continual production is a cancer to our spirits. Let's learn to be, and in being, becoming naturally happens. We'll know when we need to concentrate and complete something. And we can find joy in the act of doing for the sake of doing.

It's not easy. I don't know why it's flowing smoother for me now. But while it is, I'll relish it. Who knows how long it will last?

After writing this, I set it aside for a spell to read more email.
This discovery, an article entitled Never Enough, came in today's Alternet.

"In his book American Mania, a psychiatrist urges us to stop our endless quest of accumulation -- unless we want to witness a mass psychological and economic meltdown."

Isn't this part of the same drive of having to produce, to attain a finished item, taken to extreme?

I'm sure it's not as simple as I've written. I know that our drive to search, find, explore, create, mark as our own is important. But where is the balance? When does it become detrimental? When can we even stop to enjoy our current exhale of breath with the knowledge that in that very moment, it is perfect for the sole reason it is what it is?

How do we get to a place where being is enough?

Yes, I am disovering that right now with my painting. On some level I feel the fragility of this place. Even in playful painting, there is a lurking fear that one day I won't be able to maintain this freedom. I fear that I'll become lost and consumed in the item I have to create for a show, a commission, or even just for me. I worry that I won't be able to find my balance between the need for play and the need for production.

Notice how mindful I am being to being when even while being, or think I'm being, a small part of my heart is worried about the time when I won't be able to just be. Can we ever stop the madness? The anxiety?

It's crazy, isn't it?
I like today's column by Morford.

"There is this upwelling. There is this delicious rebellion. It is not yet loud and it is not yet conventional and it is certainly not yet dominating the national political dialogue and it is not yet making the headlines and maybe it never will and this is probably a good thing...

...It is this: Whole happy unfettered slews of people, young and old and in between, both genders and all genders and those who have yet to figure out just what gender they are, they are dancing to their own cosmic tune and blaspheming against the quo of status and taking divine matters into their own tingling and luminous hands because, goddammit, it's the right thing to do.

This is what's happening: Millions are defying what many think is the religious norm, giggling in the general direction of all those silly apocalyptic "Left Behind" books and rolling their eyes at the "intelligent design" nontheory and ignoring the syrupy chants rising from all those creepy megachurches across the land -- and they are, instead, defining religion and spirituality for themselves, against all odds and against all baffled militant true believers and against the president's very own bewildered-monkey stare. Imagine."

Read all of What's On Your iGod?

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Today is a painting day. And it's a day to write a statement, a longer bio for next week's show, and while I'm at it, do the smaller bio for SEAF.

I have a hard time juggling both because I can focus on writing, or focus on painting. It shouldn't be that big a deal. Maybe it is because of the limited amount of energy I have right now.

My desk at work is still clean. It's still a shock but feels so good. The running joke at the office is that when our ED returns from vacation and sees my office, she'll think I'm quitting. So not the case.

I spend a lot of time thinking about sexual outlaws, and what it really means. Maybe I just am not meant to be a part of a big group. It doesn't matter if it's about art, religion, leather or anything else. When a group mentality takes over, it never fails. I smell danger. It feels claustrophobic. And I don't trust it. I can go in and take the jewels from what I see, but cannot grab the whole bundle.

For me, it goes back to always questioning and never being comfortable with the status quo.
I have a lot to write about voice. I can see how it's my big lesson these last few weeks. Stepping back and watching the evolution, the connections, the awareness...honestly is so pretty it blows me away. And yeah, still freaks me out.

But right now, before I forget, get too tired or too busy, I want to share one of today's magic moments.

My coworker, as I think I've mentioned, is stepping back into the recording studio next week to finish his cd. He writes all his own music. These last 6 months have seen a storm of creativity that's blown through. Just standing on the side, watching...leaves me in awe.

After he laid down the first 6 or so songs, I had the privilege of listening to the first recording. it grabbed me. His music remained in my head for days. Today, my coworker asked me if I'd go to his home, during lunch, to listen to his latest piece, written (lyrics and music) this weekend. He felt so good about the song and really wanted to throw it on this cd but didn't trust his ears. He asked for mine.

We went into the basement, where his equipment is. He sat at his piano. I closed my eyes because I wanted to focus on the music, not the person. The first notes touched me. As he dug further into the song, tears came to my eyes and flowed until the end. The room was thick with the poignancy of the song, his energy...his heart. It was about pain and the glory that arises from coming through the pain.

When he was through he asked me what I thought, and then looked at my face...wet. His face transformed from a question to a face that shone.

I feel so blessed for having been a part of that time - a most amazing gift.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

(note: I wasn't planning on writing this tonight, actually not for a while...but the words flew off my fingers. So be it. Also, many people have left wonderful comments over the last few days. I'll respond soon. Right now, I'm being somewhat self-indulgent in not putting out. All your words are appreciated and taken to heart. Honest. And thank you. All of you.)


Tonight is my first night, quiet and alone in...hmmm, quite a while. And it's my last evening alone until Sunday night. Tomorrow night, Hoss is coming by to paint. This weekend, I'm busy with the NW LeatherSir/leather boy contest, as assistant production manager, i.e. stage mom. Although I have strong feelings about the contest scene, I'm in it for the sex. Yeah, I can say it.

Leather contests are the only large public gathering filled with mostly gay men that I'm allowed to attend. It's the only place I can get a massive dose of queer testosterone that is home to me, have some sex and set up play dates. I'm not complaining. It is what it is.

I personally think that contests have run their course. I'd rather see all that energy put into a couple big gala shows...quality shows that would raise money for queer non-profits instead of a little bit of charity and lots of travel funds. Closing my eyes, I can see the powerful impact that could be made if contest energy were funneled differently.

Quite a few of my good friends are current titleholders. Another handful are past sashes. The voice over I went to record last night is for background in a fantasy for Saturday's contest. It was fun, silly, political and edgy.

In addition, I believe that seeing we do have contests, all titleholders should be required to give at least 10 hours of volunteer time for something such as working a homeless shelter. It's a little dose of reality about what community service and role model is about.

When I think of all the so-called community service done by titleholders that remains within the leather community, all I picture is one massive group JO party. It seems to be more about alpha dog positioning.

I guess I just don't get it. Other than the ego-stroking, which I strongly felt (yes it's very seductive) when I was being recruited to run, I really don't get the intrigue.

Watching friends win over the last few years, I've seen how quickly they change. It's always gone one of two ways. Either, winning the title has pushed their potential and they've become more sure of themselves, stronger people. Or they've become arrogant and filled with self-importance.

I look at my Seattle friends, and they've become so busy with committees, brunches, socials and community politics that they don't have the time to play like they used to. I try to remind them what first drew them to s/m. Sex. Not committees.

An interesting conundrum.

I think of Drummer Magazine. It was edgy and radical when it came out. Each issue reprints the quote which at the time, fittingly led to the name of the magazine:

"If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away." - Henry David Thoreau

This amuses me. Isn't that quote now a contradiction? The magazine, clubs, the contest circuit which still, year in and year out, continue to idolize and expect one to fit "the look". I don't have a problem with the look. To each their own. Fetishes are fetishes. But I don't understand how Thoreau, many years later, is still relevant to the Tom of Finland style.

It's another reminder for me of the similarity in people - how we all seek out some sense of family and grab it, sometimes desperately, wherever we can find it.

We weren't meant to be alone. We need each other. We need connection.
I have so much to share with you and yet I'm keeping a lot of it tucked to my chest.


Loads of thoughts are brewing and yet a big part of me has become a coward. It seems that after I was poked by Nayland and indulged in my peeve rant, I am feeling shy. It felt so good to rant. Some of it had been stuffed inside for a while. Why did I feel as if I needed permission to do so?

I am indulging in much self-censorship. The idea irks me but at the same time I know that some thoughts are not meant for a public forum. Some can be shared with a circle I feel safe with. Others, only with my intimates.

Or maybe it's a matter of how I write about it.
I don't know.

This uncertainty has littered my desktop with many half written drafts, never completed because while writing, "I can't post it" comes into my mind. My hands cease typing. I wonder how fucked up I really am. See what happens? I've freaked because I stood in the middle of the square opining.

It's crazy.

Maybe I can't handle all the goodness that's come my way. I know that all the recent opportunities are simply a preview of the possibility of my life. I see my natural tendency to rush back into the cave and hide.

Just in the little bit I've been able to read, I've taken in many meaty entries from others that have spawned massive mental masturbation. In some areas I am actually becoming clear with certain ideas that in the past, I could not articulate.

One big question: How do I communicate my thoughts so that they are perceived not as judgment on the behavior of others, yet instead actually seen as one of my personal truths? We have a big problem in our world. It seems to become more difficult to live with contradiction, when in fact life is filled with it. I can believe one thing and yet support or love a person who lives with a different truth. Why is that so difficult to take in?

The other, the bigger question: Do I trust (believe in, love) myself enough to dare share my voice and include it in the chorus of humanity?
My 25th high school reunion was in 2002. No, I didn't go. I haven't attended any of them. Oddly enough, yesterday while cleaning my desk at work, I discovered an envelope from my mother that included a form for me to complete to be listed in the alum directory. I filled it out and sent it in. Whatever.

Today, Mark Morford writes about his reunion.

He ends with:
"Ah, there it is. The true Ultimate Point. I feel it now. It is, of course, the hot breath of time, bearing down. This is the dark secret of reunions: They are all about mortality. About aging and the vagaries of the flesh and, you know, death -- how fast you are racing toward it, clinging to the walls of your life like a child being dragged off to bed and you feel compelled to ask yourself, Well, how are you thwarting that feeling? What have you learned? What the hell are you doing about it?

Are you beaten down? Are you singing as you go? Screaming? Have you made the right choices since you were 18? Do you know who you are and why you're here and did it turn out at all like you imagined? Well, why the hell not? Or if so, where are you going from here?"

A couple days ago, Auxugen and I were discussing pain. Good pain, the act of moving through positive pain, requires courage. It doesn't matter if it's s/m or regular life pain, be it emotional, spiritual or physical. Walk through the fire.

This was in today's email. I love how pain is differentiated between wise pain, (born of love) and stupid pain (fearful to move forward and therefore stuck in the same hurtful rotations):

"Let's discuss the differences between dumb, unproductive pain and smart, useful pain. The former is the kind you keep being drawn back to out of habit. It's familiar, and therefore perversely comfortable. The latter is the kind of pain that surprises you with valuable teachings and inspires you to see the world with new eyes. While stupid pain is often born of fear, wise pain is stirred up by love. The dumb, unproductive stuff comes from allowing yourself to be controlled by your early conditioning and from doing things that are out of harmony with your essence. The smart, useful variety arises out of a willingness to live passionately and with a sense of adventure. Can you guess which type I'm urging you to gravitate toward right now, Capricorn?"

Check out your Rob Brezsny 'scope.
I left work at 3:50 and walked into my house at 3:59pm. Threw off my clothes and put on some comfy sweats. I thought I was in for the evening. Fried. Icarus IM'd me with a request to do a favor. I responded with a maybe, contingent upon how much energy it would take. Well...he needed me to be a voice over for something he was concocting for the weekend and the task not only seemed easy enough, but fun. That was 4 hours ago. From there, one thing led to another, including dinner and strategic planning session for this weekend.

Now, I'm curled up in bed and seriously tired. Other than writing for me.

Maybe tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

One of my periodic snippet posts.

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesdays are really busy for me. It makes it difficult to sit and compose blog entries with substantial content. It makes it even harder to really dig in and read others during those few days. I catch up when I can.


Something's percolating. Not sure what. I've been waking up around 3 or 4 am, struggling to return to sleep, which has been futile. I give in and simply focus on my breathing instead.

What's strange about this is that it's not one particular thing that is troubling.'s a sense. I feel a pressure and constriction around my chest – a bubbling inside.

Yesterday I mentioned it to the shrink.
"We've gotta work on this. Let's dig in and figure it out."


I'm blown away by how it seems my life has changed in the last 4 weeks. Magic all over the place.
The shrink has been informed he will not be fired. ;-)


Today is my 5 year anniversary at my current job. I feel fortunate that I not only work forh a queer foundation but the staff is amazing. Not only do we play nice together yet it expands into a genuine caring and love for each other.

Because I wanted to switch computer monitors, it created a one thing leads to the next kind of scenario. Pull all the piles off the desk which led to cleaning my office. About 20 minutes ago I realized it was a perfect way to celebrate my anniversary. My office will be clean, clutter free and each piece of paper that remains will have been touched by my hand and a conscious decision made as to its future. The second way would be to receive chocolate.

Monday, August 22, 2005

It's been a very busy day. I've popped in for a few minutes before heading out for dinner.

How about another painting?
This particular still life was part of the thesis show.
Oil on canvas. 1996. I think it's 16x20.

I love that piece.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Oh my gawd, oh my gawd, oh my gawd!
I have news for you!!!!

I've been sitting on the possibility of this for a week, and on the reality for over a couple days! Once I was told it was okay to go public, I still sat on my fingers for a bit. Just wanted to keep it to myself a little longer.

I received and accepted an invitation to be a juror for the Seattle Erotic Art Festival!

For two years I've known that this is how I'd want to be involved in the festival. Oh my gawd. It really happened!

I have a week or two to come up with a short bio, include a head shot and was informed that I could include a blog addy or website. Yeah, it's a perfect opening to come out in bigger way.

In addition, in the next day or so I must write a statement for the 5 paintings that will be shown at the Convention Center for the 2005 Gender Odyssey conference. It's a mini two day show and a good, easy way for me to get back into the water again.

Oh my gawd. I can't believe I'm going to be a juror for SEAF.'s still sinking in. I know it may not be a big deal for many people. But, as you can's a big deal to me. :-)

Last year they screened about 1500 images, to select I think a couple hundred. It'll be interesting to see what the numbers are this year and I am very much looking forward to seeing all the work.
Tagged by Clark Lane.
List 5 of your own idiosyncrasies...

id·i·o·syn·cra·sy (n. pl. id·i·o·syn·cra·sies)
- A structural or behavioral characteristic peculiar to an individual or group.
- A physiological or temperamental peculiarity.
- An unusual individual reaction to food or a drug.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.

1.When I'm stressed at work, and someone asks for something new, my response is "no". Of course, from there the problem twirls around in my brain for a week or two, I'll figure out the solution, and then give them the completed project. My coworkers know what to expect and even made me aware of it. From this I realized my first no is actually, 'no, not now but I'll figure it out and get back to you with a solution." (I have to change that!)

2. Again at work, when things flow smoothly and I'm on a roll... "la, la, la" slips from my lips. It's sing songy, with the second note a half step down from the first and the third a couple steps down from the second. I am out of practice with music otherwise I would have been able to tell you exactly which notes they are. If I had a guitar or piano in front of me...I'd know.

3. I have an ice cream bowl.

4. Don't mess with my books.

5. I hate goop in hair, be it spray, gel or anything. I have to be able to touch my hair or someone else's, and feel hair, not product.

A few more, just because I can:

6. I am a morning person. It does not matter if I'm in bed at 10 pm or 3 am, guarantee I'll be up between 5-7am (contingent upon the season).

7. I do not have a favorite color. I may use some over and over, but it's always about context.

8. Play devil's advocate. I know it can annoy others. It sure as hell annoys me when I do it to myself. But, I never want to stop seeing all possible sides. It keeps me questioning.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Musical meanderings.

So, want to know why Rock Star INXS speaks to me in such a profound way?

This week, I walked into my coworker's office. He is going back into the studio very soon to finish laying tracks for his second CD. Singer/songwriter he is. He mentioned he watched the show for the first time.

"So what did you think of the show?"
He pointed to the spot just below his heart and above his belly.
"It hit me right here. Throughout the whole show I felt it here."
My eyes became wet. "Ya, me too. Every time."

I met with the shrink a little later and spent a good part of our session casually talking about music and what it means to me. His face showed surprise. He was hearing things that I'd never before uttered in our sessions. Things, such as:

I began piano lessons at 5 years old. I quit about 13. That's when I found 'jesus'. I pretty much quit everything then. Although at about 14, I did try classical voice lessons for a bit. Then quit.
At 16, I desired a guitar. My dad gave me the choice between a high school ring or guitar. No decision. It was a lovely classical guitar. I taught myself. This is when I left the catholic church and joined another church. Being a 'christian', and lovin' music, I immersed myself in christian rock. Petra, Barry McGuire (who wrote "Eve of Destruction" - remember that one?), and a few other bands.

I was playing and singing all the time. I met another guitarist and we began the singing at church, 3 x a week. In addition, we sang in nursing homes 3 x a week. I wrote a few songs. They would be wedding gifts for friends. At both of my sisters' weddings I performed. Played the guitar and sang a song I discovered somewhere, "Que Dieu Protege Notre Amour." Yes, it was all in french.

I remember becoming skillful with singing harmony. It was my personal challenge and it came to a point where I could do it easily.

In '78 or '79 I traded in my classical guitar for a 12 string Takemini. My born again jesus freak friends (mostly all men, 10 years older than me) had slimly escaped the Vietnam war draft years earlier. The war ended just before their numbers came up. They were left-over hippies. Christian hippies. Disco music was popular at the time and I remember they got together to educate me. No disco for me. Instead, I was introduced to Buffalo Springfield, Aztec Two Step, Pure Prairie League, etc. And of course, christian music.

A few years later, I left religion, went to school for painting and brought my guitar. My first woman lover, who I met when I moved into the dorms, also played. Now she could play. And oh could she sing. I don't know too many people who can do Joni Mitchell well. This woman could. We'd get together and play all the time. We held little coffee houses on campus where we'd perform. I wrote a few bizarre songs at the time.

Every time I see a piano my heart hurts.
When I have the opportunity, I try to pluck away. But, I'm embarrassed. It's been a long time. And it's a tease.

My mother came from a family of artists - she, her dad and 3 brothers. They were all into some form of painting and commercial art. Mom also sang. She had such stage fright that she'd force herself into performing on stage, hoping to get over her fear.

Dad's side were all into music. The piano, the guitar, the violin, the accordion, the organ. Only dad's sister could really sing. The others used musical instruments. In addition, they became the doctors, nurses, priests and nuns. No visual art in their bones.

I am the only child who inherited both painting and music.

The INXS show hits me hard because it reminds me of a dream that I never had the courage to pursue. I had forgotten all about it until recently. A couple days ago, I even remembered that while in my teens, I silently and decisively made the choice to pursue painting and not music. I remember being so angry that I couldn't choose both. I felt that I could not give both the energy they each deserved and therefore had to decide. So the music went on the back burner, and became the informal part of me.

I now see how important music was to me.

The other reason I chose art instead of music is paralysis. I was adept. But that is all. When I sang, I knew I couldn't cut loose. There was a fear inside. I figuratively couldn't find my voice. When I played the piano, I felt stilted. My desire was to do jazz. I wanted my fingers to fly across the keys. I wanted to feel the freedom that allowed me to improvise. I was always afraid. It's the same with the guitar.

That knowledge is what made my decision to study painting instead of music. I did not see any way out of the stiffness and fear I felt.

After the session with the shrink, I left and it hit me. Not only did the shrink hear this stuff for the first time, but I had never told anyone else about the intensity of my desire, the fear, or the decision I made to shelf the music, in a studied more professional way. My family never knew how important music was to me. This week was the first time I had verbalized most of this.

My very first Christmas in Seattle was a tough one. I had just broken up with a lover, who happened to be pretty much my only friend at the time (considering I'd only been in Seattle a few months). On the phone with my parents, I told them why I was hurting. It was the first time I had spoken openly with them about a queer relationship I'd had. My mom asked me what I wanted for Christmas. I didn't have an answer. Dad piped in:

"I know what she needs. I'll pay to ship your guitar out to you. It'll help console you a little."

I was shocked. And pleased. Somehow, he intuitively knew that music would help.

When I received the large box containing my 12 string in its hard shell case, I noticed another surprise. Dad had taken all my teddy bears and used them as packing.

It's one of the fondest memories I have of my father.

So I watch the performance part of the INXS show and I'm in awe of these kids who appear so self-assured on stage, rockin' away, allowing themselves to shine. In addition it reminds me of what I could have become had I not been afraid.
Yes, I am mourning this particular loss of the possibility of what could have been.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Mark Morford writes about one of the new kids on the sex toy block.

"All is not lost. This is the good news. All is not dire and hopeless and warmongering and sexless and Bush. I know, it's amazing, but it's true. You see, bright spots exist. Radiant spots. Glimmers of possibility and progress, deep pools of hope and moan and yum. We have but to look. And yearn."
One more.

PET peeve that is.

If you are walking your dog, please have a bag to pick up his poop. ESPECIALLY when he takes a dump right on the walking path on Alki Beach.

I was so not amused. Especially when I noticed the delightful shade of ochre, and the consistency of thick pudding which therefore shot up my jeans leg as I stepped in the runny stinky mess with my sandals. Good thing I was near the water, where I could run in and wash my jeans and get most of it off my sandals.

But guess what I'm doing tomorrow morning? Running the soles of my sandals under hot water, and using a toothpick to scrap the rest of the shit out of the treads.

Other than that, it was a nice walk with the Bear and the bunny.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

I've been tagged for the peeved meme.
Nayland requested...I delivered.

List three things that piss you off and then tag six others to do the same.

He asked for it. When something pisses me off, it really pisses me off.

1. Hypocrisy
Folks who have experienced discrimination and yet can turn around and do the same to others. When someone works hard to create their space on the dare they kick off someone else who's attempting to climb the same rock? I have no patience for it. None. Nada.

Yes I know this is a slippery slope, but it's all about context and intent. When it's someone else's party, be it house, play, bar, website...bluntly put, it is none of your business. If you don't like it - leave. When it is your own created space, you are allowed to choose at will.

Not only do I see it in those places, but I see it happen so often in the nonprofit sector, especially with queer organizations. I understand where the dynamic comes from. We've struggled so hard to achieve a place and then clutch it tightly because any change would be threatening. There is so much in-fighting among people and orgs who are all trying to ultimately do good work. Yet the pettiness and drama from each claiming their turf leads to a greater dismantling of community.

Here's a novel concept. Why can't we peacefully work side by side?

Would you like to know one reason why the extreme fundies have taken a foothold? Regardless of the church they belong to, they are all flying the same banner - god. They have found a way to unite and in that, it makes it easy. Everyone who doesn't believe in that particular god is evil. They have created a perception of safe family and community whereas we, as liberals, spend more time bickering about who does what, processes, what's politically correct, 'no you don't belong in my camp', etc. We have fractured ourselves.

The sad thing is, many of us are the freethinkers, enlightened minds. We can assist with saving our humanity and our planet. Let's fuckin' lighten up.

We need, no we MUST begin to embrace a spirit of prosperity instead of holding onto our impoverished spirit. There really IS enough for everyone. Open up. Share. Unless we change our minds and hearts around this, I feel we are stunting positive human evolution. Instead, we are morphing into embittered people all stooge-ishly whispering "this is mine. No you can't have it."

It's insidious. It flows through everything. Look at our world. How can we complain about what Bush is doing in Iraq if we are doing the same damned thing in our little corner? It really all comes from a similar mindset.

Labeling comes from the same place. Yes, we need them to assist with identification, but don't attach to them so intently. All it does is make one look desperate. Everything shifts and changes. We can't help it. It's more painful when we try to prevent the flow.

All this stuff comes right back to living prosperously instead of choosing poverity.

As you can see, I can't even write cohesively about it. The pages and pages I could write would come out as a sputtering mess. That's how much it riles me. I know it means I'm still too emotionally close to the subject. With time and healing, maybe I can hope for a specky bit of graceful articulation.

2. Responsibility
We have become a people who will not take responsibility. It's always someone else's fault. Look at how litigious we've become as a society. Many times we do actually screw up. Sometimes, yes, someone else may attack, but there are instances where we need to look at the energy we are putting out. I do not believe that most of what we believe to be the responsibility of another actually is. It takes two to tango. Own up to our part for our own actions. It's about choice. We make a choice. Let's deal with the consequences.

Our own actions and basic choices do include going about our daily business. Living, in and of itself, is a dangerous and risky act. Shit happens. It just does. Life really is not the fairy tale where there's an evil stepmother and the only salvation we have is in the charmed prince.

Life is hard. It is about suffering.
The magic happens when we can transform that suffering into moments of bliss.

The third peeve isn't as heavy as the other two, but it's a peeve that hasn't gone away in the almost 30 years I've been driving.

3. Lack of directionals
People who do not use their turn signals while driving. Listen folks, directionals are NOT optional equipment.

And one for the road:
People who can't think for themselves and need our media to do it for them. It doesn't matter if it's political, the latest book, or the most stylin' fashion. It only becomes trendy because some advertising corporation has decided the next thing is the "in" thing. What we are doing when we fall into the whole trendy thing is tipping the advertisers, media, etc. for thinking for us. It irks me to no end.

I can't do the tag thing. I've tried. For real. I even wrote out all the code for the links and honestly, while previewing, it made me uncomfortable. I was the fat kid who never got picked for the team. So instead I'm sending out a general tag call to all my friends. I'd love to hear about your pet peeves. Just mention that I asked. ;-)

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Blackened Britney-

Last night was the performance part of INXS' show where they are looking for a new lead singer.

They changed the format a bit and it made for an amazing show. First, the whole show was unplugged. This included a string section. I love unplugged sets. You can't hide.

The other change that impressed me was the song selection. With all the other performances, the candidates choose from a group of songs selected by INXS. So you want to keep in mind all the past critiques and maybe choose something that focuses on something you need to work on. But depending where you end up in the song selection process, the song that would assist may no longer be available.

Last night, the band personally chose the song for each contestant, based upon what they still wanted to hear from the individual regarding vocal range or pushing edges, etc. Apparently each singer was handed an envelope with the song they needed to perform and the reason why that song was chosen.

Here is the link to this week's performances. Make sure you choose 'week 6' and 'performance'. Ty did a rendition of "Maggie May" that had some Motown to it. Jordis sang "Knockin' On Heaven's Door" like I've never heard it sung before. It was gorgeous. She was intimidated by the song. Before singing, they showed a clip where she mentioned that although it's a deceptively easy song, how can she do it the justice previously done?

Mig sang the Frampton tune "Baby I Love Your Way" that blew the band away. Dave Navarro had tears in his eyes at the end of the song. And he gave one of the highest compliments I've ever heard from any teacher/mentor etc. He said something like "normally when hearing the performances, I'm compiling my comments. But this time, all I could think of was how much I love my wife." Yeah...powerful.

What I considered the highlight was one song, intentionally given, as an intense challenge. In a good way. Marty is very talented. I get off on hearing what he's going to do next. When he opened his envelope, he couldn't believe his eyes. He was given "...Baby One More Time" previously sung by Britney Spears. Listen to his rendition. It's brilliance, in a lusciously, painful dark way. That was my favorite for the evening.

Why am I so captivated by this show?

I'm compiling my thoughts on that one. One day...I'll share.
Guess what I'm doing on Saturday, (in addition to a couple get-togethers)?

Hump-ing. :-)

This summer The Stranger held their first ever amateur porn contest - HUMP. They pull out a call for 2-10 minute films, either something you had laying around, or something created specifically for HUMP. Now, if you wanted to prove it was freshly made, The Stranger suggested you include at least one of the following with extra extra credit given for including all:
(from the extra credit portion of their rules)
~Sandwich cookies (OR CUPCAKE)
~A shopping bag from Toys in Babeland
~Tube socks
~A roll of duct tape
~A photo of Stranger receptionist Mike Nipper

The films are being screened this Saturday at the NW Film Forum. Originally there were two screenings, both of which sold out. They added a 3rd this morning, and then a 4th this afternoon. So I'm hitting the 12:30 pm show with Auxugen (if he's still in town). Djartemis, co-owner of Two Big Meanies (who also created and starred in one of the films with batboymaxx...something about a Pirate and Ninja porn) is going to join us.

I'm psyched. To sit and spend time watching porn short after porn short will be exciting. The reason I say that is, a few years back, I assisted Sir when he was on the jury for the Seattle Erotic Art Festival. After two full days of seeing over 1000 images over and over and over again...the final viewing was a continuous slide show of the almost 500 that were accepted. A few seconds each. At that point, the eroticism was in seeing all the individual images blur together to make a sex quilt. For me, I discovered that whole piece more erotic than any one image on its own. The flood of shifting sex was powerful. I would have loved to see a room set aside at the festival that ran a loop of all the images back to back.

Remembering that experience makes me think that Saturday's viewing may almost be the same.
I'm looking forward to it.
"Not to kill, but to cherish all life."
~The First Precept

Yesterday, Lydia wrote about the necessary evil of paying taxes to, not her gov't, but THE gov't. Many of us feel that way. Oddly enough, one of the topics of conversation on Monday with my shrink was the frustration I felt with paying taxes knowing that approximately one third goes directly to the military.

It's a big chunk that I cannot justify because I do not support the war let alone other reasons such as the gross amount of the population doesn't have health insurance, people are dying on the streets from drugs and homelessness, crime is up, education is down, art, music and compassion are not seen as critical to our evolution and the collective spirit of our country is slowly being suffocated. Wonder why I get depressed, overwhelmed and angry at times?

A few weeks back I was cruising the Buddhist Peace Fellowship website and saw this. Yes, BPF was part of a grassroots efforts to recognize that conscientious objectors may want alternatives to paying into the the large war fund.

National Campaign for a Peace Tax Fund

On the 25th of May, 2005, Representative John Lewis re-introduced the Religious Freedom Peace Tax Fund Bill. The bill has a new number:
Title: To affirm the religious freedom of taxpayers who are conscientiously opposed to participation in war, to provide that the income, estate, or gift tax payments of such taxpayers be used for nonmilitary purposes, to create the Religious Freedom Peace Tax Fund to receive such tax payments, to improve revenue collection, and for other purposes.

Here is the list of 37 cosponsors of the bill, which includes Jim McDermott from Seattle. (go Jim!)

Bill Summary & Status for the 109th Congress

The Dharma and the Military

Here is an example of a letter you can send your congressperson in support of the Peace Tax legislation.
"Do you want to know what depresses the American spirit? Do you want to know why it feels like the center cannot hold and the tyranny of mediocrity has been loosed upon our world? Do you want to know what instills more thoughts of suicide and creates a desperate, low-level rage the source of which we cannot quite identify but which we know is right under our noses and which we now inhale Prozac and Xanax and Paxil by the truckload to attempt to mollify?

I have your answer. Here it is. Look."

Yup. That's an excerpt from Mark Morford's latest column.

And now Brezsny speaks to the Capricorns:
"There will come a time when you believe everything is finished," wrote novelist Louis L'Amour. "Yet that will be the beginning." He could have been describing your life in the coming week, Capricorn. Just when you're sure you've gone as far as you can go, worked as hard as you can work, and exhausted all the possibilities, you will find the secret to a sweet, fresh gamble that will awaken your most brilliant innocence.

The other 11 signs are here.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Keepin' things in perspective, I received a wonderful little email which said:
".322 percent of the human race is still over 10,000,000 people."

Thanks John. :-)

And speaking of John...I'd like to showcase a letter he wrote to the Seattle PI. As far as I know, it has yet to be published, and I'm sure I know why. When someone compares the similarities between a senior prom and a stripper know. It's brilliant.

With his permission, here are his thoughts regarding the mayor's initiative to ban lap dances and set up a foot foot rule in Seattle's stripper clubs (as if we don't have more important issues at hand??).
Although Mayor Nickels’ proposed four foot rule for strip clubs may raise some interesting speculation about the Mayoral Endowment, it is otherwise wretched public policy. This Mickey Mouse legislation will do more harm than good. At best it will be business as usual anyhow. At worst it will drive sex work underground, cost significant tax dollars to pay for the increased health and crime problems, and result in a loss of tax revenue.

Where will the Nickels Anti-Sex League strike next? Gay baths? Adult bookstores? Ballroom dance studios? Or maybe the senior prom? After all the deal at both strip clubs and proms is that females dress provocatively to induce males to spend money on them for a little gettin’ up close and personal. The only difference is that at proms, the females are mostly underage and the males expect more gratifying sexual favors than a little frottage afterwards.

Prohibition has never been a solution to “vice.” If we really want to make sex work obsolete, we need to do a little work on our sex negative culture first. We act as if sex for money is about as yucky as it gets, but we inundate ourselves with messages that say women are sex objects and men are money objects. Hollywood romanticizes “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.” Our corporate leaders gleefully parade their trophy wives across the tabloids. De Beers bleats “Give her diamonds and she’ll love you.” The sanctimonious O’Reilly turns out to be a harasser. Playboy teaches men how to look rich enough to bed a babe, even if they aren’t. No wonder many women would rather make $200 an hour playing Pretty Woman at Rick’s for the same guy who would offer them $10 an hour in his office to play Steppin Fetchit.

No ethical, thinking person can approve of the state meddling in the personal lives of consenting adults, whether they be mixed race couples (when my wife and I were married in 1964, our union was illegal in 16 states), gays, or sex workers and their clients. Our tax dollars should not be spent on laws that at best demoralize, and at worst corrupt, our already overworked police officers. If the Mayor truly had Seattle’s best interest at heart, he would initiate a discussion on how to decriminalize sex work and assure that it is safe and consensual. Instead, he seems focused on forcing us into lock step with his Republican buddies in the ‘burbs.

John Ullman (For whom, like Holden Caulfield, a six inch rule would suffice.)

Monday, August 15, 2005

I no longer hate 99.778 percent of the population.
And so...I am sharing a drawing.

I knew, when the hate came over me that it wasn't really about the rest of the world and each little thing I could attack. It was about me. I didn't like 99.778 percent of me. More honestly, I despised 99.778 percent of me.

So, I'm calmer and not as hateful toward myself. Yeah, there was a shrink appointment this morning. Can we say pleasant? During the session, I told him to fuck off at least once. Or it may have been "fuck you".

Good thing he's a patient man.

I knew, before walking into his office, that I was feeling extremely lonely. I attack when I'm feeling alone, much in the same way that my arrogance shines through when intimidated.

It's not the alone that comes from longing for an intimate lover relationship, but for someone who can read my mind. I felt like no matter what I read, looked at or heard, I was butting silent heads. I wouldn't want my lover to share my mind fully. It would be boring. If I ever have a lover again, they need to challenge me and allow me to challenge them. It's a big part of the spark.

Instead, I wanted...a clone type. I wanted to be able to have an opinion and have someone say "Yeah...I know" or "I understand." I didn't want to defend or explain. I didn't want to have them question me to death or look at me as if I had two heads.

Sometimes, just sometimes...don't you simply want someone to get it?
Once in a while I do.

It's my big demon. Maybe one day I'll get over it.

Anyway, on to the art.

Seeing I wrote about charcoal drawings last week, here is a charcoal. It's a good size piece, maybe about 3'x4.5'. Of course, it's a still life. Set up by a prof back in '96. But it feels like a whole other world to me. Someplace I want to hang out in sometimes.

Here's my world and welcome to it.

warning... is a day where I really hate 99.778% of the human race.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

It's hot today. I know that the New Englanders' would probably give almost anything for our weather right now, but from my's too hot and too bright.

It saps my energy. It leaves me with a floundering feeling...not sure what to do. I would have rented a dvd but it's a little too warm in my apartment to enjoy it. I considered walking to the movies, but nothing sounded enticing. I was going to call a friend, but felt like being alone. Yet not fully alone.

I figured I could be bored at home or be bored at Septieme. At least here, at the Cafe...there's someone to cook for me. :-)
And, my world is a little better with a lot of ice tea and a beet salad with grilled chicken. I brought my laptop, as you can see. Also a notebook and 2 books I'm reading. Settled in for the afternoon.

Yesterday, while waiting for Auxugen, I was sitting outdoors digging into Frankenstein, the book not the movie. I had nightmares last night! Can you believe it? Weird, weird, weird. I haven't had a nightmare in years. This morning, before it was too warm, I popped in Whatever Happened To Baby Jane? I've never seen it. Sir loaned me the dvd a while back and I figured it was a good time. Thing is, although a great movie, and I enjoyed it, in addition it creeped me out in kind of a big way. My sense is because I was still in that shaking off the nightmare space.

I've been fairly silent. There isn't any desire lurking inside to come out with profundities or tales of the strangeness that is my life. So, I'm coasting.

I need to pick up The Artist's Handbook. I have always meant to purchase it yet never did. That will answer my questions about charcoal...and anything else. I'm sure. Maybe I'll stop at the used bookstore on my way home and see if they have a fairly new copy.

Yesterday I began the world's ugliest still life. I noticed I'm immersing myself in small paintings. Nothing too complicated. Simple. The latest one is again an 8x10. Fairly nondescript. It's a portrait of an apple, a banana, the corner of the cobalt blue sushi plate they are laying on...and a partial wine bottle. It's gained the title of ugly still life because of the current color of the foreground and background. I stepped back to look at it, and felt a sense of ugly creepiness. Hoss was checkin' it out at the same time...and verbally said what was in my head. It's eerie.

So, with that, the small challenge I have given myself is to see if I can create and use the color of reflected light in a non-obvious way to evoke a sense of strangeness, darkness and forboding. Not blatant Nightmare on Elm Street stuff. Instead, closer to a Hitchcock type of creepiness. With color of the light.
Hey there -

I didn't feel like writing yesterday.

For now, let's pass off a few links that were waiting for me in my email. What list did I get on? There seems to be a theme...

How about your very own fried breakfast hat and purse? Instructions included so you can knit your own.

Here is a site devoted to go-go boots, with a tribute to Nancy Sinatra.

For those of you planning weddings, And The Bride Wore... showcases interesting wedding fashion for the bride, the groom, etc.

A couple examples:
This one is titled - That walk down the aisle is going to take a long, long time.
And, Tippi Hedron's wedding dress.

Last, you can create your own spam shirt. Choose size, color and your preferred spam.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Well...what a day and what an evening!

I have lots of catching up on the journal of others...and will do so this weekend.

Today was my regular therapy day, although it made 4 for this week...and so I did that deal. I know I'll write about it when I'm ready. Not now. I was still pretty bruised from all of this week's insights.

Regarding painting - all I did today was to continually look at the abstract. Yeah, I'm still in love with it. Not only that, but floored. Not in the sense that it's my best painting ever, but instead, I'm crushed out in love with how it's coming together. I am in awe of the process.

It feels like...although I know it's coming from me, from deep inside really seems like the work is being created from something bigger than the me I know. The me I used to know. The old me. Apparently there is a new person within. That is the part that is tripping me out.

So...I'll sit here and relish the honeymoon period with my art.

Sir contacted me about getting together for a drink or something. I mentioned I had just gotten home from the shrink and would call him back later. I was still raw...exhausted and needed to be by myself. We ended up meeting at Septieme's about 8ish tonight. It was a perfect, perfect summer evening. You could wear short sleeves, jeans and boots and feel just right. Not too hot. Not too cold.

The sidewalk was filled with shiny, happy people.

I arrived first, walked into the Cafe and opted out of the booth. It felt hot and much too noisy for my taste. I wasn't in the mood. Instead, we sat at the end of their sidewalk tables. After a good hour of catching up, reading his latest column and discussing it, a mutual friend walked past. That began the parade of people who played musical chairs at our small cafe table. One of the folks, who I rarely see, happened to mention that my name had been tossed about all day in a certain meeting. Of course I pried him for details. And...I'm not going to share. Not yet. Not until it's official. I want to blurt really bad. But for all I may not happen.

I promise, I'll let you know when I know for sure. Thing is...I'm so excited by the possibility!

Yeah, I'm being a tease. All I can say is, it's about art and sex. And in my book, for my's all about art and sex. Everything else stems from that.

Right now I'm flying high. Before I go I have one more thing to say. Regarding this therapy once again is proving to me how worth it, it is.

As difficult and painful as things get...stirring up the muck is never fun...I have slowly been seeing the fruits of my labor. Slow in the sense that I didn't actively see anything for almost 3 years, only to turn a corner and be in absolute awe with how my world is changing. Tonight, once again, in spite of the raw, bleeding wound I carry inside...I'm almost speechless at the power that I am beginning to honestly believe lies in each one of us to heal ourselves. I am learning that support is crucial. Critical. But unless I am willing to dive into the filth, the support is useless.

Our strength, our potential, our possibility only comes from one place.
Me. You. Each of us, individually.

That is the god I bow before.
That is the only god I see.
I am.

Friday, August 12, 2005


The Big Gulp
NASA pisses away millions hauling H2O into orbit. But there's a better way - recycle astronaut urine. Just one question: How does it taste?

Hmmm....there are a few of us NASA could ask.
Hoss came by last night to paint. Earlier, on the phone, I said that he was welcome, but I wouldn't be painting myself.

Because of what happened in therapy on Wednesday, I was still reeling. So much so that I had made an extra therapy appointment yesterday. I needed to continue to work through these new insights from old pain. This work meant there was nothing left inside...for painting.

Hoss sat at the easel and painted. I decided to pull out my sketchbook and draw. Copy figures. Working for a bit, I became bored. From there, I delved into my computer. But that wasn't doing it for me either. All I wanted to do was sit.

During the evening, my eyes were continually drawn to the abstract still in progress. I was seriously stuck. No energy to have the courage to be playful with it. I looked.

I've been studyin this particular painting quite a bit in the last week. It fascinates me and weirds me out. I have absolutely no direction. It doesn't scream out at me and say "I need this or that!"

At some point I remembered the words of a prof I'd rarely worked with. Honestly, the words that came into my head are the only thing I recalled of his teaching. This is because I may have only taken one class with him, if even that.

It was 1996. I was working in the studio, saved for senior thesis students. I have so many fond memories of that little space. There was a large painting I was struggling with. Excited, yet stuck. I lost my sense of direction. One particular prof came up, looked at it and we spoke a bit. The paint was fairly dry. He grabbed a large hunk of my charcoal and made lines on the painting. Only a few. It restructured the painting and in doing so, opened it wide.

Now that I think about it, it is no different than being locked in the cage. Sometimes our world feels so big and I can lose my sense of direction. Sir would lock me in the cage. In restricting me with the heavy, rusted bars, I found liberation. Once again my center, my core, would make itself known.

Last night I remembered the scene with the prof.

Although tired and spent, I knew what I had to do. I grabbed my little abstract piece. Then I rummaged in my art closet for my box of drawing materials. I hadn't opened this box in a long time. It had my tools. Old familiar friends, ever patient, simply waiting for me to come to them.

Have I mentioned how much I love charcoal? I mean...LOVE charcoal? Until I placed a stick in my hands and made the first mark, I had forgotten.

Quickly and intuitively, I made six or seven lines. Somehow, my hand just knew where to go. It was fast.

Stepping back, my heart lept. That is what the painting needed. It brought everything together. It gave it a sense of architecture. The marks of color make sense now. I'm enamoured with the piece.

Now, the only thing I'm not sure of is - I've never worked with retaining charcoal over oils. I'm not sure how it works. Or...if it can be done. How will the charcoal interact with oils and medium? If I can keep it, what do I use to fix it? Can anyone offer advice?

So, now I wonder if I go back into the piece with a dark oil line or if I can keep the charcoal. I prefer the latter.
It gave the painting a definite personality. It's no longer mushy and questioning.

From there, I looked down at the plain white butcher paper I had covered my table with. I began drawing on it with the charcoal. It was a quick sketch. I couldn't get enough of the feel of charcoal on paper. It reminded of the days when I'd spend all day on large charcoal drawings. Back then, my hand wouldn't stop moving. A few times, during class, it was so intense that I'd find blood on the paper. It came from the tip of one finger that continually rubbed against the paper and charcoal.

Charcoal is the painter's pencil. To hold its side and block in form and value feels like sculpting. It is not a surface act in the way pencil or pen and ink is for me. Instead it is definitely tangible and three dimensional.

Hoss looked at me and said "Look at that. And you said you weren't up to painting!" He chuckled.

Sometimes, it just happens.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Uh oh...

...Just when I thought it was safe to go back into the water...

Writing to a new friend today, I wrote:

"Speaking of the belly of the beast, I've just hit a new bump myself. Not sure if I'll blog about it. Probably when the pain eases some. It's amazing when we think we've grieved, dealt and moved on, to out of the blue be smacked in the head with more underlying pain. An old relationship, from '97. Strange. Yet I have to trust it is all perfect."

Well...I'm still surrounded by its pain. And yes, it's bizarre. I mean, 1997???? A month or two after it ended, I got my ass into therapy and spent the next year working on that. So WTF?

I'll go into more detail when I'm feeling stronger.

Suffice it to say that I'm blown away. A blip. An important blip in my life, but a blip nonetheless apparently carried more grief than the grief from Sir's stroke. I had no idea...until yesterday. This therapy stuff is either working fabulously, or it's for the birds.

Either way, it's bloody hell.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

In today's email:

OPEN CASTING CALL - 2005 Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival Trailer

Three Dollar Bill Cinema is seeking twelve Actors of diverse ages, genders, and ethnicity’s to perform in the production of the
2005 Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival movie trailer.

This is a one-day shoot, scheduled for either Wednesday, August 17, or Tuesday, August 23, possibly overnight.
All applicants must be available all day on BOTH days/nights to be considered.

Some professional stage or screen acting experience is preferred, but not required. Couples and friends are encouraged to audition together. No pay is offered, but a VHS copy of the completed trailer may be provided. The trailer is scheduled to screen in some local theatres during the month of October and on Comcast cable television.

We are casting for:
· 2 women who are very athletic with strong arms/shoulders
· 2 men dressed in 70's retro clothing (pool players welcome!)
· A lesbian couple: one traditionally butch/ one femme
· 2 "night clubby" men
· An older lesbian couple (50’s or older)
· An older gay couple (50’s or older)

OPEN CASTING CALL DATE: Thursday, August 11, 5:30 - 8:00pm

LOCATION: Three Dollar Bill Cinema
1515 12th Avenue, between Pike & Pine
in Cinema #2 (the small theater)

No headshots required; video will be taken at the audition. No phone calls please.
Three Dollar Bill Cinema
Producer of the Seattle Lesbian and Gay Film Festival

Seattle Lesbian and Gay Film Festival 2005
October 14 - 23, 2005
Now that stopped for lunch, sushi comprised of spicy salmon rolls, a tad annoyed with myself because I didn't grab the soy, which means I'll dose up on the wasabi, I'll give you our Wednesday guys, Rob Brezsny's Freewill Astrology and Mark Morford's latest column.

Today Morford tackles the right winged question:
"Here it is: Where is your supposed progressive openness? Your liberal generosity of spirit? I thought you Lefties were all mushy and passive and live-and-let-live?

In other words, where is that famous so-called tolerance I thought all you libs were supposed to possess like some sort of gentle polyamorous smiling hug for the world?

To which I reply: You cannot be serious. Does the answer really need to be articulated? Is it not painfully obvious? Can I have a shot of PatrĂ³n and a long nap before I answer? Here goes ...",

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

The Profound In The Plain.

I have wanted to share something that’s been ongoing in my shrink sessions, yet never had the time/energy. T/E is a delicate combination, and when it appears, I have a list of things to grab during that oh so precious window.

Now is a good time.

Back at the end of May, I was becoming more comfortable doing couchwork. I don't know if it will ever get easy, but my resistance had lessened. This was the time I discovered a quiet that was my home.

Sometime after that the shrink was leaving for a 2 week stint and I wasn't anxious about the separation. Our last session before his absence, I calmly laid down on the couch and quietly said "I want to share silence with you, before you leave."

I heard his intake of breath as he settled in for a session of silence.

It was incredibly intimate. I was comfortable. Open.
He in his chair, I on the couch. The thickness and fullness of quiet blanketed us.

The two weeks were fine. Of course when he returned I had an adjustment period. Regrouping. But it was a short one of only a week. He needed to leave the following week, for a week. Within that week, big stuff came up. All good and all painful. I remember emailing him just about every day. He knew it was difficult and I needed the contact because he responded to each email (even when I said no response necessary).

The shrink returned at the end of June. Until now (including now)...I've yet to return to the somewhat ease of opening up and laying on the couch. It may happen. Grudgingly. I can feel myself battling.

Yeah...all the abandonment stuff arose during June. Pushed those buttons.

It makes sense, doesn't it? That one day, where I could freely lay down and just be…the incidences afterward slammed the door. I had just gotten back on the horse to hit a bump, fall off…and it scared me. Once again.

Now, fast forward to the last week of July.

"I don't want to lay down anymore."
"It's ridiculous."
"Yes. Everything's going fine. I’m gaining my footing. Look at all I've accomplished and what's come together without doing lots of couchwork." I continued, "See? It is ridiculous."
"Interesting." (dontcha just hate it when they use THAT word???) He adds, "If you were actually through with couchwork, you wouldn't be saying it was ridiculous. You'd be using other words."

Of course I growled at him.

July 29th. A few days later.

"I looked at the calendar. August is going to be an intense month."
"Why do you say that?” he asked.
"We have 5 solid weeks of 3 day a week appointments. No breaks. Intense."

A slow, sadistic smile appeared on his face.

That was the first time I concretely made the decision to not lay down in that session. It was the first time with the shrink where I consciously, stubbornly went against my gut. Absolute defiance.

Now in that defiance I did make another decision. I would commit myself to long couch sessions every session in August (unless the work on a given day was taking another tack). Jump in.
No excuses. Jump in.

So now it's August. And I'm in.

Last week something profound happened. It's still stuck in my head.
Sometimes, what may appear to be a small thing can have the same impact as a bomb.
It's deceptive really.

Laying on the couch, I was just there. Talking only if words appeared in the front of my eyes.

A tad relaxed…I said "Before his stroke, I used to lay down on Sir's couch all the time."


"I used to lay down on Sir's COUCH all the time."

The impact hit. In between training sessions, whenever I was feeling down, sad, extremely vulnerable, invisible…I’d call Sir and he’d invite me over. I’d spend the time curled up on his couch. Sometimes I’d fall asleep, only to be awoken by a presence. It would be him, covering me with a blanket. Sometimes he’d have some event that wouldn’t be appropriate for me to attend. Yet I was always welcome upstairs. He’d have one of the boys or slaves bring food up to me.

Other than the cage, that little loveseat became a powerful refuge.

"I used to lay down on Sir’s couch all the time."

Tears began to fall. I opened up. "I miss Sir. I miss the him that used to be."
Those words were so difficult to utter. They came out in a hoarse whisper.
More walls began to crack.

I know, from speaking with the shrink, that the technique of laying on the couch is a precarious one. It’s tough for most of us, placing us in a larger state of vulnerability.

What I didn't realize, until last week, is how I had an added demon within that process.
The symbol of couch, with someone close, already carried a greater weight. It was one I unconsciously didn't want to draw near.

Something as simple as the couch represented a safety and intimacy I wasn't prepared to touch again.
Or so I thought.

Who woulda thunk?
Seattle Queer Film

Found in my work email:

Volunteer for the Seattle Lesbian and Gay Film Festival
Three Dollar Bill Cinema, producer of the Seattle Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, is looking for volunteers for our festival in October, 2005. We need volunteers to help usher, sell tickets, distribute posters, assist with our computers, web, accounting and more!

Volunteering for the Seattle Lesbian and Gay Film Festival is a great way to make friends and meet new people. Festival volunteers earn coupons to see free movies, it's fun and you're supporting a good cause.

ALSO! Save the date for our Volunteer Orientation, Saturday, October 1, 2005 at 1515 12th Ave at 12 PM sharp! Between Pike and Pine Streets on Capitol Hill. At the volunteer orientation you will learn all about festival volunteer shifts and sign up for them, for the first time ever, online! So bring your wifi laptop too!

For more information email Cresdan Maite, MPA, Director of Volunteers, at or call (206) 323-4274 #1.
A little masturbation.
Okay, okay...a lot of masturbation.

Yesterday I mentioned that EBhotbear had a private entry and so you couldn't read the nice things he wrote regarding our meeting. Well he read that and commented in a more public venue. I'll share with you.
His comment:

Miss out on all the nice thing I said about you.. AS IF.
Direct from my entry...

"I don't know where to begin about the aptly named [info]girlfagpnw. She is.. She is... Just...Wow.... We talked.. a lot... About everything. Especially kink.... The minute I met her, I was comfortable..And I wanted to touch her and hug her. Her energy is HAWT, folks. She is FAG.... Bawdy, bodacious, in your-face-oozing-sex-energy that floored me repeatedly over the short time I spent with her... I kind of make it sound like she is some sort of sex fiend, and she may be, or it may just be that the sparks between us were just FLYING. She is also an INFUCKINGCREDIBLE Artist. I not only got the priviledge of seeing her newest painting in progress, which I will not describe except to say that I will be having wet dreams over it for may a night to come, I also had the honor of buying one of her paintings!!

We walked around downtown Seattle today, me, Auxugen and Girlfagpnw, me with my arm around each of them, stroking thier heads, feeling my Daddy energy. I felt like the luckiest guy in the world, walking around with easily the two most beautiful submissives I have ever met."

Yeah...I was...well...pleased, touched, and very surprised with his generous words.

Thanks man.